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Firing Gonzales will not Solve the Problem

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Many people are calling for President Bush to fire Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. However, firing Gonzales is akin to rearranging chairs on a sinking ship. Anyone Bush picks to replace him will be of the same political persuasion. The real problem is neo-conservatism. In the words of Howard Dean, Democratic National Committee Chair, “President Bush is an engaging person, but I think for some reason he's been captured by the neoconservatives around him.”

If neoconservatism is the real problem, and I believe it is, then it must be defined. Stephen Eric Bronner, political philosopher and professor, believes that neoconservatives are concerned with “instituting a new respect for traditional political authority, capitalism, and the entire complex of concerns associated with “family values.” According to Irving Kristol, considered the godfather of neoconservatism, a “basic assumption of neoconservatism” is that when affluence spreads “among all classes, a property-owning and tax-paying population will, in time, become less vulnerable to egalitarian illusions and demagogic appeals and more sensible about the fundamentals of economic reckoning.” In other words, the government must not regulate the economic sector.

In an essay for The Weekly Standard Kristol asserted that “Neocons do not like the concentration of services in the welfare state and are happy to study alternative ways of delivering these services.” The ‘alternative ways’ are code words for private government contracts, the type doled out in the billions to corporations like Halliburton for the reconstruction of Iraq.

In the same essay Kristol claimed neoconservatives do not have a set of beliefs concerning foreign policy, but “a set of attitudes derived from historical experience.” One of those ‘attitudes’ is patriotism, “a natural and healthy sentiment” which should be “encouraged by both private and public institutions.” Kristol called patriotism a “powerful American sentiment.” The second neoconservative ‘attitude’ is the belief that “world government is a terrible idea since it can lead to world tyranny.” International institutions are regarded with suspicion if neoconservatives believe they “point to an ultimate world government.” That is the real reason for the Bush administration’s disregard for United Nations resolutions concerning Iraq in 2003.

The invasion of Iraq is a byproduct of the neoconservative desire for global hegemony. Gary Dorrien, professor at Kalamazoo College, describes the foreign policy goal of neoconservatives as the desire to “create a global Pax Americana…to maintain and extend America’s unrivaled global dominance.” Some neoconservatives call it the unipolarist imperative. I simply call it greed.

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Gina-Marie Cheeseman is a freelance writer with a passion for social justice. She grew up on a vineyard ranch in the San Joaquin Valley of California watching farmworkers toil in the searing sun. Her desire for social justice fermented along with (more...)
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