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The American Conservative Hits Militarism Again

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Message Michael Leon

Since its inception, The American Conservative has never offered up its critiques of the American invasion and occupation of Iraq based upon anything approaching the radical pacifism of A.J. Muste, Erwin Knoll or Christian pacifism.  

Yet, its eloquent anti-interventionist pieces have been a welcome addition to the American peace movement. 

Even as it argues against the policies of the main purveyors of international militarism today (the U.S. and Israel) on purely isolationist, even provincial grounds, the conservative journal founded by Scott McConnell, Pat Buchanan and Taki Theodoracopulos in 2002 continues to put out insightful analyses on foreign policy. 

Check out Scott McConnell’sBloggers vs. the Lobby: Israel’s propaganda fortress faces a surprising new challenge.” 

Monitoring the reaction to a prominent smear that so-and-so is an anti-Semite, McConnell writes:

“Observations (about the Israel lobby) that had been bandied about for years in private seemed to burst forth where many people could see them. This was welcome and suggests a broadening and deepening of the peace movement that so notably failed to stop the Iraq War. Suddenly there were Jewish voices (bloggers) talking about the Israel lobby as an established fact and, to be frank, as a bit of a problem.” 

Just maybe, the truism that not everyone objecting to U.S./Israeli militarism is an anti-Semite is becoming a more tenable political position, partly because of the blogosphere. 

As Mac McKinney wrote (in on the topic of using anti-Semitism as a smear against opponents of militarism: Jewish intellectuals in this country who are trying to have it both ways have got to make a hard decision. Either they promote the brotherhood and sisterhood of humanity or regress back to the narrow tribalism of the Old Testament. You can't be half-Fascist and half-humanist.”


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Michael Leon is a writer living in Madison, Wisconsin. His writing has appeared nationally in The Progressive, In These Times, and CounterPunch. He can be reached at
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