Elliott Abrams

Pressure Points

Abrams gives his take on U.S. foreign policy, with special focus on the Middle East and democracy and human rights issues.

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Neocons and Zombies

by Elliott Abrams
June 18, 2013


Is neoconservatism dead and gone?  In the June issue of the London-based magazine Standpoint, I discuss the movement’s past and its future.

Here’s the opening:

Zombies, the dictionary tells us, are “animated corpses revived by mystical means, such as magic or witchcraft”. This is how their many enemies have often regarded neoconservative foreign policy ideas and those who propagate them. Foreign Policy magazine once happily concluded that neoconservative ideas “lie buried in the sands of Iraq”, but back they came, dominating the 2012 Republican Party presidential campaign and dominating the party still. Can this be explained — except by black magic?

What do neocons believe in? I suggest that it’s an amalgam, of:

patriotism, American exceptionalism, a belief in the goodness of America and in the benefits of American power and of its use, and a conviction that democracy is the best system of government and should be spread whenever that is practical. It should not be shocking that such views win wide popularity in the United States, though perhaps that last idea — spreading democracy — is the most controversial. The continuing relevance, indeed power, of these ideas is clear, and it is equally clear that they are not held only by a small coterie of intellectuals in Washington.

The full article can be read here.

Post a Comment 2 Comments

  • Posted by Dean Smallwood

    Hardline liberals and leftists believe that if they say it long enough and loud enough , neocons will , in fact , disappear … when in fact , they may be whistling their way past their own graveyard .

  • Posted by Dan

    “spreading democracy — is the most controversial.”

    …as it should be because this is the idea that gets Americans killed and most often – tragically – produces nothing but a kick in the pants from our “allies” who want the “infidels out’ ASAP.

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