Joel Mowbray

What's the difference between members of a supposedly ideological movement and their allies? After all, to agree with someone's ideology--and in the case of Mr. Cheney, Mr. Rumsfeld, Mr. Wolfowitz and Mr. Perle, that's almost all the time in the foreign policy realm--would seem to make someone not just an ally but an actual subscriber to that ideology. Someone who supports lower taxes, smaller government and market-based solutions on the domestic front, for example, is not an ally of conservatives--he is a conservative.

So how do Mr. Rumsfeld and Mr. Cheney not make the "neocon" cut in Mr. Dunham's mind, when the two Bush officials hold the very same worldview as the people labeled neocons? The only difference between the two categories is not one of ideology, but religion. Mr. Wolfowitz, Mr. Feith, Mr. Perle, Mr. Adelman and Mr. Kristol--the "neocons" (or "superhawks")--are Jewish. Mr. Rumsfeld and Mr. Cheney--the key allies (who interestingly were given no "super" in front of their "hawk" designation)--are not. Why did Mr. Dunham not list fellow ideological travelers such as Gary Schmitt, Max Boot or even Newt Gingrich? None is Jewish.

Ironically, nowhere in the article does one find "Jew:" or "Jewish," although Mr. Dunham did manage to cite unnamed critics who have called the neocons a "Zionist cabal." But that's par for the code-word course. People who mean Jew or Jewish carefully avoid use of either word, often allowing the word "neocon" to roll off the tongue, injected with a tinge of disgust. Just as with Mr. Dunham, those who assail the "neocons" in the administration fault the supposedly all-powerful "Zionist cabal" as militarily trigger-happy idealists who will overextend American resources.

To anyone who has taken the time to fully understand the worldview of so-called "neocons" like Mr. Wolfowitz and Mr. Perle, however, the word superhawk is silly. These two men in particular--regarded as visionaries by many, and who have inspired gentiles and Jews alike to follow in their ideological footsteps--believe freedom is a God-given right that cannot legitimately be denied by any government, just as our Founding Fathers believed. They don't believe in coddling dictators and they believe that the United States should engage freedom movements, not the dictatorships repressing them. What anyone, including Mr. Dunham, has failed to explain is what's so "superhawk"-ish about that.

It's possible Mr. Dunham didn't intend to portray being Jewish as a prerequisite to joining the "neocon" club, but it's difficult to fathom that that's the case. Maybe to avoid any future confusion, Mr. Dunham--and others--would be wise to simply abandon the use of "neocon" altogether.

Joel Mowbray

Joel Mowbray, who got his start with, is an award-winning investigative journalist, nationally-syndicated columnist and author of Dangerous Diplomacy: How the State Department Threatens America's Security.

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