by Philip Giraldi
May 02, 2013

It has been noted ironically by Justin Raimondo at antiwar and also by Scott McConnell over at The American Conservative how the neoconservative dominated American Committee for Peace in the Caucasus, which sees Chechens and other Central Asian Muslim militants as “freedom fighters” against Russian rule, exists side by side with other organizations like the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies and the American Enterprise Institute that feature many of the same neoconservatives dedicated to restraining Political Islam while extirpating what they frequently describe as “Islamic fascism.” As is frequently the case with ideologically driven positions, the American neocon supporters of Chechen independence have failed to note that the Chechen nationalist uprising of the 1980s has now morphed into an Islamic based insurgency. The contradictory behavior is particularly glaring as Chechens have frequently been identified among al-Qaeda fighters in Afghanistan and elsewhere and have carried out major terrorist operations in the Russian Confederation, highlighted by the killing of 186 schoolchildren at Beslan in September 2004. The friends of Chechnya response to the massacre has been to successfully pressure the State Department to provide political asylum and a government job for Ilyas Akhmadov, a rebel leader who might have been party to the terrorist attack, a bit of hypocrisy that the Russians have noted vis-à-vis Washington’s professed global war on terror.

The contradictions inherent in the neocon movement should not surprise anyone as they are anything but coherent on any subjects other than the need to use force to bring about regime change and their love of Israel. The neoconservatives are frequently referred to as “former Trotskyites,” a reference to their founding generation which attended the “intensely radical” City College in New York during the 1930s. Irving Kristol, the so-called father of neoconservatism, and his associates would occupy an alcove in the college cafeteria to discuss both politics and revolution. Those friends included literary critic Irving Howe, sociologist Daniel Bell, and sociologist Nathan Glazer. Though leftist radicals themselves, they were hostile to Joseph Stalin’s increasingly despotic rule in Russia and were much more drawn to the communism of Leon Trotsky, who was then in exile in Mexico. Trotsky advocated rule of the Soviet Union by a vanguard working class as part of a mass political movement that would engage in continuous revolution. As the struggle would ultimately involve the proletariat of all nations, this was perceived as a truly unending international revolution. Kristol carefully disconnected from any whiff of Soviet communism in the post Second World War environment, but he continued to believe in certain aspects of the Trotsky agenda even after he founded the movement that was later to be dubbed neoconservatism in the 1960s. He accepted military intervention to impose “democracy” and embraced the concept of continuous revolution, though he did not use that term as it had fallen out of favor.

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