Pop quiz: what terrorist organization pioneered the modern use of suicide bombing, and what was their first target?
Neoconservatism was the talk of the town in the early 2000’s as it became associated with President George W. Bush’s strategy in the War on Terror. But just as quickly as it burst onto the scene, neoconservatism fell out of favor in the mid 2000’s as the war in Afghanistan dragged on and the war in Iraq exploded. Today, neocon is largely used as an insult by people who oppose the Iraq war, even if they started out as fervent supporters.
But the neoconservative foreign policy is not defined by the Iraq war. Neoconservatism is a worldview and a mission, not a strategy. If a particular strategy fails, that does not necessitate abandoning the mission.
When America debated Obamacare in 2009, Republicans raised the specter of what Sarah Palin called “death panels.” This was not a fantasy or an exaggeration designed to take normal policy and make Democrats look bad. It was in the bill.
According to Business Insider, the richest man of all time was John D. Rockefeller. Adjusted for inflation, he had a net-worth of over $300 billion. If he traveled to some lifeless rock in the Pacific Ocean and declared sovereignty today, he would replace oil rich Venezuela as the 37th richest country in the world, with even some European countries and Middle Eastern oil emirates falling behind this one man. He grew his wealth by buying oil companies left and right until he eventually owned 90% of all the oil in America.
And yet the richest man in the history of the world could not buy a microwave oven. For $60 I can go on my Amazon app and have a microwave delivered to my door, something Rockefeller could not do with his $300 billion.
I spent a few months shy of five years in the US Army, during which I twice deployed to Iraq. We as a country have decided that merits special treatment in certain circumstances. Some businesses provide discounts. Every Veterans Day I even get free meals. And my local supermarket has designated parking space for veterans.
But in a democracy, my military service gets me the same one vote as everyone else.
Starbucks is a proudly progressive company. 90% of Starbucks’ political donations go to Democrats, according to opensecrets.org. A few years ago, the coffee giant urged its employees to start conversations about race with customers until they realized customers just wanted, you know, coffee. More recently, Starbucks has committed to hiring 10,000 refugees by 2022.
None of that prevented Starbucks from being lambasted as racist and boycotted for a single incident before all the facts were even known.
Last night, President Trump announced joint air strikes with Britain and France against Syrian dictator Bashar Assad in response to his repeated use of chemical weapons against Syrian rebels and civilians. This is an important step for American national security and the world order we helped establish, but it is only a start. The real test comes next.