In the months and
years following the Arab-Israeli war of October 1973, the issue of Israel and
its security would become so enmeshed in American policy as to become one and
the same.  The lesson of October 1973
that détente had succeeded in securing American and Soviet interests, was anathema
to the entire neoconservative agenda and revealed its true hand.  At the time a majority of American Jews were
not necessarily against better U.S.-Soviet relations. But with the forceful
hammering of influential right-wing neoconservative pundits like Ben Wattenberg
and Irving Kristol and the explosive manifestation of the
Evangelical Christian Zionist movement, many of Israel’s liberal American supporters
were persuaded to turn against détente for the first time. According to the
distinguished State Department Soviet specialist
Raymond Garthoff’s Détente and Confrontation; “Analytically and objectively the
American-Soviet cooperation in defusing both the Israeli-Arab conflict, and
their own involvement in a crisis confrontation, may be judged a successful
application of crisis management under détente.”  But as Garthoff acknowledges, this success
threatened “Israel’s jealously guarded freedom of action to determine
unilaterally its own security requirements,” and set off alarm bells in Tel
Aviv and Washington. 

With Richard Nixon on
the ropes with Watergate and Vietnam dragging to a conclusion, American foreign
policy was open to external pressure and within a year would fall permanently
into the hands of a coalition of pro-Israel neoconservative and right-wing
defense industry lobbying groups. These groups such as the
American Israel Public Affairs
Committee (AIPAC)
, the Jewish Institute for National
Security Affairs (JINSA)
, the
American Security Council and Committee on the Present Danger would set about to make American interests
and their own personal crusade to control the greater Middle East,

The issue of U.S.
support for Israel, its neoconservative backers and its dedicated
anti-Russian  bias has a long and
complicated history dating back long before
Theodor Herzl’s19th century Zionist Project. Zionism was not instilled in American
thinking by Jews but by
16th and 17th
century British Puritans

whose sacred mission was to reestablish an ancient Kingdom of Israel and
fulfill what they believed to be biblical prophecy based on the King James
Version of the bible.

Britain’s Anglo/Israel movement found common cause with the British Empire’s
19th and early 20th century political goals of
controlling the Middle East through Jewish resettlement of Palestine which
culminated in the
Balfour declaration of 1917. This long term plan of the British
Empire continues on today through American policy and what has been dubbed the
Zionist Project or the Yinon plan. Add the 700 million strong worldwide Evangelical movement and its 70 million Christian Zionists in the United States and American foreign
policy towards the Middle East becomes an apocalyptic confluence of covert
agendas, ethnic grudges and religious feuds locked in permanent crisis.

It has been argued
that the neoconservative’s slavish adherence to Israel makes neo-conservatism
an exclusively Jewish creation. Numerous neoconservative writers like the New
York Times’
David Brooks tar critics of Israel as anti-Semites by
accusing them of substituting the term “neoconservative” for “Jew.” Others
argue that “neo-conservatism is indeed
a Jewish intellectual and political
” with “close ties to
the most extreme nationalistic, aggressive, racialist and religiously fanatic
elements within Israel.”

Although clearly
acting as a political front for Israel’s interests and an engine for permanent
war, neo-conservatism would never have succeeded as a political movement
without the support and cooperation of powerful non-Jewish elites. New America
Foundation co-founder
Michael Lind writes in The Nation in 2004, “Along with other traditions that have
emerged from the anti-Stalinist left, neo-conservatism has appealed to many
Jewish intellectuals and activists but it is not, for that reason, a Jewish
movement. Like other schools on the left, neo-conservatism recruited from
diverse “farm teams” including liberal Catholics… populists, socialists and New
Deal liberals in the South and Southwest… With the exception of Middle East
strategy… there is nothing particularly “Jewish” about neoconservative views on
foreign policy. While the example of Israel has inspired American neocons… the
global strategy of today’s neocons is shaped chiefly by the heritage of cold
war anti-Communism.”  

Add to that the  abiding influence of Britain’s Imperial
policy-makers following World War II – the British creation of Pakistan in 1947
and Israel in 1948 – and the hidden hand of a global imperial strategy is revealed.
Pakistan exists to keep the Russians out of Central Asia and Israel exists to
keep the Russians out of the Middle East.

Whether American
democracy could have survived the stresses put upon it by the Great Depression,
World War II, the Cold War and the ongoing frauds posed by neo-conservatism now
poses an answerable question. It couldn’t. Fletcher School international law professor
Michael Glennon maintains the
creation of the national security
in 1947 as a second,
double government effectively renders the question mute.
He writesThe public
believes that the constitutionally-established institutions control national
security policy, but that view is mistaken.

Judicial review is negligible;
congressional oversight is dysfunctional; and presidential control is nominal.
Absent a more informed and engaged electorate, little possibility exists for
restoring accountability in the formulation and execution of national security

The motion to kill
détente and hobble Henry Kissinger’s balance of power or “realist” foreign
policy quickly followed the 1973 war in the form of the anti-Soviet amendment
to the Trade Act known as Jackson-Vanik. Sponsored by Senator
Henry “Scoop” Jackson of Washington and Representative Charles A.
Vanik of Ohio but engineered by Albert Wohlstetter acolyte
Richard Perle, trade concessions and virtually anything
regarding Moscow would be forever linked to the Zionist Project through Jewish
emigration to Israel from the Soviet Union.

Supported by organized
labor, traditional conservatives, liberals and neoconservatives, Jackson-Vanik
hobbled efforts by the Nixon/Ford administration to slow the arms race and move
towards a permanent easing of tensions with the Soviet Union. It removed
control of American foreign policy from the President and Secretary of State
while delivering it permanently into the hands of the old
anti-Stalinist/Trotskyist neoconservatives.

Jackson-Vanik overcame
liberal support for détente because of an intellectual dishonesty within the
non-communist left that had been roiling America’s intelligentsia since the
1930s. That dishonesty had transformed left wing Trotskyists into the CIA’s
very own anti-Soviet cultural Cold Warriors and aligned them with the goals of
the West’s right-wing. By the1950s their cause was not about left or right, or
even liberal anti-Communism versus Stalinism. It was about exchanging a value
system of laws and checks and balances for a system alien to America. As
Frances Stoner Saunder’s describes in her book The Cultural Cold War, it was simply about grabbing power and
keeping it. “‘It’s so corrupt, it doesn’t even know it,’ said [legendary Random
House editor] Jason Epstein, in an uncompromising mood. ‘When these people talk
about a “counter-intelligentsia”, what they do is to set up a false and corrupt
value system to support whatever ideology they’re committed to at the time. The
only thing they’re really committed to is power, and the introduction of
Tzarist-Stalinist strategies in American politics. They’re so corrupt they
probably don’t even know it. They’re little, lying apparatchiks. People who
don’t believe in anything, who are only against something, shouldn’t go on
crusades or start revolutions.”

But neoconservatives
did go on crusades and start revolutions and continued to corrupt the American
political process until it was unrecognizable.
In 1973 neoconservatives did not want the United States having better
relations with Moscow and created Jackson-Vanik to obstruct it. But their
ultimate goal as explained by Janine Wedel in her 2009 study the Shadow Elite, was a Trotskyist dream;
the complete transfer of power from an elected government representing the
American people to what she referred to as a “new nomenklatura,” or “guardians
of the national interest,” free from the restraints imposed by the laws of the
nation. Wedel writes, “Daniel Patrick Moynihan, the late senator from New York
and onetime neoconservative, suggested that this kind of suspension of the
rules and processes was what motivated him to part ways with the movement in
the 1980s: ‘They wished for a military posture approaching mobilization; they
would create or invent whatever crises were required to bring this about.’”

The synthesis of James Burnham’s Cold War ethos (established formally by Paul Nitze in his 1950 NSC-68) together with Trotskyism (espoused by the
core neoconservatives) combined with this aggressive new support for Israel
empowered America’s neoconservatives with a cult-like political influence over
American decision-making that would only grow stronger with time.

As envisaged by James Burnham, the Cold War was a struggle for the world and would be fought with the kind of
political subversion he’d learned to master as a leading member of Trotsky’s
Fourth International. But joined to Israel by Burnham’s fellow Trotskyists and
the underlying influence of British Israelism – it would enter an apocalyptic
mythos and resist any and all efforts to bring it to an end. John B. Judis,
former editor of the New Republic
relates in a 1995 Foreign Affairs
book review of the Rise of
by John Ehrman: “In the framework of international
communism, the Trotskyists were rabid internationalists rather than realists or
nationalists… The neoconservatives who went through Trotskyist and socialist
movements came to see foreign policy as a crusade, the goal of which was first
global socialism, then social democracy, and finally democratic capitalism.
They never saw foreign policy in terms of national interest or balance of
power. Neoconservatism was a kind of inverted Trotskyism, which sought to
‘export democracy’ in
[Joshua] Muravchik’s words, in the same way that Trotsky
originally envisaged exporting socialism.”

Through the eyes of
the State Department’s Raymond Garthoff, the moves against détente in 1973 are
viewed from the narrow perspective of a professional American diplomat. But
according to Judis in his article titled
“Trotskyism to Anachronism: The
Neoconservative Revolution”
legacy of NSC-68 and Trotskyism contributed to a form of apocalyptic thinking
that would slowly exclude the professional policy-making process from the realm
of empirical observation and replace it with a politicized mechanism for
creating endless conflict. “The constant reiteration and exaggeration of the
Soviet threat was meant to dramatize and win converts, but it also reflected
the doomsday revolutionary mentality that characterized the old left.”

In the end, Judis
argues that the neoconservative success at using self-fulfilling prophecies to
kill détente actually made the Cold War far more dangerous by encouraging the
Soviet Union to undertake a military buildup and expand its influence which the
neoconservatives then used as proof that their theories were correct. In
effect, “Neoconservatism was a self-fulfilling prophecy. It helped precipitate
the crisis in U.S.-Soviet relations that it then claimed to uncover and respond

Writing in the summer
of 1995 with the Cold War finally ended and the storm passed, Judis considered
neoconservatism as the subject of ridicule, describing key neoconservatives as
merely political anachronisms and not the thriving political dynamo described
by John Ehrman in his book. But in the end Ehrman turned out to be right, the
neoconservative crusade had not come to a close with the end of the Cold War
but had only entered a new and more dangerous phase.

Copyright – 2022 Fitzgerald &
Gould All rights reserved

Paul Fitzgerald and Elizabeth Gould are authors of Invisible History: Afghanistan’s Untold Story, published by City Lights (2009), Crossing Zero The AfPak War at the Turning Point of American Empire, published by City Lights (2011).
Their novel
The Voice , was published in 2001. Their memoir, The Valediction Three Nights of Desmond was
published by TrineDay (2021) and
The Valediction Resurrection was published by TrineDay (2022). For more information
invisiblehistory , grailwerk and 


  1. The believers in religious/political Israelism will not be pleased until Zecharia 14 has come to pass, and are sure they will sit safely at home drinking Coke while maybe listening to Chaka Khan's "What cha gonna do for me when the chips are down", watching their countrymen`s soldiers, children of their neighbors, fighting for the cause of the "Jewish" part of Jerusalem and Israel, on TV/the internet.

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