The Neoconservative-Led Network



In the aftermath of 9/11, three caricatures of the neoconservativeled network were presented. The first—put forward partly by defensive conservatives and neoconservatives and partly by uninformed critics— depicted the neoconservatives as a “cabal,” implying that they had plotted the Bush foreign policy surreptitiously and were the hidden hand behind the “war on terror.” For some, the fact that neoconservatism as a political phenomenon had received comparatively little media attention in the nineties meant that it seemed like it had come from nowhere when the spotlight shone on the neocons after 9/11. For others, invoking the “cabal” caricature facilitated the deflection of criticism. Joshua Muravchik, David Brooks, a neoconservative New York Time. columnist, and Max Boot, a neoconservative Wall Street Journal editor, all claimed that their critics were reliant on depicting them as a “cabal” or “conspiracy,” with Brooks even claiming they were motivated by anti-Semitism; claims that they then proceeded to refute with ease. However, these loaded terms were not the words of critics but the neocons’ own words. There were no specific examples cited and rarely any names mentioned. Brooks was even forced to retract his allegations of anti-Semitism and issue an apology.1


Foreign Policy Wall Street Journal Republican Party Heritage Foundation Midterm Election 
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© Maria Ryan 2010

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