When I learned that David Frum, Neoconservative (Neocon) and "Israel-firsters," had written a book critical of the Trump administration, I had to laugh at the irony--at a man who helped foster the War on Terror, an endless war at the base of the longest wars in U.S. history, encouraged in the name of securing Israel. James Moore and Wayne Slater in The Architect: Karl Rove and The Master Plan for Absolute Power (2006) posit that Rove/Bush vowed to Jewish groups that "Israel would have no better friend than George W. Bush." (This is the same promise that Donald Trump made to American Zionist Sheldon Adelson.) As a result Bush-Cheney filled their administration with appointees whose political convictions regarding Israel were, as a minimum, accused of having "dual loyalties" and, in the worst case, were described as "Israel-firsters."
Moore and Slater declare that the most influential of the Bush choices were Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle, and Douglas Feith, while Vice President Dick Cheney turned to I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, John Hannah, and David Wurmser, all of whom had exhibited a predisposition to favor Israel in policy and decision-making processes.
Bush shared a bromance with Ariel Sharon, just as strong Trump shares with Netanyahu and Putin. I would have thought that all the Neocons would be in favor of Trump because he went one step further than Bush by vowing to move the American Embassy (May 2018) from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem before a Two-State-Solution can be settled.
On the vote (to limit democracy) Moore and Slater write that ultimately, in Rove's view, the value of religious conservatives was not that their beliefs enrich public policy but that their cohesion enabled his politics. Former White House speechwriter David Frum said Rove sees the American electorate as "an enormous box of toy magnets. Some of the magnets were white, and some were black or brown; some were rural, some were urban; some married, others single. The job of a political strategist was to gather together the maximum feasible number of magnets." And some were female as in the case of Bush's bid to place Harriet Miers in the Supreme Court. [In true Republican misogyny], "Harriet Miers was simply not up to the standards of the conservative media elite, which turned on her with vengeance. Columnists George Will and Charles Krauthammer, former White House speechwriter David Frum, and William Kristol of the Weekly Standard led a public revolt that ultimately killed the nomination."
HOW THE AXIS OF EVIL SPEECH LED TO LOSING THE WAR IN AFGHANISTAN
James Risen in State Of War: The Secret History Of The CIA And The Bush Administration (2006) writes that President Bush was determined to invade Iraq. In his January 2002 State of the Union Address, Bush had warned of an "Axis of Evil," [written by Frum, who was not yet a citizen] of which Iraq was one of only three member. Bush and his [Neocons] aids charged that Saddam Hussein was a threat to the United States because he possessed weapons of mass destruction and because his regime harbored terrorists. Saddam might use his weapons against America, or give them to terrorists to do the job instead. In either case, an attack with chemical, biological, or nuclear weapons would make September 11 look like child's play. It was a risk, George W. Bush said, that a post-9/11 United States was not willing to take.
FROM CHILD'S PLAY TO GUN-PLAY & THE INVASION OF AFGHANISTAN
Risen posits that through the 2001 Geneva meeting on the Khobar bombing, the Bush team discovered that Iran was strongly supportive of the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan because of Tehran's deep hatred for the ruling Taliban, Sunni Muslims heavily dependent on Pakistani support to retain power in Kabul. Shia-dominated Iran long feared the Taliban's radical influence on its own Sunni minority. Tehran also wanted to retain its influence over western Afghanistan, particularly the trading center of Herat.
In 1998, Iran and the Taliban had come close to a shooting war. Iran had also supported the opposition Northern Alliance against the Taliban, and after 9/11, Iranian officials at the Geneva meetings were actually impatient with the sluggish start to American military war and provided little overt support to the Americans, apart from promising to allow rescue operations for any downed pilots over its territory. But in Geneva, Iranian officials were eager to help and even brought out maps to try to tell the United States the best targets to bomb.
Iran also held some al Qaeda operatives who tried to flee Afghanistan into Iran. In early 2002, Iran detained about 290 al Qaeda fighters who had been picked up as they crossed the border. They weren't willing to turn them over directly to the United States, but they eventually did hand over some to third countries, such as Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Pakistan, which were working with the United States.
But by that time, the Bush administration's attitude toward Iran was changing--hardening. Iran was now a member of the "axis of evil." The Iranians responded to Bush's axis of evil speech with pique; Tehran release Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, a ruthless Afghan warlord who had been on the CIA payroll during the 1980s but who was now opposed to the American occupation of Afghanistan. Soon after his release, Hekmatyar's Hezb-i-Islami forces were battling U.S. troops in Afghanistan, and in May 2002 the CIA launched a missile from an armed Predator Drone in a vain effort to try to kill him.
THE HOLOCAUST IS NEVER OVER IN THE ZIONIST/NEOCONS MIND
Avraham Burg in The Holocaust Is Over; We Must Rise From Its Ashes (2008) states that the State of Israel was built as a safe haven for the Jewish people, yet it is today the least safe place for Jews to live. Ask yourself, where is it safer to live? In holy Jerusalem, the city of bombs? Or in New York, where fundamentalist evil downed the twin towers of the World Trade Center? It seems that many more [including Frum and the Neocons] view New York as a safer place to live than Israel, regardless of how many atomic bombs the Jewish state allegedly stores in her arsenal.
Burg states that an automatic Zionist answer to allay my fears would be that Israel is the safest place for Jews because anti-Semitism lurks everywhere, even behind the polite facade of American Christianity. Or they might argue that only in the land of our forefathers will our children and their children remain Jewish. I do not think that anyone can truly believe such arguments. We must admit that present-day Israel and it ways contribute to the rise in hatred of Jews.
It seems that more than six decades after his death, Hitler retains his influence over American Jews. Vulnerability can be felt in the most impressive community the Jews have ever built [of which Frum is a member], a Jewry more glorious than those of Babel and Spain, even more so than German Jewry that existed between the time of Mendelssohn and the Shoah (the Jewish Holocaust). The potential is there for Jews to change the world for the better, if they only free themselves from the Nazi shackles.
Courageous Israel is a mini-America [aping all its prejudices & racism], in the "Wild East." It faithfully represents the American spirit in a region that is very much in need of salvation. In Israel you find frontiers and pioneers with vision just like the early American West [liebenstraum]. Israel plays the cowboy, and the Jews of America provide the strategic support that compels every U.S. administration to support Israel. In turn, Israel supports the administration that is supported by Jewish organizations [AIPAC & the Christian-right] that support Israel that supports them.
SOWING THE WINDS OF WAR & REAPING THE WHIRLWIND: ANTI-SEMITISM
David Singer and Lawrence Grossman, Editors, American Jewish Year Book 2004 (2004) attempt contradictions in questioning the facts of the War in Iraq: A Jewish Scheme? Singer and Lawrence state that students of American anti-Semitism often analyze the impact of "conflict situations"--those public controversies that tend to polarize society--with the expectation that they were trigger a rise in anti-Semitism. The record, without exception, has been that such situations do not bring an increase in either behavioral or attitudinal anti-Semitism.
The debate in 2003 over going to war in Iraq was another "conflict situation" with potential for anti-Semitic fallout, as charges circulated about an undue and inappropriate level of Jewish involvement in the formulation of American foreign policy for the benefit of Israel. At antiwar rallies held on February 15, support for the Palestinians was clearly in evidence, although the focus was on opposition to the impending war and anti-Jewish voices were decidedly muted. Exercising caution nevertheless, the national Jewish organizations carefully avoided voicing support for war before it began. Many of the critics of the war, it should be noted including some of the most vociferous--such as MIT linguist Noam Chomsky--were Jews.
There was considerable speculation among the pundits about the influence of Israel and of American Jews on the White House's Iraq policy. Of particular interest was the role played by several Jewish "hawks" in the administration, such as Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz and others. Often, the word "Jew" was eschewed so as to avoid any imputation of anti-Semitism, the loaded epithet replaced by the euphemism [invented by Irving Kristol and Irving Howe] "neoconservative." Yet another strategy to hint at a Jewish role without explicitly saying so was provided by James Atlas in the New York Times (May 4), who documented the record of "Straussians" (alleged followers of the late University of Chicago political philosopher Leo Strauss)--most of whom were Jews--in the administration. Former Senator Gary Hart, speaking at Stanford University on February 10, was the first mainstream figure to suggest that certain Americans "can't separate their loyalty to their original homeland" from loyalty to America.
Hart later maintained that he was not referring to any specific group.
The issue of Jewish involvement came to a head on March 3, when Rep. James Moran (D., Va.), a seven-term congressman representing a district in Washington's northern Virginia suburbs that contained many Muslims, told constituents at a town-hall meeting that the Jewish community was pushing the country into war. "If it were not for the strong support of the Jewish community for this war with Iraq, we would not be doing this," asserted Moran. On March 12, six Democratic congressmen, including some who had already endorsed Moran for reelection, sent a letter to House Minority Leader Nancy Polosi (D.,Cal.) saying they hoped Moran would not run again.
Moran, who already had a tenuous relationship with the Jewish community, issued a statement on July 13 acknowledging that "I should not have singled out the Jewish community."
Fringe groups and extremists, as expected, were vocal in their criticism of alleged Jewish involvement in fomenting war. "Israel's war" and "a war for the Jews" were common themes in the anti-Semitic media all through the year.
WHY REINVENT THE WHEEL OF PROGRESS
Being one not wanting to reinvent the wheel, I offer this Wiki bio of the political life of David Frum:
Following the 2000 election of George W. Bush, Frum was appointed to a position within the White House. He would later write that when he was first offered the job by Chief Bush speechwriter Michael Gerson, I believed I was unsuited to the job he was offering me. I had no connection to the Bush campaign or the Bush family. I had no experience in government and little of political campaigns. I had not written a speech for anyone other than myself. And I had been only a moderately enthusiastic supporter of George W. Bush … I strongly doubted he was the right man for the job.
While still a Canadian citizen, he was one of the few foreign nationals working within the Bush White House. He filed for naturalization and took the oath of citizenship on September 11, 2007. Frum served as special assistant to the president for economic speech-writing from January 2001 to February 2002. Conservative commentator Robert Novak described Frum as an "uncompromising supporter of Israel" and "fervent supporter of Ariel Sharon's policies" during his time in the White House. Frum is credited with inventing the expression "Axis of Evil", which Bush introduced in his 2002 State of the Union address. During Frum's time at the White House, he was described by commentator Ryan Lizza, as being part of a speech-writing brain trust that brought "intellectual heft," and considerable policy influence to the Bush Administration.
Shortly after the September 11 attacks, Frum hosted pseudonymous Muslim apostate and critic of Islam, Ibn Warraq at an hour-and-a-half lunch at the White House.
While serving in the Bush White House and afterward, Frum strongly supported the Iraq War. In later years, however, he would express regret for that endorsement, saying that it owed more to psychological and group identity factors than reasoned judgment.
American Enterprise Institute
Shortly after leaving the White House, Frum took up a position as a fellow of the American Enterprise Institute, a neo-conservative think tank. During the early days of his stint there, Frum coauthored An End to Evil with Richard Perle, which was a bold presentation of the neoconservative view of global affairs and an apologia of the 2003 invasion of Iraq.
His position lasted from 2003 until March 25, 2010, when his paid position was terminated and he declined to accept the offer of a non-paying position. Frum later stated that he was asked to leave the AEI because of his vocal criticism of the Republican Party's no-holds-barred opposition to Obamacare.
Frum joined The Atlantic as a senior editor in March 2014. On November 2, 2016, he announced that he had voted for Hillary Clinton for President.
Frum's book An End to Evil was co-written with Richard Perle. It provided a defense of the 2003 invasion of Iraq, and advocated regime change in Iran and Syria. It called for a tougher policy toward North Korea, and a tougher US stance against Saudi Arabia and other Islamic nations in order to "win the war on terror" (from the book's subtitle).
In 2018, Frum published Trumpocracy: The Corruption of the American Republic, about the dangers posed by the Trump presidency to American democracy.
In a Newsweek column (March 2009), Frum described his political beliefs as follows:
I'm a conservative Republican, have been all my adult life. I volunteered for the Reagan campaign in 1980. I've attended every Republican convention since 1988. I was president of the Federalist Society chapter at my law school, worked on the editorial page of The Wall Street Journal and wrote speeches for President Bush—not the "Read My Lips" Bush, the "Axis of Evil" Bush. I served on the Giuliani campaign in 2008 and voted for John McCain in November. I supported the Iraq War and (although I feel kind of silly about it in retrospect) the impeachment of Bill Clinton. I could go on, but you get the idea.
On August 14, 2009, on Bill Moyers Journal, Frum challenged certain Republican political tactics in opposing health-care and other Democratic initiatives as "outrageous," "dangerous," and ineffective. As Congress prepared to pass the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in March 2010, Frum again criticized the Republican strategy of refusing to negotiate with President Obama and congressional Democrats on health care reform, saying that it had resulted in the Republicans' "most crushing legislative defeat since the 1960s". Before making this statement, Frum had been associated with the American Enterprise Institute. He resigned from the AEI a few days later. Following the temporary withdrawal of a Republican effort to repeal the ACA in 2017, Frum wrote an article in the Atlantic in which he chastised fellow Republicans and conservatives for failing to take his advice to behave with moderation and humility.
In 2010 Frum was involved in the formation of the centrist group No Labels as a "founding leader."
In June 2011, following the legalization of same-sex marriage in New York State, Frum's weekly column for CNN.com was titled "I was wrong about same-sex marriage." In it he described the evolution of his opinion from a "strong opponent" fourteen years prior; while he had feared that its introduction would cause "the American family [to] become radically more unstable," he now feels that "the case against same-sex marriage has been tested against reality. The case has not passed its test."
In his blog, Frum describes the Tea Party as "a movement of relatively older and relatively affluent Americans whose expectations have been disrupted by the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. They are looking for an explanation of the catastrophe—and a villain to blame. They are finding it in the same place that [Michele] Bachmann and her coreligionists located it 30 years ago: a deeply hostile national government controlled by alien and suspect forces, with Barack Obama as their leader and symbol." And he explains Bachmann's political views, some of which he calls "paranoid": "It emerges from a religious philosophy that rejects the federal government as an alien instrument of destruction, ripping apart a Christian society. Bachmann's religiously grounded rejection of the American state finds a hearing with many more conventional conservatives radicalized by today's hard economic times."
Writing for New York magazine in November 2011, Frum described his reaction to fellow Republicans, who had distanced themselves from him, saying, "Some of my Republican friends ask if I've gone crazy. I say: Look in the mirror." He described the development of an "alternative reality" within which the party, conservative think-tanks, and right wing commentators operate from a set of false facts about the economy and nonexistent threats to their traditional base of supporters. He expressed concern over the inability of moderate Republicans to criticize their conservative brethren, contrasting this to the 1960s split between moderate Ripon Republicans and conservative Goldwater Republicans, when moderates such as Michigan governor George Romney were publicly critical of the conservatives.
Frum claimed that Romney would have been "a really good president", but that he allowed himself to be "twisted into pretzels" by the more extreme factions of the Republican Party who immediately abandoned him after he lost the election.
In a 2013 featured opinion article for CNN.com, Frum discussed the need for a "Plan B On Guns" that President Barack Obama could use in advancing his agenda on gun control outside of the Congress, which was unlikely to procure enough votes for gun control bills needed to pass. He advocated as a specific act outside congressional vote, a surgeon general's report on firearms health effects on individual ownership, stating in his opinion that "such a report would surely reach the conclusion that a gun in the home greatly elevates risks of suicide, lethal accident and fatal domestic violence." Emphasizing again a way to circumvent congressional approval by vote, he called for a hearing in the Senate regarding practices of firearms manufacturers, making the comparison to senatorial hearings done for tobacco companies in the 1990s on their methods of introducing harmful chemicals and addictive substances into their products.
In 2013, Frum was a signatory to an amicus curiae brief submitted to the Supreme Court in support of same-sex marriage during the Hollingsworth v. Perry case.
In 2014, Frum analyzed the role of Edward Snowden in Putin's publicity program. Frum has been critical of Donald Trump and has stated that he voted for Hillary Clinton in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. On May 15, 2017, he called on Trump to resign.
Frum considers himself "a not especially observant Jew". Alexander Hamilton and Abraham Lincoln are among his favorite historical figures. Marcel Proust is his favorite novelist.
Do not be misled: God is not one to be mocked. For whatever a man is sowing, this he will also reap....