Political Animal

NEOCON WATCH….From today’s edition of

NEOCON WATCH….From today’s edition of Global Agenda, published by the pro-war, pro-Bush, America-friendly, center-right Economist:

Conspiracy theorists?and there are more of them than ever these days?are tempted to assume that a small group of ?neo-conservative? advisers with influence over Mr Bush have a masterplan.

Conspiracy theorists, eh? You mean like these, from the print edition of this week’s pro-war, pro-Bush, America-friendly, center-right Economist?

Lastly, the war has moved the neo-conservatives?neo-radicals is perhaps a better word?from the outskirts of politics to the centre. Led by Mr Rumsfeld’s deputy, Paul Wolfowitz, they have been arguing for the forcible overthrow of Saddam since the early 1990s. They seem to have been right when they said the regime would quickly collapse, and its atrocities would be revealed. The big question now is whether Mr Bush will adopt their wider hope: to democratise the Middle East.

The Economist needs to make up its mind: are “neo-conservatives” and their masterplan merely the feverish imaginings of conspiracy theorists or are they a group of genuine radicals who are now at the center of power and have a “wider hope”? When they figure it out, I hope they tell us.

GAYS AND REPUBLICANS….Ted Barlow (permalinks

GAYS AND REPUBLICANS….Ted Barlow (permalinks FUBAR), reporting on the hot water that RNC chairman Marc Racicot got into merely for meeting with a gay rights group, tells us that Texas doesn’t have that problem: one state legislator posted state troopers outside his door to keep gay activists from getting in to talk to him. Ted says:

I can be persuaded on a number of conservative arguments. Really, I can. But as long as Republicans are “the party that hates gay people,” I’m not coming inside.

Me too.

SUCKING UP TO DICTATORS….All this

SUCKING UP TO DICTATORS….All this talk about Eason Jordan’s confession that CNN eased up on some of its coverage from Iraq in order to keep its Baghdad bureau open reminded me that conservatives have their own embarrassment in this regard: Rupert Murdoch.

Murdoch has been trying to build his media business in China for over a decade but only met with success after he began soft pedaling any criticism of the regime. Here is Time Asia’s capsule summary from last month:

Hoping to leapfrog this roadblock, Murdoch has been currying favor with Beijing ever since his Star satellite network, which runs nine channels in China, got a foothold on the mainland. The relationship got off to a rocky start in 1993, after Murdoch offended authorities by declaring that satellite broadcasting threatens “totalitarian regimes everywhere.” Since then, Murdoch has chosen not to irritate the Communist Party

In 1999 he ordered HarperCollins, News Corp.’s publishing arm, to drop a book by former Hong Kong Governor Chris Patten because it was critical of Beijing and, shortly after, dismissed the Dalai Lama as an old monk “shuffling around in Gucci shoes.”….Making sure that censors are mollified and production values are maintained is an ongoing struggle.

And Falun Gong, the peaceful religious movement that terrifies the Chinese government? A “dangerous” and “apocalyptic cult” that “clearly does not have the success of China at heart,” according to Murdoch’s son, James. You can get the whole story here, along with plenty of links.

Surely conservatives are horrified at this, and will shortly be calling for a boycott of the New York Post. Right?