Godfather of neoconservatism dies
Irving Kristol's right-wing ideas held sway for two decades
The man known as the "godfather of neoconservatism", Irving Kristol, has died from lung cancer at the age of 89.
Mr Kristol rejected the communist beliefs of his youth to become a leading right-wing thinker and writer.
His ideas had a huge influence on the Bush administration and in 2002 he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President George W Bush.
The magazine edited by his son William Kristol, The Weekly Standard, paid tribute to his "wisdom" and "wit".
It added that his "generosity of spirit made him a friend and mentor to several generations of thinkers and public servants".
Irving Kristol was born in New York's Brooklyn neighbourhood, the son of Jewish immigrants from Ukraine.
In the 1930s he was a Trotskyist but he turned his back on his radical left-wing beliefs in favour of liberalism.
In the 1960s he rejected that after the rise of the New Left.
An intellectual pioneer who advanced the conservative movement
Former President George W Bush on Irving Kristol
In the 1970s he completed his move across the political spectrum by joining the Republican Party, which he said had once been as "foreign to me as attending a Catholic Mass".
Writing in 2003, Mr Kristol described neoconservatism as a "persuasion" and underlined that it had its roots among "disillusioned liberal intellectuals in the 1970s".
He also once famously described neoconservatives as liberals "mugged by reality".
The term neoconservatism was created by the socialist writer Michael Harrington in the early 1970s.
Fellow neoconservative founder Norman Podhoretz wrote that "the influence of Irving Kristol's ideas has been one of the most important factors in reshaping the American climate of opinion over the past 40 years".
Mr Kristol was a driving force in a series of think-tanks like the American Enterprise Institute that made conservatism a reigning ideology for at least two decades.
He wrote for many media outlets and penned several books including "Neoconservatism: The Autobiography of an Idea".
Former US President George W Bush, whose administration included several neoconservatives, issued a statement calling him "an intellectual pioneer who advanced the conservative movement".
But the reputation of the group was hit by controversy over the Iraq war in 2003 - which many neocons pushed for - and by the global economic downturn.
Mr Kristol did not comment much in public on the war.
With the election of Barack Obama, Mr Kristol's son William said that the liberals had regained the ascendancy.
"All good things must come to an end. Jan 20, 2009, marked the end of the conservative era," he wrote in the New York Times.
Irving Kristol married critic-historian Gertrude Himmelfarb in 1942. As well as his son William, he had a daughter Elizabeth.
He was also described as an intellectual whore at the corporate banquet.
He was a disciple of Leo Strauss who advocated BIG LIES to fool the public!
But lets hear more embedded media reporting on his death.
Editor Was Godfather Of NeoconservativismBy Adam Bernstein Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, September 19, 2009
Irving Kristol, 89, a forceful essayist, editor and university professor who became the leading architect of neoconservatism, which he called a political and intellectual movement for disaffected ex-liberals, like himself, who had been "mugged by reality," died Friday at Capital Hospice in Arlington County.
Mr. Kristol spent much of his career in New York but had for the past two decades lived at the Watergate apartment complex in the District. He died of complications from lung cancer, said his son, William Kristol, founder and editor of the conservative Weekly Standard magazine.
The elder Kristol founded and edited magazines such as Encounter and the Public Interest, which aimed at an elite audience of political, social and cultural tastemakers. In addition to his professorship at New York University, he advanced his ideas through monthly opinion pieces in the Wall Street Journal and a fellowship at the American Enterprise Institute think tank. He was also an editor of Basic Books, a small but distinguished publisher of social science and philosophy.
Karl Rove, a Republican strategist who advised President George W. Bush, called Mr. Kristol an "intellectual entrepreneur who helped energize several generations of public policy thinkers."
Through editing, writing and speaking, Mr. Kristol "made it a moral imperative to rouse conservatism from mainstream Chamber of Commerce boosterism to a deep immersion in ideas," Rove said. He also said that Mr. Kristol helped create a synthesis of Cold War Democrats and Ronald Reagan White House anticommunist hawks that influenced foreign and military policy in the 1980s.
NeoCon Dark Lord dies - in Bed, unlike his victims
Mr. Kristol and his wife, the Victorian-era historian Gertrude Himmelfarb, along with a group of sociologists, historians and academics, including Norman Podhoretz, Nathan Glazer, Richard Pipes and, for a while, Daniel P. Moynihan, emerged in the late 1960s and 1970s as prominent critics of welfare programs, racial preferences, tax policy, moral relativism and countercultural social upheavals that they thought were contributing to America's cultural and social decay.
Mr. Kristol's father was an immigrant garment worker from Eastern Europe whose son grew up under humble circumstances, which shaped his beliefs. "Those who have been raised in poor neighborhoods -- the Daniel Patrick Moynihans, Edward Banfields, Nathan Glazers -- tend to be tough-minded about slums and their inhabitants," Mr. Kristol told the New York Times.
Middle-class sociologists, he said, "are certain that a juvenile delinquent from a welfare family is a far more interesting figure -- with a greater potentiality for redeeming not only himself but all of us -- than an ordinary, law-abiding and conforming youngster who is from the very same household."
Mr. Kristol had grown dismayed by the fragmentation of the Democratic Party over the war in Southeast Asia and remained a vigorous defender of a strong military to combat Communist threats. He championed a steady focus on economic growth that gives "modern democracies their legitimacy and durability" but cautioned against running deficits. He popularized supply-side economics, long considered a fringe belief that tax cuts would lead to widespread financial prosperity.
Mr. Kristol and many of his followers were dubbed neoconservatives. It was a term introduced by social critic Michael Harrington to describe the rightward turn of onetime liberals such as Mr. Kristol, whose extraordinary political odyssey had taken him from Depression-era socialist to anticommunist Cold Warrior and Vietnam War hawk.
Although Harrington's use of the term neoconservative was not intended as a compliment, Mr. Kristol embraced the name and became its widely accepted godfather. An Esquire magazine cover story on him in 1979 helped legitimize Mr. Kristol as the leader of a full-fledged movement, even as he downplayed the idea that such a formal faction existed.
"We are not a movement," he once said. "There has never been a meeting of neoconservatives." Instead, he called it an "intellectual current" that came to prominence after a "gradual evolution."
Neocon Judith Miller
. . .Miller's role as the War Party's media megaphone in the run-up to the invasion of Iraq became so glaringly obvious that her editors felt obliged to publish a lengthy albeit disingenuous mea culpa. In return for the extraordinary access afforded to her, and the deference shown to her by military authorities, it is now clear that Miller performed certain duties on behalf of the War Party, aside from publicizing their case for invading Iraq. That is why she is sitting in a jail cell today.
Just prior to the publication of Robert Novak's column on the Niger uranium fiasco that outed Valerie Plame as a CIA agent, Miller had a conversation with a high government official whose identity, according to the appellate court opinion <.pdf file> issued in this case, is known to the prosecution. The Washington Post is reporting that the "source" she is protecting by going to jail is none other than I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, Dick Cheney's chief of staff, and the man at the center of the neoconservative seat of power in Washington.
The only question now is whether Scooter told Miller, or â€“ more likely, in my opinion â€“ Miller told Scooter that Plame was a covert agent. Miller could easily have learned this in the course of her research into the subject of WMD.
In an effort to get Miller to talk, U.S. Attorney Patrick J. "Bulldog" Fitzgerald is threatening to slap her with contempt of court charges, which could lengthen her four-month stay in the county jail considerably. Is she a martyr to the First Amendment, or part of a vicious cabal that is frantically trying to cover up crimes? .