It is now official: the neoconservatives are united against Donald Trump. A new open letter organized by Project for the New American Century (PNAC) co-founder Eliot Cohen states the signatories oppose a Trump presidency and have committed to “working energetically” to see that he is not elected.
PNAC was, notoriously, the neoconservative group that called for increased US imperialism in the Middle East, especially Iraq. Many of those who signed PNAC’s statement of principles and various letters went on to serve in the Bush Administration.
The letter comes after Trump’s ferocious attacks on neocon policies and narratives, such as the Iraq War and the idea that President George W. Bush kept the country safe despite being in office on 9/11. Those attacks were most pronounced just prior to the South Carolina primary when former Florida Governor Jeb Bush and the Bush Administration was the focus of Trump’s fire.
Trumps’ foreign policy has long been in the neocon cross-hairs. It already appeared as though many of the neocons were against Trump; now it’s impossible to deny.
Don't understand why people are surprised by neocon support for Hillary against Trump. Many neocons endorsed Clinton in 92. @maxboot
— Jamie Kirchick (@jkirchick) February 27, 2016
Journalist Josh Rogin, after talking to Trump advisors, lamented that “The practical application of that doctrine plays out in several ways. Trump’s narrow definition of ‘national interest’ does not include things like democracy promotion, humanitarian intervention, the responsibility to protect people from atrocities or the advocacy of human rights abroad. Trump believes that economic engagement will lead to political opening in the long run. He doesn’t think the U.S. government should spend blood or treasure on trying to change other countries’ systems.”
The other co-founder of PNAC, Robert Kagan, went even further, comparing Trump to a monster and claiming that, “For this former Republican, and perhaps for others, the only choice will be to vote for Hillary Clinton. The party cannot be saved, but the country still can be.”
Military historian Max Boot, also a signatory to the letter, has denounced Trump, saying, “A Trump presidency threatens the post-World War II liberal international order that American presidents of both parties have so laboriously built up.” He claimed that “A Trump presidency would represent the death knell of America as a great power.”
Many of those who signed the latest letter were also among those that signed PNAC communications including; Kagan, Boot, Cohen, Robert Zoellick, Daniel Blumenthal, Reuel Marc Gerecht, Thomas Donnelly, Aaron Friedberg, Randy Scheunemann, Jeffrey Gedmin, Gary Schmitt, and Dov Zakheim.
While many neocons and fellow travelers may be anxious to demonstrate their power and influence, it would seem, based on Trump’s electoral performance, that the Republican Party electorate is not very interested in what they have to offer.
The neocons best bet to have a seat at the table in 2017 is Hillary Clinton.