Norm Ornstein’s Neocon Problem

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ornstein clemons.jpg
(photo credit: Jay Westcott, Washington Examiner)
I’m going to out myself. I have friends — lots of them — inside the American Enterprise Institute. Some of them I can’t mention here as they used to work at AEI and then went to work for political players that this blog has been at cross-purposes with. Need to protect those folks.
But I have worked well and collaboratively with Norm Ornstein, James Glassman, Claude Barfield and others there — even Jeffrey Gedmin and Radek Sikorski, both who would be in the neoconservative camp, but both of whom I respect and get along well with personally. (Though I just couldn’t remain quiet during an effort by John Bolton to hire Jeffrey Gedmin as his deputy at the United Nations.)
The American Enterprise Institute is a success story in many ways that other institutions should study. But there are some real tensions inside AEI that should be noted.
Norm Ornstein does this for me in large part in an interesting essay, “My Neocon Problem,” he has just published in the September 10 edition of the New Republic’s Washington Diarist.
Ornstein has wrongly been labeled a neocon because of his AEI affiliation. He writes:

A blog called WurstWisdom, railing against the neoconservative domination of the planet, recently contained the following passage: “There are other Neocons or Neocon facilitators you may not have heard of because they are seldom in the public eye, the better to wield behind-the-scenes power. These include Grover Norquist, Richard Viguerie, John Bolton, Elliot Abrams, Norman Ornstein. . .”

This is rich — and unfortunately wrong (as the blog itself is interesting) — because Grover Norquist is about as anti-neocon a right-winger as you can get, to paraphrase Tucker Carlson the other day who admitted to being the most “pro-gay right winger you can imagine.” Norquist is a libertarian realist who sees big government and high taxes as the results of the neocon agenda.
Elliott Abrams is a neocon for sure.
John Bolton is not. Bolton has allied with the neocons and often is not distinguishable from the movement, but he’s a Jesse Helms-revering, pugnacious nationalist. Bolton, in many ways is admirable in his consistency, if not for his irascible nature, but he’s patriotic without awareness that his brand of patriotism is highly damaging to the country.
Norm Ornstein is a dedicated moderate who understands the ins-and-outs of the American political system as well as anyone. He’s empirical and not ideological. He’ll probably be punished at AEI for this (well, he says in his piece that he’s never pressured), but his pal around buddies are often the center-left Brookings guru on good governance Tom Mann and liberal-with-lots-of-conscience (much more than AEI would prefer) E.J. Dionne.
Ornstein continues:

It was extremely disappointing to have my cover blown in this fashion. I had considered my weekly columns in Roll Call inveighing on behalf of campaign finance reform an excellent camouflage for my nefarious stealth machinations. But, alas, my identification with the neocon conspiracy has now become a commonplace “fact” in certain quarters — many of them, strangely, in Iowa.
A blogger for The Des Moines Register, for instance, has declared me “a neoconservative Washington Insider.” An Iowan novelist with a blog called Is this Heaven? recently referred to me as a “far-right … flak.” This is quite a turnabout for my reputation. My career as a congressional analyst has steadfastly avoided partisan politics.
In fact, I’m one of those Jurassic-era Washingtonians who believes in the virtues of centrism and bipartisanship. I have worked closely with both John McCain and Russ Feingold on campaign finance reform and with Barack Obama and Fred Thompson on congressional and civil service reform. As for my enemies, they span the spectrum: My writings have enraged Tom DeLay and Dennis Hastert, as well as the chairmen of the black and Hispanic congressional caucuses.
So why am I now somehow a dangerous neocon? Without a doubt, it is because of my perch as a scholar at the now infamous American Enterprise Institute (AEI). I joined AEI as an adjunct in 1978, while I was teaching political science at Washington’s Catholic University, before converting to a full time think-tanker six years later. It is true that AEI is a bastion of conservative thought, having a long relationship with the self-proclaimed godfather of the neoconservative movement, Irving Kristol.
And it is also true that some of my AEI colleagues were early and enthusiastic supporters of war with Iraq. They helped provide the intellectual framework for it and contributed to the crafting of the surge strategy. Of course, this recent history accounts for the think tank’s popular image — not to mention the urge of various blogging naifs and ignoramuses to cram me into the wrong ideological box.

But Ornstein’s dilemma should raise some red flags for AEI. If its staff members are getting tagged for the work and keep-us-in-permanent-war campaigns of Bill Kristol and friends, then not only bloggers will confuse the players but “funders” may begin asking questions about how their money is being directed — and whether they are the financial lifeline paying for the chief ideologues of the Iraq War. Jim Lobe has been getting at this in a series of articles at his LobeLog. See in particular Lobe’s “AEI: Caught Between Its Likudist Heart and Its Corporate Head.”
In a different arena with relevance to the subject, I won’t soon forget being a guest of Intel Corporation at AEI’s gargantuan annual black tie dinner. Michael Novak was honored — and during his speech, if my memory serves me well, he railed on a bit against abortion and a woman’s right to choose. He actually said “A house cannot remain half-slave, half-free (and I must add today, half pro-life, half pro-death). Either it will go all for slavery, or all for liberty. No man can properly will slavery (or abortion) for himself; hence, not for any other.”
This was strange because there were hundreds of professional, corporate women at this dinner. The wife of a prominent national print and television journalist and then senior telecom exec sitting near me but at a different table, just inhaled and held her breath and looked as if she were biting her lip when Novak was speaking.
Around the room were the blue chip firms of industrial America as well as the new high flyers then, like AOL, Cisco, Intel, and many others. All of these multinationals are light years ahead of AEI’s Novak on issues of abortion and tolerant workplaces that include benefits for same sex partners and all that. And yet they continue to give to AEI (I’ve asked them) because they respect what Norm Ornstein calls “an intellectual openness and lack of orthodoxy at AEI exceeds what I have seen on any college campus.”
Ornstein’s prose on this needs to be replayed here, as its zesty and probably true:

I’m not, by nature, an outspoken company man. But the fusillades lobbed at AEI have got me thinking about my long-time intellectual home. And here’s what I can tell you: I spent 13 years teaching full-time in university settings. Since then, I have regularly visited campuses. I can say flatly that the intellectual openness and lack of orthodoxy at AEI exceeds what I have seen on any college campus — and without faculty meetings.
I have many pro-choice colleagues, along with a number of pro-life ones. There are many libertarians on issues like same-sex relationships. And, even though my writings have frequently ticked off conservative ideologues and business interests — especially my deep involvement in campaign finance reform — I have never once been told, “You can’t say that” or “You better be careful.”
I have been able to pursue my interests in a completely unfettered way. I know that this is hard for people to understand, especially given the widespread desire to believe that a tight-knit cabal that convenes in a mysterious think tank is driving Bush administration policy. And I know that this flies in the face of a widespread desire to characterize all conservatives as intellectually intransigent. But life in Washington, thank goodness, is more complicated than that. I have many colleagues with strong opinions who are willing to listen to the opinions of those who disagree with them. And that fact gives me a sliver of hope.
With many urgent issues, from global warming to subprime mortgage loans to health policy to pensions, there is plenty of sensible middle ground.

There is sensible middle ground, but Norm’s problem is that while AEI is diverse, it is best known today as being the headquarters for those who laid the intellectual and political groundwork for the invasion of Iraq which has had devastating consequences for the country in my view. They are again doing all that they can to instigate a war with Iran.
I used to wonder when pictures would pop up of the coffins of American soldiers who have been on the front-line of this massive military and foreign policy debacle by the Bush/Cheney administration and its neoconservative fellow-travelers, if someone would put a logo of Intel over the flag-draped coffin graphic titled “Intel Inside?” to raise concerns about Intel’s funding the public policy institution that gave sanctuary to the architects of this damaging war.
It hasn’t happened yet — and just for the record, I have no idea whether Intel is a major funder of AEI or not. I just sat at an Intel sponsored table at a fundraising dinner for AEI. Intel, or any of these firms, might think that they are helping to fund what Chris DeMuth, AEI’s President, was famous for — deregulation policy work. But over time, people connect dots, even if it’s unfair in the eyes of Ornstein or his moderate colleagues.
That seems to be happening to the neocons as well — as it is nearly impossible to fathom an AEI foreign policy department article arguing against sanctions against Iran appearing in the Washington Post. But one did, by Danielle Pletka. I take her at her word that she may believe what she has written, but I think that she’d have to agree that the piece is not “continuous” with much of her other writing. It’s rather a remarkable article on many levels.
Did some donors get self-interested and indicate to AEI — even informally — that pushing on sanctions damaging to their interests was over the line? I have no idea but some speculate that’s the case. If this did occur, it’s too bad these firms had to wait for a clear financial hit before communicating their concerns and didn’t make that call either when moral calls were being made from AEI that were at serious odds with their liberal political culture — or when they saw the bodies of soldiers coming home and thought through AEI’s unique role with the Bush administration and the set of wars we are engaged in.
But the bottom line of this essay is that I can attest fully that Norman Ornstein is NOT a neoconservative and is a great guy who works with a diverse set of public intellectuals at AEI. I just wish they got more bandwidth than the neocons there.
— Steve Clemons

Comments

30 comments on “Norm Ornstein’s Neocon Problem

  1. Sandy says:

    Right! “If they pay you…you work FOR them.”
    Exactly!

    Reply

  2. sam says:

    I remember vividly watching Ornstein on CNN cheering for the Iraq invasion back in 2002. He can say whatever he wants now. but as far as I am concerned, he’s a wold in sheep clothing. He’s a NEO-CON.

    Reply

  3. samL says:

    I remember vivdly watching Ornstein on CNN cheering for the Iraq invasion back in 2002. He can say whatever he wants now. but as far as I am concerned, he’s a wold in sheep clothing. He’s a NEO-CON.

    Reply

  4. bakho says:

    So where is the quote from the article by Ornstein that the Neo-cons were delusional, supported bad foreign policy and have no understanding of the limits of US military power while underestimating the need for diplomacy and support for international institutions? Where is the statement that Neo-cons have been totally discredited and politicians that want to succeed should not listen to their discredited ideas? I don’t get it. If he doesn’t want to be associated with people whose ideas have been discredited, why doesn’t he denounce them for the hacks they are?

    Reply

  5. lambert strether says:

    Well, I’m sure I’m just an over-simplifying fool, but my attitude is that if they pay you, you work for them.
    So if Ornstein wants to get paid to be AEI’s beard, and provide some sort of justification for the idea that the AEI is about “scholarship,” good for him. I’m happy for him, and I’m sure he’s well paid, has insurance, and so forth.
    But really. Lie down with dogs, get up with fleas.

    Reply

  6. John says:

    Norm Ornstein is definitely NOT a neoconservative. But the AEI is one of most pernicious of the corporate funded conservative think tanks that has sprung up over the last 25 years. They were major promoters of the Iraq debacle and on many other issues they are in the dark ages. Unfortunately Norm, as my father used to tell me, you are known by the company you keep.

    Reply

  7. LJ says:

    Greetings POA: To be fair to Steve, if one does read closely, you can get clues. For example, in his guest post in The Daily Dish, he labels Cheney as a nationalist along with John Bolton. He gives the label “neoconservative” to Scooter Libby, Douglas Feith, and Paul Wolfowitz.
    But in the very next sentence, he uses this phrase: “But to sum up the disaster, the Bush/Cheney neocon gamble” to refer to the Iraq war. This is just sloppy writing. I am hoping that Steve thinks through his terminology and uses it more carefully.

    Reply

  8. PissedOffAmerican says:

    LJ, you might have better luck asking him what isn’t a neocon. Apparently, a non-neo is anyone that signed on to Bush’s disastrous foreign policies, yet is now scurrying for the scuppers, hoping to disembark from a ship they helped steer to disaster.
    Look for the wide-eyed stare of a man mouthing “Who me?”, while he looks for a skin grafter to remove the “Bush/Cheney” tattoo from his right ass cheek, and you have located a true non-neo.

    Reply

  9. Sandy says:

    Thank you, Carroll, for remembering those who have served…and died….in this outrageous war of lies.
    May they RIP. They are not forgotten.
    South Carolina dumb blondes. Larry Craig bathroom perverts. AEI buddies.
    War on Iran looming.
    More kids will be dead. Who cares?

    Reply

  10. PissedOffAmerican says:

    http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/georgepacker/2007/08/if-there-were-a.html
    They [the source’s institution] have “instructions” (yes, that was the word used) from the Office of the Vice-President to roll out a campaign for war with Iran in the week after Labor Day; it will be coordinated with the American Enterprise Institute, the Wall Street Journal, the Weekly Standard, Commentary, Fox, and the usual suspects. It will be heavy sustained assault on the airwaves, designed to knock public sentiment into a position from which a war can be maintained. Evidently they don’t think they’ll ever get majority support for this—they want something like 35-40 percent support, which in their book is “plenty.”

    Reply

  11. LJ says:

    Steve, How about defining what you regard neoconservatism to be? I still find myself guessing a little. I was surprised to hear you say that Bolton is not a neocon, for example. How about writing the definitive post towards a definition. Frankly, you wrote this post as if “we” all know what you are talking about.

    Reply

  12. Carroll says:

    http://www.ips.org/blog/jimlobe/?p=61#more-61
    Lobe’s update on the doings at AEI.
    Be sure to read Newt’s kick off speech for WWIII or what they call WWIV.

    Reply

  13. Marcia says:

    Dirk:
    I just listened to the interview: Danielle Pletka
    who is as unaware as the lately released, resigned, whatever, Gonzales.
    It is amazing to see such expertise coming from a person as unaware as she claims to be.
    The AEI is the siamese twin of the Neocon machine, a real incubator for those whom we thought would not have a long life span. Such fanatical ideas, no way…think again…the twins lived and grew into monsters.
    Do go rince your eyes with the picture of Gonzales and Captain William Bligh on Scott Horton’s “No Comment.” You have to scroll down to” On the USS Justice” dated August 31.

    Reply

  14. Dirk says:

    Steve,
    I read the WP article and am hard pressed to understand your statement that she is “arguing against sanctions”; rather it seems there have been so many sanctions passed that any additional ones are just piling on.
    The article was written on 8/28 and reminded me of an earlier interview on the CBC regarding the Revolutionary Guard on 8/15:
    http://www.cbc.ca/radioshows/AS_IT_HAPPENS/20070815.shtml
    It takes a few minutes to load, but it’s hilarious in that the host basically tore her a new a$$ on her ridiculous neocon views.

    Reply

  15. anon says:

    to paraphrase Tucker Carlson the other day who admitted to being the most “pro-gay right winger you can imagine.”
    ____________________
    So, if I am understanding you correctly, you are saying that we are to believe that Tucker, who said he punched a gay person in the face, is a “pro-gay right winger”??
    I guess so, when you considering the extreme level of right-wingers’ visceral hatred towards anyone who doesn’t agree with them. Then, saying Tucker punching someone in the face could be construed as “pro-gay” makes some sense, I guess??? About as much sense as the Unibomber, Timothy McVeigh, or Eric Rudolph.

    Reply

  16. Carroll says:

    Buck up Norm…as unfair as it is to have yourself labeled and have to defend AEI against the neocon cabal label, you could be worse off. Just ask fellow AEI’ers, Wolfowitz and Gaffeny and Newt and Perle and Ledden, they can reassure you the whole neo thing is all some conspiracy theory.
    Edward L. Brooks 25 Dayton OH 1st Battalion, 77th Armor Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division Army Edward died in Ramadi, Iraq, of wounds sustained from an improvised explosive device. US
    2007-08-29 Capt Erick M. Foster 29 Wexford PA 1st Squadron, 73rd Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division Army Erick died in Balad, Iraq, of wounds sufferedwhen insurgents attacked his unit during combat operations in Muqdadiyah, Iraq. US
    2007-08-29 Cpl John C. Tanner 21 Columbus GA 3rd Assault Amphibian Battalion, 1st Marine Division Marine John died while conducting combat operations in Al Anbar province, Iraq. US
    2007-08-28 Sgt James S. Collins Jr. 35 Rochester Hills MI 303rd Military Police Company Army Reserve James died in Kirkuk, Iraq, of wounds suffered during combat operations. US
    2007-08-26 Sgt Joshua L. Morley 22 Boise ID 2nd Battalion, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division Army Joshua died in Samarra, Iraq, of wounds suffered when the enemy attacked their unit during combat operations. US
    2007-08-26 Lcpl Rogelio A. Ramirez 21 Pasadena CA 1st Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division Marine Rogelio died while conducting combat operations in Al Anbar province, Iraq. US
    2007-08-26 Spc. Tracy C. Willis 21 Marshall TX 2nd Battalion, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division Army Tracy died in Samarra, Iraq, of wounds suffered when the enemy attacked their unit during combat operations. US
    2007-08-25 Lcpl Matthew S. Medlicott 21 Houston TX 1st Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division Marine Matthew died from wounds suffered while conducting combat operations in Al Anbar province, Iraq. US
    2007-08-24 Sgt 1st Cl. David A. Heringes 36 Tampa FL 1st Battalion, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division Army David died near Tikrit, Iraq, of wounds sustained when an improvised explosive device detonated near his unit during combat operations in Bayji, Iraq. US
    2007-08-23 Sgt 1st Cl. Adrian M. Elizalde 30 North Bend IN 2nd Battalion, 1st Special Forces Group Army Adrian died in Baghdad, Iraq, of wounds sustained from an improvised explosive device. US
    2007-08-23 Sgt 1st Cl. Michael J. Tully 33 Falls Creek PA 2nd Battalion, 1st Special Forces Group Army Michael died in Baghdad, Iraq, of wounds sustained from an improvised explosive device. US
    2007-08-22 Spc Rickey L Bell 21 Caruthersville MO 4th Squadron, 6th U.S. Air Cavalry Regiment Army Bell died Aug. 22 in Multaka, Iraq, of injuries suffered when his helicopter crashed. US
    2007-08-22 Cpl Jeremy P Bouffard 21 Middlefield MA 2nd Battalion, 35th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division Army Bouffard died Aug. 22 in Multaka, Iraq, of injuries suffered when his helicopter crashed. US
    2007-08-22 Cpl Phillip J Brodnick 25 New Lenox IL 2nd Battalion, 35th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division Army Brodnick died Aug. 22 in Multaka, Iraq, of injuries suffered when his helicopter crashed. US
    2007-08-22 Pfc Edgar E. Cardenas 34 Lilburn GA 2nd Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division Army Edgar died in Abu Ghraib, Iraq, of wounds sustained from an improvised explosive device. US
    2007-08-22 Capt Derek A Dobogai 26 Fond du Lac WI 2nd Battalion, 35th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division Army Dobogai died Aug. 22 in Multaka, Iraq, of injuries suffered when their helicopter crashed. US
    2007-08-22 Chief Warrant Officer Paul J Flynn 28 Whitsett NC 4th Squadron, 6th U.S. Air Cavalry Regiment Army Flynn died Aug. 22 in Multaka, Iraq, of injuries suffered when his helicopter crashed. US
    2007-08-22 Cpl Joshua S Harmon 20 Mentor OH 2nd Battalion, 35th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division Army Harmon died Aug. 22 in Multaka, Iraq, of injuries suffered when his helicopter crashed. US
    2007-08-22 Spc Michael A Hook 25 Altoona PA 2nd Battalion, 35th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division Army Hook died Aug. 22 in Multaka, Iraq, of injuries suffered when his helicopter crashed. US
    2007-08-22 Cpl Nathan C Hubbard 21 Clovis CA 2nd Battalion, 35th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division Army Hubbard died Aug. 22 in Multaka, Iraq, of injuries suffered when his helicopter crashed. US
    2007-08-22 Sgt Garrett I McLead 23 Rockport TX 2nd Battalion, 35th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division Army McLead died Aug. 22 in Multaka, Iraq, of injuries suffered when his helicopter crashed. US
    2007-08-22 Staff Sgt Jason L Paton 25 Poway CA 2nd Battalion, 35th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division Army Paton died Aug. 22 in Multaka, Iraq, of injuries suffered when his helicopter crashed. US
    2007-08-22 Spc Jessy G Pollard 22 Springfield MO 2nd Battalion, 35th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division Army Pollard died Aug. 22 in Multaka, Iraq, of injuries suffered when his helicopter crashed. US
    2007-08-22 Spc Tyler R Seideman 20 Lincoln AR 2nd Battalion, 35th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division Army Seideman died Aug. 22 in Multaka, Iraq, of injuries suffered when his helicopter crashed. US
    2007-08-22 Sgt Matthew L Tallman 30 Groveland CA 4th Squadron, 6th U.S. Air Cavalry Regiment Army Tallman died Aug. 22 in Multaka, Iraq, of injuries suffered when his helicopter crashed. US
    2007-08-22 Pfc Omar E Torres 20 Chicago IL 2nd Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division Army Torres died Aug. 22 in Baghdad, Iraq, of wounds suffered when an improvised explosive device detonated near his unit during combat operations. US
    2007-08-22 Capt Corry P Tyler 29 GA 4th Squadron, 6th U.S. Air Cavalry Regiment Army Tyler died Aug. 22 in Multaka, Iraq, of injuries suffered when his helicopter crashed. US
    2007-08-21 SSgt Sandy R. Britt 30 Apopka FL 1st Battalion, 325th Airborne Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division Army Sandy died near Baghdad, Iraq, of wounds suffered when an improvised explosive device detonated near his unit during combat operations. US
    2007-08-21 Pfc Donovan D Witham 20 Malvern AR 1st Squadron, 73rd Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division Army Witham died Aug. 21 near Baghdad, Iraq, of wounds suffered when an improvised explosive device detonated near his vehicle. US
    2007-08-19 Capt Michael S Fielder 35 Holly Springs NC 248th Medical Detachment, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 44th Medical Command, XVIII Airborn Army Fielder died Aug. 19 in Baghdad, Iraq, of injuries suffered from a non-combat related incident. US
    2007-08-17 1st Lt Jonathan W Edds 24 White Pigeon MI 2nd Battalion, 69th Armor Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division Army Edds died Aug. 17 in Baghdad, Iraq, of wounds suffered when insurgents attacked his vehicle using an improvised explosive device and small arms fire. US
    2007-08-16 Spc Kamisha J Block 20 Vidor TX 401st Military Police Company, 720th Military Police Battalion, 89th Military Police Brigade Army Block died Aug. 16 of injuries suffered from a non-combat related incident. US
    2007-08-16 Staff Sgt Paul B Norris 30 Cullman AL 401st Military Police Company, 720th Military Police Battalion, 89th Military Police Brigade Army Norris died Aug. 16 of injuries suffered from a non-combat related incident. US
    2007-08-16 Pfc Willard M. Powell-Kerchief III 21 Evansville IN 4th Battalion, 9th Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division Army Willard died in Balad, Iraq, of wounds suffered from enemy small arms fire during combat operations in Taramiyah, Iraq. US
    2007-08-15 SSgt Robert R. Pirelli 29 Franklin MA 3rd Battalion, 10th Special Forces Group Army Robert died in Iraq of wounds sustained from enemy small arms fire. US
    2007-08-15 Sgt Princess C Samuels 22 Mitchellville MD Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division Army Samuels died Aug. 15 in Taji, Iraq, when the enemy attacked using indirect fire. US
    2007-08-15 Spc Zandra T Walker 28 Greenville SC 4th Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment, 1st Aviation Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division Army Walker died Aug. 15 in Taji, Iraq, when the enemy attacked using indirect fire. US
    2007-08-14 SSgt Sean P. Fisher 29 Santee CA 1st Battalion, 52nd Aviation Regiment, Task Force 49 Army Sean died in Al Taqqadum, Iraq, of injuries suffered when their helicopter crashed. US
    2007-08-14 Pfc Shawn D. Hensel 20 Logansport IN 2nd Battalion, 23rd Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division Army Shawn died in Baghdad, Iraq, of wounds during an enemy attack. US
    2007-08-14 Spc Steven R. Jewell 26 Bridgeton NC 1st Battalion, 52nd Aviation Regiment, Task Force 49 Army Steven died in Al Taqqadum, Iraq, of injuries suffered when their helicopter crashed. US
    2007-08-14 Chf WO Christopher C. Johnson 31 MI 1st Battalion, 52nd Aviation Regiment, Task Force 49 Army Christopher died in Al Taqqadum, Iraq, of injuries suffered when their helicopter crashed. US
    2007-08-14 Chf WO Jackie L. McFarlane Jr. 30 Virginia Beach VA 1st Battalion, 52nd Aviation Regiment, Task Force 49 Army Jackie died in Al Taqqadum, Iraq, of injuries suffered when their helicopter crashed. US
    2007-08-14 SSgt Stanley B. Reynolds 37 Rock WV 1st Battalion, 52nd Aviation Regiment, Task Force 49 Army Stanley died in Al Taqqadum, Iraq, of injuries suffered when their helicopter crashed. US
    2007-08-13 SSgt Eric D. Cottrell 39 Pittsview AL 5th Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division Army Eric died in Qayyarah, Iraq, of wounds suffered when their vehicle was struck by an improvised explosive device. US
    2007-08-13 Spc Alun R. Howells 20 Parlin CO 1st Battalion, 64th Armor Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division Army Alun died in Baghdad, Iraq, of wounds suffered from enemy direct fire. US
    2007-08-13 Pfc Juan M. Lopez Jr. 23 San Antonio TX 5th Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division Army Juan died in Qayyarah, Iraq, of wounds suffered when their vehicle was struck by an improvised explosive device. US
    2007-08-13 Pfc Paulomarko U. Pacificador 24 Shirley NY 5th Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division Army Paulomarko died in Qayyarah, Iraq, of wounds suffered when their vehicle was struck by an improvised explosive device. US
    2007-08-11 Pfc William L. Edwards 23 Houston TX 1st Battalion, 30th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division Army William died in Arab Jabour, Iraq, of wounds suffered when enemy forces attacked his unit with small arms fire. US
    2007-08-11 Sgt Scott L. Kirkpatrick 26 Reston VA 1st Battalion, 30th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division Army Scott died in Arab Jabour, Iraq, of wounds suffered from an improvised explosive device. US
    2007-08-11 Sgt Andrew W. Lancaster 23 Stockton IL 1st Battalion, 30th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division Army Andrew died in Arab Jabour, Iraq, of wounds suffered from an improvised explosive device. US
    2007-08-11 Spc Justin O. Penrod 24 Mahomet IL 1st Battalion, 30th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division Army Justin died in Arab Jabour, Iraq, of wounds suffered from an improvised explosive device. US
    2007-08-11 SSgt William D. Scates 31 Oklahoma City OK 1st Battalion, 30th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division Army William died in Arab Jabour, Iraq, of wounds suffered from an improvised explosive device. US
    2007-08-10 SSgt Joan J. Duran 24 Roxbury MA 5th Squadron, 73rd Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division Army Joan died in Iraq of injuries suffered from a non-combat related incident. US
    2007-08-09 SSgt Alicia A. Birchett 29 Mashpee MA 887th Engineer Company, 326th Engineer Battalion, 101st Sustainment Brigade, 101st Airborne Division Army Alicia died in Baghdad, Iraq, of injuries suffered from a non-combat related accident Aug. 8 in Baghdad. US
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    2007-08-09 Lcpl Kirk Redpath 22 Romford — Badger Squadron, 2nd Royal Tank Regiment, Irish Guards British Army Kirk died of wounds suffered when an improvised explosive device detonated near his vehicle north of the Rumaylah oil fields, Iraq. UK
    2007-08-09 Sgt Michael E. Tayaotao 27 Sunnyvale CA 7th Engineer Support Battalion, 1st Marine Logistics Group Marine Michael died from wounds suffered while conducting combat operations in Al Anbar province, Iraq. US
    2007-08-08 Spc Donald M Young 19 Helena MT 1st Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division Army Young died Aug. 8 in Baghdad, Iraq, of wounds suffered when an improvised explosive device detonated near his vehicle during combat operations Aug. 7 in Baghdad. US
    2007-08-07 Cpl Reynold Armand 21 Rochester NY 2nd Assault Amphibian Battalion, 2nd Marine Division Marine Reynold died in Balad, Iraq from wounds suffered during small arms fire. US
    2007-08-07 Leading Aircraftsman Martin Beard 20 Rainworth — 1 Squadron, Royal Air Force Regiment Royal Air Force Martin died of wounds due to small arms fire in the Al Waki district, Basrah, Iraq. UK
    2007-08-07 Sgt Jon E. Bonnell Jr 22 Fort Dodge IA 1st Battalion, 11th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division Marine Jon died from wounds suffered while conducting combat operations in Al Anbar province, Iraq. US
    2007-08-06 Cpl Juan M Alcantara 22 New York NY 1st Battalion, 23rd Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division (Stryker Brigade Combat Te Army Alcantara died Aug. 6 in Baqubah, Iraq, of wounds suffered from an improvised explosive device. US
    2007-08-06 Pvt Craig Barber 20 Ogmore Vale — 2nd Battalion, The Royal Welsh British Army Craig died of wounds due to hostile small arms fire in the Al Fursi district, Basrah, Iraq. UK
    2007-08-06 Sgt Nicholas A Gummersall 23 Chubbuck ID 1st Battalion, 23rd Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division (Stryker Brigade Combat Te Army Gummersall died Aug. 6 in Baqubah, Iraq, of wounds suffered from an improvised explosive device. US
    2007-08-06 Pfc Jaron D Holliday 21 Tulsa OK 1st Squadron, 40th Cavalry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division Army Holliday died in Hawr Rajab, Iraq, when the vehicle he was in struck an improvised explosive device during combat operations. US
    2007-08-06 Spc Kareem R Khan 20 Manahawkin NJ 1st Battalion, 23rd Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division (Stryker Brigade Combat Te Army Khan died Aug. 6 in Baqubah, Iraq, of wounds suffered from an improvised explosive device. US
    2007-08-06 Cpl Jason K Lafleur 28 Ignacio CO 1st Squadron, 40th Cavalry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division Army Lafleur died in Hawr Rajab, Iraq, when the vehicle he was in struck an improvised explosive device during combat operations. US
    2007-08-06 Spc Christopher T. Neiberger 22 Gainesville FL 1st Battalion, 18th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division Army Christopher died in Baghdad, Iraq, of wounds suffered from an improvised explosive device. US
    2007-08-06 Staff Sgt Jacob M Thompson 26 North Mankato MN 1st Battalion, 23rd Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division (Stryker Brigade Combat Te Army Thompson died Aug. 6 in Baqubah, Iraq, of wounds suffered from an improvised explosive device. US
    2007-08-06 Sgt Dustin S Wakeman 25 Fort Worth TX 1st Squadron, 40th Cavalry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division Army Wakeman died in Hawr Rajab, Iraq, when the vehicle he was in struck an improvised explosive device during combat operations. US
    2007-08-05 Spc Justin R. Blackwell 27 Paris TN 59th Military Police Company, 759th Military Police Battalion, 89th Military Police Brigade Army Justin died in Baghdad, Iraq, of wounds suffered from enemy indirect fire. US
    2007-08-05 Pvt Jeremy S Bohannon 18 Bon Aqua TN 59th Military Police Company, 759th Military Police Battalion, 89th Military Police Brigade Army Bohannon died Aug. 5 in Baghdad, Iraq, of wounds suffered from enemy indirect fire. US
    2007-08-05 Spc Charles E Leonard Jr 29 Monroe LA 1st Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division Army Leonard died August 5 in Baghdad, Iraq, of wounds suffered when the vehicle he was in was struck by a rocket propelled grenade. US
    2007-08-05 Tech Sgt Joey D Link 29 Portland TN 39th Airlift Squadron Air Force Link died of natural causes at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany, Aug. 5. US
    2007-08-04 Spc Braden J Long 19 Sherman TX 1st Squadron, 4th Cavalry Regiment, 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division Army Long died Aug. 4 in Baghdad, of injuries sustained when his hmmwv came under grenade attack. US
    First | Previous | 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 | Next | Last
    2007 The Iraq Page

    Reply

  17. Carroll says:

    I have been over at AEI laughing my head off.
    http://www.aei.org/
    I will allow that Norm may be a good guy…a nice fellow plodding along on his campaign reform…which btw, according to the site for that project…has gone nowhere….any progress there? Anyone listening to him? Has he gotten a hearing on it by congress? Or is the project one of those ‘works in progress”…forever?
    From what I have observed the few fig leafs thrown in AEI like Norm to work on “public issues” toil away forever with no results while the 100’s and neo’s rack up lots of successes in the congressional legistation.

    Reply

  18. Carroll says:

    Nice picture Steve…sort of a “I am a happy warrior” expression.
    But for AEI, I don’t like them. Never have. I have seen their work too often testifying before congressional groups. I am pro business in a what I consider a balanced way and they are not.
    AEI is after all funded by the Fortune 100’s you mentioned for a reason. If the 100’s were solely interested in good policy in business or unfettered thinking..well, they would do something different with their money like put it behind some real scholars at those universities Norm is complaining about, not “commerical” scholars at think tanks.
    Meanwhile .. for Norm….lay down with dogs get fleas. Working in the world of tank “thinking”..if you can call it that since most of it is recycled garbage in, garbage out lifted from some conveniently dead prior scholar that they can “reinterpret” ….is not a license to have no personal or professional ethics.
    Love the intel coffin idea…I am sending it over to u tube.

    Reply

  19. stickler says:

    The problem with Mr. Ornstein (who I also enjoyed on Al Franken’s radio show) is much larger than the manifest corruption and insanity at AEI.
    The problem is the role played by hothouse propaganda houses which call themselves ‘think-tanks.’ They’re all in bed with power, every single damned one of them.
    Mr. Clemons bemoans the fate of AEI while he regales us with tales of being seated at “Intel’s table” at some anonymous lobster-and-cocktail-weenie backslapper. Jumping Judas Iscariot: is there a single soul inside the Beltway who earns his income from honest work, instead of sucking at the teat of some mendacious corporation?
    Think tanks are propaganda outlets bereft of both students (yay! less work!) and peer review (yay! no accountability!). They produce whatever garbage propaganda their sugar daddies demand. Their net value to our Republic is negative. All of them, including that which “employs” Mr. Clemons.

    Reply

  20. paulo says:

    My empathy hormones must be in ebb tide at the moment. I recall when Brookings and everything associated with it was tarred as o-mi-gawd-liberal.
    But that isn’t what bothers me about this. It is that there has been a wondrous lack of let’s just say gumption as this whole fiasco in the 21st century in America has unfolded.
    The AEI was at a minimum in the thick of it as a cheerleader and even perhaps the intellectual guiding light of it all and nowhere do I recall Norm Ornstein – as public an intellectual as anyone on either side – saying we should stop this bus before it goes over the cliff.
    I for one am willing to wait for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission on this whole bitter epoch before we clear the slate.

    Reply

  21. JonU says:

    Mr. Clemons,
    Ask these good men, these good “true” conservatives, about this:
    http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/story/16076312/the_great_iraq_swindle
    Or watch “Iraq for Sale”. It’s on YouTube, for FREE.
    Your may feel you friend is a good man. But he and his ilk haven’t uttered a peep about what is the most extensive ripping off of the American taxpayer in our history, all the result of the privisitation schemes of the conservative movement.
    And I doubt he ever will.

    Reply

  22. PissedOffAmerican says:

    These glowing testimonials sicken me. Note how the extremely prevalent influence the Israeli agenda has on AEI is ignored in Steve’s dissection of the membership. Steve once lauded Dov Zakhiem in the same manner we see here, seeking to remove one of the more sinister of the players from the “neo-con stigma”.
    These “think-tankers” such as Ornstein are intellectually narcissistic to a fault, always separating themselves from the fruits of their musings. “Oh, but I’m not like them”.
    Note how he drops names of some of the key players he has played tiddlywinks with…..
    McCain, Thompson, Obama.
    Goody, so he hobknobs with posturing frauds, and a loonytoons old fart. Perhaps he can join McCain for a jog and a picnick in Bagdad, after McCain gets through giving a few million criminal aliens amnesty.
    Or gift us with an essay about what Obama has done to qualify himself for the Presidency.
    And Fred Thompson? Who the hell would put THAT contact on their resume, unless they’re in the market for a fine representation of how to act the part of a good ol’ boy, or the name of a good hollywood propman?
    The rats abandoning the HMS Neocon are so thick they don’t even need a hawser to get to shore. They can just step on each other’s heads.

    Reply

  23. arthurdecco says:

    Posted by Dan: “What they, (NeoCons), recommend is dangerous and destructive. If you can’t speak out against it, Mr. Ornstein, then what good are you as a think-tank philosopher?”
    Dan’s got my vote.

    Reply

  24. baffled says:

    Why doesn’t Norm just join Brookings full time or New America?

    Reply

  25. JohnH says:

    It doesn’t help AEI’s image that it seems to operate a refuge for unrepentant lightning rods like Richard Perle, John Bolton, Paul Wolfowitz, Lynne Cheney, and John Yoo, who did the legal work to redefine torture and limit habeus corpus.
    AEI is to disgraced wing nuts as Miami is to deposed Latin American dictators. It’s beyond me why any self respecting scholar would want to have his name associated with this crew.

    Reply

  26. Dan says:

    Like JonU, I have absolutely no sympathy for men like Mr. Ornstein. Where was he to speak out when the debate about the war happened? Why was he silent? Neo-cons drew a line. You’re either for them or against them. If you did not speak out, you were for them. I’m sorry Mr. Ornstein, but I have no sympathy for you, as great of a guy as Mr. Clemons seems to think you are.
    There is a point at which the ideology of one side or another becomes dangerous to our way of living. We’ve past that point with neo-conservatives. What they recommend is dangerous and destructive. If you can’t speak out against it, Mr. Ornstein, then what good are you as a think-tank philosopher? What the heck are you thinking about at that tank? How flowers smell in the spring?

    Reply

  27. Bill R. says:

    I agree. Norm Ornstein is a good guy. He represents a hope that intellectual honesty and pragmatism are alive – at least his dusty small corner of punditry, even in such a dark and sinister place as AEI.

    Reply

  28. rapier says:

    Corporations don’t care about flag draped coffins nor any coffins for that matter. Even if every CEO of every major corporation had deep feelings against American foreign policy under the Bush administration that wouldn’t stop one penny from flowing to AEI and the other pseudo academic institutions. That is because these feelings would be personal.
    The jobs at hand for corporations is to supply endless stream of justifications for their business agendas, to provide money to individual ‘scholars’ who produce said justifications and to support the GOP and the more corporate friendly members of the Democratic party. The last being the most important by far. The streams of words about policy becoming less important by the day as the political elites care less and less about policy and voters not at all.
    In the case of the war, supporting AEI is an overt expression of support for The Party. That’s all that counts. It’s an investment in relationships. The Middle East is an irrelevancy to their business, with the exception of the oil companies. If all the peoples of the third world disappeared overnight it wouldn’t effect them very much directly. Indirectly in the long term it would be super for them.
    Norm Ornstein probably is all you say. He lives a nice upper middle class existence and mingles on the edge of power. His work for AEI is a total irrelevancy in matters of public policy. He can be against the war and take money from AEI or not take the money. Such is an obscure personal ethical dilemma ,or would be if he thought about it. . The war will go on either way. He can’t effect it. None of us can.
    Intel I suppose could in a tiny way by withdrawing funding for AEI but that would hurt them with The Party. The Party and corporations are becoming one and the same. It’s hard to say who is co opting who but in my conception it is corporations which are superseding government itself. The modern business corporation is the most successful human organizational model ever conceived. In many ways replacing the state.
    That corporations are an invention of the state is a sticky point intellectually but that concept is fading from consciousness. Most people think of corporations as real things, just like people.
    Everyone Steve knows professionally has a direct or indirect connection with the management of major corporations. If you don’t have such connections then by definition you are a nobody. You’ll never be wealthy. You must be part of the group. Individualism is dead.

    Reply

  29. JonU says:

    Zero sympathy for conservatives who quietly went along with advancing the neocon agenda, just so long as it gave them access to power.
    Now the worm has turned, and people are striving to portray themselves as “not a neocon”.
    It was the silence from “traditional” conservatives that enabled this disaster. They were getting their taxcuts for the wealthy, and freedom from economic and environmental responsiblity, so they were happy. Why rock the boat?
    Where are the true conservatives who are standing up to stop the coming assault on Iran, and the creation of a situation that could be truly catastrophic.

    Reply

  30. snowbird42 says:

    Norm is an old friend of Al Franken and he was on his show many times. I enjoyed listening to him while Al was on the radio.

    Reply

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