Neocon war hawks have always backed Hillary Clinton

The neoconservative Right would have you believe this election affords them
a uniquely tough choice. On the one hand, there’s Hillary Clinton, liberal
bogeywoman and hated embodiment of the Democratic establishment. On the other,
there’s Donald Trump, who has repeatedly called the Iraq war a mistake, accused
the Bush administration of lying to drag the United States into said war, claimed
he would be “neutral” in his dealings with Israel and just recently
sketched
out
an “unabashedly noninterventionist approach to world affairs”
for the Washington Post editorial board.

Whether or not Trump believes any of this is, as usual, up for debate. But
some neocons are so disgusted with his rejection of foreign policy establishment
thinking that they’ve declared the unthinkable: They’re going to
vote for Hillary Clinton.

Concerned that Trump would “destroy American foreign policy and the international
system,” author Max Boot told
Vox
that Clinton would be “vastly preferable.” Historian
Robert Kagan has also come out in
favor of Clinton
, saying he
feels
“comfortable with her on foreign policy.” Eliot Cohen,
a former Bush administration official who has been called “the most influential
neocon in academe,” declared
Clinton “the lesser evil, by a large margin.”

It would be convenient to accept that this support is just part of a Faustian
bargain neocons have reluctantly entered into because of the looming specter
of Trump. But the truth is, neocons and assorted war hawks have long had a soft
spot for Clinton and her views on foreign policy.

When President Obama nominated Clinton for Secretary of State in 2008, Richard
Perle, one of the Iraq War’s primary
cheerleaders
and chairman of the Defense Policy Board in the lead-up to
the war, said
he was “relieved.” “There’s not going to be as much change
as we were led to believe.”

Perle, who was sometimes referred to as the “Prince
of Darkness”
and who once
predicted
there would be “some grand square in Baghdad that is named
after President Bush,” made clear his support for Clinton was not due
to a lack of choices. “I heard about others on the list [for Secretary of State] that I wouldn’t be happy about,” he said. “Those were
mostly Republicans.”

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