By Dr. Kevin Barrett
It has often been remarked that the United States is being torn apart by an acrimonious dispute between left and right. Democrats and Republicans are reciprocally uncivil in the halls of Congress, while in the streets, groups like Antifa and the Proud Boys regularly have at each other. More and more establishment commentators speak seriously about possibilities of secession and/or civil war.
But at the higher levels of policymaking and information management, there is a remarkable convergence between ostensibly opposing sides.
Neoliberals, those intellectual heirs of John Locke and John Stuart Mill, and neoconservatives, the cult followers of Leo Strauss and Carl Schmitt, would seem to represent diametrically opposing ideologies. Yet they regularly work together—one might even say “conspire”—to advance the interests of the power elite that runs the Western bankster empire. Fostering the illusion of meaningful differences between the establishment left and establishment right is a key feature of their modus operandi.
The near-total overlap between the neoliberals and neoconservatives is most visible in their shared silence around the most outrageous state crimes against democracy (SCADs), as outlined by Florida State University Prof. Lance deHaven-Smith in his excellent book Conspiracy Theory in America. Two recent examples are the neocons in the Trump administration allegedly triggering the Covid-19 pandemic via a biological attack on China and Iran, a topic Ron Unz has researched and written about extensively, and the Biden administration’s demolition of the Nord Stream pipeline as reported by Seymour Hersh.
No establishment thinkers, whether of the left or the right, will even entertain the most plausible, best supported hypotheses about who was responsible for these two horrifically destructive events. In both cases, the question “who had the means, motive, and opportunity” has an obvious answer: the U.S. government, or elements thereof. But neither neocons nor neolibs ever speak of the elephant in the room.
In the case of Covid-19, any knowledgeable student of geostrategy could have told you back in 2010 that the U.S. would probably launch a covert, deniable biological attack on China within the next decade or so, in order to try to shrink the gap between Chinese and American economic growth. The ideal anti-economy bioweapon would be highly contagious but with a relatively low (1% or so) mortality rate. Its main purpose would be to force lockdowns and other economy-shrinking measures and launch the process of decoupling the U.S. and Chinese economies.
When precisely that scenario came to pass three years ago, the neocons (including the Covid-19 bio-attack perpetrators) immediately launched a false-flag “blame China” campaign. The neoliberals, those eternal useful idiots, blathered about nonsensical bats-to-pangolins-to-humans scenarios. Censors forbade discussion on social media. Neither side remarked on the elephant in the room.
Likewise, when the Biden administration committed the worst act of eco-terrorism in history by blowing up the Nord Stream pipelines, everyone with eyes saw it coming a mile away. Biden himself even bragged in advance about his plan to destroy Nord Stream. Like the Covid-19 attack on China, the Nord Stream attack on Russia and Germany stemmed from an obvious and predictable U.S. geo-strategic imperative.
But just as Democrat opponents of Donald Trump failed to hold the Trump administration accountable for its Covid-19 attack on China and Iran, and the global pandemic that ensued, Republican opponents of Joe Biden have refused to go after the terrorist president for his attack on Nord Stream. A conspiracy of silence reigns, just as it did after 9/11 and, before that, the JFK assassination.
The neocon-neolib conspiracy-coverup entente is odd, given that neolibs profess to fervently believe in transparency and constitutional democracy and human rights, while neocons believe there is only one human right: The right of the strong to rule over the weak by any means necessary, starting with big lies and unchecked violence. How could two such antagonistic groups ever cooperate?
The answer, as mentioned earlier, is that the neolibs are the neocons’ useful idiots. The neocons believe conspiracies are necessary. The neolibs believe conspiracies don’t exist. So, the neocons consciously design, carry out, and cover up the most criminal and destructive covert operations, while the neolibs incessantly bleat that such things never happen and that anyone who notices them is a “conspiracy theorist.”
Scratch a smart neolib, and you’ll find a neocon lurking beneath. Biden, for all his liberal rhetoric, is at heart a gangster. Like the neocons, Biden takes for granted that the powerful, himself included, lack scruples and moral limits. Outrageous crimes, whether for personal gain (like his “Big Guy” exploits with Hunter) or geopolitical advantage (like his destruction of Nord Stream) are simply par for the course. Men like Biden and, before him, LBJ don’t need to be Straussian philosophers to come by their gangster ethics.
Why don’t the two gangster parties try to defeat each other decisively by exposing each other’s crimes? For the same reason a city’s leading crime families don’t wage all-out war on one another: It’s bad for business.
Kevin Barrett, Ph.D., is an Arabist-Islamologist scholar and one of America’s best-known critics of the War on Terror. From 1991 through 2006, Dr. Barrett taught at colleges and universities in San Francisco, Paris, and Wisconsin. In 2006, however, he was attacked by Republican state legislators who called for him to be fired from his job at the University of Wisconsin-Madison due to his political opinions.