CONT'D - C-SPAN Q & A: Lt. Col. Karen Kwiatkowski
Sun Apr 2, 2006 23:59

CONT'D - C-SAPN Q & A: Lt. Col. Karen Kwiatkowski

KWIATKOSKI: Traditional conservative. I grew up in a Barry Goldwater household, OK, so what I thought Republicans were was Barry Goldwater. What I thought Republicans were was Ronald Reagan at his very first electoral campaign when he ran on a very Libertarian Goldwater and - Goldwater-type platform. That’s what I thought Republicans were, and I came from a Republican family, and that’s what I thought it was. And I held to that until the mid-’90s, and I realized that even then, even though I never had heard the term ”neo-conservative,” had no idea they’d been around for 40 years, I didn’t know, and I never even understood anything about it.

I did change parties to the Libertarian party, and the choice was either to become a Libertarian or a Constitutionalist because these were the two parties that most closely matched what I - the way I had been brought up. So, in a sense, I’m one of those boring people that don’t change their - they don’t - I didn’t really learn anything. I’m the same - I’m politically the same as I was when I was 14 years old, which is, I guess, sad in a way, but anyway, the party left me. The Republican Party left me.

Neo-conservatism does not have its roots in conservatism, and I think Bill Kristol would probably be the first to tell you that. He knows the story. It has its roots in more grand ideologies than traditional conservatism. In fact, you can go all the way back to Trotsky and some of the Marxist thinkers and find some of the roots of neo-conservatism.

But strangely, neo-conservatism found a home in the Republican Party as it began to shape itself about 35 years ago. And you know Bill Buckley, big old - I mean, I shouldn’t say old, but the grandfather of National Review, started out, was a conservative magazine. And early on, the National Review and Buckley were a big part of this whole idea that Bill Kristol mentions of reshaping our foreign policy, rethinking how it is that America deals with the world. And when - and in the directions that he’s talking about, it wasn’t 9/11, OK, I’m sorry. Kristol’s wrong on that. 9/11 is a nice event that gets everybody awake and allows for possibilities of change, but this refocusing of American foreign policy as a unilateral power, as a shaper of not just ourselves but of others, this comes about early on, 35, 40 years ago. Neo-conservatism is a big part of it.

LAMB: Let me give the audience, who hasn’t seen the documentary, a little bit of an idea. They have a trailer that they put out, which gives you all kinds of scenes so that people can see what this particular documentary generates in the way of discussion.


UNIDENTIFIED PARTICIPANT: From the White House, we present Dwight D. Eisenhower.

EISENHOWER: Good evening, my fellow Americans. In the councils of government, we must guard against the military industrial complex.

UNIDENTIFIED PARTICIPANT: The United States is the greatest force for good in the world. We have not an obligation to go out and start wars, but certainly to spread democracy and freedom throughout the world.

UNIDENTIFIED PARTICIPANT: The defense budget is three-quarters of a trillion dollars. Profits went up last year well over 25 percent. When war becomes that profitable, you’re going to see more of it.

UNIDENTIFIED PARTICIPANT: There is a huge flow of cash into defense industries.

UNIDENTIFIED PARTICIPANT: Sixty-six billion dollars for our men and women in uniform.

UNIDENTIFIED PARTICIPANT: We need $100 million to upgrade 10 additional B-1 bombers.

KWIATKOSKI: You do have to follow the money.

UNIDENTIFIED PARTICIPANT: It’s the representative’s duty to bring home the bacon.

UNIDENTIFIED PARTICIPANT: God bless our contractors.

UNIDENTIFIED PARTICIPANT: Now, kids are dying, billions are being spent every month.

KWIATKOSKI: And the American people are scratching their heads, going, ”How did we get here?”

UNIDENTIFIED PARTICIPANT: This is not about one president or one party.

UNIDENTIFIED PARTICIPANT: When does the United States go from a force for good to a force of imperialism?

UNIDENTIFIED PARTICIPANT: We’ve got an empire. There is no excuse for 725 American military bases in 130 foreign countries.

UNIDENTIFIED PARTICIPANT: I think numbers almost are distracting.

UNIDENTIFIED PARTICIPANT: 9/11 showed us war can be privatized. (Destruction) can be privatized.

UNIDENTIFIED PARTICIPANT: What we are risking is the Republic itself.

UNIDENTIFIED PARTICIPANT: Collusion is our business, collusion with the military.

UNIDENTIFIED PARTICIPANT: We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes.

UNIDENTIFIED PARTICIPANT: It is nowhere written that the American empire goes on forever.


LAMB: Who was Bill Loody?

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