Article audio sponsored by The John Birch Society

This article has been adapted from an address given by Mr. McManus to a meeting of the Robert Welch Club on June 30, 2001, in Appleton, Wisconsin.

One of the major moves against freedom in recent years has been the gathering of nations into economic unions. The first of these for the United States was NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Agreement. At the time it was proposed, our nation’s greatest trading partner was Canada. Some of us tried to show fellow Americans that something has to be wrong when that long-standing and extremely beneficial relationship with Canada had to be “improved” by establishing 20 commissions armed with stacks and stacks of regulations. Our argument made sense to some, but not with our leaders. There obviously were other reasons for NAFTA.

During the period leading up to the vote in Congress regarding NAFTA, Henry Kissinger penned a nationally syndicated article calling for its passage. In his revealing comments, he said that NAFTA “will represent the most creative step toward a new world order taken by any group since the end of the Cold War.” Who needs to know any more about NAFTA? But there is more. Kissinger also said that NAFTA amounted to the “first step toward an even larger vision of a free-trade zone for the entire western hemisphere.” He wrote those words in 1993.

NAFTA was approved and it has spurred the flow of jobs and industries to Mexico. Not only that, there are numerous reports of dramatic increases in drug trafficking across the U.S.-Mexican border, courtesy of NAFTA. With NAFTA already working its sinister magic, an expanded economic union, the Free Trade Area of the Americas, is now being proposed, just as Kissinger prophesied in 1993. Of course, economic union is followed by political union with the eventual result being world government.

One year after Congress approved NAFTA, it was decided to have the United States approve membership in the World Trade Organization (once known as GATT). By then, the chief Republican in the House (he was not yet speaker) was Newt Gingrich. He testified before the House Ways and Means Committee in June 1994 and noted that Congress had already rejected such a proposal twice previously, once in the 1940s and the other time in the 1950s. Obviously there were pitfalls and these were detected back in that period by a more solid membership in the Congress. In his testimony, Gingrich stated: “[We need] to be honest about the fact that we are transferring from the United States at a practical level significant authority to a new organization. This is a transformational moment. I would feel better if the people who favor this would just be honest about the scale of danger.”

Gingrich also said that the WTO should be compared to the Maastricht treaty under which Western European nations had already surrendered huge portions of their independence. Who needs to know any more about the WTO?

Now, before you get the impression that Gingrich was an ally, realize that later that very year (1994), Republicans swept the congressional elections and their dominance in both houses of Congress was assured beginning in January 1995. Many of the newly elected members of the House were conservatives, and Gingrich was assured he would be the speaker. So what did he do? He engineered the holding of the vote on submission to the WTO in a special rump session of Congress in December of 1994 — prior to the new Congress taking office when virtually everyone expected that the new Congress would have voted against the proposal. As a result, the United States tied itself to the WTO.

To understand what is in store for America if we don’t stop the plotters behind the drive for world government, consider that the European Economic Union has been beefed up and, without changing any of the economic features already in place, is now the political European Union. And the architects of world government have created in Europe the European Court of Human Rights and the European Court of Justice. These courts have already forced the nations of Western Europe to change some of their laws. Those nations have lost their sovereignty. And the WTO is already interfering with our laws regarding trade. Our nation is being led down Europe’s path.

Socialist Conservatives

This is a major element of neoconservatism. What then is a neoconservative? Briefly, he is an opponent of Communism but a supporter of socialism and internationalism. Lenin’s once revered partner in crime, Leon Trotsky, was perhaps the first neoconservative, although a case can be made that Karl Marx himself was a neocon. The acknowledged “godfather” of this movement in our nation in recent years is Irving Kristol. In his 1995 book, Neoconservatism: The Autobiography of an Idea, Kristol announced what it means to him:

We are conservative, but different in certain respects from the conservatism of the Republican Party. We accepted the New Deal in principle, and had little affection for the kind of isolationism that then permeated American conservatism.

So, neocons are for the New Deal — which is socialism. And they despise “isolationism,” which means Kristol and his neocon friends are internationalists. In a 1993 article appearing in the Wall Street Journal, Kristol expressed his enthusiasm for Social Security, Medicare, food stamps, Medicaid, even cash allowances for unwed mothers. You won’t find a neocon opposing the UN, although he might issue a recommendation merely to reform the world organization. And you certainly won’t find any neocon challenging the growth of big government because they love big government.

A major problem in America is that these neocons have taken over the conservative wing of the Republican party. And they have succeeded in doing so to the degree that the word “conservative” is now being applied to individuals and ideas that are, in fact, liberal (in the leftist sense), socialist, and totally undeserving of the conservative label. It pains me when someone describes himself to me as a conservative. It pains me even more when that label is applied to me. I’ve actually adopted a policy of asking that I at least be called a “constitutional conservative.” That separates me from the so-called conservatism of most leading Republicans — which has really become neoconservatism.

Neoconservatives even proudly admit their takeover of the word “conservative.” In his 1996 book entitled The Essential Neoconservative Reader, editor Mark Gerson jubilantly observed:

The neoconservatives have so changed conservatism that what we now identify as conservatism is largely what was once neoconservatism. And in so doing, they have defined the way that vast numbers of Americans view their economy, their polity, and their society.

Give neocon Gerson credit for saying very forthrightly what indeed has happened. By designating themselves “conservative,” the neocons have led many otherwise conservative Americans to accept what had always been unacceptable. What was once called neoconservatism and viewed suspiciously is now labeled conservatism and is no longer rejected. How this happened can’t be told completely in a short space, but we can provide some helpful insights. Let’s go back to the beginning of this takeover in our nation.

Neoconservative Roots

In 1927, Leon Trotsky broke with Lenin’s partner Joseph Stalin and was forced into exile a year later. He broke with Leninism because he preferred having mankind choose Marxism rather than having it imposed through the brutality favored by Lenin and Stalin. It’s important to understand that Trotsky wasn’t an opponent of the Marxist program, which is socialism. He was only an opponent of the head cracking brought to the socialist movement by Lenin and continued by Stalin. Since he continued to be a definite challenge to the brutal Soviet leader, Trotsky was murdered by one of Stalin’s agents in Mexico in 1940. Before he was killed, however, he had attracted a substantial following among men who never lost their determination to have socialism and world government control mankind.

In 1995, neocon godfather Kristol candidly stated, “I regard myself to have been a young Trostkyite and I have not a single bitter memory.” You can see in that statement his willingness to identify with Trotsky. As far back as 1983, he claimed that “a conservative welfare state … is perfectly consistent with the neoconservative perspective.” A conservative welfare state? That qualifies as the oxymoron of the decade.

Writing in Kristol’s journal, The National Interest, in 1989, fellow neocon Charles Krauthammer called for the integration of Europe, Japan, and the United States to create a “super-sovereign” government. He even voiced his desire to see “the conscious depreciation not only of American sovereignty but of the notion of sovereignty in general.” So, it’s safe to say that these people are the enemies of a constitutionally limited government in an independent nation. They are enemies; they are neoconservatives. Add in Midge Decter, Norman Podhoretz, Elliott Abrams, Ben Wattenberg, the magazine Commentary led by Podhoretz, The Weekly Standard led by Irving Kristol’s son William, and many others.

The drive toward neoconservatism in America started quite a bit earlier. In 1952, a young “conservative” serving a one-year tour of duty with the CIA wrote an article for The Commonweal, a Catholic weekly. This man wrote:

We have got to accept Big Government for the duration — for neither an offensive nor a defensive war can be waged, given our present government skills, except through the instrument of a totalitarian bureaucracy within our shores….

And if they deem Soviet power a menace to our freedom (as I happen to), they will have to support large armies and air forces, atomic energy, central intelligence, war production boards, and the attendant centralization of power in Washington — even with Truman at the reins of it all.

That was 1952, and the writer of this article was calling for “Big Government for the duration” and “the attendant centralization of power in Washington” in order to oppose Communism. He wanted to fight Communism by adopting Marxism. The element of neoconservatism seeking world government wasn’t in that revealing article. But it would come from this man later.

Who do you suppose wrote those words? It was none other than William F. Buckley, Jr. It was his initial contribution to neoconservatism, something he slyly advocated at first but has more obviously favored throughout the bulk of his career. He hadn’t yet supported the United Nations, the other half of the neocon agenda, but he would before too long.

Neocon Nexus

When Buckley was a student at Yale, the faculty member who influenced him more than any other was Willmoore Kendall. Kendall had been a proud Trotskyite socialist who had studied in England as a Rhodes scholar, served in the OSS during World War II, stayed on when the OSS became the CIA in 1947, and then became a Yale professor. He and Buckley developed a positively eerie relationship. When Buckley sought to avoid military service after finishing Yale during the Korean War, Kendall sent him to James Burnham, another Trotskyite socialist who had also seen service with the OSS and then with the CIA. The plan was to have Buckley avoid serving in the military by having him serve in the CIA instead.

These two men, Kendall and Burnham, hugely influenced Buckley and were part of the initial team when the latter launched National Review magazine in 1955. And there were other ex-Communists and CIA veterans who also served among the early members of the NR team. National Review was loaded with Trotskyites and CIA veterans.

The critical contribution Buckley made to the neoconservative cause was his taking the conservative movement away from reliance on the Constitution as the standard for Americans and replacing it with an ever-shifting conservatism — as defined by him. Before long Buckley would be excusing others for advocating socialistic programs. Then he began advocating socialistic programs himself. In 1971, he defended continued U.S. membership in the UN when Free China was booted out and Communist China welcomed in. In 1974, he accepted appointment as a delegate to the UN General Assembly and wrote a book about his experiences that dignified the existence of the UN. In 1977, his syndicated column called for ratification of the UN’s Genocide Convention.

Coincident with Buckley becoming more obviously a neoconservative, Kristol related how several top leaders of the Wall Street Journal had made their alliance with the neocon movement. WSJ Editor Robert Bartley contacted Kristol as far back as 1972, and Kristol’s articles immediately began appearing in the Journal. In time, the WSJ would become a cheerleader for NAFTA, the World Trade Organization, NATO, and the use of U.S. forces in UN operations. This is the other half of the neocon program, the internationalist half.

In 1991, in an article he wrote for WSJ, Irving Kristol supplied details about an invitation-only gathering of conservative Republicans. He delighted in pointing out that the conference was sponsored by none other than Bill Buckley. And he even more delightedly reported that most of the two dozen conservatives who had arrived as “conservatives first and Republicans second” had emerged from the gathering as “Republicans first and conservatives second.” They had been taken away from conservatism and made Republicans first. And the meeting had been sponsored by Bill Buckley!

Kristol never mentioned who the two dozen attendees at this Buckley-arranged conference were. But all of us have seen the Republican leaders in Congress fade into rubber stamps for a variety of socialistic and internationalist schemes in recent years. The reason? Republican leaders who were thought to be conservatives have been captured by the neoconservatives. And numerous policies and programs once deemed taboo by men who were labeled conservative are now being supported by them. One problem remains: These men are still being called conservatives.

In this very same 1991 article, Kristol announced that the major conclusion reached by the new neocons at the Buckley-sponsored gathering was that “President Bush is now the leader of the conservative movement within the Republican Party.” And this happened after Bush had demonstrated that he wasn’t a conservative himself. Perhaps the greatest indicator of President Bush’s neocon attitude was his use of U.S. forces and a UN resolution to reinvigorate the United Nations during the war against Saddam Hussein’s Iraq. “Reinvigorate” was his word, not mine. And his constant use of the term “new world order” said a great deal about what he was advocating.

The Neocon Influence

Do you wonder why Republicans are caving in when they should be standing firm against socialistic and internationalist programs? Do you wonder why Republicans in the Senate refused even to consider going after Bill Clinton for bribery and other serious crimes during the impeachment process? Do you wonder why opposition to the UN, World Bank, IMF, Export-Import Bank, Federal Reserve, etc. is almost nonexistent in the supposedly conservative political party? Well, stop wondering and consider that neoconservatives promoting their socialist and world government schemes have taken over not only the Republican Party but the conservative wing of the party.

One of the more important promoters of the neocon program was Newt Gingrich. But we are still told that he’s a conservative. I know people who scratch their head and wonder what has happened to Trent Lott, Dick Armey, Phil Crane, Orrin Hatch, and others. The answer is that they aren’t conservatives any more; they’re neoconservatives even if the mass media won’t tell you. Add in Rush Limbaugh, Bill Bennett, Jack Kemp, Henry Kissinger, and a host of Republicans who toe the neocon line and you have your answer.

Again, neoconservatism is socialism and internationalism. And who opposes this? Why, the John Birch Society does. And who are enemies of the John Birch Society that some might have expected to be its friends and allies? Bill Buckley is; the Wall Street Journal is; and the intelligentsia who love to be called conservatives but will no more support the Constitution and those who truly defend it (such as the John Birch Society) than they would commit suicide.

The greatest enemies of the John Birch Society in the over 40 years of its existence haven’t been Communists, and haven’t even been Democrats. The greatest enemies of the JBS are the false conservatives who are neoconservatives or who have allowed themselves to become captives of the neoconservatives. And the greatest of those has been Bill Buckley. He said in 1952 that he wanted Big Government and, in more recent years, he has done whatever he could do to supply dignity and excuses for the United Nations. The John Birch Society wants constitutionally limited government and our nation out of the UN — and the IMF, World Bank, NAFTA, WTO, etc. Hence Buckley decreed that the JBS should lose any “respectable support.” But not only did he refuse support, he waged war against the John Birch Society.

This is only a brief glimpse at the movement called neoconservatism. But I hope you grasp what it has accomplished. It, and all those it has captured, must be exposed. If you’ve been wondering how to classify William F. Buckley, you can start by realizing that he is and has been a neoconservative throughout his public career. But that’s only a start in considering this man’s career.

About Buckley and his magazine, let me close by relating a revealing incident from 1961. This was only a little more than two years after Robert Welch founded the John Birch Society. Buckley’s magazine was already in existence. The incident I will relate was reported by Dr. Medford Evans in the old American Opinion magazine in October 1973. An early member of the Buckley team, Evans quit the Buckley crowd early on and joined the team led by JBS founder Robert Welch. This 1961 incident occurred in Dallas where he met Willmoore Kendall, the former Trotskyite, and a founder and senior editor of Buckley’s National Review. The two men were interviewing U.S. Army General Edwin Walker, a member of the John Birch Society at the time. After meeting with the general, they got together for a renewal of their limited friendship, and I’ll turn now to Medford Evans’ 1973 article for the full story of this incident:

Kendall and I, still restless, went to a hamburger joint on Harry Hines Boulevard to drink coffee, reminisce about the past, and especially speculate about the future. After some comparatively idle talk Willmoore said to me: “Medford, I don’t suppose there is any chance you could get Walker to let up in his campaigning against Communism, is there?” I replied: “No, Willmoore, not a chance. You could stand him up against a wall and shoot him, but you couldn’t make him quit speaking out against Communism.” (I thought Willmoore was just testing. He certainly was not jesting.) “I don’t suppose,” he continued, “there’s any chance that you would even advise him to let up, would you?” I replied: “No, Willmoore, not a chance. You could stand me up against the same wall, but I would never advise him to quit fighting Communism.”

Later Willmoore wrote me a letter from Oklahoma City, returning his motel key which he had inadvertently taken away, and expressing his regret that he and I could no longer be on the same side. Personally, he said, he wished me well (and he said the same of another former National Review contributor), but as for the great issue, and this is verbatim: “C’est la guerre.”

Kendall’s parting comment, of course, translates to “Such is war.” It would later become obvious that the war to which he was referring was not between anti-Communists and Communists, but rather between the forces led by Bill Buckley and those led by Robert Welch. Neoconservatives who took control of the conservative movement and became dominant within the Republican Party — except for what the John Birch Society has maintained and beefed up — have always hated the JBS. And too, it must be said very clearly that neoconservatives are our nation’s deadly enemies.