Didi Remez wasn't amused by my mentioning him yesterday. I don't always manage to follow his train of thought or argument, but in an e-mail he sent me he seems to be claiming I'm afraid to repeat publicly what I said privately about neocons. So here, I'm saying publicly:
Whatever the term neocon may have meant in the past, say in the way it was used at Commentary Magazine in the 1980s, it has long since ceased to mean. These days,"neocon" is a sloppy, imprecise, undefined epithet used mostly by publicists from the political left to mean either (or both) of two things:
1. Folks we really don't like whose opinions of the War That Has No Name are abhorrent to us.
2. Jews who stand behind the hawks, and often manipulate them into actions of war they would not otherwise engage in.
This sort of term has a long and dishonorable pedigree in political discourse. Previous empty phrases that served in similar ways were Cosmopolitans, Rootless internationalists; Trotskyites, and others. Fascists, too, nowadays: that's also a term which has lost any explanatory meaning and serves mostly as a goad, not an argument.