In the first sentence of his review [Bozo] asserts "Moderation ... is an essential political virtue and a quintessentially conservative virtue." This is the way forward for conservatism, he insists. At no time does he define "moderation" or any governing principles, other than to misapply moderation as prudence, when prudence is, in fact, about judgment. . . .Read the whole thing. Try not to slip on Bozo's entrails that Levin leaves scattered on the floor.
For the neo-Statist (or neo-Conservative), the problem is particularly acute when applied to international relations for he usually promotes a hawkish and interventionist foreign policy. If prudence is moderation per se, then how does [Bozo] square this circle? Is bombing Iran's nuclear sites, even as a last resort, a moderate or an immoderate act? Obviously, the question makes no sense. The test is whether it is prudent.
Thus, those, like [Bozo], who promote moderation (not prudence) as a principle, are actually promoting a tactic or process without any core.
Note that Levin distinguishes himself from the neo-conservatives. One of the idiotic misfortunes of the Bush era was that the Left picked up the term "neocon" as shorthand for "Jewish hawk," with conspiratorial overtones of "stooge for the Zionist lobby." This was both unfair and inaccurate.
As my old friends know, I tend to roll more toward the paleo side of the neo/paleo divide, with a wide streak of libertarianism ("From My Cold Dead Hands!") and am also a hillbilly Bible-thumping Calvinist, if not a theocrat.
My position on the Iraq war was nuanced, as the liberals would say. Unlike Kerry, I was against the war before I was for it. Basically, from 2002 until the war started, I was very skeptical toward arguments for the invasion and conquest of Mesopotamia. However, the time for arguing ended when the first shot was fired. My attititude about war is, "If you're in it, win it."
No nation ever benefitted from losing a war. Military defeat tends to demoralize a nation and, if repeated, can result in absolute decadence. (Cf. France.)
A Peace Through Strength approach to foreign affairs doesn't make you a warmonger, an imperialist, or a "neocon." I could write a book about this, but I'm on deadline for the Spectator, so just read Mark Levin's article -- and remind me never to pick a fight with him.