The Washington Post on Neo con myths
As the Bush administration winds down, neoconservatism has become the most feared and reviled intellectual movement in American history. The neoconservatives have become the subject of numerous myths, mostly spread by their numerous detractors. They're seen as dangerous heretics by livid liberals as well as by traditional conservatives such as William F. Buckley Jr. and Patrick Buchanan.
So "neocon" has become a handy term of condemnation, routinely deployed to try to silence liberal hawks such as Sen. Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut or right-wing interventionists such as former deputy secretary of defense Paul D. Wolfowitz and the former Pentagon official Richard N. Perle, who's been nicknamed the "Prince of Darkness." That moniker aside, the neocons insist that there's nothing sinister about them; they simply believed that after 9/11, the United States should use its power to spread democracy throughout the Arab world, just as it had done in Eastern Europe and Central America during the Cold War. Their critics aren't so sure -- and the misconceptions grow.