The antiwar conservatives aren't satisfied merely to question the wisdom of an Iraq war. Questions are perfectly reasonable, indeed valuable. There is more than one way to wage the war on terror, and thoughtful people will naturally disagree about how best to do it, whether to focus on terrorist organizations like al-Qaeda and Hezbollah or on states like Iraq and Iran; and if states, then which state first?
But the antiwar conservatives have gone far, far beyond the advocacy of alternative strategies. They have made common cause with the left-wing and Islamist antiwar movements in this country and in Europe. They deny and excuse terror. They espouse a potentially self-fulfilling defeatism. They publicize wild conspiracy theories. And some of them explicitly yearn for the victory of their nation's enemies.
One can argue, perhaps plausibly, that the individuals mentioned by Frum do not fall into the latter category. However, one thing that Mark might well want to keep in mind is that prior to Frum writing his bull of excommunication the Buchanan Brigade had already issued there own. As Frum himself quotes in the article:
"The Bush administration should not only ignore the advice of such characters as Mr. Ledeen and Mr. Podhoretz but consider placing them under surveillance as possible agents of a foreign power." — SAMUEL FRANCIS, IN CHRONICLES, DECEMBER 2002
... The accusations culminated in a March 2003 article by Buchanan in The American Conservative that fixed responsibility for the entire Iraq war on a "cabal" of neoconservative office-holders and writers: "We charge that a cabal of polemicists and public officials seeks to ensnare our country in a series of wars that are not in America's interests. We charge them with colluding with Israel to ignite those wars and destroy the Oslo Accords. We charge them with deliberately damaging U.S. relations with every state in the Arab world that defies Israel or supports the Palestinian people's right to a homeland of their own. We charge that they have alienated friends and allies all over the Islamic and Western world through their arrogance, hubris, and bellicosity."
So it appears to me that Buchanan's own denunciation of the neocons occurred prior to David Frum writing his article. And while Frum was reading the paleocons out of the conservative movement, Buchanan was charging the neocons with treason. You can decide for yourself who is being the worst offender here, but it's accusations like that which make me less than sanguine about paleocon crocodile tears about how mean the big, bad National Review was to them.