You may remember back in late September 2001, before the smoke had even cleared in Manhattan, Bill Kristol and his buds at PNAC (including Marty Peretz, Chuck Krauthammer, Eliot Cohen, Midge Decter, Norman Podhoretz, Gary Bauer, Richard Perle, and a couple of Kagans who are like the Manson family but without the joie de vivre) had been calling for all out war against anyone who even looked sideways  at Israel. In the rubble of 9/11 they  saw their opportunity to start the war of their dreams and so it did come to pass only it didn’t work out terribly well for America or Iraq. But, nowadays, to bring that up is declasse, and also it’s  water blood under the bridge and let’s move on.   Nothing to see there.

Flash forward a few years and Bill Kristol gets a major boner during  a visit to Alaska and subsequently goes to bat for End Times Sarah Palin for a shot at being, as Tina Fey put it,  “one weird mole” away from the presidency. Again, like most things Kristol, that didn’t pan out either, but Bill had invested so much time and energy in The Palin Project so he directed his cabana boy Michael Goldfarb as well as Randy Scheuneman to ride herd on the little filly going forward in the hope that America would suffer a major IQ downgrade and start to accept that, when you think about it, being pretty is good enough for presidentin’. Despite the best efforts of Lifetime TV, this did not come to pass and a change of scenery was in order for the guys.

Nobody knows whatever happened to that Palin gal . . . probably selling MaryKay or something.

Flash forward to a few weeks ago when Bill Kristol started beating the war drums for zombie-eyed granny-starver Paul Ryan who is a bit of a blank slate foreign policy-wise. But that can be fixed:

With the Republican Party’s foreign-policy establishment at odds over central questions on national security, the selection of Paul Ryan as Mitt Romney’s choice for vice president tilts the ticket closer to the neoconservatives on key questions about America’s role in the world and the size of the military.

In recent months, Ryan has been receiving briefings from Elliott Abrams, George W. Bush’s former Middle East director at the National Security Council, and Fred Kagan, one of the architects of the military surges in Iraq and Afghanistan, as first reported by Weekly Standard reporter Stephen Hayes on Twitter. Another conservative foreign-policy specialist who has briefed Ryan said the Romney campaign in Boston has arranged for briefings with a parade of former government experts on foreign policy in recent weeks.

Abrams told The Daily Beast on Saturday that he found Ryan’s views in line with the mainstream of the Republican Party today, saying Ryan was ”relaxed, serious, funny, very smart, and knows more about foreign policy than people may think, in view of his concentration on the economy.”

Abrams, you may recall, turned a blind eye to South American death squads, was neck deep in Iran-Contra, and pled guilty to withholding information from Congress only to have Poppy Bush subsequently pardon him as payment for a job well done. As a bonus, Abrams is married to Rachel Decter Abrams, the charming lady who wants  all Muslims served up as chum for sharks and “other oceanic carnivores God has put there for the purpose”. Unsurprisingly Mitt Romney’s internet girlfriend, Jennifer Rubin, heartily approved of Rachel’s little plan.

Next up:

The Republican chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, Howard “Buck” McKeon, said he was “very happy” with the Ryan pick. McKeon said he has worked closely with Ryan to come up with ways to at least put off what is known as the sequestration cuts, and he praised the Wisconsin lawmaker for his overall philosophy in defense. “He understands the Reagan principle of having a strong defense and the Eisenhower principle of having a big enough military that no one would ever think about attacking you,” McKeon told The Daily Beast.

Someone should tell Buck about the Khobar Towers and 9/11. I mean, both of those things were in all the papers and another carrier group isn’t going to stop them.

And then there is…

Danielle Pletka, the vice president for foreign- and defense-policy studies at the conservative American Enterprise Institute, also praised the Ryan pick. “Unlike a lot of fiscal conservatives, one of the great things about Paul Ryan is he is not omni-directionally a budget cutter,” she said. “He understands the primary role of the federal government is the national defense and not the handing out of food stamps.”

Besides coming down solidly on the side of boomsticks in the great Guns or Butter debate, Pletka is best known as The Woman Who Loved Scam Artist Ahmad Chalabi Too Much:

In an interview, Ms. Pletka said that Mr. Chalabi had been ”shoddily” treated and that C.I.A. and State Department people had been fighting ”a rear guard” action against him.

”They’ve been out to get him for a long time,” Ms. Pletka said. ”And to be fair, he has done things and the people around him have done things that have made it easier for them. He is a prickly, difficult person and he drives them crazy. He never takes no for an answer, even when he should.”

Ms. Pletka added: ”There are questionable people around him — I don’t know how close — who have been involved in questionable activities in Iraq. He is close to the Iranian government. And so all of these things have lent credence to the accusations against him.”

Romney, his own bad self, has his own little collection of Bush retreads giving him advice, including Robert Kagan and anger management failure John Bolton.

But wait, there’s more!:

Romney’s team is notable for including Bush aides tarnished by the Iraq fiasco: Robert Joseph, the National Security Council official who inserted the infamous “sixteen words” in Bush’s 2003 State of the Union message claiming that Iraq had tried to buy enriched uranium from Niger; Dan Senor, former spokesman for the hapless Coalition Provisional Authority under Paul Bremer in Iraq; and Eric Edelman, a top official at the Pentagon under Bush. “I can’t name a single Romney foreign policy adviser who believes the Iraq War was a mistake,” says Cato’s Preble. “Two-thirds of the American people do believe the Iraq War was a mistake. So he has willingly chosen to align himself with that one-third of the population right out of the gate.”

Shortly after McCain’s 2008 defeat, Kagan, Edelman, Senor and Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol launched the Foreign Policy Initiative, a neocon successor to PNAC. FPI’s mission has been to keep the Bush doctrine alive in the Obama era—supporting a troop increase in Afghanistan and opposing a 2014 withdrawal; advocating a 20,000-troop residual force in Iraq; backing a military strike and/or regime change in Iran; promoting military intervention in Syria; urging a more confrontational posture toward Russia; and opposing cuts in military spending. Three of FPI’s four board members are advising Romney.

Oooo! Mr. Campbell Brown!

Senor is best known for his disastrous stint in Iraq under Bremer, when the United States disbanded the Iraqi Army and tried to privatize the economy. In his book on Iraq, Rajiv Chandrasekaran of the Washington Post wrote of Senor, “His efforts to spin failures into successes sometimes reached the point of absurdity.” Senor is particularly close to the Israeli right, co-writing the 2009 book Start-up Nation: The Story of Israel’s Economic Miracle, which reads like an extended investment brochure. He now serves as a conduit between Romney and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. “Mitt-Bibi will be the new Reagan-Thatcher,” Senor tweeted after the New York Times ran a story about the close friendship of the two men, which dates to the late 1970s.

I, for one, look forward to the return of our neo-con puppet-master warlords….