John McCain isn’t a neocon; he just happens to believe all the same things. Just look at what his foreign policy adviser, Robert Kagan, told Der Spiegel:
SPIEGEL: Isn’t it true that Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld took advantage of the outrage over the 9/11 terrorist attacks to strike Iraq? Is it even possible anymore to deny that the war was based on manipulation, exaggeration and flat-out lies? […]
KAGAN: In retrospect, we have to admit that Washington could have waited a while longer. That’s a different question. But I think it’s about time we moved beyond this silly conversation and these absurd conspiracy theories.
Of course, it’s no surprise that Kagan believes these things. He also believes that the Founding Fathers were neocons and that the Civil War was America’s “first experiment in ideological conquest.” We’ve seen a lot of right-wingers try to justify the Iraq War by arguing that it was part of a noble American tradition; Kagan, I believe, is the only one willing to justify it by arguing that the entire American tradition was as grubby and mendacious as the Iraq War.
Is it any wonder that people resort to bizarre conspiracy theories when people like Kagan exist?