Jewish people and organisations are marked in red.
"Dear Mr. Dalyell, many thanks for contacting me last Wednesday night. My apologies for taking so long to reply. I was trying to get in touch with you because I thought the information contained within the "Halabja" section of this document might help to demolish another of Tony Blair’s stated reasons for going to war. If he, and those of a similar mindset, could be shown to be "spinning" yet again, this time in respect of the "moral case for war," then it might just destabilise their programme fatally. I wanted this information to be available to someone who might be able to use it in last Wednesday’s’debate. Of course I left it far too late. I’m not the most organised of people.
Having witnessed your performance and behaviour in the House of Commons, I believe you to be an honourable man. A man who is courageous enough to look the facts squarely in the face and acknowledge them for what they are. In this day and age, where that which is fashionable and politically correct invariably takes precedence over what is true and commonsensical, to recognise the truth and then to speak it isn’t always easy.
I am not a conspiracy theorist. If I have an opinion, I will research that opinion until I am able to say "yes, I was right," or "no I was wrong." I hope you will, therefore, persevere with what you are about to read a little way beyond the point where any distaste you may experience, as a result of the message contained herein, might tempt you to put it to one side. After all, almost everything you are about to read is the product of a mind other than my own.
The "neoconservatives" who are calling for George Bush et al. to forge the "Pax Americana," and to implement their imperialist vision of the 21st century, have been doing so for some time now. 9/11 was both the catalyst and the excuse for their views to attain pre-eminence and orthodoxy.
As far as the "hawks" were concerned, 9/11 was precisely what was needed. The War against Saddam and beyond had been mapped out long before 9/11 gave the vision legitimacy. Since I last spoke to you I have arranged a selection of articles, documents and quotations which, I hope, might help those involved in the anti-war debate figure out who precisely is taking us to war, mostly against our will, on a crusade which some are already calling WWIII. This has taken some time and explains why I have been so tardy in getting back to you.
This dossier contains the sections: WAR WAS ALWAYS THE GOAL; THE ISRAELI CONNECTION THE IRAN/IRAQ & GULF WARS (includes a small segment on Lockerbie); HALABJA; THE BUILD UP TO GULF WAR 1; GULF WAR I; AFTER GULF WAR I; QUOTATIONS FROM THE MAJOR PLAYERS & THEIR CRITICS' SEPTEMBER 11th 2001' PROPAGANDA; DEMOCRACY & THE NEW WORLD ORDER.
I would suggest that the sections most likely to provide you with the ammunition which might derail Tony Blair’s long march to war, might best be extracted from the "War Was Always The Goal," "Halabja," "September 11th 2001" and, if you have the stamina and the patience, from the "Quotations etc" sections of this document.
All the best and Good Luck!"
The cynical and the wise are both apt to point to oil. I would rather suggest that oil is a glorious bonus. The chief reason that our soldiers are now in the Gulf is to see that the only viable threat that Israel and the Jewish lobby in Washington currently perceives to Israel’s future security is removed.
"Our first objective is to prevent the re-emergence of a new rival, either on the territory of the former Soviet Union or elsewhere, that poses a threat on the order of that posed formerly by the Soviet Union. This is a dominant consideration underlying the new regional defence strategy and requires that we endeavor to prevent any hostile power from dominating a region whose resources would, under consolidated control, be sufficient to general global power.
The US must show the leadership necessary to establish and protect a new order… In non-defence areas, we must account sufficiently for the interests of the advanced industrial nations to discourage them from challenging our leadership or seeking to overturn the established political and economic order. We must maintain the mechanism for deterring potential competitors from even aspiring to a larger regional or global role...
The sense that the World Order is ultimately backed by the US will be an important stabilizing factor. While the US cannot become the world's policeman, by assuming responsibility for righting every wrong, we will retain the preeminent responsibility for addressing selectively those wrongs which threaten not only our interests, but those of our allies or friends…
In the Middle East and Southwest Asia, our overall objective is to remain the predominant outside power in the region and preserve US and Western access to the region's oil."
"Our most fundamental goal is to… preclude any hostile power from dominating a region critical to our interests… In the Middle East and Persian Gulf, we seek to foster regional stability, deter aggression against our friends and interests in the region, protect US nationals and property, and safeguard our access to international air and seaways and to the region's oil.
The United States is committed to the security of Israel and to maintaining the qualitative edge that is critical to Israel's security. Israel's confidence in its security and US-Israel strategic cooperation contribute to the stability of the entire region, as demonstrated once again during the Persian Gulf War."
"Pre-emption as a coherent strategy first emerged in a paper Wolfowitz wrote after the Gulf War. In it, he argued for strikes to prevent the use of nuclear, biological, or chemical weapons by countries anywhere in the world, and the exercise of American muscle, alone if necessary.
The draft was leaked to the press at the time, and all hell broke loose. 'It was clear there was unhappiness at the highest levels of the White House about this document,' says William Kristol, who at the time was chief of staff to Vice President Dan Quayle. The paper was rewritten to reflect the containment ideology, and Wolfowitz's original draft sat moldering throughout the Clinton administration…
Bush didn't pay much attention to foreign policy at all until Sept. 11, after which the Wolfowitz preemption strategy rose again. ‘I see a very strong overlap between the national-security policy as expressed today and the first and very muscular draft of the 1992 policy,’' notes ‘Washington Post’ reporter Barton Gellman about the continuing importance of that early Wolfowitz paper."
"The idea that congressmen would be tainted by accepting money from private industry or private sources is essentially a socialist argument."
"Gingrich's Wife Hired to Promote Business in Israeli Free Trade Zone." Congressman Newt Gingrich's wife raised eyebrows by taking a position, whilst he was in office, as the vice president for business development for the Israeli Export Company. She had visited the Jewish state in 1993 under the auspices of Israel's political lobbyists in the USA, AIPAC. Ms. Gingrich was "hired at an undisclosed salary to help recruit business for a free-trade zone in Israel."
Participants in the Study Group on "A New Israeli Strategy Toward 2000."
"Efforts to salvage Israel’s socialist institutions, which include pursuing supranational over national sovereignty and pursuing a peace process that embraces the slogan, ‘New Middle East,’ undermine the legitimacy of the nation and lead Israel into strategic paralysis and the previous government’s ‘peace process.’ That peace process obscured the evidence of eroding national critical mass… and forfeited strategic initiative…
Benjamin Netanyahu’s government comes in with a new set of ideas. While there are those who will counsel continuity, Israel has the opportunity to make a clean break; it can forge a peace process and strategy based on an entirely new intellectual foundation, one that restores strategic initiative and provides the nation the room to engage every possible energy on rebuilding Zionism, the starting point of which must be economic reform.
To secure the nation’s streets and borders in the immediate future, Israel can: Work closely with Turkey and Jordan to contain, destabilize, and roll-back some of its most dangerous threats. This implies clean break from the slogan, ‘comprehensive peace’ to a traditional concept of strategy based on balance of power. Change the nature of its relations with the Palestinians, including upholding the right of hot pursuit for self Defence into all Palestinian areas and nurturing alternatives to Arafat’s exclusive grip on Palestinian society.
Forge a new basis for relations with the United States, stressing self-reliance, maturity, strategic cooperation on areas of mutual concern, and furthering values inherent to the West… While the previous government, and many abroad, may emphasize ‘land for peace’ which placed Israel in the position of cultural, economic, political, diplomatic, and military retreat, the new government can promote Western values and traditions.
Such an approach, which will be well received in the United States, includes ‘peace for peace,’ ‘peace through strength’ and self reliance: the balance of power. A new strategy to seize the initiative can be introduced: We have for four years pursued peace based on a New Middle East. We in Israel cannot play innocents abroad in a world that is not innocent…
Displaying moral ambivalence between the effort to build a Jewish state and the desire to annihilate it by trading ‘land for peace’ will not secure ‘peace now.’ Our claim to the land, to which we have clung for hope for 2000 years, is legitimate and noble… Only the unconditional acceptance by Arabs of our rights, especially in their territorial dimension… is a solid basis for the future…
An effective approach, and one with which American can sympathize, would be if Israel seized the strategic initiative along its northern borders by engaging Hizballah, Syria, and Iran… striking Syrian military targets in Lebanon, and should that prove insufficient, striking at select targets in Syria proper…
Given the nature of the regime in Damascus, it is both natural and moral that Israel abandon the slogan ‘comprehensive peace’ and move to contain Syria, drawing attention to its weapons of mass destruction program, and rejecting ‘land for peace’ deals on the Golan Heights…
Israel can shape its strategic environment, in cooperation with Turkey and Jordan, by weakening, containing, and even rolling back Syria. This effort can focus on removing Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq, an important Israeli strategic objective in its own right…
Since Iraq's future could affect the strategic balance in the Middle East profoundly, it would be understandable that Israel has an interest in supporting the Hashemites in their efforts to redefine Iraq… First and foremost, Israel’s efforts to secure its streets may require hot pursuit into Palestinian-controlled areas, a justifiable practice with which Americans can sympathize…
Israel may want to cultivate alternatives to Arafat’s base of power… Israel will not only contain its foes; it will transcend them… Israel’s new agenda can signal a clean break by abandoning a policy which assumed exhaustion and allowed strategic retreat by re-establishing the principle of pre-emption, rather than retaliation alone…
Ultimately, Israel can do more than simply manage the Arab-Israeli conflict though war… it will no longer simply manage the Arab-Israeli conflict; it will transcend it."
"On July 8, 1996, Richard Perle, now the Chairman of the Defense Policy Board, an advisory group that reports to Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, presented a written document to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, spelling out a new Israeli foreign policy, calling for a repudiation of the Oslo Accords and the underlying concept of ‘land for peace,’ for the permanent annexation of the entire West Bank and Gaza Strip; and for the elimination of the Saddam Hussein regime in Baghdad, as a first step towards overthrowing or destabilizing the governments of Syria, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, and Iran.
The document was prepared for the Jerusalem and Washington, D.C.-based Institute for Advanced Strategic and Political Studies…
The report was co-authored by Perle; Douglas Feith, currently the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Policy; David Wurmser, currently special assistant to State Department chief arms control negotiator John Bolton; and Meyrav Wurmser, now director of Mideast Policy at the Hudson Institute…
Beginning in February 1998, the British government of Prime Minister Tony Blair launched a concerted effort, in league with the Netanyahu government in Israel, and the Perle Israeli… networks inside the United States, to induce President William Clinton to launch a war against Iraq, under precisely the terms spelled out for Netanyahu in the ‘Clean Break’ paper. The war was to be launched, ostensibly, over Iraq's possession of ‘weapons of mass destruction’…
To buttress the war drive, British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook issued an official ‘white paper’ on the Iraqi drive to obtain WMD.
On Feb.19, 1998, Richard Perle and former Congressman Stephen Solarz released an ‘Open Letter to the President,’ demanding a full-scale U.S.-led drive for ‘regime change’ in Baghdad. Among the signators on the original Perle-Solarz letter were the following current Bush Administration officials: Elliott Abrams (National Security Council), Richard Armitage (State Department), John Bolton, (State Department), Doug Feith (Defense Department), Fred Ikle (Defense Policy Board), Zalmay Khalilzad (White House), Peter Rodman (Defense Department), Donald Rumsfeld (Secretary of Defense), Paul Wolfowitz (Defense Department), David Wurmser (State Department), and Dov Zakheim (Defense Department).
On Aug. 6, 1998, Angelo Codevilla, the Washington, D.C. co-director of the Institute for Advanced Strategic and Political Studies (along with David Wurmser), penned an op-ed in the ‘Wall Street Journal,’ demanding the freeing of convicted Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard.
Codevilla argued that Pollard had been right to pass US classified material to Israel, because of the threat posed by Saddam Hussein. Days later, two members of the Netanyahu cabinet contacted Vice President Al Gore, demanding Pollard's release.
After again rejecting the Netanyahu and Blair demands for war on Iraq in November 1998, President Clinton, under the impeachment onslaught, led by the Mellon-Scaife funded apparatus (who had bankrolled the preparation of the 1996 document) finally caved in and authorized Operation Desert Fox in December 1998... But the 70 days of bombardment did not eliminate the Saddam Hussein regime, and the issue remained dormant for the next three years ... until Sept. 11, 2001.
Within moments of the 9/11 attack on Washington and New York, the same American networks who had designed the Netanyahu foreign policy were on the warpath, demanding that President Bush go to war against Iraq, despite the fact that, to this day, there is no plausible evidence linking Iraq to the September 2001 attacks.
The Sharon government in Israel instantly declared that the attack had been ordered by Saddam Hussein, and called for massive retaliation against Baghdad. On Sept. 22, 2001, Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz made a pitch for war on Iraq at a Camp David meeting with President Bush and most of the Cabinet… By 1999, Wolfowitz and Condi Rice had become co-responsible for pulling together the Bush campaign foreign policy and national security team, which Ms. Rice dubbed ‘The Vulcans.’
Wolfowitz immediately brought ‘X Committee’’ Richard Perle into the inner sanctum, from where he has been peddling the Netanyahu-Israeli foreign policy agenda from day one. Perle most recently staged the July 10, 2002 Defense Policy Board session, which demanded the purging of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of all opponents of the Iraq war, and called for a U.S. military occupation and takeover of the Saudi oil fields and a total break with the House of Saud, just as his July, 1996, Institute for Advanced Strategic and Political Studies ‘Clean Break’ study had proposed.
From the point that Perle, Feith, the Wurmsers, et al. first delivered the ‘Clean Break’ policy to Netanyahu, this crowd has been obsessed with inducing the United States government to adopt and implement it. All prior efforts failed, until Sept. 11, 2001 created a new context for reviving and pushing it, under the guise of the ‘war on terrorism.’ Does this raise questions about the true authors of the 9/11 attack? What are the links between the events of Sept. 11 and the subsequent drive for war against Iraq?"
"Established in the spring of 1997, the Project for the New American Century is a non-profit, educational organization whose goal is to promote American global leadership. The Project is an initiative of the New Citizenship Project. William Kristol is chairman of the Project, and Robert Kagan, Devon Gaffney Cross, Bruce P. Jackson and John R. Bolton serve as directors. Gary Schmitt is executive director of the Project…
Does the United States have the resolve to shape a new century favorable to American principles and interests? What we require is a military that is strong and ready to meet both present and future challenges; a foreign policy that boldly and purposefully promotes American principles abroad; and national leadership that accepts the United States’ global responsibilities…
The history of the 20th century should have taught us that it is important to shape circumstances before crises emerge, and to meet threats before they become dire. The history of the past century should have taught us to embrace the cause of American leadership…
Preserving the desirable strategic situation in which the United States now finds itself requires a globally preeminent military capability both today and in the future...
We began a project in the spring of 1998 to examine the country’s defense plans and resource requirements. We started from the premise that U.S. military capabilities should be sufficient to support an American grand strategy committed to building upon this unprecedented opportunity…
We saw the project as building upon the defense strategy outlined by the Cheney Defense Department in the waning days of the Bush Administration. The Defense Policy Guidance drafted in the early months of 1992 provided a blueprint for maintaining U.S. preeminence, precluding the rise of a great power rival, and shaping the international security order in line with American principles and interests…
This report proceeds from the belief that America should seek to preserve and extend its position of global leadership by maintaining the preeminence of U.S. military forces… The challenge for the coming century is to preserve and enhance this ‘American peace.’ Yet unless the United States maintains sufficient military strength, this opportunity will be lost…
The United States must maintain nuclear strategic superiority, basing the U.S. nuclear deterrent upon a global, nuclear net assessment that weighs the full range of current and emerging threats, not merely the U.S.-Russia balance…
Control the new ‘international commons’ of space and ‘cyberspace,’ and pave the way for the creation of a new military service – U.S. Space Forces – with the mission of space control… The true cost of not meeting our defense requirements will be a lessened capacity for American global leadership and, ultimately, the loss of a global security order that is uniquely friendly to American principles and prosperity…
No moment in international politics can be frozen in time; even a global Pax Americana will not preserve itself… today the task is to preserve an International security environment conducive to American interests and ideals. The military’s job during the Cold War was to deter Soviet expansionism. Today its task is to secure and expand the ‘zones of democratic peace;’ to deter the rise of a new great-power competitor; defend key regions of Europe, East Asia and the Middle East; and to preserve American preeminence through the coming transformation of war…
A new assessment of the global nuclear balance, one that takes account of Chinese and other nuclear forces as well as Russian, must precede decisions about U.S. nuclear force cuts. If the United States is to have a nuclear deterrent that is both effective and safe, it will need to test…There may be a need to develop a new family of nuclear weapons designed to address new sets of military requirements, such as would be required in targeting the very deep under-ground, hardened bunkers that are being built by many of our potential adversaries…
U.S. nuclear superiority is nothing to be ashamed of; rather, it will be an essential element in preserving American leadership in a more complex and chaotic world. The one constant of Pentagon force planning through the past decade has been the recognized need to retain sufficient combat forces to fight and win, as rapidly and decisively as possible, multiple, nearly simultaneous major theater wars… conventional warfare remains a viable way for aggressive states to seek major changes in the international order…
Although the no-fly-zone air operations over northern and southern Iraq have continued without pause for almost a decade, they remain an essential element in U.S. strategy and force posture in the Persian Gulf region. Ending these opera-tions would hand Saddam Hussein an important victory, something any American leader would be loath to do…
Nor can the United States assume a UN-like stance of neutrality; the preponderance of American power is so great and its global interests so wide that it cannot pretend to be indifferent to the political outcome in the Balkans, the Persian Gulf or even when it deploys forces in Africa… The Chinese military, in particular, seeks to exploit the revolution in military affairs to offset American advantages in naval and air power…
Neglect or withdrawal from constabulary missions will increase the likelihood of larger wars breaking out and encourage petty tyrants to defy American interests and ideals. And the failure to prepare for tomorrow’s challenges will ensure that the current Pax Americana comes to an early end. The presence of American forces in critical regions around the world is the visible expression of the extent of America’s status as a superpower and as the guarantor of liberty, peace and stability… our worldwide web of alliances provides the most effective and efficient means for exercising American global leadership; the benefits far outweigh the burdens. Since the collapse of the Soviet empire, this perimeter has expanded slowly but inexorably.
In Europe, NATO has expanded, admitting three new members and acquiring a larger number of ‘adjunct’ members through the Partnership for Peace program. In the Persian Gulf region, the presence of American forces, along with British and French units, has become a semi-permanent fact of life.
Though the immediate mission of those forces is to enforce the no-fly zones over northern and southern Iraq, they represent the long-term commitment of the United States and its major allies to a region of vital importance. Indeed, the United States has for decades sought to play a more permanent role in Gulf regional security. While the unresolved conflict with Iraq provides the immediate justification, the need for a substantial American force presence in the Gulf transcends the issue of the regime of Saddam Hussein.
The continuing challenges from Iraq also make it unwise to draw down forces in the Gulf dramatically. Securing the American perimeter today, and tomorrow, will necessitate shifts in U.S. overseas operations...
It is important that NATO not be replaced by the European Union, leaving the United States without a voice in European security affairs. In addition, many of the current installations and facilities provide critical infrastructure for supporting U.S. forces throughout Europe and for reinforcement in the event of a crisis…
In the decade since the end of the Cold War, the Persian Gulf and the surrounding region has witnessed a geometric increase in the presence of U.S. armed forces, peaking above 500,000 troops during Operation Desert Storm, but rarely falling below 20,000 in the intervening years. In Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and other neighboring states roughly 5,000 airmen and a large and varied fleet of Air Force aircraft patrol the skies of Operation Southern Watch, often complemented by Navy aircraft from carriers in the Gulf…
After eight years of no-fly-zone operations, there is little reason to anticipate that the U.S. air presence in the region should diminish significantly as long as Saddam Hussein remains in power… From an American perspective, the value of such bases would endure even should Saddam pass from the scene.
Over the long term, Iran may well prove as large a threat to U.S. interests in the Gulf as Iraq has. And even should U.S.-Iranian relations improve, retaining forward-based forces in the region would still be an essential element in U.S. security strategy given the longstanding American interests in the region. In addition to the aircraft enforcing the no-fly zone, the United States now also retains what amounts to a near-permanent land force presence in Kuwait…
The Army should:
Be repositioned and reconfigured in light of current strategic realities… a permanent unit should be based in the Persian Gulf region; have its budget increased from the current level of $70 billion annually to $90 to $95 billion per year.
To preserve American military preeminence in the coming decades, the Department of Defense must move more aggressively to experiment with new technologies and operational concepts, and seek to exploit the emerging revolution in military affairs. Information technologies, in particular, are becoming more prevalent and significant components of modern military systems.
These information tech-nologies are having the same kind of transforming effects on military affairs as they are having in the larger world. The effects of this military transformation will have profound implications for how wars are fought, what kinds of weapons will dominate the battlefield and, inevitably, which nations enjoy military preeminence. The United States enjoys every prospect of leading this transformation…
The process of transformation, even if it brings revolutionary change, is likely to be a long one, absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event – like a new Pearl Harbor… In the post-Cold War era, America and its allies, rather than the Soviet Union, have become the primary objects of deterrence and it is states like Iraq, Iran and North Korea who most wish to develop deterrent capabilities…
For U.S. armed forces to continue to assert military preeminence, control of space… must be an essential element of our military strategy. If America cannot maintain that control, its ability to conduct global military operations will be severely complicated, far more costly, and potentially fatally compromised... The United States must also have the capability to deny America's adversaries the use of commercial space platforms for military purposes in times of crises and conflicts…
In sum, the ability to preserve American military preeminence in the future will rest in increasing measure on the ability to operate in space militarily; both the requirements for effective global missile defenses and projecting global conventional military power demand it… ‘Cyberspace,’ and in particular the Internet hold similar promise and threat… access to and use of cyberspace and the Internet are emerging elements in global commerce, politics and power…
The Internet is also playing an increasingly important role in warfare and human political conflict… If the United States is to maintain its preeminence, and the military revolution now underway is already an American-led revolution, the Pentagon must begin in earnest to transform U.S. military forces.
The program we advocate, one that would provide America with forces to meet the strategic demands of the world’s sole superpower, requires budget levels to be increased to 3.5 to 3.8 percent of the GDP. We cannot allow North Korea, Iran, Iraq or similar states to undermine American leadership…
The blessings of the American peace, purchased at fearful cost and a century of effort, should not be so trivially squandered… A sensible plan would add $15 billion to $20 billion to total defense spending annually through the Future Years Defense Program…
At four cents on the dollar of America’s national wealth, this is an affordable program. It is also a wise program. Only such a force posture, service structure and level of defense spending will provide America and its leaders with a variety of forces to meet the strategic demands of the world’s sole superpower…
It is not a choice between preeminence today and preeminence tomorrow. Global leadership is not something exercised at our leisure… it is a choice whether or not to maintain American military preeminence, to secure American geopolitical leadership, and to preserve the American peace."PROJECT PARTICIPANTS: Roger Barnett: U.S. Naval War College, Alvin Bernstein: National Defense University; Stephen Cambone: National Defense University; Eliot Cohen: Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University; Devon Gaffney Cross: Donors' Forum for International Affairs; Thomas Donnelly: Project for the New American Century; David Epstein: Office of Secretary of Defense, Net Assessment; David Fautua: Lt. Col., U.S. Army; Dan Goure: Center for Strategic and International Studies; Donald Kagan: Yale University; Fred Kagan: U. S. Military Academy at West Point; Robert Kagan: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace; Robert Killebrew: Col., USA (Ret.) William Kristol: The Weekly Standard; Mark Lagon: Senate Foreign Relations Committee; James Lasswell: GAMA Corporation; I. Lewis Libby: Dechert Price & Rhoads; Robert Martinage: Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessment; Phil Meilinger: U.S. Naval War College; Mackubin Owens: U.S. Naval War College; Steve Rosen: Harvard University; Gary Schmitt: Project for the New American Century, Abram Shulsky: The RAND Corporation; Michael Vickers: Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessment; Barry Watts: Northrop Grumman Corporation; Paul Wolfowitz: Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University; Dov Zakheim: System Planning Corporation.
Statement of Principals: June 3rd 1997:
"American foreign and defence policy is adrift… Conservatives have not confidently advanced a strategic vision of America's role in the world… They have not set forth guiding principles for American foreign policy. They have allowed differences over tactics to obscure potential agreement on strategic objectives. And they have not fought for a defence budget that would maintain American security and advance American interests in the new century.
We aim to change this. We aim to make the case and rally support for American global leadership. As the 20th century draws to a close, the United States stands as the world's preeminent power. Having led the West to victory in the Cold War, America faces an opportunity and a challenge: Does the United States have the vision to build upon the achievements of past decades? Does the United States have the resolve to shape a new century favorable to American principles and interests?
We are in danger of squandering the opportunity and failing the challenge… the promise of short-term commercial benefits threatens to override strategic considerations. As a consequence, we are jeopardizing the nation's ability to meet present threats and to deal with potentially greater challenges that lie ahead. We seem to have forgotten the essential elements of the Reagan Administration's success: a military that is strong and ready to meet both present and future challenges; a foreign policy that boldly and purposefully promotes American principles abroad; and national leadership that accepts the United States' global responsibilities...
We cannot safely avoid the responsibilities of global leadership or the costs that are associated with its exercise. America has a vital role in maintaining peace and security in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. If we shirk our responsibilities, we invite challenges to our fundamental interests. The history of the 20th century should have taught us that it is important to shape circumstances before crises emerge, and to meet threats before they become dire.
The history of this century should have taught us to embrace the cause of American leadership. Our aim is to remind Americans of these lessons and to draw their consequences for today. Here are four consequences: we need to increase defence spending significantly if we are to carry out our global responsibilities today and modernize our armed forces for the future; we need to strengthen our ties to democratic allies and to challenge regimes hostile to our interests and values; we need to promote the cause of political and economic freedom abroad; we need to accept responsibility for America's unique role in preserving and extending an international order friendly to our security, our prosperity, and our principles.
Such a Reaganite policy of military strength and moral clarity may not be fashionable today. But it is necessary if the United States is to build on the successes of this past century and to ensure our security and our greatness in the next."Signed: Donald Rumsfeld; Dick Cheney; Jeb Bush; Dan Quayle; Steve Forbes; Francis Fukuyama; William J. Bennett; Henry S. Rowen; Paul Wolfowitz; Elliott Abrams; Fred C. Ikle; Eliot A. Cohen; I. Lewis Libby; Zalmay Khalilzad; Gary Bauer; Midge Decter; Paula Dobriansky; Aaron Friedberg; Frank Gaffney; Donald Kagan; Norman Podhoretz; Peter W. Rodman; Stephen P. Rosen; Vin Weber; George Weigel.
PROJECT FOR THE NEW ANERICAN CENTURY. A Letter to Bill Clinton. January 26th 1998.
"Dear Mr. President: We are writing you because we are convinced that current American policy toward Iraq is not succeeding, and that we may soon face a threat in the Middle East more serious than any we have known since the end of the Cold War. In your upcoming State of the Union Address, you have an opportunity to chart a clear and determined course for meeting this threat.
We urge you to seize that opportunity, and to enunciate a new strategy that would secure the interests of the US and our friends and allies around the world. That strategy should aim, above all, at the removal of Saddam Hussein’s regime from power. We stand ready to offer our full support in this difficult but necessary endeavor…
As recent events have demonstrated, we can no longer depend on our partners in the Gulf War coalition to continue to uphold the sanctions or to punish Saddam when he blocks or evades UN inspections. Our ability to ensure that Saddam Hussein is not producing weapons of mass destruction, therefore, has substantially diminished. Even if full inspections were eventually to resume, which now seems highly unlikely, experience has shown that it is difficult if not impossible to monitor Iraq’s chemical and biological weapons production… in the not-too-distant future we will be unable to determine with any reasonable level of confidence whether Iraq does or does not possess such weapons.
Such uncertainty will, by itself, have a seriously destabilizing effect on the entire Middle East… if Saddam does acquire the capability to deliver weapons of mass destruction, as he is almost certain to do if we continue along the present course, the safety of American troops in the region, of our friends and allies like Israel and the moderate Arab states, and a significant portion of the world’s supply of oil will all be put at hazard.
As you have rightly declared, Mr. President, the security of the world in the first part of the 21st century will be determined largely by how we handle this threat... The current policy… is dangerously inadequate. The only acceptable strategy is one that eliminates the possibility that Iraq will be able to use or threaten to use weapons of mass destruction. In the near term, this means a willingness to undertake military action as diplomacy is clearly failing. In the long term, it means removing Saddam Hussein and his regime from power.
That now needs to become the aim of American foreign policy. We urge you to articulate this aim, and to turn your Administration's attention to implementing a strategy for removing Saddam's regime from power...
We believe the US has the authority under existing UN resolutions to take the necessary steps, including military steps, to protect our vital interests in the Gulf. In any case, American policy cannot continue to be crippled by a misguided insistence on unanimity in the UN Security Council.
We urge you to act decisively. If you act now to end the threat of weapons of mass destruction against the US or its allies, you will be acting in the most fundamental national security interests of the country. If we accept a course of weakness and drift, we put our interests and our future at risk."PROJECT FOR THE NEW AMERICAN CENTURY .
Letter to Newt Gingrich, Speaker of the House. US House of Representatives; and Trent Lott, Senate Majority Leader. 29th May 1998. http://www.newamericancentury.org/iraqletter1998.htm
"Dear Mr. Speaker and Senator Lott: On January 26, we sent a letter to President Clinton expressing our concern that the US policy of ‘containment’ of Saddam Hussein was failing. The result, we argued, would be that the vital interests of the United States and its allies in the Middle East would soon be facing a threat as severe as any we had known since the end of the Cold War.
We recommended a substantial change in the direction of US policy: Instead of further, futile efforts to ‘contain’ Saddam, we argued that the only way to protect the United States and its allies from the threat of weapons of mass destruction was to put in place policies that would lead to the removal of Saddam and his regime from power. The administration has not only rejected this advice but, as we warned, has begun to abandon its own policy of containment…
According to the UN weapons inspectors … the Iraqi government is now insisting that the inspections process be brought to an end and sanctions lifted… The President's public response has been only to say that he is ‘encouraged’ by Iraq's compliance with the UN inspections and to begin reducing US military forces in the Gulf region. Unwilling either to adopt policies that would remove Saddam or sustain the credibility of its own policy of containment, the administration has placed us on a path that will inevitably free Saddam Hussein from all effective constraints.
Even if the administration is able to block Security Council efforts to lift sanctions on Iraq this year, the massive expansion of the so-called ‘oil for food’ program will have the effect of overturning the sanctions regime. It is now safe to predict that, in a year's time, absent a sharp change in US policy, Saddam will be effectively liberated from constraints that have bound him since the end of the Gulf War seven years ago.
The American people need to be made aware of the consequences of this capitulation to Saddam: We will have suffered an incalculable blow to American leadership and credibility; We will have sustained a significant defeat in our worldwide efforts to limit the spread of weapons of mass destruction. Other nations seeking to arm themselves with such weapons will have learned that the US lacks the resolve to resist their efforts.
The administration will have unnecessarily put at risk US troops in the Persian Gulf, who will be vulnerable to attack by biological, chemical, and nuclear weapons under Saddam Hussein's control; our friends and allies in the Middle East and Europe will soon be subject to forms of intimidation by an Iraqi government bent on dominating the Middle East and its oil reserves; and, as a consequence of the administration's failure, those nations living under the threat of Saddam's weapons of mass destruction can be expected to adopt policies of accommodation toward Saddam. This could well make Saddam the driving force of Middle East politics, including on such important matters as the Middle East peace process…
Now that the administration has failed to provide sound leadership, we believe it is imperative that Congress take what steps it can to correct US policy toward Iraq. That responsibility is especially pressing when presidential leadership is lacking or when the administration is pursuing a policy fundamentally at odds with vital American security interests…
US policy should have as its explicit goal removing Saddam Hussein's regime from power… Only the US can lead the way in demonstrating that his rule is not legitimate and that time is not on the side of his regime. To accomplish Saddam's removal, the following political and military measures should be undertaken: We should take whatever steps are necessary to challenge Saddam Hussein's claim to be Iraq's legitimate ruler, including indicting him as a war criminal.
We should help establish and support (with economic, political, and military means) a provisional, representative, and free government of Iraq in areas of Iraq not under Saddam's control; we should use US and allied military power to provide protection for liberated areas in northern and southern Iraq; and we should establish and maintain a strong US military presence in the region and be prepared to use that force to protect our vital interests in the Gulf - and, if necessary, to help remove Saddam from power.
Although the Clinton Administration's handling of the crisis with Iraq has left Saddam Hussein in a stronger position that when the crisis began, the reality is that his regime remains vulnerable to the exercise of American political and military power…
Saddam's continued rule in Iraq is neither inevitable nor likely if we pursue the policy outlined above in a serious and sustained fashion. If we continue along the present course, however, Saddam will be stronger at home, he will become even more powerful in the region, and we will face the prospect of having to confront him at some later point when the costs to us, our armed forces, and our allies will be even higher.
Mr. Speaker and Senator Lott, Congress should adopt the measures necessary to avoid this impending defeat of vital US interests.
Sincerely, Elliott Abrams; William J. Bennett; Jeffrey Bergner; John R. Bolton; Paula Dobriansky; Francis Fukuyama; Robert Kagan; Zalmay Khalilzad; William Kristol; Richard Perle; Peter Rodman; Donald Rumsfeld; William Schneider, Jr.; Vin Weber; Paul Wolfowitz; R. James Woolsey; Robert B. Zoellick."COMMITTEE FOR PEACE AND SECURITY IN THE GULF. "Open Letter to the President." 19th February, 1998. http://www.iraqwatch.org/perspectives/rumsfeld-openletter.htm
"Dear Mr. President, Many of us were involved in organizing the Committee for Peace and Security in the Gulf in 1990 to support President Bush's policy of expelling Saddam Hussein from Kuwait. Seven years later, Saddam Hussein is still in power in Baghdad. And despite his defeat in the Gulf War, continuing sanctions, and the determined effort of UN inspectors to fetter out and destroy his weapons of mass destruction, Saddam Hussein has been able to develop biological and chemical munitions.
To underscore the threat posed by these deadly devices, the Secretaries of State and Defence have said that these weapons could be used against our own people. And you have said that this issue is about ‘the challenges of the 21st Century.’
Iraq's position is unacceptable. While Iraq is not unique in possessing these weapons, it is the only country which has used them, not just against its enemies, but its own people as well. We must assume that Saddam is prepared to use them again. This poses a danger to our friends, our allies, and to our nation.
It is clear that this danger cannot be eliminated as long as our objective is simply ‘containment,’ and the means of achieving it are limited to sanctions and exhortations. As the crisis of recent weeks has demonstrated, these static policies are bound to erode, opening the way to Saddam's eventual return to a position of power and influence in the region.
Only a determined program to change the regime in Baghdad will bring the Iraqi crisis to a satisfactory conclusion. For years, the United States has tried to remove Saddam by encouraging coups and internal conspiracies. These attempts have all failed. Saddam is more wily, brutal and conspiratorial than any likely conspiracy the United States might mobilize against him. Saddam must be overpowered; he will not be brought down by a coup d'etat… Iraq today is ripe for a broad-based insurrection.
We must exploit this opportunity… In the absence of a broader strategy, even extensive air strikes would be ineffective in dealing with Saddam and eliminating the threat his regime poses. We believe that the problem is… the continued existence of the regime itself. What is needed now is a comprehensive political and military strategy for bringing down Saddam and his regime.
It will not be easy, and the course of action we favor is not without its problems and perils. But we believe the vital national interests of our country require the United States to: Recognize a provisional government of Iraq based on the principles and leaders of the Iraqi National Congress (INC) that is representative of all the peoples of Iraq. Restore and enhance the safe haven in northern Iraq to allow the provisional government to extend its authority there and establish a zone in southern Iraq from which Saddam's ground forces would also be excluded. Lift sanctions in liberated areas.
Sanctions are instruments of war against Saddam's regime, but they should be quickly lifted on those who have freed themselves from it. Also, the oil resources and products of the liberated areas should help fund the provisional government's insurrection and humanitarian relief for the people of liberated Iraq. Release frozen Iraqi assets, which amount to $1.6 billion in the United States and Britain alone, to the control of the provisional government to fund its insurrection.
This could be done gradually and so long as the provisional government continues to promote a democratic Iraq. Facilitate broadcasts from US transmitters immediately and establish a Radio Free Iraq. Help expand liberated areas of Iraq by assisting the provisional government's offensive against Saddam Hussein's regime logistically and through other means. Remove any vestiges of Saddam's claim to ‘legitimacy’ by, among other things, bringing a war crimes indictment against the dictator and his lieutenants and challenging Saddam's credentials to fill the Iraqi seat at the United Nations. Launch a systematic air campaign against the pillars of his power, the Republican Guard divisions which prop him up and the military infrastructure that sustains him. Position US ground force equipment in the region so that…
We have the capacity to protect and assist the anti-Saddam forces in the northern and southern parts of Iraq. Once you make it unambiguously clear that we are serious about eliminating the threat posed by Saddam, and are not just engaged in tactical bombing attacks unrelated to a larger strategy designed to topple the regime, we believe that such countries as Kuwait, Turkey and Saudi Arabia, whose cooperation would be important for the implementation of this strategy, will give us the political and logistical support to succeed. In the present climate in Washington, some may misunderstand and misinterpret strong American action against Iraq as having ulterior political motives.
We believe… that strong American action against Saddam is overwhelmingly in the national interest, that it must be supported, and that it must succeed. Saddam must not become the beneficiary of an American domestic political controversy. We are confident that were you to launch an initiative along these line, the Congress and the country would see it as a timely and justifiable response to Iraq's continued intransigence. We urge you to provide the leadership necessary to save ourselves and the world from the scourge of Saddam and the weapons of mass destruction that he refuses to relinquish.
Sincerely, Richard Perle; Paul Wolfowitz; Elliott Abrams; Douglas Feith; Frank Gaffney; Jeffrey Gedmin; Fred C. Ikle; David Wurmser; (Rabbi) Dov S. Zakheim; Peter Rodman; William Kristol; Michael Ledeen; Martin Peretz; Congessman Stephen Solarz: Jeffrey T. Bergner; Stephen Bryen; Paula J. Dobriansky; Robert Kagan; Bernard Lewis; Joshua Muravchik; Gary Schmitt; Max Singer; Leon Wienseltier; Donald Rumsfeld; Caspar Weinberger; Richard Armitage; John Bolton; Zalmay M. Khalilzad; Roger Robinson; Richard V. Allen; Former National Security Advisor; Rear Admiral Frederick L. Lewis, retired; Major General Jarvis Lynch, Retired; Robert C. McFarlane; Richard Burt; Frank Carlucci; Judge William Clark.
"We see this war as one against the virus of terrorism. If you have bone marrow cancer, it's not enough to just cut off the patient's foot. You have to do the complete course of chemotherapy. And if that means embarking on the next Hundred Years' War, that's what we're doing."
"The hawks winning the ear of President Bush are assembled around Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, his deputy Paul Wolfowitz, and a think tank, the Defence Policy Advisory Board, dubbed the 'Wolfowitz cabal."
"Dear Mr. President, We write to endorse your admirable commitment to ‘lead the world to victory’ in the war against terrorism. We fully support your call for ‘a broad and sustained campaign’ against the ‘terrorist organizations and those who harbor and support them.’ We agree with Secretary of State Powell that the United States must find and punish the perpetrators of the horrific attack of September 11, and we must, as he said, ‘go after terrorism wherever we find it in the world’ and ‘get it by its branch and root.’
We agree with the Secretary of State that US policy must aim not only at finding the people responsible for this incident, but must also target those ‘other groups out there that mean us no good’ and ‘that have conducted attacks previously against US personnel, US interests and our allies.’
In order to carry out this ‘first war of the 21st century’ successfully, and in order, as you have said, to do future ‘generations a favor by coming together and whipping terrorism,’ we believe the following steps are necessary parts of a comprehensive strategy.
We agree that a key goal, but by no means the only goal, of the current war on terrorism should be to capture or kill Osama bin Laden, and to destroy his network of associates. To this end, we support the necessary military action in Afghanistan and the provision of substantial financial and military assistance to the anti-Taliban forces in that country.
We agree with Secretary of State Powell’s recent statement that Saddam Hussein ‘is one of the leading terrorists on the face of the Earth.’ It may be that the Iraqi government provided assistance in some form to the recent attack on the United States. But even if evidence does not link Iraq directly to the attack, any strategy aiming at the eradication of terrorism and its sponsors must include a determined effort to remove Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq.
Failure to undertake such an effort will constitute an early and perhaps decisive surrender in the war on international terrorism. The United States must therefore provide full military and financial support to the Iraqi opposition. American military force should be used to provide a ‘safe zone’ in Iraq from which the opposition can operate. And American forces must be prepared to back up our commitment to the Iraqi opposition by all necessary means. Hezbollah is one of the leading terrorist organizations in the world.
It is suspected of having been involved in the 1998 bombings of the American embassies in Africa, and implicated in the bombing of the US Marine barracks in Beirut in 1983. Hezbollah clearly falls in the category cited by Secretary Powell of groups ‘that mean us no good’ and ‘that have conducted attacks previously against US personnel, US interests and our allies.’ Therefore, any war against terrorism must target Hezbollah.
We believe the administration should demand that Iran and Syria immediately cease all military, financial, and political support for Hezbollah and its operations. Should Iran and Syria refuse to comply, the administration should consider appropriate measures of retaliation against these known state sponsors of terrorism. Israel has been and remains America’s staunchest ally against international terrorism, especially in the Middle East.
The United States should fully support our fellow democracy in its fight against terrorism. We should insist that the Palestinian Authority put a stop to terrorism emanating from territories under its control and imprison those planning terrorist attacks against Israel. Until the Palestinian Authority moves against terror, the United States should provide it no further assistance.
A serious and victorious war on terrorism will require a large increase in defence spending. Fighting this war may well require the United States to engage a well-armed foe, and will also require that we remain capable of defending our interests elsewhere in the world. We urge that there be no hesitation in requesting whatever funds for defence are needed to allow us to win this war…
Diplomatic efforts will be required to enlist other nations’ aid in this war on terrorism. Economic and financial tools at our disposal will have to be used. There are other actions of a military nature that may well be needed. However, in our judgement the steps outlined above constitute the minimum necessary if this war is to be fought effectively and brought to a successful conclusion. Our purpose in writing is to assure you of our support as you do what must be done to lead the nation to victory in this fight.
Sincerely, William Kristol; Richard V. Allen; Gary Bauer; Jeffrey Bell; William J. Bennett; Rudy Boshwitz; Jeffrey Bergner; Eliot Cohen; Seth Cropsey; Midge Decter; Thomas Donnelly; Nicholas Eberstadt; Hillel Fradkin; Aaron Friedberg; Francis Fukuyama; Frank Gaffney; Jeffrey Gedmin; Reuel Marc Gerecht; Charles Hill; Bruce P. Jackson; Eli S. Jacobs; Michael Joyce; Donald Kagan; Robert Kagan; Jeane Kirkpatrick; Charles Krauthammer; John Lehman; Clifford May; Martin Peretz; Richard Perle; Norman Podhoretz; Stephen P. Rosen; Randy Scheunemann; Gary Schmitt; William Schneider, Jr.; Richard H. Shultz; Henry Sokolski; Stephen J. Solarz; Vin Weber; Leon Wieseltier; Marshall Wittmann."PAT BUCHANAN.
"The war Netanyahu and the neocons want, with the United States and Israel fighting all of the radical Islamic states, is the war bin Laden wants, the war his murderers hoped to ignite when they sent those airliners into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon."
"Whose war is this? In his resolve to hunt down and kill the Osama bin Laden terrorists he says committed the Sept. 11 massacres, President Bush has behind him a nation more unified than it has been since Pearl Harbor. But now Bush has been put on notice that this war cannot end with the head of bin Laden and the overthrow of the Taliban.
The shot across Bush's bow came in an "Open Letter" co-signed by 41 foreign-policy scholars, including William Bennett, Jeane Kirkpatrick, the publisher of The Weekly Standard and the editor in chief of The New Republic — essentially, the entire neoconservative establishment.
What must Bush do to retain their support? Target Hezbollah for destruction and retaliate against Syria and Iran if they refuse to cut all ties to Hezbollah and move militarily to overthrow Iraq's Saddam Hussein. Failure to attack Iraq, the neocons warn Bush, 'will constitute an early and perhaps decisive surrender in the war on international terrorism. Our purpose in writing is to assure you of our support as you do what must be done to lead the nation to victory in this fight,' the letter ends.
Implied is a threat to end support if Bush does not widen the war to include all of Israel's enemies, or if he pursues the U.S.-Arab-Muslim coalition of Secretary of State Colin Powell. Among the signers is Richard Perle, chairman of Bush's own Defense Policy Board, a key advisory group.
This letter represents one side of a brutal policy battle that has erupted in the capital: Is it to be Powell's war or Perle's war?
In his address to Congress a week ago, Bush declared: ‘From this day forward, any nation that continues to harbor or support terrorism will be regarded by the United States as a hostile regime.’ The president seemed to be offering amnesty, or conditional absolution, to rogue states if they enlist in America's war, now, and expel all terrorist cells.
Even Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld is signaling that what matters is not where nations stood, but where they stand. On Sunday, he said on CBS: ‘What we are looking at today is how are these states going to behave going forward.’
And Powell's coalition is coming together. Whether out of fear or opportunism, Libya, Syria, Iran and the Palestinian Authority have all denounced the atrocities of Sept. 11. Pakistan has joined the coalition. Sudan is cooperating.
But calls for a wider war dominate the neoconservative media. The Weekly Standard's opinion editor, David Tell, wants war not only on past sponsors of terror, but also on ‘… any group or government inclined to support or sustain others like them in the future.’
Bennett wants Congress to declare war on 'militant Islam' and 'overwhelming force' used on state sponsors of terror such as Lebanon, Libya, Syria, Iraq, Iran and even China. The Wall Street Journal wants strikes 'aimed at terrorist camps in Syria, Sudan, Libya and Algeria, and perhaps even in parts of Egypt.'
Terrorism expert Steve Emerson puts Lebanon's Bekaa Valley at the top of his list. Benjamin Netanyahu includes in the 'Empire of Terror' to be obliterated: Hamas, Hezbollah, 'the Palestinian enclave,' as well as Iran, Iraq and Taliban Afghanistan.
Tom Donnelly and Gary Schmitt of the Project for the New American Century want Iraq invaded now: 'Nor need the attack await the deployment of half a million troops. ... The larger challenge will be occupying Iraq after the fighting is over'.
As of now, Bush is laser-focused on bin Laden and the Taliban. But when that war is over, the great policy battle will be decided: Do we then dynamite Powell's U.S.-Arab-Muslim coalition by using U.S. power to invade Iraq? Do we then reverse alliances and make Israel's war America's war?
If the United States invades Iraq, bombs Hezbollah and conducts strikes on Syria and Iran, this war will metastasize into a two-continent war from Algeria to Afghanistan, with the United States and Israel alone against a half-dozen Arab and Muslim states. The first casualties would be the moderate Arabs — Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, the Gulf states — who were our Cold War and Gulf War allies.
The war Netnyahu and the neocons want, with the United States and Israel fighting all of the radical Islamic states, is the war bin Laden wants, the war his murderers hoped to ignite when they sent those airliners into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon."JAMES A. BAKER III. Former US Secretary of State. Council on Foreign Relations member.
"If we really believe that there's an opportunity here for a New World Order, and many of us believe that, we can't start out by appeasing aggression." (Whilst Secretary of State. Speaking of the looming crisis in the Gulf. Autumn, 1990)
"The United States remains a prisoner of its energy dilemma, suffering on a recurring basis from the negative consequences of sporadic energy shortages. These consequences can include recession, social dislocation of the poorest Americans, and at the extremes, a need for military intervention." ("Strategic Energy Policy Challenges For The 21st Century," p. 34. April, 2001)
"Iraq remains a destabilising influence to ... the flow of oil to international markets from the Middle East. Saddam Hussein has also demonstrated a willingness to threaten to use the oil weapon and to use his own export programme to manipulate oil markets. This would display his personal power, enhance his image as a pan-Arab leader and pressure others for a lifting of economic sanctions against his regime.
The United States should conduct an immediate policy review toward Iraq including military, energy, economic and political/diplomatic assessments. The United States should then develop an integrated strategy with key allies in Europe and Asia, and with key countries in the Middle East, to restate goals with respect to Iraqi policy and to restore a cohesive coalition of key allies." (Ibid. p. 42.)
"Iraqi reserves represent a major asset that can quickly add capacity to world oil markets and inject a more competitive tenor to oil trade." (Ibid. p. 43.)
"Dear Mr. President. We write to thank you for your courageous leadership in the war on terrorism and to offer our full support as you continue to protect the security and well-being of Americans and all freedom-loving peoples around the world. In particular, we want to commend you for your strong stance in support of the Israeli government as it engages in the present campaign to fight terrorism.
As a liberal democracy under repeated attack by murderers who target civilians, Israel now needs and deserves steadfast support. This support, moreover, is essential to Israel’s continued survival as a free and democratic nation, for only the United States has the power and influence to provide meaningful assistance to our besieged ally. And with the memory of the terrorist attack of September 11 still seared in our minds and hearts, we Americans ought to be especially eager to show our solidarity in word and deed with a fellow victim of terrorist violence. No one should doubt that the United States and Israel share a common enemy. We are both targets of what you have correctly called an ‘Axis of Evil.’
Israel is targeted in part because it is our friend, and in part because it is an island of liberal, democratic principles, American principles, in a sea of tyranny, intolerance, and hatred. As Secretary of Defence Rumsfeld has pointed out, Iran, Iraq, and Syria are all engaged in "inspiring and financing a culture of political murder and suicide bombing" against Israel, just as they have aided campaigns of terrorism against the United States over the past two decades.
You have declared war on international terrorism, Mr. President. Israel is fighting the same war. This central truth has important implications for any Middle East peace process. For one spoke of the terrorist network consists of Yasser Arafat and the leadership of the Palestinian Authority. Although your critics in the United States, Europe and the Arab world suggest that you and your administration bear some responsibility for the lack of political progress between Israel and the Palestinians, they are mistaken.
As Secretary of State Powell recently stated, the present crisis stems not from ‘the absence of a political way forward’ but from "terrorism, terrorism in its rawest form." That terrorism has been aided, abetted, harbored, and in many instances directed by Mr. Arafat and his top lieutenants.
Mr. Arafat has demonstrated time and again that he cannot be part of the peaceful solution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. He demonstrated it in July 2000, when he rejected the most generous Israeli peace offer in history; he demonstrated it in September 2000, when he launched the new intifada against Israel; and he demonstrated it again these past two weeks when, despite the hand you offered him through Vice President Cheney, he gave sanction to some of the worst terrorist violence against Israeli citizens.
It is true that the United States has a leading role to play in the Middle East and, potentially, in resolving the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians. But it is critical that negotiations not be the product of terrorism or conducted under the threat of terrorist attack. This would send a most dangerous signal to our adversaries that civilized states do not have the necessary courage to fight terrorism in all its forms.
Mr. President, it can no longer be the policy of the United States to urge, much less to pressure, Israel to continue negotiating with Arafat, any more than we would be willing to be pressured to negotiate with Osama Bin Laden or Mullah Omar. Nor should the United States provide financial support to a Palestinian Authority that acts as a cog in the machine of Middle East terrorism, any more than we would approve of others providing assistance to Al Qaeda. Instead, the United States should lend its full support to Israel as it seeks to root out the terrorist network that daily threatens the lives of Israeli citizens.
Like our own efforts in Afghanistan and elsewhere, Israel’s task will not be easy. It will not be accomplished quickly or painlessly. But with fortitude, on our part as well on the part of the Israeli people, it can succeed in significantly reducing the risk of future terrorist attacks against Israel and against us… Furthermore, Mr. President, we urge you to accelerate plans for removing Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq.
As you have said, every day that Saddam Hussein remains in power brings closer the day when terrorists will have not just airplanes with which to attack us, but chemical, biological, or nuclear weapons, as well. It is now common knowledge that Saddam, along with Iran, is a funder and supporter of terrorism against Israel.
Iraq has harbored terrorists such as Abu Nidal in the past, and it maintains links to the Al Qaeda network. If we do not move against Saddam Hussein and his regime, the damage our Israeli friends and we have suffered until now may someday appear but a prelude to much greater horrors.
Moreover, we believe that the surest path to peace in the Middle East lies not through the appeasement of Saddam and other local tyrants, but through a renewed commitment on our part, as you suggested in your State of the Union address, to the birth of freedom and democratic government in the Islamic world.
Mr. President, in that address, you put forth a most compelling vision of a world at peace, free from the threat of terrorism, where freedom flourishes. The strength of that vision lies in its moral clarity and consistency. In the war on terrorism, we cannot condemn some terrorists while claiming that other terrorists are potential partners for peace. We cannot help some allies under siege, while urging others to compromise their fundamental security.
As you eloquently stated: ‘Our enemies send other people’s children on missions of suicide and murder. They embrace tyranny and death as a cause and a creed. We stand for a different choice, made long ago, on the day of our founding. We affirm it again today.’
Israel’s fight against terrorism is our fight. Israel’s victory is an important part of our victory. For reasons both moral and strategic, we need to stand with Israel in its fight against terrorism.
Sincerely, William Kristol; Ken Adelman; Eliot Cohen; Frank Gaffney; Robert Kagan; Jeffrey Gedmin; Martin Peretz; Richard Perle; Daniel Pipes; Gary Schmitt; Ellen Bork; Midge Decter; Nicholas Eberstadt; Hillel Fradkin; Reuel Marc Gerecht; Joshua Muravchik; Norman Podhoretz; Stephen P. Rosen; Randy Scheunemann; William Schneider, Jr.; Marshall Wittmann; ; Donald Kagan; John Lehman; Tod Lindberg; Linda Chavez; R. James Woolsey; Thomas Donnelly; Charles Hill; Bruce P. JacksonRich Lowry; Clifford May; Gary Bauer; Jeffrey Bell; William J. Bennett."NEW HAMPSHIRE GAZETTE. 10th September, 2002.
"There's more combat experience on the 7th floor of the State Department than in the entire Office of the Secretary of Defence,’ quipped the high-ranking State Department official to a room filled with senior military officers last month. The statement ‘generated riotous applause,’ according to an eyewitness quoted in the ‘Nelson Report,’ a private newsletter subscribed to by foreign-policy heavyweights and embassies in Washington.
The incident revealed the growing importance of the ‘Chicken Hawk’ factor in the increasingly rancorous debate over the Bush administration's push toward war on Iraq and beyond. At the moment, the military brass is leading the opposition. It includes both the folks who will have to fight this war and those who have retired from the service.
The list of former generals includes Secretary of State and former Joint Chiefs Chairman Colin Powell and his deputy, US Naval Academy grad and Vietnam veteran Richard Armitage; as well as veterans of the Gulf War, including most famously Bush major's national security adviser, ret. General Brent Scowcroft; the Gulf War commander, ret. General Norman Schwarzkopf; and his logistics chief and later successor at Central Command, ret. General Anthony Zinni…
Dubya famously avoided the draft by getting a posting with the Texas National Guard, the kind of dodge that Powell referred to in his memoirs as being reserved for ‘the sons of the powerful.’ Cheney, however, avoided the uniform altogether, mumbling to one reporter that he 'had other priorities in the Sixties than military service.’
Rumsfeld, the other leading Cabinet hawk, flew jets for the Navy between the Korean and Vietnam wars but never saw combat. In fact, the only cabinet member with combat experience is Powell.
The sub-cabinet level also suffers from a distinct deficit in war-time experience. Cheney's hawkish and powerful chief of staff, I. Lewis ‘Scooter’ Libby, scooted through the sixties at Yale University and Columbia Law School, while Rumsfeld's top deputies, Paul Wolfowitz and Peter Rodman, completed graduate degrees before entering the national-security bureaucracy.
The number three at the Pentagon, Under Secretary of Defence for Policy Douglas Feith, the administration's most avid champion of the Iraq war and its staunchest supporter of Israel's right-wing government, turned 18 only after the draft ended and, like Libby, went to law school. Other major administration hawks, such as Elliott Abrams, of Iran-Contra fame and now a member of the National Security Council in charge of democratizing the Middle East, and Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Strategy John Bolton; also avoided military service during the height of the Vietnam War, reportedly for medical reasons. They, too, were law school-bound.
As for the ‘axis of incitement,’ those beating the war drums loudest outside the administration, members of the Project for a New American Century (PNAC), the Centre for Security Policy (CSP), and the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) also appear to have done what they could to avoid the uniform during the Vietnam War. The chairman of Rumfeld's Defence Policy Board (DPB) and one of the most visible advocates of military action to oust Saddam, Richard Perle, spent Vietnam at the University of Chicago (along with Wolfowitz) before joining the staff of Senator Henry ‘Scoop’ Jackson, who at the time was among the last remaining Democrats to support the Vietnam war…
Another highly visible super-hawk and Perle protégé, CSP founder-director Frank Gaffney, also avoided military service during Vietnam.
Here's a startling fact: only four of the 32 prominent right-wingers who authored the now-famous Sept. 20 PNAC letter to Bush urging him to extend the war on terrorism to Iraq, as well as Afghanistan, Iran, Syria, Lebanon, and the Palestinian Authority, have any military experience. And three of those four were in the reserves like Bush.
Among the signatories who have become fixtures on TV talk shows and op-ed pages arguing why the US must invade Iraq, stand by Sharon, or ‘remake the face of the Arab world’ are: ‘Weekly Standard’ editor William Kristol, his sidekick Robert Kagan, the Canadian-bred columnist Charles Krauthammer, Christian Right leader Gary Bauer, moralist William Bennett, former ‘Commentary’ editor Norman Podhoretz, former ‘New Republic’ editor Martin Peretz, and former UN ambassador Jeane Kirkpatrick, alongwith Perle and Gaffney.
Other armchair hawks include Michael Ledeen, yet another omnipresent Iran-contra alumni who says that the word ‘stability’ gives him the ‘heebie-jeebies,’ who spent Vietnam curled up comfortably at a university library carrel reading Machiavelli; Rumsfeld intimate and DPB member Kenneth Adelman, who claims that a military campaign against Baghdad would be a ‘cakewalk,’ also avoided service.
This glaring disparity between experience and rhetoric has not been lost on the military brass. ‘It's pretty interesting that all the generals see it the same way, and all the others who have never fired a shot and are hot to go to war see it another,’ noted Zinni, who as chief of the US Central Command in the late 1990s was responsible for US forces in the Persian Gulf region.
The main concern of ex-generals like Zinni and Schwarzkopf is that an invasion will burden the military with an impossible and perhaps interminable political task. ‘Do we really want to occupy Iraq for the next 30 years?’ asked former Navy Secretary and Vietnam veteran James Webb in a ‘Washington Post’ column last week. But the Chicken Hawks have not been shy about counter-attacking Zinni and Co., arguing, like Clemenceau, that "war is too important to be left to the generals."Next section...