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Superb Article — The Mideast: Neocons on the Line

This is an excellent Newsweek article about the PNAC adherents, and where they stand in the post-war atmosphere. It’s a thorough overall summary of the neoconservative movement and what it means in terms of current and recent U.S. foreign policy.

The Mideast: Neocons on the Line
A growing number of critics on Capitol Hill and around the world are questioning the Bush administration�s credibility�and its assumptions�as never before.
By Michael Hirsh

Monday 23 June 2003

IT WAS WOLFOWITZ, the gentlemanly superhawk, who within days of 9-11 prodded the Bush administration into a radical new strategy: forcefully confronting states that sponsor terrorism. It was Wolfowitz�the ex math whiz who fell in love with the idea of �national greatness� as a youth and is now seen as the Bush administration�s chief intellectual�who pressed Bush hardest to transform the war on terror into a campaign for regime change and democracy in rogue nations, especially in Iraq and the Islamic world.

Now the deputy defense secretary and his fellow neoconservatives are on the defensive. They are battling a growing crowd of critics on Capitol Hill and around the world as the Bush administration�s credibility�and its assumptions�are tested as never before. In Iraq, after another week in which U.S. troops died and got into fierce fire fights, elements of more than half of America�s Army divisions are tied down. Some U.S. officials have begun muttering the dreaded Q word�quagmire, a term Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld had mocked on a visit to Baghdad in the days just after the three-week war. In the Mideast, the hard-liners� move to replace Yasir Arafat with the moderate Mahmoud Abbas�and to ignore the conflict until after the Iraq war�has touched off a new cycle of violence that stunned even the White House in its savagery. It seems increasingly difficult to argue that �the road to Jerusalem runs through Baghdad.� In the face of a possible congressional probe into why Saddam Hussein�s weapons of mass destruction have not been found, two Pentagon neocons, Doug Feith and Bill Luti, sought earlier this month to identify themselves with, of all people, Bill Clinton. In a fumbling news conference, they insisted that their intel squared with the previous administration�s.

Fairly or not, Paul Wolfowitz has become a lightning rod for much of this criticism, and to �cry Wolfowitz� has already become a catchphrase for the pressing questions about U.S. credibility. At a recent Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing, Wolfowitz�always a striking presence with his thick black hair, vaguely lupine looks and air of tense repose�was rocked by hostile questioning. Wolfowitz not long ago dismissed Army chief Eric Shinseki�s call for a large peacekeeping force as �wildly off the mark.� Now he indicated that Iraq looked more complicated than Bosnia. �We�ve been in Bosnia for eight years,� Sen. Joseph Biden snapped back. �That would seem to compute that we�re likely to be in Iraq for a long time�a long time.�

Wolfowitz himself never thought that his long-sought goal of democratic transformation would be easy.

One Feedback on "Superb Article — The Mideast: Neocons on the Line"


That last paragraph is almost certainly a lie, given how unprepared Wolfowitz was for reconstruction, and that he thought his JINSA general could somehow create a democracy in a matter of weeks. Take a look at this article on the US occupation, from the pro-war Telegraph (Perle and Kissinger sit on the board of the company that owns the paper):


“This is the single most chaotic organisation I have ever worked for,” [a senior British] official said yesterday…. “The original post-war plan was to solve the humanitarian crisis - should it have arisen, which it did not - and then use the existing Iraqi ministries and officials to get the country running again as quickly as possible.”


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