- In this week's AMERICAN CONSERVATIVE, editor Pat Buchanan
issues a controversial, 5000-word indictment of the 'War Party' of Bennett,
Kristol, Podhoretz and Richard Perle.
- The magazine will hit newsstands and bookstores tomorrow.
With quotes and citations, Buchanan alleges:
- * 'War Party' ideas and plans for an attack on Iraq had
been 'in preparation far in advance of 9/11, and when President Bush was
looking for a new front,' the neocons 'put their precooked meal in front
of him. And Bush dug into it.'
- * Richard Perle wrote a paper urging Israeli PM Netanyahu
to dump the Oslo Peace Accords and target Iraq -- five years before 9/11.
- * Undersecretary of Defense Douglas Feith urged Israel
to ditch the Oslo and take back the West Bank though 'the price in blood
would be high,' three years before the Camp David talks.
- * Pentagon official David Wurmser urged the U.S. to act
in concert with Israel to 'strike fatally...the regimes of Damascus, Baghdad,
Tripoli, Tehran and Gaza' -- nine months before 9/11.
- * Bennett, Kristol, Podhoretz 'seized on the horrific
atrocity [of September 11] to steer America's rage into all-out war to
destroy their despised enemies, the Arab and Islamic rogue states that
have resisted U.S. hegemony and loathe Israel.'
- * The neocon vision is 'to conscript American blood to
make the world safe for Israel....[They] seek American empire and the Sharonites
seem hegemony over the Middle East. The two agendas coincide precisely.'
- * Buchanan charges Max Boot of the WSJ and Lawrence Kaplan
of New Republic with 'playing the anti-Semitic card....to fend off critics
by assassinating their character and impugning their motives.'
- Copyright, The American Conservative. March 24, 2003
- Whose War?
- A neoconservative clique seeks to ensnare our
country in a series of wars
- that are not in America's interest.
- By Patrick J. Buchanan
- The War Party may have gotten its war. But it has also
gotten something it did not bargain for. Its membership lists and associations
have been exposed and its motives challenged. In a rare moment in U.S.
journalism, Tim Russert put this question directly to Richard Perle: "Can
you assure American viewers ... that we're in this situation against Saddam
Hussein and his removal for American security interests? And what would
be the link in terms of Israel?"
- Suddenly, the Israeli connection is on the table, and
the War Party is not amused. Finding themselves in an unanticipated firefight,
our neoconservative friends are doing what comes naturally, seeking student
deferments from political combat by claiming the status of a persecuted
minority group. People who claim to be writing the foreign policy of the
world superpower, one would think, would be a little more manly in the
schoolyard of politics. Not so.
- Former Wall Street Journal editor Max Boot kicked off
the campaign. When these "Buchananites toss around 'neoconservative'-and
cite names like Wolfowitz and Cohen-it sometimes sounds as if what they
really mean is 'Jewish conservative.'" Yet Boot readily concedes that
a passionate attachment to Israel is a "key tenet of neoconservatism."
He also claims that the National Security Strategy of President Bush "sounds
as if it could have come straight out from the pages of Commentary magazine,
the neocon bible." (For the uninitiated, Commentary, the bible in
which Boot seeks divine guidance, is the monthly of the American Jewish
- David Brooks of the Weekly Standard wails that attacks
based on the Israel tie have put him through personal hell: "Now I
get a steady stream of anti-Semitic screeds in my e-mail, my voicemail
and in my mailbox. ... Anti-Semitism is alive and thriving. It's just that
its epicenter is no longer on the Buchananite Right, but on the peace-movement
- Washington Post columnist Robert Kagan endures his own
purgatory abroad: "In London ... one finds Britain's finest minds
propounding, in sophisticated language and melodious Oxbridge accents,
the conspiracy theories of Pat Buchanan concerning the 'neoconservative'
(read: Jewish) hijacking of American foreign policy."
- Lawrence Kaplan of the New Republic charges that our
little magazine "has been transformed into a forum for those who contend
that President Bush has become a client of ... Ariel Sharon and the 'neoconservative
- Referencing Charles Lindbergh, he accuses Paul Schroeder,
Chris Matthews, Robert Novak, Georgie Anne Geyer, Jason Vest of the Nation,
and Gary Hart of implying that "members of the Bush team have been
doing Israel's bidding and, by extension, exhibiting 'dual loyalties.'"
- The real problem with such claims is not just that they
are untrue. The problem is that they are toxic. Invoking the specter of
dual loyalty to mute criticism and debate amounts to more than the everyday
pollution of public discourse. It is the nullification of public discourse,
for how can one refute accusations grounded in ethnicity? The charges are,
ipso facto, impossible to disprove. And so they are meant to be.
- What is going on here? Slate's Mickey Kaus nails it in
the headline of his retort: "Lawrence Kaplan Plays the Anti-Semitic
- What Kaplan, Brooks, Boot, and Kagan are doing is what
the Rev. Jesse Jackson does when caught with some mammoth contribution
from a Fortune 500 company he has lately accused of discriminating. He
plays the race card. So, too, the neoconservatives are trying to fend off
critics by assassinating their character and impugning their motives.
- Indeed, it is the charge of "anti-Semitism"
itself that is toxic. For this venerable slander is designed to nullify
public discourse by smearing and intimidating foes and censoring and blacklisting
them and any who would publish them. Neocons say we attack them because
they are Jewish. We do not. We attack them because their warmongering threatens
our country, even as it finds a reliable echo in Ariel Sharon.
- And this time the boys have cried "wolf" once
too often. It is not working. As Kaus notes, Kaplan's own New Republic
carries Harvard professor Stanley Hoffman. In writing of the four power
centers in this capital that are clamoring for war, Hoffman himself describes
the fourth thus:
- And, finally, there is a loose collection of friends
of Israel, who believe in the identity of interests between the Jewish
state and the United States. These analysts look on foreign policy through
the lens of one dominant concern: Is it good or bad for Israel? Since that
nation's founding in 1948, these thinkers have never been in very good
odor at the State Department, but now they are well ensconced in the Pentagon,
around such strategists as Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle and Douglas Feith.
- "If Stanley Hoffman can say this," asks Kaus,
"why can't Chris Matthews?" Kaus also notes that Kaplan somehow
failed to mention the most devastating piece tying the neoconservatives
to Sharon and his Likud Party.
- In a Feb. 9 front-page article in the Washington Post,
Robert Kaiser quotes a senior U.S. official as saying, "The Likudniks
are really in charge now." Kaiser names Perle, Wolfowitz, and Feith
as members of a pro-Israel network inside the administration and adds David
Wurmser of the Defense Department and Elliott Abrams of the National Security
Council. (Abrams is the son-in-law of Norman Podhoretz, editor emeritus
of Commentary, whose magazine has for decades branded critics of Israel
- Noting that Sharon repeatedly claims a "special
closeness" to the Bushites, Kaiser writes, "For the first time
a U.S. administration and a Likud government are pursuing nearly identical
policies." And a valid question is: how did this come to be, and while
it is surely in Sharon's interest, is it in America's interest?
- This is a time for truth. For America is about to make
a momentous decision: whether to launch a series of wars in the Middle
East that could ignite the Clash of Civilizations against which Harvard
professor Samuel Huntington has warned, a war we believe would be a tragedy
and a disaster for this Republic. To avert this war, to answer the neocon
smears, we ask that our readers review their agenda as stated in their
words. Sunlight is the best disinfectant. As Al Smith used to say, "Nothing
un-American can live in the sunlight."
- We charge that a cabal of polemicists and public officials
seek 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.
- Not in our lifetimes has America been so isolated from
old friends. Far worse, President Bush is being lured into a trap baited
for him by these neocons that could cost him his office and cause America
to forfeit years of peace won for us by the sacrifices of two generations
in the Cold War.
- They charge us with anti-Semitism-i.e., a hatred of Jews
for their faith, heritage, or ancestry. False. The truth is, those hurling
these charges harbor a "passionate attachment" to a nation not
our own that causes them to subordinate the interests of their own country
and to act on an assumption that, somehow, what's good for Israel is good
- (To read the remaining three-quarters of this article
- visit your local bookstore or newstand)
- Copyright, The American Conservative. March 24, 2003
- From Tony
- Dear Jeff,
- Last Night on the The McLaughlin Group, Dr. McLaughlin
spent almost the entire show confronting <http://www.mclaughlin.com/about/bio.asp?pid=27>Mort
Zuckerman, Editor-in-Chief, U.S. News & World Report.
- The director skillfully changed cameras and got the reactions
of Pat Buchanan as Dr. McLaughlin turned up the heat on Mr. Zuckerman.
John McLaughlin is such a class guy that he did it in a round about way
at first, then directly asked Zuckerman: "Will Israel benefit from
a war led by US Marines in Iraq?" (I'm paraphrasing here).
- Zuckerman was clear uncomfortable, and the director kept
getting reaction shot of Pat Buchanan. Finally, Pat Buchanan jumped in
and heatedly said to Zuckerman, "After Iraq, then it's Iran,
Syria, Saudi Arabia."
- Very interesting. Nobody came out and said "The
cat's out of the bag on the Zionist controlled media." But McLaughlin
and Pat Buchanan sure acted like everybody knew it.