- WASHINGTON -- President George
W Bush was sent a public manifesto yesterday by Washington's hawks, demanding
regime change in Syria and Iran and a Cuba-style military blockade of North
Korea backed by planning for a pre-emptive strike on its nuclear sites.
- The manifesto, presented as a "manual for victory"
in the war on terror, also calls for Saudi Arabia and France to be treated
not as allies but as rivals and possibly enemies.
- The manifesto is contained in a new book by Richard Perle,
a Pentagon adviser and "intellectual guru" of the hardline neo-conservative
movement, and David Frum, a former Bush speechwriter. They give warning
of a faltering of the "will to win" in Washington.
- In the battle for the president's ear, the manifesto
represents an attempt by hawks to break out of the post-Iraq doldrums and
strike back at what they see as a campaign of hostile leaking by their
foes in such centres of caution as the State Department or in the military
- Their publication, An End to Evil: How to Win the War
on Terror, coincided with the latest broadside from the hawks' enemy number
one, Colin Powell, the secretary of state.
- Though on leave recovering from a prostate cancer operation,
Mr Powell summoned reporters to his bedside to hail "encouraging"
signs of a "new attitude" in Iran and call for the United States
to keep open the prospect of dialogue with the Teheran authorities.
- Such talk is anathema to hawks like Mr Perle and Mr Frum
who urge Washington to shun the mullahs and work for their overthrow in
concert with Iranian dissidents.
- It may be assumed that their instincts at least are shared
by hawks inside the government, whose twin power bases are the Pentagon's
civilian leadership and the office of the vice-president, Dick Cheney.
- Such officials prevailed over invading Afghanistan and
Iraq, but have been seen as on the back foot since the autumn as their
post-war visions of building a secular, free-market Iraq were scaled back
in favour of compromise and a swift handover of power next June.
- The book demands that any talks with North Korea require
the complete and immediate abandonment of its nuclear programme.
- As North Korea will probably refuse such terms, the book
urges a Cuba-style military blockade and overt preparations for war, including
the rapid pullback of US forces from the inter-Korean border so that they
move out of range of North Korean artillery.
- Such steps, with luck, will prompt China to oust its
nominal ally, Kim Jong-il, and install a saner regime in North Korea, the
- The authoritarian rule of Syria's leader, Bashar Assad,
should also be ended, encouraged by shutting oil supplies from Iraq, seizing
arms he buys from Iran, and raids into Syria to hunt terrorists.
- The authors urge Mr Bush to "tell the truth about
Saudi Arabia". Wealthy Saudis, some of them royal princes, fund al-Qa'eda,
- The Saudi government backs "terror-tainted Islamic
organisations" as part of a larger campaign to "spread its extremist
version of Islam throughout the Muslim world and into Europe and North
- The book calls for tough action against France and its
dreams of offsetting US power. "We should force European governments
to choose between Paris and Washington," it states. Britain's independence
from Europe should be preserved, perhaps with open access for British arms
to American defence markets.
- © Copyright of Telegraph Group Limited 2003.