- Supporters of Israel were delighted to learn that President
George W. Bush's recent call in his much-heralded inaugural address for
worldwide democratic revolution was based on the philosophy of Israeli
cabinet minister Anatoly "Natan" Sharansky.
- Although a recent popular documentary, Bush's Brain,
suggested that Karl Rove, the president's political advisor, was the mastermind
who tells the president what to think, it is now clear - based on solid
evidence - that Sharansky is the one who actually has bragging rights to
- Although he gained worldwide attention in the 1970s as
a Soviet dissident and "human rights activist," Sharansky emigrated
to Israel and soon emerged as one Israel's most outspoken hard-line extremist
leaders who damns even Israel's heavy-handed Prime Minister Ariel Sharon
as being "too soft" on the Palestinian Christians and Muslims.
- The role of Sharansky in guiding Bush's thinking is no
"conspiracy theory." Instead, recent disclosures from the White
House itself - published, although not prominently, in the mainstream media
- demonstrate that not only did Sharansky personally consult with the
president in drafting the now-controversial inaugural address, but that
- in addition - at least two of Sharansky's key neo-conservative American
publicists, William Kristol and Charles Krauthammer, were among those brought
in to compose Bush's revolutionary proclamation.
- Bush himself told The Washington Times in an interview
published on January 12 - even prior to his inauguration: "If you
want a glimpse of how I think about foreign policy, read Natan Sharansky's
book, The Case for Democracy. It's a great book."
- Buried in the very last paragraph of a very lengthy article
published on January 22, The New York Times reported that "The president
was given[Sharansky's] book and asked Mr. Sharansky to meet with him in
the Oval office . . . Mr. Bush also gave the book to several aides, urging
them to read it as well. Mr. Sharansky visited the White House last November."
- The Times did not say who gave the book to the president
in the first place, the determination of which would be no doubt very telling
- Affirming the Times, disclosure, The Washington Post
likewise revealed on January 22 (although, again, in the closing paragraphs
of an extended analysis) that an administration official said that planning
for Bush's address began immediately after the November election and that
Bush himself had invited Sharansky to the White House to consult with him
and that, in the Post's words, "Sharansky also helped shape the speech
with his book."
- It was the Post which revealed that two well-known hard-line
"neo-conservative" supporters of Israel - William Kristol, publisher
of billionaire Rupert Murdoch's Weekly Standard magazine, and psychiatrist-turned-pundit
Charles Krauthammer, a strident advocate for harsh U.S. military and economic
warfare against the Arab and Muslim worlds - were also among those brought
in to help draft the president's address.
- Kristol - in particular - and Krauthammer are generally
acknowledged even in the mainstream media in America as being among those
dubbed by AFP as "the high priests of war" who were instrumental
in orchestrating the U.S. war against Iraq, which was a measure high-up
on Israel's "want list" for the Bush administration.
- It is no coincidence that the individual on the White
House staff whom the Post says helped set up the planning conferences to
direct Bush's thinking was one Peter Wehner who is director of the White
House Office of Strategic Initiatives. Wehner - it just so happens - is
a Kristol protégé, having been his deputy when Kristol was
chief of staff for former Reagan administration Education Secretary William
Bennett who was himself a protégé of Kristol's father, famed
"ex-Trotskyite" communist-turned-neo-conservative, Irving Kristol.
- Considering Kristol's wide-ranging input, shaping Bush's
mindset, it is thus no surprise that, as the Post put it, "Bush's
grand ambitions excited his neoconservative supporters who see his call
to put the United States in the forefront of the battle to spread democracy
as noble and necessary."
- Meanwhile, for his own part, William Kristol chimed in
with an editorial in The Weekly Standard on January 24 declaring that "it's
good news that the president is so enthusiastic about Sharansky's work.
It suggests that, despite all the criticism, and the difficulties, the
president remains determined to continue to lead the nation along the basic
foreign policy lines he laid down in his first term."
- The BBC News noted on January 22 that Sharansky "has
in fact been moving in American conservative circles for some time."
- As far back as July 2002 - just prior to the time Bush
delivered a hotly-debated speech calling for "democratization"
of the Arab world - neo-conservative Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz
was in attendance at a conference addressed by Sharansky during which the
Israeli leader put forth the same demand.
- Shortly thereafter, when Bush gave his own speech, echoing
Sharansky, the Israeli hard-liner "provided an important bit of last
minute affirmation," according to American neo-conservative Richard
Perle, who - between stints in government, during which time he was suspected
of espionage on behalf of Israel - peddled weapons for an Israeli arms
- Although the news of Sharansky's profound influence is
not widely known among grassroots Americans outside official Washington,
it is big news in Israel where The Jerusalem Post headlined a story declaring
"White House takes a page out of Sharansky's democracy playbook."
In fact, the Israeli newspaper actually went so far as to say on January
20 that Bush is "doing [Sharansky's book] promotion free of charge,"
pointing out that the president hyped Sharansky's book in an interview
- But it's not only Bush who is relying on Sharansky. On
January 20, Scotland's independent-minded newspaper, The Scotsman noted
that "Mr. Sharansky's influence on the way Washington now sees the
world was clear this week when Condoleeza Rice quoted him during her Senate
confirmation hearings," confirming that the Israeli hard-liner is
very much the brains behind Bush policy.
- The fact that Sharansky happens to be in charge of "diaspora
affairs" in the Israeli cabinet is significant indeed. The term "diaspora"
refers to all Jews living outside the borders of Israel and the "mission
statement" of Sharansky's cabinet office says it places its "emphasis
on Israel, Zionism, Jerusalem and the interdependence of Jews worldwide.
- In essence, this translates into a single, general aim:
securing the existence and the future of the Jewish people wherever they
are." In short, Sharansky is no less than a powerful spokesman for
the worldwide Zionist movement. And now, beyond any question, his views
are directing George Bush's worldview.
- Considering all of this, it is no wonder that on January
22, Korea's English-language media voice, Chosun Ilbo, went so far as to
describe Sharansky's philosophy as outlined in his book The Case for Democracy
- now being touted by Bush - as "a blueprint for U.S. foreign policy."
- Bush the New Woodrow Wilson?
- That propaganda line of Israeli hard-liner Natan Sharansky
is the foundation upon which President George W. Bush's second inaugural
address was based is virtually a complete turn-about from Bush's rhetoric
in the 2000 presidential campaign is a point that - theoretically - should
give pause to many Republicans who voted for Bush the first time he ran
for the presidency.
- Enthusiastic proclaiming in a front-page analysis on
January 21 that Bush's address laid the "groundwork for [a] global
freedom mission," The Washington Times - a leading "neo-conservative"
voice which advocates a hard-line globalist foreign policy in sync with
Israel's security demands - stated flat-out that:
- "President Bush's inaugural address sends the United
States on a new, expansionist and far more aggressive global mission to
free oppressed countries from dictators - a sharp departure from his 2000
campaign that warned against becoming the world's policeman . . . an ambitious,
perhaps unprecedented internationalist doctrine that could deploy U.S.
military power far beyond America's present commitments . . ."
- For its own part, the Times's daily counterpart, The
Washington Post, declared editorially on January 21 that Bush's address
was "more Wilsonian than conservative""that is, recalling
the messianic internationalism of former U.S. President Woodrow Wilson,
hardly a hero of American conservatives.
- Effectively endorsing Bush's turnabout, the Post acknowledged.
that Bush's pronouncement "promised an aggressive internationalism,
one that if seriously pursued would transform relations with many nations
around the world," saying that if Bush is serious, U.S. policy "is
on the verge of a historic change."
- Sharansky A Hypocrite: Human rights for some - but not
- Although the worldwide media hails President Bush's philosophical
mentor, Israeli politician Natan Sharansky, as some sort of "human
rights activist," there is much more to Sharansky's point of view
than the media is saying.
- Writing on January 9 in The Washington Post Book World
- in response to a review of Sharansky's book, The Case for Democracy,
published on December 26 - M. J. Rosenberg of Chevy Chase, Maryland laid
out Sharansky's hypocrisy in no uncertain terms:
- "Sharansky advocates for human rights only when
his own country, Israel, is not involved. Throughout his post-Soviet-prison
career, he has used his celebrity to support human rights for everyone"except
Palestinians. [Sharansky believes] that before Palestinians are permitted
a state and perhaps (just perhaps - he is a strong supporter of Israel's
settler movement) an end to the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and
the Gaza Strip, they must fulfill a host of conditions. For Palestinians,
basic rights are conditional; for everyone else, they are fundamental."
- Pointing out Sharansky's double-standard in proclaiming
himself a human rights activist, Rosenberg concluded,
- "The test of whether one is a human rights activist
or one who simply uses the issue for political ends is that person's willingness
to apply the human rights measuring stick to his own people. It is pretty
easy to limit your calls for human rights to nations other than your own.
For Sharansky, concern for Palestinians is the test of whether or not his
claim to the mantle of human rights activist is genuine.
- As [Sharansky's] book demonstrates, he fails"big