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[casi] Whose War? 2

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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

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 as

  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 for

  The Neoconservatives

  Who are the neoconservatives? The first generation were ex-liberals,
socialists, and Trotskyites, boat-people from the McGovern revolution
who rafted over to the GOP at the end of conservatism's long march to
power with Ronald Reagan in 1980.

  A neoconservative, wrote Kevin Phillips back then, is more likely to be a
magazine editor than a bricklayer. Today, he or she is more likely to be a
resident scholar at a public policy institute such as the American Enterprise
Institute (AEI) or one of its clones like the Center for Security Policy or
the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA). As one wag
writes, a neocon is more familiar with the inside of a think tank than an
Abrams tank.

  Almost none came out of the business world or military, and few if any came
out of the Goldwater campaign. The heroes they invoke are Woodrow Wilson,
FDR, Harry Truman, Martin Luther King, and Democratic Senators Henry "Scoop"
Jackson (Wash.) and Pat Moynihan (N.Y.).  All are interventionists who regard
Stakhanovite support of Israel as a defining characteristic of their breed.
Among their luminaries are Jeane Kirkpatrick, Bill Bennett, Michael Novak,
and James Q. Wilson.

  Their publications include the Weekly Standard, Commentary, the New
Republic, National Review, and the editorial page of the Wall Street
Journal. Though few in number, they wield disproportionate power through
control of the conservative foundations and magazines, through their
syndicated columns, and by attaching themselves to men of power.


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