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[casi] US hawks "victory celebration" FT

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  FRONT PAGE - FIRST SECTION: Ideologues reshape world over breakfast
  By Guy Dinmore in Washington
  Financial Times; Mar 22, 2003

  Billed as a "black coffee briefing on the war on Iraq", yesterday's breakfast for the influential 
hawks of the American Enterprise Institute was more of a victory celebration.

  With a few words of caution - that the war to oust Saddam Hussein was not yet over - the panel of 
speakers, part of the Bush administration's ideological vanguard, set out their bold vision of the 
postwar agenda: radical reform of the UN, regime change in Iran and Syria, and "containment" of 
France and Germany.

  The failure of the first Bush administration to finish the job in 1991, according to William 
Kristol, editor of the Weekly Standard, the US magazine, had resulted in "a lack of awe for the US" 
in the Middle East, an absence of respect that fostered contempt of the US among Arabs and 
encouraged the rise of the al-Qaeda terrorist organisation.

  This war would redress those mistakes, Mr Kristol declared, opening up the prospect for real 
democratic change in the region.

  The war was going well, said Richard Perle, chairman of the Pentagon's Defence Advisory Board. 
There were more anti-war demonstrators in San Francisco than Iraqis willing to defend their leader. 
The "coalition of the willing" was growing.

  The fall of Mr Hussein would be an "inspiration" for Iranians seeking to be free of their 
dictatorial mullahs, Mr Perle said.

  While not speaking for the administration, such voices reflect the views of the hawkish faction 
in the government - including Dick Cheney, vice-president, Donald Rumsfeld, defence secretary, and 
Paul Wolfowitz, his deputy - now in the ascendancy.

  Michael Ledeen, a former Reagan administration official and author of The War Against the Terror 
Masters, said this conflict was part of a "longer war" and such terrorist-sponsors as Iran and 
Syria knew that. France and Germany insisted on "shoring up tyrannical regimes". Anti-war 
demonstrators had reached "new lows of disgustingness".

  Mr Kristol said the US should distinguish between France and Germany. Splitting Germany away 
would be "intelligent American diplomacy - maybe too much to hope for from the state department".

  "Americans are not vindictive," Mr Perle asserted. Mr Ledeen said, in the context of France, that 
he hoped they were.

  Mr Kristol said that the UN did not matter much. Mr Perle suggested that as a security 
institution "its time has passed" though it might still be of some use in health matters and 

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