ETK Introduction: The following three articles/posts make it clear that Zionist Jews in America comprise the powerful and subversive enemy “5th column” that has captured the U.S. government, military, and media. The “global domination-domestic surveillance state agenda” is nothing less than the historic Jewish mission of world conquest. What does this agenda have in store for America? Complete destruction.
I. Who Are The Neoconservatives?
By Laurent Guyénot
May 29, 2013 “Information Clearing House” -“VN” — The neoconservative movement, which is generally perceived as a radical (rather than “conservative”) Republican right, is, in reality, an intellectual movement born in the late 1960s in the pages of the monthly magazine Commentary, a media arm of the American Jewish Committee, which had replaced the Contemporary Jewish Record in 1945. The Forward, the oldest American Jewish weekly, wrote in a January 6th, 2006 article signed Gal Beckerman: “If there is an intellectual movement in America to whose invention Jews can lay sole claim, neoconservatism is it. It’s a thought one imagines most American Jews, overwhelmingly liberal, will find horrifying. And yet it is a fact that as a political philosophy, neoconservatism was born among the children of Jewish immigrants and is now largely the intellectual domain of those immigrants’ grandchildren”. The neoconservative apologist Murray Friedman explains that Jewish dominance within his movement by the inherent benevolence of Judaism, “the idea that Jews have been put on earth to make it a better, perhaps even a holy, place” (The Neoconservative Revolution: Jewish Intellectuals and the Shaping of Public Policy, 2006).
Just as we speak of the “Christian Right” as a political force in the United States, we could also therefore speak of the neoconservatives as representing the “Jewish Right”. However, this characterization is problematic for three reasons. First, the neoconservatives are a relatively small group, although they have acquired considerable authority on and within Jewish representative organizations, including the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations. In 2003, journalist Thomas Friedman of the New York Times counted twenty-five members saying, “if you had exiled them to a desert island a year and half ago, the Iraq war would not have happened”. The neoconservatives compensate for their small number by multiplying their Committees, Projects, and other think tanks, which certainly give them a kind of ubiquity.
Second, the neoconservatives of the first generation mostly came from the left, even the extreme Trotskyist left for some such as Irving Kristol, one of the main editors of Commentary. During the late 1960s the Commentary editorial staff begins to break with the liberal, pacifist left, which they suddenly find decadent. Norman Podhoretz, editor of Commentary from 1960 until his retirement in 1995, was a militant anti-Vietnam dissenter until 1967, but then in the 70s became a fervent advocate of an increased defense budget, bringing the journal along in his wake. In the 1980s, he opposed the policy of détente in his book The Present Danger: in the 1990s, he calls for the invasion of Iraq, and then again in the early 2000s. In 2007, while his son John Podhoretz was taking over as editor of Commentary, he asserted once again the urgency of a U.S. military attack, this time against Iran.
Third, unlike evangelical Christians who openly proclaim their unifying religious principles, neoconservatives do not display their Judaism. Whether they’d been Marxists or not, they appear mostly non-religious. It is well-know that their major influence is the philosophy of Leo Stauss, so much so that they are sometimes referred to as “the straussians”; Norman Podhoretz and his son John, Irving Kristol and his son William, Donald Kagan and his son Robert, Paul Wolfowitz, Adam Shulsky, to name just a few, all expressed their debt to Strauss. Leo Strauss, born to a family of German Orthodox Jews, was both pupil and collaborator of political theorist Carl Schmitt, himself a specialist of Thomas Hobbes and advocate of a “political theology” by which the State must appropriate the attributes of God. Schmitt was an admirer of Mussolini, and the legal counsel of the Third Reich. After the Reichstag fire in February 1933, it was Schmitt who provided the legal framework that justified the suspension of citizen rights and the establishment of the dictatorship. It was also Schmitt, in 1934, who personally obtained from the Rockefeller Foundation a grant for Leo Strauss to study Thomas Hobbes in London and Paris, and then finally end up teaching in Chicago.
The thinking of Leo Strauss is difficult to capture, and certainly beyond the purview of this work. Moreover, Strauss is often elliptic because he believes that Truth is harmful to the common man and the social order and should be reserved for superior minds. For this reason, Strauss rarely speaks in his own name, but rather expressed himself as a commentator on classical authors, in whom he discovers many of his own thoughts. Moreover, much like his disciples Allan Bloom (The Closing of the American Mind, 1988) and Samuel Huntington, he is careful to clothe his most radical ideas in ostensibly humanist principles. Despite the apparent difficulty, three basic ideas can easily be extracted from his political philosophy, no different from Schmitt.
First, nations derive their strength from their myths, which are necessary for government and governance. Second, national myths have no necessary relationship with historical reality: they are socio-cultural constructions that the State has a duty to disseminate. Third, to be effective, any national myth must be based on a clear distinction between good and evil; it derives its cohesive strength from the hatred of an enemy nation. As recognized by Abram Shulsky and Gary Schmitt in an article “Leo Strauss and the World of Intelligence” (1999), for Strauss, “deception is the norm in political life” – the rule they applied to fabricating the lie of weapons of mass destruction by Saddam Hussein when working inside the Office of Special Plans.
In his maturity, Strauss was a great admirer of Machiavelli, who he believes he understood better than anyone. In his Thoughts on Machiavelli, he parts from the intellectual trend of trying to rehabilitate the author of The Prince against the popular opinion regarding his work as immoral. Strauss recognizes the absolute immorality of Machiavelli, which he sees as the source of his revolutionary genius, “We are in sympathy with the simple opinion about Machiavelli, not only because it is wholesome, but above all because a failure to take that opinion seriously prevents one from doing justice to what is truly admirable in Machiavelli; the intrepidity of his thought, the grandeur of his vision, and the graceful subtlety of his speech”. The thought of Machiavelli is so radical and pure, says Strauss, that its ultimate implications could not be spelled out: “Machiavelli does not go to the end of the road; the last part of the road must be travelled by the reader who understands what is omitted by the writer”. Strauss is the guide who can help his neoconservative students do that, for “to discover from [Strauss’] writings what he regarded as the truth is hard; it is not impossible”. This truth that Machiavelli and Strauss share is not a blinding light, but rather a black hole that only the philosopher can contemplate without turning into a beast: there is no afterlife, and neither good nor evil; therefore the ruling elite shaping the destiny of their nation need not worry about the salvation of their own souls. Hence Machiavelli, according to Strauss, is the perfect patriot.
Neoconservatism is essentially a modern Jewish version of Machiavelli’s political strategy. What characterizes the neoconservative movement is therefore not as much Judaism as a religious tradition, but rather Judaism as a political project, i.e. Zionism, by Machiavellian means. Note that, in an article in the Jewish World Review on June 7th, 1999, the neoconservative Michael Ledeen defends the thesis that Machiavelli was a crypto-Jew, as were at the time thousands of families nominally converted to Catholicism under threat of expulsion of death. “Listen to his political philosophy, and you will hear the Jewish music”, wrote Ledeen, citing in particular Machiavelli’s contempt for the nonviolent ethics of Jesus and his admiration for the pragmatism of Moses, who was able to kill countless men in the interests of enforcing his new law.
Obviously, if Zionism is synonymous with patriotism in Israel, it cannot be an acceptable label in American politics, where it would mean loyalty to a foreign power. This is why the neoconservatives do not represent themselves as Zionists on the American scene. Yet they do not hide it all together either. Elliott Abrams, Deputy National Security Adviser in the administration of Bush’s son, wrote in his book Faith or Fear (1997): “Outside the land of Israel, there can be no doubt that Jews, faithful to the covenant between God and Abraham, are to stand apart from the nation in which they live. It is the very nature of being Jewish to be apart — except in Israel — from the rest of the population”. It is hard to come with a better definition of Zionism, the corollary of which is the apartheid practiced against non-Jewish peoples in Palestine, defended in the same year by Douglas Feith in his “Reflections on Liberalism, Democracy and Zionism”, pronounced in Jerusalem, defending the right of Israel to be an “ethnic nation”: “there is a place in the world for non-ethnic nations and there is a place for ethnic nations”.
If one is entitled to consider the neoconservatives as Zionists, it is especially in noting that their foreign policy choices have always coincided perfectly with the interests of Israel (as they see it). Israel’s interest has always been understood as dependent on two things: the immigration of Eastern Jews and the financial support of the Jews of the West (American and, to a lesser extent, European). Until 1967, the national interest pushed Israel toward the Soviet Union, while the support of American Jews remained quiet. The socialist and collectivist orientation of the Labor Party in power naturally inclined them in this direction, but Israel’s good relations with the USSR were primarily due to the fact that the mass immigration of Jews was only possible through the good will of the Kremlin. During the three years following the end of the British mandate on Palestine (1948), which had hitherto limited Jewish immigration out of consideration for the Arab population, two hundred thousand Polish Jewish refugees in the USSR were allowed to settle in Palestine, with others coming from Romania, Hungary and Bulgaria.
The Six Day War was a decisive turning point: in 1967, Moscow protested against Israel’s annexation of new territories, broke diplomatic relations with Tel Aviv and stopped the emigration of its Jewish citizens, which had accelerated in the previous month. It is from this date that Commentary became, in the words of Benjamin Balint, “the contentious magazine that transformed the Jewish left into the neoconservative right”. The neoconservatives realized that, from that point, Israel’s survival – and its territorial expansion – depended on the support and protection of another super-power, the U.S. military, and concomitantly that their need for Jewish immigrants could only be fulfilled by the fall of communism. These two objectives converged in the deepening of military power of the United States. This is why Irving Kristol engaged the American Jewish Congress in 1973 to fight George McGovern’s proposal to reduce the military budget by 30%: “this is to drive a knife into the heart of Israel. […] Jews don’t like a big military budget, but it is now an interest of the Jews to have a large and powerful military establishment in the United States. […] American Jews who care about the survival of the state of Israel have to say, no, we don’t want to cut the military budget, it is important to keep that military budget big, so that we can defend Israel”. We now understand better what reality Kristol was referring to, when he famously defined a neoconservative as “a liberal who has been mugged by reality”.
In the late 60s, the neoconservative support the militarist fringe of the Democratic Party, headed by Senator Henry Scoop Jackson, a supporter of the Vietnam War who challenged McGovern in the 1972 primaries. Richard Perle, parliamentary assistant to Jackson, wrote the Jackson-Vanik amendment, which made food aid to the Soviet Union conditional upon the free emigration of Jews. It is also within the office of Scoop Jackson that an alliance between the neoconservatives and the Rumsfeld-Cheney tandem will be forged, before Rumsfeld and Cheney took advantage of the Watergate scandal to join the Republican camp and infiltrate the White House. Perle placed his protégés Paul Wolfowitz and Richard Pipes in Team B, whose report was published in Commentary. During the Carter period, neoconservatives allied with evangelical Christians, viscerally anti-communist and generally well disposed towards Israel, the foundation of which they see as a divine miracle foreshadowing the return of Christ. The contribution of the neoconservatives to the Reagan victory allowed them to work within the government to strengthen the alliance between the United States and Israel; in 1981, the two countries signed their first military pact, then embarked on several shared operations, some legal and others not so, as evidenced by the network of arms trafficking and paramilitary operations embedded within the Iran-Contra affair. Anti-communism and Zionism had become so linked in their common cause, that in 1982, in his book The Real Anti-Semitism in America, the director of the Anti-Defamation League Nathan Perlmutter could turn the pacifism of the “peacemakers of Vietnam vintage, [the] transmuters of swords into plowshares”, into a new form of anti-Semitism.
With the end of the Cold War, the national interest of Israel changed once again. Their primary objective became not the fall of communism, but rather the weakening of Israel’s enemies. Thus the neoconservatives underwent their second conversion, from anti-communism to islamophobia, and created new think tanks such as the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP) led by Richard Perle, the Middle East Forum led by Daniel Pipes (son of Richard), the Center for Security Policy (CSP) founded by Frank Gaffney, and the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI). President George H.W. Bush, however, cultivated friendships with Saudi Arabia and was not exactly a friend of Israel; he resisted in September of 1991 against an unprecedented pro-Israel lobbying campaign that called for $10 billion to help Jews immigrate from the former Soviet Union to Israel. He complained in a televised press conference on September 12th that “one thousand Jewish lobbyists are on Capitol Hill against little old me”, thereby causing Tom Dine, the Executive Director of AIPAC, to exclaim that “September 12, 1991, is a day that will live in infamy”. Bush also resisted the neoconservatives’ advice to invade Iraq after Operation Desert Storm. Finally, Bush’s Secretary of State James Baker was too receptive to Arab proposals throughout the Madrid Conference in November 1991; the neoconservatives, as a result, sabotaged Bush’s chances for a second term and supported Democrat Bill Clinton. After eight years of Clinton, they finally completed their victory by having Bush’s son George W. elected and forcing him into the second Iraq war.
During Clinton’s two terms, while the Madrid agreements were buried by the Oslo Accords negotiated directly with an overwhelmed Yasser Arafat, neoconservatives prepared their return with Rumsfeld and Cheney, and threw all their weight behind their ultimate think tank, the Project for the New American Century (PNAC). William Kristol, son of Irving, also founded in 1995 a new magazine, The Weekly Standard, that immediately became the dominant voice of the neoconservatives thanks to funding from the pro-Israeli Rupert Murdoch. In 1997, it would be the first publication to call for a new war against Saddam Hussein. During the Clinton years, neoconservatives, although consulted by the White House, were not part of it. And so it is relevant to mention that, during this same time, the FBI was investigating an Israeli mole in the White House, who was allegedly using the code name “Mega” and enjoying privileged access to the Security Council. According to the investigator Gordon Thomas, quoted by the New York Post on March 5th1998, the FBI investigation was stopped when “Israel blackmailed President Clinton with private recordings of his steamy conversations with Monica Lewinsky”.
Speeches and mirrors
The 2007 book by John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt, The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy, shocked the American public by exposing the considerable influence of pro-Israel groups, the oldest of which being the Zionist Organization of America, and the most influential since the 70s, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). The authors demonstrate that “the Lobby” has been the major force driving the United States into the Iraq war and, more generally, into a foreign policy that lacks coherence and morality in the Middle East. The authors’ thesis is yet incomplete because they leave absent the complementary role played from within State by the neoconservatives, who form the other arm of the pliers now holding the American foreign policy.
These two forces — the crypto-Zionists infiltrated in the government and the pro-Israel lobby — sometimes act in criminal conspiracy, as illustrated by the charge against Larry Franklin in 2005, who, as a member of the Office of Special Plans working under Douglas Feith, passed classified defense documents to two AIPAC officials, Steven Rosen and Keith Weissman, who in turn transmitted them to a senior official in Israel. Franklin was sentenced to thirteen years in prison (later reduced to ten years of house-arrest), while Rosen and Weissman were acquitted. Most neoconservatives are active members of the second most powerful lobby pro-Israel, the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA), of which Dick Cheney and Ahmed Chalibi are also members, among others responsible for instigating the Iraq invasion. JINSA was founded in 1976 by American army officers, intellectuals, and politicians, with one of its stated aims “to inform the American defense and foreign affairs community about the important role Israel can and does play in bolstering democratic interests in the Mediterranean and the Middle East”. Colin Powell, according to his biographer Karen DeYoung, privately rallied against this “separate little government” composed of “Wolfowitz, Libby, Feith, and Feith’s ‘Gestapo Office’”, which he also called “the JINSA crowd”.
In 2011, Powell’s former Chief of Staff Lawrence Wilkerson openly denounced the duplicity of neoconservatives such as David Wurmser and Douglas Feith, whom he considered like “card-carrying members of the Likud party. […] I often wondered if their primary allegiance was to their own country or to Israel. That was the thing that troubled me, because there was so much that they said and did that looked like it was more reflective of Israel’s interest than our own”. In fact, a significant number of neoconservatives are Israeli citizens, have family in Israel or have resided there themselves. Some are openly close to Likud, the nationalist party in power in Israel, and several have even been official advisors to Netanyahu; many are regularly praised for their work on behalf of Israel by the Israeli press. Paul Wolfowitz, for example, was nominated “Man of the Year” by the pro-Likud Jerusalem Post in 2003, and « the most hawkishly pro-Israel voice in the Administration » by the American Jewish daily newspaper The Forward.
The duplicity of the neoconservatives is brought to light by a document revealed in 2008 by authors such as James Petras and Stephen Sniegoski (see bibliography); it is a 1996 report by the Israeli think tank Institute for Advanced Strategic and Political Studies, entitled “A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm”, sent to the new Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu. The team responsible for the report was led by Richard Perle, and included Douglas Feith, David Wurmser and his wife Meyrav Wurmser. Perle personally gave the report to Netanyahu on July 8th, 1996. The same year, the authors signed the founding manifesto of PNAC in the U.S., and four years later, they would be positioned in key posts of the U.S. military and U.S. foreign policy. As its title suggests, the report Clean Break invites Netanyahu to break with the Oslo Accords of 1993, which committed Israel to the return of the territories it occupied since 1967 and to retract illegal settlements. The new Prime minister should instead “engage every possible energy on rebuilding Zionism” and reaffirm Israel’s right over the West Bank and the Gaza Strip: “Our claim to the land — to which we have clung for hope for 2,000 years — is legitimate and noble. […] Only the unconditional acceptance by Arabs of our rights, especially in their territorial dimension, ‘peace for peace,’ is a solid basis for the future”. The authors of Clean Break therefore encourage Netanyahu to adopt a politics of territorial annexation, not only contrary to the official position of the United States and the United Nations, but also contrary to public commitments made by Israel. Even though he signed the “roadmap” intended to lead to an independent Palestinian State in September 1999, and maintained his position at the Camp David summit in July 2000, Netanyahu followed the advice of Clean Break and secretly worked to sabotage the process.
During a private interview filmed without his knowledge in 2001, he bragged how he undercut the peace process: “I’m going to interpret the accords in such a way that would allow me to put an end to this galloping forward to the ’67 borders”. He also said: “I know what America is. America is a thing you can move very easily, move it in the right direction. They won’t get in our way.”
The recommendations to the Israeli government to sabotage the peace process in Palestine are presented by the authors of Clean Break as part of a larger plan to allow Israel to “shape its strategic environment”, by “removing Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq”, weakening Syria and Lebanon, and finally Iran. When Perle, Feith and Wurmser moved to key positions in the U.S. government, they arranged for the United States to implement the program themselves, without Israel having to pay a single drop of blood. If there are differences between the Clean Break report written for the Israeli government in 1996 and the report Rebuilding America’s Defenses written by the same authors for the U.S. government in 2000, it is not in the program itself, but rather the argued reasons. First, Clean Break does not have Iraq as a threat, but as the weakest of the enemies of Israel, the least dangerous and the easiest to break. In a follow-up to Clean Break, entitled Coping with Crumbling States: A Western and Israeli Balance of Power Strategy for the Levant, Wurmser emphasizes the fragility of Middle East States, particularly Iraq: “the residual unity of the nation is an illusion projected by extreme repression of the state”. Thus the same action of first overthrowing Saddam is recommended to Israel and the United States, but for opposite reasons. The weakness of Iraq, which is the reason for Israel, does not constitute a valid reason for the United States; and so it was therefore necessary to present Iraq to the Americans as a mortal threat to their country. Netanyahu himself authored an article in the Wall Street Journal in September 2002, under the title “The Case for Toppling Saddam”, describing Saddam as “a dictator who is rapidly expanding his arsenal of biological and chemical weapons, who has used these weapons of mass destruction against his subjects and his neighbors, and who is feverishly trying to acquire nuclear weapons”. Nothing of such a threat, however, is mentioned in Israeli internal documents, which also make no mention of any further connection between Iraq and Al-Qaeda, nor even Al-Qaeda in general. The perspective on Iraq in Clean Break was the realistic one, while the motives given America was pure propaganda: by the time American troops moved into Iraq, the country had been ruined by a decade of economic sanctions that had not only rendered its army powerless, but also destroyed its once exemplary education and health care systems, taking the lives, according to UNICEF, of half a million children. It follows, therefore, that the speech given.
The second fundamental difference between the strategy recommended for Israelis and the propaganda sold to the Americans: while the second highlights both the security interest of the United States, and the noble ideal to spread democracy in the Middle East, the first ignores these two themes. The changes proposed by the Clean Break authors are not expected to bring any benefit to the Arab world. Instead, the goal is clearly to weaken Israel’s enemies by sharpening ethnic, religious and territorial disputes between countries and within each country. After the fall of Saddam, foreseen in Coping with Crumbling States, Iraq would be “ripped apart by the politics of warlords, tribes, clans, sects, and key families”, for the benefit of Israel. Furthermore, it is not democracy that Clean Break recommended for Iraq, but rather restoring a pro-Western monarchy. Such an outcome would obviously be unacceptable to the Americans, but when Lewis Paul Bremer, as head of the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) in 2003, brought about the destruction of the military and civilian infrastructure in the name of “de-Bassification”, it was viewed as a success from the eyes of the Likud. Better still, by dissolving the army, Bremer indirectly created a disorganized pool of resistance of some 400 000 angry soldiers, ensuring chaos for a few years. Daniel Pipes had the gall to write, three years after the invasion of Iraq: “the benefits of eliminating Saddam’s rule must not be forgotten in the distress of not creating a successful new Iraq. Fixing Iraq is neither the coalition’s responsibility nor its burden”. And besides, he adds, “when Sunni terrorists target Shiites and vice-versa, non-Muslims are less likely to be hurt. Civil war in Iraq, in short, would be a humanitarian tragedy but not a strategic one” (New York Sun, February 28, 2006). Under Bremer’s leadership, 9 billion dollars disappeared in fraud, corruption and embezzlement, according to a report by the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction Stuart Bowen, published January 30th, 2005.
In 2001, Lewis Paul Bremer was the chairman of the National Commission on Terrorism who appeared on NBC two hours after the “collapse” of the Twin Towers, to calmly explain that “Bin Laden […] has to be a prime suspect” and that “there are at least two States, Iran and Iraq, which should at least remain on the list as essential suspects”. When the reporter from NBC drew a predictable parallel between the attack and Pearl Harbor, Bremer confirmed: “It is the day that will change our lives. It is the day when the war that the terrorists declared on the US […] has been brought home to the U.S.”
The difference between the neocons’ Israeli and Amercian discourses finds its explanation in the Israeli document itself, which recommends Netanyahu present Israeli strategy “in language familiar to the Americans by tapping into themes of American administrations during the cold war which apply well to Israel”; the Netanyahu government should “promote Western values and traditions. Such an approach […] will be well received in the United States”. The references to moral values are thus nothing more than tactics to mobilize the United States. Finally, while the authors of the Israeli report stressed the importance of winning the sympathy and support of the United States, they also declare that their strategy will ultimately free Israel from American pressure and influence: “such self-reliance will grant Israel greater freedom of action and remove a significant lever of [United States] pressure used against it in the past”.
Passing off a threat against Israel as though it were a threat against the United States is a trick to which Netanyahu had no need to be converted; he has been employing it since the 1980s to rally Americans alongside Israel in the “international war on terrorism”, a concept which he can claim to have invented in his books International Terrorism: Challenge and Response (1982) and Terrorism: How the West can Win (1986). In their book An End to Evil (2003), Richard Perle and David Frum likewise work to embed the fears of Israelis into the minds of Americans; for example, they ardently urge Americans to “end this evil before it kills again and on a genocidal scale. There is no middle way for Americans: It is victory or holocaust”. It is, however, impossible for anyone to be consistently hypocritical, and it happens eventually that neoconservatives recklessly open their thoughts to the public. This is what happened to Philip Zelikow, Councelor to Condoleezza Rice and Executive Director of the Commission on September 11, when, speaking about the Iraqi threat during a conference at the University of Virginia September 10, 2002, he let slip:
“Why would Iraq attack America or use nuclear weapons against us? I’ll tell you what I think the real threat is and actually has been since 1990: it’s the threat against Israel. And this is the threat that dare not speak its name, because the Europeans don’t care deeply about that threat, I will tell you frankly. And the American government doesn’t want to lean too hard on it rhetorically, because it is not a popular sell”. That’s really it in a nutshell: the United States must be led to make war with the enemies of Israel, and in order to that, Americans must be convinced that Israel’s enemies are America’s enemies.
In addition, it is necessary that the Americans believe that these enemies hate their country for what it claims to represent (i.e. democracy, freedom, etc.), not because of its support for Israel. The signatories of the PNAC letter to President Bush on April 3rd, 2002 (including William Kristol, Richard Perle, Daniel Pipes, Norman Podhoretz, Robert Kagan, and James Woolsey) go as far as claiming that the Arab world hates Israel because it is a friend of the United States, rather than the reverse: “No one should doubt that the United States and Israel share a common enemy. We are both targets of what you have correctly called an “Axis of Evil.” Israel is targeted in part because it is our friend, and in part because it is an island of liberal, democratic principles — American principles — in a sea of tyranny, intolerance, and hatred”. It is a well-known fact that America had no enemies in the Middle East before its covenant with Israel in the late 60s. On September 21st, 2001, the New York Post published an editorial by Netanyahu propagating the same historical falsification: “Today we are all Americans. […] For the bin Laden’s of the world, Israel is merely a sideshow. America is the target”. Three days later The New Republic responded with a headline on behalf of the Americans: “We are all Israelis now”. The post-9/11 propaganda has created a relationship fused by emotion. Wrongly, Americans have understood September 11th as an expression of hatred towards them from the Arab world and have thus experienced immediate sympathy for Israel, an emotional link neoconservatives exploit without limit; Paul Wolfowitz declared April 11th, 2002:
“Since September 11th, we Americans have one thing more in common with Israelis. On that day America was attacked by suicide bombers. At that moment every American understood what it was like to live in Jerusalem, or Netanya or Haifa. And since September 11th, Americans now know why we must fight and win the war on terrorism”.
Questioned on September 11 about the event of the day by James Bennet for the New York Times, Netanyahu let go:
“It’s very good […] it will generate immediate sympathy. […], strengthen the bond between our two peoples”.
He confirmed it 8 years later, at Bar-Ilan University: “We are benefiting from one thing, and that is the attack on the Twin Towers and Pentagon, and the American struggle in Iraq”, adding that these events “swung American public opinion in our favor”. (Ma’ariv, April 17, 2008).
One of the goals is to encourage Americans to view the oppression of the Palestinians as part of the fight against Islamic terrorism. As Robert Jensen said in the documentary Peace, Propaganda and the Promised Land by Sut Jhally et Bathsheba Ratzkoff (2004): “Since the Sept 11th attack on the US, Israel’s PR strategy has been to frame all Palestinian action, violent or not, as terrorism. To the extent that they can do that, they’ve repackaged an illegal military occupation as part of America’s war on terror”. On December 4th, 2004, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon justified his brutality against the people of Gaza by claiming that Al-Qaeda had established a base there; but then on December 6th, the head of Palestinian Security Rashid Abu Shbak revealed in a press conference telephone banking traces proving that the secret services of Israel had themselves tried to create fake Al-Qaeda cells in the Gaza Strip, hoping to recruit Palestinians under the name of bin Laden. The recruits had received money and (defective) weapons and, after five months of indoctrination, were instructed to claim a future attack in Israel on behalf of “the Al-Qaeda group of Gaza”. Israeli services had intended, it seems, to mount an attack (whether real or false) against their own people and do so under the name of Al-Qaeda, in order to justify retaliation against Palestine.
In April 2003, a report titled Israeli Communications Priorities 2003, commissioned to the communications agency Luntz Research Companies & The Israel Project, by the Wexler Foundation, a Zionist organization specializing in cultural exchanges, offers linguistic recommendations to “to integrate and leverage history and communications for the benefit of Israel” with the American public. The document recommends, for example, to speak frequently of “Saddam Hussein” which are “the two words that tie Israel to America”, and “two of the most hated words in the English language right now”. “For a year — a SOLID YEAR — you should be invoking the name of Saddam Hussein and how Israel was always behind American effort to rid the world of this ruthless dictator and liberate their people”. The report also repeatedly suggests that a parallel between Saddam Hussein and Yasser Arafat need be established. By an ultimate sophistication, Michael Ledeen disputes in his book The War Against the Terror Masters (2003) the common idea that peace in Palestine is the condition for peace in the Middle East; the opposite, he claims, is true: “If we destroy the terror masters in Baghdad, Damascus, Tehran, and Riyadh, we might have a chance of brokering a durable peace [in Palestine]”.
The road to World War IV
Iraq was first on the list. Since the first Gulf war, neocons have been demonizing Saddam Hussein’s regime. David Wurmser, for example, published in 1999, after other islamophobic books, Tyranny’s Ally: America’s Failure to Defeat Saddam Hussein. In 2000, the American Enterprise Institute published Study of Revenge: Saddam Hussein’s Unfinished War Against America, whose author, Laurie Mylroie, expresses her debt to Scooter Libby, David Wurmser, John Bolton, Michael Ledeen, and above all Paul Wolfowitz and his wife Clare Wolfowitz, also member of AEI. Mylroie goes as far as accusing Saddam Hussein of being the mastermind of anti-American terrorism, blaming him (without proofs) for the 1993 bombing of the WTC, for the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, and for the attack against the USS Cole in Yemen in 2000. What threatens the United States, according to her, is “an undercover war of terrorism, waged by Saddam Hussein“, itself “a phase in a conflict that began in August 1990, when Iraq invaded Kuwait, and that has not ended”. Richard Perle described this book as “splendid and wholly convincing”.
Neoconservatives lost no time in exploiting against Iraq the trauma of 9/11 after creating it. As soon as September 19th , Richard Perle invited to join in a Defense Policy Board meeting neocons Paul Wolfowitz and Bernard Lewis (inventor before Huntington of the self-fulfilling prophecy of the “Clash of Civilizations”), but neither Colin Powell nor Condoleezza Rice. The assembly agreed to overthrow Saddam Hussein as soon as the initial phase of the Afghanistan war is over. In a letter to President Bush written under the letterhead of PNAC, they reminded President Bush of his historical mission: “even if evidence does not link Iraq directly to the attack, any strategy aiming at the eradication of terrorism and its sponsors must include a determined effort to remove Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq. Failure to undertake such an effort will constitute an early and perhaps decisive surrender in the war on international terrorism”. The argument of a linked between Saddam and Al-Qaïda is here toned down and, in the summer 2002, Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair will simply evoke “broad linkages”. Perle, however, kept claiming, against all evidence, that supposed 9/11 terrorist Mohamed Atta had met with Iraqi diplomat Ahmed Khalil Ibrahim Samir in Prague in 1999. On Seeptember 8th, 2002 in Milan, Perle even made up a scoop for the Intalian newspaper Il Sole : “Mohammed Atta met Saddam Hussein in Baghdad prior to September 11. We have proof of that”.
Rumors of a link between Saddam and Al Qaeda was finally traded for a more elaborate casus belli: Saddam’s Weapons of Mass Destruction. To force this new lie onto the American State Department and public opinion, Cheney et Rumsfeld renewed their winning strategy of Team B, consisting in overtaking the CIA through a parallel team of pseudo-experts, to produce the terrifying report they needed: this will be the Office of Special Plans (OSP), established within the Near East and South Asia (NESA) of the Pentagon, under the control of neocons William Luti, Abram Shulsky, Douglas Feith, and Paul Wolfowitz. Lieutenant Colonel Karen Kwiatkowski, who worked for NESA at that time, testified in 2004 of the incompetence of OSP members, whom she saw “usurp measured and carefully considered assessments, and through suppression and distortion of intelligence analysis promulgate what were in fact falsehoods to both Congress and the executive office of the président. […] This was creatively produced propaganda”.
On February 5th, 2003, Secretary of State Colin Powell engages his reputation in convincing the General Assembly of the United Nations that Saddam Hussein’s WMD poses a threat to the world. He will later regret his speech, calling it “a blot on my record”, and claiming to have been deceived himself.
Just as some neoconservatives see the failure of U.S. forces in Iraq as a pretext to threaten Iran, others find the failure to recover Saddam’s “weapons of mass destruction” a pretext to accuse Syria. In 2003, they passed on the ridiculous allegations of Ariel Sharon, who said that Iraq had secretly transferred their WMDs to Syria, along with their nuclear scientists. On November 11th, 2003, Congress passed the Syria Accountability and Lebanese Sovereignty Restoration Act, imposing economic sanctions intended “to halt Syrian support for terrorism, end its occupation of Lebanon, [and] stop its development of weapons of mass destruction”. The aggression against Syria didn’t begin until 2012, under the guise of a civil war, but it had been premeditated since at least February 2000, when David Wurmser, in an article for the American Enterprise Institute entitled “Let’s Defeat Syria, Not Appease It” was calling for a conflict through which “Syria will slowly bleed to death”.
Since September 2001, Iran has also been placed in the crosshairs of the neoconservatives. They seem to echo the sentiments of Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, who, in the London Times on November 2nd, 2002 called Iran the “center of world terror” and called for threats against Iran “the day after the U.S. invades Iraq”. The failure of U.S. troops to silence the resistance in Iraq forced the postponement of the attack on Iran. But Daniel Pipes took the bad news in good spirits, cheerfully stating in the New York Sun (February 28th, 2006) that the Iraqi civil war will invite “Syrian and Iranian participation, hastening the possibility of an American confrontation with those two states”. In spring 2008, President Bush publicly took up this new neoconservative chorus: “The regime of Teheran has a choice to make. […] If Iran makes the wrong choice, America will act to protect our interests and our troops and our Iraqi partners”. We should remember that in May 2003, through the Swiss ambassador in Tehran, the Iranian government sent to Washington a proposal known as the “Grand Bargain”, which, in exchange for the lifting of economic sanctions against Iran, promised cooperation with the United States to stabilize Iraq and to establish there a secular democracy, and was prepared to further concessions, including peace with Israel. Bush and Cheney, however, prevented Powell from responding positively to the gesture. And therefore, summarized his Chief of Staff Lawrence Wilkerson: “the secret cabal got what it wanted: no negotiations with Tehran”.
In parallel to this kind of diplomatic obstinacy, false pretenses of war have been regularly created. We know from Gwenyth Todd, advisor on the Middle East linked to the U.S. Navy Fifth Fleet stationed in the Persian Gulf, that after being barely appointed commander of the fleet in 2007, Vice Admiral Kevin Cosgriff ordered his aircraft carriers and other ships into aggressive maneuvers in order to strike panic into the Iranians, hoping for a shot fired that would allow them to engage in war for which the pro-Israel lobby was eagerly waiting. Cosgriff wanted to “put a virtual armada, unannounced, on Iran’s doorstep”, without even informing Washington, according to the Washington Post, August 21st, 2012. On January 6th, 2008, the Pentagon announced that Iranian boats fired on American ships USS Hooper and USS Port Royal on patrol in the Strait of Hormuz, while broadcasting threatening messages such as: “I am coming to you”, and “you will explode after two minutes”. The television showed one of the Iranian boats dumping small white objects into the water, presenting the situation as one of hostility, as though the white objects were mines. Referring to this exceptionally “provocative and dramatic” incident, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mike Mullen expressed concern about “the threat posed by Iran”, including “the threat of mining those straits”, and affirmed his willingness to use “deadly force” if necessary. In reality, the situation presented by the media and Mullen was completely untrue. The Iranian boats that patrolled the area and often passed American ships on a daily basis, had issued no threat whatsoever. Vice Admiral Cosgriff admitted that American crews had, in fact, noted that there was nothing to worry about, since the Iranian boats carried “neither anti-ship missiles nor torpedoes”. Nor did the threatening radio messages come from these vessels: “We don’t know for sure where they came from”, admitted the spokesman for the Fifth Fleet Lydia Robertson.
The 2009 Iranian elections and the ensuing protests in Tehran presented an occasion for a new tactic of psychological warfare, this time using Internet-based social networks and relayed by the American media. Within a few days, the death of a young woman that took place during the protests was appropriated as a horrifying symbol of the kind of oppression taking place in the Islamic regime. Neda Agha-Soltan was killed June 20th, 2009 by a sniper from the paramilitary, while exiting her car with her music teacher. A video of her agony and death, filmed live by mobile phone, was transmitted instantly around the world on Facebook and YouTube. Several rallies were held around the world in her honor. There was talk of her being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Her fiancé, a photographer named Caspian Makan, meets Shimon Peres in Israel and says: “I come to Israel as an ambassador of the Iranian people, a messenger of peace”, adding, “I have no doubt that the spirit and soul of Neda was with us during the presidential meeting”. Unfortunately, there emerge blatant inconsistencies: 1. There are actually three videos of Neda’s agaonizing death, which resemble several “takes” of the same scene. 2. A BBC interview with the doctor who attended her death is full of contradictions. 3. The autopsy concluded that Neda was killed at point blank range. 4. Finally, the face that became a global icon is actually that of another young girl, Neda Soltani. Many surmised that Neda Agha-Soltan, a apprentice actress, agreed to act her own death in exchange for a promising career abroad, but was shot for real immediately after.
Finally, Iran is indicted, since the beginning of the first Bush presidency, for its civilian nuclear research program, claims being made that it is only a front for secret military operations. The 2005 publication of a first National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) report was the subject of intense media attention regarding Iran and its supposed interests; though its revision in 2007 should have calmed what were alarming implications from the 2005 version, it was largely ignored, as was the fact that religious leaders of Iran, begun by Ayatollah Khomeini, had issued several fatwa banning nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction. Meanwhile, nothing is mentioned regarding the illegal Israeli program that operates still unacknowledged, one that has allowed Israel to stockpile an estimated 200 atomic bombs to date.
Among the countries targeted by the neocons after 9/11, we must not forget to mention the two best allies of the U.S. in the Middle East, which is proof that the neocons do not have U.S. interests at heart. The plan to accuse and threaten Saudi Arabia was clearly built in the 9/11 false flag scenario, as is evidenced by the fact that Osama bin Laden and 15 out his 19 hi-jakers were Saudis. David Wurmser first opened fire in the Weekly Standard with an article titled “The Saudi Connection”, pretending that the Saudi royal family was behind the attack. The Hudson Institute had long been preparing the ground by violently denouncing all the sins (real and imaginary) of the Saudi dynasty, under the lead of its co-founder Max Singer (today director of research at the Institute for Zionist Strategies in Jerusalem). In June 2002, the Institute sponsored a seminar called “Discourses on Democracy: Saudi Arabia, Friend or Foe?”, where all answered pointed to foe as the right answer. A special event honored the publication of the book Hatred’s Kingdom: How Saudi Arabia Supports the New Global Terrorism, by the Israeli Dore Gold, once an advisor to Netanyahu and Sharon and an ambassador to the United Nations. On July 10th, 2002, neocon Laurent Murawiec, of the Hudson Institute and Committee on the Present Danger, was invited to speak before Richard Perle’s Defense Policy Board to explain that Saudi Arabia represented “the kernel of evil, the prime mover, the most dangerous opponent”, and to recommend that the U.S. army invade it, occupy it and dismember it. He summarized his “Grand Strategy for the Middle East” by these words: “Iraq is the tactical pivot. Saudi Arabia the strategic pivot. Egypt the prize”.
The neocons are, in fact, the original inspirators of the soft challenge to the 9/11 official story, which admits the responsibility of Al Qaeda but points to links between the Bushes, the Saudies, and the bin Ladens. In their 2003 book, An End to Evil: How to Win the War on Terror, Richard Perle and David Frum (Bush’s speech-writer) write that “The Saudis qualify for their own membership in the axis of evil”, and ask President Bush to”tell the truth about Saudi Arabia”, meaning that Saudi princes finance Al Qaeda. To understand the absurdity of such a claim, let us recall that Osama, who called the Saudi princes traitor to Islam for tolerating U.S. military bases since the Gulf war, was stripped of his Saudi nationality in 1994 and banned from the bin Laden clan. In a Declaration of War Against the Americans Occupying the Land of the Two Holy Places, published in 1996, bin Laden called for the overthrow of the Saudi dynasty and, in 1998, he admitted his role in the 1995 bombing of the National Guard headquarter in Riyad. Osama is the sworn enemy of the Saudis. It is unthinkable that the Saudis would have conspired with Osama bin Laden. On the contrary, it is plausible that the Saudis would have conspired with the Bushes against Osama bin Laden, to blame him for a terror attack in order to hunt him in Afghanistan — and, in the process, destroy the Taliban regime who had become an obstacle to the UNOCAL pipeline project: a win-win project for the Bushes and their Saudi friends.
However, the Bushes (no friends to Israel) have been outsmarted by the neocons, whose goals have little to do with oil and nothing to do with stability in Saudi Arabia. Here is probably the real purpose of having George W. Bush elected President, and the true meaning of neocon Michael Ledeen’s famous remark: “He became president, but he didn’t know why, and on sept 11, he discovered why”.
Bin Laden is a multi-use patsy. Blaming him for 9/11 made it possible to threaten and blackmail Saudi Arabia, but also Pakistan, another U.S. ally. For if the Taliban are behind bin Laden, Pakistan is behind the Talibans. No official accusation was made against Pakistan, but General Ahmed Mahmud, director of ISI (Pakistan’s CIA) was implicated by an information leaked from India (an ally to Israel, against their common enemy Pakistan), by The Times of India on October 9th, 2001: “US authorities sought his removal after confirming the fact that $100,000 were wired to WTC hijacker Mohamed Atta from Pakistan by [ISI agent] Ahmed Omar Saïd Sheikh at the instance of General Mahmud”. Since Mohamed Atta is nothing but a patsy in this whole affair, the information can only be interpreted as a way to blackmail the ISI and Pakistan into supporting the official 9/11 story and collaborating with the U.S. to destroy the Taliban. If the ISI did pay Atta for some reason, then Atta’s name was picked as ringleader of the terrorists precisely for that reason, as a lever against Pakistan. Mahmud, who had travelled often to Washington since 1999, was there precisely between September 4 and 11, 2001. He allegedly met George Tenet, Director of the CIA, Marc Grossman, Under-Secretary of State for Political Affairs, and perhaps Condoleezza Rice (who denies). At the moment of the attacks, he was at a breakfast meeting including Bob Graham, Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, and Porter Goss, Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee; “We were talking about terrorism, specifically terrorism generated from Afghanistan”, said Graham, who with Goss will be appointed to the 9/11 Commission.
General Ahmed Mahmud. We don’t know what ultimatum he was given on September 11, but he resigned the next month and disappeared from public life to join the religious movement Tablighi Jamaat.
The fake assassination of bin Laden (or assassination of fake bin Laden) in May 2011 in Pakistan is another proof that the 9/11 master plotters intended to keep maximum pressure on Pakistan. It allowed them to accuse Pakistan, after Afghanistan, of having welcomed and protected bin Laden for 10 years, which constitutes in the eyes of Americans real treason and a cause for war. Several books are written in this vein, such as Deadly Embrace: Pakistan, America, and the Future of Global Jihad by ex-CIA Bruce Riedel. According to Riedel, bin Laden’s quiet life in a suburb of Abbohabad suggest “an astonishing degree of duplicity” on the part of Pakistan, who might well be “the secret patron of global jihad on a scale almost too dangerous to conceive. We would need to rethink our entire relationship with Pakistan and our understanding of its strategic motives”.
All these wars and threats of wars under false pretexts in the wake of 9/11 betray a desire to inflame conflicts in the Middle East rather than to control resources, let alone encourage stability. Michael Ledeen himself declares in his article “The War on Terror will not end in Baghdad” in the Wall Street Journal, on September 4th, 2002: “We do not want stability in Iran, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and even Saudi Arabia: we want things to change. The real issue is not whether, but how to destabilize”.
What could be the motivation for these incessant accusations and two-faced policies? It’s not simply a mindless killing spree, and is rather a project designed by a group of exceptionally intelligent men, under a particular rationality with precise and realistic goals — but to what purpose? Osama bin Laden replied to this question in an article published by the London Arabic newspaper Al-Quds al-Arabi on February 23rd, 1998 (partially translated by Bernard Lewis in Foreign Affairs, November-December 1998). Referring to “the Crusader-Jewish alliance”, bin Laden speaks of “their attempts to dismember all the states of the region, such as Iraq and Saudi Arabia and Egypt and Sudan, into petty states, whose division and weakness would ensure the survival of Israel”. Indeed, it appears that a Zionist cabal is interested in a new kind of world war, one that would weaken and fragment all the enemies of Israel for decades to come, putting it in a position to surpass even the United States, who would be ruined by their ruthless military spending (just like the USSR in the 80s) and hated across the globe. Little, it would seem, stands in the way of the final phase of the Zionist plan: a thorough ethnic cleansing and the annexation of the whole of Palestine.
Not without some irony, the neoconservative Stephen Schwartz, author of The Two Faces of Islam: The House of Saud, from Tradition to Terror (2003), attributed to Saudi Arabia a plan that would spread terror throughout the world (while recognizing Saudi Arabia “incapable of defending its own territory”) and blamed Islam for the emergence of a World War whose bloody unfolding will mean: “The war against terrorist Wahhabism is therefore a war to the death, as the second world war was a war to the death against fascism”.
In an article in the Wall Street Journal dated November 20th, 2001, the neoconservative Eliot Cohen speaks about the war against terrorism as “World War IV”, a framing soon echoed by other neoconservatives. In September 2004, at a conference in Washington attended by neoconservatives Norman Podhoretz and Paul Wolfowitz entitled “World War IV: Why We Fight, Whom We Fight, How We Fight”, Cohen said: “The enemy in this war is not ‘terrorism’ […] but militant Islam”. Like the Cold War (considered to be a third world war), this Fourth World War, as seen prophetically by Cohen, has ideological roots, will have global implications and will last a long time, involving a whole range of conflicts. The rhetorical device of this “fourth” global conflict has also been popularized by Norman Podhoretz, in “How to Win World War IV” published in Commentary in February 2002, followed by a second article in September 2004, “World War IV: How It Started , What It Means, and Why We Have to Win”, and finally in 2007 in a book called “World War IV: The Long Struggle Against Islamofascism”.
The Bible and the Empire
Clearly, the strategists of Likud and their neoconservative allies intend to forge their legacy as those who waged and won the global annihilation of the Islamic civilization. How does one account for such hubris? One explanation lies in the very nature of the State of Israel and the leadership role held by its military since day one, not unlike the American National Security State. David Ben Gurion, who combined the functions of Prime Minister and Defense Minister, saw the whole fate of Israel integrally intertwined with its failure or success in the defeat of an Arab enemy: “Why should the Arabs make peace? If I were an Arab leader I would never make terms with Israel. That is natural: […] we have come here and stolen their country. Why should they accept that? They may perhaps forget in one or two generations’ time, but for the moment there is no chance. So, it’s simple: we have to stay strong and maintain a powerful army. Our whole policy is there. Otherwise the Arabs will wipe us out” (Nahum Goldmann, The Jewish Paradox: A Personal Memoir, 1978). Thus, circumstances decree that Israel is and will be a security state.
It is, of course, also a colonizing state. Even when Levi Eshkol replaced Ben Gurion in 1963 as Prime Minister, his government could not oppose the military’s will of annexing new territories, as revealed Ariel Sharon to journalist Ze’ev Schiff shortly after the Six Days War: “We could have locked the ministers in the room and gone off with the key. We would have taken the appropriate decisions and no one would have known that the events taking place were the result of decisions by major generals” (Ha’aretz, June 1st, 2007).
Sharon is the man who, in the eyes of Israel and the world, most aptly embodies the spirit of the Israeli military and its security apparatus. He commanded Unit 101, which, on October 14th, 1953 razed the village of Qibya, Jordan, with dynamite, killing 69 civilians in their homes. In 1956, during the Suez Canal crisis, a unit under his command executed more than 200 Egyptian prisoners and Sudanese civilians. In 1971, charged with putting an end to ongoing resistance in the Gaza Strip, his troops killed more than 100 Palestinian civilians. And in September 1982, acting as the Minister of Defense, he launched the invasion of Lebanon, where, after his slaughter of refugees in two Palestinian camps in West Beirut he was given the nickname, “the butcher of Sabra and Chatila”. The Prime Minister at that time was Menachem Begin, once the leader of the Irgun terrorist militia, who coordinated both the attack on the King David Hotel in 1946, and the Deir Yassin massacre in 1948.
Begin, Sharon and Netanyahu’s Likud has never stopped campaigning for a Greater Israel and against a proposed Palestinian state. While Foreign Minister to Netanyahu from 1996 to 1999, Sharon described the Oslo Accords as “national suicide” and rather advocated the “biblical borders”, thereby encouraging illegal settlements: “Everybody has to move, run and grab as many hilltops as they can to enlarge the settlements because everything we take now will stay ours” he said on November 15th, 1998. When he came to power in February 2001, with Netanyahu in turn becoming Foreign Minister, Sharon deliberately sabotaged the peace process and set off the second intifada through a series of calculated provocations. When on March 28th, 2001, 22 nations gathered in Beirut under the auspices of the Arab League and agreed to recognize Israel if it only complied with Resolution 242, the next day, the Israeli army invaded and besieged Yasser Arafat in his headquarters in Ramallah. Six months later, September 11th brought the fatal blow to any hope of peace.
The Likud and its political allies among religious extremists are not merely opposed to the secession of Palestine; they are driven by an almost imperial vision of Israel’s destiny. In December 1981, Ariel Sharon expressed in a speech for the Institute for Strategic Affairs at Tel Aviv University: “Beyond the Arab countries in the Middle East and on the shores of the Mediterranean and the Red Sea, we must expand the field of Israel’s strategic and security concerns in the eighties to include countries like Turkey Iran, Pakistan, and areas like the Persian Gulf and Africa, and in particular the countries of North and Central Africa” (as translated from Hebrew in the Journal of Palestine Studies). This speech will be canceled at the last minute because of the controversy over the annexation of the Syrian territories at Golan Heights, but it will be published shortly after the in daily Ma’ariv. This “Sharon doctrine” is found in a number of Hebrew texts, translated and published by the dissident Israel Shahak in Open Secrets: Israeli Nuclear and Foreign Policies (1997). In an essay entitled “A Strategy for Israel in the Eighties” written for the World Zionist Organization in February 1982, Oded Yinon, a former senior official in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, put forward a strategy to exert control over the Middle East through the fragmentation of Israel’s neighbors, beginning with Lebanon: “The total disintegration of Lebanon into five regional localized governments is the precedent for the entire Arab world including Egypt, Syria, Iraq, and the Arab peninsula, in a similar fashion. The dissolution of Egypt and later Iraq into districts of ethnic and religious minorities following the example of Lebanon is the main long-range objective of Israel on the Eastern Front. The present military weakening of these states is the short-term objective. Syria will disintegrate into several states along the lines of its ethnic and sectarian structure, as is happening in Lebanon today.”
The ideology behind Likud’s strategy and its neoconservative allies is an intransigent version of Zionism. Zionism, as its name suggests (Zion is the name given to Jerusalem 152 times in the Hebrew Bible), is before anything else a biblical dream, shaped by the biblically defined borders of Eretz Israel. “The Bible is our mandate”, proclaimed Chaim Weisman, the future first President of Israel, at the Versailles Conference in 1919. In Germany in the late 19th century, the biblical notion of a “chosen people” was translated by the founding fathers of Zionism into a racial ideology, correlative and in competition with the fantastical dream of a superior pan-Germanic Aryan race. Zionism, like Nazism, opposed the assimilationist trend of the majority of German Jews. Zeev Jabotinsky wrote in 1923, two years before Hitler’s Mein Kampf: “A Jew raised in the midst of Germans can certainly adopt German customs and speak the German language. He can become totally immersed in this German milieu, but he will always be a Jew, because his blood, his body and his racial type, his entire organic system, is Jewish”. We now know that these kinds of claims are categorically unscientific: Israeli settlers from Eastern Europe can not claim any biological descent from among the ancient Hebrews in Judea or Samaria, unlike the Palestinians they’ve evicted from their ancestral lands, and perhaps the Sephardic Jews from North Africa, once called “human garbage” by the Prime Minister Levi Eshkol and submitted to eugenic policies in the 1950s (Haim Malka, Selection and Discrimination in the Aliya and Absorption of Moroccan and North African Jewry, 1948-1956, 1998).
The Zionism of Zev Jabotinsky is as important a key as the Machiavellianism of Leo Strauss in decrypting the mentality of the men who, in Israel and in the United States, are trying to reshape the Middle East. It is, at least, a key to understand the ultimate goals of Benjamin Netanyahu, whose father, Ben Zion Netanyahu (born Mileikowsky in Warsaw), was the personal secretary of Jabotinsky. March 31st, 2009, Netanyahu appointed Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, from the Yisrael Beiteinu party that presents itself as “a national movement with the clear vision to follow in the brave path of Zev Jabotinsky”. Lieberman is intent upon, “fighting Hamas just as the United States fought the Japanese during the Second World War”.
Zionism has outlived Nazism because, after the war, it was able to shamelessly capitalize on the terrible persecution of Jews in Europe and usurp the representation of the Jewish community. To do that, it had to force the forgetting of its active involvement with the Nazi regime in the 30s, which then saw the immigration of Jews to Palestine the “solution to the Jewish problem” (see Lenni Brenner’s 51 Documents: Zionist Collaboration with the Nazis, 2009). The pervasive legitimacy of Zionism has also relied heavily upon its biblical roots. Despite being agnostic, David Ben Gurion (born Grün), was indoctrinated by the biblical story, to the point of adopting the name of a Judean general who fought the Romans; “There can be no worthwhile political or military education about Israel without profound knowledge of the Bible”, he is quoted stating (Dan Kurzman, Ben-Gurion, Prophet of fire, 1984). While envisioning an attack against Egypt in 1948, he wrote in his diary: “This will be our revenge for what they did to our ancestors in Biblical times” (Ilan Pappe, The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine, 2008). The planned ethnic cleansing by Ben Gurion in 1947-48, which forced the fleeing of 750,000 Palestinians (more than half of the native population), was deeply reminiscent of that which was ordained by Yahweh against the Canaanites: “dispossess them of their towns and houses” (Deuteronomy 19:1), and, in the towns that resist, “not leave alive anything that breathes” (Deuteronomy 20:16-17).
This dream instilled by the biblical God to His chosen people is not only racist, it is also militarist and imperialist. These verses from the second chapter of Isaiah (reproduced in Micah 4:1-3) are often held up to show the pacifist trend of the biblical prophecy: “they shall beat their swords into plowshares, their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore” (Isaiah 2:4); but taken in context, we see that this Pax Judaica will come only when “all the nations shall flow” to the Jerusalem temple, from where “shall go forth the law” (Isaiah 2:1-3). This vision of a new world order with Jerusalem at its center resonates within the Likudnik and neoconservative circles. At the Jerusalem Summit, held from October 12th to 14th, 2003 in the symbolically significant King David Hotel, an alliance was forged between Zionist Jews and Evangelical Christians around a “theopolitical” project, one that would consider Israel, according to the “Jerusalem Declaration” published on the official website of the Summit, “the key to the harmony of civilizations”, replacing the United Nations that’s become a “a tribalized confederation hijacked by Third World dictatorships”: “Jerusalem’s spiritual and historical importance endows it with a special authority to become a center of world’s unity. […] We believe that one of the objectives of Israel’s divinely-inspired rebirth is to make it the center of the new unity of the nations, which will lead to an era of peace and prosperity, foretold by the Prophets”. Three acting Israeli ministers spoke at the summit, including Benjamin Netanyahu, and Richard Perle, the guest of honor, received on this occasion the Henry Scoop Jackson Prize.
Jerusalem’s dream empire is expected to come through the nightmare of world war. The prophet Zechariah, often cited on Zionist forums, predicted that the Lord will fight “all nations” allied against Israel. In a single day, the whole earth will become a desert, with the exception of Jerusalem, who “shall remain aloft upon its site” (14:10). Zechariah seems envision what God could do with nuclear weapons: “And this shall be the plague with which the Lord will smite all the peoples that waged war against Jerusalem: their flesh shall rot while they are still on their feet, their eyes shall rot in their sockets, and their tongues shall rot in their mouths” (14:12). It is only after the carnage that will world finally find peace, providing their worship of “the Lord Almighty”: “Then every one that survives of all the nations that have come against Jerusalem shall go up year after year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, and to keep the feast of booths. And if any of the families of the earth do not go up to Jerusalem to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, there will be no rain upon them…” (14:16-17).
(ETK note: The problem with this rosy scenario (for the Jews) is that many Christian scholars identify the Jewish Messiah as the anti-christ of Christianity…. And he will usher in an age of unparalleled destruction
Evangelical Christians, who welcome the End of the World as good news, find in the Book of Revelation plenty to feed their fantasy, especially with the Angel Faithful and True of chapter 19, coming with “the armies of heaven”, with eyes “like a flame of fire”, “a robe dipped in blood”, and in his mouth “ a sharp sword with which to smite the nations”.
With more than 50 millions members, Christians United for Israel is a major politica force in the U.S.. Its Chairman, pastor John Haggee, declared: “The United States must join Israel in a pre-emptive military strike against Iran to fulfill God’s plan for both Israel and the West, […] a biblically prophesied end-time confrontation with Iran, which will lead to the Rapture, Tribulation, and Second Coming of Christ”.
Is it possible that this biblical dream, mixed with the neo-Machiavellianism of Leo Strauss and the militarism of Likud, is what is quietly animating an exceptionally determined and organized ultra-Zionist clan? General Wesley Clark testified on numerous occasions before the cameras, that one month after September 11th, 2001 a general from the Pentagon showed him a memo from neoconservative strategists “that describes how we’re gonna take out seven countries in five years, starting with Iraq, and then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia and Sudan and finishing off with Iran”. Is it just a coincidence that the “seven nations” doomed to be destroyed by Israel form part of the biblical myths instilled in Israeli schoolchildren? According to Deuteronomy, when Yahweh will deliver Israel “seven nations greater and mightier than yourself […] you must utterly destroy them; you shall make no covenant with them, and show no mercy to them. You shall not make marriages with them…” (7:1-2). “And he will give their kings into your hand, and you shall make their name perish from under heaven” (7:24).
Laurent Guyénot – Engineer (National School of Advanced Technology, 1982) and medievalist (PhD in Medieval Studies at Paris IV-Sorbonne, 2009). He has authored numerous books on the subject. He has dedicated the past three years to studying the behind-the-scenes history of the United States, where he lived for five years.
II. Understanding Jewish Influence III: Neoconservatism as a Jewish Movement
Over the last year, there has been a torrent of articles on neoconservatism raising (usually implicitly) some difficult issues: Are neoconservatives different from other conservatives? Is neoconservatism a Jewish movement? Is it “anti-Semitic” to say so?
The thesis presented here is that neoconservatism is indeed a Jewish intellectual and political movement. This paper is the final installment in a three-part series on Jewish activism and reflects many of the themes of the first two articles. The first paper in this series focused on the traits of ethnocentrism, intelligence, psychological intensity, and aggressiveness.1 These traits will be apparent here as well. The ethnocentrism of the neocons has enabled them to create highly organized, cohesive, and effective ethnic networks. Neoconservatives have also exhibited the high intelligence necessary for attaining eminence in the academic world, in the elite media and think tanks, and at the highest levels of government. They have aggressively pursued their goals, not only in purging more traditional conservatives from their positions of power and influence, but also in reorienting US foreign policy in the direction of hegemony and empire. Neoconservatism also illustrates the central theme of the second article in this series: In alliance with virtually the entire organized American Jewish community, neoconservatism is a vanguard Jewish movement with close ties to the most extreme nationalistic, aggressive, racialist and religiously fanatic elements within Israel.2
Neoconservatism also reflects many of the characteristics of Jewish intellectual movements studied in my book, The Culture of Critique3(see Table 1).
Table 1: Characteristics of Jewish Intellectual Movements
• A deep concern with furthering specific Jewish interests, such as helping Israel or promoting immigration.
• Issues are framed in a rhetoric of universalism rather than Jewish particularism.
• Issues are framed in moral terms, and an attitude of moral superiority pervades the movement.
• Centered around charismatic leaders (Boas, Trotsky, Freud).
• Jews form a cohesive, mutually reinforcing core.
• Non-Jews appear in highly visible roles, often as spokespersons for the movement.
• A pronounced ingroup/outgroup atmosphere within the movement—dissenters are portrayed as the personification of evil and are expunged from the movement.
• The movement is irrational in the sense that it is fundamentally concerned with using available intellectual resources to advance a political cause.
• The movement is associated with the most prestigious academic institutions in the society.
• Access to prestigious and mainstream media sources, partly as a result of Jewish influence on the media.
• Active involvement of the wider Jewish community in supporting the movement.
However, neoconservatism also presents several problems to any analysis, the main one being that the history of neoconservatism is relatively convoluted and complex compared to other Jewish intellectual and political movements. To an unusual extent, the history of neoconservatism presents a zigzag of positions and alliances, and a multiplicity of influences. This is perhaps inevitable in a fundamentally political movement needing to adjust to changing circumstances and attempting to influence the very large, complex political culture of the United States.
The main changes neoconservatives have been forced to confront have been their loss of influence in the Democratic Party and the fall of the Soviet Union. Although there is a remarkable continuity in Jewish neoconservatives’ interests as Jews—the prime one being the safety and prosperity of Israel—these upheavals required new political alliances and produced a need for new work designed to reinvent the intellectual foundation of American foreign policy.
Neoconservatism also raises difficult problems of labeling. As described in the following, neoconservatism as a movement derives from the long association of Jews with the left. But contemporary neoconservatism is not simply a term for ex-liberals or leftists. Indeed, in its present incarnation, many second-generation neoconservatives, such as David Frum, Jonah Goldberg, and Max Boot, have never had affiliations with the American left. Rather, neoconservatism represents a fundamentally new version of American conservatism, if it can be properly termed conservative at all. By displacing traditional forms of conservatism, neoconservatism has actually solidified the hold of the left on political and cultural discourse in the United States. The deep and continuing chasm between neocons and more traditional American conservatives—a topic of this paper—indicates that this problem is far from being resolved.
The multiplicity of influences among neoconservatives requires some comment. The current crop of neoconservatives has at times been described as Trotskyists.4 As will be seen, in some cases the intellectual influences of neoconservatives can be traced to Trotsky, but Trotskyism cannot be seen as a current influence within the movement. And although the political philosopher Leo Strauss is indeed a guru for some neoconservatives, his influence is by no means pervasive, and in any case provides only a very broad guide to what the neoconservatives advocate in the area of public policy. Indeed, by far the best predictor of neoconservative attitudes, on foreign policy at least, is what the political right in Israel deems in Israel’s best interests. Neoconservatism does not fit the pattern of the Jewish intellectual movements described in The Culture of Critique, characterized by gurus (“rabbis”) and their disciples centered around a tightly focused intellectual perspective in the manner of Freud, Boas, or Marcuse. Neoconservatism is better described in general as a complex interlocking professional and family network centered around Jewish publicists and organizers flexibly deployed to recruit the sympathies of both Jews and non-Jews in harnessing the wealth and power of the United States in the service of Israel. As such, neoconservatism should be considered a semi-covert branch of the massive and highly effective pro-Israel lobby, which includes organizations like the America Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC)—the most powerful lobbying group in Washington—and the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA). Indeed, as discussed below, prominent neoconservatives have been associated with such overtly pro-Israel organizations as the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA), the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP), and ZOA. (Acronyms of the main neoconservative and pro-Israel activist organizations used in this paper are provided in Table 2.)
Table 2: Acronyms of Neoconservative and Pro-Israel Activist Organizations Used in this Paper
• AEI: American Enterprise Institute—A neoconservative think tank; produces and disseminates books and articles on foreign and domestic policy; http://www.aei.org/.
• AIPAC: American Israel Public Affairs Committee—The main pro-Israel lobbying organization in the U.S., specializing in influencing the U.S. Congress; http://www.aipac.org/.
• CSP: Center for Security Policy—Neoconservative think tank specializing in defense policy; formerly headed by Douglas Feith, CSP is now headed by Frank Gaffney; the CSP is strongly pro-Israel and favors a strong U.S. military; http://www.centerforsecuritypolicy.org/.
• JINSA: Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs—Pro-Israel think tank specializing in promoting military cooperation between the U.S. and Israel; http://www.jinsa.org/.
• MEF: Middle East Forum—Headed by Daniel Pipes, the MEF is a pro-Israel advocacy organization overlapping with the WINEP but generally more strident; http://www.meforum.org/.
• PNAC: Project for the New American Century—Headed by Bill Kristol, the PNAC issues letters and statements signed mainly by prominent neocons and designed to influence public policy; http://www.newamericancentury.org/.
• SD/USA: Social Democrats/USA—“Left-neoconservative” political organization advocating pro-labor social policy and pro-Israel, anticommunist foreign policy; http://www.socialdemocrats.org/.
• WINEP: Washington Institute for Near East Policy—Pro-Israel think tank specializing in producing and disseminating pro-Israel media material; http://www.washingtoninstitute.org/.
• ZOA: Zionist Organization of America—Pro-Israel lobbying organization associated with the more fanatical end of the pro-Israel spectrum in America; http://www.zoa.org/.
Compared with their deep and emotionally intense commitment to Israel, neoconservative attitudes on domestic policy seem more or less an afterthought, and they will not be the main focus here. In general, neoconservatives advocate maintaining the social welfare, immigration, and civil rights policies typical of liberalism (and the wider Jewish community) up to about 1970. Some of these policies represent clear examples of Jewish ethnic strategizing—in particular, the role of the entire Jewish political spectrum and the entire organized Jewish community as the moving force behind the immigration law of 1965, which opened the floodgates to nonwhite immigration. (Jewish organizations still favor liberal immigration policies. In 2004, virtually all American Jewish public affairs agencies belong to the National Immigration Forum, the premier open borders immigration-lobbying group.5) Since the neocons have developed a decisive influence in the mainstream conservative movement, their support for nonrestrictive immigration policies has perhaps more significance for the future of the United States than their support for Israel.
As always when discussing Jewish involvement in intellectual movements, there is no implication that all or even most Jews are involved in these movements. As discussed below, the organized Jewish community shares the neocon commitment to the Likud Party in Israel. However, neoconservatism has never been a majority viewpoint in the American Jewish community, at least if being a neoconservative implies voting for the Republican Party. In the 2000 election, 80 percent of Jews voted for Al Gore.6
These percentages may be misleading, since it was not widely known during the 2000 election that the top advisors of George W. Bush had very powerful Jewish connections, pro-Likud sympathies, and positive attitudes toward regime change in Arab countries in the Middle East. Republican strategists are hoping for 35 percent of the Jewish vote in 2004.7 President Bush’s May 18, 2004, speech to the national convention of AIPAC “received a wild and sustained standing ovation in response to an audience member’s call for ‘four more years.’ The majority of some 4,500 delegates at the national conference of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee leaped to their feet in support of the president…. Anecdotal evidence points to a sea change among Jewish voters, who historically have trended toward the Democratic Party but may be heading to Bush’s camp due to his stance on a single issue: his staunch support of Israel.”8 Nevertheless, Democrats may not lose many Jewish voters because John Kerry, the likely Democratic candidate, has a “100% record” for Israel and has promised to increase troop strength and retain the commitment to Iraq.9
The critical issue is to determine the extent to which neoconservatism is a Jewish movement—the extent to which Jews dominate the movement and are a critical component of its success. One must then document the fact that the Jews involved in the movement have a Jewish identity and that they are Jewishly motivated—that is, that they see their participation as aimed at achieving specific Jewish goals. In the case of neoconservatives, an important line of evidence is to show their deep connections to Israel—their “passionate attachment to a nation not their own,” as Pat Buchanan terms it,10 and especially to the Likud Party. As indicated above, I will argue that the main motivation for Jewish neoconservatives has been to further the cause of Israel; however, even if that statement is true, it does not imply that all Jews are neoconservatives. I therefore reject the sort of arguments made by Richard Perle, who responded to charges that neoconservatives were predominantly Jews by noting that Jews always tend to be disproportionately involved in intellectual undertakings, and that many Jews oppose the neoconservatives.11 This is indeed the case, but leaves open the question of whether neoconservative Jews perceive their ideas as advancing Jewish interests and whether the movement itself is influential. An important point of the following, however, is that the organized Jewish community has played a critical role in the success of neoconservatism and in preventing public discussion of its Jewish roots and Jewish agendas.
Non-Jewish Participation in Neoconservatism
As with the other Jewish intellectual and political movements, non-Jews have been welcomed into the movement and often given highly visible roles as the public face of the movement. This of course lessens the perception that the movement is indeed a Jewish movement, and it makes excellent psychological sense to have the spokespersons for any movement resemble the people they are trying to convince. That’s why Ahmed Chalabi (a Shiite Iraqi, a student of early neocon theorist Albert Wohlstetter, and a close personal associate of prominent neocons, including Richard Perle) was the neocons’ choice to lead postwar Iraq.12 There are many examples—including Freud’s famous comments on needing a non-Jew to represent psychoanalysis (he got Carl Jung for a time until Jung balked at the role, and then Ernest Jones). Margaret Mead and Ruth Benedict were the most publicly recognized Boasian anthropologists, and there were a great many non-Jewish leftists and pro-immigration advocates who were promoted to visible positions in Jewish dominated movements—and sometimes resented their role.13 Albert Lindemann describes non-Jews among the leaders of the Bolshevik revolution as “jewified non-Jews”—“a term, freed of its ugly connotations, [that] might be used to underline an often overlooked point: Even in Russia there were some non-Jews, whether Bolsheviks or not, who respected Jews, praised them abundantly, imitated them, cared about their welfare, and established intimate friendships or romantic liaisons with them.”14
There was a smattering of non-Jews among the New York Intellectuals, who, as members of the anti-Stalinist left in the 1940s, were forerunners of the neoconservatives. Prominent examples were Dwight MacDonald (labeled by Michael Wrezin “a distinguished goy among the Partisanskies”15—i.e., the largely Jewish Partisan Review crowd), James T. Farrell, and Mary McCarthy. John Dewey also had close links to the New York Intellectuals and was lavishly promoted by them;16 Dewey was also allied closely with his former student Sidney Hook, another major figure on the anti-Stalinist left. Dewey was a philosemite, stating: “After all, it was the Christians who made them ‘it’ [i.e., victims]. Living in New York where the Jews set the standard of living from department stores to apartment houses, I often think that the Jews are the finest product of historical Christianity…. Anyway, the finest living man, so far as I know, is a Jew—[humanitarian founder of the International Institute of Agriculture] David Lubin.”17
This need for the involvement of non-Jews is especially acute for neoconservatism as a political movement: Because neoconservative Jews constitute a tiny percentage of the electorate, they need to make alliances with non-Jews whose perceived interests dovetail with theirs. Non-Jews have a variety of reasons for being associated with Jewish interests, including career advancement, close personal relationships or admiration for individual Jews, and deeply held personal convictions. For example, as described below, Senator Henry Jackson, whose political ambitions were intimately bound up with the neoconservatives, was a strong philosemite due partly to his experiences in childhood; his alliance with neoconservatives also stemmed from his (entirely reasonable) belief that the United States and the Soviet Union were engaged in a deadly conflict and his belief that Israel was a valuable ally in that struggle. Because neoconservatives command a large and lucrative presence in the media, thinktankdom, and political culture generally, it is hardly surprising that complex blends of opportunism and personal conviction characterize participating non-Jews.
University and Media Involvement
An important feature of the Jewish intellectual and political movements I have studied has been their association with prestigious universities and media sources. The university most closely associated with the current crop of neoconservatives is the University of Chicago, the academic home not only of Leo Strauss, but also of Albert Wohlstetter, a mathematician turned foreign policy strategist, who was mentor to Richard Perle and Paul Wolfowitz, both of whom have achieved power and influence in the George W. Bush administration. The University of Chicago was also home to Strauss disciple Allan Bloom, sociologist Edward Shils, and novelist Saul Bellow among the earlier generation of neoconservatives.
Another important academic home for the neocons has been the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University. Wolfowitz spent most of the Clinton years as a professor at SAIS; the Director of the Strategic Studies Program at SAIS is Eliot Cohen, who has been a signatory to a number of the Project for a New American Century’s statements and letters, including the April 2002 letter to President Bush on Israel and Iraq (see below); he is also an advisor for Frank Gaffney’s Center for Security Policy, an important neocon think tank. Cohen is famous for labeling the war against terrorism World War IV. His book, Supreme Command, argues that civilian leaders should make the important decisions and not defer to military leaders. This message was understood by Cheney and Wolfowitz as underscoring the need to prevent the military from having too much influence, as in the aftermath of the 1991 Gulf War when Colin Powell as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff had been influential in opposing the removal of Saddam Hussein.18
Unlike other Jewish intellectual movements, the neoconservatives have been forced to deal with major opposition from within the academy, especially from Arabs and leftists in academic departments of Middle East studies. As a result, neoconservative activist groups, especially the WINEP and the MEF’s Campus Watch, have monitored academic discourse and course content and organized protests against professors, and were behind congressional legislation that will mandate U.S. government monitoring of programs in Middle East studies (see below).
Jewish intellectual and political movements also have typically had ready access to prestigious mainstream media outlets, and this is certainly true for the neocons. Most notable are the Wall Street Journal, Commentary, The Public Interest, Basic Books (book publishing), and the media empires of Conrad Black and Rupert Murdoch. Murdoch owns the Fox News Channel and the New York Post, and is the main source of funding for Bill Kristol’s Weekly Standard—all major neocon outlets.
A good example illustrating these connections is Richard Perle. Perle is listed as a Resident Fellow of the AEI, and he is on the boards of directors of the Jerusalem Post and the Hollinger Corporation, a media company controlled by Conrad Black. Hollinger owns major media properties in the U.S. (Chicago Sun-Times), England (the Daily Telegraph), Israel (Jerusalem Post), and Canada (the National Post; 50 percent ownership with CanWest Global Communications, which is controlled by Israel Asper and his family; CanWest has aggressively clamped down on its journalists for any deviation from its strong pro-Israel editorial policies19). Hollinger also owns dozens of smaller publications in the U.S., Canada, and England. All of these media outlets reflect the vigorously pro-Israel stance espoused by Perle. Perle has written op-ed columns for Hollinger newspapers as well as for the New York Times.
Neoconservatives such as Jonah Goldberg and David Frum also have a very large influence on National Review, formerly a bastion of traditional conservative thought in the U.S. Neocon think tanks such as the AEI have a great deal of cross-membership with Jewish activist organizations such as AIPAC, the main pro-Israel lobbying organization in Washington, and the WINEP. (When President George W. Bush addressed the AEI on Iraq policy, the event was fittingly held in the Albert Wohlstetter Conference Center.) A major goal of the AEI is to maintain a high profile as pundits in the mainstream media. A short list would include AEI fellow Michael Ledeen, who is extreme even among the neocons in his lust for war against all of the Arab countries in the Middle East, is “resident scholar in the Freedom Chair at the AEI,” writes op-ed articles for The Scripps Howard News Service and the Wall Street Journal, and appears on the Fox News Channel. Michael Rubin, visiting scholar at AEI, writes for the New Republic (controlled by staunchly pro-Israel Martin Peretz), the New York Times, and the Daily Telegraph. Reuel Marc Gerecht, a resident fellow at the AEI and director of the Middle East Initiative at PNAC, writes for the Weekly Standard and the New York Times. Another prominent AEI member is David Wurmser who formerly headed the Middle East Studies Program at the AEI until assuming a major role in providing intelligence disinformation in the lead up to the war in Iraq (see below). His position at the AEI was funded by Irving Moscowitz, a wealthy supporter of the settler movement in Israel and neocon activism in the US.20 At the AEI Wurmser wrote op-ed pieces for the Washington Times, the Weekly Standard, and the Wall Street Journal. His book, Tyranny’s Ally: America’s Failure to Defeat Saddam Hussein, advocated that the United States should use military force to achieve regime change in Iraq. The book was published by the AEI in 1999 with a Foreward by Richard Perle.
Prior to the invasion of Iraq, the New York Times was deeply involved in spreading deception about Iraqi weapons of mass destruction and ties to terrorist organizations. Judith Miller’s front-page articles were based on information from Iraqi defectors well known to be untrustworthy because of their own interest in toppling Saddam.21 Many of these sources, including the notorious Ahmed Chalabi, were also touted by the Office of Special Plans of the Department of Defense, which is associated with many of the most prominent Bush administration neocons (see below). Miller’s indiscretions might be chalked up to incompetence were it not for her close connections to prominent neocon organizations, in particular Daniel Pipes’s Middle East Forum (MEF), which avidly sought the war in Iraq. The MEF lists Miller as an expert speaker on Middle East issues, and she has published articles in MEF media, including the Middle East Quarterly and the MEF Wire. The MEF also threw a launch party for her book on Islamic fundamentalism, God Has Ninety-Nine Names. Miller, whose father is ethnically Jewish, has a strong Jewish consciousness: Her book One by One: Facing the Holocaust “tried to … show how each [European] country that I lived and worked in, was suppressing or distorting or politically manipulating the memory of the Holocaust.”22
The New York Times has apologized for “coverage that was not as rigorous as it should have been” but has thus far refused to single out Miller’s stories as worthy of special censure.23 Indeed, the Times’s failure goes well beyond Miller:
Some of the Times’s coverage in the months leading up to the invasion of Iraq was credulous; much of it was inappropriately italicized by lavish front-page display and heavy-breathing headlines; and several fine articles by David Johnston, James Risen and others that provided perspective or challenged information in the faulty stories were played as quietly as a lullaby. Especially notable among these was Risen’s “C.I.A. Aides Feel Pressure in Preparing Iraqi Reports,” which was completed several days before the invasion and unaccountably held for a week. It didn’t appear until three days after the war’s start, and even then was interred on Page B10.24
As is well known, the New York Times is Jewish-owned and has often been accused of slanting its coverage on issues of importance to Jews.25 It is perhaps another example of the legacy of Jacob Schiff, the Jewish activist/philanthropist who backed Adolph Ochs’s purchase of the New York Times in 1896 because he believed he “could be of great service to the Jews generally.”26
Involvement of the Wider Jewish Community
Another common theme of Jewish intellectual and political movements has been the involvement and clout of the wider Jewish community. While the prominent neoconservatives represent a small fraction of the American Jewish community, there is little doubt that the organized Jewish community shares their commitment to the Likud Party in Israel and, one might reasonably infer, Likud’s desire to see the United States conquer and effectively control virtually the entire Arab world.27 For example, representatives of all the major Jewish organizations serve on the executive committee of AIPAC, the most powerful lobby in Washington. Since the 1980s AIPAC has leaned toward Likud and only reluctantly went along with the Labor government of the 1990s.28 In October 2002, the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations issued a declaration of support for disarming the Iraqi regime.29 Jack Rosen, the president of the American Jewish Congress, noted that “the final statement ought to be crystal clear in backing the President having to take unilateral action if necessary against Iraq to eliminate weapons of mass destruction.”30
The organized Jewish community also plays the role of credential validator, especially for non-Jews. For example, the neocon choice for the leader of Iran following regime change is Reza Pahlavi, son of the former Shah. As is the case with Ahmed Chalabi, who was promoted by the neocons as the leader of post-Saddam Iraq, Pahlavi has proven his commitment to Jewish causes and the wider Jewish community. He has addressed the board of JINSA, given a public speech at the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles, met with American Jewish communal leaders, and is on friendly terms with Likud Party officials in Israel.31
Most important, the main Jewish activist organizations have been quick to condemn those who have noted the Jewish commitments of the neoconservative activists in the Bush administration or seen the hand of the Jewish community in pushing for war against Iraq and other Arab countries. For example, the ADL’s Abraham Foxman singled out Pat Buchanan, Joe Sobran, Rep. James Moran, Chris Matthews of MSNBC, James O. Goldsborough (a columnist for the San Diego Union-Tribune), columnist Robert Novak, and writer Ian Buruma as subscribers to “a canard that America’s going to war has little to do with disarming Saddam, but everything to do with Jews, the ‘Jewish lobby’ and the hawkish Jewish members of the Bush Administration who, according to this chorus, will favor any war that benefits Israel.”32 Similarly, when Senator Ernest F. Hollings (D-SC) made a speech in the U.S. Senate and wrote a newspaper op-ed piece which claimed the war in Iraq was motivated by “President Bush’s policy to secure Israel” and advanced by a handful of Jewish officials and opinion leaders, Abe Foxman of the ADL stated, “when the debate veers into anti-Jewish stereotyping, it is tantamount to scapegoating and an appeal to ethnic hatred…. This is reminiscent of age-old, anti-Semitic canards about a Jewish conspiracy to control and manipulate government.”33Despite negative comments from Jewish activist organizations, and a great deal of coverage in the American Jewish press, there were no articles on this story in any of the major U.S. national newspapers.34
These mainstream media and political figures stand accused of anti-Semitism—the most deadly charge that can be imagined in the contemporary world—by the most powerful Jewish activist organization in the U.S. The Simon Wiesenthal Center has also charged Buchanan and Moran with anti-Semitism for their comments on this issue.35 While Foxman feels no need to provide any argument at all, the SWC feels it is sufficient to note that Jews have varying opinions on the war. This of course is a nonissue. The real issue is whether it is legitimate to open up to debate the question of the degree to which the neocon activists in the Bush administration are motivated by their long ties to the Likud Party in Israel and whether the organized Jewish community in the U.S. similarly supports the Likud Party and its desire to enmesh the United States in wars that are in Israel’s interest. (There’s not much doubt about how the SWC viewed the war with Iraq; Defense Secretary Rumsfeld invited Rabbi Marvin Hier, dean of the Center, to briefings on the war.)36
Of course, neocons in the media—most notably David Frum, Max Boot, Lawrence F. Kaplan, Jonah Goldberg, and Alan Wald37—have also been busy labeling their opponents “anti-Semites.” An early example concerned a 1988 speech given by Russell Kirk at the Heritage Foundation in which he remarked that “not seldom it has seemed as if some eminent neoconservatives mistook Tel Aviv for the capital of United States”—what Sam Francis characterizes as “a wisecrack about the slavishly pro-Israel sympathies among neoconservatives.”38 Midge Decter, a prominent neocon writer and wife of Commentary editor Norman Podhoretz, labeled the comment “a bloody outrage, a piece of anti-Semitism by Kirk that impugns the loyalty of neoconservatives.”39
Accusations of anti-Semitism have become a common response to suggestions that neoconservatives have promoted the war in Iraq for the benefit of Israel.40 For example, Joshua Muravchik, whose ties to the neocons are elaborated below, authored an apologetic article in Commentary aimed at denying that neoconservative foreign policy prescriptions are tailored to benefit Israel and that imputations to that effect amount to “anti-Semitism.”41 These accusations are notable for uniformly failing to honestly address the Jewish motivations and commitments of neoconservatives, the topic of a later section.
Finally, the wider Jewish community provides financial support for intellectual and political movements, as in the case of psychoanalysis, where the Jewish community signed on as patients and as consumers of psychoanalytic literature.42 This has also been the case with neoconservatism, as noted by Gary North:
With respect to the close connection between Jews and neoconservatism, it is worth citing [Robert] Nisbet’s assessment of the revival of his academic career after 1965. His only book, The Quest for Community (Oxford UP, 1953), had come back into print in paperback in 1962 as Community and Power. He then began to write for the neoconservative journals. Immediately, there were contracts for him to write a series of books on conservatism, history, and culture, beginning with The Sociological Tradition, published in 1966 by Basic Books, the newly created neoconservative publishing house. Sometime in the late 1960’s, he told me: “I became an in-house sociologist for the Commentary-Public Interest crowd. Jews buy lots of academic books in America.” Some things are obvious but unstated. He could follow the money: book royalties. So could his publishers.43
The support of the wider Jewish community and the elaborate neoconservative infrastructure in the media and thinktankdom provide irresistible professional opportunities for Jews and non-Jews alike. I am not saying that people like Nisbet don’t believe what they write in neoconservative publications. I am simply saying that having opinions that are attractive to neoconservatives can be very lucrative and professionally rewarding.
In the following I will first trace the historical roots of neoconservatism. This is followed by portraits of several important neoconservatives that focus on their Jewish identities and their connections to pro-Israel activism.
Historical Roots Of Neoconservatism
Coming to Neoconservatism from the Far Left
All twentieth century Jewish intellectual and political movements stem from the deep involvement of Jews with the left. However, beginning in the late 1920s, when the followers of Leon Trotsky broke off from the mainstream communist movement, the Jewish left has not been unified. By all accounts the major figure linking Trotsky and the neoconservative movement is Max Shachtman, a Jew born in Poland in 1904 but brought to the U.S. as an infant. Like other leftists during the 1920s, Shachtman was enthusiastic about the Soviet Union, writing in 1923 that it was “a brilliant red light in the darkness of capitalist gloom.”44 Shachtman began as a follower of James P. Cannon,45 who became converted to Trotsky’s view that the Soviet Union should actively foment revolution.
The Trotskyist movement had a Jewish milieu as Shachtman attracted young Jewish disciples—the familiar rabbi/disciple model of Jewish intellectual movements: “Youngsters around Shachtman made little effort to hide their New York background or intellectual skills and tastes. Years later they could still hear Shachtman’s voice in one another’s speeches.”46 To a much greater extent than the Communist Party, which was much larger and was committed to following the Soviet line, the Trotskyists survived as a small group centered around charismatic leaders like Shachtman, who paid homage to the famous Trotsky, who lurked in the background as an exile from the USSR living in Mexico. In the Jewish milieu of the movement, Shachtman was much admired as a speaker because of his ability in debate and in polemics. He became the quintessential rabbinical guru—the leader of a close, psychologically intense group: “He would hug them and kiss [his followers]. He would pinch both their cheeks, hard, in a habit that some felt blended sadism and affection.”47
Trotskyists took seriously the Marxist idea that the proletarian socialist revolution should occur first in the economically advanced societies of the West rather than in backward Russia or China. They also thought that a revolution only in Russia was doomed to failure because the success of socialism in Russia depended inevitably on the world economy. The conclusion of this line of logic was that Marxists should advocate a permanent revolution that would sweep away capitalism completely rather than concentrate on building socialism in the Soviet Union.
Shachtman broke with Trotsky over defense of the Soviet Union in World War II, setting out to develop his own brand of “third camp Marxism” that followed James Burnham in stressing internal democracy and analyzing the USSR as “bureaucratic collectivism.” In 1939–1941, Shachtman battled leftist intellectuals like Sidney Hook, Max Eastman, and Dwight Macdonald, who were rejecting not only Stalinism but also Trotskyism as insufficiently open and democratic; they also saw Trotsky himself as guilty of some of the worst excesses of the early Bolshevik regime, especially his banning of opposition parties and his actions in crushing the Kronstadt sailors who had called for democracy. Shachtman defended an open, democratic version of Marxism but was concerned that his critics were abandoning socialism—throwing out the baby with the bathwater.
Hook, Eastman, Burnham, and Macdonald therefore constituted a “rightist” force within the anti-Stalinist left; it is this force that may with greater accuracy be labeled as one of the immediate intellectual ancestors of neoconservatism. By 1940, Macdonald was Shachtman’s only link to the Partisan Review crowd of the New York Intellectuals—another predominantly Jewish group—and the link became tenuous. James Burnham also broke with Shachtman in 1940. By 1941 Burnham rejected Stalinism, fascism, and even the New Deal as bureaucratic menaces, staking out a position characterized by “juridical defense, his criticism of managerial political tendencies, and his own defence of liberty,”48 eventually becoming a fixture at National Review in the decades before it became a neoconservative journal.
Shachtman himself became a Cold Warrior and social democrat in the late 1940s, attempting to build an all-inclusive left while his erstwhile Trotskyist allies in the Fourth International were bent on continuing their isolation in separate factions on the left. During this period, Shachtman saw the Stalinist takeover in Eastern Europe as a far greater threat than U.S. power, a prelude to his support for the Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba and the U.S. role in Viet Nam. By the 1950s he rejected revolutionary socialism and stopped calling himself a Trotskyist;49 during the 1960s he saw the Democratic Party as the path to social democracy, while nevertheless retaining some commitment to Marxism and socialism. “Though he would insist for the rest of his life that he had found the keys to Marxism in his era, he was recutting the keys as he went along. In the early 1950s he had spoken, written, and acted as a left-wing, though no longer revolutionary, socialist. By the late 1950s he moved into the mainstream of U.S. social democracy”50 with a strategy of pushing big business and white Southerners out of the Democratic Party (the converse of Nixon’s “Southern strategy” for the Republican Party). In the 1960s “he suggested more openly than ever before that U.S. power could be used to promote democracy in the third world”51—a view that aligns him with later neoconservatives.
In the 1960s, Michael Harrington, author of the influential The Other America, became the best known Shachtmanite, but they diverged when Harrington showed more sympathy toward the emerging multicultural, antiwar, feminist, “New Politics” influence in the Democratic Party while Shachtman remained committed to the Democrats as the party of organized labor and anti-communism.52 Shachtman became an enemy of the New Left, which he saw as overly apologetic toward the Soviet Union. “As I watch the New Left, I simply weep. If somebody set out to take the errors and stupidities of the Old Left and multiplied them to the nth degree, you would have the New Left of today.”53 This was linked to disagreements with Irving Howe, editor of Dissent, who published a wide range of authors, including Harrington, although Shachtman followers Carl Gershman and Tom Kahn remained on the editorial board of Dissent until 1971–1972.
The main link between Shachtman and the political mainstream was the influence he and his followers had on the AFL-CIO. In 1972, shortly before his death, Shachtman, “as an open anti-communist and supporter of both the Vietnam War and Zionism,”54 backed Senator Henry Jackson in the Democratic presidential primary. Jackson was a strong supporter of Israel (see below), and by this time support for Israel had “become a litmus test for Shachtmanites.”55 Jackson, who was closely associated with the AFL-CIO, hired Tom Kahn, who had become a Shachtman follower in the 1950s. Kahn was executive secretary of the Shachtmanite League for Industrial Democracy, headed at the time by Tom Harrington, and he was also the head of the Department of International Affairs of the AFL-CIO, where he was an “obsessive promoter of Israel”56 to the point that the AFL-CIO became the world’s largest non-Jewish holder of Israel bonds. His department had a budget of around $40 million, most of which was provided by the federally funded National Endowment for Democracy (NED).57 During the Reagan administration, the AFL-CIO received approximately 40 percent of available funding from the NED, while no other funded group received more than 10 percent. That imbalance has prompted speculation that NED is effectively in the hands of the Social Democrats USA—Shachtman’s political heir (see below)—the membership of which today includes both NED president Carl Gershman and a number of AFL-CIO officials involved with the endowment.
In 1972, under the leadership of Carl Gershman and the Shachtmanites, the Socialist Party USA changed its name to Social Democrats USA.58 Working with Jackson, SD/USA’s members achieved little political power because of the dominance of the New Politics wing of the Democratic Party, with its strong New Left influence from the 1960s. With the election of Ronald Reagan in 1980, however, key figures from SD/USA achieved positions of power and influence both in the labor movement and in the government. Among the latter were Reagan-era appointees such as United Nations Ambassador Jeane Kirkpatrick, Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American Affairs Elliott Abrams (son-in-law of Podhoretz and Decter), Geneva arms talks negotiator Max Kampelman (aide to Hubert Humphrey and founding member of JINSA; he remains on its advisory board), and Gershman, who was an aide to UN Ambassador Kirkpatrick and head of the NED.59 Other Shachtmanites in the Reagan administration included Joshua Muravchik, a member of SD/USA’s National Committee, who wrote articles defending Reagan’s foreign policy, and Penn Kemble, an SD/USA vice-chairman, who headed Prodemca, an influential lobbying group for the Contra opponents of the leftist Sandinistas in Nicaragua. Abrams and Muravchik have continued to play an important role in neocon circles in the George W. Bush administration (see below). In addition to being associated with SD/USA,60 Kirkpatrick has strong neocon credentials. She is on the JINSA Board and is a senior fellow at the AEI. She also has received several awards from Jewish organizations, including the Defender of Israel Award [New York], given to non-Jews who stand up for the Jewish people (other neocon recipients include Henry Jackson and Bayard Rustin), the Humanitarian Award of B’nai B’rith, and the 50th Anniversary Friend of Zion Award from the prime minister of Israel (1998).61 Kirkpatrick’s late husband Evron was a promoter of Hubert Humphrey and long-time collaborator of neocon godfather Irving Kristol.
During the Reagan Administration, Lane Kirkland, the head of the AFL-CIO from 1979 to 1995, was also a Shachtmanite and an officer of the SD/USA. As secretary-treasurer of the AFL-CIO during the 1970s, Kirkland was a member of the Committee on the Present Danger, a group of neoconservatives in which “prominent Jackson supporters, advisers, and admirers from both sides of the aisle predominated.”62 Kirkland gave a eulogy at Henry Jackson’s funeral. Kirkland was not a Jew but was married to a Jew and, like Jackson, had very close ties to Jews: “Throughout his career Kirkland maintained a special affection for the struggle of the Jews. It may be the result of his marriage to Irena [nee Neumann in 1973—his second marriage], a Czech survivor of the Holocaust and an inspiring figure in her own right. Or it may be because he recognized…that the cause of the Jews and the cause of labor have been inseparable.”63
Carl Gershman remains head of the NED, which supports the U.S.-led invasion and nation-building effort in Iraq.64 The general line of the NED is that Arab countries should “get over” the Arab-Israeli conflict and embrace democracy, Israel, and the United States. In reporting on talks with representatives of the Jewish community in Turkey, Gershman frames the issues in terms of ending anti-Semitism in Turkey by destroying Al Qaeda; there is no criticism of the role of Israel and its policies in producing hatred throughout the region.65 During the 1980s, the NED supported nonviolent strategies to end apartheid in South Africa in association with the A. Philip Randolph Institute, headed by longtime civil rights activist and SD/USA neocon Bayard Rustin.66 Critics of the NED, such as Rep. Ron Paul (R-Tex), have complained that the NED “is nothing more than a costly program that takes U.S. taxpayer funds to promote favored politicians and political parties abroad.”67 Paul suggests that the NED’s support of former Communists reflects Gershman’s leftist background.
In general, at the present time SD/USA continues to support organized labor domestically and to take an active interest in using U.S. power to spread democracy abroad. A resolution of January 2003 stated that the main conflict in the world was not between Islam and the West but between democratic and nondemocratic governments, with Israel being the only democracy in the Middle East.68 The SD/USA strongly supports democratic nation building in Iraq.
A prominent member of SD/USA is Joshua Muravchik. A member of the SD/USA National Advisory Council, Muravchik is also a member of the advisory board of JINSA, a resident scholar at the AEI, and an adjunct scholar at WINEP. His book Heaven on Earth: The Rise and Fall of Socialism69 views socialism critically, but advocates a reformist social democracy that falls short of socialism; he views socialism as a failed religion that is relatively poor at creating wealth and is incompatible with very powerful human desires for private ownership.
Another prominent member of SD/USA is Max Kampelman, whose article, posted on the SD/USA website, makes the standard neoconservative complaints about the UN dating from the 1970s, especially regarding its treatment of Israel:
Since 1964,…the U.N. Security Council has passed 88 resolutions against Israel—the only democracy in the area—and the General Assembly has passed more than 400 such resolutions, including one in 1975 declaring “Zionism as a form of racism.” When the terrorist leader of the Palestinians, Arafat, spoke in 1974 to the General Assembly, he did so wearing a pistol on his hip and received a standing ovation. While totalitarian and repressive regimes are eligible and do serve on the U.N. Security Council, democratic Israel is barred by U.N. rules from serving in that senior body.70
Neoconservatives as a Continuation of Cold War Liberalism’s “Vital Center”
The other strand that merged into neoconservatism stems from Cold War liberalism, which became dominant within the Democratic Party during the Truman administration. It remained dominant until the rise of the New Politics influence in the party during the 1960s, culminating in the presidential nomination of George McGovern in 1972.71 In the late 1940s, a key organization was Americans for Democratic Action, associated with such figures as Reinhold Niebuhr, Hubert Humphrey, and Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., whose book, The Vital Center (1947), distilled a liberal anticommunist perspective which combined vigorous containment of communism with “the struggle within our country against oppression and stagnation.”72 This general perspective was also evident in the Congress for Cultural Freedom, whose central figure was Sidney Hook.73 The CCF was a group of anticommunist intellectuals organized in 1950 and funded by the CIA, and included a number of prominent liberals, such as Schlesinger.
A new wrinkle, in comparison to earlier Jewish intellectual and political movements discussed in Culture of Critique, has been that the central figures, Norman Podhoretz and Irving Kristol, have operated not so much as intellectual gurus in the manner of Freud or Boas or even Shachtman, but more as promoters and publicists of views which they saw as advancing Jewish interests. Podhoretz’s Commentary (published by the American Jewish Committee) and Kristol’s The Public Interest became clearinghouses for neoconservative ideas, but many of the articles were written by people with strong academic credentials. For example, in the area of foreign policy Robert W. Tucker and Walter Laqueur appeared in these journals as critics of liberal foreign policy.74 Their work updated the anticommunist tradition of the “vital center” by taking account of Western weakness apparent in the New Politics liberalism of the Democratic Party and the American left, as well as the anti-Western posturing of the third world.75
This “vital center” intellectual framework typified key neoconservatives at the origin of the movement in the late 1960s, including the two most pivotal figures, Irving Kristol and Norman Podhoretz. In the area of foreign policy, a primary concern of Jewish neoconservatives from the 1960s–1980s was the safety and prosperity of Israel, at a time when the Soviet Union was seen as hostile to Jews within its borders and was making alliances with Arab regimes against Israel.
As they saw it, the world was gravely threatened by a totalitarian Soviet Union with aggressive outposts around the world and a Third World corrupted by vicious anti-Semitism…A major project of Moynihan, Kirkpatrick, and other neoconservatives in and out of government was the defense of Israel…. By the mid-1970s, Israel was also under fire from the Soviet Union and the Third World and much of the West. The United States was the one exception, and the neoconservatives—stressing that Israel was a just, democratic state constantly threatened by vicious and aggressive neighbors—sought to deepen and strengthen this support.76
Irving Kristol is quite frank in his view that the U.S. should support Israel even if it is not in its national interest to do so:
Large nations, whose identity is ideological, like the Soviet Union of yesteryear and the United States of today, inevitably have ideological interests in addition to more material concerns…. That is why we feel it necessary to defend Israel today, when its survival is threatened. No complicated geopolitical calculations of national interest are necessary.77
A watershed event in neoconservatism was the statement of November 1975 by UN Ambassador Daniel P. Moynihan in response to the UN resolution equating Zionism with racism. Moynihan, whose work in the UN made him a neocon icon and soon a senator from New York,78 argued against the “discredited” notion that “there are significant biological differences among clearly identifiable groups, and that these differences establish, in effect, different levels of humanity.”79 (In this regard Moynihan may not have been entirely candid, since he appears to have been much impressed by Arthur Jensen’s research on race differences in intelligence. As an advisor to President Nixon on domestic affairs, one of Moynihan’s jobs was to keep Nixon abreast of Jensen’s research.80) In his UN speech, Moynihan ascribed the idea that Jews are a race to theorists like Houston Stewart Chamberlain, whose motivation was to find “new justifications…for excluding and persecuting Jews” in an era in which religious ideology was losing its power to do so. Moynihan describes Zionism as a “National Liberation Movement,” but one with no genetic basis: “Zionists defined themselves merely as Jews, and declared to be Jewish anyone born of a Jewish mother or—and this is the absolutely crucial fact—anyone who converted to Judaism.”81 Moynihan describes the Zionist movement as composed of a wide range of “racial stocks” (quotation marks in original)—“black Jews, brown Jews, white Jews, Jews from the Orient and Jews from the West.”
Obviously, there is much to disagree with in these ideas. Jewish racial theorists, among them Zionists like Arthur Ruppin and Vladimir Jabotinsky (the hero of the Likud Party throughout its history), were in the forefront of racial theorizing about Jews from the late nineteenth century onwards.82 And there is a great deal of evidence that Jews, including most notably Orthodox and Conservative Jews and much of the settler movement that constitutes the vanguard of Zionism today, have been and continue to be vitally interested in maintaining their ethnic integrity.83 (Indeed, as discussed below, Elliott Abrams has been a prominent neoconservative voice in favor of Jews marrying Jews and retaining their ethnic cohesion.)
Nevertheless, Moynihan’s speech is revealing in its depiction of Judaism as unconcerned about its ethnic cohesion, and for its denial of the biological reality of race. In general, neoconservatives have been staunch promoters of the racial zeitgeist of post-WWII liberal America. Indeed, as typical Cold War liberals up to the end of the 1960s, many of the older neocons were in the forefront of the racial revolution in the United States. It is also noteworthy that Moynihan’s UN speech is typical of the large apologetic literature by Jewish activists and intellectuals in response to the “Zionism is racism” resolution, of which The Myth of the Jewish Race by Raphael Patai and Jennifer Patai is perhaps the best-known example.84
The flagship neoconservative magazine Commentary, under the editorship of Norman Podhoretz, has published many articles defending Israel. Ruth Wisse’s 1981 Commentary article “The Delegitimation of Israel” is described by Mark Gerson as “perhaps the best expression” of the neoconservative view that Israel “was a just, democratic state constantly threatened by vicious and aggressive neighbors.”85 Wisse views hostility toward Israel as another example of the long history of anti-Jewish rhetoric that seeks to delegitimize Judaism.86 This tradition is said to have begun with the Christian beliefs that Jews ought to be relegated to an inferior position because they had rejected Christ. This tradition culminated in twentieth century Europe in hatred directed at secular Jews because of their failure to assimilate completely to European culture. The result was the Holocaust, which was “from the standpoint of its perpetrators and collaborators successful beyond belief.”87 Israel, then, is an attempt at normalization in which Jews would be just another country fending for itself and seeking stability; it “should [also] have been the end of anti-Semitism, and the Jews may in any case be pardoned for feeling that they had earned a moment of rest in history.”88 But the Arab countries never accepted the legitimacy of Israel, not only with their wars against the Jewish state, but also by the “Zionism as racism” UN resolution, which “institutionalized anti-Semitism in international politics.”89 Wisse criticizes New York Times columnist Anthony Lewis for criticizing Israeli policies while failing to similarly criticize Arab states that fail to embody Western ideals of freedom of expression and respect for minority rights. Wisse also faults certain American Jewish organizations and liberal Jews for criticizing the policies of the government of Menachem Begin.90
The article stands out for its cartoonish view that the history of anti-Jewish attitudes can be explained with broad generalizations according to which the behavior and attitudes of Jews are completely irrelevant for understanding the history of anti-Semitism. The message of the article is that Jews as innocent victims of the irrational hatred of Europeans have a claim for “a respite” from history that Arabs are bound to honor by allowing the dispossession of the Palestinians. The article is also a testimony to the sea change among American Jews in their support for the Likud Party and its expansionist policies in Israel. Since Wisse’s article appeared in 1981, the positive attitudes toward the Likud Party characteristic of the neoconservatives have become the mainstream view of the organized American Jewish community, and the liberal Jewish critics attacked by Wisse have been relegated to the fringe of the American Jewish community.91
In the area of domestic policy, Jewish neoconservatives were motivated by concerns that the radicalism of the New Left (many of whom were Jews) compromised Jewish interests as a highly intelligent, upwardly mobile group. Although Jews were major allies of blacks in the civil rights movement, by the late 1960s many Jews bitterly opposed black efforts at community control of schools in New York, because they threatened Jewish hegemony in the educational system, including the teachers’ union.92 Black-Jewish interests also diverged when affirmative action and quotas for black college admission became a divisive issue in the 1970s.93 It was not only neoconservatives who worried about affirmative action: The main Jewish activist groups—the AJCommittee, the AJCongress, and the ADL—sided with Bakke in a landmark case on racial quota systems in the University of California–Davis medical school, thereby promoting their own interests as a highly intelligent minority living in a meritocracy.94
Indeed, some neoconservatives, despite their record of youthful radicalism and support for the civil rights movement, began to see Jewish interests as bound up with those of the middle class. As Nathan Glazer noted in 1969, commenting on black anti-Semitism and the murderous urges of the New Left toward the middle class:
Anti-Semitism is only part of this whole syndrome, for if the members of the middle class do not deserve to hold on to their property, their positions, or even their lives, then certainly the Jews, the most middle-class of all, are going to be placed at the head of the column marked for liquidation.95
The New Left also tended to have negative attitudes toward Israel, with the result that many Jewish radicals eventually abandoned the left. In the late 1960s, the black Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee described Zionism as “racist colonialism”96 which massacred and oppressed Arabs. In Jewish eyes, a great many black leaders, including Stokely Carmichael (Kwame Touré), Jesse Jackson, Louis Farrakhan, and Andrew Young, were seen as entirely too pro-Palestinian. (Young lost his position as UN ambassador because he engaged in secret negotiations with the Palestinians.) During the 1960s, expressions of solidarity with the Palestinians by radical blacks, some of whom had adopted the Muslim religion, became a focus of neoconservative ire and resulted in many Jewish New Leftists leaving the movement.97 Besides radical blacks, other New Left figures, such as I. F. Stone and Noam Chomsky (both Jews), also criticized Israel and were perceived by neocons as taking a pro-Soviet line.98 The origins of neoconservatism as a Jewish movement are thus linked to the fact that the left, including the Soviet Union and leftist radicals in the United States, had become anti-Zionist.
In 1970 Podhoretz transformed Commentary into a weapon against the New Left.99 In December of that year National Review began, warily at first, to welcome neocons into the conservative tent, stating in 1971, “We will be delighted when the new realism manifested in these articles is applied by Commentary to the full range of national and international issues.”100 Irving Kristol supported Nixon in 1972 and became a Republican about ten years before most neocons made the switch. Nevertheless, even in the 1990s the neocons “continued to be distinct from traditional Midwestern and southern conservatives for their northeastern roots, combative style, and secularism”101—all ways of saying that neoconservatism retained its fundamentally Jewish milieu.
The fault lines between neoconservatives and paleoconservatives were apparent during the Reagan administration in the battle over the appointment of the head of the National Endowment for the Humanities, eventually won by the neoconservative Bill Bennett. The campaign featured smear tactics and innuendo aimed at M. E. Bradford, an academic literary critic and defender of Southern agrarian culture who was favored by traditional conservatives. After neocons accused him of being a “virulent racist” and an admirer of Hitler, Bradford was eventually rejected as a potential liability to the administration.102
The entry of the neoconservatives into the conservative mainstream did not, therefore, proceed without a struggle. Samuel Francis witnessed much of the early infighting among conservatives, won eventually by the neocons. Francis recounts the “catalog of neoconservative efforts not merely to debate, criticize, and refute the ideas of traditional conservatism but to denounce, vilify, and harm the careers of those Old Right figures and institutions they have targeted.”103
There are countless stories of how neoconservatives have succeeded in entering conservative institutions, forcing out or demoting traditional conservatives, and changing the positions and philosophy of such institutions in neoconservative directions…. Writers like M. E. Bradford, Joseph Sobran, Pat Buchanan, and Russell Kirk, and institutions like Chronicles, the Rockford Institute, the Philadelphia Society, and the Intercollegiate Studies Institute have been among the most respected and distinguished names in American conservatism. The dedication of their neoconservative enemies to driving them out of the movement they have taken over and demonizing them as marginal and dangerous figures has no legitimate basis in reality. It is clear evidence of the ulterior aspirations of those behind neoconservatism to dominate and subvert American conservatism from its original purposes and agenda and turn it to other purposes…. What neoconservatives really dislike about their “allies” among traditional conservatives is simply the fact that the conservatives are conservatives at all—that they support “this notion of a Christian civilization,” as Midge Decter put it, that they oppose mass immigration, that they criticize Martin Luther King and reject the racial dispossession of white Western culture, that they support or approve of Joe McCarthy, that they entertain doubts or strong disagreement over American foreign policy in the Middle East, that they oppose reckless involvement in foreign wars and foreign entanglements, and that, in company with the Founding Fathers of the United States, they reject the concept of a pure democracy and the belief that the United States is or should evolve toward it.104
Most notably, neoconservatives have been staunch supporters of arguably the most destructive force associated with the left in the twentieth century—massive non-European immigration. Support for massive non-European immigration has spanned the Jewish political spectrum throughout the twentieth century to the present. A principal motivation of the organized Jewish community for encouraging such immigration has involved a deeply felt animosity toward the people and culture responsible for the immigration restriction of 1924–1965—“this notion of a Christian civilization.”105 As neoconservative Ben Wattenberg has famously written, “The non-Europeanization of America is heartening news of an almost transcendental quality.”106 The only exception—thus far without any influence—is that since 9/11 some Jewish activists, including neoconservative Daniel Pipes, head of the MEF, and Stephen Steinlight, senior fellow of the American Jewish Committee, have opposed Muslim—and only Muslim—immigration because of possible effects on pro-Israel sentiment in the U.S.107
In general, neoconservatives have been far more attached to Jewish interests, and especially the interests of Israel, than to any other identifiable interest. It is revealing that as the war in Iraq has become an expensive quagmire in both lives and money, Bill Kristol has become willing to abandon the neoconservatives’ alliance with traditional conservatives by allying with John Kerry and the Democratic Party. This is because Kerry has promised to increase troop strength and retain the commitment to Iraq, and because Kerry has declared that he has “a 100 percent record—not a 99, a 100 percent record—of sustaining the special relationship and friendship that we have with Israel.”108 As Pat Buchanan notes, the fact that John Kerry “backs partial birth abortion, quotas, raising taxes, homosexual unions, liberals on the Supreme Court and has a voting record to the left of Teddy Kennedy” is less important than his stand on the fundamental issue of a foreign policy that is in the interest of Israel.109
The Fall of Henry Jackson and the Rise of Neoconservatism in the Republican Party
The neoconservative takeover of the Republican Party and of American conservatism in general would have been unnecessary had not the Democratic Party shifted markedly to the left in the late 1960s. Henry Jackson is the pivotal figure in the defection of the neocons from the Democratic Party to the Republican Party—the person whose political fortunes most determined the later trajectory of neoconservatism. Jackson embodied the political attitudes and ambitions of a Jewish political network that saw Jewish interests as combining traditionally liberal social policies of the civil rights and Great Society era (but stopping short of advocating quota-type affirmative action policies or minority ethnic nationalism) with a Cold War posture that was at once aggressively pro-Israel and anticommunist at a time when the Soviet Union was perceived as the most powerful enemy of Israel. This “Cold War liberal” faction was dominant in the Democratic Party until 1972 and the nomination of George McGovern. After the defeat of McGovern, the neoconservatives founded the Committee for a Democratic Majority, whose attempt to resuscitate the Cold War coalition of the Democratic Party had a strong representation of Shachtmanite labor leaders as well as people centered around Podhoretz’s Commentary: Podhoretz; Ben Wattenberg (who wrote speeches for Hubert Humphrey and was an aide to Jackson); Midge Decter; Max Kampelman (see above); Penn Kemble of the SD/USA; Jeane Kirkpatrick (who began writing for Commentary during this period); sociologists Daniel Bell, Nathan Glazer, and Seymour Martin Lipset; Michael Novak; Soviet expert Richard Pipes; and Albert Shanker, president of the American Federation of Teachers. Nevertheless, “by the end of 1974, the neoconservatives appeared to have reached a political dead end. As guardians of vital center liberalism, they had become a minority faction within the Democratic Party, unable to do more than protest the party’s leftward drift.”110
The basic story line is that after failing again in 1976 and 1980 to gain the presidential nomination for a candidate who represented their views, this largely Jewish segment of political activists—now known as neoconservatives—switched allegiance to the Republican Party. The neocons had considerable influence in the Reagan years but less in the George H. W. Bush administration, only to become a critically important force in the foreign policy of the George W. Bush administration where, in the absence of a threat from the Soviet Union, neoconservatives have attempted to use the power of the United States to fundamentally alter the political landscape of the Middle East.
Henry Jackson was an ideal vehicle for this role as champion of Jewish interests. He was a very conscious philosemite: “My mother was a Christian who believed in a strong Judaism. She taught me to respect the Jews, help the Jews! It was a lesson I never forgot.”111 Jackson also had very positive personal experiences with Jews during his youth. During his college years he was the beneficiary of generosity from a Jew who allowed him to use a car to commute to college, and he developed lifelong friendships with two Jews, Stan Golub and Paul Friedlander. He was also horrified after seeing Buchenwald, the WWII German concentration camp, an experience that made him more determined to help Israel and Jews.
Entering Congress in 1940, Jackson was a strong supporter of Israel from its beginnings in 1948. By the 1970s he was widely viewed as Israel’s best friend in Congress: “Jackson’s devotion to Israel made Nixon and Kissinger’s look tepid.”112 The Jackson-Vanik Amendment linking U.S.-Soviet trade to the ability of Jews to emigrate from the Soviet Union was passed over strenuous opposition from the Nixon administration. And despite developing a reputation as the “Senator from Boeing,” Jackson opposed the sale of Boeing-made AWACS to Saudi Arabia because of the possibility that they might harm the interests of Israel.
Jackson’s experience of the Depression made him a liberal, deeply empathetic toward the suffering that was so common during the period. He defined himself as “vigilantly internationalist and anticommunist abroad but statist at home, committed to realizing the New Deal–Fair Deal vision of a strong, active federal government presiding over the economy, preserving and enhancing welfare protection, and extending civil rights.”113 These attitudes of Jackson, and particularly his attitudes on foreign policy, brought him into the orbit of Jewish neoconservatives who held similar attitudes on domestic issues and whose attitudes on foreign policy stemmed fundamentally from their devotion to the cause of Israel:
Jackson’s visceral anticommunism and antitotalitarianism…brought him into the orbit of Jewish neoconservatives despite the subtle but important distinction in their outlook. The senator viewed the threat to Israel as a manifestation of the totalitarian threat he considered paramount. Some neoconservatives viewed Soviet totalitarianism as the threat to Israel they considered paramount.114
Jackson had developed close ties with a number of neocons who would later become important. Richard Perle was Jackson’s most important national security advisor between 1969 and 1979, and Jackson maintained close relations with Paul Wolfowitz, who began his career in Washington working with Perle in Jackson’s office. Jackson employed Perle even after credible evidence surfaced that he had spied for Israel: An FBI wiretap on the Israeli Embassy revealed Perle discussing classified information that had been supplied to him by someone on the National Security Council staff, presumably Helmut (“Hal”) Sonnenfeldt. (Sonnenfeldt, who was Jewish, “was known from previous wiretaps to have close ties to the Israelis as well as to Perle…. [He] had been repeatedly investigated by the FBI for other suspected leaks early in his career.”115) As indicated below, several prominent neocons have been investigated on credible charges of spying for Israel: Perle, Wolfowitz, Stephen Bryen, Douglas Feith, and Michael Ledeen. Neocon Frank Gaffney, the non-Jewish president of the CSP, a neocon thinktank, was also a Jackson aide. Jackson was also close to Bernard Lewis of Princeton University; Lewis is a Jewish expert on the Middle East who has had an important influence on the neocons in the George W. Bush administration as well as close ties to Israel.116
In the 1970s Jackson was involved with two of the most important neocon groups of the period. In 1976 he convened Team B, headed by Richard Pipes (a Harvard University Soviet expert), and including Paul Nitze, Wolfowitz, and Seymour Weiss (former director of the State Department’s Bureau of Political-Military Affairs). Albert Wohlstetter, who was Wolfowitz’s Ph.D. advisor at the University of Chicago, was a major catalyst for Team B. Jackson was also close to the Committee on the Present Danger. Formed in November 1976, the committee was a Who’s Who of Jackson supporters, advisors, confidants, and admirers from both the Democratic and Republican parties, and included several members associated with the SD/USA: Paul Nitze, Eugene Rostow, Jeane Kirkpatrick, Admiral Elmo Zumwalt, Max Kampelman, Lane Kirkland, Richard Pipes, Seymour Martin Lipset, Bayard Rustin, and Norman Podhoretz. CPD was a sort of halfway house for Democratic neocons sliding toward the Republican Party.
The result was that all the important neocons backed Jackson for president in 1972 and 1976. Jackson commanded a great deal of financial support from the Jewish community in Hollywood and elsewhere because of his strong support for Israel, but he failed to win the 1976 Democratic nomination, despite having more money than his rivals. After Jackson’s defeat and the ascendance of the leftist tendencies of the Carter administration, many of Jackson’s allies went to work for Reagan with Jackson’s tacit approval, with the result that they were frozen out of the Democratic Party once Carter was defeated.117 A large part of the disillusionment of Jackson and his followers stemmed from the Carter administration’s attitude toward Israel. Carter alienated American Jews by his proposals for a more evenhanded policy toward Israel, in which Israel would return to its 1967 borders in exchange for peace with the Arabs. Jews were also concerned because of the Andrew Young incident. (Young, the U.S. Ambassador to the UN and an African American, had been fired after failing to disclose to the State Department details of his unauthorized meeting with representatives of the Palestinians. Blacks charged that Jews were responsible for Young’s firing.)
In October 1977 the Carter administration, in a joint communiqué with the Soviet Union, suggested Israel pull back to the 1967 borders: “Jackson joined the ferocious attack on the administration that ensued from devotees of Kissinger’s incremental approach and from Israel’s supporters in the United States. He continued to regard unswerving U.S. support for Israel as not only a moral but a strategic imperative, and to insist that the maintenance of a strong, secure, militarily powerful Israel impeded rather than facilitated Soviet penetration of the Middle East.”118 Jackson was particularly fond of pointing to maps of Israel showing how narrow Israel’s borders had been before its 1967 conquests. For his part, Carter threatened to ask the American people “to choose between those who supported the national interest and those who supported a foreign interest such as Israel.”119
There was one last attempt to mend the fences between the neocons and the Democrats, a 1980 White House meeting between Carter and major neocons, including Jeane Kirkpatrick, Norman Podhoretz, Midge Decter, Ben Wattenberg, Elliott Abrams (aide to neocon favorite Patrick Moynihan120), Max Kampelman, and Penn Kemble. The meeting, which discussed attitudes toward the USSR, did not go well, and “henceforth, their disdain for Carter and dislike of Kennedy would impel the neoconservatives to turn away from the Democratic Party and vote for Reagan.”121 “They had hoped to find a new Truman to rally around, a Democrat to promote their liberal ideas at home while fighting the cold war abroad. Not finding one, they embraced the Republican party and Ronald Reagan as the best alternative.”122
Perle left Jackson’s office in March 1980 to go into business with John F. Lehman (Secretary of the Navy during the Reagan administration and, as of this writing  a member of the panel investigating the events of 9/11). Quite a few neocons assumed positions in the Reagan administration in the area of defense and foreign policy: Kirkpatrick as UN ambassador (Kirkpatrick hired Joshua Muravchik, Kenneth Adelman, and Carl Gershman as deputies); Perle as Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Policy (Perle hired Frank Gaffney and Douglas Feith); Elliott Abrams as Assistant Secretary of State for Human Rights Affairs; Max Kampelman as U.S. ambassador to the Helsinki human rights conference and later as chief U.S. arms negotiator); Wolfowitz as Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian affairs. Another Jewish neocon, Richard Pipes, was influential in putting together a paper on grand strategy toward the USSR. Nevertheless, Reagan kept the neocons at arm’s length and ceased heeding their advice. He favored developing trust and confidence with Soviet leaders rather than escalating tensions by threats of aggressive action.123
Bill Clinton courted neocons who had defected to Reagan. Perle, Kirkpatrick, and Abrams remained Republicans, but thirty-three “moderate and neoconservative foreign policy experts” endorsed Clinton in 1992, including Nitze, Kemble, and Muravchik, although Muravchik and several others later repudiated their endorsement, saying that Clinton had returned to the left liberal foreign policy of the Democrats since McGovern.124 Ben Wattenberg and Robert Strauss remained Democrats “who have not written off the Jackson tradition in their own party.”125 Senator Joseph Lieberman, the Democrat’s 2000 vice presidential nominee, is the heir to this tradition.
Responding to the Fall of the Soviet Union
With the end of the Cold War, neoconservatives at first advocated a reduced role for the U.S., but this stance switched gradually to the view that U.S. interests required the vigorous promotion of democracy in the rest of the world.126 This aggressively pro-democracy theme, which appears first in the writings of Charles Krauthammer and then those of Elliot Abrams,127 eventually became an incessant drumbeat in the campaign for the war in Iraq. Krauthammer also broached the now familiar themes of unilateral intervention and he emphasized the danger that smaller states could develop weapons of mass destruction which could be used to threaten world security.128
A cynic would argue that this newfound interest in democracy was tailor-made as a program for advancing the interests of Israel. After all, Israel is advertised as the only democracy in the Middle East, and democracy has a certain emotional appeal for the United States, which has at times engaged in an idealistic foreign policy aimed at furthering the cause of human rights in other countries. It is ironic that during the Cold War the standard neocon criticism of President Carter’s foreign policy was that it was overly sensitive to human rights in countries that were opposed to the Soviet Union and insufficiently condemnatory of the human rights policies of the Soviet Union. The classic expression of this view was Jeane Kirkpatrick’s 1979 Commentary article, “Dictatorships and Double Standards.” In an essay that would have been excellent reading prior to the invasion of Iraq, Kirkpatrick noted that in many countries political power is tied to complex family and kinship networks resistant to modernization.
Nevertheless, “no idea holds greater sway in the mind of educated Americans than the belief that it is possible to democratize governments, anytime, anywhere, under any circumstances.”129 Democracies are said to make heavy demands on citizens in terms of participation and restraint, and developing democracies is the work of “decades, if not centuries.”130 My view is that democracy is a component of the uniquely Western suite of traits deriving from the evolution of Western peoples and their cultural history: monogamy, simple family structure, individual rights against the state, representative government, moral universalism, and science.131 This social structure cannot easily be exported to other societies, and particularly to Middle Eastern societies whose traditional cultures exhibit traits opposite to these.
It is revealing that, while neocons generally lost interest in Africa, Latin America, and Eastern Europe after these areas were no longer points of contention in the Cold War, there was no lessening of interest in the Middle East.132 Indeed, neoconservatives and Jews in general failed to support President George H. W. Bush when, in the aftermath of the 1991 Gulf War, his administration pressured Israel to make concessions to the Palestinians and resisted a proposal for $10 billion in loan guarantees for Israel. This occurred in the context of Secretary of State James A. Baker’s famous comment, “Fuck the Jews. They didn’t vote for us.”133
As with the other Jewish intellectual movements I have studied, neoconservatives have a history of mutual admiration, close, mutually supportive personal, professional, and familial relationships, and focused cooperation in pursuit of common goals. For example, Norman Podhoretz, the former editor of Commentary, is the father of John Podhoretz, a neoconservative editor and columnist. Norman Podhoretz is also the father-in-law of Elliott Abrams, the former head of the Ethics and Public Policy Center (a neoconservative think tank) and the director of Near Eastern affairs at the National Security Council. Norman’s wife, Midge Decter, recently published a hagiographic biography of Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, whose number-two and number-three deputies at the Pentagon, respectively, are Wolfowitz and Feith. Perle is a fellow at the AEI.134 He originally helped Wolfowitz obtain a job with the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency in 1973. In 1982, Perle, as Deputy Secretary of Defense for International Security Policy, hired Feith for a position as his Special Counsel, and then as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Negotiations Policy. In 2001, Deputy Secretary of Defense Wolfowitz helped Feith obtain an appointment as Undersecretary for Policy. Feith then appointed Perle as chairman of the Defense Policy Board. This is only the tip of a very large iceberg.
Leo Strauss is an important influence on several important neoconservatives, particularly Irving and Bill Kristol. Strauss was a classicist and political philosopher at the University of Chicago. He had a very strong Jewish identity and viewed his philosophy as a means of ensuring Jewish survival in the Diaspora.135 As Strauss himself noted, “I believe I can say, without any exaggeration, that since a very, very early time the main theme of my reflections has been what is called the ‘Jewish Question.’ ”136
Much of Strauss’s early writing was on Jewish issues, and a constant theme in his writing was the idea that Western civilization was the product of the “energizing tension” between Athens and Jerusalem—Greek rationalism and the Jewish emphasis on faith, revelation, and religious intensity.137 Although Strauss believed that religion had effects on non-Jews that benefited Jews, there is little doubt that Strauss viewed religious fervor as an indispensable element of Jewish commitment and group loyalty—ethnocentrism by any other name:
Some great love and loyalty to the Jewish people are in evidence in the life and works of Strauss…. Strauss was a good Jew. He knew the dignity and worth of love of one’s own. Love of the good, which is the same as love of the truth, is higher than love of one’s own, but there is only one road to the truth, and it leads through love of one’s own. Strauss showed his loyalty to things Jewish in a way he was uniquely qualified to do, by showing generations of students how to treat Jewish texts with the utmost care and devotion. In this way he turned a number of his Jewish students in the direction of becoming better Jews.138
Strauss believed that liberal, individualistic modern Western societies were best for Judaism because the illiberal alternatives of both the left (communism) and right (Nazism) were anti-Jewish. (By the 1950s, anti-Semitism had become an important force in the Soviet Union.) However, Strauss believed that liberal societies were not ideal because they tended to break down group loyalties and group distinctiveness—both qualities essential to the survival of Judaism. And he thought that there is a danger that, like the Weimar Republic, liberal societies could give way to fascism, especially if traditional religious and cultural forms were overturned; hence the neoconservative attitude that traditional religious forms among non-Jews are good for Jews.139 (Although Strauss believed in the importance of Israel for Jewish survival, his philosophy is not a defense of Israel but a blueprint for Jewish survival in a Diaspora in Western societies.)
The fate of the Weimar Republic, combined with the emergence of anti-Semitism in the Soviet Union, had a formative influence on his thinking. As Stephen Holmes writes, “Strauss made his young Jewish-American students gulp by informing them that toleration [secular humanism] was dangerous and that the Enlightenment—rather than the failure of the Enlightenment—led directly to Adolph Hitler.”140 Hitler was also at the center of Strauss’s admiration for Churchill—hence the roots of the neocon cult of Churchill: “The tyrant stood at the pinnacle of his power. The contrast between the indomitable and magnanimous statesman and the insane tyrant—this spectacle in its clear simplicity was one of the greatest lessons which men can learn, at any time.”141 I suspect that, given Strauss’s strong Jewish identity, a very large part of his admiration of Churchill was not that Churchill opposed tyrants, but that he went to war against an anti-Jewish tyrant at enormous cost to his own people and nation while allied with another tyrant, Joseph Stalin, who had by 1939 already murdered far more people than Hitler ever would.
Strauss has become a cult figure—the quintessential rabbinical guru, with devoted disciples such as Allan Bloom.142 Strauss relished his role as a guru to worshiping disciples, once writing of “the love of the mature philosopher for the puppies of his race, by whom he wants to be loved in turn.”143 In turn, Strauss was a disciple of Hermann Cohen, a philosopher at the University of Marburg, who ended his career teaching in a rabbinical school; Cohen was a central figure in a school of neo-Kantian intellectuals whose main concern was to rationalize Jewish nonassimilation into German society.
Strauss understood that inequalities among humans were inevitable and advocated rule by an aristocratic elite of philosopher kings forced to pay lip service to the traditional religious and political beliefs of the masses while not believing them.144 This elite should pursue its vision of the common good but must reach out to others using deception and manipulation to achieve its goals. As Bill Kristol has described it, elites have the duty to guide public opinion, but “one of the main teachings [of Strauss] is that all politics are limited and none of them is really based on the truth.”145 A more cynical characterization is provided by Stephen Holmes: “The good society, on this model, consists of the sedated masses, the gentlemen rulers, the promising puppies, and the philosophers who pursue knowledge, manipulate the gentlemen, anesthetize the people, and housebreak the most talented young”146—a comment that sounds to me like an alarmingly accurate description of the present situation in the United States and elsewhere in the Western world. Given Strauss’s central concern that an acceptable political order be compatible with Jewish survival, it is reasonable to assume that Strauss believed that the aristocracy would serve Jewish interests.
Strauss’s philosophy is not really conservative. The rule by an aristocratic elite would require a complete political transformation in order to create a society that was “as just as possible”:
Nothing short of a total transformation of imbedded custom must be undertaken. To secure this inversion of the traditional hierarchies, the political, social and educational system must be subjected to a radical reformation. For justice to be possible the founders have to “wipe clean the dispositions of men,” that is, justice is possible only if the city and its citizens are not what they are: the weakest [i.e., the philosophic elite] is supposed to rule the strongest [the masses], the irrational is supposed to submit to the rule of the rational.147 [emphasis in original]
Strauss described the need for an external exoteric language directed at outsiders, and an internal esoteric language directed at ingroup members.148 A general feature of the movements I have studied is that this Straussian prescription has been followed: Issues are framed in language that appeals to non-Jews rather than explicitly in terms of Jewish interests, although Jewish interests always remain in the background if one cares to look a little deeper. The most common rhetoric used by Jewish intellectual and political movements has been the language of moral universalism and the language of science—languages that appeal to the educated elites of the modern Western world.149 But beneath the rhetoric it is easy to find statements describing the Jewish agendas of the principal actors.
And the language of moral universalism (e.g., advocating democracy as a universal moral imperative) goes hand in hand with a narrow Jewish moral particularism (altering governments that represent a danger to Israel).
It is noteworthy in this respect that the split between the leftist critics of Strauss like Shadia Drury and Stephen Holmes versus Strauss’s disciples like Allan Bloom and Harry V. Jaffa comes down to whether Strauss is properly seen as a universalist. The leftist critics claim that the moral universalism espoused by Strauss’s disciples is nothing more than a veneer for his vision of a hierarchical society based on manipulation of the masses. As noted, the use of a universalist rhetoric to mask particularist causes has a long history among Jewish intellectual and political movements, and it fits well with Strauss’s famous emphasis on esoteric messages embedded in the texts of great thinkers. Moreover, there is at least some textual support for the leftist critique, although there can never be certainty because of the intentionally enigmatic nature of Strauss’s writings.
I am merely adding to the leftist critique the idea that Strauss crafted his vision of an aristocratic elite manipulating the masses as a Jewish survival strategy. In doing so, I am taking seriously Strauss’s own characterization of his work as centrally motivated by “the Jewish question” and by the excellent evidence for his strong commitment to the continuity of the Jewish people. At a fundamental level, based on my scholarship on Jewish intellectual and political movements, one cannot understand Strauss’s well-attested standing as a Jewish guru—as an exemplar of the familiar pattern of an intellectual leader in the manner of Boas or Freud surrounded by devoted Jewish disciples—unless he had a specifically Jewish message.
The simple logic is as follows: Based on the data presented here, it is quite clear that Strauss understood that neither communism nor fascism was good for Jews in the long run. But democracy cannot be trusted given that Weimar ended with Hitler. A solution is to advocate democracy and the trappings of traditional religious culture, but managed by an elite able to manipulate the masses via control of the media and academic discourse. Jews have a long history as an elite in Western societies, so it is not in the least surprising that Strauss would advocate an ideal society in which Jews would be a central component of the elite. In my view, this is Strauss’s esoteric message. The exoteric message is the universalist veneer promulgated by Strauss’s disciples—a common enough pattern among Jewish intellectual and political movements.
On the other hand, if one accepts at face value the view of Strauss’s disciples that he should be understood as a theorist of egalitarianism and democracy, then Strauss’s legacy becomes just another form of leftism, and a rather undistinguished one at that. In this version, the United States is seen as a “proposition nation” committed only to the ideals of democracy and egalitarianism—an ideology that originated with Jewish leftist intellectuals like Horace Kallen.150 Such an ideology not only fails to protect the ethnic interests of European Americans in maintaining their culture and demographic dominance, it fails as an adequate survival strategy for Jews because of the possibility that, like Weimar Germany, the U.S. could be democratically transformed into a state that self-consciously opposes the ethnic interests of Jews.
The most reasonable interpretation is that neocons see Strauss’s moral universalism as a powerful exoteric ideology. The ideology is powerful among non-Jews because of the strong roots of democracy and egalitarianism in American history and in the history of the West; it is attractive to Jews because it has no ethnic content and is therefore useful in combating the ethnic interests of European Americans—its function for the Jewish left throughout the 20th century.151 But without the esoteric message that the proposition nation must be managed and manipulated by a covert, Jewish-dominated elite, such an ideology is inherently unstable and cannot be guaranteed to meet the long-term interests of Jews.
And one must remember that the neocons’ public commitment to egalitarianism belies their own status as an elite who were educated at elite academic institutions and created an elite network at the highest levels of the government. They form an elite that is deeply involved in deception, manipulation and espionage on issues related to Israel and the war in Iraq. They also established the massive neocon infrastructure in the elite media and think tanks. And they have often become wealthy in the process. Their public pronouncements advocating a democratic, egalitarian ideology have not prevented them from having strong ethnic identities and a strong sense of their own ethnic interests; nor have their public pronouncements supporting the Enlightenment ideals of egalitarianism and democracy prevented them from having a thoroughly anti-Enlightenment ethnic particularist commitment to the most nationalistic, aggressive, racialist elements within Israel—the Likud Party, the settler movement, and the religious fanatics. At the end of the day, the only alternative to the existence of an esoteric Straussian message along the lines described here is massive self-deception.
Born in 1902, Sidney Hook was an important leader of the anti-Stalinist, non-Trotskyist left. Hook’s career is interesting because he illustrates an evolution toward neoconservatism that was in many ways parallel to the Shachtmanites. Indeed, Hook ended up as honorary chairman of the SD/USA during the 1980s.152 Hook became a socialist at a time when virtually all socialists supported the Bolshevik revolution as the only alternative to the anti-Jewish government of the tsar.153 As a professional philosopher, he saw his role as an attempt to develop an intellectually respectable Marxism strengthened with Dewey’s ideas. But until the Moscow Trials of the 1930s he was blind to the violence and oppression in the USSR. During a visit to the USSR in 1929, “I was completely oblivious at the time to the systematic repressions that were then going on against noncommunist elements and altogether ignorant of the liquidation of the so-called kulaks that had already begun that summer. I was not even curious enough to probe and pry, possibly for fear of what I would discover.”154 During the 1930s, when the Communist Party exercised a dominant cultural influence in the United States, “the fear of fascism helped to blur our vision and blunt our hearing to the reports that kept trickling out of the Soviet Union.”155 Even the Moscow Trials were dismissed by large sectors of liberal opinion. It was the time of the Popular Front, where the fundamental principle was the defense of the Soviet Union. Liberal journals like the New Republic did not support inquiries into the trials, citing New York Times reporter Walter Duranty as an authority who believed in the truth of the confessions.
Unlike the Shachtmanites, Hook never accepted Trotsky because of his record of defending “every act of the Soviet regime, until he himself lost power.”156 “To the very end Trotsky remained a blind, pitiless (even when pitiable) giant, defending the right of the minority vanguard of the proletariat—the Party—to exercise its dictatorship over ‘the backward layers of the proletariat’—i.e., those who disagreed with the self-designated vanguard.”157
Hook became a leader of the anti-Stalinist left in the 1930s and during the Cold War, usually with John Dewey as the most visible public persona in various organizations dedicated to opposing intellectual thought control. His main issue came to be openness versus totalitarianism rather than capitalism versus socialism. Like other neoconservatives, from the 1960s on he opposed the excesses of the New Left, including affirmative action. Sidney Hook received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from Ronald Reagan. Like many neoconservatives, he never abandoned many of his leftist views: In his acceptance speech, Hook stated that he was “an unreconstructed believer in the welfare state, steeply progressive income tax, a secular humanist,” and pro-choice on abortion.158 Sounding much like SD/USA stalwart Joshua Muravchik,159 Hook noted that socialists like himself “never took the problem of incentives seriously enough.”160
Like Strauss, Hook’s advocacy of the open society stemmed from his belief that such societies were far better for Judaism than either the totalitarian left or right. Hook had a strong Jewish identification: He was a Zionist, a strong supporter of Israel, and an advocate of Jewish education for Jewish children.161 Hook developed an elaborate apologia for Judaism and against anti-Semitism in the modern world,162 and he was deeply concerned about the emergence of anti-Semitism in the USSR.163 The ideal society is thus culturally diverse and democratic:
No philosophy of Jewish life is required except one—identical with the democratic way of life—which enables Jews who for any reason at all accept their existence as Jews to lead a dignified and significant life, a life in which together with their fellowmen they strive collectively to improve the quality of democratic, secular cultures and thus encourage a maximum of cultural diversity, both Jewish and non-Jewish.164
Despite his low profile in the George W. Bush administration, Stephen Bryen is an important neocon. Bryen served as executive director of JINSA from 1979 to 1981 and remains on its advisory board. He is also affiliated with the AEI and the CSP. Richard Perle hired Bryen as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense during the Reagan administration. At the Pentagon, Perle and Bryen led an effort to extend and strengthen the Export Administration Act to grant the Pentagon a major role in technology transfer policy. This policy worked to the benefit of Israel at the expense of Europe, as Israel alone had access to the most secret technology designs.165 In 1988 Bryen and Perle temporarily received permission to export sensitive klystron technology, used in antiballistic missiles, to Israel.
“Two senior colleagues in [the Department of Defense] who wish to remain anonymous have confirmed that this attempt by Bryen to obtain klystrons for his friends was not unusual, and was in fact ‘standard operating procedure’ for him, recalling numerous instances when U.S. companies were denied licenses to export sensitive technology, only to learn later that Israeli companies subsequently exported similar (U.S. derived) weapons and technology to the intended customers/governments.”166
It is surprising that Perle was able to hire Bryen at all given that, beginning in 1978, Bryen was investigated for offering classified documents to the Mossad station chief of the Israeli embassy in the presence of an AIPAC representative.167 Bryen’s fingerprints were found on the documents in question despite his denials that he had ever had the documents in his possession. (Bryen refused to take a polygraph test.) The Bryen investigation was ultimately shut down because of the failure of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to grant access to the Justice Department to files important to the investigation, and because of the decision by Philip Heymann, the chief of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and later Deputy Attorney General in the Clinton Administration, to drop the case.
Heymann is Jewish and had a close relationship with Bryen’s lawyer, Nathan Lewin. Heymann’s Jewish consciousness can be seen from the fact that he participated in the campaign to free Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard and expunge his record —a major effort by a great many Jewish organizations and Jewish activists such as Alan Dershowitz. There were reports that Heymann was attempting to bypass Attorney General Janet Reno by preparing a Justice Department recommendation for presidential clemency, and that Heymann’s behavior may have been a factor in his resignation shortly thereafter.168
Despite this history of covert pro-Israeli activism, in 2001 Bryen was appointed, at the urging of Paul Wolfowitz, to the China Commission, which monitors illicit technology transfers to China, a position that requires top secret security clearance.169 Many of the illicit technology transfers investigated by the commission are thought to have occurred via Israel.
In his 1995 book, John Ehrman regards Charles Krauthammer as a key neoconservative foreign policy analyst because Krauthammer was on the cutting edge of neocon thinking on how to respond to the unipolar world created by the collapse of the Soviet Union. Krauthammer has consistently urged that the U.S. pursue a policy to remake the entire Arab world—a view that represents the “party line” among neoconservatives (e.g., Michael Ledeen, Norman Podhoretz, Bill Kristol, David Frum, and Richard Perle170). In a speech at the AEI in February 2004, Krauthammer argued for a unilateral confrontation with the entire Arab-Muslim world (and nowhere else) in the interests of “democratic globalism.” He advocated a U.S. foreign policy that is not “tied down” by “multilateralism”: “the whole point of the multilateral enterprise: To reduce American freedom of action by making it subservient to, dependent on, constricted by the will—and interests—of other nations. To tie down Gulliver with a thousand strings. To domesticate the most undomesticated, most outsized, national interest on the planet—ours.”171 Democratic globalism is aimed at winning the struggle with the Arab-Islamic world:
Beyond power. Beyond interest. Beyond interest defined as power. That is the credo of democratic globalism. Which explains its political appeal: America is a nation uniquely built not on blood, race or consanguinity, but on a proposition—to which its sacred honor has been pledged for two centuries…. Today, post-9/11, we find ourselves in an…existential struggle but with a different enemy: not Soviet communism, but Arab-Islamic totalitarianism, both secular and religious…[D]emocratic globalism is an improvement over realism. What it can teach realism is that the spread of democracy is not just an end but a means, an indispensable means for securing American interests. The reason is simple. Democracies are inherently more friendly to the United States, less belligerent to their neighbors, and generally more inclined to peace. Realists are right that to protect your interests you often have to go around the world bashing bad guys over the head. But that technique, no matter how satisfying, has its limits. At some point, you have to implant something, something organic and self-developing. And that something is democracy. But where? The danger of democratic globalism is its universalism, its open-ended commitment to human freedom, its temptation to plant the flag of democracy everywhere. It must learn to say no. And indeed, it does say no. But when it says no to Liberia, or Congo, or Burma, or countenances alliances with authoritarian rulers in places like Pakistan or, for that matter, Russia, it stands accused of hypocrisy. Which is why we must articulate criteria for saying yes….
I propose a single criterion: where it counts…. And this is its axiom: We will support democracy everywhere, but we will commit blood and treasure only in places where there is a strategic necessity—meaning, places central to the larger war against the existential enemy, the enemy that poses a global mortal threat to freedom.
Where does it count today? Where the overthrow of radicalism and the beginnings of democracy can have a decisive effect in the war against the new global threat to freedom, the new existential enemy, the Arab-Islamic totalitarianism that has threatened us in both its secular and religious forms for the quarter-century since the Khomeini revolution of 1979 … There is not a single, remotely plausible, alternative strategy for attacking the monster behind 9/11. It’s not Osama bin Laden; it is the cauldron of political oppression, religious intolerance, and social ruin in the Arab-Islamic world—oppression transmuted and deflected by regimes with no legitimacy into virulent, murderous anti-Americanism. It’s not one man; it is a condition.172
Krauthammer is a Jew and his Jewish identification and pro-Israel motivation is typical of Jewish neoconservatives, as is his obeisance to the idea that America is a proposition nation, rather than a nation founded by a particular ethnic group—an ethnocultural creation of Western Europe that should attempt to preserve this heritage. The same attitude can be seen in Irving Kristol’s comment that the U.S. is an “ideological nation” committed to defend Israel independent of national interest (see above). This ideology was the creation of leftist Jewish intellectuals attempting to rationalize a multicultural America in which European-Americans were just one of many cultural/ethnic groups.173
He is a regular columnist for the Jerusalem Post and has written extensively in support of hard-line policies in Israel and on what he interprets as a rise in age-old anti-Jewish attitudes in Europe. In 2002 Krauthammer was presented with Bar-Ilan University’s annual Guardian of Zion Award at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem. His acceptance speech reveals an observant Jew who is steeped in Jewish history and the Hebrew tradition. The 1993 Oslo Accords are termed “the most catastrophic and self- inflicted wound by any state in modern history”; this disastrous policy was based on “an extreme expression of post-Zionistic messianism.”174 Krauthammer rejected the “secular messianism” of Shimon Peres as more dangerous than the religious messianism of Gush Emunim (a prominent settler group with a message of Jewish racialism and a vision of a “Greater Israel” encompassing the lands promised to Abraham in Genesis—from the Nile to the Euphrates175) or of certain followers of the Lubavitcher Rebbe because of its impact on shaping contemporary Jewish history.
Krauthammer is also deeply concerned with anti-Semitism:
What is odd is not the anti-Semitism of today [in Europe], but its relative absence during the last half-century. That was the historical anomaly. Holocaust shame kept the demon corked for that half-century. But now the atonement is passed. The genie is out again. This time, however, it is more sophisticated. It is not a blanket hatred of Jews. Jews can be tolerated, even accepted, but they must know their place. Jews are fine so long as they are powerless, passive and picturesque. What is intolerable is Jewish assertiveness, the Jewish refusal to accept victimhood. And nothing so embodies that as the Jewish state.176
Another barometer of Jewish identification is Krauthammer’s take on Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ. In sentiments similar to those of many other Jewish activists and writers, he terms it a “blood libel,” “a singular act of interreligious aggression,” a “spectacularly vicious” personal interpretation.177 Gibson’s interpretations “point overwhelmingly in a single direction — to the villainy and culpability of the Jews.” The crucifixion is “a history of centuries of relentless, and at times savage, persecution of Jews in Christian lands.” One gets the impression of a writer searching as best he can to find the most extreme terms possible to express his loathing of Gibson’s account of the Christian gospel.
Paul Wolfowitz’s background indicates a strong Jewish identity. His father Jacob was a committed Zionist throughout his life and in his later years organized protests against Soviet treatment of Jews.178 Jacob was deeply concerned about the Holocaust,179 and, in his own reminiscences of his teenage years, Paul recalls reading books about the Holocaust and traveling to Israel when his father was a visiting professor at an Israeli university. Wolfowitz reads Hebrew, and his sister married an Israeli and lives in Israel.180 At the University of Chicago the professors mentioned in his account of the period are all Jewish:181 Albert Wohlstetter, his Ph.D. advisor; Leo Strauss (Wolfowitz’s original intent when enrolling at the University of Chicago was to study with Strauss, and he ended up taking two courses from him); Strauss’s disciple Alan Bloom, whose Closing of the American Mind: How Higher Education Has Failed Democracy and Impoverished the Souls of Today’s Students (1987) is a neocon classic; and Saul Bellow, the novelist.
Also indicative of a strong Jewish identity is a conversation Wolfowitz had with Natan Sharansky, Israeli Cabinet Minister and leader of a right wing, pro-settlement political party, at a conference on Middle East policy in Aspen, Colorado, in 2002. The conference was arranged by Richard Perle under the auspices of the AEI. Wolfowitz and Sharansky walked to a reception, because the latter, as an observant Jew, could not drive on the Sabbath. Sharansky noted that the walk “gave us a chance to talk about everything — Arafat, international terrorism, Iraq and Iran and, of course, Jewish history, our roots and so on.”182 Wolfowitz is married to Clare Selgin, and they have three children, Sara, David, and Rachel.183
Ravelstein is Bellow’s fictionalized but essentially accurate description of Alan Bloom and his circle at the University of Chicago.184 It is of some interest because it recreates the Jewish atmosphere of Wolfowitz’s academic environment. Wolfowitz was a member of Bloom’s circle at Cornell University and chose the University of Chicago for his graduate training because of the presence there of Leo Strauss, most likely at the urging of Bloom. Wolfowitz and Bloom maintained a close relationship after Bloom moved to the University of Chicago and during Wolfowitz’s later career in the government. Wolfowitz was one of the “favored students” of Bloom described in Robert Locke’s comment that “Favored students of the usually haughty Bloom were gradually introduced to greater and greater intimacies with the master, culminating in exclusive dinner parties with him and Saul [Bellow] in Bloom’s lavishly furnished million-dollar apartment.”185
As depicted by Bellow, Bloom emerges as the quintessential guru, surrounded by disciples—a “father” who attempts not only to direct his disciples’ careers but their personal lives as well.186 His disciples are described as “clones who dressed as he did, smoked the same Marlboros”; they were heading toward “the Promised Land of the intellect toward which Ravelstein, their Moses and their Socrates, led them.”187 “To be cut off from his informants in Washington and Paris, from his students, the people he had trained, the band of brothers, the initiates, the happy few made him extremely uncomfortable.”188 Bloom in turn is depicted as a “disciple” of the Strauss character, Felix Davarr: “Ravelstein talked so much about him that in the end I was obliged to read some of his books. It had to be done if I was to understand what [Ravelstein] was all about.”189
Bloom’s Ravelstein is depicted as very self-consciously Jewish. A theme is the contrast between “crude” Jewish behavior and genteel WASP behavior—a theme described beautifully and authoritatively in the writings of John Murray Cuddihy.190 And there is the acute consciousness of who is a Jew and who isn’t; all of Ravelstein’s close friends are Jews.
There is an intense interest in whether non-Jews dislike Jews or have connections to fascism. And there is a fixation on the Holocaust and when it will happen again: “They kill more than half of the European Jews…There’s no telling which corner it will come from next.”191 Ravelstein thought of Jews as displacing WASPs: He “liked to think of living in one of the tony flat buildings formerly occupied by the exclusively WASP faculty.”192
Following Strauss, Bloom thought of Western civilization as the product of Athens and Jerusalem, and is said to have preferred the former, at least until the end of his life, when Jerusalem loomed large: Bellow’s narrator writes, “I could see [Ravelstein/Bloom] was following a trail of Jewish ideas or Jewish essences. It was unusual for him these days, in any conversation, to mention even Plato or Thucydides. He was full of Scripture now”—all connected to “the great evil,” the belief during the World War II era “that almost everybody agreed that the Jews had no right to live…a vast collective agreement that the world would be improved by their disappearance and their extinction.”193 Ravelstein’s conclusion is that “it is impossible to get rid of one’s origins, it is impossible not to remain a Jew. The Jews, Ravelstein…thought, following the line laid down by [his] teacher Davarr [Strauss], were historically witnesses to the absence of redemption.”194
Ravelstein recounts a conversation with the Wolfowitz character, Philip Gorman, which reflects Wolfowitz’s well-known desire to invade Iraq in 1991:
Colin Powell and Baker have advised the President not to send the troops all the way to Baghdad. Bush will announce it tomorrow. They’re afraid of a few casualties. They send out a terrific army and give a demonstration of up-to-date high-tech warfare that flesh and blood can’t stand up to. But then they leave the dictatorship in place and steal away….195
Wolfowitz has had a close relationship with Richard Perle beginning with their service in the office of Sen. Henry Jackson.196 He also has a long record of pro-Israel advocacy. In 1973 he was appointed to the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency (ACDA); Mark Green notes that “Wolfowitz…brought to ACDA a strong attachment to Israel’s security, and a certain confusion about his obligation to U.S. national security.”197 In 1978, he was investigated for providing a classified document to the Israeli government through an AIPAC intermediary, but the investigation ended without indictment. (As Paul Findley shows, leakage of classified information to Israel by American Jews is routine within the Departments of State and Defense—so routine that it is accepted as a part of life in these departments, and investigations of the source of leaks are seldom performed.198) Later, in 1992, the Department of Defense discovered that Wolfowitz, as Undersecretary of Defense for Policy, was promoting the export to Israel of advanced AIM-9M air-to-air missiles. The sale was canceled because Israel had been caught selling the previous version to the Chinese. Until his appointment as Deputy Secretary of Defense in the Bush administration, Wolfowitz was on the Advisory Board of WINEP, and was a patron of Dennis Ross, who was Ambassador to Israel in the Clinton Administration before becoming director of Policy and Strategic Planning at WINEP.
Wolfowitz wrote a 1997 Weekly Standard article advocating removal of Saddam Hussein, and signed the public letter to President Clinton organized by Bill Kristol’s Project for the New American Century urging a regime change in Iraq. Within the George H. W. Bush administration, Wolfowitz was “the intellectual godfather and fiercest advocate for toppling Saddam.”199 Wolfowitz has become famous as a key advocate for war with Iraq rather than Afghanistan in the immediate aftermath of September 11.200 Richard Clarke recounts an incident on September 12, 2001, in which President Bush asked a group at the White House for any information that Saddam Hussein was involved in the September 11 attacks. After Bush left, a staffer “stared at [Bush] with her mouth open. ‘Wolfowitz got to him.’”201
Former CIA political analysts Kathleen and Bill Christison note that “One source inside the administration has described [Wolfowitz] frankly as ‘over-the-top crazy when it comes to Israel.’”202 Although they find such an assessment insufficiently nuanced, they acknowledge that zealotry for Israel is a prime motivator for Wolfowitz. Journalist Bill Keller is much more cautious:
You hear from some of Wolfowitz’s critics, always off the record, that Israel exercises a powerful gravitational pull on the man. They may not know that as a teenager he spent his father’s sabbatical semester in Israel or that his sister is married to an Israeli, but they certainly know that he is friendly with Israel’s generals and diplomats and that he is something of a hero to the heavily Jewish neoconservative movement. Those who know him well say this—leaving aside the offensive suggestion of dual loyalty—is looking at Wolfowitz through the wrong end of the telescope. As the Sadat story illustrates, he has generally been less excited by the security of Israel than by the promise of a more moderate Islam.203
This is a remarkable statement. “The Sadat story” refers to Wolfowitz’s very positive reaction to Egypt’s President Anwar Sadat’s speech to the Knesset as part of the peace process between Israel and Egypt. Obviously, it is silly to suppose that this event shows Wolfowitz’s relative disinterest in Israel’s security. Moreover, statements linking Wolfowitz to Israel are always off the record, presumably because people fear retaliation for stating the obvious. Thus Bill Keller coyly manages to document the associations between Wolfowitz and Israel while finding assertions of dual loyalty “offensive” rather than a well-grounded probability.
One of Joshua Muravchik’s apologetic claims is that “in fact the careers of leading neoconservatives have rarely involved work on Middle East issues.”204 This is false. For example, Wolfowitz wrote his Ph.D. dissertation on nuclear proliferation in the Middle East. During the Carter administration, he prepared the Limited Contingency Study, which emphasized the “Iraqi threat” to the region, and during the Reagan administration he lobbied against selling AWACS to Saudi Arabia and against negotiating with the Palestinians; during the George H. W. Bush administration he was Undersecretary of Defense for Policy, a position where he “would once again have responsibility for arms control, the Middle East and the Persian Gulf, the areas to which he had devoted the early years of his career.”205
Like Wolfowitz and the Strauss-Bloom nexus at the University of Chicago, for Perle
the defining moment in our history was certainly the Holocaust…. It was the destruction, the genocide of a whole people, and it was the failure to respond in a timely fashion to a threat that was clearly gathering…We don’t want that to happen again…when we have the ability to stop totalitarian regimes we should do so, because when we fail to do so, the results are catastrophic.206
Richard Perle first came into prominence in Washington as Senator Henry Jackson’s chief aide on foreign policy. He organized Congressional support for the 1974 Jackson-Vanik Amendment, which angered Russia by linking bilateral trade issues to freedom of emigration, primarily of Jews from the Soviet Union to Israel and the United States. In 1970 Perle was recorded by the FBI discussing classified information with the Israeli embassy. In 1981 he was on the payroll of an Israeli defense contractor shortly before being appointed Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Policy, a position responsible for monitoring U.S. defense technology exports.207 During his tenure in the Reagan administration Perle recommended purchase of an artillery shell made by Soltan, an Israeli munitions manufacturer. After leaving his position in the Defense Department in 1987, he assumed a position with Soltan. Like many other former government officials, he has also used his reputation and contacts in the government to develop a highly lucrative business career. For example, although he did not personally register as a lobbyist, he became a paid consultant to a firm headed by Douglas Feith that was established to lobby on behalf of Turkey.208 At the present time, Perle is on the board of directors of Onset Technology, a technology company founded by Israelis Gadi Mazor and Ron Maor with R&D in Israel. Onset Technology has close ties to Israeli companies and investment funds.209 He is a close personal friend of Israel Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.210
Perle was the “Study Group Leader” of a 1996 report titled “A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm” published by the Institute for Advanced Strategic and Political Studies (IASPS), an Israeli think tank. The membership of the study group illustrates the overlap between Israeli think tanks close to the Israeli government, American policy makers and government officials, and pro-Israel activists working in the United States. Other members of this group who accepted positions in the George W. Bush administration or in pro-Israel activist organizations in the U.S. include Douglas Feith (Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Policy), David Wurmser (member of IASPS, a protégé of Perle at AEI, and senior advisor in the State Department), Mayrev Wurmser (head of the Hudson Institute [a neocon thinktank]), James Colbert of JINSA,and Jonathan Torop (WINEP).
Despite Joshua Muravchik’s apologetic claims,211 the “Clean Break” report was clearly intended as advice for another of Perle’s personal friends,212 Benjamin Netanyahu, who was then the new prime minister of Israel; there is no indication that it was an effort to further U.S. interests in the region. The purpose was to “forge a peace process and strategy based on an entirely new intellectual foundation, one that restores strategic initiative and provides the nation the room to engage every possible energy on rebuilding Zionism.” Indeed, the report advises the United States to avoid pressure on the Israelis to give land for peace, a strategy “which required funneling American money to repressive and aggressive regimes, was risky, expensive, and very costly for both the U.S. and Israel, and placed the United States in roles it should neither have nor want.” The authors of the report speak as Jews and Israelis, not as U.S. citizens: “Our claim to the land—to which we have clung for hope for 2000 years—is legitimate and noble.”Much of the focus is on removing the threat of Syria, and it is in this context that the report notes, “This effort can focus on removing Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq—an important Israeli strategic objective in its own right—as a means of foiling Syria’s regional ambitions.”213
Proposals for regime change, such as found in “A Clean Break,” have a long history in Israeli thought. For example, in 1982 Israeli strategist Oded Yinon echoed a long line of Israeli strategists who argued that Israel should attempt to dissolve all the existing Arab states into smaller, less potentially powerful states. These states would then become clients of Israel as a regional imperial power. Neocons have advertised the war in Iraq as a crusade for a democratic, secular, Western-oriented, pro-Israel Iraq—a dream that has a great deal of appeal in the West, for obvious reasons. However, it is quite possible that the long-term result is that Iraq would fracture along ethnic and religious lines (Sunnis, Shiites, Kurds). This would also be in Israel’s interests, because the resulting states would pose less of a threat than the Iraqi regime of Saddam Hussein. As Yinon noted, “Iraq, rich in oil on the one hand and internally torn on the other, is guaranteed as a candidate for Israel’s targets. Its dissolution is even more important for us than that of Syria. Iraq is stronger than Syria. In the short run it is Iraqi power which constitutes the greatest threat to Israel.”214
Former Ambassador Joseph C. Wilson has suggested that the dissolution of Iraq may well have been a motive for the war:
A more cynical reading of the agenda of certain Bush advisers could conclude that the Balkanization of Iraq was always an acceptable outcome, because Israel would then find itself surrounded by small Arab countries worried about each other instead of forming a solid block against Israel. After all, Iraq was an artificial country that had always had a troublesome history.215
And as the Iraqi insurgency has achieved momentum, there is evidence that Israeli military and intelligence units are operating in Kurdish regions of Iraq and that Israel is indeed encouraging the Kurds to form their own state.216 There is little doubt that an independent Kurdish state would have major repercussions for Syria and Iran, as well as for Israel’s ally Turkey, and would lead to continuing instability in the Middle East. A senior Turkish official noted, “If you end up with a divided Iraq, it will bring more blood, tears, and pain to the Middle East, and [the U.S.] will be blamed…From Mexico to Russia, everybody will claim that the United States had a secret agenda in Iraq: you came there to break up Iraq. If Iraq is divided, America cannot explain this to the world.”
Some of Elliott Abrams’ neoconservative family and professional associations have been described above. In December 2002 Abrams became President Bush’s top Middle East advisor. He is closely associated with the Likud Party in Israel and with prominent neocons (Richard Perle, Bill Kristol, Marc Paul Gerecht, Michael Ledeen, Jeane Kirkpatrick, Paul Wolfowitz) and neocon think tanks (PNAC, AEI, CSP, JINSA).217 Because of his reputation as a strongly identified Jew, Abrams was tapped for the role of rallying Jews in support of Reagan in the 1980 campaign.218
Abrams is also an activist on behalf of Jewish continuity. The purpose of his book Faith and Fear: How Jews Can Survive in Christian America is to shore up Jewish religious identification, avoid intermarriage, and avoid secularization in order to assure Jewish continuity. In this regard it is interesting that other prominent neocons have advocated interracial marriage between whites and blacks in the U.S. For example, Douglas J. Besharov, a resident scholar at the AEI, has written that the offspring of interracial marriages “are the best hope for the future of American race relations.”219
In Faith and Fear, Abrams notes his own deep immersion in the Yiddish-speaking culture of his parents and grandparents. In the grandparents’ generation, “all their children married Jews, and [they] kept Kosher homes.”220 Abrams acknowledges that the mainstream Jewish community “clings to what is at bottom a dark vision of America, as a land permeated with anti-Semitism and always on the verge of anti-Semitic outbursts.” The result is that Jews have taken the lead in secularizing America, but that has not been a good strategy for Jews because Jews themselves have become less religious and therefore less inclined to marry other Jews. (This “dark vision of America” is a critical source of the “Culture of Critique” produced by Jewish intellectual movements; it is also a major reason why the Jewish community has been united in favor of large-scale nonwhite immigration to America: Diluting the white majority and lessening their power is seen as preventing an anti-Jewish outburst.221) Following Strauss, therefore, Abrams thinks that a strong role for Christianity in America is good for Jews:
In this century we have seen two gigantic experiments at post-religious societies where the traditional restraints of religion and morality were entirely removed: Communism and Nazism. In both cases Jews became the special targets, but there was evil enough even without the scourge of anti-Semitism. For when the transcendental inhibition against evil is removed, when society becomes so purely secular that the restraints imposed by God on man are truly eradicated, minorities are but the earliest victims.”222
Like most of his cronies, Feith has been suspected of spying for Israel. In 1972 Feith was fired from a position with the National Security Council because of an investigation into whether he had provided documents to the Israeli embassy. Nevertheless, Perle, who was Assistant Secretary for International Security Policy, hired him as his “special counsel,” and then as his deputy. Feith worked for Perle until 1986, when he left government service to form a law firm, Feith and Zell, which was originally based in Israel and best known for obtaining a pardon for the notorious Marc Rich during the final days of the Clinton administration. In 2001, Douglas Feith returned to the Department of Defense as Donald Rumsfeld’s Undersecretary for Policy, and it was in his office that Abraham Shulsky’s Office of Special Plans (OSP) was created. It was OSP that originated much of the fraudulent intelligence that Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld have used to justify the attack on Iraq. A key member of OSP was David Wurmser who, as indicated above, is a protégé of Richard Perle.223
Retired army officer Karen Kwiatkowski describes Feith as knowing little about the Pentagon and paying little attention to any issues except those relating to Israel and Iraq.224 Feith is deferential to the Israeli military. As Kwiatkowski escorted a group of Israeli generals into the Pentagon:
The leader of the pack surged ahead, his colleagues in close formation, leaving us to double-time behind the group as they sped to Undersecretary Feith’s office on the fourth floor…. Once in Feith’s waiting room, the leader continued at speed to Feith’s closed door. An alert secretary saw this coming and had leapt from her desk to block the door. “Mr. Feith has a visitor. It will only be a few more minutes.” The leader craned his neck to look around the secretary’s head as he demanded, “Who is in there with him?”
Unlike the usual practice, the Israeli generals did not have to sign in, so there are no official records of their visits.225 Kwiatkowski describes the anti-Arab, pro-Israel sentiment that pervaded the neocon network at the Department of Defense. Career military officers who failed to go along with these attitudes were simply replaced.
Feith has a strong Jewish identity and is an activist on behalf of Israel. While in law school he collaborated with Joseph Churba, an associate and friend of Meir Kahane, founder of the racialist and anti-Western Jewish Defense League. During the late 1980s to early 1990s he wrote pro-Likud op-ed pieces in Israeli newspapers, arguing that the West Bank is part of Israel, that the Palestinians belong in Jordan, and that there should be regime change in Iraq. He also headed the CSP and was a founding member of One Jerusalem, an Israeli organization “determined to prevent any compromise with the Palestinians over the fate of any part of Jerusalem.226
He is an officer of the Foundation for Jewish Studies, which is “dedicated to fostering Jewish learning and building communities of educated and committed Jews who are conscious of and faithful to the high ideals of Judaism.”227 In 1997 Feith and his father (a member of Betar, the Zionist youth movement founded by Vladimir Jabotinsky) were given awards from the ZOA because of their work as pro-Israel activists. The ZOA is a staunch supporter of the most extreme elements within Israel. Feith’s law partner, L. Marc Zell of the firm’s Tel Aviv office, is a spokesman for the settler movement in Israel, and the firm itself is deeply involved in legal issues related to the reconstruction of Iraq, a situation that has raised eyebrows because Feith is head of reconstruction in Iraq.228
Zell was one of many neocons close to Ahmed Chalabi but abandoned his support because Chalabi had not come through on his prewar pledges regarding Israel—further evidence that aiding Israel was an important motive for the neocons. According to Zell, Chalabi “said he would end Iraq’s boycott of trade with Israel, and would allow Israeli companies to do business there. He said [the new Iraqi government] would agree to rebuild the pipeline from Mosul [in the northern Iraqi oil fields] to Haifa [the Israeli port, and the location of a major refinery].”229 Another partner in the law firm of Feith and Zell is Salem Chalabi, Ahmed Chalabi’s nephew. Salem Chalabi is in charge of the trial of Saddam Hussein.230
Abram Shulsky is a student of Leo Strauss, a close friend of Paul Wolfowitz both at Cornell and the University of Chicago,231 and yet another protégé of Richard Perle. He was an aide to neocon Senators Henry Jackson (along with Perle and Elliot Abrams) and Daniel Patrick Moynihan, and worked in the Department of Defense in the Reagan administration. During the George W. Bush administration, he was appointed head of the Office of Special Plans under Feith and Wolfowitz. The OSP became more influential on Iraq policy than the CIA or the Defense Intelligence Agency,232 but is widely viewed by retired intelligence operatives as manipulating intelligence data on Iraq in order to influence policy.233 Reports suggest that the OSP worked closely with Israeli intelligence to paint an exaggerated picture of Iraqi capabilities in unconventional weapons.234 It is tempting to link the actions of the OSP under Shulsky with Strauss’s idea of a “noble lie” carried out by the elite to manipulate the masses, but I suppose that one doesn’t really need Strauss to understand the importance of lying in order to manipulate public opinion on behalf of Israel.
The OSP included other neocons with no professional qualifications in intelligence but long records of service in neoconservative think tanks and pro-Israel activist organizations, especially the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. Examples include Michael Rubin, who is affiliated with AEI and is an adjunct scholar at WINEP, David Schenker, who has written books and articles on Middle East issues published by WINEP and the Middle East Quarterly (published by Daniel Pipes’ MEF, another pro-Israel activist organization), Elliott Abrams, David Wurmser, and Michael Ledeen. The OSP relied heavily on Iraqi defectors associated with Ahmed Chalabi, who, as indicated above, had a close personal relationship with Wolfowitz, Perle, and other neocons.235
Michael Ledeen’s career illustrates the interconnectedness of the neoconservative network. Ledeen was the first executive director of JINSA (1977–1979) and remains on its board of advisors. He was hired by Richard Perle in the Defense Department during the Reagan years, and during the same period he was hired as special advisor by Wolfowitz in his role as head of the State Department Policy Planning Staff. Along with Stephen Bryen, Ledeen became a member of the China Commission during the George W. Bush administration. He was also a consultant to Abraham Shulsky’s OSP, the Defense Department organization most closely linked with the manufacture of fraudulent intelligence leading up to the Iraq War. The OSP was created by Douglas Feith, who in turn reports to Paul Wolfowitz. As noted above, he is resident scholar in the Freedom Chair at AEI.
Ledeen has been suspected of spying for Israel.236 During the Reagan years, he was regarded by the CIA as “an agent of influence of a foreign government: Israel,” and was suspected of spying for Israel by his immediate superior at the Department of Defense, Noel Koch.237 While working for the White House in 1984, Ledeen was also accused by National Security Adviser Robert C. McFarlane of participating in an unauthorized meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres that led to the proposal to funnel arms through Israel to Iran in order to free U.S. hostages being held in Lebanon—the origins of the Irangate scandal.238
Ledeen has been a major propagandist for forcing change on the entire Arab world. Ledeen’s revolutionary ideology stems not from Trotsky or Marx, but from his favorable view of Italian fascism as a universalist (nonracial) revolutionary movement.239 His book, War on the Terror Masters, is a program for complete restructuring of the Middle East by the U. S. couched in the rhetoric of universalism and moral concern, not for Israel, but for the Arab peoples who would benefit from regime change. Ledeen is a revolutionary of the right, committed to “creative destruction” of the old social order:
“Creative destruction is our middle name, both within our own society and abroad. We tear down the old order every day, from business to science, literature, art, architecture, and cinema to politics and the law. Our enemies have always hated this whirlwind of energy and creativity, which menaces their traditions (whatever they may be) and shames them for their inability to keep pace. Seeing America undo traditional societies, they fear us, for they do not wish to be undone. They cannot feel secure so long as we are there, for our very existence—our existence, not our politics—threatens their legitimacy. They must attack us in order to survive, just as we must destroy them to advance our historic mission….”
Behind all the anti-American venom from the secular radicals in Baghdad, the religious fanatics in Tehran, the minority regime in Damascus, and the multicultural kleptomaniacs in the Palestinian Authority is the knowledge that they are hated by their own people. Their power rests on terror, recently directed against us, but always, first and foremost, against their own citizens. Given the chance to express themselves freely, the Iraqi, Iranian, Syrian, Lebanese, and Palestinian people would oust their current oppressors. Properly waged, our revolutionary war will give them a chance.240
The main intellectual source for imposing democracy on the Arab world is Bernard Lewis, the Princeton historian who argues that Muslim cultures have an inferiority complex stemming from their relative decline compared to the West over the last three hundred years. (Such arguments minimize the role of Israel and U.S. support for Israel as a sourse of Arab malaise. However, there is good evidence that the motives of Osama bin Laden and the 9/11 conspirators derive much more from U.S. support for Israel than a general anti-Western animus.241) He contends that Arab societies with their antiquated, kinship-based structure can only be changed by forcing democracy on them.242 Wolfowitz has used Lewis as the intellectual underpinning of the invasion of Iraq: “Bernard has taught how to understand the complex and important history of the Middle East, and use it to guide us where we will go next to build a better world for generations to come.”243 During the 1970s Lewis was invited by Richard Perle to give a talk to Henry Jackson’s group, and, as Perle notes, “Lewis became Jackson’s guru, more or less.” Lewis also established ties with Daniel Patrick Moynihan and with Jackson’s other aides, including Wolfowitz, Abrams, and Gaffney. One of Lewis’s main arguments is that the Palestinians have no historical claim to a state because they were not a state before the British Mandate in 1918.
Lewis also argues that Arabs have a long history of consensus government, if not democracy, and that a modicum of outside force should be sufficient to democratize the area—a view that runs counter to the huge cultural differences between the Middle East and the West that stem ultimately from very different evolutionary pressures.244 Lewis, as a cultural historian, is in a poor position to understand the deep structure of the cultural differences between Europe and the Middle East. He seems completely unaware of the differences in family and kinship structure between Europe and the Middle East, and he regards the difference in attitudes toward women as a mere cultural difference rather than as a marker for an entirely different social structure.245
Lewis’s flawed beliefs about the Middle East have nevertheless been quite useful to Israel—reflecting the theme that Jewish intellectual movements have often used available intellectual resources to advance a political cause. Not only did he provide an important intellectual rationale for the war against Iraq, he is very close to governmental and academic circles in Israel—the confidant of successive Israeli Prime Ministers from Golda Meir to Ariel Sharon.246
By several accounts, Vice President Cheney had a “fever” to invade Iraq and transform the politics of the Middle East and was the leading force within the administration convincing President Bush of the need to do so.247 As with the other Jewish intellectual and political movements I have reviewed, non-Jews have been welcomed into the movement and often given highly visible roles as the movement’s public face. Among the current crop in this intellectual lineage, the most important non-Jews are Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld, both of whom have close professional and personal relationships with neoconservatives that long pre-date their present power and visibility. Both Cheney and Rumsfeld have been associated with Bill Kristol’s PNAC (which advocated a unilateral war for regime change in Iraq at least as early as 1998)248 and the CSP, two neocon think tanks; Cheney was presented with the ADL’s Distinguished Statesman Award in 1993 and was described by Abraham Foxman as “sensitive to Jewish concerns.”249 When Cheney was a Congressman during the early 1980s, he attended lunches hosted for Republican Jewish leaders by the House leadership. Cheney was described by Marshall Breger, a senior official in the Reagan and George H. W. Bush administration as “very interested in outreach and engaging the Jewish community.”250 He was also a member of JINSA, a major pro-Israel activist organization, until assuming his office as vice president.
Cheney has also had a close involvement with leading Israeli politicians, especially Natan Sharansky, Secretary of Jerusalem and Diaspora Affairs in the Likud government and the prime architect of the ideology that the key to peace between Israel and the Arab world, including the Palestinians, is Arab acceptance of democracy. When President Bush articulated the importance of Palestinian democracy for the Middle East peace “roadmap” in his June 2002 policy speech,
Sharansky could have written the speech himself, and, for that matter, may have had a direct hand in its drafting. The weekend prior to the speech, he spent long hours at a conference [organized by Richard Perle and] sponsored by the AEI in Aspen secluded together with Vice President Cheney and Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz. The Bush speech clearly represented a triumph for the Cheney-Rumsfeld-Wolfowitz axis in the administration over the State Department, which was eager to offer the Palestinians a provisional state immediately.”251
Both Cheney and Rumsfeld have close personal relationships with Kenneth Adelman, a former Ford and Reagan administration official.252 Adelman wrote op-ed pieces in the Washington Post and Wall Street Journal in the period leading up to the war, and he, along with Wolfowitz and Irving Lewis “Scooter” Libby (Cheney’s chief of staff), were guests of Cheney for a victory celebration in the immediate aftermath of the war (April 13, 2003).253 Adelman has excellent neocon credentials. He was a member of the Committee on the Present Danger in the 1970s and UN Ambassador during the Reagan Administration, and worked under Donald Rumsfeld on three different occasions. He was a signatory to the April 3, 2002, letter of the Project for a New American Century to President Bush calling for Saddam Hussein’s ouster and increased support for Israel. The letter stated, “Israel is targeted in part because it is our friend, and in part because it is an island of liberal, democratic principles—American principles—in a sea of tyranny, intolerance, and hatred.”
The advocacy of war with Iraq was linked to advancing Israeli interests: “If we do not move against Saddam Hussein and his regime, the damage our Israeli friends and we have suffered until now may someday appear but a prelude to much greater horrors…. Israel’s fight against terrorism is our fight. Israel’s victory is an important part of our victory. For reasons both moral and strategic, we need to stand with Israel in its fight against terrorism.”254 Adelman’s wife, Carol, is affiliated with the Hudson Institute, a neoconservative think tank.
Cheney’s role in the ascendancy of the neocons in the Bush administration is particularly important: As head of the transition team, he and Libby were able to staff the subcabinet levels of the State Department (John Bolton) and the Defense Department (Wolfowitz, Feith) with key supporters of the neocon agenda. Libby is a close personal friend of Cheney whose views “echo many of Wolfowitz’s policies”; he “is considered a hawk among hawks and was an early supporter of military action against terrorism and particularly against Iraq.”255 He is Jewish and has a long history of involvement in Zionist causes and as the attorney for the notorious Marc Rich. Libby and Cheney were involved in pressuring the CIA to color intelligence reports to fit with their desire for a war with Iraq.256 Libby entered the neocon orbit when he was “captivated” while taking a political science course from Wolfowitz at Yale, and he worked under Wolfowitz in the Reagan and the Bush I administrations.257 He was the coauthor (with Wolfowitz) of the ill-fated draft of the Defense Planning Guidance document of 1992, which advocated U.S. dominance over all of Eurasia and urged preventing any other country from even contemplating challenging U.S. hegemony.258 (Cheney was Secretary of Defense at that time.) After an uproar, the document was radically altered, but this blueprint for U.S. hegemony remains central to neocon attitudes since the collapse of the Soviet Union.
As noted above, Rumsfeld has deep links with neoconservative think tanks and individual Jews such as Ken Adelman, who began his career working for Rumsfeld when he headed the Office of Economic Opportunity in the Nixon administration. Another close associate is Robert A. Goldwin, a student of Leo Strauss and Rumsfeld’s deputy both at NATO and at the Gerald Ford White House; Goldwin is now resident scholar at the AEI.
Rumsfeld also has a long history of appealing to Jewish and Israeli causes. In his 1964 campaign for reelection to Congress as representative from a district on the North Shore of Chicago with an important Jewish constituency, he emphasized Soviet persecution of Jews and introduced a bill on this topic in the House. After the 1967 war, he urged the U.S. not to demand that Israel withdraw to its previous borders and he criticized delays in sending U.S. military hardware to Israel.259 More recently, as Secretary of Defense in the Bush II administration, Rumsfeld was praised by the ZOA for distancing himself from the phrase “occupied territories,” referring to them as the “so-called occupied territories.”260
Despite these links with neoconservatives and Jewish causes, Rumsfeld emerges as less an ideologue and less a passionate advocate for war with Iraq than Cheney. Robert Woodward describes him as lacking the feverish intensity of Cheney, as a dispassionate “defense technocrat” who, unlike Cheney, Wolfowitz, and Feith, would have been content if the U.S. had not gone to war with Iraq.261
Many neoconservatives work mainly as lobbyists and propagandists. Rather than attempt to describe this massive infrastructure in its entirety, I profile Daniel Pipes as a prototypical example of the highly competent Jewish lobbyist. Pipes is the son of Richard Pipes, the Harvard professor who, as noted above, was an early neocon and an expert on the Soviet Union. He is the director of the MEF and a columnist at the New York Post and the Jerusalem Post, and appears on the Fox News Channel. Pipes is described as “An authoritative commentator on the Middle East” by the Wall Street Journal, according to the masthead of his website.262 A former official in the Departments of State and Defense, he has taught at the University of Chicago, Harvard University, and the U.S. Naval War College. He is the author of twelve books on the Middle East, Islam, and other political topics; his most recent book is Militant Islam Reaches America (published by W.W. Norton, 2002), a polemic against political Islam which argues that militant Islam is the greatest threat to the West since the Cold War. He serves on the “Special Task Force on Terrorism and Technology” at the Department of Defense, has testified before many congressional committees, and served on four presidential campaigns.
Martin Kramer is the editor of the Forum’s journal. Kramer is also affiliated with Tel Aviv University’s Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern and African Studies. His book, Ivory Towers on Sand: The Failure of Middle Eastern Studies in America, has been a major impetus behind the recent effort to prevent criticism of Israel on college campuses. The book was warmly reviewed in the Weekly Standard, whose editor, Bill Kristol, is a member of the MEF along with Kramer. Kristol wrote that “Kramer has performed a crucial service by exposing intellectual rot in a scholarly field of capital importance to national wellbeing.”
The MEF issues two regular quasi-academic publications, the Middle East Quarterly and the Middle East Intelligence Bulletin, the latter published jointly with the United States Committee for a Free Lebanon. The Middle East Quarterly describes itself as “a bold, insightful, and controversial publication.” A recent article on weapons of mass destruction claims that Syria “has more destructive capabilities” than Iraq or Iran. The Middle East Intelligence Bulletin “specializes in covering the seamy side of Lebanese and Syrian politics,”263 an effort aimed at depicting these regimes as worthy of forcible change by the U.S. or Israeli military. The MEF also targets universities through its campus speakers bureau, seeking to correct “inaccurate Middle Eastern curricula in American education,” by addressing “biases” and “basic errors” and providing “better information” than students can get from the many “irresponsible” professors that it believes lurk in U.S. universities.
The MEF is behind Campus Watch, an organization responsible for repressing academic discussion of Middle East issues at U.S. universities. Campus Watch compiles profiles on professors who criticize Israel: A major purpose is to “identify key faculty who teach and write about contemporary affairs at university Middle East Studies departments in order to analyze and critique the work of these specialists for errors or biases.” The MEF also develops “a network of concerned students and faculty members interested in promoting American interests on campus.”264
Again we see the rhetoric of universalism and a concern with “American interests” produced by people who are ethnically Jewish and vitally concerned with the welfare of Israel. Recently Campus Watch has decided to discontinue its dossiers because over one hundred professors asked to be included in their directory of suspicious people. Nevertheless, Campus Watch continues to print names of people whose views on the Middle East differ from theirs. The MEF, along with major Jewish activist organizations (the American Jewish Committee, the American Jewish Congress, and the Anti-Defamation League), has succeeded in getting the U.S. House of Representatives to overwhelmingly approve a bill that would authorize federal monitoring of government-funded Middle East studies programs throughout U.S. universities. The bill would establish a federal tribunal to investigate and monitor criticism of Israel on American college campuses.
Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA)
Rather than profile all of the many neoconservative think tanks and lobbying groups, I will describe JINSA as a prototypical example. JINSA attempts to “educate the American public about the importance of an effective U.S. defense capability so that our vital interests as Americans can be safeguarded [and to] inform the American defense and foreign affairs community about the important role Israel can and does play in bolstering democratic interests in the Mediterranean and the Middle East.”265 Typical of Jewish intellectual movements is that Jewish interests are submerged in a rhetoric of American interests and ethical universalism—in this case, the idea that Israel is a beacon of democracy.
In addition to a core of prominent neoconservative Jews (Stephen D. Bryen, Douglas Feith, Max Kampelman, Michael Ledeen, Joshua Muravchik, Richard Perle, Stephen Solarz), JINSA’s advisory board includes a bevy of non-Jewish retired U.S. military officers and a variety of non-Jewish political figures (e.g., Dick Cheney) and foreign policy analysts with access to the media (e.g., Jeane Kirkpatrick) who are staunch supporters of Israel. As is typical of Jewish intellectual movements, JINSA is well funded and has succeeded in bringing in high-profile non-Jews who often act as spokesmen for its policies. For example, the former head of the Iraq occupation government, General Jay Garner, signed a JINSA letter stating that “the Israel Defense Forces have exercised remarkable restraint in the face of lethal violence orchestrated by the leadership of [the] Palestinian Authority.”
JINSA reflects the recent trend of American Jewish activist groups not simply to support Israeli policies but to support the Israeli right wing. For JINSA, “‘regime change’ by any means necessary in Iraq, Iran, Syria, Saudi Arabia and the Palestinian Authority is an urgent imperative. Anyone who dissents—be it Colin Powell’s State Department, the CIA or career military officers—is committing heresy against articles of faith that effectively hold there is no difference between US and Israeli national security interests, and that the only way to assure continued safety and prosperity for both countries is through hegemony in the Middle East—a hegemony achieved with the traditional Cold War recipe of feints, force, clientism and covert action.”266 Note the exclusionary, us versus them attitude typical of the Jewish intellectual and political movements covered in The Culture of Critique.
Part of JINSA’s effectiveness comes from recruiting non-Jews who gain by increased defense spending or are willing to be spokesmen in return for fees and travel to Israel. The bulk of JINSA’s budget is spent on taking a host of retired U.S. generals and admirals to Israel, where JINSA facilitates meetings between Israeli officials and retired but still-influential U.S. flag officers. These officers then write op-ed pieces and sign letters and advertisements championing the Likudnik line. In one such statement, issued soon after the outbreak of the latest intifada, twenty-six JINSAns of retired flag rank, including many from the advisory board, struck a moralizing tone, characterizing Palestinian violence as a “perversion of military ethics” and holding that “America’s role as facilitator in this process should never yield to America’s responsibility as a friend to Israel,” because “friends don’t leave friends on the battlefield.”267 Sowing seeds for the future, JINSA also takes U.S. service academy cadets to Israel each summer and sponsors a lecture series at the Army, Navy, and Air Force academies.
JINSA also patronizes companies in the defense industry that stand to gain by the drive for total war. “Almost every retired officer who sits on JINSA’s board of advisers or has participated in its Israel trips or signed a JINSA letter works or has worked with military contractors who do business with the Pentagon and Israel.”268 For example, JINSA advisory board members Adm. Leon Edney, Adm. David Jeremiah, and Lieut. Gen. Charles May, all retired, have served Northrop Grumman or its subsidiaries as either consultants or board members. Northrop Grumman has built ships for the Israeli Navy and sold F-16 avionics and E-2C Hawkeye planes to the Israeli Air Force, as well as the Longbow radar system to the Israeli Army for use in its attack helicopters. It also works with Tamam, a subsidiary of Israeli Aircraft Industries, to produce an unmanned aerial vehicle.
JINSA is supported not only by defense contractor money but also by deeply committed Zionists, notably Irving Moscowitz, the California bingo magnate who also provides financial support to the AEI. Moscowitz not only sends millions of dollars a year to far-right Israeli West Bank settler groups like Ateret Cohanim, he has also funded land purchases in key Arab areas around Jerusalem. Moscowitz provided the money that enabled the 1996 reopening of a tunnel under the Temple Mount/Haram al-Sharif, which resulted in seventy deaths due to rioting. Also involved in funding JINSA is New York investment banker Lawrence Kadish, who also contributes to Republican causes. Again, we see the effects of the most committed Jews. People like Moscowitz have an enormous effect because they use their wealth to advance their people’s interests, a very common pattern among wealthy Jews.269
The integration of JINSA with the U.S. defense establishment can be seen in the program for its 2001 Jackson Award Dinner, an annual event named after Senator Henry Jackson that draws an “A-list” group of politicians and defense celebrities. At the dinner were representatives of U.S. defense industries (the dinner was sponsored by Boeing), as well as the following Defense Department personnel: Under Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz; Under Secretary of Defense Dov Zakheim (an ordained rabbi); Assistant Secretary of the Navy John Young; Dr. Bill Synder, the Chairman of the Defense Science Board; the Honorable Mark Rosenker, Senior Military Advisor to the President; Admiral William Fallon, Vice Chief of Naval Operations; General John Keane, Vice Chief of Staff of the Army; General Michael Williams, Vice Commandant of the Marines; Lieutenant General Lance Lord, Assistant Vice Chief of Staff of the Air Force. Also present were a large number of U.S. flag and general officers who were alumni of JINSA trips to Israel, as well as assorted Congressmen, a U.S. Senator, and a variety of Israeli military and political figures. The 2002 Jackson Award Dinner, sponsored by Northrup Grumman, honored Paul Wolfowitz. Dick Cheney was a previous recipient of the award.
JINSA is a good illustration of the point that whatever the deeply held beliefs of the non-Jews who are involved in the neoconservative movement, financial motives and military careerism are also of considerable importance—a testimony to the extent to which neoconservatism has permeated the political and military establishments of the United States. A similar statement could be made about the deep influence of neoconservatism among intellectuals generally.
The current situation in the United States is really an awesome display of Jewish power and influence. People who are very strongly identified as Jews maintain close ties to Israeli politicians and military figures and to Jewish activist organizations and pro-Israeli lobbying groups while occupying influential policy-making positions in the defense and foreign policy establishment. These same people, as well as a chorus of other prominent Jews, have routine access to the most prestigious media outlets in the United States. People who criticize Israel are routinely vilified and subjected to professional abuse.270
Perhaps the most telling feature of this entire state of affairs is the surreal fact that in this entire discourse Jewish identity is not mentioned. When Charles Krauthammer, Bill Kristol, Michael Rubin, William Safire, Robert Satloff, or the legions of other prominent media figures write their reflexively pro-Israel pieces in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, or the Los Angeles Times, or opine on the Fox News Network, there is never any mention that they are Jewish Americans who have an intense ethnic interest in Israel. When Richard Perle authors a report for an Israeli think tank; is on the board of directors of an Israeli newspaper; maintains close personal ties with prominent Israelis, especially those associated with the Likud Party; has worked for an Israeli defense company; and, according to credible reports, was discovered by the FBI passing classified information to Israel—when, despite all of this, he is a central figure in the network of those pushing for wars to rearrange the entire politics of the Middle East in Israel’s favor, and with nary a soul having the courage to mention the obvious overriding Jewish loyalty apparent in Perle’s actions, that is indeed a breathtaking display of power.
One must contemplate the fact that American Jews have managed to maintain unquestioned support for Israel over the last thirty-seven years, despite Israel’s seizing land and engaging in a brutal suppression of the Palestinians in the occupied territories—an occupation that will most likely end with expulsion or complete subjugation, degradation, and apartheid. During the same period Jewish organizations in America have been a principal force—in my view the main force—for transforming America into a state dedicated to suppressing ethnic identification among Europeans, for encouraging massive multiethnic immigration into the U.S., and for erecting a legal system and cultural ideology that is obsessively sensitive to the complaints and interests of non-European ethnic minorities—the culture of the Holocaust.271 All this is done without a whisper of double standards in the aboveground media.
I have also provided a small glimpse of the incredible array of Jewish pro-Israel activist organizations, their funding, their access to the media, and their power over the political process. Taken as a whole, neoconservatism is an excellent illustration of the key traits behind the success of Jewish activism: ethnocentrism, intelligence and wealth, psychological intensity, and aggressiveness.272 Now imagine a similar level of organization, commitment, and funding directed toward changing the U.S. immigration system put into law in 1924 and 1952, or inaugurating the revolution in civil rights, or the post-1965 countercultural revolution: In the case of the immigration laws we see the same use of prominent non-Jews to attain Jewish goals, the same access to the major media, and the same ability to have a decisive influence on the political process by establishing lobbying organizations, recruiting non-Jews as important players, funneling financial and media support to political candidates who agree with their point of view, and providing effective leadership in government.273 Given this state of affairs, one can easily see how Jews, despite being a tiny minority of the U.S. population, have been able to transform the country to serve their interests. It’s a story that has been played out many times in Western history, but the possible effects now seem enormous, not only for Europeans but literally for everyone on the planet, as Israel and its hegemonic ally restructure the politics of the world.
History also suggests that anti-Jewish reactions develop as Jews increase their control over other peoples.274 As always, it will be fascinating to observe the dénouement.
I thank Samuel Francis for very helpful comments on the paper. I am also grateful to an expert on Leo Strauss for his comments—many of which were incorporated in the section on Leo Strauss. Unfortunately, at his request, he must remain anonymous. Finally, thanks to Theodore O’Keefe for his meticulous editorial work and his monumental patience.
Kevin MacDonald is Professor of Psychology, California State University (Long Beach), and the author of A People That Shall Dwell Alone (1994), Separation and Its Discontents (1998), and The Culture of Critique (1998), all published by Praeger.
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Strauss, L. (1962/1994). Why we remain Jews: Can Jewish faith and history still speak to us? In K. L. Deutsch & W. Nicgorski (eds.), Leo Strauss: Political Philosopher and Jewish Thinker, 43–79. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc. (Based on a lecture given on February 4, 1962, at the Hillel Foundation, University of Chicago.)
Svonkin, S. (1997). Jews against Prejudice: American Jews and the Fight for Civil Liberties. New York: Columbia University Press.
Tarcov, N., & T. L. Pangle. (1987). Epilogue: Leo Strauss and the history of political philosophy. In History of Political Philosophy, 3rd ed., L. Strauss & J. Cropsey (eds.). Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 909–910.
Tifft, S. E., & A. S. Jones. (1999). The Trust: The Private and Powerful Family behind the New York Times. Boston: Little Brown & Co.
Tucker, R. W. (1999). Alone or with others: The temptations of post-cold war power. Foreign Affairs78(6).
Vann, B. (2003). The historical roots of neoconservatism: a reply to a slanderous attack on Trotskyism. World Socialist Website, May 23. www.wsws.org/articles/2003/may2003/shac-m23_prn.shtml.
Vest, J. (2002). The men from JINSA and CSP. Nation, Aug. 15, 2002. www.thenation.com/doc.mhtml?i=20020902&c=1&s=vest
Wald, A. (2003). Are Trotskyites running the Pentagon? History News Network, June 23. http://hnn.us/articles/1514.html
Waldman, P. (2004). An historian’s take on Islam steers U.S. in terrorism fight: Bernard Lewis’ blueprint—sowing Arab democracy—is facing a test in Iraq. Wall Street Journal, Feb. 3.
Wattenberg, B. (1984). The Good News Is the Bad News Is Wrong. Washington, DC: AEI Press.
Wattenberg, B. (2001). Melt. Melting. Melted. Jewish World Review, March 19. www.jewishworldreview.com/cols/wattenberg031901.asp
Whitaker, B. (2002). US thinktanks give lessons in foreign policy. Guardian, Aug. 19. www.sovereignty.org.uk/siteinfo/newsround/iraq4.html
Wilson, J. C. (2004). The Politics of Truth: Inside the Lies that Led to War and Betrayed My Wife’s CIA Identity—A Diplomat’s Memoir. New York: Carroll & Graf.
Wisse, R. (1981/1996). The delegitimation of Israel. Commentary, October. Reprinted in M. Gerson (ed.), The Essential Neoconservative Reader. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley, 190–208.
Woodward, B. (2004). Plan of Attack. New York: Simon & Schuster.
Wrezin, M. (1994). A Rebel in Defense of Tradition: The Life and Politics of Dwight Macdonald. New York: Basic Books.
Yinon, O. (1982). A strategy for Israel in the 1980s, trans. and edited by I. Shahak. Belmont, MA: Association of Arab-American University Graduates, Inc. www.geocities.com/alabasters_archive/zionist_plan.html.
1. MacDonald 2003a.
2. MacDonald 2003b.
3. MacDonald 1998/2002.
4. Muravchik (2003) describes and critiques the idea of Trotsky’s influence among neoconservatives.
5. Steinlight 2004.
6. Friedman 2002; Young Jewish Leadership Political Action Committee (http://yjlpac.org/dc/fyi.htm).
7. Kessler 2004.
8. Horrigan, “Bush increases margins with AIPAC.” United Press International, May 18, 2004.
9. See Buchanan 2004.
10. Buchanan 2004.
11. B. Wattenberg interview with Richard Perle, PBS, November 14, 2002 (www.pbs.org/thinktank/transcript1017.html). The entire relevant passage from the interview follows. Note Perle’s odd argument that it was not in Israel’s interest that the U.S. invade Iraq because Saddam Hussein posed a much greater threat to Israel than the U.S.
Ben Wattenberg: As this argument has gotten rancorous, there is also an undertone that says that these neoconservative hawks, that so many of them are Jewish. Is that valid and how do you handle that?
Richard Perle: Well, a number are. I see Trent Lott there and maybe that’s Newt Gingrich, I’m not sure, but by no means uniformly.
Ben Wattenberg: Well, and of course the people who are executing policy, President Bush, Vice President Cheney, Don Rumsfeld, Colin Powell, Connie Rice, they are not Jewish at last report.
Richard Perle: No, they’re not. Well, you’re going to find a disproportionate number of Jews in any sort of intellectual undertaking.
Ben Wattenberg: On both sides.
Richard Perle: On both sides. Jews gravitate toward that and I’ll tell you if you balance out the hawkish Jews against the dovish ones, then we are badly outnumbered, badly outnumbered. But look, there’s clearly an undertone of anti-Semitism about it. There’s no doubt.
Ben Wattenberg: Well, and the linkage is that this war on Iraq if it comes about would help Israel and that that’s the hidden agenda, and that’s sort of the way that works.
Richard Perle: Well, sometimes there’s an out and out accusation that if you take the view that I take and some others take towards Saddam Hussein, we are somehow motivated not by the best interest of the United States but by Israel’s best interest. There’s not a logical argument underpinning that. In fact, Israel is probably more exposed and vulnerable in the context of a war with Saddam than we are because they’re right next door. Weapons that Saddam cannot today deliver against us could potentially be delivered against Israel. And for a long time the Israelis themselves were very reluctant to take on Saddam Hussein. I’ve argued this issue with Israelis. But it’s a nasty line of argument to suggest that somehow we’re confused about where our loyalties are.
Ben Wattenberg: It’s the old dual loyalty argument.
12. Chalabi’s status with the neocons is in flux because of doubts about his true allegiances. See Dizard 2004.
13. MacDonald 1998/2002, Chs. 3, 7; Klehr 1978, 40; Liebman 1979, 527ff; Neuringer 1980, 92; Rothman & Lichter 1982, 99; Svonkin 1997, 45, 51, 65, 71–72.
14. Lindemann 1997, 433.
15. Wrezin 1994.
16. MacDonald 1998/2002, Ch. 7; Hollinger 1996, 158.
17. In Hook 1987, 215. For information on Lubin, see: http://centaur.vri.cz/news/prilohy/pril218.htm.
18. Mann 2004, 197.
19. “Not in the Newsroom: CanWest, Global, and Freedom of Expression in Canada.” Canadian Journalists for Free Expression: www.cjfe.org/specials/canwest/canw2.html; April 2002.
20. Bamford 2004, 281.
21. Moore 2004.
22. In B. Lamb interview of Judith Miller on Bootnotes.org, June 17, 1990. www.booknotes.org/Transcript/?ProgramID=1008.
23. The Times and Iraq. New York Times, May 26, 2004, A10. Okrent (2004) notes that the story was effectively buried by printing it on p. A10.
24. Okrent 2004.
25. See examples in MacDonald 1998/2002, Preface to the first paperback edition.
26. Tifft & Jones 1999, 38.
27. MacDonald 2003b; Massing 2002.
28. Massing 2002.
29. Cockburn 2003.
30. Cockburn 2003.
31. Massing 2002.
32. Jerusalem Report, May 5, 2003. http://www.adl.org/anti_semitism/as_simple.asp
33.ADL Urges Senator Hollings to Disavow Statements on Jews and the Iraq War. ADL press release, May 14, 2004; www.adl.org/PresRele/ASUS_12/4496_12.htm. These sentiments were shortly followed by a similar assessment by the American Board of Rabbis which “drafted a resolution demanding that Senator Hollings immediately resign his position in the Senate, and further demanded that the Democratic Party condemn Hollings’ blatant and overt anti-Semitism, as well” (USA Today, May 24, 2004) www.capwiz.com/usatoday/bio/userletter/?letter_id=92235631&content_dir=congressorg; the American Board of Rabbis is an Orthodox Jewish group that regards Sharon’s policies as too lenient and advocates assassination of all PLO leaders: see www.angelfire.com/ny2/abor/ An article of mine on this issue (MacDonald 2003c), published by Vdare.com, was also said to be “anti-Semitic” by the Southern Poverty Law Center: “Civil rights group condemns work of CSULB professor”; Daily Forty-Niner (California State University–Long Beach) 54(119), May 16, 2004. www.csulb.edu/~d49er/archives/2004/spring/news/volLIVno119-civil.shtml
34. Daily Google-News searches from May 6, 2004 to May 29, 2004. During this period, several articles on the topic appeared in the Forward, and there were articles in the Baltimore Jewish Times and the Jewish Telegraphic Agency. Summary articles written in the Jerusalem Post and Ha’aretz more than three weeks after the incident focused on anxiety among American Jews that Jews would be blamed for the Iraq war. (J. Zacharia, “Jews fear being blamed for Iraq war,” Jerusalem Post, May 29, 2004; N. Guttman, Prominent U.S. Jews, Israel blamed for start of Iraq War,” Ha’aretzMay 31, 2004).There were no articles on this topic in Hollinger-owned media in the United States.
36. Morris 2003.
37. Goldberg 2003; Kaplan 2003; Lind 2003; Wald 2003.
38. Francis 2004, 9.
39. In Francis 2004, 9.
40. Buchanan 2003.
41. Muravchik 2003.
42. See MacDonald 1998/2002, Ch. 4.
43. North 2003.
44. In Drucker 1994, 25.
45. Cannon was not Jewish but lived his life in a very Jewish milieu. He was married to Rose Karsner.
46. Drucker 1994, 43; “A younger, Jewish Trotskyist milieu began to form around him in New York” (35).
47. In Drucker 1994, 43.
48. Francis 1999, 52.
49. Drucker 219.
50. Drucker, 261.
51. Drucker, 179.
52. Drucker, 288.
53. In Drucker, 305.
54. Vann 2003.
55. A short history of the Socialist Party USA. http://sp-usa.org/spri/sp_usa_history.htm As with everything else, there was an evolution of their views on Zionism. The Shachtmanite journal, the New International, published two articles by Hal Draper (1956, 1957) that were quite critical of Israel; this journal ceased publication in 1958 when the Shachtmanites merged with the Socialist Party USA.
56. Brenner 1997.
57. Massing 1987.
58. This led to the resignations of many and the eventual reconstruction of the Socialist Party USA with the left wing of the former organization.
59. Sims 1992, 46ff.; Massing 1987.
60. Sims 1992, 46.
61. Jeane J. Kirkpatrick, AEI biography: www.aei.org/scholars/filter.all,scholarID.32/scholar2.asp
62. Kaufman 2000, 296
63. Forward, August 20, 1999.
64. C. Gershman. A democracy strategy for the Middle East. www.ned.org/about/carl/dec1203.html; Dec. 12, 2003.
65. C. Gershman. After the bombings: My visit to Turkey and Istanbul’s Jewish community. www.ned.org/about/carl/dec2703.html Dec. 27, 2003.
66. Massing 1987.
67. Paul 2003.
68. For democracy in Iraq and the Middle East. Resolution of January 2003. http://www.socialdemocrats.org/Iraq.html.
69. Muravchik 2002.
70. M. Kampelman. Trust the United Nations? Undated; available at www.socialdemocrats.org/kampelmanhtml.html as of May 2004. The article has the following description of Kampelman: Max M. Kampelman was counselor of the State Department; U.S. ambassador to the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe; and ambassador and U.S. negotiator with the Soviet Union on Nuclear and Space Arms. He is now chairman emeritus of Freedom House; the American Academy of Diplomacy; and the Georgetown University Institute for the Study of Diplomacy.
71. Ehrman 1995.
72. Schlesinger 1947, 256.
73. Hook 1987, 432–460; Ehrman, 47.
74. Ehrman, 50.
75. Tucker (1999) later argued that the United States should avoid the temptations of dominion in a unipolar world. It should attempt to spread democracy by example rather than force, and should achieve broad coalitions for its foreign policy endeavors.
76. Gerson 1996, 161–162.
77. Kristol 2003.
78. See Ehrman 1995, 63–96. Moynihan was especially close to Norman Podhoretz, editor of Commentary, who was Moynihan’s “unofficial advisor and writer” during his stint as UN ambassador (Ehrman 1995, 84).
79. Moynihan 1975/1996.
80. Miele 2002, 36–38.
81. Moynihan 1975/1996, 96.
82. See MacDonald 1998/2004, Ch. 5; MacDonald 2003.
83. See MacDonald 1998/2004, Ch. 5; MacDonald 2003.
84. Patai & Patai 1989. See discussion in MacDonald 1998/2004, Ch. 7.
85. Gerson 1996, 162.
86. Wisse 1981/1996.
87. Wisse 1981/1996, 192.
88. Wisse 1981/1996, 193.
89. Wisse 1981/1996, 193.
90. Wisse singles out Arthur Hertzberg as an example of an American Jew critical of Begin’s government. Hertzberg continues to be a critic of Israeli policies, especially of the settlement movement. In a New York Times op-ed piece “The price of not keeping peace” of August, 27, 2003, Hertzberg urges the United States to cease funding the expansion of Jewish settlements while also preventing the Palestinians’ access to foreign funds used for violence against Israel:
The United States must act now to disarm each side of the nasty things that they can do to each other. We must end the threat of the settlements to a Palestinian state of the future. The Palestinian militants must be forced to stop threatening the lives of Israelis, wherever they may be. A grand settlement is not in sight, but the United States can lead both parties to a more livable, untidy accommodation.
91. Reviewed in MacDonald 2003.
92. See Friedman 1995, 257ff.
93. Friedman 1995, 72.
94. MacDonald, in press. In recent years mainstream Jewish groups such as the AJCommittee have supported some forms of affirmative action, as in the recent University of Michigan of 2003 case.
95. Glazer 1969, 36.
96. Friedman 1995, 230.
97. Liebman 1979, 561; MacDonald 1998/2002, Ch. 3.
98. Ehrman 1995, 38.
99. Ehrman 43.
100. Ehrman, 46
101. Ehrman, 174.
102. Francis 2004, 7.
103. Francis 2004, 9.
104. Francis 2004, 11–12.
105. MacDonald 1998/2002, preface to the paperback edition and Ch. 7.
106. Wattenberg 1984, 84.
107. Pipes 2001; see also Pipes’ Middle East Forum website: http://www.meforum.org/; Steinlight 2001, 2004.
108. In Buchanan 2004.
110. Ehrman, 62.
111. In Kaufman 2000, 13.
112. Kaufman 2000, 263.
113. Kaufman 2000, 47.
114. Kaufman 2000, 295. Kaufman footnotes the last assertion with a reference to an interview with Daniel Patrick Moynihan, July 28, 1996.
115. Hersh 1982.
116. Kaufman 2000, 172; Waldman 2004.
117. Z. Brzezinski, in Kaufman 2000, 351.
118. Kaufman 2000, 374. Despite his strong support for Israel, Jackson drew the line at support for the Likud Party, which came into power in 1977 with the election of Menachem Begin. Whereas the Likud policy has been to seize as much of the West Bank as possible and relegate the Palestinians to isolated, impotent Bantustan-like enclaves, Jackson favored full sovereignty for the Palestinians on the West Bank, except for national security and foreign policy.
119. Kaufman 2000, 375.
120. Moynihan was expelled from the movement in 1984 because he softened his foreign policy line (Ehrman 1995, 170).
121. Kaufman 2000, 308.
122. Ehrman 1995, 95.
123. Diggins 2004.
124. Kaufman 2000, 446.
125. Ibid., 447.
126. It’s interesting that Commentary continued to write of a Soviet threat even after the fall of the Soviet Union, presumably because they feared a unipolar world in which Israel could not be portrayed as a vital ally of the United States (Ehrman 1995, 175–176).
127. Ehrman 1995, 181.
128. Ehrman 1995, 182.
129. Kirkpatrick 1979/1996.
130. Ibid., 71.
131. MacDonald 2002.
132. Ehrman 1995, 192.
133. Ehrman 1995, 197.
134. Lobe 2003a.
135. Strauss 1962/1994.
136. Ibid., 44.
137. Dannhauser 1996, 160.
138. Dannhauser 1996, 169–170; italics in text. Dannhauser concludes the passage by noting, “I know for I am one of them.” Dannhauser poses the Athens/Jerusalem dichotomy as a choice between “the flatland of modern science, especially social science, and the fanaticism in the Mea Shaarim section of Jerusalem (incidentally, I would prefer the latter)” (p. 160).
139. Strauss 1962/1994;Tarcov & Pangle 1987; Holmes 1993, 61–87.
140. Holmes 1993, 63.
141. In Jaffa 1999, 44.
142. Himmelfarb (1974, 61): “There are many excellent teachers. They have students. Strauss had disciples.” Levine 1994, 354: “This group has the trappings of a cult. After all, there is a secret teaching and the extreme seriousness of those who are ‘initiates.’” See also Easton 2000, 38; Drury 1997, 2.
143. Strauss 1952, 36.
144. Drury 1997; Holmes 1993; Tarcov & Pangle 1987, 915. Holmes summarizes this thesis as follows (74): “The good society, on this model, consists of the sedated masses, the gentlemen rulers, the promising puppies, and the philosophers who pursue knowledge, manipulate the gentlemen, anesthetize the people, and housebreak the most talented young.”
145. Easton 2000, 45, 183.
146. Holmes 1993, 74.
147. Levine 1994, 366.
148. Strauss 1952, Ch. 2.
149. MacDonald 1998/2002.
150. See MacDonald 1998/2002, Ch. 7.
151. MacDonald 1998/2002, passim.
152. Massing 1987.
153. Hook 1987, 46.
154. Hook 1987, 123.
155. Hook 1987, 179.
156. Hook 1987, 244.
157. Hook 1987, 246.
158. Hook 1987, 598.
159. Muravchik 2002.
160. Hook 1987, 600.
161. Hook 1989.
162. MacDonald 1998/2002, Ch. 6.
163. Hook 1987, 420: Anti-Semitism in the USSR “had a sobering effect upon intellectuals of Jewish extraction, who had been disproportionately represented among dissidents and radicals.”
164. Hook 1989, 480–481.
165. Saba 1984.
166. Green 2004.
167. Saba 1984; Green 2004.
168. Dershowitz 1994; Jones 1996.
169. Green 2004.
170. Frum & Perle 2003.
171. Krauthammer. Democratic realism: An American foreign policy for a unipolar world. Irving Kristol lecture at the American Enterprise Institute, Feb. 10, 2004.
173. See MacDonald 1998/2002, Chaps. 7, 8.
174. Krauthammer. He tarries: Jewish messianism and the Oslo peace. Lecture given at Bar-Ilan University, June 10, 2002; www.biu.ac.il/Spokesman/Krauthammer-text.html; see also Jerusalem Post, June 11, 2002.
175. See MacDonald 2003a, 2003b.
176. Krauthammer 2002.
177. Krauthammer 2004a.
178. Mann 2004, 23.
179. Hirsh 2003.
180. Mann 2004, 23, 30.
181. Deputy Secretary Wolfowitz interview with Sam Tannenhaus of Vanity Fair, May 9, 2003. United States Department of Defense News Transcript.
182. Ephron & Lipper 2002.
183. Curtiss 2003.
184. Locke 2002.
185. Locke 2002.
186. Bellow 2000, 27.
187. Bellow 2000, 56.
188. Bellow 2000, 103.
189. Bellow 2000, 101.
190. Cuddihy 1974. See Bellow 2000, 57–58.
191. Bellow 2000, 174.
192. Bellow 2000, 61.
193. Bellow 2000, 178–179.
194. Bellow 2000, 179.
195. Bellow 2000, 58.
196. Keller 2002.
197. Green 2004.
198. Ibid., 139–164.
199. Woodward 2004, 21.
200. Mann 2004, 302.
201. Clarke 2004, 32.
202. Christison & Christison 2003.
204. Muravchik 2003.
205. Mann 2004, 170; see also 79–81; 113.
206. Perle interview on BBC’s Panorama, in Lobe 2003c.
207. Findley 1989, 160; Green 2004.
208. Hilzenrath 2004.
209. Oberg 2003.
210. Brownfield 2003.
211. Muravchik, 2003.
212. Hilzenrath 2004.
213. A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm. Institute for Advanced Strategic and Political Studies Report, 1996. http://www.iasps.org/; see: www.israeleconomy.org/strat1.htm.
214. Yinon 1982.
215. Wilson 2004, 484; Wilson suggests that Scooter Libby or Elliott Abrams revealed that his wife, Valerie Plame was a CIA agent in retaliation for Wilson’s failure to find evidence supporting purchase of material for nuclear weapons by Iraq.
216. Hersh 2004.
217. Lobe 2002b.
218. Ehrman 1995, 139.
219. Besharov & Sullivan 1996, 21; Besharov apparently did not take a position as moderator of a debate between Elliott Abrams and Seymour Martin Lipset on whether the American Jewish community could survive only as a religious community (the Diamondback, student newspaper at the University of Maryland, College Park, MD, Dec. 9, 1997; www.inform.umd.edu/News/Diamondback/1997-editions/12-December-editions/971209-Tuesday/NWS-Flagship). Another prominent neocon, Ben Wattenberg, who is a senior fellow at AEI, is very upbeat about interracial marriage and immigration generally—the better to create a “universal nation” (Wattenberg 2001). Wattenberg’s article notes, with no apparent concern, that Jews have high rates of intermarriage as well.
220. Abrams 1997, ix.
221. See MacDonald 1998/2002, preface to the First Paperback Edition and chap. 7.
222. Abrams 1997, 188.
223. Risen 2004.
224. Kwiatkowski 2004b.
225. Kwiatkowski 2004a.
226. Bamford 2004, 279.
228. Kamen 2003.
229. Dizard 2004. Dizard notes:
Why did the neocons put such enormous faith in Ahmed Chalabi, an exile with a shady past and no standing with Iraqis? One word: Israel. They saw the invasion of Iraq as the precondition for a reorganization of the Middle East that would solve Israel’s strategic problems, without the need for an accommodation with either the Palestinians or the existing Arab states. Chalabi assured them that the Iraqi democracy he would build would develop diplomatic and trade ties with Israel, and eschew Arab nationalism. Now some influential allies believe those assurances were part of an elaborate con, and that Chalabi has betrayed his promises on Israel while cozying up to Iranian Shia leaders.
230. Friends of Israel are turning up in the strangest places. American Conservative, May 24, 2004, 19.
231. Mann 2004, 75.
232. Kwiatkowski 2004b. Hersh 2003: “‘They [the CIA] see themselves as outsiders,’ a former C.I.A. expert who spent the past decade immersed in Iraqi-exile affairs said of the Special Plans people.”
233. Lobe 2003c.
234. Marshall 2004: “Shlomo Brom, a former Israeli intelligence officer now at the Jaffe Center for Strategic Studies at Tel Aviv University, has confirmed that Israeli intelligence played a major role in bolstering the administration’s case for attacking Iraq. The problem, Brom maintains, is that the information was not reliable.”
235. E.g., Hersh 2003; Bamford 2004.
236. See Green 2004.
237. Green 2004.
238. Milstein 1991.
239. Laughland 2003.
240. Ledeen 2002.
241. See Bamford 2004, 96–101, 138–145.
242. Waldman 2004.
243. Waldman 2004.
244. See MacDonald 2002.
245. Lewis 2002.
246. Waldman 2004.
247. Woodward 2004, 416
248. PNAC Letter to President Clinton, Jan. 26, 1998 www.newamericancentury.org/iraqclintonletter.htm; PNAC Letter to Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich and Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott, May 29, 1998 www.newamericancentury.org/iraqletter1998.htm
249. Samber 2000.
251. Rosenblum 2002. See also Milbank 2002. In a later column, Rosenblum (2003) noted,
Now [Sharansky] delivered the same message to Cheney: No matter how many conditions Bush placed on the creation of a Palestinian state under Arafat, any such announcement would constitute a reward for two years of non-stop terror against Israeli civilians. The normally laconic Cheney shot to attention when he heard these words. ‘But your own government has already signed off on this,’ he told Sharansky, confirming the latter’s worst suspicions. Sharansky nevertheless repeated, as Cheney scribbled notes, that without the removal of Arafat and the entire junta from Tunis, the creation of an atmosphere in which Palestinians could express themselves without fear of reprisal, and the cessation of incitement against Israel in the Palestinian schools and media peace is impossible. President Bush’s upcoming speech had already undergone 30 drafts at that point. It was about to undergo another crucial shift based on Sharansky’s conversation with Cheney. Two days later, on June 24, 2002, President Bush announced at the outset, ‘Peace requires a new and different Palestinian leadership.’ He did not mention Yasir Arafat once.
252. Drew 2003.
253. Woodward 2004, 409–412.
254. www.newamericancentury.org/Bushletter-040302.htm; other signatories include William Kristol, Gary Bauer, Jeffrey Bell, William J. Bennett, Ellen Bork, Linda Chavez, Eliot Cohen, Midge Decter, Thomas Donnelly, Nicholas Eberstadt, Hillel Fradkin, Frank Gaffney, Jeffrey Gedmin, Reuel Marc Gerecht, Charles Hill, Bruce P. Jackson, Donald Kagan, Robert Kagan, John Lehman, Tod Lindberg, Rich Lowry, Clifford May, Joshua Muravchik, Martin Peretz, Richard Perle, Daniel Pipes, Norman Podhoretz, Stephen P. Rosen, Randy Scheunemann, Gary Schmitt, William Schneider, Jr., Marshall Wittmann, R. James Woolsey.
255. United States National Security Background Guide; University of Chicago: Chicago Model United Nations VI, Feb. 13, 2001; http://chomun.uchicago.edu/committees/NSC_back.pdf
256. Pincus & Priest 2003; Bamford 2004, 368–370.
257. Keller 2002; see also Woodward 2004, 48.
258. Lobe 2002a; Mann 2004, 208–210.
259. Decter 2003, 41–43.
260. ZOA news release, Aug. 7, 2002. ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said: “Israel has the greater historical, legal, and moral right to Judea, Samaria, and Gaza. At the very least, those areas should be called disputed territories, not occupied territories, since the term ‘occupied’ clearly suggests that the ‘occupier’ has no right to be there. We strongly applaud Secretary Rumsfeld’s courageous and principled stance in distancing himself from the ‘occupied territory’ fallacy.” www.zoa.org/pressrel2002/20020807a.htm.
261. Woodward 2004, 416.
263. Whitaker 2002.
266. Vest 2002.
267. Vest ibid.
268. Vest ibid.
269. See MacDonald 2003a.
270. Findley 1989; MacDonald 2003a.
271. See MacDonald 1998/2002, preface.
272. MacDonald 2003a.
273. MacDonald, 1998/2002, chap. 7.
274. MacDonald 1998/2004.
III. Who got us into the Iraq war? A List of prominent Jewish Neocons and their role in getting the U.S. into Iraq and Homeland Security
***Everything shown below has been taken word for word from the respective website cited (primarily Wikipedia).
(ETK note: This is a limited list of prominent Jews/Jewish neocons and Zionists that control America.)
“American political advisor and lobbyist who worked for the Reagan administration as an assistant Secretary of Defense and worked on the Defense Policy Board Advisory Committee from 1987 to 2004. He was Chairman of the Board from 2001 to 2003 under the Bush Administration.”
“He is a member of several conservative think-tanks, such as Project for the New American Century (PNAC), the Hudson Institute, and (as a resident fellow) the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research. He is also a Patron of the Henry Jackson Society. “
“Perle has written extensively on a number of issues; his cited research interests including defense, national security, and the Middle East. Perle had long been an advocate of regime change in Iraq. He also linked Saddam to Osama Bin Laden just a few days after 9/11”
“Perle chaired a study group that included Douglas Feith and David Wurmser that produced a strategy paper for the incoming Likud Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu: “A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm””
“In a New York Times article Perle was criticized for recommending that the Army purchase an armaments system from an Israeli company that a year earlier had paid him $50,000 in consulting fees.”
“In 1996, Perle participated in a study group that produced a report for the incoming Likud-led government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Israel that urged the country to break off then-ongoing peace initiatives and suggested strategies for reshaping the Middle East. Among the group’s arguments was the idea that “removing Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq [was] an important Israeli strategic objective in its own right.”
“As U.S. Deputy Secretary of Defense during the Presidency of George W. Bush, he was “a major architect of President Bush’s Iraq policy and, within the Administration, its most passionate and compelling advocate” (Boyer 1)”
“Douglas Feith is a former Pentagon official closely associated with the neoconservative political faction who has been investigated for allegedly distorting prewar intelligence on Iraq. Feith served as the deputy undersecretary of defense for policy, the number three position at the Pentagon, from July 2001 to August 2005.”
“Feith has been questioned by the FBI in relation to the passing by one of his employees of confidential Pentagon documents to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), which in turn passed them to the Israeli Embassy. The Senate Intelligence Committee is also investigating Feith.”
“There seems little doubt that he operated in the Pentagon in such a way as to produce false and misleading ‘intelligence,’ that he created an entirely false impression of Iraqi weapons capabilities and ties to al-Qaida, and that he is among the chief facilitators of the U.S. war in Iraq. Feith is clearly resigning ahead of the possible breaking of major scandals concerning his tenure at the Department of Defense, which is among the more disgraceful cases of the misleading of the American people in American history.”
“Although Feith was not formally charged in connection to his work at the Pentagon, his work has been repeatedly investigated, and official reports have linked him to efforts to push faulty evidence to justify the war. One investigation, by the Department of Defense’s inspector general (IG), was set up to assess whether the Office of Special Plans (OSP), a specialized outfit set up by Feith within the Pentagon to scrutinize intelligence on Iraq, deliberately skewed information about the regime of Saddam Hussein (New York Times, May 25, 2006).”
“Feith also served on the board of the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA), a think tank that promotes a military and strategic alliance between the United States and Israel. ”
“Feith favors US support for Israel and has promoted US-Israeli cooperation. He also favors stronger US-Turkish cooperation, and increased military ties between Turkey and Israel. Both Feith and his father have been honored by the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA), a conservative organization that often makes common cause on foreign policy issues with conservative Christian organizations.”
“His father, Dalck, was a member of the Betar, a Revisionist Zionist youth organization”
“The Betar Movement (בית”ר, also spelled Beitar) is a Revisionist Zionist youth movement founded in 1923 in Riga, Latvia, by Ze’ev Jabotinsky. Betar members played important roles in the fight against the British during the Mandate, and in the creation of Israel. It has been traditionally linked to the original Herut and then Likud Israeli political parties.”
“Ledeen was a founding member of the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs and he served on the JINSA Board of Advisors. In 2003, the Washington Post alleged that he was consulted by Karl Rove, George W. Bush’s closest advisor, as his main international affairs adviser.”
“Michael Ledeen had been accused of being involved in the forgery which claimed that Saddam Hussein had bought yellowcake in Niger.”
“Writing in The Nation, a left-wing magazine, Jack Huberman, who describes Ledeen as “the most influential and unabashed warmonger of our time”, attributes these quotes to Ledeen:
* “the level of casualties (in Iraq) is secondary”
* “we are a warlike people (Americans)…we love war”
* “Change – above all violent change – is the essence of human history”
* “the only way to achieve peace is through total war”
* “The purpose of total war is to permanently force your will onto another people”
* “Every ten years or so, the United States needs to pick up some small crappy little country and throw it against the wall, just to show the world we mean business”
“an American former corporate lawyer, policy advisor, and novelist who served as Assistant to the President of the United States, George W. Bush, Chief of Staff to the Vice President of the United States, Dick Cheney, and Assistant to the Vice President for National Security Affairs from 2001 to 2005.”
“Libby was active in the Defense Policy Board Advisory Committee of the Pentagon when it was chaired by Richard Perle during the early years of the George W. Bush administration (2001-2003).”
“British Secretary of State for Justice Jack Straw said of Libby: “It’s a toss-up whether [he] is working for the Israelis or the Americans on any given day.”
“Neoconservative columnist and commentator. Krauthammer appears regularly as a guest commentator on Fox News. His print work appears in the Washington Post, Time magazine and The Weekly Standard.”
“Krauthammer asserted that Saddam Hussein’s possession of weapons of mass destruction was certain”
“Krauthammer guaranteed that the weapons would eventually be discovered”
“Krauthammer has been a defender of the Likud party in Israel”
“Bryen is also closely connected to various high-profile neoconservatives like Richard Perle, under whom Bryen served when Perle was President Ronald Reagan’s assistant secretary of defense, and has supported the work of a number of hardline pro-Israel groups like the Center for Security Policy (CSP) and the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA).”
“In the mid-1970s, Bryen and a group of other mainly neoconservative figures, including Michael Ledeen, helped establish JINSA as an important Washington-based think tank specializing in fostering close ties between the U.S. and Israeli militaries”
“Bryen had a role in choosing not only what U.S. weaponry Israel would be allowed to purchase with those funds, but also what sensitive U.S. military technology would be made available to Israel for use in its own burgeoning arms industry.”
“Some observers have accused Bryen of using his insider connections in Washington to the benefit of Israel.”
“In a January 2002 article for National Review Online, Bryen pushed the erroneous thesis that Iraq had maintained a well-developed biological weapons program since the first Gulf War in 1991, making it the “leading threat” to “global survival.””
“Even prior to the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Bryen was part of a core group of foreign policy hardliners and neoconservatives who pushed for overthrowing Saddam Hussein”
“David J. Frum (born 1960) is a former speechwriter for President George W. Bush”
“Frum is widely cited as having authored the phrase “axis of evil,” “
“Frum’s latest book, An End to Evil, was co-written with Richard Perle. It provided a defense of the 2003 invasion of Iraq, and advocated regime change in Iran and Syria”
“Frum writes a weekly column for Canada’s National Post newspaper and is a commentator for American Public Radio’s “Marketplace.” His writings appear frequently in the New York Times, Italy’s Il Foglio, and the Daily Telegraph. He also writes a blog, David Frum’s Diary at the National Review Online Web site.”
“American neoconservative scholar and political commentator.”
“Kagan worked at the State Department Bureau of Inter-American Affairs (1985-1988) and was a speechwriter for Secretary of State George P. Shultz (1984-1985). Prior to that, he was foreign policy advisor to New York Representative and future Republican vice presidential candidate Jack Kemp”
“Kagan, who has written for The New Republic, Policy Review, the Washington Post (monthly), and the Weekly Standard, now lives in Brussels, Belgium, with his family.”
“He is a co-founder of the Project for the New American Century (PNAC)”
“David Wurmser is a Swiss-American dual citizen and the Middle East Adviser to US Vice President Dick Cheney. Wurmser, a neoconservative, previously served as special assistant to John R. Bolton at the State Department and was a former research fellow on the Middle East at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI).”
“In 2000, Wurmser helped draft a document entitled “Ending Syria’s Occupation of Lebanon: the US Role?”, which called for a confrontation with the regime in Damascus. The document said that Syria was developing “weapons of mass destruction”.”
“After the September 11, 2001 attacks, Undersecretary of Defense Douglas Feith appointed Wurmser and veteran defense analyst Michael Maloof as a secret two-man Pentagon intelligence unit. One of their products, days after the attacks, was a memo that suggested “hitting targets outside the Middle East in the initial offensive” or a “non-Al Qaeda target like Iraq.” “
“On September 4, 2004, the Washington Post reported that FBI counterintelligence investigators had questioned Wurmser, along with Feith, Harold Rhode, and Paul Wolfowitz about the passing of classified information to Ahmad Chalabi and/or the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. ”
Wurmser’s wife, Dr. Meyrav Wurmser, co-founded the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI).”
“During the 2000 U.S. Presidential election campaign, Zakheim served as a foreign policy advisor to George W. Bush “
“appointed to be Undersecretary of Defense and Comptroller from 2001 to 2004 under the George W. Bush administration, and served in this capacity until April 2004. During his term as Comptroller, he was tasked to help track down the Pentagon’s 2.6 trillion dollars ($2,600,000,000,000) worth of unaccounted transactions”
“As an Orthodox Jew, he gained notoriety for his involvement in ending the Israeli fighter program, the IAI Lavi. He argued that Israeli and U.S. interests would be best served by having Israel purchase F-16 fighters, rather than investing in an entirely new aircraft.”
“He is currently a Vice President of Booz Allen Hamilton.”
”Booz Allen Hamilton, Inc., referred to as Booz Allen is one of the oldest strategy consulting firms in the world.”
“the firm generated annual total sales of over $4 billion in FY2007.”
“In 2006 at the request of the Article 29 Working Group, an advisory group to the European Commission (EC), the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and Privacy International (PI) investigated the U.S. government’s SWIFT surveillance program and Booz Allen’s role therein. The ACLU and PI filed a memo at the end of their investigation which called into question the ethics and legality of a government contractor (in this case Booz Allen) acting as auditors of a government program, when that contractor is heavily involved with those same agencies on other contracts. The basic statement was that a conflict of interest may exist. Beyond that, the implication was also made that Booz Allen may be complicit in a program (electronic surveillance of SWIFT) that may be deemed illegal by the EC.”
“A June 28, 2007 Washington Post article  related how a U.S. Department of Homeland Security contract with Booz Allen increased from $2 million to more than $70 million through two no-bid contracts, one occurring after the DHS’s legal office had advised DHS not to continue the contract until after a review.”
“In 2002, President George W. Bush appointed Kissinger to chair a committee to investigate the events of the September 11 attacks. “
“In 2006, it was reported in the book State of Denial by Bob Woodward that Kissinger was meeting regularly with President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney to offer advice on the War in Iraq. Kissinger confirmed in recorded interviews with Woodward”
“He asserts that the War on Terror is a war against Islamofascism, and constitutes World War IV (World War III having been the Cold War), and advocates the bombing of Iran to pre-empt their acquisition of nuclear weapons.”
“Project for the New American Century, PNAC, original signer”
“”Podhoretz is the father of John Podhoretz, a columnist for the Rupert Murdoch-owned New York Post, who also acts as a ubiquitous booster of the hawks”
“Podhoretz has been one of the most steadfast supporters of U.S. president George W. Bush, and even wrote a book extolling Bush as “the first great leader of the 21st century”.”
“Podhoretz is emphatic in his defense of Israel”
“However, Podhoretz was critical of the tactics used by Israel’s leadership in the recent Lebanon conflict, and argued that the Olmert government should have been more forceful in its efforts to weaken Hezbollah as a political and military force.”
“Podhoretz has a regular column at the New York Post, has been a political commentator on Fox News, and regularly appeared on CNN’s Reliable Sources. He has also worked at Time, the Washington Times, Insight, and U.S. News & World Report. Podhoretz is a contributor to The Corner, a group blog run by National Review.”
“American lawyer who has served in foreign policy positions for two Republican U.S. Presidents, Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush.”
“During Bush’s first term in office, he was appointed the post of Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director on the National Security Council for Near East and North African Affairs. At the start of Bush’s second term, Abrams was promoted to be his Deputy National Security Advisor for Global Democracy Strategy, responsible for advancing Bush’s strategy of advancing democracy abroad. Although Abrams is considered a leading neoconservative”
“He was one of the signatories of the 26 January 1998 PNAC letter sent to President Bill Clinton which called for regime-change in Iraq.”
“Frederick Kagan and his father Donald Kagan, who is a professor at Yale and a fellow at the Hudson Institute, together authored While America Sleeps: Self-Delusion, Military Weakness, and the Threat to Peace Today (2000). The book argued in favor of massive military spending and warned of future threats, including from a potential revival of Iraq’s WMD program. Frederick along with his brother Robert Kagan, who is a member of the Aspen Strategy Group, and their father Donald are all signatories to the neoconservative Project for the New American Century manifesto titled Rebuilding America’s Defenses (2000)”
“Kagan was said to have won-over the ear of President George W. Bush, strongly influencing his subsequent “surge” plan for changing the course of the Iraq War”
“became one of the original signers to the 1997 Statement of Principles by the neoconservative “think tank,” Project for the New American Century”
He is “”an American political figure and criminal law professor at Harvard Law School”
“Dershowitz comments regularly on issues related to Judaism, Israel, civil liberties, the war on terror, and the First Amendment, and appears frequently in the mainstream media as a guest commentator.””
“Dershowitz published an essay in the San Francisco Chronicle entitled “Want to Torture? Get a Warrant,” in which he advocates the issuance of warrants permitting the torture of terrorism suspects if there were an “absolute need to obtain immediate information in order to save lives”
“James Bamford, in his column for The Washington Post of September 8, 2002, reviews Dershowitz’s “idea of torture” and describes “[o]ne form of torture recommended by Dershowitz—‘the sterilized needle being shoved under the fingernails’” as “chillingly Nazi-like.””
“In his book Beyond Chutzpah, Norman Finkelstein” [who is Jewish] “comments: “It is hard to make out any difference between the policy Dershowitz advocates and the Nazi destruction of Lidice, for which he expresses abhorrence-except that Jews, not Germans, would be implementing it.””
“His parents, Harry and Claire, were both devout Orthodox Jews”
“American historian and counter-terrorism analyst who specializes in the Middle East.”
“regular columnist for the New York Sun and The Jerusalem Post. He contributes regularly to David Horowitz’s online publication FrontPage Magazine, and he has had his work published by many newspapers across North America, including the Washington Post, New York Times, and Wall Street Journal. He is frequently invited to discuss the Middle East on American network television, as well as by universities and think tanks, has appeared on the BBC and Al Jazeera”
“Pipes and the organization were accused of attacking academic freedom in 2002 by publishing a list of academics critical of Israel and U.S. foreign policy”
“Pipes has served in various capacities at the Departments of State and Defense, while his father served on the National Security Council, and he has testified to the United States Congress”
“Pipes is an outspoken Zionist.”
“In 1987, Pipes encouraged the United States to provide Saddam Hussein with upgraded weapons and intelligence, ostensibly to counterbalance Iran’s successes in the Iran-Iraq War”
“Pipes was a strong backer of the Iraq War, saying that Saddam Hussein posed an “imminent threat” to the United States. In a New York Post article published April 8, 2003, Pipes expressed his opposition to Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak’s concerned prediction that “[the] war [in Iraq] will have horrible consequences…Terrorism will be aggravated…Terrorist organizations will be united…Everything will be insecure.” Though this concern was echoed by various other politicians and academics cited by Pipes in his article, Pipes argued that “the precise opposite is more likely to happen: The war in Iraq will lead to a reduction in terrorism.””
“Cohen is the Director of the Strategic Studies department at SAIS and has specialized in strategic studies, the Middle East, Persian Gulf, Iraq, arms control, and NATO. He is a member of the Project for the New American Century and was called “the most influential neoconservative in academe” by energy economist Ahmad Faruqui. He is currently serving as Counselor to the U.S. State Department.”
“Cohen was one of the first neoconservatives to publicly advocate war against Iran and Iraq”
Quote by Cohen: “We know that he [Saddam Hussain] supports terror. There’s very solid evidence that the Iraqis were behind an attempt to assassinate President Bush’s father. And we—by the way, we do know that there is a connection with the 9/11 terrorists.”
“As a member of the Defense Policy Board Advisory Committee Cohen had also been engaged in meetings involving US President George Bush. During these meetings Cohen provided advice on strategy in the Iraq conflict”
“On 2 March 2007 it was reported by the Washington Post that Cohen was to be appointed as Condoleezza Rice’s “counselor” at the United States Department of State.”
“Regarding the “academic paper titled The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy. The paper criticizes the Israel lobby for influencing U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East away from U.S. interests and towards Israel’s interests. Eliot Cohen, who is Jewish, wrote in a prominent op-ed piece in The Washington Post that the academic working paper bears all the traditional hallmarks of anti-Semitism”
“He is the son of Irving Kristol, one of the founders of the neoconservative movement”
“Kristol was a strong advocate of the Iraq war”
“Most recently he has been a vocal supporter of the Israeli attack on Lebanon, stating that the war is “our war too,” referring to the United States. He continues to back the Iraq war, and favors a war with Iran”
“Kristol caused controversy by praising President George W. Bush’s second inaugural address without disclosing his role as a consultant to the writing of the speech.”
“considered the founder of American neoconservatism”
“Kristol is the founder of the politics and culture journal The Public Interest and the foreign affairs journal The National Interest.”
“He has been a prominent advocate for neoconservative foreign policy, once describing his own position as support for the use of “American might to promote American ideals” throughout the world.”
“He is a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, a contributing editor to The Weekly Standard, a weekly columnist for the Los Angeles Times and a regular contributor to other publications including the Financial Times and The New York Times. “
“He is also a consultant to the U.S. military and a regular lecturer at U.S. military institutions such as the Army War College and the Command and General Staff College. He has previously worked for The Wall Street Journal and The Christian Science Monitor”
“James Rodney Schlesinger (born February 15, 1929) was United States Secretary of Defense from 1973 to 1975 under presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford. He became America’s first Secretary of Energy under Jimmy Carter.”
“Schlesinger was born in New York City to Rae, a Russian Jewish immigrant, and Julius Schlesinger, an Austrian Jew.”
“On February 2, 1973 he became Director of Central Intelligence, after Richard Helms”
“Thereafter he resumed his writing and speaking career and was employed as a senior adviser to Lehman Brothers, Kuhn Loeb Inc., of New York City. On June 11, 2002 he was appointed by U.S. President George W. Bush to the Homeland Security Advisory Council. He also serves as a consultant to the United States Department of Defense, and is a member of the Defense Policy Board. On January 5, 2006, he participated in a meeting at the White House of former Secretaries of Defense and State to discuss United States foreign policy with Bush administration officials. On January 31, 2006 he was appointed by the Secretary of State to be a member of the Arms Control and Nonproliferation Advisory Board. On May 2, 2006, he was named to be a co-chairman of a Defense Science Board study on DOD Energy Strategy.”
“Marc Grossman was the United States Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs
from 2001 to 2005.”
“Before assuming these duties, Grossman served as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Political Military Affairs.”
“He was Director General of the Foreign Service and Director of Human Resources, from June 2000 to February 2001, and Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs, from August 1997 to May 2000. From November 1994 to June 1997, he served as U.S. Ambassador to Turkey. Prior to this, from January 1993 to September 1994, he was Special Assistant to the Secretary of State and Executive Secretary of the Department of State.
Before assuming these duties, Grossman served as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Political Military Affairs. He was Executive Assistant to Deputy Secretary of State John C. Whitehead from September 1986 to January 1989.“
“he retired from the State Department as the Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs. Ambassador Grossman served as the Department’s third-ranking official, supporting U.S. diplomacy worldwide. Following the September 11th attacks, he helped marshal international diplomatic support for the Global war on Terrorism and for the military campaigns in Afghanistan and Iraq.”
“Joshua Brewster Bolten (born August 16 1954) is the current White House Chief of Staff serving U.S. President George W. Bush. Bolten replaced Andrew Card on April 14, 2006.”
“Bolten’s father, Seymour, worked for the CIA”
“Formerly the Director of Office of Management and Budget (OMB), Bolten was confirmed by the U.S. Senate to that position in 2003. Bolten was Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy at the White House from 2001 to 2003. He previously served as policy director for the 2000 George W. Bush Presidential campaign from 1999 to 2000 and as Executive Director for Legal and Government Affairs at Goldman Sachs in London from 1994 to 1999.”