February 16 2004
"If Al-Qaeda got hold of these weapons what do you think they would do with them? Al-Qaeda on Sept. 11 killed more people in one day than the IRA killed..."
CAIRO -- Richard Perle, former chairman of the US Defense Policy Board, and George W. Bush's former speech writer David Frum -- co-authors of a book entitled "An end to evil: How to win the war on terror" -- outlined their right-wing extremist views on Boston University's WUBUR radio last Friday.
Their message was loud and clear. US global dominance using military might when necessary is the only way forward.
After subjecting myself to almost an hour of the Perle-Frum philosophy I quickly came to the conclusion labeling the Zionist ideologues "hawks" is an insult to a noble bird. And there is nothing conservative about them either -- whether neo or otherwise. They're simply good old-fashioned warmongers with friends in high places. Extremely high places!
Perle was a founder of the neoconservative think tank Project for a New American Century (PNAC) along with Dick Cheney, Paul Wolfowitz, and Donald Rumsfeld -- all Bush administration head honchos. Its report entitled "Rebuilding America's Defenses: strategy, forces and resources for a new century" advocated a greatly increased defense budget so the US could "fight and win multiple, simultaneous major theater wars" starting with Iraq.
It was Perle who invited Rand Corporation analyst Laurent Murawiec to give a 24-slide presentation to the Defense Policy Board in July 2002; the last slide titled "Grand strategy for the Middle East" states: "Iraq is the tactical pivot, Saudi Arabia the strategic pivot, Egypt the Prize".
Both Perle and Frum are fellows of The American Enterprise Institute in company with Lynne V. Cheney and former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich among others. This ultra right-wing organization received glowing praise from George Bush in a 2003 speech.
The fact that Perle was kicked off his lofty perch under a cloud that he personally profited from the Iraq war, while Frum submitted his resignation when word got around he was responsible for the infantile "Axis of Evil", hasn't deterred this deranged duo from pursuing their mutual agenda. On the contrary, they fear the Bush administration's resolve might be flagging when it comes to the war on terror. Their book seeks to be a shot in the arm but is more likely to represent one in the foot.
In the Perle-Frum black-and-white world view, the US faces either victory over evil or holocaust. According to their manuscript, the road to victory entails forcing European nations to choose between Paris and Washington; special scrutiny of Muslims living in the US by law enforcement; the overthrow of the Iranian and the Syrian governments; a blockade of North Korea; rejection of the United Nations Charter and last, but certainly not least, the abandonment of any plan for a Palestinian state. In other words it's a recipe for chronic worldwide anti-Americanism.
When Frum was asked by the radio show host whether there was a middle path between victory and holocaust and whether American global domination would be victory, he answered: "What does holocaust mean? There are tens of thousands of old nuclear warheads at large in the old Soviet Union.
There are lots of nuclear technologies increasingly available. There may be the possibility of nuclear warheads or nuclear technology in North Korea. If Al-Qaeda got hold of these weapons what do you think they would do with them? Al-Qaeda on Sept. 11 killed more people in one day than the IRA killed over 30 years.
"There are terrorist organizations backed by powerful regimes in the Middle East... that is the holocaust we are worried out. Victory is the destruction of those organizations so that Western Europeans and Americans don't have to live with the thought is this the day a dirty bomb goes off in downtown Washington or is this the day they release the spores in New York..."
Said Perle on WBUR: "The administration understands this war as a long-term and intensely ideological struggle against the successor, in a sense, to Nazism and Communism which is radical Islam; fringe to be sure but nevertheless powerful."
Paula, who called into the show, said: "I am glad that the Prince of Darkness Mr. Perle has come out and confirmed this administration concurs with his global outlook and ideology. Victory or holocaust? If you follow what these guys are saying we've got holocaust." The caller went on to suggest that America's unqualified support for Israel may be one of the contributing factors to Sept. 11.
Perle's response was unequivocal: "Sept. 11 was not caused by American foreign policy. This is complete nonsense, complete rubbish. And if that is the issue upon which you hope to remove the American administration, you are in for a huge shock."
In reality Perle and his crusading cohorts may be the ones in for the shock. Since former ISG (Iraq Survey Group) head David Kay told a Senate Armed Service Committee "we were almost all wrong," regarding Iraq's alleged stockpiles of WMD, Bush's approval rating has fallen below 50 percent for the first time. Further, a CNN/Time magazine poll released on Sunday showed just 44 percent of those polled believe the president is "a leader they can trust".
During an unprecedented appearance on the NBC program Meet the Press , Bush attempted to pull the nation back into his court by admitting that while he expected stockpiles of weapons, Saddam "had the capacity to make a weapon and then let that weapon fall into the hands of a shadowy terrorist network." Across the pond his echo Tony Blair croons a similar tune. Convinced? No. I didn't think so.
In the meantime, Sen. John Kerry is rising through the ranks and beginning to look like a serious Democratic contender for the White House. Time could he running out for the "endless war" brigade. Their loud-mouthed paranoia has ill-served the Bush administration. When push comes to shove, the American people may yet surprise us all... and pleasantly so.
-- Linda S. Heard is a specialist writer on Middle East affairs