This is must reading, I believe, for anyone who wishes to understand the background to my early opposition to the Bush candidacy, when I saw that his chief foreign policy advisors were Richard Perle and Paul Wolfowitz. The article, in The American Prospect, a centrist Democratic periodical, is accurate as far as I can tell, in almost every particular. It does err, I think, is noting that Wolfowitz is a "Rumsfeld protege," in that I believe Rumsfeld is a Perle/Wolfowitz protege. These are the boys behind the National Missile Defense System, the "no fly zones" in Iraq, and the hardest liners in the Middle East. Their mentor, the late Albert Wohlstetter, may have cost President Ford re-election, by positioning him against the SALT II agreement with the USSR -- at least Ford thinks it hurt him at the polls. Perle & Wolfowitz were Bob Dole's national security advisors in the 1996 campaign, when Dole made a missile defense shield one of his highest priorities, as well as supporting the Iraq bombings and no-fly zones. George W. Bush had a three-point lead in the polls last November, going into the last weekend, when he campaigned with Wolfowitz at his side, making the missile shield seem to be his highest priority on the most important political weekend of the campaign. Bob Novak, who was aboard the Bush plane, told me Bush would be met by frenzied crowds, but they would become strangely silent when he pitched the missile shield. I recommend you print out this article, which mentions me by name. I am also the unidentified "hawk" who introduced Rumsfeld to Albert Wohlstetter in 1975, when I was still a hawk, allied with Wohlstetter, Perle (his son-in-law) and Wolfowitz. The WSJournal editorial page is an extension of these "Peacetime Hawks," as is William Safire of the NYTimes, George Will of ABC-TV and the Washington Post, Bill Kristol of the Weekly Standard, Bill Gertz of the Washington Times, and the Republican staff hawks on Capitol Hill. They dominate all the conservative think tanks in Washington, except for CATO.
My website memo today, by coincidence, is "Rumsfeld's Iron Curtain," about his decision to cut off almost all contact with China's military establishment, a move clearly designed for him by Richard Perle, who is not in the government but who pulls all the Pentagon strings. One of their current campaigns is to undermine Secretary of State Colin Powell. Rumsfeld is now in Europe, trying to sell the missile shield as well as a new bombing campaign against Iraq. A senior staff person on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee told me last week: "Don Rumsfeld has gone crazy." I'm afraid he has gone so far around the bend and is so dominated by Perle that he will not survive President Bush's term, or there will be no second term.