battle of Baghdad is over, but the struggle for control of
the Bush administration is just now
entering its final stages, with the neocons lunging for the
State Department and plenty of old-style conservatives and
patriots in government returning fire in earnest. Maureen Dowd
acidly notes the attempted coup at the Department of State:
others fight over whether the war in Iraq was a neocon vigilante
action disrupting diplomacy. The neocons have moved on to
a vigilante action to occupy diplomacy. The audacious ones
have saddled up their pre-emptive steeds and headed off to
force a regime change at Foggy Bottom."
absolutely right that when the neoconservatives within
the administration "want something done, they will get it
done, no matter what Bush thinks." Ruthless, disciplined,
and clear about their policy objectives, the neocons have
always operated in the Leninist style, as befits their intellectual
history as red diaper babies and Trotskyist
called the distinctive feature of his organizational views
a doctrine designed to crush all internal dissent in the Communist
movement. Although, in theory, a period of open debate within
the party was permitted, once a decision had been reached
the matter was closed until such time as the leadership deemed
appropriate. The implosion of Communism meant the end of Leninism
right? Not quite. The fall of the Kremlin, far from
drawing the curtain on the Leninists, merely unveiled a new
mutation. The power struggle between the neocons and various
clots of resistance to their rule, now taking place in Washington,
is the prelude to what the former hope is a successful coup,
and the final consolidation of their supremacy in the Bush
Powell is their Kerensky.
their triumph is meeting some significant opposition. C. Boyden Gray and
the Republican foreign policy realists have formed the Committee
for the Republic, an organization explicitly devoted to blocking
the neocons imperial project. Within the Washington elite
a huge split is developing, and the government of the United
States has been turned into a battlefield between the contending
factions. The neocons want the U.S. to set off on the road
to Empire, while an emerging coalition of skeptics has arisen
to actively oppose them – a development our latter-day Leninists
importance of the party purge, a periodic cleansing of the
body politic, was a central canon of Leninist theory and practice,
as the history of the Soviet Union attests. With Trotsky's ghost recently seen walking
the corridors of power, it's no wonder the Purge has come
to sound the call for a cleansing is Frank
J. Gaffney, the energetic hawk who heads up the Center
for Security Policy (CSP): in a
recent screed he denounced "obstructionism" in the ranks
of the Bush administration. Certain "career civil servants"
in Foggy Bottom constitute "a hotbed of covert and occasionally
overt opposition to much of President Bush's foreign and defense
policy agenda." Just as rising resistance to the occupation
of Iraq is routinely attributed to the "remnants" of "Saddam
loyalists," so all opposition to the War Party's dominance
in Washington is due to "Clinton era left-overs." Except it
hottest part of this hotbed is supposedly the State Department's
Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR), according to Gaffney,
where two recently retired analysts, Greg Thielmann and Christian Westermann,
exposed the machinations of a cross-agency cabal to manipulate
the information reaching decision-makers, including the President.
Now that the sheer
enormity of these lies is coming
to light, the neocons are in a panic: they don't want
any part of the blame for the developing scandal. As MSNBC's
Michael Moran put
U.S. troops dying in Iraq at a rate even the White House sees
as politically unsustainable, there is a palpable desire to
lay to rest any questions about the war's real motives."
testimony of Thielmann and Westermann
confirmed what critics of the war have been saying all
along: that intelligence was cooked by neocon apparatchiks
and spiced up with outright lies. The goal was to mislead
the public and overcome the objections of CIA and high-ranking
senior military leaders in the Pentagon who saw the present
mission was accomplished, but now the political – and human
consequences of the war are starting to roll in, and
the truth is getting out to the heartland. With the bodybags also rolling
in, questions are being asked, especially by the families
and friends of the troops – as well
as the troops themselves. A recent televised interview
with soldiers in Iraq in which they called for Rumsfeld's
involuntary resignation provoked an official
clampdown. The word is going out to government officials,
as well as soldiers: pipe down or get out. A number are choosing
raises the case of Karen Kwiatkowski,
a recently retired Air Force officer who served as a Pentagon
analyst. Gaffney is furious that Ms. Kwiatkowski dared to
question the neocon party line:
the case of Ms. Kwiatkowski, a review of numerous screeds
she has published on the Internet including some evidently
written while on active duty evince an ideological hostility
towards the President, the Secretary of Defense and others
in her chain of command that calls into question her objectivity
and the accuracy of her charges."
a series of interviews as well as in her columns
for LewRockwell.com and Col.
David Hackworth, Kwiatowski exposed the inner workings
of the neocon nest in the "Office
of Special Plans," recently re-dubbed Northern Gulf Affairs
office. But so what? Don't we have a right to know what's
going on in our own government? That's what the ordinary American
might assume, but to the committed Leninist this is an impermissible
breach of party discipline.
more to Gaffney's ire than meets the eye. He also accuses
on scuttlebutt whose provenance, to say nothing of veracity,
seems highly questionable."
what is this scuttlebutt she's passing around, aside from
detailing how the policy shop run by Douglas Feith was home base for the neocons
and why is it so damaging? Gaffney doesn't say.
answer is that Kwiatowski points to the Israelis as a possible
source of mis-information on Iraq's WMD and Baghdad's alleged
link to Al Qaeda:
"Kwiatkowski said she could not confirm published
reports that OSP worked with a similar ad hoc group in Israeli
Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's office. But she recounts
one incident in which she helped escort a group of half a
dozen Israelis, including several generals, from the first
floor reception area to Feith's office.
just followed them, because they knew exactly where they were
going and moving fast.'
the group arrived, she noted the book which all visitors are
required to sign under special regulations that took effect
after the Sep. 11, 2001 attacks. 'I asked his secretary, 'Do
you want these guys to sign in'? She said, 'No, these guys
don't have to sign in.' ' It occurred to her, she said, that
the office may have deliberately not wanted to maintain a
record of the meeting."
sure it's good for Ariel Sharon" is how Maureen Dowd describes
the neocons' strategic perspective, and she's right on target.
In their campaign for "regime change" at the State Department,
that is the
one and only operating principle guiding their actions,
aside from an abiding love of power for its own sake. Lobe
notes that the battle-cry going up in neocon ranks, led by
Ledeen and the usual cast of "American
Likudniks, "coincided with suggestions by Sharon that
Washington adopt a more confrontational policy vis-a-vis Teheran."
Vest showed in a comprehensive piece detailing the interrelations
between Gaffney's CSP, the Jewish
Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA), and corporate
sponsors such as Boeing and Lockheed-Martin, Gaffney is a
key link in the neocon chain of command, and is such an ideologue
that he has low credibility with Team Bush:
has worn out his welcome by being an overbearing gadfly rather
than a serious contributor to policy,' says a senior Pentagon
political official. Since earlier this year, White House political
adviser Karl Rove has been casting about for someone to start
a new, more mainstream defense group that would counter the
influence of CSP. According to those who have communicated
with Rove on the matter, his quiet efforts are in response
to complaints from many conservative activists who feel let
down by Gaffney, or feel he's too hard on President Bush.
'A lot of us have taken [Gaffney] at face value over the years,'
one influential conservative says. '…[S]ince 9/11, he's been
less concerned with the threat to America than to Israel.'"
gets me is that Gaffney accuses Kwiatkowski and other war
critics of having "divided loyalties"! What gall!
lied us into war? The truth is leaking out, and the neocons's
outraged response is: purge them!
why we're seeing so many high level government figures go
into "retirement," of late. Kwiatkowski got out while the
going was good, along with Thielmann, Westermann, and
others, and the purge is not limited to the diplomatic
corps and intelligence units, but also includes the military, as
"In a move widely seen within the Pentagon as a purge,
a dozen or more Army generals are being ushered into retirement
as the Army's new chief of staff, Gen.
Peter Schoomaker, takes over."
old guard is "unimaginative," and the Rumsfeld gang sees them
as "risk-averse and change-resistant." Hardly appropriate
for the "new," more "flexible" fighting force that will be
charged with policing our newly-won Mideast empire, where
the risks are enormous and the troops are already beginning
to complain about the
nature of their mission.
there will be no complaints uttered out loud: the new Leninists
will see to that. The classic weapon used by their intellectual
forefathers is ready and waiting: let the Purge begin!
IN THE MARGIN
just in: Kwiatkowski is cited
in Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank's "White
House Notebook" attacking a "cross-agency clique" of neocons
for sexing up the intelligence: "What I saw was aberrant,
pervasive, and contrary to good order and discipline," she
says. Her widely
circulated op ed piece is continuing to make waves,
and all I can say is: Go, Karen go!
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