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July 23, 2004

Neocons the Real Present Danger


by Paul Craig Roberts

President Bush's neoconservatives have announced that they are relaunching the Committee on the Present Danger. The new CPD will be totally different from the original.

I was a member of the Committee on the Present Danger. It was a bipartisan private organization consisting largely of former presidential appointees who distrusted naiveté about Soviet intentions. One concern was that the U.S. government, feeling pressured to reduce nuclear arms, would be outmaneuvered by the Soviets, who didn't have similar pressures, with a strategic advantage for the Soviets being the result.

The members were patriots committed to liberty, not warmongers. Some of the neoconservative members talked about "rolling back"Soviet gains, but the majority of the members rejected this as a romantic impulse not worthy of discussion. The committee's main concern was that U.S. capabilities not be rolled back more than, or in advance of, Soviet ones.

The relaunched CPD consists of neoconservatives who are, in effect, an unregistered lobby group for Israel's Likud Party and its foreign policy. The purpose of the new CPD is to foment war against Islam.

Myself and others who sought to maintain a balanced perspective will not be included in the new committee. With its goal of wider war in the Middle East, the neocon CPD is itself the present danger.


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    Paul Craig Roberts wrote the Kemp-Roth bill and was assistant secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan administration. He was associate editor of the Wall Street Journal editorial page and contributing editor of National Review. He is author or co-author of eight books, including The Supply-Side Revolution (Harvard University Press). He has held numerous academic appointments, including the William E. Simon chair in political economy, Center for Strategic and International Studies, Georgetown University, and senior research fellow, Hoover Institution, Stanford University. He has contributed to numerous scholarly journals and testified before Congress on 30 occasions. He has been awarded the U.S. Treasury's Meritorious Service Award and the French Legion of Honor. He was a reviewer for the Journal of Political Economy under editor Robert Mundell.

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