virus: Daniel Pipes and Neo Conservatism

From: Mermaid . (
Date: Mon Aug 12 2002 - 10:18:16 MDT

[rhinoceros]On the other hand, Daniel Pipes does use this evidence as an
argument. Is it fair to assume that he uses unsupported arguments, or is
there some other explanation?

[Mermaid]Yes. There is another explanation. Daniel Pipes is a raving
neo-con. The conservatives shake in their boots(!!!) when they sniff a
neo-con within a million mile radius. Refer: (pre
9/11 to give an idea about how easy it was for neo-cons to grab reins after
9/11) Daniel Pipes, David Horowitz, William Buckley(founder, National
Review..enough said), William Safire, Jonah Goldberg etc are some of the
more high profile polemics posing as journalists. This is the authority Joe
Dees relies for backing up his political pov. One should be better informed
about WHAT Daniel Pipes stands for before one begins to lap up what preaches. This is for them.

re is a website devoted to Iran and
related news.

"Fareed Marjaee is an Urban Planner and researcher; previously, a member of
the Executive Committee of the New Democratic Party of the City of Toronto."

The following article by Fareed Marjee appeared in Payvand.



The “Axis of Evil” Cabal and the Case of Iran
By Fareed Marjaee

“ A visitor from Mars to the UN headquarter in 1985 would have found it
difficult to decide, after listening to ambassadors Jeane Kirkpatrick and
Benjamin Netanyahu, which of the two represented the United States and which
Israel.” Leon T. Hadar, a former UN bureau chief of the Jerusalem Post (1)

Exactly, what is behind the unexpected phrase--“Axis of Evil”--that
seemingly has surprised observers world round? Was it a mere faux pas, or
the weathervane for a new Middle East policy? With the arrival of new
actors, and the new militant political culture at the Pentagon, is the
Department of Defense preempting the State Department in selective foreign
policy matters, such as the negotiation of key international treaties and
the US Middle East policy?

Is the formulation and conduct of foreign policy an open and accessible
process to the public at large? Should American foreign policy be seen as
all one piece? Or, at the bureaucratic-market-place of ideas, is it pulled
in different directions by diverse constituencies? Are architects of foreign
policy and “experts” a monolithic crowd? Does ideology play a role in this
enterprise, at a cost to long-term strategic policy?

In the periphery and in the Gulf region, there may have been a naïve
understanding that, historically, a Republican administration with its oil
company constituents can consistently provide a more pragmatic and conducive
climate to resolve Middle East issues. Yet, the issue is not so linear, it
is considerably more complex. In reality, since the “Reagan Revolution,”
Republican administrations have also been pregnant with a cohesive, yet
relatively little known phenomenon called Neo-con (Neo-conservatism)--a
political movement legible to the Washington elite insider, yet, invisible
to the general public. This political movement is a dense web of affiliates
that is present in numerous spheres and active in different social domains.

As a whole, the radical right had been striving to appropriate the September
11th atrocities and to push forward several extremist agendas on the
domestic front and in foreign policy. While initially the stated US
government (State Department) objective after Sept 11th was the pursuit of
those responsible for the terrorist attack and to locate and destroy the
Al-Qaida terrorist network, there were right wing policy advisors with
certain agendas intended to widen the scope of the US initiative. There is
the impression that the policy advisors brought in by the Bush/Cheney team,
anchored around the Department of Defense (DoD) and the National Security
Council (N.S.C.), struggled to add an Israeli-right-wing wish list to the
agenda. A study of these policy advisors illustrates a Neo-con ideological
affiliation and demeanor. This clique is not the result of an accidental
club of “experts.” Historically, and principally, ever since its inception
in the late 60’s it has focused on the issues of foreign policy, Pax-Zionica
through Pax-Americana (more of that later).

A Neo-con activist, Michael Ledeen, holds the Freedom Chair at The American
Enterprise Institute. In the Reagan administration he served as an adviser
to Oliver North on the National Security Council. In his column last year
(“Time for a Good, Old-Fashioned Purge” National Review Online, March 8,
2001), Ledeen had ask the Bush team to purge the “environmental whackos,”
“the radical feminazis” to “ foreign-policy types on the National Security
Council Staff and throughout State, CIA, and Defense, who are still trying
to create Bill Clinton's legacy in the Middle East…”

For several months after the September 11th tragedy, a dispute ensued
between the State Department and the Neo-con policy assets in other agencies
such as DoD and N.S.C. The recent civilian leadership of the DoD includes
such right-wing hawks as Paul Wolfowitz, Deputy Secretary of Defense;
Douglas Feith, the Pentagon’s third-highest official, Undersecretary of
Defense for Policy; and Richard Perle, Chief of the Defense Policy Board.
These officials are not agendaless; their agenda-sketch echoes Neo-con
political views and program. On the other side, Secretary of State Colin
Powell and his aides Richard Armitage (Deputy Secretary of State) and
Richard Haas (Chief of Policy Planning) and the Near East Bureau of the
State Department seem to have a strategically more global and regional
perspective on the issues. They had been successfully engaged with Iran in
the war with Taliban in the context of the 6+2 Group in Bonn, leading up to
the possibility of a thaw in US-Iran relations and a rapprochement.

A number of experts such as Gary Sick, the Acting Director of the Middle
East Institute who served in N.S.C. under Ford, Reagan and Carter, view the
deliberate utterance of the phrase “Axis of Evil” in the President’s State
of the Union address as the triumph of DoD over the Department of State (2),
thereby allowing the DoD agenda to come to the forefront. Not surprisingly,
David Frum, the author of the address, had been associated with the Neo-con
movement and the journal The Weekly Standard (3). What the recent thrust
entailed was an agenda that went beyond Al-Qaida and those responsible for
the actual September 11th attack. It intended to shift the paradigm, and
create a linkage with other international issues, most of which concern
Israel, such as the proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) in
three named “rogue states,” and in the case of Iran, support for Hamas and
the Hizbollah of Lebanon.

This nexus of the WTC tragedy on September 11th, and the issue of WMD in
Iran and other “rogue nations,” as the new expanded objective of the war on
terrorism, does not seem like a smooth and reasonable transition to some
policymakers and Middle East observers. In the case of Iran, it was noted
that the government had claimed that they have always been open to
inspections by the international non-proliferation bodies. Moreover, Gary
Sick differs with Zalmay Khalilzad, the current director of Near
East/Southwest Asia in the N.S.C., that Iran had been destabilizing the
current Afghan government (Ibid).

The phrase “Axis of Evil” had puzzled those observers who clearly could see
its implications in the internal political situation of Iran, as complex as
it is; that is, weakening the hand of Reformist President Khatami and the
Reform movement at large. But survival of Khatami’s democratic movement may
not be a priority to some. Patrick Clawson, Director of Research at the
Washington Institute for Near East Policy, claims Bush was not trying to
influence Iranian domestic politics so much as putting the world on notice
that Iran's leaders have to change course. In the final analysis, the WMD
hardware does not seem to matter as much as the political positioning of the

The Neo-con elements associated with the right wing think-tank institutes
saw “momentous possibilities” in the Axis of Evil phraseology and were quick
to celebrate the State of the Union address in their writings and to
chastise Secretary Powell. In numerous editorials, William Kristol of the
right-wing Weekly Standard openly criticized Powell’s position before and
after the State of the Union address and his position on war. (Bush v.
Powell, 9, 24, 2001; Bush Doctrine Unfolds, 3, 04, 2002). Again, Michael
Ledeen in a more recent column (“Iran and the Axis of Evil” National Review
Online, March 4, 2002) reprimanded Powell because his position on Iran was
not adequately belligerent. Reuel Marc Gerecht, also of the American
Enterprise Institute, in a Weekly Standard article (4), dismisses Secretary
Powell’s “pragmatist” approach, and states “…this détentist view of commerce
and politics still has currency in establishment circles.” Gerecht goes
further and berates Le Monde Diplomatic and the Near East bureau of the
State Department as having the same reaction to the State of the Union
address as the speaker of Iran’s Majlis, Ayatollah Karroubi! As the logical
extension of this sentiment, Gerecht maintains that unless Iran’s regime
falls, its penchant for unconventional weaponry “will not evanesce.” This
myopic analysis makes the presumption with certainty that a secular
democratic government in Iran--as opposed to an Islamic democratic
one--would not have the inclination to seek strategic parity with the client
states in the region.

The Economist reports on Pentagon’s number two man, Paul Wolfowitz, and his
“enthusiasm for changing governments.” The piece detects Mr. Wolfowitz’s
‘fingerprints’ all over the State of the Union speech (“Paul Wolfowitz
velociraptor,” The Economist, Feb. 9, 2002, p 30). Since the State of the
Union address and the perceived threat of “rogue nations,” the Axis of Evil
parlance creates a hype and a psychological state of belligerence that would
accommodate and support dramatic increases in defense spending. Accordingly,
this year’s Pentagon budget was substantially expanded. Moreover, the
Missile Defense Program which was looming in the background seems to be back
on the table (Sick, op. cit.)

Neo-cons Deconstructed; Genesis

According to Hadar the major figures of the Movement were initially former
Trotskyites, people like Irving Kristol, later contributor to the Wall
Street Journal; Norman Podhoretz; the present editor of Commentary--a
bastion of Neoconservatism; Democratic Party activist, Ben Wattenberg; Midge
Dector, wife of Podhoretz, with Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld served as
officers of Committee for the Free World. This Neo-con core was later joined
by other Cold Warriors and pro-Israeli advocates such as Daniel Patrick
Moynihan, Jeane Kirkpatrick, Walt and Eugene Rostow, Richard Perle, Elliot
Abrams (Podhoretz’s son-in-law), Kenneth Adelman, Max Kampelman (aide to
Senator Hubert Humphrey) and, of course, Michael Ledeen. (A good number of
them in the Bush/Cheney team are reincarnates of the Reagan administration).

Israel became a central cause for these Neo-cons; and, as Hadar observed,
the pivotal axiom was that “only a militarily strong and perpetually
interventionist America can guarantee the security of Israel.” (Hadar, op.
cit.) The civil rights and social justice ambiance of the 60’s movements had
influenced the philosophy of the Democratic Party, hence making the rhetoric
and platform potentially susceptible to recognition of self-determination
for all peoples which may have included Palestinian rights. After all, at
this stage, the Vietnam War was being criticized on moral grounds. By virtue
of George McGovern representing the antiwar (Vietnam)-liberal forces within
the Democratic Party in 1972, the Neo-cons mobilized support for Henry
(Scoop) Jackson who possessed Cold War, pro-Israel credentials in the party.
As a counterforce to the McGovern victory in 1972, the Neo-cons formed the
Coalition for a Democratic Majority (CDM) in 1973. Later on, Richard Perle
and Elliot Abrams were to become top aids to Senator Jackson. President
Jimmy Carter did not include many of the CDM members in his administration.
Certain elements of his foreign policy agenda--improving the US-Soviet
relationship and addressing the Palestinian matter--gave the Neo-cons
serious pause. Whereas previously they were drifting toward the Republican
Party, at this juncture, with a sense of grievance, the Neo-cons considered
crossing the floor and moving to the Republican Party which would
undoubtedly welcome the Neo-con intellectual prowess and media connections,
and, in fact, did. (Ibid)

Thus a marriage of convenience took place. The CDM Neo-con members helped
shape Ronald Reagan’s agenda and, in return, because their primary concerns
and interests revolved around external issues and hegemony, they were
rewarded with top foreign policy positions in his administration. The top
brass included Jeane Kirkpartick (contributor to Commentary), Kenneth
Adleman, Director of Arms Control; Richard Perle became the Assistant
Secretary of Defense; Richard Pipes (of Harvard) was assigned to N.S.C., and
Elliot Abrams, the rising star, was placed as Assistant Secretary of State.

>From their top positions, they encouraged the Reagan administration to view
the indigenous issues such as the Palestinian statehood/nationalism, the
Nicaraguan revolution, and the South African and the Middle East conflicts
from the prism of a Cold War context--international communism and Soviet
expansionism were behind most 3rd –World struggles. Initially, for reasons
of ideology, most of the old-guard conservatives of the Barry
Goldwater-Richard Nixon types were weary of these newcomers, but later came
on board, accepted them and continued to work with them. For some time now,
Neo-con writers have appeared in William F. Buckley’s National Review.
Segments of the more traditional right, however, committed to conservative
social values had viewed the Neo-cons as closet liberals, and considered
their presence in the conservative movement as a hostile takeover. The Old
Right accused the Neo-cons for their over-preoccupation with interventionist
foreign policy and their indifference to the size of government and the
“Welfare State.” They object to the appropriation of the mantle of the
conservative movement by the Neo-cons. In the foreword to the 2nd edition of
Justin Raimondo's 1993 book, Reclaiming the American Right: The Lost Legacy
of the Conservative Movement, Patrick J. Buchanan wrote: “With Reagan's
triumph, the neocons came into their own, into his government and his
movement.” Raimondo considers the Neo-cons the “the War Party,” or the
cowbirds of conservatism.

There have been diverse reactions to the Neo-con phenomenon from the liberal
and New Left corner as well. Gore Vidal, the celebrated American writer, has
been known in his essays to take on political/social taboos. In an historic
essay titled, “The Empire Lovers Strike Back,” [The Nation, March 22, 1986]
he took aim at the elders of the Neo-con wave; they in return landed him
labels of anti-Semitism. Vidal called the deans of the Movement “publicists
for Israel” or “fifth columnists;” he declared that pro-Israel lobbyists
“make common cause with the lunatic fringe” in order to scare Americans into
spending enormous sums of money for defense against the Soviet Union and for
support of Israel.

In a way, the Neo-con establishment itself is an axis of
political-lobby/academic-cultural/media/defense-policy network in pursuit of
a clearly defined agenda.

The Neo-con Orientalism, and Narrative

“Here Mr. McBryde paused. He wanted to keep the proceedings as clean as
possible, but Oriental Pathology, his favourite theme, lay around him, and
he could not resist it.” E. M. Forster, A Passage to India

In the post-September tragedy, there appeared a curiosity, a spontaneous
public discourse in an effort to demystify the political, theological,
cultural aspects of Islam and Islamic movements. In contrast, meanwhile, a
literature began to resurface centered on a (dis)-Orientalism that has been
associated with the exoticization of Islamic societies and Islamic history.
There are cultural orientalists who possess clear policy/political
preferences; they tend to also polemicize their scholarship to push for
overt political agendas. The Neo-con wave is more than political appointees
and lobbies; it is also a matter of culture and attitude. One of the most
referred to in the Neo-con ideological pursuits and literature is Bernard
Lewis, the semi-retired Princeton scholar. As pointed out above, during the
Reagan term and based on the Cold War Zeitgeist of the time, the Neo-con
propagandists encouraged the Israel-Palestinian conflict to be seen in that
light. After the end of the Cold War, an Huntingtonian “Clash of
Civilization” theory struggles to dominate the discourse on East/West
relations and understandings; the sort of ethos that defamiliarizes and
demonizes “the other.” Likewise, it carries over that dualistic Manichean
worldview. In this Gemeinschaft, the Muslim and Arab world would replace the
Soviet/red threat. And in this polarized view of the world, Israel is
presented as the bastion of the West. On the occasion of reviewing Judith
Miller’s book for The Nation (“A Devil Theory of Islam,” Aug 12, 1996),
Edward Said wrote, “To demonize and dehumanize a whole culture on the ground
that it is (in Lewis's sneering phrase) enraged at modernity is to turn
Muslims into the objects of a therapeutic, punitive attention.”

Reuel Marc Gerecht, an admirer of Lewis, is yet another Princeton
“Orientalist” and a Neo-con scholar at the right-wing American Enterprise
Institute. In an interview with the Ha’aretz Magazine, he reveals, “I was a
passionate believer in the Cold War…. One of my professors had ties with the
agency and he put me in touch with them….” (Ronen Bergman, “Their Man in
Iran,” Aug. 20, 1999). As a CIA operations officer for seven years from 1987
to 1994, Gerecht coordinated the network of agents in and outside Iran.
Although in his book “Know Thine Enemy” he finds the Agency inept, it is
possible that his agenda load was too heavy for the Agency. Earlier in
December, prior to the State of the Union address, Gerecht stated in an
interview with The Atlantic (Unbound, Dec. 28, 2001) that “the only way to
douse the fires of Islamic radicalism is through stunning, overwhelming,
military force….” Ann Coulter, one of the right-wing celebrities wrote “We
should invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to
Christianity.” (“This Is War,” National Review Online, September 13, 2001)

The Axis of Evil terminology may have taken many by surprise, but a review
of culturally-charged articles from September 2001 to January 2002 in
various journals such as The New Yorker, The Atlantic Monthly and, of
course, The New Republic would illustrate that a “Clash of Civilization” and
estrangement of “the other culture” was in the making. Alexander Cockburn
once remarked metaphorically that the offices of The New Republic in
Washington are attached to the back of the Israeli embassy. Although Neo-con
writers such as Richard Pipes, Daniel Pipes and Michael Ledeen are regular
contributors to such “mainstream” media as The Wall Street Journal, the
citadel of their journalism is publications like The New Republic,
Commentary, The Weekly Standard and The Washington Times. William Safire in
The New York Times and Charles Krauthammer in The Washington Post carry the
Neo-con torch, deliberating issues. While conservative hawks have wide
access to the media hegemony created by moguls Rupert Murdoch and Conrad
Black (Hollinger International, Inc.), issues around the Middle East and the
proliferation of WMD seldom get an objective hearing.

In the fall of 2001, prior to the State of the Union speech, there were
initiatives on the part of some right-wing forces that caused worry for the
academia. The American Council of Trustees and Alumni (ACTA) in which Lynne
Cheney, wife of Vice President Cheney is involved, produced a document
titled “Defense of Civilization” in which it published the names, colleges
and statements of about 100 academics who seemingly had been critical.
Similarly, Martin Kramer of the pro-Israel institute Washington Institute
for Near East Policy published the monograph “Ivory Towers on Sand” where he
blames the Middle East Studies in American academia for ‘incorrect analysis’
in not being able to “predict or explain” Middle East politics, and
questions continued Federal funding.

Even though the Neo-cons’ institutional incarnation was in the liberal
Democratic Party, their reincarnation nonetheless has been in right-wing
WASP think-tank institutes such as The Committee on Present Danger, The
Committee for the Free World, The Project for the New American Century,
Heritage Foundation, and the American Enterprise Institute. A casual study
of the advisory boards and officers reveals the usual Neo-con
listings--William Kristol, son of Irving Kristol and editor of The Weekly
Standard; Carl Gershman, special councilor to Jeane Kirkpatrick while at the
UN, and president of the National Endowment for Democracy which supports
selective causes in the Third World; Donald Rumsfeld; Vice President
Cheney’s Chief of Staff, I. Lewis Libby; Newt Gingrich; William F. Buckley
Jr.; Paul Wolfowitz and Richard Perle.

There exist in Washington many organizations that are active on behalf of
the American Jewish community and Israel; but none have nearly the influence
the Neo-cons have in terms of lobbying impact on behalf of right-wing
Israeli hawks. In 1998, Fortune Magazine recognized the America Israel
Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) as one of the most influential lobbies in
the country. In a recent piece in The Los Angeles Times, Michael Massing
describes in detail this lobbying powerhouse located near Capital Hill, and
asserts that the leadership personalities “…have developed ready access to
the US State Department, Defense Department and National Security Council”
(“Conservative Jewish Groups Have Clout,” March 10, 2002). While serving as
Senator, Hubert Humphrey’s “Communist Control Act” was drafted by his aide,
Max Kampelman, one of the Neo-con wave elders. Similarly, there was word
around that AIPAC drafted Senator DAmato’s Iran-Libya Sanctions Act. Graham
E. Fuller, a former vice-chairman of the National Intelligence Council for
long-range forecasting at the CIA, writes “And efforts to portray Iran with
some analytical balance have grown more difficult, crowded out by inflamed
rhetoric and intense pro-Israeli lobbying against Tehran in Congress….
Improved U.S. ties with Iran should bring about a more balanced reckoning of
just what Iran is and is not.” (5)

The Invisibles Take Center Stage

It is no secret that Dick Cheney nominated his old mentor Rumsfeld to the
post of Defense Secretary. Rumsfeld in turn brought Wolfowitz (who had been
Cheney’s right-hand man when he ran the Pentagon) as his deputy. As hawkish
veterans of the Cold War, some of the Neo-con associates had understandably
become proficient in the issues of strategic nuclear arms and national
security; they had been critics of multilateral arms agreements (détente),
and were involved with policy institutes as vehicles and proponents of those
politics. As strong proponents of Star Wars, the Strategic Defense
Initiative (SDI) during the Reagan administration, it is believed that they
were instrumental in the death of SALT II under the Carter administration

This leads to what is known inside the Beltway as the “Wolfowitz cabal.”
(7). Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz and Richard Perle, the new
chief of the 18-member advisory panel of Defense Policy Board, were both
mentored by arch-hawk nuclear strategist Albert Wohlseteller of the RAND
Corp. in the 1960’s. While the Defense Policy Board is an advisory panel,
its new chief, Richard Perle, has an office in the E-Ring of the Pentagon.
Known as “the prince of darkness,” he previously served as Assistant
Secretary of Defense for International Security Policy in the Reagan
Administration. In Seymour Hersh’s book on Henry Kissinger, The Price of
Power, we learn that the FBI wiretaps had heard Richard Perle--then foreign
policy aide to Senator Jackson--passing N.S.C. classified material to the
Israeli Embassy; this had infuriated Kissinger (8). Other additions among
the Wolfowitz circle are Douglas J. Feith; I. Lewis Libby, Cheney’s Chief of
Staff; and, according to The Economist article, the latter is “Wolfowitz’s
Wolfowitz.” (op. cit.)

Douglas J. Feith, previously associated with the Center for Security Policy
(CSP), has been appointed to the position of Undersecretary of Defense for
Policy. In the Reagan administration, Feith had served as Deputy Assistant
Secretary of Defense and a Middle East specialist on the National Security
Council staff. Because he holds strong pro-Israel views and is perceived as
having a partisan position, Feith’s appointment to that policy post has been
a matter of great concern for Arab-American spokesmen. In 1996, Feith and
Richard Perle co-authored a paper for The Institute for Advanced Strategic
and Political Studies. In that piece titled "A Clean Break: a New Strategy
for Securing the Realm,” they advised Israeli leader Netanyahu to halt the
land for peace process.

If Elliot Abrams could serve as NSC's senior director for democracy and
human rights, then it is not so bizarre to have John Bolton as
Undersecretary of State for Arms Control, and non-proliferation. Apparently
Bolton, a Vice President at the American Enterprise Institute, was forced on
the State Department. Earlier, the Institute had openly opposed the INF
(Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces) treaty that was signed by the U. S. in
1988. In November 1999, Bolton wrote a short piece for the American
Enterprise Institute titled “Kofi Annan’s U.N. Power Grab”--“United Nations
Secretary General Kofi Annan has begun to assert that the U.N. Security
Council is ‘the sole source of legitimacy on the use of force.’ If the
United States allows that claim to go unchallenged, its discretion in using
force to advance its national interests is likely to be inhibited in the

Neo-cons are not political novices and seem to have little tolerance for
dissenters; the N.S.C. is not immune to this political culture either. In a
New Yorker article Seymour Hersh reports that several regional experts left
the NSC “after a series of policy disputes with the civilian officials in
the Pentagon” (“The Debate Within,” March 11, 2002, p36). Zalmay Khalilzad
has replaced Bruce Reidel for the Middle East portfolio.

The Axis of Evil vocabulary may appear novel, but clearly the grammar is
familiar and legible. It translates to a $48 billion increase in this year’s
Pentagon budget, up to $379 billion annual--the largest defense spending
increase in more than two decades. In terms of strategic policy, it is
highly likely we may see the unilateral abandonment of the 1972 ABM Treaty,
the abandonment of the goal of the formal implementation of Strategic Arms
Reduction Treaty START II, and a strong push to pursue the controversial
National Defense Initiative. The recent Nuclear Posture Review is alarming
to many in the sense that it is changing deterrence to feasibility of
nuclear application, viewing unconventional arms almost in conventional
terms, and developing nuclear arsenals for possible use against non-nuclear
states. Whereas the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) does not prohibit
the US from targeting non-nuclear states, it has historically pledged not to
do so, extending what is known as “a negative security assurance.” Under the
new regime, the US is seriously considering not offering a negative security
assurance to non-nuclear states.

During the Reagan administration, the extremist attitude of the Neo-con
clique produced policy that found pronouncements and support for
“constructive engagement” with Apartheid, support for the Contras in
Nicaragua, Duvalier (FRAP) of Haiti, the Israeli siege of Beirut in 1982,
and the proliferation of death squads in El Salvador, Honduras and

The kind of social campaigns that do not strive for wider solutions but are
part of intensifying hostilities only postpone and encourage future
conflict. Many experts believe that long term policy and national interest
should not be sacrificed by putting forth a clique agenda. Undue influence
of agenda-ridden hawkish ideologues has alarmed experts and the policy
community at large. There are those who believe that this political culture
has created an atmosphere that obstructs any serious debate on the Middle
East. To bulldoze and elbow a one-sided policy over a long period may lead
to political/moral tipping point. Is this discourse deeper than mere
inter-agency disputes? Does this evolving discussion have the potential of a
Glasnost in the intellectual life and thus the political life of America?
Can Us-Iran rapprochement be brought to conclusion without such Glasnost?
Does Crown Price Abdullah’s initiative have a real chance? Is a
comprehensive and long-lasting peace in the Middle East possible before the
dawn of this Glasnost?

About the author:
Fareed Marjaee is an Urban Planner and researcher; previously, a member of
the Executive Committee of the New Democratic Party of the City of Toronto.


1_ Leon T. Hadar, “ The ‘Neocons:’ From the Cold War to the ‘Global
Intifada’” WASHINGTON REPORT On Middle East Affairs, April 1991, p 29

2_ Gary Sick, "The Clouded Mirror: U.S.-Iran Relations and the 'Axis of
Evil.'" Columbia University lecture, The Middle East Institute, February 27,

3_ “WASHINGTON IN BRIEF” Washington Post, February 26, 2002; Page A12

4_ Reuel Marc Gerecht, “On to Iran! Checkmating the Clerics,” The Standard
Weekly, Volume 007, Issue 22, February 18, 2002

5_ Graham E. Fuller, “Repairing U.S.-Iranian Relations,” Middle East Policy,
Volume VI, Number 2, October 1998

6_ Christopher Hitchens, “A Modern Medieval Family,” Mother Jones Magazine,
July/August 1986, p 74

7_ Julian Borger, “Washington hawks get power boost,” The Guardian, December
17, 2001

8_ Seymour Hersh, The Price of Power, Summit Books, 1983, p 322
<end snip>

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