Wolfowitz and the Axis of Evil
Jude Wanniski
February 20, 2002


Memo To: Chairman Henry Hyde, House International Relations
From: Jude Wanniski
Re: Wolfowitz is Evil, 2nd Class

If you saw Tom Friedman’s column in The New York Times last week, he noted that Europeans are identifying the three members of the “Axis of Evil” as Vice President Dick Cheney, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, and National Security Advisor Condi Rice. I actually don’t classify any of them as “evil,” which is a term that generally applies to “darkness,” as opposed to “light.” The Prince of Darkness – Satan or Mephistopheles – lures his victims, who are basically good, into committing acts of evil by persuading them it is okay to do so. All of us at one time or another succumb to such evil influences. When Ronald Reagan identified the Soviet empire as the “Evil Empire,” it was a perfect use of the term, in that the Soviet leaders had rationalized their behavior as being in the long-term interests of the Russian people. Until the very end, they really thought they were good guys.

I’m afraid, Mr. Chairman, that despite my best efforts, you have fallen into the clutches of evil influences, as I saw you on CNN’s LateEdition announce that we have no choice but to use the “war on terrorism” as an excuse to go to war with Iraq. You did not go all the way and say there is nothing Saddam Hussein can do to prevent such a war. You seemed to say that if he allows weapons inspectors back in to check out his weapons of mass destruction, that would be okay. If not for that loophole, I would not bother writing you. I would figure your soul had been grabbed by the likes of Paul Wolfowitz, our deputy Defense Secretary, who is truly evil, albeit a second class Beelzebub. Wolfowitz does what he is told by Richard Perle, who is the genuine article, the Prince of Darkness, which has actually been his nickname for the more than 30 years he has been in Washington. In spending most of his waking hours plotting on how to arrange a nice little war with Iraq, with or without coalition partners, Perle is the primary manipulator, Old Scratch himself. He has a good part of Washington under his spell, with a whole cadre of journalists and commentators now insisting that the United States of America can do whatever it likes in the world, regardless of any arguments pro or con. This is because we alone possess ultimate responsibility for the world and the power to back up our wishes.

Don’t get me wrong, this might be a satisfactory argument if our policies toward the rest of the world were based on truth and justice, but the evil ones care little for justice and even less for truth. Richard Perle has been a master of propaganda from his earliest days in Washington, when I knew him as an aide to the late Sen. Henry (Scoop) Jackson. In those days we were fellow Cold Warriors, fighting the “Evil Empire.” But I parted company with him long ago, when Perle decided he enjoyed war and had no place in a world at peace. Wolfowitz, who he took on as a henchman years ago, remains his principal agent in clouding the eyes of the President and Vice President, the Secretary of Defense and National Security Advisor.

It just so happens that Wolfowitz was on an earlier Sunday talk show, Henry, FoxNewsSunday, with Brit Hume the host. You should read the transcript. For the first time on national television, as far as I know, a senior Bush administration official was asked what Saddam Hussein had to do “to get out of the doghouse.” Brit Hume posed that question and you will see that Wolfowitz would not answer it, except to say that Saddam had to “prove it,” after a long, circular commentary on Saddam’s threatening nature. Brit let him off the hook, but came back later in the show to ask what it was that Saddam had to prove in order to get out of the doghouse. Wolfowitz again went in circles, saying he would not speculate on that question, but that we would know when it happens!! The real answer from Perle and Wolfowitz, is that there is nothing Saddam can do. You believe that if Baghdad allows the weapons inspectors to return and look around, Saddam might be able to stick around. But Perle has already covered that base, by saying the inspectors have been gone for so long, three years, that it would now be impossible for the inspectors to find hidden caches of Saddam’s weapons. You must remember that Wolfowitz, junior grade Lucifer, is not telling the truth. For if the truth be known, it would undermine all their plans for war. In your interview, I noticed you saying the nuclear inspectors should be allowed back in, for example.

I thought I pointed out when we met last fall that the International Atomic Energy Agency sends its inspectors into Iraq on a regular basis, and they certify again and again that there are no signs of nukes or nuclear weapons development. Maybe I didn’t. The IAEA inspectors just made their rounds in January and signed off on a nuke-free Iraq. Perle and Wolfowitz have been trotting around an Iraqi scientist who defected from the regime, who says Saddam is still trying to make fissile material for a nuke. He doesn’t say, though, how he could conceal such a development program from spy satellites, as Iraq would require massive infusions of electricity to run the cyclotrons.

If I were you, Henry, I really would attempt to put some distance between myself and the administration’s posture on Iraq. Congress, after all, is an independent branch of government, which is supposed to provide checks and balances. There no longer seems to be balance in the executive branch on the Iraq issue, unless there is a grand strategy not visible on the surface to anyone. I’m not saying you should oppose the Bush policy, only that you focus on the question that got away from Brit Hume without an answer: What does Saddam Hussein have to do to get out of the doghouse? If there is some diplomatic way for that to happen, it can be done without war.