The Neo-cons are the Neo-Crazies
Jude Wanniski
April 30, 2004


Memo To: Website Fans, Browsers, Clients
From: Jude Wanniski
Re: Dr. Prather column of 8/9/03

Dr. Prather's commentary of last year is worth reading now. The "neo-crazies" he writes about are of course the neo-cons.

By Gordon Prather

Perhaps you haven't noticed certainly the neo-crazies hope you haven't but we have just experienced a coup d'etat.

What's a "coup d'etat"?

Well, according to Edward Luttwak, author of "Coup D'etat: A Practical Handbook," "A coup consists of the infiltration of a small but critical segment of the state apparatus, which is then used to displace the government from its control of the remainder."

Although neo-crazy media sycophant Melanie Kirkpatrick, associate editor of the Wall Street Journal, doesn't actually say a Luttwak-like "coup d'etat" has taken place, she effectively does:

Douglas Feith's sin is being Donald Rumsfeld's ideas man and one of the brains behind some of the most significant foreign policy and national security advances of the Bush administration. As Undersecretary of Defense for Policy, Mr. Feith has transformed a once relatively obscure corner of the Pentagon into the world's most effective think tank. The fact that the president has adopted many of the ideas brewed there infuriates those who see Defense usurping a role that rightly belongs to the State Department.

"Without a doubt, the policy division has the most significant intellectual capabilities in the government," says former Defense Department official Richard Perle, who hired Mr. Feith for the Reagan Pentagon and now sits on the Defense Policy Board. "It's a creative shop that produces a lot of good ideas," says Stephen Hadley, deputy national security adviser and one of the policy group's main customers. "They are prepared to think differently."

Perhaps you're wondering how all this sinning began?

In 1981, at the beginning of the Reagan Revolution, the Office of Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Policy was created in the Pentagon at the behest of Sen. Scoop Jackson for Richard Perle.

Jackson, who died in 1983, and his right-hand man, Perle, had stood out among Democrats in the Carter years, being fiercely anti-Soviet, pro-Israel, and pro-ABM.

Now, the Pentagon does not make U.S. foreign policy. Even military alliances such as NATO are negotiated by the U.S. State Department, entered into by the president, and approved by Congress, with very little Pentagon input.

Until neo-crazy Perle was planted in the Pentagon's Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Policy, its principal "mission" had been explicating to the Secretary of Defense the military implications of various U.S. military alliances on our National Security. It was not supposed to concern itself with the political or foreign relations consequences.

The policy office did manage the Pentagon's Foreign Military Sales programs, conducted in support of our military alliances. For example, it managed the billions of dollars worth of arms and military equipment we provide each year to Israel.

The office newly created for Perle subsumed those responsibilities for NATO and Israel, but Perle was given significant new roles and missions, as well.

Perle was to "develop, coordinate and oversee the implementation" of "policy related to arms control negotiations, implementations, and verification," as well as "policy related to U.S. nuclear offensive and defensive forces, including the structure, requirements, and posture of strategic forces, strategic reserve forces, theater nuclear forces, and warning systems; surety, reliability, safety, and security of nuclear forces; and strategic and theater missile defense."


Now, establishing Perle's office essentially amounted to a reorganization of the Pentagon, and that required the approval of Congress. Once the reorganization plan had been sent to Congress and approved, President Reagan had then to nominate Perle and the Senate had then to confirm or reject him.

Rarely has any action requiring so much roiling of Pentagon, State Department, White House and congressional turf been accomplished so speedily.

Incredibly, Perle was in office well before June 11, 1981, when eight U.S.-supplied Israeli F-16 aircraft escorted by six U.S.-supplied Israeli F-15 fighter escorts preemptively destroyed Saddam Hussein's Osiraq reactor.

Perle became Chairman of the NATO High-Level Group and was soon a strap-hanger and allegedly more at Reagan-Gorbachev summits.

When Perle left, he attempted to have his neo-crazy understudy, Frank Gaffney, succeed him, but the Senate wouldn't have it. But when George Bush became President, a gaggle of neo-crazies Paul Wolfowitz, Douglas Feith, Stephen Hadley and others took over the Pentagon policy shop.

They tried but failed to get Bush the Elder to inflict "regime change" on the Islamic world. Now, they've succeeded with Bush the Younger. In succeeding, they've liberally cribbed from Luttwak's book, appearing to have embraced this maxim:

"Our first objective will be achieved by conveying the reality and strength of the coup instead of trying to justify it. ..."