|This article appears in the Aug. 23, 2002 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.
Perle War Party Reeling
by Jeffrey Steinberg
From Murawiec Exposé
The Richard Perle-Paul Wolfowitz "cabal" inside the Bush Administration, which has been pressing for war against Iraq and other imperialist adventures, is reeling from a torrent of international reactions against the July 10, 2002 Defense Policy Board (DPB) session, where Rand Corporation "senior analyst" Laurent Murawiec delivered a lunatic diatribe, calling for the United States to place Saudi Arabia atop the list of "axis of evil" states targetted for American aggression.
Murawiec, a long-ago defector from the staff of EIR's European office, was brought into the Defense Policy Board session, apparently at the invitation of the Board's chairman and long-suspected Israeli spy, Richard Perle. (Perle had hosted Murawiec at an American Enterprise Institute forum several years back.) His 24 power-point presentation at a Pentagon auditorium, in which he accused the Saudi government of sponsoring the al-Qaeda terror apparatusand demanded U.S. action against Saudi assets abroad, and possible military occupation of the Saudi oil fieldswas leaked in an Aug. 6 Washington Post story. Earlier, its writer, Thomas Ricks, had reported that the same session of the Defense Policy Board had called for "heads to roll" among the senior American military officers who oppose Perle's faction's wild utopian war schemes against Iraq.
The concluding power-point slide shown by Murawiec, as reported in the Post, declared, "The Saudis are active at every level of the terror chain, from planners to financiers, from cadre to foot-soldier, from ideologist to cheerleader.... Saudi Arabia supports our enemies and attacks our allies.... [It is] the kernel of evil, the prime mover, the most dangerous opponent."
The LaRouche Backlash
Within moments of the publication of the Ricks Aug. 6 report on the Murawiec presentation, key Bush Administration figures scrambled to disavow the deranged accusations. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld immediately declared that the views expressed did not reflect the policy of the Administration. Privately, sources report, Rumsfeld was furious at the revelations, because they made him personally look like a fool for allowing such anti-Saudi diatribes to be presented at a Pentagon forum, and then find their way onto the front page of the Post.
For more far-reaching reasons, Secretary of State Colin Powell was even more angry. Powell immediately phoned the Saudi Foreign Minister, Prince Saud al Faisal, to assure him that the Murawiec presentation did not "reflect the views of the President of the United States or of the U.S. government," according to State Department spokesman Philip T. Reeker. The Rand Corp. issued its own repudiation of its analyst. David Enger, director of external communications for the Santa Monica, California think-tank, issued an official statement, widely circulated by e-mail, stressing that Murawiec's briefing "was not a Rand research product."
Among the proponents of the "war on Saudi Arabia" policy, there was a desperate attempt to "change the subject," by trying to link Murawiec's rabid views to his former associate, Lyndon LaRouche. On Aug. 7, Slate magazine, an online publication, ran an article by Jack Shafer, attempting to implicate LaRouche in Murawiec's Saudi-bashing. The piece, titled "Saudi-Bashing: Perle to Murawiec to LaRouche?" noted Murawiec's 1980s association with EIR in Europe, and launched into the typical media name-calling against LaRouche.
Indicative of the malice involved, the Slate piece linked to the American Family Foundation website, and to slanders against LaRouche coming from Dennis King, whose book-length anti-LaRouche slander was financed by the Smith-Richardson Foundation. Smith-Richardson money supports the American Enterprise Institute, the Hudson Institute and the Middle East Forum, which all promote the same anti-Saudi, Clash of Civilizations policy espoused by Murawiec at the Pentagon auditorium.
But this attempt to damage-control the exposé of the Perle-Wolfowitz cabal, backfired internationally. EIR began widespread circulation of a comprehensive dossier on Murawiec, detailing his mid-1980s break with LaRouche. (Murawiec was compelled to lie and be evasive concerning this, in an Aug. 12 Le Monde interview on the events.) The break followed EIR's publication of a special report exposing Ariel Sharon and the Israeli mafia ties to the Jonathan Pollard spy affair, and the attempts by Likud Party founder Vladimir Jabotinsky's heirs in Israel to provoke a religious war by blowing up the Islamic holy sites on the Temple Mount.
The LaRouche campaign had already, before the "Pentagon briefing" flap broke, distributed several million leaflets in the United States, exposing the role of Senators Joe Lieberman and John McCain in the effort to blackmail President Bush into launching the Iraq war, to provoke the Clash of Civilizations. And EIR had circulated tens of thousands of more comprehensive reports on the whole scheme to blow up the Middle East, including a detailed account of the campaign to break the strategic partnership between the United States and Saudi Arabia.
The damage control effort finally blew up when, in an Aug. 12 National Public Radio interview with Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al Faisal, the Prince cited Lyndon LaRouche in debunking the briefing's content (see article following). He objected pointedly to its sponsorship: "The only interesting fact is that it was brought to the attention of so high a committee as the Advisory Committee for the Department of Defense. That is the only curious thing about the affair."
The Saudi media, in addition to high-profile, favorable news coverage of Lyndon LaRouche during that time, opened a second flank. On Aug. 9, the leading Saudi daily newspaper Al Watan noted that "Christian fundamentalism is no less dangerous to international peace and security than extremists in other religions. Rather it is more dangerous, especially if it controls the policy of the United States." The Saudi Gazette continued the same theme: "The Christian fundamentalists are encouraging American militants to raise a dust of hatred about Saudi Arabia, which has been maintaining an exemplary relationship with the United States." Citing the July 10 DPB session, the paper warned, "The Saudis value their friendship with the U.S., but they do not accept such trash."
The Real War Motives Revealed
Sources close to the Bush Administration report that the Perle backlash has badly damaged the neo-conservative "mole hill" inside the Bush Administration. Senior State Department officials have jumped more aggressively into the fight inside the Administration, backing Secretary of State Powell, who has been fighting other Cabinet and lower-level officials over the Iraq war, the Israel-Palestine peace process, and other vital policy issues centered on the Middle East.
Outside the Administration, a circle of close associates of former President George H.W. Bush have also become more outspoken against the warmongers. On Aug. 15, former Bush Sr. National Security Adviser and political confidant Gen. Brent Scowcroft, penned an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal, strongly opposing a war against Iraq. Scowcroft warned that an invasion of Iraq would completely wreck the President's war on terror, which, he said, remained the number-one foreign policy priority.
The Murawiec rant had served a useful purpose, in that it exposed for all to see that the Wolfowitz-Perle faction's objectives are the total breakup of American ties to the moderate Arabs, in favor of an Anglo-American-Israeli imperial policy. This involves potential takeovers of all Persian Gulf oil fieldsstarting with Iraq, but rapidly extending to the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia, and then the rest of the Persian Gulf and Caspian Basin.
The fight to unseat the Sharon-ites from the Bush Administration has gone from a behind-the-scenes bureaucratic war to a public policy debate. And some fundamental questions have been raised. Why has Richard Perle not yet been fired from his post as chairman of the Defense Policy Board? Until Perle is ousted, and his allies in the Pentagon similarly given their walking papers, the world will, justifiably, continue to view the Bush Administration with grave doubts.
As the Saudi Foreign Minister aptly observed, what will be done about the dogs that didn't bark?