|This article appears in the May 16, 2003 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.
LaRouche Exposé of
by Jeffrey Steinberg
Straussian `Children of Satan'
Just weeks after the LaRouche in 2004 campaign began nationwide circulation of 400,000 copies of the Children of Satan dossier, exposing the role of University of Chicago fascist "philosopher" Leo Strauss as the godfather of the neo-conservative war party in and around the Bush Administration, two major establishment publications have joined in the exposé. On May 4, the New York Times published a long, lead article in the Week in Review section of its nationally read Sunday edition, titled "Leo-ConsA Classicist's Legacy: New Empire Builders." Accompanying the article was a prominent color caricature of Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, a leading Strauss disciple, dressed as a Roman gladiator, holding a copy of Strauss' book On Tyranny, and bearing a shield with a distorted depiction of the American eagle. The article highlighted Strauss's role as the intellectual keystone of an extensive network of neo-con chicken-hawks inside the Bush Administration and their allies in think-tanks on the outside, who engineered the Iraq war; it also featured a half-page photo montage of the leading culprits, all of whom had been earlier identified in Executive Intelligence Review and in the LaRouche in 2004 exposés.
James Atlas, the author of a recent biography of University of Chicago novelist Saul Bellow (whose fictional biography of second-generation Strauss disciple Allan Bloom, Ravelstein, included a character modeled on Paul Wolfowitz), penned the Times exposé. Atlas wrote, "To intellectual-conspiracy theorists, the Bush Administration's foreign policy is entirely a Straussian creation. Paul D. Wolfowitz, the Deputy Secretary of Defense, has been identified as a disciple of Strauss; William Kristol, founding editor of the Weekly Standard, a must-read in the White House, considers himself a Straussian; Gary Schmitt, executive director of the Project for the New American Century, an influential foreign policy group started by Mr. Kristol, is firmly in the Strauss camp."
Among the Strauss cohorts named by Atlas were Martin Heidegger, Walter Benjamin, and Alexandre Kojève. Atlas did not elaborate on who these mid-20th-Century European Nietzschean existentialists were, and, he skirted around the issue of Strauss's own, notorious Nietzschean fascist beliefs.
Nevertheless, Atlas's article was generally read as an establishment shot across the bow at the neo-con apparatus, which has carried out a virtual coup d'état against the Bush Administration and is driving for a policy of imperial "perpetual wars" in the Middle East and North Asia. Beyond the immediate issue of Leo Strauss, the idea that elements of the establishment are openly turning to Lyndon LaRouche, for intellectual leadership in waging a counter-coup, is sending even bigger shock-waves throughout Washington and other world capitals.
Seymour Hersh Fires a Second Shot
The day after the New York Times published its "Leo-Cons" exposé, respected investigative reporter Seymour Hersh produced an even harder-hitting exposé of Strauss and the Strauss gang inside the Pentagon, in the pages of the New Yorker magazine's May 12 issue.
Hersh, too, picked up material first published by LaRouche in 2004, Lyndon LaRouche's campaign committee for the Democratic Presidential nomination, LaRouche in 2004. Borrowing from the Children of Satan dossier, Hersh included the Straussian roots of several Pentagon spooks, who were behind the carpet-bombing disinformation campaign, which led to President Bush's decision to launch the war against Iraq. First among the Strauss disciples peddling "spun" information, through Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld into the President, is Abram Shulsky, the chief of what LaRouche has labeled the "chicken-hawk intelligence agency" at the Pentagon. Hersh labeled the unit and his article "Annals of National Security: Selective Intelligence."
He wrote, "The director of the Special Plans operation is Abram Shulsky, a scholarly expert in the works of the political philosopher Leo Strauss.... The Office of Special Plans is overseen by Undersecretary of Defense William Luti, a retired Navy captain." Both Shulsky and Luti were highlighted in the Children of Satan exposé, as being among the Straussian "ignoble liars" behind the Iraq War.
After elaborating the string of instances in which the Shulsky-Luti unit passed on fake intelligence laundered from "outside intelligence agencies," often through the Iraqi National Congress of Ahmed Chalabi, the crooked banker who is also a University of Chicago alumnusalong with Shulsky and WolfowitzHersh returned to the issue of Leo Strauss. "Like Wolfowitz," Hersh wrote, Shulsky "was a student of Leo Strauss's, at the University of Chicago. Both men received their doctorates under Strauss in 1972. Strauss, a refugee from Nazi Germany who arrived in the United States in 1937, was trained in the history of political philosophy and became one of the foremost conservative emigré scholars. He is widely known for his argument that the works of ancient philosophers contain deliberately concealed esoteric meanings whose truths can be comprehended only by a very few, and would be misunderstood by the masses."
Hersh provided his own list of Straussians, in Executive departments, as well as think tanks and foundations, adding Stephen Cambone, Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence, to the list of known disciples.
Former Central Intelligence Agency counter-terror center chief, Vincent Cannistraro, who at one point worked with Shulsky at a think tank, told Hersh that Shulsky's politics were "typical for his groupthe Straussian view. The group's members reinforce each other because they're the only friends they have, and they all work together. This has been going on since the 1980s, but they've never been able to coalesce as they have now." Cannistraro concluded, "September 11th gave them the opportunity, and now they're in heaven." Referring to the alleged evidence of Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction and links to al-Qaeda, Cannistraro added, "They believe the intelligence is there. They want to believe it. It has to be there."
The Floodgates Burst
Once the floodgates opened against the Straussians, with the material in the Sunday New York Times and New Yorker magazine "lifted" from the LaRouche investigations, other investigative reporters quickly joined in. On May 6-7, there were two more U.S. media exposésby Joe Conason in the New York Observer and by Jim Lobe in Inter Press News Agency (Lobe also writes frequently for Asia Times). In Europe, both Corriere della Sera in Italy and the Times in Britain picked up on the Hersh and Atlas stories. Earlier, the French daily Le Monde had published a long exposé of the Straussian cabal inside Team Bush.
Lobe's article was of particular note, because he interviewed University of Calgary Prof. Shadia Drury, the author of two books on Strauss and an investigative dossier on Alexandre Kojève. Kojève was Strauss's life-long partner in intellectual crime; a Russian emigré based in Paris, he had been part of the overtly fascist "Synarchist" circles in wartime and postwar France.
Drury made one criticism of Seymour Hersh's New Yorker article, disputing, correctly, the idea that Strauss had been a liberal democrat. "Strauss was neither a liberal nor a democrat. Perpetual deception of the citizens by those in power is critical (in Strauss's view) because they need to be led, and they need strong rulers to tell them what's good for them." She distinguished between Plato and Strauss, in that Plato said that rulers had to be people with the highest moral standards, while Strauss insisted that "those who are fit to rule are those who realize there is no morality and that there is only one natural right, the right of the superior to rule over the inferior.... You want a crowd that you can manipulate like putty."
Drury also told Lobe that Strauss's system of rule depended on getting the population to believe in an enemy image. "He maintains that if no external threat exists, then one has to be manufactured.... In Strauss's view, you have to fight all the time [to survive]. In that respect, it's very Spartan. Peace leads to decadence. Perpetual war, not perpetual peace, is what Straussians believe in." This is the doctrine of the Straussians in Washingtonsuch as Wolfowitz, Kristol, Shulsky and Schmittwhich leads them to pursue "aggressive, belligerent foreign policy." Drury criticized the Bush Administration, which she accused of having "no use for liberalism and democracy, but they're conquering the world in the name of liberalism and democracy."
In the May 7 edition of the New York Observer, Joe Conason made a cynical stab at the Straussian gang surrounding Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld. "The genius of Donald Rumsfeld and his deputies in the Defense Department," Conason wrote, dripping with sarcasm, "is currently among the mainstream media's favorite themes. According to the conventional viewpoint, their military strategy in Iraq was practically flawless, their political instincts are masterful, and their philosophical grounding is deep. (Some of them have even read Leo Strauss). They're just undeniably brilliant."
A Fight to the Bitter End
The sudden outburst of enthusiasm for Lyndon LaRouche's epistemological war against the neo-con cabal, from some powerful elements in the American political institutions, is a significant indication that more and more people are awakening to the extraordinary danger that the Straussian "perpetual war party" poses to the very survival of the United States as a constitutional republic. Prior to the outbreak of the Iraq War in March, there was a tremendous degree of naiveté about the power of the neo-conservatives and their grip on such top Administration decision-makers as Defense Secretary Rumsfeld and Vice President Dick Cheneyneither of whom personally has the profile of an ideological neo-con (although Rumsfeld has long been associated with leading Strauss disciple Robert Goldwin, former Dean of St. John's College; he was Rumsfeld's deputy both at NATO and at the Gerald Ford White House; Goldwin is now with the neo-con "Temple of Doom," the American Enterprise Institute).
The question remains, however: Will the present momentum continue? Will U.S. political institutions recognize that the Straussians are universal fascists, and will continue to exploit the Sept. 11, 2001 "Reichstag Fire" to impose their political will on the President, until they are thoroughly purged by the counter-coup that Lyndon LaRouche has been calling for?