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Neocon Chickenhawks: A Small Tightly-Knit Clan Part 2

by x Thursday, Aug. 17, 2006 at 5:09 PM

This list of intricate, overlapping connections is hardly exhaustive or perhaps even surprising. But it helps reveal an important fact. Contrary to appearances, the neocons do not constitute a powerful mass political movement. They are instead a small, tightly-knit clan whose incestuous familial and personal connections, both within and outside the Bush administration, have allowed them grab control of the future of American foreign policy.

Neocon Chickenhawks: A Small Tightly-Knit Clan Part 2

Richard Perle's Nemesis

Martin Kelly - The Washington Despatch - 10th September 2004

Downward and downward spiral the fortunes of Conrad Black, the deposed CEO of Hollinger International, the only tycoon in history brought low by his wife’s taste in shoes. Last week, the sometime Sun King of the Sun-Times received a mortal blow in the form of an internal report into his alleged malfeasance called ‘The Hollinger Chronicles’ authored by a personage no less prominent than Richard Breeden, former chairman of the SEC.

It is damning stuff. According to Dominic Rushe in the September 5 Sunday Times, Breeden has found that throughout the period of 1997-2003, the amount of money taken by Black and his cohort David Radler in a policy of ‘aggressive looting’ amounted to $400m, a staggering 95.2% of Hollinger’s net income for that period. Although there might not be much to substantiate the investigations by the SEC and the Illinois authorities, if he is found to have breached any SEC rules Black is automatically guilty of violating a consent decree requiring him to comply with securities laws, which was passed with his consent in 1982 and which remains in force, following litigation against sometime target Hanna Mining. Such violation is a criminal offence, and he goes straight to the hole.

However, it’s not only King Conrad who should be quaking in his boots with this report’s release. As a result of his failure to perform the duties incumbent upon him as a member of Hollinger’s executive committee, uber-neoconservative Richard Perle, ‘The Prince of Darkness’, sometime Chairman of the Pentagon Defence Policy Board, may soon find himself out of pocket to the tune of – wait for it, I’m savouring this – 5 MILLION DOLLARS!

Perle is not just a neoconservative – he is the personification of that philosophy. Along with David Frum, he is the co-author of An End to Evil, neoconservatism’s vision for the Middle East. Frum, like Black a Canadian by birth, was a columnist for Blacks’s National Post before being hired as a Bush speechwriter. Fired after his wife’s Internet boast that he coined the phrase ‘Axis of Evil’, Frum then penned the Bush hagiography The Right Man, before finding his true level as resident ideologue of the National Review Online. Frum is a hatchet man with a strong tendency towards self-promoting buy-the-book conservatism. In March 2003, he published a scandalous article in the National Review called ‘Unpatriotic Conservatives’ accusing Pat Buchanan, Robert Novak, Samuel Francis and others of, amongst other things, disloyalty, anti-Semitism and racism as payback for their refusal to support the Iraq War. Buchanan returned the compliment to Perle in a classic article, ‘Whose War?’ published in the March 24 2003 American Conservative.

Perle started his career in public life as an aide to Scoop Jackson. In 1983, the New York Times reported that he had been paid by Israeli weapons manufacturers. In 1996, he co-authored a report for Likud Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called ‘A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm’ along with arch-neoconservative Douglas Feith. Buchanan quoted directly from the paper:

“Israel can shape its strategic environment, in co-operation with Turkey and Jordan, by weakening, containing and even rolling back Syria. This effort can focus on removing Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq – an important Israeli strategic objective in its own right – as a means of foiling Syria’s regional ambitions”

Four years after writing that, Perle was back at The Pentagon. It was in the office of Feith, now the number three civilian at The Pentagon, that the suspected Israeli agent Lawrence Franklin worked.

However, Breeden blasts Perle for the lack of care he exhibited towards the interests of the wider shareholder democracy forming Hollinger International. Perle was not just a main board director; he was a member of the corporation’s executive committee. He should have been scrutinising the web of interlocking companies, the non-compete fees, the management fees and the asset sales and purchases that seem to have enabled Black and Radler get their hands on so much for so long. Either Perle wasn’t doing his job properly or he was looking the other way. Breeden proposes that the ultimate penalty be imposed on Perle for his consistent failure to perform. Black’s biographer Richard Siklos, writing in Hollinger’s former title The Sunday Telegraph of September 5, quotes Breeden thus –

“As a faithless fiduciary, Perle should be required to disgorge all compensation he received from the company”.

Over the course of his involvement with the company, Perle was paid a total of 5 million dollars. If Perle is called upon to repay this sum, it will be very interesting to see who is backing him up.

‘A faithless fiduciary’. Man, that must really hurt. However, Conrad Black liked his company. Under Conrad Black, both the Daily and Sunday Telegraphs faithfully parroted the neoconservative line. According to Dominic Rushe, Hollinger International’s board meetings were civilised affairs, where, after a brief chat about the operations and tribulations of a global media empire, Black, Perle and Henry Kissinger would chew the fat about politics. It’s a pity that more time wasn’t spent on discussing corporate affairs; otherwise the Louisiana Teachers’ Pension Fund might not now be suing Hollinger. It just goes to show that, in business as in politics, don’t ever ask a neocon to mind the store.

link to story
Couldn't be happing to a nicer chap !
The American Entreprise Institute for Public Policy Research, the Center for Security Policy, the Jewish Institute for National Security, the Foundation for the Defence of Democracies

Norman Podhoretz

Considered the grandfather of Neoconservatism, former Trotskyist, longtime editor of Commentary published by the American Jewish Committee, published "Breaking Ranks" 1979 in which he argued that Israel's survival is vital to American strategy,  Fellow at the Hudson Institute where he is financed by the Bradley, Olin and Scaife Foundations, married to Midge Decter, founded Committee on the Present Danger, Committee for the Free World

At Commentary, Podhoretz offered considerable space to such rising lights of the neo-conservative movement as Jeane Kirkpatrick (whose late husband Evron Kirkpatrick was a long-time collaborator of Irving Kristol); Richard Pipes, a Harvard University Soviet specialist and top Reagan adviser; Pipes' son, Daniel Pipes, a staunch Likud supporter who has long argued that Washington has been too complacent about the threat of Islamist radicalism both overseas and at home and all of the Kristols and Kagans.

Project for the New American Century, Council on Foreign Relations
Paul Weyrich

Chairman and CEO of the Free Congress Research and Education Foundation. He served as President of the foundation from 1977 to 2002,  a founder and past director of the American Legislative Exchange Council, the founding president of the Heritage Foundation, and the current National Chairman of Coalitions for America. A former reporter and radio news director, Mr. Weyrich is a regular guest on daily radio and television talk shows.
The Heritage Foundation,  Free Congress Research and Education Foundation, Council for National Policy, Coalitions for America, American Legislative Exchange Council

James Woolsey

Former CIA Director (Clinton), founded Americans for Victory over Terrorism with William Bennet and Paul Bremer (the quondam Bremer Pasha of the Banana Republic of Mesopotamia)

Americans for Victory over Terrorism, Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs, Council on Foreign Relations
Paul Wolfowitz

Deputy Secretary of Defense (Bush) - former Dean and Professor of International Relations at the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies of The Johns Hopkins University. Ambassador in Regan Administration,  1989 - 1993 Undersecretary of Defence for Policy in charge of 700-person team reshaping military strategy and policy - co-authoried with Lewis Libby, 1992 Draft Defence Planning Guidance ("DDPG") which called for US Military dominance over Europe and Asia and for pre-emptive strikes against countries suspected of developing weapons of mass destruction (the draft provoked such a furore it was eventually re-written.  During the Gulf war, Wohlstetter persuaded Wolfowitz, that Saddam Hussain ought not only to be kicked out of Kuwait, but also out of Baghdad.  Wolfowitz failed to persuade Cheney who agreed with Colin Powell that it was important to keep to the deal which had been agreed with the Arab partners in the coalition.  Cheney, Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz thereafter regarded  Saddam Hussein  as "unfinished business" from the Bush Snr Administration.  DDPG principles incorporated into 2002 National Security Strategy.

Wolfowitz was long said to be behind a not-so-secret strategic plan for the Middle East which involves (i) the expulsion of the Palestinians from the West Bank into Jordan so as to create Eretz Israel, (ii) the renaming of Jordan as Palestine, (iii) the removal of the Hashemite Dynasty from Jordan to head up a US-backed new regime in Iraq which will enable the US to control access to Iraqi oil and (iv) the taking of revenge on Saudi Arabia for its  support of  islamist fundamentalism.  In short, a "Wolfowitz in Wolf's Clothing".

Wolfowitz is a genuine academic capable of writing a speech showing understanding of some of the problems fundamentalism is causing in the Islamic world.  See his speech  "Bridging the Dangerous Gap between the West and the Muslim World"  delivered at the World Affairs Council on 3rd  May 2002. 

Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs, Project for the New American Century, Council on Foreign Relations
Dov Zakheim

Under Secretary of Defence and Comptroller (Bush)  - formerly Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Planning and Resources as well as in a variety of Defense Department positions (Reagan).  He was a member of the Task Force on Defense Reform under then-Secretary of Defense William Cohen.  One of the Vulcans, Bush's foreign policy advisers during his election campaign.  One of the authors of the PNAC "Rebuilding America's Defences") paper.

Zakheim is an ordained rabbi and reportedly also holds Israeli citizenship. Zakheim attended attended Jew's College in London and St Anthony's College at Oxford and became an ordained Orthodox Jewish Rabbi in 1973. He was adjunct professor at New York's Jewish Yeshiva University. Zakheim is close to the US Israel lobby.

Project for the New American Century, Council on Foreign Relations

See also:-
All in the Neocon Family

By Jim Lobe -  AlterNet -  27th March 2003

What do William Kristol, Norman Podhoretz, Elliot Abrams, and Robert Kagan have in common? Yes, they are all die-hard hawks who have gained control of U.S. foreign policy since the 9/11 attacks. But they are also part of one big neoconservative family – an extended clan of spouses, children, and friends who have known each other for generations.

Neoconservatives are former liberals (which explains the "neo" prefix) who advocate an aggressive unilateralist vision of U.S. global supremacy, which includes a close strategic alliance with Israel. Let's start with one of the founding fathers of the extended neocon clan: Irving Kristol. His extensive resume includes waging culture wars for the CIA against the Soviet Union in the early years of the Cold War and calling for an American "imperial" role during the Vietnam War. Papa Kristol, who has been credited with defining the major themes of neoconservative thought, is married to Gertrude Himmelfarb, a neoconservative powerhouse on her own. Her studies of the Victorian era in Britain helped inspire the men who sold Bush on the idea of "compassionate conservatism."

The son of this proud couple is none other that William Kristol, the crown prince of the neoconservative clique and editor of the Rupert Murdoch-owned Weekly Standard. In 1997, he founded the Project for the New American Century (PNAC), a front group which cemented the powerful alliance between right-wing Republicans like Dick Cheney and Don Rumsfeld, Christian and Catholic Right leaders like Gary Bauer and William Bennett, and the neocons behind a platform of global U.S. military dominance.

Irving Kristol's most prominent disciple is Richard Perle, who was until Thursday the Defense Policy Board chairman, is also a "resident scholar" at the American Enterprise Institute, which is housed in the same building as PNAC. Perle himself married into neocon royalty when he wed the daughter of his professor at the University of Chicago, the late Alfred Wohlstetter – the man who helped both his son-in-law and his fellow student Paul Wolfowitz get their start in Washington more than 30 years ago.

Perle's own protege is Douglas Feith, who is now Wolfowitz's deputy for policy and is widely known for his right-wing Likud position. And why not? His father, Philadelphia businessman and philanthropist Dalck Feith, was once a follower of the great revisionist Zionist leader, Vladimir Jabotinsky, in his native Poland back in the 1930s. The two Feiths were honored together in 1997 by the right-wing Zionist Organization of America (ZOA).

The AEI has long been a major nexus for such inter-familial relationships. A long-time collaborator with Perle, Michael Ledeen is married to Barbara Ledeen, a founder and director of the anti-feminist Independent Women's Forum (IWF), who is currently a major player in the Republican leadership on Capitol Hill. Richard Perle, Douglas Feith, and another neo-con power couple – David and Meyrav Wurmser – co-authored a 1996 memorandum for Likud leader Binyamin Netanyahu outlining how to break the Oslo peace process and invade Iraq as the first step to transforming the Middle East.

Though she doesn't focus much on foreign-policy issues, Lynne Cheney also hangs her hat at AEI. Her husband Dick Cheney recently chose Victoria Nuland to become his next deputy national security adviser. Nuland, as it turns out, is married to Robert Kagan, Bill Kristol's main comrade-in-arms and the co-founder of PNAC.

Bob's father, Donald Kagan, is a Yale historian who converted from a liberal Democrat to a staunch neocon in the 1970s. On the eve of the 2000 presidential elections, Donald and his other son, Frederick, published "While America Sleeps," a clarion call to increase defense spending. Since then, the three Kagan men have written reams of columns warning that the currently ballooning Pentagon budget is simply not enough to fund the much-desired vision of U.S. global supremacy.

And which infamous ex-Reaganite do the Kagans and another leading neocon family have in common? None other than Iran-contra veteran Elliott Abrams.

Now the director of Near Eastern Affairs in Bush's National Security Council, Abrams worked closely with Bob Kagan back in the Reagan era. He is also the son-in-law of Norman Podhoretz, long-time editor of the influential conservative Jewish publication Commentary, and his wife, Midge Decter, a fearsome polemicist in her own right.

Podhoretz, like Kristol Sr., helped invent neo-conservatism in the late 1960s. He and Decter created a formidable political team as leaders of the Committee on the Present Danger in 1980, when they worked with Donald Rumsfeld to pound the last nail into the coffin of detente and promote the rise of Ronald Reagan. In addition to being Abrams' father-in-law, Norman Podhoretz is also the father of John Podhoretz, a columnist for the Murdoch-owned New York Post and frequent guest on the Murdoch-owned Fox News channel.

As editor of Commentary, Norman offered writing space to rising stars of the neocon movement for more than 30 years. His proteges include former U.N. ambassador Jeane Kirkpatrick and Richard Pipes, who was Ronald Reagan's top advisor on the "Evil Empire," as the president liked to call the Soviet Union. His son, Daniel Pipes, has also made a career out of battling "evil," which in his case is Islam. And to tie it all up neatly, in 2002, Podhoretz received the highest honor bestowed by the AEI: the Irving Kristol award.

This list of intricate, overlapping connections is hardly exhaustive or perhaps even surprising. But it helps reveal an important fact. Contrary to appearances, the neocons do not constitute a powerful mass political movement. They are instead a small, tightly-knit clan whose incestuous familial and personal connections, both within and outside the Bush administration, have allowed them grab control of the future of American foreign policy.

(link to text of story)
See also a page on the prominent names in the neoconservative movement in the Christian Science Monitor

A good profile of Perle was written by Chris Suellentrop on 23rd August 2002:-
Richard Perle - Washington's faceful bureaucrat

By dint of his mastery of the dark arts of memos and news leaks, Perle has become a Washington eminence, appearing on TV shows, publishing op-eds in the national dailies, and getting quoted (by name!) in news stories. He's something you don't hear about in politicians' speeches: the faceful bureaucrat.

Consider his current appointment as chairman of the Defense Policy Board, the Pentagon's advisory panel. It's an important and influential job but typically a fairly anonymous post—the board, whose members are unpaid, is a pasture where washed-up politicos such as current board members Newt Gingrich and Tom Foley graze contentedly. Perle, however, has used the hitherto unremarked-upon position as a perch to establish himself as the official spokesman for neocon hawkishness, the leading voice calling on the Bush administration to topple Saddam Hussein. Like many Washington insiders, Perle influences the powerful.

After President Reagan's election in 1980, Perle moved into the executive branch as an assistant defense secretary. Perle became the Reagan administration's point man on arms control, becoming known as the "Prince of Darkness" by arms control advocates for his resistance to new treaties. His influence was such that when Reagan headed to Reykjavik in 1986 for a summit with Mikhail Gorbachev, Perle was the Defense Department's sole representative. Some of his adversaries in the State Department viewed him, rather than Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger, as the most powerful man in the Pentagon.

Fifteen years later, after leaving office to cash in with a variety of private-sector jobs, Perle is back at his old game, conducting another surrogate war by saying what fellow hawks like Paul Wolfowitz cannot because of political constraints.

Since Sept. 11, Perle's talking points have never wavered: Sept. 11 has "nothing to do" with the reasons why the United States should attack Saddam, so the limited evidence provided by the administration to demonstrate Saddam's links with al-Qaida is irrelevant. "What's relevant here is that he hates the United States," he told the American Spectator last fall. "He has weapons of mass destruction. He has used them against his own people and would not hesitate to use them against us."

But Perle has also consistently fallen prey to the delusion that if only Saddam Hussein can be removed from Iraq, the seas will turn to chocolate, candy will rain down from the sky, and the international community will sing as America buys the world a Coke in celebration. It's the kind of simplistic, doe-eyed fantasizing that liberals sometimes bring to domestic issues. Visions of sugarplums aren't enough to justify a dangerous and deadly pre-emptive war.

link to full text

Many of the Neoconservative luminaries of the Bush Administration are what Americans refer to as "Chickenhawks":-
"Chickenhawk"   n.  A person enthusiastic about war, provided someone else fights it; particularly when that enthusiasm is undimmed by personal experience with war; most emphatically when that lack of experience came in spite of ample opportunity in that person’s youth.

See the Chickenhawks database in the on-line edition of:-


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