Timeline Highlights (note – this is intended to provide broad background information for citizen education; it is not a complete account of all events or may meet some academic standards)
most information is from Context of ‘September 25-26, 2001 at HistoryCommons.org
1965: Albert Wohlstetter, a professor at the University of Chicago and former RAND Analyst Gathers Young, Nascent Neoconservatives…many of whom are working and associating with the magazine publisher Irving Kristol… group includes Richard Perle, Zalmay Khalilzad, and Paul Wolfowitz. Wohlstetter, himself a protege of the Machiavellian academic Leo Strauss, is often considered the “intellectual godfather” of modern neoconservatism…Wohlstetter wielded a powerful influence on the US’s foreign policy during the heyday of the Cold War… He was such a powerful figure in his hundreds of briefings that he projected far more certainty than his facts actually supported. Though his facts and statistics were often completely wrong, he was so relentless and strident that his ideas gained more credence than they may have warranted. in 2007, “To join Team Wohlstetter, apparently, one had to embrace unquestioningly his worldviews, which eschewed old-fashioned intelligence as a basis for assessing the enemy’s intentions and military capabilities in favor of elaborate statistical models, probabilities, reasoning, systems analysis, and game theory…if you look down the road and see a war with, say, China, twenty years off, go to war now…It was a principle his acolytes would pursue for decades to come—with disastrous results.
Early 1970s: Neoconservatives Coalesce around Conservative Democratic Senator Henry “Scoop’ Jackson…neoconservatives, bound together by magazine publisher Irving Kristol react with horror to the ascendancy of the “McGovern liberals” in the Democratic Party, and turn to conservative senator Henry “Scoop” Jackson (D-WA) for leadership…Jackson assembles a staff of bright, young, ideologically homogeneous staffers who will later become some of the most influential and powerful neoconservatives of their generation, including Richard Perle, Douglas Feith, Elliott Abrams, Abram Shulsky, and Paul Wolfowitz
1972 – 1976 Neoconservatives Work to Toughen US Policy towards Soviet Union and Influence US Foreign Policies
Early 1976 After George H. W. Bush becomes the head of the CIA he breaks with previous decisions and allow a coterie of neoconservative outsiders to pursue the allegations of Albert Wohlstetter that the CIA is seriously underestimating the threat the USSR poses to the US, allegations pushed by hardliners on the President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board….’Proves’ Soviets Far Ahead of US in Military, Nuclear Capabilities – Ideology Trumps Facts – Neither Stoertz nor anyone else in the CIA appreciated how thoroughly Team B would let ideology and personalities override fact and real data
January 1981 – Ronald Reagan inaugurated as President of the United States
Early 1981: Richard Perle Assists Reagan’s Transition Team – places his associates in important national security positions and in the Department of Defense.”
Early 1981 and After: Reagan Categorically Opposed to Arms Control Agreements with Soviet Union; Advisers Reflect Oppositional Agenda
October 11-12, 1986: Reagan, Gorbachev Almost Conclude Agreement to Eliminate Nuclear Weapons; Negotiations Founder on US Missile Defense Program
January 1988 – Inauguration of George H. W. Bush as president
Late March 1989 and After: Defense Secretary Cheney Advocates Enforced Regime Change in Soviet Union -When Dick Cheney becomes defense secretary he brings into the Pentagon a core group of young, ideological staffers with largely academic (not military) backgrounds. Many of these staffers are neoconservatives who once congregated around Senator Henry “Scoop” Jackson; places them in the Pentagon’s policy directorate, under the supervision of Undersecretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz, himself one of Jackson’s cadre. While most administrations leave the policy directorate to perform mundane tasks, Wolfowitz and his team have no interest in such. “They focused on geostrategic issues,” one of his Pentagon aides will recall. “They considered themselves conceptual.” Wolfowitz and his team are more than willing to reevaluate the most fundamental precepts of US foreign policy in their own terms, and in Cheney they have what reporters Franklin Foer and Spencer Ackerman call “a like-minded patron.” In 1991, Wolfowitz will describe his relationship to Cheney: “Intellectually, we’re very much on similar wavelengths.”
December 1991 – dissolution of the Soviet Union
March 8, 1992: Raw US World Dominance Plan Is Leaked to the Media -The New York Times headline on March 8, 1992. The Defense Planning Guidance, “a blueprint for the department’s spending priorities in the aftermath of the first Gulf War and the collapse of the Soviet Union,” is leaked to the New York Times. [New York Times, 3/8/1992;…Senator Lincoln Chafee (R-RI) later says, “It is my opinion that [George W. Bush’s] plan for preemptive strikes was formed back at the end of the first Bush administration with that 1992 report.”
July 1992: Think Tank Publishes Book Proposing Policy of Unilateral Interventionism in the Name of Humanitarianism
Autumn 1992: Influential Neoconservative Academic Advocates Breaking Up Middle Eastern Countries, Including Iraq
November 1993 – Inauguration of Bill Clinton as president
July 8, 1996: Neoconservative Think Tank Advocates Aggressive Israeli Foreign Policy -The paper, whose lead author is neoconservative Richard Perle, is meant to advise the new, right-wing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Other authors include…neoconservative Douglas Feith, who will be the prime architect of the Iraq war…Rebuilding Zionism by Abandoning Past Policies – It advocates making a complete break with past policies by adopting a strategy “based on an entirely new intellectual foundation, one that restores strategic initiative and provides the nation the room to engage every possible energy on rebuilding Zionism.…” Aggressive, Militant Israeli Policy towards Arab Neighbors – …document urges the Israelis to aggressively seek the downfall of their Arab neighbors—especially Syria and Iraq—by exploiting the inherent tensions within and among the Arab States. The first step is to be the removal of Saddam Hussein in Iraq. A war with Iraq will destabilize the entire Middle East, allowing governments in Syria, Iran, Lebanon, and other countries to be replaced…‘Seeds of a New Vision’ – All these questions need not be answered right away, according to co-author Meyrav Wurmser. The document is “the beginning of thought,” she says, “… the seeds of a new vision.”
Similar to American Christian Right’s Vision – According to author Craig Unger, the ideology of “ACB” is, in essence, a secularized version of the theology of the American Christian Right. Christian Zionists insist that Jews were ordained by God to reclaim the Biblican land of Judea and Samaria in the West Bank; the paper asserts that claim as well. The paper echoes Christian fundamentalists by demanding “the unconditional acceptance of Arabs of our rights, especially in their territorial dimension.” Perle and his fellow neoconservatives want to push the boundaries even further: the Bible can be interpreted to countenance Jewish dominion over all or parts of Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, and even Saudi Arabia. Thusly, the authors claim that Israel and the US, by waging war against Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon, would reshape the “strategic environment” in the Middle East and greatly expand Israel’s influence in the region.
Influence in Upcoming Bush Administration – Perle will later become chairman of President Bush’s influential Defense Policy Board and will be instrumental is moving Bush’s US policy toward war with Iraq after the 9/11 attacks, as will Feith and the Wurmsers.
Late Summer 1996: Neoconservatives Push for War with Iraq, Reshaping of Middle East to Favor Israel…At first, the offensive takes place in the pages of US newspapers and magazines. William Kristol and Robert Kagan write articles for the magazines Foreign Policy and the Weekly Standard; syndicated columnists Charles Krauthammer and A. M. Rosenthal use their columns to push the idea; Zalmay Khalilzad and Paul Wolfowitz pen op-eds for the Washington Post; “Clean Break” co-author David Wurmser writes op-eds for the Wall Street Journal and publishes a book, Tyranny’s Ally, in which he proposes that the US use its military to literally redraw the map of the Middle East (see Late Summer 1996). Neoconservatives are transforming Christian evangelicals’ argument that Americans are God’s “chosen people” into secular terms, and argue in their op-eds and articles that it is, in author Craig Unger’s words, the US’s “moral duty to project that greatness throughout the world—using American military power, if necessary.”
January 26, 1998: Neoconservative Think Tank Urges US to Attack Iraq -The Project for the New American Century (PNAC), an influential neoconservative think tank, publishes a letter to President Clinton urging war against Iraq and the removal of Saddam Hussein because he is a “hazard” to “a significant portion of the world’s supply of oil.” In a foretaste of what eventually happens, the letter calls for the US to go to war alone, attacks the United Nations, and says the US should not be “crippled by a misguided insistence on unanimity in the UN Security Council.” The letter is signed by many who will later lead the 2003 Iraq war. 10 of the 18 signatories later join the Bush Administration, including Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, Assistant Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, Deputy Secretaries of State Richard Armitage and Robert Zoellick, Undersecretaries of State John Bolton and Paula Dobriansky, presidential adviser for the Middle East Elliott Abrams, Defense Policy Board chairman Richard Perle, and George W. Bush’s special Iraq envoy Zalmay Khalilzad. Other signatories include William Bennett, Jeffrey Bergner, Francis Fukuyama, Robert Kagan, William Kristol, Peter Rodman, William Schneider, Vin Weber, and James Woolsey… Clinton does heavily bomb Iraq in late 1998, but the bombing doesn’t last long .. The PNAC neoconservatives do not seriously expect Clinton to attack Iraq in any meaningful sense, author Craig Unger will observe in 2007. Instead, they are positioning themselves for the future.
The Committee for Peace and Security in the Gulf (CPSG), a bipartisan group made up largely of foreign policy specialists, sends an “Open Letter to the President” Largely Neoconservative in Makeup – Many of its co-signers will become the core of the Bush administration’s neoconservative-driven national security apparatus. These co-signers include Elliott Abrams, Richard Armitage, John Bolton, Stephen Bryen, Douglas Feith, Frank Gaffney, Fred Ikle, Robert Kagan, Zalmay Khalilzad, William Kristol, Michael Ledeen, Bernard Lewis, Peter Rodman, Donald Rumsfeld, Gary Schmitt, Max Singer, Casper Weinberger, Paul Wolfowitz, David Wurmser, and Dov Zakheim. The CPSG is closely affiliated with both the neoconservative Project for the New American Century and the neoconservative American Enterprise Institute (AEI), both of which boast Perle as a powerful and influential member.
In his book, Machiavelli on Modern Leadership, neoconservative Michael Ledeen measures modern leaders against Machiavelli’s rules for leadership and concludes that “[e]ven after a half a millennium, Machiavelli’s advice to leaders is as contemporary as tomorrow… if new and more virtuous leaders do not emerge, it is only a matter of time before we are either dominated by our enemies or sink into a more profound crisis.” Such a situation, he explains, would put the US in the “same desperate crisis that drove Machiavelli to call for a new dictator to set things aright.” He adds, “In either case, we need Machiavellian wisdom and leadership… the ends may justify the means. In some situations, “[i]n order to achieve the most noble accomplishments, the leader may have to ‘enter into evil….the Christian god sanctions this view. Machiavelli, he notes approvingly, wrote: “I believe that the greatest good that one can do, and the most gratifying to God is that which one does for one’s country.” Ledeen thus adds: “Since it is the highest good, the defense of the country is one of those extreme situation in which a leader is justified in committing evil.”
People involved in the 2000 PNAC report: Vice President Cheney, Florida Governor Jeb Bush, Defense Secretary Rumsfeld, Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, Cheney Chief of Staff I. Lewis Libby, Undersecretary of State John Bolton, Undersecretary of Defense Dov Zakheim, and author Eliot Cohen….The document, titled Rebuilding America’s Defenses: Strategies, Forces and Resources for a New Century, was written for the George W. Bush team even before the 2000 presidential election…Plans to Overthrow Iraqi Government – The report calls itself a “blueprint for maintaining global US preeminence, precluding the rise of a great power rival, and shaping the international security order in line with American principles and interests.”…The report calls for the control of space through a new “US Space Forces,” the political control of the internet, the subversion of any growth in political power of even close allies, and advocates “regime change” in China, North Korea, Libya, Syria, Iran and other countries. It also mentions that “advanced forms of biological warfare that can ‘target’ specific genotypes may transform biological warfare from the realm of terror to a politically useful tool”
‘A New Pearl Harbor’ – However, PNAC complains that thes changes are likely to take a long time, “absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event—like a new Pearl Harbor.” [Los Angeles Times, 1/12/2003]
Bush Will Claim a ‘Humble’ Foreign Policy Stance – One month later during a presidential debate with Al Gore, Bush will assert that he wants a “humble” foreign policy in the Middle East and says he is against toppling Saddam Hussein in Iraq because it smacks of “nation building” . Around the same time, Cheney will similarly defend Bush’s position of maintaining President Clinton’s policy not to attack Iraq, asserting that the US should not act as though “we were an imperialist power, willy-nilly moving into capitals in that part of the world, taking down governments.” [Washington Post, 1/12/2002] Author Craig Unger will later comment, “Only a few people who had read the papers put forth by the Project for a New American Century might have guessed a far more radical policy had been developed.” [Salon, 3/15/2004] A British member of Parliament will later say of the PNAC report, “This is a blueprint for US world domination—a new world order of their making. These are the thought processes of fantasist Americans who want to control the world.” [Sunday Herald (Glasgow), 9/7/2002] Both PNAC and its strategy plan for Bush are almost virtually ignored by the media until a few weeks before the start of the Iraq war (see February-March 20, 2003).
Late December 2000 and Early January 2001: Bush Transition Teams Install Neoconservatives in Key Offices – The Bush team moves into Washington. Neoconservative Zalmay Khalilzad heads the Pentagon transition team, and he ensures that plenty of his friends and colleagues move into the civilian offices of the Defense Department. Four of the most influential advocates for the US overthrow of Iraq’s Saddam Hussein—Elliott Abrams, Douglas Feith, Richard Perle, and Abram Shulsky—are waiting to learn where they will serve in the department. But Vice President Cheney is still concerned with ensuring the placement of his own colleagues and cronies who will help him build what many will call the “imperial presidency…
January 22, 2001 and After: Neoconservatives Begin Push for Invasion of Iraq -An orchestrated push in the media begins to make the case for the need to invade Iraq…
March, 2001: Perle Says Hussein Has Weapons of Mass Destruction -Defense Policy Board chairman and prominent neoconservative Richard Perle tells the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, “Does Saddam [Hussein] now have weapons of mass destruction? Sure he does.…. And, unless you believe that we’ve uncovered everything, you have to assume there is more than we’re able to report.” Perle fails to offer any evidence of his claims to the senators, and fails to provide evidence from UN inspectors that shows virtually all of Iraq’s WMD stockpiles and programs have long since been destroyed.
September 15, 2001: President Bush Tells Neoconservative Adviser that US Will Attack Iraq after Afghanistan – During a morning meeting with advisers at Camp David, President Bush indicated that he wanted to focus on attacking Afghanistan first, and then look at the issue of attacking Iraq later …Bush told Perle at Camp David that once Afghanistan had been dealt with, it would be Iraq’s turn.”
September 20, 2001: Neoconservative Think Tank Demands Bush Invade Iraq ‘Even if Evidence Does Not Link Iraq Directly’ to 9/11 Attacks; Also Demand Attacks against Syria, Iran, Hezbollah
September 24, 2001: Neoconservative Columnists Advocate Overthrow of Hussein as Part of a ‘Larger War’ to Reestablish US ‘Dominance’ in Middle East
September 25-26, 2001: Neoconservative Commentator Kristol Advocates Regime Change in Iraq, Slams Powell – Neoconservative commentator and publisher William Kristol writes that the US must implement “regime change where possible” throughout the Middle East, and especially in Iraq. He excoriates Secretary of State Colin Powell for being against such an aggressive policy…
October 29, 2001: Neoconservative Scholar: ‘This Is Total War’ – Michael Ledeen, speaking at an event sponsored by the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), states: “No stages. This is total war. We are fighting a variety of enemies. There are lots of them out there. All this talk about first we are going to do Afghanistan, then we will do Iraq… this is entirely the wrong way to go about it. If we just let our vision of the world go forth, and we embrace it entirely and we don’t try to piece together clever diplomacy, but just wage a total war… our children will sing great songs about us years from now.”
November 14, 2001: Neoconservative Foreign Policy Adviser Perle Says Iraq War Should Alert Other Nations: ‘You’re Next’
November 20, 2001: Neoconservative: US Must Realize It Is Involved in ‘World War IV’ – Neoconservative professor Eliot Cohen writes that the Afghan war is misnamed. It should be, he says, the latest salvo in “World War IV
November 29-30, 2001: Neoconservative Group Encourages Bush Administration to Invade Iraq as First Step to Dominating Middle East
December 7, 2001: Neoconservative Michael Ledeen Argues in Favor of Perpetual War against the Muslim Worldn – Michael Ledeen, an avid admirer of Machiavelli, argues in a piece published by National Review Online that the US must be “imperious, ruthless, and relentless” against the Muslim world until there has been “total surrender.” Any attempt on the part of the US to be “reasonable” or “evenhanded” will only empower Islamic militants, he asserts. He writes: “We will not be sated until we have had the blood of every miserable little tyrant in the Middle East, until every leader of every cell of the terror network is dead or locked securely away, and every last drooling anti-Semitic and anti-American mullah, imam, sheikh, and ayatollah is either singing the praises of the United States of America, or pumping gasoline, for a dime a gallon, on an American military base near the Arctic Circle.” The piece is republished in the Jewish World Review four days later.
February 2002: Neoconservative: Bush Must Attack Numerous Arab Nations to Fight, Win ‘World War IV’ against Terrorism – Norman Podhoretz, the editor of the neoconservative magazine Commentary, writes a call to arms called “How to Win World War IV.” For Podhoretz, the US has already won World War III—the Cold War with the Soviet Union. Now, he asserts, it is time to win the war against Islamist terrorism. The US must embrace this war against civilizations, and President Bush must accept that it is his mission “to fight World War IV—the war against militant Islam.”
April 2002: Neoconservatives Say War against Iraq Is about Redrawing ‘Geopolitical Map of the Middle East’
April 23, 2002: Neoconservative: US Should ‘Pick Up Some Small, Crappy Little Country and Throw It against the Wall’ – In a column for the National Review advocating the immediate overthrow of Iraq’s Saddam Hussein, neoconservative Jonah Goldberg praises his fellow neoconservative Michael Ledeen and urges the US to implement what he calls the “Ledeen Doctrine,” which he paraphrases as: “Every ten years or so, the United States needs to pick up some small, crappy little country and throw it against the wall, just to show the world we mean business.”
May 2002: Wilson Breaks Decade-Long Silence to Speak out against Iraq War – Former ambassador Joseph Wilson participates in the annual conference of the American Turkish Council. One of the keynote speakers is Richard Perle, the neoconservative head of the Defense Policy Board and the chief author of the 1996 position paper “A Clean Break,” which argued for the forcible redrawing of the political map of the Middle East. In 1996, Perle had called for the overthrow of the Iraqi government. At the conference, Perle makes the same call. Wilson will later recall being deeply troubled by Perle’s “fire and brimstone” speech. The next afternoon, when Wilson is scheduled to speak, he voices his concerns over Perle’s position. Although he had journeyed to Niger to learn the truth or falsity about the Iraq-Niger uranium claims he has not spoken publicly about Iraq in over a decade. He does so because he urgently feels that Perle’s views need to be countered. “No decision is more important than that to send a nation’s sons and daughters to a foreign land in order to kill and perhaps die for their country,” he will write. “As a democracy, we are all participants in that decision. Not to speak out would amount to complicity in whatever decision was taken.” … Wilson will later write: “As I discovered while debating the issue, the prowar advocates were little inclined to listen to the views of others. They had made up their minds long ago, and now it was a matter of ramming their agenda through the decision-making process.”
August 16, 2002: Perle: Bush’s War Rhetoric Makes Invasion Necessary – Neoconservative Richard Perle, the head of the Pentagon’s Defense Policy Board, says that the Bush administration has expended so much time and effort in making its case for war against Iraq that it has no other choice except to invade. He says, “The failure to take on Saddam [Hussein]… would produce such a collapse of confidence in the president that it would set back the war on terrorism.” In 2006, author Frank Rich interprets Perle’s words, writing: “If Bush didn’t get rid of Saddam after all this saber rattling, he will look like the biggest wimp since—well, his father. If he didn’t do it soon, after all these months of swagger, he would destroy his credibility and hurt the country’s.”
September 4, 2002: Neoconservative Michael Ledeen Advocates Overthrow of Iraqi, Iranian, Syrian, and Saudi Arabian Governments – Neoconservative Michael Ledeen argues in a piece published by the Wall Street Journal that the US must not limit the next military strike to Iraq alone. Rather, according to Ledeen, the US “should instead be talking about using all our political, moral, and military genius to support a vast democratic revolution to liberate all the peoples of the Middle East from tyranny.” In addition to Iraq, he says, the governments of Iran, Syria, and Saudi Arabia must also be overthrown. “Stability is an unworthy American mission, and a misleading concept to boot. We do not want stability in Iran, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and even Saudi Arabia; we want things to change. The real issue is not whether, but how to destabilize.”
November 2002-December 2002: Abrams Leads Secretive Neocon Planning Group for Iraq Occupation – Elliott Abrams, a well-known neoconservative and former Iran-Contra figure, leads one of a dozen Bush administration working groups charged with drafting post-invasion plans…the group is very secretive… It refuses “to brief not only top State Department officials but also aides of Gen. Tommy Franks, the commanding officer of the US Central Command [CENTCOM], about what it is doing.” Instead it stovepipes its work to its contacts in the White House. Sources in the State Department and CIA believe that one of the group’s apparent aims is reducing the influence of the State Department, CIA and the United Nations in post-Saddam Iraq. These critics also question “why a convicted felon [Abrams], pardoned or not, is being allowed to help shape policy.” Sources in the State Department and CIA believe that one of the group’s apparent aims is reducing the influence of the State Department, CIA and the United Nations in post-Saddam Iraq…
November 12, 2002: Neoconservative Writer Recommends US Invade Iran First – Neoconservative Michael Ledeen recommends that the US invade Iraq—but only after invading Iran and overthrowing that nation’s government.
November 20, 2002: Perle: UN Won’t Find Iraqi Weapons Because They Are So Well Hidden; US Will Attack Even If No Weapons Found – Richard Perle, a member of the Defense Policy Board, attends a meeting on global security with members of the British Parliament… Peter Kilfoyle, a former defense minister and Labour backbencher, tells the Mirror: “America is duping the world into believing it supports these inspections. President Bush intends to go to war even if inspectors find nothing. This make a mockery of the whole process and exposes America’s real determination to bomb Iraq.”
February 2003: Prominent Neoconservatives Argue Iraq War Is Really about US World Dominance – Prominent neoconservatives William Kristol and Lawrence F. Kaplan publish the book The War Over Iraq advocating a US invasion of that country. In the book’s introduction, they assert: “We stand at the cusp of a new historical era.… This is a decisive moment.… The decision about what course to take in dealing with Iraq is particularly significant because it is so clearly about more than Iraq. It is about more even than the future of the Middle East and the war on terror. It is about what sort of role the United States intends to play in the world in the twenty-first century.”
February 15 – worldwide anti-war protest
February 25, 2003: Neoconservative Foreign Policy Adviser Says UN Weapons Inspectors Being ‘Seriously Deceived’ by Iraqis
March 19, 2003: Neoconservative: ‘Iraq Is a Battle, Not a War’ – Neoconservative Michael Ledeen, in an op-ed entitled “One Battle in a Wider War,” echoes the thinking of other neoconservatives when he writes that other Middle Eastern countries, specifically Iran, Syria, and Saudi Arabia, must also be invaded by the US. “Once upon a time, it might have been possible to deal with Iraq alone, without having to face the murderous forces of the other terror masters in Tehran, Damascus, and [Riyadh], but that time has passed,” he writes. “Iraq is a battle, not a war. We have to win the war, and the only way to do that is to bring down the terror masters, and spread freedom throughout the region.”
March 19/20, 2003 – Invasion begins
May 1, 2003 Mission accomplished/continues – YouTube of speech, explanation that President did not actually say “Mission Accomplished” but that it was on a sign not approved by the White House. The President said “Mission continues.”
March 27, 2003: Accused of Profiteering, Perle Resigns from Pentagon Advisory Panel Chairmanship – Embroiled in controversy over multiple conflicts of interests, Richard Perle resigns his position as chairman of the Defense Advisory Panel (DAP). His resignation is the result of criticism of his mix of business activities as an investor, consultant, lobbyist, and political advocacy as an adviser to Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. In the weeks prior to his resignation, the New Yorker revealed that Perle’s venture capital firm, Trireme Partners LP, solicited funds from Saudi financiers, despite Perle’s vociferous criticisms of the Saudi government
February 19, 2009: Perle Denies Any Neoconservative Influence in Bush Administration – In a speech at the Nixon Center, neoconservative guru Richard Perle attempts to drastically rewrite the history of the Bush administration and his role in the invasion of Iraq. The Washington Post’s Dana Milbank writes that listening to Perle gave him “a sense of falling down the rabbit hole.” Milbank notes: “In real life, Perle was the ideological architect of the Iraq war and of the Bush doctrine of preemptive attack…But at yesterday’s forum of foreign policy intellectuals, he created a fantastic world in which: Perle is not a neoconservative. Neoconservatives do not exist. Even if neoconservatives did exist, they certainly couldn’t be blamed for the disasters of the past eight years.”