An Interview With the Principle Author of A Clean Break

by | Dec 16, 2006 | Stress Blog | 7 comments

*Note: Actually her husband, David Wurmser, Dick Cheney’s Middle East Advisor, was the principle author. I had once misread this old Jim Lobe article.

Neocons: We expected Israel to attack Syria

They are a unified group of American intellectuals, who held key positions in Bush administration and were blamed for getting US into Iraq. Most of them are Jews, so they are obviously accused of risking America in favor of Israel. Israeli Meyrav Wurmser claims that if situation is bad, Israelis are also to blame
Yitzhak Benhorin Y-Net

WASHINGTON – It hasn’t been a good year for neocons, that group of conservative American intellectuals pulling some strings of US policy, particularly during the George W. Bush administration.

The strongest indictment against them is the war in Iraq, a quagmire in which the US is currently stuck up to its neck. And as Bush’s days in the White House grow numbered, they are leaving one by one.

Among the few remaining neocons is David Wurmser, an advisor for Vice President Dick Cheney on Middle Eastern affairs. Wurmser is a Middle East expert, just like his wife, Israeli Meyrav Wurmser, a researcher at the conservative Hudson Institute.

Meyrav Wurmser was also one of the co-founders of MEMRI, which tracks Arab leaders and translating their political statements from Arabic to English.

Despite the fact that many neocons are no longer part of the government, it turns out they’re still one big happy family, who make sure to remain in touch.

Many are Jews, who share a love for Israel . Some of the accusations against the government regarding the war in Iraq is that it was undertaken primarily for Israel’s sake and that the attack on Iraq was actually an Israeli objective.

In an interview with Ynet, Dr. Meyrav Wurmser refutes the accusations and criticism.

“Since I’m an Israeli in the gang, you wouldn’t believe what’s been written about me,” she said. “That I’m proof of the covert neoconservative connection with Israel and the Mossad.”

What are you trying to achieve?

“We believe in a strong and active American foreign policy. America is a good force in the world, a nation that believes in freedom. We believe in exporting American ideas of freedom and democracy, to promote greater stability.”

Did you, in practice, bring about the war in Iraq?

“We expressed ideas, but the policy in Iraq was taken out of neocon hands very quickly. The idea was that America has a war on terror and that the only actual place for coping with it is in the Middle East and that a fundamental change would come through a change in leadership. We had to start somewhere.

“The objective was to change the face of the Middle East. But it was impossible to create a mini-democracy amidst a sea of dictatorships looking to destroy this poor democracy, and thus, where do insurgents in Iraq come from? From Iran and Syria .”

Should they have been conquered?

“No. There was a need for massive political action, of threats and pressure on these governments, financial pressure, for example. The sanctions on Syria were nothing. There was a period of time when the Syrians were afraid that they were next. It would have been possible to use this momentum in a smarter way. There’s no need to go in militarily.”

Everyone feels beaten after last 5 years

At their prime, the neocons held the reigns of American decision making. In the Pentagon, there were Deputy Defense Minister Paul Wolfowitz, Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Douglas J. Feith, and Harold Rhode, a senior Pentagon advisor on Islam.

In the vice president’s office were Louis Libby and John Hannah. Richard Perle headed the committee advising to the Pentagon. In the White House were Deputy National Security Adviser for Global Democracy Strategy Elliott Abrams and Under Secretary for Arms Control and International Security John Bolton, who later became the US ambassador to the UN.

According to Wurmser’s description, the group is comprised of academics, most of them lacking operational experience, who became part of the Bush administration but failed to get their ideas through bureaucracy.

“These are intellectuals who came with great ideas, in which I still believe, but did not find a way to promote their beliefs in the complexities of bureaucracy,” she says.

Your people held senior positions in the Pentagon. Didn

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