The International Campaign for Real History

Posted Thursday, October 2, 2003

[] Index to the Traditional Enemies of Free Speech
[] Alphabetical index (text)

Quick navigation


Jerusalem Post


Man of the [Jewish] Year

NO question: This was Paul Wolfowitz's year. On September 15, 2001, at a meeting in Camp David, he advised President George W. Bush to skip Kabul and train American guns on Baghdad. In March 2003, he got his wish. In the process, Wolfowitz became the most influential US deputy defense secretary ever -- can you so much as name anyone else who held the post? And he's on the shortlist to succeed Colin Powell as secretary of state.

Not that this alone qualifies Wolfowitz as the Jerusalem Post's Man of the Year. The war in Iraq had many authors: Donald Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney, Tony Blair, George Bush. Wolfowitz may have been an early and vocal advocate, but he was cheering from the second row.

What's not in dispute is that Wolfowitz is the principal author of the doctrine of preemption, which framed the war in Iraq and which, when it comes to it, will underpin US action against other rogue states.

This is more remarkable than you might at first think. Following September 11, many people grasped intuitively that it was useless to contain or deter foes for whom suicide was an acceptable option. The difference with Wolfowitz is that he's been talking about this since at least 1992. (The prescience is of a piece with his warning -- in 1979 -- that Saddam Hussein might someday invade Kuwait.)

The difference with Wolfowitz, too, is that his hawkish leanings on defense (the Economist once called him the administration's "velociraptor") combine with a remarkable optimism about the prospects for Mideast democracy. When President Bush says, "America will not permit the world's most dangerous regimes to threaten us with the world's most destructive weapons" -- that's Wolfowitz talking. When the president calls for "a new Arab charter that champions internal reform, greater political participation, economic openness and free trade" -- that's Wolfowitz's talking, too.

But perhaps the greatest measure of Wolfowitz's influence is that Colin Powell now waxes rhapsodic about an Iraq "on the road to democratic self-government." This from the man who, after the first Gulf War, mocked: "Where's Iraq's Thomas Jefferson?"

To our ears, the sudden stress on Mideast democratization is "transformative," to use the Pentagon jargon. Israel has long waited for an administration that understands that the principal problem in the Middle East is not the unsettled status of our borders. It is the unsettling nature of Arab regimes -- and of the bellicosity, fanaticism, and resentments to which they give rise. Israel has also long waited for an administration that understands that the regimes that threaten Tel Aviv also threaten New York.

WolfowitzThere's a downside. Earlier in the year, the notion took hold that the president was taking the country to war at the urgings of his Jewish advisers, themselves shills for Israel. "Richard Perle, Paul Wolfowitz and Bill Kristol [are]... the clique of conservatives who are driving this war," wrote New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd. She may as well have written "the clique of Jews," some felt. Other critics of the war were more explicit. "If it were not for the strong support of the Jewish community for this war in Iraq," said Democratic Congressman Jim Moran, "we would not be doing this."

In this year when anti-Semitism is once again a fact of life, the name "Wolfowitz" has become its lightning rod.

Surely this is one distinction he does not relish. Yet it remains a part of what makes this, uniquely, Wolfowitz's year.



A word about the selection criteria of this feature, which inaugurates an annual event. We have called it "Man of the Year," though of course the year we are speaking of is the Jewish year. This does not mean we have restricted our field to Jews, much less Israelis. But we are the Jerusalem Post and our choice is dictated by the same considerations that drive our news coverage -- relevance to Israel and the Jewish world. It will therefore be likely, though by no means inevitable, that future Men or Women of the Year will be Jews -- sometimes Israelis, sometimes not.


Paul Wolfowitz is the king of spades, Rumsfeld the ace: Bush Regime "playing cards", the full deck on the Voltaire website (see picture right)
Thousands died The hunt for Weapons of Mass Destruction yields - nothing
Jerusalem Post calls for assassination of Yasser Arafat

The above item is reproduced without editing other than typographical

 Register your name and address to go on the Mailing List to receive

David Irving's ACTION REPORT

or to hear when and where he will next speak near you

© Focal Point 2003 F Irving write to David Irving