|This article appears in the March 14, 2003 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.
Will Bush Heed Warning of LaRouche
by Jeffrey Steinberg
And Avert World War?
Lyndon LaRouche has forcefully warned President George W. Bush that if he plunges ahead into a war with Iraq, he will have squandered the last opportunity to avert an even more grave military confrontation on the Korean Peninsula. In combination, such an Iraq-Korea crisis would likely be catalogued, by future historians, as the beginning of a global war, even more horrible than the "Clash of Civilizations" conflict promoted by Dr. Bernard Lewis and the "war party" inside Bush's own Administration.
Agreeing with warnings by former Defense Secretary William Perry, delivered at a March 5 Senate Democratic Leadership briefing, LaRouche evaluated the depth of the Korea mess: "Yes, there are problems. The problems were created by the present Administration's attempts to abrogate the [KEDO, Korea Economic Development Organization] agreement. Nowbecause of the Iraq warNorth Korea, for its own reasons, is reacting as if it assumed that there is no good faith on the part of the United States, and that a war against Iraq would simply be a precursor of an all-out attack on North Korea. Under those conditions, North Korea assumes, not without reason, that there's no point in coming to any agreement with the United States, pending the possibility that the United States might repudiate this crazy policy, the policy of the so-called 'Axis of Evil.' They've been told, in effect, that the Bush Administration considers North Korea a part of the 'Axis of Evil,' and is acting accordingly. Therefore, how could anybody in North Koreagiven the North Korean regime and its views of the world outside ithow could anyone assume that North Korea would act in any way but to wait and see, whether or not the United States calls off the war? If the United States does not call off the war with Iraq, then we have a very difficult situation.
"Therefore," LaRouche concluded, "this is just one good reason more, for calling off that lunatic commitment to war in Iraq. This is where the threat comes from. If we went back to the agreement which Clinton made, in good faith or not, and if that were credible, then I think that's the way out of the problem: to go back to that agreement and honor it. Obviously, in all these matters, President Bush is being very poorly advised, or one might say, badly misadvised."
A Nuclear Showdown?
Well-placed Washington sources report to EIR that, among the uniformed senior military officers at the Pentagon, there is tremendous concern that an Iraq war will eliminate all diplomatic paths to solving the Korea crisis. The leadership of North Korea, military men believe, will presume "We're next," and may even take pre-emptive military action against the South, while half of U.S. military divisions are occupied with a war in the Persian Gulf or a postwar occupation of Iraq.
Contrary to recent statements by Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, the United States does not have the military force structure to respond to an Iraq war and a Korea outbreak simultaneously. Furthermore, senior military officials, including Army Chief of Staff Gen. Eric Shinseki, have estimated that a postwar occupation of Iraq will require "hundreds of thousands" of American troops for a long period of time, perhaps two to seven years.
North Korea has over 1 million troops under arms, and 30,000 artillery pieces aimed at Seoul. The South Koreans have 400,000 troops, approximately, backed up by a U.S. military force of 37,000. Under these circumstances, the United States could easily find itself in a position of having to choose between allowing South Korea to be overrun, or using tactical nuclear weapons to stop an attack from the North.
Senior military officers have reportedly warned President Bush about these grave consequences of an Iraq war.
For their part, the neo-conservative "war party" in the Administration is reportedly pressing for the United States to threaten the use of nuclear weapons against North Koreatheir mad effort to counter this most compelling reason for the President not to go to war to overthrow Saddam Hussein. These neo-cons argue that the only way to deal with Pyongyang is by threatening it, and that the threats will only work if the United States invades Iraq and gets rid of Saddam Hussein. They have been conduiting disinformation that the North Korean regime is deeply divided and on the verge of crumbling. On March 2, the Washington Post reported that the CIA has recently warned the President that a North Korean "defector," who had claimed since last Autumn that the regime was on the verge of collapse, was feeding disinformation. Post writer Glenn Kessler reported that his sources complained, bitterly, that "There are people in this Administration who will leap at anything."
One such "leaper" is I. Lewis Libby, the chief of staff and top national security aide to Vice President Dick Cheney, who was the staff director of the Cox Commission, which ran a vicious 1999 "Red Scare" campaign about Chinese nuclear espionage in the United States, attempting to blow up the whole Northeast Asia region and trigger a new Cold War, pitting China and North Korea against Japan, South Korea and Taiwan. Another promoter of the Korea showdown is John Bolton, the State Department's chief arms control negotiator, who has been peddling the idea that the Bush Administration must abrogate the "negative security assurance" against first-use of nuclear weapons (see EIR, March 7, 2003).
Indeed, as the London Guardian reported on March 7, buried in the FY 2004 Pentagon budget request sent recently to Congress, is a demand that Congress "rescind the prohibition on research and development of low-yield nuclear weapons," which has been in effect since 1994.
Chicken-Hawks Under Attack
The sheer magnitude of the insanity of the neo-con "chicken-hawks" inside the Bush Administration has provoked a significant backlash, which has taken the form of a broad pattern of exposés of the Paul Wolfowitz-Richard Perle cabal as Likudnik nuts, steering the United States into conflicts that suit the agenda of the radical right wing in Israel. These exposés have all been based on material first widely published in EIR in recent years.
Most notable of these attacks has been the exposure of Perle, Assistant Secretary of Defense Doug Feith, and State Department arms control official David Wurmser, as the co-authors of the July 1996 "A Clean Break" report. "Clean Break" was presented at that time to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, as a recipe for overturning the Oslo Accords and redrawing the map of the Middle East, through a war against Saddam Hussein.
In just the past week, the Perle, Feith, and Wurmser authorship of the "Clean Break" war scheme has been trashed on "Meet the Press" on NBC-TV, in a Maureen Dowd column in the New York Times, in an hour-long "Frontline" documentary on PBS public television, and in a widely circulated syndicated column by Robert Novak.
In a March 2 appearance on "Meet the Press," Richard Perle was directly confronted by Tim Russert on the "Clean Break" document; Perle stammered and claimed he had not read the document in a long time, and did not recall whether he still held the views presented in the war scheme. Yet on Feb. 4, in a private, on-the-record, discussion with this author, Perle had said that he fully stood by the recommendations in the report, and argued that President Bush shared his perspective.
In a March 3 interview with PBS-TV's Bill Moyers, Joseph C. Wilson, the last U.S. Deputy Chief of Mission in Baghdad, slammed Perle as "the architect of a study that was produced in the mid-'90s for the Likud Israeli government, called 'A Clean Break, A New Strategy for the Realm.' And it makes the argument that the best way to secure Israeli security is through the changing of some of these regimes, beginning with Iraq and also including Syria.... There are those who believe that perhaps we've confused our responsibilities [to defend Israel] with the slavish adherence to the Likud strategy."
Robert Novak, on March 6, pilloried Perle, Feith, and Wurmser for their promotion of the insane idea, in "Clean Break," that the overthrow of Saddam Hussein will bring about the instant democratization of the Arab world, and long-term security for Israel. Novak warned that President Bush appears to have staked his Presidency "and the course of the nation" on these "Clean Break" crazy notions of a "crusade for democracy."
The latest attacks on the neo-conservative wanna-be liberal imperialists have been extended to include another of LaRouche's leading targets: the late fascist philosopher and neo-con "Godfather," Leo Strauss. On March 5, the German newspaper-of-record Süddeutsche Zeitung published a feature-story exposé of Strauss and the movement in the United States of war party "Straussians." "Most neo-conservatives were pupils, or pupils of pupils of Leo Strauss," author Tim B. Mueller wrote. Mueller singled out Norman and John Podhoretz, Irving and William Kristol, and the American Enterprise Institute as key purveyors of the Straussian dogma. "Today," he concluded, "the most important Straussian political figure is Paul Wolfowitz, Deputy Secretary of Defense, whom several commentators call the 'super-brain' of the government."
The intensity of these public attacks, using formulations known to have originated from LaRouche and EIR, underscores the level of fear over the prospects that the "Clean Break" gang will drag the United States into a world war. The question is whether that message has gotten at all through to President Bush, on whose shoulders rests the choice of war or peacefor a generation to come.