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LETTERS TO THE TIMES

Neoconservatives Fumble Foreign Policy

June 14, 2004

Re "A Tough Time for 'Neocons,' " June 10: Thank God the Republican Party is finally waking up to the insanity of the neoconservative worldview. Deputy Defense Secretary Paul D. Wolfowitz, William Kristol [the former chief of staff to Vice President Dan Quayle and editor of the journal Weekly Standard] and others have rightly earned the nickname "chicken hawks" for being rabidly pro-war while never serving in the military themselves. While the neocons were convincing President Bush that democracy flows from the barrel of a gun, Ahmad Chalabi appears to have manipulated them for his own advantage and leaked U.S. intelligence to Iran.

Let's hope Bush cleans house before the chicken hawks give away any more state secrets to smooth-talking wannabe dictators.

David Allen

Los Angeles

Your article on neocons was a sad reminder of why we are mired in Iraq. It is interesting to note that the neocons are now finger-pointing (notably blaming the Pentagon!) to assess blame. If they had factored nationalism into their original arguments they would have realized that a war in Iraq would be no cakewalk.

The blame for this war should fall on their shoulders and the president's.

Dean Chantiles

Palm Springs

I have seen I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby's name referred to repeatedly regarding the neoconservative movement in general and Iraq policy specifically. In what other administration has the vice president's chief of staff played such an important policy role? More than a piece of trivia, the question sheds light on what I consider to be the most obvious and unreported story of the Bush administration; the shadow government run by Dick Cheney.

This is the elephant in the room no one wants to talk about; a hidden-in-plain-sight mystery that surfaces only when Cheney's actions or the actions of those who answer to him spin out of control. Apparently I must wait until Bush is defeated this November for journalists to dig beyond the simplistic puppet and puppeteer analogies to discover what is really going on in this administration.

Paul Kopeikin

Los Angeles

The article failed to mention an important aspect of the neocons' philosophy that distinguishes them for other conservatives, namely their strong support for Israel. While the neocons proclaim that they want to spread democracy in the Middle East, their true passion is to make Israel the dominant power in the area. Their alliance with the Likud Party in Israel has contributed to the slow death of the "road map" for peace in the Middle East, thus precluding any peaceful settlement between Israel and the Palestinians.

Zac Sidawi

Costa Mesa

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