A new book just released by Random House contains the answers to these questions and more. It is written by some of the most knowledgeable, wise and influential men in Washington today. The authors have taken valuable time from their days of thinking up phrases like "Axis of Evil" (Iran-Syria-Iraq-no-wait-not-Syria-need-a-non-Islamic-country-what-about-North-Korea) and shaping the oh-so-malleable minds of literally hundreds of National Review readers.
David Frum and Richard Perle have saved us all loads of time. We wanted real solutions for American’s foreign and domestic future, and by golly, they have delivered. I announce to you An End to Evil: Strategies for Victory in the War on Terror!
The Frumster and Richer Perle have produced a book that finally reveals "their blueprint for what could become the Bush administration’s agenda in the war on terrorism." My dear, dear boys! Are you saying that in a fit of electoral excitement, young Dubya has already begun to diverge from your neo-Jacobin empire mongering? Is he beginning to exhibit a certain lack of concentration on cementing the White House-Likud Alliance? I mean, who could have predicted that in an election year?
The book jacket says Frum and Perle have provided a few simple steps to make neo-conservatives, or as my friend Ray McGovern calls them, neo-fascists, very, very happy. And what’s not to like about that?
To make a neo-fascist happy, we need only:
· Support the overthrow of the terrorist mullahs of Iran.
· End the terrorist regime of Syria.
· Regard Saudi Arabia and France not as friends but as rivals – maybe enemies.
· Withdraw support from the United Nations if it does not reform.
· Tighten immigration and security at home.
· Radically reorganize the CIA and the FBI.
· Squeeze China, and blockade North Korea to press that member of the axis of evil to abandon its nuclear program.
· Abandon the illusion that a Palestinian state will contribute in any important way to U.S. security.
These little Perles of inanity, these fluffy Frumpisms deserve a closer look. They tell us an enormous amount about misguided American empire and the neo-fascist state we are growing for ourselves like a new Audrey in our little shop of horrors. Feed me, Seymour!
Perhaps the subtitle for the book should have been not "Strategies for Victory" but "Little Shop of Horrors." In case you missed the play and the movie, the story is about a gentle but not very forward-thinking flower-shop attendant named Seymour Krelbourn, and his innocent nurture of a plant that thrives on human blood. Seymour feeds it when it is little, and like the neo-fascist state we are building here at home and the benevolent empire abroad, it feeds on us when it gets bigger. The difference between the horror in the play and the horror growing in Washington is that the man-eating plant has real personality and is hilariously fun. Our budding 21st century experiment with fascism promises to be far less entertaining.
But back to Frum and Perle’s enlightenment. The duo tells us to kill the enemy abroad ASAP, create new enemies just in case, and preemptively destroy the enemy at home. First, we eliminate (assassinate, invade, occupy directly or through puppetry) selected "terrorist" regimes, mainly in the Middle East and surrounds. No, silly, not Israel under Sharon or Uzbekistan! For more on this, check out An End of Evil companion piece, Mark Palmer’s rousing adventure tale of how America destroys the 43 (just 43?) evil dictators on the planet once and for all by the year 2025.
Secondly, Frum and Perle advocate creating new enemies around the world. These naturally include the easy-to-hate House of Saud and France, as well as China and the rest of the world as represented by membership in the United Nations. One might assume that UN member countries and Israel, Micronesia and the Marshall Islands will be exempt from eventual enemy status. Or not.
Thirdly, Frum and Perle have advice for Americus domesticus as well. Speaking only for myself, I am hugely grateful for advice on how to run our country from a Canadian like Frum and a suspected agent of a foreign government like Perle. Their valuable counsel includes more centralized government interference in everyone’s lives, continued erosion of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights through enlightened courts and the insatiable state, and special attention to encouraging oncological growth of the state security apparatus. The book jacket says Frum was the "most influential thinker in the foreign-policy apparatus of the Administration of George W. Bush" and Perle is "the intellectual guru of the hard-line neoconservative movement in foreign policy." Pay attention, people!
Lastly, in case anyone missed it – world peace and security depends on the prevention of a Palestinian state. Period. In light of the hysterics evident in the promotional materials and the fact that I am already shaking in my boots, my advice is to simply submit to the whole shmiel. Ignore the illogic, suspend your disbelief, do what Perle and Frum say. Resistance is futile! You will adapt to service us.
I hope this book review, written as no doubt many are by relying solely on the book jacket, has been helpful to you. On a serious note, there is a dangerous bit of utilitarian stasis that permeates both the Frum-Perle consummation and the drooling Mark Palmer fantasy. Apparently, the rest of the world conveniently stops while they spasmodically draw sterile and unimaginative stick figures upon a clean slate. This is the fallacy of the Jacobins, old and new. It is the tragedy of the fascists and the central planners. The authors may simply be confused about the nature of both history and human action as a result of their upbringing and education. Perhaps these books are a cry for help from people lacking typical American characteristics of physical and intellectual courage, and love of liberty.
More likely, these books are opportunistic and desperate attempts to capitalize on the already seriously waning interest in neo-conservative prescriptions for America as despicable debt-funded empire. With predictable pedantry, they deliver not a blueprint for victory, but cheap lies and grotesque self-deception.
December 11, 2003
Karen Kwiatkowski [send her mail] is a recently retired USAF lieutenant colonel, who spent her final four and a half years in uniform working at the Pentagon. She now lives with her freedom-loving family in the Shenandoah Valley.