Friday, May 30, 2008

So McClellan is correct when he writes senior administration officials began a campaign in 2002 to "aggressively sell the war," even as he and other officials insisted all options were on the table. Of course, it was a war of choice, not of necessity, as he writes. The Bush administration's main motive for invading Iraq was to introduce "coercive democracy."

This motive originated in a controversial 1996 White Paper titled "A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm," which referred to Israel. It advised incoming Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to repeal the Oslo agreements for a Palestinian solution, keep Gaza and the West Bank under Israeli control, and establish democracy in Iraq by overthrowing Saddam Hussein. Democracy in Iraq, said "Clean Break," would be followed by similar regime changes in Syria and Iran. Thus, Israel could begin to relax and look forward to real security for the indefinite future.

Among its principal authors were neocon theoreticians Richard Perle, soon to be chairman of the Defense Policy Board; Douglas Feith, who became undersecretary of defense for policy and was also in charge of post-Iraq invasion planning; ad David Wurmser, who later joined Feith's Pentagon team before his elevation to deputy assistant to Dick Cheney for national security -- all superhawks on Iran as well.

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