Or maybe even 674 pages, the length of Douglas Feith’s recent opus, War and Decision.
As you can imagine, Israel does not figure prominently in Feith’s book, and you would never guess from reading it that, as early as 1996, Feith — along with David Wurmser and their common mentor, Richard Perle — was already thinking that the ouster of Saddam Hussein was the key to transforming the regional balance of power decisively in favor of Israel, thus permitting a Likud-led Israel to make a “clean break” from the Oslo peace process and “secure the realm” of the West Bank, Gaza, the Golan Heights, as well as its pre-1967 borders.
I don’t intend to review of the book, at least now. But the map that appears next to Feith’s “Introduction” depicting Iraq and its neighbors as of 2003 offers some insight into his worldview and Israel’s rightful place — or, more precisely, its size — within it:
Not much space for a Palestinian state, is there? Good strategic depth around Jerusalem. Looks like the Golan isn’t supposed to revert to Syria, either. No suggestion of occupation. It’s all Israeli.
Incidentally, In his book, Feith claims that it was Fred Ikle that got him the undersecretary for policy job, but I have it on excellent authority that it was Perle, the only man who Rumsfeld (who himself referred to the West Bank and Gaza as “so-called occupied territories”) believes is his intellectual equal, whose recommendation was decisive. And it’s good to know that the Washington Post still considers Perle credible enough to give him space on its op-ed page to warn against the perils of multilateralism in dealing with Iran, as it did today.
This map reveals all about Feith’s world view, I’m afraid.
A pity more hasn’t been made of it given the out-sized influence he and his fellow travellers have had on US foreign policy in the ME.
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