1998: Neocons Ask Clinton for Iraq War

Jan. 26, 1998. Open Letter to Clinton
PNAC‘s first public action was an open letter to Clinton stating:

“Turn your Administration’s attention to implementing a strategy for removing Saddam’s regime from power. This will require a full complement of diplomatic, political and military efforts. … including military steps, to protect our vital interests in the Gulf.”

Signed by the following members of the Bush Administration: RumsfeldWolfowitz,PerleBoltonAbrams, Armitage, and Woolsey.

July 31, 1998. Neocons Push Chalabi as Good for Israel

Wurmser (from IASPS) and Perle from both IASPS and PNAC met with members of the American Jewish community to convince them to more actively oppose Saddam and to back Chalabi and the INC (Iraqi opposition group).

These neocons’ objectives were both open and reasonable. The problem comes when these objectives are later hidden from the American public and, as Wolfowitz explained the WMD excuse was used to obscure this objective.

Dec. 1, issue of the Weekly Standard with the cover “Saddam Must Go: A How-To Guide.” Two of the articles were written by current administration officials, including the lead one, by Zalmay M. Khalilzad, later special White House envoy to the Iraqi opposition, and Paul D. Wolfowitz, now deputy defense secretary.

“We will have to confront him sooner or later — and sooner would be better,” Khalilzad and Wolfowitz wrote. They called for “sustained attacks on the elite military units and security forces that are the main pillar of Saddam’s terror-based regime.” 

Jan. 1, 1999.  Tyranny’s Ally: America’s Failure to Defeat Saddam
David Wurmser‘s book on why removing Saddam mattered to the U.S. and Israel

“Iraq’s strategic importance to the US derives from a source beyond the pernicious, extortionist character of Saddam’s regime. Iraq occupies some of the most strategically blessed and resource-laden territory of the middle east. … Iraq also has large, proven oil reserves, water, …”  [Note that lack of water is a long-standing Israeli problem.]

Wurmser also notes that Iraq threatens its neighbors but mentions only Israel.

Wurmser became Cheney’s Assistant for Middle East Policy under Bush II. In the Acknowledgements, Wurmser mentions “two mentors who guided my understanding of the Middle East.” One is Ahmad Chalabi.