MATTHEW YGLESIAS JUST BROUGHT AN IMPORTANT WOOLSEY WATCH ITEM to my attention. Whether one supports this American war in Iraq or not, the perverse interests that find cover in this conflict need to be exposed.
Remember the World War IV Conference that James Woolsey, Norman Podhoretz, Clifford May and others pulled together at the end of September? Jaideep Singh, Associate Editor of Foreign Policy, attended and filed an illuminating report on the war-mongerers.
The first couple of grafs are hilarious. Woolsey rousted former Secretary of State George Shultz from his California slumber to declare he had joined the Committee on the Present Danger as a Co-Chairman:
James Woolsey, the former director of the Central Intelligence Agency, is leaning over a speakerphone at the front of a small, ornate ballroom in Washington’s Mayflower Hotel.
“Hi George. It’s Jim Woolsey.” On the other end is George P. Schultz, former secretary of state under Ronald Reagan. Woolsey leans into the phone, speaking loudly and slowly, as people do when they’re speaking to foreign tourists. “We’ve just gotten underway here at the Mayflower here in Washington,” he tells Shultz, in a crowd of some four dozen think tank scholars, graduate students, interns, and journalists.
“I’ve just announced that you’ve kindly agreed to serve as co-chairman of the Committee on the Present Danger. . .I thought I’d see if you’d like to share any thoughts that you might have.”
The disembodied voice of Schultz pipes in from California, where it’s around 6 in the morning. “I welcome the reemergence of the CPD,” says Schultz, sounding half-asleep. “In the early days, what the people [on the Committee] thought and said made a big difference.” There is scattered applause.
Singh’s last graf is the most disturbing.
The conference screened a short clip of a documentary on the lives of Iraqis as told by themselves, if you can believe that. Singh writes:
Later in the day — perhaps for those wondering if the Iraqis themselves agree with Podhoretz’s assessment — the conference organizers screen a trailer for “Voices of Iraq,” a forthcoming feature-length documentary for which two movie producers had handed out digital video cameras to ordinary Iraqis and asked them to film their daily lives.
Evidently, the Iraqis in question see things the way CPD does. Men on the streets of Baghdad discuss how nice it is to have Saddam gone and to be better paid now. One child asks his mother what she thinks of democracy. “Hassan,” she replies to her son, “democracy means having individual freedom.”
A torture victim of Saddam says he wouldn’t mind being tortured at Abu Ghraib. “You have a nice American woman undress you and play with your penis,” he smirks. The audience laughs. (emphasis added)
The Committee on the Present Danger, by supporting perverse exercises like Voices of Iraq, just helped make the world just a bit more dangerous.
Note to Mr. Woolsey: Do you and your ‘invite only’ guests at this conference agree with Rush Limbaugh that Abu Ghraib was only frat house fun?
Senator Lieberman, isn’t it time that you resigned from this group? It seems to me that the documentary film-makers encouraged by those who found the “woman playing with my penis” comment funny ought to at least trigger your personal alarms about films and public morality.
Senator, resign from this organization.
And George Shultz, you got hoodwinked. This new Committee on the Present Danger isn’t what the old one used to be.
— Steve Clemons
Previous WOOLSEY WATCH items:
WOOLSEY WATCH: TEN YEARS AGO TODAY. . .
WOOLSEY WATCH: THE AXIS OF WOOLSEY – ALAN KEYES – LARRY KLAYMAN
WOOLSEY WATCH: SPREADING PARANOIA AND FEAR ABROAD
WOOLSEY WATCH: SADDAM HUSSEIN & AL QAEDA
WOOLSEY WATCH: MONGERING FOR WORLD WAR IV?
WOOLSEY WATCH: BAATHISTS, SHIITES, AND AL QAEDA?