A Cautious Man
January 06, 2004
There is no Keyser Soze!
David Brooks has hastened to reassure us that there is nothing to worry about. In today's column, he chides those who listen to "ludicrous stories" which talk "about how Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle, Doug Feith, Bill Kristol and a bunch of 'neoconservatives' … had taken over U.S. foreign policy." (Actually, the point of Mr. Brooks' column may just be to set up a handy rejoinder the next time someone criticizes Administration policy, since he also writes: "con is short for 'conservative' and neo is short for 'Jewish'.")

But, in any event, Mr. Brooks wants to make it clear that, despite what you may have heard:
In truth, the people labeled neocons … travel in widely different circles and don't actually have much contact with one another. The ones outside government have almost no contact with President Bush. There have been hundreds of references, for example, to Richard Perle's insidious power over administration policy, but I've been told by senior administration officials that he has had no significant meetings with Bush or Cheney since they assumed office. into their fillings.
Of course, Mr. Perle would probably be the first to argue with Mr. Brooks, about how important he was, and may still be. He has a delightful new book out, described by the American Enterprise Institute as follows:
An End to Evil charts the agenda for what's next in the war on terrorism, as articulated by David Frum, former presidential speechwriter and bestselling author of The Right Man, and Richard Perle, former assistant secretary of defense and one of the most influential foreign-policy leaders in Washington.

An End to Evil will define the conservative point of view on foreign policy for a new generation--and shape the agenda for the 2004 presidential-election year and beyond. With a keen insiders' perspective on how our leaders are confronting--or not confronting--the war on terrorism, David Frum and Richard Perle make a convincing argument for why the toughest line is the safest line.
But, according to Mr. Brooks, for anybody who was worried about what the Usual Suspects have been up to, it's all in your head.

Nobody believed he was real. Nobody ever saw him or knew anybody that ever worked directly for him, but to hear Kobayashi tell it, anybody could have worked for Soze. You never knew. That was his power.

The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn't exist.



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