The Cold War Is Over, Is Over, Is Over
Jude Wanniski
October 1, 1996


Memo To: Paul Wolfowitz
From: Jude Wanniski
Re: Military-Industrial Complex

I'm sorry to say, your op-ed in Friday's Wall Street Journal, practically advocating that we drop the Big One on Baghdad, is the straw that broke Wanniski's back. Paul, I do love and admire you. Ever since I met you decades ago when you were just out of school, still in knickers, I believed you were destined for great things. You have one of the finest minds developed during the Cold War, helping bring the USSR to its knees. As a member of the same intellectual cadre of hawks that did battle with the pinko red godless commie fellow travelers of the Democratic left, including the editors of The New York Times, I was proud to be associated with you. But Paul, a little birdie told me that the Cold War is over. It has even been on the radio. I pass the good news on to you: After 50 years of delicate maneuvering, the Kremlin was checkmated in its evil intent to take over the world. It gave up. The United States is now the most powerful, uncontested political, economic and military power in the history of mankind. Isn't that great, Paul? We don't have to drop the Big One on Baghdad!

Please absorb the good news, even though our wise old Cold War mentor, Albert Wohlstetter, continues to see monsters everywhere. I see in the Journal today that Albert may have finally gone around the bend, old age and obsolescence catching up with him. His aimless and irrational ridiculing of the idea that the Cold War is over puts a point on my concern, doesn't it? I know Albert still calls the shots at the Journal editorial page on geopolitics, but I believe he should be put out to pasture. It especially unnerves me to see you following his lead in writing about that Monster, Saddam Hussein, cleverly planning to take over the entire Middle East. At the same time I read in the newspapers that you are being mentioned as a possible Secretary of State in the Dole administration. I have this vision of Gary Kasparov, the world chess champion, having defeated all comers, and so desperate for action that he challenges Mickey Mouse to play to the Death. Paul: Saddam Hussein is a mouse. He is no threat to his neighbors or to the region. This is why the President had to bomb Iraq without asking Saddam's friends and neighbors if it was a good thing to do. They would have told him to cool it. Give me a call if you do not have Colin Powell's telephone number. He will calm your fears that Saddam is about to unleash his divisions in a second attempt to take over the Middle East, having been pulverized in his first. Powell told Drew University in a speech two weeks ago that if Saddam even dreamed of crossing the Iraq border at any point, the coalition against him would snap back in a minute.

It is not worth your while to play a chessgame on a board where we have all the pieces and Saddam is left with only a pawn. As long as you walk around with such dizzy ideas in that magnificent head of yours, you will be of little use in a Dole administration, either as Secretary of State, or as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Outer Mongolian affairs. It had been my observation over the years that when a man like you, with a giant computer for a mind, inserts a wrong assumption, he will get to the wrong answers with lightning speed. Please re-examine your assumption that Saddam Hussein, the Iraqi head of state, invaded northern Iraq early last month as a clever ultimate feint toward southern Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and the rest of the hemisphere. I am not going to dispute your absolutely brilliant op-ed in Friday's WSJournal. If Saddam were indeed the menace to Eastern and Western Civilization that you have assumed, your analysis and recommendations would be worthy of all the international prizes. Sorry, Paul, Saddam is not a Monster, but a Mouse.

I absolutely guarantee that if you rethink your positions, in light of my assurance that the Cold War is over, you will zip, zip, zip to some extremely important insights about the way the world works. You are still young enough to make this mid-life correction and wind up someday as a Secretary of State we could all be proud of.