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Neocon Middle East Policy:
The 'Clean Break' Plan Damage Assessment

A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm is a definitive Middle East strategy authored and implemented by operatives in the highest levels of the US government.

There is just one problem.  The plan was a strategy for Israel, not the United States of America.

Neocon Middle East Policy reviews strategies and consequences of the "Clean Break" plan authored by Richard Perle, David Wurmser, and Douglas Feith in 1996.  It analyzes the core assumptions of the policy, cost of tactics that have already been implemented and discusses the likelihood others will be executed in the future. 

Neocon Middle East Policy then turns to the most difficult questions of all, "Can a policy crafted for a foreign government and presented to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu serve as a blueprint for US regional policy?   At what cost in credibility, blood, treasure and American integrity?   At what cost to Israel?"  Neocon Middle East Policy is a must-read for anyone concerned about the convergence of US and Israeli foreign policy in the Middle East.

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  • Contributors:  Adam Shapiro, Dr. E. Faye Williams, Khaled Dawoud, Mohammed Kaddam.
  • Edited by Grant F. Smith,
  • Publication Date: April, 2005
  • ISBN # 0-9764437-3-2
  • Cover Price $9.95
  • Shipping Weight 9 Ounces Top 100 Review

A good start, June 18, 2005
Reviewer:    Lee Carlson (Saint Louis, Missouri USA) - See all my reviews
As the authors of this book remark in their foreword, this book studies the consequences of a particular document, called "A Clean Break, a New Strategy for Securing the Realm," which was composed in 1996 by the Institute for Strategic and Political Studies. This think tank was located in Jerusalem at the time, and the purpose of the document was to advise the government of Benjamin Netanyahu, who was at that time the newly-elected Prime Minister of Israel. The document is reprinted in an appendix to the book, but can also readily be found on the Internet.

Anyone whose is intellectually honest, both with herself and others, will no doubt find the thesis that one document can by itself have wide influence difficult to accept. Such skepticism would be justified, but it should also be remembered that the political concepts and philosophy expoused in "A Clean Break" is held by many individuals in both the United States and Israeli governments at the present time, and there is every indication that this influence will continue. There is little doubt now of the destructive and destabilizing effects of this philosophy, which has been called `neo-conservatism' both by the authors of this book and many others in the political science community. Indeed, the war in Iraq and the separating wall in Israel are ample evidence of the decadence of this philosophy. The authors show in fair detail some of its consequences, although at times some of their claims are left unjustified. They state explicitly though that they wish to avoid the "mono-causal" trap of holding to an "all-encompassing" historical explanation of the policies of the United States in the Middle East.

It is not necessary to hold to all of the assertions made by the authors in order to obtain useful information from this book, concise as it is. It is a good start for a more extensive and future study of the influence of neo-conservative thought on the United States government. The book is composed of several different articles written by various individuals of different backgrounds, levels of expertise and religious affiliations, and this serves to give a broader range of opinion than might be found with only a few authors. There a many places in the book where statistical facts are omitted, such as the claim that the Palestinian economy suffers from 70 percent unemployment, and the claim that 70 percent of the Israeli population are willing to give up occupation in order to have peace with the Palestinians. The inclusion of careful statistical evidence would certainly make the authors case more credible and would convince the more scientific and skeptical reader of the truth of their assertions.

If one peruses history, it is not surprising at all that a very small group of individuals, via their rhetoric and their hype, would put into play a series of events that stand with only a few others in their deceptive power and brutality. History is replete with examples of how these individuals, through both verbal and written communication, can influence a great majority of people to do things that they would not do under ordinary circumstances, and commit acts that are contrary to their chosen ethical standards. The vast majority of these examples share a common denominator, namely the exploitation of fear to bring to fruition a certain political, religious, or financial goal. The authors of "A Clean Break" are examples of how this is done. Fortunately their philosophies and their horrific consequences are now being discredited. This book is one of the few available that dares to expose the decadence of these philosophies. Hopefully there will be many more.
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What are Middle East Academics are saying about the book?

"I find that the book is incredibly dead on target and would be an eye-opener in a big way to the American public. The  chapters—3, 6-9—are very strong and well argued. I find it a bit exasperating that the simple truth both about the Israeli stronghold on the representation of the Palestine conflict in the American (and to a lesser extent European) media and about the true rationale behind the American invasion in Iraq is so off any radar, much less TV screen, in the US. There's a nightmarish quality to the whole complex." - P. Schelde
"This book is a must read for anyone interested in the Middle East and US-Mideast relations. It offers an impressive range of views from experts and activists which is an unusual combination. It is highly informative and makes the reader think about the Middle East but also about the way in which networks create foreign policy on a transnational basis.  It should be in every library and will be useful on reading lists for courses - I will offer for my library and it will appear as a reference on my Law and Policy in the Middle East graduate class." - J. Strawson
" will make a very useful addition to each library, and a must reading for truth-thirsty Americans." - A. Al-Taie
"I think this book is an excellent reference and can serve as an historical document. Additionally, by including the ‘Clean Break' document with it, it holds those politicians currently pushing a questionable agenda in the region accountable for their actions. It also holds accountable those involved in “non-partisan” think-tanks accountable for what they say and to whom they present their ‘research.' " - J. Nichols
"It serves best for my purposes as a primary source on the text of the 'Clean Break'." - J. Chaltraft

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