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Op-Ed by AHI President Published in The National Herald
January 5, 2005—No.1 (202) 785-8430

Op-Ed by AHI President Published in The National Herald

WASHINGTON, DC—The following Op-Ed article by AHI President Gene Rossides appeared in The National Herald on January 1, 2005, page 11.

The Next Four Years

By Gene Rossides

The next four years will be difficult regarding foreign policy issues of special concern to Greek Americans for several reasons

First, and foremost, is the fact that President George W. Bush has retained in his administration the key figures in foreign policy who have demonstrated a pro-Turkish and anti-Greek and Cyprus bias to the detriment of U.S. relations with Greece and Cyprus.

Who are the persons in the Bush administration responsible for the U.S. double standard on the rule of law to Turkey and the U.S. appeasement of Turkey at the expense of U.S. relations with Greece and Cyprus?

Leading the pack in the first Bush administration was Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz. President Bush’s decision to retain Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld means that Mr. Wolfowitz stays on as Deputy Secretary.

As is well known, Mr. Wolfowitz was the key architect of the war on Iraq, misleading the American people on the issue of whether the Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction (WMD), and thereby also weakening the U.S. worldwide effort on the war on international terrorism aimed at the U.S. He also led the effort to equate Palestinian violence in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict with international terrorism aimed at the U.S.

What is not well-known are the misleading statements and outright lies and falsehoods by Mr. Wolfowitz regarding Turkey. A joint letter from Armenian, Kurdish and Greek American organizations to President Bush dated September 4, 2002 detailed Mr. Wolfowitz’s "false and misleading statements with serious errors of fact and omission of Orwellian proportions" regarding Turkey and (1) Cyprus; (2) human rights; (3) reliability as an ally; (4) self-reliance; (5) Ataturk; (6) democracy; (7) the Persian Gulf War of 1991; (8) Turkey and the Jews; (9) NATO; and (10) its Kurdish minority.

The signatories to that letter were James F. Dimitriou, Supreme President of AHEPA; Ted Spyropoulos, President, Hellenic American National Committee; Aram Hamparian, Executive Director, Armenian National Committee; Kani Xulam, Director, American Kurdish Information Network; Theodora S. Hancock, Co-Founder, Hellenic American Women’s Council; and me for the American Hellenic Institute.

Mr. Douglas Feith, Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, also remains at his important position in the Defense Department. Mr. Feith, a former registered foreign agent for Turkey from 1989 to 1994, served as the principal for International Advisors, Inc. (IAI), the registered foreign agent for Turkey. Mr. Feith received $60,000 annually and his law firm received over $100,000 in fees. Mr. Feith has been described by General Tommy Franks as the "dumbest" man he ever dealt with.

Mr. Richard Perle, who resigned as Chairman of the Defense Policy Board for a conflict of interest with his company seeking war related investments, initiated IAI and negotiated an $800,000 contract for IAI with Turkey for 1989 and $600,000 for 1990 to 1994. Mr. Perle was a paid consultant for IAI for Turkey during this period.

When Richard Perle was the Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security from 1981-1987 during the Reagan Administration, he led the successful effort to give massive grant military aid to Turkey. Mr. Feith was on his staff at the time. Weapons supplied by the U.S. were used by the Turkish army against the Kurds from at least 1984 and are being used to the present time. Over 30,000 innocent Kurds were killed by the Turkish military. The use of U.S. supplied weapons against the Kurds, which was well-known, made the U.S. an accessory to the Turkish military’s crimes against the Kurds. Messrs. Wolfowitz, Perle and Feith bear responsibility for the policy of arms to Turkey. The killings of innocent Kurds lie at their doorstep.

In a comprehensive joint report "Arming Repression: U.S. Arms Sales to Turkey During the Clinton Administration" (October 1999), the World Policy Institute and the Federation of American Scientists documented the U.S. arms trade with Turkey and its harmful effects on U.S. interests.

Mr. Perle is still active on Turkey’s behalf as a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) and appears regularly on TV and radio interview programs to discuss U.S. foreign policy.

Messrs. Wolfowitz, Perle and Feith are commonly referred to as neo-conservatives who advocate an expansive use of force in U.S. foreign policy including preemptive war. I prefer a different and, I believe, a more accurate description. Neoconservative implies a new conservative. None of these three individuals are "conservatives" in the classic definition of a political conservative who believes in fiscal responsibility, limited government, individual liberties, preservation of what has been proven useful and the use of force as a last resort.

The definition I prefer as more accurate is "warmonger" which Webster’s dictionary defines as "one who favors or tries to incite war." All three are warmongers and in the case of Messrs. Perle and Feith they are also war profiteers.

Ms. Condoleezza Rice, Secretary of State Designate, has been in the center of all the foreign policy decisions of President Bush. During the first Bush administration she was the foreign policy person closest to the President. She will have a far greater influence on foreign policy than Secretary of State Colin L. Powell.

Ms. Rice, as National Security Advisor, was involved in the betrayal of Greece in the administration’s unilateral decision to recognize the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) as the Republic of Macedonia. The U.S. policy had been that we would use the name FYROM until Greece and FYROM by negotiations determined a solution to the name issue. The U.S. broke its pledge. It appears that a staff member of the NSC proposed the change in policy which Ms. Rice approved as did the State and Defense Departments.

Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, Marc Grossman, is and has been the main architect of U.S. policy on Greece, Cyprus and Turkey these past years. His policies towards Greece, Cyprus and Turkey demonstrate a sharp pro-Turkish and anti-Greece and Cyprus bias to the detriment of U.S. interests.

I have written extensively and in detail regarding Mr. Grossman’s harmful actions on (1) U.S. relations with Cyprus over the years and more recently regarding the undemocratic, unworkable and financially not viable Annan Plan and his attacks on the Greek Cypriots and President Tassos Papadopoulos for their opposition to the Annan Plan; (2) his failure to uphold the rule of law regarding the Aegean Sea boundary and (3) his failure to take meaningful action to reopen the Halki Patriarchal School of Theology illegally closed by Turkey in 1971.

Mr. Grossman is a career foreign service officer and there have been reports that he may retire in 2005. Let’s hope so.

In a future article I will discuss actions that the Greek American community can take in the interests of the U.S. to deal with this situation.

Gene Rossides
President, American Hellenic
Institute and former Assistant
Secretary of the Treasury


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