Our tie to war in Iraq | VailDaily.com

Our tie to war in Iraq

Don Rogers

Seeds of the war in Iraq may have sprouted close to home a year ago, in Beaver Creek.

The conservative think tank American Enterprise Institute, warm roost of the neoconservative movement so favored by the president these days, puts on the annual World Forum along with the Vail Valley Foundation.

Such leaders as Dick Cheney and Alan Greenspan are regulars at these largely secretive gatherings. The events attract current and former leaders of countries around the world, as well as just about any leading conservative you care to name. Newt? Been there. The Iron Lady Margaret Thatcher? Been there.

Last year none other than Ahmad Chalabi attended. You might recognize him now as the favored next president of Iraq, well favored by the Pentagon and administration’s most-hawkish advisers.

Richard Perle, the veritable head of the neocons with Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz (another World Forum attendee), spoke to the hoi polloi during the one public event of the forum last week, outlining the dangers of the other two legs of the “axis of evil” and sharing his certainty that those weapons of mass destruction in time will be found in Iraq.

This week’s issue of Newsweek spends a couple of long paragraphs in its lead story on the neocon gathering at Beaver Creek, mentioning Chalabi and the keynote speaker, Israeli politician and hardline advocate of Arab democracy Natan Sharansky.

Kind of makes you wonder which dissident exiles from North Korea and/or Iran are shaping the influencers of the Bush administration this year within the confines of the resort. D.R.

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