CNN Late Edition with Wolf Blitzer, former Reagan era Secretary of State Alexander Haig (and BRZEZINSKI):
AL HAIG, FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE: Well, first, I think that this is a conflict that's essentially political. It's not just purely military. It's political and religious and ideological. And it was driven by the so-called neocons that hijacked my party, the Republican Party, before this administration...
BLITZER: Name names, Mr. Secretary. Who are you talking about?
HAIG: Well, I'm talking about...
BLITZER: Because a lot of our viewers hear the word "neocon" and they don't know what you're talking about.
HAIG: Well, they're a group of people who are ex-Democrats. Many of them hovered around the Seattle Conservative Democrats some years ago, who...
BLITZER: Who specifically are you referring to?
HAIG: I'm talking about Wolfowitz. I'm talking about Richard Perle. I'm talking about some newly-made ones. I'm talking about the former editor of the Wall Street Journal.
These people are very, very deeply embedded in Yale and certain intellectual circles. And for years, they've been against NATO...
BLITZER: But did they hijack the strategy, the policy, from the president of the United States, the vice president of the United States?
BLITZER: The secretary of state, the secretary of defense?
HAIG: Well, no, not the secretary of state, but he sat there and had to be a passenger on a train that he wasn't driving?
BLITZER: Was Rumsfeld a neocon?
HAIG: I wouldn't say he was. I wouldn't say...
BLITZER: But was he in charge of the military strategy?
HAIG: No, no. The outcome of the strategy was to create democracy with a bayonet.
BLITZER: Is Cheney a neocon?
HAIG: I think so.
BLITZER: So he's part of that neocon conspiracy, or cabal, or whatever?
HAIG: Those around him were, if he wasn't.
BLITZER: And they could basically influence the president and dictate to the president what to do, in terms of going to war against Saddam Hussein?
HAIG: Well, I'm not here to talk about that. There were a lot of influences on the president, but he's the president, and he's responsible.
BLITZER: So what do you think of this argument?
Because you hear it all the time, Dr. Brzezinski, that there were these group of of neoconservatives in there, like Paul Wolfowitz, who has the deputy secretary of defense; Richard Perle, who wasn't even in the government but he was an outside adviser, who were effectively shaping U.S. strategy.
Do you buy that?
BRZEZINSKI: I buy a great deal of that. I think Al Haig is absolutely right. We had, at the top a president, who was essentially uninformed about foreign policy, and then top policy-makers like Rumsfeld and, of course, Cheney who are, kind of, traditional, quote, end quote, "realists," hard nosed types.
But the guys who provided the strategy and made the argument that we have to go into Iraq, that we have to link the war on terror with an attack on Iraq, were the guys that Al Haig is talking about.
They provided strategy. They provided the argument that we would be greeted as liberators, that this would be a cake walk. And they have devastated American national interests as a consequence. ...
"Perle and his clique have shaped, many now say ‘hijacked’, U.S foreign policy when they were in government but also when they were out of government. Under Clinton, many of these Necons were recruited by major U.S weapons corporations, which means they were never far from Pentagon policy makers. So these modern day ‘doctor Strangelove’ are amazingly powerful - to the point that this has become now a major concern even for traditional supporters of Israel in government agencies, like the Pentagon, the FBI or the CIA. The war in Iraq has been a catalyst for that, if not a wake up call. It's about time!"