John O’Sullivan

Since 2005 John O’Sullivan has been the director of the Center for European Studies at the Hudson Institute the aim of which is to ‘strengthen the unity of the Atlantic alliance’. He was ‘editor-at-large’ of William F. Buckley, Jr’s National Review for ten years and the editor of the foreign policy quarterly, the National Interest, from 2003 to 2005. He was editor-in-chief of United Press International (UPI) the news agency, from 2000 to 2003. From 1998 to 2000 he was an editorial consultant to Conrad Black’s Hollinger International Inc. and also with the Canadian National Post. His previous posts have included special adviser and speech writer to Margaret Thatcher when she was Prime Minister, and back in those heady days he was associate editor of the Times, assistant editor of the Daily Telegraph, and editor of Policy Review, the Heritage Foundation‘s journal (now run by the Hoover Institute). He was also a member of the Institute for European Defence and Strategic Studies, and below, the extension of the Institute’s work will be explored followed by some analysis of O’Sullivan’s neo-conservative associations.

The Old Atlantic Routine

O’Sullivan is the founder and co-chairman of the New Atlantic Initiative, dedicated to reinvigorating and expanding Atlanticist networks. The NAI was formally launched at the Congress of Prague in May 1996 by President Vaclav Havel and Lady Thatcher. According to the media Transparancy Site the Institute for European Defence and Strategic Studies (IEDSS) received a £25,000 grant from the John M. Olin Foundation, to set up the NAI in 1995, so in this sense the NAI can be seen as a continuation of the right-wing Atlanticist project of the IEDSS: both have close connections in terms of members, and work under the auspices of the Heritage Foundation and American Enterprise Institute. So what did they do?

According to Media Transparency, after this initial channeling of funding via IEDSS, the NAI recieved money via the American Enterprise Institute for ‘Public Policy Research’. Apart from O’Sullivan, the NAI includes the IEDSS’ Robert Conquest and Antonio Martino — other members of the International Advisory Board, according to the AEI site include John Bolton, Zbigniew Brzezinski, Mikhael Khodorkovsky, William Kristol, Rupert Murdoch, Colin Powell, Lord Robertson, Donald Rumsfeld, Roger Scruton and Lord Weidenfeld. Patrons include Henry Kissinger, Helmut Schmidt, George Schultz and Margaret Thatcher.

As regards UK links, the NAI site with the AEI links to The Atlantic Council of the United Kingdom, the Centre for European Reform, the Institute of Economic Affairs and The New World Order Forum “an independent UK-based think-tank that was set up in March 2002.”

The New World Order Forum (NWOF) is run by ex-TUC official Peter Ashby, Fellow of St. George’s House, inside Windsor Castle and the NWOF collaborated with the NAI in 2003 according to its site. The web archive of the NWOF site states that their 2003 Forum included O’ Sullivan and John Bolton, Ged Davis (Shell), David Frum, Dr. Nile Gardiner (Heritage Foundation), Charles Grant (CER), Peter Mandelson (then promoting his think tank Policy Network), Charles Moore, Dame Pauline Neville-Jones, John Sawers (recently appointed as the Prime Minister’s envoy to Iraq and due to take over at the end of June as Political Director in the Foreign Office), Richard Perle, Simon Webb (Policy Director at the UK Ministry of Defence) and several others including Phyllis Kaminsky (international marketing and strategic planning consultant to major U.S. companies in the aerospace and defence sectors). Before we go on to examine this in a little more detail it should be noted that the CER, mentioned above, were also playing host to similar groups (John Bolton, William Kristol) and at the same time launched (at the AEI and several European embassies) “Transatlantic rift — how to bring the two sides together,” written by Charles Grant who attended the NWOF meeting.

One aim of the group (as a result of the French veto) was to put forward that idea of “An alternative to the UN Security Council?”

The June 2003 Forum meeting, which we will examine below, was held a few days after the invasion of Iraq. Previously a June 2002 forum, organised with NAI, explored “hot pre-emption”, and included Sheikh Mohammed Mohammed Ali a co-founder of the Iraqi National Congress (and a member of its leadership) who presented a paper along with Keith Best (“when is intervention justifiable?”) and the former MI6 agent Sir Peter Smithers (responsible for the ‘Club of Rome’s’ report ‘The Limits to Growth’).

When Sheikh Mohammed Mohammed Ali (a Shiite Muslim cleric who left Iraq in 1980, and who openly called for American intervention) came to London, he did so as part of a large group the Iraqi Military Alliance, a grouping of ‘military exiles.’ A BBC report by Paul Reynolds of 12 July, 2002, Ex-officers call for Saddam’s removal, noted that the group consisted of some 200 and that Ali:

…predicted that if there was a military operation against Saddam Hussein the regime would not last “more than a week or two” […] An alliance between military and civilian groups was evident in the obviously close relationship between Ahmed Chalabi, a former banker who heads the INC, and General Tawfiq Al-Yassiri, who chatted smilingly. Mr Al-Yassiri helped lead the Shiite rebellion in 1991 and later escaped..

The report also notes that:

One sceptical observer was Neil Partrick from the Economist Intelligence Unit. He said that he had spotted diplomats from the United States and Britain there briefly and described the meeting as “publicity for the US and UK” as they begin to gather support for military action.

It is possible that the appearance at the New World Order Forum was part of this ‘publicity’ drive by members of the US and UK as part of the lead up to the war, with the later meeting with the NAI and the neo-conservatives reinforcing a consensus along lines approved by the organisers.

Of the meeting O’Sullivan is quoted as saying:

“I was fascinated by the way in which the original anarchy of conflicting views gradually coalesced along a relatively narrow spectrum of practical solutions.”

A previous Consultation at St. George’s House, Windsor Castle, March 4-5 2002 (which is said by the organisation to have given rise to the setting up of the Forum), before the invasion of Iraq, brought together:

*General Sir Hugh Beach: formerly Director, Council for Arms Control/ Deputy Commander-in-
Chief, UK Land Forces and Warden of St. George’s House.
*Keith Best: World Federalist Movement (Chair, Executive Committee) & UK Immigration Advisory Service (Chief Executive)
Nick Butler: BP (Group Vice-President, Policy Development)
*Amos Davidowitz: Institute of World Affairs (Executive Director, Mediterranean and Middle East Office)
*Troy Davis: World Citizen Foundation (New York Head Office) (President) and World Democracy Campaign (Secretary)
*Jonathan Day: NATO (Director of the Private Office of the Secretary-General)
*David Devlin-Foltz Aspen Institute (Colorado) (Head, Global Interdependence
*Revd. Mark Edington Centre for the Study of World Religions, Harvard Divinity School, Massachusetts and Chaplain to Harvard College
*Sir Timothy Garden: Centre for Defence Studies, King’s College, London (Visiting Professor)/ former Director, Royal Institute of International Affairs
*Karl von Habsburg: Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organisation (based in the Hague) (Director-General)
*Malcolm Harper: United Nations Association (UK) (Director)
*Heiner Klebes: Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (Honorary Secretary General) and Centre for Democracy in Washington (Senior Counsellor on Rule of Law issues)
*Bronwen Manby: Human Rights Watch (Deputy Director, Africa Division)
*Jan Oberg: Transnational Foundation for Peace and Future Research (based in Sweden) (Director)
*Dr. Syed Aziz Pasha: Union of Muslim Organisations (General Secretary)
*Stephen Pattison: Foreign and Commonwealth Office London (Head, UN Department)
*The Revd. Donald Reeves: Soul of Europe Project (Director)
*Afif Safieh: Palestinian General Delegate to the UK
*James Sherr: Conflict Studies Research Centre, Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst (Fellow) and Lincoln College Oxford (Lecturer in International Relations) & Consultant to NATO on Ukraine
*Dr. Wayne Smith: Centre for International Policy (Washington, DC) (Senior Fellow)
*David Waller: Agency for Co-operation and Research in Development (ACORD), supporting development in Africa (Executive Director)
*Patsy Knight: Associate Fellow of St. George’s House
*Peter Ashby: Fellow of St. George’s House & Consultation facilitator

Essentially this was to explore the concept of what form a ‘new world order’ should take.

A questionnaire put out in advance of the June Forum was given out with papers by General Sir Hugh Beach and Colonel Patrick Lang.

The Windsor Leadership Trust itself, which runs St. George’s House has a board of trustees which include Sir David Omand (UK Security and Intelligence Coordinator, Director GCHQ 1996-1997), General Sir Richard Dannatt (Chief of The General Staff), Sir Claude Hankes KCVO, Advisor to Iraq, Field Marshal the Lord Inge (former Chief of Defence Staff), James Smith is Chairman of Shell UK, Rt Hon Lord Smith of Finsbury (a member of the The British American Project for the Successor Generation).

The methodology of the meetings are described in some detail and are about Building ideas through “buzz groups.” The group splits up and go into little huddles. On analysis the underlying agenda seems biased:

Stage one asks: “is it possible to achieve the changes that you want, within the framework of the UN Charter?” and this focuses on one main question:

…do you personally believe that it is possible to “re-invent” the UN Security Council, within the framework of the UN Charter, to enable it to offer the sort of global leadership that is now required to protect global peace and security?

Stage two gets specific:

Drawing on the outcomes of the opening session, we want to concentrate on the most difficult issues that need to be engaged with to enable the UN to “get its legs of responsibility back” – to use President Bush’s words in the Azores on March 16.

This also extended to ask: “Should Permanent Members of the Security Council have the right to veto majority decisions? ” Other questions suggest that states “such as Syria” should be excluded. and ask “Is it enough to expect “coalitions of the willing” to implement Security Council resolutions?” Then:

As ideas are developed, we will break into small buzz groups for 10 to 15 minutes to help individuals sharpen up their thinking, and when we return from groups “ideas people” will share their personal proposal with the whole of the group.

From there informal discussions over dinner are encouraged.


Peter Ashby the Director of the New World Order Forum wrote a letter to the Guardian, which was published on March 26, 2003. This was on the subject of the French veto on Iraq which was aso he subject of the Forum’s deliberations:

I fear that the announcement by President Jacques Chirac that France will veto a second resolution on Iraq “whatever the circumstances” means that the process of reinventing the UN is going to have to be much more fundamental than many have yet realised. Serious reform of the UN will be a long and painful process, and we will need to set down some transparent and fundamental obligations on all member states. Otherwise cooperative internationalism will come to rely more on informal, shifting alliances, with all of the dangers that they pose for our world order.

The statement on the NWOF website explained the reasons behind the 2003 meetings:

Following last month’s breakdown in diplomacy at the UN, we have agreed with the New Atlantic Initiative, based at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, that we will convene a joint Windsor Forum with them in June, on the theme of “The UN and global security: do we need to ‘re-invent’ the UN, and if so, how?”

The papers surrounding the meeting were based on an AEI meeting with Radek Sikorski, Michael Glennon, Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, moderated by Jeane J. Kirkpatrick.

A Mirror article of October 17, 2008 discussed Peter Mandelson and mentioned that back in the 1990s. he spent weekends at a holiday cottage ‘Number One Brick End’, with a companion (meaning partner) called Peter Ashby. Other reports such as Daily Mail April 24, 1999 by Geoffrey Levy, confirm that it is the same Ashby that works at St. George’s House and states that Ashby and Mandelson split in 1989 but remained in contact, with Mandelson the godfather of Ashby’s son:

Like Mandelson, who is two years younger, Ashby has moved considerably to the Right since his student days, and some are convinced that he has influenced Mandelson in his political thinking, rather than the other way round, and indeed that he still does. As long ago as 1992 he was publicly advocating ‘a new deal for long-term unemployed people based on the principle of reciprocal obligations’. He urged that ‘in return for enhanced benefit, everyone unemployed for 18 months should be required to undertake temporary work’. There were remarkable echoes of this in Labour’s ‘Welfare to Work’ proposals in its election manifesto, which Mandelson helped write.

The two are also mentioned in the Mandelson biography by Donald Macintyre.

New World Order Forum states that it “specialised in running high-level ideas-building sessions for carefully selected groups of international opinion-leaders on key aspects of global policy.” How the participants are selected is not explained. This changed into the ‘2waytrust’ which offers this self-definition:

All key decision-making bodies, from the UN downwards, should have some sort of informal forum where individuals are able to explore ideas that are accepted as being ahead of the consensus, without participants having to “represent” their governments, or anyone else, and with clear groundrules that permit them to challenge existing assumptions, and change their minds, without losing face.

Ashby’s new organisation quotes his new outlook on life, which may well draw on his first hand experience of watching the neo-cons, war mongers and Peter Mandelson in action:

after 20 years of facilitating events on a wide range of public policies, Pete came to the view that screwed up relationships do more damage to our world than screwed up policies.

“….nobody asked me to do anything”

O’Sullivan has published articles in Insight (where he is Editorial Advisory Board along with other Hudson institute members), Encounter and Quadrant, both of which were funded by the Congress for Cultural Freedom and Commentary, Prospect (something of a contemporary Encounter), the New York Times, the Washington Post, Policy Review, the American Spectator, the Spectator.

He is represented by Benador Associates and his site there contains many links to his writing mostly from the National Review. These include:

* RUMSFELD, THE PEOPLE’S CHOICE The American people view Abu Ghraib in context: wherein the silent majority once more channel their utterances through O’Sullivan’s mortal frame (although he does seem to believe his readers are none too intelligent adding: “Note to letter writers: Moralistic does not mean the same thing as moral”.

* NOT SO SPECIAL? AMERICA & BRITAIN POST-BLAIR : which asks “will the departure of Tony Blair from No. 10 Downing Street in six weeks mean the end of the Anglo-American “special relationship?” and is remarkably charitable to Gordon Brown.

Obviously Benador’s contributors just cannot get enough of a good thing and a great deal of their output has the repetition of a mantra, but some of O’Sullivan’s entries are identical, such as WHAT IS BLAIR’S EXIT STRATEGY? (February 11, 2007) and FOR BLAIR, AN EXIT STRATEGY (February 9, 2007).

Benador is named after the neo-con world’s Eleana Benador, who, according to the Financial Times:

…began by offering to arrange speaking engagements for a small group of influential foreign policy academics and former government officials, including James Woolsey, the former director of the CIA, and Richard Perle, a member of the Defence Policy Board that directly advises Donald Rumsfeld, the secretary of defence.

She was previously an ‘adviser’ to the Middle East Forum and after 9/11 formed Benador to promote a client list (some of whom tender no fee) that represents the small group of right-wing propagandists who have come to the aid of the world to steer the rudderless ship of the United States towards its manifest destiny. These include associates of the Iraqi National Congress led by Ahmad Chalabi (who features in her picture gallery). Along with the intellectual might of the Committee for the Liberation of Iraq, the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, Project for a New American Century, the American Enterprise Institute, Hudson Institute, Hoover Institute and so forth, she promoted the talents of operators such as Michael ‘yellowcake’ Ledeen, so that he old ‘Team B’ Iran/Contra posse could saddle up to promote the war in Iraq and now Iran. The British end of this includes not just O’Sullivan but lovable Norman Lamont and interestingly his profile admits the existence of the Pinay Circle, adding that Lamont:

…has since 1996 been Chairman of Le Cercle, a foreign policy Club founded by German Chancellor Adenauer after the War with members from over twenty-five countries. This group, which meets bi-annually in Washington DC, includes many senior intelligence experts and has a particular interest in the War against Terrorism.

Benador argues that critics are entirely mistaken when they point out the presence of just dark blue in Benador’s spectrum of opinion. This is mere happenstance, as is their penchant for the war: we should simply ignore the K2-sized mountain of empirical evidence, and furthermore no money has changed hands:

“First of all, for the record, nobody asked me to do anything,” she said. “This was totally a private initiative. There was nothing paid by the government. Absolutely nothing, nothing, nothing. So it coincided that this group of people accepted to be represented by me. And the others asked me to do so. It coincided also that our views were the same.”

That’s about as straight and orientable as a Möbius strip. Benador carries on with this Rumsfeldesque manner adding this of her clients:

“All of them in my group, they wanted peace,” she said. “Nobody was asking to go to war per se. That was not the goal. The goal was to disarm Saddam Hussein, to go for total regime change.”

Yes none of our Arm Chair Spartans were personally going to fight, but disarm him of exactly what—wouldn’t behead have been a more accurate term? Not that she seems to need her clients the ‘facts’ speak for themselves (for a while):

“You see, what I believe is, I am the intermediary,” she continued. “And because I understand them so well, sometimes I’m even the one who suggests they write a couple of articles on this or that subject. I am more able to present the case. In some instances, some bookers have said, ‘I can’t take that piece.’ And I say, ‘Oh, how can you do that? Because look at the facts, look at the format of the piece.’ And I would say something like, ‘If I was you, I’d take the piece.'”

Here we are also told that it was former C.I.A. director James Woolsey and Daily News columnist A.M. Rosenthal “who helped her start her client list—first by becoming clients, then by introducing her to others”, and the coincidences just keep on coming as Woolsey and Rosenthal got a bit carried away:

Another client, Amir Taheri, an Iranian intellectual living in London, was surprised to find that his name appeared on a list of clients on Ms. Benador’s Web site.

Taheri will be remembered as the creator of the story about “separate dress codes for religious minorities, Christians, Jews and Zoroastrians” in Iran and many other contributions to the Benador tradition of concocting conspiracy theories. Taheri’s artistry has found a warm welcome in the Telegraph, and Prospect and an embarrassing one in Counterpunch and even Norman Podhoretz in his “The Case for Bombing Iran” Commentary article are confused.

The article finishes on another Benador coincidence avalanche:

She described meeting with a new organization that plans to explore which rogue regime will be next in line for U.S. intervention following Iraq. “They said their agenda is to see who is next after Iraq,” she said. “And I said, ‘I don’t think that’s the right position, because “Who is next?” is like you’re asking for more war.’ And I said, ‘So you can ask, “What is next? What is going to happen next?”‘ So I made them change that slightly. “See, it’s a little word,” she said, “but it makes a difference. If not, people get scared. And that’s not the point. I’m just there looking after small details. Trying to avoid trouble for people and trying to make communication a little bit easier.”

The Benador site also states that O’Sullivan stood for Parliament as a Conservative in the 1970 General Election for Gateshead West, and is on the Executive Advisory Board of the Margaret Thatcher Foundation which included the historian Norman Stone, former Conservative party treasurer Lord McAlpine and Lord Gowrie — the Margaret Thatcher Center was moved to the Heritage Foundation in 2005.

O’Sullivan is also on the Advisory Council of the Social Affairs Unit in London, along with the National Endowment for Democracy’s Michael Novak who is also a member of the Coalition for a Democratic Majority, that included Eugene V. Rostow and Roy Godson who served as a consultant to the United States Information Agency (USIA) and also with the National Strategy Information Center. The Social Affairs Unit also includes Antonio Martino who was, with O’Sullivan in the Institute for European Defence and Strategic Studies (which we will look at below and in a separate post in detail) and has a suspicious connection to Ledeen according to La Repubblica..

A Vanity Fair commentary on this adds:

According to La Repubblica, Nicolò Pollari had become frustrated by the C.I.A.’s refusal to let SISMI deliver a smoking gun that would justify an invasion of Iraq. At an unspecified date, he discussed the issue with Ledeen’s longtime friend Minister of Defense Antonio Martino. Martino, the paper reported, told Pollari to expect a visit from “an old friend of Italy,” namely Ledeen. Soon afterward, according to La Repubblica, Pollari allegedly took up the Niger matter with Ledeen when he was in Rome. Ledeen denies having had any such conversations. Pollari declined to be interviewed by Vanity Fair, and has denied playing any role in the Niger affair. Martino has declined to comment.

I have dealt with this in more detail in the post on Antonio Martino. O’Sullivan’s work at the Center for European Studies, which seems a one-man operation states on its website that it gathers together Antonio Martino, and Radek Sikorski, Irwin Stelzer, to organise:

Seminars on the founding fathers of Atlanticism from Adenauer to Raymond Aron, given by those distinguished public intellectuals—Kenneth Minogue, Joe Joffe, Lord (Brian) Griffiths, Wilfred McClay, Robert Conquest—who could also contribute personal knowledge of the giants they were discussing.

The Hudson Institute was founded by Herman Kahn (1922 – 1983), the father of crackpot realism or towering genius depending on your point of view. The profile on Hahn at Hudson states:

On Thermonuclear War was the first book to systematically analyze the possible effects of nuclear war and the possible strategic options under various circumstances. The book was followed by a sequence of similar studies having a profound impact on the US nuclear and military strategy and on strategic thinking in general (Thinking about the Unthinkable, Crises and Arms Control, On Escalation).

This also claims that Kahn:

became one of the founding fathers of the Futures Studies (futurology) movement contributing to the highest degree to its methodological and theoretical foundations: he developed the scenario method, the application of systems analysis and of mathematical and scientific tools to forecasting, and the organizational bases of interdisciplinary and future-oriented research.

Kahn’s writing is featured on a specific site, including extracts from Thinking about the Unthinkable, which seem remarkably contradictory. On the one hand they argue that a moral prudishness inhibits discussion on the details of blowing up the world with nuclear weapons, then it argues that:

There are in any case at least two significant obstacles to full public debate of national security matters. The first, of course, is the constantly increasing problem of communication between the technologist and the layman, because of the specialization (one might almost say fragmentation) of knowledge. The other lies in the serious and paramount need to maintain security […] I would say that many of the agonizing problems facing us today can be debated and understood just about as easily without classified material as with—provided one carefully considers the facts that are available.

That may well be true, but how would one evaluate its claim? Also, the ‘classified material’ might reveal, as is the case with the Institute for European Defence and Strategic Studies, that those who are on one side of the argument are regarded as enemies of the state and their ideas subverted or suppressed, while those on the other side of the debate are providing and controlling ‘the facts that are available’ together with propaganda supporting particular predetermined outcomes. A paranoid insecurity is present throughout Kahn’s the opposition are crudely characterised as straw men merely advancing ad hominem arguments. The secret security state is somehow open to democratic processes. Aspects of this, and an indication of the context in which Kahn’s debate was located are outlined in The Fifties, by Douglas Miller and Marion Nowack, quoted from Howard Zinn’s (1980) A People’s History of the United States:

Though Truman would later complain of the “great wave of hysteria” sweeping the nation, his commitment to victory over communism, to completely safeguarding the United States from external and internal threats, was in large measure responsible for creating that very hysteria. Between the launching of his security program in March 1947 and December 1952, some 6.6 million persons were investigated. Not a single case of espionage was uncovered, though about 500 persons were dismissed in dubious cases of “questionable loyalty.” All of this was conducted with secret evidence, secret and often paid informers, and neither judge nor jury. Despite the failure to find subversion, the broad scope of the official Red hunt gave popular credence to the notion that the government was riddled with spies. A conservative and fearful reaction coursed the country. Americans became convinced of the need for absolute security and the preservation of the established order.

The institute is open to criticism as a self-proclaimed “non-partisan policy research organization,” a rightweb profile notes:

Hudson adjunct fellow Norman Podhoretz, an early neoconservative trailblazer and former editor of Commentary magazine, was one of the loudest U.S. voices calling for attacking Iran.

This also argues that Hudson’s list of current and former scholars and associates reveals a clear partisan tendency.

I will leave further consideration of Kahn to the crackpot realism section, which explores C. Wright Mills’ observations.

…Uncle Tom Cobley

Now that NATO is expanding into the former Soviet territory, O’Sullivan is also on the Honorary Board of the Civic Institute in Prague. He was also a senior Fellow in International Relations at the Nixon Center for Peace and Freedom, according to biographical details on a long article solving the problems of the Iraq war taken from the ‘Conservative Institute of M. R. Štefánik’, discussed below, subsidised by the Soros foundation. It is interesting to imagine a world where the free-marketeers cannot rely on all the welfare state of such subvention. There is a video of O’Sullivan speaking on his latest book at the Bratislava-based free-market Institute, which is funded by the Trust for Civil Society in Central & Eastern Europe which are openly funded by the American Embassy and by others including its founders: the Atlantic Philanthropies, the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the German Marshall Fund of the United States, the Open Society Institute and the Rockefeller Brothers Fund. Its trustees are mostly representatives from these foundations (including George Soros’) and feature Ivan Krastev of the US-funded and controlled International Commission on the Balkans. Other money has come in through USAID. This is part of a growing move towards ‘democracy promotion’ and some of the figures and main bodies (mentioned above) can be seen in Andrew Green’s Democracy and Donor Funding: Patterns and Trends.

Olin the game

O’Sullivan can also be seen (or more advisably just read) with Christopher Hitchens debating The Case of Henry Kissinger, in 2001, on the Hoover Insitutions site. O’Sullivan is also published by Encounter Books whose speciality is neo-liberal and free-market conservative rants. O’Sullivan’s contribution here also extends to friendly reviews such as his puff for Camelot and the Cultural Revolution: How the Assassination of John F. Kennedy Shattered American Liberalism or on the Encounter books site itself, where he joins with Norman Podhoretz and his colleague from Insight, R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr., to attest to Herbert London’s (the president of the Hudson Institute, also with Benador and also his colleague at Insight) ideas surrounding the superstition that God is not a Moslem. London was the John M. Olin University Professor of Humanities at New York University, and Encounter Books are not shy in their praise of Olin’s many fine works:

In the 1970s, John M. Olin, one of the country’s leading industrialists, decided to devote his fortune to saving American free enterprise. Over the next three decades, the John M. Olin Foundation funded the conservative movement as it emerged from the intellectual ghetto and occupied the halls of power. The foundation spent hundreds of millions of dollars fostering what its longtime president William E. Simon called the “counterintelligentsia” to offset liberal dominance of university faculties and the mainstream media and to make conservatism a significant cultural force. Among the counterintellectuals the foundation identified and supported at key stages of their careers were Charles Murray during his early work on welfare reform, Allan Bloom as he wrote The Closing of the American Mind, and Francis Fukuyama as he was developing his “End of History” thesis.”

With access to the John M. Olin Foundation’s extensive archives, Encounter’s John J. Miller has, in A Gift of Freedom written the story of “an intriguing man and his unique philanthropic vision” and the Encounter profile states that:

He gives fascinating insights into the foundation’s role in helping the CIA fund anti-Communist organizations during the Cold War and its extensive help to Irving Kristol and others as they moved from left to right to found the neoconservative movement. He tells of the foundation’s early and critical role in building institutions such as the Federalist Society and the Heritage Foundation, which served to transform conservative ideas into national policies.

And this mission goes on with the Olin Foundation’s funding of Encounter Books, and indeed with Roger Kimball co-publisher of The New Criterion magazine (wherein O’Sullivan’s work can be found) and the publisher of Encounter Books. Kimball was recently involved in (and O’Sullivan wrote on) ”Libel Tourism, “Hate Speech,” and Political Freedom” a conference held by The New Criterion and the Foundation for Defense of Democracies whose participants included Kimball, Stanley Kurtz, Rachel Ehrenfeld, Brooke Goldstein, Ezra Levant, Clifford D. May, Robert Spencer, Steven Emerson, Frank J. Gaffney, Jr., Claudia Rosett, Ibn Warraq— extracts from which can be heard on the New Criterion’s site, with other details on The Defense of Democracy’s site.

O’Sullivan has also written on The Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) in his 2006 The President, the Pope, and the Prime Minister, which casts all dissent towards ‘Star wars’ as Soviet propaganda, much in the manner of the Heritage-funded Institute for European Defence and Strategic Studies of which he was a part, joining the Advisory Council in 1990; previously he had been the editor of the Heritage Foundation’s journal, Policy Review (from 1979 to 1983). O’Sullivan, like many of the IEDSS’ board, was also recently (2008) made Executive Editor of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty based in their Prague office. Here he got together with National Endowment for Democracy President, Carl Gershman to lead an RFE/RL briefing about U.S. efforts to promote democracy around the world, especially in the Middle East.

Imprimus carries O’Sullivan’s speech delivered to at Hillsdale College on May 9, 2008, at the dedication of the first statue of Margaret Thatcher to be erected in the United States. Here he states that:

It is some 32 years since I first visited the College for a meeting of the Mont Pelerin Society.[…] I was already “a Thatcherite of the first hour,” to use Gaullist terminology. Indeed, along with Ralph Harris, Arthur Seldon, Keith Joseph, and such distinguished alumni of that Hillsdale meeting as Madsen Pirie and Stuart Butler, who went on to found the Adam Smith Institute in London in the late 1970s—well, we all have a good claim to have been Thatcherites even before Lady Thatcher. Most of the intellectual groundwork for what became Thatcherism was done in places like the Institute of Economic Affairs, the Adam Smith Institute, the Center for Policy Studies, the Mont Pelerin Society—and Hillsdale College.

The speech goes on to outline Thatcher’s installation of US missiles in the 1980s. O’Sullivan is also the Washington D.C. Representative of the Bruges group, set up in 1989 and whose inspiration was Thatcher’s Bruges speech in September 1988, and O’Sullivan can be seen discussing ‘America and Democracy’ at their site. His fellow IEDSS director Gerald Frost is also one of their supporters and Dr John Hulsman of the Heritage Foundation, has addressed the group.

A good example of O’Sullivan’s commitment to the Atlanticist cause can be seen in Relaunching the Transatlantic Partnership: Common Goals and Shared Values, held at the Aldrovandi Palace Hotel, Rome on October 2-4, 2003. This was intended as an international conference and organised by
the Aspen Institute Italia and O’Sullivan’s New Atlantic Initiative, under the auspices of The Presidency of the Council of Ministers of Italy and co-sponsored by The Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, NATO Public Diplomacy Division and The American Embassy in Rome. The speakers were: Charles Murray, American Enterprise Institute; Beppe Severgnini, Columnist, “Corriere della Sera”, Milan; Carlo Scognamiglio, Chairman, Aspen Institute Italia; Professor Guido Carli, LUISS , Rome; Christopher DeMuth, President, American Enterprise Institute, Washington DC; Jim Nicholson, US Ambassador to the Holy See, Michael Novak, , American Enterprise Institute; Josef Joffe, Editor, “Die Zeit“; Richard N. Perle, American Enterprise Institute; Enrico Letta, Member of the Italian Parliament; John Bruton]], Vice-President, European People’s Party; Javier Solana Madariaga, High Representative for CFSP, European Union – Council of Ministers, Brussels; Danielle Pletka, Vice President, Foreign and Defense Policy Studies, American Enterprise Institute, Emma Bonino, Member of the European Parliament, Brussels; Michael Ledeen, Resident Scholar in the Freedom Chair, American Enterprise Institute; Melvin F. Sembler, US Ambassador to Italy; Gianfranco Fini, Deputy Prime Minister of Italy; Ana Palacio Vallelersundi, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Madrid; John O’Sullivan, Editor, “The National Interest”; Carl Bildt, Former UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy for the Balkans, United Nations, Geneva; Karsten D. Voigt, Coordinator for German American Relations, Foreign Office of the Federal Republic of Germany, Berlin; John R. Bolton, Under Secretary for Arms Control and International Security, US Department of State; Franco Frattini, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Rome; Lucio Stanca, Minister for Innovation and Technology; Vice Chairman, Aspen Institute Italia, Rome; Ralf Dahrendorf, Member of the House of Lords; Kevin A. Hassett, Resident Scholar, Director of Economic Policy Studies, American Enterprise Institute; Daniel Gros, Director, Centre for European Policy Studies; Bruce Kovner, Chairman, Caxton Associates, New York; Lorenzo Bini Smaghi, Director for International Financial Relations, Ministry of Economy and Finance, Rome; Alessandro Minuto Rizzo, Deputy Secretary General, NATO, Brussels; Gary Schmitt, Executive Director, Project for the New American Century; James F. Dobbins, Director, Center for International Security and Defense Policy, RAND; Roberto Testore, Managing Director and Director General, Finmeccanica, Rome; Simon Webb, Policy Director, Ministry of Defence, London; Radek Sikorski, Executive Director, The New Atlantic Initiative; Resident Fellow, American Enterprise Institute.

The Darkside of the Moon

O’Sullivan’s wife runs a security firm, O’Sullivan Security Services, Inc., and the company say she “started OSS in response to concerns over the increasing number of foreign entities who were purchasing U.S. based security. companies.” But some foreign entities are entirely trustworthy. O’Sullivan also takes part in New York based World Media Association organised conferences which gather together similar groups of right-wing thinkers such as Arnaud de Borchgrave, Ray Cline, Michael Ledeen, Robert Conquest, Paul Johnson, P.J. O’Rourke, Arthur Schlesinger Jr., Oliver North, Dan Quayle, Elliott Abrams, Alexander Haig, Daniel Pipes, Lawrence Eagleburger, Richard Lugar. After a list like that it should come as no surprise that the World Media Association describe ‘Our Mission’ is:

1. To provide a forum for self-examination.
2. To commit to promote press freedom in places wherever it does not exist and to encourage the responsible use of that freedom where it does exist.
3. To promote the spirit of truth so that all media professionals can become uncompromising champions of truth.
4. To achieve the highest standard of journalistic ethics and responsibility.

World Media Association (WMA) was established in 1978 by Rev. Sun Myung Moon, together with his wife, Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon. WMA flunkies include: Cynthia Grenier Editor, UPI Religion & Spirituality Forum (who writes on Che Guevara as a racist); Larry Moffitt, vice president of United Press International (UPI); William Reed President, Educational Foundation of the Americas and Amb. Phillip Sanchez. O’Sullivan’s thesis in his book The President, the Pope, and the Prime Minister, was that “that Reagan, Thatcher and the Pope between them brought about the fall of communism and the end of the Cold War.” Why bother with those light weights when you have a friendly neighbourhood Messiah at hand or as Amb. Phillip Sanchez, on the WMA site happily quotes from one of Moon’s advertisements:

We resolve and proclaim that Reverend Sun Myung Moon is the Savior, Messiah, Second Coming, and True Parent of all humanity. We resolve and proclaim that the Unification Principle is a message of peace for the salvation of humanity and the gospel for the Completed Testament Age.

That actually gets more crazier, because you see Martin Luther, John Wesley, John Harvard (founder of Harvard University), Confucius, Buddha, Buddha’s cousin Karl Marx and a few others all offer testimony to Moon’s Divinity, as Marx is said to have said:

“I, Marx, have met God. I have found that he is the Parent of humankind. I have felt the greatness of God’s love. I clearly convey to you who God is. He is the Parent of humankind. Reverend Sun Myung Moon, who is on the earth, brought this fact to light. The Divine Principle and Unification Thought express the original standards that open the way to salvation, so you must read them. I ask this of you seriously.”

Like all the WMA functionaries Sanchez has financial ties to the Moon empire as the former publisher of the New York City Tribune (an English daily newspaper) and Tiempos del Mundo (a Spanish-language weekly printed in many countries) and served as vice president of The Washington Times, where Arnaud de Borchgrave was the former Editor-in-Chief, and spoke with O’Sullivan back in the WMA gig in Seoul 2002.

O’Sullivan took the opportunity (in the capacity of Executive Editor, UPI – Moon has connections to Insight magazine) to warn listeners of the “Chomsky effect,” which he describes as “knowing everything about a topic except the essential facts”:

“But I have to say that the Chomsky effect is not unknown in the Western media, especially in outlets like the Nation, in small academic magazines, and in the paranoid extremes of political journalism, where people do not so much believe what they read as read what they already believe. This, of course, protects them from discovering unwelcome truths.”

Is Chomsky with Benador?

One such publication would be The Terrorism Industry, by Edward S. Herman and Gerry O’ Sullivan which notes on page 187 that “there are significant connections between the mainstream terror experts and the Moon-supported institutes and those affiliated with the Israeli lobby,” typified by Walter Laqueur, Michael Ledeen, Edward Luttwak and many of the gang mentioned above. This also outlines much about the Moon empire including the International Security Council, the main Moon terrorism propaganda organisation (also devoted to the Strategic Defense Initiative). Or the writing of Robert Parry, such as his outline of the $3 billion spent by Moon on the Washington Times which draws on insider accounts and leaked intelligence documents such as one stating that:

In late 1975, the CIA intercepted a secret South Korean document entitled “1976 Plan for Operations in the United States.” In the name of “strengthening the execution of the U.S. security commitment to the ROK [South Korea],” it called for influencing U.S. public opinion by penetrating American media, government and academia. Thousands of dollars were earmarked for “special manipulation” of congressmen; their staffs were to be infiltrated with paid “collaborators”; an “intelligence network” was to be put into the White House; money was targeted for “manipulation” of officials at the Pentagon, State Department and CIA; some U.S. journalists were to be spied on, while others would be paid; a “black newspaper” would be started in New York; contacts with American scholars would be coordinated “with Psychological Warfare Bureau”; and “an organizational network of anti-communist fronts” would be created.

Max Blumenthal in a 2006 Nation article on the internecine fighting in the Washington Times suggests that the UK journalist Martin Walker is favoured by Arnaud De Borchgrave along with O’Sullivan to take over running the Times. In his writing, such as that attacking the BBC, Walker (Editor of United Press International) seems a cheerful exponent of the milk and honey of the Israeli state and joins O’Sullivan on Insight magazines advisory board. Walker is now with the Global Business Policy Council and A.T. Kearney, Inc. whose grotesque nature he extols on their video links previously he has been vice-chairman of the advisory board of the European Institute of Washington DC. He is also a member of the review board of International Affairs, the journal of the Royal Institute of International Affairs and the Atlantic Partnership where the chairmen are Lord Powell of Bayswater, The Rt Hon Michael Howard QC MP, James Rubin, William Cohen, Senator Sam Nunn and patrons include Dr. Henry Kissinger, The Rt Hon John Major, The Rt Hon Lord Robertson of Port Ellen and General Colin L. Powell and Sir Evelyn de Rothschild is a trustee. The Atlantic Partnership’s site states that it partners include America Abroad Media and that its purpose is to form:

a high level network of high profile opinion formers on both sides of the Atlantic who are willing to use their influence to further the European American relationship – they are our Atlantic Partnership panel, our Vice Chairmen and Patrons.[…] We ‘drip feed’ the national and international press with articles and interviews promoting the cause of the partnership, with the aim of developing a defined profile in the media in the longer term […] We are establishing ‘cells’ of Atlantic Partnership supporters elsewhere in Europe, namely Paris, Berlin and Rome and Madrid.

America Abroad Media is run by David M. Abshire a key player in the Atlanticist game, and has an Advisory council and function similar to Layalina which includes the main players in US public diplomacy and ‘soft power’ propaganda.

Their panelists include O’Sullivan and Radek Sikorski and the site has links to the Center for Strategic and International Studies, the Center for the Study of the Presidency and The Heritage Foundation all part of Abshire’s public diplomacy efforts.


Apart from his press contacts, O’Sullivan spanned several far-right networks. Although at times something of a broad church, the Libertarian Alliance has put a list of its Conferences online and we can see IEDSS members involvement in several events, mostly in the early 1980s as US Public Diplomacy, ‘Project Democracy’ developed in:

*”Debate – Unilateral Disarmament: The Case For and Against”, 30 January, 1983 (Chris Horrie CND & Gerald Frost IEDSS).

*George Miller – “Opposition and Free Trade Unions in the Soviet Union”, 26 June, 1983
George Miller is former Senior Vice-Chairman of the Young Liberals, former Senior Research Officer of the Institute for European Defense and Strategic Studies, Secretary of the East European Sub-Committee of the Foreign Affairs Panel of the Liberal Party, and Editor of Soviet Labour Review. He is also British Representative of NTS, the heroic anti-Soviet resistance organisation, whose activist Valery Senderov was recently jailed in the USSR for documenting Communist anti-semitism.

*One Day Conference – “Arguments for Liberty”, 10 December, 1983 (which featured O’Sullivan, then Leader writer for The Daily Telegraph.

*One Week Conference – The Second World Libertarian Convention, 13-19 August, 1984 (featured Brian Crozier and Miller.

*Douglas Eden – “Liberty and the British Constitution”, 26 February, 1985.

*One Day Conference – “Which Way Western Foreign Policy?”, 19 April, 1986 (featured Jillian Becker, Gerald Frost.

The IEDSS continued into the 1990s as seen with One Day Conference – “Eastern Europe Today”, 29 April, 1996 with Andrew McAllum, Executive Director of the Institute for European Defence and Strategic Studies. He appears extensively on TV and radio and has contributed to The Wall Street Journal, European Security Analysis and The Salisbury Review (of which he was formerly Deputy Editor). His most recent monograph od The New Authoritarians: Reflections on the Greens. By 1999 a two-day conference is enhanced by an Exhibition – “The Think Tank Room”, display and sale of publications by leading British British think tanks and political organisations: Institute of Economic Affairs; IEA Health and Welfare Unit; Feminists Against Censorship; Independent Healthcare Association; Social Market Foundation; LM Magazine; Demos; The Fabian Society; Right Now; The Salisbury Review; and FOREST.

Reagan, Thatcher and the Pope…

Although it might sound like the begining of some off-colour joke, O’Sullivan’s (2006) The President, the Pope, and the Prime Minister, is intended to be a serious publication arguing that Ronald Reagan, Pope John Paul II, and Margaret Thatcher put in place forces that led to the collapse of the Soviet Union and the remaking of the world and that they did this because, as he argued in a 2006 interview: “They undermined Soviet communism ideologically, blocked it strategically, and left it lagging in the race towards a modern information economy.” In the interview O’Sullivan does stray into unintentional humour as he struggles with his thesis:

Why did I describe my three heroes as “middle managers?” This was a reference to them as they were in 1970. They were then on the fringes of power and looked unlikely to rise to the very top. They were held back by their strong and positive personalities: Thatcher was seen as too conservative, Reagan as too American (i.e., too optimistic), and the Pope as too Catholic, which meant too Polish, or maybe just Polish.

*Back to the The Institute for European Defence and Strategic Studies


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