We thought we were going back to the old days of Bush 41. And ironically enough Rumsfeld, but even more Cheney, together with Powell, were seen as indications that the young president, who was not used to the outside world, who didn’t travel very much, who didn’t seem to be very experienced, would be embedded into these Bush 41 guys. Their foreign-policy skills were extremely good and strongly admired. So we were not very concerned. Of course, there was this strange thing with these “neocons,” but every party has its fringes. It was not very alarming. --Joschka Fischer, German foreign minister (emphasis added)
How unamusing. To Mr. Fischer, the neocons are a "fringe" group; to establishment Washington, neocons are the mainstream, while those who challenge them are the fringe -- this is still true, to an extent, today. Anyone who doubts this need only look at the evidence of the Republican presidential primary, where a bunch of guys spent most of their campaigns trying to out-snarl the other guys to the rest of the world, while the punditry uttered not a word of criticism, but only asked whose snarl was most convincing.