[eDebate] nazi PNAC losers close after iraq disaster
Wed Jun 14 11:03:27 CDT 2006
core-cock's nazi wetdream unsustainable:
Published on Tuesday, June 13, 2006 by the Inter Press Service
"New American Century" Project Ends With A Whimper
by Jim Lobe
WASHINGTON - Is the Project for the New American Century (PNAC), which did
so much to promote the invasion of Iraq and an Israel-centred "global war on
terror", closing down?
In the absence of an official announcement and the failure since late last
year of a live person to answer its telephone number, a Washington Post
obituary would seem to be definitive. And, sure enough, the Post quoted one
unidentified source presumably linked to PNAC that the group was "heading
toward closing" with the feeling of "goal accomplished".
In fact, the nine-year-old group, whose 27 founders included Vice President
Dick Cheney and Pentagon chief Donald Rumsfeld, among at least half a dozen
of the most powerful hawks in the George W. Bush administration's first
term, has been inactive since January 2005, when it issued the last of its
"statements", an appeal to significantly increase the size of the U.S. Army
and Marine Corps to cope with the growing demands of the kind of "Pax
Americana" it had done so much to promote.
As a platform for the three-part coalition that was most enthusiastic about
war in Iraq -- aggressive nationalists like Cheney, Christian Zionists of
the religious Right, and Israel-centred neo-conservatives -- PNAC actually
began breaking down shortly after the Iraq invasion.
It was then that the group's predominantly neo-conservative leadership --
Weekly Standard editor William Kristol, PNAC director Gary Schmitt, and
Carnegie Endowment for International Peace analyst Robert Kagan -- began
attacking Rumsfeld, in particular, for failing to deploy enough troops to
pacify the country and launch a true nation-building exercise, as in
post-World War II Germany and Japan.
It was the first of a number of policy splits that, along with the deepening
quagmire in Iraq itself, have debilitated the hawks, forcing
neo-conservatives in the group to reach out to liberal interventionists with
whom they sponsored a series of joint statements extolling the virtues of
nation-building and a larger army, or calling for a tougher U.S. stance
toward Russia and China.
PNAC was launched by Kristol and Kagan in 1997, shortly after their
publication of an article in Foreign Affairs magazine entitled "Toward a
Neo-Reaganite Foreign Policy", in which they called for Washington to
exercise "benevolent global hegemony" to be sustained "as far into the
future as possible".
While critical of then President Bill Clinton, the article was directed more
against a Republican Congress which, in their view, had grown increasingly
isolationist, particularly after the precipitous U.S. withdrawal from
Somalia in 1994 and strong Republican opposition to intervention in the
Balkans against Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic.
It was in this spirit that the two co-founded PNAC, whose charter was signed
by leading neo-conservatives, including Cheney's future chief of staff, I.
Lewis Libby; Rumsfeld's future deputy, Paul Wolfowitz; Bush's future top
Middle East aide, Elliott Abrams; his future ambassador to Afghanistan and
Iraq, Zalmay Khalilzad; Rumsfeld's future top international security
official, Peter Rodman; American Enterprise Institute (AEI) fellow and
neo-cons impresario Richard Perle, and Florida Gov. Jeb Bush; as well as
Cheney and Rumsfeld themselves.
The charter's few specifics, as well as follow-up reports published by PNAC
-- "Rebuilding America's Defenses" and "Present Dangers", both published in
2000 to influence the foreign policy debate during the presidential campaign
that year -- were based to a great extent on an infamous "Defense Planning
Guidance" (DPG) draft produced under Cheney when he served as secretary of
defence under President George H.W. Bush in 1992.
That paper, which was developed by then-Undersecretary of Defence Wolfowitz,
Libby, Khalilzad, and the current deputy national security adviser, J.D.
Crouch, with assistance from Perle and other like-minded defence
specialists, called for the "benevolent domination by one power" (the U.S.)
to replace "collective internationalism" and for Washington to ensure that
domination, particularly in Eurasia, in order to prevent the emergence, by
confrontation if necessary, of any possible regional or global rival.
It was PNAC's role to sustain and propagate these ideas through its reports,
its periodic letters and statements signed by right-wing notables, and a
steady flow of opinion-pieces and essays, that acted as part of a larger
neo-conservative "echo chamber" that included Kristol's Weekly Standard, Fox
News, the Washington Times, and the editorial pages of the Wall Street
Journal, to frame debates in official Washington and the mainstream media.
In this sense, PNAC was more of a "letter-head organisation" that acted more
as a mechanism for developing consensus on issues among different political
forces -- in its case, Republican hawks -- and then pushing them in public,
than as a think tank.
Indeed, the fact that several of its half-a-dozen staff members -- most
recently, PNAC director Schmitt -- have taken posts at the much-larger AEI
located just five floors above PNAC's offices helps illustrate the
incestuous nature of the larger network. Nonetheless, PNAC was the first to
call publicly (in 1998) for Washington to pursue "regime change" in Iraq by
military means in conjunction with the Iraqi National Congress of Ahmad
Chalabi, who would later play a key role in the propaganda campaign against
Saddam Hussein in the run-up to the 2003 invasion.
But perhaps its most notable letter was sent to Bush Sep. 20, 2001, just
nine days after the 9/11 attacks. In addition to calling for the ouster of
the Taliban and war on al Qaeda, the letter called for waging a broader and
more ambitious "war on terrorism" that would include cutting off the
Palestinian Authority under Yassir Arafat, taking on Hezbollah, threatening
Syria and Iran and, most importantly, ousting Hussein regardless of his
relationship to the attacks or al Qaeda.
"It may be that the Iraqi government provided assistance in some form to the
recent attack on the United States," it said. "But even if evidence does not
link Iraq directly to the attack, any strategy aiming at the eradication of
terrorism and its sponsors must include a determined effort to remove Saddam
Hussein from power. Failure to undertake such an effort will constitute an
early and perhaps decisive surrender in the war on international terrorism."
The letter was signed by 38 members of the predominantly neo-conservative
Washington echo chamber, many of whom -- especially Kristol, Kagan, Defence
Policy Board members Perle, Woolsey, Eliot Cohen, Centre for Security Policy
president Frank Gaffney, former Education Secretary William Bennett,
syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer, and Foundation for the Defence of
Democracies director Clifford May --would emerge, along with Woolsey, as the
most ubiquitous champions of war with Iraq outside the administration.
Seven months later, PNAC issued another letter signed by many of the same
people urging Bush to step up preparations for war with Iraq, sever all ties
to the Palestinian Authority under Arafat and give full backing to Israeli
Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's efforts to crush the Palestinian intifada.
"Israel's fight against terrorism is our fight. Israel's victory is an
important part of our victory," the letter noted. "For reasons both moral
and strategic, we need to stand with Israel in its fight against terrorism."
Bush complied two months later.
That period -- Sep. 20, 2001, to the run-up to the Iraq war in early 2003 --
marked the high-water mark of PNAC's existence. Since then, things have
generally gone downhill, as the hawks they represented, including the
group's dominant neo-conservatives, have fallen prey to internal
disagreements: over Rumsfeld's stewardship of Iraq and the Pentagon; over
the wisdom of democratic "transformation" in the Arab Middle East; over
Sharon's Gaza disengagement plan; over China; and even over the latest
administration moves on Iran.
All of which has made it far more difficult to forge consensus -- and
compose letters -- in these areas.
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