Captain Corruption\'s Commentary

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Pay No Attention to the Man Behind the Curtain

You just don't hear enough about the PNAC, do you?

What, you've never heard of them? The Project For A New American Century? Well, allow me to introduce you to the folks who've been pulling the strings in our country since 2000:
Established in the spring of 1997, the Project for the New American Century is a non-profit, educational organization whose goal is to promote American global leadership.

American Global Leadership... I like that term. Some might say its Newspeak for American World Domination, but let's read their statement of principles and make up our own minds, shall we?
June 3, 1997

American foreign and defense policy is adrift. Conservatives have criticized the incoherent policies of the Clinton Administration. They have also resisted isolationist impulses from within their own ranks. But conservatives have not confidently advanced a strategic vision of America's role in the world. They have not set forth guiding principles for American foreign policy. They have allowed differences over tactics to obscure potential agreement on strategic objectives. And they have not fought for a defense budget that would maintain American security and advance American interests in the new century.

We aim to change this. We aim to make the case and rally support for American global leadership.

As the 20th century draws to a close, the United States stands as the world's preeminent power. Having led the West to victory in the Cold War, America faces an opportunity and a challenge: Does the United States have the vision to build upon the achievements of past decades? Does the United States have the resolve to shape a new century favorable to American principles and interests?

We are in danger of squandering the opportunity and failing the challenge. We are living off the capital -- both the military investments and the foreign policy achievements -- built up by past administrations. Cuts in foreign affairs and defense spending, inattention to the tools of statecraft, and inconstant leadership are making it increasingly difficult to sustain American influence around the world. And the promise of short-term commercial benefits threatens to override strategic considerations. As a consequence, we are jeopardizing the nation's ability to meet present threats and to deal with potentially greater challenges that lie ahead.

We seem to have forgotten the essential elements of the Reagan Administration's success: a military that is strong and ready to meet both present and future challenges; a foreign policy that boldly and purposefully promotes American principles abroad; and national leadership that accepts the United States' global responsibilities.

Of course, the United States must be prudent in how it exercises its power. But we cannot safely avoid the responsibilities of global leadership or the costs that are associated with its exercise. America has a vital role in maintaining peace and security in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. If we shirk our responsibilities, we invite challenges to our fundamental interests. The history of the 20th century should have taught us that it is important to shape circumstances before crises emerge, and to meet threats before they become dire. The history of this century should have taught us to embrace the cause of American leadership.

Our aim is to remind Americans of these lessons and to draw their consequences for today. Here are four consequences:

• we need to increase defense spending significantly if we are to carry out our global
responsibilities today and modernize our armed forces for the future;

• we need to strengthen our ties to democratic allies and to challenge regimes hostile to our interests and values;

• we need to promote the cause of political and economic freedom abroad;

• we need to accept responsibility for America's unique role in preserving and extending an international order friendly to our security, our prosperity, and our principles.

Such a Reaganite policy of military strength and moral clarity may not be fashionable today. But it is necessary if the United States is to build on the successes of this past century and to ensure our security and our greatness in the next.

Elliott Abrams, Gary Bauer, William J. Bennett, Jeb Bush,
Dick Cheney, Eliot A. Cohen, Midge Decter, Paula Dobriansky, Steve Forbes,
Aaron Friedberg, Francis Fukuyama, Frank Gaffney, Fred C. Ikle,
Donald Kagan, Zalmay Khalilzad, I. Lewis Libby, Norman Podhoretz,
Dan Quayle, Peter W. Rodman, Stephen P. Rosen, Henry S. Rowen
Donald Rumsfeld, Vin Weber, George Weigel, Paul Wolfowitz

I do so love those signatories... its like a who's who of Neo-Cons.

In January of 1998 these sweet folks wrote their friend Mr. Clinton a little letter... This letter was one of the first things the PNAC did after forming their club, and pretty much establishes one of their top priorities... Now, in case you don't want to read it, I'll summarize and you may then skip to the next section... it says Dear Bill, Kill Saddam, thanx.
The Honorable William J. Clinton
President of the United States
Washington, DC


Dear Mr. President:

We are writing you because we are convinced that current American policy toward Iraq is not succeeding, and that we may soon face a threat in the Middle East more serious than any we have known since the end of the Cold War. In your upcoming State of the Union Address, you have an opportunity to chart a clear and determined course for meeting this threat. We urge you to seize that opportunity, and to enunciate a new strategy that would secure the interests of the U.S. and our friends and allies around the world. That strategy should aim, above all, at the removal of Saddam Hussein’s regime from power. We stand ready to offer our full support in this difficult but necessary endeavor.

The policy of “containment” of Saddam Hussein has been steadily eroding over the past several months. As recent events have demonstrated, we can no longer depend on our partners in the Gulf War coalition to continue to uphold the sanctions or to punish Saddam when he blocks or evades UN inspections. Our ability to ensure that Saddam Hussein is not producing weapons of mass destruction, therefore, has substantially diminished. Even if full inspections were eventually to resume, which now seems highly unlikely, experience has shown that it is difficult if not impossible to monitor Iraq’s chemical and biological weapons production. The lengthy period during which the inspectors will have been unable to enter many Iraqi facilities has made it even less likely that they will be able to uncover all of Saddam’s secrets. As a result, in the not-too-distant future we will be unable to determine with any reasonable level of confidence whether Iraq does or does not possess such weapons.

Such uncertainty will, by itself, have a seriously destabilizing effect on the entire Middle East. It hardly needs to be added that if Saddam does acquire the capability to deliver weapons of mass destruction, as he is almost certain to do if we continue along the present course, the safety of American troops in the region, of our friends and allies like Israel and the moderate Arab states, and a significant portion of the world’s supply of oil will all be put at hazard. As you have rightly declared, Mr. President, the security of the world in the first part of the 21st century will be determined largely by how we handle this threat.

Given the magnitude of the threat, the current policy, which depends for its success upon the steadfastness of our coalition partners and upon the cooperation of Saddam Hussein, is dangerously inadequate. The only acceptable strategy is one that eliminates the possibility that Iraq will be able to use or threaten to use weapons of mass destruction. In the near term, this means a willingness to undertake military action as diplomacy is clearly failing. In the long term, it means removing Saddam Hussein and his regime from power. That now needs to become the aim of American foreign policy.

We urge you to articulate this aim, and to turn your Administration's attention to implementing a strategy for removing Saddam's regime from power. This will require a full complement of diplomatic, political and military efforts. Although we are fully aware of the dangers and difficulties in implementing this policy, we believe the dangers of failing to do so are far greater. We believe the U.S. has the authority under existing UN resolutions to take the necessary steps, including military steps, to protect our vital interests in the Gulf. In any case, American policy cannot continue to be crippled by a misguided insistence on unanimity in the UN Security Council.

We urge you to act decisively. If you act now to end the threat of weapons of mass destruction against the U.S. or its allies, you will be acting in the most fundamental national security interests of the country. If we accept a course of weakness and drift, we put our interests and our future at risk.

Sincerely,

Elliott Abrams, Richard L. Armitage, William J. Bennett
Jeffrey Bergner, John Bolton, Paula Dobriansky
Francis Fukuyama, Robert Kagan, Zalmay Khalilzad
William Kristol, Richard Perle, Peter W. Rodman
Donald Rumsfeld, William Schneider, Jr., Vin Weber
Paul Wolfowitz, R. James Woolsey, Robert B. Zoellick


Sooo, they formed in 97 to promote American Global Leadership in the 21st century and their number one priority was the removal of Saddam Hussein from power. Hey, at least they have a plan, right? But, how to implement that plan? Our foreign policy was adrift, after all. Our defense budget was paltry in their minds, and our citizenry wasn't convinced, with the cold war over, that our defense budget needed padding.

Well, by September of 2000, our friends at the PNAC had a detailed plan on how to rebuild our defenses in order to promote world domination, err, I mean American Global Leadership, in the 21st century. They released a little 90 page position paper entitled appropriately Rebuilding America's Defenses . This paper posited that the stage was set for a Pax Americana, and had four essential goals to guarantee Pax Americana:
HOMELAND DEFENSE. America must defend its homeland. During the Cold War, nuclear deterrence was the key element in homeland defense; it remains essential. But the new century has brought with it new challenges. While reconfiguring its nuclear force, the United States also must counteract the effects of the proliferation of ballistic missiles and weapons of mass destruction that may soon allow lesser states to deter U.S. military action by threatening U.S. allies and the American homeland itself. Of all the new and current missions for U.S. armed forces, this must have priority.

LARGE WARS. Second, the United States must retain sufficient forces able to rapidly deploy and win multiple simultaneous large-scale wars and also to be able to respond to unanticipated contingencies in regions where it does not maintain forward-based forces. This resembles the “two-war” standard that has been the basis of U.S. force planning over the past decade. Yet this standard needs to be updated to account for new realities and potential new conflicts.

CONSTABULARY DUTIES. Third, the Pentagon must retain forces to preserve the current peace in ways that fall short of conduction major theater campaigns. A decade’s experience and the policies of two administrations have shown that such forces must be expanded to meet the needs of the new, long-term NATO mission in the Balkans, the continuing no-fly-zone and other missions in Southwest Asia, and other presence missions in vital regions of East Asia. These duties are today’s most frequent missions, requiring forces configured for combat but capable of long-term, independent constabulary operations.

TRANSFORM U.S. ARMED FORCES. Finally, the Pentagon must begin now to exploit the so-called “revolution in military affairs,” sparked by the introduction of advanced technologies into military systems; this must be regarded as a separate and critical mission worthy of a share of force structure and defense budgets.

They also speak of the need to control such new frontiers as cyber space and outer space within the same document.

The trouble with all their grand plans, however, was the motivation of the American people. In fact, they said so, on page 51 of Rebuilding America's Defenses, in quite an ominous, and perhaps some day infamous, quote:
The process of transformation, even if it brings revolutionary change, is likely to be a long one, absent some catalyzing event - like a new Pearl Harbor.

Well, they got their new Pearl Harbor quite conveniently one year later on September 11th, 2001, and they've been running their playbook ever since.

This may be ancient history to some of you folks. If so, good for you, I'm glad you're paying attention. For the rest of you, now you know. I'm not gonna tell ya how to feel about it, that's your business, but make no mistake about who the man behind the curtain really is.


PNAC Info
PNAC Primer
Project For A New American Empire



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