We have come to the end of December 2009. We recently completed a year in which a former political administration, the Republican Bush Administration, did its best to ruin our country. And, as you will see, men portraying themselves as patriots were everything but patriots. We are talking about the Project for the New American Century.
They are not traitors in the traditional sense of having gone over to the enemy or given up state secrets. None, that is, except a few at the very top who literally released state secrets in a most informal, illegal and dangerous way. Despite the fact that some foreign agents working for the United States may have been captured, tortured or killed, they still have not been indicted. This was not some publicity stunt. It was real people, risking their lives for Americans. The tragic part is that we do not know what happened to them. But we can be sure of one thing….the outcome was not good. This was the so-called Valerie Plame affair, in which her covert status with CIA, handling agents, was revealed to the media.
These Project for the New American Century guys are not spies. But they are part of a very interesting organization of very powerful men, all with a very similar ambition. They want to create a new world order in which Americans (by which they mean affluent White Republican men and others whom they designate and approve) have security from international attack. They believe that the only way to achieve that is through superior armed military force, always on alert. They do not believe in diplomacy or that countries of the world can work together. They believe that armed military might, from a dominant force…the United States of America…is the only way to obtain lasting peace in the world.
You will recognize the names. They were the ones calling the shots in the last administration. George W. Bush. Richard Cheney. Donald Rumsfeld. Paul Wolfowitz. Richard Perle. John Bolton, and Richard Armitage. And others who helped them…like PNAC founders William Kristol and Robert Kagan.
The origins go back to the days when they entered public life while our government was dedicated to the defeat of international Communism and specifically the Soviet Union. Cheney on the White House staff and Rumsfeld a congressman in the Nixon Administration, later Cheney and Rumsfeld working in the White House for Ford, then Rumsfeld becoming Secretary of Defense under Ford. Later they continued fighting Communism long after it had ceased to be a serious threat, and the only threat was to the reduction in military budgets. They were very good at promoting a militaristic America, increasing military budgets and setting up the framework for the military-industrial relationships that became a key part of the subsequent Reagan presidency.
It is interesting that both Cheney and Rumsfeld left government, used their government contracts to enrich themselves. Each made at least tens of millions of dollars. Rumsfeld went to Searle and had other lucrative deals. Cheney brought big government contracts to Halliburton, though nothing of the scale that he would shepherd into the company as Vice President.
If you are an oilfield service company, what better situation could you have than having your former President suddenly become Vice President of the United States? Then what better thing could happen to you than that the Vice President makes absolutely certain—guarantees you—that there will be a war with a country awash in oil wells…and someone will have to get out there and cap the fires and operate those oil fields. Just as your company did in a previous war on Iraq when…Dick Cheney was Secretary of Defense.
It does sound like cynical corruption…greed beyond any kind of morality, doesn’t it? Of course it could all simply be coincidence. But 4,300 young Americans died, 30,000 were severely wounded, and, at a minimum, 250,000 non-military Iraqis died and their country was destroyed. We know now that Iraq had no serious offensive capability and no weapons of mass destruction. If this was deliberate, to enrich oilfield executives, it is a serious crime. It is an international crime. Why is there no investigation?
If you see someone named William Kristol or Robert Kagan on television…on C-SPAN or on some news program or on the Right Wing Propaganda network, Fox News Channel, you are looking at the two founders of the PNAC (Project for the American Century.) The PNAC, founded in 1997, was to promote American “global leadership” and to increase our military strength and promote our “moral clarity.”
In 2001, this group took command of the military reins of government. Since that time, we have been attacked on our own soil, have spent 8 years trying to track down a group of Arabs no larger than a good sized NFL organization, and started a meaningless war in Iraq that has antagonized and made us suspicious to every country in the Middle East. We are now less safe than ever before, despite the fact that our military budget under these guys has grown to half our national budget, over $600 billion (annually) and is larger than all the other countries of the world combined, including China and Russia.
These are for the most part the summer soldiers and the sunshine patriots who never served but want to send your sons to war. They were either literal draft dodgers or who worked tirelessly to keep themselves out of a Viet Nam war, one that they continued to support but wanted to do so with the lives of their fellow high school or college-age young men. This is a common theme of the members of the Project for the New American Century. Use other people’s children and other people’s money and use both to get rich.
Strange how people who have been to war are so much more cautious, like Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Colin Powell, or the former head jarhead, General Anthony Zinni, or top-ranked graduate at the military academy and wounded veteran of Viet Nam General Wes Clark who successfully ended a war in the Baltics without losing so much as a squad of NATO soldiers.
Guys like Max Cleland who had just about every extremity in his body blown off by a grenade in Viet Nam just don’t have that rah-rah, sis-boom-bah, all-American, red blooded, collegiate desire to see their fellow American young men blown ten feet in the air by explosives. On the other hand, Senator Saxby Chambliss, who defeated Cleland for the Georgia Senate seat, was deferred from serving in Viet Nam by an otherwise unexplained “football injury.” He loves war: for your family.
This is the same never-serving Saxby Chambliss who ran ads juxtaposing images of Max Cleland with those of Osama Bin Laden to make this winner of the Silver Star seem less than patriotic. You can get away with that in Georgia, even though another hero to Georgia voters, John McCain called it offensive in the extreme, and Viet Nam vet, Republican Senator Chuck Hagel of Nebraska said that the commercials against Cleland, were “beyond offensive.”
But let’s get back to the point. The Project for a New American Century has a plan. It is a militaristic plan. And its stated purpose is to meet what it perceives as foreign threats with increased military power. The goal of the PNAC, and they succeeded, was to station American military at outposts all around the world, ready to call in military from the United States on short notice. At this point, we have at least a dozen very large bases and another 45 large bases around the world. In total, we have about 600 bases of one kind or another spread all over the globe. The stated goal of the Project for a New American Century is to have at least 1.6 million men under arms at all times.
So this is the preoccupation of the Bush Administration, all those names that you read above…the President, the Vice President, the Secretary of Defense…all members of the Project for the New American Century. So does this mean “peace in our time?” Or does it mean an ongoing militaristic state, in constant readiness for war, a military-industrial complex that spends more than all the countries of the earth combined? We have spent at least $5 trillion dollars since 2001 on the military, not counting two wars. How safe do you feel?
The stated goals of the organization are as follows:
1. Increase defense spending significantly so that we can carry out our responsibilities and prepare ourselves for the future
2. Strengthen our (military) alliances and challenge our foes.
3. Promote political and economic freedom
4. Accept responsibility for maintaining world order
Now we have a new President and his goal is to create a more placid world. He wants to seek an understanding around the world so that the people of all nations will work together for peace rather than having “peace” imposed upon them by the United States.
The Project for the New American Century has disbanded. But wait. There is a new organization…and guess what? It was founded by Bill Kristol and Robert Kagan, the two founders of PNAC. It is called the Foreign Policy Initiative and it was founded in 2009 to do the following:
1. Continue U.S. engagement, especially military, in the world
2. Oppose rogue regimes that threaten American interests (Iraq? Iran?)
3. Support human rights of others
4. Keep a strong military defense budget (this should be their number one.)
5. Engage other countries economically as well as militarily
6. Make sure we confront these (military) challenges
So what do we have? We have the same kind of belligerent policy that was espoused by the Project for the New American Century. Same people, same goals. They will do everything they can to create conditions for more military action, more military spending and more incursions by American troops into foreign countries.
We have security. We have a CIA and an FBI. We don’t need to run around the world interfering in the governments of other countries. And we don’t need the Foreign Policy Initiative interfering in the activities of elected government officials. Especially two war mongers, like William Kristol and Robert Kagan…draft dodgers who never met a war they didn’t want to send your sons into, just as long as they or members of their family did not have to go.