Lest We Forget

Submitted by: Mike Spindell, guest blogger

The issues discussed on this blog are wide-ranging even though at base we are all about upholding the Constitution and ensuring civil liberties. The disputed election of a President began this millennium in controversy, underlined by a horrific terrorist attack and the prosecution of two unnecessary wars. These wars have lasted longer than any other American war save for the Viet Nam debacle. They have resulted in the death of hundreds of thousands of civilians, more than eight thousand of our troops, tens of thousands of soldiers with crippling injuries and unprecedented suicide rates among both active and inactive members of our armed forces. Trillions of dollars have been wasted on these adventures in the imperialistic pursuit of empire and no end is in sight, although our complicit corporate media has ceased to find interest in coverage of the continuing devastation.

As we know the linchpin for these phony wars was the attack on 9/11 by a team of Saudi Arabians purportedly working for Osama Bin Laden and Al Qaeda. However, the blueprint for this endless quest for America Hegemony was made public in 1997 with the publishing of the manifesto for the Project for the New American Century (PNAC). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_for_the_New_American_Century . This conceptualization laid out plans for a putative American Empire and its’ signatories prominently included those who would become part of the administration of George W. Bush. A list of those signatories will continue after the page break, with the most prominent in bold links.

Project for the New American Century Signatories:

Name Position(s) held Elliott Abrams Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Democracy, Human Rights, and International Operations (2001–2002), Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Near East and North African Affairs (2002–2005), Deputy Assistant to the President and Deputy National Security Advisor for Global Democracy Strategy (2005–2009) (all within the National Security Council) Richard Armitage Deputy Secretary of State (2001–2005) John R. Bolton Under-Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Affairs (2001–2005), U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations (2005–2006) Dick Cheney Vice President (2001–2009) Eliot A. Cohen Member of the Defense Policy Advisory Board (2007–2009)[62] Seth Cropsey Director of the International Broadcasting Bureau (12/2002-12/2004) Paula Dobriansky Under-Secretary of State for Global Affairs (2001–2007) Aaron Friedberg Deputy Assistant for National Security Affairs and Director of Policy Planning, Office of the Vice President (2003–2005) Francis Fukuyama Member of The President’s Council on Bioethics (2001–2005) Zalmay Khalilzad U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan (11/2003 – 6/2005), U.S. Ambassador to Iraq (6/2005 – 3/2007) U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations (2007–2009) I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby Chief of Staff to the Vice President of the United States (2001–2005) Richard Perle Chairman of the Board, Defense Policy Board Advisory Committee (2001–2003) Peter W. Rodman Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security (2001–2007) Donald Rumsfeld Secretary of Defense (2001–2006) Randy Scheunemann Member of the U.S. Committee on NATO, Project on Transitional Democracies, International Republican Institute Paul Wolfowitz Deputy Secretary of Defense (2001–2005) 10th President of the World Bank (2005-2007) Dov S. Zakheim Department of Defense Comptroller (2001–2004) Robert B. Zoellick Office of the United States Trade Representative (2001–2005), Deputy Secretary of State (2005–2006), 11th President of the World Bank (2007–Present). And in addition: John Ellis “Jeb” Bush

Many of these people today are closely connected to the Romney Campaign as foreign policy advisors and indeed Romney’s foreign policy designs seem to dovetail nicely with those of the “now defunct” PNAC. Perhaps it is not surprising that the Romney websites’ section on foreign policy is titled: “An American Century” http://www.mittromney.com/collection/foreign-policy . If you follow the links for both PNAC and for the Romney Campaign you will see almost identical policy aims and an overlapping cast of characters.

Now it is well known on this blog that I personally support Barack Obama for President  so I understand that some will call me to task for my hypocrisy in doing so, since I decry the similarities between Obama’s foreign policy, his predecessor’s and indeed PNAC. In this respect my views do not represent those of this blog, its proprietor and even other guest bloggers. To the hypocrisy charge I have two responses:

The first is that my concerns in this coming election focus primarily on domestic policy, women’s rights, gay rights, prejudice against non-whites and finally upon the inequality represented by the privileges of the 1% of our country and the economic oppression of the remaining 99%. In this respect I believe the chasm between the policies of the two candidates is immense. Secondly though, It has been my long time belief that since the “60’s” United States Foreign Policy has been under the control of the 1% as represented by the Military/Industrial/Corporate Complex and thus is out of the hands of any given President. With the George W. Bush Administration this power came to fruition via the response to 9/11 and in panicked legislation like the “Patriot Act”. I believe that President Obama’s power has been limited by the cabal that took charge of our country after JFK’s assassination and whose successors continue to wield power extra-legally. I made that clear in this guest blog from 3/17/12. http://jonathanturley.org/2012/03/17/a-real-history-of-the-last-sixty-two-years/#more-46802

Today the steady drumbeat to attack Iran and to replace the regime in Syria is played out by a press coverage that laps up the propaganda about these countries and our duty to intervene in them, fed by people considered being the “serious people” of US foreign policy. I hold no brief for either Iran or Syria, which are countries run by despots and where human rights simply don’t exist. However, the country that equals their human rights abuses and their despotism is to my mind our closest ally in the Middle East, namely Saudi Arabia. The horrific excesses in the Sudan and in Namibia recall The Shoah, yet we feel no compunction to intervene there. Please also don’t get me started on the North Korean despots and their nuclear weapons, which because of their poverty and lack of oil fall off the radar of those who would have the US be the “world’s policeman”.

What started me in the direction of this guest blog was a video supplied by Russ Baker’s superb investigative website WhoWhatWhy http://whowhatwhy.com/  The video is of former General Wesley Clark, from 2007. General Clark http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wesley_Clark_presidential_campaign,_2004  discusses the fact that his contacts in the Pentagon over a period of years beginning in 1999, told him that US Military Policy was the imposition of American Hegemony and the replacement of the governments of Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran, Syria and other countries in the interests of US economic and military power. He connects this “secret” policy with PNAC and their belief that the US should become an Imperial Empire. I would urge you to spend the time to hear General Clark’s point of view and then comment on its validity.

My personal belief is that our country is heading towards becoming a feudalistic empire in the model of ancient Rome. The Romans were masters of warfare and of engineering. With the most powerful armed forces of their time they created an empire almost matchless in world history and imposed their pax romana on a vast geographical scale. While in high school this was taught as a “good thing” for the backward barbarians of the world, the reality was it was an empire built upon cruelty, venality, and oppression, whose citizens were distracted by bread and circuses. I despair at times when I see the similarity between the Roman Republic that Caesar turned to Empire and to the American Republic that those behind PNAC are trying to turn in the same direction. This is occurring as we citizens are caught up in sports, celebrities and TV reality shows, as we decry our dwindling economic power and the growing unimportance of our opinions influencing our government. In this guest blog I’ve tried to make available the foundation on which my opinions are built with the hope that if this topic is of interest to you that you will follow the links to see whether you agree, or disagree with me. As we count down to another important election, we see that this imperialism is an issue that gets almost no coverage, I present this blog lest we forget those whose lives have been coldly sacrificed in this despicable and unnecessary enterprise, whose ultimate aim is imperial power.

Submitted by: Mike Spindell, guest blogger

118 thoughts on “Lest We Forget”

  1. It’s actually very difficult inn this busy life to
    listen news on Television, therefode I just use internet forr that purpose, and obtain
    the latest information.

  2. Label Insanity! Obama can’t do ANYTHING against those mean ole nasty Repugs. Whatever! The PNAC has never been happier and more alive. “Lest We Forget” that Dems of today ONLY fight for civil liberties once the label changes and so that may well be the only fitting reason to change the label.

    I wonder why hasn’t anyone noticed the dismal poll numbers of either candidate? It is actually quite historic, two extremely unpopluar men running for president. More than half the country has no vested stake in either candidate. Only the label people will be involved in the next election. A vast cult of mutual, agreed upon, label fetish devoid of meaningful content, merely only vast hate for each other.

  3. And of course for the academies (it was annapolis by the way) you go through rigorous testing to make sure you weed out those who are not doctrinally suited to living the military way (I guess I never saw it being a teenager but even then I was a hippie liberal… Guess when youre young friendship can transcend a lot, he had to have had this in him somewhere.) Thanks for the link

  4. LJC

    If military academy, that will do it. If you meant West Point, that is a quadruple down, IMHO.
    Ever seen a left wing colonel, much less General. The higher up they get the nuttier they are. Truman took home McArthur because he wanted to nuke the Chinese border.

    And there are thousands of such tales.

    And some of them are alright, but they get all the bad jobs. Like fall guy if the Kuwait war failed. Interesting man. One of principle.

    Your post made me happy to see it. Intelligent women here.

  5. A fellow I knew in HS, we were best buds, can;t imagine how he tunred into a right wing conservative (fill in your own word here) posted a day or so ago about an actress Ellin Barkin, tweeting that she wanted the antichoicrers and maybe repubs to be killed in the hurricane. That was awful I agreed but that she was an actress ini whom no one had much interest and she had no power.
    I posted about the peanut throwing and these cries of USA and strangely that evidently does not bother him as he made no reply.
    This kid was smart, a military academy graduate. How he has turned into a non thinking neanderthal I cannot imagine (That does not mean he has to agree with me, it does mean he never gives a thinking response but will quote or provide links only to right wing like liumbaugh beck, etc.)

  6. There was this disclaimer to the side of the article: Editor’s Note: After this post was written, it was reported on Buzzfeed and elsewhere that the “U.S.A.” chant on the convention floor began as a response to chants of “Point of Order” by Ron Paul supporters. An RNC spokesperson denied to Fox News Latino that the chanting was related to Zoraida Fonalledas’s nationality.
    Let’s say that is correct then the Paul supporters were chanting because, one has to assume, they were being denied their right of dissent so no matter how you look at it it is disgusting.

    1. YOu know what just IRKS me.????

      If this Faux pax happened at the DNC…. the RIGHT wing would be all over it….. it would not matter what we said and how innocent it was… vs how bad it looked….

      If it LOOKS bad, they will use it…..

      and here we are NOT using it….

      Funny thing is tho, you look at her face…. she could have been having fun with it…… she LOOKED upset…. as did Priebus when he addressed the people to get them to settle down…..

      WHY did he have to remind them to give her respect????

      my point is…. had this happened at the DNC…. the RIGHT would RUN WITH IT…. they don’t care about TRUTH….

      They are just better at being VILE and disgusting, than the Democrats are…..

  7. Do the Republicans own this place? Or is everybody still sleeping? There is no activity at the “funny, ha ha” blogs from yesterday on the comment list.

    I just posted this as part of a comment at the SA princess blog. Had ho other place appropriate, as
    though it was dead here at “lest we…”. So wrong.

    “Just to inject a new subject. The expression of American democracy, if the Republican convention can be called that, is a revolting proof that America has gone over the line. Bssing this on viewing two relatively short segments, with no speechs.

    The interesting part is the after analysis and predictions by the columnists in the press.
    Of many colors.
    The press is a whore, just as Chomney wrote and I have linked here.

    Nauseam eternum. And this is how America is and works?” (edited)

  8. PLEASE…. any liberal that reads this…. Post it EVERYWHERE….. I mean PLASTER it all over …. Facebook… Twitter…. Email… send it to your local TV station….

    If this happened at the DNC…. YOU BET it would be plastered ALL over Fox news by now….. the Republicans would NOT let this go…. and NEITHER should we…..

    If they deny it….. they are full of it…. YOU can tell at the end of the video EXACTLY what this was…. and Priebus looked MAD….. you could see he was feeling awkward over what he was seeing…..
    he had to REMIND them…. and TELL them to treat her with respect…..

    To treat a PERSON like this…. is just inexcusable…..

    and they claim to have so much more class….

    YEAH… they are proving just how much class they have…..

  9. The chanting carried on for nearly a minute while most of the other delegates and the media stood by in stunned silence. The Puerto Rican correspondent turned to me and asked, “Is this happening?” I said I honestly didn’t know what was happening—it was astonishing to see all the brittle work of narrative construction that is a modern political convention suddenly crack before our eyes. None of us could quite believe what we were seeing: A sea of twentysomething bowties and cowboy hats morphing into frat bros apparently shrieking over (or at) a Latina. RNC chairman Reince Priebus quickly stepped up and asked for order and respect for the speaker, suggesting that, yeah, what we had just seen might well have been an ugly outburst of nativism.

    At least half a dozen respected Latino pols are scheduled to talk later on at the convention. I doubt any of them will generate a clip like the one that might be playing wall-to-wall tonight in San Juan and southern Florida.

  10. PLEASE read this…. and get this OUT there…. http://www.harpers.org/archive/2012/08/hbc-90008805 A Troubling Chant on the Convention Floor
    An unscripted moment happened late this afternoon that caused the assembled mainstream media to turn away in the hope that it would disappear. As I was standing in line for a sandwich next to an Italian and a Puerto Rican correspondent, a controversy was unfolding on the floor. The RonPaulites, whose furious devotion to a single idea have made them the Ellen Jamesians of the right, were protesting a decision by RNC officials not to seat members of the Maine delegation, which was split between Paul and Romney supporters following rule changes made just prior to the convention. There were energetic shouts of “Aye!” and “Nay!” as a Puerto Rican party functionary—Zoraida Fonalledas, the chairwoman of the Committee on Permanent Organization—took her turn at the main-stage lectern. As she began speaking in her accented English, some in the crowd started shouting “U.S.A.! U.S.A.!”


  11. LOVELY!!!

    this just in from the RNC….


    On air this evening, CNN’s Wolf Blitzer called attention to the network’s earlier report on two Republican National Convention attendees throwing nuts at a black CNN camerawoman and saying, “This is how we feed animals.” The attendees were removed from the Tampa Bay Times Forum after the exchange.

    Blitzer called the incident “truly shocking” and said it “hit home” for everyone at the network. CNN political analyst Donna Brazile said during the segment she hopes the two attendees have their convention credentials revoked.

    there is video of the CNN News Cast reporting this at the link I posted…..

    This is TRULY shameful….

  12. M.S.

    Saying you have questions about 9/11 is meaningless. If you have studied the case, then you would know that the official story is a lie. C’mon. your
    place at the pulpit isn’t likely at risk for calling a lie a lie.

    1. Bill McW,
      I’m certain enough to know that you are trying to bait me. I’ll choose to let my words stand on their own even if your reading comprehension is awash with self referenced smugness and rife with disingenuous views disingenuous questions.

  13. So we get our eternal war against the internal and the eternam suspicion of internal terrorists.
    When do we get our 10 minute hate periods?

    I borrow this of course. Thanks to the loaner, you know who you are.

  14. No Win War???

    The New American for November 9, 2009, has an interesting article on General Barry McCaffrey’s statement that the US “faces 10 more years of war in Afghanistan” and that the US should “focus upon a long and expensive nation-building process for Afghanistan’s tribal culture.” There seems to be a mindset in the establishment for the US to maintain a long term presence in the MidEast.

    For a long time, the US has operated in the region through hidden agendas. In his book, The New World Order, Mr. Pat Robertson, states that George Bush 1 suggested that the fate of Kuwait was not the main issue, “launching the New World Order was the main thing.” Mr. Robertson further writes, “By words and by silence, the United States flashed Saddam Hussein a green light” … to move into Kuwait and suggests this was used as a pretext for the 1st Gulf War…the implication is that Saddam was entraped with Green Light Diplomacy but there was a much larger agenda(hidden) for moving against Hussein………..

    For the situation in Afghanistan and Pakistan, the evidence suggests that the US and its allies are not doing all that can be done to win this war and there is some agenda for prolonging this conflict.

    The Advocate quotes Hillary Clinton(Dec. 7, 2009, p. 5A), stating it is “hard to believe” that no one in Islamabad knows where the al-Qaida leaders are hiding and couldn’t get them “if they really wanted to.”

    In the aftermath of 9.11, the bombing of the wrong escape route out of Afghanistan into Pakistan and the nighttime airlift by the US of the Taliban and Al Qaeda operatives that were allowed to escape(The New Yorker, Jan 28, 2002, p. 36); Gary Berntsen, the head of the CIAs team at Tora Bora said they tracked bin Laden and (he) “…could have been caught.”(Newsweek, Aug 15, 2005, p. 5); There is evidence that the Pakistani ISI is funding the Taliban and knows where they live but dont arrest them.(Time, Nov. 29, 2004, p. 44)

    There is a strategy by the Pakistani government “…which pays tribes and insurgent networks to attack each other with a goal of preventing any one group from getting too strong”.(US News, Oct 13/Oct 20, 2008, p. 24)(a strategy used by the Brits) Pakistani Ambassador, Haqqani presents evidence in his book that the Pakistani military and ISI make “…the pretense of arresting militants in order to get funds from Washinton. But it never shut down the networks.”(Newsweek, May 11/May 18, 2009, p. 29)

    The CIA never takes a junior partner role with any of these groups and we have to assume wants this to continue. The New York Times(Oct. 27, 2009) reports that Karzai’s brother is on the CIAs payroll and is a suspected player in the opium trade which finances the Taliban.

    All of this only contributes to a more chaotic situation which feeds a hidden agenda for a “no win war” and prolonged conflict at the expense of American boys and girls lives!!

    woody voinche

    1. Woody,

      We share some similar thoughts regarding a hidden agenda of warfare.

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