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) 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