Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Bernard Weiner: 'Bush's Grand Game: A PNAC Primer, updated'

I found this off The Smirking Chimp blogsite, and it is such a powerful posting, that I wanted to make a few comments on it. It is an article by Bernard Weiner from his own site The Crisis Papers. The article is titled Bush's Grand Game: A "PNAC Primer" UPDATE Here is a couple paragraphs from the essay:

When the Bush Administration keeps hauling out its "we-didn't-know-nothin'" spin -- about Katrina, 9/11, Iraq, torture -- in effect they're using incompetence as their defense. How can you try to censure or impeach us, they're saying, when we didn't know what was happening, what to do or how to do it?

Their incompetence by this time has been well-documented and par for the Bush course. But, as the evidence demonstrates, in each of those cases they knew a lot more than they let on, having received adequate warnings of the scenarios that were about to unfold.

To get a handle on how Bush&Co. took America into its current domestic and foreign crises, one must first understand that their policies and actions did not originate after Bush was installed in the White House in January of 2001. The philosophy of greed and power-amassment already was in place years prior to that.

And so it's time to re-examine The Project for The New American Century, about which still too little is known by the American public.

And so we come to PNAC--The Project for The New American Century. I've talked about this doctrine through other postings, and have provided a link to the PNAC site through my blog. But Weiner lays out the early history of who is involved in PNAC, and how this organization got started:

Most of us Americans saw the end of the Cold War as a harbinger of a more peaceful globe, and we relaxed knowing that the Communist world was no longer a threat to the U.S. The Soviet Union, our partner in MAD (Mutually Assured Destruction) and Cold War rivalry around the globe, was no more. This meant a partial vacuum in international affairs. Nature abhors a vacuum.

The only major vacuum-filler still standing after the Cold War was the United States. The U.S. could continue the so-called "soft imperialism" approach, the kind of diplomatic, well-disguised defense of U.S. interests (largely corporate) carried out under Bush#1, Reagan, Clinton, et al. Or one could go the Karl Rove route of speeding up the process and accomplishing those same domestic and foreign ends overtly -- with an attitude of arrogance and in-your-face bullying -- within maybe one or two Republican administrations.

In the early-1990s, a group of ideologues and power-politicians, most of whom had been in positions of authority in the Reagan Administration, found themselves on the outside looking in during the Clinton era, and were relegated to the fringe of the Republican Party's far-right. The members of this group in 1997 would found PNAC, The Project for the New American Century (PNAC); their aim was to prepare for the day when Republicans regained control of the White House, and, it was hoped, the other two branches of government as well. When that day came, their vision of how the U.S. should move in the world would be in place and ready to go, straight off-the-shelf into official policy.

PNAC was not a rag-tag group of lightweight amateurs. The PNAC founders were heavy hitters, with juice: Donald Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney, James Woolsey, Bill Kristol, Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle, James Bolton, Zalmay M. Khalilzad, William Bennett, Dan Quayle, Jeb Bush, et al., most of whom were movers-and-shakers in previous Administrations, savvy as to how to exercise power to the max in Washington. But even given their reputations and clout, the openly militarist views of this group -- attacking other countries "pre-emptively," for example -- were regarded as too extreme to be taken seriously by the generally mainstream, small-government, isolationist conservatives who controlled the Republican Party.

Look at the names involved in founding PNAC--Rumsfeld, Cheney, Kristol, Wolfowitz, Pearl, Bolton, Quayle, and even Jeb Bush. These are all top Republican officials, and even a number of them have been involved in politics during the Nixon, Ford, Reagan and Bush I administrations. These guys believed in the "hard imperialism" approach in U.S. foreign policy in making the U.S. into a sole imperial power. After Bill Clinton became president, they were pushed out of power--power that they had become accustomed to for almost 20 years. Thus PNAC was born.

There's more:

To prepare the ground for the PNAC-like ideas that were circulating in the HardRight, several wealthy billionaires and corporations helped set up far-right think-tanks, and bought up various media outlets -- newspapers, magazines, TV networks, radio talk shows, cable channels, etc. -- in support of that day when all the political tumblers would click into place and the HardRight cabal and their supporters could assume control.

That moment arrived with the Supreme Court's selection of George W. Bush in 2000. The temporary "outsiders" from PNAC were once again powerful "insiders," placed in important positions from which they could exert maximum pressure on U.S. policy: Cheney is Vice President, Rumsfeld is Defense Secretary, Wolfowitz up until last year was Deputy Defense Secretary (now president of the World Bank), I. Lewis Libby (now under indictment in the Plamegate scandal) was Cheney's Chief of Staff, Elliot Abrams was put in charge of Middle East policy at the National Security Council (and is now a Deputy Secretary of State), Dov Zakheim was named comptroller for the Defense Department, John Bolton (now U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations) was Undersecretary of State, Richard Perle was chair of the important Defense Policy Board at the Pentagon, former CIA director James Woolsey was on that panel as well, etc. etc. PNAC's chairman, Bill Kristol, is the editor of The Weekly Standard. In short, PNAC had a lock on foreign/military policy-creation in the Bush Administration.

But, in order to unleash their foreign/military campaigns without taking all sorts of flak from the traditional wing of the conservative GOP, they needed a context that would permit them free rein. The events of 9/11 rode to their rescue. In one of their major reports, written in 2000, PNAC noted that "the process of [military] transformation, even if it brings revolutionary change, is likely to be a long one, absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event -- like a new Pearl Harbor."

In short, PNAC members took control of President Bush's foreign policy. And when the September 11th terrorist attacks took place, it allowed PNAC to institute its plan for an American imperial domination.

There is so much more in this article. Weiner talks about PNAC's role is using the Iraq war to destroy the FDR New Deal/Great Society social net in return for the more "turn-of-the-(20th)-century laissez-faire policy," where corporations have complete freedom without regulation. There is the PNAC Doctrine itself, spelled out in an extensive paper trail that its founders are proud of. And there is a blueprint that PNAC created, spelling out how they plan to take the U.S. into a state of "Global Hegemony." This is a frightening article, which spells out in detail the enormous political power--both foreign and domestic--that this one institution has gathered.

Please read the entire article.

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