or How a Bunch of Old Reaganites Plan to Dump Sixty Years of U.S. Foreign Policy to Remake the World
On March 5th, Nightline broadcast a terrifying segment about the Project for a New American Century, a right wing foreign policy think tank founded by Bill Kristol, Richard Perle, Paul Wolfowitz, et al in 1997 to espouse a muscular projection of American might around the globe. In the interview, Kristol himself points out that their views are extensions of Reagan era (many of these guys served in the Reagan Administration) foreign policy rhetoric. The main difference is that while Reagan’s foreign policy WAS rabidly anti Communist & opportunistic in an amoral or immoral way, it recognized some limits. PNAC’s projected policies are limitless & unrestrained (the difference between then and now is that now the Republicans control both Houses of Congress & the Presidency, plus we have a lackluster Democratic opposition). PNAC would overturn decades of bi-partisan U.S. foreign policy objectives. PNAC , for example, believes (essentially) in overthrowing all of the despotic Arab regimes and replacing them with “democratic” (read “U.S. vassal”) states. This would include Iran, Syria, Saudi Arabia & others.
The New York Times today (http://www.nytimes.com/2003/03/11/arts/11WEEK.html ) describes President Bush’s recent remarks before the American Enterprise Institute at a dinner honoring Bill Kristol’s dad, Irving Kristol the Original Neoconservative. His remarks could have been written by PNAC and Bill Kristol (& perhaps they were!):
If we have to act, we will act to restrain the violent and defend the cause of peace. And by acting, we will signal to outlaw regimes that in this new century the boundaries of civilized behavior will be respected.
In this rhetoric, you hear overtones of the bully and the petulant boy ready to impose his will on any recalcitrant boys on the playground. Most of all, you hear echoes of 1984 and Alice in Wonderland in which we make war to gain the peace; and kill to make men free.
Jessica Matthews of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, is quoted in the article with the most cogent analysis of PNAC’s political philosophy:
They are urging a de facto return to empire. Announcing a global crusade on behalf of democracy is arrogant, blind to local realities, dangerous and ignorant of history.
PNAC first proposed in a 1997 letter to Bill Clinton that the U.S. topple Hussein fr. power & transform Iraq into a vassal state (Oops! I meant democratic state). Their website is at http://www.newamericancentury.org. Their publications are at http://www.newamericancentury.org/publicationsreports.htm (these include a pre 9/11 report advocating toppling Sadaam).
Also, you can go to the abcnews.com website (http://abcnews.go.com/sections/nightline/DailyNews/pnac_030310.html) to read a text summary. If you click on the Free Video link you can sign up for the RealPlayer Super Pass service (choose the 14 day free trial). You can cancel the service before 14 days & will not be charged for it. You do have to fill out some tedious info including credit card, etc. But the Ted Koppel interview w. Kristol is gold (Ian Lustig, a dovish M.E. expert is also interviewed as a counterweight to PNACs drivel). This is the only way I know of to hear the entire program (it lasts 15 mins.).