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lulldapull
04 Nov 04,, 20:01
Chalmers Johnson
The Neocon Agenda.......
Wed May 26, 2004 08:22
4.227.38.217

NEOCONS-A SPECIAL BREED

With much of the Iraq debacle now laid at the feet of the "neocons"- the latest case being damning charges on CBS' "60 Minutes" program by General Anthony Zinni-expect to read much more about this cadre of hard core policy wonks. But what do we actually know about neoconservatives?

Remarkably, neoconservatives have their roots in the Old Left with strong ties to the philosophies of Stalin and Trotsky. The first neocons were mostly Jewish liberal intellectuals who grew increasingly frustrated with the Democrats' leftward drift on defense issues in the 1970s... and subsequently made a complete and dramatic shift to the other extreme.

Two of the founding fathers of neoconservatism are Irving Kristol and Norman Podhoretz. Kristol was managing editor of the "Commentary" magazine (known as "the neocon bible") from 1947-52 and author of the book "Neo-Conservatism: The Autobiography of an Idea". Podhoretz, former editor-in-chief of "Commentary", authored nine books and is a political speaker and activist. Since the '70s, he has founded two organizations with his wife Midge: the Committee on the Present Danger (where they worked with Donald Rumsfeld) and the Committee for the Free World.

By the 1980s, most of the neocons had turned Republican and lined up behind Ronald Reagan whom they viewed as a kindred soul in taking a tough stance on communism. After the collapse of the Soviet Union in the early '90s, followed by a period of military downsizing, the neocons accused the US government of complacency and demanded a more aggressive foreign policy. After 9/11, their influence on the government has grown substantially.

Today's neocons are known for their aggressive unilateralist vision of U.S. global supremacy, and their hawkish approach on foreign policy issues. William Kristol, son of neocon "godfather" Irving Kristol, provides us with a glimpse at the overarching view: "American power should be used not just in the defense of American interests, but for the promotion of American principles." Fellow neocon Max Boot goes one step further: "The most realistic response to terrorism is for America to embrace its imperial role."

Most neocons share a strong support for Israel, which has led to the question of "dual loyalty"; neocons are frequently accused by traditional conservatives like Pat Buchanan to put Israeli interests above those of America, an allegation that is usually dismissed as anti-Semitism. General Zinni, who has become an outspoken critic of the neocons, also reports attempts to paint him with that same brush.

Neocons believe in the value of preemptive strikes against "rogue nations" whose interests and political agenda don't align with those of America. Iraq, to the neocons, was only the beginning. According to Michael Ledeen, foreign policy adviser to Karl Rove, "Iraq is just one battle in a larger war;, bringing down the regime in Iran is the central act, because Iran is the world's most dangerous terrorist country." And William Kristol adds: "On the outcome of the confrontation with Tehran, more than any other, rests the future of the Bush Doctrine-and, quite possibly, the Bush presidency-and prospects for a safer world."

For your further reference, here are some of the key neoconservatives:

Paul Wolfowitz
Current Deputy Secretary of Defense. Co-wrote the infamous 1992 draft "Defense Planning Guidance" that promoted US military dominance over Eurasia and preemptive strikes against countries suspected of developing WMDs. The draft was deemed so outrageous that it had to be almost completely rewritten. Following 9/11, substantial parts of it became key points in the 2002 US National Security Strategy.

Michael Ledeen
One of the most radical neocons and special adviser to Karl Rove in foreign policy matters. Ledeen co-founded the Coalition for Democracy in Iran in 2001. Quote from a 2003 address for the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs: "[T]he time for diplomacy is at an end; it is time for a free Iran, free Syria, and free Lebanon." Ledeen is an admirer of totalitarian political philosopher Niccolo Machiavelli (1469-1527) and author of the book "Machiavelli on Modern Leadership: Why Machiavelli's Iron Rules Are as Timely and Important Today as Five Centuries Ago". In his 1972 book Universal Fascism, he promoted the fascist movement as a right-wing revolution fueled by "a desire to renew".

Richard Perle
Nicknamed "Prince of Darkness" for his tough stance on foreign policy issues. Founding member of the Jewish Institute for National Security and the Center for Security Policy. Until March 2003, Chairman of the Pentagon's Defense Policy Board. Co-authored a 1996 memorandum for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, titled "A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm" that reveals parts of the "creative destruction" strategy for the Middle East, starting with Iraq.

Douglas Feith:
Current Under Secretary of Defense for Policy and Director at the Center for Security Policy. Former prot馮・of Richard Perle's; well-known as a supporter of the Israeli right-wing Likud Party. In 1997, Feith and his father were honored for their "service to Israel and the Jewish people" by the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) at its 100th anniversary banquet.

William Kristol
Son of neocon "godfather" Irving Kristol, chief of staff under the Reagan and Bush I administrations, editor of the Weekly Standard. Founder and current Chairman of the Project for a New American Century (PNAC), a think tank uniting right-wing Republicans, Christian fundamentalist leaders, and neocons in their pursuit of global US military dominance.

Lewis "Scooter" Libby
Current chief of staff, national security adviser to Vice President Dick Cheney, adviser with the RAND corporation's Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies, founding member of the PNAC. Libby co-signed the 2000 report titled "Rebuilding America's Defenses-Strategies, Forces, and Resources for a New Century" that urged for an invasion of Iraq. He also co-authored the above mentioned '92 draft "Defense Planning Guidance" for then-Defense Secretary Cheney.

Elliott Abrams
Special assistant to the President and Senior Director on the National Security Council for Southwest Asia, Near East, and North African Affairs. Worked for Senator Henry "Scoop" Jackson and held various State Department posts under Ronald Reagan. Married to Rachel Decter, daughter of Norman Podhoretz and Midge Decter. Abrams pleaded guilty to withholding information from Congress about the Iran-Contra affair in 1991 and was pardoned by President George H.W. Bush in 1992.

Max Boot
Editorial features editor at the Wall Street Journal, Olin senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, contributing editor to the Weekly Standard and many other newspapers. Most recently, Boot authored "The Savage Wars of Peace: Small Wars and the Rise of American Power" (2002). Publisher's Weekly, which reviewed the book, commented that Boot "has a reputation as a fire-breathing polemicist and unabashed imperialist."

Robert Kagan
Former principal speechwriter to Secretary of State George P. Shultz (1984-85); hired by Elliott Abrams as deputy for policy in the State Department's Bureau of Inter-American Affairs. Co-founder of the PNAC; senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (CEIP); writer for various newspapers. Kagan wrote the bestseller "Of Paradies and Power: America and Europe in the New World Order". His wife, Victoria Nuland, is Dick Cheney's deputy national security adviser.

Which brings us to President Bush. Is he a neocon, or just a tool being used by them to further their agenda? While the President has never explicitly committed to being a neocon, others seem to think he fits the bill. Said Max Boot in his 2002 article "What the Heck is a 'Neocon'?": "During the 2000 campaign, President Bush sounded very much like a realist, with his suspicions of 'nation building' and his warnings about American hubris. Then along came 9/11. The National Security Strategy that he released in September-which calls for 'encouraging free and open societies on every continent'-sounds as if it could have come straight from the pages of Commentary magazine, the neocon bible. I suppose that makes George W. Bush a neocon. If it's good enough for the President, it's good enough for me."

Regardless of where you come down on the neocons, we believe that the more scrutiny that their policy dictates come under, the better.

Check out historian and former CIA advisor Chalmers Johnson's book about the rise of American imperialism, The Sorrows of Empire : Militarism, Secrecy, and the End of the Republic [The American Empire Project] (2004). -----------

lulldapull
04 Nov 04,, 22:38
Same old Neocons still pumping cheese at pentagon central :) :

Published on Wednesday, June 16, 2004 by the Inter Press Service

Stymied in Iraq, Hawks Still Positioning US as Globocop

by Jim Lobe

WASHINGTON - Although their hopes for transforming Iraq into a pro-U.S. base in the heart of the Arab world have been badly set back, neo-imperial hawks in the Bush administration are proceeding as fast as possible to reinvent U.S. forces worldwide as ''globocop'', capable of pre-empting any possible threat to its interests at a moment's notice.

In the last month, the Pentagon has confirmed plans to sharply cut forces stationed at giant U.S. bases in Germany, South Korea and Okinawa, Japan, and to redeploy them to smaller, more widely dispersed facilities -- sometimes called ''lily pads'' -- along an ''arc of crisis'' stretching along a wide band from Southeast Asia to West Africa, as well as to bases in Guam and back home.

The planned redeployments, the most sweeping since the onset of the Cold War more than 50 years ago, are all part of a global strategy to build, in Pentagon chief Donald Rumsfeld's words, a ''capability to impose lethal power, where needed, when needed, with the greatest flexibility and with the greatest agility''.

As for where the ''need'' is, Pentagon officials state publicly that would be defined by threats to ''stability''. But a closer look at where Washington is most interested in acquiring access to military facilities suggests the determining factor may be proximity to oil and gas-producing areas, pipelines and shipping routes through which vital energy supplies pass.

To most analysts, the proposed redeployments make a lot of sense. With the collapse of the Soviet Union, the need for big U.S. military bases that housed conventional forces in Germany and elsewhere in Western Europe evaporated from a strategic point of view, while the steady build-up of well-equipped and well-trained forces in South Korea, where Washington has stationed nearly 40,000 troops for the past 25 years, made it more than a match for North Korea.

In addition, the presence and behavior of U.S. forces in both Western Europe and Northeast Asia, particularly in South Korea and Okinawa, have become increasingly unpopular and a lightning rod for growing anti-Americanism and resentment. Reducing their ''footprint'' might have the opposite effect.

Indeed, Washington withdrew its troops altogether from Saudi Arabia over the past year in large part because their presence there had become politically untenable.

Nonetheless, both the plans -- and the ways they are being developed and implemented -- are provoking growing criticism at home, as well as abroad.

The reasons for this are not difficult to understand, particularly in light of the Iraq war.

In the first place, the planned redeployments appear designed to ensure that the United States could indeed enforce a ''Pax Americana'', based on its ability to exert unilateral military control over the production and flow of energy resources from Central Asia, the Gulf region and the Gulf of Guinea off the coast of West Africa in the face of potential rivals.

In that respect, the strategy is an update of the controversial 1992 draft Defense Planning Guidance (DPG) written under the auspices of current Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz and Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff and national security adviser, I Lewis ''Scooter'' Libby -- both of whom played key roles in driving the Bush administration to war in Iraq.

The 1992 paper, which was significantly watered down at the insistence of then-Secretary of State James Baker and National Security Adviser Brent Scowcroft, called for Washington to act as the guarantor of global security and predicted that U.S. military interventions would be a ''constant fixture'' of the future -- a prospect that, in light of the unhappy and costly experience in Iraq to date, is not very popular at the moment, either here or abroad.

A second concern is the damage that such a redeployment could do to Cold War alliances, particularly Washington's commitment to Europe, where the Pentagon wants to cut its military presence in Germany -- currently some 70,000 troops and scores of warplanes -- in half. Some of the forces would be sent home, while most would be moved to cheaper bases in Bulgaria and Romania, closer to the Caucasus and the Middle East.

''The most serious potential consequences of the contemplated shifts would not be military but political and diplomatic'', wrote Kurt Campbell, a former senior Pentagon official now with the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), and Celeste Johnson Ward, in a 'Foreign Affairs' article last year. The redeployments, they warned, could be construed as the beginning of a withdrawal from what Rumsfeld last year scornfully called ''Old Europe''.

And that, in turn, could reinforce traditional isolationist tendencies in the United States that, before World War II, sought to prevent Washington from engaging in political ''entanglements'' with European countries or international institutions in ways that might constrain its freedom of action in the Americas or anywhere else.

Indeed, the repudiation of permanent alliances in favor of ''coalitions of the willing'' -- a major feature of the Bush administration's post-9/11 policies as it was in the Wolfowitz-Libby paper -- not only recalls isolationism; it is also entirely consistent with the strategy underlying the proposed redeployments.

A similar consideration worries South Korea, where Washington is proposing the withdrawal of more than 12,000 troops, including some 3,500 who are being sent to bolster beleaguered U.S. forces in Iraq.

The Koreans worry that such a significant withdrawal now might not only complicate a particularly tense time in intra-Korean relations, but may also signal Washington's desire to reduce Seoul's say in whether or not Washington attacks North Korea. ''This is about psychology'', Derek Mitchell, a former Pentagon Asia expert recently told the 'Los Angeles Times'.

A related concern was voiced by Campbell and Ward when the proposed redeployments were still on the drawing board. ''Unless the changes are paired with a sustained and effective diplomatic campaign'', they warned, ''they could well increase foreign anxiety about and distrust of the United States''.

That, in effect, is what has happened, as officials from both Germany and South Korea have complained that they were not fully consulted about the redeployments before they were leaked to the press or officially announced -- a failure that only increases the impression that Washington is proceeding unilaterally, even with its closest allies.

This is not surprising, because most of the same people -- including Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz and Douglas Feith, the undersecretary of Defense for policy -- who led the drive to war in Iraq remain in charge of implementing the new global strategy.

While these officials have lost virtually all influence over policy-making in Iraq as a result of their virtually total failure to anticipate the challenges faced by U.S. occupation forces after the war, they are working feverishly to reconfigure Washington's global military forces for the coming generation.

Copyright 2004 IPS - Inter Press Service

Donnie
04 Nov 04,, 22:59
interesting, i found these 2 paragraphs humorous though.


In addition, the presence and behavior of U.S. forces in ........ South Korea ...... have become increasingly unpopular and a lightning rod for growing anti-Americanism and resentment. Reducing their ''footprint'' might have the opposite effect.

The Koreans worry that such a significant withdrawal now might not only complicate a particularly tense time in intra-Korean relations, but may also signal Washington's desire to reduce Seoul's say in whether or not Washington attacks North Korea.

this is my major gripe, your damned if you do, damed if you dont.

lulldapull
05 Nov 04,, 02:03
interesting, i found these 2 paragraphs humorous though.



this is my major gripe, your damned if you do, damed if you dont.



How humourous are they Donnie :) ? Even for a juvenile? :biggrin: :biggrin:

Okay after the intended pun.......Don't you think that both the South koreans and Japanese will have to re-define themselves in a post 90's China reality, without Unkal Sam suckling them ?....China is reasserting itself on a daily basis! :)

I think with the Chinese now on the verge of being the most dynamic, largest and most powerful economy in the East, Both the South Koreans and the Japanese will have to fend for themselves, as our economy will not be capable to sustain these current global deployments or power projections anymore.

P.S. The Japanese are already pumping in billions of dollars into our ailing economy to artificially maintain the dollars value against the Euro and the increasingly menacing yuan. INMO once the EU is firmly estabilished and the EU reasserts itself as a new entity ( rivalling the U.S. economy in size and export potential) we'll have a lot more competition to worry about. And as the article rightfully predicts that the geo-strategic realities of that happening are already taking place, as large U.S. Military bases in the heart of europe are winding down, packing up and shipping out to either eastern europe, or to the new war in the middle east. :)

Donnie
05 Nov 04,, 02:43
How humourous are they Donnie

your right, its more like irony


Okay after the intended pun.......Don't you think that both the South koreans and Japanese will have to re-define themselves in a post 90's China reality, without Unkal Sam suckling them ?....China is reasserting itself on a daily basis! :)

absolutly, but it will bring about anti - american sentiment, either way.


I think with the Chinese now on the verge of being the most dynamic, largest and most powerful economy in the East, Both the South Koreans and the Japanese will have to fend for themselves, as our economy will not be capable to sustain these current global deployments or power projections anymore.

i think china is still a little farther away than the verge, but they will be something to condend with.


P.S. The Japanese are already pumping in billions of dollars into our ailing economy to artificially maintain the dollars value against the Euro and the increasingly menacing yuan. INMO once the EU is firmly estabilished and the EU reasserts itself as a new entity ( rivalling the U.S. economy in size and export potential) we'll have a lot more competition to worry about. And as the article rightfully predicts that the geo-strategic realities of that happening are already taking place, as large U.S. Military bases in the heart of europe are winding down, packing up and shipping out to either eastern europe, or to the new war in the middle east. :)

yes we all know about japan helping to prop the dollar, its in thier best interest to do so right now. as i said, the article was interesting, wasnt really picking it apart, only mentioning the fact that the US is often stuck between policies.