Leo Strauss is the father of the NeoConservative movement, including many leaders of the current administration. Indeed, some of the main neocon players were students of Strauss at the University of Chicago, where he taught for many years. Strauss, born in Germany, was an admirer of Nazi philosophers and of Machiavelli.
Strauss believed that a stable political order required an external threat and that if an external threat did not exist, one should be manufactured. Specifically, Strauss thought that:
"A political order can be stable only if it is united by an external threat . . . . Following Machiavelli, he maintained that if no external threat exists then one has to be manufactured".(quote is by one of Strauss' main biographers).
Indeed, Stauss used the analogy of Gulliver's Travels to show what a Neocon-run society would look like:
"When Lilliput [the town] was on fire, Gulliver urinated over the city, including the palace. In so doing, he saved all of Lilliput from catastrophe, but the Lilliputians were outraged and appalled by such a show of disrespect."Moreover, Strauss said:
"Only a great fool would call the new political science diabolic . . . Nevertheless one may say of it that it fiddles while Rome burns. It is excused by two facts: it does not know that it fiddles, and it does not know that Rome burns."So Strauss seems to have advocated governments letting terrorizing catastrophes happen on one's own soil to one's own people -- of "pissing" on one's own people, to use his Gulliver's travel analogy. And he advocates that government's should pretend that they did not know about such acts of mayhem: to intentionally "not know" that Rome is burning. He advocates messing with one's own people in order to save them from some "catastrophe" (perhaps to justify military efforts to monopolize middle eastern oil to keep it away from an increasingly-powerful China?).
Fast Forward a Couple of Decades
Fast forward to the 1990's . . .
Jimmy Carter's National Security Advisor seemed to hint at this approach when he wrote in 1997:
"as America becomes an increasingly multi-cultural society, it may find it more difficult to fashion a consensus on foreign policy issues, except in the circumstance of a truly massive and widely perceived direct external threat." (p. 211)Similarly, the Project For A New American Century, a think tank lobbying group with Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Feith and the other leading Neocons in its ranks, lamented that its rapacious military agenda would not be realized "absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event -- like a new Pearl Harbor."
Don't believe that these quotes represent anything nefarious yet?
Fast forward to today . . .
Former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld said the American people lack "the maturity to recognize the seriousness of the threats." What's to be done? According to Rumsfeld, "The correction for that, I suppose, is [another] attack."
Newt Gingrich recently said:
"the better they've done at making sure there isn't an attack, the easier it is to say, 'Well, there never was going to be an attack anyway.' And it's almost like they should every once in a while have allowed an attack to get through just to remind us."The head of the Arkansas Republican party said:
"At the end of the day, I believe fully the president is doing the right thing, and I think all we need is some attacks on American soil like we had on [Sept. 11, 2001]" so people appreciate Bush.Philadelphia Daily News columnist Stu Bykofsky openly called for "another 9/11" that "would help America" restore a "community of outrage and national resolve".
Lt.-Col. Doug Delaney, chair of the war studies program at the Royal Military College in Kingston, Ontario, told the Toronto Star that "The key to bolstering Western resolve is another terrorist attack like 9/11 or the London transit bombings of two years ago."
And an allegedly-leaked GOP memo touts a new terror attack as a way to reverse the party's decline.It's All Hot Air, Isn't It?
But isn't this all talk? They wouldn't really allow terror to happen . . . or aid and abet such attacks. Would they?
Well, President Carter recently impliedly acknowledged the risk of staged provocation in order to start a war against Iran.
A former National Security Adviser told the Senate that a terrorist act might be carried out in the U.S. and falsely blamed on Iran to justify war against that nation.