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Meet the New Shills on Iran, Same as the old Shills on Iraq

By       Message Ron Fullwood     Permalink
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THE invasion and occupation of Iraq was the invention of a banished ruling class who had enriched themselves by marketing the influence of their positions in government; who had nursed their broken ambitions in exile and had instinctively constructed their sympathetic webs of wealth to obstruct the remedies of the reformers and hatch the next generation of world capitalists who would inherit the patronage of the next conservative presidency.

One relatively unremarkable collection of neonuts committed to U.S. support of Israel emerged after the ascendancy of Bush with their own blueprint to revive and effect all of the unrealized imperious ambitions of the former Bush presidency. In September 2000, the right-wing think-tank, Project for the New American Century, drafted a report entitled "Rebuilding America's Defenses: Strategy, Forces and Resources for a New Century." The conservative foundation- funded report was authored by Bill Kristol, Bruce Jackson, Gary Schmitt, John Bolton and others. Bolton was Senior Vice President of the conservative American Enterprise Institute. (Bill Kristol is chairman of PNAC and Gary Schmitt was the president of the organization. Bruce Jackson is their project director.)

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The paper claimed that, "Potential rivals such as China were anxious to exploit these technologies broadly, while adversaries like Iran, Iraq and North Korea were rushing to develop ballistic missiles and nuclear weapons as a deterrent to American intervention in regions they sought to dominate. Also that, information and other new technologies – as well as widespread technological and weapons proliferation – were creating a ‘dynamic' that might threaten America's ability to exercise its ‘dominant' military power."

The authors further warned that, "U.S. nuclear force planning and related arms control policies must take account of a larger set of variables than in the past, including the growing number of small nuclear arsenals –from North Korea to Pakistan to, perhaps soon, Iran and Iraq – and a modernized and expanded Chinese nuclear force."

The 2002 PNAC document is a mirrored synopsis of the Bush administration's foreign policy today. President Bush is projecting a domineering image of the United States around the world which has provoked lesser equipped countries to desperate, unconventional defenses; or resigned them to a humiliating surrender to our rape of their lands, their resources and their communities. President Bush intends for there to be more conquest - like in Iraq - as the United States exercises its military force around the world; our mandate, our justification, presumably inherent in the mere possession of our instruments of destruction.

The PNAC ‘Rebuilding America' report was used after the Sept. 11th terrorist attacks to draft the 2002 document entitled "The National Security Strategy of the United States," which for the first time in the nation's history advocated "preemptive" attacks to prevent the emergence of opponents the administration considered a threat to its political and economic interests.

It stated that ". . . we will not hesitate to act alone, if necessary, to exercise our right of self-defense by acting preemptively against such terrorists, to prevent them from doing harm against our people and our country." And that, "To forestall or prevent such hostile acts by our adversaries, the United States will, if necessary, act preemptively."

This military industry band of executives promoted the view, in and outside of the White House that, "America must be prepared to stop rogue states and their terrorist clients before they are able to threaten or use weapons of mass destruction against the United States and our allies and friends. . . We must deter and defend against the threat before it is unleashed," the strategy reads.

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So their plan was/is to attack whomever, whenever they feel our security is threatened, no matter if the nature and prevalence of the threat is uncertain.

In the fall of 2002, a right-wing advocacy group, 'The Committee for the Liberation of Iraq' (Chairman of the Board, former Lockheed president and PNAC director Bruce Jackson), was established in the Washington offices of the right-wing American Enterprise Institute. The CLI engaged in educational and advocacy efforts to mobilize U.S. and international support for policies aimed at ending the regime of Saddam Hussein.

This advocacy came at the same time that Condoleezza Rice and Stephen Hadley were engaged in a series of briefings with foreign policy groups, Iraq specialists and other opinion makers that was termed as a "new phase," by a White House spokesman, who described the goal as building fresh public support for Bush administration policy vs. Iraq. Members of the CLI met in November of 2002 with President Bush's national security adviser, Condi Rice, in an effort to mount "education and advocacy efforts to mobilize U.S. and international support freeing the Iraqi people from tyranny."

Members of the Committee for the Liberation of Iraq included, John McCain, Newt Gingrich, William Kristol, General Barry McCaffrey, and former CIA director James Woolsey. George Shultz, Amb. Jeane J. Kirkpatrick, then-Under Secretary for Arms Control and International Security John Bolton, and Elliot Abrams were also involved with the group. Abrams and Bolton are founding members of the CLI.

Among the other participants in the CLI were, president and executive director, Randy Scheunemann (Scheunemann eventually served as a consultant on Iraq to Donald Rumsfeld), Treasurer Julie Finley, Gary Schmitt (director of PNAC) and Richard Perle (chairman of Rumsfeld's Defense Policy Board) who is also closely associated PNAC.

The CLI successfully lobbied for the installation of the so-called Iraqi National Congress to replace the Hussein dictatorship. This group was the creation of the U.S. Congress which, following testimony from Ahmed Chalabi, and defense policy executive (later ambassador to Iraq), Zalmay Khalilzad, passed the Iraq Liberation Act in 1998, and sanctioned the new U.S. policy of regime change. Almost $100 million in taxpayer funds was provided to the group.

The entire Bush administration foreign policy toward the Middle East was the creation of these right-wing ideologues who took a "build it they will come" approach to their foreign policy ambitions and were on the ground when Bush ascended to office, ready to implement their manufactured policies behind a compliant new republican majority.

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Many of these same think-tank operators who had been intimately involved in fleshing-out the Bush administration's response to the 9-11 attacks, insisting that invading and occupying Iraq would be a cakewalk, are now working to cover their bloody disaster by attempting to shift focus from their debacle to the next domino in their strategy to expand the U.S. military presence and influence in the Mideast to confront and intimidate Iraq's next-door neighbor, Iran.

The NYT reported this week that the AEI and their emerging right-wing splinter, 'Freedom's Watch' were soliciting $200 million to sell war on Iran. (http://www.prwatch.org/node/6498 ) Freedom's Watch is basically a PNAC front -- it's members and advisors, many of the same players from the original, right-wing think-tank cabal which led the administration into Iraq. Freedom's Watch was the group who put out those pro-administration commercials Ari Fleicher helped organize during the period of Gen. Petraeus' September testimony to Congress on Iraq.

The umbrella organization that Freedom's Watch operates under is called 'The Foundation for the Defense of Democracies.' (FDD) was founded right after the September 11 attacks to exploit the nations (and the administration's) vengeful focus on adversaries in the Middle East. Its president, Clifford May, is the former director of communications for the Republican National Committee.

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Ron Fullwood, is an activist from Columbia, Md. and the author of the book 'Power of Mischief' : Military Industry Executives are Making Bush Policy and the Country is Paying the Price

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