Editor dissects chickenhawk program

“One hundred thirty thousand soldiers and U.S. taxpayers don’t deserve to be entangled in Iraq. We have been handed lie upon lie.”

The speaker was Matthew Rothschild, editor of The Progressive magazine. The occasion was an address last week before the McHenry County Peace Group at McHenry County Community College.

Rothschild discussed the Project for a New American Century (PNAC), which contained the blueprint for our actions in the Mideast, and what he called the Bush administration’s “messianic militarism.”

He said the PNAC really began in 1992 when Dick Cheney was U.S. Secretary of Defense. At that time, he had a deputy named Paul Wolfowitz, who advocated American world supremacy.

Although Rothschild didn’t mention it, most of the ideas contained in the PNAC were originally part of a planning paper prepared by Richard Perle, Wolfowitz and some others for Binyamin Netanyahu, then a high official of the government of Israel.

It was William Kristol, a member of the Bilderberg Group, a secret organization touting one-world government, and now editor of The Weekly Standard, a conservative publication, who pulled these ideas together in 1997 and launched the PNAC.

The statement of PNAC principles was signed by such notables as Elliott Abrams, William Bennett, Jeb Bush, Dick Cheney, Steve Forbes, I. Lewis Libby, Dan Quayle, Donald Rumsfeld, and, of course, Wolfowitz.

That document declared: “America has a vital role in maintaining peace and security in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. If we shirk our responsibilities, we invite challenges to our fundamental interests. The history of the 20th Century should have taught us that it is important to shape circumstances before crises emerge, and to meet threats before they become dire. The history of this century should have taught us to embrace the cause of American leadership.”

Rothschild said the PNAC advanced the idea that the U.S. should be the dominant power in the world and should not allow any other nation to challenge our position.

He said the plan also advocated pre-emptive strikes against such challenges and ignoring the United Nations. George Bush Sr., he said, did not like the PNAC.

The plan called for increased defense spending, strengthening ties with our allies, challenging regimes hostile to our interests and promoting the cause of political and economic freedom abroad.

In 1998, Rothschild said, Wolfowitz and company sent a letter to President Clinton. “The letter said the most important aim of American foreign policy was to remove Saddam Hussein from power.” Clinton did not directly act on that suggestion.

He said in the early days of the Bush administration, the government was in the process of transformation and needed a “catastrophic event” to reach its goals. We know what that was and what has followed.

Responding to a question from the audience about the investigation of a White House leak of the identity of a CIA officer—Valerie Plame—and the insistence by John Ashcroft of controlling that probe, Rothschild said: “Ashcroft is not in a good position to investigate the leak.” He cited the close and long-term relationship between Karl Rove and Ashcroft which compromises the integrity of the investigation.

Commenting on the claim that Saddam Hussein had ties to al-Qaeda, Rothschild asserted: “They tried to glue the beard of Osama onto the chin of Saddam.”

He said Cheney was anxious to do business with Saddam because “Cheney understood the importance of oil to the U.S. economy. Cheney’s energy report says the U.S. will be more dependent on Mideast oil in 20 years.”

Referring to the present situation in the Mideast, Rothschild said: “The Iraq war has blown up in Bush’s face. I think he will declare martial law in areas where there is trouble. The U.S. is creating enemies every day. I think Bush would rather save face than save America.”

He said Bush will regret two comments he made: “bring ‘em on” and “mission accomplished.”

“The guy is way over his head,” he declared.

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