"By what process," asks Mr. Churchill, "could the slaughter of ten million men and the destruction of one-third of the entire savings of the greatest nations of the world have ushered in a Golden Age?"
~ Sir Bernard Mallet and C. Oswald George, BRITISH BUDGETS, Second Series,
1913—14 to 1920—21, London: Macmillan and Co., Limited, 1929, p. 175
During the summer of 1924 a former German Army corporal languished in relative luxury in Landsberg Prison. With time on his hands he dictated a turgid book of twisted thoughts to one of his loyal cronies. With a gift for oratory, the prisoner had risen to leader of a fledgling political party. An idealistically naïve and inept attempt to overthrow the struggling government by force had failed, landing the leader behind bars.
Volume One of the book was first printed in the autumn of 1925 and initially sold a meager 9,473 copies. Sales dropped further to only 3,015 by 1928. Even when sales did increase, the book was not often read by those who bought it. It was a prerequisite display of "political correctness" to be placed in view on the mantle. The book laid out very specifically a plan for the forceful expansion towards more "living space" into Eastern Europe coupled with rabid racism so severe it called for the extermination of an entire race of people. The book was titled Mein Kampf — My Struggle in English.
One wonders, had German citizens bothered to read the book and give it serious thought, would Germany and the world have been spared unparalleled disaster?
WW II, its cause and its carnage, is now alive only in the pages of history books. Offering accounts that are unimaginable to and thus misunderstood by new generations, such works of history are selectively remembered by governments with their own modern agendas. For most people today, the complex causes of WW II have been reduced to the most simplistic terms of good versus evil. It is never that simple.
The world is six years into a new century. Unfortunately, the new century has not handed the world a clean slate with which to start civilization over again. Sadly, old men do not forget. Last century’s grudges and feuds are alive and well in this century. With angry intolerance and dreams of conquest, mankind continues to grab at empire.
Enter the Project For The New American Century.
Well known to those who actively follow national and world developments, PNAC along with other think tanks governing national policy such as The American Enterprise Institute, operate beyond the view of the average American who listens to talk-radio on the way to work. And yet such think tanks exert an enormous influence and power over the future of the United States and with it mankind. Woe to those who do not see through the rationale and revisionist history used by these think tanks to justify their agenda.
In its Statement of Principles, dated June 3, 1997, The Project for the New American Century spelled out its philosophy and agenda. For those who bothered to read it, little doubt was left concerning what was in store for the 21st century. The PNAC Statement is reprinted in its entirety below with comments.
"American foreign and defense policy is adrift. Conservatives have criticized the incoherent policies of the Clinton Administration. They have also resisted isolationist impulses from within their own ranks. But conservatives have not confidently advanced a strategic vision of America’s role in the world. They have not set forth guiding principles for American foreign policy. They have allowed differences over tactics to obscure potential agreement on strategic objectives. And they have not fought for a defense budget that would maintain American security and advance American interests in the new century.
We aim to change this. We aim to make the case and rally support for American global leadership."
Although touting itself as a voice of "conservatism," PNAC evidences little genuine conservative philosophy. Lord Salisbury warned of this very thing. Paul Smith writes: "Salisbury had little taste for colonization: he could see that all too often it was a convenient pretext for the robbery of the weak, and he was doubtful whether the advantages it brought offset the heavy expense and commitment incurred."
"Radical" would be a more apt description for PNAC policies. In the military jargon of "strategy" and "tactics," a call is made for "American global leadership." What exactly are these "American interests" that PNAC wants to "advance"?
The Statement of Principles continues:
"As the 20th century draws to a close, the United States stands as the world’s preeminent power. Having led the West to victory in the Cold War, America faces an opportunity and a challenge: Does the United States have the vision to build upon the achievements of past decades? Does the United States have the resolve to shape a new century favorable to American principles and interests?
In short, with the break up of the U.S.S.R. there is no country strong enough to stop the U.S., therefore we must strike now… while the iron is hot.
We are in danger of squandering the opportunity and failing the challenge. We are living off the capital — both the military investments and the foreign policy achievements — built up by past administrations. Cuts in foreign affairs and defense spending, inattention to the tools of statecraft, and inconstant leadership are making it increasingly difficult to sustain American influence around the world. And the promise of short-term commercial benefits threatens to override strategic considerations. As a consequence, we are jeopardizing the nation’s ability to meet present threats and to deal with potentially greater challenges that lie ahead. We seem to have forgotten the essential elements of the Reagan Administration’s success: a military that is strong and ready to meet both present and future challenges; a foreign policy that boldly and purposefully promotes American principles abroad; and national leadership that accepts the United States’ global responsibilities."
Did the United States under president Reagan actually lead the West to victory in the Cold War? Or did Reagan’s forceful policies and rearmament combine with the implosion of the U.S.S.R.’s failed economy as the Russians lost their ill-advised war in Afghanistan?
Does the U.S. have decades of international achievements on which to build and of which to boast? WW I was fought to a standstill with the U.S. participating in the final year, 1918. In WW II, Nazi Germany suffered greatly by the perpetual British and U.S. aerial bombardment; however, it was the onslaught of the Russian Red Army that dealt National Socialism the deathblow. Through attrition of resources, tiny Imperial Japan’s 1941 aggression against the U.S. never had a chance against the expanse of America.
How about Korea? Vietnam? Are these achievements of past decades to build upon in a quest for a New American Century? And don’t forget America’s achievements in the little third world. The U.S. has been busy inside countries of no threat to, and with no possibility of defense against the mighty U.S. war machine. As stated by AEI Neocon Michael Ledeen: "Every ten years or so, the United States needs to pick up some small crappy little country and throw it against the wall, just to show the world we mean business."
Are these policies something to boast of and build upon as "successes?"
While feeding their own paranoia, the "thinkers" at PNAC are rationalizing their own delusions of grandeur.
"Of course, the United States must be prudent in how it exercises its power. But we cannot safely avoid the responsibilities of global leadership or the costs that are associated with its exercise. 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."
"Prudent" in the exercise of power? Since when? How can any sentient being consider Michael Ledeen’s statement "prudent?" "Peace?" "Security?" Where? In the Middle East? This is merely a smoke screen of "morality."
What is important in this passage is the carefully worded hint of preventive war. To hell with "intelligence" and concrete proof, we’ll make that up as we go along. The ends justify the means. It is America’s "fundamental interests," and claims to the world’s remaining oil supplies, which must be protected. Morality does not enter into it.
"Our aim is to remind Americans of these lessons and to draw their consequences for today. Here are four consequences:
- we need to increase defense spending significantly if we are to carry out our global responsibilities today and modernize our armed forces for the future;
- we need to strengthen our ties to democratic allies and to challenge regimes hostile to our interests and values;
- we need to promote the cause of political and economic freedom abroad;
- we need to accept responsibility for America’s unique role in preserving and extending an international order friendly to our security, our prosperity, and our principles."
These are not "consequences." These are statements rationalizing conquest through force.
Increase defense spending? The United States spends billions more on "defense" than is needed to defend her borders. The United States is protected both to the east and west by vast oceans and has non-hostile neighbors to the north and south. No nation in the world could seriously contemplate an invasion of U.S. borders as a matter of foreign policy. The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 were not a militaristic act of a hostile state but a brutal terrorist attack of a privately funded, fringe group of radicals scorned and feared by many of the Middle Eastern nations. It was not an invasion. It was not a state-sponsored act of war.
What PNAC actually means is: increase "military spending for offense" and for the benefit of the military industrial complex in order to serve aggressive pursuit of a bigger empire.
Challenge hostile regimes? In other words, destroy nations that do not kowtow to our demands. The mighty U.S. will threaten to bomb them back into the Stone Age to show we mean business.
Promote political and economic freedom abroad? Is this best accomplished at the point of a gun? What about political and economic freedom at home? Must America’s Constitution and civil liberties be discarded in the New American Century? Evidently so.
Accept responsibility for what? Creating a Militaristic Empire for the power hungry neoconservatives? The United States is responsible for the United States, not for the world. The U.S. is not the global guardian. Last I heard, the United Nations was supposed to fill that role.
"Such a Reaganite policy of military strength and moral clarity may not be fashionable today. But it is necessary if the United States is to build on the successes of this past century and to ensure our security and our greatness in the next."
No doubt, PNAC’s Statement of Principles is attractive to those Americans who love to be number one and care little how they get there.
The Greatness of America is a delusional falsehood which has been fostered by our schools, movies, television and newspapers. America and the PNAC have bloated egos claiming to be the saviors of the world. Was 9/11 evidence that the world may not share this view? To the eyes of the world community, we are the bullies to be feared… and hated. "Such a Reaganite policy of military strength and moral clarity" may have become fashionable with PNAC thugs but it lacks not simply "moral clarity" but morals entirely. It is nothing more than Empire building madness. America’s white hat is splattered in blood.
Note the signatories. Many are familiar names within the current Democratic Dictatorship of secrecy and privilege. And this list is only a fraction of the Neocons driving towards the disaster of the New American Century.
Elliott Abrams, Gary Bauer, William J. Bennett, Jeb Bush, Dick Cheney, Eliot A. Cohen, Midge Decter, Paula Dobriansky, Steve Forbes, Aaron Friedberg, Francis Fukuyama, Frank Gaffney, Fred C. Ikle, Donald Kagan, Zalmay Khalilzad, I. Lewis Libby, Norman Podhoretz, Dan Quayle, Peter W. Rodman, Stephen P. Rosen, Henry S. Rowen, Donald Rumsfeld, Vin Weber, George Weigel, Paul Wolfowitz
One member of PNAC, whose name is not shown on this list, is PNAC chairman and co-founder William Kristol. Kristol has just joined Time magazine as a columnist. About Kristol one might quote Ayn Rand’s description of: “a journalist who wrote that it is proper and moral to use compulsion ‘for a good cause,’ who believed that he had the right to unleash physical force upon others — to wreck lives, throttle ambitions, strangle desires, violate convictions, to imprison, to despoil, to murder — for the sake of whatever he chose to consider as his idea of ‘a good cause,’ …since he …relied solely on his own ‘good intentions’ and on the power of a gun.” [Ayn Rand, ATLAS SHRUGGED, Part II "Either-Or," Chapter VII "The Moratorium on Brains," p 605]
In late August of 1939, with Austria annexed to Germany and Czechoslovakia occupied by the Third Reich, one "only had to look at a map to see who was next, Poland." An attack by fake Polish soldiers on a German radio station in Gleiwitz was staged by the German S.S. In retaliation, Germany’s blitzkrieg poured across the border into Poland on September 1st, 1939. It was the opening day of WW II.
Early victories were impressive. Six years later, Germany lay in ruins.
Vigilance could have prevented WW II. Germany failed to understand the message of Mein Kampf. Germany could have taken action to prevent its own destruction. Today, the most aggressive nation in the world, the United States of America, is building up military forces around another "crappy little country," Iran. Under the guise of spreading peace, security, freedom and democracy the U.S. blitzkrieg of Iran is almost certain.
The policies of PNAC threaten endless war in a savage re-shaping of a fearful world.
The Project for the New American Century issued a warning to America and the world on June 3, 1997. All one had to do was read it and to look at the map. God help us all.
The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich by William L. Shirer served as reference for historical information.
Elizabeth Gyllensvard contributed to and edited this story.
Tom Chartier [send him mail] played lead guitar in legendary Los Angeles punk band The Rotters for 26 years until their final appearance in January of 2004. He has lived in Tokyo and Los Angeles. Currently he resides somewhere in the Caribbean.