War against Iraq is a personal vendetta for some

John Troyer

In June 1997, the Project for the New American Century was formed to address neo-conservatives’ complaints about U.S. foreign policy during the Clinton administration. A small group of individuals, including Dick Cheney, Eliot A. Cohen, I. Lewis Libby, Donald Rumsfeld and Paul Wolfowitz signed the statement of principles developed by the organization. Most of the signers are either in the current George W. Bush administration or connected to the president in some form – Jeb Bush is a signer, as it happens.

The PNAC’s platform is succinctly explained on their Web site, www.newamericancentury.org, as the following: “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.

“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.”

The group is no conspiratorial secret and I have been monitoring its publications for more than a year. I am drawing attention to the PNAC for the following reason: A war, any war, with Iraq has been on paper or planned since at least 1992 and part of a larger organized campaign with PNAC members since 1997.

Members of PNAC and their friends (they like to call themselves the “Vulcans”) used the 2000 election campaign to create the current Bush administration, working the whole time toward attacking Saddam Hussein. More than oil, human rights and the installation of democracy in the Middle East, the war is largely about self-interested retribution. If anyone doubts the numerous personal vendettas involved in getting rid of Hussein for Paul Wolfowitz, Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney, watch two recent documentaries by PBS’s Frontline: “The War Behind Closed Doors” and “The Long Road to War.”

Both of the these documentaries explain in no uncertain terms how the hunt for Hussein is arguably a war about egos and power politics begun during the Reagan administration. The problem is pretty clear: Hussein did not follow the orders given him by the Reaganites regarding whom to gas and how to use intelligence information – so strange. More to the point, PNAC members want to isolate the Clinton administration for our current woes when it is the Reaganite policies of the 1980s that produced most of the problems we face today. I respectfully submit the photo of Donald Rumsfeld meeting with Hussein on Dec. 20, 1983, in Baghdad to begin the establishment of diplomatic relations with the regime in 1984 – lest the Reaganites forget. Perhaps more than a personal vendetta, the war in Iraq is a vast military plan to destroy all those other unfortunate pictures lurking in Iraqi archives of meetings between various Reaganites and Hussein.

The fog of schizophrenia clouding these dubious meetings seems almost laughable now since the advocates for a war against Iraq got their wish and the troops are fighting for really serious reasons. Everybody knows Hussein was trying to purchase uranium for nuclear weapons – Bush even said so in his most recent State of the Union address. It’s a good reason to invade any country, except for the part where the documents detailing the uranium sales from Niger were frauds – see Seymour Hersh’s recent article in The New Yorker for more details. But who cares about what is really taking place, since war is war and the troops need our support now more than ever.

I totally agree, and when I heard one injured soldier talk on TV about how he did not mind getting shot because we all know Hussein has been trying to get uranium for weapons I just stared at the walls of my apartment in disbelief. I want to make something clear – my freedoms and the concepts of American freedom do not rest on faked intelligence reports, but then who needs to see things straight right now – we’ve got a war on. I do wonder, however, what Persian Gulf war veteran Timothy McVeigh would say about the current military occupation of Iraq if he were still alive.

What impresses me most about the war in Iraq is how nothing good will come from the days to come. I know the coalition of countries involved – El Salvador, Palau, etc. – will champion our victory, but the United States has already lost international credibility to such an extent that the only option left for concerned citizens is to make sure Bush is really not president in 2004. By any and all means necessary, people opposed to the lunacy and degradation of the Bush administration must begin working on campaigns to elect a president who at least does not give the same speech every single day. Apparently according to these speeches, Hussein is a bad man – I had no idea. Since it has only taken two and a half years to undermine the entirety of the United States’ post-Reagan credibility, electing Bush and his cabinet for a second term would be devastating. More than just bungled foreign relations, the largest problem with re-electing Bush is his fervent belief that God is on his side. When Bush talks about God and providence guiding the United States, he really means it and nothing should be more terrifying – especially the Bush administration’s God.

In the meantime everybody should keep up the antiwar and the pro-war demonstrations as some sign, at least, of civic involvement. A genuine civil war of sorts is really starting to take shape in the United States today as the people living in the cities begin to realize the depth of insolence inhabiting the suburbs. Having gone to a pro-war rally at the State Capitol, I do worry about the suburban patriots because they believe so earnestly in everything said by the president. I don’t know what creates such intellectual vacuums except blind faith; so, onward Christian soldiers.

I want to conclude with a quote from a short speech by former President Reagan creating Afghanistan Day on March 21, 1982, (don’t worry, I missed it too), providing a number of solid Reaganite reasons for criticizing both the PNAC and the Bush doctrine: “It is therefore altogether fitting that the European Parliament, the Congress of the United States and parliaments elsewhere in the world have designated March 21, 1982, as Afghanistan Day, to commemorate the valor of the Afghan people and to condemn the continuing Soviet invasion of their country. Afghanistan Day will serve to recall not only these events, but also the principles involved when a people struggles for the freedom to determine its own future, the right to be free of foreign interference and the right to practice religion according to the dictates of conscience.”

John Troyer’s biweekly column usually appears

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