Out of their own mouths (Part 2)
Justifying the unjustifiable
by Anna Pha American leaders and the various "think tanks" that provide them with strategic plans to achieve their objective of world domination, often find it hard to justify the unjustifiable. The Guardian brings more statements of these institutes that graphically illustrate the thinking behind their theories for "pre-emptive strikes" and military intervention. "Without a 'clear and present danger' such as the Axis Powers in 1941 or, later, the Soviet Union to coalesce public agreement on the threat, it is difficult to construct a supporting strategy that can be effective either in setting priorities or objectives." The quote is from a strategy document called Shock and Awe: Achieving Rapid Dominance, which was published by the powerful right-wing think-tank, the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA). The JINSA document tackles this question: "In assessing the future utility and applicability of Rapid Dominance, it is crucial to consider the political context in which force is likely to be employed. As we enter the next century, the probability is low that an overriding, massive, direct threat posed by a peer-competitor to the U.S. will emerge in the near term. Without compelling reasons, public tolerance toward American sacrifice abroad will remain low and may even decrease. "This reluctance on the part of Americans to tolerate pain is directly correlated to perceptions of threat to U.S. interests. "Americans have always appreciated rapid and decisive military solutions. But, many challenges or crises in the future are likely to be marginal to U.S. interests and therefore may not be resolvable before American political staying power is exhausted. "Americans prefer not to intervene, especially when the direct threat to the U.S. is ambiguous, tenuous, or difficult to define. Therefore, when intervention is necessary there is likely to be both a political and practical imperative to have allied or international involvement or at least the political cover of the UN, NATO, or appropriate NGOs. These words of caution have now been thrown to the winds. Bush and those like the Australian Government that support "pre-emptive strike" and the "failed state" theory have been provided with the causes to justify their actions. They are the "war against terrorism", "weapons of mass destruction" and "regime change" to be used against selected targets defined by "those who are not with us are against us". Although American propaganda still seeks to convince the world that the US is motivated by benevolent attitudes the reality is different. Bob Woodward has graphically illustrated the reality in his book Bush at War in describing a scene in Afghanistan. He writes: "On February 5, 2002, about 25 men representing three different Special Forces unites and three CIA paramilitary teams gathered outside Gardez in Afghanistan. "The men stood or kneeled on this desolate site in front of a helicopter. An American flag was standing in the background. There was a pile of rocks arranged as a tombstone. One of the men read a prayer. Then he said, 'We consecrate this spot as an everlasting memorial to brave Americans who died on September 11, so that all who would seek to do her harm will know that America will not stand by and watch terror prevail. "'We will export death and violence to the four corners of the earth in defence of our great nation.'" (Emphasis added) Two approaches The war hawks at the Pentagon are quite intolerant of different views, even to those that predominate the US State Department. "There are two world views in conflict about [US] foreign policy. One world view is of process, politeness and accommodation. The other world view is a world view of facts, values and outcomes", says Newt Gingrich the former Republican Speaker of the US House of Representatives and a rabid war hawk and extreme conservative. "President Bush clearly represents the latter world view, with his focus on facts, values and outcomes. The State Department, as an institution, and the Foreign Service, as a culture, clearly represents the former, with a focus on process, politeness and accommodation.." (Gingrich, American Enterprise Institute (AEI) transcript April 22, 2003) "From President Bush's clear choice between two worlds, the State Department had descended into a murky game in which the players were deceptive and the rules were stacked against the United States. The State Department's Communications Program failed during these five months to such a degree that 95 percent of the Turkish people opposed the American [war against Iraq]". Gingrich goes on to describe the State Department's communications as a failure, "as a result of which the South Korean people regarded the United States as more dangerous than North Korea and a vast majority of French and German citizens favored policies that opposed the United States. "As the State Department remained ineffective and incoherent, the French launched a worldwide campaign to undermine the American position and make the replacement of the Saddam dictatorship very difficult." (Gingrich, AEI April 22, 2003) Iraq — US there to stay When speaking to the public, the US war hawks would have us believe that they are motivated by good intentions towards their victims: "For the first time in decades, the wealth of Iraq will be devoted to the welfare of its people, not to palaces and armies and instruments of repression. Economic development will require the protection of Iraq's natural resources and infrastructure", said Paul Wolfowitz (AEI transcript, April 10, 2003). "Much has been achieved already but additional efforts are underway to protect Iraq's oil fields and preserve them as a national asset, and to restore oil production as quickly as possible to provide the Iraqi people with the primary source of revenue. "While the coalition will be involved at the outset, the goal is to have production and marketing responsibility in the hands of a stable Iraqi authority as soon as possible." Richard Perle, one of the leading ideologues behind the Bush attack on Iraq, is more honest about their real intentions. When speaking at an AEI forum he said, "Iraq, fortunately, has a continuing revenue stream from the production of oil, which should go a long way toward financing the reconstruction of the country. And whether there will be private financing, to make that money available immediately against future revenues is one way to do it, or by international contributions, I don't know. "I don't know that there's any judgment on that. But private companies will end up doing the work almost certainly, as there is simply no other way of doing it." (Perle, AEI transcript, March 21, 2003) While they are talking, the Americans are drawing up Iraq's constitution and handing over oil production to US oil corporations. In the main, US corporations are being given contracts to rebuild the infrastructure they destroyed using the Iraqi people's oil to fund this "aid". If their occupation is successful, the US can be expected to pull Iraq out of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and put the US dollar back in control. (Iraq had converted to the Euro during Saddam Hussein's rule.) "We do not want a replay of the [first] Gulf War. This time we must fight for keeps." (Michael Ledeen, The American Enterprise Magazine, (AEI) December 2001) But, "Iraq is not the war" "And [what] I've said from the beginning, is that this is a battle in a longer war. Iraq is not the war. And the war is a regional war, and we cannot be successful in Iraq if we only do Iraq alone. And I think that the terror countries bordering Iraq, namely, Iran and Syria, know that", says Ledeen. (AEI, transcript, March 21, 2003) Ledeen continues: "I think that the Iranians and the Syrians fully intend to do everything in their power to destabilize our efforts in Iraq once the war is over and once we're in stable positions on the ground. And there are two models for that. One is Lebanon in the 1980s and Afghanistan today. "You probably noticed that at the same time the war is going on in Iraq, we have launched many hundreds if not thousands of soldiers in attacks against Iranian-sponsored terrorists in Afghanistan, who are trying to make sure that we don't have success there." The new crusades Pullitzer prize-winning Charles Krauthammer confirms it is not just about Iraq. Krauthammer is from the American Enterprise Institute and columnist for the Washington Post. He told the AEI: "I would argue that we have now lived through the 19 months, which stand on an equal plain in their audacity, success and revolutionary nature. The 19 months, of course, are from September 11, 2001, to April 9, 2003, a period which, in responding to an attack out of the blue, this administration has redefined the world, reoriented American foreign policy and put in place a profound new approach." "The main reason that we are doing this is for protection of the United States and America at home and abroad. "Our only hope of eradicating the kind of hatred, enmity and fanaticism which gave us a 9/11 is to see a revolution in the Arab World, and this will not be overnight, but to try to change the cauldron in which that radicalism, anti-Americanism, hatred and fanaticism has been bred. And you start that by democratizing societies, bringing in a decent society, decent education, and I think that is the long-run project. That's the meaning of the war on Iraq. (Krauthammer, AEI April 22, 2003) "We ought to make the Syrians think that anything is possible. We are in a position, after the shock and awe of this war, of influencing the behavior, if not the composition, of regimes in Iran, Syria and elsewhere. "We ought to use the uncertainty in the region to try to impose changes in behavior on regimes like that in Damascus and leave them wondering and thinking." (Krauthammer, AEI April 22, 2003) "The common denominator of our enemies in the Middle East is tyranny. The terror masters are all tyrants. So Saudi Arabia, Syria, Iran, and Iraq are all tyrannies. And I believe until these tyrannies are brought down we will continue to have terrorism." (Ledeen, Fox News Channel interview May 10, 2002) "The Saudis finance all the terror. The Iranians design it, the Iraqis support it, and the Saudis finance it. And the Saudis are the producers of the basic non-Shiite doctrine. "There are two schools of Islam, so there are two kinds of terrorism, there' s Shiite terrorism and Sunni terrorism. Wahabi terrorism is Saudi, it's a Saudi invention, it's a Saudi product, it's preached in Saudi mosques, it's spread around the world in Saudi textbooks, even in the United States." (Ledeen, Ibid) "This new century now challenges the hopes for a new world order in new ways. We will not defeat or even contain fanatical terror unless we can carry the war to the territories from which it is launched. This will sometimes require that we use force against states that harbour terrorists, as we did in destroying the Taliban regime in Afghanistan." (Perle, The Spectator, March 29, 2003) The United Nations Perle said, "Is simply not up to the task." "We are left with coalitions of the willing. Far from disparaging them as a threat to a new world order, we should recognize that they are, by default, the best hope for that order, and the true alternative to the anarchy of the abject failure of the United Nations. (Perle, The Spectator, March 29, 2003) Preemption Krauthammer pushes the concept of preemption which has been long practiced by US administrations, but not normally openly declared as policy — well, not until George W came to office. "[W]e know that we can be attacked out of the blue, in the context of a world where we have democratized the knowledge of how to make and acquire weapons of mass destruction. We cannot afford to wait to be attacked again because if we are attacked again with weapons of mass destruction, the results would be so catastrophic as to be unimaginable. Therefore, we must, necessarily, have a policy of preemption." "Now, the problem is that preemption is an uncomfortable idea, not because of moral or legal reasons. Morally, I think it is unsalable, and in terms of international law, international law is useful in regulating the fishery rights off Newfoundland, but they have nothing to say about matters of war and peace, particularly between civilized states and terrorist states." (Krauthammer, AEI, April 22, 2003) Krauthammer ignores the Charter of the United Nations that provides in detail how relations between states are to be regulated and international law applied. "There must also be an appropriate political context that justifies the use of preemptive force, as opposed to less destructive or non-lethal types of sanctions (e.g., responses to terrorism in the case of Libya, invasion of Kuwait by Iraq, exports of WMD to a threatening country such as Iran, the North Korean threat to South Korea and Japan)." (JINSA Shock & Awe) "The struggle against global terrorism is different from any other war in our history. It will be fought on many fronts against a particularly elusive enemy over an extended period of time", warns the strategy document, quoting from a government document, The National Security Strategy of the United States of America, September 2002. And when there are no weapons of mass destruction or regime changes to justify intervention there is always the idea of "failed states". Some political or economic instability, some serious conflict between social groups, some ethnic conflict can be used to justify a claim of "failed state". This is what the Australian Government is using for its intended occupation and re-colonisation of the Solomon Islands. The Australian Government's blueprint is outlined in a report called Our Failing Neighbour which was produced by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute — a government- funded "independent" think-tank.
* * *All documents quoted from available organisations on websites.
Continued next week.