March 25, 2003 10:12 PM   Subscribe

Meet the new masters. A facinating look at the people behind the Project for a New American Century, many of whom hold high positions in the Bush administration. Regime Change in Iran anyone?
posted by delmoi (38 comments total)
Also discussed previously: 1, 2 (and I only remember because the existence of the PNAC truly frightens me.)
posted by eyeballkid at 10:16 PM on March 25, 2003

I am glad you posted this, more American's need to be aware of this. Thanks for the excellent post! Frankly this Project for a New American Century scares the hell out of me.
posted by tljenson at 10:25 PM on March 25, 2003

posted by y2karl at 10:31 PM on March 25, 2003

"[Michael] Ledeen says that the very logic of the global war on terrorism will drive the United States to confront an expanding network of enemies in the region. "As soon as we land in Iraq, we're going to face the whole terrorist network," he says, including the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), Hezbollah, Hamas, Islamic Jihad and a collection of militant splinter groups backed by nations -- Iran, Syria and Saudi Arabia -- that he calls "the terror masters."

"It may turn out to be a war to remake the world," says Ledeen."

I expect that that Bush Adm. Neocons have built the expected terrorist backlash effects into their planning scenarios (first, a Hezbollah attack on US interests which bolsters arguments for a US attack on Iran). I do not accuse the Perle cabal of stupidity.
posted by troutfishing at 10:32 PM on March 25, 2003

Well, fuck, I do.
posted by y2karl at 10:38 PM on March 25, 2003

I don't believe this article. It claims to be an Asian Times exclusive (like they would have an inside track) and says:

The plan is to .. dismember Iraq altogether and annex it to Jordan as a vassal kingdom to the US

Total *BS* .. America doesn't have "vassal kingdoms". Who would believe this except non-Americans or Americans who don't know any better. It is propaganda pure and simple probably by foriegn governments.
posted by stbalbach at 10:42 PM on March 25, 2003

More ragged, shrill anti-Bush op-ed pieces & conspiracy theories, please. I can't get enough.

posted by Karl at 10:55 PM on March 25, 2003

Horrified by the "debased" Bill Clinton, PNAC exponents lavishly praise "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".

Lebanon: 1982-1984

You are right, it does read like science fiction in places.
posted by y2karl at 10:56 PM on March 25, 2003

stbalbach did you bother to click on the link "the Project for a New American Century" this link supports what the Asian Times article is saying. It also has been personally endorsed by several members of the current administration. They signed their names to it. Before attacking I suggest you read the whole post rather then just selectively picking out parts to attack.
posted by tljenson at 11:08 PM on March 25, 2003

Holy Crap! How'd you get a picture of my father-in-law???
posted by sadie01221975 at 11:13 PM on March 25, 2003

Karl: A conspiracy is conducted in private, and consequently conspiracy theories involve speculations about how certain deals were made or evil schemes were worked out in private. All the information posted here is information that has been made freely available to the public, by the persons involved, a significant number of whom have a strong influence within and on the Bush administration.
posted by raysmj at 11:15 PM on March 25, 2003

More ragged, shrill anti-Bush op-ed pieces & conspiracy theories, please. I can't get enough.

why don't you actually click the iran link. it won't make you hate freedom or anything. has this conspiracy theory so enravaged my sensibilities that i am imagining that this is on PNAC's own fucking site?

i'm sure that the world appreciates your pre-emptive strike against rationality.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 11:21 PM on March 25, 2003

Here is further backing for the statements made in the Asian Times article. On our own domestically produced show front line. The show in question is The War Behind Closed Doors. In the show it's referred to as the Bush Doctrine. Here I quote a blurb out of the show notes about the Bush Doctrine "A war with Iraq to oust Saddam Hussein would be the first test case in the Bush administration's larger strategy for projecting U.S. power and influence in the post-Cold War world. Here's an overview of the people, the events, the major statements, and the policy battles behind what's become known as the Bush Doctrine."
posted by tljenson at 11:25 PM on March 25, 2003

I just read a few interesting op-ed pieces on the subject..

The president's real goal in Iraq

Comparing America to ancient empires is 'ludicrous'
posted by ZupanGOD at 11:27 PM on March 25, 2003

Raysmj - Exactly. I've been saying this for months: The Bush Administration Neocons have been remarkable open about their plans. As a matter of fact the call themselves "The Cabal" (openly and gleefully). But the mainstream US mass media have ignored this (historically unprecedented?) story until the US actually invaded Iraq.

St. Balbach - Vassal Kingdoms....Like Puerto Rico?

Anyway, Josh Marshall was writing about this story last June - "What if Saddam's troops remained loyal? Perle didn't have an entirely satisfactory answer to this point. Instead, he insisted that without access to his ports, and the ability to sell his oil, Saddam would not be able to hunker down in Baghdad: "I think we can put him in a situation where he's got to try to assert authority over his own territory. And when he does, he's highly vulnerable, his forces are highly vulnerable."

The problem with this reasoning is that it assumes Saddam would court his own destruction on the least favorable terms. Would Saddam send his outnumbered Republican Guard out into the open to be annihilated by American airpower? Or would he hold them back in his redoubts in Baghdad, place his soldiers and heavy artillery among civilians, and dare the United States to come in and dislodge him?

This sort of ugly, worst-case scenario is precisely what the professional military fears and insists on preparing for. In an attack on a metropolis like Baghdad, the U.S. could have far less of the advantages of its high-tech military and precision-guided bombs. If the Iraqi army were spread throughout the city, the toll of civilian casualties would simply be too high to destroy the Iraqi military from the air".........These neoconservatives are not just being glib. They see toppling Saddam as the first domino to fall, with other corrupt Middle Eastern regimes following--just as the fall of the Berlin Wall was followed by the collapse of communism.

posted by troutfishing at 11:28 PM on March 25, 2003

More ragged, shrill anti-Bush op-ed pieces

Less spittle than the anti-Clinton ones!
posted by y2karl at 11:33 PM on March 25, 2003

ZupanGOD (re: "Comparing America to ancient empires is 'ludicrous") - Sure, that's true. Methods are much more refined now - we don't tear out people's hearts atop pyramids. ....But 'soft' methods, too, have been around for a long time. The most famous Empire in history, The Roman Empire, was a 'soft', partially hegemonic empire.
posted by troutfishing at 11:35 PM on March 25, 2003

karl and stbalbach:
have you guys ever read any of PNAC's reports? check out this pdf, please. it has been linked a million times on mefi, so i can only assume that you have taken the time to familiarize yourselves with its content, informed as you both obviously are.

perhaps you are familiar with these guys' views, and you agree. cool. perhaps you are familiar with these guys' views, and you think that they have no impact.

at the very least, these fellas constitute a think tank that has influential members. if the nation were hotly engrossed in a debate on tax reform, and i told you that a popular republican think tank had a crazy proposal about tax reform, would you dismiss it without thought or care?
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 11:47 PM on March 25, 2003

Karl, you're pretty weird!
posted by samelborp at 11:56 PM on March 25, 2003

I was intrigued by Karl's excellent conspiracy theory theory, but I wasn't fully convinced until I saw the silly condescending photo of the stereotypical hippie!

Damn you Saddam, quit hating my freedom!
posted by skallas at 1:21 AM on March 26, 2003

Total *BS*

Understatement of the year.

Fantastic picture Karl! I will forever imagine that mug whenever I read, well, some people's posts. Thanks.
posted by hama7 at 3:03 AM on March 26, 2003

"And doesn't Texas seem to resemble a country like Saudi Arabia, with its great heat, its oil wealth, its brimming houses of worship, and its weekly executions."

posted by cmacleod at 3:03 AM on March 26, 2003

"The U.S.U.N. resembles the original in almost every way, right down to all the flags outside our headquarters," said Condoleezza Rice, a U.S. delegate to the U.S.U.N. "This organization will carry out peacekeeping missions all over the world, but, unlike the U.N., these missions will not be compromised by the threat of opposition by lesser nations."

And here I'd given up on the Onion...
posted by kaibutsu at 3:12 AM on March 26, 2003

Fantastic picture Karl! I will forever imagine that mug whenever I read, well, some people's posts.

Whatever's necessary to avoid facing the facts...
posted by soyjoy at 9:49 AM on March 26, 2003

And steam up the mirrors in the locker room.

And here I'd given up on the Onion...

And miss Point-Counterpoint?

To take over a country and impose one's own system of government without regard for the people of that country is the very antithesis of democracy"?

You are completely wrong.

Trust me, it's all going to work out perfect. Nothing bad is going to happen. It's all under control.

Why do you keep saying these things? I can tell when there's trouble looming, and I really don't sense that right now. We're in control of this situation, and we know what we're doing. So stop being so pessimistic.

Look, you've been proven wrong, so stop talking. You've had your say already.

Be quiet, okay? Everything's fine.

You're wrong.

posted by y2karl at 2:58 PM on March 26, 2003

After the first...--D'oh!
posted by y2karl at 3:02 PM on March 26, 2003

have you guys ever read any of PNAC's reports? check out this pdf, please

It is 90 pages long. I didn't read it all. But I did do a search on the word "vassel" and "jordan" and neither showed up. Can you please point to me where Iraq is going to be a vassel kingdom of Jordan? Seriously, I want to know where this bullshit originates from. You seem to have the inside tract.
posted by stbalbach at 4:25 PM on March 26, 2003

Vassel kingdom of the US? What do you call Kuwait?
posted by delmoi at 9:15 PM on March 26, 2003

stbalbach, so sorry this was never explained to you, but when you do a word search, you have to be able to spell the word.

Not that I think the word's there, but since your lame-ass response to "here's the evidence, read it for yourself" was "nah, I couldn't be bothered, so I just did a word search on some of the terms you were using to paraphrase it," at least you could have gotten that part right.
posted by soyjoy at 7:19 AM on March 27, 2003

Can you please point to me where Iraq is going to be a vassel kingdom of Jordan?

Searching for 'vassel' (without bothering to spell-check) is just a sign of lazy blockheadedness.

The line is rather like this: the Jordanian monarchy is Hashemite; the Iraqi monarchy was Hashemite. There's a neo-conservative line of thought (repeated here from STRATFOR by the right-wing loons at WorldNetDaily) that it would be nice to let the Hashemites take over Iraq, or at least the Sunni regions. The advantage of that, of course, is that it makes it easier to stick the occupied Palestinians in Jordan, where Palestinians already outnumber Jordanians, thus delivering on the insidious argument that 'there is a Palestinian state, and it is Jordan'.
posted by riviera at 9:04 AM on March 27, 2003

All in the Neocon Family
posted by homunculus at 2:33 PM on March 27, 2003

Not that I think the word's there

Nor is the word "Jordan". Did you actually read the 90-page document yourself? I mean, the very premise of the Asian Times article is that the reason we are invading Iraq is to give it to Jordan and everyones telling me this is all laid out in this 90-page document.. and the document doesnt even contain the word "Jordan"! How am I supposed to research somthing that doesn't exist.
posted by stbalbach at 3:48 PM on March 27, 2003

the very premise of the Asian Times article is that the reason we are invading Iraq is to give it to Jordan

Come on. This is wild hyperbole - your "very premise" is one projection in a long multi-sourced article about this overall quest of the guys running the Bush administration. If you want to "disprove" it by focusing on individual words that may or may not be in any given source, rather than credit or discredit the argument as a whole, that's fine. But you look rather silly when you try that and can't actually spell the word you're looking up.
posted by soyjoy at 8:45 PM on March 27, 2003

How am I supposed to research somthing that doesn't exist.

I dunno. I'll try researching your common sense and see what happens.

Try a precursor document to the project which became PNAC, the 1996 briefing by Perle and company to Netanyahu entitled "A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm":
Since Iraq's future could affect the strategic balance in the Middle East profoundly, it would be understandable that Israel has an interest in supporting the Hashemites in their efforts to redefine Iraq, including such measures as: visiting Jordan as the first official state visit, even before a visit to the United States, of the new Netanyahu government; supporting King Hussein by providing him with some tangible security measures to protect his regime against Syrian subversion; encouraging — through influence in the U.S. business community — investment in Jordan to structurally shift Jordan’s economy away from dependence on Iraq; and diverting Syria’s attention by using Lebanese opposition elements to destabilize Syrian control of Lebanon.

Most important, it is understandable that Israel has an interest supporting diplomatically, militarily and operationally Turkey’s and Jordan’s actions against Syria, such as securing tribal alliances with Arab tribes that cross into Syrian territory and are hostile to the Syrian ruling elite.

King Hussein may have ideas for Israel in bringing its Lebanon problem under control. The predominantly Shia population of southern Lebanon has been tied for centuries to the Shia leadership in Najf [aka Najaf, for war fans], Iraq rather than Iran. Were the Hashemites to control Iraq, they could use their influence over Najf to help Israel wean the south Lebanese Shia away from Hizballah, Iran, and Syria. Shia retain strong ties to the Hashemites: the Shia venerate foremost the Prophet’s family, the direct descendants of which — and in whose veins the blood of the Prophet flows — is King Hussein.
In short, the 'Hashemite Iraq' strategy was in play seven years ago.
posted by riviera at 9:36 PM on March 27, 2003

riviera, first off thanks for actually posting supporting evidence. For the sake of argument I will go along with it and assume it is current US policy.

The document says it would be in US and Israeli interest for a regime change in Iraq with a new Iraq controlled by the Hashemites because it would make Iraq more friendly to Israel and less friendly to Hizballah. In contrast, the Asian Times article says that the US Plan is to make Iraq a "vassal kingdom" of Jordan which implies a lack of self rule for the Iraqi people. There is no evidence of this at all. It is anti-US propaganda.
posted by stbalbach at 6:34 AM on March 28, 2003

gosh, if only the guys planning this had thought to use the word "vassal" (or, um, "vassel"), stbalbach would be convinced. What a tragic near-miss. Well, I guess you're right: The absence of that word thoroughly discredits the whole article (and all the others that have covered this topic). Turns out it's all about freedom and democracy. Yep.
posted by soyjoy at 8:41 AM on March 28, 2003

soyjoy, you get the last word you'll have to catch up with my spelling mistakes elsewhere! lol
posted by stbalbach at 1:42 PM on March 28, 2003

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