If you don't know about the Project for the New American Century (PNAC), you should learn. It is undoubtedly the most powerful think tank in existence today. Those affiliated with the organization include:
Dick Cheney, Vice President
Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary of Defense
Paul Wolfowitz, Deputy Secretary of Defense
Richard Perle, Chairman of the Defense Policy Board
Richard L. Armitage, Deputy Secretary of State
John R. Bolton, Under Secretary, Arms Control & International Security
Paula J. Dobriansky, Under Secretary, Global Affairs
Peter W. Rodman, Assistant Secretary of Defense, International Security Affairs
William Schneider, Jr., Chairman, Defense Science Board
Robert B. Zoellick, United States Trade Representative
Other notable members, such as William Bennett and William Kristol, often appear on the Sunday talk shows as "experts."
According to its web site, PNAC is dedicated to the following propositions:
1. "that American leadership is good both for America and for the world"
2. "that such leadership requires military strength, diplomatic energy
and commitment to moral principle"
3. "and that too few political leaders today are making the case for
PNAC calls for a return to a Reagan-style foreign policy with the goal "to promote American global leadership" and "to challenge regimes hostile to our interests and values."
In their 2000 paper entitled "Rebuilding America's Defences", PNAC authors wrote that "the process of transformation, even if it brings revolutionary change, is likely to be a long one, absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event - like a new Pearl Harbor" (63). The events of September 11th were equivalent to a "new Pearl Harbor" in both tragedy and political significance, since President's Bush foreign policy has drastically changed from the "humble" and non-national-building formula he put forward during the 2000 presidential debates to one of preemptive strikes, regime change, and unilateralism.
For the members of PNAC, war with Iraq was on the table prior to September 11th. In 1998, Richard Perle, Donald Rumsfeld, and Paul Wolfowitz, among other prominent members of PNAC, sent letters to then-President Clinton, then-House Speaker Newt Gingrich, and then-Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott calling for the removal of Saddam Hussein. These 1998 letters, in essence, represent the Bush policy today -- the removal of Hussein is in the U.S.'s interests, which include the protection of U.S. troops in the region, the protection of U.S. allies, and the protection of "a significant portion of the world's supply of oil." However, they do not mention weapons of mass destruction:
Letter to President Clinton:
Letter to Gingrich and Lott:
Given all of the debate prior to the invasion of Iraq, the US media essentially ignored the significance of PNAC and its influence within and on the Bush Administration.
However, tonight (March 26, 2003) the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) is airing a special on its program The Fifth Estate that explores the connection between the US invasion of Iraq and PNAC. For those that have access to CBC, this may be worth watching.
Iraq & The Project for the New American Century
by the editors of Victory is Certain
March 26, 2003