Sources: The Sunday Herald
September 15, 2002
Title: “Bush Planned Iraq ‘regime change’ before becoming President”
Author: Neil Mackay
Title: “Dick Cheney’s Song of America”
Author: David Armstrong
Title: “The 30 Year Itch”
Author: Robert Dreyfuss
December 12, 2002
Title: “Hidden Agendas”
Author: John Pilger
Random Lengths News
October 4, 2002
Title: “Iraq Attack-The Aims and Origins of Bush’s Plans”
Author: Paul Rosenberg
Project Censored wishes to acknowledge that Jim Lobe, the Washington, D.C. correspondent for Inter Press Service (IPS), has been covering the ways in which neo-conservatives, using the Project for the New American Century (PNAC) among other mechanisms, used the 9/11 attacks to pursue their own agenda of global dominance and reshaping the Middle East virtually from the outset of the Bush administration’s “war on terrorism.” For more information, please vist the following link: http://www.ipsnews.net/focus/neo-cons/index.asp
Faculty Evaluators: Phil Beard Ph.D. and Tom Lough Ph.D.
Student Researcher: Dylan Citrin Cummins
Corporate Media Partial Coverage:
Atlantic Journal Constitution, 9/29/02, The President’s Real goal in Iraq, By Jay Bookman
Over the last year corporate media have made much of Saddam Hussein and his stockpile of weapons of mass destruction. Rarely did the press or, especially, television address the possibility that larger strategies might also have driven the decision to invade Iraq. Broad political strategies regarding foreign policy do indeed exist and are part of the public record. The following is a summary of the current strategies that have formed over the last 30 years; strategies that eclipse the pursuit of oil and that preceded Hussein’s rise to power:
In the 1970s, the United States and the Middle East were embroiled in a tug-of-war over oil. At the time, American military presence in the Gulf was fairly insignificant and the prospect of seizing control of Arab oil fields by force was pretty unattainable. Still, the idea of this level of dominance was very attractive to a group of hard-line, pro-military Washington insiders that included both Democrats and Republicans. Eventually labeled “neoconservatives,” this circle of influential strategists played important roles in the Defense Departments of Ford, Reagan and Bush Sr., at conservative think tanks throughout the ‘80s and ‘90s, and today occupies several key posts in the White House, Pentagon, and State Department. Most principal among them are:
·Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld, our current Vice-President and Defense Secretary respectively, who have been closely aligned since they served with the Ford administration in the 1970s;
·Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, the key architect of the post-war reconstruction of Iraq;
·Richard Perle, past-chairman and still-member of the Pentagon’s Defense Policy Board that has great influence over foreign military policies;
·William Kristol, editor of the Weekly Standard and founder of the powerful, neo-conservative think-tank, Project for a New American Century.
In the 1970s, however, neither high-level politicos, nor the American people, shared the priorities of this small group of military strategists. In 1979 the Shah of Iran fell and U.S. political sway in the region was greatly jeopardized. In 1980, the Carter Doctrine declared the Gulf “a zone of U.S. influence.” It warned (especially the Soviets) that any attempt to gain control of the Persian Gulf region would be regarded as an assault on the vital interests of the U.S. and repelled by any means necessary, including military force. This was followed by the creation of the Rapid Deployment Force – a military program specifically designed to rush several thousand U.S. troops to the Gulf on short notice.
Under President Reagan, the Rapid Deployment Force was transformed into the U.S. Central Command that oversaw the area from eastern Africa to Afghanistan. Bases and support facilities were established throughout the Gulf region, and alliances were expanded with countries such as Israel, Saudi Arabia, and Iraq.
Since the first Gulf War, the U.S. has built a network of military bases that now almost completely encircle the oil fields of the Persian Gulf.
In 1989, following the end of the Cold War and just prior to the Gulf War, Dick Cheney, Colin Powell, and Paul Wolfowitz produced the ‘Defense Planning Guidance’ report advocating U.S. military dominance around the globe. The Plan called for the United States to maintain and grow in military superiority and prevent new rivals from rising up to challenge us on the world stage. Using words like ‘preemptive’ and military ‘forward presence,’ the plan called for the U.S. to be dominant over friends and foes alike. It concluded with the assertion that the U.S. can best attain this position by making itself ‘absolutely powerful.’
The 1989 plan was spawned after the fall of the Soviet Union. Without the traditional threat to national security, Cheney, Powell and Wolfowitz knew that the military budget would dwindle without new enemies and threats. In an attempt to salvage defense funding, Cheney and company constructed a plan to fill the ‘threat blank’. On August 2, 1990 President Bush called a press conference. He explained that the threat of global war had significantly receded, but in its wake a new danger arose. This unforeseen threat to national security could come from any angle and from any power.
Iraq, by a remarkable coincidence, invaded Northern Kuwait later the same day.
Cheney et al. were out of political power for the eight years of Clinton’s presidency. During this time the neo-conservatives founded the Project for the New American Century (PNAC). The most influential product of the PNAC was a report entitled “Rebuilding America’s Defense,” (http://www.newamericancentury.org) which called for U.S. military dominance and control of global economic markets.
With the election of George W. Bush, the authors of the plan were returned to power: Cheney as vice president, Powell as Secretary of State, and Wolfowitz in the number two spot at the Pentagon. With the old Defense Planning Guidance as the skeleton, the three went back to the drawing board. When their new plan was complete, it included contributions from Wolfowitz’s boss Donald Rumsfeld. The old ‘preemptive’ attacks have now become ‘unwarned attacks.’ The Powell-Cheney doctrine of military ‘forward presence’ has been replaced by ‘forward deterrence.’ The U.S. stands ready to invade any country deemed a possible threat to our economic interests.
UPDATE BY DAVID ARMSTRONG: Just days after this story appeared, the Bush administration unveiled its “new” National Security Strategy, which effectively validated the article’s main thesis. The NSS makes clear that the administration will pursue a policy of pre-emption and overwhelming military superiority aimed at ensuring US dominance. Since that time, the major media have generally come around to the point of view presented in the article. The New York Times, which originally rejected the article’s premise, now makes a virtual mantra of the notion that the current security strategy is little more than a warmed-over version of the policy drafted during the first Bush administration of preventing new rivals from rising up to challenge the US in the wake of the Soviet Union’s collapse. The article circulated widely, particularly in the run up to the war in Iraq, and was entered into the Congressional Record. It also became a topic of discussion on such outlets as the BBC, NPR, MSNBC, various talk radio shows, and European newspapers. In the process, it has substantially helped shape the debate about the Bush administration’s foreign policy.
UPDATE BY BOB DREYFUSS: For months leading up to the war against Iraq, it was widely assumed among critics of the war that a hidden motive for military action was Iraq’s oil, not terrorism or weapons of mass destruction. In fact, “No Blood for Oil” became perhaps the leading slogan and bumper sticker of the peace movement. Yet, there was very little examination in the media of the role of oil in American policy toward Iraq and the Persian Gulf, and what coverage did exist tended to pooh-pooh or debunk the idea that the war had anything to do with oil. So, I set out to place the war with Iraq in the context of a decades-long U.S. strategy of building up a military presence in the region, arguing that even before the war, the U.S. had turned the Gulf into a U.S. protectorate. Perhaps most importantly, I showed that a motive behind the war was oil as a national security issue, as a strategic commodity, not as a commercial one – and that, in fact, most of the oil industry itself was either opposed to or ambivalent about the idea of war against Saddam Hussein. Yet the neoconservatives in the Bush administration, whose forebears had proposed occupying the oil fields of the Gulf in the mid-1970s, sought control of the oil in the region as the cornerstone of American empire.
Since the end of this war, it has become clear that the United States (and the U.K.) have aggressively sought to maintain direct control over Iraq’s oil industry. When looters devastated Baghdad, only the Ministry of Oil was unscathed, since U.S. marines protected it. Since then, handpicked Iraqi officials have been installed in the ministry, under the supervision of U.S. military and civilian officials, and there is movement toward privatization of Iraq’s oil industry, a point that I emphasized in my writing on the topic before the war. Not only that, but it is increasingly clear that France, Russia, and China are likely to be excluded from either rebuilding the industry and securing contracts for future Iraqi oil delivery.
I can’t say that the media followed up on my exposure of this issue, except that I appeared on a number of radio and television talk show programs as a result of my writing on Iraq, in both Mother Jones and The American Prospect, as well as C-Span, CNBC, and CBC-TV in Canada. I was also invited to make a presentation on “The Thirty-Year Itch” at the Transnational Institute in Amsterdam. According to Mother Jones, the article drew more traffic to its web site than any other article.