The road to where we are

Today we face an escalation of the war in Afghanistan with no assurance of the outcome in Iraq. Are we faced with a cycle of intervention as conditions in each country get better or worsen?

How did we get where we are?

Quite often on DemWit, the terms “neoconservatives” or “neocons” appear. Many who find their way to this blog might not fully understand the terms and how they relate to U.S. foreign policy. So, here’s the backstory:

The neocons, in all their brilliance, decided when the Cold War ended that this country could use its military might to sweep through the Middle East, topppling tyrants and establishing democracies. They envisioned a "Pax Americana."

This would have the spillover benefits of securing Israel and our oil supply.

Iraq, Iran and Syria were in their sights. But, merely establishing democracies wouldn’t sell, so they instilled fear with phrases like “weapons of mass destruction” and “a smoking gun in the form of a mushroom cloud.”

Among neoconservative white papers are titles such as “Crises Can Be Opportunities.” One was a 90-page plan published in 2000 and titled, “Rebuilding America’s Defenses: Strategies, Forces and Resources for a New Century,” Quoting from the plan: “The process of transformation is likely to be a long one, absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event - like a new Pearl Harbor.”

Conveniently, there was a 9/11. The crisis brought public support. Now, look where all their grandiose plans have gotten us. Cheney is out in force, defending torture, because he cannot accept the fact that he and his neocon cronies were wrong.

I am convinced if Cheney was right or really has a conviction that he was right, he wouldn’t have to tell so many lies

Many who became known as “neoconservatitves” were left over from the administration of George H. W. Bush, but he and Brent Scowcroft, national security adviser to both Bush I and President Gerald Ford, soon realized these persons, including Cheney, had "changed."

(Scowcroft himself was wrong about Saddam’s “weapons of mass destruction,” but he was so dead-on about the consequences of invading Iraq that I include a link to his August 2002 predictions below. It’s quite a study to go through his op-ed piece and check off how many came true!)

Dubya put Cheney in charge of the vice presidential selection process, and we know how that turned out. A group headed by Karl Rove went down to Texas to give the president-elect a crash course in foreign policy a la neoconservatism. (Oh, and it wouldn’t be a bad idea, Dubya, to put Rummy at the Pentagon.) It all fell into place so neatly.

And incidentally, once the invasion of Iraq began, Cheney’s former company Halliburton and its subsidiary Kellogg, Brown & Root (aka KBR), reaped the benefits of no-bid government contracts - big time.

Most of the original neocons have been marginalized with the exception of a few who publish right-wing magazines and, of course, Cheney, who still merits a microphone. Many who were in power and always in front of TV cameras have settled into right-wing think tanks where they can continue to hold intellectual circle jerks.

Al Qaeda’s still out there. Kind of like encountering a rat in the woods and screaming in terror while overlooking the grizzly bear named North Korea standing behind it.

But, our military is a little tied up right now.

Who brought us along the road to where we are? An inattentive public and media who fell short of doing their job.


“Don't Attack Saddam: It Would Undermine Our Antiterror Efforts,” Brent Scowcroft, Wall Street Journal, August 15, 2002: LINK

A few neocons you’ll recognize: LINK

“Neocons 101,” Christian Science Monitor: LINK

“Buying the War,” Bill Moyers, PBS: LINK

“Cheney's speech ignored some inconvenient truths,” Jonathan S. Landay and Warren P. Strobel, McClatchy Newspapers, May 21, 2009: LINK


Falzone for America said...

That's a great synopsis of American terrorism B.J.

I plan to keep these comments handy and forward them to folks for the purpose of educating those who are not yet too far gone but haven't quit connected the ditto heads.

airth10 said...

A good enlightening article BJ.

This the twentieth anniversary of "The End of History" by Francis Fukuyama. His theory about the collapse of communism and the triumph of liberal democracy gave gravitas to the neocon movement. They used his theory to further their argument for Pax Americana.

Fukuyama himself joined the neocons, only to later discredit them because of the disaster of the Iraqi war, which they pushed for in the name of Pax Americana.

B.J. said...

This is a good time to thank you, Airth10, for being a faithful reader of, first, my “I See My Dreams” blog and now “DemWit.” You might not remember this, but what brought you to my blog in the first place was a google search for “Francis Fukuyama,” who was, indeed, one of the original signers of the neocons’ “statement of principles.” At that time, I had written that Fukuyama had denounced the neocons’ invasion of Iraq as idiocy. Keep reading, my friend. BJ

Tiny said...

BJ, you give us so much viable information. This country needs you on TV giving just the facts to the world. Anyone who wants to know what is happening in our nation and the world can sure find out on this blog.

Lady, you keep outdoing yourself! Thanks for all that you do.

airth10 said...

BJ, you were better in saying Fukuyama denounced neocons rather than my saying he discredited them, because he really didn't. They discredited themselves with their incompetence of running a country and a war.

B.J. said...


You make a good point, but you are not taking into consideration how the other side sees us.

You know: “Oh, what gifts the giftees gee us, to see ourselves as others see us.”