The following is a brief background on how the neo-con policies were a significant driver behind attacking IraqFor the longest of time, I wanted to write something about the influence neocons have in America's Foreign Policy, but never got around to it. The other day, I stumbled across a post on Slashdot that nicely summarizes the topic, by someone called egrinake, who seems to be from Norway. I am including material from this post with acknowledgement of the author, with many of my additions.The Bush administration has large number of neocons, such as Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Condoleezza Rice, Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle, Paul Bremer and Lewis Libby to name a few.The neocons have had key positions in every republican administration since the mid-1970s, including under Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, Bush senior and now Bush junior. They are an ideological group based in part on the philosophy of Leo Strauss , whose stated goals are to spread democracy around the world, by force, preserving Pax Americana and expanding the American economic and cultural empire.To achieve this goal, an organization named The Project for a New American Century was founded by William Kristol in 1997. Its members include all of the neocons listed above, and its basic principles are,according to its website:
- American leadership is good both for America and for the world
- Such leadership requires military strength, diplomatic energy and commitment to moral principle
- Too few political leaders today are making the case for global leadership
The neoconservatives have had complete control of the US foreign policy in the Bush administration. The Bush doctrine is based on a document written by Paul Wolfowitz in 1992, called the Defense Planning Guidance. At the time, under Bush senior, the document was regarded as too radical and key propositions in it was rejected (including unilateralism and the use of preemptive strikes). These radical propositions now form the core of US foreign policy.In addition, the PNAC released a report in 2000 called Rebuilding Americas Defenses (PDF download here), which outlines the overthrow of SaddamHussein and installation of a US base in Iraq to secure the oil for geostrategic purposes after peak-oil (just consider the control it would give them overChina, when they can control a large portion of their energy supplies), and to attempt to spread democracy in the region. According to the document, this would only be possible after, and I quote, a "catastrophic and catalyzing event like a new Pearl Harbor".Now, this little project of theirs is quite ambitious, and will take a long time, so the neocons have great interest in keeping a republican presidency (puppet or not), so they stay in control of foreign policy. They attempted to persuade Clinton to attack Iraq, butwithout any success.With a republican administration in the White House, and with 9/11 being the catastrophic event, it was easy to put the wheels in motion and invade Iraq, despite the opposition to it.Some independant American media has covered the influence of the neo-cons in shaping the aggressive foreign policy of the current US administration. For example PBS has Iraq: The War Behind Closed Doors, and Rumsfled's War.It is also interesting to read the biographies of some of the neo-cons on Disinfopedia, such as Paul Wolfowitz, and Richard Perle. Lots of comprehensive links there.A web site dedicated to exposing the Project for a New American Century is PNAC.info. It is full of information, but has not been updated in months.