And Just One More Thing

Hermann Goering at Nuremberg had this to say:
"[T]he people can always be brought to the bidding
of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell
them they are being attacked and then denounce the
peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the
country to danger. It works the same in any country."

Blood Money By William Rivers Pitt

Thursday 27 February 2003

       "In the counsels of Government, we must guard
        against the acquisition of unwarranted influence,
        whether sought or unsought, by the Military
        Industrial Complex. The potential for the disastrous
        rise of misplaced power exists, and will persist.
        We must never let the weight of this combination
        endanger our liberties or democratic processes."
                - President Dwight Eisenhower, January 1961.

    George W. Bush gave a speech Wednesday [26 February 2003] night before
 the Godfather of conservative Washington think tanks, the American Enterprise
Institute. In his speech, Bush quantified his coming war with Iraq as
part of a larger struggle to bring pro-western governments into power
in the Middle East. Couched in hopeful language describing peace and
freedom for all, the speech was in fact the closest articulation of the
actual plan for Iraq that has yet been heard from the administration.

    In a previous truthout article from February 21, the ideological
connections between an extremist right-wing Washington think tank
and the foreign policy aspirations of the Bush administration were

    The Project for a New American Century, or PNAC, is a group
founded in 1997 that has been agitating since its inception for a war
with Iraq. PNAC was the driving force behind the drafting and passage
of the Iraqi Liberation Act, a bill that painted a veneer of legality over
the ultimate designs behind such a conflict. The names of every
prominent PNAC member were on a letter delivered to President Clinton
in 1998 which castigated him for not implementing the Act by driving
troops into Baghdad.

    PNAC has funneled millions of taxpayer dollars to a Hussein
opposition group called the Iraqi National Congress, and to
Iraq's heir-apparent, Ahmed Chalabi, despite the fact that Chalabi
was sentenced in absentia by a Jordanian court to 22 years in prison
on 31 counts of bank fraud. Chalabi and the INC have, over the years,
gathered support for their cause by promising oil contracts to anyone
that would help to put them in power in Iraq.

    Most recently, PNAC created a new group called The Committee
for the Liberation of Iraq. Staffed entirely by PNAC members,
The Committee has set out to "educate" Americans via cable news
connections about the need for war in Iraq." This group met recently
with National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice regarding the
ways and means of this education.

    Who is PNAC? Its members include:

* Vice President Dick Cheney, one of the PNAC founders,
who served as Secretary of Defense for Bush Sr.;

* I. Lewis Libby, Cheney's top national security assistant;

* Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, also a founding
member, along with four of his chief aides including;

* Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz,
arguably the ideological father of the group;

* Eliot Abrams, prominent member of Bush's National
Security Council, who was pardoned by Bush Sr. in the
Iran/Contra scandal;

* John Bolton, who serves as Undersecretary for
Arms Control and International Security in the Bush

* Richard Perle, former Reagan administration official and
present chairman of the powerful Defense Policy Board;

* Randy Scheunemann, President of the Committee for
the Liberation of Iraq, who was Trent Lott's national
security aide and who served as an advisor to Rumsfeld on
Iraq in 2001;

* Bruce Jackson, Chairman of PNAC, a position he took
after serving for years as vice president of weapons
manufacturer Lockheed-Martin, and who also headed the
Republican Party Platform subcommittee for National
Security and Foreign Policy during the 2000 campaign. His
section of the 2000 GOP Platform explicitly called for the
removal of Saddam Hussein;

* William Kristol, noted conservative writer for
the Weekly Standard, a magazine owned along with
the Fox News Network by conservative media mogul
Ruppert Murdoch.

    The Project for the New American Century seeks to
establish what they call 'Pax Americana' across the globe.
Essentially, their goal is to transform America, the sole
remaining superpower, into a planetary empire by force of
arms. A report released by PNAC in September of 2000
entitled 'Rebuilding America's Defenses' codifies this
plan, which requires a massive increase in defense spending
and the fighting of several major theater wars in order to
establish American dominance. The first has been achieved
in Bush's new budget plan, which calls for the exact dollar
amount to be spent on defense that was requested by PNAC
in 2000. Arrangements are underway for the fighting of
the wars.

   The men from PNAC are in a perfect position to see their
foreign policy schemes, hatched in 1997, brought into reality.
They control the White House, the Pentagon and Defense
Department, by way of the armed forces and intelligence
communities, and have at their feet a Republican-Dominated
Congress that will rubber-stamp virtually everything on
their wish list.

    The first step towards the establishment of this Pax
Americana is, and has always been, the removal of Saddam
Hussein and the establishment of an American protectorate
in Iraq. The purpose of this is threefold:
1) To acquire control of the oilheads so as to fund the entire
enterprise; 2) To fire a warning shot across the bows of every
leader in the Middle East; 3) To establish in Iraq a military
staging area for the eventual invasion and overthrow of
several Middle Eastern regimes, including some that are
allies of the United States.

    Another PNAC signatory, author Norman Podhoretz, quantified
this aspect of the grand plan in the September 2002 issue of his
journal, 'Commentary'. In it, Podhoretz notes that the regimes,
"that richly deserve to be overthrown and replaced, are not confined
to the three singled-out members of the axis of evil. At a minimum,
the axis should extend to Syria and Lebanon and Libya, as well
as 'friends' of America like the Saudi royal family and Egypt's
Hosni Mubarak, along with the Palestinian Authority, whether
headed by Arafat or one of his henchmen." At bottom, for Podhoretz,
this action is about "the long-overdue internal reform and
modernization of Islam."

    This casts Bush's speech to AEI on Wednesday in a completely
different light.

    Weapons of mass destruction are a smokescreen. Paeans to
the idea of Iraqi liberation and democratization are cynical in
their inception. At the end of the day, this is not even about oil.
The drive behind this war is ideological in nature, a crusade to
'reform' the religion of Islam as it exists in both government and
society within the Middle East.  Once this is accomplished, the
road to empire will be open, ten lanes wide and steppin' out over
the line.

    At the end of the day, however, ideology is only good for bull
sessions in the board room and the bar. Something has to grease
the skids, to make the whole thing worthwhile to those involved,
and entice those outside the loop to get into the game.

    Thus, the payout.

    It is well known by now that Dick Cheney, before becoming
Vice President, served as chairman and chief executive of the
Dallas-based petroleum corporation Halliburton.  During his
tenure, according to oil industry executives and United Nations
records, Halliburton did a brisk $73 million in business with
Saddam Hussein's Iraq. While working face-to-face with Hussein,
Cheney and Halliburton were also moving into position to
capitalize upon Hussein's removal from power. In October of 1995,
the same month Cheney was made CEO of Halliburton, that
company announced a deal that would put it first in line should
war break out in Iraq. Their job: To take control of burning oil
wells, put out the fires, and prepare them for service.

    Another corporation that stands to do well by a war in
Iraq is Brown & Root [KBR], a subsidiary of Halliburton.
Ostensibly, Brown & Root is in the construction business,
and thus has won a share of the $900 million government
contract for the rebuilding of post-war Iraqi bridges, roads
and other basic infrastructure. This is but the tip of the
financial iceberg, as the oil wells will also have to be
repaired after parent-company Halliburton puts out the

    More ominously is Brown & Root's stock in trade: the building
of permanent American military bases. There are twelve permanent
U.S. bases in Kosovo today, all built and maintained by Brown &
Root for a multi-billion dollar profit. If anyone should wonder why
the administration has not offered an exit strategy to the Iraq war
plans, the presence of Brown & Root should answer them succinctly.
We do not plan on exiting. In all likelihood, Brown & Root is in Iraq
to build permanent bases there, from which attacks upon other Middle
Eastern nations can be staged and managed.

    Again, this casts Bush's speech on Wednesday in a new light.

    Being at the center of the action is nothing new for Halliburton
and Brown & Root. The two companies have worked closely with
governments in Algeria, Angola, Bosnia, Burma, Croatia, Haiti,
Nigeria, Rwanda, and Somalia during the worst chapters in those
nation's histories. Many environmental and human rights groups claim
that Cheney, Halliburton and Brown & Root were, in fact,
centrally involved in these fiascos. More recently, Brown & Root
was contracted by the Defense Department to build cells for
detainees in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The bill for that one
project came to $300 million.

    Cheney became involved with PNAC officially in 1997, while
still profiting from deals between Halliburton and Hussein. One
year later, Cheney and PNAC began actively and publicly agitating
for war on Iraq. They have not stopped to this very day.

    Another company with a vested interest in both war on Iraq
and massively increased defense spending is the Carlyle Group.
Carlyle, a private global investment firm with more than
$12.5 billion in capital under management, was formed in 1987.
Its interests are spread across164 companies, including
telecommunications firms and defense contractors. It is staffed
at the highest levels by former members of the Reagan and Bush Sr.
administrations. Former President George H. W. Bush is himself
employed by Carlyle as a senior advisor, as is long-time Bush
family advisor and former Secretary of State James Baker III.

    One company acquired by Carlyle is United Defense, a weapons
manufacturer based in Arlington, VA. United Defense provides the
Defense Department with combat vehicle systems, fire support,
combat support vehicle systems, weapons delivery systems,
amphibious assault vehicles, combat support services and naval
armaments. Specifically, United Defense manufactures the Bradley
Fighting Vehicle, the M113 armored personnel carrier, the M88A2
Recovery Vehicle, the Grizzly, the M9 ACE, the Composite Armored
Vehicle, the M6 Linebacker, the M7 BFIST, the Armored Gun System,
the M4 Command and Control Vehicle, the Battle Command Vehicle,
the Paladin, the Crusader, and Electric Gun/Pulse Power
weapons technology.

    In other words, everything a growing Defense Department, a
war in Iraq, and a burgeoning American military empire needs.

    Ironically, one group that won't profit from Carlyle's
involvement in American military buildup is the family of Osama
bin Laden. The bin Laden family fortune was amassed by Mohammed
bin Laden, father of Osama, who built a multi-billion dollar
construction empire through contracts with the Saudi government.
The Saudi BinLaden Group, as this company is called, was
heavily invested in Carlyle for years. Specifically, they were
invested in Carlyle's Partners II Fund, which includes in that
portfolio United Defense and other weapons manufacturers.

    This relationship was described in a September 27, 2001
article in the Wall Street Journal entitled 'Bin Laden Family
Could Profit From Jump in Defense Spending Due to Ties to
US Bank.'  The 'bank' in question was the Carlyle Group.
A follow-up article published by the Journal on September 28
entitled 'Bin Laden Family Has Intricate Ties With Washington
Saudi Clan Has Had Access To Influential Republicans' further
describes the relationship. In October of 2001, Saudi BinLaden
and Carlyle severed their relationship by mutual agreement.
The timing is auspicious.

    There are a number of depths to be plumbed in all of this. The
Bush administration has claimed all along that this war with Iraq
is about Saddam Hussein's connections to terrorism and weapons
of mass destruction, though through it all they have roundly failed
to establish any basis for either accusation. On Wednesday, Bush
went further to claim that the war is about liberating the Iraqi
people and bringing democracy to the Middle East. This ignores
cultural realities on the ground in Iraq and throughout the region
that, salted with decades of deep mistrust for American motives,
make such a democracy movement brought at the point of the
sword utterly impossible to achieve.

    This movement, cloaked in democracy, is in fact a PNAC-inspired
push for an American global empire. It behooves Americans to
understand that there is a great difference between being the citizen
of a constitutional democracy and being a citizen of an empire. The
establishment of an empire requires some significant sacrifices.

    Essential social, medical, educational and retirement services
will have to be gutted so that those funds can be directed towards
 a necessary military buildup. Actions taken abroad to establish
the preeminence of American power, most specifically in the
Middle East, will bring a torrent of terrorist attacks to the home
front. Such attacks will bring about the final suspension of
constitutional rights and the rule of habeas corpus, as we will
find ourselves under martial law. In the end, however, this may
be inevitable. An empire cannot function with the slow,
cumbersome machine of a constitutional democracy on its back.
Empires must be ruled with speed and ruthlessness, in a manner
utterly antithetical to the way in which America has been
governed for 227 years.

    And yes, of course, a great many people will die.

    It would be one thing if all of this was based purely on the
ideology of our leaders. It is another thing altogether to consider
the incredible profit motive behind it all. The President, his father,
the Vice President, a whole host of powerful government officials,
along with stockholders and executives from Halliburton and
Carlyle, stand to make a mint off this war. Long-time corporate
sponsors from the defense, construction and petroleum industries
will likewise profit enormously.

    Critics of the Bush administration like to bandy about the word
"fascist" when speaking of George. The image that word conjures
is of Nazi stormtroopers marching in unison towards Hitler's Final
Solution. This does not at all fit. It is better, in this matter, to view
the Bush administration through the eyes of Benito Mussolini.
Mussolini, dubbed 'the father of Fascism,' defined the word in a far
more pertinent fashion. "Fascism," said Mussolini, "should more
properly be called corporatism, since it is the merger of state
and corporate power."

    Boycott the French, the Germans, and the other 114 nations who
stand against this Iraq war all you wish. France and Germany do not
oppose Bush because they are cowards, or because they enjoy the
existence of Saddam Hussein. France and Germany stand against the
Bush administration because they intend to stop this Pax Americana
in its tracks if they can. They have seen militant fascism up close
and personal before, and wish never to see it again.

* *             *             *             *             * *

Those who desire to give up Freedom in order to gain Security,
will not have, nor do they deserve,
either one."
---Thomas Jefferson
*         *         *
All truth passes through 3 stages:
First, it is ridiculed.
Second, it is violently opposed.
Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.
--- Arthur Schopenhauer