11/8/02 11:26:06 PM Pacific Standard Time
Quite a bit of info provided on the PNAC group, who's "Rebuilding
formed the basis for Bush's National Security Strategy (copy of it at:
http://www.commondreams.org/headlines02/0920-05.htm), his blueprint for
the American "Empire".
From my perusal of some of the writings of this group, which boasts
several Bush Team members among it's members, past and present, it's
VERY apparent that this is an extreme right-wing group - and they are
running the country now. Now they will be laying out a heavy-duty PR
campaign to try and brainwash the American public into supporting this
criminal operation. We're their last hold-out now that the UN has
folded and given them what they wanted by passing the resolution they
crafted. What are the odds that one group could be so lucky(?) as to
have EVERYTHING going their way?
We need to step up efforts to counter the propaganda that will be
spewing forth now. One good argument to start with is - if this is such
a "justified" action, why do they need to market it?
(Note: I don't have a url for this article, will look it up in the
New champions of the war cause
By Jim Lobe
Inter Press News Service
WASHINGTON A small group of influential rightwingers with close ties to
the offices of Pentagon chief Donald Rumsfeld and Vice President Dick
Cheney will this week launch a new political campaign to rally public
support for the invasion of Iraq.
The task may not be easy: according to a recent survey, public support
for invading Iraq has fallen from highs of close to 80 percent earlier this
year to between 52 percent and 60 percent, and less than one half of the
respondents opposed taking unilateral action if US allies were not on
The Committee for the Liberation of Iraq, which is setting up its office
on Capitol Hill this week, plans to announce its formal launch next week,
according to its president, Randy Scheunemann, a veteran Republican
Senate foreign policy staffer who until recently worked as a consultant to
Rumsfeld on Iraq policy.
The committee appears to be a spinoff of the Project for a New American
Century (PNAC), a front group consisting mainly of neoconservative Jews
and heavyhitters from the Christian right, whose public recommendations on
fighting the war against terrorism and US backing for Israel in the
conflict in the occupied territories have anticipated to a remarkable
degree the administration's own policy course.
Scheunemann, who is best known for drafting the 1998 Iraq Liberation Act
that authorized (US) $98 million for the Iraqi National Congress (INC),
a loose coalition of Iraqi dissidents that is widely distrusted by the
State Department and the Central Intelligence Agency, said that he was still
putting together the group's board of advisers.
So far, Bruce P Jackson, a vice president at arms maker Lockheed Martin,
who chaired the Republican Party's subcommittee for national security
and foreign policy when George W Bush ran for president in 2000, has signed
on as chairman.
Other officers include Gary Schmitt, PNAC's executive director, and
Julie Finley, a prominent Republican fundraiser who worked with Jackson when
he served as president of the US Committee to Expand NATO, as well as
former secretary of state George Shultz, who strongly supports ousting Iraqi
President Saddam Hussein through US unilateral action, if necessary.
Former Democratic Senator Bob Kerrey and retired General Wayne Downing,
a former INC lobbyist who worked on Bush's National Security Council as
its top counterterrorism official until abruptly resigning last summer, have
also agreed to serve as advisers.
Aside from its close association with PNAC (whose website is one of only
two links featured on its website www.liberationiraq.org , the new
committee appears to be based on a model that came to prominence before
the previous Gulf War in 1991.
The Committee for Peace and Security in the Gulf (CPSG), whose
membership was drawn from a similar mix of prominent neoconservatives and other
rightwing hawks, worked closely with both Bush Senior's administration
and a second group financed by the Kuwaiti monarchy, called Citizens for a
CPSG received a large grant from the Wisconsinbased Lynde and Harry
Bradley Foundation, a major funder of both the PNAC and the closely related
American Enterprise Institute (AEI).
As recently as 1998, the CPSG called in an open letter to then president
Bill Clinton for Washington to adopt a "comprehensive political and
military strategy for bringing down Saddam and his regime", centered on
support for the INC and US air power.
That 1998 letter was signed by many of the charter members of the PNAC,
including Rumsfeld, and four of his top deputies at the Pentagon, Paul
Wolfowitz, Douglas Feith, Dov Zakheim and Peter Rodman. Other
signatories included the current ultraunilateralist undersecretary of state for arms
control and international strategy, John Bolton, Schmitt and several AEI
"scholars", including the current chairman of the Defense Policy Board,
The PNAC's two cofounders, William Kristol, editor of Rupert Murdoch's
The Weekly Standard, and neoconservative commentator Robert Kagan, also
signed the letter.
In 1999, many of the same figures also created the Balkan Action
Committee (BAC) in support of NATO's Kosovo campaign against Serbia. Wolfowitz,
Rumsfeld and Perle all served on BAC's executive committee which, like
the CPSG, published open letters to the president and took out ads in major
newspapers, like the New York Times and the Washington Post.
The new committee, according to its mission statement, "was formed to
promote regional peace, political freedom and international security by
replacing the Saddam Hussein regime with a democratic government that
respects the rights of the Iraqi people and ceases to threaten the
community of nations". It "will engage in educational advocacy efforts
to mobilize US and international support for policies aimed at ending the
aggression of Saddam Hussein and freeing the Iraqi people from tyranny".
Scheunemann told Inter Press Service that the group would concentrate
its efforts on the media "both in the US and in Europe".
Jackson's position as the committee's chairman is notable because senior
executives in the defense industry have generally shunned the limelight,
particularly in citizens' or lobby groups that promote wars, lest they
be painted by the media as "merchants of death". A former military
intelligence officer in the US Army, Jackson worked in the office of
both Frank Carlucci and Dick Cheney when they served as defense secretaries
under former presidents Ronald Reagan and George Bush Sr. After a brief
stint as an investment banker for Lehman Brothers in New York, he joined
the defense industry, rising to his current post as vice president for
strategy and planning at Lockheed Martin.
An outspoken champion of Taiwan, Jackson came to public prominence as
head of the US Committee to Expand NATO, which lobbied Congress in favor of
the greatest possible eastward expansion of new NATO members, a lucrative
new market for major arms sales for Lockheed Martin, as well as five other
big US military contractors.
Working with him was Steve Hadley, an assistant secretary of defense
under Bush Sr and currently George W Bush's deputy national security adviser.
At the time, Hadley worked for Shea and Gardner, a law firm that represents
Lockheed Martin. More recently, the PNAC's deputy director, Tom
Donnelly, joined Lockheed Martin, but was then assigned to the AEI, where he
reportedly works with Perle.
(Inter Press Service)