The neo-con aftermath
They are evidently hiding in their think tanks or taking asylum in academia. Anyway, they are in safe havens, satisfied that they achieved their stated goals of regime change by toppling their nemesis — Saddam Hussein. Though none of those neo-cons wore the country’s uniform, they pushed others to get into the fight.
It was the neo-cons who decided America should be an empire in the 21st century. Their design for the world caused hundreds of thousands of deaths — not to mention the wounded and displaced.
Many of the neo-cons may have been kicked out of top government positions, but their influence in former President George W. Bush’s administration was enormous. They convinced Bush of the need for torture. Unfortunately, President Barack Obama has not ended the unlawful practice.
It’s not surprising that the neo-con aspiration to get Saddam coincided with Israel’s purpose, or that Saddam was accused of holding weapons of mass destruction. Iraq had none. Hans Blix, the former head of the United Nations Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission, begged Bush to let him go into Iraq to prove Iraq had no such lethal weapons. Bush refused. He wanted to invade Iraq.
Bush once told an interviewer that only war presidents are remembered in history. He will go down in history all right. Ironically, Bush and his cohorts — and the world in fact — know that only Israel had a nuclear arsenal in the Middle East. Top American officials, from Obama on down, have lost their credibility by refusing to say that Israel is a nuclear power.
The next target for the neo-con empire builders is Iran, another major enemy of Israel. If Iran succeeds in developing a nuclear bomb, the United States is supposed to attack Iran. So far, Obama has resisted the neo-con orders, but who knows for how long.
Their agenda was laid out in Project for the New American Century. Their “Statement of Principles” promotes increasing military spending; modernizing our armed forces; strengthening ties to democratic allies to challenge regimes hostile to our interests and values; promoting the causes of political and economic freedom abroad; and accepting responsibility for America’s unique role in preserving and extending an international order friendly to our security, prosperity and principles. These are goals not easily won without war.
By the end of 2006, PNAC was “reduced to a voice-mail box and a ghostly website,” with “a single employee” “left to wrap things up,” according to the BBC News. In 2006, Gary Schmitt, former executive director of the PNAC, said that PNAC had come to a natural end.
The PNAC was a platform for a new American colonialism — and the neo-cons continue to lobby in Congress. They also are welcomed on the pages of the New York Times and the Washington Post for their ultra-right points of view.
Others on the neo-con team include Donald Rumsfeld and Robert Kagan, both former Reaganites and Bush propagandists.
The neo-cons said that the failure to depose Saddam would have resulted in a “decisive surrender in the international war on terrorism.” They did not estimate the cost in American lives and money — and they probably didn’t care.
Critics of the neo-cons have called them “chicken-hawks — men who have never seen the horror of war but are in love with the idea of war.” They accuse the neo-cons of taking it a step further than the conservatives, who believe in maintaining a strong national defense. The neo-cons can only succeed in promoting their goals by blurring the lines between policing the world and maintain a strong national defense.
While many Republicans have begun to question the old neo-con foreign policy consensus that dominated Bush’s GOP, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Florida, is the new neo-con hopeful.
While the neo-cons have achieved some of their goals, they have betrayed the good will of Americans and the decency of the country. They should be ashamed!Helen Thomas' posts appear here courtesy of the Falls Church News-Press.