Sunday, April 29, 2007

6. Bush's Armchair Revolutionaries

In 2000, a disputed election ended with seating the most radical government the U.S. has ever had. After half a century of fear about Communist subversion and takeover, a small group of faceless ideologues came silently to power and brought us chaos.

Instead of spreading propaganda and fomenting unrest, they had met in paneled rooms, issued position papers no one read and, with the accidental help of a few dozen terrorists, took us into a devastating war to prove their idiotic thesis, subverted our traditional liberties and created a crisis that any rational politician could have foreseen.

Their blueprint was a tract, issued just before the Bush election, that looked like thousands of previous boring think-tank bloviations. Titled “Rebuilding America’s Defenses: Strategy, Forces and Resources,” it advocated aggressive use of its power by the world’s only surviving superpower to shape the political universe.

But “The Project for the New American Century” was no ordinary think tank. Its leading members included Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Jeb Bush, Paul Wolfowitz and I. Lewis Libby.

In charge of finding a Bush running mate, Cheney selected himself and, for the new government, Libby as his Chief of Staff, Rumsfeld as Secretary of Defense with Wolfowitz and others of his ilk as deputies.

Even so and with a puppet President to manipulate, they could not have put theory into practice. In their manifesto, they had acknowledged that their “policy of military strength and moral clarity may not be fashionable today.”

But 9/11 changed everything. The blather and bluster could be transformed from words into action with Iraq as the laboratory, and in a climate of national trauma, sold to the American people as a “new product,” to the use the language of Bush’s Chief of Staff Andy Card.

We went to war in Iraq, not primarily to protect the interests of oil companies or to redress the failure of Bush’s father to topple Saddam but to bring into reality the strategic wet dream of loony armchair theorists without a minute of military experience.

(continued above)


Dr. Mathews said...

A succinct epilogue. Only the play is not over.

kfsickel said...

Thank you for this history refresher. Three thoughts:
1. It is good to remember the courageous and early stand that Senator Byrd took against rubberstamping Bush's grab of war powers.
2. It may be hard to forgive HIllary Clinton for her vote in 2002. 3. Dick Cheney. Should be on trial.