Neo-Con Agenda: Iran, China, Russia, Latin America …

An influential foreign-policy neo-conservative with longstanding ties to top hawks in the administration of President George W Bush has laid out what he calls ”a checklist of the work the world will demand of this president and his subordinates in a second term.”

WASHINGTON, Nov 5 (IPS) – An influential foreign-policy neo-conservative
with longstanding ties to top hawks in the administration of President
George W Bush has laid out what he calls ”a checklist of the work the
world will demand of this president and his subordinates in a second term.”

The list, which begins with the destruction of Fallujah in Iraq and ends
with the development of ”appropriate strategies” for dealing with threats
posed by China, Russia and ”the emergence of a number of aggressively
anti-American regimes in Latin America,” also calls for ”regime change”
in Iran and North Korea.

The list’s author, Frank Gaffney, the founder and president of the Centre
for Security Policy (CSP), also warns that Bush should resist any pressure
arising from the anticipated demise of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat to
resume peace talks that could result in Israel’s giving up ”defensible
boundaries.”

While all seven steps listed by Gaffney in an article published Friday
morning in the ‘National Review Online’ have long been favoured by
prominent neo-cons, the article itself, ‘Worldwide Value’, is the first
comprehensive compilation to emerge since Bush’s re-election Tuesday.

It is also sure to be contested, not just by Democrats who, with the
election behind them, are poised to take a more anti-war position on Iraq,
but by many conservative Republicans in Congress. They blame the neo-cons
for failing to anticipate the quagmire in Iraq and worry their grander
ambitions, like those expounded by Gaffney, will bankrupt the Treasury and
break an already-overextended military.

Yet its importance as a road map of where neo-conservatives — who, with
the critical help of Vice President Dick Cheney and Defence Secretary
Donald Rumsfeld, dominated Bush’s foreign policy after the Sep. 11, 2001
attacks on New York and the Pentagon — want U.S. policy to go, was
underlined by Gaffney’s listing of the names of his friends in the
administration who he said, ”helped the president imprint moral values on
American security policy in a way and to an extent not seen since Ronald
Reagan’s first term.”

In addition to Cheney and Rumsfeld, he cited the most clearly identified —
and controversial — neo-conservatives serving in the administration:
Cheney’s chief of staff, I Lewis ”Scooter” Libby; his top Middle East
advisors, John Hannah and David Wurmser; weapons proliferation specialist
Robert Joseph and top Mideast aide Elliott Abrams, on the National Security
Council (NSC).

Also on the roster are: Deputy Defence Secretary Paul Wolfowitz;
Undersecretary for Policy Douglas Feith; Feith’s top Mideast aide William
Luti, in the Pentagon; Undersecretary for Arms Control and International
Security John Bolton, and for global issues, Paula Dobriansky at the State
Department.

Virtually all of the same individuals have been cited by critics of the
Iraq War, including Democratic lawmakers and retired senior foreign service
and military officials, as responsible for hijacking the policy and
intelligence process that led to the U.S. invasion of Iraq in March 2003.

Indeed, in a lengthy interview about the war on the most-watched
public-affairs TV programme, ’60 Minutes’, last May, the former head of the
U.S. Central Command and Secretary of State Colin Powell’s chief Middle
East envoy until 2003, retired Gen Anthony Zinni, called for the
resignation of Libby, Abrams, Wolfowitz and Feith, as well as Rumsfeld, for
their roles in the attack.

Zinni also cited former Defence Policy Board (DPB) chairman, Richard Perle,
who has been close to Gaffney since both of them served, along with Abrams,
in the office of Washington State Senator Henry M Jackson in the early 1970s.

When Perle became an assistant secretary of defence under Reagan he brought
Gaffney along as his deputy. When Perle left in 1987, Gaffney succeeded him
before setting up CSP in 1989.

As Perle’s long-time protege and associate, Gaffney sits at the centre of a
network of interlocking think tanks, foundations, lobby groups, arms
manufacturers and individuals that constitute the coalition of
neo-conservatives, aggressive nationalists like Cheney and Rumsfeld and
Christian Right activists responsible for the unilateralist trajectory of
U.S. foreign policy since 9/11.

Included among CSP’s board of advisers over the years have been Rumsfeld,
Perle, Feith, Christian moralist William Bennett, Abrams, Feith, Joseph,
former United Nations Ambassador Jeane Kirkpatrick, former Navy
Undersecretary John Lehman and former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)
Director James Woolsey.

Woolsey also co-chairs the new Committee on the Present Danger (CPD),
another prominent neo-con-led lobby group that argues Washington is now
engaged in ”World War IV” against ”Islamo-fascism.”

Also serving on its advisory council are executives from some of the
country’s largest military contractors, which — along with wealthy
individuals sympathetic to Israel’s governing Likud Party, such as
prominent New York investor Lawrence Kadish and California casino king
Irving Moskowitz, and right-wing bodies, such as the Bradley, Sarah Scaife
and Olin Foundations — finance CSP’s work.

Gaffney, a ubiquitous ”talking head” on TV in the run-up to the war in
Iraq, sits on the boards of CPD’s parent organisations, the Foundation for
the Defence of Democracies (FDD) and Americans for Victory Over Terrorism
(AVOT). He was a charter associate, with Cheney, Rumsfeld, Perle, Wolfowitz
and Abrams, of the Project for the New American Century (PNAC), another
prominent neo-conservative-led group that offered up a similar checklist of
what Bush should do in the ”war on terrorism” just nine days after the
9/11 attacks.

His article opens by trying to pre-empt an argument that is already being
heard on the right against expanding Bush’s ”war on terrorism”: that
since a plurality of Bush voters identified ”moral values” as their chief
concern, the president should stick to his social conservative agenda
rather than expand the war.

”The reality is that the same moral principles that underpinned the Bush
appeal on ‘values’ issues like gay marriage, stem-cell research and the
right to life were central to his vision of U.S. war aims and foreign
policy,” according to Gaffney.

”Indeed, the president laid claim squarely to the ultimate moral value —
freedom — as the cornerstone of his strategy for defeating our
Islamofascist enemies and their state sponsors, for whom that concept is
utterly (sic) anathema.”

To be true to that commitment, policy in the second administration must be
directed toward seven priorities, according to Gaffney, beginning with the
”reduction in detail of Fallujah and other safe havens utilised by
freedom’s enemies in Iraq”; followed by ”regime change — one way or
another — in Iran and North Korea, the only hope for preventing these
remaining ‘Axis of Evil’ states from fully realising their terrorist and
nuclear ambitions.”

Third, the administration must provide ”the substantially increased
resources needed to re-equip a transforming military and rebuild
human-intelligence capabilities (minus, if at all possible, the sorts of
intelligence ‘reforms’ contemplated pre-election that would make matters
worse on this and other scores) while we fight World War IV, followed by
enhancing ”protection of our homeland, including deploying effective
missile defences at sea and in space, as well as ashore.”

Fifth, Washington must keep ”faith with Israel, whose destruction remains
a priority for the same people who want to destroy us (and … for our
shared ‘moral values) especially in the face of Yasser Arafat’s demise and
the inevitable, post-election pressure to ‘solve’ the Middle East problem
by forcing the Israelis to abandon defensible boundaries.”

Sixth, the administration must deal with France and Germany and the dynamic
that made them ”so problematic in the first term: namely, their
willingness to make common cause with our enemies for profit and their
desire to employ a united Europe and its new constitution — as well as
other international institutions and mechanisms — to thwart the expansion
and application of American power where deemed necessary by Washington.”

Finally, writes Gaffney, Bush must adapt ”appropriate strategies for
contending with China’s increasingly fascistic trade and military policies,
(Russian President) Vladimir Putin’s accelerating authoritarianism at home
and aggressiveness toward the former Soviet republics, the worldwide spread
of Islamofascism, and the emergence of a number of aggressively
anti-American regimes in Latin America”, which he does not identify.

”These items do not represent some sort of neo-con ‘imperialist’ game
plan”, Gaffney stressed. ”Rather, they constitute a checklist of the work
the world will demand of this president and his subordinates in a second
term.”

Author: Jim Lobe

News Service: IPS Inter Press Service News Agency

URL: http://ipsnews.net/interna.asp?idnews=26169