[Documents menu] Documents menu

From owner-imap@chumbly.math.missouri.edu Thu Dec 12 07:30:18 2002
Date: Wed, 11 Dec 2002 19:53:04 -0600 (CST)
From: Mark Graffis <mgraffis@vitelcom.net>
Subject: Peaceful Future or 'War Without End'?
Article: 148284
To: undisclosed-recipients:;

Peaceful Future or 'War Without End'?

By Bert Knorr, The San Francisco Chronicle, Wednesday 11 December 2002

The topic of Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz's speech Friday to the World Affairs Council and Commonwealth Club was Building the Bridge to a More Peaceful Future. The peace envisioned by Wolfowitz is a Pax Americana, where the United States pre-emptively annihilates any would-be regional or global challengers. It is a peace that can only be the product of endless war against the people of the world and brings to mind previous wars to end all war and to make the world safe for democracy. As the main ideologue behind war on Iraq and the aggressive new doctrine of pre-emption and unbridled U.S. military supremacy, Wolfowitz is a key part of the inner circle of war planners in the Bush administration. For his extreme hawkishness, he has been dubbed the velociraptor by the conservative London Economist.

Following Sept. 11, Wolfowitz wanted to go after Iraq first. But he was initially rebuffed, as there was no credible link between Iraq and al Qaeda. Bombing Afghanistan, however, could be positioned as a just response to the terrorist attacks. The velociraptor's too-candid gaffe about ending states who sponsor terrorism was a bit over the top. But following the rout of the Taliban and the axis of evil speech in January, regime change was to become openly embraced and espoused by President Bush himself, though it has been cosmeticized of late to disarming Iraq and making Saddam Hussein comply with U.N. resolutions.

In fact, the war on Iraq and the new National Security Strategy of pre-emption and global domination were not created in response to Sept. 11. The deaths of thousands of Americans on that day have been used as an opportunity to pursue plans that had been in the works since the early 1990s.

The earliest incarnation of the doctrine of pre-emption was the draft Defense Planning Guidance written under the supervision of Wolfowitz for then- Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney and President Bush the father. It argued that with the collapse of the Soviet Union, U.S. policy should be to prevent the emergence of a new rival and use American military dominance to establish and protect a new order.

We will retain the pre-eminent responsibility for addressing selectively those wrongs which threaten not only our interests, but those of our allies or friends, or which could seriously unsettle international relations, the draft states. U.S. intervention overseas would be a constant fixture of this policy. This came to be known as the Wolfowitz Doctrine.

The leak of the draft DPG to the New York Times and the subsequent publication of excerpts from the document created a firestorm of criticism. The revised Defense Planning Guidance was sanitized and softened substantially.

The doctrine was resurrected and further developed in 2000 in a document called Rebuilding America's Defenses, published by the right-wing Project for the New American Century. It called for the United States to bolster its direct military role in the oil-rich and strategic Middle East rather than relying on surrogates. The U.S. has for decades sought to play a more permanent role in gulf regional security. While the unresolved conflict with Iraq provides the immediate justification, the need for a substantial American force presence in the gulf transcends the issue of the regime of Saddam Hussein. Finally this year, the doctrine was enshrined as official U.S. policy in the National Security Strategy. But the potential human toll of thousands of Iraqi lives seems never to make it into the cost/benefit calculations of Wolfowitz. (See the Sept. 22 New York Times Magazine article Sunshine Warrior, where only potential American deaths make it into the equation, and even then as something of an afterthought.)

There are growing numbers of people who believe that as people living in the United States it is our responsibility to resist the injustices done by our government, in our names. (from the peace group Not in Our Name's pledge of resistance). During the Vietnam War, President Lyndon Johnson and his top advisers could not appear in public without being confronted by those opposed to the war. Now, days or weeks before the outbreak on war on Iraq, phase II of the post-Sept. 11 war on terrorism, nothing less is required.