Monday, June 05, 2006

The PNAC Myth

Conspiracy theorists, Loose Change among them, like to take a single quote out of a defense review produced by the group Project For a New American Century, as some sort of road map for why 9/11 was carried out. As Dylan puts it:

September, 2000.
The Project for a New American Century, a neo-conservative think-tank whose members include Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Jeb Bush, and Paul Wolfowitz, releases their report entitled "Rebuilding America's Defences." In it, they declare that " the process of transformation, even if it brings revolutionary change, is likely to be a long one, absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event - like a new Pearl Harbor. "

Yes, this is a quote from their report, but as I have shown repeatedly in the past, they like to take single quotes from sources, ignoring everything else they said, and use that to argue for a conspiracy.

So let's look at the full report available here, it is 90 pages long, they only give us part of one sentence.

First of all, was PNAC actually calling for a new Pearl Harbor, as being preferable to it not occurring? Aside from the idiocy of publicy announcing an attack on yourself ahead of time, the evidence says no.

If you look at the rest of the paragraph, on page 51, it becomes apparent that all they are doing is laying out a timetable for technological transformation of the military.

Domestic politics and industrial policy will shape the pace and content of transformation as much as the requirements of current missions.
It continues:

Thus, this report advocates a two-stage process of change - transition and transformation- over the coming decade.

They are not saying taking a long time is a bad thing, just that this is the way it is going to be, and in fact the rest of the paper is based on this assumption. If this were somehow a call to action, that would completely invalidate the rest of the paper.

So even if we make the wild logical leap that PNAC is calling for a new "Pearl Harbor" in the form of 9/11, then what type of "transformation" are they calling for that would be accelerated by 9/11? Are they calling for increased airport security? Increased use of special operations forces? The US invasion of Afghanistan? The invasion of Iraq? No, they are calling for something complete different. From the same page as the "new Pearl Harbor" quote, they point out 3 "new missions", none of which have anything to do with the response to 9/11:

  • Global missile defenses
  • Control of space and cyberspace
  • Pursuing a two-stage strategy for of transforming conventional forces.

Not only did their strategy not benefit from 9/11, it has been hurt by it. Once again, from page 50 in that same chapter (emphasis mine):

Moreover, the Pentagon, constrained by limited budgets and pressing current missions, has seen funding for experimentation and transformation crowded out in recent years. Spending on military research and development has been reduced dramatically over the past decade. Indeed, during the mid 1980's, when the Defense Department was in the midst of the Reagan buildup which was primarily and effort to expand existing force and field traditional weapons systems, research spending consisted of only 20% of total Pentagon budgets.

So even relatively minor operations in Bosnia and Kosovo were interfering with what they viewed as necessary funding for R & D, and the conspiracy theorists want us to believe that they thought the solution was to get the US involved in two vastly more expensive and manpower intensive wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, which have absolutely nothing to do with the technological transformation they are talking about.

One could say that is a stretch.

16 Comments:

At 05 June, 2006 20:48, Blogger undense said...

If certain people actually bothered to read Rebuilding America's Defenses they'd discover it actually claims that SE Asia is where we need to concentrate our attention. It gives a nod to stability in the ME, but otherwise gives the ME the cold shoulder and doesn't even claim that overthrowing Saddam is any sort of necessity. In fact, in regard to Saddam, it speaks of containment.

But somehow conspiratorial whispers carry more truth than truth itself these days. Apparently people purposefully want to be duped or desire to willfully wallow in ignorance. It's a sad development.

 
At 05 June, 2006 21:02, Blogger MarkyX said...

Yep, funny how you sum up a 90 page document with one sentence apparently.

 
At 06 June, 2006 06:24, Blogger JoanBasil said...

"PNAC" and the word "neocon" are certainly in bad odor nowadays. Regarding Lehman (member of the 9/11 commission) and Rumsfeld, I've heard/seen it quibbled whether they were actually members of PNAC or whether they just signed a PNAC letter.

 
At 06 June, 2006 07:02, Blogger undense said...

PNAC and neocon are in "bad odor" because the left have slimed them continuously for a number of years now. Then again, many on the left have a bad odor by being part and parcel of the slime machine, much like the right was when Clinton was in office.

People who sling mud can't help but get dirty hands.

 
At 06 June, 2006 08:09, Blogger shawn said...

I wonder when people are gonna realize neocons are more like Democrats than Republicans.

 
At 06 June, 2006 18:38, Blogger nesNYC said...

You guys may want to look into the policies that caused the PNAC in the fist place. Those are:

- A Clean Break, A New Strategy for Securing the Realm
- The Grand Chessboard

Therein lies the building blocks of the PNAC movement but not the Neoconservatives. The Neoconservatives themselves are Trotskyites and Straussians in ideology.

I wonder when people are gonna realize neocons are more like Democrats than Republicans.

Good observation. But actually, Neocons are totalitarians hiding behind the ideologies of Conservative Republicans. However, all have liberal pasts and only changed over when it was decided to look more warlike or hawkish. They are basically Communists with Fascistic tendencies.

 
At 06 June, 2006 21:22, Blogger shawn said...

Good observation. But actually, Neocons are totalitarians hiding behind the ideologies of Conservative Republicans. However, all have liberal pasts and only changed over when it was decided to look more warlike or hawkish. They are basically Communists with Fascistic tendencies.

"Liberal pasts"? Neoconservativism is a Democratic ideology with a hawkish foreign policy. They still believe in big government and government spending.

 
At 08 June, 2006 02:27, Blogger nesNYC said...

"Liberal pasts"? Neoconservativism is a Democratic ideology with a hawkish foreign policy. They still believe in big government and government spending.

You may want to read here for the full scoop:

TROTSKY, STRAUSS, AND THE NEOCONS
War Party's leftist and elitist roots exposed

 
At 08 June, 2006 15:18, Blogger shawn said...

Uh I never said neocons didn't start out as leftists...the thing is they stayed leftists except for foreign policy (and a few domestic policies).

 
At 24 February, 2007 09:42, Blogger spence said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 24 February, 2007 10:23, Blogger spence said...

Control of space and cyberspace

hmmm now what the government use to control people with, now let's see, which act was passed directly in response to 9/11? the Patriot act

 
At 17 March, 2007 15:33, Blogger Ignorance said...

You haven't debunked much here. More like further elaborated on it, as Loose Change didn't exactly describe what the "transformation" itself was.

But now we have the transformation in question. Good. What was/is it?

Well first you have to ask WHO is it, and I'm not talking aimply about Wolfowitz and friendsI'm talking about the force that is (being) transformed: The American Empire.

I have a funny feelng that that's no concept that you analyze things by or hardly acknowledge.

The force to be transformed is the American Empire. There's one thing that's not debatable in this life and that's the existence of ongoing American Imperialism. This goes ll the way back to our deep origins in the 13 imperial colonies. The rest of history speaks for itself, or at least you'd think, because it couldn't be more obvious and in your face, BUT, soemhow hardly any of our society acknowledges this most core truth.

But how, or what empire? If you can't pass this test on your own then you're hardly competant enough to be an authoritive commentator on geopolitical issues.

It's about global domination. It always has been, and even more so after WW2 (which was the showdown battle between the global empires),during the "Cold War" battle between the USSR Empire and the USSA Empire (hey, only they're "evil", not US, right?). Well what happened in '89? The USSR collapsed, or mroe importantly, the establishments 'external global' "evil enemy" 'threat' collasped.

The establishment duped the entire nation into somehow not acknowledging our offensive empire (permanent) status. This wa smostly possible because most of our imperial activities were covert style/puppet regimes/installation of military dictatorships /blackmail /rigged elections /destablization /etc /etc. If you need examples you dont have to look any further than wikipedia. Every now and then we have to bust out the actual military OVERT fasion.

The Balkins were an example of this, but it didnt take much, as we used the herion trafficing mafioso KLA, and also ai Qaeda (check Thompsons 911 timeline, balkins section) for pretty much all of the ground efforts. And there you have another example of how to keep the IMPERIAL MACHINE relatively free of human components (our side I mean) and deaths, as you engineer the wars to use the locals and other mujahadeen types to fight the war for you. That way you can keep the empire maintainign teh appearance of being benign or "benevolent" as American Empire deniers says. ("what's a superpower"?)

But there came a problemfrom teh fall of the USSR: no more excuse for an ongoing imperialistic military machine. No more Soviet's, budget cuts; close down the foreign bases. "Falling Down. The best they could do was label some evil dictators like Saddam or Milosovich, but even those could only justify increases for those little skirmishes. These guys were like vapor compared to the imperialism excuse the USSR gave the USSA. The quest for global domination is kind of hard for the American public to disacknowledge when there's no major enemy in the world, BESIDES US!

And Al Qaeda or Al CIAda, regardless of whatever's actually true about that (like anyone really knows cmon) global domination is the goal of the establishment and history is the proof of that. But what's the way to build a permanent global empire; to be undefeatable? Space! (look up Vision of 2020, for starters)

What's the best ways maintain the imperial posture, and keep the American public in support of it? Well jee? 2 quick ways: a TRANSFORMED robot army ("troops" roll off assembly lines), and a never ending war against an IDEOLOGY. How perfect.

So what is the ideology? Soemthign that is the result of US tyrannically and imperislistically dominating that region for over 50 years. And now we're faced with the term: terrorism. So what is terrorism? You don't have to read too many definitions to learn that either states do it to populations and oppressed populations do it to the populations of terrorist states.

Your camp can debate the MIHOP elements of all this (demotionions, the pentagon "no plane" or whatever), because those issues are debatable. Now with LIHOP, there simply is no debate unless you're ad ignorantium, and this blog you have here proves that you clearly are. PNAc is an imperialist ideology, and that document is the proof of it. If you investigate all of their action points in it you'll see that they've gotten their wish on 95% of it, really only discounting things they decided to go another way with. And of course their never ending enemy "islamofascist" "empire" blah blah blah from their "new pearl harbor". Call it a prophecy, or perhaps they were the perfect ones for the job? In any case, I don't even see why you bothered writing out that blog as if it actually enhances your "side" of the spectrum.

 
At 11 July, 2008 07:42, Blogger JaimeD said...

ignorance....beautifully layed out...no replies...you all just got owned.

 
At 16 February, 2010 15:32, Blogger Matt Phillips said...

The point is taken that the PNAC was not explicitly suggesting that "a new Pearl Harbor" was necessary to execute its agenda, and more importantly there is no suggestion within the documents of the PNAC that there was any intention to create circumstances for the creation of such an event. However, that is exactly what we have had - a new Pearl Harbor. In fact, that might have been the most oft-invoked historical event to compare to 9/11, perhaps not including the original WTC bombing or the OKC bombing. The PNAC, though not perhaps in the "Rebuilding America's Defenses" document, strongly encouraged intervention in Iraq. Afghanistan was perhaps not in the PNAC's explicit agenda, what is very explicit is that The PNAC called for America to participate in "multiple, simultaneous major theater wars;" this is directly out of the "Rebuilding America's Defenses" document, mentioned first on page iv, later through page 6-10 or so. This is stated as a core mission for the US Military (in the PNAC's evaluation). Further talk about this particular mission discusses the "Two major war standard" as a way of producing and maintaining a functional and strong military presence.

Furthermore, the PNAC calls for stronger "defense of the homeland," "constabulary missions," and the "transformation" of military forces. Which of these were not accomplished? The Office of Homeland Security was established after 9/11, we are now taking on a role as a world-sheriff against "terrorism," and our military has developed all sorts of new technology in addition to embracing corporate elements such as Blackwater. All of these goals were accomplished through Iraq and Afghanistan (and now we are taking on constabulary duties in Pakistan and Yemen).

It's true that the document does suggest more security in Asia; however, such requests are not really feasible as China begins to emerge as a world power. What was truly feasible instead was war in the Middle East (undense, above, downplays the attention given to the area, but there is significant mention of it in here, even if this particular document does not suggest overthrowing Hussein). In fact, later in the document, the PNAC calls for permanent increases in stationed troops in the Persian Gulf. The fact is, both of these dangerous areas are referred to in the document, and both are given similar weight.

The goals cited in the blog post above are merely the conclusion of the document - and represent some basic strategies, but not core goals. Those are outlined in the beginning of the document and in this comment. One of the clearest major goals for the PNAC in this document is the increase in defense spending, which was certainly achieved through Iraq and Afghanistan.

 
At 16 February, 2010 15:32, Blogger Matt Phillips said...

Now, what does all this have to do with 9/11? Besides the obvious opportunity that the PNAC signatories saw in Iraq, another opportunity presented itself in Afghanistan. There, the establishment of a major war and a constabulary mission are combined into a single operation. The PNAC, whether they asked for it or not, did receive its Pearl Harbor - and it took full advantage of it, with what opportunities could come out of it. I am not necessarily suggesting that the PNAC perpetrated or organized the 9/11 attacks, but it was extraordinarily convenient for their agenda, which has been accomplished handily, with the exception of the portions about Asia, which have been stymied by China's increasing prominence (which is also hinted at in the Navy section towards the end).

On top of that, 17 of the signatories of the PNAC held positions in the Bush administration, including Ambassadorships to Afghanistan and Iraq, the Vice presidency, and the Secretary of Defense, among others. Doesn't that suggest that those aligned the PNAC held significant power in the Bush administration? And that the Bush administration held a similar agenda? Of course it did. Look at the results. The Bush administration used PNAC ideals to create what it believed to be geopolitical dominance, which is a nice word for Imperial power. And it used those ideals in conjunction with the 9/11 attacks as its Pearl Harbor. This is what happened. It is speculation to suggest that the PNAC had a hand in executing the attacks, I agree, and I don't necessarily agree with Loose Change's conclusions, but the fact is that the PNAC profited immensely from the attacks; and without them, we would not have been so easily lead into Iraq.

What must be recognized is that the PNAC was composed of some very rich and powerful persons, who now hold positions such as President of the World Bank. They have the means and the motive to accomplish big and possibly terrible things.

So though the PNAC does not explicitly state that it will perform a new Pearl Harbor, or that it will invade Iraq or Afghanistan, does not mean that such events, if given the opportunity to make them happen, will not fill the roles required by their agenda. In fact, they did, quite handily, especially considering those first 4 core missions for the military. So whether they perpetrated the attacks, or allowed the attacks to happen (and there is some very real evidence that the Bush administration was aware of the possibility of the attacks), or merely used the attacks to accomplish their goals, the PNAC was involved in 9/11, playing on the immense fear it created in the public, manipulating the media, and deliberately lying about intelligence in order to get their agenda through. Their motives are clear, and their agenda would have had significant difficulties if they had not happened. Their manipulation of these events is not only wrong, it is highly suspicious, and it cannot yet be ruled out that the signatories of the PNAC had some hand in the attacks or the assurance of their happening.

 
At 31 December, 2010 13:16, Blogger TC said...

When are people going to realize that it's not 'left vs right' or 'Dem vs Rep' or 'conservatives vs liberals'. It's two arms of the same beast. The faces will always change but the policies will remain the same. Everyone says Bush was bad.. ya he was but Obama is just as bad. If anybody thinks things will get better when Obama is out of office they're an idiot.

 

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