Bush: America needed “a new Pearl Harbor”


Richard Moore

From: "Brit Eckhart" <•••@••.•••>
To: <•••@••.•••>
Subject: Re John Pilger reveals the American plan
Date: Fri, 13 Dec 2002 21:16:38 -0500



New Statesman (London) 16 December 2002

John Pilger reveals the American plan

Two years ago a project set up by the men who now surround George
W Bush said what America needed was "a new Pearl Harbor". Its
published aims have come alarmingly true, writes John Pilger

The threat posed by US terrorism to the security of nations and
individuals was outlined in prophetic detail in a document
written more than two years ago and disclosed only recently. What
was needed for America to dominate much of humanity and the
world's resources, it said, was "some catastrophic and catalysing
event - like a new Pearl Harbor".

The attacks of 11 September 2001 provided the "new Pearl Harbor",
described as "the opportunity of ages". The extremists who have
since exploited 11 September come from the era of Ronald Reagan,
when far-right groups and "think-tanks"  were established to
avenge the American "defeat" in Vietnam. In the 1990s, there was
an added agenda: to justify the denial of a "peace dividend"
following the cold war. The Project for the New American Century
was formed, along with the American Enterprise Institute, the
Hudson Institute and others that have since merged the ambitions
of the Reagan administration with those of the current Bush

One of George W Bush's "thinkers" is Richard Perle. I interviewed
Perle when he was advising Reagan; and when he spoke about "total
war", I mistakenly dismissed him as mad. He recently used the
term again in describing America's "war on terror". "No stages,"
he said. "This is total war. We are fighting a variety of
enemies. There are lots of them out there. All this talk about
first we are going to do Afghanistan, then we will do Iraq . . .
this is entirely the wrong way to go about it. If we just let our
vision of the world go forth, and we embrace it entirely and we
don't try to piece together clever diplomacy, but just wage a
total war . . . our children will sing great songs about us years
from now."

Perle is one of the founders of the Project for the New American
Century, the PNAC.  Other founders include Dick Cheney, now
vice-president, Donald Rumsfeld, defence secretary, Paul
Wolfowitz, deputy defence secretary, I Lewis Libby, Cheney's
chief of staff, William J Bennett, Reagan's education secretary,
and Zalmay Khalilzad, Bush's ambassador to Afghanistan. These are
the modern chartists of American terrorism.

The PNAC's seminal report, Rebuilding America's Defences:
strategy, forces and resources for a new century, was a blueprint
of American aims in all but name.  Two years ago it recommended
an increase in arms-spending by $48bn so that Washington could
"fight and win multiple, simultaneous major theatre wars". This
has happened. It said the United States should develop
"bunker-buster" nuclear weapons and make "star wars" a national
priority. This is happening. It said that, in the event of Bush
taking power, Iraq should be a target. And so it is.

As for Iraq's alleged "weapons of mass destruction", these were
dismissed, in so many words, as a convenient excuse, which it is.
"While the unresolved conflict with Iraq provides the immediate
justification,"  it says, "the need for a substantial American
force presence in the Gulf transcends the issue of the regime of
Saddam Hussein."

How has this grand strategy been implemented?

A series of articles in the Washington Post, co-authored by Bob
Woodward of Watergate fame and based on long interviews with
senior members of the Bush administration, reveals how 11
September was manipulated.

On the morning of 12 September 2001, without any evidence of who
the hijackers were, Rumsfeld demanded that the US attack Iraq.
According to Woodward, Rumsfeld told a cabinet meeting that Iraq
should be "a principal target of the first round in the war
against terrorism". Iraq was temporarily spared only because
Colin Powell, the secretary of state, persuaded Bush that "public
opinion has to be prepared before a move against Iraq is
possible". Afghanistan was chosen as the softer option.

If Jonathan Steele's estimate in the Guardian is correct, some
20,000 people in Afghanistan paid the price of this debate with
their lives.

Time and again, 11 September is described as an "opportunity". In
last April's New Yorker, the investigative reporter Nicholas
Lemann wrote that Bush's most senior adviser, Condoleezza Rice,
told him she had called together senior members of the National
Security Council and asked them "to think about 'how do you
capitalise on these opportunities'", which she compared with
those of "1945 to 1947": the start of the cold war.

Since 11 September, America has established bases at the gateways
to all the major sources of fossil fuels, especially central
Asia. The Unocal oil company is to build a pipeline across
Afghanistan. Bush has scrapped the Kyoto Protocol on greenhouse
gas emissions, the war crimes provisions of the International
Criminal Court and the anti-ballistic missile treaty. He has said
he will use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear states "if
necessary". Under cover of propaganda about Iraq's alleged
weapons of mass destruction, the Bush regime is developing new
weapons of mass destruction that undermine international treaties
on biological and chemical warfare.

In the Los Angeles Times, the military analyst William Arkin
describes a secret army set up by Donald Rumsfeld, similar to
those run by Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger and which Congress
outlawed. This "super-intelligence support activity" will bring
together the "CIA and military covert action, information
warfare, and deception". According to a classified document
prepared for Rumsfeld, the new organisation, known by its
Orwellian moniker as the Proactive Pre-emptive Operations Group,
or P2OG, will provoke terrorist attacks which would then require
"counter-attack" by the United States on countries "harbouring
the terrorists".

In other words, innocent people will be killed by the United
States. This is reminiscent of Operation Northwoods, the plan put
to President Kennedy by his military chiefs for a phoney
terrorist campaign - complete with bombings, hijackings, plane
crashes and dead Americans - as justification for an invasion of
Cuba. Kennedy rejected it. He was assassinated a few months
later.  Now Rumsfeld has resurrected Northwoods, but with
resources undreamt of in 1963 and with no global rival to invite

You have to keep reminding yourself this is not fantasy: that
truly dangerous men, such as Perle and Rumsfeld and Cheney, have
power. The thread running through their ruminations is the
importance of the media: "the prioritised task of bringing on
board journalists of repute to accept our position".

"Our position"  is code for lying. Certainly, as a journalist, I
have never known official lying to be more pervasive than today.
We may laugh at the vacuities in Tony Blair's "Iraq dossier" and
Jack Straw's inept lie that Iraq has developed a nuclear bomb
(which his minions rushed to "explain").  But the more insidious
lies, justifying an unprovoked attack on Iraq and linking it to
would-be terrorists who are said to lurk in every Tube station,
are routinely channelled as news. They are not news; they are
black propaganda.

This corruption makes journalists and broadcasters mere
ventriloquists' dummies. An attack on a nation of 22 million
suffering people is discussed by liberal commentators as if it
were a subject at an academic seminar, at which pieces can be
pushed around a map, as the old imperialists used to do.

The issue for these humanitarians is not primarily the brutality
of modern imperial domination, but how "bad" Saddam Hussein is.
There is no admission that their decision to join the war party
further seals the fate of perhaps thousands of innocent Iraqis
condemned to wait on America's international death row. Their
doublethink will not work. You cannot support murderous piracy in
the name of humanitarianism. Moreover, the extremes of American
fundamentalism that we now face have been staring at us for too
long for those of good heart and sense not to recognise them.

With thanks to Norm Dixon and Chris Floyd

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