William Rivers Pitt: Plantetary Empire


Richard Moore

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From: "Global Network" <•••@••.•••>
To: "Global Network" <•••@••.•••>
Date: Fri, 28 Feb 2003 12:43:35 -0500
Blood Money

  The first step towards the establishment of this Pax
  Americana is, and has always been, the removal of
  Saddam Hussein and the establishment of an American
  protectorate in Iraq.

By William Rivers Pitt
t r u t h o u t | Perspective

Thursday 27 February 2003

  "In the counsels of Government, we must guard against
  the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether
  sought or unsought, by the Military Industrial Complex.
  The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced
  power exists, and will persist. We must never let the
  weight of this combination endanger our liberties or
  democratic processes."
   - President Dwight Eisenhower, January 1961.

George W. Bush gave a speech Wednesday night before the
Godfather of conservative Washington think tanks, the
American Enterprise Institute. In his speech, Bush
quantified his coming war with Iraq as part of a larger
struggle to bring pro-western governments into power in
the Middle East. Couched in hopeful language describing
peace and freedom for all, the speech was in fact the
closest articulation of the actual plan for Iraq that
has yet been heard from the administration.

In a
previous article from February 21, the ideological
connections between an extremist right-wing Washington
think tank and the foreign policy aspirations of the
Bush administration were detailed.

The Project for a New American Century, or PNAC, is a
group founded in 1997 that has been agitating since its
inception for a war with Iraq. PNAC was the driving
force behind the drafting and passage of the Iraqi
Liberation Act, a bill that painted a veneer of
legality over the ultimate designs behind such a
conflict. The names of every prominent PNAC member were
on a letter delivered to President Clinton in 1998
which castigated him for not implementing the Act by
driving troops into Baghdad.

PNAC has funneled millions of taxpayer dollars to a
Hussein opposition group called the Iraqi National
Congress, and to Iraq's heir-apparent, Ahmed Chalabi,
despite the fact that
Chalabi was sentenced in absentia by a Jordanian court to 22
years in prison on 31 counts of bank fraud. Chalabi and
the INC have, over the years, gathered support for
their cause by promising oil contracts to anyone that
would help to put them in power in Iraq.

Most recently, PNAC created a new group called The
Committee for the Liberation of Iraq. Staffed entirely
by PNAC members, The Committee has set out to "educate"
Americans via cable news connections about the need for
war in Iraq. This group met recently with National
Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice regarding the ways
and means of this education.

Who is PNAC? Its members include:

  * Vice President Dick Cheney, one of the PNAC founders,
    who served as Secretary of Defense for Bush Sr.;
  * I. Lewis Libby, Cheney's top national security
  * Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, also a founding
    member, along with four of his chief aides including;
  * Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz, arguably
    the ideological father of the group;
  * Eliot Abrams, prominent member of Bush's National
    Security Council, who was pardoned by Bush Sr. in the
    Iran/Contra scandal;
  * John Bolton, who serves as Undersecretary for Arms
    Control and International Security in the Bush
  * Richard Perle, former Reagan administration official
    and present chairman of the powerful Defense Policy
  * Randy Scheunemann, President of the Committee for the
    Liberation of Iraq, who was Trent Lott's national
    security aide and who served as an advisor to Rumsfeld
    on Iraq in 2001;
  * Bruce Jackson, Chairman of PNAC, a position he took
    after serving for years as vice president of weapons
    manufacturer Lockheed-Martin, and who also headed the
    Republican Party Platform subcommittee for National
    Security and Foreign Policy during the 2000 campaign.
    His section of the 2000 GOP Platform explicitly called
    for the removal of Saddam Hussein;
  * William Kristol, noted conservative writer for the
    Weekly Standard, a magazine owned along with the Fox
    News Network by conservative media mogul Ruppert

The Project for the New American Century seeks to
establish what they call 'Pax Americana' across the
globe. Essentially, their goal is to transform America,
the sole remaining superpower, into a planetary empire
by force of arms. A report released by PNAC in
September of 2000 entitled 'Rebuilding America's
Defenses' codifies this plan, which requires a massive
increase in defense spending and the fighting of
several major theater wars in order to establish
American dominance. The first has been achieved in
Bush's new budget plan, which calls for the exact
dollar amount to be spent on defense that was requested
by PNAC in 2000. Arrangements are underway for the
fighting of the wars.

The men from PNAC are in a perfect position to see
their foreign policy schemes, hatched in 1997, brought
into reality. They control the White House, the
Pentagon and Defense Department, by way of this the
armed forces and intelligence communities, and have at
their feet a Republican-dominated Congress that will
rubber-stamp virtually everything on their wish list.

The first step towards the establishment of this Pax
Americana is, and has always been, the removal of
Saddam Hussein and the establishment of an American
protectorate in Iraq. The purpose of this is threefold:
1) To acquire control of the oilheads so as to fund the
entire enterprise; 2) To fire a warning shot across the
bows of every leader in the Middle East; 3) To
establish in Iraq a military staging area for the
eventual invasion and overthrow of several Middle
Eastern regimes, including some that are allies of the
United States.

Another PNAC signatory, author Norman Podhoretz,
quantified this aspect of the grand plan in the
September 2002 issue of his journal, 'Commentary'. In
it, Podhoretz notes that the regimes, "that richly
deserve to be overthrown and replaced, are not confined
to the three singled-out members of the axis of evil.
At a minimum, the axis should extend to Syria and
Lebanon and Libya, as well as 'friends' of America like
the Saudi royal family and Egypt's Hosni Mubarak, along
with the Palestinian Authority, whether headed by
Arafat or one of his henchmen." At bottom, for
Podhoretz, this action is about "the long-overdue
internal reform and modernization of Islam."

This casts Bush's speech to AEI on Wednesday in a
completely different light.

Weapons of mass destruction are a smokescreen. Paeans
to the idea of Iraqi liberation and democratization are
cynical in their inception. At the end of the day, this
is not even about oil. The drive behind this war is
ideological in nature, a crusade to 'reform' the
religion of Islam as it exists in both government and
society within the Middle East. Once this is
accomplished, the road to empire will be open, ten
lanes wide and steppin' out over the line.

At the end of the day, however, ideology is only good
for bull sessions in the board room and the bar.
Something has to grease the skids, to make the whole
thing worthwhile to those involved, and entice those
outside the loop to get into the game.

Thus, the payout.

It is well known by now that Dick Cheney, before
becoming Vice President, served as chairman and chief
executive of the Dallas-based petroleum corporation
Halliburton. During his tenure, according to oil
industry executives and United Nations records,
Halliburton did a brisk $73 million in business with
Saddam Hussein's Iraq. While working face-to-face with
Hussein, Cheney and Halliburton were also moving into
position to capitalize upon Hussein's removal from
power. In October of 1995, the same month Cheney was
made CEO of Halliburton, that company announced a deal
that would put it first in line should war break out in
Iraq. Their job: To take control of burning oil wells,
put out the fires, and prepare them for service.

Another corporation that stands to do well by a war in
Iraq is Brown & Root, a subsidiary of Halliburton.
Ostensibly, Brown & Root is in the construction
business, and thus has won a share of the $900 million
government contract for the rebuilding of post-war
Iraqi bridges, roads and other basic infrastructure.
This is but the tip of the financial iceberg, as the
oil wells will also have to be repaired after
parent-company Halliburton puts out the fires.

More ominously is Brown & Root's stock in trade: the
building of permanent American military bases. There
are twelve permanent U.S. bases in Kosovo today, all
built and maintained by Brown & Root for a
multi-billion dollar profit. If anyone should wonder
why the administration has not offered an exit strategy
to the Iraq war plans, the presence of Brown & Root
should answer them succinctly. We do not plan on
exiting. In all likelihood, Brown & Root is in Iraq to
build permanent bases there, from which attacks upon
other Middle Eastern nations can be staged and managed.

Again, this casts Bush's speech on Wednesday in a new

Being at the center of the action is nothing new for
Halliburton and Brown & Root. The two companies have
worked closely with governments in Algeria, Angola,
Bosnia, Burma, Croatia, Haiti, Nigeria, Rwanda, and
Somalia during the worst chapters in those nation's
histories. Many environmental and human rights groups
claim that Cheney, Halliburton and Brown & Root were,
in fact, centrally involved in these fiascos. More
recently, Brown & Root was contracted by the Defense
Department to build cells for detainees in Guantanamo
Bay, Cuba. The bill for that one project came to $300

Cheney became involved with PNAC officially in 1997,
while still profiting from deals between Halliburton
and Hussein. One year later, Cheney and PNAC began
actively and publicly agitating for war on Iraq. They
have not stopped to this very day.

Another company with a vested interest in both war on
Iraq and massively increased defense spending is the
Carlyle Group. Carlyle, a private global investment
firm with more than $12.5 billion in capital under
management, was formed in 1987. Its interests are
spread across 164 companies, including
telecommunications firms and defense contractors. It is
staffed at the highest levels by former members of the
Reagan and Bush Sr. administrations. Former President
George H. W. Bush is himself employed by Carlyle as a
senior advisor, as is long-time Bush family advisor and
former Secretary of State James Baker III.

One company acquired by Carlyle is United Defense, a
weapons manufacturer based in Arlington, VA. United
Defense provides the Defense Department with combat
vehicle systems, fire support, combat support vehicle
systems, weapons delivery systems, amphibious assault
vehicles, combat support services and naval armaments.
Specifically, United Defense manufactures the Bradley
Fighting Vehicle, the M113 armored personnel carrier,
the M88A2 Recovery Vehicle, the Grizzly, the M9 ACE,
the Composite Armored Vehicle, the M6 Linebacker, the
M7 BFIST, the Armored Gun System, the M4 Command and
Control Vehicle, the Battle Command Vehicle, the
Paladin, the Crusader, and Electric Gun/Pulse Power
weapons technology.

In other words, everything a growing Defense
Department, a war in Iraq, and a burgeoning American
military empire needs.

Ironically, one group that won't profit from Carlyle's
involvement in American military buildup is the family
of Osama bin Laden. The bin Laden family fortune was
amassed by Mohammed bin Laden, father of Osama, who
built a multi-billion dollar construction empire
through contracts with the Saudi government. The Saudi
BinLaden Group, as this company is called, was heavily
invested in Carlyle for years. Specifically, they were
invested in Carlyle's Partners II Fund, which includes
in that portfolio United Defense and other weapons

This relationship was described in a September 27, 2001
article in the Wall Street Journal entitled 'Bin Laden
Family Could Profit >From Jump in Defense Spending Due
to Ties to US Bank.' The 'bank' in question was the
Carlyle Group. A follow-up article published by the
Journal on September 28 entitled ' Bin Laden Family Has
Intricate Ties With Washington - Saudi Clan Has Had
Access To Influential Republicans ' further describes
the relationship. In October of 2001, Saudi BinLaden
and Carlyle severed their relationship by mutual
agreement. The timing is auspicious.

There are a number of depths to be plumbed in all of
this. The Bush administration has claimed all along
that this war with Iraq is about Saddam Hussein's
connections to terrorism and weapons of mass
destruction, though through it all they have roundly
failed to establish any basis for either accusation. On
Wednesday, Bush went further to claim that the war is
about liberating the Iraqi people and bringing
democracy to the Middle East. This ignores cultural
realities on the ground in Iraq and throughout the
region that, salted with decades of deep mistrust for
American motives, make such a democracy movement
brought at the point of the sword utterly impossible to

This movement, cloaked in democracy, is in fact a
PNAC-inspired push for an American global empire. It
behooves Americans to understand that there is a great
difference between being the citizen of a
constitutional democracy and being a citizen of an
empire. The establishment of an empire requires some
significant sacrifices.

Essential social, medical, educational and retirement
services will have to be gutted so that those funds can
be directed towards a necessary military buildup.
Actions taken abroad to establish the preeminence of
American power, most specifically in the Middle East,
will bring a torrent of terrorist attacks to the home
front. Such attacks will bring about the final
suspension of constitutional rights and the rule of
habeas corpus, as we will find ourselves under martial
law. In the end, however, this may be inevitable. An
empire cannot function with the slow, cumbersome
machine of a constitutional democracy on its back.
Empires must be ruled with speed and ruthlessness, in a
manner utterly antithetical to the way in which America
has been governed for 227 years.

And yes, of course, a great many people will die.

It would be one thing if all of this was based purely
on the ideology of our leaders. It is another thing
altogether to consider the incredible profit motive
behind it all. The President, his father, the Vice
President, a whole host of powerful government
officials, along with stockholders and executives from
Halliburton and Carlyle, stand to make a mint off this
war. Long-time corporate sponsors from the defense,
construction and petroleum industries will likewise
profit enormously.

Critics of the Bush administration like to bandy about
the word "fascist" when speaking of George. The image
that word conjures is of Nazi stormtroopers marching in
unison towards Hitler's Final Solution. This does not
at all fit. It is better, in this matter, to view the
Bush administration through the eyes of Benito
Mussolini. Mussolini, dubbed 'the father of Fascism,'
defined the word in a far more pertinent fashion.
"Fascism," said Mussolini, "should more properly be
called corporatism, since it is the merger of state and
corporate power."

Boycott the French, the Germans, and the other 114
nations who stand against this Iraq war all you wish.
France and Germany do not oppose Bush because they are
cowards, or because they enjoy the existence of Saddam
Hussein. France and Germany stand against the Bush
administration because they intend to stop this Pax
Americana in its tracks if they can. They have seen
militant fascism up close and personal before, and wish
never to see it again.

Would that we Americans could be so wise.

William Rivers Pitt is a New York Times bestselling
author of two books - "War On Iraq" (with Scott Ritter)
available now from Context Books, and "The Greatest
Sedition is Silence," available in May 2003 from Pluto
Press. He teaches high school in Boston, MA.

Scott Lowery contributed research to this report.

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