Traffic jam on the road to 'Pax Americana'
Listen closely and you'll hear Bush's neocons beating the drums for war in Iran and Syria

Bill Berkowit

Bron: WorkingForChange 04.02.03

"At the insistence of our allies, the war in Iraq has become as much a test of the international system as of Saddam Hussein, as much a question of a new world order as of a new, democratic Iraq. The battle between American primacy and multipolarity is nearing an end -- and what is to come is a world that no one ever imagined." -- Thomas Donnelly, Brave New World: An Enduring Pax Americana National Security Outlook, March 25, 2003, American Enterprise Institute
"Royal Marines were deployed to Iraq's border with Iran yesterday in a move that will unnerve Teheran's regime, which fears encirclement by American-led forces in Iraq and Afghanistan." ("Marines line up on Iranian border", London Telegraph, March 26, 2003)

"The Iraqi war has convinced the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) leadership that some form of confrontation with the U.S. could come earlier than expected." ("China readies for future U.S., March 25, 2003")

"A serial invader is always looking over the horizon for the next target. The new U.S. rationale for invasion--the doctrine of "preventive war" that flies in the face of international law--justifies invasion anywhere, anytime. With the war launched in Iraq, the Bush administration appears to be laying the groundwork for its next move: an attack on North Korea." Is North Korea Next? Foreign Policy In Focus, March 24, 2003

Pardon me for not rising from my chair, saluting Fox's cheerleaders, and singing "It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood," but America's War with Iraq is creating some really nasty ripple effects -- and eerily enough that's exactly what the neoconservative cabal running Bush's foreign policy is hoping for. I've never been sure what "It's your world, I'm just passing through" meant until I started to get a better feel for the U.S.'s plan for global domination.

This is not another neocon/Richard Perle-bashing column. I'm writing mainly to let you know about an informative essay recently written by Thomas Donnelly, one of a hardy band of American Enterprise Institute's resident fellows.

But first, a few words about Richard Perle: Over the past several months, it seemed that every time you turned on the tube you encountered the chap. When I tuned into the women's basketball championships the other day, I could swear Perle was coaching both teams and refereeing as well.

When asked about Perle on Pacifica Radio's Democracy Now, Pulitzer Prize winning reporter Seymour Hersh said two terms describe the man: "greed" and "conflict of interest." However, he added, "A lot of what we know about the policy of this government, he's been telling us. But we weren't listening." The scandal-plagued Perle recently resigned as chair of the Defense Policy Board, although he retained his membership.

You can get a better feel for Perle by checking out my Richard Perle's posse: Right-wing 'think' tanks dominate discourse and Hersh's Lunch with the chairman: Why was Richard Perle meeting with Adnan Khashoggi?.

[ASIDE: COLUMN QUIZ QUESTION #1: Who is responsible for the US casualties in Iraq?]

Donnelly's doctrine

As Hersh told Amy Goodman, if you listen to Perle and folks like Tom Donnelly, you're guaranteed to learn a lot. I don't know if Donnelly and Perle share coffee, but they sure seem to be operating out of the same playbook: The U.S. role in the twenty-first century is to create a "Pax Americana," a world dominated so thoroughly by the military power of this country that no other country, or group of countries, will dare can challenge America's hegemony.

If you think that's a mouthful, read any number of documents that American Enterprise Institute (AEI) and William Kristol's Project for a New American Century have been putting out over the past few years. These goals are spelled out pretty clearly. In the case of his new essay, titled "Brave New World: An Enduring Pax Americana," Donnelly does a very efficient job of laying out the terrain.

For those preferring to cut to the chase, here is my interpretation of the unexpurgated Donnelly:

F**k France and F**k the European Union (Rumsfeld's "old" Europe, not Tony Blair this time around); F**k Russia; totally F**k the United Nations; after we finish F*****g Iraq, it's time to commence F*****g Syria and Iran; plan on F*****g North Korea; and in the future, it may necessary to F**k China.

A little longer explanation:

Although Donnelly compliments the French for outmaneuvering the U.S. at the United Nations, in the long run they did the U.S. a favor. In the end, it is "a featherweight of so-called soft power set against the heavy-metal hard power of the United States." Whatever the outcome in the Middle East, the French will no longer be players of any considerable import.

For Donnelly, "Soft power is the ability to entice and attract, and its success is measured by acquiescence or imitation. … France's vision of a multipolar world order holds little attraction for Americans and is unlikely to entice anyone outside the McGovern wing of the Democratic Party to imitate it."

Donnelly: "A U.S. victory -- measured also by the planting of the seeds of liberty and democracy in Baghdad -- will define the start of a truly new world order; to steal Dean Acheson's famous phrase, we are present at the creation. What, exactly, we are creating we do not know. It will be necessary to create international institutions that reflect the new realities, and they may even be called the United Nations and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. But if so, those organizations will have to be fundamentally transformed to reestablish the link between the right to make international law and the responsibility to enforce it."

Donnelly’s vision is a product of two-dozen plus years in the service of America's corporate and political elite. He served as the director of strategic communications and initiatives for Lockheed Martin Corporation. Before that he was deputy executive director for William Kristol's Project for the New American Century from 1999-2002; was the director of the Policy Group, Committee on National Security (now Committee on Armed Services) in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1996-1999; was a staff member of the Committee on National Security (now Committee on Armed Services) in the U.S. House of Representatives in 1995; served as executive editor for The National Interest in 1994-1995; was editor of Army Times between 1987-1993 and before than was deputy editor of Defense News from 1984 to 1987.

Donnelly and company are dead serious, as many no longer alive Iraqis would certainly attest to.

[ASIDE: COLUMN QUIZ QUESTION #2: Who is responsible for the capture of Spc. Shoshana Johnson, a 30-year-old single mother from Fort Bliss, Texas?]

On to Iran? Syria?

Over the past several days, the Bush administration has issued stern warnings to both Syria and Iran. The first salvo was fired by Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld who cautioned Iran and Syria about "hostile acts" toward U.S. forces in Iraq, saying that they would be held accountable for their actions.

That was followed by a weekend of appearances at the convention of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). Secretary of State Colin Powell said, "Syria can continue direct support for terrorist groups and the dying regime of Saddam Hussein, or it can embark on a different and more hopeful course. Either way, Syria bears the responsibility for its choices, and for the consequences." Powell also warned Iran to stop helping terrorists.

John Bolton, undersecretary of state for arms control, said, "The estimate we have of how close the Iranians are to production of nuclear weapons grows closer each day." Bolton pointed out that "In the aftermath of Iraq, dealing with the Iranian nuclear weapons program will be of equal importance as dealing with the North Korean nuclear weapons program."

Both Bolton and national security adviser Condoleezza Rice, who also spoke at AIPAC, place the "nuclear-potential [of] Iran in the same category as North Korea, which is believed to be months from production of nuclear material for weapons," reported the New York Daily News.

During a visit to the Fox War Channel, retired General Alexander Haig, who served as Secretary of State under Ronald Reagan, said the US needed to put some muscle into these warnings. Any threats it makes to either Syria or Iran must be backed up by action.

[ANSWER TO QUESTION #1: Frank Gaffney, the very scary founder and president of the Center for Security Policy, lays the blame for American losses in the war with Iraq directly at the feet of President Bill Clinton. He says that "outdated equipment and failures to upgrade the military -- as well as the conflict itself -- are all part of the Clinton legacy."]

[ANSWER TO QUESTION #2: Elaine Donnelly, president of the Center for Military Readiness, told Concerned Women for America's Culture and Family Report that the rule changes enacted by President Clinton's then-Secretary of Defense Les Aspin removed "inherent risk of capture" as a reason for considering "exempting women from serving in units previously defined as close combat." That, Donnelly said, opened the way for more women to become prisoners of war. For more please see the Bill Berkowitz archive.

Bill Berkowitz is a longtime observer of the conservative movement. His WorkingForChange column Conservative Watch documents the strategies, players, institutions, victories and defeats of the American Right.