Iraq War, Neo-conservatives

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October 6, 2004 The following OP-ED article is critical of the National media for failing to adequately address a key part of the question “Why the Iraq War”. I am sending this article to many in the media, including TV, radio, newspapers, magazines, book authors, polling organizations, columnists, and a few politicians who have raised the issue. I hope that this article might stimulate some constructive thought, discussion, and action within the media itself. You may copy, reprint, or republish this article without cost.

If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact me at [email protected]

J.G. Marinuzzi

J.G. Marinuzzi has extensive technical, management and political experience in Advanced Technology Research and Development, such as WMD, Lasers, and Artificial Intelligence. Science and Public Policy is his field. To qualify for this work, he held “Q”, “Secret”, “Top Secret” and “select intelligence” clearances, and served on various intelligence and WMD advisory committees. His degrees include a Ph.D, a M.P.A., a M.S. and a B.M.E..

The Media Has No Clothes

The Media is failing to give Americans the information needed to make balanced, informed decisions about “WHY Iraq”? We have heard the Administration’s reasons for war, ranging from “WMD” to “Iraqi Freedom” to “Terrorism”. The Loyal Opposition counters with “Oil, Lies and Incompetence”. But, there is an elephant named “Neo-Conservative” sitting in the Iraq room. He has a great deal to do with “Why Iraq”? Because the Administration, most politicians, and the Media will not explain this elephant, Americans, are woefully uninformed.

True, some legitimate writers and journalists, such as Pat Buchanan, Ted Koppel, Chris Michaels and George Will, often speak of Neo-Conservatives (Neo-Cons) leading the US to war. Unfortunately, their message misses average Americans. Most Americans are so busy with family and jobs, they don’t have time or energy left for reading 24,000 word Vanity Fair articles, or researching terms like “Pax Americana” and “Global Hegemony”. Although some very good books have raised the Neo-con subject, Americans are unable to connect the dots by themselves. It is the Media’s job to help, and it is failing.

I recently took an unscientific poll of 25 well-educated friends. These people represent seven coast-to-coast states and cover the political spectrum. I asked the question, “Have you ever heard of a Neo-conservative? Three said “yes”, but could not name one. Twenty-two replied “no”. None knew of Neo-cons having any role in the US invading Iraq. I suspect this unscientific poll closely reflects our Nation’s knowledge. Why bring this up? With additional post-attack knowledge, and statements by policy-makers and participants, we now can better answer the question of why we went to war. We can put to the test the case that Neo-cons had the “Motivation”, gained the “Means”, and when presented with the “Opportunity” to go to war, they did. With no WMD or direct links between Iraq and 9/11-Al qaeda terrorists, could a “Reasonable American” conclude that the Iraq War is as many say, “an unnecessary war of choice”? We should weigh these Neo-con possibilities against the Administration’s current reasons for war. Only this time we should include the average American in the discussion. There are many well-documented, undeniable, pre-Iraq-war facts about the Neo-Cons, the Bush Administration, and Iraq. These few examples are the “tip of the iceberg”

In 1997 a group of influential, “Right Wing”, politicians, policymakers and intellectuals openly founded the “Project for the New American Century” (PNAC). PNAC’s purpose is to preserve and extend the preeminence of U.S. military forces and use this power to promote a highly aggressive, pro-U.S. foreign policy. PNAC is synonymous to Neo-Cons. Signers of PNAC’s “Statement Of Principles” include Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz and Jeb Bush. On January 26, 1998, PNAC wrote a letter to President Clinton urging him to remove Saddam Hussein’s regime from power. The letter urged Clinton to “act now” with “a willingness to undertake military action”. The Neo-cons said; we could not depend on our UN and Coalition partners, full UN inspections would not work, and we had preemptively authority. WMD and Oil were the Reasons for action. No mention was made of” Iraqi Freedom” or “establishing democracy”. This 1998 Clinton Letter exactly describes the current Iraq War, including rationale, preemption and unilateralism. Eighteen people including Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz and Richard Perle signed this letter. In its September 2000 document “Rebuilding America’s Defenses”, a keystone for the “Bush Doctrine”, PNAC recommended many radical changes to shift U.S. policy. This document also cautioned: “the process of transformation” … “is likely to be a long one, absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event – like a new Pearl Harbor”. In 2001, twelve Neo-Con signers of the PNAC “Statement Of Principles” and/or the “Clinton letter”, plus three others, assumed powerful Bush Administration positions. These included Vice President Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld Paul Wolfowitz, Elliott Abrams, Richard Armitage, Douglas Feith and Richard Perle. At the 2003 start of the Iraq War, all fifteen were part of the Administration. Given the above information, and the scores of other Neo-con policy writings, a Reasonable American might question President Bush’s reasons for War. Did “Motive” come from Neo-Con ideology? When President Bush filled his most powerful Administration jobs with Neo-Cons in 2001, did he acquire “Means”? As Neo-Cons predicted, did “Opportunity” occur in the form of 9/11 when Neo-Con ideology morphed into terrorism? Don’t ask average Americans, the media has not given them a clue. The Iraq War has cost; many thousands of dead and wounded, hundreds of billions of dollars, the alienation of our allies, the motivation of our enemies, the division of our country, and the loss of U.S. standing and support in the world. Endless turmoil, civil war, or an anti-American theocracy is at least as possible in Iraq today as is a democracy. Senator John McCain says we may be in Iraq for 10 or 20 years. We are caught in a grave, ever-worsening mess. Only if we understand the CAUSAL factors of this mess, can we ever hope to clean it up.

About rushing to war, the New York Times expressed regrets “that we didn’t do more to challenge the president’s assumptions”. The Washington Post said “the voices raising questions about the war were lonely ones. We didn’t pay enough attention to the minority”. The rest of the Nation’s Media did no better. Balanced reporting was missing in action.

What should the media do? Do its job and inform. Add some balance to the “Why Iraq” discussion, do the homework and explain in detail Neo-Con goals and influence. Get over the fear of talking about the Neo-Con context and get rid of the code words. Stretch the sound bites and column inches. “Connect the dots”. Polling organizations, like Pew and Gallop, should poll Americans about the Neo-Con context as a window for understanding.

On TV shows like Hardball and Meet the Press, put guest comments into Neo-Con perspective. Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neil’s quote: “President Bush was focused on removing Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq from the start of his administration…” means little when left hanging. In Neo-Con context, the quote has enormous weight. General Anthony Zinni, the Middle East Commander between Schwarzkopf and Tommy Franks, said in regard to the Neo-cons misleading the U.S. to war: “I think it’s the worst kept secret in Washington. That everybody – everybody I talk to in Washington has known and fully knows what their agenda was and what they were trying to do”. Paul O’Neil and General Zinni are only two left turning n the Neo-con wind. The same applies to many quotes of Woodward, Clarke, and others. If everyone in Washington knows, why can’t the media tell the American public? Cable news shows should confront key players. Put knowledgeable people like Pat Buchanan, William Kristol, Richard Pearl and General Zinni together in a TV studio and ask the hard questions. For example: President Bush acknowledges that there was no WMD, no gathering threat, no Iraq-9/11 link, and no Iraq-Al-qaeda terrorist link. The US Military says that today only 1 to 2% of Iraq insurgents are from outside the country. Question: given this information, why should Americans believe that Iraq is a war on terror and not a Neo-con war? The Neo-Con philosophy and pre-9/11 writings call for preemptive military attacks on Syria, Iran and other Middle East countries. Question: is the Administration planning to do this? And, now, President Bush says if he knew all of the above before attacking Iraq, he “would have still gone to war”. Does this statement only make sense in a Neo-con context?

Finally, the media has to pressure the politicians, Republican and Democrat, to talk about the subject. And then follow up on their statements or non-statements.

In short, the media can give information balance to Americans and give them a chance to think about the gravest problem facing our Nation. It is time for the media to put on some clothes.

J.G. Marinuzzi


The “Project For The New American Century” web site Contains scores of enlightening papers detailing the Neo-conservative philosophy, people, and policies over many years.

By far, the best web site for learning the who, what where, why, and how of Neo-Conservatives is the PBS Frontline website “truth, war & consequences”.

To examine the Neo-Con, Middle-East policy thinking of present Bush Administration members, see “A Clean Break” by Richard Perle, Douglas Feith, David Wurmser, et. al.. Among other things, this policy statement urges Israel to preemptively attack Syria.

An excellent book on the subject that came out while this paper was being written is: “Where The Right Went Wrong: How Neoconservatives Subverted the Reagan Revolution and Hijacked the Bush Presidency”, by Patrick J. Buchanan.

By “googling” Neo-Conservatives, you will find many links to legitimate authors, discussions, books, and papers on the subject. You will also find that the foreign media contains an abundance of discussion material.