An influential foreign-policy neoconservative
with long-standing ties to top hawks in the administration of President George
W. Bush has laid out what he calls "a checklist of the work the world will
demand of this president and his subordinates in a second term."
The list, which begins with the destruction of Fallujah in Iraq and ends with
the development of "appropriate strategies" for dealing with threats posed
by China, Russia and "the emergence of a number of aggressively anti-American
regimes in Latin America," also calls for "regime change" in Iran and North
The list's author, Frank Gaffney, the founder and president of the Center for
Security Policy (CSP), also warns that Bush should resist any pressure arising
from the anticipated demise of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat to resume peace
talks that could result in Israel's giving up "defensible boundaries."
While all seven steps listed by Gaffney in an article published Friday morning
in the National Review Online have long been favored by prominent neocons,
the article itself, "Worldwide
Value," is the first comprehensive compilation to emerge since Bush's
It is also sure to be contested, not just by Democrats who, with the election
behind them, are poised to take a more antiwar position on Iraq, but by many
conservative Republicans in Congress. They blame the neocons for failing to
anticipate the quagmire in Iraq and worry their grander ambitions, like those
expounded by Gaffney, will bankrupt the Treasury and break an already-overextended
Yet its importance as a road map of where neoconservatives who, with the
critical help of Vice President Dick Cheney and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld,
dominated Bush's foreign policy after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on New York
and the Pentagon want U.S. policy to go, was underlined by Gaffney's listing
of the names of his friends in the administration who he said, "helped
the president imprint moral values on American security policy in a way and
to an extent not seen since Ronald Reagan's first term."
In addition to Cheney and Rumsfeld, he cited the most clearly identified
and controversial neoconservatives serving in the administration: Cheney's
chief of staff, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby; his top Middle East advisors,
John Hannah and David Wurmser; weapons proliferation specialist Robert Joseph
and top Mideast aide Elliott Abrams, on the National Security Council (NSC).
Also on the roster are: Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz; Undersecretary
for Policy Douglas Feith; Feith's top Mideast aide William Luti, in the Pentagon;
Undersecretary for Arms Control and International Security John Bolton, and
for global issues, Paula Dobriansky at the State Department.
Virtually all of the same individuals have been cited by critics of the Iraq
War, including Democratic lawmakers and retired senior foreign service and military
officials, as responsible for hijacking the policy and intelligence process
that led to the U.S. invasion of Iraq in March 2003.
Indeed, in a lengthy interview about the war on the most-watched public-affairs
TV program, 60 Minutes, last May, the former head of the U.S. Central
Command and Secretary of State Colin Powell's chief Middle East envoy until
2003, retired Gen. Anthony Zinni, called for the resignation of Libby, Abrams,
Wolfowitz, and Feith, as well as Rumsfeld, for their roles in the attack.
Zinni also cited former Defense Policy Board (DPB) chairman, Richard Perle,
who has been close to Gaffney since both of them served, along with Abrams,
in the office of Washington State Senator Henry M. Jackson in the early 1970s.
When Perle became an assistant secretary of defense under Reagan he brought
Gaffney along as his deputy. When Perle left in 1987, Gaffney succeeded him
before setting up CSP in 1989.
As Perle's longtime protégé and associate, Gaffney sits at the
center of a network of interlocking think tanks, foundations, lobby groups,
arms manufacturers, and individuals that constitute the coalition of neoconservatives,
aggressive nationalists like Cheney and Rumsfeld, and Christian Right activists
responsible for the unilateralist trajectory of U.S. foreign policy since 9/11.
Included among CSP's board of advisers over the years have been Rumsfeld, Perle,
Feith, Christian moralist William Bennett, Abrams, Feith, Joseph, former United
Nations Ambassador Jeanne Kirkpatrick, former Navy Undersecretary John Lehman
and former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Director James Woolsey.
Woolsey also co-chairs the new Committee on the Present Danger (CPD), another
prominent neocon-led lobby group that argues Washington is now engaged in "World
War IV" against "Islamofascism."
Also serving on its advisory council are executives from some of the country's
largest military contractors, which along with wealthy individuals sympathetic
to Israel's governing Likud Party, such as prominent New York investor Lawrence
Kadish and California casino king Irving Moskowitz, and right-wing bodies, such
as the Bradley, Sarah Scaife, and Olin Foundations finance CSP's work.
Gaffney, a ubiquitous "talking head" on TV in the run-up to the war
in Iraq, sits on the boards of CPD's parent organizations, the Foundation for
the Defense of Democracies (FDD) and Americans for Victory Over Terrorism (AVOT).
He was a charter associate, with Cheney, Rumsfeld, Perle, Wolfowitz, and Abrams,
of the Project for the New American Century (PNAC), another prominent neoconservative-led
group that offered up a similar checklist of what Bush should do in the "war
on terrorism" just nine days after the 9/11 attacks.
His article opens by trying to pre-empt an argument that is already being heard
on the right against expanding Bush's "war on terrorism": that since a plurality
of Bush voters identified "moral values" as their chief concern, the president
should stick to his social conservative agenda rather than expand the war.
"The reality is that the same moral principles that underpinned the Bush
appeal on 'values' issues like gay marriage, stem-cell research, and the right
to life were central to his vision of U.S. war aims and foreign policy,"
according to Gaffney.
"Indeed, the president laid claim squarely to the ultimate moral value
freedom as the cornerstone of his strategy for defeating our Islamofascist
enemies and their state sponsors, for whom that concept is utterly anathema."
To be true to that commitment, policy in the second administration must be
directed toward seven priorities, according to Gaffney, beginning with the "reduction
in detail of Fallujah and other safe havens utilized by freedom's enemies in
Iraq"; followed by "regime change one way or another in Iran
and North Korea, the only hope for preventing these remaining 'Axis of Evil'
states from fully realizing their terrorist and nuclear ambitions."
Third, the administration must provide "the substantially increased resources
needed to re-equip a transforming military and rebuild human-intelligence capabilities
(minus, if at all possible, the sorts of intelligence 'reforms' contemplated
pre-election that would make matters worse on this and other scores) while we
fight World War IV, followed by enhancing "protection of our homeland,
including deploying effective missile defenses at sea and in space, as well
Fifth, Washington must keep "faith with Israel, whose destruction remains
a priority for the same people who want to destroy us (and ... for our shared
'moral values) especially in the face of Yasser Arafat's demise and the inevitable,
post-election pressure to 'solve' the Middle East problem by forcing the Israelis
to abandon defensible boundaries."
Sixth, the administration must deal with France and Germany and the dynamic
that made them "so problematic in the first term: namely, their willingness
to make common cause with our enemies for profit and their desire to employ
a united Europe and its new constitution as well as other international institutions
and mechanisms to thwart the expansion and application of American power
where deemed necessary by Washington."
Finally, writes Gaffney, Bush must adapt "appropriate strategies for contending
with China's increasingly fascistic trade and military policies, [Russian President]
Vladimir Putin's accelerating authoritarianism at home and aggressiveness toward
the former Soviet republics, the worldwide spread of Islamofascism, and the
emergence of a number of aggressively anti-American regimes in Latin America,"
which he does not identify.
"These items do not represent some sort of neocon 'imperialist' game plan,"
Gaffney stressed. "Rather, they constitute a checklist of the work the
world will demand of this president and his subordinates in a second term."
(Inter Press Service)