State of the Union 2003

    President Delivers "State of the Union"
    The U.S. Capitol

    9:01 P.M. EST
  2. 4 Comments

  3. by   pickledpepperRN
    Secretary of State at the UN:

    "Saddam Hussein has chemical weapons. Saddam Hussein has used such weapons. And Saddam Hussein has no
    compunction about using them again -- against his neighbors and against his own people. And we have sources who tell us
    that he recently has authorized his field commanders to use them. He wouldn't be passing out the orders if he didn't have the
    weapons or the intent to use them."
  4. by   pickledpepperRN
    Some links regarding the need to go to war.
    100% conservative viewpoints!
    September 20, 2001

    The Honorable George W. Bush
    President of the United States
    Washington, DC

    Dear Mr. President,

    We write to endorse your admirable commitment to "lead the world to victory" in the war against terrorism. We fully support your call for
    "a broad and sustained campaign" against the "terrorist organizations and those who harbor and support them." We agree with Secretary
    of State Powell that the United States must find and punish the perpetrators of the horrific attack of September 11, and we must, as he
    said, "go after terrorism wherever we find it in the world" and "get it by its branch and root." We agree with the Secretary of State that
    U.S. policy must aim not only at finding the people responsible for this incident, but must also target those "other groups out there that
    mean us no good" and "that have conducted attacks previously against U.S. personnel, U.S. interests and our allies."

    In order to carry out this "first war of the 21st century" successfully, and in order, as you have said, to do future "generations a favor by
    coming together and whipping terrorism," we believe the following steps are necessary parts of a comprehensive strategy.

    Osama bin Laden

    We agree that a key goal, but by no means the only goal, of the current war on terrorism should be to capture or kill Osama bin Laden,
    and to destroy his network of associates. To this end, we support the necessary military action in Afghanistan and the provision of
    substantial financial and military assistance to the anti-Taliban forces in that country.


    We agree with Secretary of State Powell's recent statement that Saddam Hussein "is one of the leading terrorists on the face of the
    Earth...." It may be that the Iraqi government provided assistance in some form to the recent attack on the United States. But even if
    evidence does not link Iraq directly to the attack, any strategy aiming at the eradication of terrorism and its sponsors must include a
    determined effort to remove Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq. Failure to undertake such an effort will constitute an early and perhaps
    decisive surrender in the war on international terrorism. The United States must therefore provide full military and financial support to the
    Iraqi opposition. American military force should be used to provide a "safe zone" in Iraq from which the opposition can operate. And
    American forces must be prepared to back up our commitment to the Iraqi opposition by all necessary means.


    Hezbollah is one of the leading terrorist organizations in the world. It is suspected of having been involved in the 1998 bombings of the
    American embassies in Africa, and implicated in the bombing of the U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut in 1983. Hezbollah clearly falls in the
    category cited by Secretary Powell of groups "that mean us no good" and "that have conducted attacks previously against U.S.
    personnel, U.S. interests and our allies." Therefore, any war against terrorism must target Hezbollah. We believe the administration
    should demand that Iran and Syria immediately cease all military, financial, and political support for Hezbollah and its operations. Should
    Iran and Syria refuse to comply, the administration should consider appropriate measures of retaliation against these known state
    sponsors of terrorism.

    Israel and the Palestinian Authority

    Israel has been and remains America's staunchest ally against international terrorism, especially in the Middle East. The United States
    should fully support our fellow democracy in its fight against terrorism. We should insist that the Palestinian Authority put a stop to
    terrorism emanating from territories under its control and imprison those planning terrorist attacks against Israel. Until the Palestinian
    Authority moves against terror, the United States should provide it no further assistance.

    U.S. Defense Budget

    A serious and victorious war on terrorism will require a large increase in defense spending. Fighting this war may well require the United
    States to engage a well-armed foe, and will also require that we remain capable of defending our interests elsewhere in the world. We
    urge that there be no hesitation in requesting whatever funds for defense are needed to allow us to win this war.

    There is, of course, much more that will have to be done. Diplomatic efforts will be required to enlist other nations' aid in this war on
    terrorism. Economic and financial tools at our disposal will have to be used. There are other actions of a military nature that may well be
    needed. However, in our judgement the steps outlined above constitute the minimum necessary if this war is to be fought effectively and
    brought to a successful conclusion. Our purpose in writing is to assure you of our support as you do what must be done to lead the
    nation to victory in this fight.


    William Kristol

    Richard V. Allen Gary Bauer Jeffrey Bell William J. Bennett

    Rudy Boshwitz Jeffrey Bergner Eliot Cohen Seth Cropsey
    Last edit by pickledpepperRN on May 27, '03
  5. by   pickledpepperRN
    Origins of Regime Change in Iraq
    Proliferation Brief, Volume 6, Number 5
    Wednesday, March 19, 2003

    Long before September 11, before the first inspections in Iraq had started, a small group of
    influential officials and experts in Washington were calling for regime change in Iraq. Some never
    wanted to end the 1991 war. Many are now administration officials. Their organization, dedication
    and brilliance offer much to admire, even for those who disagree with the policies they advocate.

    We have assembled on our web site links to the key documents produced since 1992 by this
    group, usually known as neo-conservatives, and analysis of their efforts. They offer a textbook
    case of how a small, organized group can determine policy in a large nation, even when the
    majority of officials and experts originally scorned their views.

    In the Beginning
    In 1992, Paul Wolfowitz, then-under secretary of defense for policy, supervised the drafting of the
    Defense Policy Guidance document. Wolfowitz had objected to what he considered the premature
    ending of the 1991 Iraq War. In the new document, he outlined plans for military intervention in
    Iraq as an action necessary to assure "access to vital raw material, primarily Persian Gulf oil" and
    to prevent the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and threats from terrorism.

    The guidance called for preemptive attacks and ad hoc coalitions but said that the U.S. should be
    ready to act alone when "collective action cannot be orchestrated." The primary goal of U.S. policy
    should be to prevent the rise of any nation that could challenge the United States. When the
    document leaked to the New York Times, it proved so extreme that it had to be rewritten. These
    concepts are now part of the new U.S. National Security Strategy.

    Links to Likud
    In 1996, Richard Perle, Douglas Feith and David Wurmser, now administration officials, joined in a
    report to the newly elected Likud government in Israel calling for "a clean break" with the policies
    of negotiating with the Palestinians and trading land for peace. They said "Israel can shape its
    strategic weakening, containing and even rolling back Syria. This effort can focus
    on removing Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq...Iraq's future could affect the strategic balance in
    the Middle East profoundly." They called for "reestablishing the principle of preemption."

    In 1998, 18 prominent conservatives wrote a letter to President Clinton urging him to "aim at the
    removal of Saddam Hussein's regime from power." Most of these experts are now officials in the
    administration, including Elliot Abrams, Richard Armitage, John Bolton, Paula Dobriansky, Zalmay
    Khalilzad, Richard Perle, Donald Rumsfeld, and Paul Wolfowitz.

    The Power of Planning
    In 2000, the Project for the New American Century, which is chaired by William Kristol and includes
    Robert Kagan as a director, issued a report, "Rebuilding America's Defenses." The Project had
    organized the 1998 letter to Clinton and the 2000 report seems to have become a blueprint for the
    administration's foreign and defense policies. The report noted, "The U.S. has for decades sought
    to play a more permanent role in the Gulf regional security. While the unresolved conflict with Iraq
    provides the immediate justification, the need for a substantial American force presence in the Gulf
    transcends the issue of the regime of Saddam Hussein."

    While not explicitly calling for permanent bases in Iraq after regime change, the report notes the
    difficulty of basing forces in Saudi Arabia, given "Saudi domestic sensibilities," and calls for a
    permanent Gulf military presence even "should Saddam pass from the scene" as "Iran may well
    prove as large a threat."

    The official National Security Strategy of the United States, issued September 2002, holds that our
    defense "will require bases and stations within and beyond Western Europe and Northeast Asia."

    A Rising Chorus
    Immediately after September 11, Paul Wolfowitz and other officials urged President Bush to attack
    Iraq. New Yorker writer Mark Danner notes as part of a PBS Frontline special that they saw this as
    a "new opportunity presented by the war on terror-that is, an opportunity to argue to the public
    that Iraq presented a vital danger to the United States." Colin Powell and the joint chiefs opposed
    them. "Powell's view was that Wolfowitz was fixated on Iraq, that they were looking for any
    excuse to bring Iraq into this," Washington Post reporter Dan Balz told Frontline. Powell won, but

    Neo-conservative writers began to urge regime change as part of a larger strategy for remaking
    the Middle East. In June 2002, Michael Kelly wrote that a democratic Iraq and Palestine "will
    revolutionize the power dynamic in the Middle East...A majority of Arabs will come to see America as
    the essential ally."

    "Change toward democratic regimes in Tehran and Baghdad would unleash a tsunami across the
    Islamic world," claimed Joshua Muravchik in August of that year. Michael Ledeen on September 4,
    2002, called for the US to launch "a vast democratic revolution to liberate all the peoples of the
    Middle East...It is impossible to imagine that the Iranian people would tolerate tyranny in their own
    country once freedom had come to Iraq. Syria would follow in short order."

    Democracy experts, including Carnegie's Tom Carothers, call this vision "a dangerous fantasy." But
    on September 12, President Bush embraced the strategy when he told the United Nations, "The
    people of Iraq can shake off their captivity. They can one day join a democratic Afghanistan and a
    democratic Palestine, inspiring reforms throughout the Muslim world." The president seems to have
    absorbed the entire expansive strategy. Now, for him, regime change in Iraq is not the end, it is
    just the beginning.

    Click here for all these documents and more insight into the people and strategy behind the
    occupation of Iraq.

    Joseph Cirincione is a Senior Associate and Director of the Non-Proliferation Project at the Carnegie
    Endowment for International Peace.
  6. by   pickledpepperRN
    Neoconservative clout seen in U.S. Iraq


    Last Updated: April 5, 2003

    Question: Why are we in Iraq?

    Answer: The neoconservatives made us do it.

    The buzz in Washington and beyond has been
    that President Bush's attack on Iraq came
    straight from the playbook of the
    neoconservatives, a group of mostly Republican
    strategists, many of whom have gotten funding
    from Milwaukee's Bradley Foundation. The
    neoconservatives differ from traditional
    conservatives in favoring a more activist role for
    government and a more aggressive foreign

    Led by Weekly Standard editor William Kristol,
    the neoconservatives have offered a sweeping
    new vision for U.S. foreign policy: to restructure
    the Middle East and supplant dictators around
    the world, using pre-emptive attacks when
    necessary against any countries seen as potential
    threats. Traditional conservatives, such as
    Heritage Foundation fellow John C. Hulsman,
    suggest that this will lead to "endless war," while
    Jessica Mathews of the Carnegie Endowment for
    International Peace has charged that "announcing
    a global crusade on behalf of democracy is

    Whether Bush ends up sticking with the
    neoconservative playbook remains to be seen,
    but a wide range of observers suggest it is a key
    part of his current game plan.

    "I think Bush has drawn upon that thinking," said
    Michael Joyce, who led the Bradley Foundation,
    a leading funder of neoconservative thinkers,
    from 1986 to 2001. Joyce added that Bush's
    "key people," including Vice President Dick
    Cheney, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld
    and Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz,
    "were clearly influenced by this thinking."

    Under Joyce, the Bradley Foundation made 15
    grants totaling nearly $1.9 million to the New
    Citizenship Project Inc., a group Kristol led and
    which also created the Project for a New
    American Century, a key proponent of a more
    aggressive U.S. foreign policy. The foundation
    also is a significant funding source for the
    American Enterprise Institute, a Washington,
    D.C., think tank with many neoconservative

    Perhaps more important, noted Joyce, the
    Bradley Foundation was a longtime funder of
    Harvard University's John M. Olin Center for
    Strategic Studies, which until 2000 was run by
    Samuel P. Huntington, who wrote the influential
    book "The Clash of Civilizations and the
    Remaking of World Order" about the conflict
    between the West and the Muslim world.
    Huntington trained "a large number of scholars"
    who have helped develop neoconservative
    theories, Joyce noted.

    Read by the right people

    But it is Kristol's Weekly Standard, bankrolled
    by conservative media tycoon Rupert Murdoch,
    that has popularized these viewpoints. The
    Standard may have a circulation of just 55,000,
    but it has aimed successfully at policy-makers
    rather than average readers, making it "one of the
    most influential publications in Washington," a
    story by The New York Times concluded.
    Hulsman calls the Standard the "house
    newspaper" of the Bush administration.

    Kristol and Gary Schmidt, executive director of
    the Project for a New American Century, have
    accused the media of exaggerating their impact.

    "I think it's ludicrous to see all these articles, in
    this country and in Europe, that somehow we are
    the diabolical cabal behind the war in Iraq. It
    wasn't the case that Bill (Kristol) was calling
    people in the White House advocating for
    things," Schmidt told the Journal Sentinel. Their
    influence came from "intellectual leverage, not
    personal leverage," he added.

    In 1997, the Standard's cover story announced
    that "Saddam Must Go." In 1998, the Standard
    published a letter to then-President Clinton,
    calling on him to remove Hussein from power.
    The letter was signed by 18 people, eight of
    whom would join the Bush administration in
    senior positions, including Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz
    and Richard Perle, who serves on the influential
    Defense Policy Board and was until last month
    its chairman.

    Roman Empire of 21st century?

    The neoconservatives argue that we no longer
    live in a bipolar world, as when Russia faced off
    against the United States. They see a unipolar
    world, with America as the Rome of the 21st
    century, a colossus that can dictate its will to the
    world, noting that America spends as much on
    defense as the next 15 countries combined and
    has troops stationed in 75 countries.

    "The fact is," writes Charles Krauthammer, a
    Washington Post columnist who espouses
    neoconservative views, "no country has been as
    dominant culturally, economically, technologically
    and militarily in the history of the world since the
    late Roman Empire."

    Hulsman summarizes the neoconservative view
    this way: "We should acknowledge we have an
    empire. We have power and we should do good
    with it."

    In essence, the neoconservatives argue that
    national sovereignty is an outdated concept,
    given the overwhelming power of America, and
    the U.S. should do all it can to impose
    democracy on countries. Some have called this
    approach democratic imperialism. It echoes the
    do-gooder impulses of Woodrow Wilson, the
    Democratic president who formulated the
    League of Nations as a solution to war, then
    paradoxically blends it with American military
    might. Hulsman dubbed it "Wilsonianism on

    In a world where nuclear weapons are
    proliferating, the neoconservatives argue, you
    can no longer put the genie back in the bottle.
    "The hard truth is that unless you change some of
    these regimes, you're going to be hard-pressed
    to get rid of the threat," Schmidt noted. "Liberal
    democracies don't go to war with each other."

    The theory behind this, developed by Michael Doyle, professor of
    international affairs at Princeton University, is that democratic governments
    are reluctant to go to war because they must answer to their citizens. And
    the history of liberal democracies, though comparatively short in the grand
    scheme of history, tends to buttress his point.

    But for critics such as Hulsman, democracy arises from the bottom up and is
    "intimately connected with local culture and tradition. It can almost never be
    successfully imposed from the top down," he contends.

    Neoconservatives cite Germany and Japan, but Hulsman noted that Japan is
    "98 percent ethnically homogenous," unlike Iraq, which is split among three
    major groups. Yet Japan still required five years of American occupation
    after World War II before it became an independent democracy.

    The mission of democratizing the world may have no end, Hulsman says,
    because "there are always barbarians to convert."

    But whatever his disagreement with it, Hulsman called the neoconservatives'
    approach "the first new thought in foreign policy for some time."

    These ideas had little impact on presidential candidate George W. Bush,
    who espoused a humble foreign policy that emphatically rejected the kind of
    nation-building he now envisions for Iraq. In the early days of Bush's
    administration, Secretary of State Colin Powell's less aggressive views on
    foreign policy prevailed.

    But after the attack on the World Trade Center, everything changed.
    Wolfowitz was soon declaring that America's intention was not just to target
    terrorists connected to Osama bin Laden, but to fight a "global war" and
    eliminate any sovereign states "who sponsor terrorism."

    'Critical' voice in Pentagon

    Wolfowitz had long held similar views. While third in command at the
    Pentagon (under Cheney) in 1991, Wolfowitz had argued in favor of
    pre-emptive action against countries such as Iraq and North Korea. "He
    was criticized as unduly hawkish prior to September 11th, but you don't
    hear that criticism now," Joyce said.

    Wolfowitz was also unique in that he was comfortable in academia and
    connected to intellectuals.

    "Wolfowitz is critical," Hulsman said. "He's the link between intellectual
    neocons like Kristol and the world of decision-makers."

    Wolfowitz hammered away at the need to attack Iraq, backed by the
    Weekly Standard and the huge American Enterprise Institute. The institute
    has supplanted the more traditionally conservative Heritage Foundation,
    which was more influential with the senior George Bush as the key think
    tank for GOP insiders. Heritage scholars argue in favor of building alliances,
    as in the first Gulf War, while the American Enterprise Institute scholars say
    America's leadership can be decisive, with or without allies.

    Turning point of Sept. 11

    Joyce said it was inevitable that the younger Bush would embrace the
    neoconservative view. "I'm not sure September 11th did more than push the
    timetable up," he said. But press accounts suggest that the events of Sept.
    11 were crucial for Bush, and even after this his thinking changed gradually
    in response to several things:

    The anthrax attacks in New York, Washington and Florida in
    October 2001 raised fears of Saddam Hussein's involvement.
    Evidence found in Afghanistan the next month that showed Osama
    bin Laden's group had been trying to secure weapons of mass
    destruction raised the question again of whether Hussein could be a
    possible supplier.
    And by early 2002, a source told Time magazine, the stories of
    Hussein's cruelty to his own people had convinced Bush that the
    dictator was "insane" and therefore capable of giving weapons of
    mass destruction to al-Qaida terrorists.

    By January 2002, Bush signaled his embrace of the neoconservative vision,
    declaring Iraq, Iran and North Korea were an "axis of evil" that must be
    resisted. By May, Bush announced that the U.S. would take pre-emptive
    action against threats from such regimes.

    To the neoconservatives, the question of what weapons Hussein might
    actually possess was less important than his intention to get them. "Once the
    nuclear materials are there, you're screwed," argued Schmidt of the Project
    for a New American Century. "When you can really do pre-emption is
    when it's early."

    'Draining the swamp'

    Overthrowing Hussein could also accomplish broader goals.

    Neoconservatives often talk about "draining the swamp" in the Middle East.
    Once Hussein is removed, Hudson Institute co-founder Max Singer has
    predicted, "there will be an earthquake throughout the region" that could
    topple the leadership of Saudi Arabia.

    Even more pressing, says Schmidt, is the need to create a more moderate
    regime in Iran, which could have a nuclear weapon in 18 to 24 months, he
    predicted. (By contrast, North Korea, which already has nuclear weapons,
    would have to be approached very differently.)

    If the goal is to transform the Middle East, the obvious place to start is with
    Iraq, which was already in trouble with the United Nations, had little
    international standing and was reviled even by some Arab nations.

    A recent story in Time suggests that Cheney became convinced by his
    discussions with Fouad Ajami, professor and director of Middle East
    studies at Johns Hopkins University, that the people of Iraq would "erupt in
    joy" at the arrival of the Americans. Others have predicted a victory in Iraq
    could lead to regime changes in Iran, Syria, the Palestinian Liberation
    Organization, Yemen and elsewhere.

    "To these states," Richard Perle recently suggested, "we could deliver . . . a
    two-word message: You're next."

    Some Middle Eastern leaders have already gotten this message.

    "We are all targeted," Syrian President Bashar Assad told an Arab summit
    meeting on March 1.

    Quick action required

    If the war in Iraq lasts months rather than weeks, the theory that
    overwhelming American power can simultaneously pursue objectives in Iraq
    and beyond will be tested.

    "If this is to be done, it has to be done rapidly," Schmidt said of the Iraq

    Lawrence F. Kaplan, Kristol's co-author of the influential book "The War
    Over Iraq," has put it this way: "The real question is not whether the
    American military can topple Hussein's regime, but whether the American
    public has the stomach for imperial involvement of a kind we have not
    known since the United States occupied Germany and Japan."

    The public's stomach could be affected not just by the war's cost in lives,
    but also by its costs in dollars. Beyond the $380 billion defense budget, the
    war already is expected to cost an additional $80 billion, with some
    administration officials estimating it could go as high as $200 billion.

    War's naysayers

    Michael O'Hanlon, a defense policy expert at the Brookings Institution, a
    liberal Washington, D.C., think tank, has argued that most university experts
    oppose U.S. policy in Iraq.

    There are even naysayers within the Bush administration and among retired
    military officials.

    Hulsman described the neoconservatives as "a very incestuous,
    self-referential group of people."

    "It's like what we saw with Vietnam. If you surround yourself with people
    who agree, you get in trouble."

    But Hulsman noted that the secretary of state and his staff have been less
    enthusiastic about the neoconservative vision and are probably more
    comfortable with the international "realists" at the Heritage Foundation, such
    as Hulsman himself. And whatever the seeming unity in the Bush
    administration is now, the president could change his mind again as world
    events change.

    Which is just what Hulsman and other "outs" are waiting for.

    "If Iraq goes badly, then I think the realists are ready to take control," he