View Full Version : Cheney's Road Map To War: What The Mainstream Media Isn't Telling Us

12-12-2007, 09:54 AM
Cheney's Road Map to War: What the Mainstream Media Isn't Telling Us


by Elliot D. Cohen
Tue, 12/11/2007

Despite the fact that the recent National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) on Iran maintains a high level of assurance that Iran ceased its nuclear weapons program in 2003, President Bush and Vice President Cheney remain resolute in stopping the "threat" posed by Iran. "Not everyone understands the threat of nuclear proliferation, in Iran or elsewhere," said Cheney speaking recently to an audience of Veterans of Foreign Wars. "But we and our allies do understand the threat, and we have a duty to prevent it."

So even as the rationale for going to war with Iran has been largely defused by the NIE, the specter of a "preemptive" war still hovers over America as its chief executives refuse to back down. Unfortunately, there are verifiable, ideological reasons for this persistence that the mainstream media have not revealed.

In 1992, during the George H.W. Bush Administration, Defense Department staffers Paul Wolfowitz, I. Lewis Libby, and Zalmay Khalizad, acting under then-Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney, drafted the Defense Planning Guidance (DPG), an internal document that advocated massive increases in defense spending for purposes of strategic proliferation and buildup of military defenses to establish the preeminence of the United States as the world's sole superpower, and to prevent any nations from challenging its supremacy in the future. This document, which was leaked to The New York Times and The Washington Post, stated, "The U.S. may be faced with the question of whether to take military steps to prevent the development or use of weapons of mass destruction." Such steps, it said, could include a preemptive attack with nuclear, chemical, or biological weapons or "punishing the attackers or threatening punishment of aggressors through a variety of means," including attacks on the plants that manufactured such weapons.

The DPG was also clear about what should be the U.S.'s "overall objectives" in the Middle East. Of these, the main objective, it said, was to "remain the predominant outside power in the region and preserve U.S. and Western access to the region's oil."

Amid public outcry after its release, the H.W. Bush Administration was forced to publicly retract the doctrine. However, the DPG did not disappear. Despite its draconian and Machiavellian character, Cheney was impressed by it, and in 1997 he, Libby, Wolfowitz, and Khalizad joined William Kristol, Donald Rumsfeld, Elliott Abrams, and several other adherents and soon-to-be George W. Bush appointees in founding the so-called Project for the New American Century (PNAC), a politically influential research foundation dedicated to realizing the major objectives of the DPG.

In 2000, the year that George W. Bush became president, PNAC published a document entitled "Rebuilding America's Defenses" (RAD), which "saw the project as building upon the defense strategy outlined by the Cheney Defense Department in the waning days of the Bush Administration. "The Defense Policy Guidance (DPG) drafted in the early months of 1992," it said, "provided a blueprint for maintaining U.S. preeminence, precluding the rise of a great power rival, and shaping the international security order in line with American principles and interests." RAD also went on to decry the fact that the DPG was leaked before it was formally approved and "buried by the [Clinton] Administration." Nevertheless, RAD was clearly intended to revive the DPG by making it the basis of a "road map" for the incoming George W. Bush Administration. It stated, "Our report is published in a presidential election year. The new administration will need to produce a second Quadrennial Defense Review shortly after it takes office. We hope that the Project's report will be useful as a road map for the nation's immediate and future defense plans."

This "road map" was quite clear about the direction the Bush Administration was supposed to take with regard to Iran. RAD stated, "Iran may well prove as large a threat to U.S. interests in the Gulf as Iraq has. And even should U.S.-Iranian relations improve, retaining forward-based forces in the region would still be an essential element in U.S. security strategy given the longstanding American interests in the region." Moreover, it was quite clear from the DPG that, of these "longstanding American interests," the primary interest was access to oil.

RAD also insisted that, "the United States must retain sufficient forces able to rapidly deploy and win multiple simultaneous large-scale wars and also to be able to respond to unanticipated contingencies in regions where it does not maintain forward-based forces." This mandate to be able to fight and win "simultaneous major theater wars" is part of the fabric of the PNAC plan for the U.S. to assert itself as the sole preeminent international power. Not only does it not shy away from launching two or more wars at once, but it also actually asserts that this "two-war standard" is essential for maintaining its superpower status.

From here it is an easy inference as to why Cheney and Bush are still beating the war drum. The Clinton Administration was an interruption in the military strategy to achieve geophysical supremacy through the buildup of military forces, and the Middle East -- especially Iraq and Iran -- are and continue to be primary targets of its simultaneous multiple theatre strategy for achieving its objective.

Unfortunately, the current administration has learned from the past experience of its Vice President that lies and deception are to be favored over honesty and truth. How could the current administration ever come clean with a public that has already rejected its bellicose vision? How could it tell the parents of those who have died in the war in Iraq that the facts have been twisted to fit an ideology aiming at geopolitical preeminence rather than at preempting an imminent threat to the homeland? And, how could it audaciously ask more able-bodied men and women to risk their lives in an attack on Iran that aims at securing access to the region's oil? If Bush and Cheney now and then get caught in lies and deception, there is always another lie they can concoct to conceal their true intent. This is less than ideal but is still more advantageous to their mission than telling the public the truth. So the American people can expect more of the same.

Speaking at a security conference in Bahrain this week, the present Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates, claimed that Iran may have secretly resumed its nuclear weapons program. And he said, "Everywhere you turn, it is the policy of Iran to foment instability and chaos, no matter the strategic value or the cost in the blood of innocents -- Christians, Jews, and Muslims alike." This resembles the strong, disingenuous rhetoric that also preceded the invasion of Iraq. It bears the scent of the same road map to war.

Still, the mainstream media, our "Fourth Estate," continues to mislead the public by omitting relevant, verifiable facts about the Bush Administration's ideological roots -- its close affiliation with the PNAC and the latter's doctrinal basis in the DPG of Cheney's Department of Defense during the first Bush presidency.

Leaving this matter uninvestigated may portend serious, global consequences for the survival of a democratic America and the international balance of power.