This is adapted from part of a major update that was sent out via e-mail recently…
Hobby…or Powerhouse? Which will it be?
You probably don’t need to be told about the importance of the "neoconservative" influence on U.S. foreign policy and American politics. If you’re on this list, you’ve probably already connected a dot or two. But let’s review anyway:
- Lewis "Scooter" Libby, the administration official indicted in the "Plamegate" CIA leak case, and a major operative in Dick Cheney’s push for the war in Iraq, is also a top neocon– a former student and longtime colleague of Paul Wolfowitz, and a founding member of the PNAC. His public trial is likely to span the next year or so, and centers, in essence, on how key neoconservative war supporters used faulty intelligence to beef up the case for war, and then used their positions of power to try and punish those that looked to expose that practice.
- Syria. The stories above are just a slice of the bigger picture in Syria. In the past two days, that picture has been getting much bigger, quickly. On Friday, the U.N. Security Council passed a resolution demanding that Syria cooperate with Lebanon’s investigation of the assassination of its Prime Minister earlier this year (in which high Syrian officials have been named as suspects), or face unspecified consequences. The resolution came at the request of the United States. That same day, Syrian officials said they would allow unmonitored interrogations of said suspects, essentially promising compliance with the resolution. Also on Friday, Iran’s president chimed in publicly, saying that the pressure being put on Syria is "unacceptable" and pledging his country’s support and alliance. And most recently, a major U.S. military offensive was launched near the Iraq/Syria border, to try and seal off a main route for foreign fighters entering the country.
- Iran, long on the PNAC’s radar (and part of the so-called "axis of evil"), has a new president, and from the looks of it, he’s spoiling for a fight, at least with Israel. Combine that with his aggressive public support of the beleaguered Syria, and with the ongoing debate over Iran’s possible development of nuclear weapons, and it’s clear that there are the seeds of a possible "perfect storm" of geopolitical saber-rattling in the region.
Consult your world map if the geography is not fresh in your mind.
It goes kind of like this (left to right/west to east):
(current U.S. quagmires are in bold, nations we’re agitating against are in italics)
- Meanwhile, Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice has recently made the rounds in Congress and on the talk shows) to sell the idea that the remaking of the Middle East has been a necessary part of the new agenda since the 9-11 attacks, making it clear that the Bush administration is not wavering from its neocon-influenced foreign policy posture.
- And of course, the situation in Iraq continues its schizophrenic progression, wherein the post-Saddam government gains increasing responsibility and authority over a nation of violence and dysfunction–one which, more and more people agree, may be on its way to becoming a failed state, or stuck in a civil war, or a pawn of Iran.
In other words, the biggest issues of concern to the PNAC and neoconservatives connect to almost all of the United States’ current front-burner foreign policy concerns. And behind most of the news stories about the above issues is the fact that there are folks who are trying to shape and direct America’s policies and actions toward a certain kind of future– a "New American Century", if you will. They are doing this shaping from positions of power in the White House and elsewhere, and they are doing it from positions of influence like the Weekly Standard, the op-ed pages, and as pundits and guests on the TV news programs.
And not enough is being done to oppose this trend. While the neocon viewpoint has been undone in many ways by Iraq’s failure to live up to their dreams, and the credibility and integrity of neocon policymakers has been stained by the CIA leak scandal, the fact remains that there is much more momentum on that side of the debate than on any opposing side. And I’m not talk about left vs. right, or Democrats vs. Republicans. I’m talking specifically about the battle over this one set of issues–American empire, preventative wars, a "unipolar" world, "The New American Century", reshaping the Middle East, and so on.
More than just a watchdog
PNAC.info has always been intended to be more than just a watchdog, sounding the alarms and shining light on the truth. It was intended to be more like a bulldog, with its teeth clamped down firmly onto the pantleg of the neoconservative movement, refusing to let go until we wear them out, and the battle is done.
Make no mistake, the neoconservative foreign policy approach is a bad idea. It’s bad for America, and it’s bad for the world. The neoconservatives who aim to shape public opinion can be countered, both on the small points and on the larger issue. And the neocons who seek to shape public policy can be influenced, or simply rejected.
Most importantly, the big debate over just what kind of century we do want can be brought into the mainstream, where it can be openly and deliberately considered, and won in the favor of a sane and sustainable foreign policy that is good for the world, and for the U.S.
Sounds pretty good, right? Well, that’s what PNAC.info is "back in action" to do.
In the site’s first incarnation, we got a couple of key steps done–namely, attaching our site to the subject of the PNAC out on the web (like a bulldog on a pantleg), and documenting "the rise of the neocons" in a way that wasn’t from a liberal viewpoint, or a form of "Bush-bashing". And of course, building traffic and links to the site. The site was successful on all three of those fronts. Frankly, that was the easy part.
When you boil it all down, PNAC.info got stalled because it was a hobby, at least as far as time commitment was concerned. It was never a hobby in terms of belief and dedication–I’ve always intended for it to be that bulldog on their pantleg–but economic concerns prevented me from being able to properly develop it beyond its initial foundation at the time.
Which brings me finally to the point of this item, which is to make sure that history does not repeat itself– either here at PNAC.info, or in the world at large.
I’m seeking your support to make sure that PNAC.info can be the powerhouse that it needs to be, not the hobby that it was.
Our initial fundraising goal is $2000 — that will be enough to get us well on our way to 2006, and to do things like setting up a non-profit organization, adding new important areas to the website, and managing volunteers, in addition to posting more and more updates and analysis of the steady flow of neocon news and opinion that’s out there.
I’m hoping to raise at least $500 of that goal through this appeal, via credit card and PayPal donations. Your $50 donation would go a long way toward making that happen, and clearing the way for an aggressive counter-campaign to get rolling. If $50 at once is too much to afford, please consider setting up a monthly donation of $5, $10, or $15. Or a one-time donation of $10, $20, or $30.
PNAC.info is in a unique position to help move the "anti-neoconservative" movement forward, due to our position on the political spectrum as well as our positioning on the Internet. And I’m ready and willing to make sure that we (that is, everyone opposed to the neoconservative approach) make the most of it.
Please help make sure we can do just that, by making a contribution today.
Thanks for your time and interest.
Be well, be free,
PNAC.info – Exposing the Project for The New American Century