In 1997, Zbigniew Brzezinski, a highly influential U.S. strategist under both Reagan and Carter, published The Grand Chessboard. Arguing that whoever controls Eurasia – the Middle East and Central Asia – controls Europe, Asia, and Africa, this Machiavellian book spelled out ‘‘an integrated, comprehensive, and long-term geostrategy…to help ensure that…the global community [i.e. transnational corporations] has unhindered financial and economic access to’’ the world’s resources. He recommended that the U.S. establish military control over Central Asia and the Middle East, and crush the Islamic fundamentalist movement in Afghanistan and Pakistan, to protect ‘‘several pro-Western Middle Eastern governments and American regional interests especially in the Persian Gulf’’. Nowhere in the book does Brzezinski raise any concerns about terrorist threats to Americans.
Like Khalilzad, however, Brzezinski struggled with the problem of selling the scheme to the American public. ‘‘The pursuit of power and especially the economic costs and human sacrifice that the exercise of such power often requires,’’ he mused, ‘‘are not generally congenial to democratic instincts. Democratization is inimical to imperial mobilization’’. To solve this problem, Brzezinski repeatedly hinted that the U.S. could mobilize public support if it created a pretext incident like the 9-11 attacks:
“The attitude of the American public toward the external projection of American power has been much more ambivalent. The public supported America’s engagement in World War II largely because of the shock effect of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.” (pp. 24–25)
“America is too democratic at home to be autocratic abroad. This limits the use of America’s power, especially its capacity for military intimidation. Never before has a populist democracy attained international supremacy. But the pursuit of power is not a goal that commands popular passion, except in conditions of a sudden threat or challenge to the public’s sense of domestic well-being.” (pp. 35–36)
“Moreover, as America becomes an increasingly multi-cultural society, it may find it more difficult to fashion a consensus on foreign policy issues, except in the circumstances of a truly massive and widely perceived direct external threat.” (Emphasis added) (Brzezinski, 1997, p. 211)
That same year (1997), the DPG re-surfaced, now dubbing itself ‘‘The Project for the New American Century’’ (PNAC). It included Dick Cheney, Paul Wolfowitz, Lewis Libby, and Zalmay Khalilzad. Twenty-one other ultra-conservatives joined the project – well-placed academics, Pentagon advisors, media, politicians and lobbyists, Christian fundamentalists, and Likudniks (Zionist hawks for Israeli interests). Many of them are now senior officials in or associates of the Bush Jr. administration. The PNAC’s Statement of Principles reaffirmed the DPG goal of world conquest. To accomplish this goal, the PNAC set out four main policy directions, each of which now figures prominently in Bush’s ‘‘war on terror’’:
- to increase defense spending significantly,
- to strengthen our ties to democratic allies and to challenge regimes hostile to our interests and values,
- to promote the cause of political and economic freedom [that is, neoliberalism] abroad, and
- to preserve and extend ‘‘an international order friendly to our security, our prosperity, and our principles’’ (PNAC, 1997).
In 1999, Rand, an influential think tank, published an assessment of NATO plans to attack the Caspian region (Sokolsky & Chalick–Paley, 1999). It too emphasized the ‘‘need’’ to control existing and potential oil and gas routes from the Caspian Basin, but argued against a major military operation in the region at that time. The fact that the Air Force commissioned this study, however, reflects the seriousness with which it was exploring the option of invading Afghanistan three years before the 9-11 pretext. At the same time, military interests were also actively lobbying for the U.S. to topple Saddam Hussein’s government.
In September 2000, a year before the 9-11 attacks and a month before George W. Bush was ‘‘elected,’’ the PNAC published Rebuilding America’s Defenses: Strategy, Forces and Resources for a New Century (RAD). It built on and expanded the DPG. ‘‘…Although the experience of the past eight years has modified our understanding of particular military requirements for carrying out such a strategy, the basic tenets of the DPG, in our judgment, remain sound’’.
Significantly, RAD only mentions the word ‘‘terrorists’’ once in passing in the entire document (and does not mention ‘‘terrorist’’ or ‘‘terrorism’’ at all).
“America’s global leadership, and its role as the guarantor of the current great-power peace, relies upon the safety of the American homeland; the preservation of a favorable balance of power in Europe, the Middle East and surrounding energy-producing region, and East Asia; and the general stability of the international system of nation-states relative to terrorists, organized crime, and other ‘‘non-state actors.’’ (Emphasis added)
In other words, the consistent, overwhelming motive for all these massively expensive plans was not Islamic terrorism, but global American military/ corporate control.
READ the entire article: Islamophobia and the War on Terror