THE NEW AMERICAN CENTURY is a compelling factual history of neoconservatism and its influence on US Foreign Policy in the Middle East during the first decade of the twenty-first century. Click on image above for details.

Thursday, January 18, 2007


David Gelernter of the American Enterprise Institute delusionally fancies himself as a speechwriter for Bush’s forthcoming State of the Union Address. In the latest edition of the neocon comic, The Weekly Standard,[1] he reproduces the speech he would like Bush to deliver to the people of America and the world.

Gelernter starts off by letting the people of America know that he would be pessimistic about the war in Iraq if “…the fight to topple the tyrant had dragged on for years”, ignoring entirely the fact that the tyrant has been toppled and the war has dragged on for years anyway. He goes on to say: “…the trial of Saddam Hussein was managed well under difficult circumstances. If (on the other hand) an outburst of violence had marred or derailed the election, if the trial or execution of Saddam had led to the large-scale violence so many people predicted, I might be pessimistic today.” Clearly the violence on the streets since Saddams execution which has resulted in the deaths of hundreds, including the deaths of some 70 students on Tuesday is not violence on a large enough scale for Gelernter to consider being ‘pessimistic’ about.

Further on in his speech to the people Gelernter would say:

“Of course some people argue that the war itself was a mistake; that all we can hope for today is to minimize our losses and get out fast. You know their reasons. Let me give you mine for believing that we were right to go into Iraq, righter than we ever knew. If we hadn't, Saddam would still be writing checks to subsidize Palestinian terror against Israel.” Instead we have the US writing checks to subsidize Israeli terror against the Palestinians and the Lebanese.

Gelernter goes on: “Israel would still be shadowed by Iraqi Scuds.” Instead we have Iran being shadowed by US warships with Tomahawk missiles.

Further on he’d say: “Today we might face two Irans, not one – two America-hating tyrant regimes with their weapons programs heated to max-boil.” Instead we have two Islam-hating tyrant regimes, the US and Israel, with their weapons ‘programs’ about to boil over.

Further on Gelernter, working himself up into a rhetorical frenzy and almost foaming at the mouth would blurt out the greatest furphy of them all: “Above all, how many 9/11s did we avert by showing that we would hit back and hit hard, and stand and fight for as long as it takes? Terrorists understand bullets, not baloney. U.N. resolutions don't impress them.” [The only people not impressed by UN resolutions are the Israelis] “Did we encourage 9/11 by standing down [Standing down the air force on 9/11 sure helped things along.] and backing off during much of the 1990s? We'll never know for sure." [Oh yes we will!] "But a great nation must act on its best judgment, not hang back and dither, when its safety and the world's are at stake.”

Pure garbage!

Apart from the obvious hypocrisy and the garbage, it very importantly demonstrates what the neoconservative’s real purpose was for instigating the war against Iraq – the protection of Israel and its interests.


[1] David Gelernter, ‘Please Say This… (Advice on the State of the Union. No charge.), Weekly Standard, 17 January 2007. Available online: Accessed 18 January 2007


Anonymous said...

On Iraq I saw a doco on abc last night by an Australian. It showed Iraqis before, during and after the invasion.

I felt sick to my stomach and ashamed and felt the US was acting just like Germany did.

The PNAC gang wrote they wanted to use US power for world domination. However they also needed a catalyzing event like another Pearl Harbour.

With 911 they got it. Whether they did it or made it happen, they wanted it! How much simpler do we need it to be to recognize this is a plan for world domination?

Anonymous said...


Sorry that first anonymous was me.
Stuffed up somehow.

Anonymous said...

The PNAC quote was "Further, the process of transformation, even if it brings revolutionary change, is likely to be a long one, absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event — like a new Pearl Harbor."

I don't think this implies that PNAC wanted the 9/11 attacks nor that they welcomed them. I think it rather points to a reality that the change they were referring to was likely to take a long time in the then-current context. I think it is an acknoweldgement that major changes in US foreign policy have always come slowly, save the times (like Pearl harbor) where the country has essentially been 'shcoked' into change.

Anonymous said...

Your interpretation might make more sense except for two things.

1. They got the event they wrote about. Now you argue they didn't cause it, I argue they probably did.

2. If the catalyzing event was unlikely why develop the PENAC doctrine at all.

I still maintain the evidence is strong that they wanted it, and for people like you to not even entertain the possibility is in my view wilful blindness, considering all that has gone on since.

But that aside the US has a plan to rule the world by force, virtually stated in their own words.

Anonymous said...

Regarding your points:

1. You are right: we differ on who caused the events. I don't know that I can convince you of my POV and I am pretty sure you can't convince me. Let's leave that aside then.

2. The doctrine was not organised around this event occuring. It was rather organised around an ends that the PNAC group thought best for the US (in its national interest) and the Pearl Harbor like event was mentioned only in the context of the quote I mentioned.

Anonymous said...

Fair enough but my point is that whilst PNAC planners consider it to be in US interest, it is still a plan for full spectrum dominance, military and economic.

In other words it is a plan for world domination by force. Now I look at principles. Is the principle good or bad against a set of values.

Whereas I see people with your point of view looking at not what is said or done, but who said or did it.

This is a major point of difference.

An example, world domination by Russians = bad, wd by US = good.
With me principles not allegiances are important.

Damian Lataan said...

I hope I haven’t joined in this discussion too late – I went away for the weekend.

‘Rebuilding America’s Defences’ was written by Thomas Donnelly, Donald Kagan and Gary Schmitt for the PNAC in 2000. The now well known phrase about a ‘new Pearl Harbor’ appears on page 63.

In using the phrase the authors were very much aware of the implications, not just in terms of the Pearl Harbor of 1941 being the event that brought the US into the Second World War, but in terms of the way the Japanese were manipulated into war with America by FDR’s policies with regard to trade with Japan, particularly trading for oil. (See the great American historian Charles Beard’s book, President Roosevelt and the Coming of the War, 1941: A Study in Appearances and Reality, New Haven: Yale University Press, 1948.) Beard devotes an entire chapter, Chapter XVII, entitled ‘Manoeuvring the Japanese into Firing the first Shot’ in his effort to prove that America went to great effort to manipulate a situation that would bring it into war with Japan and thence Germany. Messrs Donelly, Kagan and Schmitt, as do most historians, knew very well that the Japanese were politically manipulated into war in 1941 and, given that understanding, are very much aware that their neocon ‘revolution’ could only have been initiated by another such manipulated event.

Anonymous said...

Terrence, i think you are right again. It seemed pretty clear to me when I read the PNAC document that continued hegemony by the US was the ultimate ends for the PNAC strategists. I imagine also that if there was a PNAC-equivalent in the USSR during the Cold War there would be a similar document drawn up, as I imagine there is one sitting in Beijing somewhere (though obviously not one that would be published online as PNAC has done).

While I understand your stand against the principle of domination (militarily and economically) by any country, you are right that I view it differently depending on the country doing the dominating. I do believe that an American hegemony is a better deal for the world than a Communist USSR hegemony or a modern-day Chinese hegemony. I certainly believe it is well superior to a Saudi-style Sharia hegemony or bin Laden endorsed hegemony of Islamofascism (though both are unlikely, I admit).

Anonymous said...

I can see where you are coming from now.

You are right when you say I don't like the thought of a world where the US dominates. Imperialists in defending their idea of empire usually turn on their own citizens, repressing dissent.

I believe we are in the early stages of a fascist empire run by the US. When I use the word fascist I am using the definition expressed by Mussolini ie corporatism.

Many in the US see their rights being eroded such as habeus corpus.

Bush has taken to himself the power to over-rule the congress if he thinks they have made the "wrong" decision.

I think of myself using the analogy of the canary down the mine shaft. Some people would call me a bleeding heart, I prefer to think of myself as sensitive to human rights.

Now in the event I am wrong about the US and it's intentions, no harm done, I'm just an old guy who was a bit oversensitive.

However if I am right and the world is moving to a dangerous place then at least I have voiced my warnings to those who want to listen.

I feel we are rapidly moving toward an Orwell's 1984. Another possible scenario is the novel A Hand Maiden's Tale. The US appears to me to be moving towards one or both of these scenarios.

One simple example of US hegemony and it's affect on sovereign nations ( leaving aside Iraq for a moment ).
Recently an Australian citizen who had never been overseas was extradited to the US because he was alleged to have broken one of their copyright laws while living in Australia. He faced years in prison for spreading some music on the internet. So goes with the empire.

Anonymous said...

Terrence, I had not heard of the Australian being extradited but extradition - while not common - is not so uncommon, particualrly between democracies. It would seem that his crime is not a large one (at least by my own standards) but a crime is a crime. As well, I believe that the extradition laws are not new, nor do they only apply to the United States. I don't think that this particular individuals could claim to have had their human rights abused by the US (not that you said this, BTW).

Regarding being a person 'sensistive to human rights', this is a noble position. But I still wonder if the alternatives (the likely ones, anyway) are going to result in a better human rights situation than the one we experience under US hegemony. The alternatives - alternative for me: China - would seem to be a large step backwards from where we find ourselves today. This is not to say we are in a perfect state but that it would appear to me to be far better than what the Chinese might offer the world.

Any thoughts on the alternative?

Anonymous said...


The point I was making about the extradition was the fact that the US reserves the right (with a compliant Aust. govt ) to enforce their laws on people, even when the offence is committed outside of their jurisdiction.

A hypothetical might help explain the situation. Assume Iran was the country with world hegemony, and that they lived under Sharia law. If the same principles pertained, the Iran world govt could insist that Australians who broke their Sharia law whilst living in Aust. be sent to Iran and treated according to their law.

On your other question I would rather see a situation prevail as in the first decades after the world war, which whilst not being perfect, their was a better appreciation of the importance of human rights, and less impetus toward world rule, due to the western experience of the Nazi regime.

We should remember the the Chief US Prosecutor at the Nuremberg Trials Robert Jackson said that wars of aggression were the worst crime that countries and their leaders could commit, and that aggression was wrong no matter who did it, even the US.

Anonymous said...

Terrence: Thnks for the explanation of the extradition case. Interesting stuff. I wonder how it compares to Australians on 'sex tours' in South-East Asia. Though the crime is committed in SE-Asia and the individual may not even be charged there, Australia claims jurisdiction over its citizens there. I know this is a little different - the Australian in your case was, I assume, not also an American citizen - but it does suggest that jurisdiction for domestic crimes does extend across borders.

From another angle, are not copyright and intellectual property matters a little different to other crimes? I am not sure I see another way of pursuing international copyright violations save international IP laws being written and enforced. It may be a lack of imagination on my part, though: can you suggest an alternate way for the US to protect the copyrights and patents of its citizens?

The situation you suggest (the decades following the Second World War) do not appear to me to be a very great outcome. Assuming a similar situation, would we not see the same sort of small proxy wars (Korea, Vietnam, African conflicts) fought between the remaining powers and their client states. Assuming that the US has fallen by the wayside (if I am wrong in assuming this about your argument, I apolgise) then it would seem likely to me that the replacement power would be China or perhaps a revitalised Euro-US alliance. Another Cold War?

If so, the stability that the Cold War brought would probably be welcome. But I am still not sure that it would be a better outcome than life that exists under this current (and perhaps temporary) US hegemony.

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure that Australian citizens who commit lewd acts overseas are punished according to Australian law, but by the country they have offended. Gary Glitter comes to mind. He was prosecuted by, I think it was Vietnam.

I don't know of other cases similar to the copyright one I mentioned. Certainly it is one way traffic, the US would never allow a citizen to be taken out of the US to be tried elsewhere.

You might remember the US would not endorse the International court, as they would not accept one of theirs being charged with a crime, and prosecuted in a world forum.

I'm not sure I believe copyright "crime" should exist except in obvious cases of commercial theft.
But that is probably a matter for another debate.

I agree with you the consensus that existed after the war was unfortunately only for a short time. It certainly is odd when we look back on the cold war and MAD as being a time of stability.

I guess it shows how far the situation has deteriorated. I think very soon we will see whether the US manage their hegemony well, I can only hope future years will be better than the immediate prospect.

I have enjoyed our discussion, but I don't wish to impose on Damian's good graces, who after all provides the resources for our discussions.

I'm sure we will discuss other subjects in the future.

Best wishes

Anonymous said...

I hope so too, Terrence.

Just on the child exploitation laws, see

"To combat child sex tourism, Australia introduced laws that provide for jail terms for Australian citizens and residents who engage in sexual activity with children in foreign countries. The laws are contained in the Crimes (Child Sex Tourism) Amendment Act 1994 that came into force on 5 July 1994.

The law ensures that Australians who commit child sex offences while overseas may be prosecuted in Australia."

I also hope we discuss issues again, Terrence, here or on my own blog.