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© Hazel Henderson, July 2006
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Neocon-men, Rove and Gingrich
Pushing World War III
In the current US political climate with majorities in both Houses of Congress passing resolutions of support for Israel in its new war on Hezbollah, dissenting voices are heard mainly on alternative independent media and the blogosphere.
Kudos to websites Media Matters for America , the Center for Media and Democracy and independent journalists including Bill Berkowitz. His timely alert in Other News, July 20, 2006 warns of Republican strategy to market more fear by escalating their “war-on-terror” rhetoric to panic about the advent of World War III – setting up Syria and Iran as the next US targets.
All this exploitation of fear to gain a political mandate began in earnest with the Project for a New American Century (PNAC) in 1997 (www.newamericancentury.org) organized by early neocon-men Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, Lewis Scooter Libby, Zalmay Khalilzad (all Bush appointees), as well as Jeb Bush, with supporters including Frank Gaffney and James Woolsey, former CI A director.
These neocon-men indoctrinated presidential candidate George W. Bush with their policies of using US military superiority to extend American hegemony. Their current fellow-travelers, Karl Rove, also known as Bush’s Brain and fallen Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich are spearheading the new “World War III” campaign. Other neocon-men, including Richard Perle, make their base at the right-wing think tank, the American Enterprise Institute in Washington , DC.
I have personally known Newt Gingrich since he was a perfectly normal history professor in a small college in Georgia . Newt morphed into a key idea-man and wordsmith for right-wing Republicans and his ambition and ego fuelled his rise to political power with the “Contract with America” carefully crafted with pollster Frank Luntz, which swept Republicans to victories in 1994. In 1996, in an act of institutional vandalism, Gingrich led the Republican shut-down of the U.S. Office of Technology Assessment (OTA) one of the most innovative and predictive government research agencies on which I served as a member of its Advisory Council from 1974 until 1980.
Frank Luntz, who still crafts such slogans as the “Clear Skies” laws allowing more air pollution from power plants and the “Healthy Forests” program of increased clear-cutting of trees, is no doubt involved in the new “World War III” sloganeering. I have also had some personal interaction with another neocon-man, James Woolsey, former CIA director and now a frequent pro-Bush policy advocate on talk shows.
Like many other pundits, Woolsey sometimes fails to disclose his current role as a senior Vice President of Booz Allen Hamilton, a consulting giant with contracts advising many government agencies including the CIA and the Pentagon. Before the “World War III” rhetoric was launched, Woolsey started using his talk show time to promote energy independence from Mid-East oil – touting hybrid plug-in cars and bio-fuels and bought his way into futurist groups including the State of the World forum.
But as the coming mid-term elections in November look likely to unseat Republican majorities in Congress, such useful domestic reforms as alternative energy or Newt Gingrich’s ideas on health care are proving too tame to fire up the Republican base. Thus, the switch to escalating the “war on terror” on “axis of evil” countries and “Islamic extremists” and the new media-friendly, propaganda-perfect soundbite “World War III.” No doubt already tested in focus groups, this new slogan is perfect for bumper stickers, campaign buttons, tee shirts, stickers, 15-second TV and radio spots as well as talk show soundbites.
Better for US voters, still worried about tampered voting machines, the stolen elections in Florida in 2000 and Ohio in 2004, to switch to the blogosphere and alternative, independent media, as well as overseas sources of news from London’s The Economist to wire services like InterPress News Service www.ips.org. Let’s remember President Dwight Eisenhower’s cautions about the US military-industrial complex and President Franklin D. Roosevelt who reminded us that we have nothing to fear but fear itself.
Hazel Henderson, author of Beyond Globalization and other books, co-created the Calvert-Henderson Quality of Life Indicators, updated at www.calvert-henderson.com and is Executive Producer of the new financial TV series, “Ethical Markets,” currently airing on PBS stations in the USA.