“Industrious and persistent, they’ve managed to weave. . .” (Jason Vest)

A little before 2000

A little before 2000

I remember – do you remember yours? – the first email I ever received and replied to. Magic. Jerry had moved to Dallas to work at (then) Convex Computers (now HP). I was a tenured professor at Bunker Hill Community College. Industry and academia had Internet (1993), but no one else did. Jerry sent me an email to the computer of the Chairman of Office Services.

She came to my office to get me in great excitement (she hadn’t seen an email from that far away), and I was dumbfounded.

“Answer him!” And so I wrote some dumb thing back, and a few minutes later he answered me. And so began my communication on the WWW.

Soon everyone I knew had email, and when I moved to Dallas, that was the way I (and everyone else) kept in touch with my friends. By the year 2000, it was as ubiquitous as if it had been around for centuries.

I mention that year because we had a Presidential election. No one will be surprised to know that I was using the email to let everyone I knew understand how opposed I was to George W. Bush. One of the things I discovered on the Internet was a document called the “Project for a New American Century.”

When I copied parts of it into an email to several friends, the pooh-poohed it and said it was too old to have any effect on current affairs.

I hope you will read the following two documents and decide if it has no effect on our political life since then. One is current, and the other a background to it.

by James M. Wall
March 14, 2015

A week before Prime Minister Netanyahu’s March 3 campaign speech to the U.S. Congress, Secretary of State John Kerry warned the Congress that the Israeli leader was up to his old tricks.

Not only did the Israeli leader shamefully interfere in delicate U.S. foreign negotiations, he also inspired an embarrassing ill-informed letter from 47 senators to “Iranian leaders”, designed to undermine President Obama’s negotiations with Iran.

With the encouragement of AIPAC, the letter was circulated by newly-elected Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton, shown above on the left standing with Bill Kristol, an important figure in the neocon drive to support President Bush’s 2003 invasion of Iraq, now considered one of the nation’s major foreign policy disasters.

Unfazed by the Iraqi debacle, Kristol remains a zealot for U.S. militarism. He now has a new protege with whom he can swing his weight around the halls of Congress. With a massive financial push from Kristol late in the 2014 campaign, Cotton won an upset victory over Arkansas’ Democratic incumbent Senator Mark Pryor.

(More. . .)

This article appeared in the September 2, 2002 edition of The Nation.
Jason Vest
August 15, 2002

Almost thirty years ago, a prominent group of neoconservative hawks found an effective vehicle for advocating their views via the Committee on the Present Danger, a group that fervently believed the United States was a hair away from being militarily surpassed by the Soviet Union, and whose raison d’être was strident advocacy of bigger military budgets, near-fanatical opposition to any form of arms control and zealous championing of a Likudnik Israel. Considered a marginal group in its nascent days during the Carter Administration, with the election of Ronald Reagan in 1980 CPD went from the margins to the center of power.

Just as the right-wing defense intellectuals made CPD a cornerstone of a shadow defense establishment during the Carter Administration, so, too, did the right during the Clinton years, in part through two organizations: the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA) and the Center for Security Policy (CSP). And just as was the case two decades ago, dozens of their members have ascended to powerful government posts, [Dick Cheney, John Bolton, Douglas Feith, Richard Perle, James Woolsey, Jeane Kirkpatrick] where their advocacy in support of the same agenda continues, abetted by the out-of-government adjuncts from which they came. Industrious and persistent, they’ve managed to weave a number of issues–support for national missile defense, opposition to arms control treaties, championing of wasteful weapons systems, arms aid to Turkey and American unilateralism in general–into a hard line, with support for the Israeli right at its core.

On no issue is the JINSA/CSP hard line more evident than in its relentless campaign for war–not just with Iraq, but “total war,” as Michael Ledeen, one of the most influential JINSAns in Washington, put it last year. For this crew, “regime change” by any means necessary in Iraq, Iran, Syria, Saudi Arabia and the Palestinian Authority is an urgent imperative. (More. . .)