It looks like the President is going to increase troop levels in Iraq, employing the so called "surge" option. Isn't it funny - not "ha ha" funny but "what the fuck
?" funny - how an election result widely seen as a vote to end the war is leading to an escalation of the war?
Only in Washington!
It's been something to watch the post election full court press for more troops from the American Enterprise Institute
, The Weekly Standard
, and good old John McCain and Joe Lieberman. I even heard one of the AEI guys take a beating from George McGovern and Dennis Kucinich on Democracy Now!
, which is an unabashedly anti-war advocate. AEI has been showing powerpoints to policy makers
, and they want escalation really bad!
This was actually commented on by the LA Times, in an article by Peter Spiegel entitled Old guard back on Iraq policy
. It's a good read, names names, and is the first time I've seen a major US newspaper point out the singers in the pro-war choir. While anybody who is interested can find this stuff out on the internet, it isn't usually emphasized in the mainstream print media, and so the majority of Americans probably don't know the names William Kristol, Frederick Kagan, or Jack Keane.
What's really amazing is that these are the same people who pushed so hard to invade Iraq in the first place. Yep, here are the neocons speaking out again, which is not surprising. Some of these folks have been pushing war with Iraq and reshaping the Middle East since 1997, with the inception of the (notorious in some circles) Project for a New American Century. The thing that gets me is that anybody listens to them.
Only in Washington would these discredited hacks get a hearing.
So I got curious about where these people get their money, since they are so relentless. Peter Spiegel didn't know about AEI, but he told me the Weekly Standard is owned by Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation
. Yeah, that Rupert Murdoch - the Fox News guy. I discovered that retired General Jack Keane
, an equity consultant, is also on the board of directors for General Dynamics
and owns a few thousand shares of stock in the world's 6th largest defense company.
Peter Spiegel has met some of these people and thinks they are sincere in their support of the war and have no ulterior financial motive. I'm inclined to agree, but I also know that some corporations have profited handsomely from the opportunities the Iraq war has presented. Did they spend any money to create those opportunities? I think that question should be fair game.
AEI's financial reports show that they received $73 million in donations from individuals, corporations, and foundations in 2003, 2004, and 2005. That's 84% of their revenue, and where it comes from is mostly
not public knowledge. I don't know about AEI, but where I work we give big customers special treatment.
I'm not much on conspiracy theories, and I don't see a conspiracy here, but I'm a big fan of full disclosure. If someone wants to hawk war, that's their right. But the public should know if they get money from defense contractors, oil companies, or some other concern that stands to profit.
For those of you who do
like conspiracy theories, try this on for size. If you want to write letters to the war hawks to complain, here are their addresses:The American Enterprise Institute
1150 Seventeenth Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20036The Weekly Standard
1150 17th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20036Project for the New American Century
1150 17th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20036
Only in Washington!Update:
I'm not the only wondering why these people have any credibility left. Glenn Greenwald has a column in The American Conservative,
called Selective Amnesia
, that addresses this phenomenon:
Yet there seems to be no accountability for these pro-war pundits. On the contrary, they continue to pose as wise, responsible experts and have suffered no lost credibility, prominence, or influence. They have accomplished this feat largely by evading responsibility for their prior opinions, pretending that they were right all along or, in the most extreme cases, denying that they ever supported the war.
Labels: american enterprise institute weekly standard project new american century aei pnac jack keane iraq war surge
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