PNAC proposes "Pax Americana"
- September: The Project for the New American Century issues a "blueprint" for the "creation of a global Pax Americana." The document, entitled "Rebuilding America's Defenses: Strategies, Forces and Resources for a New Century," was written for the Bush team even before the 2000 Presidential election. It was written by future Vice President Cheney, future Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, future Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, Florida Governor and President Bush's brother Jeb Bush, future Undersecretary of Defense Stephen Cambone, future director of the Pentagon's Office of Special Plans Abram Shulsky, and future Vice President Cheney's Chief of Staff Lewis Libby, among others. The report characterizes the US as a lone superpower that "faces no global rival. America's grand strategy should aim to preserve and extend this advantageous position as far into the future as possible." It offers "a blueprint for maintaining global US pre-eminence, precluding the rise of a great power rival, and shaping the international security order in line with American principles and interests." This "American grand strategy" must be advanced for "as far into the future as possible," the report says, and calls for the US to "fight and decisively win multiple, simultaneous major theatre wars" as a "core mission." The report describes American armed forces abroad as "the cavalry on the new American frontier," and recommends the establishment of permanent US military bases in every area of the world, specifically more bases in the Middle East along with bases in areas like Latin America, Southeastern Europe, and Southeast Asia that do not already have an American military presence. The PNAC blueprint supports an earlier document written by Wolfowitz and Libby that said the US must "'discourage advanced industrial nations from challenging our leadership or even aspiring to a larger regional or global role."
- The report also refers to key allies such as the UK as "the most effective and efficient means of exercising American global leadership;" describes peace-keeping missions as "demanding American political leadership rather than that of the United Nations;" reveals worries in the administration that Europe could rival the USA; says "even should Saddam pass from the scene," bases in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait will remain permanently -- despite domestic opposition in the Gulf regimes to the stationing of US troops -- as "Iran may well prove as large a threat to US interests as Iraq has;" spotlights China for "regime change," saying "it is time to increase the presence of American forces in southeast Asia." This, it says, may lead to "American and allied power providing the spur to the process of democratisation in China;" calls for the creation of "US Space Forces," to dominate space, and the total control of cyberspace to prevent "enemies" using the internet against the US; hints that, despite threatening war against Iraq for developing weapons of mass destruction, the US may consider developing biological weapons -- which the nation has banned -- in decades to come, saying, "New methods of attack -- electronic, 'non-lethal', biological -- will be more widely available...combat likely will take place in new dimensions, in space, cyberspace, and perhaps the world of microbes...advanced forms of biological warfare that can 'target' specific genotypes may transform biological warfare from the realm of terror to a politically useful tool;" pinpoints North Korea, Libya, Syria and Iran as dangerous regimes and says their existence justifies the creation of a "world-wide command-and-control system."
- As bald-faced as the report is, the language is carefully chosen to soften the impact of such recommendations: hence the characterization of US soldiers performing "constabulary duties" instead of being occupying forces, and the characterization of these soldiers "shaping the security environment" instead of imposing order at gunpoint. (US nuclear weapons are "the US nuclear deterrent," while nuclear weapons of other countries are "weapons of mass destruction." US missiles that can strike anywhere in the world are "defenses to defend the American homeland" that defend the US by "provid[ing] a secure basis for U.S. power projection around the world."
- A British MP says of the report, "This is a blueprint for US world domination -- a new world order of their making. These are the thought processes of fantasist Americans who want to control the world." However, the report complains that these changes are likely to take a long time, "absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event -- like a new Pearl Harbor." In an NBC interview at about the same time, Vice Presidential candidate Cheney defends Bush Jr.'s position of maintaining Clinton's policy not to attack Iraq because the US should not act as though "we were an imperialist power, willy-nilly moving into capitals in that part of the world, taking down governments." This report and the Project for the New American Century generally are mostly ignored until a few weeks before the start of the Iraq war. (CCR, Information Clearinghouse/Sunday Herald, Project for the New American Century, Rampton & Stauber/AlterNet, Foreign Policy in Focus, Peter Singer)
"The neo-conservatives know the stakes of the game they're playing -- keeping control of the money and power -- and if they go down, they'll willing to take the country down with them." -- The Crisis Papers
- September: Karl Rove, the Bush campaign's chief political strategist, tells campaign finance chief Don Evans, "It's all visuals. You campaign as if America was watching TV with the sound turned down. It's all visuals." (James Moore and Wayne Slater)
- September 4: After promising to elevate the tone of the presidential campaign, George W. Bush calls the New York Times' Adam Clymer a "major-league as*hole," winning an enthusiastic response from running mate Dick Cheney. Moments before beginning a speech at an Illinois rally, Bush leans over to Cheney and observes, within earshot of several microphones, "There's Adam Clymer, major league *sshole from the New York Times." Cheney replies, "Oh, yeah, big time." When asked about the slur, Bush gives a non-apology: "I regret that the private comments made it to the public airwaves." Asked if he plans to apologize to Clymer, Bush retorts, "I regret people heard the comments." Campaign communications director Karen Hughes later issues a statement saying, "It was meant to be a whispered aside to his running mate. It was not intended to be a public comment." She then attempts to justify the comment by saying that Clymer has written several articles that Bush thought were unfair. The Times's national editor, Andrew Rosenthal, responds that he could tolerate the remark if it had been intended to be made in private, but he refuses to tolerate a justification based on attacking the newspaper's integrity and the coverage of any of its reporters. "Karen Hughes and others have been going around and talking about it and criticizing Adam Clymer's coverage of the governor," he says. He continues that he felt no choice but to respond, noting the campaign had never called the newspaper to complain of Clymer's coverage. "Adam is one of the senior political reporters in the entire country. His coverage has been fair and accurate." Gore spokesman Chris Lehane calls Bush's remarks "both unfortunate and curious. Clearly, the governor is feeling the pressure of his declining poll numbers." (Data Lounge)
- September 15-October 1: Olympics officials later reveal that "a fully loaded, fueled airliner crashing into the opening ceremony before a worldwide television audience at the Sydney Olympics was one of the greatest security fears for the Games." During the Olympics, Australia has six planes in the sky at all times ready to intercept any wayward aircraft. In fact, "IOC officials said the scenario of a plane crash during the opening ceremony was uppermost in their security planning at every Olympics since terrorists struck in Munich in 1972." Bin Laden was considered the number one threat. (CCR)
- September 20: The first semester of a new private university, Patrick Henry College in Virginia, begins. The school is heavily tied to the Republican Party and to conservative Christians; its Web page says that its mission "is to prepare Christian men and women who will lead our nation and shape our culture with timeless biblical values and fidelity to the spirit of the American founding," to inculcate its students "with a biblical world view," and "to aid in the transformation of American society by training Christian students to serve God and mankind with a passion for righteousness, justice and mercy, through careers of public service and cultural influence." In other words, it is a right-wing training ground for future Republican and Christian conservative politicians and civil servants. It expressly reaches out to students who are the products of Christian homeschooling.
- The college was founded by Michael Farris, a national homeschool activist who founded PHC with the express purpose of training Christian politicians. Most of its students are government majors, and many of its graduates will be hired right out of college by conservative members of Congress and in the White House, including as members of Karl Rove's staff. One of the school's biggest benefactors is James Leininger of San Antonio, a longtime ally of Rove and a veteran GOP financier. The school is part of Rove's strategy for the Republican domination of American politics for generations to come.
- It failed to receive accreditation in 2002 by the American Academy for Liberal Education because of its requirement that faculty sign agreements affirming that they adhere to and will teach in favor of creationism (five of the school's sixteen professors will resign in protest over the mandate to teach creationism in 2006). And in 2004, it was denied accreditation in 2004 by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, the principal accreditation institution for the Southeast. But, on June 30, 2005, the school will be officially recognized by the United States Department of Education as an eligible institution, allowing parents and students to take advantage of numerous tax benefits. In 2007, it will be accredited by an organization called the Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools, which has accredited, among other institutions, Jerry Falwell's Liberty University and the highly suspect Institute for Creation Research. As of 2007, all but about 12 of the student's 325 students are white, with a few Latinos and Asians and one African-American. All students must sign a Statement of Faith before they arrive, affirming belief in bedrock Christian doctrines, includigng their acknowledgement of the statement, "Satan exists as a personal, malevolent being who acts as tempter and accuser, for whom Hell, the place of eternal punishment, was prepared, where all who die outside of Christ shall be confined in conscious torment for eternity. ...Christ's death provides substitutionary atonement for our sins." Janet Ashcroft, wife of former attorney general John Ashcroft, serves on the Board of Trustees. The British newspaper the Independent has dubbed the school "The Bible College That Leads to the White House." (James Moore and Wayne Slater, Patrick Henry College, Wikipedia, Wikipedia)
- September 28: After years of controversy and conservative attempts to block the availability of the drug, the FDA gives its final approval for the sale of the contraceptive RU-486, the "morning after pill." (CBS)