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Tuesday, February 14, 2006

PNAC: Rebuilding America's Defenses - A Biopsy on Imperialism

PART I: Operation Imperialism: The Enduring Mission

1. Blueprint for Imperialism
2. Operation Imperialism, The ‘Enduring’ Mission
3. Appendix: Signatories to Rebuilding America’s Defenses


A superpower does not have moral imperatives. It has strategic imperatives. Its purpose is not to sustain the lives of other people, but to sustain itself. George Monbiot, The Moral Myth, 25.11.03.

The 19th century’s definitive treatise was Das Kapital (1848) by Karl Marx. The 20th century had two major expositions of principles. Adolf Hitler published Eine Abrechnung (A Reckoning) in 1925, and Die Nazionalosozialistische Bewegung (the National-Socialistic Movement) in 1926. Together, these books became known as Mein Kampf (My Struggle). In 1964, The People’s Republic of China published The Little Red Book, an iconic collection of quotations from the speeches and publications of Mao Tse Tung.

The 20th century ended with a blueprint for imperialism - not a book, but a website called The Project for the New American Century.1

“We aim to make the case and rally support for American global leadership.2” PNAC Statement of Principles, 3 June 1997.

PNAC’s inception, formed by people known as ‘neo-conservatives,’3 was primarily focused on an arms build-up “for the preservation of peace (sic)” (p. 7), following a “decade of defense neglect.” (p. 16).


Within the PNAC website is a statement (2000) called Rebuilding America’s Defenses (pdf)
This document is based upon Vice President Cheney’s Defense Policy Guidance, drafted in 1992 by the Defense Department’s Paul Wolfovitz and Lewis Libby.

Michale Klare writes: “This (1992) document calls for proactive U.S. military intervention to deter and prevent the rise of a contending peer (or equal) competitor, and asserts that the United States must use any and all means necessary to prevent that from happening.” At the time, people were “horrified,” and the document was withdrawn; it is still not available. It was later incorporated into the September 2002 National Security Strategy of the United States of America (pdf)

A forthcoming book,4 Deadly Doctrine No 1 Strike First, subtitled Objectives and Operations of America’s Neoconservative Mafia, investigates the years of effort by Paul Wolfovitz and the “neo-conservative machinations” which culminated in the publication of the 2002 National Security Strategy. The author states that it is still “the country's guiding strategic military document.” The first chapter of this book can be read here

The PNAC thrust, of which Rebuilding America’s Defenses is the key document, is based on this 2002 document. The signatories5 “participated in at least one project meeting or contributed a paper for discussion.” Both Libby (now indicted) and Wolfovitz, (now receiving ‘entourage’ complaints at the World Bank) were founding members of PNAC as well as signatories to Rebuilding America’s Defenses.

This RAD document has recently been receiving more attention. Just as I am putting up this blog, for example, Peter Phillips describes the Global Dominance Group and its connection with PNAC / Rebuilding America’s Defenses.


The United States, says Rebuilding America’s Defenses, faces no global rival. America’s “grand strategy should aim to preserve and extend this advantageous position as far into the future as possible.” (p. 8)

“If an American peace is to be maintained, and expanded, it must have a secure foundation on unquestioned U.S. military preeminence.” (p. 16)

“To preserve American military preeminence, aggressive experimentation with new technologies, especially information technologies, is essential." The “revolution” in the American military transformation is again stressed. (p. 62)

The Enduring Mission: to “maintain military preeminence that is consistent with the requirements of a strategy of American global leadership with global missile defenses” which protect and control land, sea, air, space and cyberspace. (p. 63)

“Building an effective, robust, layered, global system of missile defenses is a prerequisite for maintaining American preeminence.” (p. 66)

“The price of American preeminence is that, just as it was actively obtained, it must be actively maintained.” (p. 85)

“If the United States is to maintain its preeminence – and the military revolution now underway is already an American-led revolution – the Pentagon must begin in earnest to transform U.S. military forces.” (p. 86)

“The maintenance of the American peace requires that American forces be preeminent when they are called upon to face very different adversaries in the future.” (p. 87)

“Global leadership is not something exercised at our leisure, when the mood strikes us or when our core national security interests are directly threatened; then it is already too late. Rather, it is a choice whether or not to maintain American military preeminence, to secure American geopolitical leadership, and to preserve the American peace.” (p. 88)

2. Operation Imperialism: The Enduring Mission

Brian Bogart, in an excellent essay, wrote: “Our dilemma stems from the postwar adoption of a military-based rather than a people-based economy. This policy, authored by Wall Street's Paul Nitze, is embodied in NSC-68, a document signed by President Truman in 1950.” This, says Bogart, is where America “took the wrong road.” Nitze’s ideas (until he recanted prior to dying) are joined at the hip with Cheney, Wolfovitz, (Darth Vader) Perle, Rumsfeld.

Bogart quotes Dwight Eisenhower, upon leaving office in January 1961:

"In the counsels of Government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the Military Industrial Complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists, and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes."

Eisenhower’s farewell speech is shown in a film Why We Fight, “which examines the modern American military machine and the modern American militaristic mindset.” A ‘Real’ video of this film can be seen here

Gore Vidal recently wrote that he had been “credited” as being the first to “heretically refer” to the United States as an empire. Aged 80, he can now be treasured for his egotism and applauded for his historical awareness. In President Jonah, he discussed, with intelligence and humour, the present Bush administration’s “antipathy toward democracy.”

In case there are still some who balk at the United States being called an ‘empire,’ the OED’s definition of empire is: “From French: imperium; from Latin: imperator. Absolute sway, supreme control; an extensive territory, especially an aggravate of many states.”

The plan for America’s empire is on the web. Anyone can read it. The phrases preserve and extend, as far into the future as possible, expanded, visible expression of the extent of America’s status as a superpower, preeminence … these phrases define America’s intent.

There are other documents to look through, too. Just in case some think all Americans are naïve - unaware of the results their actions - read, for example, Ralph Peter's article, Constant Conflict in the 1997 US Army War College Quarterly.

“There will be no peace. At any given moment for the rest of our lifetimes, there will be multiple conflicts in mutating forms around the globe. Violent conflict will dominate the headlines, but cultural and economic struggles will be steadier and ultimately more decisive.”

The pathological problem with the neoconservatives is that they are myopic - unwilling to see, or hear criticism of, what conflicts with their ambition. They do not care how many people are killed. Morality does not exist in their corporate quest.

In March 2003, George Monbiot wrote: “Those who support the coming war with Iraq refuse to see that it has anything to do with US global domination.”

Ghali Hassan also expresses the thoughts of many in our world.

“The Bush Administration, its vassals and the mass media adopted the cliché of “democracy” to justify the invasion and the mass murder of hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqi men, women and children. However, from the outset of the invasion and occupation of Iraq, the U.S. objective was conspicuous; to destroy Iraq, install a puppet government and pillage the nation’s resources.”

The new 2006 Quarterly Defense Review (QDR)6 20 year plan (pdf) is presently causing much web discussion. The official issues, statements, debates, and commentaries are found here or one can read the key points here

This ‘QDR’ document opens with the statement, “The United States is a nation engaged in what will be a long war.”

Robert Dreyfus says the new QDR is the “Bush administration’s ultimate Plan for Empire,” which is “generational in scope.” This is not a “reassessment,” nor an “admission that the US has started something it cannot finish,” as suggested by Simon Tisdale in 7 February’s Guardian.

The PNAC document states very clearly, p. 8, “America’s “grand strategy should aim to preserve and extend this advantageous position as far into the future as possible.” Mr. Rumsfeld has simply found a new jingo-phrase, in true corporate fashion. The "new goals" are discussed in Rebuilding America’s Defenses in various places. The word “transformation” is frequently used, for which the need for more money7 is strongly emphasized.

Picking up on the word “long,” a reporter asked if Iraq would be a “long war” at the press conference, Mr. Rumsfeld said, “No I don’t think Iraq will be a long war.” Brigadier General Kimmitt talked about “reposturing” (not in OED) forces, and said the US would “not maintain any long term bases in Iraq.”8

In January ’06, President Carter said: “What I believe is that there are people in Washington now, some of our top leaders, who never intend to withdraw military forces from Iraq and they're looking for ten, 20, 50 years in the future.”

We must insist on the US Government’s definition of “long” in each instance.

Sohbet Karbuz asks: United States Department of Defense … or Empire of Defense? He gives 5 essential US Department of Defense facts.

Fact 1: The US DoD is one of the world’s largest landlords

Fact 2: If the DoD were a country it would be 17th in the world’s GDP ranking.

Fact 3: The US DoD is the largest oil consumer in the US, and 31st largest in the world.

Fact 4: American GI is the most energy-consuming soldier ever seen on the field of war

Fact 5: The US military is the biggest purchaser of oil in the world.

Dr. Karbuz asked me to add
Fact 6: The Department of Defense is the world’s largest employer, (p. 75) directly employing more than three million people. He gives an excellent list of footnote references. The article is a ‘MUST READ,’ here

Q. How ‘long’ will it take to dismantle the present Bush administration’s empire? Will there be a viable future?


Roger Barnett, U.S. Naval War College
Alvin Bernstein, National Defense University
Stephen Cambone10, National Defense University, Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence
Eliot Cohen, Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University
Devon Gaffney, Cross Donors' Forum for International Affairs Thomas Donnelly, Project for the New American Century, American Enterprise Institute
David Epstein, Office of Secretary of Defense, Net Assessment
David Fautua, Lt. Col., U.S. Army
Dan Goure, Center for Strategic and International Studies
Donald Kagan, Yale University
Fred Kagan, U. S. Military Academy at West Point
Robert Kagan,11 Carnegie Endowment for International Peace; Washington Post writer
Robert Killebrew, Col., USA (Ret.)
William Kristol, The Weekly Standard
Mark Lagon, Senate Foreign Relations Committee
James Lasswell, GAMA Corporation I.
Lewis Libby, Dechert Price & Rhoads, Assistant to the President
Robert Martinage, Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessment Phil Meilinger, U.S. Naval War College
Mackubin Owens, U.S. Naval War College,
Foreign Policy Research Institute
Steve Rosen, Harvard University, ex-Director of Foreign Policy Issues, awaiting trial
Gary Schmitt, Project for the New American Century, board of directors, U.S. Committee on NATO, author
Abram Shulsky, The RAND Corporation
Michael Vickers, Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessment Barry Watts, former director of Northrop Grumman Corporation, author of The Military Use of Space: A Diagnostic Assessment
Paul Wolfowitz, Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University, now World Bank President
Dov Zakheim, System Planning Corporation, left DoD 2004


[1] See William Rivers Pitt, The Project for the New American Century
[2] Italics throughout are mine unless otherwise noted
[3] For a list of 50 people described as ‘neoconservatives’, see here. Numbers vary from 320 (Bogart) – 400 (Phillips)
[4] Books: Imperial Designs by Gary Dorrien is a recommended book. Rise of the Vulcans, by James Mann, who is, I believe, a member of the PNAC clan.
[5] See Appendix
[6] Earlier QDR reports can be seen at: 1997, 2001 and 2005.
[7] To be discussed in a later PNAC blog.
[8] See upcoming Part II, US bases
[9] For further details on signatories, search name at http://www.sourcewatch.org/ and at http://www.wikipedia.org/
[10] See The Secret World of Stephen Cambone, Rumsfeld’s Sorcerer, by Jeffrey St. Clair, an excerpt from his new book, Grand Theft Pentagon
[11] Author of Of Paradise and Power: America and Europe in the New World Order, from, which comes the famous quote: “Americans are from Mars and Europeans are from Venus: They agree on little and understand one another less and less.” His wife is Victoria Nuland, the present US deputy chief of mission to NATO.

Why the United States “extends” and “expands” will be discussed in Part II: PNAC: REBUILDING AMERICAS DEFENSES. “Special Interests.”

The URL to PNAC: Rebuilding America’s Defenses, Part I is

Sarah Meyer
Index Research

Sarah Meyer: http://indexresearch.blogspot.com

The West Hypocrisy and Double Standards


Writing in the Guardian last month, Timothy Garton Ash observed:

“Now we face the next big test of the west: after Iraq, Iran.”

Garton Ash thus blithely ignored the fact that every last scrap of evidence coming out of Iraq has pointed to only one conclusion - that Iraq’s “big test” was in fact the West’s big lie. Iraq was offering a threat to precisely no one outside its own borders.

Nevertheless, Garton Ash warned: “we in Europe and the United States have to respond. But how?” (Timothy Garton Ash, ‘Let's make sure we do better with Iran than we did with Iraq,’ The Guardian, January 12, 2006)

The Guardian’s Polly Toynbee joined the propaganda chorus demonising Iran:

“Now the mad mullahs of Iran will soon have nuclear bombs, are we all doomed?... Do something, someone! But what and who?” (Toynbee, ‘No more fantasy diplomacy: cut a deal with the mullahs,’ The Guardian, February 7, 2006)

Gerard Baker provided the answer in the Times:

“The unimaginable but ultimately inescapable truth is that we are going to have to get ready for war with Iran”. (Baker, ‘Prepare yourself for the unthinkable: war against Iran may be a necessity,’ The Times, January 27, 2006)

Why might this be?

“If Iran gets safely and unmolested to nuclear status, it will be a threshold moment in the history of the world, up there with the Bolshevik Revolution and the coming of Hitler.”

Readers will recall near-identical propaganda ahead of the assault on Iraq. Baker continued with some fearsome predictions:

“Iran, of course, secure now behind its nuclear wall, will surely step up its campaign of terror around the world. It will become even more of a magnet and haven for terrorists... Imagine how much more our freedoms will be curtailed if our governments fear we are just one telephone call or e-mail, one plane journey or truckload away from another Hiroshima. ”

This is the same Gerard Baker who wrote in the Financial Times in February 2003 that “victory [in Iraq] will quickly vindicate US and British claims about the scale of the threat Saddam poses”.

Baker was positively gleeful:

“I cannot wait to hear what the French, Russians and Germans have to say when the conquering troops begin to uncover the death factories Mr Hussein has been hiding from inspectors for 12 years... And do not be shocked if allied liberators discover all kinds of connections between Baghdad and terrorism around the world”. (Baker, ‘Defeating prejudice with persuasion,’ Financial Times, February 20, 2003)

A year later, Baker had airbrushed his own justification for war from history:

“Saddam Hussein asked for the benefit of the doubt. But that was not something a wise leader could possibly have given him. His actions had shown again and again the threat he represented. This threat lay not in vats of chemicals or nuclear centrifuges but in his ambitions.” (Baker, ‘Freedom from fear is a worthy goal,’ Financial Times, March 18, 2004)

In his February 2003 article, Baker had predicted: “it will become clear, even to the most rabid of anti-Americans just how much better off Iraqi people will be without their current president. The lifting of the yoke of Saddam Hussein will be an act of humanity far greater than the unseating of the Taliban.” (Baker, op. cit)

The New York Times’ Paul Krugman describes the current state of Iraq sans “yoke”:

“In fact, reconstruction has failed. Almost three years after the war began, oil production is well below prewar levels, Baghdad is getting only an average of 3.2 hours of electricity a day, and more than 60 percent of water and sanitation projects have been canceled. So now, having squandered billions in Iraqi oil revenue as well as American taxpayer dollars, we have told the Iraqis that from here on in it is their problem.” (Krugman, ’State of delusion,’ New York Times, February 3, 2006)

According to the Los Angeles Times, America's would-be Marshall Plan in Iraq “is drawing to a close this year“ with “much of its promise unmet and no plans to extend its funding”. (Cited, ibid)

Baker is a signatory to the Statement of Principles posted at the website of The Henry Jackson Society. Patrons include mild-mannered neoconservatives like former US assistant secretary of defence Richard Perle, William Kristol, editor of the Weekly Standard, and James Woolsey, former director of the CIA. Other signatories include former head of MI6, Sir Richard Dearlove, Colonel Tim Collins, Oliver Kamm, Andrew Roberts and Jamie Shea.

The Society declares that it: “Supports a ‘forward strategy’ to assist those countries that are not yet liberal and democratic to become so. This would involve the full spectrum of our ‘carrot’ capacities, be they diplomatic, economic, cultural or political, but also, when necessary, those ‘sticks’ of the military domain.” (http://www.henryjacksonsociety.org)

Serbia, Afghanistan and Iraq know all about the “’sticks’ of the military domain”.

Four of the Society’s eight “Principles” refer to military intervention and military power - another notes that “only modern liberal democratic states are truly legitimate”.

Everyone else, we can presume, is fair game.

Ten Years From A Bomb

When officialdom targets a new ‘deadly threat’, journalists often embarrass themselves in their rush to be ‘on side‘. The January 20, 2005, BBC 1 Lunchtime News saw diplomatic correspondent James Robbins declare that US relations with Iran were "looking very murky because of the nuclear threat". (BBC1, 13:00 News, January 20, 2005)

Four days later, Robbins responded to Media Lens emailers:

“I accept that it would have been better to have said ‘alleged nuclear threat‘. I am sorry that my wording was not as precise as it could have been.” (Email to Media Lens, January 24, 2005)

Similarly, in a front-page article this week, the Guardian reported that Iran's foreign minister had threatened immediate retaliation over a move to refer its "nuclear weapons activities" to the United Nations security council. A correction was printed in the paper two days later:

“We should have said ‘nuclear activities‘, not ‘nuclear weapons activities‘.” (Corrections and clarifications, The Guardian, February 7, 2006)

Although Iran has removed the seals it put in place at its nuclear fuel research sites, experts say it is at least a decade away from being able to produce a nuclear bomb. Consider the current media hysteria in light of the basic facts below.

Atomic weapons can be produced in two ways - either by using highly enriched uranium, or plutonium. Iran is known to have produced reconstituted uranium, "yellow cake", at its conversion facility at Isfahan. However, according to a September 2005 report by The International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), this material is contaminated and not currently useable. If Iran were able to overcome the problem of purification, it would then need to enrich the uranium.

Whereas uranium used in nuclear reactors requires only a small amount of enrichment, weapons-grade uranium must be highly enriched. This can be done using gas centrifuges, of which Iran has 164 installed at its plant at Natanz. But this constitutes just 20 per cent of the number required to produce a bomb. Frank Barnaby, of UK think tank The Oxford Research Group, comments:

"They don't currently have enough centrifuges working - so far as we know - to produce significant amounts of highly-enriched uranium or even enriched uranium. They would need a lot more." (Sarah Buckley and Paul Rincon, ‘Iran “years from nuclear bomb“,' www.bbc.co.uk, January 12, 2006)

Given these and other problems, the IISS believes it would take Iran at least a decade to produce enough high-grade uranium to make a single nuclear weapon. Dr Barnaby agrees:

"The CIA says 10 years to a bomb using highly enriched uranium and that is a reasonable and realistic figure in my opinion."

Alternatively, Iran could use plutonium to produce a bomb. But the IISS notes that Iran would need to build a reprocessing plant suited to the fuel used in its Bushehr nuclear reactor - an extremely challenging technical task. Iran is also constructing a heavy-water research reactor at Arak. But, again, this will not be ready until at least 2014, and probably later, according to the IISS.

The West’s hypocrisy and double standards could hardly be clearer but they are off the media agenda. The United States is estimated to be in possession of no less than 10,600 nuclear warheads. Its leading ally in the region, Israel, also has nuclear weapons, as do Russia, Pakistan, India and China. Britain has recently sold nuclear-capable bombers to India, while the United States has sold nuclear-capable bombers to Pakistan. Iran’s is indeed a “tough neighbourhood”.

The media never mention the military coup organised by Britain and the United States to overthrow the democratically elected government of Iran in 1953 to secure the country’s oil. No mention is made of the massive military support subsequently sent to the Shah dictatorship before it was overthrown in 1979. Britain and America were thus directly responsible for a country that had the "highest rate of death penalties in the world, no valid system of civilian courts and a history of torture" which was "beyond belief". It was a society in which "the entire population was subjected to a constant, all-pervasive terror", according to Amnesty International. (Martin Ennals, Secretary General of Amnesty International, cited in an Amnesty Publication, Matchbox, Autumn 1976)

All of this is waved away as inconsequential by journalists. Objections to military action are usually raised on grounds of possible negative consequences for the West. The likely cost in lives to the Iranian people is rarely even discussed.

Last month, the journalist Felicity Arbuthnott described the cataclysm generated by the US-UK 'liberation' of Iraq:

“For Iraq watchers, the daily carnage of liberation, the searing, wailing grief of the bereaved, bombed, bereft, haunt. Neighborhoods, evocative ancient homes reduced to rubble by the 'liberators', the surviving, bewildered, standing on shattered bricks, mortar, toys, belongings, liberated even from home's secure warmth.

“In the distorted horrors of today's Iraq, many never make it home: disappeared, kidnapped, shot by the occupying forces for driving, walking, and playing, in familiar venues. Iraqi lives are the earth's cheapest. 'Government' or occupying troops kill 'insurgents' (even if baby or toddler ‘insurgents’) and few questions are asked.”
(Felicity Arbuthnott, ‘Death of Humanity,’ PalestineChronicle.com, January 18, 2006)

Despite even this, despite everything that has happened, Western journalists are once again falling obediently into line as the British and American governments begin the long, arduous process of demonising another oil-rich target.


The goal of Media Lens is to promote rationality, compassion and respect for others. In writing letters to journalists, we strongly urge readers to maintain a polite, non-aggressive and non-abusive tone. Write to one or more of the journalists and editors below. It is more effective to write in your own words.

Write to the Guardian’s Timothy Garton Ash
Email: tga@timothygartonash.com

Write to the Guardian’s Polly Toynbee
Email: polly.toynbee@guardian.co.uk

Write to the Times’ Gerard Baker
Email: gerard.baker@thetimes.co.uk


Time To Dismantle The Empire

Why They Hate Us

When U.S. officials condemn the violence arising out of the anti-Mohammed cartoons published by the European press, they fail to recognize that the anger in the Middle East goes a lot deeper than the adverse reaction to the cartoons reflects.

For example, read the transcript of the federal court sentencing of Ramzi Yousef, the terrorist who attacked the World Trade Center in 1993. Whether you agree with anything he said is irrelevant. When you read the invective that he hurled at the judge just before his sentencing, you can reach but one conclusion: This is a very angry man. It is that same anger and rage that smoldered within many Middle Eastern men throughout the 1990s and into this century, culminating in the second terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and on the Pentagon on 9/11.

No matter how angry Muslims become over the mocking of their religious symbols (i.e., the Koran and Mohammed), what U.S. officials would prefer to ignore is the depth of anger that Muslims also feel at having been subjected to the arrogant, pretentious, brutal, and humiliating conduct of U.S. government officials. In fact, one cannot help but wonder whether the anger that has built up within Middle Easterners as a consequence of U.S. governmental conduct in that part of the world has contributed to the enormous anti-Western reaction to the publishing of tasteless cartoons by a Danish newspaper.

After 9/11, many Americans had no idea why there was so much anger and rage in the Middle East, especially against the United States. All their lives, Americans had been taught that foreign policy was for federal “experts” and, thus, they had chosen not to concern themselves with what their federal officials were doing to people abroad. Innocently believing that federal overseas personnel, including the CIA and the military, had been helping foreigners for decades, Americans had no reason to doubt the official U.S. pronouncement immediately after 9/11: “We are innocent. The terrorists hate us for our freedom and values. That’s why they have attacked us.”

What Americans didn’t realize is that federal officials were being disingenuous when they made that pronouncement. U.S. officials knew full-well that that their decades-old U.S. interventionist policies in the Middle East were at the bottom of the volcanic rage that people bore in that part of the world.


1. The U.S. government’s international paramilitary force, the CIA, covertly engineered the ouster of the popular and democratically elected prime minister of Iran and replaced him with a brutal dictator whose secret police tortured and terrorized the Iranian people for decades. Yet to this day, Americans cannot fathom why so many Iranians still hate the U.S. government.

2. The United States and other Western nations actively supported Saddam Hussein and his tyrannical regime, even delivering him the infamous weapons of mass destruction that U.S. officials later used as an excuse to invade Iraq.

3. In their role as imperial international policeman, U.S. officials turned on Saddam when he invaded Kuwait, even though the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait was no more the business of the U.S. government than the U.S. invasion of Panama or Grenada was the business of Iraq. Moreover, the fact that U.S. officials had supported Saddam’s attack on Iran and then later had turned a passive eye on his intention to attack Kuwait makes U.S. officials look even worse. Thousands of Iraqis were massacred and maimed by U.S. bombs and missiles in the Persian Gulf War, decimating Iraqi families.

4. After the Persian Gulf War, U.S. officials inspired Kurds and Shi’ites to rebel against Saddam and then stood aside as Saddam massacred them.

5. Brutal economic sanctions were imposed on Iraq and then continued, year after year, for more than a decade, with the aim of forcing the Iraqi people to oust Saddam from power. The sanctions contributed to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi children from disease and infection, especially from dirty water.

To this day, many Americans remain ignorant of the major role that the sanctions played in the smoldering anger and rage within the Middle East, culminating on 9/11.To get a sense of the continuous year-after-year horror of the sanctions as well as the cruel and brutal games that U.S. bureaucrats played with the infamous “oil for food” program, carefully read the articles listed on this page.

High UN officials even resigned in protest at the genocide caused by the sanctions.

Ramzi Yousef mentioned the deaths of the Iraqi children in his angry tirade to the judge.

Is it difficult to understand how Middle East anger turned into rage when UN Ambassador Madeleine Albright, expressing the callous mindset of her federal associates, told 60 Minutes that the deaths of half a million Iraqi children from the sanctions were “worth it”?

6. There were the infamous no-fly zones over Iraq, by which U.S. officials continued killing Iraqis with bombs and missiles, even though the zones had never been authorized by either the UN or the U.S. Congress.

7. U.S. troops were knowingly and deliberately stationed on Islamic holy lands, in utter disregard for religious sensibilities of Muslims. In fact, is it not easier to understand the depth of the adverse Muslim reaction to the stationing of U.S. troops in those areas given the recent adverse reactions to U.S. military abuse of the Koran and to the publication of the cartoons mocking Mohammed? Does anyone honestly believe that U.S. officials were unaware of the potential for such adverse reaction when they stationed U.S. troops in those areas?

8. The U.S. government invaded and waged a war of aggression against Iraq under false and deceptive claims regarding weapons of mass destruction and then continued a brutal military occupation of the country under the deceptive rubric of “spreading democracy.” The invasion and occupation have killed and maimed tens of thousands of innocent Iraqi people — innocent in the sense that neither they nor their government ever attacked the United States or even threatened to do so.

9. U.S. military and paramilitary forces tortured, sexually abused, raped, and murdered Iraqi men taken into custody. What better way to turn anger into rage than to knowingly and deliberately humiliate Iraqi men in such a manner rather than treat them like men and soldiers entitled to the protections of the Geneva Convention, especially given that most of them were doing nothing worse than defending their nation against an illegal invasion and war of aggression by a foreign power?

10. The U.S. government has long provided unconditional financial and military support to the Israeli government as well as foreign aid to such pro-U.S. authoritarian regimes as Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and Egypt.

When someone is trying to kill you, it’s of course important to defend yourself. But it’s also important to try to figure out why he’s trying to kill you. After all, if you’re doing something wrong that has gotten him angry, then isn’t it better to simply stop committing the wrongful act? In that case, his anger might dissipate, and he might even no longer want to kill you.

Today, there are Americans who cry, “It’s too late. They already hate us and will always hate us and so we’ve got to keep killing them before they kill us.”

But unless the entire Middle East is nuked, it is impossible to kill “all of them” because there will always be brothers, sisters, cousins, parents, children, grandchildren, or just friends of the dead who will seek vengeance.

Moreover, think about Vietnam. When the United States exited that country after killing more than a million Vietnamese, the Vietnamese communists left the United States alone. Today U.S. officials are even working with the Vietnamese communist regime to establish closer commercial ties.

U.S. government meddling in the Middle East occurred long before 9/11 and, in fact, was the motivating cause for 9/11 (and the previous 1993 attack on the World Trade Center). Thus, U.S. officials have it all wrong — the solution is not to invade, bomb, kill, maim, and meddle even more. That will only exacerbate the anger and rage that engenders retaliatory terrorist attacks. Continuing the same policies that have produced volcanic anger and rage will only ensure more terrorism, more counterterrorism, more infringements on the freedom of the American people, and more increases in the Pentagon’s budget.

The solution instead is for the American people to dismantle the U.S. government's overseas empire, requiring the federal government, especially the Pentagon, to withdraw from the Middle East (and the rest of the world) and also to liberate the American people to travel, trade, and interact freely with the people of the world (including both Vietnam and Cuba).

Dismantling the U.S. overseas empire would not, of course, end conflicts abroad but it would ensure that the U.S. government could not make matters worse, both for foreigners and Americans, with its meddling overseas interventions. The federal government’s power would be limited to defending the United States from a foreign invasion, a virtually nonexistent threat at present, and to prosecuting criminal acts committed on American soil.

Equally important, by ending the federal government’s isolation of the American people from the rest of the world, we not only would be restoring the constitutional republic our ancestors bequeathed to us, Americans also would once again have the opportunity to lead the world to freedom, peace, prosperity, and harmony.

Jacob Hornberger is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation