by David Phinney
Friday September 25th 2020

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Shrinking Violets

They foresaw a New American Century and it was as if they planned to pump up US foreign policy with steady injections of steroids. … Then again, maybe they just were metaphorically whacked out on the drug themselves.
In their 1997 manifesto, they posed the question: “Does the United States have the resolve to shape a new century favorable to American principles and interests?”
Their answer was no: “We are in danger of squandering the opportunity and failing the challenge. We are living off the capital — both the military investments and the foreign policy achievements — built up by past administrations.”
The Beltway collective of Neocons became the major ideological muscle behind pushing for the invasion and occupation of Iraq.
Vowing to build a new America, their wish list included “a military that is strong and ready to meet both present and future challenges; a foreign policy that boldly and purposefully promotes American principles abroad; and national leadership that accepts the United States’ global responsibilities.”
Signers of the 1997 document launching the project would later become senior officials under President George W Bush – Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, Elliot Abrams and Lewis Libby – as well as thinkers including Francis Fukuyama, Norman Podheretz and Frank Gaffney.
Signers also included vigilant right-wing, finger-wagging moralists William J. Bennett and Gary Bauer. And let’s not forget present and former presidential wannabes: Dan Quayle, Jeb Bush and Steve Forbes.
Today, the gang, known as the Project for the New American Century “has been reduced to a voice-mail box and a ghostly website. A single employee has been left to wrap things up,” Paul Reynolds of BBC notes.
One leading Neocon and Defense Policy Board member, Kenneth Adelman, now describes the group as having “turned out to be among the most incompetent teams in the post-war era. Not only did each of them, individually, have enormous flaws, but together they were deadly, dysfunctional.”
Adelman will be giving a tell-all talk at Nathan’s in Georgetown Jan. 11, noon.

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