We’ve heard a lot of talk about whether or not John McCain represents a change from the policies of the Bush administration. The platform of the McCain campaign seem to be essentially (to be fair, not exclusively) built upon the following pillars:
Experience, Bi-Partisan Reform of the Culture of the Washington Elites (which is likewise tied to McCain’s “Maverick” record in the legislature), Foreign Policy Expertise, Military Experience and Expertise, and faith in the “Fundamentals” of Trickle-Down Economics.
At first blush, this platform looks markedly different from that of the Bush administration. Bush made no attempt at bi-partisan reform; had no real foreign policy or military expertise when elected; and was not a supporter of trickle-down…no wait… there is no difference there. But I am not going to focus on economics (ideologically) in this comparison between the president and John McCain. Their is much to concern ourselves with on that regard, and there is no question that economic ideology necessarily informs the design of every other sphere within the realm of political policy. But I will let that reality make itself evident as the evidence dictates.
This is not about the meltdown on Wall Street, however unfortunate that necessarily proves to be, at a time when the primary concern of the people of the United States. The McCain campaign has repeatedly stated that they wish to avoid discussion of the economy in this election. They do, however, hope to focus the majority of their attention on defense, the wars in the Middle East, and the experience of the candidates. No, this is about the militaristic policies of a Neo-Conservative think tank that defined the actions of the Bush administration, and in the process, undermined the very ideals of a Pax Americana that they sought to sustain.
Below are sections taken from a document entitled: Rebuilding America’s Defenses: Strategy, Forces and Resources for a New Century. The document was written by “the Project for the New American Century is a non-profit, educational organization whose goal is to promote American global leadership”, which was established in the spring of 1997. As an interesting, though perhaps merely coincidental, side-note, among the names of those signing off in support of the projects “Statement of Principles” are Donald Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney, Paul Wolfowitz, Dan Quayle, Steve Forbes and Jeb Bush. I think that offers enough evidence to suggest that this document was indeed a major contributor to the policies and ideologies of the administration of George W. Bush. You can access the document in its entirety by following the link at the beginning of this paragraph. I am including a few passages from the document below to convey its general gist.
The point of this post is not merely to demonstrate the premeditated and catastrophic designs of a select few, that have plunged this nation into multiple wars, international ridicule, and an economic collapse of the highest severity. I would also ask the reader to think critically about electing a presidential candidate, that despite his many exasperated objections, clearly represents “more of the same”. Before you begin furiously typing your own objections, I would ask you to watch the tape of the second presidential debate, so that you might include in your objection an explanation for how John McCain’s stated intent to freeze funding to every government program — except the military — represents anything but a continuation of the imperialist war machine that our nation has become, thanks to the policies of the Bush administration as an extension of the ideologies of this document.
“As the 20 century draws to a close, the United States stands as the
world’s most preeminent power. Having led the West to victory in
the Cold War, America faces an opportunity and a challenge: Does
the United States have the vision to build upon the achievement of
past decades? Does the United States have the resolve to shape a
new century favorable to American principles and interests?
“[What we require is] 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.
“Of course, the United States must be prudent in how it exercises its
power. But we cannot safely avoid the responsibilities of global
leadership of the costs that are associated with its exercise. America
has a vital role in maintaining peace and security in Europe, Asia,
and the Middle East. If we shirk our responsibilities, we invite
challenges to our fundamental interests. The history of the 20th
century should have taught us that it is important to shape
circumstances before crises emerge, and to meet threats before they
become dire. The history of the past century should have taught us
to embrace the cause of American leadership.”
– From the Project’s founding Statement of Principles
“The challenge for this coming century is to preserve and advance this “American Peace”… In particular we need to:”
ESTABLISH FOUR CORE MISSIONS for U.S. military forces:
• defend the American homeland;
• fight and decisively win multiple, simultaneous major theater wars;
• perform the “constabulary” duties associated with shaping the security environment in
• transform U.S. forces to exploit the “revolution in military affairs;”
To carry out these core missions, we need to provide sufficient force and budgetary
allocations. In particular, the United States must:
MAINTAIN NUCLEAR STRATEGIC SUPERIORITY, basing the U.S. nuclear deterrent upon a
global, nuclear net assessment that weighs the full range of current and emerging threats,
not merely the U.S.-Russia balance.
RESTORE THE PERSONNEL STRENGTH of today’s force to roughly the levels anticipated in
the “Base Force” outlined by the Bush Administration, an increase in active-duty strength
from 1.4 million to 1.6 million.
REPOSITION U.S. FORCES to respond to 21st century strategic realities by shifting
permanently-based forces to Southeast Europe and Southeast Asia, and by changing naval
deployment patterns to reflect growing U.S. strategic concerns in East Asia.
MODERNIZE CURRENT U.S. FORCES SELECTIVELY, proceeding with the F-22 program while
increasing purchases of lift, electronic support and other aircraft; expanding submarine
and surface combatant fleets; purchasing Comanche helicopters and medium-weight
ground vehicles for the Army, and the V-22 Osprey “tilt-rotor” aircraft for the Marine
CANCEL “ROADBLOCK” PROGRAMS such as the Joint Strike Fighter, CVX aircraft carrier,
and Crusader howitzer system that would absorb exorbitant amounts of Pentagon funding
while providing limited improvements to current capabilities. Savings from these canceled
programs should be used to spur the process of military transformation.
DEVELOP AND DEPLOY GLOBAL MISSILE DEFENSES to defend the American homeland and
American allies, and to provide a secure basis for U.S. power projection around the world.
CONTROL THE NEW “INTERNATIONAL COMMONS” OF SPACE AND “CYBERSPACE,” and pave
the way for the creation of a new military service – U.S. Space Forces – with the mission of
EXPLOIT THE “REVOLUTION IN MILITARY AFFAIRS” to insure the long-term superiority of
U.S. conventional forces. Establish a two-stage transformation process which
• maximizes the value of current weapons systems through the application of advanced
• produces more profound improvements in military capabilities, encourages competition
between single services and joint-service experimentation efforts.
INCREASE DEFENSE SPENDING gradually to a minimum level of 3.5 to 3.8 percent of gross
domestic product, adding $15 billion to $20 billion to total defense spending annually.
Perhaps your convictions line up with this prioritization of the military industrial complex as the best means by which to secure our position of global dominance. In response to that possibility, I ask you:
Have the actions and events of last eight years really increased our position in that regard?