“Concern about Iraq specifically focused on the fact that Saddam Hussein had been, for years, listed on the state [department’s] sponsor of terror [list] The effort that we’ve mounted with respect to Iraq focused specifically on the possibility that this was the most likely nexus between the terrorists and weapons of mass destruction.”
Vice President Richard Cheney explaining why the U.S. invaded Iraq, in his “debate” with John Edwards
* The U.S. position in the global economy has declined vis-à-vis Europe, Japan, and China since 1945. http://www.revolutionintheair.com/strategy/Waller1.pdf
* To maintain the global dominance it has achieved since the collapse of the Soviet Union, the U.S. must establish geopolitical control over Central Asia and the Middle East.
* The American people will support military action if persuaded it enhances their security.
* Public opinion must be created to support ongoing war and imperial expansion.
1. Select regime to be overthrown.
2. Vilify the regime in public statements, and arrange for critical reporting in the press.
3. Emphasize that the nation is on the State Department’s list of “terror sponsoring” states. Stress the authoritative nature of that list; make it impossible for any public figure to speak well of any regime on it.
4. Emphasize that the nation has some type of ties with groups on the State Department’s list of “foreign terrorist organizations.” Stress the definitive nature of that list too.
5. Conflate whatever terrorist groups the regime assists in any way with al-Qaeda and the 9-11 attacks. Refer generically to “the terrorists,” implying that they all work together.
6. Conflate threats to Israel, posed by Hamas, Islamic Jihad, al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigade, Hizbollah, etc., with threats to the U.S. Homeland.
7. Emphasize the targeted regime’s possession of weapons of mass destruction (chemical, biological, bacteriological) and if it has a nuclear energy program, depict it as a nuclear weapons program threatening the American people.
8. Reiterate the preemption doctrine that the possibility of threats justifies unilateral U.S. action.
9. Obtain Congressional authorization for action against the regime.
10. Obtain, if possible, a UN resolution that might justify military action, or be represented as a justification for regime change.
11. Depict UN resistance to regime change plans as reflecting the body’s irrelevance, corruption and obsolescence.
12. Depict longstanding allies’ opposition to U.S. imperial expansion as selfish and anti-American.
13. Cultivate new allies willing to assist in regime change.
14. Invade and occupy.
1. Relying on troops unfamiliar with local culture, overextended and taking heavy casualties, do not expect short-term local support or stability.
2. Insure that even in a climate of chaos, U.S. corporations profit handsomely and maintain strong support for the effort.
3. Depict resistance as terrorism, reflecting hatred for freedom and democracy, and take measures to insure that the press represents the situation accordingly.
4. Emphasize to the American people the long-term nature of the War on Terrorism, its utter necessity following the 9-11 attacks, and the need for patience and sacrifice. Make skilful use of deception, and exploit fear.
5. Blame neighboring states for assisting resistance through failure to police borders, or by proactive means.
6. Mobilize appropriate U.S. religious communities to support the occupation, employing specifically religious, scriptural arguments.
7. While avoiding attacks on the Islamic religion, exploit popular hostility and fear of Islam, and emphasize the need to reform Muslim societies so that they will not be breeding grounds for terrorists.
8. Depict occupation as “freedom and democracy.” Deflect criticism by arguing that critics demean Muslims by suggesting that they are incapable of achieving democracy.
9. Always strive for a balance between obtaining imperial objectives, and undercutting popular support for those objectives through unacceptable U.S. casualty levels.
10. If popular support dangerously erodes, target dissident opinion-makers as “supporters of the terrorists,” taking appropriate legal action while taking care to avoid provoking a social explosion.
GARY LEUPP is Professor of History at Tufts University, and Adjunct Professor of Comparative Religion. He is the author of Servants, Shophands and Laborers in in the Cities of Tokugawa Japan; Male Colors: The Construction of Homosexuality in Tokugawa Japan; and Interracial Intimacy in Japan: Western Men and Japanese Women, 1543-1900. He is also a contributor to CounterPunch’s merciless chronicle of the wars on Iraq, Afghanistan and Yugoslavia, Imperial Crusades.
He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org