Charter 77

Location: United States

I am a graduate student at the State University of New York at Binghamton studying education and history.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

A Discussion and Analysis of Current U.S. Drug Laws

*Based on a philosophy paper I wrote for class my freshman year at Binghamton University. It was edited by my Professor Jason Mallory and I have since expanded upon it to form this article.

Today, the utopian vision of a classless society seems outside the realm of possibility. The United States, the world's most advanced and prosperous nation, is among the farthest from this utopian ideal and is growing still farther. In a society where labor is exploited, one's loss being another’s gain, those at the top will act shamelessly to ensure the status-quo remains. Capitalism in the United States serves as a textbook example. There are many tools which those in the upper-class use to repress those beneath them (a debatable proposition, which I will have to set aside but which, for the time being, we will assume to be true). By weakening the lower class, it makes it less likely, by providing them with little resources, that they should ever rise up to challenge the wealth and power of the American elite. One element of weakening the lower class is by criminalizing actions statistically prominent to their class, coupled with heavy enforcement in areas of concentrated poverty. Without enough violent criminals to successfully (or as successfully as the ruling class may deem necessary) fracture already impoverished communities, non-violent offenders must be targeted as well, hence creating criminals. The US drug laws are one of the most efficient manufacturers of criminals and crime. Those who manufacture, traffic, distribute and use drugs become criminals, a status which no doubt weakens their already fractured social and economic standing. The tax dollars paid to punish these non-violent offenders weigh far more heavily on the lower and middle classes, many of whom are forced to fund the system which undermines their own liberty. Combine this system with the fact that the United States, the most “advanced” civilization in the history of our world, has the highest incarceration rate on the globe, and the system of social control becomes ever more apparent. The ruling class utilizes their power, to ensure that they remain in power.

The use of drugs by human beings has occurred through thousands of years and in thousands of civilizations. The legality, morality and ethics of drug use are debates which, no doubt, must carry a philosophical overtone. Let us, for instance, ask the question from a libertarian perspective. If one engages in a chosen activity, one which does not negatively affect the liberty of others, where then, does the unaffected victim derive the right to infringe on the liberty of those who choose to partake in drug activity? Many argue that those who use drugs may in fact be causing direct or indirect harm to others, a point to which I will later return. As to whether or not one is harming their self by using drugs, the user must be entrusted to act in his own best interests, less of course, we advocate the style of government that makes our decisions for us. Boxing, Hockey, Motocross, Ultimate Fighting and countless other sports can be seriously damaging to the health of those who partake in said events. Nevertheless, if they feel the joy of the activity outweighs the damaging effects, who is to tell the individuals not to partake? Even informing someone of the dangers posed by conscription into the armed forces, far more dangerous than most illegal drugs, can result in imprisonment, as is evident by Supreme Court Justice Wendell Holmes Jr’s decision in Schenck v. United States.

It is hypocritical to say that our country is built on and embraces the concept of liberty, when in fact, the liberty of the ruling class is to infringe upon the liberty of its subjects, when and how it sees fit. Nevertheless this is a philosophical argument, one to which there is no absolutely right or wrong answer. We should turn away then and discuss in more detail the way in which drug laws create criminals and create crime. One must imagine for a moment that drugs are legal in the United States. If a young man, high-school dropout, no trust fund and a meager salary from Wal-Mart or any of the Forbes Magazine labor-exploiters, decides to experiment with hallucinogenic drugs. Keep in mind the culture that so many wage slaves live in today, never owning a home, unreliable transportation and little money for consumer goods, working for a corporation where upward mobility is virtually non-existent, in a materialistic culture of private ownership, such as our own. With little aspiration for a better future and entrapment in a monotonous routine of laboring with little sense of accomplishment, an escape from the realities of everyday life may be a welcome development. Were drugs legal, the young man who chose this path could be open about his activities not having to feel the ridicule and stereotyping that drug laws manufacture. In our society he would be ostracized, most likely alienated from his family, friends and loved ones; he may lose his job or worse, be arrested and become a criminal. The same could be said for a middle class or even upper middle class student, one of the rare examples of someone outside the lower class who must feel the presence of the totalitarian shadow. The class of privilege in our country, however, are excused for crashing their cars and remembering nothing the next day (Pat Kennedy), because their drug problems are of a different nature, a point to which I will later return. Nevertheless, a student who becomes involved with drugs can become a felon (depending on the seriousness of the case), can lose all federal funding and potentially be forced to drop out of school, dooming him/her to the cycle of low wage jobs and lower class status. Repeal the drug laws and you have one less felon and one more student (the scenario may seem like a stretch, however I and many of my friends are very familiar with, and close to, a person who constitutes a perfect example).

So long as there are drugs there will be drug users and with them inevitably come drug dealers, one of the few irrevocable truisms when studying drugs and drug use throughout human existence. Even a country with extremely draconian drug laws, such as our own, can not prevent the human consumption of drugs. Therefore our own society, taken with countless others, proves that drug laws do not work. Why then, do we choose to create criminals out of ordinary citizens with the knowledge that the practice is not curtailing the use of drugs?

The current drug laws are a mirror image of the 18th Amendment to the US constitution and the Volstead Act, which created a federal prohibition on the manufacturing, distributing and possession of alcoholic beverages, just one of the many drugs humans have chosen over the centuries as a means of intoxication. Before prohibition became law, those who manufactured, distributed and possessed alcoholic beverages were not criminals, unless of course, they infringed on the liberty of others in the process. Nevertheless, prohibition did not curtail any of these activities. While deterring a small minority of the population from alcohol consumption, it also had the pleasant side effect of criminalizing many citizens who were not criminals before the 1920 act was passed. Thus, we can state, encountering little if any rational dispute, that prohibition served almost exclusively as an act to create crime. By sending the manufacturers and distributors of alcohol underground, the government forced the formerly lawful industry to adopt underground methods. Is it such a stretch to compare drug manufacturing, trafficking and distributing to that of alcohol under prohibition? As history has shown, not only do such laws turn ordinary citizens into criminals, they also force the entire industry underground, creating a crime based industry that nurtures criminal activity and excretes the problem for society to face.

It seems that all too often we hear stories of drug related violence; however these acts of violence are not drug related because the offenders were using drugs. The stories are drug related because forcing the drug industry underground creates violent criminals. If drug laws were repealed, dealers would not resort to violence, largely because the “dealers” would be convenience stores, supermarkets and specialty stores. Legalizing drugs would also open up government funding to researching drugs and educating the populace on their effects, bringing FDA approval etc. It is relatively unlikely that a street dealer will hand you a brochure with your purchase indicating responsible dosage and the effects of exceeding the recommendations. Legalizing drugs would make recreational drug use safer. Such developments would help the government set rules for drug use, such as the amount safe to drive under the influence of, and so forth. There is no doubt that education and awareness, which lead to responsible use, would exponentially increase.

Mention of the legalization of drugs, even decriminalization, will no doubt be met with strong opposition from the post- Passion of the Christ Mel Gibson-types among us. There are a number of oppositional points, several of which I would like to consider and discuss, the first being that legalizing drugs will infringe on individual liberties. Many concerned citizens are worried that those under the influence of drugs will harm not only themselves, but innocent law abiding citizens as well. They fear that a drugged up lunatic may run over their daughter while she rides her bike home after school, or that they may be subject to attack from a user in a drug induced rage. They are forgetting that one mind altering drug, alcohol, can impair one as much as, if not more than, most illegal drugs. Drunk drivers kill people with cars, as well as attack fellow citizens as a direct result of alcohol intoxication. Still, people recognize the illogicality of a move toward a second prohibition of alcohol. Furthermore, a majority of people feel that the benefits of alcohol use outweigh the negative effects which are prone to happen. Those who cause the negative effects are punished accordingly under the law. At the same time, those of us who use illegal drugs and do not cause negative side effects are still being punished. One must remember that the legalization of drugs would not make crimes committed under the influence of drugs legal as well. If someone under the influence of drugs were to crash their car, they would lose their driving privileges, if they started a fight, they would be arrested. The penalties, however, could be focused on those who cause problems for society, not those whose drug use is harmless.

Perhaps if the many now illegal drugs had been introduced into mainstream US culture at the same time alcohol was, most of them would still be legal today. The problem lies in the fact that many of the illegal drugs in widespread use today have been introduced into our mainstream culture relatively recently. Therefore, a great portion of society, being such loyal subjects, are ignorant to the way that many of these drugs actually effect the human mind – such as those misinformed individuals who see marijuana as a “gateway” drug and thus, equate it with heroine, Professor Mallory adds. Since the lawmakers dictate and propagate the populace with theories that drug laws are necessary for our own safety, much of society will smile and nod. When the media, a powerful branch of any governing apparatus, shows people under the influence of marijuana running over little girls on bicycles, allowing children under their watch to drown in pools and even standing up their poor grandmother for dinner, a fear and repulsion toward those who use marijuana is instilled in the populace. Knowing that marijuana, which can lead to such awful tragedies, is one of the least harmful illegal drugs, one can only imagine the horrors that other illegal drugs would plague society with.

We are educated from grade school that drugs are harmful and that those associated with drugs are bad people – the DARE program being a more obnoxious example where kids are forced to recite such song lines as “doing drugs is stupid, say no! My mind is mine!” The middle and upper classes get the greatest amount of drug education (or brainwashing, depending how you spin it) and thus, become the most wary of those associated with drugs; lower class people, on the other hand, receive less drug “education” and are less likely to adopt the stigma many people higher on the social food chain, have against drugs. Such disparities turn classes against one another, create stereotypes and instill fear amongst the populace against one another. Noam Chomsky articulates this point in his 1997 article Drug Policy as Social Control, arguing “The more you can increase the fear of drugs and crime and welfare mothers and immigrants and aliens and poverty and all sorts of things, the more you can control people.” This is exactly what drug laws create, criminals, crime, poverty and fear of those involved with the aforementioned creations. Drug laws are an awesome tool of those with social control on their agenda, because not only are the lower classes held down by the laws, they are held down because stereotypes associate them with drugs and therefore associate them with crime, making the poor more feared by, and thus, more alienated from, society.

The objection to legalizing drugs on the grounds that drug users will injure others is based less on facts than on fears which are fostered amongst the population by relentless propaganda from the government and its media apparatus. In addition, drug laws will not curtail drug induced crimes, because as history has irrevocably proven, drug laws do not hinder drug use. The only way to prove such arguments, however, would be legalizing drugs (or at least decriminalizing them). Such a step is unlikely, however, so long as the government is able to continue manufacturing fear and stigma of drugs and drug users.

Yet another popular argument on the banner of those who oppose the legalization of drugs is that such an action will destroy society because everyone will become addicted to drugs and hence, stereotypically lazy. One can imagine such a world where people stop educating themselves, stop working and live their lives in a haze of intoxication as society slowly decays. Much of this vision is again associated with stigmas which are instilled in the populace. People see drug users as lazy, criminal, welfare recipients who are inherently evil by nature. One making such arguments becomes caught in a chicken or the egg dilemma. Are these people overwhelmingly poor because they are illegal-drug users, or are they overwhelmingly illegal-drug users because they are poor?

Those with drug related crime records are criminals only because drugs are illegal; their financial situation, in many cases already poor, becomes dire as they are often turned down from all but the lowest wage jobs and can not qualify for government subsidized assistance, loans or many forms of public housing. The stereotype of drug users being parasites on society largely comes from the stereotype of poor drug users, many of whom will never qualify for a job outside a degrading post for an exploitative corporation and a sub-living wage. Professor Jason Mallory adds that “capitalist society creates a ‘cesspool’ of poor people, brutalizes them in prison and then asks ‘why are “criminals” so violent?’” Many, of course, would argue that these excuses are simply copouts used by those who want to abuse the system. These arguments, however, are brought about mostly by those wealthy enough to have medical benefits so that they may partake in the pharmaceutical, hence, legal drugs to make their moods improve. Meanwhile, the only type of mood enhancing drugs the poor may partake in are those that the government insists remain illegal and hence, the users criminals. Take this as an example: in early May, 2006 Representative Pat Kennedy, son of Senator Ted Kennedy, was involved in a single car accident. The police report included an observation that Kennedy appeared to have been drinking and that his ability was impaired, yet a sobriety test was not issued, the police labor union officials said that officers were told not to give Kennedy a sobriety test and he was given a ride home. In a CNN report, Sgt. Kenneth Weaver said he saw Kennedy’s vehicle “traveling at a high rate of speed in a construction zone and also swerving into the wrong lane of travel” with it’s lights off. When Weaver approached the vehicle, which had crashed head-on into a vehicle barrier, he noticed his “eyes were red and watery, speech was slightly slurred, and upon exiting the vehicle, his balance was unsure.” Kennedy claims to have owed his disoriented mind-state to prescribed medications, none of which, he claims, did he take more than the recommended dosage of. Nevertheless he admitted that he has long suffered from depression and addiction. “I struggle with this disease, as do millions of Americans” Kennedy said. Millions of Americans do struggle with the “disease,” as Kennedy described it, of addiction and depression. Unlike Kennedy, however, was not asked to step down from his position as a House Representative of Rhode Island, and was not criminally charged with any type of substance abuse, as his problems are associated with prescription and hence, socially acceptable, drugs. Millions of Americans who have much more to be depressed about, but can not afford the luxurious drugs that a rich healthcare plan will provide, become criminals for similar or even far lesser infractions.

With all this said, stereotypes of the poor are attributed to those who use the same types of illegal drugs as they (the poor) use. Thus, people who use drugs of this nature are equated with the stereotypes of the poor in capitalist society. Drug users, along with the other “enemies” of society, welfare mothers, poverty children, immigrants and so forth become a scapegoat for the problems which the billionaires of the Fortune 500 cultivate.

We may conclude then, that drug laws in the United States are in fact necessary. However, they are not necessary to protect people and certainly not to protect individual liberties. Rather, drug laws in the United States are necessary to keep the lower class and the disappearing middle class suppressed and divided. This may seem completely necessary, or it may seem a violation of you rights, depending of course, on what class of society you come from and how susceptible you are to indoctrination.

Personally, I feel that in a society so strongly rooted in concepts of liberty and justice, if someone chooses to spend their free time using substances that affect no one but their own self, there is no just reason that they should be prevented from doing so. If, however, they should go so far as to infringe upon the rights of others while enjoying these substances, they should no doubt be subject to the same penalties as anyone who carried out such acts of injustice. Until they go so far, however, I can not see any rational justification for laws that punish them.

Monday, May 29, 2006

The Neoconservatives: Who Really Dictates US Foreign Policy?

In the disputed presidential election in 2000, George W. Bush defeated Al Gore to become the 43rd President of the United States. In the spring of 2000, Bush had selected Richard Cheney, CEO of Halliburton and former Secretary of Defense, to head his Vice-Presidential search committee. In what historians might very well determine to be a crucial turning point in American foreign policy, ranking with the turn from isolationism following Pearl Harbor and the strategy of containment articulated by the Truman Doctrine; Bush selected Cheney himself, as his running mate on the Republican ticket. Following the election Cheney would consolidate his power and surround himself with his allies of the neoconservative movement, flooding the Department of “Defense” with unelected neoconservative ideologues and promoting their long articulated agenda by playing on the fear of the American populace in the wake of 9/11.
Discussing a small cross-section of the neoconservative movement - Vice President Dick Cheney; Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld; Deputy Secretary of Defense from 2001-2005 Paul Wolfowitz; Undersecretary of Defense from 2001-2005 Douglass Feith, who also headed the OSP (Office of Special Planning) in the Pentagon; and Richard Pearle who served on the advisory committee for the Defense Policy Board from 1987-2004 and served as chairman from 2001-2003 – will illustrate who the neoconservatives are, what their philosophy is and how they were able to consolidate power following the September 11 attacks.

Historical Context:

Following World War II, President Harry S. Truman, in March 1947 announced that the US government would provide aid to Turkey and Greece, to prevent the nations from falling under Soviet influence. The doctrine articulated the policy of containment, building a wall of allied nations surrounding the Soviet Union and the Eastern bloc to stop the potential spread of communism. In 1969 Richard Nixon, continuing with the policy of containment, announced that US allies would be responsible to provide the manpower for their defense, however, the US would provide them with economic and military assistance.
The announcement outlined the policies of the Nixon Doctrine, which opened floodgates of aid to Saudi Arabia and Iran among others, whose corrupt leaders used the money to suppress popular uprisings and support their frail support bases through unprecedented military might, all while accumulating billions in personal wealth. The corrupt Middle Eastern dictatorships, armed with stockpiles of American weaponry and state of the art technology not only suppressed domestic threats, but also policed the area for activities that might undermine their US supporters and hence, their own interests.
These “local cops on the beat” were joined by Israel, whose lobby in Washington would evolve synonymously with much of the neoconservative movement, a point to which I will later return. US aid to Israel was dramatic; from 1949 to 1965, US aid to Israel averaged $63 million per year, 5 percent of which was direct military aid; from 1966-1970 the average aid per year had risen to $102 million, 50 percent of which was now military; beginning in 1970, one year after the pronouncement of the Nixon Doctrine, US aid rose dramatically, from 1970- present US aid to Israel per year, averages at $2 billion, two thirds of which is military in nature. Israel’s military has evolved into a high-tech offshore US military base, many commentators note. The awesome, state of the art power allowed Israel to gain military supremacy over the entire region combined, and they used the power to join in policing the region for the US, as well as to hasten their illegal annexation of historic Palestine.
The corrupt and oppressive Middle Eastern regimes violently struck down communist, socialist and nationalist elements throughout society, many of whom were secular. The destruction of various dissenting organizations led to religion, overwhelmingly Islam, becoming the rallying point for the opposition movement. The people became increasingly fundamental and militant in opposition to the decay that had befallen their once great and powerful region. They attributed the decay to the European powers and increasingly the US, who directly funded the harsh dictatorships, against the interests of an overwhelming majority of the population. The fundamentals of Islam stand in sharp contrast to the relatively liberal values of the western world. The rise in fundamentalism was coupled with a rise in militarism, both of which were a reaction to US policy through the 70s and 80s, as it fought so desperately to strangle the Soviet Union.

*(Please note: US policies throughout the Cold War were by no means exclusive to the Middle East, however the neoconservatives became obsessed with the oil-rich region more so than any other in the world.)

By the early 1980s, however, it became increasingly apparent that the Soviet Union was doomed to fail. Opposition to Soviet rule had grown strong throughout the Eastern bloc, and a series of liberal Soviet leaders attempted frail economic reforms toward market capitalism. The Department of Defense, which evolved in the late 1940s to place direct control of the army, navy and air-force under pentagon control, had grown dramatically throughout the Cold War. As the collapse of the Soviet Union became inevitable, commentators and politicians in the US began to talk about a peace dividend, the theory that: following the collapse of the Soviet Union the US would be able to dramatically cut military, hence Department of Defense, spending and reinvest the money into social programs. At the same time a group of ideologues in the pentagon, Richard Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, Douglas Feith and Richard Pearle among countless others began a campaign to assure that no such diversion of funding would take place. They evolved in the Department of Defense of the Reagan administration and although they had a somewhat wide variety of goals, values and ideologies; they formed a cohesive movement to assure that following the collapse of the rival superpower, US hegemony would not only be assured, but would be enforced and preserved by an ever expanding Department of “Defense”.

The End of the Cold War and the Rise of the Neoconservatives:

As the Department of Defense had grown, so too had executive powers, as the entire department was under the Secretary of Defense, the position of whom was directly responsible to, as well as appointed by, the President. Thus, while the neoconservatives in the Department of Defense became increasingly powerful, they still had to act within the limits of the democratically elected president. Their activities throughout the Reagan administration in the Middle East, South American and Indochina, to name only the major cases, came under the guise of a “war on terrorism”. The US Department of Defense and allied regimes used the purported war on terrorism to unleash their own terrorist campaigns throughout the world, drawing condemnation in many instances from such international institutions as the United Nations, the World Court, the International Red Cross and the high contracting parties of the Geneva Conventions. The policies nevertheless, continued throughout the administration of George H. W. Bush (I).
On 11/9, 1989 the Berlin Wall fell, marking the symbolic fall of communism and the emergence of the United States as the world’s sole superpower. Bush I used the opportunity to illustrate the United States grand power, launching a full scale assault on Iraq with 40 days and nights of bombing which permanently destroyed much of Iraq’s infrastructure in a campaign which saw more bombs dropped than all of the conventional bombs dropped on Europe throughout World War II. Middle East historian Robert Frisk estimates that 86,000 Iraqi men, 40,000 women and 32,000 children died as a direct result of the bombing. The US news giant CNN also emerged during the Gulf War, projecting the awesome power of the US arsenal on display to the world. Nevertheless, the massive shelling of Iraq did cause the Iraqi army to retreat from its occupation of Kuwait, and the American attack was treated as liberation. The media and politicians alike were quick to pat one another on the back for their liberation of the Kuwaiti people and their altruistic moral fervor. The peace dividend was forgotten and the US military, under the Bush I and Clinton administrations continued to exert its power, justifying its existence and increased funding by proclaiming itself a peace keeping force throughout the world. It was throughout this period that the neoconservatives in the pentagon began to define their vision for what the post Cold War, US dominated world should look like.

Neoconservative Doctrine:

The first neoconservative document that emerged from the pentagon was the Defense Policy Guidance Paper, which was penned in March 1992 by then Secretary of Defense Richard Cheney, and his Undersecretary of Policy, Paul Wolfowitz. The document said that the post Cold War world would be a new kind of world, with the US as a benevolent world hegemon. Policy then, would focus on preserving the United States newly acquired status and the Department of Defense would work to “deter any nation or group of nations (from challenging) American primacy,” hence, use preemptive force when necessary to protect US interests. The document thus proposed that the US should stop other nations from overturning US political and economic interests as such actions would constitute a threat to US primacy and would therefore warrant retribution. The document also called for the overturn of the principle of multilateralism, toward a unilateral foreign policy which would ultimately end international collectivism – such organizations as the United Nations and the World Court, who would no doubt condemn many of the neoconservative policies, as they later did in the cases of Iraq and Afghanistan. Cheney planned for the document to become official policy, however when it was leaked to the New York Times and subsequently published under the title “U.S. Strategy Plan Calls For Ensuring No Rivals Develop,” it was met with such domestic and international opposition that Cheney and Wolfowitz scrapped the document, playing down their agendas to save face.
The second major neoconservative document on the 1990’s was the Clean Break document, published in June 1996 by the Institute for Advanced Strategic and Political Studies, an Israeli think-tank based in Washington authored by Richard Pearle and Douglass Feith, both of whom simultaneously worked just below the undersecretary of the Department of Defense. The report, entitled “A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm,” dealt primarily with the Middle East, an area vital to the neoconservative plans, not only because of the unprecedented wealth circulated throughout the US economy by it’s virtual monopoly of the regions vital resource, but also because of Israel, the United States most functional offshore military base, whose lobby had become one of the most influential in Washington. The policies were written for Benjamin Netanyahu’s right wing Israeli government and there counterparts in the US Department on Defense. The authors called for a total rebirth of Zionism, and a new Middle East, where US-Israeli power would work to reshape the region and protect mutual interests in the post Cold War world. The four main policy recommendations were as follows: Israel should retain the occupied territories (in violation of international law including UN charters, World Court rulings and Geneva Convention rules for occupying armies), while marginalizing Yasser Arafat and the Palestinian Authority as well as linking them to acts of terrorism, even by their rivals in Hammas; the United States was to shift foreign policy toward the overthrow of Saddam Hussein in Iraq (possibly to be replaced by a relative of King Hussein, the Hashemite king of Jordan and an ally to the US and Israel); the US-Israel alliance should attack and overthrow hostile regimes in Syria and Lebanon; and finally a full “democratization” of the entire Arab world as well as Iran. Although the plans were not directly implemented, they provide insight to the neoconservative movement and their plans, particularly those of Feith and Pearle, who would emerge as key players in the Administration of George W. Bush (Jr.).
The third neoconservative document came in 1997 in the form of two open letters to President Bill Clinton. The letters were followed by the formation of a Washington based think-tank, the Project for the New American Century (PNAC), which became a neoconservative haven. The PNAC reiterated the policy outlined in the Defense Policy Guidance Paper and the Clean Break Document, however the members had become increasingly concerned with Iraq. In one of the open letters dated January 26, 1998 the signatories, including Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz and Richard Pearle, wrote:

"We are writing you because we are convinced that current American policy toward Iraq is not succeeding, and that we may soon face a threat in the Middle East more serious than any we have known since the end of the Cold War."

They claimed that if Saddam were allowed to continue on his present course:

"The safety of American troops in the region, of our friends and allies like Israel and the moderate Arab states, and a significant portion of the world’s supply of oil will all be put at hazard."

They concluded by reiterating calls for unilateralism in foreign policy, as well as describing what would later become the Bush Doctrine, that the United States has the right as a sovereign state to take measures, by military force if necessary, to protect its vital interests:

"We believe the U.S. has the authority under existing UN resolutions to take the necessary steps, including military steps, to protect our vital interests in the Gulf. In any case, American policy cannot continue to be crippled by a misguided insistence on unanimity in the UN Security Council."

The 2000 Presidential Elections: Cheney the Neoconservatives and Implementation:

Anyone who recalls the rhetoric of the Bush administration, leading up to the war with Iraq in 2003 should find the similarities striking. The PNAC outlined what would in fact become official policy under the Bush Administration, a policy of preemption to thwart perceived threats, before they showed up on our doorstep. The remaining problem for the neoconservatives (pre-9/11) was convincing the people of a serious threat to American security.
The members of the PNAC included such men who would become prominent members of the Bush White House as Elliott Abrams – Representative for Middle Eastern Affairs, Richard Arbitrage – Deputy Secretary of State, John Bolton – US Ambassador to the UN, Zalmay Khalilzad – US Ambassador to Iraq, Lewis “scooter” Libby – Chief of Staff for the Vice President, Paul Wolfowitz – Deputy Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld – Secretary of Defense and Richard Cheney – Vice President. The group also included Douglas Feith, who ran the Office of Special Plans (OSP) in the pentagon, described by party moderate and former Secretary of State Colin Powell as the “Gestapo” office because of its separate and unchecked governing authority. The OSP was set up as an intelligence gathering agency, directly under Rumsfeld and Feith, which gathered much of the faulty intelligence that justified the invasion of Iraq. Much of the information has since been proven completely false, as the CIA and other top intelligence gathering agencies had maintained from the start. In addition PNAC members include Jed Bush – Governor of Florida, William Kristol – editor of the conservative publication the Weekly Standard, Richard Pearle – chairman of the Defense Policy Board from 2001-2003, Dan Quayle – former Vice President, Steve Forbes – multi-billionaire and publisher of Forbes Magazine, and Rupert Murdoch – chairman of the neo-fascist (opinion) Fox News Channel.
Before the 2000 elections, very few neoconservatives supported George W. Bush, fearing that “liberal” Republicans in the vein of Secretary of State Colin Powell would continue to dictate foreign policy. The surprise appointment of Richard Cheney as Vice President, however, opened a floodgate of support from the neocon movement, many of whom were rewarded with high-level positions in the administration, as aforementioned. This historical turning point in foreign policy, following the most narrow election win in US history, went from planning to implementation following the September 11 attacks. The culmination of the flood of neoconservative thinkers into the administration and the September 11 attacks - which instilled the fear into the American populace that was necessary to exploit in order to carry out the plans that the neoconservatives had been sketching for nearly a decade – was the pronouncement of the Bush Doctrine in 2002. On September 20, 2002 the Bush Doctrine was officially announced, titled “The National Security Strategy for the United States of America.” The Doctrine outlined policy that would justify preemptive war against potential aggressors. The President declared that the US would make “no distinction between the terrorists who committed these attacks and those who harbor them.” Thus, the intelligence community, especially Feith’s OSP, began fervently looking for ties between Al-Qaeda and Iraq, although most concluded that no such connection existed and that Bin Laden and his organization had long been at odds with, and a threat to, Saddam himself. Nevertheless, the OSP was able to string together partially as well as totally fabricated facts to justify a war, despite overwhelming international condemnation, including that of the United Nations.
It is fascinating to observe the way in which policy that various neoconservatives penned throughout the 1990’s came to be implemented almost to a key. The connection between policy and past implementation does not, however, rival the grave importance of what might happen if neoconservative policy - particularly preemptive attacks and isolation from the international community - is allowed to continue on it's present course.