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Why war?

Ask a visiting 'neocon'

Something different is coming to the region – an insider view of the Iraq war, from a top “neoconservative” hawk who helped start the conflict.

William Kristol, a founder of the Project for the New American Century – which began advocating an invasion of Iraq in the 1990s – is slated at 6:30 p.m. April 16 in the University of Charleston Speaker Series sponsored by Dow Chemical.

Kristol is a longtime ally of Bush Republicans such as Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle, Lewis “Scooter” Libby, Elliott Abrams, Douglas Feith, David Wurmser and others who called themselves “neoconservatives.” Perle, Feith and Wurmser worked to protect Israel from Arab neighbors, urging preemptive military attacks.

In the 1980s, Kristol was a top aide to Vice President Dan Quayle and Education Secretary William Bennett. In 1995, he started the right-wing Weekly Standard magazine in Washington. In 1997, he led other GOP colleagues in co-founding PNAC, which advocated using America’s new role as the sole superpower to enforce U.S. military, economic and political dominance around the world. PNAC endorsed preventive wars.

Kristol also was paid $100,000 as a consultant to the corrupt Enron Corporation that collapsed into criminal prosecutions.

While Republicans were out of power in the 1990s, PNAC repeatedly urged a U.S. attack on Iraq. After George W. Bush won the White House in 2000, several PNAC figures were given top administration posts. Immediately, private efforts for an Iraq invasion began.

After the 9/11 suicide strike by fanatics roused American patriotism, the White House called for war on Iraq, although the little country had no connection to 9/11. The president based the war on four claims: that Iraq possessed horror weapons, that Iraq was in league with Islamic terrorists, that Iraq’s people would greet U.S. troops as liberators, and that Iraq’s oil wealth would pay America’s military costs.

All the claims turned out to be untrue, and the war became a historic tragedy. To this day, Americans don’t know why Bush insisted on attacking Iraq.

When Kristol arrives for his West Virginia speech, we hope he reveals the real reasons why his neoconservative group and the White House pushed America into the Iraq war.

Was it to gain control of Iraq’s oil reserves?

Was it to protect Israel?

Was it to complete Bush’s father’s old vendetta against dictator Saddam Hussein?

Was it to implant permanent U.S. military bases in Iraq, in keeping with PNAC’s agenda to use America’s armed might for worldwide sway, ushering in the “new American century”?

It will be enlightening if the speaker answers this nagging puzzle.

– The Charleston (W.Va.) Gazette

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