"In his Jan. 2001 State of the Union address, President George W. Bush announced that the primary U.S. objective in Iraq was 'regime change,' not destroying weapons of mass destruction, which became the main justification for ousting Saddam. Bush made it clear he would no longer negotiate with Baghdad when he included Iraq in the 'axis of evil' along with Iran and North Korea." AlterNet, 25 November 2003.
The Fighting Words: An Iraq War Glossary says that regime change is "A polite term for the overthrow of a government."
According to Neil Mackay, writing September 15, 2002, in The Sunday Herald (online), "A secret blueprint for US global domination reveals that President Bush and his cabinet were planning a premeditated attack on Iraq to secure 'regime change' even before he took power in January 2001.
The blueprint, uncovered by the Sunday Herald, for the creation of a 'global Pax Americana' was drawn up for Dick Cheney (now vice- president), Donald Rumsfeld (defence secretary), Paul Dundes Wolfowitz (Rumsfeld's deputy), George W. Bush's younger brother Jeb Bush and I. Lewis Libby (Cheney's chief of staff). The document, entitled Rebuilding America's Defences: Strategies, Forces And Resources For A New Century, was written in September 2000 by the neo-conservative think tank Project for the New American Century (PNAC)."
On November 7, 2002, in part three of a five-part series, the Online Journal published Larry Chin's "The deep politics of regime removal in Iraq: Overt conquest, covert operations: The US war lobby and the disciples of NSC-68."
Chin writes that the "roots of the George W. Bush administration's policy for Iraq regime change can be traced to strategies formulated since the early 1990s by a small network of inveterate Cold Warriors linked by philosophical lineage and war-intelligence policy collaborations." Chin continues by saying that "this tightly-knit cabal stretches across the current and previous White Houses, the State Department, the CIA, the National Security Council, the boards of neo-conservative think tanks and the boards of transnational corporations (including Washington-linked energy and war-technology companies). Virtually all of the players are members of elite planning bodies, such as the Council on Foreign Relations. Many of them are indicted criminals--five individuals were direct participants in the Iran-Contra operation.
"All have, over the course of their intertwined careers, advocated imperialist policies involving 1) preemptive wars, 2) the conquest of Iraq and Iran, and the breakup of Saudi Arabia, 3) hard-line support of Israel, Ariel Sharon and the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), and 5) the encirclement and containment of Russia and China."
Chin lists documents, organizations, and related individuals in support of his thesis. (See article for lists of names and full details.):
- 1992 Pentagon Defense Planning Guidance, which he says is "one of the first official regime removal plans, prepared for then-Defense Secretary Dick Cheney by his two assistants": Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz and I. Lewis Libby.
- The February 19, 1998, "Open Letter" to President Bill Clinton which, Chin says, "formed the basis of the Iraq Liberation Act of 1998 and called "for an insurrection, and recognition of the (CIA-backed) Iraqi National Congress as the official government of Iraq, was spearheaded by Ahmed Chalabi of the INC."
- The Iraq Liberation Act of 1998 itself, which "was promoted in Congress by R. James Woolsey, Jr., Duane R. Clarridge, and now-Deputy National Security Advisor for Counter-terrorism Wayne Downing." The act, he adds, "passed Congress and was signed by Clinton, with scant attention from the public at large."
- The George W. Bush "foreign policy team [was] selected ... In the summer of 1998, in meetings arranged by former President George Herbert Walker Bush in Kennebunkport, Maine, and headed by Condoleezza Rice." Other leading members were both Wolfowitz and Richard N. Perle.
- The "civilian advisory" Defense Policy Board that "makes Pentagon policy 'recommendations' to the Defense Department (i.e. Donald Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz and Douglas Feith, among others).
- Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) at Johns Hopkins University.
- Project for the New American Century "published a plan for toppling Iraq in 2000 based on the Wolfowitz-Cheney-Libby 1992 Defense Planning Guidance."
- Center for Security Policy (CSP).
- Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), with board members Chin describes as "a cross-section of the most hawkish members of the Iraq war lobby, along with more 'diplomacy-oriented' former officials."
- President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board (PFIAB).
- US-Azerbaijan Chamber of Commerce. Chin says, "As documented by Professor Michel Chossudovsky in War and Globalisation, the GUUAM (Georgia, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan, Moldava) alliance formed by NATO in 1999 sits at the hub of Caspian oil and gas wealth. Central to the GUUAM is the US client-state of Azerbaijan. Its Chamber of Commerce reads like a 9/11/Iraq War 'who's who'."
However, at the head of the long list of events and key individuals leading to the call for regime change, Chin identifies the "1950 NSC Memorandum 68, written by Paul H. Nitze (for then-Secretary of State Dean Acheson), [as] the policy basis of the Cold War. Every successive US administration has implemented hard-line policies that can be directly traced to NSC-68, which calls for the destruction of the Soviet Union and unrivaled US military power."
Also see the other four parts to Larry Chin's series "The deep politics of regime removal in Iraq: Overt conquest, covert operations" published by Online Journal:
- Part One: Into the Abyss, October 24, 2002.
- Part Two: The CIA and the Iraqi/Kurd opposition groups, October 31, 2002.
- Part Four: The unfinished business between Saddam Hussein and George H.W. Bush, November 14, 2002.
- Part Five: The American Empire and business of Iraq (Series conclusion), November 21, 2002.
- "By echoing the "regime change" line popular with hundreds of thousands of antiwar protesters who have demonstrated across the nation in recent weeks, the Massachusetts senator and Democratic presidential contender seemed to be reaching out to a newly invigorated constituency as rival Howard Dean, the former governor of Vermont and a vocal opponent of the war in Iraq, closes in on Kerry in opinion polls."
- "I am very hopeful that people will wake up and realize that they have been led down the garden path, that actually 11 September has been hijacked by a bunch of extremists to put into effect policies that they were advocating before such as the invasion of Iraq.'"
- "Mr Soros added that there was a 'false ideology' behind the policies of the Bush administration. ... 'There is a group of - I would call them extremists - who have the following belief: that international relations are relations of power, not of law, that international law will always follow what power has achieved,' he said. ... 'And therefore [they believe] the United States being the most powerful nation on earth should impose its power, impose its will and its interests on the world and it should do it looking after itself. ... I think this is a very dangerous ideology. It is very dangerous because America is in fact very powerful.' ... He added that he felt US actions in the build-up to the war on Iraq was evidence of an extremist element in the Bush administration."
Related SourceWatch Resources
- Bush doctrine
- Bush regime
- capture of Saddam Hussein
- democratic revolution
- Eisenhower doctrine
- global insurgency for change
- Operation Enduring Freedom
- Operation Iraqi Freedom
- Post-war Iraq
- Reagan doctrine
- regime change in Syria
- Truman doctrine
- War on terrorism
- regime change: (ruh.ZHEEM chaynj) n. An ironic reference to a change of leadership, particularly in business, politics, or sports, wordspy.com.
- Sandy Tolan and Jason Felch, "Beyond Regime Change," Los Angeles Times, December 1, 2002.
- Peter Ford, "Regime change. A look at Washington's methods - and degrees of success - in dislodging foreign leaders," Christian Science Monitor, January 27, 2003.
- "Origins of Regime Change in Iraq," Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, March 19, 2003: "Long before September 11, before the first inspections in Iraq had started, a small group of influential officials and experts in Washington were calling for regime change in Iraq. Some never wanted to end the 1991 war. Many are now administration officials. Their organization, dedication and brilliance offer much to admire, even for those who disagree with the policies they advocate."
- Ed Vulliamy and Kamal Ahmed, "US begins the process of 'regime change'," The Guardian (UK), April 6, 2003.
- Justin Raimondo, "Regime Change Roulette. Which Middle Eastern country is next on the War Party's agenda?" Antiwar.com, May 19, 2003.
- Jonathan Steele, "Regime change, the prequel. In 1983, the US 'pre-emptively' invaded Grenada. Sound familiar?" The Guardian (UK), October 11, 2003.
- Ehsan Ahrari, "When regime change meets reality," Asia Times, December 13, 2003: "A funny thing happened to President George W. Bush's policy of regime change in Iraq. It had the sobering experience of bumping into a strange creature in Iraq called reality. That experience may also be depicted as the Middle Eastern version of 'shock and awe', except this time the United States was on the receiving end. ... Result: Washington is presently conducting a hardnosed reassessment of that policy, especially concerning Iran. There is no suggestion that as a result of that review the option of regime change will be abandoned. Rather, I would argue that option has been placed in abeyance pending the outcome of three developments: the outcome of the US involvement in Iraq, Afghanistan and the impending (U.S. presidential election, 2004). However, the neo-conservatives in Washington are not too happy about the current pause involving Iran, and they are going public in airing their discontent."
- Kenneth Katzman, "Iraq: U.S. Regime Change Efforts and Post-Saddam Governance," Congressional Research Service, November 18, 2003 (update). Note: Report was completed before the capture of Saddam Hussein on December 13/14, 2003.
- Noam Chomsky, "Dictators R Us," AlterNet, December 21, 2003: "Such practices reflect a trap deeply rooted in the intellectual culture generally - a trap sometimes called the doctrine of change of course, invoked in the United States every two or three years. The content of the doctrine is: 'Yes, in the past we did some wrong things because of innocence or inadvertence. But now that's all over, so let's not waste anymore time on this boring, stale stuff.'"
- Faiz Shakir, "Neoconservatives Gather To Applaud Scooter Libby And Ponder Next Targets For Regime Change," Think Progress, May 17, 2007.