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What links Lieberman, McCain, Gingrich, Perle, Kristol, and Hoffa?

Senators Joe Lieberman and John McCain aren't merely "hawkish"; as "Honorary Co-Chairmen" of a pre-Iraq-war spin machine called The Committee for the Liberation of Iraq, they were leading cheerleaders for a war that now threatens to mushroom out of all control--unless we remove the Liebermans, McCains, and their fellow war cheerleaders from our U.S. Congress.

Senators Joe Lieberman and John McCain aren't merely "hawkish."

In the fall of 2002, when the administration began its "marketing" campaign to sell the public on the "need" to attack Iraq, a group of mostly-neoconservative D.C. heavyweights created The Committee for the Liberation of Iraq (CLI) to help shape the sales pitch.

The Committee's Advisory Board was chaired by George Shultz, of San Francisco-based war contractor Bechtel fame.

The Advisory Board's "Honorary Co-Chairmen" were Joe Lieberman and John McCain.

And what an Advisory Board it was!

Members included Newt Gingrich (who's now busy marketing the Iraq war's pre-planned next phase, affectionately referred to as "World War 3"), James P. Hoffa (the Teamsters' top guy), former Senator Robert Kerrey, Robert Kagan (a founder of the neocon Project for the New American Century, or PNAC), William Kristol (head of PNAC, frequent commentator on Fox News, and Editor of the Rupert Murdoch-backed neocon "Weekly Standard" magazine), R. James Woolsey (former CIA head), Danielle Pletka (of the American Enterprise Institute, who's busy, busy, busy these days as an on-air cheerleader for Israel's activities in Lebanon), and Richard Perle (whose nickname, reportedly, is "The Prince of Darkness").

Given the current activities in Israel and Lebanon, Mr. Perle deserves special attention.

Perle was the lead author of a mid-1990s policy paper for the Israeli Prime Minister recommending that Israel preemptively remove Saddam Hussein from power, among other international objectives. This paper, "A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm," calls for "reestablishing the principle of preemption, rather than retaliation alone." It calls for "engaging Hizballah, Syria, and Iran, as the principal agents of aggression in Lebanon." It also recommends sweeping pro-privatization, pro-corporatist changes in Israel's economy, to help solve the Israeli economy's "large problem" created by 70 years of "Labor Zionism." It recommends ways Israel can market its new policies to the US public and Congress "by tapping into themes of American administrations during the Cold War which apply well to Israel." And it even makes special mention of Newt Gingrich.

(You can read the whole paper at  http://www.iasps.org/strat1.htm; a few more quotes are attached below.)

But Lieberman's and McCain's role as war cheerleaders predates 2002 and the CLI. According to Lieberman's current campaign website, "Senator Lieberman served as lead Democratic cosponsor of the 1991 Gulf War Resolution. In 1998, he teamed up with Senator John McCain (R-AZ) to enact the Iraq Liberation Act, which stated that regime change in Iraq was U.S. policy. And in the fall of 2002, Senator Lieberman was a lead sponsor of a resolution authorizing the President to use force, if necessary, to disarm Saddam." (See  http://lieberman.senate.gov/issues/security.cfm)

Sadly, you can't study the website of The Committee for the Liberation of Iraq, because once the long-sought Iraq war was underway, the website,  http://www.liberationiraq.org, was removed from the Internet.

But the Internet Archive--"the wayback machine"--did preserve some of the Committee's web pages, including the Mission Statement page ( http://web.archive.org/web/20030211230634/http://www.liberationiraq.org/) and the Advisory Board page ( http://web.archive.org/web/20030211230634/http://www.liberationiraq.org/) and the Advisory Board page ( link to web.archive.org)

The Mission Statement says the Committee will "engage in educational and advocacy efforts to mobilize US and international support for policies aimed at ending the aggression of Saddam Hussein and freeing the Iraqi people from tyranny."

Ah, freedom!

The Washington Post's Peter Slevin offered a different take. In his article "New Group Aims to Drum Up Backing for Ouster," Slevin wrote "At a time when polls suggest declining enthusiasm for a U.S.-led military assault on Hussein, top officials will be urging opinion makers to focus on Hussein's actions in response to the United Nations resolution on weapons inspections--and on his past and present failings. They AIM TO REGAIN MOMENTUM and PREPARE THE POLITICAL GROUND FOR HIS FORCIBLE OUSTER, IF NECESSARY." (Washington Post, November 4, 2002, as quoted in the 2003 book "Weapons of Mass Deception: The Uses of Propaganda in Bush's War on Iraq" by Sheldon Rampton and John Stauber of The Center for Media & Democracy,  http://www.prwatch.org. The quote is in a chapter titled "War is Sell," in a section titled "The Committee for the Invasion of Iraq.")

Rampton and Stauber's book is proof that word travels fast in the Internet age. It was in bookstores in mid-summer, 2003; it references news stories as recent as June or July, 2003; and it documents just how many lies were told--and how carefully orchestrated was the propaganda--in the months before "Shock and Awe" began. It's essential reading right now, as the same tactics are being used right now to drag the world into ever greater destruction and chaos.

So Lieberman and McCain and their neocon pals got the war they dreamed of.

Organizations much like the CLI are already in place to "market" war against Iran (see  link to www.sourcewatch.org) and who knows how many other countries.

And if war is sell, history may show that Lieberman and McCain were truly "Salesmen of the Century."

(If you've had enough of the war and enough of the salesmen, consider volunteering for or donating to Lieberman's challengers in Connecticut and, when appropriate, to McCain's challengers in Arizona. The Connecticut Democratic primary is just a couple of weeks away, and Lieberman's challenger is Ned Lamont. Lamont's website is  http://www.nedlamont.com/)

More quotes from "A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm":

"Syria challenges Israel on Lebanese soil. An effective approach, and one with which American can sympathize, would be if Israel seized the strategic initiative along its northern borders by engaging Hizballah, Syria, and Iran, as the principal agents of aggression in Lebanon..."

"Israel can become self-reliant only by, in a bold stroke rather than in increments, liberalizing its economy, cutting taxes, relegislating a free-processing zone, and selling-off public lands and enterprises moves which will electrify and find support from a broad bipartisan spectrum of key pro-Israeli Congressional leaders, including Speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich."

"To anticipate U.S. reactions and plan ways to manage and constrain those reactions, Prime Minister Netanyahu can formulate the policies and stress themes he favors in language familiar to the Americans by tapping into themes of American administrations during the Cold War which apply well to Israel."