Something something 9-11, mumble mumble 9-11, hamana hamana 9-11, gurgle gurgle 9-11, yada yada yada yada 9-11.
Who needs an exit strategy if you never plan to leave? The neoconservatives cooked the Iraq invasion up in the 90s for the express purpose of grabbing control of Iraqi oil and erecting a permanent military base of operations in the geographic heart of the Middle East. No sense building a military base of operations if you're not going to keep your military in it, is there?
Just who are these neoconservative people and how did they drive an entire country into a misguided war? As Jim Lobe wrote for AlterNet in 2003, "The neoconservatives do not represent a political movement, [but are] a small, tighly-knit clan whose incestuous familial and personal connections, both within and outside the Bush administration, have allowed them grab control of the future of American foreign policy."
Lobe's article constructs the basic neocon family tree, starting with Irving Kristol--"the Godfather of neoconservatism"--to his son Bill, editor of the Rupert Murdoch owned Weekly Standard and founder of the Project for the New American Century. Lobe describes the PNAC as the "front group which cemented the powerful alliance between right-wing Republicans like Dick Cheney and Don Rumsfeld, Christian and Catholic Right leaders like Gary Bauer and William Bennett, and the neocons behind a platform of global U.S. military dominance."
Richard Perle is one of Papa Irving's most prominent disciples. "Perle himself married into neocon royalty when he wed the daughter of his professor at the University of Chicago, the late Alfred Wohlstetter -- the man who helped both his son-in-law and his fellow student Paul Wolfowitz get their start in Washington more than 30 years ago."
The list goes on. The scholarly Kagans--Donald, Bob, and Frederick--who "have written reams of columns warning that the currently ballooning Pentagon budget is simply not enough to fund the much-desired vision of U.S. global supremacy."
Eliot Abrams, Norman Podhoretz, Jean Kirkpatrick, Richard Pipes and his son Daniel...
Take a look at the names at the PNAC web site--which include Steve Forbes, Fred Ikle, Dan Quayle, John Bolton, and Jeb Bush--do a little math, and you come up with a core group of about fifty people. Fifty or so people who dream of turning America into a theocratic oligarchy that maintains a perpetual state of war, and are getting away with it.