propaganda initiative

They're Back:

Neo-Cons Revive the Committee on the Present Danger *

21 July 2004, Jim Lobe, Foreign Policy in Focus


A bipartisan group of 41 mainly neoconservative foreign-policy hawks has launched the latest incarnation of the Committee on the Present Danger (CPD), whose previous two incarnations mobilized public support for rolling back Soviet-led communism but whose new enemy will be “global terrorism.”

The new group, whose formation was announced at a Capitol Hill press conference July 20, said its “single mission” will be to “advocate policies intended to win the war on global terrorism- terrorism carried out by radical Islamists opposed to freedom and democracy.”

“The Committee intends to remain active until the present danger is no longer a threat, however long that takes,” said CPD chairman R. James Woolsey, who served briefly as former President Bill Clinton’s Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) director and has often referred to the battle against radical Islam as “World War IV.”

Woolsey appeared with Senators Joseph Lieberman, a neoconservative Democrat who was former Vice President Al Gore’s running-mate in 2000, and John Kyl, a Republican from Arizona with strong connections to the Christian Right. In a joint column published July 20 in the Washington Post, the two senators argued, “Too many people are insufficiently aware of our enemy’s evil worldwide designs, which include waging jihad against all Americans and reestablishing a totalitarian religious empire in the Middle East.”

“The past struggle against communism was, in some ways, different from the current war against Islamist terrorism,” the two men wrote, evoking the two past CPDs. “But...the national and international solidarity needed to prevail over both enemies is...the same. In fact, the world war against Islamic terrorism is the test of our time.”

At the press conference later, Lieberman said the purpose of the new group was “to form a bipartisan citizens’ army, which is ready to fight a war of ideas against our Islamist terrorist enemies, and to send a clear signal that their strategy to deceive, demoralize and divide America will not succeed.”

The two senators also claimed that the new CPD consists of “citizens of diverse political persuasions,” although the vast majority of the 41 members are well-known neoconservatives who have strongly helped lead the drive to war in Iraq and have long supported broadening President George W. Bush’s “war on terrorism” to include Iran, Syria, and Saudi Arabia, as well.

Prominently represented are fellows from the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), such as former UN Ambassador Jeanne Kirkpatrick, Joshua Muravchik, Laurie Mylroie, Danielle Pletka, Michael Rubin, and Ben Wattenberg; from Pentagon chief Donald Rumsfeld’s Defense Policy Board (DPB), such as Kenneth Adelman, Newt Gingrich, and Woolsey himself; and from the Center for Security Policy (CSP), such as its president, Frank Gaffney, Charles Kupperman, William Van Cleave, and Dov Zakheim, who just stepped down as an Undersecretary of Defense under Rumsfeld.

Board members or fellows of several other right-wing or mainly neoconservative think tanks have also joined the new CPD, including the Heritage Foundation, the Hoover Institution, the Manhattan Institute, Freedom House, the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, the former Committee to Liberate Iraq, the National Institute for Public Policy, and the Americans for Victory Over Terrorism.

The majority of members are associated with policy statements by the Project for the New American Century (PNAC) whose charter members in 1997 included Rumsfeld, Vice President Dick Cheney and a number of other men and women who have pushed for hawkish positions on the Middle East and China, particularly from their perches at senior levels in the Bush administration.

* funded by "a diverse group of individual philanthropists."

Update from Laura Rozen: "And who funds the FDD? The financial backers include Jewish World Congress president Edgar Bronfman Sr. and Charles & Andrea Bronfman of the Seagram beverage fortune; Bernard Marcus, the founder of Home Depot; Leonard Abramson of US Healthcare, the Judy and Michael Steinhardt Foundation, Dalck Feith, the father of undersecretary of defense for Policy Douglas J. Feith, and the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, among others, many of them associated with philanthropy on behalf of Jewish causes.

A November 2003 article by Daniel McCarthy in the American Conservative states that the FDD was the second name given to an organization created in early 2001, when "a tightly knit group of billionaire philanthropists conceived of a plan to win American sympathy for Israel's response to the Palestinian intifada," and to bolster Israel's American public relations."

The Present Danger: Neocons attempt a comeback
23 July 2004, Justin Raimondo,


The reincarnated CPD was set up to stem the rising tide of antiwar sentiment in this country, which is finally taking on dimensions previously reached in Europe and throughout the Middle East. In their op-ed piece announcing the formation of CPD-3, Senators Kyl and Lieberman sound the alarm:

"The leaders of the Democratic and Republican parties have so far stood firm in their commitment to finish the job in Iraq and to fight to victory the war on terrorism. But that bipartisan consensus is coming under growing public pressure and could fray in the months ahead.

"Although the tide is turning in the war on terrorism, a political undertow in this country could wash out our recent gains. We must not let this happen."

That "undertow" is the growing realization that the real war – not the one George W. Bush declared was "over," but the guerrilla war now raging in Iraq against the Anglo-American occupation – is just as unwinnable as Israel's longstanding struggle to subdue the Palestinians – and for the same reasons. The war, instead of blocking bin Laden's plan for a Middle Eastern "caliphate," is bringing that mad dream closer to reality, as is being pointed out by a growing number of military and intelligence figures, as well as academic experts. The majority of Americans now believe that invading Iraq wasn't worth it, and we are fast approaching the day when that majority reaches the logical conclusion that we ought to get out of the occupation business entirely.

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