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Commentary :: Peace & War

And Remember, Honey, Don't Forget the PNAC

Just what, exactly, is PNAC? Some kind of soft drink? A new type of snack? Unfortunately, PNAC affects our well-being much more adversely than could any junk food. To see why, and also for details on other oddball groups with strange agendas of which we should be aware, read on.
"PNAC." As acronyms go, it's pretty clunky. PNAC, as many know by now, stands for "Project for the New American Century," another term that doesn't exactly roll smoothly off the tongue. Such linguistic awkwardness is a bit surprising, really, given that PNAC's founders are typically erudite (probably explaining President Bush's absence from the group). Among its charter members: Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, and Paul Wolfowitz. But, really, now: PNAC?? I discovered, however, after spending a little time on the Internet, that when the subject is loopy groups with weird plans and dumb names, PNAC is not without company. More on that later.

I learned of PNAC's existence shortly after a) hearing Bush's first off-key alarms about Iraq and then, b) mildly exclaiming, "WHAT THE !#*&??" I admit, I'm kind of funny this way--call it a quirk--but I've always kind of figured one should pursue mass murderers where they're located, not thousands of miles away from their actual physical locations. It was clear Saddam Hussein presented no danger to the U.S. and had no link to al-Qaida or 9/11, yet here was Bush suddenly raising the specter of an Iraqi-generated mushroom cloud over Peoria. Then someone suggested I check out PNAC (

I did, and initially thought I鈥檇 come across a bad joke perpetrated by some drunken fraternity that had run out of naked pledges to pyramidally arrange (see "Rush Limbaugh"), but to my amazement I discovered these guys were indeed serious (the Oxycontin problem is apparently a little more widespread than we thought). You see, PNAC unabashedly promotes securing American military global domination 鈥渢o protect American [read: business] interests and principles.鈥? In September 2000, it produced a 90-page blueprint for constructing the ultimate, unchallengeable U.S. war machine. Entitled "Rebuilding America's Forces,鈥? it鈥檚 full of grandiose goodies like: "At present the United States faces no global rival. America's grand strategy should aim to preserve and extend this advantageous position as far into the future as possible." And: "Preserving the desirable strategic situation in which the United States now finds itself requires a globally preeminent military capability both today and in the future." Regarding Hussein and Iraq, PNAC says: 鈥淚ndeed, the United States has for decades sought to play a more permanent role in [Persian] Gulf security. While the unresolved conflict with Iraq provides the immediate justification, the need for a substantial American force presence in the Gulf transcends the issue of the regime of Saddam Hussein.鈥?

Have a gander at one of PNAC's "core missions for U.S. military forces":
路 perform the "constabulary" duties associated with shaping the security environment in critical regions

Can you say 鈥淲orld鈥檚 Policeman,鈥? boys and girls?

And get a load of these babies, what PNAC deems as necessary "to carry out these core missions":
路 Develop and deploy global missile defenses to defend the American homeland and American allies, and to provide a secure basis for U.S. power projection around the world.
路 Control the new "international commons" of space and "cyberspace," and pave the way for the creation of a new military service--U.S. Space Forces--with the mission of space control.

Ah, yes, the old U.S. Space Forces. You know they mean business when they break out the capital letters.

If PNAC is not talking "empire-making," I'd better retake Imperialism 101. Its existence would be inconsequential if its Napoleonic hallucinations weren鈥檛 taken seriously. But they are, of course, and many of PNAC鈥檚 crackpot ideas, including resurrecting 鈥淪tar Wars,鈥? designing 鈥渂aby nukes,鈥? dramatically increasing defense spending, and lest we forget, ousting Hussein, have wormed their way into current American military and foreign policy. And, of course, we all know how rousingly successful that鈥檚 been.

But, again, for many folks, this is old news. So back to my main gripe: Since urging one's 鈥渉omeland鈥? to conquer the planet is fairly important business (now we know where Bush picked up that distinctly un-American word), wouldn't it make sense to give one's group a name more worthy of respect than something that sounds like it belongs on a candy bar or a product designed to help alleviate urinary tract problems? However, as mentioned earlier, several other strangely titled, kooky groups with alliterative kinships to PNAC do exist. To wit:

PNUTS: Programs Needed to Understand Things Spoken
Headquartered in Plains, Georgia, this is a sincere but rather wacky group of folks who organized after going crazy trying to comprehend what was said at the president's last press conference. PNUTS believes, remarkably, that with a little government assistance, some of the president's utterances can actually make sense.

PNUTS has:
路 Pushed for establishing a national fund to reimburse citizens for the cost of therapy sessions typically scheduled by many Americans the day after a Bush press conference (PNUTS says such payments would be disbursed only once annually, at most, should Bush remain in office)
路 Launched in the nation's elementary schools a "No President Is (not Are) Left Behind" letter-writing campaign, with the aim of enlisting thousands of grade school students to write letters to the president containing polite lessons about subject-verb agreement
路 Called for hiring an interpreter for future Bush public appearances, an intensively-trained and highly tolerant individual who can both explain questions by reporters to the president and then his responses
路 Started a website (鈥淏abel Bush鈥?) that will translate into English the words, phrases, and occasional complete sentences spoken by the president (www.bushbabble.huh?)

PNOCHLEHEADS: Promoting the Notion that Obscure Card Hands Eventually Lead Everyone Human to Experience Attitudes Divine and Sacred
This group of politically-active but rather simple-minded pinochle addicts also possesses a somewhat offbeat brand of spirituality that implies there is something transcendentally reforming about the number 48 (the number of cards in a pinochle deck) and makes suggestions for how this belief can help America become a better nation.

PNOCHLEHEADS says it will:
路 Ask Congress to establish as 48 the minimum number of countries needed to join America in any endeavor before such a collection can officially be referred to as a "coalition," and also wants a "no-cheating" clause that excludes a specific list of smallish nations, such as Andorra and Luxembourg
路 Propose scaling back the number of states to 48, eliminating Hawaii by giving it back to the Hawaiians from whom we "annexed" it to make the world safer for American sugar growers, and getting rid of Texas because, well, it's Texas (hey, don't write me; you think I make this stuff up?)
路 Request that the president actually read any speech he is about to give at least 48 hours beforehand and ask of his advisors any pertinent questions he may have, such as: "Is this true?"

PNYC (pronounced 'pee-nyuck'): the President is Not Yet Curly
The president sure has gotten the sparse dander up of this group of impassioned Curly lovers, all of whom honor their 鈥渕ane Stooge" by sporting Curly 'dos. Agreeing that Jerome Howard, the original Curly, was hands-down-and-fingers-in-the-eye best (although all Curlies hold special places in their slapstick-loving hearts), PNYC was formed to vigorously defend against what is seen as an unscrupulous effort by Bush to usurp Curly鈥檚 unique place in the pantheon of history's greatest knuckleheads.

Among other actions, PNYC has:
路 Produced a white paper that explains why, even though the president is undoubtedly a stooge, he can never be a Stooge, let alone one matching Curly's stature, and concludes by dismissing Bush as a 鈥淐urly wannabe鈥? and his dream of attaining true Stoogehood as 鈥減ie in the eye鈥?
路 Issued a press release declaring that Bush鈥檚 repeated, strained attempts at Stoogespeak, in full display at his last press conference, are simply no match for the professionally constructed and expertly timed 鈥淲hy, I oughta鈥︹?s and 鈥淥h, a wise guy, eh?鈥?s flawlessly delivered countless times by Curly, Larry, and Moe
路 Scheduled forums across the land, moderated by America鈥檚 leading Stooge-ologists, that show convincing, frame-by-frame video/film comparisons of Bush and Curly in action that leave little doubt as to who is the true master of woo-woo-woos
路 Excitedly announced the recent discovery of a long-rumored, unreleased, anomalous but side-splitting episode in which Curly plays the President of the United States, and leads the world into a period of unparalleled peace and prosperity after taking advantage of the amazing sympathy and cooperation offered by nations everywhere in the wake of an unprecedented American national tragedy

PNAL: Pious No-nonsense Ashcroft Lovers
Talk about a bunch of loonies: PNAL is comprised of moralizing, fanatical, born-again fundamentalists who think the Son rises and falls with Attorney General John Ashcroft, for whom they are inexplicably unrelenting in their adoration and praise. When a PNAL spokesman was reminded of the group鈥檚 motto, 鈥淲WJD,鈥? and then asked what Jesus might think of such unabashed exaltation of a mere human being, PNAL鈥檚 spokesman said, 鈥淲hat Jesus??? The 鈥楯鈥 stands for John, pagan scribe.鈥?

PNAL wants:
路 A constitutional amendment that would render the Constitution invalid, assign sole responsibility of establishing and interpreting federal law to Ashcroft, and empower him to appoint his successor (PNAL says that 鈥渋n a nod to religious tolerance, the successor can be of any faith, as long as it鈥檚 Christian鈥?)
路 The federal death penalty statute expanded and summarily applied to terminally-ill, medical marijuana users caught in any of Ashcroft鈥檚 well-publicized reefer raids; PNAL explains that 鈥渢hese heathen hopheads are going to die anyway鈥攚hy not help them along, get rid of sinners, and save taxpayers a few dollars all in one, bold stroke?鈥?
路 To reform national election laws to preclude votes being cast for recently-deceased candidates, ostensibly to "shield the grieving families from unnecessary pain鈥? (oddly enough, being defeated by a dead man is a scenario with which Ashcroft is embarrassingly familiar, having lost his Missouri Senate seat in 2000 to Governor Mel Carnahan who was killed in a plane crash prior to the election)

PNIS: Prominent Neoconservatives for Increased Size
Putting the organ into organization, PNIS members apparently are not quite as prominent as perhaps they鈥檇 like. I discovered that many PNIS boosters also belong to both PNAC and the Society of Men Avidly Liking Mega Enormous Awesome Trucks (SMALMEAT), which, for some reason, does not surprise me. PNIS boasts about its growing size and gushes it 鈥渨ill go to great lengths鈥? to achieve its goals.

Obviously, PNIS leans far to the right, and points toward:
路 Federal legislation that requires all rulers, tape measures, and yardsticks to start out at six inches
路 Stiff fines for anyone who 鈥渁buses the appellation of any male named Richard,鈥? a proposal put forward by Vice President Dick Cheney, the chairman of the group鈥檚 board of directors (in other words, the PNIS head)
路 Wide distribution of its recently compiled 90-page report: (oddly-titled, given PNIS aims): 鈥淪ize Absolutely, Positively Does Not Matter鈥?
路 Wider acceptance still of its overall philosophy, 鈥淧acks Americana鈥?

OK, I鈥檝e a shocking confession to make: Believe it or not, I actually DID make up all of this stuff, except for the PNAC information. (I herewith apologize for my crack about Texas to everyone鈥攚ell, almost everyone鈥攚ho hails from the great Lone Star State).* To me, however, what is most shocking is that the one group that really exists among those named is also the one that is the most unreal and whose members are most removed from reality. I mean, come on, U.S. Space Forces? Earth to PNAC: You have a problem, and thus, we have many. If only you were a goofy figment of someone鈥檚 fevered imagination, instead of a knot of puffed-up brainiacs whose incestuous intellectualism has had undue sway on world events, causing misery for many. As if this weren鈥檛 bad enough, you have also given yourselves a really stupid name.

So, then, back to my main complaint: PNAC鈥檚 awkward moniker. I have taken the liberty to come up with something more fitting for these fantastical folks, and in light of PNAC鈥檚 hideous track record of heavy influence on America鈥檚 currently mad foreign policy, I believe I鈥檝e constructed a more appropriate title. I propose that, henceforth, the Project for the New American Century be known as 鈥淚mperialistic Neoconservatives Sparking All-around Nastiness on Earth,鈥? so its acronym, when used, will clearly identify this nutty clutch of warped, soulless ideologues for what they truly are.

*I also apologize to my loyal readers for the cheap PNIS jokes; I must have either doubled up on my meds that day or neglected them altogether. In an attempt, though, to re-establish and uphold this quasi column鈥檚 鈥渃onsistently high journalistic standards鈥? often cited by鈥攚ell, no one, just yet, but you never know鈥擨 will do my utmost in the future to keep it clean. I penis--I mean, promise.

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