Wednesday, December 07, 2005

PNAC Sucks, Part II

What do the following people have in common?

Elliott Abrams, Roger Barnett, Gary Bauer, William J. Bennett, Alvin Bernstein, Jeb Bush, Steven Cambone, Dick Cheney, Eliot A. Cohen, Dvn Gaffney Cross, Midge Decter, Paula Dobriansky, Thomas Donnelly, David Epstein, David Fautuna, Steve Forbes, Aaron Friedberg, Francis Fukuyama, Frank Gaffney, Dan Goure, Fred C. Ikle, Donald Kagan, Fred Kagan, Robert Kagan, Zalmay Khalilzad, Robert Killebrew, William Kristol, Mark Lagon, James Lasswell, I. Lewis Libby, Robert Martinage, Phil Meilinger, Phil Meilinger, Norman Podhoretz, Dan Quayle, Peter W. Rodman, Stephen P. Rosen, Henry S. Rowen, Donald Rumsfeld, Gary Schmitt, Abram Shulsky, Michael Vickers, Barry Watts, Vin Weber, George Weigel, Paul Wolfowitz, Dov Zakheim

In addition to being persons in positions of power, they all are morally bankrupt.  Each one either wrote, or contributed to the document, Rebuilding America's Defenses (PDF link), or signed the Statement of Principles for the Project for the New American Century ().

PNAC is a so-called think tank, that describes itself thus:
Established in the spring of 1997, the Project for the New American Century is a non-profit, educational organization whose goal is to promote American global leadership. The Project is an initiative of the New Citizenship Project (501c3); the New Citizenship Project's chairman is William Kristol and its president is Gary Schmitt.
Remember Jeb Bush getting all morally high-roadish about Terri Schiavo?  Now tell me, what kind of morality would enable someone to sign off on this:
And advanced forms of biological warfare that can “target” specific genotypes may transform biological warfare from the realm of terror to a politically useful tool.
That is at the bottom of the right-hand column of page 60 (page 72 of the PDF) of Rebuilding America's Defenses.  I notice that they do not come right out and say that they advocate the development of such weapons, so perhaps I am reading too much into this; however, it is a chilling statement, regardless of the intent.  It is very much like someone mentioning, casually, that someday genocide might become "politically useful."  Although it may not amount to an overt endorsement of an atrocity, it implies a covert acceptance.  

Furthermore, the notion of genotype-specific biowarfare is extremely far-fetched from a scientific point of view.  If such a thing were to become feasible, the USA would be extremely vulnerable, due to the diversity of its population.  We would be the last nation on Earth that could make use of such a weapon (unless we decide that a certain portion of our population is expendable).  And then there is this little thing called mutation.  In order to be effective as a weapon, a microbe has to have a long enough incubation period, so that infected persons can spread it around before they die.  During that time, mutations will occur.  Anyone who thinks they can design a microbe that will be an effective weapon, and that it can be guaranteed to not mutate to spread to other populations, is  seriously deficient in scientific knowledge.  Trying to rely an a vaccine to protect your own population would be equally foolish.  

One commentator has remarked:
If not already implemented Congress should enact a law stating that any research into genotype specific weaponry must only be conducted with a goal towards developing a defense against such weapons and that the research be conducted only with strict Congressional oversight. At the same time America should go to the world and attempt to get a similar formal ban enacted via treaty.
This is a good sentiment, but does not go far enough.  There is no way to research defense against such weapons, without advancing the development of such weapon.  But I assume that current prohibitions on the development of biological warfare in general, would also cover this specific kind of research.  Even so, making the prohibition explicit in this area would not hurt, and may close some kind of unforeseen loophole.  

Another point: how is this for a moral high road?
Consider just the potential changes that might effect the infantryman. Future soldiers may operate in encapsulated, climate-controlled, powered fighting suits, laced with sensors, and boasting chameleonlike “active” camouflage. “Skin-patch” pharmaceuticals help regulate fears, focus concentration and enhance endurance and strength.
We spend over 45 billion dollars per year on the war on drugs, presumably due to the notion that it is immoral for people to use mind-altering drugs...but it's OK to use them to enhance your ability to kill people?

As an amusing aside, you may want to view this short video clip, for a bit of comic relief from this dreadful subject.

Personally, I think that the members of PNAC have already developed encapsulated, climate-controlled suits, and they wear them all the time.  It protects them from that nasty environment known as reality.

(Note: The Rest of the Story/Corpus Callosum has moved. Visit the new site here.)
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