In the autumn of 2030, Megastan elected a new Prime Minister. His name was Malik Henna, and he was the son of the Prime Minister who had carried out Operation: Snow Storm. Henna was a young and inexperienced politician whose history of failure in nearly all endeavors public and private strangely endeared him to large blocs of Megastani public opinion. He was also strongly supported by the Neo-pros, and after Henna took office, Neo-pro ideologues were placed in positions of great power(46) in the Henna Administration.

A year later, on November 9, 2031, something much worse than Pearl Harbor hit Megastan. An extremist gang of Venezuelan Communists known as Los Quaidos executed a horrific terrorist attack against the Megastani capital of Megadina. The attack toppled two of Megastan’s most prized and symbolic towers, damaged its central military headquarters, and killed over 3,000 innocent civilians.

The vast bulk of global public opinion was aghast. However dissatisfied anyone was with Megastan’s hegemony, people of all races and backgrounds understood that indiscriminate attacks against civilians were both morally reprehensible and counterproductive to global peace and security.

Los Quaidos promised global peace, prosperity, and equality under their rule (they advocated “The Anti-Imperial Revolution and the Restoration of Global Comradeship”), but their belief system was brutally intolerant of spirituality, religion, and dissent and notoriously callous toward the loss of innocent human life. It was, in short, a relatively small organization with limited ideological appeal whose attacks against civilians and refuge in an isolated island nation (they operated out of Cuba) underscored their weakness, not their strength.

Some analysts suggested that Los Quaidos should be ridiculed and treated as the absurd, murderous thugs they were. The world could have united into a coalition of anti-terror law enforcement as well as reconciliation for many outstanding political problems in the face of the global empathy engendered by the shocking attacks. Megastan could have taken the opportunity to highlight and augment its moral and physical strength by showing restraint and humility. They could have taken the opportunity to re-examine some of their policies that global opinion most opposed, many of which were not even in the Megastani public interest, in order to address legitimate grievances and vastly diminish motivation for terrorism worldwide.

It was a shining opportunity to transform Megastan’s darkest moment into a much-needed restoration of its waning soft power and shore up its peaceful (and advantageous) relationships with countries all over the world. Megastan could have led the drafting of mutual security and cooperation pacts that could have quelled unrest and marginalized and demoralized extremists worldwide.

Astonishingly, Henna and his Neo-pro backers instead played directly into the hands of Los Quaidos. They exaggerated LQ’s power and acted dangerously arrogant and belligerent toward the rest of the world, which alienated many of Megastan’s staunchest allies. Henna freely issued indiscriminate ultimatums and offered no room for the smallest dissent about tactics or strategies. Anyone who did not agree with Megastan on all counts was implicitly threatened and politically marginalized. (“You are either our partner or our enemy,” Henna said on numerous occasions.) In one of his most damaging rhetorical flourishes, Henna named three nations, including the United States, “The Bloc of Badness.” What this portended was clear: There could be no negotiations or compromises with these countries—only ultimatums, followed, if necessary, by force.

The countries that found themselves thus classified immediately accelerated their efforts to arm themselves in order to deter a Megastani invasion, bombing campaign, or regime change. Instability and paranoia increased worldwide.

Even citizens of countries that seemed to benefit from their partnerships with Megastan—favored nations such as Morocco and Indonesia—grew wary. They worried for their long-term prosperity and security if the all-important veneer of soft power was lost or abandoned and if international law were thrown into the dustbin of history. Europeans were particularly haunted by the specter of another total war like the ones that had destroyed their continent twice in the last century.

Soon the world at large, though overwhelmingly opposed to Los Quaidos, began to fear that the bigger danger to world security might actually be Megastan. It had much more weight to throw around, and its mistakes in judgment had the potential to resonate on every corner of the globe.

With only two apparent options of whom to support—Henna or Los Quaidos—the moderates of the world who favored neither power found themselves marginalized, and thousands of powerless and angry people who strongly opposed Megastan’s policies were driven into the open arms of Los Quaidos.

Operation Enduring Markets

A violent retaliation from Megastan was inevitable, but Megastan could not attack Venezuela, which was one of its most important strategic allies and business partners. Their first target was Cuba for harboring LQ.(47)

The Communist regime was quickly overthrown, and Cuban ex-pats from Florida were invited by Megastan to take over. Their rule was shaky, ineffective, and unpopular, and Megastan failed to capture the ringleader of the 11/9 terrorist atrocities as promised.

But as it turned out, this war was merely a sideshow for Henna and the Neo-pros. For them, the real target was America.(48)

They claimed Houston posed an imminent threat to the entire free world. Glaring proof that he was too evil to be trusted, said Prime Minister Henna, was how Houston had “gassed his own people” during his war with Mexico and then brutally crushed the popular rebellion following Operation: Snow Storm.

The hypocrisy and mendacity of these statements boggled the minds of anyone with even a rudimentary understanding of modern history. But most Megastani citizens did not realize that their government had had a part in allowing these massacres, and Megastani policymakers and journalists did not enlighten them now.

The Neo-pros also claimed America had ties to Los Quaidos, though it was clear to anyone with the most basic knowledge of American politics that the American government had no love for Communists of any kind, much less Cuban or Venezuelan ones.(49)

If this was not enough to convince Megastani citizens that Houston needed to be deposed, Henna’s Administration claimed it had “slam dunk” evidence that Houston had secretly implemented Reagan’s Star Wars initiative and actually built a planet-destroying device called the Death Star. A fanatical nation ruled by a tin-pot dictator, they said, had no business being in possession of such dangerous technology. The freedom of the entire solar system was at stake.(50)

UN weapons inspectors said there was no firm evidence for the claims Megastan was making. Even Megastani Central Intelligence said that invading America would only make terrorism against Megastan more likely and that the Death Star hypothesis was highly improbable. (To say nothing of the fact that, if the allegations were true, the surest way to prompt Houston to use such dangerous and suicidal technology would be to invade his country and offer him no hope of victory or amnesty.) International weapons inspectors said the same.(51)

When no competent analysts would tell the Neo-pros what they wanted to hear, they established their own intelligence agency, the “Office of Special Plans,”(52) under a Neo-pro director, to proclaim it.

In fact, effecting regime change in America had been secretly adopted(53) as a government policy by the Henna Administration the day after Los Quaidos’ 11/9 attack. All seemed fair in their single-minded pursuit of implementing the war, including cherry-picking intelligence, employing terrifying scare tactics,(54) and intimidating Megastani moderates by accusing them of cowardice or even treason if they opposed the war.

Perhaps the worst betrayal came when respected Megastani moderate Khalid al-Bawwal gave a forceful, high-tech presentation at the UN Security Council explaining the Megastani case for war. Almost all of what he said was subsequently proved to be false, but it swayed the Security Council and Megastani public opinion at the time.(55)

The Megastani regime cobbled together another coalition of allies, which they called the League of Volunteers. The League was composed largely of small island nations that depended on Megastan for their patronage, such as Palau and England, most of whose citizens strongly opposed the war.

Millions all over the world demonstrated against the war, the staggeringly dishonest way in which it was being promoted, and the danger it posed to global security. Vast protests took place in nations inside and outside the League and even within Megastan itself. But it was to no avail.

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  1. Members of the PNAC include Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, Jeb Bush, Zalmay Khalilzad, I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, Donald Kagan, Eliot A. Cohen, Elliott Abrams, William J. Bennett, Steve Forbes, Francis Fukuyama, Dan Quayle, Stephen Rosen, and William Kristol. Other Neo-Conservatives include Douglas Feith and Richard Perle.

  2. America likewise invaded Afghanistan for harboring the terrorists although most of the hijackers were Saudis.

  3. “Occupying what Lenin would have called Washington’s ‘heights of power,’ key positions in the Department of Defense, the office of the most active vice president in American history, the media, and an assortment of well-funded think tanks, the ‘Neo-Conservatives’ soon began to implement the American ‘crusade’ they had advocated over the previous decade. For them the campaign in Afghanistan against the Taliban Supporters of Usama bin Ladin’s al-Qaida was a sideshow. Iraq was what really mattered. It was to be the first step in a perpetual war against any group or nation-state that could contest American supremacy.”

      ~ Polk, p. 166

  4. “The Bush administration also charged that Saddam Husain’s regime was allied to Usama bin Laden’s terrorists. Every ‘proof’ of this charge turned out to be bogus. Moreover, the connection was always inherently unlikely since, for all of its terrible faults, Saddam’s regime was committed to secularism while Usama bin Laden and his followers were religious fundamentalists. Illustrating this incompatibility, Usama denounced Saddam with the strongest curse in his vocabulary as an ‘infidel’ (Arabic: kafir). But, in the aftermath of the American invasion, as Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak rightly said, the Bush administration as created a hundred bin Ladens and made at least some Iraqis receptive to them.”

      ~ Polk, p. 201-2

  5. “Supported by President George W. Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, they [the Neo-cons] launched a vigorous campaign to convince the American public that the Iraqi regime was armed with nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction, had the means to deliver them, and posed a mortal threat to America. Following the attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, they also encouraged the belief that, in league with al-Qaida, the Iraqis were behind it... All of these assertions have been proven wrong.”

      ~ Polk, p. 167

  6. “As the slide toward war became evident, the Iraqi government decided to cooperate with a new inspection. Under a Security Council mandate, the United Nations Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC) was created under Hans Blix, the Swedish diplomat and former head of the IAEA. His team began work in November 2002. Iraq proclaimed that it had no weapons of mass destruction, and UNMOVIC found none. But the Bush administration repeatedly pressured American intelligence agencies to certify that Iraq had these weapons. When the State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research, the CIA, and the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) could not say what the Neo-Conservatives wanted to hear, they established their own intelligence agency, the ‘Office of Special Plans’ under a Neo-Conservative director, to proclaim it.

    “After the invasion a twelve-hundred-strong team of inspectors and the Seventy-fifth Exploitation Task Force from the Pentagon found no evidence of such weapons or delivery systems. The reports were confirmed by the Bush administration arms inspector Charles Duelfer’s exhaustive (thousand-page-long) report of October 6, 2004, which concluded that ‘Saddam Hussein did not produce or possess any weapons of mass destruction for more than a decade before the U.S.-led invasion.’” [Emphasis added]

      ~ Polk, p. 168

  7. “When the State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research, the CIA, and the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) could not say what the Neo-Conservatives wanted to hear, they established their own intelligence agency, the ‘Office of Special Plans’ under a Neo-Conservative director, to proclaim it.”

      ~ Polk, p. 168

  8. “Copying the emotional process (based on the alleged assassination attempt on President Bush) that had convinced President Clinton to attack Iraq with guided missiles in 1993, they [the Neo-cons] used the emotional reaction to the al-Qaida attack to implement their program. That program was to lead the United States to war in Iraq. Effecting a ‘regime change’ in Iraq was secretly adopted as American policy the day after the al-Qaida attack on September 11, 2001, and was openly espoused by 2002.” [Emphasis added]

      ~ Polk, p. 167

  9. “We do know that he [Saddam] is actively pursuing a nuclear weapon. We do know that there have been shipments going into Iran, for instance – into Iraq, for instance, of aluminum tubes that really are only suited to – high-quality aluminum tools that are only really suited for nuclear weapons programs, centrifuge programs.

    “We know that he has the infrastructure, nuclear scientists to make a nuclear weapon. And we know that when the inspectors assessed this after the Gulf War, he was far, far closer to a crude nuclear device than anybody thought, maybe six months from a crude nuclear device.

    “The problem here is that there will always be some uncertainty about how quickly he can acquire nuclear weapons. But we don’t want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud...

    “But I want to just caution, it is not incumbent on the United States to prove that Saddam Hussein is trying to acquire weapons of mass destruction. He’s already demonstrated that he’s trying to acquire weapons of mass destruction.

    “It is incumbent on Saddam Hussein, who, after all, signed on to an obligation to disarm, to convince the world that he is not trying to. And every piece of experience with him, all of the available evidence is simply that he continues down this road.” [Emphasis added]

  10. “February 5, Secretary of State Colin Powell made a forceful high-tech presentation at the Security Council of the American case for war. Almost all of what he said has subsequently proved to be untrue, but it then swayed the Security Council and American public opinion. (Secretary Powell apologized in May 2004 for misleading the Security Council and the American public.)”

      ~ Polk, p. 169