From the October 2008 Idaho Observer:

Leo Strauss: Philosophical captain of sinking USS America

Bush administration policies only appear to be unnecessarily warmongerish and mind-numbingly nonsensical. But, when you take a look at the "Straussian" philosophical underpinnings of the "Bush Doctrine," suddenly the Bush cabal appear as agenda-driven monsters rather than reckless incompetants.

Leo Strauss (1899-1973) is the German-born, Jewish-American, University of Chicago professor of politics credited as the father of neoconservatism. The infamous "Bush Doctrine" of preemptive war and the seemingly senseless way the Bush administration wages it is a posthumous extension of Straussian political philosophy.

Prepared by Hank Joerger

It seems certain that the neoconservatives of the G.W. Bush administration got their ideas of government from Leo Strauss (1899-1973), the University of Chicago philosopher who taught several neocons including Paul Wolfowitz and William Lufi.

Following are some of the theories and principles that he advocated: .

• There is only one natural right, the right of the superior to rule over the inferior.

• Because man is intrinsically wicked, he has to be governed. Such governance can only be established, however, when men are united and they can only be united against the people of other countries.

• The inherently aggressive nature of man can be restrained only by a powerful nationalistic state.

• Society comprises three classes of which only the wise-elite is capable of governing. The wise are lovers of the harsh, unadulterated truth. They recognize neither God nor moral imperatives.

• The wise-elite must govern by way of secrecy, deception and the imperative of a broad external threat to inspire the vulgar many.

• The wise-elites ends justifies their means which may include deception, secrecy, violence and abrogation of international law.

• Perpetual war is necessary, so there must always be external threats, even if manufactured. Only perpetual war can overturn the modern project with its emphasis on self-preservation and creature comforts.

• America’s unparalleled strength allows it to do what it pleases with impunity. It can act unilaterally with no regard to international law or world opinion.

• He rejects the minimal test of morality, that moral conduct must be able to be universalized so that whatever is right for us to do must also be right for others.

• People are told what they need to know and no more.

• The combination of religion and nationalism is the elixir that turns natural, relaxed, hedonistic men into devout nationalists willing to fight for God and country.

• The masses cannot be exposed to the truth or they will fall into either nihilism or anarchy.

• Secular society is the least desirable situation because it leads to individualism, liberalism or relativism.

• Religion is absolutely necessary for imposing moral law on the masses, but it should be reserved for the masses. The ruling elite need not be bound to it, since the truths proclaimed by religion are a pious fraud.

• America will save the world by replacing tyrannies with democracies.

Robert Kagan, a leading neoconservative intellectual, wrote that "concerns with justice and international law are relevant only for the weak. It is a strategy by which the weak try to get their way in the world. American power, employed under a double-standard, may be the best means for advancing human progress and perhaps the only way. America should support arms control but not for itself."

Michael Ledeen, neoconservative advisor to Karl Rove, stated "in order to achieve the most noble accomplishments, the leader may have to enter into evil."

Shadia Drury, Professor of Political Theory at Canada’s University of Regina and author of "Leo Strauss and the American Right" says that the deceptions, manipulations and secrecies of the Bush administration flow directly from the Straussian Philosophy that these should be the normal processes in government.

The philosophy under which the Bush/Cheney administration has been operating since 9/11 is described exactly by the 14 neoconservative Straussian principles listed above.

The neoconservatives have not been secretive about their plans. In its "Project For a New American Century (PNAC)" Draft of the Defense Planning Guidance for fiscal years 1994-1999, prepared by then Undersecretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz for then Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney on Feb. 18, 1992, PNAC stated, "Our first objective is to prevent the re-emergence of a new rival, either on the territory of the former Soviet Union or elsewhere, that poses a threat on the order of that posed formerly by the Soviet Union.

"There are three additional aspects to this objective: First, the U.S. must show the leadership necessary to establish and protect a new order that holds the promise of convincing potential competitors that they need not aspire to a greater role or pursue a more aggressive posture to protect their legitimate interests. Second, in the non-defense areas, we must account sufficiently for the interests in the advanced industrial nations to discourage them from challenging our leadership or seeking to overturn the established political and economic order. Finally, we must maintain the mechanisms for deterring potential competitors from ever aspiring to a larger regional or global role."

Analysis of various documents published by PNAC during the period 1992-2002 reveal that many aspects of the U.S. post 9/11 geostrategy were planned in the late 1990s. The American media and general population failed to appreciate the implications of these radical policy papers which included discussions about:

• How the strategy for U.S. global dominance requires a hybrid economic/military/intelligence nexus in order to enforce American supremacy.

• Access to vital raw materials, primarily Persian Gulf oil, as a key objective of U.S. policy and advocated military intervention, preemptive if necessary, to gain such access.

• The naming of Russia, Germany, Japan, India and China as regional powers which could possibly rise to challenge the U.S. PNAC’s number one mission would be to quash such ambitions (these countries were, of course, outraged).

• The necessity of pursuing the doctrine of U.S. global dominance as far as possible into the future.

A group of PNAC members including Rumsfeld, Cheney, Wolfowitz, Woolsey, Perle, Josh Bolton, Jeb Bush, Khalizad, William Bennett and Lynne Cheney worked hard on their proposed project all during the 1990s. They suggested in 1998 that Clinton invade Iraq but the idea was rejected. In his 1997 book "The Grand Chessboard," neoconservative geostrategist Zbigniew Brzeszinski said the PNAC plan would never be accepted by the American people unless there was another event like Pearl Harbor to arouse them.

The Sept., 2000, PNAC strategy document lamented that the desired transformation of the U.S. would be a long and difficult process without a massive external threat to provide a catalyst for their goals and that perhaps only a New Pearl Harbor could facilitate these goals.

Following the 2000 election of G. W. Bush, the former neocon political "outsiders" became powerful "insiders." Most of the above listed PNAC members were placed in positions where they could exert maximum influence on U.S. policy. Most notorious, Cheney became vice-president and Donald Rumsfeld became secretary of defense. Additionally, to name a few, Wolfowitz became deputy defense secretary, Libby became Cheney’s chief of staff, Josh Bolton became undersecretary of state, Perle became chair of the Pentagon’s Defense Policy Advisory Board to name a few. In effect, PNAC members, led by Cheney and Rumsfeld were able to construct Bush administration foreign policy based upon the PNAC-provided blueprint modeled after the philosophies of Strauss.

The neocon’s PNAC agenda is opposed by about 70 percent of Americans. World opinion in opposition to the Bush administration’s PNAC-driven foreign policy is as high as 93 percent.

Since the birth of PNAC in 1992, the U.S. subservient media has failed to inform Americans that their nation is being led by the warped minds of perhaps only 20 neoconservative warmongers bent on global domination from perpetual war. Even if the project had benevolent ends that justified the means of deceiving Americans and warring on the world, the U.S. cannot afford such a giant undertaking.

The U.S. public debt has increased nearly $4 trillion since Bush took office in 2001.

The neoconservatives’ Straussian PNAC vision of a global American Empire is shaping up to be a political disaster and looming as a financial catastrophe threatening to engulf the entire world.