For those unfamiliar with PNAC/Project For a New American Century, think of it as the 'civilian formed' ideological engine that drove the George W Bush administration's foreign policy and propaganda. Wolfowitz is not only a co-signer (as were many others in the Bush admin including Cheney and Rumsfeld) he's also credited as one of the creators of PNAC's most infamous paper: 'Rebuilding America's Defenses'.
Before I get to Lincoln Chafee, let's talk a bit more about 'Rebuilding America's Defenses' which was written in September 2000. It laid out extraordinary US foreign policy goals, in essence building up our military and posture to a greater level than during the Cold War because as one of PNAC's co-founders Robert Kagan said 'the world has descended into some form of chaos since the end of the bipolar world'. To the neoconservatives behind PNAC, the Cold War gave them some level of 'safety' wherein the world was more predictable and thus more 'manageable'. Probably the most shocking passage from Rebuilding America's Defenses is that to accomplish these goals in a short period of time 'some catastrophic and catalyzing event like a new pearl harbor' would have to occur. Right after 9/11 of course, the same neocons who were behind PNAC started referring to the attacks as 'our pearl harbor' and you probably already know the rest.
Lincoln Chafee eventually came on my radar when I found video of Paul Wolfowitz explaining the rationale for the war in Iraq at a hearing. In the hearing Chafee seems to actually upset Wolfowitz during his semi-aggressive line of questioning.
The only reason this stood out to me is because Lincoln Chafee was a GOP senator who was using language not commonly heard among even the most left-wing anti war factions of the house or senate. After some quick searching I found out he was the only Republican senator to vote against the Iraq war in 2003.
Fast-forward six months later I see that Lincoln Chafee announced he will be running for president in 2016 under the Democratic party ticket. According to Wikipedia his positions on current US foreign policy actually sound pretty reasonable (far more anti-intervention than the current iteration of Rand Paul). Knowing already that Bernie Sanders had successfully navigated around taking on any meaningful foreign policy issue (last time I checked his website omitted any stance) and that Hillary was pretty much a neocon I got a bit excited at the prospect of someone like Lincoln getting into the race and playing the Kucinich role in the televised debates.
Since A Very Heavy Agenda mostly centers around the founders of PNAC, I signed up for the newsletter of the cleverly rebranded version of PNAC called 'The Foreign Policy Initiative'. I get the newsletter so I can see among other things, who is on my 'shit list' now. Most of the time I'm not surprised by the journalists they promote or the politicians that decide to speak at their events. People like Marco Rubio, John McCain, Tom Cotton and Joe Lieberman are regular guests.
This morning however was an exception:
To my horror the upcoming 2015 Foreign Policy Initiative forum is hosting as speaker none other than anti-Iraq war Republican senator Lincoln Chafee. My first thought was maybe the re-branding by PNAC was so clever that Chafee isn't aware the forum is hosted by the same organization that blatantly propagandized the American public into the Iraq war. This delusion of mine quickly fell apart once I remembered that the Foreign Policy Initiative makes no effort to hide the fact they were co-founded by Robert Kagan and Bill Kristol (who wrote extremely deceptive articles trying to tie the 2001 anthrax attacks to Saddam Hussein).
Lincoln doesn't seem like the type of person to get hoodwinked into shilling for neocons, so why is he speaking at a PNAC 2.0 event ? Does he have the balls required to publicly push back against the main neoconservative policy makers on their own turf ?
Of course this would be a best case scenario reason for his scheduled talk and I personally have a very hard time believing that would happen even after knowing his history of excommunicating himself from the GOP.
I posed the question to the official Lincoln Chafee twitter account but received no response.
It still remains to be seen why the only Republican senator to vote against the Iraq war is linking up with the neoconservatives who were directly responsible for the Iraq war in the first place.