On Monday, the third and final installment of filmmaker Robbie Martin’s series, “A Very Heavy Agenda,” was released. The series documents the neoconservative movement in the United States—both its founders and current adherents.
Part 1: “A Catalyzing Event,” details how Paul Wolfowitz, Bill Kristol, Robert Kagan and others shaped the policy response to the 9/11 attacks, utilizing a playbook written by The Project For A New American Century (PNAC) well-before the attacks .
Part 2: “How We Learned to Stop Worrying and Love The New Neocons,” picks up at the end of the Bush presidency, when the neoconservatives largely discredited by the Iraq War re-brand themselves and sought to resurrect past Reaganite glory by instigating conflict with Russia. PNAC is re-branded as The Foreign Policy Initiative (FPI), which pursues the same agenda with new lines of attack and operatives, who make up for their lack of intellectual rigor with a savvier understanding of media manipulation.
The newly released Part 3: “Maintaining the World Order,” shows how the smarter neocons were able to escape accountability for engineering the Iraq War and slither their way back into positions of power. Martin specifically focuses on the Kagan family, a neocon powerhouse that includes Donald Kagan, a professor of history and classics at Yale; Fredrick Kagan, a military scholar at the American Enterprise Institute; Fred’s wife, Kimberly Kagan, a military historian who heads the Institute for the Study of War; Robert Kagan, a fellow at the Brookings Institution and co-founder of the Project for a New American Century, and Robert’s wife, Victoria Nuland, the current Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs.
Robert Kagan gets particular attention as a former propaganda officer for the US government in the 1980s, tasked with helping support the US intervention in Nicaragua. Kagan would receive part of the illegal Iran-Contra cash to further those efforts and would go on, with many other veterans of the Iran-Contra operation, to become a fixture in DC. Kagan continued to talk up foreign threats and the need for a more aggressive foreign policy as an advisor to Senator John McCain, former Governor Mitt Romney, President Barack Obama, and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
While the film is well-worth watching for the extensive detailing of the history of the neocons alone, the exposure of the connections between Hillary Clinton and the neocons is perhaps the most pertinent aspect. Robert Kagan has not only formally endorsed Clinton; he has been serving as her advisor for years. Clinton even appointed Kagan to her foreign policy advisory board when she became secretary of state.
Former Secretary Clinton’s connections to the neoconservatives have been brought back into focus in recent days, when Kagan and Clinton’s likely choice for secretary of defense, Michèle Flournoy, released a policy paper that echoed the infamous report by PNAC, called “Rebuilding America’s Defense,” which influenced the Bush Administration’s decision to invade Iraq in 2003.
One of the best ways to understand the likely foreign policy of a Hillary Clinton presidency is to watch A Very Heavy Agenda Part 3 and see what those advising her believe and why.