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The Evils of Escalation

Bush’s State of Deception

by PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS

Bush’s state of the union address did not describe the deplorable state of the union. The speech’s importance consists of Bush’s plea to Congress to please let him fool them one more time in order that he can attack Iran and start a bigger war that Congress will have to support in order to support Israel.

That is all the president had to say.

The "surge" of US troops for Iraq is another deception. The surge’s purpose has nothing to do with achieving victory in Iraq. Its purpose is to counter the pressure from the American public, Congress, and the US military to withdraw US troops from Iraq. Once a withdrawal begins, the neoconservative misadventure in the Middle East is at an end before its goals can be achieved. Delaying the withdrawal by proposing an escalation and provoking a debate gives Bush and Israel time to orchestrate an attack on Iran.

No one in Congress or print and TV media is prepared to call Bush on this transparent deception. Instead, critics focus on the fact that the surge cannot succeed. For example, in the Democratic response to Bush’s address, Senator Jim Webb, who served as Secretary of the Navy under President Reagan, stressed the recklessness and cost of Bush’s invasion of Iraq:

"The President took us into this war recklessly. He disregarded warnings from the national security adviser during the first Gulf War, the chief of staff of the army, two former commanding generals of the Central Command, whose jurisdiction includes Iraq, the director of operations on the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and many, many others with great integrity and long experience in national security affairs. We are now, as a nation, held hostage to the predictable and predicted disarray that has followed."

Sen. Webb is the best that the Democrats have and with Ron Paul the best that Congress has. Yet, not even Webb can cut to the chase.

Consequently, while Congress wastes time with non-binding resolutions against the surge in Iraq, Bush proceeds to implement plans to start war with Iran.

I have said that the only hope of stopping Bush from initiating war with Iran is for the leadership of both parties in both houses of Congress to make unequivocally clear that Bush will be impeached if he attacks Iran without the approval of Congress. Even this might not be enough. The Bush Regime is capable of orchestrating an incident, such as an attack on a US aircraft carrier, that can be blamed on Iran and, in that way, sweep Congress along on a patriotic outburst against "Iranian aggression against US forces."

Many of the people who have come to oppose Bush’s war in Iraq mistakenly believe that Bush is a good person who is trying to protect America, but that he is going about it in the wrong way and is too inflexible to learn from his mistakes. They have no clue as to the evil agenda that guides the Bush Regime.

The Bush Regime is the first neoconservative regime in US history.
Bush hides the neoconservative agenda behind "the war on terror," which essentially is a hoax. The main purpose of the neoconservatives’ "war on terror" it to eliminate any effective Muslim opposition to Israel’s theft of Palestine and the Golan Heights.

To silence Muslim opposition to Israel’s theft of Arab lands, the US must eliminate or intimidate Middle Eastern governments that are not under US control–Iran, Syria, and Hezbollah which governs southern Lebanon. The US invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq have failed to establish US control, but they have left both countries in a destructive civil war. Israel’s invasion of Lebanon appears to have renewed civil war in that country.

Bush is not going to be forthright about the neoconservative agenda, because he knows it is one that Congress and the American people must be manipulated and maneuvered into accepting. However, neoconservatives themselves are very forthright about their war plans. Let’s listen to their most recent pronouncements.

On January 23, former Republican Speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich, a leading neoconservative, told a conference in Herzliya, Israel, that the United States and Israel were in danger of nuclear attack from Iran. The crazed Gingrich, who is considering a run for the US presidency in 2008, said: "Our enemies are fully as determined as Nazi Germany, and more determined than the Soviets. Our enemies will kill us the first chance they get. There is no rational ability to deny that fact."

Gingrich says: "We don’t have the right language, goals, structure, or operating speed, to defeat our enemies. My hope is that being this candid and direct, I could open a dialogue that will force people to come to grips with how serious this is, how real it is, how much we are threatened."

Who are "our enemies?" Why, Iran, of course.

Iran is such a dangerous determined enemy that "the threat of a nuclear Holocaust" hovers over the US and Israel. "Israel is in the greatest danger it has been in since 1967." The US could "lose two or three cities to nuclear weapons, or more than a million people to biological weapons. Freedom as we know it will disappear."

Another American presidential hopeful, Mitt Romney, told the Israeli audience that Islamic jihadism was "the nightmare of this century."
Israel, Romney declared, "is facing a jihadist threat that runs through Tehran, to Damascus, to Gaza." Hezbollah, he declared, is not fighting for a Palestinian state but for the destruction of Israel.

The world has not experienced this level of warmongering since Hitler.

Also at the Israeli conference was US Undersecretary of State Nicholas Burns, who added fuel to the fire by alleging without any evidence that "Iran is seeking a nuclear weapon, there’s no doubt about it. There’s no debate among experts. It’s seeking a nuclear weapon at its plant at Nantz."

A truthful statement, which no one any longer expects from any member of the Bush Regime, would be that the weapons inspectors of the International Atomic Energy Agency have poured over Iran’s nuclear program and have found no evidence of a weapons program. A number of experts, such as Gordon Prather, have fiercely disputed the propagandistic claims of an Iranian nuclear weapons program.

What concerns experts is that once Iran has succeeded with a nuclear energy program, it could go on, in the absence of inspections, to develop nuclear weapons in about 10 years. However, as a signatory nation to the non-proliferation treaty, Iran would undergo the inspections, as it was doing prior to the recent provocations orchestrated by the Bush Regime. In contrast, Israel has not signed the non-proliferation treaty and has a large number of nuclear weapons, the existence of which Israel has denied for years.

Burns told the Israeli conference that the US will not allow Iran to go nuclear. This is an extraordinary statement, because every signatory country to the non-proliferation treaty has the right to develop nuclear energy. Some people speculate that an oil-producing country doesn’t need nuclear power. However, oil is Iran’s only significant export. The less Iran uses its own oil, the greater its exports.

Burns told the Israelis that "We are committed to our alliance with Israel.
We are committed to being Israel’s strongest security partner. I can’t remember a time when the relationship between our two countries was stronger than it is today."

Chief US neoconsevative Richard Perle told the Israeli conference that President Bush would give the green light if US military involvement was needed for a successful strike on Iran. According to the Israeli press, "Perle hypothesized a nightmare scenario, saying: ‘In possession of nuclear weapons, or even in possession of nuclear material, Iran is perfectly capable of using its terrorist networks to enable others to inflict grievous damage.’"

Former Israeli defense minister Shaul Mofaz, who met privately with Burns prior to their joint appearance at the Herzliya conference, said that 2007 would decide the future of the Middle East. Mofaz declared, "The year of 2007 is a year of decisiveness. Iran of 2007 has all the components to threaten us existentially, and the whole of the region."

Any expert or knowledgeable person who examines these statements sees nothing but unsupported assertions, paranoid speculations, fear-mongering and blatant lies. It is on this basis, and this basis alone, that the Bush Regime will initiate war with Iran.

Iran is being set up by the identical propaganda machine that set up Iraq with fearful imagery of "mushroom clouds over American cities" and nonexistent "weapons of mass destruction."

After years of blaming al-Qaeda for the Iraqi insurgency, the Bush Regime propagandists have suddenly switched gears and now are blaming Iran for the failure of the US occupation in Iraq and for the deaths of US troops. The Bush Regime recently arrested Iranian diplomats in northern Iraq and made charges so preposterous that the charges were even rejected by Bush’s Kurdish and Iraqi allies. Powerful US naval attack fleets have been stationed off Iran’s coast, and attack aircraft have been moved to Turkey and other locations on Iran’s borders.

Meanwhile, Iran has done nothing.

Iran has refrained from arming and encouraging its Iraqi Shi’ite allies to join the insurgency against US troops. Iran could deliver the weapons that can knock out US tanks and helicopter gunships, thus eliminating the US military advantage from the conflict.

Neoconservative and Israeli propagandists have spread the lie that the Iranian president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has declared Iran’s intention "to wipe Israel off the map." This lie is today regularly repeated even by such formerly careful newspapers as the New York Times and London Times.

A number of experts have examined the speech by the Iranian president. What Ahmadinejad actually said was a direct quote from the deceased Ayatollah Khomeini: "The Imam said this regime occupying Jerusalem must vanish from the page of time." The experts explain that in the context of the text of the speech, what is being said is that peace in the Middle East requires regime change in Israel. In place of a Zionist regime hell bent on stealing more land from Muslims, Zionism will pass away and Israel will cease its aggressive policies and live at peace with its neighbors.

A great number of Western experts agree that the problem in the Middle East is neither Islamic jihad nor Israel per se, but Zionism, which keeps Israel on a land expansionist course at the expense of Arab peoples.

The failure of US policy in the Middle East is the failure to deter Israel from this Zionist policy. A large number of Israelis are opposed to this policy and recognize that Zionism is the cause of Israel’s conflict with Arabs.

The real problem that Americans face is that the Zionist influence on US policy is so powerful that instead of dealing with the real cause of strife in the Middle East, the US is about to join Zionism in attempting to eliminate all Muslim opposition to Zionist expansion.

Bush’s "war on terror" and Iran’s alleged nuclear weapons are just propagandistic cover for the real agenda, which is to silence opponents of Zionist expansion.

The fanaticism of Zionists has been made clear by their ferocious attack on President Jimmy Carter, who stated in his current book both clearly and reasonably that the only path to peace in the Middle East is for Israel to accept a viable Palestinian state.

Carter has done more for peace between Israelis and Arabs than anyone. Moreover, Israel, as opposed to Zionism, has had no greater friend or stronger supporter than Carter. But because Carter pointed out Zionism’s role in the conflict, America’s most decent and truthful president was demonized.

The unjustified Zionist attack on Carter should tell everyone where the real problem lies.

PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan administration. He was Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal editorial page and Contributing Editor of National Review. He is coauthor of The Tyranny of Good Intentions.He can be reached at: PaulCraigRoberts@yahoo.com