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More War on the Horizon



No pullout from Iraq while I’m president, declares George W. Bush.

On to Iran, declares Vice President Cheney.

Israel is a “peace-seeking state” that needs $30 billion of US taxpayers’ money for war, declares State Department official Nicholas Burns.

The Democratic Congress, if not fully behind the Iraqi war, at least no longer is in the way of it.

Nor are the Democrats in the way of the Bush regime’s build up for initiating war with Iran.

The Bush regime says it is going to designate part of Iran’s military — the Revolutionary Guards — a terrorist organization, whose bases and facilities Bush intends to bomb along with Iran’s nuclear energy sites. Three US aircraft carrier strike forces are deployed off Iran. B-2 Stealth bombers are being fitted to carry 30,000 pound “bunker-buster” bombs to use against hardened sites. Politicized US generals assert that Iran is providing arms and aid to the Iraqi resistance to the US occupation. The media are feeding the US population the same propaganda about nonexistent Iranian weapons of mass destruction that they fed us about nonexistent Iraqi weapons of mass destruction. A former CIA Middle East field officer, Robert Baer, has written in Time magazine that the Bush regime has decided to attack the Revolutionary Guards within the next 6 months. Remember the “cakewalk war”? Well, this time the neocons think that an attack on the Revolutionary Guards will free Iran from Islamic influence and cause Iranians to back the US against their own government.

Lies, unprovoked aggression, and delusional expectations — the same ingredients that produced the Iraq catastrophe — all over again. The entire Bush regime and both political parties are complicit, along with the media and US allies.

According to Baer, the Bush regime has given no consideration to whether Iran’s response to a US attack might be different than to welcome it as liberation. What if Iran really were to arm the Iraqi resistance and/or to sink our aircraft carriers? How can any government, even one as incompetent, delusional and unaccountable as the Bush regime, initiate war without any thought to the consequences?

The Bush regime’s planned war against Iran casts light on the large increase in military armaments that the US is supplying to Israel. With Iraq in chaos and civil war, an attack on Iran leaves as opposition to Israel only Syria and Hezbollah in southern Lebanon. Israel cannot finish off the Palestinians until Hezbollah is destroyed. An Israeli attack on Syria while the US attacks Iran would leave Hezbollah without supplies in the face of a new Israeli attack.

The agenda unfolding before our eyes may be the neoconservative/Israeli/Cheney plan to rid the Middle East of any check to Israeli territorial expansion.

Nicholas Burns said that the $30 billion in military aid was not conditional on any Israeli concessions or progress toward resolving the conflict with the Palestinians. Israel’s ghettoizing and ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian West Bank proceeds apace.

Meanwhile in America, while more money is poured into more war, condemned bridges collapse killing Americans who trusted their government to provide safe infrastructure. Devastated residents of New Orleans remain unaided. Financial difficulties deepen for more Americans as falling home prices and jobs lost to offshoring push more Americans into desperate straits. The US dollar continues to fall as the government’s war debts build up abroad.

Except for the armaments industry, where is the gain to America in Bush’s wars? Before Bush invaded Afghanistan, the Taliban had stamped out drug production. The US invasion has brought it back.

On August 22 Bush told the Veterans of Foreign Wars that US troops are the “greatest force for human liberation the world has ever known.” Tell that to the 650,000 dead Iraqis and the 4 million displaced Iraqis, and the tens of thousands of slaughtered Afghans, and the coming civilian deaths in Iran. Tell that to all the bombed civilians from Serbia to Africa who are blown to pieces in order that a US president can make a point. Bush goes far beyond George Orwell’s “Newspeak” in his novel, 1984, when Bush equates US hegemony with liberation.

America’s hegemonic hubris is a sickness. A country that tolerates a war criminal while he openly plans to attack yet another country is definitely not a light unto the world.

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:



Paul Craig Roberts is a former Assistant Secretary of the US Treasury and Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal. Roberts’ How the Economy Was Lost is now available from CounterPunch in electronic format. His latest book is The Neoconservative Threat to World Order.

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