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Not One Bad News Bearer in Bush’s Inner Circle

by PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS

 

In her confirmation hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, “Condi” Rice personified the Bush administration’s delusion-based
“war against terror.” Whenever a senator’s question penetrated to the harsh reality, Condi waffled and evaded, choosing to protect at the expense of her reputation the neocon delusion that invading Iraq was the “right thing to do.” Exasperated, Senator Barbara Boxer objected to Condi’s “continuing assault on reality.”

Condi Rice’s outstanding qualification for Secretary of State in the Bush administration is that she is the complete sycophant. She fits right in. Can you name anyone in the Bush administration who is not a sycophant?

Consider: On January 13 the Financial Times reported that many in the Bush administration are alive to the “depth of the crisis” in Iraq, “but, they say, this is not a view accepted by President George W. Bush.” Another source told the Financial Times that “reality based” assessments of the Iraq crisis “stop well short of the president.”

Citing sources, the Financial Times reports that when queried by President Bush for his views on the progress of the war, Secretary of State Colin Powell replied, “We’re losing.” Bush responded to his candid Secretary of State not by asking Powell to tell him about it but by asking Powell to leave.

The way President Bush sees it, bearers of bad news are “against America.” This means that anyone who is not a sycophant is not “with us” but “against us.” How can there be any bad news when America is Good, America is Powerful, and the other guys are bad and not powerful?

If Bush were aware that his army has failed to “secure Iraq,” he might wonder at the neocon-likudnik plans to attack Iran. Bush might even stop being Richard Perle’s puppet. Or Ariel Sharon’s poodle.

Can you believe this administration’s insanity? Bush intends to rise from the ashes of defeat in Iraq by invading Iran, a country three times the size in population and geography? Does it remind you of Adolf Hitler who, unable to invade tiny England, marches his army off into Russia?

Although denied control of territory by a strong insurgency, US troops have not been driven out of Iraq, thanks to Abrams heavy tanks and helicopter gunships. What does the Pentagon imagine Iran’s response will be to invasion? Are Iranians likely to arm Iraqi insurgents with RPGs that destroy Abrams tanks and with shoulder-fired missiles that knock down helicopters and fighter jets? Will our Iraqi bases fall under constant attack, trapping the US troops sent to Iran?

The plan to invade Iran is bizarre from start to finish. The Pentagon denies the plan or most of it. Who do you believe, an administration recognized all over the world as a collection of pathological liars, or Seymour Hersh, a reliable investigative reporter?

Hersh writes that Bush administration insiders told him of the plan in hopes that getting the word out would put a halt to the insanity. If you think “cakewalk” in Iraq was delusion, read Hersh’s account of the Iran plan in the New Yorker.

The neocons have set it up so that the Pentagon can do all the dirty stuff that the CIA is prevented by law from doing. This shields illegal acts from oversight and accountability. Will no one stop these dangerous fools?

Bombing and invading Iran will expand terrorism and put more of the Middle East at our throat. Creating more terrorists is a self-defeating way to fight terrorism. What success do you ascribe to a plan that relies on sending US and Israeli commandos into Iran to identify targets for bombing and assassination? Does the Pentagon intend to outfit the commandos with invisible suits or is the Pentagon banking on Iranians not noticing a bunch of foreigners taking notes?

Being an administration that protects delusion with sycophancy, Bush operatives have cleared knowledgeable people out of the State Department and CIA, just as they cleared out the generals who predicted correctly that Iraq was not going to go according to the cakewalk plan.

Facts, analysis, morality and common sense are totally against the neoconservative jihad against Islam. The neocons respond by ignoring facts, silencing analysts, and closing down debate. Delusion is astride power, and America will dearly pay.

Condi is “with us.” She toes the line and meets the necessary qualification to be Bush’s Secretary of State. Listening to her babble on about the great things the US is doing to bring democracy to Iraq, I marveled at the insouciance with which Condi covered up Bush’s strategic blunder and illegal war with the Jacobin claim that liberation is the aim of America’s naked aggression.

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.

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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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