Everyone knows that Bush’s Iraq “surge” will not work. Even the authors of the plan, neoconservatives Frederick Kagan and Jack Keane, have emphasized that the plan cannot work with any less than an addition of 50,000 US troops committed to another three years of combat. Bush is only adding 40% of that number of troops, and Defense Secretary Gates speaks of the operation being over by summer’s end.
On January 18 a panel of retired generals testifying on Capitol Hill slammed Bush’s surge plan as “a fool’s errand.” Even the easily bamboozled American public knows the plan will not work. Newsweek’s latest poll released January 20 shows that only 23% of the public support sending more troops to Iraq and that twice as many Americans trust the Democrats in Congress than trust Bush.
A majority of Americans (54%) believe Bush to be neither honest nor ethical, and 57% believe that Bush lacks “strong leadership qualities.”
Nevertheless, Bush defended his surge plan, telling a group of TV stations last week, “I believe it will work.”
Bush is correct that it will work–indeed, the surge is working. We have to be clear about how the plan works. It does not mean that 21,500 more US troops will bring order and stability to Iraq. The surge is working, because it is deflecting attention from the Bush Regime’s real game plan.
The real game plan is to orchestrate a war with Iran and to initiate wider conflict in the Middle East before public and military pressure forces the Bush Regime to withdraw US troops from Iraq.
Two US carrier attack groups have been deployed to the Persian Gulf. US missile systems are being sent to oil producing countries to counter any incoming missiles from Iran should any survive the US attack. Israeli pilots have been training for an attack on Iran. US war doctrine has been changed to permit pre-emptive nuclear attack on non-nuclear countries. US attack aircraft have been deployed at bases in Turkey. A neocon admiral who attends AIPAC events has been made commander in chief of US forces in the Middle East. Obviously, the ground war in Iraq and Afghanistan are not the focus of the Bush Regime’s new military deployments. The Bush Regime is focused on attacking Iran.
In CounterPunch (January 16) Col. Sam Gardiner reports that the Bush Regime has put into operation a group led by National Security Council staff whose mission is to create and foment outrage against Iran. Col. Gardiner details various signs of the Bush Regime’s escalation and indicates some of the final deployments that will signal an imminent strike on Iran, such as “USAF tankers moved to unusual places, like Bulgaria” in order to position them for refueling B-2 bombers on their way to Iran.
Both Michel Chossudovsky (ICH Jan. 17) and Jorge Hirsch (CounterPunch Jan. 20) have recently documented evidence that the Bush Regime is orchestrating a crisis with Iran that can lead to the use of nuclear weapons to attack Iran.
Civil libertarians who have observed the Bush Regime’s concentration of dictatorial powers in the presidency expect that war with Iran, especially if fearful nuclear weapons are used, will be accompanied by Bush’s declaration of a state of emergency. The Bush Regime will use the state of emergency to grab more arbitrary and dictatorial powers in the name of protecting “national security interests” and American citizens from “terrorism.”
As the Regime’s crimes against the US Constitution and humanity will be monstrous, dissent will be throttled in ways that will make Americans afraid to speak, or even to think, the truth. By stifling dissent, the Bush Regime will escape accountability for launching wars on the basis of blatant lies. It will complete its destruction of the civil liberties that protect free speech, dissent, and Americans from arbitrary arrest and indefinite detention without charges or access to attorneys.
Congress is wasting precious time with non-binding resolutions and debates over cutting off war funding. The Bush Regime is rushing the country into a war and a domestic police state. Writing in Slate, Dahlia Lithwick reports that one of the main goals of the so-called “war on terror” (essentially a propagandistic hoax) is to achieve a massive expansion in unaccountable executive power. This is a long-time goal of VP Cheney and his chief of staff, David Addington. It is also the main goal of the “conservative” Federalist Society, an organization of Republican lawyers from whose membership Republican judicial nominees are drawn.
American public opinion is being manipulated. In the name of protecting “American freedom and democracy,” the Bush regime rides roughshod over both as it ignores both the public and Congress and proceeds with a catastrophic policy supported by no one but the Bush Regime and a cabal of power-mad neoconservatives.
Nothing can stop the Regime except the immediate impeachment of Bush and Cheney. This is America’s last chance.
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