Highlights

 
Quotable
The biggest lesson I learned from Vietnam is not to trust [our own] government statements.
Senator James W. Fulbright
Original Letters Blog US Casualties Contact Donate

 
January 10, 2007

Distracting Congress from the Real War Plan: Iran


by Paul Craig Roberts

Is the surge an orchestrated distraction from the real war plan?

A good case can be made that it is. The US Congress and media are focused on President Bush’s proposal for an increase of 20,000 US troops in Iraq, while Israel and its American neoconservative allies prepare an assault on Iran.

Commentators have expressed puzzlement over President Bush’s appointment of a US Navy admiral as commander in charge of the ground wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The appointment makes sense only if the administration’s attention has shifted from the insurgencies to an attack on Iran.

The Bush administration has recently doubled its aircraft carrier forces and air power in the Persian Gulf. According to credible news reports, the Israeli air force has been making practice runs in preparation for an attack on Iran.

Recently, Israeli military and political leaders have described Israeli machinations to manipulate the American public and their representatives into supporting or joining an Israeli assault on Iran.

Two US carrier task forces or strike groups will certainly congest the Persian Gulf. On January 9, a US nuclear sub collided with a Japanese tanker in the Persian Gulf. Two carrier groups will have scant room for maneuver. Their purpose is either to provide the means for a hard hit on Iran or to serve as sitting ducks for a new Pearl Harbor that would rally Americans behind the new war.

Whether our ships are hit by Iran in retaliation to an attack from Israel or suffer an orchestrated attack by Israel that is blamed on the Iranians, there are certainly far more US naval forces in the Persian Gulf than prudence demands.

Bush’s proposed surge appears to have no real military purpose. The US military opposes it as militarily pointless and as damaging to the US Army and Marine Corps. The surge can only be accomplished by keeping troops deployed after the arrival of their replacements. Moreover, the increase in numbers that can be achieved in this way are far short of the numbers required to put down the insurgency and civil war.

The only purpose of the surge is to distract Congress while plans are implemented to widen the war.

Weapons inspectors have failed to find a nuclear weapons program in Iran. Most experts say it would be years before Iran could make a weapon even if the Iranian government is actively working on a weapons program. Since the danger, if any, is years away, why is Israel so determined to attack Iran now?

The answer might be that Israel has the chance now. The Bush administration is in its pocket. The White House is working with neoconservatives, not with the American foreign policy community represented by the Iraq Study Group. Neoconservative propagandists are in influential positions in the media. The US Congress is intimidated by AIPAC. The correlation of forces are heavily in Israel’s favor.

Part of the Israeli/neoconservative plan has already been achieved with the destruction of civilian infrastructure and spread of sectarian strife in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Lebanon. If Iran can be taken out with a powerful air attack that might involve nuclear weapons, Syria would be isolated and Hezbollah would be cut off from Iranian supplies.

Israel has two years remaining to use its American resources to achieve its aims in the Middle East. How influential will Israel and the neoconservatives be with the next president in the wake of a US defeat in Iraq and Israeli defeat in Lebanon? If the US withdraws its troops from Iraq, as the US military and foreign policy community recommend and as polls show the American public wants, the only effect of Bush’s Iraq invasion will have been to radicalize Muslims against Israel, the US, and US puppet governments in the Middle East. Extremist elements will tout their victory over the US, and the pressures on Israel to accept a realistic accommodation with Palestinians will be overpowering.

Now is the chance – the only chance – for Israel and the neoconservatives to achieve their goal of bringing Muslims to heel, a goal that they have been writing about and working to achieve for a decade.

This goal requires the war to be widened by whatever deceit and treachery necessary to bring the American public along.

The US Congress must immediately refocus its attention from the surge to Iran, the real target of Bush administration aggression.


comments on this article?
 
 
Archives

  • Who Remembers 'Guns and Butter'?
    2/18/2009

  • If Only US Law Applied to the US Government
    12/8/2008

  • Washington Arrogance Has Fomented a Muslim Revolution
    12/5/2008

  • The Cost of Hegemony Is Beyond Reach
    12/2/2008

  • This Time, the World Is Not Buying It
    8/16/2008

  • Do You Feel Safe Now? Proud?
    8/7/2008

  • Are You Ready to Face the Facts About Israel?
    7/25/2008

  • One Million Terrorists?
    7/18/2008

  • Only Little War Criminals Get Punished
    7/17/2008

  • We, the Salt of the Earth,
    Take Precedence
    7/2/2008

  • John Yoo, Totalitarian
    6/20/2008

  • The Conservative Movement: From Failure to Threat
    5/19/2008

  • Lies of Aggression
    5/16/2008

  • What the Iraq War Is About
    4/23/2008

  • American Hegemony Is Not Guaranteed
    4/14/2008

  • Petraeus Testimony May Signal Iran Attack
    4/7/2008

  • Protecting America – From the President
    2/22/2008

  • Paying Insurgents Not to Fight
    2/19/2008

  • What Do We Stand For?
    2/18/2008

  • Bush Calls on France for Help
    2/12/2008

  • American Liberty Teetering on Edge of Abyss
    1/28/2008

  • The West's Orwellian Monopoly on Morality
    1/24/2008

  • Bringing Death and Destruction to Muslims
    1/17/2008

  • We Are All Prisoners Now
    12/27/2007

  • No Liberty Without
    Habeas Corpus
    12/12/2007

  • Kerry Complicit in
    Bush's Crimes
    9/19/2007

  • Who Are The Fanatics?
    9/6/2007

  • The War Criminal in the Living Room
    8/31/2007

  • More War on the Horizon
    8/24/2007

  • Padilla Jury Opens Pandora's Box
    8/20/2007

  • US Israel Policy Harms Both Countries
    8/16/2007

  • US Hegemony Spawns Russian-Chinese Military Alliance
    8/9/2007

  • A Free Press or a
    Ministry of Truth?
    7/17/2007

  • A Reform to Restore the People's Power
    7/13/2007

  • Beyond Recklessness
    7/3/2007

  • The Neocon Threat to World Peace and American Freedom
    6/12/2007

  • If You Think Bush Is Evil Now, Wait Until He Nukes Iran
    6/6/2007

  • How Can Bush Free Iraq When He Brings Tyranny to America?
    5/26/2007

  • Will the GOP Destroy Itself Before It Destroys America?
    5/23/2007

  • One War Criminal Down, A Fistful to Go
    5/11/2007

  • The War Goes Ever On
    4/24/2007

  • Creating a Market for Security
    4/12/2007

  • Crime Blotter:
    1600 Pennsylvania Ave.
    3/19/2007

  • The Confession Backfired
    3/17/2007

  • The Last Days of Constitutional Rule?
    3/16/2007

  • How Much More Harm Can Bush Do?
    3/7/2007

  • Americans Have Lost Their Country
    3/1/2007

  • Criminals Control the Executive Branch
    2/10/2007

  • The Crime of the Century
    1/31/2007

  • Bush Is About to Attack Iran
    1/27/2007

  • The Empire Turns Its
    Guns on the Citizenry
    1/24/2007

  • The 'Surge' Is A Red Herring
    1/12/2007

  • Jimmy Carter Speaks Truth to Propaganda
    1/11/2007

  • Distracting Congress from the Real War Plan: Iran
    1/10/2007

  • The Surge: Political Cover or Escalation?
    1/9/2007

  • Is Bush's War Winding Down or Heating Up?
    1/8/2007

  • US Hypocrisy Reaches
    All-Time High
    1/4/2007

  • Keane/Kagan Plan Means More Bloodshed
    1/3/2007

  • The Disrespect for Truth has Brought a New Dark Age
    12/29/2006

  • Is James Baker a Match
    for AIPAC?
    12/14/2006

  • Catastrophe Still Awaits
    12/7/2006

  • Bush Is No Conservative
    12/5/2006

  • Is President Bush Sane?
    12/2/2006

  • Bush's Only Real Victory
    11/22/2006

  • Are Democrats Turning A Blind Eye to Civil Liberty?
    11/14/2006
  • More Archives

    Paul Craig Roberts wrote the Kemp-Roth bill and 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 author or co-author of eight books, including The Supply-Side Revolution (Harvard University Press). He has held numerous academic appointments, including the William E. Simon chair in political economy, Center for Strategic and International Studies, Georgetown University, and senior research fellow, Hoover Institution, Stanford University. He has contributed to numerous scholarly journals and testified before Congress on 30 occasions. He has been awarded the U.S. Treasury's Meritorious Service Award and the French Legion of Honor. He was a reviewer for the Journal of Political Economy under editor Robert Mundell.

    Reproduction of material from any original Antiwar.com pages
    without written permission is strictly prohibited.
    Copyright 2014 Antiwar.com