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April 22, 2004

Locked on Course to Wider War


by Paul Craig Roberts

The American public has been deceived and locked on a course toward conscription and a wider war.

On April 20 Republican Senator Chuck Hagel acknowledged the deceit when he urged the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to support the restoration of compulsory military service. The draft must be reinstated, the Republican Senator said, in order that the US can continue its military occupation of Iraq.

On the same day, top Pentagon officials informed Congress that the promised transfer of sovereignty to Iraq on June 30 is meaningless as the US military will retain authority to operate unhindered in Iraq regardless of the transfer of "sovereignty." Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz told Congress that June 30 was not "a magical date" that spelled the end of US military rule over Iraq.

No one believes Iraqis will accept sham sovereignty. Far more troops than a volunteer army can provide will be needed to put down their uprising. Thus, Republicans are agitating to reinstate the draft.

President Bush has used every possible opportunity to spread conflagration in the Middle East. In a diplomatic coup d’etat, Bush sabotaged the Middle East peace process by agreeing to a Greater Israel via Ariel Sharon’s annexation of Palestine’s West Bank. Not content with this affront, our President rubbed salt in Muslim wounds by describing Israel’s murder of Palestinian political leaders as acts of self-defense.

Our Middle Eastern allies – essentially American paid puppets – feel the ground shaking under them. In deference to Muslim outrage, the King of Jordan canceled his scheduled meeting with President Bush, effectively giving the finger to "the most powerful man of earth."

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak said that Bush had created unprecedented "hatred of Americans like never before in the region."

"There was no hatred of Americans," Mubarak said, but "after what has happened in Iraq, there is unprecedented hatred." The image of America as an honest broker is shattered. "The despair and feeling of injustice are not going to be limited to our region alone. American and Israeli interests will not be safe, not only in our region but anywhere in the world,"

Murabak said sadly.

Bush’s neocon overlords have Bush where they and Ariel Sharon want him, locked on a course toward wider war, with American troops, supplied by conscription, serving as Israel’s legions.

Betrayed by a media that works as government’s propaganda arm, the American public has no idea of the tragedy that President Bush has prepared for them.

The Bush administration deceived the American public with fabricated tales of nonexistent Iraqi WMD and nonexistent Iraqi links to Osama bin Laden. Bush sent the American Secretary of State to lie to the UN. Bush gratuitously invaded Iraq and proceeded to destroy what remained of a country sacked by 14 years of sanctions and American bombings.

Bush’s neocon overlords attempted to spread the war into Syria and Iran, but were prevented by the lack of US troops. They did succeed, however, in provoking Iraqi uprisings to keep the pot boiling until they could find some new fuel to pour on the flames.

That has now been done with Bush’s assent to Israel’s annexation of the West Bank.

Having surely provoked further uprisings and further acts of terror, Bush will use the violence he provokes to call for more troops and wider incursions to deal with "thugs and criminals, who are preventing us from bringing freedom to the Middle East."

We are bringing fire and destruction to the Middle East. And to ourselves.

This is exactly what American evangelical Christians desire, according to George Monbiot. In The Guardian (April 20), Monbiot describes the strong support Christian fundamentalists provide for Bush’s Middle Eastern war. "True believers" actively seek to provoke a final battle with the Muslim world. They believe this will usher in the Rapture, and they will be wafted up to heaven, where they will sit at the right hand of God and watch the rest of us endure the Years of Tribulation.

According to Monbiot, "American pollsters believe that 15-18% of US voters belong to churches or movements which subscribe to these teachings. A survey in 1999 suggested that this figure included 33% of Republicans. The best-selling contemporary books in the US are the 12 volumes of the Left Behind series, which provide a fictionalized account of the Rapture."

In 2002 when the US foreign policy community still had a say (it no longer does), Bush asked Sharon to pull his tanks out of Jenin. Angry emails from 100,000 Christian fundamentalists flooded the White House, and Bush never mentioned the matter again.

With the public inattentive, there is no check on the Christian-Zionist agitation to escalate the Middle Eastern conflict. Prepare to sacrifice your sons to Christian fundamentalist delusion and to a Greater Israel.


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    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.

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