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August 24, 2004

Neocon Treason


by Paul Craig Roberts

Having experienced the Clinton and George W. Bush administrations, do Americans wish they had elected Patrick J. Buchanan president? Was Buchanan America's last chance to put a true patriot in the Oval Office?

America was meant to cultivate its own garden, to steer clear of foreign entanglements and permanent alliances, and to serve as an example to others. Instead, the U.S. has become a "democratic imperialist."

In a new book dedicated to Ronald Reagan, Where the Right Went Wrong: How Neoconservatives Subverted the Reagan Revolution and Hijacked the Bush Presidency, Buchanan rues the rise of Jacobin America. A neoconservative cabal allied with Israel's right-wing Likud Party has captured our government and initiated a new crusade against Islam.

In a chapter that is must reading for every American who thinks President Bush should be reelected, Buchanan asks: "Who are they, the neoconservatives?"

When you find out, you will want nothing further to do with the president who sponsored them and gave them unbridled power to launch America into permanent war in the Middle East.

The neocons have declared America at war with 1 billion Muslims who have done us no harm. Simultaneously, the neocons destroyed our traditional alliances. Instead of isolating a terrorist enemy, neocons have isolated America.

Al-Qaeda is not a state or a country. It is a non-governmental organization that rejects America's decadent culture and opposes the U.S.-Israeli alliance that brutally oppresses Palestinians to the shame of all Muslims.

It is impossible to fight al-Qaeda by invading and occupying Muslim countries. Bush's invasion of Iraq has achieved nothing for the U.S. but death and expense. For al-Qaeda it has radicalized the Muslim world and created recruits.

"The neoconservatives," writes Buchanan, "are marinated in conceit, and their hubris may yet prove their undoing. And ours as well."

The failure of the U.S. occupation in Iraq has certainly demonstrated the limits to U.S. hegemony. Despite limited armed opposition, U.S. military forces do not seem able to control a single Iraqi city. If rebellion were to become general or if Iraqis had effective weapons against tanks and air power, the U.S. would have to withdraw its army.

Buchanan explains how the neocons used the Sept. 11 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center to put into operation their preconceived plan, drafted years prior to Sept. 11, to invade Iraq.

In 1996, neoconservatives currently serving in the Bush administration wrote a policy paper for Israeli right-wing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. In the policy paper, Douglas Feith (currently undersecretary of defense), David Wurmser (VP Cheney's staff) and Richard Perle (Defense Review Board) called for "removing Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq – an important Israeli strategic objective in its own right."

Today the entire world, with the exception of the propagandized American public, knows that Iraq had nothing whatsoever to do with the Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. But for "Washington's Likudniks," that was beside the point. It was Israel's interests that they had in mind, not America's. Osama bin Laden got away while the U.S. was diverted into invading Iraq.

In 1997 Feith wrote in his "Strategy for Israel" that the U.S. and Israel should conquer Iraq, Syria, and Iran. Moreover, Israel should reoccupy "the areas under Palestinian Authority control," though "the price in blood would be high."

We are now watching this neocon strategy unfold. Iraq has been invaded. Israel's Likud Party, with U.S. complicity, is grabbing more of the Palestinian West Bank. Last week, neocon Undersecretary of State John Bolton began beating the war drums against Iran for allegedly possessing weapons of mass destruction that "pose grave threats to international society."

Writing in the Wall Street Journal, neocon Max Boot defined support for Israel as a "key tenet of neoconservatism." What, asks Buchanan, about support for America? America's interest should be the focus of the Bush administration. When did America's interests become subsumed in the interests of Israel's right-wing Likud Party?

If Americans don't want a generation of sons dying in Middle Eastern deserts, they had best take Buchanan's question to heart.


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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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