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November 22, 2004

Won't Get Fooled Again?


by Paul Craig Roberts

It is not yet Bush's second term. All available U.S. troops are tied down in Iraq by a few thousand lightly armed insurgents. Go-it-alone Bush has isolated America from her allies. And the neocons want to spread their war to Iran.

The Bush administration is recycling the lies that it used to invade Iraq: Iran is acquiring nuclear weapons that will be given to terrorists. In a display of loyalty to a ruthless neocon administration calculated to win him appointments to corporate boards, outgoing Secretary of State Colin Powell told reporters that Iran was working on nuclear missiles.

The source for this effort to spread hysteria? One "walk-in" source with unverified documents. Most likely, the source is a member of an Iranian exile group given the assignment by neocons Richard Perle and John Bolton.

One might think that Powell would be suffering shame enough for lying to the UN about Iraq. Apparently not, as his last act against world peace is to spread neocon propaganda that Iran is going nuke.

The U.S. media, now a tamed propaganda organ for the White House, dutifully repeated Powell's unverified claims, thus providing "reports" for Bush to cite as evidence that Iran was rushing ahead with the development of nuclear weapons.

The International Atomic Energy Agency conducts regular inspections in Iran. The IAEA recently issued a report stating that it has found no evidence of a nuclear weapons program in Iran.

Real evidence, however, is no match for neocon propaganda.

And the propaganda is pouring out of the well-oiled neocon machine. French, German, and British agreements that confine Iran to the peaceful use of nuclear energy are in the way of the neoconservatives' intention to spread the war to Iran and must be discredited.

On Nov. 20, Caroline Glick, deputy managing editor of the Jerusalem Post, hysterically accused Europe of defending "Iran's ability to attain the wherewithal to destroy the Jewish state." Glick "exposes" France's efforts to prevent the outbreak of wider war in the Middle East as a trick: "France wishes only to box in the U.S. to the point that the Americans will not be able to continue to fight the war against terrorism."

The neoconservative Heritage Foundation promptly broadcast Glick's hysterical rants into the Republican noise machine, reviving talk radio calls for nuking France, "America's oldest enemy."

Three years ago, Ann Coulter was fired by National Review, a neocon publication, when she declared: "We should invade [Muslim] countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity." Today, such violent words are common parlance.

There is no evidence whatsoever in behalf of the claims the Bush administration is making about Iranian nukes. The purpose of these false claims is to create fear that will breach the public's opposition to a draft. The neocons are desperate for troops for their Middle Eastern War.

For a decade or longer, the neocons who control the Bush administration's foreign and military policies have been writing papers advocating a U.S.-Israeli conquest of the Middle East. A moronic president has given them their chance.

Anxious to get their war underway, the neocons launched their invasion before they had the necessary manpower for the task. Bogged down in Iraq, the neocons are desperate to widen the war before the American public has enough of the pointless carnage and forces a withdrawal.

Thus, before the Iraqi war is finished, the neocon propaganda machine is at work creating fear that the U.S. is in danger from Iranian nukes unless America preemptively attacks Iran.

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. But Americans are perfectly set up to be fooled twice. Right-wing talk radio has conservative patriots absolutely demanding to be fooled. Christian rapture propagandists have conservative congregations waiting to be wafted up to heaven. Military types are determined to avenge the Vietnam loss by winning the war against Islam into which they have been conned.

Critics are dismissed as "enemies" who are "against us." Reason and common sense are not features of the Bush administration. It is all blind emotion, a replay of The Triumph of the Will.


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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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