Bush Gears Up To Attack Iran

President Bush has won the Battle of

When he turns over the presidency on
Jan. 20, 2009, there will likely be as many U.S. troops
in Iraq as there were when Congress was elected to bring
them home in November 2006.

That is the meaning of Gen. Petraeus`
recommendation, adopted by President Bush, that 6,000
U.S. troops be home by Christmas and the surge of 30,000
ended by April. Come November 2008, there will likely
still be 130,000 U.S. soldiers in Iraq.

Will this make America safer, Sen. John
Warner, R-Va., asked.

"I don`t know,"
answered the general.

An honest answer. None of us know.

The general did know, however, that

"a premature drawdown of our forces would likely have
devastating consequences."

So we are trapped, fighting a war in
which "victory" is not assured and perhaps not
attainable—to avert a strategic disaster and
humanitarian catastrophe should we walk away.

While the posturing of the Democrats,
using Petraeus as a foil for their frustration and rage,
was appalling, it is understandable. For, as this writer

warned the day Baghdad fell,
this time, we really
"hit the tar baby."

What has the war cost? Going on 3,800
U.S. dead and 28,000 wounded. More than 100,000 Iraqis
are dead; 2 million, including

most Christians
and much of the professional class,
have fled. Millions have been ethnically cleansed from
neighborhoods where their families had lived for

Once the most advanced country in the
Arab world, Iraq has been devastated and is coming
apart. Sectarian, civil and tribal war has broken out.
Al-Qaida has a presence. And it is a fair prediction
that when the Americans depart, they will have fought
the longest war in their history, only to have replaced
the Sunni dictatorship of Saddam Hussein with a Shia
dictatorship aligned with Iran.

Across the region, the situation appears
bleak. In Pakistan, al-Qaida has reconstituted itself.
Bin Laden is sending out tapes. Gen. Musharraf, who
rules a nation of 170 million with atom bombs, is
floundering. The Taliban have made a comeback. As our
allies have left or are leaving Iraq, including the
Brits, so, too, the NATO allies in Afghanistan are
wearying of the struggle.

In the United States, the war has taken
its toll, as do all no-win wars. With the cost of the
two wars closing in on $1 trillion, we are as divided as
we were during Korea and Vietnam.

As Truman fell to 23 percent after
firing Gen. MacArthur, and was drubbed in New Hampshire,
and LBJ broken after Tet and dropped out, Bush has seen
his support fall from near 90 percent at "Mission
to near 30 percent. Approval of his
war leadership is virtually nonexistent.

Gen. Petraeus is trusted; his
commander-in-chief is not.

To the cost of our dead and wounded must
be added the near-breaking of the U.S. Army, the
estrangement of our allies and the pandemic hatred of
America across the Arab world.

As for the "cakewalk"
crowd that

accused opponents of the war of lacking in patriotism,
they never repented their demagoguery. Despite the
pre-invasion propaganda they pumped out about Saddam`s
awesome weapons and ties to 9-11, or their assurances
that U.S. troops would be welcomed with candy and
flowers, like Paris in `44, and their prediction that a
democracy would arise in Iraq to which Islamic nations
would look as a model, they have never been called to

Now they are back with a new enemy for
America to attack.

This time the target is Tehran—and once
again, they have the ear of this most ideological and
unreflective of presidents.

Speaking to the

American Legion,
Bush used rhetoric against Iran
equal in bellicosity to anything he used on Iraq before

Iran "is the world`s leading state
sponsor of terrorism."
Iran "funds terrorist
groups like Hamas. … Iran is sending arms to the
Iran`s pursuit of nuclear technology
threatens to put the Middle East and Gulf "under the
shadow of a nuclear holocaust."

As Bush ratchets up the rhetoric,
Russia, China and, reportedly, Germany are balking at
new U.N. sanctions.

That leaves Bush only the military
option if he wishes to effect the nuclear castration of
Iran. And Gen. Petraeus just provided him the rationale.

"It is increasingly apparent,"

said Petraeus,
"that Iran, through the use of the
Quds Force, seeks to turn the Iraqi Special Groups into
a Hezbollah-like force to serve its interests and fight
a proxy war against the Iraqi state and coalition forces
in Iraq."

Petraeus` charge that Iran is fighting a
"proxy war" against America comports with the new
War Party propaganda line that we have been at war with
Iran since

and Bush needs no authorization from Congress
to fight it more aggressively.

Congress gave Bush a blank check for the
Iraq war. Any chance Congress will at least insist the
administration come to Capitol Hill to make the case for
the next war, on Iran, before Bush launches it?

Probably not.



Patrick J. Buchanan

no introduction
readers; his book

State of Emergency: The Third World Invasion and
Conquest of America

can be ordered from