Crisis Is Upon Us

A number of experts have concluded that despite the Bush
administration`s desire to attack Iran, the aggression
would be too rash and the consequences too dire even for
the irrational Bush administration.

Military experts point out that at a time when generals
are calling for more troops for Afghanistan and Iraq, it
would be ill-advised for Bush to add Iran to the war
theater. Experts note that Iran is well armed with
missiles capable of attacking US ships and oil
facilities throughout the Middle East and that Iran can
direct its Shiite allies in Iraq to assault US troops
there and set in motion terrorist actions throughout the
Middle East.

Diplomatic experts point out that the US is isolated in
its desire for war with Iran and has no ally except
Israel, thus validating Muslim claims that the US is
Israel`s instrument against Muslims in the Middle East.
Experts note that military aggression is a war crime and
that US violations of international law isolate the US
and destroy the soft power on which US leadership has
been based. An attack on Iran could be the last straw
for Muslims chaffing under the rule of US puppet
governments in Egypt, Pakistan, Jordan and Saudi Arabia.

Economic experts point out that the impact on the price
of oil would be severe and the economic consequences
detrimental. With the US housing bubble deflating, now
is not the time for an oil shock.

It is difficult to take exception to this expert
analysis. Nevertheless, the Bush administration
continues to send war signals. Credible news
organizations have reported that US naval attack groups
have been given

"prepare to deploy orders"
that would put them
on station off Iran by October 21.

How can Bush administration war plans be reconciled with
expert opinion that the consequences would be too dire
for the US?

Perhaps the answer is that what appears as irrationality
to experts is rationality to neoconservatives. Neocons
seek maximum chaos and instability in the Middle East in
order to justify long-term US occupation of the region.
Following this line of thought, neocons would regard the
loss of a US aircraft carrier in the Persian Gulf as a
way to solidify public support for the war. US public
anger at the Iranians could even result in US public
support for a military draft in order to win "the war
on terror."

The Bush administration could bring Congress around by
announcing a "Gulf of Tonkin" incident or by
orchestrating a "terrorist attack." However, this
is unnecessary as Bush has prepared the ground for
bypassing Congress with his propagandistic allegations
that Iran, by arming Iraqi insurgents, sponsoring
terrorism, and building nuclear weapons, is the major
part of the ongoing "war against terrorism." Now
that Iran is blamed for rising violence in Iraq, an
attack on Iran follows as a matter of course. All Bush
has to do is to continue with his lies in order to bring
the American public to a new war hysteria.

Bush`s attorney general has demonstrated that he has no
qualms about validating any and all extra-legal powers
that the White House requires for violating the US
Constitution and international law. The congressional
attempts to block illegal wiretapping and torture have
failed. The Senate has refused to authorize torture, but
the Senate has not prevented the administration from
torturing detainees. The compromise leaves it to the
White House to decide by executive order whether its
interrogation practices are objectionable. In an
editorial (September 22, 2006), the Washington Post
concluded that

"the abuse can continue."

Polls show that Bush administration propaganda has
convinced a majority of inattentive Americans that Iran
is making nuclear weapons. Polls show that a majority
support an attack on Iran under this circumstance. The
neoconservatives and their media allies have succeeded
in causing the public to confuse Iran`s legal nuclear
energy program with a weapons program.

The International Atomic Energy Agency, whose inspectors
pore over Iran`s nuclear energy program for signs of a
weapons program, recently denounced a House Intelligence
Committee report as

"outrageous and dishonest."
Written by the
Republican neocon staff, the Republican report falsely
alleges that Iran had enriched uranium to weapons grade
last April and that the IAEA had removed a senior
safeguards inspector to keep the alleged breach of the
Nuclear Non-proliferation Pact secret.

Once again neoconservatives have shown that they will
tell any and every lie to achieve their goal of
attacking Iran. Jingoistic anti-UN Bush supporters will
automatically believe the neocon lie and will swallow
right-wing talk radio claims that the UN is protecting
Iran`s nuclear weapons program. As we learned from the
Iraq hysteria, facts and experts are no impediment to
the Bush administration`s lies.

Rumsfeld`s neocon Pentagon has rewritten US war doctrine
to permit preemptive nuclear attack on non-nuclear
countries. As the US paid a huge public relations cost
in terms of world opinion and distrust of the US by
endorsing the first use of nuclear weapons, the revision
of US war doctrine

must have a purpose.

Neocons claim that tactical nuclear weapons are
necessary to destroy Iran`s underground facilities.
However, the real reason for using nukes against Iran is
to intimidate Iran from retaliating and to threaten the
entire Muslim world with genocide unless Muslims bend to
the neocons` will and accept US hegemony over their part
of the world.

In his

speech to the United Nations,
Hugo Chavez might not
have been too deep into hyperbole when he described Bush
as an example of demonic evil.



Paul Craig Roberts

] was Assistant
Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan Administration.
He is the author of

Supply-Side Revolution : An Insider`s Account of
Policymaking in Washington
and the Soviet Economy

Meltdown: Inside the Soviet Economy
and is the co-author with Lawrence M. Stratton of

The Tyranny of Good Intentions : How Prosecutors and
Bureaucrats Are Trampling the Constitution in the Name
of Justice
. Click

for Peter
Forbes Magazine interview with Roberts
about the recent epidemic of prosecutorial misconduct.