Distracting Congress from the Real War Plan

Is the surge an orchestrated
distraction from the real war plan?

A good case can be made that it is.
The US Congress and media are focused on President
Bush`s proposal for an increase of 20,000 US troops in
Iraq, while Israel and its American neoconservative
allies prepare an assault on Iran.

Commentators have expressed
puzzlement over President Bush`s appointment of a US
Navy admiral as commander in charge of the ground wars
in Iraq and Afghanistan. The appointment makes sense
only if the administration`s attention has shifted from
the insurgencies to an attack on Iran.

The Bush administration has
recently doubled its aircraft carrier forces and air
power in the Persian Gulf. According to credible news
reports, the Israeli air force has been making practice
runs in preparation for an attack on Iran.

Recently, Israeli military and
political leaders have described Israeli machinations to
manipulate the American public and their representatives

supporting or joining an Israeli assault on Iran.

Two US carrier task forces or
strike groups will certainly congest the Persian Gulf.
On January 9 a

US nuclear sub collided with a Japanese tanker
the Persian Gulf. Two carrier groups will have scant
room for maneuver. Their purpose is either to provide
the means for a hard hit on Iran or to serve as sitting
ducks for a new Pearl Harbor that would rally Americans
behind the new war.

Whether our ships are hit by Iran
in retaliation to an attack from Israel or suffer an
orchestrated attack by Israel that is blamed on the
Iranians, there are certainly far more US naval forces
in the Persian Gulf than prudence demands.

Bush`s proposed surge appears to
have no real military purpose. The US military opposes
it as militarily pointless and as damaging to the US
Army and Marine Corps. The surge can only be
accomplished by keeping troops deployed after the
arrival of their replacements. Moreover, the increase in
numbers that can be achieved in this way are far short
of the numbers required to put down the insurgency and
civil war.

The only purpose of the surge is to
distract Congress while plans are implemented to

widen the war.

Weapons inspectors have failed to
find a nuclear weapons program in Iran. Most experts say
it would be years before Iran could make a weapon even
if the Iranian government is actively working on a
weapons program. Since the danger, if any, is years
away, why is Israel so determined to attack Iran now?

The answer might be that Israel has
the chance now. The Bush administration is in its
pocket. The White House is working with neoconservatives,
not with the American foreign policy community
represented by the

Iraq Study Group.
Neoconservative propagandists are
in influential positions in the media. The US Congress
is intimidated by AIPAC. The correlation of forces are
heavily in Israel`s favor.

Part of the Israeli/neoconservative
plan has already been achieved with the destruction of
civilian infrastructure and spread of sectarian strife
in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Lebanon. If Iran can be taken
out with a powerful air attack that might involve
nuclear weapons, Syria would be isolated and Hezbollah
would be cut off from Iranian supplies.

Israel has two years remaining to
use its American resources to achieve its aims in the
Middle East. How influential will Israel and the
neoconservatives be with the next president in the wake
of a US defeat in Iraq and Israeli defeat in Lebanon? If
the US withdraws its troops from Iraq, as the US
military and foreign policy community recommend and as
polls show the American public wants, the only effect of
Bush`s Iraq invasion will have been to radicalize
Muslims against Israel, the US, and US puppet
governments in the Middle East. Extremist elements will
tout their victory over the US, and the pressures on
Israel to accept a realistic accommodation with
Palestinians will be over-powering.

Now is the chance–the only
chance–for Israel and the neoconservatives to achieve
their goal of bringing Muslims to heel, a goal that they
have been writing about and working to achieve for a

This goal requires the war to be
widened by whatever deceit and treachery necessary to
bring the American public along.

The US Congress must immediately
refocus its attention from the surge to Iran, the real
target of Bush administration aggression.



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.