Pace Fired To Clear Way For “National Emergency,” Iran Nuclear Strike?

“It is the absolute responsibility of everybody in
uniform to disobey an order that is either illegal or
General Peter Pace, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff,

National Press Club,
February 17, 2006.         

“They will be held accountable for the decisions they
make. So they should in fact not obey the illegal and
immoral orders to use weapons of mass destruction
Peter Pace, CNN
With Wolf Blitzer,
April 6, 2003

The surprise decision by the Bush regime to replace
General Peter Pace as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of
Staff has been explained as a necessary step to avoid
contentious confirmation hearings in the US Senate. Gen.
Pace`s reappointment would have to be confirmed, and as
the general has served as vice chairman and chairman of
the Joint Chiefs for the past 6 years, the Republicans
feared that hearings would give war critics an
opportunity to focus, in Defense Secretary Gates words,

“on the past, rather than the future.”

This is a plausible explanation.  Whether one takes it
on face value depends on how much trust one still has in
a regime that has consistently lied about everything for
six years. 

General Pace himself says he was forced out when he
refused to “take the issue off the table” by voluntarily
retiring.  Pace himself was sufficiently disturbed by
his removal to strain his relations with the powers that
be by not going quietly.

The Wall Street Journal editorial page
interpreted Pace`s removal as indication that “the
man running the Pentagon is Democratic Senator Carl
Levin of Michigan. For that matter, is George W. Bush
still President?”
, June 11, 2007]

The Wall Street Journal editorial writers`
attempt to portray Pace`s departure as evidence of a
weak and appeasing administration does not ring true. 
An administration that escalates the war in Iraq in the
face of public opposition and pushes ahead with its plan
to attack Iran is not an appeasing administration. 
Whether it is the war or

Attorney General Gonzales
or the

immigration bill
or anything else, President Bush
and his Republican stalwarts have told Congress and the
American people that they don`t care what Congress and
the public think. Bush`s

signing statements
make it clear that he doesn`t
even care about the

laws that Congress writes.

A president audacious enough to continue an unpopular
and pointless war in the face of public opinion and a
lost election is a president who is not too frightened
to reappoint a general.  Why does Bush run from General
Pace when he fervently supports embattled Attorney
General Gonzales?  What troops does Bush support? He

supports his toadies.

There are, of course, other explanations for General
Pace`s departure. The most disturbing of these
explanations can be found in General Pace`s two
statements at the beginning of this article.

In the first statement General Pace says that every
member of the US military has the absolute
responsibility to disobey illegal and immoral orders. In
the second statement, General Pace says that an order to
use weapons of mass destruction is an illegal and
immoral order.

The context of General Pace`s second statement above
(actually, the first statement in historical time) is
his response to Blitzer`s question whether the invading
US troops could be attacked with Iraqi weapons of mass
destruction.  But Pace`s answer does not restrict
illegal and immoral only to Iraqi use of WMD.  It is a
general statement.  It applies to their use period.  

On March 10, 2006, Jorge Hirsch made a case that use of
nuclear weapons is both illegal and immoral.  [Gen.
Pace to Troops: Don`t Nuke Iran
Despite the illegality and immorality of first-use of
nuclear weapons, the Bush Pentagon rewrote US war
doctrine to permit their use regardless of their
illegality and immorality. For a regime that not only
believes that might is right abut also that they have
the might, law is what the regime says.

The revised war doctrine permits US first strike use of
nuclear weapons against non-nuclear countries.  We need
to ask ourselves why the Bush administration would
blacken America`s reputation and rekindle the nuclear
arms race unless the administration had plans to apply
its new war doctrine. 

Senator Joseph Lieberman, a number of

, prominent Jewish leaders such as

Norman Podhoretz,
and members of the Israeli
government have called for a

US attack on Iran. 
Most Republican presidential
candidates have said that they would not rule out the

of nuclear weapons against Iran.  

Allegedly, the US Department of State is pursuing
diplomacy with Iran, not war, but Undersecretary of
State Nicholas Burns gives the lie to that claim. On
June 12 Burns claimed that Iran was not only arming
insurgents in Iraq but also the Taliban in Afghanistan. 
Burns` claims are, to put it mildly, controversial in
the US intelligence community, and they are denied not
only by Iran but also by our puppet government in
Afghanistan. On June 14, Afghan Defense

Minister Abdul Rahim Wardak told the Associated Press
that Burns`
claim has no credibility.

But, of course, none of the administration`s
propagandistic claims that set the stage for the
invasion of Iraq had any credibility either, and the
lack of credibility did not prevent the claims from
deceiving the Congress and the American people.  As the
US media now functions as the administration`s Ministry
of Propaganda, the Bush regime believes that it can
stampede Americans with lies into another war.

The Bush regime has concluded that a conventional attack
on Iran would do no more than stir up a hornet`s nest
and release retaliatory actions that the US could not
manage. The Bush regime is convinced that only nuclear
weapons can bring the mullahs to heel.

The Bush regime`s plan to attack Iran with nuclear
weapons puts General Pace`s departure in a different
light.  How can President Bush succeed with an order to
attack with nuclear weapons when America`s highest
ranking military officer says that such an order is
“illegal and immoral”
and that everyone in
the military has an “absolute responsibility” to
disobey it?

An alternative explanation for Pace`s departure is that
Pace had to go so that malleable toadies can be
installed in his place. 

Pace`s departure removes a known obstacle to a nuclear
attack on Iran, thus advancing that possible course of
action.  A plan to attack Iran with nuclear weapons
might also explain the otherwise inexplicable
“National Security and Homeland Security Presidential
) that Bush issued on May 9.  Bush`s
directive allows him to declare a “national
on his authority alone without
ratification by Congress.  Once Bush declares a national
emergency, he can take over all functions of government
at every level, as well as private organizations and
businesses, and remain in total control until he
declares the emergency to be over.

Who among us would trust Bush, or any president, with
this power?

What is the necessity of such a sweeping directive
subject to no check or ratification?

What catastrophic emergency short of a massive attack on
the US with nuclear ICBMs can possibly justify such a

There is no obvious answer to the question. The federal
government`s inability to respond to Hurricane Katrina
is hard evidence that

centralizing power in one office
is not the way to
deal with catastrophes. 

A speculative answer is that, with appropriate
propaganda, the directive could be triggered by a US
nuclear attack on Iran.  The use of nuclear weapons
arouses the ultimate fear.  A US nuclear attack would
send Russian and Chinese ICBMs into high alert.  False
flag operations could be staged in the US.  The
propagandistic US media would hype such developments to
the hilt, portraying danger everywhere.  Fear of the
regime`s new detention centers would silence most voices
of protest as the regime declares its “national

This might sound like a far-out fiction novel, but it is
a scenario that would explain the Bush regime`s
disinterest in the shrinking Republican vote that
foretells a massive Republican wipeout in the 2008
election.  In a declared national emergency, there would
be no election. 

As implausible as this might sound to people who trust
the government, be aware that despite his rhetoric, Bush
has no respect for democracy.  His neoconservative
advisors have all been taught that it is their duty to
circumvent democracy, as democracy does not produce the
right decisions. Neoconservatives believe in rule by
elites, and they regard themselves as the elite. The
Bush regime decided that Americans would not agree to an
invasion of Iraq unless they were deceived and tricked
into it, and so we were. 

Indeed, democracy is out of favor throughout the Western
world.  In the UK and Europe, peoples are being forced,
despite their expressed opposition, into an

EU identity that they reject
.  British PM Tony Blair
and his European counterparts have decided on their own
that the people do not know best and that the people
will be ignored. 

As former French PM Valery Giscard d`Estaing

the French newspaper, Le Monde,
“Public opinion will be led to adopt, without knowing
it, the proposals that we dare not present to them
  Giscard d`Estaing is referring to the
resurrection of the

rejected EU constitution
camouflaged as a treaty. 

Giscard d`Estaing acknowledges that 450 million
Europeans are being hoodwinked.  Why should Americans be
surprised that they have been and are being hoodwinked?

Americans might have more awareness of their peril if
they realized that their leaders no longer believe in
democratic outcomes.



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.