Phase III of Bush`s War

Those who hoped that—with the

victory of the antiwar party in 2006
, the

departure of Rumsfeld
and the neocons from the
Pentagon, the rise of Condi and the eclipse of
Cheney—America was headed out of Iraq got a rude
awakening. They are about to get another.

Today, the United States has 30,000 more troops in
Iraq than on the day America repudiated the Bush war
policy and voted the GOP out of power. And President
Bush, self-confidence surging, is now employing against
Iran a bellicosity redolent of the days

just prior to Operation Iraqi Freedom.

What gives Bush his new cockiness? The total collapse
of the antiwar coalition on Capitol Hill and the
breaking of the Congress.

Last spring, Bush

the congressional deadlines for troop
withdrawals, then

rubbed Congress` nose
in its defeat by demanding and
getting $100 billion to support the surge and continue
the war.

Before the August recess, Democrats broke again and
voted to give Bush the warrantless wiretap authority
many among them had said was an unconstitutional and
impeachable usurpation of power. They are a broken and
frightened lot.

Comes now evidence congressional Democrats have not
only lost the pro-victory vote, but forfeited the peace
vote, as well.

According to a

Zogby poll the last week in August,
just two weeks
before Gen. Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker report,
Americans, by 45 percent to 20 percent, give this
Democratic Congress lower grades on handling the war
than the Republican Congress it replaced.

Fifty-four percent of the nation believes, contra
Harry Reid, the war is not lost. That is twice the
support that Bush enjoys for his war leadership, a
paltry 27 percent. But, by nine to one, Bush`s
leadership on the war is preferred to that of the
Congress of Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid.

Incredibly, only 3 percent of the nation gives
Congress a positive rating on its handling of the war.
Congress has lost the hawks, and the owls, and the
doves. No one trusts its leadership on the war.

And George W. smells it. He no longer fears the power
of Congress, and his rhetoric suggests he is
contemptuous of it. He is brimming with self-assurance
that he can break any Democratic attempt to impose
deadlines for troop withdrawal and force Congress to
cough up all the funds he demands.

Confident of victory this fall on the Hill, Bush is
now moving into Phase III in his War on Terror: First,
Afghanistan, then Iraq, then Iran.

Do not take this writer`s word for it. Hearken to the
astonishing rhetoric Bush used at the

American Legion Convention
in Las Vegas against

"Iran … is the world`s
leading state sponsor of terrorism. … Iran funds
terrorist groups like Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic
Jihad, which murder the innocent and target Israel. …
Iran is sending arms to the Taliban. … Iran has
arrested visiting American scholars who have committed
no crimes. … Iran`s active pursuit of technology that
could lead to nuclear weapons threatens to put a region
already known for instability and violence under the
shadow of a nuclear holocaust.

"Iran`s actions threaten
the security of nations everywhere. … We will confront
this danger before it is too late."

Bush has repeatedly warned Iran to cease supplying
Iraqi insurgents with arms and enhanced IEDs for attacks
on our troops in Iraq.

How has Tehran responded to Bush`s virtual

"The attacks on our bases
and our troops by Iranian-supplied munitions have
increased in the last few months—despite pledges by Iran
to help stabilize the security situation in Iraq. …

"Iran`s leaders cannot
escape responsibility for aiding attacks against
coalition forces and the murder of innocent Iraqis."

This is a case for war. Indeed, it`s an assertion by
President Bush that Iran is colluding in acts of war
against the soldiers and Marines and allies of the
United States. What does he intend to do?

"I have authorized our
military commanders in Iraq to confront Tehran`s
murderous activities. … We`ve conducted operations
against Iranian agents supplying lethal munitions to
extremist groups."

This suggests that U.S. forces may already be engaged
in combat operations against Iranians.

Who or what can stop this drive to war?

Last spring, Nancy Pelosi herself, after a call from
the Israeli lobby, pulled an amendment that would have
forced Bush to come to Congress for specific
authorization before attacking Iran. Before the August
recess, the Senate voted 97 to zero for a resolution
sponsored by Joe Lieberman to censure Iran for
complicity in the killing of U.S. soldiers in Iraq.

The resolution explicitly rejected authorization for
immediate military action, but the gist of it declared
that Iran is participating in acts of war against the
United States, laying the foundation for a

What is to prevent Bush from attacking Iran and
widening the war, at a time and place of his choosing,
and sooner than we think?

Nothing and no one.



Patrick J. Buchanan

no introduction
readers; his book

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

can be ordered from