The War Criminal In The Living Room

The media is silent,
Congress is absent, and Americans are distracted as
George W. Bush openly prepares aggression against Iran.

  • US Navy aircraft
    carrier strike forces are deployed off Iran.

  • US Air Force jets and
    missile systems are deployed in bases in countries
    bordering or near to Iran.

  • US B-2 stealth
    bombers have been refitted to carry 30,000 pound
    "bunker buster"

  • The US government is
    financing terrorist and separatist groups within

  • US Special Forces
    teams are conducting terrorist operations inside

  • US war doctrine has
    been altered to permit first strike nuclear attack
    on Iran and other non-nuclear countries.

Bush`s war threats
against Iran have intensified during the course of this
year. The American people are being fed a repeat of the
lies used to justify naked aggression against Iraq.

Bush is too
self-righteous to see the dark humor in his
denunciations of Iran for threatening "the security
of nations everywhere"
and of the Iraqi resistance
for "a vision that rejects tolerance, crushes all
dissent, and justifies the murder of innocent men,
women, and children in the pursuit of political power." [
Bush Addresses the 89th Annual National Convention of
the American Legion
, August 28, 2007].
Those are precisely the words that most of the world
applies to Bush and his Brownshirt administration. The
Pew Foundation`s world polls show that despite all the
American and Israeli propaganda against Iran, the US and
Israel are regarded as no less threats to world
stability than demonized Iran.

Bush has discarded
habeas corpus
and the Geneva Conventions, justified
torture and secret trials, damned critics as
anti-American, and is responsible, according to
Information Clearing House, for over one million deaths
of Iraqi civilians, which puts Bush high on the list of
mass murderers of all time. The vast majority of
by the US military in Iraq and Afghanistan
are civilians.

Now Bush wants to murder
more. We have to kill Iranians "over there," Bush
says, "before they come over here." There is no
possibility that Iranians or any Muslims who have no air
force, no navy, no modern military technology are going
to "come over here," and no indication that they
plan to do so. The Muslims are disunited and have been
for centuries. That is what makes them vulnerable to
colonial rule. If Muslims were united, the US would
already have lost its army in Iraq. Indeed, it would not
have been able to put an army in Iraq.

Meanwhile the US media

on whether Republican

Senator Larry Craig
is a

or has offended gays by denying being one
of them. The run-up for the public`s attention is why a

South Carolina beauty queen
cannot answer a

simple question
about why

her generation
is unable to find the United States
on a map.

The war criminal is in
the living room, and no official notice is taken of the

Lacking US troops with
which to invade Iran, the Bush administration has
decided to bomb Iran

"back into the stone age."
Punishing air and
missile attacks have been designed not merely to destroy
Iran`s nuclear energy projects, but also to destroy the
public infrastructure, the economy, and the ability of
the government to function.

Encouraged by the
indifference of both the American media and Christian
churches to the massive casualties inflicted on Iraqi
civilians, the Bush administration will not be deterred
by the prospect of its air attacks inflicting massive
casualties on Iranian civilians. Last summer the Bush
administration demonstrated to the entire world its
total disdain for Muslim life when Bush supported
Israel`s month-long air attack on Lebanese civilian
infrastructure and civilian residences. President Bush
blocked the attempt by the rest of the world to halt the
gratuitous murder of Lebanese civilians and
infrastructure destruction. Clearly, turning the Muslim
Middle East into a wasteland is the Bush policy. For
Bush, civilian casualties are a non-issue. Hegemony
über alles.

The Bush administration
has made its war plans for attacking Iraq and positioned
its forces without any prior approval from Congress. The
"unitary executive" obviously doesn`t believe
that an attack on Iran requires the approval of
Congress. By its absence and quietude, Congress seems to
agree that it has no role in the decision.

In the improbable event
that Congress were to make any fuss about Bush`s
decision to attack yet another country, the State
Department has devised legalistic cover: simply declare
Iran`s military to be a "terrorist organization"
and go to war under the cover of the existing

The "Iran issue"
has been created by the Bush administration, not by
Iran. Iran, like many other countries, has a nuclear
energy program to which it is entitled as a signatory to
the Nuclear Non- Proliferation Treaty. Inspectors of the
International Atomic Energy Agency have found no
evidence of a nuclear weapons program in Iran.

The Bush administration
has brushed away this fact, which should be determining,
just as the Bush administration brushed away the fact
that weapons inspectors reported, prior to Bush`s
invasion of Iraq, that there were no weapons of mass
destruction in Iraq.

The Bush administration
managed to disrupt the work of the pesky IAEA weapons
inspectors in Iran. Iran has been working successfully
with the IAEA and has achieved what a senior IAEA
official recently described as a milestone agreement.
The Bush administration instantly went to work to
discredit the agreement and unleashed its new lapdog,
French President Nicolas Sarkozy, to threaten "the
bombing of Iran."
risks attack over atomic push, French president says
By Elaine Sciolino, International
August 27, 2007]

The Bush administration`s
position is legally untenable and is really nothing but
a contrived excuse to start another war. Bush claims
that Iran, alone among all the signatories of the
Nuclear Non- Proliferation Treaty, must be denied its
right under the pact to develop nuclear energy, because
Iran, along among all the other signatories, will be the
only country able to deceive the IAEA inspectors and
develop nuclear weapons. Therefore, Iran must be denied
its rights under the agreement.

Bush`s position on the
Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty is as legally untenable
as his position on every other issue–the Geneva
Conventions, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act,
habeas corpus, the constitutional separation of powers,
and presidential signing statements that he cavalierly
attaches to new laws in order to override the
legislative power of Congress. Bush`s position is that
the meaning of laws and treaties varies with his needs
of the moment.

Bush has declared himself
to be the "decider." The "decider" decides
whether Americans have any rights under the Constitution
and whether Iran has any rights under the Nuclear
Non-Proliferation Treaty. As the "decider" has
decided that Iran has no such rights, the "decider"
decides whether to attack Iran.

No one else has any say
about it. The people`s representatives are just so much
chaff in the wind.

Whatever form of
government Bush is operating under, it is far outside an
accountable constitutional democratic government. Bush
has transitioned America to Caesarism, and even if Bush
leaves office in January 2009, the powers he has
accumulated in the executive will remain.

Unless Bush and Cheney

impeached and convicted
, there is no prospect of the
US Congress and federal judiciary ever again being
co-equal branches of government.



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.