- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 15, 2003

Americans will regret President Bush II did not read his father’s memoirs, “A World Transformed.” Written five years ago, George Bush the Elder explained why he didn’t go after Saddam Hussein at the end of the Gulf war:

“Trying to eliminate Saddam … would have incurred incalculable human and political costs. Apprehending him was probably impossible. … We would have been forced to occupy Baghdad and, in effect, rule Iraq. … [T]here was no viable ‘exit strategy’ we could see, violating another of our principles. Furthermore, we had been self-consciously trying to set a pattern for handling aggression in the post-Cold War world. Going in and occupying Iraq, thus unilaterally exceeding the United Nations’ mandate, would have destroyed the precedent of international response to aggression that we hoped to establish. Had we gone the invasion route, the United States could conceivably still be an occupying power in a bitterly hostile land.”

In the thrall of warmongering neoconservatives, George Bush the son has managed to achieve every dire consequence against which George Bush the father warned.

President George W. Bush is leading the United States into a wider war in the Middle East, the blame for which is shared by the Muslim-hating neocons and those Americans who tolerate the president’s lies out of misguided patriotism.

On Oct. 7, Australian Prime Minister John Howard, one of the U.S. “coalition” partners in the invasion of Iraq, was censured by the Australian Senate for the lies he told to justify sending Australian troops to war with Iraq.

British polls show Prime Minister Tony Blair’s participation in the invasion of Iraq has caused a majority of the British public to distrust him.

Americans, however, are so pumped up over the attacks of September 11, 2001, that they are slow to realize they are being deceived and dragged through other people’s quarrels into a wider war.

The opening shot of this wider war was fired by Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon on Oct. 5 with an Israeli air strike against Syria.

U.S. coalition partners denounced the strike, declaring it a violation of international law. President Bush, however, thought the Israeli violation of international law was just dandy. He drew a parallel between the United States defending its homeland from terrorists by invading Iraq and Afghanistan, and Israel’s attack on Syria.

A flood of U.S. accusations and economic sanctions followed the Israeli attack, as neocons set up Syria for invasion.

Lest we forget, Americans were told that overthrowing Saddam Hussein would result in peace in the Middle East. To the contrary, by attacking Iraq, Mr. Bush “let slip the dogs of war.”

At a minimum, the neoconservatives intend to knock off Syria, Iran and Lebanon. This plan consigns the Palestinians to genocide. Palestine will become a part of greater Israel.

A formidable paper trail, publicly available, links plans for war in the Middle East to the neoconservatives who control the Bush presidency and are firmly allied with the Likud Party of Israeli Prime Minister Sharon.

Most of President Bush’s top officials in the State Department and Defense Department are identified with policy statements calling for the United States to overthrow virtually every Middle Eastern Muslim country. Statements issued by neoconservative organizations such as the Project for a New American Century, the Middle East Forum and the U.S. Committee for a Free Lebanon date back many years. The terrorist attack of September 11 provided the excuse for the United States to invade the Middle East.

Despite the name, neoconservatives are not conservative. They are a reincarnation of 18th century French Jacobins. Radical ideologues, the Jacobins believed they had a monopoly on virtue, which gave them the right to conquer Europe and to reconstruct European civilization in their image.

As Professor Claes Ryn shows in his blockbuster book, “America the Virtuous” (soon to be released by Transaction Publishers), neoconservatives are ahistorical and stand outside the American tradition. They see themselves as a virtuous elite entitled to use U.S. power to “improve” the world.

Neoconservatives view traditional Muslim societies in the Middle East not only as threats to Israel, but also as obstacles to the spread of virtue — obstacles that must be cleared away.

Wrapping themselves in the flag, neoconservatives accuse their critics of being anti-American and unpatriotic.

The quagmire in Iraq might make a wider war seem unlikely. But where there’s a will, there’s a way, and the neocons have the will. Nazi Reichsmarschall Hermann Goering told Gustave Gilbert it is easy to lead people into war:

“Of course, the people don’t want war. But after all, it’s the leaders of the country who determine the policy. And it’s always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it’s a democracy, a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to greater danger. It works the same way in any country.”

For the coming bloodshed and national bankruptcy, Americans have no one to blame but neocons and their own gullible selves.

Paul Craig Roberts is a columnist for The Washington Times and is nationally syndicated.

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