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January 12, 2007

The 'Surge' Is A Red Herring


by Paul Craig Roberts

Bush's "surge" speech is a hoax, but members of Congress and media commentators are discussing the surge as if it were real.

I invite the reader to examine the speech. The "surge" content consists of nonsensical propagandistic statements. The real content of the speech is toward the end where Bush mentions Iran and Syria.

Bush makes it clear that success in Iraq does not depend on the surge. Rather, "Succeeding in Iraq . . . begins with addressing Iran and Syria."

Bush asserts that "these two regimes are allowing terrorists and insurgents to use their territory to move in and out of Iraq. Iran is providing material support for attacks on American troops."

Bush's assertions are propagandistic lies.

The Iraq insurgency is Sunni. Iran is Shi'ite. If Iran is supporting anyone in Iraq it is the Shi'ites, who have not been part of the insurgency. Indeed, the Sunni and Shi'ites are engaged in a civil war within Iraq.

Does any intelligent person really believe that Iranian Shi'ites are going to arm Iraqi Sunnis who are killing Iraqi Shi'ites allied with Iran? Does anyone really believe that Iranian Shi'ites are going to provide sanctuary for Iraqi Sunnis?

Bush can tell blatant propagandistic lies, because Congress and the American people don't know enough facts to realize the absurdity of Bush's assertions.

Why is Bush telling these lies? Here is the answer: Bush says, "We will disrupt the attacks on our forces. We will interrupt the flow of support from Iran and Syria. And we will seek out and destroy the networks providing advanced weaponry and training to our enemies in Iraq."

In those words, Bush states perfectly clearly that victory in Iraq requires US forces to attack Iran and Syria. Moreover, Bush says, "We are also taking other steps to bolster the security of Iraq and protect American interests in the Middle East. I recently ordered the deployment of an additional carrier strike group to the region."

What do two US aircraft carrier attack groups in the Persian Gulf have to do with a guerrilla ground war in Iraq?

The "surge" is merely a tactic to buy time while war with Iran and Syria can be orchestrated. The neoconservative/Israeli cabal feared that the pressure that Congress, the public, and the American foreign policy establishment were putting on Bush to de-escalate in Iraq would terminate their plan to achieve hegemony in the Middle East. Failure in Iraq would mean the end of the neoconservatives' influence. It would be impossible to start a new war with Iran after losing the war in Iraq.

The neoconservatives and the right-wing Israeli government have clearly stated their plans to overthrow Muslim governments throughout the region and to deracinate Islam. These plans existed long before 9/11.

Near the end of his "surge" speech, Bush adopts the neoconservative program as US policy. The struggle, Bush says, echoing the neoconservatives and the Israeli right-wing, goes far beyond Iraq. "The challenge," Bush says, is "playing out across the broader Middle East. . . . It is the decisive ideological struggle of our time." America is pitted against "extremists" who "have declared their intention to destroy our way of life." "The most realistic way to protect the American people," Bush says, is "by advancing liberty across a troubled region."

This, of course, is a massive duplicitous lie. We have brought no liberty to Iraq, but we have destroyed their way of life. Bush suggests that Muslims in Afghanistan, Lebanon and Palestine are waiting and hoping for more invasions to free them of violence. Did Bush's invasion free Iraq from violence or did it bring violence to Iraq?

It is extraordinary that anyone can listen to this blatant declaration of US aggression in the Middle East without demanding Bush's immediate impeachment.

Republican US Senator Chuck Hagel declared Bush's plan to be "the most dangerous foreign policy blunder in this country since Vietnam." In truth, it is far worse. It is naked aggression justified by transparent lies. No one has ever heard governments in Iraq, Syria, or Iran declare "their intention to destroy our way of life." To the contrary, it is the United States and Israel that are trying to destroy the Muslim way of life.

The crystal clear truth is that fanatical neoconservatives and Israelis are using Bush to commit the United States to a catastrophic course.


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    Paul Craig Roberts wrote the Kemp-Roth bill and was assistant secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan administration. He was associate editor of the Wall Street Journal editorial page and contributing editor of National Review. He is author or co-author of eight books, including The Supply-Side Revolution (Harvard University Press). He has held numerous academic appointments, including the William E. Simon chair in political economy, Center for Strategic and International Studies, Georgetown University, and senior research fellow, Hoover Institution, Stanford University. He has contributed to numerous scholarly journals and testified before Congress on 30 occasions. He has been awarded the U.S. Treasury's Meritorious Service Award and the French Legion of Honor. He was a reviewer for the Journal of Political Economy under editor Robert Mundell.

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