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February 21, 2005

Outfoxed by bin Laden


by Paul Craig Roberts

President Bush's invasion has turned Iraq into a recruiting and training ground for anti-U.S. terrorists, according to CIA Director Porter Goss in testimony before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence on Feb. 16. Goss' report was supported by Vice Admiral Lowell Jacoby, director of the the Defense Intelligence Agency. Jacoby told the committee that "our policies in the Middle East fuel Islamic resentment." The Iraq insurgency, Jacoby reported, has grown "in size and complexity over the past year" with daily attacks increasing 240 percent.

The situation, in other words, is out of control. One hundred fifty thousand American troops are tied down by a few thousand lightly armed insurgents. The recent Iraq election was won by Shi'ites allied with Iran. U.S. casualties continue to mount, and our troops can seldom tell friend from foe.

Why isn't Bush looking for a way out of the greatest strategic blunder in American history? Why, instead, are Bush and his government doing all they can to spread the conflict into Syria and Iran?

The neoconservatives' goal is the same as Osama bin Laden's – to spread instability in the Middle East. The neocons seek to foment instability in order to justify more U.S. invasions in an insane quest to remake the Middle East in the American image. Bin Laden seeks instability in order to topple the secular rulers and recreate Islamic rule. Bin Laden does not want U.S. troops out. He wants to suck America in deeper in order to create revolutionary insurgency throughout the Middle East.

The Bush administration is moronic enough to oblige bin Laden. In a recent 24-hour period, the Bush administration made the following mistakes:

The Bush administration blamed Syria for the recent assassination of a former Lebanese prime minister, recalled the U.S. ambassador to Syria, and demanded that Syria withdraw its troops from Lebanon. In public statements, administration officials have accused Iran of being close to producing nuclear weapons despite all evidence to the contrary. Vice President Cheney suggested that Israel bomb Iran's nuclear installations, and President Bush said Israel had the right to preemptive attack and the U.S. would support Israel.

There is no evidence that Syria is responsible for the assassination. The International Atomic Energy Agency conducts regular inspections of Iran's nuclear facilities and reports that there are no weapons violations. France, Germany, and Russia have reached the same conclusion. Yet once again the U.S. misrepresents the facts in order to deceive the American people and create a climate for expanding Bush's war in the Middle East.

Despite the disaster they have caused, neoconservatives still hold the reins of power in the Bush administration. They have made their agenda clear: war throughout the Middle East. Their orchestrated invasion of Iraq was merely a stepping stone to their wider aim. The neocons seize every opportunity to use provocative accusations, bellicose threats, and propaganda to stir up ever more American enemies in the Middle East. Their goal is to provoke a "Pearl Harbor," as Christopher Manion terms it, that can be used to bring back the military draft.

This policy plays directly into bin Laden's hands. Osama has succeeded in tricking America into spending $300 billion in an unsuccessful act of revenge that has ruined America's reputation while recruiting tens of thousands of soldiers for bin Laden.

The neoconservatives are the greatest threat America has ever faced, and they control the Office of the President, the Office of the Vice President, the Department of State, the Department of Defense, and the police-state apparatus known as "Homeland Security."

The neocons have enormous propaganda resources: the entirety of right-wing talk radio, the Weekly Standard, the Wall Street Journal, Fox "News," National Review, the Washington Times, and numerous daily newspapers.

Neocons have succeeded in intimidating the TV networks, National Public Radio, and CNN. The neocons cannot fully control the news, but they abuse the offices of trust that they occupy in order to spin the news to their purposes.

Any day now, the neocons may orchestrate a scenario that will suck the U.S. into a wider war that America has no possibility of winning. If the American people had the slightest sense of their danger, they would demand immediate U.S. withdrawal from Iraq and accountability for the liars who orchestrated the ill-fated U.S. invasion.


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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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