American hegemony is not guaranteed
By Paul Craig Roberts
Online Journal Contributing Writer
Apr 16, 2008, 00:14
Exactly as the British press predicted, last week�s
congressional testimony by Gen. David Petraeus and Green Zone administrator
Ryan Crocker set the propaganda stage for a Bush regime attack on Iran.
On April 10 Robert
H. Reid of AP News reported, "The top US commander has shifted the focus
from al-Qaida to Iranian-backed �special groups� as the main threat . . . The
shift was articulated by Gen. Petraeus who told Congress that �unchecked, the
special groups pose the greatest long-term threat to the viability of a
According to the neocon
propaganda, the "special groups" (have you ever heard of them
before?) are breakaway elements of al Sadr�s militia.
Nonsensical on its face, the Petraeus/Crocker testimony is
just another mask in the macabre theatre of lies that the Bush regime has told
in order to justify its wars of naked aggression against Muslims.
Fact #1: Al Sadr is not allied with Iran. He speaks with an
Iraqi voice and has his militia under orders to stand down from conflict. The
Badr militia is the Shi�ite militia that is allied with Iran. Why did the US
and its Iraqi puppet Maliki attack al Sadr�s
militia and not the Badr militia or the breakaway elements of Sadr�s
militia that allegedly now operate as gangs?
Fact #2: The Shi�ite militias and the Sunni insurgents are
armed with weapons available from the unsecured weapon stockpiles of Saddam Hussein�s
army. If Iran were arming Iraqis, the Iraqi insurgents and militias would have
armor-piercing rocket-propelled grenades and surface-to-air missiles. These two
weapons would neutralize the US advantage by enabling Iraqis to destroy US
helicopter gunships, aircraft and tanks. The Iraqis cannot mass their forces as
they have no weapons against US air power. To destroy US tanks, Iraqis have to
guess the roads US vehicles will travel and bury bombs constructed from
artillery shells. The inability to directly attack armor and to defend against
air attack denies offensive capability to Iraqis.
If the Iranians desired to arm Iraqis, they obviously would
provide these two weapons that would change the course of the war.
Just as the Bush regime lied to Americans and the UN about
why Iraq was attacked, hiding the real agenda behind false claims that Saddam
Hussein had weapons of mass destruction and connections to al Qaeda, the Bush
regime is now lying about why it needs to attack Iran. Could anyone possibly believe
that Iran is so desirous of having its beautiful country bombed and its nuclear
energy program destroyed that Iran would invite an attack by fighting
a "proxy war" against the US in Iraq?
That the Bush regime would tell such a blatant lie shows
that the regime has no respect for the intelligence of the American public and
no respect for the integrity of the US media.
And why should it? The public and media have fallen for
every lie the Bush regime has told.
The moral hypocrisy of US politicians is unrivaled. McCain
says that if he were president he would not attend the opening ceremony of the
Beijing Olympics because China has killed and injured 100 Tibetans who
protested Tibet�s occupation by China. Meanwhile the Iraqi toll of the American
occupation is 1 million dead and 4 million displaced. That comes to 20 percent of
the Iraqi population. At what point does the US occupation of Iraq graduate
from a war crime to genocide?
Not to be outdone by McCain�s hypocrisy, Bush declared,
"The message to the Iranians is: we will bring you to justice if you
continue to try to infiltrate, send your agents or send surrogates to bring
harm to our troops and/or the Iraqi citizens."
Consider our "Christian" president�s position: It
is perfectly appropriate for the US to bomb and to invade countries and to send
its agents and surrogates to harm Iraqis, Afghans, Somalians, Serbians and
whomever, but resistance to American aggression is the mark of terrorism, and
any country that aids America�s victims is at war with America.
The three-week "cakewalk" war that would be paid
for by Iraqi oil revenues is now into its sixth year. According to Nobel
economist Joseph Stiglitz, the cost of the war to Americans is between 3 and 5
trillion dollars. Five trillion dollars equals the entire US personal and
corporate income tax revenues for two years.
Of what benefit is this enormous expenditure to America? The
price of oil and gasoline in US dollars has tripled, the price of gold has
quadrupled, and the dollar has declined sharply against other currencies. The
national debt has rapidly mounted. America�s reputation is in tatters.
The Bush regime�s coming attack on Iran will widen the war
dramatically and escalate the costs.
Not content with war with Iran, Republican presidential
candidate John McCain, in a speech written for him by neocon warmonger Robert
Kagan, promises to confront
both Russia and China.
Three questions present themselves:
(1) Will our foreign creditors -- principally China,
Japan and Saudi Arabia -- finance a third monstrous Bush regime war crime?
(2) Will Iran sit on its hands and wait on the American
bombs to fall?
(3) Will Russia and China passively wait to be
confronted by the warmonger McCain?
Should a country that is overextended in Iraq and
Afghanistan be preparing to attack yet a third country, while threatening to
interfere in the affairs of two large nuclear powers? What sort of political
leadership seeks to initiate conflict in so many unpromising directions?
With Iran, Russia, China, and North Korea threatened by
American hegemonic belligerence, it is not difficult to imagine a scenario that
would terminate all pretense of American power: For example, instead of waiting
to be attacked, Iran uses its Chinese and Russian anti-ship missiles, against
which the US reportedly has poor means of defense, and sinks every ship in the
American carrier strike forces that have been foolishly massed in the Persian
Gulf, simultaneously taking out the Saudi oil fields and the Green Zone in
Baghdad, the headquarters of the US occupation. Shi�ite militias break the US
supply lines from Kuwait, and Iranian troops destroy the dispersed US forces in
Iraq before they can be concentrated to battle strength.
Simultaneously, North Korea crosses the demilitarized zone
and takes South Korea, China seizes Taiwan and dumps a trillion dollars of US
Treasury bonds on the market. Russia goes on full nuclear alert and cuts off
all natural gas to Europe.
What would the Bush regime do? Wet its pants? Push the
button and end the world?
If America really had dangerous enemies, surely the enemies
would collude to take advantage of a dramatically overextended delusional
regime that, blinded by its own arrogance and hubris, issues gratuitous threats
and lives by Mao�s doctrine that power comes out of the barrel of a gun.
There are other less dramatic scenarios. Why does the US
assume that only it can initiate aggression, boycotts, freezes on financial
assets of other countries and bans on foreign banks from participation in the
international banking system? If the rest of the world were to tire of American
aggression or to develop a moral conscience, it would be easy to organize a boycott
of America and to ban US banks from participating in the international banking
system. Such a boycott would be especially effective at the present time with
the balance sheets of US banks impaired by subprime derivatives and the US
government dependent on foreign loans in order to finance its day-to-day
Sooner or later it will occur to other countries that
putting up with America is a habit that they don�t need to continue.
Does America really need more political leadership that
leads in such unpromising directions?
Craig Roberts [email him] was
Assistant Secretary of the Treasury during President Reagan�s first term. He
was Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal. He has held numerous academic
appointments, including the William E. Simon Chair, Center for Strategic
and International Studies, Georgetown University, and Senior Research Fellow,
Hoover Institution, Stanford University. He was awarded the Legion of Honor by
French President Francois Mitterrand. He is the author of Supply-Side
Revolution : An Insider's Account of Policymaking in Washington; Alienation
and the Soviet Economy and Meltdown:
Inside the Soviet Economy, and is the co-author with Lawrence M. Stratton
Tyranny of Good Intentions : How Prosecutors and Bureaucrats Are Trampling the
Constitution in the Name of Justice. Click here for Peter
Brimelow�s Forbes Magazine interview with Roberts about the recent epidemic of
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