Distracting Congress from
the Real War Plan
By Paul Craig Roberts
Clearing House" -- -- Is the surge an orchestrated
distraction from the real war plan?
A good case can be made that it is. The US Congress and
media are focused on President Bush’s proposal for an
increase of 20,000 US troops in Iraq, while Israel and
its American neoconservative allies prepare an assault
Commentators have expressed puzzlement over President
Bush’s appointment of a US Navy admiral as commander in
charge of the ground wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The
appointment makes sense only if the administration’s
attention has shifted from the insurgencies to an attack
The Bush administration has recently doubled its
aircraft carrier forces and air power in the Persian
Gulf. According to credible news reports, the Israeli
air force has been making practice runs in preparation
for an attack on Iran.
Recently, Israeli military and political leaders have
described Israeli machinations to manipulate the
American public and their representatives into
supporting or joining an Israeli assault on Iran.
Two US carrier task forces or strike groups will
certainly congest the Persian Gulf. On January 9 a US
nuclear sub collided with a Japanese tanker in the
Persian Gulf. Two carrier groups will have scant room
for maneuver. Their purpose is either to provide the
means for a hard hit on Iran or to serve as sitting
ducks for a new Pearl Harbor that would rally Americans
behind the new war.
Whether our ships are hit by Iran in retaliation to an
attack from Israel or suffer an orchestrated attack by
Israel that is blamed on the Iranians, there are
certainly far more US naval forces in the Persian Gulf
than prudence demands.
Bush’s proposed surge appears to have no real military
purpose. The US military opposes it as militarily
pointless and as damaging to the US Army and Marine
Corps. The surge can only be accomplished by keeping
troops deployed after the arrival of their replacements.
Moreover, the increase in numbers that can be achieved
in this way are far short of the numbers required to put
down the insurgency and civil war.
The only purpose of the surge is to distract Congress
while plans are implemented to widen the war.
Weapons inspectors have failed to find a nuclear weapons
program in Iran. Most experts say it would be years
before Iran could make a weapon even if the Iranian
government is actively working on a weapons program.
Since the danger, if any, is years away, why is Israel
so determined to attack Iran now?
The answer might be that Israel has the chance now. The
Bush administration is in its pocket. The White House is
working with neoconservatives, not with the American
foreign policy community represented by the Iraq Study
Group. Neoconservative propagandists are in influential
positions in the media. The US Congress is intimidated
by AIPAC. The correlation of forces are heavily in
Part of the Israeli/neoconservative plan has already
been achieved with the destruction of civilian
infrastructure and spread of sectarian strife in Iraq,
Afghanistan, and Lebanon. If Iran can be taken out with
a powerful air attack that might involve nuclear
weapons, Syria would be isolated and Hezbollah would be
cut off from Iranian supplies.
Israel has two years remaining to use its American
resources to achieve its aims in the Middle East. How
influential will Israel and the neoconservatives be with
the next president in the wake of a US defeat in Iraq
and Israeli defeat in Lebanaon? If the US withdraws its
troops from Iraq, as the US military and foreign policy
community recommend and as polls show the American
public wants, the only effect of Bush’s Iraq invasion
will have been to radicalize Muslims against Israel, the
US, and US puppet governments in the Middle East.
Extremist elements will tout their victory over the US,
and the pressures on Israel to accept a realistic
accommodation with Palestinians will be over-powering.
Now is the chance--the only chance--for Israel and the
neoconservatives to achieve their goal of bringing
Muslims to heel, a goal that they have been writing
about and working to achieve for a decade.
This goal requires the war to be widened by whatever
deceit and treachery necessary to bring the American
The US Congress must immediately refocus its attention
from the surge to Iran, the real target of Bush