Neocons Are Dying to Nuke Iran”
An interview with Dr. Paul Craig Roberts
By Kathy Sanborn
-- - Sanborn: When I read your article, “Marching
Off Into Tyranny,” I was impressed by how you were able to concisely
sum up one of the most important issues that we face as
Americans, namely, the erosion of our civil liberties, mostly
due to fabricated terrorism such as the anthrax scare and the
attacks on 9/11. You talk about the Florida university
professor, Al-Arian, who continues to be victimized by the Feds
although a jury has cleared him of any terrorism charges. [As of
August 8, 2008, the Associated Press states, “U.S. District
Judge Leonie Brinkema postponed the trial indefinitely,
questioning whether the government was overeager in filing
What was your wake-up call, Dr. Roberts, to the fact that the
current administration was determined to take away the civil
liberties of Americans?
Roberts: When they responded to 9/11 with the Patriot Act. That
document was thick, and it would have taken months and months to
prepare it, yet it came out shortly after the 9/11 attacks.
Why does combating terrorism require an assault on the
Constitution and the Bill of Rights? It was clear to me that
there was an undeclared agenda there.
On the day of 9/11, I knew right away that something was wrong.
I had been an engineering student at Georgia Tech, and things
just didn’t add up. As I watched the towers fall, I could see
that the buildings were blowing up from the top, at least
initially. The airplanes caused asymmetrical damage, and I don’t
think the planes were large enough to cause the buildings to
topple. When you chop a tree down, it doesn’t blow up, it falls.
The buildings were blowing up, not falling down.
Then when I saw pictures of the alleged terrorists, most of them
looked just like kids. They were small, and airplane passengers
wouldn’t have hesitated to try to take them down. The average
American male should have been able to take care of the
And how they could have fooled all of the intelligence agencies,
outwit NORAD, and so on; it just didn’t make any sense.
They were really after our civil liberties. That was their
undeclared agenda. The effect is that no one has any protection
under the law.
Sanborn: In your article, you mention the anthrax scare as being
a logical part of the 9/11 “false-flag” series of events. Now
that we know the anthrax actually came from a US government lab
and not from an alleged cave in Afghanistan, the theory seems to
hold water. And you point out that recently scientist Bruce
Ivins was implicated in the anthrax case after his apparent
You also discuss how the Bush administration lied to ABC
reporter Brian Ross by telling him the anthrax was made in Iraq
by none other than Saddam Hussein, thus clearing the way for the
US to invade Iraq and to pass the Patriot Act. Dr. Roberts, are
journalists these days in the habit of simply believing and
accepting everything the administration tells them, or are some
of them on the “company” (CIA) payroll?
Roberts: I suspect both. It’s a corporate-run media, especially
since the Clinton administration days, and many of the
journalists act as “disinfo” agents for the government.
Back in the 1970s when I was a Senate aide, I would turn on the
TV in the evening and the news reports would bear no resemblance
to what had actually happened that day. I noticed that there
were no journalists in the gallery, so how had the stories
gotten to them? It turned out that the aides were calling the
press, and the journalists were taking the stories, virtually
running them verbatim. Journalists are lazy.
When I was working in the Reagan administration, I noticed that
Stockman, Darman, and Jim Baker had their own special spin on
things in a way that served their own agendas, and not the
Sanborn: What is clearly shocking and “in your face” about this
administration is the fact that, as you say, the administration
officials wanted for questioning by Congress (such as Josh
Bolten and Harriet Miers) simply refuse to comply, and that
seems to be the end of the story. These officials demonstrate to
us that they believe they are above the law. It brings to mind
the recent flip comment by a shrugging Vice President Dick
Cheney: “So?” That attitude says it all, doesn’t it, Dr.
Roberts: They think they’re not accountable. They use the law
against their enemies. The acquiescence of the Congress is hard
to explain, though.
Sanborn: Sometimes I wonder if the Congress is being bribed or
blackmailed. That could explain why they refuse to stop illegal
wars and torture.
Roberts: The purpose of illegal spying is to get blackmail
information on members of Congress, and it started well before
Sanborn: You say that no amount of evidence would convince the
American public that their government, or rogue elements
therein, would ever have been involved in 9/11 or the anthrax
scare. It almost sounds like Americans have been brainwashed to
a certain extent. Dr. Roberts, why can’t the US populace get
their minds around the fact that we are losing our rights by the
day, and that this so-called “war on terror” is the root cause?
Roberts: Most of them think that because they aren’t doing
anything wrong, they have nothing to fear. I would ask them
this: Why did the founding fathers write the Constitution?
Americans believe that they are the salt of the earth, and that
“Evil tries to get us because we are so good.” Bush says, “They
hate us for our freedoms.” That’s a farce.
Sanborn: Let’s assume that the Bush administration hasn’t had
their fill of power quite yet. Based on everything we’ve seen so
far, it might not be a stretch to speculate that Bush and
company might wish to contrive an “event” in order to suspend
the upcoming elections and to remain in control of the White
House. What say you, Dr. Roberts, to this possibility?
Roberts: I think it is a possibility. I warned of this back in
’06, I believe. The event would have to do with Iran. However,
we’ve run out of allies to attack Iran, except for Israel.
Attacking Iran would cause more blowback than we could manage,
and we can’t get Russia or China to go along with our
administration’s desire to attack Iran. We can’t push the
Chinese or the Russians around in any way.
People may wake up to the truth yet. Ron Suskind’s new book, The
Way of the World, is powerful. [He states that the Bush
administration produced a fake letter claiming to demonstrate a
link between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaida, in order to justify
war with Iraq. There was no such link. –KS]
The frame-up of a dead man, Ivins, in the anthrax case isn’t
working with knowledgeable people, either. Ivins couldn’t have
done it because he worked in labs that made vaccines, and he
didn’t have the special equipment necessary to make the anthrax.
Sanborn: By the way, Dr. Roberts, I wonder what your take is on
the recent news that former astronaut Dr. Edgar Mitchell has,
once again, stated that there have been, and still are, alien
visitors to Earth. Could this “aliens are officially real” story
magically evolve into a fake “alien invasion” to replace the
faux -and failed- “war on terror” gambit?
Roberts: I don’t think they could fake an alien attack. No one
would expect the Bush administration to be able to defeat an
Sanborn: Switching topics now, I wanted to ask you about the
state of our rather perilous economy. Because you are an
economic expert (the “Father of Reaganomics,” I’m told), what is
your opinion on where the economy is headed?
Roberts: The US economy is in serious trouble. They need to keep
interest rates low to bail out all those exotic securities and
products, and, at the same time, the government can finance the
budget only by foreign borrowing. The inflation rate is higher
than our bond interest rate, so foreigners lose money when they
sell the bonds. We’re probably engineering deals now with the
United Arab Emirates and the Saudis to buy our bonds.
A higher interest rate will worsen the economy, but it’s already
going down the drain even with low interest rates.
In addition, most of the good jobs are shipped out of the
country, and the remaining good jobs are filled with foreigners
on work visas. In the 21st century, no net new jobs were created
except in non-tradable, low-paid, domestic services.
Sanborn: Is this all by design, or just pure ineptness?
Roberts: I think it’s hubris. They don’t realize the effects of
what they’re doing. They want to plunder while they’re in
office, and give to their rich friends.
Sanborn: You make it clear, Dr. Roberts, that you believe we are
running out of time. At what point will it be too late to take
action? How much time do we have left, in your opinion, before
all of our rights are stripped away?
Roberts: One more Republican to the Supreme Court will mean the
end of civil liberties, the end of separation of powers, and the
end of constitutional government.
The neocons would love to attack Iran, and have Iran retaliate.
They could use any retaliation as an excuse to nuke Iran. The
neocons are dying to use nuclear weapons. They’d love it if our
aircraft carriers in the Gulf were sunk, because we could turn
around and nuke Iran. I think that’s the scenario of Dick
Cheney, the Weekly Standard, Bill O’Reilly, and others.
I don’t know if Iran realizes its peril.
But, as I’ve said earlier, attacking Iran would cause more
blowback than we could handle.
Sanborn: Americans in the know always ask, “What can we do?”
Roberts: It’s almost impossible for us to do anything. We can
vote, but votes are decided at the beginning of the election by
the programming of the Diebold electronic voting machines.
Some people have written off democracy, honesty, and integrity .
. . When you have corruption in the people themselves, it’s hard
to do something about corruption in government.
I can’t say I’m hopeful, but the administration’s way is not as
clear as it was on 9/11.
Sanborn: Dr. Roberts, thank you for spending time with me today.
Kathy Sanborn is an author, journalist, and recording artist.
Currently Kathy is working on a new recording project, slated
for completion in 2008.
Kathy welcomes your questions, comments, and suggestions for
future articles. Write to her at
© 2008 Kathy Sanborn
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