Forget September 11th. For the last several weeks, the commission investigating the terrorist attacks of that date have grilled just about every policy wonk, major or minor, past or present, this side of the moons of Jupiter in an effort to find somebody—mainly the Bush administration—to blame. The administration may share blame, but unless someone uncovers more of a bombshell than has yet exploded, it’s probable no one is to blame but the terrorists themselves.
The point is that who’s to blame for 9/11 is not the big story. The big story is who got us into Iraq and how.
We know who. It was the neoconservative mafia that dominates foreign and national security policy in this administration and the Republican propaganda factories known as the “conservative media.” Inside the administration their leaders are or have been Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, former Defense Advisory Board chairman Richard Perle, and various and sundry officials in the Pentagon, State Department, or National Security Council. Their role has been thoroughly documented in any number of articles, news stories and reports by independent investigators.
Compared to that story, the fake question of whose fault the 9/11 attacks were fades into meaninglessness, though that’s what the commission, its witnesses and a good part of the national press have been bickering about and thereby sidetracking attention from the more important issue.
But the question of who got us into Iraq begins to fade compared to the question now looming, which is, how will the war with Iraq blow up into a full-scale war in the Middle East that may engulf the whole region and the world?
Instead of sniffing the bitter coffee that the escalating guerrilla war against the U.S. presence in Iraq is emitting, the neo-con mafia and its allies are now exploiting the escalation to badger for yet another war—this time against Iran, if not the people of Iraq itself. Last week, conservative guru William F. Buckley, Jr., suggested (but pulled back from actually endorsing) using poison gas against Iraqis.
But calculated decimation of the Iraqi people by the United States is by no means the limit of what establishment conservatives and their neo-con friends are willing to support. New York Post columnist Ralph Peters offered his own suggestion in a column this week headlined “Iraq—What to do: Drop the hammer now.” [NY Post, April 12, 2004]
The “hammer” Mr. Peters instructs President Bush to “drop” consists of the firm rejection of “any ‘settlement,’ any halt short of the annihilation of the killers who want to destroy the future of Iraq,” and the probable annihilation of Iran as well, because according to “at least two sources exclusive to The [New York] Post,” Iran is behind all the troubles in Iraq. “Moqtada al-Sadr is Iran’s man in Shi’a Iraq,” Mr. Peters assures us.
It’s not that Iraqis themselves really don’t like the military occupation of their country by a foreign force (us), or that the 60 percent Shiite majority in Iraq don’t want to see their country and their future turned over to what in their eyes is little more than a gang of infidels and pagan barbarians obsessed with sex and money.
It must all be the fault of Iran, and therefore we need to “annihilate”it along with Saddam Hussein, his sons, the Taliban, Osama bin Laden, and everyone else who’s not with the program for Global Democracy enforced with a few whiffs of poison gas.
Neoconservative guru Norman Podhoretz urged that even before the war in an article in Commentary magazine last year, while neoconservative globo-cop Michael Ledeen was slobbering for war with Iran before, during and after the war. Last week in the neocon Weekly Standard, Reuel Marc Gerecht, a protégé of Richard Perle at the American Enterprise Institute, worried that “building democracy in the Muslim Middle East” “won’t happen at all if the Bush administration pulls back from its ‘forward strategy of freedom’.” Not A Diversion, April 12, 2004.
There seems to be little sign that the Bush administration is not still controlled by the same persons who brought us the present and deepening disaster in Iraq.
If Mr. Bush stays in office, the signs are that the same people will bring us another one in Iran and wherever else they are permitted to lay their deadly games.