Paul Craig Roberts: Why Bush Will Nuke Iran


Richard Moore

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Why Bush Will Nuke Iran
By Paul Craig Roberts

The neoconservative Bush administration will attack Iran with tactical nuclear 
weapons, because it is the only way the neocons believe they can rescue their 
goal of U.S. (and Israeli) hegemony in the Middle East.

The U.S. has lost the war in Iraq and in Afghanistan. Generals in both war 
theaters are stating their need for more troops. But there are no troops to 

Bush has tried to pawn Afghanistan off on NATO, but Europe does not see any 
point in sacrificing its blood and money for the sake of American hegemony. The 
NATO troops in Afghanistan are experiencing substantial casualties from a 
revived Taliban, and European governments are not enthralled over providing 
cannon fodder for U.S. hegemony.

The "coalition of the willing" has evaporated. Indeed, it never existed. Bush's 
"coalition" was assembled with bribes, threats, and intimidation. Pervez 
Musharraf, the American puppet ruler of Pakistan, let the cat out of the bag 
when he told CBS' 60 Minutes on Sept. 24, 2006, that Pakistan had no choice 
about joining the "coalition." Brute coercion was applied. Musharraf said 
Assistant Secretary of State Richard Armitage told the Pakistani intelligence 
director that "you are with us" or "be prepared to be bombed. Be prepared to go 
back to the Stone Age." Armitage is trying to deny his threat, but Dawn Wire 
Service, reporting from Islamabad on Sept. 16, 2001, on the pressure Bush was 
putting on Musharraf to facilitate the U.S. attack on Afghanistan, stated: 
"'Pakistan has the option to live in the 21st century or the Stone Age' is 
roughly how U.S. officials are putting their case."

That Musharraf would volunteer this information on American television is a good
indication that Bush has lost the war. Musharraf can no longer withstand the 
anger he has created against himself by helping the U.S. slaughter his fellow 
Muslims in Bush's attempt to exercise U.S. hegemony over the Muslim world. Bush 
cannot protect Musharraf from the wrath of Pakistanis, and so Musharraf has 
explained himself as having cooperated with Bush in order to prevent the U.S. 
destruction of Pakistan: "One has to think and take actions in the interest of 
the nation, and that's what I did." Nevertheless, he said, he refused Bush's 
"ludicrous" demand that he arrest Pakistanis who publicly demonstrated against 
the U.S.: "If somebody's expressing views, we cannot curb the expression of 

Bush's defeats in Iraq and Afghanistan and Israel's defeat by Hezbollah in 
Lebanon have shown that the military firepower of the U.S. and Israeli armies, 
though effective against massed Arab armies, cannot defeat guerillas and 
insurgencies. The U.S. has battled in Iraq longer than it fought against Nazi 
Germany, and the situation in Iraq is out of control. The Taliban have regained 
half of Afghanistan. The king of Saudi Arabia has told Bush that the ground is 
shaking under his feet as unrest over the American/Israeli violence against 
Muslims builds to dangerous levels. Our Egyptian puppet sits atop 100 million 
Muslims who do not think that Egypt should be a lackey of U.S. hegemony. The 
king of Jordan understands that Israeli policy is to drive every Palestinian 
into Jordan.

Bush is incapable of recognizing his mistake. He can only escalate. Plans have 
long been made to attack Iran. The problem is that Iran can respond in effective
ways to a conventional attack. Moreover, an American attack on another Muslim 
country could result in turmoil and rebellion throughout the Middle East. This 
is why the neocons have changed U.S. war doctrine to permit a nuclear strike on 

Neocons believe that a nuclear attack on Iran would have intimidating force 
throughout the Middle East and beyond. Iran would not dare retaliate, neocons 
believe, against U.S. ships, U.S. troops in Iraq, or use their missiles against 
oil facilities in the Middle East.

Neocons have also concluded that a U.S. nuclear strike on Iran would show the 
entire Muslim world that it is useless to resist America's will. Neocons say 
that even the most fanatical terrorists would realize the hopelessness of 
resisting U.S. hegemony. The vast multitude of Muslims would realize that they 
have no recourse but to accept their fate.

Revised U.S. war doctrine concludes that tactical or low-yield nuclear weapons 
cause relatively little "collateral damage" or civilian deaths, while achieving 
a powerful intimidating effect on the enemy. The "fear factor" disheartens the 
enemy and shortens the conflict.

University of California Professor Jorge Hirsch, an authority on nuclear 
doctrine, believes that an American nuclear attack on Iran will destroy the 
Nonproliferation Treaty and send countries in pell-mell pursuit of nuclear 
weapons. We will see powerful nuclear alliances, such as Russia/China, form 
against us. Japan could be so traumatized by an American nuclear attack on Iran 
that it would mean the end of Japan's sycophantic relationship to the U.S.

There can be little doubt that the aggressive U.S. use of nukes in pursuit of 
hegemony would make America a pariah country, despised and distrusted by every 
other country. Neocons believe that diplomacy is feeble and useless, but that 
the unapologetic use of force brings forth cooperation in order to avoid 

Neoconservatives say that America is the new Rome, only more powerful than Rome.
Neoconservatives genuinely believe that no one can withstand the might of the 
United States and that America can rule by force alone.

Hirsch believes that the U.S. military's opposition to the use of nuclear 
weapons against Iran has been overcome by the civilian neocon authorities in the
Bush administration. Desperate to retrieve their drive toward hegemony from 
defeat in Iraq, the neocons are betting on the immense attraction to the 
American public of force plus success. It is possible that Bush will be blocked 
by Europe, Russia, and China, but there is no visible American opposition to 
Bush legitimizing the use of nuclear weapons at the behest of U.S. hegemony.

It is astounding that such dangerous fanatics have control of the U.S. 
government and have no organized opposition in American politics.

Dr. Roberts is Chairman of the Institute for Political Economy and Research 
Fellow at the Independent Institute. He is a former associate editor of the Wall
Street Journal, former contributing editor for National Review, and was 
Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan administration. He is the 
co-author of The Tyranny of Good Intentions.

Copyright © 2006 Creators Syndicate


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