By Paul Craig Roberts
Does anyone remember the â€œcakewalk warâ€ that would last six weeks, cost $50-$60 billion, and be paid for out of Iraqi oil revenues?
Does anyone remember that White House economist Lawrence Lindsey was fired by Dubya because Lindsey estimated that the Iraq war could cost as much as $200 billion?
Lindsey was fired for over-estimating the cost of a war that, according to Joseph Stiglitz and Linda Bilmes, has cost 15 times more than Lindsey estimated. And the US still has 50,000 troops in Iraq.
Does anyone remember that just prior to the US invasion of Iraq, the US government declared victory over the Taliban in Afghanistan?
Does anyone remember that the reason Dubya gave for invading Iraq was Saddam Husseinâ€™s weapons of mass destruction, weapons that the US government knew did not exist?
Are Americans aware that the same neoconservatives who made these fantastic mistakes, or told these fabulous lies, are still in control of the government in Washington?
The â€œwar on terrorâ€ is now in its tenth year. What is it really all about?
The bottom line answer is that the â€œwar on terrorâ€ is about creating real terrorists. The US government desperately needs real terrorists in order to justify its expansion of its wars against Muslim countries and to keep the American people sufficiently fearful that they continue to accept the police state that provides â€œsecurity from terrorists,â€ but not from the government that has discarded civil liberties.
The US government creates terrorists by invading Muslim countries, wrecking infrastructure and killing vast numbers of civilians. The US also creates terrorists by installing puppet governments to rule over Muslims and by using the puppet governments to murder and persecute citizens as is occurring on a vast scale in Pakistan today.
Neoconservatives used 9/11 to launch their plan for US world hegemony. Their plan fit with the interests of Americaâ€™s ruling oligarchies. Wars are good for the profits of the military/security complex, about which President Eisenhower warned us in vain a half century ago. American hegemony is good for the oil industryâ€™s control over resources and resource flows. The transformation of the Middle East into a vast American puppet state serves well the Israel Lobbyâ€™s Zionist aspirations for Israeli territorial expansion.
Most Americans cannot see what is happening because of their conditioning. Most Americans believe that their government is the best on earth, that it is morally motivated to help others and to do good, that it rushes aid to countries where there is famine and natural catastrophes. Most believe that their presidents tell the truth, except about their sexual affairs.
The persistence of these delusions is extraordinary in the face of daily headlines that report US government bullying of, and interference with, virtually every country on earth. The US policy is to buy off, overthrow, or make war on leaders of other countries who represent their peoplesâ€™ interests instead of American interests. A recent victim was the president of Honduras who had the wild idea that the Honduran government should serve the Honduran people.
The American government was able to have the Honduran president discarded, because the Honduran military is trained and supplied by the US military. It is the same case in Pakistan, where the US government has the Pakistani government making war on its own people by invading tribal areas that the Americans consider to be friendly to the Taliban, al-Qaeda, â€œmilitantsâ€ and â€œterrorists.â€
Earlier this year a deputy US Treasury secretary ordered Pakistan to raise taxes so that the Pakistani government could more effectively make war on its own citizens for the Americans. On October 14 US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton ordered Pakistan to again raise taxes or the US would withhold flood aid. Clinton pressured Americaâ€™s European puppet states to do the same, expressing in the same breath that the US government was worried by British cuts in the military budget. God forbid that the hard-pressed British, still reeling from American financial fraud, donâ€™t allocate enough money to fight Americaâ€™s wars.
On Washingtonâ€™s orders, the Pakistani government launched a military offensive against Pakistani citizens in the Swat Valley that killed large numbers of Pakistanis and drove millions of civilians from their homes. Last July the US instructed Pakistan to send its troops against the Pakistani residents of North Waziristan. On July 6, Jason Ditz reported on Antiwar.com that â€œat Americaâ€™s behest, Pakistan has launched offensives against [the Pakistani provinces of] Swat Valley, Bajaur, South Waziristan, Orakzai, and Khyber.â€
A week later Israelâ€™s US Senator Carl Levin (D-MI) called for escalating the Obama Administrationâ€™s policies of US airstrikes against Pakistanâ€™s tribal areas. On September 30, the Pakistani newspaper, The Frontier Post, wrote that the American air strikes â€œare, plain and simple, a naked aggression against Pakistan.â€
The US claims that its forces in Afghanistan have the right to cross into Pakistan in pursuit of â€œmilitants.â€ Recently US helicopter gunships killed three Pakistani soldiers whom they mistook for Taliban. Pakistan closed the main US supply route to Afghanistan until the Americans apologized.
Pakistan warned Washington against future attacks. However, US military officials, under pressure from Obama to show progress in the endless Afghan war, responded to Pakistanâ€™s warning by calling for expanding the Afghan war into Pakistan. On October 5 the Canadian journalist Eric Margolis wrote that â€œthe US edges closer to invading Pakistan.â€
In his book, Obamaâ€™s Wars, Bob Woodward reports that Americaâ€™s puppet president of Pakistan, Asif Ali Zardari, believes that terrorist bombing attacks inside Pakistan for which the Taliban are blamed are in fact CIA operations designed to destabilize Pakistan and allow Washington to seize Pakistanâ€™s nuclear weapons.
To keep Pakistan in line, the US government changed its position that the â€œTimes Square Bombingâ€ was the work of a â€œlone wolf.â€ Attorney General Eric Holder switched the blame to the â€œPakistani Taliban,â€ and Secretary of State Clinton threatened Pakistan with â€œvery serious consequencesâ€ for the unsuccessful Times Square bombing, which likely was a false flag operation aimed at Pakistan.
To further heighten tensions, on September 1 the eight members of a high-ranking Pakistani military delegation en route to a meeting in Tampa, Florida, with US Central Command, were rudely treated and detained as terrorist suspects at Washington DCâ€™s Dulles Airport.
For decades the US government has enabled repeated Israeli military aggression against Lebanon and now appears to be getting into gear for another Israeli assault on the former American protectorate. On October 14 the US government expressed its â€œoutrageâ€ that the Lebanese government had permitted a visit by Iranian President Ahmadinejad, who is the focus of Washingtonâ€™s intense demonization efforts. Israelâ€™s representatives in the US Congress threatened to stop US military aid to Lebanon, forgetting that US Rep. Howard Berman (D-CA) has had aid to Lebanon blocked since last August to punish Lebanon for a border clash with Israel.
Perhaps the most telling headline of all is the October 14 report, â€œSomaliaâ€™s New American Prime Minister.â€ An American has been installed as the Prime Minister of Somalia, an American puppet government in Mogadishu backed up by thousands of Ugandan troops paid by Washington.
This barely scratches the surface of Washingtonâ€™s benevolence toward other countries and respect for their rights, borders, and lives of their citizens.
Meanwhile, to silence the whistleblower website WikiLeaks and to prevent any more revelations of American war crimes, the â€œfreedom and democracyâ€ government in DC has closed down WikiLeaksâ€™ donations by placing the company that collects its money on its â€œwatch listâ€ and by having the Australian puppet government blacklist WikiLeaks.
WikiLeaks is now akin to a terrorist organization. The American governmentâ€™s practice of silencing critics will spread across the Internet.
Remember, they hate us because we have freedom and democracy, First Amendment rights, habeas corpus, respect for human rights, and show justice and mercy to all.