Thursday 10 April 2003

On to Damascus?

by Patrick J. Buchanan

Tony Blair has assured his countrymen the United States does not intend to attack Syria or Iran. Colin Powell has assured the Muslim world the United States does not intend to attack Syria or Iran.

But did the British prime minister or U.S. secretary of state clear their statements with Richard Perle? For the War Party has blood in its nostrils and is headed for Damascus.

Speaking at UCLA, for Americans for Victory over Terrorism, a War Party front, ex-CIA Director James Woolsey declared that this war is about far more than the liberation of Iraq. We are fighting "World War IV," said Woolsey, "a war that will last longer than World Wars I or II."

Our enemies are not just al-Qaida, but the religious rulers of Iran and the "fascists" of Iraq and Syria. "As we move toward a new Middle East," Woolsey added, "we will make a lot of people very nervous."

Who, exactly? Egypt and Saudi Arabia.

"We want you nervous," said Woolsey to these two erstwhile allies. "We want you to realize that now, for the fourth time in 100 years, this country and its allies are on the march and that we are on the side of those whom you ­ the Mubaraks, the Saudi Royal family ­ most fear. We're on the side of your own people."

"World War IV" is a term popularized by militant Zionist Norman Podhoretz, who has been shrieking for war on no fewer than six or seven Arab countries. But why should anyone care what Woolsey says?

Because James Woolsey is slated for a position of power in the U.S. reconstruction of Iraq. Moreover, Woolsey echoes John Bolton at State and Israel's Ariel Sharon, who has also been howling for the United States to take down Iran and Syria, as soon as Baghdad falls.

This is the neocons' hour of power, and they do not intend to lose this chance to remake the Middle East in their own image. Indeed, before the battle of Baghdad had even begun, the battle over who will rule Iraq was underway.

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