The Bush administration is preparing for war on Iraq regardless of the success of disarming Iraq – perhaps only in the event that Iraq is disarmed.

A British newspaper reported Nov. 21 that a key Bush advisor admits that whether the UN inspections are successful or not, the Bush administration will find some excuse, any excuse, to attack Iraq.

According to the Mirror, top Bush aide Richard Perle told a number of British lawmakers that even if Hans Blix returns from Iraq with ‘a clean bill of health,’ it wouldn’t be hard to find someone in Iraq who still would claim that the government there has weapons of mass destruction. This claim, whether substantiated or not, Perle insisted, would be enough for the U.S. to go to war.

Meanwhile, daily reports indicate that bombing raids on the southern ‘no-fly’ zone have increased. These attacks have been directed at defensive apparatuses and only the Pentagon knows what other kinds of civilian facilities. The Pentagon suppresses reports of Iraqi casualties resulting from these attacks.

There are clearly two reasons for increasing these attacks. First, Bush wants, in addition to UN-sanctioned disarmament, to make sure Iraq has no defensive capabilities when he starts his war against that country. Second, his intention is to try to provoke some sort of confrontation between the Iraqi government and the weapons inspectors. He wants to use these attacks to encourage Saddam to hide his country’s full military capabilities – as any government would likely do if threatened by a bigger country. He could then say, ‘See, Saddam is bad; war is the only option.’ This deliberate provocation of war recalls Nazi Germany’s maneuvers against Poland prior to Sept. 1, 1939.

While Bush prepares for his long awaited war, he has run a media blitz expressing his phony desire for peace. War is the last alternative, he lies. In addition to this, his administration has put enormous constraints on the ability of the press to provide accurate information to the American people. Reporters have complained that they have been kept away from stories until the Pentagon could provide its own spin. This has especially been the case in Afghanistan, but reporters only expect it to get worse if Bush launches an invasion of Iraq.

While internal domestic spying on Americans – either suspected terrorists or suspected anti-war advocates – increases and clamp-downs on the press become the norm, Americans are being expected to go on as though nothing has changed. More and more the Bush administration moves outside the realm of legal foreign policy postures and domestic democratic traditions.

Joel Wendland is Managing Editor of Political Affairs. He can be reached at