"Why would Iraq attack America or use nuclear weapons
against us? I'll tell you what I think the real threat [is] and
actually has been since 1990 - it's the threat against
Philip Zelikow, Director of the 9/11 Commission and Bush
War for oil is still the dominant theory when it comes to the average person's view of what's really behind America's insatiable appetite for war in the middle east  . According to those that buy the war for oil idea, the Whitehouse is acting on behalf of powerful oil interests that seek to secure Iraq's oil resources for strategic and financial reasons  .
There are other less predominant ideas about the American leadership's reasons for involving itself in such insanity. One is the ridiculous notion that the US' main prerogative is spreading around what it sees as its unique contribution to human culture - liberty, freedom and democracy  . Those are the core, defining principles central to America's deluded impression of itself, and the mass psychological appeal of that idea - of America as the heroic and righteous saviour of the rest of the world - has long been understood and cleverly marketed by political ideologues and the mainstream media. The American people's sense of moral superiority is easily exploited by government, as evidenced by a small but significant minority of Americans still willing to accept Bush's "they hate our freedoms" bullshit   as justification for war against harmless nations such as Afghanistan and Iraq. "Spreading freedom" is thereby a euphemism for all-out war against Islam and the Arab nations that are said to harbor the elusive, jealous, Arab "terrorists" that don't like how "free" we are. The "war on terror" is supposedly our struggle for freedom and democracy; the outward expression of good vs evil. The idea is romantic and palatable, and is conducive to a patriotic belief in America as the great purveyor of righteousness and justice (which is, I suppose, what makes it popular with the ignorant, far-right conservative Fox News types that make up the 30% that still support Bush), but it's the weakest and most transparent justification of them all, and nothing but a lame subterfuge  .
The pervasive influence of corporate interests  operating in and throughout the highest levels of US government could conceivably explain the US' insistence on warmongering and conquest too, and is commonly used to explain America's addiction to war. The corporatocracy  model is much the same as the war-for-oil idea, but includes the huge military industrial complex, building contractors, and other corporate interests that benefit financially from war . As I understand it, people that subscribe to this viewpoint believe all this war is due to government succumbing to pressure from industry, and about US Imperialism through industrial take-over and economic exploitation of lesser developed countries, as the huge corporations that profit from war get filthy rich. It's all explained by the lust for money, profit and power of a greedy corporate elite that hold sway over government, or even hold positions in government and business simultaneously, creating dangerous conflicts of interest which result in warped policy and the kind of insanity we're seeing now  . (For the sake of clarity and in the interests of keeping it simple, when I speak of corporate interests in this context, I'm not including those of the private central banking cartel  ).
Those are the main ones and the ones worth mentioning, but none of them are really behind what's going on in the middle east, at least not in any real, fundamentally causal way. They're all real factors, and evidence that all those things play major roles is easy to come by, and maybe even difficult to look past at times. But the real force behind the US government and its insane hunger for war is Israel - Israel itself and the zionist regime behind it; zionist agents inside the US political system who represent Israel's interests and work to further them via lobbying, funding and other means; and those who work to realise the objectives of Israel from within the highest levels of US government and beyond, even to the extreme detriment of the US itself, as American leaders and policy-makers, and as representatives of the American people. The so-called neo-conservatives are the most powerful and obvious example of the latter, and their rise to power was, in many ways, the final phase of the Israeli coup d'etat  .
The neocons (most of them Jewish, many of them Jewish 'dual nationals', and all of them ardent zionists)   are openly loyal to Israel and their hawkish foreign policy reflects it. Neocon foreign policy is barely distinguishable from Israeli foreign policy, because that's basically what it is  . Israel has long sought to weaken and destabilise it's Arab neighbours as a means to improve and ensure its own security  while simultaneously disrupting the support given to the Palestinians by groups and nations sympathetic to their cause. Stephen J. Sniegoski states in 'The Israeli Origins of Bush II's War':
Because Israel's neighbors opposed the Zionist project of creating an exclusivist Jewish state, the idea of weakening and dissolving those neighbors was not an idea just of the Israeli Right but a central Zionist goal from a much earlier period, promoted by David Ben-Gurion himself. As Saleh Abdel-Jawwad, a professor at Birzeit University in Ramallah, Palestine, writes:
"Israel has supported secessionist movements in Sudan, Iraq, Egypt, and Lebanon and any secessionist movements in the Arab world which Israel considers an enemy. Yet the concern for Iraq and [Israel's] attempts to weaken or prevent it from developing its strengths has always been a central Zionist objective. At times, Israel succeeded in gaining a foothold in Iraq by forging secret yet strong relationships with leaders from the Kurdish movement." 
It's by no coincidence that we're seeing the US use the same modus operandi right now in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Iran. It's via the zionist neocons and their policy institutes and "thinktanks" that the Israeli agenda and the new preemptive war doctrine of post-9/11 USA has become official American foreign policy.
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