Friday, April 09, 2004

The Long Term Tragedy is Staring us in the Face, all because of Bush's Flaws I've spoken to folks I admire or like, or I've seen others whom I like and admire write many profound things about the wisdom of the Iraqi policy over and over and over. They write these things even as the reasons for the causa belli have evaporated one by one. 1. Iraq was a unique and urgent threat to the security of the United States or its neighbors (notice for the anal retentive righty, I did not say "imminent") Well that has turned out to be incorrect. While Hussein obviously had a history of aggression, Iran in 1979 (with post hoc tacit American Support against the feared revolutionary Shi'a regime in Iran) and Kuwait in 1990, the state of the Iraqi army was feeble. There is little doubt that the military containment strategy on Hussein was quite successful, and military strikes engaged in by the Clinton Administration in 1994 and again in 1998, along with American and UN monitoring has de-fanged Hussein to an extent that all of his energy was focused upon internal self-preservation. While that was certainly demonstrative of Hussein being a brutal thug of a dictator, it hardly made him unique. Furthermore, after being promised by the main purveyors of the PNAC theory in the Bush Administration such as Wolfowitz that the invasion would not be cost prohibitive, the invasion has been financed by repeated financial bombs dropped by the administration on congress with the argument that "you must support the troops" argument. Bush with little experience or curiousity, but plenty of will bought every argument sold him, hook line and sinker. To date the bill is $150,000,000,000 and that money convenient will run out in November, after the election. There is little doubt the Bush Administration will have to ask for another $75 to $100 Billion AFTER the election. The containment policy on Hussein cost, I believe about $2 to 3 Billion annually. What could have been done with that extra $247 Billion or so? 2. Iraq had both Stockpiles of Weapons of Mass Destruction, or ongoing programs As every non-deluding sentient being knows this was really the primary crux the Bush Administration used to separate Hussein from other malevolent jackasses (except North Korea of course). And as every person not drinking Republican Kool-Aid knows this has turned out to be embarrassingly wrong. Even rational GOPers can only throw up the, well the Clenis and Kerry thought they had 'em too, and they both authorized military action. Sorry Chumpy, but that rationalization doesn't cut any slack. You see there are times when a PRESIDENT has to accept the responsibility for their actions. It wasn't the Clenis, nor John Kerry that either PUSHED military invasion, nor made the CALL to invade. I know it is the modus operandi of the Bush administration to obfuscate and never take responsibility for fault. The economy is the fault of the Clenis, Iraq is the fault of the Clenis (except when we can make him support us), my inability to swat flies is the fault of the Clenis. Yes, the Bush Administration, putting the "F" into "Lies" since January 20, 2001. Nonetheless, the buck does stop there, even if he is hidin' out in Crawford. 3. Iraq is a sponsor of International Terrorism One of the true intelligence fallacies of the PNAC crowd is its psychological need for a proxy to the old Soviet Union. Cheney, Rice, Wolfowitz, Rumsfeld and even Powell, are products of the Cold War and self-identified victors of the St. Ronnie beats the Commies parade. They are still stuck in the mindset of that time. They are not alone in such beliefs of course, many Democrats think that way too, and through much of the Clinton Administration this was also a problem. But eventually the Clinton Administration got it. But when the polarizing Clinton got something – well to the GOP and their disdain for all things Clinton, could not condone it as being sound. This old "State-Sponsored" Terrorism idea just could not be shaken by these concretized theorists. While I think their inability to utter the words, "we're sorry" or "we made a mistake" prior to 9/11 is idiocy, I have some sympathy for the fact that I believe that while ill-advised, they were not incompetent boobs for 8 months. But I do hold them responsible for the policies they have formulated since. And this statist notion is what has us in trouble now in Iraq. There was NO state sponsored terrorism in Iraq. In the midst of all of the headlines the last couple of days, lost has been the admission that the other prominent claim that Powell made to the U.N. in February that an Al Qaeda operative Al Zarqawi had a leg amputated in Baghdad as evidence of a link turns out to be false. A Two Legged, hopping mad Al Zarqawi is now all about Iraq (according at least to the Bush Administration) engaging in terrorist stuff to his black little heart's intent. This last effort has been transmogrified into a continuing excuse for the war, the WAR ON TERROR. Well UNTIL we invaded Iraq there was NO connection to terrorist in Iraq. But we've certainly been manufacturing them now. So I've heard the excuse, "well better fighting them there than fighting them here". How nice for an arm-chair military strategist to say such things. I'm sure the families of those in the military over there love that logic. But a more sound strategic logic would tell you that while we are fighting THEM over there we are making more of them than we would have made in the first place. At this pace we will be fighting them everywhere. My reason for opposition with the Bush Policy and for viewing it as a profound danger is that by going in with what is essentially a Potempkin Coalition we have violated every major tenet of the very sound Morgenthau Theory of Realism in International Relations. But a more practical one and the most ominous reason is this: Pan-Islam and Sunni-Shiite unity in the face of encroaching Western powers have been a political dream since the time of Sayyid Jamal al-Din al-Afghani in the 19th century, but have usually proven futile. Donald Rumsfeld has finally made al-Afghani's dream come true. Someone HAS to be responsible for this, and he's vacationing in Crawford at this moment.
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