Failed logic has led to unnecessary carnage in Iraq
By WALT AMSES | June 24,2007
Anyone needing clarification on the absurdity of including the invasion and subsequent occupation of Iraq in the global "war on terror" should consider this: Our futile effort to "defeat the enemy" has lasted longer than it took to overcome both Nazi Germany and Japan in World War II while none of the terror plots uncovered since 9/11, including the recent targeting of Kennedy Airport and portions of New York City originated in Iraq.
The Bush administration's manipulation of national fear precluded anyone – including most of the press corps – from asking one simple question: "Why in God's name would we invade a country because 19 guys committed what was essentially a crime?" They were not affiliated with any country – although most were from Saudi Arabia. And no country or government was involved in either the planning or implementation of the attacks. By now it is common knowledge that Bush/Cheney wanted Iraq and used the tragedy of 9/11 to get it, ignoring numerous clear and ominous warnings about the global aftermath.
In the face of all the fluctuating rationale for the invasion being proved false countless times, we continue to endure the president and his minions taking every opportunity to spew the same lies and perpetuate the same myths that led America and the rest of the world into this horror more than four years ago. Addressing graduates of the Coast Guard Academy in May, the president used two-year-old, conveniently declassified information to assert Osama Bin Laden had targeted Iraq as the site for an al-Qaida "sanctuary."
The president also enumerated the various plots designed to "repeat the destruction of 9/11" while failing utterly to make even a remote connection to our invasion other than bin Laden's supposed quest in 2005 to "set up a unit" inside Iraq. 2005? Two years AFTER we invaded? Whose fault is that?
The chaos we've created has made Iraq fertile ground for almost anything, and because of the administration's incompetence there are far more terrorists in Iraq under George Bush than there ever were with Saddam Hussein.
The idea that Bush remains confident enough to employ the same failed logic over and over again is as mystifying as it is troubling. Only a dimwit or a president with approval ratings lower than a snake would make the convoluted effort to retroactively include an event in the "why-we-were-forced-to-invade" argument that had not yet occurred. But, given our national focus on whether Tony gets whacked; Paris gets jail time; or two lesbians kissing will undermine your marriage, it's not surprising at all that we would be perceived as easy marks.
And one of the most despicable aspects of the whole sordid affair is knowing full well that the political considerations of Iraq completely outweighed the humanitarian. Who or how many would die was considered only in the context of being sure that once boots were on the ground – no matter where, no matter why – a percentage of Americans would lend their support. Which equals political advantage: Blood for the vampires of the far right.
What's most amazing is how long it has taken for staunch administration supporters to come to their senses. They were after all the ones whose trust was taken for granted and whose patriotism has been completely compromised. And there are still some who continue carrying water for the worst president in history, refusing to accept criticism of either the administration or the war in Iraq as anything short of treason. Their misunderstanding of what constitutes a democracy is an appalling yet perfect foil for leaders who wish to remain blissfully unaccountable.
Through it all, worldwide carnage reigns supreme – a genie that isn't going back in the bottle during our lifetimes. The opportunities for reconciliation after Sept. 11 were squandered, replaced by an aggressive course of action so misguided that the entire world may spend the rest of the 21st century paying the bills run up by George Bush.
Walt Amses lives in North Calais.