Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Fool Me Twice (well, not me, I wasn't fooled the first time) :)

Read this and tell me if this sounds familiar: Does this story line sound familiar? The vice president of the United States gives a major speech focused on the threat from an oil-rich nation in the Middle East. The U.S. secretary of state tells congress that the same nation is our most serious global challenge. The secretary of defense calls that nation the leading supporter of global terrorism. The president blames it for attacks on U.S. troops. The intelligence agencies say the nuclear threat from this nation is 10 years away, but the director of intelligence paints a more ominous picture. A new U.S. national security strategy trumpets preemptive attacks and highlights the country as a major threat. And neoconservatives beat the war drums, as the cable media banner their stories with words like “countdown” and “showdown.” Fool Me Twice It worked the first time to get this country to war against Iraq. Will it work again to get this country to war with Iran? I do know of some individuals who seem to welcome another conflict, and more ominously, another conflict started not by our enemies, but by ourselves. I argued in 2002 (not on this blog, and not anywhere where I can quote so as to verify), that the War in Iraq of 2003 was a war done for political reasons. My argument then was that Bush did not want to repeat the mistakes of his father and become a one-term president. Moreover, Bush (and Rove especially) wanted to bring the Republicans to a strong control of American politics (hence the attempts to discredit Democratic principles which I talked about in my previous post Politics, Religion and the Bully. Additionally, Republicans wanted to exorcise the demons of Vietnam and raise the patriotism of American might once again to "lofty" heights, prove to the world that America does not run from a fight, even one it starts. No, the war in Iraq was not about oil---at least not one of the principle reasons---though oil sure is a factor. (there are plenty of countries with oppresive regimes---Zimbabwe---in which we can assert American might but don't even bother with). Finally, Republicans were sold on the noble but flawed visions of neo-conservatives who believed that using force, even unilateral, in the Middle East, will bring a flourishing of democracy to the region so desparate for a change from the morass it is in. Unfortunately for neo-conservatives, they really did not, nor do they continue, to understand the Middle East or Islam very well at all. Back to the main point though. The War in Iraq was begun by Bush as a means to an end. That end was the 2004 Presidential and Congressional Election. Bush wanted to portray himself as a war president, as someone of such great stature as to be remembered throughout history as one of the greatest presidents America has seen. He even tied his war religiously, saying that God gave him the green light to start the war. Timing is the key in politics. For example, if it is an election year, you must do what you can to be at peace around the world. Do not go to war during an election year. When was the war in Iraq begun? 2003. Just after the 2002 election, and a good year and a half away from the next election. Why was it begun in the early spring of 2003? Iraq is in a desert. Any smart military man will not want to wage a war in the summer in a desert, so the best time is winter or spring. The War in Iraq was another Guns of August scenario. Like the Germans who thought they could wage their war against France before the winter months came upon them, the Americans thought they could win the war before the summer months came. They were right. Baghdad fell in three weeks. America asserted its might. Proved to the world just how powerful it was. Bush basked in that victory on a aircraft carrier with a sign (set up by Karl Rove) that said "Mission Accomplished." Mission was not accomplished though, and Iraq is now such a mess that Newt Grinwich says we should pull out. Even Colin Powell said that we made mistakes that are now making Iraq get out of control. Bush barely scraped by in a victory in 2004, because of the October surprise that some were fearing would happen. Just before the election, Osama bin Laden released a video saying "your security is in your own hands." Bush couldn't have asked for a better support for victory. Perhaps that is why Bin Laden was still alive (and is still alive I might add)..... Bush won the election of 2004 because of the war in Iraq. His domestic policies have been terrible. He presides over a huge increase in the debt future Americans have to pay, and by the election of 2004, the only president since Hoover to preside over a loss of employment in his term. Sitting solely on domestic policies, Bush would have lost the election of 2004. But because of Iraq, he won. So now his numbers are very low, due to Americans finally starting to see the man behind the curtain, the charlatan, the bamboozler in chief. So what is the strategy to divert attention, to create a straw man to distract attention from his failings? War with Iran. They say it is inevitable. They speak of nuclear-bunker-busting bombs. They speak of strikes here and there. They speak of regime change. They speak of the enemy being ready for a nuclear weapon very soon...... the same talk we heard before. Same bat time, same bat channel, just different players. Will Americans be fearful enough this time to listen? Perhaps if terrorists were to strike again on American soil they will..... Perhaps that is why so little is done to actually protect Americans at some of the weakest points, such as cargo ships, border control, and nuclear power facilities not being amply protected..... War comes from Satan. Not from God. RHMD

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