The "War" Is In Full Effect | Main | The United States of America has gone mad

March 23, 2003

War As Policy

"We must be prepared to stop rogue states and their terrorist clients before they are able to threaten or use weapons of mass destruction against the United States and our allies and friends."

From "The National Security Strategy of the United States of America" as published on the official White House website.

It now should be clear to anyone capable of independent thought, with a modicum of curiosity, and the ability to read the English language, that the officially stated reasons (Regime Change, Liberation of The Iraqi People, etc.) for this "war" are false. It also would be too obvious (and grotesque) to believe the attack on Iraq is strictly to grab their oil and win fat reconstruction contracts (although both these things will most likely happen).

I have personally been stating to all who would listen that the US was planning to invade Iraq since November 2001. And the simple reason is this: it is the stated US policy. Just reading and paying attention to world events would have told anyone that. You don't send 250,000 troops halfway around the world for exercise. The sad spectacle of Colin Powell holding up a grad students work at the UN was just buying time until all our gear was in place.

The fact that this (preemptive strikes on sovereign nations) is now US policy and that this action against Iraq is mainly the lifework of one man, Paul Wolfowitz, is both astonishing and frightening. Why do the unelected few now seem to make the policy that all citizens must obediently toil under? Where are the politicians, the leaders, with their own ideas?

If Wolfowitz has been on to Saddam for so long, than why did we ever play ball with him in the first place? In a New York Times Magazine piece profiling Wolfowitz ("The Sunshine Warrior") from September 22, 2002 Bill Keller writes the following:

"Introducing Wolfowitz to an auditorium full of new one-stars and their wives, General Eric K. Shinseki, the Army chief of staff, points out that as a young Pentagon analyst Wolfowitz directed a secret assessment of Persian Gulf threats that marked Iraq as a menace to its neighbors and to American interests. This, Shinseki informs them with everything but a drumroll, was in 1979, a dozen years before Desert Storm."

So we had the scoop, from a young Pentagon analyst, all the way back in 1979! It only took 24 years to act on it! I don't call that intelligence, I call it perseverance, and time doesn't make a bad idea a good one. To me, the fact that Wolfowitz has had this "Saddam jones" for so long helps to underscore the fact that the reason we are trying to remove him, to "change the regime" is simply because we think (make that the President thinks) that it is a good idea. It can not possibly have anything to do with the plight of Iraqi citizens. The US government does not act that way, or we wouldn't have backed the sanctions on Iraq these last dozen odd years (or we would have gone into Afghanistan long before 9/11 - the site of Laura Bush being used to champion the rights of Afghan women was repulsive). The removal of Saddam Hussein is simply the policy of an Administration devoid of any original ideas (unless you count global hegemony as original).


Donald Rumsfeld didn't seem too mad at Saddam when he shook his hand in a brief meeting in December of 1983 - in fact he seemed very pleased.Rumsfeld Shakes Hands With Saddam Hussein But of course even though Wolfowitz had already pegged Saddam as a bad guy, Reagan and Baker liked him at this point because he was fighting against Iran, which we thought was an even worse regime (of course we had given or sold a lot of weapons to Iran when the Shah was there, so that when he was deposed we then had to give or sell a lot of weapons to Iraq so they could put up a decent fight).

Abraham Lincoln said, "The best way to destroy an enemy is to make him a friend." I am afraid that the current US policy of prosecuting "wars" of dubious merit, creating far more enemies than friends, will turn the US into what it's biggest benefactor of foreign aid, Israel, already is - a country surrounded by enemies.

War is not policy. Thoughts and ideas, diplomacy and work are policy. Summers in Crawford, weekends at Camp David and nights spent reading the Bible are not going to help us right now.

Posted by afinta at March 23, 2003 10:38 PM

Comments

A thesaurus in the hands of a psycopath is a dangerous thing...but if prostitution is the oldest profession, then war is the second. And all the words in the English language (or diplomacy as you may call it) will never change that.

Now, who wants some pie?

Posted by: pcagx at March 24, 2003 08:25 AM

so what do you want me to say? right on? too sad. too pathetic. the checks and balances of representative government require the moral fiber and courage of a substantial part of of the government to act responsibly to counter the terrorism of maniacs such as the leading lights of the current administration. yet where are the responsible dissenters to unilaterial, murderous action? Only on the streets? Actually we say some reasonable skeptics in the press, and from overseas -- but nothing from our elected officials. What bandwagon/bloodwagon do they think they are on?

There, I guess I said something. I blamed someone else. What could I and we have done to prevent this catastrophe that undermines all of our own self image as a peaceful and progressive people? Perhaps I should accept that that is a fantasy....

Posted by: jerry at March 24, 2003 01:03 PM

"What could I and we have done to prevent this catastrophe that undermines all of our own self image as a peaceful and progressive people?"

We could have elected a different President. I can't see this same course of action coming from many other people, republicans or democrats. My fear now is that even with a change of parties in the Whitehouse (and/or Congress), how does one begin to unwind the positions we will be in two years from now? If someone was to run a campaign against an occupied Iraq (assuming that it is) - how do you even go about pulling out? Was this even thought about by the people who planned this mess?

Posted by: afinta at March 24, 2003 01:23 PM

Good point, but the underlying basis for the policy of war is money. Its not as simple as we are taking their oil or winning re-construction contracts... like this one http://money.cnn.com/2003/03/25/news/companies/war_contracts/index.htm ...thank dick cheney for that one

I will explain further, but I have to run to class...

Posted by: gary vito at March 25, 2003 04:30 PM