Tuesday, September 26, 2006

We Want You! For The War Against America.

A new report by the U.S. Intelligence Agencies shows that the threat of terrorist attack has grown since September 11th as a result of America’s actions in the Middle East (especially the war in Iraq) not decreased as intended by the designers of the war.

The truth is that the war in Iraq has solidified the feelings of resentment by extremist fundamentalist Muslims in the Middle East. President Bush says that America is a safer place since 9/11 but without qualifying data the President’s statement is a matter of opinion not fact. Other opinions and the follow up attacks on nations in Europe show that the world is not safer and probably more dangerous after sowing the seeds of resentment for these last five years.

The nightly news is filled with events from the Middle East that does not inspire confidence that the war has achieved its intended goals, as shifty as they are. The administration’s backpedaling and excuse-ridden explanations for going to war have been counter-intuitive.

At the start, it was the fact that Sadam Hussein himself was direct threat to America because he definitely had Weapons of Mass Destruction, including intentions of building and launching Nuclear Missiles against the U.S. and its allies. Then the real reason was exposed: That Sadam Hussein was harboring connections to Al Quaeda, the terrorist group responsible for the 9/11 attacks. In a final and less convincing revelation, Bush says that bringing democracy to the Middle East to stabilize the region was his intended goal and that above all else is the ultimate aim of this war effort. After layering on these causes and then using the old magician’s trick of sleight of hand, we were confused and scared but all pointed in the right direction. The effect was a nation lined up to go to war no matter what the cost.

Now that we are elbow deep in Iraq, facing insurgent attacks daily and on the brink of becoming ensnared in a civil war, our reason for being there is to help put Iraq back together and stem the growing domestic terrorist threat inside the country. A terrorist threat that never existed before and a civil war that we caused by ripping open the region.

Of course the reasons do not fit. Why a secular dictator would invite fundamentalist religious fanatics into his own country to train in war simply does not make sense. Why would he risk his own presidency and power to train these people who would probably like to see him dead just as much as the Americans. Sadam Hussein is an ungodly fellow. He does not follow the same playbook as Osama Bin Laden. As a matter of fact it seems to make more sense for Sadam Hussein to limit or prevent Al Quaeda’s influence within his borders. Any simpleton can see that Sadam Hussein does not share the selfless (if totally misguided and twisted) aims of the ultra religious Islamic terrorists. These people are about giving up their lives for the greater good and a dogmatic agenda to spread Islam and protect it by the sword. Sadam Hussien wants to keep control over his people while enjoying all the decadence benefits of wealth and power. Not exactly the basis for radical fundamentalism.

The Western nations will not stand up for Sadam Hussein. He was clearly a madman and a dangerous enemy to freedom and democracy. He was a terror to his own people running his country with a militaristic iron fist. Yet at the same time, one has to wonder the reasoning behind Bush’s war. Let’s put aside the fact that he felt he had to save face for Daddy Bush. Being aware and relatively sober during that period of time (I was in college after all) I remember the reasons for not going all the way into Baghdad. The first being we were leading a UN coalition formed to prevent the attack of one nation, unilaterally and with provocation against a smaller weaker one. In the final analysis, it seemed prudent not to take over a country we had no idea how to subdue once the initial coup was over. In short, at the time of the first Gulf War, we did not attack Sadam Hussein simply because we had no exit strategy. Colon Powel is said to have told the elder Bush that if “we break it we bought it.” The price for owning Iraq was too high. Besides, we had accomplished a goal, made a point and enforced subsequent UN sanctions against an aggressor nation.

Years later, young Bush decided that a war by one larger aggressor over another nation was a good idea. He had a nation that had been sufficiently weakened by UN sanctions for more than ten years and whose leader was unpopular in the region anyway. Bush made the intelligence data fit his picture no matter how much he had to stretch the truth.

It was not a hard war to sell to American citizens or to Congress at the time. We were salivating for blood. We wanted revenge for the attacks against the Twin Towers, the Pentagon and Flight 93. He gave us exactly what we wanted. He gave us a place to vent all our collective vengeance, anger, frustration, anxiety and fear.

The modern war on terrorists is not one fought like our father’s war or even our Grandfather’s. This was a war that was more like the Cold War’s long, drawn out campaign. We needed intelligence and subversion. We needed policing and sanctions and a coalition of nations in a unified front. We needed to make sympathizers to the Al Quaeda cause regret their former allegiance to a murderous organization. We needed to make the world unsafe for terrorists.

Instead of patience, Bush chose “shock and awe.” Admittedly, this is exactly what we all wanted. We wanted bombs bursting in the air over some Middle Eastern nation not a quiet, hidden, secretive, operation. We wanted blood not long trails of ink on confidential papers. We wanted guns not legal action to stem the flow of money from supporters to the terrorists.

He gave it to us. And we were distracted for a while. Then the long slog began. Evil things like beheadings started to be carried out on American civilians. Not even journalists or humanitarians were safe. An Iraqi Al Quaeda was able to attach itself to the region. Now we have what Bush insisted was the reason for the war. Like circular paradox we created the reasons for going to war and now those reasons are touted as the very reasons to stay on for the entire fight. It was a self-fulfilling prophecy on the part of the Republican Party.

Iraq has become the rally cry of the fundamentalist Muslims hell-bent on destroying America. It both proves their point to serves as a recruitment crusade. We’ve pushed the fence sitters over to the other side.

Bush states that it is naïve to think that the war in Iraq has caused terrorism around the world to become worse. It would seem that the opposite is true. It is naïve to think that the Iraq War has not increased the terrorist threat. In fact, it is dangerous for Bush not to accept the truth. He endangers the United States every time he decides policy without considering that any action might increase the threat to Americans or other good people of the world. A president who does not plan for every contingency is a president who is steering this nation on a course straight into the rocks.


J said...

Good post. Deposing Hussein actually cleared the way for the Islamic militants to have even more of a free rein.

ObilonKenobi said...

Iraq has become the new Afghanistan and Afghanistan is becoming the new Columbia. Thanks Bush!