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Political analysis and other daily rants on the state of the nation

Wednesday | August 28, 2002

Ghengis Bush

One day after implausibly declaring the US is not "beating the war drums" for an Iraq invasion, Bush's top defense official, Rumsfeld, beat the drums of war.

It's less important to have unanimity than it is to be making the right decision and doing the right thing, even though at the outset it may seem lonesome. Leadership in the right direction finds followers and supporters.


We believe that we will ultimately able to make a compelling case and, in the course of time, will be moving forward. It is our view that an Iraq left unattended is a threat to its neighbors and a threat to ourselves.

This all follows in the heels of Cheney's increasingly infamous anti-Iraq outburst:
What we must not do in the face of a mortal threat is to give in to wishful thinking or willful blindness. We will not simply look away, hope for the best, and leave the matter for some future administration to resolve. As President Bush has said, `Time is not on our side.'
Yet Bush says, "we are not beating the war drums"? Does he think we are stupid?

Aware of the difficulties of selling an unprovoked attack against an impotent enemy, people like Rumsfeld, Cheney, and Perle are feeding Bush's pretensions, telling him that to be a great leader, he needs to act. That so long as he acts, people will approve of his actions and praise him and stick his head on Mt. Rushmore. Perhaps they tell him how no renowned historical figure has ever been remembered for peace and prosperity. That it's war and conquest that cements a leader's place in history -- Genghis Khan, or Alexander the Great, or Caesar. And, as poppy Bush and the wiser wing of the GOP watch in horror, Kid Bush is blindly heading down the path of disaster with visions of sugarplums dancing in his head.

It's clear the war mongers, controlling the debate in Bush's office, don't want to bother explaining themselves outside the oval office. They have already declared that Congress is irrelevant to the debate. But, on a smaller, yet more poignant level, witness the following paragraph, describing an exchange between a marine and Rumsfeld:

When a Marine asked whether Rumsfeld thought victory in Iraq would take long to achieve, he refused to answer directly. "The frenzy on this subject, it seems to me, is not useful," he said.
Thanks to the warmongers, that marine could be dead in a year, yet the secretary of defense wouldn't dignify his question with a response? So questioning by those who will be doing the fighting, and dying, is not "useful?

As already noted, Rumsfeld says the US is ready to invade Iraq without international support. Yet the majority of Americans oppose unilateral US action. Indeed, the latest Gallup poll found that just 20 percent of respondents supported unilateral action. And as things are shaping up, any US invasion will be nothing if not unilateral. Following are links to those nations that are overtly opposing a US invasion. Note the list includes all of Iraq's neighbors:

Saudi Arabia
United Arab Emirates
Not only would international support provide diplomatic and legal cover for the US invasion, but would also allow for less risky military invasion strategies. As is, the logistics of any invasion will be terribly complex -- a strong reason the US military establishment opposes any invasion. (See previous posts on the logistical problems here and here.)

In any case, here's an idea. How about we get Osama Bin Laden first, and then worry about indulging Bush's fascination with perpetual war?

Posted August 28, 2002 08:10 AM | Comments (1)


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