July 31, 2007

Gary Kamiya: War, Chaos and Bush’s Faith

Filed under: Opinion — Volt @ 9:26 am

Gary Kamiya, Salon, July 31, 2007

In the last few weeks, as the dreadful consequences of George W. Bush’s “war on terror” continue to unfold in Pakistan, Iraq, Afghanistan, Lebanon and Palestine, a disturbing thought is rising to the surface: There may be no way to clean up the mess he has made.

Ironically, this is the very argument that Bush and his supporters are now using to justify keeping U.S. troops in Iraq indefinitely — or at least onto the next president’s watch. They insist that disaster looms, and that only the blood of American troops, infused into a slow-drip I.V., can keep Iraq and the entire region from dying. Bush understands that there only two things that can save his legacy: either victory, or a worst-case scenario in which all of his threats about the all-powerful Islamo-fascist menace come true. The frightening thing is that for Bush, there’s no difference between the two outcomes. For this president is at once a true believer who sees himself leading a great war against evil, and a shrewd politician who wants to escape the blame for his Iraq disaster. Hence his refusal to cut America’s losses — and the very real possibility that he might roll the war dice yet again, this time in Iran. If the world blows up as a result, that will just prove that he was right about the evil jihadists.

Most Americans now believe that Bush’s decision to invade Iraq was a terrible mistake. They see that it has turned out badly, and think that it has made us less safe. But there is another, less discussed reason why the war was an act of madness: War always has unforeseen consequences. Making war is like playing dice with God — using His dice. This is why war should always be a last resort. What’s stunning about the Iraq war is that its architects not only ignored this obvious truth, but also ignored the consequences that could have been, and were, foreseeable. To start an unprovoked war on false pretenses and pie-in-the-sky promises of a vast regional transformation, besides being unethical, is an act of almost cosmic folly. To put it in Christian terms, it is the cardinal sin — the sin of pride.

The Bush administration treated war as if it were a surgical instrument, which it could wield with precision and whose results could be charted in advance. Bush and his neocon brain trust were sure that they knew exactly what would happen after the invasion. They drew it up like a blueprint: Grateful Iraqis would place flowers in the barrels of U.S. guns. A strong central government would take power, and democracy would flourish. The people of Iraq’s neighboring states, Iran and Syria, would observe the vibrant new state and force their sclerotic regimes to reform, or they would rise up against them. The “culture of terrorism” would be ended, cut off at the source. The entire Arab-Muslim world, including Pakistan, would be transformed. The Palestinians would be beaten into submission. And there would be cheap oil for America.

Read More Here

No Comments

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

Powered by WordPress