Wars of aggression are the most barbarous of all human endeavors and are, more often than not, the instruments of insane tyrants who hear voices. Wars are also waged by warlike gambling leaders who bet their citizens' houses to fulfill their megalomaniac dreams of grandeur. And the illegal military invasion of Iraq was a gigantic gamble from the start. What's more, it is a war that was planned and executed on the basis of fabricated lies. It was a war based on false pretenses and on false perceptions of the Muslim Middle East. For example, it is not true that Middle Eastern Muslims hate the West "because they hate our way of life, our freedom, and our democracy." Polls indicate that such ideas are simply based on ignorant prejudices. This wicked war will be judged by history as one of the most blatant abuses of power by any American administration ever.
In the process, the Bush-Cheney team, through a combination of design and blunder, has inflamed the entire Middle East, from Iraq and Afghanistan, to Palestine and Lebanon, and soon, to Iran, and possibly Syria, Saudi Arabia and even Turkey. In Iraq, nearly four years after the March 20, 2003 invasion of the country, the mess and the destruction are complete, leaving behind a genuine humanitarian catastrophe and a political near-debacle.
United Nations secretary-general Kofi Annan, for one, has concluded that the “average Iraqi’s life” is worse now than it was under Saddam Hussein and that the situation in Iraq is now "much worse" than a civil war. Even some republican senators now say openly that Bush's war in Iraq may be 'criminal'. Only President George W. Bush and his Rasputin-like vice president, it seems, continue to think that their wrecking-crew Middle East policy makes any sense. Even departing Defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld rejects bluntly their stubborn "stay-the-course" and “must-complete-the-mission” policy.
However, departing Defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld amazingly listed 20 tactical options for U.S. policy in Iraq, but no strategic option. It seems that among G. W. Bush's sorcerer's apprentices, there are a few tacticians, but no strategist. This may understandable in a government of ideologues. For the Bush-Cheney administration, ideology is a strategy in itself, and it is this neoconservative dogma that cannot ever be questioned or modified without loosing face. Even if all the rosy neocon assumptions about Iraq and the Middle East have turned out to be wrong and wrong-headed, George W. Bush has bet his entire presidency on the foolish enterprise and would need a credible face-saving solution to extirpate himself from the mess he himself created. As an immature person and as the bully-in-chief, as he has recently been labeled by economist Paul Krugman of the New York Times, G. W. Bush cannot face the failure of his adventure in Iraq and will remain in a state of denial as long as he is allowed to do so by Congress.
And now, the 10-member Baker-Hamilton bipartisan commission has made it unanimous and officially concluded that Bush's Iraq policies have failed. But, amazingly, the Commission watered downed its recommendations for fear that Bush would reject them out of hand. As a consequence, its 79-some recommendations deal more with tactical changes than fundamental strategic realignments. For one, the Commission refrained from calling for a timetable for a real withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq or even for a real troops reduction. In this sense, the Baker-Hamilton commission did not produce the face-saving plan of withdrawal from Iraq that the current U. S. President and American politicians from both sides of the isle could have leaned on to extirpate themselves from the blunder they made in the fall of 2002. Secondly, the report did not establish how the Iraq adventure is a costly distraction from the real threat of Islamist al Qaeda-type terrorism, which is in resurgence in Afghanistan and in Pakistan.
But all is not completely bleak, even if you are a Neocon who has been "mugged by reality." Indeed, obliterating Iraq from the map, as a country opposed to Israel, and taking control of its oil reserves, were the core objectives behind the pro-Israel neocon policy of invading that country; they were well camouflaged under the terms "liberation" and "democracy". It's not sure, therefore, that the mess that the Bush-Cheney administration has created in Iraq was solely the result of abysmal ignorance and incompetence.
When George W. Bush invaded Iraq in March 2003, he did not only topple the Saddam Hussein regime, one of George W. Bush's juvenile fantasies, but he made sure that the entire infrastructure of the country was also destroyed: the army was dismembered, security services were abolished, and, the ruling Sunni-dominated Baath Party was dissolved and its members purged from any administrative positions. An enormous political vacuum resulted, opening the gates to a bloody civil war between the Sunnis in the center, the Shiites in the south and the Kurds in the north.
In this sense, the debacle in Iraq was a planned failure. The final chapter of this drama would be the official break-up of the country into pieces along religious and/or ethnic lines, to the great satisfaction of two countries, i.e. Iran and Israel, the only two countries bound to profit directly from the fragmentation of Iraq.
This is probably what we are going to witness in the coming months. But, just as President Richard Nixon promised to get Americans out of Vietnam in 1968, and only succeeded in doing in 1973, after 20,000 more young Americans and hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese died there, President George W. Bush will try to temporize and save face, as thousands more Americans and Iraqis die. It is a terrible shame.
Rodrigue Tremblay lives in Montreal and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Author's Website: www.thenewamericanempire.com