November 15, 2005
By Eric Mader
In a Veterans Day speech Monday, U.S. President George W. Bush attacked those critical of the Iraq war as "deeply irresponsible."
This is the man who prepared for the invasion of Iraq by hatching a completely new policy of war-making, the so-called "doctrine of pre-emptive war." Never mind that policymakers both sides of the Atlantic consider the new doctrine outrageous, counterproductive and ultimately illegal. Such things matter little to the Bush team. What, after all, do policy experts know?
This is the man who ignored the advice of his own counterterrorism experts. They said invading Iraq would be like giving a huge Christmas present to al Qaeda: it would prove definitively to the Muslim world that we were mainly interested in their oil and would attack them to get it.
But never mind the counterterrorism experts. What do they know compared to Rummy and (former Halliburton CEO) Dick Cheney?
"We are not there for oil," says former ChevronTexaco Director Condoleeza Rice.
"We come to Iraq to liberate the people from tyranny," says Son of Big Oil George W. Bush.
And the Muslim world believes them.
This is the man who let Rumsfeld and Cheney plan the whole war, intentionally pushing the State Department out of the decision-making process and thus ensuring the chaos of the post-Saddam period. Now we know that even Tony Blair's people were desperately pressuring the Bush team to make more thorough plans for the occupation, but to no avail.
But what are occupation plans when you have God and high tech weapons on your side? Hell, why should we even need Arabic speakers to help us manage Iraq's political transition? Just send over a few cronies and lots of cash.
"While it's perfectly legitimate to criticize my decision or the conduct of the war," the president said Monday, "it is deeply irresponsible to rewrite the history of how that war began."
What in the hell does he mean by "rewrite"? The history of "how that war began" has not yet been written, so how can it be "rewritten." It's true that when it finally is written it may well prove the Iraq war to be the most inept and irresponsible foreign adventure ever undertaken by our government.
Is the president maybe afraid that this history is actually now starting to be written and so he's trying to make the nightmare of actual history go away by pretending it already has been written?
Critics of his administration are "irresponsible," he says? It's hard to fathom.
Is this the man whose legal counsel set the stage for Abu Ghraib and all the other instances of U.S. torture (in several cases torture to death) of detainees? By legal counsel here I'm talking of Alberto Gonzales, who claimed early on in the Bush reign that abiding by the Geneva Conventions when dealing with prisoners of war was "quaint" in the current Age of Terrorism. Besides which, we are Americans: we don't need to abide by any sort of civilized international law because We Are The International Law Didn't You Know That?
If invading Iraq was a Christmas present to al Qaeda, America's torture of detainees is a New Years and Birthday present all wrapped into one. I wonder whose birthday it was--bin Laden's or al Zawahiri's? Or maybe it was Zarqawi's birthday. In any case the Muslim world knew well enough that by Red Cross estimates some eighty percent of prisoners in Iraqi prisons had nothing to do with the insurgency. And the Muslim world knew that while those prisoners were there they were being bludgeoned and frozen in freezers and stacked up naked on camera. Wouldn't it be a surprise if some of those men, once released, went and joined the insurgency out of loathing for how they'd been treated? Wouldn't it be a surprise? I mean can't they see that we are there to liberate them?
Bush is a better al Qaeda recruiter than bin Laden ever was. With his super-effective policies, he's become a regular Muslim Terrorist Factory.
"Where once there were no terrorists, we will make some," seems to be the administration motto.
And we his critics are irresponsible?
Is this the man who decided to try to foment democracy in the Arab world by starting with Iraq?! The thought is laughable. I'm not only saying this in hindsight either. No, most scholars of the region, long before the war began, pointed out that Iraq was an ethnic-religious powder-keg and that once Saddam fell the country would descend into a maelstrom of Shia religious fundamentalism, Sunni paranoia of Shia revenge, wise Kurd intransigence, and Iranian meddling.
And this is just what is happening.
But the experts and scholars were ignored because the Bush Administration has no need of experts and scholars when they set themselves to doing something--no, they are men of action and will just go ahead and do it and due process be damned.
And you know what? Across the whole dusty expanse of Iraq, from north to south and east to west, there was not a single WMD canister to be found. Not a single little jar of anthrax or even a closet-sized bio-weapons factory anywhere.
And we the critics are irresponsible?
Colin Powell's top aide speaks on decision-making in the Bush Admin.:
Irresponsible and Un-American:
U.S. Operatives Killed Detainees During Interrogations in Afghanistan and Iraq:
Bush and team bend the war on al Qaeda into a war on Iraq:
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