The question that keeps coming to mind amid the continuing chaos in Iraq: Was Bush so out of touch with reality that he actually thought things would turn out any different? If you are a supporter of the invasion of Iraq I ask you to consider something. Was there really a point before troops were committed that Pres. Bush, Vice President Cheney, Sec. of Defense Rumsfeld and National Security Advisor Rice honestly believed things were so simple that we could go in there and take out Saddam and leave with a democratic government in less than a year or two?
Here’s the paradox. If Bush and his crew of military service dodgers honestly believed that, then they must be certifiably insane and therefore unfit to lead this country. If they didn’t believe it and they committed thousands of lsoldiers to an invasion they knew would cost us more in lives and money than they were estimating, then they knowingly sent men and women to their deaths under the most false of pretenses. In which case, they aren’t fit to lead this country and not only should be removed from office, but put on trial for mass murder.
I have a BA in English. I’ve studied history and politics, but I can’t in all good conscience call myself an expert. And yet as soon as the sabers for this war started rattling, I knew exactly what would happen. I can produce witnesses-most of whom completely disagreed with me at the time-who listened as I argued over three years ago that before American troops withdrew from Iraq there would be civil war, thousands of casualties and, if democratic elections ever took place, a democratically elected leader of Iraq who is far more of a fundamentalist Muslim with ties to Bin-Laden than Hussein ever was.
On what basis did I make this prediction? Am I psychic? A seer? No. My only talent is being able to read recent history books. Something that, apparently, no one in the entire Bush administration is able to do. We need only look back to the death of Marshall Tito and the collapse of Yugoslavia to have predicted what would happen in Iraq. What is happening as we speak. Tito was a strong-armed dictator who, through force, was able to keep a country that was essentially nothing more than a loose confederation of ethnic groups together. Saddam and Tito had much in common. Was Saddam a bad guy? Sure. Did he achieve order and stability through terror? No doubt. Was he able to do what we can’t there?
Americans labor under the impression that all Muslims believe the same. Probably in the same way that most people who live in the Middle East think that Catholics and Baptists believe the same way. We’re now, unfortunately, getting a crash course in how Muslim sects think and act just as differently from each other as a man who believes his religious instructor should never get married and a woman who has never prayed to the Virgin Mary in her life.
Yugoslavia was torn apart by factional differences and civil war following the death of the glue that held them together. The result was genocide and the use of American bombs. You would have hoped that someone in this administration would have made the connection between Tito and Saddam and realize that before we went headstrong into that country and ripped out the glue holding it together that we’d better get a firm understanding of just how we could hope to keep the various factions from going at each other.
But, alas and to no surprise, no one did. From what I can gauge of President Bush from his public comments, he possesses absolutely no sense that the people who reside in what we call the Middle East can be differentiated. I imagine that Bush would actually be shocked to his very core to realize that not everyone who lives there doesn’t think the same. After all, to this day he still appears to be sincerely believe that Saddam Hussein and Osama Bin-Laden were friends in terrorism. In fact, Bush and Hilary Clinton have far more in common than Saddam and Osama. Try telling Bush that.
So, now here we are on the verge of civil war in Iraq. Is there anyone left alive-outside of a mental institution-who still believes that Iraq is a safer place now than it was three years ago? That the world is a safer place now that it was on September 10, 2001?
Bush and the boys couldn’t have botched this thing any worse if they had set out to do so. It’s time to begin wondering whether they did, indeed-for God’s knows what reason-set out to botch it up as badly as they could. Frankly, I don’t have the imagination necessary to come up with a reason why Bush and his gang would have wanted the situation to get to what it is now. But since anyone with any sense of history could have predicted that we would be exactly where we are now, one can only conclude that there must be some reason Bush wanted things to turn out like this.
The only other explanation is that America elected a madman as its President.