Monthly Archives: December 2003
Dean is Right
We are really no safer than we were before this “capture”.
When he said that the capture of Saddam Hussein made us no safer, Dean hit the Truth nail on the head in spite of all the howls of criticism that remark has produced. If we were safer, how come the bumbling Office of Home Security has raised the alert level to Orange? Why did we prevent the flights from Paris to Los Angeles from taking off? Why all the noise about dangerous intelligence “chatter” publicly spouted by Washington if we’re safer? Specific information about plane hijackings in France to be used in the US is hardly a condition of safety.
Why should thousands of innocent Iraqis die to make us just as insecure as we were before 9/11? It doesn’t help when people like Rumsfeld make remarks such as the one he made at a news conference that he’d rather fight terrorists in Iraq than at home. Nonsense like that is not only extremely cynical, but ignorant of the facts that the guerillas in Iraq have little or nothing to do with the Al-Qaeda terrorists who destroyed the World Trade Center.
How our fears are exploited by politicians for political gain without much regard for the truth.
Joe Liebernann’s attack on Dean in which he said that if Dean were President, Saddam Hussein would still be in power was a comment carefully calculated to terrify Americans already brainwashed by the Bush Administration’s insistence that Saddam was somehow responsible for 9/11 and bent on the destruction of the United States, using the really scary WMD which remain unfound in Iraq. It says more about Lieberman’s having bought the shaky intelligence trumpeted by the Administration than it does about Dean’s qualifications for the Presidency.
Suppose Saddam were still in power, contained by the combined power of the US and Britain. He would undoubtedly be still playing his game with UN inspections and inspectors. He would still be brutalizing his own people in order to stay in power and dreaming dreams of being the sole dominant power in the middle east, but unlike Hitler, not of world domination. He would still not be a threat to the United States or any country in Europe. His citizens would not be facing the lack of security, electricity, clean water, phone service, gasoline for cars, cooking and heating oil, and work opportunities that they now cope with daily. Those killed in the invasion would still be alive, as would hundreds of American soldiers.
We successfully contained the Soviet Union for 50 years. Why was such a policy abandoned for Iraq after only 12? All of a sudden, we have this new policy of preemptive war which is to guide American Policy in the new century that leads to the possibility that this Administration will attack and destroy any country that dares to disagree with it and develop some means of self-defense. In this way will the Bushies accomplish little but our increased isolation from the rest of the world and an increased radicalism among the world’s poor and discontented.
Even the rich USA does not have the financial or military resources to create and maintain a Pax Americana after the manner of the Roman Empire. The Wilsonian pipe dream of making the world safe for democracy was debunked after World War 1. Democracy American style is not for everybody, and you’d think someone would remember the lessons of the “Ugly American” of the 60’s and 70’s. (The Ugly American, by William J. Lederer and Eugene Burdick was originally published in 1958. It can still be purchased at amazon.com.) If anything, this administration and its media supporters seem a throwback to the heady days of the 19th century, Teddy Roosevelt, and “Remember the Maine”, and has just as little respect or use for verifiable facts and the truth.
A Presidential News Conference
My thoughts ob the President’s news conference as bizarre and adolescent.
The President gave a rare news conference today. It may have been the first time I’ve listened to all of one of these events. It had to do with the capture of Saddam Hussein in a “spider hole” underground in the farm village of Ad Dawr not far from Tikrit. The President didn’t exactly crow, but did manage to get out some gratuitously crude language to show where his thinking is.
I found the workings of our President’s thoughts rather bizarre and naively adolescent. He seems to have an oversimplified perception of his job as President and a childish belief and trust in his advisors, making decisions based upon what they bring him without initiating any on his own. It makes me wonder who’s really in charge here.
How much does this guy, or any of those in the inner circle, know about the long bloody history of the Arab states? About the built-in patriarchal nature of Islam? The traditional tribal and clan fanaticism of the warring desert tribes where its roots were formed? About the continual rise and fall of brutal bloodthirsty rulers in the region who offset the previous achievements of prior civilizations in the Tigris-Euphrates region? What was “moral” about the Pharaohs, or the rulers of Babylon? How many captured slaves built the Tower of Babel?
Why do they think they will have any better luck than the British after WWI?
Is fundamentalist extremism taking over both in the USA and in the Arab world? Or is it already a fact of life?