Bourgeois Deviant

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

AP Errors or Bush Freudians?

Am I reading this correctly? Look at the third paragraph. The AP quotes President Bush as saying ''We'll complete our work in Afghanistan and Iran,'' Bush said. ''An immediate withdrawal of our troops in Iraq, or the broader Middle East, as some have called for, would only embolden the terrorists and create a staging ground to launch more attacks against America and free nations.'' Color me confused.

Do we have troops in Iran? Have I been so pummeled by bad news and executive buffoonery that I somehow missed the invasion or Iran? Or, is it the more likely case that President Bush was riffing and merely gave over to verbal diarrhea and let some secret chicken out of the coop.

Do we have diplomatic engagement with Iran over the nuclear issue? I thought so. Are they a viable threat to the United States? I thought not. In fact, wasn’t it just determined that Iran was, at least technologically, years away from being able to attain nuclear weapons? ... Yes, the last time I checked, for whatever that is worth.

Good lord this is upsetting.

Bush goes on to say that as long as he is President, “we will stay, we will fight and we will win the war on terrorism.” Well, that settles that. Now my fears are somewhat more confirmed than they already were. Comparisons to the Vietnam War are all too common when referring to the situation in Iraq. However, I would think that this statement by the only chief executive of this nation to be installed by the Supreme Court and not the people of the United States portends of the analogy being applied to the War on Terrorism in general.

Vietnam was not winnable. You know why. For those who are raising a quizzical eyebrow, dig this. Vietnam had a centuries long history of invasion, subjugation and colonialization by bunch of different countries, China and France being the biggest offenders. When America came in, the Vietnamese just saw them as another colonialist invading power. It had nothing to do with politics or ideology for them. It was about sovereignty and stopping the violation of their land. Communism was just an organizational tool. The US was fighting something stronger than them. They were fighting an idea and resentment that was hundreds of years old. The Vietnamese would have fought to the last child if they had to. Nothing could have broken that resolve.

Once again, we are involved in a conflict in part of the world where we do not (at least our President doesn’t) fully understand the general perceptions and ethos of the culture we are trying to “save” and democratize. This may seem like pulling dirt out of history’s dustbin, but the Crusades are still very present in the minds of many Arabs. So, once again, you have an invader stomping in and telling them how its going to be. It won’t fly. I will eat my hat if democracy sticks in Iraq.

And Bush is thinking about Iran?

Does the Arab world hate the infidel? Sure. Is that xenophobic, wrong and generally stupid? To us, sure. To them, heck no. We can thank the British, Spanish and Christianity in general for that. We, the United States of America, one of the younger nations on the world stage, march over to the fertile crescent and silk road lands, like true sophomores and think we can fix stuff, mold them in our democratic image? We can’t even get a President properly elected.

The same rules don’t apply in this war game. When people are willing to strap bombs to their chest to get us out, that’s a sign that we don’t belong. When the rules of the game are that different for the two teams playing, that strongly suggests that the game can’t be won. Our President’s myopia is costing us precious lives, truckloads of money and more good will than we can ever recoup. George W. Bush’s choices have written a check that no matter how big of an ass he may be, that ass cannot cash.

You can't kill an idea or attitude with a gun. Just a person. And, as their blood spreads, so does their idea.

BTW, I thought Maureen Dowd was good today.

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