Bush is a liar

http://www.theage.com.au/articles/2003/11/05/1068013255336.htm

The President has no idea where his aggressive policies are leading America, warns Robert Scheer.

On Sunday, 18 more young Americans died in Iraq serving the vanity of an American President who woefully betrayed them and who has no idea where his policies are taking his country.

This is a President who, as is now amply clear, has systematically lied to the troops and the American people about the reasons for going to war, distorting evidence to claim that the United States was threatened by Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction and linking Iraq to the September 11 terrorist attacks.

Having led America and its allies by the nose into a clumsy, ill-advised Middle East power grab, President Bush is faced with a terrible quandary: what do we do now?

The first thing is to resist the logic of the self-fulfilling prophecy: Bush claimed Iraq was a centre of international terrorism – it wasn’t – and now says that because terrorists are coming over Iraqi borders to take pot shots at Americans, the US needs to stay and fight them.
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“We won’t run,” Bush said, cavalierly dismissing the lives of the young soldiers mired in his folly. This amounts to using America’s young men and women as bait and assumes there are a finite number of fanatics who can be dispensed with once and for all.

In fact, the US occupation of the historic centre of the Arab world has provided al-Qaeda and other like-minded groups with their most effective recruiting poster yet, and America is fighting them on their terms and on their turf.

Meanwhile, attacks also are coming from various Iraqi quarters: those who enjoyed favours under Saddam and those who may have been glad to see the US overthrow the tyrant but have since become alienated by an occupation that inevitably inspires nationalist as well as religious opposition.

If he can back off, the American public might be conned into giving him another term.

Why can’t America learn from its history in Vietnam and the experiences of the French in Algeria and the Israelis in the West Bank and Gaza that no occupation by an army of “the other” is ever welcome?

Only last week, Israel’s army chief of staff issued a warning on the limits of an occupying power to achieve its goals through military force. “It increases hatred for Israel and strengthens the terror organisations,” said Lieutenant-General Moshe Yaalon, adding: “In our tactical interests, we are operating contrary to our strategic interests.”

Some pundits and politicians, even those who may have been sceptical about the war to begin with, now argue that the US must “finish the job”, even if it means increasing its commitment of troops or ruling Iraq indefinitely. This is, however, exactly the kind of stubborn and mushy thinking that led the US into the hell of Vietnam and the deaths of 58,000 Americans and 2 million Vietnamese and Cambodians.

The occupation of Iraq is not working and will not work. For Iraqis, American culture is offensive and American tactics are heavy-handed. As none other than the American-sponsored Iraqi politician Ahmad Chalabi put it after the latest guerilla attacks: “The Americans, their methods, their operations and their procedures are singularly unsuited to deal with this kind of problem.”

And US intentions in Iraq are far from clear. Though there may be an echo of “white man’s burden” that seeks to export “civilisation”, even that highly questionable goal is clouded and undermined by the fact that Washington inevitably will put a higher priority on having a new Iraq serve America’s superpower needs – oil, commerce, military power – rather than meet the needs of regular Iraqis.

Unless America is willing to trade the lives of US troops and Iraqis for the obsessions of empire, America must end the occupation now.

The US can give Chalabi and his crowd the money they need to operate in the short-term and similarly aid the more established Shiite groups. It can beg the UN Security Council to take over this mess, with financial support from the US, and smooth the transfer of power enough to let Bush save face by declaring the mission a victory.

Such a wise reversal of course might even help Bush get re-elected – his poll numbers on Iraq are sinking. If he can back off from the edge of the cliff to which his hyper-aggressive foreign policy has taken the US, the American public might be conned into giving him another term.

Personally, I think the President should be impeached for his lies. But more important, he should redeem himself by coming to his senses and ending the carnage and instability he has wrought in Iraq and the world.

– Los Angeles Times

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1 Comment

  1. that he just found his political policy right by himself…..!


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