May 1, 2003. How cool was that? Victory was ours! I mean, if you cannot trust a commander-in-chief in a pimped-out flight suit, then I would say that the terrorists have truly won.
I remember President George W. Bush’s speech vividly, although maybe that is because the media drilled it into our heads faster than Halliburton could ever rape and pillage Iraq. Yeah, it felt great to be an American.
Now it’s September 4. The fuzzy memories of fairies and aircraft carriers are fading to black. Case in point: lethal confrontation to American occupation has become a daily occurrence.
Iraqi people are resisting? But wait weren’t they waving our flags with zest? Somewhere, an imaginary liberal with a backbone says, “I told you so sort of.”
What President Bush does not seem to understand (among other things) is that the world is in an extremely delicate balance. Immediately following the Persian Gulf War, countless Americans concluded that with Saddam ousted from power, our country heroically made the world a safer place. However, I have yet to see one iota of evidence to validate such claims.
We certainly changed things, and perhaps (and just perhaps) our principles were sound, but the rushed assault left things messy to say the least. It could be logically argued that the antebellum Iraqi state is actually much less safe today than it was ten months ago. Most causalities from the resistance attacks have been innocent Iraqi civilians. With the semi-stable Iraqi government dissolved, the country is in the grips of devastating unemployment, perhaps only comparable to those in Germany following World War I.
Perhaps even most dangerous of all is that Iraq has set the precedent of America as some damn fool nation bent on aggression justified by self-righteous patriotic clichEs. Syria. Iran. North Korea. Anybody want a piece of this?
It is my hope that we devote our resources to fixing the hornet’s nest that we stirred in Iraq and, even more important, to continue to fight the only justified war – the original War on Terror. The idiotic Iraq war has only allowed Al Qaeda forces, previously pressured and on the run, to regroup. And no, there is no actual connection between bin Laden and Hussein.
Gulf War II was a terrible and shameful undertaking, obviously not on the part of our brave servicemen and women, but on the part of loathsome politicians of all parties. They lied to us. They desecrated American Honor. Still, it is important not to place this war in the past just yet. It is living, and dying, history.
At the present time, we should focus on fully securing the new Iraq and fulfilling our idealism in making the world a better place. This would involve Bush swallowing his pride and “giving in” to the United Nations and make this a joint undertaking. What happened to this magic “coalition of the willing.” I have used so many quotation marks because this war was exactly what the Bush Administration is about – sound bites and not substance. Maybe they could read the Cliffnotes and pass a class in Iraq. But for God’s sake, they had no details in the reconstruction and we need help. Gradually bring our troops home from the war-zone. For all of his rhetoric about victory, the war is not over. I somehow doubt our valiant Top-Gun Ace President would get anywhere near a Baghdad patrol. He would probably instead opt for a cocky fly-by at a gazillion dollar fundraising event. There have been more than 70 American soldiers killed since May 1. Bush has raised thousands of dollars for his party. That is political profiteering on needless bloodshed.
There are few positive indications of the assaults ending, as the attacks are escalating in complexity and deadliness. We need increased troop presence, more international support, less abrasive arrogance and some actual free speech here at home in America. We need to be discussing what we were, and are, doing in the world.