Monday, June 29, 2009


The Bush-Cheney revisionists are still at it. An op-ed piece in today's Los Angeles Times, written by John P. Hannah, a senior fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy who served as Vice President Dick Cheney's national security advisor from 2005-2009, tries to make the case that Bush's invasion of Iraq was a strategic masterpiece, even if the last administration bungled the war badly, and President Obama is screwing up that brilliant strategy by being more concerned with the withdrawal of troops from Iraq than with consolidating our glorious victory.

For all his administration's mistakes in Iraq, Bush clearly understood the imperative of victory once U.S. forces were committed. He knew that removing our troops under fire would have been disastrous. Al Qaeda and Iran would have been emboldened. American credibility throughout the Middle East would have been shattered. Iraq would have descended into chaos, further destabilizing a region vital to U.S. interests.

More positively, Bush also understood that fulfilling our commitment to help Iraq establish a stable democracy could dramatically advance long-term U.S. interests. The Arab Middle East -- the region that provided the ideology, funding, leadership and foot soldiers for the 9/11 attacks -- would get a powerful example of a successful, modernizing democracy. And the United States would secure a strategic foothold in one of the Muslim world's historic centers of political, religious and cultural power. ...

Under Obama, Bush's commitment to winning in Iraq has all but vanished. Convinced from the start that the war was a mistake (a conviction fortified by the Bush team's post-invasion bungling), Obama has for years been the salesman in chief for a narrative of failure: Iraq is seen as a colossal disaster -- a senseless distraction that drained U.S. resources while alienating the rest of the world. While recognizing a vague obligation to help Iraqis forge a better future, Obama's bottom line comes through loud and clear: The war was a strategic blunder, and the sooner the U.S. can wash its hands of it and re-focus on our "real" priorities in the Middle East, the better.
[Emphasis added]

What Mr. Hannah is trying to convince us is that the war itself was not a blunder, merely the execution of the war. The US had every right to invade a country because it was in our national interests to do so. It was a way to "secure a strategic foothold" in the Middle East, a region rich with oil and natural gas. The fact that the last administration lied us into that invasion, and then screwed up militarily, is unimportant to him. The vision was right.

That vision is no less demonic than the German invasion of France in World War II. No country has the right to invade another simply for strategic foothold. All of Mr. Hannah's blather about democratizing Iraq (after a particularly grisly 'regime change') is immoral non-sense used to justify an imperialistic goal: the global control of quickly disappearing natural resources. And the results of the failed policy include a loss of moral stature in the world, an economy that is still swirling down the toilet, over 4,000 dead American soldiers with thousands more grievously wounded, tens of thousands of dead and wounded Iraqis, and the rise of Iran as a dominant force in that region of the world.

I'd rather listen to Dick Cheney's daughter. I can kind of understand her motivation in defending her father. This claptrap, on the other hand, continues the dangerous theme that the US will do whatever it chooses because it can.


[Note: there's a sidebar poll included with the column. Kindly do an old lady a favor and freep it.]

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Blogger the bewilderness said...

I don't really understand this argument that boldness in your enemy is something to be fearful of and therefore to be discouraged.
Boldness is neither a strategy nor a tactic. It seems more like something you would get extra points for in a video game.

10:56 AM  
Anonymous brenda keith said...

American soldiers with thousands more grievously wounded, tens of thousands of dead and wounded Iraqis, and the rise of Iran as a dominant force in that region of the world.,..

thanks for information

3:14 AM  

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