George Bush says that America is safer because
of our war against Iraq. I respectfully disagree.
one thing, our "shock and awe" campaign has turned
into a show and tell of America's military limitations.
We have not been able to defeat the Iraqi resistance,
and trying to do so has put a great strain on
our military forces. And now the whole world knows
have we been able to rebuild Iraq's infrastructure.
Fifteen months of American occupation and the
Iraqis still don't have full-time, reliable electric
service. Evidence of our failure is the fact that
Paul Bremer, our proconsul, had to almost surreptitiously
turn over the reins to an interim government and
practically sneak out of Iraq surrounded by heavy
security. No farewell parties for him.
remains to be seen if the Iraqi people will accept
the interim government as anything but an Iraqi
face on an American occupation. We, after all,
refused to vacate the presidential palace and
are using that for our embassy with its ridiculous
1,000-person staff. The occupational authority
put great limits on what the interim government
could do. And its leader is a man well-known to
the Iraqis to have been on the CIA's payroll.
Hussein, as bad a fellow as he is, was never a
threat to the United States. He had no stockpiles
of weapons of mass destruction. His army was dilapidated.
He was a secular socialist and despised religious
fanatics, and they despised him. There was, in
fact, no connection between Saddam and al-Qaida,
and no connection at all with the attack on Sept.
Bush administration has not been honest with the
American people. If you wish to dump all the blame
for bad intelligence on the CIA, you can certainly
do that. Bush did, but has done nothing to improve
the agency. Yet the Bush people certainly exaggerated
the situation. They made absurd statements, such
as that Iraq could have a nuclear bomb within
a year and the laughable claim by Bush that Saddam's
toylike drones might attack the United States.
They ignored everyone in the intelligence community
who had a different viewpoint.
motive the Bush administration had for attacking
Iraq, the safety of the American people was certainly
not the reason. Attacking and occupying an Arab
country has done exactly what experts about the
area said it would do: It has inflamed anti-American
feelings to the boiling point. Bush did exactly
what Osama bin Laden wanted him to do, and now
terrorists have no trouble at all finding new
Bush's obsession with Iraq diverted resources
from the hunt for bin Laden and the rest of the
Taliban. Consequently, there are two unfinished
jobs, Iraq and Afghanistan. The Bush administration's
rosy claims about those two countries are as inaccurate
as its claims about weapons of mass destruction.
There have been more, not fewer, terrorist attacks
since the war in Iraq. Warlords financed by opium
run Afghanistan, and there is no security at all
should remember not only the 875 (and still counting)
dead Americans, the more than 4,000 wounded and
the $250 billion (and still counting) cost, but
also the tremendous loss of American prestige
and respect the country has suffered. In the eyes
of the world, this was an unjust and illegal war,
and our occupation has been incredibly inept and
was a blunder from start to finish, and it has
made the American people less secure, not more
secure. More people hate us, and fewer nations
are willing to cooperate with us on any international
have sent a message to our enemies that while
we might be able to crush their conventional forces
handily, we are no better at fighting a guerrilla
war than we were when the North Vietnamese drove
us out of Southeast Asia. We have sent a message
to the entire Arab world that under no circumstances
will we treat the Palestinians with even a semblance
of justice and that we will condone whatever Israel
chooses to do. Bush has never grasped the fact
that the Palestinian issue is paramount in every
you think that makes America safer, then you should
apply for a job as a Bush speechwriter.
Posted: August 6, 2004