WHAT’S IN A PREMISE?
The supporters of Bush’s Iraq debacle, and even some of those who were ‘against’ it but think we should stay and ‘finish the job,’ seem to be proceeding from a false premise, one that was echoed in Bush’s speech the other night. See this article for an example of what I mean. The assumption, as I generally read it, is that the Bushies went into Iraq with good intentions, but planned poorly. As Bush supporters have stated to me in many a comments section, without telepathic ability I can’t possibly know the Bush administration’s true intentions in invading and occupying Iraq.
One thing is for sure, though: the Bushies offered a rotating set of poorly drawn justifications before launching their invasion, justifications which didn’t even hold up to scrutiny given what was known at the time. However, they had already succeeded in fomenting the fear and anger most U.S. citizens felt as a result of 9/11. Furthermore, they were able to capitalize on the ambient political stupidity of the electorate in order to connect their designs on Iraq to the vulnerability, racism, and desire for revenge that were coursing through the masses.
Now that the jig is up (in the shape of the Downing Street Memo, among other damning evidence to arise lately), the Bushies aren’t looking so hot. However, Bush’s plea to the public to allow him more time to deal with his mess should rightly fall on belligerently noncompliant ears. Bush’s latest justification for his administration’s illegal and fantastically clumsy molestation of Iraq is that we (the Sheeple) must support his efforts to bring democracy to Iraq, so that it can serve as a beacon of freedom… yawn.
The U.S. taxpayers need to understand that their hard-earned dollars are being spent on the construction of a number (at least a dozen, I believe) of permanent military bases in Iraq. The heavily fortified Green Zone, as I saw on PBS last week, doesn’t give the impression of a tent city that will be dismantled on short notice. Even serial prevaricator Donald Rumsfeld recently stated that the U.S. can expect to have troops in Iraq (allegedly to fend off the insurgency) for at least a dozen more years. In Rummyspeak, that means the Bushies don’t plan on leaving.
People, this isn’t about freeing or liberating anyone, anymore than it is about bringing democracy to Iraq. Sure, some of the more delusional neocons may have actually believed that the Iraqi people would happily settle for elections of a neutered local government that served only to facilitate the cheapest possible exporting of Iraq’s oil and to cater to the needs of the U.S. military contingent. However, as erstwhile Iraq war supporter Richard Cohen observes, this is the sort of delusional arrogance that led to defeat against badly overmatched (on paper) Vietnam.
As U.S. citizens– members of a democracy who are ostensibly responsible for the actions of our government– it is our responsibility to remember that talk is cheap, and that no amount of rosy language can counteract the vile, rampant corruption and ineptitude that has accompanied the Bushies’ descent into their Iraqi heart of darkness. Personally, I favor impeachment hearings, and sooner rather than later. However, if the majority of the electorate can’t stomach that concept without the revelation of lies about oral sex, then perhaps they’ll keep their responsibility in mind come 2006 and 2008.