Bush wants what all republicans want: to make the world safe for Big Business. (If Bush had ever believed in Democracy, he would have let the Florida recount finish).
From what I’ve been able to gather, the mood in the city of Washington ever since September 11th, 2001 has been one of absolute paranoia. Since Bush has no plan for the economy other than to line Big Business’ pockets with as much of it as he can, and his War on Terrorism had no definitive results, he knows that he needs a decisive victory to get those poll numbers back up in time for next year’s election. Solution? Attack someone we’re pretty sure we can beat. Enter Saddam Hussein.
It all seemed so perfect. The world was outraged by 9-11, the UN already had sanctions against Iraq that Hussein had circumvented, and we kicked his ass twelve years ago. Just make up some crap about illegal weapons development, Al Qaeda connections, and wanting to free the Iraqi people, and go to town on the guy. The American people would eat it up. Makes for great television. Plus, we’d get the Iraqi oil fields, and maybe put them A-rabs on notice not to cross us.
Keep in mind, this makes the second time Bush has resorted to drastic, unprecedented measures to get out of a conundrum (his election was the first). He’s not done by a long shot.
Of course, Bush didn’t realize a few things:
Seeing our own cities under attack by an outside force made a lot of rethink how wonderful air strikes are.
It also made us take a good look at our own foreign policy, which turns out to be horrible. The only reason the rest of the world ever put up with it through the Cold War was that Russia’s was worse. And the reason it hasn’t been an issue for a long time is that Clinton had no foreign policy.
Since Arab countries generally aren’t democracies, the people are not guaranteed any benefit from the buckets of oil money we spend there. The money helps keep the often oppressive rulers in place, causing many of the citizens to hate the States, which is why Al-Qaeda was able to develop a strong following the first place.
We all know that attacking an Islamic country will anger Muslims, and that it didn’t take Weapons of Mass Destruction to bring about the worst day in modern American history. All it took was twenty angry men and a plan, and we haven’t fixed our security problems since it happened.
One of the few things the rest of the world has always liked about our foreign policy is our oft-repeated pledge that we would never use our superior military force unprovoked or unrequested, and that we would never try to assassinate foreign leaders.
The rest of the world has had their major cities under attack many times over, and were not in the same frame of mind as paranoid Washington. (New York was a special case, because many have sentimental feelings toward it as the unofficial capital of the world.)
The UN was under the impression that their resolutions were theirs to handle collectively. They also had watched for twelve years as Hussein fired on Allied No-Fly-Zone patrols without hitting the side of a barn, much less a plane, and did not consider him a threat.
No one at the UN bought the Iraq/Al-Qaeda connection theory. They all know that Hussein belongs to a differect sect of Islam than Al-Qaeda, and they’d love to simply watch each other die. In fact, attacking Iraq might simply generate more angry terrorist recruits, making the entire world situation worse.
I could go on, but you get the picture. So the US is not unanimously in favor of this war, and the UN wouldn’t vote for it. So? Bush removes his proposal from the UN table, and tells them he’s going to enforce their resolutions whether they like it or not. (That’s three drastic measures and counting, by the way. What’s next? Nuke Baghdad? Cancel the elections?).
We’re three days into the war. Hussein may be dead already, but Iraq is not exactly welcoming the troops with open arms. The “coalition of the willing” is running into higher than expected resistance faster than you can say “Viet Nam-style quagmire”. The world terrorist threat has gotten immediately worse. North Korea, with whom we have been, shall we say, not at peace for the last half century, who actually HAS WMD, some of which can reach the States, is getting awfully nervous, despite our reassurances. The reast of the looney nations are realizing that we’ll go after Iraq but not North Korea, so they know they better get themselves some nukes FAST so they too will be immune to the US. The UN is in jeopardy, and if Turkey decides to take advantage of the situation to try and destroy Kurdish northern Iraq, we’ll be treated to the spectacle of two NATO allies going toe-to-toe, with the rest of the alliance falling on who-knows what side of the fence.
But it DOES make for great, televison, don’t it?