Monday, May 21, 2007

The Failure No One is Talking About

As the Democratic candidates elbow and claw to be "the most" against the war, and the Repug contenders tumble over one another to grab the monger chieftain cap, no one is talking about the fundamental failure which lead us into the Iraq morass.

And I am not talking about the "failure of intelligence" canard.

After the 2001 attack, the Bush administration had an opportunity to propose a new doctrine for American foreign policy for the 21st Century -- one that would have capitalized on the goodwill pouring America's way, would have tapped into the worldwide anger and sadness, could have had generations of impact on the crisis centers of the world, and could have galvanized into a worldwide effort to conduct a real war on terrorism. How inspiring would it have been for the American president to respond to the attacks by dedicating the resources of the most powerful and influential nation in the world to the fight against tyranny and oppression?

That America could have led the fight against terrorism and the rogue states supporting them by first setting the example -- by rejecting the friendship of governments that exploit, abuse, and terrify their own subjects, promising never to install brutal dictators, never to again prop up puppet despots, to gain strategic geopolitical advantage. That first principle could have been one which promised to bring the world together to use statecraft, moral suasion, and economic benefits to move nations towards the protection of basic human rights. It could have wove together a complex cloth integrating every aspect of our civil and private interaction with the rest of the world. Inspiring the developed states to join in, we could have simultaneously provided hope to the billions living under oppression and deflated the recruitment efforts of terrorist groups.

But it would have taken leadership, which, as is now patent, this cabal is incapable of providing. It would have taken vision, a "thing" foreign to the entire Bush family.

Instead, we got from this criminal cabal of neocon failures a different new doctrine -- but one which promises the same multi-generational impact. Unfortunately, the impact of the Bush Doctrine, endorsing the use of preventive aggression, leaves no salutary remnants for tomorrow's world order.

We are in Iraq, we have created quite a mess and have a responsibility to figure out the least harmful way to extricate ourselves from it. That is an issue which needs to be a focus of the '08 campaign. And, to a degree, there is some discussion going on about that.

But no one is talking about the fundamental turning point which was designed to lead us to the war -- when Hillary and Biden and Edwards and McCain and the rest of them did what none of them have apologized for or evaluated, much less recognized as the fundamental error, the failure, which permitted all of this to rain down. Even if they believed every word of the idiotic, convoluted, thin public relations spun together by the lying criminals in charge of the White House, their support of the invasion of Iraq required the endorsement of a preventive war -- a war of aggression absent any semblance of an imminent threat.

American foreign policy has never been so blatantly perverted as it has been by the neocons in this case. Unquestioningly the Democrats lined up nodding like bobbleheads with almost no one questioning the morality of this war of aggression.

I remain unimpressed by Edwards' overly-lauded early "apology". He merely apologized for believing the lies, but has neither explained nor apologized for his endorsement of an invasion absent the kind of instant, overwhelming threat which has always been the underlying requirement for defensive aggression. And Hillary, oh forget that . . . .

What nearly every candidate on both side accepts is that, if the lies were truths, the invasion of Iraq was justified. This sub silencio endorsement of the preventive war doctrine of the Bush Administration holds gasping repercussions.

Not debating this perversion of foreign policy permits it to seep into legitimacy and opens the door to its use again. It also signals to the rest of the world -- especially those who see the United States as an imperial force -- that the United States intends to live up to its reputation in some quarters as the world's bully. By allowing this perversion of policy to stand unquestioned as the basis for the American invasion of Iraq, the Democrats and the Bush Administration have also managed to let loose the dogs -- they tell the world they, also, can enjoy the freedom of attack which the new policy of aggression offers to them. (We can only hope that India or China aren't listening.)

While the 2008 campaign should have been a debate on the future of this Bush Doctrine, the candidates are for the most part acting like the debate is done. Candidates like Biden, Hillary and Edwards face a real personal risk in opening up this debate -- they are guilty of endorsing this shift in war-making policy.

But how much greater the risk of not debating it?

So, excuse me while I don't get excited over Edwards, Hillary, or Biden, or any of these other war enablers. On one of the most important set of issues facing us right now, they got it wrong then and they are still wrong.

3 comments:

Flash-fellow Fluf said...

It's called Oil-rack, mang.

that all anybody need to know.

Ron said...

Bravo!

Encore!

Really well said.

Dominic said...

I believe everyone that's reasonable agrees invading Iraq was a HUGE mistake. Now, how do we find a reasonable way out?