Bush’s Choice: Appeasement or Impeachment
Vol: 62 Issue: 20 Monday, November 20, 2006
In the wake of the mid-term elections, a clearly shaken George W Bush finds himself struggling for a ‘new direction’ even as members of his own party are beginning to jump ship over Iraq.
It isn’t as if the facts have changed on the ground. It is impossible to imagine that the US would be in an improved security situation if Saddam Hussein remained in power in Iraq.
While Saddam did not have a major WMD manufacturing operation going, that is not the same as saying he wasn’t in the process of manufacturing WMD’s. He just wasn’t manufacturing them on a grand scale.
At the time of the invasion, according to the Iraq Survey Group report, Saddam had an active, although low-level production operation going on to manufacture both chemical and biological agents.
The ISG also reported Saddam’s plans to increase production once UN sanctions were lifted — which would have been the case, had the US not taken action. Both Russia and China were lobbying heavily to have the sanctions lifted.
One other minor detail that nobody in the mainstream press is talking about from the ISG report.
Saddam s planning envisioned placing toxic chemical and biological agents in aerosol cans and perfume sprayers for shipment to the United States and Europe!
That isn’t some pre-invasion intelligence report. That is what the ISG discovered once they had a chance to review some of the regime’s top secret military documents.
The Bush administration’s stated intention in the months leading up to the invasion of Iraq was to make the country the magnet for terrorists that it eventually became.
However, the post-invasion Iraqi government didn’t like the idea of being deliberately used as a proxy battlefield, so the US quit talking about it. But neither the policy nor the intended goal was changed. They just stopped talking about it.
The proof is in the pudding. The central front for the war on terror is Iraq, exactly as the administration claims it is. To deny that is willful self-deception.
One would be hard-pressed to call the post-invasion scenario in Iraq a ‘success’ — apart from keeping the terrorists occupied fighting the US presence there. The bombs are going off in Iraq, not New York.
The idea of invading another sovereign country for the express purpose of using it as a battlefield to spare one’s own nation sounds cynical. So? It is also the government’s Constitutionally-imposed responsibility. To protect the homeland by whatever means necessary. Even cynical ones.
Admitting officially that the goal was to keep the battlefield in the Middle East would further America’s international image as a self-serving bully, but, as the old saying goes, “all’s fair in love and war.”
But all that appears to be about to change.
Every morning there are new calls from the Left calling for the impeachment of Bush and Cheney for everything from being war criminals to committing acts of treason against the United States.
Together with the loss of both Houses of Congress in the mid-terms, they seem to be taking their toll on Bush. The appointment of Bob Gates to replace Don Rumsfeld as Secretary of Defense represents a subtle but major shift in strategy.
Gates was chosen from among the members of the Iraq Survey Group. One of the ISG’s recommendations is that the United States should enter into negotiations over Iraq with Iran and Syria and the terrorist groups they control.
A second recommendation is that the United States begin to distance itself diplomatically from Israel as part of the negotiation strategy. A third recommendation is that the US implement the ‘strategic redeployments’ so popular among Democrats.
As a member of the ISG, Gates signed off all all three; appeasing Iran and Syria, abandoning Israel diplomatically, and finally, abandoning Iraq militarily.
For all his faults, the one thing I have admired about George Bush was his unwillingness to placate his domestic political enemies with a quick fix that would leave the problem for future administrations to worry about.
But the mid-terms seem to have taken the remaining starch from his shirt. The Democrats have offered him a choice between appeasement and impeachment.
His selection of Bob Gates for Secretary of Defense seems to suggest he’s chosen the former.
If true, then he deserves the latter.