• From: Ursula Stange <Ursula@xxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Tue, 13 Jun 2006 13:19:53 -0400

I should be more careful than to call Bush's war phony. It is a real war with real consequences and real death. But it was predicated on lies, fed by manufactured fears and perpetrated with immense greed. The people in the white house who have brought the world to this brink are war criminals and the people who support (or close their eyes to) their crimes will eventually be assessed just as guilty as Hitler's "willing executioners.' A quarter of a million innocent people have died in the wake of this illegal and immoral war. Many millions are injured and homeless and bereft of their loved ones.

I'm not advocating pulling up stakes at this point and just getting out. There is a moral responsibility to fix some of this. I don't have any advice about a scenario for that, but I'm sure it begins with the American people holding Bush and his government to account. (Don't we wish the Germans had done that with Hitler when there was still enough freedom to do it?) Soon, it will be impossible.

What I hear you saying, Eric, is that you don't approve of how the war came about or how it's being managed, but Americans are in a fight for their lives and thus anything goes. Take their rights. Take my rights. Shoot first. Ask questions later. Just keep me safe. All hail the cheerleader in the white house. It's a position the western world spent many generations and many lives fighting up from.

Ursula, hoping Eric reads this with coffee...

Eric Yost wrote:

Ursula: I don't watch much American news, so am occasionally lulled into thinking that everyone disapproves of Bush and his phony war.

From my point of view, Bush doesn't take the war seriously enough. His ouster of Saddam was marred by corruption and incompetence in countless ways. Bush distorted intelligence about Iraq in order to rally public opinion behind his invasion plan. He also shows little interest in real homeland security, such as border control, more rapidly securing loose nukes, etc. There are good reasons not to trust his administration. Given the planless follow-through, the Iraq regime change campaign was a mistake.

That said, I agree with Bill Clinton that an immediate or premature withdrawal of troops would cause more problems than would be caused by staying the course. And in the larger picture of combating "terrorists of global reach," we can't reasonably call that a "phony war," although I know many list members see Iraq as a symbol of the entire war.

Consequently, I would rather err on the side of winning that war than on the side of protecting the individual rights of terror suspects. I mean, we did that in the '90s. We treated terrorism as a criminal issue, going so far as to hamstring FBI agents pursuing Bin Laden, thwarting CIA operatives who had a chance to effectuate a popular revolution in Iraq, and turning a blind eye to terror-preaching mullahs in Europe and elsewhere. The results were that the problem just got worse and the stakes of the attacks got higher and higher.

If we don't get this right, there will be nuclear terror attacks in our lifetimes. Bush doesn't have it right, but the political alternatives I see presented are practically suicidal.

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