George Bush the Peace Candidate?

by DAVE LINDORFF

 

Manhattan.

So let’s get this straight.

George Bush says that the war on terror-that enterprise which to him encompasses the special forces actions and aerial bombardments of Afghanistan and the quagmire guerrilla war of attrition in Iraq, as well as the gutting of civil liberties here at home under the rubric of the USA Patriot Act-cannot be won after all.

He used to be fond of talking cowboy talk, and saying we were going to “smoke ’em out” and win.

Now it’s all become more like the old War on Drugs-a kind of permanent war and police state action–only this time, instead of just being in certain Latin American countries and American urban centers, it’s everywhere.

You might think that if you’re in a war you can’t win, the wise thing to do would be to start thinking of some way to settle. That’s the usual way these things go, unless you want to get into some prolonged period of torment like the 30 years’ war in Europe, or the even longer period of conflict of China’s Three Kingdom’s period. But apparently Bush expects us to just buy into permanent conflict and a life of Yellow, Orange and Red Alerts.

That’s not good enough for John Kerry and the Democrats, though.

They’ve now grabbed the ground that Bush has just surrendered. Instead of taking this moment to denounce his winless War on Terror as a fool’s business, which they should have done long ago, but at least could do now that Bush is caving in, Kerry and his gang are blasting Bush for being a defeatist, of all things, and saying that unlike him, they can win this “war.”
For the record, while at least some Democrats sensibly recognize that the U.S. invasion of Iraq had nothing to do with the fighting terror, Kerry and his policy think tankers also think they can win that war, even as Bush seems to be having second thoughts there too-at least to the point that he is finally admitting that his invasion plan was a bomb.

So here we are, with just nine weeks to go before Election Day, and we’ve got a president telling us that we can’t win any of the wars he started, and an opponent saying we shouldn’t listen to such wimpy loser talk-the presumption being that we should be prepared to fight both conflicts-the War in Iraq and the War on Terror, even harder, so we can “win.”

The sad thing is that at this point, it appears that it’s Bush, who has watched his grand military schemes crash and burn in the deserts of Afghanistan and Iraq, who is starting to show some signs that he may be learning humility and, dare one hope, wisdom, while Kerry is going off the deep end, pretending to be a general.

At the rate things are going, we may end up by November 2 with Bush being the peace candidate, offering to cut a deal with Iraqi insurgents to pull U.S. troops out in return for a vague promise of elections (the Nixon “Peace with Honor” solution to the disaster in Vietnam), and abandoning Afghanistan after its plebecite, and Kerry waving his medals and beating the drums of war with calls for more troops to go to both countries.

As for that so-called War on Terror, remember that the War on Drugs was started by Ron Reagan and continued by the first George Bush, but it was carried on aggressively by Bill Clinton, who introduced his own set of Patriot Act-like measures undermining Constitutional Liberties. Given that Kerry voted for the Bush/Ashcroft Patriot Act back in 2001, there’s no reason not to assume that he’ll soldier on in that war too, if elected.

It’s all enough to make your head spin.

DAVE LINDORFF is the author of Killing Time: an Investigation into the Death Row Case of Mumia Abu-Jamal. His new book of CounterPunch columns titled “This Can’t be Happening!” to be published this fall by Common Courage Press. Information about both books and other work by Lindorff can be found at www.thiscantbehappening.net.

He can be reached at: dlindorff@yahoo.com

 

 

Dave Lindorff is a founding member of ThisCantBeHappening!, an online newspaper collective, and is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press).

Like What You’ve Read? Support CounterPunch
Weekend Edition
July 31-33, 2015
Jeffrey St. Clair
Bernie and the Sandernistas: Into the Void
John Pilger
Julian Assange: the Untold Story of an Epic Struggle for Justice
Roberto J. González – David Price
Remaking the Human Terrain: The US Military’s Continuing Quest to Commandeer Culture
Lawrence Ware
Bernie Sanders’ Race Problem
Andrew Levine
The Logic of Illlogic: Narrow Self-Interest Keeps Israel’s “Existential Threats” Alive
ANDRE VLTCHEK
Kos, Bodrum, Desperate Refugees and a Dying Child
Paul Street
“That’s Politics”: the Sandernistas on the Master’s Schedule
Ted Rall
How the LAPD Conspired to Get Me Fired from the LA Times
Mike Whitney
Power-Mad Erdogan Launches War in Attempt to Become Turkey’s Supreme Leader
Ellen Brown
The Greek Coup: Liquidity as a Weapon of Coercion
Stephen Lendman
Russia Challenges America’s Orwellian NED
Will Parrish
The Politics of California’s Water System
John Wight
The Murder of Ali Saad Dawabsha, a Palestinian Infant Burned Alive by Israeli Terrorists
Jeffrey Blankfort
Leading Bibi’s Army in the War for Washington
Geoffrey McDonald
Obama’s Overtime Tweak: What is the Fair Price of a Missed Life?
Brian Cloughley
Hypocrisy, Obama-Style
Robert Fantina
Israeli Missteps Take a Toll
Pete Dolack
Speculators Circling Puerto Rico Latest Mode of Colonialism
Ron Jacobs
Spying on Black Writers: the FB Eye Blues
Paul Buhle
The Leftwing Seventies?
Binoy Kampmark
The TPP Trade Deal: of Sovereignty and Secrecy
David Swanson
Vietnam, Fifty Years After Defeating the US
Robert Hunziker
Human-Made Evolution
Shamus Cooke
Why Obama’s “Safe Zone” in Syria Will Inflame the War Zone
David Rosen
Hillary Clinton: Learn From Your Sisters
Sam Husseini
How #AllLivesMatter and #BlackLivesMatter Can Devalue Life
Shepherd Bliss
Why I Support Bernie Sanders for President
Howard Lisnoff
The Wrong Argument
Louis Proyect
Manufacturing Denial
Tracey Harris
Living Tiny: a Richer and More Sustainable Future
Kollibri terre Sonnenblume
A Day of Tears: Report from the “sHell No!” Action in Portland
Tom Clifford
Guns of August: the Gulf War Revisited
Renee Lovelace
I Dream of Ghana
Colin Todhunter
GMOs: Where Does Science Begin and Lobbying End?
Ben Debney
Modern Newspeak Dictionary, pt. II
Christopher Brauchli
Guns Don’t Kill People, Immigrants Do and Other Congressional Words of Wisdom
S. Mubashir Noor
India’s UNSC Endgame
Ellen Taylor
The Voyage of the Golden Rule
Norman Ball
Ten Questions for Lee Drutman: Author of “The Business of America is Lobbying”
Franklin Lamb
Return to Ma’loula, Syria
Masturah Alatas
Six Critics in Search of an Author
Mark Hand
Cinéma Engagé: Filmmaker Chronicles Texas Fracking Wars
Mary Lou Singleton
Gender, Patriarchy, and All That Jazz
Patrick Hiller
The Icebreaker and #ShellNo: How Activists Determine the Course
Charles Larson
Tango Bends Its Gender: Carolina De Robertis’s “The Gods of Tango”