FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

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).

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

Weekend Edition
August 26, 2016
Friday - Sunday
Andrew Levine
How Donald Trump Can Still be a Hero: Force the Guardians of the Duopoly to Open Up the Debates
Rob Urie
Crisis and Opportunity
Louisa Willcox
The Unbearable Killing of Yellowstone’s Grizzlies: 2015 Shatters Records for Bear Deaths
Charles Pierson
Wedding Crashers Who Kill
Richard Moser
What is the Inside/Outside Strategy?
Dirk Bezemer – Michael Hudson
Finance is Not the Economy
Paul Buhle
In the Shadow of the CIA: Liberalism’s Big Embarrassing Moment
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Bernie’s Used Cars
Margaret Kimberley
Hillary and Colin: the War Criminal Charade
Patrick Cockburn
Turkey’s Foray into Syria: a Gamble in a Very Dangerous Game
Ishmael Reed
Birther Tries to Flim Flam Blacks  
Brian Terrell
What Makes a Hate Group?
Howard Lisnoff
Trouble in Political Paradise
Terry Tempest Williams
Will Our National Parks Survive the Next 100 Years?
Ben Debney
The Swimsuit that Overthrew the State
Ashley Smith
Anti-imperialism and the Syrian Revolution
Andrew Stewart
Did Gore Throw the 2000 Election?
Vincent Navarro
Is the Nation State and Its Welfare State Dead? a Critique of Varoufakis
John Wight
Syria’s Kurds and the Wages of Treachery
Lawrence Davidson
The New Anti-Semitism: the Case of Joy Karega
Mateo Pimentel
The Affordable Care Act: A Litmus Test for American Capitalism?
Roger Annis
In Northern Syria, Turkey Opens New Front in its War Against the Kurds
David Swanson
ABC Shifts Blame from US Wars to Doctors Without Borders
Norman Pollack
American Exceptionalism: A Pernicious Doctrine
Ralph Nader
Readers Think, Thinkers Read
Julia Morris
The Mythologies of the Nauruan Refugee Nation
George Wuerthner
Caving to Ranchers: the Misguided Decision to Kill the Profanity Wolf Pack
Ann Garrison
Unworthy Victims: Houthis and Hutus
Julian Vigo
Britain’s Slavery Legacy
John Stanton
Brzezinski Vision for a Power Sharing World Stymied by Ignorant Americans Leaders, Citizens
Philip Doe
Colorado: 300 Days of Sunshine Annually, Yet There’s No Sunny Side of the Street
Joseph White
Homage to EP Thompson
Dan Bacher
The Big Corporate Money Behind Jerry Brown
Kollibri terre Sonnenblume
DNC Playing Dirty Tricks on WikiLeaks
Ron Jacobs
Education for Liberation
Jim Smith
Socialism Revived: In Spite of Bernie, Donald and Hillary
David Macaray
Organized Labor’s Inferiority Complex
David Cortright
Alternatives to Military Intervention in Syria
Binoy Kampmark
The Terrors of Free Speech: Australia’s Racial Discrimination Act
Cesar Chelala
Guantánamo’s Quagmire
Nyla Ali Khan
Hoping Against Hope in Kashmir
William Hughes
From Sam Spade to the Red Scare: Dashiell Hammett’s War Against Rightwing Creeps
Raouf Halaby
Dear Barack Obama, Please Keep it at 3 for 3
Charles R. Larson
Review: Paulina Chiziane’s “The First Wife: a Tale of Polygamy”
David Yearsley
The Widow Bach: Anna Magdalena Rediscovered
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail