FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

The Bush Folly

As the old song said, “you got to know when to hold ’em; know when to fold ’em.”

The Bush junta either hasn’t heard the old Kenny Rogers tune, or they have chosen to ignore it. They have chosen to ignore a lot in the last couple of years–everything except their thirst for oil and empire, and their own overweening pride.

Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, the arrogant intellectual mediocrity who has led a willing George W. Bush into this politico-military wilderness, has now passed on the command to his officers in Iraq: No patrol will exit the wire of any US military compound without the signature of a Division Chief of Staff or higher. Troops who just last month were exhausted by an operational tempo that was leading some into ambush, heat stroke, and suicide are now sitting idle for most of the day and wondering what they are doing there.

Operations were not making progress in “pacifying” Iraq. On the contrary, operations were further alienating and enraging the Iraqis with disrespect, bullying, and the constant shooting of civilians. Operations were also creating a steady stream of dead and maimed GIs back home that had become a political liability for the Bush administration.

This daily dose of trauma was combined with collapsing stories. There was no al-Qaeda connection. There was no Iraqi nuclear program. There are no weapons of mass destruction. Alas–just as many of us said well before the American people were manipulated through fear to support this war–Iraq is not now, nor has it ever been, a threat to the United States.

Even as the old lies slowly dissolve, the Bush administration is developing new ones, the most significant of which is the lie that the armed resistance to the US occupation is composed primarily of “remnants” or foreigners. To fight the Americans would be decidedly “un-liberated.” In fact, it is Iraqi resistance with widening popular support. Crowds cheer after successful attacks against Americans.

And as the US troops are pulled back behind the wire, to have their static positions placed under 24-7 surveillance, the Iraqi street and countryside is relinquished to the guerrillas, who can now bomb oil pipelines, water mains, Brown & Root profiteers, embassies and hotels. In military terms, the US has lost the strategic initiative in the war on Iraq.

Now we have to face two indigestible realities.

First, there will be no good outcome of this war. There will only be choices now between bad and worse. A crime has been committed and it can’t be taken back. In the face of a similar dilemma Vietnam, there was the incredulous question, “How do we just get out of Vietnam?” The answer–one that was ignored at terrible cost: “With ships and airplanes.”

Second, the Bush administration will not quit. They have proven their infinite capacity for self-delusion and impunity. That leaves the American public with a stark choice. Accept this junta’s continued vandalism against the world and against our own economy (We are now paying $5 billion a month for the two military failures of Iraq and Afghanistan, while Bush cuts taxes for the rich). Or throw them out. Not elect them out. Throw them out.

Just as we had to pull the whole nation through the constitutional crisis of Watergate to rid ourselves of the Nixon regime, we shall have to risk the political disruption of the same kind of crisis to purge this neo-con disease from the American body politic.

Popular mobilization against the war in Iraq, a mobilization to bring our troops home and leave Iraq to the Iraqis, is the only thing that will stiffen the spines of the elected officials of both parties, who were stampeded into this war by demagogy and their own indestructible opportunism, to call for the independent investigations we must have of the whole highway of lies that led us into this quagmire.

On October 25, hundreds of thousands of people will converge on Washington DC to say, “End the occupation. Bring the troops home now. Money for jobs and not for war.” I hate driving from Raleigh to DC. But I’ll be there. My son is one of those troops.

STAN GOFF is the author of “Hideous Dream: A Soldier’s Memoir of the US Invasion of Haiti” (Soft Skull Press, 2000) and of the upcoming book “Full Spectrum Disorder” (Soft Skull Press, 2003). He is a member of the BRING THEM HOME NOW! coordinating committee, a retired Special Forces master sergeant, and the father of an active duty soldier. Email for BRING THEM HOME NOW! is bthn@mfso.org.

Goff can be reached at: sherrynstan@igc.org

 

More articles by:
July 19, 2018
Rajai R. Masri
The West’s Potential Symbiotic Contributions to Freeing a Closed Muslim Mind
Jennifer Matsui
The Blue Pill Presidency
Ryan LaMothe
The Moral and Spiritual Bankruptcy of White Evangelicals
Paul Tritschler
Negative Capability: a Force for Change?
Patrick Bond
State of the BRICS Class Struggle: ‘Social Dialogue’ Reform Frustrations
Rev. William Alberts
A Well-Kept United Methodist Church Secret
Raouf Halaby
Joseph Harsch, Robert Fisk, Franklin Lamb: Three of the Very Best
George Ochenski
He Speaks From Experience: Max Baucus on “Squandered Leadership”
Ted Rall
Right Now, It Looks Like Trump Will Win in 2020
David Swanson
The Intelligence Community Is Neither
Andrew Moss
Chaos or Community in Immigration Policy
Kim Scipes
Where Do We Go From Here? How Do We Get There?
July 18, 2018
Bruce E. Levine
Politics and Psychiatry: the Cost of the Trauma Cover-Up
Frank Stricker
The Crummy Good Economy and the New Serfdom
Linda Ford
Red Fawn Fallis and the Felony of Being Attacked by Cops
David Mattson
Entrusting Grizzlies to a Basket of Deplorables?
Stephen F. Eisenman
Want Gun Control? Arm the Left (It Worked Before)
CJ Hopkins
Trump’s Treasonous Traitor Summit or: How Liberals Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the New McCarthyism
Patrick Bond
State of the BRICS Class Struggle: Repression, Austerity and Worker Militancy
Dan Corjescu
The USA and Russia: Two Sides of the Same Criminal Corporate Coin
The Hudson Report
How Argentina Got the Biggest Loan in the History of the IMF
Kenn Orphan
You Call This Treason?
Max Parry
Ukraine’s Anti-Roma Pogroms Ignored as Russia is Blamed for Global Far Right Resurgence
Ed Meek
Acts of Resistance
July 17, 2018
Conn Hallinan
Trump & The Big Bad Bugs
Robert Hunziker
Trump Kills Science, Nature Strikes Back
John Grant
The Politics of Cruelty
Kenneth Surin
Calculated Buffoonery: Trump in the UK
Binoy Kampmark
Helsinki Theatrics: Trump Meets Putin
Patrick Bond
BRICS From Above, Seen Critically From Below
Jim Kavanagh
Fighting Fake Stories: The New Yorker, Israel and Obama
Daniel Falcone
Chomsky on the Trump NATO Ruse
W. T. Whitney
Oil Underground in Neuquén, Argentina – and a New US Military Base There
Doug Rawlings
Ken Burns’ “The Vietnam War” was Nominated for an Emmy, Does It Deserve It?
Rajan Menon
The United States of Inequality
Thomas Knapp
Have Mueller and Rosenstein Finally Gone Too Far?
Cesar Chelala
An Insatiable Salesman
Dean Baker
Truth, Trump and the Washington Post
Mel Gurtov
Human Rights Trumped
Binoy Kampmark
Putin’s Football Gambit: How the World Cup Paid Off
July 16, 2018
Sheldon Richman
Trump Turns to Gaza as Middle East Deal of the Century Collapses
Charles Pierson
Kirstjen Nielsen Just Wants to Protect You
Brett Wilkins
The Lydda Death March and the Israeli State of Denial
Patrick Cockburn
Trump Knows That the US Can Exercise More Power in a UK Weakened by Brexit
Robert Fisk
The Fisherman of Sarajevo Told Tales Past Wars and Wars to Come
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail