FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

George Bush the Peace Candidate?

 

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

 

 

More articles by:

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).

Weekend Edition
January 18, 2019
Friday - Sunday
Melvin Goodman
Star Wars Revisited: One More Nightmare From Trump
John Davis
“Weather Terrorism:” a National Emergency
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Sometimes an Establishment Hack is Just What You Need
Joshua Frank
Montana Public Schools Block Pro-LGBTQ Websites
Louisa Willcox
Sky Bears, Earth Bears: Finding and Losing True North
Robert Fisk
Bernie Sanders, Israel and the Middle East
Robert Fantina
Pompeo, the U.S. and Iran
David Rosen
The Biden Band-Aid: Will Democrats Contain the Insurgency?
Nick Pemberton
Human Trafficking Should Be Illegal
Steve Early - Suzanne Gordon
Did Donald Get The Memo? Trump’s VA Secretary Denounces ‘Veteran as Victim’ Stereotyping
Andrew Levine
The Tulsi Gabbard Factor
John W. Whitehead
The Danger Within: Border Patrol is Turning America into a Constitution-Free Zone
Dana E. Abizaid
Kafka’s Grave: a Pilgrimage in Prague
Rebecca Lee
Punishment Through Humiliation: Justice For Sexual Assault Survivors
Dahr Jamail
A Planet in Crisis: The Heat’s On Us
John Feffer
Trump Punts on Syria: The Forever War is Far From Over
Dave Lindorff
Shut Down the War Machine!
Glenn Sacks
LA Teachers’ Strike: Student Voices of the Los Angeles Education Revolt  
Mark Ashwill
The Metamorphosis of International Students Into Honorary US Nationalists: a View from Viet Nam
Ramzy Baroud
The Moral Travesty of Israel Seeking Arab, Iranian Money for its Alleged Nakba
Ron Jacobs
Allen Ginsberg Takes a Trip
Jake Johnston
Haiti by the Numbers
Binoy Kampmark
No-Confidence Survivor: Theresa May and Brexit
Victor Grossman
Red Flowers for Rosa and Karl
Cesar Chelala
President Donald Trump’s “Magical Realism”
Christopher Brauchli
An Education in Fraud
Paul Bentley
The Death Penalty for Canada’s Foreign Policy?
David Swanson
Top 10 Reasons Not to Love NATO
Louis Proyect
Breaking the Left’s Gay Taboo
Kani Xulam
A Saudi Teen and Freedom’s Shining Moment
Ralph Nader
Bar Barr or Regret this Dictatorial Attorney General
Jessicah Pierre
A Dream Deferred: MLK’s Dream of Economic Justice is Far From Reality
Edward J. Martin
Glossip v. Gross, the Eighth Amendment and the Torture Court of the United States
Chuck Collins
Shutdown Expands the Ranks of the “Underwater Nation”
Paul Edwards
War Whores
Peter Crowley
Outsourcing Still Affects Us: This and AI Worker Displacement Need Not be Inevitable
Alycee Lane
Trump’s Federal Government Shutdown and Unpaid Dishwashers
Martha Rosenberg
New Questions About Ritual Slaughter as Belgium Bans the Practice
Wim Laven
The Annual Whitewashing of Martin Luther King Jr.
Nicky Reid
Panarchy as Full Spectrum Intersectionality
Jill Richardson
Hollywood’s Fat Shaming is Getting Old
Nyla Ali Khan
A Woman’s Wide Sphere of Influence Within Folklore and Social Practices
Richard Klin
Dial Israel: Amos Oz, 1939-2018
David Rovics
Of Triggers and Bullets
David Yearsley
Bass on Top: the Genius of Paul Chambers
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail