FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Bush has Time to Run the World

President Bush has been a busy man. Even though the quagmire in Iraq threatens to worsen as Turkey prepares to invade the Kurdish north, Bush has time to undertake the arduous task of preventing World War III and begin the transition to democracy in Cuba. How does he do it?!

The president is on a sticky wicket in northern Iraq. The Kurds have longed to unite with their brethren in Turkey, Iran, and Syria to form independent Kurdistan. The big powers, the United States included, have never been crazy about the idea. But that hasn’t stopped American presidents from posing as champions of their cause — until it’s inconvenient. That’s what it is now.

Turkey is an “important ally,” as big powers like to say. For one thing, it’s been a member of NATO almost from the beginning. The “NA” stand for “North Atlantic,” and the last time I checked a map, Turkey was nowhere near the Atlantic Ocean. But never mind that; it’s an important ally that gives the U.S. military easy access to Iraq and other parts of the Middle East. No country that useful should be alienated. That’s why the Bush administration opposed the resolution in the House labeling Turkey’s slaughter of Armenians as “genocide” — in 1915! You’ve got to hand it to the House. It sure stays on top of things.

Anyway, the Kurds have been assaulting Turkish troops across their border, and the Turkish legislature has okayed an invasion of Iraq, warning Bush he’d better tame the unruly Kurds or else. You can bet that administration people are working overtime on that project. On the other hand, the Iranian government has complained that the Kurds are attacking their forces too. But I suspect that complaint is getting a much less sympathetic hearing.

Which brings us to World War III. President Bush raised the specter of another Great War during a news conference: “We’ve got a leader in Iran who has announced that he wants to destroy Israel. So I’ve told people that, if you’re interested in avoiding World War III, it seems like you ought to be interested in preventing them from having the knowledge necessary to make a nuclear weapon.”

Whoa! Let’s slow down. Bush wants to leave the impression that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad wants to attack Israel with nukes. Although he said he’d like that state to disappear, he’s never threatened Israel. He’s not that crazy. Israel has been a nuclear monopolist in the Middle East since the 1960s. And it should be noted that Ahmadinejad is not the actual leader of Iran. In that country the president is not the head of state or leader of the armed forces.

More fundamentally, why is Bush linking Iran’s attitude toward Israel and World War III? Is he saying he would plunge the world into war if Iran attacks Israel? Isn’t that a little — well, ridiculous?

At any rate, it’s far more likely that the Iranian government wants a nuclear weapon to deter the U.S. government from attacking it. A bomb would have little offensive value, but it might keep the U.S. away. That seems like a reasonable calculation, but it’s not one Bush wants the American people to see. While I don’t think he has decided to attack Iran (yet), he has a political interest in keeping us agitated so that the option will be available if he decides to go ahead. Re-read what he and his people were saying about Iraq before the 2003 invasion and you’ll see what’s going on.

Needless to say, an attack on Iran would kill many innocents, further jeopardize U.S. troops in Iraq, and light a fuse in the entire region. No stupider idea has ever been proposed by an American president. And note that Bush is out to prevent Iran from even learning how to make a weapon.

But Bush has things well in hand — so well that he has time to lecture Castro about who should succeed him when he dies. As if that were any of his business.

SHELDON RICHMAN is senior fellow at The Future of Freedom Foundation and editor of The Freeman magazine.

 

More articles by:

Sheldon Richman, author of America’s Counter-Revolution: The Constitution Revisited, keeps the blog Free Association and is a senior fellow and chair of the trustees of the Center for a Stateless Society, and a contributing editor at Antiwar.com.  He is also the Executive Editor of The Libertarian Institute.

April 26, 2018
Patrick Cockburn
As Trump Berates Iran, His Options are Limited
Daniel Warner
From May 1968 to May 2018: Politics and Student Strikes
Simone Chun – Kevin Martin
Diplomacy in Korea and the Hope It Inspires
George Wuerthner
The Attack on Wilderness From Environmentalists
CJ Hopkins
The League of Assad-Loving Conspiracy Theorists
Richard Schuberth
“MeToo” and the Liberation of Sex
Barbara Nimri Aziz
Sacred Assemblies in Baghdad
Dean Baker
Exonerating Bad Economic Policy for Trump’s Win
Vern Loomis
The 17 Gun Salute
Gary Leupp
What It Means When the U.S. President Conspicuously and Publicly Removes a Speck of Dandruff from the French President’s Lapel
Robby Sherwin
The Hat
April 25, 2018
Stanley L. Cohen
Selective Outrage
Dan Kovalik
The Empire Turns Its Sights on Nicaragua – Again!
Joseph Essertier
The Abductees of Japan and Korea
Ramzy Baroud
The Ghost of Herut: Einstein on Israel, 70 Years Ago
W. T. Whitney
Imprisoned FARC Leader Faces Extradition: Still No Peace in Colombia
Manuel E. Yepe
Washington’s Attack on Syria Was a Mockery of the World
John White
My Silent Pain for Toronto and the World
Dean Baker
Bad Projections: the Federal Reserve, the IMF and Unemployment
David Schultz
Why Donald Trump Should Not be Allowed to Pardon Michael Cohen, His Friends, or Family Members
Mel Gurtov
Will Abe Shinzo “Make Japan Great Again”?
Binoy Kampmark
Enoch Powell: Blood Speeches and Anniversaries
Frank Scott
Weapons and Walls
April 24, 2018
Carl Boggs
Russia and the War Party
William A. Cohn
Carnage Unleashed: the Pentagon and the AUMF
Nathan Kalman-Lamb
The Racist Culture of Canadian Hockey
María Julia Bertomeu
On Angers, Disgusts and Nauseas
Nick Pemberton
How To Buy A Seat In Congress 101
Ron Jacobs
Resisting the Military-Now More Than Ever
Paul Bentley
A Velvet Revolution Turns Bloody? Ten Dead in Toronto
Sonali Kolhatkar
The Left, Syria and Fake News
Manuel E. Yepe
The Confirmation of Democracy in Cuba
Peter Montgomery
Christian Nationalism: Good for Politicians, Bad for America and the World
Ted Rall
Bad Drones
Jill Richardson
The Latest Attack on Food Stamps
Andrew Stewart
What Kind of Unionism is This?
Ellen Brown
Fox in the Hen House: Why Interest Rates Are Rising
April 23, 2018
Patrick Cockburn
In Middle East Wars It Pays to be Skeptical
Thomas Knapp
Just When You Thought “Russiagate” Couldn’t Get Any Sillier …
Gregory Barrett
The Moral Mask
Robert Hunziker
Chemical Madness!
David Swanson
Senator Tim Kaine’s Brief Run-In With the Law
Dave Lindorff
Starbucks Has a Racism Problem
Uri Avnery
The Great Day
Nyla Ali Khan
Girls Reduced to Being Repositories of Communal and Religious Identities in Kashmir
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail