we americans not cut out for empire

  1. 3,439 Posts.
    Road To Darkness
    Oct 04, 2003
    By Charley Reese

    I really don't understand George Bush. Why can't he say: "I was convinced that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction but apparently our intelligence was faulty. I'm sorry to have misled you, but getting rid of Saddam is still a good idea, etc., and so forth"?

    No, there is apparently something in the Bush genes that forbids ever admitting to having made a mistake. Such arrogance cost his father a second term, and it could do the same to the son's political ambition. In the father's case, he refused to apologize to the American people for breaking his promise never to allow new taxes.

    Now, son Bush doesn't bring up the topic of weapons of mass destruction, except to say that he's sure they will find evidence of "programs." Well, dormant programs weren't used to sell Americans on going to war. Stockpiles and imminent acquisition of nuclear weapons were used to sell the war. That was, as Sen. Edward Kennedy has put it so bluntly, a fraud.

    Saddam was a bad dictator, though the worst of his brutalities occurred during the 1980s when he was an American ally. But a Saddam Hussein without weapons of mass destruction, living in a falling-apart economy with a decrepit, falling-apart army, was a problem for Iraqis, not for Americans. All of Saddam's neighbors told Bush that they were not afraid of Iraq. Therefore, getting rid of him was not worth the 300 American lives already spent and more sure to come.

    Now the neoconservatives who got us into a war on false pretenses are saying we "can't afford to lose the peace." This same ploy was used to prolong America's stay in Vietnam. We won't lose the peace if we hand Iraq over to the Iraqis and say goodbye. We will if we prolong our stay.

    That old colonialist racism is manifesting itself in all these remarks about our having to tutor the Iraqis in running their own country. The Iraqis can govern themselves. They've been a nation as long as Finland and a civilization longer than Europe. Bush wants to stay in Iraq for purely economic reasons. He wants to make sure it's we, not the Iraqis, who decide who gets the business of a rebuilding a country. He doesn't want a democratic government in Iraq. He wants a puppet government that will follow his orders.

    It's too bad Bush isn't a reader. He's following in the colonialist footsteps of the British. They tried occupation and found it was too bloody and costly, so they set up a puppet government. The Iraqis overthrew it. And the probability is high that they will drive us out and overthrow whatever puppet government we leave behind. The question is how many billions of dollars and how many American lives we want to spend teaching George Bush a lesson he should have learned at the library.

    We Americans are not cut out for empire. When Arab terrorists struck the twin towers, the FBI and CIA suddenly discovered they were woefully short of people who could read and speak Arabic. Yet we've been involved in the Middle East for a century. I met an Air Force general in charge of choosing nuclear targets, and during the conversation he referred to Iran as an Arab country. It's not, in case you don't know. God only knows what poor people he chose as targets for annihilation.

    We have soldiers scattered around the world in 120 countries. The vast military-industrial complex is bleeding us out. We have a president who advocates an endless war. Our country will not survive an endless war. We'll go bankrupt. If the president aspires to be the emperor, he should read some Roman history. None of the emperors, or their people, fared very well.

    My prayer is that Americans will wake up and re-establish the republic the Founding Fathers gave us, along with a policy of armed neutrality and no foreign entanglements. That way leads to a bright future. The road to empire leads to darkness.
 
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