Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Food For Thought



Some much needed commentary from the Christian Science Monitor:
President Bush is fighting the Iraq war on the cheap. The Army is stretched thin and is under strength. Mr. Bush brags about how he is supporting the American troops in Iraq with everything they need, but he is not supporting them with what they need most, which is reinforcements. So tours of duty are continually extended in uncomfortable and dangerous conditions.

Bush and the civilian leadership of the Pentagon have not faced the dilemma that in order to provide adequate troops, the Army needs to be enlarged and that may mean revival of the draft. This would surely be politically unpopular, an indicator of the limits to which the American people will go in their support of the war on terror. Bush has not called on people to sacrifice for the war effort; on the contrary, he has urged them to spend more as a way to stimulate the economy.

The real war on terror is not in Iraq; it is in Afghanistan, where we overthrew the Taliban government with relative ease. But we did not find Osama bin Laden. Afghanistan remains in turmoil. There is no political infrastructure for a democratic government, partly because the Bush administration transferred its attention to Iraq, which is not significantly involved in international terror. The US invaded Iraq under false pretenses. Regardless of what he said, Bush was not fighting the war on terror in Iraq; he was fighting Iraqi ruler Saddam Hussein. Without question, Saddam was a brutal dictator, but hardly worse than Joseph Stalin, Mao Zedong, or several others that we have lived with. He was certainly no threat to the US. Contrary to Bush's alarms, Saddam was not found to have nuclear or other weapons of mass destruction.

Bush has enlarged the war on terror. It is no longer a legitimate response to an attack (and a threat of other attacks) on the US. It has become a global campaign to spread democracy to all nations. This is unattainable and a ruinous misuse of US resources. Meanwhile, the situation in Iraq worsens daily - more than the White House is willing to admit. Instead, the president follows a policy of deception by dismissing realistic analyses as "pessimism" and by suppressing the views of the intelligence community.
Follow the link for the rest. It's worth a look.

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