Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Bush's Costly Fruitless Blind Faith

by Tibor R. Machan

President George W. Bush stood before Congress and the few million Americans and people across the globe to plead that they all give his new approach to the Iraq war a chance: "Our country is pursuing a new strategy in Iraq—and I ask you to give it a chance to work," he intoned. "And I ask you to support our troops in the field—and those on their way."

I hope very much that his plea will meet with a resounding rejection from all concerned. First of all, the death of one more American soldier who signed up to defend the United States of America and the American Constitution from enemies must not be wasted on this miserable war, one for which very few are asking and hardly anyone is grateful, certainly few, it appears, in Iraq.

When Americans volunteer for the U. S. military—something I once did for four years—they do not mean this to be taken as carte blanche permission to be sent to do anything anywhere on the globe. The purpose of a government and its military arm in a free country is, as the political philosophy sketched in the Declaration of Independence states so clearly, "to secure [our] rights."

Second, even if one accepts that despite its misconceived commencement, this war now spawned expectations that the U. S. needs to take seriously, at most this means that as the military disengages from Iraq, it leaves as intact an Iraqi security force as is possible under the circumstances, not that it wait until who knows when for an ideal Iraqi security organization to come into existence. Do the best to assemble such a security force and leave ASAP. Anything else amounts to an indefinite commitment to "stay the course" which is, as noted, completely misconceived and puts thousands of Americans in harm's way—many of them did not enlist to do this kind of service but enlisted to defend America. (Perhaps some kind of operation, run by the CIA or whatever to abate terrorism abroad and by the FBI or some other organization to hold it at bay here at home can do the bit of legitimate work the military is expected to be doing in Iraq now.)

Third, by permitting Bush to start up a new approach to this ill-conceived, badly conducted military operation—not necessarily because the military is inept but because this is an impossible war for it to fight, like sending in a bulldozer to squelch heavy fog—the American government is simply going to consume extensive resources in a futile operation, bent then, inevitably, to do so for an indefinite period of time. Even if our security does require serious expense, this isn't were the investment needs to be made, not, if as we are told by Bush, the objective is to abate terrorism.

Fourth, generally government needs to be curtailed in its enormous growth and this policy sure as heck isn't going to help with that goal, one Bush at least claims he supports.

Obviously more could be remedied in this awful mess, but these are just some of the reasons the Bush approach is a bad one and needs to be nipped in the bud. The entire notion that America is to establish democracy around the globe is flawed; but that it must do this in Iraq and elsewhere in the most unstable regions is out and out suicidal—literally so for many American citizens. No one abroad is entitled to be protected against monsters by America's military, not unless a firm and well conceived, mutually advantageous military treaty has been drafted and approved for this purpose.

My plea, in response to President Bush's, is to end this utterly disgusting undertaking and to restore the legitimate function of the U. S. government and its military arms. It is utterly incomprehensible to me why this president is pursuing this war, why he has any confidence in such a demonstrably fruitless and unjustified undertaking. Let's end it ASAP instead of carrying on in what comes to be nothing but blind faith.

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