American Isolationism – A Fatally Flawed Ideal

The effect of the Petreaus report has been to lift American support for George Bush’s war in Iraq by 8%, according to figures released today on NBC Nightly News.

30% of Americans now approve of Bush’s handling of the war, while a massive 66% still disapprove. The most interesting figures, perhaps, are those illustrating the nation’s feelings on what should now be done. Only just over one quarter – 26% – believe leaving now is the right course of action. Almost another quarter – 24% – say the US should stay until Iraq is a stable democracy. Presumably, those twenty-four percent believe it will one day be a stable democracy? The largest figure – 37% – say troops should be pulled out within the next year, but stay in the region. Supposedly, a retreat, rather than a defeat?

All of it is irrelevant, of course, given that US leaders have no intention of pulling out – ever. General Petreaus, whether knowingly or not, has provided George Bush and his minions with the artillery necessary to continue the war at least until Bush leaves office.

On Thursday, our glorious president will stand before his people and announce troops are to be withdrawn from Iraq next year. A grand total of 30,000 or so. It will leave exactly the number that were there before the “surge” took place, but the Republican base will cheer and GOP Congressmen will breathe a little more easily knowing the people are content to have been promised a crust.

So will the American public and Congress put behind them the September deadline hailed as “make or break” a few months ago, and yet more time will pass while Iraqis continue to die or are forced from their homes and into refugee camps. Come next year, the situation will either have deteriorated, or stabilized sufficient for the 30,000 – or maybe 20,000, or 15,000 – to return home. If security continues to fall apart, Bush has only to point to that and say, “We can’t bring them home just yet….” no doubt finishing with that much overused phrase that must surely go down in history as an epitaph of the Iraq war, “…….the next six months are vital.”

Meanwhile, large sections of the American public continue to be hoodwinked by a leadership lying through its teeth. George Bush made much of Sunni Anbar province this week, secure because the US has built there al-Asad, one of its “Superbases”. The perimeter fence is seventeen miles long. It’s so big it even has a Hertz rent-a-car office.

The latest and most secretive of US bases is presently being constructed just four miles from the Iraq-Iran border. It will only house two hundred troops – for now, but there can be little doubt, given the US government’s track record in Iraq, that plans for expansion are already on the table.

There may be many Americans who shrug and say, “So what?”

An analysis of that “So what?” is startling.

The Iraq war has always been pushed as part of the war on terror. Bush’s idiom “We fight them over there so we don’t have to fight them over here….” has struck a chord in many American hearts.

What those Americans fail to comprehend, however, is that the attacks of 9/11 were in direct retaliation for the permanent military bases in Muslim lands, particularly Saudi Arabia and Mecca, where the stationing of US troops incensed many Muslims.

It is, without doubt, one of Osama bin Laden’s greatest peeves, and along with the Israeli/Palestinian debacle, has provided the ammunition necessary for successful al Qaeda recruitment.

The future scenario is not optimistic.

There is little doubt the US will eventually win the war in Iraq, at least sufficient to set up a puppet government, gain control of the oil reserves, and establish permanent military bases in the country, enabling an incursion into Iran and Syria as the next Great American “Jolly”. The effect on the Middle East will be devastating. Arab insurrection will reign and al Qaeda will become far more a force to be reckoned with than ever before. Their target will be the US and other western nations. George Bush’s excursion into Iraq, instead of preventing terrorism in the homeland will undoubtedly propagate it.

Britain and France learned the hard way that Arabs can never be beaten. They will suffer subjugation for a period, but always bide their time and await suitable opportunity. Then they strike back with impunity.

On the sidelines, Russia is building strength and re-arming. Putin knows the American president’s intentions, and with bases already too close to his own borders, neither he nor his successors will welcome a major US force permanently ensconced on the doorstep. Recent Russian/Chinese military wargames have hinted at an alliance in the offing, should it become necessary.

It could all so easily have been avoided. Yet again, America’s insistence on isolationism (“You’re either with us, or you’re with the terrorists”) has created a monster.

As George W Bush fights his “war on terror” with American and Iraqi lives, he has fashioned his own personal brand of terrorism from which this world and its population will suffer the retaliatory effects long after Bush and his shower of miscreant cronies have ceased to be the problem.

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11 Replies to “American Isolationism – A Fatally Flawed Ideal”

  1. I really don’t think that there is “little doubt” that we will eventually win in Iraq. Short of bombing the country back to the Stone Age, we cannot win this war. Our nation is gradually facing that reality, our leaders are not. It is not only Bush that is keeping this disaster going; it is also the rest of the people running the show.

  2. Al – this is one of those occasions when I truly hope I’m wrong and you’re right. It is the “rest of the people running the show” that bother me.

  3. Al DeVito, this is not a war. It was a war. Bush announced victory in that war when the unnecessary invasion of Iraq was completed, years ago. We are now in occupation mode. Occupations are not won or lost, unlike the pretense of wars; occupations are merely ended. Bush wants to think of himself as a war-time president. That’s his hubris and that’s what he wants as his legacy. He does not want to be thought of as an ‘occupation president’. If you support the President and his warmongering, war-peddling ways then, by all means, keep referring to Iraquagmire as a war. If however, you do not, then use the word Bush eschews: OCCUPATION!

  4. Vigilante – a case of “a rose by any other name…..”? It matters little what we call it. We all know what it is. I would call it simply US/Israeli empire building. But then, for that, I’d immediately be labeled “anti-Semitic”.

  5. Just try saying the words, “Occupation President”. Go ahead. Purse your lips and say it. (No one is listening.) Now, picture Bush trying those words out to describe himself. An occupation is not a war. Wars are about “liberation” and “victory”. Occupations are not about either.

  6. Vigilante – I understand where you’re coming from on this one, and I accept your argument, but while we all stand around debating the Definitions of “war” and “occupation”, George Bush and Co continue on their murderous road. I think the word “war” has two differing definitions dependent on which side of the Atlantic one was raised. I believe, for many (though certainly not all) in America, there is still a sense of honor and glory about war, that is lacking from the word “occupation”. This does not apply in Europe, where WW2 ensured “war” and “occupation” are now euphemisms for filthy, vile, acts of aggression. Wars are no longer about “liberation” or “victory”, but are – at very best – considered a necessary evil, a dirty job to be completed with the least human mess possible. The French suffered occupation by the Nazis in WW2 and while their government capitulated, the war went on, fought by the “Resistance”, as was indeed the case in Poland. One cannot segregate “war” and “occupation”, the latter is simply a lower-grade version of the former, as the Iraqis continue to demonstrate. Yes, George Bush is an “occupation president”, but he hasn’t stopped being a “war president”. This is not about George Bush, but how Americans view themselves. One day, if Bush and Co allow us all to live that long, Americans will stop seeing their troops as “Heroes”, something they most certainly are not. The days of “illustrious warriors” disappeared when the firearm was invented, if they ever existed at all, which is doubtful. There’s nothing glorious or honorable about war, and it doesn’t produce heroes – only dead people. I know you know that. Unfortunately, many of your countrymen (and still a few of mine) have yet to learn it.

    Incidentally, my comments section does support HTML links, though too many will shove your comment into ‘moderation’ as possible spam. I have to admit, though, my time for lengthy debate is limited.

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