Post Iraq II

Visitor Pursuit had this to say about the last post on Iraq:
Your post sooooooo begs the question, why now? I think you have to give Mr. Bush a substantial amount of the credit. Indeed, wasn't this always the subtext of the Left's Bush lied mantra—that he really had ulterior motives, like destabalizing the ME. It's just that nobody on the Left believed it would work. Now that it has produced some positive change, we need to give the guy credit.
Young man, you are seriously behind on your homework—but that may indicate only that, unlike me, you don't have too much time on your hands.

Look: I hope that this wave of democratic reform is like the falling of the Berlin Wall or the Velvet Revolution; my fingers are crossed. But why is it happening now? Because Lebanon was about to boil over. The Hariri assassination was the catalyst. Or maybe it was because they saw on TV what happened in Palestine (thanks to Arafat's death), and before that Ukraine, and before that Georgia, and before that Eastern Europe and Russia. All of which happened without violence. Probably all of the above. The information I linked to in the previous post gives a good overview of how Lebanon got to this point. Mass protests against the Syrian occupation were occurring long before Bush™ started talking about freedom, let alone doing something to advance it. That said, I'm sure the purple fingers, like cloves, added a nice aroma to an already fragrant dish.

Now to Bush's motives. Whether or not you agree with the strategy of "reshaping the Middle East" by invading Iraq (there's an honest debate), you cannot sincerely argue that Bush was above-board about his motives. Should he have been? Again, another issue, though no sane person would use "reshaping the Middle East for democracy" as a marketing campaign—hence the need to lie dissemble. Wolfowitz admitted as much. Didn't you find it odd that he lurched into calling for "regime change" when we were still tied up in Afghanistan? Weren't you suspicious when, during the run-up to the war, the "convincing evidence" of those piles of weapons failed to appear? Did his hysterical urgency to invade now not seem unwarranted until you factored in the upcoming election? Are you still unaware that Perlowitz's Project for a New American Century (Rumsfeld and Cheney included) were calling for "regime change" to "reshape" the Middle East years before Bush ever took power? You can't "reshape" the Middle East without first destabilizing it, and destabilize it we did. (Whether that was a worthwhile strategy is debatable but the die is cast.) Do you still not know that the evidence Powell presented at the UN was, shall we charitably say, loosely interpreted? Surely it occurred to you that Saddam was not likely to use biochemical weapons against us unless we invaded, or to hand them off to al Qaeda unless he felt cornered. None of this was Bush's idea, but I give him credit for having balls. He may never mean what he says, but he sure as hell does what he wants—at great risk to himself and especially those he's courageous enough to send to war in his stead because he knows "in his gut" that it's "the right thing to do."

Maybe nobody on the Left believed PNAC's scheme would work. Then again, few in the middle or on the right did either. But I don't know what you mean by "Left." PNAC's political ideology and the strategies they employ are closer to Trotskyism than to anything resembling "conservatism." Which should not surprise you, since the neocons are cut from Trotsky's shroud. I admire their idealism but not their methods, and I detest their near-hysterical paranoia in offense defense planning. It creates the very problems it purports to solve. If I were really paranoid, I'd say that's the point.

I was all for getting rid of Saddam. But only through shrewd maneuverings that would lead him to hang himself. Only if we could do it with some international consensus—and I don't mean Poland.

Now back to hoping that the Cedar Revolution succeeds and that Syria and Palestine follow in its wake.

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