Saturday, November 18, 2006

Bush is making America's military look impotent

This piece, “Baghdad,” was done to illustrate a column about the first war in Iraq that I wrote for Oh! Magazine in 1991. Alas, 15 years later and it can still be used to illustrate a piece about Baghdad today. And, today the wisdom of the decision made by our current president’s father, not go to on to Baghdad and overthrow Saddam Hussein, sure seems to sparkle.

Back in 2002 and 2003, when I was writing about how much of a mistake I thought it would be to invade Iraq, of course I mentioned that overthrowing the sitting dictator could unleash chaos. It was high on my list of why-not-invade. Still, at this point I have to say I didn’t then envision that the war’s planners would turn out to be so utterly incompetent.

And, I didn’t anticipate how uncomfortable I’d feel three-and-a-half years into the bloody occupation of post-Saddam Iraq about having revealed to the world’s wannabe dictators just how impotent America’s military could look when it is bogged down and overextended.

That makes me think the only real advantage America now has over some of the planet’s biggest threats is our exotic weaponry, our most potent bombs. So, I sure hope James Baker and Lee Hamilton can convince the current President Bush -- the worst president since Herbert Hoover -- to change directions in Iraq and get us the hell out of there, ASAP.

Think about it -- how much good is it really going to do for America to threaten a bunch of suicide-bombing religious fanatics on a mission with nuclear weapons? If total annihilation, by way of a nuking, is all we have to use as persuasion, do we really have a credible threat for bands of terrorists, or countries that won’t bend to our blustery will?

The Bush administration’s folly in Iraq is making America’s military look impotent. The longer this situation goes on the more of a problem that’s going to be. It invites the worst kind of mischief. .

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