Newsmax: George W. Bush Betrayed Conservatives
Posted by Job on January 21, 2009
The most interesting thing about the two columns below is the part in the first where it asserts:
The war was justified on the legitimate evidence, first offered by the Clinton administration, that Saddam Hussein was intent on developing weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear weapons. Hussein had flouted agreements with the United Nations, and his riddance was a desirable goal. But almost from the beginning, the war was flawed. The American occupiers quickly fired the entire Iraqi military, leaving not only a tremendous vacuum of authority but also turning loose trained military professionals to join terror cells and paramilitary groups who would work to undermine the U.S. efforts.Some Pentagon military advisers suggested the U.S. military force was too light to accomplish the goal of both invading Iraq and stabilizing the country. Bush and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld strongly resisted deploying a larger force.
And as casualties mounted in the early part of the war, the administration continued to resist sending additional troops. Only after the 2006 elections did Bush sign off on the surge that added 30,000 troops in the spring of 2007, under the command of Gen. David Petraeus.
The surge helped, as did a more aggressive policy to pay off Iraqi Sunnis who turned against al-Qaida — the so-called “Anbar Awakening.”
Another ingredient: U.S. and Iraqi authorities rounded up tens of thousands of likely dissidents and imprisoned them. The effect of this action may be short lived, as many of these agitators eventually will be released. Still, the likelihood is that such calm will not prevail once American troops are removed and the goal of establishing a stable democracy in an Arab state may still prove elusive.It should be remembered that, sometime after the invasion, the raison d’etre of the war changed from removing Saddam from power and stopping his weapons of mass destruction program to a dreamy plan of creating a democracy in Iraq.
In Bush’s second inauguration speech, he echoed the thoughts expressed in former Soviet dissident Natan Sharansky’s book “The Case for Democracy: The Power of Freedom to Overcome Tyranny and Terror.” Bush said: “The survival of liberty in our land increasingly depends on the success of liberty in other lands. The best hope for peace in our world is the expansion of freedom in all the world.”
Such Wilsonian thoughts are laudable, but have long been discarded by conservatives as dangerous and unworkable. Even Sharansky himself had said that Iraq did not have the necessary cultural and political ingredients to create a stable democracy.
In that effort to create a new Iraqi democracy, the Sunni Muslims — more sympathetic to the West — were pushed aside and the Shias ascended to power in Baghdad. The American-backed power shift in Iraq also created a new regional ally for Shia-dominated Iran, a major threat to the region.
After 9/11, as the U.S. considered making Saddam’s regime its prime target of revenge, then-Secretary of State Colin Powell reportedly warned the president, “You are going to be the proud owner of 25 million people.” He noted that the U.S. would have little room to maneuver in dealing with other global problems.
“It’s going to suck the oxygen out of everything,” Powell added. “This will become the first term.”
It also became the second term. Powell’s stunning assessment was accurate. The U.S. became stuck in an Iraqi mire after its successful 2003 invasion, meanwhile elsewhere its enemies grew in power.
Please recall: one of the justifications for the Iraq War was the link between Saddam Hussein’s regime and Sunni Al Qaeda. I do not disagree that such a link existed. Usama bin Laden wanted to use the Saddam Iraqi regime to remove OUR ALLIES the House of Saud from power in Saudi Arabia. That was why bin Laden declared jihad against America after the first Gulf War under the first president Bush. But our response was to put the Shi’ites in power? So when our troops leave Iraq, what keeps Shi’ite Iran from walking right in?
Ultimately, that angle may be overplayed, as Shi’ite Iran has no problem funding and controlling Sunni Hamas in Israel. Saddam Hussein hated Iran, but Saddam was a secularist motivated by nationalism. Saddam didn’t even necessarily get along with other members of the Ba’ath Party in other nations. So remove the nationalist regime out of the picture, and you basically have a region that is willing to unite either along the Muslim religion (whether, Shi’ite, Sunni, or Wahhabi, with the latter technically a form of Sunni that other Sunnis don’t like) or along Arab lines. Now Iran is technically not Arab, but they are Muslim. So with Saddam out of the way, when our troops leave, what keeps Iran from using its “influence” to put a government in favorable to its designs? It need not even use invasions or terror. It can just spread a little cash around to elect favorable Iraq leaders, basically the same way that Hugo Chavez has gotten a ton of sympathetic leaders elected all over Latin America. And again, they need not even necessarily be Sunni or Shi’ite. If Iran coordinates between Shi’ite Hizbullah in Lebanon and Sunni Hamas in Palestine rather than having one fight the other, they will likely do the same in Iraq once American troops leave. Any violence will be based on killing or silencing people opposed to Iran for whatever reason, not on killing Sunnis.
So, the result of removing Saddam based on – (insert ironic remark here) – Bill Clinton’s intelligence data will not be the establishment of a western style democracy that even the fellow whose views George W. Bush promoted as justification for nation building over there (Natan Sharansky) but the re – establishment of the old Medo – Persian Empire which included both Persia (Iran) and Babylon (Iraq). And what implications does THAT have for Israel, Christian Zionists and premillennial dispensationalists?