The Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld War, otherwise known as the War in Iraq, has officially lasted longer than the United States involvement in World War II.
Germany declared war on the US on December, 11, 1941, four days after
Pearl Harbor. The US announced victory in Europe on May 8, 1945. That’s one thousand, two hundred and forty-four days. We’ve been in Iraq one thousand, two hundred and forty-nine days—and still the Administration has no exit strategy, no plan for victory and no clue what it is doing.
In case you’d forgotten, President George W. Bush declared “Mission Accomplished” aboard an aircraft carrier over three years ago. In the battle of Iraq,” Bush said, “The United States and our allies have prevailed.” Perhaps that pronouncement was a little premature. Twelve hundred and six days later, our troops are still paying the price.
We were supposed to be greeted as liberators. What happened? According to Vice President Cheney the insurgency was in its last throes a year and a half ago. Now we are on the brink of seeing a civil war- this from General John Abizaid, Commander of the US Central Command in Iraq. The Shi’ia and the Sunni are in the midst of intense sectarian violence. According to military experts like General Barry McCafferey the Iraqi violence is not Al Qeda in origin but a result of this sectarian struggle. Sounds like a Civil War to me. There has been an average of 110 Iraqi deaths every day for the past month- that is more than 3,400 Iraqi deaths in a month. Of course since the beginning of the war there have been more than 2,600 American deaths and more than 20,000 injured (many of them have lost limbs or have brain injuries) – most of the American casualties occurring since that auspicious day when President Bush announced “Mission Accomplished”.
What a mess we have made in this country. We have misstepped and miscalculated at almost every turn. Even Senator John McCain (R-AZ) has stated that he has no confidence in the leadership of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld although he believes that the President should not bow to pressure to get rid of Mr. Rumsfeld because the President should be given the ability to name and rely on his own team. A lame and luke warm apology for Mr. Bush but all one needs to do is read between the lines of Mr. McCain’s “good Republican” rhetoric to see what he really thinks.
Dr. Vali Nasr, a professor in the Department of National Security Affairs at the Naval Postgraduate School and an expert on the politics of the Middle East and South Asia, political Islam and comparative political theory has said that the United States did not foresee nor does it seem to grasp the issue of politics of community in Islamic culture. An assumption was made that being an Iraqi was more important than being Shi’ite or Sunni. It seems that the influence of the Arab Sunnis is sunsetting as the influence of the Persian Sh’ia is increasing. All one needs to do is look at the power and influence of Hezbollah to see that this is the current reality. The influence of tenuious Arab allies- that are traditionally Sunni is lessening. The United States went into Iraq without any clue about Islamic culture, its politics or its willpower. In an unparalleled imperial arrogance- the United States assumed that its definition of peace, democracy and freedom is shared by all peoples. I don’t think that anyone but the most seriously deranged humans would not want peace- but how a government is formed and how the people it governs see the world are very different in different cultures.
Although the Bush administration still tries to pair Iraq and 9-11 in the consiousness of the nation it did make that lame case to Congress or the world. The Bush administration made its international case for going into Iraq as a mission to obliterate weapons of mass destruction- so the world would be safer. There were no weapons of mass destruction. We went into Iraq to topple an evil leader- a leader we propped up at various times. We toppled Hussein but at what cost?
If Iraq “stays the course” it will most definitely fall into civil war and this will be a disaster for the region and the world. We are less safe now and live in a more dangerous world than before we invaded Iraq and it has taken about the time it took us to win WW II in Europe to achieve it.