View from the Garage

January 6, 2005

Bush motives–Iraq invasion

Filed under: Miscellaneous — thefusionguy @ 12:16 am

George Bush is really good at some things, image creation being a key one. You really have to hand it to him, he is a master at this. He maintains that he has a “mandate” for every aspect of his presidential campaign. I would be truly astonished if many people said they voted for him primarily because of his stance on social security reform. Yet he claims he has a mandate from the people.

With this president, you really have to wonder about his motives. Take the invasion of Iraq, for example. What was the motive?? It started out as a means of destroying a madman with weapons of mass destruction. But we know now that the intelligence community was strongly pressured into citing Iraq as a source of terrorism in general and as a source of WMDs. Books by Richard Clark and Paul O’Niell show that Bush was building up to an attack on Iraq even before 9/11 and that this pressure was stepped up greatly in the immediate aftermath of the attacks. But when it became clear in the course of the war that there were no WMDs, Bush shifted to other excuses: to free the people of Iraq from a nasty dictator (“Operation Iraqi Freedom’), then to spread democracy in the middle east. (Talk about flip-flopping!)

But it is completely clear that the military operation was created in response to something along the lines of the first motive. If you believe a madman has an atomic bomb and plans to use it, then your first priority is take him out. This is what happened in the “shock and awe” campaign; it went just as the Administration could have hoped. But if your motive is to free the people or spread democracy, then what happens after the dictator is removed is much more important. You can’t generate insecurity, failed infrastructure, and collateral damage if you want to lead the people to freedom. But this is exactly what they let happen. So you have to conclude that if they aren’t stupid, then they weren’t really trying to free the Iraqis (although it is a logical possibility that the administration is simply incompetent).

So what really was the motive for invading Iraq? Even with all the campaign debates we have no idea. Micheal Moore provides a motive in Fahrenheit 911, namely family connections, but I don’t find it fully convincing. I think it was a desire to show the world what a big stick the US has as “the world’s only remaining superpower.” Remember Rumsfeld’s statement immediately after 9/11 that we shouldn’t waste much time bombing Afghanistan because they didn’t have any good targets, and we should attack Iraq instead? If this was the motive, the invasion was an utter failure. The world can see that even a small powerless country can stand up to US’s military might and that the US is completely militarily, economically, and politically incapable of a second such adventure, no matter how much it is needed.

So you can’t trust Bush to be honest regarding his motives for his major policies. Next time, social security.

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