Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Isn't an "unwinnable" war more useful, though?

Some people I've read criticise George W. Bush for not having fully realized the size and complexity of the task of "securing" peace and freedom (and cooperative oil contracts) within Iraq -- they say he's an idiot and all manner of other derogatory things.  They refer back to his drunkenness, his drug use, anything to make the point that this guy has no idea where he's goin, what he's doing, or why he's dragging the rest of us into the firing line ahead of him.
Please, folks--this man is more canny than you know.  After all, who else in American Presidential history had the blinding foresight to spend his time and energy in college not on any piffling particular of discipline like law or political science but on the essential business of schmoozing itself.  Socio-political networking and buddy-building was his real major, as the Bush vs. Kerry duo-documentary "The Choice 2004" (Frontline) conveyed very objectively and clearly, and for that he no doubt should have been valedictorian rather than maintaining only "gentleman's 'C's" in his studies.  Diplomacy?--he's a master of it, so long as it suits his current needs.  This is not a stupid man, and his choices for foreign policy and personnel are not mere diplomatic gaffes but do have, mirabile dictu, a method that underlies them.
So....who ever said that Bush really wanted a winnable war?  Having the war ongoing does two very useful things: it keeps him in power through the threat that no other leader would be firm enough to sustain the "good fight" that he has fabricated, and it provides a rationale for whatever civic austerity measures and reactionary/repressive legislation he and his bunch want to put through.  It nicely blurs over the slow-but-steady erosion of security for the average person, as they are after all merely sharing a small part in the uncertainty and patriotic suffering of our forces overseas.  He takes on the doubting world as a Crusader king, an image that conjures up to many more of heroism and virtuous triumph than of the necessary feudalism and total monarchic rule that made such ventures imaginable upon the backs of the people.  As I think has been amply demonstrated by resent disclosures (such as certain memos/minutes?), Bush wanted a war, and a big flashy one to cover up cold-blooded actions with the hot-blooded exploits and drama of extended combat.  Peace, and the leisure of critical thought and close examination that it brings, is his real enemy.
Just like in "1984", the war is never really meant to be won and completed, no matter how the opponent shifts in name -- it's the guilt-complex-inducing background noise of 'our' troops dying that's meant to keep us docilely in line, and the threat of terrorism in response to 'our' own acceleration of insults and injuries to the rest of the world that is meant to keep us afraid of changing horses in mid-stream -- even if a different horse (perhaps one with actual combat experience to temper/hone his ideology?) would have seen the mess and gotten us the hell out of the swamp we're in by now.

Pre-emptive wars = "Weapons of Mass Distraction"....isn't that a catchy line?
Anyhow--do give the man a little credit.  I think he knows exactly what he's doing here.


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