Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Bush's Shooting Gallery

President Bush's primetime speech last night was riddled with references to a non-existent Al Queda connection with Saddam Hussein, the ridiculous assertion that terrorists "hate freedom", and with the ominous suggestion that setting a timetable for Iraq would mean all the terrorists "have to do is to wait us out." This last point had been emphasized well before this speech, but the impact of it still stings. Bush is basically admitting there are no long-term plans in the works for Iraq, and he would rather keep control of the status quo than really improve conditions on the ground.

I have no doubt there will be many critiques of Bush's speech throughout the blogosphere and MSM today. I could point out a number of logical and moral fallacies in the Iraq War, but I've already done so in the past (Filling the Swamp, Heaven's Not Overflowing, Iraq- Effort in Damage Control, etc). What amazes me is how quickly the goal of the US Invasion of Iraq has changed from deposing a dictator with the high likelihood of WMDs to becoming a shooting gallery for terrorists.

Bush clearly articulates this "target for terrorists abroad to stop terrorism at home" theory in his speech last night:
Iraq is the latest battlefield in this war. Many terrorists who kill innocent men, women, and children on the streets of Baghdad are followers of the same murderous ideology that took the lives of our citizens in New York, Washington, and Pennsylvania. There is only one course of action against them: to defeat them abroad before they attack us at home. The commander in charge of Coalition operations in Iraq — who is also senior commander at this base — General John Vines, put it well the other day. He said: "We either deal with terrorism and this extremism abroad, or we deal with it when it comes to us."

Some wonder whether Iraq is a central front in the war on terror. Among the terrorists, there is no debate. Hear the words of Usama bin Laden: "This Third World War … is raging" in Iraq. "The whole world is watching this war." He says it will end in "victory and glory or misery and humiliation."

The terrorists know that the outcome will leave them emboldened, or defeated. So, they are waging a campaign of murder and destruction. And there is no limit to the innocent lives they are willing to take.

The lesson of this experience is clear: The terrorists can kill the innocent — but they cannot stop the advance of freedom.
Unbelievable. So, in response to 9/11, the US decided that since America was already a terrorist target, the US Military would respond by moving into enemy territory and becoming a duck in a shooting gallery? US anti-terrorism policy boils down to a "shoot us there, but not over here" game of cat and mouse? By engaging in the very interventionist policies that infuriate Middle Easterners and Muslims elsewhere, the enemies will be brought out of the woodwork so that US troops will become their target practice. The innocent civilians in Iraq are simply "collateral damage" in the progress of "freedom" that supports US interests.


Despite the lofty goals of a stable Iraq and an international "peace" based on "freedom", US troops might as well wear targets on their uniforms for their presence and agitation is reason enough for their deployment. I am starting to understand what Bush means by the "sacrifice" troops face abroad. He is placing our troops in "harm's way" to simply attract not only insurgents, but more importantly terrorists to come out and attack. I also cannot fathom how supporting US troops would mean the same thing as supporting this failed policy.

What has back-fired is the degree by which the Muslim world has rejected both US Occupation and underlying intentions. The insurgency has grown more violent since recent elections than it ever has, targeting both US troops and civilians not in an effort to push the US out, but to very simply destroy Iraq. And with Bush being so cavalier about his "shooting gallery" approach to Middle Eastern policy, it is more likely a stalemate between the US Coalition and foreign terrorists will become the ultimate result. The poor Iraqis will be left with nothing but rhetoric about "freedom" and rubble.

With this understanding, is there really any question why the insurgency is growing?

Wake up, America.
Your government isn't making you any safer.


At 11:05 AM GMT-5, Anonymous The Lodger said...

So the career choices for today's high school graduates boil down to:

Wal-Mart or target.


At 1:36 AM GMT-5, Anonymous Lefty Jones said...

"Your government isn't making you any safer"

Can I get an Amen?


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