This is one of the last lines in an article in today's Washington Post in which several members of the American army wonder why Iraqis are so hostile to them. It is those two sentences that say it all....America will lose this one. But what exactly is the criteria for victory?
Does victory happen when more Iraqis get killed than Americans? If that's true, let the army come home, because they won pretty much from the get-go. Does victory happen when there are no more terrorists in the world? That's what Bush seems to hope to achieve, and that would indeed be a great thing, but it will unfortunately never happen. If it does, that's because someone went back in time to the sixties in their De Lorean and schooled the US on how not to support dictators in the Middle East and then supply them with the weapons to fight each other and on how to just leave other countries alone in general. Seems to me that the US just really wants to expand its sphere of influence, so to speak, and get yet a whole other region of the world to do whatever it wants. That most definitely will not happen, and the Middle East is the wrong place to go looking for cooperation. But even if that does happen, it will be a flash in the pan kind of thing. Bush has only to look at what's happening in Latin America to know that if you push hard enough, one day, even the friendly ones turn on you. And the US can't help but push.
Here are a few ways in which the US has been creating the war on terrorism for the past 40 or so years: The US set up the Shah of Iran way back in the day. Once the Iranians got tired of the Shah, many attached themselves to the Ayatollah Khomeini, who's main selling point, like some of the leftist leaders of today, was hatred of the US. That sounded good to most Iranians and they went along with his revolution, and thousands of America-hating terrorists were created, as were the conditions under which Iran would continue to support Hamas and Hezbollah to take care of the western part of the region. Oh, and wipe Israel off the face of the earth (which makes me wonder if Ahmadinejad wants to wipe out Israel because most Israelis are Jewish, because they "stole" Arab land, or because he want to piss off the US?). So, when Saddam wanted to go to war to get at Iran's oilfields, the US, in their playground rivalry, decided to give Saddam all sorts of tanks and jets and things and even went to the Gulf to help him fight the Iranians (maybe that's why Reagan couldn't recall what he did with the weapons he supposedly sold off in the eighties: he gave them all to Iraq). A battered Iran finally gave up the war effort, and thousands more terrorists were created. By the way, this all happened about 3 years before the US went to get Saddam out of Kuwait, which created more terrorists. You see that even the first Gulf war was not the first time the US "had relations" with Saddam's Iraq. After all, the US put Saddam there in the first place. Remember the feel-good image of Rumsfeld hugging Saddam and telling him that the priority was to kick Iranian ass? And so what if he was gassing the Kurds? According to Rummy, he could go ahead and do that and the US would later use the WMD thing to their advantage. Pretty cunning.
Fast forward to Bush the Minor. He insists that the US had a huge hand in "free" elections in Lebanon and Palestine, and of course, Iraq. He just neglected to mention that in these elections, the very terrorists he hopes to rid the world of were put in power by the people. He also failed to point out that after the Lebanese elections, there was that little skirmish with the Israelis, who the US supports without question, which put a bit of a wrench in the whole "democratization" plan. Why is it that terrorists are in power in those countries? I'm guessing because one of their main selling points was hatred of the US. And what does Bush do instead? Blame the Iranians for supporting Hamas and Hezbollah. So its sort of a maze that goes around and around and sort of comes back full circle. I realize that there are many other events and countries that are to blame for what's happening in the Middle East today, but the best example is the US, just because a) it's quite ironic that the US is so ardently fighting what it helped to create, and b) they play these games all the time and apparently have not learned a single thing from their experiences. If it didn't mean hundreds of thousands of people would die, the US' shenanigans would be really funny. The stuff of movies like Canadian Bacon or something.
Read the Post article. I really find these types of articles, where the troops on the ground get to tell their side of the story, a lot more interesting than stories about Bushco greedily wringing their hands and plotting and planning.