Iraq: Suggestions For An Endgame With Honor
Iraq: Suggestions for an Endgame with Honor
By Bob Zimmerman
Tiburon, California, April 27, 2004
President Bush boosts we will ''stay the course'' in Iraq. But his course, dubbed ''Operation Iraqi Freedom,'' is a dishonorable and murder-laden failure; the Bush course is an endless minefield that yields nothing but the death and maiming of innocent people and catastrophic human suffering.
Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Powell, Rice and their army of neo-conservative (neocon) cohorts lied to us about their real ambitions and intentions. Their invasion of Iraq was never about “exporting democracy to Iraq;” or conquering al Qaeda; or finding WMD; or to cure an “imminent threat.” These were gigantic lies designed to provide cover for their real mission. Bush ordered the invasion of Iraq to “one-up” his father who repeatedly warned that an American occupation of Iraq would produce nothing but long-term horror. The Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice, and Perle (neocons) had different motivators. They sought personal power and war profits. They sought access to cheap oil to further their expressed ambition for global military domination and economic exploitation. (See the web-based Project for a New American Century).
The putative neocon war plan to invade Iraq was drafted long before 9/11. Bush then used 9/11 as a hammer to pummel a terrified Congress into submission, into granting him the very war powers that they must now revoke. The neocon prescription for perpetual peace is nothing but perpetual war, a war against any group or any nation that stands against the neocon vision.
By every reasonable measure the invasion of Iraq and the tragic consequences that have flowed therefrom are more than a great stain on America. This ungodly invasion is leading America into fascism. Unnecessary war is the gravest form of human indifference and this tragic war has shown the world just how bloodthirsty America has become. Unfortunately, much of our electorate is a vast mediocrity, more like sheep than torch bearers for democracy, more concerned with their narrow lives and interests than they are with the safekeeping of their fellow human beings.
War—in all of its hideously manifold forms—is an archaic festival staged by impotent, armchair, fools attempting to intoxicate their unexceptional lives. The weaponry, the slaughter, the strutting, the lies, the mockery, the bravado are all pitiful attempts to breathe life into lifeless elites and the life-denying structures of government they now control.
Americans have become so weak we elect mostly fools, cowards, and self-seekers to run the executive and legislative branches of our federal and state governments. Strong people and strong societies shun war and resort to it only as a last resort and to end genocides. Truly strong nations sustain themselves and do not invoke false propagandistic phrases like, free trade, free markets, exporting freedom and democracy, and economic globalization as cover to dominate weaker societies.
Bush’s miserable record in Iraq shows that we are incapable of assuring the security of the Iraqi people. Our presence in Iraq only ups the probability that Iraq will erupt into a lengthy, bloody, and unnecessary civil war. We must realize that democracy is not a commodity we can readily export. Peoples and nations that want democracy must work it out for themselves. The Soviet Union used its military might to export communism. That hideous project came to a screeching halt when Soviet leaders realized that such ambitions are foolish. Sensing a power vacuum as the Cold War receded, neocons in and around our government decided to take up the Soviet folly, merely substituting the words freedom and democracy for communism. That folly too must come to a screeching halt.
To begin, Americans must recant Bush militarism and the explosive dynamic it has created by immediately withdrawing every American soldier and contractor from Iraq; by reversing the seizure of Iraqi assets by western business interests; and by paying proper reparations to the families of suffering Iraqis, to orphaned Iraqi children, and for reconstruction. The work of rebuilding Iraq and installing democracy is Iraqi work, work that the United Nations and NGO’s can help with, but only to the extent that Iraqis opt for that help.
With these actions America will begin to demonstrate to a suspicious world that we are evolving, that we are abandoning the course of war and economic exploitation and seeking to rejoin the world’s family of nations as a partner instead of a dictator. The evolving Bush-led global nightmare must be stopped. Our planet and its peoples are far too fragile to withstand another four years of Bush invoked “shock and awe.” The myth that America’s continued presence is the only way to bring stability to Iraq and the Middle East is as wrongheaded as the so-called “domino principle” was in Vietnam.