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View Full Version : Bush the Dim messed up the whole Iraq thing!!!!!!!



03-19-2003, 06:18 PM
By THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN


President Bush is fond of cowboy imagery, so here's an image that comes to mind about our pending war with Iraq. In most cowboy movies the good guys round up a posse before they ride into town and take on the black hats. We're doing just the opposite. We're riding into Baghdad pretty much alone and hoping to round up a posse after we get there. I hope we do, because it may be the only way we can get out with ourselves, and the town, in one piece.

This column has argued throughout this debate that removing Saddam Hussein and helping Iraq replace his regime with a decent, accountable government that can serve as a model in the Middle East is worth doing, not because Iraq threatens us with its weapons, but because we are threatened by a collection of failing Arab-Muslim states, which churn out way too many young people who feel humiliated, voiceless and left behind. We have a real interest in partnering with them for change.

This column has also argued, though, that such a preventive war is so unprecedented and mammoth a task, taking over an entire country from a standing start and rebuilding it,that it had to be done with maximum U.N legitimacy and with as many allies as possible.

President Bush has failed to build that framework before going to war. Though the Bush team came to office with this Iraq project in mind, it has pursued a narrow, ideological and bullying foreign policy that has alienated so many people that by the time it wanted to rustle up a posse for an Iraq war, too many nations were suspicious of its motives.

<font color="red"> The president says he went the extra mile to find a diplomatic solution. That is not true. On the eve of the first gulf war, Secretary of State James Baker met face to face in Geneva with the Iraqi foreign minister, a last-ditch peace effort that left most of the world feeling it was Iraq that refused to avoid war. This time the whole world saw President Bush make one trip, which didn't quite make it across the Atlantic, to sell the war to the only two allies we had. </font color> This is not to excuse France, let alone Saddam.

But here we are, going to war, basically alone, in the face of opposition, not so much from "the Arab Street," but from "the World Street." Everyone wishes it were different, but it's too late, which is why this column will henceforth focus on how to turn these lemons into lemonade. Our children's future hinges on doing this right, even if we got here wrong.

The president's view is that in the absence of a U.N. endorsement, this war will become "self-legitimating" when the world sees most Iraqis greet U.S. troops as liberators. I think there is a good chance that will play out.

But wars are fought for political ends. Defeating Saddam is necessary but not sufficient to achieve those ends, which are a more progressive Iraq and a world with fewer terrorists and terrorist suppliers dedicated to destroying the U.S., so Americans will feel safer at home and abroad. We cannot achieve the latter without the former. Which means we must bear any burden and pay any price to make Iraq into the sort of state that fair-minded people across the world will see and say: "You did good. You lived up to America's promise."

To maximize our chances of doing that, we need to patch things up with the world. Because having more allied support in rebuilding Iraq will increase the odds that we do it right, and because if the breach that has been opened between us and our traditional friends hardens into hostility, we will find it much tougher to manage both Iraq and all the other threats down the road. That means the Bush team needs an "attitude lobotomy", it needs to get off its high horse and start engaging people on the World Street, listening to what's bothering them, and also telling them what's bothering us.

<font color="red"> Some 35 years ago Israel won a war in Six Days. It saw its victory as self-legitimating. Its neighbors saw it otherwise, and Israel has been trapped in the Seventh Day ever since, never quite able to transform its dramatic victory into a peace that would make Israelis feel more secure.</font color>

More than 50 years ago America won a war against European fascism, <font color="red"> which it followed up with a Marshall Plan and nation-building, both a handout and a hand up, in a way that made Americans welcome across the world.</font color> Today is a D-Day for our generation. May our leaders have the wisdom of their predecessors from the Greatest Generation.

TomBrooklyn
03-19-2003, 06:29 PM
Wow, there's a whole bunch of published authors joining CCB and posting for the first time to give us their views on the war.

I didn't read this one either. It was written by anonymous as far as I'm concerned.

eg8r
03-19-2003, 08:06 PM
LOL, I am with you Tom. This is funny stuff.

eg8r

Candyman
03-19-2003, 09:03 PM
That guy was really impressed with himself I thought. It looks like the war is now on so maybe Bush did "blew it". You guys take it easy. Candyman