Saturday, March 10, 2007

Deja Bush

They knew exactly what they wanted to accomplish in the initial invasion. Yet as part of all the planning, they had virtually no idea what they wanted to do once they had the upper hand over Saddam Hussein. George W. Bush, you're thinking? Nope. His dad.

What are the odds that an American administration would make fools of its military by not having a plan of what to do once it conquered Iraq? Better yet, what are the odds that it would happen twice? Now for the impossibility--what are the odds that it would happened twice in the same family of leaders? Yet it did happen to both George H. W. Bush and to George W. Bush. Does that suggest something to us about whether we should vote for establishment republicans (or establishment anyone) for president?

I read the following paragraph from Barry Lando's remarkable work, Web of Deceit: The History of Western Complicity in Iraq, and for just a moment I thought I had skipped a few pages and about 12 years into the future.

It became obvious that, though the US had meticulously planned the military campaign against Saddam Hussein, the Bush Administration had no plans for the aftermath. Thomas Pickering, who was then US Ambassador to the United Nations, revealed later, "We had wonderfully prepared combat activities, and we had absolutely no idea what to do in the post-combat phase. There was no policy, no examination of what we should do; no examination of how we should deal with the future..." (page 166)

When I served in Iraq, I was often irritated by what I saw in the news media about supporting the troops but not supporting the war. My opinion has changed somewhat now that I am home and have begun to investigate what has happened. The ones who are really against the troops are the ones who did virtually nothing to plan for their ultimate success.

It is perhaps forgivable that one President Bush would not have thought far enough into the future to decide what to do after he attacked Iraq. In that case, provocative statements the elder President Bush made led to massacres of thousands of Iraqi people. But how could the exact same thing happen to his son? "No plan" once again has led to the death of more thousands.

Have father and son not spent any time together in the last 15 years? I'm sure they have.

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