Bush, ISIS, Paranoia

Former President George W Bush has written a book about his father, former President George H W Bush. The elder Bush was a war hero, public servant in numbers capacities, and the 41st President with a term marked by bold, long sighted decisions. “W”, on the other hand, has been tarred by the Iraq War, Hurricane Katrina response, and the near melt down of the world’s banking system with the near depression which followed. Hmmm, some comparison.

In an interview with NPR (as part of hawking his new book), “W” offered a series of explanations over decisions Bush 41 made intimating these were roughly the same decision “W” would have made. Who can prove that statement wrong?

When it came to explaining “W” decision to invade and occupy Iraq, “W” got out his stock speech which asserts that Hussein was a bad person, capable of doing the unspeakable, and the Iraqi people are better off with him gone. As these words came out of the radio, I was struck by what did he just say? Thinking more, I thought, why did he just say that?

Shortly after “W” defense of invading and occupying Iraq, he was asked about ISIS. “W” responded that nothing should stand in the US’ way of defeating ISIS. Hmmm. Did he mean another invasion? Then Bush said, “remember the Bush (meaning “W”) doctrine, if a country harbors terrorists, then the US will fight the host country to “preemptively” defeat terrorists before they can carry out their attacks on the US”. Hmmm.

So again, why is “W” saying these statements?

The surface reasons should be clear. “W” is attempting to rehabilitate his name and that of the brand “Bush”.

Rewriting history is not a new phenomena and “W’s” attempt won’t be the last. Sometimes, however, there is simply no way to change the outcomes and rewriting history becomes impossible. All that is left is to change people’s perception of why foolish or failed policies were undertaken. Hence, ISIS front and center.

“W’s” years were marked by the wholesale use of fear to justify all sorts of government and political aims. Al Qaeda was a gift despite the tragic World Trade Center loses. Al Qaeda spawned the “War on Terror” and let the NSA, Patriot Act, and Homeland Security genies out of the bottle. In a short period of time, 300+ million Americans were told to worry about terrorists who might be behind every tree.

ISIS is now conveniently a new paranoia that can be used to re-stoke the fear factor.

This paranoia accounts for why many members of Congress prefer President Obama to send American troops back into Iraq (and probably Syria) with the mission of destroying ISIS. Many of these members reason that this a conflict American military can win, and should there be another terrorist event on US soil, they would be politically safer having supported an attack on ISIS first.

While this reasoning is probably true, it begs the question of will any new group follow ISIS?

Our Country, IMO, is better off seeing the Iraq invasion and occupation for what it was, an error in foreign policy of the first magnitude. Remember at the time of the invasion there was no ISIS nor was there any al Qaeda in Iraq.

More importantly the US has much bigger fish to worry about. Strategic relations with Russia, Iran, China, and the fragile African continent present far more environmental, health, and military risks than radical Muslims like ISIS.

The recommendation is not to overlook ISIS (or whomever follows), but to put the response to ISIS in proportion to all the risks on the table.

Had “W” done that with Iraq, there would not have been an invasion and occupation.

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Explore posts in the same categories: Barack Obama, Democratic Party, George Bush, Iraq War, John McCain, Politics, Republican Party

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