Had President George Bush looked into the lens of the camera back in 2003 and stated to the world that, because America was attacked by people from a country that we now believe, because of a preponderance of the evidence (Not a guarantee from God, just a tip of the scale), to have been complicit in the facilitation of terrorist training, and that because of such the US military was going to visit that country and balance the equation…then his and our problems would now be far fewer and of less magnitude.
However, the Presidents embellishment of data suggesting that weapons of mass destruction existed in Iraq has diminished his and our ability to again look the world in the eyes. He should have said, you’re actions have placed your country in great peril, and we’re coming to even the score even if your only means of fighting back is to throw rocks at our tanks. Had he said something along those lines, the world would have grimaced but endured the consequences far better than what has transpired using the WMD ploy.
Someone once noted, the first warrior actually, that war is an imprecise venture. George Bush being a student of such history is aware of war as an instrument of change, even if very difficult to direct. The modern struggle against Islam is the most imprecise battle of them all. It is our modern hundred years war, into which we are already three decades deep. 9/11 changed the rules of engagement in this war. While it is my belief that our response was measured and modest, it was the best that could be mustered in the narrowed window of opportunity available to retaliate.
America was a pressure cooker of need following 9/11. The need to know everything about everyone, the need to balance the equation, the need to show the world that we are in the know with our intelligence capabilities, the need to send a message. There was no choice other than to vent the pressure, and in so doing send a message to the world that America was still very much capable of taking action.But now, millions of American citizens and the world complain that our reasons for war with Iraq are based on lies. Bad news to follow; It is worse than that, the war is based on truth. That truth being that we publicly invaded Iraq for no other reason that we needed to send the message that we will do ANYTHING (short of using nukes) to diminish and punish our enemy…
…The war in Iraq is purely a symbolic action.
While it may be unappetizing to consider that we would waste a middle east nation and endanger tens of thousands of US troops just to send a message, it may also be the ultimate rationale. Just as US and British forces did towards the end of World War Two, where we fire bombed Hamburg, Dresden, Tokyo, and many other non strategic venues, and of course plasticized Hiroshima and Nagasaki with atomic weapons…Iraq is our modern equivalent to those symbolic raids of yesteryear. The destruction of those German and Japanese cities was for little other purpose than to send the message that the United States and her allies were prepared to do ANYTHING to win the war. The message was received with clarity in 1945, and to a lesser degree the message has been received now. But understand…the message and its rationale remain the same now, as then. War is a tool.
However, in today's world the war against global Islam is far more complex and challenging. The Japanese and Nazi's were girl scouts compared to Islam's lunatics. And since war is inevitable (like it or not, it IS inevitable), and since affidavits from God are not available guaranteeing the righteousness of war, mortal men make hard and often callous decisions knowing that little good can come from it. Such was, and is Iraq.
Conventionally, little good has come from the war in Iraq. Democracy is unlikely to succeed in the middle east because it is incompatible with the tenants of Islam. Psychologically, freedom feels wrong to those who have lived under the thumb of tyrants. The onslaught of freedom is overload to their emotionally raw state of being. Most will willingly revert back to what they are familiar with, even when such would diminish their future. The children in those societies are merely along for the ride.
But Iraq has long ago served its purpose of sending a message. And no matter when US troops leave Iraq that entire area of the world will descend into another cycle of madness. Ancient theocratic thinking attempting to exist in modern commercialized industrial world produces confused and murderous theocrats.
When fighting madmen it is imperative to let them know that you too will do ANYTHING to prevent their madness from compromising the sanctity of your way of life. World leaders (even George W. Bush) think in the scale of the grand stage…our leader(s) recognized that we needed a symbolic action, and since Iraq was already ruled by notorious bad actor, and since we already had troops in the area, opportunity had met preparation. The rest is history and a festering thorn in the side of those that do not understand the grand stage reasoning.
While justified and marketed using an inconvenient form of “truth“, the war in Iraq was just us sending a message. Failing clear lines of battle, expect more of the same. (Especially if we enter into a second era of economic depression.)