Wednesday, August 16, 2006

How 9/11 Changed Bush a response: Michael Gerson wrote a wonderfully articulate and poignant article in Newsweek entitled "How 9/11 Changed Bush". The problem with it, I think, is that no one has a crystal ball. That is what I need to figure out if Gerson's assessment of Bush's war on terror since 9/11 is correct. I simply do not know. I see his point. We will not inherit the earth if Islamic terrorists win. According to Gerson, who knew the Chief Executive rather personally, Bush took us to war to spread democracy and stop Islamic totalitarian dictatorships.

The question to me becomes: is the violence that is this war the answer? If it is by bombing jihadists into submission, it doesn't seem to be working. The people who get bombed and their loved ones killed do not seem to see the rationale behind the bombing, maiming and killing of their people. As one who supported in its infancy Bush's Iraq war, it sadly seems to have gotten him and us exactly the opposite of what he/we wished if we are to believe what Michael Gerson says.

I do not know personally, and I probably will never know, what really drove Bush to preemptively conduct a war in which he switched premises in mid-stream as to why he was taking our youngest, strongest and bravest to it. First, it was WMD's. Oops, can't find them so let's say it's democracy. Yeah democracy, that worked in Vietnam so well. Oh sure! Just why on earth do American power brokers go to war so many times and why since after WWII have we performed so abysmally? One would think the world would be flourishing with Jeffersonian democracies and abundant capitalist economies. Instead it is flourishing with never ending carnage.

Bombs have exploded in Iraq since 2003. 2500 American servicemen have been killed, thousands wounded, and perhaps hundreds of thousands of Iraqis have been wounded or killed as well. The purple fingers of democracy were proudly shown but it seems Iraq is a worse place then when Bush began his war on terror. Oh, yes, Bin Laden, the real perpetrator of 9/11, is still prancing around, perhaps with his kidney dialysis machine in hand, somewhere in the valleys, mountains or caves near Afghanistan or Pakistan but we really seem to know not where. Not only that but it appears, so I have read, we have stopped looking for him.
What is wrong with this picture? So many mistakes were made including the number of troops sent, plans for the aftermath, etc., etc., etc., but Michael Gerson seems to say this was a necessary war, calculated by Bush to bring freedom which would snuff out terror in the very long run. So far, in the rather long short run, I do not see that this is so.
Will I be alive to see whether this gallant Bush doctrine, that Gerson touts as the reason behind Iraq, will be vindicated? Will I ever know what the ending will be and, if Michael Gerson is right, that Bush took our world to war to make the place comfortable for democracy to thrive and to end Islamic fascism? Either, as Gerson says, the Islamic fascists will inherit the earth or democracy will. Before, it seemed to be a little of both and the world was more or less somewhat balanced. Now it seems to be a war to end all wars between both and without end. Add Lebanon into the mix and an anarchistic chaos now rules the day.

I think now perpetual war is not the answer. At least by the calculations today it is not. If war is the answer then the only ones to inherit this earth may be the mosquitos. Those little devils can live through a nuclear holocaust. Unfortunately, mammalian species cannot.

N. Rosen

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