The Consequences of 'Mr. Bush's War'
by Patrick J. Buchanan
March 22, 2004
A year has elapsed since President Bush ordered U.S. forces
to invade Iraq. Since that March day, 2003, it has become
clear as crystal: Operation Iraqi Freedom was an
Saddam had had no role in 9-11 or the anthrax attack, no
plans to attack us or to invade his neighbors. He was
contained by U.S. power and his own weakness. American
planes had flown 40,000 sorties in 10 years over Iraq
without losing a single aircraft to hostile fire. And
Saddam had no weapons of mass destruction.
It was a war of choice, "Mr. Bush's War," as the War of
1812 was "Mr. Madison's War," the Mexican War was "Jimmy
Polk's War" and World War I was "Mr. Wilson's War."
Neoconservatives who schemed for a decade to have us
invade, occupy and vassalize Iraq say we liberated the
country from tyranny, blew a hole in the phalanx of hostile
Islamic states and are building a democracy that will be an
inspiration to the Middle East.
Better still, we are positioned to use our power against
Syria, Iran and Saudi Arabia in the war against Islamo-
fascism that is the great cause of our generation.
John Pilger quotes Richard Perle in the Mirror two years
ago: "This is total war ... if we just let our vision of
the world go forth."
Whether the war was necessary or not, neocons say, it was a
just and wise war. Better that we fight now when we can
readily prevail than wait for Saddam or his sons to acquire
atomic weapons. Even if Saddam's weapons programs had not
matured, we could not take the chance, says President Bush.
I did the right thing. I take full responsibility. Deal
Whether one agrees with Bush and Cheney, they are
unapologetic. They stand by the war. But what is the
argument for John Kerry?
Had he been a principled anti-war candidate, we would have
a great debate over how best to cope with the soaring anti-
Americanism that is the spawning pool of terror. But we
have no debate.
For there is no party in Washington that speaks for those
of us who believe America should stay out of these
religious and tribal wars from Morocco to Malaysia where no
vital U.S. interest is at risk. There is only one vital
interest in this region – oil, and Iran and the Arabs must
sell it to survive, no matter the regime in power.
We will have no debate because John Kerry voted to give
Bush a blank check to take us to war. Under attack by
Howard Dean, he then pirouetted and voted to deny Bush the
funds to consolidate America's victory. Now he says he was
misled. A profile in opportunism.
Kerry calls to mind FDR's story told about the chameleon.
When they put it down on a brown rug, it turned brown. When
they put it down on a green rug, it turned green. But when
they put it down on a Scotch plaid, the chameleon died.
And so the big questions will go unaddressed.
Can the United States afford the cost in blood and treasure
of a Bush policy of preventive war, when the occupation of
one Arab country of 23 million has tied down half our armed
forces and cost $200 billion?
Can we maintain our imperial presence in 120 countries with
an Army of half a million men? Should we double the size of
our Army to maintain our commitments, or cut back on our
commitments to defend other nations' frontiers and fight
other nations' wars?
Is the vast presence of U.S. forces in the Islamic world a
deterrent to terrorism, or an incitation to terror? Where
hatred of America is pandemic, is disengagement a wiser
policy than intervention? Has the war and occupation of
Iraq reduced terror or given jihadists a rallying cause?
The Spanish might have some thoughts on this.
With Iran and North Korea closer to a nuclear capacity than
Saddam ever was, was it wise to tear up alliances and tie
down our military ousting a dictator who, no matter how
odious, was no threat?
Given our budget deficits, the overextension of our
military, our isolation from allies and the opposition of
Congress, is the Bush policy of preventive war already a
Finally, why do scores of millions of Arab and Islamic
peoples hate us and wish to see us humiliated in Iraq? At
one time, we were the most admired nation on earth. Is any
of this our fault, unpatriotic as that question may seem?
March 22, 2004 - WorldNetDaily.Com
© 2004 Creators Syndicate