It is with shock and awe that we watch the United States and Iraq teeter on the brink of war. Not coincidently, “Shock and Awe” is the code name the U.S. leaders have attached to the strategy that will be employed in the first several days of the war.
The truly awesome plan calls for unleashing the greatest display of firepower the world has ever known against a country with precious little ability to respond.
But of course that’s president Bush’s goal leave Saddam Hussein with either no military forces or no way to command them. But inherent in this plan is an awesome disregard for the lives of innocent Iraqi civilians who will either be killed quickly in the attacks or slowly in the aftermath trying to survive without medical attention and the necessities of life. Bush addressed this in this week’s ultimatum, pledging to send in all the necessary supplies and support, but this is surely as hollow a promise as he has ever made.
And what awaits the civilian survivors of this war? In a display of shocking arrogance, some Americans have said that they hope to save the Iraqis and indeed the region by exporting their brand of freedom and democracy to the area.
A culture that is millenia old and represents the cradle of modern civilization, saved by the cultural exports America has to offer, if it wasn’t so tragic it would be laughable. The prospect might leave some iraqis hoping to die in the first bombs are bursting in air. Indeed America’s only parther of note in this flawed exercise, Great Britain, attempted to “save” the region 80-some years ago carving-out purely political boundaries that only inflamed already smoldering tensions.
And for his misguided alliance with Bush British prime minister Tony Blair faces more dissent within parliament and his own party than any British prime minister has in a century. That Blair didn’t find a diplomatic way to “pick up his ball and go home” weeks ago is astonishing, that he’s now followed Bush right to the edge is shocking.
But even as American troops on the ground in the Middle East are being given the order to “lock and load” some are praising Bush for giving diplomacy a chance. This, we hope must be the worst form of political rhetoric, for Bush’s diplomacy was “faux” from the start. There were no real diplomatic hoops Saddam could have jumped through to avert this conflict. As evidenced by the last demand, “Leave Iraq”, even if he wanted to Saddam would not have been permitted to appear to be in compliance.
It’s cold comfort, but a little refreshing, that Bush has been so public about his desire to change leaders in Iraq. Usually when a U.S. president decides a dictatators time has come it’s done under the cover of night in a “Black Ops” kind of way.
Bush has also hinted at his real motivation for his tunnelvision regarding Saddam he’s just finishing family business stating publicly that, “Saddam is the guy that tried to kill my Daddy”.
That kind of mentality weilding all the might of the U.S. armed forces vaults Bush ahead of Saddam Hussein, Osama Bin Laden and Kim Jong Il into top spot as the world’s most dangerous man the greatest threat to peace.