The Blanket

Preventing the Bush Turkey Shoot

Steve McWilliams • 15.09.02

Yes, George W. Bush is following the tried-and-true formula for a standing President: nothing like a little war to garner popular support. He may be a bit premature, it is yet 2 years until the election. I will admit that I voted for him (would you have voted for Sore/Loserman?) Nonetheless, he is off the mark here. While it is true that Hussein does have chemical weapons, and some form of biological weapons, even some level of nuclear weapons knowledge, the imperative to attack is anything but clear.

As Davy Carlin pointed out, we viewed Hussein as a friend in the 1980's when he gassed the Kurds and fought the Iranians. Both the US and the USSR freely sold weaponry to both Iraq and Iran - clearly a violation of the UN Charter, as Iraq was fighting a war of territorial conquest. Again, we saw the same with the mujahideen in Afghanistan - they were our friends while fighting the Soviets, but when the USSR left Afghanistan in 1989, the mujahideen, now calling themselves the Taliban, became our sworn enemy, as they no longer served as our proxy warriors against the Soviets, and were repressing their people(no longer to our advantage. In fact, it was rumored that different administrations brain-stormed ways to go to Afghanistan and retrieve the Stinger missile we had given them when they were our friends

Now Bush finds himself in an uncomfortable position - having declared the "need" and US intent to topple Hussein, he has been stung by the unity of voices in dissent (with the exception of our British lackeys). Bush is in a quandary, he wants so badly to hit Hussein hard and long, but from where? The Saudis (whom Davy Carlin rightly states are quite possibly more repressive than Iraq), have denied us basing rights; the Turks are ambivalent, if memory serves; I believe the Kuwaitis, Bahrainis, Qatarese(?), and other Gulf States are cool to the idea. Israel would allow us (they can refuse us nothing, especially our $10 billion+/year), but that would mean overlying Jordan, not a chance there. NATO (again with the obvious exception) is decidedly against unilateral action.

Then there is the UN - Bush is hoping for a Security Council resolution, but there are stumbling blocks there. France, Russia and Red China, all with veto power, may do so. The ten non-permanent members also are not guaranteed to vote with the US. So Bush addresses the General Assembly, and gets a more receptive response than might have been thought, but still hardly overwhelming.

In the end, Bush's war of conquest will probably go forward, but to what effect? Can he unseat Hussein? That is by no means assured. Will he irreparably damaged US standing in the region? Almost certainly. His wielding of the 'big stick' will portray America as a rank imperialist intent only on preserving the power balance and continuing the flow of oil. No doubt we will see many more terrorist actions in response to Bush's war.

America is at a crossroads - what a shame we do not have a more visionary leader to guide us.






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The man who lets a leader prescribe his course is a wreck being towed to the scrap heap.
- Ayn Rand

Index: Current Articles

4 October 2002


Other Articles From This Issue:


Revealing Secrets


At Last We Know the Human Cost of Gerry Adams

Paul Bew


The Boys of the Old Brigade Are Not Happy
Brian Mór


Segregation in Oldham
Mark Hayes


Common Denominators

Aine Fox


SF - Stormont First
Anthony McIntyre


Dispatches from the U.S. Anti-War Movement
Julie Brown


Preventing the Bush Turkey Shoot
Steve McWilliams


29 September 2002


Landlordism and the Housing Question
Liam O Ruairc


No Rest Days

Anthony McIntyre


The Meeting
Davy Carlin


It Shall All Come Tumbling Down
Sam Bahour




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