Monday, May 12, 2008

Paging Robert Taft

Recently there was a PBS special called "Bush's War" which surveyed Iraq from pre-invasion to the present day. It was fascinating to see all the optimism, or rather arrogance as the war approached. I can remember well how confident so many people were that this would be a 3-week war and that once Iraq capitulated the rest of the Middle East would fall like dominoes.

But we all know now how things happened. There weren't enough troops, there was no thought of an exit strategy, and most of all, it was the foreign intervention itself that was the biggest catastrophe of all. Looking back it almost seems that no one at all considered the consequences of intervention, at least no one with any leverage with the administration.

So what's wrong with foreign intervention? Well, we're really only supposed to go to war for national interests which begs the obvious question, what is the national interest with Iraq? Iraq didn't attack us and didn't threaten us either. We got ourselves embroiled in a part of the world where we don't belong and are not wanted. Now some are banging the drum for war with Iran because we know at the very least that Iranian-made weapons are being used against American troops. This outrage over what is happening in the desert, seems to some people, to be happening in a vacuum. Well, the Iranians are attacking and killing Americans, this is an act of war which we will repay in kind! some are clamoring.

But we should ask why Iran is allowing this to take place. What motivation might the Iranian regime have for at the very least supplying weapons? Is it because they hate freedom? We know they don't hate democracy because Ahmadinejad was democratically elected. So what motivation is there for Iran to lash out at the US military? Perhaps Iran acts the way it does toward us because they perceive us as a threat to them, not vice-versa as the talk radio Right and Fox News talking heads seem to indicate. Remember, in Bush's "Axis of Evil" speech the president lumped Iraq, Iran, and North Korea together. President Bush announced that they were all enemies of the United States even though not a single of those regimes threatened us in any way. Bush called Iran an enemy and proceeded to supplant the governments of two neighboring countries. So, why is Iran acting the way it has been acting and why are we in a proxy with them already?

Foreign intervention.

Messing with the internal affairs of another country invariably affects those around it. When another country feels threatened they begin to defend themselves. If we end up at war with Iran it is not because they were the aggressors. Our intervention in the Middle East causes this situation. And who has the GOP all but nominated? A so-called foreign policy expert who promises more wars.

Happy Election, America.

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