[OPE-L] Mr Bush and the struggle against barbarism

From: Jurriaan Bendien (adsl675281@TISCALI.NL)
Date: Thu Aug 23 2007 - 16:24:50 EDT

What makes the second Iraq war so spectacular, apart from being deeply
tragic, is that first the official reasons given for going to war were
false, then we had the "history will absolve us" argument (in which case,
you just have to wait before the war eventually might prove itself as a just
one), and now the "last-ditch" argument has become, that if Coalition forces
withdrew, things would be so much worse. Mr Bush just upped the rhetoric as

(...) The struggle has been called a clash of civilizations. In truth, it's
a struggle for civilization. We fight for a free way of life against a new
barbarism -- an ideology whose followers have killed thousands on American
soil, and seek to kill again on even a greater scale. (...) Three decades
later, there is a legitimate debate about how we got into the Vietnam War
and how we left. (...)Whatever your position is on that debate, one
unmistakable legacy of Vietnam is that the price of America's withdrawal was
paid by millions of innocent citizens whose agonies would add to our
vocabulary new terms like "boat people," "re-education camps," and "killing
fields." (...) If we were to abandon the Iraqi people, the terrorists would
be emboldened, and use their victory to gain new recruits.

In reality, as Ben Kiernan among others showed convincingly with his
research,  "Pol Pot's revolution would not have won power without U.S.
economic and military destabilisation of Cambodia".  Indeed US carpet
bombing of Cambodia "was probably the most significant factor in Pol Pot's
rise" as a peasant leader (The Pol Pot Regime,1996, p. 16). It was in fact
the Vietnamese army which, after the fall of Saigon, liberated Cambodia from
the Khmer Rouge terror. In Mr Bush's grandiose rewrite of history, all this
is effaced.

When I previously referred to the "struggle against barbarism" in a post,
that was an interpretation of a mind-set which evaluated policy results in
terms of the number of Taliban killed. Now Mr Bush talks about "struggle
against barbarism", literally. But how is this to be reconciled with the
fact that, in reality, the total amount of warfare in the world actually
declined drastically through the 1990s and early years of the 20th century?

In reality, if you have an army of a million people with a budget that
consumes nearly half of the all world's military spending, there has to be a
justification for this business - there has to be an enemy somewhere. If
there doesn't exist one, it has to be invented.

If the "leader of the free world" can talk such outrageous bunkum, it's very
scary stuff indeed I think. The very least one might expect of a political
leader is that he takes an objective view of things. Incredibly, Mr Bush
also claimed recently "I will use the veto to keep your taxes low and to
keep federal spending under control."
Who can believe that? Normblog, maybe.


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