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» Thursday, December 01, 2005

The World's Most Dangerous Man

It's George W. Bush!
You should be able to tell pretty succinctly that the idea of George W. Bush being the most dangerous man in the world is not a foreign concept to me.   In his role as White Hat Terrorist and bringer of doomsday he has filled the bill quite well.   The real reasons he has brought carnage and death to mesopotamia has always been a mystery rolling in the back of my mind.   If it were greed and lust for power it would become a little more understandable.   From where we are five years into his eventual legacy, it is hard to figure out.   This article by Justin Raimondo sheds a little light on the issue.   - fc

Behind The Headlines As a groggy and very hung-over American hegemon wakes from a dream of imperial dominion and faces the harsh light of morning in war-torn Iraq, the cruel reality of what General William E. Odom calls "the greatest strategic disaster" in our history is beginning to dawn on our political and military elites. The U.S. Senate, which originally signed on to the president's war policy by a 77-23 vote, is backing away, and even some in the president's own party are beginning to voice strong doubts about "staying the course." Especially when we are on a course set for the same disastrous fate that eventually overtook all the strutting imperialists of times past, who took on a weaker opponent only to find that there are different kinds of strength. As Martin van Creveld, a military historian of some note, put it in an interview not so long ago:
"Basically it's always a question of the relationship of forces. If you are strong, and you are fighting the weak for any period of time, you are going to become weak yourself. If you behave like a coward then you are going to become cowardly - it's only a question of time. The same happened to the British when they were here... the same happened to the French in Algeria... the same happened to the Americans in Vietnam... the same happened to the Soviets in Afghanistan... the same happened to so many people that I can't even count them."
No escape - that is precisely van Creveld's evaluation of our present conundrum, which, in his view, has earned our leaders the sharpest rebuke imaginable:
"For misleading the American people, and launching the most foolish war since Emperor Augustus in 9 B.C. sent his legions into Germany and lost them, Bush deserves to be impeached and, once he has been removed from office, put on trial along with the rest of the president's men. If convicted, they'll have plenty of time to mull over their sins."
This isn't some poster over at or Democratic Underground talking: van Creveld is the author of some 15 books on military history and strategy, including Supplying War (1977), Command in War (1985), and The Sword and the Olive (1998), and has been on the faculty of Hebrew University in Israel since 1971.

Yes, says van Creveld, we must withdraw, and it will be a long and very painful retreat, likely to incur many casualties, but it is nevertheless "inevitable." Yet, in his view:
"A complete American withdrawal is not an option; the region, with its vast oil reserves, is simply too important for that. A continued military presence, made up of air, sea and a moderate number of ground forces, will be needed."
The genie has busted out of the bottle, and - to mix metaphorical fables - all the president's men cannot put it back together again. If the idea of invading Iraq was to commit us irrevocably to a course set for perpetual war, then surely the cabal that lied us into Iraq has succeeded. The "creative destruction" they pined for has been visited on the Middle East, and the pillars of stability have been shattered, ushering in a new and far more credible threat to the region: the Shi'ite mullahs of Iran.

The irony is that, in conjuring a nonexistent nuclear-armed threat in Baghdad, we wound up empowering a real-world version of that imaginary monster - in Tehran.

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