The International Writers Magazine: Comment: Voting for More
Bush and the Death of Diplomacy
Larry S. Rolirad
can thank President GW Bush and the GOP for creating a world that
is more unstable and dangerous than it ever has been since the start
of the Cold War'.
A mutant Pandora's
Box filled with wars, weapons, and death has been opened by President
GW Bush when he initiated preemptive attacks against other sovereign
countries which posed zero threats to the United States.
There has been a lot of verbal sabre rattling from Iran saying they
want to preemptively attack Israel because Israel poses a threat to
Iran's nuclear weapons facilities. And guess what "model"
they are citing as an excuse to attack Israel? GW Bush's preemptive
strike against Iraq model, that's what. After all, GW Bush and
the GOP have established "preemptive strikes" as a way of
dealing with terrorists, even if the country they attack has no terrorists.
Iran has a valid reason, according the Bush Preemptive Strike Doctrine,
or "BPSD", for wanting to attack Israel. Israel has stated
that they want to attack Iran's nuclear weapons capability. Since Iran
would consider that to be an act of terrorism by Israel, then Iran has
every right to preemptively strike Israel to defend themselves, according
to the BPSD. Since Iran would be following in the same insane footsteps
of GW Bush, and the GOP, how can republicans denounce Iran? They can't,
and continue to justify their preemptive strike against Iraq, a country
that posed a zero threat to the United States.
Since any military strike between Iraq and Israel would require that
intercontinental ballistic missiles, armed with nuclear warheads, would
have to pass over Turkey, or Iraqi airspace, any such action could immerse
the entire Middle East in a massive war, especially if a nuclear warhead
went astray and hit a large civilian target.
President Bush, and those who control his every word and move, have
unopened a horrendous can of worms that will lead to very dire consequences
in the future. Using the Bush/GOP preemptive solutions to terrorism
opens up the door for any country to attack any other country if they
feel threatened, or more importantly, if they can manufacture a reason
for a preemptive attack, as the Bush Regime did against Iraq.
President Dwight D. Eisenhower said "The only way to save the world
is through diplomacy." Our country has plummeted a long way
since President Eisenhower made his very wise statement. Now we
have a 'leader' in the White House whose level of diplomatic expertise
can be summed up in three words, "Bring em on!".
We need a person in the White House with wisdom, intellect, and vision,
not a person who is limited to infantile sound bites designed to provoke
the illiterate masses into supporting a war that never had to be fought.
With a person with the stature and experience of Senator John Kerry
in the White House we could be winning the peace, instead of losing
the war. And we are losing the war.
Preemptive strikes against sovereign countries used to be violations
of international law. But no longer. Not since the leader
of the most powerful nation on earth has declared that he alone can
initiate a preemptive, unilateral attack on any country he chooses.
Americans must be reminded that we are living in a new era where cultural
differences are becoming increasingly important, in part in reaction
to globalization. Further, they must be reminded that public diplomacy
can develop international dialogues on these issues and at the very
least help avoid misunderstandings and conflicts that lead to terrorism.
The average American believes that Iraq is populated with a homogeneous
society. But that is not the case. There are three different
factions in Iraq. The Kurds in the northern areas of Iraq represent
almost 20 percent of the population. The Shias in the southern
areas of Iraq represent 60 percent of the population. The last
twenty percent, which make up forces of resistance to the American occupation
in Iraq, consist of Islamic militants who are easily crossing the porous
Iraq borders, and the Shiites who are indigenous to Iraq.
The entire country of Iraq has become a smorgasbord for insurgents to
wreak havoc. The largest group of insurgents are primarily young
male Shiites who are easily recruited because they see a future as a
dismal continuation of poverty and oppression. The typical insurgent
has no hope for the future. And when they see innocent Iraqis,
or members of their own families, being killed or mutilated they are
easily recruited by insurgent leaders, such as Muqtada al-Sadr, into
his Mahdi army.
The current Bush policy of killing people to achieve the peace is preposterous.
Under such a policy it will be impossible to unite the many segments
of the Iraqi population into a peaceful coalition. Until we can
respect the values of others, who have values different than ours, we
will never achieve peace in Iraq. The world cannot be viewed as
a battlefield in which we use our military as solutions to problems.
American policy makers must begin to realize that respecting cultural
differences is paramount to achieving successful and lasting results.
Instead of holding a gun with a hair-trigger at others, we need a public
diplomacy which is sensitive to others, to avoid misunderstandings and
conflicts that breed more and more terrorism.
The United States, under several presidents, has often failed miserably
on diplomatic fronts because it propped up and supported ruthless dictators
who oppressed and persecuted their people. That formula is one
of disaster because the more the people are oppressed the more they
feel helpless. And from their helplessness and persecution, at
the hands of dictators propped up by failed US foreign policy, the more
they want to strike back at those who are responsible for their plight.
And because the United States has sided with ruthless dictators, like
Saddam Hussein of Iraq, and the Shah of Iran, the people in those countries
began to hate the US and Americans for being responsible for their oppression.
Since most of the US's failed foreign policy decisions were made for
the benefit of American corporations, the people in the oppressed countries
had even more reasons to hate the US.
The notion that the insurgents in Iraq, or even members of Al Quaeda
hate our "freedom" is preposterous. They hate the United
States because of the long history of abuse by US corporations who have
always sided with dictators in order to make trillions of dollars.
If those corporations had any social consciousness they would have forced
the leaders of oil-rich countries to share the wealth with their people.
How would you feel if the United States resources were being sold out
from under your feet for the benefit of only the ruling class in the
country, and foreign corporations? How would you feel if you and
your families were threatened and murdered by a dictator in the United
States? If you lived a life of total poverty and loss of
all hope you would begin to resent the leaders in Washington, DC and
the foreign corporations who were making trillions off of the resources
in the United States. I am sure, under that scenario, that you
wouldn't just sit back and do nothing. You would want to strike
back at those who were oppressing and murdering you and your family.
We haven't learned much in the past 75 years of siding with cold-blooded
dictators, over the best interests of the people, specifically in the
Middle East. American oil corporations have been acting as coconspirators
with despots and dictators, against the people in their countries, all
in the name of oil. In most of the Middle East countries there
are only two classes of people. The first made up of a handful
of the extremely wealthy class, and the other made up of people living
in total poverty. And those who are mired in a lifetime of complete
poverty have no hope. And when people have no hope they learn
to strike back at those who are responsible for their plight.
And even though they are poor, they know that the United States is partially
responsible for their poverty. And from poverty and lack of hope
No one should be surprised at the level of resistance the United States
is facing in Iraq. The resistance will not only continue, it will
increase as time goes on. There will be no end to the war in Iraq
because as long as huge factions of Iraqis know who is responsible for
propping up people like Saddam Hussein against them they will continue
to speak out and act out against the United States. These people
know it was the US who supported Saddam Hussein with money and weapons.
And they know that those weapons were used to kill thousands of their
During Ronald Reagan's presidency, Saddam Hussein was given the resources
to acquire and use sarin, mustard, and VX nerve gasses against the Kurds
in northern Iraq. Thousands of Kurds were murdered on March
16, 1988 and August 25, 1988, during Ronald Reagan's presidency.
More than 4000 Kurdish villages were bulldozed. More than a half
million Kurds were killed from 1981 and 1988. Another half million additional
Kurds suffered from lingering afflictions or died horrific deaths because
of exposure to potent chemical and possibly biological weapons.
But the Reagan administration did nothing to stop the slaughter.
Neither did GHW Bush's administration, after he was elected in 1988.
Donald Rumsfeld, a special envoy of Ronald Reagan in his first presidential
term, met with Saddam Hussein in 1983. Rumsfeld is pictured warmly
shaking the hand of Saddam. International relations make strange
Both President Reagan, and the first President Bush, were friends of
Saddam Hussein, until Saddam invaded Kuwait, that is. Then, even
though it was well known that Saddam Hussein killed an untold number
of his own people, the first President Bush failed to capture or kill
Saddam during the first Gulf War. There were no protests or outcries
from members of President GHW Bush's republican party to kill or capture
Saddam for his abuses against his fellow man. They knew that Saddam
Hussein was a mass murderer. But it took twelve years after the
first Gulf War for republicans to start to speak out for the oppressed
Iraqis. And they only spoke out after Bush's war went sour and
no weapons of mass destruction were found. When WMDs were not
found republicans started to try to justify the Iraq War as a humanitarian
war to free the Iraqi people from a dictator. The current Bush
regime hasn't said a word about weapons of mass destruction in more
than a year.
Republicans are curiously silent with regard to other totalitarian regimes
on the planet. They aren't speaking out for the oppressed people
in China, North Korea, or even Cuba. Using Bush's preemptive strike
doctrine why aren't Bush and the GOP demanding that Fidel Castro step
down, and if he doesn't, invade Cuba? After all, Cuba is only ninety
miles away from our borders. Both China and North Korea have nuclear
weapons. They actually pose a threat to the United States. So
why isn't Bush unilaterally declaring war against them? Oh well,
consistency is not a trait you would find in a typical republican.
We are at a juncture where there is a great number of people in the
United States who are for preemptive attacks to achieve a desired resolution
to a problem, and a great number of people who embrace diplomacy as
an alternate to war. The coming election will be a contest between
these two forces. If people choose war to solve problems for a
short term perceived gain, they will vote for President Bush.
If they desire complex diplomatic solutions to problems for long term
gains, they will vote for Senator John Kerry. The presidential
election is decided by a host of different issues, but I feel that the
most important issue in this election cycle is safety of our citizens.
And future safety of our country depends on solving problems diplomatically,
and not by war, after war, after war. Any fool can go to war,
but it takes someone with intelligence, wisdom and restraint to keep
We need to keep lines of communication open between countries.
That is the key to being able to achieve diplomatic solutions, rather
than wars. Americans need to be convinced that we are living in
a new era of globalization where understanding cultural differences
is crucial to successful resolutions. If we do not constantly
work for peace, we will always become mired in war.
© Larry S. Rolirad Oct 18th 2004
all rights reserved