Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Living with the Decisions of the Decider

Guest Blog by Bartlebee

Well here we are, five years later.

Many of us said "don't go" but we were shouted down. Now, five years later and hundreds of thousands of dead, Bin Laden's still running around making home movies — and George Bush and Dick Cheney are still talking about patriotism and waving the flag.

The fruits of the decision to invade Iraq now have now been examined and the results are in. We're in a mess. Bush and Cheney did not have the courage to take the momentum we had immediately after 911 and rally the world to a UN supported US led incursion into Kashmir to root out Osama Bin Laden and his thugs and to garner the support of both India and Pakistan for such an incursion, which he could have done had he acted quickly and "decisively. Back when we had the momentum the world would have gotten behind us on any remotely reasonable plan to strike back at terrorists following the terrible images they witnessed of the 911 attacks. The world was with us. It was like we had been given an international credit card and the sky's the limit. And we could have used that card to buy our way into Kashmir and root out the son of a bitch and his thugs who murdered Americans on 911. We would have had him by the balls. But because they were cowards Bush and Cheney took that credit card and squandered the entire balance on invading Iraq, because they were afraid of what an invasion of Kashmir and UN and US forces in Pakistan and even India might mean.

Suppose Bin Laden supporters in Pakistan, where he enjoys the support of more than half the country, rose up and a war breaks out on a larger scale? Suppose it goes nuclear and Russia or China get pissed and things get hairy? These were the demons lurking in Bush's thoughts and he could not bring himself to confront them. So instead of dealing with the intricacies of such a potentially messy engagement in Pakistan and Kashmir, Bush and Cheney decided to squander the balance on their international 911 credit card by invading Iraq, making false claims about their involvement in 911 and WMD to sell their "poor mans war".

But the "bitch of the bunch" is where we are now.

Stuck literally between “Iraq and a hard place”.

Because now, that momentum is gone. The balance on our international 911 charge card is zero. In fact, it’s overdrawn. We are morally bankrupt as far as the rest of the world is concerned, so I guess it’s only fitting as far as fate is concerned that we’re also financially bankrupt as well. Problem is, we need the international credit to buy our way out of here. We need that international good moral credit to do the hard things we’re going to have to do to either capture or kill Osama Bin Laden and his thugs.

We know where they are. They’re in or around Kashmir or other remote regions in Pakistan, protected by his loyalists. All we have to do then is go get him right? Like we should have done when we had him cornered at Tora Bora and Bush let him go, like he did for about 70 his family members 2 days after 911 (still waiting for an answer on that one). But unfortunately Kashmir is a disputed region between two cold war countries, both that happen to be nuclear armed. And the US military is not allowed in, nor is the UN.

What we need to go get Bin Laden is “momentum”. Like the momentum we had right after 911. But that momentums gone and it ain’t coming back. Even if we were to be attacked again we won’t likely garner the international empathy we had post 911. Not after we’ve squandered their previous empathy so wantonly. Instead we’ll likely see a cold shoulder, and probably more than one lecture by other nations about starting wars with people who never attacked us. But we won’t gain their overwhelming support. The kind of support we’d need to initiate a US led UN supported incursion into Pakistan to get Bin Laden.

Come on. We all know he’s there. We’ve known that since 2003. But we just don’t have the means to go get him now. Bush and Cheney did not show courage after 911 by invading Iraq. They showed fear. Fear of going after Bin Laden like they promised they would because they thought it would be too hard. And possibly for other reasons yet to be identified.

So here we are, 5 years later, and no Bin Laden, Al Quaida going strong, and our international moral credit account bankrupt as is our national purse. And we have more important problems at the moment other than holding those responsible for this trainwreck accountable. We still have to get the guys who attacked us on 911. Make no mistake about it, we cannot let them get away. We need to capture or kill those responsible if we're ever hoping to be respected again by our enemies, whom we have many. Even more now thanks to our trainwreck that was the decision to invade Iraq. Bush and Cheney claim it doesn't matter and that we'll get him "sooner or later", but it does matter. It matters a lot. For all their talk of "going after the bad guys" the reality is they have done nothing to actually get the bad guys who they say attacked us. And at this rate Bin Laden will die of old age or kidney failure before we bring him to the "justice" Bush so loudly boasted of from his megaphone while standing on the bodies of 3000 dead Americans.

So now we are stuck, for the want of a better pun and at the cost of being redundant between Iraq and a hard place, the hard place being the chore still waiting the men and women of our military and our federal law enforcement agencies assuming we ever get around to electing a leader who will assign them to it.

And perhaps more difficult, we have to find a way to rebuild our squandered international moral credit before doing all this because until we do no ones going to just walk us into Kashmir and let us do the job we should have done in the fall of 2001, thanks to the Bush\Cheney doctrine. So 5 years later, all Bush and Cheney have given us is more overwhelming challenges to deal with, and we still have the one we had to deal with on Sept 12, 2001 waiting on our to do list.

Heckuva Job.