Friday, August 20, 2004

The Real Reason for War

The Real Reason for War

There has been much consternation on the part of the punditocracy over the Bush administration's missteps and outright refusal to explain exactly why he went to war against So Dumb Insane's Iraq. He made a few speeches and then left the rest of us to wonder just what exactly were his real reasons for committing our forces to the battle. Imminent threat? No, not imminent, said the president. We can not wait for the threat to be imminent. Weapons of Mass Destruction? Maybe the best-articulated reason to go to war (casus belli for the Latin-using set) was the posession of WMDs. The ability to manufacture WMDs is the closest we have to a reason to go to war, but an examination of the record shows that Bush never really said that WMDs are the reason we need to attack So Dumb. The fact is, he never gave us a single reason, yet he hinted at many reasons, to commit our forces and national prestige to the overthrow of the fascist regime in Iraq.

Today, Iran, maybe the most virulent, and surely one of the two most dangerous, enemies that we have today, eloquently gave the American people the best reason, or at least the grandest outcome, of our foray into Middle Eastern military affairs. The Mullahs have declared that our presence on both their eastern and western borders makes them nervous, and have directly threatened us with attack, because they feel "squeezed" by the presence of strong U.S. forces so close to their atom bomb factory and the rest of their homeland. They have threatened us with a preemptive attack, which, added to their threat to attack Israel with nuclear weapons, paints them as the hysterical, mad mullahs that many had already thought them to be.

The idea that Iran would attack over the border into Iraq, with several divisions of U.S. troops there already is so foolish that it boggles the mind. They could not succeed at such a mission over a ten year war against Iraq, and the American troops waiting for them this time rolled over their vaunted Republican Guard in record time. Such an attack would merely accomplish two things. One, if they would attack within the next three months, they would guarantee a 50 state Bush victory. Two, such an attack would make easier the intervention that some nation will have to undertake anyway, before the Iranian nuclear reactor goes hot. The idea that these loonies would actually propose such folly makes one wonder just exactly who is their audience for such ravings.

In fairness to the mad mullahs, it must be uncomfortable to have American troops to their left and right when they have such a history of calling us vile names for the last 25 years. They know that we know that they hate our guts, and now we have contrived to place heavy armored forces on their borders, with ther capability to attack them from two fronts on a moments notice. It doesn't take a conspiracy theorist to divine some method that brought this situation into existence. As a method of concentrating the mind, the possibility if imminent defeat at the hands of the Great Satan sounds like a very effective one.

Yet, Bush refuses to take credit for this masterful maneuver. We have insinuated our forces into the middle of the region of the world that is most dangerous to us, and our public stance is that it is all some sort of lucky mistake. The people of Iran, who, arguably want to create an American style democracy more than the citizens of any other Muslim nation, must surely draw encouragement from our presence in the region. The leaders of Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Syria, and even Turkey must now be quite a bit more inclined to see things our way now that the 600 pound gorilla is actually right next door. But Iran is unique in that they have us on both their east and west borders. And George W. Bush must get all the credit. Or at least the blame. The only reason that we are in this position is the decisions of one man. Putting our forces there was his doing. We are now forward-deployed, in the belly of the beast, ready to take on our enemies there instead of here. That is the real reason we went to war in Iraq. At the least, of the several obvious reasons, this is the very best one.