TV news has been running a clip where Dubya says that Kerry has about eight different positions on Iraq. Dubya seems to think that what America needs is one single stable position on Iraq, but I scratch my head wondering what that position might be. As near as I can tell, Bush's stable position seems to be summarized by "Bring 'em on!"
I mean, let's face it. How can Americans have a stable position when in the minds of most of us back before the war, back in 2002 and early 2003, we believed we needed to go to Iraq to disarm Saddam Hussein from all of his WMDs that so threatened our security. How can we, now knowing the truth about that supposed threat, not change our position about that threat? How can we still view Iraq as a threat to American security? And now that Saddam has been removed from power, how can we justify this new rhetoric that makes the Iraqi people themselves our enemy?
I suppose, we do that by deluding ourselves into thinking that we thought that way all along?
Or do we do it by convincing ourselves that the opposition to the presence of the US military in Iraq doesn't reflect the opinion of significant political elements in Iraq? Instead, we brand those opposed to the US presence as "insurgents" and "terrorists?" That way, we convince ourselves that this "enemy" pre-existed the war?
But there are rumors "out there" that suggest that the US military isn't just out in Iraq to secure Iraqi democracy. There are rumors that the US is building permanent military bases in Iraq. The American people don't seem to know anything about that, but if it is true, don't you suppose the Iraqi people might know?
If those rumors are true - and as far as I can see, there's no reason to doubt them - then how can we believe that Bush intends to remove the troops any time in the near future? I mean, are we expected to believe that the American taxpayers are so generous that we are building permanent military bases that we intend the Iraqi military to use in the near future? Somehow I just don't think that's what is happening and I doubt that the Iraqi people believe that either.
I tend to think that when Bush refers to the "enemy" in Iraq, what he is really talking about is anybody in Iraq who opposes the idea of a permanent US military presence in Iraq.
I also tend to think that Bush sees that same "enemy" here in America. Any American opposed to the permanent deployment of US troops in Iraq is an enemy of the Bush agenda. But the thing is, if Bush were to actually admit his agenda to the world, that would add a huge amount of fuel to the fire. It would feed the "enemy." The outrage in the Middle East as well as in the rest of the world would be overwhelming.
So the Bush approach, that stable American position on Iraq, has to be a deception. Americans all have to agree to appear as though we will bring the troops home once some elusive objective is achieved. But the thing is, none of us know what that objective really is. The publicly stated American objective is about as stable as a sand bar in a hurricane.
The unfortunate thing about the Bush agenda is that Bush can't tell us the truth. That part I do understand. I'm not too thick-headed to see that. But what I don't understand is why Kerry isn't telling us the truth either. Why is Kerry searching in the dark for some kind of angle that the American voter can latch on to while he himself just continues the Bush tradition of deception? Are we supposed to be blind to Kerry's lies just because he calls Bush a liar?
Where is the truth? What is the truth? Is the truth really so objectionable that the whole world would rise up in opposition to us if we spoke it? If that's really the case, then what does that say about the United States? Have we really become the empire that we have always denied being? Are we an empire that must deceive the world with lies in order to suppers opposition? And are those who disagree with this policy really the "enemy?" Are we that divided now?