For a long time I have been wondering what it would men if George Bush really means the things he says. What if when he says things are going well in Iraq, he really means it? I mean, here is John Edwards spreading the word that Bush is "out of touch" with America, how can anyone fix a problem if he denies that there even is a problem, all that kind of thing. And here are the Bush supporters silently, secretly, believing that Bush didn't anticipate the extent of the post-war problems in Iraq but also believing that everything possible is being done to advance stability and democracy over there.
But what nobody is considering is the possibility that the continued and escalating opposition to the US military presence is actually something that Bush considers to be positive, good for the future of American interests in the Middle East. I can see at least two different ways that this could be possible. One of those ways has become common rhetoric for the Bush administration. The other way, if it is true, is still a secret.
The first way this could be possible is the "bring it on" mentality. We all know that Bush used this phrase in 2003, well after the US occupation of Iraq was accomplished, to invite Islamic militants to come to Iraq to fight their war. In the 2004 campaign, Bush is spreading an illusion of security by pointing out that Americans are safer if we wage the war on terror over there as opposed to fighting terrorists here at home. From that, I would conclude that military action, killing "terrorists" and anyone who either does or might in the future harbor terrorists, is a good thing. Bush is right. Things are going as planned in Iraq. Bush isn't "out of touch," as Edwards and Kerry claim, he is merely operating under a different set of values. War and killing in the name of national security is a positive thing in the Bush value system. It is a sign of "good" to kill "evil."
That mentality may win votes in America, but it won't win the purse strings of those who are financing the war. I think there is a much more practical way of justifying the escalating violence in Iraq.
I think the United States is standing at a crossroads in its history. We are facing the need to make a difficult and potentially very painful choice. Several things have delivered us to this crossroads. One is that we have used, and to a large extent squandered, our domestic petroleum supply. We have become heavily dependent on foreign oil. The second, and just as serious, problem is that year after year, we are exposing ourselves to a balance of trade deficit. We are selling our souls for cheap foreign goods. And as if that weren't enough, we are shipping our own manufacturing capacity overseas in the name of free trade. And we are doing this with no solution in sight with respect to jobs for American workers or the means to balance foreign trade.
I tend to link the Iraq War and the occupation that has followed with this economic world trade problem. I think there are people of influence, American capitalists, bankers, politicians, and planners, who believe that in order for the US to remain economically viable in the new global economy, we need to dominate the energy industry. Capturing Iraq's resources and establishing a strong military presence in the Middle East is key to accomplishing that goal.
Bush knows this. He knows how important it is for the US to have military bases in Iraq. He knows how central Iraq is to the supply of oil and gas to Asia and Europe. He knows that Iraq lies close enough to the Gulf and to the Caspian Basin to provide air superiority support to both regions and to any regions where pipelines could deliver this energy to either Asia or Europe. He also knows how important it is for US corporations to access that oil. He understands both military and economic hegemony. He understands the balance of trade problem and how important it is for the US to establish dominance in the world energy supply.
If there was peace in Iraq now, the American public and the world would expect the US to bring its military home from Iraq. The world would not consider it appropriate for the US to maintain a strong military presence in a peaceful Iraq.
Bush knows this. So when Bush says things are going well in Iraq, is he "out of touch" or does he know and has he accepted that which we have not yet accepted as a nation, that the US needs to continue this war in Iraq, that war, not peace, is a good thing?
Four more years? You tell me...