Thursday, December 23, 2004

Bill's Fiction

I do not believe it is helpful to readers and the general discourse about Iraq war, the way Bill (Roth Plot II, William Safire, New York Times, December 20, 2004) is trying to spin the wheel here. The basic debate here is whether the ones who opposed the war had in effect derelict their responsibility or the ones who have been backing the war in effect being irresponsible aggressor. Facts play important role in the debate. Those who opposed the war received all sorts of invectives until the facts came out. When all the facts regarding the rationale for the war in the end indeed surfaced and the reality of Iraq war started to unfold in a seriously wrong way; the war supporters are now resorting to the “mind game” of “what would have happened if there was no Iraq invasion”. There are two trends now for the war supporters to continue to justify the war and postpone the day of History when they have to accept that this war has been a mistake. Remember, it took around 25 years for Robert McNamara to admit that Vietnam war was indeed a mistake and a wrong war. ('Yet we were wrong, terribly wrong. We owe it to future generations to explain why." I can not say about longevity of anyone, including myself; but hope that many of these supporters will be around to admit this mistake. Better, if they do not take this long to admit it. The first line of defense is President Bush’s line that the war is now about Democracy in Iraq. Well, true but we did not start the war with that view. Moreover, there are possibly far more appropriate candidates for inculcating Democracy than this mess of Iraq. I mean President Bush falls flat on his face when on the one hand he says Americans are dying in Iraq for Democracy but at the same time goes out of his way to host many dictators of the world, likes of Pakistani President Dictator Musharraf, in White House. There are far more worthy and more effective steps American Government can undertake to spread Democracy in the world than spending Billions of American Tax Payers and letting kill young Americans in Iraq.

The other line is what Bill is advocating here – fictionalizing world events in a direction suitable to his argument if there were no Iraq war. I have all the respect for Bill’s imagination and his abilities to speculate. But he needs to understand that it is in the end worthless piece of some babble to which war opposition can retort back in equal numbers and strongly. Where does that lead to us? Bill is grown up during the Cold War and so he should know that there were far more serious and sinister plots build, practiced and followed to act upon by Soviet Union. How did America handle that? How was the Cuban Missile Crisis handled? Bill and supporters of war like him need to come down from their hyper plane ride of high morals and need to put their feet on ground. Such a speculative account is no justification for war. The other side can go on and on in terms how Saddam would have been strangled with the active forces in Iraq; how the life would have been made miserable to UN and Food for Oil Program Managers to reveal what was happening there; how unfretted access to multinational forces within Iraq would have completely strangled Saddam in terms of pursuing any WMDs.; and so on. Bill, we are in the 21st century where this Defense Secretary wants to create the advanced Army and hence America should have taken the challenge of how to “fix” a dictator like Saddam without needing the messy and incompetent current Iraq war. Then we would not have required Bill to invent fiction to justify the war.

December 21, 2004.

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