Tuesday, December 13, 2005

The Price of Hubris and Delusions

The most popular man under a democracy is not the most democratic man, but the most despotic man. The common folk delight in the exactions of such a man. They like him to boss them. Their natural gait is the goosestep.
–H.L. Mencken

In America we get what we deserve in our leaders because we elect them. Often, by design, ignorance or apathy—we do not closely examine their exhortations or philosophy. We embrace their delusions as our own and ride them on the shallow surface of reality’s riptide. Only when reality tugs at our person do we begin the confront the delusion. In this pattern we are condemned to repeating history.

George W. Bush embraced his inner circle's delusions that, as the world’s superpower, the United States could successfully impose democracy in the Middle East by the invasion and occupation of Iraq—thus assuring us of a solidified and tranquil source of oil. In one bold swoop of Pax-Amricana, we would rid the world of a two-bit dictator and erode the fervor of Islamic radicals.

Nevermind that Saddam Hussein had no relationship with Al Qaeda. Nevermind that Saddam Hussein was a secular egotist who's military had been decimated by the Gulf War. Nevermind that he was in line behind much more dangerous tyrants---like Kim Jong-il of Korea, for example. Americans fell in lockstep behind the Big Lie that Iraq was an imminent threat our way of life

Now, we are now seeing the tug of reality at work in the debate over how to free our troops from the Tar Baby of Iraq. In fact, the debate is only posturing to cover the political rear ends of the Bush administration and the democrats who gave them the green light to invade Iraq. The outcome of all this was preordained.

George Bush will bring the troops home in a fashion dictated by maximum political advantage. There will be much breast beating by the GOP chicken hawks--- and the substitute delusion will be that we are leaving a free Iraq, having established a fledgling democracy and set it on its course.

The reality is that by abandoning the real war on terrorism in Afghanistan and buying into the phony scenario that linked Iraq with Al Qaeda and 9/11—we have facilitated an increase in terrorism and made the world a much more dangerous place. The reality is that President Bush will ride away into a Crawford sunset, leaving Iraq in the jaws of chaos.

The price is untold thousands of Iraqi lives sacrificed on the alter of George Bush’s hubris and delusions. The price will be seen in the eyes of thousands of Americans who will struggle to find justification in the loss of a loved one.

The legacy will be a tear in the social fabric that will haunt us for years to come, much like that of Vietnam.

Bill Sanders

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