President Bush Failed To Heed His Father’s Warnings

By Gus Tyler

Published April 16, 2004, issue of April 16, 2004.
  • Print
  • Share Share

The gruesome events in Iraq on the day before April Fool’s Day are a painful confirmation of what the elder President Bush foretold would happen if Uncle Sam decided to go after Saddam Hussein and remove him from office.

On March 31, four American civilians working for a security firm in Falluja, Iraq, were ambushed and killed. The victims’ bodies were burned. The corpses were dragged through the streets while jubilant mobs demonstrated their frenzied delight. At least two of the bodies were then put on public display, hanging from the rafters of a bridge over the Euphrates River.

Meanwhile, just a few miles away, five American soldiers were killed when a roadside bomb ripped through their armored personnel carrier. All this happened almost a year after the war against Iraq started and, significantly, after Saddam had been captured by American forces.

Could or would anyone have prophesied such an outburst of outrage on the part of a people we were “liberating”? The answer: yes. And the name of the prophet is George H.W. Bush.

In 1998, some seven years after the Gulf War, Bush and his national security adviser, Brent Scowcroft, wrote a book, “A World Transformed,” in which they gave several reasons why they did not go after Saddam and get rid of him. One of the reasons was confirmed by the recent events in Falluja. “Had we gone the invasion route,” they wrote, “the U.S. could conceivably still be an occupying power in a bitterly hostile land.”

Bush and Scowcroft had no illusions that Uncle Sam would be hailed by the Iraqi people as their liberator. Over centuries, Iraq (once called Mesopotamia) was overrun by the Greeks, the Persians, the British, each proclaiming that it was bringing a superior culture to the people of the oldest civilization on earth. When Uncle Sam, with bayonet pointing, proclaimed the same, the Iraqi people reacted with violent opposition.

This must have come as a startling surprise to Donald Rumsfeld, our secretary of defense. Just after the war in Iraq started, Rumsfeld predicted that it would be over in a few weeks, maybe months. And he was right — in a formal sense. After heavy bombing, American troops took over almost without any resistance. And the current President Bush declared “mission accomplished.”

At that time, as some of our readers may recall, I wrote a column im which I wrote: “When Rumsfeld made his original prediction he was thinking of a formal war which ends when American occupation troops take over the government of Iraq. But, by now, Rumsfeld must know that such an end is very likely to turn into the beginning of the real war — the war between the occupying armies and the well-trained, well-armed, well-equipped and highly motivated terrorists who will look upon the occupiers as so many sitting ducks.” Most regrettably, the events of the last few days confirm the warning of Papa Bush.

Meanwhile the down-to-earth pols in both the Republican and Democratic parties are wondering whether the recent anti-American outbursts in Iraq are helping or hurting Bush’s campaign for re-election. Will the recent events justify the war for “regime change” in Iraq, or will we finally end up with a regime change in the United States — or both?






Find us on Facebook!
  • What's for #Shabbat dinner? Try Molly Yeh's coconut quinoa with dates and nuts. Recipe here:
  • Can animals suffer from PTSD?
  • Is anti-Zionism the new anti-Semitism?
  • "I thought I was the only Jew on a Harley Davidson, but I was wrong." — Gil Paul, member of the Hillel's Angels. http://jd.fo/g4cjH
  • “This is a dangerous region, even for people who don’t live there and say, merely express the mildest of concern about the humanitarian tragedy of civilians who have nothing to do with the warring factions, only to catch a rash of *** (bleeped) from everyone who went to your bar mitzvah! Statute of limitations! Look, a $50 savings bond does not buy you a lifetime of criticism.”
  • That sound you hear? That's your childhood going up in smoke.
  • "My husband has been offered a terrific new job in a decent-sized Midwestern city. This is mostly great, except for the fact that we will have to leave our beloved NYC, where one can feel Jewish without trying very hard. He is half-Jewish and was raised with a fair amount of Judaism and respect for our tradition though ultimately he doesn’t feel Jewish in that Larry David sort of way like I do. So, he thinks I am nuts for hesitating to move to this new essentially Jew-less city. Oh, did I mention I am pregnant? Seesaw, this concern of mine is real, right? There is something to being surrounded by Jews, no? What should we do?"
  • "Orwell described the cliches of politics as 'packets of aspirin ready at the elbow.' Israel's 'right to defense' is a harder narcotic."
  • From Gene Simmons to Pink — Meet the Jews who rock:
  • The images, which have since been deleted, were captioned: “Israel is the last frontier of the free world."
  • As J Street backs Israel's operation in Gaza, does it risk losing grassroots support?
  • What Thomas Aquinas might say about #Hamas' tunnels:
  • The Jewish bachelorette has spoken.
  • "When it comes to Brenda Turtle, I ask you: What do you expect of a woman repressed all her life who suddenly finds herself free to explore? We can sit and pass judgment, especially when many of us just simply “got over” own sexual repression. But we are obliged to at least acknowledge that this problem is very, very real, and that complete gender segregation breeds sexual repression and unhealthy attitudes toward female sexuality."
  • "Everybody is proud of the resistance. No matter how many people, including myself, disapprove of or even hate Hamas and its ideology, every single person in Gaza is proud of the resistance." Part 2 of Walid Abuzaid's on-the-ground account of life in #Gaza:
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.