President Bush Rejects A Heaven-sent Gift

By Gus Tyler

Published August 29, 2003, issue of August 29, 2003.
  • Print
  • Share Share

It was not easy for President Bush to manipulate matters to get the United States involved in a war in Iraq. But, he did it — although it cost him his credibility with many Americans. But now he faces a tougher task: getting out of Iraq.

Officially, the war ended May 1. But now it appears that the real war started on the day our president declared the war ended.

This is not the first time that the Iraqis have outwitted their conquerors. After World War I, the British occupied Iraq. The legendary Lawrence of Arabia declared in 1920 that the British had been led “into a trap from which it will be hard to escape with dignity and honor.” He concluded: “We are today not far from a disaster.”

History repeats itself. We — the United States — are now in the same position as the British Empire was 83 years ago. The day the war was declared over, the real war started, and each day it escalates. Fanatical Muslims the Islamic world over now have a convenient target. We are in Iraq, making it easy for any zealous Muslim to take a shot at the “white Satan.”

Those in charge of the American operation are talking about creating a friendly Iraqi army some four years from now. Meanwhile, the cost to the U.S. Treasury runs into the multibillions each month, and the body count of American soldiers lost continues to climb.

The big question now is how to get out — with dignity and honor. The United Nations has offered to help. This offer is a heaven-sent opportunity for Bush to get out of Iraq with dignity and honor. Step by step, the United States can withdraw troops as the U.N. enlarges its presence. Ultimately, this international body could cope with this international problem. As a side benefit, the United States once more renews its ties with the U.N. and its multinational constituents. In many ways, the U.N. offer may be seen as a heaven-sent gift to our president.

But, alas, the president has made it clear that he will not share the running of Iraq with the U.N. One wonders why.

Could it be that if the U.N. plays an active role in the reconstruction of Iraq it will propose that contracts on the reconstruction of Iraq not be awarded to American corporations without competitive bidding?

Could it possibly be that the president is more interested in limiting the reconstruction of Iraq to firms whose principals supply him with billions for election campaigns than he is in finding a way to get out of the Iraqi morass?

The official line of the White House is that it does not need the U.N. because we can enlist the support of many nations in supplying the manpower needed to do the job in Iraq. No doubt there are such countries somewhere. But they are surely not countries that will quarrel with Bush about the award of contracts or anything else. They will, unlike the U.N., be a rubber stamp.

But whatever happens, Bush will be entrapped in a trap of his own making, a case of Bush ambushing Bush.






Find us on Facebook!
  • “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:
  • After years in storage, Toronto’s iconic red-and-white "Sam the Record Man" sign, complete with spinning discs, will return to public view near its original downtown perch. The sign came to symbolize one of Canada’s most storied and successful Jewish family businesses.
  • Is $4,000 too much to ask for a non-member to be buried in a synagogue cemetery?
  • "Let’s not fall into the simplistic us/them dichotomy of 'we were just minding our business when they started firing rockets at us.' We were not just minding our business. We were building settlements, manning checkpoints, and filling jails." What do you think?
  • 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.