Who Is To Blame?
I realize it’s unfair to the vast majority of our soldiers in uniform, but for years to come the perception of the U.S. military that will remain vivid for millions of Arabs in the Middle East will be that of helpless Iraqi prisoners being humiliated by American soldiers. Meanwhile, worse photos may yet emerge in the coming days.
Who is to blame?
According to an Army Times lead editorial, “This was not just a failure of leadership at the local command level. This was failure that ran straight to the top. Accountability here is essential – even if that means relieving top leaders from duty in a time of war.” It goes on to state that Rumsfeld’s message to our troops from the beginning of the war has been “anything goes.” In addition, the Red Cross is now reporting that 90% of Iraqi prisoners have been arrested “by mistake.” According to yet another report, such incompetence is “business as usual.”
I agree with Ron Paul: It’s time for Congress to stop passing the buck. It’s time to return to the principles laid down in the U.S. Constitution. It’s time to stop pursuing unconstitutional wars in a vain attempt to spread U.S.-styled democracy at the cost of precious American lives.
In my forthcoming book Why I Stopped Listening to Rush: Confessions of a Recovering Neocon, I state it this way:
Few things in current politics make me more frustrated or angry than seeing the statist “bait and switch” argument used by Washington politicians to justify our recent war with Iraq. The Bush administration, following its new “National Security Strategy” asserting that the U.S. will maintain global hegemony permanently, had led us into an unnecessary war that has cost the lives of thousands of Iraqis and hundreds of Americans. No weapons of mass destruction (WMD) have been found; no “imminent” threat to American security has been proved; acts of terrorism have increased; the ranks of al Qaeda have swollen; and the U.S. has become involved in a Vietnam-like quagmire from which it will take years to extract itself and which will almost certainly lead to a fiscal train wreck. The neoconservative elite in Washington tell us the U.S. is only “protecting” its own interests. What is being protected is U.S. power carried out unilaterally by America, reiterating the maxim of the Greek historian Thucydides that “large nations do what they wish, while small nations accept what they must.”
Our unprovoked war of aggression against Iraq has done nothing but increase the anger and hatred of our enemies in the Middle East, whose motivation stemmed largely from our stationing of troops on holy ground in Saudi Arabia and from a brutal 12-year embargo of Iraq that contributed directly to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqi civilians. The irony of this is not lost on the Iraqis. They recall that throughout the 70s the U.S. government was an ardent support of Saddam Hussein and even supplied him with WMD that he used against his own people, with the full knowledge of U.S. officials. Thus it was our own foreign policy, combined with our gross negligence to anticipate the attacks of 9/11 or to defend our porous borders, that engendered the terrorist attacks in New York and the Pentagon.
And, after all this, all we get from Rumsfeld is “I’m sorry”?
Today a wrongful pride has wormed its way into American society on a national level. Even when our pride is not openly blatant, because we intentionally hide its presence, it still saps the spiritual life that complete dependence on God provides. In an age of heady globalization, Americans no longer fear the Almighty. Tragically, it appears that we prefer instead the axis of hubris, the officious strut, the Brave New World.
It’s time for our elected officials in Washington to stop shifting the blame and take full responsibility for getting us into this global mess.
May 12, 2004
David Alan Black is the editor of www.daveblackonline.com. His latest book, Why I Stopped Listening to Rush: Confessions of a Recovering Neocon, will be released this year.