Running Scared: Observations of a Former Republican
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"Losing my faith in humanity ... one neocon at a time."

Monday, December 27, 2004

Fantasy Fighting

posted by Jazz at 12/27/2004 07:02:00 AM


Welcome back, and I hope that all of you who celebrate Christmas had an excellent holiday. Unfortunately, you'll have to be dragged, kicking and screaming, back into reality at some point so we may as well start with some observations from Bob Herbert. Hang on to your hats.

Now hold your breath. According to the article, "Among the ideas cited by Defense Department officials is the idea of 'fighting for intelligence,' or commencing combat operations chiefly to obtain intelligence." That is utter madness. The geniuses in Washington have already launched one bogus war, which has cost tens of thousands of lives and provoked levels of suffering that are impossible to quantify. We don't need to be contemplating new forms of warfare waged for the sole purpose of gathering intelligence.

Now, I don't know about anyone else, but this strikes me as some pretty bad news to welcome in the post Christmas season. Utter madness indeed, Bob. Then again, as we were saying well before the November elections, if you elect a madman, you get madness.

A preemptive war against a nation that you suspect of doing something wrong is already well beyond "bad enough." Launching military action simply to gain intelligence that you might need to launch your next war is insane.

The war in Iraq was the result of powerful government figures imposing their dangerous fantasies on the world. The fantasies notably included the weapons of mass destruction, the links between Al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein, the throngs of Iraqis hurling kisses and garlands at the invading Americans, and the spread of American-style democracy throughout the Middle East. All voices of caution were ignored and the fantasies were allowed to prevail.

The world is not a video game, although it must seem like it at times to the hubristic, hermetically sealed powerbrokers in Washington who manipulate the forces that affect the lives of so many millions of people in every region of the planet. That kind of power calls for humility, not arrogance, and should be wielded wisely, not thoughtlessly and impulsively.

This latest overreach by Mr. Rumsfeld is a sign that the administration, like a hardheaded adolescent, has learned little or nothing from the tragic consequences of its wrongheaded policies. The second term is coming, so buckle up. It promises to be a very dangerous four years.

Somebody shout Amen! (Oh... sorry. I thought I was at a tent revival there for a moment.) Rumsfeld needed to be fired before he first stepped foot in his office. The price we have paid for his incompetence, hubris and ice cold blindness is beyond calculation. Allowing this man, of all people. to be in charge of the gathering of new intelligence that might affect military decisions is yet another sign that our red state friends have managed to put a deranged simian in the White House for another term.

Somewhere out there is an old story concerning the dangers of handing a loaded pistol to a monkey. Something about the consequences of not learning from history comes to mind, but I can't quite spell it out.

Yikes! I had already written this before checking to see that Ron had already looked into this article. Take a peek.