Sunday, June 27

LA Times: "A Monument to Folly"

The LAT usually presents three editorials on its Opinion page. The only exceptions are their election recommendations and rarely, the unusual news circumstance. 9/11 and the beginning of the Iraq war were recent examples.

Today, the three-editorial format was dispensed for one scathing piece on the Iraq handover. If you're a Bush fan, proceed at your own risk.

The Disaster of Failed Policy

June 27, 2004

In its scale and intent, President Bush's war against Iraq was something new and radical: a premeditated decision to invade, occupy and topple the government of a country that was no imminent threat to the United States. This was not a handful of GIs sent to overthrow Panamanian thug Manuel Noriega or to oust a new Marxist government in tiny Grenada. It was the dispatch of more than 100,000 U.S. troops to implement Bush's post-Sept. 11 doctrine of preemption, one whose dangers President John Quincy Adams understood when he said the United States "goes not abroad, in search of monsters to destroy."

In the case of Vietnam, the U.S. began by assisting a friendly government resisting communist takeover in a civil war, though the conflict disintegrated into a failure that still haunts this country. The 1991 Persian Gulf War, under Bush's father, was a successful response to Iraq's invasion and occupation of Kuwait - and Bush's father deliberately stopped short of toppling Saddam Hussein and occupying Iraq.

The current president outlined a far more aggressive policy in a speech to the West Point graduating class in 2002, declaring that in the war on terror "we must take the battle to the enemy" and confront threats before they emerge. The Iraq war was intended as a monument to his new Bush Doctrine, which also posited that the U.S. would take what help was available from allies but would not be held back by them. It now stands as a monument to folly.
This is literally just too huge to post here, so instead of having to register to read it, we've mirrored it here. White House staffers will be walking funny after this spanking.