And President George W. Bush will come out looking a lot better than most people think.
. . . by the time George Bush entered the White House in January 2001, the United States was already at war with Iraq, and in fact had been at war for a decade,
Then came September 11.
Saddam’s ties to terrorist groups . . . Hamas, the Palestine Liberation Front, and Yasir Arafat’s private army (Force 17) . . . Islamic Jihad . . . Saddam was willing to work with any terrorists who targeted the United States and its allies, and he reached out to al-Qaeda-affiliated groups (and vice-versa) whenever the occasion warranted.
Saddam had the WMD know-how, as well as probable stockpiles, that terrorist groups like al Qaeda might want for future operations.
Saddam’s declared antipathy toward the United States. In 1993 he had hatched a plot to assassinate his then-nemesis, former President Bush, during a visit by the latter to Kuwait. A “general suspicion” among Clinton-administration officials, in Pollack’s words, was that Saddam was also “working on a variety of terrorist contingencies” in the event that the United States ever tried to topple his regime. He was the only world leader who actually applauded the attacks of 9/11.
Saddam was emerging, like a great malignant moth, from the containment regime in place since the end of the first Gulf war. By the end of the 1990’s, sanctions had become a joke, proving less a liability to Saddam than an asset in rebuilding his power. In October 2000 a supposedly “contained” Iraq had boldly renewed its military cooperation with Syria, moving divisions to the Syrian border and even deploying troops into Syria itself to put pressure on Israel. Since then, Saddam’s attacks on American and British air patrols over Iraq had grown more intense.
President Bush didn’t kick the can down the road.
He is almost out the door, a double-amputee Mallard, and I quit carrying his water, but for all his errors of omission and commission, for all his failures, he deserves better than what he is getting. Being the focus of so much negative psychic energy from so many Americans has taken its toll. The idea that Americans can deny legitimacy to an administration and emotionally secede from the Union because their hatred for the President has been inflamed by agit-prop heats up the Cold Civil War, and eventually the Long War and the Hot Civil War merge in a great cleansing of the wicked, near and far, foreign and domestic.
Who will the BDS-afflicted hate when he’s gone? People like me. Feuds have gone out of style in the Amriki tribe, but the ancestral memory remains in some of us.
Starry-eyed, leg-tingling hopeful changers would do well not to awaken that memory.