President Bush and Senator McCain agree.  The War in Iraq must be
maintained for years, decades, for a century, for as long as it takes.

Even if it bankrupts America.

But why?  What's so important about Iraq?  Storm clouds are gathering all
around the world, each one an embryonic World War III, but neither Bush nor
McCain wants to do anything about these real threats to our survival.    

What are these embryonic World Wars that Bush and McCain are avoiding?

Russia, for instance, has become alarmingly assertive.  It is arming the two
adversaries that verbalize their hatred of America the most, Iran and Venezuela;
for all we know, Russia may even have given them low-yield nukes.  Next,
resurrecting memories of the Cold War, it has been sending groups of bombers
close to British and Norwegian airspace, triggering alerts and aerial showdowns
with both countries, and has briefly overflown Finnish airspace.  Its warplanes
have also started probing American airspace, coming close to Alaska on various
occasions, forcing us to scramble our jets each time.  In a more bizarre way to
confront us, Russia’s submarines have planted their national flags under the
ocean’s surface at the North Pole, which the Kremlin suddenly claims as its
own.  Recently, Russia exploded what it called the “Father of all Bombs,” a so-
called “vacuum bomb” claimed by Kremlin sources to have the power of a
nuclear weapon.  Even more recently, Mr. Putin declared his own Caspian
Doctrine, forbidding other nations to interfere in the affairs of Caspian Sea
nations.

But Mr. Bush says little and does nothing to counter Mr. Putin’s multiple
confrontations, and Sen. McCain agrees.  After all, there’s Iraq to worry about.

Communist China, which our military perceives as the greatest threat to
America in the future (and perhaps the present), is constantly developing its
nuclear arsenal.  Soon it will be a nuclear superpower.  It seems ready to
replace us as the next world superpower – though it is one of the most brutal
dictatorships on earth.  But instead of trying to weaken China, Mr. Bush has
strengthened it.  Indeed, it is the Free Trade that Mr. Bush worships which has
allowed American corporations to industrialize and capitalize China (while
decapitalizing and deindustrializing America), giving China’s economy a growth
rate about four times ours.  Free Trade is also rapidly strengthening China, and
weakening America, in another way – a Chinese-American trade deficit that
now approaches $1 billion per day.

But who cares about relatively trivial China when there’s critically important
Iraq on the menu?

As for Communist North Korea, Mr. Bush has faith that negotiations will
resolve all our conflicts.  The president quietly wages diplomacy against a
Communist megalomaniac armed with nuclear weapons.  Mr. Bush’s words
about this regime have gone on forever.  Would he use physical violence
instead of words against Dear Leader?  Never, or at least not until the physical
violence in Iraq is finished.  First things first!

Then there’s Iran, a nation dominated by America-hating religious lunatics.  
The Bush administration claims that Iran does not have nuclear weapons, but it
cannot know this with certainty.  All we can really know is that Iran cannot yet
manufacture these weapons itself.  But it may have acquired them in other
ways; it may have dealt for them as part of a trade with energy-hungry China,
or it may have bought one or two from North Korea, which has nuclear
weapons but no cash.  (Iran has money but no nukes.)  It may also have
received some from Russia, which has already sold them much weaponry,
including a system of ground-to-air missiles.

But apparently Mr. Bush is not particularly concerned about Iran.  If he is, he
has certainly done nothing substantive to weaken it.  Why should he when, right
next door, there's Iraq!

Similarly, Mr. Bush seems not to be overly concerned about Venezuela, though
there was a time, not so long ago, when embryonic Communist dictatorships in
Latin America used to alarm both Republican and Democratic presidents.  
What’s more, in arming Venezuela, Russia has certainly challenged – or totally
shattered – the Monroe Doctrine, but that’s not important to our president
either.  Despite Mr. Chavez’ insults, taunts and threats, Mr. Bush keeps a low
profile when it comes to Venezuela . . . so he can keep a close eye on Iraq.

And then there’s India and Pakistan.  Like some inept wrestling tag-team duo,
Bill Clinton and Mr. Bush took turns looking out the window while nuclear
weapons spread into the unstable, fanatical Third World.  When both South
Asian countries exploded nuclear devices in 1998, Mr. Clinton did nothing to
stop them.  But at least he realized that nuclear proliferation was a Very Bad
Thing.  So he responded to the threat.  Unfortunately, his response was
pathetically weak: mere economic sanctions.

But Mr. Clinton seems a man of steel compared to Mr. Bush, who in 2001
removed all sanctions from India.  In that same year, he also removed the
sanctions from Pakistan’s weapons program.  
Please understand this; the
president gave the first Muslim nation with nuclear weapons the green light
to proceed with its weapons program.

Just as ominously, the political fate of Pakistan’s President Musharraf, a
cherished pro-American ally, is now in question.  What will happen to the
nation’s nuclear weapons if he is forced out of office?  If Pakistani nukes
should fall into anti-American hands, we can be sure that Mr. Bush will be
unable or unwilling to act on a scale that would solve the problem.

Many weapons experts might say that the movement of nukes into the Third
World – particularly the Muslim Third World – is the prelude to humanity’s
funeral.  Others might claim it is the greatest failure in the history of leadership,
a monument of shared passivity and appeasement that makes Neville
Chamberlain look like Genghis Khan.

But who cares about trivia like this?  While the experts fuss and fret about
nukcs in South Asia, Mr. Bush is probably eyeballing a road map of all-
important downtown Ramadi . . . or studying a tourist’s guide to Karbala.  

To paraphrase the title of the classic Flamingos song from the 1950s,
He only
has eyes for Iraq
.  That’s the only tune the ol’ jukebox can play.

                     _____

But here’s where it gets confusing.  If Mr. Bush thinks the War in Iraq is so
incredibly important, why hasn’t he done anything to win it?  

Militarily speaking, Bush II has accomplished less in the four years since
Saddam was captured than his father, Bush I, accomplished in just 100 hours in
his Iraq War.  In only four days in 1991, allied forces (led by 530,000
Americans) drove the Iraqi army from the Saudi Arabian-Kuwaiti border all the
way back to the Euphrates River in Iraq.

The difference between father and son’s wars is glaring.  Bush I waged war –
old-fashioned, kill-or-be-killed warfare. Get your sword into the other man’s
throat before he can get his sword into yours. For 100 hours we saw all of
America’s military might unleashed, and it was a beautiful sight to behold.

But the current war?  It isn’t war at all.  It’s a PC war, a eunuch’s mix of
warfare and teary-eyed altruism.  We are rebuilding Iraq while we are
simultaneously waging war against it.  

Read that sentence again.  Does it make any sense to rebuild the country we are
simultaneously waging war against?  Of course not.  Does it make any more
sense if we reverse it and say we are waging war against the country we are
simultaneously rebuilding?  No, each one is equally ridiculous.  Or look at it this
way.  We are tearing down the country we are simultaneously building up. (Or
are we building up the country we are simultaneously tearing down?)

Supposedly President Bush and the other NeoCons were following the pattern
of World War II.  There, we had waged war against horrible dictatorships and
then rebuilt them into strong democracies.  

But they missed the boat totally.  In World War II, we understood that warfare
and rebuilding have to be done
sequentially, in proper order, not
simultaneously.
 From 1941 to 1945 we waged ferocious, remorseless,
relentless warfare against Japan and Germany.  And finally, barely, we forced
them to surrender.  We seized every tank, every plane, every ship.  And then,
finally, after waiting another year or so, then, and only then we began to rebuild
them.

To have tried to rebuild Nazi Germany while we were dimultaneously waging
war against it would have been an act of madness.  Would we have sent money
to Hitler each week to repair the buildings damaged by our own bombing?

But none of this stops all the other Republican candidates from bowing down to
the war wisdom of George W. Bush.
WHY AREN'T WE FIGHTING THE
REAL WARS WE NEED TO FIGHT?  
IRAQ ISN'T A REAL WAR.