Friday, March 11, 2011

Many fools blindly rush into a situation; but wise men prefer to be cautious and analytical

Presidential candidate Paul Pawlenty
Republican Tim Pawlenty, a potential presidential candidate in 2012, is perturbed by President Obama. He thinks the President should take unilateral action against Libya. He shouldn't pull together an international coalition to resolve the bloody battle Muammar Qaddafi is visiting upon Libyans revolting against him.

Pawlenty said in an interview with Politico: “ I’m not overtly concerned with our popularity in Europe or the Middle East.” As the Church Lady on Saturday Night Live might say: “Isn’t that special!” Realistically, it’s not wonderful and Pawlenty should be concerned. The tough guy image he is cranking up for the media and voters is pure buffoonery.

Neocon Republicans like Pawlenty, many of whom have never fought in a real guns and bullets war, are anxious to send others to fight and die while they stay home, sitting on their cushy asses, offering shopworn lip service to whoever will listen. President Obama is correct in using absolute caution about Libya. Only a chest beating fool would rush into Libya with guns blazing and bombs bombing without a flow chart of choices.

That's what Bush did in Iraq. He had already given orders to bomb Iraq, telling the American people 24 hours later. Americans, out for revenge after 9/11, applauded Bush's actions without knowing the facts. No flow charts. No exit plans on the table. Over a million deaths and human injuries later, the world finally learned the truth. There were never any WMDs in Iraq. The preemptive "Shock and Awe"bombings were personal with Bush. He had a long bone to stick up Saddam Hussein’s tokus. Hussein had threatened his daddy and Bush was angry. 

Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld said the Iraqi people would greet Americans with "roses and chocolates." They would shout with joy for being rescued from the hands of an evil dictator. Bush lied and people died. He made a speech on the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln with a large backdrop banner simply stating: “Mission Accomplished.” The mission was nowhere close to being accomplished.

Here it is 10 years later and American soldiers have not received roses and chocolates from the Iraqi people. Instead, they are angry and that anger has turned outward on Americans. All of our memories are connected to televised images of death, destruction and misery in the Middle East. We saw families grieving over their sons and daughters killed in battle. Grieving Iraqi mothers and fathers were no less difficult to watch.

There is no graceful way to withdraw from Afghanistan and Iraq. Bush and his gang of neocons have gone on to live their lives, appearing on TV, writing books, hitting the lecture circuit, living large and comfortably. Thousands of American men and women are stuck in a foreign land, unable to realize comfortable lives with their families, unable to make TV appearances, lecture for money or write books. Thousands of them are crippled both mentally and physically for life.

Bush's big lie should not be forgotten by any of us. The wounds of these wars are too deep to push to the back of our minds.

If President Obama go it alone in Libya, America may find itself in another protracted Middle East conflict. The same spineless neocons pushing for an immediate show of American chutzpah, are the same hypocrites who will use it against President Obama in 2012 if a unilateral invasion evolves into a long confrontation. Iraq and Afghanistan are perfect, in-your-face examples of why it is dangerous to kick down a door without knowing what’s waiting behind it.

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