By deciding to invade Iraq, the Bush Administration has committed a blunder of immense proportions.
Consider the foreign policy that Osama bin Laden — the declared malefactor behind the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks — would like to see adopted by the United States.
Would bin Laden like to see the United States peacefully abstain from meddling in the Arab-Israeli conflict?
Or would bin Laden like to see the U.S. military topple an Arab regime and occupy an Arab nation for an extended period of time, likely killing many civilians (however unintentionally) in the process?
Without a doubt, Mr. bin Laden (if he is alive) would like to see Option Number Two: the U.S. military topples an Arab regime.
The reason is that such a course of action, in all likelihood, will provoke widespread and lasting hatred of all things American in the Arab world.
Regrettably, and predictably, the Bush Administration is playing into the hands of bin Laden and others who despise the United States by doing exactly what those genuine anti-American types want to see: the Bush Administration is set to invade Iraq.
Worse, the White House “brain trust” is willing to invade Iraq without widespread international support.
Ah, yes, you add: Britain is with Bush.
False. Tony Blair, and other British politicians are with Bush. The overwhelming majority of the British population is not. The same goes for Spain.
What will become of the support of these “key allies” when their democratic elections toss out unpopular rulers? Shall the Bush Administration invade these nations for “siding with the terrorists?”
(As an aside, “testosterone trust” may be more appropriate than “brain trust” to describe the White House foreign policy wizards, given the disproportion between brawn and braggadocio versus brains exhibited on television by Bush, Rumsfeld, etc., but that is an insult to males of the species).
In closing, one can reasonably expect an American invasion of Iraq to produce widespread and lasting dislike (if not hatred) of all things American in the Arab world, and perhaps in other nations as well.
Worse, the dislike and hatred to be expected in the Arab world — if the history of Palestine since the 1940s is any indication — is likely to be violent.
And so George Bush, rather than “defeating” terrorism, Osama bin Laden, or any other “enemies” by invading Iraq, will almost certainly produce: (1) more terrorists; (2) another man to take bin Laden’s place; and (3) more enemies of the United States.
Unsurprisingly, then, by casting aside peace and freedom to make war on Iraq, Mr. Bush and his cohorts are casting aside peace of mind and a significant measure of freedom for all Americans for years to come.
Those who will cheer for this war are free to do so. I will not join them.
Mr. Dieteman [send him mail] is an attorney in Erie, Pennsylvania, and a PhD candidate in philosophy at The Catholic University of America.
© 2003 David Dieteman