It seemed to be a bad calculation when George Bush told the world and Osama bin Laden that we were coming after him. For weeks George played a bully game with the ruling Taliban in Afghanistan, demanding that they turn bin Laden over to us. Most people in Washington, and the world over knew they couldn’t do that. After all, Osama was an Afghan national hero, who worked hard to push the Soviets out of the country.
So with weeks to prepare his escape before America attacked, bin Laden slipped through our fingers, and is still free today. George Bush acted like he was the bully on the playground, and thought he could get his way, but like many bullies, he found out that a little guy can be trouble.
The next time around, George Bush did the same thing. He ranted and raved about taking on Saddam Hussein, and told the world exactly how and when we were going to attack, months before we actually did. This gave Saddam the time to plan and implement an insurgency that is still working today. Rather than keeping his thoughts and our plans to himself, George Bush had to act with bravado, and give the Iraqis all the time they needed to salt away weapons, ammunition, and money, because they knew they had no chance against us in a conventional war.
To add insult to injury, George Bush was not satisfied with taking Iraq in a matter of days, No, he couldn’t keep quiet again, and he had to give his now infamous "bring ‘em on" speech. That is where Bush taunted every potential terrorist on the globe to try and take out an American Soldier or Marine. Those who decided to take George up on his offer have managed to kill about two Americans a day, while wounding another 16, each and every day since George popped off.
Now President Bush is doing the same thing all over again, only this time it is Iran he is talking about. Saturday, on Israeli television, he said he could consider using force to press Iran to give up its nuclear programs.
George Bush does not know how to keep his mouth shut, and by telegraphing our plans to an opponent in advance, he makes certain that more American troops will die.
Right after that speech, you would have to think that Iran would be planning their counter move to George Bush’s threat. If they weren’t before, you know Iran is going to help the Iraqi resistance as much as they can. "The enemy of my enemy is my friend." Iran knows, as we do, that it is better to fight in Iraq than in their country, so more young Americans will be dying, because George Bush just had to "strut" and crow like a bantam rooster. "Loose lips sink ships," and they also get troops on the ground killed.
There was a time when America’s threat of military action could cause a foreign government to do what ever we wanted, but those days are over. Today, every nation can see what a rag-tag group in Iraq is doing to us, and they can see that the warlords, who were running things in Afghanistan before we attacked, are still doing the same today.
Jim Glaser [send him mail], a Marine Corps Vietnam War veteran and Commander of American Legion Post 499, works to educate the American public on the consequences of war. His personal website is James-Glaser.com.