The Malevolent Bush and Company Didn’t Get What They Wanted in Iraq

Tom Engelhardt has an article titled “The Guns of Folly”, arguing that Bush, Cheney, Rove, Rumsfeld, Rice and the rest of the Bush crew failed miserably in getting what they wanted in Iraq. (See also here.) He emphasizes their arrogance, their grand dreams, their imperialism, their belief that the American military could create the new social and political realities that they wanted, their desire for a world in the American image, their vast over-confidence in what their power could accomplish, their lack of understanding of the people in Iraq and their reactions, and their hopes to pump vast amounts of Iraqi oil.

Nothing worked out as they planned, Engelhardt emphasizes. The opposite resulted. “American goals in the region went down in flames in a fashion so spectacular, so ignominious, that today nothing is left of them.”

Folly is not an honest mistake. It is a lack of good judgment. In the case of Bush and company, was this folly well-intentioned? Absolutely not. What they did in lying to create the war and in the actual aggression were both wicked. Engelhardt’s description of their psychology supports this characterization. They hid their malevolence under the cloak of benevolent American hegemony. Attacking Iraq was an instance of a malevolent foreign policy that also was folly.


9:03 am on June 22, 2014