Now a days President Bush and his war strategies are under scrutiny by the American public. On August 31, 2006 at the American Legion National Convention in Salt Lake City, President Bush said,”the Struggle Between Freedom and Terror in the Middle East, including the Battle in Iraq, is the central front in the War of Terror.”
He also said, before September 11th 2001 the status quo in the Middle East was dangerous and unacceptable, that’s why he is pursuing a new strategy: a) Confront Al Qaeeda and their inspired followers. b) Those nations who harbor terrorists are just as guilty as the terrorists. c) “We have launched a bold new agenda to defeat the ideology of the enemy by supporting the forces of freedom in the Middle East and beyond.”
On January 10, 2007, in his somber prime- time speech to the nation, Bush admitted to some errors in his Iraq policy. In his new controversial strategy to stabilize Iraq, he is committing an additional 21,500 troops. He has rejected the advice of the Baker – Hamilton group, a bipartisan body to resolve the issue through dialogue and by other political means. He is defying the overwhelming majority of Americans. The President is in complete denial to accept that his strategy in Iraq to control the violence and terror has failed. The dream of Iraq becoming a model of democracy for other Arab states has died.
In the State of the Union address he had the same recycled ideas regarding the Iraq strategy.
To date, the Bush administration has failed to implement effectively even one of his Goals and Strategies to promote Freedom, Control Terrorism and efforts to win Hearts and Minds in order to bring Stability and Security in the Middle East.
More than 70 percent of Americans no longer pay attention to Bush’s rhetoric now that Iraq is the central front in the War on Terror. Allies, Senators, Congressmen, Opinion makers and Scholars are drifting away from Bush policies. His circle of isolationism is tightening every day.
The invasion of Iraq has transformed it from a dictatorship into capital of terrorism. It has also inspired thousands of ‘ Jihadies’ to join the guerrilla movement to fight our Allied forces.
In his second term, the National Security Strategy of Bush the administration is to enhance Global Security and expand Liberty and Prosperity. One of the pillars of his strategy is to promote Freedom, Justice and Human Dignity.
The United States, the only Superpower in the unipolar world, has a great deal of responsibility to carry the burden of moral supremacy in dealing with smaller and weaker nations with justice and fairness.
These powerful features of Bush strategies: Freedom, Justice, Global liberty and prosperity, Stability and Human Dignity will just be only beautiful words on the paper without sincere and honest plans of actions and implementation. History has proven that unjust policies, curtailing freedom, occupation of foreign lands or nations, provokes reaction and sometimes resistance turns into a dangerous and bloody conflict.
On August 31, 2006, Bush also said, the decades of stagnation, despair, lack of freedom and
democracy has made the Middle East an incubator for terrorist movement.
In the modern era of the Middle East history the movement of terrorism started with the creation of Israel. Former Israeli prime ministers Yitzhak Shamir and Menachem Begin were terrorists wanted by the British Empire. The occupation of Arab land and inhumane treatment of the Palestinians by the Israeli forces and the United States’ support of Israeli policies has provoked violent reactions and radicalized young Palestinians.
After September 11, 2001 U.S. forces invaded Afghanistan to fight the roots of terrorism. The objective was to overthrow the Taliban regime and capture Osama Bin Laden.
Afghanistan still is a lawless society. President Hamid Karzai still is confined to the Kabul area. Opium cultivation is 30% of that nation’s economy. The Taliban is regrouping and their attacks on NATO and American forces are increasing and becoming more deadly. NATO attacks are also causing civilian deaths. Afghani resentment against the occupation is increasing. Self proclaimed independent Al-Qaeda cells are mushrooming around the globe. Bruce Hoffman of Georgetown University said, “Al-Queda is not on the run”. “It is on the march.”
The Invasion of Iraq resulted in Saddam’s hanging and complete disintegration of the Iraqi civilian society. The objective of the invasion of Iraq was to find the weapons of mass destruction, regime change and security for Israel. According to some American sources, since the beginning of the war from March 2003, 54,000 – 600,000 Iraqis have died. More than 25,000 Americans are wounded or dead. Due to the sectarian violence or civil war, thousands of Iraqis are dying by the hundreds every day. The shortage of electricity, water, high unemployment, inflation and lack of security has made their life miserable. 2 million Iraqis have crossed the border to take refuge in Syria and Jordan. More than 80% of Iraqis want foreign troops to leave their country.
Baghdad, the cradle of civilization was conquered and ransacked in the year of 1258 by Halague Khan, the grandson of Genghis Khan. Twelve thousand books and manuscripts were flung in to the Tigres River. Abbasid Khalif Mustasim was tortured and murdered. Let us make sure that historians of to-day’s world will not have any excuse to blame the only Superpower United States for the disintegration of a great civilization.
Bush’s slogan of promoting democracy in the Middle East has exposed his double standard in dealing with Israeli and Palestinian problems. A large number of people in Europe and the Middle East consider the United States,a partner of Israel in punishing the Palestinian population for electing Hamas government. However it is the reaction of our unjust policies in handling the Israeli and Palestinian issue. More than three decades of stagnation and despair, continuous humiliation, and disrespect for Palestinian dignity has swayed younger Palestinians towards extremism. The accusations of blaming Palestinians that they are not ready for peace, is nothing but a delaying tactic by Israel. Former President Jimmy Carter acknowledged that the present administration has not made any serious efforts in the last six years to resolve Israeli and Palestinian problems.
Sheikh Hasan Nasrallah, leader of Hezbollah and Mahmud Ahmadinejad, President of Iran, have emerged as the most admired leaders in the Middle East. The Lebanon and Israeli war has changed the political and military dynamics in the Middle East. The United States tacit approval for Israel to bomb Lebanon’s civilian infrastructure has isolated us more in the international affairs.
European Allies of NATO do not want to send more troops to Afghanistan in the combat zone to fight the Taliban. We should not expect our Arab Allies to come forward and share the burden of fixing Iraqi problems. Their attitude is, we told you so. The consequences of the invasion of Iraq would be dire. Now Iraq is your problem. You pay the economic and political price.
A recent survey of BBC claims that 70% of people around the Globe blame Bush for the mess in Iraq. 72% of Americans do not agree on with the way the President is handling Iraq’s strategy.
Gunboat diplomacy is not going to bring a long-term stability in the region.The Iraq study group, wise men and women and an overwhelming majority of Americans want Bush to make a real drastic change in his strategy and bring our troops home in six months. Let the United Nations take the charge. We should help the United Nations and pick up the tab for the next ten years to build the economy and the political infrastructure of Iraq. We will save billions of dollars. Let us start a real sincere effort to resolve the Israeli – Palestinian problems. Iraqis are capable to handle their own problems. A majority of American public does not approve any military action against Iran.
Syed R. Mahmood is a founder and president of American Institute of International Studies (AIIS). He is also a 2002 Republican nominee for 13th district seat in the U.S.Congress.
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