Our model of "success" in the Middle East
Giving credit where credit is due, I’ll concede that Bush’s gang of neoconservative nutballs was right in saying that his approach to Iraq would be held up as a model of success in the Mideast. Unfortunately, it’s become a model of success for Islamic extremists.
Start with Iraq itself. Before Bush’s invasion, the country was not a base for Islamic terrorism, but today it is the world’s chief training ground for Al Qaeda and other terrorist forces. Meanwhile, the Iraqi people have fallen into a disastrous civil war, with nearly 40,000 civilians already killed. Iraq’s so-called unity government has no control over the Shiite south (which is ruled by theocratic militias), has no presence in the Kurdish north (where both the Iraqi flag and army are banned), and even has no control over the Sunni center, where the “unity government” is housed (except for the small Green Zone in Baghdad that’s heavily fortified with American troops.)
Elsewhere, the utter failure of Bush’s neocon fantasies in Iraq have bogged down our nation’s military and depleted our treasury so badly that the White House can only flail and rail at deeply serious advances by the resurgent Taliban in Afghanistan, the nuclear-minded Islamic theocracy in Iran, insurgent Islamic warlords in Somalia, the politically potent Hamas government in Palestine, and the entrenched Hezbollah forces in Lebanon.
Every day throughout the Mideast, Arab television channels show an unending stream of dead children killed by weapons either fired or provided by the United States, and every day America’s goodwill and good name sink deeper into the horrific quagmire of Bush’s war policies, which are emboldening the world’s Islamic militants, undermining the moderates — and making our people much less safe.
As the popular bumper sticker puts it: “Bush is creating enemies faster than he can kill them.”