Mistakes Were Made

The goal of American foreign policy has long been the replacement – by force, if “necessary” – of existing “criminal” regimes, with regimes sycophantic to us.

Criminal regimes. Like that of the late Saddam Hussein.

What makes a regime criminal?

Well, for self-styled liberal interventionists, it’s human rights abuse, ethnic cleansing and genocide.

For self-styled neoconservative interventionists, it’s just thinking about acquiring nukes or the makings thereof and having missiles that can reach Israel.

So, when Clinton attempted to achieve regime change in Iraq circa Christmas, 1998, from 20,000 feet, he got the support of the neo-crazies by accusing the on-the-ground United Nations inspectors of being incompetent or worse for failing to find the missiles capable of reaching Israel and “weapons of mass destruction” our “intelligence” said Saddam had.

The liberal interventionists went along with that fiction because they knew Clinton’s real rationale for the bombing was Saddam’s “human rights” abuses.

Congress – chock full of interventionists – had paved the way by passing the Iraq Liberation Act of 1998:

“It should be the policy of the United States to support efforts to remove the regime headed by Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq and to promote the emergence of a democratic government to replace that regime.”

However, the interventionists – in and out of government – soon realized that bombing the gee-whiz out of a country from 20,000 feet was unlikely to result in the people being bombed rising up and changing their regime. It would take an invasion and lengthy occupation.

The interventionists also determined that the only rationale the American public would buy for invading and occupying any country would be proof positive that the “criminal” regime posed a direct threat to our National Security.

So, when terrorists associated with radical Middle Eastern organizations such as al-Qaeda succeeded in bringing down the Twin Towers, on live TV, killing thousands of Americans in the process, interventionists – in and out of government – saw a “heaven-sent” opportunity.

Almost immediately Congress gave President Bush a blank check, authorizing the President to “use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorists attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001.”

The rationale for the use of such force was “to prevent any future acts of international terrorism.”


Henceforth, all Bush had to do before launching a pre-emptive attack on any nation, organization or persons was to tell Congress he had determined – despite a total lack of evidence – that the attack was necessary “to prevent future acts of international terrorism.”

So Bush “determined” that Saddam had aided Al-Qaeda and now had – or soon would have – nukes to give to Islamic terrorists who would somehow use them against us or Israel.

Congress, of course, never questioned that “determination.”

Now, in the Iran Freedom Support Act of 2006, Congress “found” that

“The United States and the international community face no greater threat to their security than the prospect of rogue regimes who support international terrorism obtaining weapons of mass destruction, and particularly nuclear weapons.”

Furthermore, “Iran is the leading state sponsor of international terrorism and is close to achieving nuclear weapons.”

So, the 109th (GOP-controlled) Congress – chock full of international interventionists – has already established the basis for Bush doing unto Iran what he did to Iraq.

Even still, in an address to the nation this week, wherein Bush was supposedly telling us how he planned to get us out of the “situation” he got us into in Iraq that is “unacceptable to the American people,” it was somewhat surprising that Bush claimed:

“Succeeding in Iraq also requires defending its territorial integrity and stabilizing the region in the face of extremist challenges. This begins with addressing Iran and Syria. These two regimes are allowing terrorists and insurgents to use their territory to move in and out of Iraq. Iran is providing material support for attacks on American troops.

“We will disrupt the attacks on our forces. We’ll interrupt the flow of support from Iran and Syria. And we will seek out and destroy the networks providing advanced weaponry and training to our enemies in Iraq.

“We’re also taking other steps to bolster the security of Iraq and protect American interests in the Middle East. I recently ordered the deployment of an additional carrier strike group to the region. We will expand intelligence-sharing and deploy Patriot air defense systems to reassure our friends and allies.

“We will work with the governments of Turkey and Iraq to help them resolve problems along their border.

“And we will work with others to prevent Iran from gaining nuclear weapons and dominating the region.”

Great Zot!

Bush is going to “seek out and destroy” the “networks” in Iran and Syria that he suspects are providing “training” to “our enemies” in Iraq?

Our enemies in Iraq?

And who might they be? The Iraqis who also find the current situation in Iraq – the American occupation – “unacceptable”?

Bush has sent an additional American aircraft-carrier strike force to the Persian Gulf?

To strike who? Where? Why?

Bush is deploying Patriot ballistic-missile defense systems in Kuwait and Iraq?

To shoot down whose ballistic missiles?

To “reassure” whom?

And who do you suppose we’re going to “work with” to prevent Iran from diverting its peaceful nuclear energy programs – currently safeguarded by the International Atomic Energy Agency – to a military purpose?

Well, certainly not the IAEA.

Will the 110th (Democrat-controlled) Congress – also chock full of international interventionists – allow Bush to implement his latest “plan”?

Well, that depends upon whether an aroused citizenry holds enough Congresspersons’ feet to the fire.

And there’s some hope.

Senator Evan Bayh (D, IN) has just announced he won’t be a candidate for President in 2008 after all.


Well, he has concluded that after seeing the unacceptable mess the interventionists have gotten us in to in Iraq, you red-blooded American voters don’t want another interventionist President getting us into another unacceptable mess.

“You just hope that we haven’t soured an entire generation on the necessity, from time to time, of using force because Iraq has been such a debacle.

“That would be tragic, because Iran is a grave threat. They’re everything we thought Iraq was but wasn’t. They are seeking nuclear weapons, they do support terrorists, they have threatened to destroy Israel, and they’ve threatened us, too.”

Tragic, Yo Mama!

Author: Gordon Prather

Physicist James Gordon Prather has served as a policy implementing official for national security-related technical matters in the Federal Energy Agency, the Energy Research and Development Administration, the Department of Energy, the Office of the Secretary of Defense and the Department of the Army. Dr. Prather also served as legislative assistant for national security affairs to U.S. Sen. Henry Bellmon, R-Okla. -- ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee and member of the Senate Energy Committee and Appropriations Committee. Dr. Prather had earlier worked as a nuclear weapons physicist at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California and Sandia National Laboratory in New Mexico.