The 2004 Elections: War, Terrorism and the Need for Regime Change
By Carl Davidson

An analysis of the impact of Iraq on the 2004 election, the need to deconstruct Bush's 'War on Terrorism' and a perspective on how progressives can independently intervene in the election to defeat Bush in spite of poor tactics from the Democratic leadership.

The 2004 presidential election is most likely to be decided on the stands that the candidates, and the American people themselves, take on the matters of war, terrorism, and now, atrocity and occupation.

The decision, for many people, will not be easy. Ever since the 9/11 attacks and the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, the American people have faced a complex and dangerous international crisis.

On one hand, as a people, we faced the task of cooperating with other countries and peoples in a justified effort to defend all concerned against the terrorist attacks of the reactionary theocrats led by al-Quaeda. On the other hand, we faced the task of stopping the Bush administration’s ill-conceived “War on Terror,” its drive to an unjust war with Iraq, and, now, the ongoing brutal occupation of that country.

The White House policies on these questions have brought failure and disaster in every respect. The bombing and invasion of Afghanistan removed the Taliban, but only managed to install a rump regime in Kabul. Meanwhile warlordism took command elsewhere, the Taliban re-emerged and al-Quaeda remained at large, active and deadly around the world. In the midst of the Afghan debacle, without any just cause, Bush shifted his focus and resources to Iraq. The ensuing invasion removed Hussein, but plunged the country into chaos and strife. The occupation is meeting with resistance from all forces, progressive and reactionary, while Iraq’s peoples refuse to be pacified.

War Aims Defeated Politically

Now, with the global exposure of the torture and abuse of Iraqi prisoners, Bush has suffered a severe and irreversible defeat politically in the Islamic world and elsewhere. Historian and defender of the British Empire, Sir Michael Howard, saw it coming back in 2001, predicting how the images of the World Trade Center would fade and new, anti-U.S. images would come to the fore:

"I hate having to say this, but in six months time for much of the world that atrocity will be, if not forgotten, then remembered only as history; while every fresh picture on television of a hospital hit, or children crippled by land-mines, or refugees driven from their homes by western military action, will strengthen the hatred of our adversaries, recruit the ranks of the terrorists and sow fresh doubts in the minds of our supporters.”

The longer the U.S. maintains an unjust occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan, the worse things are going to get. Bush has lost the battle for hearts and minds, certainly in the Islamic world, and can only defend an unjust occupation with more injustice. More >>


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