2004 Elections: War, Terrorism and the Need for Regime Change
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.
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.
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.
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:
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