Monday, December 11, 2006
Anyone who thought the Iraq Study Group endeavor meant former president George H W Bush was coming to rescue his misguided son was mistaken. Bush Jr is guided by a higher Father to whom only he is privy. He still wants victory, while the ISG offers only a useful cover for retreat
By Ehsan Ahrari
"....It appears that there is little reason to think that Bush Sr's advisers would be of much assistance to the current president, for at least two reasons. First, those advisers are driven by political pragmatism (aka "realism") and multilateralism that were the sine qua non of Bush Sr's presidency. President Bush, on the contrary, has demonstrated for the past six years that ideology, not pragmatism, drives his administration. And in that ideological thinking, there is little room for hard-nosed realism or pragmatism......
The second reason Bush Sr's advisers are not of much help to President Bush is the very premise of the ISG's report. Bush is chiefly motivated by a wish to succeed in Iraq, while in the thinking of that report's authors - even though they came from the Republican as well as the Democratic Party - the chances of America's success in Iraq are virtually non-existent. Consequently, the report is chiefly aimed at minimizing US losses in its attempts to withdraw its forces from Iraq......
It was apparent that Bush couched the major crisis of his administration - global "war on terrorism" - in a highly moral sense. He initially talked about conducting a "crusade" against Osama bin Laden or al-Qaeda, but dropped that phrase under advisement about its incendiary nature. However, Bush regularly referred to bin Laden and his cohorts as "evildoers" in a purely religious sense of the word.
But Bush's vision of promoting democracy in the Muslim Middle East was as much about Christianity as it was about denying centrality to Islam. There might not be anything insidious or anti-Islamic in such thinking. But that was how it is being envisaged in Iraq and in other Muslim nations, where people are just as religious as President Bush. So America's business in Iraq is God's business, or to use Bush's phrase, it is the business of "a higher Father".
So if America's business in Iraq is to pursue the agenda of a "higher Father", then how can the ISG avoid talking about a strategy that guarantees success? According to Bush's born-again frame of reference, there is something inherently "wrong" with that report. But he cannot come out and say that.
So he is awaiting the reports from his own people, who are in charge of the National Security Council, the Pentagon, and the Department of State. In all likelihood, the foundations of all three reports from those institutions will emphasize the success that Bush, as a born-again Christian, is convinced that the United States is destined to encounter in Iraq.
There is no other way. In the meantime, a higher Father's business has to be carried out in Iraq, no matter how many Iraqis and Americans die for it. That is why he said many weeks ago, "I will not withdraw from Iraq even if [wife] Laura and [pet dog] Barney are the only ones supporting me."