Between Iraq and a Hard Place – 2, Bush Invasion Foreseen

Friends,
We finish part one today with the following.
2000:
PREDICTING THE COMING OF PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH AND HIS CATASTROPHIC WAR IN IRAQ

I’ve seen this coming years ago… I always felt that if a Republican was elected next, he would be a moderate Republican, but he would pick a right wing vice president. I thought it would have been a woman and that’s where I was wrong in these prophecies. I thought it would be Elizabeth Dole. She came somewhat close in the fact she actually tried to run this year. But I’ve got to consider that a failed prophecy. [Still], whether it was a man or a women I felt it would be someone who was extremely right wing…If a Bush-Cheney ticket did win, we would probably be in a major Middle East war with Iraq within two years…finishing unfinished business over oil…The oil business connections with the Bush-Cheney families are very strong.

(Hogue on the Laura Lee Online,
9 August 2000)

ASSESSMENT (March 2007):
A presidential term of office officially begins on Inauguration Day, held in late January following the November elections of the previous year. That means the Bush-Cheney war in Iraq took place roughly six weeks after the second anniversary of their first term. The war’s launching missed being two years into the first term by only a few extra weeks.

The US military buildup for an invasion of Iraq was in full swing in Kuwait and the Gulf States friendly to US interests by the spring of 2002.

Bush ran as a moderate Republican alongside a staunchly right wing, neo-Conservative Vice President Cheney. Cheney, as it turns out, was Bush’s guru for going to war. It is also known now that Cheney had wanted to wage the invasion in the late autumn of 2002, but worldwide pressure on the US to make one more gesture toward negotiated peace with Saddam Hussein’s Iraq delayed the launch into early 2003.

The oil business connections in the Middle East of Dick Cheney and the Bush family are well known. Indeed, Cheney’s connections as CEO of Haliburton made some journalists during the 2000 elections question whether G.W. Bush’s choice of Cheney as his running mate was ethical, even legal, because of a potential conflict of special interests.

Cheney, of course, made the appropriate gesture of stepping down from Haliburton even though he still attained profits from his former company through the back door in what they euphemistically called a “retirement package” totaling $33.7 million. While he has been in the White House, Dick Cheney, considered the most powerful Vice President in the history of the office, has coincidentally seen his former company pass in front of all bidders to become flush with US government contracts on Iraq, achieving $15 billion in revenues annually, employing 100,000 contract workers and servicing 7,000 customers in over 120 countries. (See Haliburton Watch)

Who has falsely promised the American people that Iraqi oil revenues flowing through US petrol companies, like Haliburton, would accomplish the occupation and rebuilding of Iraq? The man waggishly called “The Vice President in Chief” of the United States of America.

***

I wrote the following passages in a HogueProphecy bulletin the day before Americans voted to elect either Al Gore or George W. Bush to the presidency in November 2000 elections. I described their potential destinies. The following was what I sensed about Bush’s future as the American president:

Bush . . . will reveal a lack of focus and clarity under fire. Like Kennedy before him in the early 60s, his inexperience as a statesman may color him in the minds of world leaders as an intellectual and political lightweight. Whether this view is correct or not, when leaders in the past have concluded that our president is weak it has lead to some of the most dangerous crises for the country.

I am sorry to say that I do not see President Bush being a good foreign policy president. He is an isolationist at heart. If Saddam Hussein views President Bush as withdrawn from world affairs, or weak or erratic then you may see the Iraqi dictator risk unleashing a regional-wide war in the Middle East. I believe this war could happen as soon as 2002. The flash point for such a war will be a water dispute between Israel and the new Palestinian State. Where a Gore presidency will contain Iraq there will be an eagerness in a Bush presidency to settle scores and bring about a Gulf War, Part Two. It will most likely topple Saddam Hussein but not before it gets a Bush presidency bogged down in a Vietnam in the desert and threatens America with 27 to 30 years of terrorist reprisals.

A PRESIDENTIAL PROPHECY
(6 Nov. 2000)

ASSESSMENT (March 2007):
Calling Bush an “Isolationist” has a certain perverse partial accuracy about it. One could argue that he actively pursues his unilateralist and aggressive foreign policy with the mindset of an isolationist. He perceives his enemies with the dedication of a narrow American perspective that will not countenance another view and his enemy knows it. That is one of the reasons why al-Qaeda and jihadists from the Shia and Sunni cells of the Iraqi resistance are ever ahead of Bush’s learning curve in strategizing their next moves in this war.

This situation draws a strange parallel to another Texan president, 40 years ago, who fought a war with Ho Chi Minh’s North Vietnam. President Johnson could not culturally see a reason beyond his all-American Texan “wheeler dealer” mindset to anticipate the moves and thoughts of his Vietnamese adversary.

“If I could just get Ho behind closed doors and talk with him, deal with him . . . we could end this war . . . ” Johnson once reflected, thinking aloud.

Both Texans stood in righteous and defiant intellectual isolation from their enemy’s motivations. They failed to know their enemy, worked hard at it even. What had happened to LBJ is happening now to GWB: the price of presidential ignorance is losing America a war.

In the prediction for 6 November 2000, I definitely got the flash point for war wrong. Water rights? Hardly. That may be the next generation’s excuse.  I also made Saddam Hussein responsible for triggering a Gulf War, part two, rather than see Bush as the one sparking the crisis with a rush to invasion. There will be those who will argue that Saddam “made” the Americans do invasion, because he had resisted for so long, many United Nation resolutions. For instance, in late September 2002, President Bush made one of his most persuasive speeches before the entire UN assembly. Many of his claims about Saddam having reconstituted his WMD programs and the scuds to deliver said bombs as it turned out, were bogus. Bush did offer one strong point that one could construe as a good “Saddam made me do it” argument, when he declared, “The conduct of the Iraqi regime is a threat to the authority of the United Nations, and a threat to peace. Iraq has answered a decade of U.N. demands with a decade of defiance. The entire world now faces a test, and the United Nations a difficult and defining moment. Are Security Council resolutions to be honored and enforced, or cast aside without consequence? Will the United Nations serve the purpose of its founding, or will it be irrelevant?”

Saddam and an irrelevant UN made him do invasion? The last thing Saddam Hussein desired was a war with the US. He was at best, lying low in 2002, biding his time for Iraq to be released from UN sanctions. Would he have started his WMD programs again? Absolutely! Was it inevitable that we would fight a war with him–Absolutely! I have always foreseen such a war; however, success for the West and America depended on the right time for the right war. That would have been 2008, not 2003.

Both Bush and Saddam had jumped the gun on their wars. Saddam invaded Kuwait in 1990 before he had atomic tipped scud missiles. Bush rushed to war in 2003 before he had real evidence of a threat from Iraq, or had worldwide support. Saddam’s rush into Kuwait marked the beginning of his fall just as Bush’s rush to invade and occupy Iraq will with time mark the beginning of his final decline. After Kuwait, Saddam lingered in power for 13 years (1990–2003) and was executed three years later (2006). Bush, if he is lucky enough to survive his second term, will become a collateral casualty of his own war within five years of launching it in 2003.

The rest of what I predicted on 6 November 2000 is quite chilling to read again after nearly six and a half years have passed. Bush has shown a real “lack of focus and clarity under fire” in a war. His foreign policy, simplistic, Pandorean, and cherry picked from fact and reality.  Bush has been slow to grasp his strategic disasters, exerting too little damage control, too late, such as the “surge” of US troops into Iraq this year. He is a weak president hiding under a veneer of arrogant confidence. American enemies have profited from this.

Back in late 2000 when I began calling G.W. Bush an intellectual lightweight that would lead America into a second Vietnam and perhaps greater disasters, I received a flood of hate email. Thousands of letters!

Where is that flood of hate mail now?

Except for a few hangers on–some true blind believers in Bush’s foreign policy “genius,” the letters spit and spilling their Donald-Duckian rages my way have all but dried up and vanished like blood splattered on the sands of Iraq. To those once vociferous but now mute mailers I take your silence as grudging recognition that Bush “has” mired his country in one of the most “dangerous crises” it has ever faced. Invasion on false pretenses did not pay for the 400 billion dollar bill of occupation with a rebuilt oil infrastructure. The war on al-Qaeda in Afghanistan and Pakistan has lost focus and resources to fight in Bush’s new “central front against terrorism” that he wedged right in the heartland of Islam–bestride the precious fields of oil. Al-Qaeda is there now where they had not been before, taking control of Western Iraqi provinces. Bush’s foreign policy has alienated America’s friends and strengthened America’s enemies. Iran and Islamic Shia and Sunni radicalism has flourished, poised to spread across the Islamic world. Democracy by the gun fails. The liberated Iraq falls into civil war and is ready to break apart. The neglected Afghanistan front–out of which the terrorists really came that attacked America–is slowly creeping back into their black hooded control because Bush’s phony war in Iraq wasted real resources, treasure and blood of the United States.

Can there be any better evidence that the most powerful country on earth has been led by a lightweight, mediocre mind?

***

In Part Three of “Between Iraq and a Hard Place” we look at how 9/11 refreshed my take on the future Iraqi war and gave America a mission to accomplish catastrophe.

John Hogue
(19 March 2007)

More predictions.

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