Or, Bush Should Picture the Opportunities for Even Worse Disaster in Iraq
Prior to invading Iraq, apparently all Bush could visualize in his mind’s eye was a photo op like the iconic one of Marines planting the flag on Mt. Suribachi. To insure a prominent place in the history books, he staged his own with the pretentious flight suit speech aboard a carrier while backdropped by the infamous (and ultimately ironic) “Mission Accomplished” banner. One wonders if he regrets now at least that particular bit of over the top arrogance and delusion.
Unfortunately, Bush proved incapable of visualizing the other potent photo opportunities that would start surfacing from the botched attempt at subjugating a now increasingly hostile populace. Flag draped row upon row of coffins, shrouded infant bodies awaiting burial in shallow dirt graves, crumpled headless bodies, blood splattered and dust covered soldiers gripping shattered limbs in agony, choking dust and crumpled car parts littering the landscape in aftermath of roadside explosions, handsome young boys and girls in silent slide shows of the deceased on PBS news, grieving mothers camped outside Bush’s fortress in Crawford, Texas - all unending and multiplying daily. That’s what happens when you only plan for the initial conquering and not the subsequent pacifying. That’s what happens when you put party hacks in charge who wish instead of plan. There are consequences from incompetence including plenty of photographs that will make it seem even worse. Now days, with a camera in almost every cell phone and lots of outlets to circulate them, the spreading images are uncontrollable.
True, there were “feel good” photos taken of newly rebuilt schools, but they are not as newsworthy the third time the same school must be rebuilt, especially when the photographers are afraid to attend the ceremony fearing it a likely suicide bomber target. Yeah, there was the interesting picture of purple fingered voters who promptly proceeded to, democratically, vote for replacing the nasty Sunni minority with the equally nasty Shiite majority. The Sunnis then sought for a recount with mortar shot at mosques. None of those resulting shots, either digital or explosive, were ones Bush was hoping would appear in the news. Similarly, there were the traditional and innumerable photos of grinning US troops tossing gum and candy to the clutching fingers of local children trooping around. Invariably cute. Heart warming even. Now though, the receding image as the trucks roll on past is, as often as not, of the same kids with suddenly upraised middle fingers pointing at the camo covered backs of our men. In a way, the young Iraqi too are voting with their fingers and it’s all caught on camera.
Since Bush seems Hell bent on continuing without real hope of success at accomplishing any of his stated goals, let’s hope he doesn’t forget that one even more unsettling famous photo, the one showing hundreds of desperate people climbing a shaky rooftop ladder scrambling to be on the last helicopter out of Saigon. Since Bush did not plan for the “peace,” it’s unlikely he has planned for the possibility of defeat either. Secretary of State Rice admitted as much by stating they were not even considering a “Plan B” to the new“surge” initiative that is supposed to “win” for us.
Must we repeat every aspect of the fiasco we went through in Vietnam? Will we witness brand new photos of perilous rooftop rescues?
More importantly, in Vietnam, that precipitous exodus left a vast store of our military equipment in that civil war torn Southeast Asian country. Some contemporary estimates said it automatically made communist Vietnam the fourth best equipped military in the world. What will an even better equipped hostile Iraq be or do?
Has Bush thought about the consequences of being forced to suddenly abandon the vast inventory of sophisticated, “state of the art” night vision tanks and depleted uranium tipped ammunition for instance? You can’t move it all in a day. If that enormous arsenal dump in Iraq is ever left in the control of a country tilting toward Iran, Syria and/or Palestine and if it is used against Israel, wouldn’t that be an incredible irony? Imagine the resulting photo shot of a former US Abrahams tank emblazoned with a freshly painted Crescent and parked atop the rubble of the Israeli Knesset?
It is obvious that Bush does not care much for laws, but perhaps he should at least study up on the Law of Unintended Consequences before there is the last photo of Bush skulking or, worse yet (from his perspective at least), being hauled out of the White House.