Lessons of the
President, Nuclear Age Peace
May 14, 2003
There are always lessons to be learned after a war.
Often governments and pundits focus only on lessons
having to do with military strategies and tactics, such
as troop deployments, engagement in battles, bombing
targets and the effectiveness of different weapons
systems. There are, of course, far bigger lessons to be
learned, and here are some of the principal ones from the
1. In the eyes of the Bush administration, the
relevance of international organizations such as the
United Nations depends primarily upon their willingness
to rubberstamp US policy, legal or illegal, moral or
2. The Bush Doctrine of Preemptive War may be employed
against threats that have no basis in fact.
3. The American people appear to take little notice of
the ìbait and switchî tactic of initiating a
war to prevent use of weapons of mass destruction and
then celebrating regime change when no such weapons are
4. A country that spends $400 billion a year on its
military, providing them with the latest in high-tech
weaponry, can achieve clear military victory over a
country that spends 1/400th of that amount and possesses
virtually no high-tech weaponry.
5. Embedding journalists with troops leads to
reporters providing only perspectives sanctioned by the
military in their reports to the public. It is analogous
to the imprinting of ducklings.
6. The American people can be easily manipulated, with
the help of both embedded and non-embedded media, to
support an illegal war.
7. An imperial presidency does not require Congress to
exercise its Constitutional authority to declare war; it
requires only a compliant Congress to provide
increasingly large sums of money for foreign wars.
8. It is far easier to destroy a dictatorial regime by
military might than it is to rebuild a country as a
9. If other countries wish to avoid the fate of Saddam
Hussein and Iraq, they better develop strong arsenals of
weapons of mass destruction for protection against
potential US aggression.
10. In all wars it is the innocent who suffer most.
Thus, Saddam Hussein remains unaccounted for and George
Bush stages a jet flight to the aircraft carrier USS
Abraham Lincoln, while Ali Ismaeel Abbas lies in a
hospital bed without his parents and brother, who were
killed in a US attack, and without his arms.
The most important lessons of the Iraq War may be as
yet unrevealed, but there is a sense that American
unilateralism is likely to continue to alienate important
allies, while the triumphalism of the Bush administration
is likely to taunt terrorists, ma
TFF & the author 2003
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