Another Kwiatkowski classic!<br><br><blockquote><font size=1>In reply to:</font><hr><p>Three Wise Men and an Idiot<br><br>by Karen Kwiatkowski<br><br>I didn’t notice, but I’ve been told George W, Bush delivered his latest speech<br>smoothly, more so than most of his speeches. He has certainly practiced the<br>stay-the-course storyline.<br><br>How many times have we suffered White House fanfare for a presidential speech<br>that will finally solve the mystery of our foreign policy? How many times have<br>we listened, only to reluctantly conclude that George W. Bush is indeed a broken<br>record, and worse for wear?<br><br>George waved the bloody shirt at Fort Bragg, recalling 9-11 and global<br>terrorists. He again brought forth the well-used and amazingly stupid idea that<br>we will somehow take the war to the terrorists. And yes, he was talking about<br>Iraq.<br><br>Those of us living in the reality-based world must be ever so tiresome to our<br>nifty commander in chief.<br><br>In the real world, Mr. Bush, young Americans die, are maimed and morally<br>devastated by wars in Iraq and in Afghanistan, both conducted without legal or<br>moral justification, and hence without hope. In the real world, Americans,<br>Iraqis and Afghans all suffer a conflict dreamed up by finely fed and<br>well-dressed neoconservatives in air-conditioned Washington suites.<br><br>At leisurely lunches and late night planning sessions they designed a boutique<br>war to be fought by tin soldiers. I imagine the work, and the finger food, was<br>positively delicious.<br><br>As he has since his 9-11 raison d'ętre, Bush emphasized this week that we shall<br>prevail by taking the war to the &q uot;terrorists." This must sound great<br>echoing off the peach and lavender rooms of the administration’s unreality-based<br>world.<br><br>On the other hand, many great thinkers on military affairs have extensively<br>studied the reality-based world, and thus might be helpful. Sun Tzu, for<br>example. The ancient strategist wrote, "The spot where we intend to fight must<br>not be made known; for then the enemy will have to prepare against a possible<br>attack at several different points; and his forces being thus distributed in<br>many directions, the numbers we shall have to face at any given point will be<br>proportionately few."<br><br>Transfixed by the light of their own brilliance reflecting from pastel-sheened<br>walls and bulletproof windows, the Bush administration hears him not.<br><br>Karl von Clausewitz wrote, "No one starts a war – or rather, no one in his<br>senses ought to do so – without first being clear in his mind what he intends to<br>achieve by that war and how he intends to conduct it."<br><br>Hear, hear! But it seems that the neoconservatives who long envisioned the<br>toppling of the Ba’ath Party, and the emplacement of an administration-friendly<br>Prime Minister in Baghdad as a Do-it-Yourself weekend project, were deafened<br>once again by their own self-congratulatory cheers.<br><br>Clausewitz, always trying to help innocent politicians, wryly noted, "In war the<br>will is directed at an animate object that reacts."<br><br>Sir Basil Liddell-Hart, in the mid-1900s, not so long ago, expanded upon<br>Clausewitz in this regard. The old Brit noted, "Natural hazards, however<br>formidable, are inherently less dangerous and less uncertain than fighting<br>hazards. All conditions are more calculable, all obstacles more surmountable<br>than those of human resistance."<br><br>As President, George W. Bush is a public example of a life spent failing to<br>learn from either his betters or his mistakes, refusing to develop empathy when<br>revenge felt better, and avoiding the hard work and self-doubt of personal<br>accountability. He vows to stay the course and exercise his will because without<br>that, he is left alone with his fears of inconsequentiality and too many<br>vengeful ghosts. It’s enough to drive a man to drink, to swear, to cry and<br>crumble.<br><br>The audience at Bragg was politically controlled and generally pro-Bush, yet the<br>only applause-based interruption of Bush’s speech was apparently the result of a<br>Bush aide’s signaling.<br><br>American service members and their families – now in the third year of a<br>three-week war driven by a secret Washington establishment geostrategy and<br>fueled by blatant repetitive lies – have seen their friends and lovers and<br>children in wheelchairs and in coffins. They have intimately witnessed the<br>disturbing moral fractures and personality changes that are inevitable in war –<br>whether Congress declares one or not. Unlike George W. Bush, they are challenged<br>by this. Unlike their confident and willful President, they pray every day for<br>their faith to be sustained, and to be delivered from evil.<br><br>That they might need to be prompted to cheer this particular President is no<br>surprise.<br><br>Sir Basil also noted that "No man can exactly calculate the capacity of human<br>genius and stupidity, nor the incapacity of will."<br><br>The history of George W. Bush and his long-desired and endless war in Iraq may<br>disprove Liddell-Hart on this count.<br><br>June 30, 2005<br><br>Karen Kwiatkowski, Ph.D., [send her mail] is a retired USAF lieutenant colonel,<br>who spent her final four and a half years in uniform working at the Pentagon.<br>She lives with her freedom-loving family in the Shenandoah Valley, and among<br>other things, writes a bi-weekly column on defense issues with a libertarian<br>perspective for <p><hr></blockquote><p><br><br><br><br><br><br>