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WAR OF CHOICE


        And so George W. Bush chose, of his own free will, to start an entirely unnecessary war in Iraq.
        The temptation is to sit down and write a ten thousand word essay on the history of the Middle East, the struggle for the control of the world's petroleum resource and so on and so forth. Add my analysis to the million or so takes on the situation which are already out there.
        But, to me, the one big clarifying point about the war in Iraq is that it was entirely unnecessary, something chosen as an act of free will. George W. decided he was going to go to war and he did, without anything in the way of necessity to drive him.
        The point here is that it was not the nutso fanatical jihadists who started the war. Not the suicide bombers, the cook-it-at-home-and-blow-yourself-up mob. Not the fascist mullahs, not the bikini-hating cultural purists. It was not the Iranian thermonuke enthusiasts. It was not the enemy, however you choose to construe the enemy.
        Regardless of whether you see the enemy as being a religion, an extreme fraction of a religion, a cultural tendency, an ethnic group, a set of ethnic groups, the enemies of our friends, real enemies, imaginary enemies, half real but partly imaginary enemies, our global competitors in the struggle for the control or oil, or whatever — however you construe the enemy, it is the fact that it was not the enemy, real or imaginary or a mix of both, which started this war.
        It was us.
        To the extent that George W. Bush is us.
        And I think that if you live in the West then, contextually, he is us, regardless of your nation. No way of walking around that one, really. In practice, at the level of the cartoon, which seems to be the level at which global politics functions, he is us.


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