- 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 Iraq War.
- 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
- 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 ãbait and switchä tactic of initiating a war to prevent
use of weapons of mass destruction and then celebrating regime change when
no such weapons are found.
- 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
- 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
- 8. It is far easier to destroy a dictatorial regime by
military might than it is to rebuild a country as a functioning democracy.
- 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, making them more numerous
and tenacious in their commitment to violent retaliation.
- David Krieger is president of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation
- "If you rejoice in victory, then you delight in
- If you delight in killing, you cannot fulfill yourself."
- --- Lao Tzu
- "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment
of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the
freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably
to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."
- --- US Constitution, First Amendment
- "Peace is the only battle worth waging."
- --- Albert Camus
- To become a free on-line participating member of the
Nuclear Age Peace Foundation,
- click here: https://www.ndic.com/wagingpeace/supportus.htm
- David Krieger, President
- Nuclear Age Peace Foundation
- PMB 121, 1187 Coast Village Road, Suite 1
- Santa Barbara, CA 93108-2794