September 11TH literally and figuratively shattered America’s veneer of invincibility, both at home and abroad. Besides the psychological shock, 911 had profound economic effects on America. The stock market, already reeling, crashed. The U.S. economy plunged deeper into a recession. Unemployment rose and stubbornly refused to come down. According to The Economist Newspaper “While diplomatic wrangles absorb world leaders at the UN, Iraqis have been formulating new ways to jump start their shattered economy.” The issue of Bush choosing to go to War has significant bearing on my everyday life, as well as the citizens of Iraq.
Going to war was the worst thing Bush could have ever done. I don’t know why he would choose to send troops to invade Iraq; a country decimated by a decade of unfair sanctions, which have done nothing but continue to hurt its citizens. Bush has focused on Hussein and his dilapidated army and his supposed weapons of mass destruction when he is currently more than contained by inspectors who minimize his potential threat to the U.S. He has risked deep political fallout with allies and a potential devastating loss of life. I believe that this war is not about terrorism and is more about insuring access to cheap oil and other political-economic advantages inherent in reshaping the Middle East in an American manner. The president of the U.S., George Bush, stated that America stands for freedom and democracy. The truth, however, seems a bit more mundane. Bush’s “American way of life” has more to do with crony capitalistic motivations. The main beneficiaries of bush’s American way of life are first and foremost American corporations. Next the American stock market, and lastly the American people.
The United States rushed towards war, the threat of retaliatory terrorism was of increasing concern, and the economy is mired in uncertainty and inability to escape the doldrums. The consequences for the American people may be the greatest peril of all. A war in Iraq engineered by the Untied States, without overwhelming international support, that resulted in the deaths of substantial numbers of civilians, together with our behavior in regard to a variety of other issues. America is pressing other countries to forgive Iraq’s debts, estimated at $130 billion.
Now, as America has assumed the role of the only super power and made it clear we intend to assert that power as we see fit to further our own interests regardless of the views of others, much of the world perceives us as arrogant, greedy, mean tempered, and totally self focused. No longer are we viewed as a nation determined to lead in bringing a better life not only to the almost 300 million people within our borders, but also to billions of others around the world.
So, the historical end game for Bush is, as it always has been, survival. But this time, it is the survival of a way of life and not of humans. there is a subtle difference. In that difference lies the fate of the world. We have not gained much from this war but unfortunately, we have lost many lives.