Social and Political Commentary

The men of great ambitions, power and danger

... when will it end?

by Jackie Wattenberg

Early in the 1990's a group of men and a few women dreamed a great dream-remaking the Middle East to ensure American supremacy and make sure that those smaller nations would be friendly and conciliatory to our superpower.

This group of ambitious, fearless citizens was frustrated and despondent when Bill Clinton held the reins of power for two terms. Among them? Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, Elliott Abrams, Lewis "Scooter" Libby, Jeb Bush.

But so determined were they to achieve their primary goal -- to remove Saddam Hussein from oil-rich, water-rich Iraq that in 1997 they couldn't hold back and offered President Clinton a plan for him to take out Saddam. Saddam and Iraq had done us Americans no harm, so Clinton politely declined.

Comes the hazy election of 2000 -- when Supreme Court, not the historic public vote, declared George W. Bush the winner. And who came right into the cubicles of power with him? Those very men with extreme, grandiose, ruthless ambitions. By their side on the Defense Council was hawk Richard Perle who shared their dream, and conservative editor-pundit William Kristol. Close by via phone, brother Jeb who delivered Florida under trying circumstances. All in the family.

With this gang of international schemers surrounding him, is it any wonder that George W. was willing to steer our gullible nation into Iraq although that nation had not harmed us in any way? Warnings from his father's advisor, a piece in opposition by Brent Scowcroft in the Wall Street Journal, reflecting why Bush One had not gone across Iraq to remove Saddam after pushing him out of Kuwait, did not impress George W. All of those experienced, loyal, smart men encircling him itched to get into Iraq. Bring brilliant PR man Karl Rove into the Oval Office and the play succeeds.

So well that when William Kristol stated on TV news that "When we end this war in Iraq, we have to go into several other countries in the Middle East and do the very same thing" -- there is no audible outcry.

Now more than a thousand of young Americans, with so little of human life behind them, have died for questionable goals. More than 15,000 Iraqis, none of whom had hurt us, have been killed. The five children of the man who came home to find his home destroyed, his wife and children crushed to death when the house heaved down upon them. Can we imagine the horror of a mother who hears the horrifying explosion of a bomb above her, brief cries of her children, then she cannot reach them because the rocks and cement and wood of her house is burying her so she cannot move even an arm, and in a moment cannot breathe, and cannot hear any cries of her children -- if any of them can cry under weight of the rubble that had been their protective home.

Thousands of children dead, yes, more than in Russian Beslan. From American bombs. When will we question these men of powerful ambitions and weak conscience?

November 5, 2004

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