What do Weapons of Mass Destruction have to do with Proust? Nothing, except that his works do foreshadow the eventual demise of the aristocracy, and we can only hope that the lack of WMDs in Iraq foreshadow the eventual demise of the meritocracy. Namely, the Bush dynasty.
But let us back up a bit. It has been reported by the AP that the White House said the search for WMDs in Iraq has concluded without any evidence of the banned weapons that President Bush cited as justification for going to war. (http://www.boston.com/dailynews/012/wash/White_House_says_Iraq_weapons_:.shtml) Though the Literate Kitten is suspicious that this was not reported in The New York Times (at least, as of this writing), we have little doubt that this is the case.
Of course, anybody who did not buy into the cult of personality surrounding George W. Bush did not buy into the whole “imminent threat” or “Iraq is buddies with al Qaeda” kites that were flown out as possible reasons for the United States to invade Iraq.
We admit that the LitKit has no inside scoop on the Brad and Jennifer split much less knowledge of the White House’s inner machinations. But we read and reflect; therefore, we can come to reasoned conclusions. Not being terribly concerned with why the Pitts are heading for Divorce Court, we can speculate about why the White House chose to oust Saddam Hussein and fight insurgents and generally kill, and destroy Iraq and its citizens. First, the United States wanted the equivalent of a military Wal-Mart: a convenient, cheap location from which to gas up its tanks and send out its troops – not only to be able to readily incinerate any terrorists who act against us, but also to be a reminder to anyone contemplating such foolishness that we can readily kick butt. Iraq was the logical choice. Saddam was like the Martha Stewart of the Middle East – he was arrogant and secretly no one liked the way he decorated his palaces – and he was the most vulnerable to attack. Nobody wanted to take on the Middle Eastern equivalents of Skilling and Lay, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.
So, in a way, the invasion did have something to do with the war on terrorism; Bush and his administration just weren’t honest about it, were they? Just as Martha wasn’t honest about her conversation with her stockbroker and just as Enron execs weren’t honest with their stockholders. And we know how equitably the justice system and the public treated them. Just as Bush and Saddam Hussein and the Saudi royal family are treated equitably for their lies and acts against humanity.
In America’s current mode of social Darwinism and meritocracy, fairness and justice are based on who likes you or who likes you and your money. And it helps if you have a cute butt.
Finally, having military bases in Iraq brings the extra bonus of shoring up our alliance with Israel. Hey, it’s a win-win for us-us.
Oh, but let's not forget reasons three through five as to why we went to war: Oil. Specifically, protecting oil interests for (in order of importance): investors, corporations and consumers.
Maybe democracy will take root and somehow rule the day in the Middle East. It’s the LitKit’s guess that this would have happened anyway, given the climate of globalization and the decline of the traditional state powers. In fact, the LitKit speculates that it is these twin threats which are the driving forces behind the fundamental Islamic terrorist movement – and that the domination of the United States in terms of determining the characteristics of the popular global culture is why we are the terrorists’ favorite target. Plus, they don’t want to listen to anything more about Britney Spears.
If democracy somehow manages to sprout in the Middle East in the next 10 or 15 years, Bush will certainly take credit, much as Ronald Reagan did with the fall of the Soviet Union, although both occasions have as much to do with U.S. influence as the fall of Rome had to do with the Battle of Mursa –certainly it contributed, but it wasn’t the sole factor for such a historic event.
Anyone could make an equally sound argument that the unilateral invasion by the U.S. of Iraq – with now-discredited reasons for doing so – will delay the adoption of democracy in the Middle East, which by natural events was already ready to take place. Wonder if W ever thought of that?