On his recent trip to Israel, President Bush ignited a political firestorm within the Obama, Clinton, and McCain camps by suggesting that it would be wrong to “appease” the Ahmadinejad regime in Iran.
Unfortunately, Bush has the appeasement issue inverted. The real appeasement question is whether people in the Middle East should appease Bush and, if so, whether appeasement would assuage Bush’s aggressive designs in that part of the world.
For example, suppose the insurgents in Iraq, who are currently committed to ousting U.S. forces from their country, suddenly decided to let Bush have Iraq. Would Bush give up his designs on Iran or would he be satisfied with simply having Iraq? My hunch is that appeasing Bush in that way would only encourage him to bomb Iran and try to effect regime change there as well.
Let’s keep an important fact in mind, one that all too many Americans unfortunately still find too discomforting to accept: President Bush and his military are the aggressors in Iraq. Neither the Iraqi people nor their government ever attacked the United States. President Bush and his military have waged a war of aggression against Iraq, a type of war that was punished as a war crime at Nuremberg.
Moreover, if Bush decides to bomb Iran, he and his military will be once again be the aggressor power, waging another war of aggression against a country that never attacked the United States.
Did “mission accomplished” in Iraq satisfy Bush? On the contrary! Soon after the ouster of Saddam Hussein and the installation of a new regime in Iraq, Bush was still not satisfied. He soon began talking about a supposed WMD threat from Iran, creating the same type of fear-mongering that was used to scare Americans into supporting his invasion of Iraq, a deadly, destructive, and expensive imperial operation that has taken the lives of thousands of American soldiers and hundreds of thousands of Iraqis.
Even if it’s true that Iran is supporting the insurgents in Iraq in their attempt to bring an end to the U.S. occupation of their country, that’s a far cry from attacking and invading another country. After all, let’s not forget that the U.S. government itself did everything it could to end the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan, including supporting Osama bin Laden and other radical anti-Soviet insurgents.
The issue raised by Bush of appeasing Iran is quite irrelevant given that Iran isn’t threatening to attack another country. It is instead George W. Bush and his military that have invaded two countries, Iraq and Afghanistan, and without even the congressional declaration of war that is required by the U.S. Constitution.
It is George W. Bush and his military that are now threatening to attack another country, Iran, despite the fact that Iran has not attacked the United States and despite the fact that Iran, like Iraq and Afghanistan, is situated thousands of miles away from American shores.
Can Bush be appeased? Should he be appeased? My hunch is that having tasted the fruits of empire, invasion, and occupation in Iraq and Afghanistan, appeasing Bush would only serve to increase his thirst for more imperial “missions accomplished” overseas.