"The rest of the Republican majority in Congress said our troops were endangered, however, and backed the call for the draft.
Bush solved the problem by remaining on vacation for another two weeks..."
The Bush Nightmare
Posted October 24, 2004
(A re-written version of the William Tucker editorial,
Kerry Nightmare", equally as logical and definitely more plausible).
Last night I had the strangest dream. I guess it was a nightmare, really. I remember most of it, except how it ended.
First I dreamed Bush won the election. That was a nightmare in itself. He never seemed Presidential enough for the job. He had an arrogant bearing, spoke in non-sensical broken sentences, and mangled his phrases. People were weary after four years of his arrogance, uncertainty, lies and mixed-messages.
The year started off like the last one. On January 22, with his usual unfounded optimism, he went to the U.N. and laid down another ultimatum. America had gone it alone too long, he said. All the other countries were either with us or against us. The General Assembly gave him 15-minutes to state his case, but most of the delegates walked out before he finished. They had heard all of this before. His speech was ridiculed in cities from Paris to Berlin to Peshawar. No new day had dawned. World war was at hand.
The first result that came out of his U.N. visit was that Poland decided to accelerate its troop withdrawal already scheduled for 2005 (which was less than 1,000 to start with). Other allies said that since Bush was still stubborn, arrogant and unrealistic, they were going to leave sooner than later as well. Everyone but Great Britain (who still had only 5,000 troops deployed) packed up and headed home. Meanwhile, Bush visited France and Germany to hold long talks with President Chirac and Chancellor Schroeder. The main outcome, however, was that they told him Iraq was his problem and wished him well. Meanwhile, terrorists in Iraq stepped up their operations
By the time President Bush got back from Europe, things had taken a turn for the worse. Both Sunni and Shi'ite leaders announced that, despite the January election of Prime Minister Iyad Allawi, both now regarded his victory as illegitimate. Democracy was a foreign system that America was trying to impose on the Muslim world. Even in the new Islamic Republic of Afghanistan (that IS it's name), the new leaders were already amending their constitution and reversing the rights given to women and people of other faiths. Both Iraquis and Afghans recommended a return to Islamic rule with religious leaders at the helm. In Iraq, since each sect claimed to be the rightful heirs of Mohammed, each claimed the right to the position. In Afghanistan the war-lords quickly re-established their control and the poppy fields (left undisturbed by the Americans) continued to flourish.
The opposition became bolder. Several suicide bombers penetrated the Green Zone and American casualties started to rise. With our allies pulling out, our soldiers were also required to take over key positions in the South. Suddenly, Bush admitted that our troops were stretched way too thin, as he knew they had been throughout 2004, and we found ourselves facing a newly imposed emergency Draft Law. Rioting, which had been the case throughout the last month's of his first term, continued to break out in more cities of the Sunni Triangle.
All the pretty plans of the campaign were evaporating and President Bush now found himself facing the basic contradiction of his position. Was Iraq after all the wrong war at the wrong place and the wrong time? Maybe Kerry had been right. Or were we actually undermanned all along as Bush's generals kept telling him? For two long weeks, Bush mulled the problem while on vacation at his ranch in Crawford, while fierce debate was waged in Congress. Half of Bush's constituency began calling for a pullout and peace demonstrations took place in New York and Washington. The rest of the Republican majority in Congress said our troops were endangered, however, and backed the call for the draft.
Bush solved the problem by remaining on vacation for another two weeks while Cheney and Rumsfeld arranged a high level conference in Baghdad with all sides attending. A truce was called and for three weeks they debated the issue. Finally, it was decided that 140,000 American troops would be given safe passage out of the country. They would leave in an orderly fashion and then Iraqis would continue to meet under their newly elected government's auspices to decide how they would govern themselves.
Like the Indians watching the British march out of Fort William Henry, however, once the terrorists saw their enemies defeated they could not restrain themselves. Before the American soldiers had even begun to pack their bags, they were under daily attack. General fighting broke out in several cities, even as the Iraqi government continued to meet. American casualties escalated to new levels. Then a suicide bomber rammed the home of Prime Minister Allawi and killed him. The elected government collapsed. Civil war broke out between Sunni and Shi'ite militias, both claiming religious authority, while the Kurds withdrew completely, declaring their own state.
Like so many a President before him, George W. Bush found himself at the mercy of events. All the pretty plans of his election campaign -- the Afghan elections, the Iraq elections, the coalition of the willing --- were forgotten. Suddenly he was a commander-in-chief trying to rescue a stranded army.
Events didn't wait. Now convinced that Bush's objective had always been the Middle East oil, and no longer content to watch Iran develop a nuclear weapon that in two years would be able to hit Jerusalem, the Israelis sent a fleet of F-16s to drop bunker-busting weapons on three nuclear complexes at Bushehr, Natanz, and Arak. Rioting broke out in every Middle Eastern capital. Terrorists streamed into Baghdad from every direction. Syrian and Egyptian armies prepared for a retaliatory attack against Israel.
The royal family of Saudi Arabia broke their lifelong ties with the Bush family, and joined by the communists in China, divested themselves of their dollar holdings on the world monetary markets. The dollar plunged, at home hyper-inflation set in, our economy was in shambles. It made the great depression look like a fourth of July picnic.
That's when I woke up.
I've been walking around in a cold sweat all day thinking about these things. But that's silly, I suppose. After all, it was only a dream. The American people couldn't possibly re-elect Bush, could they?
By Richard. Permission is granted for reprint
in print, email, blog, or web media if this credit is attached and the title