The True “State of Denial”

Bob Woodward's book State of Denial misses the point. The big issue is not about tactics and strategy and poor post-invasion planning, but the criminal conduct of the Bush administration and the Democratic party in prosecuting, authorising and the continued funding (latest a $70 billion appropriation) of an aggressive war in which regime change could not be justified or morally accepted as a raison de guerre.

I could care less about the force size, the lack of anticipation that a guerrilla war would emerge like Vietnam. I could care less about Secretary Rumsfeld's overbearing manner; note in the euphoric beginning of the war Mr Woodward and the press adored the "charismatic" Rumsfeld and his deftness in handling press conferences and exuding the confidence of a slayer of Islam's most awful dictator.

I do care about a nation that goes to war, kills hundreds of thousands of innocent people, violated both international legal norms concerning the laws of war as well as the thrust of international global opinion. I do care about a government that lies about W.M.D. as if the possession of such systems would have justified a preventive war in the first place.

Mr Woodward is just trying to salvage his prowar, proBush image by now criticising what is already well known and hardly extraordinary. Governments exaggerate progress in war, senior personnel coalesce around different figures when things go poorly, efforts to remove or fire senior officials is part of the politics.

The true State of Denial is that the United States is a terrorist nation that commits mass murder in Asia against Vietnamese and now Muslims. I am outraged that the national debate is on what should or should not have been done in terms of successful operational planning and not on the waging of an unjust war that has disgraced and fully established the United States in the eyes of the international community as the most provocative threat to international peace and security.

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