The above screencap comes from an article at Canada.com (here: http://www.canada.com/…story.html ) and after getting a paragraph into it, I was reminded of a blog post I wrote waaaay back in July of 2002 (here: http://thepete.com/…w3-clearly ). It was a post about how Bush was saber-rattling, saying that the world had become more dangerous, post-911 and that Iraq was the number one threat to America.



Would he invade Iraq? It sure looked like it to me and a lot of other folks at the time. This was despite the complete lack of any persuasive evidence that Saddam actually *was* a threat.



At the time, Bush had said, “We are going to respond in a determined, focused, effective way by defending freedom no matter what the cost, and that includes understanding we cannot let the world’s worst leaders blackmail the United States or our friends and allies with the world’s worst weapons."



This inspired me to write in a post dated July 29, 2002: "What is the proof of this ‘blackmail?’ Who has publicly threatened the use of ‘the world’s worst weapons’ against America and her friends? I challenge anyone to quote one leader who has publicly said ‘America? She’s a bitch and we’re gonna put her down,’"



"Okay, so they don’t need to have used those exact words, but even Saddam hasn’t said ‘We plan to nuke the USA.’"



Since then, he's stuck to that general plan of throwing American weight around. Sure, the packaging has changed, but his behavior has not. Anything to escalate. Anything to keep hostilities going.



Now that Iraq wants us out and the threat of Iran can't be trumped-up (though I don't think Bush has completely given up on that possibility), here comes the Georgian Invasion of Russia.



Bush and Pals have jumped on this opportunity to sell a missile defense system to Poland. A move that Russia does not appreciate and feels will escalate things into another cold war. The catch with Cold War II is the same catch that existed with Cold War I: the chances of a cold war turning into a World War rise dramatically.



If history books are to be believed we came insanely close to wiping out planet Earth during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Do we need a Poland Missile Crisis?



It might distract us from our shitty economy. It might actually help our economy. It might cripple our economy further, as our last two wars have.



Of course, any kind of military build-up at all causes deaths. But that's all beside the point for a person like Bush who is acting like a spokesperson for the American Military-Industrial Complex.



Think about it:



Saddam never did threaten us. Neither did the Taliban. Nor is Russia threatening us, today. So, why does Poland need a missile "shield"? I can understand why Poland might want a missile shield, but in the great scheme of things Russia invading Poland would be such a serious instigation that would *definitely* provoke World War III. Russia couldn't manage to take down Afghanistan in all of those years--how can they expect to fight a World War?



With nukes is the only answer I can think of. But I don't think the Russians want to nuke anyone. They just want the race back, which seems to be what Bush wants, too. However, I don't think Putin's Russia wants WW3. That's George W. Bush's interest and it has been since before I wrote that post back in 2002.



If you recall, in the months before 911, an American spy plane crashed in China (jog your memory here: http://archives.cnn.com/…ina.plane/ ). Bush was freaking out--making all sorts of demands and I was pretty sure back then that he wanted things to escalate. The irony for us, today, was that while the mainstream news was covering the China Spy Plane story, China was also annoyed at the Bush Administration for their talk of a nuclear missile shield (and possibly putting one in Taiwan). They were afraid that America was becoming too bold, like they might just start bombing any place they feel like bombing (source: http://is.gd/1O5y ).



No seriously. They said that back in 2001. Here's a quote from the New York Times: "Once the United States believes it has both a strong spear and a strong shield, it could lead them to conclude that nobody can harm the United States and they can harm anyone they like anywhere in the world."



Of course, seven years later, Bush goes to China and enjoys the Olympics. Seven years later, there's no talk of a missile shield in Taiwan, but there is about one in Poland.



And now Russia doesn't like it.



So, let's look at Bush's track record.



He was all fire and brimstone about China giving back the American crew of that spy plane.



After 911 (which he allowed to let happen) Bush said he'd get Bin Laden, dead or alive.



He invaded Afghanistan because they wouldn't give up bin Laden. The catch was that the Taliban barely had control over their almost non-existent country after years of a devastating war with the Soviets.



Then Bush invaded Iraq because it was a threat to us (somehow). While Saddam is dead, no WMD were found, and bin Laden has gotten away with 911.



Finally, using Russia's invasion of Georgia (after Georgia invaded their own version of Kuwait), the US convinces Poland to pick up one of our cool missile defense shields. This is a move that Russia has already said will cause a new nuclear arms race--a new cold war, much the same way the Chinese complained back in 2001 when Bush was first blabbing about a missile shield.



Personally, I think it's obvious that at every point above, Bush could have made different, more peaceful choices to reach the same (or better) results, without using military force or threats. Yet here he is, in 2008, still saber-rattling, still trying to trump-up threats that don't exist.



The world can't just be at general peace. We can't just force the Military-Industrial Complex to scale back and make a reasonable living, instead of making a HUGE one.



While websites propagating art and music (like Pandora.com) suffer for lack of funding, the companies that make bombs and bullets are making bank. While people are sick and dying from diseases like AIDS and cancer, the folks that make you die much faster are making much more money.



So, it all goes on. What's also interesting is in that NYTimes.com article I linked to above (here again: http://is.gd/1O5y ), they actually referred to things Clinton's administration did--like, bombing Kosova and Yugoslavia.



So, maybe it's not even Bush who wants World War III. Maybe it's just all of us, who would generally prefer to live in fear, with the threat of World War III hanging over our heads.



Like the German citizens who elected Hitler, having someone to fear gives us focus, drive, purpose and maybe even a sense of satisfaction. You feel superior to those nasty Jews/Muslims.



Maybe that's why aliens don't visit us. We're a planet full of yappy little lapdogs. Barking like mad at any perceived threat, but quietly, secretly enjoying the drama.
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