Regions / Middle East & North Africa
After the occupation of Iraq, the administration of U.S. President George W. Bush appears to be torn between moving from Baghdad on to Tehran, or refocusing on al Qaeda as the main target in the "war on terrorism."
Between May 1, when President Bush declared that major combat in Iraq was over, and August 20, 131 U.S., nine UK, and one Danish military personnel have died in Iraq from all causes.
The growing credibility crisis of the Bush administration with respect to Iraq, as well as the ongoing crisis on the ground in Iraq, provides us with new opportunities.
It is becoming increasingly apparent that the intelligence cited by President Bush regarding Iraqi military capabilities in the months leading up to the U.S. invasion of Iraq was neither good, nor solid, nor sound.
Our cities, which are the frontline defenders against terrorist attacks at home, have been left holding the bag with little support from our federal government, leaving the citizens of our nation more vulnerable than ever.
Now, almost two years later, the U.S. may have lost a window of opportunity to improve relations with Iran, and currently faces resentment throughout the Islamic world.
Contemporary leaders, like those of yore, ought to heed warnings to discount heady advice brought by people with their own agendas.
Just as in the war on terrorism, the struggle for peace in the Middle East must include a concomitant effort to change the hearts and minds of people involved.
That is a lesson the government of Israel's Prime Minister Ariel Sharon might heed as it continues to occupy the West Bank and Gaza at a cost that threatens to destroy the Israeli economy, impoverishing both occupiers and occupied.
Two recent polls show signs of a sharp decline in popular support for the Bush administration's policies in Iraq.