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Staying the Course in Iraq
Publication date: 2005-07-01

Is Staying the Course in Iraq the Only Option?

George Bush is calling for the US to stay the course in Iraq. And the US Defense Secretary, Donald Rumsfeld says that the “insurgency” can last for another 12 year.

Well, it certainly can. And it can last much longer than that — it will last as long as George Bush, or his successors are prepared to “stay the course”, that is to keep the American troops in Iraq.

There was neither “terrorism” nor “insurgency” in Iraq before the American invasion. The “insurgency” (that is attacks on Americans or those who are seen to be collaborating with the Americans), began after President Bush had proclaimed the American mission in Iraq “accomplished”. But, in spite of it being accomplished, the Iraq war is still continuing, and there is no end to this war in George Bush's sight.

So, why is the insurgency so insidious?

Why did not the Iraqis come out in hundreds of thousands in the streets to welcome the American liberators with flowers, instead of blowing themselves to pieces to get rid of their liberators?

Why did not the insurgency come to an end when Saddam Hussain was captured by the Americans and shown triumphantly on the TV?

Why did not the tortures of Abu Ghraib, nor the destruction of Falluhjah, made the Iraqis accept the American occupation?

And why not even the elections have put an end to the insurgency?

But may be killing Zarqawi will end the insurgency? Or should he be captured and shown on TV in his underpants?

Will this put an end to the American deaths in Iraq?

No more than the capture of Saddam Hussain, or showing him on the TV in his underpants.

What the American administration do not understand is that neither Zarqawi, nor Osama bin Laden, and not even Saddam Hussain, are causes of the insurgency. The only cause of the insurgency is the American presence in Iraq.

If the Americans leave Iraq, the insurgency will disappear, because it will lose its purpose — driving out the Americans out of Iraq.

But, George Bush wants to stay the course, because, if he withdraws the troops without having “achieved” anything, then he will have difficulties to justify the deaths of over 1700 Americans in his war.

But what can he “achieve” in Iraq?

The longer the US troops stay in Iraq, the more casualties they will sustain. And, if they stay till the end of George Bush's presidency, the number of the American deaths in Iraq will exceed those of the 9/11.

But, then, if he stays the course till the end of his presidency, then his successor will inherit the Iraq war, and it will be his successor who will have to withdraw the troops from Iraq.

And then George Bush will say, that the reason that the American lives were lost in vain in Iraq, was not because of his war, but because his successor did not “stay the course” till the victorious end.

So the Iraq war will not end before George Bush leaves the White House, and Americans and Iraqis will continue to die in Iraq.

But hen, there is another scenario …

According to a secret memorandum1 of a meeting held at No.10 Downing Street (the office and residence of the British Prime Minister, Tony Blair):

  1. Blair and Bush met at Crawford, Texas, in early April 2002 where they agreed on a military action to bring about “regime change” in Iraq.

  2. Because the above military action was seen as illegal, attempts were made to create the conditions which would provide legal justification for military action, as follows:

    1. The British would persuade the UN Security Council to give Saddam Hussain an ultimatum to let in the weapons inspectors, which would be framed in words that would be so unacceptable to Saddam Hussain that he would reject it outright, which, Tony Blair and his advisors hoped would provide legal justification for a war against Iraq.
    2. In case this “plan” would fail, an alternative plan was proposed and pursued: the US aircraft patrolling the southern no‐fly zone began bombing Iraq territory in the hope of provoking a reaction that would give the allies an excuse to carry out a full‐scale bombing campaign, and escalate it into a full scale war.

Thus, although the official invasion of Iraq began in March 2003, the air war against Iraq began at the end of August 2002, six weeks before the US Congress approved military action against Iraq. And all the maneuverings of the British and Americans in the UN, the UN inspections, the allegations of the WMD, of the connections between Saddam Hussain and the Al‐Qaida, were nothing but attempts to justify a war which Tony Blair knew to be illegal, and George Bush did not care whether it was legal or not.

Now, as the Iraq “quagmire” is becoming increasingly more and more reminiscent of that of Vietnam, and the real reasons2 for the war, or rather the total absence of any rational reasons for it, are becoming common knowledge even in the US, what if the President's opponents in the Congress and the Senate decide not to wait until the end of George Bush's presidency?

What, if they say that the President has deceived the American public, the Congress, and the Senate, and that he did so, not because of any rational reasons, but due to an “acute narcissistic personality disorder3”?

… And that this acute narcissistic personality disorder of the President has caused unnecessary deaths of Americans and waste of billions of dollars to the US Treasury.

… And that to prevent further unnecessary losses of lives and money, it is imperative for the President to undergo compulsory psychiatric examination to establish his fitness to hold the Presidential office?

And the President's opponents will have no difficulty to make a convincing case for their allegations, because the President has the classical symptoms of acute narcissism galore:

  1. a grandiose sense of self‐importance — does not the President see himself as a Great Leader Writing His Name with Golden Letters in The Annals of History?
  2. a desperate desire for admiration — are not the President's speeches meticulously staged so that they would be met with resounding applause? Did not he refuse to speak on at least one occasion, because the applause was not guaranteed?
  3. an undeserved sense of entitlement — does not the President believe that he is entitled to tell the people around the world how to live their lives, in spite of the fact that every speech he makes and every action he takes show clearly that he is unfit for the role he has taken upon himself?

Diagnosis of acute narcissistic personality disorder would certainly take the President “off the hook”, because it will show that the President acted in good faith, but in a state of diminished responsibility due to the acuteness of his condition.

But although such a scenario would absolve the President of all his wrong‐doings, it will hurt his pride, his grandiose sense of self‐importance, and his desperate desire for admiration. And due to his possible tendency to fly into a rage when thwarted, it might even have some tragic consequences for those around him.

So, to prevent such undesirable outcome, it might be beneficial for the President to thwart the designs of his opponents by announcing a miraculous personality change4.

Yes, the President was narcissistic, but he is narcissistic no more.

Just as he had succeeded to overcome his alcohol dependency in the past, he has succeeded to overcome his narcissism now!

And this will allow him to reverse his Iraq policies without a “loss of face”. It will enable him to make peace with the insurgents and even with Osama bin Laden himself. And, of course, he would resolve the Middle East conflict.

And this will be the end of the War on Terror and the birth of the newly‐new‐born President of Peace.

And, if he passes a law which will make compulsory psychiatric tests for symptoms of narcissistic disorder5 for all presidential candidates before their nomination, then he will prevent man‐made disasters the likes of the Iraq war happening in the future. And this will guarantee for him the Place in History he so desperately craves.

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1) See the The secret Downing Street memo

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2) No, the reasons were not “oil”, and not “geopolitics”. George Bush had visions of himself putting a badge on the chest of an American soldier. Tony Blair was dreaming of the next electoral landslide victory assured for him by an easy victory in Iraq. And both had visions of their Places in History as Great Leaders. This is what this war was all about.

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3) A British court found that a schoolboy who killed his parents and then went on a spending spree with a girl‐friend and his dead parents' credit card, was guilty of manslaughter (rather than murder) because he suffered from an acute narcissistic personality disorder, the classic symptoms of which are a grandiose sense of self‐importance, a desperate desire for admiration, an undeserved sense of entitlement and a tendency to fly into a rage when thwarted. (,,2-1674646,00.html ).

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4) This has worked for Tony Blair to some extent. Although he did not admit acute narcissism, he did admit that he was arrogant, and following his recent re‐election with a diminished majority, there has been a clearly noticeable change in his behaviour — and for the better. The conceited “smirk” is gone. He is less boisterous and more serious and circumspect. And he is no longer trying to keep frightening the British public with the Specter of the 9/11, but is trying to make up for his wrong‐doings in the Iraq saga, by campaigning for fair trade with Africa and removal of trade restrictions and subsidies in Europe.

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5) Narcissistic disorder among “national leaders” is not uncommon. Nero, Ivan the Terrible, Stalin, Hitler and many others had exhibited the symptoms of this condition. More wars in human history were caused by vanity of national leaders than by any other cause. The Iraq war is no exception.

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