A Day Of Infamy

Ten years ago, the US invaded and occupied the sovereign nation of Iraq.  News reports today are recalling that the war had “wide support” from both elected officials and the public.  What is that suppose to mean?

The press reports that 75% of Americans supported the war.  That is pretty strong support.  Within a few years after the going got really tough, support evaporated.  I am proud to say I was one of the 25% and saw the war for what it was.  A regime change project premised on superior military force.  (See PNAC)

I was living in Duesseldorf in March 2003.  My english speaking press was the International Herald Tribune, then a JV between the New York Times and the Washington Post.  Between the IHT and the German media, anyone could get a different perspective on what evidence actually existed to justify military action.  The preponderance said (1) there is no imminent threat, (2) there was no hard evidence of any nuclear program, and (3) there was absolutely no connection between Iraq and al Qaeda.

Hmmm.

As the war progressed (even after Mission Accomplished), the tragic consequences began to add up.  We can measure the war’s cost in deaths, those badly injured, and dollars.  All were far too much.

We should also measure its cost in terms of opening Pandora’s box and unleashing sectarian violence of unbelievable proportions.  Iraqi killing Iraqi is just as heavy a responsibility as the thousand of military members who came home with limbs missing or debilitating head injuries.

Since the war began, many have called this a Republican War.  Many have blamed George W Bush and Dick Cheney.  And indeed the war happened on the GOP watch with the drum majors, Bush and Cheney.  I am not sure, however, that the charge Republicans take us to war is fair for all times.

It is clear, however, that former President Bush and Vice President Cheney were not up to the standards of their jobs.  Their shallow thinking, inch deep preparation, poor execution, and unashamed propagandized speeches are part of history.  The Iraq War is one of America’s darkest hours.

To be absolutely clear, the military fought the war and subsequent occupation bravely and with honor.  Soldiers sacrificed much only to return to a questioning country.  This seems grossly unfair considering our service men and women’s sacrifices, but it is the same national reaction as with Vietnam.

March 19, 2003 is a day that will live in infamy.

 

Explore posts in the same categories: Democratic Party, Dick Cheney, George Bush, Iraq War, Politics, Republican Party

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9 Comments on “A Day Of Infamy”

  1. libertytrail Says:

    Congress long ago abdicated their power and duty to declare war. They now leave that decision up to the President, whoever that may be at the time.

    They are cowards who want to be able to change their positions with the wind and we shouldn’t allow them to get away with it anymore.

    -Kathy


  2. Kathy, Bush used family friends to get him into the Air National Guard… when the time arrived for his unit to be deployed, Bush avoided taking his flight physical… as a consequence he was ineligible to fly and did not deploy… that is about as close to be a draft dogger as it gets…

    • libertytrail Says:

      OK Dan.

      BTW, there was substantial discussion about this several years ago. Maybe you missed it. Found this nice summary:

      http://old.nationalreview.com/york/york200402180840.asp

      You know, my initial comment was fair and it illustrated that the American people do have common ground. Why is it that the progressives are determined to divide and polarize us? If we regular folks don’t learn to stick together on the big stuff, the little stuff will destroy us and the political elites win.

      -Kathy


      • Kathy, I did not miss this Bush discussion but it is very useful to read this summary… my point is supported here… there is a huge difference between flying in Alabama and flying combat missions in Vietnam… that’s the whole point… Bush could have (and should have) served in Vietnam…

        “W”‘s father was, like most of his generation, someone who did not duck service…

        But my point in this post and these comments about “W” and Cheney is that they did not meet the standards of the job… “W” was intellectually lazy and let Rove and Cheney have far too much free room… There was not then, and there is not now, justifications for the invasion and occupation of Iraq… This is a position Ron Paul has taken and he’s a libertarian Republican…

        Chaney, Richard Pearl, and Paul Wolfowitz all collaborated on the Project for the New American Century (PNAC), a neo-conservative operation before Bush took office. The invasion of Iraq was a plan hatched well before 9/11… Neo-cons make Republicans look bad.

        I appreciate your measured comments and also agree that measured discourse has been missing. The invasion and occupation of Afghanistan, in my opinion, was justified. It should have ended in 2-3 years but getting in was called for. Iraq is a totally different story and is not a progressive or conservative cause…

      • libertytrail Says:

        Obama is getting us into things all over the middle east and n africa. Are you going to complain that he has no cred because he didn’t serve?

        Look, I supported going into Iraq initially. But I also supported the Patriot Act initially. (It took me about a week to realize what a mistake that was. )

        With Iraq, my problem was that we didn’t go in, do the job and get out. But that’s what we do now. Congress looks the other way, while POTUS makes the call, leaving them free to pick the winner after it’s all over. Ditto Afghanistan.

        Since WWII, no one wants to do what has to be done to actually win a war. Our leaders are willing to sacrifice our soldiers in order to appear compassionate to the rest of the world.

        War is extremely ugly and innocent people get hurt. If we’re not willing to accept that and go in full force with the intent to defeat the enemy at any cost, then we shouldn’t go at all.

        Again, I’ll put the bulk of the blame on Congress. If Congress thought Bush was wrong, they should have stopped him. They have that power. But they didn’t do it. All they did was whine and complain.

        As for the business about Bush being privileged, have a good look at our elected leaders. Bush was/is far from the only one with that kind of background. I’m weary of Bush’s & Clintons and would be very happy to see them all fade into memory. I’m certain there are other Americans who are capable of leading.

        -Kathy

  3. libertytrail Says:

    One last thought z, I believe that average Americans on either side have far more in common than we realize.

    The sooner we all reject the walls that the politicians have erected to divide us, the sooner we will get better leadership, become more prosperous and have more of our liberties returned to us.

    The way things are going now, the only winners are the politicians and their wealthy friends. The rest of us lose.

    -Kathy


  4. Kathy, thanks for all your comments…

    First let me note our points of agreement…
    1. everyday folks are a lot more alike than what our politicians display on the 7/24 media.
    2. things would work a lot better if we made decision using data and facts
    3. Congress has not done its job versus war powers in years…
    4. Wealth and privilege can be found in both parties.
    5. Having been a military person is not a prerequisite to be a good commander-in-chief.

    Going to war is not a straight forward proposition. Is it because the US faces an imminent threat? Is it because of a treaty obligation? Is it because “we think” some country or someone “might” pose a threat? Is it because we know that some country or its leader is a bad person and capable of very bad behavior? Is it to gain some economic advantage? And so forth…

    The weakness imminent threat is that of timing advantage, do it now before the adversary gets any stronger. History can inform us of the problems with treaty obligations. And the rest fall into the list of “policeman duties”. (We don’t get paid to be the policeman, so it should be used very sparingly if at all.)

    Iraq represented no imminent threat. It is true that Hussein was a pretty bad person… but not much different than the leaders of Iran, North Korea, Libya, and a bunch of other third world countries. Why Iraq?

    My opinion is that both GOP and the Democrats were so into personal wealth accumulation in the early 2000s, and business and government ethics were pushed to the back room (remember Enron?). The Iraq War was a boom for TV and newsprint. It was great for defense spending. It was a boom for Halliburton. And it look to people like Karl Rove as a sure route to get “W” reelected.

    Congress and especially Democrats laid down and looked the other way. It was only when things went bad that some Democrats got the courage to reverse their positions. It took a lot more bad news for Republicans to speak against “W”.

    The Arab Spring has presented President Obama with a number of difficult choices. Obama has reacted to each, not initiated. That is one of the major differences with “W” and Iraq.

    So, thanks so much for these comments.


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