Thursday, June 02, 2005

Iraq War: Drafting the Dead

From one of my area's local newspapers, good synopsis.

Published on Wednesday, June 1, 2005 by the Seattle Post-Intelligencer
Iraq War: Drafting the Dead

President Bush was among the 260,000 graves at Arlington National Cemetery when he said it. But it was clear Monday that the president was referring to the more than 1,650 Americans killed to date in Iraq when he said, "We must honor them by completing the mission for which they gave their lives; by defeating the terrorists."

Bush insists on clinging to the thoroughly discredited notion that there was any connection between the old Iraqi regime -- no matter how lawless and brutal -- and the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

U.S. military action against an Afghan regime that harbored al-Qaida was a legitimate response to the 9/11 attacks. The invasion of Iraq was not.

As of Memorial Day 2003, Bush had declared major combat operations at an end, predicted that weapons of mass destruction would be found and that U.S. forces were in the process of stabilizing Iraq. One hundred sixty U.S. troops had died.

The U.S. death toll has grown more than tenfold. No weapons of mass destruction were found. More than 700 Iraqis have been killed since Iraq's new government was formed April 28.

Bush said of the insurgents at a news conference yesterday, "I believe the Iraqi government is plenty capable of dealing with them."

Of course, this is the same president that assured the world that military intervention in Iraq was a last resort and that the United States would make every effort to avoid war through diplomacy. Giving lie to that as well is the so-called Downing Street War Memo, which shows that as early as July 2002, "Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD. But the Intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy."

Perhaps all presidents' remarks in military graveyards are by nature self-serving. But few have been so callow as the president's using the deaths of U.S. troops in his unjustified war as justification for its continuance.

© 2005 Seattle Post-Intelligencer

Iraq War: Drafting the Dead


Joseph Ruger said...

Personally, I've decided to openly state my bias of Bush supporters in the small expat community of Tainan, Taiwan, where I have lived for 17 years. I've posted ads to participate in a kiteboarding club and stated that Bush supporters are not welcome to join. I've received a bit of hate mail from some who won't identify themselves, which doesn't surprise me. If there is anything I can do for you or your family, please don't hesitate to contact me.
Joe Ruger

Theresa Miller said...

I agree with most everything in this article except the line about the attack on Afghanistan being legitimate. The biggest problem I have with that line of thinking is that we are not dealing with a "legitimate government" when we talk about al-Qaeda. How can we hold the majority of people in a country responsible for attacks perpetrated by a small group of people who don't even call that place home? Are we going to bomb Germany, Italy, Pakistan, Syria, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia? Al-Qaeda has infiltrated these countries as well as a host of others.

There is no reason to believe that the international community would not have responded to our call for help in the days immediately following September 11th. I believe they would have lent a hand in helping us track down these terrorists and bringing them to justice in front of the International Criminal Court. If only cooler heads had prevailed and been given time to map out a plan of strategic and surgical strikes aimed at eliminating these terrorist cells. Instead we lashed out in blind rage and revenge and indiscriminately bombed "suspected" targets and killed thousands of innocent people in order to help us feel like we were in control again.

So what did we accomplish? Three and half years later, after dropping thousands of pounds of bombs and killing even more Afghanis than Americans who were killed on September 11th, Bin Laden is still at-large, the al-Qaeda network is still operating in a host of countries, the Taliban is making a comeback, the drug trade is flourishing and Afghanistan still lies in ruin. I don't feel better or safer.

Lietta Ruger said...

Theresa, I think you are right on the money in your observations. I also hoped our country would not act rashly and hurry into Afghanistan, but also knew in my heart we would as reactionary reaction to 911. BUT IRAQ !! Not even and when the drums of war sounded using the word Iraq = Saddam = Terror, I knew this administration was capitalizing on the grief, shock, and normal human reactions to further an agenda of their making. When Congress gave a reluctant endorsement, my heart knew our country had lost it's way....

President George W. Bush's statement in March 2006 after 3 yrs of war "a future President will have to resolve war in Iraq"


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