Saturday, November 19, 2005


Bring our troops home.

Until a few days ago, I was one of those fence-straddlers on the war in Iraq. I was a skeptic from the beginning, gravely susupicious that we might really be getting into something far beyond our abilities. That skepticism soon gave way to a firm belief that invading Iraq was a patently foolish idea. And within six months of the invasion, I was taken by the unwavering belief that the Bush administration's incompetent handling of the war has turned a questionable endeavor into an outright fiasco.

Still, I said, it would be a mistake to back out now. Stay the course, I said, echoing Bush. Let's see if we turn this into something good. At least let's hang in there until, say, June 2006, then we can see if we've accomplished anything.

What was I thinking? For pity's sake, let's pull our troops out as soon as we can safely do so, and be done with this insanity.

Our troops walk the streets of Bagdhad like targets in a video game and drive the highways of Iraq, praying they don't drive over a landmine. We have 2,000 dead and counting, not to mention the tens of thousands of Iraqi civilians dead. And for what? Yes, Saddam is gone, and Iraqis have conducted elections, both undeniably good things. But where does this end? Does the Bush administration even know, or have they backed themselves into a corner with no way out? I suspect the Pentagon is down to fighting an LBJ/Nixon style of warfare: Just do enough to not lose.

Looking back on why we went over there in the first place, 20/20 hindsight can easily read the lies perpetrated on the American public. No, I don't mean to say that Bush and cronies actually fabricated evidence or intelligence; it does appear that everything out of their mouths has been factual. But it's a textbook case on how one can be completely factual and still tell a big, stinking lie.

We know that Saddam wasn't involved in planning of 9/11 in any way. We know his relationship with al-Qaeda was never more than casual, the same way our president's father once had a casual relationship with Saddam, himself. To link Saddam to 9/11 was to tell a big lie.

We know that Saddam hadn't possessed any WMD for a long time. We know that the Bush administration's evidence of this alleged possession often relied on information that intelligence officials repeatedly warned was not proof of any WMD possession or manufacture. To present this information as proof was to tell a big lie. (And if it's true, as Bush claims, that a war - A WAR! - was started based on an honest mistake using bad intelligence, then he is guilty of some of the grossest incompetence imaginable in the annals of the Aemrican presidency.)

We have strong evidence that President Bush was hellbent on war with Iraq from even before his first day in the White House. For him to suggest that our war in Iraq was part of the war on terror was to tell a big lie. Our president's father and President Clinton both fully realized that Saddam was a terrible man, and they recieved the same faulty intelligence. On many occasions both presidents debated the wisdom of invading Iraq, and both repeatedly decided that such an invasion would be a grave mistake.

And how can we ever forget all that's happened since the Bush administration's big lie started a war? The torture and abuse at Abu Graib and Guantanamo that possibly continues at secret prisons around the world (Do you really believe we're not torturing anyone?). The total and complete denial of any rights whatsoever to prisoners based almost unilaterally on executive decision. The poor outfitting and equipping of our troops. The revelation last week that this shining beacon of democracy we're building in the Middle East has been running a secret detention/torture center. The building and ongoing insurgency movement in Iraq that wasn't present there before the war but which now threatens the stability of the entire region and provides Osama with the greatest gift he could ever wish to receive from President Bush. The Bush White House's incompentent miscalculations of how hard it would be to win this war (Remember the expressions "cake walk" and "mission accomplished?")

And that's not all.

There's the neglect and inattention to our troops in Afghanistan, where the real terrorists were - until now. The insane notion, discredited in London and Madrid, that fighting them over there will keep us safe over here. The growing hatred and resentment of the rest of the world, even in industrialized, Western nations, toward the U.S. The perverse belief by some that treating our troops as expendible cannon fodder in an unwinnable situation equates with our support for them. The foolish notion that an unwavering commitment to a disastrously unsuccessful strategy will eventually win the war. The 60 percent of Americans who say we never should have done this.

For the love of God, let's put a stop to this insanity and bring our troops home.

Great blog, Mouth. This is one of the best writeups about the insanity of this war, and the idiot we have in the White House right now.
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