This past fortnight the 1,000th day of the Iraq War passed. My greatest wish is that our government had not lied to us about virtually everything to get us into it.
I don’t like liars. I don’t like arrogance. I don’t like being taken for an idiot; too stupid to make up my own mind based upon “silly things” like facts.
And it’s not just me who feels this way, though all of those are very personal reasons.
The war started on March 19, 2003 with American bombs falling on Baghdad. I was one of those who didn’t trust much of anyone else saying we needed to go to war to protect America. The country of Iraq had sat there for more than 30 years without threatening to or planning to attack America or American interests.
It was my mistake to trust Colin Powell, then Secretary of State. How could what he said before the United Nations not be true; there were biological weapons labs and facilities everywhere; missiles were being built that could attack not only immediate neighbors but reach “Old Europe” – England, France and Germany. It was all grim.
Powell, since his retirement – after the re-election of George W. Bush (Why do politicians, Republican and Democrat alike, get their spines returned to them only when they’re out of office?) – has admitted he was wrong; that his assertions were based on shaky ground. That sitting in front of the UN reeling of a series of “facts” that turned out to be false, was one of the worst moments in his professional career.
I don’t think we should be there in Iraq, but now that we are, we as a country have a lot of questions and our government and our military has to come up with a lot of answers.
Also this month, elections were held in Iraq to elect members of Parliament and other offices. There are over 6,600 candidates.
This was the best plan to get democracy in Iraq?
There is now a lot of good happening in Iraq, but getting any place based on many lies isn’t something I accept. Getting there and losing the trust of people who are meant to govern us, isn’t a price worth paying. Getting there when it was clear so many of the assumptions made were not clearly thought through; that “Yes” men and women guided us into war without listening to those who said they had questions about why we were going and what we would do when we got there. More than 2,000 American soldiers, – more than two a day – are dead, at least 30,000 Iraqis are dead, through various means but mostly at the hands of insurgents. And because President Bush said it, I’m willing to bet the figure is at least double that. The Bush II administration famously said they weren’t counting Iraqi casualties. So how come there is a figure all of a sudden? It was a stated claim that it was an American goal to bring the terrorists together in Iraqi in a “flypaper strategy.”
It worked and apparently military planners were not ready. Whether it is a bad war depends on what you ask and who you ask. All war is bad some people say, though I don’t agree. Sometimes there is a just cause; a reason for American blood to spill. Bringing Iraqi democracy may in fact be a just cause. But if this were so, then why weren’t the American people told this was our reason for going; why couldn’t the American people have decided the argument on its full merits.
This is a war that is as hard to write an opinion about – for fear of missing some part of the discussion that when you look back you realize should have been there from the beginning.
(This editorial, written by me, first appeared in the Dec. 15 issue of the Eloy Enterprise)