The media, blogdom, and much of our day to day conversations are already saturated with highly polarized opinions of the war in Iraq, and I am fully aware that my voice probably adds very little value to the ongoing debate, but these are my thoughts if you care to read on.
This life long bedrock Reaganite Republican, who prides himself in never having voted for a single Democrat since filling out his first voter registration card right after the swearing in ceremony for new American citizens in 1986, strongly
opposed the war from day one.
Let's set aside the morality of the war for a moment although it is replete with profound moral implications.
The most colossal mistake, in my opinion, that the President made from the get-go was his failure to secure overwhelmingly popular support for the war, and now chickens have come home to roost.
While I agree that our leaders should act out of deeply held principles in decision making, not based on the whims of the polls taken from the notoriously fickle populace, I believe popular support is the most critical ingredient in the successful prosecution of war. I don't need to tell you, if you are a student of US history, that we won every single battle in Vietnam, but the unpopularity of the war eventually did us in and the final outcome was the first war defeat in our nation's history.
People bear the costs of war with their very lives. Over 2,300 military men and women have lost their lives. Over 16,500 military men and women have been wounded in combat. Over 4,000 military men and women have been seriously maimed. The lives of these military men and women and those of their loved ones have been altered forever.
And it is far from over.
Sacrifices of such magnitude call for overwhelming and unyielding public support. We as a nation needed to be on the same page with the collective sense that we were all in this together as a people, but that was far from being the case before the invasion.
If you remember the months leading up to the war three years ago, the Bush administration's claims of the imminent threat posed by Saddam Hussein were met with widespread skepticism both here and abroad for very good reasons, which were summarily dismissed as unAmerican and unpatriotic. Much of the support for President Bush's push to invade Iraq was based on our wishful thinking that the government knew something that we didn’t.
rhetoric from the proponents of the war did its magic and convinced a slim majority of Americans to support the invasion.
Now long vanished without a trace from Mr. Bush's vocabulary is the weapons of mass destruction
Today, the President continues to beat the drumbeat of his wildly optimistic assessments of "progress" made in Iraq. His administration bitterly complains of how the media selectively concentrates on the negatives, and insists that the sectarian violence which has claimed thousands, if not tens of thousands, of Iraqis represents but a small fraction of the big picture.
He may very well be right. I am not in Iraq to witness all the wonderful developments that the President raves about, so I can’t say for sure. I know that.
But Mr. President, your if-you-knew-what-we-know
sales pitch before the war has turned out to be baseless rhetoric, so why should we buy it again?