First of all, my heart, thoughts, and prayers, go out to all the current and past veterans of the Iraq War. My own son was already in service when the first shots were fired. As any father, I worried about his safety, and at the same time was extremely proud of his decision to serve.
But, from the very beginning I had grave misgivings about the reasons we were invading a country that had nothing to do with the 9/11 attack on our country. My deep skepticism was born out of my own generation's experience during the Viet Nam war. I was in service myself when that conflict started, during the last three months of my enlistment. The triggering event at that time was the attack on the USS Maddox in the gulf of Tonkin, which as it turned out was a lie. Just as we were lied to about the real reasons we were hell bent on invading Iraq.
I don't use the word lie lightly, but, I don't believe as some do that it was just bad intelligence, I think it was a deliberate and cynical attempt to deceive the country. For those that disagree consider the following. Why did they out Valerie Plame? Why discredit such a knowledgeable witnesses as Scott Ridder who had served his country with honor? Why fabricate such an elaborate web of facts that all turned out to be false in every sense? I can see if you get one or two things wrong, but in every instance and detail its 100 percent dead wrong? I am sorry but my BS alert goes off.
Let me be clear, I am not a Pacifist, a pinko commie, or left winged liberal and I fully supported the invasion of Afghanistan. However, there were serious questions being raised by many in this country, but, they were to a large extent ignored or labeled as traitors. But the evidence as presented by the administration was largely accepted especially when it came from a man of stature such as Colin Powell. Even the cynical sceptic in me was stilled for a time.
That's why, the full impact of that lie came as a gut crunching shock to me months after the war was under way, and several months after, *our president, declared Mission Accomplished, during the annual **Radio and Television Correspondents Dinner, when he joked about not finding any WMD's in Iraq. At that time my son was still in harms way and we had already lost some 500+ troops. My reaction was to say at the least visceral. I was outraged that a president that had ordered brave young men into battle would be so thick, as to joke about the very reason he repeated endlessly, in order to convince us that we should go to war. I can't think of a word that truly conveys the utter contempt I felt for him in that moment. It was especially contemptible considering his own questionable service record.
You may disagree with such a frank opinion about the leadership of our country, but I would remind you that all men that seek power are suspect. There is more than a grain of truth in the old adage, "Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. " And offer Richard Nixon as an American example. There is a reason Americans chose to elect a president who serves at our whim, and did not crown a king.
Now we no longer talk about WMD's. But, there are those who continue to justify this ill-conceived war. The new rationales are endless:
There were no Weapons of Mass Destruction
Ya but, Saddam was an evil man who deserved the be brought down,
wait I thought getting rid of Saddam was the mission we accomplished. Isn't he already dead?
I thought we hung him, oops I meant, the Iraq's hung him.
Ya but, We can't leave until we win,
wait didn't we already defeat the Iraq army? In fact didn't we disband them?
Ya but, We have to defeat the terrorist,
wait didn't our invasion create the terrorist who came from every corner of the world so they could kill Americans.
Ya but, there is an insurgency and Al Qaeda, and a civil war and blah ba blah, ba blah, ba blah,
wait, at this rate we could be in Iraq for another 50 years.
Ya but, won't the loss of those brave souls who gave their lives be in vain?
That is where I draw a line and say, enough, who among us would dare dishonor those lives already lost as anything less than heroic. What twisted logic can ever add or detract one iota from those that sacrificed their very lives for this country. It is the political leaders who are using that very argument that should be held in contempt for their cynical disregard of those precious lives and their ill-conceived political agendas.
We are still the home of the brave and nothing will change that as long as don't forget the principles for which we fight.
The question I throw out for debate is: How does the loss of one more life in this war either add or detract from the lives already lost?
*Much to my shame I voted for him when he ran the first time and was disillusioned enough not to vote for him a second time.