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[Oct. 25th, 2005|10:55 pm]
New update at Long Haired Weirdo. It's entitled "Why are we in Iraq?" and I'm copying it here behind a cut tag.

If you're interested in my answer to that question, you can read it here... but I reckon you all know my opinion of George W. Bush, and know what the ultimate answer will be.

This blog is my "human" blog. I have the other one at http://www.forthedream.com/blogentries, and that's where I try to be patient and understanding and try to bring about the dream, the dream that founded this nation, of many different people, with many different ideas and interests, dreaming about a government that exists to serve the people and protect their rights.

Here, I don't have to be that patient; this is my living room, after a fashion. It's where I can come to rest, and to rant, and to talk about things differently than I would when fighting for the dream.

And it's time for me to rant. Everything I say is an honestly held opinion, here, and carefully thought out. It's just, I'm not going to be too careful about upsetting people who hold different opinions. Is that clear? I hope so.

So, let's look at the situation. Why are we in Iraq?

Well, first was the question of WMDs. George W. Bush stated that he didn't think the intelligence was all that solid. He asked George Tenet if that was all he had... and George Tenet said that it was a slam dunk case.

Well, George Tenet was wrong.

Next was the suggestion that there were strong, and important, connections between Al Quaeda and Iraq. There were connections, but face it, you have two enemies of the United States; they have common interests, so there are going to be connections. There was no working relationship. If we were looking for governments that supported Al Quaeda, there were bigger fish to fry than Iraq.

Finally, there's freedom; the removal of Saddam Hussein, and freedom for the Iraqi people.

I hope we bring freedom to the Iraqi people. I really do. After we invaded their country, insisting that their leader had WMDs, after we killed tens of thousands of innocent people, they deserve that much. They deserve a hell of a lot more, but they deserve at least that much.

But I want you to think about this.

You have 150,000 soldiers. You have much more than one hundred billion dollars to spend. You have a maniacally hateful organization that killed 3,000 Americans.

Is the best way to protect America to spend over a hundred billion dollars, to see over 2000 of our soldiers killed, to reduce our combat readiness by a huge amount, in order to bring freedom to Iraq?

Bush has this wonderful dream that, if Iraq is free, then freedom will spread through the Middle East. It's a nice dream; I have no problem with that dream, but shouldn't we be demanding something more solid than dreams?

The neo-con dream sounded nice; we invade, overwhelm the Iraqi military, install an interim government, hold elections, and bam, a fast, cheap victory.

But even before the war started, Colin Powell was warning that it might not be that easy. Now, how many people are more respected, in military and civilian roles, than Colin Powell? We had a lot of other people who were giving warnings, but Colin Powell was the Secretary of State, chosen by George W. Bush, and however much Bush trusted other folks, he should have trusted Powell, too.

So, the success of the dream wasn't a certainty, either.

WMDs? Bush knew that the intelligence wasn't solid, but trusted George Tenet.

Al Quaeda? There were bigger fish to fry than Iraq. Al Quaeda didn't have a meaningful working relationship with Iraq. We could have gotten a lot more damage done to Al Quaeda at a much lower cost, if we'd done something else.

Freedom for the Iraqis? A noble idea, a wonderful dream, but again, it should not have been our top priority.

Now, I'll grant you: now that we've invaded, we have to see it through. We don't have a choice. Mind, we should be deciding right now what circumstances have to be met for us to leave. Not a timeline, but we should be deciding when we'll say "we've done all we can", and leave.

Otherwise, we could stay stuck in Iraq, losing the lives of our soldiers, and losing billions of dollars, indefinitely.

How many trained soldiers will the Iraqis need? What should their government look like? What jobs do we need to complete, so that we can say we're done, we've won?

But while we're doing that, we should also be asking the question up above in the title.

Why are we in Iraq?

Not because of WMDs; they weren't there, and we had our suspicions before the invasion.

Not because of Al Quaeda; there were other, better targets.

Not because of freedom for the Iraqis; the cost is too high, and the lost opportunities to do other things is too great. No one would have chosen to pay this price to bring the Iraqis to this stage, not in the aftermath of 9/11.

No, we are in Iraq for one reason, one that over-rides all the others.

We are in Iraq because George W. Bush fucked up.

He trusted George Tenet, and shouldn't have. In other words, he fucked up.

He let himself be blinded by advisors who ignored the evidence that Iraq was not the next step in taking down Al Quaeda. In other words, he fucked up.

He chose a course that was too expensive, at a time when America could not afford that expense, to pursue a wonderful dream, without recognizing (despite Colin Powell's warnings) that he had been fed an unrealistic vision. In other words, he fucked up.

And now we have to clean up after he fucked up. And you know what? That doesn't bother me quite so much as the way everyone seems to believe that he's some kind of hero, that people won't even acknowledge that he fucked up.

People can make mistakes, and the occupant of the White House has the opportunity to make bigger mistakes than anyone else.

The thing is, a true leader will admit to mistakes, rather than hoping the spin doctors can insist they were actually wonderful ideas. A real man will admit to his mistakes, and find a solution, working that much harder, because he's determined to redeem himself.

I can't trust George W. Bush to be either of those things. If you can, hey, it's your choice... but at least open your eyes, and look at the facts.

From: gh4acws
2005-10-26 11:43 am (UTC)


as for how long you need to stay - well how long did you stay in Germany?
And while there are still airbases there, you are closing down the Frankfurt gate to Europe one [ after being staging area for two Iraq wars ] and a lot of your people have gone. This is both welcome and painful.
Welcome in recognition that Germany is now on its own again, that the former allies do trust us enough to stay out of trouble on our own ( or at least don't regard us as risk ), welcome too because by any reasonable foresight there is no attack coming from the east. The "empire of evil" is gone - the locals there are busy becoming capitalists and catching up on consuming and have their work cut out for some time yet, but we can't feel threatened.
Painful because in 60 years of your being here there were German communities near US bases that regarded you as good neighbors, also as good customers and if those pack up and walk away that is going to hurt.
Painful too because you ( and here in Cologne the Brits ) added some color to our life, a spice we don't have without you. You had a lot of visitors on the days you did your invite the neighbors thing. ( some folk probably will miss the airshows too )
However you are needed elsewhere and the job you came for is done: probably not done quite as originally planned but done well enough. Also we are grown up enough to keep some of the ideas you gave us running.

I am not sure it will work like this in Iraq, I hope it will. I hope you will eventually get to the point where a majority of Iraqis can say "you Americans botched it a bit at the beginning, but made good afterwards so on the whole it was good that you came". I have a feeling this may take some time. However once you get yourself on the right path for that you will get help even from those who opposed your going there in the first place. The idea of giving Iraq freedom and spreading it over the region from there is worth investing in.

Sorry for running on a bit - it's the way my mind works.

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