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The conquest of Iraq is only the beginning I predicted.
On the cover:
The Iraq War was a protracted armed conflict that began with the 2003 invasion of Iraq by a United States-led coalition. The invasion regime toppled the government of Saddam Hussein. Start date: March 20, 2003
A hindsight perspective on Iraq War. Do you agree?
I thought you might be interested in a column I did on the first day of the 2003 Iraq War. I was almost alone in my opinion at the time and would be labeled “anti-American” for my opinion. Now, with the advantage of hindsight, do you agree with any of its predictions.
Part of me died Wednesday when bombs started falling on Baghdad. The America I’d grown up with, thought I knew, was gone, probably forever, replaced by a corporate conglomerate without a soul.
In the name of justice.
For the first time (with the exception perhaps of Grenada), American troops had opened a war, a blitzkrieg, on another country. The Revolutionary War, a rebellion against foreign rule, doesn’t count. In the Mexican War, it’s still unclear who shot first in what started as a border dispute, and the blowing up of the battleship Maine by unknowns in the Spanish American War is still clouded in mystery.
Vietnam was a step-by-step escalation.
Lincoln, a wise leader, had the sense to wait until the Confederates opened fire on Fort Sumter, thus gaining moral high ground before calling for volunteers.
The architect of this situation is George Bush. No man worked harder for it. No one wanted it more. He planned it back when the Sept. 11 attacks took place. All the so-called negotiations since were just a ruse, Bush going through the motions to look like he was making attempts at peace. He had his mind made up long ago, and he knows it.
When the administration couldn’t get the UN to go along, it accused that body of moral cowardice, though in reality it was individual countries exercising their right to disagree. When he couldn’t get a yes vote, he fabricated a fictional list of supporters called “willing” countries, a ploy so transparent, so cynical, with a title so patently phony and idiotic it couldn’t fool a five-year-old kid, that no open-minded adult would have thought even a bad president and his ideologue advisors capable of it.
“You (UN) have failed in your responsibility to see it my way.”
Like the McCarthyism-commie-branding of the 1950's, Bush (and Tony Blair) insinuated that anybody who thought Iraq should be handled differently were supporters of Saddam.
I’m ashamed of this president and the weak Congress (excepting Senator Byrd) that allowed him to drag it down this disastrous path.
I can’t believe this is the same country I knew as a boy. When I decried Bush’s arrogance and said the United States was turning into a new Roman Empire, one of my co-workers said “good.” My jaw dropped.
Bush and his cronies have Joan of Arc Disease, that self-pitying, self-righteous tunnel vision religious fanatics get, that says to them, I’m the only noble man, the only brave man, the only smart man. Everybody who’s not with me, is against me. Everybody else is wrong. I’d be suspicious if my opinion ran counter to 98 percent of the rest of the world.
Throughout this crisis, for months, Bush’s demeanor has consistently been that of a swaggering, sword-rattling lout. But it’s fear that moves him. He panics. His preemption policy calls for America to attack other countries first, because it’s a dangerous world. They might do it to us. We have to do it to them first.
It’s tantamount to a psychological lynching.
Under this guise, we would have attacked the Japanese before Pearl Harbor (Roosevelt knew they would strike, but didn’t know where). There would have been no Japanese sneak attack, and the Japanese would today be able to claim they fought the war because we started it. They could claim to be victims, as Iraq will now.
Hidden weapons? We have them. So does everybody else. Saddam’s been hiding his? Would he have used them again? Unlikely, with the world spotlight on him, and at half the military strength he was in 1992.
We’ll never know.
Failed UN resolutions? Nobody remembers the long forgotten resolution demanding Israel give up its occupied territories. Mr. Bush overrode the community of nations. He weakened the UN. This war will swell the ranks of terrorists. Our very allies are suspicious of us. Bin Laden and the real perpetrators of 9-11 now have a better hideout amid the swirling chaos of the war (just when the FBI and CIA were starting to bag them).
If America of the past stood for anything, it was alleged fairness (did Hopalong Cassidy ever draw first on the bad guys?) That’s been jettisoned for a new ruthless mentality.
You got your war, Mr. Bush, but it won’t be over when our tanks enter Baghdad. A year from now there will be a scared, 19-year-old kid from Cut and Shoot, Texas, driving a hum jeep down a dark hostile street as part of an endless occupation, with ambushers waiting.
War hawks don’t care as long as somebody else fights the war. They can sleep in their warm, comfortable beds.
That kid’s blood is on your hands.
The conquest of Iraq is not the end, only the beginning.
John Sammon, : John Sammon is a writer whose experience includes newspaper reporting, magazine writing, personality profiles, interviews, celebrity interviews (Clint Eastwood), historical pieces, investigative and crime. He was selected “Most Valuable Reporter” for California’s oldest continually operating newspaper, and covered the weekend crime beat for a daily newspaper in Nevada. If you beat your wife on Friday, he wrote about it and got you in deep trouble on Saturday. He covered business,... (more...)