Friends know that I supported going into Iraq and I continue to support our presence there. They also know that I think war sucks.
In any case, I believe debating whether or not we should have "gone in" is a complete waste of time. If you're concerned about the future of Iraqi citizens or if you're concerned about the lives of American solders, then your time is better spent discussing what needs to be done today in Iraq. Let's talk "exit strategies" not "Bush lied".
"Right Wing News" (surely an unbiased source of objective reporting) has a list of "myths" about the war
. It's worth reading because I hope it helps move the debate where it should be... on the here and now. My response to the myths:
- Bush lied about WMD: In most instances, I tend to take Bush at his word. It would take a lot of sophistication to construct the "evidence" that Iraq had WMD and then to get everyone (including political rivals like Clinton(s)) to believe it. Bush, as it is well known, isn't a sophisticated man.
- 100k Iraqi deaths: This one is debatable, but irrelevant. Plain and simple, death is the cost of war. Any of it is too much. That said, I hope we didn't kill that many Iraqis and I wish we didn't kill any innocents.
- Saddam and 9/11: Tactically, there is no evidence of a connection between Al-Qaeda and Saddam's government. In other words, Iraq wasn't in on the planning. The important connection, the one I believe existed, was on the strategic level. Saddam was definitely a fan of terrorism against Western targets . Some word association, Saddam : Al-Qaeda : 9/11 :: 49er fans : the 49ers : the Super Bowl.
- A pre-planned neocon war: perhaps the neocons wanted the war, but the fact is that the Congress (and President Clinton) set policy in the '90s towards regime change. Bush and Co didn't invent this war or its cause.
- Iraq and the War on Terror: This one drives me crazy. If you disagree with the Bush Doctrine (i.e. go after countries that support terrorists), then, you know, argue against it. Don't just deny that its our government's policy. It clearly is... Bush has consistently said so. You know, tell us why its wrong with it, give evidence against it, and/or come up with an alternative to combating international terrorism. To me, there's a strong connection between economic/political freedom and terrorism. I believe the lack of freedom is a root cause of terrorism. If you believe that too, then how do you answer these questions? How do we go about combating terrorism? What happens when dictators get in the way of the freedom of their people? I'm the first to say I'm unhappy with America's role as world police, but I just can't see an alternative.
Call me naive, but I don't believe we went into Iraq because of Oil or for Haliburton. I believe Bush took us into Iraq in an earnest attempt to strike at the heart of terrorism. If you don't believe he is being honest about our intentions in Iraq, then I ask you to assume it for the debate. I hate war and I hate that our solders are in harms way in Iraq, but I don't know of any viable alternatives to combating terrorism.