First of all, I did indeed lift this article’s title from a book by Senator Al Franken, and I want to give him credit for that. It’s all his, not mine, but it fits in perfectly with what I want to tackle with this post.
Seems like everywhere you look these days, the subject of the Iraq War continues to come up. Jeb Bush flip-flops on the question of whether or not he would have invaded knowing what we now know. One day he says yes, the next day he claims he misunderstood the question, so no, but then again, maybe yes. Indecision is an ugly thing, and I’m willing to bet Bush has already managed to alienate enough people on both sides of the issue that he has doomed his chances at the White House. Good riddance, I say.
Then Marco Rubio took a swing at the same question and also made an ass of himself. He says it was not a mistake to go into Iraq. Which in my mind means he is now disqualified from being elected to the Presidency. No great loss. He’s a lightweight and always has been. Can we interest you in some water, Senator?
Hillary Clinton was asked this question and, in my opinion, answered it perfectly. It was a mistake, she said, and she deeply regrets her vote to authorize military force in Iraq. Mind you, she still bears part of the blame, as does everyone who voted to give George W. Bush the right to engage in this epic misuse of our national resources, most notably the lives of the young men and women who fought and the trillions of dollars wasted.
But let us now assign the blame where it so squarely belongs: The Bush Administration, with a special emphasis on George W. Bush and Dick Cheney. They are the ones who lied to us. They are the ones who conjured up images of nerve gas, biological weapons, and mushroom clouds. All of these were lies. They were distortions of what the information actually said. Reason? Revenge and riches.
George W. Bush never got over the fact that his daddy had left Saddam Hussein power. He saw it as a sign of weakness that also reflected negatively on him. Time to go get Saddam. Gotta make the bad guy pay for his sins. The sins of the father, now visited on the son. Saddam = Evil. Put it in easy terms so everyone can understand, he reasoned. So Saddam was compared to Hitler and painted as a man who would use the weapons of mass destruction he was supposedly harboring. Only problem, of course, is that was bullshit.
For those who like to play the shell game in which they adamantly insist Saddam was a bad guy and the world is better without him, I counter, Yes, he was bad. He killed his own people. He invaded Kuwait. He used chemical weapons on the Kurds. But this was never listed as the reason we went into Iraq a second, fateful time. So please stop hiding behind this crap.
Who has made more money off the Iraq War than any other entity? Halliburton. And Halliburton was the employer of Dick Cheney prior to his becoming Vice President in 2000. Also, the oil companies to which both Bush and Cheney had extensive ties were salivating like a dog in Pavlov’s laboratory when they saw a chance to get their greedy hands on the Iraqi oil reserves. It was an oilman’s wet dream come true.
So now you see my main thesis. And in Part 2 of this post I will explore more of the motives for the war and what our response should be in light of what we all know now.