This week we observe Memorial Day, honoring the men and women who died fighting for our country. Over the last two weeks we’ve had to listen to those responsible for more than six thousand of those deaths debate whether the invasion of Iraq was justified “knowing what we know now”. And just last week, leading into this weekend, we had to listen to some who claim to be our “leaders” advocate sending still more of our soldiers into harm’s way, insisting we need at least twenty thousand “boots on the ground” in Iraq and Syria.
Apparently some of our “leaders” have forgotten that those boots have feet in them belonging to entire soldiers. And apparently they also hope that we have more dead to honor next Memorial Day.
This is probably unfair. We don’t believe that either Senator John McCain or Lindsay Graham would really want more of our soldiers killed…although, inevitably, they would be. In war, soldiers die. It’s a rule. Apparently some of those advocating our increased involvement in that war have forgotten that…or think it doesn’t apply to their wars of choice.
Indeed, it seems that these Republican leaders have forgotten many things about our involvement in that misbegotten war. Have forgotten…or continue to lie about. We are told that if they knew then what they know now, they would not have invaded Iraq…the war, they say, began because the intelligence they received was faulty, that, given what we knew at the time, the invasion was justified. Some even insist that, even knowing what we know now the invasion justified because the world is a better place without Saddam Hussein…this ignoring the fact that, under Saddam, Iraq was stable, was a counterweight to Iran, that the chaos that is now the Middle East was brought on by the removal of Saddam. Was he a bad guy? Of course, he was. We supported a lot of bad guys in the world. We still do.
What they also forget is that so much of what we knew then just wasn’t so. How much, in fact, was simply lies. The Bush administration continuously tried to link Iraq with the 9/11 attacks, though not only were Saddam and Osama bin Laden not allies…they were mortal enemies. Time and again, the administration insisted that Saddam was pursuing a nuclear weapon, though they knew he was not and went out of their way to destroy those who called them on their lies.
And now, they insist, we must go back and finish the job they failed to do. ISIS, they claim, came to be in the vacuum left by our withdrawal from Iraq. Again they lie. Again they ignore the fact that ISIS grew out of Al Qaeda in Iraq…another creation of the Bush administration’s misbegotten involvement in that benighted country.
We allowed the neocons and their acolytes to lie us into one war. Must we allow them to lie us into another?