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Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Avery on the war

Occasional guest blogger Avery hasn't posted here in a long time...largely because I didn't have a late summer vacation this year, what with the May Freedom trip and all.

Anyway, he's found alternative outlets for his views. This was his letter-to-the-editor, Louisville Courier-Journal, August 30:
Maureen Dowd reports that "a majority of Americans now think that going to war was a mistake." But the war was not a mistake. If it had been a mistake, President Bush would be meeting frantically with experts and allies -- not to mention Cindy Sheehan -- attempting to figure out how to cut our losses and get out.

To treat the war as a mistake is to accept the premise that our rulers want what's best for us all, and that they simply miscalculated when choosing this war. But they don't, and they didn't. Instead, they lied about WMDs and 9/11 links . . . intimidated skeptics, manipulated intelligence, outed an undercover CIA agent for political payback, and rolled out their "splendid little war" like a new product in the fall lineup. Then they looted Iraq through no-bid contracts for GOP-affiliated corporations.

This war was no mistake. Mistakes are made by people who are trying to do the right thing. The war was, and is, fundamentally wrong and immoral. And George W. Bush, by remaining on permanent vacation and treating all bad news as ultimately just a PR problem, reveals himself to be a fundamentally immoral man.

It's a shame that our credulous media must go along with the pretense that this was, at worst, all a big mixup. The pretense is clearly false. Our rulers are criminals -- and our journalists are accomplices.
In my view, the Bush administration made a mistake because they miscalculated many of the negative effects of the war.

I think they were very confident of the events of March and April, 2003. Moreover, someone probably imagined the "mission accomplished" moment months before it occurred. A few planners probably thought this would be a good chance to remove the troops from Saudi Arabia, and that a few "remnants" of Saddam's regime might fight back for awhile. All of them probably thought the Iraq war vote would be great in the '02 congressional elections.

But, and this is a major caveat, I'm willing to bet that they badly missed the big picture. Did they expect still to be fighting an insurgency in Iraq 2.5 years after the war began? Probably not.


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