Saturday, May 14, 2011

Dying for a lie

Sunday, December 26, 2004

(This is a Letter to the Editor I sent to the Los Angeles Daily News this afternoon. In case the Daily News hasn't the guts to print it, I'm reprinting it here on my blog.)

They gave their lives for us? No, they gave their lives for a lie.

I cried when I saw the cover of the Sunday Daily News today. (12/26/2004) The much-suppressed picture of the flag-draped coffins was front and center, along with the names of Valley-area soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice in combat. Dead boys and girls. And the banner headline read, "They gave their lives for you."

No. They did not.

They gave their lives for a lie, concocted by the Neo-Con cabal who has had an obsession to unseat Saddam Hussein since well before September 11th, 2001. They gave their lives for the lie that Hussein had awesome weapons of mass destruction...nuclear, biological and chemical...and that they were ready, willing and able to project those weapons to Israel and Europe.

What did we find when we stormed into Baghdad? Nothing. Sure, there were conventional weapons, and lots and lots of explosives. Explosives that we didn't keep track of, and which now are being used against us by Al'Qaeda cells that streamed into Iraq after we invaded. Were these Al'Qaeda cells there before we arrived? Nope. Osama bin'Laden's pointman in Iraq is a Jordanian citizen who could not have entered Iraq while Hussein was still in power.

The foreign fighters have succeeded in radicalizing a good chunk of the disaffected young Sunni Islamic male populace, who are more than happy to fight on their side because they have a reasonable expectation that they have no future in a Shia-dominated future Iraq. They have made places like Fallujah deathtraps not only for American military units and the units of the dwindling "Coalition Of The Willing" but also for their fellow Iraqis. Yes, we managed to smoke Saddam Hussein out of his spider hole, and eventually there will be a show trial. George W. Bush can then turn to his Poppy and say "I got him for you!"

Eventually this war will end for the US, not with a bang but with a whimper. Iraq will be left in a state of chaos, with Shia fighting Sunni endlessly. The Iraqi oil that might have been one of the main motivating factors of the invasion will probably be off limits to us Yankee Imperialists. The Shias will have Iran on their side, the Sunnis Osama bin'Laden and his Al'Qaeda machine. The unstable, war-torn Iraq would be a threat to the stability of the entire region. Nobody wins, everybody loses.

We had Saddam bottled up in Iraq, unable to do any harm to his neighbors. His murderous sons and heirs apparent, Uday and Qusay, would be similarly bottled up when Saddam finally went to his grave. UN sanctions made damn sure of it. Instead of projecting sufficient force to smash Al'Qaeda in Afghanistan and Pakistan, we went on this fool's errand in Iraq. Al'Qaeda remains a force to be reckoned with, and the hamfisted, brutal way we have prosecuted the Iraqi War has given Al'Qaeda plenty of recruitment propaganda.

And we did it all for a lie. Saddam had nothing to do with 9/11. He had no WMDs. Yet 51% of Americans bought the lie and gave Bush a second term. Clinton got an impeachment trial for a simple marital indiscretion. As the old liberal saw goes: "When Clinton lied, nobody died." One need only look at the cover of today's Sunday Daily News to see that when George W. Bush lied, hundreds of our boys and girls and thousands of Iraqis died. And continue to die. That's why I broke down in tears today. They died for a lie.

posted 12:30 PM

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