Ignore Bush's Call for Sacrifice -- We've Lost Enough Already
By: Brenton Kenkel, Kentucky Kernel (U. Kentucky)a>
January 11, 2007 4:09 PM
(U-WIRE) LEXINGTON, Ky. - First we were at war in Iraq because Saddam Hussein was responsible for the Sept. 11 attacks.
But that was a lie, and so then we were in Iraq because it possessed weapons of mass destruction.
Yet that was also a lie, and so then we were in Iraq to turn it into a Western-style democracy.
However, the war had already begun, and the people running didn't actually know anything about democracy, like the fact that people who have been living under a totalitarian dictatorship all their lives don't just wake up and say to themselves, "Oh! That's how I fashion sustainable institutions for egalitarian rule and prevent armed sectarian groups from subverting the democratic system."
So now we are not in Iraq for revenge, or self-protection, or democracy. We are there to forestall an inevitable disaster -- to preserve the delusion that this war is still "winnable."
It's not. The influx of 21,000 additional troops (boosting the U.S. presence to about 160,000 soldiers) that President George W. Bush announced on Wednesday night won't avert a civil war and make democracy flourish; at best, it will stall the impending civil war by a few months, at the cost of thousands more American lives.
Indeed, when Bush says that an increased "sacrifice" is needed it is a disturbing reminder of how reluctant Bush was to say it in early 2003, before the war began. Remember how casualties would be low, the war would only take a few months, and the increased oil revenues would make up for the cost of fighting?
Maybe if Bush had been honest about what kind of sacrifice the war would require -- time, money, and human life -- the media and the public would have been more reluctant to let him do whatever he wanted. Congress voted on the war authorization in October 2002, a little over a year after the Sept. 11 attacks, back when one could be labeled "anti-American" simply for showing skepticism about pronouncements from the executive branch.
At this point in the war, "sacrifice" has taken on a slightly different meaning. We're not giving up needless amenities; we're throwing our children onto the fire, hoping to appease the gods of war.
And if the post-Vietnam experience is any indication, the needlessness of our sacrifice now will become an excuse to justify even more killing in future decades. As the 2004 presidential campaign demonstrated, the political fight over Iraq was a rehash of the battles over Vietnam, with many Iraq war proponents' hawkish views having been shaped by their hatred of campus activists in the 1960s.
The right-wing revisionist narrative about Vietnam is that the public's declining support of the war was the cause of the U.S. loss -- troops lost morale and didn't fight as hard as they could have. War proponents have hauled that one out numerous times recently to try to stifle dissent: "By expressing your views, you're harming the troops!"
I can already predict the op-eds in 20 years: "If the leftist media's war coverage hadn't biased the public against the war and forced Bush to back down from a troop surge, Iraq would have avoided a civil war. That's why if we stick it out and stay for just a few more months, we will surely achieve our goals in (country name here)."
Its too late to give up now. I dont think there is a positive solution anymore. We need to do something, but more deaths wont solve anything.
Posted by: M. Smith | January 12, 2007 5:16 AM
If finding out the truth can be called Giving Up, what has our society come too. We went in with good intentions and since have been betrayed by the President by his refusal to acknowledge the truth of the situation.
Posted by: A. Flinner | January 12, 2007 5:51 PM
It is never too late to retract and reconfigure the path we choose to make. To do otherwise would be an act of distruction and irisponsibility on our behalf. We are not the cause of the problem in that region, although we did speed up the process. We are afraid of what others may think because we are looked at with a magnifying lense. Lets stop trying to be the solution to other nations problems and live up to our own expectations, God knows we have fallen short. Maiby then will other nations follow in our footsteps, but not by force but by will of their own.
Posted by: Gabriela | January 12, 2007 7:26 PM
When I was 9, my grandather warned me about 'Dolchstosslegende' German: Dolchsto▀legende, literally "Dagger stab legend" (often translated into English as "stab-in-the-back legend") which Nazi Germans used to question their ordinary German citizens who questioned and desagreed with Hitler's war, Finaly, the SS won until the no one was left to question, afraid to be branded a friend of the 'enemy'.
This persecution-propaganda theory popular in Germany in the period after World War I through World War II.] was advanced by Goebbels, Hitler's Public relations man.
Today, the neo-cons use the same propaganda techneque by attacking ordinary citizens' patriotism and those who dare use their university learned socratic method to draw their own conclusions that this war had nothing to do with 911.
As Grandpa used to say, "don't let them, paint you with a hateful brush'.
So to the rational educated mothers of America, I say to you: Keep on questioning George's policies and the military war industrial complex machine. If you don't, in the end the war machine and its' profiteers, will gain on the backs of your son or daughter.
I'm currently raising a GenNext kid, who is a loving, caring and would never hesitate to volunteer if we really get directly attacked.
But this was not the case with Iraq.
So in the interim, I will let him snowboard, skateboard, and yes...question George's delusional ME war in his social studies class.
Posted by: Susanah | January 12, 2007 9:10 PM
"Unless we learn from the past we will again face dark days ahead".
Posted by: Luis Cristerna | January 13, 2007 3:54 PM
"Discipline budget in D.C" in his new speech? Yea right... He's dumber than dirt it's not even funny. Yet aparently we had idiots who thought "lets re-elect him guys!"
Posted by: Richard | January 24, 2007 4:58 AM
I'm sick of people saying we haven't found WMDs in Iraq. I suppose it's not their faults though, but The Media's....
And also, Bush NEVER said Hussein was responsible for 9/11, and if you think he did, find me the quote. Thursday, September 13th, 2003, Bush DENIED claims that Hussein was connected to 9/11, after an opinion poll noted that 70% of Americans believed Hussein personally had something to do with it. So don't blame the administration for your assumptions. Blame the media.
Posted by: RJ Friedman | February 17, 2007 6:04 AM
We are NOT at war because Sodamn Insane had something to do with 9/11, nor has anyone in the administration worth listening to or believing said that was the case, and I challenge you to find otherwise. (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/3118262.stm)
And we DID find WMDs in Iraq. Over 500 munitions of them.
So, to editors of newspapers and those intent on writing in those newspapers: check the facts of the articles you are submitting and/or reviewing...even though this is an opinion piece, there is more than one blatant lie within the article.
The one thing that intrigues me about Liberals is that, even though they proclaim they are for the people and peace etc etc, they seem to ignore the fact that we have freed over twenty million Iraqis, given them the power to vote, their women the power to run for office, and given them hundreds of other natural rights that Hussein had taken away.
Yes, our troops have died: they knew the risks when they VOLUNTEERED.
Yes, many Iraqis have died, over 50,000 of them. And even though most of these deaths are related to terrorism, they are tragedies none the less.
But compare this to our own civil war, where there were almost one million casualties, or to any other large scale war this world has seen, and the numbers are minuscule, while the benefits are potentially greater.
Posted by: RJ Friedman | February 20, 2007 1:23 AM
first of all PRESIDENT Bush is a great presindent who has had to deal with many hard situations and shoices and no matter what choice he makes there will always be people upset with him...thats just how the job works. Bush has done what is essential to help keep the world safe and helf free the people of iraq. The terrorist our different than we are if you give them and inch they take a mile and we must do what we say if we say we'll shoot them if they cross a line we must shoot them if they do. we must hold to our word that is the only way to keep them in line and that makes it essential to call for more sacerfice and if i wasnt deaf in one ear i would be there in a minute once i turned 18...
here is a good post called "iraq is our responsiblity" that you should read.
- The U.S. military is mired in conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. Casualties are mounting, and we as citizens feel for the families that have lost loved ones. It's a difficult choice to keep those dear to us in harm's way. As the situation in Iraq deteriorates into mass sectarian strife and national newscasts bicker over whether to label the conflict a "civil war," those of us at home watching these events unfold are driven to choose between our desire to bring the troops home and to continue our involvement in the area.
The mechanistic processes of the war effort are undoubtedly out of our reach. We are subject to the choices of those in the military and within the walls of the Pentagon. Regardless, we do hold sway over this effort with the power of the ballot
We must be responsible with the power we have. Americans would be wise to note the recent history of the 20th century -- ignoring the overtures of Adolf Hitler and appeasing his subsequent military strikes led to the biggest war the world has seen. In the effort to avoid conflict through appeasement, we only exacerbated it on a worldwide scale. Those events drove the development of nuclear weaponry, the Cold War, mutually assured destruction and the hodge-podge of alliances that stabilized America on a global scale -- until now.
We again come to a point where such a critical decision must be made, and the stakes are just as high. Do we leave Iraq under the noble pretense of preserving American lives? In considering this, it is critical that we review the consequence of Iraq falling under the influence of Iran and its president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
Who are we to take Ahmadinejad -- a despotic, Islamic, fundamentalist who flaunts in his rhetoric his disbelief of the Holocaust -- by anything but his word? To do otherwise is beyond gross negligence. To do so is to betray our future generations and force them to deal with an ever-growing threat to the democracies and freedom that have been fought for in the past centuries.
We dishonor our ancestors and betray our nation's future by leaving them subject to the historical inertia of our shortsighted, reactionary and politically driven decisions to not finish a vital job. If Iran is able to control Iraq, it will become even more difficult to pressure with economic sanctions, and our future options to stop Iran from getting nuclear weapons may be limited to drastic, military means.
We as a nation are called upon, for our own survival and for the stability of the world, to set aside our prior disagreements in order to stabilize this incendiary situation in the Middle East. Our decisions are final, and our generation is not the only one that will have to deal with them.
Posted by: LEGURIA, Frank | September 3, 2007 7:26 PM