They’re at it again.
Many of the people who, in 2003, told us that we needed to invade Iraq because Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, are again infecting our radio and TV airwaves telling Americans that we need to go back and waste more lives and money.
As the terrorist organization, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria – or ISIS, also known, ISIL – rapidly captures vast swaths of Iraq and Syria, many politicians on the extreme right in this country feel President Barack Obama is being negligent by not sending our troops into battle.
Last Wednesday’s Daily Republic article, “Prospect of new Iraq fight turns hawks into doves,” made the point that many politicians who originally supported the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003, now acknowledge their disastrous error, and that sending U.S. troops into what could be called Iraq War III is not sensible.
But, neocon proponents of the 2003 Iraq War, like Dick Cheney, Bill Kristol and Paul Wolfowitz, have been dredged-up, reanimated, and are making the rounds on talk shows spewing pro-war folly. Republican Sen. John McCain, who, it is purported, “never met a war he didn’t like,” encouraged the “entire Obama administration national security team to resign.” Republican Leader of the House of Representatives, John Boehner, ridiculed, “What’s the president doing? Taking a nap?”
On the other side, our member of Congress, Rep. John Garamendi, is sponsoring a bill to require congressional approval before we renew military activity in Iraq, virtually assuring nothing will happen.
Whether or not to recommit American troops, equipment and money to fight in Iraq is a “darned if you do and darned if you don’t” dilemma. Perhaps the Daily Republic will ask us to decide in the Question of the Week. My feeling is that if there was ever a place for unmanned drones, this is it.
I remember Fairfield when the Vietnam War started. Being a military town, we were solidly behind the effort to thwart the plague-like spread of communism in Southeast Asia. But as that endless war dragged on and on, and as we watched ourselves being killed and maimed on the nightly news, more and more of us felt less and less certain we had made the correct decision.
After losing the war, so much money, and so many young lives and potential from my generation, we sat and watched as Vietnam matured to become a modern world citizen, tourist destination and an active trading partner with the United States. In the end, this war didn’t seem to matter, except to the profiteers, taxpayers, and those who suffered and died.
But Americans were not so trusting in 2003.
Even after Colin Powell’s United Nations “weapons of mass destruction” speech, complete with photos, drawings, and a vial of fake poison; Condoleezza Rice’s “smoking gun, mushroom cloud,” and with 45 percent of Americans believing that Saddam Hussein was “personally involved” in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, many still rejected President George W. Bush’s unprovoked invasion of Iraq.
In his 2006 book, “Fiasco,” Tom Ricks correctly foresaw today’s headlines: “… that Iraq will fall into civil war, or spark regional war, or eventually become home to an anti-American regime, or break up altogether. In any of these forms it would offer a new haven for terrorists.” Terrorists, it seems, abhor a security vacuum, and will rush to fill it, and while headlines amply demonstrate Bush’s folly, the cheerleaders of Iraq War II permeate our radio and TV airwaves, not repentant, but doubling down, promoting, inciting, pushing us toward a third war in Iraq with all the jingoistic fervor they can muster.
No matter the truth or consequences, they refuse to be wrong.
Mike Kirchubel grew up in Fairfield and is the author of “Vile Acts of Evil – Banking in America.” He can be reached at [email protected]