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From The Editor: 180 Degrees Revisited july 20 2003, 05:49 pm
submitted by: normal mc

EDITOR'S NOTE: Remember this? I was proud of that article at the time, am still proud of it actually. I was most proud of the discussion that followed it's posting. But it was how I felt at that time and, well... it's time to revisit it.

So is this war over yet? It’s not? Damn, I thought for sure it was over. But it’s high time I stop running from the truth and just face it – I was probably more wrong than right…

What does that mean? It means no, I don’t think they’ll ever find WMD’s, It means I realize that this was all a calculated strike based solely on economics and a means to hopefully guarantee re-election. I was duped, as were many of us, into thinking that there was a moral high-ground regarding tyrannical regimes, that, while there certainly was a lot of gray area between the black and the white. That we were doing the right thing. Fact is that we will not know if we did the right thing for generations, at least in regards to bettering the lives of innocent Iraqi civilians. We’re definitely not going to know before Decision ’04.

Did he lie about the info re: WMD's? Yeah, he probably did. Nice to be lied to, isn't it? Remember when Clinton lied about a bj and we all got up in arms? Besides the standard weblogs and online journals, the villification of our President and his lying has been slow to develop. That's the scary thing, if you ask me, that in the face of fairly strong information that our Government has lied to us, they're getting a free pass because, hey, we got rid of Saddam and Iraq is free!

But is Iraq free? Free to loot and pillage, yeah. But now we’re now fighting a ‘guerilla war’ against pockets of resistance throughout Baghdad. How could we not see that coming? Did we expect them to welcome us with open arms and throw us parades? And how are we doing with the new infra-structure, I mean, besides tourism?

Our leaders lied to us? No! Normal MC reverts to his original stance regarding U.S. involvement abroad in the name of oil and higher approval ratings?

Not quite.

“I took the bait, I drank the Kool-Aid and now it's your turn. The New World Order is here and we all have to deal with it. We didn't create this situation and no, our shitty foreign policy over the past five decades hasn't helped it either. The mistakes of the father are now the son's responsibility to rectify and the son has to clean up his father's mess. I wonder if Dubya recognizes this, because it is shockingly obvious to me - this all could have been avoided 12 years ago had Bush the Elder had a pair. Bush Sr. suffered from premature evacuation in '91 and we've had a case of national 'blue-balls' since then. The Gulf War was the unfinished war, and Clinton sat on it for 8 years. Now we have a chance to finish it off. “

Yeah, well… we still have to deal with the New World Order, like it or not. Dubya had the chance to fix the mistake from ’91, and he did get Saddam out, right? Or is he still alive? I guess one of our objectives was met, but watching the news and reading stories now, it seems as if we had no post-war plan, no occupation plan. That’s right, kids: welcome to post-Saddam Iraq, home of looting, jaded servicemen and no real plan for the future. How is this different than any other military exercise since WWII? It isn’t. Regimes have fallen in the name of Democracy for the last 50 years and let’s face it, our ‘nation-building’ leaves much to be desired.

“Let's see if we get it right this time. Maybe we've been too isolationist lately. Maybe our quest for national security has ruffled a few feathers abroad. But I think this time it will work. Maybe this Iraq exercise will get the ball rolling.”

Yeah, not so much. We killed a lot of people though, so good job there.

“I've turned the corner. I've abandoned my youthful idealism in favor of pragmatism. It's with a heavy heart and some reservations that I say 'so long' to my idealism, my wide-eyed optimism. It doesn't work anymore. Reality knocked on my door and I invited him in, we had a chat and relaxed over some FRENCH vanilla coffee. That's right, not 'freedom' vanilla - French vanilla.”

Guess what? Youthful idealism came back, it, too, knocked on my door. Idealism caught me in bed with reality, called reality a dirty whore and yelled at me for ‘buying in’ to the hype machine. Idealism looked good, real good. I started to think about how much fun I had with idealism, back in the day. I then reminded myself that even though in the grand scheme of things I alone can’t make a difference, that doesn’t mean I should just change my mind to become one of the crowd.

So, I kicked reality out, told her it was fun for awhile, but I’m in love with idealism. Idealism and I split a pack of Camels and a sixer of Schlitz and got small…

So what now? Peacenik? Super Anti-war pussy? Not exactly. Who knows?

First person to say 'I told you so' gets a dollar...

comments...   add a comment...

kid dexterity
kid dexterity 1186 posts
comment no. 1

I don't know about the rest of you guys, but I sure could go for some super anti-war pussy right about now...

I'm just sayin' what everybody's thinkin', right?

normal mc
normal mc 7472 posts
comment no. 2

Well played.

gnomeloaf 942 posts
comment no. 3

Thanks, Norm. A lot of people in similar shoes are laying pretty low right now. Like Tony Blair, for example. And hey, you're one step ahead of him -- no one's gouging their wrists in a field because of you!

The question I always ask that no one likes to answer: In the next year, we're going to be back to a pretty massive deficit. For at least the next five years, we're going to essentially bankroll Iraq -- where we've done such a good job of nationbuilding so far, our troops are still getting killed every day. Meanwhile, no WMDs. How, exactly, is all of this a good thing?

Feel free to post an answer if you've got one, I haven't heard a good one yet.

KingFoo 29 posts
comment no. 4

gnomeloaf, the only good thing that has come from this to date is that Dubya has lost any credibility he had gained from 911. He has given his opponents ammunition to fight him in '04. If Bush had gone out and just said, "We screwed up about that Uranium stuff, I should have investigated further, and may have been influenced by my own beliefs. But I have no regrets." He would come off looking fallible, but golden. Now he just looks arrogant. It's getting to be the time when elected officials must consult polls regarding foriegn policy, and he won't. This is a good thing.

dj tanner
dj tanner 4789 posts
comment no. 5

Just remember who the sources are for all this information:

The New York Times
The Washington Post
Fox News

Its funny how people are so quick to blame the President for the use of "misinformation", but have no problem absolving their "trusted" news sources for proven fabrications, like the BBC.

Let me put it this way: The President is ultimately responsible for what he said in his speech. However, the media is making this out to be a much bigger deal than it really is. Has the coalition found all of the purported WMDs in Iraq? No. Have they found any? Yes, including two mobile chemical weapons labs. Not quite the dozens that Colin Powell mentioned in his speeches to the UN. However, this doesn't mean they don't exist.

There are many countries that have or had WMDs. For this example, I will use nuclear weapons as our WMD of choice. Did you know that countries like South Africa had their own nuclear weapons in the 1970s and 1980s? How about India and Pakistan? How did their nuclear development plans slip through our collective radar? Simple. As good as our intelligence is, it is still easy for a country to secretly develop a nuclear weapons program.

Now did George Bush and Tony Blair flat out lie about WMDs, and other things just to start the war? I don't believe so. It takes the cooperation of at least three different intelligence groups for the President to make a decision about something like this. Was our information wrong? It is possible. I would have to think that our intelligence agencies are doing their best to seek out the information that will help our country and the world be a safer place.

With this in mind, I can understand the urgency from Prime Minister Blair and President Bush to get Saddam Hussein out of Iraq. People were very quick to criticize the intelligence agencies for not reacting to the information of emminent threats prior to September 11th. I don't think you could find a single American who would want to see something like that happen again, anywhere in the world. This created immense pressure on the intelligence agencies and ultimately the White House to make sure that this would never happen again. So, based on what seemed to be credible evidence at the time, the President made his best judgement to take Saddam Hussein out of power in Iraq, in order to lower the threats to both our country and the world in general.

What I find hard to swallow is not that the United States acted on evidence that turned out not to be true, that is just part of the game. I have a problem with the fact that the same people who criticized our intelligence agencies and our administration for not doing enough to prevent September 11th are the same ones who are criticizing the President for his decision to invade Iraq and take Saddam Hussein out of power. The logic of their argument seems to have passed me by.

Look, sometimes the administration has to takes risks in order to protect the nation. Give it time. With the area the size of California, its going to take a long time to find what we're looking for. Will we ever? I'm not sure. I certainly don't claim to have the answers. But I do believe that my government is doing its best to provide me with a safe country and a safe world to live in.

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