NC Media Watch

A quest for reason and accuracy in letters to the editor, guest editorials and other issues of interest to the citizens of Western Nevada County.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

A few qustions and suggestions for Mr Roy

Joe Roy III over looks some facts in "No longer silent about Iraq War," June 16, 2005
Arguably, the thinnest of threads in this web of war logic was the insistence that Saddam was somehow capable of projecting these alleged weapons into the United States, thereby posing an imminent threat.
Could Saddam give them to terrorist who could ship them to the US in a freight container, or in a tramp freighter? Could Saddam have used his missiles to reach Israel?
So great and immediate was this threat that the United States could not afford to postpone the war long enough for weapons inspectors to determine if, indeed, Saddam was illegally armed or not.
How many years, should we wait for the inspectors? Was twelve years enough?
Finding no such compelling evidence to warrant a rush to military action, I was unable to embrace a call to arms or to fall in step to the persistent drums of war.
And what would compelling evidence would that be?
I felt out of sync with my country and to my discredit, I fell silent. In this silence, I became complicit. I followed the news closely, and with each passing day, I became more convinced that the impending war was less urgent than elective, having little or nothing to do with the attacks in New York or terrorism in general. I watched in dismay as our post-9/11 sense of vulnerability was exploited by those among us who sought war in the Middle East for reasons other than those being stated.
Monday morning the ball game always looks different than during the game. Monday morning quarterbacks, always do a better job than the real quarter back, once the game has been played. And what were these unstated reasons? Have you read the full declaration submitted and approved by Congress?
The war began and before long was being touted as a resounding success as Saddam's government was toppled. America basked in the brief afterglow with a palpable "might makes right" exuberance. We'd slain the dragon. Nonetheless, any illusions we had of triumph over evil, mission accomplished, or even a job well done quickly unraveled as resistance took hold.
The President said, it was not going to be easy, that the war on terror would continue until it was won. When might that be? Are you a quitter or a winner?
The astounding magnitude of the financial burden heaped upon the backs of American families pales in comparison to the damage in human suffering and lives lost on both sides.
And the cost of a nulcear or bioweapon going off in downtown New York, or San Francisco? And, how many mass graves have the troops found? How may bodies in those graves, 300,000, or 400,000. How many Kurds, were gassed, 5,000?
The tortures of Abu Ghraib came and went, or so we are led to believe, by a White House that eschews the Geneva Convention while insulating itself from possible prosecution of war crimes. Upon learning of such atrocities being conducted in my name, I was repulsed, but endured my shame and disgust in silence.
The Abu Ghraib prisoners were harassed by a single unit, on one shift, in one wing to the prison. It was not common practice, among all shifts, units or wings. All the participants were punished. Geneva Convention requires uniform combatants. What uniforms are the insurgents using?
Shortly after the elections in Iraq, there was almost a collective sigh of relief amongst hopeful Americans, coupled with sentiment that somehow the ends justify the means. As time marches on, it becomes increasingly clear that we are in a position of diminishing returns, even in the most optimistic views.
And the evidence is? New York Times? Washington Post? LA Times? Try some of the troop blogs for a much different perspective (here). Or an independent view (here).
It is becoming equally clear that our "stay the course" strategy is not having an overall positive affect and that Iraq is, in fact, progressively deteriorating. Unfortunately, the reactions of our elected officials have become predictably myopic and ineffectual, with no clear vision and no end in sight. The news regarding construction of large-scale, permanent U. S. military bases inside Iraq does not bode well for a timely exit.
And which permanent base its that? More than one? And your source of information?
Perhaps it's time that we, as a nation, take pause to re-evaluate our current situation in Iraq, drawing upon our past experiences and shared wisdom in order to craft a viable solution.
Your solution is? A Viet Nam solution?

UPDATE: A reader reminded me that it took over two years to stop "insurgents" in Germany after WWII.The difference between 1945 and Iraq today is that Germany was not being supplied with manpower and weapons from outside their country in any significant numbers, and Germany was a real mess after the allies bombed it into an 'unfunctional' country. He also asks, is our military being too nice, or does the Middle East just need it's Total War to "get it"? What do you think?

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