Independent Voices |

Independent Voices

Our government perceived a threat, and in fact they overestimated that threat. But even if they did it deliberately, I would rather that they remained overcautious and never underestimated any threat, perceived or real.

Personally I prefer being overcautious to being underground. Whatever the case, Iraq and its leader were not innocent by any means and they were ultimately a threat that was unworthy of our trust and patience. It is better that we acted now before more human beings, American or not, were murdered by an inhuman being.

Without intimate and complete knowledge of all the facts it is impossible to answer the question as you have phrased it, either positively or negatively.

Who knows?

Or rather, who knew? We certainly don’t.

The real question that needs to be asked of the man who confidently assured us that the danger to our nation was so acute and so immediate as to necessitate a pre-emptive war is: “What did he know, and when did he know it?”

Americans were manipulated into war by propaganda. Looking for a 9/11 scapegoat (Afghanistan wasn’t enough), the administration chose to invade Iraq in late 2001 and obviously invented justification afterward.

Even if WMDs are eventually “discovered,” won’t we all be skeptical of their origin? White House-controlled Congress refuses to investigate, sacrificing American soldiers and Iraqi civilians every day of the occupation. That’s freedom?

In another time, these weapons of mass distortion and Halliburton’s oil-contract-for-war scandals would have mirrored the consequences of Watergate.

Possibly, but it’s largely immaterial.

When a nation reaches a point where it credibly and intentionally threatens others, then intervention is likely. Liken it to a cornered animal – you cannot threaten security with impunity.

War is a blunt, imperfect tool of policy. But it does get people’s attention and changes the behavior of nations and individuals.

I regret that our level of social science remains so low, and I do not condone war, but I see the reaction of the United States to Iraq as predictable and as a crude object lesson.

Yes, indeed it was.

Vice President Cheney made several visits to CIA headquarters in the weeks prior to the start of the bombing of Iraq. Several members of the CIA intelligence staff that provide the daily intelligence briefing for Cheney and President Bush have said their reports were not strong enough about the number of weapons sites and their locations – the reports were modified accordingly.

Bush, in backing Cheney as his 2004 running mate, stated in this week’s radio address that those who question the intelligence are merely trying to revise historical fact.

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