Ultimately Wrong
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February 3, 2008

Details matter, but if you ever find yourself in the position of arguing something that is clearly wrong in the big picture, then you need to reconsider that position or least the methods you use in advancing that position. This is not about getting suckered by the spin put on a political issue. It is about just plain right and wrong.


If you are an American, and you find yourself wishing for and/or celebrating our country’s military setbacks in an ongoing war, you definitely need to reconsider the methods you are using to advance your position against that war. Your nationality is ultimately a ‘for better or worse’ arrangement. I did not make it that way; that is just how it is. You do have the option to leave the country and take up residence somewhere else, if that is what you want to do. Good luck.


I strongly supported our military invasion of Afghanistan following 9/11. To my mind, it was a fully justified response to the act of war that islamofascists committed against innocent civilians of my homeland. It was clear that the government of Afghanistan was culpable in its direct support for al-Qaeda, the terrorist organization that killed 3,000 Americans on that fateful Tuesday morning. I still have nothing against the average Afghani, whatever that is.


By the way, what ever happened to the anthrax attacks that followed 9/11?


I opposed the invasion in Iraq in 2003. I knew Saddam was a bad guy and intelligence reports strongly suggested he was pursuing the development of nuclear weapons, but still Iraq had not attacked us directly or indirectly. We had already kicked Saddam’s butt out of Kuwait, and I am sure he knew we could do that again if needed.


To me, the most troubling part of the executive decision to invade Iraq was its apparent inevitability. It seemed clear to me that George W. Bush intended to do this no matter what. The real logical justification for it remains unclear to this day.


But we did invade Iraq, and we Americans are accountable for that action on the international stage. We cannot cut and run after toppling that government and destroying the national infrastructure. That leaves things worse than before in terms of all American interests as I understand them. We also cannot afford to pay billions of dollars per month to continue this war five years after we started it. We need to set very clear achievable goals in Iraq and fund all on-the-ground activities using Iraqi oil revenues. Let the rest of the world think whatever it wants; it will anyway. Let’s finally define the scope of work and get the job done.


In all of this, I am most ashamed of my fellow Americans who have used our failures in Iraq to further their own political agendas. Most of them are the same people who could have, perhaps should have, argued against the war in the first place. They know who they are and so do you.