Thursday, September 14, 2006

the week that was

With the passing of another anniversary of 9/11, the past week has seen a lot of revisiting of the troubling memories of that day. All over the world people are recalling and reliving the horrible scenes that are etched indelibly on our brains. And yet, the worst part of all those recollections is the realization that we are really no better off now than we were then. And maybe worse off.

If anything, we as a country seem to be more polarized than ever. Those who support the actions of the current administration are adament in their resolve that the actions we took immediatley after the terrorist attack were, and still are, the correct ones. Those who oppose the course of action taken by the President and his cohort are just as convinced that we got it all wrong and are able to point to too many instances of wrongheadedness and misguided forays into international relations, resulting in the quagmire we find ourselves stuck in . Neither side is willing to concede any ground. Neither side is totally right or totally wrong.

I am willing to grant that some retaliatory response of a military nature was called for after 9/11. Going after Osama bin Laden and his al Queda organization was the right thing to do. It still is. But to include Iraq and its leadership in the same response without real and convincing evidence that the terrorists were aided and abetted, incouraged, funded, or given safe haven by Sadddam Hussein is irresponsible and an unconscienable breech of intelligence. It's like two neighbors fighting over damage to one's property. You knocked down my fence so I''m going to break all your neighbors windows across the street in retaliation. There is no connection between the two actions. Invading Iraq was like that. No connection. No reason. No excuse.

What we had was a president who was pissed off and wanted to flex his military muscle, to show off how tough he was, to kick sand in the face of the bad guys. So he chose to believe the trumped up allegations that Iraq had heinous weapons of mass destruction and was about to use them. Nevermind that the allegations proved false, that no wmd were found, that the whole thing was a big mistake. Some mistake. We now have lost the lives of more than 2600 of our soldiers and countless Iraqi casualties to a president who refuses to back off the position he created for us.

There is no easy end in sight. Five years ago we were thrust into a world we didn't want. Bad decisions were made due to bad information and bad leadership. Now our world has become a more unsafe place for all of us. Will we be having this same conversation in another five years?

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