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Turning against the war

Check out a insightful essay by Michael Stickings (of The Reaction), Fantasy and reality after three years in Iraq. It’s a great piece on his personal political journey from reluctant supporter of the war to the realization that the lies and deception of this administration led him and most of America astray.

Remember those fast-paced days, the days of the embedded reporters capturing the rapid and relatively easy march into Baghdad?

But it didn’t take long for things to change. I celebrated the removal of Saddam — and, even today, whatever our negativity, whatever the easy allure of relativism, we ought not underestimate the significance of removing him from power; even Task Force 6-26’s Black Room prisoner abuse is minimal compared to what Saddam did — but I had obviously had far too much confidence that the war’s architects knew what they were doing, that they were prepared for the occupation, that they would do whatever it took to guide Iraq, now their ward, towards democratic self-government, preferably towards liberal democracy. That was very much my defence when challenged by my students: America will make this work. Sure, it won’t be easy to reconstruct Iraq, but failure simply isn’t an option. I vehemently opposed Bush in 2000, but I was willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. After 9/11, we were all together, weren’t we?

I turned against it when it became abundantly clear that it was being grossly mismanaged. I had high hopes for the removal of Saddam, regime change, and the possible democratization of Iraq and, beyond that, the Middle East. And that may still happen — whatever our skepticism, let’s at least acknowledge it as a possibility, however remote. But it’s clear that the Bush Administration is very much to blame for what has gone wrong — and that includes well over 2,000 American deaths. Yet, upon this third anniversary of the start of his war, a war of choice, President Bush won’t even use the word “war” to describe what’s going on in Iraq. There’s no civil war. Apparently, there’s no war at all. The war must have ended with the conclusion of major combat operations.

Americans are being led by a cadre of the delusional.

Another note: congrats to Michael, who is a featured blogger on John Edwards’s OneAmericaBlog, where this essay is cross-posted.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding