Bush Should 'Come Clean', Apologize for Iraq War
Friday, August, 26, 2005; 7:53 PM | | |
President Bush needs to apologize.
The verdict is in: Iraq was not a threat to America .Actually, this verdict has been in for quite awhile, but many Americans are just catching on now. I was a latecomer myself - before the invasion I was convinced that not going to war in Iraq would mean we would see mushroom clouds over Washington DC and New York City. I believed that after the regime was toppled, we would find all the weapons of mass destruction and prove the naysayers completely wrong. I was sure that we could get a new government ready and get out of there in a matter of months.
I think most supporters of the war believed those things. We were not bad people; we just wanted to do what was practical for the security of our country. We were very much deceived though.
My support for the war eroded a little every day we did not find WMD. It seemed that everything I believed was turning out to be wrong. The 9/11 commission and Iraq Survey Group?s 2004 findings that Iraq?s WMD and ties to Al Qaeda were nonexistant were the final nails in the coffin. Some continued to support the war after that, but only by being in denial that it was based on lies.
I think many Americans went through the same process I did. We are gradually becoming disillusioned about the war in Iraq
According to recent CNN/USA Today/Gallup polls, 54 percent of Americans believe sending troops to Iraq was a mistake. 51percent of Americans believe that President Bush deliberately misled us about whether Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. 50 percent of Americans believe that our troops should be withdrawn from Iraq either immediately or within one year.
Part of the reason for this growing opposition to the war might be the growing number of flag-draped coffins arriving from Iraq .
As of August 23, 1,872 American soldiers have died in this war. Almost 7,000 soldiers have been seriously injured. Many have lost limbs or suffered brain damage, blindness, or other horrible wounds. At least 23,000 Iraqi civilians have been killed.
At this point many Americans are wondering: what can possibly justify all this death and suffering? We were told Iraq was a grave danger to America , and Saddam had to be stopped. But how could he have been a grave danger when he did not have WMD or ties to Al Qaeda?
Perhaps in order to prevent too many people from thinking about that, President Bush has been trying to change the justification for the war without us noticing. Now it was to give the Iraqis freedom and democracy!
How Bush could have thought that all Americans would be dumb enough to fall for that obvious sleight of hand, I don?t know. The WMD issue isn?t something that can just be brushed off. We would have never gone to war without it--there are plenty of countries in desperate need of freedom and democracy. Why would we sacrifice so much just for Iraq ?
The WMD and Al Qaeda connections were clearly the main justification for the war. Bush spoke of vast quantities of Anthrax, botulinum toxin, sarin, mustard gas, and VX nerve agent, ready to fall into the hands of Al Qaeda at any moment.
Our troops did not uncover any evidence of any of that. Bush?s handpicked arms inspector, David Kay, didn?t either.
Kay, who was a strong supporter of Operation Iraqi Freedom, headed the Iraq Survey Group, which searched Iraq for the elusive WMD. After six months of that, not a shred of credible evidence turned up for the stockpiles Bush claimed existed. The key findings of the group?s final report are nothing short of damning. Here are some of them:
-No evidence that Saddam made a concerted effort to start up his nuclear program again after 1991
-Iraq unilaterally destroyed its undeclared chemical weapons stockpiles in 1991
- No credible indications that it resumed production of chemical weapons after 1991
- No evidence that Iraq , after 1996, had any plans for a new biological weapons program or was conducting biological weapons work for military purposes
Bush was completely wrong about WMD. He was also completely wrong about Saddam?s ties to Al Qaeda. The bipartisan 9/11 commission, created by Congress to make a detailed account of the cicrumstances surrounding the September 11 terrorist attacks, reported last year that it found no collaborative relationship between Iraq and Al Qaeda. Case closed.
President Bush needs to come clean with the American people. He was wrong and he knows it. Even if you believe that the war was justified for other reasons, the fact remains that Bush led us into war on false pretexts. We must demand that he apologize to the American people immediately.