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How We Got Into This Unjust War

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    Andrew Greeley : How We Got Into This Unjust War [Andrew Greeley is an Irish-American Catholic theologian.] The administration sold the public -- and perhaps
    Message 1 of 1 , May 4 6:59 PM
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      Andrew Greeley : How We Got Into This Unjust War

      [Andrew Greeley is an Irish-American Catholic theologian.]

      The administration sold the public -- and perhaps the president sold
      himself -- on the Iraq invasion as part of the ''war on terrorism.''
      It was a deception, perhaps even a lie, from beginning to end. The
      real reason is that ''all the president's men'' wanted the war.
      http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article6113.htm

      05/01/04 "Chicago Sun-Times " -- While Bob Woodward's Plan of Attack
      confirms earlier books by former Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill and
      former White House terrorism expert Richard Clarke, it is more
      effective because it is more even-handed and permits the various
      actors in the drama to speak for themselves.

      Some conclusions I draw from the book:

      *Once President Bush was elected and put together his team, a war
      with Iraq was locked in. Men like Vice President Dick Cheney, Defense
      Secretary Donald Rumsfeld had made up their minds that invasion was
      essential. Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz had written the
      plan for invasion in 1996. The only countervailing force was
      Secretary of State Colin Powell. He was frozen out, however, by the
      others, in part because the president felt intimidated by him.

      *CIA Director George Tenet provided ''evidence'' about weapons of
      mass destruction to support the war, which he described to the
      president as slam-dunk proof but which was in fact very weak.
      Woodward himself says that a story he co-authored about dissent
      within the American intelligence agencies should have appeared on
      Page 1 of the Washington Post instead of Page 17. Apparently, Bush
      and Cheney still believe that weapons will be found, and so will the
      link to al-Qaida. They are, I think, the only ones who believe in
      either global folk tale.

      *The administration sold the public -- and perhaps the president sold
      himself -- on the Iraq invasion as part of the ''war on terrorism.''
      That was a rationalization for the war perhaps, but it was never the
      real reason. It was a deception, perhaps even a lie, from beginning
      to end. The real reason is that ''all the president's men'' wanted
      the war.

      *The slogan ''war on terrorism'' (or ''war on terror'') was false
      from the very beginning. Yet it has been a powerful political mantra
      for the administration to win support for almost anything it has
      wanted to do. The struggle against terrorists is not a war in any
      sense that the word has normally meant. It has the same value as, for
      example, the ''war on drugs.''

      *The president's personality and religious faith -- in combination --
      make it impossible for him to have serious second thoughts or even to
      admit any ambiguity. If a decision is ''right,'' then it is right no
      matter what. Many Americans, perhaps a slight majority, think this
      is ''strong'' leadership. My feeling is that it edges toward
      religious fanaticism and is not altogether different from
      the ''rightness'' of Osama bin Laden's faith. If there is a mistake,
      it is not the president's mistake. It's God's mistake because God
      told him he had made the right decision.

      *A president serves the nation better if he admits at least to
      himself how problematic all political decisions are. President John
      F. Kennedy, for example took full responsibility for the Bay of Pigs
      fiasco, even though he inherited the project from his predecessor.
      During the Cuban missile crisis, Kennedy's stubborn resistance to
      those who wanted war prevented a nuclear holocaust. A president who
      has no self-doubt, no ability to question his own mistakes, is a very
      dangerous man.

      Finally, besides some outlines of responsibilities, there was very
      little in the plan of attack that took seriously the problems of
      postwar Iraq -- problems that last week caused Rumsfeld at least to
      admit some uncertainty. There is not the slightest indication that
      anyone knew about or considered seriously the difficulties Britain
      encountered in Mesopotamia (as it was then called) in the early
      1920s -- or the cruelty necessary for Britain's victory.

      The war is a stupid, unjust and criminal war. It is a quagmire from
      which no immediate escape seems possible. Many more Americans are
      going to die so that American ''democracy and freedom'' can be
      imposed on the Iraqis -- whether they want them or not. Many more
      Iraqis will die, too. Americans who support the war share in its
      criminality.

      Copyright 2004, Digital Chicago Inc

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