Friday, August 26, 2005

Conrad was right; Bush was wrong

Many of my friends have been participating in anti-war peace protests across the nation. I think this is great way for people to speak out against Bush’s decision to use military force instead of diplomacy.

Maureen Dowd of the NYT recently wrote an interesting column on this topic. Here is what she had to say:

“The U.S. seems to be delivering a fundamentalist Islamic state into the dirty hands of men like Ahmad Chalabi, who conned the neocons into pushing for war, and his ally Moktada al-Sadr, the Shiite cleric who started two armed uprisings against U.S. troops. It was his militiamen who ambushed Casey Sheehan's convoy in Sadr City. America has caved on Iraqi women's rights. In fact, the women's rights activists supported by George and Laura Bush may have to leave Iraq….

Yesterday, the president hailed the constitution establishing an Islamic republic as "an amazing process," and said it "honors women's rights, the rights of minorities." Could he really think that? Or is he following the Vietnam model - declaring victory so we can leave?

The main point of writing a constitution was to move Sunnis into the mainstream and make them invested in the process, thereby removing the basis of the insurgency. But the Shiites and Kurds have frozen out the Sunnis, enhancing their resentment. So the insurgency is more likely to be inflamed than extinguished.

For political reasons, the president has a history of silence on America's war dead. But he finally mentioned them on Monday because it became politically useful to use them as a rationale for war - now that all the other rationales have gone up in smoke. "We owe them something," he told veterans in Salt Lake City (even though his administration tried to shortchange the veterans agency by $1.5 billion). "We will finish the task that they gave their lives for."

What twisted logic: with no W.M.D., no link to 9/11 and no democracy, now we have to keep killing people and have our kids killed because so many of our kids have been killed already? Talk about a vicious circle: the killing keeps justifying itself.”

Let’s review: First the administration told us we were going to war because Iraq had WMDs and was therefore a threat. That wasn’t true.

Then they told us it was because they had ties to al Qaeda and was therefore a threat. That wasn’t true.

Then they told us, no, it’s about creating a stable Democracy in Iraq. But guess what, we aren’t going to do that either. This constitution will only exacerbate tensions between the Sunnis and Shia, strengthening the insurrection and likely leading to a civil war.

Meanwhile, almost 2000 American soldiers have given their lives, and countless more have given their limbs, to create a fundamentalist, pro Iranian Islamic state that will likely turn into an anarchic breeding ground for al Qaeda and its ilk.

The first duty of any president is to protect the security of the United States. With his decision to pursue a war of ideology, President Bush has done exactly the opposite.

So what does this have to do with ND?

Remember, in 2002, Senator Conrad took the politically unpopular position that the war would not make us safer. He did that even though he knew it would be unpopular at home BUT it is becoming apparent that Conrad was right and Bush was wrong. It’s a shame our president couldn’t have been as forward thinking.

I will leave you with this for the weekend.