I read with amazement this article about the retirement of former House Speaker Dennis Hastert. After all this time he blames the GOP losses in the midterm election on American impatience.
I won't even bother to discuss the numerous scandals among GOP House members which he denied lead to the Republican electoral demise. But I will take issue with the insistence that the American people are impatient where the war is concerned.
Patience, or lack thereof is only a small part of the electoral revolt where the war in Iraq is concerned. It is far more than impatience. He ignores the fact that the vast majority of America realizes that they were mislead in the first place. There was no compelling reason for the US to make an unprovoked strike on Iraq. Information about possible nuclear concerns were grossly exaggerated and information at the time suggested so. We had UN inspectors in the country again surveying the situation.
It is true that the existing government in Iraq was wrought with human rights abuses, but so is the Sudan, so is China, Sri Lanka, Labia, Saudi Arabia, Zimbabwe, Rwanda, Côte d’Ivoire, El Salvador, Colombia, Turkey and the list of places with major human rights abuses goes on. Where is the U.S. response in these places? The fact is that our government and in particular the Bush administration found it politically expedient to go to war with Iraq, and they believed it would be a short campaign and there would be minimal causalities. They shifted resources from Afghanistan (a real stronghold for anti-American extremists) to Iraq.
For all the bad you could say about the Saddam Hussein, he did after all rise in power with behind the scenes help from the United States government. Further there existed a stable government environment that was not susceptible to outside interference in the region.
What Representative Hastert ignores of fails to understand is that we know the truth about Iraq and it is an ugly scar in the history of the U.S.
At last count, we've lost at least 3,699 U.S. servicemen and women in the ear in Iraq. At least 25,000 Americans have been wounded. This Mr. Hastert is a pretty heavy price to pay for what amounts to a lie. Your President was bound and determined to go to war in Iraq to the extent that he would present less than honest assessments of facts. That is a polite way of saying he lied.
On the other side, the price has been worse. By other side I am speaking of Iraqi citizens. Bush's war has created a vacuum in leadership in country where there is no consensus among the Iraqi people themselves. There are deep divisions between neighboring people. To the point of bloody civil strife on a daily basis. The death toll in one day alone in a northern Kurdish province that was previously one of the quieter spots is now at least 400.
We've destroyed so much of the countries infrastructure, in the capital alone they are lucky to have an hour or two electricity a day. One seriously has to ask the question, are they better off today than under Saddam?
Efforts to create a democratic government in Iraq have had only partial success. While the structure of a legislative body now exists, the divisions between the Iraqi people themselves are so deep that this brave body of men and women that rick their own lives daily are in worse gridlock than anything we've ever witnessed here in America.
Given this, and the fact that this whole mess has in fact lead to greater disdain for America Islamic people worldwide, how exactly has this made us safer?
In all this it is amazing how prophetic Dick Cheney was in 1994. The question is what lead to his mental lapse?
Congressman Hastert needs to understand that the American people are not simply an impatient bunch. No, we realize that George Bush pulled a Gulf of Tonkin on us (see here, here, and especially here) and are angered and the loss of lives on both sides, the loss of American prestige, the monetary cost of over $450 billion of non-budgeted tax money and counting , and creating a cause celeb for recruiting anti-American terrorists. If THIS is not a crime against the American people and humanity as a whole, I don't know what is.