Dear Huan Yi,
Our sons and daughters died and are dying because they were lied to by our government, not because of the late and not very nice dictator of Iraq. Our sons and daughters believed and many still believe that they are preventing Iraqis from spreading death and destruction over here. They believed this and many still do believe this because they were lied to by our government and were told that Saddam Hussein was part of the conspiracy of Islamic fundamentalists that enlisted 19 middle class and upper middle class Saudi men into flying passenger jets into the World Trade Towers on September 11th, 2001.
Saddam Hussein, this not very nice dictator of Iraq, routinely issued arrest on sight warrants for anybody who even resembled these Islamic fundamentalists when he even heard they were in his country. He loathed them and most of what they stood for then and stand for today. This doesn't make Saddam Hussein a wonderful fellow; it means that he did have the same objections to these folks, however, that we do today. He saw them as a threat to his power as well. If anybody was going to run Iraq, it was not going to be them. It was going to be him.
For all the stories of Saddam's rottenness, I find it deeply upsetting that the sole charge that they would try the man on was how he handled an assasination attempt on his life. When his attorney's tried to get trial transcripts to help with their defense and to prove that the prosecution was lying, their motions were denied on particularly phony grounds. For all the stories of Saddam's horrible behavior toward his population, it turned out that the show trial was badly fixed, Saddam was clearly railroaded, and the government apparently didn't feel it had grounds to pursue a case for any of the crimes they were trying him for in the press both there in Iraq and here in the United States. The whole trial turned into a sad and loathsome spectacle.
It made us look like clowns.
The whole war in Iraq, but for the chilling sacrifices made by our soldiers, has made us as a nation look like clowns, especially the grotesque mummery of fools and liars that has been our foreign policy during the entire period of time. Our President and Vice President have over and over again made reference to the necessity of our actions in Iraq, have made reference to the likelihood that the consequences of our inaction would announce themselves with mushroom clouds. They have whipped up hysteria specifically about Iraq after 9/11 when no hysteria previously existed directed to that country, only toward terrorists in general and Osama Bin Laden specifically. They whipped this country up into a war frenzy directed at a spurious frenzy, and have done their best to keep it whipped up ever since, without any particular regard for the safety of the troops they exposed to danger. They created an enemy where no enemy existed before. Even as we speak, they are trying to extend their folly and the expenditure of the lives of the troops that have trusted them into a new and even more cynical direction.
There is such a thing as a self fulfilling prophecy. You can create enemies where no enemies existed before, and the administration is certainly doing its very very best to do exactly that.
Whatever the number of Iraqis that died as a result of Saddam Hussein, this government is at a minimum working very hard to catch up with him. Even without counting the tens and tens and tens of thousands of Iraqis killed as a direct result of this war, we have lost of 4000 American Killed and more than 25000 wounded with no end in sight.
Whatever the degree of trouble you believe the army and armed forces were in when they were turned over to this administration in the year 2000, can you actually say that you believe that that they're in the sort of shape that this government insisted they would put them into when they assumed office? Do you believe that the military itself believes it's come out of these past seven or eight years in a stronger, more stable and more capable condition than what it was in when it went into this period?
Remember what this administration told you a military should be able to do when it first came into office?
Our sons and daughters are fighting and dying in Iraq because they are tough people who love their fellow soldiers and who love their country. That is why we are there now, I believe, not because there is now or every really was any valid diplomatic reason for putting them
there in the first place. They should be honored. They should be brought home as the heroes they are. They should be given the benefits they have more than earned.
They should be cared for, their wounds should be bound and they should be healed. We should go about healing the respect we have lost in the world for having listened to such terrible advice, and for earning back for ourselves the sense of leadership we can claim for ourselves in the world by paying our bills and taking care of our poor and helping those we need to help and rebuilding our economy wrecked by a bunch of self centered fools whose sense of what's the right thing always ends with the proviso "for me."
The hundreds of thousands of Iraqis who died because of Saddam HUssein, I'm really not certain what our responsibility is about them. The question gets a bit more personal when we ask about the Iraqis that would have rathered that we hadn't invaded them on the basis of lies our politicians told us. That would have rathered that once we'd done so, we'd gotten out right away. That would have rathered that we hadn't managed to kill at a minimum about 100,000 of them and then set off a predictable civil war that looks like it's going to keep on giving for years. And that would have rathered that we hadn't destroyed the infrastructure and civilization that they'd already had set up and functioning before the first Gulf War.
If we can say we're not responsible for what Saddam did to his folks, and I really don't know the answer to that question guys, we can't say the same about any of the rest of it. We can get our guys out. We can treat them right. We can start acting like civilized players again and not go off invading other countries on trumped up excuses (Like Germany did to Poland, for example, Huan Yi, with staged raids on German radio stations by Concentration Camp prisoners fattened up and dressed in Polish military uniforms in 1939, if I remember correctly).
Like the phony "mobile labs" that were actually weather balloon launching stations in Iraq. Or the "drone airplanes" for launching gas attacks on the United States that were presented to the United Nations, whose existence and use was disputed by air force intelligence, and whose sharp disagreement was taken out of the report when it was declassified for general release. Apparently the administration thought that it was top secret that their conclusions were highly questionable in the eyes of those who were the experts on the matter, the air force assessment officers.
So yeah, we need our folks back.
And we need to do some other stuff too, don't you think? To hold the administration accountable, perhaps?
Sincerely yours, BobK.