Speaking of immorality ...
by Kevin Foley
Columnist
March 22, 2013 12:00 AM | 950 views | 7 7 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Ten years ago this week our elected leaders did something profoundly immoral. They started a completely unnecessary war.

They insisted that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. They invoked the image of a nuclear holocaust when they proclaimed — repeatedly — they didn’t want “the smoking gun to become a mushroom cloud.”

Recall this was just one year after 9/11. Americans were living in fear, which was exactly the reaction the terrorists wanted.

Frightened people often behave irrationally, which is exactly the reaction President George Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney counted on when they began selling their war in late 2002.

As documented in the book, “Hubris,” the White House sought to exploit this fear by linking Saddam to 9/11. The president insisted Saddam was going to give a horrific weapon, most likely a nuke, to Osama bin Laden. High ranking cabinet members were constantly in the news saying as much.

But Mideast experts in the administration saw a problem right away. Islamic fundamentalist bin Laden regarded the secular dictator Hussein as a heretic. They had no relationship.

White House counter-terrorism operatives knew Saddam had nothing to do with 9/11 and said so.

Ambassador Joe Wilson was sent to Niger to prove Iraq was buying uranium there, but found no such evidence.

The administration ignored their experts and deliberately exposed Wilson’s wife, a CIA agent, in retaliation for Wilson going public with what he knew. W wanted his war.

Meantime, the docile media, mainstream and right wing, barely questioned the administration’s rationale for war or the lack of WMD evidence.

Bush claims today the CIA gave him faulty intelligence. But in the run up to the invasion, Cheney was at CIA headquarters all the time, demanding evidence that Saddam had WMD. CIA director George Tenet eagerly complied.

Of course, Saddam had no WMD. He posed no danger to anyone except the unfortunate people of Iraq. He was a brutal tyrant as bad as but no worse than dozens just like him around the world.

Republicans are quick to counter that congressional Democrats supported the invasion. Of course they did. They were as frightened as everyone else, and they were being fed the same bogus “intelligence” the media and public were being sold.

The commander in chief, Democrats reasoned, deserved the benefit of the doubt. As a moral man, he would never lead America into war unless there was no alternative.

When the WMD canard collapsed, the White House began spinning new reasons why we were fighting in Iraq. One day it was a war of liberation, the next it was to install a pocket of democracy in the Middle East.

We were not “greeted as liberators.” Iraqi oil money didn’t pay for the war.

The Iraq debacle lasted longer than any previous conflict after Americans were promised a quick victory and Bush declared “mission accomplished” just a few months after the invasion.

Bush needlessly sacrificed the lives of 4,488 young American men and women and at least 100,000 Iraqi civilians. Some 32,000 Americans came home with physical wounds and an unknown number suffered psychological damage.

The cost of the Iraq misadventure approaches $2 trillion and counting.

For Bush, the unprovoked war with Iraq was always the first option, not the last. The horror of 9/11 gave him his excuse to wage it.

Bush has been laying low since leaving office, maybe because he’s ashamed of himself, but it’s doubtful he has that kind of self-awareness. Cheney says he’d do it all over again, so omnipotent does the former VP consider himself.

So, by all means, let’s hold those who act immorally accountable for their irresponsibly and dishonestly.

Kevin Foley is a public relations executive, author and writer who lives in Kennesaw.
Comments
(7)
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Nettie Stemm
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March 22, 2013
Kevin, you said, "So, by all means, let’s hold those who act immorally accountable for their irresponsibly and dishonestly."

I presume that you would include Clinton, Obama and Kevin Foley in that statement.

BTW, I love how you conjecture then present as fact things which you cannot possibly document.

Eyeopener Now
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March 22, 2013
Thank you Mr. Foley for laying out the facts in print. I have tremendous regrets that I voted for Pres Bush. The war in Iraq has solved nothing. They are worse off and even more Iraqis hate Americans than 10 yrs ago. There was not ONE Iraqi on any of the planes involved in 911. They were all from Saudi Arabia. Yet, the U.S. is big buddies with the Saudis and we just sent $250 MILLION to them. Relationships between Iraq & Iran are stronger. The $2.2 Trillion could have help fund Social Security & Medicare. The war in Iraq & Afghanistan have made the U.S. weaker militarily & economically. I am aggravated that Pres. Obama has not left Afghanistan sooner.

America needs to keep their nose out of Syria and all the middle east. I fear it is the next Iraq. We will never solve the situation there as long as we supply troops and supplies to either side.
Eyes open?
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March 22, 2013
I just wish people on the left side of things would stop pretending they care about human rights. 70,000 dead in Syria? No sweat. Genocide in Iraq? Fine. The Taliban about to stone women again in Afghanistan? Worry more about the "war on women" in the United States. Free abortions! Free birth control! Hopefully your husband won't cut your nose off your face.

Jack Horner is right. Enjoy your pie.
Typical stuff
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March 22, 2013
Agree totally with "Eye opener Now" and Mr. Foley.

Why do we keep electing people who could care less? They or their families are not going to war. They may be making money by being involved in a war somewhere in a distant area. Don't believe Canada and Mexico will ATTACK us.

Kenneth D. Parrott
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March 22, 2013
Oh, so it's all Bush's fault. Haven't heard that one before. Get a grip Foley, your prez is a lying teleprompter addict and a disgusting failure and you are now just digging for excuses for his actions, as well his in-actions. Keep digging.
Laura Armstrong
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March 23, 2013
Democrats voted for this war in Iraq too, and don't forget the UN did as well. To say nothing positive came out of our earlier victories in Iraq is a complete lie, and while many people now agree it is past time to get out of Iraq, the initial years were on the right path to freeing millions of shattered lives, ridding ourselves of a dictator bent on getting nukes, who'd already used chemical weapons on his own, who imprisoned children and innocent people.... It's easy for libs like Foley to boil ten years down to their own reality, picking and choosing their blame-Bush points, but history will show that Americans did good by ousting Saddam, killing his evil sons and allowing the people to have a chance. While not everyone embraced Americans, we made positive progress in that country.
Jack Horner
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March 22, 2013
Let's just pull all of our troops out and let the terrorists do what they will and allow the borders to remain the screen door in the submarine. I am all for that, just ignore the festering wound and sit quietly in the corner with our thumb in the pie.
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