Sunday, July 24, 2005

News From the Front

I find Iraq veteran, David M. Lucas's column in Sunday's Knoville News Sentinel(registration required) unconvincing. Let me first correct an obvious problem. He says, "'Bush lied to America' is not only false, but it is laughable. Every single major intelligence agency in the world agreed that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction." I have seen this assertion about a million times in the last three years, but never any documentation. Even if true, the beliefs of other intelligence agencies wouldn't support the administration's claims. The president didn't simply assert that Iraq had "weapons of mass destruction." He declaimed that Iraq presented a "grave" and "gathering" threat that might come in the form of a "mushroom cloud."

The headline of the column states, "A soldier speaks out: The good military is doing often not reported." Yet when he gets to the point, more than half-way through the column, Lucas says nothing that alters my perception of the war. Instead I get anecdotes such as this:
After one particular suicide car bomb went off, killing nearly two dozen people and destroying several civilian homes, my platoon helped a family out by bringing wood to board the windows that had been blown out and brandishing brooms to clean up the rubble caused by the blast. I can assure you that those people were glad we were there, and we were more than happy to help, even though our efforts were not known to anyone outside that family and my platoon.

This is a nice story. But why in heaven's name is it as remotely important as the fact that such attacks happen more than two years after the President triumphally landed on an aircraft carrier and conveyed by his deeds, if not from a literal reading of his words, that the war was over and we had won?

I would be happy to see the media report more of the "good news" from Iraq, if only to pacify the war's supporters. Unfortunately, no amount of human interest stories about restoring power and opening schools changes the reality of the Iraq War.

Before the invasion, Colin Powell anunciated the Pottery Barn Rule: You break it, you own it. The Bush adminstration broke the country, and is now responsible for what happens there. If Lucas's service has endowed him with any insight that demonstrates that Iraq is on the road to being a liberal democracy instead of becoming a Shiite theocracy, or collapsing in a three way civil war, or anything that makes America better off and more secure than before we invaded Iraq; he should stop withholding it.

Lucas doesn't like it when people say, "
Let's support our troops. Bring them home." Fine. How about, "lets support America. Bring the troops home."

1 comment:

jhow66 said...

Just one word for you --COWARD