As the Dust Settles in Iraq, a Look Back

  1. In the last month or so, I haven't posted much to this forum, primarily because I got tired of beating my head against the liberal brick wall. It seemed I was repeating myself over and over to those who would not hear, nor even try to rebut any of what I had to say. My points were ignored in the rush to tell all of us how wrong the war with Iraq was. But now, as the dust of the battle for Iraq settles, I thought it might be interesting to look at what the detractors of President Bush and the war had to say prior to the battle. In the light of hindsight, lets see how some statements made before the war have withstood the facts as we now know them.

    "Iraq has no weapons of mass destruction:" Let's dispense with this first. Of course, so far no WMD have been found, but the search has barely begun. According to President Bush, there are hundreds of sites we now know of that must be searched. There are also reports of a crash program in Iraq to destroy all WMD with the commencement of hostilities, to deny the US proof. Nevertheless, the fact remains that even if WMD are found, the public may never know of them, owing to national security requirements. But ultimately, as I (and others) said before the battle started, the issue was not whether or not Iraq had WMD. It was the intransigence of the regime in providing information about their WMD programs, and the steps taken to dismantle those programs and destroy remaining stockpiles of WMD that sparked this war.

    "Iraq has no proven connections to terrorists:" Right. Of course we knew of the training camps in Iraq, but some claimed those existed outside of the control of Saddam Hussein. But, now, at the end of the battle, we have captured Abu Abbas, the mastermind of the Achille Lauro hijacking in the 80's. You remember this little incident. Only one fatality. A 69 year old, Jewish American, wheelchair bound man, Leon Klinghoffer was taken (in his threatening wheelchair) to the deck, shot, and pushed overboard. Abbas was given safe haven, away from American and European authorities, in Baghdad, with the blessing of Saddam Hussein. Of course, all should be forgiven, since Abbas has since foresworn terrorism, right? And we can just tell the Klinghoffer family "too bad. He's a good guy now, so no justice for you."

    "Iraq has no proven connections to Al Qaeda:" Of course, there were those who told us that even with proven ties to terrorism, Iraq was not connected to the Bin Laden organization, and therefore not a valid target in the war on terrorism. Clearly, Iraq was not involved in the 9/11 attacks, right? As pointed out previously, President Bush declared war on terrorism, not merely Al Qaeda. So, the argument on its own merits failed miserably. And, I pointed out before the battle ever began, none of us had access to the intelligence available to President Bush, so such statements were silly. As it turns out a pitched battle was fought between US forces and terrorists at an Al Qaeda training camp. And just this week, the news reported that a member of Al Qaeda senior leadership was captured in Baghdad. Hmmmm. No connection. Right.

    "The Iraqis don't want us there, and will fight to the last against us:" Sure. Those pictures of the statue of SH being pulled down and destroyed by the citizens of Baghdad were staged. The fact was Iraqi citizens, once sure they were safe, danced in the street at the fall of the regime. Many declared their love for and support of President Bush. Even in the midst of the battle, Iraqi citizens were helping US forces, hence the rescue of the young private from the Iraqi hospital.

    Before I get to my last point, I'd just like to say that I've noticed that from those who made these statements, the silence on the same points has been absolutely deafening. Any comment now?

    "The war in Iraq will be prolonged and bloody, and thousands of Americans will come home in body bags:" This one was the most galling to me, for a couple of reasons. First, the absolute, blind, buying into the Baath party line. Some of our beloved posters refuse to believe anything George Bush says. They would go so far as to look up before believing him were he to tell us the sky were blue. But let a bloodthirsty dictator predict the killing of thousands of Americans, and Chicken Little and his friends fall from the woodwork, parroting SH's predictions. "Whatever will we tell the mothers of the thousands of Americans who are going to die in George Bush's war for oil??" Frankly, this is just unimaginable to me. But what I found was worse was the poorly concealed glee I felt from some posters at this prediction. It seemed to me that some of our contributors were hoping for this massacre, in order to discredit President Bush and more assuredly remove the evil Republicans from power. This attitude I personally found offensive. I'd even have no problem saying that those who felt this way should immediately pack up and move to Sweden, or some other country where the socialist structure of the society more closely resembles the "utopia" you think the US should be. Shoot, I'll even help you pack.

    Looking over the predictions, it appears to me the detractors failed on every point. Maybe Miss Cleo has some openings. From my perspective, the US was right on the money on every point, every reason we were given for going to war. George Bush has demonstrated leadership, statesmanship, and courage. He has demonstrated himself to be an outstanding president. Of course, not all of you will agree. And I'll be happy to debate those points with you, but not in this thread. Lets keep this thread about the pre-war predictions, and how those predictions held up in the face of revealed facts. If you think you can defend your points, if you can prove me wrong, I'd love to see that.

    Kevin McHugh
    •  
  2. 164 Comments

  3. by   SharonH, RN
    Wow Kevin, but for the derisive, confrontational tone of your post I would be glad to discuss this topic with you. Oh well........
  4. by   Spidey's mom
    Wow Kevin . . . . but for you having already said it all very well . . . . . . . . .

    I find it fascinating how one person can perceive something one way and another perceive it the exact opposite. One reason why eyewitness testimony isn't always credible. It depends on where your perspective is . ... what your background, education, experience, value system, etc tell you is the truth . . . .

    Thanks for saying what I've been thinking for so long. And welcome back . . . .I've missed your contribution to the political discourse.

    steph
  5. by   Mkue
    Originally posted by kmchugh
    From my perspective, the US was right on the money on every point, every reason we were given for going to war. George Bush has demonstrated leadership, statesmanship, and courage. He has demonstrated himself to be an outstanding president.
    Kevin McHugh
    My perspective also.

    Excellent post.
  6. by   WashYaHands
    From my perspective, the US was right on the money on every point, every reason we were given for going to war. George Bush has demonstrated leadership, statesmanship, and courage. He has demonstrated himself to be an outstanding president.
    My perspective as well.

    Linda
  7. by   Disablednurse
    I must beg to differ. I do not find that George Bush is any kind of hero. He made the statement many times that we were going to war because Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. They found none. No, thank God, there were not thousands of americans killed and yes some of the Iraq people were thrilled to be rid of Saddam Hussein. There are still many thousands of Iraqi people that want the USA out of Iraq. They showed a few hundred people at the scene of the tearing down of the statue of SH, but in Bagdad, the population was said to be over a million people. I am fully in support of our troops, I back them 100%, but the war was based on a lie. I am sorry, I am still waiting on the WMD. Bush started to change his reasons for war when it became obvious that there were not going to be any WMD found. I still have a low opinion of Bush. That will never change. However, I do respect others who believe that he was right in what he did. This is America and everyone is free to believe as they wish. I did respectfully admit that what I said when the war started was wrong, but I do believe that Bush wants to rule the world. He just made me believe that even more when he started to threaten Syria.
  8. by   kmchugh
    A long time staple of debate for democrats and liberals is "if you can't logically argue the point, attack the source." Hence, we have...

    Originally posted by SharonMH31
    Wow Kevin, but for the derisive, confrontational tone of your post I would be glad to discuss this topic with you. Oh well........
    Nuff said.

    Next, Disablednurse tells us:

    Originally posted by Disablednurse
    I do not find that George Bush is any kind of hero. He made the statement many times that we were going to war because Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. They found none.
    I challenge you to find anything OFFICIAL wherein the stated reason for going to war was that "Iraq HAS weapons of mass destruction." The given reason was that SH did not meet the terms of the Gulf War cease fire, and several UN resolutions. He did not, in a forthright manner, provide documentation on WMD programs in Iraq, or on the dismantling of these programs and the destruction of existing WMD. In short, he agreed to several actions to end the Gulf War, and lived up to none of his agreements. Remember, losers in war do not get to pick and choose which parts of a cease fire they will follow. And before you make the blanket statement "They found none." you might want to wait until the search is over. And, by the way, you might want to wait until all evidence is in on the crash program to destroy WMD on the initiation of the war to deny the US this proof.

    ...and yes some of the Iraq people were thrilled to be rid of Saddam Hussein. There are still many thousands of Iraqi people that want the USA out of Iraq. They showed a few hundred people at the scene of the tearing down of the statue of SH, but in Bagdad, the population was said to be over a million people.
    I dunno, maybe we watched different coverage of the statue event. I saw thousands of Iraqis in the square. I also saw hundreds of thousands in the streets dancing at the ouster of SH.

    ...but the war was based on a lie.
    Really? What lie? The one I dispensed with above?

    This is America and everyone is free to believe as they wish. I did respectfully admit that what I said when the war started was wrong, but I do believe that Bush wants to rule the world. He just made me believe that even more when he started to threaten Syria.
    Hmmm. You are of course allowed to believe in anything you want. However, might I suggest you base your beliefs on facts, rather than supposition, innuendo, and emotion. Perhaps you are not following current events. Syria is another state known to sponsor anti-US terrorism. We gave notice to these states after 9/11. Stop supporting terrorism, or face war. Syria is also known to have given safe haven to wanted members of the Iraqi regime. They are also known to be a supporter of Bin Laden. Rule the world? I hardly think so. Live up to his word, and defend the citizens of our country? Much more likely.

    Kevin McHugh
  9. by   Furball
    You don't have to beat this liberal over the head about the rightness of this war on terrorism. I'm just pissed it's not a Democrat taking the lead.
  10. by   Gomer
    Originally posted by kmchugh
    George Bush has demonstrated leadership, statesmanship, and courage. He has demonstrated himself to be an outstanding president. Kevin McHugh
    Too bad he did all this for some foreign country. What has he done to lead his own country? Oh, yes that's right -- the economy is wonderful, we have universal healthcare, jobs are plentyful, unemployment is at its lowest.

    How many of you can honestly say you are better off now than you were before the Republicans took over? I realize this is off the topic title, but maybe we should consider the economy the real war, the real terror we all have to face.
  11. by   fergus51
    Kevin, I almost always like your posts because they are wll thought out and informative. That said, what do you want people who were against the war to say? "Damn I wish more American soldiers were killed and the Iraqi people fought us more than they have/are?". Even those who had or still have doubts about the necessity or morality of this war are probably glad the worst predictions haven't come to pass (yet). I think "phew" would be the best answer. Whatever happens, no one can ultimately say this war was the best or only solution. It's the best that we got and I am satisfied with that, but whether or not it was preemptive, reactive, necessary or justified I will happily let each person decide for themselves without bugging them. I am sure the republicans among us will not want a big "I told you so" if God forbid a terrorist attack happens as a retaliation for this war, so I am not going to heap one on the anti war group now.
    Last edit by fergus51 on May 5, '03
  12. by   SharonH, RN
    Originally posted by kmchugh
    A long time staple of debate for democrats and liberals is "if you can't logically argue the point, attack the source." Hence, we have...



    Nuff said.






    Kevin McHugh

    Dear Kevin,


    You are nothing if not predictable. I knew you were going to claim that I could not "logically" argue the point. After all, isn't that part of your overall debating "strategy"? Start off with an insult, then when you get the emotional response you were going for, claim that the opposite side could not logically debate the point. Whatever. Once again, once you are able to broach this discussion respectfully, then you will get a respectful response. Have a nice day.


    Sharon
  13. by   kmchugh
    First, Fergus, of course I neither want nor expect anyone to say the wish more Americans had been killed. What I referred to earlier was the underlying tone of glee at the potential some saw for a disaster that would have brought GWB down. I intentionally did not say who I caught that undertone from. There is a difference between doubts about the war and hoping the war is an unmitigated disaster. I will say I never caught that from you.

    The point of my initial post was to take a look, with the benefit of hindsight at the reasons given by many as to why the war was unjust. I wanted to see how correct, or incorrect those reasons were. Am I saying "I told you so?" I don't know, maybe I am. But I think it is important to look back and determine just how correct predictions, mine or someone else's, really were.

    To Sharon: I've gone back and looked at all my posts in this thread, and can't really find anywhere that I have been disrespectful or insulting. To be sure, I have been to the point, but then that is my style. I find it much easier to say "your conclusion was wrong" than to say "I think in retrospect, there is a possibility that exists that might point to the probablility that your initial conclusion might have potentially been in error." And, in truth, all I did in my initial post was to look at the reasons given for not going to war, and demonstrate (not simply state) why they were wrong. So, apparently you either find that anyone who disagrees with you is being disrespectful, or anyone who points out where you might have been in error in light of new evidence is disrespectful.

    As to my "predictability," it is frankly your own means of debate (I can't argue the points, I'll call the maker of the points disrespectful) that makes me so predictable.

    Kevin McHugh
  14. by   Disablednurse
    Kevin, I did nothing but keep up with the war from the first attack until the president's speech on board the carrier. I heard them talk about WMD and that they were hidden and they would find them. They found bunkers with weapons time after time, but none of mass destruction. Unfortunately both sides lost many people because I consider even the loss of one person many. It was only after no WMD was found that talk shifted to the war being faught to free the Iraqi people from dictatorship. Yes Kevin I watched the war and talk about the war from the time I got up in the morning until I went to bed at night. Because I am disabled and unable to work, I was able to listen to a lot of different opinions and heard a lot of different perspectives about the war from past military veterans and news correspondents on the battlefields with the troops. I must admit I was a bit confused at the beginning, but I went back and researched what I had said and discovered that I was wrong and was willing to admit it. But each of us have our own beliefs about the war and about President Bush. Yours is no more right or wrong than mine are. Also you are not the only one with a military background that observed this war. I had someone first hand to talk to about any thing that confused me.

close