Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Response to Anonymous on the Fiasco in Iraq

I have tried to stay away from war coverage as much as possible, but an anonymous comment brought me out of hiding. A few weeks ago, I reported on the death of 31 Marines in this Iraq War. I called it a the war a fiasco (although better words come to mind).

The anonymous commenter (to whom I say- if I know you sign your name at the bottom and be accountable- like I am with my blog) said this in response to my report on 31 tragic deaths,

"Was it still a fiasco after 8 million Iraqis voted and millions more celebrated the dawning of a free nation?"

To this Patriot, whom I guess counted the cost and says the deaths of 1442 American Soldiers (as of today), hundreds of billions of dollars and tens of thousands of innocent Iraqis killed by US forces are worth it so they can vote, I say YES.

Although I am glad these Iraqis voted, I do not think it is worth the cost to the United States (people-wise or financially). As a Christian I also do not subscribe to an understanding that "The Ends Justify The Means." If it was a just war and the right thing to do, it should have been presented honestly and it should have been done in an ethical and intelligent manner.

I know many Christians, as fans of Reagan and Oliver North now subscribe to such a situational ethic, however, I cannot justify it Biblically. I am saddened that Contra-Gate did not lead Christians to the Bible for ethics. It led Christians to a Northian/ Falwellian view that "if what I believe is right, then I can accomplish it by any means necessary" which would make an early Malcom X proud.

As for my fiasco comment, after soul searching and a little research (especially from tenthousandreasons.org), I decided to list my TOP TEN REASONS I think this WAR is a Fiasco (even though, off the top of my head, I came up with 46). This is not to say that the US should not have gone to war, after proper intelligence gathering, international debate and support, along with truth-telling to the American people as to why we were going. Although I may have disagreed with the assessment to the needs to invade Iraq, I think the War may have been justified properly if done in such a manner.

Here is My Top 10

10. Taken attention from Iran, North Korea (which were bigger problems), Afghanistan, Africa (esp. Sudan which is much larger Human Rights scandal), as well as ignorance of Saudi Arabia and Pakistan's Human Rights abuses, which are on par with Iraq's.
9. Sloppiness in letting top level terrorists get away, improper training and oversight of Iraqi police and troops, even letting a stockpile of weapons disappear.
8. Iraqi Christians not supported or protected. They are now subject to the whims of Shiite leadership, which is worse than Sunni leadership. It will get worse.
7. Lack of diplomacy and general support from world (very poor foreign relations)
6. The Culture of Abuse in the War on Terror and Iraq War (Abu garib, Navy Seals, Afghan Prisoners, Gitmo)
5. War took troops and attention from Afghanistan and search for Bin Laden (remember him?)
4. Improper Equipment Provided for Soldiers (imagine a plan that took this need into account)- Remember Rummy's "go to war with the army you got" statement, look at the lack of armor on troop transport (hundreds of deaths), lack of body armor, lack of good ammo, etc.
3. Continuous Change in Why we went to War in the First Place (remember WMDs and connections between Iraq and 9-11), which is either lies or ineptitude.
2. Billions of dollars not accounted for (much of it that has not been used to rebuild Iraq, which is in worse shape than before electricity-wise, running water-wise, school-wise, stability-wise) for war, rebuilding and 2 billion given to "contractors" which has no oversight or accountability.
1. The lack of financial, military, medical and pychological support for the thousands of troops returning from battle (some are ending up homeless and with serious PTS disorders), thousands of injured soldiers and the families left behind by those killed (very different from WWII in government response).

Whether one supported this war or not, it has been terribly mismanaged and run by its leadership. The administrators in Iraq have poorly run the country and no one has been held accountable by the Bush administration. Look historically at each of the US wars. This is highly unusual. The only war this poorly run was Vietnam and heads did roll. Rummys has not.

I stand by my assessment of "fiasco."

Names of the US Soldiers Killed in Iraq

Deaths of Iraqis, which Biblically matter as much as Americans


james said...

Thanks for this Rick. Just after the elections, like you i was pleased that they went off relatively smoothly. Though no one really reported on the 45 people who were killed on election day.

The day after, a Republican friend of mine sent me an op-ed piece from a media Democrat, whom having seen the success of the elections, was pondering the thought that "maybe Bush was right after all."

So many thoughts came to mind. It just sounds so short-sighted. It actually made me think of the line from the "Princess Bride," "My brains, his steel, and your strength against sixty men, and you think a little head jiggle is supposed to make me happy?" At any rate you have written out some of these thoughts for me here in this post. Thanks for taking the time to do so.

Deborah said...

Thank you, Rick. Very well stated.

g13 said...

reading this post reminded me of the sermon you preached on the war almost two years ago. that was the best sermon i ever heard you preach and one of the better sermons i have ever heard.

good form, chap.

Kevin said...

Well Met RiCk.

A blog unworthy of your time