Friday, November 09, 2007

Bush Defends Bush

Former President George H. W. Bush has come to his son's defense on the Iraq war. In an interview with USAToday, the elder Bush asks, "I think we forget even today the extraordinary brutality of Saddam Hussein."

No, I don't think anyone has forgotten that Saddam was a brutal tyrant. But neither is that point of people opposed to the war.

In the months leading up to the invasion of Iraq, Saddam's brutality was never given as a reason for war. It was all about those dreaded "weapons of mass destruction" that he was going to give to Al Qaeda. THAT, folks, was the original reason given to the American people to justify sending our sons and daughters to die in that faraway land.

It wasn't until well AFTER the invasion--AFTER the WMD's failed to turn up--that the Bush administration began grasping for other reasons to justify the ongoing carnage.

Yes, Saddam was brutal. Yes, the Iraqi people were politically oppressed. But as long as you didn't speak out against Saddam, you were reasonably safe. Iraq had a respectable educational system and you could safely walk the streets. And whatever brutality Saddam may have used against his opponents, at least he kept the country together and kept the crazy religious mullahs in their place.

Is Iraq better off today than it was five years ago? A serious case can be made that it is not.

0 thoughtful ramblings: