The war in Iraq has left me with muddled thoughts: I originally supported the war, now I oppose the reasons for entering it, but support completing what we started. The war has left me feeling betrayed, exhausted, vulnerable. In other words, politics as usual.
I feel America’s leaders have lied to us; either through gross incompetence or sheer deceit. I am leaning towards the latter. I thought President Bush spoke the truth when he said Saddam Hussein represented a real threat to the Middle East and Western civilization. I believed Colin Powell’s remarks to the UN about the strong evidence of weapons of mass destruction (and I think Powell believed them when he said them). I believed it was a necessary evil to use military force in Iraq – even if it would distract from the on-going efforts in Afghanistan. How idiotic of me.
Had Israel not destroyed the nuclear reactor in Iraq in the 1980s, then history may have been different. However, they did. We did not invade Iraq for humanitarian reasons, as politicians today try to re-write the reasons for the invasion. We nominally did it for security reasons. I now believe it was for a single reason: Oil. How could I have been duped so?
We squandered the good will of our citizens, the international community, and the resources in fighting the real battle against terrorism. All for what gain? Could I have been any more stupid?
I cringed at the so-called “Patriot Act”, because of how it impinged civil liberties – yet I did not actively oppose it. I thought it necessary in the wake of September 11 and our need for counter-terrorism. What I fool I have been.
The words of The Who resonate with me: “I get on my knees and I pray, we won’t get fooled again“.
I watched the Watergate hearings on television when I was young. Then, there was an aura of innocence lost. If the president could be so deceitful, what hope was there for integrity in any political process?
The feeling I have today is strangely reminiscent of that era.