Richard, In WWII, war was declared on us by Japan and Germany, and thus we had no choice in whether or not to fight, no matter the cost.
In Iraq, it is as you said: the cost is upfront, and the benefit (if one exists at all and the situation turns out worse than we hope) is way down the line. Frankly, I could not care less how the Iraqis would answer that question and I am not really sure why you care as well. But as an American, I am looking at American interests, not Iraqi, or Sudanese, or Congolese, or any other persecuted people with whom I have the utmost sympathy. As for 5 years from now, we shall have to wait and see, however seeing as there is absolutely no accountability in government, I doubt anyone will blame the current administration for whatever happens.
Mr. Mahan, You are not piling on at all, merely raising a legitimate issue. Indeed, I agree with the textual statements made by Bush and Cheney regarding the possibility of a connection. I believe that if you look at every statement, the administration does indeed avoid making any definitive statements about a connection. My problem is the fact that I believe that the administration implied a connection very plainly, by highlighting the overall links between the two, talking about how Iraq is the next logical step, given the connection to AQ, and so forth. I do not believe I am alone on this. As I have said before, around 70% of Americans believe that such a link exists between 9/11 and Iraq (or is likely to have existed) despite the fact that, as Bush later clarified after the war, there is no evidence of such a connection.
Your explanation as to why that is so is, perhaps, true and accurate. However, you say that “it is not as if GWB can magically change public opinion at will.” This is very true, but a simple statement of that fact, as he was all but forced to make AFTER the war, would have gone a long way towards educating the public. From a personal experience, I know that I have been trying to dispel the myth for some time among my conservative success with no luck. until Bush came out an said it. A statement of the fact that no evidence exists to prove a link might not have changed anyone’s mind about the war, but it would certainly help to quell the believe that information was kept from the public before the war (a dangerous belief in a democracy, regardless of whether or not it is true).
See my point?
“My beliefs about the war on Iraq is based on a simple question: Did the benefits incurred by invading Iraq exceed the costs?”
Couldn’t agree more. Not surprising though, inasmuch as the costs are upfront, and any benefits are downstream. Let’s compare to WWII. One year into WWII, which was greater, the costs or the benefits? Let’s ee how the Iraqis answer that question a year or two from now. Let’s also see how we would answer that question 5 years from now.
Richard Henry Morgan – 6/
My beliefs about the war on Iraq is based on a simple question: Did the benefits incurred by invading Iraq exceed the costs? To me, the answer is an unequivocal no. I believe that the rationale behind the war was wrong as well as erican people, and I base that on sources inside and outside the administration that I consider credible.