The Daily Republic
By Kelvin Wade
"Why, of course, the people don't want war, (but) the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."
- Hermann Goering, April 18, 1946
There's a reason why President Bush's speech on Iraq last week went unheard by most Americans and hasn't changed his sagging poll numbers. He and his administration have a credibility problem that Democrats and Independents have seen for some time and some Republicans are starting to acknowledge.
The 2002 Downing Street Memo is just the latest blow. While the memo has been trashed by conservative bloggers and right-wing blowhards like Rush Limbaugh, it has been authenticated by two senior British officials. It states that the British believed Bush had decided to go to war long before he told the public and says that "the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy."
The memo also said Saddam's WMD capability was "less than that of Libya, North Korea or Iran."
Nine Senate Democrats have called for an investigation but of course, the Republicans will never investigate. According to the GOP, lying under oath about oral pleasure is an impeachable offense while lying to take the nation to war isn't even worth an investigation.
Maybe they're smart in covering for their fearless leader when a recent Zogby poll showed that even 25 percent of Republicans would want Bush impeached if it could be shown he lied about the reasons for war.
Republican senators such as Chuck Hagel of Nebraska, John McCain of Arizona, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and congressmen such as Ron Paul of Texas and Walter Jones of North Carolina have criticized Bush's handling of Iraq.
"The White House is completely disconnected from reality. It's like they're just making it up as they go along,"Hagel said recently.
Bush's numbers are down because the public has questions about this policy. We've got 1,700 soldiers dead, 13,000 wounded and war costs set to top $230 billion. What could we have gotten for that money here in our country? What have we gotten for all of this sacrifice in Iraq?
I'll tell you two things we've gotten. This past Sunday, the Iraqi government acknowledged its security forces have been resorting to the same sort of torture and abuses that Saddam used. Did our soldiers die to replace a horrible regime with another?
The other story is that the CIA and State Department says that Iraq has replaced Afghanistan as a training ground for terrorists. Terrorists are getting extensive training in urban combat, especially through the use of improvised explosive devices. They've exported the tactics back to Afghanistan and are using them against us in that conflict. George Bush misled us when he told us Iraq was a terrorist training ground two years ago, but he's definitely made that situation come true.
The bottom line is that we no longer believe this administration. And with his polls tanking, Bush reached for a familiar playbook. Bush always accuses his detractors of forgetting the lessons of 9-11. Well, he seems to remember his personal lesson from 9-11: Exploit it whenever you're in a political jam.
This time it's not selling. Through deception, he sold the public on a war that's cost us in lives and treasure, that has antagonized and emboldened our enemies and driven U.S. prestige among out allies to an all time low. The worst part is its made us no safer. Fool us twice, shame on us. Peace.
Kelvin Wade is a writer and lives in Fairfield. Reach him at email@example.com .
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