Vietnam was a defensive war. It was a
Cold War activity. It was seen that way by the public at the time,
defined that way by policymakers, and the argument against it was
that it was useless, not offensive. See Domino Theory. Its conduct was investigated several times, the results given to the public, and the public continued supporting candidates who prosecuted the war.
Iraq is an offensive war. Even the
reasons given by the Administration for invading were reasons for
launching an offensive war. The WMDs had not been fired by us,
assuming they existed. Most important of all, there has been, to this date, no thoroughgoing investigation of the war or its conduct.
This is an absolutely crucial
Once it became apparent there were no WMDs, that there was no
connection between Saddam Hussein and the 9/11 hijackers, once the
reason for the war shifted, support for the war began to crumble.
Americans support a defensive war. Even
our offensive wars, against Mexico and Spain, were sold as defensive.
The Maine and the alleged Mexican provocations against Texas (due to
a disputed border) could be seen as attacks against the United
States. There was nothing like that here – only the hint that an
attack might come, a hint that was proven false.
Yet we are still there. What is being defended, except our soldiers’ butts?
It’s that kind of contradiction which
leads people to question basic political assumptions, assumptions that had held
for a generation, since the late 1960s. When those assumptions are used, endlessly, in an
attempt to sell a policy in contradiction with the assumption, it’s
waves against a rock, and the rock wears away.
- Hold Osama Bin Laden accountable.
- Hold the Wahhabi movement in Saudi
- Hold the money flows that enabled 9/11
- But also, hold those who lied
accountable. Hold those who stole accountable. Hold those who
tortured accountable. Hold those who violated the Constitution
- Investigate, yes. In a bipartisan,
accountable, transparent way, yes. Gather all the facts.
- Then hold people who did wrong
That work will not begin until we have
a Democratic Congress, because we’ve had a Republican one since this
mess started and there have been no real investigations of anything.
Not of Bin Laden, not of the Saudis, not of the money trail, not of
the war, not of the torture, not of the wiretapping, nothing.
Let’s look into it. And then decide
what to do.