Thursday, March 18, 2004

So What?

One of my pals from my years in Petoskey drops me a line every so often, and today he laid this question on me:

Vice President Dick Cheney says that if it were up to Sen. John Kerry, Saddam Hussein would still be in power. I say, so what?

What exactly have we accomplished in Iraq? Yes, the bad guy Saddam is out. In his place complete and utter chaos has taken over. There are massive terrorist bombs on a near-weekly basis. Civilian deaths are up. American deaths, unheard of a year ago in Iraq, continue to grow. Our country, already in a serious depression brought on by extremely poor management of the budget, is reeling from the billions and billions dollars being poured into Iraq. We are bogged down in a Vietnam-like quagmire with no end in sight and no viable exit strategy. The worse part is, even with “free” elections, Iraq for all intents and purposes will become another Islamic state like Iran and more than likely our sworn enemy.

I can’t argue that the people of Iraq were not suffering under Saddam’s regime. But was that any of our business? Saddam, for all his evilness at home, was impotent as a [threat to us]. He couldn’t do anything to harm the United States. Nothing, nada; end of discussion. And the ruse, the outright lie perpetrated by the Administration about WMD’s should be an impeachable offense, especially when you consider the President was planning this attack on Iraq from the beginning of his term, long before 9/11. In fact a case could be made that because of its preoccupation with Iraq, the Administration missed valuable clues leading up to 9/11. In the meantime, Osama Bin Laden, someone who did grievous harm to us, is still free and his organization Al Quaida appears stronger than ever. Witness the bombing in Madrid.

Mr. Vice President, if all the resources brought to bear in Iraq had been turned on our real enemy instead of wasting them on a powerless dictator, would the world be a safer place? A question for the ages.

What do you think?