Vice President Dick Cheney, November 21, 2005, in a speech at
the American Enterprise Institute.
sad fact about America's invasion of Iraq is that it was totally
unnecessary. Iraq had no navy to carry an attack force across
the Atlantic Ocean to invade America. It had no fighters or
bombers that had the range to fly across the world to rain bombs
down upon American's heads. Saddam Hussein was not at the center
of a wicked coalition of imperialist nations.
Simply put, Iraq was an isolated backward
nation with a broken and poorly equipped military. Its
government was cruel, dysfunctional, and maintained control by
killing opponents. It had no political infrastructure, so
encouraging the populace to support an attack any of its
neighbors, let alone the United States, was impossible.
The only way that Iraq could cause any trouble
to the US was to sneak biologic or nuclear fissile material
(which we now know it did not have) across the borders America
shares with Canada or Mexico. Consequently, the best defense to
protecting America against the mythical Iraqi WMD's was to seal
the borders, stop illegal immigration, and place tight controls
on travel to and from Iraq and its neighbors. These options have
not been considered throughout the execution of America's War
Against International Terrorism.
Gathering basic facts about Iraq, or any other
country, was not difficult in 2002, nor is it difficult in 2005.
This is the hard reality that faces the Bush Administration as
it initiates a new PR campaign to discredit the detractors of
the invasion of Iraq. Even though the Bush Administration shaped
public opinion to support an Iraqi invasion through members of
the mainstream media, including Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity,
The Wall Street Journal, and Judith Miller of The New
York Times, there were large numbers of individuals who
could find sufficient information to help them develop their own
opinions regarding the wisdom (or lack thereof) regarding plans
to invade Iraq.
Their views opposing those of the Bush
Administration and the two party political system were bolstered
by highly regarded writers and thinkers such as Paul Craig
Roberts, William Lind, Pat Buchanan, and Joseph Sobran. Many of
these notable detractors were, at various times, members of and
advisors to Republican presidential administrations and
congressional staffs since the 1960's and had earned battle
scars in the culture wars pitting limited government
conservatism against the liberal leviathan that had become the
federal government. Therefore to assault some of the
best-reasoned criticisms against a war in Iraq as partisan,
liberal carping was a nonstarter.
While America is embroiled in debate over the
future direction taken with the occupation of Iraq, any attempt
to characterize various positions must be considered to be
politically motivated. There is no way to suggest that any
portrayal of events that led to the invasion are revisionist or
devious because the history of the event will not be written for
years to come. This is because the full extent of the
consequences of the invasion are yet to be known.
The real problem facing the Bush
Administration is not that it has treasonous political enemies
seeking its destruction, but that there are many of us in the
"red states" who made up our own minds regarding the War Against
International Terrorism and stood against the tide of popular
opinion to state our opposition. We are simple middle-class
laborers that work to care for our families, and lead lives that
are easily examined by friends, neighbors, and coworkers.
Those within our circles of influence are now
seeing us not only as well-reasoned and prescient, but as more
trustworthy and credible than the government that is seeking to
send their children to faraway countries to fight wars that have
been sold with shadows and myths.