Huffpost Politics
The Blog

Featuring fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost's signature lineup of contributors

Chris Durang Headshot

Yikes, the Freedom Watch Ads

Posted: Updated:

Freedom's Watch ads.

Once again, selling the lie that 9/11 and invading Iraq are connected. THEY ARE NOT.

Once again, pretending that fighting in Iraq, which never had Al Qaeda in it until we invaded, is somehow connected to fighting the people who attacked us on 9/11.

I work in NYC once a week, I'm always going through tunnels and bridges to get there, I ride the subways -- believe me, I'd LIKE IT if I felt the president was doing something that made America -- and me -- safer.

But invading Iraq has made us less safe, and has created many, many more terrorists. To recruit more Al Qaeda members, they can now say: "Look America wants to destroy Islam -- they've invaded an Islamic country that didn't attack them." Right? Good tool for recruiting. After our early successes against Al Qaeda in Afghanistan, we got into the "let's make more terrorists" game by invading Iraq.

The invasion of Iraq was an idée fixe of the Bush administration, and loony Cheney, who (as we now know thanks to YouTube) pointed out all the reasons that invading Iraq was foolhardy back in 1994, then changed his mind for reasons I don't know, and after 9/11 started pushing and twisting intelligence to SELL America on the idea of invading Iraq.

Plus preemptive war is immoral, oh you bellicose Christians out there. And Iraq is the perfect proof of that- - we were not in imminent danger, we had our facts wrong about WMD, Saddam wasn't almost having nuclear weapons (which I never believed even back then), and now we're in a quagmire.

The Freedom's Watch ads -- designed to run in 20-or-so states to convince their representatives (mostly Republican, some Democrats) to support Bush in CONTINUING THE WAR UNTIL HELL FREEZES OVER -- poignantly show soldiers without limbs telling us that if we withdraw from Iraq, their sacrifice will be for nothing. And also a woman whose uncle died in 9/11 and whose husband died in Iraq -- and she once again is holding the belief that the attack and our invasion are logically connected. We have to fight in Iraq because we were attacked on 9/11.

It's CRAZY we went into Iraq after being attacked on 9/11. Al Qaeda is an ideology, it's hideous and dangerous to be sure, but most of the bombers were from Saudi Arabia. Not one single one from Iraq.

Most Islamic fundamentalists are RELIGIOUS fanatics who want to kill non-Islamists and force their religious beliefs on the rest of the world. Saddam was NOT religious, he was extremely secular, and he and Al Qaeda were suspicious of and hostile to one another. There wasn't a connection there. As Jon Stewart said last night, our invading Iraq is like responding to the Japanese bombing Pearl Harbor by attacking China. Or maybe Chinatown.

Many, many Americans were successfully hoodwinked by the administration into thinking Iraq was behind 9/11 attacks. Cheney more or less said so; Bush did sometimes. They also used the word "terrorists" and Saddam in the same sentence over and over and over. Thus linking by clear implication.

Pat Tillman's family have seen through the lies, and they're having to deal with their loss. I'm afraid the people who have lost loved ones in Iraq will have to face that they were sold a bill of goods by the administration as to what the war was for. I'm sorry, but we can't just stay in the war forever and ever out of POLITENESS to the people who are grieving their losses.

A house built on sand cannot stand.

This war was built on the sand of lies and misperceptions and bad judgment. Staying in it on and on and on is not a sensible option. More Americans will be killed, and victory is impossible.

The AA prayer says "God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

It's a brilliant prayer, and goes to the heart of difficult choices in life.

Those who want to withdraw (not in one day, of course) are of the mind to accept that the war was mistake and that we can't solve the centuries' old problems among the factions in Iraq.

Those who want to stay think they have the courage to change things, but the "wisdom to know the difference" is the key: in my view, they have zero ability to know the difference, they are stuck and stubborn, and they want to prove their wrong choice was right. Bush is among the most stubborn people I have ever seen in my life.

Just like you can't stay in a hopeless marriage where the two parties are truly incompatible and expect it'll work out, so, too, you can't invade a country, discover there's a civil war brewing underneath and no history of or understanding of democracy among the people, and decide: oh well, let me stay and mediate this group of people who want to kill each other.

Plus the pro-war reading of the war is wrong at its core: we are CREATING MORE TERRORISTS every extra day we stay in Iraq. We are not fighting back for 9/11... that was a trick and a lie.

The ads, by the way, say that victory in Iraq is the only acceptable option.

What the f--- is victory in Iraq? We pour in hundreds of thousands of soldiers to physically seek out and kill every single insurgent there? (With new ones created every day.) And then we say to the Sunnis and Shiites, even though you have centuries of hatred between you and even though you have bloodlust revenge in your hearts based on those centuries, we want you to "bury the hatchet" and live in peace together. Uh huh. And then Dr. Phil comes in and spends a few weekends with them, and then all will be fine and we can finally come home.

That victory isn't possible. Wisdom to know the difference.

Freedom's Watch. Another organization from the right that sells the lie that Iraq and 9/11 were connected. And that tries to sell the lie that fighting in Iraq is making us safer.

Wow, it's a disturbing time in America. Having lived through the Vietnam mess, I can't believe in my lifetime I'm seeing it again, only worse.