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Stephen Elliott

Stephen Elliott

Posted: November 21, 2005 02:13 PM

We've Already Lost the War, Now What


There's an incredible opinion piece by Frank Rich in this week's Sunday Times. Basically he states the obvious, we've already lost in Iraq, and starts to discuss how we're going to manage the new world that we've created by turning Iraq into the ultimate terrorist breeding ground.

Already we're seeing pushback and blame, just like in Vietnam. Right wingers are blaming our failure on France, on the anti-war crowd, on our lack of resolve. They're mad because we don't trust our government. But the blame belongs to our leaders, Rumsfeld, Cheney, and Bush, who never took the time or made the effort to earn our trust and continue to speak to Americans like we are fools. Like when Bush makes the laughable statement that Americans don't torture. Then the Republican spin machine wonders why the average American thinks the president is a liar.

I was against this war but I hoped we would win it. I remember talking to the head of the English Department where I was teaching. I said, "If things work out in Iraq, I'm going to admit I was wrong and start voting Republican." I wanted to be wrong so badly. I figured the president knew things I didn't know. And he did. But he manipulated the intelligence and took us to war anyway.

The blame for the fiasco in Iraq has nothing to do with Americans questioning the war effort but rather the architects who failed to anticipate an Iraq that didn't welcome our occupation. They also didn't anticipate a public at home that is tired of being lied to and has ceased to believe them.

As Rich points out, we'll be dealing with the mess we created for generations, but we can't even begin to fix it until we elect leaders who at the bare minimum are willing to be honest with the American people.

- Stephen Elliott