Persisting on wrong course a sign of fanaticism

September 15, 2004

Dear Editor:

In your Sept. 5 editorial you quote approvingly President Bush's statement: "Even when we don't agree, you know what I believe and where I stand." That claim is mostly false. Bush has flip-flopped on numerous issues: having a 9/11 commission, a homeland security agency, intelligence reform, free trade, links between Saddam and al-Qaida, the Kyoto Accords, and much else.

However, he has been consistent in his war against Iraq. He began planning it immediately after 9/11 without evidence that Iraq was involved. Having invaded Afghanistan, the country that hosted bin Laden, he quickly shifted American military power to the invasion of Iraq, a nation that had nothing to do with 9/11. As a result, Afghanistan is reverting to chaos, and bin Laden, who committed the greatest mass murder in American history, is still at large.

Although no weapons of mass destruction were found in Iraq, and no connection between Saddam and al-Qaida was discovered, Bush still insists that the Iraq war was a good thing. As your editorial suggested, the man is persistent. However, persisting with a misinformed course of action is a sign of fanaticism, not of good leadership. Distorting intelligence reports to justify a war is grounds for impeachment, not re-election.


The first and second Iraq wars should be called the "Wars of the Bush Succession." George I, as Reagan's vice president and then as president himself, was a major contributor to building up Saddam's war machine during the 1980s. As the Washington Post reported last year, "Iraq was already using chemical weapons on an "almost daily basis when Donald Rumsfeld met with Saddam Hussein in 1983, consolidating the U.S.-Iraq military alliance."

Even after Saddam gassed thousands of Kurds in 1988, U.S. companies were licensed by George I to send chemical and germ warfare supplies to Iraq. This support continued until the eve of Iraq's invasion of Kuwait in 1990. Then George I assembled an international coalition to fight the monster he had done so much to create.

It's ironic that a large proportion of any WMD Saddam might have had when George II invaded Iraq thirteen years later would have been made possible by George I.

Brian Cooney


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