Sorry, But You Were Dumb For Supporting The Iraq War
On the 10th anniversary of the Iraq War, some people are writing up mea culpas on their war support – some more honest than others – and the proper response is supposed to be an acknowledgement that we all make mistakes and it would have been an honest failure to support the Bush administration’s adventure in Iraq.
In early 2003, I was a 25 year old college dropout who didn’t know a whole lot about politics working temp jobs in the suburbs of Boston. But I had the sense to know that the Iraq War was a bad idea, and other, more educated and smarter people should have known better.
Here’s what I wrote just a few weeks before the invasion:
There is no real argument that Saddam Hussein is a menace, and an entity that should not be allowed to have any weapons of mass destruction – nuclear or chemical.
The rhetorical leap our president makes is what should give rational people pause. By our president’s word, Saddam Hussein plans to (or already has) share his weapons with Islamic terrorists in their attacks against America or its allies. The evidence of this is scant, and quite simply conjecture without solid proof that has not been presented to American citizens or to the United Nations. If this evidence does exist, we must ask why it hasn’t seen the light of day. Since we cannot make foreign policy of this importance rely on “maybe”, this is vital.
Going back over my old writing, I am reminded that I often operated under the premise that maybe Hussein did have some sort of weapon of mass destruction. But even under that scenario, I argued that a war of invasion and occupation was a bad idea.
Why? Because at the time – as it is now – our major enemy was Al Qaeda and affiliated terrorism. Invading Iraq took our eye of the ball, and the administration’s case for connecting Iraq to Al Qaeda was filled with holes, and even 25-year-old Oliver could see this.
So it isn’t okay or permissible for people who should have been smarter about it to have supported the war anyway.
The Iraq War wasn’t just a policy position that didn’t work out. It was a conflict that killed thousands of human beings, including 4,000+ of our own citizens who put their lives in the hands of our leaders. It wasn’t a situation of government wasting money on hammers or space toilets, but the security of our nation and our allies that was on the line.
I wasn’t alone in my opposition to the war. There were millions of us across America and the entire planet. We were right. Our course of action would have saved lives and kept us safer.
If you supported the war, you were wrong. And even if you went on to be a great person or public servant, that is an eternal blot on your existence in this world and the next.