"We Did Not Choose This [Iraq] War"

Guest Post by Big Tent Democrat

Choose - 1. To select from a number of possible alternatives; decide on and pick out. 2. . . . To determine or decide: chose to fly rather than drive.

The Decider says he didn't decide to go to war in Iraq.

Around two "Friedmans" (6 month intervals, see generally atrios on "Friedmans") ago, Bush said much of what he repeated today:

We removed Saddam Hussein from power because he was a threat to our security. He had pursued and used weapons of mass destruction. He sponsored terrorists. He ordered his military to shoot at American and British pilots patrolling the no-fly zones. He invaded his neighbors. He fought a war against the United States and a broad coalition. He had declared that the United States of America was his enemy. . . . The United States did not choose war -- the choice was Saddam Hussein's. . . . Given Saddam's history and the lessons of September the 11th, my decision to remove Saddam Hussein was the right decision. Saddam was a threat -- and the American people and the world is better off because he is no longer in power. We are in Iraq today because our goal has always been more than the removal of a brutal dictator; it is to leave a free and democratic Iraq in its place.

Of course Bush has been and continues to lie about Iraq. Bush chose this disastrous war. Bush chose to undermine the fight against terrorism. Bush chose to launch Iraq into chaos.

Today, as in December 2005, Bush said:

Some in Washington are calling for a rapid and complete withdrawal of our forces in Iraq. They say that our presence there is the cause for instability in Iraq, and that the answer is to set a deadline to withdraw. I disagree. I've listened carefully to all the arguments, and there are four reasons why I believe that setting an artificial deadline would be a recipe for disaster. . . . We will carry on the fight, we will complete their mission, and we will win.
Victory will be achieved by meeting certain clear objectives: when the terrorists and Saddamists can no longer threaten Iraq's democracy, when the Iraqi security forces can protect their own people, and when Iraq is not a safe haven for terrorists to plot attacks against our country. These objectives, not timetables set by politicians in Washington, will drive our force levels in Iraq. As Iraqis stand up, we will stand down. And when victory is achieved, our troops will then come home, with the honor they have earned.

Are we winning yet Mr. President? Are the Iraqis standing up? Will we ever be able to stand down?

And just as he did today, Bush cynically exploited the death of a soldier for political purposes:

And we can be confident because we have on our side the greatest force for freedom in human history: the men and women of the United States Armed Forces. (Applause.) One of these men was a Marine lieutenant named Ryan McGlothlin, from Lebanon, Virginia. Ryan was a bright young man who had everything going for him and he always wanted to serve our nation. He was a valedictorian of his high school class. He graduated from William & Mary with near-perfect grade averages, and he was on a full scholarship at Stanford, where he was working toward a doctorate in chemistry.

Two years after the attacks of September the 11th, the young man who had the world at his feet came home from Stanford for a visit. He told his dad, "I just don't feel like I'm doing something that matters. I want to serve my country. I want to protect our lands from terrorists, so I joined the Marines." When his father asked him if there was some other way to serve, Ryan replied that he felt a special obligation to step up because he had been given so much. Ryan didn't support me in the last election, but he supported our mission in Iraq. And he supported his fellow Marines.

Ryan was killed last month fighting the terrorists near the -- Iraq's Syrian border. In his pocket was a poem that Ryan had read at his high school graduation, and it represented the spirit of this fine Marine. The poem was called "Don't Quit."

In our fight to keep America free, we'll never quit. We've lost wonderful Americans like Ryan McGlothlin. We cherish the memory of each one. We pray the loved ones -- pray for the loved ones they've left behind, and we count it a privilege to be citizens of a country they served. We also honor them by acknowledging that their sacrifice has brought us to this moment: the birth of a free and sovereign Iraqi nation that will be a friend of the United States, and a force for good in a troubled region of the world.

Of all the despicable, cynical ploys that the Bush Administration uses, this use of the deaths Bush's decisions and incompetence have led to are the most disgraceful. Shame and decency are not to found in the White House. Just incompetence and mendacity.

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    Re: "We Did Not Choose This [Iraq] War" (none / 0) (#1)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Thu Aug 31, 2006 at 11:07:00 AM EST
    The palace building continues on schedule:
    Irritation grows as residents deprived of air-conditioning and running water three years after the US-led invasion watch the massive US Embassy they call "George W's palace" rising from the banks of the Tigris.
    In the pavement cafés, people moan that the structure is bigger than anything Saddam Hussein built. They are not impressed by the architects' claims that the diplomatic outpost will be visible from space and cover an area that is larger than the Vatican city and big enough to accommodate four Millennium Domes. They are more interested in knowing whether the US State Department paid for the prime real estate or simply took it.
    God Bless Dumbya, he kept his word about exporting "U.S. style" democracy to Iraq.

    Re: "We Did Not Choose This [Iraq] War" (none / 0) (#2)
    by Ernesto Del Mundo on Thu Aug 31, 2006 at 11:14:04 AM EST
    first post was mine. Here's more:
    USA Today has learned that the "massive new embassy, being built on the banks of the Tigris River, is designed to be entirely self-sufficient and won't be dependent on Iraq's unreliable public utilities." Thus, there will be no reason or excuse for any of the thousands of Americans working in this space, which is about the size of eighty football fields, to share the daily life experience of an Iraqi or even come in accidental contact with one.
    592 million dollars to build it. Guess the levees in New Orleans will have to wait. Priorities you know.

    Re: "We Did Not Choose This [Iraq] War" (none / 0) (#3)
    by soccerdad on Thu Aug 31, 2006 at 11:20:47 AM EST
    Will you stop with the War on Terror. There is and has never been a War on Terror. Its just all propaganda, just like WMD's, bring Democracy to the ME, etc. All justifications for their war for resources and real estate that will allow them to project American power keeping America as the lone superpower.

    Re: "We Did Not Choose This [Iraq] War" (none / 0) (#4)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Thu Aug 31, 2006 at 11:33:12 AM EST
    George would just tell us that those Iraqis that are irritated over the new embassy are just "disturbed." Really...they just don't understand how the world works. [sarcasm off]

    Re: "We Did Not Choose This [Iraq] War" (none / 0) (#5)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Thu Aug 31, 2006 at 11:41:00 AM EST
    Shame and decency are not to be found
    Non whatsoever. Yet they offer the parents of the dead a free headstone if it bears the inscription "Operation Iraqi Freedom" Shameless and overflowing with abject hypocrisy. Bush knows all too well why the toops died, I hope the spirit of every dead man woman or child haunts the sob to the grave and beyond. But he cannot see the irony of this magnanimous gesture, for ever and a day will that inscription, etched in stone, mock the the man and his presidency for what they truly are. And forever and a day those very words will become synonimous with, "He Died For Nothing"

    Re: "We Did Not Choose This [Iraq] War" (none / 0) (#6)
    by Edger on Thu Aug 31, 2006 at 12:06:46 PM EST
    Yet they offer the parents of the dead a free headstone if it bears the inscription "Operation Iraqi Freedom"
    Advertising on gravestones? Advertising on gravestones? How appropriate for the bush (mis)administration. Yep... They must have some real marketing wizards working for them. What better way to inspire confidence and emphasize what you get when you buy the bushco snake oil brand.
    "You can fool some of the people all the time, and those are the ones you want to concentrate on."
    -- George W. Bush

    Re: "We Did Not Choose This [Iraq] War" (none / 0) (#7)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Fri Sep 01, 2006 at 03:39:39 AM EST
    And Kerry just keeps asking himself - daily - "I LOST to this moron!!??" You really gotta wonder how they managed to steal a second election, this time in Ohio. And for all those maroons driving around in their fat SUVs with that damned "W" sticker on their vehicle, I've got news for you: "W" is for "war criminal".