I Think We May Have Lost This War
by James Glaser
Now don't get me wrong, I do believe we are going to kill most of the Iraqi Army or they will surrender. I feel pretty sure we will get Saddam, but we are going to lose the war. We have probably lost already.
On this Tuesday Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and several Generals fell all over themselves trying to convince America that not only do we have a good war plan, but they all agree it is good. I have never heard Washington go on and on like this, trying to convince us about any policy, let alone one on war. Something is not right here. Some body has screwed up bad and they are covering their behinds. I don't know what is going on here, but we will all know soon.
Sure we will win the military part of this war, but this war is supposed to be, not only about "Regime change," but it was also about liberation and bringing democracy to Iraq. You want to know what is causing us to lose this war? I'll tell you.
Headlines like that one do more damage to our ultimate goal in this war than killing a thousand Iraqi soldiers. The Iraqi people can understand battles and soldiers dying, but women and children are another matter. From the start of this war we have been telling Iraq that our war is with Saddam, not with the people. We kill fifty civilians in one market place and thirty two in another. Then to add insult, we claim the bombs came from Iraq. Well it doesn't take much of a genius to figure out if we had never attacked, all of these civilians would be alive today. Pushing off the blame, even if true, doesn't work. We started this war and have to take responsibility for the deaths that this war causes.
Time after time I hear about how America betrayed the Kurds in the North and the Shia in the South East, back in the first Gulf War. Time after time the media shows the clip of President Bush #1 asking the Iraqi people to rise up and attack Saddam. They did just what daddy Bush asked and he screwed them and Saddam killed them. These people are not dumb and can remember how America would not keep its word.
Now we want them to believe that this George Bush is different and will keep his word. However the Iraqis hear that some of their fighters are going to the infamous cages in Cuba and they can see that America won't even honor the Geneva Convention that it has crowed about from the start of this war.
Hundreds of innocent civilians have been killed already and that number grows every day. I think we have reached the point that our killing of civilians has cost us the war. Maybe I am wrong and we haven't reached that point yet, but every day we are killing more and even if I am wrong, now we are getting closer to that point with each new death.
I want to go back to those Seven Women and children that were killed at that check point. The embedded reporter on the scene, says there were no warning shots and the Pentagon says there were. Well think of this once. You are that woman driving with a dozen other women and children in the van. You are trying to get away from a war zone. You hear shots being fired at you. What is your first response? I would bet, stepping on the gas to get those kids away from who ever is shooting. I don't fault those soldiers for killing those people because that is an example of how crazy a war zone can get. Also those Americans that did the killing will be thinking about that for the rest of their lives.
Every relative of everyone in that van will think about that too and all of those extended families of each person in that van will know in their hearts that Americans murdered those people. Sure it has been reported that we gave the survivors a bunch of money, but that could make it worse. Giving money is admitting guilt.
Americans will have to start to realize that nobody ever really wins in any war. Americans have to also realize no matter what the Pentagon says about not targeting civilians, they do get killed in every war and they get killed in large numbers.
By the time this war is over America will have gained hundreds of millions of more people hating us. Leaders in Indonesia are calling President Bush a War Criminal now and they are not alone. When this war is over we will have to see what happens in Iraq. If we have killed too many, then this war will never really end for us until we leave.
Iraq will not go for a puppet like in Afghanistan, because that plan has been used already and if Bush goes for a real democracy don't be surprised if some fundamental Muslim Cleric gets elected. Things could stay the same for the people of Iraq and we could make the whole Middle East less stable. Liberation might just be a figment of George Bush's imagination.
George Bush rolled the dice with this war. I only hope we know the results by the next election.
The real American losers in this war are our troops. Those young men and women have already seen the horror of war. The Marines that had to dig up those buried Marines will dream of that for life. The Corpsman and Medics will relive what they have had to do over and over again and will be second guessing themselves till they die. They will be wondering if they did everything they should have or maybe that guy would have lived if they had done something else. This will get worse for the troops that end up killing civilians, especially those that kill kids. As the killing of civilians grows greater with our attack on Baghdad, hundreds if not thousands of Soldiers and Marines will have the burden of killing innocent people. That is a life long burden. Sure the Veterans Administration will give these guys some powerful drugs, but for it to be powerful enough to rid you of that memory, that drug also screws you up in other ways. Wars are a lose, lose situation.
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