Was The Mission Accomplished?

by James Glaser
August 18, 2003

Robert Novak, conservative columnist, claimed on Meet the Press, Sunday morning that President Bush's banner claiming, "Mission Accomplished" was true, because we had gotten rid of Saddam Hussein.

Right away that makes one wonder if we did get rid of Saddam and was Regime Change the whole mission. What about Weapons of Mass Destruction, liberation of the Iraqi people, and who can forget that we were to bring democracy to Iraq.

Let's talk about Saddam. Even before the war actually started Washington was saying that we killed him with that first bombing attack. A few days later he was on TV so we must have missed. Remember that block we obliterated on a tip that Saddam was there? That was just before we took over Baghdad and later on we found out that he might have been in a house across the street from where we bombed. It was a shame that we killed all the people in the restaurant and other businesses in the buildings we destroyed.

There were constant reports that we killed Saddam and we even sent over forensic experts to sift the rubble at bombing sites looking for DNA matches. Still Saddam is out there some where, sending audio tapes to radio stations that tell the Iraqi people to defend their country. It is reported that he paid a reward of $5,000 for each American Soldier killed and that reward has now been raised to $6,000.

So much for getting rid of Saddam. This is almost like getting rid of Osama bin Laden and Mulla Omar over in Afghanistan.

Those pesky Weapons of Mass Destruction are just as hard to find as Saddam. George Bush and Tony Blair still say we will find them, in fact George Bush told an audience in Poland of all places, that two chemical trailers we found were proof of these weapons. Months later the administration reported that was not true, but like so many of George's statements, it sounded good when he said it. Any weapons found at this late date will be tainted by past false reports and many will claim that they were planted to make George look good.

There are many countries that need liberation from ruling despots and no one needed it more than the Iraqi people, but the United States has not provided liberation.. Many Iraqis now say times were better under Saddam than they are now. Saddam ruled Iraq with his army. He killed thousands, had prisons filled with those that opposed him, tortured many, and his people lived in fear.

America has only been in Iraq for a short time, but we have already killed thousands of innocent people, we have filled Saddam's prisons with Iraqi citizens, Amnesty International is investigating reports of torture by us, and the Iraqi people live in fear.

Democracy. The United States of America has hand picked the Iraqi leaders that we will allow to form a Interim Government. Some of these people have not lived in Iraq for decades and one of our hand picked leaders is wanted on a Felony Conviction in another country. This is the brand of Democracy we are going to allow Iraq to have.

Many Americans think we have done our job in Iraq, but with the rule of law we have established in Iraq so far, the killing of American Soldiers must be expected. We are not bringing democracy to Iraq, we are only trading one despot's rule, for our own. Getting rid of Saddam will be a start for the new Iraq, but the Iraqi people must decide for themselves what their future will look like. Anything we impose on Iraq will not take hold unless all of the Iraqi people are involved in creating it.

I understand the patriots in Iraq trying to throw us out of their country. I would do the same and hope that my children would join me if any other nation tried to liberate America and occupy my country with their troops.

Washington fails to understand what an affront it is to the patriots of any country to occupy their land with our troops, to declare martial law, install curfews, destroy infrastructure, constantly break into peoples homes, dishonor their women, steal personal possessions, and cause a state of fear for the population.

Unlike our leaders in Washington, I have been part of an American occupying force in a foreign land and we do each of these things and more. There is no doubt in my mind that many Iraqi women have been raped by our troops. Many young men go kind of crazy in war, because they fear for their lives and from all the power over life and death they are given. Muslim women might be the most likely women in the world to keep rapes secret, due to the shame that crime would bring to them.

It is said "War is Hell" and it is. The Iraqi people along with our troops are living in hell right now and all the promises of a better tomorrow will not change what we are doing to that country today. Iraqi children will live with severe Post Traumatic mental health problems for their whole lives as will their parents.

There are no fast easy wars like President Bush and those at the Department of Defense envisioned. Each and every war is filled with there own horrors that the innocent people of the country attacked, always have to suffer, The effects of this war will last for generations.

War does not bring Peace, War does not bring liberation, and this War cannot bring Democracy unless the Iraqi people fight for it by forcing us out. Our brand of democracy is not the same as the brand of democracy the Iraqi people will choose for themselves.

No one gave us our freedom. Our forefathers fought for it. We can't make the Iraqi people free, they have to do that themselves and they are fighting for that freedom right now by attacking our troops. If we want to liberate Iraq, we must leave. The Iraqi people will thank us for removing Saddam Hussein, if we stay longer we become Saddam.

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