Ed. Note: I’m not exactly sure when this was written, but it’s several years ago now. In rereading it, I see that it was written sometime in late 2003/early 2004. It still pisses me off.
I watch the flap being made over the ‘news’ that the CIA fucked up the reports from Iraq, and it amuses me. No, wait, let me change that to it bemuses me. Everyone is running around like chickens with their heads chopped off, declaring that the sky is falling. Pundits in ill-fitting suits are solemnly dissecting every conceivable aspect of this horrifying discovery. The suits are acting as if this is the most shocking thing to occur in the millennium. Personally, the fact that the earth didn’t end at the stroke of minute, 2000, (which was not the beginning of the new millennium, but I digress) was more of a shock to me, and I say that tongue-in-cheek. I didn’t do a damn thing to prepare for the pseudo-new millennium and wasn’t surprised that very little changed. Since I am someone who has been decrying the war from the start as being pursued on trumped-up charges, I am not surprised by the latest news, either.
One of the suits said something about how we citizens of America expected there to be WMDs in Iraq and that the CIA did little more than we did-assumed they’d be there. First of all, who is we, white man? I didn’t see a single shred of evidence that there were WMDs in Iraq, and I was not ballyhooing the troops to attack on the flimsy premise that there might be some hidden in some foxhole that didn’t contain Saddam. If my memory serves correctly, the weapons inspectors did not find them, either, and pleaded for more time. Dubya declined, declaring himself satisfied that they were there and attacked. I read the reports, watched the news and still couldn’t find any evidence of WMDs, but that didn’t seem to discourage Dubya one whit. Now, we are supposed to be shocked and horrified that supposedly the CIA fudged its report for whatever reason-probably because of immense pressure by Dubya?
Pardon me for not being too distraught or devastated, but duh. I sometimes feel as if I’m living in an alternate universe. You know, the one where one assesses the information given before making a rash decision? That one. I don’t feel as if I inhabit the same world as most other people. You know, the one where if you questioned what Dubya was doing, you were unpatriotic at best and a closet terrorist at worst? The one where it was perfectly ok to attack a country on a flimsy pretext to save face that you couldn’t round up another miscreant? For two long years after 9/11, the rhetoric reigned supreme. Dubya was given unprecedented amount of power which he mishandled to the best of his ability. Now he wants to blame it on the CIA? I would laugh if it weren’t so chilling.
Mind you, I’m not defending the CIA. I can fully believed that they fucked up in their reports, but I can also imagine that the pressure was enormous for them to find something, anything in order for Dubya to attack Iraq. This man was given unlimited power-which is the definition of tyrant and despot-and he fully believed in his mission. Never mind the link between bin Laden and Hussein was slim at best. Never mind that we’ve allowed Hussein to do whatever he damn wanted for the last, oh, hundred years or so. Never mind that there were no WMDs to be found. Somehow, this was all too logical for his feeble mind, but what bothers me most is that the citizens of America including the press followed along like good little lambs.
What pisses me off even more than Dubya and his cronies is how the Democrats acted as if the Republican party had blackmail material on them and followed rank and file whatever Dubya wanted. The ones who spoke out were few and far between, and the only person who wanted to limit Dubya’s power received death threats for speaking out. If I still lived in California, she would get my vote until I died for her bravery. The late Senator Wellstone also questioned the wisdom after the vote, but he voted for it at the time.
Now, the Democrats are eager to distance themselves from the war, but it’s hard not to call them hypocrites. Not one of them spoke out against Dubya at the time. For two years, it was as if we had one party instead of two. I know that I have to vote Democrat in the upcoming election, but I don’t want to. I hold it against them that they laid down in the road and let Dubya and the Republicans steamroll over them. I understand that they didn’t want to seem unpatriotic, but perhaps we wouldn’t be in this mess today if they had had the courage to speak out at the time.
My bemusement has a tinge of disbelief. All the things the pundits are railing over now, my friends and I had discussed in length at the time. How is it that we could see it was a wrong decision when the so-called experts were patting Dubya on the back for taking charge? That’s another reason I feel as if I’m living in an alternate universe. Everything that I think is fairly evident seems to be ignored by others. Then when it does come to light, I have to ask myself over and over again how come others are so late to see what I’d seen some time before? I think it’s because of this that I can’t get too excited over this latest development with the CIA. To me, it’s last year’s news, and besides, what difference does it make now?
I believe that we shouldn’t have gone to war, but we have to finish what we’ve started. It’s good that we’ve handed power over to the Iraqis. Now it’s time to start withdrawing troops after ensuring that the Iraqis in power have enough muscle to push back the insurgents. The thing is, I hope that people will learn from this and do a little thinking before jumping on the bandwagon so quickly in the future. I don’t hold out much hope, however, as people in general would rather be told what to think than have to bother thinking for themselves.