Frank Rich had an interesting article in the New York Times on Sunday titled, "Patriots Who Love the Troops to Death."
He mentions Michael Ignatieff, a former Bush War cheerleader, who acknowledged "that those who “truly showed good judgment on Iraq” might have had no more information than those who got it wrong, but did not make the mistake of confusing “wishes for reality.”"
Although I don't like to toot my own horn: me too.
The title: Patriots Who Love the Troops to Death is morbidly humorous but deadly accurate. I have to scoff at these war-lovers who, when confronted by these thousands of useless American military deaths, offhandedly remark: 'it's an all-volunteer army,' s if 'they were asking for it.' Or that other callous statement flowing from their lips; ' Vietnam saw 50,000 dead.' Which statement is more ignorant is up for grabs. Did you see that recent Young College Republican Convention video where the reporter asked these young men about supporting the war, then asked 'why haven't you joined the military?' The bobbing, weaving, and ducking was classic Dick Cheney.
Yes, these 'patriots' love the Bush War. Broad definition of patriotism, no doubt. Does a true patriot follow the leader blindly and mindlessly? Does the leader receive carte blanche from his citizens? One might ask: when does dogged party loyalty dilute patriotism?
Today we read that Afghanistan is more dangerous than it was a few years ago according to President Hamid Karzai. The poppy crop was enormous this year. Karzai told the press yesterday about finding bin Laden, "We are not closer, we are not further away from it."
Six full years after 9-11, the mastermind is still on the loose, but Saddam Hussein is dead. And so are more American soldiers than Americans who died on 9-11. Brilliant.
I am still troubled by the fact that so many of my fellow citizens were bamboozled by the Bush/Cheney rhetoric and rush to invade Iraq while bin Laden sat in his mountain hideout. What happened to my fellow citizens? Was their need for vengeance so great than they were willing to use Hussein as a scapegoat for bin Laden? Any dastardly dictator will suffice?
What were they thinking? Why do wisdom and logic fail during patriotic passion? Perhaps the better question is: have we learned any lesson from this major mistake? Or, will some charlatan a few years down the road once again lead us astray with a wave of the flag?