Saturday, November 25, 2006

No pleasure in "I told you so"

There will be no victory or defeat for the United States in Iraq. These terms do not reflect the reality of what is going to happen there. The future of Iraq was always going to be determined by the Iraqis -- not the Americans....Iraq is not a prize to be won or lost.

So says Nebraska...or rather Republican senator Chuck Hagel from Nebraska.

After the loss of how many Iraqi many American lives: military personnel who went to Iraq with the conviction that they were somehow making their loved ones safer here at home; contractors --in some cases out of work-- lured by six-digit salaries....

After how many admonitions, how many analyses...after weapons inspector Scott Ritter's affirmation that Iraq had destroyed over 90% of its weapons of mass destruction...after the point-by-point demonstration by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops that invading Iraq did not meet the criteria of a just war, after warnings by Jesse Jackson, and Congressman Dennis Kucinich, and pleas from writers such as Barbara Kingsolver, James Carroll and others....

While the Rumsfeld's of the country trivialized the violence and disorder infecting Iraq because, after all, "democracy is messy" (but who cares when you don't have to get bloodied by it yourself?) and the Rice's blew smoke in our eyes by conjuring up a Saddam-sent mushroom cloud, and the Coulter's accused Democrats and leftists as a group of treason....

After Abu Ghraib...

After all the lies and more, a Republican senator finally stands up, says that although we invaded Iraq with the best of intentions, it's time for an "honorable" exit...

I can only echo the words of Fr. Andrew Greeley:

God forgive us for the war, especially those who voted for it in 2004, and especially the pundits, the commentators, the editorial writers who supported the war until almost the last moment and are still willing to accept more casualties so this country and its president can escape with some dignity.


  1. Great post, thank you. I don't know if you saw this article/video of Saddam and his inner circle right before the war, but I found it fascinating...

  2. We invaded Iraq because we could. Rumsfeld et al knew that Saddam was no threat to us. If we really wanted to pick on someone our own size, we'd be invading North Korea.

    Reminds me of Hugo Chavez's rhetoric earlier this year about how the Venzuelan people would use "asymmetric" fighting tactics and traditional weapons in the event of an invasion by the US. Chavez declared that he himself would shoot an arrow covered in curare at American forces. We have the big guns; other countries have only their pride.

  3. Thank ou for this marvelous post. It came to my attention since I track Dennis Kucinich, my favorite peacemaker in power in the US.

    Thank you for keeping hope alive. We truly need to torn from our wicked ways, kneel down and pray, to seek the Lord's forgiveness for our trespasses against peace.

    Constantly seeking the light of the spirit with all that I meet.

    Again, thank you, Pax et Lux

    Steve Chase

  4. You write that, "...a Republican senator finally stands up, says that although we invaded Iraq with the best of intentions, it's time for an "honorable" exit..."

    However, Chuck Hagel, the Republican senator you refer to, has been loudly opposed to the war at least since 2005, and maybe longer.

    The "finally" is merely that you noticed.

    Hagel belongs to the same old-school noblesse oblige Republican subculture as the Rockefellers and John V. Lindsay and good ol' Tricky Dick Nixon did, and as Lincoln Chafee and Olympia Snowe still do. As such, he hasn't been ashamed to strengthen his grip on his Senate seat by means of voting machine fraud, and he loyally votes the straight Republican Party line in the Senate. But he keeps trying to persuade the party he belongs to to change that party line, to something more closely reflecting the noblesse oblige ethic that he personally subscribes to.

    Hagel's been at odds with the current Republican majority on a great many other things besides the war -- the handling of illegal immigrants, for example. I believe it might be worth your while to try to understand why he does these things, and where he's coming from.

  5. Hi Marshall,

    I'm not sure of the point of your remarks. As you point out, I am not familiar with Hagel's career and how it embodies the principle of noblesse oblige. I am merely reacting to his article in the Washington Post.

    Here's another quote from the same article:

    "We have misunderstood, misread, misplanned and mismanaged our honorable intentions in Iraq with an arrogant self-delusion reminiscent of Vietnam. Honorable intentions are not policies and plans."

    He seems to feel that we went into Iraq with honorable intentions to begin with. Personally, I do not believe that to be the case, and that's the only point I was trying to make.

    Thanks for stopping by.


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