I'm all for removing Saddam. I also think Muslims worldwide need some kind of policing since they seem to create a huge danger to the world and they don't seem to be policing themselves. Nonetheless I have a basic distrust of all governments and think that questioning them is the most patriotic thing we can do. There is too much history of our own government misleading the public about war. Perhaps not the best argument, but below is at least an article that mentions some of the points for consideration.
Juan Andrade: 'Bush is the latest 'wartime' president we can't trust'
Posted on Friday, January 17 @ 09:30:13 EST By Juan Andrade, Chicago Sun-Times
It was alarming to see President Bush addressing our troops at Fort Hood, Texas, the U.S. Army's largest military training base for ground troops, just one day after we welcomed in the new year. The base supplied an estimated 25,000 troops to the Persian Gulf War, and it's likely to send a comparable number for war against Iraq. The president's charade was as disturbing as it was sad. This guy is determined to send our superior-trained men and women to kick a little Iraqi ass and has yet to tell us why, for how long, at what price in lives lost, and at what expense.
Frankly, I don't trust the president. I don't trust his motives or his judgment. After WWII, Vietnam and the Persian Gulf, I've become very skeptical of what our leaders tell the American people, critical of their intellect, honesty and motives, and disillusioned by the way they make decisions when it comes to war.
Franklin D. Roosevelt was disturbingly secretive and notorious in underutilizing and undermining the very officials in his Cabinet responsible for advising him on war policy. In his book, The Conquerors, published in 2002, Michael Beschloss uses recently declassified documents to show how the president played Churchill and Stalin against each other and himself against both, and how he excessively used special envoys to create tension, rivalry and deceit among his own advisers. Had Roosevelt lived any longer, America may have won the war but lost the peace.
In Reaching for Glory, published in 2001, Beschloss again uses recently declassified transcripts of taped conversations, official memos, and personal diary excerpts to show how Lyndon B. Johnson, his senior Cabinet officials and military advisers just let us drift aimlessly into war in Southeast Asia. LBJ knew we shouldn't go in, had no idea about how to win once we did, and was clueless on how to get out. Robert McNamara, Dean Rusk, McGeorge Bundy and all the rest were arguably useless in their advice to the president.
In No Peace, No Honor, Larry Berman also uses recently declassified documents, including correspondence, meeting notes and memos from all warring parties, i.e., North Vietnam, South Vietnam and the United States, to show how Nixon and Kissinger effectively betrayed the government and people of South Vietnam. In short, the author makes a very compelling argument that, because of our senseless political posturing and diplomatic chicanery, the war was unnecessarily prolonged for four years at a tragic cost of 20,000 additional American lives.
In my view, there's no better insight into the war-making process inside the Bush White House than Bob Woodward's latest book Bush at War. It also confirms my greatest fears. The book, is based entirely on interviews with the president and his senior inner circle, i.e., Dick Cheney, Colin Powell, Donald Rumsfeld, Condoleezza Rice, the joint chiefs, etc., and notes from their post-9/11 meetings.
When Cheney advised the president to appoint a war council and designate a chairman, Bush did, and inexplicably named himself chairman. Here's a guy who wouldn't even attend his pilot training sessions with the Texas Air National Guard and couldn't name his commanding officer, directing a war against terrorism! Reassuring isn't it? More than once, his chief of staff, Andrew Card, had to remind Bush that he's not a general.
Indeed, it's very apparent that Bush has difficulty distinguishing between his role as president from commander in chief. The problem is his tendency to act and try to think like a general. Card was right, and we have reason to be concerned. As a war president, Bush can't distinguish between a general and a commander in chief.
To complete anyone's distrust of presidents and U.S. foreign policy-making decisions, there's The Trial of Henry Kissinger by Christopher Hitchens. While the author makes state-supported terrorism allegations against the United States, there's sufficient veracity to make any reasonably intelligent person distrusting of decision-makers. The results can be appalling in terms of lives lost, laws broken, and profits made.
During the last year Bush has learned all the right things to say to delude us into believing that he is genuinely interested in avoiding war. He's not. Without war he has nothing. If there was ever a time to question a president's competence in committing America to war, it's now. Since 9/11, Bush's approval rating has dropped from over 80 percent to 58 percent. It's obvious more Americans are starting to catch on.
Copyright 2003, Digital Chicago Inc.
Reprinted from The Chicago Sun-Times: