Friday, June 20, 2014

Two wrongs donít make a right


    With the ugly war in Iraq coming back to life, neoconservatives from previous presidential administrations have re-emerged from the murky goo to offer up their wisdom and declare the failings of the current administration. Ideologically committed to using military power to promote American-style democracy in other countries, they are pointing again down a dead-end road.
    William Kristol, Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, Scooter Libby and John McCain, among the major contributors to the drumbeat that led to an American invasion in Iraq, amazingly are reappearing on television and in print. The last time we heard from most of them on the subject of Iraq, they were declaring that Saddam Hussein was an imminent threat with chemical and nuclear capabilities. They were destroying Iraqi society and ignoring a thousand years of animosity and violence between Shiite and Sunni Muslims. Now they are lobbying hard for re-involvement in a conflict that is not America’s to win or lose.
    Wisely, former President George W. Bush has chosen not to get into this fray. Former Vice President Dick Cheney, conversely, has gone on the attack against President Obama, declaring in a Wall Street Journal opinion piece, “Rarely has a U.S. president been so wrong about so much at the expense of so many.” He wrote further, “Instead, he [Obama] abandoned Iraq and we are watching an American defeat snatched from the jaws of victory.”
    Cheney is the first among his peers to try to rewrite history by insisting on lies. He is painting the Iraq conflict the way he wanted it to be, the way he wished it had been. It just never seems to occur to Cheney that he and all the others were as dead wrong as they were.
    The long and painful extrication of U.S. troops from Iraq and the historical analysis of the Bush 43 presidency as one of the worst should have been a political graveyard for the neocons. Instead it seems to have been a place to hide and then to rise for one last shot before dropping out of sight again.
    The men and woman who were vocal and omnipresent supporters of America’s initial involvement in Iraq have remained in media rolodexes just because they look and sound good on screen. Yet, they were wrong then and they are wrong now.
    President Obama has resisted calls for “boots on the ground” in this conflict, but seems to be considering whether America should take some action in Iraq. We hope he remembers that two wrongs don’t make a right.




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