Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Talking Ourselves Into Another War?

Today's Top Story:
At the time of this posting, 1485 US soldiers have died in Iraq.
Source: http://icasualties.org/oif/

(Why is this "The Top Story"?

1. Each of these soldiers died in a war that was initiated by a President who intentionally misled the American people about the reasons for war in Iraq, (and
2. Like Gen. Anthony Zinni, I believe that this has got to be more important than "American Idol").

Today's Feature: Talking Ourselves Into Another War?

It's been awhile since I did a posting. My last one did not include the casualty statistics. After the election in Iraq, I was cautiously hopeful. (Unlike my sense after the election in America...) I wanted to believe that progress was being made. That maybe a good end result was possible. I heard Bill Maher on NPR's "Fresh Air" on February 8 talking about how we react to news about Bush & Co. His point...and I'm going to butcher it...was that we cannot listen to any news about Iraq, the administration, etc. and immediately try to figure out why we disagree. Sometimes we have to recognize that there are good outcomes, and we need to support these. We have to be smart enough to separate the positive events in the world from the political agendas that might have influenced them.

A very challenging point of view, but one I'm trying to adopt.

Now tell that to Mary, who had to listen to one of the longest streams of profanity I have ever uttered as I listened to the NBC Nightly News tonight. The story centered on how Iran has become our "enemy" and how President Bush was in Europe rounding up support for this position.

Did I miss something important? When did Iran become our "enemy"? (I'm obviously ignoring the "Axis of Evil" comments from the past. This might be a big mistake.)

Are we at odds with Iran on a number of issues? Yes. Would we prefer that they do not develop nuclear weapons? Absolutely.

But the rhetoric being used today, even by Brian Williams on the Nightly News, suggests that we are about to repeat the collective rethinking we did before the invasion of Iraq. We literally talked ourselves into that war. The politicians drove it. The media bought it. Colin Powell sold it at the UN. "Weapons of mass destruction" became the mantra...and the justification...even though they didn't exist!

If you tell the lie enough times, people will believe it. The march to Iraq proved it. Maybe some good will become of that effort. I remain hopeful and optimistic. (Read "pollyanna"?) But I'm also suspicious of the political/media machine. We haven't yet absorbed the cost (financial and human) of our excursion into Iraq. Why do we need to pick the next fight already?

Pay close attention to the news reports for the next 3 months. I'll bet you twenty dollars that we'll hear more and more about what a "grave threat to the national security" Iran represents. We'll hear George Bush and Dick Cheney and Condoleeza Rice opine about the "moolahs" and the "nucular" weapons. I'll bet we'll see the national threat warning level (whatever it's called) raised and some more news about "non-specific Interet chatter" that implies an imminent threat to our national security.

Our national leaders will promote an invasion of Iran, and our media will fall in line, looking for headlines and an opportunity to score an exclusive interview.

Here's the only scenario I can imagine where I would support an invasion of Iran: The US military forces crossing the Iran border are led by new recruits Jenna and Barbara Bush (G-dub's twin daughters) and our forces follow the troops deployed by France and Germany.

1 comment:

Sarah said...

Yowza! Good post, Pop. The Bill Maher point is a great one--yet it scares me to think that just because our fearless leader is willing to go about invading Iran in a slightly less unilateral way, people will automatically support this new endeavor. I hope we've at least learned a small lesson from the 1500 young men and women who have died as a result of this catastrophe.