Saturday, August 11, 2007

Time to call out stupidity

Three years ago, there was a debate going on. People were saying that John Kerry would treat the war on terror as an issue of law enforcement, while Bush understood that it was a military war.

Now, the military war believers have had their war continue for another three years, and what do we have?

It's true: in Iraq (in Kurdish territory, not controlled by Saddam) there were some terrorist training camps, camps we could have bombed, but didn't (part of the case for war was the existence of those training camps, you see). And it was vaguely possible, far in the future, that Saddam Hussein might have reconstituted his WMD programs. However, the CIA was quite confident that he was afraid to use them, or see them used, against the United States. He'd tried to assassinate the first President Bush, and he got hit hard in return, and wasn't willing to see what terrible retaliation we'd perform if he caused us real damage. Iraq, while in a terrible state, was stable.

By doing things the "military war" way, we have spent hundreds of billions of dollars, we've exhausted our military forces, we've lost over 3500 of our best and brightest, and had many thousand more maimed. Al Qaeda in Iraq formed in the chaos following the invasion - that is, they formed because we gave them the opportunity to form - and both Iraqi and foreign terrorists have been able to practice methods of killing people in a real war zone. We have been responsible for hundreds of thousands of Iraqis' deaths, and each one of those deaths is the potential for a friend or family member to have enough hatred for us to be willing to join the terrorists.

What do we have after three more years of doing things the military way? An unstable country with no visible political solution to its instability, a real risk of a civil war that could draw in other nations in the Middle East, and a place where there are more terrorists being trained than captured.

While I'm all for trying to be understanding of other people's opinions, isn't it long past the time that we start recognizing that invading Iraq was about the stupidest move anyone could have made? Isn't it long past time that we started treating the people who support such stupidity as the idiots that they are?

I mean, I've long been willing to point out that the war in Iraq was evil, that there was no moral reason to start killing thousands of innocent people given the information we had. But maybe it's time to start in on a simpler, and equally obvious message: the invasion was stone stupid. And if anyone can't admit that, why should we trust them not to be equally stupid about anything else they have to say?

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