Well, you could consider this another lazy post (reprinting someone else's writing). And, I could say in my defense that I will have 10 people here tonight for a sit-down dinner (traditional Italian seven fishes Christmas Eve extravaganza) and that would be true, but I do think that the following would be worth posting here for anyone who might not want to wade through the numerous diaries at Daily KOS, in any case.
It seems especially appropriate for today as this is the season when many families gather together and this is a post from a son to his father. As someone who used to have many long arguments with my own father over another failed occupation (Vietnam), you could say it hit close to home.
An Open Letter to My Dad
Thu Dec 23rd, 2004 at 11:54:01 PST
When George Bush was pushing the need for a war with Iraq in fall of 2002, you believed everything he said. You thought he was a kick-ass guy and you were with him all the way. I wasn't much into politics at the time, but something about the lead up to the war just made me call bullshit.
Whenever I tried to debate it with you, it seemed as if I was the one denying the facts and being a relentless partisan. You seemed like the reasonable one, saying Saddam gassed his people, had Weapons of Mass Destruction, and worked with al Qaeda. The U.N. didn't matter to you. They represented the world, and as we all know, the U.S. is its own world now.
The day before the bombing started, there was an eerie silence in my school. Everyone was scared of a terrorist attack, because of course Saddam was a terrorist. I was with you the night the bombing campaign started, watching Fox News, because all the other networks were part of the liberal media. Fox News broadcast the live pictures of bombs exploding in Baghdad. I remember you were excited, because we were finally attacking. You loved it.
You went to bed that night, happy that we were finally in Iraq. It wasn't a big deal to you, because you had no problem falling asleep. You weren't the one with bombs falling outside your window, and who cares about the people who did, they're camel jockeys anyway, and they should be turned into glass. Nuke `em, because they aren't us. I knew the war was wrong, but you could outdebate me any day. I was 13.
When it became increasingly clear that Saddam had no WMDs, that was OK with you. He was an evil dictator, and worked on 9/11.
When the 9/11 Commission released its final report, proving there were no connections between Saddam and Al Qaeda, that was still OK. Saddam gassed his own people. Freedom was on the march.
When Abu Ghraib broke, it was a good thing. They deserved it.
When the Duelfer report broke, showing Saddam as no longer being a significant threat, and showing there were no WMDs, it was still okay. He gassed his own people, for god's sake!
When the lack of troops became an increasing problem, and they called up 50-year olds, well, they shouldn't have signed up if they didn't want to fight. Tell that to their grandchildren, will ya?
When Al Qaqaa broke, it wasn't Bush's fault, it was the military's.
After all of this, after all of these things happened, you still supported the war. Your new talking point was that Saddam killed people and put them in mass graves. I told you more people had been killed as a result of the invasion than had been found in mass graves. I showed you the evidence. I showed you how all the graves were from before the Gulf War. You were out of talking points. You no longer had any evidence that would justify the war. And yet you still supported it, "because we were already there".
You surprise me, because you aren't stupid or ignorant. You're a hardcore partisan Republican, but you believe in stem cell research, you're pro-choice, you believe in separation of church and state, and you have the same problems with the idea of there being a God as I do.
So your new talking point became that the evil George Tenet, appointed by Clinton, was behind the war. So the War in Iraq became Clinton's fault, in your mind. Two days later, Bush gave Tenet the Presidential Medal of Freedom. So much for that talking point.
I thought that was it for you, especially after the news of the Rumsfeld-armor debacle. You ignored all my e-mails about that subject. But nope, you wouldn't let me down. So you said that the WMDs were moved to Syria or Iran. When I asked you for evidence, you ignored my e-mail once again. Now I've pointed out that it was highly unlikely that Iraq would give its weapons to a country that it was at war with merely fifteen years ago. You didn't respond.
You said that the war should have been done differently, but it still should have been done. You told me that every nation that has ever gone to war has made mistakes. But the fact is, every nation that made the kind of mistakes we did is long gone. They're lines in history books. That's all that's left of them.
Now, two years after the start of a war that seems to have no end, I've outdebated you on every aspect of this war. You can no longer justify it, but if it happened all over again, you say you would support it.
My question to you is, what will it take for you to lose support for the war? When I'm drafted in three years, and I'm fighting over there, will your support wane? When the war drives the economy to bankruptcy, to the point where I'll be fighting there with no body armor, will your support dwindle? When the helicopters come to the American embassy and pull us off the rooftops, will you blame the Democrats, or will you blame the liberal media for the loss of the war? I hope that some day before this happens you will be able to admit it was wrong, but I fear that you and many like you will be unable to do so.