This is an open letter to supporters of Bush and the war in Iraq...
Begin rant ...
I understand your patriotism, especially if you or someone you love is serving in the gulf, but I feel sad for you and think such patriotism as yours will be proven by history to be an ill-gotten gain for a president who, with the help of his advisers, misled a nation.
And yet, I don't always understand your reasoning. You say Saddam was evil and needed to go. I say there are MANY, MANY, MANY bad men in this world; there are many situations of genocide we continue to ignore. Saddam may have been someone with the most bravado but the least harmful in terms of WMD and imminent threats to our shores. And please remember, Iraq and 9-11 are NOT connected. None of the terrorists on those doomed planes were from Iraq. But terrorists are surely there now.
Even your president admits that the events of Sept. 11, 2001 were not, and are not, tied to Iraq. The same does not seem true of Cheney, who throws in 9-11 every time he mentions Iraq. The fact is this administration insinuated and continue to insinuate that there was a connection and, I believe, they manufactured an imminment threat to justify this war at a time of uncertainty in this country. They used fear to manipulate and we played right into it. Democrats in Congress should be ashamed of what they did, too. They should not be let off the hook for their part in this unprecidented attrocity.
For those of you with family fighting in the gulf: That this administration sent people like your husbands and wives to an uncertain fate preemptively and without United Nations' support SHOULD neither be forgotten or, in my opinion, forgiven. No one should have to come to the understanding that a loved one was sent into harm's way on a lie. Add to this the fact that there are soldiers, spouses and families living on food stamps and veterans' benefits are being slashed, and the action seems nothing short of dastardly. For the government to pay lip service in supporting the troups while sending them off with insufficent equipment, telling them you go to war with what you get not what you want, seems the very opposite of their mantra "Support the Troops." Supporting the troops needs to mean more than beeping horns and bumper stickers. It needs money, resources and proper supplies and compensation from the government that sends them out on the battlefield.
I do not doubt that stabilization in the middle east is needed, and that safeguarding oil for our energy consumption is a double-edged sword everyone has to swallow, but I can't believe any stability will come at the end of a gun. Imposing Democracy is an oxymoron. If we admitted this war started over economic reasons - say the control of oil fields - and was put into action because of political ideology - say fear of terrorism - would that change your mind?
I feel sorry that some among you spit out the word "liberal" as if it contains only four letters. The way I see it, our conservative president isn't conservative enough when it comes to ensuring our financial future. The debt is now 9 trillion dollars. Our children -- and perhaps their children -- may have to pay the price of this blank check. Somehow, to me, boosting the economy by giving people a little more to spend for stuff they don't really need (and don't even have a hand in making in the first place) is frightening. Enough, I say, with trickle down economics.
And you disagree with the president on immigration, but let me tell you: as a friend of corporations, Bush understands that without illegal immigrants to do the jobs Americans won't dane to do, productivity will likely stand still. And think about the practicallity of rounding up all the illegals and sending them back. Let's not forget who we are and how we got here. The majority of illegal immigrants - I believe - are here for a reason: work. They want a better life for their families just as our grandparents did.
Perhaps in the future our children will not have the expensive gadgets and games. They might not be living in trophy homes and driving new cars every two years. Perhaps they will be digging ditches. I suppose that's not such a bad thing. It's more difficult for me to swallow that our girls may have to accept the government telling them if they are to be mothers or career women if, God forbid, they make a mistake. That my daughter will have fewer rights over her own body than I had makes me worried for her. I fear that what happened in Tehran in the 1990s will happen here. And when we view a t-shirt that sparks controversy because it expresses an opinion we think is unpatrotic then, well, we won't be living in a free society now will we?
We shall have to wait and see what his true legacy will be and what fallout will come. In the meantime, I hope we can come to terms with this: Democracy is more than a means of getting into office. It has to be more than just toeing the party line. Working together should be the goal, not working in secrecy and isolation. We need to fix what Bush broke and we need to do it now - for everyone's sake.
End rant ... Thank you.