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Pro Deo Et Patria- An Army Chaplain

I am a chaplain in the US Army, serving in Iraq. I'm keeping a blog to share my thoughts and experiences while deployed. They are my thoughts and they don't necessarily reflect the opinions of the US Army! :)

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

A Reality Check

I just saw the Cindy Sheehan commercial on TV, in which she accuses President Bush of lying about the war (among other things). It is a disturbing commercial, an odd mix of a woman working through the grieving process on national television, combined with a biting cynicism, typically indicative of the Left salivating for things to go bad in Iraq. On the one hand, the liberals claim to grieve over the death of soldiers in Iraq (and obviously Sheehan herself is genuinely grieving), yet their glee over things going badly for Bush is barely contained. The same people who lined up behind Bush after seeing the intelligence are now claiming he lied.

It’s one thing to say that we were mistaken and our intelligence should have been better. It’s also one thing to say that we have waged the war badly (though I would disagree). But it’s an entirely different thing entirely to say that Bush lied. That is preposterous. If he lied, then somehow he not only fooled everyone in this nation, but indeed, he is smarter than the whole world, and was able to convince us all that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction when he didn’t. It’s ironic that they call Bush stupid, but also claim that he pulled off the greatest conspiracy of all time.

I’m saying all of this on my behalf and not the Army or my church, but it saddens me that our nation has demonized Bush in the way that it has. It’s one thing to disagree with his policies (don’t forget that people like Hilary Clinton and John Kerry voted for the war), but it’s another thing to call him names, claim he lied, state that he is killing our kids, etc.

Here are some good words from columnist David Limbaugh:

Stripping the issue to its bear essentials, my simple contention is that we were justified in attacking Iraq, among other reasons, because:
We believed, based on the best intelligence available to us, that Saddam represented a threat to our security because of his lust to acquire and reacquire WMD, his prior use of them on his own people, and his willingness to use them against us and our allies. His abiding hatred for the United States and his harboring of and support for terrorists (from Palestinian suicide bombers to Al Qaeda) exacerbated his dangerousness to the United States. That we have been unable to find WMD stockpiles in Iraq doesn't mean President Bush lied about their existence, nor does it change the propriety of our decision based on what we knew at the time. The fact that Democrat leaders have conveniently denied they assessed Saddam's threat to be at least as grave as President Bush did, both at the time of the attack and years before (during the Clinton administration), does not erase from history their well-documented and forcefully expressed opinion to that effect. The only difference between Republican and Democrat leaders on the subject is that Democrats just talked about it. Republicans took action.
Saddam had repeatedly violated the post Gulf War treaty and U.N. resolutions and defiantly refused to honor his agreements or comply with international law, making a mockery of Gulf War I and the American lives lost during it. He played games with weapons inspectors, and, despite his burden of proving he'd complied with his agreement to divest himself of WMD, he filed a fraudulent 12,000-page document -- both of which led us to believe our intelligence assessments about his WMD were correct. If he didn't have WMD or wasn't trying to produce them, why on earth did he do those things?”


We need to come together as a nation, like we did after 9/11. We need to remember that Bush is not the anti-Christ, but a good man trying to do a very difficult job. When he is demonized as he is, it makes it so much harder to take the arguments coming from those people seriously. Maybe there are things we could do better. Maybe not. But name calling like kids won’t get it accomplished.

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