Satyagraha

Cultural Psychology

The Senate’s Compliance in the Iraq War

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Breaking headline:

Iraq report rips U.S. leaders : Senators: Invasion misused intelligence.

Don’t you think this is a little late?

Yes, the Bush administration lied. They willingly exaggerated the threat of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMDs) as a pretext for invading Iraq. And you (John D. Rockefeller, the Senate Intelligence Committee, and the rest of the U.S. Congress) are just figuring this out? Where were you in 2003? Or after the invasion, when our troops failed to find any evidence of WMD production? Why didn’t you pass a resolution to leave Iraq then, when the country could have still saved thousands of casualties and a trillion dollars?

I don’t suppose any of you happened to watch Secretary of State Colin Powell’s ludicrous address to the U.N. Security Council in Feburary 2003. There he tried to make the case for a U.S. invasion based on a supposed Iraq WMD development program. Obviously, in appearing before the Security Council Powell was going to give his best shot — and supply the most compelling evidence possible. Instead everyone was treated to some highly ambiguous photos of trailers — supposedly portable WMD factories, but which could have been just about anything. No substantial evidence of WMD production was supplied — and that itself was revealing. The real message to anyone discerning and attentive was that the U.S. had no evidence of WMD production in Iraq!

Powell made an utter fool of himself. One got the impression that he hated every minute of it, but was pressured by the Bush administration to make the presentation.

And what about the repeated protests of Hans Blix, the U.N. weapons inspector — who was *in* Iraq, who repeatedly insisted that there was no WMD program? Why didn’t the U.S. Congress listen to him?

Okay, so the Bush administration lied. Fine. We shouldn’t pass that by too lightly. But, still, in a sense, one expects ruling administrations to lie. You have to maintain healthy skepticism. Nodoby forces you to swallow everything they say hook, line, and sinker.

The bigger problem, if you ask me, is that Senate *believed* the Bush administration (or pretended to).

So excuse me, Senate Intelligence Committee. If you’re saying now that the Bush administration grossly lied about the WMDs, then by implication you’re also saying that you didn’t do your job at the time. You should have recognized that the Administration was lying. Instead you just played along. And why not? If America benefited from the Iraq War, then you could claim some of the credit. And if (as it’s turned out), the war became a fiasco, then you could just blame Bush — as you’re doing now.

As Lincoln said, you can’t fool all of the people all of the time. At least one citizen — me — is calling you on this. The U.S. Senate should have objected to Bush’s march to war. And by not doing so, they are just as much to blame as the Bush administration.

And as far as I’m concerned, the whole lot of you — anyone who voted for the war — should be summarily drummed out of office (and without a pension!).

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Written by John Uebersax

June 6, 2008 at 5:47 pm

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