tobacco, which kills more than 400,000 Americans every year.
Or alcohol, which kills about 100,000.
have not heard that American forces are trying to resolve any of that
The War in Iraq is getting really ugly too.
As the casualty count rises, an `Iraq syndrome' emerges
By Daniel Sneider
I make it a point every morning to read the latest names of the American soldiers who died in Iraq. I do this to remind myself of the real cost to this nation of the war in Iraq. I think of the husbands, wives, parents, children and friends left behind to comprehend their loss.
The constitutional referendum in Iraq this past weekend is yet another moment to step back and ask whether the war has been worth this price. The other costs of this war are no less real: the tax dollars spent and the massive public debt that is building; the erosion of American prestige around the world; the breeding of a new generation of Islamist terrorists; and the visible weakening of American will and power to tackle more serious threats elsewhere.
But most of all, it is mounting American casualties, now closing in on 2,000 dead and 15,000 wounded, that is wearing away support for the war. This follows a pattern of the two previous times since 1945 that Americans have suffered significant casualties in war -- Korea and Vietnam.
``The only thing remarkable about the current war in Iraq is how precipitously American public support has dropped off,'' argues Ohio State political scientist John Mueller, in an important new article in Foreign Affairs.
``Casualty for casualty, support has declined far more quickly than it did during either the Korean War or the Vietnam War. And if history is any indication, there is little the Bush administration can do to reverse this decline,'' concludes Mueller, an expert on war and public opinion.
The Bush administration inner circle believed that conquering Iraq would be the death, finally, of ``the Vietnam syndrome,'' the fear of foreign entanglement that crippled the use of American power. It is darkly ironic then that the war has given birth to what Mueller calls ``the Iraq syndrome.'' Potential support for a fresh front, whether it is in Iran, Syria or North Korea, is disappearing rapidly.
``In part because of the military and financial overextension in Iraq (and Afghanistan), the likelihood of any coherent application of military power or even of a focused military threat against the remaining entities on the Bush administration's once-extensive hit list has substantially diminished,'' writes Mueller.
Those foes are all too well aware of the Iraq syndrome. Iran and North Korea's defiant pursuit of nuclear weapons is clearly prompted by their sense of the post-Iraq limits on American power. The administration tries to clothe its sense of weakness by trumpeting its new belief in the virtues of diplomacy -- but that new faith rings a bit hollow.
The Iraq syndrome rests on the growing perception in this country that Iraq is a war with even less purpose and less at stake than the previous unpopular wars in Korea and Vietnam. That skepticism has been fed by the administration's string of changing reasons for the war.
The threat that initially sold the war -- weapons of mass destruction, potentially in the hands of terrorists -- proved false. The lingering support for the war rests mainly on the administration's persistent claim that Iraq is part of the response to Sept. 11. Increasingly, however, Americans see Iraq as more a spur to terror than a front on which to defeat it.
What is left is the administration's justification that this is a war to end tyranny and bring democracy to Iraq. However appealing, there is no evidence that the American people, if they had been asked, would give the lives of their sons and daughters for that cause.
The administration clings to the belief that good news -- such as the constitutional vote -- will eventually swing opinion back in their favor. It could slow the decline in support but it is unlikely to change people's minds, says Mueller. No string of good news, he says, could conceivably yield a clear-cut victory.
Seeking to rally support, the administration falls back on its final argument -- that retreat will only embolden the enemy and leave an even worse situation behind. As in Vietnam, there is a counterargument that withdrawal may have little impact on the outcome. The Iraqi authorities in any case may eventually conclude that the American presence does more to fuel the insurgency than contain it. For an American public weary of the daily toll, the case for withdrawal becomes increasingly compelling.
In the end, Iraq did not reverse decades of retreat and appeasement. Rather, it has sapped American will, becoming a graveyard of American power measured by the daily list of American dead.
This post may be best appropriate here under the Title "The Greatest Strategical Disaster in US History.
Go to www.google.com
2- Type in the word Failure
3- Instead of hitting "Search" hit "I'm feeling Lucky"
4- See what comes up!
5- Tell your friends before the people at Google fix it
And as far as Iraq is concerned, most of these posts show no inclination to wish the best for Iraq now
The Iraqis do have a choice.
The news media is suddenly declaring that the CIA case is forcing them to RE-examine the justification for the invasion of Iraq. Key word there being “RE”. When the hell did they examine the justification in the fist place? It was only the so-called Bush bashing anti-Americans who were questioning the rational for war. You know, the people like Michael Moore and Susan Sarandon. Actually they/we were not only questioning the rational for war, we were answering those questions. Another thing the criminally complicit media did not do.
Without the complicity of the American news industry the invasion of Iraq would not have been tolerated. The ludicrous notion that “if we knew then what we know now we would not have supported the war” does not hold water because we did know then what we knew now! We have learned nothing new, not a thing. They sold this war for profit. The news industry knows that war = high ratings and newspaper sales. They lied to us so they can make a buck on the greatest strategic disaster in American history.
The American news industry as a whole has Iraqi & American blood on their collective hands and all the spin in the world won’t wash it off now! Think about it! –