It's Not My War!
by Laurence M. Vance
by Laurence M. Vance
"Yes, this is Bush's war, but it is also America's war, our war." ~ Pat Buchanan
If there is anything this war is not, it is not my war. I have opposed it from the beginning. I have denounced it from the beginning. I have never wavered in my disagreement with the president who instigated it, my disgust for the Congressmen who funded it, my loathing for the conservatives who promoted it, my abhorrence of the Christians who defended it, and my pity for the soldiers who were duped by military recruiters to participate in it.
But I am not alone. I know that there are hundreds, thousands, and perhaps millions of Americans who have condemned the Iraq war from the beginning.
The difference between my opposition to the war and that of many others is that my opposition is based on principle — not because Bush lied about Saddam Hussein's intentions, weapons, and al-Qaeda connection.
There is no question that this is Bush's war, but he is not alone. There is no shortage of conservative talk show hosts, congressmen, pundits, politicians, political appointees, and Christian "leaders" who have not only defended Bush and his war, but continue to defend him and it despite growing dissatisfaction with the way things are going in Iraq. The body count of dead American soldiers, now over 1,900, does not seem to bother this diverse group of conservatives much at all. Conservatives who denounced Clinton's abuse of the military when he ordered cruise missile strikes on Afghanistan and Sudan during the Monica Lewinsky fiasco would again be calling for Clinton's impeachment if 1,900 American soldiers died on his watch. The typical conservative is not opposed to war at all as long as it is launched by a Republican president who claims to be one of them.
But is it America's war? Buchanan himself cites a Newsweek report that "support for Bush's handling of the war has fallen below 40%, to 34%, with 61% now disapproving of his leadership." This is the American government's war, but it is not the American people's war. The same is true of any of our government's wars. If we were invaded by foreign troops, an armed American populace (except in cities with draconian gun control laws) would rise up to repel the invaders. The U.S. military would not be of much help since so many of our troops are overseas.
I am very surprised that this statement by Buchanan has only garnered a little attention. He made the comments in reply to Democratic strategist Bob Shrum on the MSNBC Hardblogger site. Buchanan also said this:
And while American soldiers have not lost a single battle, we are not winning the war. But this, it seems to me, is not cause for gloating or mockery of the president. The question is: What do we do now? How do we bring our troops home with honor, and leave behind in Iraq something that does not dishonor their sacrifice. If running for the exit ramp would do that, I would favor it, but I do not believe it.
Mockery would be too good for this president. Bush deserves far worse. There is no way to bring our troops home with honor. The damage has already been done. The death and destruction that our troops have wrought in Iraq has dishonored America for years to come. The best thing U.S. troops could do is run for the "exit ramp," as long as it is done in a safe, reasonable, timely, and just manner, as I have described in my exit plan.
Yes, the war in Iraq is Bush's war. But it is also Sean Hannity's war, Rush Limbaugh's war, Michael Savage's war, Bill O'Reilly's war, and Neal Boortz's war. It is David Frum's war, Max Boot's war, Jonah Goldberg's war, Lawrence Kaplan's war, and Bill Kristol's war. It is the war of the Wall Street Journal, National Review, The Claremont Institute, and The Weekly Standard. It is Donald Rumsfeld's war, Dick Cheney's war, Lewis Libby's war, Douglas Feith's war, Paul Wolfowitz's war, Condoleezza Rice's war, and Richard Pearle's war. And yes, it is also the war of Jerry Falwell, Cal Thomas, James Dobson, Pat Robertson, Ralph Reed, Donald Wildmon, Tim LaHaye, D. James Kennedy, John Hagee, and other so-called Christian leaders who serve as both apologists and cheerleaders for the Republican Party.
But it's not my war!
September 26, 2005
Laurence M. Vance [send him mail] is a freelance writer and an adjunct instructor in accounting and economics at Pensacola Junior College in Pensacola, FL. His new book is Christianity and War and Other Essays Against the Warfare State. Visit his website.
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