Wednesday, March 14, 2007


In an essay in The Nation (March 26, 2007), commentator Stephen F. Cohen, gets it exactly right. “Unless the United States withdraws its military forces from Iraq in the near future,” he says, “a war that began as an unnecessary invasion based on deception and predictably grew into a disastrous occupation will go down in history as a terrible crime, if it hasn’t already. For Americans of conscience, Iraq has therefore become the paramount moral issue of our time.”

Exactly. What the Bush administration has done, and continues to do, is unconscionable.

“Those of us who were against the war even before it began were often disdained, but now, after four years, only the most myopic or callous among its many well-placed supporter4s can deny the catastrophic consequences. By inspiring legions of anti-American terrorists where there were few, by straining the US military to its breaking point, by alienating traditional and potential allies abroad, by frightening other states into acquiring new weapons and by provoking popular revulsion around the world, the war has undermined our real national security, from Russia, Afghanistan and the Middle East to the ‘Homeland.’ And by already spending more than $400 billion, suffocating other policy initiatives and polarizing the nation, it has prevented the domestic reforms this country urgently needs.”

And Cohen goes on to cite the 3100 American lives lost, and the tens or hundreds of thousands of Iraqi lives lost and the countless driven from their homes. The only way to begin to reverse the damage we have done is to withdraw from Iraq as quickly as possible. Until then, the crime of this war weighs on our collective conscience.

No comments: