Barack Obama, on a recent campaign trip to Iowa, remarked that, "We now have spent $400 billion and have seen over 3,000 lives of the bravest young Americans wasted." He immediately apologized in New Hampshire on Saturday, saying that he "misspoke, " that he meant to criticize the administration's handling of the war, not those serving in the military.
I'm sure Fox Noise (as Olbermann is fond of calling them) is salivating over this, although as far as I'm concerned, channel 41 (our local Fox station) doesn't exist on my dial.
But my bigger point is, what did Obama have to apologize for? What did he say that isn't absolutely true? The facts are out there for all to see:
1. We were deliberately misled into war. There never was any "mission" beyond securing the Iraq oil reserves. If a despot was overthrown in the process, so much the better, but it is beyond clear that there WERE no WMDs and no links to Al-Qaeda, and that the administration knew it when they fed it to us. Democracy in the region was only a means to an end.
2. Even if the war did in fact have some basis in securing the public good, the extent to which it has been mismanaged is jaw-droppingly apparent to any who have been paying attention (two good books on the subject: Fiasco by Tom Ricks and The Assassin's Gate by George Packer). The administration behaved as if soldiers lives were throwaway-operating under mind-blowingly stupid assumptions, providing inadequate numbers in the wrong places, and then poorly outfitting them, without a clearly defined mission so they would at least know when they won.
No basis for the invasion. No direction after we went in. No regard for the well being of the men and women in uniform.
It's time we in America stopped being so freakin' politically correct about this. Our soldier's lives have been wasted on a misadventure begun on a lie and with no end in sight, and we should be FURIOUS about that and screaming it from the rooftops. It's no different than if they had been asked to follow lemmings into the sea. They would be just as dead, and perhaps for even a more NOBLE purpose-at the very least, they did not die to feed the gargantuan ego of a madman more concerned with being right than being prudent and responsible with the lives of people he has never met and probably doesn't care to.
American lives have been wasted in Iraq, and until we accept that over 3,000 of our soldiers have died for no good reason except they were asked to, the prospects of righting that wrong are grim. That, btw, is not the fault of Barack Obama. That is the fault of this commander in chief and it is high time we faced up to that fact.
Barack, you were right the first time.