Tuesday, December 05, 2006

History, Accountability and Iraq

Martin van Creveld is a well respected historian. His area of focus is military history, and works out of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. He is so well respected that he is the only non American author on the US Army's list of required reading for officers. Last week he had a small piece published in The Forward, (linked here via Brad DeLong's blog) that included this little bit.

For misleading the American people, and launching the most foolish war since Emperor Augustus in 9 B.C sent his legions into Germany and lost them, Bush deserves to be impeached and, once he has been removed from office, put on trial along with the rest of the president's men. If convicted, they'll have plenty of time to mull over their sins.

The most foolish war, the largest military mistake, in over 2000 years.

That is a very bold statements, but one that a historian of his stature would not make recklessly. This addresses one point about this war that doesn't get much notice from the US media, accountability.

The Bush administration has been wrong about almost everything in and about Iraq. From the cost of the war to the reception we would get, from the number of men needed to the threat Saddam presented to the US. On almost every point, this administration has been wrong. That said, Bush is right about one thing. We are now in Iraq, and now must try to find a way to minimize the damage that the failed state Bush's people have created will cause.

Members of the Bush administration like to use this spin as a shield. They profess, yes things have not worked out as well as one would have hoped, but now we have no choice than to keep fighting the fight. The still insist that their ideas, their views, their plans are the only ones that are reasonable or even viable. The group that has been wrong about everything, still demands respect for their opinions.

As a result we are using up equipment faster that we can replace it. We already have 14 dead this month, reports of attacks on civilians are a daily occurrence, with death totals around 100 a day now the norm.

Holding those who are responsible for the nightmare we have created in Iraq may be the best first step we could take in finding a solution. Gross errors in judgment, especially errors that led to tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of deaths, should not go unpunished. Saddam has now spend his time in the dock, and been judged for his actions in Iraq. Maybe it is time to consider who in the US should be following in his footsteps.


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