Bob's Links and Rants

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Sunday, May 18, 2003

I wonder what the troops think. The first Gulf War killed tens, maybe hundreds of thousands of Iraqis. Some American troops were killed, though almost all by "friendly fire." Kuwait was taken from its new totalitarian owners and given back to its old totalitarian owners. GI's who had either seen no combat at all, or who had participated in the "turkey shoot" against a vastly outgunned "enemy," returned home as heroes, probably wondering why. Soon, some became ill, and today over a third of Gulf War vets are suffering from illness or disability. Some were disillusioned by their experience, including three who became household names: Timothy McVeigh, Terry Nichols, and John Allen Muhammed.

This time, soldiers (sailors, marines, airmen) were told that they were protecting America from weapons of mass destruction. If Saddam Hussein didn't disarm, then, by George, they were going to be a part of a coalition of the willing to disarm him.

But they didn't. Even administration officials are saying now that Iraq may not have had any WMD's. Certainly the military teams looking for them can't find them. While there were more actual battles than in the first Gulf War, it appears that large parts of this war were just more turkey shoots. Those troops that have been in or near the front lines have seen plenty of death and destruction. Some were wounded, captured, or lost a close friend (Jessica Lynch qualifies on all three counts). Many have seen the anarchy that has resulted from the invasion. And now they are finding out that the whole thing was based on a lie. As far as we know now, there were no WMD's in Iraq prior to the war. Without a doubt, whatever there might be there is in much smaller quantity and poses much less of a threat than Bush, Powell and Blair claimed.

So they gave up months of their lives in some of the bleakest landscapes (or waterscapes) on earth, risked their lives and their health, suffered wounds and lost friends--all for a lie. Do you think some of them may be a bit upset when they find out?