I can't even imagine the kind of Memorial Day that Andrew J. Bacevich is having. He just lost his son in a war he opposed from the very beginning. I can understand why he is bitter about this:
Among the hundreds of messages that my wife and I have received, two bore directly on this question. Both held me personally culpable, insisting that my public opposition to the war had provided aid and comfort to the enemy. Each said that my son's death came as a direct result of my antiwar writings.
This may seem a vile accusation to lay against a grieving father. But in fact, it has become a staple of American political discourse, repeated endlessly by those keen to allow President Bush a free hand in waging his war. By encouraging "the terrorists," opponents of the Iraq conflict increase the risk to U.S. troops.
So why was the President able to take us to war on false evidence and why is it still going on. Bacevich thinks it's the money.
The people have spoken, and nothing of substance has changed. The November 2006 midterm elections signified an unambiguous repudiation of the policies that landed us in our present predicament. But half a year later, the war continues, with no end in sight. Indeed, by sending more troops to Iraq (and by extending the tours of those, like my son, who were already there), Bush has signaled his complete disregard for what was once quaintly referred to as "the will of the people."I think this is an over simplification. The citizens of the US are not anti war - they are anti losing a war. They are not even opposed to US hegemony - they are only opposed to failed attempts at hegemony. And the Invasion and occupation of Iraq were sold as a "slam dunk" effort that would require no sacrifices for most. No tax increases to pay for it and no draft to supply the flesh for what turned out to be a meat grinder.
To be fair, responsibility for the war's continuation now rests no less with the Democrats who control Congress than with the president and his party. After my son's death, my state's senators, Edward M. Kennedy and John F. Kerry, telephoned to express their condolences. Stephen F. Lynch, our congressman, attended my son's wake. Kerry was present for the funeral Mass. My family and I greatly appreciated such gestures. But when I suggested to each of them the necessity of ending the war, I got the brushoff. More accurately, after ever so briefly pretending to listen, each treated me to a convoluted explanation that said in essence: Don't blame me.
To whom do Kennedy, Kerry and Lynch listen? We know the answer: to the same people who have the ear of George W. Bush and Karl Rove -- namely, wealthy individuals and institutions.
The the marketers of the war knew that it could not be sold if it would require sacrifices and you know what? For all the lies they told I think they truly believed it would be a "slam dunk"