Yeah, I realize this blog is supposed to be about restaurant & concert revies and sometimes anti-religious tirades but I thought I'd weigh in on something a little more serious. After seeing the Libby trial come to a close, it made me reflect on the war in Iraq and how we got there. I think everyone can agree (regardless of political affiliation) that Scooter Libby was the "fall guy" for Cheney and Rove. Basically, someone had to be held accountable for the outing of Valerie Plame and the Joe Wilson smear campaign. It ended up being him. I can't envision a scenario where Bush doesn't pardon him at the end of his term. I truly doubt he'll do 20 years in a medium security prison. However, it'll bve a while before all that plays out.
But anyway, here's my thoughts on Iraq. You always see the press get caught up in the minor details and avoid the larger, more "surreal" issues. Most people realize that Cheney and his buddies (not Bush) were eager to get rid of Saddam and alter the landscape of the Middle East. I think post 9/11, Cheney was thinking to himself - "We've got to do more than Afghanistan. It's simply not enough. We need to send a statement to the world that if you're a rogue dictator who gets in bed with a terrorist organization, then your days are numbered." Strangely enough, I tend to agree with this underlying message. Afghanistan was simply "not enough." And let's face it, we couldn't go to war with Iran or North Korea at that moment. You've got to pick your enemies carefully - ones you can crush. Something more needed to happen. I just didn't agree with the necessity of invading and occupying Iraq (from the beginning). What's really weird is how Cheney, Wolfowitz, Rumsfeld and Perle got together and convinced a naive president that we were going to liberate the Middle East. These guys fed Bush the "spreading Democracy" routine. We will be greeted as liberators, not occupiers. Oil revenue will pay for the war. Saddam has got go. Bush ate this stuff for breakfast. All his early speeches were about liberating the oppressed Iraqis. Iraq will be a shining example of freedom and inspire reform throughout the Middle East. Why have people forgotten this stuff?
What's really sad is that our President has always believed this stuff. He really believed that if we conquered Iraq, there would be a domino effect and Syria, the Palestinians, Saudi Arabia and all the others would magically transform. My question is... I understand the Cheney rationale that "something more than Afghanistan needed to happen," but how could we elect a President who, til this day, does not realize what is going on. And I assure you, he still doesn't know. That's what is truly scary. I know all this stuff gets touched on in the media and they often mention how Cheney runs the White House, but I think the press would be well-advised to look into the HUGE DISCONNECT between the president and the v.p. I think what's really sinister is that Cheney has convinced Bush Jr. that he's the one calling the shots. Bush really thinks that he's the one defining global policy. Trust me, Bush doesn't know this is happening. And it's still happening.