Truth and Reconciliation Week.
The Washington Post has a revealing poll out today that muddies the ever murkier waters of the rationale for the Iraq war:
The survey found that 80 percent believed that recent sectarian violence made civil war in Iraq likely, and more than a third said such a conflict was "very likely" to occur. These expectations extend beyond party lines: More than seven in 10 Republicans and eight in 10 Democrats and political independents believe such a conflict is coming.A fear-stricken population was conned into an unnecessary war on bogus claims that Iraq was our greatest threat, with biological and chemical weapons at a minimum, and possibly even nuclear capacity. Then, when the truth began emerging that there were no weapons (and that the United States was apparently as quick to believe Saddam's boasts as Iraqis), the rationale shifted: we were bringing peace and democracy to the Middle East. Yet despite what has been evident on the ground for months, and what has now become evident to a shocking majority of Americans, the White House rhetoric continues to project rosy optimism for Iraq. Here's Bush, from the Jan 31 State of the Union:
Our work in Iraq is difficult because our enemy is brutal. But that brutality has not stopped the dramatic progress of a new democracy. In less than three years, the nation has gone from dictatorship to liberation, to sovereignty, to a constitution, to national elections. At the same time, our coalition has been relentless in shutting off terrorist infiltration, clearing out insurgent strongholds, and turning over territory to Iraqi security forces. I am confident in our plan for victory; I am confident in the will of the Iraqi people; I am confident in the skill and spirit of our military. Fellow citizens, we are in this fight to win, and we are winning.The White House and its supporters are prepared to continue to white out the past in order to rig reality to fit their ends. So in the spirit of reclaiming our history, I thought it was time for a little accountability. I'll spend the week sifting through actual promises and threats and we'll hold those up to the light of fact. I used to say that Bush had the choice of claiming either incompetence or mendacity to justify his actions; in fact, it looks like he'll have to claim both.