Writing in his syndicated column this week, Pat Buchanan asked President Bush to tell the American public the Unvarnished Truth about the current situation in Iraq. For starters, Buchanan would like the President to tell us why we are really there. Referring to One of the greatest bait-and switches in the history of warfare," Buchanan again reminds us of the now-discredited reasons Bush and his neocon advisers at the Pentagon used as a pretext to war with Iraq: WMDs, ties to 9/11 and al-Qaida. Since the initial invasion, we have suffered over 1,300 servicemen and women killed, over 10,000 wounded, and enormous setbacks to our prestige and national reputation as a result of prisoner abuse scandals. Our risk of suffering another terrorist attack is greater than ever.
Buchanan has been critical of the Iraqi incursion for some time. But he uses some of his strongest language yet in urging Bush to abandon his neocon advisors and lose the spin control. And he's not alone. In the past week, several of our nations top military and civilian security officials have come out repeatedly against both the decision to invade Iraq and the Pentagons handling of the occupation. Even stalwart Bush supporter William Kristol has admonished Defense Secretary Rumsfeld for both his poor war planning and his handling of post-war Iraq. Rumsfelds exchange in Kuwait recently with the National Guard soldier over the continuing lack of armor for military vehicles seemed to even put some the last Republican diehards over the edge.
However, according to Army Chief of Staff Peter Schoomaker, who was visiting troops in Mosul this week, Things are going pretty well. Really? For who?
As Buchanan put it, Exactly how much more blood and money is he (Bush) willing to plunge into a war for democracy in Iraq, and at what point must he decide -- as LBJ and Nixon did in Vietnam -- that the cost to America is so great that we must get out and risk the awful consequences of a mistaken war that we should never have launched?"