We now know enough to say that the subject of the Iraq war should be the sole deciding factor in the November presidential election. We knew before the war started that Saddam Hussein was no threat to the U.S. We knew that he was not an exporter of terrorism. We now know that we were misled about his threat from weapons of mass destruction. Because of this, the Bush administration has now changed its rationale for the war to: Saddam is a bad man who has killed and tortured thousands of his own people, and we need to get a democracy going there. Well, it seems that we are well on the way to causing as much death as Saddam has. Let's not compare the two sides' torture.
Having discussed the dishonest reasons for the war, let's consider the probable real ones: Can't you just imagine Carl Rove saying "a quick and righteous war is all we need to assure re-election." We know of the Bush-Cheney connection to oil, Saudi Arabia and big business in general - and how they like to pay back their large contributors with influence on policy and lucrative contracts. Note Halliburton's windfall profits in Iraq (V.P. Cheney's former employer). A couple of other probable real reasons: Wars are good for the economy. Finally, and very significantly, is W. Bush's motive for revenge: "They tried to kill my daddy."
In spite of the Bush administration claim, Iraq was not a haven for exported terrorism before the war. In the chaos of the war Iraq has become a haven for terrorists. Just think of what we could have done against terrorism and for Afghanistan had the resources and efforts not been diverted by the Iraq war.
Now for the big puzzle: How can the "religious right" accept a president as one of their own who is vengeful and so dishonest? Or, how can the rest of us?
I completely support our troops wherever they are. They are not in war by choice - most of them. One may not criticize the commander-in-chief while serving; it did not even occur to me while serving. I guess, after this letter someone will tell me (us) what we might do for the grieving families (other than stop writing protest letters). I refer you to a moving piece by Elton Engstrom in the March 3, 2004 Empire, titled "Cry with me for out beloved soldiers."