Stuart Cohen is right to credit Republicans with starting this stupid war in Iraq ("Disinformation on Iraq war's origins," July 9 Juneau Empire). Serious reporters and authors looked into the question.
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As an amyotrophic lateral sclerosis patient at a Veterans Home near Bremerton, Wash., I have the time to do serious research. Here are some results:
ABC News reported that the Republican think group Project for the New American Century called for toppling Saddam Hussein before George II was even selected. Members of the group included Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz and others who later held high posts in the Bush war Cabinet. The group thought that after the Soviet Union ended, the United States should use its military power to impose a Pax Americana on the whole world. Iraq was a starting point for that Republican plan.
James Mann, in "Rise of the Vulcans," follows the careers of Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Gen. Colin Powell, Richard Armitage and Condoleezza Rice. Mann suggests they, more than Bush himself, led us into the Iraq quagmire. Bush was, infamously, the decider, but Rumsfeld and Cheney were particularly instrumental in persuading him what to decide.
Bob Woodward, in "Plan of Attack," interviewed many people for that book. As he describes it, the war was mostly a Bush decision, strongly influenced by Cheney.
On July 6, Charlie Rose interviewed the authors of a recent Hillary Clinton biography. They said that Senate records show her saying that Saddam personally met with al-Qaida. But they say she was wrong.
I prefer New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, the only Democratic candidate for president with experience in both domestic and foreign policy, especially now that we see where a president without international experience can land us. Besides, Hillary blew it on health care, with lots of Republican help. Remember?
Sen. Robert Byrd, D-W. Va., wrote a whole book saying Congress unconstitutionally gave Bush war-making powers reserved for Congress. But that was when the Republicans controlled Congress, though some minority Democrats voted wrong back then.
The overwhelming evidence is in. Republicans started this mess and made it worse. Trying to change facts after they occur is an old tactic, called historical revisionism. But the facts are there, for those willing to see them.
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