Michael Heiman's Nov. 30 My Turn appears to be indicative of the break with reality that many in our country have experienced. I am sure Mr. Heiman is a patriotic American, as he makes the not-so-subtle point that he is a veteran. As a political and historical analyst, however, I think he is a little confused.
It appears that Mr. Heiman has failed to grasp the distinction between the "War on Terror" and the invasion of Iraq. Hint - these are two entirely different subjects.
The war on terror has nothing to do with Iraq. It never has. Iraq was in no way responsible for the travesty of Sept. 11. Even Bush and Cheney themselves have conceded this point. In light of this, Heiman's comparison is absurd. We did not spring a "pre-emptive" attack on Hitler in 1935 (during his rise to power) on the off-chance that he might be a danger to us. No, we waited till he had trampled half of Europe and had even sucked the Pacific Theater into the war. How then can you possibly compare our disaster in Iraq to World War II?
Truthfully, if Bush were interested in fighting the "War on Terror," we would still be concentrating on Afghanistan (Remember? That's the country where Bin Laden and the rest of those responsible for Sept. 11 are hiding) rather than wasting our time, money and soldier's lives in Iraq. If such were the case, Mr. Heiman's column may have been somewhat applicable. As it stands, however, his comparison is degrading and embarrassing.
There is no evidence tying Iraq to Sept. 11. There is no evidence that Iraq has even assisted in terrorism against the United States. By any standard other than the imaginary yardstick in Bush's mind, the invasion of Iraq was in direct violation of international law. In fact, we did pretty much the same thing to Saddam that he did to Kuwait.
Face it, Iraq was attacked because - as Rumsfeld himself stated - "it has good targets." Meanwhile, the real culprits behind the tragedy of Sept. 11 are no longer even being actively pursued.
Mr. Heiman should not try to compare Bush's little "I'm-as-bad-as-my-dad" escapade in Iraq to World War II. He shames himself and all the other vets who fought justly.
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