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We Won Then Lost In Iraq

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We Won Then Lost In Iraq

The American military clearly defeated the Iraqi armed force of Saddam Hussein 's government. Nobody seriously considered that American military might would not defeat the third rate military of the Iraqi dictator. Our military has every right to be proud of their performance in crushing Saddam 's armies.

However, the Bush administration had already sowed the seeds of defeat in winning the peace in the aftermath of our military 's victory. The Bush Republican political machine had sold the war to the American people and the world based on false pretenses and false information.

They had repeatedly and falsely connected Saddam Hussein to the 9-11 terrorist attacks. Dick Cheney made the false connection over and over again. The Republican Right Wing talk radio machine still repeats these false charges which even Bush has refuted. When the "terror " theme did not create enough of a war fever, new anti-Saddam themes were launched.

The weapons of mass destruction issues were the most effective theme used by the Bush Republicans to sell the war. The false claims made by various White House and Bush Administration officials are well documented. No weapons have been found to justify the invasion. Logic tells us that Saddam Hussein would have used weapons of mass destruction against the invading American forces if he had them during the invasion.

The false weapons of mass destruction claims undermined the rationale for the entire war by being false. Our motives for launching the invasion were then automatically suspect.

Aaron Glantz wrote an excellent first-hand account of the occupation disasters that lost us the hearts and minds of the Iraqi people. His book is How America Lost Iraq. He documents how the Bush Administration combined arrogance and incompetence to lose the peace. He shows that the Bush Administration let their Corporate political supporters profit excessively from the occupation and how that created a severe backlash among the Iraqis.

The Bush Administration has alienated many powerful sectors of the Iraqi population by inept policies and performances since the forces of Saddam Hussein were defeated. Torture and mass arrests do not win supporters. Accidentally killing civilians by the thousands does not win support. Failing to insure water, food housing and electricity creates anger and despair. The Bush Administration simply had no sound plan to win the peace in Iraq.

The Bush Administration from the beginning of the war seems to have given higher priority to securing Iraqi oil than providing for the needs of the Iraqi people. The Oil Ministry was protected from looters by American troops but not schools, hospitals, museums or utilities.

The peace in Iraq possibly could have been won if the reconstruction and rebuilding efforts had been largely organized and run by Iraqis. America would have been viewed as liberators by the Iraqis if the Bush Administration had quickly withdrawn our military forces. The longer America remains as a military occupation force the more likely Iraq will eventually be ruled by an anti-American government.

American troops should be removed immediately from Iraq. Keeping our soldiers in Iraq as occupiers is undermining our stated goals. The Bush Administration has managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of success in Iraq!


Stephen Crockett is co-host of Democratic Talk Radio and author of the Democratic Voices opinion column.
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