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Hey Fred, Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is!

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Fred Kagan still thinks that we should continue to give the new, new, New! surge in Iraq a chance.

I don't know about anyone else, but when I say I want to give something a chance, it's usually something like maybe I'll spend a buck and give the lottery a chance. Kagan is cavalierly suggesting "give it a chance", to more mothers receiving their children's remains in flag-covered boxes. That says more about Kagan's moral imperative than it does about the likelihood of success in Iraq. It also raises questions about his suitability to suggest any course of action that continues to keep our troops in harm's way.

Kagan's whole argument is based on this: "One of the most common criticisms of the current "surge" in Iraq is that its proponents have not developed a Plan B in case it fails." True enough - that is one of the criticisms. But Kagan conveniently ignores the more common criticism that this war never needed to have been entered into in the first place.

Furthermore, whatever critique there is about lack of planning "in case" this deadly chance he wants us to take fails, Mr. Kagan blindly refuses to acknowledge the obvious: Throwing more bodies onto the pile won't change the fact that Bush's Iraq War is already a failure, anymore than Kagan's self-serving op-ed articles will.

Is it arrogance that drives people like Kagan to keep flogging the dead horse that Bush's Iraq war has become? Hubris? Ego? What keeps the war banshees out there, selling fear and pushing their endless war? I don't think it's love of Democracy.

Why doesn't the media, which gives more of a public forum to writers like Fred Kagan than it does to ordinary citizens, require more accurate disclosures from their guest editorialists? Kagan is identified for this article solely by his academic credentials. When Liz Cheney recently wrote another pro-war op-ed, , the paper which printed it not only neglected to identify her as Dick Cheney's daughter, they also left out her financial, professional and personal ties to the war. They left out the fact that the war has been very profitable for her family. And they left out the fact that, while she and her family all claim this war is absolutely necessary for our very survival, none of them will take a chance on actually fighting in it themselves.

Likewise for Mr. Kagan. He is one of the war's architects. He was, and still is, one of the main armchair warriors hyping it. He is heavily invested in this war professionaly. How much is he invsted in it financially? What's it worth to him to see it continue indefinately?

There are people for whom this war has been a cash cow. Maybe when they call this war a fight for our very survival, they're thinking more of their own financial survival. Where would they be without fat defense contracts and all the other accoutrements of life at the top of the war-monger set?

If Mr. Kagan, Liz Cheney, or any of the other recently editorializing war proponents want to write impassioned pleas for the carnage to continue, I think we deserve to see disclosures about whether they profit from it. Do they own stock in companies with defense contracts? Does Mr. Kagan, like Dick Cheney's daughter, have a spouse or family member whose employer profits from this war? If so, it shouldn't this be disclosed? In the last 6 years, how much of Fred Kagan's income is connected, in any way, to the war he's selling? Has he made over $100,000 off of it? $500,000? $1,000,000? How much have the various Cheneys made at the war trough? If I'm going to listen to their arguments, I want to know how much the war is worth to them.

I'm sure they will be deeply offended by this and argue that accusations of monetary influence are insulting and that their reasons for pre-emptively attacking Iraq were all high-minded exercises in Spreading Freedom and Democracy, or WMD's, or mushroom clouds, or fight them there, etc. Whatever. I would argue that our CEO President and his supporters have their patriotism and their incomes conflated. And I would argue that we have a right to know how much the war-hucksters bring home for their efforts.

Would their motives look less noble? Would their arguments lose validity if it turns out that their breathless hype is directly connected to their bottom lines? Would we see fewer op-eds beating the drums for endless wars they won't fight?

I think so. I could be wrong, but this is a chance I'm willing to take.

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Ruth Lopez: mom, veteran, citizen.
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