Letter: Failure is failure

In “No WMD? So What?” (1/18), Chuck Prochaska explains why the failed search for WMDs in Iraq shouldn’t bother us. Bush gave other reasons for the war, so we can ignore that one. He’s right. No one really likes Saddam; however, there are plenty of other bad leaders that we feel no urgency to depose. WMDs weren’t the only justification that Bush provided for the war, but they WERE the justification that won him the support he needed.

Self-preservation was the motive that justified our preemptive strike. We were told that there is “no doubt that Saddam has WMDs” (Cheney, 8/26/02), that he “is actively pursuing a nuclear weapon” (Rice, 9/10/02), and that we know where they are (Rumsfeld, 3/30/03). All of these claims were flat-out untrue. This should be a cause for concern.

While Chuck likes to paint pictures of the good Americans fighting the evil terrorists, and we were all led to believe that “liberating Iraq would be a cakewalk” (Adelman, 2/13/02), we shouldn’t forget that the war (which we started) involves killing people. Independent surveys have found the number of civilian deaths in Iraq to be around 200,000 (New Scientist, 10/29/04). These aren’t evil, America-hating terrorists, Chuck; they’re just normal men and women and children like us. 200,000 of them. How do you justify their deaths? The imaginary threat of WMDs? Intelligence data that was questionable at best? Should they die for a democracy they never asked for, that we have yet to provide? And why should it be our decision?

We were misled, and thousands of people are dead because of it. I wish Iraq well on its transition to democracy, but at the moment, I see no reason why we should be congratulating ourselves. On a closing note, I’d like to add that Prochaska’s invocation of 9/11, nonsensical insulting of liberals, unfounded discussion of a hypothetical terrorist attack, and repeated stereotyping of all Muslims as terrorists are enormously disingenuous. If the DI is going to employ misinformed racists, it could at least employ ones with rudimentary debate skills.

Joe Gezo

graduate student