Wednesday, 1 June 2005

Downing Street Memo...Who Cares?

Guest Column Today from John F:

So we have the notes from a meeting with the Prime Minister of Great Britain (our closest ally) before the invasion of Iraq stating that they were informed by Bush team members that the invasion of Iraq was inevitable and that the Bushies would"fix" the intelligence needed to support a unilateral first strike. So what!

We've known this to be the case for quite some time. Who cares?

a.. Not our allies. The Coalition of the Willing knew the intelligence was questionable yet chose not to go public with it. That should speak to their integrity.

b.. Not the media. (not much in the US, anyway) The press has known for some time that the Bush Administration "massaged" the intelligence en route to war. Don't forget the press failed to carry out it's obligations as the fourth estate by neglecting to thoroughly vet the Bush Administration's reasons for wanting to invade Iraq. They were too afraid of being unpatriotic in the post 9-11 frenzy. And they are still too afraid to dig into this issue.

c.. Not Congress. (with maybe 90 exceptions?) Congress knew about "fixed" intelligence, confirmed as much in hearings and still didn't have the backbone to condemn the actions of the President. Additonally, Congress failed the people they represent by not insisting on better intelligence before the invasion.

d.. And finally, not the people of the United States. Let's face it folks, most of us are intellectually lazy and would rather have someone tell us what to think as opposed to doing a little research and coming up with our own opinion. Those who choose to get their information via Rush Limbaugh, Fox News or politically extreme radio don't care that the Bushies lied to them. They're patriots!

So why should this memo be news-worthy? Because it's more evidence that the people in power believe they are above the law, can do anything they like and the citizenry is too weak and stupid to do anything about it. You know what? They are right. As long as our voting population suffers from apathy, ignorance and short-sightedness (e.g., supporting only the local levies and legislation that benefit them personally, failing to learn about the politicians they support and neglecting to do their research on political issues) we will further contribute to the decay of our public education system, weaken our Constitutional rights, accumulate debt, allow more jobs to be shipped overseas and speed the demise of this once great nation. Is this what our veterans fought for?


PS. As of Saturday the toll for American Casualties in Iraq:
Since invasion: 1657
Since "Mission Accomplished": 1520
Since Capture of Saddam: 1190
Since Iraqi Elections: 225
Coalition Troop Casualties: 180
Wounded American Military: 12350
Iraqi Civilian Casualties: > 20,000

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