I’m sure this is going to spawn into some very large, disgusting, and rather obtuse flame war, but here’s an interesting article from The New York Times (you know, that liberal commie rag on the east coast?):
Wolfowitz: Iraq Weapons Not a Priority
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Filed at 3:12 a.m. ET
OVER THE ATLANTIC OCEAN (AP) – Finding the Iraqi weapons of mass destruction that President Bush cited as his main justification for going to war is now a secondary issue, says Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz.
In an interview Monday night aboard an Air Force jet en route to Washington following a five-day tour of Iraq, Wolfowitz said the task of settling the weapons question is in the hands of U.S. intelligence agencies.
I'm not concerned about weapons of mass destruction,'' Wolfowitz told a group of reporters traveling with him. I’m concerned about getting Iraq on its feet. I didn’t come (to Iraq) on a search for weapons of mass destruction.‘’
He also asserted that Iraqis themselves have little concern about the weapons issue.
``If you could get in a relaxed conversation with Iraqis on that subject they’d say why on earth are you Americans fussing so much about this historical issue when we have real problems here, when Baathists are killing us and Baathists are threatening us and we don’t have electricity and we don’t have jobs. Those are the real issues.
``I’m not saying that getting to the bottom of this WMD issue isn’t important. It is important. But it is not of immediate consequence.‘’
The CIA has put David Kay, a former United Nations weapons inspector in Iraq, in charge of the search for illegal weapons.
Wolfowitz said Kay told him during a meeting Sunday that U.S. officials were having difficulty getting Iraqi prisoners to tell what they know about Saddam Hussein’s chemical, biological or nuclear programs.
The Iraqi government claimed prior to the war that it had destroyed all the weapons of mass destruction it once held, and U.N. inspectors were unable to find evidence of any.
I pushed him (Kay) a bit on why aren't these people talking. Why don't you, in effect, plea bargain with them,'' Wolfowitz said. He said there is no concept of plea bargaining in this place. If you confessed you just got executed faster or tortured less.‘’
Administration officials had hoped, and in some cases expected, to find evidence of chemical or biological weapons on the battlefield in the aftermath of the war, but so far nothing has turned up. Pentagon officials have said they believe the key is getting lower-level Iraqi officials to help.
The people that we're holding still feel they have much more to fear from their old buddies -- still buddies -- than anything we do to them,'' he said. So he (Kay) says it’s going to be a painstaking process.‘’
Oh. So the reason we went to war, and got thousands of people killed isn’t really the reason we went to war? So we sold the American people a bunch of false pretenses just so they’d allow us to go in and kick the shit out of a bunch of Iraqis?
I just don’t get it anymore.
And then I see stuff like this, and I start to lose hope in the whole situation, and I actually get depressed:
“Most soldiers would empty their bank accounts just for a plane ticket home.”
-Anonymous Army soldier in a letter to Congress, Christian Science Monitor, July 7, 2003
“Make no mistake, the level of morale for most soldiers that I’ve seen has hit rock bottom.”
-Unidentified officer from the Army’s 3rd Infantry Division in Iraq, Christian Science Monitor, July 7, 2003
“The way we have been treated and the continuous lies told to our families back home has devastated us all.”
-Unidentified soldier in a letter to Congress, Christian Science Monitor, July 7, 2003
“U.S. officials need to get our [expletive] out of here…I say that seriously. We have no business being here. We will not change the culture they have in Iraq, in Baghdad. Baghdad is so corrupted. All we are here is potential people to be killed and sitting ducks.”
-43-year-old reservist from Pittsburgh, who arrived in Iraq with the 307th Military Police Company on May 24, Washington Post, July 1, 2003
“What are we getting into here? The war is supposed to be over, but every day we hear of another soldier getting killed. Is it worth it? Saddam isn’t in power anymore. The locals want us to leave. Why are we still here?”
-Sergeant from the U.S. Army’s 4th Infantry Division, The American Cause (founded by Patrick Buchanan), June 30, 2003
“This duty is absolutely ridiculous… We are combat troops. We are trained in combat. We are not trained in peacekeeping. We should all be home by now. It’s like we won the Super Bowl, but we have to keep on playing.”
-Sgt. 1st Class Richard Edwards, Los Angeles Times, June 29, 2003
“At night time you think about all the people you killed. It just never gets off your head, none of this stuff does. There’s no chance to forget it, we’re still here, we’ve been here so long. Most people leave after combat but we haven’t…Some soldiers don’t even f****** sleep at night. They sit up all f****** night long doing s*** to keep themselves busy - to keep their minds off this f****** stuff. It’s the only way they can handle it. It’s not so far from being crazy but it’s their way of coping. There’s one guy trying to build a little pool out the back, pointless stuff but it keeps him busy.”
-Cpl. Richardson, The Evening Standard, June 19, 2003
“For me, it’s like snap-shot photos. Like pictures of maggots on tongues, babies with their heads on the ground, men with their heads halfway off and their eyes wide open and mouths wide open. I see it every day, every single day. The smells and the torsos burning, the entire route up to Baghdad, from 20 March to 7 April, nothing but burned bodies.”
-Sgt. Meadows, The Evening Star, June 19, 2003
‘‘Little kids wave at us and their parents slap them in the back of the head and make them stop…It makes me feel like I wasted my time over here and they don’t appreciate what we did…’’
-Spc. Anthony Combs, Associated Press, June 17, 2003
I know these guys don’t speak for the entire army, but I think they’re finally starting to get it. Sure they kicked ass, but that means bollocks when everybody wants you out, and every 15th Iraqi wants to put a bullet between your eyes.
Gotta love these no-win situations.