Regarding The Washington Post article by Max Fisher, published March 25 in The Japan Times under the headline “Did success have a prayer in Iraq?“: Lessons will go unheeded by the “38 percent of Americans” who continue to think the Iraq war was “worth it.”
How many Germans today think that Hitler’s war was worth it, or how many Japanese think that Tojo’s war was worth it? Certainly not 38 percent. At least in Germany, the vast majority would opine that Hitler’s aggression and genocide were the acts of a deranged ruler and a desperate, angry people who had lost their moral compass during the depths of the Great Depression.
America had no such excuses when it rushed to war in 2003. Bush wasn’t a deranged megalomaniac. He was merely God-obsessed. The U.S. economy in 2000 wasn’t doing too badly, thanks to Bill Clinton’s previous administration. Clinton might have been a bit of a cad when it came to womanizing, but he knew how to manage the economy and avoided a major war.
When Clinton left office, the United States had a budget surplus. When Bush left office, the U.S. was trillions of dollars in debt. Was this also God’s plan? Did Bush fear that he wouldn’t look “presidential” if he accepted advice from infinitely more knowledgeable leaders? Why did he instead surround himself with “yes” men and sycophants?
Abraham Lincoln gave the world the “Gettysburg Address.” Bush gave us his “Mission Accomplished” speech aboard an aircraft carrier less than three months after the U.S. invaded Iraq. And while waging this illegal war against Iraq, Bush gave generous tax cuts to the wealthiest income bracket in America.
Millions of Americans happily identified with Bush. They had no use for Al Gore, the would-be successor to the “sinful” Rhodes Scholar Clinton. Bush was one of us!
Never underestimate the political stupidity of the American people; they will surprise you if you do. Yes, I wonder whether our children are learning these lessons yet.
The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.