As I stated in a previous blog entry, I wasn't registered to vote this year, the first time I didn't vote since 1994. That year I had just moved to Federal Way, Washington and the Republicans took control of congress. That year every Republican who ran won, and 50+ Democrats lost. This year every Democrat won re-election and the Republicans lost 30+ seats and control of both the House and the Senate.
I'm happy but I'm not gloating. Back in 1994, a tax increase and a little stronger gun control was all that was needed to get the bums out. This time it took a disasterous war that even Bush is saying is going to continue another two years plus. It took almost 3000 deaths of our soliders and perhaps hundreds of thousands of deaths of people whom we're trying to spread democracy to. If we threw Bush out in 2004 it would not be as bad. But somehow the American people thought he was worth keeping in.
I was thinking about how we got here. In 2003, Bush hoodwinked the American people in supporting a war in Iraq. People believed Saddam Hussain was connected to 9-11 and Bush did nothing to dissuade that line of thinking. We thought that Saddam was a threat, talking about building a huge weapon arsenal against his enemies, including the US. We didn't think it through though. Saddam was weak, he had almost no power. We kept him in check throughout the 90's. He tried some mischief but we would stop any action he would take in the "no-fly" zone. He was like a bear in a cage.
Bush wanted to be tough, wanted targets (buildings, palaces) that looked cool when we bombed, because Afganistan's bombing looked like an interstate highway project, hardly sexy.
2003 looked good from a military standpoint. We toppled Saddam statues, we had film footage of cheering Iraqis, we had a proud president standing abourd an aircraft carrier in front of a banner "Mission Accomplished" , the war went on. We got some of the infrastructure we destroyed back on line, we killed Saddam sons, the war went on. We captured Saddam himself in a humilating way, disheveled in a hole in the ground, the war went on. They had elections, democratic elections that even we didn't have in 2000, the war went on and on and on.
So, when Bill O'Reilly asked do you want the US to win the war, I ask haven't we already won it? I mean what else is there to do? Steal their oil to pay for the war? I mean, Bush had the audacity to make tax cuts in a time of war, so how is this 300 Billion dollar and counting war going to be paid for?
We won the first gulf war by merely taking Saddam Hussain out of Kuwait. Poppy bush's approval ratings were through the roof! But he lost his re-election bid a year and a half later. I can't help but feel that Boy George wanted to show up his dad by actually capturing Saddam. I can't help but feel he kept the war going beyond its natural conclusion to win re-election. After, he won that I got confused at why we're there still. I got my answer when he was leaving it up to his successor to figure it out. No matter who wins, if we're still there the next president is screwed. If a Democrat wins, Bush can spin it that it was their failure, not his. Whatever. Our presense there now means at the very least we lost not militarily but morally. Any comparisons people make to past wars in our history fails to point out that we are the agressors and the agressors had lost World War II, World War I, the Revolutionary War and the Civil War (Okay, maybe not the Civil War)
The only war to compare this to is Vietnam. I'm sorry. The casualty rate isn't there yet but the reasoning of why we're there is similar, the fact it will involve two presidential administrations is the same and it was started by two Texans.
I'll shut up now.