View Full Version : Iraq: The Dog Ate My Homework!

07-19-03, 07:36 AM

Iraq: The Dog Ate My Homework!

By Raymond Perry

The current wrangling over President Bush’s alleged misleading of Congress regarding the basis for the war against Iraq is killing our soldiers and must be stopped.

Our Constitution vests the power to declare war, or to finance it, in the Congress. During the buildup phase to war earlier this year, our solons had a serious responsibility to do their homework. Either they were well aware of the way the intelligence world works – it is never clean and sure – or they did not exercise due diligence before agreeing to the actions proposed by the president.

In either case, the current breast-beating about being lied to and the quandary as to why there are no weapons of mass destruction to be found seems to be predicated, as mentioned in an editorial in The Wall Street Journal on July 14, on some “dispassionate analyst” deep in the CIA building who was knowingly ignored by the policymakers.

My response to the congressional critics is: Come on guys, get off it. Did the dog eat your homework?

We are clearly in the incipient phase of a guerrilla war in Iraq. Like it or not, these opponents are building networks, lines of supply, lines of communication, starting recruitment, building international support, and are testing their tactics day by day.

As Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has stated, it is not a guerrilla war today, but it will be if this nation is not foursquare behind our troops deployed there.

Every self-serving political speech and each line on the 24-hour news drumbeat berating the president for his actions and questioning our “real national motive” for the war gives heart to those that will do us ill. And day by day we see the toll in our soldiers’ deaths.

In his State of the Union speech on Jan. 28, 2003, Bush properly cited the British government as the source of information regarding Iraq’s search for uranium. Given the published information by the International Atomic Energy Agency, one has to be naïve to not consider the British information reasonable.

Yet in trumpeting their disbelief, the critics embolden the few in Iraq who snipe at our soldiers and lay traps designed to cause civilian casualties and incite the people of Iraq against the troops.

These partisans in Congress and the news media have thus joined in an unholy alliance in furtherance of the power game and corporate profits, respectively. Their pawns are our soldiers who are dying by ones and twos. Meanwhile, as in Vietnam, Beirut and Mogadishu, the game is all too simple. The terrorists and criminals believe that if they can just make the American people uncomfortable enough by killing our soldiers, we will inevitably go away.

In the eyes of Muslim fundamentalists, Americans come from an immoral state and as a result do not have staying power. They see their staying power, stemming from their perceived higher moral calling, as their advantage over us. Saddam Hussein’s criminals know how to strike a bargain with these people and most assuredly have done so.

Unlike the Gulf of Tonkin incident that heralded an uncertain U.S. intervention in Vietnam, our national resolve was clearly set on 9/11 when the World Trade Center collapsed. The ongoing war against terrorism began with Todd Beamer and many un-named others on United Airlines Flight 93. Like it or not the only line of defense this nation had that day began with the words, “Let’s roll.”

Our nation’s veteran’s organizations, from the American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Wars, to the Disabled American Veterans and, most assuredly, the Vietnam Veterans of America, should stand tall with a clear, precise, and, most importantly, common voice: We will not tolerate the hypocrisy of congressional critics of Iraq so long as a single soldier is at risk.

Veterans groups should work to ensure that no veteran votes for these self-serving members of our second estate if such behavior does not stop. We do not buy the story from our children that “The dog ate my homework,” and we will not buy it from anyone in Congress.

Lt. Raymond Perry USN (Ret.) is a DefenseWatch Contributing Editor. He can be reached at cos1stlt@yahoo.com