Seattle Times on Iraq: too little, too late

On Oct. 28 The Seattle Times ran an editorial criticizing the conduct of the war in Iraq that was, for all of its well-placed thrusts, emblematic of the whole sorry mess.

Where was the Times' percipience before the war? The same could be asked of rest of the nation's media. And politicians.

In February 2003, during the infamous "run-up" to the war, while weapons inspectors were in Iraq doing their job and due process was being exercised, the Times proclaimed the coming war as "just."

At the same time more than 70 percent of the nation favored the invasion of Iraq.

Since Sept. 11 we have seen what fear, and fear mongering, can do in a democracy. The news is not good.

Now the President's approval ratings are at an all-time low with unease over Iraq at the center of the disquiet. So let's ask ourselves: What do we know about Iraq now that we didn't know a year ago at election time?

Nothing, except that it's a year later and our attention span is discomfited.

The go-along to get-along mentality that got us into Iraq will not get us out. In fact, this administration has put us in a place where we can't stay and we can't leave.

The very vocabulary employed by politicians and the media about the current political climate is revealing. Since the Scooter Libby indictment, and the withdrawal of the Harriet Miers Supreme Court nomination and the unceasing violence in Iraq, commentators are asking: Is Bush experiencing the second-term blues? Is he off his game?

It's as if the consequences of launching an unnecessary war are a mere political problem, not an obscenity; as if the Libby indictment is a political embarrassment and not a further clarification of how this administration treats those who tell the truth about its actions.

Framing the issue in the usual terms avoids the truth: This war was started by a neo-con cabal with chief neo-con Dick Cheney whispering in President Bush's cowboy ear. No doubt future medievalists will psychoanalyze the Bush administration - where decision making and worldview appear to be co-opted by personal pathology.

Patriotic Americans should be outraged.

The Seattle Times editorial is too little, too late. The Times, like so many politicians, is trying to have it both ways.

The deeper issue is: How much unprincipled behavior will the American people and the American experiment in democracy - mankind's last, best hope, according to Lincoln - put up with?

There is cause for real concern.

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