Congressman Ron Paul’s been pretty spot on with issues concerning the Iraq War. He just provided uson the next U.S. war — if the neo-cons get their way, that is. Here’s how he begins:
It’s been three years since the U.S. launched its war against Saddam Hussein and his weapons of mass destruction. Of course now almost everybody knows there were no WMDs, and Saddam Hussein posed no threat to the United States. Though some of our soldiers serving in Iraq still believe they are there because Saddam Hussein was involved in 9/11, even the administration now acknowledges there was no connection. Indeed, no one can be absolutely certain why we invaded Iraq. The current excuse, also given for staying in Iraq, is to make it a democratic state, friendly to the United States. There are now fewer denials that securing oil supplies played a significant role in our decision to go into Iraq and stay there. That certainly would explain why U.S. taxpayers are paying such a price to build and maintain numerous huge, permanent military bases in Iraq. They’re also funding a new billion dollar embassy- the largest in the world.
The significant question we must ask ourselves is: What have we learned from three years in Iraq? With plans now being laid for regime change in Iran, it appears we have learned absolutely nothing. There still are plenty of administration officials who daily paint a rosy picture of the Iraq we have created. But I wonder: If the past three years were nothing more than a bad dream, and our nation suddenly awakened, how many would, for national security reasons, urge the same invasion? Would we instead give a gigantic sigh of relief that it was only a bad dream, that we need not relive the three-year nightmare of death, destruction, chaos and stupendous consumption of tax dollars. Conceivably we would still see oil prices under $30 a barrel, and most importantly, 20,000 severe U.S. causalities would not have occurred. My guess is that 99% of all Americans would be thankful it was only a bad dream, and would never support the invasion knowing what we know today.
And here’s his conclusion:
I smell an expanded war in the Middle East, and pray that I’m wrong. I sense that circumstances will arise that demand support regardless of the danger and cost. Any lack of support, once again, will be painted as being soft on terrorism and al Qaeda. We will be told we must support Israel, support patriotism, support the troops, and defend freedom. The public too often only smells the stench of war after the killing starts. Public objection comes later on, but eventually it helps to stop the war. I worry that before we can finish the war we’re in and extricate ourselves, the patriotic fervor for expanding into Iran will drown out the cries of, “enough already!”
The agitation and congressional resolutions painting Iran as an enemy about to attack us have already begun. It’s too bad we can’t learn from our mistakes.
This time there will be a greater pretense of an international effort sanctioned by the UN before the bombs are dropped. But even without support from the international community, we should expect the plan for regime change to continue. We have been forewarned that “all options” remain on the table. And there’s little reason to expect much resistance from Congress. So far there’s less resistance expressed in Congress for taking on Iran than there was prior to going into Iraq. It’s astonishing that after three years of bad results and tremendous expense there’s little indication we will reconsider our traditional non-interventionist foreign policy. Unfortunately, regime change, nation building, policing the world, and protecting “our oil” still constitute an acceptable policy by the leaders of both major parties.
It’s already assumed by many in Washington I talk to that Iran is dead serious about obtaining a nuclear weapon, and is a much more formidable opponent than Iraq. Besides, Mahmoud Almadinjad threatened to destroy Israel and that cannot stand. Washington sees Iran as a greater threat than Iraq ever was, a threat that cannot be ignored.
Iran’s history is being ignored, just as we ignored Iraq’s history. This ignorance or deliberate misrepresentation of our recent relationship to Iraq and Iran is required to generate the fervor needed to attack once again a country that poses no threat to us. Our policies toward Iran have been more provocative than those towards Iraq. Yes, President Bush labeled Iran part of the axis of evil and unnecessarily provoked their anger at us. But our mistakes with Iran started a long time before this president took office.
I know many of you are feeling excited about the recent changes in public sentiment about the war in Iraq and have hopes for a least a gradual withdrawal from that country before too long. Just keep one thing in mind: Oceania has always been at war with Eastasia.