When and why should the U.S. engage?
Prior to the dedication of his presidential library, George W. Bush was interviewed by Diane Sawyer of ABC News. Sawyer stated the library’s records show that there were no stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. The former president said that this is correct, that “we’re just laying out the facts.”
Sawyer then stated 58 percent of the public does not believe the Iraq war was worth fighting. Bush quipped back that 58 percent of the public initially said it was worth it.
So, after admitting that he, Vice President Dick Cheney and his administration were wrong when they told the American public that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction and posed an imminent threat to the United States, he turns around and uses the public support he created with this false information to help justify his decision to go to war. I don’t think it takes much to see through this twisted rationalization.
Today, Iraq is a country overwhelmed with violence and on the verge of another civil war. There was no justification for the United States to initiate a war with Iraq, and Bush owes the American and Iraqi people his deepest apologies.
Pat Hinderscheid, Mendota Heights
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I wish President Obama would revisit the Bush Library exhibit that attempts to justify the U.S. war in (or on) Afghanistan and Iraq. Obama’s “red line” in Syria and creep toward military intervention, unnecessarily agitating Iran and its allies, is being urged by the same old suspects in Congress. The United States has no national interest in the Syrian civil war and should butt out!
James M. Becker, Lakeville
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Has anyone been reading what’s happening in Iraq (“More car bombs fuel Iraq turmoil,” April 30)? We are against the same insurgency in Iraq that we’re willing to arm in Syria. Crazy!
Bruce Fisher, St. Louis Park
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I suspect that two stories in the May 1 newspaper — “Hezbollah pledges [Syrian] rebels won’t win” and “Americans feeling isolationist” — are related.
I believe that Americans’ “feeling isolationist” is fueled by the media’s coverage of conflicts, as in Syria, in a specifically slanted way — in my opinion, toward the views and threats of terrorist groups (“You will not be able to take Damascus by force. … Syria has real friends … who will not allow Syria to fall into the hands of America or Israel”). When we Americans hear only this message, why wouldn’t we want to “stay out of it?”
Why aren’t we hearing of the lives of the 70,000 who have died since the rebellion began two years ago? Or especially, perhaps, of the 400,000 who have been displaced, and the horrific conditions they are forced to endure? What of the gang-rapes of girls and women at checkpoints? Genital mutilations of teenage girls? One need only refer to Women’s Media Center’s project “Women Under Siege” to see a live, crowdsourced map to individual incidents of violence against civilian women (https://womenundersiegesyria.crowdmap.com).
Editors, I urge you to paint a fuller picture so that American citizens have a means to understanding what is really happening in Syria. Only then may they be informed when pollsters come to ask them if they believe we should be involved in attempting to end the atrocities handed out to the girls and women there.
The Opinion section is produced by the Editorial Department to foster discussion about key issues. The Editorial Board represents the institutional voice of the Star Tribune and operates independently of the newsroom.