Men of Honor
By Bernie Quigley – for the Hill on 5/11/11
Like the old Politiboro-driven popular front of “violence inherent in the system!” polemic, the Republican punditry today are quickly dispatched to call the Obama victory a historic “Bush-Obama” drama. Who are these guys kidding? The Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld adventure was a journey to the end of the night and an American disgrace that will never be forgotten. Our best warriors and men of honor of both parties like Senator Jim Webb, former NATO chief Wesley K. Clark and Colin Powell’s chief Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson brought the strongest dissent. It was a hoax from the beginning, said Wilkerson. The invasion of Iraq was “ . . . the wrong war,” said General Clark. This war will instead be remembered as beginning to go forth with some credibility when George W. Bush’s Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld was thrown out of office and Robert C. Gates was brought forth to try and retrieve any remaining shreds of American character.
Before Gates, the Iraq invasion was so poorly orchestrated and morally inept that for the first time since 1865 it brought forth secession movements and nullification efforts that won’t go away and led the dynamic dissenter Ron Paul to the front of American politics.
I fully sympathized with the very human cry for vengeance after the tragic hurt of 9/11. But the sadness we felt - as great as any we had suffered in our history - was very soon thereafter manipulated by the Bush/Cheney government and there can be no greater betrayal of the human spirit than the manipulation of the human heart for political purposes.
It might be suggested that the Republicans today are so intent on getting a third Bush – and the former Florida governor appears to be even more unremarkable than the first two - back into the White House to forge the false legacy, or even worse; to keep the President’s Men of the pre-Gates period of torture, mayhem and moral abandon out of possible war crimes trials.