I have no real problem with your brief against Iraq, but my point is simply that if you want to try to make that case as a reason for going to war, then make it straight up. Obviously, there were chemical weapons in Iraq at some point. Everybody knows that. But it's also true that Mr. Blix and Mr. ElBaradi are undoubtedly two of the most wronged men of the early 21st century. I still cringe when I remember how our representatives--including Colin Powell--mocked them and derided them, when all they were was. . .right. It was the classic case of "don't bother me with the facts, I know what I believe."
And, sure, it's true that Iraq overall turns our understanding of humanity on it's ear. No doubt about it. We don't understand it (which is a big part of our problem now), and our instincts go thoroughly against it.
You say that's why we fight. Well, the problem is that there have been a million different reasons given for why we fight this particular war. The reasons keep changing for the sake of expediency, and frankly, the people have caught on.
I'm sure you and I could have a tremendous talk about justifications for fighting for specific reasons. But we'd probably also agree that it gets a little crazy when the reason changes at the blink of an eye--or a press release. And at the end of the day, when we ask "What does all this have to do with 9/11?," the answer is not a hell of a lot.
I couldn't disagree with most of what you say more thoroughly. But please let no one interpret that disagreement as a lack of support for those sent to fight. It's a common canard to accuse those who dissent of not supporting the fighters, but as I've said here before, it seems that perhaps the only thing we've learned from Vietnam is to separate the fight from the fighters.
I do not feel that I am "uninformed" about the mission in Iraq. In fact, I can recite all the different "missions" that we've claimed to have had there since we went in. If we're talking about 9/11 here, I am of the belief that the shortest distance between two points is a straight line. And the shortest distance to those who destroyed the towers, who damaged the Pentagon, and who crashed in Pennsylvania is not through Iraq.
I do not believe that all those we put in power in government are very smart. I've met some of them. They pull their pants on one leg at a time just like the rest of us--except for those who can't even figure out how to do that.
As to fairweather friends, I have another take on that. Have you ever noticed that sometimes it takes a really good friend to tell you when you're wrong?
Best regards as always.