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Excuses For War in Iraq
Huffington Post
Here's What History Actually Shows Us
Robert J. Elisberg September 7, 2006

Okay, so this is the first war in American history where you need a theater program to explain it. Let's see if we can get it straight:

We went to war to fight the Taliban who harbored the 9/11 al Qaeda terrorists.

But then we shifted the war to Iraq, because they had WMD's which posed an imminent threat to the United States.

But no WMD's were found, so it turns out we actually went to war to overthrow Saddham Hussein and bring freedom to Iraq, thereby Accomplishing the Mission.

But the Mission wasn't actually Accomplished, so the reason we were in Iraq was to put down insurgents from reclaiming the country.

But the actual, real reason we're fighting Iraqi insurgents is to make the country the shining Road Map to Peace in the Middle East.

But really, it's not Iraqi insurgents who were our enemy, because the whole reason we were at war was to rid Iraq of Al Qaeda terrorists, even though none had been there under Saddham Hussein before we destabilized the country.

But now it turns out we aren't even fighting terrorists at all, but rather Islamic Fascists.

But then, the President and Defense Secretary tell us we're instead fighting actual Fascists. And Nazis. Real live Nazis. Come to life again, risen from Hell after 60 years.

But no, it's worse, because according to the Secretary of State, we're really fighting the Deep South in the Civil War. The Deep South! The President's biggest ally. The only person this won't shock is Senator George Allen, who still fights for the Confederacy - although he was born in Los Angeles.

Cliff's Notes on steroids wouldn't help explain this mess. Even a summary is mind-numbing:

We don't actually know the reason we got into Iraq, rather than Afghanistan. It keeps changing.

We don't know what our goal is in Iraq. It keeps changing.

We don't know who it is we're actually fighting in Iraq. It keeps changing.

We don't even know for sure that it's Iraq where we are fighting, since it may be Nazi Germany, or Franco-Fascist Spain. Or maybe even the Confederacy.

And we don't have the slightest strategy how to get out. That never changes.

Then again, we don't even know how we'd know we won, if we ever won. Who would surrender to us? How can you even have a leader of The Enemy, when you keep changing who The Enemy is?!

The one thing we do know, because we hear it almost every day now in desperation from the White House, is that "History shows us..." something or other.

In truth, the only thing history has shown us from Iraq is that these people who are trying to teach us history don't understand history. They didn't grasp history that there has been religious fighting in Iraq between the Sunnis and Shiites for 1,000 years. They didn't grasp history that when you fight a war, you send in the troops that are needed. They didn't grasp history that when your war plan isn't working, you learn from history and change the course.

The thing is, when you're fighting a war, history shows us you should know precisely who you're fighting and why. Crystal-clear, slam-dunk know. You have to know. Otherwise, how could anyone write great war songs and inspire the populace?

I mean, it's really basic. Just go through history and take a look.

Revolutionary War. We were fighting the British. To gain independence.

Civil War. We were fighting the Confederacy. To end slavery and save the Union.

World War I. We were fighting Germany. To keep them from taking over the world.

World War II. We were fighting Germany, Italy and Japan. To keep them from taking over the world.

Korean War. We were fighting North Korea. To protect the boundary between North and South Korea.

For goodness sake, we even knew who we were fighting in Vietnam! The North Vietnamese. And the reason was...well, okay, not everyone exactly knew why, but at least there was One Official Reason: to stop Communism from spreading throughout Southeast Asia and ultimately to Kansas.

And then there's the Iraq War.

We'refightingSaddhamHusseininsurgentsterroristsIslamicFascistsFascistsNaziswhowereresponsibleforattacking Americabutnotreally. TofindWMD'sthatposeaniminentthreattoAmericabringfreedomandputdowntheinsurgentsand getalltheterroristsoutofIraqsothatthe countrywillbetheroadmaptopeaceintheMiddleEast (sic).

Here's something else history teaches us -

When you're fighting a war, and you can't explain so clearly that the youngest schoolchild can understand who you're fighting and why you're fighting it...

...then you don't have an actual reason. And you're making it up as you go along. And taking the country along for the ride.

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