Bush at Arlington
May 31, 2005
When Bush went to Arlington National Cemetery on Memorial Day, he uttered an amazing lie: "America," he said, "has always been a reluctant warrior."
Was America a reluctant warrior in the Spanish-American war?
Was America a reluctant warrior when it invaded Haiti and Nicaragua repeatedly in the twentieth century?
Was America a reluctant warrior when it went to war against Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia?
Was America a reluctant warrior when it invaded the Dominican Republic in 1965?
Was America a reluctant warrior in Gulf War I?
Is America a reluctant warrior in the current Iraq War?
After the Downing Street memo and the mountain of other evidence that Bush, far from being reluctant, was overeager to go to war against Iraq, it takes a certain degree of chutzpah for him to stand before the nation and warble that lie.
At least 1,648 U.S. soldiers have died for his lack of reluctance.
At least 21,834 Iraqi civilians have died for his lack of reluctance, according to http://www.iraqbodycount.net.
When Bush talked about "completing the mission" in Iraq, American families with members in the armed forces or of draft age all across the country had to wonder whether their loved ones may ultimately die for Bush's lack of reluctance.
Bush told the American families that have already lost loved ones in Iraq that "America is more secure" for their sacrifice.
That claim is also difficult to sustain.
Bush's wars, and the accounts of widespread torture, abuse, and mass detention in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Guantanamo, have poisoned the well of goodwill that the United States could have tapped after 9/11. Now, by his actions, Bush has enraged millions upon millions of Arabs and Muslims around the world.
A percentage of them will take up arms against the United States, perhaps for a generation to come.
How does that make us more secure?