Monday, November 17, 2003

Errors of omission and commission

Things aren't going very well in Iraq. If that isn't already obvious....

We've lost four Black Hawk helicopters since Nov. 2 sending 39 U.S. soldiers to their deaths. The total of military casualties in Iraq is now well past 400 and climbing.

We've launched a new offensive campaign against the insurgents, but the stepped up tension could also lead to more tragic mistakes such as this which is not likely to endear us to the Iraqi people.

The Iraqi governing coalition is a mess. But that isn't stopping the Bush administration from demanding that the transistion process be sped up.

Meanwhile, war critics such as myself have to contend with insults and slander from people like Jonathan Gurwitz who implies that I am somehow "delighted" by U.S. failures in Iraq and view it as an ideological victory.

"The search for Saddam himself and the remainder of his Baath loyalists also continues, to the satisfaction of those who consider each American casualty an ideological victory."

There may indeed be a few sorry people out there who would fit that description, but Gurwitz is painting with a broad brush here by implying that anyone who has been critical of the war in Iraq shares this view.

I am not happy, pleased or delighted everytime the U.S. is dealt a setback in Iraq. I am, however, angry and upset.

Interestingly enough, Gurwitz actually levels a serious charge at the Bush administration in this article:

"Of the Bush administration's errors of omission and commission in Iraq, the most glaring is the failure thus far to initiate a human rights tribunal for Iraqi war criminals."

Of course, he doesn't go into detail about what these "errors of omission and commission" might be. But I can give him a reason why the U.S. has "failed" to push for a human rights tribunal of Iraqi war crimes.
The reason is because so many of the crimes occurred more than 15 years ago when Saddam was buddy buddy with Gurwitz' hero President Ronald Reagan. Many of the mass graves that Gurwitz cites are filled with people who were killed with weapons supplied by the U.S. or purchased with U.S. funding during the time that Iraq was our little pawn during and after the Iran-Iraq war. And another of the big mass graves occurred shortly after the first Gulf War when it is alleged that Bush the elder's administration had encouraged the Kurds and the Shias to rise up against Saddam with the false assumption that we would be there to back them up.
The U.S. obviously is not eager to have a tribunal for these crimes because it would highlight our "errors of omission and commission" that led up to them.

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