The Observer is a Student-run, daily print & online newspaper serving Notre Dame & Saint Mary's. Learn more about us.



Realizing errors in Iraq

Observer Viewpoint | Sunday, September 12, 2004

When are we going to wake up and get the point? Now that we have counted more than 1,000 dead soldiers in Iraq, isn’t it about time to reconsider what we are doing? There are no weapons of mass destruction – just lies. There is no connection between Sept. 11 and Iraq – just lies. There was no connection between Saddam Hussein and Al Qaeda – just lies.

The world and especially America is not safer as a result of these actions. The Bush administration continues to manipulate your emotions with constant false alarms, vague warnings or nonspecific information from unspecified sources and elevated color alerts. Does this make you feel safer?

The Bush administration seems to think it can defeat terrorism by “taking the fight to the enemy,” but Homeland Security expert Stephen Flynn warns, “Targeting terrorism at its source is an appealing notion, unfortunately, the enemy is not cooperating” The “coalition of the willing” is slowly coming to the realization that this approach won’t work. The few “coalition” nations still present only have about 90 persons in Iraq and those may be withdrawn soon. We have about 145,000 and are losing territory, as well as Iraqi hearts and minds every day. The puppet government hiding in a compound in Baghdad, guarded by our troops, grows more unpopular every day. Does this make sense? The President lied to get us into this ill-advised war. I pray to God he can find another lie to get us out before many more of our soldiers are killed.

A year and four months since President Bush declared “Mission Accomplished,” 865 soldiers have died, and still there is no exit strategy. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld calls the death toll “relatively small.” I wonder if most Americans, or the families and loved ones of these victims of Bush’s bad policy and “grand standing bravado” consider the sacrifice of these young men and women so trivial. Someone needs to remind the “chicken hawks,” those who did not serve on any battlefield, that even one was far too many.

Regardless of the $200 billion already wasted, we may never be able to evaluate the real cost of this folly in lost lives, lost limbs, lost dreams and broken families.

Wayne M. Sampson

former Notre Dame employee

Mexico, Mo.

Sept. 12