Krugman: Bush led us to war with 'unseemly eagerness'
As the nation mourns its fallen troops this Memorial Day, it is important to remember the headlong rush into war that was pursued with "unseemly eagerness" by President Bush and his neoconservative cabal of war architects, New York Times columnist Paul Krugman argues.
"Now that war has turned into an epic disaster, in part because the war's architects, whom we now know were warned about the risks, didn't want to hear about them," Krugman wrote in his column Monday. "Yet Congress seems powerless to stop it. How did it all go so wrong?"
The liberal columnist notes that President Bush conflated unrelated enemies in his first State of the Union address after the nation's worst domestic terrorist attacks when he grouped Iran, Iraq and North Korea -- "three countries that had nothing to do with either Sept. 11 or with each other" -- together in the "axis of evil."
The Bush administrations scare tactics continue today, as the president warns that Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda, which were not in Iraq before the war started, will be victorious if US troops withdraw from Iraq now that the US invasion has turned the country into a breeding ground for terrorists, Krugman argues.
Noting that Bush mentioned the terrorist leader only seven times in 2003 when he was selling the American public his Iraq invasion snake oil, Krugman says the reemergence of bin Laden's name in Bush rhetoric proves politicians are not yet convinced that voters will punish his fear-mongering.
Krugman says the 2006 elections expressed Americans' desire to extricate the country from the disaster that the Iraq war has become, but the politics of fear continues.
Here's the way it ought to be: When Rudy Giuliani says that Iran, which had nothing to do with Sept. 11, is part of a "movement" that "has already displayed more aggressive tendencies by coming here and killing us," he should be treated as a lunatic.
When Mitt Romney says that a coalition of "Shia and Sunni and Hezbollah and Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood and al-Qaida" wants to "bring down the West," he should be ridiculed for his ignorance.
And when John McCain says that Osama, who isn't in Iraq, will "follow us home" if we leave, he should be laughed at.
But they aren't, at least not yet. And until belligerent, uninformed posturing starts being treated with the contempt it deserves, men who know nothing of the cost of war will keep sending other people's children to graves at Arlington.
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