Douglas MacKinnon

No. None of us pays a real price. That indescribable pain is reserved only for our young men and women in uniform and for innocent Iraqi civilians being slaughtered in unimaginable ways and numbers. To them, and only them, do we owe answers and a solution.

The war in Iraq is a fact of life. We cannot go back in time and un-invade the country. There is quite a bit of revisionist history now being written. But what is indisputable is that in March 2003, the United States, all of our allies and even a number of our foes believed, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction. Given that, the logical assumption was that if he had them, it was only a matter of time before he turned one or two over to al-Qaida or another terrorist organization to use against us.

I will always believe that President Bush acted in a responsible manner when he decided to invade. The questions I have asked in the past, and questions that have been asked of me by former colleagues from the Pentagon, were these: Did the invasion have to be in March 2003, or could it have been a few months later, thereby giving our special operations teams and intelligence operatives more time to determine the facts, or even take out Mr. Hussein? Post-invasion, is it possible that - noble as his intentions may have been - the president was misled into a premature invasion by ivory tower academics in the Pentagon and White House?

Sooner or later, those questions will be answered. In the meantime, a number of our elected officials continue to disgrace themselves at the expense of our troops and the people of Iraq.

Surely, the tens of thousands of lives lost and the heroic sacrifice offered are worth more than a nuanced political position crafted to gain or hold an elected office.

Douglas MacKinnon

Douglas MacKinnon is a former White House and Pentagon official and author of The Secessionist States of America. (Skyhorse Publishing, 2014)

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