To the cost of our dead and wounded must be added the near-breaking of the U.S. Army, the estrangement of our allies and the pandemic hatred of America across the Arab world.
As for the "cakewalk" crowd that accused opponents of the war of lacking in patriotism, they never repented their demagoguery. Despite the pre-invasion propaganda they pumped out about Saddam's awesome weapons and ties to 9-11, or their assurances that U.S. troops would be welcomed with candy and flowers, like Paris in '44, and their prediction that a democracy would arise in Iraq to which Islamic nations would look as a model, they have never been called to account.
Now they are back with a new enemy for America to attack.
This time the target is Tehran -- and once again, they have the ear of this most ideological and unreflective of presidents.
Speaking to the American Legion, Bush used rhetoric against Iran equal in bellicosity to anything he used on Iraq before invading.
Iran "is the world's leading state sponsor of terrorism." Iran "funds terrorist groups like Hamas. ... Iran is sending arms to the Taliban." Iran's pursuit of nuclear technology threatens to put the Middle East and Gulf "under the shadow of a nuclear holocaust."
As Bush ratchets up the rhetoric, Russia, China and, reportedly, Germany are balking at new U.N. sanctions. That leaves Bush only the military option if he wishes to effect the nuclear castration of Iran. And Gen. Petraeus just provided him the rationale.
"It is increasingly apparent," said Petraeus, "that Iran, through the use of the Quds Force, seeks to turn the Iraqi Special Groups into a Hezbollah-like force to serve its interests and fight a proxy war against the Iraqi state and coalition forces in Iraq."
Petraeus' charge that Iran is fighting a "proxy war" against America comports with the new War Party propaganda line that we have been at war with Iran since 1979 and Bush needs no authorization from Congress to fight it more aggressively.
Congress gave Bush a blank check for the Iraq war. Any chance Congress will at least insist the administration come to Capitol Hill to make the case for the next war, on Iran, before Bush launches it? Probably not.