Ross Mackenzie

Hardly a month into it, the war to liberate Iraq from Saddam Hussein is winding down. The past 10 days have seen....

The taking of the Baghdad airport, as well as Basra and Baghdad itself. The collapse of resistance in Kirkuk, Mosul, Tikrit and Qaim. The repatriation of the Magnificent Seven POWs (plus one). The capture of key Saddamite operatives, the flight of others and the death of still others, such as Chemical Ali and possibly even the big enchiladas - Saddam and his two cretinous sons.

Cooperation with the Turks. Cheers, celebration, jubilation in the streets - Iraqis hugging Marines, saying, "I love Mr. Bush," and shouting, "America, yes!" Torture chambers found, missiles found, caches of likely biochemical weapons found. Warnings to Syria. Statues of Saddam defaced and toppled across the land.

Yet the people who said....

Let the UN do it. Give the inspectors more time. It's all about oil. The Europeans are irked - the Chinese, too. People will die; better start stocking up on body bags. War will cost too much. Preemption is wrong; war to liberate Iraq wouldn't be just; the protesters and the Dixie Chicks are right. It would be an American jihad - war against Islam, war against the Arabs. Iraq isn't our problem; Saddam isn't so bad.

.Are many of the same people who said....

What does stupid Bush know? Cheney, Rumsfeld, Powell and Wolfowitz are proven warmongers - not to mention the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Saddam might use biochems - verily, what if he does? The retired flag officers on TV are skeptical. The coalition forces are too few, too green, can't possibly win quickly. We'll get mired in Iraq à la Vietnam.

...Are many of the same people who said....

Our forces are so highly technologized they were stalled - stymied - by a mere dust storm. Our troops moved so fast they outran their supply lines; the troops were hungry; whole units ran short of bullets and food. Our troops operated so efficiently they have changed the face of war.

Iraqi missiles that Iraq didn't have were destroyed by American missiles that couldn't work. The American flag on the face of a prominent Saddam statue - and help from an American armored vehicle in pulling the statue down - were grievous mistakes. Is Saddam dead? If we don't find out - and certainly if we don't find weapons of mass destruction - the war will not have been justified.

...Are many of the same people who, following the statue's destruction, liked these commentaries and headlines....


Ross Mackenzie

Ross Mackenzie lives with his wife and Labrador retriever in the woods west of Richmond, Virginia. They have two grown sons, both Naval officers.

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