Where are the resignations?

Senator Hillary Clinton has a letter to her constituents about Iraq on her official website, one paragraph of which reads:

Based on the information that we have today, Congress never would have been asked to give the President authority to use force against Iraq. And if Congress had been asked, based on what we know now, we never would have agreed, given the lack of a long—term plan, paltry international support, the proven absence of weapons of mass destruction, and the reallocation of troops and resources that might have been used in Afghanistan to eliminate Bin Laden and al Qaeda, and fully uproot the Taliban.

Essentially, this is the 'my vote for the war was a mistake' argument that we have heard from Sen. Kerry, his former running mate former Sen. Edwards and others in Congress.

But what, one wonders, are we supposed to make of it aside from 'thank—you for sharing'?  Sens. Clinton and Kerry and the others were not bystanders in this decision but participants.  By their decision, they committed our sons and daughters to victory in battle.  Soldiers have now sacrificed — are now sacrificing — their bodies and their lives to fulfill that mission in Iraq.  What benefit can possibly be achieved by expressing doubts now about the origin of the mission, aside from self—indulgence and irresponsibility?

'Proven absence of weapons of mass destruction?'  Is Sen. Clinton unaware of the story of the town of Halabja, attacked with chemical weapons of mass destruction by Saddam in 1988, the after effects of which were harrowingly recounted to the Senate by a British geneticist who did a survey of that town 10 years later and found severe tumors, malformations and genetic damage?

The decision to go to war in Iraq was a high affair of State.  No more important decision can fall to a public servant.  If these public servants, by their own assessment, were not up to making the right decision, should we not expect some action from them now?  Should we not expect them to step aside in favor of others who would be more qualified?  Are they not saying of themselves 'I have been weighed in the balance and found wanting?'

What, one imagines, do they say to the wounded soldiers and bereaved families they encounter?  'Sorry?' What do they say to the active duty soldiers they meet?  'You go ahead; I'm out?'  What do they imagine that does to morale?

All wars are uncertain.  Indeed, all affairs of State are uncertain (Churchill, for one, was eloquent on this point).  You don't get a 'do—over' at this level.  Too much is at stake; too much has been sacrificed; too much is being sacrificed.  If their view is that they took a lax attitude to their duties in October 2002, isn't their responsibilty now to stand aside so that better, more diligent, more resilient people can take their place rather than undermine the resolve that is necessary to complete the mission to which they committed the country? 

Greg Richards   12 01 05

Senator Hillary Clinton has a letter to her constituents about Iraq on her official website, one paragraph of which reads:

Based on the information that we have today, Congress never would have been asked to give the President authority to use force against Iraq. And if Congress had been asked, based on what we know now, we never would have agreed, given the lack of a long—term plan, paltry international support, the proven absence of weapons of mass destruction, and the reallocation of troops and resources that might have been used in Afghanistan to eliminate Bin Laden and al Qaeda, and fully uproot the Taliban.

Essentially, this is the 'my vote for the war was a mistake' argument that we have heard from Sen. Kerry, his former running mate former Sen. Edwards and others in Congress.

But what, one wonders, are we supposed to make of it aside from 'thank—you for sharing'?  Sens. Clinton and Kerry and the others were not bystanders in this decision but participants.  By their decision, they committed our sons and daughters to victory in battle.  Soldiers have now sacrificed — are now sacrificing — their bodies and their lives to fulfill that mission in Iraq.  What benefit can possibly be achieved by expressing doubts now about the origin of the mission, aside from self—indulgence and irresponsibility?

'Proven absence of weapons of mass destruction?'  Is Sen. Clinton unaware of the story of the town of Halabja, attacked with chemical weapons of mass destruction by Saddam in 1988, the after effects of which were harrowingly recounted to the Senate by a British geneticist who did a survey of that town 10 years later and found severe tumors, malformations and genetic damage?

The decision to go to war in Iraq was a high affair of State.  No more important decision can fall to a public servant.  If these public servants, by their own assessment, were not up to making the right decision, should we not expect some action from them now?  Should we not expect them to step aside in favor of others who would be more qualified?  Are they not saying of themselves 'I have been weighed in the balance and found wanting?'

What, one imagines, do they say to the wounded soldiers and bereaved families they encounter?  'Sorry?' What do they say to the active duty soldiers they meet?  'You go ahead; I'm out?'  What do they imagine that does to morale?

All wars are uncertain.  Indeed, all affairs of State are uncertain (Churchill, for one, was eloquent on this point).  You don't get a 'do—over' at this level.  Too much is at stake; too much has been sacrificed; too much is being sacrificed.  If their view is that they took a lax attitude to their duties in October 2002, isn't their responsibilty now to stand aside so that better, more diligent, more resilient people can take their place rather than undermine the resolve that is necessary to complete the mission to which they committed the country? 

Greg Richards   12 01 05