Open letter condemns Bush Administration on Iraq, Afghanistan

This is Rumor Control: “… over 650 foreign policy experts state in an open letter that the Bush Administration’s handling of Iraq, Afghanistan and the war on terrorism represents the most misguided foreign policy since the war in Vietnam.”

From the letter itself:

“We, a nonpartisan group of foreign affairs specialists, have joined together to call urgently for a change of course in American foreign and national security policy. We judge that the current American policy centered around the war in Iraq is the most misguided one since the Vietnam period, one which harms the cause of the struggle against extreme Islamist terrorists. One result has been a great distortion in the terms of public debate on foreign and national security policy—an emphasis on speculation instead of facts, on mythology instead of calculation, and on misplaced moralizing over considerations of national interest. [1] We write to challenge some of these distortions. …

“Many of the justifications offered by the Bush Administration for the war in Iraq have been proven untrue by credible studies, including by U.S. government agencies. There is no evidence that Iraq assisted al-Qaida, and its prewar involvement in international terrorism was negligible. [3] Iraq’s arsenal of chemical and biological weapons was negligible, and its nuclear weapons program virtually nonexistent. [4] In comparative terms, Iran is and was much the greater sponsor of terrorism, and North Korea and Pakistan pose much the greater risk of nuclear proliferation to terrorists. Even on moral grounds, the case for war was dubious: the war itself has killed over a thousand Americans and unknown thousands of Iraqis, and if the threat of civil war becomes reality, ordinary Iraqis could be even worse off than they were under Saddam Hussein. The Administration knew most of these facts and risks before the war, and could have discovered the others, but instead it played down, concealed or misrepresented them.

“… we believe that a fundamental reassessment is in order. Significant improvements are needed in our strategy in Iraq and the implementation of that strategy. We call urgently for an open debate on how to achieve these ends, one informed by attention to the facts on the ground in Iraq, the facts of al-Qaida’s methods and strategies, and sober attention to American interests and values.”

[list of signatories]

Well, to paraphrase, we’ve already seen what happens when we have a non-debate, informed by inattention to the facts, and with sober attention to Corporate-American interests and profit-making values: over 8,000 American casualties, over 1,000 Americans dead, many thousands of Iraqi people — real human beings like you and me — dead, many more thousands injured or maimed.

It’s time for Bush and his neo-cons to go. It’s time for some introspection, thoughtful and informed discussion, and a change in strategy. It’s time for America to start the hard work of rebuilding its international respect, which may take years to come. It’s time to create real jobs here at home, fix our economy, and stop the raping of our environment, and of the people of foreign nations, for the benefit of profiteering corporations and their Washington lobbyists.

It’s time for the truth.

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