What We Have Done

ACCEPTING OUR RESPONSIBILITY FOR IRAQ

 

The Iraq war will continue. President George W. Bush has committed 21,500 additional U.S. troops to “seize, hold, and build” in Baghdad. This decision emerged from sharp disagreements within his administration. U.S. allies and countries in the region were informed, not consulted. Their advice was unnecessary because their ideas about U.S. power are almost universally regarded as irrelevant. In the White House, in Congress, and in the Pentagon, in editorial offices and in think tanks, at least one principle is taken for granted: When it comes to decisions about U.S. interests and security, Americans alone will decide. Unilateralism is America’s deepest commitment. In 2001, we decided-with little consultation-to launch a “war on terror.” In 2003, we reluctantly brought the issue of Saddam’s “weapons of mass destruction” to the United Nations; but, noting international opposition to military intervention, the president, with the consent of Congress, decided on our behalf to invade and occupy Iraq. A year and a half later, with the war at a political and military impasse, we Americans reelected the president. In November 2006, we registered our desire for change. Debate followed, and now our president has again decided, on our behalf, to continue the war. So Iraq was and remains our war, not just his. American men and women die-three thousand so far. They suffer terrible injuries and they kill, not for President Bush...

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About the Author

David O'Brien is University Professor of Faith and Culture at the University of Dayton.