[FoRK] The Iraq Memo...

Jim Whitehead ejw at soe.ucsc.edu
Fri May 6 16:40:14 PDT 2005


> Why is this not circulating in the USofA?  Why aren't the 
> Cable News Channels hailing this as "Memogate"?  Where's the 
> moral outrage on the part of political pundits?  Why is Bush 
> not being impeached?  How jaded have you people become?

A few thoughts.

* Offensive wars by the US have never been especially well justified.
Remember the Maine. Gulf of Tonkin. The Mexican-American War was also
started on flimsy grounds. This is not a justification for these wars,
merely an observation that historically Americans have been OK with this,
and hence they seem to play to some aspect of the American psyche.

* The average American hasn't experienced any hardship due to the war, and
hence isn't deeply emotionally invested in the war. As a result, the outrage
over going to war due to false pretenses is only slightly larger than for
other government policy changes adopted based on incorrect information, such
as changing the medical drug benefit based on false cost estimates.

* Even after finding out they were duped, many Americans still think Saddam
was an SOB that should have been taken out. While they may intensely dislike
the means, they find the ends do justify the means.

* Even if Americans did get all riled up, what would we do? There is no
clear conduit for this energy. The election was held last November, and Bush
won reelection. I personally do not think trying to impeach every President
is a good use of national time and energy. The opporunity cost of the
Clinton impeachment, in terms of legislation that could have been passed,
initiatives that could have been supported, etc., was too high. If there
were a march on Washington that supported the troops, but protested the
justification and management of the war -- that's a cause I could get
behind.

* Bush's approval ratings are not high right now. All of these issues are,
in fact, taking their toll. Bush's approval ratings right now are in the
high 40's. Clinton's, right after impeachment proceedings began, were in the
low 70's.

- Jim







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