Thursday, September 11, 2014

Think Before You Act

Today, we're all remembering what happened 13 years ago. And we're facing tough questions that harken back to the decisions made in the aftermath of September 11.

Not even a year after 9/11 and the start of the Afghanistan War, then President George W. Bush wanted to go to war in Iraq. We were initially told Saddam Hussein was personally responsible for 9/11. Then, we were told Saddam Hussein was providing safe harbor to al-Qaeda terrorists. Then, we were told Iraq was somehow part of the "Axis of Evil". Then, we were told of "smoking guns" and "mushroom clouds".

Ultimately, then President Bush got the war he wanted. Thanks to neoconservative allies in Congress like Senator
John McCain (R-Arizona), approval for the Iraq invasion was a snap. And Bush never had to worry about obtaining more funding for what later became a war of "liberation" and "spreading democracy".

Senator John McCain, along with so many of the other regular cable "news" talking heads and Sunday show pundits, have regularly been proven wrong on their constant assertions that all we need is another war in order for Americans to "feel safe".

But what if we don't need another war in order to "feel safe"? What if we don't need to repeat the mistakes from our last war in the region? What if we actually think before we act?

We can't afford to make the same mistakes we made in Iraq last decade. While Isis indeed poses a threat to regional stability in the Middle East, it's not the some rapidly approaching apocalypse for America. Yet if we make the wrong move there, we risk further destabilization of the region (and ironically, a stronger Isis).

Contrary to what certain "TEA" flavored media pundits like to say, sports analogies won't help. Neither will bombastic rhetoric. And probably neither will yet another full scale Middle East war.

Perhaps we should think some more before we act. We have no obligation to repeat the mistakes of the previous Iraq War. And we have no obligation to commit thousands more American troops to a geopolitical Pandora's Box that only promises more brutal & bloody mayhem if opened. However, there are 535 people on Capitol Hill who do have an obligation to hold a vote. We'd like for them to think and act on it.

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