When making decisions in the heat of the moment, it is useful to remember and look at opinions and actions made during similar periods. That is the case in Iraq. Right now it seems like like everyone has a better idea. It is instructive to see how some of our would be "masters" thought a few short years ago. Howard Dean ran a presidential campaign in 2003. Dean television ads at the time sought to differentiate the former Vermont governor from his rivals based on his opposition to the Iraq war and "Democratic support" for it.
"Where did the Washington Democrats stand on the war?" the narrator of the Dean ad asks. "Dick Gephardt wrote the resolution to authorize war. John Kerry and John Edwards both voted for the war. Then Dick Gephardt voted to spend another $87 billion on Iraq." "Howard Dean has another view," the ad says.Today there is the discussion that we should not be getting involved in a religious civil war between Muslim sects.
The big Nato action in the nineties was when the US and Nato decided to intervene on the side of the Muslims in the Yugoslavia civil war. Ignorant or uninterested in the facts that the Muslims where every bit as bad and corrupt as the Serbs, the US led a campaign to get the the Serbs (Christians) out of Bosnia and later Kosovo, in support of the Muslims. Little note was made of the jihadiis and Mujahadden support for the Bosnian Muslims. Both sides in that civil war came to the same conclusion that they could not stand each other and no longer wished to share the same territory. Does that sound familiar? Now the fun part.
In 1995, who said this?
"After long and careful thought, and after several years of watching the gross atrocities committed by the Bosnian Serbs, I have reluctantly concluded that the efforts of the United Nations and NATO in Bosnia are a complete failure,"...""It is evident, however, that the cost in human lives in allowing this policy to continue is too great." Therefore, he continued, "I have reluctantly concluded that we must take unilateral action" in Bosnia to stop some of the worst genocide since World War II."That was none other than Howard Dean. He also had this to say:
"While I completely agree with you that no ground troops should be committed for other than humanitarian purposes in Bosnia," Dean said, one of the four steps he recommended Clinton take was to unilaterally "commit American air power to support the Bosnian government until the situation is stabilized and the civilian murders and atrocities by the Bosnian Serbs have been stopped."Another familiar ring, don't you think? There is the current outrage about phony WMD intelligence in Iraq.
In 2003, Bill Clinton was in Portugal and met with Portuguese Prime Minister Jose Manuel Durao Barroso. Barroso reported that Clinton told him he believed Iraq possessed WMD's.
"When Clinton was here recently he told me he was absolutely convinced, given his years in the White House and the access to privileged information which he had, that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction until the end of the Saddam regime," Durao Barroso told Portuguese cable news channel SIC Noticias.Clinton met with Durao Barroso on October 21, 2003 when he traveled to Lisbon to give a speech on globalization.
It is very easy to get caught up in the heat of the moment in emotional issues regarding national security. My personal objections are about the original necessity for and conduct of the Iraq war. That in itself is irrelevant. We are there now and Iraq is a mess. It never was a box of chocolates, but a lot of the mess has American fingerprints on it. The Democrats , Republicans, the military, the intelligence community all participated in the decision to proceed with the war. There is some very convenient self-servings laps of memory. It may have been irresponsible getting involved the way we did, but It will be unforgivable if we get out the wrong way.
A little footnote on our assistance to the Bosnian Muslims. This article appears in The Tehran Times.
Bosnians build school in Bam as token of friendship
BAM, Kerman Prov. (IRNA) – The deputy director of Bosnia’s Marhemat Charity Foundation, Haroun Imamovich, said on Monday that the foundation had established a school in the quake-hit city of Bam as a sign of the friendship between the people of Bosnia and Iran.
The remark was made while Imamovich inspected the school. He noted that the school has been built in response to the assistance given to the Bosnian people by the Iranian government during the Balkan wars of the 1990s.
"Despite being financially humble, the school will be a sign of friendship between the two nations to make them help each other during crises," he added.
Meanwhile, Bam governor, Majid Etemadi, said that construction of this school strengthens the relations between the people of two countries, adding that Muslims are bound to assist each other just as Iranians sympathize with Iraqi, Palestinian and Afghan people.
For his part, the head of Bam Education Department, Moussa Hafezabadi said, "About 85 percent progress has been made in the 10-class school project, which is being constructed on an area of 3,000 square meters. The classes of this school are ready and being currently used by pupils.
"Out of the 10 billion rials spent on the project, 6.8 billion rials was funded by Bosnians and the remaining was provided by the Iranian government," he added.