Michael Rectenwald's letter to the editor, published in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, October 11, 2004
Letters to the editor, 10/11/04
Monday, October 11, 2004
We were right
I attended numerous anti-war rallies against the impending Iraq war. In February 2003, our group of about 300 was confronted with a line of police on either side as we recrossed the Smithfield Street Bridge from the South Side. A police officer shouted, "You want Saddam Hussein to strike us with weapons of mass destruction?" I replied, "Saddam Hussein does not have weapons of mass destruction!"
The officer went quiet. Apparently, the thought had never before crossed his mind.
We now know that we protesters were right. Vilified as traitors, we turned out to be the true patriots. We advocated saving lives, money and heartache, and waiting for the evidence to come in.
John Kerry voted to authorize Bush to use force against Iraq, if necessary. But Bush didn't wait for inspections to be completed. He never built a real coalition. Nor did he get an additional U.N. sanction. A priori, based on the neoconservative Project for a New American Century agenda of pre-emptive imperialism, Bush, not Hussein, threw the inspectors out of Iraq.
Without evidence and a plan, Bush advanced the "shock and awe" campaign. Anti-war protesters were shocked and awed, and now we are all shocked and awed at this administration's arrogance and incompetence.
Insurgents now currently control much of Iraq. We have lost more than 1,000 U.S. lives. Children wade through sewage to attend schools. Iraq is a ravaged breeding ground of anti-American sentiment and militancy. As John Kerry argued, we have traded a single dictator for a multibillion-dollar chaos.
Every word that Bush used against Hussein now echoes with irony. It's long past time for regime change in the United States. As has been the case for most of George Bush's life, someone else must follow him and clean up his mess. John Kerry is the most competent and likely comer, and he is now our only hope for returning the nation and Iraq to sanity.
October 11, 2004
Link to original publication: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/04285/393669.stm
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