Wednesday, August 24, 2005


The plain truth is that Iraq never attacked the United States and never even threatened to do so. Neither the Iraqi people nor their government had anything to do with the 9/11 attacks. Therefore, the U.S. government had no moral or legal right to invade Iraq and kill and maim the Iraqi people. That makes the United States the aggressor nation in this conflict. It is the invader. It is the conqueror. Don’t forget that aggressive war was punished as a war crime at Nuremberg and that it is barred by the UN Charter, to which the United States is a signatory. Don’t forget also that Bush invaded Iraq without the constitutionally required congressional declaration of war, making the war illegal under our own form of government.

And it was never about democracy, freedom, or the liberation of the Iraqi people. After all, if democracy was so important, would U.S. officials be embracing the military dictator of Pakistan as well as authoritarian dictators all over the Middle East? And if the freedom and well-being of the Iraqi people were so important, would U.S. officials have continued maintaining the sanctions against Iraq year after brutal year, despite the ever-growing number of deaths of Iraqi children?

It just doesn’t add up, does it? And the reason it doesn’t is that it’s all a lie — just as the supposed North Vietnamese attack at the Gulf of Tonkin, which President Lyndon Johnson and the U.S. Congress used as an excuse to expand the Vietnam War, which ended up killing 58,000 American soldiers and wounding countless more, was a lie.

To answer Cindy Sheehan’s question plainly and directly: Her son died for nothing. Or if she would prefer a diplomatic, polite answer, her son died not for a noble cause, as both President Bush and Vice-President Cheney have recently stated, but instead for an ignoble cause — regime change — hard-ball politics at the international level — the ouster and replacement of a foreign politician, Saddam Hussein, who fell out of grace with U.S. officials.

With all due respect, regime change, while important to U.S. politicians and bureaucrats, is nothing worth dying for and, for that matter, it’s nothing worth killing for.

We can all express our deepest condolences to Ms. Sheehan and the other families who have lost loved ones in Iraq. But only the truth, no matter how painful, will ultimately set them and the rest of us free of the lies and deceptions that underlie U.S. foreign policy. Only the truth will enable us move our nation away from the grip of empire and militarism and toward the principles of a limited-government republic that guided our Founding Fathers.

Jacob Hornberger is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation and a 1972
graduate of Virginia Military Institute. Send him email.

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