Former President George W. Bush says that he is at ease with his legacy. He told the Dallas Morning News on April 13, 2013, “I’m comfortable with what I did,” and “It’s easy to forget what life was like when the decision was made.”
No, Mr. Bush, it’s impossible to forget what life was like then and the evil you wrought.
Members of Florida Veterans for Common Sense remember well what it was like in the run-up to your war with Iraq. Our organization formed in opposition to your planned invasion. As patriotic veterans, we could not stand by silently as our leaders beat the drums for unnecessary war. From our military experience, we knew to a certainty that an Iraq invasion would kill many brave warriors and more would be wounded.
We remember the times well because by standing for peace, we were vilified. Nevertheless, we still spoke out against the planned Iraq invasion.
You, Mr. Bush, are apparently oblivious to the way you perverted American principles and values. As “The Decider,” you switched off America’s shining light on the hill by sending our troops to fight an aggressive, unnecessary, and wasteful war. Worse, your administration justified its actions with fabricated “intelligence.”
We remember that Saddam Hussein had nothing do with 9/11 attack and did not support Al Qaeda.
We remember the Office of Special Plans that your administration set up in the Pentagon to fabricate intelligence.
We remember your administration’s propaganda, “We don’t want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud.”
We remember that you refused to allow weapons inspectors to complete their work in Iraq before you invaded.
We remember that your administration attempted to destroy the reputations of loyal government employees when they honestly reported that Iraq was not buying uranium from Niger.
We remember your administration’s lies that aluminum tubes were purchased by Iraq for use in centrifuges to process uranium to weapons grade when our own intelligence agencies and scientists pointed out that the tubes were not suitable for that purpose.
We remember Rafid Ahmed Alwan al-Janabi, “Curveball,” and Ahmed Chalabi who feed your administration the lies it wanted to hear, and we remember the millions of taxpayer dollars paid for the lies.
We remember that no weapons of mass destruction were found in Iraq.
We remember that you exploited our brave comrades in arms by sending them to fight an unnecessary war. As a result, nearly 5000 brave American soldiers died and thousands more were wounded both physically and psychologically.
We remember the lives you have destroyed.
We remember the hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqi people you killed, wounded and left homeless.
We remember that your war will cost America trillions of dollars as we pay to care for all disabled veterans.
We remember that the Iraq war was a strategic blunder that has made more enemies for the United States than before the invasion.
We remember that your administration authorized torture, tortured people, and “rendered” human beings.
Mr. Bush, you can continue to ride your mountain bike, attend baseball games, set up institutes and libraries and go on with your daily life as if you caused no harm. You may have no shame about the death and destruction you caused, but as veterans who have proudly served our country, we will not forget the evil you have done. We trust that the day will come when you will be held accountable for initiating aggressive war and authorizing torture.
As U.S. Supreme Court Justice, Robert H Jackson, said at the Nuremberg Trials after WWII, “If we can cultivate in the world the idea that aggressive war-making is the way to the prisoner’s dock rather than the way to honors, we will have accomplished something toward making the peace more secure.”
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