dubya and his cronies are incompetent and lie, among other things. The meme is out there and gaining ground in “middle America”.

The Sunday morning Kansas City Star can sometimes contain some surprising opinion writing.

C.W. Guswelle is a popular columnist in the paper. A long while back, in April before the 2004 election, he wrote a jaw dropping piece:

I’m ashamed to say it, but I almost cannot bear to read each morning’s news from the war, or look at the photographs – images of vehicles on fire, of wrecked buildings, and of American soldiers and Iraqi civilians carrying their dead and wounded away.

In the first half of my newspaper life I traveled to a few nasty places, saw some dreadful things. That has been a long time ago. And I’m glad to be done with it.

Wars are news, I know. And so is politics. But there are plenty of other people writing politics. I do it reluctantly. And I am not sorry to have reached an age at which journalists are not asked to cover wars.

But I can’t escape what fills the columns of the morning papers….

….So I do not linger long over the day’s news. I read as much of it as I am able, then put it aside, although as I’ve said I’m ashamed of doing it. But the truth is, I have worse than that to be ashamed of.

I’m ashamed of believing that Saddam Hussein was worth the price of this thing we’re now caught up in.

And ashamed of my credulity in believing the false reasons given for undertaking it.

I’m ashamed of the suffering our mistakes have cost, and of the way in which we have so cavalierly alienated our friends and allies in the world.

I’m ashamed of having accepted, so willingly, the illusions about how this operation would end, when it is now clear the architects of it themselves had no understanding of the difficulty and no sensible plan.

All this is hindsight now. There’s no remedy for the regret. Except as a guide for the future, regret is useless. There’s but one constructive thing left to do, and I will do it again when the opportunity presents itself.

I will vote.

There’s a way to ease the shame arising from the Iraq debacle
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Today, he’s done it again:

Military recruiters’ latest mission: Leave no schoolchild behind

Usually it pays to read the fine print….

….As a young man, I served two years on active duty in the infantry, and I am proud of that service. However that was in the middle 1950s, at a time between two wars…

…What I am against is sending men and women unprepared and ill-equipped into a war undertaken on false premises. I am against a leadership that so grotesquely miscalculated the capacities of the enemy, that it is incapable of conceding its own errors….

….When one of my own daughters was still in high school, a recruiting piece came in the mail, telling of the splendid benefits she would receive if she were to consider a tour of duty…

….that was long before Iraq. Before the “mission accomplished” spectacle on the deck of the aircraft carrier. Before the daily car bombings and the beheadings and the ever-growing body count…

…[recruitment] letters like that one addressed to our daughter – letters addressed to children – show up in mailboxes today. But they are no joke anymore.

They are cries of desperation from the architects of a mistaken and mismanaged adventure

C.W. Gusewelle in the Kansas City Star, Sunday, June 5, 2005
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