Iraq calculated with fuzzy math | VailDaily.com
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Iraq calculated with fuzzy math

Tom Boyd

It’s rare that I’ll delve into national politics, and with good reason. As a writer for a small weekly newspaper, it’s not my job to stay abreast of everything that’s going on in the greater United States. I’m certainly not breaking any news in that category, nor am I sitting down with a notebook and a world leader anytime soon.But there are a few issues that I feel comfortable talking about not because I’m more informed than anybody else, but because this is a democracy, and there are certain issues that every citizen should have a well-informed opinion on.Still, I was overwhelmed at the response to my latest column (“Same war, new excuses” Jan. 9, http://www.vailtrail.com).Since we live in such a conservative county, I was expecting a flood of commentary condemning my steadfast belief that the Bush administration purposefully misled the American people into war nearly a year ago.Or, at least, I thought I might have a 50/50 response, a la my column condemning the unconstitutional elements of the USA Patriot Act.But I have received something like 30 phone calls and letters to date, and every single one has been in support of my views. Not a single reader has voiced disagreement with what I have written.I attribute that to two things:1) Many of those who support the war do so without formulating a cohesive argument, choosing instead to back the nation and the Bush administration as a sort of default to forming a real opinion. These are the folks who tend to tackle opposing sentiment with a prepared set of meaningless slanders, including but not limited to: “What a liberal whacko,” “How would he like it if some towel head killed HIS family,” “America would be a lot stronger without people like him,” etc… So we can assume that these people didn’t make it past the third paragraph, nor did they muster the requisite energy it takes to call in or write a letter.2) It’s hard to argue with what I said.Now that the war is over, there are certainly some things in the works that appear to be in America’s favor. All that is fine, but that doesn’t change the fact that the Bush administration has lost my trust, and the trust of millions like me.Maybe it’s just me, but I think our president should have taken a closer look at his intelligence reports before he rushed into this war, because war is a very serious matter (although it may not feel like it from inside our cozy borders). I mean, if we take a quick look at the larger picture, it certainly appears that we’ve killed about 8,000 Iraqi citizens in response to the death of 3,000 of ours.Sounds like fuzzy math to me. You can’t just do that and say, “Oops, sorry folks, we had some bad intelligence on this one, but everything turned out OK, so don’t sweat it, just give us a few hundred billion dollars and we’ll take care of the rest.”As patriots, we want so badly for America’s might to be right, and we point to progress made with Syria, Iran and Libya as evidence that we’re doing the right thing. But I imagine it’s pretty hard to sell this argument to the relatives and loved ones of the Iraqi dead, especially since none of them had anything to do with the 9/11 attacks, and since they didn’t have any WMDs, and since evidence was released Jan. 14 that Saddam warned his people to be wary of collaborating with other Arab fighters.But let’s get to the real point here, which is this: people in America need to come to grips with the fact that there is a great amount of responsibility involved in being a citizen of the most powerful nation in the world. Before we get back to enjoying the bounty of this land (skiing, going to movies, reading magazines, strolling through our massive supermarkets), we have a duty to form an opinion on these issues.And the important thing isn’t what your opinion is.The important thing is that you form one.Tom Boyd is always available. Call him at (970) 390-1585 or write him at tboyd@vailtrail.com. This isn’t Tipsline, so don’t forget to say who you are and where you’re from.


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