Monday, August 15, 2005

Answering the Unanswerable

Left Blogistan is aflame with Cindy Sheehan and her vigil outside the President's ranch. All she wants is for the President to give her an answer to the question: "what noble cause did my son die for?"

Except that's not really the question, is it?

I mean, come on. We're all adults here, right? There's a thousand answers to that question. Take your pick. Oil. Power. Corruption. Distraction from domestic issues. Some combination of those.

No, the real question here is, "why did we, the American people, elect someone like you who would surround himself with sycophants and ideologues? Men and women who would advise you to embark on this fool's errand and sacrifice my son's (and 2000+ others') life for (as it's becoming more and more apparent) nothing?"

That's the question that Cindy Sheehan is really asking, though even she may not know it. It's not surprising to me that the President refuses to answer it. After all, he's the one who got elected.

It's an obvious non-starter. Whatever answer he gives, it's going to be cast in a bad light. And as prone as he is to public speaking mishaps, I think it's probably best that he not meet with Sheehan. I can just imagine his fumbling reply to her question. For myself, I think he truly believed what his advisers were telling him. I don't know the President well enough to say that he purposely went into a cabinet meeting and on his own initiative said "guys, we're going to get Saddam and I don't care how you do it, make it happen." Without proof, I'm not going to subscribe to the pleasing narrative that the Vice President asked him to do it so he could shuffle some business towards his old company.

No, I don't think we can blame the administration, any more than you can blame the scorpion for doing what's in its nature. We have only ourselves to blame for this. We, the American people, elected these people as our government with full knowledge of their ideologies and at least tacit approval of them. In fact, we approved of them so much that we elected them twice. We returned majorities in Congress in support of their policies, and it's likely that we'll do so again.

So there's my answer to Cindy Sheehan, which she will never get from this President. Your son died because the people we elected believed that invading Iraq and ordering its society as we wished was the right thing to do. In my opinion, we made a mistake. But in the majority of Americans' opinions, we did not.

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