10 Years and a Wake-up

On this date 10 years ago (the evening March 19, 2003, here in the USA) the invasion of Iraq began. At that time I supported the war. I was not alone. A Gallup Poll taken right after the war started showed 76% of Americans supported the war.

The Great Falls (MT) Tribune is asking their readers this morning, “Was the Iraq War a mistake?” The answer to that question is really pretty simple: It was a mistake. 10 years ago most folks believed it was the right thing to do because almost everyone believed Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction and they feared he would use them.

It’s OK to Monday morning quarterback the Iraq War to prevent us from repeating those mistakes.

It seemed almost everywhere we looked back then someone was beating the war drum to take out Saddam Hussein – both Democrats and Republicans – and it became a slippery slope. Around 40 governments participated (in some capacity) in the Iraq War.

For some reason the checks and balances that normally strangle our government (and other governments) failed. It’s interesting to watch some of the news networks today playing clips of politicians from both parties saying in 2003 that we needed to take Saddam Hussein out.  Continue reading

Thursday Numbers

Welcome to another edition of Thursday Numbers here at The Western Word!  Congratulations are in order because you’ve almost made it to another weekend.

For the new folks dropping by for the first time, Thursday Numbers is where I take a look at the numbers behind the news and provide some “Western Word” commentary with them.  This information can be used to amaze your friends, family, and co-workers.  People have been known to be cooler to their friends, family, and co-workers after reading (and using) this information.

This week I take a look at the numbers dealing with the Iraq War, unemployment, Christmas cards, winning, distracted driving, network contracts, followers, ages, debates, playing with the band, and a lot more.   Continue reading

Tired

“Americans have grown tired of the wars. While we support the troops, we’re tired of seeing flags flown at half-staff in honor of our fallen. We’re tired of seeing maimed young men and women rebuilding their lives. We’re tired of hearing about IEDs. We’re just tired and we’re sad that so much of our treasure has been used up in Iraq and Afghanistan.”

There won’t be a landing on an aircraft carrier tonight nor will there be a “Mission Accomplished” sign behind President Obama when he gives his speech tonight (6:00 p.m. Mountain time) from the newly-remodeled oval office.

But really, part of the mission is accomplished.

President Obama will speak about major combat operations ending in Iraq. Obama was against this war when it was not “cool” to be against this war. Even after the United States was in it neck deep, he did not support the surge that ultimately led to the United States to be able to withdraw our combat troops. It will be interesting to see if he gives any credit to former President George Bush for where we are today. Since politics play a role in everything, I doubt it.

Americans have grown tired of the wars. While we support the troops, we’re tired of seeing flags flown at half-staff in honor of our fallen. We’re tired of seeing maimed young men and women rebuilding their lives. We’re tired of hearing about IEDs. We’re just tired and we’re sad that so much of our treasure has been used up in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Long wars with 24 hour media coverage can tire a whole nation. Continue reading