---- — To the editor:
Tapan Battacharjee’s letter of Sept. 22, inaptly titled, “War in Iraq was amply justified,” is a prime example of historical impotence and complete distortion of the facts. One study identified 935 false pre-war statements made to gain support for an unnecessary war that diverted resources from the fight against al-Qaida and the Taliban in Afghanistan and clearly damaged our global standing.
The idea to invade Iraq started in 1997 when a group of neo-cons led by Richard Perle, Paul Wolfowitz, Donald Rumsfeld, Bill Krystal, John Bolton, et al., established a PAC for the expressed purpose of quelling any threat to Arab neighbors and the sources of oil. The PAC operating under the the title Project for a New American Century presented the notion of invading Iraq to President Clinton, who intelligently demurred. Now move forward to G. W. Bush, who upon being elected adopted the idea of invading Iraq as attested to by Paul O’Neil, secretary of the treasury, who wrote in his book that at a cabinet meeting on the third day of his presidency, Bush asked for a plan to invade Iraq.
Sadly, 9/11 gave Bush a chance to implicate Saddam Hussein, and the fountain of lies began to flow profusely. As is the wont of the various agencies that provide intelligence, it is not the first time that deception was used to support the commander-in-chief’s policies. Consider the chances of promotion sought. George Tenet, CIA head, was instrumental in preparing the lies that ruined the career of the highly respected Colin Powell, whose presentation before the United Nations was a mass of deceit.
Mr. Battarcharjee makes excuses for Bush, who ignored several briefings that Osama bin Laden planned to attack America, even as each warning became more dire and contained more specificity. And he should realize the damage done to America in lives, limbs and largesse to remove a dictator who was little threat to America for the sake of spreading our power around the world, as conceived by neo-cons.
Tapan, liberals are not blindsided. You disprove your whole letter when you say that despite all the money we have spent to rebuild Iraq, it now favors China and Russia. Does that not destroy your argument that “the Iraq War was a great achievement for America”?