One of the safest and surest pieces you can do as a reporter is an anniversary retrospective. And there certainly have been a lot of them in the last few days as we mark three years since the invasion of Iraq. What's one more?
Three years ago we began a war where we were hailed as heroes entering Baghdad, flowers strewn at our soldiers as they dismantled the weapons of mass destruction that Saddam used to terrorize his population. With Saddam gone, terror wilted and Iraqi democracy flowered in the glow of a rebuilding effort financed by Iraqi oil sales.
Where do I begin?
About the only thing the same as it ever was is the attitude of W and his boys -- they are right and you'll go to your grave knowing they believe it. Lies, distortions, miscalculations -- along with torture, a lost focus on the real terrorists residing in the Pakistan mountains and a shredding of trust and respect for Americans just 3 1/2 years after 9-11.
But surely things are better at home, right? The compassionate conservative administration has used the budget surplus to reward hard-working Americans with tax relief while improving education, health care (particularly for the aged). They've protected citizens for natural disasters and responded quickly and efficiently when Mother Nature lashed out all the while defending the environment.
At the same time, our "uniter, not a divider" has presided over a cool and rationale debate over American values, installed judges who don't make the law but interpret it. Our citizens are safe from government intrusion in their personal lives -- except in unusual circumstances where judges look at the facts and authorize surveillance.
And of course, the Red State-Blue State divide has been eliminated, thanks in large part to a thoughtful and hard-working Congress and its ethical, incorruptible leadership.
Congressional motions of censure -- and weak-willed Democrats too afraid to stand up for anything -- can't change what the military boys like to call the reality on the ground. Our honor, morals, values, civil liberties and reputation is in tatters, not to mention our budget, our social safety net and the good-natured bipartisan spirit that guided this country through past crises,
Happy Anniversary to you, W, Deadeye, Rummie and the gang. You sure must be proud of what you have accomplished. I'm sure history will treat you well -- assuming Iran doesn't trigger World War III despite your measured, temperate rhetoric.