Americans Deserve a Profound Apology…

Imagine that you are the parent, or the brother or sister, or the wife, husband or child of a young man or woman killed in Iraq – one of the 138 who died in the march on Baghdad, or one of the 384 who have died there since May 1, when major combat was pronounced over.

Imagine, for that matter, that your loved one is among the almost 3,000 men and women who have been wounded in Iraq since the war began – many of whom will forever bear their horrible injuries as a reminder of where they were and why.

The why of it was torn apart last week.

Now, imagine how appalled the friends and the beloved of Iraq’s casualties must have been last week to hear David Kay, the recently retired chief U.S. weapons inspector in Iraq tell the world, “It turns out we were all wrong.”

Or to hear President Bush – who ordered the war in Iraq on the basis of “wrong” intelligence – changing his story, saying now that it was still a justified war because Saddam Hussein was such a bad guy and just the sort who would have developed and used weapons of mass destruction as only he could have.

Or Sen. John W. Warner of Virginia, the Republican chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, badgering Kay into acknowledging the very remote possibility that some day, somewhere, someone just may find evidence that Iraq had some sort of weapons program to justify the invasion and the cost in American lives and resources.

Or Vice President Dick Cheney still handing out the baloney about some trailers found in Iraq being tied to production of weapons of mass destruction even though Kay and all others have said it isn’t so.

Imagine how the loved ones of the dead may feel as they watch the spectacle of political jockeying over who should take the blame for a war being started on the basis of flawed intelligence, over whether there will be an investigation, and over the effect the timing of such an investigation may have on Bush’s campaign to get himself re-elected.

If I were such a parent, or spouse, or child, or wounded soldier, I expect my fury would be visceral and overwhelming. I would not let these men forget what they had done to my family. Blood is on their hands.

Indeed.

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