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Examiner
  • Jerry Plantz: The drums of war grow louder

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  • Along with Iraq and Afghanistan, Ukraine has suddenly become a local concern with the warning from the Ukrainian foreign minister that the chance of war is growing.
    We wonder, along with thousands of Ukraine Americans in the greater Kansas City area, “Not another war with American involvement?”
    Yet, there are war hawks and jingoists looking for a war rallying cry while denouncing President Obama’s effective, unprecedented, diplomatic, peaceful, economic sanctions approach.
    As the Ukraine tinderbox gets hotter, let’s go back in time with data from Infoplease.com and Dailykos.com.
    As you read this newspaper today, 11 years ago to the date, Operation Iraqi Freedom was a week old and American troops were approximately 50 miles from Baghdad.
    We went to war to find and destroy weapons of mass destruction before they became, as President Bush warned, the smoking gun “in the form of a mushroom cloud.”
    And who can forget Secretary of State Colin Powell speaking before the United Nations, “My colleagues, every statement I make today is backed up by sources, solid sources. These are not assertions. What we’re giving you are facts and conclusions based on solid intelligence.”
    Despite Iraq submitting a 12,000-page declaration denying it had banned weapons, President Bush took the nation to war on Iraq on March 19, 2003.
    By April 9, Baghdad fell and on July 22 Saddam Hussein’s sons, Uday and Qusay, died in a firefight in Mosul. Dictator Saddam Hussein was later captured hiding in a hole near his hometown of Tikrit. He surrendered without a fight and was later hanged.
    Six years later, and still no mission accomplished, Vice President Cheney remained unmoved in an interview with ABC News reporter Martha Raddatz.
    Raddatz: “Two-thirds of Americans say it’s not worth fighting.”
    Cheney: “So?”
    Martha Raddatz: “So? You don’t care what the American people think?”
    Cheney: “No. I think you cannot be blown off course by the fluctuations in the public opinion polls.”
    Our troops are gone from Iraq, but territorial religious infighting has resumed. Our cost: billions of dollars, 4,423 American lives, 31,942 wounded and hundreds of thousands of civilians killed or wounded.
    Those war advocates, who admit America seems to be weary of war, just need a rallying cry.
    Does America really want war with Russia? Then there would be mushroom clouds.
    I give you President John Adams’ toast: Independence forever.
    Jerry Plantz lives in Lee’s Summit. His website is at www.Jerryplantz.com. Reach him at jerryplantz@msn.com.

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