Iraq war backers must admit our errors

first_imgBACK during the early 1990s, when the puppet regimes of the Soviet bloc collapsed in rapid succession, there was a bewildering silence from the liberal Western punditry. The once-vitriolic critics of Ronald Reagan – who warned he would lead us into nuclear war, who said communism was here to stay and must be accommodated – refused to acknowledge their error. Now as we approach the fourth anniversary of the invasion of Iraq – which I loudly, even obnoxiously, supported – I can sympathize with the anti-Cold Warriors’ reluctance to admit being wrong about the pre-eminent issue of the day. There’s no longer any denying the war was a mistake. Although the Bush administration long insisted that things were going quite well in Iraq, even the administration now concedes there are serious problems. Thus, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld’s resignation and the need for a “surge” to stave off total disaster. To be sure, the world is in some important ways better off without Saddam Hussein. And I still hold hope, based on recent, midsurge reports, that the situation in Iraq may stabilize. Moreover, I fail to see how the U.S. could possibly withdraw anytime soon without handing a massive victory to our enemies or abandoning our allies to slaughter. No, the real reason for my poor judgment – and, I suspect, that of many others – has less to do with defects in our leaders’ thinking or character than with defects in our own. As a Catholic, I believe as a matter of reason and faith that the church’s “just war” criteria are the best standards by which to decide if military action is morally legitimate. Those criteria are that “the damage inflicted by the aggressor on the nation or community of nations must be lasting, grave and certain; all other means of putting an end to it must have been shown to be impractical or ineffective; there must be serious prospects of success; (and) the use of arms must not produce evils and disorders graver than the evil to be eliminated.” Although I once thought the war met those standards, with the benefit of hindsight, it becomes all too clear that I was rationalizing my ideological, pro-military inclinations, as well as an urgent need to do something – anything – about the Islamist threat that so wickedly announced itself on Sept. 11, 2001. The danger Saddam ostensibly posed may have been “lasting” and “grave,” but it was far from “certain.” Even if he did have WMDs, there was no solid reason to conclude – as I and others did – that he was likely to pass them on to terrorists. After all, in a decade he had seemingly never done so before. And while it’s fair to say that peaceful means for dealing with Hussein had proved ineffective – witness the long litany of ignored U.N. resolutions – I overestimated our “prospects of success” while underestimating the “evils and disorders” that would follow Saddam’s ouster. The seminal military event of my youth was not Vietnam, but the first Gulf War – which, coupled with the likes of Grenada, Panama and the initial, apparently easy victory in Afghanistan – led me to a foolish belief in the invincibility of American forces. I also placed far too much stock in the universal appeal of American ideals – never mind the obvious, off-putting excesses of American culture. Some of these errors were predictable, others less so. Because of my own political prejudices, I failed to take seriously the war’s critics, let alone to truly question leaders whom I perceived to be on “my side” of the ideological divide. (Little did I know these leaders would go on to embrace a horrific wink-and-nod policy on torture.) The reason I catalog these errors now is not just because it’s important to own up to one’s mistakes, but also because they weren’t mine alone. The invasion, lest anyone forget, had broad public support and received overwhelming bipartisan congressional approval. There’s a valuable lesson to be learned here about the perils of ideology and letting passion override prudence. But there’s no joy in admitting one’s intellectual mistakes or moral shortcomings. That’s all the more true in the case of Iraq, where heroes and innocents have paid the price in blood for others’ shamefully bad judgment, mine included. Chris Weinkopf is the Daily News’ editorial-page editor. Write to him by e-mail at [email protected] 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Yet neither the slim reed of hope that still exists in Iraq, nor our obligation to stay there for the time being, can justify the decision to invade in the first place. It’s tempting, as some erstwhile invasion backers have done, to blame my one-time support on others. For liberals, the most popular dodge is to claim that President Bush lied about Hussein’s nonexistent WMD stockpile. For conservatives, the typical excuse is that, even though the war was a great idea, Bush and Co. botched its execution. Either way, fault lies entirely with the administration and not at all with those of us who cheered its policies. I don’t buy it. For one, there’s no credible evidence that Bush lied about the weapons of mass destruction. All the world’s intelligence agencies and the United Nations believed Saddam still possessed more of the WMDs he had used a decade earlier. That suspicion was only bolstered by the long-standing cat-and-mouse game he played with U.N. weapons inspectors. In retrospect, that suspicion was wrong, but it was entirely reasonable, given what we knew at the time. As for the incompetence argument, to paraphrase Rumsfeld: You go to war with the administration you have, not the administration you wish you had. Implicit in anyone’s support of the war was the belief that those in charge were up to the job of executing it. If they weren’t, we supporters share responsibility for a misplaced confidence. last_img read more

Mustafa late goal saves Gor KCB blushes

first_imgA sensational brace from Bolton Omwenga had seen KCB go 3-0 up adding on to Martin Nderitu’s goal. However, Samuel Onyango and Harun Shakava scored to give a 3-2 deficit at half time before Mustafa completed the comeback.Omwenga must have surely been up late on Wednesday night, watching Barcelona’s Lionel Messi destroy Liverpool in the UEFA Champions League semi-final at the Camp Nou if his first goal against Gor was anything to go by.The left back struck a sensational brace, one off a sumptuous freekick from 35 yards out while his second was with an audacious goal from 50 yards.So tense were the closing minutes that Gor boss Hassan Oktay and his KCB counterpart Frank Ouna pushed and shoved as they headed to the tunnel.Ouna had gone to the referees to complain of Gor’s second goal which had traces of offside while Oktay followed him up, shouting him down at the centre of the pitch. With Oktay shouting, Ouna kept his cool and only smiled as he walked away.Gor Mahia head coach Hassan Oktay shoves aside his KCB counterpart Frank Ouna at halftime during their Kenyan Premier League clash at the Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos on May 2, 2019. PHOTO/Timothy OlobuluIf anyone had asked for drama and thrill, then the opening 45 served the exact same menu.KCB scored a sensational three within nine minutes as the defending champions were stunned and equally punished for an out of sorts start that didn’t show desire nor urge to win.Nderitu opened the scoring in the 24th minute, side footing the ball to the far post after Gor delayed in making a clearance.Four minutes later, KCB were 2-0 up in sensational fashion. Omwenga stood over a freekick from 35 yards out, carefully studied keeper Shabaan Odhoji’s positioning and tearing a page off Lionel Messi’s rule book struck a belter that swung into the top left of the keeper’s goal.If his first was a clip off Messi’s collection, then his second and KCB’s third was amasterpiece. The former Kariobangi Sharks left back cited Odhoji a few paces off his line and from the halfway line struck a curling effort that dipped in behind the keeper.KCB players celebrate Bolton Omwenga’s goal during their Kenyan Premier League clash against Gor Mahia at the Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos on May 2, 2019. PHOTO/Timothy OlobuluKCB were in dreamland. Hassan Oktay on the Gor Mahia bench was getting red in anger. He had not seen his side as shambolic as they had been.But, he was handed some hope when Shakava headed home after 37 minutes connecting to a Samwel Onyango corner.Immediately, Oktay summoned the changes, the ineffective Erisa  Ssekisambu and Hashim Ssempala, whose best contribution was a freekick that was parried away for a corner, were both called out. In their place, Oktay threw in Dennis Oliech and Boniface Omondi.Immediately the changes were effected, Gor started playing more like a team, more like the league leaders they are. Their passing and work ethic improved and they posed more of a danger to the bankers.Six minutes to the break, Zamu Adisa in the KCB goal was called into a save punching away a low shot from Onyango who had been set up by Oliech. Three minutes later, Rwandese international Gabriel Mugabo cleared off the line after Francis Mustafa’s effort from a tight angle beat the keeper.KCB striker Benson Amianda shields the ball away from Gor Mahia’s Philemon Otieno during their Kenyan Premier League clash against Gor Mahia at the Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos on May 2, 2019. PHOTO/Timothy OlobuluAt the stroke of halftime, the champions scored their second. Onyango’s curling effort from inside the box after a short start to a corner was dummied by Mustafa and the ball rolled into the bottom left corner with keeper Adisa left dazed.In the second half, Gor went on the offensive, seeing that an opportunity to get back into the game and possibly get a winner was well within their reach.They should have gone level just five minutes in but Onyango couldn’t get a strong connection to an Omondi cross.Oktay threw in his last dice, bringing in Jacques Tuyisenge for Nicholas Kipkurui.Gor kept the search, pressed the bankers in their own half and sought an equalizer. Mustafa came close on the hour mark but his shot from the edge of the box was deflected and missed the target by a whisker.In the 75th minute, they shoud have drawn level when keeper Adisa gifted Mustafa with an easy spill off a Tuyisenge cross, but the Burundian forward’s header wasn’t strong enough towards goal.On the turn, KCB should have buried the game from a counter, but Nderitu was selfish on the ball, choosing to go for goal himself from a tight angle when his teammates were better placed.However, Mustafa volleyed home and KCB were made to pay in the last minute of the game.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000KCB left back Bolton Omwenga vies for the ball with Gor Mahia’s Boniface Omondi during their Kenyan Premier League match at the Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos on May 2, 2019. PHOTO/Timothy OlobuluMACHAKOS, Kenya, May 1 – Francis Mustafa scored a late equalizer in the last minute of added time as Kenyan Premier League champions Gor Mahia came from three goals down to draw 3-3 with KCB in a thrilling encounter at the Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos.Mustafa swung in the equalizer with virtually the last touch of the game, his strong volley coming off the upright and into the net as Gor completed their comeback, going seven points clear on top of the standings.last_img read more

Tottenham nearly signed Liverpool sensation, reveals Sherwood

first_img Liverpool’s Raheem Sterling 1 Aston Villa boss Tim Sherwood has revealed he tried to sign Raheem Sterling for Tottenham when he was working with the youth team there.Sterling came through the ranks at Queens Park Rangers, but he was snapped up by Liverpool in 2010 for a fee which could reach £5million.However, Sherwood has now revealed how he attempted to bring the talented winger to White Hart Lane while he was working with Spurs’ youth setup.“He’s [Sterling] a great talent, a good guy as well. I have known him since he was a young boy,” said Sherwood.“He’s got a real winner’s mentality and he is one we have to watch [on Sunday] and show a lot of respect to.“Everyone knew about Raheem when he was at Queens Park Rangers and people made efforts to try and get him.“Liverpool were the fortunate ones. I am not sure Tottenham wanted to send the money that was asked at the time, but I think he has possibly made the correct decision there because he has gone to a club with a manager who wants to give him an opportunity to play.”last_img read more

A’s Sean Murphy has surgery on troublesome left knee

first_img Former Oakland A’s lefty Brett Anderson finds new home with … What A’s winter ball performances can tell us about the second base race A’s catcher Sean Murphy struggled with knee injuries throughout most of 2019 before his eventual call-up in September. He had two stints on the injured list.Thursday, Murphy had a successful lateral meniscal debridement procedure on his left knee performed by Dr. Thomas Carter in Phoenix, Arizona.Related Articleslast_img

From Emperors to Monarchs….

first_imgIf lion is king, and penguin is emperor, who would have thought a dainty insect would be monarch?  EurekAlert posted a story earlier this month too good to pass up: monarch butterflies follow the light – ultraviolet light – to their breeding grounds.  Scientists at Hebrew University, working with monarchs in a specially-designed flight simulator (see 05/09/2005, 07/09/2002), found that UV light was the key to keeping them on course.  But that’s not all: “Further probing revealed a key wiring connection between the light-detecting navigation sensors in the butterfly’s eye and its brain clock,” the article states.  “Thus, it was shown that input from two interconnected systems – UV light detection in the eye and the biological clock in the brain – together guide the butterflies ‘straight and true’ to their destination at the appointed times in their two-month migration over thousands of miles/kilometers” (emphasis added).  Think how tiny a butterfly brain is to store that kind of programming.(Visited 6 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Coach That John Calipari Confronted About Cheating Allegations May Be Cincinnati’s Mick Cronin

first_imgJohn Calipari wearing a Kentucky pullover while pointing with his left hand.ARLINGTON, TX – APRIL 04: Head coach John Calipari of the Kentucky Wildcats points while the Wildcats practice ahead of the 2014 NCAA Men’s Final Four at AT&T Stadium on April 4, 2014 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) kentucky basketball jones calipari kidd-gilchrist teagueTwitter/@tneelOn Tuesday night, we shared a clip from Gary Parrish’s radio show, in which he told a story about John Calipari accosting a fellow coach over recruiting allegations. Kentucky Sports Radio has look further into things, and as it turns out, this story might not be a new one. KSR’s Drew Franklin found an old story from Parrish in 2010, that is largely the same as the one he told this week. The coach in question? Cincinnati’s Mick Cronin.Parrish noted that Calipari will let people know when he has problems with others and he liked the fact that he is up front. He told a story about a confrontation Calipari had with Cincinnati Coach Mick Cronin after he heard Cronin had told some associates that he didnt understand how he could go to every game for a kid and then Calipari could come in at the last minute and take him (presumably Marquis Teague). Calipari heard the comment, went to Cronin and basically said “you have to go see all the kid’s games…I can sit back and decide which kid I want and come and get them.”While we’re not totally sure that Cronin was the example given again, it does seem like this is the same story. It’d probably be hard for Calipari to get away with using the same rant too many times. This is probably not something Cincinnati basketball fans want to be reminded of too often, though.last_img read more

Football Dwayne Haskins selected as No 15 overall pick by Washington in

Ohio State redshirt sophomore quarterback Dwayne Haskins (7) calls out a play in the first half of the Rose Bowl Game featuring Ohio State and Washington. Ohio State won 28-23. Credit: Casey Cascaldo | Photo EditorFor the first time since Art Schlichter in 1982, an Ohio State quarterback was selected in the first round of the NFL draft.Former Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins has been selected with the No. 15 pick in the first round of the 2019 NFL draft by the Washington Redskins.Haskins was the second Buckeye taken in the draft, after former defensive end Nick Bosa went No. 2 overall to San Francisco 49ers. He’s the first Ohio State quarterback to be drafted since Cardale Jones was picked in the fourth round by the Buffalo Bills in 2016.Haskins is the first first-round selection hailing from the Big Ten since Kerry Collins was selected No. 5 overall out of Penn State by the Carolina Panthers in 1995. Haskins set Ohio State’s new single-season record for passing yards with 4,831, completion percentage with 70 percent (minimum 100 attempts) and touchdowns with 50, earning an invitation to New York City as a Heisman Trophy finalist. He also set the single-game passing yards record, throwing for 499 against Northwestern in the 2018 Big Ten title game, and tied the record for touchdowns with six on two different occasions.Under Haskins, the Ohio State offense finished No. 2 nationally in yards per game (535.7) and No. 2 in passing yards per game (358.7).Haskins declared for the NFL draft in the weeks following Ohio State’s Rose Bowl win against Washington. read more