My Conversion. Ten Years Later.

Many people, especially relatives of mine, are curious as to why I'm a liberal. I've explained (ad nauseum) why I continue to be one, but what was the catalyst that quite literally changed me into one? I was a conservative through high school. I mean, I read Bill O'Reilly's original "Factor" book for goodness sakes! So WHAT HAPPENED?

We're approaching the 10 year anniversary.

For starters, 10 years ago today Dick Cheney went on Meet The Press and said, "My belief is we will, in fact, be greeted as liberators." (actually, he said that twice in the conversation).

Pay attention to the next few months. You'll see a number of stories about Iraq "Ten Years On."

Ten years after Colin Powell's decisive (and, shamefully, almost entirely untrue) presentation to the UN.
Ten years after 'Shock & Awe.'
Ten years after we brought down that Saddam statue.
Ten years after investigators really, definitively didn't find any WMD.
Ten years after we took our eye off the ball in Afghanistan and lost track of America's Most Wanted #1.
Ten years after we punted on providing security to the conquered city of Baghdad, allowing that nation to devolve into a civil war.
No! An Insurgency! No! The Insurgency is in its last throes! No! The violence is subsiding!

and on...
and on...
and on...

Ten years ago the Republican Party perpetrated an unprecedented act of fraud on the American People. Despite serious dissent within the intelligence establishment, the Bush Administration (with the complicity of the media) presented only often shaky, often misleading, often disproven, often demonstrably false "evidence" to the American people. Evidence that they knew would provide them with the public opinion opening to march this nation's young men and women in uniform into a poorly planned, poorly executed illegal occupation of a country that posed no immediate threat to the United States.

Ten years later we have spent nearly $812 Billion (yes, that's billion, with a 'B') Dollars in Iraq.

Ten years later and 4488 Americans have been killed and official tallies report over 32,000 have been injured. Unofficial tallies put that latter number in the range of six digits, and neither of those figures adequately enumerate the damage to families, to lives, to psyches, to communities, or to individuals.

I simply see absolutely no way to reconcile this atrocity, and it is an atrocity, with the rest of the Republican Party platform. They support fiscal responsibility unless it's spending over three quarters of a trillion dollars on a war...on credit? They support families, except for the families of those being shipped off to this Middle East meat grinder? They are pro-life unless that life was born in a region of the U.S. where the best viable career option is the military, or unless that life was born in the Middle East anywhere at all? They are strong on national security, unless it's winning us countless new enemies while destabilizing a region while simultaneously ceasing to strategize properly for one war and failing to begin to strategize properly for a second?

This is a party of absolutely no credibility.

Ten years later, and the fact that those responsible for selling this sham to us are not in shackles is unconscionable. That many of them continue to have influence in government, politics, and national security policy is intolerable. That some of these same people are now telling us that Iran is actively seeking to build a nuclear weapon to attach Israel or the United States and so we must act, and act soon against that nation is beyond outrageous.

In fact, there is no evidence that Tehran is seeking a nuclear weapon.
**Note: Every single word in the above sentence links to a DIFFERENT article or report asserting this fact.**

So why am I a liberal? Simply: because conservatives lied to us and sent us into a completely unnecessary and (ten years later) unending war, and if you're paying attention, you might notice that they're right now doing it again.

Think I'm kidding?

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