Scars that won’t heal

Dear Editor:

The letter by Frieda Wallison, chairwoman of the Pitkin County Republican Party, defending the presence of Paul Wolfowitz, the main architect of the illegal Iraq War, at the recent Winter Sports Clinic for Disabled Veterans, has forced me to speak up (“Wolfowitz undeserving of writers’ scorn,” April 9, The Aspen Times).

Wolfowitz, as one of the main perpetrators of the ear, is undoubtedly deserving of the scorn and shame of the American people. As deputy secretary of defense, he and the Bush cabal, including his arrogant boss, Donald Rumsfeld, and lackey Condi Rice, led this country into an unnecessary 10-year travesty resulting in untold suffering for our soldiers and the American people in general. They took us into war based upon wishful thinking and bald-faced lies that Saddam Hussein harbored al-Qaida and weapons of mass destruction.

How soon Americans forget. Well, I will never forget their crimes. To quote from an article in the March issue of Harper’s Magazine by Andrew J. Bacevich titled, “A Letter to Paul Wolfowitz on the Tenth Anniversary of Iraq War”: “Imagine – you must have done so many times – if that notorious mission accomplished banner had accurately portrayed the situation on the ground in Iraq in May 2003. Imagine if U.S. forces had achieved a clean, decisive victory. Imagine that the famous (if staged) photo of Saddam’s statue in Baghdad’s Al Firdos Square being pulled down had actually presaged a rapid transition to a pro-American liberal democracy, just as your friend Ahmed Chalabi had promised. Imagine if none of the ensuing horrors and disappointments had occurred: the insurgency; Fallujah and Abu Ghraib; thousands of American lives lost and damaged; at least 125,000 Iraqis killed, and some 3 million others exiled or displaced; more than a trillion dollars squandered.”

How can the misery and suffering as a result of their arrogant ambitions and lies to advance American power be measured? I find his presence in the valley sickening, as well as the former visits of Rove and Rice in previous years. And to appear at a benefit for wounded American soldiers? Is this the idea of a wealthy Republican’s sick joke? Does anyone else see the depressing irony in all of this?

Also from the “letter” by Bacevich in Harper’s, “To be sure, whatever you might choose to say, you’ll be vilified, as Robert McNamara was vilified when he broke his long silence and admitted that he’d been ‘wrong, terribly wrong’ about Vietnam. But help us learn the lessons of Iraq so that we might extract from it something of value in return for all the sacrifices made there. Forgive me for saying so, but you owe it to your country.”

Personally, I feel very strongly and sincerely that the Bush cabal, especially Dick Cheney and Wolfowitz, should be tried for crimes of treason against the United States of America for taking us into a 10-year war based on lies. They are war criminals in the true sense of the word and should be tried as such.

John Franz

Glenwood Springs


Foodstuff: What are you doing for New Year’s Eve?

It’s almost time to ring in the new year and if your holiday schedule is shaping up to be as packed as mine, I wish you a well-deserved rest in 2024. In the meantime, it’s our chance to party, and party we shall.

See more