Burning Bush

Illustration by Bob AulIn 2002, U.S. Congressman Doug Bereuter (R-Nebraska) voted for a House resolution that authorized the president to invade Iraq. But in an Aug. 18 letter to his constituents, the retiring 26-year representative, who is a senior member of the House International Relations Committee and vice chairman of the Select Committee on Intelligence, admitted, “Retrospectively, now that the inadequate intelligence and faulty conclusions are being revealed, that all things being considered, it was a mistake to launch that military action, especially without a broad and engaged international coalition. The cost in casualties is already large and growing, and the immediate and long-term financial costs are incredible. Our country's reputation around the world has never been lower, and our alliances are weakened. From the beginning of the conflict, it was doubtful that we for long would be seen as liberators, but instead increasingly as an occupying force. Now we are immersed in a dangerous, costly mess and there is no easy and quick way to end our responsibilities in Iraq without creating bigger future problems in the region and, in general, in the Muslim world.”

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