While doing some background reading online about Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy (a movie I found aesthetically pleasing but dramatically unsatisfying), I came across this Jan. 2003 article John le Carré wrote for The Times of London at the dawn of the Iraq War, entitled (appropriately enough), "The United States of America Has Gone Mad."
The spy novelist wrote, " How Bush and his junta succeeded in deflecting America's anger from bin Laden to Saddam Hussein is one of the great public relations conjuring tricks of history. But they swung it. A recent poll tells us that one in two Americans now believe Saddam was responsible for the attack on the World Trade Centre. But the American public is not merely being misled. It is being browbeaten and kept in a state of ignorance and fear. The carefully orchestrated neurosis should carry Bush and his fellow conspirators nicely into the next election. Those who are not with Mr Bush are against him. Worse, they are with the enemy. Which is odd, because I'm dead against Bush, but I would love to see Saddam's downfall - just not on Bush's terms and not by his methods. And not under the banner of such outrageous hypocrisy. "
Fast forward nine years later.
Last Thursday, Timothy Egan wrote an article for the New York Times, calling for better treatment of veterans: "Of late, the polls show that more than 60 percent of Americans think both the Iraq and Afghanistan wars were not worth the costs in blood and money... A Pew poll last fall found that only a third of all people who served in Iraq or Afghanistan said the wars were worth it... Bush is retired, playing golf and watching baseball. Dick Cheney is still giving speeches justifying the enormous deception of the Iraq debacle. In the meantime, there is a larger consequence at home, the veterans next door — those 2.3 million men and women who served in one of the two wars. They will be trying to live with the horrors they saw and felt for the rest of their lives, perhaps another 60 or 70 years... The wars will cost at least $2.4 trillion through 2017, according to a Congressional Budget Office estimate, which includes interest for borrowed money."