9/11 did not cause Iraq war


By Times staff | Tuesday, January 15, 2008

If it involved anything else, we would just laugh. But this Defense Department memo sent by the undersecretary in charge of Reserve and Guard deployment can’t be laughed off. U.S. Rep. Bruce Braley shared the memo, and he wasn’t laughing, either.

In the March 15, 2007, memo, Defense Undersecretary David Chu refers to a new deployment policy for “Reserve component members ordered to active duty in response to the World Trade Center and Pentagon attacks.”

Even President Bush has abandoned 9/11 as the excuse for the invasion of Iraq. Yet, on an important directive about Reserve deployment, our Department of Defense continued this charade.

Defense Press Officer Lt. Col. Les Melnyk confirmed the error Tuesday and suggested the memo’s subject line was copied from Sept. 20, 2001, and July 19, 2002, memos covering Reserve deployment policy. Perhaps.

But why would our Defense Department make significant changes in the deployment policies, yet retain the same subject line, continuing the same phony excuse for this war?

We doubt a conspiracy. Instead, it seems another reflection on competency. In an effort for rigid military consistency, the undersecretary in charge of reserve deployment began this directive with information that is flat-out wrong.

By now, everyone knows reservists fighting bravely in Iraq weren’t deployed because of 9/11. Perhaps we should send the Defense Department a memo.