I admit, I was wrong

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The head of the Iraq Survey Group, Charles Duelfer, released their final 1,000 page report today about WMD in Iraq. The report concluded that no evidence existed which could confirm that Saddam had stockpiles of WMD after 1991. Also, Iraq's nuclear capabilites were deteriorating. The report emphasized that Saddam had intentions of rebuilding chemical and biological agents but this is purely speculative in my judgement. For many this report merely confirms the deep mistrust dissenters had about the US-led invasion in 2003. Over 1,000 American and allied soldiers have since the invasion began. Nearly 20,000 Iraqis have died. The CIA has confirmed that our intelligience data was inconclusive to prosecute Iraq based on the non-existence of WMD. The dissenters were correct.

The Bush White House, led by the President, Vice-President, NS Advisor, Sec Def & Sec of State must be held accountable for this misguided and strategic failure in foreign policy. For me personally, this report is the last straw. The premise of going to war was based on prima facie evidence that Iraq did indeed violate the 17th and final UN Resolution about Iraqi non-compliance. I am no fan of Hans Blix, Kofi Annan and the UN worshippers who dominate the op-ed pages of leading newspapers but they are indeed vindicated by this latest US assessment about the imminent danger Saddam possesed. I still believe that Saddam was a menace to US security interests. He did afterall kill upwards to 20,000 Kurds using banned biological agents. His removal from office is the better option than him remaining. If given the opportunity I have no doubt that he would have attempted to strike against the US.

But, the burden of proof is placed on the prosecutor to show that the threat was credible. Sadly, in this case that burden was not met and the death of US servicemen is an irreversible error for that decision. I was wrong to have believed the pre-2003 reports about WMD. My support for the war has proven costly in more ways than I previously imagined. I cannot in good faith and sound conscience support the Bush-Cheney ticket for re-election. For the first time since 1984 I will not be supporting the GOP nominee for President. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. I have learned an excrutiatingly painful yet valuable lesson about political gamesmanship. But, the Holy Writ is always true - "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart and lean not on thine own understanding" Proverbs 3:5. My understanding ultimately betrayed me and for that I acknowledge my error and I'm truly sorry for the costs associated with that fateful decision to go to war. QED

-- Anonymous, October 06, 2004


What do you think is the next step to get the US and Iraq back on track? Do we just leave Iraq or how long do we stay?

-- Anonymous, October 07, 2004

Bill, thank you for sharing your views and your apology. We all are grieving the lost of so many lives. It is equally important for us to remember the Iraqi people also in our prayers, who have lost loved ones, their homes, jobs and so much.

I am proud of our denomination and other denominations that have consistently spoken out against the war. Our Bishop's council had a letter delivered to president bush stating our opposition to the war.

I live in a small town 27,000 people and over half of our young people are fighting in iraq. Kids that went to school with my daughter, kids that I would see every day are fighting this war and dying. It is even more important now that we support our soldiers, for they too have the info of the final report of WMD.

Again Bill, thank you for sharing where you stand now, and I pray that we all fall on our knees and pray that God guides us.

-- Anonymous, October 07, 2004

Thank you Brother Bill for your thread! The lies and deception from this administration are bordering upon the "demonic." Too many lives have been wasted. I have a young member who returned after six months from Iraq with her unit only to be transferred to another unit preparing to go to Iraq this Decemeber! Her tour will be 12-18 months! And for what? As the singer Les McCann would sing in his song "Compared to What": "The President, He's got his war, Folks don't know what they fightin' for. Nobody gives us a rhyme or reason, have one doubt and they call it treason..." The weapons of Mass Destruction are really Weapons of Mass Deception. Sadly, these weapons are found on Pennsylvania Avenue and stretch around a few blocks.

-- Anonymous, October 08, 2004

Bro. Bill, while you stated you would not be supporting the GOP nominee, you did not announce support for the Dem. nominee - and thein lies my dilemma.

The revelations of the past few days are causing me to reconsider, but at present, I cannot in good conscience say that I can support the Dem. nominee either.

Tonight's debate ought to prove interesting - esp. with questions coming in a town meeting format and real people (supposedly) submiting the questions.

Saddam, indeed was a menace and his being deposed is a good thing , but how could the intelligence have been so far wrong? The buck stops where?

-- Anonymous, October 08, 2004

Brother Dickens,

I know you are a man of strong and deep convictions. It is this kind of humility and honesty that sets the AME Board apart from all others.

I'm not AME, but I love God's people. I have a very strong attraction and attachment to this board.

Sister Mary, my mother used to always have say "You've got your hand in the Lion's mouth and you have to slowly get it out." I'm mighty afraid we have set a precident. To leave abruptly could prove disatrous. I remember asking mama, why she said that. She explained to me if you yank it out,your hand will be ripped to shreads. But time and strategy will save the hand.

I'm going to share something that I haven't said to anyone. Remember when they were searching for the DC Sniper.....well, I remember fervently praying (like many, I'm sure)for this to come to a stop. I was even specific, asking that this person/persons be caught so easily that it will be like they gave themselves up. And I remember one morning just knowing God heard the prayers and was going to move quickly. The time seem long while it was happening, but when you stop to think about how long that could have gone on, God moved quickly. After thinking about this, I had to ask myself, if I have fervently prayed for this war to end. My heart has ached, I've cried when I hear about lives being lost, but when I kneel to pray I honestly don't know what to ask for. As bad as it is, I know deep within that God is in control. And I hear "In the fulness of time God....."

There are times I want to be mad at Bush, and then I get reminded of a certain scripture found in Romans 8:11 (According as it is written, God hath given them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear;) unto this day.

And then I am right back to "In the fulness of time God..."

I've learned to pray for our President. Sometimes, what we think he should be seeing, could very well be hidden. Remember the two men on the Emmaus Road. They were talking with Jesus, but KEPT from recognizing him. But just a little talk with Jesus and their eyes were open and could see what they could not. And today we all repeat and some time or another "Did not our hearts burn as He spoke to us by the way."

I tend to give people the benefit of the doubt. So I believe our President has eyes, but does not see, because it is hid. But one day, in the fulness of time, God will make all things known.

-- Anonymous, October 08, 2004

Mary - I believe it is important to support the US mission of bringing stability to Iraq. I do not favor an immediate military withdrawal. Nation building is never easy.

Denise - The AMEC should continue to pray for peace and that our leaders will make sound and ethical decisions. This is what we are called to do as the Body of Christ. I would also add that in addition to directing our concerns about Iraq the AMEC should weigh in on the Federal Marriage Amendment proposal. Do we want to be identified as oppossing gay marriage and also oppossing a Constitutional Amendment to ban gay marriage simply because President Bush supports such a proposal? I'm afraid we are sending mixed signals on this issue.

Ray - When I'm in Chicago I'm going to drive to Milwaukee and we are going to have a sit down dinner (my treat) and after sustentation I will commence to debrief you about how the world really works :-) I will do the same for Mike Barta when I'm in SoCal next year. I owe Barta a National Review subscription.

Larry - You are always insightful and clever. I should've known my silence about who I will be supporting wouldn't slip by you. But since you have "outted" me let me go and say that I won't be supporting the Kerry-Edwards ticket as well. However, if Kerry pulls off the upset and wins at least I can rest that Senator Clinton will not be the Democratic nominee in 2008. I can't stomach a return of the Clintons to the White House. I might have to "leave the country" like Hollywood stars Barbara Striesand and Alex Baldwin said in 2000. Is there an AME church in the Cayman Islands?

Carmen - Don't you have something to share with the MB about a surprise conversation you had recently :-)

To All - Many Thanks !!! QED

-- Anonymous, October 08, 2004

Bro. Bill, I am heartened to learn that you will not be voting for Kerry-Edwards; you had me a bit frightened for a moment.

Re the debate -- NOT THAT WAS A DEBATE! I loved the format and especially that the questions came from the audience. There was a lot more give and take and not much name calling, but if I hear GWB say, "the wrong war..." one more time, I will scream!. He repeated the mantra at least three times in the first debate, and I heard it only once this time, but I did not see the entire debate.

I wonder what would have happened with Iraq had Clinton been able to serve the past four years and had the same intelligence that GWB received and trusting it to be valid.

Although Kerry now says he would have handled it differently, I don't trust him enough to believe that we would not be at war with Iraq. Yes, it started with Afganistan and Afganistan is headed towards stability and are now having elections. THAT mission has essentially been accomplished...and with time, we will be able to say the same about Iraq.

I would not be too hasty to dismiss the current administration because of decisions made on faulty data. We all make (or try to) make dicision based upon the information we have, but what else can we do if someone who we trust give us faulty information or intelligence?

-- Anonymous, October 09, 2004

I don't recall seeing any AME churches in (or on - never too sure how to refer to islands) Grand Cayman,but it's a nice place to spend time and not too hard to get around as long as you can deal with the fact they drive "on the wrong side of the road".

Sitting in the shade on the beach and munching on mangoes -- "it don't get much better than that".

There are AME churches not far away in Jamaica, but then there's those pesky hurricanes that can interrupt a nice dinner of curried goat. Yummmm! too bad I can't find it around here.

-- Anonymous, October 09, 2004

It appears that the truth is finally coming to light concerning Iraq. Too bad it comes with such a high price!

-- Anonymous, October 09, 2004

Now Bill,

Am I honestly supposed to be naive enough to believe that in a General Election you will be abstaining or fail to vote? Or that given the present strength and status of a third-party candidate, that you will waste your vote on one of them, Mickey Mouse or Donald Duck?

Since you have stated you will not, in good faith, be supporting the Republican Candidate, it is my logical conclusion that, like myself, only one choice is left for you. So, on November 2nd I suspect that like myself you will cast your vote for the Democratic Candidate.

-- Anonymous, October 10, 2004

Sorry...Bro Bill,

I was out and haven't read the board in a few days. Yes I did get a surprise God from Mr. "QED". I found out I don't have to be so terribly afraid and intimated. :-)

-- Anonymous, October 12, 2004

Dear Brother Bill,

If only Goerge Herbert Walker Bush had the courage and moral fortitude that you possess and admit his mistakes, rather than compouding them by inventing yet another specious reason for invading Iraq.

One verse of "America the Beautiful" asks God to "mend our every flaw." I pray that George Bush will see his flaws, acknowledge them and take steps to mend the damage and havoc he has created.

Be blessed.

A. Williams

-- Anonymous, October 12, 2004

To A.D. Williams:

Amen and amen!

-- Anonymous, October 12, 2004

Perhaps, I'm still a bit intimidated. I have know ideal why "GOD" was in that post. LOL

-- Anonymous, October 12, 2004

Are you sure you mean George H W Bush - Bush 41?

The current president is George W Bush - Bush 43.

-- Anonymous, October 13, 2004

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