#63 Apr 5, 2013
Reflections On a Major Debacle
And the protests against the Iraq war were the largest protests in history.
Yet the politicians plowed ahead with the disastrous war and refused to listen to the facts â¦ or the will of the people.
The Iraq war started 10 years ago. This is a roundup of the facts that have been documented about the debacle in the last decade.
The War Was Planned Long Before 9/11
The American government planned the Iraq war long before 9/11.
Former CIA director George Tenet said that the White House wanted to invade Iraq long before 9/11, and inserted âcrapâ in its justifications for invading Iraq.
Former Treasury Secretary Paul OâNeill â who sat on the National Security Council â also says that Bush planned the Iraq war before 9/11.
Indeed, neoconservatives planned regime change in Iraq â and throughout the Middle East and North Africa â 20 years ago.
Weapons of Mass Destruction and 9/11
Everyone knew that Iraq did not possess weapons of mass destruction (update here).
U.S. officials are guilty of war crimes for using 9/11 as a false justification for the Iraq war. Indeed, the entire torture program was implemented in an attempt to justify the Iraq war.
Saddam allegedly offered to leave Iraq if the U.S. would call off the war â¦ but we refused. We wanted to invade.
The Real Reason
No wonder â¦
As even the top Republican leaders have admitted, the Iraq war was â in fact â for oil - not for us - for corporate profits.
The U.S. engaged in a systematic program of torture in Iraq, which rounded up innocent farmers, reporters, old people and children. People were murdered and sexually abused as part of the torture program.
The American military widely used depleted uranium in Iraq, which can cause cancer and birth defects for decades (see this, this, this, this, this and this).
Chemical weapons were used in Falluja, which greatly increased the rate of birth defects.
The Pentagon sent in one of the main US creators of the death squads in El Salvador to set up paramilitary death squads and torture centers in Iraq.
Iraqis are worse off now than before the Iraq war. Christians are more widely persecuted than under Saddam.
Cost:$5-6 Trillion Dollars
The government claimed that the entire Iraq war would cost $50-60 billion. How much did it really end up costing?
Nobel prize winning economist Joseph Stiglitz estimated in 2008 that the Iraq war could cost America up to $5 trillion dollars.
But a new study by Brown Universityâs Watson Institute for International Studies says the Iraq war costs could exceed $6 trillion, when interest payments are taken into account.
Given that top economists say that war is bad for the economy, the Iraq war is one of the primary reasons for our current economic problems.
The War Has Hurt Americaâs National Security
National security experts â including both hawks and doves â agree that waging war against Iraq and other Middle Eastern countries has weakened Americaâs national security and increased terrorism risks
#64 Apr 5, 2013
âLittle America,â by Rajiv Chandrasekaran
Rajiv Chandrasekaran has done it again. Like âImperial Life in the Emerald City,â his chronicle of Washingtonâs hapless management of the Iraq war in its early days,âLittle Americaâ is a beautifully written and deeply reported account of how a divided United States government and its dysfunctional bureaucracy have foiled American efforts abroad, this time to suppress the Taliban insurgency and bring stability to Afghanistan.
It tells a story of political foibles, overly ambitious goals and feckless Afghans and Americans. The United States seems condemned to lurch between disastrous quick fixes and unrealistic visions of remaking countries overnight in its own image, never finding a middle road. No doubt most readers of this book will come away with the conclusion that our principal enemy in all this is ourselves.
Chandrasekaran takes his title from an earlier effort to help Afghanistan. In the 1950s the Afghan king set out to bring prosperity to the rural southern region of his country through a huge development project supported by Afghan and American money. The construction giant Morrison Knudsen built a Little America enclave for engineers, workers and their families, complete with a swimming pool and card parties.
In a telling vignette, Chandrasekaran recounts a riot that erupted in Kandahar when the conservative Pashtun elders found out that Afghan girls were being taught alongside boys in schools the Americans had built. The elders violently rejected this form of progress, but ultimately it was the land itself that thwarted the program: the salinity of the soil wrought havoc with most crops.
#65 Apr 5, 2013
Yes, Right Wingers are "bored" by remembrance of the death and wounding of thousands of American troops.
Why, actually remembering the dead, wounded, and disabled American troops caused by Right Wing ignorance interferes with their pretending to care.
#66 Apr 5, 2013
No, we are bored by listening to the same Libtard bullshit over and over and over again. Damn, get a life and quit acting so friggin foolish all the time!
#67 Apr 6, 2013
Please - Never expect a Right Winger to accept personal responsibility for anything or in any way be accountable for their actions.
Now they have to rewrite history to cover for their $5 Trillions Dollar Iraq War debacle
No Regrets: Three Iraq War Architects Celebrate 10-Year Anniversary
By Ben Armbruster on Mar 19, 2013 at 2:02 pm
âIâm waiting for the architects of those policies to get up and say it didnât work, but itâs tough to expect that because they never articulated what the hell they were doing.â
This is what conservative activist Grover Norquist in a piece published today on what the anniversary of the Iraq war means for the Republican Party and foreign policy.
But Norquist hit on an important point. While a majority of Americans â and indeed the rest of the world â know and have recognized:
- that the Iraq war was a complete debacle that never should have taken place, and
- those who dreamed of taking down Saddam Hussein long before 9/11 and cooked up the intelligence to make it happen either refuse to find any fault in the overall decision to invade Iraq in 2003 or their role in it.
Today, the warâs top architects seized the 10-year anniversary to play some historical defense. Donald Rumsfeld, George W. Bushâs Defense Secretary famous for painting a rosy picture about the war that bore no relation to reality, patted himself on the back for helping liberate Iraq:
How liberating is it for the tens of thousands of Iraqis, including civilians, who were killed as a result of the war?
Do the millions of Iraqis who are now refugees or internally displaced feel liberated.
What about a 5 Trillion Dollar price tag.
And as NBC News notes today, Iraq âis considered one of the most corrupt in the world, and many of the improvements promised have not materialized.
Key Iraq war architect Paul Wolfowitz - in perhaps the most egregious example of todayâs Iraq war architect self-congratulation said:
âIf the war in Iraq had actually ended when we got to Baghdad, it would have been counted an historic victory,â he says in a FoxNews.com column, regretting: If only it wasnât for that pesky insurgency. On that point, Wolfowitz blames other Bush administration officials â not himself of course.
The fact is that no matter the evidence showing that the Iraq war wasnât worth the cost, those who got the United States into arguably the worst foreign policy blunder in American history will most likely never admit it wasnât the right thing to do.
#68 Apr 6, 2013
You think that left wing nutjobs accept responsibility for anything?? All they do is blame somebody else when things go bad and stand around waiting for government handouts!
#69 Apr 6, 2013
Hey, War Supporters
by Thomas E. Woods, Jr.
There's no delicate way to say this, but to supporters of the Iraq war I have a little message. All together now, people: you were scammed.
No "weapons of mass destruction" have been found. None.
Some of us figured as much, since the rationale for the war kept changing so frequently. And when the search for these weapons was carried out in such a lackluster manner, one had to assume the administration wasn't really worried about them.
Some people will believe administration propaganda no matter what.
Some supporters of the war will doubtless plead, "But, butâ¦that's what Hannity and Limbaugh told me to think!"
Well, it's time now to start doing your own thinking, since Hannity and Limbaugh wouldn't know conservatism if it punched them in the face.
Moreover, the likelihood increases with each passing day that Iraq will, whether we like it or not, wind up an Islamic state.
Crusades for democracy are in no sense "conservative"; the very fact that this needs to be pointed out is something of a barometer of conservative thought at the moment.
It is in the nature of the state to want to keep its people permanently mesmerized by some terrible dictator somewhere.("Ethel, did you hear he used weapons of mass destruction against his own people?")
There are plenty of monsters ruling African nations right now. Anyone care to depose them all? To the brainwashed among us, of whom there are many, try to think: do you suppose that would lead to more stability or less?
To peddle this silly campaign of installing democracy by force, you would have to impugn the patriotism of every early American leader, from Washington to Jefferson to Hamilton to John Quincy Adams to Henry Clay. Every one of them considered it dangerous utopianism to suggest that the United States should right the wrongs of the world (as if the matter were that simple in the first place, a point which the aftermath of the most recent conflict should be bringing home if anyone were paying attention).
Meanwhile, Afghanistan, another example of goodness and light being brought to a benighted people, continues to degenerate into chaos. But for people even to remember Afghanistan, they'd have to have an attention span longer than ten minutes.
"Didn't people know that Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11?"
The easily suggestible among us were carried away by the carefully worded insinuations of the Bush Administration."
"So you mean the patriotism of many decent Americans was exploited and taken advantage of by government officials whose motives couldn't possibly have had anything to do with âweapons of mass destruction' or any of this other nonsense?" Duh.
"And hatred of the U.S. grew to an all-time high." "Indeed."
"And there were people foolish enough to denounce as âunpatriotic' those who had warned that this would happen?"
"Believe it or not, there were."
"And people who called themselves conservative considered this a glorious event? They think conservatism means ignorant, bungling belligerence, and that considerations of diplomacy or their country's image around the world are the stuff of carping liberals?"
Good thing the neocons have no sense of history, or they'd worry about this: in the decades to come, fewer and fewer people will be able to hear about the Iraq war without snickering and shaking their heads.
#70 Apr 8, 2013
...Ney also gained notoriety when he mandated, as Chairman of the House Administration Committee, that "french fries" be renamed "freedom fries" on House of Representatives food service menus, to indicate displeasure with France's lack of support for the 2003 invasion of Iraq.
#71 Apr 9, 2013
Damn French - how dare they outsmart the Right Wing Wackos and avoid wasting Trillions in a war that when you succeeded - could only make your enemy stronger.
I don't know which is worse - Right Wing stupidity getting us into the Iraq War, or the fact that Americans were dumber than the French.
#72 Apr 9, 2013
10 years later- where are they now :
Here's a look back at some of the people who made headlines during the war.
Then: Lynch, a 20-year-old private first class in the U.S. Army, was a prisoner of war who became a celebrity after American troops filmed her rescue in April 2003. She returned home to a hero's welcome and was awarded the Bronze Star. A television movie, "Saving Jessica Lynch," aired in November 2003.
Now: Lynch is out of the Army, and she recently earned a college degree in elementary education. In 2007, she told a House committee that the military lied about her capture. She said she had been billed as a "little girl Rambo" who went down fighting when her convoy was ambushed. "It was not true," she said. "The truth is always more heroic than the hype."
Lynch has a young daughter, Dakota Ann, who is named in honor of Lori Ann Piestewa, Lynch's best friend who was killed in the ambush. In a 2011 interview with CNN, Lynch said the injuries she suffered in Iraq still affect her and that she wears a leg brace. She had undergone 20 surgeries and expected more to come.
Then: A Shiite cleric with an intensely loyal following in Iraq, al-Sadr has long been one of the country's leading voices of anti-American sentiment. He and his Mehdi Army clashed frequently with coalition forces in the first few years of the war.
Now: Al-Sadr disbanded the Mehdi Army in 2008, announcing that it would instead be a movement to oppose secularism and Western thought. His political bloc has become a kingmaker in Iraqi politics: Its 39 members of Iraq's parliament were key to Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's winning a second term in 2010.
#73 Apr 9, 2013
10 years later- where are they now :
IO still living in s. florida where he belongs, and paying taxes like he should but still has a dream of socialism for America. Has a bad case of class envy, wishes he lived in france. Likes french toast and liquor. Hates christians but uses the bible as any good socialist does to try and make good people feel guilty for not supporting his socialism. Also still investing in government bonds cause that's the only investment he knows.
Bored living the good life in the mountains of N. Georgia, not working, living off his good investments, paying his taxes like a good citizen and bemoaning supporting the likes of those who promote socialism. Does not eat french toast or like anything french. Believes IO is high strung, has excitable personality, and given to extreme re=postings of same oh, same oh stuff which really is very boring. Believes IO has no creative ideas or subject to change, and lives in a rut.
#74 Apr 9, 2013
'Little girl Rambo' decries US propaganda
guardian.co.uk, Tuesday 24 April 2007 13.15 EDT
The former US private Jessica Lynch today condemned what she said were Pentagon efforts to turn her into a "little girl Rambo", and accused military chiefs of using "elaborate tales" to try to make her into a hero of the Iraq war.
Speaking at a congressional hearing on the use of misleading information, an emotional Ms Lynch described how she suffered horrific injuries when her vehicle was hit by a rocket near the Iraqi town of Nasiriya in March 2003, killing several of her companions.
The US military has come under criticism for allegedly spinning stories from Iraq and Afghanistan. The hearing is also looking at the case of the American football star-turned-solider Pat Tillman, who died in a friendly fire incident in Afghanistan in 2004.
The Pentagon initially put out the story that Private Lynch - a slight woman who was just 19 at the time - had been wounded by Iraqi gunfire but kept fighting until her ammunition ran out. In fact, her gun had jammed and she did not fire a shot.
...Initial reports also suggested that Ms Lynch had been abused after she came round in the hospital. She said the reports were lies: she had been treated well and the Iraqis had tried to return her to US forces.
"The nurses tried to soothe me and return me," she told the hearing, adding that she objected to the way in which the US military had portrayed her.
"American people don't need to be told elaborate tales" about US forces, she said.
#75 Apr 9, 2013
Bored - a "never contributed" hypocrite specializing in slurping up all the government money and benefits he can, enjoying Socialist Security, Socialist Medicare, a pension insured by Socialist government insurance, bank accounts insured by Socialist government insurance, sent his kids to Socialist public schools, and using Socialist college loans, and now busily placing his assets in a trust so that at his advanced age so that Socialist Medicaid and the taxpayers will pay for his nursing home, greedily sponging off working Americans, and never stopping his whining when asked to pay his fair share.
Informed Opinion - Happy, successful, retired Law Enforcement Officer,(with a nice pension thank you), who is married to a gorgeous, wonderful wife, and who served his country on three continents, attorney and businessman with investments in Florida, Georgia, and Central America, happy to pay his share to keep America safe and to assure a decent quality of life for today's and tomorrow's Americans.
Hey, bragging like a Right Wing Wacko is fun !
#76 Apr 9, 2013
Hans Blix (U.N. weapons inspector)
Called out of retirement in 2000 by the United Nations to determine whether Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction (WMDs), the former head of the International Atomic Energy Agency headed U.N. teams that from 2002 went into Iraq to search for evidence.
Blix correctly reported to the U.N. that Iraq neither possessed WMDs or the means to produce them.
When the U.S. in 2005 acknowledged that Iraq had no WMDs, Blix, who had been much criticized by Republicans was largely vindicated.
By this time, however, he had already been retired for two years, returning to his native Sweden, where he lives in Stockholm with his wife, Eva.
In 2003, he was awarded the Olof Palme Prize â given to people judged to have furthered peace and human rights.
In 2003 Blix became chairman of the Weapons of Mass Destruction Commission (WMDC), an independent body funded by the Swedish government and based in Stockholm.
It presented a report in 2006 with proposals to reduce threats from weapons of mass destruction.
In 2004, Blix published a book,âDisarming Iraq,â in which he gives his account of the events and inspections before the United States and its allies began its invasion.
In an interview in February 2004, Blix accused the U.S. and British governments of dramatizing the WMD threat as they strengthened the case for the Iraq war.
Blix, who also was Swedenâs foreign minister in the 1970s, delivers occasional lectures and has become a frequent commentator on the situation in Iraq as well as the tensions over Iranâs nuclear ambitions.
#77 Apr 9, 2013
IO - Makes up big stories to feel good. Has no friends and cries on topix. Has a little government pension, with a 1/2 of 1% savings account and still wonders where does the money go?
Sill has to work for a living, can't afford retirement on measly law enforcement retirement. Thinks he's Chesty Puller with a big stick but is only a little kid with a twig. A radical socialist with potential heart problems from an over excitable nervous system.
Bored - lives the good life from investments, does not need S.S. or medicare, but will surely take it when the time comes. Has good health, like vegan and does not eat socialist food.
#78 Apr 11, 2013
Veterans for Peace has just released the following statement:
With the 10-year anniversary of the invasion of Iraq behind us, the task lies before us of preventing the next one.
The Iraq war, like all wars, was launched on the basis of false answers to false questions. We are now being told to ask whether Iran or Syria has weapons, as though possession of weapons were grounds for bombing a nation, and as if we've learned nothing.
The Iraq war, like all wars, was launched by people who wanted war. War is never the last resort. We are now being told that war with Iran must come, and the best we can do is delay it. But this next war is being chosen, and it is not too late to make a different choice.
U.S. support for brutal human rights abuses in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, increased CIA operations in Iraq, and threats made against Iran in violation of the U.N. Charter, all make U.S. statements about concern for the lives of Syrians ring false.
The degradation of human rights in Iraq and Afghanistan under U.S. occupation make claims that concern for women or homosexuals motivate missile strikes incredible.
The ongoing U.S. military presence and increased drone strikes in Western Asia work against prospects for peace. And, fundamentally, the decision of the Obama Administration and the U.S. Congress to pursue various possibilities for war, but none for peace, makes war far more likely.
The Iraq war, like all wars, was far more damaging than we have been told. U.S. deaths, over 4,000, have been a national disaster. Veterans with traumatic brain injuries, post traumatic stress disorder, and major depression number in the hundreds of thousands. But U.S. deaths are 0.3% of the deaths. By the most scientifically respected studies available, we know that Operation Iraqi Liberation (its original name) killed 1.4 million Iraqis, above the extremely high death rate of 2003, which followed the worst sanctions in modern history and the longest bombing campaign.
That's 5.4% of the Iraqi population killed, a higher percentage and a higher number than the United States lost in its Civil War, or than Japan, France, the U.K. or the U.S. lost in World War II.*
Former speech writers, pundits, museums, and text book writers are beautifying the war. Former President George W. Bush is about to be honored at the opening of his library (which protesters are calling the Lie Bury). It's our job to make sure that awareness of lies about war is not buried. It's all of our responsibility to speak to our friends and neighbors about past wars until future wars become unthinkable.
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#79 Apr 11, 2013
Vets For Peace Calls for Impeachment of Obama for War Crimes
John Walsh, September 13, 2011
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Veterans for Peace (VFP), a progressive organization if ever there was one, took the courageous step of voting for the impeachment of President Barack H. Obama for war crimes at its annual national convention in Portland Oregon in August. The resolution, which called on Congress to immediately begin impeachment proceedings, passed with a majority vote. If you did not read of this, you are a victim of the gatekeepers on the Left and the usual censorship of the mainstream media.
The resolution sounds the death knell for the view that advocates of Obamas impeachment are no more than Right wing, Racist Birthers.
#80 Apr 12, 2013
Just goes to show how crazy Right Wing Wackos are when they claim Obama is a Leeeeeeeeeeeberaal, when he's only slightly less Right Wing than Bush.
Maybe now we'll stop hearing all that idiotic Leeeeeeeeeeeeberaal garbage and we'll all just acknowledge Obama is Bush - with a tan and a brain.
Try Bush, Cheney, and Obama all together to save time and money.
Tweedle dumbest, Tweedle Evilest, and Tweedle Dum can all face an international court together.
Oh wait ... We're Americans - we have the biggest War Department - so we're "exceptional".
#81 Apr 12, 2013
I wonder where the majority would lay on advocating for Obama Impeachment: Right wing Racist Birthers OR Left wing Liberal Commie Progressives.
Some may find this of interest:
VFP Interim Director, Mike Ferner Corrects Errors in John Walsh's Counterpunch Article
September 12, 2011
To the Counterpunch Editor:
I just read the Counterpunch article by John Walsh re: the resolution passed at the August VFP convention to impeach Obama. Some of his facts are wrong and the record needs to be set straight....
#82 Apr 12, 2013
It's a little early to be having a meltdown ain't it.
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