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Democracy! Whisky! Sexy!

Ah, remember the good old days back in 2003 when every right wing blog in the country was proudly reciting that phrase? There was Dean Esmay, and Instapundit, and I recall that even James Lileks was flaunting it on the sidebar to his web page. We had invaded Iraq, and we were victorious, and the cute adorable Iraqis loved America and were asking for all the things we loved in their charming broken English.

It made me wanna puke. It was patronizing colonialism all over again, with every chickenhawk proudly patting themselves on the back for a ‘victory’ gained in bloodshed and destruction.

They aren’t saying it so much any more.

It’s ten years later. The invasion failed to bring democracy or whisky to Iraq, and no, it certainly wasn’t sexy. It was damned expensive: almost 4500 US dead and 32,000 wounded, and so many dead Iraqi civilians, on the order of hundreds of thousands, that every time the topic comes up the right-wingers still start squealing that all the numbers are wrong, no matter what they are.

Eventually, the U.S. spent $60 billion to rebuild Iraq and the special inspector general estimated in its report that at least $8 billion of it might have been wasted. The Pentagon estimates that the long-term U.S. military presence in Iraq cost $728 billion.

It makes me sick every time I consider it, so just go read Charles Pierce’s commentary on the war.

This is the one event on which the country’s chronic historical amnesia cannot be allowed to bring itself into play. The country was lied into a war by a raft of criminals, greedheads, and geopolitical fantasts. These latter were enabled by a cowardly political opposition and a largely supine elite press. Hans Blix was right. Paul Wolfowitz was wrong. Robert Fisk was right. David Frum was wrong. The McClatchy guys were right. The late Tim Russert was wrong. Eric Shinseki was right, and Anthony Zinni was right, and Joe Wilson was right, and George Packer, Michael O’Hanlon, and Richard Perle were all wrong. George H.W. Bush was right (in 1989) and his useless son was stupid and wrong. There is no absolution available to any of the people who helped the country down into this epic political and military disaster no matter how lachrymose their apologies or how slick their arguments.

George W. Bush should spend the rest of his days dogged by regiments of wounded veterans. Richard Cheney should be afflicted at all hours by the howls of widows and of mothers who have lost sons and daughters. Colin Powell — and his pal, MSNBC star Lawrence Wilkerson — should shut the hell up about how sorry they are and go off to a monastery somewhere to do penance for what they didn’t have the balls to try and stop. This catastrophe killed more actual people than it killed the careers of the people who planned it and cheered it on. We should all be ashamed. And we’re not.

None of the people who perpetrated this long national nightmare have ever suffered any consequences for it. They still idle languidly in wealth and respect, drawing encomiums and hefty speaking fees from the extremist think tanks that all also promoted the war. George Bush paints pictures of dogs that he cheerily signs with his presidential number. Meanwhile, Bradley Manning is tortured for their sins.

Every one of those goddamned pro-war media pundits ought to be rounded up and stuffed in Manning’s cell, while he is released. The establishment politicians — Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice — who lied us into this destructive debacle deserve worse, and it makes me question the wisdom of our Constitution’s prohibition of cruel and unusual punishment, because every day they should be doused in buckets of blood and forced to walk a gauntlet of war widows throwing offal at them. Monsters, every one.

Democracy. Whisky. Sexy. That phrase should fill us with shame.

Comments

  1. eoleen says

    … and what makes ME really sick is that Bush43, DickyBoy, dear old Rummy, and Condy Riceball GOT AWAY WITH IT!!! They should all be serving long terms in the slammer for war crimes…

  2. Ichthyic says

    George H.W. Bush was right (in 1989) and his useless son was stupid and wrong

    FWIW, I still recall the 60 minutes episode during the republican primary where the senior Bush told America NOT to vote for his son in the primaries, that they would not like him.

  3. zibble says

    @2 eoleen
    The chance for this to happen was in the 2008 Democratic Party primaries. We could have picked a person of real character and principle, and in the wave of anti-Republican anti-Bush sentiment at the time, they would have been elected.

    Instead, the DP went with the amoral social-climber charlatan that is Obama who, on behalf of all the people wronged in the Iraq war, forgave the previous administration for its sins (as if he had the right).

    It’s disgusting how clearly Obama would rather associate with the moral and intellectual failures behind this horrible, dismal catastrophe of foreign policy rather than the unsophisticated “rabble” who were right about the war, right about the economy, right about social issues, fucking right about everything, over and over again.

  4. mikeyb says

    Just think, we have the golden opportunity to live through our national amnesia for a third time- Jeb Bush III who could lead us to an even more pointless future war with Iran in order to top the Iraq I and II wars of GHWimp and GWarmongerer respectively. For a bonus perhaps Wall Street could destroy the economy again for a second strait time at the taxpayers expense. Wouldn’t that be just like America.

  5. raven says

    Just think, we have the golden opportunity to live through our national amnesia for a third time-

    Fourth time.

    I and the other Boomers have already lived through the Vietnam war and have never forgotten it.

    Unlike the worthless chickenhawks of the Bush Disaster. We learned some expensive lessons from Vietnam. Which the GOP leadership completely ignored.

  6. Michael says

    I remember watching the U.S. news, and being amazed at how the media was failing your country. My reaction when the government announced they were invading Iraq and would remove Saddam Hussein was “Are you nuts? Do you know how expensive it would be to remove a government and then set up a new one, not to mention the unnecessary deaths in the war?”. What I found more amazing was that the media never seemed to ask about the exit strategy. It was all rush in now and worry about the consequences later.

  7. says

    I have first-hand experience on how people deal with the loss of a family member in a benighted war like Iraq. One of my cousins enlisted in the Army. Off he went to Iraq. A roadside IED killed him. For most of my family this proved that Iraq was a noble cause and George W. Bush a great leader and liberator. How could it be otherwise? To argue to the contrary was to imply that my cousin’s life was sacrificed in vain in a massive screw-up. Surely that cannot be. (There was yelling and angry tears. Now we are careful not to talk about it.)

  8. mythbri says

    “It was much better to imagine men in some smokey room somewhere, made mad and cynical by privilege and power, plotting over brandy. You had to cling to this sort of image, because if you didn’t then you might have to face the fact that bad things happened because ordinary people, the kind who brushed the dog and told the children bed time stories, were capable of then going out and doing horrible things to other ordinary people. It was so much easier to blame it on Them. It was bleakly depressing to think that They were Us. If it was Them, then nothing was anyone’s fault. If it was Us, then what did that make Me? After all, I’m one of Us. I must be. I’ve certainly never thought of myself as one of Them. No one ever thinks of themselves as one of Them. We’re always one of Us. It’s Them that do the bad things.”

    “It is a long-cherished tradition among a certain type of military thinker that huge casualties are the main thing. If they are on the other side then this is a valuable bonus.”

    –Terry Pratchett, Jingo

    “There are hardly any excesses of the most crazed psychopath that cannot easily be duplicated by a normal kindly family man who just comes in to work every day and has a job to do.”

    “The figures looked more or less human. And they were engaged in religion. You could tell by the knives (it’s not murder if you do it for a god).”

    –Terry Pratchett, Small Gods

  9. mythbri says

    @Zeno

    I’m sorry for your loss. My cousin’s husband was nearly killed by an IED in Afghanistan. As it was, he lost his leg.

    How could it be otherwise?

    It cannot be otherwise, because otherwise is unthinkable.

  10. raven says

    Off he went to Iraq. A roadside IED killed him. For most of my family this proved that Iraq was a noble cause and George W. Bush a great leader and liberator. How could it be otherwise?

    They are in denial then.

    I lost two friends in Iraq. I can’t say really what all their family members say about Bush. But the few who said anything were raging against him.

    Something like that blows a huge hole in a family. And they never get over it.

  11. says

    Detainees on hunger strike at Guantanamo are “devastated” after their “optimism” was dashed that the military prison would be closed, and are trying to get the issue “back into the media” by starving themselves, the facility’s commanding general has said.

    General John Kelly, the commanding general responsible for the prison, told a congressional committee in Washington on Wednesday that detainees “had great optimism that Guantanamo would be closed. They were devastated apparently … when the president backed off, at least (that’s) their perception of closing the facility.”

    I was “devastated” too after Obama didn’t close Gitmo following his campaign promise in 2008. That’s why I voted for him, after all. I could use a hunger strike. Except, in my case, it’d probably be “a good idea” instead of a protest. :(

  12. bjsurvivor says

    @ Zibble:

    Please refresh my memory, who was the person who would have been a better candidate than Obama? I honestly cannot remember. I was never excited about him, but he was certainly a better choice than any Republican I can ever remember. [Okay, I'll admit that I used to think that McCain, though a conservative with views antithetical to my own, was a patriot who actually cared about this country. I was disabused of that idiotic notion when he chose Caribou Barbie as his running mate, among many other things said and done.]

    I voted for Obama in the last two elections because he was the far lesser of two evils. That is problematic in and of itself, but I just don’t see another feasible way. Voting for a third-party candidate would allow the greater evil to be installed as the leader of this country, and that is not something I can live with, because I have both a uterus and a conscience. I want an end to the electoral college and I want instant run-off voting so that third-party candidates will stand a chance. That’s the only way I can see any end to the current system. But I don’t see how we can get there. Do you have other viable ideas? Because opting to not vote or to vote for third-party candidates means the greater evil wins. As a uterus-having person of color with a conscience, I simply can’t do that.

  13. Ichthyic says

    the thing to do is NOT to wait until the primaries are over and a candidate selected, but to work MUCH earlier, even before the primaries, to help out candidates you think might actually be REAL progressives.

    If you need an organization that tries to keep track of that, you might start here:

    http://www.pdamerica.org/

  14. sundoga says

    Yeah, they’ve gotten away with this. And the US WILL forget. Just like the war against the Moro, or the invasion and occupation of Nicaragua.
    We can only keep the memory alive as long as possible.

  15. Krazinsky, The Red Menace says

    The successful man has thrust himself
    Through the water of the years,
    Reeking wet with mistakes –
    Bloody mistakes;
    Slimed with victories over the lesser,
    A figure thankful on the shore of money.
    Then, with the bones of fools
    He buys silken banners
    Limned with his triumphant face;
    With the skins of wise men
    He buys the trivial bows of all.
    Flesh painted with marrow
    Contributes a coverlet,
    A coverlet for his contented slumber.
    In guiltless ignorance, in ignorant guilt,
    He delivered his secrets to the riven multitude.
    “Thus I defended: Thus I wrought.”
    Complacent, smiling,
    He stands heavily on the dead.
    Erect on a pillar of skulls
    He declaims his trampling of babes;
    Smirking, fat, dripping,
    He makes speech in guiltless ignorance,
    Innocence.

    Stephen Crane, War is Kind, 1899

    My family will always carry the scars of the Iraq war. My eldest brother was the only survivor when his Humvee was hit by an IED, and he has taken a long road to recovery since then. Our story is mild compared to so many others, because he came home. Because, while he will never fully recover, he still has a future. He wears a protective rubber cover over his left forearm, where the burns were the most severe. He will never have full functionality in that arm. That cover is emblazoned with the names of the other members of his unit that died in that Humvee. He came home, but they never will.

    If there is any people, any group I truly hate, it is Bush Jr. and his cronies. They barely suffer shame, when they caused so many to suffer pain and death.

  16. Azuma Hazuki says

    Sometimes I almost wish I were religious in the traditional sense just so I’d know there was a hell these people would burn in. As it is I’d settle for locking them up and breaking their sanity with a constant stream of violent war movies.

  17. unclefrogy says

    there is nothing you can do to them nothing even a fantasy punishment would do any thing at all they feel differently they feel justified in what they did
    and would do it all over again maybe with some small modicum of regret but they would still do it.
    the best thing we can do is not let anyone forget how it was done and “why” it was done and the results for everyone .
    they are still fighting and dieing in Iraq as well as in Afghanistan and will be doing so for some time to come.
    uncle frogy

  18. says

    Arrogant man such as Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld – who see themselves as great men – fear most the judgement of history contextualized by historians. They wish to be remembered as a Cetswayo or Aurelius but are more likely to be a touchstone of failure like a Caligula or Chelmsford; that is all. The meanest of their victims is more deserving of pity.

  19. Ivan says

    Just 6 of 80 billion dollars of reconstruction funds wasted? These guys need serious counceling from our Russian specialists. You should steal 74 of 80, not the other way around.

  20. johnhodges says

    Note to 15 bjsurvivor-
    Election reform is not the main thread. But to break our two-party duopoly, open up the system, we need to overcome two flaws in our present system, gerrymandering and the Spoiler Effect. There are other ways of doing democracy that don’t have these flaws. Gerrymandering is abolished by Proportional Representation (for legislative elections), and the simplest way to abolish the Spoiler Effect is Approval Voting. Instant-runoff voting is a well-meant attempt but it has a systemic flaw of its own, the Center-squeeze effect. See
    http://www.atheistnexus.org/profiles/blogs/upgrading-our-democracy and
    http://www.atheistnexus.org/profiles/blogs/proportional-representation

  21. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    Wolfowitz was on some talking head show the other day still beating the drum. I loathe that man.

  22. travisrm89 says

    True, the administration was wrong about the presence of WMD’s, although it’s up for debate whether or not the evidence at the time pointed in that direction (and it is likely Saddam Hussein would have tried to acquire WMD’s eventually). But even if all the Iraq war accomplished was the removal of Saddam Hussein, then it was worth it. Saddam Hussein committed genocide on a large scale against his own people. That alone warrants removal from power. If we had done nothing, we would be looking back on Saddam Hussein the same way we look back on Rwanda now. We would have regretted it.

  23. Nick Gotts (formerly KG) says

    One contrasting pair Charles Pierce didn’t mention: Richard Dawkins was right. Christopher Hitchens was wrong. I commented at the time that in the UK we had both the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Archatheist of Oxford in the antiwar camp. Not that it made any difference that time – but we need to be ready to yell the point that We were right and you were wrong from the rooftops if and when they start the build-up to an invasion of Syria or Iran.

  24. Ogvorbis says

    Has anyone else noticed that those cheerleading for the war in the press (Faux News was not alone in this) are all still ‘respected news voices’ while those who were right about what a disaster this would be are pretty much gone?

  25. Lofty says

    Ogvorbis, misinformation is both cheaper to produce and more profitable than the truth. Of course Faux News thrives.

  26. Nick Gotts (formerly KG) says

  27. Nick Gotts (formerly KG) says

    I should perhaps have said@29: it’s not “up for debate” among those who are both honest, and reasonably well-informed.

  28. demonhype says

    No time to read the comments, have to go to work right now, but I remember all that “asking for what we love in broken English” crap. I remember them reporting how the local children (who were being given chocolate bars by our soldiers) were telling our soldiers how much they love America and how Saddam is a dog. My father, who came to American in ’56 from Hungary during the revolution and grew up under a Soviet occupation, laughed his ass off at that. He told me that, as a child in an occupied country like that, he and all the other children hated the soldiers and wanted them gone–but if they were handing out goodies, they’d have no problem telling them “oh, yes, communism is wonderful and we love Soviet Russia! Hooray!” He found it amazing, and sad, and hilarious all at the same time that we were so desperate we were trying to justify our BS war (we were some of that tiny anti-war sliver from day one, largely because of my father’s experiences under an occupation) by citing the words of children hoping for candy.

  29. kevinalexander says

    The Pentagon estimates that the long-term U.S. military presence in Iraq cost $728 billion.

    The war earned $728 billions for the people who engineered it. To them it was and is a spectacular success.
    If you combine an ever more sophisticated propaganda machine with an ever more enfeebled education system, both created by the same people, then you have set the stage for the next big pile of money coming in.
    I’m guessing Iran but N Coree looks profitable too.

  30. Gregory Greenwood says

    One of the aspects of my life that I am most ashamed of is that, at the time of the initial Iraq invasion in 2002 and for a while afterwards, I was foolish, naive and blinkered enough to make the cardinal error of giving the Bush and Blair regimes the benefit of the doubt.

    Saddam Hussein is a really nasty piece of work, thought I in my crushing ignorance. Maybe he is allied to extremists factions; maybe there is a genuine threat from a WMD arsenal – surely the government has access to information that the rest of us do not? Surely they must have some good reasons based on hard evidence before they would take such risks, even if we are not privy to it, I comfortably assumed, not yet dreaming how corrupt, manipulative and bloodthirsty the administrations our vaunted democratic systems spit out almost invariably are. I looked on at anti-war protests, thinking they are entitled to their opinion, but I would not be comfortable protesting as they are – Hussein is a known genocidal maniac who has butchered vast numbers of his own people on multiple occasions. I could not take part in protests that would have even the unintended side effect of bolstering such a tyrant’s position in power. My naivity was such that I had no conception that the suffering of the Iraqi people would be far worse under the supposedly ‘gentle’ and ‘humanist’ auspices of the Western ‘armies of liberation’.

    Looking back, I am still horrified to think what an arrogant, self-satisfied idiot I was ten short years ago, but even my smug certitudes of the era were not impervious to doubt. I had my moments when I was dimly aware of the mask slipping. Obviously horrors like Abu Ghuraib and Guantanamo Bay were impossible to ignore, but there was also subtler stuff that disquited my slumber of ignorance – the toxic, nationalistic bombast underpinning mission titles like ‘Operation Enduring Freedom’ in Afghanistan and ‘Operation Iraqi Freedom’ in Iraq.

    The monstrous ‘shock and awe’ policy that showed, with a sick sense of triumphalism and vengeance, night after night of images of a city in flames and rocked by massive explosions – a city full of the very innocent civilians the war was supposedly being fought at least in part to ‘liberate’. Claims of the supposedly infallible accuracy of modern munitions soon proved to be grossly overstated, and I came to see those images in the light of what they truly were – terror raids spreading still largely indescriminate destruction across a civilian population centre. Hardly the act of a compassionate ‘liberator’.

    The extensive use of private military companies who, along with Western soldiers, were treated almost as being above the law.

    The cynical political maneuverings that had brought about the war by means of massaging the facts and then drip feeding them to those like myself who were gullible enough to swallow the lie hook, line and sinker.

    By the time Former President George Bush stood on the deck of an Aircrft Carrier and made his now infamous ‘mission accomplished’ speach I knew that I had been so very much on the wrong side of all this – this was no legitimate war to topple a tyrant, preempt a terrorist group, prevent WMD proliferation and liberate an oppressed people. This had always been about power, territory, oil, Bush’s (and to a lesser degree Blair’s) own messianic delusions of being the red right hand of his god, and above all base greed, and our leaders were more than happy to pay for unfettered access to the reource wealth of Iraq with the blood of that country’s people along with that of the service personnel sent to die in an illegitimate war.

    The addition of lines like ‘Democracy! Whisky! Sexy!’ just served to hammer home the point that the war was being fought for the wrong reasons and was predicated in no small part on outright racism and poisonous neo-colonialism of a type that my country – the UK – of all socities should have been leary of. We have made such terrible mistakes in the past as a culture, with the monstrously oppressive British Empire being the single greatest shame of this nation, and yet is seems that in truth we had learned nothing.

    The war opened my eyes and changed my outlook. I began my journey from being a vaguely milquitost, fuzzy centrist to a progressive liberal, and I learned a most important life lesson – never trust the people in power merely because they are the people in power. Never assume competency, good faith or basic human deceny from government, still less from corporate interests where any whiff of profit is to be had. It shames me that it took horror, destruction and death on such a vast scale to shake me out of my apathy.

    And now I hear Blair not only opining that the horror show of the Iraq war was the ‘right call’ but, emboldened by the supposedly ‘successful’ intervention in Libya (tell that to the people still suffering violence and murder in that country because the new government thinks – usually with no evidence – that they had links to the late Muammar Gaddafi), is now pushing for us to make the same mistakes all over again, this time in Syria. I wonder how many young fools like the me of a decade ago are out there now, wondering if he has a point and telling themsleves the people talking about intervention must have good reasons for advocating that path, even if we are not privy to them’? Hopefully far fewer, with the example of of the Iraq war so fresh in everyone’s mind, and with the Afghan war still ongoing, but I sadly fear that those object lessons will fade from public memory all to quickly, just like so many illegal wars before them.

    Apologies for the lengthy, rambling post.

  31. gardengnome says

    Let’s not forget the toadying arselicker who dragged Australia into the same maelstrom – Bush’s ‘man of steel’ Howard.

  32. Ogvorbis says

    Lofty @ 28:

    Sorry. My bad writing skills on display. I was trying to speak to individuals not organizations. Sorry.

  33. Lofty says

    Ogvorbis, s’cool, I misread your post. The same applies to the cheerleaders, these people are paid well by the warmongers.

  34. Bernard Bumner says

    I should perhaps have said@29: it’s not “up for debate” among those who are both honest, and reasonably well-informed.

    The question of why 1441, as it was formulated, passed muster is still difficult to answer. At the time it was widely seen as progress towards removing the regime, one way or another. It was odd that the non-interventionist states of all colours weren’t able or didn’t want to demonstrate the misleading nature of the evidence being presented.

    I believe that most of those who took us to war did so in the belief that they would find the evidence to support their claims, even when they had to resort to concocting it to make the case for war. This evidence would be the public vindication that masked their secret and private motives for waging the war.

    Having made war and having promised a better future, the biggest scandal was not the invasion, but the aftermath. Profiteers, dangerous ideologues, incompetent strategists, and deluded optimists are just some of the causes of so many dead and the lack of peace. So many people correctly predicted the outcome, but I’m not sure that it was inevitable, given the lists and lists of strategic and tactical failures, the simple errors and lack of planning.

    The inability of the international community to protect civilians from oppressive regimes was not lessened by a horrible failure which will necessarily haunt any future attempts to intervene. Even when that intervention really could save lives.

  35. Jackie, Ms. Paper if ya nasty says

    I met a man last night who’s friend had shot himself the night before. He”d had PTSD from his time in the military.

    Even the people who make it home don’t always survive the war.

    I really want to see Bush, Rummy etc. held accountable.

  36. Trickster Goddess says

    travisrm89:

    But even if all the Iraq war accomplished was the removal of Saddam Hussein, then it was worth it.

    It must be comfortable sitting there in your position of safety and privilege opining that the deaths of hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians was “worth it”. I recall hearing the sentiment expressed before. Oh, yeah, here: http://youtu.be/x4PgpbQfxgo

    And you argue that the US had to kill all those people in order to prevent Saddam from killing them?

    Also, as someone else once pointed out, the Kurds were Saddam’s own people in the same way that the Cherokee were Andrew Jackson’s “own people”.

  37. thumper1990 says

    @Travisrm89

    True, the administration was wrong about the presence of WMD’s, although it’s up for debate whether or not the evidence at the time pointed in that direction

    No it’s not. Either it did or it didn’t. That’s not a debate, that’s a fact.

    (and it is likely Saddam Hussein would have tried to acquire WMD’s eventually)

    Hearsay and speculation.

    But even if all the Iraq war accomplished was the removal of Saddam Hussein, then it was worth it. Saddam Hussein committed genocide on a large scale against his own people. That alone warrants removal from power.

    It doesn’t warrant a war though, does it? If they wanted him removed from power then we send in two people with a big rifle and we take Saddam out, rather than hundreds of thousands of civilians and tens of thousands of soldiers. It is the collateral damage we object to, not the death of Saddam.

    If we had done nothing, we would be looking back on Saddam Hussein the same way we look back on Rwanda now. We would have regretted it.

    That is, admittedly, entirely possible. However, see my above point.

    This, by the way, comes from a man who firmly supported the Iraq invasion because I wanted to see Saddam gone. However, I now see there were better ways. The prosepct of going to war should always be weighed up with a single question: Will this conflict increase or decrease the net amount of misery on this planet in the long run? i.e., will the good accomplished by this outweigh the bad? Looking at the state of Iraq now, I’d say it’s fairly clear that the results do not justify the means.

  38. otranreg says

    Democracy. Whisky. Sexy.

    On a less serious note, this bit has reminded me of Bill Bailey’s ‘Wetlands’ song (starts at 3:00):

  39. Dunc says

    True, the administration was wrong about the presence of WMD’s, although it’s up for debate whether or not the evidence at the time pointed in that direction (and it is likely Saddam Hussein would have tried to acquire WMD’s eventually).

    You do realise that all the internal documentary evidence from the intelligence services of both the US and the UK, not to mention that from UNSCOM, flatly contradicts these assertions? Iraq had no WMD, we knew they had no WMD, we had extensive evidence that they had no WMD, and all the evidence indicated that they had no intention of acquiring WMD.

  40. says

    @bjsurvivor #15 – The problem is that a vote for the lesser of two evils is still a vote for evil. I don’t think it is wrong to wish for a choice that is not evil.

  41. says

    raven #7:

    Unlike the worthless chickenhawks of the Bush Disaster. We learned some expensive lessons from Vietnam. Which the GOP leadership completely ignored.

    Well, hell. Their Vietnam service was pretty swell. Why should this one be any different?

  42. esmith4102 says

    CPAC was filled with these pro-”mr. Bushie boy” miscreants. Too bad the harm done by this idiot wasn’t confined only to those who voted for him; it was felt by everyone else who knew how wrong this war was. Of course, democracy spreads the harm to everyone evenly and the truly guilty, including the CPAC like voter, got off scot-free. We can’t let this happen again and like the political ad by Samuel L. Jackson said: it’s time for America to “Wake the Fuck Up”.

  43. Ing:Intellectual Terrorist "Starting Tonight, People will Whine" says

    ffs. If I tell you my plan is to tear down an old bridge and build a new one and the only thing in my toolbox is dynamite are you dumb enough to believe me?

  44. says

    travisrm89:

    But even if all the Iraq war accomplished was the removal of Saddam Hussein, then it was worth it. Saddam Hussein committed genocide on a large scale against his own people.

    Saddam Hussein killed between 250k – 500k of his own people (not counting the deaths in the Iran-Iraq war). We have killed between 150k – 1M of his people, depending on how you tally — if you count direct violent deaths (which are around the 150K mark), or if you count those who died due to broken infrastructure, like a failed police force and no healthcare and lack of good drinking water and so on.

    Most of Hussein’s killing happened long before the war. If we were so outraged by his murdering of his own people, why didn’t we invade when he fucking did it? Why didn’t we do something in 1988 when he was gassing the Kurds, for instance? Why was it good to take him out over 15 years later?

    Before the war, Iraq was a relatively (for the area) progressive country. Today, it’s infrastructure is fucked. Niceties that you take for granted, like potable water and any kind of healthcare whatsoever, are hard to come by for many.

    So it’s really fucking nice of you to sit there in your safe house with your running water and easy access to food telling the Iraqi’s that, while their future is fucked, at least they don’t have to worry about Saddam Hussein anymore.

  45. Rob Grigjanis says

    johnhodges #23: Isn’t the biggest flaw in your current system the way campaigns are financed? Congress bought and paid for via K street. How can anything else change before that does?

  46. says

    Dunc:

    Iraq had no WMD, we knew they had no WMD, we had extensive evidence that they had no WMD, and all the evidence indicated that they had no intention of acquiring WMD.

    And we (the people) knew this at the time. Joseph Wilson let us know that one of the documents the administration was promulgating was a known forgery (the so-called “Yellow Cake Document”). Hans Blix informed us there was no reason to suspect Iraq had WMDs at all. It was evident from the outset the administration wasn’t just “mistaken.”

    They fucking lied.

    I can think of no legitimate reason why they would want to lie, to drag the US (and a good portion of the rest of the world) into a war that could only fuck up one nation, and destabilize the rest of the region. What good could they hope would come of this?

    The only conclusion I could come to at the time (and the only one that seems reasonable even now) is that individuals in the administration sought to profitteer.

    And this is evil: fucking over someone for your own gain. And this is truly fucking maliciously evil: fucking over entire nations for your own gain.

  47. rr says

    True, the administration was wrong about the presence of WMD’s…

    Big lie #1: the nonexistent weapons of mass destruction.

    Saddam Hussein committed genocide on a large scale against his own people. That alone warrants removal from power.

    Big lie #2: that Bush and his pals gave a crap about the Iraqi people. It was always about the oil.

  48. Ogvorbis says

    From the point of view of the Bush supporters, the Iraq war was a huge success. What companies benefited with massive no-bid cost-plus contracts to ‘rebuild’ Iraq? or train police? This war was, for some, a win-win situation — massive federal money gets funneled to corporations and the cost can be used an excuse to squeeze the poor and middle class in the US through reduced benefits and higher costs and fees. See? The right people win.

  49. Ing:Intellectual Terrorist "Starting Tonight, People will Whine" says

    Fuck even for noble goals my neighbors would be pissed if I broke into their house to redecorate

  50. Matrim says

    “They spoke of honour, faith and pride,
    defending for our home
    Through honour all my friends have died,
    their faith left me alone”

    People like the architects of this farce make me ashamed of my service.

  51. raven says

    March 18, 2013 Gallup . com

    On 10th Anniversary, 53% in U.S. See Iraq War as Mistake
    Republicans most likely to say conflict was not a mistake
    by Andrew Dugan

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — Ten years have passed since the United States and its allies invaded Iraq, and it appears the majority of Americans consider this a regrettable anniversary. Fifty-three percent of Americans believe their country “made a mistake sending troops to fight in Iraq” and 42% say it was not a mistake.

    I just looked up polling data on the Iraq war.

    53% thought it was a mistake.

    42% thought it was not a mistake.

    It’s a bit dismaying. 5500 American lives, hundreds of thousands of Iraqis, gasoline is still $4:00 a gallon, and Iraq is still a huge civil war mess. Plus the $2 trillion we put on the US credit card.

    How much more obviously a waste could it be?

    And yet, while a majority can count, 42% still don’t get it.

    Not surprisingly, given that the war was begun in the administration of a Republican, former President George W. Bush, 66% of respondents who identify as or lean Republican say the U.S. did not make a mistake in sending troops to fight in Iraq, while 30% express the contrary view. In contrast, 73% of Democratic leaners or identifiers see the military campaign as a mistake. Twenty-two percent in that group say it was not a mistake.

    It goes along party lines. No surprise but that is dismaying too.

  52. rr says

    Congress bought and paid for via K street. How can anything else change before that does?

    Exactly, and the people who caused this problem aren’t going to fix it.

  53. Rey Fox says

    That phrase should fill us with shame.

    It fills me with shame, and I’d never even heard it until I saw it on the RSS feed today and thought, “Well, that’s a stupid title. The first two words are nouns, and the third is an adjective. It fails even as an attempt to make fun of anyone.” This was really a real thing that people actually said unironically?

    Wait a minute, of course it was. 2003 was also the year that brought us “freedom fries”. Fuck this country.

  54. truthspeaker says

    @bjsurvivor, zibble specifically said the primaries, not the general election.

    Howard Dean should have been the candidate. He was right about Iraq back in 2004.

    But I disagree with zibble. The real opportunity was in 2007, after the Democrats retook Congress in the 2006 elections. They had an opportunity to impeach, or at least investigate, and they decided not to. Now there’s no deterrent for future presidents who want to start wars of aggression.

  55. Ing:Intellectual Terrorist "Starting Tonight, People will Whine" says

    @truthspeaker

    If the dems did that it leaves the reps open to obfistrate and threaten impeachment. Gov is working so smoothly now only because the dems have that gentlemen agreement and the reps respond in kind

  56. Ing:Intellectual Terrorist "Starting Tonight, People will Whine" says

    that should be obviously sarcasim but since we have some twits who still think Iraq is an open question I realize I must clarify for the terminally dense

  57. birgerjohansson says

    “Democracy! Whisky! Sexy! ”

    I don’t know about democracy, but the whisky part sounds like something you sell to the natives at trading stations, supplied by steamboat. And if the natives get restless, you send in Mr. Kurtz.
    As for blaming one enemy for the terrorist act made by someone else, read Joseph Conrad’s “The Anarchist”.
    — — — — — — — — — — —
    Two trillion in total costs, but an additional four trillions in compound interest before the war part of the national debt is paid off
    SIX FUCKING TRILLION !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Six million million dollars!
    But we all know it’s the Republicans who are fiscally responsible.

  58. truthspeaker says

    travisrm89

    21 March 2013 at 6:50 am (UTC -5)

    True, the administration was wrong about the presence of WMD’s, although it’s up for debate whether or not the evidence at the time pointed in that direction

    No, it isn’t. It wasn’t even up for debate then. Remember, the UN inspectors were in there, looking for WMDs and not finding them. Both CIA and Defense Department experts said the claims Bush, Cheney, Wolfowitz, and Powell were making weren’t true.

    travisrm89
    But even if all the Iraq war accomplished was the removal of Saddam Hussein, then it was worth it. Saddam Hussein committed genocide on a large scale against his own people. That alone warrants removal from power

    Says who?

    Our military is for defending our national security, not for removing dictators from power, not for helping people in other countries.

    The UN charter, which our country helped write after World War II, gives three valid reasons for starting a war: to defend yourself, to defend an ally, or to stop a humanitarian catastrophe. After both world wars, they had damn good reasons for establishing those criteria.

    Iraq didn’t satisfy any of them. Saddam was just one more tin-pot dictator who killed people. The current government of Iraq is doing the same thing, in case you hadn’t noticed. Except now the government is influenced by Iran instead of being opposed to Iran.

  59. Ing:Intellectual Terrorist "Starting Tonight, People will Whine" says

    Saddam’s crime was so bad we literally spent decades looking for our dropped monocles before we could harumph up the gumption to address it

  60. David Marjanović says

    GHWimp

    Please explain.

    What I found more amazing was that the media never seemed to ask about the exit strategy.

    “The difference between Vietnam and Iraq is that W had an exit strategy for Vietnam.”

    Also, “it’s a dry heat.”

    True, the administration was wrong about the presence of WMD’s, although it’s up for debate whether or not the evidence at the time pointed in that direction

    It’s completely beyond me how anyone with any access to information can possibly claim such a thing.

    I remember how angry I was when, for days, the Busheviki told the UN weapons inspectors, who were there by the will of the whole world, to get outta there because W wanted his war. The chutzpah…

    Where I come from, all this was on TV every day.

    (and it is likely Saddam Hussein would have tried to acquire WMD’s eventually).

    An unspecified possibility in an unspecified future… and that after having destroyed all his WMD because he wanted to stay in power, which isn’t compatible with provoking the Americans day and night…

    …have you no shame? Have you no shame to take such desperate measures to shore up your beliefs? Don’t you notice you’re not being honest with yourself?

    But even if all the Iraq war accomplished was the removal of Saddam Hussein, then it was worth it. Saddam Hussein committed genocide on a large scale against his own people.

    That was before the Gulf War of 1991. Afterwards, most of the country belonged to the two no-fly zones, where he couldn’t do anything.

    That alone warrants removal from power.

    It warrants removal from power in 1988 when he gassed the village of Halabja. But back then, Saddam was Our Son Of A Bitch, because “we” considered Khomeini the greater evil. So, Rumsfeld hopped over and shook Saddam’s hand.

    If we had done nothing, we would be looking back on Saddam Hussein the same way we look back on Rwanda now.

    Already happened in 1988. It just took till 2000 till Saddam outlived his usefulness. Then, he was only useful anymore for letting W have his war so he could be a war president… and for letting Halliburton and its subsidiaries have tons and tons of no-bid government contracts.

    Saddam Hussein is a really nasty piece of work, thought I in my crushing ignorance. Maybe he is allied to extremists factions;

    He was really not the type to ally himself with anyone able to turn on him.

    I believe that most of those who took us to war did so in the belief that they would find the evidence to support their claims, even when they had to resort to concocting it to make the case for war. This evidence would be the public vindication that masked their secret and private motives for waging the war.

    What shall we say of him? Surely this, that he was verily guilty of the death of those men. It is admitted that he did sincerely believe in the soundness of his ship; but the sincerity of his conviction can in no wise help him, because he had no right to believe on such evidence as was before him. He had acquired his belief not by honestly earning it in patient investigation, but by stifling his doubts. And although in the end he may have felt so sure about it that he could not think otherwise, yet inasmuch as he had knowingly and willingly worked himself into that frame of mind, he must be held responsible for it.”

    Boldface represents italics in the original.

    It doesn’t warrant a war though, does it? If they wanted him removed from power then we send in two people with a big rifle and we take Saddam out, rather than hundreds of thousands of civilians and tens of thousands of soldiers. It is the collateral damage we object to, not the death of Saddam.

    Frankly, I’d have much preferred if he’d been sent where he fucking belonged (together with the Busheviki) instead of being killed with hardly an investigation.

    But I agree: it’s quite stupid to wage a war against ultimately a single person or a small group.

    Also, as someone else once pointed out, the Kurds were Saddam’s own people in the same way that the Cherokee were Andrew Jackson’s “own people”.

    Jackson should have been impeached immediately, before the Trail of Tears even started. But I digress.

  61. David Marjanović says

    Iraq didn’t satisfy any of them.

    Syria has long been satisfying one of them, but China has a veto in the UN Security Council…

  62. Ing:Intellectual Terrorist "Starting Tonight, People will Whine" says

    also anyone still proud of Afganistan? where we replaced a corrupt misogynist theocracy with a corrupt misogynist kleptopcracy and also are letting the Taliban back into politics.

    Wake the fuck up indeed

  63. Irmin says

    You know, this is one of the few things I as a German really give my then-government great credit for: That they didn’t lead us into this atrocity along with so many others. That we were outside the “coalition of the willing” – knowing exactly the same facts as anyone else.

    Sadly, the general perception of the US back then didn’t really consider a differentiated viewpoint and the acknowledgement of the existence of reasonable people inside the US necessary. To some extent, at least from my point of view, the cliché of the warmongering and somewhat, well, less intelligent average American was at least made really popular in 2003 and lingered on ever since. And yes, my viewpoint back then was little different, I have to admit.

    Luckily enough, I went to the US just one year later and saw why clichés aren’t really a good indicator of reality. Even though the nice woman selling anti-Bush memorabilia in San Francisco I spoke with said that every bit of contempt Europeans had for the US was justified, especially if the thing she was rallying against happened. I wished her all the best and hoped for all of us that that wouldn’t happen.

    And then it did happen. I think in some way the re-election of GWB was even more baffling than the entire Iraq war thingy, at least from an outside view. Because it wasn’t the decision of some evil guys like Mr. Cheney, but a popular vote. You were okay with all these things. (Yes, that is massively unfair to a large percentage of the US citizens who didn’t vote for Bush.)

    Funnily enough, Obama seems to have turned this perception on its head all on his own. Just remember how he was greeted in Berlin even before he was president (or because he wasn’t already president?). He was the guy who could make us love you again, because actually, that’s all we wanted to be able to do again. Yes, you may still have some funny religious people (but we also have those, and the state is actually collecting money for them), but that’s okay, at least you don’t have Bush any more.

    You can also see that this is true because Obama still has an insanely high popularity in Germany. Okay, 2012 was the election of “please don’t vote Romney in”, but still. From my personal point of view, not closing Guantánamo as well as continuing with some questionable tactics regarding Middle Eastern politics were the greatest letdowns. Yes, prosecuting GWB and Cheney for war crimes would have been very nice, but which country actually does such a thing? That doesn’t make it better, but at least not an example of specifically bad behaviour.

    On the other hand: Didn’t Obama give the former government some form of absolution w.r.t. the Iraq war? I’m not following US politics that closely, but I think I’ve read something about that. That would make that the third big letdown. At least don’t do anything.

    I’m sorry if that ended up being pretty long, but I wanted to give you some sort of outside view, as most of the comments in here seem to be from “insiders”. Perhaps it’s interesting to some of you; in this case, it was worth the effort ;-)

  64. Ing:Intellectual Terrorist "Starting Tonight, People will Whine" says

    Yes Obama basically said there’d be no investigations

  65. truthspeaker says

    Irmin, I wouldn’t expect our government to prosecute Bush et. al. for war crimes – we never do that. Hell, most Americans don’t know about Reagan mining Nicaragua’s harbor, and Nixon never got in trouble for unauthorized secret bombings.

    What I wanted to see – and thought was realistic – was prosecution for giving false information to Congress and the American public. It’s actually illegal in the United States for the government to use misleading propaganda*. It’s never enforced, but it is illegal.

    Except the DEA, which is specifically exempted by statute. Really.

  66. throwaway, extra beefy super queasy says

    truthspeaker @ 58

    Howard Dean should have been the candidate. He was right about Iraq back in 2004.

    Obama was right about Iraq in 2002 at an anti-war rally in Chicago. The only thing I fault him for was being pro-Afghanistan war. Also, a touch of foreshadowing that at that time he had a better idea of what would aid in capturing/dismantling Al Qaeda.

  67. says

    also anyone still proud of Afghanistan?

    Driving home last night through Georgetown from theJW Marriott on Penn Ave, it looks the same. People don’t understand until it’s local. They don’t even send their kids anymore, now they send their pixels.

  68. thumper1990 says

    @Rey Fox #57

    Wait a minute, of course it was. 2003 was also the year that brought us “freedom fries”. Fuck this country.

    I must admit, I actually facepalmed when I first read of the existence of Freedom Fries. By which I mean, I didn’t simply write it on the internet to indicate exasperation at another’s stupidity, no… I actually hit myself in the face because there were not enough words in the English language to articulate the odd mixture of exasperation, disgust and sympathetic embarassment I felt at that moment.

  69. throwaway, extra beefy super queasy says

    Never mind all that truthspeaker, I get what you were saying now. Dean was a Presidential candidate in 2004, you weren’t establishing a time-line of anti-war sentiment. My mistake.

  70. truthspeaker says

    I’m also saying Dean would have been a better candidate in 2008, now that we know Obama is an unprincipled crook. But that wasn’t clear to me in 2008.

  71. Bernard Bumner says

    “What shall we say of him? Surely this, that he was verily guilty of the death of those men…”

    Absolutely.

    But I think that one of the reasons that so very many people who weren’t in a position to examine the evidence, through blind faith or through naivety accepted the fabrications of the war-mongers, was because the war-mongers gambled on what they thought was a sure bet. The idea that the evidence, even if it was not convincing, even if it was implausible, even if it seemed to be mixed with half-truths and fabrication, the idea that it would be completely baseless was simply too much for many people to accept. Such a lie, when shown to be exactly that, could not be justified or protected. Why would anybody tell such a lie in the first place?

    Many people didn’t anticipate that it would be possible to do something so terrible without real consequences. I think even those who made war thought that they needed some greater success in order to get away it. Apparently not.

  72. Irmin says

    @69, truthspeaker:

    What I wanted to see – and thought was realistic – was prosecution for giving false information to Congress and the American public. It’s actually illegal in the United States for the government to use misleading propaganda*. It’s never enforced, but it is illegal.

    I didn’t think of that, but you’re absolutely right. Although I guess the outcome of this would be “That’s the fault of our unreliable sources we trusted!” In fact, there was a documentary on German TV recently about an Iraqi who sought asylum in Germany and who lied about WMDs to make himself more important. Even though it was obvious to the German secret service that he was lying and the CIA was told so, they still used him as a “source”.

    Still, that prosecution would have been something at least.

    And yeah, those Freedom Fries… did you also have Freedom Kisses during that time?

  73. noastronomer says

    The only thing about the whole course of the war in Iraq that surprised me was that in the end we didn’t “find” chemical weapons. Everything else was completely preditcable. In many cases predicted.

    Mike

  74. Ogvorbis says

    The only thing about the whole course of the war in Iraq that surprised me was that in the end we didn’t “find” chemical weapons.

    No surprise at all to me (ex Army intel). Or the people I knew at the time who were still involved with military intelligence. The only way we could have found them would have been in Halliburton had come in and planted them (at cost-plus, of course).

  75. truthspeaker says

    On a related note, Irmin, it is my opinion that people in Germany would be better off if they stopped thinking of the US as their benevolent protector. That might have made sense 25 years ago, but now I think it would benefit both our countries if there were no US military bases on German soil. A more pragmatic view of the how the US operates in the world is strongly indicated.

    I’m not even sure NATO should exist anymore.

  76. Irmin says

    Again I’m fully on your side, truthspeaker. I think the notion that the US is our benevolent protector, as you put it, is mostly to be found on the conservative side of the political spectrum around here. Most more progressive people are usually very critical of American politics, except for the approval Obama gets around here that I already mentioned (but I think that’s mostly because we would also like to have politicians that can at least deliver interesting speeches). Even under a mostly conservative government, we didn’t vote against recognising Palestine as an observer of the General Assembly of UNO – okay, we also didn’t vote in favour, but that’s still notable.

    As for the bases, I think that’s a case where we just let “market forces” work – at some time, they’ll just become too expensive to maintain. The only people in favour of US military bases are probably those who live in nearby cities and fear they’ll lose their jobs if the Americans leave.

  77. unclefrogy says

    What has been sad so far about the war in Iraq I agree with.
    It is this fear mongering that is used so freely because it works that is really maddening. We hear it all the time it is the “button” that is always pushed it seems first with what ever issue is advocated. Fiscal cliff anyone.
    Do all the people who use that tactic really believe it?
    Was there ever a real chance that Saddam would have used any WMD to attack any of his neighbors (except Iran of course) and not trigger massive retaliation? Was there ever any doubt that the “allies” could defeat and conquer Iraq any time they wanted really?
    All of these “bad actors” countries and this threat of WMDs that is harped on by Our Leaders is absurd.
    Even if any of them do get “the bomb”
    what can they do with it? it is a hostage situation if they kill the hostage they are dead they can’t even threaten with it really.

    We will at some time attack them is a probability of at least 50-50. Hell we do not have a debt crisis and WWII got us out of the Great Depression!

    there will be more funerals to come.

    uncle frogy

  78. Cyranothe2nd, ladyporn afficianado says

    Haven’t gotten through the whole thread yet but Gregory @ 33, I was deeply touched by what you said and want to post your comment to EVERYONE who still supports this stupid war.

    also Rob @ 4–I’d never seen that picture before and I burst into tears when I saw it. You’re right, it encapsulates the war perfectly.

  79. Cyranothe2nd, ladyporn afficianado says

    @81 noastronomer–I wonder that too. I mean, they went to all the trouble to manufacture a war, and then don’t manufacture the evidence that supports the cause of the war? INCOMPETENT!

  80. zibble says

    @58 truthspeaker
    That’s a good point.

    What the “lesser of two evils” people don’t factor in is that for minimal improvements over a conservative president (which also likely wouldn’t have led to a conservative push in the House and Senate as happened in 2010) you are sacrificing real opposition to right-wing policies. During the Bush years, I thought that support for all of Bush’s fascist policies was just because of the kind of authoritarian mindset that lurks in conservative mentality. But now with Obama in office, fucking 53% of self-described liberal democrats support keeping Gitmo in operation!! Obama has co-opted the opposition against the things that really matter.

    I used to almost scream at Republicans in the Bush years, “can you not see how much of a bastard this man is? Can you not see he doesn’t care about you or your agenda, he’s just using you for his own sake?” NowI have to say the same thing to Democrats.

  81. Esteleth, stupid fucking starchild Tolkien worshiping douche says

    Some numbers:

    GWB’s approval rating when he left office was ~28%
    The Tea Party’s approval rating as of a few months ago was ~25%

    Do you think the similarity of those two numbers is a coincidence?

    Also, while I’m also infuriated at Obama’s continuing of Bush’s policies and of his not conducting investigations of the wars, I’m also positive that were he to do so, then he would not just be facing a hostile Congress, he’d be impeached already. Because even the Republicans who agree in private that the war was a mistake and that Bush was wrong would stand firm with the diehards that no Democrat will get away with saying so.

  82. says

    The only thing about the whole course of the war in Iraq that surprised me was that in the end we didn’t “find” chemical weapons.

    If memory serves, we did find traces of a nerve agent near some missiles early on in the invasion. It was probably bug spray, but I’m surprised it wasn’t trumped up as justification for the whole misadventure.
    As for Howard Dean’s 2004 candidacy, remember, he yelled too loud in an election night statement. On such grave matters do American elections turn.

  83. zibble says

    @87 Esteleth

    Because even the Republicans who agree in private that the war was a mistake and that Bush was wrong would stand firm with the diehards that no Democrat will get away with saying so.

    Would it matter? Obama entered with huge Democratic majorities in the House and Senate. Even to Republicans, the very concept of Bush was a horrid stinky turd, McCain/Palin and more local Republican candidates avoided him like the plague. Even his die-hard Christian base are now saying he “wasn’t a real Christian” (whatever the hell that means).

    The Tea Party rush of 2010 happened because low-information voters mistook the Republican challenger candidates as populist anti-Establishment voices (instead of the astroturf Establishment products they really were). I really think the Democrats would have KILLED in 2010 if Obama hadn’t discouraged huge portions of his base from ever voting again.

  84. Ing:Intellectual Terrorist "Starting Tonight, People will Whine" says

    Zibble turn out was up IIRC in 2012 so you’re talking out your ass

  85. Olav says

    Irmin, #67:

    You know, this is one of the few things I as a German really give my then-government great credit for: That they didn’t lead us into this atrocity along with so many others. That we were outside the “coalition of the willing” – knowing exactly the same facts as anyone else.

    Quite true, Irmin. I remember the public confrontation that Joschka Fischer had with Donald Rumsfeld on the case for war.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_k_QbpFl7RM
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jl1CgTmgnCo

    Fischer has some faults of his own, but Germany was extremely lucky to have him as Aussenminister at that point.

  86. says

    True, the administration was wrong about the presence of WMD’s, although it’s up for debate whether or not the evidence at the time pointed in that direction (and it is likely Saddam Hussein would have tried to acquire WMD’s eventually). But even if all the Iraq war accomplished was the removal of Saddam Hussein, then it was worth it.

    Already been covered, but… There are a number of factors here:

    1. A long persistent history of working with, or putting in place, dictators, instead of working to stop them.
    2. A willingness to believe that someone who could gas his own people might be willing to bomb someone else.
    3. Posturing and delay tactics, which any petty thug might do, to make themselves look big, but when added to the rest, made him seem feasibly guilty.
    4. A refusal, by many people, to pay attention to the least visible voices, and thus question their own thinking.

    The final one, after the fact, is a sense of denial about the losses. If we where wrong, then people died needlessly, thus, we need to be right. For the people in this last category, it doesn’t matter if he didn’t have WMD, it doesn’t matter if the rebuilding hasn’t gone well, it doesn’t matter if the new government is of questionable value, etc. None of these things “can be” as bad as they are, because if they are, then the whole thing is a complete cluster fuck, and a lot of people died that shouldn’t, including the family members of the people that make up that 42% who think it was “worth it”.

    I am somewhat ashamed to admit that, for a while, #1 was a key reason for me to see it as a reasonable thing to do, though, there is less of an excuse for not paying nearly the same level of attention as I do now to the news, and the facts behind events. Part of it may also have been blogs, not right wing blogs, but Iraqi blogs, by people who where fed up with Saddam, and agreed, while being just as naive about the end result, that, this once, maybe the dictator would lose, and something better would take their place.

    As to why we didn’t do something back when he was gassing Kurds.. Bush was willing to act, everyone else wasn’t, it would have “upset” the politics of the region, and the last thing prior administrations wanted was to upset things more, with unknown results. Politics let Bush do this, and politics demanded that the prior administrations do nothing. There needs to be a will to act. Frustratingly, that will is more likely to come from someone with an agenda, a delusional perspective, and a willingness to lie to get it done, than someone with anything at all like a nuanced position. So, when we should have, we didn’t, and no one else did either. Then, when we had no cause to, we did, and ignored the predicted consequences. Both choices may have been equally a fool’s choice.

  87. vaiyt says

    But even if all the Iraq war accomplished was the removal of Saddam Hussein, then it was worth it.

    It’s easy to talk about sacrifice when it’s other people who have to do it.

  88. Ichthyic says

    The idea that Ruwanda and Iraq are comparable in any way is entirely laughable.

    travis is truly an ignorant dolt.

    You have blood on your hands travis, and all you do is lick your fingers and tell us it tastes good.

    People as willfully ignorant as you make me sick.

  89. Gregory Greenwood says

    Cyranothe2nd, ladyporn afficianado @ 84;

    If posting the ruminations of now older and (I hope!) wiser person about their idiocy with regard to the war is of any help, feel free to do so.