The Elephants of the Republican Party don’t seem to have very good memories. Diaper Dave Vitter, Ralph Reed, and even Mark Sanford seem to have continuing careers despite basic transgressions of civility and law. Words fail me on the convenient memories of the perpetrators of one of America’s greatest sins on its 10th anniversary.
The media and the Bush administration led a whole lot of people–never me–down a garden path filled with imaginary WMDs, mushroom clouds, and Al Quaida Terrorists to support its NeoCon Agenda which has cost this country precious lives and treasure. You’d have to ask the Iraqis if they feel ‘liberated’. Too bad we can’t poll all the dead innocents because I’m sure they’d have something to say about Rumsfeld and Cheney’s War of Ideological Convenience too. It’s hard to believe they even have the audacity to pop their heads up like some Neo Con Ground Hog Day Rodents let lone make statements like the one above. None of them can take vacations in Europe any more because most countries realize they belong in the justice system with the other War Criminals. There is nothing like the hubris of absolute gall.
There are so many things that are wrong with the lead-up and the shock-and-awe of the Iraq War that we should make yesterday a national holiday to remember the criminal enterprise that brought us the likes of Cheney, Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle and all the other murderous chicken hawks of the Republican Party. Voters should be made to remember that Jeb Bush was also a signatory to neocon documents that became policies of the of group of folks that were disgruntled that Poppy Bush didn’t take the initiative to get us into Iraq after the Kuwait Invasion. That’s another resurrection that shouldn’t happen. PNAC and all its signatories and enablers should go down in history as a list of War Criminals. Judith Miller and various other ‘journalists’ should be added to the list of enablers of war crimes too.
But, back to the absolute mistake and horror that became the Iraq invasion and occupation via Beltway Bob who mentions he got all caught up in the propaganda and complicity of the press at the time too. Even then he was showing signs of the gullibility trait that we like to kid him for around here. Hence, his nickname. He spoke to Ken Pollack who is one of those people that should shrink into permanent obscurity.
I supported Ken Pollack’s war, which led me to support George W. Bush’s war. Both were wrong. The assumptions required to make them right — Hussein had WMDs, Hussein was truly crazy, Hussein couldn’t be contained, American military planners and soldiers could competently destroy and then rebuild a complex, fractured society they didn’t understand — were implausible.
But saying, in retrospect, that I shouldn’t have supported the Iraq War is easy. The harder question is how to avoid a similarly catastrophic misjudgment in the future.
So here are some of my lessons. First, listen to the arguments of the people who will actually carry out a project, not the arguments of the people who just want to see the project carried out. Who manages a project can be as important as what the project is.
Second, don’t trust what “everybody knows.” There is, perhaps, nothing more dangerous than a fact that everyone thinks they know, because it shuts down critical thinking. In a retrospective for Foreign Policy, Stephen Hadley, Bush’s national security adviser, said, “It never occurred to me or anyone else I was working with, and no one from the intelligence community or anyplace else ever came in and said, ‘What if Saddam is doing all this deception because he actually got rid of the WMD and he doesn’t want the Iranians to know?’ Now, somebody should have asked that question. I should have asked that question. Nobody did. It turns out that was the most important question in terms of the intelligence failure that never got asked.”
People that were that gullible and wrong do not need to be interviewed. We need a day each year to point and laugh at them and spread national loathing in their general direction. However, I frankly believe that Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld knew there were no WMDS. They need a completely different sort’ve of treatment. The kind of treatment the court at The Hague dishes and serves cold. I’m not sure if the President knew because frankly, at that time, he appeared at his most clueless on a scale of almost infinite cluelessness. But, if you read the current writings of some of the men that should be standing in front of judges at The Hague, you would think that the now well-known absence of WMDS isn’t even historically relevant. By the way, many Republicans still believe the Iraqis had them so when I say “well-known’ I leave out the cult of cluelessness that is the core Republican base. Try this rationalization and excuse for size from HuffPo. Richard Perle says ‘Not A Reasonable Question’ To Ask Whether Iraq War Was Worth It.
NPR “Morning Edition” host Renee Montagne asked, “Ten years later, nearly 5,000 American troops dead, thousands more with wounds, hundreds of thousands of Iraqis dead or wounded. When you think about this, was it worth it?”
“I’ve got to say, I think that is not a reasonable question. What we did at the time was done in the belief that it was necessary to protect this nation. You can’t, a decade later, go back and say, ‘Well, we shouldn’t have done that,'” Perle responded.
Perle’s refusal to evaluate the question seems to underscore just how little those who made decisions in the lead-up to the invasion want to go back and re-evaluate a choice that most Americans think was a mistake.
The war hawk made some spectacularly wrong predictions and proclamations prior to the Iraq war. Mother Jones reported that Perle claimed Saddam Hussein had ties to Bin Laden days after 9/11, suggested that war with Iraq would be easy (requiring only about 40,000 troops), and claimed that Hussein was “working feverishly” to acquire nuclear weapons. Perle also said that Iraqis could finance their own reconstruction.
Elsewhere in Wednesday’s interview, Monagne asked Perle if it ever crossed anyone’s minds that Iraq’s deception about its chemical weapons could have been directed towards, say, Iran — with which the country fought an eight-year war — rather than the United States.
“I’m sorry to say that I didn’t achieve that insight,” Perle replied.
Perle also cast the toppling of Hussein’s reign of nearly 24 years without any centralized authority as an opportunity. “You can say we left it broken. I think we left it open for opportunity. And then we closed our own opening by moving into an occupation,” he said.
If you really want to be appalled, go read John Yoo who justifies the war by saying “We shared the benefits with the Iraqis“. Why is UC Berkely paying this man to pollute young minds?
And isn’t that what we did in Iraq? We spent billions of dollars in Iraq as damages. We did so not because the war was wrong, but because it was right — and we shared the benefits of the war with the Iraqi people by transferring some of it in the form of reconstruction funds.
It’s at these times when I understand the appeal of an almighty deity that will firmly send such folks to eternal suffering for all their hubris, ignorance, and murderous acts. However, I’d just like to see a little justice done to them here on Earth while we can. It could start with never, ever letting them show up as experts on anything and absolute excoriation when they try to redefine their mistakes. I know it’s too much to think the Justice Department would deliver their arrogant asses to a court. But, I would like to think the court of opinion and the press could treat them with the contempt they deserve. It galls me to think that they’re moving around press circles trying to spread more lies and resurrect themselves. What they should be doing is Public Service for the rest of their lives to make living tolerable for Iraqi veterans, their families, and for Iraqis. None of them should live any kind of life of ease nor should any of us ever let them try to forget that they are Unrepentant War Criminals.
Former Bush Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld stopped by Boston on Monday night to sell his book. The event was disrupted by protesters who heckled Rumsfeld and attempted to make a citizen’s arrest for war crimes. From WCVB Channel 5 in Boston:
Several protesters tried to disrupt a forum with Rumsfeld at the Old South Meeting House, shouting and holding up signs as most of the audience shouted and booed them down.
“I went down in front and looked Donald Rumsfeld in the eye and said, ‘I’m making a citizen’s arrest,’ said protester Nate Goldschlag, a member of the group Veterans for Peace, who had to buy Rumsfeld’s book to get into the event.
“He lied us into Iraq. He lied about weapons of mass destruction. He lied about Saddam Hussein being involved in 9/11,” Goldschlag said.
Four demonstrators were dragged out of the hall by police and one person was arrested outside the building for assaulting an officer with a bullhorn, police said.
The event was sponsored by right wing talk radio station WRKO, which explains why most of the 300 people there were supportive of Rumsfeld. Unfortunately for the protesters, they had to purchase copies of Rummy’s book in order to get into the event.
It did my heart good to learn about this little demonstration–sorry I’m a little late finding this story. Here are some videos from and about the event: