well, yeah http://t.co/kTrOrAPKNV pic.twitter.com/7udJQYca8l
— Simon Maloy (@SimonMaloy) May 20, 2015
From David Corn’s article:
For a dozen years, the Bush-Cheney crowd have been trying to escape—or cover up—an essential fact of the W. years: President George Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, and their lieutenants misled the American public about the WMD threat supposedly posed by Saddam Hussein in order to grease the way to the invasion of Iraq. For Bush, Cheney, and the rest, this endeavor is fundamental; it is necessary to protect the legitimacy of the Bush II presidency. Naturally, Karl Rove and other Bushies have quickly tried to douse the Bush-lied-us-into-war fire whenever such flames have appeared. And in recent days, as Jeb Bush bumbled a question about the Iraq War, he and other GOPers have peddled the fictitious tale that his brother launched the invasion because he was presented lousy intelligence. But now there’s a new witness who will make the Bush apologists’ mission even more impossible: Michael Morell, a longtime CIA official who eventually became the agency’s deputy director and acting director. During the preinvasion period, he served as Bush’s intelligence briefer.
Appearing on MSNBC’s Hardball on Tuesday night, Morell made it clear: The Bush-Cheney administration publicly misrepresented the intelligence related to Iraq’s supposed WMD program and Saddam’s alleged links to Al Qaeda…
Professor Krugman, “Errors and Lies“:
Surprise! It turns out that there’s something to be said for having the brother of a failed president make his own run for the White House. Thanks to Jeb Bush, we may finally have the frank discussion of the Iraq invasion we should have had a decade ago.
But many influential people — not just Mr. Bush — would prefer that we not have that discussion. There’s a palpable sense right now of the political and media elite trying to draw a line under the subject. Yes, the narrative goes, we now know that invading Iraq was a terrible mistake, and it’s about time that everyone admits it. Now let’s move on.
Well, let’s not — because that’s a false narrative, and everyone who was involved in the debate over the war knows that it’s false. The Iraq war wasn’t an innocent mistake, a venture undertaken on the basis of intelligence that turned out to be wrong. America invaded Iraq because the Bush administration wanted a war. The public justifications for the invasion were nothing but pretexts, and falsified pretexts at that. We were, in a fundamental sense, lied into war…
This was, in short, a war the White House wanted, and all of the supposed mistakes that, as Jeb puts it, “were made” by someone unnamed actually flowed from this underlying desire. Did the intelligence agencies wrongly conclude that Iraq had chemical weapons and a nuclear program? That’s because they were under intense pressure to justify the war. Did prewar assessments vastly understate the difficulty and cost of occupation? That’s because the war party didn’t want to hear anything that might raise doubts about the rush to invade. Indeed, the Army’s chief of staff was effectively fired for questioning claims that the occupation phase would be cheap and easy…
Now, you can understand why many political and media figures would prefer not to talk about any of this. Some of them, I suppose, may have been duped: may have fallen for the obvious lies, which doesn’t say much about their judgment. More, I suspect, were complicit: they realized that the official case for war was a pretext, but had their own reasons for wanting a war, or, alternatively, allowed themselves to be intimidated into going along. For there was a definite climate of fear among politicians and pundits in 2002 and 2003, one in which criticizing the push for war looked very much like a career killer…
But truth matters, and not just because those who refuse to learn from history are doomed in some general sense to repeat it. The campaign of lies that took us into Iraq was recent enough that it’s still important to hold the guilty individuals accountable. Never mind Jeb Bush’s verbal stumbles. Think, instead, about his foreign-policy team, led by people who were directly involved in concocting a false case for war…
And to think this all blew up because a college student asked a question our disgusting media has been avoiding for years.
Good for her.
That cartoon is funny, and yet completely accurate. So not funny.
This, times a thousand. Hell, Cheney outed a covert CIA agent because her husband had the temerity to challenge the lie that Iraq was buying yellow cake uranium from Nigeria. The aluminum tubes that were supposed to be used as part of a centrifuge; total and complete bullshit. Mobile chemical weapons, to laugh at.
Tree With Water
“Question: If a team decides they want to kick a PAT and then there’s a penalty so they decide to go for two, would the penalty be enforced from the 15 or would they start from the 2 and enforce the penalty from there? Also what happens in an opposite situation (going for 2 and a penalty then deciding to go for 1)?”.
The NFL changed it’s ‘points after touch-down’ rule. The extra points snap of the ball will now be kicked from the 15 yard line; both two point and one point conversion attempts will be returnable. But the above question is an excellent one. A reader over at Deadspin.com posed it, and does anyone know the answer?
Light bulb Update: I think the answer must be that once a team decides to kick or go for two is final; penalties will not effect that final decision.
J.A.F. Rusty Shackleford
I’m appalled at how shameless they are in trying to blame the Obama administration for the Iraq fuck up. It’s even more brazen then blaming Clinton for the 9/11 fuck up.
@WereBear: I don’t want to be fair to Megyn Kelly, but she got the ball rolling. And Wallace did a good job on Rubio. I don’t know whether Fox News is just culling out the saps they don’t want, or assuming (edit: wrongly) that the individuals in the sorry GOP hopeful field are halfway prepped, can walk and chew gum at the same time, and can handle a few questions they should know they will have to answer.
The Danziger cartoon is too kind to Bush II. And it started before 9/11: “All right. You’ve covered your ass, now.”
Ron Suskind, George W. Bush and the Aug. 6, 2001, PDB
c u n d gulag
Since Jeb had a lot of responsibility for getting his brother, W, into office – along with help from 5 SCOTUS Justices who owed GOP President’s for their lifetime positions – he’s also got a lot of responsibility for what Dumbaya and Dick “Of Death” Cheney did – or didn’t do – regarding 9/11, and in Iraq..
Why Bush & Co. kept pushing for war, after October 2002, when the inspectors were back in Iraq, is something that needs to be revealed.
The real tragedy is that despite the lies and the ginning up of war fever, we could have avoided the war and denied Saddam a WMD program at the same time.
After the AUMF was passed – based on lies, based on jingoism whipping the public up into a frenzy to avenge 9/11/01, etc. – Saddam blinked and let inspectors in.
They were looking where we told them to look.
They could have kept the inspection regime going and without a shot being fired, Bush & Co. would’ve won a point for their sabre rattling causing Saddam to let inspections resume, after four years.
That really is the sad fucking thing about the Iraq War, Bush & Co. had already won their point on the WMD’s and the potential threat of WMD’s was being handled.
The decision to go to war is deeper and more twisted than just the lies about WMD’s, because even after those lies were told, accepted and acted upon there was still a very good case to avoid going to war and solving the problem of Saddam having WMD’s.
When a Republican says, “based on the intelligence we had available in 2002-2003, I would have acted the same way”, I wish the media would point out: WE HAD INSPECTORS HANDLING THE WMD THREAT!!! WHY DID WE INVADE??? THE WMD THREAT WAS BEING HANDLED!!!
And yes, I am shouting because fuck it needs to be shouted.
Why did we invade, when the reason for invasion was being handled peacefully.
mai naem mobile
Col Jacobs was.on.CNBCs Squawk Box.this AM with Ian Bremmer. Bremmer was running around with his hair on fire because of Ramadi. The question turned to what the strategy should be, Jacobs said the strategy should have been not go there at all. Douchebag Joe Kernen pipes.in immediately, nope, we aren’t discussing that. Jacobs went on to point out that like Shinseki said we would need to put 100K+ troops to hold Iraq and that wasn’t possible. Keep in mind Kernen and Bremmer haven’t served and Jacobs.has. Kernen bitches about taxes. Not sure which magic fairy is going to pay for another war.
“Raise your hand if you now think the Iraq war was a good idea”
Cartoon du Jour
@J.A.F. Rusty Shackleford:
chutzpah defined. And our village betters play along.
This imperial crew thought that Middle East adventurism would be dusted and done on the cheap and without consequences in a few years or/and that we would be there as conquerors for ever but Obama is the one to blame.
Shakes fists at sky.
@J.A.F. Rusty Shackleford:
Throw a bunch of shit on the wall and see what sticks. It’s worked for them in the past, especially in the 1990’s with all the Clinton “scandals”.
The Party of Personal Responsibility has never held anybody personally responsible for any of the screw ups with regard to Iraq, whether real or fictitious.
It was obvious to anyone paying attention way back in 2002 that Iraq War was mistake, a blunder of epic proportions.
Tree With Water
Well this is interesting:
“WASHINGTON — The push by President Barack Obama and Republicans for gigantic new trade deals meets the definition of insanity, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) charged in a Senate floor speech Wednesday…”.
My, my. I wonder what Hillary has to say?
I think that’s it. If we want to know who they favor for GOP president, we should see who they go easy on. I don’t watch enough of that channel to know.
Are they wearing kid gloves with any one candidate?
Iowa Old Lady
@schrodinger’s cat: The way they tried to tie it to 9/11 made it clear how much they were peddling whatever line they thought would work.
@J.A.F. Rusty Shackleford: I think there must be an Obama Effect that had rendered them soft and lazy. They just assume that they can blame it all on the inadequate blah president, with no explanation, and everyone will automatically scream “Thanks, Obama!”
Maybe they might have to add that ‘Well, Bush did a perfect job and hand everything settled, and Obama frittered it away.” And no one in the press will be able and willing to check anything at all about the historical record.
It leads to stuff like this, from people like Gohmert. We should watch if any GOP pres hopeful reaches the ‘Gohmert critical point’ on Iraq ware nonsense.
GOP Rep.: If Bush Knew Obama Would Be Prez, He Would Have Re-Thought Iraq War
” I think if President Bush had known that he would have a total incompetent follow him–that would not even be able to negotiate a Status of Forces Agreement with Iraq, that would start helping our enemies and just totally put the Middle East in chaos–then he would have to think twice about doing anything if he had known he would have such a total incompetent leader take over after him. That should be the question,”
Edit: I wonder how many corporate media news divas would let that status of forces agreement howler go by unchallenged.
@gene108: plus they have an audience that will believe just about anything. I mean, that’s true of any audience, but Republicans are a special set of gullible people.
@gene108: The Bush administration did not want Hussein to allow the weapons inspectors back in. Demanding that he do so was meant to create a pretext to start the war they wanted; it was predicated on their belief that he would predictably refuse the demand, and they could then portray Hussein as defying the U.N.
All of this is made clear in multiple British documents from the time, including the so-called Downing Street Memo. The game in summer/fall 2002 was to find a suitable pretext for war that the public would accept. The Brits seem to have convinced the Bushies that they could wrong-foot Hussein in this way. Blair & co. were shocked when Hussein tricked them by accepting the demand.
A few years ago our local newspaper hosted an online teaparty blog. The usual stuff, with comments divided unevenly between republicans saying “hell yeah!” and a few scattered liberals saying “but that’s crazy”
The blog host aired his grievances several times a week (against Obama, against liberals in general) and would occasionally veer into personal topics. He expressed his frustration with Obamacare taking away his choice of doctors, and admitted that he would probably just explore some homeopathic remedies.
@jl: Gohmert is amazing. I mean, that’s fucking stupid, but I bet every Tea Partier is going to be repeating it
Did it? I thought the scandals mostly backfired in the sense that the public didn’t give a shit and was tired of their wasting so much time on it (including Lewinski, the scandal they thought was finally their big break). The mistake Al Gore made was believing that the scandalmongers had succeeded and distancing himself from Clinton accordingly.
I said it, yelled it, cried while screaming it all those years ago. Almost no one I knew agreed with me and most thought I was unhinged.
Huh. I try not to punch those people in the throat still. I can’t even imagine how I’d react if I ever came upon the Shrub or Darth Vader in real life today, let alone someone like David Brooks or Tom Friedman or Bill Kristol. Think I was accused of being unhinged back in 2002-03? My anger from then is nothing compared to my anger now.
There’s a big question about Jeb!… Why did this question come as a huge surprise? Why was he so completely unprepared? One would think that Iraq would be, kinda like, the very first thing where you’d have a good answer prepared in advance and practiced over and over. It really is a mystery.
It suggests to me that asking Jeb! harder questions, or even semi-soft questions would be very productive. Like, “Mr. Jeb!, sir. Do you think your brother had anything to do with the financial meltdown in 2008?” Worth a try, no?
Smarty pants of Balloon Juice, I have a quiz for you.
I do not buy the idea that any politician serving then was “duped” or didn’t understand that the war was started on demonstrable lies. I just don’t. I never will. People just are not that stupid.
Hell, the entire American public knew it was bullshit. Every pro-war person I’ve met, to this day, will admit it was bullshit. They just thought it’d teach those camel jockeys a thing or two about terror. It did, but not the way they thought it would.
@geg6: Yes. Long before the invasion date, there was BS smeared all over the case for war. I remember watching Rummy’s press conferences and could not figure out why everyone was not gasping in horror or laughing out loud.
My certain foreknowledge of BS was in the area of Rumsfeld briefings, and east, west, south and north somewhat.
Republicans are so used to not being called to account for anything, it’s very possible that he honestly never thought he’d be challenged.
Tree With Water
David Corn was the one columnist of whom I’m aware that possessed the decency to publicly shame those of his colleagues who publicly yukked it up at that annual party Washington “journalists” throw each year, laughing along with the administration as GW “searched for WMD’s” around the White House in that infamous bit of videotape.
Forgot about the Downing Street Memo.
This really does need to be answered: What were they thinking?
They had solved the WMD threat, when inspectors were let back in.
As our elected officials are servants of the people, we have a right to know.
I’m not holding my breath waiting for it to happen, but a starting point would be to point out Republican Presidential hopefuls that the WMD threat was being addressed, when we sent the troops in.
Jeb Bush does not understand Trotsky, Jeb Bush, 3D printer, Ali Baba, World War II, friction, complexity, and Thailand.
@Tree With Water:
I don’t have the NFL rulebook committed to memory, but I don’t think that would be a difficult situation to remedy. If they are not allowed to change whether or not they are going for one or two no matter what, it’s very easy.
However, if they are allowed to change…especially if it was a dead ball penalty…the answer would be to first find out if they are going for one or two, then mark off the penalty from the appropriate yard line for the attempt stated.
If they really wanted to make it fair, they would only allow a change in the type of conversion if it was a defensive penalty. The offense should not be allowed to possibly benefit from a penalty it committed.
@Tree With Water: Because Obama’s negotiated this deal before, and failed?
@jl: Possibly, but what do these words have in common?
@geg6: I used to work in a mechanical engineering lab on campus where I was a student, back then. The only other person working in that lab that saw through Bush and his flimsy excuses was a South African guy, most everyone else I knew was gung-ho about the war. It was impossible to even talk about.
It turned a lot of people away from the Democrats, especially in the South.
Arkansas and Tennessee voted overwhelmingly for their favorite sons in 1992 and did so, albeit with smaller margins, again in 1996. Gore lost Tennessee in 2000.
Clinton and Gore, in 1992, carried what are now considered unwinnable deep red states, such as Louisiana and Georgia.
Clinton already rubbed some people the wrong way, with what ever anti-Vietnam war stuff he did in London, but the scandals just clicked something in the “lizard brain” of folks in the South and they decided Clinton and the Democrats were not their people anymore.
Does anybody really much care?
What are you going to do about it? Try Bush, Cheney and everyone who voted for the war for war crimes?
Are you going to hold Jeb responsible for his brother’s folly?
The war was a stupid lie. But now what? What, if anything, should the US do with respect to current instability in the region?
Every bad thing that was warned about has happened in the region. This is the challenge facing us now. The GOP has no answer other than to pretend that Dubya knew what he was doing. What else should be on offer?
I agree. I think there was a real revenge element, some need for a big show of force to push back among people who felt vulnerable because of 9/11. I think a lot of the elaborate explanations came after.
It was hard for me to understand at the time because it wasn’t like I felt “safe” and then no longer felt “safe”. I didn’t have that much confidence in my safety to begin with. If you told me “well, there were a series of cascading screw-ups and certain key people didn’t do their jobs and so the ‘nations defenses’ failed” I would completely accept that then and now. I’m always surprised when really complex systems or plans work, not when they don’t work.
” What were they thinking? ”
I don’t think most of them were engaged in any process most humans would recognize as thinking.
Except maybe Cheney, who was playing stupid and corrupt 19th and early 20th century natural resources war games in his head. Right out of ‘Standard Fruit NEEDS Honduras!”
Too bad we didn’t have a modern day Smedley Butler to document it.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
@jl: Why would Bush’s successor matter in considering a war that was going to last a matter of weeks, perhaps months, not longer
Rumsfeld quote:And it is not knowable if force will be used, but if it is to be used, it is not knowable how long that conflict would last. It could last, you know, six days, six weeks. I doubt six months.
TownHall Meeting At Aviano Air Base in Italy, February 7, 2003 
I just watched David Frum say that the anthrax envelopes justified the invasion of Iraq.
Tree With Water
@gene108: “As our elected officials are servants of the people, we have a right to know”.
And it is absolute. I would counsel we emulate South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission in pursuit of the truth. Of course, I would have much preferred that impeachment hearing been convened in 2006, much as I advocated for them during Iran-Contra. But the South African model would be a good plan B.
@gene108: Problem is that they can’t address it plausibly because there was no WMD threat. That became apparent to virtually everybody when (A) the inspectors found nothing and (B) Bush insisted they leave so he could start the war anyway.
Forgot to mention: Among the other essential info on your question is the memoir that Robin Cook published in 2004 (The Point of Departure). Cook recorded how he naively thought that Hussein’s acceptance of the weapons inspections was a great breakthrough and would surely defuse the rush to war. But he found that his colleagues in the Blair government were depressed and shocked by the news. At that point he began to figure out it was all being done to provoke rather than to prevent the war.
Ask Gohmert (DK link):
@schrodinger’s cat: Jeb Bush does not understand them. Other than that, I have no clue.
Sounds like Republicans on Iran.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
Also, GHW Bush was a terrible candidate dealing with “Saddam Hussein still has his job. Do you?” And Ross Perot offering an alternative, and campaigning against Bush, at least in his earlier incarnation, more than for President. I think the effect of Perot in that race is hard to gauge.
@Kay: The real revenge was for W.’s Daddy and an assassination attempt.
I was so confident W. would invade I started a pool to “Pick the invasion date” months before it happened. I didn’t win, but I was close.
” Does anybody really much care? ”
I think we should care that the GOP has had some success in lying about, and covering up the history, and selling nonsense that GW Bush had everything on lock down in Iraq, and it was going to be unicorns rainbows and gumdrops except that stupid Obama messed it up.
The GOP candidates’ inability to answer (or finesse, or issue BS in response to) simple questions may have set back that GOP project. I think it is important that the GOP project to falsify history be destroyed. The GOP candidates’ ineptitude is good thing from that angle.
Even if everything Colin Powell reviewed in his famous WMD presentation had turned out to be the truth instead of lies, there was STILL no justification to invade that country. I remember arguing with wingnuts about it at the time and using North Korea as an example of a country with a WMD program that the US wasn’t going to invade.
Krugman does a good job of reviewing the actual justifications for the war — a power grab, a lunatic democratization project, etc. WMD was always trumped up bullshit to justify a different aim, and not only should the Iraq War’s architects and cheerleaders have to answer for the WMD lies, they should be held to account for how thoroughly their fever dreams blew up in everyone’s faces too.
I wonder how far $2 trillion would go toward providing healthcare, extending education opportunities to all Americans, improving infrastructure, weaning the US off fossil fuels? We’ll never know because those crazy fucks poured it down a rat hole.
And while it’s ridiculous to blame PBO for Bush’s massive fuckup, PBO does own the last six years. While he deserves kudos for ending combat operations and getting most US troops out, I don’t understand why we’re still involved in that part of the world at all. Get the fuck out. Stay the fuck out.
@jl: One more clue, add Hillary Clinton to the list.
@smintheus: Personal Responsibility only affects your indiscriminate procreating, your poverty and your ongoing need for public assistance. Anything else gets dumped into the Hoocoodanode oubliette.
Naomi Klein and Jeremy Scahill did an incredible job compiling takedowns of the GWoT in general and the Iraq fiasco in particular. But because they’re not Good Hetero Xtian Patriotic Real Ahmurrcans™, nobody paid attention.
And the GWoT may have failed Iraq in most spectacular fashion, but in the US it achieved exactly what it set out to do. The middle class is nearly finished; the security/observation state is fully entrenched; the use of private contractors (read: mercenaries) to fight the Reichwing’s wars is now established fact, and the individual contractors are not only immune to legal action in the places they “operate” but in the US as well (see the Custer Battles case); and the populace is terrified of being overrun and so scared of being immediately and irrevocably impoverished they’ll do anything except elect people who really will enact meaning protections for them to mitigate the actual threats (predatory lenders, inadequate health insurance, etc).
There’s a similar story about the first Gulf War that Colin Powell records in his autobiography. In the few days before the ground war was supposed to start, Gorbachev, who’d been talking to the Iraqis, thought an agreement might be in sight that had Saddam pull out of Kuwait completely and restore the status quo.
… And the dilemma in the Bush cabinet, which at this point really wanted to get their war on, was “how do we reject this offer without looking like we’re stiffing Gorbachev?” Powell eventually hits on the idea of putting basically impossible-to-meet conditions on the deal (“yes, but only if Iraqi troops are out by this deadline, which by the way is in like one or two days”). And even that idea, which the administration eventually went with, is greeted with disgust by Cheney, who in Powell’s words “looked like he’d been handed a dead rat” before grudgingly agreeing.
@Jim, Foolish Literalist:
the level of hackdom from these people is really something to behold.
I think the mistakes Al Gore made were 1) not offering gourmet food to the press, and 2) not giving them cute nicknames.
@greennotGreen: You can’t blame Gore’s VP choice on the press.
@J.A.F. Rusty Shackleford:
Rumsfeld stated that the war was going to take at the most 5 months. That would take us to August of 2003. So what in the world would Obama have to do with Cheney/Bush’s incompetence??? Obama didn’t become President until Jan 2009.
Karen in GA
Open thread? Phoebe took a turn for the worse last night. I went to UGA today. The vet brought her into the room wrapped in a couple of towels. She was completely dazed, short of breath, and grunting, but I swear she turned her head towards me when she saw me.
The vet placed her in my arms and gave me a few minutes alone with her. I petted her, told her I loved her and what a good girl she was. Her paw was resting on my arm. You know how cats knead you when they’re content? With all the pain and difficulty breathing, she still managed to knead my arm once. She made a couple more noises, and then she went quiet. She was gone before the vet came back in the room to give the injection.
I swear she knew I was there and said goodbye to me.
So anyway. Heartbroken.
If we’re not going to try these criminals then we need to have a Truth and Reconciliation Committee, with some kind of subpoena power. We’ll never be able to get the clusterfuck behind us without one. There has to be a reckoning, and I like the fact that somehow JEB triggered the beginnings of one. It will be an issue in the election, since the clowns seem eager to throw each other under the bus for fine differences in heresy around this issue.
@geg6: I had lunch at a hotel in dc my boss was having a conference in, back in winter 2009. Donald Rumsfeld was also having lunch not 50 feet from me. I’m very proud for having not caused a scene, and my boss was, too.
@Karen in GA:
OH NOES CRYING HERE. So so sorry!!
@Chris: Interesting. I hadn’t heard anything about Powell’s account of that, though I do remember being disgusted that the negotiations to end the occupation of Kuwait were blocked.
They were thinking that they needed to gin up a war so Shrub would be able to coast to a second term in 2004. All of these guys had convinced themselves that they could oust Hussein, install a puppet government and be in and out within a year. They weren’t worried about the lack of WMD. They figured that a quick and easy victory, followed by peace in our time in the middle east would be all the cover they needed. Of course they had absolutely no idea what they were getting into. Remember Bill Kristol saying that there was no history of Sunni-Shia conflict in Iraq? No. Fucking. Clue.
@Karen in GA:
oh warmest hugs.
It was all complete bullshit and lies. I marched in the streets with thousands of others who saw the lies for what they were as well. On that day, hundreds of thousands of people marched in the streets of many American cities. But of course, since the media already had their war hardon up, they didn’t cover it beyond a sentence that was dismissive.
W and Cheney et al deserve to go to jail. They are responsible for the deaths of thousands of American troops and tens of thousands of innocent Iraqis. ISIS is the direct result of our fucking about in the region.
If only we had looked back instead of looking forward in 2008.
If President Bush had been remotely competent at his job, McCain would have easily defeated Obama in 2008. As it was Iraq was a complete mess, the economy in its worst freefall since 1929 and Osama bin Laden was still a free man.
Bush was probably even more incompetent than Gohmert himself…
@Karen in GA: Condolences Karen. It’s so devastating to lose a pet.
@schrodinger’s cat: True. I wasn’t really familiar with Lieberman’s record prior to his selection as VP candidate. Was it as bad as afterwards?
@Karen in GA: Awww, damn it, I’m sorry. But she went out on her own terms and surrounded by love. That’s something.
@Karen in GA: My eyes are wet now. Phoebe was so lucky to have you for a friend.
Krugman has similarly made great points about why the postwar planning resulted in such utter disaster (reaches for copy of The Conscience of a Liberal);
And, I’d add, Iraq was doomed from the start because the entire reconstruction was done according to the principles of movement conservative ideology. It’s not simply about corruption and lack of planning. What the CPA did to Iraq was exactly what textbook movement conservatism prescribes – slash the government to the point where it can be drowned in the bathtub (disbanding the Iraqi army, de-Ba’athifying which meant de facto disbanding most of the civilian bureaucracy, and turning the country into a Fair Tax experiment), then stand back and watch freedom kick ass.
The only problem is that the world doesn’t operate on movement conservative principles, and doing all these things doesn’t actually result in freedom and democracy.
@Karen in GA: I’m so sorry for your loss.
@Karen in GA: I had a similar experience with my 14 year old tomcat a year ago. I bawled like a child when they let us say goodbye before the injection. He did much the same thing… You have my utmost sympathies, it’s a horrible thing to go through.
@Jim, Foolish Literalist:
Who knows what Ross Perot’s impact was.
I think what gets overlooked about Perot’s success is that even after 12 years of “Morning in America” people were still very distrustful of their government; they really wanted to believe government would work for them and not just the few.
As much as many liberals write off the South as a lost cause, in 1992, damn near every Southern state had Democrats in control of legislatures, or a governorship and a good mix among their Congressional delegation and Senators.
The unraveling of Democrats in the South really picked up in the 1990’s and I think a large part of it is the savaging Clinton took regarding the “scandals”.
Instead of recoupling the national Democratic Party with the state Democratic Parties, which was frayed because of the poor showings in Presidential races, in the 1980’s, the division just grew worse and I think a lot of the hopes of the Democrats was relying on a charismatic, young, Southern President to reconnect with people.
People were already feeling government was not working for them, and then here comes Bill Clinton getting $400* hair cuts on Air Force One, grounding west coast air traffic for hours and hours to just reinforce how out of touch Democrats are with their concerns.
* The story’s bogus, but it took weeks to figure it out back then, because you could not just do a Google search for arrival and departure times out of LAX.
You don’t say?
@Karen in GA:
I am really sorry for you, and happy that at least you got that last moment with her.
In a way, the Bushies were saved by their own massive incompetence on the financial front.
@Karen in GA: Ah, I’m so very horribly sorry for your dear girl, and for you. She knew you were there; it was her comfort. I’m so sorry.
@Kay: which neocon was it that wrote about America needing to periodically throw a smaller country against the wall, just because we could? Michael Lsomething? And of course Tommy Friedman’s “Suck On This”.
Morell is beating his drum now because he has a new book out.
You care, I care. My more pertinent question is, what do you want done about it, and what do you want to do going forward?
We can blame the GOP in blog posts all day long. So what? And the sad fact is that I don’t know that most citizens will care. Except for presidents we hate, we never accept the hard fact that presidents lie to us to drag us into war. Even when hippies blamed LBJ for Vietnam, we still had fools insisting that we would have won if only we had let the military have a free hand.
History is always being falsified. We lie to ourselves, even about our failures in order to be able to continue as a nation. The Spanish American War. Bay of Pigs. The Tonkin Resolution. Hell, the war fever that led to the War of 1812. Phoney anti-communism.
And more critically, Bush and Cheney generated new hatred towards the US by their incredible bungling. What do we do about the region, now? For some reason, there are some people who think that the world will stand still while we give the GOP a severe tongue lashing about Iraq and Bush/Cheney. But there are new challenges. I only give half a f#ck about how these clowns answer questions about what we did in the past.
I want to know whether the candidates support the Kurds, do they advocate intervention or isolationism in the Middle East, do they have to balls and ovaries to ignore Netanyahu’s attempts to drag us into a war with Iran, what should we do about unreliable allies like Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, what do we do about Somalia, Sudan, Nigeria?
Tree With Water
@themann1086: Rumsfeld went to work in the San Francisco Bay Area after leaving office (at the Hoover Institute on the campus of Stanford). Ever wonder how many times his soup has been pissed in by the staff of one of the areas renowned restaurants? My guess is a lot. Recall that GW refused to set foot in San Francisco during his presidency, and I didn’t blame him. The closest he ever got was the airport, which is down the road from the city in a suburb called San Bruno..
Yes, thank you. I just want someone to say, “knowing what we knew then I would not have invaded Iraq.
The lies were blatantly obvious before the Iraq War Started.
1) The day after Colin Powel’s speech to the UN, the British papers were filled with stories about how it was clearly Gulf of Tonkin style lies (sketches instead of real evidence, “Iraq” sites in Kurdistan, etc.)
2) Although a lot of intelligence services got some of the WMD stuff wrong. That was all irrelevant – no one had any evidence that Iraq could deliver any of it. And the fact that the US could retaliate 100 x over made it extremely unlikely they would use any of it. It was obvious PR hogwash.
3) And yes, George W was only President because his brother stole the election in the state of Florida. The recount after did show that if you followed the intent shown (ie name written + ballot punched would still count) Gore won. Jeb is directly responsible for putting his idiot brother into the White House.
” Jeb is directly responsible for putting his idiot brother into the White House. ”
If that is reported out, Jeb! is toast.
No, but when he says outright that he’d repeat it, that’s significant.
@Karen in GA: Heartbroken with you, sitting here weeping in my hotel room. Damn animals have no business leaving such huge holes in our hearts, do they?
But when the tears dry, take comfort in this: She waited for you, and you managed to be there in time. That’s really all you could do, and you did it, and you will never have the regret of missing the moment. She loved you, too. Never doubt it.
It was just free-floating revenge. A lot of times it felt staged to me, false. Condaleeza Rice was the worst. I always felt like she was watching herself play “war time leader” while playing the role.
I watched a Frontline documentary on the rebuilding effort the other day. and the (still) photos of administration officials look the same way- like they’re imitating earlier “war time leaders”.
“Bremer on a plane with his spanking new construction boots, looking determined to build that country by hand if he has to.” I was making up my own captions.
Ugh. A bad time. Remember how media worshipped Rumsfeld? Such a straight shooter.
@Brachiator: I hear where you’re coming from, but I don’t have a lot of confidence that any of the candidates will be able to articulate what you’re asking about. They might be able to answer with “I’ll do more intervention in the Middle East” or “I think we should get out of the region altogether”, but I doubt they’d be willing to say they’re behind the Kurds, etc….
You don’t want nuanced policy positions in a campaign, you want vague platitudes. You’re right that we won’t accomplish anything by bitching on blogs. I would guess that the Global War on Terror is kind of self sustaining at this point, regardless of who’s in the White House. YMMV
Shock and awe was not only bullshit, that any military commander thought it was a meaningful tactic should be retired (and I remember reading the pdf on the thing). Everything about Iraq was folly.
The question is, are we set up in the CIA, in the military, at the State Department, to fall into the same BS again?
In some ways, the world is worse off because of our follies. What do we expect a president to do about it?
Bush and Cheney created more instability in the world. How do we fix it? Do we just ignore it, and hope that the people we screwed over just look the other way?
From the wikipedia page of Hans Blix:
Our tax payer dollars at work…There really should be jail time for certain people.
Look at it from Jeb’s point of view, his older brother is probably smarter than he is; John Ellis thought he was putting a super genius into the White House.
@Karen in GA: I’m so sorry. Hugs!
Karen in GA
Thanks, everyone. On Saturday night I was terrified that she would go during surgery while I was 35 miles away. I’m so glad that she wasn’t surrounded by strangers at the end.
She was an amazing little girl.
I’m going to go crawl under a blanket and sleep now.
@Samuel Knight: This always worth a re-read:
filed under Projects and morons.
also, when asking which MSM diva will let that howler on status of forces go by? All of them, Katie.
@Germy Shoemangler: That is a great cartoon.
Well, Obama has been trying to fix it for six years, and it’s more of a clusterfuck than ever before. Not because of anything HE did wrong, but it is folly to keep trying to fix it, IMO. There are forces at work there — including sectarian animosity — that we are in no position to control. We had no business there in the first place and are only making things worse and delaying a necessary and inevitable reckoning by our continued interference.
Jeb needs to be asked how all those African Americans disappeared from the voter rolls after the lists were “cleaned up” just in time for him to drag his brother over the finish line.
It isn’t 2000-4 where all they had to do was yell “fraud!” and that was enough. It’s a much deeper, fact-based discussion now.
He’s vulnerable on voting rights, especially given the full-out assault that happened between 2004 and today.
@Betty Cracker: The republicans are going to follow Jeb’s lead, and say that it’s a disservice to those who gave their lives in Iraq, to second guess the invasion.
Tree With Water
@Patrick: Why not a South African Truth & Reconciliation solution instead? It seems to me those people who were stampeded, and only later learnt the truth, AND those that took counsel of their political ambitions, all the while knowing the truth, AND all those that knew the truth yet failed to act per their Constitutional duty, could tell stories that would profoundly serve the best interests of the country. I’d like to hear them..
There are people whose vote might be affected by how he responds to this question?
“Bush’s CIA Briefer: Bush and Cheney Falsely Presented WMD Intelligence to Public”
BREAKING!!!!! (for idiots)
@Karen in GA: Damn. I’m so sorry Karen.
@c u n d gulag: I don’t think you should be comparing Marc Wallice to Cheney.
@Tree With Water:
Well she-yitt, Condi’s still at the Hoover Institute (having tea and virgin spleen in aspic with Henry K, I suppose) and across the Bay, at Berkeley of all places, John Yoo indoctrinates young’ns in how to undermine the Constitution at this very moment.
They might like to claim to avoid the place, but the Bay Area climate is just too nice for the Bushies to all swear off the joint. Funny too how they can afford it, no prob.
@jl: pretty crafty response for a lizard like gomert, of course, at the time the administration was saying the whole thing wouldn’t last six months so I don’t know why who the next president might be would factor in.
@Betty Cracker: This x 1000. We can’t decide these people’s fates for them. It’s not going to be popular with the idiots here or with the people in the affected countries, but the reality is that we cannot defeat ISIS.
Yes, we’re responsible for their rise due to the vacuum created by our shitty adventurism. So do we double down or stop interfering. Since we’ve been fucking around in that area of the world for 30 years and it’s never gotten better, I’d like to see what happens if we just stop.
Some regional power players that we don’t like (IRAN) will get more powerful but we have to deal with the hand we’re dealt.
I don’t know. I think they’re making a push to appeal to people outside their base and he should explain what happened there. That was well prior to when there was a broader understanding that this was a national conservative strategy. That didn’t really start to take hold until the US attorney scandal, which was all about prosecutors who refused to trump up voter fraud cases.
He wasn’t questioned on it then and he should be now, because it’s much better-understood now.
mai naem mobile
I detest these neocon pigs. The faster they drop dead the better off the world will be. Dubbya just had daddy problems. And Dickhead Cheney, I’m convinced did some damage to his brain during his 4-5 heart attacks. Not quite sure what is wrong with his daughter though. Like I’ve said before,Cheney should be sentenced to a lifetime of being a caregiver to a severely injured soldier, especially one with a nasty attitude.
Yep, these are the issues. But Global War on Terror is as much bullshit as being anti-communist was in the 50s and 60s, and too much bullshit foreign policy was based on this. The GOP will talk crap about being strong, and may rattle sabers at Iran.
But here’s a question. If ISIS topples Iraq, what do we do? If oil supplies are threatened, what do we do?
Do we continue to wring our hands and offer sympathy to abductions and rapes in Nigeria?
Of course, voters could just say, I really don’t care what’s happening in the world or what foreign policy should be, I just want my guy or woman in the White House.
And I also expect, “Obama was weak and naive. How will you be better (hint, tell us who you would go to war against)” And here the real question is, “Obama risked much by trying to support democracy, and may have screwed things up by toppling dictators. But do you have something more than a “war first policy?”
Maybe still too much nuance. But I really don’t care about finger pointing and simply making the GOP look bad. Because even if you get a Democrat in the White House, you are going to have the mess that originated with the Republicans. And unless you ask better questions and think differently, you will also have the same foreign policy and military hacks who haven’t learned a f^cking thing. And this guarantees more of the same.
And you know what? The architects of this war are going to get clean away with everything.
It’s hard for a lot of Americans to accept that 1) the US doesn’t have maximum freedom of action in the world and that bad things tend to happen when it thinks it does, 2) the US cannot solve every problem in the world, and 3) sometimes the US acts for reasons that are less than altruistic.
@the Conster: To your last point, it reminded me of one of my pet theories from ’08, which makes me think that this newfound interest the public apparently has in pointing fingers at the leaders who failed them in ’02/’03, while nice in a general sense, probably won’t play all that much in favor of Democrats specifically next year. That pet theory was that, while they didn’t speak it, people gave more currency to Obama for having been one of the few public figures who didn’t support the war than they let on, especially when comparing him to Clinton. She has no such windfall to reap from wisely refusing to get on board the war train back then. So while she benefits to some degree from being able to clearly say “Yeah, it was a mistake” instead of trying to find the right shade of “If we knew then what we know now,” that’s too nuanced for most of the voting public. One’s a shade of “I was bamboozled, just like you” and the other’s a shade of “Shit happens, but let’s look for a silver lining.” They’re both unappealing.
Republicans decided after the midterms to make foreign policy the center of their opposition to Obama and the democrats. Tom Cotton and the Iran letter that they signed onto in droves, bringing Bibi in as their neocon pretend president, portraying the mess in the Mideast as the product of Obama’s weakness – all point to a cohesive electoral strategy for 2016, especially since they can directly connect Hillary to the Obama foreign policy decision making process. I think that they are finding out that this might not be a winning strategy in the end, but they’re on record now bobbing and weaving and looking ridiculous.
@jl: they are all nouns.
All of this elides the most basic point; even if you fully accepted the case put forward by the Bush Admin it didn’t come within a million miles of justifying an invasion of a foreign country. The “bad intelligence” had little to do with it, even with good intelligence the decision was evil.
Funny that…I had a bit of dust or dander at my place too…
I remember the start of the war and all the gungho yahoos cheering when ever a bunker buster took out a building.
I screamed there are people in those buildings! I can’t even bear the memory of it. Those people were blameless and we killed so many of them.
We support and finance Saudi Arabia and Pakistan. In turn, Saudi Arabia is accused of funding the Islamic fundamentalists who rape girls in Africa, and Pakistan funds the Taliban. Iran may be funding ISIS.
So, when you say we should just stop, what do you mean? By reports (which may be false) ISIS is much like the Taliban, but worse. They ethnically cleanse Christian and Muslim sects that they consider to be apostates (and smaller than the main Islamic groups they hate). Like the Taliban, they love to burn and destroy art and other items that are not purely Islamic.
And I would understand anyone in the region who would say, “You broke our country, let loose sectarian civil war when at least we had some minimal peace, and now you simply wash your hands of this and walk away? I will send my sons and daughters to slaughter you and give you a taste of the misery you have set loose here.”
You talk of a inevitable reckoning. What makes the US exempt from this?
Absolutely true that the US cannot act alone. And obviously, nations have their own interests. And these interests are not only at times less than altruistic, but actually evil. Including our own. So, is this what you really advocate as something to look forward to in terms of foreign policy? The world burns and we just look to see if the flames have reached us yet?
Or something like the glory of the Clinton administration, when we sat back and watched the Rwanda genocide, knowing that we could have stopped it, but couldn’t be bothered?
@Karen in GA: So very sorry to hear this. Thanks for sharing the account. I am happy for both of you that she was able to truly say goodbye. My deepest sympathies.
Major Major Major Major
@Karen in GA: So sorry to hear that.
I had to say goodbye to my dog over the phone a few years ago, I was out of town. It is said that she perked up and looked around when she heard my voice. :/
911 . . . Never Forget!!
Major Major Major Major
@Tree With Water: I was at Stanford when Bush tried to visit the Hoover Institution. The protests were so massive that the helicopter had to be re-routed to some megadonor’s house in Menlo Park(?).
@Karen in GA: It is a hard thing, this I know. Condolences.
Do you have any links to reputable* sources that make that claim?
* I understand that the term ‘reputable’ is one fraught with ambiguity, and one that is very much dependent on the personal viewpoints of whomever uses it in communications.
I tried a quickie search on the phrase “Iran funding ISIS”, and only came up with blog comments discussion forums which IMHO are often associated with Hasbaran propaganda and/or wingnut ranting-&-raving.
@gene108: follow the money….Cheney’s “blind trust…halliburton” reaped huge profits. As did all the other warhogs.
@Brachiator: I have answers to your questions, but I doubt my suggested course of action is one that would be politically tenable or possible within the constraints of our existing Congress. This is all quixotic anyway, so I’ll answer anyway.
If ISIS topples Iraq, we pair with a regional power and hopefully NATO/other western powers in a multi-lateral capaign to provide them air support and materiel to fight ISIS. We don’t invade. This is not a conflict that we can solve, it has to be taken care of by those in the region.
I believe there are local security forces in Nigeria, we help bolster them with training/intelligence/air support to fight Boko Haram (I think that is who you’re referencing.)
From my perspective, while we are responsible for creating the instability that led to ISIS, we cannot and should not jump into the larger Sunni vs. Shia conflict going on in the region. Our direct military intervention will not help here.
You weren’t responding to me but,
Perhaps this will come to pass. Blowback is inevitable. That said, I see no upside to direct military intervention at this point. It will just delay the blowback and perhaps make it worse.
There’s no good option here. But doubling/tripling/quadrupling on the poor decisions made before has led us here. Eventually we have to try something else.
@Brachiator: What I meant was what I said — get out and stay out. Learn a lesson from the era in which the psychotics who ran this country were delusional enough to believe they could play 3D Risk with real people’s lives, and ignore the idiots who think the only response to one massive fuckup is two or three more.
You don’t see the inevitable reckoning for the US all around you? Might want to see an optometrist. I see blighted futures and squandered opportunities all over the damn place, which is what happens when you piss $2T away on NOTHING.
@schrodinger’s cat: Tom Friedman column?
@Karen in GA: I’m so sorry.
No matter how much we do, it never seems like enough to pay back all they’ve given us. But at least Phoebe knew, at the end, that she was loved & important & not just abandoned in a strange place.
But still better than going after the domestic economy when unemployment rate is at 5.6% after it was at 9%, and the Stock market is at all time highs rather than in free-fall the last time the GOP held the White House.
The Democrats need to pound on these.
@Karen in GA: So sorry about Phoebe, but it sounds like she had a good life and a good human companion.
Thanks for elaborating. As is true almost always, I agree with you on the merits. My question was about the political impact, if any.
@Betty Cracker: I won’t speak for Brachiator here, but given how I understood what he was saying you’re talking about slightly different things.
There’s the inevitable reckoning you’re talking about which is the waste of spending that money on war when it could have been spent on bettering American infrastructure, healthcare, education, etc…
and there’s the inevitable reckoning on the foreign policy side that I understand Brachiator to be talking about which is that of us creating US hating terrorists because we fucked their country over / instability in the region / ISIS or whatever new group springs up to preach militant jihad against the modern world / western nations.
Both of them are bad in my opinion and you’re right we could have invested that here instead of blowing it up over there. But that’s already done and the other reckoning just keeps on giving.
Apologies to either of you / both of you if I misstated your position / put words in your mouth(s).
We just need to GTFO of that region wholeheartedly. If it were me, I’d stop giving money to Saudi Arabia, I’d stop giving money to Israel or anyone in that region. At some point we’ll learn that we can’t control the destiny of other nation states / people. I hope.
I think the answer depends on whether that “anyone in the region” is merely hypothetical.
The thing is, I can’t imagine any kind of blowback based on “you bastards broke our country” that doesn’t get even worse if we put boots back on the ground (in a “and now you bastards are actually coming back to DO IT ALL OVER AGAIN!” kind of way).
Not at all. I’m advocating a reassessment of US foreign policy that is tempered with a more realistic understanding of what the US can and cannot do, both in terms of ability and desirability. It’s not a choice between intervention anywhere and everything on the US’s terms or complete isolation – that’s a false dichotomy which unfortunately has led to some very bad choices whose consequences will last for years.
Not every foreign policy problem can be solved the way the US would like it to be, and nor should every foreign policy problem be solved the way the US would like it to be. That doesn’t mean just sit back and ignore the rest of the world; it means the US needs to have a better understanding of limits and consequences when it acts.
@Karen in GA: Karen I am so sorry for your loss. They leave such large paw prints on our hearts.
I agree, except that I think the worst aspects of US foreign policy are, and have always been, driven by id as opposed to ego, so a better understanding is not really the issue. The id wants what it wants, now.
As for super-ego, I suppose the analogy in US foreign policy would be international law — and having said that, what else is there to say?
Could you elaborate? (Thanks.)
@Jim, Foolish Literalist:
On the eventual outcome: no impact.
Exit polls that bothered to ask the question determined that Perotistas would have split pretty close to 50-50 for Bush and Clinton, were Perot not on the ballot.
(And, no, I don’t have a cite, and yes, I realize that exit polls may not be as reliable as they were once thought to be.)
@Major Major Major Major:
If you’re talking about 2006, and I think you are, Bush was too cowardly to face even peaceful protestors and so he high-tailed it over to George Shultz’s on-campus home.
Well, I’m using the term “understanding” kinda broadly here.
@Karen in GA:
So sorry to hear about Phoebe. I’m glad you were with her.
@Karen in GA</
I'm so sorry about Phoebe. It's awful when our furry pals have to leave us.
Well, sure, but then for me that translates as follows: right-thinking Americans need to figure out how to keep everyone’s greed and fear and hatred in check.
With which notion I could agree — but it’s a tall order in many respects, as Freud tells us.
@Cervantes: Sorry, my mistake. I used the term “stop giving money” when we stopped giving them direct financial aid in 2007. My mistake….(I should have done some research)
We’re equipping them with weaponry. We should stop selling them weapons and stop partnering with them on any internal development.
Is it possible we’ll finally start getting some truth and accountability for the Iraq war atrocity now, 13 long years later, as a result of the 2016 presidential election…?
Just indict that Morell guy for treason, it’ll all go away.
Major Major Major Major
@Cervantes: That was it, yeah.
I was with the marching band contingent. We stuck to songs like “American Idiot.”
Actually, I think it means more than that.
I think the moral here is America needs to stop acting.
America should stop doing anything in terms of foreign military intervention. At all. Ever. For at least a generation. Maybe two.
Isolationism is the best policy right now. Putin is right: everything America touches overseas turns to shit, it all turns into Iraq or Afghanistan.
America is not only not “the indispensible nation,” it’s the only totally dispensible nation right now. Most of the problems in the world between nations are the result of America’s fucking around overseas, and we need to stop it, we need to shut it all down, we need to withdraw and close all 760 of our overseas bases and start doing things like repairing our highways and our busted sewer mains and our crumbling bridges and our collapsing water lines.
Just stop. America needs a foreign policy serenity prayer. “God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change overseas; courage not to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.”
America needs a twelve step plan: we admitted that we were powerless over our military-industrial-police-prison-surveillance-torture complex — that our lives had become unmanagable.
We need to come to believe that a power greater than ourselves (conscience) can restore America to sanity. We need to put ourselves in the hands of that power, and conduct a fearless and searching moral inventory…
Do you recall the first invasion of Iraq, in 1991? We were so deep in our supply-side Reagan-Bush prosperity that it was the Saudis who had to give us foreign aid, to the tune of $17 billion to help pay for the invasion (while Kuwait, Japan, and Germany gave us $16 billion, $11 billion, and $7 billion, respectively).
We did? Can you elaborate?
Whereas these days the only “financial aid” we give the Saudis is this kind of thing:
That’s the Congressional Budget Justification for FY 2015 explaining that, these days, all the aid we tax-payers give the Saudis is a token — that “minimal” refers to less than ten thousand dollars a year — a technical ruse meant simply to qualify them for discounts on the billions they pay our corporations for military hardware and training.
@Omnes Omnibus: Bingo!
Let’s take a lesson from Vietnam. We fucked that up immensely by going there. But we got out – we stayed out (although there were those who wanted us to go back) – and the country is now stable. It was ugly in the aftermath, but in the end our decision to stay out was good for everyone.
Tree With Water
@mclaren: Comprehending the depth of betrayal by Bush-Cheney (et.al) is too enormous a crime for most Americans to get their heads around (thus far, at least). But they will, and quite possibly far more quickly than anyone yet imagines possible. Be that as it may, I’m gratified that Dick Cheney will go to his grave understanding that he will perceived as a great American villain by generations of American school children yet unborn.
When I speak of the US acting, I’m referring to any number of possibilities, not all of which are military in nature. I don’t think “stop acting” is a realistic or desirable option for the US, but what I have in mind for what the US should do would put military actions much further down the list.
3000 miles of ocean on both our coasts.
America finds itself uniquely situated to blow off the results of our foreign policy meddling with impunity. Alas.
If by “acting” you mean “making more Joss Whedon TV shows and movies and selling ’em to the rest of the world,” then I’m right there with you.
Tell me that again in 104 days.
Tree With Water
True words when spoken by Martin Luther King in 1967, and true today:
“..A true revolution of values will lay hands on the world order and say of war, ‘This way of settling differences is not just.’ This business of burning human beings with napalm, of filling our nation’s homes with orphans and widows, of injecting poisonous drugs of hate into the veins of peoples normally humane, of sending men home from dark and bloody battlefields physically handicapped and psychologically deranged, cannot be reconciled with wisdom, justice, and love. A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death…
.. Love is somehow the key that unlocks the door which leads to ultimate reality. This Hindu-Muslim-Christian-Jewish-Buddhist belief about ultimate reality is beautifully summed up in the first epistle of Saint John: “Let us love one another, for love is God. And every one that loveth is born of God and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God, for God is love.” “If we love one another, God dwelleth in us and his love is perfected in us.” Let us hope that this spirit will become the order of the day..
…There is an invisible book of life that faithfully records our vigilance or our neglect. Omar Khayyam is right: ‘The moving finger writes, and having writ moves on.’..
… We still have a choice today: nonviolent coexistence or violent co-annihilation. We must move past indecision to action. We must find new ways to speak for peace in Vietnam and justice throughout the developing world, a world that borders on our doors. If we do not act, we shall surely be dragged down the long, dark, and shameful corridors of time reserved for those who possess power without compassion, might without morality, and strength without sight.”
@Karen in GA:
Ever so sorry, but she will be there waiting for you at the rainbow bridge. In the meantime she’ll be enjoying a place where the cream runs in streams and the mice run very slowly.
The Republic of Stupidity
Yes, as amply proven by the events of 9/11/2001…
***slowly, thoughtfully nods head in agreement***
@Karen in GA:
Sorry to hear this. But she went on her own terms. Not all of us get to do that. I got to hold my dad in my arms when he passed and as heartbreaking as that sounds, at least you and I were there doing everything we could. You made it easy for her to go. That’s about as good as it gets.
J R in WV
@Karen in GA:
I’m so sorry for your loss. I don’t know what to say, other than that we share your loss!
Obviously your dear fuzzy companion wanted to be with you as long as they could manage, and was able to let go when she knew you would be with her.
Remember her as she was when she was healthy and happy with you.
Take care of yourself, now.
Dead thread, probably, but does anybody remember the the Bush – Gore debates? Bush openly complained that Clinton had not done anything to curb the power of Saddam Hussein. It was obvious to anyone watching that Bush was going to start a second Iraq war. This is one of the reasons that I’m skeptical about anyone being misled about the Iraq war. The 911 attacks were just a fucking pretext for GWB to have his war of choice.
The Bushies re-wrote history so well that the media still reports the lie that Saddam Hussein wouldn’t let UN inspectors in, so we had to go to war. TOTAL BULLSHIT. UN weapons inspectors were ordered to leave by Bush, after finding no WMDs in Iraq. None. Zero. Zilch. Zippo. Every liberal in the United States should know this fact and repeat it often whenever anyone brings up Iraq.
The biggest foreign policy fuckup and tragedy of the twentieth century – hell, since 1789, at least for this country – and no one will ever be called to account for it, as desirable as that might be. Once an individual reaches a certain point in the political/foreign policy/national security apparatus, he or she is effectively immune from consequences and that’s the way it’s been since Nixon left office.
Which was also BS.
The Kuwaitis arrested what they said were two Iraqi agents with guns/explosives when GHW Bush was in town. But it was far from determined that the Iraqis were after Bush, with confessions obtained by torture; the FBI thought the claim was dubious. But that didn’t stop the Kuwaitis bragging that they’d stopped an assassination attempt, and the Repukes pumping up the story to make Bush look more badass.
I don’t doubt that Bush believed it and used it as justification, just that the “attempted assassination” Kuwait story doesn’t hold water. It was as much BS as the aluminum tubes and uranium from Africa excuses. Bush was looking for excuses and didn’t care too much about facts.
@Mike G: Which makes it even worse, weirdly.
@Karen in GA: I am sure she did know and I’m sure she was responding. I’m sorry for your loss.
@mclaren: Well said!