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Looking Back At The Iraq War

Ten years after the American invasion of Iraq, we weigh the price and lessons of the war that followed.

 In this March 20, 2003 file photo, smoke rises from the Trade Ministry in Baghdad after it was hit by a missile during US-led forces attacks. (AP)

In this March 20, 2003 file photo, smoke rises from the Trade Ministry in Baghdad after it was hit by a missile during US-led forces attacks. (AP)

Ten years ago this week, the United States invaded Iraq. It was a fateful step, taken in the still-thick fever and fog of 9.11, justified with what turned out to be too many costly fantasies, misapprehensions, and lies. Thousands of American servicemen and women and their families have paid – and many still pay – a steep personal price for the Iraq War.

But the whole country has paid, and will go on paying, as well. In treasure and reputation and strategic strength and lost opportunities of other ways we might have started this new century.

This hour, On Point: ten years on – lessons and costs of the war in Iraq.

-Tom Ashbrook

Guests

James Fallows, national correspondent for the Atlantic, where he’s been taking stock of the 10-year anniversary of the Iraq war. (@jamesfallows)

Nathaniel Fick, former CEO and current board member of the Center for a New American Security, a liberal-leaning national security think tank. A former Marine Corp officer, he was a platoon commander to 1st Battalion 1st Marines, leading his platoon into Afghanistan weeks after 9/11. He then led 2nd Platoon, Bravo Company of the 1st Reconnaissance Battalion into Iraq during the 2003 invasion. (@nathanielfick)

From Tom’s Reading List

The Atlantic (James Fallows) ”Ten years after the start of the Iraq War, it can be easy to lose sight of how much of the argument for it was idealistic. By that I don’t mean that such arguments were correct or should have been convincing; obviously I think the reverse. Rather I mean to distinguish the casus belli that is now most often discussed — the discredited and possibly manufactured warnings about Weapons of Mass Destruction — from the vision expressed by the war’s most serious-seeming advocates.”

Reuters “The U.S. war in Iraq has cost $1.7 trillion with an additional $490 billion in benefits owed to war veterans, expenses that could grow to more than $6 trillion over the next four decades counting interest, a study released on Thursday said. The war has killed at least 134,000 Iraqi civilians and may have contributed to the deaths of as many as four times that number, according to the Costs of War Project by the Watson Institute for International Studies at Brown University.”

 

 

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  • hennorama

    What a waste.

    • DrewInGeorgia

      Of life, of time, of resources, of potential, of goodwill, of everything… I hope we actually learned something this time.

      • margbi

        Unfortunately, I doubt that we’ve learned anything from Iraq. We’re still trying to come up with reasons for Vietnam. 

      • Don_B1

        The most useful thing to learn would be for at least a lot more people to be able to recognize when “groupthink” has captured the political leadership to the exclusion of discussion of opposing views.

        The largest institution that was captured was the mainstream press (MSM), with the exception of the McClatchy Company newspapers, which effectively began rooting for the invasion by emphasizing the possible intentions of Iraq’s leader and ignoring other information that could given a more accurate picture of the downside of taking the action that the Bush administration took.

        The MSM allowed the Bush administration to call anyone with any cautionary admonitions to be smeared as “traitors.”

        This same mental groupthink happens in other areas, and is currently being taken advantage of by the wealthy, who have switched the economic debate from job creation to deficit reduction. The dominant thinking has pushed austerity to the exclusion of any other approaches, even as the actions taken are actually increasing unemployment and deficits rather than reducing them, both in Europe and in the U.S.

        The military has a term that is somewhat analogous: “incestuous amplification,” where the thinking at upper levels gets to center on defending a previous choice rather than taking data and analyses from a wide range of views and seeing what fits the facts, rather than some pre-chosen ideology.

        The military looked at how it got to supporting the Bay of Pigs invasion and called it groupthink.

  • JGC

    Neocons! Neocons!  Wherefore art thou? 

    • 65noname

      don’t forget the neo/libs such as friedman who, similarly to the viet nam era, were equally guilty of lending credibility to a vicious invasion.

  • Tyranipocrit

     A lie, a crime.  And still unpunished.  Americans have a hissy fit over a man’s sexual relations–its the end of the world and justice must be served, but when the bill of rights is made redundant, thousands are massacred, raped, cities burned and pillaged, babies burned into the pavement, laws broken, people tortured and dissapeared, countries invaded in NAzi-like fashion–Americans make excuses, ignore it, defend it passionately, wave their flags, and cry for more blood–

    Who are the terrorists?

  • LinRP

    The Iraq war sums up my definition of sin. Yet no one confesses. Here’s hoping there truly is a day of reckoning on the other side. 

    • Don_B1

      It won’t be if the response is similar to that on GPS with Fareed Zacharia yesterday, where he talks with former Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz.

      But in his “editorial” section, Zacharia lists five things that should be learned:

      http://globalpublicsquare.blogs.cnn.com/2013/03/16/5-lessons-of-the-iraq-war/

      But the lessons he wants learned are mostly about the conduct of the war, not in what is needed to learn to avoid war without giving up the goals of improving life on Earth for everyone.

  • http://wh.gov/IVp4 Yar

    Exodus 20:5 “…visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me”  

    We are not at a point where we can put the Iraq war in proper perspective. 20 years of marriage to the daughter of Vietnam war causality taught me that war continues long past fighting on the battlefield.  When our children were the same age my wife was when her father was killed had a profound effect on her and our relationship.  My life is different because of an event in 1968, 13 years before I even met her.  Little did I know the long term impact that war would have on our relationship. War is never over for the individuals or families of those involved, even to the third and fourth generation. 

    We should provide competent mental and physical health care to individuals and families of those who went to war.  We are not doing that, just look at the suicide rate of returning war veterans, also look at the accident rate among vets. More vets are being killed on motorcycles than on the battlefield.  We should look forward, not back, we must learn to deal with the continuing effects the Iraq war. It is not over!  

    • Steve_the_Repoman

      Thank you for the insight and personal and historical application.

      I have often contemplated the nature of US involvement in Iraq in light of…

      Isaiah 3:4 “…and I will give children to be their princes, and babes shall rule over them…”

      but take strength for children/wife/family/country in

      “…and showing mercy unto a thousand generations…”

      Why should we want to be co-laborers and from whence the power to do so?

    • Don_B1

      “Talk” in the MSM recently has been about how the cost of the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan reached about $1 trillion, with hints of the future costs of treatment for the injuries that U.S. soldiers received.

      The cost was originally projected as $60 billion, in 2008 the actual charges reached $600 billion, with years of direct charges to come and untold costs for medical care in the future.

      The number of Iraq veterans that are committing suicide each day is a disgrace to the outreach that the active services as well as the Veterans Administration.

      Just two and a half years ago, Columbia University economist Joseph Stiglitz and Harvard University public policy lecturer Linda J. Blimes estimated that the cost will exceed $3 trillion in 2008 with more recent updates:

      http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/09/03/AR2010090302200.html

      They also point out how the cost of the war in Afghanistan has been increased because of the shift to war in Iraq in 2003, thus allowing the corrupt forces, warlords and Taliban, in Afghanistan to rebuild and block the opportunities for a better Afghan society.

  • jimino

    Perhaps we can mark the event and finally have someone take some sort of responsibility by having the families of Bush Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowicz, Feith, Bremer, et al., move there and live in the general population of what they begot, just like we did in postwar Europe after WWII.  We “won”, didn’t we?  So it should be a similar experience for the conquering heroes.

    FOX could record their experiences and make it a true reality show. 

    • 65noname

      It wasn’t just fox; npr and its supposed analysts served as enablers, some like fallows even though they secretly opposed the war, some like friedman who who added their neo/lib credentials in support of the war.

      • nj_v2

        Many of the war cheerleaders just kind of slinked away, preferring to avoid further public embarrassment. Others like Tom Friedman continue to foist their idiocy on anyone who will listen. Stunning that anyone would take him seriously on anything anymore.

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

          NJ, I won’t know how I feel about your comment for another six months.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

        If you’re looking for a phrase, I’m fond of saying “All the kewl kidz in our press corps” drove the march to war.

        • Don_B1

          But do give the McClatchy papers credit for doing the hard work and, in the emotional environment whipped up by the Bush administration, the courage to publish articles counter to the general theme.

          The problem is that they did not get the recognition, then or now, for their work.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            Yep. McClatchy did distinguish themselves then.

            (The pisser is that there wasn’t a lot of competition in that field.)

  • MadMarkTheCodeWarrior

    Too many blame today’s problems on ideological choices. In my opinion it boils down too shear stupidity and hubris. With respect to force levels, stabilization plans, end game and revenue; those idiots ignored over a century of military and economic history.
    10 years later and Dubya and Cheney have not been charged as war criminals. The hypocrisy of our state has galvanized many against us and has fueled debate amongst many as to what is the lesser of two evils.

  • Fiscally_Responsible

    The Iraq War was clearly a mistake as Iraq did not have weapons of mass destruction.  However, the other two countries that comprise the “axis of evil”, namely North Korea and Iran, either have the bomb or are busy trying to develop it. It is generally agreed (even China voted to condemn North Korea for its recent underground test) that allowing either of these two countries to have the bomb would be a grave threat to world peace.  We cannot allow our overreaction in Iraq to result in an under-reaction in these cases.  I certainly hate to see us send troops there (perhaps our ungrateful, freeloading “allies” such as France, Germany, Spain, Italy, and Japan can spend their blood and treasure to deal with these situations), but a world in which either or both of these two countries have the bomb would be disastrous.  If the Obama Administration’s approach to dealing with the federal debt is any indication of their willingness to deal with difficult problems, namely kicking the can down the road rather than recommending any specific cuts to entitlement programs, then my fear is that the administration will find a reason to delay dealing decisively with these crises until it is too late.  Perhaps they are hoping to hand the problem off to the next administration. 

    • brettearle

      Oh, of course….

      Obama didn’t give Israel a state-of-the-art defense system.

      Oh, of course… Obama didn’t support an uptick in coverage, in Afghanistan, at the recommendation of the commanders on the ground.

      Oh. of course….Obama doesn’t support drone strikes.

      Oh, of course, the Obama administration simply has never implemented crippling sanctions, on Iran, much less, declare internationally, that Iran would never get to the point of developing a delivery system thta could harness a nuclear weapon.

      I mean this, of course, is a dovish President–BUT ONLY through the eyes of a jaded private citizen, posing as a biased political hack….

      • Fiscally_Responsible

        Iran and North Korea pose grave danger to the rest of the world if they acquire nuclear weapons (North Korea already has it and is trying to develop a delivery system).  The bottom line is that Obama is our leader, has said that Iran cannot be allowed to develop a weapon, and must therefore lead in preventing that from happening.  The other items that you mentioned are all fine and true, especially the more extensive use of drones in order to protect American lives while eliminating terrorists while avoiding civilian deaths.  

    • Wotan

      A bit of selective reading of history. Let’s not forget that the de facto Clinton policy against the DPRK was one of regime change and this is the same policy that was publicly expressed by the Bush II regime. Prior to the US’s invasion of Iraq, the DPRK did not possess nuclear weapons. A military invasion by the US and UK of Iraq only confirmed to the North Koreans their need for nukes to protect themselves from the same US propagation of ideology via regime change by aggressive military means.

      • Don_B1

        The Iraq invasion also showed Iran that it needed nuclear weapons. On the invasion and rapid movement toward Baghdad, Iran did make overtures to the Bush administration and was rejected.

        Then the incompetency of the war plan became apparent and Iran intensified its terror support and began an all-out effort to develop weapon-grade uranium and long-range guided missiles.

        It just proves that the narrow-focus on attacking Iraq had all too many “unintended consequences” some of which were foreseen, and all of which should have at least been openly and widely discussed.

  • ToyYoda

    OT: Can we also look back at Occupy Wall Street.  I wonder what happened to that movement.  Also, I see you have an email link on top of page, which I’ve been suggesting all along. Thank you.

    But, you don’t have it on your ‘front’ page.  I have to click on an hourly show to see the link.  If you want to email a suggested show, or something unrelated to a particular show or subject, you need to first click a show.  I find this confusing.

    Another OT:  Boston Magazine recently did an article on OnPoint and Tom Ashbrook.  Perhaps it is time to do an OnPoint show on OnPoint hosted by say Jack Beatty, Terry Gross, or Fahreed Zakaria and put Tom Ashbrook in the ‘hot seat’.

    Anyways, keep up the good work!  You are still light years ahead of any other npr program when it comes to areas where people can particpate in the show online.

  • nj_v2

    Add to reading list…

    http://www.pdamerica.org/news/item/1435-mission-unaccomplished-iraq-war-worst-mistake-in-us-history

    Mission Unaccomplished: Iraq War Worst Mistake in U.S. History

    Ten years ago, Bush made disastrous foreign policy decision that we will pay for for a long, long time.I was there. And “there” was nowhere. And nowhere was the place to be if you wanted to see the signs of end times for the American Empire up close. It was the place to be if you wanted to see the madness — and oh yes, it was madness — not filtered through a complacent and sleepy media that made Washington’s war policy seem, if not sensible, at least sane and serious enough. I stood at Ground Zero of what was intended to be the new centerpiece for a Pax Americana in the Greater Middle East.

    Not to put too fine a point on it, but the invasion of Iraq turned out to be a joke. Not for the Iraqis, of course, and not for American soldiers, and not the ha-ha sort of joke either. And here’s the saddest truth of all: on March 20th as we mark the 10th anniversary of the invasion from hell, we still don’t get it. In case you want to jump to the punch line, though, it’s this: by invading Iraq, the U.S. did more to destabilize the Middle East than we could possibly have imagined at the time. And we — and so many others — will pay the price for it for a long, long time.…

    (snipped)

    • WorriedfortheCountry

       Worse than the Vietnam war?  I don’t think so.

      • nj_v2

        Oh, okay, then, it wasn’t as bad as Vietnam, so every thing’s just fine.

        Comments like this coming from wingers like you are gutless and deflectionary.

        Is this a lame attempt to justify the war?

        • DrewInGeorgia

          I don’t think it was an attempt at justification. An attempt at deflection and belittlement? Definitely.

          Which is worse?

  • Ray in VT

    This piece has a nice visual look at some of the costs of the war, and it says that the numbers come from the Congressional Research Service:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/03/18/iraq-war-costs_n_2885071.html

    • Gregg Smith

      Is there a study of the cost of not going to war?

      • Ray in VT

        I’m sure that Cato could work something up, and I’m sure that it would be in the bazillions of dollars.

        • Shag_Wevera

          I was thinking The Heritage Foundation.

          • Ray in VT

            I don’t know.  I have at least some respect for Heritage, in the sense that I think that they are at least thoughtful and do seem to use real numbers, although I disagree with many of their solutions.  Cato, on the other hand, I think just exists in some sort of libertarian fantasy world.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            But do “real numbers” apply here?

            I mean, Bob McNamara ran Ford before he was the SecDef during the Vietnam War, right?

            I thought the one thing we learned from watching him was that one couldn’t break down the fighting of a war with mere numbers (McNamara’s forte) the way one could apply the design, assembly, marketing, and selling of Fords, Mercuries and Lincolns.

          • Ray in VT

            Sometimes real numbers are hard to find or represent, and sometimes numbers shield people from the cold, hard realities of war.  I have a neighbor who came back from Iraq as a quadrapiligic.  How can we really quantify his sacrifice and the debt that we, as a nation, will be paying him for the rest of his life?

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            We can’t besides the proverbial “ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”.

          • DrewInGeorgia

            The debt we owe is seldom the debt that we pay.

            It breaks my heart.

          • Don_B1

            The problem is that the nation is NOT paying even the most severely wounded enough to make life tolerable, not to mention giving them what was promised.

            The VA has not been able to hire enough psychologists, etc., to deal with the large numbers of those suffering from PTSD, and Republicans’ plans to “privatize” it will end up making the availability of good treatment worse.

        • Gregg Smith

          I wasn’t talking about dollars.

          • Ray in VT

            Well, suggest away, but I thought that you didn’t like to deal in what if scenarios?

          • Gregg Smith

            I don’t, that’s true. But to me this entire discussion assumes (another tactic I don’t like) everything would have been peachy if we had not gone. That’s not credible at all. It’s huge assumption. I just asked the question no one seems to consider.

      • J__o__h__n

        It is called a surplus.  Even Bush’s tax cuts alone couldn’t have wasted Clinton’s surplus without this stupid war. 

        • Gregg Smith

          The surplus was sent back to the people in the form of $300 checks.

  • nj_v2

    “The invasion of Iraq may well turn out to be the greatest strategic disaster in American history.”
    —William Eldridge Odom (June 23, 1932 – May 30, 2008), retired U.S. Army 3-star general, and former Director of the NSA under President Ronald Reagan

    “‘This is a very intriguing decision (by Beers),’ said author and intelligence expert James Bamford. ‘There is a predominant belief in the intelligence community that an invasion of Iraq will cause more terrorism than it will prevent. There is also a tremendous amount of embarrassment by intellignece professionals that there have been so many lies out of the administration—by the president, Cheney, and Powell—over Iraq.’”
    —author and intellignece expert James Bamford speaking of the resignation of Rand Beers, National Security Council senior director for counter-terrorism; United Press International, 3/19/03

                                                                                                                      
    “Basically, cooked information is working its way into high-level pronouncements, and there’s a lot of unhappiness about it in intelligence, especially among  analysts at the CIA.” 
    —Vincent Cannistraro, former CIA head of counterintelligence, 
    on Bush’s rationale for a war against Iraq

    “It’s pretty interesting that all the generals [Colin Powell, Brent Scowcroft, Norman Schwarzkopf] see it the same way, and all the others who have never fired a shot and are hot to go to war see it another way.”
    —Anthony Zinni, former Marine Corps general

                                                                                                                                                                                

    “I believe the administration’s policies are making the world a more dangerous, not a safer, place.…This pre-emptive attack policy will provide justification for individuals and groups to ‘pre-emptively attcck’ America and American citizens.”

    —Senior diplomat Ann Wright, chief of mission at U.S. Embassy in Mongolia, in her resignation letter of 3/19/03, to Secretary of State Colin Powell, (3/29/03, NYT/AP)

    http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/national/AP-War-Diplomat-Resigns.html

    “But all in all, it’s been a fabulous year for Laura and me.”
    —G.W. Bush, Dec. 21, 2001

  • 65noname

    let’s hope that fallows doesn’t repeat his rationalization from a show on government radio last saturday, that he actually opposed the war but did not voice that opposition on government radio shows because he “internalized” his opposition. 

    Even when doing a show about a war that virtually everyone has been forced to admit was based on a lie government radio presents only the neolib/conservative line; if this is a retrospective on how the war began where are the voices of those who opposed the war during the run up to it? 

    We’ve already heard guys like fallows ad naseum.  How about the voices and perspectives of those who were right? those who were honest in what they said?

  • Ray in VT

    For those of you who have not looked at it, the post war report on WMD findings is worthwhile.  At over 1,000 it is weighty, but the key findings section gives a nice, relatively concise, summary:

    https://www.cia.gov/library/reports/general-reports-1/iraq_wmd_2004/index.html

  • nj_v2

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/3556714.stm

    Iraq ‘ended nuclear aims in 1991′
    The head of Iraq’s nuclear programme under Saddam Hussein has said Iraq destroyed its nuclear weapons programme in 1991 and never restarted it.

    Jafar Dhia Jafar told the BBC sanctions and inspections worked in stopping the reconstitution of the programme.

    He also said Iraq’s chemical and biological weapons programmes were destroyed after the first Gulf War and never reactivated.

    Mr Jafar ran Iraq’s nuclear programme for nearly 25 years.

    One of the most powerful arguments in the case for war on Iraq was the US and UK’s claim Saddam Hussein was trying to restart his nuclear programme.

    Equipment ‘destroyed’

    But Mr Jafar, whom the former Iraqi leader originally asked to build the country’s nuclear bomb, said all nuclear development stopped in July 1991, under the orders of Saddam Hussein.…

    (snipped)

    • Gregg Smith

      Who you gonna believe, the BBC or CIA? Ray’s link below contradicts yours.

      • Ray in VT

        How so?  The ISG report is pretty damning, including the following:

        Saddam Husayn ended the nuclear program in 1991 following the Gulf war. ISG found no evidence to sug-gest concerted efforts to restart the program.

        Although Saddam clearly assigned a high value to the nuclear progress and talent that had been developed up to the 1991 war, the program ended and the intellectual capital decayed in the succeeding years.

        While a small number of old, abandoned chemical munitions have been discovered, ISG judges that Iraq
        unilaterally destroyed its undeclared chemical weapons stockpile in 1991.
        There are no credible indications
        that Baghdad resumed production of chemical munitions thereafter, a policy ISG attributes to Baghdad’s desire
        to see sanctions lifted, or rendered ineffectual, or its fear of force against it should WMD be discovered.

        The regime certainly had ambitions, but the evidence is that they did not have the capabilities that they were supposed to have had.

        • Gregg Smith

          “ Iraq’ s centrifuge research and development site at Rashdiya and the planned centrifuge production and operations site at Al Furat were neither found nor targeted in the 1991 war, but industrial sites, found after the war to be supporting nuclear weapons efforts, were attacked and damaged.”

          That facility was not destroyed until 1992.

          That is a very large document with all kinds of tentacles. Dulfer definitely concluded as you say that Hussein had ambitions. He had 500 tons of yellowcake that was not removed until 2008.

          “Evidence suggests that, as resources became available and the constraints of sanctions decayed, there was a direct expansion of activity that would have the effect of supporting future WMD reconstitution.”

          I contend that if materials (yellowcake) were stockpiled, ambitions were clear and inspectors were thwarted then the “nuclear aims” (NJ’s claim) were not ended. NJ did not mention capabilities, his link said “aims”.

      • nj_v2

        Greggg once again demonstrates his illiteracy.

  • Gregg Smith

    The Iraq war was going to be fought. It was not an option. I believe had Algore won in 2000 he would have gone to Iraq. This hind sight and back seat driving is nothing but rhetoric. These two documents are the clearest evidence.

    http://www.presidentialrhetoric.com/speeches/09.12.02.html

    http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c105:H.R.4655.ENR:

    • NrthOfTheBorder

      Gregg you say “hind sight and back seat driving” but, ironically,  you seem to be doing very well at what you are accusing others of doing. 

      • Ray in VT

        Some measure of back seat driving, or hindsight, is needed if we are to learn from our mistakes, but I don’t think that we’ve done a good job on that front on this issue.

      • Gregg Smith

        No I’m not, I am pointing out what we knew at the time and others are assuming we knew what we know now at the time.

        Condi explained it well to Katie Couric.

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jtfDmj1KEvQ

        • nj_v2

          Conjobdoleeza Rice was one of the biggest liars in BushCo. Nothing she says about the war is credible.

          “The overwhelming bulk of the evidence was that this was an attack that was likely to take place overseas.”
          —White House National Security Adviser Condoleeza Rice, news briefing, 5/16/02

          “Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S.”
          —Title of the CIA’s August 6 2001 briefing memo to President Bush

          • Gregg Smith

            Are you racist?

          • jimino

            Really?

          • Gregg Smith

            I know, right?

          • nj_v2

            No, but you’re pathetic.

          • Gregg Smith

            Actually, I was just illustrating absurdity with absurdity. I learned it from Rush.

        • Don_B1

          You are NOT pointing out what “we knew.” You are pointing out what the Bush administration and most of the MSM were telling us “we knew.”

          But those who read more widely, particularly the publications of McClatchy News, saw other information that gave strong evidence that the Bush “talking points” were “full of hot s#$t (air).”

          And it now appears that you want to continue pushing false talking points.

    • J__o__h__n

      Has the Supreme Court not given the election to Bush, we would not have invaded Iraq.  Gore also wouldn’t have ignored a report titled “Bin Laden determined to strike in the US.” 

      • DrewInGeorgia

        I thought about bringing this up when I commented last night. If there are still those who refuse to make the connections, nothing anyone says is going to impede their self-delusion.

        In my opinion the SCOTUS has made more poor Decisions in the past three decades than in the rest of its history combined.

        • Gregg Smith

          I put Obamacare and Kelo at the top of the list.

      • Gregg Smith

        Bush won fair and square, get over it. Bin Laden bombed the WTC in 1993. Of course he was determined to strike the US, duh.

      • Don_B1

        As much as I agree that a President Al Gore would not have invaded Iraq, certainly not until the fighting in Afghanistan was ended with a crushed Taliban and support for a more democratic Afghan government in place, I do not think that the Supreme Court Decision in Bush v. Gore was ultimately dispositive in who would have won the “2000 Election.”

        The Florida legislature was on track to send its electors (votes) to the Electoral College in place of the set that might be the winners of the votes cast by Florida’s voters. Thus Florida would have been “won” by the Republican candidate anyway.

        • Gregg Smith

          That and the fact the votes have been counted. The Florida Supreme Court was the rogue faction. Every other court above and below disagreed but they inserted themselves and forced the SCOTUS to take it up. Judge Sanders Saul had it wrapped up until they did so.

  • ToyYoda

    I always opposed this war, and I thought Bush’ language to go into Iraq was really peculiar.  I don’t recall all the details, but Bush insisted that the Iraq’s furnish evidence of nothing, which is impossible, so I had suspected all along that Bush was planning an invasion long before he declared to.  Of course, Saddam didn’t help himself by chest thumping.

    I wonder if anyone ever compared the two methods we had before us at the time:  we could either invade Iraq, or increase the number of inspectors/auditors in the country.  I had wanted the latter, simply because it was a much cheaper option, and it would have saved hundreds of thousands of lives.

  • J__o__h__n

    This war has been a spectacular success.  Iraq is a democracy.  The WMDs were found.  We were greated as liberators.  Iraq’s oil money paid for the war.  Our exit was quick.

    • nj_v2

      You forgot: Democracy has spread like a California wildfire throughout the Mid East.

      • Wotan

        Bingo!

      • Don_B1

        The “California wildfire” meme may soon be joined by Southeast wildfire, as the nine current fires, two major, one in Alabama and another in South Carolina, are predictive of what climate change has in store for that section of the country.

    • The_Truth_Seeker

      Yup – try them all for war crimes, starting with Bush and Cheney (won’t he ever die?).

    • Fredlinskip

      Have you been watching Fox “News” again?

  • nj_v2

    From an AP article, Published in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Wednesday, January 12, 2005…

    Statements by the Bush administration before and after the invasion of Iraq in March 2003 on Saddam Hussein’s weapons programs:

    BEFORE THE WAR

    “Simply stated, there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction. There is no doubt he is amassing them to use against our friends, against our allies, and against us.” 
    —Vice President Dick Cheney, Aug. 26, 2002.

    “The problem here is that there will always be some uncertainty about how quickly he can acquire nuclear weapons. But we don’t want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud.”
    —National security adviser Condoleezza Rice, Sept. 8, 2002.

    “After 11 years during which we have tried containment, sanctions, inspections, even selected military action, the end result is that Saddam Hussein still has chemical and biological weapons and is increasing his capabilities to make more.”  
    —President Bush, Oct. 7, 2002.

    “Saddam Hussein is a man who told the world he wouldn’t have weapons of mass destruction, but he’s got them.” 
    —Bush, Nov. 3, 2002.

    “The gravity of this moment is matched by the gravity of the threat that Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction pose to the world.” 
    —Secretary of State Colin Powell, Feb. 5, 2003

    AFTER THE WAR

    “Although we have not found stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction, we were right to go into Iraq. … We removed a declared enemy of America who had the capability of producing weapons of mass murder.” 
    —Bush, July 12, 2004.

    “We got it wrong. We have seen nothing to suggest that he had actual stockpiles.” 
    —Powell, Oct. 1, 2004.

    “We were all unhappy that the intelligence was not as good as we had thought that it was. But the essential judgment was absolutely right. Saddam Hussein was a threat.” 
    —Rice, Oct. 3, 2004.

    “It turns out that we have not found weapons of mass destruction. Why the intelligence proved wrong I’m not in a position to say, but the world is a lot better off with Saddam Hussein in jail.” 
    —Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, Oct. 4, 2004.

    “He retained the knowledge, the materials, the means and the intent to produce weapons of mass destruction and he could have passed that knowledge on to our terrorist enemies.” 
    —Bush, Oct. 7, 2004.

    “Based on what we know today, the president would have taken the same action because this is about protecting the American people.” 
    —White House press secretary Scott McClellan, on Wednesday.

    • Gregg Smith

      And what do these people say now? 

      “One way or the other, we are determined to deny Iraq the capacity to develop weapons of mass destruction and the missiles to deliver them. That is our bottom line.”President Clinton, Feb. 4, 1998

      “If Saddam rejects peace and we have to use force, our purpose is clear. We want to seriously diminish the threat posed by Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction program.” — President Clinton, Feb. 17, 1998

      “Iraq is a long way from [here], but what happens there matters a great deal here. For the risks that the leaders of a rogue state will use nuclear, chemical or biological weapons against us or our allies is the greatest security threat we face.” — Madeline Albright, Feb 18, 1998

      “He will use those weapons of mass destruction again, as he has ten times since 1983.” — Sandy Berger, Clinton National Security Adviser, Feb 18, 1998

      “We urge you, after consulting with Congress, and consistent with the US Constitution and laws, to take necessary actions (including, if appropriate, air and missile strikes on suspect Iraqi sites) to respond effectively to the threat posed by Iraq’s refusal to end its weapons of mass destruction programs.” — Letter to President Clinton, signed by Sens. Carl Levin (D-MI), Tom Daschle (D-SD), John Kerry (D — MA), and others Oct. 9, 1998

      “Saddam Hussein has been engaged in the development of weapons of mass destruction technology which is a threat to countries in the region and he has made a mockery of the weapons inspection process.” — Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D, CA), Dec. 16, 1998

      “Hussein has chosen to spend his money on building weapons of mass destruction and palaces for his cronies.” — Madeline Albright, Clinton Secretary of State, Nov. 10, 1999

      “We know that he has stored secret supplies of biological and chemical weapons throughout his country.” — Al Gore, Sept. 23, 2002

      “Iraq’s search for weapons of mass destruction has proven impossible to deter and we should assume that it will continue for as long as Saddam is in power.” — Al Gore, Sept. 23, 2002

      “We have known for many years that Saddam Hussein is seeking and developing weapons of mass destruction.” — Sen. Ted Kennedy (D, MA), Sept. 27, 2002

      “The last UN weapons inspectors left Iraq in October of 1998. We are confident that Saddam Hussein retains some stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons, and that he has since embarked on a crash course to build up his chemical and biological warfare capabilities. Intelligence reports indicate that he is seeking nuclear weapons…” — Sen. Robert Byrd (D, WV), Oct. 3, 2002

      “When I vote to give the President of the United States the authority to use force, if necessary, to disarm Saddam Hussein, it is because I believe that a deadly arsenal of weapons of mass destruction in his hands is a threat, and a grave threat, to our security and that of our allies in the Persian Gulf region. I will vote yes because I believe it is the best way to hold Saddam Hussein accountable.” —Sen. John F. Kerry (D, MA), Oct. 9,2002

      • Ray in VT

        They’d probably say something like, “Damn, were we wrong.  That was some terrible intelligence that we got, plus some real whoppers that the Bush administration told.  Can we get Tenet to give his medal back?”

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

          (Cue “bu-bu-bu-but everybody got all the intel that the Bush State Department got!”)

        • Gregg Smith

          Bush told no lies. 

          • Ray in VT

            Yes he did.

          • Gregg Smith

            Please quote one.

          • Ray in VT

            I already have done that.  You merely choose to deny the report citing the lack of evidence and give me the Costanza defense.

      • nj_v2

        Gregg stammers, “And what do these people say now?”

        What the hell are you talking about? Your confused selection of quotes are all over ten years old.

        The weapons inspection program basically worked. There were no nuclear weapons. 

        After the weapons inspectors were withdrawn, BushCo cooked the intelligence it made available for public consumption. People within the intelligence community were speaking out at the time about that.

        People outside the administration, even Congress critters, were not privy to all the original-source intelligence that the administration had access to. What they did receive gave many of them doubts.

        [[ By WARREN P. STROBEL and JONATHAN S. LANDAY 
        Knight-Ridder Tribune News (Houston Chronicle, 10/8/02)

        WASHINGTON — While President Bush marshals congressional and international support for invading Iraq, a growing number of military officers, intelligence professionals and diplomats in his own government privately have deep misgivings about the administration’s double-time march toward war.

        These officials charge that administration hawks have exaggerated evidence of the threat that Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein poses — including distorting his links to the al-Qaida terrorist network — have overstated the amount of international support for attacking Iraq and have downplayed the potential repercussions of a new war in the Middle East.

        They charge that the administration squelches dissenting views and that intelligence analysts are under intense pressure to produce reports supporting the White House’s argument that Saddam poses such an immediate threat to the United States that pre-emptive military action is necessary.

        “Analysts at the working level in the intelligence community are feeling very strong pressure from the Pentagon to cook the intelligence books,” said one official, speaking on condition of anonymity.

        A dozen other officials echoed his views in interviews.

        No one who was interviewed disagreed.

        They cited recent suggestions by Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice that Saddam and Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaida network are working together.

        Rumsfeld said on Sept. 26 that the U.S. government has “bulletproof” confirmation of links between Iraq and al-Qaida members, including “solid evidence” that members of the terrorist network maintain a presence in Iraq.

        The facts are much less conclusive. Officials said Rumsfeld’s statement was based in part on intercepted telephone calls, in which an al-Qaida member who apparently was passing through Baghdad was overheard calling friends or relatives, intelligence officials said. The intercepts provide no evidence that the suspected terrorist was working with the Iraqi regime or that he was working on a terrorist operation while he was in Iraq, they said.

        Rumsfeld also suggested that the Iraqi regime has offered safe haven to bin Laden and Taliban leader Mullah Mohammed Omar.

        While technically true, that also is misleading. Intelligence reports said the Iraqi ambassador to Turkey, a longtime Iraqi intelligence officer, made the offer during a visit to Afghanistan in late 1998, after the United States attacked al-Qaida training
        camps with cruise missiles to retaliate for the bombings of the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. But officials said the same intelligence reports said bin Laden rejected the offer because he didn’t want Saddam to control his group.

        In fact, the officials said, there’s no ironclad evidence that the Iraqi regime and the terrorist network are working together or

        that Saddam has ever contemplated giving chemical or biological weapons to al-Qaida, with whom he has deep ideological differences.

        None of the dissenting officials, who work in a number of different agencies, would agree to speak publicly, out of fear of

        retribution. But many of them have long experience in the Middle East and South Asia, and all spoke in similar terms about their unease with the way U.S. political leaders are dealing with Iraq.

        All agreed that Saddam is a threat who eventually must be dealt with, and none flatly opposes military action. But, they say, the U.S. government has no dramatic new knowledge about the Iraqi leader that justifies Bush’s urgent call to arms.

        “I’ve seen nothing that’s compelling,” said one military officer who has access to intelligence reports.

        • Gregg Smith

          You quotes are a decade old. When I post news ones I’m told that they only said that because Bush lied to them so I was careful to post quotes before Bush. 

          • nj_v2

            There really is something cognitively wrong with you.

  • brettearle

    I would have supported the Iraq war, had it been a full international effort.

    [Unless, of course, one can claim that it was a myth that Hussein was a brutal and murderous despot to his own people; or that it was a misstatement to claim, by some notable promulgation, that he hadn't committed "crimes against humanity"; or that he wasn't a leader who was that 'dangerous',  situated in a strategic geopolitical location on the planet.]

    But what might the situation have been like in Iraq, in Central Asia, and in neighboring countries such as Saudi Arabia–had Hussein stayed in power?

    Would the world have been better off, worse off, or the same? 

    Or is it simply a matter of debating international law and national sovereignty?

  • William

    The Clinton “Iraq Liberation Act” set the path to war in Iraq into motion and cannot be overlooked. 

    • nj_v2

      On cue, the echoes of the “bbbbbuuuut, Clinton…” refrain so popular among the right-wing Bush apologists during the Shrub Reign of Error.

      Of course, the ILA emphasized supporting democratic elements in Iraq, prosecuting Hussein, and other non-war options.

      • William

         Clinton does get a free pass on this Iraq War discussion and his Iraq Liberation Act is seldom mentioned.

        • nj_v2

          It’s seldom mentioned because it has nothing to do with Bush’s war.

          • William

            Same as LBJ’s Gulf of Tonkin lie…

    • erictremont

      You are correct.  In fact, many prominent national security officials from the Clinton administration and other prior Democractic administrations supported the 2003 Iraq invasion before they turned against it, including Richard Holbrooke, Susan Rice, Dennis Ross, Sandy Berger, and Les Gelb. 

    • Shag_Wevera

      If you look hard enough you might also be able to give some blame to Jimmy Carter, or even Woodrow Wilson.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

        Hey, James K. Polk isn’t getting off scot-free in my house.

      • William

         ”Bill” gets a pass, but he owns the Iraq War.

  • NrthOfTheBorder

    Aside from the gross distortions of the truth that allowed us to be goaded in to this war, the tremendous loss of lives and treasure it’s stunning how little accountability – and perhaps criminal charges – there has been demanded from, or levied against, those responsible.  

    The day Obama declined to pressure congress for hearings on this sordid war – to let sleeping dogs lie as it were – was the day I knew he didn’t have the mettle to be a great president. 

    The ultimate cost of this war I fear is the stage is set for us to be drawn into more costly, perpetual, useless, ineffectual conflicts where truth and cold assessment of fact are but footnotes to misguided policy and the political or financial ambitions of a few.

  • WorriedfortheCountry

     Where’s the oil?  I thought it was war for oil.  We are still waiting.

    • Ray in VT

      Do you mean the oil which was supposed to help pay for the costs of the war (or something) via revenue from sales?  They’re putting out a decent amount, so I wonder why the grateful government that we helped to install isn’t forking over some of that cash.

      • TomK_in_Boston

        I think it was advertized as a $50 bil war. Quite a bait and switch!

        What did we “win”? Think we could have used those $trillions for something else? Calling all deficit hystericals, come in please.

      • Gregg Smith

        Trump was right about that issue, we should have taken the oil. It’s just not the way America rolls.

        • Ray in VT

          If you take a good look at American history, then you would certainly see that we have certainly rolled in just such a fashion in the past.

          • Gregg Smith

            Like the Marshall plan?

          • Ray in VT

            I was thinking more along the lines of how we dealt with Latin America throughout much of the 20th century.  We did a lot of good in Europe after World War II, but it was hardly out of the kindness of our hearts.  Conditions were very bad, and there was a realization that if things did not improve, then many people, perhaps even entire nations, might give up hope in the democratic and/or capitalist model and give what the Soviets were offering a go.

          • Gregg Smith

            Whose oil did we take?

          • Ray in VT

            We were after goods other than oil in Latin America.

          • Gregg Smith

            I’m not being flip, I honestly don’t know. What did we take?

          • Ray in VT

            We pretty much stole Panama from Colombia, and we had a very long record of supporting friendly dictators who would give us and American companies what they wanted, and we generally asked few questions.  We enabled, encouraged and often openly supported regimes that brutalized their own people while kowtowing to business interests so that we could keep getting our bananas and such on the cheap.

    • northeaster17

      Here is an interesting look at what’s happened in the last few years.

      http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2012/08/big-oils-scorecard-iraq

    • Wotan

      I never bought into the “it was for their oil” argument, but in addition to Exxon having won the lone American contract:

      Lukoil and many of the other international oil companies that won fields in the auction are now subcontracting mostly with the four largely American oil services companies that are global leaders in their field: Halliburton, Baker Hughes, Weatherford International and Schlumberger. Those four have won the largest portion of the subcontracts to drill for oil, build wells and refurbish old equipment.

      “Iraq is a huge opportunity for contractors,” Alex Munton, a Middle East analyst for Wood Mackenzie, a research and consulting firm based in Edinburgh, said by telephone.
      http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/17/business/energy-environment/17oil.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

        It’s a real gold rush. By which I mean the real money isn’t in digging for gold, but in selling supplies to suckers prospectors.

        • Wotan

          Tax payers are footing the bill for the military invasion of Iraq and will be for a generation while the select few profiteers have been lining their pockets with huge sums. Truly, I cannot begin to understand and enter the mindset of those who neglect this and instead keep whining daily about our budgetary responsibility to our kids’ generation.

      • WorriedfortheCountry

         Lukoil?  So it was ‘oil for Putin’ in the end.

        • Wotan

          Selective read much?

    • MrStang

      Is this tedious Trolling…or true curiousity? sigh.
      ” Documents turned over in the summer
      of 2003 by the Commerce Department as
      a result of the Sierra Club’s and Judicial
      Watch’s Freedom of Information Act
      lawsuit, concerning the activities of the
      Cheney Energy Task Force, contain a
      map of Iraqi oilfields, pipelines,
      refineries and terminals, as well as two
      charts detailing Iraqi oil and gas
      projects, and “Foreign Suitors for Iraqi
      Oilfield Contracts.” The documents,
      dated March 2001, also feature maps of
      Saudi Arabian and United Arab Emirates
      oilfields, pipelines, refineries and tanker
      terminals. There are supporting charts
      with details of the major oil and gas
      development projects in each country
      that provide information on the project’s
      costs, capacity, oil company and status
      or completion date.
      Documented plans of occupation and
      exploitation predating September 11
      confirm heightened suspicion that U.S.
      policy is driven by the dictates of the
      energy industry. According to Judicial
      Watch President, Tom Fitton, “These
      documents show the importance of the
      Energy Task Force and why its
      operations should be open to the
      public.”
      When first assuming office in early 2001,
      President Bush’s top foreign policy
      priority was not to prevent terrorism or
      to curb the spread of weapons of mass
      destruction-or any of the other goals he
      espoused later that year following 9-11.
      Rather, it was to increase the flow of
      petroleum from suppliers abroad to U.S.
      markets. In the months before he
      became president, the United States had
      experienced severe oil and natural gas
      shortages in many parts of the country,
      along with periodic electrical power
      blackouts in California. In addition, oil
      imports rose to more than 50% of total
      consumption for the first time in history,
      provoking great anxiety about the
      security of the country’s long-term
      energy supply. Bush asserted that
      addressing the nation’s “energy crisis”
      was his most important task as
      president.”/snip

      http://www.projectcensored.org/top-stories/articles/8-secrets-of-cheneys-energy-task-force-come-to-light/

    • J__o__h__n

      He didn’t find any with Arbusto either. 

  • MrStang

    The Senate intelligence committee report on the use of intelligence to start war (delayed for YEARS by chairman sen. Roberts-R Kansas) concludes that Bush administration:
    either
    1. Straight-up lied about wmd using what it knew to be bad information to create a false casus belli
    OR
    2. Bush admin. manufactured bad intel (from forgeries and torture) to create casus belli
    OR
    3. Bush admin. Too stupid/inept to handle/process bad intel and went to war by ‘mistake’

    pick one
    http://www.blogrunner.com/snapshot/D/4/3/senate_panel_finds_iraq_intelligence_exaggerations/

    • Shag_Wevera

      Here is my best rebuttal:  Stop blaming Bush???

      • J__o__h__n

        He is getting off easy if being blamed is the worst consequence for him.

  • TomK_in_Boston

    What shocked me was that the lessons I thought wd never be forgotten from vietnam – in particular the need to be very skeptical of gvt propaganda about a war of choice – were actually completely forgotten. From the phony Gulf of Tonkin “incident” and the phony commie threat to SE asia to saddam’s phony WMD, not a dam thing changed. The corporate media shameless parroted the propaganda, when even a little detective work showed that the WMD case was very shaky. Sanctions had in reality been extremely effective in crippling iraq, while the media swallowed the story about iraq being a veritable superpower.

    So the media and our legislators let us down, and the cost in blood and treasure is in the trillions. Too bad for us. Ironically, as the current crop of warlovers rant about iran, the iraq war strengthened iran by turning their enemy iraq into an ally.

    The iraq debacle shows that the corporate media aren’t worth s**t when it comes to cutting through propaganda. I see identical behavior today, not only over iran, but with the dutiful parroting of deficit hysteria, the need for “entitlement reform”, etc. They won’t speak truth to power re shooting war or class war. The big bad deficit = saddam’s WMD.

    • William

       Good points….now the media and political elites are beating the war drums again for “action in Syria”…we can’t get a break.

      • TomK_in_Boston

        Wow!
        Yes, I hear the drums for syria building up, when we don’t even know who we would be helping.

        • William

           We have been at war since Dec. 7th, 1941 with little let up.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

    Anyone else still eating “Freedom Fries”? Gosh, that was some fun times for neocons.

    • Shag_Wevera

      That was SOOO stupid.  Sad that we can still be whooped up into a frenzy by such jingoistic nationalist nonsense.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

        When you say “still”, it makes me want to run a contest for the next “Freedom Fries”: Which ally will stanch the kewl kidz’ run to Iran, and what will we rename because of that?

        • J__o__h__n

          Iran has the world’s best pistachios.  Maybe “freedom nuts” would be a good new name. 

    • Ray in VT

      I prefer Liberty Cabbage.

  • northeaster17

    We broke Saddam, and for our trouble inherited an Iran no longer looking over it’s shoulder towards Baghdad. 

    • Gregg Smith

      Iran is on the verge of nukes. If Hussein was still in power unchecked (the inspectors were not allowed access) there would either be a nucular arms race between the two or Iran would nuke Iraq.

      • northeaster17

        If I remember right the inspectors on the ground were correct in saying Saddam did not have nuc. capability. Bush pulled them out.

        • Ray in VT

          Actually I think that the administration just advised them to leave on the eve of the invasion.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            Yep. But it’s lost to history if the phrase “nice little UN inspections convoy you got here; shame if anything should happen to it” came from the White House.

          • Ray in VT

            I don’t recall that.  Care to provide some background?

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            I’m kidding, I think.

            I do remember the idea that “Saddam kicked out the UN inspectors” being the MediaFact du jour for quite a few months back then.

          • Gregg Smith

            It’s a distinction without a difference. If the cops with a warrant (or a unanimous resolution from the UN security council) were knocking at your door demanding entry and you refused, it’s not a stretch to say you kicked them out of your yard. If they came back with a swat team then it’s on you.

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

          Hey, remember when Hans Blix was the OldEurope elite effete idiot?

          Fudge, remember who came up with the Old Europe and “New (Improved) Europe” shit? I think it was Rumstud (sic).

        • Gregg Smith

          They were not given access that was agreed to so the inspections were useless. Hussein refused to budge.

      • TomK_in_Boston

        If saddam was still in power after 10 more years of our sanctions, he’d be working on the bow and arrow, not a nuke.

        Hey, I hear Iran is planning a nuke-you-ler attack in the Gulf of Tonkin.

        • Gregg Smith

          How’d “Oil for Food” work out?

          • TomK_in_Boston

            Who cares? Try not to let ideology cloud your focus. The primary aim of sanctions was to degrade the military capability, and by 2003 saddam was a military basket case. There was no need for an invasion.

      • nj_v2

        Says the expert who can’t spell nuclear.

        • Gregg Smith

          That was too easy, you’re such a sucker!

          http://onpoint.wbur.org/2011/08/18/david-deutsch#comment-833619091

          • nj_v2

            Greggg’s not a fool, he only plays one on message boards.

          • Gregg Smith

            Ha ha, you feel silly don’t you? Only a nasty, petty grammar cop would fall for such a blatant ploy. I’ve actually done the same thing twice before over the last few months, I was just waiting on you and you didn’t disappoint.

    • TomK_in_Boston

      Exactly. W couldn’t have done better as an Iranian secret agent.

      Remember, Reagan used saddam as a pawn against Iran and approved of his obtaining and using chemical weapons. The WMD in the propaganda originally came from us (tho were lost over time under sanctions)!

      Crazy!

  • MrNutso

    The long lasting effect that we still feel today is “illusion of consensus”.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/18/opinion/krugman-marches-of-folly.html?nl=todaysheadlines&emc=edit_th_20130318&_r=0

  • Roy-in-Boise

    A question for your guests:
    In light of Dick Cheney’s latest comments are the accusations of John
    Perkins (the economic hit man) really that far fetched?

  • ianway

    Over 100,000 civilian deaths, according to Iraq Body Count:  http://www.iraqbodycount.org/.  A country destroyed.  Oh well.  Collateral damage.  The manufacturers of weapons and their proxies in Congress are making more money than anytime in history.  Disgusting.  WE are the savages.

  • MarkVII88

    Before his line dropped briefly Tom, your guest said that the prevailing sentiment in the Bush Admin. just prior to the Iraq War was that the budget and economic surpluses in the US were too high.  Two questions: Were these surpluses the result of the Clinton-era economic policies?  And, why did the Bush Admin. seem to view these surpluses as a bad thing?  

  • Gregg Smith

    The media was obsessed with military deaths under Bush marking every milestone and beating the drum relentlessly. Somehow that’s all ended as our soldiers die in Afghanistan. 

    • scottmartin49

      Gregg, what other option was there for a media attached to such a self referential populace to pursue in order to convince the same of the futility of their efforts?

      In my region, it was only the bodybags that brought clarity. Now it’s just a general sense of ease at the opportunity to ‘wind-down’ our efforts. 

  • WorriedfortheCountry

     Worse than Vietnam?   Fallows has not made a compelling case.  Not even close.

  • Shag_Wevera

    It is sadly a cliche’ to say war should always be the last option, but it has been proven again (and again in Afghanistan).  The notion of pre-emptive war should now be considered a blight on American foreign diplomacy.

    Future wars will be won economically, and I’m afraid we will be the last to discover this new truth.  How many times do we outspend China on our military?  We are beginning to resemble the dreadnought/battleship paradigm in the era of aircraft carriers. 

    • northeaster17

      Apparently that’s how we beat Russia. We’re doing the same thing to ourselves.

  • OnpointListener

    Groupthink wrapped in patriotism results in fascism.

    • scottmartin49

      I think what you’re reaching for here is that, “ Groupthink wrapped in patriotism” without consideration for opposing opinions (and with suppressive force applied) IS fascism.

      Agreed

  • William

    JFK’s Vietnam War was the biggest disaster in USA’s history.

    • nj_v2

      ^ Mindless partisan idiocy.

      • scottmartin49

        I call foul- it’s a fair comment (albeit allowing for some ‘opinion’). 

        When being ‘liberal’ in 21st century America means Eisenhower Republicanism, it’s time to call a spade a spade. Our current militarism falls plainly on Truman’s doorstep in his willingness to continue the ‘War on Fascism’ as the ‘War on Communism’.What will the ‘War on Terror’ morph into?

        A war on poverty? Joblessness? Income disparity? I’m not holding my breath…

        • nj_v2

          It’s not a fair comment coming from one of the forums right-wing bleacher-seat occupants. In that context, it’s deflection from the issue at hand—Bush’s FUBAR Iraq adventure.

          Not a one of them, including Willie, has come out and said anything unambiguously critical of the rationalization, justification, or execution of the war.

          The precision of the comparison to Vietnam is purely deflectionary.

           

          • scottmartin49

            And yet…

            What we’re really considering here is ‘speech’- more important than post-event related discussions of ‘right’ vs. ‘wrong’. His comment was fair, your foreclosure of it not so much…

            Deflectionary or not, it stands prima facie as truth conditionally.

          • nj_v2

            No idea what you’re talking about.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

      JFK’sVietnamWar (no Nixon, thanx), and yet you warp and twist Clinton’s ILA from 1998 into the invasion of Iraq?

      (And let’s not forget the right wing media shitstormers from whom we got the idea that Iraq and 9/11 were connected.)

      Keep JAQing it, William.

      • William

         Clinton was proud to get his Iraq Liberation Act passed and has not regrets. Don’t waste your time defending Bill, he is not worth it.

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

          Clinton wasn’t warping the ILA into “Iraq means 9/11!!1!!one!” in October 2001. Keep flapping your yap about that, William.

          • William

             Clinton’s can run, but he can’t hide, he owns the Iraq War.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            Okay, whoever’s impostoring William, stop it: You’re saying stuff that so stupid that even William wouldn’t do it.

          • William

             Can’t undo what Clinton did.

          • jefe68

            The level idiocy is astounding.

          • nj_v2

            Or maybe lie down. William deserves his own, special category.

          • William

             No facts?

    • jefe68

      There is evidence that JFK was unsure about increased involvement in South Vietnam. But aside from that your comment is kind of hilarious as the idea of stopping communism, one needs to remember that the Cold War was in full swing in the 60′s. Most Americans were in support of this at this time. Funny how a right winger such as yourself seems to anti-war and is using the Vietnam war to score political points. That’s really telling.

  • northeaster17

    Before the invasion House Majority Leader Dick Armey was not sure he would support it. Then He got a call from Dick Cheney.
    It seems to have been an interesting meeting and Cheney convinced Armey. Turns out he was lying.

    http://articles.latimes.com/2008/sep/16/nation/na-cheney16  

  • BHA_in_Vermont

    I hope history remembers the facts:
    GW Bush lied about WMD so he could invade.
    Dick Cheney lied about WMD so he could invade.
    NO OTHER COUNTRY believed Hussein had WMDs. Britain stuck with us because it was politically necessary.

    When the WMD lie was uncovered – REGIME CHANGE – must have REGIME CHANGE. Have to get that despot Hussein out of Iraq. Never mind that we don’t seem to think we need to kick Robert Mugabe out of Zimbabwe. Never mind that we don’t think many other dictator “leaders” who are destroying their countries and people need “regime change”.

    This war cost the USA tens of thousands of men and women, both killed and injured. It cost Iraq tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of men and women, both killed and injured.

    This “off the books” war cost the USA tax payer $800B in “cash” and $1.7 Trillion over all… so far. Add in the projected $6T for future Veteran expenses.

    Thank you GWB. I hope Jeb is smart enough to know that his chances of getting elected are about zero given the history of his brother and “read my lips – no new taxes” father.

  • http://www.facebook.com/daniel.cadzow Daniel Cadzow

    This episode makes me feel queasy.  I remember when the war was unfolding how phony the reasons were.  Now so much lost, so many dead, so many suffering, and so many lessons not learned.  Thank you for not letting this shameful episode fade to black.

  • albert Sordi

    I ran into a the son of a friend who came back from serving in Iraq and Afghanistan four years ago.   I asked him how he was doing and if he was attending school.  Unfortunately, he wasn’t working and not in school.  But he said confidently that his name was on the list for the police department. 

    Nice… I should add that his eyes were glossy and dialated, as he was noticeably high as a kite when I was talking to him.  Whether he becomes a cop or not, it will be a lose-lose for the USA.
    Just another casualty for Israel and Oil.

  • Jasoturner

    I theorize that if you don’t look to apportion blame, we can still observe a few things:

    The United States botched and misread the intelligence – Iran had no WMD and had insignificant linkages to “terrorists”.

    The Pentagon had virtually no plan for post-invasion management of the conflict

    There was almost no appreciation of, or respect for, cultural differences between the Americans and the Iraqis.  Nor was there an effort to inculcate this appreciation and respect in our military training before the invasion.

    There was a breathtaking lack of knowledge of the Muslim faith as made evident by some of the statements made by American politicians and military leaders.

    The cost of the war as represented to the citizenry prior to the invasion was laughably in error.

    Americans and Iraqis are not strong allies at this time.

    Whether you want to blame Bush or not, this invasion (not war) was one of America’s wost moments.  We are poorer for it in the damage to our citizen-soldiers, the draining of our treasure, and in the moral corrosion that torture (and the debate about it’s usefulness!) caused in the public at large.

    As a final point, ask yourself honestly: If you were an Iraqi, how would you feel about the United States?  See if your answer vindicates the invasion of Iraq.

    • brettearle

      Well said.

      But, as I have asked far above, what might that area of the World be like now–without our immoral (or, to some, so-called immoral) act?

      One cannot see foreign policy through the eyes of, “what if” or  “what if this didn’t happen”.

      Nevertheless, a country operates, obviously, on its own self-interest.

      Sometimes, that self-interest can violate international ethics, general moral standards, and Law.

      And, from one point of view, it could turn out to have been the RIGHT decision, anyway:

      Right in terms of protecting the citizens of the United States.

      Case in point:

      Hiroshima/Nagasaki.

      We will never know how many soldiers we would have lost, in a ground invasion of Japan.

      I’m not supporting Truman’s decision nor am I against it, here.

      I am simply making a statement of how a decision can be widely viewed as unethical–but could STILL turn out to be for the protection of the people of the country, for which the decision was made.

      From the standpoint of the protection and the safety of Americans, we can never prove that Truman’s decision was wrong.

      We might not be able to do that, either with Bush II’s decision.

      • Jasoturner

        Well, again, I was just trying to identify statements that most people would objectively concede to be true. 

        As to the what-if questions, yeah.  We can never know.  But I think it is generally conceded to be true that the no-fly zone was working and that Hussein was effectively being contained.  We didn’t know that categorically at the time, but we know that now. 

        So there is at least an argument of plausibility that our national interest could have been maintained with the infamous “status quo ante” rather than an invasion.

        • brettearle

          One rejoinder might be that our Intelligence turned out to be so faulty

          [some of it very likely being altered to suit the agenda of the Neo-Cons, but  others of it being plain bad]

          that no Fly-Zone or Fly-Zone, there’s no telling what sort of malicious chicanery he might have been up to–vis a vis:

          Biowarfare;

          Reconstituting his WMD program;

          Poisoning Iraqi citizens who were recognized as his political enemies;

          Border skirmishes with or actually invading Saudi Arabia;

          Reactivating the Iran-Iraq war

          Border skirmishes with Kuwait

          Directly or Indirectly Manipulating the Oil Markets–either directly through OPEC or indirectly

          Suppressing the rights of the Shia, in his country

          Supporting Jihad activity on the West Bank and Gaza

          Supporting Al Qaeda

          Exploiting the Oil-for-Food program

          Now maybe some of the above is Right Wing Media Propaganda.

          But WE CAN’T discount some of these issues–had Hussein stayed around….

          Can we?

          • Jasoturner

            Well again, these strike me as hypotheticals with varying  degrees of plausibility, some of which would not be commonly accepted as “probably” true or accurate.  For example, the facts now show that he was NOT “reconstituting his WMD program.  The fact that there was ambiguity at the time does not dispute this ultimate outcome.

          • brettearle

            Reconstitution could occur at any time–not simply when we invaded.

            But rather, in the Future, had we NOT invaded.

            Conjecture? 

            Yes….but STILL possible. 

  • Ray in VT

    On a sort of related note, the FBI’s national security letters have been ruled unconstitutional.

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    Political advantage is the big benefit?  Wow.  Where is the balance on this show?

    • jefe68

      You could turn it off. Now there is a concept.

      • Gregg Smith

        Why? So that NPR can spew unchallenged? Is that what you want?

        • jefe68

          You can turn it off if you don’t like.
          I do it all the time.

  • olisso

    It was not only the terrible decision to invade but the disastrous negligence, incompetence and  cronyism after the invasion that made the situation so costly (politically and human life) and long lasting …. I can sadly say that now my country is an invader of sovereign nations, not unlike the old USSR

  • http://www.facebook.com/gina.ungar Gina Robinson Ungar

    As your guests dicussed the costs of the Iraq war, I didn’t hear anyone mention the number of Iraqi fatalities, permanent disabilities, or the cost of damage to their homes, cities and other infrastructure.  As we look at the question of whether the war was “worth it”, it seems at least worthy of passing mention to consider it from the perspective of average Iraqis, whose lives are surely impacted more deeply than most of ours.

    • northeaster17

      That’s what happens when American Exceptionalism is part of America’s mindset. We were right to go in, and even if we were wrong we were trying to do right. Therefore America should be held blameless. You see it’s just not our fault. They are the ones who resisted.

  • Yar

    Tom,
    There was a father / son connection to 9/11.  That surely had an effect on George W. Bush. 

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    Fallows disingenuously talks about permanent surpluses at the start of the Iraq war.  Wow.  That is revisionist history.

    He is conveniently ignoring intervening events.  The recession caused by the bursting of the Internet bubble and 9/11 terrorist attacks.  By 2003 there were no surpluses.

    There is plenty to criticize but why make phony arguments.
     

    • jimino

      Yours is the faulty revisionist history.  From “W”‘s first State of the Union address:

      “Many of you have talked about the need to pay down our national debt. I listened, and I agree.

      We owe it to our children and our grandchildren to act now, and I hope you will join me to pay down $2 trillion in debt during the next 10 years.  At the end of those 10 years, we will have paid down all the debt that is available to retire. .  .  We have increased our budget at a responsible 4 percent. We have funded
      our priorities. We have paid down all the available debt. We have prepared for contingencies, and we still have money left over..  .  You see, the growing surplus exists because taxes are too high and
      government is charging more than it needs. The people of America have been overcharged, and on their behalf, I am here asking for a refund.”

      But I’m sure you spent the 8 years of his term demanding, I tell you, DEMANDING, that he live up to his promises.

  • Jim

    GW Bush did an excellent job covering up his arrse. He wiped out Saddam entire family including his grandsons, a perfect example of wiping out the seed of an entire family.

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    I saw a recent interview with Wolfowitz where he deeply regretted the human cost of the war.

    • northeaster17

      I guess that’s enough penance for one man. 

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

        (Full deadpan, I take it? If so, well done.)

    • Ray in VT

      That’s good (that the effects of the decisions that he helped to shape weigh upon him, as it should for all policymakers).  What else did he have to say?

      • WorriedfortheCountry

         I only saw that clip, not the entire interview.  I put it out because Tom and Fallows were putting forth that there was no regret from the decision makers.

    • jimino

      WTF do you expect him to say at this point?  Did he take any personal responsibility for the “human cost” he so deeply regrets?  I would prefer seppuku as a much more honorable response.

      • WorriedfortheCountry

         Don’t ask me to defend poor Paul.  He has to live with himself.

    • jefe68

      Hindsight is always 20/20.

  • DonM55

    Building on what Gina wrote…  also, they estimated during the war that there were over a million Iraqi refugees that had left the country and another million refugees within their own country, no longer safe to live in their home towns or cities.  

    But closer to home, the U.S. veterans have paid a huge price for Bush/Chaney’s stupidity.  If they had an ounce of honor, Bush and Chaney would spend every day visiting the wounded vets and the families of those that have died, apologizing and begging for forgiveness.

  • http://www.facebook.com/emily.h.lacroix Emily Harvey Lacroix

    My country has been at war since I started high school and began paying attention to world events. The consequences for me personally have not been high, but watching soldiers come home broken if they come home at all, the Iraqi victims, the consequences to our civil liberties, and the knowledge of government lies shapes everything I see in the world today.

    • nj_v2

      “War is the health of the state.”
      —Randolph Bourne

      • scottmartin49

        Reminiscent of Marinetti- war as lowly hygiene. An equally cynical view, predicating an era of commercial or political fascism. 

  • Steve_the_Repoman

    Realpolitik and can/ should US maintain the idea of exceptionalism? At what cost?

    Cheney, Kissinger, German militarization, Bismark, Rochau, Metternich, Potemkin, Catherine the Great…

    What circumstances lead to the idea of American exceptionalism? If it was ever true – George Washington (voluntarily giving up power for example) – how and why is it so easily manipulated?

    • scottmartin49

      Isn’t it funny how the same idiots who are always grasping at ‘The Founding Fathers’ forget Washington’s dictums regarding foreign entanglements and permanent military establishments (among others)?

      A foolish and stupid people reap what they’ve sown.

  • Sunbeamgardener

    As long as wars are profitable to arms manufacturers we will continue to have wars

  • adiggins

    Tom, please ask your guests to comment on the fact that during the run up to the Iraq war the Bush administration held its intelligence evidence so close to its vest that only a tiny number of lawmakers were allowed to view it, and weren’t they even not allowed to take notes or discuss it among themselves?

    That was a red flag to me at the time…smelled fishy.

  • dt03044

    I was in the military during the build-up to the war and I was incredulous at what I saw coming.  I couldn’t make sense of the shift from Afghanistan to Iraq.  But dissent was not allowed.  It was clear I was in the minority, so I stayed quiet as others cheered Bush on.  Any lawmaker who suggested we may be making a mistake was greeted with “why don’t you support the troops”?   They were bullied into going along with the Iraq war. Robert Byrd was one notable exception, among a few others.  I retired from the Navy in 2006.  I guess I feel somewhat validated listening to this conversation, for what it’s worth.  But this will always be a sad chapter in American history.

  • http://twitter.com/Nelsdj David J Nelson

    I believe the Bush-Cheney administration distorted intelligence on purpose in order to make GW Bush a war president and increase the likelihood of his being reelected to a second term.  They succeeded immensely in their pursuit of that goal!

    • nj_v2

      BushCo was planning a way to invade Iraq almost literally from the day they got in office.

      • scottmartin49

        Pathetic little Freudian melodrama, wasn’t it?

      • Gregg Smith

        Clinton made regime change U.S. policy. 

        • nj_v2

          Show us his invasion plans.

  • DeJay79

    I KNEW That Jr. was going to Attack Iraq! Before he was elected I told everybody I could that, If GWB is elected we will go to war against Iraq. His dad carried the mark of failing to get Saddam (which I thought was the right desicion) but his own party called it a failure, so ofcourse as soon as his son got a chance he was going to attack Iraq.

    Why is this such a hard thing to understand?

    Of course he had the perfect VP to support him, Mr. Halliburton himself.

    So then 911 happens, with attackers coming from Afghanistan (another country we messed up in the past) and of course the first thing Bush Jr. wants to do is attack Iraq. yes I know we went to Afghanistan first but that was not our priority at all, and everybody knows it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/daniel.cadzow Daniel Cadzow

    With so much death, suffering, and destruction based on such contrived and flimsy evidence we’ve netted more enemies and spread little democracy.  We are continuing that policy with drone strikes.  Why can’t we get behind peace profits?

  • http://twitter.com/susannahsirkin Susannah Sirkin

    We at Physicians for Human Rights had scientifically documented Saddam Hussein’s use of poison gas against the Iraqi Kurds in his own country in 1988, killing thousands.  We knew that  at least chemical weapons were indeed in his arsenal.  Yet, we warned urgently of the enormous likely humanitarian and human rights toll of the 2003 invasion.  The lack of preparation for the destruction that could predictably ensue and that indeed, did, was astounding. What we did not fully predict was the outrage of Abu Ghraib and the huge cost to human rights and dignity of detainees, their families, their communities and their religion, not to mention the huge stain on the US as a country bound by the UN Convention on Torture — and which has violated its legal commitments repeatedly since 9/11 and most notoriously in the aftermath of the invasion of Iraq.  We are still waiting for accountability for those who developed, supported and implemented the regime of torture under the Bush Administration.
    See http://www.physiciansforhumanrights.org

    • WorriedfortheCountry

       ”We are still waiting for accountability for those who developed,
      supported and implemented the regime of torture under the Bush
      Administration.”

      Evidence please.  Are you talking about water boarding?
      Weren’t only 4 people water boarded by the Bush admin?
      Aren’t US service members water boarded as part of their training?  Are you contending we ‘torture’ service members?

      Mutilation, pulling off finger nails, etc IS clearly torture.  There is debate whether water boarding is torture.

      • scottmartin49

        Let’s try it on you- then answer!

      • nj_v2

        More apologizing for BushCo. It’s all you’ve been doing today. Pathetic.

        And you’ve got the ballz to use “WorriedfortheCountry” for a handle.

        • WorriedfortheCountry

           There is plenty to criticize Bush, Cheney and Rummy on.  Let’s focus on their failures.

      • MrStang

        There’s no debate. Waterboarding is torture. We.executed people forcommitting this war.crime after WWII.
        http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/11/02/AR2007110201170.html

        • WorriedfortheCountry

           So we torture our own service members?

        • nj_v2

          The forum’s right-wingding clown posse is in full form today.

          I’ve lost whatever little shred of tolerance i used to be able to conjure up for them.

  • DrewInGeorgia

    The only people who weren’t speaking out against going into Iraq are those who were more interested in picking up their torches and joining in the witch-burning. Yes the public was lied to, misled, and incited through the media coverage, but anyone who tried to look at events objectively had to see the writing on the wall. I know you had an irritating friend, co-worker, or family member like myself screaming into your ear what was really going down. Did you listen?

    This is what happens when Vengeance clouds all sense of Justice. Please let us learn from our misdeeds.

    • DeJay79

       I was scream at people before he was even elected. how much I wished more would have listened. At least he lost my state of Michigan

  • Ellen Dibble

    I hate to say I missed a few minutes, but I wanted to say that the media was not helpful in the lead-up to the Iraq War.  I remember posting on this WBUR site to please be more aggressive in getting facts.  All we heard were talking points.
        I like to think that with the social media we have and use now, the same wool could not be pulled over our heads for so long.  The media is maybe even more under corporate influence, and the Congress, but we do have new tools.

  • MarkVII88

    Tom, how much credence do your guests give the notion that the Bush Admin. engaged in the Iraq War as a way of finalizing or finishing the Gulf War conflict of 1991?  Did G.W. Bush do this for his Dad?

  • DonM55

    Plus the press share responsibility for not questioning anything Bush/Cheney said.  Constantly, the press broadcast them conflating Iraq & 9/11 in the same sentence (or Al Qaida & Sadam Hussein, or Bid Laden & Iraq, etc.)  

    After months of this constant barrage, the majority of people believed there was a link between Iraq and those that truly attacked us –  EVEN AFTER BUSH ADMITTED THAT THERE WAS NO LINK, A LARGE PERCENTAGE OF AMERICANS STILL BELIEVED IT!  The press facilitated the lie.

    • DeJay79

       I never believed.

  • Wotan

    I’m struck by the poor taste of fund-raising during an episode on the Iraq invasion. If mass media including ‘BUR, On Point and NY Times, the Post, PBS, ABC, CBS, NBC and on and on hadn’t been so manipulated into being a propaganda apparatus, and had simply done their jobs better, we wouldn’t have had 70% American approval rating to invade Iraq then years ago.

  • dallas rolnick

    Calling Iraq a “blunder” invites it to happen again.  The Bush/Security administration disingenuously leveraged national sentiment after 9/11.  And a lot us knew what this was while it was happening – lies and manipulation.  That was clear then, and we let it happen.  It wasn’t a blunder, it was the passive public letting corruption proceed unchecked.  Just like today.

  • ianway

    The advance to war was greeted with some of the largest, world-wide mass protests ever seen.  The ability of the power elite to invade a sovereign nation despite the protest of weapons inspectors that weapons did not exist, and the transparent irrationality of targeting Iraq in response to 9/11, has led to many, many people’s complete disillusionment with government and democracy.

  • NDGaudreau

    Before the war, there was a team of experts on weapons of mass destruction in Iraq for about 9 months.  They found nothing and reported that they gave over 90% certainty that they hadn’t missed any.  Why isn’t this ever discussed?  Why didn’t we (as a country) listen to them or even pay a little attention to them?? 

    • jimino

      As every dissenter was asked then:  “Why do you hate America?”

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_XJMNTQ6EKSBKA6SHI3WZNRUKFI ChristyS

    Americans need to learn the moral lessons of this war, as do our politicians.  If Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld were brought before the World Court (IJC-the International  Court of Justice) in the Hague for Crimes Against Humanity, THEN we finally learn as a nation the costs and moral lessons of war.

    • Shag_Wevera

      We’d never accept or even make ourselves available for that sort of judgement.  We’re exceptional, remember?

    • DonM55

      If there were justice in the world, yes, they would be tried for war crimes.  In my perfect world, we would revoke the American citizenship of Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfiwitz, etc. and deport them to live the rest of their lives in Iraq.

  • Ellen Dibble

    As to American “exceptionalism” and our reputation getting kicked off the pedestal.  Well, after Vietnam, the pedestal sort of came down.  But we hadn’t yet learned the art of international collaboration, reverence to a certain degree for differences.  We have a ways to go, actually.

  • adiggins

    For the Bush administration to imply that members of congress were not trustworthy to view raw intelligence and a range of evidence before going to war was unconstitutional, I think.  Yet the members didn’t take offense at the implication they were not to be trusted or push back against being deprived of their right to vet the evidence.

    I believe everyone was cowed by the threat that if they disagreed with the Bush administration they would be called “unpatriotic”.

  • ToyYoda

    How will we learn our lessons?  Drones of course.  They are cheaper in terms of lives and political fallout, and the same amount of brown people can be wasted!

    Prevention is the key, but who wants to do that?  In Black Swan, Taleb talks about a hypothetical situation where a politician who wants to increase the budget and regulation to add bullet proof cabin doors on airplanes.  How would such a politician be received?  He’d be howled off the stage.  Yet, we will erect statues of the guys who laid down their lives for something that could be prevented.  In short, we won’t learn our lessons because “the system” isn’t designed for it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/James-Patrick-Dwyer-Jr/100002088204784 James Patrick Dwyer Jr.

    I am a Vietnam vet, 10 years Navy. 10 years active duty 15 years PTSD. I think the problem is the same now as then, the press. Nobody digs, asks tough questions, they just hold the mic for politicians, monkeys could do the job they are getting paid for. Maybe it’s a good thing I am old and just about at the end of my rope I don’t think I would like to be around and see what we are going to end up with.

    • scottmartin49

      Keep speaking up sir. Age that brings wisdom bears listening to.

      Best Wishes

    • hennorama

      James Patrick Dwyer Jr. – I hope this well-worn phrase is received in the spirit in which it is intended:

      Thank you for your service.

      Your perspective is also highly appreciated and valued.

      A few family members, friends, and acquaintances served in Vietnam.  One who was a door gunner on a Huey says only six words about his experiences:

      “I was there.  Now I’m not.”

  • Anita Paul

    It will happen again.  No one was punished for it. The same people who lied to us about the war are still touted as somehow credible.  Hell last year people were (the media) talking up Condi Rice as vice president potential.  Cheney attacks the President all the time and the media often takes him serious.  In a weird way the only person who seems to get it is President Bush who seems to be in hiding.

  • tellinjb

    Regarding the existence of the “weapons of mass destruction,” it is worth recalling that we knew almost for certain that Iraq did NOT have nuclear weapons, because the UN inspectors had been on the ground with almost unlimited access to Iraqi sites since late 2002 and in the early months of 2003.  Yet the press allowed the Administration to conflate the POSSIBLE WBDs (chemical and biological) with the ONE that most strikes fear in people … by continuing to refer to “the mushroom cloud.”

  • scottmartin49

    21st century American Militarism is the logical conclusion to an era of policies brought about by the (claimed) ‘Pax Americana’ of post cold-war ‘liberal’ (in the classical sense) economics.
         Having artificially created the conditions under which Capital could triumph over socialism (creation of a continuing war-time footing and governmentally funded military-industrial complex), the only means of retrenchment and re-capitalization after the disapearence of that immediate threat was the ‘sopping up’ the unused resources of surplus labor and capital through foreign adventure.

    The standing garrison army as final imperial over-reach, and the steps toward final collapse are already in play. Read your Gibbons people….

    Personally, I’m just waiting for the Canadian hordes to come over the border and sack NYC. The oil money should do it.

  • KateRobart

    Question on how we avoid the ‘next war’

    America soldiers had a reputation after World War II for decent behavior. There was a draft then. There was a draft during the Vietnam War, and my memory is that the average American’s stake in whether that war was justified or going well was high; high enough to lead to our withdrawal. Now we have no draft. Isn’t this one reason Bush/Cheney/Rice/Wolfowitz were able to manipulate Congress and the media into going to war? In other words, the draft is a powerful countervailing force. So, what about bringing back the draft so that more people have a stake in our war policy?

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

      Yep. I wish the mere threat of bringing the draft back would spray some sense into our upper classes about that.

      Without that sense of personal risk it seems there a schism between military families and the industrial/political/media decisionmakers’ families.

  • majorml

    This is a country that forgets. Cheney and his crew had distorted intelligence before, during the Reagan administration. He and other future neo-cons were not happy with the CIA’s evaluation of the Soviet Union’s military capabilities.  They came up with an alternative analysis showing that the Soviet Union was more dangerous than the CIA’s analysis indicated. Yet, when the Soviet Union came down, it was discovered that even the CIA analysis was inflated over the real capabilities. The future-neocons’ analysis was way off the map, just as it was for Iraq.  Why did everyone buy into this?!

  • Michiganjf

    Don’t forget this important toll on America:

      Cheney/Bush/Rummy FIRED/OUTPLACED ALL who didn’t agree with their master plan…

    … the U.S. lost thousands of years worth of experienced talent from the CIA, the pentagon, etc…

  • MrStang

    Tom please discuss the legacy of depleted uranium on the Iraqi population.

    https://www.commondreams.org/headline/2013/03/06-5

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/James-Patrick-Dwyer-Jr/100002088204784 James Patrick Dwyer Jr.

     The Dutch thought they were exceptional, so did England and Spain and Rome.

  • kokkonobi

    A couple of years ago I heard, on a public radio program, this subject being discussed.  One of the guests on the show was a former member of Dick Cheney’s crew.  When confronted by the same evidence, he used the excuse, also used by others in the neocon crowd, that, well, “Democrats voted for it, Hillary Clinton voted for it.”  Of course they did.  They were presented with a pack of lies to support going into Iraq.  And look what happened to those who spoke up against the idea.  Valerie Plame, Max Cleland.  If you were against it,  you were “not supporting the Commander-in-Chief, you were unpatriotic, a traitor.”

    As for the cost, didn’t Cheney state that Iraqi oil would pay the expense.

    Even Pat Buchanan said this was the worst foreign policy blunder ever.

    Dick Cheney–the most dangerous man ever in American politics.
            He subverted the Constitution, wrecked the economy with an unfunded war(who cares about deficits?), warantless wiretapping because of fearmongering, claimed his decisions were unreviewable because he was either in the Executive branch for one purpose or a member of the Legislative  branch for others, destroyed the collective morality of America with torture, pre-emptive wars, an endless war which supplies his friends with money(Halliburton).

  • Eva Elmer

    Perhaps because I had lived in Spain for 10 years prior to coming home to Georgia in 2000, the war time build-up propaganda machine just seemed so OBVIOUS to me and my friends overseas.  Why are we so gullible and unsophisticated about propaganda? I kept telling people that we just have no idea what we were doing and we are being manipulated into a foreign escapade that will end very badly.

    People here in Savannah, GA (with 2 military bases) were gleeful about invading Iraq…are we just so insecure or BORED that we needed the excitement of a war? 

    • nj_v2

      Sadly, we’re a country of ignorants.

      Watch Leno’s Jaywalking where they go out into the street and show people pictures of high-ranking politicians and people can’t identify them, or Jimmy Kimmel’s segment where they pose bogus questions to people (like “What do you think of the new pope?” days before he was selected) and people give opinions about him.

      Disturbingly large percentages of high school and even college students can’t identify major countries on a map.

      People to whom parts of the Declaration of Independence or Constitution were read not only couldn’t identify the document, but in some cases thought they were some sort of communist manifestoes.

      We get the government we deserve.

    • scottmartin49

      Eva, the American people are stupendously ignorant; willing to be ‘sold’ on anything after years of being force fed messages intended to encourage their consumption of whatever garbage capitalism could think to sell them. The system inherently leads to its own destruction, and capitalists will even sell the very rope which hangs them.

      Only periods of enforced poverty seem to bring the people to their senses… 

  • mhbtalk

    NOt that I would ever defend the Bush Administration, but your discussion is putting the blame on bad government…that the intelligence gotten by US was bad.  But my question is:  Where were you guys?  Where were thoughtful informed media writers and reporters?  When Colin Powell presented his information at the US…I believed him probably because I didn’t have any other data or thoughtful information coming at me.

  • northeaster17

    I remember one instance on this show during the height of the war. A caller claiming to be a solider said that he felt that his patriotism had been whored out by the Administration. Even Tom seemed a bit shook by that comment.    

    • northeaster17

      The troops were hero’s the rest of us needed to support them. We were all whored out.

  • adiggins

    I recognize the doctrine of “preemptive war” in the recent rhetoric of North Korea….thanks, Bush & Chaney for setting such a helpful standard.

  • Ray in VT

    Has anyone yet mentioned the recent report that pegged the amount of reconstruction money that was flat out wasted at $8 billion?

    Also, given the very poor track record of our ability to impose some sort of western society in line with our values on nations, or in regions, that do not have the long term social structures and traditions to support those values, why did we seem to think that it would be different this time?

  • Ellen Dibble

    Fallows’ point about Iran — thanks.  Pakistan has nukes; are we prepared to defend Iran against Pakistan, for instance, in case it goes nuclear?  Whom does it serve, in Iran, Russia, here, to create a sense of “evil empire” and vice versa?

  • carl_christian

    Thank you for doing this show – and OnPoint needs to keep this topic on the table much more because until the Bush warmongers answer honestly for what amount to war crimes (given the enormous cost in blood, treasure, and America’s moral standing, both here and abroad, how else can we construe their actions?) we are doomed to repeat the same terrible crimes in the name of empire. It isn’t what the world needs and it certainly isn’t what Americans deserve – we don’t work honestly and hard in order to be lied to by our so-called leaders. I still wear my “Impeach Bush & Cheney” cap loudly and proudly in the hope that justice will still be done.

  • Sarah Gibb Millspaugh

    Thank you for this show. The cost of the war is staggering and something I don’t even think your guests (or any of us) can come close to calculating. If we try to calculate it we risk anger and despair – but we must risk those things. So many lives lost or forever altered. Our hearts risk breaking when we try to fathom it. But we can’t just avoid these feelings. It’s essential to our humanity to face what has happened in our name.

  • SteveTheTeacher

    Let’s not be misguided. 

    This was never just a war on Iraq.  This has always been a comprehensive, worldwide US War on/of Terrorism.  This war continues with the present campaign of remote control mass murder by drones and the maintenance of US style gulags in Guantanamo and Bagram, etc.  The abuse/torture of prisoners continues – witness the present hunger strike (going on 2 months) of over 150 of the people the US holds without trial at Guantanamo.

    I will continue to push for President Bush, Present Obama, and all those in the executive, legislative, judicial, and military branches of the US government who took a leadership role in the US war crimes to be brought to trial for their crimes against humanity.

    Recalling President Obama’s condoning the US military murder of 16 year old Abdulrahman Al-Aulaqi, I speak knowing that, under President Obama’s interpretation of the “material support” for the enemy legislation in the “Patriot Act,” my speech against US policy and US leaders may have dire consequences.

  • BHA_in_Vermont

    If Israel attacks Iran – they are ON THEIR OWN.

    Any US Senator or Congress man/woman who votes to pass a law that says we will follow Israel regardless of the facts and likely outcome/costs (lives, $$, etc) should be immediately conscripted into the Israeli military (front line, not back office) and removed from their elected office.

    Israel has been ignoring UN resolutions FOR DECADES. It is bad enough we don’t tell them to comply or we walk. We have unfailingly supported them with little more than a “tsk-tsk” for WAY too many decades.

  • hennorama

    Don’t forget that any Iraqi who had the means to do so fled Iraq before and during the war.  The UN estimates that about 2.2 million Iraqis left their country, about 7 percent of the pre-invasion population.  An equivalent amount for the US would be about 21 million people.

    Irrespective of all the other damage done to Iraq, this drain of money and talent will leave that country with a decades-long struggle to return to anything resembling normalcy.

    • TomK_in_Boston

      The iraqis who left include most of the doctors and other professionals. Health care in iraq is a disaster. 

      Paul Ryan would probably like it, tho – with no doctors and no care the system must be financially sound (“saved for the kids”), and all the elite can go to france and switzerland :)

  • creaker

    So much death – so much suffering – so much money. What was achieved? We have another country about 1 step away from following the path Syria has taken.

    The shame of the Iraq war is not that poor choices were made – it’s that choices were made and were justified by deceit and lies. And no one has been brought to justice for that.

  • DonM55

    There’s absolutely no bigger abuse of power and of the citizens’ trust that a President can make than irresponsibly taking a country into a preemptive war.

    The only good thing I can say about Bush is that he must be just smart enough to realize how badly he screwed our soldiers, the Iraqis, and our country because he has been in hiding (maybe he found his own rat hole to stay in) – so, at least you don’t have to see him blathering on talk shows like Cheney.  

  • RobertfromKY

    One motivation for the commencement  of the Iraq War was the desire on the part of Bush and Cheney to end the criticism of their lack of participation in the Viet Nam War.  Another strategic reason was their grasp of the difference between desert and jungle warfare, as demonstrated in the Gulf War.  They believed they could capitalize on this difference.

  • RobertfromKY

    A motivating factor for the Bush/Cheney team was the criticism both had received for their lack of participation during the Viet Nam War.  Both wanted to end that criticism.  Another factor was strategic.  Desert warfare is much different from jungle warfare.  Bush and Cheney had seen that difference in the Gulf War, realizing that the US military could capitalize on that difference.

    • Gregg Smith

      Speculation, but you’re entitled to your opinion.

      • jimino

        It’s not speculation if you think you’re right, is it?

        • Gregg Smith

          Yes it is. What is thinking you’re right? IT’s the same as speculating you’re right. There is no evidence for Robert’s opinion.

  • ftben

    1.  I served in the draft and all-volunteer force.  As much as I like the all-volunteer forces, taking away the draft, and use of it, has made it easier for the politicians to go to war when they want.  With the draft, at least the population was involved and made their view known to their representatives.
    2.  Who has profited from the war/s??  President Eishower told us to be ware of the “Military industrial complex”.  This is not the Pentagon or the Department of Defense, but all those who profit from contracts,selling equipment, etc.

    • hennorama

      ftben – I hope this well-worn phrase is received in the spirit in which it is intended:

      Thank you for your service.

      Your perspective is also highly valued and appreciated.

      The all-volunteer force has been combined with intentionally and carefully orchestrated censorship of war coverage by the US government in partnership with a compliant media.  This also has, as you said “… made it easier for the politicians to go to war when they want.”

      Repeating from a post made about 4 months ago:

      “Our political and military leaders don’t want a repeat of the  uncensored media coverage of the Vietnam War, when the true awful nature of war was shown to the American public every evening on the 6 o’clock news.  This coverage hastened the end of the war, as public opinion turned against both the war and the government.  No current government is brave enough to risk their own demise via the media and public opinion, so media restrictions have been imposed.

      “The media have been effectively censored since 1990, at the beginning of the Persian Gulf War in Kuwait and Iraq.  The Pentagon imposed historically tight restrictions on media coverage of the battlefield, which is practically unchanged since.  Starting with the Gulf War, all news coverage had to be reviewed before it was released or published, ostensibly for security reasons.

      “Some security restrictions clearly are needed, as media moustache Geraldo Rivera so ably demonstrated when he revealed operational details in a live broadcast from the 2nd Iraq War in 2003.

      “Not only was coverage of the fighting restricted, images of returning military casualties were completely prohibited. The reasons given were the privacy of the families, and the “sancity of the mission.”  This restriction was lifted in 2009, with families now being consulted as to whether they would consent to  media access.  Most families have said “Yes.”

      “The media landscape has also changed, which added to the decline of war coverage.  Media outlets have been consolidated under large public companies, and the “news” now must justify its very existence, and especially its costs, in the name of profits.  Thus, we now have “news” that is more entertainment than true journalism.  The main point now is to drive the ears and eyeballs of audiences to media outlets in an effort to sell more advertising.  The very nature of our democracy suffers as a result.”

      http://onpoint.wbur.org/2012/11/13/looking-ahead-with-jake-tapper#comment-709342450

      Thank you again for your service.

  • scottmartin49

    The near uniformity of opinion here today is depressing- even the schadenfreude isn’t cutting it.

    On to the hard stuff….

    • Gregg Smith

      I agree.

      • scottmartin49

        ROTFL…..cheers! 

  • Gregg Smith

    With the Arab Spring spiraling out of control, the death toll rising in Afghanistan and the debacle in libya where real lies were told, I can see why OP wants to look back and bash Bush.

    • jimino

      You don’t think our invasion and occupation of Iraq and the removal of Hussein ,and its aftermath, has anything to do with the current conditions in the middle-East?  Please tell me you’re lying.  I’d prefer that to profoundly ignorant, which as I understand it is your defense of Bush et al.

       

      • scottmartin49

        Do you recall the brief moment last year when the Neocon’s came out of hiding to take credit for the “Arab Spring”?

        • jimino

          I certainly do.  Elliot Abrams took to the pages of Foreign Policy to brag how they had gotten things right.  I don’t hear that so much any more.

        • Gregg Smith

          I forget the speech, I think it was a SOTU speech from 2004 or 5 but Bush laid out the vision for changing the face of the middle east. He predicted the Arab Spring. I think the liberation of Iraq was an inspiration for the Iran uprising in 2009 (which we blew by not supporting) and the uprisings in Tunisia, Libya, Egypt and elsewhere. The problem is once a void is created, someone will fill it. If there is no rudder on the ship of freedom there are plenty of dastardly factions more than willing to fill that void. All we have to do is nothing.

          • scottmartin49

            Gregg, that’s the problem with Neocon theology- it’s only half baked. Excellent first stage theorizing without (either) adequate consideration of un-intended consequences or a background knowledge of prior occurances of similar situations. Frustratingly similar to Fukiyama’s posturing on “The End of History” at the fall of the Soviet Union- another (admittedly less) disastrous mis-read.

            It’s just plain sloppy. 

          • Gregg Smith

            I disagree. As I wrote earlier (not to you), I think the war was unavoidable and even Algore would have gone to Iraq. That’s my opinion. So, it’s not a matter of unintended consequences it was just the first step that had to be taken in a post 9/11 world. The paradigm shifted.

            Maybe I’m misreading you. Are you agreeing the Iraq war did indeed inspire the Arab Spring but it just didn’t foresee the unintended consequences? If so then we agree on the main point I was attempting to make.

          • scottmartin49

            I disagree fundamentally with the premise of ‘unavoidable war’- even as the result of un-intended consequences.

            I agree that destabilizing the political/social structure of any given regional power is likely to have ripple effects across that region.

            It is also my belief that to lay hold of a power (such as the ability to create war) without adequate ability to control its effects or output is an adequate description of irresponsible and immoral action.

          • Gregg Smith

            Well, we disagree and all either of us can do is speculate. 

            So let’s move on. If you agree Iraq may have inspired the Arab Spring (“ripple effects”) but went awry then what would have been a better approach to the war on terror? See, I think this has never been about something as small and petty as revenge. For instance, I don’t think killing Bin Laden made us safer although it was highly significant symbolically. I think the Islamic caliphate is real and the threat of terrorism is getting more and more dire as the radicals gain footholds. IMHO changing the face of the entire Middle East is the only answer. Anything short will fail.

          • scottmartin49

            Wish I had more time to respond. Very briefly- review history from 1st crusade through Hapsburgh repulsion at Vienna. 

            Ultimate end- stalemate.

             21st century response; clean up NYC, lick our wounds, foster global sentiment for containment.

          • nj_v2

            [[ "I think… ]]

            With Greggg as the source, this is a signpost that whatever follows is likely to be pure bovine excrement.

            http://thinkprogress.org/security/2011/08/16/296722/bush-creating-own-reality-iraq/

            [[ This is understandable, as there is no real evidence for the claim. Arabs themselves clearly don’t agree, as all available polling shows the war to be overwhelmingly unpopular in the region. An April 2010 RAND study also concluded that, rather than encouraging reform, “Iraq’s instability has become a convenient scarecrow neighboring regimes can use to delay political reform by asserting that democratization inevitably leads to insecurity.

            ”Examining the claim in an article back in July, the Council on Foreign Relations’ Steven Cook concluded, “It is time to put the Bush boosters’ arguments where they belong: in the trash heap of discredited ideas”:

            There is no connection between the invasion of Iraq and Arab efforts to throw off generations of dictatorship. Other than helping to shape the Middle East’s discourse about political change, the effects of the Freedom Agenda are inconclusive at best. It is entirely possible that the uprisings would have happened without George W. Bush, or if he had been more like his father. Bush 41 placed a premium on international order rather than democratic change and, let’s not forget, presided over massive pro-democratic change anyway.… ]]

            (excerpt)

          • nj_v2

            http://www.juancole.com/2011/12/top-ten-myths-about-the-arab-spring-of-2011.html

            [[ None of the young people who made this year’s revolutions ever pointed to Iraq as an inspiration. The only time Iraq was even brought up in their tweets was as a negative example (“let’s not let ourselves be divided by sectarianism, since that is what the Americans did in Iraq.”) Americans are so full of self-admiration that they cannot see Iraq as it is, and as it is perceived in the Arab world. Iraq is not a shining city on a hill for them. It is a violent place riddled with sectarian hatred, manipulated by the United States, and suffering from poor governance and dysfunctional politics. I did interviewing with activists last summer in Tunisia and Egypt. The youth do not want to be like Iraq! They want to be like Turkey, or, now, Tunisia. ]]

          • Gregg Smith

            While I believe it was a factor (among others) I did not state so in my comment and that was not the point of my comment. I said Bush predicted it and he did. Bush said it was his intention. So maybe he just made a dumb guess but he was right.

          • nj_v2

            This once again demonstrates there’s something cognitively wrong with this poster. You know, the guy who wants “honest debate.”

            Sad.

            Greggg before:

            [[ I think the liberation of Iraq was an inspiration for the Iran uprising in 2009 (which we blew by not supporting) and the uprisings in Tunisia, Libya, Egypt and elsewhere. ]]

            Gregg now:

            [[ While I believe it was a factor (among others) I did not state so in my comment and that was not the point of my comment. ]]

          • Gregg Smith

            Cognate this, I wrote “in my comment” clearly focusing on the comment you replied to. you pulled another comment that wasn’t even in this thread. I was making a specific point in “my comment” and you missed it.

            Now, regarding the comment you cite, that’s is my opinion but I did not write “the” inspiration, I wrote “an” inspiration. Newsflash, that means “a factor”… as I said.

      • Gregg Smith

        I didn’t say that. I think the middle east would be in much worse shape now if Hussein were still in power thwarting sanctions and refusing inspectors. Bush was right about the “Axis of evil”. Iran and North Korea are now nuclear threats.

    • jefe68

      Wow. You are delusional.

      • Gregg Smith

        Yes I am… according to you.

        • jefe68

          No, it’s not about me. This is all about you thinking your so clever or something to that effect.  

          It’s well documented that GW Bush was out to find a way to remove Saddam Hussain. Saddam’s removal is top item of Bush’s inaugural national security meeting. Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill later recalls, “It was all about finding a way to do it. The president saying, ‘Go find me a way to do this.’” [Date the public knew: 1/10/04]

          http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2011/12/leadup-iraq-war-timeline

          • Gregg Smith

            He had all the reason he needed from HR 4655.

  • MrStang

    Faces of the Fallen
    apps.washingtonpost.com/national/fallen/

  • Gregg Smith

    It is impossible to lie unless you know you are lying. Someone, anyone please quote and source a single lie.

    • scottmartin49

      All (anything) are (anything).

      -everyone

      • Gregg Smith

        I wish I understood that, I’m sure it’s deep. I do hope someone will give me a quote. 

        • scottmartin49

          Gregg, the real problem with the Bush administrations pursuit of the war in Iraq was their stated, fundamental premise- that it was somehow part of the ‘War on Terror’- a flat out, blatant lie materially, functionally, and intellectually. From that point on they fall into the “.. every word (they write) is a lie, including ‘and’ and ‘the’”* paradox.

          *(paraphrase)- Mary Mc Carthy

          • Gregg Smith

            Okay, I see what you meant. I happen to think the war in Iraq was indeed a fundamental part of the war on terror, certainly as much as the war in Afghanistan.

            The notion that Bush lied us into war is now conventional wisdom. I dispute that big time. It seems to me if it were so clear that Bush lied then someone could give a quote. Where is the smoking gun? It should be easy. If not then maybe the issue isn’t so clear. That’s what I’m trying to establish.

          • scottmartin49

            I want to pursue this with you- you state; “I happen to think the war in Iraq was indeed a fundamental part of the war on terror, certainly as much as the war in Afghanistan”; and that’s fine- your opinion.

            But do you REALLY believe that Iraq as part of ‘The War on Terror’ wasn’t a convenient way for ‘Junior’ to go back and win Daddy’s war? To cover up the unfortunate footprints of the (Bush senior driven) US aid that established Hussein as the potential menace he might have been? Shoot, I’d been under the assumption that’s why Dad rounded up Dick and the boys to get the li’l pup elected in the first place- well, that and the oil money.

            To perceive it as a solely ‘high minded’ action would take a naivety or willfull ignorance I wouldn’t expect from you… 

          • Gregg Smith

            Regarding Bush 41′s role in aiding Hussein, I just think tough choices have to be made in context. We were allies with Stalin instead of Hitler and that was prudent given the context. At least that’s my opinion.

            Regarding the war in 91, I don’t think Bush had the guts to follow through but should have.

            I just think violating 17 resolutions over 12 years while shooting at our jets, swindling the world with oil for food, the government sanctioned actions of raping moms in front of kids, supporting terrorist, gouging out eyes, ripping out tongues, thwarting inspectors from a man who had gassed his own people (with WMD he evidently never had) and invaded a sovereign neighbor all in a post 9/11 world makes much more sense than revenge for daddy given that Clinton had made regime change in Iraq the law of the land.

            I can only give your notion credence on one narrow issue. Hussein tried unsuccessfully to assassinate Bush 41. I omitted it from the above but it’s another factor. I have to believe that fact did not please Bush 43. I’m sure he took it personal. However, how could any President not factor an attempted assassination of our leader in decisions such as these?

          • scottmartin49

            So it’s ‘we broke it we own it’? 

            Or, “It’s our monster, now control it”?I get to bail on this one- I didn’t vote for either Bush or Shrub, just the poor sap who had to manage the disaster in the interim.

          • Gregg Smith

            It’s just not revenge for daddy, that’s all.

            BTW, no one has quoted a lie.

    • Shag_Wevera

      I think it is more like Seinfeld when Jerry asked George Costanza to teach him how to lie.  George said he couldn’t share his gift for lying, but told Jerry to remember “It’s not a lie if YOU believe it”.

      • Gregg Smith

        Good point. 

      • jefe68

        That worked real well at the Nuremberg trials.

    • Shag_Wevera

      Is it preferable that Bush be an ignorant incompetent than be a liar?

      • Gregg Smith

        Can you quote a lie? Just one?

        • jefe68

          Mission accomplished. 

          • Gregg Smith

            The oft repeated claim is Bush lied us into war but I guess I didn’t make that clear. However, I’ll stand by what I wrote.

            I suppose if Bush had uttered those words you could have used quotation marks. I assume you are referring to the speech on the Abraham Lincoln. Here are a few actual quotes from that speech:

            “The transition from dictatorship to democracy will take time, but it is worth every effort. Our coalition will stay until our work is done and then we will leave and we will leave behind a free Iraq.”

            “Our mission continues. Al Qaida is wounded, not destroyed.”

            “America and our coalition will finish what we have begun.”

          • jefe68

            The Bush administration cooked the information in order invade a sovereign nation. 
            Even though Saddam Hussein was a despot it’s pretty clear that the Middle East is full of them. So I don’t buy into the that being a reason to invade Iraq. That this reality is beyond your ability to parse is not my problem but yours.You can post all the BS you want. The war as and still is a disaster for the people of Iraq. Somehow the loss 100,000 to 124,000 lives seems not to be an issue, or so it would seem.

          • Gregg Smith

            “Somehow the loss 100,000 to 124,000 lives seems not to be an issue…” 
            Wow that’s quite an admission. I disagree in the strongest of terms.

            Can you quote a lie?

      • Easy_Bee

        Simpler: He’s both.

    • DeJay79

      Gregg, Gregg, Gregg … I see you are going to play the role of naive defender who needs evidence spoon feed to you so that you can dismiss it out of
      ignorance.

      Well I won’t do your work for you this time. There is plenty
      of evidence if you want to see it.

      I will let history be the judge of that war and given what
      we now think of Vietnam and most of the other posters on this discussion, I
      feel very strongly that the Iraq War will be seen for the blunder that it was
      and those who made the discussions to take the action as either manipulative
      liars or incompetent morons.

      Ps. I like how you wanted until after the show ended and
      most posters move on to start stating your uncommon views.

      • Gregg Smith

        I commented before the show too. I’ve got a life and have things to do.

        I have been looking for a lie for years now and I have not found one. You nor anyone else has risen to the challenge.

    • AJNorth

      There are those who will continue to quibble over whether G.W. Bush stated publicly things he actually knew not to be true, but there are both the letter of the law and the spirit of the law, and the dust of history has by no means yet settled.

      Semantics aside, the article, “Bush Did Lie About Iraq,” from Consortiumnews.com may help answer your question — http://consortiumnews.com/2012/04/26/bush-did-lie-about-iraq/ .

      • Gregg Smith

        All I want is a quote. The article did not provide one unless I missed it. It seemed to claim Hussein was cooperating with the inspectors and Bush lied by saying they weren’t. They weren’t. 

        • jefe68

          All you want is a quote? Do some reading and please stop being so lazy.

          • Gregg Smith

            I’m not the one saying Bush lied us into war.

    • nj_v2

      I’ll bet Greggg has a little, squeaky red nose that’s part of his clown outfit when he posts this stuff. Really gets him in the mood!

      • Gregg Smith

        It was easy enough for this clown to set a trap and snare you below, very easy. Fun too. 

        Think what you want.

        • nj_v2

          Greggg takes a break from poo flinging to pound his chest in celebration of his imagined victory! All bow to Mighty Greggg!

          • Gregg Smith

            Thanks but it was easy as heck, no biggee.

    • Gordon Green
      • Gregg Smith

        Nope, I don’t believe any of the Democrats who said the same things at the same time were lying. They were just wrong. 

        “Lie” #2 is particularly funny. “The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa.”

        The British government stands by that to this day. Where’s the lie? We removed 550 metric tons of yellowcake in 2008.

        • Gordon Green

          Do you acknowledge having received a list of sourced lies, and acknowledge that, yes, members of the Bush administration lied about the cause of the Iraq war? 

          • Gregg Smith

            No, I don’t. I think the editorial comments and framing of the quotes lends suspicion to the source’s motives. For instance #1 ”The evidence indicates that Iraq is reconstituting its nuclear weapons program … Iraq has attempted to purchase high-strength aluminum tubes and other equipment needed for gas centrifuges, which are used to enrich uranium for nuclear weapons.”

            It’s broken in two, so is the lie in the first half or the second? Neither is definitive enough to call a lie but it can be implied by leaving out the middle part of the quote which is: 

            “Saddam Hussein has held numerous meetings with Iraqi nuclear scientists, a group he calls his “nuclear mujahideen” — his nuclear holy warriors. Satellite photographs reveal that Iraq is rebuilding facilities at sites that have been part of its nuclear program in the past.” 

            So there’s the evidence he mentioned but was omitted. The tubes were but one part. Can you honestly say Bush was lying when he said “the evidence indicates…”? As a whole the evidence certainly did “indicate”, Bush didn’t say definitively that Iraq was reconstituting but he did say this in the very same speech:

            “Many people have asked how close Saddam Hussein is to developing a nuclear weapon. Well, we don’t know exactly, and that’s the problem. Before the Gulf War, the best intelligence indicated that Iraq was eight to ten years away from developing a nuclear weapon. After the war, international inspectors learned that the regime has been much closer — the regime in Iraq would likely have possessed a nuclear weapon no later than 1993. The inspectors discovered that Iraq had an advanced nuclear weapons development program, had a design for a workable nuclear weapon, and was pursuing several different methods of enriching uranium for a bomb.”

            That goes in the “lessons learned” category and was part of the context of his speech.

            Can you say the second half of “lie #1″ was false? He didn’t just attempt to buy the 60,000 tubes, he ordered them and they were made. The tubes were classified as controlled items by the UN and intercepted by Jordan’s secret police and the CIA. I don’t know why the UN would list them as such if they were harmless.

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iraqi_aluminum_tubes

            Your link goes on to say the report “has turned out to be complete baloney.” That’s hindsight. As I wrote earlier, it’s impossible to lie if you don’t know you are lying but that assumes what he said was not true. What he said was correct. The evidence did indicate and Hussein did attempt to get the tubes that the UN considered to be tools for weapons. After the invasion other reasons were posited based on new and more complete evidence. 

            So to call it a lie one must extrapolate and infer based on an implied claim. My previous comment dealt with lie #2. Those 16 words were absolutely true but your link calls them “a whopper” without saying what was untrue in those words. Bush did not say Hussein got yellowcake from Niger but the link calls it a lie based on that assumption. He said that the British said he sought it. But your link doesn’t dispute what was actually said only what was inferred from their implication. As I wrote, the British still stand by it. And there’s this:

            http://articles.cnn.com/2008-07-07/us/iraq.uranium_1_yellowcake-uranium-cameco?_s=PM:US

            So there’s the first two. I’m happy to dissect each one but I think it’s clear the source has an agenda. If you can address my points and tell me specifically where I’m wrong then I will go on down the list.

          • Gordon Green

            You are parsing to the point of absurdity.  Even assuming the high level of ambiguity you assert, the fact that every single ambiguity went in one particular direction is sufficient evidence for people who are not trying desperately to argue what is on its face an  untenable case.

          • Gregg Smith

            Words have meanings. I would rather you tell me what I got wrong. I took the time to be thorough. The bar is high if you want to accuse someone of lying.

  • TomK_in_Boston

    Vietnam, Iraq….the big question, is Iran next?

    As the propaganda about “Iran is _____ days from having a nuke” rolls out, are any of the media going to drill down and question it?

    How about the claims that iran is not “rational”? Are the media just going to retweet that, or are they going to check the evidence? Are they going to consider our history of meddling with iran, including Reagan’s approving of saddam’s chemical attacks? If a nation supported another nation in chemical attacks on the USA, I’d sure consider them the “great satan”.

    Lately I’ve heard that Iran is a “cyber threat”. Anyone remember that the first real cyber attack was the USA/Israel Stuxnet attack on Iran? If I’d just been Stuxnetted, I sure would be building up my cyber war capability.

    It seems that responding to our attacks makes you a bad actor. Exactly like the way the right screams “class warfare” whenever someone complains that he/she is getting screwed by righty class warfare.

  • Easy_Bee

    In a recent article in my LA Times I read that Dick Cheney asserts “no regrets” in his life.
    “No regrets.”It brings to mind Bertrand Russell’s truism that the trouble with the world is that fools and fanatics are full of certainty, while wiser people are full of doubt. But beyond that, it reveals the patently abhorent and dangerous trend of an isolated, pallaced few, in sending the rest of us to peril or death. After all, Mr. Cheney’s response to his 5 avoidances of conscription during the Vietnam war was: “I had other priorities.”

  • BarrySLevy

    In the current issue of The Lancet medical journal, my colleague Victor Sidel and I review the adverse health consequences of the Iraq War: at least 116,903 deaths of Iraqi non-combatant civilians and 4800 deaths of Coalition military personnel; large numbers of injuries and illnesses (including much PTSD, traumatic brain injury, and other neuropsychiatric disorders);  substantial damage to the health-supporting infrastructure (medical care, public health, water treatment, etc.); displacement of 5 million Iraqis; many violations of human rights; and substantial diversion and human and financial resources. If the issues that provoked the war had been resolved by non-violent means, all of its adverse health consequences could have been prevented.

  • Anna_K_M

    The entire world will be paying for the aggression in the Middle East as  a result of depleted uranium used as weapons.
    Birth defects and cancer deaths will haunt us for generations

  • Bluejay2fly

    Some say the total cost of the war is 3 Trillion. Whatever the final number it is far more than I am willing to spend. Nobody thinks about the cost of these wars. If we paid Vietnam for all the environmental damage during Operation Ranch hand that wars cost would soar into the Trillions. Tragically, we are never held accountable for all the mayhem we create during these wars ,and because of this we continue to use war as a foreign policy option. Does anybody here think wars can be fought without committing atrocities? It’s even more repellent to think of how we bribed people with larges sums of cash during the surge to create stability. Buying off the enemy is basically extortion and to see us degrading ourselves buy paying off the enemy is heartbreaking. I blame the uber patriotic, war profiteers and the liberal, nation building, do gooders for these travesties. Making the world over in our image is arrogant, expensive, and absurd. We would be far better off just setting a good example by doing right by our citizens and being responsible stewards of the environment. If every nation consumed resources like the USA we would need six Earths to sustain it. 

  • hennorama

    I literally get sick to my stomach when contemplating the knowing betrayal of trust perpetrated by the US government that led to this war, as well as all the consequences of this horrific waste of humanity, opportunities, resources, time, money, national self-image and the image of the US worldwide.

    All of it self-inflicted.

    This war has left its imprint on the collective psyche of Americans.  I daresay it will be difficult to find anyone proud of the entirety of this war, other than those who promulgated the false premises that allowed it to happen.

    Regardless of the reasons we entered the Iraq War, mistake after mistake after mistake were made in its prosecution.  Again, putting aside the reasons we went, there is no doubt that this war was bungled after the initial rout of the Iraqi military.  Does anyone dispute this?

    Dick (could there be a more apt nickname?) Cheney’s quote “I did what I did. It’s all on the public record, and I feel very good about it. If I had to do it over again, I’d do it in a minute” is merely the most public example of stubborn refusal to acknowledge error.  This crassness in the face of the obvious leads to further erosion of Americans’ trust in government.

    http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2013/03/15/cheney-unapologetic-in-new-documentary/

    We see further examples of this in Mr. Romney’s various remarks on “the 47%”, and his subsequent unapologetic “apologies”.  Most recently he told Fox’s Chris Wallace:

    “What I said is not what I believe.”

    This pretty well sums up his entire campaign, and is possibly the best explanation for why he lost – Americans saw through his phoniness.

    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/03/03/romney-still-disappointed-over-loss-admits-mistakes-critical-obama-second-term/ (quote above is at about 9:00 in)

    Even the title of Romney’s de rigueur pre-election tome “No Apology,” which was apparently intended as a dig against Pres. Obama, shows this pervasive attitude.

    When errors on the scale of the Iraq War cannot be acknowledged by those who made the mistakes, what hope do we have that much smaller and less consequential errors can ever be owned up to and corrected by those who made them?

  • boadacia

    I was totally opposed to this war, and wept when “shock and awe” was announced–scheduled and planned to commence during prime time.Both before and after, I demonstrated, I wrote letters. I have a letter I wrote at the time to a local newspaper shortly before the war began, and ten years later, I see even more how presecient I was– spot on. I am an old lady in rural America, but I feel good that I was not hoodwinked by a government without morals, or a complicit press. Until we have a public that demands truth as well as morality,not to mention, accountability, this will and can happen again.
    Over the years I have worked with young people who have come back from that war broken in many ways. And of course there are the Iraqi victims–all those who did nothing to deserve this tragedy. Those who supported this war have much to answer for. There is none so blind as they who will not see.

  • wroot

    Is there any credence for my belief that GWB thought he was doing God’s work? Sadam Husain was a direct threat to Isreal. Israel had to prevail before the second coming of Christ. Or am I a crazy conspiracy theorist?

    • hennorama

      wroot – Do you mean besides these reported remarks?:
      From The Guardian in the UK:

      George Bush: ‘God told me to end the tyranny in Iraq’
      Ewen MacAskillThursday 6 October 2005

      “Mr Bush revealed the extent of his religious fervour when he met a Palestinian delegation during the Israeli-Palestinian summit at the Egpytian resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, four months after the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003.

      “One of the delegates, Nabil Shaath, who was Palestinian foreign minister at the time, said: “President Bush said to all of us: ‘I am driven with a mission from God’. God would tell me, ‘George go and fight these terrorists in Afghanistan’. And I did. And then God would tell me ‘George, go and end the tyranny in Iraq’. And I did.”

      “Mr Bush went on: “And now, again, I feel God’s words coming to me, ‘Go get the Palestinians their state and get the Israelis their security, and get peace in the Middle East’. And, by God, I’m gonna do it.”

      http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2005/oct/07/iraq.usa

      From a White House Press Release on Sept. 16, 2011
      Remarks by the President Upon Arrival The South Lawn

      “This crusade, this war on terrorism is going to take a while,”

      http://georgewbush-whitehouse.archives.gov/news/releases/2001/09/20010916-2.html

      Reports of religious quotes on covers of reports delivered to the White House by Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld:

      “…. the Bush administration was using Bible passages (both Old and New Testaments) on cover sheets of security reports, emblazoned on top of pictures of our armed forces. The implication was clear – this was a religious war, and our troops were fighting for the God of the Bible.

      “GQ has a bunch of these cover sheets, hand delivered by Donald Rumsfeld to the White House.

      “Again and again, security updates were adorned with bible passages. “Open the gates that the righteous nation may enter, the nation that keeps faith (Isaiah 26:2).” “Behold, the eye of the LORD is on those who fear Him, On those who hope for His loving kindness, To Deliver their soul from death. (Psalm 33:16-19).”

      “Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. (Ephesians 6:13).”

      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jon-soltz/its-official-bush-admin-s_b_204745.html

      Same topic as above, with an example of one such cover; reports “Rumsfeld allowed the cover sheets in order to curry favor with the born-again president.”:

      Donald Rumsfeld’s Bible Verses
      by Frank JamesMay 18, 2009

      http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2009/05/rumsfelds_bibleverse_briefings.html

      • Gregg Smith

        Bush denied saying that to Nabil Shaath. They were never alone. Why would you believe him? It’s an outrageous claim and you don’t feel the need to qualify it by even mentioning it was flat out denied? That’s not honest. 

        Here’s what Shaath said at a Hamas victory rally:

        Congratulations to the martyrs, and Allah’s mercy upon the hero Ahmad Ja’bari and upon all the martyrs….The battle that you are waging has been going on for a hundred years. This people has been fighting for a hundred years to liberate its land, and to liberate Jerusalem. When you shout out that you are marching toward Jerusalem – well, this is exactly what your victory is doing….It is defending Jerusalem and Palestine in its entirety, by all means of resistance – by armed resistance, by political resistance, by going to the U.N., by solidarity – by all forms of confrontation with the enemy occupying our land.

        http://blogs.cfr.org/abrams/2012/11/30/nabil-shaath-and-the-sad-story-of-palestinian-leadership/

        • TomK_in_Boston

          Gregg, contesting one grain of sand on a whole beach full of lies is just a diversion.

          You seem more interested in defending the Bush administration than in finding the truth. You would find the lies fast enough if it had been Obama’s war!

          • Gregg Smith

            I just think Henna’s post was incredibly dishonest. I also find it odd that anyone would willingly side with a someone who believes as Nabil Shaath does. I didn’t even read the Rumsfeld quotes.

            I would find lies if there were lies.

          • jefe68

            “ I would find lies if there were lies.” 

            That has to be the quote of the day. 

            Why do I doubt this has even a grain of truth.

          • Gregg Smith

            Thank you.

          • TomK_in_Boston

            I see you are saying that untruths that led us into the Iraq disaster are not lies if the speakers did not know they were untrue. This is extremely kind and generous treatment of government officials. I had no idea you were so tolerant of massive government screwups – somehow, I never would have realized it from your more recent comments.

            ROTFL

            “We know where they are. They’re in the area around Tikrit and Baghdad and east, west, south and north somewhat.” – D. Rumsfeld

            http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB82/handshake300.jpg

          • Gregg Smith

            Do you think it’s possible to lie without knowing you are lying?   That’s just common sense, not being kind. 

            Was Obama lying when he promised to close Gitmo or did he honestly believe he was going to close it? Is the fact that it is still open, in and of itself, proof positive he lied over and over? I honestly would appreciate your answer on this.

          • roseel

            They did not care whether he had wmd’s or not. if it was true-so much the better .if it was   not accurate -they could say they made an honest mistake. But there was nothing honest about their motives; to get a foot hold on a secular mid east country for military bases from which to control the mideast and the world, and  for below market oil prices. Those saudis were getting uppity [alquada demanding we remove our bases from their holy land]and a secular nation like iraq might not pose a problem for us when we demand whorehouses and bars for our soldiers stationed at our bases there.It all backfired when the iraqis would not grant us immunity from prosecution if we committed crimes against their people.How dare they! It’s not so easy to take over the world amerika-.

          • TomK_in_Boston

            I was referring to your very generous spirit in believing that nobody in W’s admin knew they were lying. One rarely sees such trust in government officials.

            I think BHO naively believed he could close gitmo, intended to, and then found it wasn’t feasible. I also think it’s a distraction to raise this matter as if it were comparable to one that cost hundreds of thousands of lives and, even tho an accurate accounting is impossible, certainly over a trillion dollars. 

          • Gregg Smith

            Well, thanks for the answer but I was comparing the notion of what is a lie, not the events. No one seems to question whether any of the numerous Democrats saying the same things at the same time were lying.

          • nj_v2

            * ding, ding, ding *

            We have a winner!

        • hennorama

          Another in a series of occasional exceptions to my policy of not commenting on Gregg (“I don’t care what [hennorama] thinks”) Smith’s remarks:

          A reader’s ignorance of or failure to recognize qualification in a post is not the fault of the writer. Repeating the first sentence, with EMPHASIS added:

          [Do you mean besides these REPORTED remarks?]

          Now as to what you typed in reply, specifically your first sentence – “Bush denied saying that to Nabil Shaath.” –

          “Can you quote [Pres. Bush himself denying these remarks}? Just on[c]e?”

          “All I want is a quote. [You] did not provide one unless I missed it.”

          Please perform to the standards you set for others, sir.

          • Gregg Smith

            First, if you want to debate me then debate me. There is no need to make comments to the blog in a reply to me. Second, I will stipulate I’m an idiot if that will help you focus on the issue.

            Regarding the “qualification” I’ll just say that’s pretty lame. You were fleshing out wroot’s theory with google. So are you saying by the word “reported” you meant to imply you were skeptical? That the quotes were not legit? Is that what you meant? 

            Never mind, I’m more interested in your (as usual) homework assignment. I have to point out my challenge was to those calling Bush a liar to back them up with a quote of a lie. You quoted a defacto terrorist as the gospel and now that you’ve seen his quote to Hamas, don’t you think it’s worth checking in to? It seems to me that the onus is on you, not me… but I’ll play.

            Since you got your quote from the UK Guardian it seems appropriate to link the same source the very next day:

            http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2005/oct/07/usa.jamessturcke

            And please don’t tell me Bush’s spokesman does not speak for Bush.

            Here’s Abbas:

            “This report is not true,” the Abbas statement said today. “I have never heard President Bush talking about religion as a reason behind the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. President Bush has never mentioned that in front of me on any occasion and specifically not during my visit in 2003.”Shaath could not be reached for comment.

            http://www.smh.com.au/news/world/abbas-denies-bushs-mission-from-god-remark/2005/10/08/1128563027485.html

            So there you go, that’s the official White House word and it’s backed up by Shaath’s fellow Palestinian (and not just any Palestinian). And you have what? The question remains, why would you trust the word of this man enough to attempt to give credence to wroot’s comment without checking it out?

          • hennorama

            Gregg Smith’s pretzel logic:

            Accurate quotation of an article, and including a link to said article = “…incredibly dishonest” and “…willingly sid[ing] with a [sic] someone ….”

            Presidential spokesperson denying something = true.

            Quoting a presidential spokesperson denying something = quoting a President denying something.

            Smith asks for a quote, then if none is forthcoming, it’s evidence that everyone else is wrong. (Smith: “BTW, no one has quoted a lie.”)

            Then, when asked for a direct quote to prove one of his own declarations, and being unable to find one, Smith instead quotes someone else. Realizing the weakness of this argument, Smith pre-defends his inability to find a direct quote, saying “And please don’t tell me Bush’s spokesman does not speak for Bush.”

            Given his quotation of a presidential spokesperson instead of Pres. Bush II, Smith apparently recognizes that Presidents often do not speak directly on many topics. Yet Smith seems surprised and unable to fathom that this same practice may be a reason for some to be unable to, per Smith, “… quote a lie? Just one?”

            Smith, apparently derisively. characterizes a poster asking him for a direct quote as “… your (as usual) homework assignment.” yet Smith seems unable to appreciate the irony of this characterization, given his prior “Can you quote a lie? Just one?” post, and his related posts along the same lines.

            Smith appears confused by the concept of Presidents not speaking directly on many topics, and instead utilizing others as spokepersons and surrogates. This seems odd, given Smith’s past arguments. Quoting Smith on another well-worn topic:

            “She [Ambassador Rice] was sent out to lie. She may not have personally lied and instead is embarrassingly incompetent.”

            Quoting Smith from today:

            “It is impossible to lie unless you know you are lying.”

            So here’s the pretzel logic:

            If a Presidential surrogate/spokesperson is quoted as saying something, it’s the same as the President saying it.

            A Presidential surrogate/spokesperson can be “…sent out to lie.” by one President, yet when another President and his surrogates and spokepersons say numerous things which are later shown to be untrue, it is not lying, since, as Smith repeatedly says, “It is impossible to lie unless you know you are lying.”

            One would suppose from Smith’s twisted logic that all of the following people “may not have personally lied and instead [were] embarrassingly incompetent”:

            “Simply stated, there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction.”

            - Vice President Dick Cheney

            “We know that Saddam Hussein is determined to keep his weapons of mass destruction, is determined to make more.”

            - Colin Powell

            “Well, there is no question that we have evidence and information that Iraq has weapons of mass destruction, biological and chemical particularly . . . all this will be made clear in the course of the operation, for whatever duration it takes.”

            - Ari Fleisher

            “There is no doubt that the regime of Saddam Hussein possesses weapons of mass destruction. And . . . as this operation continues, those weapons will be identified, found, along with the people who have produced them and who guard them.”

            - Gen. Tommy Franks

            “I’m absolutely sure that there are weapons of mass destruction there and the evidence will be forthcoming. We’re just getting it just now.”

            - Colin Powell

            “U.S. officials never expected that “we were going to open garages and find” weapons of mass destruction.”

            - Condoleeza Rice

            “Right now, Iraq is expanding and improving facilities that were used for the production of biological weapons.”

            - Pres. George W. Bush

            “Intelligence gathered by this and other governments leaves no doubt that the Iraq regime continues to possess and conceal some of the most lethal weapons ever devised.”

            - Pres. George W. Bush

            “We’ll find them. It’ll be a matter of time to do so.”

            - Pres. George W. Bush

            “So there you go, that’s the official White House word and it’s backed up by [Pres. Bush II]‘s fellow [Americans] (and not just any [fellow Americans]).”

            - Gregg Smith

            http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article4882.htm

          • Gregg Smith

            What is dishonest is posting an article without mentioning the denial. Take his word if you choose. I’ll stick with the White House position and Abbas who speaks for the Palestinians and was in the room. If you honestly believe Shaath over that, God bless you. It’s funny you swear by an article but disavow what the same source wrote on the next day. Hilarious in fact. As for the rest of your quotes they are the same as what 100 Democrats said based on what they knew at the time. It sure seems like blinded ideology to me. Google is not knowledge.

            And yes the Presidents spokesman speaks for the President. That’s the job description.

            Again, why are you doing back flips to avoid direct honest debate? You are really not worth my time, especially if you can’t even direct your replies to me. I don’t care what you think about me but your comment is all about me. 

            And Susan Rice?! Really? You seem to be implying she was not speaking for Obama and was going rogue but Obama said the same thing. My comments are completely consistent. She was speaking for the President as was McClellan. I never said she lied. I said Obama lied and she was sent out to spread that lie. I freely admit she may well have been too stupid to know she was lying. I’ve said it before. That has since been proven beyond all doubt. Surely you see that by now. McClellan was not spreading a lie he was correcting one and confirming what Bush and Abbas said. The only one who claims Bush said what you quoted was Shaath. Obama said the consulate attack was about video and so did Rice. The only one who still claims Susan Rice was not sent out to lie was… well, no one.

          • hennorama

            Gregg Smith’s pretzel logic Part 2:

            Accurate quotation of an article, and including a link to said article = “posting an article without mentioning the denial” = dishonest

            Apparently now all posters who post an accurate quote, and a link to said accurate quote, must also include a counterquote, or they are “dishonest” according to Gregg(“I happen to believe open honest debate is good.”}Smith.

            Accurate quotation of an article, and including a link to said article = “taking his word” and “swear[ing] by an article.”

            Unable to meet the challenge he sets for others (Smith: “All I want is a quote.”), Smith whines “You are really not worth my time, especially if you can’t even direct your replies to me. I don’t care what you think about me but your comment is all about me.”

            For someone who types “I don’t care what you [hennorama] think ..” so often, Smith sure replies directly to hennorama frequently. (An obsessive average of once per day over the last three months, since hennorama declared a “unilaterally imposed temporary cessation of hostilities”).

            Smith’s inability to admit error is on display about seemingly innocuous topics, including the difference between one million and one billion. Rather than say “Oops! I misread that number”, Smith had this exchange with another poster last weekend:

            [NewtonWhale] Sorry, Kelly, but the media does NOT give equal coverage to the Dems on the budget committee.

            Paul Ryan (R), chairman of the House Budget Committee:
            About 1,300,000,000 results

            Jeff Sessions (R), ranking Republican, Senate Budget Committee: About 28,200,000 results

            Patty Murray (D), Chairman, Senate Budget Committee:
            About 16,000,000 results

            [Gregg Smith] Wow, over a million instances of the MSM bashing Ryan. It seems low.

            [NewtonWhale] That’s 1.3 BILLION results, Greg, not 1.3 million.

            Then again, I wouldn’t expect anyone who promotes the Ryan budget to know the difference.

            [Gregg Smith] A billion is “over a million”, smarty pants.

            [NewtonWhale] So now you’re going to pretend that’s what you meant?

            Pathetic.

            [Gregg Smith] I’ll type slow. Just because there are a lot of results does not mean they’re positive. You are implying the number shows bias and I agree but it’s bias against the plan not for it. therefore your entire premise is whacked in my view. But go ahead and miss the point, fine.

            I have no idea where your numbers came from. I have no idea where your graphics that don’t reflect those numbers comes from.

            ————

            Apparently, this is what passes for “open honest debate” in GreggSmithWorld.

          • Gregg Smith

            Yadda yadda. You’re like a creepy stalker. Try to get me out of your head. If I kept a file on you I would repost the time you lauded me for being willing to stand corrected, but I’m not that creepy so I have no file. You have no rebuttal to my original reply. Look at the lengths you go to rather than admit the claim you made is false. Or even that it could be false. This has happened before but you are too rigid to admit when you are wrong so you rag on me instead.

        • 65noname

          and exactly what is wrong with someone saying that they will use armed resistance to drive out an armed military occupier?

      • nj_v2

        http://www.counterpunch.org/2009/05/22/bush-god-iraq-and-gog/

        [[ In Genesis and Ezekiel Gog and Magog are forces of the Apocalypse who are prophesied to come out of the north and destroy Israel unless stopped. The Book of Revelation took up the Old Testament prophesy:

        “And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle … and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them.”

        Bush believed the time had now come for that battle, telling Chirac:

        “This confrontation is willed by God, who wants to use this conflict to erase his people’s enemies before a New Age begins”.

        The story of the conversation emerged only because the Elysée Palace, baffled by Bush’s words, sought advice from Thomas Römer, a professor of theology at the University of Lausanne. Four years later, Römer gave an account in the September 2007 issue of the university’s review, Allez savoir. The article apparently went unnoticed, although it was referred to in a French newspaper.

        The story has now been confirmed by Chirac himself in a new book, published in France in March, by journalist Jean Claude Maurice.Chirac is said to have been stupefied and disturbed by Bush’s invocation of Biblical prophesy to justify the war in Iraq and “wondered how someone could be so superficial and fanatical in their beliefs”.

        (excerpt)

        • Gregg Smith

          Wow, that GWB feller talked good. It sounds just like his famous eloquence. And by all means let’s take the word of the embezzler who was knee deep in the “oil for food” debacle. How much did he make off of that?

          But if your implication is that Bush went to Iraq because it was God’s will then that’s kind of silly. I’m sure he prayed about it. I’m sure he felt it was the moral thing to do. But that was hardly odd. Overall your comment is a big yawn even in the unlikely event it is true.

          • 65noname

            then what does saying that god told him to invade iraq mean if not that “it was god’s will”?

          • Gregg Smith

            I don’t think he said that.

          • Steve__T

             Stop thinking

    • Gregg Smith

      Since I am commenting on your comment by replying to someone other than you, I thought I should address you directly. My reply to Hennorama may give you the wrong impression. Yes, I do think Bush thought he was doing God’s work. I think he believes he does that everyday. That doesn’t mean it was the reason, it means it was a comfort. These decisions are heavy and even though I’m not a Christian I have no problem with those who look within for guidance. 

      The Israel thing is a bit conspiratorial, not in concept but in assuming policies were formed by it. 

    • roseel

      The conspiracy as I see it ,was that we got nervous about alquada toppling saudi arabia[the;"19 hijackers were from saudi arabia" line]. Those fundamentalist muslims were getting uppity in arabia and therefore we wanted another place to have military bases from which to control the world from in case alquada  succeeded in  toppling that corrupt[from the  saudi peoples' perspective] regime. And get below market plentiful oil to boot. What better prospect then iraq-where the people were secularized-not fundamentalists hence they would not mind our bars and whore houses in their land-unlike the saudis where american soldiers cannot have them there. How dare they tell us we can’t have booze and whore houses in their homelands!  So we manufactured the wmd threat against iraq to topple that  regime[an ally against iran] to get those bases there and that oil.We built the biggest embassy there believing we would prevail in our desire to keep bases and get oil from secularized iraq.But it backfired on us .Especially when the iraqis told us that we would be held accountable for crimes committed against any iraqis by our soldiers.Again  how dare they! And because they’re men[and women] not mice-they did not back down on that one.

  • Anita Paul

    There were people warning that Saddam did not have WMD’s.  The Bush administration did not listen.  Mr. Kagan is one of the people who made up the story.  He does not get to write the history by claiming a cause and effect regarding the Arab spring.  They lied period.

  • hypocracy1

    MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!!

    -GWB

  • nj_v2

    Good Glenn Greenwald article pointing out what a duplicitous, dissembling clown turd David Frum is…

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/mar/18/david-frum-iraq-war-oil

    David Frum, the Iraq war and oil
    The former Bush speechwriter confirms what has long been the most ridiculed claim about a key reason the US attacked Iraq

    • WorriedfortheCountry

       So please ask Glenn where the oil is.  We are still waiting.

      What ever happened to Chalabi?

  • nj_v2

    Terriffic resource!

    Review and re-live, month by month, the vast sweep and depth of BushCo lies, distortion, malfeasance, and incompetence…

    http://www.motherjones.com/bush_war_timeline

    Lie by Lie: The Mother Jones Iraq War Timeline (8/1/90 – 2/14/08)

    In this timeline, we’ve assembled the history of the Iraq War to create a resource we hope will help resolve open questions of the Bush era. What did our leaders know and when did they know it? And, perhaps just as important, what red flags did we miss, and how could we have missed them? This is the third installment of the timeline, with a focus on Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo, and torture in a time of terror.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001708537001 Joshua Evans

    There’s a word for going into a country and taking their resources: Plundering.

  • http://www.facebook.com/mark.rutledge.56 Mark Rutledge

    What an awful show. Far below what I expect from On Point. This episode was cheer leading one perspective. What I love about On Point is the debate between conflicting perspectives. While I agree that the Iraq war as a debacle for the US I still want to hear the debate.

  • nj_v2

    The Dems were enablers. BushCo led the charge, but many of the Dems went along then lied afterwards.

    http://truth-out.org/opinion/item/15100-democrats-share-the-blame-for-tragedy-of-iraq-war

    Democrats Share the Blame for Tragedy of Iraq War

    The Democrats who voted to support the war and rationalized that vote by making false claims about Iraq’s WMD programs – a minority of Democrats, but much over-represented in Democratic leadership councils – were responsible for allowing the Bush administration to get away with lying about Iraq’s alleged threat.

    • TomK_in_Boston

      Dam right, just like the conserva-dems have their fingerprints all over the deregulation of wall st.

    • harverdphd

       Sucks to be you.

  • Ray in VT

    One should expect some staunch defenders of the previous administration to see just as many lies there as Nelson saw ships at the Battle of Copenhagen.

  • Moby10

    Two ways to engage the public in the cost of the Iraq War and any future ones: (i) impose mandatory draft, and/or (ii) impose War Tax (impose it now with an automatic expiration date after the cost is paid off).

    • harverdphd

       If wishes were horses, beggars would ride.

      • Ray in VT

        Well, I guess that one shouldn’t expect a people to be compelled to fight when the nation goes to war or to pay for the war while fighting it.  Maybe that is too much to ask of America in the 21st century.

        • Gregg Smith

          I’m not so eager to reinstitute the draft but I see the point. I actually like the idea of a war tax in concept. I’m just not sure it’s prudent because the economy is so fickle. I can’t (or wouldn’t) presume to speak for HarverdPHD by my interpretation is very different than yours. I inferred from the comment it was a pipe dream to think either would happen. I did not infer Harverdphd implied Moby10′s ideas were without merit. Maybe that’s the belief but I don’t take it that way.

          • Ray in VT

            Based upon the general tone of his comments, or at least my reading of them, I certainly figured on the dismissive.  Pipe dreams they may be, but sensible ones perhaps at least.  As regards the fickleness of the economy, that it certainly is, however, if something is so shaky and unsound, then perhaps one and all should think doubly hard when considering embarking up such a potentially hazardous and unpredictable a venture as invading a foreign country.

          • Gregg Smith

            You could be right about Harverdphd, I don’t know. I was just giving my view. As I said, I agree with a war tax in concept. I don’t agree with your implication (correct me if I’m wrong) that the Iraq war or any war is waged without the utmost consideration.

  • Potter

    What a shame that the only way those responsible for this stain on the US are only being held accountable in this way, in the media.  I am very grateful for this discussion.

    At one point Tom divides the discussion  and calls a comment as about the moral aspect. This is all about morality, the moral aspect. Every aspect leads back to morality.

  • harverdphd

    On Point: thank you for showing how wrong all the Bush haters have been all these years.  The Iraq war was necessary and made the world safer for us all.  The real tragedy is our failure to conquer Iraq when we had the chance in 91.  So many lives and costs would have been saved.  

    • Ray in VT

      Whether the war was either necessary or whether or not it ultimately made us safer are both highly subject to debate.  Personally, I think that it was neither necessary nor inevitable.  Our track record regarding successful regime change isn’t great, and personally I think that Dick Cheney knew what he was talking about in the mid 1990s when he laid out the case for not overthrowing Saddam in 1991.

      • Gregg Smith

        9/11 shifted the paradigm. The world changed but I am in no way saying or implying Iraq was involved with the attack. I would guess that in 1991 Cheney would have vehemently opposed the idea of naked scanners and feeling up nuns in airports.

        I actually appreciate your view that is an admitted opinion and leaves wiggle room. It would be nice if more people were more open to the notion that it may not be a definite case of evil, sadism, lies, greed and revenge.

        • Ray in VT

          There’s plenty of wiggle room on many things.  One does not know what would have happened if we had pushed on in 1991.  Maybe it would have been just as bad, but maybe not.  It is also not possible to know what might have happened had we not invaded.  That is all educated guesswork.

          I’ve never given any credibility to the notion that the war was for revenge.  That would seem beyond the pale.  I think that some thought that they might profit from the opening up of Iraqi resources, although I wouldn’t say that that applied to those in the highest levels of the administration, and I don’t think that anyone pushed for war for their jollies, although I would suggest that there was more than just a bit of cowboy attitude in the administration that might have been toned down had some of the top officials involved in the decision making process had more first hand experience with war, as did Secretary Powell, who has always struck me as a cautious individual, whereas I cannot say that about former President Bush.

          I certainly do think that the American public was not dealt with honestly by the administration when it came to some statements that were made and how certain intelligence was presented, but I will certainly give plenty of personal leeway for decisions that were made based upon faulty intelligence, and I think that it should be a cautionary tale for those whose hands are upon the levers of power.

          • Gregg Smith

            I obviously disagree with many of your points but I won’t quibble. It’s the topic of the show and I suppose the reasoning is valid but I still think the effort to resolve anything is largely futile. It’s honest debate and I, again, appreciate it. There is zero “wiggle room” with many on this issue. I am not accusing you of agreeing with me.

  • MiaHamm

    Do you really really really want to know why we invaded Iraq at a cost of $20,000 per household
    http://www.humangenome.org/iraq/reasons.htm

  • MiaHamm

    Do you really really really want to know why we invaded Iraq at a cost of $20,000 per household
    http://www.humangenome.org/iraq/reasons.htm

  • Potter

    I also have to say that the Bush name is now mud– Jeb would not have a chance.

  • dnjndn

    a poem I wrote about working in a factory for third generation wealth where from top to bottom no one seemed to care about what was good for the enterprise and I came see the parallels as far as US foreign policy was concerned; 

           it’s just a dog and pony show
             with fealty rewarded
           where everybody’s someone’s Ho’
               their common sense aborted

                      it’s no use to pretend
                         there’s no left that’s sacred
                       it’s the beginning of the end
                          the emperor is naked

        during the war the innocent arabs  being killed was not news and now the human aftermath ; the ruined lives are  not news be they american or iraqi. we all have blood on our hands because who stood up and said this is wrong, i was always more afraid of our our own government than i was of any terrorists. 
    the same holds true today; think drones , think extra extra judicial executions, think guantanomo , no respect for the law or  the constitution, idealogical justifications masquerading as common sense, thank stan cohen for the last phrase. when was the last time the US actually declared a war  ? there’s that darned constitution again, we all have blood on our hands because we don’t stand up for it and that includes me   

    • Fredlinskip

      We may all have “blood on hands”, but
      there were folks who stood up and protested. Voices of reason were drowned out.And it wasn’t just neocons who misinformed America that were culpable, media cowered and failed to investigate numerous false claims of admin. 
      Without an informed public, there is no democracy. 

      • dnjndn

        thanks for responding, after I posted the above I thought about the media trumpeting of the danger from saddam, terrorists et al. judith miller; a disgrace , the n y times ? our political representatives stuck their fingers in the air to feel which way the wind was blowing. let us not forget that at the time many of us knew that what our leaders were doing was feeding off of what i believe were irrational fears ( we all have them ) in order to pursue a wrongheaded immoral policy of 
        ” keeping america safe from terrorism ” people posting and reading here will know of BLOWBACK, by chalmers johnson  i recommend nassim nicholas taleb , the bed of procrustes for  getting a big picture view.   i even wonder today if it is safe or wise for me to post my honestly held opinions in a public forum. folks speak of trolls on the internet, our government intelligence agencies may have few trolls of their own.

  • Tyranipocrit

    Thousands of iraqi deaths are never mentioned, never mourned.  And we go from one country to the next.  Americans are feeble minded cows.  When will they rise and wage democracy?

    • Gregg Smith

      Hussein murdered more that a million of his own people and maimed countless more. That is no longer the case.

      • Ray in VT

        Do you have a source for that 1 million number?  It is true that he was a horrible tyrant, but that is probably little comfort to the victims of the still nearly daily bombings that are ongoing in Iraq and those who lost loved ones over the past ten years.

        Is the world better off without him and his sons.  I would say yes.  Could something have been done to neutralize or minimize his regime without blowing the lid off of the whole thing? I think so, and did we do a pretty profoundly unremarkable job of both knowing what our actions might to and then responding to those effects?  I think that that must be a resounding yes.

        • Gregg Smith

          I should qualify by saying no one knows or can know that actual number with certainty. I should also give credit to Tyranipocrit for not repeating some of the outrageous numbers I’ve heard cited regarding civilian deaths. So there’s that.

          My source is the New York Times but I can’t find the article. This is old stuff but I’m quite sure I read it and the number sticks in my head. I did find this from Wikipedia:

          “he [Saddam] murdered as many as a million of his people, many with poison gas. He tortured, maimed and imprisoned countless more. His unprovoked invasion of Iran is estimated to have left another million people dead.”

          That does not include Kuwait.

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_rights_in_Saddam_Hussein's_Iraq

          • Ray in VT

            The number that I have often heard kicked around for post war iraqi deaths is somewhere in the neighborhood of 100,000

            http://www.iraqbodycount.org/

            That’s based upon reported deaths, although there might be more.

            I am suspicious of big round numbers like 1 million.  It was supposedly said that the invasion of Japan would create 1 million allied casualties, but I don’t think that any document has ever been produced that says that, and 50,000 has often been used, such as for the number of satanic cults murders in the U.S. per year.  A couple of articles I saw suggested the number of 1 million, but others said perhaps “only” 400,000ish Iraqis, and that perhaps the only way to get to 1 million would be to include Iraq’s war casualties, as opposed to the people that gassed or disappeared.

          • Gregg Smith

            Anyway you slice it, Hussein was a murderous tyrant. 

          • Ray in VT

            Of course he was.  That is not debatable.  Where he falls on the scale of murderous tyrants is a bit problematic in terms of quantifying his crimes.  That often seems to be the case with such regimes, with perhaps the one major exception being Nazi Germany, which, for some reason, kept very close track of what they did.  Their record keeping was great for the historians researching what they did, although it’s very complex.  It was only just recently that the Holocaust Museum in D.C. worked up the best count of camps, and they came up with over 45,000.

  • http://hammernews.com/ hammermann

    I wrote then that it was a “blunder that would echo down through the decades”, but we all knew it was worse. It was treason, pure and simple, the culmination of a 10 year neo-con conspiracy to depose Saddam because of his humiliating Bush 1 after the Gulf War. “Trumped up evidence,
    repackaged long past its freshness date,
    till it stinks with the corruption of this
    regime. Saddam had aluminum tubes for nuclear fabrication:
    not really; Iraq was buying uranium from Niger: the
    papers were forged. (“Fine,” said Colin.); prohibited
    missiles: not if loaded with a warhead (they
    destroyed the short range missiles anyway);
    dangerous drones: actually ramshackle junk
    (though this might be an Iraqi scam). The truth is- Bush planned to invade Iraq,
    to outdo and avenge his father, to kill a
    persistent irritant, to guarantee a stable
    source of oil, to cow the world… before he became President…  The result of all this untruth is that 42%
    of our people think Saddam was involved in
    planning 9-11, 55% think he’s in league with Al Qaida… Of some 1000 satellite phone calls
    that OBL made, not one went to Iraq, but our media has let this gem sink in the
    sands of Mr. Bush’s propaganda… Rather than the vast roster of experts with experience in reconstruction and peacekeeping, 23yo kids were hired without interview or security clearance because they posted their resume with the Heritage Foundation. Criminal incompetence from top to bottom. A war based on lies; a reconstruction based on fantasy, run by inexperienced ideologues, 250,00 tons of heavy ordinance allowed to be looted…
    The Communists’ favorite tactic was to provoke
    a massive overreaction in their foe and use
    the resulting popular outrage and uprising
    for their own twisted purposes. Somewhere
    in a cave or dingy basement, a gaunt yellow
    tall sickly man is softly chuckling to himself:
    “I don’t have to do anything… they will do
    it to themselves.
    FIRM of MIND, SOFT on FACTS

                          by  Michael Hammerschlag     Mar
    17, 2003
    http://hammernews.com/firmmind.htm

  • pete18

    Some useful reminders about some of the truths of the Iraq War by Naval War College professor of national security affairs Stephen Knott, that seem  to have been forgotten by a majority of the people posting here : http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324532004578360574070682516.html

    “At 5:34 a.m. on March 20, 2003, American, British and other allied
    forces invaded Iraq. One of the most divisive conflicts in the nation’s
    history would soon be labeled “Bush’s War.”

    The overthrow of Saddam Hussein’s regime became official U.S. policy
    in 1998, when President Clinton signed the Iraq Liberation Act—a bill
    passed 360-38 by the House of Representatives and by unanimous consent
    in the Senate. The law called for training and equipping Iraqi
    dissidents to overthrow Saddam and suggested that the United Nations
    establish a war-crimes tribunal for the dictator and his lieutenants.

    The legislation was partly the result of frustration over the
    undeclared and relatively unheralded “No-Fly Zone War” that had been
    waged since 1991. Saddam’s military repeatedly fired on U.S. and allied
    aircraft that were attempting to prevent his regime from destroying
    Iraqi opposition forces in northern and southern Iraq.

    According to former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Hugh Shelton, in
    1997 a key member of President Bill Clinton’s cabinet (thought by most
    observers to have been Secretary of State Madeleine Albright) asked Gen.
    Shelton whether he could arrange for a U.S. aircraft to fly slowly and
    low enough that it would be shot down, thereby paving the way for an
    American effort to topple Saddam. Kenneth Pollack, a member of Mr.
    Clinton’s National Security Council staff, would later write in 2002
    that it was a question of “not whether but when” the U.S. would invade
    Iraq. He wrote that the threat presented by Saddam was “no less pressing
    than those we faced in 1941.”

    Radicalized by the events of 9/11, George W. Bush gradually concluded
    that a regime that had used chemical weapons against its own people and
    poison gas against Iran, invaded Iran and Kuwait, harbored some of the
    world’s most notorious terrorists, made lucrative payments to the
    families of suicide bombers, fired on American aircraft almost daily,
    and defied years of U.N. resolutions regarding weapons of mass
    destruction was a problem. The former chief U.N. weapons inspector, an
    Australian named Richard Butler, testified in July 2002 that “it is
    essential to recognize that the claim made by Saddam’s representatives,
    that Iraq has no WMD, is false.”

    In the U.S., there was a bipartisan consensus
    that Saddam possessed and continued to develop WMD. Former Vice
    President Al Gore noted in September 2002 that Saddam had “stored secret
    supplies of biological and chemical weapons throughout his country.”
    Then-Sen. Hillary Clinton observed that Saddam hoped to increase his
    supply of chemical and biological weapons and to “develop nuclear
    weapons.” Then-Sen. John Kerry claimed that “a deadly arsenal of weapons
    of mass destruction in his [Saddam's] hands is a real and grave threat
    to our security.”

    Even those opposed to using force against Iraq
    acknowledged that, as then-Sen. Edward Kennedy put it, “we have known
    for many years that Saddam Hussein is seeking and developing” WMD. When
    it came time to vote on the authorization for the use of force against
    Iraq, 81 Democrats in the House voted yes, joined by 29 Democrats in the
    Senate, including the party’s 2004 standard bearers, John Kerry and
    John Edwards, plus Majority Leader Tom Daschle, Sen. Joe Biden, Mrs.
    Clinton, and Sens. Harry Reid, Tom Harkin, Chris Dodd and Jay
    Rockefeller. The latter, a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee,
    claimed that Saddam would “likely have nuclear weapons within the next
    five years.”

    Support for the war extended far beyond Capitol
    Hill. In March 2003, a Pew Research Center poll indicated that 72% of
    the American public supported President Bush’s decision to use force.

    If Mr. Bush “lied,” as the common accusation
    has it, then so did many prominent Democrats—and so did the French,
    whose foreign minister, Dominique de Villepin, claimed in February 2003
    that “regarding the chemical domain, we have evidence of [Iraq's]
    capacity to produce VX and yperite [mustard gas]; in the biological
    domain, the evidence suggests the possible possession of significant
    stocks of anthrax and botulism toxin.” Germany’s intelligence chief
    August Hanning noted in March 2002 that “it is our estimate that Iraq
    will have an atomic bomb in three years.”

    According to interrogations conducted after the
    invasion, Saddam’s own generals believed that he had WMD and expected
    him to use these weapons as the invasion force neared Baghdad.

    The war in Iraq was authorized by a bipartisan
    congressional coalition, supported by prominent media voices and backed
    by the public. Yet on its 10th anniversary Americans will be told of the
    Bush administration’s duplicity in leading us into the conflict. Many
    members of the bipartisan coalition that committed the U.S. to invade
    Iraq 10 years ago have long since washed their hands of their share of
    responsibility.

    We owe it to history—and, more important, to all those who died—to recognize that this wasn’t Bush’s war, it was America’s war.”

    • Gregg Smith

      How soon we forget. Thank you.

    • jimino

      Excellent synopsis of how to deploy propaganda to garner widespread support, focusing on an ignorant, frightened populace, and their craven political leaders. 

      Are you saying the invasion and occupation, and the manner in which they were done, was a good idea well carried out, or not?

    • nj_v2

      See, in my line of work you got to keep repeating things over and over and over again for the truth to sink in, to kind of catapult the propaganda.” 
      —George Bush, May 24, 2005

    • Fredlinskip

      Nothing like throwing in “fair and balanced ” perspective of Murdoch News Corp for a giggle. 

      • Gregg Smith

        I found your above comment too flawed to even reply but what single fact (not “perspective”) did the WSJ get wrong?

        • Fredlinskip

          You’re right Gregg, it’s not very classy to simply dismiss an article outright without addressing it’s claims.
          Wish I had time to go into greater detail, but at this point, this “soon to disappear” thread seems hardly worth the effort, even if I did have the time.
          It’s not like any  facts I’ve ever brought to your attention have seemed to “register” with you anyway.
          My opinion of War on whole is above. 
          NJ seems also to have taken the time to express valid opinions, which contradict WSJ article as well.

          • Gregg Smith

            They don’t contradict the WSJ at all. To what do you refer?

    • nj_v2

      I just stopped at the headline (“When Everyone Agreed About Iraq”)

      Horsecrap. Everyone didn’t agree.

  • peacemaker64

    It should be evident that not only the Iraqi war but all other wars since the time of the establishment of this country have been planned and orchestrated by the Illuminati.  Now don’t go labeling this as ‘conspiracy’, i am talking about evidence that points directly to it.  The course of the actions of people in power show who they really are, not who they pretend to be in the public eye.  There are little signs if you pay attention; i.e.  quote;

    at the height of the Iraq War the Army was expending less than 6
    million rounds a month.  Therefore 1.6 billion rounds would be enough to
    sustain a hot war for 20+ years.  In America.

    if that doesn’t scare you i don’t know what will!

    So who are the modern architects of wars such as the Irag war  you ask?  Part of it responsible parties currently hold positions in the Federal Reserve(a complete misnomer as this is a private establishment – that’s a whole different ball of worms).. The FED does not answer to anyone, but they have power to establish value of the US Dollar.  Why is this??? can anyone out there make sense of it??

  • 1standlastword

    If I could read the mind of God as so many claim I would be thinking get ready for another flood

  • nj_v2

    Disqus post-placement fail. Again.

  • Brennan Moriarty

    okay, there was the nerve-gassing [wmd's] in the Iran vs Iraq trench warfare; there were also suicide bombings -buses- in Israel [via Charlie Wilson] as often as there are now bombs in Pakistan, Afghan & Iraq.
    But the big picture is Moral Logistics_. Kuwait [little old them] was ORIGINALLY invaded by Iraq for this… MORAL EQUATION. 

    The terror of a US budget surplus :%, could be seen as “fertilizer” for the immoral. 
       Saddam was pursuing [this] morality;/: like something between Stalin and/or Napoleon.
     The Shock & Ambiguity… of fueling NORMALCY? well; look between the 2 gulf wars, when Bill Clinton was down scaling and closing military bases, and before the OJ trial … A famous American had a whole album Named “NEVERMIND”. [i think that is- how the west is spun]
    It’s not all about political-leaders opinion’s and tact; Scientists & Poets can sublime the new age abstract: If we [socio] technologically cut our fuel addiction::: and put key +_referential normative satellites_+ into stationary_+! orbit:: and also curb near-east offensiveness:
     we could unroll a magic carpet that exchanges bad for good(dad:). however the crucial max~leverage is often the most distant and indeed elusive/evasive; …but without divine-inspiration, we’re wallowing in the trench’s [of grunge?]… droning on while bed-bugs hijack the ephemeral social fabric

    We’re VERY NEAR the peak moral high ground ;) !,!;!:! but to draw out an ecologically  feasible plateau____^/____ and focused peace, with a civilized simple arched platform between these 2 historically similar worlds [Babylon came before Athens & Rome...Europe & America]. We need globally unified equations and Components, not just flights of fancy but Sights! from infancy ;) 
    And we can’t threaten people with the 3rd world, whether sending soldiers [or sub-terrified tourists] there nor allowing it’s neglect to compromise our own norms [Geo-logistics], nor can we ignore more happiness’s [what-cha-ma-call-it] general equation.
    So we kissed Ali Baba’s hand… but if it opens a portal to holy grail illumination? we could go Indy without Jonesing nor sacrilegious magna carta… complexity? yet without/sans complication.

  • juliagrl

    I was at a Joan Baez concert in Kalamazoo MI with my husband and daughter 10 years ago tonight. She paused in the concert to announce ” We have now started a small war in Iraq.” My heart sank, mind darkened.

  • The_Truth_Seeker

    Looking back at the Iraq war … we should NOW bring all those who got us involved in it and got all our soldiers killed for, effectively, NOTHING, on charges of war crimes! Starting with Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz (or whatever that idiot’s name is), Rice and Bill Crystal and some others.

  • Fredlinskip

    W Quotes:

    “You know, one of the hardest parts of my job is to connect Iraq to the war on terror.” –interview with CBS News’ Katie Couric, Sept. 6, 2006

    “Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we.” —Washington, D.C., Aug. 5, 2004

    “Can we win? I don’t think you can win it.” –after being asked whether the war on terror was winnable, “Today” show interview, Aug. 30, 2004

    “I will never apologize for the United States of America, I don’t care what the facts are,”

    “The most important thing is for us to find Osama bin Laden. It is our number one priority and we will not rest until we find him.” –Washington, D.C., Sept. 13, 2001
    “I don’t know where bin Laden is. I have no idea and really don’t care. It’s not that important. It’s not our priority.” –Washington, D.C., March 13, 2002

  • Fredlinskip

      Before the War we were all politely informed that Sadaam had plotted with Al Qaeda, attempted to obtain material for nuclear weapons, had made aluminum tubes for purpose of uranium enrichment, had “mobile chemical factories”, they attacked us with Anthrax, “hated us for our freedom”, and on & on.   Iraq was given ultimatum to surrender the WMD’s they didn’t possess or the grown-ups in America were going to attack.   So we bombed bejesus out of them and occupied their country. We were told that like when France was liberated in World War II, Iraqis would come out and spread “roses” at our troops feet.     Hundreds of thousands of Iraqis, some of them bad guys, but most “collateral damage” were killed. And Rumsfeld & co. just couldn’t understand why these folks seemed so PO’ed at us.     2004 W was reelected, largely because Dems were deemed too wimpy when it comes to “War on Terror”. All domestic issues were put on back burner. “Deficits didn’t matter” quipped Cheney. The $’s spent on “War on Terror” was a state secret. No-bid contracts and scandals abounded, but somehow  press and America looked the other way, because “War must go on” and “if you’s ain’t with us you’s again’ us”     Meanwhile W & co looked the other way while until corporate America  & financial industry essentially raped America, until bottom fell out of American economy         ‘08 Obama was elected- Many voted for him because they were tired of the War- and the hypocrisy.Almost seemed as if Obama with Hillary‘s advice- who was tired of y’all calling Dems wimpy- “I’ll show y’all we can extend unnecessary War ‘with the best of them’”, and so occupation wore on.     It sorta seems that Al Qaeda-like groups who tend to view conflicts in terms of centuries, not election cycles, couldn’t have asked for much more. We did more damage to ourselves in myriad of ways through our brazen stupidity then they could have ever hoped to do to us.Did we learn anything? 

  • Fredlinskip

    disqus

  • Fredlinskip

    disqus

  • Gregg Smith

    Of course he lied about Obama negotiating the end of the war in Iraq but credit James Carney for reluctantly admitting the truth. George Bush deserves credit for giving Iraq a future.

    http://www.politico.com/blogs/media/2013/03/foxs-james-rosen-spars-with-jay-carney-over-bushs-159731.html

    • nj_v2

      George Bush deserves to be in jail.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/GMG7T4TNYLGXE565O374PNELTA fritz

    It amazes me that, only now, after ten years people are talking about the insidious motives behind the Iraqui fiasco. Why wasn’t it obvious to everybody back then. I remember watching the initial assault on TV like som bizarre reality show and crying! Everything from the pilfering of the museum to the vaporization of 150 women and children by a “Smart Bunker Buster”. Some of us knew what it was all about then! See davidfishel.net and click on the song Haliburton’s War or visit it on U-Tube.

  • nj_v2

    Mr. Young just needs to talk to Greggg. I’m sure he’d be able to straighten out his attitude and set him straight.

    http://www.truthdig.com/dig/item/the_last_letter_20130318/

    The Last Letter

    A Message to George W. Bush and Dick Cheney From a Dying Veteran
    To: George W. Bush and Dick Cheney
    From: Tomas YoungI write this letter on the 10th anniversary of the Iraq War on behalf of my fellow Iraq War veterans. I write this letter on behalf of the 4,488 soldiers and Marines who died in Iraq. I write this letter on behalf of the hundreds of thousands of veterans who have been wounded and on behalf of those whose wounds, physical and psychological, have destroyed their lives. I am one of those gravely wounded. I was paralyzed in an insurgent ambush in 2004 in Sadr City. My life is coming to an end. I am living under hospice care.I write this letter on behalf of husbands and wives who have lost spouses, on behalf of children who have lost a parent, on behalf of the fathers and mothers who have lost sons and daughters and on behalf of those who care for the many thousands of my fellow veterans who have brain injuries. I write this letter on behalf of those veterans whose trauma and self-revulsion for what they have witnessed, endured and done in Iraq have led to suicide and on behalf of the active-duty soldiers and Marines who commit, on average, a suicide a day. I write this letter on behalf of the some 1 million Iraqi dead and on behalf of the countless Iraqi wounded. I write this letter on behalf of us all—the human detritus your war has left behind, those who will spend their lives in unending pain and grief.You may evade justice but in our eyes you are each guilty of egregious war crimes, of plunder and, finally, of murder, including the murder of thousands of young Americans—my fellow veterans—whose future you stole.I write this letter, my last letter, to you, Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney. I write not because I think you grasp the terrible human and moral consequences of your lies, manipulation and thirst for wealth and power. I write this letter because, before my own death, I want to make it clear that I, and hundreds of thousands of my fellow veterans, along with millions of my fellow citizens, along with hundreds of millions more in Iraq and the Middle East, know fully who you are and what you have done. You may evade justice but in our eyes you are each guilty of egregious war crimes, of plunder and, finally, of murder, including the murder of thousands of young Americans—my fellow veterans—whose future you stole.Your positions of authority, your millions of dollars of personal wealth, your public relations consultants, your privilege and your power cannot mask the hollowness of your character. You sent us to fight and die in Iraq after you, Mr. Cheney, dodged the draft in Vietnam, and you, Mr. Bush, went AWOL from your National Guard unit. Your cowardice and selfishness were established decades ago. You were not willing to risk yourselves for our nation but you sent hundreds of thousands of young men and women to be sacrificed in a senseless war with no more thought than it takes to put out the garbage.I joined the Army two days after the 9/11 attacks. I joined the Army because our country had been attacked. I wanted to strike back at those who had killed some 3,000 of my fellow citizens. I did not join the Army to go to Iraq, a country that had no part in the September 2001 attacks and did not pose a threat to its neighbors, much less to the United States. I did not join the Army to “liberate” Iraqis or to shut down mythical weapons-of-mass-destruction facilities or to implant what you cynically called “democracy” in Baghdad and the Middle East. I did not join the Army to rebuild Iraq, which at the time you told us could be paid for by Iraq’s oil revenues. Instead, this war has cost the United States over $3 trillion. I especially did not join the Army to carry out pre-emptive war. Pre-emptive war is illegal under international law. And as a soldier in Iraq I was, I now know, abetting your idiocy and your crimes. The Iraq War is the largest strategic blunder in U.S. history. It obliterated the balance of power in the Middle East. It installed a corrupt and brutal pro-Iranian government in Baghdad, one cemented in power through the use of torture, death squads and terror. And it has left Iran as the dominant force in the region. On every level—moral, strategic, military and economic—Iraq was a failure. And it was you, Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney, who started this war. It is you who should pay the consequences.I have, like many other disabled veterans, suffered from the inadequate and often inept care provided by the Veterans Administration. I have, like many other disabled veterans, come to realize that our mental and physical wounds are of no interest to you, perhaps of no interest to any politician. We were used. We were betrayed. And we have been abandoned. You, Mr. Bush, make much pretense of being a Christian. But isn’t lying a sin? Isn’t murder a sin? Aren’t theft and selfish ambition sins? I am not a Christian. But I believe in the Christian ideal. I believe that what you do to the least of your brothers you finally do to yourself, to your own soul.
    I would not be writing this letter if I had been wounded fighting in Afghanistan against those forces that carried out the attacks of 9/11. Had I been wounded there I would still be miserable because of my physical deterioration and imminent death, but I would at least have the comfort of knowing that my injuries were a consequence of my own decision to defend the country I love. I would not have to lie in my bed, my body filled with painkillers, my life ebbing away, and deal with the fact that hundreds of thousands of human beings, including children, including myself, were sacrificed by you for little more than the greed of oil companies, for your alliance with the oil sheiks in Saudi Arabia, and your insane visions of empire.My day of reckoning is upon me. Yours will come. I hope you will be put on trial. But mostly I hope, for your sakes, that you find the moral courage to face what you have done to me and to many, many others who deserved to live. I hope that before your time on earth ends, as mine is now ending, you will find the strength of character to stand before the American public and the world, and in particular the Iraqi people, and beg for forgiveness. 

  • nj_v2

    BushCo lies on Iraq:

    (http://www.democraticunderground.com/10022533839)

    “Simply stated, there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction.”
    - Dick Cheney, Vice President
    Speech to VFW National Convention 8/26/2002

    “There is already a mountain of evidence that Saddam Hussein is gathering weapons for the purpose of using them. And adding additional information is like adding a foot to Mount Everest.”- Ari Fleischer, Press SecretaryResponse to Question From the Press, 9/6/2002

    “We don’t want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud.”
    - Condoleezza Rice, US National Security Adviser,CNN Late Edition, 9/8/2002

    “Right now, Iraq is expanding and improving facilities that were used for the production of biological weapons.”
    - George W. Bush, PresidentSpeech to the UN General Assembly, 9/12/2002

    “Iraq has stockpiled biological and chemical weapons, and is rebuilding the facilities used to make more of those weapons. We have sources that tell us that Saddam Hussein recently authorized Iraqi field commanders to use chemical weapons – the very weapons the dictator tells us he does not have.”
    - George W. Bush, PresidentRadio Address, 10/5/2002

    “The Iraqi regime … possesses and produces chemical and biological weapons. It is seeking nuclear weapons. We know that the regime has produced thousands of tons of chemical agents, including mustard gas, sarin nerve gas, VX nerve gas.”

    - George W. Bush, President, Cincinnati, Ohio, Speech, 10/7/2002

    “And surveillance photos reveal that the regime is rebuilding facilities that it had used to produce chemical and biological weapons.”
    - George W. Bush, PresidentCincinnati, Ohio, Speech, 10/7/2002

    “After 11 years during which we have tried containment, sanctions, inspections, even selected military action, the end result is that Saddam Hussein still has chemical and biological weapons and is increasing his capabilities to make more. And he is moving ever closer to developing a nuclear weapon.”

    - George W. Bush, PresidentCincinnati, Ohio, Speech, 10/7/2002

    “We’ve also discovered through intelligence that Iraq has a growing fleet of manned and unmanned aerial vehicles that could be used to disperse chemical or biological weapons across broad areas.”
    - George W. Bush, PresidentCincinnati, Ohio, Speech, 10/7/2002

    “Iraq, despite UN sanctions, maintains an aggressive program to rebuild the infrastructure for its nuclear, chemical, biological, and missile programs. In each instance, Iraq’s procurement agents are actively working to obtain both weapons-specific and dual-use materials and technologies critical to their rebuilding and expansion efforts, using front companies and whatever illicit means are at hand.”
    - John Bolton, Undersecretary of State for Arms Control, Speech to the Hudson Institute, 11/1/2002

    “Iraq could decide on any given day to provide biological or chemical weapons to a terrorist group or to individual terrorists … The war on terror will not be won until Iraq is completely and verifiably deprived of weapons of mass destruction.”
    - Dick Cheney, Vice PresidentDenver, Address to the Air National Guard, 12/1/2002

    “If he declares he has none, then we will know that Saddam Hussein is once again misleading the world.”
    - Ari Fleischer, Press Secretary, Press Briefing, 12/2/2002

    “The president of the United States and the secretary of defense would not assert as plainly and bluntly as they have that Iraq has weapons of mass destruction if it was not true, and if they did not have a solid basis for saying it.”
    - Ari Fleischer, Press Secretary, Response to Question From the Press, 12/4/2002

    “We know for a fact that there are weapons there.”
    - Ari Fleischer, Press Secretary, Press Briefing, 1/9/2003

    “The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa. Our intelligence sources tell us that he has attempted to purchase high-strength aluminum tubes suitable for nuclear weapons production.”
    - George W. Bush, President, State of the Union Address, 1/28/2003

    “Our intelligence officials estimate that Saddam Hussein had the materials to produce as much as 500 tons of sarin, mustard and VX nerve agent.”
    - George W. Bush, President, State of the Union Address, 1/28/2003

    “We know that Saddam Hussein is determined to keep his weapons of mass destruction, is determined to make more.”- Colin Powell, Secretary of State, Remarks to the UN Security Council, 2/5/2003

    “There can be no doubt that Saddam Hussein has biological weapons and the capability to rapidly produce more, many more. And he has the ability to dispense these lethal poisons and diseases in ways that can cause massive death and destruction. If biological weapons seem too terrible to contemplate, chemical weapons are equally chilling.”
    - Colin Powell, Secretary of State, Address to the UN Security Council, 2/5/2003

    “In Iraq, a dictator is building and hiding weapons that could enable him to dominate the Middle East and intimidate the civilized world – and we will not allow it.”
    - George W. Bush, President, Speech to the American Enterprise Institute, 2/26/2003

    “So has the strategic decision been made to disarm Iraq of its weapons of mass destruction by the leadership in Baghdad? I think our judgment has to be clearly not.”
    - Colin Powell, Secretary of State, Remarks to the UN Security Council, 3/7/2003

    “Let’s talk about the nuclear proposition for a minute. We know that, based on intelligence, that has been very, very good at hiding these kinds of efforts. He’s had years to get good at it and we know he has been absolutely devoted to trying to acquire nuclear weapons. And we believe he has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons.”
    - Dick Cheney, Vice President, “Meet the Press,” 3/16/2003

    “Intelligence gathered by this and other governments leaves no doubt that the Iraq regime continues to possess and conceal some of the most lethal weapons ever devised.”
    - George W. Bush, President, Address to the Nation, 3/17/2003

    “Well, there is no question that we have evidence and information that Iraq has weapons of mass destruction, biological and chemical particularly … all this will be made clear in the course of the operation, for whatever duration it takes.”
    - Ari Fleischer, Press Secretary, Press Briefing, 3/21/2003

    “One of our top objectives is to find and destroy the WMD. There are a number of sites.”
    - Victoria Clark, Pentagon Spokeswoman, Press Briefing, 3/22/2003

    “I have no doubt we’re going to find big stores of weapons of mass destruction.”
    - Kenneth Adelman, Defense Policy Board Member, Washington Post, p. A27, 3/23/2003

    “We know where they are. They’re in the area around Tikrit and Baghdad and east, west, south and north somewhat.”
    - Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary of Defense, ABC Interview, 3/30/2003

    “We still need to find and secure Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction facilities and secure Iraq’s borders so we can prevent the flow of weapons of mass destruction materials and senior regime officials out of the country.”
    - Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary of Defense, Press Conference, 4/9/2003

    “You bet we’re concerned about it. And one of the reasons it’s important is because the nexus between terrorist states with weapons of mass destruction … and terrorist groups – networks – is a critical link. And the thought that … some of those materials could leave the country and in the hands of terrorist networks would be a very unhappy prospect. So it is important to us to see that that doesn’t happen.”
    - Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary of Defense, Press Conference, 4/9/2003

    “But make no mistake – as I said earlier – we have high confidence that they have weapons of mass destruction. That is what this war was about and it is about. And we have high confidence it will be found.”
    - Ari Fleischer, Press Secretary, Press Briefing, 4/10/2003

    “Were not going to find anything until we find people who tell us where the things are. And we have that very high on our priority list, to find the people who know. And when we do, then well learn precisely where things were and what was done.”
    - Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary of Defense, “Meet the Press,” 4/13/2003

    “We are learning more as we interrogate or have discussions with Iraqi scientists and people within the Iraqi structure, that perhaps he destroyed some, perhaps he dispersed some. And so we will find them.”
    - George W. Bush, President, NBC Interview, 4/24/2003

    “We’ll find them. It’ll be a matter of time to do so.”
    - George W. Bush, President, Remarks to Reporters, 5/3/2003

    “I’m absolutely sure that there are weapons of mass destruction there and the evidence will be forthcoming. We’re just getting it just now.”
    - Colin Powell, Secretary of State, Remarks to Reporters, 5/4/2003

    “We never believed that we’d just tumble over weapons of mass destruction in that country.”
    - Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary of Defense, Fox News Interview, 5/4/2003

    “I’m not surprised if we begin to uncover the weapons program of Saddam Hussein – because he had a weapons program.”
    - George W. Bush, President, Remarks to Reporters, 5/6/2003

    “U.S. officials never expected that ‘we were going to open garages and find’ weapons of mass destruction.”
    - Condoleezza Rice, US National Security Adviser, Reuters Interview, 5/12/2003

    “We said all along that we will never get to the bottom of the Iraqi WMD program simply by going and searching specific sites, that you’d have to be able to get people who know about the programs to talk to you.”
    - Paul Wolfowitz, Deputy Secretary of Defense, Interview with Australian Broadcasting, 5/13/2003

    “It’s going to take time to find them, but we know he had them. And whether he destroyed them, moved them or hid them, we’re going to find out the truth. One thing is for certain: Saddam Hussein no longer threatens America with weapons of mass destruction.”
    - George W. Bush, President, Speech at a Weapons Factory in Ohio, 5/25/2003

    “They may have had time to destroy them, and I don’t know the answer.”
    - Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary of Defense, Remarks to the Council on Foreign Relations, 5/27/2003

    “For bureaucratic reasons, we settled on one issue, weapons of mass destruction (as justification for invading Iraq) because it was the one reason everyone could agree on.”
    - Paul Wolfowitz, Deputy Secretary of Defense, Vanity Fair Interview, 5/28/2003

    “The President is indeed satisfied with the intelligence that he received. And I think that’s borne out by the fact that, just as Secretary Powell described at the United Nations, we have found the bio trucks that can be used only for the purpose of producing biological weapons. That’s proof-perfect that the intelligence in that regard was right on target.”
    - Ari Fleischer, Press Secretary, Press Briefing, 5/29/2003

    “We have teams of people that are out looking. They’ve investigated a number of sites. And within the last week or two, they have in fact captured and have in custody two of the mobile trailers that Secretary Powell talked about at the United Nations as being biological weapons laboratories.”
    - Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary of Defense, Infinity Radio Interview, 5/30/2003

    “But for those who say we haven’t found the banned manufacturing devices or banned weapons, they’re wrong, we found them.”
    - George W. Bush, President, Interview With TVP Poland, 5/30/2003

    “You remember when Colin Powell stood up in front of the world, and he said Iraq has got laboratories, mobile labs to build biological weapons … They’re illegal. They’re against the United Nations resolutions, and we’ve so far discovered two … And we’ll find more weapons as time goes on.”
    - George W. Bush, President, Press Briefing, 5/30/2003

    “This wasn’t material I was making up, it came from the intelligence community.”
    - Colin Powell, Secretary of State, Press Briefing, 6/2/2003

    “We recently found two mobile biological weapons facilities which were capable of producing biological agents. This is the man who spent decades hiding tools of mass murder. He knew the inspectors were looking for them. You know better than me he’s got a big country in which to hide them. We’re on the look. We’ll reveal the truth.”
    - George W. Bush, President, Camp Sayliya, Qatar

    6/5/2003″I would put before you Exhibit A, the mobile biological labs that we have found. People are saying, ‘Well, are they truly mobile biological labs?’ Yes, they are. And the DCI, George Tenet, Director of Central Intelligence, stands behind that assessment.”- Colin Powell, Secretary of StateFox News Interview6/8/2003″No one ever said that we knew precisely where all of these agents were, where they were stored.”- Condoleezza Rice, US National Security Adviser”Meet the Press”

    6/8/2003″What the president has said is because it’s been the long-standing view of numerous people, not only in this country, not only in this administration, but around the world, including at the United Nations, who came to those conclusions … And the president is not going to engage in the rewriting of history that others may be trying to engage in.”- Ari Fleischer, Press SecretaryResponse to Question From the Press”Iraq had a weapons program … Intelligence throughout the decade showed they had a weapons program. I am absolutely convinced with time we’ll find out they did have a weapons program.”- George W. Bush, PresidentComment to Reporters6/9/2003″The biological weapons labs that we believe strongly are biological weapons labs, we didn’t find any biological weapons with those labs. But should that give us any comfort? Not at all. Those were labs that could produce biological weapons whenever Saddam Hussein might have wanted to have a biological weapons inventory.”- Colin Powell, Secretary of StateAssociated Press Interview6/12/2003″My personal view is that their intelligence has been, I’m sure, imperfect, but good. In other words, I think the intelligence was correct in general, and that you always will find out precisely what it was once you get on the ground and have a chance to talk to people and explore it, and I think that will happen.”- Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary of DefensePress Briefing6/18/2003″I have reason, every reason, to believe that the intelligence that we were operating off was correct and that we will, in fact, find weapons or evidence of weapons, programs, that are conclusive. But that’s just a matter of time … It’s now less than eight weeks since the end of major combat in Iraq and I believe that patience will prove to be a virtue.”- Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary of DefensePentagon Media Briefing6/24/2003″I think the burden is on those people who think he didn’t have weapons of mass destruction to tell the world where they are.”- Ari Fleischer, Press SecretaryPress Briefing7/9/2003

  • ExcellentNews

    Oil at $100+ per barrel. Over 3 TRILLION into the pockets of crony contractors, courtesy of the middle class taxpayer. Tons of future enemies to continue doing the same. Of course Dick Cheney and his oligarch pals would do it again in a minute !!!

    • ExcellentNews

      And George W. Bush the IIIrd, that usefull shill,  can now sit in his ranch and write page 3 of his war memoirs, entitled “Missionning Acomplish”. Writing is hard work, ya know…

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