The Worst Mistake in U.S. History — America Will Never Recover from Bush’s Great Foreign Policy Disaster By Peter Van Buren, Tom Dispatch , March 7, 2013 …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.
Tony Blair should face trial over Iraq war, says Desmond Tutu by The Observer, September 1, 2012 — Archbishop Desmond Tutu has called for Tony Blair and George Bush to be hauled before the international criminal court in The Hague and delivered a damning critique of the physical and moral devastation caused by the Iraq war.
The Siren Song Of War: Why Pundits Beat The Drums For Iraq by Kathleen Geier, nationalmemo.com, March 22, 2013 Pundits like to imagine that they take political positions only after a careful consideration of the merits — listening to arguments, studying position papers, weighing the pros and cons, and coming to a decision. But politics is not necessarily so rational, and never was irrationality more plainly on display than in the months leading up to the Iraq War. Ten years later, it is worth exploring why so many opinion-makers – including those who were otherwise critical of the Bush administration — passionately advocated war. For at least some leading pundits, their position seems to have been shaped less by “reason” or “ideas” than something more primal and even tribal, reflecting their fantasies about who they imagined themselves to be. What follows is a taxonomy of certain pundits on the center and the left who, to their eternal shame, beat the drums of war — hard…Matthew Yglesias…Dan Savage…Christopher Hitchens…Paul Berman…David Rieff…Peter Beinart…Thomas Friedman…Next up are those heroic journalists – sometimes dubbed the “Keyboard Commandos” — who wanted to re-fight World War II in Iraq. This crew saw Islam as a noxious, world-conquering ideology akin to Nazism: Islamofascism, as the late Christopher Hitchens once coined it. He and Andrew Sullivan flattered themselves as intellectual heirs of George Orwell, saving the world from both fascism and left-wing appeasers. Sullivan’s smearing of war opponents as a “fifth column” made that abundantly clear……The inability of these pundits to think straight may simply be a symptom of narcissism poisoning. For them, invasion and war were all about presenting their preferred face to the world — and to themselves. Henry James once wrote that a writer should be “one of the people on whom nothing is lost.” For these pundits, everything was lost — everything, that is, but their own overgrown egos.
Democrats Share the Blame for Tragedy of Iraq War, 17 March 2013 06:59 By Stephen Zunes, Truthout | Op-Ed 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…. in most cases these members of Congress had been informed by knowledgeable sources of the widespread human and material costs that would result from a US invasion…As a result, support for the resolution authorizing the Iraq War is not something that can simply be forgotten…
How the Bush Administration Sold the War – and We Bought It by Joe Wilson and Valerie Plame Wilson, The Guardian, February 28, 2013 – We knew WMD intelligence was flawed, but there was a larger failure of officials, media and public to halt the neocon juggernaut…The Bush administration was determined to go to war, however bad the intelligence…That it was so successful is an indictment of a corrupt administration. But it is also emblematic of the failure of the checks and balances that are the hallmark of our democracy…the US Congress was ineffective, to say the least, in the exercise of its oversight responsibilities…Washington press corps was dilatory in its investigative reporting – valuing access and cozy relationships with senior officials above the search for truth; ultimately, the media served as lapdogs rather than watchdogs.
10 Years Later: Looking Back on the Iraq War So We Can Clearly Look Forward by Arianna Huffington, Huffington Post,03/06/2013 …March 20, the 10th anniversary of one of the biggest disasters in the history of the United States. That was the day George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, and a team of others — along with much of Washington and a very complicit mainstream media — took the nation to war against Iraq. The devastating consequences of that war will continue for decades, but a full accounting has still yet to happen. And that in itself has consequences. Allowing the toxic mixture of lies, deception and rationalizations that led to that war to go unchallenged makes it more likely that we will make similar tragic mistakes in the future. So I hope we can use this moment to assess what really happened, to look back in order to look forward…In the seemingly endless manufactured crisis over the “fiscal cliff” and the sequester, it’s amazing how much airtime and print space have been devoted to the deficit with the word “Iraq” barely getting a mention. Clearly a triumph of forgetting. … the consequences of this disastrous war are still very much with us……it’s vital that our accounting of the failures that led to this tragedy not be relegated to the past…for the 10th anniversary, let’s also build online monuments dedicated to those who planned and provoked and fomented the war, so we can join in the struggle of memory against forgetting.
The Project for the New American Century By William Rivers Pitt, Information Clearing House 02/25/03 - The People versus the Powerful is the oldest story in human history. At no point in history have the Powerful wielded so much control…PNAC, is a Washington-based think tank created in 1997. Above all else, PNAC desires and demands one thing: The establishment of a global American empire to bend the will of all nations…When Bush assumed the Presidency, the men who created and nurtured the imperial dreams of PNAC became the men who run the Pentagon, the Defense Department and the White House. When the Towers came down, these men saw, at long last, their chance to turn their White Papers into substantive policy. Vice President Dick Cheney…Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld…and Defense Policy Board chairman Richard Perle. Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz is the ideological father of the group…
Cost of war
A Fearful Price By BOB HERBERT, Op-Ed Columnist, New York Times, December 8, 2009 …The idea that fewer than 1 percent of Americans are being called on to fight in Afghanistan and Iraq and that we’re sending them into combat again and again and again — for three tours, four tours, five tours, six tours — is obscene. All decent people should object…the overwhelming majority of Americans have no desire at all to share in the sacrifices that the service members and their families are making. Most Americans do not want to serve in the wars, do not want to give up their precious time to do volunteer work that would aid the nation’s warriors and their families, do not even want to fork over the taxes that are needed to pay for the wars…The reason it is so easy for the U.S. to declare wars, and to continue fighting year after year after year, is because so few Americans feel the actual pain of those wars. We’ve been fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan longer than we fought in World Wars I and II combined. If voters had to choose right now between instituting a draft or exiting Afghanistan and Iraq, the troops would be out of those two countries in a heartbeat…Here’s George Washington’s view, for example: “It must be laid down as a primary position and the basis of our system, that every citizen who enjoys the protection of a free government owes not only a proportion of his property, but even his personal service to the defense of it.”
War Is a Force That Pays the 1 Percent: Occupying American Foreign Policy by: J.A. Myerson, Truthout | News Analysis, November 14, 2011 …The nexus of power that Occupy is looking to challenge in this country does not stop at Wall Street. Military profiteering is an integral part of the system and it should be challenged…War profiteers benefit from the same corrupt system that bolsters the wealth of stock traders: this country provides more democracy, freedom and protection to the very wealthy than to the average citizen…
Iraq War Cost U.S. More Than $2 Trillion, Could Grow to $6 Trillion, Says Watson Institute Study By Daniel Trotta, Reuters 3/14/13 …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
American Militarism: Costs and Consequences By Melvin Goodman, City Lights Books | Book Excerpt, Truth-out.org, 05 March 2013 …The United States has the most secure geopolitical environment of any major nation, but sustains a defense budget that equals the combined budgets of the rest of the world. ..The United States has become that militarized nation that President Dwight D. Eisenhower presciently warned against in his farewell address more than fifty years ago… …President George W. Bush … campaigned [in 2000] on the basis of moderation in foreign policy, multilateralism, and the so-called “new world order,” he and [Vice President] Cheney moved quickly to establish a “wartime presidency.” He campaigned on the basis of a modest buildup of the defense establishment, but doubled the defense budget during his presidency. …President Bush enunciated his doctrine of preemptive war in Iraq…His policy of unilateralism, … marked a radical turn in U.S. foreign policy…
Donahue and Bill Moyers, the last honest men on national television, were the only two major TV news personalities who presented the viewpoints of those of us who challenged the rush to war in Iraq. General Electric and Microsoft—MSNBC’s founders and defense contractors that went on to make tremendous profits from the war—were not about to tolerate a dissenting voice. Donahue was fired, and at PBS Moyers was subjected to tremendous pressure…
The celebrity trolls who currently reign on commercial television, who bill themselves as liberal or conservative, read from the same corporate script…Their role is to funnel viewer energy back into our dead political system—to make us believe that Democrats or Republicans are not corporate pawns…
What mattered then and what matters now is likability—known in television and advertising as the Q score—not honesty and truth. Television news celebrities are in the business of sales, not journalism. They peddle the ideology of the corporate state. And too many of us are buying.
The lie of omission is still a lie. It is what these news celebrities do not mention that exposes their complicity with corporate power.…They are paid to discredit or ignore the nation’s most astute critics of corporatism, among them Cornel West, Medea Benjamin, Ralph Nader and Noam Chomsky. They are paid to chatter mindlessly, hour after hour, filling our heads with the theater of the absurd…Elite media features elite power. No other voices are heard.”
Donahue spent four years after leaving MSNBC making the movie documentary “Body of War” …about the paralyzed Iraq War veteran Tomas Young… Donahue noted that only a very small percentage of Americans have a close relative who fought in Iraq or Afghanistan and an even smaller number make the personal sacrifice of a Tomas Young. “Nobody sees the pain,” he said. “The war is sanitized.”… Donahue was told that the film, although it had received great critical acclaim, was too depressing and not uplifting.…I am stunned at how many Americans stand mute.”