Category Archives: Iraq

#IraqWar Liars: We Knew Then What We Know Now

Bush, Iraq, Journalism, Just War, Media, Republicans, WMD

“Iraq Liars & Deniers: We Knew Then What We Know Now” is the current column, now on WND. An excerpt:

“If we knew what we know today, we would not have gone into Iraq”: This is as good an apology Republicans vying for the highest office are willing to offer, 12 years after launching a war that was immoral and unjust from the inception—as some of us pointed out from the inception—cost trillions in treasure, tens of thousands of lives (American and Iraqi), and flouted America’s national interests.

The big reveal began with Jeb Bush, who told anchor Megyn Kelly that knowing what we know now about Iraq, he would absolutely still have invaded Iraq. Broadcaster Laura Ingraham was having none of it. With the benefit of hindsight, she had arrived at the belated conclusion that the invasion was wrong. Ingraham suggested that Bush III was insane for sticking to his guns about Iraq.

Next to disgrace was Sen. Marco Rubio, also in the running. Six weeks back, Rubio had been unrepentant about the catastrophic invasion. After The Shaming of Jeb, Rubio changed his tune.

The title of Judith Chalabi Miller’s “rehab book tour” is, “If we knew what we now know … .” Over the pages of the New York Times, Miller, the Gray Lady’s prized reporter had shilled for the Iraq war like there was no tomorrow. In her reporting, she channeled Ahmad Chalabi, an Iraqi conman who fed the moronic Miller with misinformation and lies about Iraqi weapons of mass destruction (WMD). The other conman was Bush II, president at the time. His administration assisted Miller—a woman already prone to seeing faces in the clouds—to tune-out and become turned-on and hot for war (also the title of a January 2003, “Return To Reason” column). No tale was too tall for our Judith; no fabrication too fantastic.

Miller’s “mistakes,” and those of America’s news cartel, are no laughing matter. But it took a Comedy Central icon to deconstruct her national bid for redemption. The fact that others were on board, Republicans and Democrats, is not exculpatory. Idiocy is bipartisan. Not everybody got it wrong. Miller and her ilk chose not to consult those who got it right.

Miller had company. The Fox News war harpies were certainly a dream come true for many American men. Who cared about honest reporting or basic fact-checking when a heaving bosom is yelling from the screen, “Sock it to Saddam, Dubya!”?

In any event, the meme, “If we knew what we know now, we would not have gone to war in Iraq,” is false; a lie. We most certainly knew what we know now as far back as 2002, which was when this column wrote:

Iraq is a secular dictatorship profoundly at odds with Islamic fundamentalism. No less an authority than the former head of the CIA’s counterterrorism office, Vincent Cannistraro, stated categorically that there was no evidence of Iraq’s links to al-Qaeda. Even the putative Prague meeting between Mohamed Atta, the ringleader of Sept. 11, and Iraqi intelligence, turned out to be bogus. … Iraq has been 95-percent disarmed and has no weapons of mass destruction, an assessment backed by many experts in strategic studies.

The column excerpted was published on September 19, 2002, in Canada’s national newspaper. On that day, the flirty notes and the gracious dinner invitations from America’s leading neoconservatives ceased.

Indeed, there were many experts, credible ones, who categorically rejected the contention that there were WMD in Iraq. But they were silenced …

Read the rest. “Iraq Liars & Deniers: We Knew Then What We Know Now” is now on WND.


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#JonStewart Shames The Shameless #JudithMiller

Foreign Policy, History, Iraq, Journalism, War, WMD

Jon Stewart makes short work of Judith Miller, who is on a “rehab tour,” concerning her role in the ramp-up to war on Iraq. He dismantles her mindless lies, methodically. The fact that others were on board is not exculpatory, he tells her. Idiocy is bipartisan. Not everybody got it wrong, he tutors her (your truly and like-minded libertarians never count to these two).

Now if only Stewart applied the same rigor to gratuitous wars waged by the Obama-Hillary posse.

Miller is one of those disgusting specters American journalism spits out ever so often, as are her Fox News cheerleaders.


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UPDATE II: Rotten #Rubio (Rubio Has Stiff Competition: #MitchMcConnell)

Constitution, Foreign Policy, Iraq, Just War, Neoconservatism, Republicans

When he is not marshaling “Jeffersonian” lines from crap movies like “Taken” with Liam Neeson, presidential candidate Sen. Marco Rubio is demonstrating that only if shamed and embarrassed will he and his Republican rivals shy away from wars that are immoral from the inception, unjust, cost trillions in treasure and tens of thousands of precious lives, and flout American national interests.

CHRIS WALLACE TO SEN. MARCO RUBIO, R-FLA: This brings us back to Iraq and the question of the week, which is, given what we know now, would you have invaded Iraq back in 2003?
As we all know, Jeb Bush had a tough time answering that this week. Here’s what you’ve had to say.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)

RUBIO: Oh, I don’t believe it was — the world is a better place because Saddam Hussein doesn’t run Iraq.

MODERATOR: After finding that there were no weapons of mass destruction, would you, if you knew that, have been in favor of the Iraqi invasion?

RUBIO: Well, not only would I have not been in favor of it, President Bush would not have been in favor of it. And he said so.

(END VIDEO CLIPS)

WALLACE: Senator, isn’t that a flip? Six weeks ago, it made sense to invade Iraq in 2003. Now you say it was a mistake.

RUBIO: No, they’re two different questions. It was not a mistake. The president, based on — this is the way the real world works. The president, based on the information that was provided to him —

[SNIP]

“We will look for you. We will find you. And we will kill you” is the atavistic line from “Taken,” repeated by Rubio in his many interviews.

UPDATE I (5/18): In The Rotten Department, Rubio Has Stiff Competition: Mitch McConnell. Via ABC:

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell underscored his support today for the controversial NSA program for bulk collection of domestic phone records, arguing it is essential to protecting the homeland.

“This has been a very important part of our effort to defend the homeland since 9/11,” McConnell said in an interview with George Stephanopoulos on ABC’s ‘This Week.’ “We know that the terrorists overseas are trying to recruit people in our country to commit atrocities in our country.”

“Thank You For Your Service, Mr. Snowden.” F-ck Rubio, McConnell & Twitterers who unFollow me for loving liberty.

UPDATE II: Don’t let any Republican present you with this false choice. Republicans always say, “But what would you have done about Iraq?” That’s something of a non sequitur, an assertion intended to make you ASSUME something had to be done about Iraq. “The burden of proof is on he who proposes the existence of something, not on he who claims that it does not exist.” That was written 12 years ago.


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UPDATE II: 12 Year After #Iraq #Invasion, A Conservative (#LauraIngraham ) Gets It Right

Iraq, Just War, Middle East, Republicans

She’s saying what principled libertarians argued 12 years ago (and nearly lost their perches). But oh, how grateful we are for the crumbs of belated wisdom tumbling from the mouth of broadcaster Laura Ingraham.

“Jeb Bush … told Megyn Kelly that knowing what we know now about Iraq, he would absolutely still invade the Middle Eastern nation.”

Bush saying he would still invade Iraq – even after knowing what we know now – is probably going to be the stupidest thing we’ll hear anyone say. Fox News contributor Laura Ingraham apparently agrees, as she absolutely crushed Jeb’s comments on the Iraq War and suggested that something might be wrong with him. “You can’t still think going into Iraq now, as a sane human being, was the right thing to do,” Ingraham said. “That’s like you have no ability to learn from past mistakes at all… when the past mistakes were made by your brother. …
… And when Jeb suggested that Hillary Clinton would agree with him on Iraq, Ingraham hammered that idiocy as well. “No Hillary wouldn’t!” she said. “Hillary wouldn’t authorize the war now, if she knew what she knows now.” It’s true, Hillary Clinton has gone on record saying that she regrets voting for the war and that knowing what we know now she absolutely would not have voted for the invasion. …

MORE.

UPDATE I (5/13): I knew the source of the reporting above would come up on Facebook. My reply:

Truth matters to me; not the source of it. If those who read me learn anything at all, it is fierce independence; allegiances to no one. The report above is correct, no matter its progressive origins. During “W,” left-liberal Keith Olbermann was sometime a source for me. So what!

UPDATE II: Oh for the privileges main-streamers like Laura I. get. However immutable, truth is recognized only once they arrive at it independently, no sooner. All in the fullness of time; their time.


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Rand Paul: ‘People Shouldn’t Be So Afraid Of Freedom’

Foreign Policy, Iraq, Neoconservatism

Admirably, Sean Hannity went through the gamut of issues with Rand Paul, who announced today he would stand as a Republican presidential candidate. From Paul’s initial critique of the Civil Wrongs Act to the war against Iraq—Mr. Hannity shied away from no controversy. On toppling secular strongmen—Saddam, Assad, Mubarak, Gaddafi—Rand Paul did not, for once, let libertarians down, as is his wont. Instead, Paul condemned the disastrous toppling of all the secular strongmen of the Middle East who kept radical Islam at bay. If it were up to the neoconservative, we’d be bombing both Assad and ISIS in Syria. Cui Bono?

“Almost anyone in the Senate would have better defended the Bill of Rights than Lindsay Graham,” snorted Paul, taking a much-needed swipe at the awful Graham, evil twin of more-bombs-from-above-and-more-boots-on-the-ground John McCain.

Paul cleverly framed his plan to poach traditionally Democratic and independent voters, not by promising them stuff, but by emphasizing the entire Bill of Right and not only the 2nd Amendment.

Yes, weening people off “free” stuff and onto freedom is a good tone to strike.

Let’s see if he keeps it up.


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March Madness À La Myron Pauli

Bush, Foreign Policy, Iraq, Military, Terrorism

MARCH MADNESS À LA MYRON ROBERT PAULI

If there’s an activity that is definitely hazardous to my mental health, it is following the news. News item #1: The Army wants to courtmartial Generalissimo Bowe Bergdahl. He was a Private First Class when he apparently deserted but received “automatic promotions” to Sergeant since. Given enough time, he will be a Four-Star General! I stupidly asked: “If the Army promoted him twice, does this not indicate ‘reasonable doubt’ as to his desertion?” only be told that “automatic promotions” are the law!! Maybe it is me (who cites Grover Cleveland “public office is a public trust”) that doesn’t understand how Major Nidal Malik Hasan received the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal (thank you, Nidal) as well as two National Defense Service Medals.

As for our hero Nidal: None of the psychiatrists who served with him either sensed something wrong or could do anything about him. According to Wikipedia, Chief of Staff General Casey of the Army observed: “‘real tragedy’ would be harming the cause of diversity, saying, ‘As great a tragedy as this was, it would be a shame if our diversity became a casualty as well.” Several months later, in a February 2010 interview, Casey said, “Our diversity—not only in our Army, but in our country, is a strength. And as horrific as this tragedy was, if our diversity becomes a casualty, I think that’s worse.” Not only is Nidal still alive (he should have been shot after his first shot by troops bearing arms, but that is another craziness), but he has been writing letters to ISIS from prison!

In Catch-22, Joseph Heller had a character named Milo Minderbinder who wound up having the Air Force bombing both sides in order to collect more profit. When the Iraq-Iran war broke out in 1980, I joked that under the CENTO Treaty (Baghdad Pact – the Middle East version of NATO), the US was obligated to fight for both Iraq and Iran. Well, as of this week, America’s now fighting WITH Iran against the ISIS Sunnis in Tikrit and fighting WITH Saudi Arabia against the Houthi Shiites in Yemen.

Of course, Iraq got completely destabilized by George W. Bush trying to bring “democracy” to Shiite-majority Iraq while Yemen got destabilized when Barack Obama tried to bring “democracy” to Sunni-majority Yemen. But, to quote Madeline Albright, “What’s the point of having this superb military that you’re always talking about if we can’t use it?” – even on both sides!

And Congress voted 338 – 48 to ship heavier weapons to Ukraine in order to help stick it to nuclear armed Big Bad Vlad Putin. I’m not sure where this insanity is going to end, up but I am imagining Major King Kong of Dr. Strangelove suiting up to ride that bomb down on Russia waving his cowboy hat and shouting yeehaw!

And while the Iranians, Saudis, and Ukrainians are “protecting our freedom,” I can at least salute the ACLU for defending a black pro-life conservative being silenced by “trademark infringement” for non-commercial speech calling the NAACP the “National Association to Abort Colored People.” The case went to Justice Raymond A. Jackson who decided that this criticism of the NAACP was NOT parody (because he said “it wasn’t funny”), but was “trademark infringement.” Justice Jackson is a distinguished jurist whose sister-in-law, Elaine R. Jones, was President of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund (“surprise, surprise, surprise” said Gomer Pyle about this ubiquitous conflict of interest). Naturally, Justice Jackson could not recuse himself from this case because if 300,000 black babies were not aborted every year, one of them could grow up to be Justice Jackson! As for the silenced Ryan Bomberger, who objects to aborting 55 percent of all black fetuses; he clearly is a RACIST!

Lastly, the Republicans are holding up the nomination of Loretta Lynch to be Attorney General. For doing this filibuster, they are RACIST, according to Senator Durban and the Democrats who held up the nomination of Janice Rogers Brown to the Federal District Court for two years via a filibuster. I have to confess that I am looking forward to Attorney General Lynch. I can envision the headline: “Justice Department adopts Lynch rules.”


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