Category Archives: Just War

Kurdish Separatists: They Fight ISIS, But Threaten Statists

Federalism, Iraq, Just War, Middle East, Nationhood

The Turks lump together as terrorists both the Islamic State and the paramilitary wing of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, which is fighting ISIS. “Kurds in Iraq and Syria are among the most formidable opponents of the extremist group.” And the US agrees. Americans, after all, hate separatists. It reminds them of their lost right of secession, removed by force by Abe Lincoln. Born of a loose confederation of independent states, Americans now favor a strong, overweening central state, and they want to see the same in the tribal lands of the Middle East.

Turkey’s military has been ramping up attacks on Kurdish separatists since last month. The government decided to join the U.S.-led military campaign against Islamic State while simultaneously launching assaults on the PKK, which is listed as a terrorist organization by the U.S. and Turkey.

MORE.

#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.

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.

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. …

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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.