Friday, June 23, 2006

Forget Mission Drift, Iraq is Pure Excuse Drift

In 2002 as the Bush administration was developing its War Stool (see earlier posts), one of the key architects, Dick Cheney declared that war was necessary to protect the American people and its allies because, as he put it:

"Simply stated, there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction. There is no doubt that he is amassing them to use against our friends, against our allies, and against us."
Vice President Cheney in an address to the Veterans of Korean War, San Antonio, Texas, Aug. 29, 2002

Four years and the above assertion exposed as a lie later, the tune has drastically changed to one focused on a supposed nexus between Saddam's Iraq and Al Qaeda, on the one hand, and the freedom of the Iraqi people to live in peace and harmony under democracy, on the other. It doesn't really matter that the former is a lie and ill-conceived efforts toward the latter has resulted in civil war proving that peace, freedom and democracy do not come through foreign occupation and the barrel of a gun.

The following captures the new tune the Bush Administration is marching to:

"Our strategy that we adopted after 9/11 of progressively going after the terrorists, going after states that sponsor terror, taking the fight to the enemy, has been crucial in terms of our being able to defend the United States. I think one of the reasons we have not been struck again in five years -- and nobody can promise we won't -- but it's because we've taken the fight to them. And if Jack Murtha is successful in persuading the country that somehow we should withdraw now from Iraq, then you have to ask, what happens to all of those people who have signed up with the United States, who are on our side in this fight against the radical extremist Islamic types of bin Laden and al Qaeda?What happens to the 12 million Iraqis who went to the polls last December and voted, in spite of the assassins and the car bombers? "

Vice President Cheney in an interview with CNN's John King, June 22, 2006

I am sorry, but what just happened here? I know that politicians tend to think that no one is actually listening to them, but when it comes to war, I think some of us do. When did the reason for going to war in Iraq at the cost of life, limb and treasure suddenly change??? Didn't we go to war because Iraq had WMD, might use them on us or give them to terrorists, and the Iraqi people were ruled by a vile tyrant and they needed our help (a third reason thrown in as an afterthought)? Then, when we discovered that there were no WMD, we started hearing how great it was that the Iraqi people could now live in peace and democracy, and that was supposedly a good enough reason for having gone to war. And, now that we are discovering that neither peace nor democracy are happening any time soon, we are expected to believe that there is a NEW reason that we went to war three years ago? Suddenly, Iraq's Al Qaeda connection went from a few possible meetings between low level operatives, to Iraq being a bastion of Al Qaeda terrorists under Saddam? If that was the case, why didn't we hear it then?

Reasons for going to war cannot be concocted after-the-fact unless we are willing to accept that we go to war and lie about why later.

In an interesting discussion I had today concerning Cheney's new refrain with a man currently serving in the US military, he rationalized that while terrorists in general and Al Qaeda in specific may not have been in cohorts with Saddam Hussein pre-2003, there was some benefit to the war in Iraq because the war served to act as a "light to draw the mosquitoes", and it also offered the US military training grounds to learn how to combat the terrorists!!!!

Needless to say, I had a surreal moment. Is it possible that this is how we are now rationalizing going to war in a foreign country that posed no threat to the US resulting in the death of over 40,000 innocent Iraqi civilians, over 2,500 US military personnel and thousands upon thousands of injured and maimed, not to mention the cost of billions of dollars??? My response to him was that the Iraq war did indeed attract terrorists from all over the world offering them yet another pathetic rallying cry, but those it drew are the minority of those fighting the US occupation in Iraq and killing innocent Iraqis. What the Iraq War did accomplish is create a swamp of blood, tears, injustice and misery which served to BIRTH new terrorists; the Iraq War is a swamp for mosquito breeding!!!

Vice President Cheney, the world had no Iraq terrorist problem before 2003. The United States and its hapless 'coalition of the willing' created the Iraqi terrorist problem for Iraq and the world.

As for the gentleman's comment on how the Iraq 'theater' offers the US military on-the-job training, I really don't know what to say..... except how sad. Actually, I do know what to say... That is just criminal.


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1 Comments:

Blogger Jawad said...

Hi Dahlia:

What is absolutely worrisome to me is the false confidence and erroneous analysis that some of these high-level policy-makers continue to project - Much of which is definitely for political gain. Not to take anything away from the complexity of the environment in which they are operating, I still believe some of these guys are:

1. Poor students of history, culture, and human relations

2. Ardent political ideologues as opposed to intelligent practitioners and consumers of analysis

3. Devout believers in a decided outcome rather than flexible strategists who quickly adapt when the facts on the ground no longer support their theories

4. …and last, but not least, deficient or at least largely limited in recognizing failure from opportunities for tangible success – something that is most certainly a result of 1,2, and 3

3:23 PM  

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