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Iraq: A War

Iraq: A War

Chris Hedges
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‘Great Satan’ Gets Struck Out

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Posted on Mar 4, 2008
Ahmadinejad and Maliki
AP photo / Ahmad al-Rubaye, pool

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (left) and Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.

By Robert Scheer

Are the media dumb or just out to lunch? Sorry to be intemperate, but how else can one explain the meager attention paid to the truly historic visit of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to Iraq? Not only is he the first Mideast head of state to visit the country since its alleged liberation, but the very warm official welcome offered by the Iraqi government to the most vociferous critic of the United States speaks volumes to the abject failure of the Bush doctrine.

On Tuesday, Condoleezza Rice reiterated the administration’s position that Iran is behind the turmoil that has engulfed the Mideast from Beirut to Baghdad and, most recently, Israel, where what she claims are Iranian-supplied rockets have totally destroyed the belated Bush peace plan. There is also the matter of Iran’s nuclear program, which President Bush condemned once again over the weekend. But what leverage does the United States have over Iran when, as the image of Ahmadinejad holding hands with the top leaders of Iraq demonstrated to the world, we have put the disciples of the Iranian ayatollahs in power in Baghdad? There is no face-saving exit from Iraq without the cooperation of Tehran, and the folks who call America the “Great Satan” now hold the high cards.

How interesting that Ahmadinejad, unlike a U.S. president who has to be airlifted unannounced into ultra-secure bases, was able to convoy in from the airport in broad daylight on a road that U.S. dignitaries fear to travel. His love fest with Iraq President Jalal Talabani, a Kurd who fought on Iran’s side against Iraq and who speaks Farsi, even took place outside of the safety of the Green Zone, adding emphasis to Ahmadinejad’s claim that while he is welcome in Iraq, the Americans are not.

Nor did the Iraqi leaders take exception to Ahmadinejad’s insistence that the U.S. has only brought terror to the region and that the continued American presence is the main obstacle to peace. On the contrary, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki pronounced his talks with fellow Shiite Ahmadinejad “friendly, positive and full of trust.” Video of Talabani, who asked that Ahmadinejad call him “Uncle Jalal” after holding hands and exchanging kisses with the Iranian president, was broadcast throughout the region.

Saddam Hussein went to war with Iran, but George W. Bush has given his Iranian foes a Shiite-run ally. Iran is now a major trading partner of Iraq that has offered a $1 billion loan, the border is increasingly porous as religious pilgrimages have become the norm, and many investment projects supervised by Iranians are in the works. Instead of isolating the “rogue regime” of Iran, the Bush administration has catapulted the theocrats of Tehran into the center of Mideast political power. There can be no peace, whether in Lebanon, Gaza or Iraq, without the cooperation of the ayatollahs of Iran. If that was the intention of the neoconservative cabal that led Bush into this folly, its members should be tried for treason.

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That was, however, obviously not what the neocons expected from the invasion of Iraq, which they engineered in the wake of 9/11 with a much rosier scenario in mind. The saying that there is no need to attribute to mendacity what can be explained by ordinary stupidity aptly defines the neoconservative folly. Clearly the neocons were conned by the likes of Ahmed Chalabi, the rogue banker accused by the CIA of slipping U.S. secrets to Tehran, into believing that a “liberated” Iraq would advance democracy in the region, not to mention the security of Israel. That the opposite has occurred is no big problem for them as they emerge with their careers intact.

The leading neocon publicist, William Kristol, has even been rewarded for never getting it right with a premier spot on the New York Times opinion pages, so yes, in the punditry business, one does fail upward.

But for Bush, his signature issue, the battle against terrorism, is a shambles. The terrorists are very much on the rise in Afghanistan and Pakistan, which Bush neglected for an Iraq sideshow that has cost over a trillion dollars and tens of thousands of lives. But the long-run price will be far higher, with the blowback from the massive instability that he has engendered in the region.

When Bush has finally retired to that ranch, cutting sagebrush to his heart’s content, his all-consuming smugness might ever so subtly be troubled by the memory of a father who knew best, and who warned against the terminal foolishness of seizing Baghdad.

Click here to check out Robert Scheer’s book,
“The Great American Stickup: How Reagan Republicans and Clinton Democrats Enriched Wall Street While Mugging Main Street.”


Keep up with Robert Scheer’s latest columns, interviews, tour dates and more at www.truthdig.com/robert_scheer.



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By Nabih Ammari, March 9, 2008 at 3:03 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Re:The Rise and Fall of Two Presidents.

The red carpet reception of the Iranian President,
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as he paid a triumphant visit to
Iraq symbolized the failure of the American policy
and discredited the neoconservatives’claim that the surge was/is working.If it is,somehow.working in military terms,it has not worked,so far,in the political arena since the triumphant visit of the
Iranian President spells that out in the strongest political terms possible, as saying:look you arrogant
Americans,we are here to stay and without our consent
you cannot accomplish anything of political value.

Political value?? Yes,indeed,it is the whole core of
the game the U.S. has been trying to win for the last four years in Iraq and it has not succeeded yet.Thus,
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad rose in Iraq and Iran politically
and George W. Bush fell politically in Iraq and the U.S.In other words,it is a ZERO SUM GAME.Iran won it.

Moreover,the triumphant visit is telling too:It was
done with a fanfare for the whole world to see.It is
also telling as compared to the unannounced visits
of our Commander-In-Chief, was done in smuggling him
into and out of Baghdad like the drugs traffickers
smuggled their deadly substances from one country to another.Another plus for the Iranian President and,
regrettably,another minus for President Georg W. Bush

Furthermore,I am amazed by some posts which exactly
parrot and mimic the Administration slogans or rather
battle cry and rhetorics.My amazement stems from the fact that we destroyed the whole infrastructures of
Iraq,including the water purification plants,electricity grids,telecommunications,babies
milk factories,industrial base(excluding the Ministry
of Petroleum which was deliberately saved for the
obvious reasons) and even the great Baghdad Museum
of Antiquities was bombed and looted after the fall of Baghdad.Because of that some noble,self-respecting
American officials resigned in protest to what had
happened to the Museum which really belonged to all
humanity.After committing all these crimes against a
people that has done no harm to us,some of us turned around and claimed that we should continue occupying
Iraq lest the Iraqis harm themselves by a civil war.
Please please give me a break and stop insulting my
intelligence and common sense.America is the real
problem in Iraq,not the solution.And to add fuel to the flames in Iraq,Senator John McCain is willing to
continue occupying Iraq for 100 years.Yes,you have
just read it correctly,100 years!!!Certainly,the
Senator from Arizona can do so if he lives that long
and above all if China and India will continue to agree to lend us the necessary funds needed to continue the occupation of Iraq.

In short,the war in Iraq is bankrupting us morally,
emotionally,psychologically,economically and,indeed.
financially and bankrupting our children and our
children’s children.America wake up before it is too
late.The sooner you do,the better off you will be
and so will be your children and your children’s children.Please do wake up and promptly.
Sincerely,
Nabih Ammari
An Independent in Ohio.

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By Michael Shaw, March 9, 2008 at 11:27 am Link to this comment

carrying out such an action. What I find incredibly interesting is how the neocons were able to convince the nation these terrorists, just as Saddam, have nuclear weapons to bring us down. If they did have them, Washington DC and NYC, north Jersey and a big piece of southwestern Pennsylvania would not exist today and our armies on the ground in Iraq would have been annihilated. Clearly there is far more than meets the eye concerning 9/11. Will we ever know the entire truth? It’s doubtful. But what we do know is this current regime used it for all it was worth to fully implement the project for a new American century(permanent US world domination) which has been in the works for years and in fact became international policy even before 9/11 and the moment George W. Bush was appointed to the presidency.

As for the American people being in control of the major media, they are not. Corporate interests with monetary ties to the MIC control the media. These same interests have benefited the most from 9/11. No small wonder as to why McCain(and others) want us to remain in Iraq forever or why George W. Bush created a perpetual war on terrorism. Perpetual war, perpetual profits, perpetual domination. The bottom line, perpetual insanity.

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By Michael Shaw, March 9, 2008 at 11:03 am Link to this comment

....they are basically a secular state though they have a strong sectarian government. We have only ourselves to blame for this since as you know, we overthrew their former secular government in 1953 and replaced it with the brutal Shah.

You are right about the religious ties to Iraq. They have existed long before either country existed as they do today. Our own actions and blunders are the reason Iran became an unfriendly state. We seem to want them that way as an excuse to invade them and once again have access to their oil. But the truth is Iran was never an enemy of the United States until we made them one. Their nuclear program is perfectly legal and based upon the nuclear non-proliferations treaty, a treaty we ourselves helped to create yet do not abide in ourselves. We seem to use it like the constitution and so many other laws, both national and international. It must be followed by those we do not like, but when we ignore them ourselves it’s like the old adage, laws are made to be broken. But only by us!

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By Douglas Chalmers, March 8, 2008 at 11:53 pm Link to this comment

By kath cantarella, March 7: “The Iraqi president’s closeness to Iran may be why he isn’t very supported by his people. i get the feeling that Iran isn’t very popular even with Iraqi shiites. Iraqis aren’t stupid…... I doubt Iran would have any better success with Iraq than the US….

You are quite ineptly interpreting the situation again, kath. The peoples of Iran and Iraq will always be together not only as neighbors but as sharing a common religion with holy sites in Iraq in particular to which many Iranians once travelled on pilgrimage.

Their respective regimes are another matter and it would be appropriate at this stage to await the outcome of the Iranian elections. Despite living in a democracy yourself, you seem to have as little regard for other peoples’ democracies as GWB, kath, uhh…...


TEHRAN (AFP) — A top Iranian cleric said on Friday that a new set of UN sanctions against Iran over its nuclear programme was aimed at undermining next week’s legislative elections. “They adopted a hasty resolution in order to influence the elections, so that people would not go and vote,” Hojatoleslam Ahmad Khatami said….. http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5gfA-vOkOVAXDL-Cokgx6QYIjAgpw

Iran Election 2008 http://www.mahalo.com/Iran_Election_2008

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By tdbach, March 8, 2008 at 2:57 pm Link to this comment

Withdrawel isn’t unthinkable; it’s the only reasonable option. A hundred years of occupation is the only other alternative, and THAT is unthinkable.

What will happen when we withdraw? Worst case, and most likely, a period of civil war followed by an a Kurdistan in the north and an Islamic rule in the south - something like the Taliban - with Iranian flavor. And a lot of Sunni refugees, which we should do everything we can to ensure they find safe harbor. It won’t be pretty. But the one good thing might be that, having had a taste of Democracy, they might find their way to creating democratic rule in 50 instead of 100 years. Who knows?

Best case, a restoration of civil war that is fairly quickly subdued by regional intervention (not US or NATO), followed by the three-state confederation.

Like I said, it won’t be pretty. But whatever “pretty” we’ve managed to buy for ourselves since the “surge” (more aptly called the “bribe”) will be short-lived and we simply can’t afford to remain.

Everyone seems to thinl that deposing Saddaam was a good thing. I don’t agree, but if that’s the case, then so be it. It’s done. Now let the people of Iraq - with humanitarian intervention from neighbors, if necessary, find the government they can live with on their own.

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By PatrickHenry, March 8, 2008 at 8:55 am Link to this comment

Don’t forget Allende.

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By jeffreydj, March 8, 2008 at 7:00 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

So Scheer feels that wanting Iran to be a major Middle Eastern player is treason, does he? I wonder how different such a desire is from the realization that Iran intends to be, and will be, that major Middle eastern player, and that to understand such would be, in Scheer’s eyes, virtually as treasonous.

For the favoring of Iran in any way to be treason, wouldn’t they have to be a declared enemy? Oh sure, we allied ourselves against them, and with Saddam Hussein in the ‘80s, giving the latter satellite coordinates to guide his ballistic missiles at Iranian cities and sinking the Iranian navy for Saddam’s benefit. But then, on the other hand, Iran offered peace feelers, promptly rejected by the Bush admin, just a few years ago, and also displayed their emnity for the Taliban and Al Qaeda after 9/11. I guess that in Scheer’s estimation, it would be treasonous as well to point out that Iran is surrounded by nuclear powers, including unfriendly to the point of hostile to their West (Israel) and their South (three US carrier groups bristling with nukes). Hence only a traitor like myself would suggest that we make peace with Iran, not war, and perhaps even offer to demand that the Indian Ocean become a nuclear-free zone, thereby giving them, for once, a reason not to build nuclear weaponry. How ashamed I should be of myself for thinking that we should make Iran something other than a mortal enemy. How treacherous of me to seek peace.

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By Shenonymous, March 8, 2008 at 5:48 am Link to this comment

Marshall, being a ‘bit more optimistic’ is a negligible statement making it hardly worth uttering.  Focus on the word ‘bit.’  A euphemism for the word ‘bit’ is ‘chicken feed’ which is about what your degree of optimism in this present climate is worth.  Particle, speck, grain, mite, whit, iota, jot; scrap, fragment are synonyms of the word ‘bit.’  cyrena, the best student and scholar of present day politics, provides a crystal clear picture without equivocating a bit.  The word ‘hubris’ is also an interesting expression.  It derives from the Greek word hybris meaning insolence and wanton violence, outrage, a presumption toward the gods (in case you are a religious fellow) and has the current meaning of excessive pride or self-confidence; arrogance;.  It is the opposite of prudence meaning pragmatically cautious if anything, since pragmatism seems to be more important than humanity these days.  But I question pragmatic for whom?  Certainly not the Iraqi people.  What report are you looking at that provides the ‘measureable’ political progress?  Whose figures are you looking at?  What independent and objective analysis give you the hubris to say there is any ‘real’ success achieved?  Well if you are talking about a country that is about 3 and a half million light from almost a million and a half people dead and 2 more million evacuating the premises creating unprecedented displacement and distention of population for Iraqi’s neighbors, let’s see…I guess we could call that some measure of success when there are so many fewer over which to be victorious. 

Although there are reports of about 36,000 of the 2 million or about 1 and a half percent (not a lot by any standard) displaced Iraqis returning to Baghdad, a high percent of those are returning because of very difficult conditions in the countries of their displacement.  It is interesting how statistical figures can be manipulated to paint any f***ng picture a government wants.  For instance, the report from dg Communities state that of those returning say ‘only’ 45% of their non-movable property is accessible (meaning they can get to it) and in good condition, meaning 55% is trashed. 

Why is it that Iraq assessment is being kept classified?  If this is true, according to LexisNexis News, where exactly are you getting any news that conditions are improving and we ought to be optimistic?  So the next word that looms important is ‘sanity,’ which includes the notions of common sense, good judgment, lucidness, and marbles.  The reason we are being required to send more troop is that our “allies” are pulling out like a mouthful of rotten teeth.  The land grab by Iran is already being set up whether there are those who want to admit it or not.  The handshake noted in this article is only the beginning, for it cannot be supposed that Iran is smiling because it ‘likes’ Iraq.  It is a matter of perspective.

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By Ostrogoth, March 8, 2008 at 5:38 am Link to this comment

“Of course the alternative - withdrawal [from Iraq]- is unthinkable.” -By Marshall, March 8 at 12:08 am

“I consider myself rational and I believe our govt. actually wants a peaceful, Democratically run Iraq.” -By Marshall, March 7 at 6:17 pm
____________________________

Withdrawal is unthinkable? Zionists say the same about the West Bank. Murder, ethnic cleansing, torture and terrorism against innocents to steal their land/oil is OK, but withdrawal is unthinkable. haha

You consider yourself rational, Marshall, but you believe our government wants a peaceful, democratically-run Iraq. On what exactly do you base your belief? Your assertion sure looks like a logical non sequitur, because all the available evidence would lead any rational, honest person to conclude that our government wants to install a pro-apartheid client regime in Iraq by force.

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By Marshall, March 8, 2008 at 1:08 am Link to this comment

I’m sorry you don’t anticipate a peaceful Iraq - I’m a bit more optimistic than that.

The difference in the “this time” of achieving some success in Iraq is that we already have achieved more success than most thought possible.  The violence over the last six months has dropped dramatically, and what many characterized as a full-blown civil war is now an environment where many parts of the country, and of Baghdad, are now considered peaceful, if not burgeoning.

This isn’t to say this will last if the Iraqi govt. doesn’t show measurable political progress… and it’s quite possible they’ll fail.  But for the moment, there’s a rare opportunity that would be foolish to abandon… which is why even the Dem. candidates aren’t sticking to a specific timetable for withdrawl, and neither has said it would be a complete withdrawal (though McCain’s been the most honest about this).

MY rational evaluation of what the cabal that runs our country wants is a peaceful, allied Iraq.  It’s failed so far to make it happen, because it’s as fallible a cabal as any.  But I do believe there’s an unprecedented opportunity staring us in the face right now.

Of course the alternative - withdrawal - is unthinkable.  Which is why I would ask you directly: what do you think will happen in Iraq if we pack up and go home?

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By cyrena, March 8, 2008 at 12:31 am Link to this comment

I posted this on another thread, but I realized that it needed the ‘compliment’ of your own post here Shenon, just because I always get so pissed when I hear the stuff about ‘democracy’ in Iraq.

It does take hubris to think that we can simply impose a new structure according to our lights. BUT, history teaches us that it might not be as astonishing as it seems. that is exactly how the US was established.

It’s also a myth to suggest that the US was actually intent upon imposing ‘democracy’ in the Middle East, (Iraq or anywhere else). The US built Saudi Arabia..literally, in so far as making it an oil PRODUCING colony) and when has there ever been a call from the US for ‘democracy’ there?

And contrary to what Marshall is suggesting about Germany and Japan after WW2, it was NOT their first experiment with “Democracy”. Germany had a Constitution, and was a ‘democracy’ before it fell to the totalitarianism of the Hitler regime. The US has fallen victim to the SAME totalitarianism in the past 7 years, so like Germany before WW2, we are a ‘democracy’ in name only, not in principle.

So yes, there is an overwhelming hubris in assuming that this ‘democracy’ can be forced on the Middle East, considering the fact that it, (NOT the US) marks the beginning of civilization, and they are in fact perfectly capable of establishing whatever form of ‘democracy’ they choose. Because, it is the ONLY ‘democracy’ that can be effective. It has to be in line with THEIR cultures, not OURS.

And there has been no more ‘infighting’ among tribes or the civil participants in the Middle East than there has been in the US or the West, in the past 3 centuries at least. The Marshalls of the world overlook this, because they’d rather not see it. They create their own realities in order to give a cover for the atrocities that the US continues to inflict on the rest of the world.

Example, Marshall still holds the created myth that “Afghanistan” was a threat to our national security. Bullshit. He holds the same about Iran, which is also bullshit, since Iran hasn’t threatened or attacked anybody in well over 2 centuries. Even if one believes the official lie of 9/11, there was no ‘one country’ or region that can be blamed for those attacks. The alleged perpetrators came mostly from…SAUDI ARABIA, the US kingdom in the Middle East.  But, they did not and do not belong to a sovereign nation state, and had ZERO connection with Saddam Hussein. (aside from the one time fantasy that OBL had about waging a war against Saddam. They hated each other and Saddam didn’t allow for the existence of AQ in Iraq).

So, suffice to say that it is NOT the ‘national security’ interests of America that have anything to do with the US destruction of the Middle East. At least not if we’re talking about 99% of the US citizens. Nope. Not about our ‘security’ at all.

Here’s how a former CIA agent has described “US Interests”

•  ““But what counter-insurgency really comes down to is the protection of the capitalists back in America, their property and their privileges. US national security, as preached by US leaders, is the security of the capitalist class in the US, not the security of the rest of the people.”

– Philip Agee, CIA Diary

And, here are at least 4 of the MANY – DEMOCRATICALLY ELECTED – leaders of sovereign nation states that have been knocked off by the CIA, who answers ONLY to the president.

-Mossadegh – Iran
-Lumumba – Congo
-Sukarno – Indonesia
-Arbenez – Gutamala

More recently,,

Hugo Chavez – Venezuela, (two assassination attempts and a successful coup – orchestrated by the Bush Admin/CIA

Hamas – Gaza

Suffice to say that when we have a history of knocking off DEMOCRATICALLY elected leaders throughout the world, it’s just a tad bit difficult to claim that we’re ‘spreading democracy’.

Neo-colonialism as it is being practiced by the US in the Middle East is NOT spreading democracy. It’s spreading misery and destruction.

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By kath cantarella, March 7, 2008 at 11:11 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

may be why he isn’t very supported by his people. i get the feeling that Iran isn’t very popular even with Iraqi shiites. Iraqis aren’t stupid.

I doubt Iran would have any better success with Iraq than the US.

I say let Iran go bankrupt trying. Perfect strategy.

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By Shenonymous, March 7, 2008 at 8:00 pm Link to this comment

I am rueful for the acerbic comment, Marshall.  Much frustration is what drives it.  I’ve heard the prevarication about not being able to withdraw because of the chance of achieving some measure of success for so long now that it is has worn so thin as to have vaporized completely.  It is a hollow echo of a reason any more.  We have what amounts to abject failure already.  It is simply a matter of those in power and their pompous acolytes admitting it, which because of abject hubris they cannot.  The rhetoric has not changed from the time of Rumsfeld.  The tune is exactly the same.  The tune is so off key that the din hurts the collective ears of the public.  It is a case of classic contemptuousness.

A rational evaluation of what the cabal that runs our country wants is not a truly Democratically run Iraq for if that were true then the Iraqi people would decide.  That is not in the cards and everybody knows it.  For left up to the Iraqi people of which 1.3 million of them have already died, to decide, the United States would be booted out faster than they could say Iraq.  Therefore, there will never be peace in that country.

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By Marshall, March 7, 2008 at 7:23 pm Link to this comment

“either they are supremely stupid and continue to hold onto that dream, or they’re trying to make the best of a very bad hand.”

I’d say the latter.  The consequences of withdrawing now are far worse, IMHO, than those of staying.  Staying is the best chance we have of achieving some measure of success in Iraq, and leaving is the best guarantee of producing an abject failure.

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By Marshall, March 7, 2008 at 7:17 pm Link to this comment

While I don’t usually reply to needlessly sarcastic and condescending posts, I’ll simply say that I believe the cost of withdrawing from Iraq would be far greater than the costs of staying, as big as they are.

And I’m really not sure what the opening line of your post means.  I consider myself rational and I believe our govt. actually wants a peaceful, Democratically run Iraq.

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By felicity, March 7, 2008 at 1:37 pm Link to this comment

Somebody recently called Iraq a Conservative Theme Park:  No taxes, no regulations, faith based initiatives run wild, unfettered capitalism, AK 47’s in abundance, collapsed infrastructure, dirty water, sewage in the streets.

Conservative America’s ‘model’ country.

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By tdbach, March 7, 2008 at 1:10 pm Link to this comment

“Why is it so impossible to imagine that our govt. actually wants a peaceful, Democratically run Iraq?” – I never said that they wouldn’t like a nice, peaceful, democratic (as long as it’s not pro-Iran) Iraq. But either they are supremely stupid and continue to hold onto that dream, or they’re trying to make the best of a very bad hand. And the best in this case would be to pass the hand on to a Democratic president, because “victory” isn’t in the cards. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if there are representatives of both these factions (stupid or conniving) in this administration at the same time. I just happen to think that the latter are the ones in charge of policy (and that may not include the president).

“The stated reasons are the only ones that add up.  Iraq has been a boondoggle alright, but not because of any conspiracy.” – It’s not a “conspiracy” in the classic sense. They’ve done this in the full light of day. It was simply false advertising and the arrogance of power: “we know better, so let’s convince them on terms they’ll understand, and at the end of the day they’ll appreciate our wisdom even if they discover our deceit.” A lot of presidents have done something like this before this administration, but this one, under the direction of Cheney, has taken that prerogative, if you will, to new and disastrous lengths.

“Like most boondoggles, the cause is plain old mistakes and inexperience.  It was a more complex task than this administration imagined.” – I couldn’t have said it better myself.

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By Shenonymous, March 7, 2008 at 12:54 pm Link to this comment

Imagination is an art.  No, the rational cannot imagine that our govt. actually wants a peaceful, Democratically run Iraq.

By Marshall, March 7 at 11:40 am says
“The most important first step to allowing any political solution is to stop the violence - this is peace-making 101.  And, like everything else, it costs money to do so.”

Like, really?

How much money?  How much more money Marshall?  Rather expensive “plain old mistakes.”

According to the Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz, the war in Iraq has so far cost the US more than three trillion dollars. The Bush Administration’s original costing was 50-60 billion dollars.

Do you have any idea what a trillion is, well multiply it by three.  Do you know that three is a number and that so is a trillion?

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By Marshall, March 7, 2008 at 12:40 pm Link to this comment

Re: By tdbach, March 7 at 6:36 am #

“Which leads one of cynical mind to think that the real purpose of “the surge” was to delay the inevitable mess that will follow from withdrawal until a new and preferably Democratic president takes office.”

Why is it so impossible to imagine that our govt. actually wants a peaceful, Democratically run Iraq?  It’s the only scenario that even makes sense, given the far-fetched complexity and obvious fallout from all the other ridiculous conspiracy scenarios that have been invented.  The purpose of the surge was to accomplish exactly what was stated, and what is happening.  The most important first step to allowing any political solution is to stop the violence - this is peace-making 101.  And, like everything else, it costs money to do so.

“To take their word at face value is pretty foolish, to put the kindest light on it. The evidence contradicting “the officially stated reasons” is so voluminous and rational that only a true believer would hold fast to that long-discredited story.”

I’m afraid I disagree with you there.  The stated reasons are the only ones that add up.  Iraq has been a boondoggle alright, but not because of any conspiracy.  Like most boondoggles, the cause is plain old mistakes and inexperience.  It was a more complex task than this administration imagined.

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By Michael Shaw, March 7, 2008 at 10:08 am Link to this comment

Absolutely right lefty and even that so called gilded age was not what it was cracked up to be. The so called gay 90’s were only gay for those with wealth and power. And it rolled in the McKinley Era, the most corrupt government in US history till now. When we hear the billionaires like Buffet tell us we are better off and our children are better off, he means them and their children, not ours. It is a war of the classes and it always has been, only now the dividing lines have never been more apparent.

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By Michael Shaw, March 7, 2008 at 9:59 am Link to this comment

I agree lefty, but that credibility will take years if not decades(or ever) to be fully realized. As for being tried for war crimes, like Kissinger and Pinochet they will have to look over their shoulders while traveling to Europe. But the blue dog democrats along with the republicans will see to it they are never prosecuted, just as they are taking the telecoms and Bush off the hook for illegally spying on us. They should all be put on a slow, leaky old barge and shipped to Madagascar.

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By Leefeller, March 7, 2008 at 9:17 am Link to this comment

Republicans have offered us the best they can offer.  A war hero, a person who gives us a reason to hate, Now we do not have to feel bad, but instead feel really good about killing one million plus in Iraq.  Someone who can pick up that red phone and order a pizza. 

You know as they dumb down the American public via lower quality education “not one kid left behind”, we all know that works. New speak Mass Media, Fox not the News,  the mental qualifications of the president will continue to go down in tandem with the public over time.  Let’s face it John McCain is not quite the smarty pants George is, because McCain went to Vietnam, while Bush went awol.  Who shows more smarts now?  Bush is really a genius and the right guy who knows how to handle the red-phone, that call in the middle of the night.

In the dark of the night a phone is ringing.

George rising from a deeper sleep then when he is awake, rolls over and shakes Cheney and says “Dick you want to get that”.

Rolling out of bed, Dick puts his glasses on and walks over to where the ringing is coming from.  he growls to George, “Were the hell is it”

George yells back, “under “My Pet Goat”.

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By Shenonymous, March 7, 2008 at 8:27 am Link to this comment

Are you saying satan is a woman?  Naw, you got it all wrong, daddy Bush must be mephistopheles.  Barbara, the wife of satan mebee,  mother of that AH, most definitely.  and it’s spawn, not spaun.

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By tdbach, March 7, 2008 at 7:36 am Link to this comment

<<Ah, but the surge isn’t achieving its goal:>> “How can you put these two sentences in the same paragraph?  The goal was to quiet the violence long enough to provide stability needed for a political solution.” – As soon as I posted that comment I realized I had not phrased that particular argument well. Let me try again: As you say, the goal of the surge – the ultimate goal – was to finally achieve political resolution for the various warring factions. The idea going in (or at least what was sold to the American people) was to aggressively punish insurgency and make resolving differences more appealing than continuing their civil war. Whether is was part of the plan to begin with or an improvisation in response to early failures (I’ve never read Patreus’s counter-insurgency thesis), they began to lean heavily on buying out strategic tribal and militia chiefs. That had the effect of reducing the bombings and mass murders, but as it did nothing to quell their suspicions of each other or give any long-term impetus to “truth and reconciliation”, a political solution is as distant a prospect today as it was before the surge. Which leads one of cynical mind to think that the real purpose of “the surge” was to delay the inevitable mess that will follow from withdrawal until a new and preferably Democratic president takes office.

“The burden of evidence falls on the original claim that US involvement in Iraq caused Bin Laden’s escape I’m afraid.” That may be true for you, but that sure ain’t the case for the majority of Americans who see this Iraq boondoggle as a horribly mistaken distraction from going after the real terrorists, that has cost us dearly in blood and treasure.

“My accounting is based entirely on the NIE evidence and the officially stated reasons for our involvement. “ - You don’t have to be a wild-eyed conspiracy theorist to believe (to know, really) that our government – especially this administration – will often have other motives and intents than the one they speak of publicly. To take their word at face value is pretty foolish, to put the kindest light on it. The evidence contradicting “the officially stated reasons” is so voluminous and rational that only a true believer would hold fast to that long-discredited story.

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By Ostrogoth, March 7, 2008 at 4:36 am Link to this comment

“‘Winning’ in Iraq means providing the space to allow the Iraqi govt. to establish democratic self-governance and domestic sovereignty, develop a functioning infrastructure, and provide for its own self-defense.  We’ll retain a presence much as we did in Europe after WWII.”

-By Marshall, March 6 at 11:22 am
_______________________

Marshall, you may naively desire democratic self-governance for everyone, including Americans, but the neocons and Zionists have no intention of allowing it in Iraq, unless democracy furthers their predatory, murderous objectives, which it never will. They’re the ones calling the shots in Iraq, not you.

Americans love to pay lip service to democracy even though their own government is an oligarchic duopoly that doesn’t permit direct popular elections for president. Whatever your own personal goals for Iraq may be, the U.S. government’s definition of “winning” in Iraq is the installation of another Shah-style, pro-apartheid, client terror-state like the one Iranians endured for twenty-five years. Neither Iranians nor Iraqis will allow it. But that’s what Bush, our own torturing, thug oligarch, means by his doubletalk about freedom and democracy for Iraqis.

The invasion of Iraq, based on fabricated charges, was a war crime, as was our blitzkrieg attack on Bagdad, the eradication of Iraqi culture, the plundering of all Iraqi national assets by Bush’s political cronies, the organization and training of death squads by John Negroponte and James Steele, and the mass torture of innocents at U.S. detention centers. Prosecutable war crimes all, instigated and supported by war criminals. Ongoing war crimes that have so far cost the lives of over a million innocents and turned three million Iraqis into refugees without hope.

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By Shenonymous, March 7, 2008 at 1:37 am Link to this comment

Live and learn about figments of the imagination

An Iraqi system of rule will be self-governance in name only with sympathetic members conscripted by the US so that there will always be enmity at the table with disparate factions sitting there.  That should be an interesting government and last just as long as any haven’t before a new conflict breaks out.  Teaching tolerance is the only way to end war and who among the Iraqis are teaching tolerance?

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By Michael Shaw, March 6, 2008 at 10:46 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The Iraqi government is a handpicked government by us, not the people of Iraq. Our very presence there is the reason for the violence. Note that before we got there the Shiites and Sunni’s lived in relative peace. There was also no Al Queda there. See how the business of government in Iraq operates and you’ll see the business of Iraq is American business, big American business and particularly oil corporations. There is nothing free willed about it. It is not a democracy but a nation held hostage. The stupidity of president Bush in placing Shiites in power is what Sheer is talking about here. It was a blunder so big it makes one wonder if the neocons have any idea whatsoever about what is really going on.

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By rowman, March 6, 2008 at 8:18 pm Link to this comment

Hmmm. False prophets and false teachers are to be cast into the lake of fire, aren’t you.

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By Marshall, March 6, 2008 at 5:18 pm Link to this comment

Perhaps.  But can you imagine the how much more intense the outcries of “American Imperialism!” would have been had we established a Malitia govt. in Iraq?  At least self-governance allows the Iraqis to choose their destiny to some extent.

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By Shenonymous, March 6, 2008 at 4:00 pm Link to this comment

See how stupid McCain is on Moyers PBS Friday night.  I don’t think he is stupid, but he is in training if he thinks he can fill George W. Bush’s shoes.

Eclipsing John Kerry’s, McCain’s most conspicuous flip-flop has been on the Bush tax cuts, which he voted against twice but now wants to make permanent. He has also showed two-faced inconsistent positions on immigration, torture, abortion and Donald H. Rumsfeld, the former defense secretary.  Check him out.  His advisers euphemistically say he is evolving.  Hmmm, strange, I thought right wingers didn’t believe in evolution.  Well seems he will pimp himself to what ever Republican position will secure him the nomination.  Kind of a whore to himself.  That’s a good trick, ha!  The slickest kind of pandering.  He has been very consistent however on his support for Bush’s war and the escalation of troops deployed.

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By felicity, March 6, 2008 at 3:56 pm Link to this comment

I have read that holding the election, the purple finger thing - was a great mistake.  We should have established a temporary military government run by us, much like we did in Germany, waited, keeping tight controls on the population until tempers cooled. 

To expect Sunnis and Shias to miraculously put aside their centuries of conflict simply because an election was held and one of them was in power is beyond naive.

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By Marshall, March 6, 2008 at 3:55 pm Link to this comment

You mean “what if the people in Iraq don’t want to choose their own leaders”?  I suppose that would be a first.

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By Leefeller, March 6, 2008 at 3:31 pm Link to this comment

We make all the Iraq people Catholic and move the pope mobile to Baghdad. What if the people in Iraq did not want to all be Catholic, well we just humiliate them until they do. It is one thing to believe in something, but to force it on people is another.

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By Marshall, March 6, 2008 at 3:13 pm Link to this comment

By tdbach, March 6 at 5:59 am #
(17 comments total)
This Marshall plan doesn’t work

<<Ah, but the surge isn’t achieving its goal: to provide the stability needed for a political solution. Not even close. ...is what has quieted the violence – temporarily.>>

How can you put these two sentences in the same paragraph?  The goal was to quiet the violence long enough to provide stability needed for a political solution.  This goal has been met.  The Politics is up to the Iraqi govt.

<< “True [, we didn’t track down bin Laden].  A tactical error, but hardly the result of Iraq.” Really? And your evidence for that is…what?>>

The burden of evidence falls on the original claim that US involvement in Iraq caused Bin Laden’s escape I’m afraid.

<<Your accounting for why we went into Iraq is based on no more evidence that anyone else who posit a wide variety of theories here and elsewhere.>>

My accounting is based entirely on the NIE evidence and the officially stated reasons for our involvement.  I’m clear on why we went, even if I think that it was probably not a good idea in retrospect.

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By kath cantarella, March 6, 2008 at 2:34 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

about how to bring down your country, it would only differ in the smaller details.

Treason, certainly.

And McCain is the same ol’ same ol’. It’s too stupid for words.

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By Marshall, March 6, 2008 at 12:22 pm Link to this comment

By felicity, March 6 at 7:04 am #
(221 comments total)
Re: Re:

<<Marshal - “...we’re there, and we have to see it through.”

Through to what?  If your answer is to win, could you please define a win (in Iraq).>>

TD’s system for replies is absolutely terrible - it limits the number of replies and forces us to reply outside of the thread.  I wonder if they’ll wake up and change this?

“Winning” in Iraq means providing the space to allow the Iraqi govt. to establish democratic self-governance and domestic sovereignty, develop a functioning infrastructure, and provide for its own self-defense.  We’ll retain a presence much as we did in Europe after WWII.

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By Michael Shaw, March 6, 2008 at 10:30 am Link to this comment

Mr. Sheer is right! The rosy picture of complete unfettered western capitalism has not been fully realized in Iraq and it was doomed for failure from the start. The idea in permanent world rule, a notion of insanity, is also doomed. But when all else fails, destroy our own economy. That seems to have been the real plan. Iraq was merely an excusing tool to that end. The constant increase to oil prices walk hand in hand with the deflated dollar and Bush’s answer is permanent tax cuts to the rich(in war time), who have realized their greatest profit margins in history.

The privatization of our own government guarantees wealth more wealth and in their minds indefinitely. Meanwhile we teeter tooter on the brink of depression. Oh Well! That’s what marshal law is for along with the unitary executive and the blatant undermining of both national and international law.

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By Lucienette, March 6, 2008 at 10:10 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Bush is Satan.

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By 1twenty1, March 6, 2008 at 9:44 am Link to this comment

While we are able to outbomb and outshoot the Muslims, we will never be able to outthink or outlast them.  This concept seems to be lost in the abyss of corporate favors, personal and nationalistic pride, Christian fundamentalism and political doublethink.(The list is much longer and each and every one of you are welcome to add your own items but these are among the principle ones.)  The longer we stay, the more we lose.(The list is almost endless there as well.)  If we do not fundamentally (toward co-existance and non-interventionalism) change our course in this part of the world, we will lose everything.  Our weakness is the misuse of our strength.

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By Martin J. Clancy, March 6, 2008 at 9:05 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

There is a passage in Garry Wills’s book Nixon Agonistes (pp. 384-85) that addresses the argument that the reasons we got involved in Iraq don’t matter.  Since we are there, we must see it through to protect America’s credibility.  It was the same argument used to support our continuation of the war in Vietnam. It’s an argument that C. Wright Mills called “crackpot realism”. 
Wills suggests that a cooler realism would recognize that we cannot build up credibility as long as:
a small country goes on killing American soldiers;
America wins insubstantial, if any, victories;
commitment of our resources limits our response in other parts of the world;
domestic problems go unsolved because resources and attention are diverted;
opposition to the war causes internal dissension;
our country is less willing to engage in other world problems.

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By D.W. Sabin, March 6, 2008 at 9:04 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Mishun akomplished for Brushcutensis I, Peace Be With Him, for he has brought a Shiite Government to Baghdad and made the streets safe for the good and great Ahmadinejad to caravan from the airport to the new seat of Shiite Power. Perhaps when they are done building that giant Embassy Compound outside Baghdad with its food court and bomb-resistant entertainment corridor, they will name it the George W. Bush , Peace be upon him, Institute For Islamic Studies.

I know the President doesn’t like to wear his religion on his sleeve now but it should be more than clear that he’s Shiite. Perhaps he’ll build his presidenshul librairie in Baghdad.

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By felicity, March 6, 2008 at 8:04 am Link to this comment

Marshal - “...we’re there, and we have to see it through.”

Through to what?  If your answer is to win, could you please define a win (in Iraq).

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By tdbach, March 6, 2008 at 6:59 am Link to this comment

“Let’s not forget that the reason the surge is achieving its goals is in large part due to the cooperation of these groups and their backlash against AQ.” – Ah, but the surge isn’t achieving its goals – or rather goal: to provide the stability needed for a political solution. Not even close. And the reason is that this “cooperation”, which has been bought with hard cash, not because of a united resolve to expel AQ, is what has quieted the violence – temporarily. As soon as the cash runs out, the factional fighting resumes. Hardly the promise of the great “surge” – which is a bit player in this recent lull.

“the rash of suicide bombings in Pakistan and Afghanistan – these were planned all along?”

“The existence of [The resurgence of the Taliban, the bumper market in opium…] does not prove that U.S. commitment to Iraq is the cause.  When generals are requesting more U.S. resources in Afghanistan and failing to get them, then you’ll have a case.  But where’s your evidence that troops not in Iraq would have been sent to Afghanistan?” Don’t be too selective in what news you listen to/read. In fact, the COS has said unequivocally that our forces are stretched to near breaking. They may technically have the numbers to put more feet on the ground in Afghanistan, but that would indeed break them. 

“And Afghanistan is now a UN effort, so it’s up to all the UN nations to see that the effort in Afghanistan succeeds.” – but it wasn’t a UN effort when it really mattered, shortly after toppling the Taliban. We could have poured manpower and resources into that country – with international support, as the world was very sympathetic to our cause immediately after 9/11 – to bring lasting stability and convince regional players we’re in it for self-defense and the best intentions for the region, not for oil or other (Isreal?) unpopular geopolitical purposes. Imagine how much differently things would be had we NOT gone into Iraq.

“To the contrary, there was quite a sizable anti-war movement prior to Afghanistan.” Nonsense. There is always a contingent of antiwar absolutists. Few outside this very tiny crowd protested. 

“We didn’t track down bin Laden”

“True [, we didn’t track down bin Laden].  A tactical error, but hardly the result of Iraq.” Really? And your evidence for that is…what?

“The reasons [we invaded Iraq] are pretty clear to me.” Your accounting for why we went into Iraq is based on no more evidence that anyone else who posit a wide variety of theories here and elsewhere. Which makes your theory no more valid than any of the others (barring some that strain credibility as far as our military is strained by our ME adventures.

“But that’s history now.  We’re there, and we have to see it through.” No, we don’t have to “see it through” in the sense you and GWB and John McCain mean. We need to extricate ourselves while minimizing the backfilling damage, but extricate ourselves nonetheless. The sooner the better.

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By Shenonymous, March 6, 2008 at 5:27 am Link to this comment

I always enjoy hearing your opinions cyrena.  That Iran may/is moving “in to fill the void” in Iraq makes sense to me too.  The degree of anxiety Iran may or may not have over the existing conditions of Iraq is not something of which I would have any extant or congruent knowledge.  And while Hussein was the instigator of the long war with Iran, it is as you say “perfectly” understandable that Iran would want to subsume Iraq or an important part of it.  It seems a given.  While I am not a political analyst nor scholar I have learned something over the years of paying attention to what is going on in the middle East.  The US involvement is recent by history’s account.  Most recent history gives that although they protest and denied the accusations, Iran has been providing training, military supplies, and funding the Shi’ite militias in Iraq since the 8-year war in the 80s in which an estimated 1 million Iraqis were killed.  Odiemo, US commander in Iraq said Iran continued and continues to train extremists militia in Iraq and that Iran wanted Iraq to have only a weak government.  The intentions of Iran are not as opaque as thought.  Iran lost a great deal of revenue and resources during the 80-88 war with Iraq.  Iraq has abundant oil resources.  And while it is well known that assimilating a culture that is like one’s own, that is a side issue between the Iran/Iraq interaction.  An irony occurred in 1985 when The Soviet Union became the major supplier of arms to Iraq and the US shipped arms to Iran.  To quote the Iran Chamber Society’s History of Iran report, “At the end [of the Iran-Iraq War], virtually none of the issues which are usually blamed for the war had been resolved. When it was over, the conditions which existed at the beginning of the war remained almost wholly unchanged. The UN-arranged cease-fire simply put an end to the fighting, leaving two separate states to pursue an arms race with each other, and with the other countries in the region.”

The circumstances for the war was disagreement about the border between the two countries, originating back to 1971, when Iran occupied a some Iraqi islands in the Persian Gulf near the outlet at Shatt El Arab.  Iran was sending Islamist propaganda into Iraq obviously for the express purpose based on an assimilation theory to make it easier for Iran to get a stronger foothold in a country that would then be more sympathetic to its intentions.  Shias make up most of the population in the Arab world and 90% of Iran about 65% of Iraq.  The rivalry between Iran and Iraq is not new but has been since “the beginnng of recorded history in Sumer.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iran-Iraq_War
mainly over the rich resources and sovereignty of the Khuzesan (Persian) Province of Iran.  Border disputes have been ongoing over hundreds of years and are still going on.  To deny that Iran has its eye on Iraq as a prize is as foolish as an ostrich.  It may be that they even have more right to “take” over Iraq than anybody else, or not, but it ought to be acknowledged and accepted, or not.

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By ekdar, March 6, 2008 at 3:52 am Link to this comment

I commented only on what you wrote, per my italicized quotes. So much for that glimmer of clarity in your writing.

Oh well.

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By Douglas Chalmers, March 6, 2008 at 3:10 am Link to this comment

More indicators which echo the old Roman empire, Expat. The neighboring ‘tribes’ are rebelling and will eventually ‘invade’, uhh….....

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By Expat, March 6, 2008 at 3:06 am Link to this comment

^ I agree.  Ah, blowback, the new word for Karma and the consequent paybacks.  I think the blowback will be ferocious.  We’re seeing the beginnings in South and Central America now as well.

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By Ostrogoth, March 6, 2008 at 1:52 am Link to this comment

“The reasons [we invaded Iraq] are pretty clear to me.  First, we had faulty intelligence that we acted on because we believed it was valid.  There were numerous other reasons from our desire to withdraw from Saudi Arabia, to our desire to end our no-fly enforcement, to our desire to establish a democratic govt. in place of a dictator, to our desire to send a message to other nations like NK and Libya….But that’s history now.  We’re there, and we have to see it through.”

-By Marshall, March 5 at 3:50 pm
______________________

Uh-uh. Bush/Cheney didn’t have faulty intelligence, they fabricated bogus intelligence as a pretext to plunder Iraq and destroy Iraqi culture. The neocons, many of them Israel-firsters, launched a terror campaign against Iraq for quick profits, for oil, and to make the ME safe for Israeli apartheid. Our occupational government under Paul Bremer worked hard to set up a servile, undemocratic, pro-Israeli client regime in Iraq. When Iraqis thwarted our despoilment project, we fell back on plan B, commonly known as the Salvador option: career terrorists John Negroponte and James Steele organized death squads and U.S. forces engaged in mass torture of innocents in an effort to terrorize Iraqis into submission. Iranians have already been through their own U.S.-sponsored hell under our proxy terrorist Shah Reza Pahlevi. They know what our game is in Iraq and are keeping one step ahead of us.

Blowback from Iran, blowback from Iraq. What goes around, comes around, and it’s only getting started.

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By cyrena, March 6, 2008 at 12:28 am Link to this comment

Shenonymous

I’m not sure we can really say that Iran has been anxious to gobble up Iraq. In fact, it was Saddam who initiated those wars with Iran. I could be wrong, since it would be perfectly understandable for Iran to incorporate at least parts of Iraq, since that southwest portion of Iraq is culturally more Iranian than it is Iraqi anyhow. But, I would disagree that Iran has ever had any ‘designs’ on Iraq. It’s never been anything more than fighting Saddam off, and of course Iran has been fighting off the US (and Britain to a lesser extent) for 50 years. It’s like Paolo suggested, Iran hasn’t attacked or invaded anybody for over 200 years.

So, the US has NEVER been of much liking to Iran, since they deposed Mossadegh because he was nationalizing Iran’s oil, and put the US puppet the Shah in his place. That didn’t work out so well for the US either.

So, like somebody else has already mentioned, the isolation of Iran has just been a repeat of the isolation of Cuba, for the very same reasons. When the US determines that they have decided to OWN another sovereign nation, and that nation balks at the idea, there’s always these problems. The other guy, (whomever it is…Castro, Ahmedinejad, whomever) is always made out to be ‘the bad guy’.

But, at the end of the day, (and especially with Saddam gone) I would EXPECT the Iraqis to favor the Iranians over the US. Seems like a no brainer to me. They’ve been neighbors for a few thousand years, and their all Muslims!

I mean, I’m not all that crazy about all of my own neighbors in Nevada and Arizona, but if the Saudis or the Russians come over here and take over in place of them, I’m not likely to like them at all. I don’t speak Russian or Arabic, and for the most part, the Russians aren’t really fond of people of color, and the Saudis are well…no way.

So you see, we generally just get along better with those whom we share at least SOME things in common, and it makes sense to me that the Iraqis and the Iranians have a whole lot more in common than the US and the Iraqis do. Like I said, Saddam is gone now, and he was the instigator in that conflict with Iran.

Matter of fact, Ahmadinejad even mentioned this himself about a year or so ago. Specifically, he said that the book was closed on Saddam, (he was dead) and so…why was the US STILL IN IRAQ? I thought it was a really reasonable question. Of course nobody is gonna answer it outloud, (from the US) and say that it’s because the plan was to get Saddam and Iraq, FIRST, before they moved on to OWN Iran as well. And of course that’s ALWAYS been the plan of The Project for a New American Century, which the neocons put together over a decade ago. First Iraq, then Iran, and then Syria. (or, it could be a joint operation with Israel).

But, since it didn’t go according to plan, the more ‘natural’ thing happened. Iran, (since they’re all related) has moved in to fill the void. Makes sense to me.

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By HosemiteYam, March 6, 2008 at 12:04 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“If that was the intention of the neoconservative cabal that led Bush into this folly, its members should be tried for treason.”

What about the results.

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By A Khokar, March 5, 2008 at 10:28 pm Link to this comment

With what ever the cleverness, the corporate western media portrays and try to articulate the case of ‘Global war on Terrorism’ and keep on hiking up the flimsy pretexts to invade the sovereign countries like Iraq and Iran in the Middle East or grab Afghanistan and go beyond; it is bound to meet its failures and end up in desperation and frenzy for the Oppressing forces. The myth of terrorism has no future and bears no ethical grounds to stand on. It is only by the vile choices of few assailants; the big wicks like United States having their vicious designs and evil choices with the aim to siphon and control the mineral resources of this area like oil and gas to run their own economies through deceit and oppression.

Iran stands as our old teacher on this planet; who was once the seat of learning, a source of knowledge and wisdom which influenced many other civilizations around it. The research and studies in the fields of medicine, physic, chemistry, mathematics and sciences that present day western world so proudly cherishes its achievements in sciences and technology; all this once emanated from this land and others followed. 

But now we find that same West is all out to restrain its old teacher to even think of benefiting from the harvest that it once sowed so earnestly for the benefit of mankind. The adopted ethics and resolve of a wise teacher probably, then had not pursued him enough to think and let grow the thorns along the stems of its fragrant roses to ward off his would be oppressors of the future. Iran is forcefully being deprived and debarred from these advancements to keep her weak and frail; lest it develop some potent deterrent and challenges the western onslaught of oppression in this part of the World.

But ‘Old is Gold’; and who has ever been successful in robbing of knowledge, wisdom or been able to out smart their old teachers? The history of this planet at least does not support this.
————————————-
Love for all, Hatred for

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By Leefeller, March 5, 2008 at 9:38 pm Link to this comment

The silent treatment worked really well with Castro, now all we have to do is hold our breath.

Expecting anything more from the imbeciles in Washington would entail something called hope, which now has become a dirty word, like integrity.

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By Ron Ranft, March 5, 2008 at 9:01 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Let me see, I see that you start not with facts but half-assed asumptions, add circuler reasoning, ad hominem attacks to arrive at a very poorly thought out conclusion and you think you are brilliant. You have all the earmarks of someone who is still in high school or you were home schooled. That you think you are on par with Robert Scheer in either experience or reasoning capibilities is laughable. You must be the shrubs dumber brother.

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By Paolo, March 5, 2008 at 8:32 pm Link to this comment

Ahmadi-Nejad is about what you would expect from the Islamic Republic. He is, relative to the West, very narrow-minded, in terms of civil liberties and social tolerance. Compare him, however, to Bush. Who has started wars that kill hundreds of thousands? Who has ginned up excuses for war? 

Iran has a far better record of peaceful behavior than does the USA. Iran has not invaded another nation in over 200 years. The USA invades nations every few years, just to show everyone we’re serious about hegemony.

Ahmadi-Nejad is a convenient “demon for a day” for the Neocons. But in actuality, he wields almost no serious power. He does not command the Iranian military.

If you want to change Iran, you need to open up trade relations, student exchange programs, and diplomatic relations. You need to do it without pre-conditions. (Our current stand on this issue—that we will not talk with Iran until it accedes to all our demands—would be embarrassingly infantile, even for a kindergartner.

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By BobZ, March 5, 2008 at 6:53 pm Link to this comment

This weekend we saw the fruits of the Bush foreign policy and it was ugly and sad. Sad that we wasted so many lives and dollars on a pathetic effort in the name of fighting terrorism. On Bush’s last day in office, there should be a national day of celebration as he packs up to head back to clearing brush.

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By heavyrunner, March 5, 2008 at 5:35 pm Link to this comment

“That was, however, obviously not what the neocons expected from the invasion of Iraq, which they engineered in the wake of 9/11 with a much rosier scenario in mind.”

Should be:

“That was, however, obviously not what the neocons expected from the invasion of Iraq, which they launched based on lies after they engineered 9/11.”

I am sure you have read the report of the Project for the New American Century where they called for a New Pearl Harbor.  They came right out and said they needed something like 9/11.  Four unlikely men from the Middle East could not have planted the explosives that brought down the buildings on 9/11/2001 in New York, and they could not have controlled the U.S. air defenses so that they stood down and let planes strike New York and the Pentagon.  There is a guided missile cruiser permanently stationed at all times, including on 9/11/2001, in the Potomac River, not far from the Pentagon that has the most sophisticated anti aircraft missiles in the world on board.

Four unlikely Middle Eastern men could not have arranged things so that no military officers were disciplined for the failures of 9/11.  But Dick Cheney and Blackwater and a few other faithful servants apparently could. 

There is plenty of evidence of 9/11 as an inside job.  Enough so that history will certainly uncover the truth.  And people will say, “How could the American people in control of the media have been so blind or complicit?” 

That is, of course, if we live to have a future with the sort of maniacs in control of thousands of nuclear weapons we have now.

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By Shenonymous, March 5, 2008 at 5:02 pm Link to this comment

It wasn’t so long ago that Iran wanted to swallow up Iraq.  Hands across the water ought to be watched closer than profit motives with a jeweler’s loupe.  This might just be the easiest takeover of Iraq by Iran ever even imagined in anyone’s wildest dream. And not one shot fired!  Now that is the way hegemony ought to work!  Surely Iran is also eyeing Iraq’s oil.  With the oil, their program to become a nuclear superpower, whether justifiably or not as a case can be made for both conclusions, will most certainly be a certainty as they will then have world power leverage.  Especially since the not so little giant China is voracious for oil.  The United States has gone to war twice now in Iraq, the first one by Bush, the senior, and legal and invited. The second one by the neocon’s Bushbaby and illegal and not invited.  Oil was/is the prize in both efforts whether it is admitted or not.  If Iran absorbs Iraq, a country that is on the brink of dividing up into states anyway, it will be secular providence brought about by the insanity of America.  The points made here about ramifications of the apparent amity between Iran and Iraq might be correct, or they might not.  Time is the great equalizer.

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By PatrickHenry, March 5, 2008 at 4:55 pm Link to this comment

Wars over, lets go home.

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By Marshall, March 5, 2008 at 4:51 pm Link to this comment

It seems to drop it when the reply level gets past one level deep.  It’s a terrible system.

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By Marshall, March 5, 2008 at 4:50 pm Link to this comment

“Or, it lends credence to the theory that Shiite, Curd, and Sunni… can agree on one thing - that it feels good to embarrass America.”

Not likely that their shared mission is to embarrass America; a rather America-centric view I’m afraid.  Let’s not forget that the reason the surge is achieving its goals is in large part due to the cooperation of these groups and their backlash against AQ.

“The resurgence of the Taliban, the bumper market in opium, the rash of suicide bombings in Pakistan and Afghanistan – these were planned all along?”

The existence of these things does not prove that U.S. commitment to Iraq is the cause.  When generals are requesting more U.S. resources in Afghanistan and failing to get them, then you’ll have a case.  But where’s your evidence that troops not in Iraq would have been sent to Afghanistan?  In fact, we have many more deployable troops here in the U.S..  And Afghanistan is now a UN effort, so it’s up to all the UN nations to see that the effort in Afghanistan succeeds.

“Not many “lefties” thought that was a bad idea at the time. “

To the contrary, there was quite a sizable anti-war movement prior to Afghanistan.  I don’t remember whether Sheer supported the Afghanistan invasion, but my comment is directed at the many others who simultaneously argue that we shouldn’t be in the ME while at the same time saying we’re neglecting Afghanistan.

“We didn’t track down bin Laden”

True.  A tactical error, but hardly the result of Iraq.

“we invaded Iraq. Why?”

The reasons are pretty clear to me.  First, we had faulty intelligence that we acted on because we believed it was valid.  There were numerous other reasons from our desire to withdraw from Saudi Arabia, to our desire to end our no-fly enforcement, to our desire to establish a democratic govt. in place of a dictator, to our desire to send a message to other nations like NK and Libya.

But that’s history now.  We’re there, and we have to see it through.

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By Virginia Rogalsky, March 5, 2008 at 4:43 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

maybe now you will give Hillary her due…...

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By felicity, March 5, 2008 at 4:25 pm Link to this comment

Ekdar - careful reading in future might save you from future embarassment.

Blackspeare, “...nobody said being an aspiring empire would be easy.”  I replied to Blackspeare. Where did you read in my comment that the Bush government was intent on empire building or intent on destroying Iraq.  Truthdig is having a very pernicious affect on your powers of concentration.

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By tdbach, March 5, 2008 at 2:14 pm Link to this comment

See above (why does this site drop the “reply” status when one previews?)

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By tdbach, March 5, 2008 at 2:12 pm Link to this comment

“It is interesting, and certainly lends credence to the US accusation that Iran is behind much of the violence in Iraq.” - Or, it lends credence to the theory that Shiite, Curd, and Sunni (who have no love of Iran and who make up a goodly portion of the violence - including “Al Qaeda in Iraq”) can agree on one thing - that it feels good to embarrass America.

“There is no evidence that these countries have been neglected by the US.” – Really? The resurgence of the Taliban, the bumper market in opium, the rash of suicide bombings in Pakistan and Afghanistan – these were planned all along? So, if half the troops that ended up in Iraq had instead been sent to Afghanistan, this wouldn’t have done anything to prevent – or at least slow – Afghanistan’s unraveling?

“Not to mention the hypocrisy of criticizing the US for its interventionism, then claiming we didn’t send enough troops to ME countries like Afghanistan.” – Where, exactly, did Mr. Sheer criticize going into Afghanistan after 9/11. Not many “lefties” thought that was a bad idea at the time. Supposedly, we were going to bring the perpetrators of 9/11 to justice and topple a regime that gave them safe harbor and support. We accomplished the latter, but didn’t follow through with the job. We didn’t track down bin Laden. We didn’t provide sufficient resources to ensure the Taliban didn’t regain traction, if not power. Instead, we invaded Iraq. Why? As the “straight” explanation of WMD and “ally to Al Qaeda” has proven to be bogus, we’re left to theorize…Some have arrived at rather imaginative conspiracies. But the question remains unanswered. But you don’t seem to be worried about it. After all, what’s a few hundred thousand dead and wounded in the service of America’s security? Or is it?

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By LibertyWatch, March 5, 2008 at 1:53 pm Link to this comment

If Bush$Co and the war mongers would stop their lies for profit campaigns and start dealing straight and above the table the world might change to the peaceful side. However, as long as folks like those destroying America from the inside want to sell bullets and cluster bombs instead of tractors and spreaders then we are the hated instigator around the planet. Millions have to die so the corporate ceo’s can have their golden parachutes!

Meanwhile gold and oil set record prices daily and everyday common folks can’t afford the cost of bread.

Shame on Bush$Co and shame on us for allowing it to happen!

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By rowdy, March 5, 2008 at 1:28 pm Link to this comment

i looked at your link. it was even more absurd than i expected. religious horseshit,pretending to be prophetic. why don’t you quote nostradamus?

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By cyrena, March 5, 2008 at 1:23 pm Link to this comment

Mostly you’re right this time Douglas. Except of course you always tend toward the extreme and the theatrical, which screws up the reality.

And, we don’t even have to go as far back as helping Iran against Saddam, which may not have been helpful. Who knows.

But from the beginning of this the first horrific error in attacking Iraq to begin with, the US could have and should have solicited help from Iran. That was NEVER in the game plan, because Iran was always next on the list to be hit.

So yeah, they made the worst choice of allies in the middle east, but it’s a moot point, since the US never had any reason to be in the middle east to begin with. This is what happens as the result of hubris. It’s about Empire not working anymore, in globalized society. Other more intelligent governments decided that long ago. When you choose empire, you’re gonna get burned.

You’re still deluded on the Hillary thing though, and that’s pretty amazing. If she if had an inclination to stop any of this, she would never has authorized it over and over again to begin with. She only plans to continue the orginal neocon plan, as set forth by the PNAC over 10 years ago, when the neocons tried to get her husband to invade. He wouldn’t, but she’s been just fine with it, since 9/11.

And, based on the last debate, she’s STILL fine with attacking Iran, and going back into it with Russia. She’s already threatening them.

So, why do you write this spin that is totally contrary to what Hillary herself says in public?

And why do you assume that we are ‘lost’ to China and Russia, just because we can’t (and shouldn’t) be playing the most powerful on earth? 

China is regaining it’s old prominence in the world, and the US is certainly declining at a steady rate. It’s only a ‘loss’ however, if you figure that such inequality among the geopolitical powers is a good thing. It isn’t you know. Balance always works better.

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By Marshall, March 5, 2008 at 12:49 pm Link to this comment

Shame on you, ekdar, trying rid someone on the left of the opportunity to substitute a conspiracy theory for an explanation that makes far more sense. wink

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Leefeller's avatar

By Leefeller, March 5, 2008 at 12:42 pm Link to this comment

Who is we?

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By Marshall, March 5, 2008 at 12:36 pm Link to this comment

“How interesting that Ahmadinejad, unlike a U.S. president who has to be airlifted unannounced into ultra-secure bases, was able to convoy in from the airport in broad daylight on a road that U.S. dignitaries fear to travel.”

It is interesting, and certainly lends credence to the US accusation that Iran is behind much of the violence in Iraq.

“Afghanistan and Pakistan, which Bush neglected for an Iraq sideshow”

There is no evidence that these countries have been neglected by the US.  I know of no case in which US generals requested additional troops and were denied.  The US has maintained a solid presence in Afghanistan despite NATOs inability to field more forces for a mission virtually no one opposes.

Not to mention the hypocrisy of criticizing the US for its interventionism, then claiming we didn’t send enough troops to ME countries like Afghanistan.

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By Louise, March 5, 2008 at 11:51 am Link to this comment

Yep! wink

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By ekdar, March 5, 2008 at 11:51 am Link to this comment


By felicity, March 5 at 10:20 am

“I can’t figure out why we didn’t do it 5 years ago…...... Trillion dollar contracts to Blackwater and Haliburton to rebuild an entire country not to mention the mortuary business to bury 35 million people. 

If it’s empire building we’re into we need to take a page from past empire builders who would have never put up with the shit we’re putting up with. “

You’ve come so close, in what must have been a moment of unguarded free-thinking, to breaking yourself away from the leftist group-think. Do you realize what you’ve just said????

To wit: Occam’s Razor, and here I’ll quote the entry from Wikipedia:

....a principle attributed to the 14th-century English logician and Franciscan friar William of Ockham. The principle states that the explanation of any phenomenon should make as few assumptions as possible, eliminating those that make no difference in the observable predictions of the explanatory hypothesis or theory….This is often paraphrased as “All other things being equal, the simplest solution is the best.”

Get it? If the US really wanted to create an “empire”, or to destroy Iraq (as it is so often accused of here at LieDig), then your prescient observations set the record straight.

You have shown critical thinking and analysis in its purest, most elemental state uncolored by party-line ideology. You actually thought for yourself, and that’s a wonderful (and altogether rare) thing to see here.

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By felicity, March 5, 2008 at 11:20 am Link to this comment

Your comment is tongue-in-cheek, we trust?  If not, you forgot to point out that from the air using conventional weapons we could wipe out the entire country of Iraq in two months flat.  I can’t figure out why we didn’t do it 5 years ago.  I mean, the oil’s underground, isn’t it?  Trillion dollar contracts to Blackwater and Haliburton to rebuild an entire country not to mention the mortuary business to bury 35 million people. 

If it’s empire building we’re into we need to take a page from past empire builders who would have never put up with the shit we’re putting up with.

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By lastdaywatchers, March 5, 2008 at 10:07 am Link to this comment

“Not only is he the first Mideast head of state to visit the country since its alleged liberation, but the very warm official welcome offered by the Iraqi government to the most vociferous critic of the United States speaks volumes to the abject failure of the Bush doctrine.”

Sound like Mr Robert Scheer have been reading the May 15th Prophecy

For 100% accuracy go to the May 15th Prophecy
http://lastdaywatchers.blogspot.com

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By Blackspeare, March 5, 2008 at 9:53 am Link to this comment

Prof. Scheer has made the argument, that now, more than ever, is the time for a John McCain.  Since the US venture into Iraq didn’t pan out as expected, then plan “B” has to be initiated with a foray into Iran——a target with suitability—-second on the list of the evil trio!  Nobody said being an aspiring empire would be easy!

It’s readily apparent that with Hamas, Hezbollah, Iran, Israel, and Syria, things in the ME are going to blow up real well.  And then we’ll have a war that will settle things, at least for a period of time!

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Leefeller's avatar

By Leefeller, March 5, 2008 at 9:38 am Link to this comment

When you look back on all the different opinions, put them in a hopper George Carlen seems to come out on top.  He says, “They do what they want”.

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By Louise, March 5, 2008 at 9:30 am Link to this comment

You mean Bush the orator, Bush the strategist, Bush the diplomat, Bush the man focused on our security [ wink ] got it wrong?

Naw, he didn’t get it wrong. He just plain didn’t get it!

But all the same our intelligence is daily assaulted with focus on Bush. He’s in the news. He’s on the news. Like we must hang [literally] on every valuable word. He still cant express a cognizant thought and ... he still doesn’t get it.

But then in fairness to Bush, and Rice, and even Kristol ... apparently neither does a huge hunk of American society.

***

“yes, in the punditry business, one does fail upward.”

***

Oh my gosh yes! Look at our congress!

***

“When Bush has finally retired to that ranch, cutting sagebrush to his heart’s content, his all-consuming smugness might ever so subtly be troubled by the memory of a father who knew best, and who warned against the terminal foolishness of seizing Baghdad.”

***

I rather doubt it. That all-consuming smugness is little more than an indication of an inability to see anything or anybody but himself. So he will hack and saw away, content in the knowledge that he has never made a mistake in his entire live. Never, ever!

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By Douglas Chalmers, March 5, 2008 at 9:17 am Link to this comment

Interesting that you should mention that. It was started a millenia ago by the churches (notably the so-called ‘Christian’ Catholic church) as a means of ensuring a hypnotized and ever obedient following.

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By Ostrogoth, March 5, 2008 at 9:15 am Link to this comment

“Clearly the neocons were conned by the likes of Ahmed Chalabi, the rogue banker accused by the CIA of slipping U.S. secrets to Tehran, into believing that a ‘liberated’ Iraq would advance democracy in the region, not to mention the security of Israel.”
____________

Nah. Promotion of democracy was never our strong suit, unless you define democracy as U.S.-sponsored plutocracy, corrupt and servile enough to dance when we jerk the strings.

Seriously, Robert, there is no tooth fairy, and the notion that the U.S. promotes democracy abroad is just a self-serving myth. Time to get real. The neocons invaded Iraq to plunder it and eliminate an annoying obstacle to Israeli apartheid, and so far they have earned their bragging rights. Mission accomplished.

Iran is the next target on the neocon’s demolition list, and right now they’re a little behind schedule. But hey, either Clinton or McCain, like the good lackeys they are, can be counted on to get the job done, regardless of the cost in human suffering for both Iranians and Americans. Those ungrateful Iraqis are getting too cozy with the ayatollahs? A few dozen tactical nukes can iron out that wrinkle.

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By Leefeller, March 5, 2008 at 9:01 am Link to this comment

Enlightenment is not a required part of the dumbing down the masses, newspeak will be the way of the future.  Even the lofty New Your Times is dragged down to the level of Fox News.

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By pikaomega, March 5, 2008 at 8:33 am Link to this comment

Your point is certainly valid, and there is no denying that things have gotten WAY out of hand, but I would ask that you consider the history of the Neo-Cons as it goes back much, much earlier.  You can trace the movement to the late 70’s/early 80’s when, in a stroke of political genius, Reagan adopted Nixon’s “southern strategy” in a way that allowed (formerly) southern democrats a chance to switch parties based largely on racism and religious fervor.  Take a look at the signatories to PNAC (Project for a New American Century: http://www.newamericancentury.org/) and you will see a laundry list of the most diabolical Cons who have infiltrated our government for the last 40 years.

Another huge component to the rise of the far right ideology was the incorporation of the perfervidity that drives the religious right into the Republican flock.  This demographic was (in their eyes) orphaned by the excesses of the 60’s and 70’s, and the rise of televangelists like Baker, Falwell and Robertson allowed them an outlet which steered them into the arms of the Repubs.  The truly brilliant part of this was the strategy employed by the leaders of the (largely) Christian sect that served as the basis for the eventual saturation of our political landscape.  They were smart enough to look strategically at the big picture in a long term sense.  They encouraged their followers to run for seemingly insignifigant offices on local levels (i.e. city councils, school boards, etc.), which in time gave them the name recognition and public authority to rise through the ranks into state and federal offices.  Cornell University has an AMAZINGLY comprehensive history of the rise of the religious right in the Republican party (http://theocracywatch.org).

As frightening as I find it that we have candidates that publically denounce evolution and say that 9/11 and Huricane Katrina were divine retribution for gays and women in pants, their long term strategy was brilliantly effective.  Gingrich’s “Class of ‘94” was the end result of patience and calculation.  I encourage everyone to take a look at the links above, as they offer a historical sketch of where the fervor that we see today was born.

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By nrobi, March 5, 2008 at 7:20 am Link to this comment

When in the course of political events, in the early 1990’s, the Neo-Conservative movement was born, they surely did not imagine a more exciting time then the election of George W.(Duhhhhhhhhhhbya)Bush. Here in this person, was their malleable, gullible and downright useful president. The shrub, having no previous foreign policy or domestic policy experience, without the credentials for even governorship was elected by 5 people who got to vote twice. Now, the neo-cons are in power, they rule the White House and the Congress, the Supreme Court are puppets in the hands of a cabal that will see fit to undo generations of work for the American public. But more than that, this downright stupid group of people will now try to export “Democracy” to a region of the world that has no foundation in the ideals of a democratic political regime and more than that they are, the most audacious group of men and women to ever inhabit the White House with their partners the multinational corporations and the ideologues of the Right Wing of the Christian fundamentalist religion. These men and women, are among the supposedly best and brightest of our nation, yet in planning an illegal and immoral war on a sovereign nation that had nothing to do with terrorism or the planning of an “attack” on American soil, completely blow chunks at the planning of the occupation of said country.
No forethought was given to the fact that our invasion of Iraq would drive the Iraqis wild with hatred of the fact that we are now an occupying force which continues to prop up a puppet regime of people whom we chose to be the leaders of their country. 
The saying that there is no need to attribute to mendacity what can be explained by ordinary stupidity is more than the maxim of the Neo-Con administration, it is the watchword of their whole fait accompli.
There will be no kind words in the historical books of how this administration completely disregarded the people of the US, the economy, the environment, all for the love of money, greed and avarice, with malice aforethought and honor towards none, other than those who were members of their own group. I, seriously doubt that any right or left thinking member of society would honestly give these people the time of day, yet Bill Kristol has been promoted upward for his inability to get even the simplest things right. He was given a coveted and most sought after editorial spot at the “New York Times.”  How in the world did this happen?  Of course someone in the administration, called someone who called someone and lo and behold, we now have on one of the finest papers in the world a person who has not the intelligence of a William F. Buckley nor the wit and persona of a person such as George Will. This to me in more than an abomination it is the height of idiocy on the part of the New York Times for contracting with a man whose track record is that of a puppet for the Neo-Con administration of the shrub. Will this country ever get it right? I, personally hope that it does, yet I despair, for it happening before I expire to the great beyond.

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By ekdar, March 5, 2008 at 6:20 am Link to this comment

So where, according to you, is the Jewish homeland?

I checked out your website - it’s all Jews, all the time. Kind of like your own personal CNN but only about Jews. Pretty much fixated on Jews, aren’t you? Do you actually know any real Jews?

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By Greg Bacon, March 5, 2008 at 5:44 am Link to this comment

Succeeded in you’re one of the defense contractors who are making money at record levels.

Succeeded if you’re one of the demented Israeli Likudniks, who are using the misnamed War on Terror to wage their own War of Terror against the indigenous people of Palestine.

Succeeded if you’re one of those dimwitted Americans who think we have too many freedoms..

Succeeded if you love living in a land that is ruled by a series of despotic tyrants who will always use the fear factor to control the people and consolidate even more power.

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By Me, March 5, 2008 at 4:11 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Nice title and partially interesting rhetorics.

Experience should have told you that Ahmadinejad’s primary concern is his own face, and I’m sure he has to restrain himself to allow the US a “face-saving exit”. That must be one reason why he wears a grave face on most photos from the visit. The other is (I deem him capable of) genuine shock and outrage at what the now-Shiite neighboring country has become, its people suffering, its oil reserves hijacked and its goverment effectively under colonial rule.

The reason why the visit wasn’t extensively reported(? - I read about it everywhere) is, of course, that any hint of improved stability in the Middle East runs contrary to US foreign policy goals, which is to be “needed” as a pacifier and keep what they grabbed. They can’t hold on to the oil forever, but maybe the 12 (or 14?) new bases that are being established in Iraq. And then, the Iraqui government “compromised” itself by accepting sympathy from the devil.

George Bush won’t have any real problems with his bad name, as long as he doesn’t end up in The Hague in his eighties. The Iraq war is a very profitable business enterprise, believe his word on that! The less desirable “costs” will be paid by - you.

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By Douglas Chalmers, March 5, 2008 at 4:07 am Link to this comment

As we speak, Bush is rushing in to attack Venezuela for all he is worth - and to forget about the lil’ol’ M.East, uhh…...

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By Expat, March 5, 2008 at 3:25 am Link to this comment

^ a good post.  No argument here.  We always back the despots; we are a despot magnet.  Strange: It’s the antipathy of a free democratic form of government we love to so hypocritically yell and scream for.

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By Douglas Chalmers, March 5, 2008 at 2:32 am Link to this comment

Quote Robert Scheer: Instead of isolating the “rogue regime” of Iran, the Bush administration has catapulted the theocrats of Tehran into the center of Mideast political power. There can be no peace, whether in Lebanon, Gaza or Iraq, without the cooperation of the ayatollahs of Iran. If that was the intention of the neoconservative cabal that led Bush into this folly, its members should be tried for treason….

Interesting statement - and one that I am glad that Scheer has at last had the guts to make, uhh. There is now no more time left for equivocation on international affairs, foreign relations and military matters. If you ever wanted proof, the blatant expansionist actions of the Israeli military in invading Lebanon last year and mercilessly attacking Gaza this last week are proof that they will do whatever they can get away with before January, 2009.

But the real issue of peace in the Middle East still does not lie solely with Iran. It is certain that they could negotiate peace throughout the region if the USA chose to go along but the real problem is the Amercian resentment in having their puppet regime in Teheran ousted decades ago by a democratically elected government. The Republican administration will never move forward into a new dawn any more than they would in regard to Iraq and their culpapble embarrassments there.

But if some succeeding US administration wishes to pursue peace, trade and cheaper oil in the Middle East, all it has to do is rein in military aid to (a) Pakistan, and (b) Israel. It is as simple as that. The real reason US troops are in Afghanistan is to counter the Taleban and Al Qaeda who are funded covertly by Pakistan with US funds. The real reason that is allowed to continue is that the US military-industrial complex makes a living on the back of US military activities and they need a perceived enemy as an excuse for deployment.

Thus Hillary Clinton can bring the troops home and wind down the war in Iraq and Afghanistan tomorrow if she is elected. Barack Obama most probably woudn’t because he is more beholden to those who favor aggressive posturing and “doesn’t oppose all wars”. Hillary can also deal successfully with Al Qaeda in Afghanistan as I have just indicated. Obama must still follow his chosen path of extending the conflict into Pakistan despite the ultimately nuclear risks and continuing to bomb innocent villagers.

Ironically, the USA has made the worst choice of allies in the Middle East. If America had swallowed it pride and supported Iran in the war against Saddam in the 1980’s, they would have proven to be the best and most useful ally now. Instead, they are once again lost to Russia and China. That is the result of continuing to support dictators simply because they are “useful” to the USA. So the clever fools in Washington are eventually defeated in “the art of war” as what goes around eventually comes around.

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