July 29, 2016
Pentagon Whistle-Blower on the Coming War With Iran
Posted on Feb 27, 2007
JAMES HARRIS: We’re there to stay in the sense that even, let’s say somebody takes office in ‘o8, do you think that we’re gonna be occupying those bases still?
KAREN KWIATKOWSKI: Absolutely! And we don’t even have status of forces agreements with any legitimate government in Iraq to support those bases. They are illegal bases, okay. But yes, they’re gonna stay, absolutely, they’re gonna stay. And I’ll tell you, there are guys that have been with this administration for awhile, people, in fact one of the guys was an Air Force General that was involved with the Kurds ten years ago, he’s retired now, but he was actually the guy, his name escapes me for the moment, but he [Jay Garner] was [Paul] Bremer’s predecessor for a short period of time. And he was fired, and Bremer came in and took over in Baghdad as part of the reconstruction phase. This is in the Spring of 2003. And this guy gave an interview in Government Exec Magazine, February 2004, he said “we will be in Iraq, and the American people need to get with this program, we will be in Iraq like we were in the Philippines for anywhere from 20 to 30 more years. That’s the time frame that we’re looking at. And that is the life span of the bases that we’ve constructed there. Yeah, we are not leaving these bases, and a Democratic president, I don’t care who they are, will keep those bases there. They will justify them and they will use them and we love that. We love it. So it’s not about what the American people think is right or wrong, it’s not about if we got lied to, what matters is, they did what they wanted to do, and as Bush says, and as Cheney says, “it’s quite the success.” And this is very frightening. Because none of this has ever been admitted to the American people, it’s only been hinted at by people that know. And of course the facts speak for themselves. The facts are, we are in Iraq, we have the finest military installations in the world, the newest military installations in the world, and we’re not leaving them. We’re not turning them over to a Shiite government, we’re not turning them over to a Sunni government, we’re not turning them over to a Kurdish government. We’re not doing that. They are American bases. We’ve got our flag there. And this is kind of the way they used to do things, I guess back in the Middle Ages. Maybe the Dark Ages. A king decided he wanted to go do something, he went and did it. And this is George Bush. We call him an elected president. I mean, he’s operating much as kings have operated in the past.
JAMES HARRIS: You called him “the war pimp” in your essay. “He’s behaving,” as you put it, “a lot like a pimp would treat a prostitute, ‘you do like I tell you to do.’”
KAREN KWIATKOWSKI: That’s right, and over the money. “Get back to work.” We’re using these, we use these bases, we use these people, the country, it matters not one whit to us.
Square, Site wide
JOSH SCHEER: With all we see in the news on a daily basis, is there any reason to hope? Every day I lose more and more sleep, about soldiers who are dying. You’re talking about being there another 30 years. How many more soldiers are going to be injured and killed? How much more money is this war going to cost?
KAREN KWIATKOWSKI: Well the money, yeah, sure, the money’s a problem. The number of soldiers being killed will probably actually reduce in many ways because we will withdraw to our bases and we will not interface with Iraqis who hate us. This idea of what they’re doing right now, this so called three-block program, let’s meet more Iraqis so they’ll like us, that’s totally for show. The more Iraqis meet us, the more they hate us. So I actually do think though, over time, fewer Americans will die, and look how easily, look how easily this country has accepted the loss of those 3,200 soldiers that have died. I think something like 90 women, maybe more have died, mothers of children. They’ve died, and America has eaten it up, we have not complained one bit. They’re spread out over 50 states, hey, it’s no big deal. So I think we can certainly, as a country, accommodate future deaths and I think the death rate will drop. The problem is, it’s immoral, it’s illegal, it engenders hatred for Americans, contempt for Americans. It makes every American in the world a target for terrorism. It’s just plain wrong, it’s unconstitutional. I mean, there’s a lot of problems with it. Dead Americans, unfortunately doesn’t seem to be the problem for most of us, which is a shame. We don’t like looking at ugly people, I will say that. And we’re seeing a lot of folks come back pretty deformed, mentally and even more obviously physically, deformed from their experiences in Iraq. And I think that could, that might give, I hate to say give hope, but realize the real moral price that we’re paying for this, that that can help. But quite frankly, I have no hope of us leaving Iraq. I think the intention was for us to put bases there, to stay there, operate militarily from there. And I think that’s what we’re going to do, Democrat, Republican, Independent, I can’t imagine anybody but Ron Paul, if you elect Ron Paul as president, those bases will be closed down. Otherwise…
JOSH SCHEER: Or Dennis Kucinich.
KAREN KWIATKOWSKI: Or Kucinich, there you go, Kucinich would do it too. So these are the guys we are able to elect, but chances are, I hate to say, the machine is not behind these men. So yeah, we got a problem. Now is there anything optimistic? Yeah. I’m a God fearing Christian. God has the power. How He might express that, I don’t know. But yeah, can the average American do anything about it? I’m just not, I’m pretty not very, I’m not optimistic, I’m pessimistic that any single American can do much to prevent what seems to be going to happen here, attacking Iran and also this terrible thing we’ve done to Iraq which I think will continue to go on for many years. It will fester, fester for many years.
JAMES HARRIS: I’m one that believes the price of terrorism, I’m interested to get your perspective on this as one who watched us engage on this terrorist enemy, an enemy like we’d never seen before, at least from a military standpoint. I look at terrorism, and I see it tearing us apart. And in a lot of ways I look at it and say, we’ve already lost this war because we now have a president who’s bending the Constitution. We’re looking over our shoulders. We question our whereabouts. This whole thing that went on in Boston with the advertisement, “is it a bomb?” There’s always that question. Perhaps the goal of Osama, perhaps the goal of these people was to make us afraid, and they’ve succeeded at that. My question to you is, in your mind, what is the true price of terrorism been for you?
KAREN KWIATKOWSKI: The military has been broken in most respects into the extent that it worked, it worked because it’s a mercenary force. We were so contracted out, we hired people that are beyond the law, that are not accountable to rules of war. And that’s how we function. So the whole military system, the idea of a defensive force, forget it, that’s done with. Constitution has been hurt by many presidents, but this president has done huge damage to understanding of the Constitution, its idea that it should restrain presidential power, that we should be conservative, small “c” conservative when we go out and engage in these adventures, the Congress has the right to declare war, we’ve ignored that for many decades. Just continued down that path. Te idea that the Bill of Rights is an option, the Bill of Rights is a set of suggestions has become almost mainstream belief. And this is terrible, this is a terrible thing. But I don’t think Osama Bin Laden did that. Terrorism is, obviously it has a political intent, but terrorism almost always, in fact I think in every case, when the political solutions are offered, when the politics change, when the people themselves change, terrorism stops. Terrorism to the extent that it is a crime, should’ve been treated like a crime, but instead we made it a war. Well there is no war with terror, terrorism is a tactic, you don’t make war against a tactic. So yeah, a lot of things have happened, I don’t think Osama had much to do with it, quite frankly, I think this administration, many of the people in Washington are quite comfortable with reduced freedoms for America and this is a good way to get those reduced freedoms, to basically break down and deconstruct the Bill of Rights and say, “well we didn’t mean that, we didn’t mean this.” It’s a problem. Our country has changed, and I think what people have to do now is kind of stand up and separate themselves from a government to the extent that they don’t agree with it and prepare themselves for real battle. Because we are gonna need to stand up very, I can use the word “vociferously,” I think that’s what we have to do, cause our own country is at risk, but not from terror, not from buildings being knocked down, that’s not what our country is at risk from, it’s at risk from our politics, from our abandonment of the Constitution, our devaluing of the Bill of Rights. We’ve lost our freedom. Osama probably couldn’t have dreamed that George Bush would help him out so much. I don’t think even that was his intention, I don’t think Osama could care less about our freedom, Osama’s issues have to do with Islam and the Holy land, Saudi Arabia, his issues are much more narrow than anything that he’s so called achieved. And I think George Bush has achieved this in a very weak and LAUGHS debased Congress has achieved this for this country. And so, it’s a big problem. I’m quite depressed about it. I don’t really have a solution or a remedy. I think we just need to wake up and see what’s being done, and then we need to decide if we want to be a part of it. It’s like that old thing, I’m not a child of the 60s, but you’re either working to fix the problem or you are the problem.
JOSH SCHEER: Now, Karen, I heard you make a reference to [terrorism as a tactic] ...Chuck Hagel made reference to terrorism as a tactic in a speech, and [how] it’s not a country, and you talk about Ron Paul. Why have the neo-cons been allowed [to do this] , they’re not, to me, they don’t seem like the Republicans that I grew up with.
KAREN KWIATKOWSKI: No, no, they’re not. And if you look at the history of neo-conservatism, it really traces its roots, well back to Trotsky, but if you go more recent, back to who was the guy, Senator from Boeing (Henry Jackson) they used to call him… big Democratic, 30 year Senator out of Washington State. And Richard Perle was on his staff, Wolfowitz I think was inspired by him. And he was a Democrat during the Cold War. And he was a pro, or I should say strongly anti-Communist democrat, kind of a strong defense democrat. And these guys migrated, particularly after Jimmy Carter, because Jimmy Carter, remember, what was he doing, he was trying to make peace. Remember that, somebody got a Peace Prize out of it, I don’t know what it was, some kind of approach between Arabs and Israelis, and Carter was part of that. And that alienated a great many of these folks who now we know as neo-conservatives because they have two things that they care about, one is strong defense, for whatever reason they like that, an activist foreign policy, and pro-Israel, no questions asked policy. So many of these conservative, pro-defense democrats, anti-Communist democrats abandoned the democratic party at the time of Jimmy Carter, particularly after the time of Jimmy Carter and his summit working on Middle East peace. And they came over to eth Republican party, and of course they came over with a great deal of money and a great deal of political influence and a great deal of voters. So now they’re in the Republican party, and absolutely, this happened, late 1970s. so it is not, these are not the Republicans that we grew up thinking about, but they are in the Republican party now. Of course the Republican party now isn’t anything like what I thought it was, it’s certainly no Goldwater party, it’s a party of big spending, it’s a party of corruption. What do you want me to say? They love big government, they haven’t seen a big government plan they didn’t like.
JAMES HARRIS: Henry “Scoop” Jackson was the guy you were looking for. As we continue to search for the truth, and that’s pretty much the motto of Truthdig, we don’t believe we have the answer, but we believe that we should at least be looking for the answers. So as we approach that truth around the issues that take place in Iraq and perhaps Iran, we think you might be a good friend to have close to the Truthdig family so we’d like to check in from time to time.
KAREN KWIATKOWSKI: Sure, I’d be delighted, it’s great fun talking. And hopefully maybe in a couple of months some of these negative things I think are going to happen, maybe they won’t happen.
JAMES HARRIS: Maybe we’ll all be proven wrong… whatever the case…
JOSH SCHEER: I’m praying for it.
JAMES HARRIS: We’re both praying, even though Josh is not a religious man.
JOSH SCHEER: Oh, excuse me, I am a religious man.
KAREN KWIATKOWSKI: Maybe we’re in a foxhole together. You know what they say, there are no atheists in a foxhole, and I think in political sense, many true conservatives and classical liberals, people that love freedom, unlike George Bush, people that really love freedom, we are in a foxhole. We are threatened. And so we gotta call on every little bit of help we can possibly get.
JOSH SCHEER: I believe in God, I don’t believe in big religion, just like I don’t believe in big government.
JAMES HARRIS: There you go, we’re in a foxhole, so we’re on the same team.
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