The US-Iraq War
The US-Iraq War, commonly referred to as The Iraq War, has its roots in an apparent wish of US president George W. Bush to invade Iraq, which he expressed as early as the Fall of 1999: "One of the keys to being seen as a great leader is to be seen as a commander-in-chief... My father had all this political capital built up when he drove the Iraqis out of Kuwait and he wasted it... If I have a chance to invade, if I had that much capital, I'm not going to waste it."
When the 2001-09-11 attacks on the United States occurred, Bush clearly saw that event as a kind of "instant political capital", and seized his opportunity to push through an invasion while the American people and their elected representatives were unlikely to question his undocumented justifications, most of which turned out later to be false (and some of which he knew to be false at the time), nor to notice that he had not in fact met the requirements set by Congress when they provisionally authorized the war.
The war officially began in 2003 with the US invasion of Iraq; the invasion phase officially ended on 2003-05-01, with Bush's arrival on the USS Abraham Lincoln and the infamous "Mission Accomplished" banner. The US has continued to occupy Iraq despite mounting costs in both dollars and lives and despite growing opposition both within the US and internationally.
The ongoing "war" in Iraq, with its vaguely-defined and diffuse enemy ("terrorists"), is a companion peace to Bush's war on terror, successor to the war on drugs which had more or less reached the end of its political usefulness. They are both used as a dependable excuse, swallowed only by the very gullible, to continue excessive, corrupt, and illegal government activities (including torture) without oversight or responsibility. The occupation itself continues to claim lives and run up costs (and a budget deficit) now in the trillions of dollars, with inescapable and devastating long-term effects on the US economy.
- Wikipedia: Iraq War
- Mother Jones: Lie by Lie: The Mother Jones Iraq War Timeline (8/1/90 - 6/21/03)
- Iraq editorials at Salon.com
- 2009-05-16 [Talk|Index] Obama Can’t Turn the Page on Bush § “...Rumsfeld approved [a collection of daily cover sheets] for the Secretary of Defense Worldwide Intelligence Update, a highly classified digest prepared for a tiny audience, including the president, and often delivered by hand to the White House by the defense secretary himself. These cover sheets greeted Bush each day with triumphal color photos of the war headlined by biblical quotations. GQ is posting 11 of them, and they are seriously creepy.”
- 2009-02-18 [Talk|Index] The Iraqi Prisoner § The author exposes the US-Iraq War as a huge-stakes version of a very old con game, played out on an international scale.
- 2009-02-16 [Talk|Index] Missing Iraq billions could be ‘greatest fraud in US history’ § “Monday, The Independent’s Iraq correspondent Patrick Cockburn reported the inspectors believe misuse may account for over $50 billion, exceeding the scope of Bernie Madoff's massive Ponzi scheme and making it potentially the "greatest fraud in US history."”
- 2008-07-10 [Talk|Index] Bush's Banned Interview: An Insight Into Insanity § “The video shows Bush at the absolute peak of his arrogance -- convinced of his own rhetoric about Iraq, flooded with confidence from international subservience to American power, and high off a crushing military victory that reinforced his childish fantasies of American power and preeminence. .. The problem was, Coleman was having none of it, and what transpired was a unique insight into the warped brain of the least respected and most hated president in the history of the United States.” Classic Bushism: "My job is to do my job." Page with direct video link: 2006-11-13 BANNED Pres. Bush Interview
- 2008-07-01 [Talk|Index] Obama on pride -- and dissent -- in America § “Adams' Alien and Sedition Act, Lincoln's suspension of habeas corpus, Roosevelt's internment of Japanese Americans â€“ all were defended as expressions of patriotism, and those who disagreed with their policies were sometimes labeled as unpatriotic. .. In other words, the use of patriotism as a political sword or a political shield is as old as the Republic. Still, what is striking about today's patriotism debate is the degree to which it remains rooted in the culture wars of the 1960s â€“ in arguments that go back forty years or more. In the early years of the civil rights movement and opposition to the Vietnam War, defenders of the status quo often accused anybody who questioned the wisdom of government policies of being unpatriotic. ... Most Americans never bought into these simplistic world-views â€“ these caricatures of left and right. Most Americans understood that dissent does not make one unpatriotic, and that there is nothing smart or sophisticated about a cynical disregard for America's traditions and institutions. And yet the anger and turmoil of that period never entirely drained away. All too often our politics still seems trapped in these old, threadbare arguments â€“ a fact most evident during our recent debates about the war in Iraq, when those who opposed administration policy were tagged by some as unpatriotic, and a general providing his best counsel on how to move forward in Iraq was accused of betrayal.”
- 2008-05-27 [Talk|Index] White House 'puzzled' by ex-spokesman's book bashing Bush § “The White House Wednesday said it was "puzzled" by a former spokesman's memoir in which he accuses the Bush administration of being mired in propaganda and political spin and at times playing loose with the truth.”
- 2008-05-02 [Talk|Index] Ex-Iraq commander accuses Bush Administration of 'gross incompetence' § “Hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars were unnecessarily spent, and worse yet, too many of our most precious military resource, our American soldiers, were unnecessarily wounded, maimed, and killed as a result. In my mind, this action by the Bush administration amounts to gross incompetence and dereliction of duty.”
- 2008-03-24 [Talk|Index] The conservative case for Barack Obama § by Andrew J. Bacevich: “Barack Obama is no conservative. Yet if he wins the Democratic nomination, come November principled conservatives may well find themselves voting for the senator from Illinois. Given the alternatives â€” and the state of the conservative movement â€” they could do worse.”
- 2008-03-18 [Talk|Index] The Iraq War Is Killing Our Economy § “To date, the government has spent more than $522 billion on the war, with another $70 billion already allocated for 2008. .. With just the amount of the Iraq budget of 2007, $138 billion, the government could instead have provided Medicaid-level health insurance for all 45 million Americans who are uninsured. What's more, we could have added 30,000 elementary and secondary schoolteachers and built 400 schools in which they could teach.”
- 2008-02-11 [Talk|Index] How the spooks took over the news § “For the first time in human history, there is a concerted strategy to manipulate global perception. And the mass media are operating as its compliant assistants, failing both to resist it and to expose it.”
- 2008-02-10 [Talk|Index] Army stifles critique of postwar Iraq planning § “The Army is accustomed to protecting classified information. But when it comes to the planning for the Iraq war, even an unclassified assessment can acquire the status of a state secret. .. That is what happened to a detailed study of the planning for postwar Iraq prepared for the Army by the RAND Corp., a federally financed center that conducts research for the military.” (And much making of lame excuses ensued.)
- 2008-02-08 [Talk|Index] After Hard-Won Lessons, Army Doctrine Revised § “The Army has drafted a new operations manual that elevates the mission of stabilizing war-torn nations, making it equal in importance to defeating adversaries on the battlefield.” Well, better late than never...
- 2007-11 [Talk|Index] A Death in the Family § by Christopher Hitchens: "Having volunteered for Iraq, Mark Daily was killed in January by an I.E.D. Dismayed to learn that his pro-war articles helped persuade Daily to enlist, the author measures his words against a family's grief and a young man's sacrifice."
- 2007-09 [Talk|Index] What's in a name? § “Norman Podhoretz, in a famous essay, argued that [the war on terror] is, in fact, World War IV, Number Three being the Cold War. The author has now expanded his thesis into a short and characteristically trenchant book in which he argues vigorously in support of the "Bush Doctrine"...”
- 2007-08-03 [Talk|Index] Conquering the Drawbacks of Democracy § “President Bush can fail in his duty to himself, his country, and his God, by becoming ex-president Bush or he can become President-for-Life Bush: the conqueror of Iraq, who brings sense to the Congress and sanity to the Supreme Court.”
- 2007-03-08 [Talk|Index] The Deserter's Tale § “I would say to us it's "they're guilty till they're proven innocent", to us all Muslims were terrorists. That's the way we were taught and it's the way we conducted our business. ... We had no justification after all them homes that I raided, there was no justification. I felt that we were more antagonising, causing in my picture to myself, we had become the terrorists. I wasn't getting terrorised. I was more doing the terrorising. ... Raiding the homes, taking their sons and their husbands. If they were over five foot tall they were sent off regardless of whether anything was found in that house or not.”
- 2007-03-05 [Talk|Index] The Redirection § by Seymour M. Hersh: “Is the Administrationâ€™s new policy benefitting our enemies in the war on terrorism?” Points out that the Iraq War benefits Iran, but seems to assume that nobody could have foreseen this -- when it was in fact predicted by David Brin (and possibly others), who suggested at the time that this fact should be used to obtain concessions from Iran thus making the present situation less likely. The fact that this was not done adds to the case that the Bush administration is actually looking for excuses to go to war rather than trying to prevent it.
- 2006-11-13 [Talk|Index] BANNED Pres. Bush Interview § “This is a video I found of an Irish TV interview with President Bush. I later found out that this interview was not shown on American television because it was banned! Why you ask, take a look and see...” Commentary: Ben Cohen
- 2006-09-23 [Talk|Index] Spy Agencies Say Iraq War Worsens Terrorism Threat § “A stark assessment of terrorism trends by American intelligence agencies has found that the American invasion and occupation of Iraq has helped spawn a new generation of Islamic radicalism and that the overall terrorist threat has grown since the Sept. 11 attacks.” ... “It also examines how the Internet has helped spread jihadist ideology, and how cyberspace has become a haven for terrorist operatives who no longer have geographical refuges in countries like Afghanistan.”
- 2006-03-20 [Talk|Index] Pro-Israel lobby in U.S. under attack § 2=“Professor John Mearsheimer of the University of Chicago, author of "The Tragedy of Great Power Politics" and Professor Stephen Walt of Harvard's Kenney School, and author of "Taming American Power: The Global Response to U.S. Primacy," are leading figures American in academic life. .. They claim that the Israel lobby has distorted American policy and operates against American interests, that it has organized the funneling of more than $140 billion dollars to Israel and "has a stranglehold" on the U.S. Congress, and its ability to raise large campaign funds gives its vast influence over Republican and Democratic administrations, while its role in Washington think tanks on the Middle East dominates the policy debate. .. And they say that the Lobby works ruthlessly to suppress questioning of its role, to blacken its critics and to crush serious debate about the wisdom of supporting Israel in U.S. public life.” repost, with comments and additional links. Apparently one of the points made by the book is that the US-Iraq War was not about oil.
- 2005-01-12 [Talk|Index] The Torture Myth § “Worse, you'll have the other side effects of torture. It "endangers our soldiers on the battlefield by encouraging reciprocity." It does "damage to our country's image" and undermines our credibility in Iraq. That, in the long run, outweighs any theoretical benefit. Herrington's confidential Pentagon report, which he won't discuss but which was leaked to The Post a month ago, goes farther. In that document, he warned that members of an elite military and CIA task force were abusing detainees in Iraq, that their activities could be "making gratuitous enemies" and that prisoner abuse "is counterproductive to the Coalition's efforts to win the cooperation of the Iraqi citizenry." Far from rescuing Americans, in other words, the use of "special methods" might help explain why the war is going so badly.” Includes quotes from US military officers (retired and not) supporting this thesis.
- 2003-05-22 [Talk|Index] Executive Order Protecting the Development Fund for Iraq and Certain Other Property in Which Iraq Has An Interest § “I, GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United States of America, find that the threat of attachment or other judicial process against the Development Fund for Iraq ... constitutes an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States and I hereby declare a national emergency to deal with that threat.”
- AfterDowningStreet.org: "nonpartisan coalition ...[working]... to pressure both Congress and the media to investigate whether President Bush has committed impeachable offenses in connection with the Iraq war"
- Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW)
- 2007-01-22 "The Iraq War and the Sicilian Campaign" by Brent T. Ranalli, Part I and Part II: a history lesson from 415 BC, in which Athens, a "superpower" of the day, was ultimately destroyed by over-investment in an ill-considered war
- 2006-07-12 Exchanges with Mr. Bailey, a high school student (who may or may not have been actually a meme spammer)
- 2005-08-30 Just one question for opponents of the war by Dennis Prager
- 2007-10-30 graph: 2007 United States Research and Development Investments in Different Types of Energy Compared to the Cost of the War in Iraq
- 2003-10-02 Misperceptions, the Media and the Iraq War: Study Finds Widespread Misperceptions on Iraq Highly Related to Support for War
- 2007-05-17 I Drew This: some people warned the Bush supporters that invading Iraq would be a bad idea. The Bush supporters did it anyway, and then declared victory when there had hardly been enough time to see how things were going to shape up. Then, when the situation finally blew up in their faces, the Bush supporters blamed the nay-sayers for being defeatist.
- Apple Presents the iRack from MadTV
- We Want Iraq (originally written for the 1991 Gulf War)