October 24, 2010
Still Don’t Get It

I continue to be amazed at the willful blindness of even those who criticize the Bush/Blair warmongering.

There was no single reason why Britain and the US went to war in Iraq. The motives that inspired George W Bush and Tony Blair have been variously dissected, analyzed and psychoanalyzed. It is too early for history to have formed a settled view on the war, but the case that it was a monumental error gets ever more compelling.

There was no single reason? So you’re claiming it wasn’t about oil, that we would have invaded Iraq if its major export was figs or lumber? No one who’s honest with themselves could maintain such a position publicly.

If you want to make a case for multiple aims, then mention at least one of them. Along with stealing oil, there were certainly those who aimed at war profiteering, as always in American society. There were those who needed a nice foreign war to keep their positions of power and privilege. There were those who’d be jailed by a civilized society but were employed by the government in pursuit of murderous pleasures. Any mention of those? Not a bit of it.

The terrible truth about British and American involvement in Iraq seems increasingly to be that it was not just a strategic failure, it was, for the occupying powers, a moral catastrophe.

It is blindness like this that keeps generating the same kind of war over and over. In no sense that matters to decision-makers was the invasion of Iraq a failure. Are we still there? Yes. Is anyone pumping out the oil? No. That is success, folks, not failure. Ask Obama.


Posted by Chuck Dupree at October 24, 2010 04:06 PM
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Greg Palast phrased it nicely: It was about the oil, but what about the oil? Palast claims that there were two warring factions within the Bush administration, one of which wanted access to the oil, while the other wanted to keep the oil off the market.

Frank Rich holds the view that the war was launched to make Democrats look bad (like they needed the help.) Bush himself speculated in 1999 that as a war president he would have an easier time ramming through his domestic agenda.

And then there's Matt Taibbi: "Operation Iraqi Freedom, it turns out, was never a war against Saddam ­Hussein's Iraq. It was an invasion of the federal budget, and no occupying force in history has ever been this efficient. George W. Bush's war in the Mesopotamian desert was an experiment of sorts, a crude first take at his vision of a fully privatized American government."

Which is pretty damn close to the mark. Our conservative friends have not been at all reticent about their plan to bankrupt the federal government as a way of getting rid of any number of popular social programs, yea even unto Social Security. That's what Grover Norquist means by "starving the beast." (But you already knew that.) Ya know what's a really good way to bankrupt a government? If you said, "A trillion dollar (and counting) war with no end in sight" you get a gold star on your foreclosure notice!

I suspect when the truth comes out it will be all those things, plus a few others we as rational people could not imagine. One thing is certain now: this is the most dishonest war in all of human history. Any number of nations have used misdirection to launch a war - but we were the first to launch a war that is itself a misdirection.

This war was not a strategic failure. It was a success. Believe the war criminals when they say that the mission was accomplished. Now all we have to do is find out just what that mission was.

Posted by: Roddy McCorley on October 25, 2010 2:45 PM
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