George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and Colin Powell’s whopper got the 21st century off to an ugly start. From Scott Ritter at consortiumnews.com:
Regime change, not disarmament, was always the driving factor behind U.S. policy towards Saddam Hussein. Powell knew this because he helped craft the original policy.
The New York Times Magazine has published a puff piece soft-peddling former Secretary of State Colin Powell’s role in selling a war on Iraq to the UN Security Council using what turned out to be bad intelligence. “Colin Powell Still Wants Answers” is the title of the article, written by Robert Draper. “The analysts who provided the intelligence,” a sub-header to the article declares, “now say it was doubted inside the CIA at the time.”
Draper’s article is an extract from a book, To Start a War: How the Bush Administration Took America into Iraq, scheduled for publication later this month. In the interest of full disclosure, I was approached by Draper in 2018 about his interest in writing this book, and I agreed to be interviewed as part of his research. I have not yet read the book, but can note that, based upon the tone and content of his New York Times Magazine article, my words apparently carried little weight.
Regime Change, Not WMD
I spent some time articulating to Draper my contention that the issue with Saddam Hussein’s Iraq was never about weapons of mass destruction (WMD), but rather regime change, and that everything had to be viewed in the light of this reality—including Powell’s Feb. 5, 2003 presentation before the UN Security Council. Based upon the content of his article, I might as well have been talking to a brick wall.
Powell’s 2003 presentation before the council did not take place in a policy vacuum. In many ways, the March 2003 U.S.-led invasion and subsequent occupation of Iraq was a continuation of the 1991 Gulf War, which Powell helped orchestrate. Its fumbled aftermath was again, something that transpired on Powell’s watch as the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in the administration of George H. W. Bush.
When George W. Bush was president, the mainstream media hated him. However, to the mainstream anyone looks like a saint compared to President Trump. From James Bovard at mises.org:
Former president George W. Bush has returned to the spotlight to give moral guidance to America in these troubled times. In a statement released on Tuesday, Bush announced that he was “anguished” by the “brutal suffocation” of George Floyd and declared that “lasting peace in our communities requires truly equal justice. The rule of law ultimately depends on the fairness and legitimacy of the legal system. And achieving justice for all is the duty of all.”
Bush’s declaration was greeted with thunderous applause by the usual suspects who portray him as the virtuous Republican in contrast to Trump. While the media portrays Bush’s pious piffle as a visionary triumph of principle, Americans need to vividly recall the lies and atrocities that permeated his eight years as president.
In an October 2017 speech in a “national forum on liberty” at the George W. Bush Institute in New York City, Bush bemoaned that “Our politics seems more vulnerable to conspiracy theories and outright fabrication.” Coming from Bush, this had as much credibility as former president Bill Clinton bewailing the decline of chastity.
Most media coverage of Bush nowadays either ignores the falsehoods he used to take America to war in Iraq or portrays him as a good man who received incorrect information. But Bush was lying from the get-go on Iraq and was determined to drag the nation into another Middle East war. From January 2003 onwards, Bush constantly portrayed the US as an innocent victim of Saddam Hussein’s imminent aggression and repeatedly claimed that war was being “forced upon us.” That was never the case. As the Center for Public Integrity reported, Bush made “232 false statements about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and another 28 false statements about Iraq’s links to Al Qaeda.” As the lies by which he sold the Iraq War unraveled, Bush resorted to vilifying critics as traitors in a 2006 speech to the Veterans of Foreign Wars.
Posted in Foreign Policy, Geopolitics, Government, History, Media, Military, Politics, War
Tagged George W. Bush, Iraq War lies, Minority home ownership, Patriot Act
Nothing is more helpful for establishing establishment credentials than being consistently and spectacularly wrong about big issues, like the Iraq War in 2003. From Eoin Higgins at commondreams.org:
Former President George W. Bush’s former press secretary Ari Fleischer appeared on Fox News January 2 to claim the assassination of Iranian military commander Qasem Soleimani would be welcomed by Iranians. It was not. (Image: Fox News/screenshot)
As President Donald Trump spent the early days of 2020 instigating and then backing down from a potentially catastrophic confrontation with Iran, corporate media in the U.S. turned to the very same people who promoted the country’s worst foreign policy disaster in a generation to advocate for repeating the mistakes of two decades ago.
The decision of networks and cable news outlets like CNN, MSNBC, and Fox News to bring on a stream of past advocates for and architects of the 2003 invasion of Iraq was panned by progressives who watched in horror and frustration as the same arguments were deployed in service of all-out war with Iran.
The US strike against Iran and the assassination of Qassam Solemaini may provide some benefit to Israel and improve the political standing of Benjamin Netanyahu. No good will come of it for the US, however. This will certainly not be the first time US intervention in the Middle East has benefited Israel to the detriment of the US. From VIPS at consortiumnews.com:
“We write with a sense of urgency suggesting you avoid doubling down on catastrophe,” VIPS tells Donald Trump in its latest memo to the president.
January 3, 2020
MEMORANDUM FOR: The President
FROM: Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS)
SUBJECT: Doubling Down Into Another “March of Folly”?
The drone assassination in Iraq of Iranian Quds Force commander General Qassem Soleimani evokes memory of the assassination of Austrian Archduke Ferdinand in June 1914, which led to World War I. Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei was quick to warn of “severe revenge.” That Iran will retaliate at a time and place of its choosing is a near certainty. And escalation into World War III is no longer just a remote possibility, particularly given the multitude of vulnerable targets offered by our large military footprint in the region and in nearby waters.
What your advisers may have avoided telling you is that Iran has not been isolated. Quite the contrary. One short week ago, for example, Iran launched its first joint naval exercises with Russia and China in the Gulf of Oman, in an unprecedented challenge to the U.S. in the region.
Posted in Foreign Policy, Geopolitics, Governments, History, Intelligence, Military, War
Tagged Benjamin Netanyahu, Iran, Iraq War, Iraq War lies, Israel, Qassam Solemaini assassination
Once upon a time skeptics of the Official Iraq Story were labeled “conspiracy theorists.” Now they’re labeled “correct.” From Caitlin Johnstone at caitlinjohnstone.com:
I watched the film Official Secrets the other day, which I highly recommend doing if you want to rekindle your rage about the unforgivable evil that was the Iraq invasion.
Which is a good thing to do, in my opinion. Absolutely nothing was ever done to address the fact that a million people were murdered with the assistance of government lies just a few short years ago; no new laws were passed mandating more government transparency or accountability with its military operations, no war crimes tribunals took place, no new policies were put into place. No one even got fired. In fact we’ve seen the exact opposite: the people responsible for unleashing that horror upon our species have been given prestigious jobs in government and media and the US government is currently collaborating with the UK to set the legal precedent for charging under the Espionage Act any journalist in the world who exposes US war crimes.
The corrupt mechanisms which gave rise to the Iraq invasion still exist currently, stronger than ever, and its consequences continue to ravage the region to this very day. The Iraq war isn’t some event that happened in the past; everything about it is still here with us, right now. So we should still be enraged. You don’t forgive and forget something that hasn’t even stopped, let alone been rectified.