Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Wise Men

Why, in the name of you name it, are any of the original architects (and they compare to real architects the way a kid playing pickup sticks does) of the Iraq war given air time anywhere, let alone our so-called "mainstream" media?

If there's any justification at all, it ought only to be to demonstrate how utterly and disastrously wrong they were about everything going in. Everything. And then to play such comments as these, and to ask why the fuck we should listen to anything they have to say, ever again, unless it's an abject apology and and offer to spend the rest of their lives in prison, naked, on live TV.

There are other differences that suggest that peacekeeping requirements in Iraq might be much lower than historical experience in the Balkans suggests. There's been none of the record in Iraq of ethnic militias fighting one another that produced so much bloodshed and permanent scars in Bosnia along with the requirement for large policing forces to separate those militias. And the horrors of Iraq are very different from the horrific ethnic cleansing of Kosovars by Serbs that took place in Kosovo and left scars that continue to require peacekeeping forces today in Kosovo.
And this gem:

These are Arabs, 23 million of the most educated people in the Arab world, who are going to welcome us as liberators. And when the message gets out to the whole Arab world, it's going to be a powerful counter to Osama bin Laden… It will be a great step forward.
The prevarication, the misunderstandings, the claims of how easy it'd be, were dead wrong. Thousands of dead, wrong. Well, except for this:
Once you got to Iraq and took it over, took down Saddam Hussein’s government, then what are you going to put in its place? That’s a very volatile part of the world, and if you take down the central government of Iraq, you could very easily end up seeing pieces of Iraq fly off: part of it, the Syrians would like to have to the west, part of iteastern Iraqthe Iranians would like to claim, they fought over it for eight years. In the north you’ve got the Kurds, and if the Kurds spin loose and join with the Kurds in Turkey, then you threaten the territorial integrity of Turkey. 
That was Dick "Dick" Cheney explaining why they didn't march on into Baghdad after the Kuwait victory. What do you suppose had changed (other than having become CEO of Haliburton, that is) about the internal dynamics when he said this:

What do you think is the most important rationale for going to war with Iraq?
VICE PRES. CHENEY: Well, I think I’ve just given it, Tim, in terms of the combination of his development and use of chemical weapons, his development of biological weapons, his pursuit of nuclear weapons.
MR. RUSSERT: And even though the International Atomic Energy Agency said he does not have a nuclear program, we disagree?
VICE PRES. CHENEY: I disagree, yes.
Or, in the same interview, this:
MR. RUSSERT: If your analysis is not correct, and we’re not treated as liberators, but as conquerors, and the Iraqis begin to resist, particularly in Baghdad, do you think the American people are prepared for a long, costly, and bloody battle with significant American casualties? 
VICE PRES. CHENEY: Well, I don’t think it’s likely to unfold that way, Tim, because I really do believe that we will be greeted as liberators.
WMD, al-Queda camps, creating a paradise of democracy and America-love (coupla bases tossed in and oil alplenty). Kristol, Krauthammer, McCain, Graham, Wolfowitz, Feith, Paul fking Bremer, ferchrissakes!! All trotted out -- and not just, as expected, on Fox "news" -- as goddam oracli of Delpheri.

A well-informed electorate. By whom, pray tell? When this is what passes for reportage, for incisive investigation of the problems of our time, for addressing the complexities of impossibly complex situations (well, at least Jon Stewart does), by what magic will Americans come to their senses and demand better? If not now, when? How about putting this guy on TV? Instead of these disgraced ones?

It's become obvious as Ann Coulter's clavicles that we have only ourselves to blame. And by "ourselves" I mean those flocking to Fox "news" and right-wing radio for their preferred version of truth. We don't want complicated answers. We don't want to do the hard work, or to think beyond our immediate selves. Not enough of us, anyway. The teabagging idiots in Congress didn't just show up. They were elected. By voters. In America. Those news shows didn't get this way because of poor ratings. Fox set the standard, got the viewers, and the rest are following its lead to rake in the advertisers. And we (not me) watch this shit and consider it useful.

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