Selling the Iraq War

Dick Cheney - Jailbird / http://mariopiperni.com/

The Iraq war was without a doubt Dick Cheney’s war. It was the war he wanted from the get-go and with the help of fellow neocons like Donald Rumsfeld and Paul Wolfowitz, it is the war he got by way of lies and deception. There were no WMDs and Cheney knew it from the beginning.

The Iraq war was responsible for the death of 4,486 U.S. soldiers and well over 100,000 innocent Iraqi civilians…and it’s a war for which Dick Cheney has never apologized.

You might want to tune in to Rachel Maddow’s show tonight at 9 PM. She’s hosting a documentary special based on the 2007 book Hubris: Selling the Iraq War. The book by Michael Isikoff and David Corn is a great read and a revealing behind the scenes look at how a group of determined lying chickenhawk bastards conned a nation to go to war.

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John McCain’s Never-Ending War

John McCain is still having problems accepting his 2008 defeat.

“It is clear that this decision of a complete pullout of United States troops from Iraq was dictated by politics, and not our national security interests,” said McCain from the Senate floor. “I believe history will judge this president’s leadership with the scorn and disdain it deserves.”

Seventy percent of Americans think otherwise.  That’s the number who agree with the President on the troop withdrawal.  But it’s a moot point anyway.  Iraqis wanted the U.S. out of their country.  Couple that with the 2008 agreement President Bush signed with Iraq which set the withdrawal date at December 31 2011 and there was little President Obama could have done even if he wanted to stay in Iraq for another “100 years”. (Remember McCain in the 2008 campaign stating how he’d have no problem keeping U.S. troops in for another 100 years?)

Get over it, John.  You lost.  Obama won.  You got your surge.  Iraq war is over.  But hey, if one of your boys wins next November, you’ll have the Iran war you’ve always wanted to keep you amused.

In the meantime, go plant a garden.

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Iraq – Mission Bloody Over

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This NY Times editorial hits all the right notes.

The speech also made us reflect on how little Mr. Bush accomplished by needlessly invading Iraq in March 2003 — and then ludicrously declaring victory two months later.

Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction proved to be Bush administration propaganda. The war has not created a new era of democracy in the Middle East — or in Iraq for that matter. There are stirrings of democratic politics in Iraq that give us hope. But there is no government six months after national elections.

In many ways, the war made Americans less safe, creating a new organization of terrorists and diverting the nation’s military resources and political will from Afghanistan. Deprived of its main adversary, a strong Iraq, Iran was left freer to pursue its nuclear program, to direct and finance extremist groups and to meddle in Iraq.

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There was no victory to declare last night, and Mr. Obama was right not to try. If victory was ever possible in this war, it has not been won, and America still faces the daunting challenges of the other war, in Afghanistan.

For this day, it was worth dwelling on this milestone in Iraq and on some grim numbers: more than 4,400 Americans dead and some 35,000 wounded, many with lost limbs. And on one number that American politicians are loath to mention: at least 100,000 Iraqis dead.

Exactly.  And most important of all…

President George W. Bush tried to make Iraq an invisible, seemingly cost-free war. He refused to attend soldiers’ funerals and hid their returning coffins from the public. So it was fitting that Mr. Obama, who has improved veterans’ health care and made the Pentagon budget more rational, paid tribute to them.

“At every turn, America’s men and women in uniform have served with courage and resolve,” he said on Tuesday night. He added: “There were patriots who supported this war, and patriots who opposed it. And all of us are united in appreciation for our servicemen and women, and our hope for Iraq’s future.”

And yet right-wing media types are complaining this morning that the President did not pay tribute to George Bush for implementing the surge.  Amazing.  These people will never acknowledge the damage done by Bush’s immoral war.

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Last Combat Troops Leave Iraq

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Breaking news.

The last U.S. combat troops were crossing the border into Kuwait on Thursday morning, bringing to a close the active combat phase of a 7½-year war that overthrew the dictatorial regime of Saddam Hussein, forever defined the presidency of George W. Bush and left more than 4,400 American service members and tens of thousands of Iraqis dead.

The final convoy of the Army’s 4th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, based at Fort Lewis, Wash., were about to enter Kuwait shortly after 1:30 a.m. (6:30 p.m. Wednesday ET), carrying the last of the 14,000 U.S. combat forces in Iraq, said NBC’s Richard Engel, who has been traveling with the brigade as it moved out this week.

“We won! We won! It’s over! We brought democracy to Iraq!” a soldier shouted as fellow soldiers celebrated their arrival in Kuwait this week.

Democracy in Iraq?  Maybe.  Maybe not.  The final act to this sad episode in American history has not yet been written but for the moment the important thing to note is that American combat troops will no long be part of this immoral war.

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Iraq – A War of Choice

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March 19, 2010 is the seventh anniversary of the Iraq invasion.

Almost 4400 American soldiers killed.

Over 31,000 American soldiers seriously wounded.

A hundred thousand innocent Iraqi civilians killed.

The cost?  Over a $100 billion per year for a total of $747 billion.

Current spending on Iraq:  $7.3 billion per month.

A war based on lies.

A war based on deceit.

A needless war.

A human tragedy.

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More statistics here.

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