Although it seems counterintuitive from a psychological perspective, but believe it or not there is some value in being reminded periodically, or repeatedly for that matter, of a disastrous occurrence if for no other reason than to avoid it in the future. Republicans consistently either forget or ignore their past disasters and in the preponderance of cases are intent on repeating them for reasons that defy all sense of logic and reason; it is just the Republican way of doing everything and adverse consequences be damned. Even though many Americans would like to either forget the national disgrace that was one of the Bush administration’s greatest disasters and affronts to humanity, or ignore it all together, the Iraq war is a nightmare that is a recurring reminder of the Bush administration’s crimes against humanity and the American people.
Nobel prize-winning economist Paul Krugman spent his allotment of words in the New York Times Monday on an opinion piece titled “Errors and Lies.” In the op-ed Mr. Krugman noted that with the “maybe” candidacy for president of Jeb Bush, “We may finally have the frank discussion of the Iraq invasion we should have had a decade ago.” Although having a discussion will not change the disastrous consequences of Bush and company’s crimes, bring back the three-quarters of a million dead Iraqi civilians or thousands of American soldiers, it may inform Americans of the intent of Republicans defending the invasion and occupation.
Krugman implies that the current narrative is that “invading Iraq was a terrible mistake that everyone admits, so let’s move on.” However, and here is where Krugman gets it partially right; that narrative may be true of some in the media, but not everyone admits the war was a mistake and no Republicans are admitting that the Bush administration lied to frighten Americans into supporting a disastrous enterprise they are panting to continue unabated.
As Krugman duly noted, Jeb Bush claims his brother’s disastrous war was just an innocent and honest mistake based on obviously faulty intelligence. Many Republicans claim it was exactly what the then-stable region needed and what the American people demanded to protect the homeland from nuclear annihilation launched from Bagdad. The truth that even Republicans are well-aware of is that America invaded Iraq because the Bush-Cheney administration desperately wanted a war with Iraq from the moment they stepped foot in the White House in January 2001.
The neo-con Iraqi invasion justifications in public were not, as Krugman kindly says “falsified pretexts;” they were well-conceived machinations founded on blatant lies. Lies the Bush warmongers employed as propaganda to frighten Americans into supporting a war they will be paying additional trillions of dollars for over a couple of generations. That it is not only acceptable, but defensible, to most Republicans still claiming invading Iraq was necessary is an abomination of epic proportions and part of their devious preparations for another Israeli-provoked war; this time with another Islamic nation, Iran.
There is no dearth of information revealing the Bush administration’s intent to invade Iraq, or more specifically, get rid of Sadam Hussein and procure Iraqi oil began early in the administration; they just needed a reason that would convince the American people a war was good for America. The terror attack on 9/11 gave them exactly what they lusted after for nearly nine months. In fact, according to notes taken by one of Donald Rumsfeld’s aides on the day of 9/11, Rumsfeld said the White House should “Judge whether good enough to hit S.H. [Saddam Hussein] …sweep it all up things related and not.” Rumsfeld knew Bush and Cheney could successfully use the attacks in their plot for an Iraq war. From that point forward, an Iraq invasion was inevitable and it was down to Bush administration lies and a willing media to spread fear among the population for what is always a ratings-bonanza; America at war.
For Americans with a brain, the rush to war based on 935 lies and fearmongering was apparent if for no other reason than the ever-changing reasons invading Iraq was crucial to “protect America.” Whether it was the scary W.M.D that Saddam destroyed after the first Gulf War, the nuclear arsenal that Saddam never had, Saddam’s close relationship and support for Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda, or Bush lies that Iraq committed the attacks on 9/11, the only consistent reason for invasion was to prevent America’s annihilation.
In a radio address in 2002, Bush succeeded in frightening Americans into supporting an invasion and war by lying that “The Iraqi regime possesses biological and chemical weapons, is rebuilding the facilities to make more and could launch a biological or chemical attack in as little as 45 minutes after the order is given. The regime has long-standing and continuing ties to al Qaeda terrorists inside Iraq. This regime is seeking a nuclear bomb, and with fissile material could build one within a year. We don’t want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud.”
The Bush administration wanted a substantial war with Iraq, and Jeb Bush’s assertion that the supposed mistakes “were made” by someone unnamed were borne of the neo-cons’ only desire to lie profusely no matter the intelligence contradicting their claims. Krugman wonders; “Did the intelligence agencies wrongly conclude that Iraq had chemical weapons and a nuclear program?” No, not according to Michael Morell, a career CIA official who became the agency’s deputy director and acting director and served as Bush’s intelligence briefer during the pre-invasion period. Morell told Chris Matthews on Tuesday that “the Bush-Cheney administration publicly misrepresented the intelligence related to Iraq’s supposed WMD program and Saddam’s alleged links to Al Qaeda.” That is not an honest intelligence “mistake” by Bush officials, that is deceit and in lying to take America to war, as Krugman states the obvious, it is indeed a crime.
Mr. Krugman also rhetorically asks if the Bush administration’s prewar assessments were honest understatements of the difficulty and cost of a full-scale invasion and occupation. No they did not; because Bush fired the Army’s chief of staff for publicly questioning the administrations assertions that the occupation phase would be cheap and easy. It was all part of the warmongers’ deceit to prevent the public from learning the truth that could possibly raise any doubts about the rush to invade. No matter how one assesses the Bush administration’s plot to invade Iraq, it was criminal.
Republicans just cannot, and will never, admit that Bush and company deliberately lied to frighten Americans into supporting a disastrous war of aggression in Iraq. It is not just that they are ill-inclined to admit their heroic war president’s lied and caused countless American and civilian deaths and created an economic black hole the effects the nation will feel for two generations; they are repeating the same lies in preparation for another war of aggression against the Islamic Republic of Iran at the behest of Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu. It is noteworthy, and tragic, that too many Americans are completely unaware that Netanyahu was a driving force in antagonizing Bush to invade Iraq for regime change. It was a crime in 2003 and one Republicans pant to repeat with Iran.
As Krugman says, the Iraq War and the Bush administration’s machinations to start it were not mistakes in intelligence, they were a crime. And yet the dirty, blood-guilty criminals are walking around free, advising another Bush, as well as other Republican neo-cons on foreign policy and blaming Barack Obama for Bush’s crime that destabilized the region in and around Iraq and created the dreaded ISIL. It is good that the Iraq invasion is being discussed in terms of whether it was a mistake, but as every parent tells their child, deliberately lying to achieve a goal is not a mistake and in the case of lying profusely to take a nation into a disastrous war, it is a crime that is still going unpunished.
Audio engineer and instructor for SAE. Writes op/ed commentary supporting Secular Humanist causes, and exposing suppression of women, the poor, and minorities. An advocate for freedom of religion and particularly, freedom of NO religion.
Born in the South, raised in the Mid-West and California for a well-rounded view of America; it doesn’t look good.
Former minister, lifelong musician, Mahayana Zen-Buddhist.