10 years later: documenting the true history of the Bush Administration

“The true history of my administration will be written 50 years from now, and you and I will not be around to see it.” — George W. Bush

On this day in 2003, a U.S. led coalition invaded Iraq. President Bush said the goal of Operation Iraqi Freedom was to “disarm Iraq, to free its people and to defend the world from grave danger.” The Iraqi invasion was strongly supported by Vice President Cheney. As Defense Secretary during the 1991 Gulf War, he opposed an invasion of Iraq, saying it wasn’t worth the casualties or “getting bogged down.” The U.S. combat role in Iraq ended last year after 4,486 Americans were killed, another 32,223 wounded. Direct spending on the Iraq war is estimated at $757 billion, a figure that does not include interest on money borrowed to finance the war — or taking care of veterans. A Brown University study in 2011 said it may also cost $1 trillion more (through 2050) to care for veterans of the 105-month war. On this day in 2011,  President Obama ordered air strikes on Libya.

MARCH 19: On this day in 2003, a U.S. led coalition invaded Iraq. President Bush said the goal of Operation Iraqi Freedom was to “disarm Iraq, to free its people and to defend the world from grave danger.” The Iraqi invasion was strongly supported by Vice President Cheney. As Defense Secretary during the 1991 Gulf War, he opposed an invasion of Iraq, saying it wasn’t worth the casualties or “getting bogged down.” …A Brown University study in 2011 said it may also cost $1 trillion more (through 2050) to care for veterans of the 105-month war.

OFFICIALS KNEW Iraq Had No Weapons of Mass Destruction

British and U.S. intelligence agencies “were informed by top sources months before the invasion that Iraq had no active WMD programme, and that the information was not passed to subsequent inquiries,” according to the Guardian.

MOTHER JONES: According to the first-ever comprehensive count of the true toll of the combined wars, the estimate the [Bush Administration] used to sell the invasion in 2003 was about 100 times too low. (i.e. $50-60 billion):

So what did that $6 trillion get us, exactly? Since we borrowed to pay for much of the war, we’re facing nearing $4 trillion in cumulative interest between now and 2053, according to the 30 researchers who worked on the Costs of War report for Brown University’s Watson Institute for International Studies.

To date, according to the report, medical and disability claims of U.S. war veterans of Iraq have reached $84 billion; ongoing care for wounded Iraq war vets and their families is expected to require nearly $500 billion more over the next several decades. Homeland Security got $245 billion in additional funding thanks to increased threats of terror—real, imagined, and staged—over the last ten years. On-the-ground operations alone ended up being 16 times more expensive than the Bush cabinet’s original estimate for the entire enterprise.

Apparently the Office of Management and Budget was really, really bad at math for a while there in 2003.


PAUL KRUGMAN wonders why there seems to be so little coverage of the 10-year anniversary:

Well, it’s not hard to think of a reason: a lot of people behaved badly in the runup to that war, and many though not all people in the news media behaved especially badly.

It’s hard now to recall the atmosphere of the time, but there was both an overpowering force of conventional wisdom — all the Very Serious People were for war, don’t you know, and if you were against you were by definition flaky — and a strong current of fear. To come out against the war, let alone to suggest that the Bush administration was deliberately misleading the nation into war, looked all too likely to be a career-ending stance. And there were all too few profiles in courage.

The war, then, was a big test — a test of your ability to cut through a fog of propaganda, but also a test of your moral and to some extent personal courage. And a lot of people in the media failed.

42% OF AMERICANS REMAIN COMFORTABLY DELUSIONAL, IGNORANT

53% of Americans believe the United States “made a mistake sending troops to fight in Iraq” while 42% say it was not a mistake. — a new Gallup poll

FACT: 100% of that 42% also believe this woman should lead the country

FIVE YEARS AGO TODAY:

Cheney: On the security front, I think there’s a general consensus that we’ve made major progress, that the surge has worked.  That’s been a major success.
Martha Raddatz: Two-third of Americans say it’s not worth fighting.
Cheney: So?
Martha Raddatz: So?  You don’t care what the American people think?
Cheney: No.

TEN YEARS LATER: “I did what I did. It’s all on the public record, and I feel very good about it. If I had to do it over again, I’d do it in a minute.” — Cheney in a new  documentary which aired last Friday.

10 COMPANIES PROFITING THE MOST FROM WAR: The 10 biggest arms producers accounted for more than half of the 2010 sales. The composition of those sales reflects the state of modern warfare, as battles are now often fought with remote surveillance and air strikes instead of ground combat.

Click here for a closer look at each company.

In this charmed circle of American capitalism, Lockheed Martin-, Boeing-, and Raytheon-manufactured munitions destroy Iraq; George Schultz’s Bechtel Corporation and Dick Cheney’s Halliburton rebuild Iraq; and Iraq oil pays for it all.” — Who Benefits from Global Violence and War: Uncovering a Destructive System

Unfortunately military contractors and the politicians they handle walked away from the Iraq-Oil Party with greatly increased wealth and power, and left generations of American taxpayers to foot the bill.

NEVER FORGET:

“Maybe the American people can be brainwashed into forgetting why we supposedly went to war. Near as I can tell, our national memory span is down to about two weeks, and the media have been spectacularly unskeptical on this issue. But the rest of the world is not going to forget that WMDs were our primary reason for an unprovoked, pre-emptive war.” — the late Molly Ivins’ from April 29, 2003, barely a month after Shock ‘n Awe

If you want a new war, vote Santorum


THIS IS SANTORUM’S CRITICISM OF THE U.S. RESPONSE to the 2009 Iranian protests and Daniel Larison’s response:

Iran’s mullahcracy has been at war with us for over 30 years. And in 2009 there was a chance to end that. There was a chance for freedom in Iran. I have been a believer and an advocate for that possibility since my service in the Senate. I authored the Iran Freedom Support Act which, among other things, provided millions of dollars for the pro-democracy movement in Iran. At first my bill was opposed by both President Bush and Senator Obama. Both eventually relented, but neither implemented that provision while president.

As a result we were not ready when the spark struck. So, rather than supporting the dissidents there-dissidents asking for our help-the president continued his policy of engaging (and effectively supporting) the mullahcracy. The result? The dissidents were brutally crushed. Now, instead of being able to face a leadership in Iran that would be grateful to us today, we still have the same leadership in Iran that wants to destroy us and our allies in the region.

Let us make no mistake about what happened there: We sided with evil because our president believes our enemies are legitimately aggrieved and thus we have no standing to intervene.

Let’s count up the false and misleading statements. Contrary to what Santorum said, the Green movement did not represent an opportunity to overthrow the regime. That was not the Green movement’s purpose or its goal. There was nothing that the U.S. could have constructively done that would have aided them, so the charge of being unprepared is rather silly. It is a matter of record that Iranian NGOs found U.S. funding to be more of a detriment than an advantage, and it is also the case that the Green movement generally did not want U.S. or other foreign assistance. So it has nothing to do with believing that enemies are “legitimately aggrieved,” and a lot to do with the recognition that the Iranian opposition didn’t want and couldn’t use our help.

Oddly enough, one reason that the Green movement didn’t want U.S. assistance was exactly the reason Santorum gave for why the U.S. should have provided it: to make a new Iranian leadership indebted to us. The second half of their slogan, which was “na menat’e Amrika,” meant that the Green movement did not want to owe anyone outside their country.

There’s more…

AND HERE’S A GREAT OBSERVATION about military-industrial complex and a war with Iran, via: mohandasgandhi:

P.S. Halliburton sold Iran nuclear technology something like 4 years ago. So, we’re sanctioning a country we sold nuclear technology to because we don’t want them to have it, which could potentially lead to a war that Halliburton would profit from.

This is how the military industrial complex works.