You don't want to believe that Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11? There is no body of evidence that cannot be ignored.
You don't want to believe that Iraq doesn't have WMD? There is no body of evidence that cannot be ignored.
You don't want to believe in global warming? There is no body of evidence that cannot be ignored.
You don't want to believe that tax cuts for rich people don't increase tax revenues? There is no body of evidence that cannot be ignored.
As his presidential library and museum open, former President George W. Bush said he remains "very comfortable" with perhaps the most controversial decision of his presidency -- the invasion of Iraq -- as he pursues a post-presidency removed from the spotlight but active on a series of core issues.
In a wide-ranging interview that touched on everything from his brother Jeb Bush's presidential prospects, the Republican Party's future, and his new passion for painting, he told ABC News' Diane Sawyer he hopes the library and museum serve as resources for historians to judge him based on the same facts he had access to as president.
That includes his decision to invade Iraq, despite the fact that the world later learned that Saddam Hussein did not have weapons of mass destruction. The museum presents that information directly, Bush said.
"We're just laying out the facts. And that was a fact," Bush said. "I am comfortable in the decision-making process. I think the removal of Saddam Hussein was the right decision for not only our own security but for giving people a chance to live in a free society. But history will ultimately decide that, and I won't be around to see it.
"Just laying out the facts" -- like Colin Powell did at the UN, eh George?
For the record, 53% of Americans say the Iraq war was a mistake. And Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) let this slip in 2010:
“I will say that the decision to go in, in retrospect, almost all of us think that was a horrible mistake. …Now that we know that it cost a trillion dollars, and all of these years, and all of these lives, and all of this blood… all I can say is everyone I know thinks it was a mistake to go in now.”
A few years later, when (William F.) Buckley questioned the wisdom of the Iraq war and George W. Bush’s 2008 surge, he was all but drummed out of the conservative movement. “If you had a European prime minister who experienced what we’ve experienced, it would be expected that he would retire or resign,” Buckley once said of Bush. For such apostasies, Bush aides threatened to ban Buckley from the radio airwaves. (I know because I was there.)
Wow! Can you imagine what the reaction on the right would be if Obama aides had "threatened to ban" say, Rush Limbaugh, from radio? This should be a big scandal shouldn't it?
The Iraq war was immoral and unjust simply because they never attacked America, and I was wrong to support it.
In all my years, I never saw anything like the rationalizations made for America attacking another country that never attacked us. The irrational behavior of those in the media and in Washington after the tragedy of 9/11 was a big red blinking light and screaming whistle that many never bothered to acknowledge.
And as Lawrence O'Donnell highlights, Bill O'Reilly never apologized to Janeane Garofalo.
Thom Hartmann read this letter from Iraq War veteran Tomas Young today on his show. It is heartbreaking, angry, and brutally honest.
I write this letter on behalf of husbands and wives who have lost spouses, on behalf of children who have lost a parent, on behalf of the fathers and mothers who have lost sons and daughters and on behalf of those who care for the many thousands of my fellow veterans who have brain injuries. I write this letter on behalf of those veterans whose trauma and self-revulsion for what they have witnessed, endured and done in Iraq have led to suicide and on behalf of the active-duty soldiers and Marines who commit, on average, a suicide a day. I write this letter on behalf of the some 1 million Iraqi dead and on behalf of the countless Iraqi wounded. I write this letter on behalf of us all—the human detritus your war has left behind, those who will spend their lives in unending pain and grief.
I write this letter, my last letter, to you, Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney. I write not because I think you grasp the terrible human and moral consequences of your lies, manipulation and thirst for wealth and power. I write this letter because, before my own death, I want to make it clear that I, and hundreds of thousands of my fellow veterans, along with millions of my fellow citizens, along with hundreds of millions more in Iraq and the Middle East, know fully who you are and what you have done. You may evade justice but in our eyes you are each guilty of egregious war crimes, of plunder and, finally, of murder, including the murder of thousands of young Americans—my fellow veterans—whose future you stole.
Young speaks for every one of us who knew at the beginning that there was no reason to be in Iraq, other than oil lust. All of those lives lost, those young men and women injured and forever changed, all of it to serve the never-ending thirst for blood, oil and money.
Thank you, Mr. Tomas Young, for reminding us about what happens when media bows to fear and intimidation and greed prevails, and thank you, Thom Hartmann, for broadcasting it to your listeners.
The Iraq war has been raging for ten years now (Yes, ten f*&king years) and though it's finally winding down, it still remains one of the biggest debacles in American history. For any American, the idea that the U.S. went to war with Iraq because we wanted to control Iraqi oil fields was a common one, but was always refuted with vitriol by the pro-Iraq war factions of the country.
I was less impressed by Chalabi than were some others in the Bush administration. However, since one of those “others” was Vice President Cheney, it didn’t matter what I thought. In 2002, Chalabi joined the annual summer retreat of the American Enterprise Institute near Vail, Colorado. He and Cheney spent long hours together, contemplating the possibilities of a Western-oriented Iraq: an additional source of oil, an alternative to U.S. dependency on an unstable-looking Saudi Arabia.You might imagine that an administration preparing for a war of choice would be gripped by self-questioning and hot debate.
There was certainly plenty to discuss: unlike the 1991 Gulf War, there was no immediate crisis demanding a rapid response; unlike Vietnam, the U.S. entered the war fully aware that it was commencing a major commitment.Yet that discussion never really happened, not the way that most people would have imagined anyway. For a long time, war with Iraq was discussed inside the Bush administration as something that would be decided at some point in the future; then, somewhere along the way, war with Iraq was discussed as something that had already been decided long ago in the past.
In Frum's piece he does rewrite his own history if you read the whole piece but this was still an important revelation.
There was so much hatred spewed our way because it was plain to us that war with Iraq was a massive blunder which would lead into an immoral catastrophe.
Prior to the invasion of Iraq, nothing produced faster or more vicious attacks on war opponents than the claim that oil was playing a substantial role in the desire to invade. On February 23, 2003, then-Cogressman Dennis Kucinich appeared on Meet the Press and argued that oil was a primary reason for the US to want to invade Iraq, and in response, Richard Perle (Frum's co-author in their 2004 "An End to Evil") replied: "It is a lie, Congressman. It is an out and out lie." That exchange led the Washington Post's liberal columnist Richard Cohen to write this:
(15 key slides from the infamous 2003 UN presentation making the case for war with Iraq, with anotations. Click the pause button on lower left if slides change too fast for you.)
Ten years ago today (February 5, 2003) then Secretary of State Colin Powell delivered his infamous PowerPoint Presentation before a full session of the U.N., detailing "evidence" of Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein's chemical, biological and nuclear weapons development along with the development of advanced delivery systems.
(GlobalSecurity has the entire 45 slide presentation, plus videos, here.)
With a bit of Googling, I was able to find out just what became of each site/item depicted in these slides. Not a single item shown that day turned out to be true. While reviewing these slides, keep in mind that the United States went to war, and over 4,000 American troops (not to mention and untold number of Iraqi civilians) died based on the claims made in these slides.
(Author's Note: I suppose I have to tell insane Right-Wingers that this post should IN NO WAY be misconstrued as a "defense" of Saddam Hussein. The dictator of Iraq was a monster and earned his place in hell, but the world is FULL of evil dictators and the U.S. cannot be responsible for deposing all of them. Likewise, thousands of U.S. and coalition troops gave their lives fighting a war based on the "evidence" presented in this slideshow, and tens of thousands of Iraqi civilians died. In fact, arguably, more Iraqis died in our 8-year war than under the 24-year reign of Saddam Hussein.)
The House results on Election Day 2012 were the only bad things that happened in what was otherwise obviously a pretty great day for Democrats and progressives. The biggest question for 2014 is whether we can find a way of turning that result around. Part of the answer, of course, is dependent on how the economy is doing. If the pessimists are right and things are not looking good, we will lose seats not gain them. But even if the economy is okay, do we have a chance at being the House majority after the 2014 elections?
As many Democratic activists have pointed out, we actually won the overall votes in House races by the same 2% plus margin that Obama did, so re-districting dominated by Republican gerrymandering clearly played a big role in them holding on to the House. Democrats, though, are making a big mistake in attributing our failure solely to gerrymandering and essentially giving up on retaking the House the rest of this decade as many pundits are suggesting. I remember the same points being made after the 2002 and 2004 failures to retake the House, and in 2006 and 2008 we not only retook the House but added considerably to the margin in 2008.
The pundits will be predicting doom and gloom for sure. Not only did we fail to win the House back in a good Democratic year, they will remind us, but in the 6th year of a Presidency the president's party almost always loses seats. But historical trends never would have predicted a lot of things we have seen in politics over the last couple of decades (an African immigrant's son with a Muslim name being elected President for one, and then being re-elected in spite of a bad economy for another), and I've been in the middle of a couple big surprises in terms of the House over the years that are worth recalling here because of the lessons they teach.
I've always looked at my role in politics as that of "historian". In fact, the subtitle of my blog "Mugsy's Rap Sheet" is "Recording History for Those Who Seek to Rewrite it." Republicans have more than a bad habit of rewriting and white-washing history. Heck, the man Republicans have elevated to near sainthood... St. Ronnie... bears no resemblance to the man we knew as "Ronald Reagan" (I refer you to the book "Tear Down This Myth" for a detailed comparison.) And you'd THINK that since the invention of videotape, these numbnuts would stop thinking they can just make wild claims about The Bush Legacy without somebody calling them on it.
Back during the 2008 Presidential campaign, I couldn't help but notice how frequently & easily the Republican candidates (including Mitt Romney) would rewrite the history of how we ended up going to war with Iraq in order to paint Bush as less culpable. One of the most disturbing arguments was that we were FORCED to invade Iraq after "Saddam refused to allow the weapons inspectors back in", which I KNEW was a load of... eh, rubbish (this is a family site). So I dug through the BBC News archives and pieced together the following video. It's five years old now, but today on the eve of the third and final Presidential Debate, this time on foreign policy, with a Republican candidate whom has (as Rachel Maddow reminded us Friday) SEVENTEEN of his TWENTY-FOUR Foreign Policy Advisors comming from the Bush Administration, I thought that maybe now was the perfect time to look back for a moment to remember history as it actually happened, and think long & hard about possibly returning these people to the White House just four short years later:
Bush Kicked Out the Weapons Inspectors, Not Saddam (source video is nearly a decade old now, so please excuse the quality.)
Remember all the people that tried to tell us that George W. Bush was already planning the invasion of Iraq almost from the day he took office (with their eyes set on all that lovely oil)? President Bush's defenders (I call them "apologists", which riles them terribly because they don't think they have anything to apologize for) are quick to try and discredit those who dared say such things, but if you won't take those people's word for it, how about the word of George W. Bush?
Forget "9/11 changed everything", Bush was on the Iraq/WMD warpath from DAY ONE of his Presidential campaign.
And here we are once again, four short years later, flirting with the idea of electing another Republican president that appears to be hot for war in the Middle East, only this time, instead of Iraq, it's Syria and Iran. We've seen this movie before folks, and we already know how it ends.
In the middle of a heated debate with Newt Gingrich over foreign policy, Ron Paul spoke up with the one platform plank I agree with him on: Quit warmongering, stop going to war, and treat other nations like we want to be treated.
Unfortunately, the audience in South Carolina disagreed with Rep. Paul, booing and shouting at him, though it felt a bit disjointed to hear them turn around and cheer him saying we don't need any more wars.
He said maybe we should use the Golden Rule as our foreign policy...and then there were boos. Yikes.