Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Talk about missing the entire point

A reader or 'reader' of the Kansas City Star informs the editors:

I'm still struggling with the fact that our government had no post-war plans in place for Iraq. The day we rolled into Baghdad we sat idle and watched the 19 ministries, which ran the entire country, be destroyed by the Iraqi people.

Are you "struggling"? I think you've struggled most of your life and that comprehension seldom won out.

The 'informed' writer wants the world to know "I’m a lessons-learned kind of gal" despite the fact that she demonstrates no indication of learning a damn thing.

If you're "struggling" with the Iraq War, one might think you'd be struggling with the number of dead.

Or you might struggle to reconcile that the government lied. In fact, just last week that was AGAIN in the news. From the August 29th snapshot:

The lies of war, the war of lies. Bit by bit, the lies of the Iraq War are slowly exposed. As we noted in our conclusions on the Iraq Inquiry, it was obvious that Bully Boy Bush and then-British Prime Minister Tony Blair had agreed not to seek a second United Nations resolution (the first covered weapons inspectors, it did not allow for war, which is why then-UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan called it an "illegal" war). Today Chris Ames and Richard Norton-Taylor (Guardian) report that in October 2002, Bush and Blair decided they need not seek a second resolution to declare war on Iraq. This comes via an October 17, 2002 letter Tony Blair's secretary Matthew Rycroft wrote to then-Foreign Minister Jack Straw's secretary Mark Sedwill. Ryscroft cautions, "This letter is sensitive." And he underlines that. He goes on, "It must be seen only by those with a real need to know its contents, and must not be copied further." Ames and Norton-Taylor note:
The Downing Street letter is particularly significant against the background of the government's repeated emphasis in public at the time on the need to get UN approval before any invasion of Iraq. The "first resolution" referred to in Rycroft's letter was number 1441, passed unanimously in November 2002. Goldsmith and most of the government's legal advisers insisted a second UN resolution was needed before military action could lawfully take place.

[. . .]
Related, Sunday the former head of England's spy agency (MI5) Eliza Manningham-Buller is in the news cycle. BBC News reports she told BBC Radio Times that it was known in 2003 that Iraq was not threat, that a war with Iraq would likely increase domestic threats and that an Iraq war would be "a distraction" from the then-pursuit of al Qaeda. The Daily Mirror observes, "Britain's former spy boss has given her strongest condemnation yet of Tony Blair's ­decision to go to war in Iraq, saying he was told it posed no threat to the UK." Paddy McGuffin (Morning Star) adds:

Stop the War Coalition convener Lindsey German said: "It may well be that, in advance of Chilcot, which is due to publish its findings in the autumn, various people are distancing themselves from the decision to go to war.
"I'm glad she has said what she has as it is a vindication of the anti-war campaign but the decision to go to war was a failure not just of Blair but the whole Establishment including the security services and Parliament itself.
"There was no serious attempt by any of them to stop Blair. The only attempt came from the streets."

Tim Ross (Telegraph of London) observes, "Her comments, in an interview to mark the start of her three Reith Lectures, which will be broadcast on BBC Radio 4 this week, represent the most outspoken criticisms to date of the 2003 conflict by such a senior figure in the intelligence services."

Maybe instead of 'struggling' and 'obsessing' over the lack of a post-invasion plan, the letter writer should grasp that had an illegal war not been started to begin with, no 'post' plan would have been necessary.

The writer ends her letter insisting "sure hope that our government can learn so the same mistakes don't happen again." It's the letter writer that has lessons to learn. The government did what it planned to do. Start an illegal war, turn things over to thugs in order to frighten the people with the hopes that they'd be too stunned, frightened and meek to revolt and allow the US-installed puppets to do the US government's bidding. This nonsense has been going on forever, the crap that says, "The problem with the Iraq War was the post-invasion planning." No, the problem is the Iraq War itself, the problem is at the start of it.

You don't have to lie to start a just war. You don't have to lie to the citizens, you don't have to lie the world.

Just the fact that it had to start with lies determined the ground it would stand on.

If you're 'lessons learned' woman or man, start by learning that lesson and then learn the lesson that when speaking of your own "struggle" with the Iraq War, don't forget the people who have died in (and are still dying it) or the ones injured. They're the ones struggling, you're the one justifying an illegal war. There's a difference. There's a big difference.

Grasping your "struggle" with comprehension, we'll even provide you with an example. From Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen's "Still reeling from a rush to war in Iraq" (New York Daily News):

This is a melancholy season in Washington, much talk about the decline of America and how our vaunted system has broken down. I won't quibble. But the most consequential breakdown of our system is exemplified by waging an unnecessary war and then - history, brace yourself - the reelection of the incompetents who had done it. Is it possible that for all the treacly talk about "the fallen" and all our salutes to the troops, we care so little about them that we casually gave second terms to the very people who wasted their lives?
This lack of accountability is not limited to our ill-conceived military adventures. After all, the financial system collapsed, but afterward there were no metaphorical hangings. People of modest means, suckers fooled into thinking a home of their own was a gift of citizenship, lost it all, but the guys at the top had a couple of bad years and then got the bonuses they were accustomed to. We are a get-over-it nation, always moving on.
Still, Iraq was different. Lives, not homes, were lost - and the Middle East was thrown up into the air.

We'll close with this on the Ishaqi slaughter from Justin Raimondo's "Is America a Force for Good in the World?" (Antiwar.com):

If “American exceptionalism” means anything in this context, it is in the telling details: after all, if you’re going to kill a five year old, why handcuff her?
“This horrible story,” wrote Beinart in 2006, speaking about another atrocity, this one in Haditha, “powerfully underscores the liberal vision, which is this:
“We are not angels: without sufficient moral and legal restrictions, and under conditions of extreme stress, Americans can be as barbaric as anyone. What’s makes us an exceptional nation with the capacity to lead and inspire the world is our very recognition of that fact. We are capable of Hadithas and My Lais, so is everyone. But few societies are capable of acknowledging what happened, bringing the killers to justice, and instituting changes that make it less likely to happen again. That’s how we show we are different from the jihadists. We don’t just assert it. We prove it. That’s the liberal version of American exceptionalism, and it’s what we need right now in response to this horror.”
Beinart was wrong then, and he’s wrong now. Child murder, racist pogroms – what’s next, the liquidation of the kulaks?
The vast gulf between what America was, and what it has become, can be measured by the distance between Beinart’s uplifting rhetoric about “American exceptionalism” and the degraded reality of handcuffed children murdered by US soldiers. What we were was admired, and even loved, by freedom-seeking people the world over: what we have become is rightly hated by those same freedom-starved peoples.

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