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Monday, June 16, 2014

Bush's Toxic Legacy In Iraq

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Alan: If George Bush and Dick Cheney had not waged their Whimsy War on Iraq, thus undermining a stable country that was Ronald Reagan's staunch ally -- a country with no WMD and no involvement in 9/11 -- the current ISIS crisis would not exist. 


"George Will Documents Reagan's Collusion With Saddam Hussein's Use Of Chemica Weapons"


ISIS' seizure of Mosul and Tikrit (Saddam Hussein's hometown) would have been inconceivable --- like The Tea Party winning the Oval Office, both houses of Congress and packing the Supreme Court with nine judges all named Antonin Scalia.  
The prospect of a 9/11-type terror strike launched on the United States from Iraq or Syrian soil would have been unthinkable except in the delusional minds of paranoid xenophobes whose constituency (spearheaded by Wolfowitz, Cheney, Rumsfeld and Bolton) was solely responsible for kicking every hornet's nest in the Islamic world, then wondering why blowback was biting them in the ass.
If tables were turned, Americans would have already launched terror attacks across the Middle East. 

In fact, we already have. 

The entire Iraq War -- from inception onward -- has been an unrelenting exercise in state-sponsored terrorism perpetrated by Uncle Sam.
During the run-up to The Iraq War, everyone with an internet connection and a folded cortex was aware that the invasion was monstrously stupid -- and grotesquely unjust.  (Pope Benedict XVI declared the war unjust. http://paxonbothhouses.blogspot.com/2012/07/pope-benedict-xvi-questions-if-modern.html)
Remember "Shock and Awe?" 

Remember "The Power of Pride?" 
Who's shocked now? 
And what about the pride - which, predictably, came before the fall - the pride, the Smirk-Snarl arrogance that wasted all those lives? 
The dead, the maimed?
The Americans, the Iraqis?
Since the Vietnam War, two lessons are as plain as potatoes. 
"You don't get involved in somebody else's Civil War." 
"And you don't start them." 
Forget either lesson and American soldiers come home in caskets having accomplished nothing. 

We owe our troops trustworthy guidance, not swashbuckle, bluster and monkey business chest-thumping.


Fear-driven Christians,  cheerleading the Apocaplypse,  are the most reprehensible actors in this whole sordid scenario.

These "conservatives" - particularly these "Christians" -- are America's Taliban.  

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"Terrorism And The Other Religions"

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Make no mistake. Bush-Cheney launched The Whimsy War on sheer trumpery and brazen fabrication. 

Even so - and despite a million dead - they will "walk." 

Not only will they walk, they will be revered as praiseworthy public servants, who took "extraordinary measures" to "protect The Homeland." 

Despite "Hair On Fire" Intelligence Briefings, Bush Ignored Intel Re Imminent Attack

http://paxonbothhouses.blogspot.com/2014/09/despite-hair-on-fire-intelligence.html




In addition to the dead, millions of maimed Iraqis are hidden from view by DOD's obsessive focus on "body counts."

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Also hidden from view are tens of thousands of maimed GIs.

Image result for bush cheney toxic war in iraq

All for nothing.

Less than nothing.

Burnt offerings on the altar of Bush-Cheney's chest-thumping ego.

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"For misleading the American people, and launching the most foolish war since Emperor Augustus in 9 B.C sent his legions into Germany and lost them, Bush deserves to be impeached and, once he has been removed from office, put on trial along with the rest of the president’s men. If convicted, they’ll have plenty of time to mull over their sins."
Israeli War Historian, Martin van Creveld, the only non-American on the U.S. Military Officer Corps' required reading list.
http://paxonbothhouses.blogspot.com/2013/09/costly-withdrawal-is-price-to-be-paid.html

Hans Blix' Fruitless Search For WMD And Bush/Cheney's Rush To War In Iraq

Cheney's Lucid 1994 Rationale For NOT Invading Iraq. Conservatives "Must" See This

"The Fall Of Iraq. Jawdropping Video Footage Of Cheney, Albright, Gen Clarke & Others"


STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • When Bush administration attacked Iraq, it argued there was a Hussein-al Qaeda connection
  • Peter Bergen: Exhaustive research found absolutely no evidence of a connection
  • Ironically, the U.S. invasion provoked the creation of an al Qaeda arm in Iraq, Bergen says
  • Bergen: U.S. military fought back against al Qaeda in Iraq, but now U.S. has departed
Bush's Toxic Legacy In Iraq

Peter Bergen

Editor's note: Peter Bergen is CNN's national security analyst, a director at the New America Foundation and the author of ""The Longest War: The Enduring Conflict between America and Al-Qaeda," which this story draws upon.
(CNN) -- ISIS, the brutal insurgent/terrorist group formerly known as al Qaeda in Iraq, has seized much of western and northern Iraq and even threatens towns not far from Baghdad.
From where did ISIS spring? One of George W. Bush's most toxic legacies is the introduction of al Qaeda into Iraq, which is the ISIS mother ship.
If this wasn't so tragic it would be supremely ironic, because before the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003, top Bush officials were insisting that there was an al Qaeda-Iraq axis of evil. Their claims that Saddam Hussein's men were training members of al Qaeda how to make weapons of mass destruction seemed to be one of the most compelling rationales for the impending war.
Peter Bergen
Peter Bergen
Iraq under siegeIraq under siege
After the fall of Hussein's regime, no documents were unearthed in Iraq proving the Hussein-al Qaeda axis despite the fact that, like other totalitarian regimes, Hussein's government kept massive and meticulous records.
The U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency had by 2006 translated 34 million pages of documents from Hussein's Iraq and found there was nothing to substantiate a "partnership" between Hussein and al Qaeda.
Two years later the Pentagon's own internal think tank, the Institute for Defense Analyses, concluded after examining 600,000 Hussein-era documents and several thousand hours of his regime's audio- and videotapes that there was no "smoking gun (i.e. direct connection between Hussein's Iraq and al Qaeda.)"
How should the U.S. intervene in Iraq?
Is the U.S. Embassy safe in Iraq?
Expert: ISIS went for 'easy pickings'
The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence concluded in 2008, as every other investigation had before, that there was no "cooperative relationship" between Hussein and al Qaeda. The committee also found that "most of the contacts cited between Iraq and al Qaeda before the war by the intelligence community and policy makers have been determined not to have occurred."
Instead of interrupting a budding relationship between Hussein and al Qaeda, the Iraq War precipitated the arrival of al Qaeda into Iraq. Although the Bush administration tended to gloss over the fact, al Qaeda only formally established itself in Iraq a year and a half after the U.S. invasion.
On October 17, 2004, its brutal leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi issued an online statement pledging allegiance to Osama bin Laden. Zarqawi's pledge was fulsome: "By God, O sheikh of the Mujahideen, if you bid us plunge into the ocean, we would follow you. If you ordered it so, we would obey."
Zarqawi's special demonic genius was to launch Iraq down the road to civil war. In early 2004, the U.S. military intercepted a letter from Zarqawi to bin Laden in which he proposed provoking a civil war between Sunnis and Shia.
Zarqawi's strategy was to hit the Shia so they would in turn strike the Sunnis, so precipitating a vicious circle of violence in which al Qaeda would be cast as the protector of the Sunnis against the wrath of the Shia. It was a strategy that worked all too well, provoking first sectarian conflict in Iraq and later civil war.
Al Qaeda in Iraq, or AQI, regularly attacked Shia religious processions, shrines and clerics. The tipping point in the slide toward full-blown civil war was al Qaeda's February 2006 attack on the Golden Mosque in Samarra, which is arguably the most important Shia shrine in the world.
Three years into the Iraq War, AQI seemed all but unstoppable. A classified Marine intelligence assessment dated August 17, 2006, found that AQI had become the de facto government of the western Iraqi province of Anbar, which is strategically important because it borders Jordan, Syria and Saudi Arabia and makes up about a third of the landmass of Iraq.
In addition, AQI controlled a good chunk of the exurban belts around Baghdad, the "Triangle of Death" to the south of the capital and many of the towns north of it, up the Tigris River to the Syrian border.
Thus AQI controlled territory larger than New England and maintained an iron grip on much of the Sunni population.
In other words, the Bush administration had presided over the rise of precisely what it had said was one of the key goals of the Iraq War to destroy: a safe haven for al Qaeda in the heart of the Arab world.
By 2007, al Qaeda's untrammeled violence and imposition of Taliban ideology on the Sunni population provoked a countrywide Sunni backlash against AQI that took the form of Sunni "Awakening" militias. Many of those militias were put on Uncle Sam's payroll in a program known as the "Sons of Iraq".
The combination of the Sunni militias' on-the-ground intelligence about their onetime AQI allies and American firepower proved devastating to al Qaeda's Iraqi franchise. And so, between 2006 and 2008, AQI shrank from an insurgent organization that controlled territory larger than the size of New England to a rump terrorist group.

But AQI did not disappear. It simply bided its time. The Syrian civil war provided a staging point over the past three years for its resurrection and transformation into the "Islamic State of Iraq and Syria," or ISIS. And now ISIS has marched back into western and northern Iraq. Only this time there is no U.S. military to stop it.

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