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Since the New Deal, Republicans have been on the wrong side of every issue of concern to ordinary Americans; Social Security, the war in Vietnam, equal rights, civil liberties, church- state separation, consumer issues, public education, reproductive freedom, national health care, labor issues, gun policy, campaign-finance reform, the environment
and tax fairness. No political party could remain so consistently wrong by accident.
The only rational conclusion is that, despite their cynical "family values" propaganda, the Republican Party is a criminal conspiracy to betray the interests of the American people
in favor of plutocratic and corporate interests, and absolutist religious groups.
Why? Because they're evil GOP bastards!
The mainstream press is
much too timid and/or dumb to connect the introduction of electronic voting with the sudden "inexplicable" failure of previously reliable polling methodologies.
Iraq: Staying the Course with Lies, Arrogance and Stupidity
by Jack Hughes
Vice President Cheney's recent characterization of those question-
ing the Bush administration's truthfulness in its case for war with Iraq as "rewriting history" is ironic in that his diatribe against his Iraq war critics is itself an Orwellian attempt to rewrite history.
As the truth slowly trickles out, it has become apparent to a majority of Americans that Iraq posed no danger to the national security of the United States of America; Iraq had no weapons of mass destruc-
tion; had no relationship to Al Qaeda or the attacks of 9/11; and posed no threat to its neighbors.
Why then did the Bush adminis-
tration: a) manipulate intelligence to exaggerate the threat while hiding exculpatory evidence; b) minimize risk to US service personnel and US diplomatic isolation; c) ignore the likelihood of Iraqi instability and of increasing Muslim sympathy to Islamist ideology? These were all very real risks that any competent analysis would have revealed.
The only explanation is that they wanted this war. The question is why.
In another irony of the Iraq war, Bush blew a chance for a Teddy Roosevelt "Big Stick" moment of presidential greatness. If there were serious concerns about Saddam Hussein's weapons capabilities in the aftermath of 9/11, Bush's resolute show of force to compel compliance with UN weapons inspections resolutions would have been considered a great success. With the buildup of US forces on Iraq's borders, UN inspectors were given free reign to examine any-
where in Iraq without harassment
If Bush had stopped after succes-
sfully forcing intrusive inspections -- neutralizing a potential threat to the region and to a traumatized post- 9/11 America -- he would have been considered a hero not just in America but all over the world.
But the Bush administration never wanted Hussein's compliance, and viewed the UN inspection teams' access as an obstacle to their war plan. Rather than guiding the inspectors to where the "suspec-
ted" weapons sites were located, Bush ordered them out of Iraq -- less they fall victim to the first
wave of Shock and Awe.
Even still, the UN inspectors were able to confirm what we knew when Hussein's son-in-law defected: Iraq's WMDs and WMD programs were destroyed after the first Gulf War. If we knew there were no prohibited weapons in Iraq, and logic dictated that Saddam's secu-
lar Baathist regime was hostile to Islamist groups like Al Qaeda, we're again left with "Why did we invade Iraq?"
The answer is domestic politics,
oil and stupidity (not necessarily
in that order). One has to consider the timing of the 2002 mid-term elections as it related to the Iraq war. The Bush administration's case for war was treated as more of a political campaign than as a serious bi-partisan national security issue. As with most GOP political campaigns (especially campaigns managed by Karl Rove), the truth was nothing but a convenient talking point and integrity was
just a slogan.
For the Republican masterminds in the Bush administration, the Iraq war was seen as a way to make the Democrats (who would presum-
ably resist invading a country that did not threaten us) look "weak" on defense and the war on terror, and the Republicans look "strong" -- and thus provide GOP gains in Congress.
As shaky as Bush's case for war was at the time, a majority of congressional Democrats were shamefully manipulated into voting to give Bush the power to wage
war (which the voters rewarded
by sending fewer Democrats to Washington).
But surely Bush and the Repub-
licans would not jeopardize the lives and limbs of US service personnel and countless Iraqi civilians -- not to mention hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars -- just for crass political advantage. Think again.
Consider this confession by author Micky Herskowitz, who was originally selected to ghost-write Bush's autobiography:
"He (Bush) was thinking about invading Iraq in 1999. It was on his mind. He said, 'One of the keys to being seen as a great leader is to be seen as a commander-in-chief.' And he said, 'My father had all this political capital built up when he drove the Iraqis out of Kuwait and he wasted it.' He went on, 'If I have a chance to invade…, if I had that much capital, I'm not going to waste it. I'm going to get everything passed that I want to get passed and I'm going to have a successful presidency.'"
Bush's intent to invade Iraq long before 9/11 was also confirmed by former Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neil. A member of the National Security Council, O'Neil was shocked to learn that deposing Hussein was the first order of bus-
iness at the very first meeting of
the NSC, eight months before 9/11. Oil concessions were even being discussed at that early date.
Bush's defenders -- those who insist the Bush administration was the victim of "bad intelligence" -- must willfully ignore these facts.
George W. Bush looked at 9/11 not as a tragedy, but as an opportunity.
The truth is that we were recklessly and deliberately led into a needless bloody quagmire merely to achieve political gain and personal glory for George W. Bush, and to enact a radically utopian Neocon theory through military force.
Many of those same Bush defen-
ders were the enablers and archi-
tects of the Iraq war, chief among
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Iraq: Staying the Course Continued
them the Neocon foreign-policy "experts" who advised
the untutored ("cakewalk/ troops met with flowers") Bush. Billed as the "Vulcans," they seriously thought (or now claim to have thought) they could impose democracy in Iraq by force, and not coincidentally, wind up controlling the world's second-largest oil reserves.
While we knew none of these "experts" ever served during the Vietnam war, apparently none of them ever studied it either. The Vulcans didn't understand the basic calculus of military occupation: We can't kill enough of the indigenous hostiles to make them go away (in fact, the tougher we get, the more hostiles we create); but
they can kill enough of us to make us go away.
Vulcans? These knuckleheads should be more accu-
rately referred to as Klingons. After all, it is these same geniuses that instituted our policy on torture.
Imagine the combination of stupidity and arrogance required to: a) find the use of torture to be useful as an intelligence-gathering method despite all historical and psychological evidence to the contrary and unanimous recommendations against it by the uniformed military and intelligence professionals (stupidity), and b) be oblivious to the predictable shock and revulsion in the civilized world that America would engage in such a practice on
a routine basis (arrogance) -- especially in light of its obvious stupidity.
So now we're stuck in Iraq. We had no real national- security reasons for going in, yet stuck we are. We are spending $1.25 billion a week (that we know of) on the occupation. So far, we've had over 2,100 US personnel killed and over 15,000 maimed. We have 160,000 troops currently stationed in Iraq. They are never safe. Mortar shells and rockets are launched without warning. Every soldier on every convoy on every road in Iraq runs the
risk of sudden explosive death or dismemberment.
In Iraq, electricity, water and sewage are still below pre-war levels. Construction is difficult when men with guns come and kill the workers or the heavy equipment is bombed. The borders are not controlled. Iraq is in chaos.
For our soldiers, death can come at any time from any direction. But they heroically follow their orders. They bravely believe in the mission. They idealistically want to make Iraq a democracy and to make it worthy of their and their comrades' sacrifice. Most are too young and too trusting to ever believe that their leaders, who utter such noble words about democracy, God and country, are in reality evil men without honor or conscience.
Stupidity and arrogance has now become our official strategy in Iraq. It's called "Staying the Course." Naturally, the Neocons don't realize they're recycling Vietnam-era spin on this one, but it goes something like this: We must honor the blood uselessly spent by our soldiers in Iraq by uselessly expending more blood. It worked great in Vietnam -- along with "Vietnam-ization"
(we should look for the Iraq variant soon).
America lost over 50,000 men in Vietnam, but suffer-
ed no real US national security damage when the South fell to the Communists. Bush's misadventure in Iraq, while hopefully wasting fewer American lives, will poten-
tially have much greater adverse effects for US interests. The decapitation of Saddam Hussein's secular Baathist regime will ultimately result in a Shiite theocracy closely aligned with (if not controlled by or absorbed into) Iran -- controlling a significant portion of the world's oil.
That result will be, of course, disastrous for legitimate US national security interests. But it will be a disaster of our own making. American troops should not needlessly suffer the punishment they're sustaining when the end result is so inevitable -- just so that our incompetent leaders can continue to hide their cluelessness behind empty slogans like "Staying the Course."
Construction of all permanent US military bases in Iraq should be halted. We should redeploy US forces to con-
centrate on controlling the borders and get our troops out of the daily line-of-fire -- and begin a gradual withdrawal.
While not a perfect solution, these measures may temper Iraqi nationalist resistance to the occupation and reduce the carnage. The arrogant fools who got us into this
mess have left us few other options.
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GOP Scandal Scorecard
It Can't Happen Here? The Case for Ballot Tampering in the 2004 Elections
The Madness of George W. Bush: A Reflection of Our Collective Psychosis
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The Florida Republican Recount Riot: A Consortorium report on how paid GOP operatives circumvented the democratic process through mob violence
Timeline of Bush administration's Iraq war lies
Caught on Film: Bush rhetoric versus reality
The October Surprise: The Reagan campaign committed treason against the US to ensure the defeat of Jimmy Carter in 1980, and got away with it
How heretical cult leader / convicted felon Sun Myung Moon achieved such influence over the Republican Party (and shameless televangelist lackeys like Jerry Falwell)
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Theocracy Watch: American Taliban endangers freedom from religion
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Hall of Shame
Evil GOP Bastard of the Month
Poster Boy for the Revanchist Right
& US Supreme
Paper trail? Jeeze, does this guy have a paper
trail -- like his application to become deputy assistant attorney general in
the Reagan administration. In the application, he confessed "I am part-
icularly proud of my contributions in recent cases in which the government argued that racial and ethnic quotas should not be allowed and that the Constitution does not protect a right to an abortion." Alito also revealed he was "motivated in large part by disagreement with Warren Court decisions, particu-
larly in the areas of criminal procedure, the Establishment Clause and reappor-
tionment." Reapportionment refers to the concept of "one man, one vote, a cornerstone of US voting rights legis-
lation. Perhaps Alito would be better suited for the Supreme Court of the
old Confederacy. MORE