Tuesday, March 20, 2018

20 March 2003

15 years since the imbecilic invasion of Iraq by Bush Junior and Deadeye Dick Cheney and Don Rumsfeld.

It led to the rise of the head-chopping and liver-eating Daesh (AKA Islamic State) and 15 years later we are still there in Iraq and also in Syria, but the war has a different name.

It led to the shameful legalization, albeit temporarily, of torture.  Destroying the reputation of my country in the minds of much of the rest of the world.  Changing the name of Uncle Sugar to Uncle Sadism or Uncle Swine perhaps.

$2 trillion in initial costs!  That will rise to $6-trillion due to healthcare costs and compound interest according to Brown University studies.  Those figures do not include the current costs of the ongoing war against Daesh.  My latest great-grandbaby will be still paying off that debt when she is my age.

The gallons of blood on all sides, military and civilian, that have been and are still being shed there is uncountable and a bit hard to conceive in the 21st century.

And yet:

Rumsfeld received the <i>'Defender of the Constitution Award'</i> after he retired:

Cheney was recently honored with a bust in the US Capitol building:

Junior Bush received the <i>'Thayer Award'</i> from West Point last October:


As pointed out to me, the invasion of Iraq also:

helped al-Qaeda to become stronger

helped Iran to become more influential

helped China to become a superpower

helped Vladimir Putin look like a Statesman


  1. And all of this because a cabal of fools and knaves used an attack on their country to launch a war of aggression, the crime for which German and Japanese leaders were tried for and hanged for. And the skeevy bastards have never so much as missed a meal over it and STILL consider themselves statesmen and heroes for it.

    Look around. The trail from Iran-Contra leads past Baghdad to today's Oval Office and Capitol Hill. We and the peoples we harmed are still paying for the crimes committed by these men.

  2. I think it's instructive to note as well that the day was marked by a vast outpouring of...nothing. Every September 11th we have to enjoy retrospectives about The Day That Will Live In Infamy! and yet about this? Crickets.

    The American public does not and, given the storyline surrounding it will not ever, see this as the crime it was. There are many ways the news organizations have failed our republic. But the soft-selling of this cluster of fuck may be among the most despicable.

  3. I don't see the China link, but the inability of the society to punish those who failed grossly is remarkable. One could consider it evidence of a flawed society and political culture (if any such evidence was still needed).

    German politicians paid little price for having been more or less supportive of the aggression - the leaders of the two biggest parties of the time were compromised in that way, and there's still no way around having at least one of both parties in a ruling coalition. That's a systemic problem as well.

  4. I wonder if we're not suffering from some sort of "combat fatigue". I mean...look at us here? PFK, who gave part of his youth and strength in these endless, pointless BushWars...where was he yesterday? Ranger Jim, whose very website is "Against War" - where was his incandescent post roaring for the heads of the men who committed these crimes? Andy? JD? Lisa?

    Even our own barstaff here couldn't be arsed, most of us, to raise our weary heads to glare angrily at the bastards whose greed, hubris, and stupidity killed millions and caused millions more endless suffering. The rest of the country could barely have been bothered to even recall the day of the event.

    Christ, what a shitshow of a nation we have become.

  5. It's also instructive to note that while I call them "fools and grifters" that's not the heart of what the Bushies were. They were ideologues, and their "idea" was that the root of all the "problems" were not amorphous "terror" groups but "rogue states" like Saddam's Iraq. That's a huge part of why they wanted the war; it would be proof that war in the Middle East would work and solve the festering post-Ottoman post-imperial post-Israel troubles. After the supposed big win in '91 (that was spoiled by the "failure" to take Baghdad...) THIS time the grownups would show the hippie lib'rul peaceniks how the World REALLY worked.

    And the take-home lesson is that bad ideas matter. I think too often we fixate on the Trumpkins obvious graft and corruption. And, yes, those are bad. But it's the authoritarian, racist, neo-Nazi heart, the longing for a New White Gilded Age, that forms the big Bad Idea for the American Right. And that, more than the grifting, presents such a hazard to this nation and, by inference, to the World.

  6. https://www.politico.com/story/2018/03/22/john-bolton-national-security-adviser-hr-mcmaster-trump-481721

    Well, that was certainly one of the ten worst possible options among all Americans who are well-known.
    I suppose the probability of an additional needless war before the 2018 congressional elections is at least 30% now.

    1. Alas, I agree. Maybe Canada will get lucky and be able to say "Sorry, we can't help you in Iran because we are too busy bombing Mali.

  7. Terrific piece by Fred Kaplan at Slate about how 1) the entire clusterfuck has been shoved down the memory hole, and 2) Dick Cheney needs to be in a cell somewhere for murdering, among others, thousands of American GIs.