Wednesday, May 20, 2015


I suppose I'm somewhat pleased that, thanks to Jeb Bush, Republican presidential candidates are finding it necessary to repudiate the Iraq War, at least up to a point -- they still generally think overthrowing Saddam was a swell idea, and they're still insisting that we went to war because of an intelligence failure, rather than a deceitful White House propaganda campaign.

But while we've been experiencing schadenfreude watching Jeb, Marco Rubio, and other Republicans squirm, we're running the risk of turning the Iraq War into our Benghazi -- a past foreign policy blunder we're sure will decide future elections if we just keep talking about it. It's not going to work that way. Benghazi is not going to win the 2016 election for the Republicans and the Iraq War is not going to win the 2016 election for the Democrats.

And besides, while we're enjoying the GOP candidates' momentary discomfort, a different narrative is emerging on the Iraq War -- courtesy of the "liberal nedia."

Yes, I know: That's from Fox Nation, not the "liberal media." But Fox Nation linked that story from the Daily Beast:

And now here's NBC's Richard Engel with the same narrative:

ENGEL: For the hundreds of thousands of U.S. troops who fought in the Iraq War, the loss of Ramadi is painful and personal.... Back in 2004, Brian Iglesias was one of many Marines who made ridding Ramadi of Islamic radicals his life, his mission, risking everything, and losing friends to do it. We were there with him.... Back then, it worked. Ramadi was hard fought, and won. But today the city is in ISIS hands, and Iglesias, now a businessman in New York, is heartbroken....
Look, I'm sorry it worked out this way for everyone who fought there. But I'm not sorry we withdrew -- I'm sorry we sent these troops to a war we never should have asked them to fight. It's a harsh truth, but yes, their sacrifice was for nothing. That's our fault. They did what we asked them to do. We deserve to burn in hell for asking them to do it.

But this is the new narrative: Bush-level war forever, or you hate the troops.


Victor said...

"We deserve to burn in hell for asking them to do it."



Some of us fought tooth and nail against W's & Dick'd horrible Middle Eastern adventure.

And we'll be paying for this war for over a 1/2 century - in more blood, and a lot more treasure.

aimai said...

No one listens to the widows and the grieving parents when their spouses and children are taken from them, and no one listens to them now that they are in the position (supposedly) of wanting to throw good lives after bad deaths. This is all nothing but fakery, propaganda, and posturing. In reality very few Americans were killed in Iraq, it is the Iraqis who suffered, whose blood (if any blood) hallows their own territory. We've handled our own populatio with kid gloves, hidden from them the true cost of the war for the Iraqis been unable to admit to them, to educate them, on the cruel loss that their own children's lives were given the immorality and the war itself. I'm sorry for this woman and her loss. But lets not kid ourselves: the Fox News/Murdoch empire will manufacture these dead bodies to make its point even if such a mother never existed, or never said what she said. The reality of her life, or her son's death, is nothing to the goal of permanent militarization.

Unknown said...

Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq, three misadventures where men and women served and died in service of a lie.

mcfrank said...

Sunken Cost Fallacy on steroids!

Philo Vaihinger said...

Good morning, Vietnam.

petrilli said...

I get pretty pissed when people say "Well, at least Saddam is gone, and the world is better off for that" No, the world is not better off. We lost over 4000 troops and that price pales when compared to what the Iraqi people have paid. The whole region. But then, from the lens of a neo-con, this level of suffering and disfunction may look like success.

FDChief said...

Well, we chose - or, at least we didn't rebel when the people we elected chose - to "look forward, not back" in 2008. And here we are, with these same bastards still trying to lie their way to hustling the East.

I can't say it any better than I did back in 2013:

"...we petty men will - now and forever - creep between the broken legs of the statue in Firdos Square and peep about to find ourselves dishonorable graves.

The war may have killed thousands but completely spared the lives and even the public careers of the wretched, greedy, cowardly liars that summoned it from the depths of the Eblis of national fear, violence, and hubris. And we have chosen to accept that without demur. That is our shame. That is our crime; not that we committed the wrong but that we did not punish it when we saw that it was wrong.

The persistence of these Tin Gods in the public life of our nation is, and should be, a great enduring unbearable shame to us, all of us, us the We the People who were entrusted with the honor and truth of this nation. We have chosen to be a nation of Men rather than a nation of Law, chosen comfortable dishonor above painful rectitude, chosen the deaths of others rather than to sacrifice ourselves.

When our generation is remembered it should be for that, and for that above all. Whatever good we have done, whatever kindnesses we may do, the crimes for which we hung the defeated leaders of Nazi Germany, the crime of making aggressive war, the "crimes against peace" of Nuremberg; the crimes of others that by our acceptance and indifference we have made our own, will remain with us always. Like the unquiet ghosts of the dead of Baghdad, Ramadi, and Basra, like the mournful fragments of the GIs flown home inside plastic sacks, and like the cries of the headscarved women, weeping for sons and fathers and lovers vanished in the morning mists that rise above the Tigris as the merciless dawn floods the watermeadows with light as red as blood."

Ken_L said...

The inevitable result of trying to 'support the troops' while condemning the war is this kind of irrational 'but their deaths must not be in vain' nonsense.

Lots of soldiers' deaths are in vain ... wasted lives whose end had neither nobility nor meaning. The appropriate response is to savage the politicians and generals who sent them to die, not to demand that even more young people be thrown into the cauldron in an effort to get some return on the original investment.