If only we could have more of these stories to drown out the vulgar noise emanating from all those “retired generals” and war-loving pundits.
Bannerman writes to “war-first-ask-questions-later Max Boot” – “I feel your pain and understand your defensiveness about being so wrong for so long about the Iraq War. Perhaps there is solace to be found in finally getting it right by calling your support an “Original Sin.” In the run-up to the invasion of Iraq, we all had the chance to choose the fruit from the cherry-picked tree of knowledge of good and evil. You made your choice and you’re going to have to live with it. Unfortunately, so do I.”
Yup to that. Live with it Max, in whatever what you can, stay strong. Those of us in the 28% – when it comes to understanding history, violence, psychology, war and Republican chicanery – were, at that time, 17 years ago, when Bush and his chickenhawks began awkwardly gesticulating about 'aluminum tubes, yellowcake, mushroom clouds and a conveniently evanescent, shape shifting al-Qaeda from Saudi Arabia and Yemen whom the administration tied to Iraq because they once bought figs there over the internet – all of us in that 28%, were simply smarter than you and the rest of the 72% who thought war was a correct course of action. You were wrong. Live with it.
But don’t forget Max, even though public opinion at that time was running 2 to 1 in favor of aggressive war, it would eventually switch around, 17 years later to 2 to 1 against it. Why? Because 1/3 of Americans always want war (for whatever reason is given), 1/3 of Americans only want war if the nation’s survivalist interests are at stake (which almost never happens) and war is chosen (or not) based on the feelings of the remaining middle third. These are the people that changed their minds over the last 17 years.
They changed their minds because after they learned they were lied to about Iraq having anything to do with 9/11, and were lied to about any weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, and having pondered the massive destruction of Iraq for no purpose and having now witnessed for 17 long years the rise of the National Warfare State at home (7 ongoing wars), and having realized that every citizen, for the last 17 years, has been charged $1,500 every year for this madness ($3,000 per year if you count interest on these unfunded wars), and realizing that all this is insanity and contrary to basic human needs of Americans – yeah, they changed their minds. Good for them.
From 1985 to 1988 I helped design the guidance system of the Harpoon and Tomahawk Cruise Missiles. At that time I assumed these would be used in the case of defense of Americans. Mistake. I quickly realized then that the government lied to me for all kinds of reasons having nothing to do with defense of America and Americans. Fearsome weapons of destruction are used for all kinds of reasons that have everything to do with money, ego, corporate interests, power and geo-strategic control – and very little to do with national security. I had to live with my, choice – now you get to live with yours.
Not sure if you are aware of it Max, but there are a several errors on your Wikepedia page. Your support of initiating violence against foreigners who have not named America as an adversary is not a political stance of “defense” but of warmongering. This stance of engaging in warfare for geo-strategic hegemony and not existential reasons also means you cannot call yourself “socially liberal,” as socially liberal people believe people everywhere have a right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, and that sociality includes the whole human family. Lastly, you are not fiscally conservative, as America’s aggressions against Iraq and Afghanistan were funded on credit at almost $6 Trillion Dollars – that’s 6,000,000 million dollars, or 6,000 billion dollars.
You are not what you say you are.
I like the way Bush 43, in his occasional extrusion of the English Language through a meat grinder, put it – “Fool me once . . . shame on you . . . Fool me . . . you can’t get fooled again.”
The new thing with the invasion of Iraq was that the American people had not in living memory been lied to as boldly by their own government about such a critical issue. Those people who wanted the war that has now set the Middle East afire in so many ways, realized 17 years ago that Americans trusted their government to tell them the truth, and that this trust could be easily abused. All governments get one chance to really lie big to their people, and since no U.S. presidential administration in living memory had ever lied like this before, the trust of the American people was an asset that could be easily seized. And seize it the Republicans and warmongers and “real men want to go to Bagdad and Tehran” folks did.
The whole point of these wars of choice (and the 7 ongoing ones) is not to make Americans safe, but to wreck other countries in the mistaken belief that doing so will cause others to not want to attack Americans. Actually, it does the exact opposite (as has long been noted.) It radicalizes the radicals who then become willing to sacrifice their lives to draw blood from Americans. Two million Vietnamese died in the war there. Think about that Max. War goes nowhere. The Vietnamese have ejected the French and now the Americans. The Baltic states have ejected the Soviet Union. The Koreans ejected the Japanese (after WWII). Eventually the aggressors get tired and go home.
We are now all paying the price for this stupidity. The nation has bankrupted itself on useless foreign wars – just like the Soviet Union did 30 years ago, and has squandered its treasure in the Middle and Far East.
It is a very good point though, the American people’s implied consent based on lies is one thing. The adherence to lies in the face of evidence is something else.
I think the 72% is a little misleading because that was after the US intervened. I think it was more about being patriotic than believing a lie. In fact, the UN spent a lot of time inspecting Iraq before the intervention and found no evidence of weapons of mass destruction. So I would say the majority of Americans probably didn’t believe the government and I believe the polls showed that a majority Americans were against the war unless it was sanctioned by the UN. The intervention had nothing to do with public support. Bush and Cheney were going ahead regardless of the public. In the UK I think only about 15% of the population supported going to war and yet Tony Blair joined the US in the fight. When these leaders decide they are going to war they go to war regardless of public opinion. Once the war starts most people are going to back their own country at least in the beginning. If things go bad then that support can be lost as happened in Vietnam and Iraq.
I choose firing squad.
Yeah, that’s the quiet, dirty little secret that our news media seems to keep missing. We keep thinking that our oil is all coming from anyplace but Iraq, don’t we?
Why was public opinion running 72% for the war? Perhaps you forget President Shrub standing among the ruins of the Twin Towers and verbally thumping his caved in little chest while sneering at the world saying “We’re coming to get you!” It was no accident that he made that statement on those piles of rubble instead of in the White House. Nothing like a good, bombed out building to get the ole American Red-Blooded Indignation roaring at a fever pitch. Have we forgotten what Mr. Shrub’s little speech did? Several Muslim citizens, quietly minding their own business were set upon by good ole boys and beat senseless or killed, just for the crime of looking like someone who might have flown a plane into the Twin Towers.
Bush got his little war and Haliburton got their nice profits. I want to be around in the next life when they get the justice that is coming to them.
We have trolls in these forums, as well as some people operating at roughly the level of consciousness of Mr. Boot and his fellow neoCONS who lied us into this situation. We also have some who, though not actually hostile, just have yet to “got it.”
FWIW, the “newspaper of record” in my state (NC) did a poll in January of 2003 and again in February. Both times they found a majority (quite a bit less than 72%) in favor of invasion, BUT ONLY IF IT WAS TO BE DONE WITHOUT U.S. “BOOTS ON THE GROUND.” (Clearly many people in this heavily pro-military state don’t know Jack about military matters.) Its headline omitted that crucial fact, and my local NPR affiliate followed suit. I have not given them a cent and not more than a couple of hours of my listening time since then.
Which really changes nothing and in fact reflects more poorly on the populace in that it seems to willing to inflict harm on another people who have done them no harm as long as no Americans hurt in the process.
Again, from its inception as a Country , the US Government has lied its people into war and the need for war over and over again. This was not a one off. The Gulf of Tonkin incident, as example , never happened. The Spaniards never sunk the Maine.
Guild, Instead of giving a pass to the 72% “who approved because they were lied to,” let’s say their failure to pay attention is their failure and they ought to have known they were being lied to; and, like the author notes, it was not popular to be opposed to the invasion because the 72% were quite gung-ho as well as viscious toward anti-war people, all while the anti-war people were trying hard to get them to listen to very good reasons why the invasion was so wrong.
… and North Korea …
Precisely. I read a number of articles from peoples in the USA opposed to that war and their reasons for their opposition and they were mocked and ridiculed as being un-american or as being “Saddam Apologists”.
This happens over and over again. Those opposed to intervention in Libya were labled as being tools of Qaddafi.
So then the Americans “who got it right” reelected Bush/Cheney … SO not right, and look where we still are today.
Lrx, on people finding it hard not to support the troops once we are at war … to support their staying in the war-- lending legitimacy to gov’t forcing them to be stuck in the war, to “win” a no-win situation-- this makes these “patriots” aiders and abetters to the lie. And then, there are “our troops” who keep volunteering to fight over there after the lie is exposed, though many are very young and impressionable.
Amen SuspiradeProfundus, well spoken!
But we cannot scapegoat Bush and Cheney for what the majority did.
Thanks SuspiradeProfundus and others, Peace!!!
Insider Alan Greenspan said it was for oil…he should know.