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Will Candidates Turn “Shock and Awe” into Truth and Reconciliation?


Will Candidates Turn “Shock and Awe” into Truth and Reconciliation?

Stacy Bannerman

This weekend marks thirteen years since the “Shock and Awe” invasion of Iraq, and while the Presidential contenders have gone back-and-forth about the war, not one of them is leading the way forward. If they want to show they’re qualified for the Oval Office, promoting an American Truth & Reconciliation Commission (TRC) on the war would be a major step in the right direction.


They could release 10 more memos. MANY of us knew this from the get-go.

Tenet spoke of pressure to provide the Bush Junta with evidence of Saddam’s “guilt.”

The 911 commission made sure all evidence was promptly taken from the scene of the scenario of crimes.

Hans Blix was kicked out of Iraq before his team proved there were no WMD, and Scott Ritter (later treated to a character assassination campaign) said likewise.

The British ambassador went on record (in “The Downing Street Memo”) stating that the case was already being FIXED for war.

The Project for a New American century called for the destruction of 6 Middle East nations (most of that has been accomplished), and the NEED for a New Pearl Harbor. Enter 911 so “magically.”

So if you wish to get a Truth and Reconciliation Council operating, its logical starting point would not be the wars launched AFTER the fact; but rather, the necessary trigger used–in alliance with a massive disinformation campaign on a variety of fronts–to propel them.

“In recent weeks, another one of the lies that walked this nation into Iraq has been revealed. The latest falsehood was contained in a memo from the Pentagon to Rumsfeld, stating there was no proof of weapons of mass destruction. Those lies resulted in more than 35,000 American casualties, 165,000 dead Iraqi civilians, and trillions of taxpayers’ dollars wasted.”


What has to happen is not these truth and reconcilation commissions over wars like Vietnam and Iraq as mistakes. What has to be recognized it that every war the USA is involved in is one the country manipulated into .

It a great mistake to limit the focus to just those two wars. Lies were used to get into Korea,Libya, Kosovo, Somalia, Nicaraugua, Haiti and the list goes on and on and on. A truth and reconcilation commission on Iraq is pointless if all it does is serve as some sort of exoneration of all those other conflicts which is what it will do.

What needs to be examined is the entire MIC and an economy structured around making war all the time.

I was reading recently on the f 35 bomber fiasco. Through backchannels the US Military admits this aircraft a great mistake and will not do what it was intended to do. It so expensive they have to cut back on the numbers purchased and are considering keeping older aircraft for some 70 years to make up for those numbers. They feel they can not cancel the program as too many states are reliant on the JOBS it provides and too much money has been sunk into the program.

The Military is now advocating a generation 6 fighter to replace the F 35 and it already on the drawing board.

It that MINDset that at issue here. The war on Iraq was a symptom of the same. That mindset leads to the US Military and its Government always looking for wars to fight and if not finding any manufacturing reasons to start one. A truth and reconciliation commission on the war on Iraq can only conclude there no good reasons to wage that war but that said, when is there ever a good reason?


Precisely, Tom. The lesson learned by the military industrial complex (MIC) from ending the Viet Nam occupation four decades ago is that their eternal revenue stream is possible only with eternal wars and occupations. They will use shock doctrine strategies or whatever else it takes to make sure that their war profiteering is eternal, irrespective of how many at home and abroad are injured or killed. Coining the phrase “collateral damage” to bolster Gulf War support among the electorate takes away any guilt feelings we may have had about non military injury and death right ?


Truth is necessary for genuine reconciliation. With truth, reconciliation can follow. Without truth- i.e., with lies- reconciliation cannot be successful and lasting.

However, every viable candidate clings to the official, and false, story about the fateful day that served as casus belli.

A powerful sentence, originally from another context, applies to this “truth and reconciliation” issue:
“Half measures availed us nothing.”

So where is the truth that is necessary for true reconciliation? It’s not coming from any of the candidates.
The root problem might be [partially] described as '“too much smug satisfaction with too many unsatisfactory answers”.
Whatever the reason, not one of the 2016 candidates will go beyond a certain point- a point set by the example of Mr. Bush and continued by Mr. Obama- when it comes to truth.

All of them- from ex-president to sitting president to competing candidates- are of one mind, or appear to be, on the one issue most crucial to genuine reconciliation. Truth about that issue seems to be forbidden.


In the mid-80’s I worked for a very large general contractor that was awarded the contract to design-build the manufacturing facility to construct the B-1 bomber. An Army veteran that thankfully never saw combat I was just beginning to understand the full insanity of our MIC. I did rationalize my involvement by telling myself that the B-52 was antiquated and needed replacing, since we were not likely to forego a modern strategic bomber force.

We demolished and re-built a large section of the Rockwell International facility in Columbus, Ohio to install the tooling equipment for that monumental boondoggle. Every story you have ever heard about the corruption in the military procurement industry I witnessed first-hand. Cost over-runs caused by RI demands and extras that had nothing to do with the task at hand. But that is not the worst. The completed B-1 bomber was a death-trap for the flight crews and so many of them crashed catastrophically that they were quickly grounded and replaced by the B-2 and F-117. Billions squandered for a defective and outdated-upon-arrival killing machine.

My position with that GC paid very well with benefits that can only be dreamed about today and a full expectation of lucrative advancement, and I was making a life for myself and my young wife. I knew that my rationalization was thin gruel indeed and I still carry the guilt of having so easily sold my soul to our MIC empire. One of the many moral failures of my personal life. But I am not alone: Sherrod Brown, the US Senator from Ohio often referred to here as one of the “progressive” stalwarts of our corrupt political circus is not so very different. The last time I visited his official website about a month ago the first “news” that I was confronted with was the self-congratulatory items about him securing funding for more (Ohio) production and deployment of C-130’s, and a listing of the dozens of scholarships secured, for the sons and daughters of Ohio constituents, to the various military academies.