Tag Archives: Al Qaeda

Iraq War – (more than) 10 years later

With Jeb Bush fumbling an easy question from Meghan Kelly and Marco Rubio doing his Jeb Bush impersonation in front of Fox New’s Chris Wallace… I thought that I would repost this. It is a basic summary of why we went to war and how each one of those assumptions was wrong. 

I will not say anything new in this post. I will not say anything that is outrageous or over the top. The Iraq War was one of the many reasons that caused me to start writing a book and to start a blog.

I think that the Bush Administration had four main reasons for going to war in Iraq. Yellowcake from Nigeraluminum tubes to concentrate uranium, mobile biological labs and the Al Qaeda (Mohamed Atta) – Saddam Hussein connection.  It is now clear that none of these lines of argument were based in fact. I will not go into any of the details of why the above claims were lies. It should be clear to everyone by now. I will point you to Hubris and 500 Days as two very good books that go into detail about what happened and why. Also check out James Risen’s book State of War.

Cost of the War in Iraq

I guess the big question concerns what we gained from the Iraq War. Some will say nothing. Others will argue that we got rid of Saddam Hussein and that was worth it. I would argue that we squandered international good will. We fanned the flames of Muslim extremism. We played into the hands of Bin Laden by invading a country that was no threat to us or our allies. I would say that we turned a very backward nation into a battleground where there seems to always be war.

Iraq and Al Qaeda – Donald Rumsfeld

Look, Donald Rumsfeld is a very important person in our recent history. He is a very interesting character. As I mentioned a week or so ago, Donald Rumsfeld has always thought of himself as the smartest person in the room. The Unknown Known. We tortured people. We are not Iraq or some third world country that do these things. Torture was something that the other guys, do but not us. We have had Americans arguing that we should torture people in certain situations. I think that we are the good guys. I don’t think that we need to ever torture in order to get information.

News Roundup – Egypt, George Will, Robert Reich

Over 500 people have died in Egypt. Over 3700 have been injured. President Obama made a statement earlier today. “While we want to sustain a relationship with Egypt, our traditional cooperation cannot continue as usual while civilians are being killed in the streets. The Egyptian people deserve better than what we’ve seen over the past several days.” As expected, President Obama stopped short of specifically stating that what is happening in Egypt is a coup. Yet, as the violence escalates, I believe we will have to, President Obama will have to, withdraw our $1.3 billion in military aid from Egypt. Look for Al Qaeda to try to exploit this. No matter what kind of diplomatic mumbo-jumbo comes out of the State Department and the White House, whatever’s going on in Egypt, it is clearly not a democracy.

Just to make sure that we know that George Will is still alive and kicking, he wrote one of the most unhinged, neoconservative pieces of gobbledygook that I’ve read in a while. Now, President Obama is worse than Nixon. Yes, he is talking about the Affordability Care Act. The fact that the administration stated that they’re going to wait a year before implementation represents an offense worse than Watergate. Nope, I don’t understand it either. Let’s be clear. Presidents have pushed the envelope of presidential power for as long as we’ve had a Republic. It is up to Congress and the Supreme Court to push back. Currently, we have a completely dysfunctional Congress. They can’t agree on what time of day it is, let alone whether something the president does is right or wrong. As usual, George Will is way off base.

Robert Reich continues to be one of the best progressive voices on the economy. The following is a presentation on income inequality. It is wonderful.