Re: What Was I Supposed To Say?

1

Your answer in song.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 04-22-14 9:39 AM
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Error Morris is in the same boat as Sally.

Morris certainly knows his film isn't going to give many viewers what they will be hoping to find in it. In the first part of "The Certainty of Donald Rumsfeld," a verbose but worthwhile four-part essay recently published in the New York Times, he notes, "When I first met Donald Rumsfeld in his offices in Washington, D.C., one of the things I said to him was that if we could provide an answer to the American public about why we went to war in Iraq, we would be rendering an important service. He agreed. Unfortunately, after having spent 33 hours over the course of a year interviewing Mr. Rumsfeld, I fear I know less about the origins of the Iraq war than when I started. A question presents itself: How could that be? How could I know less rather than more?"

Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 04-22-14 9:42 AM
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So W. could one-up his father on Kuwait.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 04-22-14 9:42 AM
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3 is a piece of it. Also the Neocon need for an enemy, the perceived threat to Israel, and general free floating panicked belligerence after 9/11.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 04-22-14 9:44 AM
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What could be more glorious for the hegemonic empire of freedom than to spread the pure light of democracy?


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 04-22-14 9:46 AM
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To use the opportunity provided by the real and imagined dangers posed by an international pariah state to project American power into a region that is crucial for the functioning of global capitalism.


Posted by: Criminally Bulgur | Link to this comment | 04-22-14 9:47 AM
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"He tried to kill my daddy."


Posted by: Chopper | Link to this comment | 04-22-14 9:48 AM
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There are no photos of Dick Cheney with both feet showing, because one is a hoof.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 04-22-14 9:48 AM
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"Well, suck on this. That, Charlie, is what this war was about."


Posted by: Mr. Blandings | Link to this comment | 04-22-14 9:49 AM
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Also, to distract from the inability to capture Bin Laden and the clusterfuck Afghanistan was turning into.


Posted by: Chopper | Link to this comment | 04-22-14 9:49 AM
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3. Finish what Daddy started.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-22-14 9:50 AM
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My understanding is that the neocon contingent believed that Poppy Bush had erred in not going all the way to Baghdad and toppling Saddam during the original Gulf War, and Saddam's continued existence constantly gnawed at them. After 9/11 and (what they believed to be) a quick victory in Afghanistan, they knew they'd never have a better chance of getting the broader public to support war against Iraq than at that moment. So they seized the opportunity.


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 04-22-14 9:50 AM
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10: Nah, the timing is way off for that to be a factor. Public support was huge.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-22-14 9:51 AM
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It really is mindboggling that Bush had a real war in progress that everyone supported, and he kicked it to the curb to go start and entirely fabricated conflict.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-22-14 9:53 AM
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If you also take into consideration American foreign policy toward Iraq in the period between the invasion of Kuwait and 9/11, it becomes a lot clearer. The will had always been there, but was constrained by what the public would tolerate. After 9/11, these constraints were lifted.


Posted by: real ffeJ annaH | Link to this comment | 04-22-14 9:56 AM
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Starting another war when the one you've got looks like a stalemate/quagmire is not that rare. It's what the Japanese did at the start of WWII. The brilliant, self-aware planner of the Pacific War, Tsuji Masanobu, had the grace to start his account by saying so, in the first sentence.

Error Morris

Typo or snark? I kinda like Morris, and will always appreciate his takedown of Susan Sontag.


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 04-22-14 10:02 AM
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It really is baffling. People are going to be writing books about this for decades to come. I've just been reading "The Sleepwalkers" and there are an embarrassment of reasons for the Great War. Lunatics in the Serbian intelligence service, colonial rivalries, naval arms races, French revanchism... the Iraq war had plenty of excuses, but you can't put your finger on a single reason that seems, well, momentous enough to justify it.

10: part of the reason for that is that they ordered CENTCOM to start planning the invasion of Iraq in _November 2001_, while they were running the battle of Tora Bora. Which is utterly nuts. If anything it was the reverse - they thought that OBL would be dead soon and Afghan had already been won, and they wanted to be ready to spend that political capital on something they really wanted to do.

Another point: George I Bush went from 88% popularity in May 1991 to losing to KLINTON in November 1992, and that must have been a scarring experience. The last thing you want, George II may have thought, is to have your marvellous little war finish too soon.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 04-22-14 10:04 AM
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Am reading Sleepwalkers too, Serbian prologue was supra appalling, the whole book surprisingly contemporary in feel and therefore depressing. Taking a break from it to read Patrick Seale's book on Philby, unintentionally amusing when eg Blunt is mentioned as I guess he wasn't exposed until post publication.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 04-22-14 10:23 AM
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For Rumsfeld throw proof of concept for the "Revolution in Military Affairs" into the mix. Added bonus, it also helps explain how the occupation was bungled so badly in the aftermath.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 04-22-14 10:27 AM
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There are lots of different groups in the Bush White House, and lots of different reasons.

Bush wanted to be a Great Man and beat Saddam. Rumsfeld wanted to try at winning wars with his light fast army. Wolfowitz thought he would bring democracy to the olive-skinned people. I don't know which motivation was the main one in Cheney's black heart. Colin Powell probably was worried about WMD, but mostly wanted to be loyal to Bush.


Posted by: Neil the Ethical Werewolf | Link to this comment | 04-22-14 10:35 AM
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It was necessary to burst the terrorism bubble

Rose: "Now that the war is over and there's some difficulty with the peace, was it worth doing?"

Friedman: "I think it was unquestionably worth doing Charlie, and I think that looking back that I now certainly feel I understand what the war was about and it's interesting to talk about it here in silicon valley because I think looking back at the 1990s I can identify there are actually three bubbles of the 1990s, there was the Nasdaq bubble, there was the corporate governance bubble, and lastly there was what I would call the terrorism bubble, and the first two were based on creative accounting and the last two were based on moral creative accounting. The terrorism bubble that built up over the 1990s said flying airplanes into the World Trade Center, that's Ok. Wrapping yourself with dynamite and blowing up Israelis in the pizza parlour, that's Ok. Because we're weak and they're strong and the weak have a different morality. Having your preachers say that's Ok? That's Ok. Having your charities raise money for people who do these kinds of things? That's Ok. And having your press call people who do these kind of things martyrs? That's Ok. And that build up as a bubble, Charlie. And 9/11 to me was the peak of that bubble. And what we learned on 9/11 in a gut way was that bubble was a fundamental threat to our society because there is no wall high enough no INS agent smart enough no metal detector efficient enough to protect an open society from people motivated by that bubble. And what we needed to do was to go over to that part of the world and burst that bubble. We needed to go over there basically uhm, and, uh, uhm take out a very big stick, right in the heart of that world and burst that bubble. And there was only one way to do it because part of that bubble said 'we've got you' this bubble is actually going to level the balance of power between us and you because we don't care about life, we're ready to sacrifice and all you care about is your stock options and your hummers. And what they needed to see was American boys and girls going house to house from Basra to Baghdad uhm, and basically saying which part of this sentence don't you understand. You don't think we care about our open society, you think this bubble fantasy we're going to just let it go, well suck on this. Ok. That, Charlie, was what this war was about. We could have hit Saudi Arabia. It was part of that bubble. We could have hit Pakistan, We hit Iraq, because we could. And that's the real truth. "


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 04-22-14 10:36 AM
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Alternative explanation -- 9/11 made us very angry. Afghanistan was too easy, and we still had some steam to blow off.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 04-22-14 10:44 AM
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At least Sally knows 9/11 was a pretext. I assume that most schoolkids are being taught that Saddam planned 9/11.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04-22-14 10:46 AM
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So, 9-11 was the pretext for the Iraq War,

I'm not sure I follow this. While surely without 9/11 there would never have been sufficient public support for the war, I thought the actual pretext was Iraq's supposed development and stockpiling of WMD and its supposed flouting of UN inspections.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 04-22-14 10:49 AM
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22: More or less the same reason that Halford wants to destroy Jupiter.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 04-22-14 10:50 AM
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There are no Iraqi children on Jupiter, peep.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04-22-14 10:51 AM
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I think 20 captures it pretty well. And the American need for bogeymen, and a decade spent building Saddam up into Hitler, laid the groundwork.

God this country sucks.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 04-22-14 10:52 AM
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24: Just as the Iraq War had several actual causes, it also had several fake causes.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 04-22-14 10:52 AM
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26: True!

I wasn't making a moral equivalence.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 04-22-14 10:54 AM
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15 seems to me to cover much of it.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-22-14 11:10 AM
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Much War President and re-elect. Also very 17.3 and 20.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-22-14 11:10 AM
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Typo or snark? I kinda like Morris, and will always appreciate his takedown of Susan Sontag.

Typo (whoops). I had been feeling happy to get my comment in before the wave of complete cynicism took over the thread (not that cynicism isn't warranted, but I do find it remarkable how little sense the war makes even in retrospect).


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 04-22-14 11:13 AM
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Errol Morris is a fascist.

The Iraq War should be understood mostly in the context of ongoing geopolitical gamesmanship. Gets everybody on the right team, sells lots of armaments, rattles the saber at the Rooshians, etc. etc. Also, radical Islam is basically the only global force standing against capitalist hegemony.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 04-22-14 11:16 AM
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Natilo doesn't have much faith in the Sixth International.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-22-14 11:19 AM
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33.last doesn't explain the Iraq war at all. I guess unless you figured that they thought they would wrap up Iraq in mid-2003, take a breather, and then go on to Teheran.


Posted by: Tom Scudder | Link to this comment | 04-22-14 11:20 AM
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33.last doesn't explain the Iraq war at all. I guess unless you figured that they thought they would wrap up Iraq in mid-2003, take a breather, and then go on to Teheran.


Posted by: Tom Scudder | Link to this comment | 04-22-14 11:20 AM
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Aargh!


Posted by: Tom Scudder | Link to this comment | 04-22-14 11:20 AM
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33.last is just an undercurrent to everything we do in the east. Gotta keeping battling radical Islam all the time. Other factors were responsible for prolonging the conflict.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 04-22-14 11:23 AM
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What Was I Supposed To Say?

The Aristocrats.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 04-22-14 11:26 AM
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40

So what was the Vietnam War actually about?


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 04-22-14 11:28 AM
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surely without 9/11 there would never have been sufficient public support for the war

I wish this were true, but I doubt it. Bombing vastly less powerful countries is just what America does, and whipping the country into a frenzy has never been much of a challenge. Sure, everybody's a little fatigued right now, but give it another 5 or 10 years and 2/3 of the country will be baying at the moon to go show Uruguay or Tunisia or Swaziland or some other five-tank army what for.

27.last is so very correct.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-22-14 11:31 AM
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42

Bush wanted to be a Great Man and beat Saddam. Rumsfeld wanted to try at winning wars with his light fast army. Wolfowitz thought he would bring democracy to the olive-skinned people. I don't know which motivation was the main one in Cheney's black heart. Colin Powell probably was worried about WMD, but mostly wanted to be loyal to Bush.

20 makes sense, but all of these besides the first and last* could have applied to equally well to Afghanistan. It's really weird that we basically dropped the war in Afghanistan.

*Did Powell believe they had WMD in his heart of hearts?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-22-14 11:35 AM
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33: thing is that higher military spending doesn't mean higher arms spending. It means higher spending on fuel and water and generators and bandages. Lots of beautiful shiny military projects got axed after 9/11, like Crusader and Comanche and DD-21.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 04-22-14 11:35 AM
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No one has convincingly refuted Yglesias' tongue-in-cheek theory:

The truth, hard as it is to accept, is that Bush is an Iranian agent. Admittedly this theory suffers from a lack of direct empirical evidence. Nevertheless, by presenting this single bold conjecture, we can explain everything in a neat, tidy package. By Occam's razor, then, the theory must be accepted.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 04-22-14 11:51 AM
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What did Saddam have to do with radical Islam? He was basically a nasty fascist leader of a very weak country who strongly repressed all politicized religion and didn't seem to fond of even not particularly politicized fundy stuff. Nor do I see how radical Islam is the only force against global capitalism. Unlike the Bolsheviks the Taliban didn't seem to have any interest in building up a different economy, rather just wanting to have people exist at a bare subsistence level. On a somewhat more moderate and pragmatic level the Saudis are quite happy to be part of the global capitalist system, and I'm pretty sure the Iranians would like to be. And the MB are all for capitalist economic development and the bourgeoisie.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 04-22-14 11:57 AM
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I have never been able to completely dismiss Josh Marshall's theory: "Chaos in the Middle East is not the Bush hawks' nightmare scenario--it's their plan."


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 04-22-14 11:57 AM
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Some combo of 15 and 20, combined with a very genuine right-wing desire to pursue war for the sake of pursuing war in the Ernst Junger/Storm of Steel vein.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04-22-14 12:07 PM
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I also think they (some of them anyway) genuinely believed that they could reshape the Middle East into a happy democratic liberal capitalist region full of people who loved Israel, welcomed American investors, and didn't go off and burn American flags all the time. (Democracy! Whiskey! Sexy!)

You know, wrap up Iraq, hold an election in six months, then rev up the tanks and either turn left to Damascus or right to Teheran. (Or both, why not?)


Posted by: Tom Scudder | Link to this comment | 04-22-14 12:11 PM
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44: Maybe Saudi agent. Is it irresponsible to speculate? It would be irresponsible not to.

46 is correct as well.

A veritable nexus of forces.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-22-14 12:13 PM
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But 15 is really really important to remember; there really was a bi-partisan, not exclusively conservative, belief in the 1990s-early 2000s that (a) the US could go to war basically without any cost (b) the US could and should do so often in order to protect its interests, which were deemed perfectly concomitant with the interests of humanity and justice; and (c) Sadaam was an international paraiah who would destabilize the middle east until he was handled with force. The Bush Administration pushed a rapid war so quickly, and with so little international support, that it managed to lose a little bit (though by no means all) of the center-left support for the war, but almost everyone in the foreign policy establishment in Washington in both parties seemed to accept (a)-(c) above and was perfectly willing to get into some kind of war with Sadaam, so the actual war, even though in retrospect completely unjustifiable, wasn't a very hard sell.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04-22-14 12:16 PM
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Because we could, and our political and media elite are greedy, status-hungry ghouls who want to fell like tough guys and gals. And we let them.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-22-14 12:16 PM
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Also contemptible war criminals and profiteers who have no belief in democracy other than as an appearance-of-legitimacy loss leader.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-22-14 12:18 PM
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50 is a good point.

Even NOW we have people (well, just John McCain) going out and pleading for us to use our amazing magic powers, run in and out for a month or so and save the people of Libya, or Georgia, or whatever. I imagine there would be a lot more of those people if all the non-McCain Republicans hadn't shifted from "US government is the sole shining light of freedom and democracy" mode into "US government is tyranny / black helicopters" mode in 2009.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 04-22-14 12:21 PM
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One of my favorite little sidebars to the Iraq war was when perjurer* L. Jean Lewis--the rogue RTC employee who basically invented Whitewater (with a subsequent massive assist from Jeff Gerth and the fucking NYTimes)--was appointed in 2003 as chief of staff of the Pentagon Inspector General's Office in the United States government. On February 26, 2004 she again attracted attention when her office was supposed to look into Halliburton contracts. To almost no press notice. For all I know she is still there.

*OK, so fuckpig of multiple iniquities Ken Starr never pursued perjury against her despite his record with unfriendly witnesses, but she absolutely lied her ass off in front of Congress, got called out on her lies and then basically swooned and was never heard from again on that front. And the fucking NYTimes and WaPo gave it little notice. A little rage helps me get through the day.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-22-14 12:28 PM
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"(Democracy! Whiskey! Sexy!)"
I remember when war bloggers quoted that approvingly and it wasn't a punchline.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 04-22-14 12:28 PM
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And we let them

More like "nothing we could do to stop them."

As an opponent of both the first Gulf War and Afghanistan, I can say there was a lot more resistance and hesitation about going into Iraq, at least in my liberal circles. Tony Blair and Colin Powell were cited by those people I knew who supported the war, but most people I knew didn't support it, even if they had supported the previous 2--and the bombing of Serbia. The war discredited both Blair and Powell completely, although I hadn't had much regard for them previously.

Until about 2005 or 6, support for the war was a major divide. If you had conservative relatives or friends, they didn't want to hear it questioned.


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 04-22-14 12:28 PM
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53.2: But don't lose any ambassadors in the process.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-22-14 12:29 PM
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Even NOW we have people (well, just John McCain)

And practically everybody associated with the Washington Post.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-22-14 12:29 PM
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Unless it's a Republican administration when it doesn't count when embassy personnel die.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-22-14 12:30 PM
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59: I saw a NEVER FORGET BENGHAZI sticker on an SUV the other day, and I really wanted to ask the owner what had happened to his NEVER FORGET BEIRUT sticker.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 04-22-14 12:48 PM
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56: Up until 5 days or so before the war, there was not majority support for the war at all. Arguably the Iraq War was an exemplar of the recent Princeton analysis that the only thing that matters in US politics is elite opinion.

And I'm sure if I used the word "exemplar" more often to make that point, a populist revolt would sweep Elizabeth Warren into power with solid Congressional majorities.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 04-22-14 12:49 PM
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@61:

Yes. I'm surprised how many people seem to remember massive majorities supporting the war during the pre-invasion period. In fact, given the absolutely massive pro-war media blitzkrieg, it's surprising how lukewarm support for the whole enterprise remained until fairly late.

The shift, I think, occurred when people realized that the invasion was on whether anyone outside of Washington wanted it or not. At that point I think a lot of people decided that they might as well get on board.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 04-22-14 1:02 PM
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Another thing that rewrote people's memory was the general confusion. A low-middle informed person was probably:
1. Against the war at the beginning
2. After a year or so didn't think terribly hard about the sequence of events leading up to it
3. Brain fills in a narrative that "it must have made sense to go from 9/11 -> Iraq"
4. Consequently they revise their memory that they basically supported the whole thing.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-22-14 1:06 PM
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War is tempting and exciting while it looks like one that we can win.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 04-22-14 1:07 PM
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Everyone is supporting 20 except me, in 42. Usually when that happens I've said something really dumb and everyone is politely having a smarter conversation around me without saying so. But anyway, what's wrong with 42?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-22-14 1:07 PM
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66

Too many Hitchhikers Guide jokes?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-22-14 1:10 PM
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67

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Popular_opinion_in_the_United_States_on_the_invasion_of_Iraq#Timeline

"Seven months prior to the September 11 attacks a Gallup poll showed that 52% would favor an invasion of Iraq while 42% would oppose it. Additionally, 64% said that the U.S. should have removed Saddam at the end of the Gulf War."


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-22-14 1:11 PM
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I think I'd add 42 to 64 and insert something about Afghanistan being frustrating, not flashy enough and something Middle East policy something.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 04-22-14 1:14 PM
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67: Right, but keep going down the timeline. Even a week before the war, a majority was opposed unless the UN was on board. There was doubt, and most Americans were looking to the UN as an indicator of whether what the dirty hippies in the streets was true or false. Like:

"And if the Bush administration did not seek a final Security Council vote, support for a war dropped to 47%"


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 04-22-14 1:16 PM
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Dropped all the way down to just under half the country!


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-22-14 1:17 PM
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65. Afghanistan has no oil, and is very mountainous, so unsuited to DR's fantasy army of 7 cyborg soldiers.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 04-22-14 1:17 PM
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@67:

Although from the same link:

A consistent pattern in the months leading up to the U.S.-led invasion was that higher percentages of the population supported the impending war in polls that offered only two options (for or against) than in polls that broke down support into three or more options given (distinguishing unconditional support for the war, opposition to the war even if weapons inspectors do their job, and support if and only if inspection crews are allowed time to investigate first).


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 04-22-14 1:18 PM
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That is, a majority of the country was perfectly ready and willing to go to war; they just wanted some i's dotted and t's crossed first.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-22-14 1:18 PM
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65: Afghanistan was not a sufficiently "target rich environment" to achieve all of the goals. Also, not much on the oil front.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-22-14 1:21 PM
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68, 71, 74: Thanks. That actually does help.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-22-14 1:23 PM
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1.Yes or no, do you support an invasion of China?

2. Yes or no, do you support an invasion of Iran?

3. Yes or no, do you support an invasion of Russia?

I'm thinking that at any particular time more than 50% of Americans will answer yes to one of those questions.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 04-22-14 1:26 PM
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It's entirely possible that I'm revising my own memories (or that my circle of acquaintances is not a statistically representative sample), but what I heard over and over from people who were luke-warm on the invasion was "Well, if we don't do it now, we'll just have to do it later. We should have finished the job in 1992."

Which was always a dumb argument that drove me right up a wall at the time, along with the evergreen "credibility" argument. Because of course the rest of the world will doubt that the US will attack another country, given our history of attacking other countries every few years.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-22-14 1:26 PM
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My memory was that ostensibly liberal people were saying "Well, since he really does have WMD then something does need to be done."


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-22-14 1:28 PM
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I think my answer to 42 is that Afghanistan didn't feel like enough. Few US troops involved, mostly just tipping towards one side in a civil war, and the rapid disappearance of the Taliban. It really looked all but over, and the desire to do something decisive was not satisfied.

Of course now it does look like a long-term, frustrating commitment, and looked uncomfortably like it to some of us at the time, but in 2003, not to the people making the decisions and their millions of supporters.


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 04-22-14 1:30 PM
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78: "something does need to be done" is the very essence of contemporary liberalism, and it's downright maddening.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-22-14 1:32 PM
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I remember being deeply skeptical of the WMD argument but at the same time feeling completely helpless, like watching a slo-mo train wreck.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 04-22-14 1:32 PM
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The realism argument against both Afghanistan and Iraq was recognized, and would get a respectable hearing in my circles, but for many people it wasn't convincing and seemed moreover morally suspect and un-American.


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 04-22-14 1:34 PM
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78: "something does need to be done" is the very essence of contemporary liberalism, and it's downright maddening.

It isn't uniquely contemporary.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 04-22-14 1:41 PM
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I think low-info people also take huge amounts of comfort in familiarity. They spent a couple years in the early 90s learning to hate Hussein and where Iraq was (sort of), so it was a relatively easy thing to find support for. It was probably sort of a relief to revert to old America-is-great style policy after actually having a disaster in NYC perpetrated by groups with no clear nation where we'd probably never really win. It was as least a familiar enemy who had never posed a serious threat to the US. That's the sense I'm getting from the Ukraine-Russia conflict. Most folks remember the Cold War and how we St. Reagan beat the Communist threat, so it's pretty easy to find a bunch of folks excited to wade in. (Not to mention all the wonks whose policy experience magically becomes completely relevant no matter how many years have passed.)


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 04-22-14 1:41 PM
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So I haven't been keeping up with middle eastern petroleum production stats.

Wikipedia has the following sentence: BP and China National Petroleum Corporation won a deal to develop Rumaila, the largest Iraqi oil field

Which was news to me. I guess not surprising, but somehow that didn't make the headlines here.

Also, I don't see any more news since March 20 about France's courageous decision to possibly suspend delivery of the helicarriers they are building for Russia. Also no news that I see about money already paid being returned.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 04-22-14 1:41 PM
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As least=at least


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 04-22-14 1:42 PM
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(Not to mention all the wonks whose policy experience magically becomes completely relevant no matter how many years have passed.)

Like Soviet Studies majors?


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 04-22-14 1:44 PM
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43: But that's just politics. The syndicate wins in the end. The money cycles through Halliburton and Bechdel instead of Boeing or GM, but it gets into the same pockets in the end.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 04-22-14 1:45 PM
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87: Heh. Only if they are suddenly fending off invites for Sunday morning interviews.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 04-22-14 1:46 PM
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Not to mention all the wonks whose policy experience magically becomes completely relevant no matter how many years have passed.

With enough gumption, the irrelevance of your academic specialization is no obstacle.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 04-22-14 4:19 PM
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Whenever anything is truly fucked up, you will find that the reason for starting the project is always the same.

"It seemed like a good idea at the time"

All the points made here are at least partly valid, but I seem to be the only person who remembers the truly astonishing justification...

The price of crude oil was $35 a barrel. This was, at the time, thought to be cripplingly and unsustainably high, and it was widely believed in relevant circles that a short sharp war and demonstration of American power would bring it back down to it's natural level of somewhere nearer $18.

Quite early on in the war, it became unserious, conspiratorial and probably Democrat to remember that Iraq is an oil producing country, and this little historical fact was never recovered.


Posted by: dsquared | Link to this comment | 04-22-14 4:55 PM
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Remember all that talk about Saddam supporting families of Palestinian suicide bombers? And the impending reopening of the Mosul-Haifa oil pipeline? Supposed strategic interests of Israel loomed large: this was supposed to lead directly to overthrow in Syria and Iran.

Also, the actual winner of the war, and host to virtually all the people who would compete for power with Saddam gone, was a country that (a) will share a long border for the rest of all time with Iraq and (b) managed to get an agent into a BFF relationship with a number of fairly highly placed folks in the US government.

The vote to authorize force was deliberately and specifically aimed at the 2002 midterms, and was a great success. ISTR a Rove stratgey memo that was lost in early 02 in Lafayette Park or somewhere saying the the secret to avoiding losses (and maybe getting the Senate back) was pounding pounding on war.

Basically, everyone sitting at any of the veto points had an incentive to go along. And so along it went.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 04-22-14 5:59 PM
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There are, as noted above, lots of potential reasons. One that I haven't seen so far is that by 2001, cracks were starting to appear in our containment strategy for Iraq, and it wasn't entirely clear how long we would be able to keep that strategy going. The economic sanctions against Iraq were causing the deaths of thousands of Iraqi civilians, but showed no signs of producing the desired regime change, or securing full cooperation and disclosure in dismantling the expected Iraqi nuclear program. (The idea that Saddam might have already ended the program but wasn't cooperating with inspections so as to not let his enemies know that he had didn't seem to occur to anyone significant.) I've also read elsewhere that other countries (e.g., France, Russia) were threatening to defect from sanctions either covertly or openly, although I see no mention of that in the Wikipedia article, and I'm not sure if that is reliably sourced.

Meanwhile, maintaining the no-fly zones over Iraq required large numbers of American troops stationed in Saudi Arabia, where they were becoming a flash point for attacks by militants and popular unrest. Recall, too, that bin Laden's announced long-term strategic goal behind 9/11 was to get the US to stop military support for the Saudi monarchy, which was his ultimate target. (He hoped to achieve that by drawing us into a quagmire in Afghanistan, where we would hopefully be bled to death as the Soviets were, leading to a US military withdrawal from the Middle East).

So I can see planners figuring that it was getting harder to maintain containment and likely to inspire more 9/11 type attacks, and being attracted to the idea of going in, getting greeted with flowers, replacing Saddam with a useful puppet, and going home. Dunno if there's any documentary evidence of that thinking, or if its the kind of thing that any of the planners are likely to admit in public, if true, though.


Posted by: Dave W. | Link to this comment | 04-22-14 6:11 PM
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48: I also think they (some of them anyway) genuinely believed that they could reshape the Middle East into a happy democratic liberal capitalist region full of people who loved Israel, welcomed American investors, and didn't go off and burn American flags all the time.

Yeah.

In terms of talking to Sally about this, names can be named: PNAC.

Neocon entreaties to attack Iraq began under Pres. Clinton: it wasn't a Bush-era phenomenon. Sally would, I guess, have to come to understand what the neocon mentality and agenda is.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-22-14 6:15 PM
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There may have been a lot of people who thought up to late 2002 that Iraq was pursuing some kind of WMD -- all the more reason for Iran to want regime change -- but by late February 2003 everyone with two brain cells to rub together knew that it wasn't true. So what then? The US was faced with a somewhat humiliating spectacle of backing down in the face of a laughing SH, along with the utter collapse of the sanctions regime. Or they could go forward, confident in a quick, reality-transformative victory.

To the extent GWB felt chosen by the hand of the Almighty for this mission -- and who can doubt the role of the Almighty in putting him into office -- he can have thought it would be a decisive demonstration of resolve and superiority, and lead to a new world order.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 04-22-14 6:29 PM
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Anyway, message to Sally: follow the money.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-22-14 6:38 PM
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I think 15 is all the explanation required, and could have ended the thread, but I'm going to say something anyway: There is a faction in American politics that always wants war, and will take as much war as it can get, wherever it can get it. That faction was at high tide at the worst possible moment, when 9/11 occurred and Americans were even more enraged and frightened than usual.

Iraq was the biggest, most hostile place for which a case could for invasion could be manufactured. The fuckers running this country were so crazy and stupid that it might have been South America.

Granted, that particular idea was floated by the dumbest fucking guy on the planet, but within the administration, he was considered a genius.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 04-22-14 6:40 PM
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One "follow the money"/vulgar Marxism thing that I've wondered about is that the DC area specifically seems to have done since 2003, and still be doing, much better than the country as a whole, largely because of military spending. ISTM that "war financed prosperity bubble" describes the past 15 years in DC pretty well, and maybe why it seems even more than usual disconnected from other places.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04-22-14 6:49 PM
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92: ISTR a Rove strategy memo that was lost in early 02 in Lafayette Park or somewhere saying the the secret to avoiding losses (and maybe getting the Senate back) was pounding pounding on war.

I recalled this too, and I was looking for info on this, but most of what I found did not seem very reliable. But it is certainly what is being referenced in this satirical piece from Christopher Buckley:

While he has emphatically denied that the November elections play a role, a CD-ROM disc recently found in Lafayette Square belonging to Karl Rove, the president's political counselor, contains a file labeled "How We Can Make the Democrats Look Like Dips in November by Fomenting War."
But can't find the straight news report on it.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-22-14 6:56 PM
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95: but by late February 2003 everyone with two brain cells to rub together knew that it wasn't true.

The rush to act before it became even more clear via inspections was truly shameful. And then we left the extremely dangerous caches of conventional weapons unguarded (which the inspectors knew all about but we refused to consult with them because we were still pretending that they knew nothing about anything) so they ended up being used against us. Gah, what does it matter. Outlaw nation run by outlaws for outlaw ends. We should perish in flames.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-22-14 7:35 PM
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92, 99: This?


Posted by: potchkeh | Link to this comment | 04-22-14 7:46 PM
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101: That certainly seems to be it, but that article does not mention the Iraq stuff.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-22-14 7:56 PM
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Per this book excerpt, Karl Rove's presentation included the word "Focus on war." Probably deemed more significant in hindsight than at the time.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-22-14 8:03 PM
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Here's the PowerPoint via CNN. In context the "focus on war" bit looks like it's about Afghanistan but not clear.


Posted by: potchkeh | Link to this comment | 04-22-14 8:18 PM
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104: Ah thanks, good find. Less there than I had been led to believe.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-22-14 8:31 PM
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Your answer to the question, Lizardbreath, is of course OIL. Permanent bases to control oil. It was obvious then and it's obvious now. Why it would sound nutty except for the fact that Dirty Hippies also correctly said it I have no idea.


Posted by: Lord Castock | Link to this comment | 04-22-14 8:40 PM
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Castock.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 04-22-14 8:46 PM
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I'm sure that squirrels were involved, but not in a way we can understand anymore.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 04-22-14 8:47 PM
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107 was me.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-22-14 8:53 PM
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108!!!!!


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 04-22-14 9:35 PM
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A former colleague of mine had worked with the weapons inspectors in Iraq who were looking for the WMD prior to the war. His favorite anecdote was from the chief of the mission, Hans Blix, who, when told that the Americans were running a wiretap on his phone, replied, "they may be hearing my conversations, but they are clearly not listening to what I am saying."


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 04-22-14 9:45 PM
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That Blix quote is fantastic.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04-22-14 9:46 PM
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Here, Steve Den Beste explains it all for you .


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 04-22-14 9:52 PM
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I think what makes Iraq hard to get your mind around is that the reasons seem to combine a very dark, cynical, twisted kind of realpolitik -- basically, a vision of American hegemony where killing and destruction are just helpful intimidation factors in general -- with the most naive and starry-eyed optimism imaginable, 'greeting us with flowers', etc. You can see how intellectually they work well together in a propaganda campaign, but it's very difficult to imagine the same mind actually believing both.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 04-22-14 9:57 PM
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PGD, click you link!


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 04-22-14 10:37 PM
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I may be an unusually talented strategist, but if you gave me the US Army and the mission to invade Iraq for its oil, I would have gotten a whole bunch more oil out of it.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 04-22-14 11:51 PM
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It really looked all but over, and the desire to do something decisive was not satisfied.

But the decisive thing that needed doing in 2003 was not to distract people from Afghanistan by invading Iraq, but what Obama did in 2011, namely to very publicly take out Usama bin Ladin*. I'm pretty sure that most people would have been more than satisfied with that- otherwise the surreal lie-fest that was needed to create a majority in favour of invading Iraq wouldn't have been necessary.

Which is why we have to look for reasons for the Iraq invasion which aren't really tied to Afghanistan, and I line up behind Castock in the broad sense and dsquared in detail. As an American friend once said to me in a pub, "America will never use its own oil as long as it can use somebody else's."

*By which time it was nearly ten yearsr too late and UbL was completely irrelevant to everything.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 04-23-14 2:38 AM
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116. I don't think you're an unusually talented strategist, although you may be. I think the team around the Cheney White House were unusually talentless ones.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 04-23-14 2:40 AM
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Afghanistan has no oil, and is very mountainous, so unsuited to DR's fantasy army of 7 cyborg soldiers.

Actually this is pretty much the reverse of the truth.
At the time when the invasion of Iraq was being decided on- and, remember, this is not February 2003, or November 2002, but November 2001, when Tommy Franks and CENTCOM were ordered to dust off the plans for the invasion of Iraq, revise them, and have them ready to go in six weeks - at that time, it looked very much as though Donald Rumsfeld's 7 cyborg soldiers had won in Afghanistan, or were on the verge of doing so. A combination of special forces, precision air power and local troops had swept through the entire country in a matter of weeks, and were on the brink of hauling OBL out of a cave in Tora Bora and bringing him back to face trial. 5th Special Forces Group, if I remember, the Arab/Middle East specialists, were pulled out of Afghanistan in early 2002 to be deployed against Iraq; they were replaced by 3rd SFG, the Latin American specialists. (SCENE 45. EXT. HELMAND PROVINCE. DAY. "Hola, senor! Digame, por favor, donde esta Osama bin Laden?")

You're making a big mistake if you reason "Afghan wasn't going well in late 2002, that's why they decided to go into Iraq, to distract people". The decision was taken well before that; it wasn't a case of distracting from failure, but of building on (perceived) success.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 04-23-14 3:13 AM
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118: I think part of the reason why it's so hard to figure out what it was for is that for normal events, you can figure out the intent from the goals, but in the Iraq War nothing was achieved. For every hypothesis of the form "The goal was X, but the Bush admnistration was incompetent", their very incompetence destroyed all of the evidence for X.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 04-23-14 4:30 AM
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Different political actors had different goals, and part of Bush's problem as a weak president is that he couldn't get everyone on board for a common set of goals. We'll make Iraq a democracy, and make it allies with Israel, and take all the profits from it's oil industry, and use the oil money to rebuild the country. etc etc.


Posted by: Asteele | Link to this comment | 04-23-14 5:36 AM
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hauling OBL out of a cave in Tora Bora and bringing him back to face trial

I am touched by your confidence in US respect for the rule of law.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 04-23-14 5:42 AM
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Good point. Or, at least, bringing his head back.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 04-23-14 5:48 AM
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Did I mention that my mother is convinced that bin Laden isn't dead, but is rather living in comfortable seclusion at the Bush family ranch? After all, when he was 'killed', we got no pictures and no body.

Her beliefs about current events are paranoid, but often disturbingly hard to argue with.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-23-14 5:54 AM
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"If you're always right, then why is my mayonnaise so fucked up?"


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-23-14 5:58 AM
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124 is an excellent conspiracy theory which I hadn't encountered before. I shall disseminate to the best of my ability.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 04-23-14 6:11 AM
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124; Why would Bush, etc. go along with a consipiracy that makes Obama look good? If the "killing" had occurred when Bush was President the theory would make a lot more sense.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 04-23-14 6:20 AM
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115: Ha. Well, if anyone wants to relive the high-water mark of the right-wing wackosphere circa 2003, just google "Steve Den Beste strategic overview". The opening lines of the 10,000+ word essay are "The purpose of this document is to provide a high level strategic view of the cause of the war, the reason that the United States became involved in it, the fundamental goals the US has to achieve to win it, and the strategies the US is following, as well as an evaluation of the situation as of July, 2003. "


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 04-23-14 6:22 AM
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Did I mention that my mother is convinced that bin Laden isn't dead, but is rather living in comfortable seclusion at the Bush family ranch?

That would be consistent with his move to Highland Park.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 04-23-14 6:37 AM
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I think they really did believe the assurances we'd be 'greeted as liberators' -- why wouldn't we be, we're the Good Guys* -- which makes pretty much any of the reasons seem sufficient.

Historians a century hence are going to have a great time with this whole episode. 'Flypaper Theory -- they were right, they just didn't understand that they were the flies.'

Bin Laden didn't get what he wanted in Afghanistan, but did get it in Iraq.

* At the time, I kept bringing up Philip Skene, which led to head shaking and analogy bans.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 04-23-14 6:51 AM
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121: Everything that gets done politically at a national level is a result of an agglomeration of interests, so while that sort of explanation is accurate, it's incomplete. Why do this, and not something else?

I increasingly think Suskind provided us with the Unified Theory of (Apparent) US Lunacy with his "reality-based community" conversation - though I disagree with the common liberal interpretation that Suskind got the better of that conversation.

The reality-based incorrectly discount the possibility of creating reality. Ask yourself: Did WMD exist in Iraq? For almost every practical purpose, they did.

So while, yes, oil was a factor, and Israel was a factor, and W's daddy was probably a factor, the folks who initiated this war had the same motive as the folks who climb Everest: They did it because they could, and because it would be an adventure, and because nobody of any importance was going to get hurt.*

*Like all analogies, this one fails. Because the rich folks who arrange to climb Everest actually are taking a personal risk.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 04-23-14 6:59 AM
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115, 128 - here's the address - you need to copy and paste it into your browser instead of just clicking it on account of he doesn't want meanies coming and making fun of him for being totally batshit lunatic.

http://denbeste.nu/essays/strategic_overview.shtml


Posted by: Tom Scudder | Link to this comment | 04-23-14 7:10 AM
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124, 127 - This is not an insuperable obstacle; plot goes as follows:

Sometime in, say, 2003, OBL is convinced to take a luxurious retirement on the Bush family ranch, complete with recording studio to make grainy videos and so on. Bush admin decides that he's more useful as a vague threat out stirring up fear.

Obama admin finds out at some point that this is true; at a point when it was convenient for the reelection campaign, they stage the raid that "kills" him. What are the old Bush admin hands going to do? Say "hey, wait, he's right here"?

(Why not just discover him on the Bush family ranch? Let's say it was to avoid embarrassing Bob Gates.)


Posted by: Tom Scudder | Link to this comment | 04-23-14 7:15 AM
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133 -- And to get UBL to take that deal, Bush has to promise to invade Iraq. I think we're getting somewhere here . . .


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 04-23-14 7:19 AM
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133: That's pretty good!

My problem with the Bin Laden killing was that I couldn't understand why a Muslim terrorist would kill a fellow jihadist. Then, I understood that it was a power struggle, and now Obama is the unchallenged leader of Al-Qaeda.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 04-23-14 7:25 AM
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Hard to imagine Bin Laden could survive that long on the ranch without Cheney shooting him.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 04-23-14 7:26 AM
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133 is a good start. What's missing is the internal dynamics of the GWB white house. In fact, W spent almost his entire presidency in constant terror that the people actually in charge would remove him. A pause here to admire his courage in staying mostly sober under the pressure of constant fear of the ghouls above him. Anyway, he personally had of course nothing to do with the decision to place OBL on the ranch, as with all other events of the presidency.

Only when some unkonown event shifted the balance of power behind the scenes could he, brave W, allow Scooter Libby to be publicly shamed, and to lay the groundwork for the "raid" later.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 04-23-14 7:28 AM
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133 is exactly the theory -- that the current administration found out that Bush's people were hiding bin Laden, and 'killed' him because Bush's people couldn't very well call them on it.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-23-14 7:31 AM
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Taking it all the way back to comment #2:

Unfortunately, after having spent 33 hours over the course of a year interviewing Mr. Rumsfeld, I fear I know less about the origins of the Iraq war than when I started. A question presents itself: How could that be? How could I know less rather than more?"

Rumsfeld is like the Michael Haneke of interviewees. You knew what you were getting! You subjected yourself to this willingly. You have only yourself to blame. An experience does not necessarily involve "gaining" anything, it is simply an experience.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 04-23-14 7:35 AM
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133: Bush's people wouldn't have to say "hey, he's right here, we knew where he was all the time!" All they'd have to do is get OBL to make another grainy video, ostensibly from his "hideout", congratulating Obama on his re-election, or saying how much he enjoyed "Pacific Rim", or twerking, or something else that would prove it had been made after May 2011.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 04-23-14 7:40 AM
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But then Obama could be shocked to discover that he was actually in hiding at the Bush family ranch. (Presumably the deal with Bob Gates covered that contingency.)


Posted by: Tom Scudder | Link to this comment | 04-23-14 7:44 AM
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To make it work, the current administration needs to have counter-blackmail material: home movies of Bush and bin Laden playing bridge with Poppy and Bar on the ranch in 2006.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-23-14 7:46 AM
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Also, Obama doesn't want to shake up the power establishment - he wants himself and his family firmly entrenched in the power elite. (And maybe by extension other upper-class black people and minorities.) Thus all the "look forward, not back" stuff.

A treason trial for harboring OBL would risk blowing his whole cozy future set-up sky high. Let's also posit that in addition to the public "raid" there was some private communication indicating in no uncertain terms that he full well knew where bin Laden actually was and was prepared to go there if the Bush people didn't play along.


Posted by: Tom Scudder | Link to this comment | 04-23-14 7:54 AM
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142: Bur Romney would have to be in the dark about all of it.

Alternatively, he could be one of the people playing bridge.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 04-23-14 7:56 AM
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Has Bush painted Bin Laden yet? Or would that be too obvious?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-23-14 7:59 AM
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I disagree with the common liberal interpretation that Suskind got the better of that conversation....The reality-based incorrectly discount the possibility of creating reality.

Exactly, my view as well. The purpose of politics is to create the future, not understand the present. Understanding the present is one -- but only one! -- useful input to creating the future.

Liberalism has a cultural bias toward academia, where great store is put on studying problems to death, elaborate schemes that leverage findings from neat peer reviewed studies, etc. This intersects well with the neoliberal penchant for tinkering around the edges of the market rather than challenging distributional power structures directly.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 04-23-14 8:03 AM
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128 is pretty good but perhaps not as ur-D/n B/stean as when he whipped himself into a frenzy about the perfidy of the French, culminating in his earnest discussion of what will happen in the unlikely-but-possible even that France decides to go to war on the Iraqi side:

http://denbeste.nu/cd_log_entries/2003/02/MoreFrenchspeculation.shtml


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 04-23-14 8:06 AM
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146 My view as well, although I don't share the bias towards academia. What struck me about the Suskind quote was the complete hubris of the whole thing. Yes, you can create the future, but if you're not reality based, it's not going to be what you expect.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 04-23-14 8:11 AM
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145: It's a tough call, but I'm going with too obvious.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 04-23-14 8:12 AM
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It's a shame he took down his famous "Anglo Women Are An Endangered Species" post, where he concluded that strippers were the only women who men could truly connect with any more. In the Metafilter discussion of it he led off with an absolutely classic misogynist observation:

Despite what you might think, I'm not a misogynist. On the contrary, I like women. I've just come to hate female persons.

That damn female personhood! It screws everything up -- life could be a happy sex party without it!


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 04-23-14 8:13 AM
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I was given to understand that the Iraq War was a pretext for this blog.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 04-23-14 8:18 AM
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Part of me really misses the glory days of the right wing warbloggers. Those guys could spin a mighty tapestry of random paranoid speculation out of the barest threads of half-truth. Now it's just mostly down to whiny misogyny and racism. The paranoia is still there, so at least there's that.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 04-23-14 8:20 AM
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147: Kieran Healey's response to that was hilarious.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 04-23-14 8:21 AM
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I was given to understand that the Iraq War was a pretext for this blog.

As the prospect of a US attack on Iran grew ever more real, Ogged was instructed by his masters (the mullahs) to create a web presence that would persuade Americans that Iranians were really nice, kind, friendly people who did not deserve to be invaded.

The mullah responsible for originating this particular scheme has now been reassigned from the Revolutionary Guard Corps' Foreign Intelligence Directorate to the Bushehr Regional Sheet Mica Price Control Board.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 04-23-14 8:25 AM
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God, reading 128 was an intense nostalgia trip. "The Arab street" &"Ralph Peters." There certainly was an element of collective insanity and total fantasia about projections of American power in 2001-03, and that document is maybe the greatest monument to that aspect of war fever. Some of it was generational; there was a lot of weird over-celebration of WWII around the same time, even preceding 9/11 (the "greatest generation"/Saving Private Ryan, etc.) and a lot of fantasies about finally beig able to fight Hitler and be as impressive as your father/grandfather. Note that DenBeste explicitly thought that the US post-45 occupation of Japan was the model.

I remember thinking at the time "the US generals must know that Sadaam's about to build and launch a nuclear bomb, because as crazy as Bush is they never would go to war and allow their troops to get killed on grounds that appear this specious and ridiculous." Then the UN inspectors found nothing, and boy was I ever wrong!


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04-23-14 8:29 AM
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155:

As you know, watching the uses to which modern US history was put, the childish interpretations these guys carried around was maddening. That whole "greatest generation" thing was so embarrassing, so obscene from the point of view of the men I grew up around, that something terrible must have happened.

Mass die-offs of veterans, the ones who used to police this kind of thing, who could have been relied on to call bullshit; dementia and enfeeblement and the shear passage of time and therefore memory. Those are the causes. I spoke up in my circles but it was pointless.


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 04-23-14 8:41 AM
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155.2 -- I think a lot of the public support for the Iraq war was based on this. 'This kind of doesn't make sense but I have to assume those people up there in DC really do know something'. The alternative being too frightening to contemplate.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 04-23-14 8:52 AM
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Yeah, that was basically my view, for the over-optimistic reasons you state. It didn't lead me to support the war -- even with my way stupidly overgenerous estimate of US military competence, it still seemed like a bad idea at the time, most obviously so after the UN inspectors reported back -- but I didn't oppose it as vocally or intensely as I might have otherwise. Oh well, lesson learned and it's not like I could have done anything anyway.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04-23-14 9:00 AM
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Yes, you can create the future, but if you're not reality based, it's not going to be what you expect.

I have been continually surprised at the degree to which this is not true. Granted, Bush needs to have enough connection with reality to assess whether or not he, or anybody he cares about, will be sent to war. But it doesn't take much of a grounding in reality to assess that.

Again, I cite the existence of weapons of mass destruction as definitive proof of my/Rove's point. How could the warmongers have been more wrong (from a reality-based point of view) about a matter of central importance? And yet, it turns out they were right about WMD in every sense that matters.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 04-23-14 9:00 AM
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As the prospect of a US attack on Iran grew ever more real, Ogged was instructed by his masters (the mullahs) to create a web presence that would persuade Americans that Iranians were really nice, kind, friendly people who did not deserve to be invaded.

Those mullahs were sneaky and prescient. They planted a nice Iranian man in my own family (as a step-father) for the very same purpose. On the night of his wedding to my Mom, I was introduced to my new Uncle Akbhar. I was 23 or 24. I remember thinking that if you can have a whole new Uncle Akbhar at age 24, life could bring you anything.

My Mom and the Iranian husband have since split. She is now with an Egyptian guy, if that reveals anything about the mullahs' intentions.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 04-23-14 9:09 AM
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Is Persian to Arab a promotion?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-23-14 9:11 AM
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I thought the food was better when the husband was Iranian. I do like ful, though.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 04-23-14 9:17 AM
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Pretty sure that 161 gets you banned from this blog, if not Ogged is clearly not actually Persian.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04-23-14 9:19 AM
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I was afraid I'd be antisemitic if I went the other way.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-23-14 9:21 AM
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Anyway, Egyptians are Mediterraneans, not Arabs.


Posted by: Tom Scudder | Link to this comment | 04-23-14 9:37 AM
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All moves within the Mexican umbrella are lateral.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-23-14 9:37 AM
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It's bizarre that SDB became such a well-known warblogger. As I've mentioned before, I know his sister, who knew nothing of his blogospheric fame until I told her about it, and to hear her tell it he's just a lonely shut-in.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 04-23-14 10:13 AM
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I remember reading someone's account of meeting Dave Sim's cousin (?), who had no idea that anyone else had heard of him; the cousin mentioned that Dave had had a pretty bad break-up with his wife, poor fellow.


Posted by: Tom Scudder | Link to this comment | 04-23-14 10:33 AM
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oh, the lonely shut-in part totally came across in his writing.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 04-23-14 10:33 AM
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120: for normal events, you can figure out the intent from the goals, but in the Iraq War nothing was achieved

Massive enrichment of government contractors was achieved, nu? That was not a stated goal, of course. I'm afraid I'm maximally cynical on this matter, and see no way around the conclusion that it was nonetheless among the intents.

William Kristol is at it still. God, I hate him and his.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-23-14 10:40 AM
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Massive enrichment of government contractors was achieved, nu?

If you think Cheney was the one most responsible for the decision, and that Cheney may still have considered his primary responsibility was to Halliburton shareholders, this all kind of starts to make sense.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 04-23-14 10:49 AM
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One of my theories is that instability and conflict in the Middle East is the best of both worlds for the Republican Party due to the effect on the price of oil. The price rises due to fear and uncertainty, but the supply is still there for the moment. Their donors have more money, voters oppose measures that would increase the cost any more, but there's no real huge spike or shortage that might impact anyone's behavior and get them to support public transportation or whatever.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 04-23-14 10:50 AM
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The one thing about Kristol is that his son is a Marine officer who served in Iraq. Just slightly less hypocritical than the rest of that crowd.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 04-23-14 10:57 AM
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171: Whether or not Cheney was most responsible for the decision, PNAC heavily influenced it. End of story.

173: I did not know that, and don't see how it makes a difference. Hypocrisy is not the charge; the charge is rather the warmongering (I don't link directly to the Kristol piece).

I see, though, that Kristol's son-in-law is Matthew Continetti! I had no idea.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-23-14 11:21 AM
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In my humble and rather speculative opinion, the better question is what keeps us from waging insane wars without reason all the time? Because our country is full of conscious and unconscious war-profiteers and war-profiteering institutions, all of which have huge amounts to gain from any war, no matter what, and highly disproportionate influence. What normally holds them in check is some modicum of reasonableness and oversight from the rest of us, especially the executive branch. Most of our presidents are smart enough and nice enough to now give them complete free reign over the aggression process. But GWB actually liked the idea, so they pumped him for all they could get. To be fair, I feel that LBJ's ego was similarly manipulated. When you look at it this way, all the violence excesses of Obama and Clinton and even Bush I and Reagan and Nixon make a lot more sense---their incursions are/were really smaller displays of weakness, not smaller displays of aggression. I don't really believe any President/administration has true deliberate control over the military decision process since JFK at least. My gut is that the real slipover happened when FDR died, and Eisenhower found the rot and tried to clean it out/warn us, and perhaps JFK was in the process, and then it all went to hell.


Posted by: Ile | Link to this comment | 04-23-14 12:39 PM
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Note that this is not a conspiracy theory. I sort of internally model the "war profiteering is behind most bad secret things" phenomena in much the same way I model biological evolution. I don't think you need to have any single Agent directing this process to make it happen---rather it's an almost organic institutional rot that evolves to become more and more virulent given a system that overvalues the institutional pursuit of self-interest and undervalues the deliberate pursuit of other values.


Posted by: Ile | Link to this comment | 04-23-14 12:43 PM
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I also think that American oil companies were the dupes of the war profiteers in supporting the invasion, but the real motive was war profiteering.


Posted by: Ile | Link to this comment | 04-23-14 12:44 PM
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127: Why would Bush, etc. go along with a conspiracy that makes Obama look good?

Off Dubai did Bandar Bush
A stately pleasure-dome decree:
Near where oil, the sacred river, ran
Through caverns measureless to man.
Beneath the sun-bleached sea.

"Romper, bomper, stomper boo. Tell me, tell me, tell me, do. Magic Mirror, tell me today, have all my friends had fun at play? I can see GW and Osama and Tony and Barack and Hillary and Jeb and Bill and Michelle and ..."


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-23-14 7:52 PM
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the folks who initiated this war had the same motive as the folks who climb Everest: They did it because they could, and because it would be an adventure, and because nobody of any importance was going to get hurt.

Speaking of which, how 'bout that avalanche?


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04-23-14 8:24 PM
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Hate the game, not the inherent property of matter.


Posted by: Opinionated Gravity | Link to this comment | 04-23-14 9:06 PM
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180 in response to OP title?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-23-14 9:08 PM
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Alternate 180: "So now I'm the asshole?"


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-23-14 9:09 PM
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Or "Sucks to be me."


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-23-14 9:10 PM
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Or what 180 said.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-23-14 9:11 PM
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There was a great early post at The Weblog on all the many shifting reasons for the Iraq War but I guess those archives are no longer online.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 04-23-14 10:06 PM
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I guess I may have been thinking of this post.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 04-23-14 10:26 PM
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179 -- I learned today that a former partner of mine was on the way up Everest when it hit, and a couple of the sherpas that were going to work with his group got caught in it. He's headed down, wondering, no doubt, about what might have been.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 04-23-14 10:33 PM
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187: It's awfully freaky, and a reminder of how insanely dangerous mountaineering is in general.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04-23-14 10:54 PM
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This would have been the last of the 7 summits for my friend. I'm sure he'll try again.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 04-23-14 11:05 PM
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As you might expect, this story has gotten a fair amount of attention in the Alaska media. Mountaineering is a big deal up here.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04-23-14 11:29 PM
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They did it because they could, and because it would be an adventure, and because nobody of any importance was going to get hurt.

Um? While it's true that Sherpas take more risk than clients, the clients still end up dying at a much higher rate than the Sherpas. E.g. from 2004-2013 out of the fifty nine people that died on Everest twelve were Sherpas even though the sherpas made up over half the people climbing on the mountain. The decade before that it was thirteen out of fifty five with a bit lower ratio of Sherpas to everyone else.

The moral questions are whether or not it is ok to pay people to take high risks for you for non-essential activities and how much does the danger affect the normal de facto acceptance of differential pay levels between westerners and extremely poor countries. Is it ok to buy a Nepalese carpet made by people making $100-$150/mo in a very low risk job but not to pay Sherpas $1500-$4000/mo for an extremely high risk one?


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 04-24-14 12:04 AM
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Yeah, I don't think the analogy between climbing Everest and launching the Iraq War actually works very well at all.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04-24-14 12:08 AM
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It's interesting to compare Everest to Denali/McKinley; they're both extremely dangerous and people die on them every year (Denali is significantly lower but also much colder because it's so far north), but the administrative systems for regulating expeditions are pretty different, and Alaska doesn't have the same stark socioeconomic divide between climbers and guides that Nepal does. There are guides for Denali, of course, but they're basically middle-class white Americans and not really in the same position relative to the (generally very wealthy) climbers that the sherpas are.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04-24-14 12:15 AM
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Massive enrichment of government contractors was achieved, nu? That was not a stated goal, of course.

It just seems like a very roundabout way of doing it. If you've got the sort of power to start a war in order to provide an excuse for giving lots of money to contractors, you've got the power to just give lots of money to contractors. Why bother with the war?

Even if they're defence contractors. Lockheed and Boeing and Grumman and General Dynamics and the rest did very well in the 1980s, despite the almost complete lack of a war.

193 is, I think. a bit of a stretch. McKinley/Denali is two and a half thousand metres lower than Everest/Chomolungma/Sagarmatha. (6168m vs 8848m). You're most of the way to the summit of McKinley, in altitude terms, before you've even left Everest Base Camp (5000m).


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 04-24-14 1:57 AM
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Well, wars are popular in a way that giant peacetime military buildups aren't, you need a credible enemy to justify a giant peacetime military buildup -- the USSR was perfect, but it's hard to figure out how to spend an insane amount of money on anti-"terror" weapons if you're not actually fighting anywhere, and wars are confusing and badly managed, so it's easier for lots of poorly accounted-for money to slip through the cracks.

To make this really work well, I think you have to be willing to think about it in terms of enriching individuals; wars are a way to spend billions in order to allow lots of politically favored people can steal tens of millions. It's not an efficient way of enriching your political friends, but ut doesn't have to be.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-24-14 4:37 AM
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195.1 - I am not sure about this. You don't get massive street protests complaining about peacetime military buildups. (With the exception of nuclear weapons; there was no CND equivalent organising petitions against John Tower's 600-ship navy policy.)


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 04-24-14 5:41 AM
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196: No, but you do get a more skeptical reaction from committees and other elites looking for domestic spending targets. (Of course it takes a lot to actually cut the military, but the steady growth we now take for granted in peacetime I'd imagine does not lead to the massive windfall profit growth that makes contractor executives especially happy and rich.)


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 04-24-14 6:29 AM
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Remember the fellow who got in all kinds of trouble for telling Congress than the cost estimates then floating around were too low?

I've never thought that the profit for the defense contractors was a very big part of the motivation for Iraq. I think the architects of the policy believed the war would end quickly, and gloriously. Sure there'd be some expenditure, but if everything went as expected, no one was going to be getting rich off that. Contractors made money on Gulf War I and on Kosovo. And on Grenada. Libya. And would have made money on Syria, or Georgia, and just think of all the money to be made on a reconquest of Crimea. Or attacks on Iran.

This factor is always set on On, so it's never decisive.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 04-24-14 6:39 AM
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197: but, again, ex hypothesi you're able to talk these committees into not being sceptical about your completely fabricated war - talking them into buying a bit more kit should be child's play by comparison.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 04-24-14 6:41 AM
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As an American friend once said to me in a pub, "America will never use its own oil as long as it can use somebody else's."

Not really, or even close: http://www.eia.gov/totalenergy/data/monthly/pdf/flow/petroleum.pdf


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 04-24-14 6:45 AM
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You know what defence contractors really like? Great big high-tech multi-year projects, with subcontractors in all fifty states to make them bulletproof. Things like JSF - and Crusader, and Comanche, and DD-21, which were cancelled because of the war!


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 04-24-14 6:45 AM
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Anyway, some more inputs:

1) the whole 4th branch/integral executive thing. Basically the Stiftung Leo Strauss worldview.
2) Other people's disinformation. Michael Ledeen being briefed by people he thought were rogue Iranians, who were probably just Iranians.
3) Tony Blair inhabiting his role and playing into Bush's obsession with Winston Churchill.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 04-24-14 6:49 AM
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I mean, seriously. No one's going to get rich off Desert Hawks and Hesco Bastion and MRAPs.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 04-24-14 6:53 AM
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BAE thought it was worth buying up a succession of companies manufacturing the things. And Hesco, well, Jimi Heseldine got rich enough to set up as a country gent and ride his Segway into the River Wharfe.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 04-24-14 7:07 AM
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Not to say contractor profits were the main, or even a main, driving factor, but one of the many entangled. I think it is a difference in kind from peacetime - not only can a lot get done much more quickly (remember how war spending was practically off-budget), but also you have non-routine projects like all the moving shit to the new places it needs to be and building new sites at short notice, kind of different from the major weapons systems contracts.

It's business as usual for Republicans (and plenty of Democrats) to tie together ideologies and grand schemes with getting their friends rich, so closely tied as for it to be hard to tell where one motivation ends and the other begins. I think Iraq was another example of that.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 04-24-14 7:21 AM
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[I mentioned Philip Skene above -- looking at wikipedia to make sure I had his first name right, I see the suggestion that he'd talked Burgoyne into going overland via Ft Ann to Ft Edward, rather than going by water to the head of Lake George, because the road Burgoyne would have to build to get his supplies through would greatly increase the value of Skene's land. I'm sure it seemed like a good idea at the time.]


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 04-24-14 7:22 AM
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but, again, ex hypothesi you're able to talk these committees into not being sceptical about your completely fabricated war - talking them into buying a bit more kit should be child's play by comparison.

One would think so. One would be wrong, though. Truth isn't necessarily more believable than fiction, or even more correct.

If there were no WMD in Iraq, would we have invaded? And if we had invaded, and WMD turned out to be a fraud, is there any conceivable way that GW Bush could have won re-election?

The only things that suggest there were no WMD in Iraq are trivial: Judith Miller has a different employer, and there were no WMD in Iraq. Other than that, the neocons were right about everything.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 04-24-14 10:58 AM
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I'm not sure I understand what you mean by truth and fiction, but I hadn't really thought about it this way: would the result have been any different in WMD had been found? If we assume that conditions on the ground in 04 and 05 would have been as they were -- and why wouldn't they have been -- then the domestic political situation in 2006 would've been as it was, and everything subsequent as well.

Those if us who were right in the spring of 2003 wouldn't have gotten to swagger about, but I'm not sure whether our swaggering about changed anything in Iraq, or in DC.

But the neocons were wrong about everything about Iraq itself, and the effect the invasion would have on other states in the region. They were only right about the proposition that a US president could bamboozle a large enough segment of the population long enough to get re-elected.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 04-24-14 11:22 AM
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And the consequence of them having gotten so much wrong about Iraq is that they're really having a tough time getting the government to invade Syria, or threaten Russia with force.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 04-24-14 11:24 AM
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would the result have been any different in WMD had been found?

Well, since the idiot Franks failed to secure the (supposed) WMD sites, if they had actually had WMD in them, it would have gone walkabout and been used by the various insurgent groups. So the result would have been a few more dead coalition soldiers, and tens of thousands more dead Iraqis. They would have gassed the Golden Mosque, for example.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 1:32 AM
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One of the many naive beliefs about the world I had prior to 2005 was that there was no way they would be lying about WMDs, because if they got caught lying, they knew that outraged American voters would punish them. It turns out that that they knew that they could lie with impunity because nobody cared. This still surprises me just a little bit.

Another thing that surprised me about the neocons was how much they believed their own bullshit. If they really followed the model of postwar Japan, they would have cut off the head of the government, but left the body intact. Instead, they fired the entire government, and trumpeted how they were going to get Iraq's economy going again via a flat tax.

If the purpose of the war had just been to steal oil and funnel money to defense contractors, it probably would have worked out better for both the US and Iraq. Unfortunately, the policy-makers had actual ideological beliefs about how the world worked, all of which proved to be wrong.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 4:52 AM
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||Ils sont fous ces journalistes:


Barrage pro-russe en route vers Kramatorsk. Le milicien nous avise de ne pas y aller: "ça tire". C'est pour ça qu'on y va!

Tweeted earlier today by some Canadian correspondent.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 5:13 AM
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since the idiot Franks failed to secure the (supposed) WMD sites

Surely the idiots were whoever put an ancient Germanic tribe in charge of a modern task.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 5:27 AM
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212: Google translate isn't making sense of that. Do the Canadians still speak French wrong?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 5:56 AM
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I'm sure teraz will correct me, but it's roughly
Pro-Russian press towards Kramatorsk. We've been told (by a militiaman) not to go there: "there's shooting." That's why we're going there!

Not sure why Google doesn't render it well, but tirer is a verb that means lots of things (to pull, in the simplest sense).


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 6:07 AM
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Pro-Russian barricade, not press.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 6:11 AM
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Oops. To my credit, didn't mean press as in media, meant as in advance on territory. Still not right, but not alarmingly wrong.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 6:15 AM
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Lurkers in email have it "Pro-Russian roadblock on the road to Kramotorsk." Which seems more clear to me.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 6:19 AM
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211 is me too.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 6:51 AM
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Yes; as we all know, you talk about a "barrage" of criticism, or abuse, or even fire, because the term originally comes from WW1 trench warfare, where you laid down a persistent bombardment along pre-planned lines to act as a barricade against the enemy reinforcing the position you were attacking.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 6:52 AM
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208-209: I'm not arguing that the nuts are omniscient or omnipotent, only that their approach is powerful for reasons that liberals fail to understand.

Would the neocons be better positioned to foment war absent Iraq? It's a really thorny counterfactual, but my intuition is that Iraq broke down taboos within the U.S. Nobody talks about "Iraq Syndrome" the way they did "Vietnam Syndrome." War - even catastrophically mismanaged war - doesn't have much cost at all to the neocons, especially compared to the benefits.

Anyway, forced to choose, I think the neocons would rather destroy Iraq than Syria. Arguably they actually had that choice at the time. (The ties to terrorism and WMD actually exist in with Syria, although as we've seen, that doesn't matter.)

But the neocons were wrong about everything about Iraq itself, and the effect the invasion would have on other states in the region.

Since being wrong about this sort of thing doesn't matter to the neocons, you really can't mark this against them.

If you're not reality-based, you have to be careful about this stuff - you can't drink your own Kool-Aid. You can't invest as though hyper-inflation is around the corner, for instance. But the neocons got what they wanted out of Iraq - they scratched their sociopathic itch, doled out fantastic amounts of patronage to themselves, and kept the U.S. from pursuing other projects it might have undertaken with that money. It's win-win-win.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 7:01 AM
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But the neocons got what they wanted out of Iraq - they scratched their sociopathic itch, doled out fantastic amounts of patronage to themselves, and kept the U.S. from pursuing other projects it might have undertaken with that money. It's win-win-win.

That sounds about right.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 7:12 AM
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No, the "good" news is that they wanted way more than they got, and so are disappointed. I think there definitely is an Iraq Syndrome -- you're not reading about it because WaPo is neocon controlled (and has been since it was endorsing funding the Contras) -- and it's why we aren't much more actively engaged in Syria. The neocon narrative is that we're not in Syria because O is weak, but everyone knows it's really because there's no real appetite outside of neocon circles for more war. Yeah, he's weak, but it's not that he's too weak to confront Assad, he's too weak to successfully confront a public tired of war.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 7:49 AM
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