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Former Head Of U.S. Special Forces: ISIS Would Not Exist If Bush Hadn’t Invaded Iraq

The hawks on the right love to claim that the invasion of Iraq during the George W. Bush Administration was a good thing for Iraq, the United States, and the long-term security of the Middle East, even though it has been proven time and time again to be a bigger myth than unicorns.

Now the former commander of American special forces in Afghanistan and Iraq, retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, says the Iraqi invasion actually helped create newer, more lethal terrorists such as ISIS.

General Flynn told a German newspaper:

“We were too dumb. We didn’t understand who we had there at that moment. When 9/11 occurred, all the emotions took over, and our response was, ‘Where did those bastards come from? Let’s go kill them. Let’s go get them.’ Instead of asking why they attacked us, we asked where they came from. Then we strategically marched in the wrong direction.”

Iraq and Afghanistan were never connected in anyway whatsoever, despite protestations to the contrary by Dick Cheney and Condoleezza Rice in the runup to the Iraq war. Our invasion merely created a gigantic vacuum which was first filled by al-Qaeda in Iraq and then by ISIS.

Flynn also remarked:

“First we went to Afghanistan, where al-Qaeda was based, then we went to Iraq. Instead of asking ourselves why the phenomenon of terror occurred, we were looking for locations. This is a major lesson we must learn in order not to make the same mistakes again.”

And the retired general also said that he deeply regrets his role in the war against Iraq which has given rise to ISIS and other extremist terror groups:

“It was huge error. As brutal as Saddam Hussein was, it was a mistake to just eliminate him. The same is true for Moammar Gadhafi and for Libya, which is now a failed state. The historic lesson is that it was a strategic failure to go into Iraq. History will not be and should not be kind with that decision.”

Did you hear that, Dick Cheney? A strategic failure. And we lay it all at your feet, Dr. Evil. No doubt you will now try to question the motives and patriotism of a man who served his country with honor and distinction. That’s what miserable weasels do when they’re cornered.

This article was originally published by the same author at LiberalAmerica.org.

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Foreign Policy Politics War and Peace

George H.W. Bush Rips Into Dick Cheney And Donald Rumsfeld In New Book

Former President George H.W. Bush has some strong criticism of Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld in a new biography which will be published later this year.

The book, Destiny and Power: The American Odyssey Of George Herbert Walker Bush, was written by Jon Meacham and includes quotes from the 41st President saying that Cheney and Rumsfeld were too hawkish and their harsh stance badly damaged the reputation of the United States.

Bush refers to Cheney by noting:

“I don’t know, he just became very hard-line and very different from the Dick Cheney I knew and worked with.”

Cheney served as Secretary of Defense for the elder Bush from 1989-1993.

While still on the topic of Cheney, Bush said:

“The reaction (to Sept. 11), what to do about the Middle East. Just iron-ass. His seeming knuckling under to the real hard-charging guys who want to fight about everything, use force to get our way in the Middle East.”

But the harshest comments are reserved for Rumsfeld, of whom Bush comments:

“I don’t like what he did, and I think it hurt the President. I’ve never been that close to him anyway. There’s a lack of humility, a lack of seeing what the other guy thinks. He’s more kick ass and take names, take numbers. I think he paid a price for that. Rumsfeld was an arrogant fellow.”

For their part, neither Cheney or Rumsfeld would comment on the revelations in the upcoming book. Might that be because they both know what the former President is saying is absolutely true?

As we are already seeing and will become even clearer in coming years, history is not being kind to the administration of George W. Bush or to the extremist neoconservatives he surrounded himself with. The mess we see in today in the Middle East is a direct result of their shoot first and ask questions later policies. Even fellow Republicans know this to be the truth.

This article was originally published by the same author at LiberalAmerica.org.

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Lies And The Lying Liars Who Tell Them, Part 2

As I mentioned in Part 1 of this article, the two main reasons for George W. Bush going into Iraq were Revenge and Riches. But now I want to look at some of the other reasons for the disastrous decision which continues to haunt us all these years later.

Dominate, Subjugate the World

Yes, I truly do believe that Bush and his neoconservative lackeys were operating under the impression that the United States should and could dominate the world with military might. Iraq was the test case. Afghanistan was an easy military victory because it had so little in the way of infrastructure or a will to fight. Instead, the top Al Qaeda leaders decided to flee the country and live to fight another day.

Iraq was the test case for Bush and the necons. When Saddam’s troops offered little in the way of resistance, we now know that military planners were asked to design similar operations for Syria, Iran, and North Korea.

The failure to win the peace in Iraq, along with the likelihood that Syria, Iran, and North Korea already possessed some form of weapons of mass destruction is what kept the Administration from going into these other countries it had identified as part of the “Axis of Evil.” But despite the fact that Bush and his cronies did not begin military action in these other nations, the fact remains that they intended to, and this intent is what damns them.

Money, Money, Money…And The Will To Power

As with nearly everything the United States does internationally, the real motive from the beginning was money. Money from Iraqi oil, money from reconstruction projects, money for infrastructure improvements in Iraq. The Iraqi people went from subjugation by Saddam to subjugation by the U.S. Government. Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

And alongside the lure of lucre, we also have the desire to impose American will around the world when it suits the whims of the kleptocrats who truly control our so-called “elected representatives.” This same will to power has not changed since the founding of our nation. We stole the country from the Native Americans, went to war to steal other parts from Mexico and Spain, and bought portions we could not hope to acquire through other means.

So when our children come to us and want to know why we allowed thousands of Americans to be sacrificed on the altar of greed and power, what will we tell them?

We will tell them the very thing we have been denied all these years: The Truth. Painful as it may be, they deserve to hear the truth at least once in their lives.

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Lies And The Lying Liars Who Tell Them: Part 1

First of all, I did indeed lift this article’s title from a book by Senator Al Franken, and I want to give him credit for that. It’s all his, not mine, but it fits in perfectly with what I want to tackle with this post.

Seems like everywhere you look these days, the subject of the Iraq War continues to come up. Jeb Bush flip-flops on the question of whether or not he would have invaded knowing what we now know. One day he says yes, the next day he claims he misunderstood the question, so no, but then again, maybe yes. Indecision is an ugly thing, and I’m willing to bet Bush has already managed to alienate enough people on both sides of the issue that he has doomed his chances at the White House. Good riddance, I say.

Then Marco Rubio took a swing at the same question and also made an ass of himself. He says it was not a mistake to go into Iraq. Which in my mind means he is now disqualified from being elected to the Presidency. No great loss. He’s a lightweight and always has been. Can we interest you in some water, Senator?

Hillary Clinton was asked this question and, in my opinion, answered it perfectly. It was a mistake, she said, and she deeply regrets her vote to authorize military force in Iraq. Mind you, she still bears part of the blame, as does everyone who voted to give George W. Bush the right to engage in this epic misuse of our national resources, most notably the lives of the young men and women who fought and the trillions of dollars wasted.

But let us now assign the blame where it so squarely belongs: The Bush Administration, with a special emphasis on George W. Bush and Dick Cheney. They are the ones who lied to us. They are the ones who conjured up images of nerve gas, biological weapons, and mushroom clouds. All of these were lies. They were distortions of what the information actually said. Reason? Revenge and riches.

Revenge

George W. Bush never got over the fact that his daddy had left Saddam Hussein power. He saw it as a sign of weakness that also reflected negatively on him. Time to go get Saddam. Gotta make the bad guy pay for his sins. The sins of the father, now visited on the son. Saddam = Evil. Put it in easy terms so everyone can understand, he reasoned. So Saddam was compared to Hitler and painted as a man who would use the weapons of mass destruction he was supposedly harboring. Only problem, of course, is that was bullshit.

For those who like to play the shell game in which they adamantly insist Saddam was a bad guy and the world is better without him, I counter, Yes, he was bad. He killed his own people. He invaded Kuwait. He used chemical weapons on the Kurds. But this was never listed as the reason we went into Iraq a second, fateful time. So please stop hiding behind this crap.

Riches

Who has made more money off the Iraq War than any other entity? Halliburton. And Halliburton was the employer of Dick Cheney prior to his becoming Vice President in 2000. Also, the oil companies to which both Bush and Cheney had extensive ties were salivating like a dog in Pavlov’s laboratory when they saw a chance to get their greedy hands on the Iraqi oil reserves. It was an oilman’s wet dream come true.

So now you see my main thesis. And in Part 2 of this post I will explore more of the motives for the war and what our response should be in light of what we all know now.