Every now and then I get a flash of understanding, like being slapped in the face, and I slap my own forehead and think “Of course! Why have I not seen this before?”
This happened on Friday evening as I read a post by Pogie at Intelligent Discontent wherein he said
The Montana Congressional delegation is calling on President Obama not to send troops to deal with the sectarian violence ripping Iraq apart. I’m reminded of something Colin Powell once said about Pottery Barn. The Cheney-Rumsfeld-Bush cabal’s disastrous war is going to ripple through history and damage American interests for decades. It’s encouraging that our Congressional delegation sees the danger of becoming entangled again.
Here’s the flash of insight I had: Pogie gets his news from NPR. The ‘tell,’ as they say in poker, is the combination of smugness and ignorance.
People who get their news from Fox are in the same boat, ignorant, but are not so smug. In terms of information starvation, both ends of that spectrum are the same, kept in the dark. NPR listeners imagine themselves intellectually superior to Fox viewers, however, and that is just annoying.
Part of the illusion that is imparted by American news is that events can be defined by election intervals. So Pogie thinks that “Bush” and “Cheney” and “Rumsfeld” were in charge of the nation’s military arsenal when the 2003 attack was launched on Iraq. That policy, as I see it, was triggered by the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1990. American administrations come and go, but American foreign policy is a constant, unaffected by those elections. That’s how we roll in our oligarchical splendor.
Below the fold is an exchange with someone oddly familiar to me and anonymous at once, going by the name “Billings Toadstool.” His beef is about American policy towards Iraq, and his idea that the policy has been altered or changed at American election intervals. (I’ll not soon forget how in 2006 the Democrats ran against the Iraq War, won, and then after supported the “surge,” thus ramping it up.)
- The Billowing Toadstool: How in the hell is “do not dismantle the Iraqi government” not a change of policy with “dismantle the Iraqi government”?! While somewhat similar (in that they were involved in Iraq) the policy’s of former President George Bush and former President George W Bush are VASTLY different and it’s ignorent of history to argue elsewise.
- MarkTokarski I beg to differ on that. You must simply step back and gauge broad policy. Try this: The US MIIC* intends to control resources, remove surplus population, reduce the standard of living of those remaining to subsistence, control the government.
With that in mind you can look at our policy in Iraq, 1990 to present, and see it has not changed an iota, and is unencumbered, as is all foreign (and most domestic) policy, by American elections, which are meaningless.
*Military Industrial Intelligence Complex
- The Billowing Toadstool:If our policy has remained unchanged why did it change from Bush Sr.’s “do not dismantle the Iraqi government” to Bush Jr’s “dismantle the iraqi government? I ask this again because you have provided yourself with a frame and then proceeded to state that it has four walls. To deny change in Iraq-US policy between 1990 and today is to deny the 2003 Operation Iraqi freedom which completely rewrote Iraqi-US relations through the instillation of new Iraqi government. Oh I forgot, elections don’t matter to you, thus the people in government are irrelevant because they have no power, no? Thus we are still at war with Saddam Hussein’s Iraqi MIIC, continuously, from 1990 until today. Surely you can understand how preposterous these arguments are? They are your own.
- MarkTokarskiYes, I do realize what these arguments sound like, as it is all strange and different to you. I am used to that reaction. It’s tough living under the American bubble. Information available to you is sparse at best.
You are confusing the overall policy goal, destruction of Iraq, with the interim strategies. The first attack in 1991, was horrible and barbaric, and directed not at military targets, but the civilian infrastructure. They bombed the electric grid and water supply system, schools and hospitals and factories and farms. When it was shown that they had bombed an infant formula factory, the Pentagon propaganda mill quickly turned baby milk into chemical weapons. Americans drank it.
But Iraq still had weapons, and a march on Baghdad to overthrow the government would have produced massive American casualties and threatened public support for the massacre. That was when Bush I announced that he was not going to dismantle the government and that was why. Ultimately, they wanted to dismantle the government. It was strategic retreat.
So they pulled back, set up the sanction regime and refused to let them fix their water system , so that disease would spread, and refused to let them import enough food so that kids and old people would starve. God it was ugly, and that went on all the way through the Clinton years, supposedly a different government due to an election. God that was ugly! meanwhile, the UN was combing the country looking for weapons, and the Iraqis were cooperating and got rid of everything. So by 2003, a supposedly new government due to an election here, assured that the WMD’s were gone, announced they were going after the nonexistent WMD’s and attacked again, this time to dismantle the government and finish the job. And it was interesting to watch because it was the fact that the weapons were gone that prompted the attack, even as they said the weapons were the reason for the attack. Americans are kind of gullible.
That attack, which killed 1.2 million and caused another two million to flee, still did not get the job done, and worse yet, in 2011 the Obama Administration, supposedly a new government put in by election, was forced to concede military defeat and withdraw most troops, as Bush had agreed to do earlier. Iraqis have to be some of the bravest people on the planet. So Obama pretended it was his idea, like he’s in charge and all that, and the Pentagon backed off. Another strategic retreat.
Obama, supposedly a new government here due to an election,, had backed a terrorist attack on Syria, brutal and killing hundreds of thousands, and of course blamed on the Syrian government, but that attack failed too, and those terrorists were in retreat, and so they were retrenched and regrouped, armed with weapons from the new Ukrainian fascist regime and under French, Saudi and American leadership, and have attacked Iraq again. That’s where we are at.
Six elections here in the interim, not a dime’s worth of difference in policy. Same objective, to destroy the country, break it up into fiefdoms, de-populate and reduce them to subsistence, make them scream. This endeth the lesson.
If you love your country, you might consider leaving.
Indeed, American policy against Iraq, 1990 to present, is one of the darkest chapters in our post-war history. Only the Korean and Vietnam massacres took more lives. As with Korean and Vietnam, nary was an American hair threatened prior to the onslaught. It’s naked aggression, the crime for which a few German officers (those not Paperclipped out of Europe) were hanged at Nuremberg. Would that an American general ever sat in trial before a tribunal representing those he has terrorized and murdered all these decades. It would be toe-twitching time.