November 20, 2005

Mem'ries light the corners of my fisking

Just when I thought that yet another day would go by when I found absolutely nothing that would inspire a post, I happen upon Barbra Streisand's latest thesis: The Plan To Invade Iraq Before 9/11. (Well, I didn't just happen upon it -- I went looking for it. I really wish she's post more than once every 2-3 weeks!)
[Actually, I started this yesterday and didb't finish until this morning. Better nate than lever.]

As usual, Babs provides no links to her source material. She prolly just reads what she wants to read and fashions a screed from memory. That's fine, I do that a lot myself. But, then again, she seems to think she oughta be taken a lot more seriously than I'll ever expect to be taken.

Enough, already. Let's just dive right in:

Last week Democratic Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid shut down the Senate. Frustrated, angry and seeking answers, Reid threatened to delay legislative action until the Intelligence Committee followed through on its promised investigation of prewar Iraq intelligence failures. Democrats are demanding answers...and now, so are the American people.
What Harry Reid did was throw a temper trantrum and shut down the Senate as a purely symbolic gesture. Fercryingoutloud, investigations take time. To think that Senator Reid really wanted to end all Senate business until an investigation and report were completed is just daft. I mean, they hadn't even voted for their pay raise yet.

But more importantly, of course, the Democrats are demanding answers to questions to which they seem to already have intuited the answers. It doesn't resemble the scientific method, but I guess that in political science the absence of proof of manipulation is itself proof of manipulation.

But let's remember... 9/11 and faulty intelligence alone did not lead to the invasion of Iraq. This war was being planned in the minds of some for many years.

You got that right! Regime change in Iraq has been official U.S. policy ever since the Iraq Liberation Act of 1998:

As we all learned in elementary school, the legislative branch writes the laws and the executive branch enforces the law. The only difference on this issue between Presidents Clinton and Bush is that President Bush decided to actually enforce the law.

And this would be a good time to ping the Mudville Gazette's excellent Brief History of a Long War. (One caveat: While it's an impressive chronology of the 12-year lead-up to the war, it focuses only on the history as it pertains to WMD. Let's not forget that things like stopping the feeding of people feet-first into plastics shredders were also significant conditions of the cease-fire in '91.)

George Bush's former Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill revealed in his book that at one of the very first National Security Council meetings after Bush took office in January 2001 he discussed the notion of invading Iraq and that he seemed desperate to find an excuse for pre-emptive war against Saddam Hussein.

Woah, Babs is diggin' deep! Was he "desperate to find an excuse" or was he, just maybe, interested in finally resolving the crappy state of affairs that had been going on for the previous decade? Assuming, though, that O'Neill's thusfar unique impression was right: If Bush was "deperate to find an excuse" to go to war against Saddam then there could only be one conclusion: It wasn't all about WMD or about Operation Iraqi Freedom; it was all about Operation Ooooiiiiiiillll! To paraphrase what Bubba once said to Paula Corbin: Kiss this. The oil was flowing pre-war. Unfortunately the food wasn't.
Many of Bush's inner circle are members of Project for the New American Century (PNAC), a neo-conservative think-tank that promotes an ideology of total U.S. world domination through the use of force.
BWAHAHAHAHA!!!! This is their very brief mission statement:
The Project for the New American Century is a non-profit educational organization dedicated to a few fundamental propositions: that American leadership is good both for America and for the world; and that such leadership requires military strength, diplomatic energy and commitment to moral principle.

The Project for the New American Century intends, through issue briefs, research papers, advocacy journalism, conferences, and seminars, to explain what American world leadership entails. It will also strive to rally support for a vigorous and principled policy of American international involvement and to stimulate useful public debate on foreign and defense policy and America's role in the world.

William Kristol, Chairman

Babs, regretfully I repeat myself: This is about peace in our time, not peace only in our place and time. Peace will come when all tyrants are deposed and freedom reigns. Unless you believe that America was not founded on self-rule you'll never believe that America is the 229-year-old light that illuminates the dreams of the tired, huddled masses yearning to breathe free. If you believe that the expansion of the American Revolution throughout the world is a thing to be ashamed of, then you must believe that either: a) America does not stand for freedom, or; b) freedom itself is a tyrant. Or, if you are an isolationistn and the welfare of foreigners is none of our concern then -- like I sorta said earlier -- it's Freedom for Me, not for Thee.
Back in 1998, PNAC sent an open letter to President Clinton urging his administration to implement a strategy for removing Saddam's regime from power.

Gee, y'think that mighta maybe been a good idea?!
This letter was signed by Paul Wolfowitz, Donald Rumsfeld, John Bolton and Richard Perle.

Aah, and the message is about to be judged according to the presumably suspect heuristics of the messenger...:
These men, along with fellow PNAC members Dick Cheney and Scooter Libby, were the primary architects of the Iraq war 5 years later.

"Architects"? Funny; I always thought Generals were the primary architects of a war. But, I suppose she means to imply that the rationale for war in Iraq was based on the idea that, possibly, maybe, removing Saddam Hussein from power was in our national interest. Dammit, she's onto us.
In 2000, PNAC produced a document entitled Rebuilding America's Defenses: Strategies, Forces And Resources For A New Century. The plan outlined how the US should go about taking military control of the Gulf region whether or not Saddam Hussein is in power.

Maybe -- just maybe -- because it's not all about Saddam Frickin Hussein. Maybe there really is **gasp!** a reason, other than chemicals and oil and mushroom clouds, to get rid of an opportunistic butcher. Maybe the future of the lands of traditional Islam really is, finally, linked to our own future afterall -- just like they always said it was. Babs, yer so peaceful that -- if you were in charge -- the next James Bond title and theme song might be called Die And Let Live. Know what I mean?
Let's remember some of our recent history with Iraq and Saddam Hussein.

Yes, let's...
The United States' relationship with Saddam has been vastly contradictory. In the 1980's, the U.S. heavily supported Saddam against Iran in the Iran-Iraq war.

To prevent Iraq being from overrun by Ayatollah Khomeini and his "students". The spread of theocracy in the region was not in our -- or anyone else's -- best interest. You disagree, I see.
Saddam was in violation of human rights laws by gassing the Kurds.

That was in 1988; the same yhear the Iran-Iraq war ended. (This will be an important detail in a moment.)
However, the US turned a blind eye, instead opting to retain a friendly relationship with Saddam in order to access intelligence. The US government furnished Saddam with weapons.

Advice and small arms, at best. I mean, those weren't exactly F-16s that the Iraqi pilots were high-tailing to Iranian airspace in January '91 'cuz they didn't wanna die for Saddam. Those were Soviet MIGs. Don't gimme this crap about how we "built him up" as if we had no duty to knock him down.

If you had a child that you just discovered was diabetic, would you withhold the insulin just because you once gave him some candy? I think we're smart enough to know the difference between philisophical surrender and a larger strategy.

We even have pictures documenting Donald Rumsfeld, then special envoy of President Ronald Reagan, shaking hands with Saddam in 1983!

Woah! 1983!!!?! Do y'mean to tell me that long before Saddam gassed the Kurds our gubmint actually considered that maybe the enemy of our enemy to be an potential ally?! I'm shocked! Shocked and saddened! Where were our chrystal balls when we needed them?!
In 1990, Saddam invaded Kuwait, stating that he believed he had the silent permission to do so by then US Ambassador to Iraq, April Glaspie.

Silent permission. "Silent permission". That phrase just rolls off the tongue, doesn't it? I believe that I've successfully dealt with that relic of an idea hyar.
However, the United States, under George H.W. Bush, responded with Operation Desert Storm to quell the invasion. The same weapons we had given to Saddam to defeat the Iranians a decade earlier, were now being used to kill US soldiers.

Name one.
Although the Persian Gulf War was considered a victory for the United States, ultimately Saddam was not removed from power.

Good to hear you lamenting that!

Oh, but ..."considered" a victory...? Get your head out of your pillow, already.
This was a tremendous disappointment for the conservative hawks emerging in the Republican party.

And there we have it: It's "conservative hawks" that want to spread freedom and democracy and "liberal doves" that want to allow opression and dictatorship to flourish. Thanks for the admission, Babs!
Since the Gulf War, there has been a covert but persistent mission by neo-cons to overthrow Saddam Hussein by any means necessary in order to reorganize the Middle East in the name of democracy.

...and thus, peace...
However democracy was not the reason Bush gave to the country when he decided to invade was the presence of WMDs, which UN inspectors did not find.

**bzzzt** Wrong. WMD was only one of many reasons given for the resumption of hostilities. But we've already been through that.
Former US top weapons inspector David Kay testified before congress asserting this fact. And Director General of the UN's International Atomic Energy Agency, Mohamed ElBaradei, requested more time from the administration to investigate the weapons claims in Iraq before rushing to war. Those in the Bush inner circle had tremendous influence on his final decision to unilaterally attack Iraq in 2003 without the support of the United Nations and the rest of the world.

Because France and Germany (who, by the way, agreed that Saddam had WMD programs) said that they would refuse under any circumstances to support holding Saddam accountable to the UN resolutions. Gee, I wonder why.
The notion of invading Iraq and overthrowing Saddam was gaining momentum long before the terrorists attacked on September 11, 2001.

About 11 years...
Only once America was attacked did Bush and his war mongering neo-con colleagues have the perfect opportunity to utilize faulty intelligence in order to make a case for war and garner the blind support of most of the American public.

We're all blind! Thank goodness we've got Barbra Streisand to rip out our eyes and shove hers into our sockets!
However, we now know that this war, where thousands of young American soldiers have died, was years in the making.

About 12 of 'em...
Let's hope that the frustration, anger and determination felt by Democrats and the American public continue to fuel this investigation to uncover the truth.

And let's hope that the frustration, anger and determination felt by the Iraqi people continue to fuel (there's that oooiiill reference again!) the establishment and growth of freedom and democracy in the Middle East. When they cast their ballots and elect their first legitimate parliament in 30 years; when they can go shopping in the markets without fear of so-called "insurgents" blowing themselves up and taking as many innocent bystanders with them; when they can talk openly about who they voted for, and why, without fear of ending up in a torture cell or rape room, they'll know who to thank. And it wont be isolationist so-called "peace activists" now, will it?

Sic semper tyranus.

Posted by Tuning Spork at November 20, 2005 11:29 AM | TrackBack
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