Why Are We In Iraq?

Think of some idiot (Bush) setting off a bomb outside a building full of people, the bomb damages the building but not quite bad enough that it collapses, and then you have to stand there holding up a wall. If you let go the wall collapses, kills all the people in the building, and kills you. But while you are standing there the people are fighting instead of doing what they need to do to shore up the building themselves. You’re getting tired of standing there holding up the wall. But, like I said, if you let go the building collapses on the people and kills you, too. THAT is what Bush has brought us.
Nobody knows why we are in Iraq. Or, putting it a different way, everybody knows — a different reason. Every smallest demographic was fed a reason they might buy into. Recent MyDD polling shows what I mean:

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Eavesdropping Without Warrants — It’s About Following the Law

Earlier this month I asked, Was Bush Wiretapping the Kerry Campaign? The problem is, we have no way to know.
Let’s get serious for a minute about Bush’s assertion that as Commander in Chief he has the “wartime” right to do anything he feels is necessary, without warrants and regardless of laws. Asking if they are wiretapping political opponents is not a far-fetched question because without warrants there is no check or balance on what they do. THAT is why our Constitution requires warrants – so a judge can look over what they are doing. It’s like asking us to trust Nixon, and we know how that worked out, don’t we? Or Reagan and we know about Iran/Contra, or Bush’s father, and we know about how many he had to pardon to keep himself out of jail. We’re not supposed to trust our politicians – that’s why we require warrants.
In the previous post I wrote,

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If Iran Really Is A Threat …


Now Bush is telling us that Iran is a threat. (That’s Iran with an ‘n’, not Iraq with a ‘q’.)
Iran may well be a threat. This may well be a serious crisis. But we have a problem: a President with no credibility. Mid-2003 I wrote,

Saying there was an imminent threat from Iraq when, at the very least, the intelligence did not support such a claim, opens the public up to doubt the next time a President needs to protect us from an ACTUAL threat. …. He has broken the bond of trust between the public and the Office of the President on the most critical issue, and politicized the process, and this has placed us all in danger should there be an ACTUAL threat to our nation and our lives in the future.

And here we are – maybe. A man who defends starting a needless war by saying it was an honest mistake is now telling us that Iran is a threat, and this time it’s for real. Naturally, the reaction of many in the world is that Bush saying Iran is a threat makes it more likely that not that Iran is not a threat.
There is a way for Bush to convince the world that there really is a terrible threat from Iran and that we must deal with it.

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Was Bush Wiretapping the Kerry Campaign?

I have a question about the NSA wiretapping scandal: Was Bush wiretapping the Kerry campaign? Were they wiretapping campaigns for the Senate and Congress?
Is this the reason they couldn’t get warrants?
This is one of the questions this brings up. Another is, were they wiretapping anti-war leaders?

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The Salvador Option

The “Salvador Option” — Will they start using it here?
Go read Newsweek, January 9, 2005, The Salvador Option.

Now, NEWSWEEK has learned, the Pentagon is intensively debating an option that dates back to a still-secret strategy in the Reagan administration’s battle against the leftist guerrilla insurgency in El Salvador in the early 1980s. Then, faced with a losing war against Salvadoran rebels, the U.S. government funded or supported “nationalist” forces that allegedly included so-called death squads directed to hunt down and kill rebel leaders and sympathizers.
. . . Following that model, one Pentagon proposal would send Special Forces teams to advise, support and possibly train Iraqi squads, most likely hand-picked Kurdish Peshmerga fighters and Shiite militiamen, to target Sunni insurgents and their sympathizers, even across the border into Syria, according to military insiders familiar with the discussions.

Now, almost 11 months later, we begin to see the policy in action.

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A Question About Withdrawal From Iraq

I have a question for those who advocate that we “just leave” Iraq: We wrongly invaded, destroyed their infrastructure and killing hundreds of thousands. Do we pay reparations? Do we pay to rebuild the infrastructure of Iraq? Do we pay death benefits to the families? What TERMS do we offer to end the war? (If you think that wars just end when one side decides to “just leave” I suggest opening a history book.)
Do we prosecute the people who started the war? What do we do if Iran and their Taliban-like government ends up in control of the region?

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What Do We Do About Iraq?

I think it is urgent that the US not have invaded Iraq. We should do absolutely everything we can to prevent the United States from having invaded Iraq. But since the U.S. already did I think that the people who engineered that invasion should be brought before the World Court and hung for the crime of committing aggressive war. Just as after WWII the world needs to SEE that this is what happens to people who start wars. And I think the entire “conservative movement” machine with its corrupt DeLay/Norquist/Reed/Abramoff lobbying/funding should be dismantled and prosecuted and imprisoned. I think democracy demands this.
That said, what do we do now? Iraq is really a no-win situation, for millions and millions of people. So looking at what should be done about Iraq I think we need to undertand that the reality is that none of us have any say over what will happen. And another reality to consider: Bush is getting ready to cut and run and retreat because The Party sees a late-2006 “War is Over” announcement as a way to keep power.
Again — anything you or I say should happen is not relevant to what will happen. It is simply blowing hot air into the wind and nothing more.

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