Monday, March 31, 2008

Five Years

March 2008 is poised to enter the history books, and I would be remiss if I didn't stop to take note of the fifth anniversary this month of something rather momentous in the history of the world.

The U.S. invasion of Iraq? Well, no, I meant the establishment of this blog. Five years of Excellence in Bloviating – where does the time go?

But while I'm at it, there is the matter of the five-year-old Bush/Cheney/neocon hobbyist war that, to date, has wasted the lives of 4,000 American soldiers, physically and psychically maimed tens of thousands more, murdered as many as an estimated one million Iraqis, pissed away half a trillion (trillion!) dollars and counting of productive wealth, and turned the United States into a justly loathed pariah state.

Over the past few weeks, we -- the ordinary schmoes forced to absorb a fair chunk of the staggering costs of this most unnecessary evil -- have been treated to, on the one hand, numerous "The Surge Is Working!" proclamations from the moral and mental midgets who pushed this calamity on the world and, on the other hand, several "I Was Wrong" symposia featuring the less ideologically deluded but still monumentally dumb or dishonest (who knows which -- or cares, when the result is the same?) members of the professional commentariat.

In either case, the people who might provide the most interesting and penetrating insight into this disaster are seldom heard from: Those who opposed the war from the beginning.

Seriously, who the fuck gives a shit what some neocon "experts" from the Israeli American Enterprise Institute have to say in March 2008? They were and are all wrong, wrong, wrong. About everything. In a normal world -- one I find increasingly hard to inhabit, though I still deem the attempt to do so vital -- such people forfeit all credibility, and, if not run out of town on a rail, at least stop appearing on TV as "experts." I'm looking at you, Fred Kagan, Bill Kristol, and Robert Kagan, among many, many others. (Hey, even Dougie Feith, resigned Under Secretary of Defense currently Under Investigation for the bullshit he helped manufacture in support of invading Iraq as head of the "Office of Special Plans," has an important-sounding book coming out, no doubt explaining his murderous brilliance to us ungrateful plebes.)

Dipshit, war criminal, and worthless turdYo, George Bush, what happened to "Mission Accomplished"? Isn't Saddam Hussein out of power for, like, four years running now? What's the holdup in getting the fuck out of there? What's that? Oh, the real reasons for this war still haven't been made public? Despite a string of debunked fantasies -- from "weapons of mass destruction" to "implanting democracy in the Middle East" -- continuing to embarrass you and disgrace us?

Swell. As he leaves office -- scheming to start another war in Iran   -- George Bush may wonder about his place in history. Again, in a sane world, that place would be secure: in prison.

I don't take any pleasure in saying "I told you so," and I'm sure Orange County Register editorial writer Steven Greenhut doesn't, either, but as one of those critics-from-the-start who can provide the aforementioned interesting, penetrating insight, he is qualified to have the last word:

On April 6, 2003, I wrote in a column: "As I see it, this pre-emptive war is unjustified. There is no real threat to the United States, only a theoretical one based on faulty premises. It is unjust, in that it is not a war of last resort. It will kill lots of people. It will run up tens of billions of dollars in costs, and it will lead to the limiting of civil liberties at home. Furthermore, America will be managing Iraq for years, perhaps decades, and our presence there is more likely to destabilize than democratize the region. It's also a war based largely on the unrealistic Wilsonian sentiments that democracy can be imposed on people at gunpoint."

Later that month, I argued that the attack "will ignite the fires of Islamic fundamentalism and perhaps even prop up a neighboring Iranian fundamentalist regime that had been facing increasing domestic resistance." You get the idea. If we could figure it out, why couldn't the nation's brain trusts?
Indeed. And explain to me again why they aren't in jail yet.

Update 4/1: Oh, and by the way, despite the fact that the U.S. government spends hundreds of billions every year on "defense," almost as much as the rest of the world combined (think about that!), the director of the CIA basically says another 9/11 could happen anytime. Some defense! (Justin Raimondo has more.) Of course, the U.S. government doesn't actually care about American citizens, except insofar as we can be milked and exploited by the vampires who inhabit it.

Update II 4/1: More context on the Bush/Cheney planned assault on Iran. I wish this were an April Fool's joke, but all signs say it's coming, and soon. I can't wait to be told the Iranians hate us for our freedom, too.