Thursday, March 26, 2015

The Iraq War and The Fine Art of Republican Revisionism

by Nomad

Anti-War MemeNo matter how intense the barrage of propaganda and how constant the lies, Americans owe it to the 4,486 U.S. soldiers that died in Iraq to remember. Remembering the lessons of the war might just prevent the nation from making the same disastrous mistakes.

Margaret Meiers, in an op-ed piece for the Pittsburgh Post-gazette, asks how Americans can possible be so forgetful of recent events. 
Responding to an earlier newspaper opinion post, she states:
While Fox News and Bush administration officials try to rewrite history, it is known that faulty intelligence was drummed up and cherry-picked to be used to convince the people of the United States, Congress and the United Nations into supporting war.
Intelligence and Something Else
In case,  you need some reminders, Meiers provides us with a short list.
Remember Joe Wilson and Valerie Plame? Judith Miller’s reporting in The New York Times about aluminum tubes? Colin Powell’s address to the United Nations based on lies? The Downing Street memo? Remember “mushroom clouds,” duct tape and Curveball? And let’s not forget the Project for a New American Century, which openly pushed for war against Iraq before 9/​11 (the architects of whom are now Jeb Bush’s election campaign committee to keep him informed on foreign policy). Great.
Ignorance of events that happened, say in your grandfather's time may be forgiven but these things happened in 2003. We have a duty to those who died not to allow lies to mask the truth. We owe them that much at least.

And it is not just Fox News. In 2013, The Wall Street Journal (also Murdoch-owned) featured an article by Bret Stephen. In that article he claimed that the case for war was made based on "highly detailed" intelligence revealing weapons of mass destruction. 
In response to this nonsense, Media Matters shreds Stephen's allegation without breaking a sweat. 
(A)n investigation into the lead up to the Iraq war found that statements President Bush made about Iraq misled the American people and Congress by inaccurately depicting the available intelligence.
That opinion was supported by the Senate.
The 2008 Senate Intelligence Committee's report found that "policymakers' statements" in particular misrepresented the nature of contacts between Iraq and Al Qaeda, and that Bush's allegations "that Iraq and al-Qa'ida had a partnership" were "not substantiated by the intelligence." The report also found that statements by Bush and Vice President Cheney indicating that Saddam Hussein was prepared to give WMDs to terrorists for use against the U.S. "were contradicted by available intelligence information."
The Right's Whitewash
The Clint Eastwood film, American Sniper, casually scrubbed the facts about the reasons for the invasion, claiming a connection between 911 and Saddam Hussein. The New Republic points out why such a treatment is a whitewash of crimes.
Treating Kyle as a patriot and ignoring any other possibility allows Americans to ignore the consequences of invading a country that had no weapons of mass destruction, had nothing to do with 9/11, and had no meaningful ties to Al Qaeda (our invasion, of course,changed that).
Most on the Left dismissed the film as "dangerous propaganda that sanitizes a mass killer and rewrites the Iraq war."

In September of last year, Washington Post columnist, former Bush speechwriter,  Marc Thiessen makes the claim that George W. Bush was “prophetic” when he warned that withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq would lead to renewed violence in the country. 
As Politicususa reminds us before blaming Obama for withdrawing troops, Republican apologists really ought to review their facts.   
" October 2008 George W. Bush was president when the Status of Forces Agreement was drafted and ratified by Iraqi lawmakers a month later in November 2008. The pertinent part of the agreement that President Obama honored was that, “All the United States Forces shall withdraw from all Iraqi territory no later than December 31, 2011.
Drums, Boots and Disloyalty
As John McCain once again beats the drums of war and demands boots of the ground, we should never forget his role in promoting the poorly-thought out invasion of Iraq. 
Candidate Obama in 2008 pointed out that McCain's insistent  calls for invasion began right after the September 11 attacks and were never based on the evidence. The responsibility for the deaths of nearly 5000 American soldiers is something John McCain has never accepted. Bush, Rumsfeld and Cheney too have never take responsibility for their mistakes.
They simply want to move on the next opportunity to make war.
As Meiers says:
And no one cries out for war more than the Republicans in Congress.
She concludes with another observation. The Republicans are presently falling all over themselves to castigate the president, the commander in chief, for being "to slow to defend the United States."
This is simply something Fox has made up, and if you hear it enough you believe it. The “lunatic right” loves to hear it, though, simply because of their mind-numbing hatred of our president. Remember George W. Bush’s “you’re either with us or against us”? Back then not supporting our president was considered treasonous. Now it’s de rigueur.
When Bush was president, it was disloyal to even question the president's policies. That's just another thing the GOP has conveniently forgotten the moment Obama took office.