Something fairly profound–and yet obvious–occurred to me the other day.
But first, a question: what’s the single worst blunder the U.S. Government has made in the last, say, 30 years? The worst mistake we’ve made? Think something that was entirely avoidable, accomplished through a massive campaign of misinformation, lies, and deceit, that has been a complete disaster ever since.
If you answered the Wall St. Crash of ’08–close, close–good guess. And for those of you that said NAFTA or some of the other free trade agreements responsible for the “giant sucking sound” we’ve heard as jobs leave the country–well, there’s a pretty strong case for that too.
But no, it seems to me the biggest disaster in recent history is the Iraq War–oh you know, the one we were lied into by Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Powell, Rice, and company, plus certain notorious reporters (“cough” Judith Miller) who were either in on the game or just really dumb and naive.
Yep. That, as we say here on ChuckingRocks, was bad. Real bad. I mean, the Iraq war cost U.S. taxpayers at least $2 trillion. That’s the low estimate–some say $7 trillion. In addition, almost 200,000 people were killed directly by the war. That number includes 4,488 American troops who were killed. Another 32,223 were injured. Oh, and if we include people that were indirectly killed as a result, the footprint of death stands at half a million.
Oh, and let’s remember too, this war was ENTIRELY UNNECESSARY. We were told there were weapons of mass destruction. We were told the Iraqi’s were on the path to a nuclear bomb. We were told Saddam Hussein was involved in 9/11. They compared him to Hitler; said if we didn’t go to war, it would be like appeasing Germany in the run up to WWII. Indeed, it’s fair to say, we, the American people, were whipped into a frenzy by our own President and his entire administration, to start a war on what they knew to be false premises.
So suffice it to say, the Iraq War is the most shameful thing that’s been done by the U.S. Government in recent history–arguably, ever. I mean, I haven’t even gotten into the fact we tortured people, or that the power vacuum left by Saddam has been filled by ISIS, or the massive fraud committed by companies like Halliburton and Black Water, costing taxpayers untold billions.
But somehow, insanely, Republicans and Conservatives want round two. They want to do the Iraq war all over again.
Only this time it’s Iran.
Iran is going to get a bomb, we’re told. We can’t trust them, we’re told. If we sign this deal it’s appeasement, we’re told. Basically, all the same nonsense the Bush Administration and the media fed us in the run up to Iraq, is what we’re being told now about Iran. Seriously.
Don’t believe me? Type “weekly standard appeasement” into your Google machine (just the words, no quotes–or just click the hyperlink). For those that don’t know, The Weekly Standard is a very conservative newspaper/magazine. What’s amazing is that they are using the EXACT SAME ARGUMENT to warmonger about Iran as they did for Iraq. Look at the dates: the first one is in 2015, the third one is in 2002.
I mean, Republican politicians and Right Wing Media are going absolutely nuts about this Iran deal. Just the other day, Presidential Candidate Mike Huckabee said that by signing the deal, President Obama, “will take the Israelis and march them to the door of the oven.”
We’ve had Senators publicly say that Secretary of State John Kerry is naive, that he’s been “fleeced” and “bamboozled”; Senator Tom Cotton even compared him to “Pontius Pilate”–you know, the guy that killed Jesus.
So, I’d ask these, for lack of a better term, idiots, two questions:
1) What do you propose to do instead of a deal described by experts as “at the highest macro level… fantastic”?
Given that deal we got is the best we’re going to get, the only rational answer is that we should go to war.
2) Seriously? You want to get into a “pre-emptive” war in the Middle East, like the one we had 12 years ago that cost $2 trillion, 4,488 American lives, and was responsible for the the deaths of half a million people? Really? That’s your plan?
Yep. That’s their plan. Apparently, the Republican Party, their media apparatus, and their voters think we should go to war with Iran, basically, for the exact same reasons we went to war in Iraq.
Frankly, I’m not sure what’s more scary: that if a Republican President is elected we’ll almost surely end up at war with Iran, or that the people named above are actually that stupid. Because we’ve seen this show before–I mean, I hyperlinked to all the facts about Iraq in case people have forgotten (which, obviously, many have), but personally, I remember. It wasn’t that long ago, and I remember hearing all the same reasons we should go to war with Iraq that we’re hearing now about Iran.
So, here’s the question: why should we believe these people? Why should we believe the war-mongerers, like Charles Krauthammer, Fox News, and nearly every Republican politician in the country–the same people who were so wrong about Iraq? Why?
It’s like the joke Bush mucked up–the right version is: fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me.
The answer is that we shouldn’t. Republicans were wrong then about Iraq, and they’re wrong now about Iran.
And, as usual with Republicans, let’s not forget that the real reason they’ve got such a boner to go to war with Iran is that there’s money to be made for their donors. Remember Tom Cotton? He’s the guy that wrote the letter to Iran along with 46 other Republican Senators, essentially attempting to sabotage U.S. foreign relations. Which is at the very least a violation of the Logan Act, if not treason.
But never mind that. After signing the letter, Cotton met with and spoke to a major lobbying group for defense contractors… the next day. That group included “Northrop Grumman, L-3 Communications, ManTech International, Boeing, Oshkosh Defense and Booz Allen Hamilton, among other firms.”
Boy would they love a war with Iran. And that’s really what all this Iran stuff it about: politics.
For one, President Obama is for this deal, so Republicans with their antivalues are automatically against it. Two, Republicans are blatant hypocrites on spending when it comes to the military. Oh no, they don’t have money for schools, infrastructure, poor people, or even healthcare, but there’s all kinds of money for military contractors. You scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours; or, as my high school history teacher liked to say, “war is good business.” Especially for Republicans.
So make no mistake, the Republican opposition to this deal, and their tacit desire for war with Iran, is completely political.
But war with Iran would be a horrifying mistake. And the reasons for war are practically identical to the ones we were given for invading Iraq, which again, is perhaps the single worst act of the U.S. Government ever–certainly the worst within the last 30 years or so.
So don’t buy into the war mongering. We already did this with Iraq. Only the biggest idiots in the world would want to do this again.