by Sam Stein and Michael Calderone, Huffington Post, 5/18/15
WASHINGTON — Though there were some bumps, leading Republican presidential candidates in the past week settled on an Iraq war narrative. Yes, the intelligence turned out to be faulty, so much so that there wouldn’t be a strong enough case to authorize the invasion in retrospect. But there was consensus that at the time President George W. Bush made the call, something had to be done about the threat posed by Iraq.
For those lawmakers who actually voted against the war, and those journalists who reported skeptically before the attack, this is misleading at best and self-serving at worst. Watching the revisionist story take hold 13 years after they opposed the invasion is reviving the frustration and marginalization they felt back then.
“I was amazed, absolutely amazed at how people were supporting going to war on the basis of things that just weren’t so,” said former Sen. Kent Conrad (D-N.D.), one of a handful of members who opposed the invasion. “It was clear as it could be. Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11. None of the intel suggested they had anything to do with 9/11 and the whole rationale for WMD [weapons of mass destruction] was just very, very thin for anybody who read the intelligence reports.” As for the 2016 candidates’ comments, he said: “It is just a rewriting of history in an attempt for everybody to cover their extraordinary mistake; probably one of the most serious mistakes in the military and diplomatic history of the United States, and they were all complicit.”…
continue reading at Huffington Post
by Paul Krugman, New York Times, 5/18/15
Surprise! It turns out that there’s something to be said for having the brother of a failed president make his own run for the White House. Thanks to Jeb Bush, we may finally have the frank discussion of the Iraq invasion we should have had a decade ago.
But many influential people — not just Mr. Bush — would prefer that we not have that discussion. There’s a palpable sense right now of the political and media elite trying to draw a line under the subject. Yes, the narrative goes, we now know that invading Iraq was a terrible mistake, and it’s about time that everyone admits it. Now let’s move on.
Well, let’s not — because that’s a false narrative, and everyone who was involved in the debate over the war knows that it’s false. The Iraq war wasn’t an innocent mistake, a venture undertaken on the basis of intelligence that turned out to be wrong. America invaded Iraq because the Bush administration wanted a war. The public justifications for the invasion were nothing but pretexts, and falsified pretexts at that. We were, in a fundamental sense, lied into war.
The fraudulence of the case for war was actually obvious even at the time….
continue reading at New York Times
By Andy Borowitz, The New Yorker, 1/1/15
WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report)—In the strongest sign to date that he intends to seek the 2016 Republican Presidential nomination, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush has officially resigned his position as George W. Bush’s brother.
“No longer being related to his brother is a key step to clearing Jeb’s path to the nomination,” an aide said on New Year’s Day. “We expect his poll numbers to soar on this.”
According to the aide, the former Florida governor resigned his post as brother in a ten-minute phone call with George W. Bush, after which he blocked the former President’s phone number and e-mail address.
In an official statement, George W. Bush said that he “understands and supports” his former brother’s decision.
“If I were him, I would no longer be related to me either,” he said.
(letter sent to Daily Local 4/9/08)
The sentiment to end this wasteful war was not invented by Karen Porter; it is the expressed opinion of an American majority — average working people who have turned their back on enabling this costly, fruitless and interminable engagement.
The flag-wavers may revel in noisy solidarity while trying to dehumanize those who dare speak truth to power, but please don’t confuse such antics with patriotism. Look in the mirror, folks, this call for “victory” in Iraq betrays both starry-eyed ignorance and a talent for romanticizing misguided and unnecessary conflicts. What does it take for these self-anointed “troop supporters” to stand up to a self-serving President and his me-first gang of profiteers?
Ask a soldier if they think breaking the military with multiple tours makes sense, as most generals seem to worry how we would handle trouble elsewhere. Not even the “Green Zone”appears to be safe these days, and not even the administration that created the biggest strategic blunder in U.S. history, emboldening Iran by neutralizing Iraq, speaks seriously of “victory.”
No, Bush and Petraeus speak only of “stabilization,” a goal that according to Iraq Study Group experts (as reported by the Associated Press) is “no closer than a year ago.”