IN TWEET: TO MARK THE TENTH ANNIVERSARY OF THE START OF THE IRAQ WAR, SOME ARE TRYING TO RE-WRITE HISTORY. WE’RE NOT GOING TO LET THAT HAPPEN.
BOONDOGGLE (noun): a project that is considered a useless waste of both time and money, yet is often continued due to extraneous policy motivations.
Yesterday marked the 10th anniversary of the start of the Iraq War. While anyone who is awake and has at least one foot planted in reality knows the truth, there are some folks who are clearly hell bent on re-writing history. Just so we’re all starting at the jumping off point, here are the facts:
- There were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.
- Despite assertions to the contrary, there was no credible evidence that Iraq was actively producing or trying to start production of chemical, biological or nuclear weapons.
- Despite assertions to the contrary, there was no credible evidence of a link between Saddam Hussein and Al-Qaeda.
- The Iraq War is not now nor was it ever designed to “liberate the people of Iraq.”
- The Iraq War was based on a well-orchestrated and intentionally designed plan by the Bush Administration.
- President George W. Bush, you lied to us.
- Vice President Dick Cheney, you lied to us.
- Donald Rumsfeld, you lied to us.
- Condoleeza Rice, you lied to us.
- The news media, a large majority of Americans and a majority of our elected officials enabled the campaign of lies and fell in line with the liars even if they suspected something was fishy.
While some might greet this list with a “well, duh,” judging by Tweets, interviews and right wing media reports yesterday, it’s pretty obvious that an attempt to re-position the Iraq War as a liberation effort is well underway. It’s also important to acknowledge the last bullet point on my list because hindsight is 20/20. I remember all too well being in the minority at the time when I would question the flimsy evidence we were being presented or post public comments supporting folks like The Dixie Chicks.
While it’s certainly offensive that these latest attempts at revisionist history have been timed to coincide with the 10th anniversary of the start of the Iraq War, it’s even more reprehensible when you remember that this same war resulted in the deaths of almost 4,500 US troops and well over 100, 000 Iraqi citizens. Even if there was an iota of truth to the “war of liberation” fiction, those combined body counts would add up to be a pretty shoddy effort at freeing a repressed people.
There’s a ton of great writing out there on the 10th anniversary of the Iraq War (some of it is linked to throughout this post) but I found this timeline from Mother Jones to be especially illuminating. CLICK HERE to check it out.
Rachel Maddow did a great piece yesterday focusing on Donald Rumsfeld that I think is particularly well done and worth watching.
One of the best catch-all summaries of the war came from Chris Matthews yesterday. I was happy to see him take the news media to task for dropping the ball.
I was on vacation in Thailand 10 years ago this week. I watched then President George W. Bush announce the start of military operations in Iraq on the only TV screen available at our tiny resort on Ko Samui. It was both bizarre and disconcerting to be a world away from home at the start of a war. It was also especially frustrating because even then I knew we were being lied to.
Though we were the only Americans in the room when the announcement was made (outside of the US the war was extremely unpopular from the start), at no time did anyone direct so much as an angry glance our way. On the contrary, all of our interactions with those from other countries were exceedingly positive and deeply gratifying. In fact, the next morning I was out with a pair of Muslim fishermen helping them with their crabbing in the tidal pools.
I mention all of this because I’ve never forgotten this window of time and these are memories that remind me of the basic good of most people. These experiences and the lives of those lost in the Iraq War must not be forgotten. It is equally important that we do everything in our power to ensure that such a grand lie is never repeated.
If you missed the excellent MSNBC documentary HUBRIS, here it is in six parts. Each is a thematic segment that, as a collective, takes a damning look at the campaign of lies that led to the Iraq War.
HUBRIS is based on the book HUBRIS: THE INSIDE STORY OF SPIN, SCANDAL AND THE SELLING OF THE IRAQ WAR by David Corn from Mother Jones and Michael Isikoff.