Meanwhile …

PBS’ Frontline special “Bush’s War” is a profound, inside look into the Iraq War.

I highly recommend watching this program online. It dissects the run-up to the war and its execution with the political infighting and hierarchy in the Bush Administration that turned the situation into a quagmire.

Some of the more interesting points were:

1. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld first raised the idea of invading Iraq on the eve of 9/11. “Bush’s War” showed how Rumsfeld and Vice President Dick Cheney had President Bush’s ear, while Secretary of State Colin Powell or National Security Advisor Condeleezza Rice were left on the outside.

2. The rivalry between Rumsfeld and CIA director George Tenet led to an uncoordinated effort at the start of the Afghanistan offensive. Cheney traveled to CIA headquarters to oversee the intelligence gathering before Iraq War. Rumsfeld sets up his own intelligence group inside the Defense Department, therefore ignoring the National Intelligence Estimate members.

3. John Yoo, in the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Council, grants Bush wide-ranging war powers, without the consent of Powell or Rice, among many others.

4. Ahmed Chalabi, the head of the Iraqi National Congress, first raised the link between Al Qaeda and Iraq and, as the alias of Curveball, provided “intelligence” of Sadaam Hussien having transportable biological weapons.

5. The renegade practices of the administration. Placing the intelligence around the policy, which is opposite of the right process. Before Bush’s speech to the U.N., hastily placing a line about seeking  U.N. resolutions.

6. After winning in Baghdad, the U.S. didn’t establish order and looting broke out. Iraq reconstruction became the task of the Defense Department, not the State Department.

7. The lack of leadership. Chalabi failed as the hand-picked president. Jay Garner, who helped the Kurds after the Gulf War, had a brief run as a leader with a humanitarian focus. (Garner criticizes Chalabi for working with the Iranians and Chalabi criticizes Garner for wanting to employ the Bathists.) The neocon L. Paul Bremer comes in and wants to shoot the looters to send a message. He finds out he doesn’t have the authority. Meanwhile, 30 miles off the coast of California, Bush speaks under the “Mission Accomplished” banner.

There are many, many more nuggets of vital information in this documentary.

Check it out: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/bushswar/

The complete fumbling of the Iraq War had a parallel in today’s news from Pakistan, where Al Qaeda fighting continues in tribal areas.

“Senior officials at the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan, told government auditors that they had received no strategic guidance from Washington on designing, carrying out, financing and monitoring a coordinated American strategy,” a Government Accountability Office study said in the New York Times.

History repeats itself.

G

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One response to “Meanwhile …

  1. I sense that there is a feeling that if the war was executed in a better manner, then the destruction of the country and the desabilization of the greater Middle East wouldn’t be happening ( “It dissects the run-up to the war and its execution with the political infighting and hierarchy in the Bush Administration that turned the situation into a quagmire” , ” The complete fumbling of the Iraq War”.)

    No doubt that the Bush administration’s handling of the war and continuing occupation have been less than adequate, but isn’t the real problem the imperialist policies of the USA that have been in place for years, extending well before the Bush years? We have to face reality, the USA is an empire and the one place it insists that it maintain its hegemony is in the Persian Gulf region. In other regions of the world where US power is projected the stakes are not nearly as high. This has been a cornerstone of US foreign policy for the last 60 years. The USA needs to reject empire in order to avoid situations like the one it finds itself in today. Unfortunately the capitalist elite who control so much of policy in this country are strengthing their grip on power, making any change of course seem rather unlikley in the near to mid-future. The mounting capitalist crisis and world recession that will accompany it (the USA is already at that point and those who thought that the world economy was strong enough to continue growth whilst absorbing a USA slowdown and recession are waking to the realities) will result in a realignment in the capitalist model to ensure profits and for the few at the expense of the vast majority. This will be along the lines of the adoption of neo-liberal economic polices in the late 70’s following the failure for capital of the keyensian model that had been in place across western societies since WWII. We are now at a point where neo-liberalism is failing big capital as a viable way to make profit in the short term. The new form the will appear has yet to be developed or at least adopted, but will enevitably have to be to restart the process of boom and crisis that is characteristic of the capitalist mode of production…..Hum, I seemed to have strayed a bit from my original point, what ever that was. Oh yeah, the occupation of Iraq. My basic point was that to stop the bungling of wars, the wars themselves must be forgone. This means an end to imperialism.

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