Mainstream Lookback at Iraq: Yes, You Can Scream Now

Twitter has been on fire today with myriad quips, snarks, I told you sos and above all, honest lamentations on the 10th anniversary of the American invasion of Iraq. There’s also something else — blowback on the mainstream punditocracy and media sheeplesphere, not so much for getting it all wrong on Iraq — we’ve flogged that one enough over the years. No, it’s a visceral reaction to the offhand way that hacks and so-called “experts” admit to mistakes in judgement without really taking responsibility for their mistakes in judgement. You know, like that old mealymouthed meme, “well, we were wrong, everyone was wrong, we just didn’t know then what we know now,” or my personal favorite, “we in the media weren’t asking the right questions, and we should have asked more.”  Anyone who says those things is a Grade A boob, a real fleeb. It at once shakes off any personal responsibility for laziness and lack of professional integrity, while insisting that the entirety of the journalistic world begins in the White House press gallery and ends at the bar at the National Press Club. Welcome to reality, you’re a little late to the party.

This is why I know exactly what Jeremy Scahill, one of the most dogged investigators in the war-reporting business, who had to write a fabulous book about Blackwater, win a few awards and pound out reams of GWOT exposés before he got a mere whiff of attention from media insider claque, was feeling when he tweeted that he had thrown his shoe at the television this morning.

 Russert is the 27-year-old son of the late Meet the Press legend Tim Russert. Russert now works as a correspondent for NBC and was 17 and attending the prestigious St. Albans School when the Iraq War broke out. I’m sure Scahill’s ire wasn’t fully trained on Russert, but rather for what he symbolized at that moment: the whole of the corporate infotainment craptastrophe, whose only “deep diving” over the last 10 years has invariably involved several celebrity overdoses, marrying monarchs and sordid murder trials we hardly remember anymore.

I like to save my ire for the foreign policy/national security hive dwellers who consistently get asked by the lobotomized mainstream media what they think went wrong with Iraq. We know what went wrong with Iraq, it was the very people who are now being asked to pontificate on it today. If they weren’t being a) honest b) unafraid c) critical d) self-correcting then, what in tarnation do you expect from them now, aside from their so-called Washington credentials, which to me aren’t worth a stick if they couldn’t even be right about the most obvious foreign policy disaster this side of Vietnam.

Today, Foreign Policy online presents to us the most frustrating of all anniversary  retrospectives: Washington navel-gazing. It does this by “teaming up” with the Rand Corporation “to bring together many of the key players who launched, fought, analyzed, and executed the (Iraq) war.” Which means, in essence, a lot of dodging, deflecting, elaborate excuse making, a little peevishness, and a lot of minutiae about nothing. What you won’t find in this ponderous, nearly 8,000-word “conversation,” are the words “sectarian,” “torture,” “abuse,” “Abu Ghraib,” “night raids,” “occupation,” “interrogation,” “WMD,” or even “IED,” the most effective weapon against our troops during the war (and for which, by the way, we will be paying billions in veterans’ health care costs for decades to come).

What you also won’t find, aside from sanctioned critic Paul Pillar, are the contrarians, the folks who braved the ridicule and the rebukes to stand against the war policies when it wasn’t so popular to do so. No Andrew Bacevich or Gian Gentile or Patrick Cockburn. Certainly no one from this stalwart arena, nor anyone from The American Conservative, though there are plenty of scholars and great journalists there too, whose prescient writing always seems to get lost during these fatuous ivory tower rituals.

Instead, we get John Nagl, Douglas Feith, Gen. George Allen, Eliot Cohen, Stephen Hadley, Peter Mansoor, Peter Feaver, Kenneth Pollack … need I go on? I won’t bore you with what the establishment had to say, I’ll let you treat yourself. I’ll just say there seems to be a fine line between tedious and infuriating. Largely a giant waste of space. Not even worth throwing a shoe at — though you may want to scream.

Go ahead, we’ve earned it.

Stop doing what you’re not doing? AGAIN?

Iran’s imaginary nukes and other war-lies: Take 83  – – –

It’s the sort of bureaucratic lying-by-obfuscation below which caused the U.S. to unnecessarily nuke Japan twice in three days, attack North Vietnam for an incident which Defense Sec. Robert McNamara admits “didn’t happen,” and invade Iraq based on weapons of mass destruction it didn’t have — and at least 935 other documented lies – – –

You have said a couple of times that you did not believe the Iranians were pursuing a nuclear weapon … are you still confident they’re not pursuing a nuclear weapon?  —Moderator Chuck TODD,  Meet The Press, February 3, 2013

What I’ve said, and I will say today, is that the intelligence we have is they have not made the decision to proceed with the development of a nuclear weapon.  —U.S. Defense Secretary Leon PANETTA, Meet The Press, February 3, 2013

The “innies” — like Mr. Panetta for example — know perfectly well Iran’s government has no nuclear weapons program. But almost certainly because the U.S. Government often marches to Israel’s drumbeat, it’s clear Mr. Panetta is reluctant to reveal that inconvenient truth. Chuck Hagel did reveal it. Which is one reason his appointment as Defense Secretary is being held up.

[PANETTA:] They’re developing and enriching uranium. …

TODD: Why do you believe they’re doing that?

MR. PANETTA: I think– I think the– it’s a clear indication they say they’re doing it in order to develop their own energy source. I think it is suspect that they continue to– to enrich uranium because that is dangerous, and that violates international laws… —Meet The Press, February 3, 2013

Mr. Panetta, apparently giving in to his political experience and training, is out-and-out lying. This does NOT “violate international laws” as Mr. Panetta asserts. Unlike Israel, for example, not only has Iran signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) — which allows the enrichment Iran is doing — but, despite Israel’s own clandestine nukes — and its intensive anti-Iran disinformation operations — Iran’s government has allowed much more stringent inspections than other NPT signatories.

And it’s no more dangerous for Iran to enrich uranium this way than for any other country which wants to produce nuclear-electric power. The U.S. for example.

TODD: And you do believe they’re probably pursuing a weapon, but you don’t– the intelligence doesn’t know what…

(Cross talk)

MR. PANETTA: I– no, I can’t tell you because– I can’t tell you they’re in fact pursuing a weapon because that’s not what intelligence says we– we– we’re– they’re doing right now. But every indication is they want to continue to increase their nuclear capability. And that’s a concern, and that’s what we’re asking them to stop doing.  —Meet The Press, February 3, 2013

So, exposed to even the feeble light of U.S. Main Stream Media, Mr. Panetta had to tell the truth. Again. So he reluctantly admits, “I can’t tell you they’re in fact pursuing a weapon because that’s not what intelligence says.” That would be all 16 official branches of the U.S. Intelligence Community, including his own C.I.A. that are telling him that — with unanimous “high confidence.”

Which is why keeping Iran from producing a nuclear weapon may be Mr. Obama’s most easily kept campaign promise.

None the less, Mr. Panetta insists that “every indication is they want to continue to increase their nuclear capability?” So, Mr. Panetta, your HUNCH is better than the carefully evolved high confidence conclusions of all 16 U.S. intelligence agencies? Really?

And Mr. Panetta goes on, “that’s what we’re asking them to stop doing.” In other words, “we’re asking them to stop doing what we know they’re not doing.”

It’s this sort of obtuse double talk that gets politicians elected, bureaucrats like Mr. Panetta into lofty positions — and Chuck Hagel’s appointment as Defense  Secretary held up by Senators Lindsey Graham, John McCain, and the rest of Israel’s Amen Corner.

As already suggested, it’s also this sort of bureaucratic lying-by-obfuscation that caused the U.S. to unnecessarily nuke Japan twice in three days, attack North Vietnam for an incident which Defense Sec. Robert McNamara admits “didn’t happen,” and invade Iraq based on weapons of mass destruction it didn’t have — and at least 935 other documented lies.

So, will “we the people” allow our public servants to once again lie us into war? Squeak up!

The easiest campaign promise??

Both War Party candidates (Mr. Romney and Mr. Obama) have stumbled all over themselves — and each other — to promise the government of Israel  they won’t let Iran produce a nuclear bomb.

Unless they begin to believe their own propaganda as Kennedy did (which inadvertently fired-up the nuclear arms race between the U.S. and the Soviet Union), it’s the one campaign promise they’ll both be able to easily keep at almost no cost.

Here’s why:

U.S. Defense Sec. Leon Panetta: “Are they [Iranians] trying to develop a nuclear weapon? No.” –Panetta Admits Iran is Not Trying to Develop a Nuclear Weapon, CBS’s “Face The Nation” Jan. 8, 2012

The Buried Lead on Iran: All Nuclear Sites Routinely Inspected, No Violations

'What intelligent person would fight 5,000 American bombs with one bomb?' Iranian President Ahmadinejad

Iran to Allow Nuclear Inspectors Into Secret Military Complex
Iran has announced it will allow international nuclear inspectors to visit its secret Parchin military complex. Iran has long said its nuclear program is for civilian purposes only, but some international analysts have speculated Iran may be using the Parchin complex to do research relevant to nuclear weapons. It is not clear when inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency will visit the site. –Democracy NOW! HEADLINES, March 06, 2012

SEYMOUR HERSH: …let me say again, there is no evidence that our intelligence community or even the Israeli intelligence community has — and I know that firsthand — suggesting that there’s an ongoing bomb program. So we are now — the United States is now in the position of increasing sanctions and pressuring all sorts of economic pressure on the Iranians to stop — the whole purpose of the economic sanctions is to stop the Iranians from making a bomb that we know they’re not making. –Training Terrorists in Nevada: Seymour Hersh on U.S. Aid to Iranian Group Tied to Scientist Killings

So everyone, including U.S. and Israeli intelligence, knows that the Iranian government isn’t trying to make a bomb. Unless a seriously careless Iranian scientist slips on a banana peel and pushes the wrong 10,000 buttons in exactly the right sequence, there’s little chance Iran — which, unlike Israel with its estimated 100 secret nukes, has signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty  — will build even one bomb.

How hard can it be to stop someone from doing something they’re not doing? So, is the War Party candidates’ mutual promise to the government of Israel to prevent Iran from producing  a nuclear bomb the easiest campaign promise?

Or, as with Kennedy and the nuclear arms race, Iraq, and now Iran, is THIS the main danger – – –

Little girl's sign: They lied about Iraq

For further information: Common Sense: IRAN: A Medley Against the MIC (MilitaryIndustrialComplex)

Iraq Veterans Against the War: The Documentary


Voice of Art, the new documentary series on Pharrell Williams’ I Am Other YouTube channel, is releasing Part 1 of its new episode entitled “Iraq Veterans Against the War” on Friday, June 29 2012. The episode features the historic march and returning of Global War on Terrorism service medals by members of Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW) in Chicago during the May 2012 NATO summit.

Dear Department of Justice: Please Investigate Your Old Boss for Material Support of Terrorism!

Dear Department of Justice and Department of Treasury Officials:

We might have just helped you bag another material supporter of terrorism this week! And you’ll never believe who the culprit is! We were even able to tape record some of his own damning admissions! (That’s the reason for my calls last week to your duty attorneys and media offices.)
Continue reading “Dear Department of Justice: Please Investigate Your Old Boss for Material Support of Terrorism!”