published Wednesday, March 20th, 2013

The Crusade

about Clay Bennett...

The son of a career army officer, Bennett led a nomadic life, attending ten different schools before graduating in 1980 from the University of North Alabama with degrees in Art and History. After brief stints as a staff artist at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and the Fayetteville (NC) Times, he went on to serve as the editorial cartoonist for the St. Petersburg Times (1981-1994) and The Christian Science Monitor (1997-2007), before joining the staff of the ...

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AndrewLohr said...

Saddam Hussein was a murderer. The Iraq war got him executed.

Bush ran against US nation-building abroad. He should have stuck to that, and let the Iraqis do their own thing once Hussein was dead. Bush Sr should've gone after Hussein the first time. Just wars target the perpetrators of unjust wars: read Judges. (One commentary is called Judges: God's War Against Humanism.) Kill the head first.

March 20, 2013 at 12:16 a.m.
Anklejive said...

Is it too soon for the Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld/Wolfowitz/Feith/Powell/Tenet/Rice war crimes tribunal?

March 20, 2013 at 12:26 a.m.
nucanuck said...

AL, was Saddam Hussein any more a murderer than Bush/ Cheney?

We shouldn't have gone into Iraq and the world knows it. We have no reason to be fighting the Taliban and the world knows it. We shouldn't be committing drone murders and the world knows it. We want to go to war against Iran and the world knows it.

We are no longer the leader of the world and we don't know it.

March 20, 2013 at 12:28 a.m.
alprova said...

A great deal more would have been accomplished had the military sent a three man sniper team into Iraq and picked off Saddam Hussein when he stepped out of one of his homes for a smoke.

Ten years later, more than a hundred thousand innocent people were killed, five thousand of our own men and women are dead, and the people of Iraq hate our collective guts. How many family members of those innocents killed harbor a grudge? I'm betting many.

Every man, woman, and child in this nation is in danger due to the results of the Iraq war. Mission accomplished.

Nice going former President Bush and former Vice-President Cheney. Your legacies are set in stone.

I'm pretty sure that Hell will open its doors wide open for you both when you pass on from this life.

But that's okay 'cause Daddy Bush is safe now.

It's no wonder why the Bush's and Dick Cheney stay holed up in their homes all the time these days. They know full and well that they have targets on their backs, that terrorists would just love to fire a shot through.

And before anyone types anything to the contrary, the wars in the Middle East belong to GWB and Dick Cheney. President Obama is cleaning up the mess as quickly as possible.

One down and one to go.

March 20, 2013 at 12:33 a.m.

Clay’s unsurprisingly naïve, cheap, and tawdry take on Iraq’s liberation from Saddam Hussein’s tyranny. Ask the Kurds about his crusade against them and about western elites who were complacent vs. those who responded. Ask the mass of indigenous Christians fleeing Iraq (and many parts of the Middle East) about religious crusades and church bombings. Clay, like all liberals, knows that if you tell a lie enough times, people will assume it’s true. Pitiful, Clay Bennett. Pitiful, Monday morning quarterbacks and worshipers of President Obama.

March 20, 2013 at 12:45 a.m.
blackwater48 said...

NICE TO HEAR FROM THE NITWIT BRIGADE

The Iraq War was a disaster. It wasn’t a war of liberation. It was a war of destruction, and removing Saddam Hussein wasn’t worth one drop of American blood. It wasn’t worth 100,000 Iraqi civilian casualties, either.

If you want to target every tyrannical dictator and repressive government on the planet you’re going to need a bigger Army. We have no business trying to impose our political styling any other country. That's just naive and arrogant.

BTW, we invaded Iraq to prevent Hussein from supplying America-hating terrorists with WMD. Remember the ominous smoking-gun-mushroom-cloud nonsense?

Before the invasion republicans boasted that it would be over quickly, easily, and inexpensively. We’d be greeted as liberators, suffer few casualties, and pay for it with Iraqi oil money.

Can you imagine what GOP blowhards would do if a Democratic President had perpetrated such a mammoth blunder of that epic proportion?

March 20, 2013 at 1:25 a.m.
dougmusn said...

Before we ever go to war, we need to have a clear understanding of what victory would be. Our rationale for war in Iraq was manufactured and was itself a shape-shifter: secure oil (the first Pentagon term for the war was to have been Operation Iraqi Liberation until someone wrote out the short version, O-I-L), find WMD, regime change/remove Saddam, bring democracy to the people of the region, etc...

Iraq was and is a hodgepodge of tribal loyalties, created by the arbitrary lines drawn by a British surveyor in the early years of the last century. "Countries" were defined by lines, not people or their histories. Kurds were chopped up between Iraq, Syria, Iran and Turkey, for example, creating now restive minorities in each country. The elusive stability of the country of Iraq was created by the installation of an autocrat, Saddam, whom everyone feared. We removed him all right, but unleashed the latent enmity between Shi'a and Sunni.

Listening to the punditocracy, it seems we have not learned from this lesson in history, even with a $3T price tag.

March 20, 2013 at 5:31 a.m.
anniebelle said...

Neoconservatives had been seeking an excuse to dominate the Middle East and finish the work that Poppy Bush had left undone during the Gulf War. The Supreme Court gave them the White House, 9/11 gave them unchecked power, and so they invaded Iraq. By 2001 the boom of the late 1990s had turned America’s budget deficit to surplus. For top Bush officials, the lesson was that just as America had overcome the deficits Reagan amassed while fighting the Cold War, America could easily overcome whatever temporary debt the Bushies incurred fighting the “war on terror.” As Dick Cheney declared during the run-up to Iraq, “Reagan proved deficits don’t matter.” The key thing that has changed in the decade since America invaded Iraq is not Barack Obama’s election. It’s the collapse of American hubris. Far fewer people in either party now claim that America can easily topple and occupy distant lands. Far fewer believe we can conduct foreign policy as if “deficits don’t matter.” Far fewer believe that the peoples of the Middle East yearn for secular, liberal, pro-American democracies. That doesn’t mean the United States has stopped acting like a superpower. We’ve simply turned to methods that cost less money and fewer American lives. Thus the drones. There’s nothing particularly glorious, or moral, about empire on the cheap. But at least war will no longer cost America so much money and so many young American lives. Maybe we’ve grown wiser over the last 10 years. Or maybe we’ve just lost the epic ambition that true tragedy requires.

March 20, 2013 at 5:55 a.m.
acerigger said...

There were several important reasons to destroy Iraq, Bechtel Halliburton Fluor Parsons LBG etc.

March 20, 2013 at 6:20 a.m.
Livn4life said...

This is not funny nor is all the misinformation about the original Crusades.

March 20, 2013 at 6:21 a.m.
EaTn said...

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/03/19/tomas-young-letter-iraq_n_2908335.html

Tomas Young, Dying Iraq War Veteran, Pens 'Last Letter' To Bush, Cheney On War's 10th Anniversary

After ten years of agony and dying from his Iraq wounds, Mr. Young writes his sentiments that every American should read.

March 20, 2013 at 6:43 a.m.
anniebelle said...

I don't think a political cartoonist intends to be funny. His intentions are to get people thinking about the world they live in. Yes, do tell us about the wonderful crusades, I've read all about them, but there are evidently some on here that don't have a clue about how innocent peoples were 'turned into Xtians'.

March 20, 2013 at 6:52 a.m.
joneses said...

President Bush went to the United States Congress to go to war in Iraq and congress voted for the war in Iraq and Afghanistan. If President Bush did nothing after 9/11you mentally challenged liberals would have been screaming for war. You are that pathetic. Are you mentally challenged hypocritical liberals ever going to hold Kerry, Biden, Clinton and other dimwitted dummycrats accountable for going to war in Iraq? Or are you those unpatriotic fools that supported the war in Iraq and Afghanistan after 9/11 and then turned your back on our troops after the war started? Why are you not holding O'Bastard accountable for 2/3s of the American casualties in Afghanistan under his occupation of the White House? Why are you not holding O'Bastard accountable for him signing an Executive Order to close Gitmo and it is still open? Where is your outrage against O'Bastard sending our troops to Africa to fight? Why did you pathetic liberals hide Cindy Shehan after O"Bastard was put in the White House? You are nothing but a bunch of hypocrites and you should be ashamed of yourselves for not standing up for America. You are the equivalent to traitors just like O'Bastard.

March 20, 2013 at 7:54 a.m.
librul said...

Countries destroyed, religious civil wars ignited, hundreds of thousands of innocents dead, trillions of Americans' tax dollars thrown to the winds and into the coffers of corporate profiteers, tens of thousands of American youth killed or living in pain never to be made whole, TORTURE now institutionalized, indescrmininate death-dealing robots roaming the skies in "video-game" warfare, Republican austerity crippling the Veterans Administration aid efforts and virtually every function of our government, suicides among returning troops skyrocketing, American civil liberties cut to the bone, militarized police, our own country turned into a surveillance state, Wall Street flying high - Main Street strewn with trash, gang war in our neighborhoods, Americans hated around the world for the arrogance and avarice shown by our government "of the people" ... and the architects of all this madness now trying to create a revisionist history claiming it was an honorable effort to rid the world of two boogeymen. Bush, Cheney, Wolfowitz, Feith, Perle and their whole cadre' of neocon vampires should be drawn, quartered, cut up and fed to Iraqi hounds and their heads put high on pikes to show the world that there is still a modicum of justice in our country of "laws not of men" where their shame has replaced national pride and the true nature of "American exceptionalism" has been laid bare.

March 20, 2013 at 8:03 a.m.
EaTn said...

joneses....Bush and Cheney fed the Congress and UN bs information about Iraq and Hussein, and yes some prominent democrats cowardly went along with them. You didn't have to be a rocket scientist at the time to figure out most of it was lies to justify going into Iraq. Clinton, Biden and Kerry share the blame with Bush and Cheney. Some few republicans like Rep. Duncan from Tn did not go along with the crowd, and folks like him are to be applauded for standing up to their lies.

March 20, 2013 at 8:04 a.m.
lkeithlu said...

flagged, joneses. Keep 'em comin'!

March 20, 2013 at 8:06 a.m.
Maximus said...

Tragic....AP News....Revealed today in an exclusive investigative TMZ report Cattanooga Times Free Press cartoonist Clay Bennett receives salary cut as a result of sequester. Mr. Bennett received compensation from the Obama administration, minimum wage, which was cut last month. Mr. Bennett, known as The Left Handed Doodler stated he is OK since he lives with his life partner in his mother's basement and survives on WIC baby formula and EBTCards. Hope and change thrives at the Bennett house!

March 20, 2013 at 8:06 a.m.
conservative said...

Good morning everyone.

You were created to know God and to be His friend forever. Billy Graham

March 20, 2013 at 8:09 a.m.
ibshame said...

Jones said: "You are nothing but a bunch of hypocrites and you should be ashamed of yourselves for not standing up for America."

The bile that rises in my throat when I read comments like yours is sickening. The REAL HYPOCRITES in the debacle that was the invasion of Iraq are those like yourself who blindly believed without any question or comment the lies coming from Bush/Cheney/Rice/Rumsfeld and that whole sick bunch. They led the United States into a war that cost the lives of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians and over 4000 U.S. soldiers not to mention the thousands of U.S. soldiers who came home maimed for life. Yet anyone who dared to question our presence in Iraq was labled Unpatriotic, Traitors, Unfit to live in America and the list goes on and on. When in reality the people who led this country into war were the Unfit to live in America. Yet not a single one of them has ever been brought to trial.

If there is anything I hold against President Obama it is this: He should have not only ended the war in Iraq but there should have been some accountability for those who lied to get the United States into war. Dick Cheney and George W. Bush should both be in a jail cell as should Karl Rove, Condolezza Rice and the whole sick, lying, trecherous bunch because of the war they started built on lies from start to finish. Osama Bin Laden didn't have to do any more after 9/11 because that bunch of chickenhawks finished what he started. They wrecked our economy and caused more death and destruction than the 3000 he killed. Hopefully the people in Congress who voted to go to war learned a valuable lesson only too little too late.

March 20, 2013 at 8:16 a.m.
librul said...

"Stand up for America" says joneses, this coming from a twerp whose one-track mind is clearly off the track. What he and the rest of the rachet-mouthed, conservative, puke fountains in these forums don't get is that many of us DO hold Obama responsible for doing NOTHING to right our sinking ship of state and doing NONE of the things he campaigned on and actually putting in place MOST of the egregious offenses to freedom listed above - ALL OF WHICH are quietly greeted with delight by the fascists among us - even as they revel in their childish name-calling and gutter speech.

March 20, 2013 at 8:18 a.m.
jjmez said...

AndrewLohr said... Saddam Hussein was a murderer.

And once a friend and ally of America. An America that supplied him with all the weapons, chemical and other.

Recall: the soldier who happened upon a cache of weapons in Iraq only to realized they were all marked MADE IN AMERICA.

  • Andypansy said.. The Iraq war got him executed*

Yeah, Andy. The war go Saddam Executed, along with thousands of American lives and hundreds of thousands (some say it's closer to 1 million) innocent Iraqi children, babies, men and women

Must be that "god" of Saul working his magic of destruction, pestilence, disease and untold sufferings.

March 20, 2013 at 8:27 a.m.
limric said...

Well done Clay. I’m glad you portrayed it in such a style. It is as accurate as any depiction could be.

EaTn,

I too read Tomas Young’s letter, VERY moving.

At first I wished you had posted the entire letter here (you still should) to possibly enlighten those wearing the ‘chicken hawks yellow badge of cowardice’, but realized that those are the very same individuals that see the first decade of the 21st century as full of sunshine and flowers.
The following seven and a half minute video shows young yellow badge of cowardice medal wearers in all their glory (hole). One interviewee wearing a t-shirt (check the name) reminds me of someone that owns three BMW’s, but there enough here to parallel any hiding under the bed do-gooders posting here.

March 20, 2013 at 8:28 a.m.
jjmez said...

limric, here is the entire letter written by Tomas Young, previously posted under David Cook's, More Wars Coming:

See: *Tomas Young, A Dying Vets Letter To Bush and Cheney.

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2013/03/19/1195401/-A-Dying-Vet-s-words-to-Bush-and-Cheney

March 20, 2013 at 8:38 a.m.
lkeithlu said...

From Greenwald at the Guardian, in "update II" in his column about David Frum:

- here is what Gen. John Abizaid, former commander of CENTCOM with responsibility for Iraq, had to say about that war:

"Of course it's about oil, it's very much about oil, and we can't really deny that. From the standpoint of a solider who's now fought in the middle east for six years – my son-in-law's fought there for four years, my daughter's been over there, my son has served the nation – my family has been fighting for a long time."

And here is what the current US Secretary of Defense, Chuck Hagel, said about the Iraq war back in 2007 (via Dick Distardli):

"People say we're not fighting for oil. Of course we are. They talk about America's national interest. What the hell do you think they're talking about? We're not there for figs."

Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan added in his 2007 book: "I am saddened that it is politically inconvenient to acknowledge what everyone knows: the Iraq war is largely about oil." What other evidence do deniers need before accepting this obvious reality?

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/mar/18/david-frum-iraq-war-oil

March 20, 2013 at 8:44 a.m.
Maximus said...

Besides, what's wrong with a Crusade every now and then. Everyone but the little vagina Clay knows this is how things will end up. Up from the grave he arose with a mighty triumph over his foes. Kudos and many thanks to President George W. Bush and the U. S. Military for kicking butt and taking names in Iraq. Brutal force, and all out victory is all the Islamic Terrorists understand. The U.S. invaded, defeated, and occupied the so called ancient cradle of civilization all in a few short weeks. The U.S. Army owns the night and the other branches own the rest. Our victory in Iraq a great example of American exceptionalism!

March 20, 2013 at 9:04 a.m.
joneses said...

One thing you stupid O'Bastard supporters do not mention is it was Bill 'Lawinsky" Clintons CIA that supplied the information that president Bush took to Congress. So it stand to reason Bill "Lawinsky" Clinton should have been impeached. Oh wait a minute, he was impeached for lying under oath.

Ike, you flag me all you want as you and the rest of you mentally challenged liberals are nothing to me but a bunch of whiny wimps who do not have the balls God gave a jack rabbit.

Librul, You sit there on your fat ass and accuse me of "childish, name calling, gutter speech" while you do the same? You are just another fine example of POS liberal hypocrisy. Please keep posting and proving what a fool you are to us all. You and the rest of you blind lemming like liberals have never held O'Bastard accountable for his failures. All you do is continue to blame president Bush for everything wrong with America. That really shows what a fool you are. Screw you! LOL! Enough entertainment for today as I want to get back to work. Try working it is very fulfilling until O'Bastard screws that up as well.

March 20, 2013 at 9:04 a.m.
lkeithlu said...

Ike, you flag me all you want as you and the rest of you mentally challenged liberals are nothing to me but a bunch of whiny wimps who do not have the balls God gave a jack rabbit.

Happy to oblige. However, even though I am not male, I believe my ball count exceeds yours.

March 20, 2013 at 9:07 a.m.
Easy123 said...

The stupidity displayed by joneses and Maximus is abhorrent.

March 20, 2013 at 9:13 a.m.
lkeithlu said...

The stupidity displayed by joneses and Maximus is abhorrent.

And why the conservatives have a long way to go before they have a functioning political party again. They attract wackos like flies to shyte.

March 20, 2013 at 9:17 a.m.
joneses said...

ike,

You must settled for being a dike because you are to fat and ugly for any man in is right mind to deal with. You are a pathetic POS dike.

March 20, 2013 at 9:27 a.m.
lkeithlu said...

Sticks and stones, love. My husband of 30+ years doesn't seem to think so! ;)

Though your comment reveals that you are bankrupt when it comes to intelligence and have nothing whatever to contribute to this discussion. I am guessing your mental age is about 12.

March 20, 2013 at 9:32 a.m.
joneses said...

I am going to ask the Times Free Press to block me from posting on this site again.

To TheTimes Free Press,

Please block all my post and cancel my screen name. I ask you to do this as I am growing weary of conversing with pathetic, mentally challenged, mindless liberal sickos like Easy, ike the dike, librul and others who have not the IQ God gave a grape. Their hatred and intolerance as well as the victim world they live in is a pitiful place and is not healthy for me. So please TFP cancel all my access to this site where the mentally challenged liberal mind will not be intimidated by me anymore. I am afraid they might harm themselves if I continue to speak the truth about them and O'Bastard and hold them accountable for all their lies and propaganda they spread to pursue their agenda of complete government control of every aspect of our lives. Please block me from this site for any reason you see fit. You have my permission.

Respectfully Yours,

Joneses

March 20, 2013 at 9:37 a.m.
lkeithlu said...

You need help staying away from here? You can't control yourself? Perhaps there is a support group for this. Of course, if you are banned you can play the victim.

I hope you have a plastic shield for your keyboard. All the foam and spittle can really do some damage.

March 20, 2013 at 9:40 a.m.
joneses said...

Is that what you call your living partner a husband? I guessed you would be the man.

Going back to work and hopefully for yours an others sake the TFP will bar me from this site like I requested.

I hope you and others get all you deserve from O'Bastard.

Good luck with that.

March 20, 2013 at 9:41 a.m.
blackwater48 said...

GAME, SET, MATCH

lkeithlu, your 9:17 post was beautiful. Too bad I was drinking coffee when I read it.

Jones wrote that liberals are, "a bunch of whiny wimps who do not have the balls God gave a jack rabbit."

Aren't jack rabbits ROBUST?

March 20, 2013 at 9:41 a.m.
patriot1 said...

I am seeing lots of comments from LoFo voters and whose knowledge of history is restircted to what has occurred in their lifetime. Revisit each war in the last century and ask yourself...Who was president and what was his political party....What was the war about and who attacked us causing us to go to war?

March 20, 2013 at 9:45 a.m.
delmar said...

"Americans have a remarkable ability ‘to look reality right in the eye’ and deny it." - Garrison Keillor

March 20, 2013 at 9:45 a.m.
whatsnottaken said...

Reading the Free Press on a daily basis makes me think this dude could be in East Lake, or anyplace in Chattanooga really.

March 20, 2013 at 9:52 a.m.
lkeithlu said...

Why wait til you're banned, joneses? Just go away. Do it for the sake of your blood pressure. I do believe if you continue here you will blow a gasket.

There are plenty of intelligent, level-headed conservatives who come here that can carry on an adult conversation. Your side is in good hands. Take a vacation.

March 20, 2013 at 9:53 a.m.

dougmusn said... “unleashed the latent enmity between Shi'a and Sunni.”

Latent? You cannot possibly believe this.

March 20, 2013 at 9:57 a.m.

blackwater48 said... we invaded Iraq to prevent Hussein from supplying America-hating terrorists with WMD. Remember the ominous smoking-gun-mushroom-cloud nonsense?

Before the invasion republicans boasted that it would be over quickly, easily, and inexpensively. We’d be greeted as liberators, suffer few casualties, and pay for it with Iraqi oil money.

Can you imagine what GOP blowhards would do if a Democratic President had perpetrated such a mammoth blunder of that epic proportion?

And why, pray tell, did a klutz like Bush have so little trouble making his case? Because his case had already been made by Hillary Clinton, Bill Clinton, Al Gore, Madeline Albright, William Christopher, et al. 90% of the Monday morning quarterbacks were blindly following a klutz like Bush all the way to Iraq. How quickly (and piously) you forget.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BAAHmFG6h6o

March 20, 2013 at 9:58 a.m.
jesse said...

Jonsses and con man make me think the govmt.needs to run background checks on people when they buy a computer! Maybe a mental evaluation also!!

March 20, 2013 at 10:04 a.m.
limric said...

Will we never learn?

And so the battered, confused and tattered crusader - the burning embers of Iraq still smoldering, returns to the holy land and is once again thinking about re-igniting the Middle East. Obama arrives in Israel ten years to the day the neocon mayhem of shock and awe was unleashed for what I’m betting is another war summit - with another neocon, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

An important component of this meeting addresses Israel’s justifiable concerns that Syrian missiles may be handed over to Hezbollah. However, Netanyahu wants U.S. support for more preemptive Israeli strikes even if they risk provoking wider conflicts in Lebanon and elsewhere. But let’s face it, the U.S.-Israel ‘war summit’ isn’t limited to Syria is it? It is really about Iran. Maybe someone should remind Obama of the lessons of the $2 trillion Iraq war.

But alas, the lessons of both Iraq and Afghanistan seem to be all but lost on the faux Democrat; who has expanded a very terrorist like drone war from Pakistan to the Gulf of Aden and the African Sahel. The man, who rode a white horse in opposition to the criminality that came before it to the Democratic nomination, and then the Presidency, has never really shown much aversion to war once in Office. A man that has presided over the expansion of a surveillance/police state at home and prefers to incessantly proffer, “All options are on the table.” - should give all Americans pause.

It’s clear to me; the American debacle in Iraq has done little to deter the corporatocracy’s imperial dreams in the Middle East. For on this grim anniversary which should have sent the president on a cautionary visit to the Middle East instead sees the president off to Israel to confer with Tel Aviv on the next American war in the Middle East. Bet on it. The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Gandhi was once asked, “What do you think of western civilization?” And famously, he answered, “I think it would be a good idea.

Maybe someday, but I’m not holding my breath.

P.S. joneses and Maximus certainly wear their ‘yellow badge of cowardice' medals proudly don’t they.

March 20, 2013 at 10:08 a.m.
degage said...

This forum has become a site for insults on both sides. We are all guilty but some will not admit it. Not Me!!!! is the attitude of some.

March 20, 2013 at 10:14 a.m.
Easy123 said...

degage,

I notice you refrain from chastising joneses or Maximus personally? Why is that? You have no problem addressing me about using insults. Why do you omit them or, as you've just done, lump everyone in together when all of the insults today have come from those two posters?

Explain yourself, Queen Sanctimony of Hypocrite.

March 20, 2013 at 10:25 a.m.
lkeithlu said...

I confess that I lowered myself to joneses' level this morning. I need to shower...

March 20, 2013 at 10:30 a.m.
conservative said...

"people" "acting more like children than children"

March 20, 2013 at 10:33 a.m.
limric said...

Degage,

You are sadly correct (except for me of course) ;-) I shall therefore refrain from engaging in childish & tawdry insults henceforth.

Dammit!

March 20, 2013 at 10:35 a.m.
Rickaroo said...

The letter from Tomas Young was very moving. He is the kind of soldier that I have utmost respect for. It was sad that he let himself get sucked into going to an ill conceived war on nothing but raw emotion but at least he had the presence of mind to think critically about what he had gotten into. He kept his eyes and mind open enough to be able to see how badly he and indeed all of America had been duped by our sniveling chickenhawk "leaders" into fighting a war that was purely of their own making. Many were able to see through their evil games from the beginning but of those who didn't, at least most of the nation learned rather early on that Bush and Cheney had not merely acted upon faulty intelligence but had lied outright. They and their entire gang of neo-con thugs need to be brought to justice. One of the first and most glaring faults of Obama was his refusal to do anything about it. In my mind he is as guilty as they are for being so accepting of what they did, as if their treasonous actions were more along the lines of bad administrative decision making, not the malicious madness of power-hungry chickenhawk warlords, which it was and which they were.

Tomas Young is to be commended for for writing that letter. It is much more courageous and patriotic to speak the truth and stand up to injustice than it is to just slip on a uniform and blindly follow orders. He is a true patriot.

March 20, 2013 at 11:33 a.m.
najones75 said...

Nothing like a good insult fest (by both side) about an adminstration 5 years ago to change the subject on the failures of a current administration. And 3 years from now, when unemployment is still higher than it was when the current took office, national debt is at $20T (any takers?) and all entitlements are bankrupt, I'm sure we will still be playing the same ol blame game as we were 5 years ago. Flame on!

March 20, 2013 at 11:47 a.m.
BigRidgePatriot said...

Our government seems to have an infinite capacity to drag us into war. Now that we are reconfiguring our military to fight a smaller scale insurgency type of war we can probably expect constant armed conflict going forward. No problem is too small, no declaration of war required, no respect for sovereignty of other nations...

Now they are working hard on micro drones the size of insects that can be dropped in swarms to do surveillance and kill with no human commitment. The engineering journals I read are becoming absolutely flooded with articles about this technology. It is not hard to imagine armed conflict with NO public knowledge becoming routine. All in the name of national security.

And the US citizens sit around and fire partisan shots at each other while both parties perpetuate this very dangerous problem. Will we ever wake up and demand that our government behave itself, or will we continue to let politicians divide us and keep fighting amongst each other?

March 20, 2013 at 11:55 a.m.
moon4kat said...

Bush: arrogant, incompetent and naive.
Cheney: maniacal, manipulative and evil.
Rumsfeld: reckless, arrogant and deceitful.
Invasion of Iraq: indefensible and ill-conceived. Pushed on us by the three listed above. The stupidity of invading Iraq is still will us, paid for by U.S. taxpayers, and our brave, honorable soldiers who have had the tragic misfortune to believe what they were told by that administration. Tragic.

March 20, 2013 at 11:58 a.m.
jjmez said...

najones75 said... Nothing like a good insult fest (by both side) about an adminstration 5 years ago to change the subject on the failures of a current administration

And there's nothing like someone failing to realize the fact that all of today's ills national, and around the world, taking place have direct ties to that adminstration five years ago that screwed up. The same adminstration that went around the world starting fires with no means and no intent of putting them out.

To believe othrwise, is to blame the firefighters for trying to put out fires the arsonists started.

March 20, 2013 at 12:23 p.m.
degage said...

Easy I was unaware you were on this forum this morning, there was no mention of you at all and the worst insults were by the two you mentioned but then other were less insulting but still insulting. By your post you added yourself to the insulting.

March 20, 2013 at 12:39 p.m.
Jt6gR3hM said...

anniebelle said...

“Neoconservatives had been seeking an excuse to dominate the Middle East and finish the work that Poppy Bush had left undone during the Gulf War.”


It appears that you left some cherries on the tree to be picked (copied and pasted):


“What the “alien invasion” storyline misses is the continuity between Bush’s foreign policy and the Clinton foreign policy that preceded it. It was Bill Clinton who in 1998 committed America to overthrowing Saddam Hussein, who bombed Iraq for four straight days in Operation Desert Fox, and who pursued a sanctions policy that made truly concluding the Gulf War impossible for America and Iraq. It was the Clinton administration that in Kosovo launched a preemptive humanitarian war without United Nations approval. It was no coincidence that so many ex-Clinton officials backed the Iraq War. In important ways, the Bushies were building on what they had begun.”

“So what’s the best explanation for why America invaded Iraq? Hubris born of success. From Panama to the Gulf War to Bosnia to Kosovo, America spent the decade preceding 9/11 intervening successfully overseas. As a result, elites in both parties lost the fear of war they felt after Vietnam.”

“The final ingredient was ideological success. In the 1980s, before democratization swept across Eastern Europe, East Asia, and Latin America, prominent liberals and conservatives would have found the idea that democracy could take root in a country like Iraq utterly fanciful.”

“Obviously, it took 9/11 for the Bush administration to rally the public behind the Iraq war. But had the success of the 1990s not bred so much military, economic, and ideological overconfidence on both sides of the aisle, it’s unlikely they would have tried.”

by Peter Beinart @ Daily Beast

March 20, 2013 at 12:43 p.m.
BigRidgePatriot said...

And there is no lack of continuity from Bush to Obama. Obama is taking us into new territory with distributed small scale conflict. The blowback is going to be huge.

March 20, 2013 at 12:50 p.m.
mountainlaurel said...

Whats_wrong_with_the_world says: “Ask the Kurds about his crusade against them . . . Ask the mass of indigenous Christians fleeing Iraq.”

Your post suggests you’ve forgotten why the U.S. invaded Iraq. It also suggests you haven’t spoken to many Kurds, especially recently. I just read an article in which a Kurd businessman referred to Bush as “idiot.” Yes, Saddam was removed, but now they’re faced with a lot of mini Saddams who also kill if you speak up about corruption. So where is the freedom?

But the main point is the U.S. didn’t invade Iraq to rescue either the Kurds or the indigenous Christians. The Bush Administration had other motives, which were based on lies. As such, it seems to me if we’re going to ask questions, we should ask some of the people whose lives were directly impacted by the lies of the Bush adminstration, including some of those U.S. soldiers like the one TFP’s poster EastTennessee mentioned earlier today - Tomas Young:

Excerpts: “'Last Letter' To Bush, Cheney”

“I write this letter, my last letter, to you, Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney. I write not because I think you grasp the terrible human and moral consequences of your lies, manipulation and thirst for wealth and power. I write this letter because, before my own death, I want to make it clear that I, and hundreds of thousands of my fellow veterans, along with millions of my fellow citizens, along with hundreds of millions more in Iraq and the Middle East, know fully who you are and what you have done. You may evade justice but in our eyes you are each guilty of egregious war crimes, of plunder and, finally, of murder, including the murder of thousands of young Americans—my fellow veterans—whose future you stole.”

“I have, like many other disabled veterans, suffered from the inadequate and often inept care provided by the Veterans Administration. I have, like many other disabled veterans, come to realize that our mental and physical wounds are of no interest to you, perhaps of no interest to any politician. We were used. We were betrayed. And we have been abandoned. You, Mr. Bush, make much pretense of being a Christian. But isn’t lying a sin? Isn’t murder a sin? Aren’t theft and selfish ambition sins? I am not a Christian. But I believe in the Christian ideal. I believe that what you do to the least of your brothers you finally do to yourself, to your own soul.

My day of reckoning is upon me. Yours will come. I hope you will be put on trial. But mostly I hope, for your sakes, that you find the moral courage to face what you have done to me and to many, many others who deserved to live. I hope that before your time on earth ends, as mine is now ending, you will find the strength of character to stand before the American public and the world, and in particular the Iraqi people, and beg for forgiveness.”

http://www.truthdig.com/dig/item/the_last_letter_20130318/

March 20, 2013 at 12:56 p.m.
limric said...

Good posts Rickaroo, Anniebelle, BigRidgePatriot and numerous others,

What’s completely forgotten is another equally outrageous and equally criminal component of the Iraq debacle. It came in 2007. This is when the dark and cynical agenda of the real Democratic Party was exposed. After the stomping the Republicans got in 2006, Pelosi and the Democrats could have cut off funding for Bush’s illegal war and barrel of a gun foreign policy. But they didn’t! Instead they gave George Bush all the money he wanted to continue his wars. The purpose, I believe, was as a cynical effort to portray themselves as a peace party, much like a good-cop-bad-cop team. As the right became ever more extreme, the Democratic Party (aka a non-profit industrial complex) moved further and further to the right itself, giving the Republicans and their ilk ever greater leash and making it easier to frighten the “progressive” masses.” Thus, letting the war go on would create such a groundswell of resentment they could win the Presidency in 2008. It worked.

And now we have what BRP alludes to…sort of:

To quote BRP: ” The blowback is going to be huge.” He of course is correct. Isn’t he.

Thanks for posting the letter Mountainlaurel. It was needed.

March 20, 2013 at 1:11 p.m.
najones75 said...

jjmez,

not sure I agree with your assessment that all of today's ills both nationally and around the world can be blamed on a small group of people, but you're entitled to your opinion.

However, continuing with your unvalid analogy, spending the country into bankruptcy is more like pouring gasoline on that fire, rather than water. Inherited $8T and now at $16T after 4 short years. Those are the facts, and they are indisputable.

BTW, I think you'll find alot of people...myself included...that didn't agree with a lot of the Bush era policies. But, it may be time...just maybe...to start holding the current leadership accountable for today's status.

Again, I challenge you...if after 3 more years...8 years after the current admin's inauguration...when the status is what I mentioned in my previous post...and it will be...if it will still be "Bush!!!"?

March 20, 2013 at 1:25 p.m.
Oldhickory said...

Like I said before. It only took the Catholic Church 2 days to elect a new Pope be the face of and voice for God to the entire Earth, and the Times Free Press can't get its comment section cleaned up. Come on TFP. Please take the time to make the comment section relevant. If folks can't use decent language and be polite, simply strike their comments. If they keep up the bad behavior, block their access permanently.

March 20, 2013 at 1:36 p.m.
Jt6gR3hM said...

librul said...

“Bush, Cheney, Wolfowitz, Feith, Perle and their whole cadre' of neocon vampires should be drawn, quartered, cut up and fed to Iraqi hounds and their heads put high on pikes”


Let me ask you a question, if I might? Do really think that threatening the life of a former president and vice president is ever so slightly unbalanced behavior and a wise choice? That it could result in your unpleasant incarceration by the legal authorities?

It’s something you might want to consider when you are straining that hard for a bit of rhetorical hyperbole to accentuate your debating points. Sometimes it causes you to squeeze out something unexpectedly and a little messy.

March 20, 2013 at 1:48 p.m.
Rickaroo said...

Bush, Cheney, and their neo-con thugs have enough blood on their hands to fill an ocean. No amount of rhetorical hyperbole is too much to draw attention to their malicious misdeeds. I doubt that they will ever be brought to justice for their war crimes and treasonous actions but one can only hope.

March 20, 2013 at 2:32 p.m.
jjmez said...

najones75 said.. Again, I challenge you...if after 3 more years...8 years after the current admin's inauguration...when the status is what I mentioned in my previous post...and it will be...if it will still be "Bush!!!"?

The fact remains, najones: Whether it's 8 years from now or 80, the Bush administration lit the fires, the packed up their bags and went into hiding, leaving it all for the firefighters to come clean up their mess.

It doesn't take much to start a war, or conflict. The biggest problems arise when attempting to stop them. Wars are big business. Major companies at home and around the world heavily invest in wars and conflict, expecting huge returns. They're not going to walk away without a fight.

March 20, 2013 at 2:51 p.m.
whatsnottaken said...

Haven't more Chattanoogans been killed by Chattanoogans in the last year than Iragis by US or US by Iraqis? That wars over, this one is raging. Why don't you waste your skills drawing that Tooney?

March 20, 2013 at 3:20 p.m.
Oldhickory said...

Editorial cartoons are by their nature partisan opinions and I get that. The same cartoon could be drawn with Vietnam on the shield where more than 50,000 US soldiers died and we’re still paying for that War. The Vietnam Was a war started by a Democrat president, sustained by a second Democrat president, and ended by a Republican president. Does anybody remember the 1968 Democrat national convention?

If President Obama believed so strongly that the liberation of Iraq was wrong, why did he not pull out of there on Day 1 like Spain did when it elected a new president? Clearly, there must have been some worth to being in Iraq or President Obama would have made the decision to leave immediately. And let's not forget, the President only left Iraq after proposing the stationing of several thousand troops, and it was the Iraqi government that declined immunity to those troops. Consequently, the United States would still have troops in Iraq if the President had realized his preferred option and we still have thousands of “contractors” or mercenaries in the country today.

Additionally, Congress funds wars and it was controlled by Democrats in the last 2 years of the Bush presidency. Why did the Democrat Congress refuse to cease funding the liberation if Iraq and force President Bush to bring the armed forces home? Could it be that the Democrats wanted to look strong on defense and allowed US soldiers die so they would not be criticized during the 2008 election?

March 20, 2013 at 3:34 p.m.
Jt6gR3hM said...

jjmez said...

“AndrewLohr said... Saddam Hussein was a murderer.

And once a friend and ally of America. An America that supplied him with all the weapons, chemical and other.

Recall, the soldier who happened upon a cache of weapons in America (?) only to realized they were all stamped MADE IN AMERICA.”


Should we not trade with any of our current friends and allies in the likelihood they may one day turn into our enemy? Hasn’t this “Made in America” situation been present in most all of our modern conflicts? It seems that in WW II the claim was made that the axis powers rearmed will a supply of our scrap metal along with other vital war making materials. The complaint at that time by many service members was that they were being killed and wounded by old scrap metal from our discarded Chevys and Fords.

March 20, 2013 at 3:52 p.m.
chatt_man said...

Oldhickory - I'm pretty sure the Vietnam war was not a problem at the time, because Jane Fonda went over there and reported back to us that all was well.

March 20, 2013 at 4:01 p.m.
BigRidgePatriot said...

Another good video on drones, almost a half hour long but it gives a great overview. Very interesting stuff, spooky, but interesting…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=msHJLw...!

There should be a national debate going on right now. The people who would normally be demanding the public debate think they can trust their president, the military and arms producers to come to the right answers. Considering the highly illegal activity already being conducted with drones I think it is safe to say that trust is reckless indeed.

March 20, 2013 at 4:06 p.m.
Jt6gR3hM said...

lkeithlu said...

“From Greenwald at the Guardian, in "update II" in his column about David Frum:

  • here is what Gen. John Abizaid, former commander of CENTCOM with responsibility for Iraq, had to say about that war:

"Of course it's about oil, it's very much about oil, and we can't really deny that. From the standpoint of a solider who's now fought in the middle east for six years – my son-in-law's fought there for four years, my daughter's been over there, my son has served the nation – my family has been fighting for a long time."

And here is what the current US Secretary of Defense, Chuck Hagel, said about the Iraq war back in 2007 (via Dick Distardli):

"People say we're not fighting for oil. Of course we are. They talk about America's national interest. What the hell do you think they're talking about? We're not there for figs."

Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan added in his 2007 book: "I am saddened that it is politically inconvenient to acknowledge what everyone knows: the Iraq war is largely about oil." What other evidence do deniers need before accepting this obvious reality?”

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/mar/18/david-frum-iraq-war-oil


If it was all or even primarily about the oil we could have simply removed the sanctions and let Iraq deal with that area of the world as they so desired as long as the oil supply was not interrupted.

It’s not like Saddam would not have sold his oil if given the chance. Even if he refused to sell to the U.S. it wouldn’t mattered as oil is a fungible commodity and we obtain very little of our oil from that part of the world anyway.

If that failed and it was necessary to invade Iraq to obtain access to the oil why would we take the actions that we did. Why try to pacify the whole country? Why not just declare the oil fields and pipe lines off limits to Iraqis with shot to kill orders if they approach them. We just let the Iraqis distract themselves with civil war if they so desire while we have some international oil company pump out all of the oil and we have obtained what we were after.

It would be silly to say that oil did not play into the equation but since maintaining the world’s oil supply is in our vital national interest why would it not. However our actions after the invasion clearly showed that it was not even close to our primary objective.

I guess if you keep relating a basically false and illogical narrative enough times it seems to take on a sense of reality for a certain segment of the population.

March 20, 2013 at 4:37 p.m.
Jt6gR3hM said...

jjmez said...

“And there's nothing like someone failing to realize the fact that all of today's ills national, and around the world, taking place have direct ties to that adminstration five years ago that screwed up.”


“all of today's ills … around the world”

Really are you sure its “all” and not maybe 85% or could you settle for 93%?

That seems a mighty fair deal to me.

Don’t you?

March 20, 2013 at 4:52 p.m.
dougmusn said...

@WWWTW: "latent enmity" only because Saddam's thumb suppressed the conflict between these two arms of Islam.

March 20, 2013 at 5:41 p.m.
Easy123 said...

Jt6gR3hM,

"I guess if you keep relating a basically false and illogical narrative enough times it seems to take on a sense of reality for a certain segment of the population."

Kind of like the WMD, yellow cake, aluminum tube narrative? That false narrative sent us to war.

Are any Republicans/Conservatives willing to admit that the war in Iraq was unnecessary? Are any of you willing to admit that we went there under false pretenses and blatant use of misinformation?

March 20, 2013 at 5:43 p.m.
BigRidgePatriot said...

I think the war in Iraq was a mistake, but I am not sure about the "blatant use of misinformation" bit. Too many intelligence agencies seemed to come to the same conclusion. The thing that really nags at me about Iraq is the preemptive war precedent. We are way too eager to get involved in a conflict these days, even if we have not been attacked by the country in question. How did they ever manage to shift public opinion to the point that something like that is not viewed as an outrage?

March 20, 2013 at 7:56 p.m.
Easy123 said...

BRP,

"but I am not sure about the "blatant use of misinformation" bit."

That's precisely what it was.

"Too many intelligence agencies seemed to come to the same conclusion."

They didn't come to reliable conclusions. The vast majority of the intelligence was based on assumption, conjecture, dated intelligence, or historically unreliable sources.

The intelligence was absolutely awful. It's been proven now.

"Most of the major key judgments in the Intelligence Community’s October 2002 National Intelligence Estimate (NIE), Iraq’s Continuing Programs for Weapons of Mass Destruction, either overstated, or were not supported by, the underlying intelligence reporting. A series of failures, particularly in analytic trade craft, led to the mischaracterization of the intelligence."

http://www.fas.org/irp/congress/2004_rpt/ssci_concl.pdf

"How did they ever manage to shift public opinion to the point that something like that is not viewed as an outrage?"

Creating fear amongst the masses was very easy post-9/11. "Terror levels", enhanced security in airports, using rhetoric like "Evil-doers", "Axis of Evil", and other "scary" words created a heightened atmosphere of fear in our country. People will agree to most things when they are afraid.

March 20, 2013 at 8:39 p.m.
jjmez said...

Easy123 said... People will agree to most things when they are afraid

So True! Herman Goerig basically made a similar statement during the Neuremburg Trials.

Hermann Goering quote:

"Naturally the common people don't want war; neither in Russia, nor in England, nor in America, nor in Germany. That is understood. But after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to even greater danger. It works the same in any country.”

March 20, 2013 at 9:43 p.m.
BigRidgePatriot said...

Easy,

You are so busy trying to be right that you don't seem to notice when someone is at least partially agreeing with you and make up things to disagree about!

March 20, 2013 at 9:52 p.m.
Easy123 said...

BRP,

"You are so busy trying to be right that you don't seem to notice when someone is at least partially agreeing with you and make up things to disagree about!"

If you're only partially agreeing with me, wouldn't that mean there is something we, at least partially, disagree about? Oh wait, I pointed those discrepancies out already.

I'm presenting facts, not my opinion of them. You seem to be too busy trying to tip-toe around. I am simply pointing that out.

Why do you have such a problem with someone disagreeing with you or critiquing/criticizing your opinion?

March 20, 2013 at 9:59 p.m.
BigRidgePatriot said...

Yawn...

March 20, 2013 at 10:11 p.m.
Easy123 said...

That's what I thought, BRP.

March 20, 2013 at 10:15 p.m.
Maximus said...

Wow the weak juicy smelly anti-American teachers lounge Marxist socialist vaginas really came out on this one led by Easy#2 and Limpric. Bottom line and of course our allies did help with some of this:

Nazi Germany.....A radical terrorist organization bent on world domination......Destroyed by the U. S. Military

Imperialist Japan....A radical terrorist organization bent on world domination....Destroyed by the U. S. Military

Soviet Russia.....A radical communist regime bent on world domination.....Destroyed by President Ronald Reagan

Radical Islam.....A radical terrorist organization bent on world domination......Sooner rather than later these a holes will have to be destroyed by the U. S. Military no matter what military queer brats like Clay that got too much Mommy Time say. As for Vietnam War loser lefties like Limpprick and Easy Brainless #2 cocksucker go to hell you commie faggots!

The world will always be governed by the aggressive use of force no matter what the tip toe through the tulips weak bleeding heart loser liberals whine about.

March 20, 2013 at 10:40 p.m.
Easy123 said...

Maximusty said...

"Wow the weak juicy smelly anti-American teachers lounge Marxist socialist vaginas really came out on this one led by Easy#2 and Limpric."

"As for Vietnam War loser lefties like Limpprick and Easy Brainless #2 cocksucker go to hell you commie faggots!"

What type of medication do you take for your mental retardation, Maximusty?

March 20, 2013 at 10:49 p.m.

I never said that we invaded Iraq to liberate the Kurds. But it happened, it was deliberate, and they are enormously grateful, as evidenced by the portion of the quote edited (and thus grossly distorted) by mountainlaurel:

"I'm sorry to say that Bush is an idiot, But without his help it would not have been possible to liberate Iraq. I like what America did. They removed Saddam. But they created a lot of mini Saddams."

In other words, the result is far from ideal, but the “Bush is the devil, Obama is the savior” simple-mindedness of many on this forum isn’t shared by those who were liberated. The widespread favorable assessment of the invasion is attested by personal friends visiting Iraqi Kurdistan in recent months.

March 21, 2013 at 12:50 a.m.

More from “The Iraq War Was a Good Idea, If You Ask the Kurds: They love George W. Bush for liberating them, but their region's relative stability might not last” by Jenna Krajeski (The Atlantic, March 20 2013:

“It's been ten years since the U.S.-led invasion, and most will observe the anniversary by remembering the dead and evaluating mistakes. Things are a little different in Iraqi Kurdistan, the northernmost autonomous region where the "invasion" is still referred to -- insistently -- as a "liberation." It's a strange, parallel universe in which American ideals like freedom from tyranny and economic promise are more intact than they are in America, as is the belief that those ideals can be spread and won through war. Some say that admiration for Americans runs so high that among the younger generation are Kurds named "Bush." I've never met such a child (nor have I ever met anyone who has) but it's plenty surreal that, as the amigos gleefully tweeted, Iraqi Kurds like Americans. Moreover, they like Republicans -- the more hawkish the better."

"any objection to the war was seen as a direct affront to Kurdish freedom. Nor could I compare Obama favorably to Bush; like the three amigos, most Iraqi Kurds prefer the muscle of a Republican in office."

"Kurds, perhaps more than any group, can attest to the brutality of the Saddam Hussein regime. Under Saddam, years of systematic human rights abuses culminated in the Anfal campaign, during which chemical weapons were used to kill over 50,000 civilians (some reports are much higher). Still today those deaths are vivid in the collective consciousness of Iraqi Kurds, who fret about aggression from future Saddams and covet the strong army and financial independence that could insulate them."

March 21, 2013 at 12:51 a.m.
mountainlaurel said...

Whats_wrong_with_the_World says: “I never said that we invaded Iraq to liberate the Kurds. . . they are enormously grateful, as evidenced by the portion of the quote edited (and thus grossly distorted) by mountainlaurel.”

Exactly where is this distortion WWWTW? In your initial post you claimed that Clay’s cartoon was a “naïve, cheap, and tawdry take on Iraq’s liberation from Saddam Hussein’s tyranny,” and suggested that we ask the Kurds? In response, I simply pointed out that when it comes to “liberation” some Kurds are not feeling so liberated these days. Yes, they removed Saddam. But they created a lot of corrupt mini Saddams who also kill. So where is the freedom?

No, it’s you who is distorting the issues and what this Kurd businessman is saying. You emphasize the Kurds like Bush for killing Saddam, but ignore the fact they also consider Bush to be an idiot. The bottom-line is you’re a lot like the three amigos mentioned in the article. You’re not interested in the Kurds and the problems they’re facing with these mini Saddams:

“There are plenty of flaws in the picture of Iraqi Kurdistan as a peaceful, prosperous, and Western-friendly island. Progress in the KRG has been marred by allegations of corruption, cronyism and bribery. While prices of food and housing in Erbil skyrocket, salaries remain low and jobs can be hard to find for the unconnected. Meanwhile the Barzanis -- still remembered as revolutionary leaders -- live in an opulent, gated area just outside of Erbil.

When people can't afford food, they size up their leader's mansions. In 2011, anti-government protests in Sulaymaniyah were brutally stopped by security forces. Journalists who have criticized the government have been censored, or worse. People complain that the majority of Erbil's budget goes unaccounted for, and people are starting to complain a lot.

Alongside the discontent with the present government is a measured disapproval of their friend the U.S., weighed against the removal of Saddam. "I'm sorry to say that Bush is an idiot," a businessman (who asked for anonymity) told me last September. "But without his help it would not have been possible to liberate Iraq. I like what America did. They removed Saddam. But they created a lot of mini Saddams."

These "mini-Saddams," according to the businessman, are the Kurdish leaders, including the three amigos' friend and tour guide, Massoud Barzani. "It was a liberation, but then it was destroyed," the businessman continued. "Now we are number one for corruption in the world. Where is the freedom? If you say that you don't like it, they kill you."

http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2013/03/the-iraq-war-was-a-good-idea-if-you-ask-the-kurds/274196/

March 21, 2013 at 12:36 p.m.

So … the situation with the Kurds points to what many disillusioned Americans are concluding after their shock that the Arab Spring did not produce leaders who respect human rights, tolerate dissent, or support laws and institutions capable of enfranchising minority populations (aka the values of democracy). Are the successors for the dictators in this region any more honest, law-abiding, or humanitarian under Nobel Peace Prize winner Obama than under Bush? Of course not. Their worldview seems to be unable to countenance anything other than tribalism – whether political, ethnic, religious, or otherwise.

If you’re keeping score, their hatred for Obama exceeds their disdain for Bush, as the article makes clear. They do not believe the problems of Kurdistan are the fault of Republicans, or for that matter Democrats, whose talking points the Republicans, after 9-11, began reading. The Kurds are certainly not pining for the glory days (as you present them) before the Americans came to their aid. They are simply disappointed that our government is leaving them high and dry now, even as their hopes for a just government and stable economy continue to dissipate. The Kurds love Americans. I support a group which is building and staffing schools there in areas that were deprived of such resources under Saddam. The people with whom they work reflect the attitudes of those interviewed in the article. They do not want Americans to leave.

Yes, I decided not to cut and paste the entire article. I did, however, allow the man to finish his thought. I quoted a longer passage than you provided in order to show that the man interviewed has a more balanced view - a perspective quite different from your single-minded hatred for all things Bush. You are projecting. He, like most Kurds, does not share your net assessment of the war. He “like(s) what Bush did.” He simply pointed out that Bush being an idiot does not mean he was wrong for removing Saddam.

The world is much more complex than you conceive it to be. Blind partisanship has prevented you (yet again) from comprehending realistic, common sense viewpoints such as those presented in this article (whose title you shrewdly omitted in your initial attempt to distort it).

March 22, 2013 at 1:14 a.m.
mountainlaurel said...

Whats_Wrong_With_The_World says: “I quoted a longer passage than you provided in order to show that the man interviewed has a more balanced view.”

Considering your initial post, I believe you’re attrituting virtues to yourself that you do not possess. Your rant that Bennett’s cartoon is a “naïve, cheap, and tawdry take on Iraq’s liberation” can hardly be considered a balanced perspective. The same applies to your rant about my comment, which simply pointed out that some Kurds are not feeling so liberated.

Whats_Wrong_With_the_World says: He, like most Kurds, does not share your net assessment of the war. He “like(s) what Bush did.”

I can understand this, but I note you completly ignore the “assessment” of many Americans such as the soldier who recently wrote to former President Bush. Surely, you can understand his feelings about the lies issued by Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney:

“I write this letter, my last letter, to you, Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney. I write not because I think you grasp the terrible human and moral consequences of your lies, manipulation and thirst for wealth and power. I write this letter because, before my own death, I want to make it clear that I, and hundreds of thousands of my fellow veterans, along with millions of my fellow citizens, along with hundreds of millions more in Iraq and the Middle East, know fully who you are and what you have done. You may evade justice but in our eyes you are each guilty of egregious war crimes, of plunder and, finally, of murder, including the murder of thousands of young Americans—my fellow veterans—whose future you stole.”

Whats_Wrong_With_the_World said - The Kurds are certainly not pining for the glory days (as you present them) before the Americans came to their aid. They are simply disappointed that our government is leaving them high and dry now.

But I didn’t suggest the Kurds were pining for the days under Saddam. This was your addition. As for their disappointment, something tells me that the Kurds would be far more understanding than you if they knew of the difficulties many Americans are currently facing, especially the situation of many disabled veterans like the one who recently wrote to President Bush:

“I have, like many other disabled veterans, suffered from the inadequate and often inept care provided by the Veterans Administration. I have, like many other disabled veterans, come to realize that our mental and physical wounds are of no interest to you, perhaps of no interest to any politician. We were used. We were betrayed. And we have been abandoned. You, Mr. Bush, make much pretense of being a Christian. But isn’t lying a sin? Isn’t murder a sin? Aren’t theft and selfish ambition sins”

http://www.truthdig.com/dig/item/the_last_letter_20130318/

March 22, 2013 at 6:58 a.m.
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