Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Miss Me Yet?

Bush's presidency cast a dark spell over the Conservatives.  Huge budget deficits -- supposedly against GOP policies decades long -- and pre-emptive warfare...which was one of the hallmarks of decades of imperialistic bloodlust.

So what happened? "Absolutely Nothing: A Veteran’s Savage Indictment of the Iraq War."

"Tragically, all we’ve fought for in Iraq, all that 4,500 American lives were shed to gain, is on the cusp, potentially, of vanishing."  Mitt Romney, “Ideas Summit,” 6/13/2014...

"All we fought for in Iraq.

"All we fought for in Iraq is on the cusp of vanishing.

"That’s what Mitt Romney says.

"We fought for. We fought for. We.

"Oh, so it’s we now, is it, Mitt?


"I must have missed you over there, but it was a busy place. We. The guy who helped set up “pro-draft” rallies and yet somehow managed to avoid service in Vietnam is upset about losing what “we” fought for? We..."
mission-accomplish BEST

Patrick L. Smith as a polemic over at, "George W. Bush’s horrific, deadly blunder: Would Saddam Hussein be better than Iraq’s new hell," subtitled, "Eleven years, and so much death, misery and destruction later, Iraq's best outcome looks like the one Bush upended."

"In 11 years, our nine-year war has created a nation of destitutes, exiles and wanderers. It is a kind of death in life — worse (might as well say this, too) than many things Saddam was guilty of. And the truly incredible stares at us: There may be worse to come, if the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria lives down to the word of its leaders so far..."

And oh yeah, it cost a few bucks too...

So what happens when you invade a deeply divided sectarian country for its oil?  Mark Tran at the Guardian tells us in his piece, "Isis fighters attack Iraq's biggest oil refinery."

"Islamist militants launch assault in Baiji as Iran raises prospect of military intervention."

"Islamist militants have attacked Iraq's largest oil refinery in the city of Baiji, 155 miles north of Baghdad, as Iran raised the prospect of direct military intervention to protect Shia holy sites.

"A top security official told the Associated Press that fighters of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (Isis) had begun their attack on the refinery late on Tuesday night. The attack continued into Wednesday morning, with militants targeting it with mortar shells, starting a small fire on the periphery.

"The refinery accounts for more than a quarter of the country's entire refining capacity, all of which goes toward domestic consumption – petrol, cooking oil and fuel for power stations. At the height of the insurgency from 2004 to late 2007, the Baiji refinery was under the control of Sunni militants who used to siphon off crude and petroleum products to finance their operations. Isis has used its control of oilfields in Syria to boost its coffers..."

Baiji oil refinery
The Baiji oil refinery, 155 miles north of Baghdad, is under attack by Isis. Photograph: Thaier Al-Sudani/Reuters

"This couldn't be happening, the neocons told us so, says Tom Hayden in an article at, "The madness in Iraq and the comeback of the neocons."

"The original blame for this disaster is on the Bush administration, but also on all those who succumbed to a Superpower Syndrome, which claimed we could redesign the Middle East."

vietnam syndrome image
Vietnam Syndrome: Unwinnable wars. Image from the Archdiocese of Washington.
So no problem, according to David Corn at in his piece, "FLASHBACK: Remember When Paul Wolfowitz Said Not to Worry About Sectarian Violence in Iraq?"

"The former Bush administration official is perhaps the worst person to give advice about the current crisis in Iraq—but that hasn't stopped him from speaking out..."

World Economic Forum/Flickr
"Now that Iraq is on the verge of its unexpected collapse, the newly-manufactured myth is that American air strikes, guided by on-the-ground special intelligence units, are desperately needed to stave off the defeat of the corrupt Shiite regime, which thousands of young Americans died to install. The political effect of the myth is to pin the blame on Obama for withdrawing our troops as he promised..."


For those of  you with a historical bent, here's a little history for you in a story by Bruce Lindner at, "A Refresher on Iraq for Republican Revisionists."

"1• Following the division of the Ottoman Empire in 1920, Great Britain draws arbitrary borders in parts of greater Arabia, ignoring 1,200 year old ethnic and religious enclaves. The new State of Iraq is born based on those borders, comprised of a Shiite majority, a Kurdish region in the north, and a Sunni minority wielding power.

"2• Saddam Hussein, a Sunni, takes control of Iraq in 1979. His brutal policies crush any pockets of ethnic or religious dissent, a policy he would later apply to any would-be Jihadists on his turf as well. Saddam kept tight control via his Republican Guards, several divisions of which were tasked with protecting Saddam and controlling Baghdad alone. A monstrous dictator though he was, he held Iraq together.

"3• Based on assurances of the presence of WMDs contrived by the administration, Congress authorizes Bush to invade Iraq. The vote in the House is 215 Republican yeas, 6 nays, with 81 Democrat yeas, 126 nays. In the Senate, it was 48 Republican yeas, 1 nay and 29 Democrat yeas with 21 nays. Bernie Sanders, the one and only 1 Independent voted nay..."



What does all this bode for the 2016 presidential election?  If this chaos continues until then, Conservatives may lose to the heir apparent, Hillary Clinton...

Unless she makes the same mistake as the last time, as George Zornick notes in his article at The Nation, "Hillary Still Doesn’t Get It on Iraq," when Mrs. Clinton said, the "'smart political move' would have been to recant on iraq vote earlier, but '(she) couldn't break faith with' service members."


"What a terrible thing to have lost one's mind. Or not to have a mind at all. How
true that is."

Vice President Dan Quayle while speaking to the United Negro College Fund.
("A mind is a terrible thing to waste," was a part of a campaign slogan used by the
United Negro College Fund.)