A War of Choice: Part XVII

wariiThose of us who opposed the war knew from the beginning that the Bush administration’s invasion of Iraq was an unnecessary and illegal war of choice, not a regrettable conflict born of unavoidable necessity, as the Administration and its backers in the media insisted. But in a new Slate piece by Christopher Hitchens on the death of Israeli historian Amos Elon, we learn again just how unnecessary the death and destruction that accompanied the invasion truly was:

One day in Washington several years ago, as it became obvious that things in Baghdad were becoming hellish for the American-led coalition in the Iraq war, he told me the following story. In the run-up to the intervention in Iraq, the United States had approached the Israelis and asked how many citizens they had who spoke “Iraqi Arabic”—i.e., who had lived in Iraq before they had left or been expelled and who understood the local idioms and vernacular. The answer was that there were still quite a few. A group of these was put aboard an AWACS plane that flew high over Iraqi airspace and asked to listen in to radio traffic between Iraqi officers as the date of the Bush ultimatum to Saddam drew nearer.

When debriefed, all the former Iraqi Jews were of one opinion: Saddam’s army would not fight, and many of its soldiers had already decided to melt away when the attack began. I thought this was a mildly interesting anecdote and indeed told him so, on the Watergate balcony where we happened to be standing. He was exasperated with me. “Don’t you see?” he said. “This means that all the ‘shock and awe,’ all the damage to Baghdad, all of that, was completely needless? We could have brought down Saddam without smashing Iraq.” I have been brooding on this ever since.

We’ve known at least since Richard Clarke’s exposees of Bush administration criminality that the invasion in Iraq was launched, at least in part because Administration insiders felt that an invasion of Afghanistan didn’t send a loud enough “message” to the world about American vindictiveness in the face of 9/11. It was Donald Rumsfeld, after all, who lamented that “there aren’t any good targets in Afghanistan. And there are lots of good targets in Iraq.”

So it seems that the Bush administration really just wanted to go in somewhere, guns ‘a blazing, and blow up a lot of buildings and bridges and leave a lot of corpses in the sand.

In the end the Bushies suceeded in that part of their mission, though I doubt they fully realized just how may of those sand speckled corpses would wear a U.S. Army uniform.

Serolf Divad has never been more ashamed to call himself an American than on March 30, 2003.


It’s been established that as early as 1999 George W. spoke openly about ‘taking out’ Saddam. Reality had nothing to do with any of it. His sponsors wanted the oil and a defeated country to loot. Everything around it was mere theater.

“From the very beginning, there was a conviction that Saddam Hussein was a bad person and that he needed to go,” [former Treasury Secretary Paul] O’Neill told CBS, according to excerpts released Saturday by the network. “For me, the notion of pre-emption, that the U.S. has the unilateral right to do whatever we decide to do, is a really huge leap.”

O’Neill, who served nearly two years in Bush’s Cabinet, was asked to resign by the White House in December 2002 over differences he had with the president’s tax cuts.

On September13, 2001, during a meeting at Camp David with President Bush, Rumsfeld, and others in the Bush administration, Wolfowitz said he discussed with President Bush the prospects of launching an attack against Iraq, for no apparent reason other than a “gut feeling” Saddam Hussein was involved in the attacks, and there was a debate “about what place if any Iraq should have in a counter-terrorist strategy.”

This war was an absolute fucking waste. Even a dipshit like me saw nothing good come of this. Sadly, the fucking cowards won and they got their war.

On a small petty level, I’m just glad that the then leaders of my nation stayed away from this mess despite our history of walking lock step with US America (and the opinions of the fat ass who is now our PM.)

Wolfie, Rummie and W should have taken Pepto.

They make their own reality — remember?

@ManchuCandidate: It was great when Schroeder told the states to fuck itself and to stuff its planned attack on women and children. The EU should indict CheneyCo and the whole neocon crew. Give those fuckers their chance to shout their sieg heils from the gallows at Nuremberg.

Wait, wait. I gots a problem, teach. Pls here me out.

I ready every single article from Hitchens prior to the war. Every freaking one (can I go there, here? I won’t go there on my site, is it ok when its legit to Stinquers? I have been here awhile but am not sure). I am an expat, so I tend to dwell on the writing rather than the teevee analysis.

That scumbag motherfucker was as gung-ho as anyone for the war. He disseminated every gotdamn argument that came out of the Pentagon. And disseminated a bunch (of really stupid, actually) one of his own.

That rat bastard made every sort of illogical argument about why we should attack Iraq. That fucking shit was hell bent on war, the piece of shit limey motherfucker.

Apologies to Benedict and any others, I know every nation has good and bad people; just wish you guys didn’t export your piece of fucking shit ‘political analyst’ scumbag peeps to our shore. Lord knows we got enough of the bastards, domestically.

And yes I add Sully to the mix. I ain’t forgiven him yet, let’s see him finally apologize for his stupidity back it 2002…

Several years ago, a smarter person than Christopher fucking Hitchens told him what was up. Did he write about it at the time?

No. To do so would have subjected Chris to anything less than uncritical praise. Too harsh for such a pussy.

Worm. You deserve nothing better.

@RZ: Feel free to link to your own stuff — folks link offsite all the time.

And don’t worry about Benedick — he’s the first to dump on the isles.

Me, I rarely pay attention to Hitch, unless it involves how drunk he was at a given appearance. But I’ve been reading Sully since last fall, and he seems reasonably contrite about his earlier warmongering, although Thatcher remains his hag. Sully can be a drama queen at times, but he’s good about holding conversations instead of shouting matches.

@RZ: Couldn’t agree more. That he’s literate and can be amusing only makes it worse. Goddam grammar-school boys.

Thanks HL, just had to go there.

@nojo: I can’t read him. See above note re Hitchens. Sullivan is too given to self-righteous indignation for my taste. But he can be interesting in small doses.

I think I can speak for Benedict *cough, cough* that he is entirely down with ragging on the limeys.

@homo limeyensis: Of course, I’ve been indulging in more than a little self-righteous indignation myself the past few weeks. Could the national news move back to topics more allowing of casual mockery, please?

Sully’s initial value to me last fall was keeping tabs on the NRO crowd, same way I like WorldNetDaily as a wingnut digest — spares me the trouble of following a dozen websites. But both of those — and Keef, for that matter — are just part of the daily rounds behind concocting a morning post. I have to pay closer attention than I otherwise would.


Thanks, I appreciate it. And sorry for the cursing, I only do that when Hitch is involved ;-)

Yeah, its true, I got a blog and I would love if all ya’ll would check it out. Mostly Chinese stuff but got some good old-fashioned US politics content:


Check out the take-down of McArdle; my other posts might not be very relevant.

Sully has been re-integrated into proper society already, which I, personally, am not comfortable with, but so it is, with even someone like the fantabulous Glenn Greenwald willing to link to him. I am more with the Editors on this point, but am certainly willing to show *some* flexibility on the issue.

I was so opposed, from afar, to the war, and watched as idiots like Hitchens moved us forward, despite the obvious stupidity of his arguments.

I will never forgive the gasbag. Ever.

@FlyingChainSaw: The bestest fictionalized account of one of the war criminators getting what’s due was the British made-for-TV movie The Trial of Tony Blair, where his ass gets sent to The Hague by Gordon Brown. (Hillbot is prezdnint, though, in this movie and W is basically confined to Texas.)

BTW, and speaking of international extradition, W should be grateful that Stephen Harper is prime minister of Canada.


I think it’s okay top work pretty blue here. The overlords never censor me, I am a filthy pottymouth for realz.

Gotta say I love Benedick’s comments. Regularly.

Listen, us ‘Mericans come in stupid, too. So no reason to feel like its discriminatory. Right?


You is a pottymouth, times two.

I haz seen it.

@RZ: You are now a Designated Stinquette, duly acknowledged in the left column.

And we have a pretty fucking liberal policy on language here. So liberal that MSNBC pulled their display ads from us a few months back.

It should also be noted that the original slogan for Wonkette, from which we migrated when A Bad Thing Happened, was “Politics for Dirty Minds.”


I want to thank my Mom, who has really been supportive, and my pubic relations advisor, and my career counsellor from back in high school. Who was a complete scumbag loser, by the way.

That’s it. No one else. Not even Blogenfreude. Although I do harbor some feelings there. Political feelings, mind you. Thanks, BF, for being there, with the snark. In the ballroom, if memory serves. With the truncheon. Did I win?

I know, its harsh. But he understands. I feel that.

I promise to advance the Stinque Way@ and the Stinque Path@

Until the money runs out. Then, its everyone for themselves.

@nojo: In terms of migrations, Nojo is our Moses. Too bad Charlton Heston is not available to play the part.


I got both of them, in spades.

Politics and dirty minds…what a combo…

@Dodgerblue: HF is Moses. I’m buried somewhere in the begats.


Is a good thread.

Nojo has led me to the promised land, this I know. And I am happy.

TJ and with apologies to CB, but WTF Henry K? He looks like he swallowed a puffer fish.

@RZ: That’s the secret — I think we have the best conversations on the Web. Posts are just conversation-starters.

@nojo: Precisely. As long as that gasbag continues to not only breathe but get invited to WH photo ops, there’s no hope we’ll see a Bush/Cheney indictment in our lifetime, let alone during Black Eagle’s administration.


See now, that’s just mean. I suppose if I had quit drinking you’d come over with Margaritas.


Its some good chats here, for sure. I came here initially via BF and dis place is very, very good. I likes’s, veddy much.

Sometimes the topic changes, which is fine, but I don’t always agree; as harsh realities are unattractive and hence easily avoided.

They’s a lot of stuff to work out, tough stuff. Hope to work with ya’ll on them.


Right. Throw this fucker in reverse, pronto.

Something is wrong.

@Nabisco: I love the “stand back, boys, he’s gonna blow” look on Barack’s face.

@Nabisco: Barry’s got the politics down pat, but no news there. We’ll have to live with what progressive crumbs he deigns to toss our way.

@RZ: Topic changes? You mean like my occasional carblogging?


He’s actually referring to our non-stop TJs like this one:

Looks like S-So is making her rounds today to let our esteemed Senators know that they’ll be getting a visit from Los Hermanos del Muerte if they have the judgement malo to vote against her confirmation, which is of course a forgone conclusion.

The only real question is which paparazzo will get the coveted photo of S-So flashing her vajayjay as she exits her Escalade.

Also, Mr. OA and I went to the Peaches concert last night, and she was way rad. She crowd surfed (!!) during a jammin’ rendition of “Operate.” I highly recommend her show if she’s coming to a town near you.


You may enjoy Talk to Me more since it’s more towards the rock ‘n rolly side of her repertoire.


No, I mean more like when you decry prison conditions, and, well, everyone starts talking about…

Well something else. I am creatively drained.


Oh, no, pls dear god, no:

“pubic relations advisor”

yeah baby, come to me!!

@Original Andrew: I get to see her on June 15 down here.


Prepare yourself for the Peaches missile.

I l-u-v the new album, esp. “Lose You,” “Mommy Complex,” and “Billionaire.” Those went right onto my gym playlist.

I felt so much pressure ’cause I only had like two weeks to memorize the lyrics before the show!

@RZ: That would be a “threadjack” or “TJ”, and it’s a proud tradition. Some folks will jack a thread with the very first comment.

In other words, “on topic” doesn’t exist here. It’s like a party where the conversation ebbs and flows.

@nojo: And, if your mind works like mine does, you remember three days later that you really meant to say something on such and such a thread and sometimes end up resurrecting it in the process.

@Nabisco: Vietnamese and Cambodian babies. He’s still eating them.

@nojo: One of the reasons I like this place so much.

And while on the subject of T/J…

T/J!!!!! Might I be permitted to say how very refreshing to see an American US president and his wife, our esteemed and much admired 1st lady, attend a fucking play in a fucking theatre on fucking Broadway!!!!! How many fucking years is it since that last happened? And let’s not forget all the good union jobs that are given a boost to say nothing of the sweatshops and burger joints. All those sequins don’t get sewn on by themselves, people.

Now back to the thread at hand which was about… um… Hitchens? And how much we all despise limeys of whatever stripe. Carry on.

@homo limeyensis: I think CB was planning to offer some amusement about that, but the weekend took a different turn.

Of course, the nutz tried to make an issue of it. Back in the day, on the other hand, they loved how Ronnie and Nancy were bringing elegance back to the White House.

@Dodgerblue: They saw the revival of August Wilson’s Joe Turner’s Come and Gone.

@nojo: It ain’t elegance, it’s American culture. Yeah. And you thought you’d never see those two words in one sentence.

@homo limeyensis: Well, the issue was something like, why are they blowing all those taxpayer dollars on a trip to Broadway when they could catch a nice show at the Kennedy Center?

But I think it was Jon Stewart who pointed out that trips to Crawford were just fine.

@nojo: They gave a huge boost to NYC and its theatre. They attended a play by America’s premiere black playwright (unfortunately deceased). They made us all feel good about ourselves with the spreading of Hope.

When Bush 1 attended the National Theatre half of DC was shut down from 6:30 till the show was over. Favorite memory? The faces of the Secret Service guys when the women made their quick changes. You could have walked any kind of nuke you wanted into that theatre. They wouldn’t have seen a thing.

@homo limeyensis: Nice. I saw 2 of his plays here in L.A.

@RZ: Oh gawd, just what this place needs, another lawyer. Kidding! Welcome, bienvenidos, etc.!


Well for that matter why not dinner at Jack-in-the-Box, then a romantic evening on the Laz-E-Boys with Nascar on the boob tube like real ‘murrikins?

@Original Andrew: Hey, I’ve got a massage chair recliner thingy. I’ll tell ya, there are times when I would rather be alone on that thing, in a dark room, with a beer, than have any kind of interaction with any human being, and I mean any kind.

@flippin eck:

Ya got me. Can I claim no big-law?

See’n how’z I’m in China I think I get a semi-pass…one way or another.

Or not, its cool.

@flippin eck: We get pro bono credit for this, don’t you know?


Secretly, I’d love to have one too, but they offend Mr. OA’s delicate sensibilities–he’s an E-leetist Architectural Supremacist. It’s Eames or nuthin’, and we cain’t afford no matching Eames, dagnabbit.

@RZ: Your “pubic relations adviser”? You’ll fit right in, sugarplum.


Heh. Freudian, that.

It is quite an amazing bone, you must admit.

I am quite crazy about it. You?

@Jamie Sommers: That is funny. Although the Nabisco team resulted in a school group getting bumped from a WH tour – and I know one of the pissed off moms.

BTW, did you ever see what I sent to your gmail account?


Hay, Lefty, is that offer to play scrabble still on?

@SanFranLefty: School kids are a buncha whiners. Ya think Hines Ward had special tours of the WH when he was growing up half black/half Korean in Georgia?

@SanFranLefty: Yea, I’m two-faced in that regard. I’d be royally pissed if Dubya had bumped some poor inner city kids for a meet ‘n greet with the Yankees or Red Sox.

@Nabisco: These were a bunch of exurban/suburban white kids from Central Virginia whose parents voted for McCain, so of course that’s why the black Mooslem terrist dissed them to hang out with the gang bangers on the Steelers. (that was the tenor of the comments on the FB thread before I had to hide it from my eyes).

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