Thursday, August 29, 2013

Fighting the Last War

I guess we've all heard the line about bad generals fighting the last war.  I can't believe the readiness of the press, politicians on both sides of the aisle and the usual blabbermouths on TV to engage in this ludicrous behavior.

I just saw Chris Hayes, who passes for a liberal on MSNBC, interviewing Lawrence Wilkerson about the advisability of allowing Obama to take action against Iraq.  For those of you who have forgotten, Wilkerson was an aide to Colin Powell, who was instrumental in preparing Powell's utterly false presentation to the United Nations, which preceded the Bush administration's initiating one of the greatest military blunders in the history of mankind.  Wilkerson blamed all of the endless falsehoods of that speech on the CIA and military intelligence.

The truth is that any person with half a brain could have known the moment that speech was delivered, as I did when I sat watching it, that it was nothing but a pack of lies.  I remember Powell showing two aerial pictures of a factory.  He told us it was a chemical weapons plant, but offered exactly zero evidence that it was.  What is more, it looked like any light industrial building anywhere in the world.  For all the evidence he provided, it could have been in Bayonne, New Jersey.  In the first picture, you could see a couple of trucks with semitrailers outside the factory.  In the second picture they were gone.  Powell claimed that these trucks had been loaded with chemical or biological weapons and then driven away.  He never provided a shred of evidence to support that claim.  Then, Powell produced a cartoon image showing the alleged interior of a biological weapons truck.  Here it is:

Powell made a case for a war that killed half a million innocent civilians, based on two meaningless aerial photos and a cartoon.  Powell and Wilkerson were not deceived by the CIA and the military, they concocted a massive lie to promote a war crime.  And yet this is the person that even a mainstream press liberal turns to for comment on the quality of Obama's evidence.

Here is the difference between the last war and this potential one:  Bush and Cheney were ignorant, belligerent warmongers who didn't give a damn about the truth; Obama is an intelligent, well informed person who is given to careful consideration before making any move.  Yet, all over the political landscape people are using Bush and Cheney's humiliating disaster as an excuse to oppose Obama's right to make a decision about a dictator who has now killed over 130,000 of his own people, in his struggle to retain power.

I must say that I am not sure Obama should take military action either.  If we really degrade Assad's military power, we are probably turning the country over to Islamic lunatics; if we don't we are allowing the vicious actions of a despicable leader to accomplish their intended goals.  This truly is a morass, and I wish the world had not come to this point.  But whatever I think, I sure as hell am not going to oppose Obama on the grounds that Bush and Cheney were asses.


Paul Avery said...

You left out the topper:
“I was not a fan of Mr. Assad. He’s an ally of Iran and he’s mad mischief.”--George W. Bush
Syria was a rendition destination for Bush's torture program.

(O)CT(O)PUS said...

Good post. Sums up my ambivalence too. One sad irony, however, is a legacy of the Iraq that now cripples the U.S. and the U.K. from taking a moral stand.

Yeah, Bush should talk. It's the kind of hypocrisy that fuels the "Ugly American" image.

Green Eagle said...

The price of military adventurism continues long after the adventure is over. Look at how the Boer War inflamed both anti-German feelings in England and anti-German feelings in Germany, resulting in the estrangement between England and Germany and England's eventual alliance with France and Russia against Germany, virtually guaranteeing the outbreak of the most violent war in world history.

Green Eagle said...

I meant anti- English feelings in Germany. Sorry.