For the last couple of blogs, I have been buttressing my thesis, that the premier reason, swathes of Americans are enthralled by the 2016 exuberant republican Donald Trump, and the self-described socialist, democrat Senator Bernie Sanders, is because of their fuming anger against current political establishment practices. Both of these contenders are considered to be the least favorite choices of their respective parties.
To the chagrin of the political elites, both have been challenging their parties’ presumptive presidential nominees by rising in the polls as well as attracting huge audiences at their campaign events. And this is while they have not been resorting to scripted communications or accepting monies from any special interest entities. So, no matter what the outcome is, they have made their impact felt in the political world.
As of the evening of 2/20/16, the outsider republican Donald Trump prevailed handily in the State of South Carolina by winning all 50 delegates, while the democrat Senator Bernie Sanders lost the Nevada primary to the establishment choice, Hillary Clinton.
The following discourse is an example of why the average American is so frustrated with their U.S. government. I am continuing to counter a popular republican axiom, that our past Republican President George W. Bush has kept our country safe on and after 9/11. This is factually not true.
It is my contention that President Bush’s mistaken judgement in ordering the 2003 U.S. incursion into Iraq, was the catalyst for the entire destabilization of the middle east. Today, no one can argue that the U.S. has been made safer when we are having to deal with threats from likes of ISIS and other extremist Islamic terrorist groups in the middle east.
In my prior blog , I referred to a 9/10/12 NY Times article. The author Kurt Eichenwald states that an intelligence official and a member of the Bush administration both told him in interviews that the neoconservative leaders who had recently assumed power at the Pentagon were warning the White House that the C.I.A. had been fooled (by August 2001, intelligence data warning about an imminent attack on U.S. soil by Osama bin Laden.)
President Bush chose to listen to his neocon advisers when he discounted crucial timely CIA information and then later, when he ordered 2003 U.S. military to invade Iraq. These decisions rest on the shoulders of our former President Bush as the Commander in Chief. It is my opinion that the intelligence based on singular sources with credibility issues does not provide an adequate basis by which anyone would make far reaching decision like going to war.
There were many experts and decent citizens who risked their political status and reputations by stepping forward to challenge the administration’s consideration of a U.S. war with Iraq. Many knowledgeable authorities wrote op-ed pieces and articles warning the president against taking this step. It was President Bush who sided with the Pentagon neocons over more reasoned voices in his cabinet and so he deserves to be held accountable for the devastating results.
The following is one example out of many writings, attempting to educate the American public about the tragic consequences that would ensue if the U.S. invaded Iraq. In short, what we are witnessing today in the middle east, was imminently foreseeable.
Harvard.edu published their op-ed on their web site, “Global Exchange” by which they argued against the 2003 invasion of Iraq by the U.S. military. In their headline section, they posted: ” The White House is set to launch a war against Iraq. Yet there has been no convincing explanation of why a war is needed, and the international community is strongly opposed to a US attack on Iraq. A war against Iraq would isolate the US from the rest of the world, undermine the effort against terrorism, and kill tens of thousands of civilians. This is a war that will tear the world apart.”
1) There Is No Justification for Going to War
“What was Iraq’s act of aggression against us that justifies war? There has been no attack on the US, no Iraqi threat of war, no Iraqi connection to September 11. War should be a last recourse of self-defense, a step to be taken only when all
other alternatives have been exhausted. What the Bush Administration is planning is an act of aggression, not self-defense.”
2) Iraq Does Not Pose a Clear and Present Danger
“The White House says we should invade Iraq to prevent Saddam Hussein from using weapons of mass destruction. But during the 1990s United Nations weapons inspectors dismantled all of Iraq’s major weapons factories and destroyed nearly all of Iraq’s chemical and biological weapons and long-range missiles. According to Ex-Marine and former UN Weapons Inspector Scott Ritter, Iraq presents “absolutely nothing” of a military threat. Since deterrence is working, why should the US start a war that would lead to massive human suffering?”
3) When It Comes to Invading Iraq, the US Has Few Allies
“The international community supports sending weapons inspectors to Iraq to disarm Saddam Hussein’s regime, but it does not support the White House’s goal of “regime change.” An invasion of Iraq would isolate the US and shatter the principles of international cooperation that are key to US and global security.”
4) An Attack on Iraq Would Make Us Less Safe.
An isolated US is an unsafe country. Attacking Iraq without provocation will ignite anti-American sentiment around the world, disrupting efforts to weaken terrorist networks. While the benefits of invading Iraq are murky, the costs are all-too-clear.”
5) A Costly Invasion Would Take Resources Away from Much Needed Priorities at Home
“It is estimated that any full-scale invasion of Iraq will cost up to $200 billion. During the first Gulf War, allies like Japan covered 80 percent of the cost. This won’t happen again. Instead of spending $200 billion on an unnecessary
war, we should be investing in our nation’s overcrowded schools and failing health care system.” (As of 2016 the cost for the Iraq is over 1.7 trillion dollars.)
6) Invading Iraq Would Be Difficult—and Without a Clear Victory
“An invasion of Iraq will not be as easy as kicking the Taliban out of Kabul. And if the US does overthrow Hussein, what next? An invasion without allies would leave the US to enforce a peace in a country fractured by ethnic conflicts.”
7) A War Would Kill Thousands of People
“An assault on Baghdad would result in far more American casualties than the war in Afghanistan. And the toll on Iraqis would be terrible—an invasion of Iraq could lead to the deaths of 80,000 innocent civilians.”
8.) We Should Not Wage a War for Oil (or for any other purported reason having nothing to do with enhancing our national security.)
“The Bush Administration says we must invade Iraq because Saddam Hussein is abusing his own people and pursuing weapons of mass destruction. Yet at the same time the US supports the nuclear-armed dictator of Pakistan. The double standard makes one wonder: What is this war really about? The answer is oil. We should not attack people in a far-off country to take their resources.”
9) Other Options Besides War Are Available
“When North Korea announced that it was close to constructing a nuclear weapon, the Bush Administration didn’t threaten war—instead, it started cooperating with our allies in Asia to defuse the situation.”
10) Opposition to the War Is Growing
“Americans know deep down that this war makes no sense. We have to educate our fellow citizens about why war with Iraq is wrong, and then hold our elected
representatives accountable to the will of the people.”
Did any of these predictions bear fruit?