The Commanders Discuss Gulf War I vs. Gulf War II

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I found this 9 minutes of discussion on the two Gulf Wars between President George H.W. Bush, Richard Cheney, Colin Powell, Brent Scowcroft, James Baker and others fascinating. Scowcroft doesn’t say a word. Cheney says that while personal relations between some of those around the table are not back to “peace”, there is a truce.
One of the issues that was missing in the questions was the fact that the first Gulf War was paid for by a $13 billion check given to us by the Japanese who imposed a Gulf War tax on their own people to do their part. There is little discussion today of how America has paid for the Iraq War and Afghanistan War. In fact, we are not even trying to find offsets.
The FY2011 expenditure for just the Afghanistan War will be $119 billion in a country whose GDP is just $14 billion.
— Steve Clemons

Comments

7 comments on “The Commanders Discuss Gulf War I vs. Gulf War II

  1. Kathleen says:

    Americans do not want to know how many Iraqi people died in Iraq 1 or Iraq 2 or the horrific sanctions in between. Our MSM (including Olbermann and Maddow) were happy to comply

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  2. JohnH says:

    From Seymour Hersch’s Doha speech, where he captures US attitudes: “We’re going to change mosques into cathedrals.”
    “That’s an attitude that pervades, I’m here to say, a large percentage of the Special Operations Command, the Joint Special Operations Command and Stanley McChrystal, the one who got in trouble because of the article in Rolling Stone, and his follow-on, a Navy admiral named McRaven, Bill McRaven — all are members or at least supporters of Knights of Malta. McRaven attended, so I understand, the recent annual convention of the Knights of Malta they had in Cyprus a few months back in November. They’re all believers — many of them are members of Opus Dei. They do see what they are doing — and this is not an atypical attitude among some military — it’s a crusade, literally. They see themselves as the protectors of the Christians. They’re protecting them from the Muslims in the 13th century. And this is their function. They have little insignias, they have coins they pass among each other, which are crusader coins, and they have insignia that reflect that, the whole notion that this is a war, it’s culture war…”
    “You know, it is, up to a point, about oil. When I started looking at Cheney from a different point of view, like, two years ago, I didn’t think so: I thought ideology, I thought protecting Israel… a lot of it is oil. You talk to people and they will tell you, “Yeah, there’s the wind and the sun but you [inaudible] it in America and where is it coming from?” And there’s always been an understanding. We tolerate the Saudis, we support the Saudis, who we know supply an awful lot of salafists, and they’re still, their various charities are supplying often the same people we’re targeting and there is certainly, they’re certainly… we see them, for instance, in the Iraqi war supporting the Sunnis, the Sunni Awakening, etc. I mean, implicit… I would argue that there’s nothing subtle about what we do, morally. If you think about it — again this is something I talked about earlier — we and the Brits always assume some imperial right to oil in the Middle East.”
    http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2011/01/22/transcript_the_obamabush_foreign_policies_why_cant_america_change?page=full

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  3. JohnH says:

    Jennings summed it up, quoting Atkinson–“Bush (43) hopped around trying to find a rationale…he careened from rationale to rationale…”
    And none of these “esteemed” high government officials could provide any, even with their 20/20 hindsight. Powell cited UNSC approval (not granted). And Cheney cited, of course, 911 which merely provided additional ammunition for what Bush already intended to do.
    How pathetic these “esteemed” officials are–wasting several $Trillion for a cause which none could convincingly justify to anyone but themselves and their unthinking followers. How tragic that Bush would loot the Social Security Trust Fund and put America in hock to its biggest rival–all for a cause that had no point.
    And, even worse, Obama has learned nothing, intent on repeating the ruinous boondoggle in Afghanistan.

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  4. Warren Metzler says:

    I find this discussion to be typical of former government high officials. They all lie through their teeth, so it can appear they were reasonable people taking moral justified actions. When the truth is they are all highly skilled liars, covering up decisions that had nary a US citizen in mind; except for their rich corporate paymasters, who were going to make a financial killing off that war.
    It is obvious to me that Bush senior got the US ambassador to Iraq, to give Saddam the impression we didn’t have a problem with him invading Kuwait, just so Bush senior would have an excuse to have a war, because he believed it would guarantee him winning re-election. Talk about poetic justice.
    And talking about being venal, are you all not clear that he put American troops into Sudan after losing re-election. Which could only have been to screw Clinton with a major foreign policy boondoggle the minute he occupied the oval office. That action certainly wasn’t to promote democracy for the wonderful people of Sudan.
    Colin Powell has implicitly admitted since leaving office that he present knowingly fabricated information at the UN to get a desired Security Council approval; and here is Powell now claiming that they all “knew” it was necessary to go to war.
    Given Cheney’s proven numerous lies, it is obvious that man is incapable of telling the truth about anything.
    James Baked is a corporate lawyer specializing in getting his political and corporate paymasters off the hook for obvious mishaps, having to lie so many times he can’t tell the truth.
    It is absurd to claim you went to war to punish Sadam for his terrible actions, and then say we didn’t go on to get rid of him because the objective was to liberate Kuwait. That is absurd. That was never their objective.
    This should have been a round table for discussing high crimes and misdemeanors. But since Brian Williams appears to be incapable of having a coherent thought regarding any complex issue, I can see why he was selected to give the impression this was a “momentous” occasion.

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  5. Robert Enholm says:

    Kim Hanson: I believe that Steve was describing Afghanistan’s GDP
    as being $14 Billion (not the U.S.’s GDP). He is right about
    Afghanistan; you are right about the U.S.

    Reply

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