What Will the Blowback from Iraq Look Like in the Decades to Come?

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shah nixon.jpg
To a certain degree, the realities in Iran today were shaped by America’s misguided, interventionist regime change success there in helping to overthrow Iranian Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadegh in 1953 and installing Shah Reza Pahlavi.
What will the blowback from Iraq look like in the future? A new report from the Congressional Research Service gives us some idea of the depths of despair that many in Iraq are experiencing.
From Secrecy News, a project of the Federation of American Scientists:

“The humanitarian crisis many feared would take place in March 2003 as a result of the war in Iraq appears to be unfolding,” says a new report (pdf) from the Congressional Research Service.
“It is estimated that in total (including those displaced prior to the war) there may be two million Iraqi refugees who have fled to Jordan, Syria, and other neighboring states, and approximately two million Iraqis who have been displaced within Iraq itself.” See “Iraqi Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons: A Deepening Humanitarian Crisis?,” (pdf) March 23, 2007.
Another Congressional Research Service report provides a detailed examination of the pending defense supplemental appropriations bills, which include congressional direction on redeployment or withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq. See “FY2007 Supplemental Appropriations for Defense, Foreign Affairs, and Other Purposes” (pdf), updated March 28, 2007.

We will be paying compounding costs for Iraq a long time.
It’s too bad we can’t figure out a way to make President Bush and his Rasputinesque Vice President Dick Cheney bear the burden and consequences of this for all time.
The fact is that others will have to clean up this terrible situation, and all of us will pay for it.
— Steve Clemons

Comments

74 comments on “What Will the Blowback from Iraq Look Like in the Decades to Come?

  1. jdmckay says:

    Steve said:
    (quote)
    To a certain degree, the realities in Iran today were shaped by America’s misguided, interventionist regime change success there in helping to overthrow Iranian Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadegh in 1953 and installing Shah Reza Pahlavi.
    (end quote)
    I’m disappointed that you begin with this, and then… nothing. The comments similarly hardly mention it.
    For a number of reasons that history has been of particular interest to me, long before Bush/neocons took over. Since their Iraq adventure, the stark similarities have many, many times led me to review our CIA’s Mossadeq “coup”.
    I wonder, given brevity of your mention, whether you think many/most of your readers are actually familiar with the details of that episode? If so, based on my experience over may years, I would suggest that is a mistaken assumption. Can’t tell you how many times I’ve brought this subject up… often with progressive/liberals who at least attempt to stay informed, only to be greeted with some combination of WDYHASM, dis-belief, or disinterest.
    Your quote which I pasted above, w/all due respect, greatly understates the case. The Mossadeq “coup” was just the beginning. In brief, the CIA in part pulled that off by demonizing Iran’s mullah’s of their day… clerics who at the time were decidedly apolitical. The CIA, among other things, blew up Mosques then flooded Iranian media with reports attributing those actions to Mossadeq supporters. They played the “Soviet threat” card here at home. There were many, many, similar CIA actions in that episode which, by my experience, US citizens who don’t know about it don’t believe it when told.
    Even though FOIA info is still very incomplete, explicit in available docs is the motivation for all that: control of Iranian oil.
    For the 30 yrs of Shah post Mossadeq rule, he was a US puppet whose secret police were trained by the CIA. Political dissenters quietly became polititical prisoners… 10s of 1000s dissapeared never to be heard from again. Yet, the Shah was presented in US media w/a benevolent “progressive” happy face, never mentioning his atrocities.
    Speak to any Iranian who grew up in those years, and they will confirm all this. If it didn’t happen to somewone in their family, it happened in a family they knew. These post Mossadeq political conditions fomented for the entire Shah’s stay, and it was this anger upon which Khomeni fed and exploited to power. It was, in fact, the modern birth of ME “Muslim extremism”, if you will.
    For those not aware, I’d like to note: Mossadeq labored in political obscurity for 15+ years, his primary issue being complaints about British exploitation of Persian oil at Iran’s expense. As a quick snapshot: in 1948, on earnings from Iranian oil, British Petroleum paid more in taxes to their homeland thrown than was paid to the Iranian treasury (***).
    It wasn’t ’till early 50s Mossadeq finally won his nation’s ear, and was elected on his commitment to end this unjust, literal raping of his country’s resources. The subsequent British blockading of Iranian port drove Iran’s economy down by +90%… immeasurable hardship. This process, and Mossadeq’s subsequent representation before the Hague’s Court which resulted, very unexectedly, in judgement against Britain, is a story every American should know.
    Mossadeq’s government was honest, open, secular and precisely what the US would prefer now. Yet Eisenhower, for reasons never acknowledged or explained (AFAIK), acquiesced to US oil interests in allowing Kermit Roosevelt’s (and others) CIA exectued “vision” for Iraq.
    There are a number of excellent books on the subject, and a archive on the NYT’s late 90’s expose on the subject (based on FOIA docs) resides (among other places) here:
    http://web.payk.net/politics/cia-docs/published/one-main/main.html
    or (shortlink) here: http://tinyurl.com/3a9ndq
    I would highly encourage your readers who are unfamiliar with the details of this episode to set aside an evening and read that stuff. Additionally, several authoritative books on the subject fill in many details. At the time I was boning up on all that, several of these authors (US Univ ME profs) were responsive to my inquiries.
    Knowing what I knew, GWB’s buildup to invading Iraq was a deja-vu. I contacted NTY/WP/LAT etc. many times, laying out this history to best of my ability and begging for some reporting. NONE. Given the NTY’s original expose, their entire silence on this meaningful history was (and is) particularly perplexing and frustrating. I had similar experience with a number of superb bloggers… for whatever reason, they have not spotlighted this (that I’m aware).
    So IMO, if you’re versed on this episode, I would most whole heartedly support/advocate & recomend an accurate, well documented article on the subject… at least as it’s relevant today.
    Ok, sorry about lengthy post.
    *** stats (eg: taxes to British thrown) I write from memory, not having original source at hand. Source was: ALL THE SHAH’S MEN.
    Review here:
    https://www.cia.gov/csi/studies/vol48no2/article10.html
    Interview w/author here:
    http://www.onpointradio.org/shows/2003/07/20030709_a_main.asp
    (quote)
    In his new book “All The Shah’s Men,” New York Times correspondent Stephen Kinzer asserts “It is not far-fetched to draw a line from Operation Ajax through the Shah’s repressive regime and the Islamic Revolution to the fireballs that engulfed the World Trade Center in New York.”
    (end quote)

    Reply

  2. MP says:

    POA writes: “And I suspect MP does it because he would be loathe to admit the possibility that what is happening in Iraq, and has been happening since 1991 is in fact, by definition, a holocaust. 500,000 dead Iraqi children due to the sanctions, and another 650,000 dead Iraqi non-combatants due to the invasion and subsequent occupation. Thats over a million souls.
    My point was simply that there is more than one holocaust in danger of being denied. And its a real shame, because the current one could still be stopped if our Congress had the will to do so.
    And, if we, as American citizens, do not DEMAND that this holocaust be stopped, then yes, we are complicit. We KNOW they lied us. We KNOW they are continuing to lie to us. These are not conspiracy theories, or allegations. They are FACTS. How long will we accept and tolerate a government that blatantly and willfully lies to us about the reasons and the rationales for killing over one million people?”
    I certainly wasn’t suggesting that it doesn’t amount to a holocaust nor that we aren’t complicit. It just seemed to me that your argument with Mike turned on the concept of collective guilt. Perhaps it was his disagreement with you–because that seemed to come first. I believe Carroll added in the notion of sins of ommissions–that is, sins of not doing–which seemed to dovetail with what you were saying.
    I don’t think anyone is disagreeing with you on the substance of the horror unfolding nor on our duty to try to stop it. In fact, Mike said as much at least a couple of times. But it is also true, and I think this may have been Mike’s point, that “we”–as in you and Mike and Carroll–aren’t perpetrating these crimes. It may seem like a small distinction to make in the face of the enormity of what’s happening, but it is important. Meting out justice in a just way depends on pinpointing those who are guilty and distinguishing them from those who aren’t.
    And some of this depends on who has his hands on “the lever.” And how you define “the lever.” The American people tried to pull the level in the 2006 election–and they succeeded in part. Witness all the hearings. But the war goes, and the Dems seem incapable of (some would say, not interested in) ending the war.
    Would mass demonstrations do it? I think the jury is out on their effectiveness, even during Viet Nam. Would a tax revolt do it? We’d ALL have to jump together–and I don’t think we have that kind of consensus in the country to drive that kind of revolt. Would impeachment do it? I believe it would, though the successor would still have the problem of what to do in Iraq without any obviously good alternatives. A Council of Reconciliation after the US is out–yes. War Crimes Trials after the US is out–yes.
    Making sure that no one like Bush Cheney ever get elected again–the best long-term solution IMO.

    Reply

  3. TonyForesta says:

    Word POA! How long will America endure this abuse, betrayal, perversion of America’s core principles and the rule of law?

    Reply

  4. Pissed Off American says:

    This whole bit of inane nonsense about “collective guilt” has arisen out of my use of the word “we” when describing certain foreign policy decisions and actions embarked upon by the government of the United States. Both MP and Mike seem to want to ascribe a meaning to my comments that was not intended, nor should be interpreted in the manner they both seem to want to steer them. I suspect Mike does it for the reasons I have already aired to him. And I suspect MP does it because he would be loathe to admit the possibility that what is happening in Iraq, and has been happening since 1991 is in fact, by definition, a holocaust. 500,000 dead Iraqi children due to the sanctions, and another 650,000 dead Iraqi non-combatants due to the invasion and subsequent occupation. Thats over a million souls.
    My point was simply that there is more than one holocaust in danger of being denied. And its a real shame, because the current one could still be stopped if our Congress had the will to do so.
    And, if we, as American citizens, do not DEMAND that this holocaust be stopped, then yes, we are complicit. We KNOW they lied us. We KNOW they are continuing to lie to us. These are not conspiracy theories, or allegations. They are FACTS. How long will we accept and tolerate a government that blatantly and willfully lies to us about the reasons and the rationales for killing over one million people?

    Reply

  5. Carroll says:

    Posted by MP at April 9, 2007 12:03 PM
    >>>>>>>>
    Yes, as I said ” a bit of ridiculous nonsense”..there are always agitators in every crowd.

    Reply

  6. MP says:

    As to POA v Mike…the issue touches on the question of “collective guilt.” Is collective guilt a coherent concept? Or can guilt only be ascribed to individuals? The difficulty with collective guilt is that the chain of culpability regresses more or less infinitely until everyone is guilty…and therefore no one is guilty. You can’t impeach everyone. You can’t put everyone in jail. These days, in particular, the US (and other countries, China, for example) has its hands in so many pots globally that the culpability is endless.

    Reply

  7. MP says:

    It would seem important to emphasize the LAST para in Carroll’s post. It is true that anti-Semitism is on the rise in many places in Europe. The fact that there is a petition, well, you know, some folks overreact. But others clearly don’t. As to the Iraqis, no question, they should go to the head of the line. It’s insane and immoral that we don’t let them in.
    “French communal officials reacted with outrage. “This petition is bizarre, stupid and out of place,” Haim Musicant, director of CRIF, the umbrella organization of secular French Jewish groups, told Israel’s Ma’ariv newspaper. “I don’t feel threatened in France, and the authorities are doing everything they can to protect the Jewish community. French Jews don’t need this kind of petition.”

    Reply

  8. MP says:

    David writes: “Steve, tell us, is it true. Is it true that the Democratic leadership wants to leave Bush in office so they can run against him next year? Is it true that this is the only way they can think of to win office? Is it true that they are willing to allow the damage to continue for their own partisan reasons?”
    I think the issue on impeachment is this: The Democrats have a slim majority. They would need a lot of help from the Republicans to impeach Bush, and they won’t get it. Plus there is so much else the Dems have to do in two years. If they can mount impeachment hearings AND do all the other stuff, I say, great. But I sincerely doubt B/C will ever truly be thrown out.

    Reply

  9. MP says:

    Carroll writes: “The bigger the crimes like Iran Contra for example the freer they go and like Abrams they go right back into goverment. How this ever become acceptable is beyond me.”
    I’ve wondered about that for years.

    Reply

  10. Matthew says:

    Oh, Carroll, the petition is beautifully crafted so that these French citizens can jump the line at Immigration. Insipred by their example, I’ve decided to petition Congress for my Anxglo-Saxon English relatives to get asylum status because rumor has it there might be some Pakistanis in London and fish and chips and ploughman’s lunches are losing out to ethnic take-aways.
    The irony, of course, is that systematic discrimination does exist in France–against Muslims!

    Reply

  11. Carroll says:

    Concerning the Iraq refugees..I listened to a few minutes of the hearing chaired by Ackerman on granting the Iraqis who helped us in Iraq entry into the US….I don’t know why we are even having a hearing on this…it should be a no brainer…they should be given immediate entrance here. They put themselves at risk working for us in Iraq and we have to have a hearing to consider this?…ridiculous. Let them in.
    And let us watch and follow the outcome of that hearing as well as this ridiculous bit of nonsense from some French Jews…which come to think of it destroys the arguement that Israel is for the purpose of jews having a country to escape to from anti-semitism. Shouldn’t they be escaping to Israel, not the US?
    http://www.jta.org/cgi-bin/iowa/breaking/100725.html
    French Jews petition U.S. for asylum
    More than 7,000 French Jews have signed a petition asking for political asylum in the United States because of anti-Semitism in France.
    “Following the barbarous murder of a young Jew because he was Jewish, in the context of the rise in anti-Semitic acts committed by Islamic fundamentalists, numerous members of the community no longer feel safe in France,” reads the petition, which was sent to the U.S. Congress. The reference was to Ilan Halimi, a 23-year-old Parisian Jew who was kidnapped and tortured to death last year by an anti-Semitic gang.
    The petition asks Congress to enact a law according refugee status to French Jews. “We believe that the United States, known for its traditional welcome to those under threat in their native lands, must open its doors to us,” the petition says.
    French communal officials reacted with outrage. “This petition is bizarre, stupid and out of place,” Haim Musicant, director of CRIF, the umbrella organization of secular French Jewish groups, told Israel’s Ma’ariv newspaper. “I don’t feel threatened in France, and the authorities are doing everything they can to protect the Jewish community. French Jews don’t need this kind of petition.”

    Reply

  12. Carroll says:

    Posted by KOJ at April 9, 2007 01:48 AM
    >>>>>>>>
    Good and accurate article by Novak but I don’t see any hope there.
    But I guarentee you Israel will never stop the occupation and genocide of Palestine until forced to either militarily or economically.
    Peace will come for Palestines when one of two things occur…1)US voters and taxpayers revolt at the Israeli fetish in our congress…or …2) Saudi and or OPEC punishes the US on Isr-Pal and other assorted meddling.
    I am betting on number 2 to come ahead of number 1. Oil independence is a long way off. If any Saudis ever read TWN I have one thing to say to them.. He who has the gold makes the rules..it’s time to use it or lose it gentlemen.

    Reply

  13. KOJ says:

    On a different note …
    Today Robert Novak wrote this interesting coloumn (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/04/08/AR2007040800924.html?hpid=opinionsbox2) on Washington Post, essentially agreeing with Carter about the palestinians plight
    There is hope guys!

    Reply

  14. Carroll says:

    And no I am not endorsing Baker as as a VP..I am just saying I don’t think we would be where we are in Iraq if he instead of Cheney had been chosen. I don’t think Baker would have brought in a gang of sloppy ideologues to run foreign policy for the US. He goes more for the silent and selective hit man style of “spreading freedom”.

    Reply

  15. Carroll says:

    Posted by Hyperion at April 8, 2007 06:11 PM
    &
    Posted by Homer at April 8, 2007 11:17 PM
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    I though it worthy of note not because of Baker, but because of his repeating and seeming endorsement of Ike’s foreign policy and vision of America.
    I am not fooled by Baker, I know that he is a wonderful servant for various “Dons” in our “bizness” mafia system. But that aside, the smart Dons know that what Baker was saying (about what Ike said) is true and furthermore they will be the ones who will lose the most when the US loses it’s power..as it is doing now…as Baker pointed out will happen eventually if we don’t change course.
    The “bizness” dons are a lot smarter and more realist than the neo fake intelluctuals..so every now and then it is worth pointing out what they say because as I said…when the US loses, they are going to lose…and they know it…and if they are finally waving red flags..well all the better.

    Reply

  16. Sandy says:

    Carroll,
    You need to read this:
    http://www.truthout.org/cgi-bin/artman/exec/view.cgi/66/23859
    Just ONE of the tons of true stories about James Baker and The Carlyle White House.
    I wonder, too, POA, about Bush’s 410th day of his presidency spent at the Crawford Ranch….wandering around thinking he is somehow special because God talks to him and it’s Easter and he’s a “war president”.

    Reply

  17. Homer says:

    Carroll: The american practicals have to come back.
    Baker is as anti-American as they come.
    Baker has fooled you, that sly old SOB.
    (Have you forgotten Bush vs Gore?)
    By way of the Carlye Group, etc. Baker is up to his eye-balls in the debacle called Iraq, although this is not apparent to most.
    Baker hearts the debacle in Iraq.
    Through oil and defense, Baker is raking in the $$$$$.
    He’s just pissed for Bush screwing up his plan.
    See Baker’s “Strategic Energy Policy Challenges for the 21st Century.
    This was being written during the time the oil industry wrote America’s energy policy.
    What we see was largely formulated by his think tank.
    Bush screwed it up.
    E.g.:
    “Review policies toward Iraq with the aim to lowering antiAmericanism in the Middle East and elsewhere, and set the groundwork to eventually ease Iraqi oil-field investment restrictions.
    Iraq remains a destabilizing influence to U.S. allies in the Middle East,as well as to regional and global order,and to the flow of oil to international markets from the Middle East.Saddam Hussein has also demonstrated a willingness to threaten to use the oil weapon and to use his own export program to manipulate oil markets.
    This would display his personal power,enhance his image as a “Pan-Arab” leader supporting the Palestinians against Israel,and pressure others for a lifting of economic sanctions against his regime.
    The United States should conduct an immediate policy review toward Iraq,including military,energy,economic,and political/diplomatic assessments.”

    Reply

  18. Pissed Off American says:

    Wow. I just scrolled back through the figures for this last week’s dead in Iraq, as listed on “anti-war.com”. It tallies 28 dead American soldiers, and 453 dead Iraqis.
    I wonder what Bush had for Easter dinner.

    Reply

  19. Pissed Off American says:

    Well, these fuckers Bush and Cheney can chalk up 11 dead GIs on Easter Sunday. I wonder what the twins did today?

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  20. Hyperion says:

    Carroll:
    i saw it last week when it was originally broadcast..or at least the last part. i couldn’t understand WHAT he was recommending. just his usual ever so reasonable blah-blah. i heard no explicit criticism of this administration. i heard no defense of baker-hamilton.
    so..why do you think the speech is noteworthy?

    Reply

  21. Carroll says:

    I am listening to James Baker’s speech to the Eisenhower Institute. Whatever we may think of Baker and some of his past or present associations he is closer to right about American policy than anyone else and falls in the Hagel-Chaffee line of repubs more than in the Neo line.
    I wonder where we would be if Baker had been chosen as VP instead of Cheney?
    Anyway if you get a chance catch it on a c-span rerun.
    Baker’s description of pragmatic idealism as having been Ike’s successful policy on American intervention and relations abroad is exactly what George Washington espoused over 200 years ago….we better get back to it…it is the policy that made American was it is (was).
    The ideologues and foreign influence have to go. The american practicals have to come back.

    Reply

  22. Carroll says:

    Lastly, if there not way to hold this government accountable, – if impeachment is off the table for lack of legal recourse, – if there is no way to expose and prove the fascist warmongers and profiteers in the Bush government are guilty of any one of a ghoulish myriad of high crimes and misdemeanors – then there is no justice! There is no legal system. There is no Constitution. There is no rule of law. And tragically – there is no America.
    “Deliver us from evil!”
    Posted by Tony Foresta at April 8, 2007 04:16 PM
    >>>>>>>>>>>>
    Well I agree with this. But to say that democracts have or will force anything is I think an exaggeration. The dems are as much a part of our problem as the repubs. And for some reason people are ignoring the actual stats of the 2006 election.
    Let’s just admit that 70% of this country is very unhappy with the entire goverment and both parties.
    What do we do about it when both parties count on winning and talking turns in power just because we have no other choices? I don’t know. Maybe a little REVOlUC!ON would be in order.

    Reply

  23. Tony Foresta says:

    Outstanding and searing commentary David N. You shine a hot light on a point all liberals and democrats need to press upon our leaderhip. There is absolutely no sound reason why impeachment should be off the table. There may be politically expedient excuses or delusional hopes that you detail above wherein the DNC and democratic leadership is willing to ghoulisly sacrifice unknown unknown amounts of America and Iraqi blood and treasure to enhance imagined presidential hopes in 2008, – but there is not one solid or sound reason why impeachment should be off the table.
    Even is impeachment does not actually succeed for anyone of a myriad unknown unknown political reasons, – there exists mountain of legal evidence to warrant the initiation of impeachment proceedings against the President, VP, Attorney General, Secretaries of State, and Homeland Security, and many others in the fascist totalitarian dicatorship that is the Bush government.
    Impeachment proceedings would force the fascist warmongers and profiteers in the Bush government to defend the festering litany of abuses, deceptions, cataclysmic failures, systemic cronyism, derelictions of duty, and wanton profiteering on the public record before the American people.
    The discovery elements of these proceedings would further cripple and erase any shred of credibility or legitimacy left to the fascist warmongers and profiteers in Bush government, and though – I suspect many would slither away in some illicit unknown unknown ways from any accountability, – the mere fact that the democrats and the American people stood up and demanded at the very least an attempt at holding this criminal government accountable – would mark forever the sad fact that the Democratic leadership and party and a majority of American rejected and renounced the Bush governments fascist and bloody, costly, failing policies and machinations, and sought to right the terrible wrongs of the fascist warmongers and profiteers in the Bush government and retore some honor integrity, credibility, and the rule of law to the America system of government.
    Lastly, if there not way to hold this government accountable, – if impeachment is off the table for lack of legal recourse, – if there is no way to expose and prove the fascist warmongers and profiteers in the Bush government are guilty of any one of a ghoulish myriad of high crimes and misdemeanors – then there is no justice! There is no legal system. There is no Constitution. There is no rule of law. And tragically – there is no America.
    “Deliver us from evil!”

    Reply

  24. Carroll says:

    BTW Mike…
    We ARE all responsible whether we sign the sanction or pull the trigger “IF” we know what is happening and “IF” it is within our power to stop it.
    Obviously it is not within the power of most of us individually to stop it..as in what is going on now.
    BUT…”If” everyone was ranting and actively working against what POA is talking about then we might have the power to change it.
    So your attitude really boils down to sins of “commission” vrs. the sin of “ommission”.. with ommission not really being a sin.

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  25. Via says:

    Impeachment would be a decent first step…

    Reply

  26. Homer says:

    POA: “BTW, if you add it up, we have killed well over a million Iraqis in the last 17 years. Close to half of them children. Now, lets see who the “holocaust deniers” are. Anyone out there want to dispute those figures?”
    Mike: Using sanctions in an immoral way that hurts a society is not the same as “killing Iraqis,”
    POA: “Look, if I lay siege to my nieghbors dwelling, and prevent food, water, and medicine from going in, I have killed them just as sure as if I personally went in and slit their throats. And you can bellow and pant about “realitivism” and “improper use of language” till hell freezes over, and it still won’t erase the fact that I murdered my nieghbors by starving them to death.”
    Mike: I agree with this statement.
    ????
    Mike’s brain on drugs: Sanctions do not kill people, people kill people.

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  27. Pissed Off American says:

    “People who read this blog should not be shocked by comments like Mr. Cimoc’s.”
    This Cimoc parody has been going on here far before you inserted your self obsessed and patronizing lecturing into this forum. Most of us here are adults, and have been able to sort out for ourselves what shocks us and what doesn’t. But hey, thanks for the advice, if I run into anyone that is undecided as to what to be shocked about, I’ll send ’em your way.

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  28. Pissed Off American says:

    Geez Carroll. Don’t confuse the poor guy, he’ll forget who’s argument he’s trying to misrepresent.

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  29. Carroll says:

    Posted by Mike at April 7, 2007 09:39 PM
    >>>>>>>>>>>>
    You aren’t making any sense in argueing over POA’s statement, you’ve just ended up with a words game battle….basically POA is saying dead is dead…irregardless of whether they are gassed on purpose or starved in purpose they are still dead. Anytime you set out to deprive people of what they need to simply survive you know some of them are going to die…we could also say that when we ignore a horde of starving and dispossed people we are commiting a sort of “holocuast by negligence.”

    Reply

  30. Michael says:

    David N wrote:
    “Steve, tell us, is it true. Is it true that the Democratic leadership wants to leave Bush in office so they can run against him next year? Is it true that this is the only way they can think of to win office? Is it true that they are willing to allow the damage to continue for their own partisan reasons?
    “I will vote for — and work for — the Democrat, no matter who, simply because the Republicans have gone so far off the rails that they deserve jail rather than office. But I will also start ranting at the Democrats if they keep these criminals in office without doing all they can to stop their treason.”
    Hear, hear!
    I desperately want to believe that the Dems are just positioning themselves, that the wheels of the legislature grind slow and it will take time and incremental measures to rally the necessary majority towards removing the Bush-Cheney junta from office by force and – hopefully – onto some court’s docket. I just don’t see it happening, though. I honestly cannot imagine any politician these days actually putting the Republic before their own partisan concerns.

    Reply

  31. Homer says:

    Mike: Using sanctions in an immoral way that hurts a society is not the same as “killing Iraqis,” ….
    Mike: But if you’re going to be calling them “killings,” that means that they’re going to be in the same class as actual, direct killing that people do with their bare hands
    The sanctions were written by hands.
    The enforcing of these sanctions has the same ultimate effect of using a sword.
    Why are the sanctions not weapons?
    To be clear, why exactly is “using santions in an immoral way … not `killing'”?
    To be clear, why exactly is using santions in an immoral way not an indirect and highly effective form of `killing'”?
    Direct vs indirect?
    Direct killing vs indirect killing?
    How lofty and pathetic!
    Tell that to the ones being indirectly killed and/or the survivors.

    Reply

  32. Mike says:

    I don’t mean to give the impression that I thought this cleric was arguing for Sharia: he wasn’t. But he was associating Iraq, an unjustified military occupation, with these other cultural issues. Then he brought up these ideals of manliness regarding “gonads” and women being “sluts”. Only fools buy into this narrative of a “clash of civilizations”. These people are the Islamic hardliners, who have only gained support due to stupid policies on our part (ie. Iraq), and the people in the U.S. who believe that the “West” is locked into a fatal 3rd World War with “Islam”. All bullshit, of course, but a lot of people take this stuff seriously.

    Reply

  33. Mike says:

    Mr. Cimoc:
    Iraq is not a cultural issue. Most people in the West, and now also the U.S., are against it. But regarding women, didn’t it ever strike you that we can express our dislike of promiscuity without adopting the Islamic system? Or that we can have a society of courageous men with “gonads” even without Sharia?
    Mr. Cimoc is, in his way, much like this man (nybooks.com):
    “Rod Parsley, a nationally known televangelist, denounces Islam and writes that “America was founded, in part, with the intention of seeing this false religion destroyed.”
    People who read this blog should not be shocked by comments like Mr. Cimoc’s. Every culture has its bigots, and we would do well to remember that Mr. Cimoc does not represent the views of most Muslims.

    Reply

  34. Mullah Cimoc says:

    Mullah Cimoc say ameriki for sure to suffer so much for crimes in iraq. but this not come from muslim. this come from internal destroy of ameriki.
    the ameriki woman him just slut and whore who take LBT (low back tattoo), and ameriki man so sissy with gel for hair and beautiful haircut but not the gonads having.
    Each time ameriki to killing the iraqi him should be know that him just destroy self so fast.

    Reply

  35. Pissed Off American says:

    “Why do you have to accuse me of needing surgery when I criticize your ideas?”
    Who said anything about surgery? Just start with the enema, and if that doesn’t fix it then perhaps we can discuss more drastic measures. I fail to see the need for you to rush right into a lobotomy, even if it might be a plausible future option.

    Reply

  36. Mike says:

    Nope. I worked with your example, and showed it made no sense. You, in turn, refused to acknowledge it. I am not “pissed off” or “angry” at all! I just wanted to know what you were saying, and your example shows that you are just giving us moral outrage without saying anything coherent. Why do you have to accuse me of needing surgery when I criticize your ideas? Sure, I got them wrong earlier, but now I’m showing directly how what you say makes no sense, based solely on the example you gave me. And then you accuse me of needing surgery, instead of addressing this incoherence. Truly pathetic, and now I retire for good.

    Reply

  37. Pissed Off American says:

    “I’m just saying that you want to say it’s all “murder” and leave it at that.”
    That may be your intrepretation, but I assure you that your assumptions, and your interpretations, are way off base. You have created my argument in your own mind so that you can lodge the rebuttal you want aired. You are doing the very thing you accused me of.
    “I do not need an “enema” because I disagree with you and think you’re wrong on a point.”
    You’re right. On the contrary, you need an enema because your people-skills suck, and I suspect it may be due to an intestinal blockage that has created a surplus amount of….
    oops…
    Is it my turn to “retire”, or are you just slow at getting in your jammies?
    Good night.

    Reply

  38. Mike says:

    My point is, unless you are trying to say that the neighbors of the people who did the sieging, and the people who watched across the street, and the children playing in the park a few meters away and laughing at the sieging, are all equally responsible for the sieging, then your argument really doesn’t prove what you want it to. But if you’re saying that these other people share some responsibility when they witness or know about or wrongly condone the sieging, then I agree with you. But you were making a MUCH stronger point than that.

    Reply

  39. Mike says:

    “Look, if I lay siege to my nieghbors dwelling, and prevent food, water, and medicine from going in, I have killed them just as sure as if I personally went in and slit their throats. And you can bellow and pant about “realitivism” and “improper use of language” till hell freezes over, and it still won’t erase the fact that I murdered my nieghbors by starving them to death.”
    I agree with this statement. But tell me how an insulated political class using sanctions (which citizens wrongly support) is the same as “laying siege to someone, etc…” I agree that it’s wrong, but you fail to realize that if we accepted your idea of collective responsibility, we would ALL BE equally responsible for the deaths from Iraqi sanctions. Your example is therefore baseless, because in it ACTUAL PEOPLE are taking ACTUAL ACTIONS against others (“siege”). I’m not saying that when people lack knowledge or have good intentions, that justifies what they do; not at all!
    I’m just saying that you want to say it’s all “murder” and leave it at that. That makes me very uncomfortable, because it means that all people are equally responsible for horrible things, rather than some people being more responsible than others. Again, I disagree with you and I think your example does not reflect the argument you’re trying to make. I think I’ll leave it at that, and I’m really sorry that you have a problem with other people criticizing your ideas when they seem to be unsound. I do not need an “enema” because I disagree with you and think you’re wrong on a point.

    Reply

  40. Pissed Off American says:

    You assume too much, and get a hell of a lot of stuff wrong in the process. I have seen you argue positions with a poster that were not actually that persons stated position, because you confused who you were adressing, and who said what. You completely perverted my point here, applied my “holocaust denier” comment to an area it was plainly not intended, and since that time you have consistently tried to rationalize your own misintrepretations by attacking me.
    One of your false assumptions is that somehow your self important intellectual agrandizing somehow makes me “uncomfortable”. On the contrary, I have enjoyed the exchange. I do not feel “uncomfortable” in the least.
    Look, if I lay siege to my nieghbors dwelling, and prevent food, water, and medicine from going in, I have killed them just as sure as if I personally went in and slit their throats. And you can bellow and pant about “realitivism” and “improper use of language” till hell freezes over, and it still won’t erase the fact that I murdered my nieghbors by starving them to death.

    Reply

  41. David N says:

    I was just at a small meeting where retired Ambassador Carlton Coon spoke about the situation in Iraq. He pointed out one thing relevent to Steve’s posting, which is that the Iraqis who have fled the country are the people that would have been counted upon were the invasion to have been carried out with minimal competance to have built a liberal, constitutional, multi-ethnic, democratic state in Iraq.
    If you can afford to load up the family car or get in a plane to flee to Jordan, or Europe, or where ever, you are probably in the professional class. These are the people who speak multiple languages, have marketable skills, etc. Engineers, teachers, lawyers, businessmen, accountants, for crying out loud.
    And they are gone. Those left are still mostly not involved in the civil war that Bush created, but they are small businessmen, clerks, students. Mostly, now, unemployed, uneducated, religious, and determined to kill as many of their enemies — defined as those not in their tribe — as possible.
    The libraries, museums, parks, and schools are all but gone, except in the north. The culture and knowledge of any place in the world than their neighborhoods and mosques are gone.
    Iraq was not allied with al-Qaida before the invasion. It was a threat, but it was contained. The facts learned since the invasion have shown not just that our suspicions were off, but that the containment policies were far more successful than even the optomists believed.
    From the day he took office, Bush and his brain had two main goals in mind. One was to hand the keys to the candy store to their corporate sponsors. The other was to make the population afraid — very afraid — so that they would follow the conventional nonsense and vote for “tough” Republicans who they beleived would protect them.
    That myth has been broken for most Americans, but we still have to endure two years of Bush/Cheney obduracy and delusions and Democratic cravenness, while the house falls down around their ears.
    Steve, tell us, is it true. Is it true that the Democratic leadership wants to leave Bush in office so they can run against him next year? Is it true that this is the only way they can think of to win office? Is it true that they are willing to allow the damage to continue for their own partisan reasons?
    I will vote for — and work for — the Democrat, no matter who, simply because the Republicans have gone so far off the rails that they deserve jail rather than office. But I will also start ranting at the Democrats if they keep these criminals in office without doing all they can to stop their treason.
    Last word: Someone needs to say this. Bush’s stated goal that we will stay in Iraq until victory is ludicrous because we have already lost. Waiting until he leaves to support the troops by getting them home just allows the Republicans to blame the Democrats for Bush’s failure. We can’t win something we lost two years ago, or more.
    Democrats will walk into this trap, and what’s new.

    Reply

  42. Mike says:

    Also, we have a different idea of blogging itself. I don’t think it should be just about moral outrage and that we should have this group-think that prevents us from arguing with people “on our own side”. I really find blogs which boil down to expressing outrage and nothing more to be a waste of time.

    Reply

  43. Mike says:

    I have also praised some of Steve’s ideas, specifically on Cuba, as well as his blog and many of the ideas of the New America foundation. Too bad you ignore my other comments.
    It’s just when I see something that seems to me unsound, I have a very strong inclination to say so.
    So tell me. Is there not a difference between murdering someone with your own hands, and a largely ignorant and arrogant society using sanctions on Iraq that result in many deaths? That was basically all I was trying to say, and to my mind, I have every right to object when you want to make assertions about collective responsibility that I strongly disagree with (though I agree with the idea that we are collectively responsible for many things including the sanctions). I just think it’s wildly wrong to say that these two things are the same. It really amounts to no more than saying “we are all condemned,” or some kind of theological reference to damnation and sin. I’m sorry that this observation makes you uncomfortable.

    Reply

  44. Pissed Off American says:

    Interesting that you have assumed this adversarial attitude with virtually every poster you have engaged here, including Steve. I would suggest a little introspection. If that doesn’t work, you might wanna try an enema.

    Reply

  45. Mike says:

    You’re right, I mistook your point. About the holocaust denier comment, you seem to be suggesting that we should consider the many deaths of Arabs in the past few decades a holocaust, and that blood is on our hands. Okay, fine, make that point, but all it amounts to is an outburst. Perhaps it’s right; perhaps the blood of slaves is on the hands of White Americans. Your blind outrage is still not worth arguing against and does nothing but set you off as a sanctimonious moralizer (even if you’re right in what you say).
    I should really just learn to avoid your outrages.
    I assumed the fact that you used the word “holocaust denier” without any clear reference and in a thread specifically about Iraq (and also Iran, in the comments) to talk about Iran.
    You know, there’s a reason a lot of people don’t take some people, for instance some (of course not all or the majority of) vegetarians who scream “bloody murder” and pain themselves red. What you’re doing is the same, and you’re every bit as detached and bubbled in your comfortable moralizing as the people you criticize.

    Reply

  46. Marky says:

    I’d have to say that I consider a future occurence of nuclear terrorism a foregone conclusion at this stage, not in small part due to Bush’s failure to contain nuclear materials, his encouragement of nuclear proliferation, and his lawless foreign policy which unfortunately will give a generation of terrorists legitimate cause for perpetrating illegitimate, horrifying acts of violence.

    Reply

  47. Pissed Off American says:

    Hmmm. Really? You aren’t hyperventilating are you? I hope not. When you can breathe again, you might ask yourelf how well you addressed my points. Considering that you automatically assumed that I was applying the term “holocaust denier” in reference to Iran, despite the way I used the term, sans capitalization. Then, when I clarified in response, and you once again completely skirted my point, I think it might be proper to conclude that your response is somewhat over-reactive, and more than a little hypocritical.
    Retire if you must. Thanks for the chuckle.

    Reply

  48. Mike says:

    If it is “patronizing” or “elitist” to demand that you actually address my two points, which you AMAZINGLY still refuse to, them I am elitist. You bring up strawmen and attack positions I don’t even hold, while I try to get you OVER AND OVER to address what I say. Again, my two points: relativism and improper use of language.
    I retire from this discussion. I am not even slightly more intelligent than you; I am sure you are a very smart person. What I am criticizing is that you refuse to address my points, and that is a sign of dishonesty and bad argumentation.
    Anyway, how is it “narcissistic” or “superior” of me to demand that you address the criticisms I actually make of what you say? Isn’t that how discussion is supposed to work?
    You are a selfish and disengaged individual. Your anger prevents you from addressing what I say AT ALL, and instead leads you to dismiss me as elitist. Clearly that means that you don’t take what I say seriously or respect me enough to address my points, so YOU are the elitist. I retire. This has nothing to do with intelligence, it’s about having the basic respect to address what someone says to you instead of bringing up definitions and characterizations of me as “narcissistic”. I claim NO special moral or political insight at all, only that we should be giving reasons to each other and not ignoring each other. It’s like arguing against a brick wall.
    Have fun waving your arms around and screaming all day, I hope you can go to sleep satisfied knowing your self-righteousness was well-deserved.

    Reply

  49. Pissed Off American says:

    Does it ever enter your mind that your patronizing attitude of intellectual superiority comes across as the musings of a narcissistic ass?
    Whether or not we view ourselves as “collectively guilty” is irrelevent. You might disagree with our policy on Iraq, but try telling that to the average Iraqi if you are foolish enough to take as stroll on the streets of Fallujah. You will not last ten minutes. What is relevent is the guilt assigned to us by the world community. It is in that context that I use the term “we” when assigning blame. And the idea that the American people are not complicit in the deterioration of our behaviour in regards to foreign policy is irresponsible and unrealistic. We have become a society of selfish and disengaged individuals, willing to accept and tolerate the corruption of our leadership as long as that corruption does not interfere with the comfort of our own personal bubbles of existence.

    Reply

  50. Mike says:

    You completely missed my two points, again, about relativistic judgment and proper use of language. I am of course against the sanctions and you need to stop with your moral considerations, attacking a strawman.
    But you’re just waving your hands and screaming how we’re all killers and all collectively responsible. That is irresponsible and makes you look silly. If you’re not going to address my two points, I suggest you don’t even bother replying to me; if you don’t address what I actually said, I will just ignore you as you seem to be more interested in moralizing all day than thinking and discussing things.

    Reply

  51. Pissed Off American says:

    “And I don’t see how the wrong sanctions we applied relates to Ahmadinejad’s hosting a conference that includes people questioning the Holocaust.”
    Please note that I did not capitalize “holocaust” in the post you responded to.
    Why don’t we consider the wholesale slaughter of Arabs as being a “holocaust”? Did we not sell chemical weapons to Saddam to be used against the Iranians? Is gassing people only a holocaust if it is done in showers, as opposed to the battlefield?
    My point is that there are many ways to apply the term “holocaust”, and the term should not be exclusive to the murder of the Jewish people.
    In fact, considering the definition number #4, below, couldn’t I accurately claim that your response denies a holocaust?
    hol·o·caust
    Pronunciation Key – Show Spelled Pronunciation[hol-uh-kawst, hoh-luh-] Pronunciation Key – Show IPA Pronunciation
    –noun 1. a great or complete devastation or destruction, esp. by fire.
    2. a sacrifice completely consumed by fire; burnt offering.
    3. (usually initial capital letter) the systematic mass slaughter of European Jews in Nazi concentration camps during World War II (usually prec. by the).
    4. any mass slaughter or reckless destruction of life.

    Reply

  52. Mike says:

    Again, we are in agreement about the sanctions being wrong and immoral. But if you’re going to be calling them “killings,” that means that they’re going to be in the same class as actual, direct killing that people do with their bare hands. I’m not saying that the sanctions were any less immoral than murder on some level, but you are doing an injustice to people who do suffer death directly by placing it in this broad class and making the actions that the government takes on behalf of an often ignorant or arrogant public the same as murder. That’s not right, and it’s very important we’re clear about this. It’s not just semantics.
    Regarding Ahmadinejad, I agree that it is stupid and wrong to consider him the “new Hitler,” but at the same time I absolutely cannot overlook the fact that he sponsored a conference that involved, for instance, a former KKK member.
    Also, you are making the mistake of judging one person’s actions on the basis of what another person does. That is not how we form moral judgment, and by shouting “killers” you’re just undermining the cause of actually doing something about this type of thing by condemning everyone as “killers”. I absolutely disavow your relativistic standards of judgment, and I think we should judge each case on its own merits. (I am not disagreeing with you about Iraq or the sanctions.)

    Reply

  53. Pissed Off American says:

    “Using sanctions in an immoral way that hurts a society is not the same as “killing Iraqis,” though sanctions were certainly applied in a very harmful way and I don’t dispute your figures.”
    The effects that sanctions will have on a population is not guess work. If we impose sanctions knowing full well that civilian deaths will result, it is no different than dropping a bomb on that civilian population. It IS the same as “killing Iraqis”. Dead is dead. The only difference between being a child that has died as a result of malnutrition, as opposed to death due to a munitions explosion is that the latter is probably a more humane manner of death.

    Reply

  54. Mike says:

    POA: “BTW, if you add it up, we have killed well over a million Iraqis in the last 17 years. Close to half of them children. Now, lets see who the “holocaust deniers” are. Anyone out there want to dispute those figures?”
    Using sanctions in an immoral way that hurts a society is not the same as “killing Iraqis,” though sanctions were certainly applied in a very harmful way and I don’t dispute your figures.
    And I don’t see how the wrong sanctions we applied relates to Ahmadinejad’s hosting a conference that includes people questioning the Holocaust. Of course, this unattractive figure is not the “new Hitler” and if we treat him as such it will only be to the detriment of the U.S. in terms of geopolitical strategy.
    Therefore, I disavow your position, because I think it is harmful to the liberal cause and we need to be consistent in our judgment and not overreact to our own leaders’ failures and ignore other moral failures.

    Reply

  55. Pissed Off American says:

    BTW, if you add it up, we have killed well over a million Iraqis in the last 17 years. Close to half of them children. Now, lets see who the “holocaust deniers” are. Anyone out there want to dispute those figures?

    Reply

  56. Pissed Off American says:

    Its interesting to note that the majority of the comments here on this thread, including Steve’s original posting, deal with the ramifications for America. As is commonly the case, the actual ramifications for the average Iraqi are forgotten. How convienient for us that we have such short memories, and can ignore how Iraq was in the immediate time before we gave Saddam a wink and a nod when he made known his intentions to go into Kuwait. In all aspects of Arab society, Iraq was a model in the Middle East. Women enjoyed unprecedented opportunity, higher education was encouraged and available. Health care was excellent. Etc.
    Since the war of 1991, the sanctions reportedly killed over 500,000 Iraqi children.
    Now, Iraq lies in ruin, torn by sectarian violence, under occupation by a foreign army. Infrastructure destroyed. Health care almost virtually non-existent. Educational opportunities non-existent. Many millions of citizens displaced. An estimated 650,000 dead non-combatants. A destroyed environment, polluted by deadly DU dust, (that hundreds of generations of Iraqis will breathe). Oil resources stolen and about to be placed in the hands of the giant global oil conglomerates.
    Makes ya fuckin’ proud to be an American, doesn’t it? If our crimes have negative affects on America, we deserve it. Particularly if we do not hold the framers of those crimes accountable for their actions.

    Reply

  57. Pissed Off American says:

    War Crimes: Health Care in Iraq has Collapsed
    After 4 years of occupation Iraq’s health status is nothing short of disastrous
    by Dr. Bert De Belder
    Global Research, April 6, 2007
    Al Ahram Weekly
    After repeatedly topping the Arab health index, Iraq’s health record is now worse than ever because of the US-led occupation. The general effect on the Iraqi population amounts to a massive war crime, writes Bert De Belder
    Iraq’s health status, four years into the occupation, is nothing short of disastrous. Iraq’s health index has deteriorated to a level not seen since the 1950s, says Joseph Chamie, former director of the United Nations Population Division and an Iraq specialist. People’s health status is determined by social, economic and environmental factors much more than by the availability of healthcare. Not surprisingly, all these factors have deteriorated in the course of the occupation.
    A recent UNDP-backed study reveals that one-third of Iraqis live in poverty, with more than five per cent living in abject poverty. The UN agency observes that this contrasts starkly with the country’s thriving middle- income economy of the 1970s and 1980s. But these figures may well be a grave underestimation, as other reports speak of eight million out of 28 million Iraqis living in extreme poverty on incomes of less than $1 per day. More than 500,000 Baghdad residents get water for only a few hours a day. And the majority of Iraqis get three hours of electricity a day, in contrast to pre-war levels of about 20 hours.
    THE DEVASTATED HEALTH OF IRAQI CHILDREN:
    The combination of sanctions, war and occupation has resulted in Iraq showing the world’s worst evolution in child mortality: from an under-five mortality rate of 50 per 1000 live births in 1990, to 125 in 2005. That means an annual deterioration of 6.1 per cent — a world record, well behind very poor and AIDS- affected Botswana. At the outset of the 2003 war, the US administration pledged to cut Iraq’s child mortality rate in half by 2005. But the rate has continued to worsen, to 130 in 2006, according to Iraqi Health Ministry figures.
    Nutrition is, of course, vital to health. According to the United Nations Children’s Agency (UNICEF), about one in 10 Iraqi children under five are underweight (acutely malnourished) and one in five are short for their age (chronically malnourished). But this is only the tip of the iceberg, according to Claire Hajaj, communications officer at the UNICEF Iraq Support Centre in Amman. “Many Iraqi children may also be suffering from ‘hidden hunger’ — deficiencies in critical vitamins and minerals that are the building blocks for children’s physical and intellectual development,” Hajaj says. “These deficiencies are hard to measure, but they make children much more vulnerable to illness and less likely to thrive at school.” Hayder Hussainy, a senior official at the Iraqi Ministry of Health, states that approximately 50 per cent of Iraqi children suffer from some form of malnourishment.
    continues at……..
    http://tinyurl.com/2hvzgx

    Reply

  58. Pissed Off American says:

    “Why can’t we find a way to hold them accountable and make them pay?”
    We don’t have to “find a way”. The “way” exists in our Constitution. We need to find the “who”, because obviously this batch of cowards and criminals in our current Congress aren’t going to enforce our laws if it means going against their own elitist compatriots, even if those compatriots are in the so called “opposing party”. If they demand accountability, they will be held to the same standards, and that terrifies them. We truly have two separate criteria for observing the law. We have to, and they don’t.

    Reply

  59. Mike says:

    I’m wondering why Bush and Cheney have not been impeached (obviously, the problem is institutional). There is so much popular support for this idea among ordinary citizens, holding accountable leaders when they commit war crimes or throw international norms and treaties out the window.
    I don’t know a ton about D.C. politics, so I ask: is there any chance that, if Bush and Cheney drag on this war until the end of their presidency, there will be any serious action taken to impeach them?
    I agree with the above poster that they have character problems and refuse to even engage in rational dialogue with the Democratic Congress which has overwhelming support.

    Reply

  60. thomas says:

    Why can’t we find a way to hold them accountable and make them pay? Other nations have done it with their criminal political/military class…I envision an Argentina-style Truth Commission made up of citizen representatives from outside the beltway.

    Reply

  61. Mike says:

    The Iraqi refugee problem is now more serious than the Palestinian one, if we judge by numbers. Syria is facing strains with a ton of refugees; Palestinian Iraqis have had to flee Iraq due to death threats. The consequences are already evident in many ways, so there is no need any more to focus just on future negative consequences.
    For Americans to retain moral legitimacy, we will have to talk to countries all over the world and return to having an honest diplomatic approach. This will entail changing many American policies, and really stopping the military-industrial complex from mushrooming any more. These two consequences I just mentioned are what I believe we will definitely see, but it will take time and there will be much resistance.
    But considering the magnitude of the problems facing the world, including global warming that is already destroying indigenous communities and disproportionately affects children and the poor, I am a bit pessimistic, even if the American economy does some day manage to pay off the huge debts it has incurred from Iraq.

    Reply

  62. john somer says:

    I did not notice on first reading that Mossadegh was described as “President” of Iran. He was the Shah’s prime minister

    Reply

  63. JohnH says:

    The latest Middle East Report about the Shi’a takes a fascinating look at some of the undercurrents in the Arab world that will affect the region well into the future: http://www.merip.org/mer/mer242/mer242.html
    One of the more interesting articles describes how the “Shi’a crescent” may be largely a creation of despotic regimes (AKA “moderates” in the corporate media) to create a popular enemy other than themselves as a way of saving their own skins. This in the wake of Hizbullah’s enormous popularity after the Israeli attack on Lebanon. Zogby’s latest poll suggests that, although they may have succeeded in creating disapproval for Iran, the US’ standing is abysmal. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/james-zogby/arab-and-uspublic-opini_b_45176.html
    Of course, a poll of the despots, who depend on US protection for their very existence, would yield a very different result.

    Reply

  64. Marica says:

    There seem to be really serious behavior problems with both Bush and Cheney. How is it that it is not possible for Congress to depose them? Clearly they are more than out of touch with reality. Cheney continues making totally implausible public statements and acting out maniacal fantasies of unlimited power with human lives as toys.
    Congress members are saying they are flooded with calls for impeachment from their constituants. What will it take to force them to act?

    Reply

  65. Greg Priddy says:

    “The fact is that others will have to clean up this terrible situation…”
    I have to say, when I think about a certain chilly Washington morning in the future, January 20, 2009, I don’t think it will be a festive occasion. It won’t be a sigh of relief. There will still be Americans on the ground in Iraq. There may be the aftermath of war with Iran playing out across the Persian Gulf. President Omama/Edwards/Clinton will inherit an awful mess, and columns of fresh Democratic appointees will be trudging solemnly into the Old Exec, the State Department, and the Pentagon to begin dealing with it.
    And a few of them will probably be leaving Andrews AFB for the Green Zone in Baghdad on Jan. 21st…

    Reply

  66. Mackie says:

    There’s probably a law against indicting a former president. I wish they would be tried as war criminals, in absentia, if necessary. Just as long as it goes on the books.

    Reply

  67. Homer says:

    What Will the Blowback from Iraq Look Like in the Decades to Come?
    Excellent Question!
    Here’s a taste…..its anecdotal….it was given to me by an Iraqi…..
    Prior to the deposing of Saddam Hussein, Iraqis would go to cafes to drink tea and smoke and inevitably bash the shit out of Ghenghis Khan who had sacked sacred Babylon over 700 freakin’ years ago!!
    That was 700 freakin’ years ago and the Iraqis still hate his guts!!
    With that in mind and the invasion and occupation of Iraq, plus the photos of Abu Ghraib, etc., I’d like to ask how long do you think it will take Iraqis to forgive and forget was America has done to Iraq, a holy among holies for millions of Muslims, what some Americans have done to Iraqis (torture, rape, sodomize, mutilate, kill, etc)?
    700 freakin’ years ago!!!!
    NB: An even more persistent level of hatred toward Alexander STILL exists in Iran, so much so street artists STILL re-enact the fall of Darius.
    The US is fuct.
    Bush, Cheney, et al deserve to be sent to Iraq where the Iraqi people can have their justice.
    I hope the Iraqis imprison them for life.
    Only then will America be forgiven.

    Reply

  68. Carroll says:

    Posted by Matthew at April 7, 2007 12:24 PM
    >>>>>>>>
    I agree. We have to stop letting the criminal political class commit crimes and go unpunished. It has become standard operating behavior for politicans to break any laws they please and go scott free simply because they are politicans. The bigger the crimes like Iran Contra for example the freer they go and like Abrams they go right back into goverment. How this ever become acceptable is beyond me.
    Charge them with something, throw them in jail and seize ALL their assets. It’s time for some prairie justice.

    Reply

  69. Brigitte N. says:

    Yes, the first step must be taken by the president, vice-president and their clique: they must finally face reality and stop to twist the truth as Mr. Cheney did once again the other day during an interview with Rush Limbaugh. Otherwise, the mistakes of the past will be repeated in the future.

    Reply

  70. Matthew says:

    That’s why Steve the next president needs to put the Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, etc, all on trial for waging an illegal war. We need to establish a principle that if you lie your country into war you are no better than a traitor.
    They shouldn’t have any trouble finding jurors in Washington, D.C.

    Reply

  71. steambomb says:

    It would be nice to look back and think about what could have been. However we must look forward to see what can be. Our first step though, has to be dealing with the things that were done wrong. Whether they were criminal or not needs to be meated out in order for our nation to move on. Closure if you will, doesn’t come easily and must start RIGHT NOW. Until America faces this issue head on we will be stuck in a loop that the perpitrators of these woeful events would like to see us remain in. Our Congress must act now!

    Reply

  72. john somer says:

    Slight correction, it should read “re-install the Shah” and one might also hav e added “and “terminating the Anglo-Persian Oil Company’s monopoly on oil in Iran”. That was the price the Brits had to pay for the CIA operation, letting the US oil companies into Iran

    Reply

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