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Old 03-25-2008, 03:15 PM   #1 (permalink)
 
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weinberger's "what i heard about iraq" 2005

we are passing the fifth anniversary of this debacle.
american deaths: 4000
iraqi deaths: between 82, 408 and 89,928
according to iraqi body count today
http://www.iraqbodycount.org/?
a more comprehensive source:
http://www.casualty-monitor.org/2007...y-monitor.html
which estimates up to 1.1 million deaths as of 2007.

the official number of american wounded in iraq is 29,395.
because the us does not track this casualty rate systematically and because of other problems (including defintion of the terms)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Casualt...raq_since_2003
some estimates run as high as 100,000.

i am agnostic about this number. it is alot.

but there appears to be no coherent estimate of the number of iraqis wounded or injured.

the cost of this war, which was supposed to be short and glorious despite having been launched under false pretenses, has passed one trillion dollars.


it is perhaps useful to remember what we were told.

this piece by eliot weinberger--"what i heard about the iraq war" is the 2005 segment of what has since become a book.
it is powerful.
it is too long to paste here.
read it.

http://www.lrb.co.uk/v27/n03/wein01_.html

maybe your post responses.

caveat:
please do not bother to post to the thread if you're not going to bother to read the piece. it is fine to not enjoy or like the piece--but at least read it before you make up your mind.
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Last edited by roachboy; 03-25-2008 at 03:26 PM..
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Old 03-25-2008, 06:03 PM   #2 (permalink)
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This reads like a Baudrillardian poem, which makes it particularly terrifying and positively sublime.

Thanks for the link, roachboy, I will need to reread it after some thought because I glossed over much of it the first time.

It was too overbearing.
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Old 03-25-2008, 06:05 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I remember hearing a lot of these things too. What's interesting is that many others also heard these things but came to different conclusions about what happened.
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Old 03-25-2008, 06:46 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
this war, which was supposed to be short and glorious
While it does not please me that we continue to fight, I don't recall where this promise was ever made.
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Old 03-25-2008, 08:26 PM   #5 (permalink)
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If you missed the frontline "Bush's War", you can find it here.

Very interesting.
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Old 03-25-2008, 09:31 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ottopilot
While it does not please me that we continue to fight, I don't recall where this promise was ever made.
They told us that it would not cost us much money, or last very long, and they announced that it was ended, when it was just getting started:

Quote:
http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpag...aq+cost&st=nyt
Amid Talk of War Spending, Bush Urges Fiscal Restraint
*
By ELISABETH BUMILLER
Published: September 17, 2002

President Bush returned today to collecting big checks for Republican candidates and warning Congress to hold the line on government spending, even as his chief economic policy adviser, Lawrence B. Lindsey, said the cost of a war with Iraq could be as high as $100 billion to $200 billion.

Mr. Lindsey's pronouncement, published in today's Wall Street Journal, contrasted with the message of fiscal restraint that Mr. Bush took to the heartland in a campaign stop for Representative Jim Nussle, the chairman of the House Budget Committee, who is in a close race for re-election....
Quote:
http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpag...51C1A9649C8B63
UPHEAVAL IN THE TREASURY: THE TEAM; Two Casualties As Bush Seeks Economic Fix

By TODD S. PURDUM
Published: December 8, 2002

....In his last big interview, with The Wall Street Journal, Mr. Lindsey touched off a firestorm in September with the suggestion that a war with Iraq might cost $200 billion, and the White House had come to see him as such a problematic public spokesman that he was all but muzzled. (Defenders said Mr. Lindsey was merely trying to make the point that however much a war cost, the economy could absorb it.) After a recent speech, a pack of reporters pursued him up a stairway to elicit only a terse comment on rumors that he might quit. ''I have no plans to make any changes,'' he said.

On Friday, many Democrats all but gloated at the forced resignations. Representative Edward J. Markey, the top Democrat on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, called them ''welcome and long overdue,'' adding that the Bush economic team ''has been an unmitigated disaster for the financial markets and the American economy.''

Others argued that the economic team had mixed flawed messengers with uneven messages and that Mr. Lindsey's weaknesses and Mr. O'Neill's exacerbated each other. .....
Quote:
http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpag...51C1A9649C8B63
THREATS AND RESPONSES: THE COST; WHITE HOUSE CUTS ESTIMATE OF COST OF WAR WITH IRAQ

By ELISABETH BUMILLER
Published: December 31, 2002

The administration's top budget official estimated today that the cost of a war with Iraq could be in the range of $50 billion to $60 billion, a figure that is well below earlier estimates from White House officials.

In a telephone interview today, the official, Mitchell E. Daniels Jr., director of the Office of Management and Budget, also said there was likely to be a deficit in the fiscal 2004 budget, though he declined to specify how large it would be. The administration is scheduled to present its budget to Congress on Feb. 3.

Mr. Daniels would not provide specific costs for either a long or a short military campaign against Saddam Hussein. But he said that the administration was budgeting for both, and that earlier estimates of $100 billion to $200 billion in Iraq war costs by Lawrence B. Lindsey, Mr. Bush's former chief economic adviser, were too high.

Mr. Daniels cautioned that his budget projections did not mean a war with Iraq was imminent, and that it was impossible to know what any military campaign against Iraq would ultimately cost. ....


....The budget director's projections today served as a more politically palatable corrective to figures put forth by Mr. Lindsey in September, when he said that a war with Iraq might amount to 1 percent to 2 percent of the national gross domestic product, or $100 billion to $200 billion. Mr. Lindsey added that as a one-time cost for one year, the expenditure would be ''nothing.''

Mr. Lindsey was criticized inside and outside the administration for putting forth such a large number, which helped pave the way for his ouster earlier this month. He could not be reached for comment this evening. (Congressional Democrats have estimated that the cost would be $93 billion, not including the cost of peacekeeping and rebuilding efforts after a war.)

But today, Mr. Daniels sought to play down his former colleague's remarks. ''That wasn't a budget estimate,'' he said. ''It was more of a historical benchmark than any analysis of what a conflict today might entail.''....
Quote:
http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpag...51C0A9659C8B63
THREATS AND RESPONSES: MILITARY SPENDING; Pentagon Contradicts General On Iraq Occupation Force's Size

By ERIC SCHMITT
Published: February 28, 2003

...Enlisting countries to help to pay for this war and its aftermath would take more time, he said. ''I expect we will get a lot of mitigation, but it will be easier after the fact than before the fact,'' Mr. Wolfowitz said.

Mr. Wolfowitz spent much of the hearing knocking down published estimates of the costs of war and rebuilding, saying the upper range of $95 billion was too high, and that the estimates were almost meaningless because of the variables.

Moreover, he said such estimates, and speculation that postwar reconstruction costs could climb even higher, ignored the fact that Iraq is a wealthy country, with annual oil exports worth $15 billion to $20 billion. ''To assume we're going to pay for it all is just wrong,'' he said.....
Quote:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp...nguage=printer
Despite Obstacles to War, White House Forges Ahead
Administration Unfazed by Iraq's Pledge to Destroy Missiles, Turkish Parliament's Rejection of Use of Bases

By Karen DeYoung and Walter Pincus
Washington Post Staff Writers
Sunday, March 2, 2003; Page A18

.......Even as it sent senior envoys around the world to twist the arms of recalcitrant council members -- particularly the half-dozen undecided governments it refers to as the "U-6" -- the administration in recent days has expanded both its rationale for war and on-the-ground activities indicating the conflict has already begun. ......

..... Wolfowitz also estimated the U.S. cost of Iraqi "containment" during 12 years of U.N. sanctions, weapons inspections and continued U.S. air patrols over the country at "slightly over $30 billion," but he said the price had been "far more than money." Sustained U.S. bombing of Iraq over those years, and the stationing of U.S. forces "in the holy land of Saudi Arabia," were "part of the containment policy that has been Osama bin Laden's principal recruiting device, even more than the other grievances he cites," Wolfowitz said.

Implying that a takeover in Iraq would eliminate the need for U.S. forces in Saudi Arabia, and thus reduce the appeal of terrorist groups for new members, Wolfowitz said: "I can't imagine anyone here wanting to spend another $30 billion to be there for another 12 years to continue helping recruit terrorists."
Quote:
http://www.america.gov/st/washfile-e...0.3930475.html
04/30/2003
Bush To Announce End Of Combat Phase of Iraq War

White House Report, April 30: Iraq/WMD, Colombia, Norway
Quote:
http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&s...info.state.gov

*03043002.TLT Bush To Announce End Of Combat Phase of Iraq War ...
TLT Bush To Announce End Of Combat Phase of Iraq War (White House Report, ... US Department of State. Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov) NNNN.
usinfo.state.gov/products/washfile/geog/nea/iraq/03043002.trq - 4k - Cached - Similar pages

Bush To Announce End Of Combat Phase of Iraq War
Bush To Announce End Of Combat Phase of Iraq War. White House Report, April 30: Iraq/WMD, Colombia, Norway ... Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov) ...
usinfo.state.gov/articles/washfile-english/2003/04/20030430163336ifas0.3930475.body.html - 5k - Cached - Similar pages

washfile-english 2003 April
30 April 2003 - Bush To Announce End Of Combat Phase of Iraq War 30 April 2003 - Bush to Host Norwegian Prime Minister Bondevik May 16 ...
usinfo.state.gov/xarchives/listprod.html?p=washfile-english&y=2003&m=April - Similar pages

30 Apr 2003 - Treasury Proposes New Anti-Money Laundering Rules 30 ...
30 Apr 2003 - Bush To Announce End Of Combat Phase of Iraq War 30 Apr 2003 - Powell Sees Holocaust Education As Affirmation Of Humanity ...
usinfo.state.gov/articles/washfile-english/2003/04/
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Old 03-26-2008, 07:08 AM   #7 (permalink)
 
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i second debaser's recommendation of the frontline piece---i found the weinberger text between the two installments of bush's war.
it is a very interesting mini-series (i suppose you'd call it that) both for what it says and for what it does: what it says is a narrative of the multiple levels of fiasco that has been the iraq war and its run-up, but pitched mostly around a story of factional fighting within the administration...this raises some interesting questions about the motives of some of the talking heads involved, really--but no matter, you can think about who these folk are (for example richard armitage) and their motives as you sift through what they are talking about.

the bad guys are clearly cheney and rumsfeld and their bureaucratic faction allies---but you don't get a whole lot of understanding of the central question from an outsider's (a viewers) viewpoint, which is: WHAT WERE YOU THINKING?

cowboy george emerges as a kind of disengaged tool, adverse to personal confrontation, sorta passive---which functionally seems the only available way to distance the legacy of his entire presidency from this debacle, if you think about it--but that's in itself sorta interesting to consider.

what the piece *does* is a wholesale dismantling of the image of the iraq debacle brought to you by all the american television networks and most of the print press and sponsored by the pentagon's press pool. the gap between what you have seen and what you see--IF you've not been looking at/for alternative sources of information/footage--is stunning.

it is in this context that i think the weinberger piece acquires more power.
a reminder.
plus i like the stylistic constraint he uses. it is not new, but it works well in this context.
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Old 03-26-2008, 08:03 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Sometimes, when I consider how much of an extremist you actually have to be to have anything invested in the "belief" that the US mainstream news media has a "liberal bias", my head feels like it is going to explode.

The disconnect demonstrated by believing and saying such a thing....the US news media is "too liberal"..... when squared with reality, is truly mind blowing:

Quote:
http://blogsforjohnmccain.com/mccain...petraeus-video
Here is Sen. John McCain on March 24, 2008 asking when Sen. Hillary Clinton will apologize to Gen. David Petraeus for her remarks last year ridiculing the idea that "The Surge" strategy in Iraq was working. McCain also said both Clinton and Obama are advocating a policy of "disaster and defeat" in Iraq.
Quote:
http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwa...nts/index.html


....So when Charlie Rose arranges a five-year anniversary discussion of Iraq purportedly <h3>involving American foreign policy experts on "both sides," it completely excludes any Americans who unequivocally opposed the war in the first place -- i.e., it completely excludes those who were right and offers only those who were wrong.</h3> As always, unadorned war opposition is mutually exclusive with Foreign Policy Seriousness, and those who are unequivocal in their opposition to the underlying premises of the war (rather than its tactical execution) are almost never heard from in media discussions -- still.

Critically, then -- and just as one would expect -- there was virtual unanimity among Rose's American foreign policy experts on the question of whether we should set timetables for withdrawal -- the central political question on the war. Despite the fact that unconditional withdrawal happens to be the position of both Democratic presidential nominees and the vast majority of the American public (see this superb new report documenting that fact, by Ruy Teixeira (.pdf)), the entire panel -- war lovers and "war critics" alike -- agreed that timed, unconditional withdrawal is a bad idea....

...I'm not making an anti-Packer point here. Rather, I'm pointing out that there are numerous experts who opposed the Iraq War from the start -- presciently so -- yet who are virtually always excluded from our establishment media's discussions of the Iraq War and foreign policy generally.

<h3>The political and media establishment recognizes only two categories of Serious Foreign Policy "Experts":</h3>

(a) those (like Perle, Kagan and John McCain) who supported the war from the start and still do (the "pro-war" experts), and

(b) those (like Gelb, Packer and O'Hanlon) who, in one way or another, supported the war from the start and then came to criticize its prosecution (the "war critic" experts).

But individuals such as the 33 anti-war scholars who signed that ad, and most other political and academic figures who unequivocally opposed the war from the start, simply don't exist.<h3> That's what makes the current Iraq "debate" almost as stilted and one-sided -- and destructive -- as the pre-invasion "debate" itself was.</h3>
Quote:
http://namhenderson.wordpress.com/20...-rose-3192008/

Real Iraqis Speak-Ali Fadhil, Sinan Antoon on Charlie Rose 3/19/2008
Published March 21, 2008 Poltical

One of the best segments charlie has had in a while. Mainly because in it he gave the opportunity for both of these Iraqis to speak about the real problems facing the country. They were clear that the key fundamental problem is the fact that we are viewed as an occupying force. They both said we should leave immdeiately. Oru presence is only prolonging the inevitable, with regards to Iraqi’s having to face and confront their own problems.

......ROSE: And obviously, what we want to accomplish on this fifth anniversary of the American invasion, or the coalition invasion of Iraq, is how they see it as Iraqis, five years later.

Give me an assessment.

ALI FADHIL: That's a big question, assessment. Well, basically, probably, I`ll kind of sum it in a few words.

<h3>It's -- we have a country where the government is not functioning after five years.</h3> We have too many internal problems. And we have the violence increasing day after day.

We have a huge crisis of refugees inside and outside Iraq. We have a total failure of the -- of the civilian -- the civilian structure and what's happening inside. We have the sectarian divisions increasing. We didn't have that before. Now we have it.

So, basically, my assessment is we have a whole nation called Iraq, now it's wiped out.

CHARLIE ROSE: And Iraq is worse off because the United States came?

ALI FADHIL: <h3>It's worse off because the United States came to Iraq, definitely, and because the United States did all these mistakes in Iraq.</h3>

And:

CHARLIE ROSE: So where do we go from here? Five years after the invasion of Iraq, what is a wise American policy?

ALI FADHIL: Let me start with telling you what is happening right now, what is the American policy right now in Iraq.

It's so shame to say that America is in Iraq right now, and particularly the State Department and also the Pentagon as well, the U.S. Army in Iraq. <h3>They're going back to Saddam's policies in everything. . . . If you, you know, name it, name the most successful project of the surge -- outcome of the surge, the (INAUDIBLE) councils. You know, these insurgents, the Sunnis, even Shiites.

CHARLIE ROSE: The so-called awakening.

ALI FADHIL: Awakening council, exactly. They're giving them money to protect their own neighborhoods. Isn't that the same what happened under Saddam? . . .</h3>

Anything [Americans] do -- probably even in good intentions -- is bad for us, everything they do, everything. There's nothing they're doing is right.

<h3>And that's what is going to happen. It's just prolonging the diaspora of the Iraqis.</h3> We're suffering more and more every day. We need, you know, to start the salvation (ph). . .

SINAN ANTOON: The president today said something really obscene to my mind. He said Iraq is witnessing the first Arab uprising against al Qaeda.

<h3>We did not have al Qaeda in Iraq before.</h3>We had a ruthless dictatorship.
Here is more, from the same interview:
http://utdocuments.blogspot.com/2008...an-antoon.html

Last edited by host; 03-26-2008 at 08:05 AM..
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Old 03-26-2008, 09:28 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Rboy: My response is that your whole posting as well as Weinberger's compilation ruined my peace and Im up in arms again after a few tears. Again and again I wonder why these pieces are not widely published, and why people dont read them when they are.
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Old 03-28-2008, 04:50 AM   #10 (permalink)
 
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http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/bushswar/

this to make the link to "bush's war" that debaser posted more obvious:
you can stream both parts of the series and see the extra interview footage, etc. at the above.
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Old 04-08-2008, 09:24 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Roach, as I read the piece you linked, for a while I smiled to myself about posting something snarky in reply. "Well, when you list all of this stuff one after another, starts to look kinda bad..."

Then I kept reading.
Then I kept reading.
Then I finished reading.

Now I'm just depressed.

Even when you spend countless hours each week keeping up with this stuff, even now that this war is something that I "grew up" with, even as it colored and drove my study of nations and political systems and militaries and how and why they interact, even as my naive emotional opposition to this war gave way to deeper understanding, even after meeting hopeless Iraqi refugees in Arab cities and Iraqi-Americans who lament that the country they grew up in is forever lost, after watching veterans younger than me horse around on their wheelchairs up the street from me at Walter Reed, seemingly oblivious of missing limbs ... after all of that, reading through the saga of our folly from cover to cover, viewing a replay of the slow-motion train-wreck of this war still has the power to knock the wind out of me.
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