Looking back at the Iraq war

What I Got Right About The Iraq War

By Dick Cheney

On the 20th anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Iraq, it’s important for us as a nation to reflect on that conflict and its consequences. As the vice president of the United States in 2003, I was one of the architects of the project to go after Saddam Hussein and his weapons of mass destruction. Today, I believe it’s important to offer an honest assessment of my role in the Iraq War. Looking back on it now, I have to say that, wow, I mostly got it right.

Seriously, the Iraq War went basically as well as I could have hoped.

We in the Bush administration justified the war on the basis of destroying Saddam’s WMDs and bringing democracy to the Iraqi people. Twenty years later, we know that Saddam didn’t have any WMDs, and that the United States left Iraq in the throes of poverty and violence. Critics then and now have suggested that we deliberately misrepresented intelligence, and that spreading democracy was merely a fig leaf for our true goal of maintaining U.S. political and economic dominance over the world.

To that, I say, no shit. Duh. Of course we were lying. Of course we only went in to maintain American hegemony. That was the whole plan all along.

Christ, what country do you think we are?

In hindsight, it’s stunning to see how right I was about the long-term impacts of invading Iraq. Sure, there are the obvious wins of destabilizing governments we don’t like, strengthening U.S. control over the oil industry, and killing a bunch of Muslims. That was all pretty neat, and exactly what we expected. But let’s be honest about the Iraqi victims: You don’t care about them, and I don’t care about them. Because, ultimately, the goal of the Iraq War was much bigger than that, and we achieved that goal: the victory of the U.S. war machine over the American people.

In my heart of hearts, I figured that if Americans would accept the Iraq War, then there was nothing they wouldn’t accept. It seems clear, 20 years later, that I’ve been proven right.

For starters, we wanted to put the American political and media class on a permanent war footing. After the Soviet Union collapsed, things looked dicey in terms of keeping Americans all frothed up about foreign adversaries. Sure, 9/11 helped, but what we really craved was a rationale for endless war. In Iraq, we implemented our playbook for the post-Vietnam, post-Soviet, 21st-century invasion, and it’s amazing to see how well it all played out. Today, all we have to do is say “democracy,” and our political and media elite will rush to support any military action like slobbering dogs. I don’t mean to be immodest, but that’s exactly how I predicted it would go down.

Any Iraq War reflection must contend with the rise of ISIS—one of America’s greatest accomplishments. ISIS was a real home run for us. We suspected that sowing wanton violence across the Middle East would stoke anti-American insurgencies that didn’t conform to conventional national or geographic boundaries. In theory, they could be everywhere. And if the enemy could be everywhere, it justified basically any action to stop them. Which was great, because the deliberately vague war on terror gave a blank check to the men and women who bravely reap the profits of our private military contractors.

I imagine the name Halliburton rings a bell? What we wanted to do, what Rumsfeld and Condi and I and the rest of that bunch really wanted to do, was forever shift war-making into the hands of weapons contractors and mercenary armies. Not only does that make me and a bunch of my buddies incredibly rich, but it makes it so that even if regular people wanted to stop the war machine, they couldn’t. All decisions are made outside public control, and there aren’t any democratic mechanisms left to stop it. Of all the legacies of the war, that might be my absolute favorite.

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snoopydawg's picture

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Bush: 'Our Long National Nightmare Of Peace And Prosperity Is Finally Over'

WASHINGTON, DC–Mere days from assuming the presidency and closing the door on eight years of Bill Clinton, president-elect George W. Bush assured the nation in a televised address Tuesday that "our long national nightmare of peace and prosperity is finally over."

"My fellow Americans," Bush said, "at long last, we have reached the end of the dark period in American history that will come to be known as the Clinton Era, eight long years characterized by unprecedented economic expansion, a sharp decrease in crime, and sustained peace overseas. The time has come to put all of that behind us."

Bush swore to do "everything in [his] power" to undo the damage wrought by Clinton's two terms in office, including selling off the national parks to developers, going into massive debt to develop expensive and impractical weapons technologies, and passing sweeping budget cuts that drive the mentally ill out of hospitals and onto the street.

During the 40-minute speech, Bush also promised to bring an end to the severe war drought that plagued the nation under Clinton, assuring citizens that the U.S. will engage in at least one Gulf War-level armed conflict in the next four years.

"You better believe we're going to mix it up with somebody at some point during my administration," said Bush, who plans a 250 percent boost in military spending. "Unlike my predecessor, I am fully committed to putting soldiers in battle situations. Otherwise, what is the point of even having a military?"

On the economic side, Bush vowed to bring back economic stagnation by implementing substantial tax cuts, which would lead to a recession, which would necessitate a tax hike, which would lead to a drop in consumer spending, which would lead to layoffs, which would deepen the recession even further

But to make sure that the government cannot mislead the people again Biden is creating committees to crack down on misinformation and disinformation.

Combating “Skepticism”: Federal Grant Funds New Effort to Combat “Misinformation”

We have been discussing a comprehensive effort by the Biden Administration to blacklist or censor citizens accused of “disinformation” or “misinformation.” This effort includes dozens of FBI agents and other agency employees who worked with social media companies to bar or suspend accounts. It also included grants to academic and third party organizations to create blacklists or pressure advertisers to withdrew support for conservative sites. Now, another such grant through the National Science Foundation has been identified, which gave millions to professors to develop a misinformation fact-checking tool called “Course Correct.” The tool will help fight “skepticism” and reinforce “trust” in what the government and the programmers define as true or reliable viewpoints.

The National Science Foundation reportedly awarded grants in 2021 and 2022 for more than $5.7 million for the development of Course Correct to allow media and government officials to target misinformation on topics such as U.S. elections and COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy. In addition, a Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act-funded NSF grant supported the application of Course Correct to mental health issues.

The system would use machine learning and other means to identify social media posts pertaining to electoral skepticism and vaccine hesitancy, including flagging at-risk online communities for intervention. Sound familiar?

Sadly the last essay isn’t sarcasm. And isn’t that a nice Orwellian name for the program? Course Correct The mental health issues….is that cause for concern when states are making it legal for them to grab people off the streets and force them into mental institutions against their will? Fortunately the court has derailed Hochul of NYC from doing that…for now anyway.
Don’t forget that California has a law stating that doctors cannot go against the current federal medical treatment plan set down by Fauci and Walensky.

Also sadly too many people are okay with the government determining free speech. This crap should also be an Onion headline, but alas.

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Which AIPAC/MIC/pharma/bank bought politician are you going to vote for? Don’t be surprised when nothing changes.

Voting is like driving with a toy steering wheel.

snoopydawg's picture

@snoopydawg

qualifies as satire. It sure seems that a lot of what he says here came true during his stolen presidency. Same thing with what Cheney said. Remember that they privatized the military and especially the military contractors that got filthy rich while we funded them.

Posting this again because the opening scenes are so horrifying.

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5 users have voted.

Which AIPAC/MIC/pharma/bank bought politician are you going to vote for? Don’t be surprised when nothing changes.

Voting is like driving with a toy steering wheel.

mimi's picture

@snoopydawg @snoopydawg
saw the schock and awe bombardment from the air on the 21 or 23 of march 2003. (I thought it was the 23rd, but wiki intellgientia says it was the 21rst)

Something we both don't want to think back on. My son had to join the US Air Force, because he had no financial support of any sort from any side. His fahter said he should joins the military, if he can't do anythimg better with his life. Asshole. Unfrotunately as soon as my son had joined the US Air Force , GW Bush started the invasion of Iraq. I never understood why GWB invaded Iraq. Al Quwda was in Afghanistan, afaik.

Good Night. All. Don't look back.

Worth to look at:
https://www.npr.org/sections/pictureshow/2023/03/20/1164272335/iraq-war-.... I could add some personal photos. But why?

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Why am I crying?

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6 users have voted.

after 1947, tell the truth?
We don't seem to be able to stop the lies, and we often die because of them, I guess a bitter laugh is occasionally called for.

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"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false." ---- William Casey, CIA Director, 1981

TheOtherMaven's picture

@on the cusp

Certainly seems like it was the Russians in Europe...and the Nazis in America.

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There is no justice. There can be no peace.

@TheOtherMaven n/t

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"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false." ---- William Casey, CIA Director, 1981

Sima's picture

@TheOtherMaven
So true.

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If you're poor now, my friend, then you'll stay poor.
These days, only the rich get given more. -- Martial book 5:81, c. AD 100 or so
Nothing ever changes -- Sima, c. AD 2020 or so

thanatokephaloides's picture

@on the cusp

When did government, after 1947, tell the truth?
We don't seem to be able to stop the lies, and we often die because of them, I guess a bitter laugh is occasionally called for.

What is truth? -- Pilate

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"US govt/military = bad. Russian govt/military = bad. Any politician wanting power = bad. Anyone wielding power = bad." --Shahryar

"All power corrupts absolutely!" -- thanatokephaloides

Cassiodorus's picture

Now we have Biden, and everything's totally kewl.

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" In a war with China there would be a trade embargo. Military manufacturing in the US would grind to a halt almost immediately. But due to a massive competency crisis in DC, they might push for it regardless." -Philip Pilkington

mimi's picture

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orlbucfan's picture

@mimi Don't fool yourselves. Just check out his/its personal and American Political History. Rec'd!!

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Inner and Outer Space: the Final Frontiers.