What the warmongers learned from the Iraq War debacle

The warmongers in the Trump Administration are gearing up to attack Iran.
In many ways they are using the same script as was used in 2002-2003 for the invasion of Iraq.

It wasn’t true. Yet Bush made the case that the United States had to attack before Hussein could use weapons of mass destruction that Iraq didn’t really have. Now a similar cycle of deception may be repeating itself with President Trump’s increasingly belligerent posture on Iran.
...Israel and Saudi Arabia — with governments that have cultivated close ties with Trump — favor confrontation with Iran. Based on that history, it’s hard not to conclude that Trump’s administration has pursued a clear strategy: provoke Iran into doing something that gives a pretext for war. And as with Iraq, the administration has used exaggerations and unspecified intelligence reports to lay the predicate that an offensive war against Iran will be defensive. In that context, the closure of the U.S. Consulate in Basra and the Baghdad Embassy drawdown are ominous, removing targets that could feature in an Iranian response to a U.S. attack.

In this regard, the Trump Administration is doing nothing new.
However, they do have a new twist this time: a near complete elimination of information to Congress.

By virtually closing the embassy in Baghdad the Trump Administration has cut off traditional information sources.

"I would urge the State Department and the DOD (Department of Defense) to come down here and explain what's going on," said Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC).

The lack of an explanation was broached on Wednesday during a hearing of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee by members of both parties, who said lawmakers were in the dark as to what was going on in with Iran, and why American diplomats were suddenly in danger in Iraq.

"The Trump Administration has not provided any information to this committee on the intelligence behind their decisions," said Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ).

The Iran situation should not be taken in isolation.
The Trump Administration has almost completely eliminated status reports from Afghanistan, after it has become obvious that we've lost the war.
But that wasn't good enough.

Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan has restricted senior Pentagon officials from traveling to Afghanistan until the end of the fiscal year, and has asked lawmakers to adhere to the policy within their official duties, according to a two-page internal document obtained by Newsweek.
...
“Congress has an obligation to see with our own eyes and ears what our troops are confronting in war zones. Oversight visits to places like Afghanistan allow Congress to better support our military’s mission,” Luria told Newsweek in an email on Thursday. “As a Navy veteran and a member of the House Armed Services Committee, I find it obstructive and inappropriate that the Pentagon is interfering with our clearly defined constitutional duties.”

Trump knows full well that Congress will never, ever stand up to him on anything regarding the wars. Especially if there is any question regarding how badly we are losing, and how pointless and disastrous a war with Iran would be.
Withholding information allows a bigger window for disinformation.

Of course no amount of information will change certain facts:

1) Iran is almost four times the size of Iraq, with three times the number of people.
2) The U.S. doesn't have enough troops to do a proper invasion of Iran.
3) We would have virtually no allies in a war with Iran.
4) Unlike Iraq in 2003, Iran has no large minority population being oppressed.
5) Unlike Iraq in 2003, Iran is not isolated. It has proxy forces and external allies.

On the other hand, the warmongers have one thing going for them: a complete lack of an antiwar movement.

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China defies Iran sanctions

A tanker carrying Iranian fuel oil in violation of U.S. sanctions has unloaded the cargo into storage tanks near the Chinese city of Zhoushan, according to ship tracking data on Refinitiv Eikon.

The discharging of the nearly 130,000 tonnes of Iranian fuel oil onboard the tanker, the Marshal Z, confirmed by a representative of the oil storage terminal, marks the end of an odyssey for the cargo that began four months ago.

some people still care

Nearly 3 in 10 Democrats said in the survey that they were turned off by Biden's Iraq War vote while he was serving as a senator from Delaware. More than 40 percent of respondents between the ages of 18 and 29 said his record on the issue made them less likely to support him.

Thirty-two percent of all respondents said the war vote makes no difference to them, compared to 21 percent who said it made them more likely to support Biden, according to the poll. Eighteen percent said they don’t know whether it would influence their choice or that they have no opinion.
...
“President Bush did not lash out precipitously at Iraq after 9/11. He did not snub the U.N. or our allies. He did not dismiss new inspection regimes. He did not ignore Congress,” Biden said in a floor speech at the time.

“At each pivotal moment, he has chosen a course of moderation and deliberation, and I believe he will continue to do so. At least, that is my fervent hope,” Biden said. “I wish he would turn down the rhetorical excess in some cases because I think it undercuts the decision he ends up making. But in each case in my view he has made the right, rational, calm, deliberate decision."

Biden = no change

People act appalled when Trump and his supporters say they want a wall to keep out illegal immigrants, but stay silent when he tries to provoke a civil war in Venezuela. Trumps travel ban on certain Arab countries caused a lot of outrage, but the war in Yemen goes largely unnoticed.

If American liberals really cared about refugees they would challenge Trump where it really mattered. And if a centrist democrat like Joe Biden gets elected next but continues these hawkish policies, it may make us feel better about ourselves to have a president that doesn’t say mean things, but we look the same in the eyes of the starving children of Yemen and the Venezuelan or Iranian who no longer has access to their insulin due to US sanctions.

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edg's picture

I assume the headline for this essay is ironic. What the warmongers learned isn't that war is bad. They learned how to better market warmongering. Sadly, I suspect that if the warmongers are successful at starting a war with Iran, most Democrats will toe the line and become cheerleaders. They wouldn't want to disappoint Israel and Saudi Arabia.

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@edg

What the warmongers learned isn't that war is bad. They learned how to better market warmongering.

For people like Bolton, the only way that he would ever learn that war is evil is if he was on the frontlines and he had an epiphany at the exact moment a bullet entered his brain.

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Bollox Ref's picture

Think of all those benefits accruing to his buddies in the MIC. He doesn't care one wit about the human costs, however, and it shows.

Quite how he gained office is beyond me. He won neither the Electoral College or the popular vote.

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Gëzuar!!
from a reasonably stable genius.

WoodsDweller's picture

that their actions had consequences. They must have liked the consequences because they're taking the same actions.

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I like this world. It's not perfect, but everything I love is in it.

snoopydawg's picture

if Iran sinks a few ships in the straits then oil prices will skyrocket. Even if they don't do anything it's going to do that anyway.

Bolton's worse nightmare is dreaming about world peace. I'm sure that the Resistance democrats are going to pull out all the stops to keep Trump from attacking Iran. Just like they have been standing up against all legislation. Nancy has told her people not to say anything about impeachment. She will not do anything about removing him from office until her donors tell her to.

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America is a pathetic nation; a fascist state fueled by the greed, malice, and stupidity of her own people.
- strife delivery

Hawkfish's picture

@snoopydawg

Is the loss of life. Making oil prices skyrocket seems like progress to me.

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We can’t save the world by playing by the rules, because the rules have to be changed.
- Greta Thunberg

there's no draft, they can run the thing out almost indefinitely.

Another thing they learned is that the real profit starts after we "win", and there's all that money to be made providing "security" and rebuilding everything we trashed, and for that matter continue to trash as part of our ongoing "security" operations.

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The earth is a multibillion-year-old sphere.
The Nazis killed millions of Jews.
On 9/11/01, a Boeing 757 (AA Flight 77) flew into the Pentagon.
If you can't accept these indisputable facts, I can't fake an interest in your opinions about anything else.