"Instead, I have a very simple question (for Tenet). Why are we in Iraq? Tenet made it clear that no debate ever occurred on whether the United States of American should invade and occupy Iraq – at least not with the Director of Central Intelligence in attendance. Instead, as so many others have reported, revealed, and witnessed – the decision to "do" Iraq had long been made. In 2001? In 2000? In 1998? In 1991?
The questions debated by the administration in late 2001 and 2002 were only about when and how to sell the story to a frightened flock of American sheep. The forcible rape of Iraq was, according to the second-longest serving CIA Director, already scheduled.
I want to know. I have my theories, as do most people. I don’t believe we destroyed a secular Arab country along with our army, our global reputation and our honor because Dubya wanted a) to vindicate his father, or conversely; b) to show Pop what he was made of.
I don’t know how much of our actions on Iraq were influenced by Foreign Country A, or B, or even C. Israelis and Saudis, or even the Pakistan military might have their reasons, I suppose – but unless they were gambling on chaos and fickleness, or just love a percolating disaster next door, it seems they were mainly cheerleading their friends in Washington, rather than leading them. In any case, it would be nice if Tenet would clear that up for the rest of us.
I don’t know how much of this is related Christian premillennial dispensationalism. I’d sure like to find out.
I’m pretty sure freedom and democracy had little to do with the invasion or occupation of Iraq. Our most reliable regional allies are despots, dictatorships, or militaristic socialist states, as Iraq had once been.
None of the above makes sense to me – but I’d like George Tenet’s help and gentle correction, now that he is speaking freely.
I think the invasion and occupation of Iraq – at its heart – was and remains institutionally supported because it allows all of the key governing bodies in the United States (including the Congress) to reallocate and confiscate more of the national treasury, and to build more military bases around the world. Certainly that has happened, and I don’t hear a loud unified demand from the Congress or anywhere else saying return the money to the taxpayer, and close the American bases in Iraq immediately and permanently.
I think it was timely in light of the circa 2000 euro-based Iraqi oil economy, and the imminent relaxation or cancellation of trade sanctions. While arguably heavy-handed and stupid, invasion provided a face-saving way to ensure US-beholden companies could play with a major advantage in a post-sanction Iraq, and to ensure Iraq’s reversal back to a dollar-based economy. This explanation also has real beneficiaries, all of whom (Congress, establishmentarians including the New York Times, Washington Post and Wall Street Journal editorial pages and most of the Washington thinktanks) actively support the occupation even as they grow bored with the continued death and destruction.
I also think there are frightened men in Washington with conflicted identities who believe playing war while wearing fine cloth and nibbling the lightest of soufflés will somehow make them manly, admired, virile, and powerful.
So Mr. Tenet, you’re looking good these days. One question, sir! Why are we in Iraq?"
Thursday, May 03, 2007
Why are we in Iraq?
* Karen Kwiatowski (echoing some questions from round here these last few days):
Posted by lukery at 5/03/2007 12:29:00 PM