Mission Unaccomplished

The true cost of the war in Iraq.

 

  

When President Obama announced the end of combat operations in Iraq the general reaction from the public seemed to be  muted and weary indifference.   A handful of true believers protested the U.S. was “abandoning” Iraq, but that’s a minority view.   There’s no questioning by toppling Saddam Hussein from power, America won the war.  But whether the following occupation and efforts to democratize Iraq will be as successful remains an open question with no answer.     

The anti-war organization Iraq Veterans Against the War points out, the end of combat operations doesn’t mean the end.  

* The U.S. occupation of Iraq continues and the reduction of U.S. troops in Iraq can at best be called only a rebranded occupation. While the number of U.S. troops in Iraq will be reduced from a high of 165,000, there will still be 50,000 troops left behind, some 75,000 contractors, five huge “enduring bases” and an Embassy the size of Vatican City.  

* The U.S. military’s overthrow of the brutal dictatorship of Saddam Hussein did not lead to a better life for Iraqis—just the opposite. It resulted in the further destruction of basic infrastructure—electricity, water, sewage—that continues to this day. The U.S. dropped more tons of bombs on Iraq than in all of WWII, destroying Iraq’s electrical, water and sewage systems. Iraq’s health care and higher education systems, once the best in the entire region, have been decimated. The U.S. war on Iraq unleashed a wave of violence that has left over one million Iraqis dead and four million displaced, as well as ethnic rivalries that continue to plague the nation. We have seriously wounded millions of Iraqis, creating a lifetime of suffering and economic hardship for them, their communities and the entire nation as it struggles to rebuild.  

* Life expectancy for Iraqis fell from 71 years in 1996 to 67 years in 2007 due to the war and destruction of the healthcare system. The U.S. use of weapons such as depleted uranium and white phosphorous has taken a severe toll, with the cancer rate in Fallujah, for example, now worse than that of Hiroshima.  

* The Iraq War has left a terrible toll on the U.S. troops. More than one million American service members have deployed in the Iraq War effort. Over 4,400 U.S. troops have been killed and tens of thousands severely injured. More than one in four U.S. troops have come home from the Iraq war with health problems that require medical or mental health treatment. PTSD rates in the military have skyrocketed. In 2009, a record number of 245 soldiers committed suicide.  

* The war has drained our treasury. As of August 2010, U.S. taxpayers have spent over $750 billion on the Iraq War effort. Counting the cost of lifetime care of wounded vets and the interest payments on the money we borrowed to pay for this war, the real cost will be in the trillions. This misappropriation of funds has contributed to the economic crises we are experiencing, including the lack of funds for our schools, healthcare, infrastructure and investments in clean, green jobs.  

* The U.S. officials who got us into this disastrous war on the basis of lies have not been held accountable. Not George Bush, Dick Cheney, Condoleezza Rice, Colin Powell, Karl Rove, Donald Rumsfeld. No one. Neither have the Bush administration lawyers who authorized torture, including Jay Bybee and John Yoo. The “think tanks,” journalists and pundits who perpetuated the lies have not been fired—most are today cheerleading for the war in Afghanistan.  

   

The Dubya Action Figure never sold all that well...

 

I’m not trying to refight the war, but nothing about this feels like closure and it damn sure doesn’t feel like “Mission Accomplished.”   If this is what victory feels like it doesn’t feel like all that much.   I never believed George Bush and Dick Cheney and their gang got us into Iraq for any legitimate reason and seven years after the fact I’m  more convinced than ever we went to war based on lies and one man’s ugly ego.   Those are extremely poor reasons to come home in a flag-draped casket or with parts of your body left in the sands of Iraq.   

I see where some former Bush operatives are miffed President Obama wasn’t effusive enough in his praise of his predecessor. They have GOT to be kidding. The only ones deserving of any thanks are the American soldiers and their families. Nobody else has earned the right to take a victory lap.  

Maybe this is as good as it gets but does the end of the U.S. combat operations in Iraq really count as a “win?” All it seems we’ve accomplished after seven years of spilling blood and dropping bombs is there’s one more despot in hell, a lot more dead Iraqis and Americans, an exhausted military coming home to a crippled economy and and a world that doesn’t seem that much safer now than it was seven years ago.  

To the bitter end the liars like Evil Dick Cheney refused to entertain even the slightest thought that the war wasn’t a just cause.  On the fifth anniversary of the war, ABC News correspondent Martha Raddatz caught Cheney in a rare moment of total honesty. 

RADDATZ: Let me go back to the Americans. Two-thirds of Americans say it’s not worth fighting, and they’re looking at the value gain versus the cost in American lives, certainly, and Iraqi lives.  

THE VICE PRESIDENT: So?  (emphasis added) 

RADDATZ: So — you don’t care what the American people think? 

THE VICE PRESIDENT: No, I think you cannot be blown off course by the fluctuations in the public opinion polls. 

Was it all worth it? For what is gained in exchange for what is lost, is any war “worth it?”  

Some wars have to be waged.  This one never should have been.  

Evil Dick and Dubya pray for divine intervention (or the pizza is delivered hot this time).

Evil Dick keeps picking the scabs.

Would you trust your government to this man?

Would you trust your country to this man?

Evil Dick Cheney gave a speech today lauding the anti-terrorism steps undertaken by The Cheney/Bush Administration and blasting the Obama Administration for following their policies including harsh interrogation methods.

The more Cheney talks the more likely it is there will be either a Congressional “Truth Commission” to investigate what went on or at least the prosecution of the Cheney/Bush Justice Department lawyers that provided the legal justification for waterboarding and other torture tactics.

It’s a pretty sick joke that Evil Dick Cheney, the same cold SOB who failed to protect the nation from the worst terrorist attack on American soil wants to puff up his chest and crow like a rooster of how good of a job he’s done since then.

It’s like a poor student who got a “F” on their first exam bragging about the “D” he brought it up to.

Bush/Cheney failed on 9/11. Failed in Afghanistan. Failed in Iraq. What can you expect from two chickenhawks who avoided war but gladly send thousands of Americans to die in a war against an enemy that had nothing to do with the attack on America.

The more Cheney tries to defend the record of the Cheney Administration the more he reminds us of how piss-poor of a job he did on September 11, 2001. All his revisionism, excuses and bullshit can’t change that.

A smart man would stop reminding the world how badly he screwed up.  A humble man would allow history to set the record straight.   Evil Dick was never humble and he isn’t being very smart.

Cheney isn’t engaged in a war against terror. He’s waging a war against Obama.

See this Dick?  YOU didnt prevent it.

See this Dick? YOU didn't prevent it.

 Cheney is such a fundamentially dishonest and deceptive human being that he lies even when he knows his lies will be swiftly discovered and debunked. Why anyone would trust a man whom is both a habitiual liar and a coward is a continued source of wonderment to me.

Isn’t it interesting that a man who hid out from the majority of his tenure in office in a bunker emerging only to give a few speeches before friendly hand-picked audiences now has become a  media whore who won’t  go away or shut the hell up?

I’m willing to agree that there is always a possibility for another terrorist attack in a country the size of America within the next  four years, four months or four weeks.

But an excellent chance? No. I’m not as willing to buy into the line of bull Evil Cheney and his felllow travelers are trying to sell the American people (as they have continually through four Congressional and two presidential elections since 9/11).

Political dynamics are not changed easily. The voters didn’t punish Bush and Cheney in 2002 or 2004 despite their failure to protect the nation on 9/11. They rewarded them with majorities and eventually total control of the White House and Congress. Remember Karl Rove prediciting a permanent Republican majority? Whatever happened to that wet dream?

The assumption is if we get hit again it will be President Obama’s fault or at least that’s the narrative Cheney is trying to create. It’s politically astute to do so even if it positively Machivellian in it’s crass cynicism.

But Richard B. Cheney never was a stickler over putting the interests of the nation over gaining a political advantage.

Scaring the shit out of people has worked very well for Republicans and obviously Evil Dick thinks there’s some life still left in the tactic.Not since Tricky Dick Nixon has there been a politician who is so hopelessy treacherous, unprincipled and a habitiual liar as Evil Dick Cheney.   When a man lies as repeatedly, consistently and with such contempt for truth and honesty as Cheney does he is never again entitled to the benefit of the doubt. 

The smartest way to handle Evil Dick Cheney is to assume he’s guilty of lying until proven differently.

The Limp Return of Evil Dick.

I want my live rats done medium-rare and I want them NOW!

It is totally untrue that Dick Cheney has a fondness for eating live babies.

Dead babies are another story.  They don’t put up as much of a fight.

But that’s only if there aren’t any live rats available.   Now that’s some good eatin’.

In a city which has seen the likes of J. Edgar Hoover, Joseph McCarthy, Jesse Helms and Richard Nixon has there ever been a bigger bastard in Washington than Richard B. Cheney, the 43rd Vice-President of the United States and one huge waste of skin?

Out of power, but always a dick.

Last week, Evil Dick  arose from his crypt, licked the blood of a particulary tasty rodent from his thin lips and sat down with  reporters from Politico.com and predicted the United States may suffer a terror attack using nuclear weapons.

And guess what?  This time it’ll be Barack Obama’s fault because he didn’t carry on the policies of The Cheney-Bush Administration.

“When we get people who are more concerned about reading the rights to an Al Qaeda terrorist than they are with protecting the United States against people who are absolutely committed to do anything they can to kill Americans, then I worry,” Evil Dick said.

Evil Dick added, “If it hadn’t been for what we did — with respect to the terrorist surveillance program, or enhanced interrogation techniques for high-value detainees, the Patriot Act, and so forth — then we would have been attacked again,” he said. “Those policies we put in place, in my opinion, were absolutely crucial to getting us through the last seven-plus years without a major-casualty attack on the U.S.”

Evil Dick says despite being undead himself he worries about terrorists getting their hands on some kind of nuclear device.  Then all hell would break loose.  A location he himself is intimately familiar with.

“I think there’s a high probability of such an attempt. Whether or not they can pull it off depends whether or not we keep in place policies that have allowed us to defeat all further attempts, since 9/11, to launch mass-casualty attacks against the United States.”

Being Evil Dick means never saying you’re sorry for the illegal, immoral and quite possibly futile policies the Cheney/Bush bunch put it place to “protect” the United States.  He considers the fact Al Qaeda hasn’t struck again as proof of success.

But you can’t prove a negative.  Because nothing has happened doesn’t mean it didn’t happen because Evil Dick found the terrorists, ripped open their throats with his fangs and bled them dry.

You ever notice how Evil Dick and other apologists for George W. Bush make it seem as if they weren’t in charge before September 11, 2001?   It’s always what they did the seven-plus-years after 9/11 and never what they failed to do the nine months before.

Funny, but last I looked Al Qaeda was still a viable and potent threat to the U.S.

And seven-plus-years after the murders of over 3000 Americans, Osama bin Laden was still running loose—-  probably in Pakistan which has both a wobbly government,  a military with officers sympathetic to Al Qaeda and the Taliban and nuclear weapons to boot.

Not that facts matter to Evil Dick.  He didn’t need ’em before he convinced his retarded running mate to invade Iraq and he sure doesn’t need ’em now.

Nobody knows when or if terrorists will attack America again.  Evil Dick sure doesn’t, but if they do, you can be sure he’ll have a new secret bunker to hide in.    He just stuck his head up long enough to say, “Hey, you idiots voted for the wrong guy.  So next time you’re ALL GONNA DIE and this time it’s the Black guy’s fault.  Bye-bye.”

America may not survive.  Democracy may not survive.  But Evil Dick will.    Sleazy bastards who feed on dead babies and live rats are damned  hard to kill.   You have to stake them in the heart (which Evil Dick had surgically removed by now), cut off their heads, stuff the mouth with cloves of garlic, burn the body and salt the earth where they’ve fallen.

But being a evil dick like Evil Dick Cheney means as long as you stay out of direct sunlight, load up on the biggest rats you can catch and keep your fangs carved to a sharp point, you never have to give up  trying to scare the hell out of people.

Because that’s what Evil Dicks do.

I know I shouldnt eat babies, but theyre so damned tasty.