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Bacevich writes: "The disastrous legacy of the Iraq War extends beyond treasure squandered and lives lost or shattered. Central to that legacy has been Washington's decisive and seemingly irrevocable abandonment of any semblance of self-restraint regarding the use of violence as an instrument of statecraft. With all remaining prudential, normative, and constitutional barriers to the use of force having now been set aside, war has become a normal condition, something that the great majority of Americans accept without complaint."

Ceremonies marking the end of the US military mission in Iraq are held in Baghdad, 12/15/11. (photo: AP)
Ceremonies marking the end of the US military mission in Iraq are held in Baghdad, 12/15/11.
(photo: AP)




After Iraq, War Is US

By Andrew Bacevich, Global Public Square Blog

20 December 11

 

This post is Bacevich's response to a question posed by the Council on Foreign Relations to four commentators: 'Was the Iraq War worth it?' -- JPS/RSN

 

s framed, the question invites a sober comparison of benefits and costs - gain vs. pain. The principal benefit derived from the Iraq War is easily identified: as the war's defenders insist with monotonous regularity, the world is indeed a better place without Saddam Hussein. Point taken.

Yet few of those defenders have demonstrated the moral courage - or is it simple decency - to consider who paid and what was lost in securing Saddam's removal. That tally includes well over four thousand US dead along with several tens of thousands wounded and otherwise bearing the scars of war; vastly larger numbers of Iraqi civilians killed, maimed, and displaced; and at least a trillion dollars expended - probably several times that by the time the last bill comes due decades from now. Recalling that Saddam's weapons of mass destruction and alleged ties to al-Qaeda both turned out to be all but non-existent, a Churchillian verdict on the war might read thusly: Seldom in the course of human history have so many sacrificed so dearly to achieve so little.

Yet in inviting a narrow cost-benefit analysis, the question-as-posed serves to understate the scope of the debacle engineered by the war's architects. The disastrous legacy of the Iraq War extends beyond treasure squandered and lives lost or shattered. Central to that legacy has been Washington's decisive and seemingly irrevocable abandonment of any semblance of self-restraint regarding the use of violence as an instrument of statecraft. With all remaining prudential, normative, and constitutional barriers to the use of force having now been set aside, war has become a normal condition, something that the great majority of Americans accept without complaint. War is US.

Central to [the war's] legacy has been Washington's decisive and seemingly irrevocable abandonment of any semblance of self-restraint regarding the use of violence as an instrument of statecraft.

One senses that this was what the likes of [Vice President Dick] Cheney, [Secretary of Defense Donald] Rumsfeld, and [Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul] Wolfowitz (urged on by militarists cheering from the sidelines and with George W. Bush serving as their enabler) intended all along. By leaving intact and even enlarging the policies that his predecessor had inaugurated, President Barack Obama has handed these militarists an unearned victory. As they drag themselves from one "overseas contingency operation" to the next, American soldiers must reckon with the consequences. So too will the somnolent American people be obliged to do, perhaps sooner than they think.


Andrew J. Bacevich is Professor of International Relations and History at Boston University.

 

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+22 # Activista 2011-12-20 16:43
good analysis - but again US centric.
In Iraq - the same in Vietnam, Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Libya .... we COUNT dead ONLY on our site.
" Americans .. must reckon with the consequences" and it is out of real of benefits and costs analysis.
 
 
+19 # John Locke 2011-12-21 08:12
But do we really get the true numbers of our soldiers killed or are we being lied to there also?
 
 
+9 # Activista 2011-12-22 08:31
I believe that "contractors" - private soldiers that are now "fighting for our freedom" in Baghdad are NOT included of occupants with "ultimate sacrifice".
These are like "volunteer" farmers to save their farm from forclousure.
Also how many died from their injuries? YES the number is likely double the official.
WAR is FUN - buy #1 billion $$$ game - XBOX - CALL OF DUTY - WARFARE III - for Christmas - learn how to kill Russians - the best KILLER WINS.
US is SICK MILITARISTIC CULTURE.
 
 
+93 # RMDC 2011-12-20 16:53
"The principal benefit derived from the Iraq War is easily identified: as the war's defenders insist with monotonous regularity, the world is indeed a better place without Saddam Hussein. Point taken."

In fact this is not true. Most people in the world -- dare I say 99% -- feel the world was much better off with Saddam in place. Let's not forget that under Saddam and the Ba'ath party Iraq achieved the best living standards, education, health of the Arab middle east. 100% of Iraqis had clean water and sanitation, electricity, schools, and healthcare. Don't take my word for it; read the reports by the Defense Intelligence Agency prior to the 1991 war.

The US war against Iraq for the last 20 years is a holocaust -- 2-3 million people dead, 4-5 million in exile, an unknown but huge number of children with birth defects caused by depleted uranium, a totally destroyed infrastructure, ethnic cleansing that broke up neighborhoods, a gangster class that now runs the country, and it goes on.

Would these mo**er fu**ers at the Council on Foreign Relations pose the question "was the WW II holocaust worth it"? They can ask this question about Iraq only because they don't call it a holocaust. Remember Madeline Albright's answer to Diane Sawyer's question "was the death of 600,000 children as a result of US sanctions worth it." Albright replied "we think it is worth it."

We must stop taking such "academic" questions at all.
 
 
+49 # Activista 2011-12-20 19:50
Compare RMDC facts to government PROPAGANDA.
We murdered "last 20 years t -- 2-3 million people , 4-5 million in exile, an unknown but huge number of children with birth defects"
For population of 28 millions - 10% killed, 20% expelled - comes close what UN defined as GENOCIDE. All World knows who are WAR CRIMINALS here ...
 
 
+14 # John Locke 2011-12-21 08:23
Yes but the governments of the world fear us and will never dare bring our war criminals to justice...with Germany it was different, they were a defeated people, so it really depends how powerful a nation is as to whether international law is followed!
 
 
+39 # WaldenPond 2011-12-20 21:42
RMDC, you are soooooo right. We elect and fund with our taxes a murderous, inhumane, set of leaders, and let them loose to kill people in their own communities on the other side of the planet. And our NATO allies go right along with it, buying our weapons so as to join us in the slaughter.
 
 
+10 # John Gill 2011-12-21 00:14
That is so great. Thanks for the response. I read that opening paragraph and I was like, wth?, and was going to post (basically) your response but without all the relevant facts to back it up. You're great.
 
 
+40 # NOMINAE 2011-12-21 03:22
@ RMDC

The question regarding Saddam Hussein is moot. Good guy or bad guy, it is nowhere the legal prerogative of the United States to run around the world splurging U.S. Troops and Treasure on an illegal "ridding" the world of "bad guys".

Bush used to justify going after Saddam because Saddam gassed his own people. Yup, he sure did. He used chemical agents made in Langley, VA, launched from U.S. made helicopters, flown by U.S. trained pilots.

All of these goodies were gladly supplied to him when he was our closest ally against Iran. There are photos from those days showing Saddam proudly shaking hands with Rummy.

"Saddam was a bad man" is the crap they sell to slow-witted children. It should not merit consideration in an adult discussion of the matter.

As you astutely point out, can we actually countenance the expenditure of trillions in treasure, and tens of thousands in human life just to "stop" ONE bad guy who is NOT leading his own Reich, and who never was the *slightest* threat to the U.S. ?

Only when we need the oil.
 
 
+12 # John Locke 2011-12-21 08:26
NOMINAE: also a good post, I am delighted with the intellect that is addressing this article
 
 
+13 # John Locke 2011-12-21 08:19
RMDC: Great comment, and I would add that the real travesty is us, the 99% has not before spoken out against the extrteme right wing policies, they were well known to anyone who reads...and I pray this is changing, we are now at the crossroads of our history, we can become a fully implemented police state, or we can regain our rights that our forefathers fought and died for, that choice in now on the table...5 million oof us in the streets in washington would make a difference
 
 
+1 # Doubter 2011-12-22 12:18
And now Libya and Gaddafi...
 
 
-44 # charsjcca 2011-12-20 20:43
Great item. This is exactly why Barack Obama must be removed from office in 2012. No more Mr. Nice Guy when dealing with this Islamic Indonesian. His resume belongs to him-I do not have to defend it.
 
 
+22 # BobbyLip 2011-12-20 22:09
Quoting charsjcca:
Great item. This is exactly why Barack Obama must be removed from office in 2012. No more Mr. Nice Guy when dealing with this Islamic Indonesian. His resume belongs to him-I do not have to defend it.
Yeah, we'd do much better with a Christian native-born. Someone from Texas perhaps? Or a birther nitwit?
 
 
-10 # John Locke 2011-12-21 08:34
BobbyLip: Actually yes! the US is falling apart and is divided, how would you bring the country together to fight the takeover of democracy, the best way I see is to allow it to collapse completely by putting in office the worst of the playing field not the least evil of the group
 
 
+4 # John Locke 2011-12-21 08:31
Obama needs to be removed from office, I agree, however the die hard Democrats here will thumbs down anyone who says that... intelligence says look at his record, he has done what every good tbag republican would have done and he is destroying SS, Medicare and medicade, and he will vote in favor of the XL Tar sands pipeline because he is not a free thinker but a follower, he has failed the middle class and supports the 1% -- the man in charge MUST be a leader... Obama has demonstrated over and over that he is not capable of being a leader,
 
 
+1 # rhgreen 2011-12-22 16:05
Better a non-leader than some "capable" Republican leader who would lead us to a right-wing Hell. Obama can at least veto the really evil bad stuff and he can refuse to nominate rightest ideologues to the courts. And as commander in chief he can use the FBI, US Marshals, the Secret Service, and the military if necessary to arrest violators of federal laws - be they environmental laws, civil rights laws, or financial regulatory laws.
 
 
+9 # jcostello 2011-12-20 21:12
The people of the world may have been comfortable with Hussein in place but the some people inside Iraq were probably not, since SH ran a hideous spy and prison system where torture and disappearance were common. I am not justifying the war, that was a huge, costly fiasco. Three times over the last 30 years or so, Iraqis sought and initially got US assistance to overthrow SH. And three times we betrayed them leaving them to Hussein's murderous thugs...
 
 
+16 # John Locke 2011-12-21 08:44
Since when are we the police to the world, who voted us that obligation? The US has backed every tyrant dictator on the planet, we do that for a reason, Control! if we simply stopped backing evil regimes they would collapse on their own, Do you recall the Hungarian revolution of 1956, we instigated it and promissed to provide them weapons, then what did we do, we sent them powered milk...look in the miror, we are our own enemy!
 
 
+5 # AMLLLLL 2011-12-21 14:21
Very good observation John. "Police" is a decorative word for control; that is, of oil. We would never have gone into Kuwait if not for our oil interests. It was a CYA operation to cover the fact that Halliburton had been 'horizontal' drilling into Iraq from Kuwait. The Iraquis were only defending their oil...there's that word again.
 
 
0 # RLF 2011-12-22 05:17
Cold war mentality of us and them still runs this countries foreign policy. We prefer a predictable enemy to an unpredictable friend.
 
 
+29 # X Dane 2011-12-20 21:32
I have read many of professor Bachewiche's articles. He writes often for LA Times. He is usually spot on, but this time he missed a very important point.

The Bush regime did enormous damage to Iraq, and Iraqis, so manyy dead, maimed and millions desplaced both inside and outside of Iraq.
Iraq's infrastructure in shambles. How would you like a few hours of electricity a day in the hot, hot summers? A water supply seriously damaged too

More than 4000 of our citizens dead many, many more permanently injured, a lot of returning military committing suicide,.... DAILT they die.
An enormous cost of caring for the permanently wounded.
Not to mention all the money spent, which SHOULD have been used to take care of OUR citicens, educate OUR young and repair OUR infrastructure, that greatly needs it. All of this is terrible.
I will continue
 
 
+32 # vitobonespur 2011-12-20 21:48
"Recalling that Saddam's weapons of mass destruction and alleged ties to al-Qaeda both turned out to be all but non-existent..."

A polite way of saying the Iraq War was just a bunch of bullshit! Bunches of us knew it at the start just as we know it now. We marched and we petitioned to avoid the war, but to no avail. The boneheads said they knew better...

Now that this debacle is ostensibly over with, one would think the wounds would be healing and the resentment against the Bush administration and their f*cking lies would be eventually forgotten.

But from my point of view, the end of the military action in Iraq has ripped the scab off injuries -- emotional, mental, financial, and physical -- that will never, ever go away!
 
 
+26 # X Dane 2011-12-20 22:05
continued. What the professor did NOT mention, something that may be WORSE STILL ...in the long run....Bush the stupid cowboy..was going to show dad that HE could go all the way to Bagdad and kill Saddam too. The world would be a better place with him gone????

HOW DAMNED WRONG THAT IDIOT WAS. Saddam was a monster all right, but unfortunately there are too many monsters, and we can not slay them ALL.

Bush managed all by his stupid self to put the world in MUCH GREATER DANGER.

He removed the BALANCE. SADDAM was the BALANCE TO IRAN.... OF COURSE Iran wants to get nuclear weapons, we showed them that we were not going to attack North Korea, although Bush named them as part of the axis of evil. BECAUSE THE HAVE NUCLEAR WEAPONS

With that balance gone Iran is in a MUCH, MUCH stronger position, they have far greater INFLUENCE on Iraq than the US does.

And all the HAWKS are now clamoring for a war with IRAN.

While weakening our own country, we are falling way behind China, Brazil and India, and we will NOT be able to catch
up, if we get into yet another war.

THANKS FOR NOTHING BUSH, YOU HAVE MUCH ON YOUR CONSCIENCE, BUT YOU DON'T UNDERSTAND THAT.
 
 
+1 # RLF 2011-12-22 05:19
In Iraq they are 'Monsters', in the US they are 'Hawks'. Careful now!
 
 
+18 # Dave45 2011-12-20 22:06
One thing that Bacevich alluded to but which is seldom noted is that regarding the issue of whether Iraq had weapons of mass destruction or not, Saddam Hussein told the truth and Bush lied. That of course does not deny that there were other occasions on which Saddam did not tell the truth or that Bush might occasionally have told the truth. What is important to recognize here is that hundreds of thousands died and countless others were irreparably injured because of Bush's lies and the failure to accept Hussein's admission that he had no such weapons, an admission supported by evidence that was readily available to Bush and his partners in international crime.
 
 
+1 # X Dane 2011-12-20 22:08
By the way Professor Bachewich's son was killed in Iraq.
 
 
+4 # frdboesl 2011-12-20 22:10
What's going to happen when the rest of the world goes after the bully? Scary thought. We pay again!
 
 
+19 # jbell94521 2011-12-20 22:55
Professor Bacevich hints at the most terrible consequence of this war for Americans. I'll spell it out: History teaches us that you cannot be an omperial nation abroad and a democracy at home. The 2 are simply incompatible and cannot coexist in the same nation for long. History shows us that there are NO exceptions to this principle.

And the actions of Obama and our treasonoous Congress just go to show that this is so. The provision slipped into the most recent military funding bill that overturn the Posse Comitatus act and allow the government to use the military for "police actions" on U.S. soil is a clear example of why a natiuon cannot long be an imperium aborad and a democracy at home.

We have been a fascist state for quite some time, (if you apply the classic political science definitioin of fascism, which is when the wall between government and big business collapses and they each become an arm of the other.) Now we can add military-powere d police state to the signs of the complete and utter collapse of democracy in the U.S. Can you say Sieg Heil? If not, it may be time to practice. That phrase looks more and more like it will come in handy.
 
 
+8 # jbell94521 2011-12-20 23:01
By the way, would the U.S. have bothered to invade Iraq if their national export had been broccoli instead of oil?

And, of course Iraq had NOTHING to do with 911. That was an inside job, done by elements of the U.S. government. And just look at what it has been used to justify!

Here is another lesson from history that is without exceptions: "Those who would sacrifice liberty in the name of security will soon have neither."

God help us! We seem to be far too stupid to help ourselves.

Oh, and if you want proof that 911 was an inside job, here is a site that shows you where that rabbit hole is: www.anonymousphysicist.com Don't go there if you have any desire to stay asleep and in denial about 911.
 
 
0 # boudreaux 2011-12-23 07:22
Quoting jbell94521:
By the way, would the U.S. have bothered to invade Iraq if their national export had been broccoli instead of oil?

And, of course Iraq had NOTHING to do with 911. That was an inside job, done by elements of the U.S. government. And just look at what it has been used to justify!

Here is another lesson from history that is without exceptions: "Those who would sacrifice liberty in the name of security will soon have neither."

God help us! We seem to be far too stupid to help ourselves.

Oh, and if you want proof that 911 was an inside job, here is a site that shows you where that rabbit hole is: www.anonymousphysicist.com Don't go there if you have any desire to stay asleep and in denial about 911.



You sent me to a site to buy a book???
WHF???
 
 
+9 # john5021 2011-12-21 00:58
Besides all the death and mayhem that we caused is the centrel fact that it need never have happened. We invaded a country illegely over lies. simple baldfaced lies. And for that our honor as a country will be soured forever. Thank you so much Bush and company. Now we have many of the same type lies being told us about Iran. This appears to be a calculated assault on us and we need to stop it before we see more blood flowing from our hands.It may well be that our honor will never return to us as it was before Bush, but we can work to make sure we elect sane caring people to be the leaders of this country rather than the warmongering, hateful,unlovin g and uncaring hypacrits fanatics we now have working overtime to destroy us.a vote for a fanatic is a vote for continued war and the death of the USA.
 
 
+9 # Nel 2011-12-21 02:22
The stack on Iraq was 100% successful considering that the (untold) goal was to destabilize Iraq, for the benefit of Israel's expansion..
 
 
+11 # cordleycoit 2011-12-21 03:45
We, the United States, are living in a bubble.The bubble is comfortable. To keep the bubble expanding we import people, resources and drugs. We export China's money, troops to maintain the bubble,and economic enslavement. How long this continues depends on the ignorance of the rest of the world.
Our money is worth nothing. Our technology is totally destructive and our level of real education is third rate. Our leaders are corrupt. Look at the idiots in Congress, the executive and the courts. Occupy is just a baby step in the right direction. There are positive things to be done and they better get started soon before the storm.
 
 
+4 # cory75 2011-12-21 04:13
"War is US"?
I think you mean "War 'R' Us".
 
 
+15 # 666 2011-12-21 05:26
a brilliant if overly limited analysis... yet the key point IMO is missed:
"As they drag themselves from one 'overseas contingency operation' to the next, American soldiers must reckon with the consequences."
That "next" operation is not overseas, it is "battlefield America"; that much has been made clear recently. The "barriers set aside" are habaeus corpus, posse comitatus, the bill of rights, etc. What will be the "reckoning" when our emerging fascist state turns "them" upon "US" (probably initially as "peacekeepers") because the elites can no longer manage US with lies and fear?
 
 
+8 # alan17b0 2011-12-21 05:26
I would like to question the assertion made by
Mr Bacevich: "force having now been set aside, war has become a normal condition, something that the great majority of Americans accept without complaint. War is US."

I ive in a suburb of Washington D.C. and I have
been selling: "No Afghan War" buttons for
the past 2.5 years, here in the area. I bring
in between $25 and $40 an hour. With my
profits I buy yard signs, and I go out and
knock on doors, asking people to take one
for their yard. In an hour I get between
4 and 8 signs accepted.

How come I have such success if Americans
at least in our area, speak out in such
numbers?

Alan McConnell, in Silver Spring MD
 
 
+12 # artful 2011-12-21 05:44
Partly, I think, we can get away with the use of state-sanctione d murder (i.e., War) because we have no draft. So other people's sons and daughters are doing the killing and being killed. If every American potentially had a stake in this killing machine business, we might not find it so easy to con the American people.
 
 
+6 # Glen 2011-12-21 06:02
No, the draft sets in stone the right to go to war with a standing army. The draft does not work for those who are responsible for going to war as their children all get out of it; it does not affect those who work the system to get out of it, and so forth. Many of those in the military today, did see it as a way to employment.

Sadly, in the U.S., joining the military does guarantee a long term job/career.
 
 
+9 # RJB 2011-12-21 05:49
Andrew Bacevich is a man of honor. I dare say that if our leaders were as able to learn and were as incorruptible the Republic would still exist. Nonetheless, Bacevich overlooks the real enemy, and they are the global 1% who have honed the system that Eisenhower warned us about in 1961. Yes, Americans are distracted, marginalized and dumbed down. We are divided and conquered as we still grasp at a decayed two-party system that enriches the Superclass and serves up austerity and civic rot for the rest of us. Not a single institution defends the decaying middle class. Read Chris Hedges. There is only the Occupy movement. You say it is disorganized. What have the so-called organized institutions done to slow the "The March of Folly?" Read Barbara Tuchman.
 
 
+7 # walt 2011-12-21 05:57
The author also lost his own son in this Bush-Cheney war in which we misused and abused our own military. Read his book "Washington Rules: America's Path to Permanent War."

Will there ever be an investigation and or prosecution for sending our troops and dollars to a war based on outright LIES?

And worse yet, it seems Obama accepts "...Washington' s decisive and seemingly irrevocable abandonment of any semblance of self-restraint regarding the use of violence as an instrument of statecraft."

Just watch the next drone attack he launches!
 
 
+10 # pwortman 2011-12-21 06:03
I've just finished watching Showtime's "Homeland" and it is clear that the Vice President (Dick Cheney in reality) is considered a war criminal. Does anyone doubt it? Will there ever be any accounting? Isn't it a basic conservative tenet that one accepts responsibility for one's actions? And yet, no one has taken that position. We live in a morally and perhaps soon to be economic bankrupt time full of the ravings of tin soldiers sending others to find their illusory dragons. A little psychotherapy might save them and us rather than unleashing their murderous rage. It is here that George W. Bush must be called to account and not just excused as "an enabler."
 
 
+15 # km0591 2011-12-21 06:23
We were warned over two centuries ago by the main author of our constitution:

"Of all the enemies to public liberty war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded, because it comprises and develops the germ of every other. War is the parent of armies; from these proceed debts and taxes; and armies, and debts, and taxes are the known instruments for bringing the many under the domination of the few. In war, too, the discretionary power of the Executive is extended; its influence in dealing out offices, honors, and emoluments is multiplied; and all the means of seducing the minds, are added to those of subduing the force, of the people. The same malignant aspect in republicanism may be traced in the inequality of fortunes, and the opportunities of fraud, growing out of a state of war, and in the degeneracy of manners and of morals engendered by both. No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare."

~ James Madison, "Political Observations" 1795
 
 
+6 # Travlinlight 2011-12-21 06:27
As part of the neocon Project For A New Amrerican Century, promulgated long before the invasion in 2003, there was a document titled "Rebuilding America's Defenses." In that document, there is language to the effect that securing Iraq's petroleum resoures "transcends" any concern about Saddam Hussein.

Securing vital natural resources wherever they exist has been the publicly unstated but actual basis of American foreign policy since at least 1948, when the Kennan doctrine was written (see PPS 23). (George Frost Kennan was a senior policy planner in the US Dep't. of State at that time.)

That policy has never changed; the result being that the US has been involved in resource ineterventions/ wars ever since. Mr. Kennan, in his policy planning study, made clear that exporting American-style democracy or raising living standards in poor but resource-rich regions was "sentimental day dreaming" that the US would have to dispense with. He further stated that the US would have to use "straight power concepts" in dealing with these regions and nations. So we have.

What I have described in this comment is a matter of record, not opinion. Whether one is liberal or conservative, these are facts that have to be faced. The US has been and remains committed to capture and control of vital natural resources wherever they exist, and by any means necessary. It is up to the American public to decide if we should continue this policy.
 
 
+15 # Jill of York 2011-12-21 06:29
Let's be honest here. The US is the largest terrorist organization on the planet and we go around murdering anyone we chose. We have lost thousands of US soldiers and wounded thousands as well as murdering innocent civilians around the world and here's the part that really pisses me off US citizens ignore these wars as if they do not exist. We sit idly by and allow our government to do these crimes over and over and over again. Americans are complicit in these crimes by our silence, by our stupidity, by our allowing this to occur. The US is a disgrace. And so are Americans we have allowed this to happen just as the Germans allowed the Nazi to murder the Jews. There is no difference here except our denial.
 
 
+11 # Harold R. Mencher 2011-12-21 08:50
Watching Democracy Now today on FSTV concerning the Haditha incident, the massacre of a whole family by U.S. soldiers in the middle of the night in revenge for a roadside bombing that killed some of their comrades the day before, & with 6 out of the 7 culprits being found not guilty, we're no different than the Nazis, who, as a rule, would murder some number of local townspeople for each occupying soldier that had been killed that day by the underground. The only reason why Hitler didn't get away with this was because Germany lost the war. Else, Germany would have been in the very same situation the U.S. is in today.

By the way, Jill, the John Hopkins Institute ran a scientific survey back in 2007 to estimate how many innocent Iraqi civilians had died as a result of the illegal invasion of their country by the U.S. They estimated at the time that at least 1400000 Iraqis had died as a direct result of our invasion of their country. At the same time, they also estimated that well over 4 million Iraqis were made homeless and/or countryless as a result of the war. And, that was in 2007. I don't even want to think of the number of Iraqis that have died up till now and who will continue die as a result of the continued occupation of Iraq by the U.S.

What scares me is that the world community is so afraid of us, the U.S., that we, our country, can literally get away with almost anything and no one will make any attempt to stop us.
 
 
+8 # davidhp 2011-12-21 07:43
This war of occupation is not over - 5,000 U.S. paid mercenaries are still in Iraq to protect the U.S. Embassy Compound and American contractors (like war profiteering Halibuton). The U.S> Embassy in Iraq is the largest U.S. Embassy in the world - why - because of the oil. Predator drones will still be killing people in Iraq. The regular military combat troops are out, but the occupation remains.
 
 
+1 # Activista 2011-12-22 08:42
davidhp:"The regular military combat troops are out, but the occupation remains"
YES - plus the regular military combat troops are "ready" down in Kuwait "to protect Iraqi people".
US generals/crimin als started CIVIL war in Iraq - the same in Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, Palestine, Yemen ...
 
 
+3 # fredboy 2011-12-21 08:05
The military/corpor ate money pit widened when the failure of 9/11 put the US mindset on the defense. We had to be, both individually and collectively, the world’s tough guy, wrapping a flag around the argument that we would perish otherwise.

What negates this premise, however, is the failures of both 9/11 and Iraq. We failed to foresee or prepare for even the remote possibility of 9/11 despite numerous, blatant warnings, and failed to launch interceptors or share warnings when the planes were hijacked--our first Air National Guard holiday. And Iraq was pledged to be a "blitz" with "shock and awe" (lots of Nazi imagery) and over in a year, with Iraq oil paying for the whole enterprise.

Thus we now become the world's bully, while few--based on past failures and atrocities--tak e that threat seriously. Best restart it all with a national course in Diplomacy 101 before we walk into a real bear trap.
 
 
+3 # Harold R. Mencher 2011-12-21 15:37
I'm sorry, but based on the actual physical evidence, photographs and video taken that day, September 11th, 2001, 9/11 was perpetrated by the Bush administration in order to justify to the American people all of the egregious things that the Bush administration did and is being continued under the Obama administration, his illegal invasions and continued occupations of both Afghanistan and Iraq, the illegal covert attacks in Pakistan and in other countries in northern Africa and Yemen using pilotless drones under the auspices of the Obama administration illegally assassinating U.S. citizens without official charge or trial, and so much much, not the least being the complete and utter destruction of our Constitution and our Bill of Rights.

None of the above would have been feasible or even possible without another Pearl Harbor event taking place as specified on page 51 of PNAC's "Rebuilding America's Defenses."

Reference the following URL (PDF File):

http://www.newamericancentury.org/RebuildingAmericasDefenses.pdf

What happened on September 11th, 2001, was, in fact, a false-flag event signed off and authorized by probably by both Dick Cheney and George W. Bush. Literally everything that has happened so far since 9/11 is spelled out by PNAC.
 
 
+1 # Activista 2011-12-22 08:47
Great analysis - re: national course in Diplomacy 101 before we walk into a real bear trap?
I believe that we are in the trap and bear is dying (like CCCP did) -
Hope that some OPTIMIST find way OUT of this trap. I do not see any.
 
 
+5 # wwway 2011-12-21 08:22
"War has become a normal condition," Andrew writes.
George Orwell wrote a very good description about a society obsessed with yet complacent to war in his novel, 1984.
 
 
+4 # fredboy 2011-12-21 12:33
Orwell's 1984 has been the nation's script since January 2001.
 
 
+2 # RLF 2011-12-22 05:26
Perhaps the only thing that could get me to vote for Obama again is if he started prosecutions of Bush/Cheney for lying us into a war. I'm holding my breath!
 
 
+2 # carurosu 2011-12-22 08:27
I am chilean. My country lived the problems of a military "junta" which seems similar yo your police in war equipment. I loved the U.S. of 1949-1953 (time when I lived there), but no more. Your Bush's government (or absence of) really overwhlmed me, and I compari it with our timid military government which has only 3.000 missing person during a 16 year old government. I despise your actual attitude towadr Your %&"¡?Ç government. I exclude Mr. Obama because he inherited criminals Bush, Cheney & Bush's governorship. I hope, yhat for all the world you may solve your inttenable position, and go back to the place where a word pledged was a pledge met with. I don't Know what U.S. is today, but from what I read, it is not a place where I would lakely go back to.

Carlos de la Barra G.
Civil Engineer (74 years old)
 
 
+1 # tclose 2011-12-22 19:41
Prof. Bacevich has written a thoughtful and credible article that should cause every Americans to examine their responsibility for the consequences of our past political decisions. His unstinting statement of the truth should give us the gumption to change our national immoral stance.

Obama has been a big disappointment in not changing some of these corrosive policies, but he is clearly preferable to any of the current crop of Republicans, who would only accentuate the tendencies outlined by Bacevich.

Bacevich has btw written a terrific book called The Limits of Power - a must reading.

Thank you, Professor, for your clearly reasoned analysis.
 

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