Ali on the Approaching Chaos

Our British friend "Ali" has contributed this cogent comment which I am glad to give pride of place.  pl


"I agree with Pat that Casey should not be in his job. Constantly offering light at the end of the tunnel when in fact a train is bearing down on the mission was a great error in Vietnam; it’s been repeated here. It is the candor thing; he never faked sincerity well and has now obviously been as habitually cavalier with the truth as Rummie.

British soldiers do expect a CGS to be a wily politician fighting their corner. They know their generals are a slippery bunch of slim customers. Given the adversarial nature of British politics an institution as down trodden as their Army that needs such skills rather more than a poker backed exemplar. That said the current chap also plays the simple soldier rather well:

Marlowe above suggests: "In my opinion, men and women in the military should have resigned their commissions when they realized that the invasion and occupation of Iraq was a fraud sold to the world on false trumped-up reason"

In an ideal world perhaps but as a great many wars have an essentially fraudulent beginning this perhaps expecting too much. When a state moves to crush an enemy it’s often for long term strategic reasons and a suitable provocation has to invented or exaggerated to achieve popular support. An event like Pearl Harbor is the exception the Gulf of Tonkin is more the rule. This isn’t just an American habit it’s universal. Aggressive wars are often a necessity and even the Romans felt the need to invent excuses for them.

In the case of the Iraq invasion itself I’m sure Marshall would have saluted and done his job. The isolationist US public was not the least bit kean on raising a finger against the Third Reich as it ravaged Europe in 39. I’m thankful Marshall worked for that great political dissembler FDR who sneakily aided the allies from the start of the war and not some rule bound boy scout. Deceit is not an issue that a responsible General will give up his stars for; that is simply how the politics often continues into war.

A greater question is should an army prosecute a war they have good cause to believe is against their national interest? Pearl Harbor is actually a good example. The Japanese Admiralty knew the attack was strategic folly; a desperate roll of the dice. Yet they obeyed their Emperor. Most militaries in the service of a modern state would do the same. The British military were always riddled with dissent over Iraq but nobody fell on their sword in protest.

From a US perspective Iraq can’t even be placed in the obvious blunder category. The case presented for war to a willingly deceived US public was laughably thin. While in London the sandcastle muttered nervously and people took to the streets in their millions there was barely a whisper of protest in the US body politic, even the bastions of the "liberal" US media cried for war.

It really is not hard to see why the the brass would nod along knowingly with the Pentagon suits on this one. Saddam was an unresolved problem; a likely source of future wars. The Middle East is water poor and energy rich. The Persian Gulf is the greatest geopolitical prize in the world. The unipolar moment was upon us. Given the window of opportunity afforded by 9-11 the land of the two rivers was an obvious theater to demonstrate the efficacy of expensively purchased US military power. After a decade of sordid, enervating peacekeeping at last a lovely war of maneuver in open desert. The US military having trounced this foe before was absolutely certain of the success of the initial invasion. Dissent was expressed about troop levels to support an occupation and the operations costly difficulty but it would be a very eccentric soldier that resigns in these circumstances.

There was very little public mention in the US of the very obvious strategic problems of removing Iran’s main impediment to expansion. But then a subtle soldier would calculate the immense diplomatic leverage the fall of Baghdad would offer DC. A blunter one might imagine the M1As storming Tehran by Autumn. Neither would have had a chance to fully appreciate the nepotistic incompetence and blinkered ideological foolishness of this administration. Au fond it’s the rigidity of PNAC dogma that doomed this operation from the start.

Now we have Petraeus and his big brained clique bumped up. Instead of resigning they soldiered on as the brass dallied with big kinetic operations. Finally it looks like they’ll be allowed to fight the war in manner they hope could win it. Too late; they know the odds are heavily stacked against them but its their job to go on trying until a merciful POTUS throws in the towel.

The American voter gave this luckless President a second term and a mandate despite his stubbornly uncorrected blunders. The truth was evident; they just balked at the bitter pill. It is there that civic courage failed."  Ali

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48 Responses to Ali on the Approaching Chaos

  1. Tim says:

    Thank you Ali for your comment, and thank you Col Lang for posting it.
    I think this post raises the question: “What are we truth-seeking, republic-loving, Constitution-reading Americans to do in these times?”
    I do not serve in the government or the military, and my direct influence over government policy is, shall we say, minimal. I did my part at the ballot box, and was especially proud to have helped elect Jim Webb. Of course in a country of 300 million we as individuals must accept a large measure of powerlessness, but beyond voting for national office every two years, what can a citizen do?
    My feeling is to take a cue from Warren Buffett. When he was offered internet-boom Kool Aid, an analagous situation to the ‘bubble’ of happy fantasy policy of the Bush years, Buffett did nothing. That is, he did nothing different – he kept investing in companies with value, kept doing the things he knew were right and knew would make him successful.
    I believe that there is a valuable lesson here that many of us average American citizens could (re)learn. In practical terms, I think a Buffett approach to good citizenship in the Bush era means three pretty basic things.
    First, get smart. I’m no professor, but I think reading a few books about the history and culture of the Middle East, perhaps even at the expense of a few hours with Fox News or the Washington Post would help us challenge the Kool-Aid drinkers. One can even supplement this new found knowledge by talking to a few of the millions of citizens and immigrants who might know something first hand about Iran, Iraq, Syria, or North Korea.
    Second, it means to realize that our leaders are not divine, not omniscient, and not even necessarily (but hopefully) smarter than us. They are simply fellow citizens with a job to do, and it is our duty to make sure they are doing it. We can learn a lot about this from Britain, where politicians are given the respect they deserve, which can be a great deal or none at all.
    Third, as Ali said, we citizens have a bitter pill to swallow indeed – that our country, our ideals, and our reputation as a nation and as individuals have been significantly diminished by this administration. We as citizens were presented with a test, and we failed. I know I did. I ‘supported’ the war in Iraq (not by actually doing anything tangible of course, but just by telling my friends and family I did), even though I knew better. Yes, there is dishonor in this, but I/we deserve it. That is what a bitter pill means. It’s bitter.
    The lesson I think is one for the long term. In the long term, I feel that if we as individual citizens learn more, question more, and challenge more, then next time we won’t drink the Kool-Aid, and will have the ammunition we need to debate and vote intelligently.

  2. Jay McAnally says:

    “…The truth was evident; they just balked at the bitter pill. It is there that civic courage failed.” Ali
    Thank you both for a perfectly brilliant reminder of the painfully obvious. (and for the “new” word — Au fond. I like it!)

  3. Antifa says:

    The odds that historians will record the 2000 and 2004 elections as stolen outright for George Bush are excellent.
    This man, his Presidency, and his wars were not and are not supported by over half of the voting public in America.
    The only result of Bsh pursuing Iraq further, or pursuing war in Iran, is compounded disaster followed by abrupt impeachment.

  4. Serving Patriot says:

    Thanks fro promoting the comment! Ali says it all – too bad it cannot be broken out for distribution beyond the blogoshpere.

  5. Leila says:

    Maybe I’m just a cosseted San Francisco liberal (ok Oakland, same thing) but I object to the statement “there was barely a whisper of protest in the US body politic”.
    Don’t you remember all those peace marches every month in the run-up to the war? half a million in San Francisco alone, on three occasions, and there were marches in every major US city and many small ones. Millions did turn out in the USA. And repeatedly, I might add.
    Perhaps if Ali writes from abroad and only watched the US media reports, he isn’t aware of this. The press tried to downplay it. People were outraged, people took to the streets. Just because our voices were dismissed and denigrated doesn’t mean we weren’t speaking up.
    My father-in-law, an architect and kind of a curmudgeon, got himself to SF from his suburban hideaway to march – he was outraged about Iraq. He’s not the sort to go to protest marches at all. I think many who normally don’t take to the streets did so in the early months of 2003. We couldn’t stop the war but we registered our protest. It’s the fault of the media for ignoring it.

  6. lina says:

    “The American voter gave this luckless President a second term and a mandate despite his stubbornly uncorrected blunders. The truth was evident; they just balked at the bitter pill. It is there that civic courage failed.” Ali
    Out of some 120 million American voters, a paltry 113,000 in the state of Ohio ushered in Bush’s second term. Thank you very much. And it wasn’t lack of civic courage as much as effective propaganda, the likes of which we’ve not seen since Herr Goebbels.
    The real puzzle here is why Tony Blair ruined his place in history for this folly.
    We’ve seen this movie before:
    “The adventure that came to be known as the Second Crusade was another folly. It failed in its undertakings and by its failure added to the presitige of Islam. It came at the wrong time, for the wrong motives, and was led by the wrong people. But it began with high hopes, intense excitement, and a sense of destiny. It was led by two kings. Louis VII of France and Conrad III of Germany were princes in the grand tradition, possessing gifts of command and organization and a highly developed sense of the operations of governments in their own countries. Once they were outside their own countries, their understanding failed them.”
    (from Robert Payne’s The Dream and The Tomb)

  7. 1MaNLan says:

    Very interesting, clear and insightful post. Thank you. Everyone should read this and reflect.
    But, I wonder, When Gen. Shinseki asked for a few hundred thousand troops in the run up to the Iraq war (only to get retired early for his troubles)….what was that about? I have read interpretations that he was actually speaking for the “brass”, as a way of obliquely warning against the invasion (since, as the thinking goes, we really did not have hundreds of thousands of troops to send). Is this intepretation incorrect or overstated in your view?
    Perhaps it is just a question of WHICH brass was for and against (and which side won the argument), but seems to imply that at least a sizeable minority was not for this invasion “thing”. Could it be that a sizeable majority was against the invasion, and not sold at all on the geopolitical merits of the gambit? If so, we can draw the lesson that speaking of any country’s brass as a monolithic entity, agreeing to go in one direction for one purpose…is going to lead us astray in our attempt to understand. When powerful people after all, even generals, do not agree, their “resistance” can and will come out in all kinds of ways, whether they “toe the line” or not.
    Perhaps, like Yamamoto or Lee, the gens, “more or less”, decided to go along with the (neocon) program to the best of their ability, since this was their duty. However, I still marvel at the utter lack of post invasion, stabilization plans. To me, this implies a gaping hole in the “planning machine”. Sheer incompetence? An outcome of dissention in the ranks with no one takng responsibility, post invasion? It says much, but…exactly what? I would love to hear your thoughts on this.

  8. Babak Makkinejad says:

    US went to war for emotional reasons not rational ones.

  9. Now we have Petraeus and his big brained clique bumped up. Instead of resigning they soldiered on as the brass dallied with big kinetic operations. Finally it looks like they’ll be allowed to fight the war in manner they hope could win it. Too late; they know the odds are heavily stacked against them but its their job to go on trying until a merciful POTUS throws in the towel.
    The American voter gave this luckless President a second term and a mandate despite his stubbornly uncorrected blunders. The truth was evident; they just balked at the bitter pill. It is there that civic courage failed.

    This is a military example of what Thomas Kuhn referred to as a “paradigm shift.”
    The United States entered the Iraq War governed by the paradigm that high tech “shock and awe” techniques would suffice to win the Iraq war.
    A part of this paradigm was that there were no meaningful lessons to have been learnt from Vietnam or – interestingly – the host of other guerrilla insurgencies that nevertheless had enjoyed so much success during the 20th century.
    Indeed, there is a case that the United States entered into the Iraq War precisely to prove to itself that Vietnam had no meaning.
    (To a remarkable extent, the United States appears to be engaged in an internal struggle against its experience in the 60’s rather than an external struggle against some foreign foe, and Iraq just got caught in the crossfire.)
    Paradigms take a long time to collapse. Einstein, for example, spent the last half of his career trying to disprove quantum mechanics; and it was fifty years before Cartesians would accept Newtonian physics.
    An adoption of a guerilla centric paradigm would have massive implications for American society. For example, I recently have been reading H. John Poole’s books. If we were to adopt his approach, then more than just basic training for infantry would have to be changed. Much of his proposed training would have to be begun earlier – during high school or even junior high school. Essentially, if we were to adopt Poole’s suggestions, then athletic programs should be revamped, so that ninja type stealth could be developed. Versions of capture the flag or of hide-and-go-seek could accomplish this.
    And this would mean a downgrading – or even elimination – of high school football.
    Paradigm shifts require this sort of restructuring. So people resist it.

  10. jonst says:

    I was thinking the same thing. There were tons of demonstrations. They were ignored or downplayed.
    Most emphatically, the USA did not GO to war for “emotional reasons”. The majority of the people were talked into supporting the war with “emotional” lullaby’s. The USA (BushCo and weak Dems) went to war for supremely logical reasons:
    2.currency concerns (world shifting to Euros for purchase of oil)
    5.tossing red meat to the Rapturists, the End of Days, types, the new heart and soul of the GOP.

  11. Chris Marlowe says:

    Most of my background has been in the corporate world, so I look at things in terms of “How does this serve our best interests, and how much will it cost?”
    In 2002, it was clear to me that there was no end game to Iraq. Nobody could answer what the desirable outcome would be, and when it would be achieved. This sent off alarm bells in my head.
    It may sound funny for someone in the corporate world to call on military officers to resign for a bogus war on moral grounds. After all, what is so moral about the corporate world?
    The reason is because officers are responsible for the lives of the men and women under their command. I have made mistakes in business, but no one has had to pay with their lives for my mistakes. War is a much more unforgiving business; people die, and irreparable holes are torn in the lives of the people they leave behind.
    This brings us to the issue of occupation. Most occupations begin for good reasons; the occupier brings order to chaos, and freedom to the people. But inevitably, the reasons wear thin, and at the end of the day, the argument is , boiled down to its essence, might makes right. That is why I reject occupation and colonialism as an acceptable form of rule, even though one could make a very cogent argument that most Africans lived better under colonialism in the early 20th century than as independent nations with their own corrupt rulers.
    Was Saddam Hussein a bad man, responsible for the deaths of many of his countrymen and women? Yes. But he was not a menace to anyone in early 2003. He was completely boxed in.
    I believe that the whole idea of a world economy based on petroleum is a disaster on all levels, and the sooner we change to alternative means of energy, the better. I don’t know of a single oil-producing nation where people have benefited significantly from oil revenue; in most cases, it has supported the rise of corrupt oligarchies. In the consumer economies of North America and Europe, and now China and India, we are just beginning to realize the cost in terms of environmental damage and global warming, which will become much worse in the upcoming decades.
    It is my belief, that in 100 years, the history books will write about Operation Iraqi Freedom as the last hurrah of Texas-based petroleum oligarchs in their bid to corner, what was at their time, a vital energy resource. I don’t think a “war on terror” will even be mentioned.
    The only way out for the American people is to make a clean break with the past, and to take a more active role in politics. The price of democracy is eternal vigilance, not just against external threats, but against internal enemies who attempt to corrupt the system. All Americans are responsible for this war because we did not do enough to stop it, and we allowed a corrupt corporate media machine to spin this in the Bush administration’s favor.
    That is why we need to make a clean break with the past if there is an election in 2008. My dream ticket would be Obama/Webb.
    Ali, I must disagree with you when you say “luckless president”. The whole problem with George W. Bush is that he has never had to pay for the bad decisions he has made all his life; that is why he has never learned from his mistakes; he didn’t need to. The luckless people are hundreds of thousands of Iraqis who have lost their families, homes and lives, as well as the thousands of Americans dead and wounded, the vast majority of whom are good and decent people who died for a bad cause.

  12. VietnamVet says:

    Ali and Colonel;
    Excellent post it is but imbued with an excess of British rationality. Afghanistan alone would have been long tough haul to establish a democratic western leaning government; a fact documented by the Soviet Union’s failure and America’s Vietnam experience. If rational realists were in charge of the USA, the first Abrams tank would never have crossed the Kuwait border.
    Instead, all the human emotions of pride, greed, anger, and fear culminated in the Iraq Invasion to kick some Muslim ass; propelled by Agitprop generated by the Pentagon and the White House, disseminated through Corporate Media and enabled by a GOP Congress.

  13. Will says:

    i had to break down again and use my Systrans translator
    au fond= at the bottom
    but I blundered into an amazing discovery IT TRANSLATES BACK AND FORTH INTO ARABIC.
    here’s a sample. Judge the quality for yourself
    the recent interview with the Iranian Defense Minister
    هدد المرشد الأعلى للثورة الإسلامية الإيرانية علي خامنئي بالرد على أي هجوم أميركي بضرب مصالح الولايات المتحدة في أي مكان من العالم.
    “The guide threatened high for revolution Islamic the American Iranian on Khameni in the reply on any attack in beating services of the United States in any place from the world.

  14. Babak Makkinejad says:

    I disagree.
    Many many American officials inside and outside of USG, analysts, savants etc. pointed out to the folly of the Iraqi venture – they mustered many many rational arguments based on considered opinion and experiences of individuals involved with the region in general and Iraq in particular. Their arguments could not persuade the electorate, their representatives, or USG officials of the Bush Administration.
    When one disregards multiple and over-lapping rational arguments that are advising against an specific possible course of action by not proffering rebuttals but persists on that course, one is no longer making decisions based on rational reasons – ergo emotional reasons.
    Anyway, many people like short and victorious wars – it caresses their collective ego and feeds into that all too common love-hate feeling that we all have with the fellow members of our species

  15. D.Witt says:

    Thank you for your post Ali–I believe you have made some good points, but also have glossed over some of your key points: As others here have noted, there were massive demonstrations across the US (I participated in NYC), and there was pushback by those of us who realized that the bait-and-switch was on, using the ‘GWOT’ as cover for imperial warfare in Iraq.
    It cannot be stated enough that the Bush regime has broken many laws, including the Constitution itself, in order to prosecute its war. As Bushco’s handmaiden, the Republican National Party committed numerous illegal acts to influence the vote, including key states Ohio, New Hampshire and Florida. Starting with the fact that Bush was appointed POTUS by judicial fiat, leads me to belive that your conclusion is a simplistic toss-off.
    To be sure, there are many Americans who believe (or used to) that Iraq presented a real threat to the US, however, this also has to do with the basic psychological makeup of some individuals who are predisposed towards following authority ( see:
    It is a sad fact of life that the ‘art’ of coercing the public to go along with wars and national adventurism is a highly practiced art, and one that has been around a lot longer than Bush and Cheney–in its essence, the dynamics of the US war in Iraq are very similar to the Spanish-American war, right down to the ‘yellow journalism’ that stoked support for the war, the demonization of the enemy as a scourge and a threat to the US, and the promise to bring ‘freedom and democracy’ to our new acquisitions.
    This sort of war could be started in any type of government, and perhaps some Americans were falsely cosseted by a belief in our government as provided within the Constitution–the US is in a Constitutional crisis, precipitated by a well-planned attempt to grab and tighten the reins of US power, in an attempt to consolidate an American Empire. However, much like Iraq, there was never a post-conquest plan, both situations were all about grabbing the power as a means to it own end, which is why both situations have ended up on the rocks of reality.

  16. Matthew says:

    Consider another view: Iraq is not a disaster if your goal is to atomize the ME and fuel the American War Economy. I know it’s easier to think that people are dumb than it is to think they are evil, particularly, when they speak English and have been elected.
    Also consider the alternative. Without war, our politicians have to face the looming Social Security crisis. That’s why Iran is doomed.

  17. chimneyswift says:

    Ali, I agree very much with the majority of what you say. However, it is a matter of conspicuous failure on the part of US leadership to ignore the cultural and historical reality of the region and the country.
    It has been something of a consciously undertaken challenge on the part of several prominent liberal bloggers to counter the US media-myth that “There was no way one could have anticipated the obstacles we have faced.” This is the same point you incidentally reinforce when you write:
    “Neither would have had a chance to fully appreciate the nepotistic incompetence and blinkered ideological foolishness of this administration. Au fond it’s the rigidity of PNAC dogma that doomed this operation from the start.”
    This was indeed a huge part of the issue. Just as large a part, however, was the historic background that makes Iraq such a horrible place to attempt to occupy. I agree that the “blinkered ideological foolishness” of the PNACers was almost impossible to anticipate, especially in its magnitude. However, the history is there for anyone with an openness to learning to find. Presumably, anyone planning a complex geopolitical operation would have responsibility to undertake such exploration.
    Furthermore, as Chris Marlowe writes:
    “In 2002, it was clear to me that there was no end game to Iraq. Nobody could answer what the desirable outcome would be, and when it would be achieved.”
    All that being said, your points about the duty and likely conduct of a uniformed military are very relevant and they ring true. Thank you for them, and thank you, Col, for bringing them to us.

  18. arbogast says:

    I must raise my voice in loyal opposition.
    I believe that Ali is wrong in almost every respect.
    What has happened in the US is service to a foreign power by elected officials and members of the press. Of course, none dare call it treason, but I challenge you to find another accurate description.
    Rupert Murdoch, Judith Miller, Feith, Wolfowitz, Peretz, Libby, Cheney, Bush, etc. etc.
    These are the people who cooked up the Iraq adventure and deceived the American people.
    I do not believe there is a historical precedent.
    Algeria? Algeria was a long-time colony of France. Thousands upon thousands of French lived in Algeria, were born in Algeria, had spent their lives in Algeria. Almost all Algerians spoke French, and many French spoke Arabic.
    Where, in the name of God, is the parallel? There is none.
    Oil? It was the United States that was preventing Hussein from exporting oil.
    Israel has always wanted American troops to protect it in the Middle East. Now, it has them.
    The next step in this master plan is the saturation bombing of Iran. For what? To prevent fictional IED’s from entering Iraq? Of course, and pigs can fly.
    The entire scenario was planned by people who do not, by the remotest standard, have the best interests of the United States at heart.

  19. Kevin Hayden says:

    I agree with Leila. Unlike the first Gulf War, supported by 86% of the public, this war had 40% opposing it by an American public unconvinced, in spite of the mass media sycophancy blare.
    Bush did receive majority blessing once, in 2004, but by less than 2%. If that truly reflected the US, that means less than 156m for and more than 144m against.
    I do find that disconcerting just the same, but as we now see, there remains over 90m supportive despite an abundance of evidence of the folly and corruption. Talk about Kool-Aid drinkers!
    But then, there are those who still persist in the beliefs that Vietnam was not lost by flawed policymakers, nor that the South lost our own Civil War. It is ideology triumphing over reason that we most have to work on changing.
    That’s the ultimate test of the odds for a nation advancing: can enough people think instead of succumbing to the lure of unthinking submission to ideologues whose real purpose is repression?

  20. matt says:

    I would like to ‘second’ a few of the comments above regarding the role of american citizens in sharing the responsibility for this mess. I wholeheartedly agree that ALi’s post was observant and onpoint, yet i too feel that it belies a lack of understanding that the locus of Bush’s presidency was indeed election fraud in FLA (’00) and Ohio (’04). It is often considered ‘bad form’ to really go on about this topic – very easily marginalized as some sort of liberal ‘crank’, but reality is reality. The result of the election system in America can (should) be held responsible – not the voters themselves… It was the result of those events that brought the true believers (wolfowitz, feith, into their positions of authority.
    I was at a professional conference a year ago with many college historians present. I was engaged in a social conversation at an evening cocktail party with one young fellow (adjucnt or assistant professor) who was obviously reading Mann’s “Rise of the Vulcans” and quoting from it at length. (also citing at length natan sharanky’s recent book). I found myself in a real disagreement with him and the “Trump Card” of his argument with me went along the lines of “well, look – elections have consequences…” (How many times did we hear william Kristol utter that banality on Faux News Sunday?)
    It was at that point in our coversation that i said, “yes, indeed. They certainly do! So let’s talk about how this president basically stole the presidency in 2000.
    Silence. Followed by the slightly arrogant head shake that nonverbally announces “we’ve reached the end of this conversation.”
    Exceedingly small consolation, but i think that history will treat the manner in which this “cabal” came into power as a significant part of the story. A part of the story that i feel Ali minimizes.
    thanks. love the blog !

  21. Eaken says:

    Tim – Thank you for the nice thoughts, but you are preaching to the choir.
    Leila – Thanks to you and your father-in-law for protesting.
    Chris Marlowe – I agree with you regarding the “luckless president” comment. The first thing that popped into my head upon reading that sentence is how lucky Bush, Cheney, and the rest of the NGO and SIGs are to be leading (I use this term loosely) a country which would vote them into office not once, but twice!
    This is not about luck and all about wishful thinking. They are two very different and distinct things.

  22. Bob Gaines says:

    This is a splendid example of the comments being more insightful than Ali’s post, good and useful as it is.
    Ali’s cynicism about generals may be warranted, but it is certainly a sad commentary on those who make it to the top of the profession. I wonder if he would be quite so sanguine if he or his children were facing death because of their commanders’ moral cowardice and calculation.
    Ali is simply wrong to assert that “there was barely a whisper of protest in the US body politic” before the war began. (It was different, of course, once the “rally round the troops” effect took hold.)
    As Leila pointed out, there were many demonstrations in the US, beginning in the fall of 2002. Over half a million turned out in NY City on February 15, 2003, joining with protests around the world that day. (Here’s a useful compilation of pictures of the world-wide protests from 2002 to 2005:
    And many Americans wanted to avoid a war. A September 2002 poll by the Program on International Policy Attitudes* found: “In the current debate about whether America’s goal should be to seek to disarm Iraq of its weapons of mass destruction or to achieve regime change the public comes down on the side of disarmament. Asked to choose between two arguments 68 percent chose the one that said that “If Iraq allows the UN to conduct unrestricted inspections, the U.S. should agree to not invade Iraq.””
    Even after the Administration’s mendacious 6-month campaign to promote the war, the Gallup poll on the eve of the invasion found that only 56% approved of the way the president was “handling the situation in Iraq.” (Not surprisingly, approval jumped to 71% a week later.)
    *Program on International Policy Attitudes: A joint Program of the Center on Policy Attitudes and the Center for International and Security Studies at Maryland, School of Public Affairs, University of Maryland

  23. Cloned Poster says:

    Will, can you think about your post and post it again.

  24. zanzibar says:

    In defense of those that opposed the strategic blunder called Iraq occupation despite the intense attack of lacking courage, patriotism and appeasing the enemy.
    The Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002 was opposed by 133 Representatives in the House and 23 Senators. These representatives of the American people showed real judgement and demonstrated real courage.
    Even at the peak of the hysteria in late 2002 over 35% of the American public in polls opposed the invasion.
    Several prominent ex-General Officers in the military, diplomats, military analysts/strategists and political leaders warned about the folly and predicted the outcomes. Many citizens voiced their opposition by marching, writing letters to editors and their representatives and making their voices heard by other means.
    Of course to no avail. There never was unanimity nor overwhelming public support here in the US for this folly. But the corporate media shilling for themselves and the military-industrial-media complex amplified the war propaganda for private gain.
    Now we know that the Decider and his “rasputin” were hell bent on using US military power to show who was boss around the world egged on by the neo-cons and the American Likudniks who dominated this Administration’s national security policy apparatus. We also know that it is highly unlikely anyone will be held to account for the treasonous act of deliberately cherry picking intelligence and misleading the country into attacking a sovereign nation that posed no direct threat to the US which has now cost America so dearly in blood, treasure and international credibility. And destroyed the lives of thousands of innocent Iraqis. As citizens we should reward those politicians that demonstrated good judgment in the face of intense personal pressure and punish those who were feckless or had poor judgment for the most critical decision to commit lives to danger.

  25. Pudentilla says:

    Let us not forget the role the corporate spokesmen…oops, I mean media, played in the 2000 and 2004 election. There’s plenty

  26. Tim says:

    Italics begone.

  27. Will says:

    @cloned. The Systrans post was to illustrate 1) the diference b/n translation and interpretation and 2) that Farsi and its speakers are, sadly, not on the map yet.
    The main point I make in all my postings is simple. The solution starts in an impsed peace on Israel and the Palestinians. It removes the American Likudnik NeoKons from the picture by depriving them of their motive to go after Greater Israel’s enemies, near and abroad. They are causing havoc, chaos, and destruction in the world and upon America. They truly have dual loyalties- from Woflie to Feith and their ilk.
    The achieved exactly what they wanted in Irak. An atomized country in Chaos. That’s why Wolfie as no. 2 at the Pentagon undermanned the Invasion and why Feith as No. 3 fired the Iraki Army and instructed Bremer to do deep de-Baathication.
    There will be simple regime change in Iran and democratization. The real plan is atomization. Setting a civil war in motion between Kuhzestan Arab, Azerbaizani, Persian, Kurd, Sistani, Baluchi, and whoever else is in that state. That is the NeoKon objective-pure and simple.

  28. walrus says:

    Thank you Col. Lang for posting Ali’s excellent analysis. I agree with all of the sentiments expressed here, but I would like to add one more.
    When the History of the Decline and Fall of the American Empire is finally written by another Edward Gibbons, I believe that the cause will ultimately by sheeted home to a broken electoral system that constrains those elected to govern in the interests of the groups who funded them. Furthermore, the increasingly bloodthirsty electoral campaigns deter the best people from even standing as candidates.
    What always kills countries is “Suicidal Statecraft” as I believe A.J.P. Taylor (?) said. Such folly, in a democracy, requires the election of blithering idiots, and America has twice elected a total moron, although his opponent last time wasn’t much better. This is a triumph of machine politics over common sense, and it will be repeated in 2008, possibly with the election of Hilary Clinton who , in my opinion, is the only person I can think of who could be worse in office than George W Bush.
    In my visits to America, I have always been struck by the average man’s total lack of curiosity about the rest of the world, and I put that down to a failed education system (another result of a broken electoral system). There seems to be no thirst for knowledge among the majority, just mindless consumption of half truths and total rubbish purveyed as fact.
    I believe that this lack of curiosity, and the resulting lack of knowledge about the rest of the world, has facilitated the crude deceptions that have gotten us into the Iraq war, and will shortly lead us into war with Iran, and possibly after that world war if President Putins comments yesterday are to be taken seriously.
    I’m sorry for being a Jeremiah, but until the American public wakes up and starts to re educate itself, starting with civics 101, things are only going to get much much worse.

  29. CJ says:

    Ali makes an interesting point about wars that are necessary for strategic reasons being justified or sold to the populace. Perhaps that is natural, as a segment of the populace will be the ones bleeding in distant lands for what is often vaguely understood in the early stages. History and the great masses of people forgive such trespass when the reasons prove valid and the prosecution is at least somewhat competent. Iraq was a mistake on many levels from the very start. No amount of tactical shifts or political posturing can change that fact. You hear all the reasons trotted out by the likes of Brooks or Safire or Weekly Standard types – it was disbanding the army, it was the looting, it was too many troops, it was too few… It is possible the whole adventure would have been on better footing had different decisions been made, but perhaps not. The great masses have come to the realization that this is a screwed pooch and history will likely pronounce it was a pre-screwed pooch. I don’t buy that the outcome would necessarily been different if we’d had better decisions or fate had tipped our way on some of the events. And yes, there were those who sounded the alarm well before the chain-link at the Kuwait border was cut. History will say that FDR led the nation into a world wide conflagration and deem it one of our finest sacrifices; Lyndon used Tonkin and it turned to tragedy; George prodded us into war and it is a national catastrophy.
    And I totally agree with Chris’ comment on our luckless president. He has never paid for his many failings. I suspect, given his capacity for self delusion and his inner circle’s propensity for denying reality for him, that he never will pay even the price of conscience. Yes, the luckless are those who live with the consequences of this folly… All of us, to greater and lesser extent.
    Thanks Pat and Ali.

  30. Chris Marlowe says:

    Lately I have spent some time thinking about how we can make a clean break with the presidency of George W. Bush.
    Electing for a change of direction is not enough because so much damage has been done to America’s international reputation and global standing. If we do nothing, we tell the world that we didn’t care about this war which was started under false pretenses and did not serve in America’s best interests.
    I have come around to the view that the best way is to conduct a full and open war crimes trial when this presidency ends. The defendants should be those who were involved in policy formulation as well as those in the corporate media who sold the war to the American public.
    Already Bush’s crony in the Justice Department Arturo Gonzales has been quietly fiddling with federal district attorney appointments, and filling those positions with more Bush cronies. I believe that they want to head off any chances that they may be brought to trial for war crimes. If prosecution in the US is not possible, they should be sent the World Court in The Hague for trial.
    I am normally against the death sentence, but considering the enormity of these crimes which have resulted in the loss of so many innocent American and Iraqi lives, I believe that they should be executed if found guilty. The execution of Saddam Hussein has set a good precedent for the execution of heads of state for committing crimes against humanity. I don’t want to see any of these people interviewed on 60 Minutes trying to justify their actions. For once in his life, George W. Bush would be held accountable for something he screwed up.
    Maybe this way we can bring some comfort to the souls of those killed and their families, and warn future American politicians that we will hold them accountable for wars started under false pretenses.
    Anything less would be barbaric.

  31. ali says:

    “Don’t you remember all those peace marches every month in the run-up to the war? ”
    Coincidentally I was at the protest for Bush’s inauguration in SF. I had friends at some of the US war protests, they were better reported on this side of the pond than in the US media. The way the US press voluntarily blacked out dissent was both sinister and surprising.
    But in a democracy of 300 million souls I’d still call it marginal compared to the full spectrum outrage in Europe. Presidential ratings and war support were up above the 70th percentile. Leading Democrats posed hawkishly and its only recently they’ve discovered Iraq was political poison.
    Not that us all peacefully taking to the streets in Europe did a wit of good. Some old fashioned bloody minded rioting was called for. It took Madrid for the Spanish to unseat their government. A badly wounded Tony Blair is still at bay in No 10 but it’s the all powerful POTUS that matters.
    There really should be no excuses made for failing to unseat Bush at the last Presidential election. Back then there was a fighting chance of salvaging something from the mess in Iraq. The Dems presented a terribly confused spectacle and all Rove had to do was pump up the fear. Please someone go and talk some sense unto the easily frightened Redstate mommy demographic that has kept the lovers of the PNAC in power. They surely can’t welcome sending their sons into another World War and that is where we are headed.
    Babek has it right Iraq was a national act of rage in the wake of 9-11. The POTUS looked like a frightened child comforted by his father days afterwards. Cheney in particular seems to have been warped by the fall of the towers. America was scared, shocked and throbbing at the temples. But why was that anger channeled into a military expression in Iraq rather than Saudi, Pakistan or even simply winning in Afghanistan?
    That decision had an entirely rational bipartisan policy basis that was already building up steam back in the last century. It’s just a logical extension of having the 5th fleet in the Gulf for the past 50 years. It smells of Manifest Destiny at work to me. Perhaps there was an alien Likudnik conspiracy providing some useful idiots to shoulder blame onto but I doubt such details will survive in the historical explanation.
    I have overly educated politically aware American friends who were utterly convinced that Saddam was in cahoots with Bin laden and about to nuke the Eastern Seaboard into oblivion. They desperately wanted to believe Feith’s flimsy constructions leaked to the WS because otherwise it was all about Israel or energy security not injured innocent America. Far from stupid people they ran screaming from any hint of realpolitik in DC. It took Katrina and the midterms to break that spell. After delusion we are now as Churchill said entering a period of consequences.
    “All Americans are responsible for this war because we did not do enough to stop it, and we allowed a corrupt corporate media machine to spin this in the Bush administration’s favor.”
    It’s unfair to snipe from across the pond but I do think this is the only constructive political lesson to take from last few years especially if Pat is right about Iran being in STRATCOMs bomb sight.
    (As an exiled Ulster Prod I’m usually Irish rather than British by the way Pat.)

  32. Babak Makkinejad says:

    That’s all a fantasy.

  33. Chris Stiles says:

    Leila —
    This doesn’t really wash. Start your entire argument with the contention that the election was stolen in 2000. The real iniquity is that knowing his form you allowed him to do this again in 2004, and that the election was close enough for this to be at all possible.
    2 million people marched in London. The half a million in New York was less than what the Promise Keepers got out in your nations capital a few years previously.

  34. zanzibar says:

    Walrus, Your point about Hillary Clinton is well taken. But do you think John McCain would be better or worse than the Decider.
    IMO, a simple test of judgment should be applied to all candidates. Those that voted to authorize the AUMF showed either very poor judgment or made a bad political decision if they voted despite reservations. That rules out most of the current crop of candidates for my support.
    I will only seriously consider candidates who publicly opposed the Iraqi invasion and occupation in 2002 and had the courage of conviction to not waver under the intense pressure of being labeled a traitor and being attacked by every corporate media shill for being an enemy appeaser. In my mind there was test of character in late 2002 and very few passed.

  35. James Pratt says:

    jonst: I agree, few seem to remember that the overthrow of Saddam was the most important foreign policy agenda item in early 2001.
    This is not an administration that reacts with emotion, this is an administration that manipulates emotion to satisfy its core constituencies’ appetites for power and wealth.
    Oil is number 1, followed by Big Pharma, the heirs to large fortunes and Wall Street.
    Why would the current government buy more oil for the strategic petroleum reserve at precisely the times when the price per barrel drops by $5 or so?
    Why would the bin Laden matter be limited to a small intel group with drone aircraft in Afghanistan and the reluctant Pakistani military? Why would the North Korean matter be outsourced to the Chinese when American strategic interests in South Korea and Japan are under a real threat?
    Why are our three great enemies for now the people of Iraq, Iran and Venezuela? After six years of close observation I believe Bush and Cheney are obsessed with controlling the majority of the world’s petroleum reserves with the same monomania that Spanish conquistadores dreamed of gold. Their neocon allies are more likely to support the effort in the ME under the delusion that anything that kills Israel’s enemies really helps Israel.

  36. Will says:

    @Babak: Occam’s razor. Look for the explanation w/ the fewest moving parts- the simplest. The actor is presumed to intend the consequences of his actions. That is the simplest explanation. The NeoKon Likudniks intended to atomize Irak and intend to do the same to Iran. “Intent” is that purpose for which one acts. It is a mental state, that lacking that new medical imaging procedure I recently referenced must be inferred from conduct. Otherwise, is specualtive fantasy like Ptolemy’s epicylces to explain planetary motions.
    For those interested in criminal law. For a conviction, three elements must exist, mens rea, actus rea, and conincidence. The mental state, the physical act, and causation.
    A couple of further observations.
    1. the conventional wisdom is that Afghanistan was the right war and Irak was the wrong one. I would challenge even that. A punitive raid in Afghanistan overthrowing the Taliban would have been enough, but to stay there forever is inviting another Soviet-style disaster. Afghanistan is a three party country. Farsi speaking but Sunni (?) Tajik w/ some Uzbeks in the North. Shiite Farsi speakers in the West. Phustu ethnics Sunni Pushtun speakers alllied with their relatives across an artificial border in NorthWest Pakistan. NATO (Nato in the European convention) and the U.S. will not be able to hold or occupy Afghanistan indefinitely.
    Where is the exit plan?
    2) There should be no surprise that Iran is retaliating against U.S. troops by smuggling shaped charges and Iranian knockoffs of Chineese QW-1 and blackmarket Russian SA-7 shoulderheld anti-aircraft missiles into Irak.
    It would be pure simple payback for ongoing U.S. black force operations inside the predominantly Sunni Arab oil-rich province of Khuzestan (sp?), Iranian Kurdistan, Baluchistan, and other places.
    It’s just Newton’s third Law applies to human interaction. For every force, there’s a counterforce, i.e. blowback.
    There is no substitute for dialogue and conflict resolution. And in my book, it all starts in the vicinity of Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Gaza, and Ramallah.

  37. Arun says:

    If the President does go to war with Iran with a 30% approval rating, and no support in Congress or Senate, then would it not show that ordinary civic courage would likely have been useless to prevent the Iraq war?

  38. John says:

    Ali’s post and follow up, along with the thoughts from Walrus are right on. (Ten years living overseas gives one a unique view of this country from the outside looking in.) In this country the opposition party appears more interested in winning a meaningless nomination than in governance. Nominations do not win national elections, coastal protest marches do not win national elections, nominating folks with the most liberal voting records does not win national elections; the ONLY thing that wins national elections is the electoral college. Fly-over country is over-represented in the electoral college. The opposition party has to deal with it, but refuses. They will continue to be out of executive power if they insist on nominating coastal liberals whose “values” are subject to withering ad hominem attacks through propaganda campaigns facilitated by the mainstream uninquisitive media.
    Thanks for the posts Ali, Walrus, Pat.

  39. Babak Makkinejad says:

    I meant that breaking Iran is a fantasy.
    As for the rest of your opinions – I also disagree – because I do not believe that there are that many smart people in theowrld, let alone in US or Israel.
    In fact, it is now clear that some one must step forward and save Israel and US from the consequences of their policies.
    (Yesterday Putin warned the West by articulating the position of many many states.)

  40. chimneyswift says:

    I tend to believe that Afghanistan could have worked and would have been a legitimate strategic holding vis-a-vis the Central Asian oil and gas deposits, regardless of the fact that those are not located in Afghanistan.
    The problem we would have faced in Afghanistan even w/o resource drain to Iraq is that I have discerned a kind of implicit hostility on the part of a significant group of policy influencers to ever substuantially bettering the lot of others in the world. This goes double for impoverished non-whites.
    It’s too bad, really, because I think that if we had come in to Afghanistan with money and a willingness to see prosperity and western-style prosperity flourish, there might have been some takers. Certianly, mind you, conservative tribal elders would have been likely to resist, but it would at least been worth trying.
    Now, of course, we’re sunk, and the Taliban is resurgent, and given the US’s locked in alliance with Pakistan, there seems to be an understandable confusion in Afghanistan as to just exactly what the US goals are.
    So is that the right war? Not any more.

  41. Chris Stiles says:

    I think the ‘breaking’/’collapsing’ of Iran is mostly fantasty and dangerous fantasy at that.
    Iran has a long history of geopolitical cohesion and a shared culture – unlike Iraq – and no major minorities of any size in it’s heartland. At best – and given a lot of time – the US could bomb it back into stone age, whereupon some kind of primitive and despotic regime would be all that’s left.
    Three further thoughts:
    – The ability of Iran to strike back militarily is being overestimated by some. Van Riper grade officers don’t exist for long within dogmatic regimes. The tales of Iranian pilots being reprieved to fly missions against Iraq bear consideration.
    – The ability of Iran to strike back through terrorist proxies is not being underestimated, but the suprising form that these attacks can take almost certainly is being underestimated. We simply have no idea where they would find it easiest to strike – that in itself is a huge risk.
    – If the US is foolish enough to try and take out all the various known nuclear sites, one of the first consequences will be a huge risk of proliferation of nuclear material into non state hands as various actors attempt a policy of dispersal.

  42. Ali, Excellent remarks that will hopefully go some way in clarifying mistaken perceptions.
    In assessing a present state of affairs, though, it is instructive to look at history and see whether it can teach us anything by way of analogies that might bring present circumstances into greater forms of focus.
    There are innumerable historians trying their hand at formulating a framework within which to see the conflict between Islam and the West. Taking off from the well-tested adage that those who frame the history gain an ideological right to wield power, we find in the US many on the right–especially the Neocons–attempting to use concepts borrowed from Cold War and WWII confrontations to assess the supposed dangers posed by Islamic terrorists.
    Once the historical dust devils settle in several years, though, I am inclined to think that the historians will find that JGA Pocock is correct when he states:

    The American universalism of the moment arises from another component of Enlightenment—the belief that if a state can have a commercial civil society and a free market, all other good things, including democracy and the separation of church and state, will consequently be added unto it. My professional bias tells me that there are historical preconditions that must be met before this can be true. (Pocock, “America’s Foundations, Foundationalisms,
    and Fundamentalisms,”
    p. 8)

    Pocock’s historical perspective is enlivened by his recent massive study of Gibbon’s work on the decline of the Roman Empire. Paramount in that work is the recognition of religion and barbarism and their roles in bringing about decline and renewal.
    As Pocock is subtly quick to note, though, the Enlightenment notions of barbarism have their source in a rising capitalism and commerce that they believed would bring about civilization–or “mannered” culture, as Hume and Voltaire (and Gibbon) called it.
    Yet, many Enlightenment historians and philosophers were aware of a tension between culture and the ancient value of virtue. This value is that which impels civilizations and people to maintain a personal relationship to their political and natural world which reflects a sense of unity with the forces and powers of the cosmos.
    With the spread of mannered culture, however, virtue itself suffered decline. Capitalism unleashes an immense array of alienating passions and desires that ultimately must be bridled to ensure order and stability–for further expansion and civilizing influence.
    Daniel Pipes (a Neocon historian) has gone on record as stating that Islamic radicalism represents a new barbarism. Basing himself on an emotionally charged description of beheadings and attacks on civilians, Pipes builds his case that Islamic radicals (if not Islam itself) is inherently barbaric. While there’s little argument that these acts are indeed barbaric, one could accuse Pipes of misidentifying tactics with strategy. That is, just as terrorism is itself a tactic in a much larger military effort, so beheadings and other despicable acts are not the entirety of the effort underway by Islamic radicals to confront and somehow delegitimate the West.
    Indded, there’s surely a sense in which the extremists could counter these accusations of barbarity by pointing to the dark history of capitalist expansionism in other parts of the world, not least of which includes the Mideast. Heart of Darkness has become the ultimate picture of where the Enlightenment project has lead.
    While these remarks do not present an exhaustive analysis of the conflict that will probably define the 21st century, it might at least indicate that those who wish to counter ensuing debacles need to rethink essential categories and concepts that so far continue to inform not only our way of thinking about history but also in manifesting it.
    At the same time, those who wish to counter future debacles must begin the work of historiography that undermines the attempts by the radical elements in our own midst of wielding ideological power through refashioning history in their own terms.

  43. brenda says:

    ‘Iraq Was Invaded To Protect Israel’ by Emad Mekay (IPS) 3/29/04
    Zelikow made his statements about “the unstated threat” during his tenure on a highly knowledgeable and well-connected body known as the President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board (PFIAB), which reports directly to the president. He served on the board between 2001 and 2003.
    “Why would Iraq attack America or use nuclear weapons against us? I’ll tell you what I think the real threat [is] and actually has been since 1990 – it’s the threat against Israel,” Zelikow told a crowd at the University of Virginia on September 10, 2002, speaking on a panel of foreign policy experts assessing the impact of September 11 and the future of the war on al-Qaeda.
    “And this is the threat that dare not speak its name, because the Europeans don’t care deeply about that threat, I will tell you frankly. And the American government doesn’t want to lean too hard on it rhetorically, because it is not a popular sell,” said Zelikow.
    See also exchange between Zelikow and Walt & Mearsheimer in letters to the editor (scroll down), London Review of Books 5/6/06

  44. Jaime Gormley says:

    In war, the moral is to the material as three is to one.
    This war was lost before the first Downing Street memo was written.
    Legitimacy. Don’t cross the border without it.

  45. Different Clue says:

    I remember the run up to the current Iraq war. I wasn’t in favor of it, but I
    was not very active in opposing. I never joined one of those futile protest marches over which the Kept Corporate Press dropped its Cone Of Silence. I got into
    some arguments with co-workers at work. Also, I wrote letters to Senator Hagel and Senator Lugar, because I thought they were voices of reason within the Republican Party, and I was resigned to the fact that we
    lived in a One Party State. That was the extent of my “activism”.
    About Americans embracing
    the war: my memory is that many ordinary Americans had their doubts about it, and wanted to see real genuine support (not coerced permission) from the UN first. This was in the early run-up phase. Also, many people here had real doubts about the excuses being given until Tony Blair loudly and proudly supported the reasons and the theories, and even had the British Government separately fake-up its own separate fake intelligence.
    Many Americans felt that Bush was kind of dumb and not to be followed on this, but if a smart man like Blair said it had to be done, maybe it had to be done. I think mainstream opposition from Middle America stopped building when Blair began strongly supporting the Bush position. Thank you so much, Tony Blair. (And in all fairness, thank you so much, go-along-to-get-along
    Democrats who voted to invade Iraq. You know who you are, and so do we. And if we don’t, we can always look it up).
    Finally, no. Bush was not
    elected either time. But many of us are docile and orderly, and would rather not accept the obvious fact that the Republican Party has figured out how to wage and win Ukrainian elections.
    Bush made a fine Yanukovich,
    but Kerry was no Yuschenko.

  46. Different Clue says:

    (I closed out too soon…
    In answer to Tim’s question above in the first post, the
    only realistic thing I can see to do about it is for those Americans living in states without a fossil fuel
    industry within their state borders to begin crafting alternate regional economies, especially energy
    economies, and unplugging from the fossil-carbon-based
    National Economy. This might entail the distasteful
    necessity of making unpleasantly socialistic investments in public infrastructure, and unpleasantly collectivist redesign of some of our economic and survival activities. For example, several Northeastern States might impose a uniform gasoline tax within their interstate region. They might use the money to restore missing and shattered mass transit systems within the several Northeastern States, such as
    electric trolleys within towns and cities which currently don’t have them, and extensive electric passenger rail between cities where such passenger rail currently does not exist. Why electric? Because electric rail could draw its current from anything which can turn a turbine, such as wind, hydro-electric, corn, soybeans, woodchips, etc.
    We could do many other things in that spirit. If three basic regions (North Atlantica, Great Lakestan, Pacifica) were to eliminate coal, natural gas, and most especially oil, from their energy-use portfolio, the people of these three regions could begin to defund the regions and industries which make up the
    core of Bush’s Base. Perhaps we could defund and bankrupt Bush’s Base so thoroughly and completely as to be able to reconquer the National Government from
    the Fossil Carbon Plutocrats
    and the Military Industrial Investor complex which currently occupies the National Government today.

  47. Robert Asher says:

    Will history textbooks present the 2000 and 2004 elections as “stolen” referenda? Don’t bet on it. In 5 years lets examine the major high school and college US history texts. Will there be any mention of massive voter disenfranchisement and miscounted returns. Of a coup d’etat by the US Supreme Court? Will a single textbook publisher allow positive answers to these questions to be printed in the texts? As a professional historian for 4 decades,I doubt it.
    If our textbook publishers had any integrity they would have a feature in all US history texts: STOLEN ELECTIONS SINCE THE CIVIL WAR: 1876, 1960, 2000, 2004. The obvious fact that the same candidate’s operation stole two elections in a row would be evalated. The unprecedented, unconstitional intervention of the Supreme Court would be put in historical perspective. Like Mick Jagger,
    “I am waiting, I am waiting….”

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