Opinion: The three stooges of Iraq are back | PostIndependent.com

Opinion: The three stooges of Iraq are back

Travis Kelly
Free Press Opinion Columnist

Few spectacles in American history have been as nauseating as the three stooges of the Iraq war — Dick Cheney, Paul Wolfowitz and William Kristol — bloviating in 16 TV appearances in the last few weeks, all denying any responsibility for the current mess in Iraq while advocating another “surge” of military intervention.

The ombudsman of the New York Times had to respond to a flurry of irate reader emails, like this one: “Another day, another NYT article about a neocon and Iraq! Where are the articles about the hundreds of thousands against escalation?”

Indeed, the whole MSM has been humming the same “Over there!” tune, although give Fox’s Megyn Kelly credit for challenging Cheney’s insult to Obama: “Rarely has a U.S. president been so wrong about so much at the expense of so many.”

Kelly threw these lines back in his face: “Simply stated, there is no doubt that Sadam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction …We’ll be greeted as liberators … They’re in the last throes, if you will, of the insurgency.” Others have reminded the shameless Wolfowitz of his promises that no Sunni-Shiite conflict existed in Iraq, and that the whole short and sweet war would be paid for with Iraq oil revenues.

Rep. Keith Ellison of Minnesota made the best retort to this insufferable gall: “Why don’t we get the guy who wrecked the Exxon Valdez and ask him about, you know, how to run an oil tanker?”

Let’s clear up the national amnesia that Cheney and company are desperately trying to enforce: There were no WMDs and no al-Qaeda forces in Iraq. Despite his brutal reign, Sadam was a bitter opponent of both al-Qaeda and our supposed worst enemy, Iran, and posed zero threat to the United States. The pre-emptive invasion was illegal by international law. And by firing the entire Iraqi army and trying to create a free-market utopia, the occupation was disastrously bungled.

This completely unnecessary conflict has cost us $3 trillion, 4,500 American soldiers in their graves, thousands more with traumatic injuries that the overwhelmed VA is struggling to take care of, and an estimated 140,000 dead Iraqi civilians. The late General Bill Odom, former head of the NSA, aptly called it “the greatest strategic disaster in American history.”

If there were to be a second coming of the Founding Fathers, I have no doubt their first order of business would be tarring and feathering these bloody chickenhawks before repairing the Constitution that they’ve labored so hard to undermine.

The war-drumming MSM is deliberately covering up another inconvenient fact now: The radical ISIS “caliphate” that has engulfed Iraq has been actively armed and funded by a joint NATO-GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) operation in Syria, led mainly by our great allies, the Saudis. As in Afghanistan and Libya, another of our Frankenstein monsters is rampaging out of control. Will our leaders never learn?

“Who wants U.S. troops back in Iraq?” asks Pat Buchanan. “The American people do not. Congress does not. Tehran does not. The Shia extremists do not. The Sunnis do not. And ISIS does not.” The only people who do are Halliburton and the other war profiteers that Cheney speaks for, and the far-right Israel lobby that would like to see American troops permanently battling the whole Islamic world until the end of time. Both are whining absurdly about our “weakened” national defense under Obama, despite our current $600 billion Pentagon budget being equivalent to the combined military spending of China, Russia, the UK, France, Germany, Japan, Italy and Saudi Arabia (most of them our allies).

The Wall Street Journal actually stated with a straight face that, with a safe haven in Iraq, ISIS would “inevitably attack” the United States. Study after study has shown that the two wellsprings of terrorism are: 1. Domestic oppression by a tyrant; and 2. Occupation of native lands by a foreign power (e.g., Palestine). The desire to attack us for “our freedoms” is a ridiculous myth, and the only “safe havens” real terrorists need are apartments in Hamburg, northern Virginia or Delray Beach, where the 19 Saudi hijackers supposedly hatched the 9/11 plot under our noses. That our nation’s interventions have been directly responsible for nearly a million Muslim civilian deaths and orphans over the last 20 years is the real fuel behind radical Islamic hatred of the U.S.

Buchanan, Sen. Rand Paul and a few others are demanding that Obama follow the Constitution and get a congressional declaration if we are to send more of our sons and daughters into the Iraqi bloodbath. And if Congress were to do so, Buchanan is right about this: At least the vast majority of voters, who are fed up with this insane business, “will know whom to be rid of this November.”

GJ Free Press columnist Travis Kelly is a web/graphic designer, writer and cartoonist in Grand Junction. See his work or contact him at http://www.traviskelly.com.

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