Archive for epic fail

Iraq is "beyond our control. There is no such thing as the Iraqi people."

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a Gold Star father's point of view iraq afghanistan war Jeff Wilfahrt

Before I get into an impressive op-ed piece on Iraq, allow me to remind you of my buddy Jeff Wilfahrt, someone who you should get to know:

We've been on the radio together and we continue to email back and forth. He is never at a loss for providing unique insight and commentary on the frustrating events of the day. That's him above, holding a photo of his son. You can read about the remarkable Wilfahrts, and watch them on The Rachel Maddow Show, by following the links above.

That image came to mind when I read an op-ed by Joseph J. Ellis in today's Los Angeles Times. Ellis is a professor of history at Williams College and the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of "Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation," among other books. He starts of his piece with his explanation of how the U.S. goes to war:

The triggering event is often a sudden crisis that galvanizes popular opinion and becomes the immediate occasion for military intervention but subsequently is exposed as a misguided perception or outright fabrication.

He then goes on to chronicle war after war that prove his point, including the Iraq War:

[T]he dark shadow of 9/11 hung ominously over all deliberations in that moment, so the CIA bent the arc of the evidence to fit the fabrication, a cowed Congress went along and the bulk of the American media endorsed the deception. Dissent became unfashionable.

Ellis points out how we erroneously decided to pursue "the creation of a democratic government in the middle of the Middle East." That move, along with all that deception by BushCo and a very accommodating press, caused many of us non-believers to do this:

banghead

And all those political and journalistic pundits who got it dead wrong the first time around, and who now blame President Obama for failing to maintain a residual U.S. military presence in Iraq, need to be called on their credibility. For they fundamentally underestimated the tribal, ethnic and religious loyalties that dominate the Middle East and that make any Jeffersonian version of a secular state in Iraq impossible for the foreseeable future... In truth, there is no such thing as the Iraqi people. 

He then comments on the commentators, a pastime we apparently we have in common. Their focus, he says, is on damage control. And that is a "hubristic assumption" that got us into this hot mess in the first place. We created a catastrophe a BushCo ago, and there was no way, and is no way, to regain what we never had: control.

Ellis drives home the point that "permanent U.S. military presence will only further empower the Islamic extremists in the ensuing conflict."

That has already happened. To quote Jeff from the image at the top, "...Let us try using books, pens, and paper instead of just guns. Bring the living home, the dead are already here."

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Time to apply the Lemon Law to Dick Cheney

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cheney bush iraq lemon law

Anyone else becoming weary of the same old Iraq drivel pouring out of the mouths of former BushCo war cheerleaders the way word salad pours out of the mouth of Former Alaska Half-Gov Blabette McDimBulb? Seriously, guys, championing a fraudulent invasion that produced nothing but death, PTSD, maiming, a destabilized Middle East, and an economic toilet flush is getting to be redundant, more ludicrous, and increasingly embarrassing and boring. Read our lips: Anyone defending Dick Cheney should self-deport to Gitmo. The Lemon Law most definitely applies here, as one letter-writer ingeniously explained.

And with that, here are today's Los Angeles Times letters to the editor, because our voices matter:

Jonah Goldberg plays his own questionable game in this piece, but surely most of us can keep our eyes on the pea in his shell shuffle. ("A questionable game of 'shut up' on Iraq," Op-Ed, June 23)

Former Vice President Dick Cheney and his policy brethren were the architects who created a war in Iraq that turns out to have been both unnecessary and, now, an utter disaster. These folks didn't just have opinions that were wrong; no, they made policy decisions that have led to catastrophic results.

That's why their current self-serving opinions and their preposterous attempts to revise history are contemptible, and richly deserve all the derision that can be mustered.

John de Jong, Long Beach

***

Goldberg reminds us that he supported the Iraq war, and he states that he still thinks that the arguments in favor were superior to those against.

What arguments would those be? Iraq had nothing to do with the Sept. 11 attacks. There were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. There was no Al Qaeda in Iraq. We were not greeted as liberators. Democracy has not flourished, and the promised capitalist paradise has not emerged.

Goldberg should write another column so he can clarify for us just which arguments he still supports.

Cheryl Holt, Burbank

***

The Lemon Law:

A car salesman knowingly misconstrues facts concerning a car he is trying to sell you. The purchase is made and the car eventually falls apart, but you have recourse — the law, fines and perhaps even jail for the dealer.

With Iraq, we have a similar scenario but with hundreds of thousands dead, trillions of dollars lost and a treating of the wounded that will go on for many years.

Would you ask the car salesman his opinion on your next purchase? Would you ask the same individuals who lied us into the horrors of a 10-year military engagement for advice now?

Stephen S. Anderson, Hacienda Heights

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Email from a vet: "The strange attachment to the f**kers who killed us"

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I was part of an email exchange today that included the following from two colleagues who I've gotten to know and admire over the years. Their heartfelt commentaries on Iraq, war, and Team Bush punctured my heart. They made such raw sense, their words and thoughts were so powerful, so passionate, and so compelling, they'll likely haunt me for some time. The first is an unfiltered flood of astute and fierce commentary by a vet.

With their permission, I am now sharing the emails with you, verbatim.

Whether you agree or disagree with the author, what is indisputable is that these words were written by someone who's been through hell and back. They're painful to read. He was there and knows what he's talking about, as opposed to the usual blathering pundits, so-called experts, and BushCo chickenhawks:

I was watching Glenn Greenwald and Paul Rieckhoff have themselves a grand old dick off. Dicks were waved, measured, and assessed like they were wine snobs in Napa during the first pour.

Yeah, they're both dicks. So's Maher that fucknozzle, shithead's not even very funny anymore.

What I saw in Rieckhoff though, reminded me of exactly what I went through. As my illusions of war, national pride, honor, all of that happy shit faded, I quickly created new illusions to cling to.

Without them I probably would have melted down completely. I had to hold on to the illusion that I somehow waded through all that shit for some kind of reason. That somehow, through all of that, I managed to salvage some measure of personal honor. Other folks went apeshit, did the raping, did the atrocity, but not me. Yeah, bullshit isn't it?

I was there. I was in it up to my fucking neck.

Did anything save me? Nope. All I finally was able to cling to was the hard bitten, hard won wisdom of the boonie rats.

When shit climbed up on us, when somebody was an eyelash away from going completely over the fucking edge, somebody would open their grimy fucking mouth to say,

"Fuck it man. Don't mean nothing."

That's how we got through. That's what we used to step ourselves back.

Fuck it man, don't mean nothing. Most of the time right after that somebody else would chime in with, "Yeah. Don't mean nothing. Fuck it, ruck up, press on."

The politics that sent us there were bullshit. Fuckers like McNamara in the Pentagon, Westmoreland in his air conditioned well-fed bunker in Saigon (Here's a quick strategic guide for you, if you need to live in a bunker in the capitol of your area of operations, you ain't winning jack fucking shit anytime soon troop) knew the truth of what was going on as well as Cheney, Bush and all those motherfuckers knew.

They knew and they did it anyway. Motherfuckers.

I quit asking all those existential questions, quit looking for the fucking meaning of it, because I realized there wasn't anything there to be found.

Rieckhoff and his companions are still clinging to the illusions that kept them alive, maybe even kept them from going absolutely bug fuck.

It has to mean something to them. Hell, they can lie enough to tell themselves that a lot of it actually fucking worked.

I won't challenge them. It's his life, and his fucking process, he has to walk that shit alone.

Besides, the only comfort I can give him is to put an hand on his shoulder and say,

"Fuck it man, don't mean nothing, it never fucking did. Deal with it and go from there. You'll fucking sleep better."

A response to that email produced some of the most effective imagery I've encountered on this topic:

Some guys (like Cheney, et. al.) can't bear the thought of losing, so like gamblers they keep playing a losing game, telling themselves that if they stay in long enough they eventually get to "win."

I had this image of George W. Bush sitting at the slots with a bowl full of dog tags in his lap, shoving them into the machine one after another and pulling the lever, muttering, "If you don't quit, you don't lose."

President Bush Endorses John McCain For President

Iraq war dog tags Source Wikimedia dot orgImage: Wikimedia.org

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Punditry: "The one field in which being wrong is key to a successful career"

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punditiot definition punditry

Don't even get me started on punditry... says me who does punditry 24/7. For starters, why do so many pundits-- or as I like to call them, punditiots-- mispronounce the word "pundit"as "pundint"? This drives me up a wall, but I digress. There are so many other legitimate criticisms of punditry, why waste time on that? Well, for one, I expect "experts" to sound literate. I also expect them to sound expert. And to do their, you know, homework before willfully (and sometimes inadvertently) spreading dis-, mis-, and piss-information to a gullible audience.

Take Iraq...

...please!

And with that, here are today's Los Angeles Times letters to the editor, because our voices matter:

Max Boot wants to send troops to Iraq and use them, supported by air power, to stop the advance by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. ("Here's what the U.S. can do about Iraq," Op-Ed, June 18)

I'm sure that would work just fine. We would be in a stalemate with the Sunni Muslim ISIS fighters controlling the northwest, the Shiite Muslims controlling the south and the Kurds controlling the northeast — not too different from the situation in Iraq for most of our war there, and with no great pressure on Prime Minister Nouri Maliki to change to a more inclusive and democratic government.

So I ask Boot and the other war hawks, as President Obama would: And then what?

Martin Nachman, Apple Valley

***

After dismissing the three "most popularly debated Iraq options in Washington," Boot proposes that the U.S. put in place a "comprehensive counterinsurgency plan, with military and political lines of operation."

Isn't this exactly what we just recently extracted ourselves from after 10 years of failure, death, expense and endless war? Let the current situation continue to play out into the three de-facto states that already exist in Iraq.

Let the area players find their own truce.

Donald Croley, Hermosa Beach

***

Boot proposes that we do another "surge" in Iraq, but this time with fewer troops. But if the last surge was so successful, why is there a need to do one now? And how long before we will need to do yet another one?

Why is punditry the one field in which being wrong is the key to a successful career?

David Greene, San Pedro

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Rachel Maddow reaffirms what a Dick... Cheney is.

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Dick Cheney, Liz Cheney Oh look, you're still here

Rachel Maddow pulled no punches in her reporting on the Cheney family. She reaffirmed what a Dick... Cheney is, and for that, we are very grateful. And she enumerated Liz Cheney's failures, one by embarrassing one.

She skewered the Cheney obsession with war, and she ticked their war efforts off the way June Cleaver would tick off ingredients on a recipe for sugar cookies. Specifically, Rachel delved into their new little web page (on which they spelled their own last name wrong) and the wars for which the Dick and Dickette deeply yearn, including: war with Iran, war with Syria, war with North Korea, more war with Iraq, more war with Afghanistan, "even at one point a faint gesture toward potentially a war with China (!!!)."

And best of all, she herself appeared pretty ticked off as she ticked off the lies Daddy Dick told to America.

Take it away, Rachel:

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Rachel Maddow:

"Oh, you're still here.

"A significant portion of the country is convulsing at the sight of these people.

"For Dick Cheney and his daughter, it's almost at a different level. It's almost at a level that approaches parody. The Cheney's op-ed in the Wall St. Journal today is about war in Iraq, and it accuses the Obama administration of 'misleading rhetoric' about Iraq! Really!?

"Dick Cheney and Liz Cheney... are telling the Republican party to not be embarrassed about what happened under George W. Bush, embrace it, run with it, demand that everyone listen to you again on this subject.

"Is this part of a larger project to vindicate the Cheney legacy, especially on war, to try to put a shine on Dick Cheney's very unpopular tenure as vice president? Most importantly though, who listens to this stuff?

"From the outside, it's ridiculous, right? Seeing Dick Cheney in a cowboy hat and Liz at their misspelled website telling us that they know what to do in Iraq. It's like watching a particularly humorless, ham-handed lefty satire in a student theater production at Hemp State in 2004.

"Nobody would accuse the Cheney family of something this on the nose, this brazenly obnoxious, unless they did it themselves, but they did it themselves! There they are, and from outside it's crazy! It's laugh out loud territory. ... But does it work inside the conservative movement? Do they have an audience?"

Dick Cheney, Liz Cheney Oh look, you're still here 2

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Susan Rice was right, John McCain "living in fantasyland"

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tweet maher susan rice benghazi

obama we will find you terrorists benghazi

As former ambassador and U.S. diplomat in Iraq Joe Wilson (married to Valerie Plame) and Chris Hayes said on All In, "fall person" (now National Securtiy Advisor) Susan Rice was absolutely on target when she appeared on Sunday talkers and referred to the video that inspired the Benghazi attacks. To combine quotes from Wilson and Hayes, "All this time later, Susan Rice was actually right. They just make things up."

And all those self-righteous Republicans in DC were dead wrong. They were dead wrong as they smeared Rice, tried to destroy her career, and eventually managed to prevent her nomination as the next Secretary of State.

Susan Rice deserves an apology. The Congress members and right wing talking heads who did this should start berating their own incompetence and disgraceful tactics instead of sabotaging our national security efforts.

As Joe Wilson said, "It is really dishonorable what these people are doing up on the Hill, and the right wing echo chamber." Watch:

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Joe Wilson:

"For John McCain to say we somehow had won the [Iraq] war, he's living in fantasyland. It was a time bomb waiting to go off and it's now going off.

"My view is we should just stay out of it. We've killed enough Arabs for a lifetime."

Also included in the video is an interview with Pentagon Press Secretary Rear Admiral John Kirby.

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Iraq "not our fight, we fought there for too long, killed too many people"

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coffins restarting Iraq war mistake

How about some accountability for the mess Iraq is currently in, neocons? How about cable TV  shows stop showcasing and giving credibility to the very people who got us into a fraudulent war, broke Iraq, and have the unmitigated gall to tell us how President Obama should fix their mess... while blaming him for what they did? Let me put it this way, Pollack, Wolfowitz, Rumsfeld, Cheney, Bush, Bremer, et al... and you too, Kristol:

stfu wheel of fortune wall

BushCo invaded Iraq. BushCo is responsible for killing thousands upon thousands of Americans, Iraqis, and anyone else who got in their way. BushCo should be thrown in a group cell so they can spend the rest of their worthless, isolated lives patting each other on the back for destroying multiple countries, their economies, their people, and their morale.

The chaos we're witnessing in the Middle East today is a result of the Bush and Cheney itch to even the score on Saddam Hussein on behalf of Daddy Bush, and for-- say it with me-- their insatiable thirst for oil. Their reckless bombing of Iraq, a sovereign country that did not attack us first, has led to nothing but psychological and physical pain, economic disaster, and more deaths.

Inserting ourselves into the turmoil that Bush and his impotent little pals created would be compounding the problems (understatement). Waving more weapons around is not the answer, yet that's what those on the right continue to do both here at home and internationally. Here's a thought, warmongers: Learn from your mistakes. You know, the ones you won't admit to.

And with that, here are today's Los Angeles Times letters to the editor, because our voices matter:

This chaos and craziness is a consequence of one country conducting a war of choice and trying to impose change from the outside. ("Militants' gains in Iraq pose threat of broad regional ramifications," June 14)

The United States invaded Iraq 11 years ago and broke the country and its infrastructure, its cities and whatever small social contract the Iraqis had with one another. Before the invasion, the Iraqi Sunni Muslim minority had a lock on power; afterward, Shiite Muslims took control. So they fight.

The thought of going back into this place beyond sending humanitarian aid is unthinkable. This is not our fight, and we fought there for too long and killed too many people.

There are reasons that other regional powers might want to be involved in Iraq, but the United States has no such good reasons. Don't forget that after all the smoke has cleared, the victors still have to govern a country of 36 million people.

Larry Margo

Valley Village

With the insurrection in Iraq, the United States gets a second chance to act prudently and avoid any military entanglement in that country's internal affairs.

To try again to enforce our political preferences in Iraq by force would be to confirm to ourselves and the world that a hallmark of insanity is to keep repeating the same behavior while expecting a different result.

Robert Ouriel

Pacific Palisades

No useful purpose could be served by airstrikes or reintroducing U.S. troops into Iraq to shore up Prime Minister Nouri Maliki's sectarian regime. The lesson from our experience in Iraq should remind the Obama administration of the disaster that awaits it in Afghanistan if it pursues a similar policy there.

If military equipment and advisors from the United States cannot prevent the Iraqi army from collapsing in the face of a determined insurgency, is President Obama confident the same scenario will not repeat itself in Afghanistan?

The time has passed when we can use military power to impose our will in the Middle East and elsewhere.

Dennis McIntyre

Rancho Palos Verdes

***

While president, George W. Bush said that it would take 50 years to evaluate his decision to invade Iraq.

I think we have an answer much sooner than Bush said we would.

V.J. Carollo

Upland

Undo Bushco

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