Iraq

Was the Iraq War a Complete Waste?

It gets increasingly difficult to imagine that the U.S. has gained anything worthwhile from its invasion of Iraq.

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Spc. Eric A. Rutherford/Wikimedia

Let's just say that the Iraq army isn't exactly anchoring a democratic awakening in the Middle East.

Earlier this week, Iraq's armed forces in Mosul—trained and supplied by the United States to secure the well-being of its people and institutions—reportedly dropped their guns, shed their uniforms, and surrendered to black-flag-waving Sunni insurgents in a mere four days. No Thermopylae here. About a half-million civilians have left the second-largest city in Iraq to flee what is surely going to become a hotbed of beheadings and other assorted acts of jihad. And now, according to CNN, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria also has almost complete control of Tikrit. Al-Qaida (or something very much like it) is definitely on the run—right toward our allies.

Not that we should be surprised. Back in 2010, Army Gen. George Casey warned that the 130,000-strong Iraqi police and soldiers lacked leaders, were deserting by the thousands, were hampered by corruption, displayed little will to fight, and would probably never be able to fend off insurgents. Obviously, not much has changed, despite President Barack Obama's assertion in 2011 that the war was over and "Iraqis have taken full responsibility for their country's security."

Put it this way: Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's crack "crisis unit," which consists of civilian volunteers, is preparing a counteroffensive to the north. A makeshift militia is what 10 years, thousands of American lives, and hundreds of billions of dollars buys in those parts.

Still, it's difficult to believe that any administration would allow the fall of Iraq to happen. America would be leaving a nation with an army that can't defend itself from nomadic terror groups, much less powerful neighbors. If the United States were not to stop the "Islamic State of Iraq and Syria" (and, incidentally, Islamists should really find a name that's a little less derivative), we would be allowing a budding terror state to emerge in Iraq. And in some ways, it was our intervention, coupled with the inability of Iraqis to form a cohesive nation, that helped create the vacuum and political environment that could allow a militant army (one that Ayman al-Zawahri believes is too uncompromising) to stake out an Islamic state that includes Iraq's largest oil refinery. This ending would, to say the least, make a decade of sacrifice appear counterproductive.

Doing nothing is another choice. This would probably mean that the Sunni-Shiite split would continue to descend into violence and that radicalism would proliferate and destabilize the region. Thousands of civilians would, doubtlessly, perish.

Some will, no doubt, argue that doing nothing (and we might very well be doing something soon) would mean that more than 4,400 U.S. troops and over $700 billion was wasted in a war that ended but was not won. Perhaps. But a more important matter is this: Would the death of another 4,000 or 400 or four bring about a preferable outcome or a set of conditions that allow the United States to convincingly declare victory?

If a decade of nation building brought us this, what could we possibly gain by seriously re-engaging? Clearly, to make it work, the American people would need to be prepared to make a generational commitment—and polls don't tell us that we're in the mood for an open-ended conflict in the Middle East.

These are horrible choices, indeed. Though millions of civilians no longer experience life under the regime of Saddam Hussein—and we should not forget the sacrifice thousands of service members made to allow that to happen—it gets increasingly difficult to imagine that the United States has gained anything worthwhile from its invasion of Iraq. It's difficult to understand how spending another five or 10 years sorting out a sectarian civil war could possibly be in our best interests.

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  1. “Was the Iraq War a Complete Waste?”

    Short answer? Yes.

    Long answer? No, it spawned a whole bunch of libertarians (points at self).

    1. I kind of am in the same boat as you, though I think it would have happened eventually anyway.

      The Iraq war was just started right around the time I got to start voting.

      I probably would have been a Republican originally, but I don’t think I would have lasted there for any serious amount of time.

  2. My only surprise in this is that the Maliki government lasted this long. I thought they wouldn’t last 3 months after the US combat troops left.

    I wish JsubD were here to see this.

  3. One feels sorry for the families and friends of the 4,500 Americans who died for nothing. That doesn’t justify having one more soldier killed to “make their sacrifices not be in vain.” Direct your anger at Bush, Obama and all their advisors and enablers, and all those war-hawks of both parties looking for an encore.

    1. And where were the American public? Saying trite things like, “We thank you for your service!’ and offering free checking accounts?

      No one is clean.

      1. I know where I was – in the fucking streets.

        Could have used some help.

    2. Totally agree. Politicians declare war. Solders die in them.

  4. History is funny sometimes. Iranian Revolutionaries stormed US Embassy in 1979 Tehran. Today, US Embassy in Iraq will be saved by those exact same Revolutionaries.

  5. Sorry, now that I’ve gotten that off my chest, let me actually respond to the article.

    “And in some ways, it was our intervention, coupled with the inability of Iraqis to form a cohesive nation…”

    In no way is Iraq a nation, and it should have never been a country. It was invented by the Brits, and a nation is defined as “a large aggregate of people united by common descent, history, culture, or language, inhabiting a particular country or territory”. The Sunnis, Shias, and Kurds are all different nations.

    I told them when I got there that the country should be cut into 3 parts, Sunni, Shia, and Kurd. (Wouldn’t that make the Kurds happy?) Of course, I was an E-4 in the Marines and no-one would listen. Now what’s happening? 3 “nations” are developing, Sunnis (under Jihadists), Kurds, and Shias supported by the US and Iran (?).

    I can’t believe I vote for McCain [hangs head in shame]. Jerk seriously thinks that the Jihadists are good when in Syria but evil when they cross Britain’s arbitrary border.

    What I do if I were POTUS? Get All Americans out (like the trapped contractors) and leave, forever. Use this as leverage to withdraw ALL Us forces from ALL non-American territories.

    1. McCain should be returned to Hanoi by air drop.

      The parachute is optional.

      1. My son has an extra chute from a 3 3/4 inch GIJoe I’ll donate to such a good cause. And Yes, I too feel burned; I gave to his campaign in 2000. But on my behalf he wasn’t as big of douche back then.

    2. Amen

    3. The same post colonial framework applies to Afghanistan and Libya.

      It’s hard to take the word “Democracy” seriously in the context of US foreign policy when the US backs hereditary rule in Saudi Arabia, Jordan, UAE, etc…

      Many use “Democracy” as a synonym for US corporate economic interests. We support your right to choose your leaders – until you elect those who oppose Western interests. See Iran 1953 for the most obvious example.

  6. Also, in one of life’s little ironies:

    Obama has ordered Bush to Iraq:

    http://www.ibtimes.com/iraq-cr…..ns-1600646

  7. Do we still have the “Mission Accomplished” banner. That thing deserves place of pride in the National Museum of Ironic Events.

    And of course it’s time for Operation Desert Fox II: Extra Foxy Edition

    1. I read “Desert Fox II” and thought that you wanted to reanimate Rommel’s corpse.

      1. Back in the day when those involved in failed military operations admitted failure by way of suicide. (cough, cough…Operation Valkyrie…cough, cough)

    2. The mission was accomplished. America just had to leave and it would have been victorious. Instead…

  8. Though millions of civilians no longer experience life under the regime of Saddam Hussein

    Though over 100,000 civilians no longer experience life at all.

    1. That’s a low estimate:

      PLOS Medicine Study – 460,000
      Lancet Study – 654,965

      1. Those studies treated the insurgency as some kind of contagious disease. They are not helpful.

        Sadaam’s death or other downfall was inevitable. I have no reason to believe Iraq would have followed a different course than post-Tito Yugoslavia.

  9. In all honesty, if the jihadis want to give us a target-rich environment for airstrikes, I’m tempted to oblige them. Its just hard to pass up such an opportunity to slaughter murderous barbarians.

    But then I think, nah. This is a long-standing civil war in Islam, and there’s always more barbarians where those came from, so we might as well save the money. But I would totally give a speech to that effect if I was POTUS.

    “We don’t care if we buy oil from Sunnis or Shiites. Or if they kill each other, so long as they fulfill their contracts to deliver oil. We gave civilizing this benighted piece of the planet a good try, and weren’t able to. You’re on your own.

    “Oh, and fuck with our withdrawal, and we will salt the earth. Thank you, and have a nice night.”

    1. As a child of the 70’s, gas went from 35 centa a gallon to 80 cents as the Arabs exacted payback. It took a sheik with foresight to back them away from them and doing reasonable business with the West.

      Now you think people who directly and unabashedly hate us, who are a rising power in the world, who rightly look at us as both weak and corrupt, who are closing in at having us by the gonads, are going to tickle them rather than cut them off?

      1. Maybe it is time to build the Keystone XL pipeline and expedite the infrastructure to convert US vehicles to Natural Gas. Let China and Europe fight over the oil

  10. It was an absolute victory. If you have any doubts about it, read the 2003 “Mission Accomplished” speech by George W. Bush.

    1. This one?

      Bush’s speech noted:

      “We have difficult work to do in Iraq. We are bringing order to parts of that country that remain dangerous.”

      “Our mission continues…The War on Terror continues, yet it is not endless. We do not know the day of final victory, but we have seen the turning of the tide.”

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M…..hed_speech

  11. It was way worse than just a waste. It was perhaps the largest disaster in the history of the USA.

    We are not nearly done with it yet. We’ll be paying trillions of more dollars plus getting the “benefits” of the chaos for 40-50+ years.

    Add in the largest recessions – which was made worse by the overspending and lost (home) productivity and you have something which is/was almost large enough to sink us.

    As of now it didn’t fully succeed in that, but it still could. I’m an optimist though.

    Have we really learned? I don’t buy it. McCain and his friends still feel very comfortable with projecting the military around the world and talking about it in public. We are a warlike nation. Period.

    Maybe we lick our wounds when down and out, but give it 10 years and the corporate media combined with the military industrial complex will do it again.

    After all, this “united” the country (I was not included, as I was against it from day one…from before day one, actually). But in that time period I rarely, if ever, met others who agreed. Blood lust was rampant…as it will be once again.

    Yeah, I am also tempted at a target rich environment of convoys of Toyota Trucks. Then I start thinking…

    1. I think Vietnam was just a tad worse, your hyperventilating aside.

      1. It was not as long and I suspect not nearly as costly in actual dollars. Also, at the time our economy was humming with manufacturing and other really productive industries.

        Vietnam pretty much settled into itself afterwards and cost us zero in terms of that part of the world.

        It would be very shortsighted to just count the dollars spent up until now. Iraq, in the end, will have to be looked at from 1990 (Gulf War) to many decades in the future.

        In terms of the (US) human capital, Vietnam was much worse…but thinking only of us would be statist. I think a couple million over there died, so the lost productivity hurt all mankind.

        Lastly, notice that I said “perhaps the worst”…..it may end up being the worst decision in history – it may not be. But it’s certainly of the scale to rate.

        1. at the time our economy was humming with manufacturing and other really productive industries.

          Increasing inflation was not ‘humming along’. America today still has plenty of manufacturing, and energy.

          It is entirely speculative to say that Iraq will cost us billions 40 years from now. It’s more likely to cost its neighbors billions.

          1. How can you say that when the data shows that the VA spends the maximum about 40 years after a conflict ends? So even if we don’t spend a cent on Iraq itself, we are already way into the tens or hundreds of billions in terms of future bills to take care of the vets.

            A couple trillion of the debt is due to it – so calculated the yearly compounded interest.

            AND, as I think you know, it’s not speculative to say that the Security State (here) will use the middle east to prop up increased “defense” spending for decades to come.

            I’d suggest that the most speculative thing is to say none of the above will continue and happen.

            1. We’ll go bankrupt anyway.

        2. Viet Nam had a much higher body count.

          It also cost in excess of $680BB (2008)dollars, less than Iraq, but not a lot less.

          A little cheaper, a lot more corpses.

          I would say a worse disaster.

    2. You could also argue that the Civil War was a worse disaster, as well. It certainly cost us a lot more in terms of blood, treasure, and social disruption. Getting rid of slavery may net out against those costs so its not the worst disaster, but its gotta be on the short list.

      1. It was A disaster, but as you note there was the plus of freeing all those people – whose ancestors in just one generation numbered far more than the total deaths in the war.

        I guess you have to weigh how many free people are worth how many dead ones? Also, you may be able to subtract those out who fought FOR enslavement of humans – as once you enslave other humans, your “natural rights” are in question in terms of living happily yourself.

        But, yes, that’s in the top three or four. I haven’t thought it out – but Iraq is definitely a very very big deal. It’s not over and done with and it’s not something which the country can easily put behind it.

        1. If you want to look at the Civil War in context of state versus federal govt rights it has allowed a century and a half of interventions and disasters.

        2. If you count the War on terror as something of an entirety, it might be a massive disaster. I’m not sure how it compares to the Cold War, and some of this is probably “20/20” hindsight. But the 40 years of cold war seemed to have, overal been a success, and had other elements that made it less of a “disaster”.

          1) We didn’t start it. The Soviets did intend to spread communism across the world and had been actively working to that end for some 50 years before we had our declared war on global communism. It was more clearly self defense compared to the war on terror, which took a relatively isolated and fringe group in the most middle of no where place on earth(Afghanistan)and turned it into a campaign against pratically the entire middle east and increasingly Africa. Plus even that organization (Al Queda) can make some arguments that we were interfering and harming them first, so what they did was retaliatory.

          1. 2)It regularly had large, concrete returns for our investments: Keeping Korea Capitalist ended up paying huge dividends on the global economy, as well as Taiwan, Singapore, and others who greatly benefited themselves and us from our fighting communism and keeping them open for bushiness.

            Not to mention maintaining Europe in our fold. All of those are obvious, positive benefits, probably well worth the cost to us.

            South America, Africa, and the Middle East are all more mixed bags, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they were on net at least break even and probably positive in our favor.

            This war however seems to have had very minimal, if any positive economic influence for the United states: we aren’t unlocking previously protectionist/uncooperative trading partners, we (at least don’t seem to be) setting up nations for rapid economic growth to bring about mutual benefit through diversification and the benefits of a generally wealthier world,hell we aren’t even seizing a nations natural resources/assets to pay for our own. A war for plunder would at least have made sense for the nations (short term) self interest, at least defraying the cost of military operations. Presently, I see almost no economic benefit being gained for all the lives and treasure, and I think we could probably all agree that 12 years of blood and treasure spent for no benefit is worse than 50 spent for massive benefit.

            1. Thus, the big issue is not just the high cost (as others said, the costs have been higher) but that almost nothing of value was gained from it, making it entirely a drain on the economy, instead of a net positive when all the costs and benefits are compared side by side.

        3. Also, you may be able to subtract those out who fought FOR enslavement of humans – as once you enslave other humans, your “natural rights” are in question in terms of living happily yourself

          In that case you’d have to subtract Lincoln and most of the rest of the Union; the irony of using conscription to enslave men for service in the military for the first time in the nation’s history, in order to free others from slavery, was evidently lost on them. Apparently slavery was just fine with everyone involved; the disagreement was over who could be Ol’Massah – individuals or the State.

    3. Global trade has been very, very good to us. Now you don’t want to pay the piper?

      It is the corporations who drive social change. We live in a corporate capitalist economic system. I’m about as far removed from it as most, yet my livelihood is dependent upon leftovers from this system.

      It is important to be honest and clear. We benefit greatly from out position in the world, yet it has been diminishing. Two stars are rising, Islam and China.

    4. I just watched Eisenhower’s farewell address again after reading latest about Iraq.
      I have an idea in response about the BS that ” we support our troops,’ that every idiot politician prattles on about. Vouchers for all the vets to go to any doctor they want. Take it out of budgets of congressional staffs of all who voted for these asinine wars as well at joint chiefs of staff and then military budgets of $300 toilets and endless waste……

  12. America gained 1) an exit from the awkward one-foot-on-the-boat-the-other-on-the-dock scenario that existed post-Gulf War thanks to Bush the First’s idiotic twin decisions to invade Iraq and then leave Hussein in charge of it and 2) a great pro-western entity in the form of Kurdistan aka Kurdberta aka Kurdlohoma which is aptly using this crisis to further its own independence and to seize Kirkuk.

    America gained both of these excellent strategic accomplishments from the invasion of Iraq and subsequent toppling of Hussein. All it got from the occupation and nation-building was a bill and buckets of blood.

    It’s difficult to understand how spending another five or 10 years sorting out a sectarian civil war could possibly be in our best interests.

    “Sorting out” a sectarian war would do nothing but compound the bill for America. Letting Iran ‘sort it out’ ie ‘get sucked into’ would be a millstone around their neck and a gain for us.

  13. Doing nothing is very attractive to me. Let the Islamists have their own state. Then if they fuck with us our military can do what it is primarily trained to do and does better than any other in the world.

    Wreck havoc and death upon the army of another nation state.

    I feelz for the Iraqis but they were handed a country on a silver platter, bought by the American taxpayer and paid for by the death and injury of thousands and thousands of American warriors.

    1. they were handed a country on a silver platter, bought by the American taxpayer and paid for by the death and injury of thousands and thousands of American warriors.

      Yup. It was up to them, and they blew it.

    2. “our military can do what it is primarily trained to do and does better than any other in the world.”

      Nice rah rah, but as many recent articles have noted, our record of projection of military power since 1950 has not been stellar.

      Also, true libertarians lament the death of any human being as much as another.

      I do agree. Let them have their own state and then when their people finally tire of it (if they do), then they can have their own enlightenment. If the Saudis are any example, the new Iraqis will spread the oil wealth and keep everyone happy.

      In the end people desire prosperity more than so-called “liberty”. That’s why Russians love Putin and the Chinese (vast majorities) like their Gubment.

      1. true libertarians lament the death of any human being as much as another

        Fuck off and take your ‘humanist’ relativism with you.

        1. Yeah, those Iraqi insurgents were evil islamonaziterrists who hate ‘merica and freedom, and Americans would totally not respond the way they did to any foreign invading force…

          The relativist hear is the person saying it’s evil for Iraqis to fight an army invading them, but not for Americans to do the same if they were placed in the same situation.

          1. Yes they were evil, they deliberately blew up mosques and other gathering places.

        2. Be nice, he’s a true libertarian!

        3. People are fucking cockroaches.

        4. Are you saying that an American who goes voluntarily and paid to Iraq is more valuable than, for instance, 100 Iraqi family members who are dead yet had nothing to do with the conflict?

          Please explain. Are we all a “team” and it’s “GW right or wrong”? Or, is there a higher moral model here?

      2. Cytotoxic and Damien are not libertarians, they are neocons who like big government much like you do, they just prefer big government to spends a lot of its money on military adventures.

        Libertarians disagree on some things like abortion, intellectual property and the exact nature of the state, but supporting a mega military and an imperial foreign policy is most certainly not one of them. So please don’t flag people who love their war porn as libertarians please.

      3. true libertarians lament the death of any human being as much as another

        Utter bullshit.

        1. Well, I guess you are right. I was listening to that Historic Mullatto guy who lamented the deaths of Indians.

          Libertarians believe as follows – and I guess Iraqi’s ain’t white!

          “Any white person who brings the element of civilization has the right to take over this continent.”
          –The Fiction Writer

  14. Yes

  15. Scienfoology Song? GAWD = Government Almighty’s Wrath Delivers

    Government loves me, This I know,
    For the Government tells me so,
    Little ones to GAWD belong,
    We are weak, but GAWD is strong!
    Yes, Guv-Mint loves me!
    Yes, Guv-Mint loves me!
    Yes, Guv-Mint loves me!
    My Nannies tell me so!

    GAWD does love me, yes indeed,
    Keeps me safe, and gives me feed,
    Shelters me from bad drugs and weed,
    And gives me all that I might need!
    Yes, Guv-Mint loves me!
    Yes, Guv-Mint loves me!
    Yes, Guv-Mint loves me!
    My Nannies tell me so!

    DEA, CIA, KGB,
    Our protectors, they will be,
    FBI, TSA, and FDA,
    With us, astride us, in every way!
    Yes, Guv-Mint loves me!
    Yes, Guv-Mint loves me!
    Yes, Guv-Mint loves me!
    My Nannies tell me so!

    GAWD LOVES the Iraqis TOOOooooooOOOooo!!!!

    1. ok, that was good.

  16. Yes. It was, like Vietnam, a total waste in which 1,000’s of brave men and women lost their lives to support Washington politicians delusions of grandeur.

  17. 500.000 citizens with AK 47s couldn’t hold the city?

  18. Remember: These jihadis represent just a small fraction of the millions of peaceful muslims in the region. They’re fringe groups. Nothing to see here.

    The issue of a rising Islamic state sort of reminds me of that old question about the guy across the street can do before you act. I’m not sure I’m clear on where the line is when preemption turns from aggression to self-defense. Can you attack when the neighbor is building a missile? What about when you think he is going to aim it at your house? Once aimed? I don’t know.

    Though I thought both sides had good and legitimate arguments, I supported the decision to invade Iraq, and thought that the long term effect would probably be beneficial to the US. But eventually I became convinced I was wrong, and that the situation was probably hopeless. Since, I’ve moved much closer to a libertarian position of non-intervention.

    At the same time, I’m often second guessing myself, wondering if a noninterventionist position is naive. If the US recedes, wouldn’t that increase the likelihood of aggression and instability long term, which also could have very detrimental effects on the US?

    Just thinking aloud here, and wondering if many posters here wrestle with this same issue.

    1. We spend so much on defense fear is a shitty reason to justify action. Afghanistan to Tora Bora should be our MO if we catch nation states sponsoring terrorism. We are in a worse position now than we were the years following 9/11 because the world has realised we are essentially incompetent in the long run.

      1. So, do you suggest we always wait until we are attacked, then strike back? Or is preemptive action sometimes warranted?

  19. If we had left shortly after Saddam danced the hemp fandango, a lot of self anointed world-shakers would have been left with the memory of the United States forces (with, admittedly, some help) destroying the fighting force of a military much admired the the region in a matter of weeks. The idea that, at some point, we will tire of diplomacy with people who do not keep their word, and pursue our ends by other means, and that those means will be unpleasant, is one that I would like to see spread as widely as possible.

    Sadly that lesson has been obscured by much bootless handwringing and we may well have to provide another object lesson sooner rather than later.

  20. Sad when the ignorant write above their pay grade. Yes it seems as if the original intent of an ill fated fools errand reaches its inevitable end. The surge worked because the warring parties made agreements that the US enforced.

    We get the leadership and government we deserve. Iraq had Saddam, the baby boomers have the three losers.

  21. “Though millions of civilians no longer experience life under the regime of Saddam Hussein”
    They probably would wish him back over what they have got now.

  22. Nation Building in South Korea took 3 or 4 decades.

  23. Nations are motorcycle gangs. Act accordingly.

  24. Ha ha.

    Reason.com ownership: heavily-subsidized oil billionaires.

    Reason article: “Was The War In Iraq A Complete Waste?”

    Number of times article mentions “contractors”: zero.

    Skill of libertarians at following money to its private destinations: still none.

    Ha ha.

    1. Help us dim and benighted libertarians out, Orel:

      What’s your point?

      1. Thanks for asking. I’ll put it another way:

        Libertarians couldn’t follow money if it had a bell on it.

        Government and its foreign policy is only a way station for tax money as it travels along the way to its final destination: the offshore accounts of wealthy war profiteers.

        Even though the money doesn’t stop moving until it lands in private, wealthy hands, the point at which libertarians shut their brains off is well before it arrives — i.e. as soon as government touches that money.

        In keeping with this juvenile anti-government fetish, articles questioning war published on a pet website of heavily-subsidized oil billionaires might not even mention the private beneficiaries of war.

        Such as in the above article on this particular pet website of heavily-subsidized oil billionaires.

        1. I bet that sounded smart, while it was rattling around your skull. Try again

        2. “Koch Industries won massive government contracts using their close relationship with the Bush administration. The Bush administration, courtesy of Koch’s campaign donations, handed Koch Industries a lucrative contract to supply the nation’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve with 8 million barrels of crude oil. During the occupation of Iraq, Koch won significant contracts to buy Iraqi crude oil.”

          1. “Although Koch campaigned vigorously against health reform ? running attack ads, sponsoring anti-health reform Tea Parties, and comparing health reform to the Holocaust. Koch Industries applied for health reform subsidies made possible by the Obama administration.”

            ” Koch also benefits directly from billions in taxpayer subsidies for oil companies and ethanol production.”

        3. Oh, they follow the money very well. They all have wet dreams of being paid to operate sites like Reason….with Koch Money. It’s the ultimate “free market”. Koch gets billions from the taxpayers to make vast profits so they can spend billions corrupting our public processes….and then lobbying for laws so they can make billions more!

          Perfect.

          All from a company that started by building refineries for Stalin.

          1. You do know that the Koch brothers fund Cato as well as Reason and that both oppose corporate welfare and war right?

            1. Ah, they oppose it yet the entire reason for the existence of such places has been to throw money behind Republican political candidates??

              “John Yoo, author of the notorious “torture memo,” served on the Cato editorial board for Cato Supreme Court Review during the Bush presidency.”

              “The “Cato Policy Report” attacked progressive critics of Bush’s “War on Terror” as “Terrorism’s Fellow Travelers” in its November/December 2001 issue.”

              “The Cato Institute advised the 2002?04 Republican-dominated Congress to commence military strikes in Pakistan in its Cato Handbook for Congress”

              “Another Cato Institute executive, Roger Pilon, vigorously supported Bush’s attacks on civil liberties”

              “n 2005, a Washington Post article observed, “Nowadays, Cato alumni are everywhere in the Bush administration.”

              Got any more jokes for us?

          2. Umm, now perhaps you’d like to “enlighten” us all as to George Soros’ various operations while you are on the subject of rich folks.

            1. Easy – it’s not dark money and lies like the Koch’s.

              It’s all very above board….here you go:
              http://www.opensocietyfoundations.org/

              http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/O…..oundations

              Now, I know Open Society is totally against Kochian politics – they like to hide like vermin and roaches…..

  25. for an excellent evaluation of the situation, see:

    http://www.brookings.edu/blogs…..on-pollack

  26. We accomplished two things:

    1) Killed Saddam and Sons (which in retrospect were probably the only thing keeping that country together.

    2) Secured an oil supply that we only get a very small portion of anyway.

    This was basically an exercise in fueling the military-industrial complex.

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