The lie that just won’t die

We have to stay in Iraq to protect the Iraqi people.

Forget notions about war for oil, the military industrial complex and Halliburton. One thing that many Democrats and Republicans agree on, is that we need to maintain some sort of presence in Iraq, to stem the violence. And we’d be doing this, of course, out of an altruistic desire to help the Iraqi people.

Guess what. For some time now, the Iraqis have seen us as part of the problem and want us gone.

Here is the latest example via AP:

A majority of Iraqi lawmakers have endorsed a bill calling for a timetable for the withdrawal of foreign troops and demanding a freeze on the number of foreign troops already in the country, lawmakers said Thursday.

The Iraqi bill, drafted by a parliamentary bloc loyal to anti-American Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, was signed by 144 members of the 275-member house, according to Nassar al-Rubaie, the leader of the Sadrist bloc.

The Sadrist bloc, which sees the U.S.-led forces as an occupying army, has pushed similar bills before, but this was the first time it had garnered the support of a majority of lawmakers.

Other views: The Moderate Voice, Think Progress

10 Comments

  1. I am a 2 tour Vietnam Veteran who recently retired after 36 years of working in the Defense Industrial Complex on many of the weapons systems being used by our forces as we speak.

    Politicians make no difference.

    We have bought into the Military Industrial Complex (MIC). If you would like to read how this happens please see:

    http://www.vanityfair.com/politics/features/2007/03/spyagency200703

    Through a combination of public apathy and threats by the MIC we have let the SYSTEM get too large. It is now a SYSTEMIC problem and the SYSTEM is out of control. Government and industry are merging and that is very dangerous.

    There is no conspiracy. The SYSTEM has gotten so big that those who make it up and run it day to day in industry and government simply are perpetuating their existance.

    The politicians rely on them for details and recommendations because they cannot possibly grasp the nuances of the environment and the BIG SYSTEM.

    So, the system has to go bust and then be re-scaled, fixed and re-designed to run efficiently and prudently, just like any other big machine that runs poorly or becomes obsolete or dangerous.

    This situation will right itself through trauma. I see a government ENRON on the horizon, with an associated house cleaning.

    The next president will come and go along with his appointees and politicos. The event to watch is the collapse of the MIC.

    For more details see:

    http://rosecoveredglasses.blogspot.com/2006/11/inside-pentagon-procurement-from.html

  2. Ian

    Just because the Iraqi’s don’t want us there doesn’t mean we aren’t or can’t help them. They may be happy if we pull our troops out, but I bet they would think differently if we stopped providing financial assistance. Granted theres a lot of bad that comes from our presence, but you can’t really believe that all the bad is due to our presence. Its not like it would just become peaceful if we left. They see us as an occupying force, and well, duh, we are. They wouldn’t even be having a government to ask us to leave if it weren’t for us, so really it isn’t up to them I don’t feel. I’m not defending our policies, but don’t act like the Iraqi government is more moral than our own.

  3. well, i’ll say it one more time: anyone who thinks things will be more stable over there without us is dumber than they look.

    all the folks that want us to leave never really come up with a plan for making iraq better after we leave. so if you want us out, then fine. but don’t pretend that it’ll be good for iraqis.

  4. Chris

    Ken,
    Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

    I’m on the same page with you as far as the Military Industrial Complex. It’s one big incestous cycle that creates conflicts in order to sell more and more weapons. Hell, half of the discretionary Federal budget goes to “defense,” and it certainly wasn’t always that way.

    Free peoples throughout history have rightly been concerned by large standing armies and by virtue of the United States having the best such force in the world, our politicians don’t feel like they have to exhaust all diplomatic possibilities before resorting to war.

    There is that saying that when all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

  5. Chris

    Ian,
    The United States should definitely provide financial assistance/reparations to whatever government emerges, along with humanitarian aid. We do owe them that, but we have to stop being an occupying force.

    Cameron,
    I’m not saying that if we leave things will be peachy keen, but we have to leave. The Iraqis want us gone and they think we are part of the problem. Thinking that we know better than the Iraqis is just paternalistic garbage. It’s their country and they should be free to ruin it or make it as long as they don’t threaten us or our allies.

    People will definitely die when we leave, but people are dying now, and we aren’t really helping. We’re just feeding the cycle of violence.

  6. Ian

    The United States should definitely provide financial assistance/reparations to whatever government emerges, along with humanitarian aid. We do owe them that, but we have to stop being an occupying force.

    In case you haven’t noticed, throwing money at problems solves nothing. I agree that we don’t need to be paternalistic, perhaps our soldiers could take direction from the Iraqi government more. Let our soldiers be their proxy military until their military is ready to take over. I’m with Cameron, you can’t just leave Iraq to the dogs and hope that throwing money at it cause you feel bad about it will make it better. I’m not saying the way we are going about things over there is right, cause it clearly isn’t, but do you really think it will improve if we just walk out and hand them a check?

  7. Chris

    I’m with Cameron, you can’t just leave Iraq to the dogs and hope that throwing money at it cause you feel bad about it will make it better.

    I’m not saying we should pay reparations because we feel bad, we should pay reparations because it’s our moral and legal duty to do so. It’s also something I fully expect will never happen.

    We owe something to countries like Vietnam and Iraq that we rape, pillage and occupy. Money seems like a pretty good answer, since they obviously don’t want our continued “help.”

  8. Ian

    I’m not saying we should pay reparations because we feel bad, we should pay reparations because it’s our moral and legal duty to do so.

    How is it our legal duty? The war itself wasn’t legal from what I recall, or, at least, the justification for war was a lie and everyone seems to be ignoring that fact now. And wouldn’t moral duty be the equivalent of doing it cause we feel bad? I don’t know how much I will agree with you about how much we owe Iraq. Personally, I don’t feel like I owe Iraq a dime, I don’t like the war, I have no real say on what happens in it, and I didn’t choose to go there in the first place. I did nothing to Iraq, and Iraq did nothing to me, so I don’t feel like I owe them anything. If they are going to be receiving US taxpayer money, I think we have a right to know and influence how they spend it. Thats not reparations, thats humanitarian aid. Still, if anyone owes Iraq money, its all the politicians who voted for this war, its the Bush administration, its the oil companies who will end up profiting, its Halliburton, and its the mass media who got the war machine running at full speed helping our government convince us of the need to enter an unjustified war.

    The question is whether or not Iraq, in the long term, will be better because Saddam is gone. Obviously in the short term its worse. Maybe in the long term, it will be better, it remains to be seen. Then maybe you can determine if we have a debt to Iraq, or if Iraq has a debt to us.

    As for Vietnam, what did we gain from that other than a decade of some good music and sexual liberation? We only lost there, in Iraq we will get oil, well, I shouldn’t say “we”, the oil corporations will get oil. We the people lose either way.

  9. Chris

    How is it our legal duty? The war itself wasn’t legal from what I recall, or, at least, the justification for war was a lie and everyone seems to be ignoring that fact now.

    As the aggressor in the war, we are responsible for paying reparations. In a criminal sense, we started the war without just cause, and now we have to pay for the damage we’ve created.

    It’s unfortunate that normal U.S. citizens will end up paying for the mistakes of our politicians, but maybe that will wake this country up. We should be in the streets every day protesting and causing trouble until the war is over.

  10. Ian

    Generally you don’t go to war with a country to help them out (See Rome sewing salt in the soil at Carthage). The reason we went to war was to overthrow Saddam cause we thought he had WMD. That was the selling point, I don’t recall anywhere in the approval of war saying we intended to do anything but get rid of Saddam. This is nation building because we want a pro-US governments in Iraq and we want a cut of the oil. Thats what we are paying for and nothing else. And complaining about the legalities of war is laughable. Remember when we were crying, “Oh their guys are dressing up like civilians! Its against the Geneva Convention!” The notion of being civilized while killing others is a joke. There is no law and there are no rules unless you impose them on yourself.

    now we have to pay for the damage we’ve created.

    Here’s your rude awakening though: we don’t and we probably won’t. And if you honestly believe we have an obligation to Iraq, as I do, then pulling out is the biggest step towards NOT helping Iraq. Once we leave, the American public will not want to keep paying their bills, it will be out of everyone’s minds, the whole thing will be forgotten. It won’t be on our politicians’ agendas cause it won’t get them votes or face time on CNN/Fox News. You know once we are out of Iraq it will go back to gay marriage and abortion, they already are trying to make it that way again.

    It’s unfortunate that normal U.S. citizens will end up paying for the mistakes of our politicians, but maybe that will wake this country up.

    You wish. Have you seen the national debt? Does anyone anywhere in this country seem to give a damn?

    We should be in the streets protesting that no one in our government gives a shit about us, screw Iraq. The bigger issue is that our government doesn’t serve the people wants, it serves special interests and big business. Democrats and Republicans are the same, its just which group of companies owns which politician that you vote for.