Even putting aside the many important legal and moral questions about the Bush administration’s decision to invade Iraq, it has been a disaster even on practical terms. Mainstream to conservative strategic analysts and retired generals–along with the majority of career professionals in the State Department, Defense Department, and CIA–recognize that the invasion and occupation has made America less secure rather than more secure.
Earlier this month, in a widely quoted interview in the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, Dov Weisglass–Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s senior adviser–acknowledged what most independent observers have known all along: that the Israeli government is not actually interested in a peace agreement with the Syrian government or the Palestinian Authority. Israel has occupied the Palestinian West Bank and Gaza Strip and the Syrian Golan Heights since these territories were seized by the Israeli armed forces in 1967, expelling thousands of Arabs and then colonizing these territories with Jewish settlers in contravention of international law.
The major justifications for the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq—Saddam Hussein’s supposed possession of weapons of mass destruction and Iraqi ties to the terrorist al-Qaida network—are now widely discredited, and Washington’s claims that its efforts are creating a democratic Iraq are also highly dubious. Although economic factors did play an important role in prompting a U.S. invasion, the simplistic notion that Iraq’s makeover was undertaken simply for the sake of oil company profits ignores the fact that even optimistic projections of the financial costs of the invasion and occupation far exceeded anticipated financial benefits. Furthermore, Saddam Hussein was already selling his oil at a level satisfactory to Western buyers, and his standing among fellow OPEC members was low, so he could not have persuaded the cartel to adopt policies detrimental to U.S. interests. So what actually motivated the United States to take on the problematic task of conquering and rebuilding Iraq?
It has been just over two years since Congress took its fateful vote to authorize President George W. Bush to invade Iraq. This came despite the fact that such an invasion was a clear violation of the United Nations Charter, which, as a formal treaty signed and ratified by the United States, is — according to Article VI of the U.S. Constitution — to be treated as supreme law.
No wonder it feels so damn frustrating. It?s like 1968 all over again.
The United States is bogged down in a bloody counter-insurgency war on the other side of the globe, a war that the majority of the American people believe we should have never entered. Polls consistently show it is the number one issue on the minds of American voters in the weeks leading up to a close presidential election. The majority of Democrats and independents and a growing minority of Republicans believe that the war is unwinnable and we should get out.
Listed below is what I consider to be the sixteen most misleading statements made by Vice-President Dick Cheney and Senator John Edwards during the foreign policy segment of their debate of October 5, followed by my critiques. This is a non-partisan analysis: eleven of the misleading statements cited are from Cheney and five are from Edwards. The quotes are listed in the order in which they appear in the transcript:
The list below contains what I consider to be the sixteen most misleading statements made by Vice President Dick Cheney and Senator John Edwards during the foreign policy segment of their debate of October 5, followed by my critiques. This is a resolutely non-partisan analysis: eleven of the misleading statements cited are from Cheney and five are from Edwards. The quotes are listed in the order in which they appear in the transcript.
Democratic nominee John Kerry’s foreign policy speech at New York University has been widely hailed as a long-overdue effort to place some daylight between himself and President Bush regarding Iraq. In his September 20 address, the Massachusetts senator appropriately took the president to task for launching the war prematurely, mishandling the occupation, misleading the American public regarding the deteriorating situation on the ground, and pursuing policies that have weakened America’s security interests.
Commentators in the mainstream media seem genuinely perplexed over the polite but notably unenthusiastic reception given to President George W. Bush’s September 21 address before the United Nations General Assembly. Why wasn’t a speech that emphasized such high ideals as democracy, the rule of law, and the threat of terrorism better received?
Some progressive supporters of Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry have argued that, despite his support for the invasion of Iraq and other neoconservative-driven foreign policies of the Bush Administration, at least a President Kerry – unlike the incumbent president – would be more willing to listen to the views of those with more moderate perspectives than himself.