Bring It On!

Bush War on Terror A Self-Fulfilling Prophecy

May 25th, 2007 | by Ken Grandlund |

When we are just children, our parents often warn us against doing something which they already know will end badly. At four or seven or eleven years old, we may decide to do the thing anyway, resulting in a circumstance our parents had just warned us might likely occur. By our late teens, we pretty much accept that advice from other people may well have merit, meaning we learned in childhood the lessons of listening to those with more or better experience than we have ourselves. At least, for the majority of people, this is how life works. And while we soon find out that everyone has advice on how things are, not all advice is the same or as on target as other advice. Still, as we mature, we learn to discern what advice is more likely to be accurate.

Somehow, these are lessons that senior Bush Administration officials never learned, or at least, learned and then consciously shoved into the nether regions of their minds. Time and again, this Bush cabal has ignored information that could change lives for the better in favor of information that validated their predetermined path of choice. There are many examples, but the best ones come from the Iraq War and the battle against extremist religious terrorism.

For example, this bit that came to light this week. According to the AP, an upcoming Senate report reveals that back in 2003, before the invasion of Iraq, US intelligence agencies warned senior members of the Bush team that invading Iraq would create instability that would give Iran and terrorist groups like al-Qaeda new ways to expand their influence in the region. The analysts warned that US presence and military domination in the region would fuel extremist recruiting.

Prescient? Not really. These are the same things that then Defense Secretary Cheney and Colin Powell (among others) told the first President Bush with regards to taking the first Gulf War all the way to Baghdad.

The 2003 report was supposedly widely circulated among government officials including top Pentagon brass and the office of VP Cheney. At this point, it’s not clear whether Bush himself ever saw the reports. But that may be irrelevant, since Bush seems to be more of a figurehead than an actual Decider Guy, despite his own retorts to the opposite.

The point is, they had the predictions before they began the war to battle terrorism. They had credible knowledge that starting a war in Iraq would not decrease terrorism, but instead would likely increase it. They didn’t care. Which means that they either wanted to increase terrorism to keep their War on Terror on track, or they needed a convenient excuse to get at Iraqi oil reserves. My guess is that it’s a little bit of both.

Bush and Cheney repeatedly tell us that our presence in Iraq is vital to the War on Terror. They are right. Without American military in Iraq, the terrorists wouldn’t have their best training and recruiting grounds.

[tag]War+On+Terror, Iraq, terrorists, prewar+intelligence, Cheney, Bush[/tag]

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  1. 17 Responses to “Bush War on Terror A Self-Fulfilling Prophecy”

  2. By Paul Watson on May 25, 2007 | Reply

    Ken,
    Or, if you want to err on the side of generoristy, they believed they knew better. Which isn’t that generous, I grant you, but it implies arrogance to the point of idiocy rather than corruption and is certainly a viable alternative.

  3. By ken grandlund on May 25, 2007 | Reply

    I guess I’m not feeling that generous any more. TOo much of this crap keeps coming up. And the kicker of course is that these estimates were the same at the end of the Gulf War which is why the battle ended when and where it did.

    Arrogant? For sure! But careless and corrupt also, without much doubt IMO.

  4. By SteveIL on May 25, 2007 | Reply

    Ken,

    These are the same intelligence agencies that said Saddam had WMDs. Most of you all still claim this was the only (or at least the main reason) for invading Iraq, and they were wrong on that. Now all of a sudden you think they look like geniuses? Why, because they are putting out statements your in favor of? Who’s manipulating the intelligence now? Sure doesn’t seem like the President.

  5. By Paul Watson on May 25, 2007 | Reply

    SteveIL,
    But equally, Bush believed the WMD claims. So why didn’t he believe these ones?

  6. By SteveIL on May 25, 2007 | Reply

    Paul,

    It is always wise to remember “don’t always believe what you read in the papers”, or at least just one source.

    The AP story Ken linked isn’t nearly as complete as this one from Walter Pincus from the Washington Post. In paragraph one, it states the following:

    The U.S. intelligence community accurately predicted months before the Iraq war that al-Qaeda would link up with elements from former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein’s regime and militant Islamists to conduct terrorist attacks against U.S. forces in that country, according to a report released today by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.

    Hmmmm, very interesting, don’t you think? The prediction that Al Qaeda and Baathists would hook up to conduct terrorist attacks. But, but, we’ve been told repeatedly, by so many here especially, that there was no way secularists like Saddam (and those who worked for him) would ever work with Islamofascists like those in Al Qaeda. How could this be? And how could the intelligence community have predicted this connection between Baathists (and Saddam, because he was the Baath Party) and Al Qaeda before we invaded Iraq when it’s common knowledge not to be true? Or was that common knowledge not true, that is false, perhaps a lie.

    Now, if I remember my history correctly, it was the Islamofascist Osama bin Laden and his Al Qaeda terrorists that caused the terrorist attacks on the U.S. on 9/11/2001 (except for the Truthers, who ignorantly and hatefully only believe Bush could have done it), murdering 3000 (who should also be remembered on Memorial Day as they were the first casualties of this war). These Al Qaeda are the filth we’ve been at war with since then. Now we’re being told that before the invasion of Iraq, there’s intelligence that states there would be an attempt at a link-up between Saddam’s forces and Al Qaeda. Which also means that there had to have been some pre-Iraq war contacts between Saddam’s people and Al Qaeda for our intelligence people to have found this out.

    Which actually means that the whole point of going into Iraq had far more to do with those who committed the 9/11 terrorist attacks than we’ve been told by those who said the common knowledge about Saddam and the Baathists never dealing with Al Qaeda terrorists.

    Now this “common knowledge” appears to have been false propaganda by those manipulating the intelligence to tell all of us otherwise.

  7. By SteveIL on May 25, 2007 | Reply

    Let me add one other thing. The point of this post, as has been with so many others, is that we should never have invaded Iraq and should have left Saddam in power.

    In light of this new information, would it have been better to keep Saddam in power, still under pressure to adhere to UN resolutions, while at the same time he be allowed to have unfettered access to Al Qaeda, those who managed to murder 3000 with only 19 verminous pieces of shit, in order for Saddam and Al Qaeda to serve a common purpose? Answer that.

  8. By JT Davis on May 25, 2007 | Reply

    It’s disturbingly amusing to watch the neoconservative mind sputtering and lurching into action to connect dots that only it can see and reach conclusions only a lunatic on LSD could reach. Combine this with poor SteveIL’s less than comprehensive grasp on the facts and it’s quite an excursion into tin foil hattery.

    Team B

  9. By steve on May 25, 2007 | Reply

    It is even funnier watching a liberal act so smug and so fake, thinking he can use “big” words to hide his mediocre intelligence from the rest of the people who actually give a shit. Bravo JT, will the admiration ever cease?

    Ken… interesting post. Didn’t Clinton shoot some cruise missiles into Iraq in 1998 during the Monica Lewinski Scandal? What I am trying to say is your liberal brethren supported that. I mean, we’ve been after Saddam since he went into Kuwait. This situation would have happened if Bush I pushed further or Clinton put boots on the ground. In fact, when the war broke out, in 2003 I seem to remember Clinton on Leno saying that Saddam had to go. That clip is going to pop up on Mrs. Clinton as soon as she gets the nomination. We all know that is coming. And even if the Republicans don’t pull it off in 2008, there is gonna be a whole hell of a lot of mud slinging tossed Clinton’s way.

    Perhaps we under estimated the terrorists? Perhaps we made a mistake. So… why not correct the situation instead of bailing out, regardless who’s President.

  10. By JT Davis on May 26, 2007 | Reply

    It’s difficult to be anything but smug around people like you Steve and SteveIL. Fake would be if I tried to act like anything you said deserved to be taken even remotely seriously. I’ll try to cut down on the “big words” for your sake.

  11. By steve on May 26, 2007 | Reply

    Don’t bother… I wouldn’t want to stroke your ego.

    You have two choices JT. You could try and convince someone that does not agree with you, or you can pick on them.

    It’s too bad you waste your time and energy picking on people.

  12. By ken grandlund on May 26, 2007 | Reply

    SteveIL- The fault I see in your argument is that the intelligence said that if we took out Saddam, the country would become so destabilized as to become ripe for terrorist organizations. Al-Qaeda looking to hook up with newly radicalized Islamic secularists in a power vacuum is not the same as saying they were walking hand in hand prior to the invasion. That is much different than saying that there was a pre-war connection between Saddam and al-Qaeda. They may have been ready to go in when the opportunity arose, but under Saddam it did not arise.

    No, I’m no Saddam fan at all. That should be clear from many posts I’ve written. But to ignore evidence and opinion that dates back to the first gulf war, and including statements made by some of the same guys in the show then and now, smacks of arrogance or incompetance to me.

    In the fight on terrorist organizations, Iraq was a serious misstep, one that was predicted and ignored. To assert, even today, that Iraq was the next best plan is ludicrous, especially considering the unfinished job in Afghanistan.

    Al-Qaeda also wants to overthrow the US- does that mean that there are al-Qaeda links here with the US government? I doubt it. But using your logic, it would have to be true.

    Similarly, your question is a nonsensical one- would we be better off having left Saddam in power so he could have unfettered access to al-Qaeda? He had no such thing, didn’t seem to want any such thing either. Al-Qaeda and Baathism were not exactly compatible, nor would an extremist group like bin Laden’s be looking to forge some kind of power share with Saddam. There is no love from al-Qaeda for non al-Qaeda types. But nice try anyhow.

    Saddam should have been removed by Iraqi’s. Or, if they did indeed want our help in ridding him, we shouldn’t have bungled it so badly to turn their initial hope and trust into such a dismal state of anger and increasing hatred.

    Steve (not IL)- Clinton and Britain maintained the no-fly zone imposed by the agreement that ended the first gulf war. Some missiles were probably launched (I’m not looking it up right now) in response to SAM’s launched at coalition aircraft. What’s the point? That Democrats didn’t much like Saddam either? Who did?

    Neither Bush I nor Clinton sent troops into Iraq, probably because this information had been repeated time and again. Why suffer US troops to a failing proposition unless you’re willing to go balls out, and no president since WWII has felt like going balls out. Had that been done, and then had aftermath and peace been maintained, which any rational administration would have prepared for, perhaps our troops would be home today, Iraq would be on the way to their own version of democracy, and we’d all be hailing Bush as a good-doer. Didn’t happen, won’t happen now. Bush screwed up and doesn’t even have the common sense to admit and adjust.

    Of course, when the ‘evidence’ used to go to war turned out to be false at worst, specious at best, all bets were off. A war of choice is very far afield than a defensive war. Afghanistan was defensive, Iraq was choice. And a bad choice at that. Indeed, going to Iraq has only fueled the liklihood that worldwide terrorism will continue longer than had we not gone in there when and as we did.

  13. By JT Davis on May 26, 2007 | Reply

    You have two choices JT. You could try and convince someone that does not agree with you, or you can pick on them.

    I have as many choices as I like. If you actually believe what you just wrote, you are fooling yourself more than usual. I don’t need to convince anyone of anything. People eventually figure it out on their own. That’s the best way. Some never will. I honestly wouldn’t know where to begin with SteveIL. I can see there is no point in trying. It’s incumbent upon him to educate himself, like I have. I’ve had long exchanges with Craig. He invariably gives up and leaves. I only “pick on him” when he acts like a total idiot, i.e. the “Bush was a test pilot whose brave service saved lives in Vietnam”. Frankly, he should be ashamed to show his face in public after that one. Steve Il is not capable of shame. He humiliates himself daily here. I just point and laff at it.

  14. By Paul Watson on May 26, 2007 | Reply

    SteveIL,
    And yet, even if going to war with Iraq was justified (and we are almost certainly never going to agree on that part of it), given that warning from people the President believed regarding the threat of WMD, why wasn’t the Administration and military prepared for the predicted insurgency? That’s what I’m asking. You can argue whether we should have gone in as much as you like, but that wasn’t what was asked.
    To repeat, even if we should have invaded, why weren’t we prepared for the long-predicted consequences?

  15. By JT Davis on May 26, 2007 | Reply

    These are the same intelligence agencies that said Saddam had WMDs.

    This is false. It’s right wing propaganda, plain and simple. Don’t let the fact “the liberal MSM” continues to report it fool you. There is no such thing as “the liberal MSM”. That’s right wing propaganda too. Just read about Team B. Same clowns, same tricks. So you don’t need to debate that point. Try to stick to the facts. Joe Wilson and his wife can tell you what happened to people in the intelligence community who tried to report the truth about Saddam and WMDs.

  16. By manapp99 on May 26, 2007 | Reply

    So JT doesn’t believe the “liberal MSM” about intelligence of the WMD however he believes the discredited, lying Joe Wilson. Say hello to the tooth fairy and the easter bunny JT just don’t poke them in the eye with your tin foil hat.

    Again the analogy of removing the hornets nest comes to mind. If you have a nest you have to get rid of and know your going to stir up the hornets in the process you have two choices. Get rid of it and deal with the consequences as they arise or leave it alone and let someone else deal with a bigger nest down the road. I don’t imagine that Bush ignored the intel about the danger, he would have weighed that against non action and made a choice. As in every day life for all people, sometimes the choices you make have bad consequences that have to be dealt with. At that point you can either roll up you sleeves and do what needs to be done or run away and whine that the job is too hard. The problem with the Dems is that they were gung ho going in but when the going got hard, the Dems started whining that the job is just too hard.

  17. By JT Davis on May 26, 2007 | Reply

    Manapples is a rotten fruit. Full of worms.

    I don’t have a serious response to such imbecilic nonsense. Pat, pat.

  18. By JT Davis on May 26, 2007 | Reply

    Not for the brain dead among us:

    Pat Lang & Lawrence Wilkerson Share Nightmare Encounters with Feith, Wolfowitz, and Tenet

    In early 2001, his name was put forward as somebody who would be good at running the Pentagon’s office of special operations and low-intensity warfare, i.e., counterinsurgency. Lang had also been a Green Beret, with three tours in South Vietnam.

    One of the people he had to impress was Feith, the Defense Department’s number three official and a leading player in the clique of neoconservatives who had taken over the government’s national security apparatus.

    Lang went to see him, he recalled during a May 7 panel discussion at the University of the District of Columbia.

    “He was sitting there munching a sandwich while he was talking to me,” Lang recalled, “which I thought was remarkable in itself, but he also had these briefing papers — they always had briefing papers, you know — about me.

    “He’s looking at this stuff, and he says, ‘I’ve heard of you. I heard of you.’

    “He says, ‘Is it really true that you really know the Arabs this well, and that you speak Arabic this well? Is that really true? Is that really true?’

    “And I said, ‘Yeah, that’s really true.’

    “That’s too bad,” Feith said.

    The audience howled.

    “That was the end of the interview,” Lang said. “I’m not quite sure what he meant, but you can work it out.”

    Feith, of course, like the administration’s other Israel-connected hawks, didn’t want “Arabists” like Lang muddying the road to Baghdad, from where — according to the Bush administration theory — overthrowing Saddam Hussein would ignite mass demands for Western-style, pro-U.S. democracies across the entire Middle East.

    Benador

    “When historians look back on the United States war in Iraq, they will almost certainly be struck by how a small group of mainly neo-conservative analysts and activists outside the administration were able to shape the US media debate in ways that made the drive to war so much easier than it might have been… But historians would be negligent if they ignored the day-to-day work of one person who, as much as anyone outside the administration, made their media ubiquity possible. Meet Eleana Benador, the Peruvian-born publicist for Perle, Woolsey, Michael Ledeen, Frank Gaffney and a dozen other prominent neo-conservatives whose hawkish opinions proved very hard to avoid for anyone who watched news talk shows or read the op-ed pages of major newspapers over the past 20 months.”
    — Jim Lobe, The Andean Condor among the Hawks, Asia Times, August 15, 2003.

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