Monday, February 21, 2011

Big cost, no benefit

Just like we've been saying all along, the false 'intelligence' used to justify invading Iraq was known then and being more and more confirmed now, with the following bit being the latest:

"I had the chance to fabricate something to topple the regime. I and my sons are proud of that, and we are proud that we were the reason to give Iraq the margin of democracy."
— Rafid Ahmed Alwan al-Janabi, aka "Curveball," admitting to WMD lies used to justify the Iraq War

So, Janabi is proud as any four-year-old of his great achievement. I'm sure we'll find the stub someday that shows he got his $million bribe from the neocons in power to lie about this. The disingenuous part, of course, is that only the ignorant believed him then, not the neocons who featured him, not the cowed and subservient intelligence officers and certainly neither men most likely to know, Hans Blix of UNMOVIC and Mohamed ElBaredei of the IAEA. Blix headed the most invasive inspection regime in history and ElBaredei had all true WMD information. They virtually begged Bush and his crime ring not to invade. Now we have the likes of Richard Perle claiming, like Bush ultimately did (after proclaiming his absolute faith in it in order to get into war), that this was an intelligence failure. No, it was a failure of integrity, not knowledge.

Indeed, Blix fought against this asinine and illegal invasion and noted caustically a month or two later, when no WMD were found (see Greenwald's "Uncovered" for much more):
It is somewhat puzzling, I think, that you can have a hundred percent certainty about the weapons of mass destruction’s existence and zero certainty about where they are.

But just to note the analysis offered by Peter Ackerman and Jack DuVall as this thing ramped up, they claimed that Iraqis could do this themselves, using civil society nonviolent uprising. It was a brilliant plan, executed ultimately--by Tunisians, Egyptians, and is underway elsewhere in the Arab world. They had faith in civil society's latent but quite real power then, no matter which society chafed under oppressors--dictators friendly to the US, hostile to the US, military juntas, communist dictators, theocratic dictators, fake democracy dictators--and their analysis was ignored by the left who were against the invasion of Iraq but never have understood nonviolent power. Perhaps the first glimmer of light is appearing to them as Arabs have burst forth to force a tsunami of uprising where few thought they could do it. Students of strategic nonviolence never doubted it. The piece by Ackerman and DuVall, widely ignored then, should be seen as a massive forehead-slapping moment for the US and Iraq and all the critics of nonviolence.

Ackerman, P. & DuVall, J. (2002) With weapons of the will. Sojourners.
Greenwald, R. Uncovered transcript.

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