Kidding, I want a competency evaluation for the entire Republican establishment. Kidding, there is no longer a Republican establishment. Kidding, it’s established but need not be. Let me start again: our VP candidate, Mike Pence, is apparently a huge Dick ….Cheney fan. Some of you may remember Cheney as the guy touting a 13% approval rating at the end of his tenor. The man who is still giving Obama foreign policy advice despite a scathing intelligence report released this friggin’ week. Essentially this latest report identifies the invasion of Iraq as the event that ultimately threw a lifeline to jihadism and helped spread terrorism globally. It was the single worst foreign policy decision since Nam, but it will have much longer global ramifications. The world has still not recovered from Cheney’s recklessness and may never. He should not be venerated. In fact, if you still believe in the rule of law he should be hung. Maybe Pence is also hung and, if frequently aroused, this could impact blood flow to the brain. [Dick Brainy joke removed by the editor.]
Yesterday a great laundry list of Cheney’s depravity arrived courtesy of The Atlantic. Let’s try something more concise:
Bush always blamed the intelligence for the WMD debacle, but their “intelligence” was based on the word of one man (one Ahmed Chalabi, a CIA-known fraudster). The administration later combated criticism with, “well, all the intelligence agencies said they had WMDs.” In reality, they were all the countries using the same faulty intelligence. Then came Colin Powell’s speech to the UN, which connected dots about Iraq’s WMD aspirations that were never there. These lies were then compounded the day of the invasion when inspectors on the ground urged patience, as Iraq was cooperating and WMDs seemed absent. All of this was then explained in the Downing Street memos to then Prime Minister Tony Blair. It basically said, “We don’t really care about the details. We just want to bomb shit.” The most exhaustive timeline leading up to the Iraq war comes courtesy of Mother Jones, here.
“It’s all been a pack of lies.”
We all know the effects, actually, some of us still don’t. Suffice to say, Cheney is a fascist, a torturer, and above all incompetent. Trump is an idiot, but he’s light years ahead of Pence on this issue. So the “smart guy” on the ticket is showing his true intellectual quotient, or lack thereof.
What we learned post-9/11:
- The State Department and military was slow to react to the situation at the embassy.
- The video moved up the date of the attack, but Hillary knew from day one it was a coordinated…
- Iraq: Remove the dictator and occupy = a mega shitshow, costs high in lives and treasure, increase in radicalization.
- Libya: Remove the dictator and don’t occupy = a less expensive shitshow, but still horrible for the locals.
- Syria: Don’t remove the dictator and don’t occupy = a huge shitshow for them, but easy on U.S. casualties and treasure.
What moment in time did Obama make a clear mistake regarding the Middle East? If you haven’t noticed, all of the options post-Bush suck. Obama’s steps or missteps have not come with quite so high a price tag or the associated coffins. When I ask a Republican what Obama could have done differently, silence, but when someone asks me what Bush could have done differently, the answer is everything. Thus my own street protest on Shock & Awe day. I’m not a guy who generally takes to the streets, but I knew then how bad this would turn out. And I told anyone who would listen.
What have Republicans learned? That’s a rhetorical question. Foreign policy was greatly complicated by the invasion of Iraq. In fact, every action supported by our Republican friends was also endorsed by ISIS and AL-Qaeda. Coincidence? They haven’t figured out how the terrorists are smarter than they are. Bin Laden’s son is on record stating, “I can’t believe Bush took the bait.” All these regime collapses and subsequent vacuums of power were part of the Bush Doctrine. Post 9/11, the Bushies were confident enough to topple Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran, Syria, Libya, Yemen and Somalia (this per General Wesley Clark). These fools set this shit into motion, which admittedly the Arab Spring accelerated.
Recruitment Tool 101: Abu Ghraib (2004) a picture is worth a thousand words.
(800 more words than contained in your nominee’s vocabulary. Flesch-Kincaid grade level 3).
What Shock & Awe did was effectively remove the ground troop option for the foreseeable future. Thankfully, Obama got the message, but this fact greatly complicated each and every conflict. War from 30,000 feet is risky as we just found out after accidentally killing 80 Syrian soldiers and wounding another 100 in a botched air strike, here. The GOP wants a tougher stance which equates simply to more bombs and, yet, it didn’t work out well for France in Iraq, Saudi Arabia in Yemen, or Russia in Syria. They did take out more schools and hospitals, though. Winning! See, you want bombs, bombs, bombs when we need brains, brains, brains. I understand your dilemma as Republicans need to go with what’s in their arsenal. These days it’s brains vs braun and, sadly, they are neck and neck in the polls.
Not only are Republicans incapable of addressing real world issues, they seem wholly incapable of learning from their mistakes. Our more liberal leaders have always represented a pause in our pending demise—a pause in the inevitable economic collapse of rampant consumerism and a pause in the march toward WWIII.
Here’s my state’s take on Iran: