• Mission Unaccomplished: The Iraq Invasion’s Legacy

    March 20, 2013

    Tags: , ,
    Posted in: Embassy/State, Iran, Iraq, Military

    Land of the FreeWhy the Invasion of Iraq Was the Single Worst Foreign Policy Decision in American History

    This article originally appeared on TomDispatch.com

    I was there. And “there” was nowhere. And nowhere was the place to be if you wanted to see the signs of end times for the American Empire up close. It was the place to be if you wanted to see the madness — and oh yes, it was madness — not filtered through a complacent and sleepy media that made Washington’s war policy seem, if not sensible, at least sane and serious enough. I stood at Ground Zero of what was intended to be the new centerpiece for a Pax Americana in the Greater Middle East.


    Not to put too fine a point on it, but the invasion of Iraq turned out to be a joke. Not for the Iraqis, of course, and not for American soldiers, and not the ha-ha sort of joke either. And here’s the saddest truth of all: on March 20th as we mark the 10th anniversary of the invasion from hell, we still don’t get it. In case you want to jump to the punch line, though, it’s this: by invading Iraq, the U.S. did more to destabilize the Middle East than we could possibly have imagined at the time. And we — and so many others — will pay the price for it for a long, long time.


    The Madness of King George

    It’s easy to forget just how normal the madness looked back then. By 2009, when I arrived in Iraq, we were already at the last-gasp moment when it came to salvaging something from what may yet be seen as the single worst foreign policy decision in American history. It was then that, as a State Department officer assigned to lead two provincial reconstruction teams in eastern Iraq, I first walked into the chicken processing plant in the middle of nowhere.

    By then, the U.S. “reconstruction” plan for that country was drowning in rivers of money foolishly spent. As the centerpiece for those American efforts — at least after Plan A, that our invading troops would be greeted with flowers and sweets as liberators, crashed and burned — we had managed to reconstruct nothing of significance. First conceived as a Marshall Plan for the New American Century, six long years later it had devolved into farce.

    In my act of the play, the U.S. spent some $2.2 million dollars to build a huge facility in the boondocks. Ignoring the stark reality that Iraqis had raised and sold chickens locally for some 2,000 years, the U.S. decided to finance the construction of a central processing facility, have the Iraqis running the plant purchase local chickens, pluck them and slice them up with complex machinery brought in from Chicago, package the breasts and wings in plastic wrap, and then truck it all to local grocery stores. Perhaps it was the desert heat, but this made sense at the time, and the plan was supported by the Army, the State Department, and the White House.

    Elegant in conception, at least to us, it failed to account for a few simple things, like a lack of regular electricity, or logistics systems to bring the chickens to and from the plant, or working capital, or… um… grocery stores. As a result, the gleaming $2.2 million plant processed no chickens. To use a few of the catchwords of that moment, it transformed nothing, empowered no one, stabilized and economically uplifted not a single Iraqi. It just sat there empty, dark, and unused in the middle of the desert. Like the chickens, we were plucked.

    In keeping with the madness of the times, however, the simple fact that the plant failed to meet any of its real-world goals did not mean the project wasn’t a success. In fact, the factory was a hit with the U.S. media. After all, for every propaganda-driven visit to the plant, my group stocked the place with hastily purchased chickens, geared up the machinery, and put on a dog-and-pony, er, chicken-and-rooster, show.

    In the dark humor of that moment, we christened the place the Potemkin Chicken Factory. In between media and VIP visits, it sat in the dark, only to rise with the rooster’s cry each morning some camera crew came out for a visit. Our factory was thus considered a great success. Robert Ford, then at the Baghdad Embassy and now America’s rugged shadow ambassador to Syria, said his visit was the best day out he enjoyed in Iraq. General Ray Odierno, then commanding all U.S. forces in Iraq, sent bloggers and camp followers to view the victory project. Some of the propaganda, which proclaimed that “teaching Iraqis methods to flourish on their own gives them the ability to provide their own stability without needing to rely on Americans,” is still online (including this charming image of American-Iraqi mentorship, a particular favorite of mine).

    We weren’t stupid, mind you. In fact, we all felt smart and clever enough to learn to look the other way. The chicken plant was a funny story at first, a kind of insider’s joke you all think you know the punch line to. Hey, we wasted some money, but $2.2 million was a small amount in a war whose costs will someday be toted up in the trillions. Really, at the end of the day, what was the harm?

    The harm was this: we wanted to leave Iraq (and Afghanistan) stable to advance American goals. We did so by spending our time and money on obviously pointless things, while most Iraqis lacked access to clean water, regular electricity, and medical or hospital care. Another State Department official in Iraq wrote in his weekly summary to me, “At our project ribbon-cuttings we are typically greeted now with a cursory ‘thank you,’ followed by a long list of crushing needs for essential services such as water and power.” How could we help stabilize Iraq when we acted like buffoons? As one Iraqi told me, “It is like I am standing naked in a room with a big hat on my head. Everyone comes in and helps put flowers and ribbons on my hat, but no one seems to notice that I am naked.”

    By 2009, of course, it should all have been so obvious. We were no longer inside the neocon dream of unrivaled global superpowerdom, just mired in what happened to it. We were a chicken factory in the desert that no one wanted.


    Time Travel to 2003

    Anniversaries are times for reflection, in part because it’s often only with hindsight that we recognize the most significant moments in our lives. On the other hand, on anniversaries it’s often hard to remember what it was really like back when it all began. Amid the chaos of the Middle East today, it’s easy, for instance, to forget what things looked like as 2003 began. Afghanistan, it appeared, had been invaded and occupied quickly and cleanly, in a way the Soviets (the British, the ancient Greeks…) could never have dreamed of. Iran was frightened, seeing the mighty American military on its eastern border and soon to be on the western one as well, and was ready to deal. Syria was controlled by the stable thuggery of Bashar al-Assad and relations were so good that the U.S. was rendering terror suspects to his secret prisons for torture.

    Most of the rest of the Middle East was tucked in for a long sleep with dictators reliable enough to maintain stability. Libya was an exception, though predictions were that before too long Muammar Qaddafi would make some sort of deal. (He did.) All that was needed was a quick slash into Iraq to establish a permanent American military presence in the heart of Mesopotamia. Our future garrisons there could obviously oversee things, providing the necessary muscle to swat down any future destabilizing elements. It all made so much sense to the neocon visionaries of the early Bush years. The only thing that Washington couldn’t imagine was this: that the primary destabilizing element would be us.

    Indeed, its mighty plan was disintegrating even as it was being dreamed up. In their lust for everything on no terms but their own, the Bush team missed a diplomatic opportunity with Iran that might have rendered today’s saber rattling unnecessary, even as Afghanistan fell apart and Iraq imploded. As part of the breakdown, desperate men, blindsided by history, turned up the volume on desperate measures: torture, secret gulags, rendition, drone killings, extra-constitutional actions at home. The sleaziest of deals were cut to try to salvage something, including ignoring the A.Q. Khan network of Pakistani nuclear proliferation in return for a cheesy Condi Rice-Qaddafi photo-op rapprochement in Libya.

    Inside Iraq, the forces of Sunni-Shia sectarian conflict had been unleashed by the U.S. invasion. That, in turn, was creating the conditions for a proxy war between the U.S. and Iran, similar to the growing proxy war between Israel and Iran inside Lebanon (where another destabilizing event, the U.S.-sanctioned Israeli invasion of 2006, followed in hand). None of this has ever ended. Today, in fact, that proxy war has simply found a fresh host, Syria, with multiple powers using “humanitarian aid” to push and shove their Sunni and Shia avatars around.

    Staggering neocon expectations, Iran emerged from the U.S. decade in Iraq economically more powerful, with sanctions-busting trade between the two neighbors now valued at some $5 billion a year and still growing. In that decade, the U.S. also managed to remove one of Iran’s strategic counterbalances, Saddam Hussein, replacing him with a government run by Nouri al-Malaki, who had once found asylum in Tehran.

    Meanwhile, Turkey is now engaged in an open war with the Kurds of northern Iraq. Turkey is, of course, part of NATO, so imagine the U.S. government sitting by silently while Germany bombed Poland. To complete the circle, Iraq’s prime minister recently warned that a victory for Syria’s rebels will spark sectarian wars in his own country and will create a new haven for al-Qaeda which would further destabilize the region.

    Meanwhile, militarily burnt out, economically reeling from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and lacking any moral standing in the Middle East post-Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib, the U.S. sat on its hands as the regional spark that came to be called the Arab Spring flickered out, to be replaced by yet more destabilization across the region. And even that hasn’t stopped Washington from pursuing the latest version of the (now-nameless) global war on terror into ever-newer regions in need of destabilization.

    Having noted the ease with which a numbed American public patriotically looked the other way while our wars followed their particular paths to hell, our leaders no longer blink at the thought of sending American drones and special operations forces ever farther afield, most notably ever deeper into Africa, creating from the ashes of Iraq a frontier version of the state of perpetual war George Orwell once imagined for his dystopian novel 1984. And don’t doubt for a second that there is a direct path from the invasion of 2003 and that chicken plant to the dangerous and chaotic place that today passes for our American world.


    Happy Anniversary

    On this 10th anniversary of the Iraq War, Iraq itself remains, by any measure, a dangerous and unstable place. Even the usually sunny Department of State advises American travelers to Iraq that U.S. citizens “remain at risk for kidnapping… [as] numerous insurgent groups, including Al Qaida, remain active…” and notes that “State Department guidance to U.S. businesses in Iraq advises the use of Protective Security Details.”

    In the bigger picture, the world is also a far more dangerous place than it was in 2003. Indeed, for the State Department, which sent me to Iraq to witness the follies of empire, the world has become ever more daunting. In 2003, at that infamous “mission accomplished” moment, only Afghanistan was on the list of overseas embassies that were considered “extreme danger posts.” Soon enough, however, Iraq and Pakistan were added. Today, Yemen and Libya, once boring but secure outposts for State’s officials, now fall into the same category.

    Other places once considered safe for diplomats and their families such as Syria and Mali have been evacuated and have no American diplomatic presence at all. Even sleepy Tunisia, once calm enough that the State Department had its Arabic language school there, is now on reduced staff with no diplomatic family members resident. Egypt teeters.

    The Iranian leadership watched carefully as the American imperial version of Iraq collapsed, concluded that Washington was a paper tiger, backed away from initial offers to talk over contested issues, and instead (at least for a while) doubled-down on achieving nuclear breakout capacity, aided by the past work of that same A.Q. Khan network. North Korea, another A.Q. Khan beneficiary, followed the same pivot ever farther from Washington, while it became a genuine nuclear power. Its neighbor China pursued its own path of economic dominance, while helping to “pay” for the Iraq War by becoming the number-one holder of U.S. debt among foreign governments. It now owns more than 21% of the U.S. debt held overseas.

    And don’t put away the joke book just yet. Subbing as apologist-in-chief for an absent George W. Bush and the top officials of his administration on this 10th anniversary, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair recently reminded us that there is more on the horizon. Conceding that he had “long since given up trying to persuade people Iraq was the right decision,” Blair added that new crises are looming. “You’ve got one in Syria right now, you’ve got one in Iran to come,” he said. “We are in the middle of this struggle, it is going to take a generation, it is going to be very arduous and difficult. But I think we are making a mistake, a profound error, if we think we can stay out of that struggle.”

    Think of his comment as a warning. Having somehow turned much of Islam into a foe, Washington has essentially assured itself of never-ending crises that it stands no chance whatsoever of winning. In this sense, Iraq was not an aberration, but the historic zenith and nadir for a way of thinking that is only now slowing waning. For decades to come, the U.S. will have a big enough military to ensure that our decline is slow, bloody, ugly, and reluctant, if inevitable. One day, however, even the drones will have to land.

    And so, happy 10th anniversary, Iraq War! A decade after the invasion, a chaotic and unstable Middle East is the unfinished legacy of our invasion. I guess the joke is on us after all, though no one is laughing.




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    Copyright © 2020. All rights reserved. The views expressed here are solely those of the author(s) in their private capacity.

  • Recent Comments

    • Kyzl Orda said...

      1

      Domestically, it has bankrupted our economy and heightened public corruption, in addition to the long list of serious points cited

      03/20/13 6:43 AM | Comment Link

    • meloveconsullongtime said...

      2

      Neocon sack of shit Charles Krauthammer, Feb 2003 (I remember being infuriated by this article ten years ago, before the war started):

      http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,421021,00.html

      03/20/13 7:40 AM | Comment Link

    • Lafcadio said...

      3

      Bush the Dumb Younger, Dirty Dick Cheney, Condi the Medicore, Colin the shill, Dumb Doug Feith, Paul “spit in my hair” Wolfowitz, Charles “war Pimp from the safety of my wheelchair” Krauthammer et. al are all fat and happy.

      In fact, they’re making out even better than Eric Boswell or Maura Harty!

      Good work if you can get it.

      03/20/13 8:55 AM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      4

      Ten years on the road to Damascus:

      Reportedly, Dick Cheney has received the Order of Lenin for his 007 efforts to destroy the American economy, cripple the US military and discredit what little credibility the CIA had. As for that flea market in Langley, the Iraq War illuminated the “truth that will set US free” – the Central Intelligence Agency is the False Advertising Agency:

      “This agency is no more! It has ceased to be! ‘E’s expired and gone to meet ‘is maker! ‘E’s a stiff! Bereft of life, ‘e rests in peace! If you hadn’t nailed ‘im to the perch ‘e’d be pushing up the daisies! ‘Is metabolic processes are now ‘istory! ‘E’s off the twig! ‘E’s kicked the bucket, ‘e’s shuffled off ‘is mortal coil, run down the curtain and joined the bleedin’ choir invisible!! THIS IS AN EX-AGENCY!!

      03/20/13 11:39 AM | Comment Link

    • meloveconsullongtime said...

      5

      Re the photo of the man in what appears to be a US military uniform, slapping a US flag on the face of Saddam’s statue: I remember seeing that on TV when it happened. (I wasn’t in America or Iraq at that time, it was broadcast worldwide.)

      And I remember immediately being appalled by that abuse of a US flag. When I was a mere Cub Scout – a few decades ago mind you – I was trained not to treat the flag that way.

      And so I wonder, was that guy really in the US armed forces? Or was he yet another actor in that staged event?

      03/20/13 1:48 PM | Comment Link

    • Kyzl Orda said...

      6

      Another related article to what Peter has written – Richard A. Clarke, former Intel Advisor, published a column on the Huffington Post aptly titled “Never Forget Our Invasion of Iraq Was a Breach of Trust.”

      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/richard-a-clarke/iraq-war-anniversary_b_2904285.html

      An excerpt from his article:

      “Fourth, those who profited most were Iran and al Qaeda. For years, Iran’s aggression in the region was held in check by the Baghdad government. Since the U.S. invasion, Iran has gained greater influence throughout the area, undermining the U.S. and its allies.

      Because we were busy in Iraq, U.S. military and intelligence assets were not available to end quickly the al Qaeda and Taliban presence in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Thus, the people who actually attacked us on Sept. 11 were free for years to regain their strength.

      Fifth, the invasion and occupation of Iraq added between one trillion and two trillion dollars to our long-term debt, depending upon what costs are considered (replacing equipment, caring for veterans).

      Defense contractors like Halliburton and Blackwater made huge profits. Those expenses were initiated at the same time as the Bush administration began a tax cut. The financial difficulties our government and economy face today are in large part driven by those twin decisions….”

      03/20/13 3:17 PM | Comment Link

    • pitchfork said...

      7

      quote:”I guess the joke is on us after all, though no one is laughing.”unquote

      Speaking of jokes and laughter, as I too watched in 2003, at that infamous “mission accomplished” moment, I couldn’t help fall on the floor in gut splitting laughter. Mission accomplished. Right. The $$$$ were already in their accounts and their memoir’s were already in writing. Mission accomplished.

      As I stared at this suspension of reality, I couldn’t stop laughing at the sight of Dubya in that pilots uniform. With the huge waving banner above him, declaring in bold letters said MISSION ACCOMPLISHED, I could just picture him envisioning himself receiving the medal of honor as the triumphant Hans Solo in that monumental victory celebration moment of Starwars “mission accomplished”.
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yixG8pfncOs

      Unfortunately, the USS Deathstar is still unleashing lethal havoc in the Universe with no end in sight.

      03/20/13 5:17 PM | Comment Link

    • meloveconsullongtime said...

      8

      Pitch wrote:

      “As I stared at this suspension of reality, I couldn’t stop laughing at the sight of Dubya in that pilots uniform.”…

      …which intentionally included a significantly bulge of his codpiece near his penis. Which reminds me once more, of THIS, as the PROPER anthem for today’s 21st century American Empire!: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=35zNXX7_f7o

      03/20/13 5:43 PM | Comment Link

    • Eric Hodgdon said...

      9

      And, the yacking continues with no hope of substantial and actual dismantlement and disbursal of the Evil Empire and its willing and supportive federal employees.

      Complacency and acceptance, the willingness to follow any order – legal or illegal – pervades the entire federal government. Compartmentalization breeds ignorance. Specialization brings on un-balanced thinking. Such is with any large organization.

      These factors make Empires work. Federal employees support the Empire, because they are the Empire. Remaining as such, these Americans are on the wrong side of history. Please leave now.

      03/20/13 5:54 PM | Comment Link

    • Kyzl Orda said...

      10

      Iraq war veteran, Tomas Young, was featured in Phil Donahue’s documentary “BOdy of War” and his open letter to Bush and Cheney is now circulating on the ‘net as part of the Iraq War reflection taking place:

      Tomas Young’s Letter to Pres Bush and Cheney:
      http://www.truthdig.com/dig/item/the_last_letter_20130318/

      On Tomas Young himself:
      http://www.kansascity.com/2013/03/20/4132153/wounded-kansas-city-iraq-veteran.html

      An excerpt from his letter:
      “Your positions of authority, your millions of dollars of personal wealth, your public relations consultants, your privilege and your power cannot mask the hollowness of your character. You sent us to fight and die in Iraq after you, Mr. Cheney, dodged the draft in Vietnam, and you, Mr. Bush, went AWOL from your National Guard unit. Your cowardice and selfishness were established decades ago. You were not willing to risk yourselves for our nation but you sent hundreds of thousands of young men and women to be sacrificed in a senseless war with no more thought than it takes to put out the garbage. “

      03/20/13 6:00 PM | Comment Link

    • meloveconsullongtime said...

      11

      None of this will end until the American Empire ends. The American Empire is not self-correcting, only God can and will end it.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q2bL4DGq7Ds

      03/20/13 8:36 PM | Comment Link

    • meloveconsullongtime said...

      12

      03/20/13 8:47 PM | Comment Link

    • Stephen said...

      13

      I read this piece on TomDispatch and thought it was a good reminder for us all. Thanks Mr. Van Buren. By the way, does anybody besides me remember that the Bush administration actually named this mess Operation Iraqi Liberation until they figured out the acronym? If it all wasn’t so tragic, well the gods are probably laughing anyway.

      03/20/13 8:54 PM | Comment Link

    • Michael Murry said...

      14

      “… but man, proud man
      Dress’d in a little brief authority —
      Most ignorant of what he’s most assured,
      His glassy essence — like an angry ape,
      Plays such fantastic tricks before high heaven
      As make the angels weep; who, with our spleens,
      Would all themselves laugh mortal.” — Measure for Measure

      03/20/13 10:02 PM | Comment Link

    • Michael Murry said...

      15

      “The scale of the catastrophe in Iraq is so extreme that it can barely be reported.” — Noam Chomski, Failed States

      In other words:

      Thanks for Nothing

      Benevolent invader of my land
      How can I thank you for the helping hand?
      Why, had you not come here with awe and shock,
      Reducing my poor home to piles of rock,
      I might have raised my children safe and sound,
      But, thanks to you, I’ve laid them in the ground.

      A wife I had, once too, but now no more.
      She died one day while driving to the store.
      Some nervous mercenaries that you hired
      Screamed something at her once, then aimed and fired.
      The bullet-riddled windshield told the tale:
      That “freed” of life, our women need no veil.

      Your generals have come so many times,
      Yet never have to answer for their crimes.
      Instead, promotion weighs them down with stars
      But never, like enlisted men, the scars
      Resulting from the bungling and sheer waste
      Of thinking last but shooting first in haste.

      On nine-eleven, two-thousand-and-one
      You got a taste of what you’ve often done
      To countries that had never caused you harm
      Yet still, too late, you sounded the alarm
      And whipped yourself into a lather thick
      So you could hurt yourself with your own stick.

      Three thousand on that fateful day you lost.
      Six thousand more you’ve added to the cost
      Since then, which only proves that there or here
      You act the same: in folly, rage, and fear.
      In time, you’ll go back home to where you’re from,
      To fight among yourselves, the deaf and dumb.

      Too bad for all the carnage that you’ve caused
      Who never thought or for a minute paused
      Before afflicting us with your disease:
      A plague of bankrupt bullies, fascist fleas,
      Who, both hands outward stretched to beg a loan,
      Continue “helping” us to shrink and groan.

      You talk to pat yourselves upon the back.
      Your actions only scream of what you lack:
      The insight and intelligence to see
      How much you’ve harmed yourself as well as me.
      But just the same I’ll thank you to go home
      Before you earn the fate that toppled Rome.

      Michael Murry, “The Misfortune Teller,” Copyright 2009

      03/20/13 10:20 PM | Comment Link

    • meloveconsullongtime said...

      16

      Oh to hell with Noam Chomsky, he’s just another self-regarding Jew, just one more Pharisee among all of them.

      03/20/13 11:40 PM | Comment Link

    • John Poole said...

      17

      And let us not forget Bush’s jokey search for WMD under a chair or sofa. Such callousness and pathological indifference to needless death and suffering has only been matched by Caligula and Nero. America yawned.

      03/21/13 1:50 AM | Comment Link

    • Michael Murry said...

      18

      As a veteran of the Nixon-Kissinger Fig Leaf Contingent (Vietnam 1970-72), I knew what the American military’s conception of “peace” and “honor” would mean to those middle eastern foreigners unlucky enough to experience such noble ideals firsthand.

      Peace With Horror

      A leper knight rode into view
      Astride his mangy steed
      A harbinger of violence
      A plague without a need
      An apparition of discord
      Upon which fear would feed

      His unannounced arrival meant
      He’d lost his leper’s bell
      And yet his ugly innocence
      Could not conceal the smell
      His good intentions only paved
      Another road to Hell

      With mace and lance and sword deployed
      He vowed in peace to live
      Through rotting lips he promised not
      To take, but only give
      He swore to only kill the ones
      Whom he said shouldn’t live

      He did not speak the language and
      He did not know the land
      So why the healthy shrank from him
      He could not understand
      Why did they want the water when
      He’d offered them the sand?

      Committing to commitments he
      Committed crimes galore
      As steadfast in his loyalties
      As any purchased whore
      A mercenary madman like
      His slogan: “Peace through War”

      His slaying for salvation masked
      An inner, grasping greed
      A lust for living good and well
      While looking past his deed
      A dead man walking wakefully;
      A graveyard gone to seed

      He planned to leave in “phases,” so
      He said to those back home
      Who’d heard some nasty rumors rife
      From Babylon to Rome
      Of murders in their name meant to
      Exalt their sacred tome

      But still he needed to “protect”
      Some pilgrims on the road
      Who for “protection” glumly paid
      A portion of their load:
      For this decaying derelict,
      An object episode

      When asked to give a summary
      Of what he had achieved
      He shifted to the future tense
      The gains that he perceived
      And spoke in the subjunctive mood
      To those he had aggrieved

      “The future life to come portends
      More suffering than now.
      Through me alone can you avoid
      What I will disavow:
      The promises I never made
      While making, anyhow.”

      “I unsay things that I have said
      And say I never did;
      Then say them once again to pound
      The meaning deeply hid,
      Down where the lizard lives between
      The ego and the id.”

      “I’ve given you catastrophe
      And called it a success;
      If you want other outcomes then
      Step forward and confess
      That you believed a pack of lies
      With no strain, sweat, or stress.”

      “You know the meaning of my words
      Lasts only just as long
      As sound takes to decay in air
      So that you take them wrong
      If you assign significance
      To my sly siren song.”

      “A ‘propaganda catapult’
      I’ve called myself, in fact;
      A damning human document
      Which I myself redact
      At every opportunity
      With no concern for tact.”

      “If you think what I’ve done before
      Has caused me to repent
      Or dream that I, in any way,
      Might let up or relent
      Then I’ve got wars for you to buy,
      Or maybe just to rent.”

      “I’ve little time to live on earth,
      So why should I reflect
      Upon the dead and dying souls
      Whose lives I’ve robbed and wrecked?
      I care not if they hate, just that
      They know to genuflect.”

      Thus did the ruin of a world
      Continue in its curse;
      The great man on his horse relieved
      The faithful of their purse
      And gave them bad to save them from
      What they feared even worse

      So onward to Jerusalem
      He staggered as he slew
      In train with sack and booty that
      He only thought his due
      For spreading freedom’s germs among
      The last surviving few

      Michael Murry, “The Misfortune Teller,” Copyright 2008

      03/21/13 2:31 AM | Comment Link

    • pitchfork said...

      19

      @Michael Murry

      If only your words could be chiseled into Dubya’s headstone.

      03/21/13 3:52 AM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      20

      US Embassy White Elephant on the market?

      “Ten years after the US invasion and four years after the embassy actually opened, the 16,000 personnel that were supposed to be deployed there more or less forever are shrinking fast, with 10,500 there now. The number is going to drop a lot more, according to Ambassador Beecroft, who says that the goal is to get down to 5,500 employees by year’s end, and with cost-cutting at a premium the number will drop even more next year.

      The ambition for the “post-war” era appears to have dramatically exceeded the reality, with the US State Department envisioning a huge private army still fighting the war for them and huge public works projects in the coming decades. The money just isn’t there, and neither is the appetite to put that sort of effort into Iraq after years of waste. Instead, the enormous embassy will be a mostly empty reminder of the disastrous adventure into Iraq.”

      Iran is expected to make an offer.

      03/21/13 10:29 AM | Comment Link

    • John Poole said...

      21

      An American ziggurat in Mesopotamia? Hopefully it can be seen from space as a warning beacon for any extraterrestrials on a looky see fly by. Our American Ozymandias of hubris. How fitting.

      03/21/13 2:22 PM | Comment Link

    • pitchfork said...

      22

      quote:”Our American Ozymandias of hubris. How fitting.” unquote

      BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! stop..stop..yer killen me.

      03/21/13 4:07 PM | Comment Link

    • pitchfork said...

      23

      alright alright,.. speaking of hubris..how’s that Cyprus thing workin out? I’d bet some of those poor schmucks that lost wish they had the fruits of a 2nd Amendment right about now, no? Well, guess what. It’s coming to a bank in your neighborhood too.
      Look guys, the purpose of this site notwithstanding, you know as well as I do that DoS is part and parcel of the world wide Ponzi scheme, being a direct distribution Department of the Supranational Soveriegn enforcement arm of the financial Corptacracy.
      In that light, while “The Iraq Invasion’s Legacy” is the issue at standing, daily current events behoove me to comment here on one of those events, unfolding as I type, as it has a direct bearing on the point of this site. I’m sure this won’t come as a surprise to most of you, but THE main enabler of war and war crimes, is the financial foundations which control every single human life on this planet, namely, Central banks.

      In as much as they control the ebb and flow of monetary systems, they control the worlds economy systems, while hiding in their granite and glass palaces pulling the strings of the Ponzi scheme so you never see it’s complete structure. In that light, as I’m sure you are totally cognizant of the Cyprus banker/government mafia seizure of customer deposits, no? Well, welcome to TOTALATARINISM-R-US pal, cause that’s what they have planned..EVERYWHERE. However, there is one more step. The TOTAL, world wide theft of YOUR money by virtue of law. In this country, I submit it will come in the guise of a new Tax code regulation, rule, or whatever. The caveat being, as new Orwellian civil rights abuses and usurpations occur daily, they, being the Financial Oligarchy, have one solitary conspiracy driven purpose, and that is stealing your money, while stopping you from doing anything about it. And no one I’ve read, more succinctly describes the soon to come reality than this guy”

      quote:”Cyprus is just a test run by the global banking oligarchs. Once they are aware of and have prepared for the fallout, they WILL implement this in every nation on earth. How long before you think they will come for you? It’s only a matter of time.”

      http://www.zerohedge.com/contributed/2013-03-20/it%E2%80%99s-time-collapse-system

      Here’s the deal. It’s coming. And the day they impose this theft is a day to late to do anything about it, as the Central bank here, the Fed, will simply pull the plug on yours and everybody else’s digital access to your money and that’s it. They take it. It’s gone..pfffffft. http://httpics.com/is.php?i=1847&img=Bend_over.jpg While most of you are vested in contributing to this system whether you like it or not, there IS a solution.

      Collapse it.

      However, as exponentially aware people begin to withdraw their deposits, etc, before our soon to come version of the Mob closes it’s public bank access doors, some people are going to lose..and they’re gonna be pissed. And some will even start to use their 2nd amendment rights. Think riots. Think DHS riot control. Think…that’s what they want. After all, you didn’t think DHS’s purchase of 1.7 BILLION rounds of hollow point ammo was for fucking target practice…did you? Let me put it this way…
      1.The Banks refer to both the Central Banks and ordinary commercial banks such as Citibank, JP Morgan etc. The latter are simply fronts for the Central Bank.
      2 The Central Bank is nothing but just a façade for creating money out of thin air and a front for the global banking aristocracy. ie..Federal Reserve.
      3. The government is simply the enforcement arm of the supranational financial Corptocracy
      4. DoS is the foreign distribution of debt added to the staggering national debt, which now will be equalized by the theft of deposits on a biblical scale, only to be siphoned off by law for the next phase.
      5.In conjunction with all the alphabet named agency’s LEO’s employed by supranational SOVEREIGN enforcement, DHS is simply the domestic branch of the equation. In our case, the IRS, ATF, and local militarized police state will supplement DHS. And in a later phase, active military will be employed as well. Make no mistake. Think ’29 was bad? Think a financial tsunami of biblical proportions.
      Any questions?
      We now return you to your regularly scheduled program. 🙂

      03/21/13 6:12 PM | Comment Link

    • Mayerling said...

      24

      Could someone comment on the misadventure in Egypt please?

      03/22/13 6:43 AM | Comment Link

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