|Written by Chris Floyd|
Just to be clear, Barack Obama's brand-new foreign policy advisor, Colin Powell, wants you to know that he continues to support the decision to launch a war of aggression against Iraq in March 2003 -- an act that, according to principles established by the United States and its allies at Nuremberg in 1945, is a war crime punishable by death.
Here is one outright lie right out of the gate -- a brazen, blazing, breathtaking lie: "We tried to do that [avoid the war]. We couldn't get it through the U.N." This is murderous bullshit of the highest order. Before the invasion, Bush and Powell claimed they were being forced to consider war because of Iraq's alleged non-compliance with past UN demands to destroy its WMD arsenal and programs. In late 2002, the UN duly authorized -- and Iraq accepted -- a vigorous program of inspections to verify compliance -- or discover non-compliance. This process was going on, successfully, with cooperation from the Iraqis, when George W. Bush ordered the UN inspectors out of the country, before they finished their work, so that he could launch a military invasion -- which was now unnecessary by the very criteria that he and Powell had set out publicly.
We now see that things are a lot better in Iraq. Maybe if we had put a surge in at the beginning, it would have been a lot better years ago.....
It wasn't wrong to kneecap the UN and unilaterally invade a country that hadn't attacked you and slaughter their people and destroy their society and drive more than four million of them from their homes; no. What was wrong, according to the moderate grown-up, was not laying even more shock and awe on the victims from the beginning. "Surge" through even more of their houses, terrifying children and rounding up the menfolk in even larger concentration camps; "surge" them with even more hired sectarian killers; "surge" all over their sorry hides with even more "smart bombs" and "drone missiles" and 500-pound blockbusters; "surge" them with "fraternity pranks" like the Cabinet-approved regimen of physical and psychological torture that leaked briefly into the light at Abu Ghraib. Yes, the original invasion just wasn't tough enough, didn't kill and dispossess nearly enough people -- not for a moderate, steady figure of enduring moral authority like Colin Powell. Shoulda surged 'em harder. Shoulda closed our hearts to pity, as that guy with the funny little moustache used to say. (Now there's someone who knew how to surge!)
Well, if I had committed a hanging offense in 2003, I'd want to concentrate on 2009 too. And Obama seems to concur; he wants to "move on," to avoid any unseemly "partisan" wrangles over the past. The fact that a gang of militarist extremists -- including good old moderate Colin Powell -- murdered a million innocent people in a blatant war crime committed in America's name is not something that would be "fruitful to pursue," to quote Obama's own ringing phrase about his adamant opposition to any impeachment proceedings against the Bush Faction.
His concern is not "what happened in Iraq." This encapsulates perfectly the view of the entire bipartisan foreign policy establishment. They simply could not care less about what happened in Iraq: a million dead, four million dispossessed, social, economic, cultural ruin, torture, murder, destruction, suffering: It not their "concern." They do not give a damn. The only thing that matters is "where we're going in the future;" i.e., how can we -- not "we the people" but "we" the elite, "we" the deciders, "we" the wielders of imperial power -- retain our dominance, our privilege and the proper deference that is our due from the lesser peoples of the world.