There was a great piece on Fresh Air today which featured an interview with the author of a new book about the Iraq War.
For years federal auditors have reported that millions of American dollars have been wasted or are unaccounted for in the effort to rebuild and stabilize Iraq. State Department employee Peter Van Buren gives a ground-level account of that waste and corruption in his book, We Meant Well – How I Helped Lose the Battle for the Hearts and Minds off the Iraqi People.
The interview is loads of informative.
The United States knew but failed to investigate cases of prisoner abuse by Iraqi police and soldiers, according to reports on Friday about a release of some 400,000 secret U.S. files by the WikiLeaks website.
And, from the other side,
“We deplore WikiLeaks for inducing individuals to break the law, leak classified documents and then cavalierly share that secret information with the world,” Geoff Morrell, Pentagon press secretary, said.
What’s really deplorable is war. War destroys everything it touches and is the ultimate example of human depravity.
The Washington Post has the sickening facts-
Writing in these pages in early 2008, we put the total cost to the United States of the Iraq war at $3 trillion. This price tag dwarfed previous estimates, including the Bush administration’s 2003 projections of a $50 billion to $60 billion war. But today, as the United States ends combat in Iraq, it appears that our $3 trillion estimate (which accounted for both government expenses and the war’s broader impact on the U.S. economy) was, if anything, too low. For example, the cost of diagnosing, treating and compensating disabled veterans has proved higher than we expected. Moreover, two years on, it has become clear to us that our estimate did not capture what may have been the conflict’s most sobering expenses: those in the category of “might have beens,” or what economists call opportunity costs.
Go on to read the entire report which is loaded with important facts. It is just another bit of evidence of government short sightedness and incompetence.
But to me, the most disturbing fact of all is that there weren’t a handful of theologians or biblical scholars denouncing the war from the very start. Silent they were and the few who did speak out were denounced and excoriated by many. Now, we’re all reaping the consequences of that silence.
He’s the smartest guy Washington has seen in generations. And he’s an honest man. And he would be an excellent President. And had be been elected in 2000 the world would be a very different place indeed.
Former U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell has told the Mainichi he believes the Iraq War — which began while he was in office in 2003 — could have been averted. Powell also stated during an Aug. 24 telephone interview that he regretted the false intelligence that led the United States to claim the Saddam Hussein regime possessed weapons of mass destruction (WMD), which Powell presented to the United Nations and which underpinned the U.S. case to invade Iraq. “I will always be seen as the one who made the major public presentation of that intelligence. I regret that it was wrong but, at the same time, we had every reason to believe it was correct,” Powell said of the false WMD evidence. In a 2005 interview on ABC television, Powell called the speech a “blot” on his reputation, though he also emphasized that he did not fabricate the intelligence — a point he was keen to reiterate to the Mainichi.
Of course it could have been avoided- it was a war of spite, nothing more. Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11. If the President had really gone after those responsible he would have gone after Saudi Arabia, where the terrorists originated. But of course he couldn’t do that- since he was busy holding hands with the Saudi prince.
I wish Powell were President now. He would accomplish something.