Shock and Awe

Six years ago today:

The biggest American strategic blunder of the last century.

Speaking for me only

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    One tiny point (5.00 / 3) (#5)
    by cal1942 on Fri Mar 20, 2009 at 10:36:32 AM EST
    of disagreement.

    The invasion of Iraq was the biggest foreign policy blunder in ALL of our history.

    And Shock and Awe (5.00 / 2) (#13)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Mar 20, 2009 at 10:41:30 AM EST
    was warporn.

    Oh My, I watched again in a diffferent year (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Mar 20, 2009 at 10:49:07 AM EST
    The people you liberate will witness the honorable and decent spirit of the American military?  Forces will make every effort to spare innocent civilians from harm........unless you live in Fallujah and a twenty or thirty other places.

    My friends and I were visiting Manhattan (5.00 / 2) (#24)
    by oculus on Fri Mar 20, 2009 at 10:54:22 AM EST
    on the date of this speech.  Very visible police presence on the streets, espec. around Times Square.  We went to the Joyce Theatre in Chelsea for a dance concert.  When we came out of the theatre in the evening, no one was on the streets and most restaurants/bars were closed.  We asked the cab driver what happened.  He told us:  we are invading Iraq.  

    May karma... (5.00 / 2) (#6)
    by kdog on Fri Mar 20, 2009 at 10:36:44 AM EST
    go easy on us....we've got one helluva karmic debt coming due.

    Now this is a doozy (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by Jlvngstn on Fri Mar 20, 2009 at 10:37:35 AM EST
    Published: March 19, 2008
    WASHINGTON -- At the outset of the Iraq war, the Bush administration predicted that it would cost $50 billion to $60 billion to oust Saddam Hussein, restore order and install a new government.

    Current actual cost is somewhere close to 656 bn. Not including long term care for our veterans.

    War and Leechery.... (none / 0) (#15)
    by kdog on Fri Mar 20, 2009 at 10:42:34 AM EST
    are these the only growth industries we have?

    Or is it that these are the only industries our government wants to subsidize?

    Its good to be an occupier and/or a thief I guess.


    shock and awe (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by Jlvngstn on Fri Mar 20, 2009 at 10:46:13 AM EST
    I know gov't projects tend to over run a bit because in for a penny in for a pound, but this is just gravy:

    In September 2002, White House economic adviser "Larry Lindsey told the Wall Street Journal the war would cost between $100 billion and $200 billion. He was immediately excoriated by others in the administration. White House budget director Mitch Daniels called the estimate "very, very high." Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld called it "baloney."

    Estimate revised down
    The White House and Pentagon came back in January 2003 with a number that was more palatable - $50 billion to $60 billion. Rumsfeld's deputy, Paul Wolfowitz, boasted that Iraq would pay for its own reconstruction with increased oil revenues."

    gotta love it http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2008/03/17/MNBVVL9GK.DTL

    Good Old Rumsfeld. (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by Fabian on Fri Mar 20, 2009 at 11:13:45 AM EST
    Not even smart enough to leave on his own.  Bush wasn't smart enough to boot him early in 2006 in order to boost GOP chances at the polls.

    Was there anyone smart and independent in the whole administration or were they all either dunces or loyal toadies?


    I still can't decide ... (none / 0) (#34)
    by FreakyBeaky on Fri Mar 20, 2009 at 11:55:48 AM EST
    ... whether they (1) lowballed the $'s, time, # of troops, etc., because they knew no one would go for it otherwise, (2) really believed all that crap, or (3) both, in a weird sort of doublethink.

    Most likely (3), huh?  


    i would imagine (none / 0) (#43)
    by Jlvngstn on Fri Mar 20, 2009 at 02:09:31 PM EST
    they looked at the cost of the first iraq war and really believed we would be welcomed with flowers and praise after decades of living under a beast.  All the more reason to be more cerebral as opposed to reactionary after 9-11.  I know Iraq had nothing to do with 9-11, but 9-11 had everything to do with Iraq.

    The mere sight... (5.00 / 4) (#18)
    by desertswine on Fri Mar 20, 2009 at 10:48:33 AM EST
    of that b*st*rd Bush still enrages me. I'm going for a walk.

    Good idea. (5.00 / 2) (#27)
    by Fabian on Fri Mar 20, 2009 at 11:10:11 AM EST
    Need to get those two trees cut up so I can split wood whenever I need to get something off my chest.

    C'mon, BTD, it's not the biggest ... (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by Robot Porter on Fri Mar 20, 2009 at 10:52:31 AM EST
    it's a close second to New Coke.


    Coke Zero is doing pretty good (none / 0) (#37)
    by MKS on Fri Mar 20, 2009 at 12:36:56 PM EST
    And Coke Zero is ... (5.00 / 0) (#40)
    by Robot Porter on Fri Mar 20, 2009 at 01:18:19 PM EST
    a bit like AIG, at least in this commercial.

    Ah........Mr. MT's analogy of pathetic (none / 0) (#1)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Mar 20, 2009 at 10:29:55 AM EST
    crisis management and restructuring wasn't an accident.  He was watching CNN while shaving and I was trying to move from the sofa to coffee.

    Percentage of Americans (none / 0) (#2)
    by Jlvngstn on Fri Mar 20, 2009 at 10:32:54 AM EST
    who still think we found WMD in Iraq?

    By Jennifer Harper

    July 25, 2006

    Half of Americans now say Iraq had weapons of mass destruction when the United States invaded the country in 2003 -- up from 36 percent last year, a Harris poll finds. Pollsters deemed the increase both "substantial" and "surprising" in light of persistent press reports to the contrary in recent years.

    WHAT!? (none / 0) (#3)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Mar 20, 2009 at 10:34:52 AM EST
    from 2006 (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by Jlvngstn on Fri Mar 20, 2009 at 10:38:18 AM EST
    i would love to see a more recent poll but cannot find one

    Some of the jackdaws (none / 0) (#39)
    by jondee on Fri Mar 20, 2009 at 01:13:03 PM EST
    of talk radio are stll pushing the story that the wmds were actually found.

    But, from the beginning, a big part of the GOP strategy has been that when they want to put truely pernicious, dishonest info they have Rush the Entertainer or whoever say it. Plausible deniability and all that.


    It is hard (none / 0) (#9)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Mar 20, 2009 at 10:38:26 AM EST
    It is hard to deal with being as WRONG as WRONG can get, and being responsible for the senseless death of hundreds of thousands. But sometimes I get to where I just can barely stand my own countrymen.  When reality hurts make sh!t up, it's the American way.

    What do you expect (none / 0) (#23)
    by Radiowalla on Fri Mar 20, 2009 at 10:53:36 AM EST
    from Fox News watchers?  

    I expect them to pay for it? (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by Jlvngstn on Fri Mar 20, 2009 at 10:58:55 AM EST

    biggest blunder of the last century (none / 0) (#4)
    by bocajeff on Fri Mar 20, 2009 at 10:35:56 AM EST
    Since when was 2003 in the last century?

    I chose my words carefully (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Mar 20, 2009 at 10:39:20 AM EST
    I did not say "of the 20th Century."

    I said of the last century (i.e. - the last hundred years.)


    Right, (none / 0) (#12)
    by bocajeff on Fri Mar 20, 2009 at 10:41:10 AM EST
    I'm sure you were omitting 1901-1908 and all failed wars during those years!

    Well (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Mar 20, 2009 at 10:45:31 AM EST
    You will think whatever you like.

    I answered you honestly. If I had made a mistake, I would have acknowledged it and thanked you for the correction.

    I did that this morning on the Sweden plan.

    But you seem intent on thinking the worst of me.



    He wasn't actively omitting anything... (5.00 / 3) (#21)
    by Addison on Fri Mar 20, 2009 at 10:51:41 AM EST
    ...he was just saying in the past 100 years. And yeah, that means everything before 1908 is excluded.

    What's more, why on Earth would he get the date wrong for the Iraq War? He wouldn't have.

    The obvious solution is that he meant exactly what he said and your bizarre and tortured alternate theory that pretends words and phrases don't mean what they mean is incorrect.

    But you probably knew that already.


    Century (none / 0) (#10)
    by Steve M on Fri Mar 20, 2009 at 10:39:07 AM EST
    is another word for a hundred years.  You could look it up.

    factcheck.org (none / 0) (#14)
    by Jlvngstn on Fri Mar 20, 2009 at 10:41:43 AM EST
    said this in 2004

    There's little question that the Iraq war will eventually cost a total of $200 billion, and possibly even double that figure, depending on how many US troops remain there and for how long. The CBO produced three hypothetical "scenarios" for the future, and their ten-year price tag. A pullout starting next year and leaving no US forces in Iraq by October of 2008 would still add $52 billion to the total cost of "Operation Iraqi Freedom," not counting costs of reconstruction or "undistributed" costs shared among Iraq and other operations. Gradually reducing the current 160,000 US forces to 54,000 and leaving them there indefinitely would cost $233 billion through the year 2014, beyond what's already  been spent.

    Perhaps they should factcheck themselves -- http://www.factcheck.org/kerry_exaggerates_cost_of_war_in_iraq.html

    This is a trillion dollar war (none / 0) (#20)
    by andgarden on Fri Mar 20, 2009 at 10:50:44 AM EST
    at the end of the day.

    stiglitz says 3 trillion (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by Jlvngstn on Fri Mar 20, 2009 at 10:57:47 AM EST
    factoring in interest paid on debt and veteran assistance for the next few decades.....

    Which is pretty much... (5.00 / 1) (#38)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Fri Mar 20, 2009 at 12:40:01 PM EST
    ...the amount that is estimated to be needed in order to fix the infrastructure in the US.

    Yet what has been done to prevent this (none / 0) (#28)
    by Saul on Fri Mar 20, 2009 at 11:13:07 AM EST
    from ever happening again?  Nothing that I have seen.

     We need  some form of law or rule that says a commitment  of troops outside of the U.S can only occur with the approval of 85% of Congress.  

    We do (none / 0) (#30)
    by bocajeff on Fri Mar 20, 2009 at 11:22:24 AM EST
    We have checks and balances in place. People weren't careful as Congress did authorize this.

    The one vote that has always perplexed me was that of Hillary Clinton. I say this because she was in a unique position of having access to information during her husband's presidency along with access to the people who were in her husband's administration. Not to mention having her husband around for advice. And yet she voted for authorizing the war. Now,

    1. She did it for political purposes
    2. She ain't as smart as everyone thinks she is,
    3. She really believed it based on her experience and that of her husband.

    I still don't know.

    I don't want to (5.00 / 3) (#32)
    by jeffinalabama on Fri Mar 20, 2009 at 11:34:58 AM EST
    go along with the idea of limiting the presidency on this one. There are reasons for the president to send troops overseas, good ones.

    I think, as bocajeff said, the checks are there. They depend on honesty, though, not stovepiping information.

    Congress had the authority to investigate, but didn't. Congress fell down on the job.


    HRC Gave a Very Thorough and (5.00 / 1) (#36)
    by Inspector Gadget on Fri Mar 20, 2009 at 12:20:13 PM EST
    understandable reason for why she voted the way she did on her campaign website. Her reasoning was linked to her husband's time in the WH, but on the side of knowing how difficult it is for a president to accomplish what they feel they need to when congress ties their hands.

    Whether it was a good reason is up to each individual to decide. I found it justifiable considering she was a new Senator at the time and trying to find her own voice and footing.


    They were afraid is why they voted (none / 0) (#33)
    by Saul on Fri Mar 20, 2009 at 11:47:43 AM EST
    Afraid of their political life.  If I am not mistake is was a midterm election year.  The lynch mob mentality that existed after 911 by the American people was taken advantage by the neo cons in power and Bush.  Those that voted did not vote their true conscience.  If I and others who were not in the government could see through all this I know that the majority of those that voted  knew Bush's reason was a fraud but were afraid to stand up to their true beliefs for fear of their political life. Afraid of being called unpatriotic.

    This is not a true safeguard in preventing this again.  We need something stronger. This might help but I still feel its not fool proof.

    I recommend you must have 100 approval by the Senate when it comes to committing troops or attacking a country or you cannot pass the resolution.

    If I am not mistaken in the UN if all the members vote for a particular resolution and only one permanent members votes against the resolution is killed.  All or none


    In the UN security council (none / 0) (#35)
    by jeffinalabama on Fri Mar 20, 2009 at 11:56:01 AM EST
    there's veto power, but I'm not sure about the regular sessions.

    I think that the bad information led to many of those votes in favor.

    Like you, I was opposed, and thought that it was all a fabrication. We were not privy to the special briefings of the stovepiped info. Congres was.

    It was political theater, and the orchestration was crass. I am still surprised that more people didn't see through it.

    But we'll disagree on the point you made. I understand your viewpoint. I hope you understand mine.


    Recent history (none / 0) (#46)
    by KeysDan on Fri Mar 20, 2009 at 03:03:23 PM EST
    probably played into it as well.  Most Democrats did not vote for the Gulf War and they seemed to pay a price for not supporting this then popular war (little did they realize). Senator Al Gore was a notable exception and it improved his political fortunes.

    Popular? (none / 0) (#47)
    by Inspector Gadget on Fri Mar 20, 2009 at 03:32:26 PM EST
    I didn't know more than 2 people who supported that war from the moment they started trying to sell it to the public.

    Certainly, not popular (none / 0) (#50)
    by KeysDan on Fri Mar 20, 2009 at 04:17:35 PM EST
    with me, and you, but I think it was at the time and shortly thereafter.  Like the Iraq war, in my view, it was of dubious provenance. Iraq invaded Kuwait, apparently after receiving a green light, or, at least, a mixed signal from Ambassador April Gillespie. The run-up stoked feelings for war. The Iraqi atrocities reported, such as the killings of infants in a Kuwait nursery later proved false and slight of hand abounded such as doctored photos of Saddam's troops racing to the Saudi border.  The UN resolution and the grand coalition put together by Bush were much heralded. The new technology of sending missiles down chimneys was good television, although oversold.  The reasons for the war shifted, as with the subsequent Iraq war, with the unsettling explanation by Secretary of State James Baker's that it was "jobs". Generals Schwarzkopf and the infamous, Colin Powell became war heros.  President G HW Bush saw his popularity soar to 90 percent approval (although the tumbling economy shortly changed that).

    You have to remember (none / 0) (#41)
    by jbindc on Fri Mar 20, 2009 at 01:51:19 PM EST
    That at the time:

    a) She was the senator from New York - where more than 3000 people had just been killed a few months before, and where the possibility was great that NYC would again be a target if the terrorists decided to strike again;

    b) 70-80% of the country supported action being taken; and

    c)She DID listen to and read the intelligence and conferred with the generals.  Even Obama admitted that, had he been in the Senate at the time and had access to the material they had access to, he probably would have voted for AUMF.

    I daresay that those who go around saying they all knew better and wouldn't have voted for the resolution might have also had a little different perspective given those circumstances she found herself in.  Can you imagine if the Senator from NY (and a woman who had plans to run for POTUS) voted against it?  Turns out her vote hurt her because people didn't really understand her vote and the Obama machine managed to package the issue into "She's bad - she voted for it; I'm good because I didn't vote for it, which makes me smarter and have better judgment." (Never mind he couldn't have voted on anything).


    One thing (none / 0) (#42)
    by CST on Fri Mar 20, 2009 at 02:06:43 PM EST
    Senator from NY - with presidential aspirations.

    I think it's important to make that distinction.

    NYers themselves did not support invading Iraq.  If her only intent was to remain senator, it would've been easy to say no.  This is also (I believe) a big reason why in my state (MA) Kennedy voted against it and Kerry voted for it.  Most people from MA were against the invasion, but Kerry had greater aspirations.  Both NY and MA were involved in 9/11 - MA to a lesser degree obviously, but we lost hundreds of people on the planes as well and our airport was the location of the "security breech".

    I do think it is very important to note that the people most directly affected by 9/11 - NY, D.C., and MA did NOT support the Iraq war.


    Then (none / 0) (#44)
    by jbindc on Fri Mar 20, 2009 at 02:13:21 PM EST
    They must have been outliers because most of the rest of the country - across demographics - did.

    Well (none / 0) (#45)
    by CST on Fri Mar 20, 2009 at 02:26:27 PM EST
    The blue states were "outliers" on a lot of things back then.

    But nevertheless, they were the ones attacked.

    I could go on about who got homeland security funding v.s. who voted for Bush v.s. who really needed it.  And of course the fact that all the Bush voters across the country concerned about "terrorism" seemed to live in places terrorists would never go.  But I'm trying to let it go...


    Well (none / 0) (#48)
    by jbindc on Fri Mar 20, 2009 at 03:43:15 PM EST
    It wasn't all "blue states".

    Between 60-70% of Americans (in blue, red, and purple states) supported the war in the month preceding and up to a few months after combat started. It wasn't until 2004 that support started tanking.


    that's not entirely true (none / 0) (#49)
    by CST on Fri Mar 20, 2009 at 04:05:32 PM EST
    ABC News/Washington Post Poll. Feb. 26-March 2, 2003.

    "The Bush Administration says it will move soon to disarm Iraq and remove Saddam Hussein from power, by war if necessary, working with countries that are willing to assist, even without the support of the United Nations. Overall, do you support or oppose this policy?"

     ALL 59/37/4  
     Republicans 86/12/2  
     Democrats 37/61/2  
     Independents 55/40/5  
     Men 67/31/2  
     Women 51/44/5  
     18-34 years 60/37/3  
     35-44 67/30/3  
     45-64 56/39/5  
     65 & older 49/44/7  
     Whites 63/32/5  
     Nonwhites 35/62/3

    emphasis mine

    There are a number of other polls on this site, but the highest level of support by Democrats (when broken out) in any poll was 42% and these are all from Feb/March '03.


    I can't stand his face (none / 0) (#51)
    by Xclusionary Rule 4ever on Fri Mar 20, 2009 at 06:47:51 PM EST
    Him and Cheney. And Condy. Maybe on a book-in photo or a perp walk I could deal with it, but I just want to vomit when I see them on TV