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ren hoek

Iraq. 16 years later.

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With the luxury of hindsight, the Iraq invasion is an interesting subject to revisit.  It's a fascinating case study in many things.  Propaganda.  The media collapsing around State dept. narratives.  How dissent becomes heresy.  And of course, using the worst tragedy in national history as the pretext for an illegitimate war.  

For my part, I supported the war.  I even hated the Dixie Chicks.  I wasn't old enough or smart enough to know any better, my parents were nominally Republican, and I wanted to believe it was for a good reason.  It was unthinkable to me that people would just tell lies to draw the country into war.  That there could be a financial incentive or ulterior motive for going to war.  

It's important to remember how pervasive it all was.  How, when the administration wanted another war, it was being sold to us everywhere we looked.  What do we think after everything?  How do we reflect on it fifteen years later?

Jeremy Scahill: A Brief History of U.S. Intervention in Iraq Over the Past Half Century

Bill Moyers: Buying the War

Inside The Propaganda War Waged Over The Iraq Invasion

Edited by ren hoek

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The whole media was complicit in this. I’ve been teaching about it for 10+ years now with a connection to the media’s role in the Spanish American War.

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5 minutes ago, knowledge dropper said:

Bombing and fighting Afghanistan made sense to me and I supported 100%.   The Taliban and Bin Ladin had to pay for 9/11.  

Iraq was a different deal for me.  I never liked the idea.  

Some of us actually took to the streets and protested.  But we were the "loony left".  

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1 hour ago, ren hoek said:

With the luxury of hindsight, the Iraq invasion is an interesting subject to revisit.  It's a fascinating case study in many things.  Propaganda.  The media collapsing around State dept. narratives.  How dissent becomes heresy.  And of course, using the worst tragedy in national history as the pretext for an illegitimate war.  

For my part, I supported the war.  I even hated the Dixie Chicks.  I wasn't old enough or smart enough to know any better, my parents were nominally Republican, and I wanted to believe it was for a good reason.  It was unthinkable to me that people would just tell lies to draw the country into war.  That there could be a financial incentive or ulterior motive for going to war.  

It's important to remember how pervasive it all was.  How, when the administration wanted another war, it was being sold to us everywhere we looked.  What do we think after everything?  How do we reflect on it fifteen years later?

Jeremy Scahill: A Brief History of U.S. Intervention in Iraq Over the Past Half Century

Bill Moyers: Buying the War

Inside The Propaganda War Waged Over The Iraq Invasion

This is February, 2003 in San Francisco. It was part of a global, coordinated protest that was between 5-10 million people worldwide.  The gathering in Rome was for some time (maybe still) the largest protest in the history of the world.

Millions of people protested the Iraq War before it even happened, myself included.  Most thinking adults were aware it was pretty much bull#### selling that "war", they just didn't care.

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Weapons of Mass Destruction: Didn't have em.

9/11: Had nothing to do with it.

Let's have an off budget war that costs 1.5 trillion dollars?

Never understood it, never supported it.

Ironic how Donnie blamed it on Hillary though. :rolleyes:

 

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6 minutes ago, knowledge dropper said:

Bombing and fighting Afghanistan made sense to me and I supported 100%.   The Taliban and Bin Ladin had to pay for 9/11.  

Iraq was a different deal for me.  I never liked the idea.  

I was in the camp that disapproved of both.  I was okay making the Taliban and Bin Laden pay for 9/11, but the whole thing seemed like a ####-measuring contest to satisfy the hawks.

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6 minutes ago, Henry Ford said:

 

Millions of people protested the Iraq War before it even happened, myself included.  Most thinking adults were aware it was pretty much bull#### selling that "war", they just didn't care.

 

But, hey, now we get to be lectured about it by people like ren who supported the war.  

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4 minutes ago, Grace Under Pressure said:

Weapons of Mass Destruction: Didn't have em.

9/11: Had nothing to do with it.

Let's have an off budget war that costs 1.5 trillion dollars?

Never understood it, never supported it.

Ironic how Donnie blamed it on Hillary though. :rolleyes:

 

This is one of the reasons I really dislike Hillary.  I remember at the time thinking that she was going to be a strong voice in opposition to going to war and she came across to me as almost being gleeful about going into Iraq and Afghanistan.  

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2 minutes ago, Dickies said:

I was in the camp that disapproved of both.  I was okay making the Taliban and Bin Laden pay for 9/11, but the whole thing seemed like a ####-measuring contest to satisfy the hawks.

Pakistan harboring Bin Ladin all that time was garbage as well.  We had to know he was there for years.   

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2 minutes ago, Ramsay Hunt Experience said:

But, hey, now we get to be lectured about it by people like ren who supported the war.  

Yes, and who now think everything is a vast conspiracy because they bought the dumbest series of war justification lies in history.

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1 minute ago, knowledge dropper said:

Pakistan harboring Bin Ladin all that time was garbage as well.  We had to know he was there for years.   

:shrug:

I'm not so certain about that, but I would love to know a lot more than I do about the decision-making process behind the scenes at that time re: Iraq/Afghanistan/War on Terror.

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3 minutes ago, Dickies said:

This is one of the reasons I really dislike Hillary.  I remember at the time thinking that she was going to be a strong voice in opposition to going to war and she came across to me as almost being gleeful about going into Iraq and Afghanistan.  

Agreed. But she wasn't commander in chief. She's a hawk and Obama called her out for it. But Donnie-know-nothing? Pipe down.

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1 hour ago, Ilov80s said:

The whole media was complicit in this. I’ve been teaching about it for 10+ years now with a connection to the media’s role in the Spanish American War.

That sounds pretty interesting. Any good reads you can reco? 

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10 minutes ago, Dickies said:

This is one of the reasons I really dislike Hillary.  I remember at the time thinking that she was going to be a strong voice in opposition to going to war and she came across to me as almost being gleeful about going into Iraq and Afghanistan.  

Well that was one of the narratives in the 2016 election, how much of a war-hawk Hillary is.  Remember, if she's elected she'll draw us into Syria.  Better to vote for the "America First" candidate who had no interest in further nation-building.

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1 hour ago, Ditka Butkus said:

Baby Bush payback for Saddam standing up to daddy Bush..

or 

see - Military Industrial Complex

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The only reason I was kind of for it a little bit in the beginning was because I believed W. It was soon apparent that it was dumb to be over there, at least to me. Couldn’t believe W won in ‘04 and that taught me how hard it is to beat an incumbent president. 

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15 minutes ago, Mookie said:

The Iraq War was nothing but a Cheney orchestrated oil grab.

This. We all know who the brains was behind everything going on then. A sick deranged individual that Dick was.

ETA: oh yeah, also a f###ing neocon

Edited by ShamrockPride

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36 minutes ago, Ramsay Hunt Experience said:

But, hey, now we get to be lectured about it by people like ren who supported the war.  

I was a kid in high school growing up in backwoods farm country.  I'm pretty sure the only reason I ever started thinking about politics was because 9/11 happened.  I'm being candid about it because I'd prefer a thoughtful thread rather than another pissing match.  I'm not trying to lecture anyone.  

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55 minutes ago, Dickies said:

I was in the camp that disapproved of both.  I was okay making the Taliban and Bin Laden pay for 9/11, but the whole thing seemed like a ####-measuring contest to satisfy the hawks.

How would you have made the Taliban and AQ pay?  Serious question 

Edited by Righetti

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52 minutes ago, Henry Ford said:

Yes, and who now think everything is a vast conspiracy because they bought the dumbest series of war justification lies in history.

Yeah ok.  Go vote for some more war criminals

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7 minutes ago, ren hoek said:

Yeah ok.  Go vote for some more war criminals

That's a real zinger from someone who supported the Iraq war.

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38 minutes ago, Righetti said:

How would you have made the Taliban and AQ pay?  Serious question 

I don't really know.  I would have preferred a lot more diplomacy and intelligence gathering rather than an invasion.  Not saying it would have been wildly successful, but I was nervous about destabilizing the region if we weren't welcomed with open arms by everyone as it was sold to us.  I was a naive college student at the time, yet I feel like I gave more thought to potential consequences of our actions than the people in charge.

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Was always against it.  Obviously Saddam is a bad guy and I think across the spectrum we all agreed on that.  I always felt there was no way to truly win in Iraq.  There was no stable government who could control that country.  A power vacuum or decades of American troops, thousands of American lives, and countless billions of American dollars would be the only way to keep the peace.  Many of the countries in the Middle East are similar, just like Syria.  You have various ethnic groups in a fight for control who naturally aren't aligned.  They don't view themselves as Iraqi or Syrian first, they are Shia or Sunni or Kurdish, etc.  Therefore it's a constant fight.  Without a superior military force or a strongman thug, the fight will rage on.  

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27 minutes ago, Shula-holic said:

Was always against it.  Obviously Saddam is a bad guy and I think across the spectrum we all agreed on that.  I always felt there was no way to truly win in Iraq.  There was no stable government who could control that country.  A power vacuum or decades of American troops, thousands of American lives, and countless billions of American dollars would be the only way to keep the peace.  Many of the countries in the Middle East are similar, just like Syria.  You have various ethnic groups in a fight for control who naturally aren't aligned.  They don't view themselves as Iraqi or Syrian first, they are Shia or Sunni or Kurdish, etc.  Therefore it's a constant fight.  Without a superior military force or a strongman thug, the fight will rage on.  

:goodposting: This is pretty much perfectly stated.

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27 minutes ago, Shula-holic said:

Was always against it.  Obviously Saddam is a bad guy and I think across the spectrum we all agreed on that.  I always felt there was no way to truly win in Iraq.  There was no stable government who could control that country.  A power vacuum or decades of American troops, thousands of American lives, and countless billions of American dollars would be the only way to keep the peace.  Many of the countries in the Middle East are similar, just like Syria.  You have various ethnic groups in a fight for control who naturally aren't aligned.  They don't view themselves as Iraqi or Syrian first, they are Shia or Sunni or Kurdish, etc.  Therefore it's a constant fight.  Without a superior military force or a strongman thug, the fight will rage on.  

Yup. 

Civil war, someone worse than the guy you took out, or you can never leave.  And then when you do, civil war or someone worse. 

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Just now, ShamrockPride said:

:goodposting: This is pretty much perfectly stated.

And totally understandable given that most of them weren’t countries in this form until Western colonialism, which was a pretty easily formula- set up a border with 3ish ethnic groups, make the smallest one the ruling class with huge advantages and Western education, so they are resented and can only stay in power if they let you do whatever you want to their country's resources. 

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3 hours ago, joffer said:

yeah I got that one completely wrong.

Same. I was in college, liked Bush (1st President I voted for) and fell for it hook, line and sinker. That’s part of the reason I like to teach about it and how the media failed us.

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Did anyone here vote for Bush in 04 despite knowing the Iraq War was a sham?

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1 hour ago, dozer said:

I had a lot of respect for Colin Powell, so I supported the war.

He let us all down.

I still wonder if there was any way we could have steered Iraq in a positive direction after we took out Saddam. I still remember being in Dearborn at the celebrations when his statue was toppled and the US had won. The Iraqis in America were celebrating. It’s too bad that everything went so wrong after that.

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11 minutes ago, Ilov80s said:

I still wonder if there was any way we could have steered Iraq in a positive direction after we took out Saddam. I still remember being in Dearborn at the celebrations when his statue was toppled and the US had won. The Iraqis in America were celebrating. It’s too bad that everything went so wrong after that.

The statue toppling was a directed and filmed propaganda moment. It was never going to go well. 

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1 hour ago, Shula-holic said:

Was always against it.  Obviously Saddam is a bad guy and I think across the spectrum we all agreed on that.  I always felt there was no way to truly win in Iraq.  There was no stable government who could control that country.  A power vacuum or decades of American troops, thousands of American lives, and countless billions of American dollars would be the only way to keep the peace.  Many of the countries in the Middle East are similar, just like Syria.  You have various ethnic groups in a fight for control who naturally aren't aligned.  They don't view themselves as Iraqi or Syrian first, they are Shia or Sunni or Kurdish, etc.  Therefore it's a constant fight.  Without a superior military force or a strongman thug, the fight will rage on.  

Isn’t this largely the fault of Western leaders who just ####### made up borders after WW1 or 2 or something?

Like if each major tribe/ethnic group had their own country would they be fighting so much?

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49 minutes ago, Henry Ford said:

The statue toppling was a directed and filmed propaganda moment. It was never going to go well. 

That’s not entirely how the Iraqis felt 

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3 minutes ago, Ilov80s said:

That’s not entirely how the Iraqis felt 

Iraqis in the US or in Iraq? Because I certainly heard differently from someone who was in country at the time, but not from anyone who was at the statue toppling itself. 

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2 minutes ago, Henry Ford said:

Iraqis in the US or in Iraq? Because I certainly heard differently from someone who was in country at the time, but not from anyone who was at the statue toppling itself. 

In the country. I was at a large impromptu rally in Dearborn following the statue toppling. The people there were overjoyed and optimistic.

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2 minutes ago, Ilov80s said:

In the country. I was at a large impromptu rally in Dearborn following the statue toppling. The people there were overjoyed and optimistic.

Oh, yeah, US Iraqis were all over it.  Totally agree with that. 

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1 minute ago, Henry Ford said:

Oh, yeah, US Iraqis were all over it.  Totally agree with that. 

I was young and hopeful for them and us. I just wonder if there was anyway we could have handled the rebuild differently that would have mattered. Maybe not though...maktub.  

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Just now, Ilov80s said:

I was young and hopeful for them and us. I just wonder if there was anyway we could have handled the rebuild differently that would have mattered. Maybe not though...maktub.  

It’s one thing to support an internal revolution.  I’m not sure there’s such a thing as successful unilateral nation building. 

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10 minutes ago, Henry Ford said:

It’s one thing to support an internal revolution.  I’m not sure there’s such a thing as successful unilateral nation building. 

Maybe but it’s hard to read things like this and not wonder what better leadership and management could have done. We were so brazen and sloppy.

https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2013/03/the-failed-reconstruction-of-iraq/274041/

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4 hours ago, parasaurolophus said:

That sounds pretty interesting. Any good reads you can reco? 

I’m not sure how much you know about it. I teach it to HS freshman so it’s not the most complex examination.

Media and SA War

Here are some links on the Iraq War and the media. 

https://www.smh.com.au/opinion/no-one-should-forget-the-medias-role-in-the-march-to-the-iraq-war-20151029-gkm09i.html

Also this Wikipedia page is good because it references a study I had read that is behind a paywall 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Media_coverage_of_the_Iraq_War

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24 minutes ago, Henry Ford said:

It’s one thing to support an internal revolution.  I’m not sure there’s such a thing as successful unilateral nation building. 

I don't think there is but might be a few of which escape my grasp.   As far as the war I was for it.  Looking back it was the same old nation building epic failure with lives lost on many fronts.   IMO it was a tragic failure that didn't change much.   Middle East is a giant cluster f----k.   Get out & stay out.  Say "adios" and we will check back in 100 years.  Trust me on this,  not much will have changed. 

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5 minutes ago, irishidiot said:

I don't think there is but might be a few of which escape my grasp.   As far as the war I was for it.  Looking back it was the same old nation building epic failure with lives lost on many fronts.   IMO it was a tragic failure that didn't change much.   Middle East is a giant cluster f----k.   Get out & stay out.  Say "adios" and we will check back in 100 years.  Trust me on this,  not much will have changed. 

Isolation isn’t helpful. And is likely harmful.  We need to be positioned to help when it would be a positive. 

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10 hours ago, The Z Machine said:

Some of us actually took to the streets and protested.  But we were the "loony left".  

You are so dog damn right.  :censored:

Edited by BigSteelThrill
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On 4/17/2018 at 5:04 PM, Mookie said:

The Iraq War was nothing but a Cheney orchestrated oil grab.

Was it really more of an oil grab than a chance to enrich the military industrial complex?

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On 4/17/2018 at 8:35 PM, mr roboto said:

Isn’t this largely the fault of Western leaders who just ####### made up borders after WW1 or 2 or something?

Like if each major tribe/ethnic group had their own country would they be fighting so much?

Yes.

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1 hour ago, IC FBGCav said:

Was it really more of an oil grab than a chance to enrich the military industrial complex?

It was a Halliburton money grab for Cheney. It was a “my daddy still hates that he didn’t get you” for Bush. No question. 

Edited by Henry Ford
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