No End In Sight

>> Thursday, January 17, 2008

I finally got to see No End In Sight (on dvd). I had made plans to see it in early September, but those went by the way side when I got a flat tire on the way up to Seattle. I suppose I'm glad I got to see it on dvd because of all the extras. There's many details worth seeing on the extras on the dvd that further explain the problems examined in the film.

I've watched it twice now. I watched it once last night, watched the extras and then watched it again tonight. I felt that I had to watch it twice for two reasons: 1) just to absorb all the detail and 2) to watch it without reminiscing about every thought I had had prior to the beginning of the Iraq War.

I was never for the Iraq War. Ever. So I have always been skeptical about those who pushed for it by whatever rationale such as Christopher Hitchens (Mr. Bitter). It has never ceased to amaze me how members of the U.S. were literally suckered--yes, suckered--by the Bush Administration. It didn't help that the media gave them a free pass, but even still, with practically the entire world against the U.S. invasion of Iraq, you'd think it would give people pause to think about the consequences of going to war.

But for the American people at the time of the Iraq invasion--and, of course, the Bush Administration--war is just that easy. It doesn't take planning. It doesn't take ground troops. It doesn't take allies. And it certainly doesn't need common sense.

If you think, for some odd reason, that the analytical ability of the average American is resistant to being hoodwinked, then I give you some select quotes from the Biblebelter on my vanpool:

Iraq's final chance to remove the WMD and document it:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/UN_Security_Council_Resolution_1441

This is the resolution I was speaking of. It passed. Whether it's an authorization to war or not, it's the one which was used to justify enforcement of the UN's edicts. No doubt you were referring to the failure of the Security Council to agree on what to do in the event that Iraq did not comply with 1441. France and Russia indicated we would not get a unanimous resolution so the prior resolutions were used as the justification against Iraq.

I don't think this has anything to do with oil, but more to do with pursuing terrorist enemies and their supporters. I'm not a supporter of the war or its justifications but prematurely leaving a power vacuum will do us worse than had we stayed and ruled overtly. Staying in Iraq longer now or not, either way we have shown ourselves politically incapable of defending ourselves, and it puts us at greater risk in future.
I responded to him with this:
Although, upon reading the Wikipedia page closely, I think you missed a significant point:

In the Security Council meeting following the vote, the Syrian ambassador said on the record

Syria voted in favour of the resolution, having received reassurances from its sponsors, the United States of America and the United Kingdom, and from France and Russia through high-level contacts, that it would not be used as a pretext for striking against Iraq and does not constitute a basis for any automatic strikes against Iraq. The resolution should not be interpreted, through certain paragraphs, as authorizing any State to use force. It reaffirms the central role of the Security Council in addressing all phases of the Iraqi issue.[2]

Basically, Iraq is compelled to comply; however, no one is authorized to use force.
But he didn't care (bold is my emphasis):
I didn't miss that point. It's discussed also in that why the US decided to take that course anyway. I'm not justifying it, just explaining it. I'm not a beaurocrat and I don't know why it's important to tell someone in two statements instead of one that (1) if you don't cut it out you will be abiguously sorry (2) and we'll spank you. Frankly, it makes a lot of sense that we didn't need more justification to attack, but I would not have hidden behind the UN to do it.
There we have it. Why Americans are hated abroad, and based on the example I quoted, I can't say I blame the world. Arrogance and hubris at its finest or worst, which ever it may be, and Bush, Cheney, Rice, and Rumsfeld certainly reached new heights/lows in the field this decade.

I remember having a conversation back in college with a guy I liked. I don't remember what we were talking about, but I remember he made this comment, "Whatever people say, I'm glad the U.S. lost the Vietnam War. The U.S. needed to learn to lose. That war isn't so easy." (This was an American speaking, born and raised.) And that was a lesson that stuck for 25-30 years, somewhat. Because Americans don't think about all the entanglements of their history. They think back to WWII, refer to themselves as the saviors of the world and then believe that they could never do anything that could be construed as "wrong" in world affairs. (The "City on a Hill" complex has never gone out of style in the U.S. of A.)

Just a three or four years ago, I remember talking briefly about Iraq with one of my friends, and she was shocked--SHOCKED--at all the problems occurring in Iraq and the "revelation" that there were no WMDs! College degree no less.

The extent that the Bush Administration continued to repeatedly fuck up the occupation of Iraq in the first two years is so bad, so inexcusable and so incomprehensible. So incomprehensible because there were people with experience that could have paved the way for success whether it was General Shinseki, Gen. Jay Garner, whomever. If the results of this administration's actions weren't so infinitesimally tragic, it would have to be the biggest farce ever conceived because you just cannot make this shit up.

These were the thoughts running through my head while watching. And a lot more.

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