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"...public opinion deserves to be respected as well as despised" G.W.F. Hegel, 'Philosophy of Right'

Iraq war « Previous | |Next »
November 17, 2003

The Australian Prime Minister continues to build a firewall around the reasons for Australia jumping on the US imperial adventure in Iraq. 'WE ACTED ON THE ADVICE given by the intelligence organizations', Howard says. We citizens cannot see that advice to make our own judgements, since the intelligence advice remains secret.

So the name of the game is to shut out the general public, muffle the debate and forestall the judgements of citizens. The name of the game is to keep the lid on democracy.

We know that it basically came from the US, as Howard pretty much parroted the Washington line. Here is a good evaluation of that US intelligence advice by Thomas Powers in the New York Review of Books. What we have is:

'...the insistence of the President that Iraq threatened America, the willingness of the CIA to create a strong case for war out of weak evidence, and the readiness of Congress to ignore its own doubts and go along..."My colleagues," Colin Powell said at the UN, "every statement I make today is backed up by sources, solid sources.... What we're giving you are facts and conclusions based on solid intelligence." But now, only six months later, we have ample reason to conclude that the intelligence wasn't solid at all, there was no need for war, Iraq's weapons of mass destruction didn't exist.'

What then of the aftermath?:---- the argument that the war was worthwhile since the repressive regime of Saddam Hussein is history. Well, the postwar planning is a disaster. We have ongoing war with US occupation and nationalist resistance.

And the US is looking for a quick exit strategy that will restore sovereignty to the Iraqi people, whilst arranging things so that the Iraqi's do not elect an anti-American government.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 9:14 AM | | Comments (5)


Yep, the Yanks are evil, no doubt about it.

It's not me saying "the yanks are evil".

It's yanks questioning other ymnks.

No such thing as "the yanks" exists.

Effective military planning is all about continually adapting the plan. US planners have put way too much emphasis on trying to win hearts and minds through minimal response when, on the other hand, the Iraqi Governing Council apparently feels that more aggressive action is called for.

US forces should had been much more aggressive from the outset and absolutely crushed the Iraqi military so that there would be no doubt in the minds of Iraqis that they had lost the war.

There is no such thing as ymnks.

This battle over secrecy and intelligence is a HUGE problem. Over the weekend, the Weekly Standard published a leaked memo that was basically all the one-sided information used by the Bush administration before the war to "prove" a link between Iraq and al Qaeda.

The Pentagon --on the SAME SLOW NEWS DAY (Saturday) -- fired back with a press release pointing out that the memo reflected these raw reports, that the snippets of data were not analyzed in the memo, and that no conclusions could be drawn.

In other words, cherry-picked intelligence should be taken with a huge grain of salt.

Matthew Yglesias has the key links.

Fox News nonetheless spent the weekend pumping up the memo and ignoring the DoD response.

An issue like this needs more democratic debate, not less.

Rodger, There won't be any room for democratic debate if the opening shots in the clash of civilisations have already been fired. The world may have begun down a path where the only victory is everyone bowing to the Mullahs and toward Mecca OR no more Korans or Mosques left on the planet.

You may be forced to choose which side you are on sooner than you think. There will be no democratic debate about it. The history of total war shows this to be the case. It will be simply a case of you are with them or with us. This is the sort of world you will have to fear if the decent, civil society experiment in Iraq turns bad.