Washington’s Blog is one of my favorite sources for revealing facts and analysis in economics and policy. The recent post, Instead of fixing the US Economy or creating jobs for AMERICANS, Obama will spend the money in Afghanistan and Iraq, is so comprehensively brilliant in putting together the documentation that our wars are fraudulent and damaging to our economy, I’m reprinting it for you.
Needless to say, I recommend following Washington’s Blog for such insightful writing! Without further ado:
America is in the most severe unemployment crisis since - and perhaps including - the Great Depression.
And yet Obama, like Bush, has done virtually nothing to create more jobs. Instead, they both gave trillions to the biggest banks (who are not loaning it out to the little guy) and for waging wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Obama is apparently escalating - not ending - the wars. And its not cheap.
According to the White House, the cost of deploying new soldiers to Afghanistan could be $1 million per soldier. Nobel prize winning economist Joseph Stiglitz says that the Iraq war will cost $3-5 trillion dollars.
As I have previously pointed out, protracted war increases unemployment, shrinks the economy, and causes recession. See this, this and this.
But deficits don't matter, right? Wrong.
But We Had No Choice ... We Had to Fight Those Wars
But - you may say - we had no choice, we had to fight those wars because of 9/11.
Well, top British officials say that the U.S. discussed Iraq regime change long before 9/11. In fact, they say that regime change was advocated one month after Bush took office:
The chairman of the British Joint Intelligence Committee in 2001 told investigators Monday that elements of the Bush Administration were pushing for regime change in Iraq in early 2001, months before the 9/11 attacks and two years before President George W. Bush formally announced the Iraq war.
Sir Peter Ricketts, now-Secretary at the Foreign Office, said that US and British officials believed at the time that measures against Iraq were failing: "sanctions, an incentive to lift sanctions if Saddam allowed the United Weapons inspectors to return, and the 'no fly' zones over the north and south of the country."
Ricketts also said that US officials had raised the prospect of regime change in Iraq, asserting that the British weren't supportive of the idea at the time.
The head of the British Foreign Office's Middle East department, Sir William Patey, told the inquiry that his office was aware of regime change talk from some parts of the Bush Administration shortly after they took office in 2001.
"In February 2001 we were aware of these drum beats from Washington and internally we discussed it," Patey said. "Our policy was to stay away from that."
The Brits previously revealed that intelligence and purported facts of Iraq's weapons programs were "fixed around" the pre-set policy of invading Iraq.
It's not just the Brits.
Former CIA director George Tenet said that the White House wanted to invade Iraq long before 9/11, and inserted "crap" in its justifications for invading Iraq.
Former Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill also says that Bush planned the Iraq war before 9/11.
Everyone knew the WMD claims were fake. For example, the number 2 Democrat in the Senate, who was on the Senate intelligence committee, admitted that the Senate intelligence committee knew before the war started that Bush's public statements about Iraqi WMDs were false. And if the committee knew, then the White House knew as well.
And Tony Blair - the British Prime Minister - knew that Saddam possessed no WMDs. If America's closest ally Britain knew, then the White House knew as well.
The CIA warned the White House that claims about Iraq's nuclear ambitions (using forged documents) were false, and yet the White House made those claims anyway.
Cheney was largely responsible for generating fake intelligence about Iraq in order to justify the war. For example:
Falsified documents which were meant to show that Iraq's Saddam Hussein regime had been trying to procure yellowcake uranium from Niger can be traced back to Vice President Dick Cheney
"Cheney's office was pulling the strings" on the shop which twisted Iraq intelligence
And see this.
And you may have heard that the Energy Task Force chaired by Cheney prior to 9/11 collected maps of Iraqi oil fields and potential suitors for that oil. But you probably don't know that a secret document written by the National Security Council on February 3, 2001 directed the N.S.C. staff to cooperate fully with the Energy Task Force as it considered the “melding” of two seemingly unrelated areas of policy: “the review of operational policies towards rogue states,” such as Iraq, and “actions regarding the capture of new and existing oil and gas fields”.
In other words, it is difficult to brush off Cheney's Energy Task Force's examination of Iraqi oil maps as a harmless comparison of American energy policy with known oil reserves because the N.S.C. explicitly linked the Task Force, oil, and regime change. Indeed, a former senior director for Russian, Ukrainian, and Eurasian affairs at the N.S.C. said:
If this little group was discussing geostrategic plans for oil, it puts the issue of war in the context of the captains of the oil industry sitting down with Cheney and laying grand, global plans.
(and see this).
Cheney's role in getting the U.S. into unnecessary military confrontations is not new. According to former high-level intelligence officer Melvin Goodman, during the Ford administration, Cheney orchestrated phony intelligence for the Congress in order to get an endorsement for covert arms shipments to anti-government forces in Angola.
And in the 1970's, Cheney was instrumental in generating fake intelligence exaggerating the Soviet threat in order to undermine coexistence between the U.S. and Soviet Union, which conveniently justified huge amounts of cold war spending. See also this. This scheme foreshadowed Mr. Cheney's role in generating fake intelligence in Iraq by 30 years.
And Cheney was the guy who directed all counter-terrorism activities in 2001 and who directed the U.S. response on 9/11, accidentally allowing hijacked planes to fly all over the place, and perhaps - as implied by Secretary of Transportation Norm Minetta - to slam into the Pentagon (confirmed here). Heck of a job, Dick ...
The government also apparently planned the Afghanistan war before 9/11 (see this and this).
But you don't even have to even think about all of the complex facts discussed above. It's really simple: when asked to specify exactly why we are still fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan, Obama cannot really explain why we are still there.
(It's also simple because the top bipartisan experts say that the Iraq war has increasedthe threat of terrorism. See this, this, this, this, this and this).
The Wars Are Unnecessary and Are Killing the Economy
Bottom line: The wars are unnecessary, and they are draining resources which could be used to reduce unemployment and help the economy.
Note: This is not a Republican versus Democratic issue. For example, Bill Clinton signed the Iraq Liberation Act in 1998, calling for regime change in Iraq. And Obama is escalating wars started by the previous administration.