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This Weekend, The Eighth Anniversary Of The Start Of The Iraq War, I Found Something Interesting...

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Hissyspit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-21-11 02:13 AM
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This Weekend, The Eighth Anniversary Of The Start Of The Iraq War, I Found Something Interesting...
Edited on Mon Mar-21-11 02:16 AM by Hissyspit
In my time since signing up at Democratic Underground during the * Administration, I and others often discussed how many people essentially predicted the outcome of that pResident's outrageous, illegal, immoral and reckless imperialist adventure. One example of honorable and intelligent prescience in the face of dominating pro-war narratives that I often cited (and cite in response to insistent "nobody could have foreseen" memory-loss talking points) was author Thomas Powers' March 17, 2003 interview on NPR's Fresh Air w/ Terry Gross, a discussion they had two days before the ground war started:

POWERS: It's hard to say when the trouble will begin.

You know, the thing that worries me about this whole episode is the magnitude of the grand scheme that the Bush Administration has dreamed up for transforming the political landscape of the Middle East. You know, big ideas are the ones that give you the most trouble and trying to make the world perfect just leads to disaster, in my opinion, and I think that has sort of been the record of human history, and whenever we've engaged in a really big endeavor, trouble comes.

Now exactly when that is going to happen, I don't know. There's gonna be some kind of a government there. We're gonna be there. Eventually, after the fighting stops, the dust settles and everything is quiet for a while. And for a time it looks like: 'Gee, this wasn't so hard. You know, this is gonna be a big success.'

But you've changed the fundamental relationships of people there and gradually they realize what the limits of their action are, and they realize, well, we can't have any military forces with tanks attacking the Americans, but it isn't that hard to kind of sneak up on 'em in the streets.

And I think sort of an endless amount of trouble will slowly begin to bubble forth, so I figure we're gonna have a month of war, and then we're gonna have a month of indecision, and then we're gonna have a couple of months where everything looks pretty good. And then after that, things are gonna start going downhill, and it's gonna be trouble, and it's gonna be money and it'll take a generation to resolve it."

I have been working on a project where I am going through and synopsizing a weekly newspaper year by year for the past 100 years, and I came across a column that I never posted before, a column I now remember having read at the time, written by D.G. Martin.

D.G. Martin is a retired administrator for the UNC system and I believe he still writes his column syndicated to papers around the state. I met him once at his office when I needed some advice on something regarding UNC-CH.

This is an excerpt of a column he wrote in 1997. The next year he came in second in the Democratic primary to John Edwards in the race for U.S. Senator. The column, though, is about war and unintended consequences:

Did we stop the Gulf War too early? And give up our best chance to get rid of Iraq's diabolic leader? Who will defend former president George Bush's decision to agree to a cease-fire before Saddam Hussein was killed, captured, or deposed? Nobody? Not even President Bush himself. With the benefit of hindsight, he now thinks that he stopped the war too soon.

...

What would have happened if our armed forces had pushed ahead for a few more hours - or a few more days or weeks? If we had seized Baghdad and ousted Saddam, who would we have put in charge? Which one of the hundreds of dissident exiles could we have trusted? And how would that person have imposed order throughout the country? Would the American and allied conquerors have grated independence to the Kurds in the northern part of the country? How long would we have had to stay in Iraq? And what would have been our reaction to demonstrations in the streets of Iraqi cities? When snipers started shooting at American soldiers in those same streets, how would our leaders have responded to American families calling for their sons and daughter to come home? What if just one bomb had gone off in any one of the thousands places the the occupying soldiers would be? Would the Arab allies of the coalition have supported the takeover and occupation of another Arab country by Americans and Europeans?

The answers to these questions would not have been pretty.

President Bush got us out of Iraq while the getting was good. If he had continued the war, our country's attention and energies might have been focused on the consequences of the conquest and occupation of Iraq for years. Some of our country's successes of the past five years might never have been. The strength of the reserves of American armed forces would have been locked in Iraq. And with them would be all remaining reserves of our country's will power.

...

Maybe I am wrong about Iraq. Maybe it would have been nice and clean... I doubt it. Unless you believe this fairy tale of a short pleasant occupation, quick clean-up, and easy exit form Iraq, then take up for President Bush when people criticize him for his decision to leave Iraq when he did - even if he won't take up for himself.

By the way, Martin is former Army Airborne and Special Forces.

Happy Anniversary.
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Mimosa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-21-11 02:14 AM
Response to Original message
1. Good reminders, Hissyspit.
Some of us were awake back then.
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Solly Mack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-21-11 02:20 AM
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2. K&R
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-21-11 07:09 AM
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3. Rec'd.
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malaise Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-21-11 07:25 AM
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4. Must Read
K & R
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myrna minx Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-21-11 07:31 AM
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5. K&R n/t
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Mnemosyne Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-21-11 08:08 AM
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6. K&R n/t
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proud2BlibKansan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-21-11 10:19 AM
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7. K N R
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