Do you remember the moment you realized bush lied about iraq? see ‘why we fight’

i recently saw ‘why we fight’, a terrific documentary that i would highly recommend. this movie by eugene jarecki, brother of andrew – creator of moviefone and more importantly ‘capturing the friedmans’ – does an amazing job of reminding us all of the very recent past.

i honestly had forgotten how emphatically bush, cheney and rumsfeld argued that a) iraq was connected to 9/11 and b) iraq had weapons of mass destruction. in fact, the previous night i backed down in a debate with a conservative friend when he said we were all just being monday morning quarterbacks and that it was easy to blame the messenger after the fact. i felt hypocritical as i had been slightly in favor of the invasion at the time.

however, this movie points out how clearly we were all deceived. jarecki interview a former military officers from a special pentagon office that was set up. she explains how political appointees issued memos stating how she was supposed to refer to any issues relating to iraq.

even more powerful is jarecki’s interviews with a former nyc cop and vietnam vet who lost his son in 9/11.  this guy went from asking the airforce to put his son’s name on a bomb to complete disgust for bush and for himself for being so wrong. at one point he pinpoints the exact moment when he realized bush was lying about it all and in fact jarecki shows a bush interview where he says he never tied iraq to 9/11.

if only jarecki could have narrated this film…afterwards he spent an hour talking about the point of the film, how it was the system that was corrupt more than just bush or either party. the film does a great job of showing how our country’s industrial military machine needs wars to feed jobs.

anyway, the biggest point i walked away thinking about was — when exactly did each of us come to the realization that we were duped into this war? do you remember a day or moment when you woke up and realized you didnt really support our original intentions for invading iraq? i cant pinpoint my moment.

somehow i feel like i’ve been in a passive daze just watching as events unfolded. seems like bush/cheney have been so gradual in moving us from the 9/11 connection to simply world security or extending freedom that even now it’s all fuzzy.

the most ominous moment in the film is when pearl tells us that no matter what we think now, no matter who takes power next, we can never go back to the way it was. i dont think he meant it the way i took it, that we have so damaged america’s reputation and so angered friends and foe that it’s irreparable.

the movie has remained on my mind this week. i feel like we need a leader who can help us heal a lot of horrible, immoral actions we have brought into the world since 9/11. we have become a nation seeking vengence at all costs. like an angry parent, we have lost regard for other human life in our mourning the loss of our own. america feels more and more like a mean country, one that has lost all sense of community at home and abroad.

one of jarecki’s final comments was that america under the republicans reminds him of ‘it’s a wonderful life’ – we’ve had an oppty to see what life would be like under the most corrupt and evil of regimes. i agreed with this thought and the optimism he took away that we should be thankful to bush/cheney for so blatantly showing their true colors that we might wake up and choose to go back.

leadership or the lack of it matters a lot. i’m noticing its effects all around me. over new years a seemingly intelligent guy argued – why should we bother finding a moral justification for kicking ass in other countries? his point was we’re the only super power, why ask for permission or need to justify? 

i never imagined i’d live in a time when our country’s values and actions were indistinguishable from those of  criminal regimes and totalitarian governments.

and why is it that it’s always the fucking, morals preaching, family values guys who are the most evil? if you think about it, it’s really embarassing to have a george bush as our president. i mean i can forgive him for being an idiot (not the first), even for being corrupt as that’s how you got elected in the 20th century, but talking to g-d? come the fuck on! and ‘we’ voted for this guy?

14 thoughts on “Do you remember the moment you realized bush lied about iraq? see ‘why we fight’

  1. I knew from the very beginning that it was a farce. Friends in the intelligence community had been complaining for months that the White House had been telling them their data was incorrect and to “Go back and look at it again”. Look, that is not how one does intelligence analysis, or science, or business or just about anything else besides politics and bad business. You never go into a problem thinking you know the answer and looking for evidence to back yourself up. Rather you should form a hypothesis, and then set about collecting data to refute your hypothesis. THAT is how to perform analysis, because otherwise….eventually you will find data that supports your position. Unfortunately, more often than not, that data will be incorrect.

  2. Here we go again. Hey Mark, you forgot to add a few more things you learned from the Michael Moore school of reasoning:
    It’s all about Oil.
    Bush is in with the Saudis.
    There is no terrorist threat.
    And lets call in our good friends Sheehan and Murtha for great advice:
    Wave the white flag and get out of there before someone gets hurt!
    So, what’s the solution? Oh yes, of course, we need to be more like Europe! I’d say France and Spain are fabulous examples of how we can learn to feel the Islamofascist pain. Only after we stop killling them, sit down together, understand why they hate us and completely agree with them will we have peace, the Taliban way.
    Oh, yeah, one more thing you forgot to mention,
    “It’s our fault that 3000 Americans were killed on 9/11”

  3. Mark, years ago when you did tribe, I looked up to you for what you were doing. But now, goddamn how I’m sick and tired of your sanctimonious, holier-than-thou politcal & social ranting bullshit. Time to ditch your crap blog.

  4. Well I just want to tip my hat off to you for trying to justify yet another conspirarcy propoganda film.
    Going into Iraq was not wrong. Of course, our still being there is debateable. But even the lefts demi-god, Clinton knows we should be there.
    I just get frustrated when people try to play the blame game. If we want to do that, then why didn’t Clinton take Bin-Laden out when he had the chance? So if b

  5. Well I just want to tip my hat off to you for trying to justify yet another conspiracy propaganda film.
    My thoughts:
    Going into Iraq was not wrong. Of course, our still being there is debatable. But even the lefts demi-god, Clinton knows we should be there.
    I just get frustrated when people try to play the blame game. If we want to do that, then why didn’t Clinton take Bin-Laden out when he had the chance? So if by the lefts view of the situation then it’s relevant who’s to blame for 9/11.
    Anyhow, Saddam had to be taken care of, there’s no question about it. We had intel and took action, I’d hate to see what might of happened had we not done anything (ie. Clinton and Bin Laden).
    War is tough and unpredictable, no arguing that. But to blame Bush and his administration for misleading this country is preposterous. Iraq had been known to harbor terrorists, hence the correlation with 9/11. As far as we know WMD have not been found yet, but that doesn’t rule out the fact they were never there. Saddam, had the capability and we had the intel. Never underestimate an adversary, or a crazed heartless dictator for that matter.
    The fact is, there is always going to be criticism; which is not necessarily a bad thing. It’s our right as Americans to voice our opinions and because of this we’ve developed the strongest nation in the world. But, when you have the likes of Moore, Sheehan, Sharpton, Farrakhan, or even Murtha blatantly criticizing this country, it’s a shame to see America’s image being tarnished like that. When it all comes down to it, would we want any of the following people to be running this country? I sure hope not!
    I think what’s most important now, blame game aside; is focusing on the future. We need to train and stabilize Iraq and as soon as possible get our men and women in service home. That’s all there is too it.

  6. peter, here’s what’s sad. we’re all in such a hurry to kick ass – what’s bush’s slogan, “let’s roll” – that nobody seems to care who the target is.
    do you really mean to imply that the muslim world is our enemy and should be targeted in general? i am not saying we should run and hide.
    but at this point lets agree on the facts.
    1. we all know that iraq had nothing to do with 9/11. anyone want to argue this one?
    2. it has also become clear that iraq didnt have WMD and hasnt pursued them in 10 years. rebuttal?
    3. saudi arabia has seemed far more connected to 9/11 all along but…
    a. bush helped them leave the country.
    b. bush has never mentioned that they are a totalitarian regime.
    peter, very few people are suggesting we leave iraq immediately, but are you suggesting we should forget why we invaded in the first place because it’s too late to change that? we shouldnt care whether our govt lied to us because that’s just part of going to war?

  7. Every major world leader (and former world leader like Clinton) thought Iraq had WMD. The left (including Mark Pinkie) accuse us of bad intelligence. So Bush takes action to improve Intelligence by listening in on international calls with known terrorists to/from America, and those same people cry foul. That’s similar to the critique of VCs, namely high-level direction and low-level criticism. You can’t have it both ways Mark. But then you’re an idealist, reality is so messy.

  8. i find it really amusing i’m now accused of being a leftie (as i’ve spent so much time being lambasted by liberals). it’s comforting to hear that my views are hated by both sides. must mean i’m onto something.
    for the record, my views lean pretty libertarian but are actually pretty mainstream.
    – lower taxes
    – pro business and capitalism
    – open borders
    – legalize marajuana
    – pro choice
    – against religion anywhere but your church
    – anti death penalty

  9. Nice dodge, now back to the issue: do we continue to act with poor intelligence (e.g. WMD in Iraq) or do we spy on International calls with known/suspected terrorists? Take a stand…

  10. All wars center around economic reasons, yet all I hear fm those who justify the war fm the outset and to this day, have no economic reasons among their reasons. There’s lots of “Saddam had to go” and “our intelligence agencies thought they had WMDs”, but this all has so little to do w/why governments take immediate actions that I’m surprised that this riddle remains unspoke amongst most of those taking a conservative posturing. Any mention of economic reasons usually gets bundled into the patronizing “oh yeah, that’s a conspiracy theory” as though economics never plays a role…until the historians unearth the documents showing this years after all participants are dead and gone.
    Any one talking about this war w/o digging into the meat of the economics here needs to go do some more homework and share their new knowledge w/the rest of the class 😉
    For the record, there were enough important detractors to the war, including folks in the U.S. gov’t and the IAEA that knew better, never to have made this war credible in my eyes. More importantly, agreeing w/the decision to go to war here was tied to a trust in a gov’t that had already proven to be untrustworthy, just couldn’t go w/the flow on this one…but lots did and still do despite the truths that are now coming out…sad 😦
    Finally on Mark Kay’s comment above:
    >Oh, yeah, one more thing you forgot to mention,
    >”It’s our fault that 3000 Americans were
    >killed on 9/11″
    Only if you treat the “our” as the behavior and support our gov’t gave the likes of Saddam prior to the animosity. BTW, using the excuse that “our” is something each of us can personalize is preposterous, it’s not all about “either-or”.

  11. Amazing, just amazing how much everyone was hoodwinked .. deliberately. The country has gone from a more-or-less legitimate leader in the ^free ^ world to a laughing stock almost everywhere else (and I say this from listening to other while I was involved in quite a lot of travel to other countries in the last three years).
    From day one here have been lots of blogs chronicling the lies, the justifications that tie the illegal invasion to some vague (and obsolete) notions of freedom and demnocracy, the strategic and tactical mistakes, etc. Total fucking lies and mistakes … it’s all being made up now as it goes along.
    The philosophical and structural damage wrought upon the USA will take generations to repair now, if they ever get repaired.
    The *war* on terror, and the phrase *we are at war* are so loose and open–ended as to be a recipe for stirring up some additional fears and concerns any time it may be necessary for the high-level mucky-mucks to keep the citizenry in line. No nation state ever declared war on the USA. The bombers were thugs and criminals, and should have been chased down and dealt with as such.
    I saw Bush on tv today walking around and taking unscripted questions. He said “Al Qaeda has nade Iraq the central front of the war on terror*. Nonsense .. the USA has made Iraq the central front of some kind of *war*, I suppose .. it was Bush et al that went to Iraq, not *the terrorists* or Al Qaeda.
    Perfect recipe for sustaining and reinforcing robust fascism, especially when carried out in cahoots with large media corporations.

  12. Mark,
    Good points to raise.
    Yes, Iraq reportedly didn’t have a direct link to 9/11, but its naive to think they were not a major play in the WOT or Al-Qaeda
    Yes, no WMDs were found. the whole world definitely jacked that up.
    I agree, the Saudis are a huge problem. But unless we’re willing to start drilling in Alaska, “the spice must flow”.
    But if you still believe that Bush intentionally lied to get us into Iraq, you’re swallowing the MMoore lefty garbage that has not been substantiated by any respected report or evidence, anywhere.
    One thing that really will give you and everyone else here total clarity on what this war is all about will be to read about what they are after from Osama himself. Read this letter in its entirety and there’s no doubt in my mind that you will agree:
    It is 100% a fight for our way of life and I challenge anyone here to read Osama’s letter and interpret what he’s saying as anything different.,11581,845725,00.html
    (BTW, a good analysis of this letter is here:

  13. Here we go again, and now you have the oppty to weigh-in in advance:
    Iran’s president says (repeatedly):
    1. Israel should be removed from the face of the earth.
    2. Fundamentalist Ilam will conquer the corrupt western world
    3. No matter what anyone says, they are building nuclear weapons
    He’s worse than Saddam…so what do we do Mark? Political pressure has had no affect. We don’t know how long we have, because we don’t have perfect intelligence on the state of their weapons program. You now have the opportunity to make the call before the bombs drop, instead of playing monday morning quarterback.

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