Do The Freakin Math

Liberals and conservatives alike frequently rely on limited evidence, personal experience, religious beliefs or gut emotions to determine solutions for complex problems. From immigration to global warming - taxes to terrorism - or health care to free trade - analytical study is rare. Science based policy making isn’t the way of Washington. And the consequences are catastrophic. Change is urgently needed. Just do the freakin’ math.

Friday, April 01, 2011

"Leading to War" video. The most troubling question.

“Leading to War” video: http://downloads.leadingtowar.com/film/flvs/nosubs/video_player02.html
Almost an hour into the program a McNeal/Lehar News Hour interview, Feb. 23, 2003 starts with a question “Is the US military ready to go against Iraq?” Rumsfeld “Yea.” NH “Are you and your folks planning for a ferocious war, I mean an all out defense by the Iraqi military?” Rumsfeld: “The task of war planners is to plan for every conceivable contingency. And they are doing that. From the most pessimistic to the most optimistic.”
This, for me, is the most unresolved and troubling issue involving the Bush Administration’s invasion of Iraq.
I believe I know why we really invaded. 1. GOP leadership felt our nation needed to prove to the Muslim world that we were willing to go to war and expend American blood and treasure without reservations ...instead of cowering away as Reagan did after Lebanon and Clinton did after Mogadishu. 2. We needed to find a new place to permanently station large American military bases to ensure we would have adequate force structure strategically placed somewhere in the Middle East so we could ensure our immediate access to large quantities of foreign oil if that need ever arose. 3. Iraq was the only one of the three items Osama Bin Ladin listed as grievances against the US that the Bush Administration had not yet addressed. (Almost immediately after 9-11 the Bush Administration withdrew all most all US military forces from Saudi Arabia and shortly after that proposed a two state solution for Israel and Palestine.). These were not crazy ideas. They may have been foolish. But they weren’t crazy. All the hoopla about WMD was legitimate fear, given Saddam’s use of WMD against former advisories, and with the probability that he still had large or even small stockpiles of WMD.
But this is where it gets very, very confusing. If Rumsfeld told the truth in the interview above, and I have no reason to think he wasn’t. Then he and all other planner certainly knew that Saddam could have had access to former soviet stockpiles of weaponized smallpox. A form of Bio weaponry so devastatingly lethal and indefensible that it’s release would have altered the course of future civilization. And sure enough the Bush Administration ordered small pox vaccinations for all military personal and US based first responders (nurses, doctors, fireman, policemen...). That order fell flat because of harmful and sometimes lethal consequences of taking the small pox vaccine, the vastly inadequate number of vaccines, and the very reasonable doubt that the existing vaccines might not be effective but were actually 100% ineffective against weaponized smallpox.
Given the uncomfortably large potential in the fog of war that weaponized small pox could be accidentally or intentionally released in what was certainly ‘the most pessimistic’ planning? Why in the F did we invade? Who was it that specifically made the decision to go ahead with the invasion given the very real risk of killing billions of people and potentially crippling for decades the course of human progress? I want to know who made that call. And I want them to answer for it. Either they knew something everyone else did not know...like there were NO bioweapons WMD to fear....or, they were fearless regarding the likelihood of the apocalypse... or, they were just plain stupid, or didn’t care.
Who was it? Which was it? Americans have the right to know.

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