[Marxism] Breakdown at the Iraq lie factory

gregory meyerson gmeyerson at triad.rr.com
Sat Feb 17 14:11:40 MST 2007


more on divisions.

> TomPaine.com	 February 15, 2007
>
> Breakdown at the Iraq lie factory
>
> By Robert Dreyfuss
>
> It was, President Bush must have been thinking, a heck of a lot easier 
> five
> years ago. Back in 2002, the president had a smoothly running lie 
> factory
> humming along in the Pentagon, producing reams of fake intelligence 
> about
> Iraq, led by Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Doug Feith and his 
> Office
> of Special Plans. Back then, he had a tightly knit cabal of
> neoconservatives, led by I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, based in Vice 
> President
> Dick Cheney’s office, to carry out a coordinated effort to distribute 
> the
> lies to the media. And he had a chorus of yes-men in the
> Republican-controlled Congress ready to echo the party line.
>
> In 2007, Bush stands nearly alone, and he never looked lonelier than 
> during
> a bumbling, awkward news conference on the Iraq-Iran tangle Wednesday.
>
> Feith is long gone, and last week his lie factory was exposed by the
> Pentagon’s own inspector general, who told Congress that Feith had 
> pretty
> much made up everything that his rogue intelligence unit manufactured. 
> Libby
> is long gone, apparently about to be sentenced to jail for lying about
> Cheney’s frantic effort to cover up the lie factory’s work. And the
> congressional echo chamber is gone: In six weeks, the Democrats have 
> held
> more than four dozen hearings to investigate the White House’s 
> catastrophic
> Middle East policy, and even Hillary Clinton is warning that Bush had 
> better
> keep his hands off Iran, saying: “It would be a mistake of historical
> proportions if the administration thought that the 2002 resolution
> authorizing force against Iraq was a blank check for the use of force
> against Iran.”
>
> Without his Orwellian apparatus behind him, the president spent most 
> of his
> hour-long news conference yesterday shrugging and smirking, jutting 
> his jaw
> out with false bravado, joshing inappropriately with reporters asking 
> deadly
> serious questions and stumbling over his words. It was painful to 
> listen to
> him trying to justify the nonsensical claims that Iran and its 
> paramilitary
> “Quds Force” are somehow responsible for the chaos in Iraq:
>
>      What we do know is that the Quds force was instrumental in 
> providing
>      these deadly IEDs to networks inside of Iraq. We know that. And we
>      also know that the Quds force is a part of the Iranian government.
>      That's a known. What we don't know is whether or not the head 
> leaders
>      of Iran ordered the Quds force to do what they did.
>
> Pressed about what the “head leaders” are doing, he went on:
>
>      Either they knew or didn't know, and what matters is, is that 
> they're
>      there. What's worse, that the government knew or that the 
> government
>      didn't know?
>  What’s worse, them ordering it and it happening, or
>      them not ordering it and it happening?
>
> If that makes no sense to you, well, that’s because the whole thing 
> makes no
> sense. It’s a farcical replay of Iraq 2002, when the White House 
> demonized
> Saddam Hussein with fake intelligence, turning him into a menacing 
> al-Qaida
> backer armed with weapons of mass destruction. This time, however, the 
> lie
> factory has been dismantled. All by himself, the president is trying 
> to turn
> Iran into a scary, al-Qaida-allied, nuke-wielding menace. But he’s not
> fooling anyone. The potent “war president” of 2002-2003 is now an
> incoherent, mewling Wizard of Oz-like figure, and people are paying
> attention to the man behind the curtain.
>
> Unlike 2002, when the White House fired salvo after salvo of fake
> intelligence about Iraq, today it can’t even stage its lies properly. 
> Like
> the incompetents who couldn’t organize a two-car funeral, the 
> remaining Iran
> war hawks in the administration held a briefing in Baghdad on Sunday to
> present alleged evidence that Iran is masterminding the insurgency in 
> Iraq.
> But it was a comedy of errors that convinced no one. Twice, at least, 
> the
> administration had earlier postponed or canceled the much-promoted 
> event,
> designed to reveal the supposed secrets behind Iran’s actions in Iraq. 
> When
> it was finally held, it was not in Washington, but in Baghdad, with 
> not a
> single White House official, no U.S. diplomat, no State Department 
> official,
> no CIA official and no one from the Office of the Director of National
> Intelligence. Instead, a couple of anonymous military officers held a
> background-only briefing, barring cameras and tape recorders, to 
> present
> some blurry photographs of bomb-looking things—and not a shred of 
> evidence
> of Iranian government involvement.
>
> It was as if Adlai Stevenson had gotten up at the United Nations 
> during the
> missile crisis in Cuba and, rather than showing detailed U-2 
> photographs of
> missile emplacements, had simply said, “Ladies and gentleman, some 
> Cuban guy
> we talked to said the Russians are putting missiles in Cuba.”
>
> According to The Washington Times, the effort to blame Iran was 
> directly
> torpedoed by the U.S. intelligence community, through the Office of the
> Director of National Intelligence. The ODNI, said the Times, “sought 
> to play
> down the intelligence on Iranian involvement, fearing that the report 
> will
> be used as a basis to launch an attack on Iran.” Many earlier reports 
> noted
> that both the State Department and the U.S. intelligence community were
> strongly opposed to any attempt to demonize Iran. There’s nothing like 
> a
> bureaucracy scorned to conduct passive-aggressive sabotage of misguided
> policies, and in this case the bureaucracy apparently succeeded. The
> dog-and-pony show on Iranian meddling in Iraq not only didn’t scare 
> anyone,
> it caused guffaws of laughter and ridicule.
>
> And then there was the hilarious presidential press conference 
> yesterday, to
> top it off.
>
> There is, of course, no basis for arguing that the civil war in Iraq is
> caused by Iran. And there is no basis—“not supported by underlying
> intelligence,” as the Pentagon I.G. said about Doug Feith’s 2002  
> work—to
> argue that Iran is responsible for a significant part of American 
> deaths in
> Iraq. Nearly all of the U.S. casualties in Iraq are caused by the
> secular-Baathist Sunni-led resistance and religious Sunni extremists
> fighting the occupation, and none of the forces allied with the 
> resistance
> have ties to Iran. Even the anonymous briefers at the dog-and-camel 
> show in
> Baghdad admitted that Iran is helping the Shiite militias, not the 
> Sunnis;
> in other words, Iran is helping the self-same militias that are being
> trained and armed by the United States.
>
> And the spurious claim that 170 Americans have died in attacks using
> Iranian-supplied super-IED’s since 2004 can only mean one thing: that 
> the
> Pentagon is counting the numbers of U.S. soldiers and Marines who died 
> in
> April and August, 2004. That was when the United States waged two 
> mini-wars
> against Muqtada al-Sadr’s Mahdi Army. It was the only time in the past 
> four
> years when the United States suffered significant casualties fighting 
> the
> Shiites—though the administration presented zero evidence that Sadr’s 
> Mahdi
> Army gets weapons from Iran, or needs to. But if they’re counting as 
> far
> back as 2004—and, according to the Pentagon, the super-IED’s started 
> showing
> up in 2004—then the whole issue is absurd, since what happened three 
> years
> ago has little or no relevance to current conditions.
>
> Those prone to believe, along with the president, that Iran is 
> fomenting the
> violence in Iraq have already drunk deep of the neocon Kool-Aid. The 
> rest of
> us can only shake our heads in wonder that the president thinks he can 
> get
> away with this.
>
>
> Robert Dreyfuss is an Alexandria, Va.-based writer specializing in 
> politics
> and national security issues. He is the author of Devil's Game: How the
> United States Helped Unleash Fundamentalist Islam (Henry 
> Holt/Metropolitan
> Books, 2005), a contributing editor at The Nation and a writer for 
> Mother
> Jones, The American Prospect and  Rolling Stone. He can be reached 
> through
> his website, www.robertdreyfuss.com.
>
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