Tuesday, February 06, 2018

I Helped Sell the False Choice of War. It's Happening Again

Lawrence Wilkerson: Fifteen years ago this week, Colin Powell, then the secretary of state, took to the podium at the United Nations to sell pre-emptive war with Iraq. As his chief of staff, I helped Secretary Powell paint a clear picture that war was the only choice, that when "we confront a regime that harbors ambitions for regional domination, hides weapons of mass destruction and provides haven and active support for terrorists, we are not confronting the past, we are confronting the present. And unless we act, we are confronting an even more frightening future." Following Mr. Powell's presentation on that cold day, I considered what we had done.

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That effort led to a war of choice with Iraq -- one that resulted in catastrophic losses for the region and the United States-led coalition, and that destabilized the entire Middle East.

This should not be forgotten today for a clear reason: The Trump administration is using much the same playbook to create a false choice that war is the only way to address the challenges presented by Iran.

Comments

I vehemently opposed the IRaq invasion and even more vehemently oppose an Iran invasion. Trump needs to take a chill pill. This is insanity to even consider.

#1 | Posted by danni at 2018-02-05 04:27 PM

A war in Iran would be bad for Russia.

Would Putin allow it?

#2 | Posted by Tor at 2018-02-05 07:10 PM

So depressing.

#3 | Posted by Twinpac at 2018-02-06 05:54 PM

"The Trump administration is using much the same playbook to create a false choice that war is the only way to address the challenges presented by Iran."

Product roll-out for Operation Make Me a War President! scheduled for August of next year.

#4 | Posted by Corky at 2018-02-06 06:03 PM

Trump will absolutely start a war if he thinks its the only way to win re election or stop the russian investigation. He might even arrange a fake attack on the USA as justification.

#5 | Posted by SpeakSoftly at 2018-02-06 06:21 PM

#5 | Posted by SpeakSoftly at 2018-02-06 06:21 PM | Re

most certainly he would I agree, dead Americans and Iranians wouldn't matter as long as the war would keep his polls numbers going up.

Trump is evil

#6 | Posted by PunchyPossum at 2018-02-06 08:26 PM

#5 I've been saying so for over a year. I can't agree more.

I would only say that it's an an "if" but a "when"

He will do it just to do it.

#7 | Posted by BruceBanner at 2018-02-06 08:30 PM

I vehemently opposed the IRaq invasion and even more vehemently oppose an Iran invasion.

Why do you love Putin, comrade?

#8 | Posted by Ben_Berkkake at 2018-02-06 08:40 PM

Meh. When I lived in China over 10 years ago, people there were asking me whether the US was going to invade Iran. Thought it was nonsense and hot air back then, and still think that's the case now. Iran is much bigger than Iraq, and the US doesn't have a history of successful intervention like it did in the first Iraq war to try to sell it to the masses.

#9 | Posted by sentinel at 2018-02-06 10:51 PM

so your story about 10 years ago in china means what about today? we're living in the twilight zone. half of alabama voted for a child rapist. we have a man in the oval office that tells 20 verifiable lies a day and is building a more usable nuclear weapons arsenal.

#10 | Posted by BruceBanner at 2018-02-06 11:08 PM

SPEAK

"Trump will absolutely start a war if he thinks its the only way to win re election or stop the russian investigation. He might even arrange a fake attack on the USA as justification."

Hmmmm . . . that sounds familiar. Iraq anybody??????

#11 | Posted by Twinpac at 2018-02-06 11:22 PM

Banner, last time I checked Iran has not shrunk in size and many people haven't forgotten what a clusterfrak Iraq turned into. The fundamentals haven't changed, as far as I can tell, despite the -------- you're currently living in.

#12 | Posted by sentinel at 2018-02-06 11:49 PM

The fundamentals not changing is what I'm worried about.

#13 | Posted by BruceBanner at 2018-02-07 12:43 AM

If you were making a pun there then I see what you did, but it's silly to worry about that sort of thing. The fundamental facts of the situation were never in favor of the neocon pipe dream to start a war with Iran.

#14 | Posted by sentinel at 2018-02-07 12:56 AM

What do you think about North Korea?

#15 | Posted by BruceBanner at 2018-02-07 02:09 AM

Never been there, but from what I've heard it sounds a lot like China used to be during the height of Mao. Wouldn't surprise me if Trump pulled a Nixon at some point.

#16 | Posted by sentinel at 2018-02-07 02:33 AM

Wouldn't surprise me if Trump pulled a Nixon at some point.

#16 | POSTED BY SENTINEL

Trump is too much of a coward to pull a Nixon/China-esque trip to North Korea.

#17 | Posted by PinchALoaf at 2018-02-07 03:23 AM

America is addicted to war.

Specially to wars it keeps losing.... like 17 years in Afghanistan and still spinning their wheels in the Afghan muck.

What is one more war??? Go for it, I say!

#18 | Posted by J_Tremain at 2018-02-07 03:35 AM

"Iran is much bigger than Iraq, and the US doesn't have a history of successful intervention like it did in the first Iraq war to try to sell it to the masses."

Just when did we have a history of successful intervention? Never. When you base your post on a false premise expect to be called out for it.

#19 | Posted by danni at 2018-02-07 06:55 AM

Anyone hear that our Dear Leader is saying that a military parade (like those seen China and NK) is a keen idea. WTF?

#20 | Posted by b_al at 2018-02-07 10:03 AM

"Just when did we have a history of successful intervention?"

Whether you think it was successful or not, the neocons were touting the relative brevity of the Gulf War in 1990 as a success to sell the 2003 invasion.

#21 | Posted by sentinel at 2018-02-07 10:57 AM

"That effort led to a war of choice with Iraq -- one that resulted in catastrophic losses for the region and the United States-led coalition, and that destabilized the entire Middle East."

This is why anti-Trump people are impossible to actually get behind. First off, there was nothing close to catastrophic losses. I know we are a nation of extremes but exaggerating to try to make a point just makes you much less reputable. WW1, WW2, etc. had catastrophic losses. We had blips. Yes, they were still losses and that sucks but catastrophic is a word that only shows this author lacks any ability to be objective. Second, did this author seriously just state that W is the reason the Middle East is destabilized? It wasn't the couple thousands of years of fighting each other, ingraining centuries of hate against each faction that did it? It was one guy who was in office for 8 years who did it.

The facts are that Iraq was sponsoring terrorism and there is plenty of evidence. They did find a large cache of WMDs that were expired but accounted for the missing WMDs that Hussein didn't give up after the first Gulf War, which was the crux behind the WMD scare. All of these facts are out there, people just have to research and be objective instead of reading the media outlet they most agree with and accepting everything as gospel. It's so sad we live in an age where so many people do that and ignore the truth.

#22 | Posted by humtake at 2018-02-07 12:18 PM

I vehemently opposed the IRaq invasion and even more vehemently oppose an Iran invasion. Trump needs to take a chill pill. This is insanity to even consider.
#1 | Posted by danni at 2018-02-05 04:27 PM

Then why are you such a Hillary fan? It was obvious at the time the entire gaggle of representatives were 100% colluding publicly. Everyone was afraid of getting an anthrax letter like the three who did oppose BushCo, but she has had a lot of time to pursue avenues to expose what Powell's group are doing now. THAT is why I would never vote for Hillary.

#23 | Posted by redlightrobot at 2018-02-07 04:22 PM

"Then why are you such a Hillary fan?"

I supported Bernie in the primaries but then, just like Bernie, I supported her in the general election. In 2008 I supported Obama, in part, due to her vote on the Iraq invasion which she has admitted was a mistake. I still would much prefer her over Trump or any of the other Republicans who ran in their primary.

#24 | Posted by danni at 2018-02-08 04:14 PM

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