High overcast with sunshine this Thursday afternoon on California’s north coast, though, a porous/moist gray blanket hanging just in sight west of my apartment indicates most-likely heavy shoreline fog closer to the ocean.
Rain still on for the weekend, supposedly.
No inkling earlier today was a heinous-celebratory one — the 12th anniversary of the US invasion of Iraq. I was not conscious of this unconscionable milestone until Bill in Portland Maine this morning up-chucked the memory.
Odd, I haven’t seen mention of the high-watershed moment anywhere else.
Coincidently, Oliver Stone’s ‘W.,’ became available this week on Netflix, and I took a watch again last night. Roger Ebert’s October 2008 review gave the film Four Stars, and most-likely explained a partial-view of a legacy: ‘This is the tragedy of a victim of the Peter Principle.’
However, with one humongous caveat — the real-time, actual ‘victim‘ in this massacre-portrait is a shitload of people worldwide. And the invasion completely fucked the Middle East probably forever.
In October 2013, a PLOS Medicine journal survey reported on the astonishingly-high number of Iraqis who died between 2003 and 2011. Public health expert Amy Hagopian of the University of Washington in Seattle (via National Geographic): ‘“We think it is roughly around half a million people dead. And that is likely a low estimate. People need to know the cost in human lives of the decision to go to war.”‘
What if that ‘cost‘ wasn’t part of the picture?
And what if the painters of that picture were self-centered, highly-incompetent assholes?
Obviously now, a bunch of liars, too. The release today of a 2002 National Intelligence Estimate explains — via VICE News:
Thirteen years ago, the intelligence community concluded in a 93-page classified document used to justify the invasion of Iraq that it lacked “specific information” on “many key aspects” of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction (WMD) programs.
But that’s not what top Bush administration officials said during their campaign to sell the war to the American public.
Those officials, citing the same classified document, asserted with no uncertainty that Iraq was actively pursuing nuclear weapons, concealing a vast chemical and biological weapons arsenal, and posing an immediate and grave threat to US national security.
The NIE also said Hussein did not have “sufficient material” to manufacture any nuclear weapons.
But in an October 7, 2002 speech in Cincinnati, Ohio, then-President George W. Bush simply said Iraq, “possesses and produces chemical and biological weapons” and “the evidence indicates that Iraq is reconstituting its nuclear weapons program.”
One of the most significant parts of the NIE revealed for the first time is the section pertaining to Iraq’s alleged links to al Qaeda.
In September 2002, then-Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld claimed the US had “bulletproof” evidence linking Hussein’s regime to the terrorist group.
But the NIE said its information about a working relationship between al Qaeda and Iraq was based on “sources of varying reliability” — like Iraqi defectors — and it was not at all clear that Hussein had even been aware of a relationship, if in fact there were one.
In reality, if you’ve been following along over the years, no real ‘new‘ news surfaced in the re-released NIE.
The horrible irony, though, is now the very influence George W. Bush and his boys blasted the airwaves about those 13 years ago has quickly become seemingly the absolute-horror of the age — ISIS. They’ve taken responsibility for the museum attack yesterday in Tunis. Al-Qaeda sprouted in Iraq after the invasion, and from the nasty bowels of Al-Qaeda in Iraq, came the ISIS.
President Obama in that VICE Media interview this week, conceded as such (via the UK’s Independent): ‘“Two things: one is, Isis is a direct outgrowth of al-Qaeda in Iraq that grew out of our invasion. Which is an example of unintended consequences. Which is why we should generally aim before we shoot…”‘
How about shooting for this: Why aren’t George Bush and Dick Cheney in jail?
Yet The Dick continues terrifying, blind-as-a-bat bullshit (via USAToday):
In an interview published in Playboy, Cheney called Obama “the worst president in my lifetime,” and that his damaging legacy will endure.
“I used to have significant criticism of Jimmy Carter,” said the former Republican vice president.
“But compared to Barack Obama and the damage he is doing to the nation — it’s a tragedy, a real tragedy, and we are going to pay a hell of a price just trying to dig out from under his presidency.”
Nothing like a real turd with gall.
The Dick in the movie “W.” is played with ironic creepiness by Richard Dreyfuss, who does resemble him a bit. I’d seen the movie before, a few years ago, and closer to the time period than now. Further away in time from the horror that was George W. Bush’s administration, more-worse and more-repugnant that whole fucking crowd becomes — reality more stark.
W. does have a most-unsightly propensity talk with his mouth full of food — from enlightening The Dick to the powers of the presidency, eating a sandwich in the Oval Office (and muttering to The Dick’s chagrin, “I’m the Decider“), to the initial flirting with Laura Bush (seemingly underplayed by Elizabeth Banks — I don’t think Laura is as smart as Banks can sometimes appear), the boy eats with big gulps, chews heavy and keeps the mouth involved in a conversation, too. Miraculously, no food is spit out, and no one noticeably cares either. An aspect that’s a little creepy.
Josh Brolin does a remarkable job, and worth the price of admission.
However, with history being what she be, “W.” is sometimes a bit hard to take — the first viewing felt more comedic, but now not much humor in the narrative, maybe it should have been filmed in back and white…