Priceless! I wonder what happened between '92 and '03 to change his mind?
How about salary and stock options in one of the country's biggest military contractors?
The attack on the World Trade Center and Pentagon would be the obvious answer.
A changed world outlook is a reasonable response. Judging the appropriateness of the new world outlook and judging how it's applied is separate from the issue of whether some kind of change had to be made.
Destroying the defense that a country can't be touched since it wasn't the party that attacked the US - it was terrorists in the country completely independent of the government that attacked the US - is a good idea. We were right to invade Afghanistan and we would have been right to invade Pakistan next (assuming Pakistan would be the obvious choice of refuge for fleeing Al-Qaeda) had Musharraf not immediately declared himself an ally in the fight against terror.
Invading Iraq just because we'd been deprived of the obvious choices (Pakistan and/or Libya) was a bad idea. We should have been sure that Iraq fit the model before deciding to invade. We should have also made sure we had a plan that made the US look strong in a fight against terrorists, not ineffective.
Of course, even a changed world outlook doesn't change the facts that existed in Iraq. If you're not changing the difficulties involved in an Iraq invasion, you would have at least expected some kind of strategy for overcoming the difficulties. You would expect someone to point out that the Coalition Provisional Authority should have been staffed with professionals. In fact, the situation in Iraq seemed to be viewed as a cakewalk and the CPA was staffed with party loyalists rather than people with experience in post-war Bosnia, Kosovo, East Timor, etc.
I'm left with no idea of what the few competent professionals in Bush's cabinet must have been thinking as a bad idea became compounded by even worse implementation.
I'm sure his priorities changed a lot after 9/11 but terrorist attacks and the difficulties involved with removing Saddam from power are totally unrelated.
if after 9/11 he was saying "look, post war Iraq is going to be a vary tough situation but hey guys, we just cant take the chance that a nuclear Saddam won't resort to terrorism to attack the USA. this is going to be tough but we have to do it anyway" thats fine, there is nothing wrong with that. however, he did a total 180 on things unrelated to the necessity of disarming Saddam.
all the explanations of "we didn't know how bad things were going to be and we didn't know all our plans would land flat on their faces" is just untruthful. they knew their plans would fail and they still refused vary sensible alternatives (the required troop levels after ending Saddam's regime pops to my mind instantly), knowing they were unprepared and going ahead with it while saying "we have everything we need. this is going to be easy so what is everyone standing around talking about alternatives and possibilities for? we need to go in there already!"
It was a brilliant idea, brilliantly executed:
It made a fortune in stock options for Halliburton directors.
It got their president re-elected.
It got a whole raft of new laws passed at home with no oversight.
It got huge new defence orders.
It got US oil companies control of the 3 biggest field in the world.
It gave the US a base to attack other countries.
It gave them public support to attack those other countries.
The casualty figures are slightly high compared to Grenada/Falklands but gradually US troops will be replaced by mercenaries so casualties won't figure on the news.
The use of mercenaries violates international law.
That's actually kind of a strange change in attitude. I'm not sure what drove it. Way back in Shakespearean days and in the days when Venice was a world power, mercenaries were regarded kind of like rock stars (as in Othello). In fact, Claire Chennault's Flying Tigers were considered heroes in WWII, and I'm not sure how they were different than mercenaries.
Sorry I mean Blackwater's 'private security consultants'.
You're right though, in the C14 'private security consultants' like John Hawkwood were more powerful than many of the Italian city states, now Haliburton is probably the 4th biggest army in the world.
i assume you are referring to the legal status of mercs as stipulated in the UN's charter. i think the reason for this is that mercs (or more broadly, anyone who carries arms and is not fighting on behalf of a nation-state) fall between the cracks of the laws of war. there are responsibilities and privileges given to all nation-state fighters and it was considered at the time that anyone who is not a merc will be dealt with by federal laws so mercs had to be outlawed to make the laws crackless.... unfortunately terrorists fall in these cracks and there seem to be perfectly legal ways to use mercs in war anyway.
The best part is that in 2004, almost 10 years since the speech by Cheyney, the Republicans ran with slogans that Kerry is a flip flopper, meanwhile being documented flip floppers themselves
I'm thinking that this may be the ONLY reason congress hasn't impeached bush or ask him to resign---they don't want cheney as president
Allistair Campbell's recently published diaries (Tony Blairs's closest advisor) gives an interesting insight into Washington dynamics. Bush was thought by the British gov't to be a moderate surrounded by hardline fanatics. In a conversation he had with Bill Clinton shortly before the Iraq invasion when the US and Britain were trying for a new UN resolution BC told him that he liked Bush but some of the people wielding power and influence in his administration were just evil. BC didn't say who but AC makes it clear Cheney and Rumsfeld were felt to be the major hawks.
The Daily Show
Even Dick don't know Dick :rofl:
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