Arianna Huffington on War & Peace

2004 former Independent Challenger for CA Governor


$61B per year on wars of choice makes economy sputter

Today, while America's economy sputters down the road to recovery and the middle class struggles to make ends meet, the "guns versus butter" argument isn't even part of the national debate. We hear endless talk in Washington about belt tightening and deficit reduction, but hardly a word about whether the $61 billion spent in 2010 alone to fight wars of choice in Afghanistan and Iraq might be better spent helping embattled Americans here at home.
Source: Third World America, by Arianna Huffington, p. 33 , Sep 2, 2010

2006: CIA repudiated that war in Iraq had made us safer

The April 2006 National Intelligence Estimate represented the consensus view of all 16 US intelligence agencies and was a stark and unambiguous repudiation of the Bush administration's counterterrorism strategy and its contention that war in Iraq had made us safer.

The report suggested just the opposite--that the war in Iraq has fueled a growing hatred of America, spread Islamic extremism, and spawned an expanding crop of newly inspired jihadists around the globe. And it shattered the Bushies' bedrock notion that we are fighting them over there so we don't have to fight them over here.

Source: Right Is Wrong, by Arianna Huffington, p. 28 , Apr 29, 2008

Iraq obsession was both for empire AND oil war

You don't have to be a conspiracy theorist to believe that flying the Stars and Stripes over Iraq had been a recurring dream of a small but very powerful cabal of right-wing thinkers ever since Bush 41 stopped Norman Schwarzkopf from stormin' Baghdad back in 1991. The exact reason for this dream is subject to debate, ranging from Freudian theories (finish the job Daddy couldn't) to vast geopolitical master plots (the American Empire and global hegemony) to more prosaic economic interests (the War for Oil) to domestic political scheming (rally the public around our brave warrior-president). But in a multiple choice test, the correct answer would undoubtedly be "all of the above." The War for Oil motive, for one, is no longer subject to dispute.
Source: Right Is Wrong, by Arianna Huffington, p.130 , Apr 29, 2008

Bush refuses to differentiate Saddam from Al Qaeda

Who else but a fanatic would have made the outrageous claim, as the president did in September 2002, that “you can’t distinguish between Al Qaeda and Saddam when you talk about the war on terror?” Really? He couldn’t differentiate between a group of evil ultraradical fundamentalists who carried out the September 11 attacks and an evil secular nationalist who, despite the frantic efforts of the Bush administration, has in no way been linked directly linked to 9/11? When every expert who knows anything about the Mideast can distinguish between the two, was it too much to ask that a president ready to go to war and commit the lives of American troops examine the universally accepted facts a bit more closely? Is our bar for thee presidency set that low?
Source: Fanatics and Fools, by Arianna Huffington, p. 25 , Apr 14, 2004

Rice won’t document claim of Saddam-al Qaeda contacts

National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice continued the assault on reality when she vaguely yet ominously claimed, “There clearly are contacts between Al Qaeda and Iraq that can be documented.” Well, then why not document them? We’ve documented contacts between Al Qaeda and our oil dealers in Saudi Arabia and Al Qaeda and our new best friends in Pakistan. But I don’t see any B-2s powering up for raids over Riyadh or Karachi.

At the time, Senator Bob Graham, who as chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee was privy to the inside scoop, told the nation he had seen no evidence of any link between Al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein. so we were left with the fevered, infantile imaginings of the president and his pals. “We had the dots before,” Rice’s aide told us helpfully. “Now we have a higher density of dots. Have we connected those dots? No.” Wouldn’t it have been nice if the president had put down his saber-rattle, picked up his crayons, and connected the dots before drawing us into a bloody war?

Source: Fanatics and Fools, by Arianna Huffington, p. 27 , Apr 14, 2004

Speedy fall of Baghdad proves the antiwar movement right

The speedy fall of Baghdad proved that the antiwar movement was dead right .The whole pretext for our unilateral charge into Iraq was that the American people were in imminent danger from Saddam & his mighty war machine.

After [the UN inspectors] told the world in Jan. 2004 that Iraq did not have any weapons of mass destruction at the time the war began, the president downgraded the threat Iraq posed to “grave and gathering.” But back in the Spring of 2003, he was hyping the danger as so clear and present that we couldn’t even give the inspectors searching for weapons of mass destruction another 30 days, as France and other spurned allies had wanted.

Saddam couldn’t even muster a halfhearted defense of their own capital. The hawks’ cakewalk disproved their own dire warnings of imminent attacks by battle-hardened loyalists. You can’t have it both ways, especially since the invasion proved wildly successful in unifying most of the world-especially the Muslim world-against us.

Source: Fanatics and Fools, by Arianna Huffington, p. 45 , Apr 14, 2004

$150B and 3,000 casualties but no WMDs

We have over 3,000 American casualties-lives lost and limbs sacrificed-young men and women who were sent to fight against a regime that did not pose a threat to us. Saddam Hussein was a monstrous dictator and getting rid of him is a humanitarian act. But how many Americans would have approved of spending over $150 billion and seeing 3,000 young men and women killed or wounded to get rid of an Iraqi dictator who had no weapons of mass destruction? Yet that is now the administration’s position.
Source: Fanatics and Fools, by Arianna Huffington, p.113 , Apr 14, 2004

Bush knew yellowcake claim was bogus but used it anyway

George Tenet, the CIA director, thought so little of the Niger/Saddam uranium connection that he refused to bring it up in congressional briefings as far back as the fall of 2002. Same with Colin Powell. His UN presentation did not include the Niger allegation because it was not, in Powell’s words, “standing the test of time.”

So here’s the picture we’re left with: When faced with using explosive but highly questionable charges in vital presentations leading up to a possible preemptive war, both Powell and Tenet gave the information a thorough going-over before ultimately rejecting it. But not the commander in chief. Apparently he just took whatever he was handed and happily offered it up to the world.

The Yellowcakegate question became, What didn’t the president know, and why didn’t he know it? It became clearer by the day that just about everyone else involved in making the case for war knew that the president was using a bogus charge to alarm the nation about Saddam’s nuclear threat.

Source: Fanatics and Fools, by Arianna Huffington, p. 89-90 , Apr 14, 2004

Iraq reconstruction should be by UN, like all other wars

The United Nations has traditionally overseen the reconstruction of war zones like Afghanistan or Kosovo. But in keeping with its unilateral, the world-is-our-sandbox approach to the invasion, the Bush administration doled out over $1.7 billion in government contracts to American companies who lined up to cash in on the rebuilding of postwar Iraq before the destruction had even begun. Talk about advance planning: even before the first bombs fell, the administration was already picking and choosing who would be given the lucrative job of cleaning up the rubble. And you don’t need to ask if any other foreign enterprises were cut in on the action. Mais non!

So just which companies were given first crack at the post-Saddam spoils? The common denominator among the chosen few is a proven willingness to make large campaign donations to the GOP: the Bechtel Group, the Fluor Corporation, and of course Cheney’s old cronies at Halliburton.

Source: Fanatics and Fools, by Arianna Huffington, p. 95-96 , Apr 14, 2004

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