Esoteric Dissertations from a One-Track Mind

August 20, 2007

Cheney on Iraq Invasion/Quagmire (1994)

Filed under: politics — codesmithy @ 2:01 am

This video on YouTube gives Cheney’s impression of what invading Iraq would have meant in 1994.

I know I’m posting it late, however, much of the analysis that I’ve seen misses the point, or what I think is important about it.  So, I am providing my thoughts on the matter.

There are two central themes to the video

  1. Iraq Quagmire
  2. Additional U.S. Causalities

I’ll deal with U.S. causalities to begin with.  Given the current policy stance of the administration to stay the course, which de facto means more U.S. causalities; I don’t think the calculus of thousands of U.S. dead and many more wounded is a profound weight on carrying forward the current U.S. Administration’s policy in the region.  I think it would be safe to say that if the number breached 4,000 or 5,000 for the invasion, the administration would still carry forward its policy.  I think the causalities only offer public resistance to the policy, not a dampening of the underlying desire to pursue it.  I don’t want to get into macabre statistics of body counting, but to the fundamental question of how many dead Americans is Iraq worth?  My answer would still be: not very many; Cheney’s is: much higher, and greater than 3,000. I don’t think September 11th fundamentally changed his view on the matter.  I think he wanted to invade Iraq and September 11th is merely a pretext for doing so.  In 1994, he was merely trying to defend the decision of not going into Iraq.

As for the quagmire scenario, I think that the administration was fully aware of the post-war realities of Iraq?  So the question is, why were they so poorly prepared for it?  I am going to reject the cynicism that would have us believe that they wanted us to be plunged into a state of perpetual war.  Legacy is very important to Bush.  So, I don’t think he would purposely dive into a situation that he thought that he couldn’t handle, even though that is exactly what happened.  So why did that happen?

I think the underlying reason is that the Bush administration fundamentally believed that they could privatize this war and that by privatizing it would magically turn out better.  Certainly, if the government Army can provide security, then Blackwater mercenaries can to do a better job.  The fundamental problem is that the sector of elites, corporations and organizations that this government outsourced to are incredibly incompetent.  They are of a similar breed as Bush, who as a war president will take more vacation days than any other president in American history.  They are the type of people that believe that they’ve made $500 while they were on the toilet.  Or when told that a situation is “past critical” would respond: “Thanks for the update. Anything specific I need to do or tweak?”  In America, that type of crony capitalism works fine.  No one really knows if all the money was spent efficiently.  However, in Iraq, when the stability of the country depends desperately on progress in adverse and tough conditions, these corporations and would be Napoleons weren’t up to the task.  Although, they were happy to take the exorbitant sums they were paid.

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