Hubris- Let’s Play Hardball

There was a one hour presentation last evening on MSNBC titled,  Hubris: Selling the Iraq War. It was based on the book, Hubris: The Inside Story of Spin, Scandal, and the Selling of the Iraq War, coauthored by Michael Isikoff and David Corn.

 When I saw the photo on the cover of the book I nearly gagged. There they were- the lying foursome who duped most Americans into believing their lies.  It has been a decade since our first and only preemptive war on another nation. The memories raised by the photo and the MSNBC presentation are still unsettling to me lo those many years past.  I was thrown back into those ugly and bitter months prior to the War on Iraq.

I have always called it The War on Iraq as opposed to the official phrase because that is precisely what it was. It wasn’t a war with Iraq. The word ‘with’ implies some sort of mutual combat; there was none.  There was no provocation, either. Only false propaganda which the gullible citizens believed.

I never did. Never. My wife asked me after watching the TV special, “How did you know that none of this was true?”

I credited both my intuition as well as the many discussions I had on a long-forgotten message board from C-Span.  That was my first experience with ‘blogging’ and it helped me become more convinced that I was correct in doubting the sincerity of that clutch of four who ‘sold the war’ to the American public.

Although my wife never participated with that message board, she came to reject the hype on purely moral grounds- war is never the answer. Her tenet was bolstered by the activities of the Northwest Ohio Peace Coalition, a local group of peace activists who demonstrated on the streets of Toledo throughout the winter of 2002-2003. peace rally 2002

Every Sunday throughout that long winter we’d gather with our signs attempting to convince The People to think about a non-war solution to the contrived problem set before them by the Bush-Cheney Administration. We were often ‘rewarded’ with jeers, the finger and other insults by the passers-by. Yet we held our ground all of the way up to March. 19, 2003 when ‘Shock ‘n Awe’ commenced.

A few weeks prior to this, she and I attended classes on non-violent demonstrating sponsored by the group.  She passed, but I failed.  I was not non-violent enough, so I became an active supporter but not a participant in the demonstration. She and a dozen others were arrested and I ‘bailed’ them out.

The assumed righteousness of many of the detractors of our demonstrations was amazing. They were terribly righteous in their   gullibility.  The flag became their symbol, as if we disdained it. Note that we always flew American flags at each rally, but our detractors knew that ‘their’ flag was much more patriotic. And so were they.

I recall an incident early in ‘the war’ because of a homemade sign that I pasted on my rear window.  At that time, 825 of our Military had been killed in the conflict and I noted that on the sign. “Stop the War!” was my message which apparently annoyed a car that came up on my left at the intersection.  Interestingly it was a military vehicle with two ‘officers’ inside. They caught my eye as we waited for the light to change and gave me the finger and mouthed the ‘F’ word to me.  They drove off quite certain that I had been properly defiled.

Years later as the causalities of the Bush-Cheney war rose to 2000, 3000 and 4000, I wondered if these two men were any of the dead or the 35,000 with severe injuries and/or amputations. Or permanent brain injuries. Or PTSD. I wouldn’t want any of this for those two, but my efforts to stop the war went unheeded.

On the TV program last evening was an older Congressman, a Republican from the South.  He lamented his ‘yes’ vote on the authorization for the war.  He admitted that it was a political vote, not a vote of conscience. Ten years later he regrets his vote and he appeared to have been ever-tormented by the vote.

At the other end of the scale, none of the major players- Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and Rice- have any remorse.  They continually justify their decision to sell the war to the citizens of our country. No remorse.  Just hubris!



15 thoughts on “Hubris- Let’s Play Hardball

  1. We have seldom experience such arrogance and defiant cockiness as we had during the go-it-alone Bush/Cheney regime, and I sincerely hope we will never see its like again!

    1. Right, Jack. And the ‘hope’ that it never happens again depends on The People understanding what a cadre of warmongers in high places are capable of doing. I am happy that both the book and the TV presentation was made available to the People. One can only hope that it has made a significant impact, albeit 10 years too late.

      1. Yeah! I’m not too sure of the lasting impact of the Viet Nam war has been…As I remember the country said never again back then. But, in a generations time we were at “war” in
        Grenada, balkans, Iraq, and Afghansitan, Pakistan, Sudan, Yemen. Lessons earned dont
        last long, it seems.

        Btw, M_R, how many DEMS in the Senate voted for the war? I know Hillary did, and now
        you probably want her to be the next President? How did Kerry vote?

        You really think that we are going to bring down Ike’s congressional-military-industrial complex? Watch with what happens if we have sequestor. The Pentagon will be cut by
        some $600 Billion, I believe. Therefore, the House will immediately pass a bill calling
        for the restoration of the entire amount. If DEMS vote against it, they will be painted
        as voting against the security of the country. I’m sure your Senator Portman would vote for it, as my Senators in MS. What have we gained with our protests?

  2. The lies that led to the War were really documented in the French media. It had been a real emotional roller coaster for me. I had a too close encounter with 9/11 in NYC…I was trapped in NYC for 2 weeks when my flight back to France was cancelled….I literally was biking for my life away from the cloud of dust and debris, the wrong way up 6th Ave as the first tower collapsed…I was only a few blocks away when I realized that I had to get out of there.
    I was so proud of The French Foreign Minister, Dominique de Villepin when he spoke against the war at the UN in the face of the throbbing wardrum beat and the bizarre testimony of Colin Powell. That is perhaps when I really decided to become a French citizen.
    I went to Paris with my wife, my blind diabetic dog and a group of people from this rural backwater to march in the biggest anti Irag war demonstration in Paris. I carried the blind doggie, Miss Bonnie, all over Paris in the march. It was a very emotional event for me. Perhaps that was the beginning of my blogging experience…
    I would like to see the presentation on MSNBC…but I’m sure I know the story by heart…
    I keep telling people that for me, living through 9/11 opened my mind and my heart. It was the ultimate geopolitical learning experience…

  3. The concept of a “war on terrorism” and the related military escapades left me dazed. Rather than address why there might have been attacks on NY and WDC, the US would rather send military force to a far distant land.

    Doesn’t the US learn from history?

  4. Yep, Kerry voted for the war as well. I remember now his I voted for it and then I voted against it remark when he ran for President. Now, we have had Hillary and Kerry to war mongers as Secretary of State. Before that we had
    Madeline Albright as Sec. of State under Clinton who manuevered the country into the Balkan Wars. Reminds me of an early television program called Ted Macks Original Ametuer Hour. He aways began by spinning a wheel of fortune, saying, “And where it stops nobody knows.” It appears there is no Dem or Rep interested in stoping the congressional-military-industrial comples.

    1. These 23 voted ‘no’

      Daniel Akaka (D-HI)
      Jeff Bingaman (D-NM)
      Barbara Boxer (D-CA)
      Robert Byrd (D-WV)
      Lincoln Chafee (R-RI)
      Kent Conrad (D-ND)
      Jon Corzine (D-NJ)
      Mark Dayton (D-MN)
      Richard Durbin (D-IL)
      Russell Feingold (D-WI)
      Robert Graham (D-FL)
      Daniel Inouye (D-HI)
      James Jeffords (I-VT)
      Edward Kennedy (D-MA)
      Patrick Leahy (D-VT)
      Carl Levin (D-MI)
      Barbara Mikulski (D-MD)
      Patty Murray (D-WA)
      Jack Reed (D-RI)
      Paul Sarbanes (D-MD)
      Debbie Stabenow (D-MI)
      Paul Wellstone (D-MN)
      Ron Wyden (D-OR)

      1. And, where are they today? 14 are either dead or retired, a couple more like Levin and Leahy are over-the-hill….Corzine is a retired crook after losing $2 Billion of investors money. Yep, not much to write home about here, M_R. Is that the best that you can do
        in refuting my points re Hillary and Kerry? Why would we elect them expecting any different outcome? We need fresh men and women, not the same old ones that got us into all these messes in the first place. But no one has the courage to step up. We are leaderless, my friend, and deeper in trouble every day. Under Obama we are less free,
        we are deeper in debt, he still refuses to seize the job issue as he now plays with the
        immigration issue and the gun issue. He sacrificed everying in his first two years of his
        first term for Obamacare and now he may be doing the same for immigration and gun
        reform. If it’s that way until this time next year, 2014 election year, all will be lost for
        the campaign, then he will be truly a lame duck President as he will only have not even two viable years left, and that will be spent on foreign affairs. Now, there is an “unless” in the
        equation. That is, unless the DEMS do well in 2014 elections to carry both the House and the Senate. That might make for a different senario. Is Portman up? How many GOPO House seats can be won in OHIO? You working to replace your congressman?

  5. Just for the record: I drove by those demonstrations at the corner of Central and Secor several times. I got flipped off more than once! I assumed they didn’t like my car.

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