By Carey Wedler
Fifteen years after the shocking U.S. advance of Iraq, an designer of the promotion used to drum up support for the fight is warning that it’s happening again — this time with Iran.
Lawrence Wilkerson, who was chief of staff to former Secretary of State Colin Powell, helped the then-secretary “paint a transparent picture that fight was the only choice” in his barbarous 2003 speech to the U.N. This week, essay for the New York Times — an opening that, at the time, parroted misleading narratives in support of the fight — Wilkerson accused the Trump administration of utilizing justification and fear-mongering in the same way the Bush administration did to favour open support for ousting Saddam Hussein.
In his Monday op-ed, patrician “ I Helped Sell the False Choice of War Once. It’s Happening Again,” he wrote:
As his arch of staff, we helped Secretary Powell paint a transparent picture that war was the only choice, that when ‘we confront a regime that harbors ambitions for informal domination, hides weapons of mass drop and provides breakwater and active support for terrorists, we are not opposed the past, we are opposed the present. And unless we act, we are opposed an even some-more frightening future.’1
Though the U.N. and much of the universe didn’t buy it, Wilkerson says Americans did, and it amounted to the perfection of a two-year bid by the Bush administration to trigger the war, which he now condemns.
“That bid led to a fight of choice with Iraq — one that resulted in inauspicious waste for the segment and the United States-led coalition, and that destabilized the whole Middle East,” he wrote, going on to call out the Trump administration for pulling the United States down the same trail in Iran.
“This should not be forgotten,” he urged, “since the Trump administration is using much the same playbook to create a fake sense that fight is the only way to residence the threats posed by Iran.”
Wilkerson singled out Nikki Haley, the U.S. envoy to the United Nations, for her new saber-rattling against Iran. He accused her of presenting controversial justification that “Iran was not complying with Security Council resolutions per its ballistic barb program and Yemen,” comparing her directly to Powell. “Just like Mr. Powell, Ms. Haley showed satellite images and other earthy justification accessible only to the United States comprehension village to infer her case. But the evidence fell significantly short.”
Wilkerson accused Haley’s claims about Iran of radically mirroring Powell’s claims about Iraq, also warning that fight with Iran will be very different. It is “a country of almost 80 million people whose immeasurable vital abyss and formidable turf make it a distant larger plea than Iraq, would be 10 to 15 times worse than the Iraq fight in terms of casualties and costs,” he cautioned, still reporting that countries like China, Russia, and North Korea poise distant some-more “formidable hurdles to America” than Iran does.
The former arch of staff to Powell offer criticized the Trump administration, citing its National Security Strategy, which claims:
The longer we omit threats from countries dynamic to proliferate and rise weapons of mass destruction, the worse such threats become, and the fewer defensive options we have.
“The Bush-Cheney organisation could not have pronounced it better as it contemplated invading Iraq,” Wilkerson wrote, going on to call out not just Haley and the Trump administration but also the executive bend in general, Congress, and the media.
“Though Ms. Haley’s display missed the mark, and no one other than the inhabitant confidence chosen will even review the strategy, it won’t matter,” he lamented. “We’ve seen this before: a campaign built on the politicization of intelligence and improvident policy decisions to make the case for war. And the American people have apparently turn so accustomed to executive bend warmongering — authorized almost unanimously by the Congress — that such actions are not significantly contested.”
He concerned the news media, as well, observant that outlets recently “failed to rebut fake narratives” from the Trump administration that Iran worked with Al-Qaeda to criticise the U.S. (never forget the CIA’s overseas meddling helped lay the foundation for Al-Qaeda in the first place, and its policy of defending extremists in Syria also finished up empowering the terror group). He compared this fake conflation with Dick Cheney’s attempts to couple Saddam Hussein to Al-Qaeda during the Bush years.
Nevertheless, Wilkerson wrote, “[t]oday, the analysts claiming close ties between Al Qaeda and Iran come from the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, which vehemently opposes the Iran nuclear understanding and unabashedly calls for regime change in Iran.”
He went on to list the accumulation of ways the Trump administration is pitter-patter up ungrounded support for fight against Iran:
We should embody the president’s decertification final in Jan that Congress must ‘fix’ the Iran nuclear deal, despite the reality of Iran’s compliance; the White House’s pressure on the comprehension village to prepare up evidence of Iran’s noncompliance; and the administration’s choosing to view the new protests in Iran as the commencement of regime change. Like the Bush administration before, these clearly away events offer to create a account in which fight with Iran is the only viable policy.
Considering Iran has long been a crown jewel in the U.S. hegemonic efforts, it should be no warn the Trump administration isn’t budging on its plans to intervene. Wilkerson, however, knows distant better than many the dangers of pulling unsubstantiated claims to disciple war.
As we demeanour back at the lock-step impetus toward fight with Iraq, we comprehend that it didn’t seem to matter to us that we used trashy or cherry-picked intelligence; that it was impractical to disagree that the fight would ‘pay for itself,’ rather than cost trillions of dollars; that we competence be hopelessly naïve in meditative that the fight would lead to democracy instead of pulling the segment into a downward spiral.
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