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Thursday, March 27, 2014

Eleven Years On: Obama, of All People, Defends Iraq Invasion

In a speech abroad after Europeans pointed out our loss of moral authority in hitting Russia on Crimea. Especially disheartening--and hypocritical, since he largely owes his election in 2008 to being able to brag  (vs. Hillary Clinton and John McCain) that, unlike them, he opposed the war in 2003.   See Obama's tortured reasoning and twisting of (or making up) facts, in a good accounting by Huff Post's Ryan Grim here and critics on the Left here.  Grim:
Obama struggled, however, in his attempt to defend the legality of the invasion. The war was unsanctioned by the United Nations, and many experts assert it violated any standard reading of international law. But, argued Obama, at least the U.S. tried to make it legal. "America sought to work within the international system," Obama said, referencing an attempt to gain U.N. approval for the invasion -- an effort that later proved to be founded on flawed, misleading and cherry-picked intelligence. The man who delivered the presentation to the U.N., then-Secretary of State Colin Powell, has repeatedly called it a "blot" on his record.
Obama, in his speech, noted his own opposition to the war, but went on to defend its mission.
"We did not claim or annex Iraq's territory. We did not grab its resources for our own gain," Obama argued. In fact, the U.S. forced Iraq to privatize its oil industry, which had previously been under the control of the state, and further required that it accept foreign ownership of the industry. The effort to transfer the resources to the control of multinational, largely U.S.-based oil companies has been hampered in part by the decade of violence unleashed by the invasion.
The updated edition of  Greg Mitchell's book on the Iraq war,  So Wrong for So Long, includes a preface by Bruce Springsteen, a new introduction and a lengthy afterword with updates.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Yes forcing the people of Iraq to sell their common wealth to foreign capitalists defines American Exceptionalism.

Obama is the worst president yet, but only until HRC shows him to be a rank amateur.