New Mark Fiore animation on Bush’s Iraq war

This video from the USA is called We stopped Vietnam war so we can stop Iraq war.

There is a new Mark Fiore animation on the Internet.

It is about George W. Bush and the Iraq war.

The animation is in the form of a TV advertisement about retirement.

It is here.

1 thought on “New Mark Fiore animation on Bush’s Iraq war


    General William Odom on Iraq: Immediate Withdrawal the Only Option that Makes Sense
    By General William Odom, AlterNet
    Posted on April 7, 2008

    Below is the testimony of General William Odom, a retired U.S. Army 3-star general and former Director of the NSA under President Ronald Reagan, before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Iraq.

    Good morning Mr. Chairman and members of the committee. It is an honor to appear before you again. The last occasion was in January 2007, when the topic was the troop surge. Today you are asking if it has worked. Last year I rejected the claim that it was a new strategy. Rather, I said, it is a new tactic used to achieve the same old strategic aim, political stability. And I foresaw no serious prospects for success.

    I see no reason to change my judgment now. The surge is prolonging instability, not creating the conditions for unity as the president claims.

    Last year, General Petraeus wisely declined to promise a military solution to this political problem, saying that he could lower the level of violence, allowing a limited time for the Iraqi leaders to strike a political deal. Violence has been temporarily reduced but today there is credible evidence that the political situation is far more fragmented. And currently we see violence surge in Baghdad and Basra. In fact, it has also remained sporadic and significant inseveral other parts of Iraq over the past year, notwithstanding the notable drop in Baghdad and Anbar Province.

    More disturbing, Prime Minister Maliki has initiated military action and then dragged in US forces to help his own troops destroy his Shiite competitors. This is a political setback, not a political solution. Such is the result of the surge tactic.

    No less disturbing has been the steady violence in the Mosul area, and the tensions in Kirkuk between Kurds, Arabs, and Turkomen. A showdown over control of the oil fields there surely awaits us. And the idea that some kind of a federal solution can cut this Gordian knot strikes me as a wild fantasy, wholly out of touch with Kurdish realities.

    Also disturbing is Turkey’s military incursion to destroy Kurdish PKK groups in the border region. That confronted the US government with a choice: either to support its NATO ally, or to make good on its commitment to Kurdish leaders to insure their security. It chose the former, and that makes it clear to the Kurds that the United States will sacrifice their security to its larger interests in Turkey.

    Turning to the apparent success in Anbar province and a few other Sunni areas, this is not the positive situation it is purported to be. Certainly violence has declined as local Sunni shieks have begun to cooperate with US forces. But the surge tactic cannot be given full credit. The decline started earlier on Sunni initiative. What are their motives? First, anger at al Qaeda operatives and second, their financial plight.

    Their break with al Qaeda should give us little comfort. The Sunnis welcomed anyone who would help them kill Americans, including al Qaeda. The concern we hear the president and his aides express about a residual base left for al Qaeda if we withdraw is utter nonsense. The Sunnis will soon destroy al Qaeda if we leave Iraq. The Kurds do not allow them in their region, and the Shiites, like the Iranians, detest al Qaeda. To understand why, one need only take note of the al Qaeda public diplomacy campaign over the past year or so on internet blogs. They implore the United States to bomb and invade Iran and destroy this apostate Shiite regime. As an aside, it gives me pause to learn that our vice president and some members of the Senate are aligned with al Qaeda on spreading the war to Iran.

    Let me emphasize that our new Sunni friends insist on being paid for their loyalty. I have heard, for example, a rough estimate that the cost in one area of about 100 square kilometers is $250,000 per day. And periodically they threaten to defect unless their fees are increased. You might want to find out the total costs for these deals forecasted for the next several years, because they are not small and they do not promise to end. Remember, we do not own these people. We merely rent them. And they can break the lease at any moment. At the same time, this deal protects them to some degree from the government’s troops and police, hardly a sign of political reconciliation.

    Now let us consider the implications of the proliferating deals with the Sunni strongmen. They are far from unified among themselves. Some remain with al Qaeda. Many who break and join our forces are beholden to no one. Thus the decline in violence reflects a dispersion of power to dozens of local strong men who distrust the government and occasionally fight among themselves. Thus the basic military situation is far worse because of the proliferation of armed groups under local military chiefs who follow a proliferating number of political bosses.

    This can hardly be called greater military stability, much less progress toward political consolidation, and to call it fragility that needs more time to become success is to ignore its implications. At the same time, Prime Minister Maliki’s military actions in Basra and Baghdad, indicate even wider political and military fragmentation. We are witnessing is more accurately described as the road to the Balkanization of Iraq, that is, political fragmentation. We are being asked by the president to believe that this shift of so much power and finance to so many local chieftains is the road to political centralization. He describes the process as building the state from the bottom up.

    I challenge you to press the administration’s witnesses this week to explain this absurdity. Ask them to name a single historical case where power has been aggregated successfully from local strong men to a central government except through bloody violence leading to a single winner, most often a dictator. That is the history of feudal Europe’s transformation to the age of absolute monarchy. It is the story of the American colonization of the west and our Civil War. It took England 800 years to subdue clan rule on what is now the English-Scottish border. And it is the source of violence in Bosnia and Kosovo.

    How can our leaders celebrate this diffusion of power as effective state building? More accurately described, it has placed the United States astride several civil wars. And it allows all sides to consolidate, rearm, and refill their financial coffers at the US expense.

    To sum up, we face a deteriorating political situation with an over extended army. When the administration’s witnesses appear before you, you should make them clarify how long the army and marines can sustain this band-aid strategy.

    The only sensible strategy is to withdraw rapidly but in good order. Only that step can break the paralysis now gripping US strategy in the region. The next step is to choose a new aim, regional stability, not a meaningless victory in Iraq. And progress toward that goal requires revising our policy toward Iran. If the president merely renounced his threat of regime change by force, that could prompt Iran to lessen its support to Taliban groups in Afghanistan. Iran detests the Taliban and supports them only because they will kill more Americans in Afghanistan as retaliation in event of a US attack on Iran. Iran’s policy toward Iraq would also have to change radically as we withdraw. It cannot want instability there. Iraqi Shiites are Arabs, and they know that Persians look down on them. Cooperation between them has its limits.

    No quick reconciliation between the US and Iran is likely, but US steps to make Iran feel more secure make it far more conceivable than a policy calculated to increase its insecurity. The president’s policy has reinforced Iran’s determination to acquire nuclear weapons, the very thing he purports to be trying to prevent.

    Withdrawal from Iraq does not mean withdrawal from the region. It must include a realignment and reassertion of US forces and diplomacy that give us a better chance to achieve our aim.

    A number of reasons are given for not withdrawing soon and completely. I have refuted them repeatedly before but they have more lives than a cat. Let try again me explain why they don’t make sense.

    First, it is insisted that we must leave behind military training element with no combat forces to secure them. This makes no sense at all. The idea that US military trainers left alone in Iraq can be safe and effective is flatly rejected by several NCOs and junior officers I have heard describe their personal experiences. Moreover, training foreign forces before they have a consolidated political authority to command their loyalty is a windmill tilt. Finally, Iraq is not short on military skills.

    Second, it is insisted that chaos will follow our withdrawal. We heard that argument as the “domino theory” in Vietnam. Even so, the path to political stability will be bloody regardless of whether we withdraw or not. The idea that the United States has a moral responsibility to prevent this ignores that reality. We are certainly to blame for it, but we do not have the physical means to prevent it. American leaders who insist that it is in our power to do so are misleading both the public and themselves if they believe it. The real moral question is whether to risk the lives of more Americans. Unlike preventing chaos, we have the physical means to stop sending more troops where many will be killed or wounded. That is the moral responsibility to our country which no American leaders seems willing to assume.

    Third, nay sayers insist that our withdrawal will create regional instability. This confuses cause with effect. Our forces in Iraq and our threat to change Iran’s regime are making the region unstable. Those who link instability with a US withdrawal have it exactly backwards. Our ostrich strategy of keeping our heads buried in the sands of Iraq has done nothing but advance our enemies’ interest.

    I implore you to reject these fallacious excuses for prolonging the commitment of US forces to war in Iraq.

    Thanks for this opportunity to testify today.

    (c) 2008 Independent Media Institute. All rights reserved.
    View this story online at:


    Hayden Shows How Not to End the War

    by Sam Waite / April 17th, 2008

    The Port Huron Statement, 1962 manifesto of the original Students for a Democratic Society, was a document remarkable for its boldness — but also for its limitations. In it, the crying contrast between the professed ideals and actual practice of the “leader of the Free World” were laid bare; yet they were analyzed in terms of a kind of naive humanism that seemed to suggest that changing the world was largely just a matter of individuals convincing other individuals to exchange bad ideas for good, resulting in practical prescriptions that were somewhat utopian. Of course, most first-generation SDSers continued to evolve politically in various ways, some better than others. Perhaps more remarkable, then, is that the Statement’s principle author, Tom Hayden, is still at it: almost half a century later, he’s written a book on the Iraq catastrophe betraying essentially no change in approach.

    In Ending the War in Iraq, the current war is virtually reduced to a plot hatched by a cabal of wily neoconservatives bent on erasing Vietnam’s mark on US foreign policy. Despite having become standard in some circles, this account is deeply problematic. As Hayden himself notes in passing, American reluctance to engage in direct military intervention had begun eroding well before the current administration, aided most obviously by the 1990 Gulf War, but also by US involvement in the Balkans throughout the following decade. And it was Clinton, not Bush, who throughout that same decade took measures to starve, bomb and subvert Iraq into submission, including codifying the policy of “regime change” with the Iraq Liberation Act of 1998. Whatever he might say as a civilian, there is in fact no reason to think that a President Al Gore, presented with the opportunity of 9/11, wouldn’t have started his own Iraq War. That this is the case is doubly attested to by the ease with which so many Democrats — including most Democratic Senators — assented to or even enthusiastically endorsed the invasion.

    Indeed, when Hayden attempts to touch at all on the deeper social and material factors driving the war, he falls into crude reductionism. “To imagine U.S. policy more clearly,” he writes, “picture a giant oil tanker with a crew of four — George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Condoleeza Rice, and outgoing Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad — all affiliated with Big Oil. . .” Implicitly, if Americans instead elected a candidate closely affiliated with, say, fast food chains, he or she wouldn’t have such a desire to fight a war for control of an oil-rich country. What this sort of reasoning ignores is that presidents and the states over which they preside depend not just on the support of this or that company or industry, but that of the US ruling class as a whole. In the first place, political campaigns are such expensive affairs that it is extremely difficult to run for any major office without the support of broad swathes of Corporate America. (For example, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, Bush’s last presidential campaign received four times as much from the real estate industry as from oil and gas interests — the latter around the same, in fact, as the amount Kerry’s got from financial firms.) More importantly, the upper echelons of the state bureaucracy, the military and law enforcement are always linked by a myriad of social, educational and financial chains to the upper echelons of American capitalism. Given this reality, it is extremely difficult to imagine that the US would go to war purely on behalf of one sector of industry, or even on behalf of war profiteers more generally. A far more likely explanation is that the US invaded Iraq for its strategic importance in securing both US hegemony and the capitalist world system. While Iraq’s oil is not peripheral to this importance, neither is it the whole story.

    It quickly becomes apparent, though, why Hayden feels the need to attribute this disaster almost entirely to the calculations of wicked and corrupt Republicans. With the apparent aim of refuting Mike Davis’ description of the antiwar movement as having been “first absorbed by the Dean campaign in spring 2004 and then politically dissolved into the Kerry candidacy,” Hayden inserts in the following chapter a fantasy novella in which Democratic electoral campaigns and their enablers at MoveOn and Air America are imagined not as forces employed to sabotage the movement, but as embodiments of it. Worse, Hayden honestly seems to mistake it for reality, to the point of stubbornly insisting upon it even after presenting what most would take to be damning evidence to the contrary. The antiwar movement dispersed after its pro-war candidate lost? MoveOn gave up on pressing for withdrawal? No big deal, says Tom. After all, Howard Dean told him personally that everything is going to be A-OK. You believe him, don’t you?

    Having provided such a confused account of the war and the movement against it, Hayden provides us with his equally confused plan to end the war. This plan — which, it should be noted, has been largely adopted by United for Peace and Justice and many of its affiliates, and was put into practice with the disappointing protests of March 19th — consists of groups and individuals applying “people pressure” to the “pillars” upholding Iraq War policy, including (among others) the mainstream media, US military and financial capacity, and public opinion. At first glance, this approach appears to be little more than stating the obvious: to end the war, the attack those things which make it possible to wage. But the pillar analogy is unsatisfactory. Pillars are solid, unmoving objects that equally uphold a structure. The bases of support for the war, in contrast, are dynamic: at different times, some are stronger or weaker, more heavily guarded or more exposed. Concrete analysis is needed to know what to do at any given moment. For example, attacking war profiteers can have some value, often (for reasons explained above) symbolic; but it can’t realistically have nearly the same effect as, say, revolt within the ranks of the military. The “pillars of war” strategy amounts, in essence, to “diversity of tactics” writ large; and while the latter approach can be rightly asserted against those who would have dissenters in the movement bullied or arrested, it should not be used as an excuse — and it is — to avoid discussing what works and what doesn’t, and implementing plans for action accordingly.

    Fortunately, history gives us some idea of where to look for a better orientation. It doesn’t lie in lobbying or prostration before the Democrats, and it doesn’t lie in the heroic actions of an isolated few, nonviolent or otherwise. It lies in the real power of the mass of working and oppressed people to deprive their rulers of the ability to make war. An antiwar movement built on this basis will be difficult to achieve. It will also be an antiwar movement once again worthy of the name.

    Sam Waite is an antiwar activist currently living in Takoma Park, Maryland.


    Pelosi Plans $178 Billion Blank Check for Iraq

    “Measured in blood and treasure, the war in Iraq has achieved the status of a major war and a major debacle.”

    That’s not from the peace movement – it’s from the National Defense University, written by a senior Pentagon official who served under Donald Rumsfeld.

    Yet despite the overwhelming opposition of the American people, Speaker Pelosi plans to rush a vote through Congress for another $178 billion blank check.

    We must stop this madness. Tell Congress: No More Funds for Iraq

    Activists around the country are organizing Iraq Town Halls so we can speak directly to our Representatives:

    Unfortunately most Representatives are afraid to face us at our Town Halls, so we’re organizing May Day Protests outside their District Offices on Thursday, May 1 at noon.

    May 1 is the original Labor Day, and several unions are going on strike to protest the Iraq War. It’s also “Mission Accomplished Day” (2003) and “Downing Street Minutes Day” (2005). Can you join us?

    Thanks for all you do!


    Torture News Strike

    After George Bush told ABC News he personally approved of the approval of torture – including waterboarding – you’d think the story would be front page news, not just on Countdown and The Daily Show.

    But you’d be wrong. There has been absolutely no news coverage and just a handful of editorials in the Brattleboro (Vt.) Reformer, Kansas City Star, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, and Tuscaloosa (Ala.) News.

    If your newspaper is missing, help us organize a Torture News Strike.

    Call your newspaper editor and tell him/her you are suspending your subscription until they give Bush’s torture confession the serious coverage it deserves in the news or editorial sections, or preferably both. Then call the circulation department and tell them to suspend delivery until further notice.

    And post about it with your neighbors here:


    Torture Impeachment Petition Collects 35,000 Signatures!

    One week ago, we asked you to sign our petition to Congress to impeach Bush and Cheney for approving torture.

    Your response was incredible! In just one week, we delivered 35,000 signatures to our Representatives and Senators!

    If you haven’t yet signed, please visit:

    Dr. Martin Luther King famously said of the Vietnam War, “A time comes when silence is betrayal.” When our President and Vice President personally approve torture, that time is now.


    Forward this message to everyone you know!


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