Favorite

Shadow of Iraq War 

From William Hope "Coin" Harvey to Gerald L.K. Smith, Arkansas has always offered a refuge for the reviled, so it is perfect that Tony Blair and George W. Bush flee here this week to escape the slings and arrows of their nations' brutal politics.

From William Hope "Coin" Harvey to Gerald L.K. Smith, Arkansas has always offered a refuge for the reviled, so it is perfect that Tony Blair and George W. Bush flee here this week to escape the slings and arrows of their nations' brutal politics. A Presidential Leadership Scholars graduation provides the patina for the get-together.

The world's gentlest parson, Bill Clinton, will be here to comfort them. We'll not ask any hurtful questions about the disastrous Iraq War they led us into, although it killed 62 and wounded 465 young Arkansas men and women and left many others crippled in spirit. But if we do, we'll accept their lame answers: "The world is a safer place with Saddam Hussein dead." The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette will pen a nice editorial about their heroic service in killing Saddam and buying the cradle of civilization for U.S. taxpayers.

Forgotten for the few hours they repose in this welcoming glade will be Donald Trump's savage attacks on Bush and his war, which deprived bubba Jeb of the office for which he was officially pedigreed. Forgotten, too, will be the scathing British commission's report last week that recorded in 2.6 million words how Bush and Blair led their nations into the disastrous 14-year (and counting) war through phony "intelligence," lies and appeals to patriotism.

Let's get it all out of the way before Bush and Blair get here so they can sojourn in peace alongside the healing waters of the Arkansas River as it courses by the Clinton library on its way to Napoleon, Ark., and the Father of Waters.

Iraq, after all, is or should be the overriding foreign-policy issue of the presidential campaign, for it represents the folly of well-intentioned U.S. policy in the Middle East for much of 60 years, which was to take sides in the tribal, sectarian and ethnic rivalries in hopes the people who seemed at least on that day to come closer to our values would prevail.

As a senator from New York, the Democratic candidate for president, our own Hillary Clinton, voted for Bush's war resolution in October 2002, along with nearly every Republican in Congress and most Democrats. Five of Arkansas's six members of Congress — all but Vic Snyder — voted for the resolution. Clinton has regretted her vote and pins her excuse on the language Bush stuck in the resolution emphasizing that every diplomatic effort would be tried before war. Everyone knew that it was window-dressing and that war was on the way, as a British diplomat in Washington wired back to the home office.

Iraq was Trump's finest hour during the dirty primaries, but, like everything else about his campaign, also his worst.

Trump said Bush stupidly got rid of a dictator who had slaughtered every terrorist entering the country, a slight distortion of the truth, and that the war made Iraq the breeding ground for Sunni radicals who would engulf much of the region.

But Trump also bragged he had publicly demanded that Bush not go to war. His only recorded remark praised the war. Like Clinton, he denounced it afterward.

The British report that revived so much calumny on poor Tony Blair only verified what previous British studies of the war had found. It was remarkable only for its depth and breadth, for the many years it took and for Blair's breathtaking message to Bush before the war blindly assuring the president, "I will be with you, whatever."

And for this: They did the study. It raises the question, why has the United States not done such a study of the war and its buildup? Congress has done study after study of the attack on the embassy at Benghazi, where the ambassador and three others died while Hillary Clinton was secretary of state, but no investigations were made of the eight embassy attacks that killed 288 people in the years of Reagan, Bill Clinton and the Bushes.

Investigations relentlessly pursue Hillary Clinton for her paranoid insistence on using her private email server, although no evidence has yet surfaced of the slightest harm coming of it except to her image. Congress authorized a bipartisan study of the 9/11 attacks, although the report glazed over the government's failings before the attack, omitting the daily presidential briefings where warnings of airplane attacks on U.S. sites were given and the CIA director's admission that he had briefed Bush's secretary of state, Condoleezza Rice, on them two months before the attacks.

Yet there has been no investigation of the Iraq War planning, although it led to more than a million deaths and a cost to U.S. taxpayers that is estimated to exceed $6 trillion when all the medical bills are paid.

There is an answer. As the emails and everything in Washington demonstrate, nonpartisan study is an oxymoron.

Favorite

Speaking of...

  • Welcome 2017. And make this the open line

    January 1, 2017
    Bill Clinton chose to emphasize the positive on Twitter this morning, so why not the Arkansas Blog? /more/
  • Bill Clinton tags Comey, 'angry white men' in Hillary's loss

    December 19, 2016
    Bill Clinton is quoted as blaming FBI Director James Comey for Hillary Clinton's presidential defeat — that and Donald Trump's ability to reach "angry white men." /more/
  • The Rev. Rapert wants to rename Clinton airport

    November 29, 2016
    The Bro./Sen. Rapert has his panties in a wad over the fact that Little Rock's airport is named for Bill and Hillary Clinton, according to his morning Tweet. I guess he should head on over to the Little Rock Airport Commission and warn them the Ledge is about to take it over. /more/
  • The roots and legacy of Bill Clinton's 'abandonment' of organized labor

    November 28, 2016
    After the labor movement helped elect David Pryor, Dale Bumpers and Bill Clinton early in their careers, the three politicians took aggressive anti-union positions, Michael Pierce, an associate professor of history at the University of Arkansas, writes in a recent piece on The Labor and Working-Class History Association's Labor Online website. Pierce sees a connection between Clinton's early work against 1978's Labor Reform Bill (for the Pryor campaign), his later pro-business policies as governor and president and Hillary Clinton's struggles with working class whites. /more/
  • Bill Clinton was right

    November 17, 2016
    At the Arkansas Democratic Party's annual Jefferson-Jackson fundraiser in July, Bill Clinton gave the worst speech I've ever heard him give. /more/
  • Roosevelt Thompson memorialized at Yale

    November 15, 2016
    Yale University had its ceremony last week renaming a dining hall for the late Roosevelt Thompson, the Little Rock native and Central High graduate who died in a car wreck in 1984 shortly before leaving for a Rhodes Scholarship. /more/
  • Huckabee: 'Hillary ain't Bill'

    November 8, 2016
    Mike Huckabee closes out the presidential campaign with comments on the relative likability of Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton and vows reprisal against Republicans who didn't back Donald Trump. /more/
  • Breitbart airs 1980 assault complaint against Bill Clinton

    October 19, 2016
    A woman identified as Leslie Milwee, a  Fort Smith TV news reporter in 1980 when Bill Clinton was governor, has given an extended interview to Breitbart, a right-wing news outlet once headed by Stephen Bannon, the leader of Donald Trump's campaign, in which she said Clinton groped her sexually. /more/
  • Take a ‘Billgrimage’ in Arkansas

    October 10, 2016
    Bill and Hillary Clinton have strong ties to Arkansas. The airport in Little Rock was even renamed in honor of the couple. Bill Clinton, the nation’s 42nd president, was born in Hope, grew up in Hot Springs, married Hillary in Fayetteville, served as governor of Arkansas in Little Rock, and made acceptance and celebration speeches in the state when he was elected and re-elected as the U.S. president. /more/
  • No, Bill Clinton did not call Obamacare 'the craziest thing in the world'

    October 4, 2016
    No, despite many reports to the contrary, Bill Clinton did not say in a speech that Obamacare is the craziest thing in the world. There are crazy problems that need fixing, but he is not calling for an end to Obamacare. /more/
  • More »

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Ernest Dumas

  • Glass houses

    Having gotten a deep security briefing and probably a confidential glimpse of our own vast cyberspying operation, Donald Trump is no longer pretty sure that the Kremlin didn't hack Democratic computers or employ other tactics to help his election.
    • Jan 12, 2017
  • ACA and the GOP

    Congress and the new president in a matter of weeks will repeal big parts of the Affordable Care Act, at least nominally, but what will follow that wondrous event will not be the contentment that Republicans have long promised, but even more political tumult.
    • Jan 5, 2017
  • Dangerous kids

    It is a habit one must stop, opening the papers and online journals each morning looking desperately for solace from a whole year's unrelieved manifestations of hate arising from religious, racial, ethnic or simple cultural differences.
    • Dec 22, 2016
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Religion as excuse upends Constitution

    Tirades over religious liberty since the U.S. Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriages nationwide have awakened the ghost of James Madison, the author of the constitutional doctrine on the matter, and it isn't happy that his effort to protect religious inquiry in America is being corrupted.
    • Jul 9, 2015
  • Guns, God and gays

    Many more mass shootings like the one last week in Roseburg, Ore., will stain the future and no law will pass that might reduce the carnage. That is not a prediction but a fact of life that is immune even to Hillary Clinton.
    • Oct 8, 2015
  • AEC dumps ALEC

    No matter which side of the battle over global warming you're on, that was blockbuster news last week. No, not the signing of the climate-change treaty that commits all of Earth's 195 nations to lowering their greenhouse-gas emissions and slowing the heating of the planet, but American Electric Power's announcement that it would no longer underwrite efforts to block renewable energy or federal smokestack controls in the United States.
    • Dec 17, 2015

Most Shared

  • UPDATE: Retired Arkansas Arts Center director Townsend Wolfe dies at 81

    Townsend Durant Wolfe, III, retired director and chief curator of the Arkansas Arts Center, has died at 81.
  • Subpoenas identify names of federal interest in kickback probe

    The Northwest Arkansas Economic Development District today provided me with the subpoena it received from federal investigators in a probe that led to former Republican Rep. Micah Neal's guilty plea to taking kickbacks from money he guided to a nonprofit agency and a private college in Springdale, apparently Ecclesia College.
  • Human Services says it's eliminated Medicaid application backlog

    The state Human Services Department has informed Gov. Asa Hutchinson that it has all but eliminated a backlog in applications for Medicaid coverage.
  • Praising Asa

    Let us now praise the governor for a starkly moderate record, at least in comparison with other red-state executives.
  • Glass houses

    Having gotten a deep security briefing and probably a confidential glimpse of our own vast cyberspying operation, Donald Trump is no longer pretty sure that the Kremlin didn't hack Democratic computers or employ other tactics to help his election.

Latest in Ernest Dumas

  • Glass houses

    Having gotten a deep security briefing and probably a confidential glimpse of our own vast cyberspying operation, Donald Trump is no longer pretty sure that the Kremlin didn't hack Democratic computers or employ other tactics to help his election.
    • Jan 12, 2017
  • ACA and the GOP

    Congress and the new president in a matter of weeks will repeal big parts of the Affordable Care Act, at least nominally, but what will follow that wondrous event will not be the contentment that Republicans have long promised, but even more political tumult.
    • Jan 5, 2017
  • Dangerous kids

    It is a habit one must stop, opening the papers and online journals each morning looking desperately for solace from a whole year's unrelieved manifestations of hate arising from religious, racial, ethnic or simple cultural differences.
    • Dec 22, 2016
  • More »

Visit Arkansas

Indian Rock House at Fairfield Bay

Indian Rock House at Fairfield Bay

Winter is the perfect time to explore the natural stone shelters where native Arkansans once lived

Event Calendar

« »

January

S M T W T F S
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30 31  

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: Hillbillies

    • One last thought - oh, Nanc, do try not to refer to your children, adorable…

    • on January 14, 2017
  • Re: Hillbillies

    • Dearest Nanc - My, my - showing a good bit of hatred yourself, Look into…

    • on January 14, 2017
  • Re: Hillbillies

    • I'm with you all the way, Nanc.

    • on January 14, 2017
 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation