How the War was Sold

The Agitator has a good collection of pre-War quotes showing, in part, how the War in Iraq was sold to the American public. I hadn’t seen this one from our own Gov. Daniels:

“The United States is committed to helping Iraq recover from the conflict, but Iraq will not require sustained aid.”

–OMB Director Mitch Daniels, quote in the Washington Post on April 21, 2003.

According to Donald Rumsfeld, Mitch Daniels’ Office of Management and Budget came up with this wildly inaccurate projection:

“Well, the Office of Management and Budget, has come up come up with a number that’s something under $50 billion for the cost. How much of that would be the U.S. burden, and how much would be other countries, is an open question.”

–Donald Rumsfeld, January 19, 2003.

(Just, fyi, we’re over $500,000,000,000 and heading northward at a pretty good clip.)

And, there are other classics, including:

“Some of the higher-end predictions that we have been hearing recently, such as the notion that it will take several hundred thousand U.S. troops to provide stability in post-Saddam Iraq, are wildly off the mark.”


. . .

“Bring ‘em on. We’ve got the force necessary to deal with the security situation.”

–President Bush, when asked if the insurgency and resulting U.S. casualties might cause him to ask for more help from U.S. allies, July 2, 2003.

But, really, what use is it looking at the past; nobody could have predicted things would shake out this way in Iraq:

“Yet no matter how emotionally satisfying removing a thug like Saddam may seem, Americans would be wise to consider whether that step is worth the price. The inevitable U.S. military victory would not be the end of America’s troubles in Iraq. Indeed, it would mark the start of a new round of headaches. Ousting Saddam would make Washington responsible for Iraq’s political future and entangle the United States in an endless nation-building mission beset by intractable problems.”

–Ted Galen Carpenter, January 14, 2002

So, let’s just look forward. In the words of Presidential candidate, John McCain (hilariously sung to the tune of the Beach Boys’ “Barbara Ann”):


  1. says

    Filibusters, to a considerable extent; and an unwillingness to leave soldiers hanging without financial support. Bush can keep this war going simply by holding soldiers hostage to ensure the good behavior of the Congress.

  2. T says

    That video is wrong in so many ways. Whiny voiced Republican: “When are we going to send an ‘airmail’ message to Tehran?”

    Answer: What’s this “we” shit? Sounds like the typical Republican we–as in I, Republican, cheerlead for war, and you (anybody but me) go fight, bleed, and die.

    It’s pathetic. Set aside that these people keep getting us into trouble. The way the whiny dude’s statement was delivered was intended to sound tough. But instead it sounded almost… campy.

  3. Jason says

    I am glad you left out “Lower oil prices”. There are many reasons given by the pro-war side, but that wasn’t one of them. It cracks me up when I hear anti-war people that were saying “The only reason we’re doing this is for cheap oil” now say “So, where is the cheap oil now? Way to go!”. It was never a reason to do it that I heard…

  4. says

    I never viewed cheap oil as an impetus to war. Increased profits for oil companies, on the other hand, might be an inducement for oil guys like Bush and Cheney. Have the oil companies been doing o.k. with their profits over the past few years?

  5. Jason says

    Yup. Don’t know if it is connected, frankly, don’t care. The more expensive oil is, the better it is for our country and the planet in the long run.

    Let the oil companies make their billions while they can. Hopefully, they’ll greed themselves out of existance.

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