American Elephants

Democrats Voted for The Iraq War, Changed Their Minds When Combat Ended, Launched a 5 year Propaganda Effort to Discredit Bush by The Elephant's Child


Reposted from June 2015: Did you wonder why Obama pulled Out of Iraq Abruptly And Caused the Rise of ISIS?

I usually have the radio on in the daytime, because I can listen and get other stuff done. This morning I was startled by a caller who said: “I’m 22, and the people my age would never vote for a Bush because of the stigma attached to his name.” He added something to the effect that he didn’t dislike President Bush personally, it was the stigma. Stigma.

Liberals were as shocked and horrified as everyone else at the events on 9/11, the first attack on America since Pearl Harbor.  The 1998 Iraq Liberation Act, (before 9/11) under Clinton, calling for regime change in Iraq, and supporting a transition to democracy passed the House 360-38 and unanimously in the Senate. Under the Bush administration, and after 9/11, there was a 1991 Resolution for the Use of Military Force against Iraq which passed the Democrat-controlled Senate 52-47 and the House 250-183. That was followed by the 1992 Iraq War Resolution that authorized military force against Iraq which also passed Congress with significant margins.

The invasion of Iraq began on March 20, 2003, Baghdad fell on April 10, Coalition forces moved into Baghdad ending the 24 year reign of Saddam Hussein. On May 1, President George W. Bush declared major combat operations in Iraq over.

That month the Democratic Party launched a national campaign against America’s commander in chief, claiming that he had lied to the American people to lure them into a war that was “unnecessary,” “immoral, and “illegal.”

Until that moment, the conflict in Iraq had been supported by both parties and was regarded by both as a strategic necessity in the war launched by Islamic terrorists on 9/11. Saddam Hussein had launched two aggressive wars in the Middle East, murdered three hundred thousand Iraqis, used chemical weapons on his own citizens, and put in place a nuclear weapons program, thwarted only by his defeat in the 1991 Gulf War. Over the next decade, his regime defied sixteen United Nations Security Council resolutions attempting to enforce the Gulf War truce and stop him from pursuing weapons of mass destruction. In September 2002, the Security Council added a seventeenth  resolution, which gave Saddam until December 7 to comply with its terms or face consequences. When Iraq failed to comply, Bush made the only decision compatible with the preservation of international law and the security of the United States by launching a preemptive invasion to remove the regime. Two days prior to the invasion, the Iraqi dictator was given the option of leaving the country and averting the war.

In June 2003, just three months after the fighting began, the Democrats turned against the war and launched  a five-year campaign to delegitimize it, casting America and its Republican leaders as the villains. This betrayal of the nation and its troops on the battlefield was unprecedented. Major press institutions following the Democrats’ lead conducted a propaganda campaign against the war, blowing up minor incidents like the misbehavior of guards at the Abu Ghraib prison to international scandals, which damaged America’s prestige and weakened its morale. The New York Times and the Washington Post leaked classified documents, destroying three major national security programs designed to protect Americans from terrorist attack. Every day of the war, there was front-page coverage of America’s body counts in Iraq and Afghanistan designed to sap America’s will to fight.  (David Horowitz: Take No Prisoners)

There’s your “stigma.”

Did you read the newspaper accounts of the doubling of the death toll in the war in Afghanistan under Barack Obama? Thought not. “Bush lied, People died,” was the chant. Propaganda designed to discredit the American president, who they were still furious with  for defeating Al Gore, illegally, they were sure. A five year long propaganda campaign to be sure Bush got no credit. The ends justify whatever means you have to use. Americans are inclined to like Presidents who win wars. Can’t have that. Remember Bill Clinton complaining because he didn’t get to be a wartime president?

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The stigmatization of the Iraq intervention goes beyond vilifying President Bush in particular and Republicans in general. It has been a successful strategy to discredit the paradigm of ‘strong-horse’ American leadership of the free world, whose fundamental principles manifested with Operation Iraqi Freedom, peaking with the COIN “Surge”. The stigma on OIF is the implicit ‘bogeyman’ premise that has justified the eschewing of robust American leadership under the Obama administration.

However, on the facts, the decision for OIF was correct on the law and justified on the policy. The stigma on OIF is based on a demonstrably false narrative.

Re-normalizing American leadership of the free world requires de-stigmatizing OIF at the premise level of the public discourse. De-stigmatizing OIF requires, among other actions, setting the record straight on the law and policy, fact basis – the why – of OIF.

For that purpose, I invite review of my explanation of the grounds for Operation Iraqi Freedom at that synthesizes the primary sources of the mission.


Comment by Eric

Thanks, Eric. You are, of course, absolutely correct. I visited your link, and your explanation is clear and well explained. Unfortunately, our president who has the “bully pulpit” does npt change his mind. Richard Epstein, who knew Obama at U. Chicago and through his next door neighbor who was a close friend of Obama’s, said that once Obama made up his mind, his views were set in concrete, and there was no opportunity for revision.

The Obamas plan to stay on in Washington until their younger daughter finishes high school. GWB has had the great good sense to refuse to comment, and to leave his legacy to the historians to work out. (And I’ll bet it has been hard) I’m quite sure we won’t be so lucky with President Obama.

The “Progressives” are engaged in an all out war, and they intend to demonize and discredit anything and everything Republican. It’s a war for them in which anything goes, because they aim for a bright new future where all men are truly equal — well, except for themselves, who will be in charge, because they are entitled and their excellence will finally be recognized by putting them in charge. Utopia, indeed.


Comment by The Elephant's Child

Competing for the narrative is also a competition for the history. Writing history isn’t de-politicized because what’s past is prologue. If we fail to set the record straight on the grounds for OIF in the public discourse, then the same kind of people distorting the prevailing narrative will move (already are moving) on to distort the history, too.

With anti-OIF “Progressives”, they defend the lie because they depend on it. The prevailing yet demonstrably false narrative of OIF is an active linchpin, cornerstone premise for their agenda. It operates as the purposeful successor to their Vietnam War narrative. Thus, setting the record straight on the grounds for OIF – in order to reframe the prevailing narrative – is also a tack to expose and discredit any person who has benefited from endorsing the demonstrably false narrative of OIF. (Transgressors are not all on the Left.)

The OIF FAQ explanation isn’t the whole story, of course. Rather, it’s a tool purpose-designed for setting the record straight on the why of OIF to reset the narrative. It’s essentially a cheat sheet that flags and synthesizes the primary sources of the mission – the situation, the controlling law, policy, and precedent that defined the operative enforcement procedure for the Gulf War ceasefire, and the determinative fact findings of Saddam’s material breach that triggered enforcement – to cut through the conjecture and misinformation and re-lay the foundation of the issue on bedrock law, policy and facts, so that the rest of the story can then be told correctly.


Comment by Eric

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