Amazing Harpist Bridget Kibbey: NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert

ckkatz1/15/2020 10:16:30 pm PST

re: #102 Hecuba’s daughter

My confession: Before the conflict, I had recently seen the movie “The Pianist” and, not based on the supposed WMD, but on the belief that citizens of dictatorships could not free themselves from tyranny, I initially supported the war (though not with enthusiasm) because Saddam was a monster, as were his sons and putative heirs. However, it soon became clear that we didn’t know how to win the peace. Maybe if Iraqi experts had been put in charge of administering the country, the mission could have succeeded. But the people placed in charge were totally incompetent and our efforts failed and led to the disaster that we are now facing throughout the region.

I looked at the Iraq War differently. I was in my late 40’s and had been in the military. It was quite clear that Iraq posed no danger to the US. Under Clinton, every time Iraq looked cross-eyed at us, we shut them down very quickly, usually with a couple of fighter bomber sorties. It was kind of hard on the targets, but that is the way of war.

When Bush 43 started beating the war drums, it was fairly clear, at least to me that the problem he was trying to solve was his re-election, not Saddam Hussein. Certainly, the amount of military we threw into Iraq for the 2nd War was minuscule, had Iraq been a real and urgent threat. And that minuscule effort was quite enough to destroy the Iraqi military and government.

It was even more obvious after we occupied Iraq and the Bush 43 administration put up their “Mission Accomplished” banners and moved on. It was clear that Bush 43 had solved his problem when he got re-elected. At that point, Iraq was no longer a problem as far as he was concerned.

I know a little bit about successful American Occupations because my father was one of the American officers responsible for reconstituting Germany after World War 2. And he often talked about what worked and what didn’t. And why.

And the success of Western Europe was critical to us due to the Cold War.

In all my reading about the Iraq Occupation, I never saw any of that introspection, or interest by the Bush 43 Administration. And, quite frankly, still don’t.