The Iraq “I told you so” T-shirt: XX Large

I post­ed the fol­low­ing over at the Dai­lyKos this morn­ing.

It was three years ago in Feb­ru­ary that 30 mil­lion peo­ple turned out in the streets in the largest ral­ly in the his­to­ry of human­i­ty to say invad­ing Iraq was a real­ly bad idea. It was three years ago today that that the Cheney Boys thumbed their noses at world opin­ion, and did it any­way. As a con­so­la­tion prize, I sup­pose some­body ought to find a mar­ket for 30 mil­lion “I Told You So” T-shirts out there, which would need to be an XX-Large to fit the fol­low­ing facts:

Peo­ple will Die”: The Lancet puts it at 100,000 Iraqis by Octo­ber 2004. 2,500 coali­tion sol­diers, 2,300 of them from the US.

The Recon­struc­tion will be a bitch”: Basic social ser­vices have not been re-estab­lished, human rights vio­la­tions have increased.

You’ll leave behind a civil war”: The polit­i­cal process designed by the occu­piers, in which Shi­ite, Sun­ni and Kur­dish com­mu­ni­ties com­pete for pow­er has inflamed sec­tar­i­an vio­lence and has put the coun­try into, gee, civil war.

Inva­sion will feed resis­tance”: In Novem­ber 2003 the num­ber of Resis­tance mem­bers was esti­mat­ed at 5,000 today those esti­mates have increased to 20,000.

You can’t defend human rights by vio­lat­ing human rights”: The Unit­ed States has used ille­gal weapons, such as white phos­pho­rus to bomb Falul­lah in Novem­ber 2004, and tac­tics, such as mas­sive and indis­crim­i­nate deten­tions and tor­ture (not only in places such as Guan­tanamo or Abu Ghraib, but also in secret deten­tion cen­tres in Iraq, Afghanistan and oth­er coun­tries).

Rummy’s Low Cost War is a crock”: Over $300,000 mil­lion has been spent in mil­i­tary oper­a­tions (some $5,900 mil­lion a mon­th dur­ing 2005) and it is cal­cu­lat­ed that the total cost will be over a bil­lion dol­lars. This amounts to the annu­al Gross Domes­tic Pro­duct (GDP) of coun­tries like Canada or Spain. 


OK, so we were right. Big whip.

The most impor­tant ques­tion now is how those who opposed this war learn from the lessons to ensure Iran doesn’t become the next Iraq. Because the Cheney Boys have def­i­nite­ly learned a lesson, and they won’t be going the next one alone.

At the IAEA board of gov­er­nors, the US has been doing the same old same old bull­dog­ging, but their aim is build­ing a Secu­ri­ty Coun­cil con­sen­sus. As much as the hawks hate the con­cept of glob­al coali­tion build­ing, they know they have to put the elbow grease in on this one. And unfor­tu­nate­ly, they’ve got a win­ning game plan: Every­body who has nuclear weapons gets to keep them. Any­body who doesn’t have them yet gets a uni­fied front of oppo­si­tion.

That’s the real sig­nal of Bush’s lit­tle trip to India. It said “for­get about the NPT, you’re in the club.” There was also the tac­it sig­nal in the new Nation­al Secu­ri­ty Strat­e­gy, a 49-page doc­u­ment that strong­ly warns Iran that the US will “act” to keep Iran from obtain­ing nuclear weapons capa­bil­i­ty, but in the case of North Korea, which is believed to already be over the nuclear weapons thresh­old, it mere­ly mum­bles about the need to change pol­i­cy.

Unfor­tu­nate­ly, that mes­sage trans­lates as one thing to any­one inter­est­ed in devel­op­ing a nuclear weapons capa­bil­i­ty: get busy, do it fast, do it secret­ly — if you get past the door, you’re in the cir­cle. You’re home free.

And for the rest — when it comes to enforc­ing who will and will not have nuclear weapons, beware the inter­na­tion­al body whose pow­er equa­tion is defined by who did and didn’t have nuclear weapons at the time it was found­ed.

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