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.