Saturday, September 20, 2014

10 Years Ago: 20 September 2004

It was ten years ago, today, on September 20, 2014, that then-Presidential candidate John Kerry made a very powerful speech at New York University.  In that speech, Senator Kerry made many statements of truth that were not being spoken by many in the US government at that time.  That, alone, made his speech noteworthy.

You can read Kerry's address at:

Kerry said, "Before the Iraq war [which was then in its second year–CAulds], before [George W. Bush] chose to go to war, bi-partisan Congressional hearings … major outside studies … and even some in the [Bush] administration itself, predicted virtually every problem we now face in Iraq."

Earlier in the same speech, Kerry said, "General [Eric K.] Shinseki said it would take several hundred thousand troops to secure Iraq. He was 'retired.' Economic adviser Larry Lindsey said that Iraq would cost as much as $200 billion. He was fired."

Kerry made two points in that speech:  Iraq was not a cakewalk; it would become a protracted costly war, but more importantly, he made the point that it was known, beforehand, that this was so, but those who advised against the invasion were ignored or, worse, silenced. 

NEW YORK, March 14 (Reuters) - According to a March 2013 report from the Costs of War Project by the Watson Institute for International Studies at Brown University which was published for the 10th anniversary of the US-led invasion of Iraq on March 19, 2003, the U.S. war in Iraq has cost $1.7 trillion with an additional $490 billion in benefits owed to war veterans, expenses that could grow to more than $6 trillion over the next four decades counting interest, a study released on Thursday said.

The report concluded the United States gained little from the war while Iraq was traumatized by it. The war reinvigorated radical Islamist militants in the region, set back women's rights, and weakened an already precarious healthcare system, the report said. Meanwhile, the $212 billion reconstruction effort was largely a failure with most of that money spent on security or lost to waste and fraud, it said.

I believe john Kerry was right about one thing:  The military did advise against invading Iraq on false pretenses; and the military officers who did were shut up, as a warning to other not to try the same thing.  To their shame, I think, most military officers folded under pressure.  They weren't putting their careers and pensions on the line ... let alone their lives.  They went along, for the sake of convenience; like far too many Americans, then and now.