Happy Monday of Drum-Up-War Week

”From a marketing point of view, you don’t introduce new products in August.” —  Andy Card

12 years ago today, Michael Gordon and Judy Miller published a story about aluminum tubes based off deliberate leaks from Dick Cheney and Condi Rice. Dick Cheney then cited the story on Meet the Press.

More than a decade after Saddam Hussein agreed to give up weapons of mass destruction, Iraq has stepped up its quest for nuclear weapons and has embarked on a worldwide hunt for materials to make an atomic bomb, Bush administration officials said today.

Yesterday, Obama himself appeared on Meet the Press, to roll out his new war.

CHUCK TODD:

Thanks for doing this. We start with a very basic question. Are you preparing the country to go back to war?

PRES. OBAMA:

I’m preparing the country to make sure that we deal with a threat from ISIL. Keep in mind that this is something that we know how to do. We’ve been dealing with terrorist threats for quite some time. This administration has systematically dismantled Al Qaeda in the FATA.

ISIL poses a broader threat because of its territorial ambitions in Iraq and Syria. But the good news is coming back from the most recent NATO meeting is the entire international community understands that this is something that has to be dealt with.

So what I have done over the last several months is, first and foremost, make sure that we got eyes on the problem, that we shifted resources, intelligence, reconnaissance. We did an assessment on the ground. The second step was to make sure that we protected American personnel, our embassies, our consulates. That included taking air strikes to ensure that towns like Erbil were not overrun, critical infrastructure, like the Mosul Dam was protected, and that we were able to engage in key humanitarian assistance programs that have saved thousands of lives.

The next phase is now to start going on some offense. We have to get an Iraqi government in place. And I’m optimistic that next week, we should be able to get that done. And I will then meet with congressional leaders on Tuesday. On Wednesday, I’ll make a speech and describe what our game plan’s going to be going forward.

But this is not going to be an announcement about U.S. ground troops. This is not the equivalent of the Iraq war. What this is is similar to the kinds of counterterrorism campaigns that we’ve been engaging in consistently over the last five, six, seven years. And the good news is is that because of American leadership, we have I believe, a broad-based coalition internationally and regionally to be able to deal with the problem.

And the NYT — including Michael Gordon — published a story based partly on leaks (those are about bombing Syria) from senior officials warning that this war would take 3 years.

The Obama administration is preparing to carry out a campaign against theIslamic State in Iraq and Syria that may take three years to complete, requiring a sustained effort that could last until after President Obamahas left office, according to senior administration officials.

On Wednesday, Obama will roll out this new war, just in time for 9/11.

I’m thinking if maybe we could force Michael Gordon to take the entire month of September off in the future we might get out of this war cycle?

If note, we might as well just mark this in our regular calendar: Labor Day, Back to School, New War Roll-Out. Because it seems to be an annual thing.

Marcy Wheeler is an independent journalist writing about national security and civil liberties. She writes as emptywheel at her eponymous blog, publishes at outlets including Vice, Motherboard, the Nation, the Atlantic, Al Jazeera, and appears frequently on television and radio. She is the author of Anatomy of Deceit, a primer on the CIA leak investigation, and liveblogged the Scooter Libby trial.

Marcy has a PhD from the University of Michigan, where she researched the “feuilleton,” a short conversational newspaper form that has proven important in times of heightened censorship. Before and after her time in academics, Marcy provided documentation consulting for corporations in the auto, tech, and energy industries. She lives with her spouse in Grand Rapids, MI.

12 replies
  1. TarheelDem says:

    So what I have done over the last several months is, first and foremost, make sure that we got eyes on the problem, that we shifted resources, intelligence, reconnaissance.

    And that’s why we have done what we’ve done in Ukraine to prevent the US and Russia from agreeing to restabilize Assad….

    The next phase is now to start going on some offense. We have to get an Iraqi government in place. And I’m optimistic that next week, we should be able to get that done. And I will then meet with congressional leaders on Tuesday. On Wednesday, I’ll make a speech and describe what our game plan’s going to be going forward.

    The Iraqi government through the Iraqi security forces and Iraqi army are not on the offensive in several locations……

    I must report to the American people that the Republican Party is still a threat until after the November elections…and to deal with this threat I am sending Senators McCain and Graham to join our troops in the front line of the assault on Haditha….and Representatives Issa and Rogers wil be sent to reinforce our troops in the embassy in Baghdad. We believe that those actions will reduce the threat of terrorism in Congress…..

    If victory is not soon assured, I shall consider redeploying more Republican members of Congress to strategic areas….and if that does not succeed, we have police SWAT teams trained, uniformed, and ready to go….

    So let’s get practical, folks, and hold to our exceptional American values…..

    Gee, it almost writes itself.

  2. ArizonaBumblebeeper says:

    President Obama comes across in this interview as a huckster selling swamp land in Louisiana. The really scarey part is that he’s beginning to believe his own bullshit. He would have you believe that our global war on terror under his stewardship has been a smashing success. Apparently now we are going to apply the same successful formula we have employed in the region to overcome and eliminate the threat from ISIS. By this point in the interview I was smiling and threatening to burst into laughter. As I watched him I was reminded of speeches from long ago. Remember the bombing campaigns against North Vietnam. Or the scorched earth

  3. jo6pac says:

    Only 3 years such a bargain, it might cheaper and with less death to stop arming and funding them. Then again since there will be only a few US soldiers on the ground with 100,000 contractors what the worry? That worked so will in the near past and I’m sure it will work again.

  4. ArizonaBumblebeeper says:

    For reasons that I don’t understand my previous comment posted while still in progress. As I was saying, I can clearly remember the assurances we routinely got from Presidents Nixon and Johnson during the Vietnam War about the progress America was making against the Vietcong and North Vietnam. America torched hamlets, bombed and invaded Cambodia, and even used Agent Orange to eliminate the jungle cover of infiltrators along the Ho Chi Minh Trail. Nothing worked. While bombing ISIS may yield short-term benefits, defeating ISIS without significant ground support will not work (something we should have learned from our experiences in that war). To be successful in defeating ISIS, we need the active cooperation and engagement of Iran, Syria, and Turkey, countries with whom we have strained relations. In WWII, Churchill was smart enough to know he needed Stalin’s cooperation if he was to defeat Hitler even though he detested the man and everything he stood for. I’m not sure President Obama is capable of doing something like that by working with Assad and the Ayatollah to destroy ISIS.

    • seedeevee says:

      “I’m not sure President Obama is capable of doing something like that by working with Assad and the Ayatollah to destroy ISIS.”

      He would have to get Israel’s permission, first.

    • TarheelDem says:

      Working with Assad also requires coordination with Putin. Now do you see why the Ukraine coup happened?

  5. TarheelDem says:

    All of a sudden I’ve become very curious about Bandar Bush’s role in the coup in Ukraine. And its relationship to his threat to Putin. Just some speculatin’

  6. ess emm says:

    this is not going to be an announcement about U.S. ground troops. This is not the equivalent of the Iraq war. What this is is similar to the kinds of counterterrorism campaigns that we’ve been engaging in consistently over the last five, six, seven years.

    Main thing to notice: Negotiation and mediation are not in the cards. Only the oldest, easily the most profitable, surely the most vicious, racket can be selected. (h/t Smedley Butler)

    It makes me sick to my stomach.

  7. omphaloscepsis says:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/wp/2014/09/09/what-explains-the-publics-support-for-air-strikes-against-isis-the-terrorism-nerve/

    “A new Washington Post-ABC News poll finds 71 percent of Americans support air strikes against the Sunni insurgents in Iraq, up 17 percentage points from only three weeks ago and up 26 points from mid-June, when the public split evenly on the issue.”

    http://cnnpressroom.blogs.cnn.com/2014/09/08/cnnorcpoll_isis/?iref=allsearch

    “Days before the anniversary of September 11, 2001, a new CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Monday reports that Americans are increasingly concerned that ISIS represents a direct terror threat, fearful that ISIS agents are living in the United States.

    Seven in 10 Americans believe ISIS has the resources to launch an attack against the United States, just days before President Barack Obama plans to address the nation on the subject.”

    Sigh.

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