47 Senators, 47 Chickenhawks, Anxious For War With Iran   Leave a comment

GOP Enthusiasm for War and the life of the Chickenhawks¹

March 12, 2015

It is now a dozen years since George W. Bush chose to invade Iraq. It made no sense at the time, but “W”, the decider, wanted to be a “war president”, or get the guy who tried to kill his daddy, or maybe he was just bored. He embraced the bad intel. He erroneously connected Iraq and Al Qaeda. He and his cadre of neo-cons sold a lie to the American people and the world. In the end he got his wish, and caution was not a watchword. He bought into the “low-cost” theory, and ignored or fired those around him who suggested there was a large price to be paid for this adventure. Paul Wolfowitz said the war would be self-financed (using Iraqi oil and assets). Andrew Natsios (USAID) predicted a $1.7 billion cost. We’re not certain if Wolfowitz and Natsios pulled their evaluations from a detailed analysis or out of someone’s ass. Lawrence Lindsey believed the cost of the war would be north of $200 billion and was fired for his analysis. And even Lindsey grossly under-estimated the final tally. Simply put, Bush, Cheney, Wolfowitz, Natsio, Lindsey, and “W”‘s administration were all wrong. Current reality-based estimates put the final cost of Bush’s war in the trillions: “The Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts, taken together, will be the most expensive wars in US history — totaling somewhere between $4 to $6 trillion.” By the way, there were no public estimates of the number of dead and wounded to expect, suggesting Wolfowitz, Natsios, Bush, and Cheney believed there would be no injuries or deaths.

Beyond the horrific impact on lives, and the cost to American taxpayers, there is the unleashing of chaos in the Middle East, the latest and deadliest representation of which is ISIS/ISIL. The American government—and others—has consistently opened the door to unintended consequences. Like “Murphy’s Law”², the aftermath of the 2003 invasion of Iraq is a textbook illustration of insufficient or unrealistic planning, and pie-in-the-sky wishful thinking. Nothing here is new, and much of the stupidity, arrogance, and egregious behavior of those advocating for war with Iraq a dozen years ago is being appropriated by some of the same players, and some new recruits. None of these geniuses appear to have digested anything beyond press releases from Fox News. Had any of them read “The Life of Reason”, they certainly would be able to recall George Santayana’s admonition: “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” Yet here we are with 47 GOP senators writing a letter to Iran’s leaders with three purposes: First, to undermine the credibility of President Obama; second to undermine his negotiations with Iran; third, to set up (in their minds) a plausible rationale for going to war in Iran.

If you believe that the Iraq invasion was a bad idea, war with Iran will only be worse. If you believe speaking with Iran is preferable to dropping bombs on them, then consider writing to the senator (or senators) of your choice. Explain it to them. (Use simple words because, based on their letter to Iran, they aren’t all that bright.) Tell them that you support talking with Iran instead of declaring war. We don’t need another slam-dunk, cheap, easy, war. In 2002 and 2003 Messrs Bush, Cheney, Wolfowitz, Natsios, et al, sold the slam-dunk/cheap/easy concept to the congress, the media, and the American people. Don’t be sold again. Don’t be fooled again. Write these war-advocates (80% of whom never served in the armed forces) today. And while you’re at it, ask all 47 of them if they’ll be volunteering to lead the troops into Tehran. I doubt they will. After all, these are the chickenhawks of the elite.

David Steffen

© David Steffen 2015

1. Chickenhawk: a person, often a politician, who strongly supports war or other military action yet has no military background, actively avoids joining the military, or who avoided military service during the days of the draft (see: Dick Cheney).

2. “Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.”

  1. Ayotte, Kelly – (R – NH) • 144 Russell Senate Office Building, Washington DC 20510 • (202) 224-3324 • email
  2. Barrasso, John – (R – WY) • 307 Dirksen Senate Office Building, Washington DC 20510 • (202) 224-6441 • email
  3. Blunt, Roy – (R – MO) • 260 Russell Senate Office Building, Washington DC 20510 • (202) 224-5721 • email
  4. Boozman, John – (R – AR) • 320 Hart Senate Office Building, Washington DC 20510 • (202) 224-4843 • email
  5. Burr, Richard – (R – NC) • 217 Russell Senate Office Building, Washington DC 20510 • (202) 224-3154 • email
  6. Capito, Shelley Moore – (R – WV) • 5 Russell Senate Courtyard, Washington DC 20510 • (202) 224-6472 • email
  7. Cassidy, Bill – (R – LA) • 703 Hart Senate Office Building, Washington DC 20510 • (202) 224-5824 • email
  8. Cornyn, John – (R – TX) • 517 Hart Senate Office Building, Washington DC 20510 • (202) 224-2934 • email
  9. Cotton, Tom – (R – AR) • B33 Russell Senate Office Building, Washington DC 20510 • (202) 224-2353 • email
  10. Crapo, Mike – (R – ID) • 239 Dirksen Senate Office Building, Washington DC 20510 • (202) 224-6142 • email
  11. Cruz, Ted – (R – TX) • 185 Dirksen Senate Office Building, Washington DC 20510 • (202) 224-5922 • email
  12. Daines, Steve – (R – MT) • 1 Russell Senate Courtyard, Washington DC 20510 • (202) 224-2651 • email
  13. Enzi, Michael B. – (R – WY) • 379A Russell Senate Office Building, Washington DC 20510 • (202) 224-3424 • email
  14. Ernst, Joni – (R – IA) • 825 B&C Hart Senate Office Building, Washington DC 20510 • (202) 224-3254 • email
  15. Fischer, Deb – (R – NE) • 383 Russell Senate Office Building, Washington DC 20510 • (202) 224-6551 • email
  16. Gardner, Cory – (R – CO) • B40B Dirksen Senate Office Building, Washington DC 20510 • (202) 224-5941 • email
  17. Graham, Lindsey – (R – SC) • 290 Russell Senate Office Building, Washington DC 20510 • (202) 224-5972 • email
  18. Grassley, Chuck – (R – IA) • 135 Hart Senate Office Building, Washington DC 20510 • (202) 224-3744 • email
  19. Hatch, Orrin G. – (R – UT) • 104 Hart Senate Office Building, Washington DC 20510 • (202) 224-5251 • email
  20. Heller, Dean – (R – NV) • 324 Hart Senate Office Building, Washington DC 20510 • (202) 224-6244 • email
  21. Hoeven, John – (R – ND) • 338 Russell Senate Office Building, Washington DC 20510 • (202) 224-2551 • email
  22. Inhofe, James M. – (R – OK) • 205 Russell Senate Office Building, Washington DC 20510 • (202) 224-4721• email
  23. Isakson, Johnny – (R – GA) • 131 Russell Senate Office Building, Washington DC 20510 • (202) 224-3643 • email
  24. Johnson, Ron – (R – WI) • 328 Hart Senate Office Building, Washington DC 20510 • (202) 224-5323 • email
  25. Kirk, Mark – (R – IL) • 524 Hart Senate Office Building, Washington DC 20510 • (202) 224-2854 • email
  26. Lankford, James – (R – OK) • B40C Dirksen Senate Office Building, Washington DC 20510 • (202) 224-5754 • email
  27. Lee, Mike – (R – UT) • 316 Hart Senate Office Building, Washington DC 20510 • (202) 224-5444 • email
  28. McCain, John – (R – AZ) • 241 Russell Senate Office Building, Washington DC 20510 • (202) 224-2235 • email
  29. McConnell, Mitch – (R – KY) • 317 Russell Senate Office Building, Washington DC 20510 • (202) 224-2541 • email
  30. Moran, Jerry – (R – KS) • 361A Russell Senate Office Building, Washington DC 20510 • (202) 224-6521 • email
  31. Paul, Rand – (R – KY) • 124 Russell Senate Office Building, Washington DC 20510 • (202) 224-4343 • email
  32. Perdue, David – (R – GA) • B40D Dirksen Senate Office Building, Washington DC 20510 • (202) 224-3521 • email
  33. Portman, Rob – (R – OH) • 448 Russell Senate Office Building, Washington DC 20510 • (202) 224-3353 • email
  34. Risch, James E. – (R – ID) • 483 Russell Senate Office Building, Washington DC 20510 • (202) 224-2752 • email
  35. Roberts, Pat – (R – KS) • 109 Hart Senate Office Building, Washington DC 20510 • (202) 224-4774 • email
  36. Rounds, Mike – (R – SD) • 4 Russell Senate Courtyard, Washington DC 20510 • (202) 224-5842 • email
  37. Rubio, Marco – (R – FL) • 284 Russell Senate Office Building, Washington DC 20510 • (202) 224-3041 • email
  38. Sasse, Ben – (R – NE) • B40E Dirksen Senate Office Building, Washington DC 20510 • (202) 224-4224 • email
  39. Scott, Tim – (R – SC) • 167 Russell Senate Office Building, Washington DC 20510 • (202) 224-6121 • email
  40. Sessions, Jeff – (R – AL) • 326 Russell Senate Office Building, Washington DC 20510 • (202) 224-4124 • email
  41. Shelby, Richard C. – (R – AL) • 304 Russell Senate Office Building, Washington DC 20510 • (202) 224-5744 • email
  42. Sullivan, Daniel – (R – AK) • B40A Dirksen Senate Office Building, Washington DC 20510 • (202) 224-3004 • email
  43. Thune, John – (R – SD) • 511 Dirksen Senate Office Building, Washington DC 20510 • (202) 224-2321 • email
  44. Tillis, Thom – (R – NC) • G55 Dirksen Senate Office Building, Washington DC 20510 • (202) 224-6342 • email
  45. Toomey, Patrick J. – (R – PA) • 248 Russell Senate Office Building, Washington DC 20510 • (202) 224-4254 • email
  46. Vitter, David – (R – LA) • 516 Hart Senate Office Building, Washington DC 20510 • (202) 224-4623 • email
  47. Wicker, Roger F. – (R – MS) • 555 Dirksen Senate Office Building, Washington DC 20510 • (202) 224-6253 • email
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