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Hornberger’s Blog, May 2004

Monday, May 31, 2004 Today — Memorial Day — is a good time to begin reflecting on the future direction of our country, especially given the failure of the most recent foreign war waged by the federal government. I say failure because there is no possibility that the occupation of Iraq will succeed in bringing freedom, democracy, or even the long-term appointment of a U.S. puppet regime in that country. The Iraqi people will never trust U.S. officials, not only because it was U.S. officials who imposed and maintained the embargo for more than a decade that callously killed hundreds of thousands of Iraqi children but also because the sex abuse, rape, torture, and murder scandal has destroyed any hope of winning the trust of the Iraqi people, especially the religious ones. The troops might well be kept in Iraq for the indefinite future but they will be killing ...

Hornberger’s Blog, May 2006

Wednesday, May 31, 2006 In a speech to a friendly audience at West Point, President Bush announced that the “war on terrorism” would ultimately rival the Cold War in its length and difficulty. The corollary, which Bush didn’t mention, is that this will be perpetually increasing budgets for the military-industrial complex, a point that the graduates of West Point would undoubtedly be interested in. Think about it: As effective as the Cold War was in producing ever-increasing budgets for the Pentagon and the “defense” contractors, there was always the possibility — albeit remote — that the Cold War would end. But then the Soviet Union did fall and — uh, oh — what then? Well, obviously, we need a brand new justification for those ever-increasing Pentagon-CIA-State Department budgets, right?

Hornberger’s Blog, May 2007

Thursday, May 31, 2007 End Both the War on Terror and the Drug War When President Bush declared his war on terror, I wrote that such a war would be no different than the war on drugs, in the sense that it would be nothing more than a perpetual justification for ever-growing big government. Six years later, there is no end in sight, either for the war on terror or the war on drugs. The standard for “victory” in both wars is actually no standard at all. Even when a standard is established, it quickly morphs into a new standard especially if the old standard is reached. Consider, for example, President Bush’s war on Iraq, which he now justifies under the war on terror. At first, victory was defined as finding the WMDs that were about to be fired at the United States. Once it was established that Saddam didn’t have any WMDs, the troops could have declared victory and come home. Not ...