Selective use of data. Selective use of intelligence.

Selective use of data. WASHINGTON POST REPORTS.

Hmmm... selective use of data from reports and news. Where have we seen that before?

Oh yeah, in the run-up to the Iraq War.

"We want this. So please provide intelligence that justifies it. Go get it."

"The White House is deeply interested in items like X, Y and Z. I think my career and my options and my insight and my influence would benefit from finding X, Y and Z. Let's see what we've got to work with here."

The two above quotes are made up and sliiiiightly misleading in that I have no evidence that such considerations ever happened. But only SLIGHTLY and yeah, that's kind of the way it worked out. You take a metric crap-ton of information and you use what you want to use and you read what you want to read. It's not like they reluctantly went to war.

("Metric crap-ton" is a technical military term. I wouldn't expect you to understand. Please just accept the fact that I know how to use it and what it means. And you don't.)

(Hint: that was sarcasm. Maybe not very good or very funny, but still.)

Ok, "they" would dispute the "not reluctant" part and say things like "We would never not be RELUCTANT to go to war. No-one WANTS to go to war. We didn't. We were forced to invade by the actions of X, Y and Z and bad stuff [this and that]." Face it - there was never any real connection between Saddam and Al-Qaeda until AFTER the war had started, when OUR actions sort of pushed them together ideologically and in the social fibre of the Gulf and Arab world. There are degrees of reluctancy. You jumping at the chance to go change the regime in Iraq represents a significantly lesser degree of reluctancy than I have at the same prospect. Yes, they shot at our planes. Yes, they were bad guys. No, I don't see how ~100, 000 dead civilians is really worth the regime change. Bad things happen all over the world - no need to go after Saddam quite that way. He was just a pain in the ***e, not an actual threat to the USA.

But maybe in the long run Iraq will be stable, democratic and a huge bonus influence on its horrible neighbours. Could be. Won't know for another 100 years.

Causes of the current Iraq War:
1. Neocons with an axe to grind from the Persian Gulf War of George Bush the elder (good guy btw).
2. Oil
3. A misguided but noble desire to democratiziphy the Middle East. Some of these societies just aren't there yet - political parties based on ethnicity and religion shows the fault lines that prohibit people from thinking outside their tribal/family affiliation. Cult of personalities and all that crap. Gradual openings. Strongmen are bad, but less evil than the alternatives. Realpolitik, please.
4. CIA etc not standing up enough to say "Hey, you're selectively reading the intel, dude - lay off of it."
5. Saddam Hussein and associated idiots.
6. Iraqi people who are too fractured and stupid to deal with their own situations or to take charge of their own political framework. Witness the 2010 deadlock. Sorry, your culture just fails. Your religious hatred fails. Your superstition and your conspiracy theories and your tribal and ethnic hatreds. You deserve each other. Not that the G. W. Bush administration doesn't have something to do with the rise of Al-Qaeda in Iraq and associated insurgent groups - but your entire society is suffused with guns and explosives and tons and tons of munitions. I have more respect for the people of Iran.

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