House Of Lies: The Inevitable Downfall of Iraq,
This is the story of a fallen US military and corrupt US/Vietnamese/Iraq civilian governments, wrapped in self-delusion; harnessed by incompetence; and leading us to the inevitable outcome of massive carnage and historical shame.
As a teenager in Toulouse, France, the first and last memory I had of French Indochina was that Dien Bien Phu had been overrun by the Viet Cong. A few years later, I was to hear those same words of defeat regarding the vicious War in Algeria where France had brutally colonized an Arab country for well over one hundred years. Clearly, the country of France and all of its adjunct philosophies expiated its colonial imperialism to spell ‘defeat’, ‘anachronism’ and ‘futility’.
Imagine my reaction when I had heard that a 37 year old French Military Officer named David Galula had written two books entitled: Pacification in Algeria, 1956-1958 and another ironically called, Counterinsurgency Warfare: Theory And Practice written in 1964. David was part of a school of French Military officers associated with “GUERRE REVOLUTIONNAIRE”. Rather than accept the fact that the French Army was born, bred and brainwashed to be nothing more than an instrument of defeat, these arrogant Organisation de L’Armee Secrete, or OAS [they tried to assassinate Charles De Gaule], blamed the French Government for being ineffectual.
This COIN [counterinsurgency] theory of ‘winning the hearts and minds of the restless natives’ became popular with General William Westmoreland [father of our Vietnam Defeat] and my former boss, Henry no war is a bad war Kissinger. In addition, this hearts/minds theory permeated the CIA tentacle in the personages of William Colby, General Edward Landsdale [“The Quiet American”] and his stool pigeon, Dan Ellsberg [Pentagon Papers; yesterday’s Snowden]. Thus this nonsensical theory which had never worked in the past two hundred years was used to justify the death of 58,195 American soldiers in VietNam and hundreds of thousands wounded veterans.
Vietnamese Prime Minister Le Durc Tho, once said to me when I was DAS for East Asia in the late 1980’s that “America was lazy”. He was being polite. We were more than ‘lazy’ we were purposefully creating lies and theories of war that had no correspondence to any reality in any country, then Viet Nam now Iraq and Afghanistan. My first and last words to my students at the War College at Ft McNair, Washington , DC. about the impending assault in Iraq ‘that it was a major mistake for which we were neither prepared nor understood.’ However, being right was never a commodity highly valued by our civilians in government or our military. In turn, my students [Colonels, Majors, CIA, State Dept. et. al. ] retorted as one might have expected, “this will be a short war. Wait till you see the ‘Shock And Awe’…” You know how that story ends (or doesn’t).
It always amazes me how resistant we, Americans are to understanding duplicity and deceit practiced by our own civilian/military leaders against us, the innocent American citizens. Is this why we never teach contemporary history in our schools? Better to keep the next generation dumb?
All the students in my class at Ft McNair had understood the following premises:
 Iraq was a deceptive construct created in the 1920’s by Gertrude Bell [British MI-6; “Queen of the Desert”] in order to artificially unite three disparate entities – the Kurds in the north; the minority Sunnis in Baghdad; and the majority Shi’ites in Basra [where the Brits were pumping oil].
 9/11 was a Bush /Cheney/Rumsfeld ‘stand down’ a la Paul Wolfowitz, Steve Hadley, Condi; Elliot Abrams; David Addington etc.
 Paul ‘Jerry’ Bremer was a faux scholar/warrior who wrote a completely nonsensical article in the Mad Magazine or CFR’S “FOREIGN AFFAIRS” Journal—how ‘we, Americans, would accrue oil, money and wealth after our ‘successful invasion of Iraq’.
Sidebar: Bremer, an abject reject from the Office of Counter-Terrorism at the State Dept and a DEVOTED MEMBER of OPUS DEI, made certain along with his legal toddy, Walter Slocombe [a high paid DC Legal Pimp] to completely dissolved the SUNNI MILITARY ---allowing 20,000 Sunnis to form the nidus of a major ‘terrorist phenomena’ that would eventually overrun the country and overthrow the Shi’ite led Govt imposed by the ignorant US officials.
I warned my students that Generals like Tommy Frank, George Casey, Abizaid were going to lead them into defeat and mayhem. The force structure of 75,000 US soldiers was at best inadequate, at worst criminal. I also added that Wolfowitz and his Deputy Zalmay Khalizad [Afghan CIA asset] and Doug Feith were completely useless and incapable of creating a post-Saddam Hussein civilian government. Zalmay was awarded Ambassadorship to Afghanistan and became the ‘token Muslim’ in the Bush Jr administration. Wolfowitz was rewarded for his egregious incompetency with the Presidency of the World Bank, he lost that too.
That’s a thumbnail sketch of the history of counter-insurgency and American leaders willingness to fall into this Peter’s Principal of Incompetency or Murphy’s law, then have the nerve to write a stupid book about it. Take Robert Gates book, Duty (or I call it Doody), written by a guy who knows nothing about war but a lot about kowtowing to his civilian bosses and how to lie about it. After I read the book, I realized how little our CIA and DCI knows about real world issues and how these insulated, corrupt purveyors of self deception promote their idiotic analyses.
What did we really get from the Iraq and Afghanistan war?? Did we get some “war heroes”? Let’s take General David ‘all in’ Petraeus who created the “counter insurgency strategy” in his army manual FM3-24. Through an ersatz intellectual slight of hand, Petraeus applies the failed COIN to the non-existent war on terror. Amazing isn’t it? This so called intellectual bullshit goes far in the army, especially when they don’t listen to or read their own studies at RAND (created by the brilliant Curtis LeMay and my old alma mater). RAND studied 648 terrorist groups that were active from 1968 to 2006 and concluded that “policing” not military action was effective 40% of the time in deterring such activities. What use does Petraeus have for real research and facts when he can manipulate the public perception of the Iraq/Afghanistan war to promote a “surge”?? A surge in his groin is more like it when he gets honey-trapped by his CIA biographer, Paula Broadwell.
What about the self-made General Stanley McChrystal? I had met this gentleman at one of my last meetings at the CFR. He introduced himself as ‘having just run five miles from Brooklyn to Manhattan’. I was unimpressed. He deliberately lied about the cover-up of the famous Pat Tillman’s death by friendly fire. This pompous ass forgot that I had also known about his history of detainee abuse and torture at various prisons in Iraq.
I could go on about these self-created publicity hounds that call themselves generals. These guys are surrounded by cooks, body guards, PR people and travel on private jets while allowing hundreds of our men/women to die or be wounded in meaningless conflicts around the world and throughout our history. The civilian hawks are evil yes, but what gives with these military leaders that promote themselves as idols??? The story of Korea, VietNam, Iraq and Afghanistan are wrapped in a painful package of lies contrived by civilian elites and executed by their consorts, the military leadership.
The veterans that know better from their own experience need to raise up collectively and say NO to going back into Iraq. Citizens must educate themselves so they “Don’t Get Fooled Again!”. I thoroughly devoured The Operators by Michael Hastings. I read that his next target was John O. Brennan, perhaps that’s why he is RIP. An informed citizen will not be fooled nor allow their children to be sacrificed to the greedy, misguided thing we now know as government.