Empire is a funny thing. Of course, no one we colonize is laughing. Killing in the name of [fill in the blank].
But some of us (outside the gun and bomb wielding military) can at least say, as State Dept. employee Peter Van Buren does in the title of his new book, "We Meant Well: How I Helped Lose the Battle for the Hearts and Minds of the Iraqi People."
Bush lied to invade Iraq then claimed no link to 9/11.
Efforts in our name go from from to preposterous to sinister. Our efforts to make up for illegally targeting civilians and bombing an independent nation back into the Stone Age could not be remedied by bureaucrats. "Nation building" on the ground was contradicted by our illegal occupying force.
(WeMeantWell) We Meant Well author Peter Van Buren discusses life in Iraq as a State Department Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) leader and his time at FOB Hammer, stationed alongside Bradley Manning.
Our government was (is) there to systematically steal oil and exert undue influence on the geo-political Middle East. And other than crippling debt, what do we have show for it? Many American citizens actually believe the propaganda that we were there to "help" Iraqis suffering under an out of control dictator we installed, armed, and betrayed. No wonder everyone there and most people here say, It's time to get out! Enough damage has already been done!
Of course, we were always there for other reasons. And we will be staying for a long time, even if we "officially" withdraw. Our bases, clandestine agents, and newly installed dictators are not leaving anytime soon.
- Peter Van Buren: "Freedom isn't free at the State Dept."
- AUDIO: The greedy battle for Iraq's hearts and minds (NPR)
One morning earlier this month, a man named Peter Van Buren was seated inside a drab, windowless interrogation room at the State Department and grilled for an hour and a half by agents from the Bureau of Diplomatic Security, the department's internal enforcers. The agents told Van Buren [author of We Meant Well] that he was under investigation for exposing classified government data... "Name names!" the agents demanded.