They aren't stupid people. I'm talking about Cheney, Rumsfeld, Perle, Wolfowitz and the rest of the neo-con shills who worked so diligently, even before 9/11, to get this country into another war with Iraq and topple Saddam Hussein. Evil, lying, greedy, ruthless, soulless, etc.? Yes. Stupid? No. They aren't sort term thinkers, either.
When the Soviet Union fell apart, the military industrial complex and its enablers were caught off guard. The USSR had been a large, powerful and credible opponent, clearly an international rival and a useful enemy whose mere existence guaranteed giant sized military expenditures. The transformation of Russia and emergence of independent Baltic and Balkan states threatened to slow down the MIC's financial gravy train.
Clearly the USA MIC required a new, powerful, credible enemy. That enemy wasn't really Iraq. Having supported Iraq in its vicious stalemate of a war with Iran, having fought against Baghdad in Bush 41's war, and in running a continuous no fly operation in Iraqi airspace, our side knew how weak Saddam's forces really were.
Iraq was just a sideshow, a preliminary bout. The people who fomented the Iraq war were willing, perhaps even intent upon using the mission to empower Iran. No other outcome to their plans could occur, save being defeated by Saddam, a virtual impossibility.
Geopolitical speaking, Saddam could barely control his Shia majority. Ahmad Chalibi, the neo-con's first choice to replace Saddam was well known to be an Iranian tool. Many of us on the anti-war side recognized that a Shia majority would take control after and Iraq war and strengthen Iran's influence and power. It is an added bonus that Iran insists that it has as much right to enrich uranium as any other independent state in the World. It enables the neo-cons to dust off their mushroom cloud talking point.
But even without that we would hear the same voices and the same special interests trying to foment war with Iran. The MIC needs that kind of active enemy to paint a sheen of reality and logic onto the illusion that the USA needs to maintain military forces for the purpose of foreign interventions.
The bloated and mostly useless American military-industrial complex is the largest area of waste in our national budget. What America needs for defense is a large enough Navy to keep the seas open to American commerce and enough ground and air forces to defend our territorial interests. Anything more than that is merely the least efficient kind of welfare in the federal budget and a drain on our ability to better serve domestic interests and needs.
I fought in the Cold War. I know how phony it was to treat the USSR as we did after WWII. Iran's empowerment and emplacement, as America's No. 1 bogeyman on the World stage, smells and looks just as phony to me. Cruel, dishonest and ruthless leaders intentionally, it seems to me, took America into a terrifically expensive mission knowing full well that it would inflate the status of Iran as the MIC's next target to continue to justify an interventionist defense budget.
It's time to put America on a defense, defense budget. It is the future anyway, so we might as well start now.