Scott Horton Interviews Peter Van Buren

Scott Horton, June 11, 2011

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Peter Van Buren, former State Department Foreign Service Officer in Iraq, discusses his tomdispatch article “How Not to Withdraw from Iraq;” failing to win hearts and minds in Iraq, despite good intentions; how goodwill infrastructure projects like building schools and drinking water facilities were squandered in a money pit of graft and fraud; Hillary Clinton’s chance to play commander in chief of her own State Department mercenary army; and the two very different tiers of mercenaries (low-paid cannon fodder from Uganda and Peru, and high-paid bullies from America, Britain and S. Africa).

MP3 here. (21:42)

Peter Van Buren spent a year in Iraq as a State Department Foreign Service Officer serving as Team Leader for two Provincial Reconstruction Teams (PRTs). Now in Washington, he writes about Iraq and the Middle East at his blog, We Meant Well. His book, We Meant Well: How I Helped Lose the Battle for the Hearts and Minds of the Iraqi People, will be published this September.

14 Responses to “Peter Van Buren”

  1. There may be a lot of people with good intentions involved in this Iraq venture, but they are being deceived by the people running the show. Let's get real – the people who lied us into the Iraq war weren't doing it out of their zeal to uplift the Iraqi masses. The did it for oil, Israel, Wall Street and short term profits.

  2. Boy, was this guy naive. They're among the worst.

  3. Well I don't quite believe it either. Sure some people were naive and perhaps even well-intentioned – although I think American vanity good intentions, not pure good intentions, but the people who rigged this game knew what they were doing, knew they were lying and used all kinds of dirty tricks to get the job done. Americans are naive that is true, but it's the naivete of the powerful. The reason the naivete is there is because that same naivete has always, up to now, benefited the American economy. It goes like this: We treat our own people well but we steal and rape all the poor nations of the world and the reverse was true for them. They lived under dictatorship and squalor in order to benefit American and European business. We never ever created prosperity for anybody else except American workers and now today American workers are finding that they too will be tossed under the Empire so that the richest people/corporations can reap all wealth and all power.

  4. Roger L I would have commented but you bhit the nail on the head.Wish most Americans though good would not be so easly lied to.With all the known lies and evidence including admiting the lies not all but the ones the can get away with.American are being almost party reasponsible for letting there government do the evil being done.If there were LARGE protests like a hundred million Americans the government would have to listen.So much for not commenting could not help it.

  5. Blood for nothing? Nothing for America alright but lost blood, treasure and credibility. But like Netanyahu said about 9/11, it certainly was "very good" for Israel. Check out "Who's to Blame for the Iraq War? A Not-So-Trivial Quiz." for the names of some of the main culprits…

  6. "Vanity of vanity, all is vanity." That certainly applies to excuses for US wars.

  7. Let us not forget Bush's weekly briefing for various Religious Right preachers, about how whatever nonsense he was doing fit in with Prophecy and the Rapture and the End of Days.

  8. And let us also not forget the source of that Rapture nonsense…

  9. Amen to that. Support for Israel is the source of all our problems in the Middle East.

  10. [...] from Peter Van Buren’s blog We Meant Well (listen to his interview with Scott Horton on Antiwar Radio), we have this graph of violence in Iraq over the last six [...]

  11. Thanks. If you try to tell Israelis or Palestinians aboutDispensationalism, they refuse to believe anyone could go for suchnonsense, let alone 10s of millions of Americans.

  12. [...] Buren, who has been featured here on and on Antiwar Radio, has written an explosive book about his time on a provincial reconstruction team (PRT) in Iraq. It [...]

  13. [...] Vlahos ( Blog) observes: Van Buren, who has been featured here on and on Antiwar Radio, has written an explosive book about his time on a provincial reconstruction team (PRT) in Iraq. It [...]

  14. [...] B. Vlahos ( Blog) observes: Van Buren, who has been featured here on and on Antiwar Radio, has written an explosive book about his time on a provincial reconstruction team (PRT) in Iraq. It [...]

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