Democrats & Liberals Archives

Bush Bungle Lengthens the "Long War"

It’s been reported and, more recently, confirmed by former head of the CIA’s Osama bin Laden unit, that the White House squashed several Pentagon plans to hit al-Zarquari’s terrorist camp in 2002.

In the more recent story, which will be aired on ABC's Four Corners tonight, former US spy Mike Scheuer, says that in spite of providing the WH with "detailed intelligence", include "overhead imagery of the house he [al-Zarqawi] was staying in", the WH elected not to initiate an air strike against al-Zaqawi, who has since twice been sentenced to death in absentia by Jordan's state security court.

Why not? Scheuer credits Bush's restraint to sensitivity to our potential allies:


Mr Bush had Zarqawi in his sights almost every day for a year before the invasion of Iraq and he didn't shoot because they were wining and dining the French in an effort to get them to assist us in the invasion of Iraq.

MSNBC's 2004 story on the subject proposes a different theory:

Military officials insist their case for attacking Zarqawi’s operation was airtight, but the administration feared destroying the terrorist camp in Iraq could undercut its case for war against Saddam.

Whichever version you believe, the end result was the same. No attack was made until the war began, and by then, al Zarqawi was long gone. And the French? right, I think we remember that story.

This board has been fueled largely by discussion of political philosophy. I'd like to point out that simple competence is essential, regardless of whether you believe in a subtle foreign policy or a "muscular" one, free enterprise or socialism, tight or loose fiscal policy, state's rights or federal control. It doesn't matter where you (claim that you) want to go, if you have no clue how to get there.

Posted by William Cohen at May 1, 2006 12:05 PM
Comments
Comment #144541

More and more it is clear that idealogy and politics alone drive BushCo policy. Even if this article is bull, it certainly is consistent with KKKarl’ strategies.

Posted by: Dave at May 1, 2006 12:54 PM
Comment #144542

William,

I’m confused. How could there be a terrorist camp in Iraq in 2002? Don’t you remember: “There is no link between Iraq and al Quada! Bush lied! Bush lied!”

Posted by: JimmyRay at May 1, 2006 12:56 PM
Comment #144544

William

Pre-invasion,al Zarqawi was a non-factor.

In the pecking order at that time (2002)OBL and Saddam were the targets.

It wasn’t until later,that this bum became a rock star.

Back then ,OBL and Saddam were the stars and this guy was a warm-up act at best.

Posted by: sicilianeagle at May 1, 2006 12:58 PM
Comment #144553

Good article, William. I remember seeing that here on WatchBlog in 2004 and wondering how Nick Berg’s family felt about it.

We’ll probably never know why President Bush didn’t lob a cruise missile at Zarqawi — certainly Clinton would have, he was famous for that — but I gotta go with the MSNBC version. President Bush had to pretend that Zarqawi’s base in Kurdish-controlled northern Iraq was some kind of link with Saddam.

Posted by: American Pundit at May 1, 2006 1:13 PM
Comment #144554

The story does not add up. First, the ‘terrorist training camp’ was in a remote region of Iraqi Kurdistan, beyond the reach of US- allied Kurds and beyond the reach of Saddam Hussein.

Second, Al-Zarqawi was relatively unknown before the invasion of Iraq, certainly not worth a major air strike.

Third, why on earth would the US be taking pictures of a chemical weapons production facility. Powell showed picutres of this in his presentation to the UN. It didn’t make sense then, and it doesn’t make sense now.

If we know, for a fact, the location of such a facility, I expect to see a smoking hole where it used to be.

It’s a strange story, William, but like I say and as others note, something here just doesn’t add up.

Posted by: phx8 at May 1, 2006 1:17 PM
Comment #144559

Jimmy - “I’m confused. How could there be a terrorist camp in Iraq in 2002? Don’t you remember: “There is no link between Iraq and al Quada! Bush lied! Bush lied!””

The camp was in Kurdistan, outside of Saddam’s control (according to the MSNBC article).

sicilianeagle - “Pre-invasion, al Zarqawi was a non-factor.”

He was hardly a non-factor. From the article, “In June 2002, U.S. officials say intelligence had revealed that Zarqawi and members of al-Qaida had set up a weapons lab at Kirma, in northern Iraq, producing deadly ricin and cyanide…Four months later, intelligence showed Zarqawi was planning to use ricin in terrorist attacks in Europe…In January 2003, the threat turned real. Police in London arrested six terror suspects and discovered a ricin lab connected to the camp in Iraq…”

saying - “Do you idiot’s have a soul?” You shouldn’t use the apostrophe for plurals.

phx8 - “It didn’t make sense then, and it doesn’t make sense now….If we know, for a fact, the location of such a facility, I expect to see a smoking hole where it used to be.”

If Bush were competently prosecuting a vigorous war on terrorism, I’d expect the same smoking hole.

If Bush was so distracted with invading Iraq that he screwed up every other front on the war on terror - al-Z, OBL, port security, etc - then I’d expect…well…denials and excuses from Bush, and more of the same, plus attacks on me, for even posting this message.

Posted by: William Cohen at May 1, 2006 1:52 PM
Comment #144562

We need to dispel the myth that Bush is ‘macho,’ he’s a panty-waist hiding behind Secret Service men who are paid to die for the Imposter in Chief.

Posted by: Peter at May 1, 2006 2:01 PM
Comment #144570

William

I will stipulate to that but back then if you had a choice to rank them,this guy would be a deep third..and that’s my point.

Today he is number 1,but 4 years ago,he wasn’t.

By the way,apologies to you for the guy who called you anti-American.

Truth be told,you are as American as I,we disagree,that’s all.

Critique the message,not the messanger

Posted by: sicilianeagle at May 1, 2006 2:11 PM
Comment #144571

Gee, it’s starting to make sense how Bush missed OBL isn’t it?

Posted by: Max at May 1, 2006 2:16 PM
Comment #144573

I have to agree with previous posts that the left can’t have it both ways. I occasionally troll these blogs as well as listen to Air American to get a feel for the opposing position on current issues. The recurring theme is that there were no WMD’s and Bush lied. In this thread however the existence of a chemical weapons plant is used to support the position that Bush should have taken out Al-Zarqawi in 2002. It is also frequently stated that Bush doesn’t work enough with foreign governments. Sheuer, the source for the chemical plant story, gives Bush’s attempts to get French help as a reason not to launch an attach. Yet, a different view is proposed and accepted and Bush is blasted again. It just appears to me that the left, in general, is more focused on bashing Bush no matter what he does than having a position and sticking with it.

Posted by: Rick at May 1, 2006 2:25 PM
Comment #144582

Dave,
I’d rather have a president driven by ideology and politics than a hard dick and the poll du jour. It shows which head he does his thinking with.

Peter,
That applies to all presidents since Lincoln, but especially since Kennedy.

Clinton and Bush are both to be blamed for blowing it. They both failed to do their primary duty, which is to protect the country from foreign enemies.

Posted by: traveller at May 1, 2006 2:57 PM
Comment #144584

“It just appears to me that the left, in general, is more focused on bashing Bush no matter what he does than having a position and sticking with it”

I’m sure that’s the way things appear to you - and since you are conservative, I’m not surprised by this. What I don’t get is the insistance from the right that this somehow justifies everything that Bush has done wrong. “You guys hate Bush” does nothing to prove us wrong. Maybe you can add links to information that dissproves what’s being discussed… or maybe you can ask and see if what “appears to you” is truely the way things are…

As to your issue with “all we want to do is bash Bush” - I simply say that we have not seen s single thing that Bush has not screwed up. Can you list a single thing that Bush has done correctly? What single moment from the past can you offer up to refute our critism?

Posted by: tony at May 1, 2006 3:08 PM
Comment #144586

“I’d rather have a president driven by ideology and politics than a hard dick and the poll du jour. It shows which head he does his thinking with.”

And this somehow makes Bush a better President? I’ll agree that Clinton was a bubba for his actions, but this somehow justifies Bush’s actions?

And you’re saying that you honestly beleive that Bush is not concerned about polls? He’s a politician… kind of like saying that you admire a diver because he’s more about the adventure than watching his air supply.

Posted by: tony at May 1, 2006 3:18 PM
Comment #144587

Rick - “The recurring theme is that there were no WMD’s and Bush lied. In this thread however the existence of a chemical weapons plant is used to support the position that Bush should have taken out Al-Zarqawi in 2002.”

Rick, there’s no conflict between al-Zarqawi having a chemical weapons plant in 2002, and saying that Saddam had no WMDs - as was noted several places above, al-Z was in northern Iraq, outside Saddam’s control.

“It is also frequently stated that Bush doesn’t work enough with foreign governments. Sheuer, the source for the chemical plant story, gives Bush’s attempts to get French help as a reason not to launch an attach.”

An explanation I find improbable in the extreme.

“It just appears to me that the left, in general, is more focused on bashing Bush no matter what he does than having a position and sticking with it.”

It appears to me that the right, in general, is more focused on defending Bush no matter what he does than having a position and sticking with it. If you Reds really cared about a “muscular” foreign policy and vigorous defense of national security, you’d be all over this story like white on rice. As it is, I hear agreement from the left, and just the generic catchall responses from the right: it’s anti-american, it’s Bush-bashing, the story doesn’t make sense and so I don’t believe it.

More seriously, a common debate tactic is to reduce two decisions to a single dimension, and then say, aha! “you lefties want Bush to hit al-Zarqawi, and not hit Iraq, that’s inconsistent!” when in fact every decision is much more complex, and involves many factors. What I really care about is decision-making that gets good results, rather than decision-making that sticks consistently (or indeed, extremely) to the dictates of one particular ideology.

Yes, I’d like Bush to work more with other countries - but that doesn’t mean I want him to placate the French by avoiding a relatively low-cost hit on a high-value target, especially if placating them is completely unsuccessful in the end.

Likewise the war. I supported the invasion of Afghanistan, but not the invasion of Iraq. We’ll never really know if Saddam had WMDs, but it seems highly unlikely that they were a threat. And we do know that the invasion completely failed in the goal of locating WMDs and taking them out of the hands of terrorists and/or unfriendly governments, so it that sense it was another example of horrible decision-making.

Posted by: William Cohen at May 1, 2006 3:24 PM
Comment #144590

saying, you call other visitors here names like idiots again, and you will lose your comment privileges on this site. Critique the Message, Not the Messengers. This will be your only warning.

Posted by: WatchBlog Managing Editor at May 1, 2006 3:34 PM
Comment #144596

Why can’t the Republicans admit to the root cause of most of their problems. Dick Cheney. The party of weakness doesn’t have the guts to look one of their own in the eye and tell him he needs to go because he is never right about anything.

Posted by: Schwamp at May 1, 2006 4:02 PM
Comment #144602

tony,
I didn’t say it makes him a better president. Someone driven by ideology at least believes in something. People who believe in nothing will fall for anything. I would rather have a president with a belief system I disagree with than one who can’t think past the whore that’s going to give him his next blowjob.
Clinton isn’t a “bubba”. That’s a southern colloquialism for “brother”. Adulterers like him are what we call white trash.
Did you read my last paragraph? I said that Clinton and Bush both failed to do their primary duty. I think they’re both lousy presidents.
As a scuba diver I like your analogy. I think it fits both of those turds.

Posted by: traveller at May 1, 2006 4:16 PM
Comment #144603

that was supposed to be “good intern”

Posted by: Dave at May 1, 2006 4:17 PM
Comment #144604

Dave,
If Slick Willie ever had a critical thought, Monica swallowed it.

Posted by: traveller at May 1, 2006 4:22 PM
Comment #144608

traveller -

Sorry if I missed you previous point, but it still seems like you are saying that Bush is a better President than Clinton. I would disagree with that, but I would say that neither of them hold much in the way of achievement. Shouldn’t that be the measure of our leaders?

The main issue with all this is that I feel our political leaders take us (via party-line support) for granted. I think it’s high time we gave them a rude wake up call. Early retirement for most (if not all) incumbents followed by a very nervous freshman class of new representatives.

I would feel so much better for having a representative for one term who did what they felt served us all best than our current crop - those who do what it takes to get re-elected and then serving a very select few of the benefactors.

Posted by: tony at May 1, 2006 4:48 PM
Comment #144609

“If Slick Willie ever had a critical thought, Monica swallowed it.”

It was simple foreplay to what Bush is currently doing to all of us.

Posted by: tony at May 1, 2006 4:49 PM
Comment #144614
How do you look your children in the eye. [?]

It’s a lot easier to do when there’s not a Body Bag in the way…

Posted by: Betty Burke at May 1, 2006 5:13 PM
Comment #144618

tony,
Dave was criticizing Bush for being ideologically driven. I don’t think that’s true. I think Bush, like Clinton, does what he’s told. I was arguing that a leader with an ideology (a belief system) is better than the alternative.
I don’t think achievement per se should be the measure of our leaders. After all, Bush is accomplishing a lot, nearly all of it bad. He’s building on the structure that Clinton in his turn built on to move us ever closer to world government. (remember, Clinton said his greatest influence was Carrol Quigley) Quigley’s blueprint has been followed since Kennedy.
Other than that point, I agree with you.

Posted by: traveller at May 1, 2006 5:28 PM
Comment #144627

traveller -

i think I see your point better now. I too have mojor issues with Clinton. Things like NAFTA and GAT - he actually allowed international aid to be limited to countries who limited abortion/limited their options to mothers…

Posted by: tony at May 1, 2006 6:21 PM
Comment #144633

The Bush administration is purposely not trying to capture Osama Bin Laden!

It is better for this administration to keep people afraid by allowing the “boogy man” to roam free, while they systematically destroy our country. Wouldn’t many of the simple minded folks out there think that “War on Terror” would be over as soon as OBL is captured? And wouldn’t they then not want to hear about any more war? Well Bush and the Military Industrial Complex can’t let that happen, this war is supposed to last at least 50 years, until the Cold War between Earth and the planet Melmac starts.

Posted by: bushflipflops at May 1, 2006 6:32 PM
Comment #144640

JimmyRay,

Gotta give you credit for the try…

but it’s already commn knowledge that AFTER Afghanistan, and before Iraq, bin Laden sent Zarqawi into Iraq because they knew Iraq was next and they wanted to create a terrorist-campt strategy there. It still doesn’t change the fact that bin Laden actually called for Sadaam’s death at one point because bin Laden is about supporting Islamist regimes and Sadaam was about being a non-secular tyrant.

RGF

Posted by: RGF at May 1, 2006 6:59 PM
Comment #144669

You’ve got your eyes on the prize
And your hawkish guys telling you what to say, hey
You think we’re stupid
But the truth is, its you kid, baby
The power craze and war made you that way

So before you push the button
Don’t waste the world for nuttin’, oh yeah
You need to know this situations getting old
And now the more you talk, the less I can take

We’re looking for leader,
Not a parking meter
Should you stay I think you should go
And you don’t have the answers
We’re still standing here
Hey, hey, hey, hey
Just pull out (just pull out, just pull out)

I’m tired if you sendin’ kids right from school
So tell me, how come so many died
They gave you everything and never asked for anything
And look at them, their parents cried
So before you start defending, baby
Stop all your pretending

I know you know I know
So what’s the point in being slow
Let’s get this show on the road today, hey

We’re looking for leader
Not another bleader
Should we stay, I think we should go
And you don’t have the answers
Why are we still over there
Hey, hey, hey, hey
Just pull out (just pull out, just pull out)

I want peace, I want love
To read truth, the end of
I want diplomacy on our side
Not fear and hate running our lives
Are you gonna fight for that?
Die for that?
Live and breathe for that?
Do you care for that?
Cause if you don’t then just leave

We’re looking for leader
Not another weener
Should you stay I think you should go
Cause you don’t have the answers
Why are we still over there
Hey, hey, hey, hey
Just pull out

If you don’t have the answer
Just pull out
Just leave
pull out, pull out

— Kelly Clarkson Morphed


Posted by: Morpher at May 1, 2006 9:27 PM
Comment #144670


———
Early one evenin’ the moon was shinin’,
I was drivin’ drinkin from my cup
Wond’rin if we’d changed at all
Or if were gonna blow each other up
———
Here folks are sain’ the war is worse now
And it sure was gonna be rough
They never did like the original plan
Rumsfield’s budget wasn’t big enough
———
And we were all standin’ on the side of the fence
Rain fallin’ on our nose
Heading for the Eve of D,
Lord knows we’ve paid much more and what for?
Tangled up in war
———
We liberated them from Saddam,
Let nature take its course
We helped them out of a jam, I guess,
But we used a little too much force
———
We chaised the terrorist as far as we could
Lots of help from the east and west
Split up when we started the fight
All agreeing it was for the best
———
Our children turn around to look at us
They see right through the snow
Its all a bunch of paranoia,
We really don’t know, what’s in store,
Tangled up in war
———
We learned about the tortured ones
Surely all weren’t terrororist?
Soldiers, dads and sons,
Not our country at its best
———
So why aren’t we working to stop this thing?
We all should be so employed
We’ve gotta stop this from escalatin’
future wars we can avoid
———
Generals read your history
The past is close behind
There is nothing gained from torturing
Don’t let it escape your mind, and I deplore
being tangled up war
———

He is workin’ in a ugly place
And his order’s weren’t all that clear
he shot a little girl in the face
spooked by a sudden noise in fear
———
And later on the crowd found out
And chaised him down the street
She was standing there as a ghost
crying “stop” as the mob they beat
———
He stood with her on his last breath
She forgave him for his mistake,
They drifted off, hand in hand I guess,
Funny how the good the angles take, looking for,
those tangled up in war

And now Iran wants to make a big noise
they too want nuclear power
Peace used to be all the rage,
Now its mushrooms not the flower
———
Then I listened to a song from the sixties
played it on my CD
it was written by Bob Dylan
In the twentieth century
———
And every one of his words rang true
it was good ole rock and roll
He was only tangled up in blue
But it was written in our soul, brace yourself for
being tangled up in war

A saw the moview “V for Vendetta”
In a basement down the stairs
Dominoes as a non-violent way to fight
And revolution in the air
———
Its not about blowing things up
To try to make a change
Its about the balancing of justice
Even though it seems kinda strange
———
And when the final news gets out
And we become withdrawn
The only thing I knew how to do
Is to keep on searching for the answer for,
being tangled up in war

So now Im goin to try again
I got to help make it right somehow
All the people we want to know
Its an illusion to them now
———
Some are mathematicians
Some are politicans wives
Don’t know how it all got started
I don’t know what they do with their lives
———
But me, I’m still in my brain
Hopin’ for a better day
We always did feel the same
I know that I won’t hold still for,
being tangled up in war

— Bob Dylan Morph “a Tangled Tribute”


Posted by: Morpher at May 1, 2006 9:30 PM
Comment #144676


Must stop addicted to the warzone
Can’t top destruction of the ozone
Choose not a life of violent action
Pick Love and human preservation
Dictators come in many flavors
Those punks don’t do us any favors
In time we might finally realize
That karma really does rule our lives
And peace and love is such a good tune
Don’t die you know the truth is due soon
Stop wars even from your basement
Weather the storms even if they charge rent
Don’t watch the show rather be in it
Go with the flow even if you just sit
I ask but don’t have any answers
Work on important things like cancer

[Chorus:]
The world we love
The tears we drop
To those that died
The war must stop
Ever wonder if it’s all on you
The world we love
The bombs we drop
To those that cried
The war must stop
Come and tell me when it’s time to

Sweetheart is bleeding in foxhole
You leader takes another strawpole
Music the great communicator
Use your sence to figure out the hater
They’ll get you drafted at the station
The youth another generation
The war involves another nation
Worth your weight in gold or medication
This chapter’s going to be a close one
This choice I know your going to make one
Or take a spaceship and start fleeing
But where to go where humans are just being
Can’t make the spirits really like you
Unless your nice to those who hate you
The butterfly in chaos theory
change the conditions that make you weary

[Repeat Chorus]

Wait a minute we’re fading out
Win or lose just like fools
Far more important
Than anything we ever do
How about you
10 more reasons
Why we need somebody new just like you
Far more important than anything we ever do
Get a clue

Must stop addiction to the killing
The meak will win if they are willing
Choose not a life of consternation
Distant cousin to evil libation
Use your conscience if you think you have one
Weapons of fear and mass destruction
Loose them all, make it your labor
Dominate yourself and not your neighbor
Control your anger and your sand dune
The truth you need is very near and due soon
Go write this message on the top
Stop war now, must stop, must stop

Press start on the golden ruling
Do unto others was not just for fooling
Can’t stop the gods from engineering
They feel no need for any interfering
Your image in the book of living
This life is more than just for fighting
Can I get 2 maybe even 3 of these
Come from space
To teach you of the pliedes
Can’t stop the spirits when they need you
This life is more than just a read thru

— Morph Hot Chili Peppers

Posted by: Morpher at May 1, 2006 9:44 PM
Comment #144721

“More anti-america bull shit from the left.” right:

1.Downing Street Memos Proved Accurate

2.President Bush has quietly claimed the authority to disobey more than 750 laws enacted since he took office, asserting that he has the power to set aside any statute passed by Congress when it conflicts with his interpretation of the Constitution.

3.ABC: Homeland Inspector General says he was pressured to ‘tone down’ criticism of Bush before election

Clark Kent Ervin says he was confronted personally by then Secretary Tom Ridge “to intimidate me, to stare me down, to force me to back off, to not look into these areas that would be controversial, not to issue critical reports.”

“Do you idiot’s have a soul?Do you care about any thing other than helping the enemies of the united states of america?How do you look your children in the eye.You are a disgrace to the human race!”

What’s the deal here, Editor? Why does this not call for instantaneous banning from this blog? This has got to be the third or fourth time “saying” has gotten away with this sort of over-the-top flamebaiting.
Honestly, I don’t believe that anyone on the left could ever get away with this type of horseshit and still be allowed to keep posting.

Posted by: Adrienne at May 2, 2006 12:40 AM
Comment #144724

One more to add to the list:
4.Valerie Plame worked on Iran: Cover blown when she was outed

INTELLIGENCE SOURCES SAY VALERIE WILSON WAS PART OF AN OPERATION THREE YEARS AGO TRACKING THE PROLIFERATION OF NUCLEAR WEAPONS MATERIAL INTO IRAN. AND THE SOURCES ALLEGE THAT WHEN MRS. WILSON’S COVER WAS BLOWN, THE ADMINISTRATION’S ABILITY TO TRACK IRAN’S NUCLEAR AMBITIONS WAS DAMAGED AS WELL.”
Posted by: Adrienne at May 2, 2006 12:42 AM
Comment #144731

Adrienne,

You’re brutal! Keep up the good work.

KansasDem

Posted by: KansasDem at May 2, 2006 2:00 AM
Comment #144811

idiot -A person of profound mental retardation having a mental age below 3 years and generally being unable to learn connected speech or gaurd against common dangers.Sound familar any one?

Posted by: mystified at May 2, 2006 1:04 PM
Comment #144815

“Adrienne,

You’re brutal! Keep up the good work.”

Thanks KansasDem, I’ll certainly try. And if I may return the compliment: IMO your intelligent and sometimes sharply-pointed posts add a great deal to this blog!

Posted by: Adrienne at May 2, 2006 1:29 PM
Comment #144828

mystified,

say what?

Posted by: Dave at May 2, 2006 2:21 PM
Comment #144837

Do Not Feed The Trolls

Posted by: tony at May 2, 2006 2:54 PM
Comment #144865

Adrienne: you beat me to the punch! Here was I just looking for a place to put the latest on the Treason involving Valerie Plame-Wilson, and you not only were the Fustest, but you had the Mostest covered as well! Kudos to you on your WatchBlog Scoop! (I almost came out to my computer last night in the middle of Hardball to search for Shuster’s source and post it - but then I thought, “Nahhh… Adrienne’ll cover it; why expend the energy now that I’m settled?”)

;o)

As for “saying,” I must differ with you in calling for his Removal: not only does it go against my natural support for Utterly Free Speech, but in addition, every time he opens his “Mind” to spew out more Ignorant Shite, it helps to prove my point about Conservatives and Conservatism. I say, let him continue to stand as a Perfect Example of the chest-pounding gorillas created in the Conservative Monkeymass by those who have declared war on Public Education in this country.

Posted by: Betty Burke at May 2, 2006 4:15 PM
Comment #144890

Not to worry Betty. “saying” (who also happens to be “mystified”) just got himself banned in the “Three Stories” thread in this blog. But new trolls are certain to appear, or old ones may return with new ISP’s and another bunch of blog monikers, so Perfect Examples of the sort you’re describing are sure to raise their heads at some later date.

Posted by: Adrienne at May 2, 2006 5:10 PM
Comment #145246

Thank you Timmy!

Why don’t you Join In and give/take some Lumps?

`Always room for more in the giant Yeast Vat that is WatchBlog!

Posted by: Betty Burke at May 3, 2006 11:25 PM
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