GWB and Iraqi WMDs

Well, it turns out that after all, GWB was correct about Iraq having WMDs. They were simply shipped out to Syria or buried deep in the desert by Saddam’s men when it became clear to them that the Americans were coming. Clever little fellow, managing to embarrass the U.S just as he had planned. Nightline, on February 15, 2006, in a surprising show of honest reporting for a MSM outlet, detailed the contents of a meeting between HUSSEIN KAMEL, Saddam’s son-in-law, who later escaped Iraq, and was eventually wooed back and killed.

These conversations, on authenticated tapes, were a part of the treasure trove that the coalition forces retrieved from Iraq. So far only a fraction of the material sucked up has been translated and studied. There is an enormous amount of material yet to be analyzed. Much has been rushed because of the impending Saddam trial.

I predict GWB will be proven right on WMDs. But they may be buried in Syria, not in Iraq. Keep your ears and eyes open for more revelations from the treasure trove.

I also predict it will not take the Left too long to discover another issue to needle GWB.

And that, my friends, is the state of this Onion. May God bless America. It needs some divine intervention.

Click on a link below for more information

ABC News

Iowa Voice

Posted by Krishan Kumra at February 17, 2006 4:12 AM
Comments
Comment #126271

Krishan, some of the facts are OK, but, you seem to be missing a crucial one. The fact that Saddam got rid of them around 1998.

As I have been saying since before the invasion, Saddam may have been a heinous leader, but, he did not get to stay in power as long as he did and as vile a dictator as he was without knowing how to cover his ass and guard his 6’Clock.

With the inspections came the risk of invasion should his WMD be detected. Hussein would not have left the WMD in his country to be found and used as a premise for his being invaded and deposed. There is nothing new here in saying he had them at one time. That has never been disputed.

What was in dispute, is whether he had them in 2002 and beyond constituting an imminent threat. And the facts still demonstrate that he was not. He had no WMD, he did what some CIA analysts predicted he would do when inspections began, get rid of them. His entire history as a person has been one of protecting himself and his power. Keeping WMD around when inspections were taking place is NOT something a person like him would have done.

But, even if he had kept them, which was illogical, he had no intercontinental ballistic missiles to deliver them to the U.S., therefore, Hussein never was a risk to the U.S. homeland. His missile capability barely made him a risk to Israel. And that was known and published before the invasion.

So, you have provided nothing new here. In fact, your argument is very illogical. On the one hand you put forth facts that Hussein had no WMD when we invaded and then turn around and imply that fact vindicates Pres. Bush’s invasion. Quite illogical.

Posted by: David R. Remer at February 17, 2006 4:38 AM
Comment #126279

Hi David, glad to see you are a night owl too.

I concede your informational points entirely. The issue I am taking is that even though GWB painted himself in a corner with this issue with the attacks from the Left, Saddam still believed he had access and control to the WMDs by putting them deep underground or in friendly hands. So, in eventual history, GWB will still look good when all the facts come out. There were, however, many other valid reasons for a regime change. Look, we on the Right, are trying to calm the debate on WMDs and move on to the consequences of the war, justified or not. It happened and we have to deal with it. I have said myself before that we attacked the wrong country, with the wrong weapons, bombs versus psy-ops, and in any case six months or more too early.

I did not say there were no WMDs in Iraq; just we haven’t found the cache yet. But there is no question: Saddam did not put all his marbles in one place, just as he tried to help Libya become a nuclear state. Let the transcripts roll.

Posted by: Krishan Kumra at February 17, 2006 5:06 AM
Comment #126281

I have to agree with David on the one part of Saddam maybe not having them or having gotten rid of them. The tapes said that at the time (1995), they did have WMDs and they were in violation of the UN Resolutions.

However, they may have disposed of them as David said, or they could have hidden them, as Krishan said. Either way, Saddam still retained the information, the skills, and the infrastructure to resume these projects if he wished.

The pattern having been shown (that Iraq and Saddam were liars, have used WMDs in the past, etc.) was grounds for action.

If 9/11 taught us anything, it’s that we can’t simply sit back and ignore the threat a nation or group poses to this country. Iraq was a threat, and it was far better to deal with them now, when they were weak, than to wait until he had built WMDs.

Posted by: Brian at February 17, 2006 5:07 AM
Comment #126286

David

Saddam gave the ILLUSION,based on his fear of keeping Iran and his people at bay I think,that he still had WMD.

His actions in refusing UN inspectors access to sites and kicking them out led to foreign intelligence services to conclude that he did in fact have them.

He attempeted to be a magician but failed,and as I have said here many times,had the president done nothing in light of the above would have been criminally negligent.

That’s where we part company..in the president’s decision to pre-emptively eliminate the threat.

You disagree with his view,I don’t.

Posted by: Siclianeagle at February 17, 2006 5:58 AM
Comment #126293

I bet there is alot of hand wringing in Syria right now.

Posted by: goodkingned at February 17, 2006 6:39 AM
Comment #126303

Do not forget about Jay Rockefeller “tipping off” Syria about our invasion of Iraq. Can anyone say TREASON?

Posted by: nikkolai at February 17, 2006 7:51 AM
Comment #126304

I have never doubted that eventually some where some how WMD’s will be found. The problem in part however, was that the world intelligence community was addicted to the weapons inspectors. Unfortunately, they did not have their boots on the ground so that such things could be tracked. Would anybody be surprised if the weapons were found in a neighboring country. Not just Syria. It may be farfetched given the prior history, but what about Iran as place as well. They have quickly come upon the world stage as to WMD’s. If the weapons are in either country we will need personel in the field so to speak to find them. Fancy satellites will not do the trick. Thank the D’s for all those cuts in the intelligence community over the years. A penny wise and a pound foolish.

Posted by: Bud at February 17, 2006 8:00 AM
Comment #126306

Has anyone read the book that one of Saddam’s former air force generals wrote? Sada I think? I heard a couple of interviews with him. He said definately that the weapons were shipped to Syria when invasion became imminent. The actual year I can’t remember, but I assumed it was after ‘98.

Posted by: Doherty at February 17, 2006 8:07 AM
Comment #126308

This is only a problem for us liberals if you think our argument is that Saddam complied, that he didn’t break any UNSC resolutions.

That’s not our argument.

Your argument is that you are right about there being buried WMDs now and that they were shipped to Syria before the war.

That argument is not proven by any of the premises here. You want it to be proved, but these are decade old tapes, and as any SIGINT professional will tell you, such material is only good for a limited time. Saddam is neither bound to stick to what was discussed, nor are the facts bound to remain as they were at that point.

Additionally, Charles Duelfer, following up on the Syria claim a year or two ago found no evidence whatsoever of a transfer, and little has come up in contradiction of that.

We also have to take into account the results of Desert Fox, with Clinton bombing suspected sites and facilities. From what I’ve heard, contrary to the Administration propaganda, that attack was actually quite effective.

Finally, we have to recall that the arguments for going into this war weren’t about buried weapons elsewhere, but an ongoing, fully operational program, including the development of a nuclear weapon. What we found was nothing like that.

What this is, ultimately, is an attempt by the right to throw off one of the most persistent failures they’ve had. Unfortunately for them, this will only work if people are ignorant of the facts. We haven’t found anything yet, and its doubtful we will find any post-Gulf War WMD buried out there.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 17, 2006 8:10 AM
Comment #126318

Brian and Sic. Eagle, invasion was the wrong choice because of two facts. We had Iraq in check, boxed in, unable to do very much to anyone outside his own borders. That is fact one. Fact two is, the cost of invasion exacted a toll on American lives and dollars far, far, far in excess of what would have been spent just keeping Hussein boxed in to this day. Not to mention the incredible damage done to America’s image in the world.

So, no, there is no rational defense of the invasion based on the facts. It was a mistake then, and it is a monumental mistake now in hindsight in terms of weighing non-invasion alternatives to the course we took. Polls show the majority of Americans are in agreement on this.

It is also a fact that there was a large number of folks who opposed the invasion prior to it for many of the reasons now proven, so, it is not like it took hindsight to see it clearly. There were plenty of folks who saw the situation clearly prior to invasion.

But, Washington politicians didn’t want to hear it. If they were Democrat they were intent on proving they weren’t wimps after 9/11, and if they were Republican they wanted to believe their President rather than think it through for themselves and jeopardize party unity. And so a majority of politicians in Wa. D.C. engaged in “group think” with full blinders on for differing motivations.

Posted by: David R. Remer at February 17, 2006 8:28 AM
Comment #126321

And the biggest point in this article is the blind faith for Bush.
I find it quite funny that youa re believing Sadaam word for word.
During the buildup to the invasion, every word he said was claimed to be a lie.
Now you believe Sadaam, just to try to prove Bush right?
I don’t believe his words, nor do I believe Bush had any valid reason to invade Iraq.
Bush should have kept after Osama.

Posted by: Joe at February 17, 2006 8:32 AM
Comment #126322

Krishan, you may be right about future historians, future context often shapes the direction history takes. We are currently witnessing a gross departure by our government from the principles established by our founding fathers as our current political context demands rewriting the history to justify the actions of today. Like journalists, historians are not without their biases, either, especially when they are paid or funded through a political ideology or party.

Posted by: David R. Remer at February 17, 2006 8:32 AM
Comment #126338

The bottom line is that it does not matter if there were any WMD. Saddam is a monster and a butcher. Like it or not we have been put in the role of being the worlds policeman. We may not have the largest military in the world, but we make up for it with equipment. We should have took out Saddam the first time we were there, but that was not the mission. The mission was to liberate Kuwait not conquer Iraq. Going in under a UN flag stopped us from doing what needed to be done. The other thing that stopped us was not having enough chemical suits for our troops at the time. Now we are there and have a mission to do. We all want our troops to come home. Lets honor our fallen and show some unity. If we leave too soon and Iraq blows up in chaos it will all have been for nothing. That simply will not do. Our soldiers come in all shapes and sizes. They are made of all sexes and races. They represent many religions and all political parties. Can we show some strength of character and unite as a nation and honor the fallen?………………

Posted by: Dave Parker at February 17, 2006 9:28 AM
Comment #126344

I’m missing something. If all you say is true, then in what way did it keep us safer to spend the $200B and 2000+ lives we’ve spent in Iraq, all while 9/11 instigator bin Laden remains free?

If Sadaam didn’t use these unverified WMD even when Iraq was invaded, what makes you think they were an immanent threat - a threat worth ignoring bin laden to go after? If invading Iraq didn’t help us find the WMD, why the heck did we do it?

Posted by: William Cohen at February 17, 2006 9:44 AM
Comment #126348

One of the reasons I initially supported the war was that the old information on Saddam was pretty damning in terms of his refusal to comply with the inspections and everything.

Do I contradict myself by saying I hold it against Bush that it turns out there was nothing? No. First, I assumed, given the evidence that the Bush administration had provided, that there had been a worrisome rebuilding of the program, and that Saddam might have a nuclear program restarted.

Finding out that wasn’t the case raises an obvious question: how could Bush not know this, given the fact that he put the stamp of certainty time and again on Saddam’s possession of these arms, and the means to manufacture them?

It would be one thing, if it was clear at the time that Bush was uncertain about this. But here Bush lied, or at least his subordinates did, which amounts to the same thing. He got us into a pre-emptive war saying all this was certain, that they knew where to look to find Saddam’s illegal stocks and manufacturing equipment.

Americans had no idea how contentious this conclusion was, and the deception deprived them of the ability to approve of this war by informed consent. If we had known the uncertainties, the drive for war would have been weaker, and we might not have gone about it in this manner.

This new information only confirms what many of us already knew: Saddam is a sneaky bastard, who in the early to mid-nineties screwed royally with the inspection program designed to disarm him. But this was 1995, folks. between that time and this, we have Clinton’s massive bombing campaign, where he basically wiped the map of many of the suspected stockpiles an facilities. Subsequent investigation by our armed forces and two different weapons inspection teams has come up with nothing besides relics of the Iran-Iraq War. There is also absolutely no evidence of the movement of a stockpile to Syria. And yes, there would be. Those things don’t move themselves.

We may be wrong, as Krishan predicts. But that’s only his opinion until he manages to gather the evidence to support his conclusion. Where’s your evidence to support the current existence of these things, given all the evidence that Saddam’s stockpiles and his WMD production facilities no longer exist or function? Saddam may be a practiced deceiver, but he’s not God, and cannot hide one-hundred percent of the evidence, especially given his current lack of control of the country.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 17, 2006 9:53 AM
Comment #126356

I find it amusing that the country is still debating WMD - it is not the reason we went to war - it was the neocons view that planting a friendly democracy in that part of the world would be in our national interests - WMD’s were the rallying cry they chose. The outcome is diverging alarmingly from their aim - we have given the enemy a new weapon (elections) and a new incubator (SH was - in addition to being an evil butcher - a secularist who didn’t allow fundamentalists to set up shop in his country - now Iraq is THE beeding & training ground for terrorists). Via elections, we have turned the country over to those aligned with Iran (the neocons obviously didn’t do the math) and through an acute distain for planning and an astonishing string of strategic & tactical blunders have put our Iraq policy right up there with our policy on the Israeli/Palestinian problem as the things that place us in most danger of terrorism today. Do you suppose the american people would have approved a war if the stated pupose was giving the vote to a country where the oppressed majority were closely aligned with Iran? This is an administration where ideology triumphs over facts and where testosterone triumphs over reason.

Posted by: Terlen at February 17, 2006 10:22 AM
Comment #126365

Before we bury ourselves in the great WMD debate again, let’s set the stage with a few facts. I’ll be sure to separate the facts from my opinions as best as possible.

FACTS:
Prior to the 1991 Gulf War, Saddam Hussein had WMDs. Weapons inspectors put the number of WMDs and delivery systems at about 200,000 units. During the intervening 12 years of sanctions from 1991-2003, Saddam destroyed the vast majority of these. Weapons inspectors and U.S. intelligence had verified the destruction of approximately 85% of these. The remaining (about 15%) were explained by Saddam in a variety of ways — he claimed that some never existed, that others were used in the 1991 Gulf War, and that others were destroyed unverifiably. (There were some incidents, for example, in which weapons inspectors could verify that WMDs had been destroyed at a site due to trace elements in the soil, but couldn’t verify the amount that had been destroyed there.)

Most of Saddam’s chemical weapons had a relatively short “shelf life”. Over 12 years, they would break down enough to be useless militarily. So even if he had kept them, they were effectively destroyed by the ravages of time.

At no time did Saddam have nuclear weapons, nor did he possess delivery systems (long-range missiles) capable of directly attacking the United States.

It was proven that Saddam DID have items in violation of U.N. Resolutions. While WMDs themselves were never found, he used forbidden delivery systems (medium-range missiles) against U.S. forces during the 2003 invasion.

Saddam’s regime was a secular government, not a religious one. OBL/Al Queda was strongly opposed to Saddam’s rule because of this.

OPINIONS:
Within these facts, it is a matter of opinion to decide such things as:

Did 15% of an aging weapons pile constitute an “imminent threat” on the United States?

Were those weapons, if they existed, worth invading for?

Was the invasion justified even if those weapons didn’t exist?

Was Saddam the biggest threat, or the highest priority, in the region?

ROB’S CONCLUSIONS:
I don’t expect everyone to agree with my opinions, but I’ve shown you the facts above that led me to them.

1- The 12 years of sanctions were not a waste of time, as many have claimed. You can argue that they didn’t do enough, but they did succeed in destroying at least 85% of Saddam’s WMD capability.

2- Saddam probably still had WMDs, and still posed a limited threat to the region, but did not pose an “imminent threat” to the United States.

3- Preemptive, unilateral invasion was not the only option, and was probably not the best option.

4- Focusing on invading/rebuilding Iraq drew our attention away from other matters, such as:
a- rebuilding Afghanistan
b- finding Osama Bin Laden
c- resolving Israeli/Palestinian conflicts
d- thwarting nuclear aims in Iran
e- thwarting nuclear aims in North Korea
f- strengthening our national borders
g- balancing our budget
h- preparing for natural disasters
i- rebuilding Michael Jackson’s face

5- A religious democracy in Iraq will likely be more useful to Al Queda than Saddam’s regime was. We will need to maintain a presence there for a LONG time if we hope to ensure that it doesn’t become an Al Queda breeding ground.

Posted by: Rob Cottrell at February 17, 2006 10:46 AM
Comment #126381

Your godlike leader just allowed
our ports to be handed over to
a company with no interest in
american safety. I guess rich
and arab was all the qualifications
needed. Bipartisan concern aside
how can we take the need for NSA
side stepping or the Dept of
Homeland Security seriously.
Next the repubs will be selling
america for a tax wright off.
Now this story sorry it does not
make all the Greed and Scandel
go away. I can not evan work up
a remnant of belief.

greedy selfish leaders payed
for buy greedy selfish companys.
voted in by a brainwashed pack
of greedy selfish people.

Posted by: Honey P at February 17, 2006 11:45 AM
Comment #126384

Jason, calling people idiots gets your comment deleted and this one warning to observe our policy or lose your privilege to comment here. Critique the Message, Not the Messenger.

—WatchBlog Managing Editor

Posted by: Jason at February 17, 2006 11:49 AM
Comment #126389

Krishan,
Grossly inaccurate article. The son-in-law, Kamel returned to Iraq in 1996 and was killed shortly thereafter.

As someone already pointed out, chemical weapons have a shelf life of about a decade. Furthermore, most chemical weapons are artillery shells, ‘binaries,’ which must be spun at high speed in order to mix the separate inert chemicals. The spinning & mixing occurs when they are launched by an artillery piece. In other words, shipping shells to Syria is a complete waste of time. Without the properly rifled artillery piece, a chemical weapon is more likely to cause you harm by being accidentally dropped on your foot.

To make matters worse, The White House appointed Kay, and later Duelfer, to look for chemical weapons. Before going, both announced they would find WMD’s. They were predisposed to assume the WMD’s were there to be found. Neither found weapons, and they found no programs in place. This is detailed in the CIA’s Duelfer Report, which is available online.

You omitted to mention the following:

“Saddam predicts — during a meeting in the mid-1990s — a terrorist attack on the United States. “Terrorism is coming. I told the Americans a long time before Aug. 2 and told the British as well … that in the future there will be terrorism with weapons of mass destruction.” Saddam goes on to say such attacks would be difficult to stop… he adds that Iraq would never do such a thing. “This is coming, this story is coming but not from Iraq.”
http://abcnews.go.com/Nightline/Investigation/story?id=1616996

Here is a recent comment from a notorious liberal from Shin Bet:

“Israel might have been better off when Saddam Hussein was in power in Iraq, said Shin Bet security chief Yuval Diskin, according to a tape recording broadcast by Channel 10 TV in Jerusalem.”
http://www.kurdmedia.com/news.asp?id=11306

It’s not his final conclusion, but it’s beginning to look that way. Al-Sadr and others have alredy refused to recognize the state of Israel.

Red column articles like this one perpetuate misinformaton, and result in comments which are grossly inaccurate and factually wrong.

It’s just heart-breakingly cruel to keep encouraging gullible Bush supporters to believe the same old lies.

Posted by: phx8 at February 17, 2006 11:58 AM
Comment #126394

Rob,

“a- rebuilding Afghanistan
b- finding Osama Bin Laden
c- resolving Israeli/Palestinian conflicts
d- thwarting nuclear aims in Iran
e- thwarting nuclear aims in North Korea
f- strengthening our national borders
g- balancing our budget
h- preparing for natural disasters
i- rebuilding Michael Jackson’s face”

j- Keeping South America,Cuba and Haiti from forming an anti-American alliance.
k- Fixing education system
k- ” healthcare “
l- Saving billions of wasted dollars

Krishan,
I had hair and acid washed jeans in 1995.
What’s your point?

Posted by: Andre M. Hernandez at February 17, 2006 12:03 PM
Comment #126398

Terlen,

thanks for your post. I have argued that the war was lost because of your points - the failure to establish a friendly regime and the removal of a counterbalance to Iran. That second point, given Ahmadinejad and the escalating rhetoric coming from Iran, will be the focus of history’s view of the invasion.

Given that we armed Saddam Hussein in the first place, including the chemical weapons;

given that the Ayatollah Khomeini, who overthrew the Shah in Iran, lived in exile until 1975 IN IRAQ IN THE SHIITE COMMUNITY;

that before the repressions, Saddam was hated by the Shiites for removing Sharia law, running a secular state and allowing women higher level jobs in Iraq;

given that Donald Rumsfeld met with Saddam and supported his rise to power;

would my fellow conservative posters be willing to admit that, given our history in the country, the expectation that we would be seen as liberators might conflict with how Iraqis have experienced us over the last three decades?

If you truly examine our history in Iraq, and assume that everyone we might have wronged has a long memory, then you must conclude that there is no way through the minefield of Iraqi nation building. In a best scenario, we are removing the dictator we installed in the first place. That will not win any real friends in the Shiite community, but they will certainly tell us what we want to hear.

Can my fellow conservative posters fathom the long-term consequences of Ayatollah Khomeini preaching in mosques IN IRAQ through 1975? That places today’s Shiite religious leaders in their teens to early thirties when Khomeini was on the pulpit, already preaching his anti-American rhetoric.

How could anyone in the government with a knowledge of Iraqi political history conclude that the Shiite community would welcome us or that Iraq, with a Shiite majority, would not move closer to Iran?

Of course, I know the answer - it was the same people who installed Saddam in power and supported him against Iran and never expected Saddam to turn on us:

Donald Rumsfeld (Secy of Defense, White House Chief of Staff under Ford)
Dick Cheney (succeeded Rumsfeld as WH Chief of Staff under Ford)

Posted by: CPAdams at February 17, 2006 12:15 PM
Comment #126407

Terlen,

Please don’t live in a cave politically. Yes we dealt with Saddam, um, there was this place called the USSR which was brought to our attention … you remember the USSR, they had more jets, helos, submarines, ships, and tanks than we did. They were also somewhat aggressive (understatement) trying to sell Communism past Eastern Europe to Korea, Vietnam, Laos, and Central and South America.

The libs are so funny. They look at the present and damn America up and down (Hi Algore!), but they look at the past and think we could handle all of the world’s problems simultaneously … it’s a very confusing yet typical position from the left.

So, now that the history lesson is complete, we needed to make sure Iraq was strong. The USSR going into Iraq (not unlikely, ref: Afghanistan) to gain a major share of the world’s energy was not an acceptable idea. And I’m pretty sure (sarcasm for “I know”) the sons of Stalin wouldn’t have rebuilt Iraq and handed it back over to them.

So that’s why we dealt with Saddam. So you can keep going to your little leftist parties and keep saying stuff you think is groundbreaking like “Can you believe it?! We were actually Saddam’s friend in the 80’s! Us Americans are morons!”

But, at the end of the day, you’ll be hearing me in the back of your head responding “So, at what point in your life did you come to think that America had the ability to fight all the world’s evils at the same time?!”

Posted by: Ken Cooper at February 17, 2006 12:45 PM
Comment #126408

I’m sorry, my last post was addressed to Terlen, I meant CPAAdams. My apologies Terlen.

Posted by: Ken Cooper at February 17, 2006 12:46 PM
Comment #126414

Ken,

I am neither naive nor idealistic. All I am asking is how could the people behind the Iraq strategy have been SO STUPID to think that ANYONE in Iraq would be throwing rose petals on the ground in front of our glorious liberating troops???

The Kurds - oops, forgot, Saddam gassed them with OUR WEAPONS

The Shiites - oops, forgot, we propped up Saddam, betrayed them during the first gulf war, and their preachers’ ideologies were guided by our buddy the Ayatollah

The Sunnis - well, we just kicked their butts out of power and the Shiites are going around executing them, so…probably not.

I think Rumsfeld and Cheney and company were SELF DELUDED. I think this rhetoric about bringing democracy to the Middle East is either propaganda aimed at us stupid common folk or worse, they actually believed their own BS, which is terrifying.

Posted by: CPAdams at February 17, 2006 1:00 PM
Comment #126417

HERE’S WHAT MOST LIBS DON’T GET ABOUT WMD:

The intelligent mainstream libs agree with the intelligent mainstream conservatives in so far as that the existence of Iraqi WMD was unknown . . it wasn’t for sure that he had it (well he had it, but the question was about 2002) and it wasn’t for sure that the WMD was all gone and untouchable by Saddam. The inspections were mostly a joke, they had to be telegraphed and were limited in scope and location. Hence the umpteen UN Resolutions.

Here’s the division: Libs say, “It WAS UP TO BUSH TO PROVE IRAQI WMD EXISTED.” Cons say, “IT WAS UP TO SADDAM TO PROVE HE DIDN’T HAVE IT.”

Cons were right and here’s why it was right to make him guilty until proven innocent: Gulf War I and Umpteen UN Resolutions.

The situation is no different than a felon on parole. If he skips parole (misses a meeting, leaves the state) it’s up to the felon to prove he was kidnapped or otherwise detained beyond his control. If he can’t do that he is assumed guilty for violating parole. So, WE DO HAVE GUILTY UNTIL PROVEN INNOCENT IN SOME CIRCUMSTANCES EVEN IN OUR OWN COUNTRY. SADDAM WAS A KNOWN FELON WHO WAS IN A POSITION TO PROVE HIS INNOCENCE. HE DIDN’T PROVE IT SO, BY HIS OWN HISTORY, HE HAD TO BE ASSUMED GUILTY.

And then you have these prominent dems basically saying the same thing: http://media1.streamtoyou.com/rnc/111505.wmv

Posted by: Ken Cooper at February 17, 2006 1:07 PM
Comment #126422

CPA,

I completely agree 100% that they oversold the “we’d be greeted with rose petals” story. Some were very happy that we were there kicking out Saddam, but yes, it was mostly oversold in media interviews and they should’ve known better … or maybe they shouldn’t have known better (our HumInt got crushed in the ’70s by both dems and cons) in which case they just shouldn’t have said anything about it.

But! Just because they weren’t going to love us up and down doesn’t mean it was a bad decision to go in.

Posted by: Ken Cooper at February 17, 2006 1:12 PM
Comment #126426


Mr. Genius (AKA Ken Cooper),

I love it when you Neo-Cons bring up Communism. Especially since we pay more to a communist country (China) in trade debt then we do for anything other than healthcare and social security. Yep that is right Neo-Cons; we give China more money each year than we do our own teachers in this country. I guess we have to find some way to pay for this quagmire we are in. You guys did a great job fighting that evil political machine in the 80’s. Don’t even get me started on funding the Taliban.

Posted by: vic at February 17, 2006 1:15 PM
Comment #126427

Ken,

borrowing on your analogy, the problem is that Bush was telling everyone that he violated parole, while the people who gathered the evidence say that Bush ignored contrary evidence and has since refused to admit it.

Posted by: CPAdams at February 17, 2006 1:16 PM
Comment #126429

No Ken, the fact that it is bankrupting our country financially and militarily is the reason it was a bad decision to go in. Not to mention the fact that we have to look forward to an Iranian government in Iraq now. I guess you like the fact that Al Sadar was killing our guys in Fallujah 2 years ago and now he has a major role in the government.

Posted by: Vic at February 17, 2006 1:20 PM
Comment #126435

Looks like someone’s building the case for Operation Syrian Freedom. Or is it Operation Iranian Freedom?

Too bad the WingNuts are still refusing to Enlist and fight for their beliefs. Still… hope springs eternal!!!

Any Bush Drone willing to Enlist, please post your Name and Email below.

Posted by: Aldous at February 17, 2006 1:24 PM
Comment #126437

Vic,

Oh, okay, you’re right. Hell, what were we thinking fighting the Cold War?! The russians were living so wonderfully under the USSR … I guess we should’ve let them roll Communism all over the world. Thanks for setting me straight.

(Hint: China didn’t supply Eastern Europe, Vietnam, and Korea with weapons, the USSR did. China is Communist but they’re very much more isolationist Communists and less of a threat to the world, at least over the last many years and at the moment.)

Posted by: Ken Cooper at February 17, 2006 1:27 PM
Comment #126438

Hey Aldous!!! 1988 Graduate from the Naval Academy. 14 years in the Marine Corps. Still in the reserves …

how long did that take for a response? Oh! It was all of 4 minutes!

Posted by: Ken Cooper at February 17, 2006 1:29 PM
Comment #126440

Ken Cooper,

I agree completely that Saddam was a “known felon”, a “murderer and a butcher” (Dave Parker’s words), and even that he probably had WMDs. I also agree that we had good reasons to prop up Iraq (and Afghanistan) against Soviet influence during the Cold War.

But CPAdams’ fundamental message — that the Iraqi people had every reason to dislike us — is correct. We made difficult decisions in the ’70s and ’80s (good or bad), and are now dealing with the consequences of those decisions.

Since the fall of the Ottoman Empire (which itself was no picnic for the Arab people), the Middle East has been the battleground for pissing matches between western powers — WWI, WWI, and the Cold War (WWIII?) were all brought to the region by outside influences. I’m not questioning the legitimacy of the fights — America took a stand where it had to. But can you see how, after all of that, the people of Iraq might not look forward to yet another wave of Western influence?

Anyone who marched into Iraq expecting the welcome wagon didn’t do their homework before going.

Posted by: Rob Cottrell at February 17, 2006 1:34 PM
Comment #126441

CPA,

Contrary evidence. How would you like your child to say “Dad, I know you want me to clean my room and you want to see it clean by 6 pm tonight …. but when you come inspect my room I
hereby declare you can only check 3 areas and you need to have me that list of 3 areas by 5 pm. And you can’t check my sock drawer or my closet, I just can’t let you go there.

The inspections were a joke, hence the reason for the 14 (or was it 15, there were so many!!!) UN resolutions. So, “contrary evidence” had as much validity as “My child’s room is spotless!!!”

Posted by: Ken Cooper at February 17, 2006 1:34 PM
Comment #126442

thanks, Vic. great points!

I cannot stand the false assumptions that are used by the neocon posters. If we are opposed to the Iraq policy, that means we must think Saddam was a good guy and by some unreasonable extension of logic, we liked the Taliban and Al Qaeda too.

It is not enough to argue that our leaders have good intentions. They must be competent. If a policy is a judgment call that could have gone either way, that’s OK, as long as we do not compound a mistake with pigheaded refusals to reconsider errors.

The Iraqi invasion was founded on incompetent policy, arguably with bad intentions. It is classic out of the frying pan into the fire policy. Bush was saying that Saddam was terrible while no one was piecing together the evidence that said removing him was WORSE.

The biggest fear in the middle east was Iran unchecked. Congratulations - by removing Saddam and giving Shiites the reigns in Iraq, Shiites who share more in common with the oppressive theocracy in Iran, we have taken the leash off of Iran.

The price of invading Iran dwarfs Iraq. And given Russian and Chinese opposition, it also carries the risk of armed conflict with another superpower.

I am sorry, I forgot - invading Iraq is brilliant foreign polcy and everyone is better off, including the US.

Even if we are not, Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld meant well. We should not criticize them. We should shut up, eat our vegetables, then go upstairs and do our homework.

Posted by: CPAdams at February 17, 2006 1:35 PM
Comment #126446

Vic,

“No Ken, the fact that it is bankrupting our country financially and militarily is the reason it was a bad decision to go in.”

Could be said about, well, every war we’ve ever fought.

“Not to mention the fact that we have to look forward to an Iranian government in Iraq now.”

If you mean a Shiite gov’t I think it will be boatloads better than the Sunnis ruling. Time will have to tell there I suppose.

“I guess you like the fact that Al Sadar was killing our guys in Fallujah 2 years ago and now he has a major role in the government.”

We gave prominent posts in post WWII Japan to Japaneses generals and admirals as long as they did not have war crimes cases against them. But just because they didn’t have war crimes cases against them doesn’t mean they didn’t kill (or at least ordered the killing of) A LOT of Americans.

Posted by: Ken Cooper at February 17, 2006 1:41 PM
Comment #126447

Re Saddam and weapons

Repeat the mantra 0.46%. That is the U.S. contribution to Saddam’s arsenal.

I really don’t understand why Americans are so eager to blame their own country for Saddam when there is no empirical reason to do so. George Bush was not even president, so your hatred need not cloud your judgement. Is it the Rumsfeld picture? You could produce scores of such things for many world leaders.

Posted by: Jack at February 17, 2006 1:44 PM
Comment #126448

Ken Cooper,

But! Just because they weren’t going to love us up and down doesn’t mean it was a bad decision to go in.

You’re absolutely right. And just because Saddam was violating human rights or hiding WMDs doesn’t mean it was a good decision to go in.

As in all things, you have to weight the good and the bad against each other to find the answer. Neither side seems willing to do that. They take the facts that support their position, and ignore the facts that don’t.

Posted by: Rob Cottrell at February 17, 2006 1:46 PM
Comment #126449

Rob C.,

Hello! Yes, as I said to CPA (please see above) I agree that they oversold the welcome wagon idea. They really didn’t know one way or the other. In the 1970’s when satellite intelligence came about both parties decided they could stop funding most of the human intelligence efforts. Horrendous move!! So, our human intelligence was as good as the WMD inspections … spotty at best. They should’ve kept mum on their hopes that we would be welcomed so openly by most people.

(Please know however that many neighborhoods, albeit a minority, were very happy to see us. Most saw us as nothing better than with what they got from Saddam … hopefully we’ll continue to raise their hopes. And still a good portion, i.e. Sunnis and Baathists and foreigners to boot, want to continue battle with us ad nauseum.)

But, all that said. The Japanese, to include women and children, thought we were so awful they would rather jump off a cliff (literally) than surrender to us. I don’t mean to compare the 2 wars completely of course … all I’m saying is that whether or not a people might like us or dislike us … it really shouldn’t affect our strategic decision to go to war or not.

Posted by: Ken Cooper at February 17, 2006 1:52 PM
Comment #126450

Ken,

we cannot follow Machiavellian foreign policy and not be prepared for its risks down the road. That, sir, is naive. And as a graduate of one our leading military academies, you should know better.

And to confirm Vic’s statement, I was not opposed to our making alliances with rogues and butchers. We make decisions in the real world, not in Utopia. France did not help us break from England out of idealism. We work with those who help further our interests - as the leading super power, it is simply smart to do that.

My concern, as stated ad nauseum in my posts, is that we vacilate and pretend that we are the defenders of freedom for the planet. We are, but only when it suits us. The only ones who believe we always wear an S on our chests, without question, are

We the People

Posted by: CPAdams at February 17, 2006 1:53 PM
Comment #126453

Ken,

“Could be said about, well, every war we’ve ever fought.” Are you kidding me? You claim to know your history, but with this statement, we have found the truth.

Here is a little history lesson for you…
Prior to WWII we were in the Great Depression. Our governement did everything they could to help us. Things like creating social programs that you Neo-Cons hate so much. These things worked, but not enough to get us out of the depression. Only one thing did that. World War II. Yes, a war actually jump started our economy. So your statement is just plain false. Maybe it was because we did not cut taxes during WWII. You know like today? Did you know that we are the only civilization in history to cut taxes while being at war? Brillant idea. That is if you like Commies paying for your military.

And speaking of “Commies”, I didn’t know we chose which ones we did not like. I thought that we disliked thier system. Maybe I am wrong on that. Anybody want to help on this issue?

Posted by: Vic at February 17, 2006 1:55 PM
Comment #126462

Ken, I am not so ill informed as to be talking about whether we are liked or not. The Japanese only knew us from internal propaganda. We have a history with Iraq. The scenarios are not really comparable.

I agree that they oversold the welcome wagon idea. They really didn’t know one way or the other.

I strongly disagree Ken. Rumsfeld and Cheney are either the architects of the original policy of supporting Saddam or signed off on that policy. I cannot give them the benefit of the doubt on the consequences of removing him. Who else would have had comparable first hand knowledge of the our last three decades with Iraq??

Many policy analysts had serious misgivings for all of my reasons and those of others here - protracted conflict, expense, no winnable solution, Iran. Rumsfeld and Cheney could not have been surprised by this one, unless they intentionally ignored advice.

Posted by: CPAdams at February 17, 2006 2:07 PM
Comment #126463

Rob C.

“You’re absolutely right. And just because Saddam was violating human rights or hiding WMDs doesn’t mean it was a good decision to go in.”

Here’s where we’ll have a big disagreement. The situation in 2002 was not in a vacuum. Saddam agreed to many things at the end of Gulf War I and he didn’t own up to them. How awful would that be if we got the reputation of not enforcing surrender agreements??!! At some point no group would be able to surrender to us because we’d eventually have to say, “Listen, I know if we offered some surrender agreement you would never live up to what you signed for because of our past with these types of things … so, since we know you probably won’t honor this agreement … we have to kill every last one of you.”

What person would want that??

Then add the essentially unaccepted UN Resolutions.

Then add 9/11. Libs respond, “Saddam didn’t have anything to do with 9-11 you idiot!” No, but 9/11 had something to do with Saddam. Here are the issues with Saddam and 9/11:

(1) The idea of the unknown was immediately unacceptable. Unreliable inspections (which were only Saddam’s fault) made us feel rightfully uncomfortable. It was time to allow unfettered inspections and he refused.

(2) Who’s going to stand up and say Saddam and his regime had sworn off funding or cooperating with terrorists who wanted to do great harm to the US? Anyone?

(3) Who wanted to see a Saddam bolstered by his defiance of the West, defiance of their their surrender agreement, and defiance of their UN resolutions … especially with the ever-bubbling rise of radical Islam.

(4) Saddam, as mad as he was … who wanted to see him senile? Yikes!!!

Then comes the Lib response: “There’s lots of evil villains in the world!”

Answer: Yes, but our abilities were and are most definitely finite … we can’t just sit and do nothing and we can’t solve all the problems at once. We had to prioritize and Saddam was ranked #1 on the AP, USA Today, UPI, and college coaches poll. He simply was too dangerous to let hang around any longer.

Posted by: Ken Cooper at February 17, 2006 2:09 PM
Comment #126471

Ken,

I don’t question your patriotism (it’s pretty clear). I also want our country to be safe and strong. I am a NYer and I watched my beloved WTC go down, I attended funerals, my wife and I babysat for neighbors attending funerals.

The problem with all of this recent mess is that our post WWII nation building and even the assistance we give to the former Eastern Bloc nations is not comparable with our meddling in Iraq and countries like it. The earlier examples are the genius of extending a hand to vanquished enemies and making lifetime allies. It has worked.

The problematic nations are ones where have raised and opposed leaders at our whim, with a knowing, oppressed populous watching all along.

I have never worked in the State Department and I can see the problem. Why can’t they?

Posted by: CPAdams at February 17, 2006 2:23 PM
Comment #126475

Alright, you guys are getting out of hand, especially you Vic.

CPA, “not be prepared for risks down the road” … so now we’re supposed to be prepared for everything in war time? Have you ever read about the details of one of our major wars from start to finish? Just one? And our effort in Iraq is Machiavellian? Really? You’re really going to stand by that?! Why are we building schools and sewer systems they never had? Why don’t we just torch them all if our only end was to get rid of Saddam? Because if our military is engaging in an “ends justifies the means” in Iraq we are indeed wasting too much money … setting up a democratic gov’t, arranging for people to do crazy things like, well, VOTE! I suggest you take your college “M” word and apply it to something else.

“And we pretend to be defenders of freedom in the world?” You’re sticking by that too? So! Either freedom is a bad thing which I assume you disagree with … or some other country is defending freedom better and more often than we are. Please do tell!

Vic!! So, we’re certainly not drafting people like we did in WWII. We’re cutting our military forces and assets instead of quintupling it like we did initially WWII … our you suggesting these changes so we can jumpstart our economy? Shoot, forget everything I ever said about you, I’m with ya!!!

Must … get off … the computer. I’ll let you guys discuss your “Bush is evil” stuff amongst yourselves.

Posted by: Ken Cooper at February 17, 2006 2:28 PM
Comment #126476

Ken Cooper,

We had to prioritize and Saddam was ranked #1 on the AP, USA Today, UPI, and college coaches poll.

Yes, but he probably would have been ranked #1 on those polls on Sept 10, 2001, too. The next day proved that popular opinion doesn’t always equate to world reality.

Looking at your points 1-4 above, I can agree with all of them. So let’s move on to the next question: Why do you consider a full-scale invasion of Iraq the only option we had for dealing with him?

Posted by: Rob Cottrell at February 17, 2006 2:29 PM
Comment #126481

Ken Cooper,

Must … get off … the computer. I’ll let you guys discuss your “Bush is evil” stuff amongst yourselves.

Don’t go! We need you! You’re the only one over there on “the Right” who actually makes sense! :-)

Posted by: Rob Cottrell at February 17, 2006 2:33 PM
Comment #126483

Ken,

your answers are in agreement with the official statements and the evidence made public in advance of our invasion. Too much information has been released since that shows the Bush administration cherry picked the evidence to suport their case.

I’ll accept for this argument that they were well meaning in ignoring contrary evidence(I refuse to believe that no one told them it was a bad idea), that the risk of Saddam was too great.

But they were wrong. The world is not more stable, our standing is the world is worse, and our ability to respond to greater nuclear threats is weakened.

It doesn’t matter - Bush doesn’t change course, Rumsfeld doesn’t admit mistakes, and Cheney just scowls. Defenders of their own hydes.

Posted by: CPAdams at February 17, 2006 2:34 PM
Comment #126494

Honestly people, we DIDN’T go in there for WMD’s entirely. The MAIN reason we went in there was b/c Saddam thumbed his nose at 14—count ‘em—14!! U.N. resolutions that were not backed up whatsoever. When there is the threat of terrorism and terrorists getting a hold of WMD’s. AND the fact that Iraq was NOT directly involved with 9/11, but WAS involved with Al-Queada being that Zarqawi had been there for some time by 2002 in the lead-up to the war. THAT is where the WMD’s came into play. There were many other extenuating circumstances including the fact that Saddam was a destabilizing force in not only the region, but the whole world. People will say that the inspectors weren’t finding anything. Well yes…they were hidden and the scientists were given orders that if they talked…they were dead. Anyone want to dispute that? If you do, you are naive enough to believe that Hitler was a good guy, he just needed to be understood better. The FACT that Saddam had the weapons is irrelavent, b/c 1. he did, 2. he used them and would give them to others of our enemies, and 3. it was only the extenuating circumstance that he had WMD’s is why we went to war. Bush didn’t get out in front of the issue in that way and say “wait a minute, we’re really doing this b/c of the U.N. resolutions not WMD’s as the main reason”. EVERYONE believed and STATED that Saddam had the weapons. EVERY major intelligence group. EVERY politician, Republican and Democrat. So to say at any point “Bush lied” then they would also be stating “I lied too”, but they say they were “fooled”. Horse-hockey!! I’m not sure if anyone ever said all this…b/c when a thread comes up saying stuff like this, libs come out of the wood-work to spout off their talking points from the last 4 years and fill the inbox here. It is horrible that the Left seems to want to “carefully flip-flop” on an issue like this to make political points.

Posted by: Robert at February 17, 2006 2:52 PM
Comment #126499

Gentlemen - my post earlier today was the first i have ever made - anywhere - I find your discussion wonderful - the way political discussions ought to be - give and take - concede a point and hurl another - in short - the way i wish the political debate took place in Washington about the desparate issues that effect (and will continue to effect for decades) our country - so let me make a disclosure and “kick the debate up a notch” - i have voted for both dems & repubs in my 67 years - the body of my beliefs would probably place me to the left of center but still close to the center - that having been said - i believe George Bush is the least able man to have held the office of president in my lifetime - i don’t think he is sinister - rather a nice guy who had failed at most everything until he met Mr Rove - he gets his policies from the Cheney/Rove/Rumsfeld team but alarmingly thinks he gets them from God - it makes him doubly dangerous because that source does not admit to mistakes - his most serious mistake was the war but we are stuck with it - they cherry picked info to make a case for a war that had been long before committed to - see O’Neill & Clark and others - they decided on regieme change and needed a rallying point to get the country behind it - please stop arguing about the presence of WMD - whether they had them or not is immaterial (if you are naieve and you perfer to believe they didn’t cherry-pick) THEY COULDN’T DELIVER THEM to the US and so posed no imminent threat - nevertheless we are there - we have provided a magnet and training ground for new terrorists and we cannot afford to leave it in that condition - we are at greater peril today than before this horrible adventure in ideology - and with all that i am not absolutly sure he wouldn’t get elected again - i have people in my own family who voted for him for one reason only - abortion! - as though morality began and ended with that one issue -i’m not sure they wouldn’t do so again - it’s depressing.

Posted by: Terlen at February 17, 2006 2:53 PM
Comment #126509

Robert,

Not everyone believed that Saddam had WMDs. Some Democrats went on record as believing that he didn’t. No matter - I do believe that he had them. But that still doesn’t answer my question. Since Ken Cooper has flown the coop, I’ll ask you:

Why do you consider a full-scale invasion of Iraq the only option we had for dealing with Saddam?

Posted by: Rob Cottrell at February 17, 2006 3:12 PM
Comment #126510

Ken,

I’m done with you on this discussion. You misunderstand arguments in a dishonest way. I said we are defenders of freedom when it suits us. No, we don’t support democracy all the time.

Here is a brief list of examples where we have chosen expedience over freedom:

The Saudi Royal Family,
Somoza,
Noriega,
the Shah,
Saddam Hussein,
the Taliban,
Ferdinand Marcos (supported by Nixon, Ford and Reagan but opposed by Carter),
Pinochet,
Batista.

All dictators with our support, some rose to power because of our support. In the fight to end Communism, we did not care if people were oppressed by dictators friendly to us who shot Marxists as well.

All relationships where the ends clearly justified/still justify the means.

Posted by: CPAdams at February 17, 2006 3:13 PM
Comment #126515

Terlen,

Welcome to our little club! I enjoy this site because it gives me a chance to interact with people of many different political persuasions. This has been one of the more civilized debates I’ve seen to date. They can get pretty nasty around here, unfortunately.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy your stay!

Posted by: Rob Cottrell at February 17, 2006 3:20 PM
Comment #126518

Oops. Ken is not answering anymore.

Let me ask two questions to anyone - first, do conservatives honestly believe that we, as a country, support freedom everywhere or is it simply a talking point to force liberals to defend that they are not socialists/communists whenver they disagree?

secondly, and much more important - is it relevant to throw around that commie BS anymore? we have been in the post soviet world for two decades now - aren’t such accusations painfully “old school”?

Posted by: CPAdams at February 17, 2006 3:24 PM
Comment #126519

What happened to all those Iraqis who ran to our troops during the Gulf War? The ones who wanted to surrender?

If Iraqis really wanted a change in government, then why aren’t we seeing tons of surrenders, now?

We can argue about Bush’s WMD all we want, however that is in the PAST, not the now. I’m far more concerned about what do we do now?

Arguing about the past is basically useless - unless one is actually trying to learn from it in order to make an intellegent decision. I don’t see how the WMD issue will change any of the facts as they stand now.

Posted by: Linda H. at February 17, 2006 3:24 PM
Comment #126523

Welcome Terlen!

I agree with Rob, this discussion was pretty respectful. Thank God we were opining about WMD instead of the “Nuclear Option” - then you would have seen a real meltdown.

I would like to apologize in advance for my serial puns above. Kind of turned into a chain reaction.

Posted by: CPAdams at February 17, 2006 3:27 PM
Comment #126538

Why is it so important that we didn’t find the WMDs?

First, a preemptive war requires an imminent threat to be justified. By failing to back the certainty of his statements with evidence that was similarly definitive, Bush gave America a disadvantage in this war: He let the primary mission of keeping the worlds worst terrorists from being armed with the worlds worst weapons become a joke, and sacrificed a great deal of America’s credibility in the process.

Second, because the threat wasn’t real, but we reacted anyways, we are now stuck in the position of having committed a great deal of our resources for fighting the war on terror to fight a war that really had not original connection there in fact. Plain fact is, we could have used our forces elsewhere and done more for our nations security there. Iraq represents all the missed opportunities we sacrificed in vain.

Third, the truth of our reasons for going to war should not be a casual matter. Thousands of Americans have died. Whether that’s dwarfed by single battles in WWII is immaterial. It’s still a great many lives that are not worth wasting on behalf of dishonest politicians.

Having invaded and made Iraq our responsibility, you will find no argument from me about the necessity to stay in Iraq, secure the territory, and remain in force there until the Iraqis can stand on their own. We have done a good thing in freeing Iraqis from Saddam, but it was a good thing done in a very flawed manner. The results of having dones things in this manner could well be the undoing of that good, and perhaps even further involvement and violence in the Middle East.

It is naive to believe that ones intentions can spare one the results of failing to plan properly or start from justifications of substance. Unfortunately, the right has persisted in such naivete, and long delayed the needed work that should have been done from the outset. We cannot continue on this course. Many of us object to what has happened in this war in the hopes that the mistakes of this war will not remain the doctrine for the next. The real question is, even if we win this time, are we truly so masochistic as to want to win the hard way in our next war?

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 17, 2006 3:47 PM
Comment #126543

“Why are we building schools and sewer systems they never had? “

Good question. I thought our military was trained to fight and protect us. Not rebuild a country. If that is the case, why don’t we send them to New Orleans. I heard they could use some help!

Posted by: Vic at February 17, 2006 3:57 PM
Comment #126552

CPAdams,

Let me ask two questions to anyone - first, do conservatives honestly believe that we, as a country, support freedom everywhere or is it simply a talking point to force liberals to defend that they are not socialists/communists whenver they disagree?

I believe that we WANT to support freedom everywhere, but that it’s just not possible. Even with the largest military budget in the world, we (fortunately?) can’t be everywhere at once.

Plus, in many parts of the world, there really isn’t a “good guy” to support. Saddam, for example, for all of his many flaws, was actually more progressive than most other powers in the region.

secondly, and much more important - is it relevant to throw around that commie BS anymore? we have been in the post soviet world for two decades now - aren’t such accusations painfully “old school”?

It’s certainly irrelevant to throw it out as an insult to liberals (“pinko-commie bastards”). Modern-day liberals are more similar to European Socialism than to Soviet Communism.

But the Soviet Era is definitely worth remembering. We’re only just now dealing with the fallout of the end of the Cold War. Both Afghanistan and Iraq were vestiges of that era come back to haunt us.

Posted by: Rob Cottrell at February 17, 2006 4:05 PM
Comment #126559

Robert,

“People will say that the inspectors weren’t finding anything. Well yes…they were hidden and the scientists were given orders that if they talked…they were dead. Anyone want to dispute that?”

Sure, I will. So what were all the pictures and diagrams we showed to the UN and our country? You know the ones that were supposed be trains with WMD’s, sites that made nukes, ect. Where are all of these weapons that Colin Powell said he had proof of? Buried? How do you bury a train?

By the way, some of the explosives they did have were in warehouses that were looted during the war. Now they are using them against us. If the adminstration was so concerned about their weapons, then why didn’t they protect the ones we found?

Posted by: Vic at February 17, 2006 4:23 PM
Comment #126568

Target rich environment here. To those of you on the left (respectfully, lots of thoughtful discussion here):
If we had discovered WMD in Iraq, would you support this war? If so, what now to do about the other two “Axis of Evil” countries—Iran and North Korea? One of them does possess WMDs and the other soon will.
Hindsight is always 20-20.

Posted by: nikkolai at February 17, 2006 4:52 PM
Comment #126571

I seem to remember the administration saying all the bombs were in trucks being moved around and they even had footage they showed from satellites, but even that baloney is not as absurd or hard to swallow as your proposal that Sadaam buried all the weapons right before we came. Riiiiiiiiight.

Posted by: Max at February 17, 2006 4:54 PM
Comment #126572

Bush says that Iraq is the frontline of the war on terror, but none of the Al Qaeda most wanted terrorists are from there or have been captured there. Why is this the frontline again?

Posted by: Max at February 17, 2006 4:56 PM
Comment #126578

Nikkolai,
“If we had discovered WMD in Iraq, would you support this war?”

No. I was opposed to the invasion because I thought it would result in an ungovernable country & a civil war, and do more harm than good. Bush #41 was absolutely right to leave Saddam Hussein in power (although betraying the Shias was a nasty piece of work). Going into Iraq was the height of foolishness, and nothing about the current goatrope is surprising.

Posted by: phx8 at February 17, 2006 5:10 PM
Comment #126584

Fair enough. But we certainly cannot put our heads in the sand now, can we? Hamas elected leader of the Palis, nukes in Iran, Eurasia in flames, ad nauseum. What do you propose we do?

Posted by: nikkolai at February 17, 2006 5:19 PM
Comment #126585

nikkolai,

If we had discovered WMD in Iraq, would you support this war?

No. I didn’t support it before we invaded, even when everyone else was eating “freedom fries” and singing Toby Keith songs. There were better options for dealing with this particular problem than full-scale invasion. That, and the “Pottery Barn” reality of post-war Iraq, led me to oppose the invasion. Finding WMDs there wouldn’t change my mind on that subject.

Posted by: Rob Cottrell at February 17, 2006 5:24 PM
Comment #126586

Is there anything that could have happened for you to support this effort? Nuke going off in Paris? London? Washington?

Posted by: nikkolai at February 17, 2006 5:28 PM
Comment #126587

Nikkolai,

“Fair enough. But we certainly cannot put our heads in the sand now, can we? Hamas elected leader of the Palis, nukes in Iran, Eurasia in flames, ad nauseum. What do you propose we do?”

Most of these things have happened AFTER we went into Iraq. How has that made us safer?

Posted by: Vic at February 17, 2006 5:28 PM
Comment #126589

Rob Cottrell,

“There were better options for dealing with this particular problem than full-scale invasion.”

I agree. And since I know we will get the old “What was your brilliant idea back then.” I will tell you mine…

Have our military ready at a moments notice. Surround the border (maybe if we were a little more into diplomacy Turkey might have even let us in) and wait UNTIL we found weapons that could kill reach the United States. In other words, GET PROOF BEFORE YOU DECIDE TO PUT THE UNITED STATES REPUTATION AND OUR MEN AND WOMEN IN DANGER!

Is that too much to ask before we start a war?

Posted by: Vic at February 17, 2006 5:33 PM
Comment #126590

You think that these things would not have happened if we were not in Iraq? Then you have not been paying attention for the past 20 years. The nukes in Iran did’nt just pop up there after we went in. These things take time. And did’nt the Euros mainly OPPOSE our efforts in Iraq? Why are they now on fire? Appeasement never works with Fascists….

Posted by: nikkolai at February 17, 2006 5:34 PM
Comment #126593

Nikkolai,
Here is arguably the greatest speech on the proper path for US foreign policy in our history. It was delivered by John Quincy Adams on July 4, 1821, from the well of the House of Representatives:

“… What has America done for the benefit of mankind?

… America, with the same voice which spoke herself into existence as a nation, proclaimed to mankind the inextinguishable rights of human nature, and the only lawful foundations of government. America, in the assembly of nations, since her admission among them, has invariably, though often fruitlessly, held forth to them the hand of honest friendship, of equal freedom, of generous reciprocity.

She has uniformly spoken among them, though often to heedless and often to disdainful ears, the language of equal liberty, of equal justice, and of equal rights.

She has, in the lapse of nearly half a century, without a single exception, respected the independence of other nations while asserting and maintaining her own.

She has abstained from interference in the concerns of others, even when conflict has been for principles to which she clings, as to the last vital drop that visits the heart.

She has seen that probably for centuries to come, all the contests of that Aceldama the European world, will be contests of inveterate power, and emerging right.

Wherever the standard of freedom and Independence has been or shall be unfurled, there will her heart, her benedictions and her prayers be.

But she goes not abroad, in search of monsters to destroy.

She is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all.

She is the champion and vindicator only of her own.

She will commend the general cause by the countenance of her voice, and the benignant sympathy of her example.

She well knows that by once enlisting under other banners than her own, were they even the banners of foreign independence, she would involve herself beyond the power of extrication, in all the wars of interest and intrigue, of individual avarice, envy, and ambition, which assume the colors and usurp the standard of freedom.

The fundamental maxims of her policy would insensibly change from liberty to force….

She might become the dictatress of the world. She would be no longer the ruler of her own spirit….

[America’s] glory is not dominion, but liberty. Her march is the march of the mind. She has a spear and a shield: but the motto upon her shield is, Freedom, Independence, Peace. This has been her Declaration: this has been, as far as her necessary intercourse with the rest of mankind would permit, her practice.”

Now, globalization is a fact. Economic interdependence is a given. Isolationism is impossible. But this speech shows the way, a proper way befitting our role as a world leader, and as its most powerful nation. We can’t go backwards in Iraq. It will take a long time to undo the current gordian knot. But it can be done, and it can done in a way which is to our credit.

Posted by: phx8 at February 17, 2006 5:39 PM
Comment #126594

nikkolai,

Hamas elected leader of the Palis, nukes in Iran, Eurasia in flames, ad nauseum. What do you propose we do?

none of that is even the punchline. While we continue to drain our economy, hemmorhage national debt and steal investment from our next generation,

-Russia continues to pursue economic relations with our enemies
-China buys oilfields in Canada, natural gas fields in Iran, an automotive engine plant in preparation for competing with our crumbling automotive industry in the next decade;

I don’t know if you read the article in USA Today about recent nuclear energy developments, but the author suggested that, based upon radically safer technology being developed in China from work by GE and several other technology leaders, China will likely be building nuclear plants for the west in the next decade or so.

The enemy is our fading techonological supremacy combined with our economy held hostage to perpetual war. North Korea and Iran are the red herrings. Iraq is the booby trap bleeding us weaker.

Posted by: CPAdams at February 17, 2006 5:40 PM
Comment #126595

nikkolai,

Who’s suggesting Appeasement? I’m certainly not. And you’re right that the nukes didn’t just appear in Iran… they were working on them WHILE WE WERE INVADING IRAQ. If we had paid more attention to Iran FIRST, we might not be in the mess we’re in now.

Posted by: Rob Cottrell at February 17, 2006 5:41 PM
Comment #126597

phx8:

Could not agree more. But these are changing times. We are in a global struggle that started 1400 plus years ago. This enemy is perhaps our most challenging ever. They wear no uniforms, have no borders or countries. No need to tell anyone their potential for horrifying weapons. (Ever consider what a dirty bomb going off in, say Houston, would do to this country?

That is our future. I do not think it will go away anytime soon. But we must prevail. Hell, I would sure like to see my 2 year old daughter graduate from college someday.

Posted by: nikkolai at February 17, 2006 5:47 PM
Comment #126599

Rob—The EUROS were the appeasers.

Posted by: nikkolai at February 17, 2006 5:49 PM
Comment #126601

Vic,

I agree. And since I know we will get the old “What was your brilliant idea back then.” I will tell you mine…

My idea was a bit different. Regime change shouldn’t be forced from the outside… for it to work, it has to come from within. So, start with the group that actually wanted independence — the Kurds. Support them in a revolution. Help them to establish Kurdistan, thus limiting Saddam’s power. They already had a basic government structure in place, so the reconstruction time would have been greatly diminished.

Then work on getting the Shia to trust us again enough to lead a revolution of their own.

Posted by: Rob Cottrell at February 17, 2006 5:53 PM
Comment #126605

hey nikkolai,

neither Iraq nor Iran, North Korea or Syria, threatens global dominance like Germany or Japan did over 60 years ago.

We need not risk our survival as a great nation for any of this.

Rob,

I agree with most of what you’ve posted,

phx8,

you too,

but this is a real question - why must we stay in Iraq?

To speed the orderly transfer of power to the dominant Shiites, whose secret death squads are functioning just fine without more stability?

For the Kurds, who will take Kirkuk by force and form their independent federation the second we leave (they’ve waited almost a century for independence, what is an extra year or two?)

For the Sunnis to acquiesce to Shiite revenge?

For the Sunni and Shia militias who are forcibly segregating neighborhoods and cities?

I don’t understand which of these events will be prevented by remaining another two or three years.

Posted by: CPAdams at February 17, 2006 5:55 PM
Comment #126624

I had to take time out from the kitchen and respond to this post.

On several times I said they would fine the WMD’s in Lebanon and Syria. They have found some but not all of them.

I also said I would prepare the bacon for those with egg on their faces. Well, I have to get back to kitchen and finish the bacon.

Posted by: tomh at February 17, 2006 6:49 PM
Comment #126626

Will someone kindly point out the imminent threat? The reason it could not have been handled with diplomacy and time? The reasons at a minimum 40,000 Iraqi civilians had to die for this? After all, isn’t it the argument that we went there to free them? How much more suffering do they deserve? Where’s the REAL concern for their well being?

Posted by: Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout at February 17, 2006 7:01 PM
Comment #126630

Rob,

“So, start with the group that actually wanted independence — the Kurds. Support them in a revolution. Help them to establish Kurdistan, thus limiting Saddam’s power.”

The problem with that idea is that Turkey would never go for it. The Turks have Kurd problems of their own, and are way nervous about what is going on in Iraq with a possibly independent Kurd population just accross the border.
If I remember right that was part of the issue with our having access to Northern Iraq when we invaded.

nikkolai,

“No need to tell anyone their potential for horrifying weapons.”

These guys don’t need horrifying weapons. They are fighting the worlds most powerful nation with spare parts, and leftovers, and (if you pardon the hyperbole), doing a credible job of it.

Posted by: Rocky at February 17, 2006 7:05 PM
Comment #126634

tomh,

“On several times I said they would fine the WMD’s in Lebanon and Syria. They have found some but not all of them.”

And of course you are prepared to back up that asertation with some links to the actual story?

Posted by: Rocky at February 17, 2006 7:09 PM
Comment #126770

Rob C.

“Why do you consider a full scale invasion of Iraq the only option we had for dealing with him?”

One last response before dozing off. First, thanks again for a reasoned debate.

What option did we have left? 14 more UN resolutions? A continued Oil for Food embargo that was only hurting the youngest and poorest (not to mention lining the pockets of several UN members)? Continued getting fired at with SAMs, knocking out their radars and sites, and watching them rebuild the site in a month or so. Missile strikes were useless … where were we going to strike? As mentioned before, one could house enough WMD in a 2000 sqft home to kill 10 million people … hell, you could probably even cut that down to a mobile home . . and that could’ve been anywhere.

A targeted assassination sounds good but the President still cannot technically order a direct assassination attempt of another nation’s executive with that as the only desired result … but it’s okay if he dies in the normal course of battle … which we most definitely tried. But even if we got him on day one of the war the Baathists/Sunnis would’ve remained in charge. No one with reasonable knowledge of Iraq forecasted any major polciy shifts under that premise.

That, plus the point I proved earlier that Saddam was at a point where he had to prove lack of WMD … it wasn’t our job to try to find some trucks or some small hole in the ground where the stuff might be located.

First, we didn’t have the manpower for that. Second, we’re to PC to monitor our own border effectively. More on point, you or someone mentioned earlier something about surrounding Iraq and not going to war until we found definite proof. Iran & Syria would’ve never allowed that . . Turkey would’ve only allowed it momentarily … that idea simply isn’t viable from square one.

Posted by: Ken Cooper at February 18, 2006 1:04 AM
Comment #126773

Terlen:

Please re-think your “worst president” award during your venerable 67 years of life … I do believe you forgot about Lyndon Johnson. Trying to micromanage a war from the White House would be like a GM CEO trying to sell a car … he wouldn’t be good at it, doesn’t know all the features of the car, and couldn’t do the necessary paperwork to save his arse.

Posted by: Ken Cooper at February 18, 2006 1:10 AM
Comment #126831

Nikkolai-
You say it yourself: the threshold for many was an actual threat, especially in the light of the decision to wage war pre-emptively. We should hedge our bets with that kind of war, because the difference between right and wrong can be the difference between a legal war and an illegal one. Taken far enough, it can be the difference between a justified war, and a war of aggression.

I can tell you this: it won’t take a nuclear attack on one of our major cities for me to push for action against the terrorists. 9/11 was enough for me. The thing is, though, I think the Republican analysis of what the threats are, and what they’re really like are off.

Think that through- if I believe that, could I in good conscience support those policies? I will offer criticism, then. Problem is, they accepted none. That’s why we’re in this pickle. Even if these people honestly believe this was the truth, their intellectual disciplines and habits were atrocious, and many have died needlessly in dealing with the errors of this administration, even after the problems were recognized.

We may very well see a nuke in terrorists hands, but perhaps it will be because rather than inspite of Bush’s actions.

TomH-
Please back your assertion with examples and evidence.

Ken Cooper-
The odd fact is, the SAMS never hit anybody. Consider that for a moment. Saddam wanted to give us a little message every now and then that he was still powerful. Of course if he actually turned on his radar, he would lose an air defense post.

As for the WMD, you could say that a half a household was a threat, but none at all is no threat at all. If the WMDs can’t be proven to exist today, then we can’t prove the threat that would come from them.

Also, we were going all out to find the WMDs. It’s not like that scene from Spaceballs where they’re literally combing the Desert for Princess Vespa and LoneStar. There is evidence that can be followed in seeking after these things, even if layers of trickery are involved.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 18, 2006 3:54 AM
Comment #126852

Ken Cooper:

I am overjoyed that you are willing to re-enlist. Can I have your Email?

Posted by: Aldous at February 18, 2006 4:59 AM
Comment #126899

Ken - i don’t believe i charaterized Bush as the “worst” merely the “least able” - the former would take a long torturous string of argument - however the latter simply takes listening to the man talk without having been scripted - there are two kinds of inarticulation 1)the scientist or technician whose knowledge is bursting from the seams of his or her being but who has difficulty verbally organizing it and 2) the person (who we have all met) whose lack of effective argument betrays a lack of understanding of the complexities of an issue and who often relies on pat answers in the form of repeated phrases meant to appeal to emotion rather than reason - sound familiar?

Posted by: Terlen at February 18, 2006 8:07 AM
Comment #126905

Aldous:
I have seen many on this blog use the line, “if you really support the war in Iraq, join the Army or Haliburton.” I am always infuriated by that. Let me explain why.

If you are wearing or have worn the uniform of the United States Military it does NOT matter if you are/were in Fort Ord, Andrews Air Force Base Camp Perry, Naval Submarine Base, Groton, CT, Liberia, Iraq or Turkey. Your service does not reflect your support for a war or a President’s policy. I will get back to this in a second.

It amazes me that people mistakingly think that the Constitution gives them the freedoms and liberty that they enjoy. The Constitution does NOT guarantee you crap. Never has and never will. Liberia, Iraq, the USSR, Cuba, Iran and North Korea all have/had constitutions. Care to go to any one of these and exercise your rights under their laws?

The thing that has so far guaranteed our rights is the fact that men and women have have joined the cause to protect and defend the constitution. Many volunteered to do so, as have all that are serving today. Many were drafted and answered the call only to be spit on by liberals on their return.

In either case these are the people that guaranteed your rights and your liberties. Without them you would not today be able to set around and choose what to post on a blog, choose if/how to worship, choose where you want to live or work, choose how large or small of a family you want or even choose what news you want to read or watch.

If you still believe that we need to enlist to voice support for a military action authorized by congress and the President as per the Constitution, then I hold you to the same standard——- before you speak again, post a link to your DD-214 or call your local recruiter.

Which is it going to be?

Posted by: submariner at February 18, 2006 8:21 AM
Comment #126907

History will judge him, as it does us all. There is no way anyone could predict what his legacy will be yet with any accuracy. From memory, thousgh: “Ayotollahs in Iran, Soviets in Afghanistan”—gas lines—Sandanistas threatening Central America—20% prime interest rate—giant attack rabbits—hard to even CONCEAVE of anyone worse than that….

Posted by: nikkolai at February 18, 2006 8:27 AM
Comment #126914

I meant CONCEIVE. It is early here.

Posted by: nikkolai at February 18, 2006 8:46 AM
Comment #126984

Rocky,

The problem with that idea is that Turkey would never go for it.

We didn’t need Turkey to “go for it”. They didn’t go for our invasion anyway, so what did we have to lose?

The major advantages of supporting Kurdish independence (instead of a full-scale invasion) would have been:

(a) the people actually wanted to be freed,
(b) they already had a new government structure in place,
(c) we would have been helping an existing people defend themselves, instead of invading a resistant nation,
(d) it would have cost a LOT less.

Instead, we’re spending billions of dollars rebuilding an entire country, and still dealing with the power vaccuum from removing Saddam without a government ready to replace him. In a few years, when the Iran-friendly Shiites are in complete control, the Kurds will declare independence anyway, and we’ll have to deal with it then. So what have we saved?

Posted by: Rob Cottrell at February 18, 2006 11:49 AM
Comment #126998

Ken Cooper,

This really has been one of the most civilized debates I’ve had on this topic. Thanks!

What option did we have left?

We had many options — limited only by our imaginations. Sanctions were not perfect, but they did succeed in eliminating at least 85% of Saddam’s WMD capabilities. More weapons were found and destroyed through inspections and sanctions than through invasion. And even if we had found EVERY weapon that we claimed Saddam had, this would still be true!

Even if a non-military solution wasn’t available, full-scale, unilateral invasion wasn’t the only option. I’ve already presented my preferred plan — supporting Kurdish independence. Any plan that involved locating and supporting an INTERNAL resistance (instead of providing the force of change ourselves) would have been preferable.

Posted by: Rob Cottrell at February 18, 2006 12:29 PM
Comment #127013

In my opinion, finding WMD at this point is actually too late. Some (Republican right) will say Aha! Bush was right, there was a reason for the war, Dems and Liberals were wrong, etc. “WE told you so, We told you so” cries will ring out for weeks.

I am thinking that if we find them after all this time, if there was any doubt before, there is no doubt now that we mis-handled the entire war/search, etc. The UN search teams will be laughed into non existence.

I don’t care how big the country(s) are or, how deep the sand, if it takes this long to find something like WMD we lack the technology, ability to plan, our spy network is insufficient or, we really are not trying.

How do you move that much stuff without somebody seeing you or taking a picture of it.

Posted by: steve smith at February 18, 2006 12:48 PM
Comment #127053

I don’t have anything to contribute really, I just wanted to say that I love coming here and reading comments and becoming more informed, one way or another. I rarely see name-calling here, and usually come away more informed than not, through intelligent, well thought-out and usually supported opinions and comments. 99% of the time, these comments are far more intelligent and useful than ones I read many other places - and I really appreciate it - from all sides.
Thanks for the sanity dose, everyone.

Posted by: Kimberly at February 18, 2006 2:55 PM
Comment #127056

“I’ve already presented my preferred plan — supporting Kurdish independence.”
Posted by: Rob Cottrell at February 18, 2006 12:29 PM

Rob:

There were significant logistical problems with supporting an independent Kurdistan. The Kurdish population has a history of being involved in border disputes. Granted this is largely due to the fact that their population base is divided by national boundaries, but that doesn’t negate the legitimate concerns of Turkey who feared military action by an empowered Kurdish base.

The Kurds were also unwilling to extend the olive branch to the Turkish government. You may remember that Iraqi Kurds refused Turkish military forces access to their territory. Given previous Turkish behavior, this position is also understandable.

As it turned out, the Turks were “unhelpful” as Rumsfeld is fond of saying. By stalling their decision to allow coalition forces access to their territory to mount the invasion, the Turks caused delays for redeployment and pushed the attack into the hot season where ground conditions weren’t favorable for the operation of our equipment, and finally the eventual denial of access to Turkish territory resulted in the long march to Bagdad with the long supply line and the unquelled resistance forces in southern Iraq. Bad Turks!

All this being said, everyone was surprised by the admirable manner in which the Kurdish forces have performed. Given their history, it would have been imprudent to assume that they would be team players if presented with an opportunity to pursue old vengences.

Posted by: goodkingned at February 18, 2006 2:59 PM
Comment #127145

GoodKingNed-
The irony is, that there is a good chance that the Turkish government would have let us have the overflight rights, had we not pushed them to get a vote on it. Bush doesn’t realize that sometimes, political sensitivities mean that potential allies maintain neutral or friendly positions which they publically deny, but privately support.

submariner-
However much the military contributes to the continued existence of the nation, it’s existence is defined in our country by the constitution and the law, and what it can and cannot do is defined by the constitution and the laws of congress.

The constitution defines the rules of the game. It provides the backbone and the boundaries for all legislation that congress enacts, including that which defines when it can go to war, how it can go to war, and what it can go to war with. The money to fund our military ventures, our equipment, our standing army of professional soldiers doesn’t magically appear out of the air-it is the revenue of tax dollars collected, appropriated by Congress, and budgeted by the president and his staff. Even the ability of the government to draft soldiers into the army is laid out in the constitution.

As for the rights? Well, they are the reason we’ve fought only one civil war, why our army is not perpetually engaged in peacekeeping actions within its own borders,or protecting a corrupt government from it’s political enemies and critics.

And most of them have to do with keeping the government accountable, vulnerable to its people’s concerns and complaints. This is not a government where the leaders are supposed to be able to go loose-cannon on deck. Some think it is only right that a leader be allowed to do whatever they think is necessary to defend the country, but that means we are at the mercy of both the competence and the worldview of that leaders, regardless of whether either is up to the task. If the leader is a fool, a madman, or just plain a lousy fellow, then our ability to reach a happy ending is reduced, not increased. Even with good leaders, unaccountable power can lead folks to bubble themselves in, to justify lies and deceit, to justify strategically lousy actions in the name of symbolic victories.

By itself that peace of paper is nothing. But that can be said for a heart or a PC’s central chip as well- Neither operates that well without that which surrounds it. But our governments, our bodies, and our computers could not function without their respective centers.

Governments like ours must earn the support they ask for by honest words and reliable deeds, and they must respect the limits of power given them.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 18, 2006 6:06 PM
Comment #127171

Rob C.

Your Kurdish idea had merits in the highest levels of the DoD and probably the White House too. But, in addition to GoodKing’s notes, the other problem we were facing there was the inevitable claim “America’s gonna go in now and split up middle eastern countries in order to cause mayhem and division … that’s their evil plan to bring down the nations of Islam!”

The other problem would be a separation of the Kurds from an oil wealth they have some substantial claim to.


Stephen D.

“If the WMDs can’t be proven to exist today, then we can’t prove the threat that would come from them … “

First, the possible types of WMD under suspicion were fairly well known and the effects of those certain types of WMD were even more well known. Again, the inspections were way too lackluster to prove the non-existence of WMD. And yes, it’s always hard to prove a negative but that’s the hole Saddam painted himself in, and, dare I say, eventually jumped in.

And I’m sincerely all for your idea: “There is evidence that can be followed in seeking after these things, even if layers of trickery are involved.”

I COMPLETELY AGREE!! But, again, one of the lowest profile disasters of the 70’s was when both houses and parties of Congress elected to all but vanquish our Human Intelligence (HumInt) capability. If we had the HumInt capability we had in the early to mid-70’s we could’ve taken care of the Iraqi WMD issue with nary a sole ever really knowing about it. And that to me is the horrible thing about the Iraq War. I agree with the decision going in concerning the circumstances at hand … but if we played our cards right many years ago and just kept up a fairly inexpensive part of our national defense and national security … we’d all be arguing if Luge is a real sport or not.

Posted by: Ken Cooper at February 18, 2006 7:09 PM
Comment #127172

Rob C.

Your Kurdish idea had merits in the highest levels of the DoD and probably the White House too. But, in addition to GoodKing’s notes, the other problem we were facing there was the inevitable claim “America’s gonna go in now and split up middle eastern countries in order to cause mayhem and division … that’s their evil plan to bring down the nations of Islam!”

The other problem would be a separation of the Kurds from an oil wealth they have some substantial claim to.


Stephen D.

“If the WMDs can’t be proven to exist today, then we can’t prove the threat that would come from them … “

First, the possible types of WMD under suspicion were fairly well known and the effects of those certain types of WMD were even more well known. Again, the inspections were way too lackluster to prove the non-existence of WMD. And yes, it’s always hard to prove a negative but that’s the hole Saddam painted himself in, and, dare I say, eventually jumped in.

And I’m sincerely all for your idea: “There is evidence that can be followed in seeking after these things, even if layers of trickery are involved.”

I COMPLETELY AGREE!! But, again, one of the lowest profile disasters of the 70’s was when both houses and parties of Congress elected to all but vanquish our Human Intelligence (HumInt) capability. If we had the HumInt capability we had in the early to mid-70’s we could’ve taken care of the Iraqi WMD issue with nary a sole ever really knowing about it. And that to me is the horrible thing about the Iraq War. I agree with the decision going in concerning the circumstances at hand … but if we played our cards right many years ago and just kept up a fairly inexpensive part of our national defense and national security … we’d all be arguing if Luge is a real sport or not.

Posted by: Ken Cooper at February 18, 2006 7:11 PM
Comment #127174

Aldous, ha! I couldn’t tell if you were sarcastic or not.

I wouldn’t mind giving out my e-mail, just not in a public forum. You see, it seems that when the public gets my e-mail address they somehow reason that my penis is near infinitesimal and hence send me help on the matter. Now, if only my wife would stop forwarding me that kinda stuff.

Posted by: Ken Cooper at February 18, 2006 7:16 PM
Comment #127182

Ken,

“But, again, one of the lowest profile disasters of the 70’s was when both houses and parties of Congress elected to all but vanquish our Human Intelligence (HumInt) capability.”

They did so with good reason, though they may have gone a bit too far. What with Hoover and Nixon’s escapades it was somewhat understandable.
Both parties over-react to scandal. They over-reach when they think that it politically expediant to do so, and as a result the pendulum continues to swing wildly back and forth.

Beyond the “Peace Dividned”, perhaps the Defence Dept. was at least somewhat responsible for the depth of the cuts to the budget ie; $700.00 hammers.

Posted by: Rocky at February 18, 2006 7:44 PM
Comment #127209

Ken-
My argument is that the weapons themselves represent a capability. If the weapons were not there, Saddam lacked the capability, and therefore was not the the threat he would be with those weapons in hand.

Without that capability, the worst he could due is fume and plot. That’s what he did. That’s what we discovered he did. That’s why Bush went from saying that we knew where the weapons were, and that there were weapons, to talking of Weapons of Mass Destruction-related program activities.

Trouble is, we started a pre-emptive war over all this. That meant the ball was in our court as far as the burden of evidence went. And we failed to prove the threat real.

I find that very troubling, not only because it lessens our integrity, but also because it means that we turned aside from more directly terrorist-related matters to chase a red herring. It only becomes worse as the lousy war-planning ironically makes us the author of the conditions that let the terrorists set up their operations, rather than Saddam. That’s humiliating. I got some pride in my country, and to see it brought into such a series of mistakes makes me furious.

As angry as it’s made me, My message has not been anti-war. Recognizing the reality of the situation, I’ve always advocating cleaning up the mess, and leaving Iraq better than we found it. Unfortunately, the Bush administration has stonewalled many of the folks like me to the extent where they’ve given up hopes of making Bush take a better route. Now they just want out.

It hasn’t helped that many on the right have framed this as Vietnam Protest Redux. Ashamed of the treatment soldiers got in Vietnam, most Democrats vowed not to repeate that mistake… And yet we are treated as if we’re spitting on them and calling them baby-killers. We can express the most moderate of views, call for raising troop levels and for finishing the war, yet we get responded to as if we’re out there sticking flowers in rifles. Since the Republicans are in power, and are stubborn about keeping it to themselves, it becomes very hard to see how maintaining support will help anything.

The tragedy of the Iraq war will be the mirror image of Vietnam, in this respect, should things go wrong: instead of the doves not having faith in their fellow Americans, it’s the hawks who failed to reach out and reach a suitable compromise.

The biggest mistake was making this war a political litmus test, when Americans were united about fighting the war on terror. That was needless division we could have done without.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 18, 2006 9:16 PM
Comment #127228

here’s the thing, it has long been known that the left that you so despise also thought saddam had wmd’s or was making them, so i will ease up on him when it comes to that. now the bigger more dangerous issue is where the admin got the intelligence that saddam and iraq had anything to do with 9/11, thats the reason we’re there, hell we could have flown two planes over and bombed if it were really wmd’s. no, this situation is simply as Gary Trudeau puts it “9/11, 9/11, 9/11” well that and oil, god knows those tax deduction gaz guzzling monster suv’s need something to run on.

ill forgive a guy an assumption like wmd’s, but outright unsubstantiated evidence and bald faced lying is not acceptable. what is dangerous is all bush has to do is say is this country or that country had some part in 9/11 and bam! we’re dying there too. when we invade iran next and the draft is instituted, it’ll be because of 9/11, that and the fact the world is running out of oil and we have to shore up our stock before china does.

so when he says wmd’s, he means oil, and when he says 9/11, he means oil. we all know it, so stop with the wmd nonsense, the united states has enough to destroy the world 10 time over, shouldnt we invade ourselves?

Posted by: lucas at February 18, 2006 10:25 PM
Comment #127233

The left can forever bitch and moan about what GWB said leading up to the invasion of Iraq, but there were any number of valid reasons why the invasion itself WAS justified. Not the least of which is this: Saddam broke the terms of the Desert Storm cease-fire, multiple times and in multiuple contexts. Based on that fact alone, the Allies had the right to resume hostilities as necessary to bring about a change in government. Precedence for this is iron-clad and nearly un-ending, but the most obvious example would be Japan and Germany in WWII.
That being said, the real issue right now is “What about Iran?” They are counting on GWB having no more ‘juice’ left to do what is needed. Are the American libs going to fall into this trap or support a needed move to prevent a proven terrorist state from getting nuclear capabilities?

Posted by: John Thomas at February 18, 2006 10:33 PM
Comment #127234

Lucas - We have invaded ourselves. The liberals are everywhere. What liberals espouse is NOT what the Founding Fathers had in mind.

If oil WAS the cause, its a valid one. If Iraq had gained the capacity to turn off the spigots (remember, they massed on the Saudi border after invading Kuwait) they would have been able to cause a recession if not a depression in the free world. What effect would that have on innocent people. This is different from them deciding what to do with their own oil - they invaded a peaceful country without provocation, and seemed ready to repeat it. Other than the fact that appeasement is a magic tool of liberals, why shouldn’t oil be a reason for war??

Posted by: John Thomas at February 18, 2006 10:41 PM
Comment #127237

John Thomas,

“Precedence for this is iron-clad and nearly un-ending, but the most obvious example would be Japan and Germany in WWII.”

Except that Japan actually attacked us, and Iraq didn’t.

“That being said, the real issue right now is “What about Iran?” They are counting on GWB having no more ‘juice’ left to do what is needed. Are the American libs going to fall into this trap or support a needed move to prevent a proven terrorist state from getting nuclear capabilities?”

How much money do you have?
I’m thinking that we’re going to need to take up a collection.

Posted by: Rocky at February 18, 2006 10:46 PM
Comment #127309

Steven:

I do not disagree with anything you said. My point is simply that the statement, “If you support the war then you enlist” is and insult to those that have served and IMHO shows ignorance about what serving this country means. It does Not mean that you support Any/all of the policies of one person or even that you support the laws passed by congress and signed into law by the President. It means that you support the system of government and freedoms that we have.

I have heard that statement and many others along that line, and just couldnt take it any more. Most people do NOT enlist for “Duty, Honor and Country”, I enlisted personally for education and adventure. But a funny thing seems to happen when, for the first time you have Soviets all around you and you are at battle stations- missile. You have to question your choices and come to terms as to whether or not the mission is worth it.

Yes, yes it was then and yes it is now. And for the people that want to say that anyone who supports the President for invading Iraq should “join up and go”, I simply say to those hypocrites that if you support your rights and freedoms, You should “Join up and go where I and many others have been”.

Serving/Not serving in the military does not give one any special rights or limitation to speak out on this or any other issue. Its ironic to me that most people that I have either read those statements from or even heard them on the Sunday talk shows(James Carville comes to mind) have not served in the military. But if they want to make service a qualifier to exercise rights……………boy thats dangerous.

Posted by: submariner at February 19, 2006 4:32 AM
Comment #127339

S.D.

Perhaps it was an over-reach … my goodness, I hope we learned our lesson not to make politics out of security and defense. We should take the necessary steps and not go one iota farther/more harmful.

And again, you keep saying “if the weapons were not there” … But that wasn’t determined until AFTER we went in. The only way to find that out, due to Saddam’s stonewalling, was going in and either finding something, finding evidence they were there and had been transported, or finding out that they didn’t exist at all, at least as far as 2002 is concerned. But that revelation was not possible, and you would not be able to say for sure today (I personally still think you can’t say for sure but it’s mox nix at this point) without us doing what we did. If we didn’t go in THERE IS NO WAY YOU COULD’VE SAID “HE DEFINITELY DOESN’T HAVE ANYTHING.” To assume the telegraphed, pre-briefed inspections could have led you to that type of statement ignores the lack of integrity of the inspections.

Posted by: Ken Cooper at February 19, 2006 7:06 AM
Comment #127406

Ken Cooper-
There are ways of determining the factual existence of WMDs, forensic evidence that a spy or an inspection team could gather. The trouble is, Bush put the cart before the horse and decided that Iraq was the best course of action before he had the facts to justify that view.

That’s where the trouble all started. He committed us to war before he had knowledge of what sort of situation he was commiting us to.

This was not the sort of war that should have been played by ear. This was the largest scale invasion of hostile territory since WWII. Uncertainty about Saddam’s stockpiles is not sufficient reason to invade, especially when the claim is that we’re fighting a pre-emptive war. Such a claim implies that we believe our country has a gun to its head.

Submariner-
Make no mistake, I don’t think we should lightly tell people to enlist. The thing to keep in mind, though, is that many of the people who got us into this war never served themselves. This is true of many of the pundits and intellectuals supporting it as well. To many people fight this war as members of the 101st Keyboardists, with no serious notion of the horrors of war, nor any real thought of Sacrifice. Past generations made no bones about going to wars that they supported. It was considered a duty.

I’m ashamed that we don’t have a more selfless position, that people of my time won’t sacrifice tax cuts and comforts for a war effort. It’s not that I believe ourselves incapable of it. Far from that. I just think we’ve lost sight of the wars we fight as being something the nations as a whole are involved in. That’s half the reason I advocate the restoration of the Draft, knowing I could be called up in one. I’m the grandson of a WWII vet, and feel great pride about what we did there.

I don’t know, maybe that’s the sort of warfighting I prefer: the honest destruction of our enemy’s forces, rather than a lot of political bullshit and impractical policy made to please politicians. The Right could do with a few more veterans in their midst. The left already has a good number.

John Thomas-
On the matter of Iran, I can speak for myself and say that I was wondering why we didn’t turn our efforts to that country instead of Iraq. It doesn’t take a degree in international affairs to know which of these two have more actively supported terror. Is it wrong for liberals like myself to think that terrorist threat should be taken on in order of their severity?

The real issue is whether Bush has strained our resources to the point where such a war with Iran would be difficult. I don’t think Bush would have as difficult a time in rallying Americans against Iran as you think. Trouble is, he’s had another war in the meantime, and that’s reduced our strength.

As for the crack about liberals and the founding fathers, I don’t think the Founding Fathers thought it was the business of the people of their time to determine what we would think for the rest of the country’s history. They’d seen enough hidebound nations where tradition handcuffed good sense to bad government. I think if you actually ran into one and talked over your views, you might find them the conservative and you the liberal by comparison.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 19, 2006 11:45 AM
Comment #127416

Does anyone know the volume of WMD that the U.N. suspected? All the Anthrax, VX nerve gas, and GB would fit on one flat-bed 18 wheeler. Compute it for yourself. The Anthrax alone would fit in a 2m x 2m x 2m box. If a MIG-29 can be buried, how hard would it be to bury this box?
He only had a months warning. Could he have managed to bury this box?

Posted by: Russell Huss at February 19, 2006 12:37 PM
Comment #127496

terlin, i agree mr bush, has made some mistakes,but the title of the worst president,without a doubt would go to mr johnson,lbj, not andrew,that is another story,after all the terrible things, he did,his response, i will not run as president, thank you mr johnson! no 2 worst president mr carter,a good man,but a bad president. lets stand by and watch russia, cuba,take over the world, his grand exit was iran. or was it the mad bunny rabbit? now mr clinton, well,room for rent, sex motel, and while the repubilican congress, did all the right things, with the aid of dick morris,hey they pulled it off! clinton stole all of there hard efforts and took the credit.those puny missles hit the sand and one really bad target a embassy! while we were in this feel good era of clinton the taliban were free to do there good will show, and bin ladin grow in power one hundred fold, welcome to the usa terror cells, and 9/11/ bombers, flight school? no problem we take visa card! just remember to vote for bill and al, i seem to recall all of those tanks, planes, weapons, scuds,were russian. that we used for targets in the gulf war. then the libs shouted poppa bush, why did you cut and go home,hmm it was ok then to destroy iraq, but now hey mr bush about those wmds? did you watch the last the last bin ladin tape did he not say all of there efforts were in iraq and has been for 4 years! yes i pray for those brave troops over there,i seen what war can do,with my own eyes, cant you at least say it is better to fight them there than here?and about your pals that wonderful team of france and germany, hmm, they had there hands in the oil jar in iraq way before we came in, by the way just look at there last elections, looks like the left lost some power big time not only there but in canada and england also! and it was not just there ecomony.

Posted by: r brown at February 19, 2006 4:10 PM
Comment #127514

I have been sitting back for some time reading the many posts here, and the one that I choose to respond to is this one:

“If you still believe that we need to enlist to voice support for a military action authorized by congress and the President as per the Constitution, then I hold you to the same standard——- before you speak again, post a link to your DD-214 or call your local recruiter.”

AMEN!

And for my two cents worth, when someone enlists, don’t they do so knowing that the possibility exists of war, death, dismemberment, etc? I’m pretty sure if all someone wants is to have their college tuition paid for, or to get a regular paycheck, they could find other ways. And somehow I doubt that the person holding the position of Commander In Chief makes a darn bit of difference in that decision to join the ranks (at least I didn’t when I enlisted…). I have three sons, 2 of which talk of joining the Air Force at the age of 18. I support that decision just as I support the decision of the other one to go to college after high school graduation. They are all making informed decisions and doing what they feel is “right” for them. The 2 that may join the military know the potential risks, but they also know that the benefits (what the US Military stands for) far outweigh those risks.

As far as the WMD, WWII and all the other bickering (for lack of a better word) I certainly have my own opinions, but being a “righty” I actually fear voicing them here-which is why I haven’t. I have to commend those other rights that have, as it seems we’re in the minority here. But I would like to make one thing clear-I respect EVERYONE’S opinions, I don’t care if you’re right, left or Perot (LOL) and I rather enjoy reading all of the different viewpoints. Sometimes these things can seem (maturity wise) more like a kindergarten room than a place where adults can converse civilly. Kudos to the moderators for keeping the name calling, etc at bay and reminding us that, along with being Americans comes our right to our own opinion, and as long as we state those opinions in a respectable manner it can make for very interesting conversation. Heck, some of us might even learn something! =)

Posted by: Tanya at February 19, 2006 5:34 PM
Comment #127594

expatUSA_Indonesia …

you’re exactly where you should be … since you deem your ex-country to f’in stupid I would have to, however, question the “pat” in “expat”.

Posted by: Ken Cooper at February 19, 2006 10:58 PM
Comment #127608

Stephen D.,

Yeah, I don’t know what else to say. Yes, proper, impromptu unlimited inspections could’ve allowed a more definitive “He has them” or “He doesn’t have them” statement, BUT SADDAM DID NOT ALLOW FOR THOSE TYPES OF INSPECTIONS. And, since Saddam did not allow any definitive determination, Bush had to make a judgement call. And, based on Saddam’s history, blatant disregard of the Gulf War I surrender agreement, blatant disregard of 14 UN Resolutions, and a monthly “Death To America” chant … I couldn’t agree more with the basic decision to go in, especially after 9/11. Patience was justifiably thin with any and all matters, “uncertain” or certain.

And “uncertainty” is most definitely a dangerous word with a madman of a leader who ran roughshod, along with his sons, over his own people for goodness sakes. To think he would have any regard for world society in general is ridiculous beyond words in my opinion.

Posted by: Ken Cooper at February 19, 2006 11:19 PM
Comment #127687

R Brown said: “about your pals that wonderful team of france”

My reply: Don’t EVEN get me going on France!!! I’d like to form a relatively good impression of myself on the rest of the group before I start opening cans, especially since you’d already decided from post #1 of mine that you think I’m only qualified to speak of birthing children-but that’s OK, I can get past that-I will even admit that I tend to agree with much of what you said in this post. But, for now, I’ll keep my opinions on this one to myself….

Posted by: Tanya at February 20, 2006 4:18 AM
Comment #127700

I think many have forgotten how many people Saddam ultimately killed during his reign-Americans included! And after his outright defiance of the UN and the first Iraq war surrender, I suppose we should have just continued to look the other way until we had a reenactment of something like 9/11 or Pearl Harbor…THEN would it have been appropriate to topple his regime, or should we STILL have just let it go?

As for OBL-he WILL be found (dead or alive), snakes can only hide in the grass for just so long…and at that time, MAYBE, just maybe, some of us will see the positive side of all of this…

Posted by: Tanya at February 20, 2006 5:52 AM
Comment #128141

Tanya-
What you do with a person like Saddam, is you get him red handed on something, and use that as your reason for war. Then nobody can say your cause for war is a deception.

This is part of what makes recruiting so difficult. John Kerry once asked how you ask a person to be the last man to die for a mistake. Well, here many Americans could ask whether they want to be the next person to die for a mistake, and honestly many don’t want to. It’s a tad self-centered of a notion of things, but since Bush never really asked the sacrifice of the average American to support this war in the beginning, it’s perhaps unfair to expect people to suddenly start sacrificing without a serious reason to do so.

This is the mistake of a Guns and Butter approach to warfare, and perhaps one of the problems of having a large professional volunteer army that engages in its military affairs with little interaction with the general populace. In old times, when people were drafted into the army, there was more of a sense of service for the country. Unfortunately, military service has gotten politicized (both sides to blame, unfortunately), and the army has become more right-wing than the general public.

If I had my druthers, I would restore the draft, make it to where people no longer could advocate for war without risking their own lives.

I think the Republican partyunderestimates the intelligence, the willpower, and the patriotism of the average American outside their party. I for far too long, Republicans have allowed themselves to believe that they were the exclusive standard bearers for national security, and the result is they have become lax, naively idealistic about military matter, and altogether too defensive about matters in which admitting error would be the wiser course of action, and the best for morale.

If you don’t admit mistakes, people get discouraged as they see the consequences of the error unfold without your acknowledgment. It brings up two bad possibilities: You don’t know things are getting that bad, or you don’t care. That inspires fear and doubt, because while Americans rarely cower in the face of the enemy, the thought that their own people are blind and deaf to what’s really going on scares the shit out of them.

For months on end, The Bush White House, and all the pundits on the right insisted there were WMDs in Iraq. Search after search, speech after speech, people got the sense that the critics were correct as everything turned up empty. Two weapons inspectors went in and found nothing besides the last desperate remnants of the program- not an immediate danger that would justify pre-emption.

What would have justified that would be facilities in production, stockpiles found (whether buried or above ground), an infrastructure truly rebuilt, and a nuclear program somewhere else than on paper. That is what the American people were told we would find. This was presented without all the doubts and uncertainty that you folks say come with the territory now. These things were presented as if we actually knew where the stockpiles where, where the facilities were, and what Saddam was doing. Even then, though, the Bush Administration knew their evidence was shaky, hell, was even willing to use shaky evidence if it was scary enough to get Americans to fight this Iraq war. Whether their intentions were good or not, they did not give the American people the chance to decide on this war by informed consent, despite the fact that American citizens would be put in harm’s way, and the American people would face the results of any foreign policy mistake they committed.

It is a terrible thing to do to a people going to war, to set them up to fight on a the basis of bad information. War is complicated and morally taxing enough as it is, without throwing in confusion about how we fight, and why we fight. The Bush Administration bears the responsibility for this.

I have never had a problem with seeing Saddam go. Didn’t much care for the Baathist government around him. God knows, I must be honest, I have long regretted that we never finished the job and brought the consequences of the Gulf War back to Saddam, that we left the minorities of that country out to dry, having urged them to fight. I too believed that Saddam was hiding WMDs when we first invaded.

I’m sounding like some of y’all, right? It’s not that odd a thing, really. Where I differ is that I don’t have the notion that we can or should invade without having a good plan and a good justification for it. Where I also differ is that I believed that without Iraq being a graver threat than al-Qaeda, al-Qaeda would take priority. Let Saddam try something stupid, I’d have said then, then we’ll show him what happens to stupid people who think they can exploit our vulnerabilities.

I don’t believe in pre-emptive warfare being all that useful. First of all, you make all the first mistakes, and the enemy gets to respond to them. In the Gulf War, Saddam had already put his forces out in the field, and his success depended on keeping them there. He couldn’t withdraw without losing face. Here, we put ourselves in that inflexible position, and worse yet, did it unprepared. We won because of two things: We were strong, and they weren’t planning on fighting us directly.

But once our mobility ceased to be an advantage, as it ceased to be with the Germans after their conquests were made, and as it ceased to be with the Iraqis in Kuwait, we had the problem of playing King of the Hill without enough kids to push all the other boys and girls away from the top.

It is the mismanagement and poor justification of this war that galls me, not the fact we went to war against Saddam, nor our war on terror against Bin Laden and his allies. I don’t mind us doing some military, diplomatic, and covert arm twisting and undermining on those supporting the terrorists, and on the terrorists themselves. I don’t mind killing the terrorists, locking them up and throwing away the key, or planting wiretaps on their phones (with warrants, if we choose to bug an American)

What I mind are methods that make us look bad, that erase the distinction between their cruelty and ours. What I mind is a lack of honesty about how the war is going. What I mind is not putting the manpower in when its needed. What I mind is this hare-brained, divisive rhetoric whose only purpose is to use the common cause of homeland security as a wedge issue to benefit the GOP. What I mind is people making excuses for Bush where they should be demanding results. What I mind is being told that because I am a liberal and a Democrat that I don’t have the guts, the disposition or the strength of character to fight alongside my Republican Peers in the war on terror. What I mind is the steady erosion of the freedoms we are supposed to be fighting to protect. What I mind is that people have actually let the terrorists get to them so badly, that they are willing to throw away the freedoms they so patriotically proclaim to others to be safe.

Whatever happened to wanting to be free, to valuing liberty over personal safety, integrity over reputation, result over desire, and what was good for everybody, as opposed to what merely benefits yourself? I guess what bugs me the most, in the end, is that under conservative leadership, this nation seems to have lost more of it’s good old-fashioned values than it has retained. The Right, it seems, has reduced its defense of our values to a level not much better than prudery and sticking its nose in everybody’s business.

I want my country back. I want our pride back. I want us to start being the nation that can do things, rather than the one that delivers its next excuse as to why not instead. I want us to start valuing what we can do with our lives more than than just our continued existence within them. I want us to value more in the economy than just numbers and dollars and cents.

In this war on terror, I would like us to be interested in more than raising the enemy body count. Our war in Vietnam showed the futility of fighting a war that way. No, I want us to go in with certain results in mind, and do what it takes to get those results consistent with good character and reasonable standards of civilized behavior. In founding a Democracy by force, the example we make of ourselves is as important as the process we set in motion.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 21, 2006 8:46 AM
Comment #128261

Stephen:

Its 4:14 PM EST. I am sorry that I have been slow to respond to your posts, we lost our server to a snow storm for a day and a half. I plan to respond within the next couple of hours when I get squared away. Good Posts, we have common ground and differences also. Should make for a good conversation.

Tanya:

Thank you for your service and thank your Children for me also.

Posted by: submariner at February 21, 2006 4:18 PM
Comment #128317

Stephen:

I would like to start on the common ground. To be honest, I think most everyone has the same goals for this great land of ours. If we were to to get down to it the question then become how do we achieve them. That is where the differences begin.

I too would like my country back. I am so mad at both parties for putting their PARTY ahead of true national intrests. I was raised in an area that simply had no Republicans. Not by party any way, although they were all conservative. Now you have to look long and hard to find a conservative Democrat with prominent party positions that is willing and able to advance those positions. At the same time, the Republicans have sold out their fiscal consertativism trying to buy votes through spending.

Both sides are so blinded by trying to gain or retain power that they will do,say or sell out any principle to do so. Both sides are spewing more hatred to this end than should be tolerable. Most people will back President Clinton on issues and condemn President Bush for doing the same thing and visa versa. I can understand the idea that you have to be in power to achieve change, but if you have to forfeit your principles to stay in power, are the changes you are making good?

As far as the war in Iraq goes I think we have fundamentally different views. IMHO President Bush made the correct decision. From the early 1980’s the whole world knew he posessed and would use them. Sadaam had signed and broken terms of surrender. He had fired on American planes and men on almost a daily basis. He defied and deceived the UN programs including the inspections and “Oil for Food”. In light of international terrorist attacks, the burden of proof was on Sadaam. Even if the inspections played out, and everyone was satisified that he did not posess WMD’s, he would have started the production up and the origional problem would return—-except no one would have known. That has more long range implications that are plain frightening.

You quoted John Kerry. IMHO that is not a good source. I would like to suggest that you read his Congressional testimony after he returned from Vietnam. He made up allegations against both himself and his mates. He either should have been tried either for war crimes or perjury. I do not dislike him because of his party or his left leanings. I dislike him because he damaged my military just for political gains. There are those on the right that has done the same. Regardless of Party, those actions are wreckless at best and treasonous at worse.

As far as the draft goes I think you are wrong on the issue. When we had the draft, morale was at an all time low, dicipline was a huge problem and drugs were rampant. If I were in combat, I would want to be with volunteers. The draft would damage the military, not help it.

Have you wondered how and when national security became politicized? In the 1950’s about half of the members of Congress were veterans. Today I believe the number is in the 30’s. Not percent. 30something(if I am wrong, please correct this…I couldnt find hard numbers and am using some I read a couple of years ago.) members. Out of 535. We have a total lack of people in Washington that have been willing to put everything on the line for this country. We have too many that are willing to put their country on the line for their Party and personal advancement.

I hope to continue the talk and welcome any/all constructive comments. Maybe we can learn a little.

Posted by: submariner at February 21, 2006 6:59 PM
Comment #128490

submariner-
Others have come forward and recorded similar allegations. I don’t see the problem in acknowledging that many got us into that war with good intentions, but also admitting that it became a bloody mess where we lowered ourselves, lied to ourselves, and crippled our ability to consider our military goals in a unified manner for a generation.

The question is not whether Saddam could be a threat to the stability of the region, or whether it would have been the humane thing to destroy and replace his regime. It’s clear that he has caused problems, and that he’s a nasty tyrant.

We should have gone in, though, in such a way that the interests of this country were better served. The strategical big picture must be considered, even if we have the best of intentions. To do otherwise is to court the possibility of a series of noble but draining failures. And yes, we can fail, and should consider that possible, not to drown ourselves in pessimism, but to prepare ourselves for the challenges, and give ourselves the ability to recognize where our strength alone is insufficient.

I know the urge to grab control of the situation in the middle east is strong, but its an urge that must be balanced with the knowledge that not every important factor or decision there is in our hands.

The draft isn’t necessarily the problem. What’s the problem is that people weren’t properly convinced of the rightness of the war, or their ability to make a difference. The quality of leadership determines the quality of the soldiers that come from a draft. People will take their cues from those who lead them into battle. If their experience convinces them of the stupidity of how things are being run in the theatre of battle, and the successes are few and far between, morale and subsequently discipline will falter. If they end up having to lie to their commanders to get the right things done, that will pose a problem for discipline and morale. I don’t think we can win this war apart from an increase in manpower, and a change in the attitudes of the leadership.

We have to have a good sense of how things are actually going in Iraq. All this secrecy and ass-covering has only served to make people stateside more nervous and uncertain about the war they’re fighting. If you don’t trust the people to understand the war you’re fighting, they won’t trust you to fight it right.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 22, 2006 10:42 AM
Comment #128683

Stephen:

I don’t think that anyone can argue that mistakes were not made in the war. There mistakes made in every facet of every military operation planned. It just works out that the other side never cooperates with your battle plan. Also, we have a tendancy to plan for the last war. Had Sadaam dug in and defended his country at either one of the choke points(I forget the valley name) or around Baghdad, we would have had them take a beating and probably some divisions surrender or even mutiny. We would have been 3 years ahead of where we started. That is a tactical not stragetic mistake.

As far as crippling our ability to consider our military goals in a unified manner for a generation, let me pose you a question. If prior to our invasion it was known that there could be 20,000 American soldiers killed by chemical weapons, would you have still supported it or even thought it would have been worth it?

I ask this for one simple reason. I remember ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN and FOX all reporting that the DOD had ordered that many body bags. I dont recall one Senator or Repersentative that stepped up and said that was too high of a figure for us to go in. Correct me if I am wrong on that, but I never heard one M.C. say that the cost was too high. If there were some, they are the only ones qualified to use the deaths of Americans as a justification of pulling out of Iraq.

Contrast that to what the comments are being made today. If any Senator today says that one-tenth that amount is horrible but didnt make a stand on 20,000 what is their justification? They are guilty of putting Pary above Country.

That is just a Political trick to weaken a Party and a President with the goal of gaining power for ones Party. It is cheap and devisive. It is also doing more damage to this Country at both home and abroad. Some of the Democratic Leaders rhetoric has been used in context by Al-Jereeza(sorry for the spelling) and by terrorists for propaganda. Is being the majority party worth that?

As far as secrecy goes, there are secrets the government needs to keep for this Country to be secure. I am outraged that Mrs. Plame’s name was leaked. I am as outraged that the monitoring of foreign calls by suspected terrorists were leaked. IMHO the latter was more damaging. Ever wonder why Osama has not been caught, but he has had a couple of #2 and #3 men killed? Could it be that Osama is held up in not the best of accomidations and is only able to communicate with his organization by courrier and we have been through the NSA to intercept the communications of his Lieutenants and then bring justice to them?

Again IMHO both leakers should be prosecuted. But the three questions that comes to mind are which leak caused more harm to national security, where is the outrage on both and why is there no outrage one one?

I agree that we need to know what is going on Iraq, but I dont think that the reporting is doing a fair job. Please don’t think that I believe that there is a conspiracy amongst all reporters, but face it, bad stories sell. How many subscribers would the NY Times have or how many viewers would a broadcast news network have if all they ran were feel good stories. But I see no balance from any media on this issue.

I can say through personal experiences that the morale among several units are sky high. I also have gotten responses from several different units talking about their achievements and none or none like them have been reported. Senator Liberman actually visited some of the folks I have heard from and he was browbeat for having good news from Iraq.

As far as the draft goes, I think that it would do everyone some good to get at least a taste of the military, but not through the draft. Currently everyone in the Military has volunteered for service at least once. Morale is tied directly to dicipline and pride. Forcing people to enlist infuses a population of people who have neither. Many wont care if they carry out their orders, if they stay in trouble or are kicked out. The Military is about putting others ahead of self. The draft can only hinder that.

Posted by: submariner at February 22, 2006 7:07 PM
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