Third Party & Independents Archives

Bringing Back The Past

Normally conservatives are picked out as being a group consistently trying to bring back the past. But over the past few years their penchant for nostalgia has been far surpassed by the liberals who are trying to liken any event to the ‘good old days. Those days, of course, are during the civil rights movement and Vietnam, the age of flower power and Woodstock. These were important events on either side of the spectrum and should be held in remembrance for the enormity of what they meant. Unfortunately, in calling their images back into vogue and comparing every event of the day to them for attempted political gain is only cheapening and sullying what that time in our history meant.

We all have seen the constant, tireless attempts to label the Iraq war II as 'Bush's Vietnam'. Even though both events were wars without UN approval, that's about all that can be said to be similar to these two events. But little by little the constant clanging of the comparison through all reaches of the opposition out onto the political landscape has deafened many people's ears to the bad comparison. So much so that I'm afraid people forget just what an enormous event Vietnam was to those of us who grew up in its wake and the wake of Korea as well.

But now we have the Washington Post and Al Sharpton calling out the comparison bells again, this time to somehow link Rev. Sharpton's visit to the anti-war protests in Crawford, TX to the civil rights movement and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr! From the lead of the article:

Al Sharpton, the civil rights activist and former presidential candidate, rallied antiwar protesters here Sunday, drawing comparisons with the civil rights movement on this anniversary of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech.

I understand the desire to call upon the ghosts of our past to evoke emotions and political power of the present, I've even seen this done on the right with comparisons of Hussain to Hitler. But we can't continue to use this very easy tactic in political debate or we will lose all meaning for what these events MEAN TO US. The civil rights movement was so much more than what we are seeing in the anti-war protests going on right now. Yet there is an attempt to attach it to these special historic events to get people to do what they might ordinarily not.

And to me, that is the definition of a religion, to use imagery and faith to get people to act. We don't need to be creating religious ideologues out of these events. We need to continue discussing these events civilly and with reason. But I'm afraid we have started past the point of no return in today's political climate.

Posted by Rhinehold at August 30, 2005 2:04 PM
Comments
Comment #76582

Instead of using the typical comparison between Iraq and Vietnam, Timothy Garten Ash has written an interesting article comparing Iraq to the Boer Wars.

It’s worth checking out.

Posted by: LawnBoy at August 31, 2005 2:20 PM
Comment #76592

I think a little honesty would have been in order for both Vietnam and Iraq. It’s much easier to put your lives and the lives of others in the hands of those you trust. Once that trust is destroyed, it takes a great deal of effort to rebuild that trust. It has not been seen from this administration.

You will not win the war to gain support for the military policy in Iraq by further alienating the very people you must convince of the rightness of the war. This isn’t about left versus right, this is about truth versus falsity, right versus wrong. If Bush cannot demonstrate moral leadership, he will not be able to convince people to buy into keeping this war going.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at August 31, 2005 2:39 PM
Comment #76620

Rhinehold,

It can be difficult for today’s American to find historical comparisons since the since history like the world must revolve around them and the USA is still wet behind her ears. ;)

Lawnboy,

Excellant article! Thanks for the link.

Posted by: jo at August 31, 2005 3:24 PM
Comment #76630

jo,

Glad to help. Ash is a very interesting writer. His book The Magic Lantern : The Revolution of ‘89 Witnessed in Warsaw, Budapest, Berlin, and Prague is a great first-hand telling of the fall of Communism in Eastern Europe. I highly recommend it. It’s given me a lot of insight for my trips to those cities.

Unfortunately, I misspelled his name. It’s Timothy Garton Ash.

Posted by: LawnBoy at August 31, 2005 3:42 PM
Comment #76634

We all have seen the constant, tireless attempts to label the Iraq war II as ‘Bush’s Vietnam’. Even though both events were wars without UN approval, that’s about all that can be said to be similar to these two events.

Let’s see:

1. the US military fighting a war in a hugely divided country against insurgents whom we cannot find.

2. Many of our longstanding allies opposed to our military policy there.

3. No one supporting the war able to finish this sentence: “We are at war over there because …”

I see a lot more valid comparisons.

Al Sharpton, the civil rights activist and former presidential candidate, rallied antiwar protesters here Sunday, drawing comparisons with the civil rights movement on this anniversary of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech.

I’ll say it now: Al Sharpton does not now and never did speak for the liberals in this country on civil rights or any other major issue. He couldn’t even get African Americans to vote for him in sizeable numbers in the recent presidential primaries. False comparison here

Posted by: steve at August 31, 2005 3:48 PM
Comment #76650

Steve:

No one supporting the war able to finish this sentence: “We are at war over there because …”

Then you haven’t been listening.

Posted by: Chi Chi at August 31, 2005 4:17 PM
Comment #76690

Chi Chi-
The trouble is, the honest answer is the very answer we can’t say because the facts no longer support it. It’s the answer that denies us international support, because it means we got ourselves in this damn mess illegitimately, and therefore are welcome to get our own damn selves out of it whenever we feel like it.

It’s the answer that the Soldier can’t use to justify his presence, that Bush can’t use to justify why flag draped coffins fly home. It’s the answer that would have justified our presence, our circumvention of international authorities-

In short, it was the answer that would have given an honest heart to this war, and truth in its veins instead of lies and ambiguity.

This could have been Gulf War II, instead of the eerily close remake of Vietnam that it’s slowly become.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at August 31, 2005 5:38 PM
Comment #76691


No one supporting the war able to finish this sentence: “We are at war over there because …”
Then you haven’t been listening.

I have. I’ve been listening and reading intently since the Fall of 2002. I just have yet to comprehend any of the logic:

1. Let’s stop their WMD program. (which the weapons inspectors told us didn’t exist. And those inspectors were correct.)

2. They’re terrorists (who had nothing to do with 9/11).

3. We’re bringing democracy and freedom to them (New argument raised after the war started).

4. The soldiers who’ve died over there should not have died in vain. (latest new argument now that democracy and freedom are proving hard to come by.)


Chi Chi: Feel free to post YOUR explanation of the war, but it better be one I can find Bush using PRIOR to the start of the war.

Posted by: steve at August 31, 2005 5:41 PM
Comment #76695

No, Stephen, the facts do in fact support it. Because, however, the administration screwed it up it now appears to lack legitimacy, firing up the opponents of the administration to continuously hammer at the wedge and try to drive it harder and harder in order to gain political favor.

I’ve detailed and we’ve debated over and over on this one. You say Saddam was safely tucked away and impotent, I say he wasn’t. I provide facts to back up my side and you provide facts to back up yours.

The only thing we can say is that it is DEBATABLE as to what extent Saddam had the means to be a threat to the US, but there is no way to debate that he WANTED to strike at the US and the inability to know for sure what was going on was never going to satisfy everyone. As I stated before, even Blix admitted in his address to the UN that Iraq had violated 1441. How many more violations were we going to allow? Sure, if we gave him another 3 months to 2 years he might have been able to convince people that Saddam was playing games with them, but it would never be good enough for everyone. And had he done so, the sanctions would have been lifted, because that was the only reason they were in place, and by now he would have been able to reconstitute and strike at the US or Israel or another neighbor.

Don’t be led astray by your hatred of Bush and his administration, there were very real threats in the saddam regime, threats that even Kerry and Clinton (both of them) agree were enough to remove him from power. Remember what the responses of many of the democratic senators who voted for the resolution said when asked if they would still have voted for the resolution knowing we were wrong about the state of the WMD programs in Iraq. That should tell you a few things about the real threat that Iraq did possess at the time.

Posted by: Rhinehold at August 31, 2005 5:52 PM
Comment #76697
Chi Chi: Feel free to post YOUR explanation of the war, but it better be one I can find Bush using PRIOR to the start of the war.

Why?

By making that requirement, that Bush had used it, you are saying that Bush screwed up by not selling the war correctly. I think many people agre with that!

However, that does NOT mean there wasn’t enough reason for the war, in fact there was overwhelming reasons as I’ve detailed many times. You just refuse to accept them because BUSH didn’t make the case.

In fact, Clinton did a great job of making the case in 1998 and I was saddened to see us once again fail to do what we needed to do then and just bomb a few places which had no real lasting effect on them. We let the citizens of Iraq hang in the wind and allowed saddam to mow them down when they did rebel after we ENCOURAGED them to do so. More than anything, our need to set things right in that area and remove the brutal dictator that was oppresing millions of people was plenty of enough reason in my book.

But Bush didn’t sell the war correctly, so we shouldn’t have went, according to you. And as a result thousands upon thousands of innocent people continued to die at the hands of oppressive sanctions and a brutal dictator.

We’re such a compassionate country!

Posted by: Rhinehold at August 31, 2005 5:58 PM
Comment #76706

Of coarse the Liberials want to link Iraq with Vietmam. They most likely hope it turns out the same way so they can put the US down even more.

The war is lost;
Posted by Aldous

And here’s the proff.

Posted by: Ron Brown at August 31, 2005 6:23 PM
Comment #76709

Here’s an idea.
Sense youall liberials think that the war isn’t being run right, why don’t youall enlist and volenteer to go to Iraq. I’ll personally write a letter to Bush asking him to make one of youall a General and give you full athority to run the war as you see fit. That way you can have things your way over there.

Posted by: Ron Brown at August 31, 2005 6:28 PM
Comment #76724

Lawnboy — very interesting article.
Aldous, yours too. The Raw Story is a website I check out almost everyday. Excellent resource.

Posted by: Adrienne at August 31, 2005 7:45 PM
Comment #76745

How does one recognize a (&$%(* when one sees it if one has never seen it before. That is what the past does for us. It gives us patterns and designs of recognition with which to assess the similarities and differences of what is new against what is known.

There is no Jungle in Iraq - Difference. We are embedded in a civil conflict in Iraq - Similarity. There are many similarities between our current involvement in Iraq to Viet Nam, and there are many differences. Some on the left want to deny the differences, some on the right want to deny the similarities. Anyone who denies either has an opinion which isn’t worth much in terms of realistic and potentially constructive appraisal of the situation. Which is no big deal if it is a couple bloggers doing the denying.

But when the leader of the conflict is denying similarities and differences, our whole nation will pay the price for such lack of intellectual acumen. Anyone remember Waterloo? How about the USSR? How about King George in the 1700’s? When leaders deny reality for ideological or personally biased reasons, whole nations lose.

Saddam Hussein denied the inevitability of invasion as a result of his continued non-compliance with Security Council directives. His whole nation now pays the price along with him. This is the threat of leaders who deny realities appraised by similarities and differences between what is new and what is past.

Posted by: David R. Remer at August 31, 2005 8:43 PM
Comment #76751

David

Saddams country is paying the price of Saddam; that is true. But they are paying less now than they were before 2003. If you look at the Brooking stats I mentioned above. Most Iraqis think life is better now than before the war and most think it will be even better in the future.

We can argue whether or not the war was good for the U.S., but it was on balance good for Iraq.

Posted by: jack at August 31, 2005 9:05 PM
Comment #76757

Jack, I will readily concede the possibility that the Iraqi people could be better off in the long run. But, we ain’t there yet. Fear is just as prevalent in Iraq today as it was under Saddam. We’ll see. If civil war for decades can be avoided, you may be proved right.

Posted by: David R. Remer at August 31, 2005 9:32 PM
Comment #76774

The fundamental problem in Iraq doesn’t lie in the invasion; it lies in the occupation.

Saddam was a sadistic and delusional megalomaniac. Iraq, the US and the world are better off without him.

Bush’s problem, IMO, is that he is so simplistic that he sincerely thinks that if you do good deeds, good things will happen. Take out Saddam, and things will work out. He had absolutely no idea what he was getting into. Clueless. Now the American soldiers and Iraqis are paying the price for his obtuseness. Because he has no vision of what should have replaced the tyrant, he’s been forced into bed with his new girlfriend, Rosie Scenario.

Conversely, the reason that the peace movement is invoking the ideologies of the past demonstrates the paucity of their intellectual wherewithal. Their moral impetuous is as simplistic and vacuous as Bush’s. And they’re wrong, too.

The amoral isolationism they espouse is as atavistic as the post-modern colonialism espoused by the neocons.

Posted by: Chuck Hanrahan at August 31, 2005 10:17 PM
Comment #76823

rb posted: “Here’s an idea.
Sense youall liberials think that the war isn’t being run right, why don’t youall enlist and volenteer to go to Iraq. I’ll personally write a letter to Bush asking him to make one of youall a General and give you full athority to run the war as you see fit. That way you can have things your way over there.”

i think the point was that we didn’t want to go over there in the first place…we wanted to find bin laden…but why quibble?

by the way…wicked good english, way to shun the stereotype.

Posted by: views at September 1, 2005 1:41 AM
Comment #76836

Sadly, but not surprisingly, the politicization and demagoguery has begun.

Posted by: LawnBoy at September 1, 2005 2:59 AM
Comment #76838

Sorry, I meant that to be in a thread about Katrina. Please ignore.

Posted by: LawnBoy at September 1, 2005 3:00 AM
Comment #76904

We are at war because …

Each time I ask this question, the answer gets longer and longer, and ever more convoluted.

You look at every war the U.S. fought and only two require such a bizarre explanation for the fighting: Vietnam and Iraq II. Even some of our wars that I also felt were totally unjustified have straight forward answers. Panama: Noreiga was involved in drug smuggling in the U.S. Grenada: The government was cozying up to the Soviet Union. So as I read the posts about why we are fighting in Iraq I keep having to remind myself that we had a national debate back in the Fall of 2002 and Winter of 2003. I didn’t agree with the arguments then an I still do not.

I certainly reject any and all arguments added after the war started, after the first ones proved to be lies. That’s just running for cover after you’ve totally screwed up. I stood out in the Freezing cold of the National Mall 3 months before the war started, protesting it on the same reasons I am using here. We had no evidence that Iraq was a threat to the United States. Iraq has nothing to do with the terrorist attacks in the United States. (And I will be there against in Sept. 24th!)

Reinhold’s answer is to say “I’ve already answered that.” But that is just engaging in the same running for cover that that is going on in the Bush Adminstration. I’d just like someone to finish the sentence. Is it “Iraq might have WMD?” Is that the reason we went to war? On a maybe?


Now I’m told to not let my hatred of Bush cloud my judgement. I don’t hate Bush. I do think he is a liar and irresponsible. Clinton was a liar but I did not hate him because it was about his personal life. I did not hate Reagan or Bush Sr. But this guy lies so much it’s shameful.

It’s now nearly 4 years after 9/11 and Bin Laden and Al Qaeda are still out there, attacking innocent civilians. Heck — 4 years after Pearl Harbor the axis powers were defeated. And Bush, with the mightiest army the world has ever seen is fighting the wrong war!

Posted by: steve at September 1, 2005 11:00 AM
Comment #76913

Steve, are you aware a Saudi ambassador to the US was named recently who had high level dealings with al-Queda prior to 9/11?

You will be hearing more about it. A number of books are about to hit the shelves with information left out of the 9/11 investigation reports from a host of official records and credible government employees or former employees or foreign intelligence agencies. Got this information from a panel hearing reviewing gaping omissions in the 9/11 Report on C-Span.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 1, 2005 11:09 AM
Comment #76947
Sense youall liberials think that the war isn’t being run right, why don’t youall enlist and volenteer to go to Iraq. I’ll personally write a letter to Bush asking him to make one of youall a General and give you full athority to run the war as you see fit. That way you can have things your way over there.

Ron, I’m glad to see Republicans finally wising up and wanting a Democrat in charge. If you can pull that off, sign me up. I’ll win it.

Posted by: American Pundit at September 1, 2005 12:53 PM
Comment #76952
In fact, Clinton did a great job of making the case in 1998 and I was saddened to see us once again fail to do what we needed to do then and just bomb a few places which had no real lasting effect on them.

That’s an interesting assessment, Rhinehold. Gen. Zinni, the CENTCOM commander, had had a different take on it (from the book, “Battle Ready”):

None of the equipment or facilities targeted had been prepared for it. None had been moved (no shell game). All the targets had been hit — hard. Zinni told his boss, General Shelton, “We’ve done about as much damage to the WMD program as we’re going to do. Any more would just be bombing for bombing’s sake.”

If there were any WMD or WMD programs in Iraq before 1998, Clinton’s operation got the job done. There obviously weren’t any WMD there after 1998.

Posted by: American Pundit at September 1, 2005 1:01 PM
Comment #76958
I certainly reject any and all arguments added after the war started, after the first ones proved to be lies. That’s just running for cover after you’ve totally screwed up. I stood out in the Freezing cold of the National Mall 3 months before the war started, protesting it on the same reasons I am using here. We had no evidence that Iraq was a threat to the United States. Iraq has nothing to do with the terrorist attacks in the United States. (And I will be there against in Sept. 24th!)

Reinhold’s answer is to say “I’ve already answered that.” But that is just engaging in the same running for cover that that is going on in the Bush Adminstration. I’d just like someone to finish the sentence. Is it “Iraq might have WMD?” Is that the reason we went to war? On a maybe?

A couple of things, Steve…

1) Iraq has attacked us using terrorism, *as I have pointed out repeatedly but you refuse to accept or acknowledge*, in the past. They were also planning to do so before we invaded, as Putin had warned. I’ve detailed how they were a threat over and over again, I’ll even repost the link (the one you refused to read because it was posted on here in 2004, despite everything in it being available and factual before we invaded).

2) You continue to ask for ‘why did we go into Iraq’ and then refuse to even discuss the myriad of reasons why it was a good idea because the Bush administration didn’t mention them in 2002/2003. Never mind there are reasons that everyone was aware of before Bush was even in office, even Richard Clarke detailed links between Al Qaeda and Iraq, and we know that Iraq was harboring any terrorist that wanted to come into the country, include bin laden who declined and chose Afghanistan instead. The terrorist who mixed the chemicals for the first WTC bombing was on the Iraqi government payroll and living in Iraq, the person responsible for the Achille Lauro hijacking, the list goes on. Even Al Qaeda members were in Iraq before the invasion, not just the northern part but meeting with Saddam. Yet it doesn’t matter because Bush chose to use the fact that Saddam continued to rebuff the international community to provide the details of a significant amount of WMD that was unaccounted for for nearly 12 years.

And you wonder why people wonder why you continuously refuse to debate the facts and decide that you are just using this issue as a political wedge for recapturing the White House and increasing political power for the Democrats.

I’m not republican, but because I supported the war, even when CLINTON made the case and should have gone in in 1998, you label me as one and then use ME as your straw man to attack. I am not a liberal and have in the past been very upset with the Bush administration for mishandling the selling of the war. But that doesn’t invalidate the NEED for the removal of Hussein and I am gald we did it. I am also upset that it has taken this long for it to be resolved, it should have been done with 1 year after invasion and we should be home now, but that does not invalidate the need for the removal of Hussein.

If you want to debate the need for the invasion, let’s do so. If you want to debate the mishandling of the selling and execution of the war, we can do that too (although I bet you find I agree with you on those aspects). But LOGIC DICTATES that the two are not the same argument and to continuously put the requirements of one onto the other is to be illogical and you are starting to make yourself as relevant as some others who do nothing but repeat the same mantratic one line quips over and over and over again without having the mental capability to debate them reasonably.

Reinhold’s answer is to say “I’ve already answered that.” But that is just engaging in the same running for cover that that is going on in the Bush Adminstration. I’d just like someone to finish the sentence. Is it “Iraq might have WMD?” Is that the reason we went to war? On a maybe?

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 1, 2005 1:21 PM
Comment #76962
None of the equipment or facilities targeted had been prepared for it. None had been moved (no shell game). All the targets had been hit — hard. Zinni told his boss, General Shelton, “We’ve done about as much damage to the WMD program as we’re going to do. Any more would just be bombing for bombing’s sake.”

If there were any WMD or WMD programs in Iraq before 1998, Clinton’s operation got the job done. There obviously weren’t any WMD there after 1998.

No, AP, that does not logically follow.

“We’ve done all we are going to be able to do” does not equal “We got everything they had”.

I know you WISH it to be true, but there was no way to know, because, we did not go and find out. The inspectors were not able to do their job as required and the Iraqi administration did not submit to 1441 as they were required.

Yes, Hussein *DID* make improvements with the US forces sitting on his doorstep, but even with that threat looming he still did not do as was required by 1441, a fact that no one can dispute. The only dispute was what to do afterwards. And, if not for the history of Iraq over the 12 years previously, I doubt there would have been any way to invade at that time politically. But we have to take everything as a whole and the US was not about to ‘leave it to chance’ after we failed to spot and prevent the developing of the plan to attack the WTC twice during the Clinton Administration.

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 1, 2005 1:26 PM
Comment #77005

1) Iraq has attacked us using terrorism … *as I have pointed out repeatedly but you refuse to accept or acknowledge*,

Then please point out this instances again, because I’m not aware of them. and by “us” I assume you mean “The United States.” Are you referring to the 1996 bombing of the WTC? or the attack on the Cole? Or the attack ont he embassies in Africa?

even Richard Clarke detailed links between Al Qaeda and Iraq

What links?

we know that Iraq was harboring any terrorist What are those terrorists names? And are they Al Qaeda

The terrorist who mixed the chemicals for the first WTC bombing was on the Iraqi government payroll and living in Iraq

Maybe so, but that had nothing to do with 9/11. Would you have advocated invading Iraq in 1996? So far that’s the only direct statement you’ve made about anything that would suggest that Iraq had anything to do with terrorism against the United States.

… the person responsible for the Achille Lauro hijacking …

which even stauchly anti-terrorist Israel had made a truce with. Did we invade Iraq because of him?

the list goes on.

Keep going. Maybe you’ll get to someone who helped plan 9/11


Even Al Qaeda members were in Iraq before the invasion

Al Qaeda operates in a lot of countries. Why do you single out Iraq?

…meeting with Saddam

Who met with Saddam? And did they have something to do with 9/11? Did these unnamed people even know about the 9/11 plot?

Yet it doesn’t matter because Bush chose to use the fact that Saddam continued to rebuff the international community to provide the details of a significant amount of WMD that was unaccounted for for nearly 12 years.

He didn’t have any WMD. The UN monitoring was WORKING.

that doesn’t invalidate the NEED for the removal of Hussein

Absent any involvement between Saddam and 9/11, and the fact that the the UN monitoring was working and showing that Saddam did not have WMD, I don’t see the need to launch a major war, tie up huge military resources, and cause many more civilian Iraqi deaths than Americans who perished on 9/11. Meanwhile, many of the people who planned the 9/11 attack are still free to plan future attacks and we’ve no idea how to get out of Iraq. We are discussing issues for going to WAR. I take them VERY SERIOUSLY. You could use these same arguments for invading a lot of other countries.

Posted by: steve at September 1, 2005 3:10 PM
Comment #77028

Steve, first here’s the link I mentioned where I posted this information on this blog last year before the election and provided it to you already in a recent thread, one in which you wouldn’t read it because it was posted in 2004.

Second, before I get started, you do realize that international terrorism is not just isolated to al qaeda and 9/11, right? Don’t you think we should be taking all aspects of terrorism and those who use terrorism in their fight against the US as seriously? Or are you of the camp that believes that we should get al qaeda (we have got many of them, including the mastermind of 9/11 already, btw) and bin laden and then leave it all alone again?

Now, on to your specifics:

even Richard Clarke detailed links between Al Qaeda and Iraq

What links?

Well, the meetings and communications that the two orginzations had, including offering safe haven to al qaeda when they lost their home, at the time when Clinton could have picked them up but decided not to. Also, as Clarke has suggested, they were working together on the chemical plant that was targeted in the Sudan by Clinton. There is no ‘hard’ proof, but there was enough evidence that caused Clarke to believe it to be the case. You also have the suggestion of Atta meeting with Iraqi officials, but there is doubt placed on this. It has not been proven one way or another. But remember, even the 9/11 commission chairman has wondered why people think there was no relationship at all between al qaeda and Iraq, it was obvious to them. They just did not find any proof of anything to do with 9/11.

we know that Iraq was harboring any terrorist
What are those terrorists names? And are they Al Qaeda
Ok, let me detail, though I did in my previous post:
• Abu Abbas. Abbas masterminded the October 7–9, 1985, Achille Lauro cruise ship hijacking in which Abbas’s men shot passenger Leon Klinghoffer, a 69-year old Manhattan retiree, then rolled him, wheelchair and all, into the Mediterranean. Abbas briefly was in Italian custody at the time, but was released that October 12 because he possessed an Iraqi diplomatic passport. After 2000, Abbas resided in Baghdad, still under Saddam Hussein’s protection.

• Khala Khadr al Salahat, a member of the ANO. Al Salahat and Nidal furnished Libyan agents the Semtex bomb that destroyed Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, on December 21, 1988, killing 259 on board and 11 on the ground.

• Abu Nidal. As the Associated Press’s Sameer N. Yacoub reported on August 21, 2002, the Beirut office of the ANO said that he entered Iraq “with the full knowledge and preparations of the Iraqi authorities.” Nidal’s attacks in 20 countries killed 407 people and wounded 788 more, the U.S. State Department calculates. Among other atrocities, an ANO-planted bomb exploded on a TWA airliner as it flew from Israel to Greece on September 8, 1974. The jet was destroyed over the Ionian Sea, killing all 88 people on board.

• Abdul Yasin. “U.S. forces recently discovered a cache of documents in Tikrit, Saddam’s hometown, which shows Iraq gave Mr. [Abdul Rahman] Yasin both a house and a monthly salary.” The Indiana-born, Iraqi-reared Yasin had been charged in August 1993 for mixing the chemicals in the bomb that exploded beneath One World Trade Center, killing six and injuring 1,042 individuals. Indicted by federal prosecutors as a conspirator in the WTC bomb plot, Yasin was on the FBI’s Most-Wanted Terrorists list. ABC News confirmed, on July 27, 1994, that Yasin had returned to Baghdad, where he traveled freely and visited his father’s home almost daily.

• In addition to these four high level terrorists, the US received knowledge of three separate terrorist training camps in Iraq, including Salman Pak, which Khidir Hamza, Iraq’s former nuclear weapons chief and Sabah Khodada, an former Iraqi Army Captain, report was used for training of assassinations, explosions and hijackings. Khodada, who worked at Salman Pak, said, “Training includes hijacking and kidnapping of airplanes, trains, public buses, and planting explosives in cities … how to prepare for suicidal operations.” Khodada added, “We saw people getting trained to hijack airplanes… . They are even trained how to use utensils for food, like forks and knives provided in the plane.” A map of the camp that Khodada drew from memory for Frontline closely matches satellite photos of Salman Pak, further bolstering his credibility.

to continue:



The terrorist who mixed the chemicals for the first WTC bombing was on the Iraqi government payroll and living in Iraq

Maybe so, but that had nothing to do with 9/11. Would you have advocated invading Iraq in 1996? So far that’s the only direct statement you’ve made about anything that would suggest that Iraq had anything to do with terrorism against the United States.

Yes, I did advocate it in 1996. I was advocating supporting Clinton who made it US policy to do what we could to remove Hussein from power because of the case HE made then. I still did in 2002. The only difference was who was president and 4 more years had passed with no resolution and thousands of people being killed or dying of starvation from oppressive sanctions that the compassionate UN had placed on them.

Yet it doesn’t matter because Bush chose to use the fact that Saddam continued to rebuff the international community to provide the details of a significant amount of WMD that was unaccounted for for nearly 12 years.
He didn’t have any WMD. The UN monitoring was WORKING.

That was not their job, to keep them from having WMD, it was to ensure that it all was destroyed. They were unable to complete that job while Hussein was in power. Only AFTER the invasion could we find out that Hussein had played a parlor trick on the world.

that doesn’t invalidate the NEED for the removal of Hussein

Absent any involvement between Saddam and 9/11, and the fact that the the UN monitoring was working and showing that Saddam did not have WMD, I don’t see the need to launch a major war, tie up huge military resources, and cause many more civilian Iraqi deaths than Americans who perished on 9/11. Meanwhile, many of the people who planned the 9/11 attack are still free to plan future attacks and we’ve no idea how to get out of Iraq. We are discussing issues for going to WAR. I take them VERY SERIOUSLY. You could use these same arguments for invading a lot of other countries.

Name one. Name one country that is doing all of the things that Iraq was doing, including blocking UN Section 7 sanctions for 12 years. Please, I would like to see your list.

I take these reasons very seriously too, but I’m not blind enough to think that because a country wasn’t involved in 9/11 that they weren’t a threat to the international community, including and specifically the US, and should be dealt with.

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 1, 2005 3:58 PM
Comment #77064

you do realize that international terrorism is not just isolated to al qaeda and 9/11, right?

I agree with you on that, but I think your priorities are way off, and I will expand on that later in this post.

they were working together on the chemical plant that was targeted in the Sudan by Clinton. There is no ‘hard’ proof …

Which, in the way I think our leaders should make a decision to go into a major war, is a higher threshhold than you suggest. Proof is pretty important when your talking about thousands of innocent lives, Iraqi or American. Look how our lack of evidence has hurt our ability to engage other nations in the war on terrorism. Bush had virtually the entire world on our side after 9/11, and because of his obsession with Iraq, we’ve lost a tremendous amount of support.

Now here’s a list of your Terrorists we were after, and the years they committed their crimes:

1. Abu Abbas (1985)
2. Khala Khadr al Salahat (1988)
3. Abu Nidal (1974)
4. Abdul Yasin (1993)

Clearly missing from your list, again, is anyone involved in 9/11. SHouldn’t we also take out Libya for its involvement in some of the above? Or Syria? It’s mind boggling how far you go back and look for someone to justify taking over a foreign country. I’m not knowledgeable about the specifics, but I suspect many of the above are so much old news that no one saw any value in worrying about them sitting around in Baghdad. What is the value in catching them now, anyway? Heck — Israel allowed Abu Abbas to visit the occupied territories. Pretty strange behavior for the one country which has consistently been tough on terrorists. I agree these guys are pretty evil, but based on the terrorist acts going on now, they shouldn’t be a priority.

Yes, I did advocate [invading Iraq] in 1996.

I’m glad your consistent on this score. It’s more than I can say for most supports of the “War on Terorism” whom I talk to. With all the individuals you were after having committed terrorism so long ago I hope you were also in favor of taking over Iraq in 1991 when we had an army over there big enough to perhaps do the job properly.

Name one country that is doing all of the things that Iraq was doing, including blocking UN Section 7 sanctions for 12 years. Please, I would like to see your list.

I disagree with the assumption that I have to point to a country that has the laundry list of crimes the way you define it. That’s defining a crime so there’s only one criminal to go after. I don’t put as much stock in disregarding U.N. sanctions as you do. If I thought thumbing your nose at the UN was a serious crime, The US would be high on the list for its refusal to pay its bills.

My list of countries that we should get serious with are the ones that pose an imminent threat to the United States’s security. The ones likely to blow up bombs in our cities. And the country at the top of my list is North Korea, with its nuclear program.

I’m not blind enough to think that because a country wasn’t involved in 9/11 that they weren’t a threat to the international community, including and specifically the US, and should be dealt with.

And as I believe I’ve said before, my concern is with those countries that pose a threat to the United states, not the international community. I want the United states to work with other countries to fight terrorism, but not in such a way that breaks apart the coalition,as Bush has done.

Only Al Qaeda attacked the United States. From all your list, the only terrorist who attacked the United states is Abdul Yasin. (BTW — where is he now? Did we catch him?). It’s strange: your list makes no mention of some of the more serious attacks against united states citizens in the most recent years: Our embassies in Africa, Khobar towers in Saudi Arabia, and the USS Cole. Have we caught all those terrorists, the ones who genuinely plotted attacks against united states citizens and are still out there doing it?

Posted by: steve at September 1, 2005 5:19 PM
Comment #77075

AP,
First I’m not a republican. I’m just conservitive.
In fact the republicans are to liberial.
Even if a democrat general was appointed and given full power in Iraq things wouldn’t change.
But at least then youall would have to blame yourselves for things not going your way.

Posted by: Ron Brown at September 1, 2005 5:34 PM
Comment #77090

Steve,

You’re missing the point. I’m not sure if it’s on purpose or not but for the time being I will assume it is a simple error and try to explain further.

I don’t suggest for a second we should go into Iraq to ‘get those terrorits’. I use them as an example of the support the Hussein gave terrorist, the ones we know about. How many others has he given support to? How many would he have given support to?

And by focusing in the list I provided, you eschew the remaining information I provided as well. It has to be taken as a whole. At the time of invasion of Iraq, there was not a single country in existence that so volumously deserved to be removed from power than hussein. He was a danger to his country, his neighbors, the stability of the region, the western world and the US. He was the only leader of a country who had used chemical weapons and was still in power. He was in the top five supporters of terrorism in the world (Afghanistan was #1 before we invaded) and had used terrorist means to get his way several times. He was not opposed to using it and as we had learned he was planning to do so again AGAINST THE US.

Now, how you figure that attacking our planes on a near daily basis, putting a price out on the head of any US soldier and spending 12 years taking away our resources in order to ‘contain’ him leaving us vulnerable to attack from others, all the while potentially having a significant stockpile of WMD that he could give to any number of terrorist groups that he supported WASN’T an immenent threat to the US is beyond me.

But, that’s why we have these discussions, so I can try to see your view…

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 1, 2005 6:05 PM
Comment #77118

Oh, and about the offhanded comment about the US being in arrears to the UN, I really hope you don’t think that having an issue with the UN and violating several Chapter SEVEN resolutions are the same thing? Because, if you do I think you’re even farther along than I am in seeing the UN as irrelevant…


Posted by: Rhinehold at September 1, 2005 7:03 PM
Comment #77204

Rhinehold, just one point of correction. Saddam posed not threat to the US. He posed a threat to our forces surrounding and enforcing the no-fly zone, but he posed no threat to our homeland. He never had ICBM’s, and that was common and public knowledge reported by our own government. He could have reached out and touched someone in the region, but, he always was, and always will be, a person who will do anything to protect his own hide. Therefore, reaching out and touching someone in the region with missiles or the like, was not something one who protects his own ass would do when the Armed Forces of the US combined with UN Sec. Council resolutions GUARANTEED he would be taken out if such a move was made as sure as the sun was going to come up the next day.

So no. Hussein never posed any real or imminent threat to the United States, nor to any other country in the region. Any psychologist worth a grain of salt and Saddam’s background family history could have told the Pres. that, and I am pretty sure some CIA PhD.s in psychology probably made such analysis reports. Though it will be tough proving the President was ever briefed on them with all those lieutenants about him willing ot fall on their swords for the sake of ‘credible deniability’.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 2, 2005 2:05 AM
Comment #77290

At the time of invasion of Iraq, there was not a single country in existence that so volumously deserved to be removed from power than hussein. He was a danger to his country, his neighbors, the stability of the region, the western world and the US.

I guess this is where we ultimately (and respectfully!) disagree. I did not see him as such a serious threat to the United States as you do. I saw — and still see — Al Qaeda operating out of Afganistan and Pakistan as more serious than Iraq. They are the ones with the track record attacking directly in the United States, or at U.S. targets overseas (e.g., the Cole).

Now we are engaged in a long war over in Iraq, with over 100,000 soldiers tied up trying to keep different religious and ethnic groups from killing each other (nothing to do with terrorism). I saw that coming before the war started and said so back then.

Hurricane Katrina has just shown — 4 years after 9/11 — how woefully unprepared the U.S. still is for a major disaster.

Posted by: steve at September 2, 2005 10:26 AM
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