Tarry for the Nonce

November 16, 2005

High Time

Filed under: News — lmwalker @ 5:34 pm

The GOP has finally compiled a video of Democratic reaction to Iraq.

Advertisements

15 Comments

  1. What this video fails to point out is while he may have had them at one point, subsequent inspections had failed to find anything. So you’d have to believe he had been successfully hiding them (or evidence of production or design facilities) from inspectors, satellites, and keeping the procurement of needed parts and materials completely secret from the worldwide intelligence community. Or you could think that he was leaving some doubt open to dissuade Iran from attacking.

    Also conveniently left out of the later Democratic statements in 2002 was the fact that these same Democrats were basing their statements on grossly misleading intelligence provided by The White House.

    Comment by Howard — November 17, 2005 @ 5:30 pm

  2. What this video fails to point out is while he may have had them at one point, subsequent inspections had failed to find anything.

    Well, there’s missing the point, and then there’s not even aiming in its general direction.

    If “Bush lied” about WMDs, then so did all those Democrats as far back as 1998. Everyone thought Iraq had WMDs. Only difference is, Bush did something about it. The current Democrat story that they were all misled by The Big Evil Chimpmonster is completely bogus.

    So you’d have to believe he had been successfully hiding them (or evidence of production or design facilities) from inspectors, satellites, and keeping the procurement of needed parts and materials completely secret from the worldwide intelligence community.

    That would be unprecedented! …Well, except for Pakistan’s development of nukes. Or India’s. Or Israel’s. Or, umm, Iraq’s, nearly, in the early 1990s. But other than that, totally inconceivable.

    Or you could think that he was leaving some doubt open to dissuade Iran from attacking.

    Because Iranians are stupid, right? They would have access to the same intelligence that we would — actually, better, seeing how they had much more to lose. Any attempt to bamboozle Iran into thinking that there were WMDs in Iraq would work just as well on the UN and the U.S.

    Also conveniently left out of the later Democratic statements in 2002 was the fact that these same Democrats were basing their statements on grossly misleading intelligence provided by The White House.

    They had exactly the same intelligence as the White House. The White House didn’t add anything, or Photoshop in nukes. All sides agreed that WMDs were present. It was a totally sensible conclusion, and good actions were taken based on that conclusion, with overwhelmingly positive consequences.

    Comment by Toly — November 17, 2005 @ 7:10 pm

  3. Perhaps I missed addressing whatever inference you took out of it, but here are my 2:

    There may have been evidence supporting a belief that Saddam had weapons in ’98 (or not, I don’t know). Irrespective, no one died over it.

    B.S. they were acting on the same intelligence! A record number of internal complaints from the CIA about the way the Bush Administration was presenting the current evidence says they grossly misrepresented him likely having WMDs.

    So now China and other foreign countries control even more of our debt because of increased deficit spending, we don’t have the resources to do things that would increase our real security at home, 2,000+ American are killed, and there’s no end in sight. Not to mention we’ve no doubt bred far more terrorists than we’ve killed.

    Hey, if you believe Bush acted properly despite everything that’s been shown thus far to the contrary, that’s your choice. Clearly, I won’t be able to write anything to convince you otherwise.

    Comment by Howard — November 17, 2005 @ 8:13 pm

  4. BTW, all the countries you mentioned as being to hide their nukes programs were widely believed to have the capability before any actual testing was done. Crying out loud, Israel knew about Iraq building a reactor.

    In fact IIRC, Israel has never officially confirm that they have nukes.

    Comment by Howard — November 17, 2005 @ 8:17 pm

  5. There may have been evidence supporting a belief that Saddam had weapons in ’98 (or not, I don’t know). Irrespective, no one died over it.

    You’ve gotta be kidding me — that’s the “argument” you’re going with?

    Hey, that’s great: yeah, Clinton was mistaken about Iraqi WMD, but at least he didn’t do anything about it! That is exactly the approach I want my government to take: just sit there, and worry about “international goodwill.”

    It’s not as if between 1998 and 2002, Iraq presented definitive proof that they had destroyed their WMD (as required by the terms of their surrender after Desert Storm). Technically, a state of war existed between the U.S. and Iraq since that time. Congress also passed, sometime during the Clinton administration, a resolution that the removal of the Hussein regime was to be the official policy of the U.S. Bush had plenty of legal cover for going into Iraq even before Congress authorized it, which it did.

    The Bush Administration did not have exclusive access to the CIA, whose staff could easily go to the Congressional Intelligence Committees to dispute whatever assertions the Bushies were making. Of course, that would still be nothing but doubt, and the current argument from the Left seems to be that the benefit of the doubt should have been given to the guy who invaded two countries, was known to have advanced WMD programs, and left a legacy of mass graves. Only I doubt any of our brave “progressive” Congresscritters would have been willing to risk their political career on such a strategy.

    Do I think Bush’s actions were perfect in this affair? Not even remotely — I wouldn’t have sat around for months in the desert trying to get some “authorization” from the UN that would never come, and giving Hussein et al plenty of time to set up a guerilla network and stash weapons. Nor would I have justified the war based on any UN proclamations or some need to “bring freedom” to Iraq. The war served U.S. interests, and nothing else matters.

    China owns our debt — and? They need our economy to be strong even more than we do, ironically enough. 2,000 dead military is deeply saddening, but overall a pretty low price to pay to get rid of a would-be Arab successor to the Soviets. And last I checked, we haven’t had any terrorist acts on U.S. soil — because the only way you make yourself “safe” from terrorists is to demonstrate that terrorism bring the opposite of desired results, exactly as Bush has done in Afghanistan and Iraq. (Oh, right, I’m sorry, what we really need is another large bureaucracy here, inspecting every box that comes into the Port of Seattle, or something.)

    BTW, all the countries you mentioned as being to hide their nukes programs were widely believed to have the capability before any actual testing was done.

    Actually, most of them were a complete surprise — especially India. The CIA completely missed that. And Iraq was widely believed to have had WMD in 2003, which is why no one even disputed it — all they said was that inspections would eventually find them. Whereas after Desert Storm we found out that not only had they rebuilt their nuclear program, but that they were much farther along than anyone thought.

    That’s the problem when dealing with real-world situations: you don’t have easy, obvious answers, and you have to act on uncertainties, sometimes with less-than-stellar intelligence. Bush erred on the side of not permitting Iraq to become an intractable problem a few years down the road. That’s called being a statesman, rather than a politician. It was the correct decision, even if one of its initial premises turns out, after the fact, to have been wrong. (The overall reasoning still stands, though. Hussein’s Iraq had the deadly combination of a strong, homicidal dictator and huge oil reserves that would break any attempt to contain him. The dictator had to be removed.)

    Comment by Toly — November 17, 2005 @ 9:02 pm

  6. As to why the CIA assertions that the so-called intelligence was. at minimum, faulty didn’t get to congress, I don’t know. Perhaps the CIA being part of The Executive Branch had something to do with it, I don’t know.

    But Bush presented things as facts when they were, at best, highly suspect. He either knew this or should have know this if he was competent.

    While India’s test itself was a surprise, I have to disagree with your assertion that the fact that they were developing weapons wasn’t.

    If by giving “the benefit of the doubt” to Saddam, you mean not take away critically needed resources from home, risking American lives, disrupting hundreds of thousands of American families, weakening the country by making it further indebted to foreign interests, . . .you bet I think waiting would have been a far better course of action. Let’s also not forget that Bush brought up the shadow of war just as the country’s economy was trying to clear its throat.

    With China and other foreign countries owning our debt, it gives them a voice in how our country’s finances are handled. This is much in the same way a bank with a large loan to a company can require certain financial benchmarks be met. Ask other countries that have had large foreign debt loads if this is the case.

    If Saddam had so much as blinked at a neighboring country, he would have had his ass handed to him on a platter by an international collation. There was no reason to rush in in the first place, a fact which has been painfully confirmed by our experience in Iraq. This makes utter weakness in the evidence supporting that decision doubly painful to review.

    “Well, actually, he forgot Poland!”

    Comment by Howard — November 18, 2005 @ 10:51 am

  7. By “giving the benefit of the doubt to Saddam,” I mean allowing for the very real and very likely scenario that he would shrug off the sanctions (something that was already well in progress), toss out whatever inspectors managed to get his leave to be in-country, and use his enormous oil wealth and WMD expertise to build a new power base in the Arab world. The result: a multipolar world, but with one of the poles now being a homicidal maniac with easy access to an inexhaustible supply of Islamic nutcases.

    Against that, inconveniencing the families of the military is pretty minor. Even the deaths of 2,000 servicemen are a pretty small price to pay. (The death of even one serviceman is a great loss. But if you can’t accept military deaths, your military is a useless decoration.) The risk of disruption to family life and even death is part of the job. And no “critically needed resources” were taken from the U.S. We’re doing just fine back here. Foreign debt is a nuisance, but not a new one, and most of our deficit comes from domestic overspending that has nothing to do with Iraq.

    I love the tough talk about an “international coalition” — thanks for a good laugh. Yes, the fearsome French and the valiant Egyptians would have been right on top of Saddam, especially if he did develop some nasty WMD. (After all, they were so effective in Desert Storm!) And surely, the “experience” would have been much better — no Arab terrorist would dare to attack an “international coalition,” especially one backed by the UN!

    Seriously, it’s this reverence to the word “international” and religious belief in the power and weight of “global opinion” that leads me to treat most of the anti-war thinking with such contempt. Say what you want about anti-evolution nutballs and other religious kooks, but at least their beliefs are not so obviously absurd.

    Bottom line: I’m pretty glad that we invaded Iraq and would have voted Bush out of office in 2004 if he hadn’t done so. The fact that our worst complaints now are foreign debt and minor casualties — vs. a shift in the balance of global power — is all the proof I need. Those now railing against Bush have picked the WMD issue for a reason: they have 20/20 hindsight, and the benefit of knowing Saddam will not be around to try yet again (no thanks to them).

    Comment by Toly — November 19, 2005 @ 9:23 am

  8. You know what? Anything is possible. Is it possible he’d come up with a biological or chemical weapon without anyone on the outside knowing about it? Sure. The odds are not zero. Nuclear? Even less likely, but again, the odds are not zero.

    Again, I think we was well aware of what would happen if he so much as blinked at another country’s borders.

    Iraq was a secular state (and again a target for terrorists themselves) and not one to be in a position to recruit terrorists. Because, of course, god forbid Iraq turn into a breeding ground for terrorists.

    Why hasn’t there been a terrorist attack in the U.S.? Probably for the same reason there hadn’t been one in 10 years preceding 9/11: Al Qaeda is patient.

    Again, I have no objection to attacking Afghanistan as they were actively training and promoting terrorism.

    We’ll be cutting people from food stamps while bridges and other infrastructure continues to crumble. We don’t have the money to keep the additional police officers on the street that were hired under Clinton. Don’t tell me that Iraq isn’t taking away resources from home. You want to talk about wasteful spending? How about the U.S. spending as much on defense as the rest of the world combined? Now you will have to excuse me as I need to get Canadian patches sewn my clothing before I travel overseas.

    Comment by Howard — November 19, 2005 @ 10:49 am

  9. Well, this conversation has degenerated into some kind of Silly Lefty Talking Points Revue.

    We’ve already established that it was possible for Iraq to be much farther along on nuclear and WMD development than anyone thought. First, we discovered as much after Desert Storm. Second, they already fooled us about how much WMD they had prior to the invasion. And even a single nuclear test would change the whole equation in the region — not in our favor.

    I must have missed all the al-Qaeda attacks on Baghdad prior to the removal of Hussein. Oh, that’s right, Hussein was “secular” and would never ever cooperate with those icky Muslim terrorists. Because it’s not like it’s possible for a state to cooperate with someone unless they really like each other. See, the U.S. cooperated with the USSR in World War II because we really admired Stalin. (Well, ok, most of our “progressives” did, but that’s not the point…) Ditto in supporting Hussein against Iran. Hussein never paid off Arab suicide bombers against Israel (including Hamas bombers). Hussein never made any overtures to Muslim wackos. Because again, countries work exactly like cliques of teenage girls. Kind of makes you wonder why the U.S. trained the Muslim fighers in Afghanistan in the 1980s — or why the Russians so loved the PLO et al in the 1970s.

    We do spend more money on our military than the rest of the planet — and that’s a good thing. It’s a big, ugly, mostly poor world out there, and the West has far more resources and fewer people than others, so you’d better believe we’ll have to stay ahead technologically to protect it. I suppose it’d be nice if the Europeans would kick in a little for their own protection, but they’ve decided that they have other priorities, while they freeload off the U.S. (Speaking of which, we’ve been in Europe, Japan, and Korea for 60 years now, with no end in sight! Americans have been in Bosnia for 10 years! What’s our exit strategy?!)

    Finally — I’ve traveled quite a bit overseas, before and after 9/11, and there were always Americans around pretending to be Canadians. I didn’t, and I don’t recommend it. No one ever gave me grief for being from the U.S., but people exposed as fake Canadians invited quite a bit of contempt, both from Europeans and real Canadians, for being unwilling to stand up for who they really are. And come to think of it, deservedly so.

    Comment by Toly — November 20, 2005 @ 10:21 am

  10. BTW, I’m very sorry to hear that making absolutely sure before committing your country to military action is just a “talking point” of the so-called left.

    All your assertions would be very powerful ones indeed if there were credible evidence to support them. There isn’t.

    So long as my tax dollars are spent on nothing but paying interest on our debt, we don’t have enough resources for our own needs at home. I’m surprised a fiscally-responsible right-winger like yourself doesn’t wholeheartedly concur.

    Comment by Howard — November 20, 2005 @ 3:04 pm

  11. If you don’t like the way the government spends your money, then move to Canada. Let me remind you that its the government’s money, not yours. You’re just allowed to use money as an equalizer for your goods and services with your neighbor so as to have a medium of exchange while you remain alive. Once you are dead, it won’t matter how much of ‘your money’ they spent on the war in iraq, now will it? In fact…let’s pretend ‘your money’ went to keeping endangered owls alive while my money went to the war in iraq. Problem solved.

    The sad thing is, you probably didn’t go around bitching about how the government spent ‘your money’ when the environmentalists were clamoring to have their save the owl and save the whale programs subsidized by the government, now were you? Its not like we didn’t have poor people then who couldn’t afford to eat. you people make me sick. If you want to do something about it, get off your a$$ and go donate your time and money to a worthy cause. As soon as we start asking you to sacrifice, you start coming up with excuses as to why you can’t make as big of a sacrifice as you require of others.

    Save the whales, save the trees, give a sober man the keys.

    Comment by Andrew P. — November 21, 2005 @ 3:36 pm

  12. Understand that I wouldn’t be at all surprised if I’m not drawing the inference you intended.

    While I firmly believe that taxes are the price we pay to live a civilized society, I also believe that it’s responsibility to raise my voice when I don’t feel those taxes are being spent appropriately.

    You are correct that once I’m dead, it won’t matter how much money we spent in Iraq. Unfortunately, all the evidence is showing that Bush administration knew that spending all that money in Iraq wouldn’t likely effect when I’m dead.

    I not sure as to where in the hell you got the idea that I’m for blind environmentalism (HINT: I’m not for “blind” anything) but I do believe a longer-term view about environment vs growth is called for, i.e., how much economic growth are we sacrificing for how many animals?

    As an aside, tough guy, my wife and I have a dental practice from which we donated comfortably into the 5 figures (YTD) to poor and working class people who couldn’t otherwise afford it. We also donated emergency kits and training to local school districts. Thus, it is at this point that I find I must gently invite you to STFU. Thank you.

    Comment by Howard — November 21, 2005 @ 8:27 pm

  13. I’m curious that I got the label right-winger.

    BTW, I’m very sorry to hear that making absolutely sure before committing your country to military action is just a “talking point” of the so-called left.

    Unfortunately, the real world doesn’t permit you to be “absolutely sure.” There is always some doubt — some uncertainty — and the question is how you deal with the uncertainty. This is what I meant by “benefit of the doubt.” If your standard is to always be “absolutely sure,” by definition you deal with uncerainty by doing nothing. Not an approach I prefer when dealing with someone like Hussein, who tried to develop nuclear weapons not once but twice.

    That this attitude is as widespread and accepted as it is, tells me that people haven’t learned much from our mistakes in the 1930s.

    Oddly enough, when dealing with problems such as poverty, global warming, etc., the Left takes precisely the opposite tack.

    Comment by Toly — November 22, 2005 @ 11:49 pm

  14. To invade and establish a government in an artificially created country composed of ethnic groups that have deep-seeded hatred each other, you had better rely on “evidence” stronger than the testimony of people several different intelligence agencies called “highly suspect and not considered to be reliable.”

    As far as global warming, well, I don’t know enough about the debate to comment. However, I don’t see how grossly increased amounts of CO2 couldn’t have an effect on the planet.

    As far as poverty goes, I’m sure that the tax cuts for wealthy coupled with more and more government resources going to nothing but interest payments will do wonders for society’s weakest.

    Comment by Howard R — November 23, 2005 @ 2:27 pm


RSS feed for comments on this post.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

Blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: