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» The Ornery American Forum » General Comments » Who still believes without a doubt that there were no WMDs in Iraq? (Page 3)

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Author Topic: Who still believes without a doubt that there were no WMDs in Iraq?
Everard
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"If we continued to wait for the U.N. to settle this matter, we'd still be waiting today."

Except that, apparently, the UN inspectors were working pretty damn well.

More later if I feel like it. I'm right now pretty firmly entrenched in the idea that anyone who justifies anything with "might makes right" is an evil bastard and ought to be shot. (Yes, massive irony. Its intentional). If I stop feeling that way, I might post more later.

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RickyB
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All of the above is NOT true. The judge did not keep ruling in the violator's favor. The Judge ruled against him in every instance, except when saying "the violations do not warrant killing the violator, taking his house, screwing his wife and shooting his dog"
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Wayward Son
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What do you expect from a *!@%$#@*! liberal Judge! [Wink] [Smile]
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Pete at Home
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quote:
"we can at least put aside the meme that Bush lied to take us to war?"

Oh, god, no. I think it's transparently obvious that he did.

Gotta love these mindless emperor's new clothes arguments. It's obvious (but I won't bother to give you any evidence).
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Pete at Home
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quote:
Because "he" wanted to believe it and didn't treat it critically.
In other words, Bush didn't lie about it, any more than Clinton lied about genocide in Kosovo before the invasion. Everyone else was saying it, and the CIA supposedly had reported it. Of course, they also reported that the Chinese Embassy was a Serbian military target....
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Daruma28
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Here are some conclusions regarding Iraq and the WMD intelligence from the Bi-partisan Iraq Intelligence Commission's WMD Report (pdf). I excerpted these conclusions to highlight the basic premise that the entire world and intelligence community believed Saddam had WMDs, and that Bush did not "lie" us into war. Many of the other conclusions simply detailed the various ways in which the intelligence community where hampered or failed by systemic flaws and a groupthink mentality.

quote:

Conclusion 1
Saddam Hussein’s Iraq was a hard target for human intelligence, but it will not
be the last that we face. When faced with such targets in the future, the United
States needs to supplement its traditional methodologies with more innovative
approaches.

Conclusion 4
Iraq’s denial and deception efforts successfully hampered U.S. intelligence
collection.

Conclusion 22
The President’s Daily Brief likely conveyed a greater sense of certainty about
analytic judgments than warranted.

Conclusion 26
The Intelligence Community did not make or change any analytic judgments in response to political pressure to reach a particular conclusion, but the pervasive conventional wisdom that Saddam retained WMD affected the analytic process.

(To expound further to those that wish to continue to charge that the Bush admin pressured the intelligence community to reach some pre-determined goal...)

quote:
The Commission has found no evidence of “politicization” of the Intelligence Community’s assessments concerning Iraq’s reported WMD programs. No analytical judgments were changed in response to political pressure to reach a particular conclusion.831 The Commission has investigated this issue closely, querying in detail those analysts involved in formulating pre-war judgments about Iraq’s WMD programs.
These analysts universally assert that in no instance did political pressure cause them to change any of their analytical judgments. Indeed, these analysts reiterated their strong belief in the validity and soundness of their prewar judgments at the time they were made.

Conclusion 27
The CIA took too long to admit error in Iraq, and its Weapons Intelligence,
Nonproliferation, and Arms Control Center actively discouraged analysts from
investigating errors.


The intelligence community got it wrong.

But some people just expect that Bush had to know somehow, and that he decided to lie and claim it was all right so he could "rush the country to war."

Saddam had WMDs. He used them before. He destroyed or got rid of them...but the fact that he did at one time have them, coupled with his efforts at secrecy (if you read the report, you'll see that even his top 6 advisors only found out about the WMD just prior to the invasion.) and non-cooperation all indicate that this administration erred on the side of caution, believed their intelligence agencies assesments and chose a course of action.

But I guess some just find the "Bush Lied, people died" argument to convenient and easy to slander a political opponent with to give it up in the face of the truth.

[ April 01, 2005, 07:42 PM: Message edited by: Daruma28 ]

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kenmeer livermaile
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a) "we can at least put aside the meme that Bush lied to take us to war?"

b) "Oh, god, no. I think it's transparently obvious that he did."

c) "Gotta love these mindless emperor's new clothes arguments. It's obvious (but I won't bother to give you any evidence)."

Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar, and sometimes an opinion ("I think it's transparently obvious") is just an opinion.

Arguments are different, yes? At least, I think they're different.

" "the violations do not warrant killing the violator, taking his house, screwing his wife and shooting his dog""

Yeah, and if it weren't for those pesky Geneva Conventions regarding interrogation, we would have shot his wife and had coitus with his dog...

"In other words, Bush didn't lie about it, any more than Clinton lied about genocide in Kosovo before the invasion. Everyone else was saying it, and the CIA supposedly had reported it. Of course, they also reported that the Chinese Embassy was a Serbian military target...."

Ah, the party lines are buzzing. 'Madge called Lily's daughter a whore, but that's just 'cuz Lily called Madge's daughter a slut...'

"But I guess some just find the "Bush Lied, people died" argument to convenient and easy to slander a political opponent with to give it up in the face of the truth."

I suppose some do. The line of presentation wherein data is presented to demonstrate xyz and then summarized with something aloing the lines of 'but silly/stupid/biased/unreasonable people won't agree with me' is a cute means of arguing after the fact with an ad hominem swipe at potential detractors.

What's so cute about all this is that Hans Blix wasn't fooled one way or the other, neither by Bush's 'innocently misinformed' claims that we knoew Saddam had WMDs, nor by Saddam's claims that he didn't have WMD, nor by the CIA's claims that they knew anything about anything.

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Pete at Home
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I'm all for telling people to back off and not be dedious when they demand proof of a statement of opinion, but the terms "transparently obvious" begs facts, and without facts, constitutes an emperor's new clothes fallacy. Transparent, clear, obvious ... such words assert that there is actual evidence that should convince anyone, and that there is more than mere opinion.


quote:
"In other words, Bush didn't lie about it, any more than Clinton lied about genocide in Kosovo before the invasion. Everyone else was saying it, and the CIA supposedly had reported it. Of course, they also reported that the Chinese Embassy was a Serbian military target...."

Ah, the party lines are buzzing. 'Madge called Lily's daughter a whore, but that's just 'cuz Lily called Madge's daughter a slut...'

No, no. How could you rationally construe that as party-line buzzing? My point was that Bush and Clinton both made reasonable mistakes, based on absurd CIA screw-ups. (e.g., a simple glance at the phone book would have told the CIA that the address was the Chinese Embassy). Last I checked, the CIA was not a political party.

Hans Blix was self-deceived about his capacity, credibility, and relevance in a decade-long dance that had worn stale in the post-9/11 world.

Try walking into a european airport some time, drop some hints about having bombs in your bags, and then refuse to let the nice security people search your bag. See just how much diplomatic soft-hands treatment and benefit of the doubt you get. Then see how much sympathy and outrage you can generate when the security team failed to locate a bomb in your bags.

The hints and the refusal to cooperate alone justified the use of force. The 1991 UN resolution created the authority. Now I grant the execution seems sloppy in some aspects, and horrific in others, but over all, history seems more and more likely to remember our second invasion and occupation of the Gulf War as a positive development in world politics. Certainly possibilities look brighter now in Iraq, Syria, and Israel than they ever did under Clinton. On the other hand, things could still go horribly wrong.

[ April 02, 2005, 01:23 AM: Message edited by: Pete at Home ]

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RickyB
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Yeah, but somehow Clinton managed not to embroil us in a huge war that hurt us diplomatically and put an enormous strain on our military.

The point is that Bush was spoiling for this war and he was looking for an excuse. The point is that he and his minions cultivate an atmosphere where doubt is highly unwelcome.

And as for your little parable - WE WERE ALREADY SEARCHING THE SUSPECT'S BAGS ! ! ! ! !

"The hints and the refusal to cooperate alone justified the use of force"

Only by the time we invade, he was cooperating. So no, it did NOT justify the use of force. Definitely not of an all-out invasion and occupation.

[ April 02, 2005, 02:02 AM: Message edited by: RickyB ]

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kenmeer livermaile
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"but the terms "transparently obvious" begs facts, and without facts, constitutes an emperor's new clothes fallacy. Transparent, clear, obvious ... such words assert that there is actual evidence that should convince anyone, and that there is more than mere opinion."

It's only his OPINION that it's transparently obvious. He doesn't have to prove his opinion. A human's entitled by nature to their inner sanctum. A subjevctivity doesn't need your convincing or mine; it just IS.

If he'd said "It's transparently obvious", period, then it would require facts for you to accept his statement, for then he would be describing an (quasi-oxymoron alert) 'obvious transparency' that every one could see. Which minds me that it matters not either way, for EVERYone can see that which is 'transparently obvious' -- at least on a clear day;) Fella who can't see that he can't see clear air's purty dang dense, I say.

"Hans Blix was self-deceived about his capacity, credibility, and relevance in a decade-long dance that had worn stale in the post-9/11 world."

At the end of the day, so to speak, two years into the war, he's the only one whose prognostications about the state of Saddam's arsenals and arsenal-making capacity held up. His was the only intelligence worth a dang. Maybe because his were the only people really GATHERING intelligence there on the ground in Iraq. Who was self-deceived? He's the only one who came out of this sans foul smell.

"No, no. How could you rationally construe that as party-line buzzing?"

Hyperbole aside ("How could you rationally construe"), you're right. I've seen so much partisan jive here that I inferred it where none was. Mea culpa.

"The hints and the refusal to cooperate alone justified the use of force. The 1991 UN resolution created the authority."

The events that resulted in the 1991 resolution were as badly managed as the events that led up to Versailles, and the resolution itself was -- not equally but nonetheless -- vile. We were too lazy to do the hard hard work of ending Saddam's regime back then. So we let millions of Iraqis suffer and die in the intervening years, knowing all along he would make life hell for Iraqis.

It's ironic: GWII was only partially about oil. It was a Real War in some respects with Real Issues, that is, the kind of issues folks can look at and say, 'Yup. Gotta fight and fix it.' But this war has been ambiguously supported by the USA population at best.

Meanwhile, GWI, which was ALL about oil (that Kuwaiti sweet stuff) or so I understand it, along with some weapons-testing and show of force, was massively supported by the populace (partly because we got out before the body bags could pile up, but still, it was amazingly popular considering no one had flown jetliners into the World Trade Towers back then). GWI was about oil and empire but massively perceived as being about Right and Wrong.

Yet here we are now in a war often derided as yet another porfiteering venture for the likes of Halliburton and the Sons of the Sons of Aramco, but we're working to create a viable new country in Iraq, while 15 years ago we were supposedly fighting Wrong but didn't bother to remove Wrong once we'd defeated it. Like casting the Devil back into Hell but then throwing him the key to the elevator back to Earth.

As for "justifying the use of force", I say, 'Spare me.' Not from you saying it, per se, but from the general puyshmipullyu (my fave new trope tic, it seems) debate over the 'legality' and 'justification' of going to war.

One justifies the use of force the way one always has: by using force. Then one hopes one has used it well.

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kenmeer livermaile
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"And as for your little parable - WE WERE ALREADY SEARCHING THE SUSPECT'S BAGS ! ! ! ! !"

Pete's point here is far from groundless; yes, we were searching but they were playing switch the bags. Pete's point is that they weren't being very cooperative, and in airport security situations, being uncooperative gets one in trouble.

Again, Clever Hans was on the money here. He consistently asserted that their bst evidence revealed that the bag-switching had not succeeded in hiding the WMDs, stockpiles of which steadily shrank over time, as well as did their means of amnufacture. Hans strongly implied that the inspections process were nearing a point of almost total success. Subsequent searches of without Saddam's interference corroborated Hans' assessment -- and then some.

Hans was the baggage expert; he didn't feel war was necessary regarding WMD; he has been vindicated far more than any other player in the Iraqi WMD game.

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RickyB
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"Again, Clever Hans was on the money here. He consistently asserted that their bst evidence revealed that the bag-switching had not succeeded in hiding the WMDs, stockpiles of which steadily shrank over time, as well as did their means of amnufacture ... Hans was the baggage expert; he didn't feel war was necessary regarding WMD; he has been vindicated far more than any other player in the Iraqi WMD game."

Exactly. We WANTED to go to war, so we chose to disvbelieve the very man we had on the ground. The only credible data we were getting from the ground said "don't go to war". We went to war anyway. That's not erring on the side of caution. That's doing what you decided to do anyway.

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kenmeer livermaile
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"That's doing what you decided to do anyway."

Force is its own justification -- if one wins. Have a cigar, general!

If you lose, it's a TNT cigar in one's face. AT this point of the game, we appear to be smoking from both sides of out mouth

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EDanaII
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@ Everard:
quote:
Except that, apparently, the UN inspectors were working pretty damn well.
Which ignores the argument that the inspectors had been inspecting for 8 years before Saddam threw them out, thereby breaching his contract. And that Saddam was playing the same old games with the new inspectors, so we had no reason to believe that things were going to be any different.

quote:
More later if I feel like it. I'm right now pretty firmly entrenched in the idea that anyone who justifies anything with "might makes right" is an evil bastard and ought to be shot. (Yes, massive irony. Its intentional). If I stop feeling that way, I might post more later.
You're demonizing again. Shame on you.


@ RickyB:

Sorry, Ricky. We just ain't gonna agree on that one. And, I'm afraid, the "Food for Oil" scandal, as well as the "French Entanglement," contradicts you, too.


@ kenmeere livermaile:

I'm afraid we're just not gonna agree on that whole "he lied" thing either, Kenmeere. Sorry. [Smile]

Ed.

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Everard
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"You're demonizing again. Shame on you."

Its pretty justified when people argue that might makes right. Its a demonic idea. Only evil people believe that. In fact, its pretty close to a good working definition of what evil IS.

[ April 02, 2005, 12:24 PM: Message edited by: Everard ]

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EDanaII
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Ev?

You're confusing "Might makes right" as recogniton of reality with "Might makes right" as a justification of force.

They are not one and the same.

Ed.

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kenmeer livermaile
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"Which ignores the argument that the inspectors had been inspecting for 8 years before Saddam threw them out, thereby breaching his contract. And that Saddam was playing the same old games with the new inspectors, so we had no reason to believe that things were going to be any different."

While Saddam WAS playing fast and loose, we gave him the excuses he needed to throw us out, not to mention that sometimes WE ordered the inspectors out. We were playing fast and loose as well. All this moral equivalency talk about who was adhering to what resolution is so wearisome. Hans saw through it and simply stayed on target. And he STILL has a better tracvk record of finding and destroying WMDs than we do, eh? We let most of it slip through...

"You're demonizing again. Shame on you."

My impression is that EV likes a few demons in his models. Likes the moral gravity they impart. Keeps things from sliding around. 'They bad, so there.'

I'm afraid we're just not gonna agree on that whole "he lied" thing either, Kenmeere. Sorry."

That whole he lied thing has been so misstated and misconstrued it's not funny. But I DID see him say on TV that we knew this and we knew that... and even the clueless CIA hadn't old him that.

"A man's got to know his limitations." Bush exceeded his on this one. He should fess up and get it over with so you and I don't have to agree to disagree on what is "transparently obvious".

Bush needn't be demonized as an habitual liar any more than he need be glorified as the son of the Son of God... but when he blatantly oversteps the bounds of truth, it should be duly noted as such.

That's all. Not that you need to agree with this, of course.

"Its pretty justified when people argue that might makes right"

I demonize you for deliberately inserting moral ramificiations into a simple acknowledgement of realpolitkik. It belittles the right that can conquer might. That is, the only effective counter to raw might is that right that fellas like Gandhi and MLK used.

Might makes power (right as in the ability to do things).

Only right makes right (as in moral transcendence).

Fulminating against evil is a waste of time. Organize against it or resign yourself to being a soapbox raver. Not that soapbox raving isn't fun, mind you. I enjoy it.

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Everard
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"You're confusing "Might makes right" as recogniton of reality with "Might makes right" as a justification of force."

No, I'm not.

Edit because a "Yes you are no I'm not" argument is stupid.

Ed, you justified our invasion by saying we had the might to back up what we believed to be right.

"We pushed a corrupt judge aside and did what we thought was right."

You're arguing this as a justification for why we should ignore the laws of the UN. You're saying Iraq was in breach of contract (which I won't argue. They were). You're also arguing we have the right to enforce that contract. My argument is we don't. You then argued that we have the right to enforce that contract because we have the might to do it. (above quote). In my book, even if its a simple acknowledgement of how the world works (which I don't think is clearly established at all), arguing that using might is appropriate because we have the might to do what we think is right, acknowledges that acting out of "might makes right" is a justification.

In other words, you've blurred the lines to much. Either might makes right is a justification, or it can't be used as a defence. If you use it as a defence, then you are justifying the use of "might makes right." Its not at all clear to me that you think "might makes right," shouldn't be a justification, in fact, it seems to me that you believe it IS a justification.

[ April 02, 2005, 01:01 PM: Message edited by: Everard ]

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kenmeer livermaile
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"In other words, you've blurred the lines to much."

The above statement negates itself. These lines aren't blurred; they're either crossed or not, period, as you say here:

"Either might makes right is a justification, or it can't be used as a defence." Either/or, not greyscale.

The UN law that the USA disregarded is based on might mixed with right. It is an association of the principal might-weilders -- nations -- of the world that have pledged to use their collective might to enforce certain agreed on concepts of right.

The leadership of the USA decided it didn't agree with their concept of right, so it exercized its (overwhelming) might to do what it thought was right. Iraq didn't have the might to oppose USA's might, so our right prevails over Iraqi right.

"You're arguing this as a justification for why we should ignore the laws of the UN. You're saying Iraq was in breach of contract (which I won't argue. They were). You're also arguing we have the right to enforce that contract. My argument is we don't. You then argued that we have the right to enforce that contract because we have the might to do it. (above quote). In my book, even if its a simple acknowledgement of how the world works (which I don't think is clearly established at all), arguing that using might is appropriate because we have the might to do what we think is right, acknowledges that acting out of "might makes right" is a justification."

All of this is precisely the stuff Ed says the USA shoved aside with its might to make a new right.

As for Ed's pandering to notions of justification in terms of UN law; even acknowledgers of might like a little legal boilerplate ( euphemism for cattle dung) to soften the sheer abrogating fact of the use of force. No need to waste breath on Ed's attempts to dress might in one of the many disputed colors of right. His invocation of might for what he believes is right trumps his own stooping to debate the rights of UN law. But it also trumps any moralistic fingers pointing his way. By invoking might, he has relinquished the mantle of ethical protection and donned his cloak of personal moral belief. (Maybe there's a reason that might and morality both begin with m, while right and rationality both begin with r?)

RARELY does an entity invoke their might to enforce their right without proffering some moral or ethical rationale to claim that their might is more right than the rights of others.

Yes, I AM enjoying watching the semantic dog chase its tail on this one, and am deliberately allowing the two meanings of right confound the reader if possible.

No, I don't think that Ed means that a use of overwhelming might morally validates itself. He only argues that it generally wins. Since to date the USA has won in its opposition of the UN, Ed can abandon legal pretenses and claim a higher authority: action.

Justice holds its own counsel, as ever. Action does not trump justice; it only supercedes law. Twas ever thus. Ethics grow like weeds amid the wreckage.

The USA has declared a new game is afoot. How it prospers or not from this remains to be seen. As for justice, it follows as ever a calculus too complex for the wielders of might to see, although the better ones seem to sense its shadow when they step into darkness...

...the right of law has ever been based on might. Looks like we're in a new round of legislation.

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Pete at Home
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Ev, the diplomatic popularity game is just another type of might. If a European rival manages to bribe/cajole/convince a number of fellow UN members that a treaty means something other than the words on the paper, that too is an exercise of might. Is your position that no form of might makes right, or that only certain forms of might make right?
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Pete at Home
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quote:
...the right of law has ever been based on might.
LoL! Maybe that's why in the language of law, the words "power" and "right" are so often interchangeable.


Playing devil's advocate for a moment just to tease Everard (warning that anyone who represents this as a serious position of mine will make a fool of themselves), one might argue that the Declaration of Independence specifies that the powers of government exist specifically in order to secure the rights of the people, and thus that might makes right. Now natural law advocates would say that the power is only necessary to "secure" rights that already exist, but positive law (which dominates our judicial system) argues the contrary, that rights only exist when created by the state.

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Daruma28
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Ricky, have a look see at the WMD Report written and signed off on unanimously by the bi-partisan commission.

It states unequivocably that the findings that came from the investigation exonerate the administration of the exact charges that you continue to make...that the administration were looking for a reason to go to war and created an atmosphere where the intelligence would fit their pre-determined course of action.

The intelligence agency got us wrong and Bush took us to war over wrong intelligence.

"The CIA got it wrong, and Bush dropped the bombs" may be a little more accurate criticism than "They DESPERATELY wanted to drag us to war"

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kenmeer livermaile
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"Playing devil's advocate for a moment just to tease Everard (warning that anyone who represents this as a serious position of mine will make a fool of themselves), one might argue that the Declaration of Independence specifies that the powers of government exist specifically in order to secure the rights of the people, and thus that might makes right."

I'm a fool, or at least half a fool, and I'll say that the above decribes half of our legal basis as a nation. To crudely simplify, I'd call this the prescriptive half, noting of course that to prescribe the protection of freedom by force requires proscription.

"Ricky, have a look see at the WMD Report written and signed off on unanimously by the bi-partisan commission."

The original Pearl Harbor investigation gave a cvlean bill of health to the heavy players while sacrificing a few key minors. 50 years later, many of those minors have been exoneted in court, leaving the question of culpability to ascent to where it belongs, the top desks.

As for whether or not Bush et al were looking for a reason to go to Iraq, that has been tstified by SO many folks in the circle that it matters little what this commission says.

Iraq was in their crosshairs long before. I'm not per se dismissing the investigation's findings, I'm mostly saying they're irrelevant. They wanted to invade Iraq and they did. The fact that Bush et al were given bad intelligence to justify what they already intended to do makes for nice political cover but that's all.

Likewise, Pearl Harbor gave FDR political cover to do what he'd wanted to do for years.

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Pete at Home
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quote:
Iraq was in their crosshairs long before. I'm not per se dismissing the investigation's findings, I'm mostly saying they're irrelevant. They wanted to invade Iraq and they did. The fact that Bush et al were given bad intelligence to justify what they already intended to do makes for nice political cover but that's all.

Likewise, Pearl Harbor gave FDR political cover to do what he'd wanted to do for years.

Exactly. Bush had a number of reasons, some good, and some bad, for going into Iraq. I've been talking the domino motivation for years on this forum, and yet I think this is the first time I've paused to gloat and say I told ya so, after recent events in Iraq, Lebanon, etc. At first Bush gave the whole list of reasons, and the only one which the UN really seemed affected by was WMD, so he pushed WMD.
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EDanaII
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Argh! I need to get stuff done and stop arguing in these threads! [Wink]

@ Everard

What KL said!


@ kenmeere livermaile
quote:
While Saddam WAS playing fast and loose, we gave him the excuses he needed to throw us out, not to mention that sometimes WE ordered the inspectors out. We were playing fast and loose as well. All this moral equivalency talk about who was adhering to what resolution is so wearisome. Hans saw through it and simply stayed on target. And he STILL has a better tracvk record of finding and destroying WMDs than we do, eh? We let most of it slip through...
Granted. But to introduce a "newly harvested" quote:
quote:
Stop dreaming! You're not in the certainty business. The winning argument is the truth. What actually happened, who did what to whom, are things that we never know.
-- Fred Thompson, Law & Order: Trial by Jury

Regardless of "who did what to whom" the U.S. has made the best argument, both in terms of right AND might, as to who committed the bigger wrong.

quote:
My impression is that EV likes a few demons in his models. Likes the moral gravity they impart. Keeps things from sliding around. 'They bad, so there.'
Definitely. But it also shows that he has a weak hand that can easily be dismissed with an "Ad Hominem."

It also shows where his world view is vulnerable. He's an idealist and idealists typically argue what "should be." I'm a pragmatist, and often argue what "is." One of these things can be backed up demonstrably with fact, whereas, the other can only be supported with "shoulds" and "ought to"s.

In other words, we're arguing reality vs. theory. And guess which argument usually wins in such cases? [Smile]

quote:
That whole he lied thing has been so misstated and misconstrued it's not funny. But I DID see him say on TV that we knew this and we knew that... and even the clueless CIA hadn't old him that.
Some food for thought, Kenmeere. I once promised my father, years ago, that "I would get married and help continue the family name." Now, years (and many insane relationships) later that promise remains not, and likely never, [Frown] fulfilled.

So. Did I lie? Or was I mistaken? Was my answer based on a future I knew was wrong, and so lied about? Or one of hope and unrealized knowledge? Was I wrong to believe that I could fulfill that dream? Or to declare it in unequivocable terms?

quote:
Justice holds its own counsel, as ever. Action does not trump justice; it only supercedes law. Twas ever thus. Ethics grow like weeds amid the wreckage.
And this, Kenmeere, is such a BRILLIANT analogy that I have know choice but to give you a "two thumbs up!" Kudos! [Smile]

This is where Ev's main weakness lay, in assuming that an idealistic position is the end-all and be-all of existence. Nope. Ethics, as you term it, is nothing more than the by-product of a clash of wills. And evil is nothing more than the label we give those whose will contradicts ours. Rightly or wrongly.

And finally, as Fred Thompson pointed out above, "only the best _argument_ wins."

@ Pete at Home:
quote:
Playing devil's advocate for a moment just to tease Everard (warning that anyone who represents this as a serious position of mine will make a fool of themselves), one might argue that the Declaration of Independence specifies that the powers of government exist specifically in order to secure the rights of the people, and thus that might makes right. Now natural law advocates would say that the power is only necessary to "secure" rights that already exist, but positive law (which dominates our judicial system) argues the contrary, that rights only exist when created by the state.
And I, personally, would argue that the recognition of rights -- being those things that most men would fight for and defend -- is natural law, and that the act of declaring those rights in a legal document is a positivism.

But, in any case, as Kenmeere correctly points out, this is just an instance of might choosing the "right" right. ...as opposed to the "wrong" right. [Wink]

Ed.

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kenmeer livermaile
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"In other words, we're arguing reality vs. theory. And guess which argument usually wins in such cases?"

Neither. Wishful thinking trumps all. Fantasy uber alles.

"So. Did I lie? Or was I mistaken? Was my answer based on a future I knew was wrong, and so lied about? Or one of hope and unrealized knowledge? Was I wrong to believe that I could fulfill that dream? Or to declare it in unequivocable terms?"

Apples to oranges. What you DID fulfill in your vow was:

"We're gonna sleep together and try not to sleep with others. We'll live in the same house. We'll raise kids if we decide to have 'em. We'll pool our income."

The latter kind of statement is what Bush made when he said 'we KNOW they have z liters of y, z tons of A, and b many containers of c.

Get over it, Ed: he's a human being. Human beings lie. He's also a politician, which means that he sometimes lies on public record. Ho-hum. Prolong the agony an it please ye. If it's any consolation, Clinton/Kerry supporters are not having a good day either.

And, as we've both said accordingly, none of it matters now except in terms of lingering political residue for the next election cycle.

Now that a new wave of geopolitical havoc has begun, I look forward not back. I finesse these points of recent historical record just to maintain what little hygiene I have the ability to maintain in my wee corner of the world. Some times I clean up others' messes; other times they straighten out my facts.

Generally, research benefits from many hands, oui!

"Justice holds its own counsel, as ever. Action does not trump justice; it only supercedes law. Twas ever thus. Ethics grow like weeds amid the wreckage."

So this is a keeper, eh?

Maybe Monsieur Dey will translate it into Latin and attribute it to Seneca or Tacitus or one of them Greco-Roman bigwigs... look Ma! I said a heavy!

[ April 02, 2005, 05:14 PM: Message edited by: kenmeer livermaile ]

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EDanaII
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quote:
The latter kind of statement is what Bush made when he said 'we KNOW they have z liters of y, z tons of A, and b many containers of c.
Information which could only have come from the CIA or some other intelligence agency.

You'd have to prove that THEY knew it was a lie, and then handed the information of to Bush while telling him it was a lie too.

quote:
Get over it, Ed: he's a human being. Human beings lie. He's also a politician, which means that he sometimes lies on public record. Ho-hum. Prolong the agony an it please ye. If it's any consolation, Clinton/Kerry supporters are not having a good day either.
<VOICE="Dana Carvey">
. <VOICE="George Bush">

[Makes slow chopping motions with both hands]

Nope. Not gonna do it! Wouldn't be prudent. Not at this juncture.

. </VOICE>
</VOICE>

quote:
So this is a keeper, eh?
I thought it succintly described the nature of right and wrong and properly placed ethics within the order of things.

Now, all you have to do is become famous so I can quote ya on it. [Wink]

Ed.

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RickyB
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No, Daruma, the report exonorates Bush of lying. It states specifically that the atmosphere in which intel analysts worked was unconducive to doubting the accepted wisdom.

As for whether or not they wanted to go to war anyway - please. You want to believe they didn't you go right ahead. I have a bridge to sell you, but I'll wait until you've finished your chat with the tooth fairy first.

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KnightEnder
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They started planning for the war with Iraq before Bush even got elected.

Has Bush ever said "I was wrong about the WMD's. I got some bad intel. Sorry"?

KE

[ April 03, 2005, 01:38 PM: Message edited by: KnightEnder ]

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kenmeer livermaile
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"Information which could only have come from the CIA or some other intelligence agency. You'd have to prove that THEY knew it was a lie, and then handed the information of to Bush while telling him it was a lie too."

First you'd have to prove to me that they told Bush 'we know they have x and y and z'...

Second, you'd have to establish the indispensably necessary logic of "you'd have to prove that THEY knew it was a lie, and then handed the information of to Bush while telling him it was a lie too."

They didn't have to tell Bush it was a lie for it to be a lie, particularly when Bush's people were steadily telling them that the intelligence wasn't good enough because it didn't say what they wanted to hear.

Secondly, any person intent on believing what they wish to believe irregardless of whatever, has been historically proven capable of lying to themselves and others with even the most rigorously vetted data.

"[Makes slow chopping motions with both hands]

Nope. Not gonna do it! Wouldn't be prudent. Not at this juncture."

Awesome! Give that man a Funny Vignette of the Day sticker! And a free lap dance with Laura Bush!

Today's playlist of Greatest Hits from the golden mushroom cloud of 2003-2004:

Balking Points

Here's a classic:

What we know from UN inspectors over the course of the last decade is that Saddam Hussein possesses thousands of chemical warheads, that he possesses hundreds of liters of very dangerous toxins that can kill millions of people.
- White House spokesman Dan Bartlett, CNN interview, Jan. 26, 2003


I'm not aware that the UN inspectors were proven wrong, nor that they predicted ANYTHING but an historically supported high probabilty of further maintaining Saddam's former WMD programs in a state of arrest, as has since been proven to be the truest prediction of all. Perhaps Mr. Bartlett confuses the past tense ('possessed') with the present tense ("possesses")? He WAS a White House spokesman at the time. Was his account officialy retracted in a manner equally public to it's purveyance?

Another:

Intelligence gathered by this and other governments leaves no doubt that the Iraq regime continues to possess and conceal some of the most lethal weapons ever devised.- George W. Bush, address to the U.S., March 17, 2003

As I've mentioned elsewhere with Bush's Dad ("Yes, some problems. Some difficulties with the father thing. Not gonna deny it. Nope. Wouldn't be copacetic to my reputation.") there are lies one tells others and lies one tells onbeself. Was Bush DELIBERATELY midleading the people of the world with his anti-Saddam rhetopric? I don't know. But he was deliberately misleading himself.

THIS guy, however, is a known and proven liar:

Well, there is no question that we have evidence and information that Iraq has weapons of mass destruction, biological and chemical particularly…..All this will be made clear in the course of the operation, for whatever duration it takes.
- White House spokesman Ari Fleisher, press briefing, March 21, 2003


And what he said above was a classic case of deliberate obfuscation. Deliberate obfuscation, of course, was his key job description. To wit: "There is no question... we have information..." implies certainty when there is only data.

This kind of lie:

We know where they are. They're in the area around Tikrit and Baghdad and east, west, south, and north somewhat.
- Donald Rumsfeld, ABC interview, March 30, 2003


is a what is commonly meant when people refer to the bull manure that baffles when one lacks insufficient brilliance. Rumsfeld is a master at baffling bull manure.

Here Ari steals Goerge's line:

But make no mistake - as I said earlier - we have high confidence that they have weapons of mass destruction. That is what this war was about and it is about. And we have high confidence it will be found.
- White House spokesman Ari Fleischer, press briefing, April 10, 2003


How many times during that sales job did this administration, especially Dubya, tell we the people to "make no mistake"? It's as if they wanted a monopoly on doing so for themselves;)

Here, the lie is not the lie of deliberate misrepresentation, but the lie of confusing that confidence which allows no doubt (blind faith) with genuine reality:

We'll find them. It'll be a matter of time to do so.
- George W. Bush, remarks to reporters, May 3, 2003


And my fave:

You remember when Colin Powell stood up in front of the world, and he said Iraq has got laboratories, mobile labs to build biological weapons....They're illegal. They're against the United Nations resolutions, and we've so far discovered two [the labs were later judged to not contain any such weapons, that they most likely were used for weather balloons]. And we'll find more weapons as time goes on, But for those who say we haven't found the banned manufacturing devices or banned weapons, they're wrong. We found them.
- George W. Bush, remarks to reporters, May 31, 2003


Conclusion: as was the steady mantra from the Bush-disputing contingency of public commentary since 2003, Bush et al were either lying or grossly incompetent.

Now they have conveniently swept both charges onto the shoulders of their underlings, underlings who often were told to shut up when they counseled against making such 'doubtless confident' proclamations as has marked this administration since late 2002.

And, lest we forget:

No terrorist state poses a greater or more immediate threat to the security of our people and the stability of the world than the regime of Saddam Hussein in Iraq.
- Donald Rumsfeld, testimony to Congress, Sept. 19, 2002


The CIA, I'm sure, told Rumsfeld this? Despite NK or Iran or Syria? Of course, NK ain't officially a terrorist state; it is a rogue nation of the Axis of Evil.

Still, it was a critical element in Bush et al's campaign to create, in USA, a State of Terror.

POstscript: I find it undiminishedly amazing that the following item of information never rose to the mainstream of public media attention:

Iraqi Hijack Training

According to the London-based Iraqi National Congress (INC), Hijazi and Brigadier-General Habib Ma'amouri reportedly developed plans for hijacking civilian airliners and crashing them into civilian targets during the mid-1990s at the GID Special Operations Branch in Salman Pak, south of Baghdad. Two Iraqi defectors have corroborated this claim. A former Iraqi military officer, Sabah Khalifa Khodada Alami, said he was in charge of training an elite special forces team, "designed to plan and conduct operations against US and British interests around the world," at Salman Pak. Using a Boeing 707 parked inside the complex, Alami's team practiced hijacking planes without weapons. He also said that another team of non-Iraqis underwent similar training at the same camp. A second defector gave a similar description of the camp, and recounted meeting some of the non-Iraqi trainees, whom he described as deeply religious, when a group of five Saudis and an Egyptian helped him move his car and jump-start the engine.

In addition to evidence linking Iraq to the September 11 attacks, there are indications that Baghdad may be responsible for the anthrax attacks that have occurred over the past month in the United States. The anthrax spores that were found in Senate Majority Leader Thomas Daschle's office earlier this month were treated with sophisticated chemical additives that enable the spores to remain suspended in the air. They could not have been developed in a cave. In fact, according to a report in the Washington Post, only three nations are believed to be capable of producing these chemicals: the United States, Russia and Iraq.7


Why lie to us when there was solid data linking Iraq to the specific form of attack we suffered on 911? One scratches one's head... but not when Bush is watching. Monkey see, monkey...

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WmLambert
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quote:
kenmeer livermaile posted: The line of presentation wherein data is presented to demonstrate xyz and then summarized with something aloing the lines of 'but silly/stupid/biased/unreasonable people won't agree with me' is a cute means of arguing after the fact with an ad hominem swipe at potential detractors.

What's so cute about all this is that Hans Blix wasn't fooled one way or the other, neither by Bush's 'innocently misinformed' claims that we knoew Saddam had WMDs, nor by Saddam's claims that he didn't have WMD, nor by the CIA's claims that they knew anything about anything.

No. Arguing XYZ and then proving it with uncontested facts does not then require a "swipe" at detractors. If opposing advocates disagree with the uncontested facts, without a valid attempt to disprove them, then they stand the test of "silly/stupid/biased/unreasonable people" by their own behavior. Denigrating those who "got it right" by insulting them and labeling them as cheating debaters using unfair debating fallacies in itself is "a cute means of arguing after the fact."

Please recall that the impetus behind the "Bush lied, people died" canard was the political strategy to oppose Bush with the use of purposeful disinformation. Seeing that those on the Left who were calling Bush a liar had themselves made contemporaneous quotes attesting to their own belief in the things they complained about later, depicts their followers of blind allegiance and the inability to remember what their "leaders" had said only months before. One of the singular events that was used as a lever to induce this belief was the Joe Wilson Niger Yellow cake fraudulent memo. This memo was bandied about as the single reason Bush went to war, by many spinmasters. Of course, all of the investigations later proved the report was not used by the Intel groups that stated Hussein was actively searching for supplies for Nuclear materiels.

You do know that the memo was fraudulently contrived as a scam to win payments from the embassy bureaucrats who substituted for a professional HumInt intel community. don't you? The writer of the memo knew there was little chance of being caught because the Embassies were paying good money for laundry lists written in Urdu, and it often took months for the few counterinitelligence translators to decide whether the "intel" was worth anything or not. The strange happenstance was that this memo was caught as a scam immediately, but the facts it attested to actually did happen. Joe Wilson, himself, admitted that in his own biography. Yet this, more than anything else, was the trigger for the entire "Bush lied" movement.

As for Blix being too clever to be fooled, Slate had the generally informed view of him when he was appointed by the U.N. (allegedly their 24th pick):
quote:
Chris Suellentrop posted: ...the New York Times editorial page blasted him as a "man of uncertain resolve," a "disappointing choice," and "a disturbing sign that the international community lacks the determination to rebuild an effective arms inspection system in Iraq."

The Times' criticism seems mild when compared to the insults that have been hurled at Blix over the past month. The debate resolution appears to be, "Hans Blix: Incompetent bureaucrat or cowardly diplomat?" He has an "unsurpassed record of failure in dealing with Saddam Hussein," wrote Gary Milhollin of the Wisconsin Program on Nuclear Arms Control in the Wall Street Journal. Paul Leventhal of the Nuclear Control Institute questioned whether Blix "has the backbone to be confrontational … the first requirement for effective inspections." Former weapons inspector David Albright complained that he is a man who "ran a toothless agency." But the topper came from Sweden's former deputy prime minister Per Ahlmark in the Washington Times, who wrote that Blix was "weak and easily fooled," "easily misled," and "a wimp." "I can think of few European officials less suitable for a showdown with Saddam," Ahlmark concluded. This morning on CNN, even former chief weapons inspector Richard Butler admitted that in the past, Blix "turned a bit of a blind eye to some things that maybe he shouldn't have."

kenmeer. when you said, "He's the only one who came out of this sans foul smell." You should recognize that much of what has come out is popularized as "the whole story" is bunk, and he is on the bunkem side. He was very much the U.N. front man wearing blinders.

Yes, April Glaspie did set Hussein in motion to invade Kuwait by telling him we would look the other way if he invaded, but that was an old policy that believed he never would actually do that. The U.S. needed a secular nation to oppose Iran at the time, but did not want a war. Anyone who thinks Bush 41 wanting oil is the reason for Desert Storm is not well-informed.

As for Ricky B saying: "Yeah, but somehow Clinton managed not to embroil us in a huge war that hurt us diplomatically and put an enormous strain on our military." We were in a big war under Clinton, with far less moral impetus behind it than going into Kuwait or removing Hussein. Why we sided with the KLA is a mystery. (Or not, if you recall the decision to bomb Kosovo was made precipitously as Monica Lewinski was scheduled to give testimony.) An interesting charge Milosevic has made: U.S. Was Ally of Al Qaeda in Kosovo.

Whether Milosevic is guilty of genocide or ethnic cleansing seems to revolve around claims of "documented atrocities" claimed by the KLA (A group labeled by our own government as late as 1995 as a Terrorist group responsible for supplying the majority of illegal drugs to Europe. The KLA is composed largely of non-Albanian mercenaries who are financed with the Kosovo-Albanian heroin trade in Scandinavia, Italy, and the Czech Republic.) But the KLA's word was enough to bomb our WWII allies who allowed their own villages and family members to be slaughtered by the Nazi's in reprisal's for protecting our downed pilots. So far, if you've followed the Milosevic Trial, there appear to be far more questions than answers.

Covering the Milosevic Trial

San Francisco Chronicle Page A-1

quote:
The International War Crimes Tribunal at The Hague has a staff of 1,100 and an annual budget of nearly $100 million to produce its case against Slobodan Milosevic.

The former president of Yugoslavia has a 9-by-15-foot jail cell for an office and a public pay phone to prepare his own defense.

Despite the disparity in resources, Serbs following the trial say, Milosevic is winning.

On Friday, July 27, 2002, the prosecution called Rade Markovic, former head of the Department of State Security of the Serbian province's Ministry of the Interior to testify against his former boss, Milosevic, to convict him of "war crimes" against the Albanian majority population in Kosovo. It didn't quite go that way.

Markovic testified "the Milosevic government did not try to drive ethnic Albanians out of Kosovo during the NATO bombing. Quite the contrary: "'I told (local officials) that presidential orders are that the flow of refugees must be stopped,'

Markovic said during cross-examination by Milosevic..." (AP, 26 July 2002)

Markovic also testified that Milosevic came down hard on anti-Albanian hate crime: "'More than 200 criminal charges were filed against members of the police, and I think a similar figure stands for the army,' said Markovic..." (AP, Ibid) However, Markovic also testified as to why the prosecution apparently thought he was testify differently: The current Belgrade security police, "who work in closest cooperation with 'tribunal' prosecutors, offered him and his family a change of identity and a comfortable new life in a foreign land if he would lie against Slobodan Milosevic."

Markovic said that, at one point, pro-NATO Serbian Interior Minister Mihailovic and his Secret Police chief, Goran Petrovic, showed up at the (Belgrade) jail with a squad of secret police. Mr. Markovic said they removed him from the facility - itself a violation of Serbian law - and took him to a private dinner where they made him the offer of a new identity with a luxury life - and no more torture - in (exchange for false testimony."

TRANSCRIPTS

Please don't compare what Clinton did by ending the Peace Accord discussions in Dayton by unilaterally bombing Kosovo without going to the U.N. and getting international support, to what happened to overthrow the Taliban and oust Saddam Hussein.

[ April 03, 2005, 04:08 PM: Message edited by: WmLambert ]

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kenmeer livermaile
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Alert: this post was initially written under my unconscious assumption that Mr. Lambert was sawing along what Pete and I called 'party lines'. Mea culpa. I will not remove those sections that imply such, but I am inserting into the ext. So if ity seems schizophrenic, it's because it IS.

"No. Arguing XYZ and then proving it with uncontested facts does not then require a "swipe" at detractors."

Agreed. The swipes at Bush are not the issue I make here; the issue is the core of the contention regaring the Selling of the Iraqi War: crappy evidence presented as indubitable evidence, and then displayed as fact.

"If opposing advocates disagree with the uncontested facts, without a valid attempt to disprove them, then they stand the test of "silly/stupid/biased/unreasonable people" by their own behavior."

By disagreeing with them they contested them. As for what would constitute a 'valid attempt'... I know that I watched C-Span like a recluse for over a year. I read news reports obsessively. I am not myself an investigative journalist nor CIA employee nor UN inspector nor... my efforts have been valid as I could make them without becoming a professional.

"Please recall that the impetus behind the "Bush lied, people died" canard was the political strategy to oppose Bush with the use of purposeful disinformation. "

Who cares? The politics are over. I'm tryiong to establish an historical record in this small milieu that deals with greyscale reality, rather than 'bush lied' or 'Bush didn't lie' absolutist convenience. I am SO tired of political ramifications of simple rhetorical hygiene. The guy ewither said the things he is on record as saying, or not. I for one am NOT interested in post-modern deconstructions of the context of their context.

As for all the ad hominem assessments of Hans by his European fellows: these are of the same caliber as ad hominem remarks toward Bush. My assessment of Hans is based strictly on what I saw HAPPENB during the Selling of the War and afterwards.

Hans said he felt that inspections were working and should be continued rather than an invasion; evidence based on subsequent, open, at will, unobstructed inspections by parties highly motivated to prove Hans wrong, only preoved him far more right in his assessment than those opposed against his assessment (like, for example, all that CIA evidence now offically dismissed as bunk).

"Joe Wilson, himself, admitted that in his own biography. Yet this, more than anything else, was the trigger for the entire "Bush lied" movement."

Not for me. From the moment Bush stood before the UN, I was smelling manure with every other word. And Powell could barely keep from wrinkling his nose on camera as he profferred his evidence and rationale.

The Bush Lied movement is largely its own residue now. Bush's statements and the data underlying them are still on record, only moreso, for things have been more thoroughly vetted, like the Joe Wilson business.

Movements are interesting. Sometimes they can start from a single source: Beatlemania for example, or the Spanish-American War, perhaps. Others are not spawned from a source but gathered of individual 'movers'. I heard lies, sought out sympaticos, found them. Later, we sought out power. At that point, I found myself surrounded by as many loons as not. The first time I heard No Blood For Oil! (at a protest march) I felt disappointment and ennui. (Myself, I wore an American flag like a cape, an old Chicago Bulls bullhorn hat (red plastic skullcap with white horns) with a Santa hat'n'hair'n'beard, and held a plunger up on high, chanting things like "Flush the Bush! Floosh the Boosh!' At one point, some harmlessly inane appearing TV reporter requested an interview with me. I held my plunger before like a microphone and did my best Michael Moore imitation. To his credit, he didn't run. I called the plunger my Regime Changer.)

Anyway, my point is that some of us were questioning the integrity behind the Selling of the War before there was a movement. Some of us continue to question it after the movement is effectively passed on.

"Yes, April Glaspie did set Hussein in motion to invade Kuwait by telling him we would look the other way if he invaded, but that was an old policy that believed he never would actually do that. The U.S. needed a secular nation to oppose Iran at the time, but did not want a war. Anyone who thinks Bush 41 wanting oil is the reason for Desert Storm is not well-informed."

Firstly: according to your account (which concurs with mine), Mr. Gillespie LIED to Saddam and a war was endorsed thereby.

Secondly: I never bought the OIl Is THE Reason then nor now, but I DO believe emphatically that Bush 41 was NOT going to allow Saddam or anyone take the Kuwaiti oil fields. (Let's get serious, after all, mutters Big Oil.) I recall that regaining Kuwait was the declared objective, and I believe oil was part of that objective. The other objectives, as I said before, were (in my belief) a display of disciplinary force in specific and overwhelming force in general, and a chance to test new technologies and doctrines.

I am not interested here in the electoral spin campaings of the past 3 years -- EXCEPT the one that placed our military in Iraq. I'm interested in the best understanding of that historical continuum possible. I appreciate and admire your apparent scholastic clout in that regard, but have little interest in your interpolation of them with the various RXs of various schools of spin doctoring, unless we were to make an objective study of them another topic.

I came to Ornery to, among other things, divest myself of my partisan skins which, like most partisanship, were donned strictly for strategic convenience and that sense of desparation that troubled times often inspire in a plebiscite.

It's interesting, I note, in terms of spin doctor cycles and propaganda movements, how the It Was All For Oil crowd are many oftehm vested now in disproving as much as possible that the administration had/has any interest in building a better nation of Iraq. I find it interesting that one hears little these days of how Bush campaigned on a humble foreign policy platform and said in his early tenure, "I am not into nation-building" (verbatim from memory). It;s interesting that the press conference that ate Ari Fleischer was the one where he strove to insinuate (insuation being his prime task and facility) that Bush had never said such a thing. (He actually got laughed off the podium on that one; that conference was the one that broke the administration's fawning strangehold on the WHite House press gaggle).

I find a string of lies all around, on both sides, many of them being adopted by the opposition as soon as their initiator discarded them.

nation-building

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WmLambert
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quote:
kenmeer posted: Firstly: according to your account (which concurs with mine), Mr. Gillespie LIED to Saddam and a war was endorsed thereby.

Secondly: I never bought the OIl Is THE Reason then nor now, but I DO believe emphatically that Bush 41 was NOT going to allow Saddam or anyone take the Kuwaiti oil fields. (Let's get serious, after all, mutters Big Oil.) I recall that regaining Kuwait was the declared objective, and I believe oil was part of that objective.

No—the state department line had been the same for over a decade and all the ambassadors including Ms. Glaspie maintained that same line with him—that he was a known megalomaniac who had gained power corruptly, but without our aid. They all told him that as long as he was in place as a buffer between Iran and the Persian Gulf nations that we would hold our noses and look the other way. No one at State or in the CIA or NSA thought he would be stupid enough to invade Kuwait. As a matter of fact, even when he had declared the wish to acquire back his "13th province" they all expressed a calm assurance that he was just rattling sabres at Kuwait and any attacks would be by international lawyers.

As far as I've seen—from Stratfor, or any other think tank in or out of the Pentagon—the U.S. position on Iraq was strictly hands-off, as long as his stance against Iran was to the advantage of the U.S. The U.S. position was very logical and as moral as possible, while still taking the long-term view in the Middle East. Supposedly, we deplored his abuse of his people, but without HumInt, we couldn't do diddly to influence anything in the region. The percentage of oil from Iraq was relatively small compared to the rest of our diverse supply from the North Bank, South America, Canada, Alaska, and the rest of the Middle east. As for your mistaken thought that: "I recall that regaining Kuwait was the declared objective, and I believe oil was part of that objective." If we wanted Kuwait's oil, we could have just let Saddam seize it and sell it to us.

By allowing Iraq to seize Kuwait, we would have just nurtured his desire to invade Saudi Arabia, and all the rest of the countries within reach. I don't even think he was personally adverse toward Israel except as a Bogeyman to motivate his political ambition. After Desert Storm and the sanctions were imposed, we could no longer wash our hands of what he did. He was deeply entrenched in using the many Terrorist networks as stalking horses, and without taking him out, the War on Terror would have been lost before it started.

I urge you to read Mona Charen if Ann Coulter is too brash for you. Both document the many disengenuous attacks made to sully the U.S. and Bush 43, in particular.

So, to sum up. It was not about oil. It was not about political adventurism to sway opinion polls. It was also not about Imperialism. It was about freedom and a War on Terror. At this stage, if nations are built with the model of Free Enterprise and open elections, then the U.S. will gladly assist in that process. Those nations will own their own oil and rule their own people without our intervention.

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kenmeer livermaile
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"No—the state department line had been the same for over a decade and all the ambassadors including Ms. Glaspie maintained that same line with him—that he was a known megalomaniac who had gained power corruptly, but without our aid. They all told him that as long as he was in place as a buffer between Iran and the Persian Gulf nations that we would hold our noses and look the other way. No one at State or in the CIA or NSA thought he would be stupid enough to invade Kuwait. As a matter of fact, even when he had declared the wish to acquire back his "13th province" they all expressed a calm assurance that he was just rattling sabres at Kuwait and any attacks would be by international lawyers."

What you've just said is: They lied because they thought he was lying. Next case.

"As for your mistaken thought that: "I recall that regaining Kuwait was the declared objective, and I believe oil was part of that objective." If we wanted Kuwait's oil, we could have just let Saddam seize it and sell it to us."

Uh, let me rephrase: reclaiming Kuwait's independence for Kuwait. And no, having Saddam sell it to us wasn't the same as it being sold (for porift) by whoever owned it before.

Why buy from an invading thief what one already owns? Some info about Kuwaiti oil:
Kuwaiti Oil

"Kuwait owns an estimated 10% of the world's proven oil reserves. This percentage represents 96.5 billion barrels - which are expected to last more than 100 years."

As for Kuwaiti oil: literally the finest oil in the world. Close to the surface, easily pumped, top grade sweet crude. A refinerer/pumper's dream. Kuwait's SPECIAL. This is probably a good part of why Kuwait is Kuwait and not part of its ancestral body, the region roughly occupied by Iraq today. (In this case, the adverb 'roughly' applies both to crude geography and crude behavior.)

When one says it's about the oil that doesn NOT necessarily mean it's about ExxonMobil or BPAmoco or Halliburton. Sometimes that means just what it says: OIL. Of course, I don't think w were happy with how OIL fared in that adventure:
Damage Report

Despite political uncertainties in the region, economic recovery from the Iraqi invasion and subsequent Gulf War in 1990-91 is complete. At the conclusion of the war, 800 of Kuwait's 950 oil wells had been sabotaged, including 600 that were on fire. The country lost 1.1 billion barrels of oil as a result of the war, some of which was not burned but diverted from ruptured pipelines into low-lying areas and dry lakebeds in the desert, where it is theoretically but uneconomically recoverable. Restoration of production, however, proceeded swiftly. Oil output rose from 100,000 barrels per day (b/d) in mid-1991 to 500,000 b/d at the end of that year. The pre-war level of 1.5 million b/d was reached in mid-1992 and just three months later oil production surged to a new high of two million barrels daily.

"So, to sum up. It was not about oil. It was not about political adventurism to sway opinion polls. It was also not about Imperialism. It was about freedom and a War on Terror. At this stage, if nations are built with the model of Free Enterprise and open elections, then the U.S. will gladly assist in that process. Those nations will own their own oil and rule their own people without our intervention."

Funny that we let Saddam be abrute to his won people and those of iran but took umbrage when he invaded lil' old Kuwait.

ItGWI & II were/are about oil and adventurism and imperialism and freedom and democracy and the war on terror and who knows what else? Bush and his administration and its many decades of predecessors look just as silly in all white cowboy suits as they do in all black bad guy costumes.

Read Ann Coulter? What'd I ever do to you? Ahem... there are plenty of GOOD scholastic materials available without resorting to highbrow propagandists.

Having read your most recent post, I've decided my auncponscious assumption was correct: you ARE playing party lines.

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Wayward Son
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At least can we all agree that one of the main reasons for going to war--self-defense against possible attack by WMD--was wrong? That, at least in this aspect, we made a bad call?

This is the reason that we should be extremely cautious in starting pre-emptive wars. Because it is so easy to be wrong, which then changes it into a simple war of agression.

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EDanaII
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@ kenmeer livermaile

quote:
They didn't have to tell Bush it was a lie for it to be a lie, particularly when Bush's people were steadily telling them that the intelligence wasn't good enough because it didn't say what they wanted to hear.
Sorry, Kenmeer, I just ain't buyin' it.

This is a "Sin's of the Father" kinda thing. You can't blame Bush for accepting what he wanted to be true, even if it was a lie, if he had no reason to believe it wasn't anything but the truth.

And _we all_ had reason to believe it was so.

Ed.

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kenmeer livermaile
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"This is a "Sin's of the Father" kinda thing. You can't blame Bush for accepting what he wanted to be true, even if it was a lie, if he had no reason to believe it wasn't anything but the truth."

Firstly, I can blame Bush for whatever I want to. (Our grammar and syntax reveal interesting things about the underlying beliefs they address.) If Bush were a doctor and the decision for war a diagnosis, he would be sorely chastized by a medical board of review for losing objective perspective, and quite possibly facing a viable malpractice suit.

"And _we all_ had reason to believe it was so."

I, for one, never felt any reason to believe it was so. I listened carefully, night after night, to the VERY carefully chosen words of Hans Blinx before just such a panel of review. His precisely calculated phrases in their amusing German inflection gave me far more reason to believe that the best course per WMDs was to continue with the inpsections.

Subsequent events confirmed, for me, my pro-inspections evaluation.

The WMD result of Gulf War II was a) no WMD found b) known weaponry and potentially dangerous materials largely missing. Result: while Saddam is out of the way, the WMD purpose -- find and remove dangerous war material -- is diminished.

BUT.... that's just the WMD side of the matter. There was/is a whole lot more going on with Iraq than WMD. Fact is, the WMD job was about finished when we invaded. So it's a dead issue. If you wish to grant Bush the benefit of a doubt, that's your privilege. But I for one will continue to find that doubt... doubtful.

"This is the reason that we should be extremely cautious in starting pre-emptive wars. Because it is so easy to be wrong, which then changes it into a simple war of agression."

This is true, but I also note that any war is just a simple war of aggression. Everything else is just rationale and spoils. On the ground, war is war.

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Wayward Son
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quote:
This is true, but I also note that any war is just a simple war of aggression.
Not if someone attacks you. Then you are fighting a defensive war. (OK, someone has to be the aggressor, but it has to do with justification for the war and by whom. If you ignore justification, then all wars are the same. And, yes, in the midst of battle, all wars are the same, too. Death is death, regardless of why.)
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kenmeer livermaile
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"Not if someone attacks you. Then you are fighting a defensive war."

"Not if someone attacks you. Then you are fighting a defensive war."

I understand your distinction between 'who started it' and 'who responded', but war by nature is extremely AGGRESSIVE, ci? (As you yourself have already said; excuse me if I seem to be hammering you with your own nails.)

Which leaves us with who started it. In which case we clearly have the USA as ggressor', but I'll substitute 'initiator' or 'preemptor', since 'aggressor' arrives inherently freighted with connotations of evil, and I think connotations of evil should be applied seperately to maintain some clarity of terms.

Preemptive war doctrine asserts that preparation for war against another country B is just cause for country B to invade country A first. Strategically, this makes terrific sense of itself, but it begs a hygiene of intelligence gathering that, according to our most recent, administration-exonnerating, review of our intelligence agencuies regarding preemptivce causus belli toward Iraq, we did not possess.

And so we have the many lively discussion like this thread.

I repeat what we 'doves' are ever remindiung us of: ALL war is AGGRESSION. War is so hideous that we must dress it in layers of hyperbolic self-justification to stomach the stench of death it creates. It is important, I think, to remember this when we're justifying our reasons for war before and after, just as 'doves' are wise, I feel, to remember that war is war's best enemy.

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kenmeer livermaile
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And so, having said the above, I mention this:

US to Bear BurdenoOf Iraq Costs

WASHINGTON - President Bush said Monday that seeing Iraq through reconstruction to a stable and secure democracy is a worthy cause that the United States will press regardless of whether its coalition partners remain there.

Let the record note that, originally, Iraq was claimed by this adminitration as being able to pay the majority of its 'makeover' costs.

Let's call them postemptive costs. How one feels about our presence in Iraq is one thing; how one feels about honesty in something so excruciatingly dire as causus belli is another.

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