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Author Topic: I take personal responsibility for...
kenmeer livermaile
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Matteo: do you REALLY think we should have evacuated Iraq? [Wink]
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Matteo522
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Liberal:

Then shame on all the other politicians who were obviously duped as well and clearly didn't know what you must've known.

Redskull:

Nice post. Thanks.

Seeking Prometheus:

Excellent summary. [Smile]

Dave:

That's a really good analogy and I have no rebuttal for it. Although I love analogies and yet hate dragging them on forever, I'd submit one more change to that:

Let's say the cop tells the kid to freeze and have his bag checked. The kid lets someone check his bag, but conspicuously doesn't let him under his jacket but says that there's nothing there to worry about. The cop tells him to strip down in front of everyone. The kid defiantly refuses and says "I have no reason to do that! If you want to strip search me, you'd have to kill me first!" The kid goes on his merry way and is then shot. Does that change the scenario? Not a helluva lot, I suppose... but it does change the tone slightly.

Matt

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Tom Curtis
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Matteo:

quote:
Oh how easy it is to cherry-pick the intelligence and evidence just as much as he did!

We all know the intelligence was dubious at best. We all know there was intelligence stating that he was not a threat. However, there was ALSO intelligence stating he was a threat. It may not have been *good* intelligence, but what the heck *is* good intelligence?

Matteo, there was no intelligence stating that Hussain was a threat to the US. There was some dodgy evidence suggesting he might be trying to reconstruct his nuclear weapon program, but that same evidence if accepted at face value suggested that he was several years away from developing such an atomic bomb, and that still left him without a delivery system.

There was some equally dodgy evidence suggesting he might be reconstructing his chemical and biological weapons programs, but again there was no evidence suggesting he was currently increasing his stock pile, or that he had a delivery system.

There was some good evidence that he had a missile program, and some moderate intelligence that his newly developed missiles might be able to reach Israel - but missiles that can reach Israel do not overnight turn into missiles that can reach the US, or Europe.

In order to build a case for war, the Bush administration had to radically overstate the quality of the evidence they had that Hussein was a threat, supress the counter evidence, and radically overstate the level of threat represented if their best intelligence (for their case) was taken at face value.

Even if the tubes had been for a nuclear program, Bush had years in which to act. And at the time he acted bush knew beyond a shadow of doubt that Hussein had no active nuclear program because of the IAEA inspections. Even if Iraq actually had mobile chemical weapon factories, Bush still had months to years to act and he knew on balance of probability that Iraq did not have such a program when he acted, because UNIMOVIC was telling him so.

And when he acted, he knew beyond a shadow of doubt that Iraq only had short ranged missile systems.

quote:
This was why I brought up my school bomb threat scenario. Even if 90% of the "intelligence" stated that there was no bomb threat yet 10% of it did (and it was doubtful that that intelligence was true), the one person who dared respond to that analogy stated he would, in fact, take the evasive action necessary.
In fact, I also responded to your example. You just do not like my responce.

In Brisbane at the moment, a key offramp on the main expressway feeding traffic to the center of the city has a crack in it, leading to a "very slight" chance that it will collapse. As a result, the government has closed that off ramp and the expressway over which it passes, thus forcing around 50% of city bound traffic to seek alternative routes. The result has been chaos, but it is a perfect example of your precautionary principle in action.

It is also, I think, the wrong action. If the chance of collapse is very slight if in use, it must be less when not in use, so if only the off ramp but not the expressway were closed the risk of collapse would be minimal. The precautionary principle would still suggest closing the expressway was the right thing to do, except that by closing the expressway, the traffic conditions near the city, including to "most of Brisbanes main hospitals" has slowed to a complete crawl. Trips that formerly took 15 minutes can now take 90. This must mean that trips for ambulances are also slowed (though not as much). Thus, by closing the expressway, the government has reduced the risk of a publicly visible and politically catastrophic accident, but only by increasing the risk of less visible deaths for people in critical conditions unable to get to a hospital in time. I suspect the government choice has put more Brisbane lives at risk than the alternative. (I don't know because I don't know the relevant risk assessments.)

So consider the risk of not invading Iraq. It was known beyond any doubt that Iraq had no direct means of attacking the US. There was a slight but real possibility that Iraq could attack the US using biological or chemical weapons through terrorist intermediaries. If that was attempted, there was a slight but real risk that the attack would succede. So not attacking Iraq exposes the US to a slight risk of an terrorist attack that might kill thousands of Americans, possibly as many as 911 (though unlikely). That risk would have dissipated over months of continuing UNIMOVIC inspections to non-existence.

The risk of attacking Iraq was that hundreds of US troops, and thousands of Iraqis would die. The probability of that was well above 50% and there was a very real probability that thousands of US troops and hundreds of thousands of Iraqis would die.

So, you've got a less than 1% chance of thousands dying vs a better than 50% chance of hundreds dying (if we only count US losses). The precautionary priniple at this stage says the best thing to do is not attack. It is only because you persistently ignore the other side of the equation that you can think otherwise.

quote:
I showed you an intelligence report that did, in fact, state that he was a threat. Yes, you can show that it turned out to be wrong. Yes, you can show that there was other evidence from before that report that said he was no threat (in fact, the report itself said it may very well be wrong). But the fact remains that there was still some segment of the intelligence community that honestly and truthfully believed he was a real threat.
The NIE report only shows what happens when professionals abandon proffesional standards to satisfy political masters.

I have to say I was, and still am, supremely unimpressed by the Democratic and media reaction to Bush's rush to war. They abandoned principled behaviour in favour of political or commercial expediency. The most that can be said in their favour is that they could not believe that a President would behave as dishonourably as Bush had in fact behaved in his misinforming of the nation. But that is not much of an exhoneration. It was their duty to make an independant analysis of the evidence presented, and they plainly failed to do so.

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Tom Curtis
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Matteo:

quote:
Let's say the cop tells the kid to freeze and have his bag checked. The kid lets someone check his bag, but conspicuously doesn't let him under his jacket but says that there's nothing there to worry about. The cop tells him to strip down in front of everyone. The kid defiantly refuses and says "I have no reason to do that! If you want to strip search me, you'd have to kill me first!" The kid goes on his merry way and is then shot. Does that change the scenario? Not a helluva lot, I suppose... but it does change the tone slightly.
Matteo, durring the first inspections following the Gulf War, Iraq prevented inspectors going were they wanted. During the second lot of inspections by UNIMOVIC which were ongoing until Bush told the inspectors to get out because he was about to attack, there were no such restrictions. The UNIMOVIC inspectors were permited to inspect anywhere in Iraq, with no notice at anytime. The did in fact inspect in this way several sites the US said were being used for WMD production, and found no evidence of such production.

Back to Dave's analogy. The boy was letting himself be strip searched with cavity checks, when the cop decided that wasn't good enough, and shot him anyway.

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kenmeer livermaile
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"Kenmeer--you make me happy."

You know how to lay on a compliment. After all, man is that he might have joy, I've heard.

Yes, I think the 'I told you so' dance is in full evidence.

However, analyses of Bush's willingness to acknowledge, with relatively modest sales-spin, the consequences of his actions have, for we of the 'I told you so' camp, direct predecessors in analyses of Bush's (and Bush promoters') willingness to acknowledge, with relatively modest sales-spin, the data upon which Bush's decisions were based as they were being made, or suggested, or sold to the UN, Congress, USA public.

So for us, the current jigathon is only part of the continuum. We weren't buying yellow-cake jive 3 years ago, or aluminum tubes as alleged centrifuge material for reprocessing uranium, or the sudden shift from a plausible action against jihadi terrorism (toppling the Taiban in Afghanistan and pursuing bin Laden) to extremely questionable regime change in Iraq NOW.

The day we heard that Rummy was bickering with previously laid war plans to invade Iraq with ample troops, we hollered. The day we heard reports that plans for post-invasion maintenance of civil order were essentially non-existent, while comments about rosey greetings were publicly uttered by prominent neo-cons, we bellered.

We cited the pst embroglios, peccadilloes, and mortal sins associated with the team Bush had assembled to prosecute the invasion, and noted how they fit into a recurrent pattern. (Team B, anyone? Iran-Contra?)

To say our cries fell upon deaf ears would be an obvious lies. Our cries fell upon a swelling chorus of denunciation of such criticisms as unpatriotic carping, liberal bias or mere 'Bush-bashing' (as if some of us were born to bash Bush, as if our disapproval of him were a congenital deformity rather than as assessment of character, and as if that assessment were based on merely irrational aspects like his tendency to act like an idiot and not on a well-documented trail of incompetence, corruption, failure, and association -- directly though his Papa -- with cadre of characters intimately ssociated with nasty criminal actios involving Central America nd Iran, among others)or, (my favorite), Neville Chamberlainesque naivete. (I note here that just as most comparisons to Hitler tend to be ridiculed by one's fellow debators as absurd, a shadow phenomenon serves in corrolary to Godwin's Law: "As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches one." This shadow versions replaces Hitler and Nazis with Chamberlian, Czheckoslavaki, and 'peace in our time'.)

We gotta right to crow: long before we were vindicated, we had to crow just in order to be heard by a mssive chorus of steel-braqssiered Pollyannas in blonde braids and Viking helm singing like triumphant fat ladies long before it was over, yea, even before it had begun.

There. I hoped that made you happy. (Big-boned, big-boobied women in military summer dresses turn me on too.)

HOnestly, I can't really blame the feller for not fessin' up to the messes he's made. He's ****ed up SO badly. I'd wanna duck the shame too, if I were in his shoes. But then, if I were in his shoes, we wouldn't be in Iraq. There's only one king, and he holds the scepter, and does as he will, even in today's parlimentary government. Folks who say folks like me oughter quit our bitchin' and DO something forget, I think, that railing at the king is the basic and most effective action toward the king -- short of regicide -- that we mere one voive-on vote citizens have.

One can only march in so many protests, or place so many 4x8 plywood posters in one's front yard, or engage in onkly so many face-to-face dialogues at the grocer store about the decision to invade Iraq, or the Patriot Act, or the recent detainee torture bill, or...

...or, in other word, who the **** are YOU (and you know who YOU are) to point the finger at me and say, "If you don't like it quit bitchin' about it and DO something?"

I mean, OK OK, I'm-a get my little red wagon all axle-greased up, borrow my neighbor's shotgun, and I'm-a go ride to the White House and do some gunboat redwagon diplomacy of my own. Does THAT qualify as 'doing something'? I promise I won't shoot until I hear the whine of their ayes...

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Thrasymachus
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Kenmeer,

Been contemplating the sound of one hand clapping a little to long I think. There was no indictment of those who HAVE acted on their sentiments. If you truly have engaged others with your concerns then I congradulate you. My point originally with this thread is that I get so bored of all the throw away patriotism so frequently displayed in forums like this.

How many people are there reading web pages like this and walking away with nothing but the opinions that agree with their party line of thought? How many people are so hellbent on embracing the company line that they are completely immune to any logic or reason that could actually convince them that maybe their party ISN'T right about everything across the board.

To be completely honest, it makes me sick that there are only two really valid potential candidates for election in most political races. Has diversity of opinion in this nation really become such a castrated force that the best we can support are two candidates, each equally bought and payed for by campaign contributions from the SAME special interset groups?

Stop defending or attacking liberal or conservative parties and start looking at realistic and honest interpretations of the ideas portrayed by the different parties. Who gives a flying f#$% about gwbush. In 50 years, he'll be a footnote in a history book. His actions during his administration haven't made him either the most sainted or the most villanous of politicians. He will never be more than one man and his mark on history.

If you can rail so hard against the Bush party and the republican cohort in an online forum, then you really should be prepared for someone to tell you to stand up and do something about it. If you already are, then you know that and you wouldn't be insulted by the challenge, you'd second it. Unless you think you are strong enough to stand alone against the entire array of republican cowtowing monkeyboys.

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DonaldD
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quote:
It seems to me like that's a phrase you don't hear out of peoples mouths very often these days. People seem more and more determined to place the blame elsewhere and in my opinion, its having a pretty widespread effect on our society.

Politicians get elected based on how well they avoid blame for past indiscretions.

Lawyers make fortunes on class action lawsuits on behalf of clients who are to stupid to use common sense and then blame a manufacturer of a product for resulting injuries.

The U.S. population as a whole seems to become more and more dependant on the government to take responsiblity for their healthcare, retirement and education needs (although the move towards home-schooling is a breath of resh air)

What happened to the days of parables about George Washington chopping down a cherry tree? When did it become more socially acceptable to pass the blame or the responsiblity for our own well being AND the well being of those around us on to someone else, rather than accepting it ourselves?

Part of this has to do with Dennis Hastert and his "anyone on my staff who knew anything" policy about Foley, which is a pretty traditional way for a politician to cover his backside, but some of it has to do with everyday life. - Thrasymachus

Interesting thesis. A lot to chew on
quote:
That is probably one of the few things I find redeeming about George Bush's time in office. I don't think he has ever publicly tried to lay the blame for his mistakes (though they number asthe stars) on someone else. He starts a lot of his answers to accusatory questions with "I."

I acted on bad intelligence. I believe a strong use of force is necessary.

I might not like the man's policies, but its nice to see someone stand up and accept responsibility for what he's done in a world where nobody wants to be that guy. - Thrasymachus

Boom! Right there, you blew your whole thread out of the water. If your goal was to discuss the lack of personal responsibility in western society, great. But once you linked that to George Bush, naming him as some kind of paragon of accepting responsibility, you completely shot yourself in the foot – or rather, you dropped a live hand-grenade in the middle of your own initial post. You introduced the contentious subject. If you really are interested in what you state was your objective in starting the thread, accept that your example is not, well, accepted, retract it and move on.

This is a fantastic opportunity to take responsibility for a mistake and to do something to address it [Smile]

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Liberal
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quote:
Originally posted by Matteo522:
Liberal:

Then shame on all the other politicians who were obviously duped as well and clearly didn't know what you must've known.

Redskull:

Nice post. Thanks.

Seeking Prometheus:

Excellent summary. [Smile]

Dave:

That's a really good analogy and I have no rebuttal for it. Although I love analogies and yet hate dragging them on forever, I'd submit one more change to that:

Let's say the cop tells the kid to freeze and have his bag checked. The kid lets someone check his bag, but conspicuously doesn't let him under his jacket but says that there's nothing there to worry about. The cop tells him to strip down in front of everyone. The kid defiantly refuses and says "I have no reason to do that! If you want to strip search me, you'd have to kill me first!" The kid goes on his merry way and is then shot. Does that change the scenario? Not a helluva lot, I suppose... but it does change the tone slightly.

Matt

Matteo, you are beginning to get closer to the truth, so follow me a little bit to the end of your enlightenment. Congress had no way of knowing they were being duped since they recieve the portions of reports from the agencies that the executive branch wants them to see.
That's right, all... those... agencies... are... executive... agencies... that... report... to... Bush & staff.
It is not Congress's job to resolve disputes among intelligence agencies, or in this case, convince the President that he needs to listen to the unanimous assessment of his intelligence agencies and not create a new one just because he didn't like what they had to say. That's right, that very slim portion of the "intelligence community" that you say thought Iraq was a threat was the agency created for the very purpose of proving Iraq wa sa threat! Generally someone is not going to disprove the reason for their job, especially if they hapen to be old Cold Warriors that wrote extensive papers on the necessity of invading iraq during the late 70s and then petitioned every Presidential administration since then to do so.


Redskull, in no way is the bureaucratic situation your describing a necessary reality if we were to hold the executive more accountable for his subjective decisions based on intel. he gets. It's part of the President's job to put competent people that he can work with and easily understand into those agency positions, if he is having trouble ascertaining when they are sure of something or not then they obviously shouldn't be there. Besides, when someone tells you to your face, "this might be incorrect" when you are not used to hearing it from that person usually, then maybe you shouldn't gamble and then go tell 300 million people it's 100% true.
It really is as simple as that, as much as you try to work in inuendo, massive bureaucracy and subjective filtering, etc., when someone as experienced as the head intelligence agent in the US tells you something is not very reliable, how much intelligence does it really take to stop and realize you can't go claim it's absolutely true. This is not a matter of nit-picking and there is not the wiggle room here for "honest disagreement" that you are injecting. It is very cut and dried. This was a mistake Bush made, completely on his own. Only, when he owned up to it as a "mistake" he wound up blaming Tenet and others who actually tried to stop him from going into Iraq.

[ October 20, 2006, 04:44 PM: Message edited by: Liberal ]

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Thrasymachus
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Donald,

I'm forced to agree with you about the mistake. I wanted to throw something out there that would actually start some conversation about politicians and responsiblity. Apparently I aimed to high at using George Bush. I tried not to st him up as if I believed he were a paragon of virtue, but everyone seems to have focused on that point. The issue I wanted discussed got lost in the sound and fury surrounding Bush's policies. Maybe I should have used a less volatile example like Hitler or Ghengis Khan.

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DonaldD
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Live and Learn...
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Thrasymachus
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Probably not. I'll probably throw something equally irrelevant into my next post and start world war three by accident.
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RickyB
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While learning the art of tree-climbing is often one of the highlights of childhood, it is the art of tree-descending that marks the onset of maturity.
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Thrasymachus
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Or a terminal case of broken neck... which seems the more likely in my case.
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Tom Curtis
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Liberal:

quote:
Matteo, you are beginning to get closer to the truth, so follow me a little bit to the end of your enlightenment. Congress had no way of knowing they were being duped since they recieve the portions of reports from the agencies that the executive branch wants them to see.
That's right, all... those... agencies... are... executive... agencies... that... report... to... Bush & staff.
It is not Congress's job to resolve disputes among intelligence agencies, or in this case, convince the President that he needs to listen to the unanimous assessment of his intelligence agencies and not create a new one just because he didn't like what they had to say. That's right, that very slim portion of the "intelligence community" that you say thought Iraq was a threat was the agency created for the very purpose of proving Iraq wa sa threat! Generally someone is not going to disprove the reason for their job, especially if they hapen to be old Cold Warriors that wrote extensive papers on the necessity of invading iraq during the late 70s and then petitioned every Presidential administration since then to do so.

I think you are giving the congress men and women a free pass here.

Keeping only to the publicly available information, what was note worthy about it at the time was its paucity, its poor quality, and the fact that even accepted at face value it did not show Iraq to be the level and immediacy of threat Bush was indicating. Even without access to the counter evidence, some of which was publicly available, they should have been demanding more evidence or a far more cautious progress to war.

IMO the correct explanation of the failure of both the Dems and the media was moral cowardice. At the time, Bush was riding a wage of popular support, and being painted as soft on terrorism was a political death knell. The Dems knew that, and so did not look too closely at evidence that would require them to make a stand that could be painted as "soft on terrorism" regardless of the merits.

I apply the same critique to the Labor party in Australia, even though they did actually oppose the war. They were still far softer than they should have been given the evidence.

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LoverOfJoy
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quote:
At the time, Bush was riding a wage of popular support,
What time are we talking about, here? At one point Bush got very high support (like 90 right after 9/11) but I think by the time Iraq was coming around his support wasn't anything phenomenal. I'm pretty sure I remember seeing approval ratings in the 60s-high 50s before the Iraq war. That's something that Clinton and others have acheived and still faced opposition with.
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seekingprometheus
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quote:
...or, in other word, who the **** are YOU (and you know who YOU are) to point the finger at me and say, "If you don't like it quit bitchin' about it and DO something?"
I don't suppose this comment is directed at me (and seeing how the recipient is said to know himself to be the designee, and I most definitively lack the biblical surety that "I am who I am," I suppose my supposition has validity), but since your post is pointed my way, I feel the need to say that I am by no means censuring the southpaws for their cacophonous party. In other words, just so we're clear, Kenmeer: I had no intention of contributing to the greasing of your wagon (delightful as I find you, I'm just not that type of guy [Big Grin] ).
Truth be told, I'm here because I like maenad festivities such as these. The way I see it, Thrasymachus opened up this post by offering a sacrificial lamb (it almost seems to involve another act of platonic duplicity--could you feed a straw man more pregnable words than those regurgitated in the first post?), and I like mutton as much as the next man.

(Sorry for the mixed metaphors).

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Matteo522
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quote:
Matteo, you are beginning to get closer to the truth, so follow me a little bit to the end of your enlightenment.
I have never gotten why intellectual insult is such a commonly used tool on the left. I'm not claiming you're unenlightened or stupid for believing what you do. I'm accepting that you simply see it differently.

I'm attempting to acknowledge the shades of grey. You've been completely unwilling to paint the entire picture as nothing but black.

Regardless, LetterRip stated the following:

quote:
The evidence he and others had claimed in support (or more frequently implied that it supported) was shown to be wrong by the intelligence agencies prior to Bush and others publicly claiming or implying it supported their case.
Given your other statements, I believe it's safe to assume you agree with that statement. Please correct me if I'm wrong. Then you stated:

quote:
Congress had no way of knowing they were being duped since they recieve the portions of reports from the agencies that the executive branch wants them to see.
I cannot possibly believe that you and others on this board had information that led you to believe *at the time* that it was 100% known that Saddam was absolutely no threat yet our senators did not have that information. Shouldn't you have shared that with them? You'd be a national hero right now.

Matteo

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Tom Curtis
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LOJ:

quote:
What time are we talking about, here? At one point Bush got very high support (like 90 right after 9/11) but I think by the time Iraq was coming around his support wasn't anything phenomenal. I'm pretty sure I remember seeing approval ratings in the 60s-high 50s before the Iraq war. That's something that Clinton and others have acheived and still faced opposition with.
Looking through the poll results for the period just prior to the war, Bush was consistently polling at around a 60 to 65% approval rating, and scored a few 70%'s as well. That is, at that time he was still as popular as was Clinton at his peak. To put that into perspective, Clinton as of 2005 polls as the second greatest US president behind Reagan, and ahead of Lincoln and Kennedy (which is probably an inditement of US history teaching more than anything else). Another way of putting it is that he was more popular then (65%) than he is unpopular now (61%).

On top of that, Bush was getting better approval ratings for security policy than were the Democrats, which shows that if they wanted to pick a fight, security was a dangerous area to do it. This is particularly true given the ill informed nature of American opinion at the time. Basically, if they had challenged Bush on the intelligence data, they would have had a hard sell against against a popular President in wartime which would have resulted in their being demonized as "unpatriotic", "unamerican", "giving aid and comfort to the enemy", and as "soft on terrorism". That was a sales pitch they did not want to make.

http://www.pollingreport.com/BushJob1.htm
http://www.pollingreport.com/clinton-.htm
http://www.pollingreport.com/wh-hstry.htm

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Matteo522
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It's a real shame they put politics and staying popular ahead of doing their job and actively engaging in debate instead of just voting Yea.

If they were right and believed they were right, they could have won the American favor regardless of opinion polls. But then again, the people in question (Kerry, Clinton, et al) do tend to follow opinion polls quite closely...

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Tom Curtis
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It's the bane of English speaking, Western democracies at the moment. Some fool strategist said you can't achieve anything if your not in power, and the hoodwinked politicians started putting political advantage ahead of principle.

It's because of this that the last US President for whom I have significant respect was Carter; and the last Australian PM for whom I can say the same is Gough Whitlam. (Both early seventies. The rot set in a long time ago.)

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Liberal
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Matteo, stop with the bland generic statements of saying that I 'am extreme and am trying to paint this situation black' and that you are 'reasonable' and acknowledge 'shades of grey.' It is vague nonsense that is not addressing the specifics of this situation. It is empty rhetoric. The question is very simple, did Bush appologize for making a decision on his own or not, yes or no. I have gone out of my way to pick certain situations in which the ultimate decision was Bush's and have eliminated outside factors to his decision as much as they can be in our world. As much as responsbility exists for anyone, this is the situation with him in this specific instance. Please deal with the specifics.

As to congress, they were being told by the executive that those pieces of intel. which had been made public were "wrong" or "incomplete." They trusted Bush that he had already fairly evaluated the CIA's and others' objections and that Bush had secret, valid, different intelligence that warranted an invasion. And time and time again, Bush would not reveal the sources of those intelligence. It was claimed at the time it would 'compromise' his sources. Now we know the truth is he had no sources or the info. was old info. and already public but discounted by the real experts.

Spare me the 'hero' rhetoric. If someone on the take inside the Bush admin. would have had the guts to come forth and say all this even in the midst of the anti-whistleblower legislation, executive orders and court decisions, THEY would have been the hero.

[ October 20, 2006, 08:36 PM: Message edited by: Liberal ]

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kenmeer livermaile
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"Stop defending or attacking liberal or conservative parties and start looking at realistic and honest interpretations of the ideas portrayed by the different parties."

I no longer think in lib or con terms. I perceive them more as outmoding anachronisms.

"Who gives a flying f#$% about gwbush."

Bastard's killing people. I care.

"In 50 years, he'll be a footnote in a history book."

In 50 years I'll be dead. WHy give a **** about myself? Right now, Bush is king of the most powerful natiuon in the world, which just happens to be my own. I care.

"His actions during his administration haven't made him either the most sainted or the most villanous of politicians."

And, volleying your riff: who cares? Who cares that folks demonise or exalt the bugger? I care what the bastard does. I demonise him because I despise demonic actios, and too many of his actions as prez are demonic, in my opinion. This isn't a slander case in court. Therse are troops and civilians abused by, at best, misguided arrogance and, at worst idiotic brutality. (I really don't know *why* he does what he does. I only know the effect. Since what he's done maches what I expected him to do, I tke the liberty of assuming less than honorable intent at worst, or lack of accountable integrity, at best.)

Bastard's killing people, directly and indirectly, through his commanding of our military. Pisses me off.

"If you can rail so hard against the Bush party and the republican cohort in an online forum, then you really should be prepared for someone to tell you to stand up and do something about it. If you already are, then you know that and you wouldn't be insulted by the challenge, you'd second it. Unless you think you are strong enough to stand alone against the entire array of republican cowtowing monkeyboys."

Take your own advice, maybe? Anyway, I ain't insulted. I just think the 'stand up and do something about it' as expressed as noise on a forum just the same as my noise, is just plain STUPID. I'm not insulted by it; just annoyed and even a little embarrassed for you.

[ October 20, 2006, 10:13 PM: Message edited by: kenmeer livermaile ]

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Matteo522
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quote:
Bastard's killing people, directly and indirectly, through his commanding of our military.
Emphasis mine.

Now, come on, do you really think that Bush has directly killed anybody? I'm just having a hard time imagining him sticking a gun in someone's mouth a la South Park. Clearly he has indirectly killed thousands... but don't you see it really destroys your case when you say something like that?

I know that I'm sounding an awful lot like a Bush apologist in this thread. That's not my intent. My intent was to point out a lot of the ridiculous, blanket, unprovable statements that I hear so often. It's completely unconstructive to say things like that. It just makes you come off as a looney.

I can't help it, but when somebody says something like that, it really makes me roll my eyes and not want to listen to the rest of the statements.

I imagine you didn't mean that he literally strangled somebody... and if that's the case, don't say it. Your point was perfectly valid otherwise.

Matt

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Tom Curtis
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Matteo, orders Bush has given as Commander in Chief have directly (as in through the direct chain of command) resulted in the deaths of thousands. They have indirectly resulted in the deaths of tens, and possibly hundreds of thousands. It's ironic, given the thread title, that you would trip up on so minor a point.
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kenmeer livermaile
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What TOm C said. Acommander in chief ORDERS people killed, and a vast bureacracy endeavors mightily to see the execution through. Direct chain of command, not direct finger on triggwer. I thought about thgis when I wrote it but figured you'd understand 'directly' in the context of commander in chief.

Truman ordered the bombing of Nagasaki. Without his order, it wouldn't have happened. No one else had the authority. Capisch?

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Thrasymachus
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Kenmeer,
Like I've said three or four times now, the message was intended to inspire people who AREN'T taking action on there end to step up and do something. I'm already engaged in my own action, although it may take years for anyone to see tangeable results. What I'd like to do is see someone suggest an ACTIONABLE remedy for the abuses they claim are taking place in the highest offices.

I don't know, maybe do some research and see if you can sue the president for breach of contract by violating his oath of office (a binding verbal contract that is usually made in front of one or two witnesses) or look at historical precedent for a means of removing your demon from the whitehouse. (I'm guessing your not Catholic, or I'd recomend seeking out an exorcist)

Meanwhile, can you tell me one thing that has been resolved by two equally immovable opinions being bashed against one another? In my view, trying to change a hardliners opinion is a lot like that old trick with cornstarch and water. The harder you push, the more it resists.

As far as being embarasseed on my behalf, don't be. I don't care if you're impressed with my rhetoric or appalled by it. See the argument about hardliners above, of which you seem to be one. If you want to actually discuss some ideas then I'll be more interested in the conversation, but if you want to harp on your pet peeve, so me a favor and take it to another thread. As I've said repeatedly, the big question I started this thread with wasn't "Is George bush a complete wanker?" The question is when did we give up on holding our politicians accountable for their actions and how do we make them accountable again. Or at least that was the intent.

I've already apologized twice for even mentioning Bush in the opening of the thread. Can we cut loose the useless argument over Bush and try to do something constructive with our verbage or should I go somewhere else to play with my ideas?

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kenmeer livermaile
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Anytime you want to stop arguing about Bush, you can. You can, um, do something about it or just bitch about it.

But you can't have my red wagon. Family heirloom.

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kenmeer livermaile
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And here I was so pleased to read this:

"WASHINGTON - In a somber, pre-election review of a long and brutal war, President Bush conceded Wednesday that the United States is taking heavy casualties in Iraq and said, "I know many Americans are not satisfied with the situation" there.

"I'm not satisfied either," he said at a speech and question and answer session at the White House 13 days before midterm elections."

It seemed to me an honest concession of a mistake. But then I read:

"We're winning and we will win, unless we leave before the job is done," he said."

ANd then I read this:

"At another point, Bush said that "a fixed timetable for withdrawal in my judgment means defeat."

Bush sought a middle ground in terms of pressing the Iraqis to accept more of the responsibility for their own fate.

"We are making it clear that America's patience is not unlimited," he said. "We will not put more pressure on the Iraqi government than it can bear."

And I wonder if the Iraqis ever thought we had infinite patience and what the implicatons of our finite ptience are.

Peace with honor?

Nuke the ****ers?

???

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Redskullvw
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You leave out two key points. "Accountability stops here" said the President. & the fact that if we do withdraw before Iraq's government is even 6 months old, we will defeat all of our efforts.

Peace with honor was forced upon America by the extremely self centered baby boomers who hijacked the Democratic Party. The exchange with the boomer's parents went something like this....either you convince the Republicans to withdraw immediately, or we will use the Democratic Party to tear apart the country.

The Greatest Generation caved to their spoiled rotten children. The South Vietnamese government went from solvency to insolvency overnight, as the world withdrew all pending support. Kissenger suddenly had no hand to play in Paris, and he followed Nixon's campaign slogan prematurely.

There was neither peace nor honor after we withdrew.

I love watching history repeat itself.

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kenmeer livermaile
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" "Accountability stops here" said the President. & the fact that if we do withdraw before Iraq's government is even 6 months old, we will defeat all of our efforts."

Truman said the busk stopped at his desk too. Sounded good when he said it too. Truman was also a lying bastard. But you can keep that point; I'll cede it to you on face value.

As forthe other one, I don't see us pulling out the day after the November elections. I DO think that the ONLY way to conceivably wrest victory from the jaws of self-created defeat is to a) acknowledge that defeat and then b) emulate Sun Tzu and plan a strategic retreat the cumulative effect of which will produce something much closer to the original goal of this invasion than the *ahem* plan for stabilization has accomplished to date.

Hell, man, even my blind-eyed brainless pecker knows that to get off it has to pull back half the time... that is to say, IF it wants to be able toi withdraw with mission accomplished [Wink]

[ October 25, 2006, 02:11 PM: Message edited by: kenmeer livermaile ]

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kenmeer livermaile
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"Peace with honor was forced upon America by the extremely self centered baby boomers who hijacked the Democratic Party"

Crap. It was *forced* on America by the "self-centered" Vier Nam vets returning home to tell us it was a despicable human travesty on America's soul.

THEY were the heart and soul of the peace movement. Kent State kinda did the rest (even as it put a serious *chill* on actual demonstrations against the war, since we self-centered baby boomers now knew we might get shot for doing so).

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DaveS
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quote:
Peace with honor was forced upon America by the extremely self centered baby boomers who hijacked the Democratic Party
Nixon was in his second term riding the crest of a 49 state rout of McGovern. He campaigned on a promise of victory and peace with honor, so it's not fair to blame the defeat he oversaw on the hapless Dems, who had little control over the war policy. It seems sometimes that everything bad that has happened in the last 64 years has been because of what Dems either did or didn't do. The Vietnam War was the wrong war fought for the wrong reasons. Maybe we could have achieved a military victory in the end, but other than hanging a banner that said "Mission Accomplished", what would it have gained us, and what have we lost as a nation by not "winning" other than our pride?
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Wayward Son
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quote:
Peace with honor was forced upon America by the extremely self centered baby boomers who hijacked the Democratic Party. The exchange with the boomer's parents went something like this....either you convince the Republicans to withdraw immediately, or we will use the Democratic Party to tear apart the country.
Well, they wouldn't have had to do that if the jingoistic Republicans hadn't forced the Democrats to start the war in the first place... [Wink] [Razz]
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TommySama
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"Hell, man, even my blind-eyed brainless pecker knows that to get off it has to pull back half the time... that is to say, IF it wants to be able toi withdraw with mission accomplished "

Yeah but it doesn't fully retreat until mission is accomplished. Ever pulled out to far and upon return find a wall (of no-man's land) blocking your way?

THAT'S what will happen in Iraq.


I think your metaphor works better for reorganizing our efforts. You just have to be careful. [Wink]

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kenmeer livermaile
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TS: if a woman crosses her legs the moment you pull it out for a second... you haven't been getting it on with her, you been RAPIN' her.

If the woman was diggin' what you were piggin', a bit of withdrawal only heightens her desire for you to reinsert and increases her pleasure upon reentry.

Yo mama taught me this... [Wink]

[ October 26, 2006, 10:28 AM: Message edited by: kenmeer livermaile ]

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kenmeer livermaile
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Oh yeah. Johnson is to blame for starting the Nam mess. Well, the main escalation aspect, anyway. But NIxon/Kissinger get all the credit for those wonderful illegal bombing campaigns and th Peace With Honor meme.

Nixon was sworn in 6 months after the Tet offensive concluded in June of '68. We're told that media negativity against the Tet killed the war. But Nixon didn't declare thw war ver until FOUR YEARS later (January 15, 1973)

So while Johnson was definitiely a cut'n'run Democrat, I can hardly blame we baby-boomers for wanting an end to a war that cost Viet Nam an estimated 2-4 million civilian lives between '54 and '75. That's one to two hundred thousand per annum. Add soldier casualties and... whew!... y'all can gogle an it please ye. The numbers are, after all, so many strings of zeroes, "mere necklaces of nothings" as John Updike once said of astronomical numbers.

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TommySama
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"TS: if a woman crosses her legs the moment you pull it out for a second... you haven't been getting it on with her, you been RAPIN' her.

If the woman was diggin' what you were piggin', a bit of withdrawal only heightens her desire for you to reinsert and increases her pleasure upon reentry."

If she's on top, KL [Wink]

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Jesse
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Had we attacked full force in the wake of the Tet offensive, when our enemy was at his weakest, why...we could have turned Ho Chi Mhin City into what Bahgdad is today!!!

What a shame that we missed that amazing chance.

The South Vietnamese Government watched whatever capital it had torched by flaming monks years before the Tet Offensive. It was a brutal regime, not democratically elected, and detested by the majority of its people.

In Korea, in contrast,ROK forces, outnumbered and heavily outgunned, fought like freaking demons to defend their country for nearly three weeks before the US managed to get troops in to back them up. Yes, they were pushed back, but they maintained the toe-hold their allies needed, and they did it under whithering fire while sustaining massive loses.

Even as the war progressed, with their Allies bearing the brunt of the fighting, the ROK forces continued to show courage and dedication, many of the 8,000 of them that landed with us at Inchon having suffered gunshot wounds mere weeks before.

Ask anyone who served in Vietnam about ARVN (marvin) troops. Not their elite squads, not our Montainard allies, but the actions of standard ARVN infantry. Ask if they were reliable and brave troops dedicated to the Liberation of their country.

Vietnam, like Iraq, wasn't ours to win.

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kenmeer livermaile
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"If she's on top, KL"

I've experienced no positional bias. Coitus occurs in a sort of free-fall whose only gravity is that of the groins.

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DaveS
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Another closet Democrat comes out of hiding.
quote:
Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki continued his open dispute with American officials Thursday, blaming the United States-led coalition for Iraq's chaos and faulting its military strategy.

His sharp comments, in an interview with Reuters, came as the White House and Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld sought to play down the idea of a growing rift between the United States and the Iraq government.
...
According to a partial transcript of the interview distributed by Reuters, al-Maliki said he thought that Iraqi troops, left to their own devices, could re-establish order in Iraq in six months, not the 12 to 18 months that top U.S. commander Gen. William Casey had predicted Tuesday.

Al-Maliki offered a different set of priorities for fighting violence than U.S. officials, who've said the greatest threat to Iraq comes from death squads aligned with Shiite Muslim militias. In recounting a meeting with the head of one of those militias, cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, al-Maliki said he and al-Sadr agreed "that the efforts for all political groups should be focused on the most dangerous challenge, which is al-Qaida and the Saddam Baathists." Both those groups are made up primarily of Sunni Muslims.

Al-Maliki also said U.S. Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad was "not accurate" when he said Tuesday that the Iraqi government had agreed to a timetable for dealing with Iraq's problems.


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