May 25, 2007

Hillary Clinton and Obama on the Iraq vote.

The Democrats and the war:
Democrats looked to the upcoming votes after losing a bruising battle with Bush on an emergency war spending bill. Lacking the two-thirds majority needed to overcome another presidential veto, Democrats dropped from the legislation a provision ordering troops home from Iraq beginning this fall.

Congress passed the revised $120 billion spending bill on Thursday, providing $95 billion for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan through September. The House voted 280-142 to pass the bill, followed by a 80-14 vote in the Senate.

Democratic leaders said they hoped to ready the bill for Bush's signature by this Memorial Day weekend.

Democratic presidential rivals Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama both voted against the bill.

''I fully support our troops'' but the measure ''fails to compel the president to give our troops a new strategy in Iraq,'' said Clinton, D-N.Y.

''Enough is enough,'' Obama, an Illinois senator, declared, adding that Bush should not get ''a blank check to continue down this same, disastrous path.''

Their votes continued a shift in position for the two presidential hopefuls, both of whom began the year shunning a deadline for a troop withdrawal.
Should I avert my eyes so that I can preserve some chance of voting for Clinton or Obama in 2008? Both candidates have calculated that this is the position they must take to go forward toward the primary. I'd like to think they both know they are wrong but are doing what they need to do as a means to an end. And I believe that at least Clinton does. Obama, I suspect, is simply weak on national security (which is why he was against the war all along).

256 comments:

1 – 200 of 256   Newer›   Newest»
Naked Lunch said...

Ann sez...
Obama, I suspect, is simply weak on national security (which is why he was against the war all along).

Christ. They didn't find any WMD Ann. Obama was right on this one. You been had. Deal.

Ann Althouse said...

Riiiight... but he was against the war even at the point when everyone believed it! That wasn't that somehow he foresaw that there's be no WMD. It was that he's weak on national security! That's the only reason he got it "right." His right on that one is exactly wrong in my book.

Richard Fagin said...

I repeat, as I have previously, "We're going to take things away from you for your own good!" should be THE deal breaker for anyone who believes in the capacity of the average American to handle his personal affairs as a good citizen and responsible adult. One can certainly understand the need for a political figure to say and do things that seem hypocritical in order to win elections. But when such a fundamental lack of faith in the average Joe lurks beneath the surface (and occasionally comes to the surface quite clearly) of a person who's already shown a remarkable contempt for the truth in so many other aspects of her life, there should be no more reason to "look for" reasons to vote for her.

There are different kinds of people who want to use the power of the state for what they believe are beneficial purposes. One type believes that the game is rigged and the guys on the short end of the stick need some help to level the playhing field. In a strange sort of way, even Jessen Jackson and Al Sharpton are that type. The other thinks people are too stupid to avoid self-destructuve behavior and the state needs to prevent it. Think New York Mayor Bloomberg. Sen. Clinton has said enough publicly that she can be fairly classed in the second type. The latter are truly scary people. They want to help you for your own good. Unlike the merely greedy, whose avarice at some point can be satisfied, those who want to use the state to stop every form of behavior they consider dangerous or destructive are unable ever to be satisfied.

Vote for that at the peril of your freedom.

Steve S said...

If you can avert your eyes well enough to still believe the Iraq war was a good idea and/or is in the best interests of the US, then I suspect you'd be able to avert your eyes for just about anything.

It is wrong to claim that someone is weak on national security because they opposed the Iraq war at the time. If they opposed it because they believed it was a distraction from our primary enemy (al Qaeda and radical Islamists, neither of which were running Iraq), then that opposition is a reflection of good judgment, not weakness. If they opposed it because they believe all exercise of US military might is wrong or some other ridiculously dovish nonsense, then you'd have a point, but that was not Obama's view.

Freder Frederson said...

Obama, I suspect, is simply weak on national security (which is why he was against the war all along).

I still don't understand how the reckless use of military power (and destroying the ground forces of the U.S. military through neglect and refusal to face reality) is proof of being strong on national security. What has Bush done to show he is even barely competent in the area of national security?

Ann, you don't even know the meaning of the term "national security". Blindly invading countries without a plan and stubbornly refusing to change course is not a demonstration of wise national security.

Oh, and btw Sloan, I don't need to hear how there hasn't been an attack on the U.S. in five and a half years. That is entirely unconvincing.

MadisonMan said...

How come, four years in, these supplemental funding bills are still being used? Will anyone in the federal Govt ever address that?

Doyle said...

You're a raving lunatic.

Not everyone believed the Bush administration, Ann. The evidence sounded bogus or at least thin to a lot of people. We just didn't know how manipulated it had been ("Curveball"?) until after the fact.

I can't believe you still think supporting this disaster constitutes "strength."

hdhouse said...

Ann, I'm not sure you can equate Obama's opposition to the war to the WMD issue. In particular, the charge of "weak on national security" is a straw dog. It implies a "for or against" which isn't right...as in strong or weak. Mr. Bush's strong suit cannot be national security otherwise the border situation, the current status of the armed forces and that we have 175000 people walking around in uniform with bullseyes on their backs certainly argues the point.

I believe Obama's opposition was more of the "wrong target" which was then and certainly now the case.

I would be happy to hear your arguments as I too am not sold on this guy.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Obama was right on this one

Was he? Did Obama know something that the CIA, French, Italian and Russian intel agencies didn't?

I don't think Obama was right on the WMD issue as much as he was simply opposed to the war period. There is a difference.

I was opposed to the war on different grounds than most of the leftwing but didn't discount the prevailing wisdom that Saddam had WMDs. I'm not now saying "see I was right!" because that would be disingenuous.

Not that ever stopped our elected officials of course.

Doyle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
AJD said...

We know that there is no chance that you would vote for Hillary or Obama. But, of course, pretending that you might is key to your act.

But in averting your eyes and ears, there must be ton of stuff on the Republican side that you are filtering out so that you will be able to vote for one of those conservative creeps.

Finally, on strong national defense: please remind us when you will be sending your own children to fight the war you support so strongly? Or is this still a war that you fervently support as long as it only involves other people's children?

MadisonMan said...

when you will be sending your own children to fight the war you support so strongly?

This is just the dumbest argument. My kids will eventually be old enough to serve in Iraq (I'm assuming the USA will still be bogged down in that swamp at that time, 5-10 years in the future). It's their decision to serve (or not), and as a parent I'll accept and support it. Good parents do not dictate the lives of their children.

Tim said...

"I fully support our troops" but the measure "fails to compel the president to give our troops a new strategy in Iraq," said Clinton, D-N.Y."

Bullshit.

"I fully support our troops" except when they need funds to continue fighting al Qaeda in Iraq. Then they're f*cked. And that you can take to the bank.

""fails to compel the president to give our troops a new strategy in Iraq,"

There is a new strategy in Iraq. It takes time to implement. Boy, she ain't as smart as she thinks she is, is she? Even the clueless, blinded by ideology Joe Klein at Time has begun to figure it out. Maybe if she'd pay attention, she'd realize it too.

And she wants to be commander in chief.

Damn.

Lord, spare us "friends" who'd support us like the Hillary! and the Dems support the troops. No one needs a knife in the back, especially when they're trying to fight America's enemies.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Freder, if 4 years of low level counterinsurgency operations which have claimed less lives than what we lose in a month of automobile traveling in this nation’s highways has ‘destroyed’ the ground forces of our military, than God help us if we actually have to fight in a real war.

Its bombastic statements like that that makes it hard to take you seriously.

Jake Taylor said...

Prof. Althouse,

I agree with a number of the previous commentors. The idea that "everyone" believed that there were WMD in Iraq at the time is ridiculous. Just because you were among the lemmings that bought this stuff hook, line, and sinker doesn't mean Obama did so and subsequently decided that the war wasn't worth it....and even if that was the case, there would still be plenty of other good, not-weak reasons not to support war in Iraq at the time (no proven connection between Saddam and major terrorist networks, diversion of resources from the fight against Al Qaeda and other nations such as North Korea and Iran which were more imminently threatening to our interests, etc.)

My guess is that projecting your lack of insight onto the actions of others will probably make you feel more secure in your beliefs, but will likely prevent you from choosing the right candidate.

dan said...

AJD,

It is my understanding that the men and women who decide to enlist in the military are adults. Some who enlist do so against the wishes of their parents or parent (Sheehan's son is a good example of this), some enlist with full support of family and friends, others who enlist might have support in a qualified manner (I'm proud of you but I think you are doing the wrong thing, or the Iraq war is wrong! what are you nuts?!, this kind of thing). No one "sends" or "doesn't send" their child into the military, as you would have it. AJD, try making a grown-up argument next time; the grown-ups in the military deserve at least that much from you. (previewing this I see Madisonman beat me to it. Sorry for piling on AJD.)

Aluwid said...

Ann,

While it is true that Presidents will not be so tied to their base once elected it's also true that they will try to keep them more or less happy by going along with them most of the time.

If you view this action by Clinton and Obama to be per base appeasement, and you think it is contrary to the interest of National Security, and you care about National Security, then no I don't think you should ignore this action. You should expect more of it should they be elected.

P. Rich said...

"Should I avert my eyes so that I can preserve some chance of voting for Clinton or Obama in 2008?"

Trick question?

Too bad devotees to a major political party will be forced to choose among a closet socialist, a content-free activist and a radical ambulance chaser for its presidential candidate. Match-ups are left to the reader.

Freder Frederson said...

Was he? Did Obama know something that the CIA, French, Italian and Russian intel agencies didn't?

Will you stop repeating these lies? Is that really too much to ask? While the reasonable assumption (not actual knowledge) in the fall of 2002 was that Saddam retained his WMD stockpiles, because he acted like he acted like he had them, by the time of the invasion it was becoming obvious through the inspections that the stockpiles simply didn't exist and they might have indeed been destroyed. Furthermore, Saddam was finally cooperating with the inspectors and they were finding no evidence of active programs.

Even though the administration claimed we knew "exactly" where the WMDs were stored and that there was "no doubt" that Saddam had an active biological, chemical and even nuclear weapons program, every time we told the inspectors exactly where to look, they found nothing. All this time we had almost unrestricted satellite and spy plane coverage of Iraq, so we would have known if he was removing equipment or stockpiles from the facilities that we were certain housed such manufacturing capabilities and stockpiles.

Of course continuing inspections would have negated the primary, and only arguably legitimate, reason for invading Iraq.

Roger said...

Irrespective of the bills significance in funding the war, I think that Clintons and Obamas votes have NOTHING to do with nationial security, and everything to do with winning the nomination and placating the progressive, anti-war democratic base.

If my analysis comes close to being correct, Obama is being consistent because he has consistently opposed Iraq involvement. (this, BTW, does not constitute a ringing endorsement of the junior senator from IL--only the consistency of his position)

HRC, or HC as it may be now, is the flip flopper--Obama is consistent, HC isnt. Thats what I take from the vote.

Full disclosure: I dont think I would make any inferences about a president's ability to defend the US once elected. I am assuming that irrespective of campaign rhetoric, any candidate, once elected, is going to look at the world through a whole different seet of lenses. Makes a big difference when your finger is now on the trigger. Bottom line: absent a nut case like Kucinich, I think any one of the current crop of candidates will serve national security; I am more concerned about their domestic positions.

Mark said...

I believe that it is exactly people like Bush, Ann, and all the truly delusional war supporters who are extremely weak on national security.

Yes, you are weak on national security because you don't understand (or refuse to understand) that the Iraq war weakened the US as it was big diversion from the war with terrorists.

As Obama said, he is not opposed to all wars, he is opposed to dumb wars, and the Iraq war is precisely the dumb war. What war supporters refuse to understand is that you don't have to support all wars to be "strong" on national security. Dumb wars (i.e. Iraq war) weaken the national security and therefore, it is the supporters of the Iraq war who are weak on national security. Fortunately, most of the US public finally seems to understand this.

Take Gore, for example. He was in favor of the first Gulf War and in favor of the Kosovo operation. He was not by any means "weak" on national security. Yet he, like Obama, was prescient enough in 2002 to oppose this dumb war. This does not make him "weak" on national security, on the contrary, it makes him "strong".

Finally, just to demonstrate how far out of the mainstream the war supporters are: even the Economist, the right-of-center magazine that supported the Iraq war concedes that people who opposed the war were right. The fact that you can't even bring yourself to acknowledge the reality is testament to how far out of the mainstream you are.

NB: Before all you war supporters start demanding that I explain what happens after we withdraw: the point of this post is not to advocate the withdrawal; the point is to demonstrate that 1) the war supporters (including many Democrats) were wrong; and 2) the war supporters who refuse to acknowledge that they were wrong and yet think they are strong on national security are kidding themselves.

Mark said...

Tim,

"Knife in the back"??!! What a load of horsecrap. It is a myth, I repeat myth, that voting to defund the war is somehow against the troops. In fact, Congress' power of the purse can and should be legitimately used to end the wars with which Congress (as representative of the will of the American people) disagrees. McCain and many other Republicans insisted on defunding the Somalia operation, for example.
To claim that this amounts to a "knife in the back of the troops" is nothing but demagogy.

Invisible Man said...

Ann,

Ditto for most of the other arguments, that its startling that someone with intelligence such as yourself could hold such a myopic view on an issue. There was plenty of evidence out there that the WMD claim was bogus, and that Saddam didn't have any meaningful links with Al Queda. There was also plenty of evidence that the Bush Administration was completely unprepared to prosecute this war in a fashion that would produce a positive outcome for the US. The fact that YOU and others didn't see that coming is your problem not his.

Doyle said...

The fact that you can't even bring yourself to acknowledge the reality is testament to how far out of the mainstream you are.

Ann? Out of the mainstream? She voted for Russ Feingold and Al Gore! Therefore, claims that she's gone round the bend and become the world's least convincing neoconservative can't be true.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

Ann wrote:

[Obama] was against the war even at the point when everyone believed it!


The problem with this statement is that it's

(a) factually wrong (i.e, not everyone believed Iraq had WMD), and
(b) simplistic (i.e., it's naive to assume that there were only two possible positions re: WMD in Iraq--one that was absolutely certain that Iraq had WMD, and a second that was absolutely certain that Iraq had NO WMD.)

The best information we had at the time was coming from weapons inspectors in Iraq. The weapons inspections program had been effective and was continuing to make progress. Ann, I wish you had bothered to read the testimony of Hans Blix at the UN on February 14, 2003. You might then understand why the statement of yours that I've highlighted is just plain wrong.

It was that [Obama's] weak on national security! That's the only reason he got it "right." His right on that one is exactly wrong in my book.

This is actually a pretty sad statement. Those who opposed the war did so for a variety of reasons. However, it's preposterous to suggest that one of them is being "weak on national security." Among those of us who were skeptical about administration claims, I don't know of anyone who suggested that the US do NOTHING about Iraq and possible WMD. There were many possible courses of action to be considered. To some of us, at least, continuing with inspections seemed to be the most sensible short term solution. There certainly was NO evidence of an imminent threat from Iraq, and no evidence that US national security was under threat.

Now, it's also true that "national security" involves more than just the possibility of another country with WMD. When we overextend our troops and our resources on missions of dubious national interest, we weaken our national security. When we don't secure our borders effectively, we weaken our national security. And in the case of Iraq, I've heard many strong arguments suggesting that we've weakened our national security with our involvement there. IMO, it remains an open question, but strong indications remain that we've probably done more harm than good with our invasion and occupation.

Ann, getting it "right" is an essential part of being strong on national security. Looking tough, talking tough, and acting impulsively isn't "strength" IMO. Thinking carefully about the consequences of actions before making decisions may not strike you as bold, but it's the best way to ensure we act in our best long term national interest.

Mark said...

Roger,

I agree with you that the votes of leading Democratic candidates are probably motivated, at least in part, by their desire to win the nomination. I also agree that Obama is more consistent that Hillary on the issue of the Iraq war.

However, I believe that in this case, their political motivations and the sense of what is right are aligned, and that's why they voted against the bill. I would be troubled if I thought that they allowed their political motivations trump their sense of what is right.

It goes without saying that I too think that voting against this bill was the right decision, for the reasons that Senator Feingold articulated most eloquently.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Will you stop repeating these lies? Is that really too much to ask?

Wait a minute, wasn't Clinton and company claiming the exact same things while they were in office? Wasn't the WMD threat the very basis of Clinton launching Desert Fox? I'm not going to link all the speeches by him, Kerry et. al because its been done ad nauseum.

Fact is, right or wrong, the consensus during Clinton and Bush was that Iraq had them. Personally I didn't care whether he did or didn't since Iran, Syria and the Norks had them as well. I'm simply weary of the disingenuous of people screeching the Bush Lied mantra and completely ignore that he said nothing the previous administration was saying. A little intellectual honesty in the debate would be refreshing too.

Is that too much to ask for?

Freder Frederson said...

It is my understanding that the men and women who decide to enlist in the military are adults.

But Ann has made no bones that the only reason she held her nose and voted for Bush was because of national security. She has sacrificed her reputation as a progressive and been vilified by the left for her stance on the war. She has at least one son who looks as though he would make a fine officer. If she is so worried about this existential struggle why not tell us about how she has impressed on him how important this struggle is and how extremely proud of him she would be if he put off school graduate school for a few years to enter the military. After all it is a matter of national security.

Or perhaps she can tell us why she thinks the struggle isn't so important that children of privilege like her son shouldn't at least consider joining the military. Has she even discussed it with him. Or are her trips to Texas just filled with shopping trips and expensive meals. Is that how she supports the war effort.

Frankly those of us who actually have made real, personal sacrifices for this war are tired of the false patriotism of those of you who are all too willing to let others fight and die but when it comes to actually sacrificing, are unwilling to do anything, save spend $1.98 for a magnetic ribbon for your car.

Mark said...

Actually, since Ann yesterday favorably linked to Joe Klein's Time peace, I think it would be fair if she linked to another peace of his (in the Swampland blog) where he destroys Ann's supported arguments about the war being the right thing. Even Joe Klein understands that the Bush administration made the US weaker and that Bush's war-mongering rhetoric is nothing but a political tool.

Freder Frederson said...

Wait a minute, wasn't Clinton and company claiming the exact same things while they were in office? Wasn't the WMD threat the very basis of Clinton launching Desert Fox? I'm not going to link all the speeches by him, Kerry et. al because its been done ad nauseum.

Why don't you respond to my post instead of repeating the same old tired arguments? Where did I say we didn't think he had WMDs prior to the inspections restarting in late 2002? Actually, I said just the opposite.

SGT Ted said...

Finally, on strong national defense: please remind us when you will be sending your own children to fight the war you support so strongly? Or is this still a war that you fervently support as long as it only involves other people's children?

This is just a variation of the "chickenhawk" arguement. Its BS too.

My son joined of his own free will.

Saying there was "no WMD" in Iraq is moronic. Of course there was WMD. Every freakin politician of both parties acknowledged it throughout the 90's and well into the preparation for the war, along with the UN. Not to mention the Intel services of most of the world. We still don't know what Saddam did with them. Don't forget the tons of Yellow cake uranium, both plain and enriched, that were discovered in May 03.

One of the top Iraqi Airforce Generals under Saddam said that the chemical weapon stocks were flown and trucked into Syria before the war began.

I'd say thats a better source than MoveOn.org, Daily Kos or DU or any opportunistic Democrat politician, most of whom sounded like W when they were in charge, but have changed their tune and story now that their kook leftwing base is in charge of the party.

Obama is a lightweight. The rest of them are opportunistic liars. Take your pick, Ann.

Mark said...

Hoosier Daddy:

Yes, it was the consensus during previous administrations that Saddam had WMDs. However, believing that Saddam probably has WMDs is not equal to actually invading the country in futile hopes to build western-style democracy. While Clinton believed that Saddam was dangerous and bombed Iraq in 1998, he was smart enough not to launch into the misguided war, especially when this war was a huge diversion from the real struggle against terrorists. In 2002, UN inspectors pleaded for more time but the Bush administration was so hell-bent on going to war that it did not care about the results of the inspections.

So, yes, some intellectual honesty would be helpful, especially from the side of the war supporters.

Palladian said...

Aside from any arguments for or against whatever, I simply love how quickly this post has made every single loquacious lefty on this site go absolutely bonkers. Positively Pavlovian!

Sit! Drool! Beg!

mcg said...

Well, hell, Ann's statement that "everyone believed he had WMDs" is no more simplistic than this idea that WMD was the only stated reason we went in there.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

Following up on what AJD posted...

If the war in Iraq is vital to our national security, as Team Bush continues to tell us, why aren't Americans being asked to sacrifice for it? Why doesn't Bush at least ask all Americans to pay for this war now? We have a number of homeland security issues which still have not been adequately addressed, in part because of resources being used in Iraq, so why does Bush continue to pass along the costs of the war to a future generation? Is this because if he raised taxes to pay for the invasion and occupation of Iraq, he'd lose support for the war? Would voters be more likely to carefully consider the issues involved in the Iraq war if they were suddenly asked to sacrifice for it?

Hoosier Daddy said...

So, yes, some intellectual honesty would be helpful, especially from the side of the war supporters.

Let me state again, I am not a war supporter. Personally I didn't care that Saddam had WMDs or was massacring his population. That has been pretty much the way the ME has been since the post-colonial era. My point has been the whole 'lie' issue. Yes there is a difference between believing that he had WMDs and launching a war. The fact is, Clinton and company beleieved he had them yet no one seems to be calling him a liar.

As for the imminent threat argument, will someone also please tell me where Serbia posed such a threat to us that required a 3 month bombing campaign and where was the outrage? No UN resolution, no Congressional authority either.

I'm all for unleashing the dogs of war when our national security is threatened but it seems many on here like to pick and choose which wars they're for and against. Serbia had no WMDs and was no threat to us so I would like to see a show of hands how many anti-Iraq were also anti-Serbia.

Trying to see if there is any consistency out there.

Freder Frederson said...

Don't forget the tons of Yellow cake uranium, both plain and enriched, that were discovered in May 03.

Yellow cake uranium is yellow cake, it is neither "plain" nor "enriched", it is what it is (which is actually refined uranium ore--enrichment is an entirely different process). We knew he had it, how much (550 tons), and where it was. It was under IAEA seal and monitored, at least until we invaded. Of course when we invaded, we didn't even bother to secure the facility it was stored at. Consequently, although all the yellow cake was finally secured, much of equipment and other materials (some of it possibly radiologically contaminated) were looted by locals and are possibly being used for domestic purposes.

Doyle said...

The fact is, Clinton and company beleieved he had them yet no one seems to be calling him a liar.

Probably because Clinton didn't tell the American people that we had to invade Iraq because of 9/11 and the weapons programs. He didn't twist any available evidence, including some from alcoholic cabbies, in order to get the war that he wanted all along.

Freder Frederson said...

One of the top Iraqi Airforce Generals under Saddam said that the chemical weapon stocks were flown and trucked into Syria before the war began.

I'd say thats a better source than MoveOn.org, Daily Kos or DU or any opportunistic Democrat politician


Well, maybe it is. But is it a better source than the Bush Administration? They are the ones who say there were no WMDs, not just a bunch of crazy leftists and opportunistic Democrats. If you want to say there were stockpiles of WMDs that were all spirited away to Syria, fine. But at least admit you are directly contradicting the Bush administration.

And who is this mythical Iraqi General anyway?

Beth said...

but he was against the war even at the point when everyone believed it! That wasn't that somehow he foresaw that there's be no WMD. It was that he's weak on national security!

You're rewriting history. Not everyone believed it. Many, many people disputed the run up to the war, including the WMD stories and the need to rush in. Opposition to invading Iraq isn't something that came in hindsight. There was no threat to us from Iraq, no national defense at risk.

Mark said...

Hoosier Daddy:

I am not the one who called Bush a liar. A manipulative, delusional demagogue who's weak on national security: yes. A liar: probably not, at least not at this case.

For the record, I too, opposed the Kosovo campaign because I felt that it was outside of international law.

Jim said...

Palladium, you have it exactly right.

And to naked lunch, steve s, freder frederson, doyle, hdhouse, ajd, jake taylor, mark, invisible man, etc.:

At least half of you folks believe that 9/11 was caused by Bush (if public opinion surveys are correct). Fess up and raise your hand if you agree with U. Wisconsin lecturer Kevin Barrett.

mcg said...

Is this because if he raised taxes to pay for the invasion and occupation of Iraq, he'd lose support for the war?

Maybe because if he raised taxes he would counteract the dramatic increases in government revenues seen in recent years. If you do, then maybe the sacrifice you ought to be calling for is the elimination of useless government spending and across the board reductions in nonmilitary spending. Real cuts, mind you, not just cuts in growth.

So, are you truly interested in having the current generation pay for this war? Or do you just want them to suffer a little bit.

Doyle said...

Wow that's a devastating argument Jim. You should be careful with that thing.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Probably because Clinton didn't tell the American people that we had to invade Iraq because of 9/11 and the weapons programs.

Nope, just to bomb the crap out of them from time to time.

So are what you're saying is that its ok to lie as long as you don't really follow up on that lie, at least to where you don't commit ground forces.

Help me with this logic.

Doyle said...

I guess what I'm saying is it's okay to operate under the assumption that Saddam Hussein is trying to get WMD, but not think it's such an imminent threat that invasion is necessary.

Why don't you help me with the logic of the Iraq War not being primarily Bush's responsibility?

Mark said...

Jim,

Try to elevate the discussion and come up with something other than juvenile arguments. That is, if you can, of course.

Lars said...

Ann, as an Democrat heretic you are cordially invited to an auto-de-fe
courtesy of your critics. Repent sinner!!

Jake Taylor said...

palladian said....
Aside from any arguments for or against whatever, I simply love how quickly this post has made every single loquacious lefty on this site go absolutely bonkers. Positively Pavlovian!

Sit! Drool! Beg!

*********************

I guess this is funny....but only if it doesn't really bother you that almost 3500 of our troops have died in an elective war started on false pretenses. Some liberals are bothered by this, and take exception when people perpetuate the kind of misleading crap that got us into the war in the first place (that going into Iraq was a matter of our national security, that everyone agreed that Saddam had WMD, etc.)

Admittedly, it's distressing that liberals feel the need to respond to statements as simplistic and dumb as Prof. Althouse's in her original post. Unfortunately many feel the need to, because her style of BS has permeated the national consciousness (through repetition by talking heads on CNN and Fox) to the degree that it's worth debating it whenever it's argued in a legitimate forum (in this case, a widely-read blog).



jim said....
At least half of you folks believe that 9/11 was caused by Bush (if public opinion surveys are correct). Fess up and raise your hand if you agree with U. Wisconsin lecturer Kevin Barrett.

*********************

I find 9/11 conspiracies ridiculous. This, however, doesn't have much to do with the discussion at hand about the decision to invade Iraq, because the two, you know, aren't really connected, despite constant attempts by the administration to make that happen.

Freder Frederson said...

Maybe because if he raised taxes he would counteract the dramatic increases in government revenues seen in recent years.

Man, you people need to learn some basic math. Hint 25.4%--our current tax burden as a percent of the GDP--is less than say 27%, so if taxes were slightly higher but the economy were just as good, revenues would be even higher than they are now. Remember what happened when the Republicans predicted all the horrible consequences of the Clinton tax increases in the early '90s.

SGT Ted said...

And who is this mythical Iraqi General anyway?

Georges Sada.

If the Bush Admin is as stupidly incompetent as you lefties portray it, how do you then find that their views that Saddam had no WMD to be correct? I'd say that it is because it now conforms to your opinion.

The UNs desire to wait was because they knew that the scam of Oil for Bribes and French, German and Russian violations of the Gulf War Cease Fire and UN Sanctions would be exposed.

I also love the canard that Iraq is a distraction from the "real" war on terror. Right, like you clowns really support any sort of war. What I see is a constantly shifting set of goal posts, based on the opportunity to bash Bush and America.

That and the phoney "concern" about the capabilities of the Armed Forces just take the cake. Spare me.

Mark said...

Lars:

Whatever. While the are some war supporters who can provide sensible arguments (Roger, Fen, etc), you obviously are not one of them.

Crimso said...

"but not think it's such an imminent threat that invasion is necessary."

And yet another lefty lie is repeated. He didn't say it was imminent. He actually said he had no intention of letting it become imminent. You can disagree with whether that was a wise decision, but please quit lying about it.

Roger said...

Mark: no doubt about it: Russ Feingold (and DK in the house) and a few others are the only folks who have staked out a position and stood by it. I admire their steadfastness although I dont necessary agree with their take on things.

Doyle said...

He didn't say it was imminent.

Grave and gathering threat?

Crimso said...

Moving goalposts now? How sadly typical.

Mark said...

Sgt Ted:

No, you spare me!

"If the Bush Admin is as stupidly incompetent as you lefties portray it, how do you then find that their views that Saddam had no WMD to be correct? I'd say that it is because it now conforms to your opinion. "

This is so silly as to hardly merit a response. No rational person believes NOW that Saddam had WMDs at the time of the invasion (not counting the few left overs from the previous wars). It's simple, really: there were no WMDs in Iraq in March 2003.

And that Bush's administration was supremely incompetent has been documented so many times by so many people that it doesn't need proof at this point. Even many war supporters acknowledge that (if only to distinguish themselves from the failed policies).

"I also love the canard that Iraq is a distraction from the "real" war on terror. Right, like you clowns really support any sort of war. What I see is a constantly shifting set of goal posts, based on the opportunity to bash Bush and America. "

Oh, what a piece of crap. It is you clowns who support idiotic wars that leave the US weaker. What I see is a stubborn refusal to admit any sorts of mistakes, based on a blind loyalty to the Bush administration and disregard for the national security of the United States.

Joe said...

What's all this nonsense about Obama being right or wrong about WMDs? Obama did not oppose the war because he thought there weren't weapons of mass destruction. That's a red herring. He didn't have access to the information required to make that kind of a judgment.

In October 2002, Obama said “I am not opposed to all wars. I'm opposed to dumb wars. You want a fight, President Bush? Let's finish the fight with Bin Laden and al-Qaeda, through effective, coordinated intelligence, and a shutting down of the financial networks that support terrorism, and with a homeland security programme that involves more than colour-coded warnings.”

You can also watch him explain his concerns in November 2002 about how we would be able to stabilize the county and prevent civil war if we invaded.

That is a smart and strong national security perspective, in stark contrast to the dumb and strong policy that was followed by the Bush administration. We should demand more than "strength" from a national security platform if we expect that platform to actually make us safer.

Doyle said...

He didn't have access to the information required to make that kind of a judgment.

Yeah Bush did. But he didn't like it so he had it run through Feith's shop.

Mark said...

Crimso:

Bush deliberately misled and confused the public about the imminence of the threat. No wonder the vast majority of Americans were confused as to the level of threat Saddam presented to the USA. And at least some administration officials referred to the imminence of the threat, you can google it.

The main point is that this war was misguided, was launched for political reasons, was launched by people who were way in over their heads, who hadn't the slightest clue about the Middle East, and who mismanaged everything that was possible to mismanage.

Doyle said...

Moving goalposts? How about moving justifications? See: "Operation Iraqi Freedom"

Roost on the Moon said...

This stuff has been screeched about over and over by the same people for some time on this site, and one thing we can take from that is that this is largely a question of worldview.

If you believe that invading Iraq was the correct response to an imminent threat to our national security...

If you believe that being opposed to the war in Iraq means that you are "simply weak on national security"...

Then, you are going to vote Republican. How could you not? Everyone else is naive about a massive ongoing threat to freedom.
And what issue is going to outweigh that? If it's as simple as being weak or strong against a giant shadowy terrorist organization, don't kid yourself that your mind isn't already made up.

vrse said...

Please go to another law school, I beg you! WE can't take this anymore!

Freder Frederson said...

Georges Sada.

Sheesh, two pilots, whom he refuses to name, told him they flew the WMDs out of the country. Man, that is rock solid evidence.

Freder Frederson said...

If the Bush Admin is as stupidly incompetent as you lefties portray it, how do you then find that their views that Saddam had no WMD to be correct?

So are you saying that the Bush administration is only incompetent when it comes to determining whether or not there were WMDs. That their original assumption was correct, but their subsequent determination that none existed completely wrong?

SteveR said...

To the extent that the arguement, should we have gone into Iraq or not, has been hashed out here and elsewhere, a million times and no new supporting points have been put forth in the last three years one way or the other, lets just stipulate and move on.

This was predictable politics, its hardly worth calling each other names over something four years old. As far as the election goes HRC has the most to lose, if things improve, based on this vote.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Doyle said: I guess what I'm saying is it's okay to operate under the assumption that Saddam Hussein is trying to get WMD, but not think it's such an imminent threat that invasion is necessary

Ah I see. So you don't agree that Bush lied, just that he should not have acted upon his operating assumption that Saddam had WMDs.

In other words, you would have been ok with a quarterly bombing of selected installations.

Why don't you help me with the logic of the Iraq War not being primarily Bush's responsibility?

Sure, it is his responsibilty. I never claimed it wasn't. I have only been trying to get the Bush Lied crowd to be a little honest about thier allegations and include everyone who made such claims which includes Clinton/Kerry et al.

Freder Frederson said...

I have only been trying to get the Bush Lied crowd to be a little honest about thier allegations and include everyone who made such claims which includes Clinton/Kerry et al.

Bush had better information provided by the inspections that were proceeding on the ground (and finding nothing). You consistently ignore this fact. The inspectors were working on the ground, relatively unhindered, going to sites that the U.S. claimed it was absolutely certain contained stockpiles of WMDs or active production facilities and were finding nothing.

Zeb Quinn said...

You're rewriting history. Not everyone believed it. Many, many people disputed the run up to the war, including the WMD stories and the need to rush in.

Nah. My bullsh*t meter just looped the loop. Who is doing the rewriting?

Do we really, really, really need to again recite and quote that very long list of Dem politicos who were vocally denouncing Saddam and specifically his WMDs back in 1998, continuing all the way right up to the invasion in 2003? Just to give you a flavor, that list includes Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Al Gore Madeline Albright, Sandy Berger, Nancy Pelosi, John Kerry, Robert Byrd, and Ted Kennedy. And it goes on and on. That's just a small taste of it. And that's not even getting to the likes of Mossad, Turkish intelligence, French intelligence, German intelligence, British Intelligence, MI5 and MI6. They were all saying that Saddam had those WMDs too. In fact, the only ones denying that he had them in those days were Saddam, his henchmen, and his bought and paid for cronies. Is that where you are saying you fit into this scenario? Oh, there were anti-war people opposed to the invasion. But it was because they were anti-war. On that basis. If any of them were saying Saddam had no WMDs it was dumb luck --like the broken clock that's right twice a day. Because all the experts around the world, professionals who do these kinds of assessments for a living, were ALL saying Saddam had the WMDs.

So even today it's still patently obvious and beyond doubt that Saddam had those WMDs and was actively trying very hard to develop more. There's really not even an issue about that, unless you enjoy being lied to and propagandized by the political left. The truly interesting and intriguing question is what happened to those WMDs Saddam so clearly had. Where'd they go and where are they now? Recall that the ramp-up to the invasion went on for months and months and months. For most of that time the conventional wisdom was that Bush WOULD NOT order an invasion, and what was really going to happen was that there would be renewed and reinvigorated inspections. That seemed to be where it was all headed. That Bush was just using the threat of invading to get Saddam to cooperate with the inspections. The French, the Germans, and the Russians, especially the Russians, convinced and reassured Saddam that all that he really and truly had to fear were those inspections, and if he got those weapons out of there temporarily, when the inspectors came in and did their thing they'd find nothing. And so, relying on those assurances, and with the Russians help, to foil the inspections he believed were coming Saddam got all the weapons and virtually all evidence of the existence of the weapons out of Iraq in advance. And like I say, he had months and months and months to do it. Otherwise unexplained truck convoy after truck convoy to Syria are shown on satellite photos during that time period. Where they went from there isn't known, or if it is known, nobody is talking. Let's just say that the ongoing dance between Bush and Putin over the last 4 years informs those who take the time to watch it.

mcg said...

Man, you people need to learn some basic math. Hint 25.4%--our current tax burden as a percent of the GDP--is less than say 27%, so if taxes were slightly higher but the economy were just as good, revenues would be even higher than they are now.

Uhhh, yeah. But it's rather typical of a lefty to just casually assert that the economy will be "just as good" if we add an additional tax burden to it. The next thing you know you'll be claiming we'll get that entire 1.6% back in increased revenue!

And please, to suggest that we can sustain the tax burdens of the late Clinton era is absurd. The tech and Internet boom created a horribly irrational and unsustainable economy; nobody should be hanging their hat on the idea that "if we only go back to the late 90s..."

But it is kind of nice to hear a lefty admit that the economy is strong enough to support higher taxes. Must be the Democrats in Congress.

mcg said...

But Freder, look, I'm all for finding common ground here. By all means, I'm all for sharing the sacrifice. Let's do so by cutting non-war spending across the board. We'll all go without some of those precious government programs we've become so accustomed to. You're proposing to boost taxes from 25.4% to 27% of GDP. That amounts to about a 6% increase in tax revenue, assuming no negative impact on GDP. Well, why don't we just cut government spending by 6%? Since we're excluding the war expenses, that means we'll probably be cutting non-war budgets by about, say, 9-10%. That seems doable doesn't it?

Come on, we all need to sacrifice here! I vote to start with farm subsidies and the NEA. But just to be cool about it I say the DEA ought to take a bigger hit. Who needs the war on drugs, we have a bigger war to deal with right now.

Too many jims said...

MadisonMan said...
How come, four years in, these supplemental funding bills are still being used?


Once again MM asks a very good and important question! If the republican Congress had just done its job last fall and passed a defense budget that adequately provided for the entire fiscal year, we wouldn't need to worry about Dems funding the war until the next fiscal year.

My cynical guess as to why the Republican led Congress failed in this matter (setting aside their general incompetence on all things fiscal) is that funding the entire fiscal year would require such a big number that they couldn't stomach the honesty required to put that number in writing. Much easier to swallow $100 billion (or whatever it is) 3 times than $300 billion once.

My even more cynical guess is that Republicans have determined that it is to their advantage to have fights about "funding the troops" while they control the Presidency.

Fen said...

Steve: If you can avert your eyes well enough to still believe the Iraq war was a good idea and/or is in the best interests of the US, then I suspect you'd be able to avert your eyes for just about anything.

The fact that you feel a need to preface your "argument" with such rubbish tells me you know you don't have one.

It is wrong to claim that someone is weak on national security because they opposed the Iraq war at the time. If they opposed it because they believed it was a distraction from our primary enemy (al Qaeda and radical Islamists, neither of which were running Iraq), then that opposition is a reflection of good judgment, not weakness.

Poor judgement. Naive. Tell me, how would you deal with a rogue nation that 1) has a WMD program and 2) has ties to terrorist orginizations? Iraq had both.

Did it ever occur to you that Saddam would hand WMDs off to terrorists for proxy attacks against the West?

Or just for fun, maybe you or Obama [or some other anti-war Leftist, please] will quit dodging this question: What real evidence do we have that Iran has a WMD program, and how is that evidence any better than what we had on Iraq? [waves to Cyrus]

Sorry, but Obama is a light-weight on foreign policy. Too bad thats one of the primary issues this campaign. Maybe he can run again after the adults have handled Iraq and Iran.

Fen said...

Mark: Bush deliberately misled and confused the public about the imminence of the threat

Back that up. Really, if you guys truly believe this nonsense, where is your evidence?

And if the war is SO bad, how come you "chickenhawks" aren't staging hunger strikes on the steps of Congress, instead of dumping your bs on the net?

Fen said...

Mark: It's simple, really: there were no WMDs in Iraq in March 2003

??? There was a WMD program. We didn't find a stockpile, however absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. Regardless, before the war: What about the VX gas program Saddam had in Sudan? What about his attempts to purchase yellowcake from Niger? And why were Iraqi scientists found working on the nuclear project in Libya? And why did he refuse to comply with UN resolutions to provide proof he had destroyed WMDs he already admitted to having?

Really, sometimes you Lefties are so stupid. Saying but Saddam didn't have WMDs in March is a stupid as seraching your kids room for weed.. finding a growlight, rolling papers and seeds... but "no pot", so its all okay, your kid's not doing drugs.... dumbass.

Roger said...

These conversations about who said what, who believed what, who knew what are gone like yesterday--To me, the issue is this: What do we do now. And the range of options appear to be: (1) withdraw all forces from Iraq as soon as possible and bring all those troops home (2) transfer some forces from Iraq to Afghanistan to try to run down OBL (3) withdraw all forces from Afghanistan and bring all of them home (4) leave some forces in either or both countries for purposes of training local national troops, or providing some degree of security for US assets there or some mix of those two purposes.

Those seem to me to be the policy choices with respect to policy options. Focusing ahead rather than constanting ploughing up the manure laden field of discourse seems much more productive.

Moreover, we could then debate policy choices about what none of know about the future rather than try to fit our interpretations of past events into our own world views.

Does anyone else find it so depressing to read the same arguments and counter arguments again and again. We are there in the mid east--what do we do know, and what are the consequences of our policy choices.

Mark said...

Fen,

The arguments about misleading have been repeated ad nauseum. I don't have either the time or the desire to rehash all these arguments. If you believe that the Bush administration has been completely honest and forthcoming on the Iraq war and that politics did not enter into the equation: I am not going to convince you otherwise. I wonder, though, how do you explain the multiple polls around the war which demonstrated that most people believed that Saddam was somehow involved in 9/11 and all other nonsense. BTW, the Fox viewers were the most misinformed.
Do you honestly believe that the Bush administration's highly charged rhetoric had nothing to do with this?

Bruce Hayden said...

No suprise. No one convinced anyone in the tarfest above.

The question is whether this vote is going to affect the politics when it comes to Hillary and Obama.

I do see Hillary taking that vote to get the nomination. I think when it came down to it, she couldn't afford to vote for the bill with Obama voting against it. She may have had a coming to Jesus moment with the war in Iraq, but if so, we missed it. Rather, I see this as a cynical polical move on her part.

And notably, despite her crass venality, vendictiveness, and paranoia, I don't see her cutting and running nearly as quickly as Obama or the other Democratic candidates if elected. It just isn't in what I understand of her personality.

Obama on the other hand apparently believes that force is necessary in some situations, just not this one. Or likely, in any that might come up under his watch. Sure, if the Iranians nuked NYC or Chicago, and maybe even San Francisco, LA, or Wash. D.C. Well, maybe not the Iranians, since they are Moslems and therefore misunderstood by us. Rather, maybe the North Koreans. No one likes them and we understand Kim Jong Il just fine.

The problem with Obama is that he is grossly inexperienced and has shown no evidence whatsoever that he could or would use force when necessary to protect us. It is fine to say that there are situations where he would use force, but that is wishful thinking on the part of those, including maybe even him. We know where he wouldn't use force. We just have no idea where he would.

Besides, the possibility of force does have its place in world geopolitics. Our Navy has two carrier battle groups in the Persian Gulf right now doing exercises. This exercise is aimed squarely at the Iranians. It is a reminder to them that we can in short order exert significant miltiary force against them. Add to this that this President has shown himself willing to intervene, and the exercise might have some affect on them.

Of course, it probably won't stop their nuclear programs. But if Obama, with his trackrecord of opposing the use of American force were the one ordering the exercise, they would know with a much greater surety that he wouldn't follow through.

I should note that he would be following in the footsteps, esp. in their eyes, of the man who probably was our worst president during the last 75 years, Jimmy Carter. The clerics allowed the students (including their current president) to seize our embassy and hold it for well over a year, only giving it up upon the election of Ronald Reagan. I have little doubt that Obama would be viewed by them as being much more similar to Carter than George W. Bush or Ronald Reagan, or even Bill Clinton.

trogdor said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
John Stodder said...

This is actually a pretty sad statement. Those who opposed the war did so for a variety of reasons.

I just thought I'd flag this comment. Those of us who favored the war also did so for "a variety of reasons," not just because we were persuaded Hussein had WMDs.

However, whenever war supporters try to enumerate those reasons, they are accused of "shifting rationales." There was a long bill of particulars against Hussein and the continued rule of his family and party. WMDs were one. Genocide was another. Official sanctioned torturing and raping of children was on my list. Hussein's links with terrorist organizations -- which was not only not speculative but something he broadcast -- was also on my list. The fact that he was systematically corrupting the UN via the Oil-For-Food program was another problem. The fact that, because of Hussein's hijacking of those oil-derived revenues for military spending and bribery, the Iraqi people were starving, that figured into my thinking. Plus, the biggest myth out there, shared by the left and the "realpolitik" right was that all of the above should have been forgiven because Hussein was a stabilizing force. In fact, looking at his history, he was unpredictable and capricious in launching wars against his neighbors.

P.S. I note that in one of the anti-war comments above, the meme that Hussein had "no ties to Al Queda" has shifted to "no meaningful ties to Al Queda," which changes the proposition from a quantitative statement (no, not one, none) to a qualitative statement ("meaningful" depends on the eye of the beholder). Which means you're really not saying the same thing anymore -- in fact you're arguing against your previous position. Not like anyone will ever admit it.

Fen said...

So, are you truly interested in having the current generation pay for this war? Or do you just want them to suffer a little bit.

He wants them to suffer. Its the same tactic with Rangel's Draft. They want hundreds of thousands marching in the streets in protest. They think that Americans don't oppose the war becaue they aren't directly victimized by it.

I've brought up "sacrifice" ideas like giving vets and their kids free tuition and room & board at state universities, also making vets exempt from federal income tax in perpetuity. Not good enough for our "concerned" lefties. They nees a "sacrifice" that will fill up the streets.

Fen said...

I note that in one of the anti-war comments above, the meme that Hussein had "no ties to Al Queda" has shifted to "no meaningful ties to Al Queda,"

Yah. They're afraid I'll post my seven page "Evidence of Iraq & Al Queda Ties" comment again. You'd think they'd have some sense of shame.

Mark said...

Fen,

Yes, absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. However, it is relevant in determining whether or not there was crime (in this case, WMDs). Spare me this nonsense about Saddam working to get WMDs; I wonder where do you come up with the evidence? As I understand the consensus opinion of most experts, Iraq largely forfeited all efforts to get WMDs sometime after 1998-1999. The overwhelming weight of the objective evidence supports this.

As to Saddam refusing to provide proof of destruction of WMDs, sometimes even brutal dictators say truth: he likely had no such documents.

Mark said...

It's been pointed out many times that it's meaningless to talk of Iraq having ties with AQ; by this standard, the US has "ties" with AQ because AQ members are likely present in the US. The question should be whether Iraq provided any support whatsoever to AQ, and the consensus is NO.

Bruce Hayden said...

Roger,

By now, it would be plain silly to shift troops from Iraq to Afganistan to try to run down OBL. He is likely in Pakistan anyway. But more importantly, both he and the Bush Administration believe that the focus of this war has shifted decisively to Iraq. Afganistan is now just a side show. It is in the middle of nowhere, and is geographically and pretty much geopolitically almost irrelevant, esp. compared to the centrality of Iraq sitting in the middle of the Fertile Crescent, the Moslem world, etc. and right between Saudi Arabia and Iran.

If you want, I will get you some of the many quotes of OBL concerning this, including a recent one about al Qaeda shifting resources to Iraq from Afganistan.

Fen said...

Even if Saddam Hussein acquired nuclear weapons, he could not use them without suffering massive U.S. or Israeli retaliation.

Well then, your "experts" are idiots. Why would Saddam risk a nuclear attack that could be traced back to him? If he was anything, he was clever. If I were him, I would pass off a nuke to a terrorist org on a Yemenese freighter and have it detonate a mile outside of Houston. And btw, primitive nukes have too many commonalities to distinguish the source - no fingerprints.

9-11 Commission: ..a failure of imagination...

Fen said...

The question should be whether Iraq provided any support whatsoever to AQ, and the consensus is NO.

Wrong again. Do I really need to post that 7 pager again?

Mark said...

Fen,

We went through your post alleging Iraq/AQ ties before. I don't think anyone convinced anyone as all it contained was a bunch of unsupported speculation from war supporters, as reported by some of the mainstream press and conservative blogs. The fact remains that while AQ was non-existent or very weak in Iraq before the war, now it's a major player thanks to the war. That's just a fact.

Fen said...

Mark: Spare me this nonsense about Saddam working to get WMDs

If you honestly believe that, then there's no point in having a discussion with you re Iraq.

Moving along:

What real evidence do we have that Iran has a WMD program, and how is that evidence any better than what we had on Iraq

I've asked a dozen times over the last month, no one on the Left has the balls to take it up.

Fen said...

I don't think anyone convinced anyone as all it contained was a bunch of unsupported speculation from war supporters

Right. The Clinton Administration [see Sudan].

Bruce Hayden said...

Mark

While I agree that Iraq under Saddam Hussein didn't actively support al Qaeda, there were official and quasi official contacts between them, and the Iraqis were clearly cognizant about the presence of some small number of al Qaeda within their country. This was tolerated, but likely not actively encouraged.

But that is very different from the U.S. situation where there were no official contacts and any al Qaeda here were unknown.

So, your analogy is essentially false.

But then, why are we talking about that now anyway? What is important is not how tightly connected the two were back before our intervention into Iraq, but whether al Qaeda is present in Iraq right now blowing up military targets as well as a lot of innocent civilians.

John Stodder said...

I remember that in 2002, a bunch of political scientists all across the theoretical spectrum--and we're talking about the biggest names in the field, like Kenneth Waltz and Robert Jervis--put an ad in the NY Times pointing out of the idiocy of the war, even when everyone was under the assumption that Iraq had WMDs.

This is also worth flagging. There's a myth out there now that the war was started without debate, as if Bush just shouted "9/11" enough times and the country yielded to his will. Hillary, Edwards, Kerry and others basically justify their pro-war votes by saying they got swept up in this momentum and were compelled to believe lies.

The ad you reference should remind us all that, in fact, this war was debated extensively for months. To my mind, it was an open question which way we would go. Clearly, the decision to go to war or not to go to war had trade-offs which were well articulated by both sides. Some of the arguments on both sides were disingenuous, but mostly not. The views of war opponents got a respectful and thorough hearing. And members of the Senate had the opportunity to hear it all. Nobody was rushed into this war, or bamboozled, and if they tell you otherwise now, they are the ones who are lying.

Roger said...

Couple of questions: does the United States have some national interest that justifies some kind(s) of involvement in the mid east?

I think yes: (1) confronting a relatively small but highly lethal type of religious radicalism, based primarily in the middle east, that seeks to do the US damage; (2) dealing with the potential threat of a nuclear-armed Iran--not that they are a direct threat to the US, but their weapons could fall into the wrong hands; and (3) helping to secure a stable energy source for world markets.

thoughts?

Bruce Hayden said...

Well then, your "experts" are idiots. Why would Saddam risk a nuclear attack that could be traced back to him? If he was anything, he was clever.

Actually, the real problem with Saddam Hussein was not that he was clever, but rather that he was crazy or at least seriously delusional. Kenneth Pollack, NSC director of Gulf Affairs under Clinton, in his books on Iraq and Iran has listed a number of highly questionable moves by Saddam:
- After a humiliating confrontation with the Shah in 1975, he followed this with a confrontation with Syria the next year.
- Then, he invaded Iran two years later, despite that country having 2-3 times the population and a similar size ratio.
- Two years after the end of that war, he invaded Kuwait.
- He then decided to fight the U.S. plus 30 other nations for Kuwait in 1991.
- Attempted to assassinate former president Bush (41) in 1993.
- Renewed his treat to Kuwait in 1994.
- Attacked the Kurdish city of Irbil in 1996.
- Evicted U.N. inspectors in 1996, provoking Operation Desert Fox.
- Tried to move a corp of ground troops to the Golan Heights to start a war with Israel in 2000.
- Ignored our buildup to an invasion in 2003, despite having misread the elder president Bush.

Luckyoldson said...

The fact that Fen and the rest of the Bush sycophants are still harping on Saddam's WMD, using the well-worn and thoroughly discredited "intelligence" via Curveball, etc. illustrates just how delusional this crowd really is.

As for Obama, I think he recognized the fact that we should have concentrated our efforts on finding and ridding the world of Osama binLaden, not indiscrimimately invading soveriegn nations because we could.

We're buried in Iraq, with more soldiers dying every day (6 today) and yet we still hear the same silly arguments from the far right...as if the 65% of Americans who want us OUT...are just not "strong enough on defense."

It's disgusting.

Luckyoldson said...

And once again...from our Supreme Leader #2:

Shortly after the first Gulf War, then-Defense Secretary Dick Cheney was a little sensitive to charges that he failed to “finish the job” against Iraq. More than a few hawks thought that Cheney and the other Bush administration dropped the ball when it had the opportunity to take out Saddam but chose not to.

In a 1991 speech, Cheney delivered a rather defensive speech on the subject, noting the intense sectarian rivalries that dominate Iraqi society and the likely inability to maintain stability in Baghdad. As for replacing Saddam with a democracy, Cheney asked his audience, “How much credibility is that government going to have if it’s set up by the United States military when it’s there? How long does the United States military have to stay to protect the people that sign on for the government, and what happens to it once we leave?”

Cheney also said:

“The notion that we ought to now go to Baghdad and somehow take control of the country strikes me as an extremely serious one in terms of what we’d have to do once we got there. You’d probably have to put some new government in place. It’s not clear what kind of government that would be, how long you’d have to stay. For the U.S. to get involved militarily in determining the outcome of the struggle over who’s going to govern in Iraq strikes me as a classic definition of a quagmire.”

The ‘91 Cheney sure was smart, wasn’t he?

Jim said...

Well, only Jake Taylor denies he's a believer in a Bush 9/11 conspiracy. Mark and Doyle wouldn't tell us their position and the others are silent.

To some of us, your position on 9/11 offers a background from which we can consider your position on Iraq (and other things for that matter).

Hey guys, if Iraq is so bad then why don't Pelosi and Reid shut down the funding? I suggest that their public opposition to the war is just posturing to gain favor with (or avoid ostracism from) the Looney Left and those afflicted with BDS.

Doyle said...

That's right, Jim. Only the "Looney Left" opposes the war at this point.

Who but a hardened Marxist could oppose this slowly unfolding flower of freedom in the Middle East?

Fen said...

H.R.4655 Iraq Liberation Act of 1998

"It should be the policy of the United States to support efforts to remove the regime headed by Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq and to promote the emergence of a democratic government to replace that regime."

Passed House 360-38, passed by unanimous consent in Senate, signed into law by President Clinton...

http://www.reasons-for-war-with-iraq.info/iraq-liberation-act-1998.html

President Clinton: "The credible threat to use force, and when necessary, the actual use of force, is the surest way to contain Saddam’s weapons of mass destruction program, curtail his aggression and prevent another Gulf War....And mark my words, he will develop weapons of mass destruction. He will deploy them, and he will use them"

http://amyproctor.squarespace.com/clinton-speech-bomb-wmd/

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

mcg wrote:

Maybe because if he raised taxes he would counteract the dramatic increases in government revenues seen in recent years.


Factually wrong. To begin with you have a false premise: the "dramatic increases in government revenues seen in recent years" is not supported by economic data. Secondly, if you look at national economic data historically, you'll see that income tax rate hikes result in income tax revenue increases. Therefore, by raising the tax rate, more revenue would be generated. This is one way we could pay for the war on which we are now spending our limited resources.

If you do, then maybe the sacrifice you ought to be calling for is the elimination of useless government spending and across the board reductions in nonmilitary spending.

This is another possibility. Bush could have proposed budget cuts in spending for other programs in order to pay for the war. Again, he failed to ask for this sacrifice.

And since you mention it, why does Bush continue to send budgets to congress that are filled with what you call "useless government spending?"

So, are you truly interested in having the current generation pay for this war? Or do you just want them to suffer a little bit.

I believe we should pay for whatever expenditures we ring up. Why do you believe it is right to spend freely and pass our bills on to a future generation?

Invisible Man said...

Jim,

Your logic is asinine, but for the record I don't believe that Bush planned or new about the 9/11 attacks beforehand. What I do believe is that his Administration had enough leads to figure out about the attacks but that there hideous incompetence which is now on full display in so many different areas prevented that from happening. I also believe that Bush's incompetence also prevented us from winning a war in Afghanistan decisively and has pushed us into a War in Iraq that has both strengthened our enemies and weakened both our capacity to defend our interests and our moral position in the world.

And to reply to your last statement, right wing dittoheads like yourself have shown that you have know real strategy other than to support Bush and hope it works. You offer no solutions to this war other than slogans, plans that have already failed, and the hope that as bad as you fail that the Democrats will look worse. This partisan sniping of yours only shows how little substance there is to your arguments.

Jim said...

Doyle, still no fessing up on 9/11 conspiracy? Embarrassed? Silence = acceptance?

Free Saddam? (Oops, he's already been hanged. I suppose we should pay reparations?)

I bet it's ok in your view to allow Iran to obtain nuclear weapons. And I also bet you're part of the "push Israel into the sea" crowd.

When it gets right down to it, responsible Democrats just have to hide from the Looney Left and BDS sufferers, or suffer the same fate as Joe Lieberman. Remember Ned Lamont? I wonder what he's doing today? Maybe running the cable tv franchise in Hartford?

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

jim wrote:

Well, only Jake Taylor denies he's a believer in a Bush 9/11 conspiracy. Mark and Doyle wouldn't tell us their position and the others are silent.


Others are silent? Oooh, that's a sure sign of guilt!

Either that or they considered your question too stupid to deserve a response.

Doyle said...

I see what you're saying, Fen, but who really cared that much about Iraq in 1998?

A house resolution in favor of Saddam's ouster? Sure! Why not?

Bubba was wrong to engage in that kind of fearmongering and grandstanding, but in 1998 nobody was actually scared of Saddam Hussein's weapons program.

But hey, I condemn that speech by Clinton if it makes you happy.

Lars said...

".....as if the 65% of Americans who want us OUT...are just not "strong enough on defense. It's disgusting."

It sure is because the other 35% probably have friends or relatives in the armed services.

The disgust for the war is inversely proportional to your personal contact with those that fight it.

Luckyoldson said...

Fen,
Can you also site the date Clinton actually INVADED Iraq?

Spouting comments by Clinton, Bush Sr and others has no bearing on the actual implementation of an attack. (Did you read Mr. Cheney's remarks in my previous posting? If so...what is your point?)

Nobody liked Saddam, but there are leaders in North Korea, Syria, China, Russia, Iran, etc. that are potential threats, too. Should we attack??

*Oh, and have you picked up your tickets to the Creation Museum yet? Maybe you can meet a few of your potential Presidential candidates.

Fen said...

"For nearly two years, starting in 1996, the CIA monitored the al Shifa pharmaceutical plant in Khartoum, Sudan. The plant was known to have deep connections to Sudan's Military Industrial Corporation, and the CIA had gathered intelligence on the budding relationship between Iraqi chemical weapons experts and the plant's top officials. The intelligence included information that several top chemical weapons specialists from Iraq had attended ceremonies to celebrate the plant's opening in 1996. And, more compelling, the National Security Agency had intercepted telephone calls between Iraqi scientists and the plant's general manager.

The senior intelligence officials who briefed reporters laid out the collaboration. We knew there were fuzzy ties between [bin Laden] and the plant but strong ties between him and Sudan ...and strong ties between the plant and Iraq. Although this official was careful not to oversell bin Laden's ties to the plant, other Clinton officials told reporters that the plant's general manager lived in a villa owned by bin Laden.

Several Clinton administration national security officials told THE WEEKLY STANDARD last week that they stand by the intelligence. The bottom line for me is that the targeting was justified and appropriate, said Daniel Benjamin, director of counterterrorism on Clinton's National Security Council, in an emailed response to questions. I would be surprised if any president--with the evidence of al Qaeda's intentions evident in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam and the intelligence on [chemical weapons] that was at hand from Sudan--would have made a different decision about bombing the plant.

http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/003/527uwabl.asp?pg=2

Luckyoldson said...

lars,
Yeah, that it, dipstick.

None of the 65% have any relatives or friends in Iraq.

You can't be this dense.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Couple of questions: does the United States have some national interest that justifies some kind(s) of involvement in the mid east?


Only to the extent that we're so reliant on oil to run the world economy. Imagine a world with energy fueld by something other than oil and the ME would receive about the same world attention as Rwanda, Darfur or the Congo.

That said, it seems that our involvement only seems to breed resentment. Liberate Kuwait and protect Mecca from Saddam only earned the emnity of the likes of OBL. Try to save Muslims in Somalia, Kosovo and Indonesia and we still get condemned in the Arab world. So it would appear that nothing we do in the ME will have any positive outcome for our national interest.

Frankly, the ME is not just our national interest but the world's as well. The oil stops flowing and so does the modern world with it. The problem is the rest of the world is content with us providing stability while taking the blame for generating the hate.

My thought would be withdraw entirely from the region, stop all aid to Jordan and Egypt and let the chips fall where they may. Then the rest of the world will need to pony up and find a solution.

Because if all we're doing is hanging the bullseye on our neck, I don't see how that is in our national interest.

Luckyoldson said...

Fen-Fen,
Which part of this do you not understand???

“The notion that we ought to now go to Baghdad and somehow take control of the country strikes me as an extremely serious one in terms of what we’d have to do once we got there. You’d probably have to put some new government in place. It’s not clear what kind of government that would be, how long you’d have to stay. For the U.S. to get involved militarily in determining the outcome of the struggle over who’s going to govern in Iraq strikes me as a classic definition of a quagmire.”

Freder Frederson said...

Well, only Jake Taylor denies he's a believer in a Bush 9/11 conspiracy.

You know, just like the Iraq war, there is absolutely no connection between the subject of this thread and 9/11. I don't know why you keep bringing it up. Come to think of it though, that is exactly what the president did and continues to do.

Fen said...

Luckyoldson: Fen, Can you also site the date Clinton actually INVADED Iraq?

December 16, 1998: "Earlier today, I ordered America's armed forces to strike military and security targets in Iraq. They are joined by British forces. Their mission is to attack Iraq's nuclear, chemical and biological weapons programs and its military capacity to threaten its neighbors." - Bill Clinton

http://www.cnn.com/ALLPOLITICS/stories/1998/12/16/transcripts/clinton.html

Really Lucky, you should go find a shallow pool to play in. This is blog is too dangerous to your self-esteem.

Jim said...

According to polling data, up to 2/3 of Democrats think Bush may have been responsible for 9/11. So some of you out there just aren't fessing up. Thanks for clearing up your position, Invisible Man.

Seriously, I wouldn't even consider an argument made by a Bush 9/11 conspiracy believer because you folks have lost touch with reality. Don't you agree? (Cyrus, I'm talking to you.)

And, of course, Fen points out that Bubba knew Iraq had WMDs. And Bubba's CIA Director said it was a "slam dunk," remember?

Lars said...

LOS: The correlation is not perfect but it's probably high enough
to be statistically significant.

It applies to you. No?

zzRon said...

How any informeed person can claim that WMD was the only reason Bush went to war in Iraq is beyond my understanding. For those who actually want an acurate account of history, here is the presidents UN speech.

http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2002/09/20020912-1.html

The "fact"(?) that Obama did and still does disagree with the points Bush articulated to the UN IMO make him both a lightweight AND week on defense. I will not vote for the man.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

Roger,

Let me slightly rephrase your comment as follows:

Does the United States have some national interest that justifies some kind(s) of involvement in other parts of the world?

(1) confronting a relatively small but highly lethal type of religious radicalism that seeks to do the US damage;
(2) dealing with the potential threat of any country with nuclear weapons; and,
(3) helping to secure a stable energy source for world markets.


Roger, the answer is clearly yes. It's important that we understand our limited ability to control events around the globe. We need the help of our allies, and we need to do the best we can to work with all countries in pursuit of common interests. But this hasn't been the basis of Bush's foreign policy.

In the 2000 debates, Bush said this:

If we're an arrogant nation, they'll resent us; if we're a humble nation, but strong, they'll welcome us...I'm not so sure the role of the United States is to go around the world and say this is the way it's got to be...I'm worried about over committing our military around the world. I want to be judicious in its use.

Does this sound anything like the foreign policy we've ended up with?

Luckyoldson said...

Fen-Fen,
Your Clinton argument is lame at best...and I'm beginning to believe you're as dense as lars.

Clinton never "INVADED" Iraq...he authorized very specific aerial "ATTACKS."

Are you actually trying to comare lobbing bombs from tens of thousands of feet above to an actual INVASION????

DUH.

Luckyoldson said...

cyrus,
I think the term Roger is searching for is "hegemony."

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

jim wrote:

Cyrus, I'm talking to you.


Wow jim, how exciting for you.

Jim said...

Hey Lucky, didn't Clinton order the attack to divert news coverage from Monica's blue dress (the one that made Matt Drudge so famous).

Fen said...

Lucky: Clinton never "INVADED" Iraq...he authorized very specific aerial "ATTACKS."

Again, as with your "aluminum tubes for missiles" stumble, you reveal your ignorance.

Do you understand how laser-guided munitions work? What do you think Force Recon does anyway? Or do you think they were painting targets from Murtha's redeployment in Okinawa?

Duh indeed. Again.

Luckyoldson said...

zzron,
You understand that Bush, to put it mildly, exaggerated many of the intelligence ageny's claims during his SOTU speech...right?

That most has been proven to be untrue?

Maybe if you were to read it...

Jim said...

C'mon Cyrus. Bush was responsible for 9/11, right?

Roger said...

"....if you look at national economic data historically, you'll see that income tax rate hikes result in income tax revenue increases." I think this may be a post hoc ergo propter hoc issue. From our previous discussion, the bottom line is that it is the underlying economy that generates income tax revenues; the growth of the American economy is almost asymptotic; tax rates become relevant during the periodic down turns in the economy, and their effect is less on tax revenues and more to restimulate economic growth (looks like Keynes was right on that side of the equation.) The gap between the effect of the tax rate reduction and revived revenues looks to be about three years. In my reading of the data, revenues are created by the economy and not created, except at the margin, by changing tax rates. Bottom line: no one knows where the perfect tax rate is, but I think it is possible to visualize some upper limit that will have a negative impact on economic growth.

For those statisticians who would like to look at the growth of the American economy, you can smooth the curve by using a program called joinpoint. Google "joinpoint and regression analysis" for a mathematical description. When you apply that smoothing technique its easier to see the positive and negative marginal effects of tax rate changes.

To your larger point, Cyrus, we both agree, I think, that not making the cost of the war more immediately salient to the American public tends to disengage them from it. I repeat an assertion I made on an earlier thread: Wars should be immediately burdensome.

Luckyoldson said...

Fen-Fen,
Are you actually saying Clinton "invaded" Iraq...because he used laser-guided weaponry or satellites to pinpoint targets?

YES or NO??

*And good God...you're still blathering on with the missile/rocket semantics routine?

Get some new material...please.

hdhouse said...

Hoosier Daddy said...
Will you stop repeating these lies? Is that really too much to ask?..Wait a minute, wasn't Clinton and company claiming the exact same things while they were in office? A little intellectual honesty in the debate would be refreshing too...
Is that too much to ask for?"

Certainly Hoosier Daddy. You first. This will be a brain test for you...one of those real stumpers...you know...brainiac stuff.....ready? pencil sharp?

Please compare this:
http://www.cnn.com/ALLPOLITICS/stories/1998/12/16/transcripts/clinton.html
that explains the response of December 1998

to GWB's 4+ year "war", invasion, pulling the arms inspectors out although they were saying "don't do this..there is no evidence", Collin Powell standing in front the UN with artist conception drawings of biologic vans,...but mostly that OBL was not there, Iraq had NO TIES to OBL and anyone....

What is deeply disturbing about you numbnuts on the right is that you can't see the gap..you don't see the disconnect...you just don't get it....and intellectually that is nearly impossible to contemplate.

Victor said...

Prof. Althouse: you lost a good amount of credibility when you declared on a bhtv episode (in somewhat of a huff) that "if you are going to prosecute a war, you should do it right". I don't remember the exact quote but it was in the context of the recent Israeli offensive.

It reflected a middle class/middle america ivory tower view of things related to war/national security.

Fen said...

/re laser-guided munitions

"Whatever the actual goals of the air campaign, it will intensify greatly over the next 24 hours, as over 80 additional combat planes join the US arsenal in the region. These include 10 F-117 Stealth aircraft, which were the stars of the 1991 air war but have not yet appeared in this operation.

Nearly all of these planes are loaded with laser-guided bombs, which, while by no means miracle weapons, are much more accurate than conventional weapons"

http://www.fas.org/news/iraq/1998/12/18/Target_aims.html

Lucky wouldn't consider 650 combat sorties over America to be an "invasion". Duh indeed.

Roger said...

LOS--I fully understand what the term hegemony means--no where in my outline of what I see as US national interests in the mid east will you find anything that resembles hegemony. If you would like to particpate in the substance of the issue, please do so; if not, go bother someone else.

Cyrus--no, sorry--I can't let you rephrase my question and then assert your position; that's a neat rhetorical trick but I am asserting we have specific interests in the mid east, by substituting other parts of the world you fail to engage with the geographic region of interest: precisely the mid east. I will, of course, agree that our interests in the other parts of the world are affected by our involvement in the mid east, and we cannot do as much without allies as we can with allies. But another reason for some involvement in the mid east--especially at this stage of things, is make sure our potential allies know we are appropriately resolute.

Jim said...

Anybody know what was in the documents that Sandy Burglar stuffed in his socks?

Fen said...

Lucky: And good God...you're still blathering on with the missile/rocket semantics routine?

Its very significant: you accused Bush of invading b/c he thought those aluminum tubes were intended to be used by Saddam to make missiles, when in fact it was enriched unranium. Your mistake shows that you don't have a grasp of the subject matter, you're just pasting talking points from the likes of DU and HuffPo.

Jim said...

Hey Fen, it's "Puffington Host" not Huffpo.

Luckyoldson said...

Fen-Fen,
Are you saying Clinton INVADED Iraq??

YES or NO.

Luckyoldson said...

jim,
Yes.

It was the results of the Clinton Iraqi "INVASION!!!"

*Ask Fen-Fen...

Michael said...

Doyle: Moving goalposts? How about moving justifications? See: "Operation Iraqi Freedom"

From President Bush's Nation-Building

February 27, 2003, Thursday
(NYT); Editorial Desk
Late Edition - Final, Section A, Page 30, Column 1, 567 words

President Bush sketched an expansive vision last night of what he expects to accomplish by a war in Iraq. Instead of focusing on eliminating weapons of mass destruction, or reducing the threat of terror to the United States, Mr. Bush talked about establishing a ''free and peaceful Iraq'' that ...

Luckyoldson said...

michael:
Boy that 'free and peaceful Iraq' thing sure is working out.

I wonder what's next?

Luckyoldson said...

Fen-Fen,
Bail out time?

What a hoot you are.

Jim said...

I love that picture of Pelosi wearing the head scarf in Syria. That's some serious diplomacy.

John Stodder said...

...in 1998 nobody was actually scared of Saddam Hussein's weapons program.

Really? Nobody?

This is a great way to argue. Retroactive mind-reading.

I distinctly recall SecDef Cohen appearing on a Sunday morning show with a brown lunch bag, and saying a quantity of anthrax that could fit in that lunch bag could kill millions in NY. And he tied that directly to Hussein, who was thought to have stores of anthrax.

The Cohen clip was repeated frequently for months afterward. I don't think it was on Nickelodeon but it was everywhere else.

And yet, Doyle confidently states that "nobody" took Cohen seriously. That's highly disingenuous.

The context of the invasion of Iraq was only partially 9/11 and Bush/Cheney. It was also the endpoint of a continuum of bipartisan policy decisions going back to the early 1990s. Something was going to have to be done about Hussein. If not an invasion in 2003, then something else. No matter who was president. The option of saying, ho-hum, let's overlook Iraq and go Bin Laden hunting was not available.

Doyle said...

Look, John. Bill Clinton didn't invade Iraq. Cuckoo Bananas did. Try to keep your eye on the ball.

Jim said...

Just like anti-Iraq Ned Lamont won the Democratic primary and lost the general election handily to Joe Lieberman, Clinton and Obama will suffer the same fate.

The Democratic Party has been hijacked by the Looney Left.

Luckyoldson said...

jim,
Scarf aside...did you notice that within days of Pelosi's visit...Condi "suddenly" decided she should be there, too???

Thank God for Pelosi...at least someone knows something about diplomacy.

Jim said...

I don't recall Condi wearing a head scarf though.

Luckyoldson said...

jim,
When you say "Looney Left" do you try to mimic O'Reilly? Or do you have your very own version??

*And do you have your tickets to the grand opening of the Creation Museum yet? They're going fast...and try not to drive off the planet on the way.

Jim said...

Lucky, how about "Angry Left?"

Fen said...

Freder: I don't know why you keep bringing it [9-11] up. Come to think of it though, that is exactly what the president did and continues to do

"The gravest threat we face is a nuclear 9-11" - Sen Kennedy, Democrat [BAC 0.10]

Luckyoldson said...

jim,
I don't care what they wear...as long as they're negotiating.

Hell, yesterday Bush was wearing bird shit.

Jim said...

Lucky, ha, ha! Although I think Ann would prefer "sh*t" or "chickenshit."

Michael said...

Freder Frederson: Bush had better information provided by the inspections that were proceeding on the ground (and finding nothing). You consistently ignore this fact. The inspectors were working on the ground, relatively unhindered...

From: Statement on the Interim Progress Report on the Activities of the Iraq Survey Group

"We have discovered dozens of WMD-related program activities and significant amounts of equipment that Iraq concealed from the United Nations during the inspections that began in late 2002. The discovery of these deliberate concealment efforts have come about both through the admissions of Iraqi scientists and officials concerning information they deliberately withheld and through physical evidence of equipment and activities that ISG has discovered that should have been declared to the UN." - David Kay, October 2, 2003

Fen said...

Lucky: did you notice that within days of Pelosi's visit...Condi "suddenly" decided she should be there, too???

Condi had to try to repair the damage done by Pelosi. Syrian dissidents are now complaining that Assad viewed Pelosi's trip as evidence Washington is divided re foriegn policy toward Syria. So he's taking advantage of that percived weakness to crack down [arrest, imprison, murder] those who disagree with him. Nice work Copperheads, more blood on your hands.

Lucky: Thank God for Pelosi...at least someone knows something about diplomacy.

Uh-huh. You sure seem to enable dictactors who torture and imprison dissidents. I wish we could air drop you into Damascus so you could experience the fruits of Pelosi's incompetence firsthand:

Has there been any positive change in Syrian behavior -- any return gesture of goodwill, however slight?

Mr. al-Bunni might offer the best answer -- if he could. On Tuesday, one of Mr. Assad's judges sentenced him to five years in prison. His "crimes" were to speak out about the torture and persecution of regime opponents, to found the Syrian Human Rights Association and to sign the "Damascus Declaration," a pro-democracy manifesto.

Fen said...

in 1998 nobody was actually scared of Saddam Hussein's weapons program

1998, President Clinton: "Now, let’s imagine the future. What if [Saddam] fails to comply, and we fail to act, or we take some ambiguous third route which gives him yet more opportunities to develop this program of weapons of mass destruction and continue to press for the release of the sanctions and continue to ignore the solemn commitments that he made? Well, he will conclude that the international community has lost its will. He will then conclude that he can go right on and do more to rebuild an arsenal of devastating destruction. And some day, some way, I guarantee you, he’ll use the arsenal. And I think every one of you who’s really worked on this for any length of time believes that, too. If we fail to respond today, Saddam and all those who would follow in his footsteps will be emboldened tomorrow by the knowledge that they can act with impunity, even in the face of a clear message from the United Nations Security Council and clear evidence of a weapons of mass destruction program."

http://austinbay.net/blog/?p=1387

Doyle said...

I meant the American people, Fen. Iraq was not a big issue in 1998.

George said...

What we need is a man like Ulysses S. Grant in the White House—someone who knows something about winning a war.

To learn more, please watch the new HBO epic movie "Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee" starring Fred Thompson as President #18.

Premiering this Sunday, May 27, at 9 p.m.

Thank you. And may God bless America.

You may resume your regularly scheduled debating.

Pogo said...

Jesus and Buddha on roller skates, but now there's a whole room full of Michael Moores and Rosie O'Donnells.

The discussion is largely pointless. I'm with Fen here, no surprise. Having Doyle and Lucky call me names doesn't move me further toward their view at all, though. Possibly they aren't aiming to convince anyone, but merely to shout down opponents.

It's pretty clear the pro and anti sides do not and will not have any shared narrative about the Iraq war. I blame the Democrats. (They blame the Republicans.) But the very nature of the conflict is so divisive as to result in such a dichotomy without intent.

I believe we are in an era not unlike the Civil War. The anti-war crowd then was wrong. I think they are wrong again. But I know I will not convince them. So I'll just continue to oppose them electorally. As for these discussions, they can actually be informative by forcing me to investigate my beliefs.

But over time, the left, with all their complaints and insults, has caused my position to harden and my resolve to increase, rather than weaken.

Derision from a Democrat is like Viagra for the war.

[E.g. "I meant the American people ...Iraq was not a big issue in 1998." means please let me feel like Sept.10 again. Please??]

Michael said...

Fen: Poor judgement. Naive. Tell me, how would you deal with a rogue nation that 1) has a WMD program and 2) has ties to terrorist orginizations? Iraq had both.

And let's not forget that Iraq was funding, training, and harboring terrorists.

But hey, since we didn't find any big stores of WMDs in Iraq, I guess the facts that Iraq was funding, training, and harboring terrorists is moot. Or at least it is in the collective kite-flying mindlessness of the left.

Doyle said...

I believe we are in an era not unlike the Civil War.

I believe we are in an era not unlike the Jurassic, when dinosaurs roamed the earth!

Fen said...

doyle: I meant the American people, Fen. Iraq was not a big issue in 1998.

So why did the American people, through their elected representatives, draft and pass the Iraqi Liberation Act 1998 by a margin of 360-38? And Operation Desert Fox of the same year?

If anything, your point would be the American public was too self-absorbed and ignorant to care about the gathering threat, and thus any polling data re Iraq should be discarded as worthless.

Fen said...

Pogo: It's pretty clear the pro and anti sides do not and will not have any shared narrative about the Iraq war

We need them to answer some qualifying questions:

1) should Saddam's Iraq have a WMD program?

2) should Ahmadinejad's Iran have a WMD program?

I think their answers will surprise you...

Doyle said...

So why did the American people, through their elected representatives, draft and pass the Iraqi Liberation Act 1998 by a margin of 360-38?

As I already said, because that act didn't actually involve the liberation of Iraq. No one cared.

Pogo said...

Damn Copperheads.
I could never learn to like them, except on a raft at sea with no other provisions in sight.

George said...

I believe we are in an era not unlike the Civil War.

Except that this time we will not burn Atlanta.
God forbid it.

I trust that this is at least one thing that we, as Americans, can all agree upon.

Well, maybe we could burn parts of Buckhead, but that's it!

zzRon said...

Lucky said...."You understand that Bush, to put it mildly, exaggerated many of the intelligence ageny's claims during his SOTU speech...right?"


If you are talking about the Niger/YellowCake/British Intelligence line in the SOTU speech, in my view Bush did not exagerate at all. Christopher Hitchens - who I am normally not all that found of - hits the nail on the head here:

http://www.slate.com/id/2146475

Oh, and I HAVE read (and listened to) that particular SOTU speech. What other "exagerations" do need explained?

Michael said...

Mark: The fact remains that while AQ was non-existent or very weak in Iraq before the war, now it's a major player thanks to the war. That's just a fact.

So Mark, since it's now an established (by you) fact that AQ is now a major player in Iraq, what would you have us do about it? What would the American left have us do about it?

Stay and fight, or retreat and surrender?

Luckyoldson said...

THIS IS AN IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT:

Don't know if anybody is interested, but The Fenster has "top secret" information regarding a "top secret" Clinton administration "invasion" of Iraq. (Did I mention it was "secret?")

I don't think it's true, but if it is...it evidently went one hell of a lot better than little Georgie's has.

No American fatalities, little if any damage to the infrastructure, very reasonably priced, and nobody but Fen (and Clinton?) even knows about it.ow

THAT'S THE KIND OF INVASION I CAN SUPPORT!!!

Fen said...

If you are talking about the Niger/YellowCake/British Intelligence line in the SOTU speech, in my view Bush did not exagerate at all.

Correct. Lucky is likely thinking of [parroting] the forged docs re Iraq seeking Yellowcake. British Intelligence has multiple sources other than the forged docs, and still stands by that information.

But he gets his news from CNN, so you can't really fault him for being so ignorant.

MadisonMan said...

Stay and fight, or retreat and surrender?

Your list of choices is unnaturally short.

How is the US remaining in Iraq going to lessen Al Qaeda's influence there, given that past US fighting has lead to an increased AQ presence?

Fen said...

Lucky: Don't know if anybody is interested, but The Fenster has "top secret" information regarding a "top secret" Clinton administration "invasion" of Iraq. (Did I mention it was "secret?")

Its only "secret" if you live in an echo chamber. Lets go over this again, more slowly:

1) would you consider 650 Russian combat sorties over American cities to be an "invasion"

2) Laser-guided munitions. I'll go even slower for you: See, the bombs are "guided" by ->lasers<- which means some of our guys are on the ground in Iraq pointing ->lasers<- at targets to "paint" the target. 650 sorties, you do the math.

Fen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Fen said...

Madison: How is the US remaining in Iraq going to lessen Al Qaeda's influence there, given that past US fighting has lead to an increased AQ presence?

MM, have you seen the recent reports of Sunni insurgents allying with Americans to fight Al Queda forces? Have you heard about whats happening in Anbar?

Luckyoldson said...

Fenster..when is Clinton's NEXT INVASION?

People want to know.

Pogo said...

Fen
Really the only reasonable response Lucky can give is to call you a name and then say la la la la can't hear yoouuu.

Roger said...

MM--I agree with your point about binary choices--there are clearly more available to be explored. May I take issue with one point: Al queda presence and al-queda influence are, IMO, two separate issues. There is some AQ presence there, but given the savagery of their tactics, their influence is only in inflicting death and destruction. No iraqi government, especially a shiite dominated government will tolerate their presence after the americans leave.

Luckyoldson said...

Does anybody else believe Clinton "invaded" Iraq?

Just wondered.

Fen said...

AJD: [Ann] please remind us when you will be sending your own children to fight the war you support so strongly?

First, Ann can't send her own children to do anything. I know you Lefties love to kill for sex, but children are not your property to be disposed of... nor sent into a war against their will. Maybe you run your household differently, but children have their own freewill. So, your insult should be directed at Ann's son, not her.

Second, and more importantly, since you're so "ferverant" in your anti-war beliefs, why aren't you staging hunger strikes on the steps of Congress?. Thousands of innocents are being slaughtered and you choose to froth away on the net. Chickenhawk?

MadisonMan said...

Fen, yes I have. A very positive development. Is there reason to believe it would not have happened if US forces were not there? (Sorry about the double negative question)

George said...

I'll just remind everyone that there are still Union troops in Atlanta at Fort MacPherson and they, on a daily basis, are embuscading women of the Southern persuasion with their potted meats and other such contrivances which have been brought into our fair land by railway conveyance. Talk about invasion! Don't even get me started about South Carolina...

Michael said...

Luckyoldson: Boy that 'free and peaceful Iraq' thing sure is working out.

They now have a constitution and hold regularly scheduled elections. If only Michael Moore's freedom fighters would lay down their arms and stop blowing up Mosques and school children (they could go back to kite flying!), Iraq would be a much more peaceful place.

vrse said...

"It was that Obama's weak on national security! That's the only reason he got it 'right.' His right on that one is exactly wrong in my book."

Let's say brave Annie walks into a coffee shop and sees a muslim-looking guy standing around. Now let's say that brave Annie also has a gun (Reynolds gave it to her for her b-day, but don't tell Helen!). Brave Annie thinks that the muslim-looking guy has a gun and is going to shoot her. In light of this imminent threat, brave Annie kills the muslim-looking guy, only to realize that he didn't have a gun to start with, nor did the guy turn out to be the "islamofascist" that she thought he was.

See, in althouse's world Idol and wine, thinking twice about shooting the guy means that you're "weak" (you chickenshit you! you're such a wuss).

On the other hand, shooting the guy makes you strong and brave. Who cares if you were wrong! It's just a muslim dude anyway. Now multiply that by the hundreds of thousands that have died since invading Iraq.

You utter truly idiotic things.

Do you have any family members between the ages of 18 and 35? They must be "weak" if they're not in Iraq.

Fen said...

MM: Is there reason to believe it would not have happened if US forces were not there? (Sorry about the double negative question)

I don't understand the question.

If US forces weren't in Iraq, the Sunni Baathists would still be persecuting Shia with Saddam's permission - throwing them into mass graves, rape rooms, torture chambers. They would also be cooperating with Al Queda - financial, medical and logistical support, as well as providing sanctuary and terrorist training camps. Also anonymously handing off WMDs like Sarin and Antrhax to Al Queda for proxy attacks against the West.

If US forces had left after deposing Saddam and not stuck around to rebuild the country, the Sunni minority would all be dead or driven out by the Shia.

Michael said...

MadisonMan: How is the US remaining in Iraq going to lessen Al Qaeda's influence there, given that past US fighting has lead to an increased AQ presence?

If AQ is there, and we are not (because we retreated and surrendered the field), how exactly are we supposed to kill or capture them?

Or are you suggesting that if we only abandon Iraq to AQ, AQ members will go back to herding goats and we will then have "peace for our time?"

Fen said...

vrse: Brave Annie thinks that the muslim-looking guy has a gun and is going to shoot her. In light of this imminent threat, brave Annie kills the muslim-looking guy

Damn you're an idiot. Can't even craft a decent strawman argument.

vrse: Do you have any family members between the ages of 18 and 35? They must be "weak" if they're not in Iraq.

I'll ask again: if you're really so anti-war, why aren't you staging hunger strikes on the steps of Congress instead of posting here? You must be a chickenshit "chickenhawk" Copperhead.

Roger said...

vrse: ?????

I'd recommend you stay away from using analogies lest you be arrested and prosecuted for crimes against humanity.

That was incomprehensible.

Fen said...

Friendly Fire Advisory:

madisonman actually argues in good faith - he's not a troll or partisan or copperhead and should not be treated with contempt.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

Roger wrote:

I think this may be a post hoc ergo propter hoc issue.


No, I disagree. It can be shown, very clearly, that income tax revenues rise following a tax rate hike and fall following a tax rate cut (using constant dollar analyses, of course).

The gap between the effect of the tax rate reduction and revived revenues looks to be about three years.

I don't believe this is correct. We know that the economy is generally growing, so after a tax rate cut, tax revenues will eventually return to previous levels in absolute dollars (or later still in constant dollars). However, thereafter tax revenue is a smaller fraction of GDP than previously, and so the amount of revenue "lost" to the government by lowering tax rates increases year after year.

Also, there is very little economic evidence to link tax rate cuts with economic growth. So the claim that an income tax rate cut makes the economy grow faster is simply not supported by economic data.

This is not to suggest that tax rates shouldn't be cut in certain circumstances. Nor am I suggesting that income tax rate hikes are inherently "good." However, cutting income tax rates does not create more income tax revenue in the short term (on the order of five years), and there is no good evidence to suggest that it generates more income tax revenue in the long term.

IMO, we ought to pay today for what we spend today. This means we ought to reduce our spending or raise our taxes (or some combination of the two). I'm tired of hearing politicians claim that we can afford to spend more, enjoy tax rate cuts, and still balance the budget. It ain't so.

vrse said...

Fen,

Okay, I'm an idiot.

Now explain to me how Obama being right about WMD's in Iraq, a misconception that has cost billions of $$$ and hundreds of thousands of lives, makes him "weak" on national security?

In brave Annie's world, Obama would not be "weak" on national security if he'd been wrong about WMD, invaded Iraq, and caused the hundreds of thousands of deaths.

How does this follow? It's just like saying that shooting and killing someone who looks dangerous (let's say a muslim-looking dude), when it turns out that he doesnt even have a gun, is somehow a sign of virtue and strength.

It's the most idiotic thing. No wonder the NYTimes canned her.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

jim wrote:

C'mon Cyrus. Bush was responsible for 9/11, right?


Relevance?

Jim, although you don't deserve an answer, I'll give you one in the hope that it'll shut you up for a few minutes.

I don't hold Bush responsible for 9/11. However, I think he was inattentive to details in 2001 that just possibly could have made a difference in thwarting the attacks. It's all speculative of course, and although I certainly would not blame Bush for the success of the attacks, he didn't distinguish himself by his lack of focus and energy at the beginning of his term.

Satisfied?

Roger said...

I think your analysis overlooks the effect of tax rates on the business cycle; my argument is that the business cycle is the intervening variable that produces tax revenues. I do not believe there is any real concensus by economists as this issue is a subset of the supply side/Laffer curve argument. If you are aware of such a consensus, I could change my position. I'm thinking we appear to have the equivalent of a "chicken egg" argument going here.

At any rate, there are dead irishmen to be toasted and pints to be drunkin their memory.

Roger said...

I think your analysis overlooks the effect of tax rates on the business cycle; my argument is that the business cycle is the intervening variable that produces tax revenues. I do not believe there is any real concensus by economists as this issue is a subset of the supply side/Laffer curve argument. If you are aware of such a consensus, I could change my position. I'm thinking we appear to have the equivalent of a "chicken egg" argument going here.

At any rate, there are dead irishmen to be toasted and pints to be drunkin their memory.

MadisonMan said...

michael, since your list of choices has length of only 2, Stay and Fight, or Retreat and Surrender, and the first of the options has led to an increase in Al Qaeda activity in Iraq, I'm just curious why you think either of your two choices will cause Al Qaeda's presence in Iraq to diminish. I should have been clearer I guess. Now I'll be gone for 3 days and won't see your answer.

Fen said...

vrse: Now explain to me how Obama being right about WMD's in Iraq

He's not right. Iraq had a WMD program. Iraq had WMD stock they admitted to but refused to provide proof they destroyed. The fact the we didn't find stockpiles doesn't change that. You guys on the Left really don't get it - its the research to weaponize WMDs thats critical, not the stockpiles. Those can be re-created within days as the situation merits. So Obama reveals that he doesn't really know what he's talking about.

Ann: Should I avert my eyes so that I can preserve some chance of voting for Clinton or Obama in 2008? Both candidates have calculated that this is the position they must take to go forward toward the primary.

Hillary is only doing this to appease her Moonbat base [see above]. She'll tack back right once she wins the primaries. I can't stand her, but of all the Dems, she understands the foreign policy and the threat best. If you must vote for a Dem and the War on Terror is your litmus, she's the only one I would trust.

Fen said...

vrse: Now explain to me how Obama being right about WMD's in Iraq

Forgot to add: As has already been noted here, Obama's opposition to the liberation of Iraq was not based on anything to do with Iraq's WMDs.

Mark said...

fen said:

"MM, have you seen the recent reports of Sunni insurgents allying with Americans to fight Al Queda forces? Have you heard about whats happening in Anbar? "

Fen is probably relying on Joe Klein's Time piece. While it is a good development, if true, the piece basically amounts to "trust me, my sources say so". Therefore, I am skeptical of these claims. It doesn't mean I am not rooting for America, it just means I am highly skeptical of the information relayed by undisclosed military people. Even if it's true, it doesn't really change anything. The reports of similar alliances and corresponding drop in violence happened before, only to be followed by more bloodshed in other provinces and eventually, the province where the alliances took place.

In response to someone, I think Michael, who asked whether we stay and fight: there are no good options left. We stop mediating the civil war but we keep forces nearby (and some in the Green Zone) to attack Al Qaeda when needed. There are many reasons to think that we serve as AQ's main magnet in Iraq. AQ does not have much support among most Iraqis, even among Sunnis. Therefoe,when we quit mediating the civil war, I think there's a big chance that Iraqis will be able to deal with AQ on their own.

Luckyoldson said...

Michael said..."They now have a constitution and hold regularly scheduled elections. If only Michael Moore's freedom fighters would lay down their arms and stop blowing up Mosques and school children (they could go back to kite flying!), Iraq would be a much more peaceful place."

Get real. The government in Iraq can't agree on damn near anything, everybody is buried in the green zone so they don't get blown to smithereens and Maliki is nothing more than a Bush puppet...with little if any influence over anybody or anything.

You really need to read more and listen to Hannity and the gang less...and your inane comment about Michael Moore is just that...inane.

Fen said...

Pogo: Fen, Really the only reasonable response Lucky can give is to call you a name and then say la la la la can't hear yoouuu.

Yah. And I always feel guilty after my exchanges with him, like I've been picking on a cripple.

Note to self: Don't hate the left, pity them. Their lives are so wasted, they need to champion a "righteous" cause to validate their existence. Along the lines of: So maybe I did molest the babysitter, but I "believe" in World Peace, so I can't be such a bad guy, right?

Cyrus speaks to sacrifice. Patience would be a good start. Not stabbing our troops in the back for political gain would be another.

...still waiting on our anti-war chickenhawks to get off the net and stage a hunger strike to end this illegal immoral war. But it appears their principles are as flexible as their interns...

Luckyoldson said...

cyrus,
Here's something to shore up your argument regarding Bush and his pre-9/11 prepardedness:

KATHERINE SHRADER | AP | May 25, 2007

WASHINGTON — Intelligence analysts predicted, in secret papers circulated within the government before the Iraq invasion, that al-Qaida would see U.S. military action as an opportunity to increase its operations and that Iran would try to shape a post-Saddam Iraq.

The top analysts in government also said that establishing a stable democracy in Iraq would be a "long, difficult and probably turbulent process."

Pretty much summs it up...not that any of the right wing yahoos here will believe it.

Mark said...

Fen,

Where's the evidence that in 2002-2003 Saddam was conducting research to weaponise the WMDs?

Also, even assuming that the military response was unavoidable in 2002-2003, the way Bush went about it is so incompetent as to border on being criminal (paraphrasing Republican senator Smith). The only thing that went well was the initial military phase, largely because even an idiot such as Bush could not mess it up. Everything that followed Bush's infamous "Major Military Operations Are Over" speech was a disaster, ramifications of which will be with us for decades.
Have you read any of the books, from "1 percent doctrine" to "Fiasco". It's really incomprehensible how the administration messed up everything that it could.

On the balance, this administration is a huge detriment to the security of the US. The fact that there have been no post 9/11 attacks on US soil is due to the thousands men and women in the trenches (CIA, FBI, etc), not due to Bush's efforts.

Luckyoldson said...

Pogo,
Maybe if you actually read my posts you'll see that what you say is a flat out lie.

And by the way, calling people trolls, moonbats, lefties, looney liberals, etc. also falls into the category of name calling.

Pogo said...

Re: "So the claim that an income tax rate cut makes the economy grow faster is simply not supported by economic data."

Because such a question cannot be answered in isolation. The entire tax burden would need to be considered. If income tax falls but property taxes rise, there's no change in tax burden.

Your statement could not possibly be true even in isolation, if one considered the income tax bracket of 100%. No one seriously argues that such a confiscation would have no effect on the economy, much less that it would 'grow' the economy. Neither would anyone seriously argue that reducing a 100% income tax rate to say 30% would be deletirious to the economy as a whole.

Your income tax revenue example, becasue you try to see it in isolation, is erroneous or at least extremely misleading.

It is unclear at what point the political and inefficient planned market flowing from an expanded government would result in stagnation of the larger economy. While a certain level of taxation and social spending may be desirable, at some point the economic burden threatens prosperity. Indeed, wealthy nations can easily tolerate the consumption of 30 percent of its economic output by the state, as is currently true in the US, “but once the government take approaches 50 percent, as in many of the nations of northern Europe, economic growth begins to suffer.”

Bernstein WJ, The Birth of Plenty: How the Prosperity of the Modern World as Created; McGraw-Hill New York; 2004 p. 380.

Re: "we ought to reduce our spending or raise our taxes"

But it's always alays always the latter, not the former, once citizens get a taste of spenfing other people's money.

Fen said...

Mark: Fen is probably relying on Joe Klein's Time piece. While it is a good development, if true, the piece basically amounts to "trust me, my sources say so". Therefore, I am skeptical of these claims.

No. I'm relying on Micheal Yon. I've been reading him since he started reporting from Iraq. I trust him b/c his perspective dovetails with Marines I know on the FEBA.

http://www.michaelyon-online.com/

Also, Joe Klein would respond to your cynicism thus: ""I find it amusing that some doubt the military source who told me the good news in Anbar province but don't question the sources who told me about the growing pessimism about the Shi'ites ever putting together a viable government...Why does good news about Iraq, however modest--and this was truly a modest, if intriguing, development--trouble you?"

http://time-blog.com/swampland/2007/05/a_note_on_sources.html

Luckyoldson said...

Fen-Fen,
What were the troop levels for the Clinton invasion?

And I love your "anti-war chickenhawk" comment.

Could you define exactly what that is supposed to mean?

Duh.

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