May 6, 2007

The ludicrous Chris Dodd, etc.

I'm very busy this morning, getting things together for the trip to the 7th Circuit Judicial Conference in Milwaukee, finishing writing at least one of my two exams, thinking about a review session that's coming up in a few minutes from now, but, along the way, I did watch a little of the Sunday morning news shows. First, a little Fox News Sunday. Ooh, was Chris Dodd blindsided -- not so much by Chris Wallace, but by Ayman al-Zawahiri:
In a new video posted today on the Internet, al Qaeda's number two man, Ayman al Zawahiri, mocks the bill passed by Congress setting a timetable for the pullout of U.S. troops in Iraq.

"This bill will deprive us of the opportunity to destroy the American forces which we have caught in a historic trap," Zawahiri says in answer to a question posed to him an interviewer.

Continuing in the same tone, Zawahiri says, "We ask Allah that they only get out of it after losing 200,000 to 300,000 killed, in order that we give the spillers of blood in Washington and Europe an unforgettable lesson."
The video was just released this morning, so it had to be in the news, and Wallace had to ask about it. Apparently, Chris Dodd has zero flexibility of mind, because he just trotted out his prepared message, even though it was ludicrously inapt.
DODD: ... [T]his is a civil war going on in Iraq. This is not the United States versus Al Qaida. It's Shia versus Sunnis tearing each other apart. It's gone on for centuries, but particularly here right now.

The United States is being asked to, in a sense, referee a civil war. And at $2 billion a week, $8 billion a month, Americans believe that we have done all we can possibly do, and Iraqis have to decide whether or not they want to end this civil war and the sectarian violence.

The idea that this is a winnable conflict by the United States -- every military leader from the very outset have said this is not a situation where there's a military victory for us here.

That was the conclusion of the Baker-Hamilton report, the conclusion of General Casey, General Dempsey. Every senior military official who's been involved, Chris, in Iraq has said from the very beginning there is not a military solution to Iraq here.

So the point has arrived, I think, for all of us that the status quo is unacceptable and that we should begin redeploying our troops.

WALLACE: But, Senator, if I can just press this point, though...

DODD: Certainly.

WALLACE: ... Here you have Zawahiri in a video -- he seems to think that Al Qaida has a stake in this fight.

DODD: Well, they may think that, but I'm not going to let my foreign policy be decided by Mr. al-Zawahiri. Obviously, he's playing his game here.

He'd probably like to see us stay down there, bogged down, at the costs we're increasing here, the loss of lives, not to mention the isolation of the United States. The status quo is unacceptable.

The American people are so far ahead of Washington on this issue. They want a change in policy, a change in direction.

We should begin that redeployment, in my view, and begin to do the things we should have been doing a long time ago, recommended by senior people of both political parties, senior knowledgeable people about the Middle East, and that is to begin to work the diplomatic, political, economic side of this issue to help Iraq achieve that stability we've been talking about.

You're not going to achieve it, Chris, when you've got 60 percent of the Iraqi people think it's all right to kill Americans. Eighty percent think we're the cause of the chaos in their country.

You need a change in policy here. That's what we're trying to achieve. The president wants the status quo. That makes us less secure and more isolated, in my view.
Ridiculous, but maybe no one was listening. Conceivably, everyone but me changed channels when he gave a 52-word answer to Wallace's invitation to state the message of his campaign in "bumper sticker" form.

I also caught George Tenet on "Meet the Press," but I haven't got time to write about it, as I've got to rush off to that review session. I'll just say it was rather painful to listen to that man try to justify himself. And Tim Russert hung him out to dry about what he wrote Richard Perle said to him the day after the 9/11 attacks. Oh, how Tenet coughed and spluttered trying to salvage his credibility on that one.

UPDATE: I wrote and posted this email from a coffeehouse on State Street, then rushed up the hill to the Law School for the review session. Along the way, I passed some new graffiti:
No war but class war
All war is civil war

And here's the "Meet the Press" transcript. This is the part I was talking about:
MR. RUSSERT: You open the book with these words: "Wednesday, September 12, 2001, dawned as the first full day of a world gone mad. As I walked beneath the awning that leads to the West Wing, [I] saw Richard Perle exiting the building just as I was about to enter. As the doors closed behind him, we made eye contact and nodded. I had just reached the door myself when Perle turned to me and said, `Iraq has to pay a price for what happened yesterday. They bear responsibility.' I looked back at Perle and thought: Who has [he] been meeting with in the White House so early in the morning on today of all days?"

Perle yesterday sent MEET THE PRESS this statement: "George Tenet tells his readers that on September 12," "'today of all days' I told him that Iraq was responsible for the attack of' September 11. "This false claim is an obvious attempt to escape the responsibility for the intelligence failures of the agency he headed. But more important, it shows that even five years later he fails to understand that the decision to remove Saddam was based on the danger posed by Iraq, especially Saddam's possession of weapons of mass destruction--the certainty of which was repeated in every intelligence report and briefing I received from the CIA and other intelligence agencies. I was out of the country on" September 11, "unable to return until September 15. When I did run into Mr. Tenet at the White House a week later, we had already concluded that al-Qaeda was responsible for" September 11. "I never made the remark Tenet attributes to me, or anything like it."

MR. TENET: We, we, we had not concluded that al-Qaeda was responsible for September 11. That conversation may have, may have occurred days later. It is the conversation that I--that, that occurred, and I stand by what happened that day.

MR. RUSSERT: He said those words to you.

MR. TENET: Yes, he did. And so for him to say that we had concluded that al-Qaeda was responsible for 9/11, well, I'd like to know who made that conclusion.

MR. RUSSERT: When you say "yesterday" and "today of all days"?

MR. TENET: Well, Tim, I, I obviously--this is a jumbled, very difficult period of time. I may be off by a few days. What he said seems to be corroborated by what he said to another journalist. Mr. Novak has said he was called on September 17, and Mr. Perle said something like, "Well, aren't enough--there aren't enough targets in Afghanistan; let's go to Iraq.' And it's--it also is corroborative of the fact that he sent a letter to the president on September the 20 that mirrors those feelings. So I may have been off on the day, but I'm not off on what he said and what he believed."

146 comments:

Luckyoldson said...

So, now we're using comments and video propaganda from Ayman al-Zawahiri to establish what we believe America should or should not do in Iraq...versus our own elected officials?

Or...does it ONLY relate to the officials if they are Democrats and want us OUT??

What exactly did you expect Dodd to say? That he fully agrees with this nutcase?

Ann Althouse said...

I expect him to show a capacity to respond to new information rather that just trot out his stock response. He might have impressed me if he'd shown such a capacity.

Freeman Hunt said...

You've missed the point, Lucky. It's not about who thinks what about the idea of a timetable for withdrawl.

Dodd says, "[T]his is a civil war going on in Iraq. This is not the United States versus Al Qaida," in response to a question about a video clip of Al Qaida's number two man talking about how he's fighting us in Iraq.

PatCA said...

What was Tenet's editor thinking?? How could anyone let the opening anecdote go unchecked?

tjl said...

"What was Tenet's editor thinking?? How could anyone let the opening anecdote go unchecked?"

Why should it come as a surprise to anyone that Tenet gets the Perle anecdote wrong? After all, Tenet also got it wrong on the somewhat more consequential question of whether Saddam had WMDs.

Sloanasaurus said...

Iraq is one of the nobelist adventures the United States has ever embarked upon. Al Qaeda presents itself is a classic evil. They are Willing to blow up civilians for no reason. We are there fighting this evil.

Without the argument that we are getting mixed up in a civil war, the Left would then be arguing that we should not partake in Nobel efforts...that we should withdraw from fighting Al Qaeda. they would then sound more like the isolationist Right or completely anti-war rather than the party of FDR or Woodrow Wilson or JFK. The civil war argument is the only fig leaf they have to avoid this troubling contradiction.

Freder Frederson said...

I expect him to show a capacity to respond to new information rather that just trot out his stock response.

What new information? How does a typical propaganda tape by Zawahiri where he spouts nonsense about killing 200,000 soldiers constitute "new information."

dbp said...

I say we should split the difference betwee Zawahiri and the (get out now Democrats)--we stay in there until we have lost 100,000 troops. It will take around a century for this number to be reached and I have full confidence that before then Iraq will be a full democracy and AQ will have the same relevance in the world as say... the thuggies now have.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thuggie

Continuing in the same tone, Zawahiri says, "We ask Allah that they only get out of it after losing 200,000 to 300,000 killed, in order that we give the spillers of blood in Washington and Europe an unforgettable lesson."

Wade Garrett said...

Sloan - the problem with your argument is that, less than ten years ago, conservatives were saying that wards like this are precisely the type of internal conflicts in which the United States should never get involved. Armies are for defeating other armies, right, and not for policework? Not for going on wild goose chases to capture terrorists who don't exist and, in the process, create a lot of new terrorists?

Man, this President is awesome.

AlphaLiberal said...

Al qaeda's statements should not dictate our discourse. As Dodd implies, we shouldn't take these guys' words very seriously.

It's kind of strange that the right wing and their followers are so intent on guiding our foreign policy so much by what al qaeda think and says.

AlphaLiberal said...

Here's another take that Zawahiri likes Bush's plan and wants the US to stay there as shotting targets.

(Ann, really, can you not detect Fox's conservatve spin?)

Kind of like that part in Dances with Wolves where a dazed Kevin Costner stands behind Union lines while Confederates took shots at him.

They yanked him down and the secessionists yelled "aw, put him back up there!"

johnstodder said...

"Armies are for defeating other armies" is a nicely-worded, kind of intelligent-seeming thought, but it is empty calories. We won't be fighting any other armies in the near future.

The role of the military -- US, NATO, UN, "coalition forces," what have you -- has for years been primarily the protection of populations from genocide and terror from assymetrical forces with significant powers to kill, destroy and disrupt. To accomplish recognizable military and political goals, we have to be willing to use our military in primarily police actions. We need our leaders to be wise in the application of such forces, because we can't be everywhere. But even if Chris Dodd was president, I think there'd be a pretty solid consensus that the Persian Gulf is one of those strategically important places.

It was Rumsfeld's particular idiocy not to recognize this after Hussein's fall, and to push a strategy that was premised upon pretending for the sake of one's career that there was no insurgency. He would heartily endorse your little "armies are for fighting other armies" koan.

It is uncanny how much the current Democratic position on Iraq resembles Rumsfeld's. It is equally uncanny the extent to which Bush's current strategy is a repudiation of Rumsfeld's. Why doesn't the media see this?

Gahrie said...

Why this attack on Tenet and his loose association with the truth? After all we know that when it comes to credibility today only one thing matters:

You must be attacking the Bush administration.

Tenet's book is chock full of tasty truthiness......

AlphaLiberal said...

Here's a link showing that Perle has a recorded history of calling for invading iraq after 9/11.

One quote from Perle:
Even if we cannot prove to the standard that we enjoy in our own civil society they are involved, we do know, for example, that Saddam Hussein has ties to Osama bin Laden. That can be documented.

Again, if you're going to take what Richard Perle (or Fox News) says at face value, Ann, your gullibility is showing.

johnstodder said...

But Tenet's anecdote loses all of its meaning if the conversation didn't occur the morning after 9/11. You don't get that? His point was to agree with the meme that the administration saw 9/11 as a pretext to do what they always wanted to do. It would have been a pretty dramatic illustration of that concept -- if it was true. But since it's not, it's not.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

I have to agree with Freder. I can't imagine any serious political observer referring to a propaganda tape from al-Zawahiri as "new information."

Ann, were you as critical of Bush administration officials who didn't "show a capacity to respond to new information" as provided by Muhammad Saeed al-Sahhaf during the early days of the Iraq invasion?

Ann, this isn't just a case of you being "not impressed" with Dodd. You describe Dodd as "ludicrous" and his comments as "ridiculous." And as a Bush supporter, it's laughable that you criticize anyone as having "zero flexibility of mind."

Do you have a serious criticism of Dodd's comments or are you hoping to get away with dismissing them without justification?

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

sloan wrote:

...Without the argument that we are getting mixed up in a civil war, the Left would then be arguing that we should not partake in Nobel efforts


It's posts like this that makes reading the blog comments worthwhile.

Wade Garrett said...

Johnstodder - I agree that the US army won't be fighting another real army anytime soon. That's been obvious for at least 20 years, which is why the conservative attackst against Clinton in the 1990s sounded so hollow and stupid to anybody who, well, had a brain. A LOT of conservatives who defend the war in Iraq are contradicting their former positions. Some might even say that they've flip-flopped.

Daryl said...

AlphaLib: if you're going to take what Richard Perle (or Fox News) says at face value

Perle said he was out of the country.

That's backed up by hard evidence.

That's not taking anything at "face value"

You'll say anything, won't you AlphaLib?

George said...

I thought spies--of all people--were supposed to keep their mouths shut, under any and all circumstances. What a shameful betrayal of the position he was entrusted with.

And, luckyoldson, al-Qaeda and its leaders are anything no more 'nutcases' than the Nazis or Japanese imperialists were. Evil, yes; insane, no.

Daryl said...

Wade: flip flops only show at worst hypocrisy (at best, that we're adapting to changed circumstances).

It doesn't show that we're wrong.

If you want to run away from terrorists who blow up marketplaces full of innocent civilians, just because that's what Newt Gingrich would have done in the 1990s, that's your prerogative.

Just tell me, does this mean we can hold Dems to everything they said about Saddam's WMD during the 1990s?

The Exalted said...

well well.

ann, this is one of the dumbest posts you have ever created.

new information? mindless propaganda from "The Enemy" is "new information" that Dodd is supposed to somehow respond to?

you don't like the democrats because they have IQ's above 100.

The Exalted said...

Iraq is one of the nobelist adventures the United States has ever embarked upon. Al Qaeda presents itself is a classic evil. They are Willing to blow up civilians for no reason. We are there fighting this evil.

Without the argument that we are getting mixed up in a civil war, the Left would then be arguing that we should not partake in Nobel efforts...that we should withdraw from fighting Al Qaeda. they would then sound more like the isolationist Right or completely anti-war rather than the party of FDR or Woodrow Wilson or JFK. The civil war argument is the only fig leaf they have to avoid this troubling contradiction.


i mean, honestly. since when did the conservatives turn into raving lunatics like this?

dude, sloan, bush et al did not go into Iraq to "fight al-queda" . . . sorry to burst your bubble. if fighting al-queda was what they wanted, they could have sent the 150,000+ troops to Afghanistan, where al-queda actually resided.

Sloanasaurus said...

Sloan - the problem with your argument is that, less than ten years ago, conservatives were saying that wards like this are precisely the type of internal conflicts in which the United States should never get involved

I agree, a lot of conservatives are against any sort of intervention. I am only speaking out of personal preference. I support the use of American power to get rid of dictators and for nobel causes. I would have supported our intervention in the Civil War (the Union), World War I, II, Korea, and Vietnam. Not all conservatives supported these efforts. And those on the far left/anti-war certainly would not (except maybe World War II).

I think a lot of liberals would also support our continued intervention in Iraq but for the fact that Bush is leading it. Bush miscalculated on this front. He knew that he would lose support on the right for the war. However, I think Bush assumed that he would have some support from the center left on Iraq over the long term (i.e., people like Althouse). He miscalculated the amount of collective animosity shown for him by Democrats.

downtownlad said...

I favor keeping this war going until at least November of 2008.

And I'm really not too concerned how many more soldiers die. They volunteered after all.

Ann Althouse said...

I stand by my assertion that Chris Dodd was in robot mode, spewing out a prerecorded tape and showed zero capacity for responding to something new. The Zawahiri tape was something new. He should have had a response of some kind, even if it was only to show why nothing was different. He went right into "This is not the United States versus Al Qaida." Well, how is that so, considering what you've just been confronted with?!

downtownlad said...

But it's smart to be in robot mode. If you have a point you want to make, keep reiterating it. The news media is only going to take five-second clip of it anyway.

All politicians do this, including George Bush - who keeps insisting that Iraq was behind 9/11, despite all evidence to the contrary.

Tim said...

"A LOT of conservatives who defend the war in Iraq are contradicting their former positions. Some might even say that they've flip-flopped."

Indeed, that might be insightful if it were within spitting distance of a fact.

I'm sure no conservatives would have endorsed a military role in Iraq solely for the purpose of nation building, or interceding in a civil war (as liberals are panting to do in Darfur...). The fact is, we're there to finish it off; al Qaeda is fighting us there unlike anywhere else (and not that it matters to you in the slightest, but the evidence is conclusive that al Qaeda precipitated the 'civil war' with its bombing of the al-Askari Mosque in Samarra); once the democratically elected government can defend itself we'll leave. And conservatives will be happy with an American military victory our enemies and Democrats in Congress like Dodd worked night and day to prevent.

Daryl said...

dtl: George Bush . . . keeps insisting that Iraq was behind 9/11

With subliminal messages, no doubt. Because he sure isn't saying that out loud.

When has he said, even once, that Iraq was behind 9/11?

nick danger said...

All politicians do this, including George Bush - who keeps insisting that Iraq was behind 9/11, despite all evidence to the contrary.

You are a LIAR. I'm calling you out. Put up evidence or admit your intellectual dishonesty.

Tim said...

"You are a LIAR. I'm calling you out. Put up evidence or admit your intellectual dishonesty."

Nick, you are asking the impossible. I trust you will not be disappointed when he does neither.

The Exalted said...

bush doesn't say that iraq caused 9/11, but he sure did lard up the bogus iraq = al qaeda message in his "mission accomplished" speech:

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2003/05/01/iraq/main551946.shtml

The Battle of Iraq is one victory in a war on terror that began on September the 11th, 2001 , and still goes on.

The liberation of Iraq is a crucial advance in the campaign against terror. We have removed an ally of al-Qaida, and cut off a source of terrorist funding. And this much is certain: No terrorist network will gain weapons of mass destruction from the Iraqi regime, because the regime is no more.

In these 19 months that changed the world, our actions have been focused, and deliberate, and proportionate to the offense. We have not forgotten the victims of September the 11th — the last phone calls, the cold murder of children, the searches in the rubble. With those attacks, the terrorists and their supporters declared war on the United States. And war is what they got.

look, bush and his cronies wanted to invade iraq going back to 1991. al qaeda had nothing to do with it. any inference they made that al qaeda was related to iraq is nothing less than an outright lie.

Bruce Hayden said...

Another facet of the Dodd stuff is that Zawahiri was putting the lie to Dodd's statement that it was just a civil war in Iraq. Indeed, al Qaeda is no more indiginous to Iraq really than we are. They are invariably foreign born, from all over the Moslem world, but esp. from Saudi Arabia.

Yes, maybe you can sometimes argue that there is a civil war going on in Iraq. But much of the heavy hitting on the Sunni side comes from outside the country. And that means that it is far more than a civil war.

But I am lothe to call what is going on in Iraq a civil war in the first place. For the most part, it isn't being fought out between soldiers on both sides. But rather, the Sunni Arabs go around indiscriminatingly committing mass murder against innocent civilians. And then the Shiite militias come into the Sunni sections and take away the men, esp. those with any connection with the terrorists or Saddam Hussein, and execute them.

That really doesn't sound much like the civil wars that we have seen in the past - where the bulk of the casualties are innocent civilians who just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

PatCA said...

"Al qaeda's statements should not dictate our discourse."

What do you mean by that--we shouldn't talk about AQ or listen to what they are saying to us, and our politicians should refuse to consider their statements?

Or did you just want to be disagreeable.

Strangely enough, I agree with DTL. Dodd was just bloviating hoping everyone would forget the question.

Sloanasaurus said...

sorry to burst your bubble. if fighting al-queda was what they wanted, they could have sent the 150,000+ troops to Afghanistan, where al-queda actually resided

really General exalted?

How would we supply an army of 150,000 troops in Afghanistan? It doesn't have a port and it's not surrounded by any reliable allies.

Maybe part of going into Iraq was to fight Al Qaeda there rather than Afghaistan. If one were to choose a place to fight Al Qaeda, Iraq is a much better place than any other in the middle east.

Yeah, its only a theory, but If I were a general planning the war on terror in 2002.....

Methadras said...

AlphaLiberal said...

Al qaeda's statements should not dictate our discourse.


Really? So when AQ for years prior to 9/11 was dictating to the world their hatred of democracies, their intent to impose sharia/austere radical islamic fundamentalist theocratic totalitarian regimes wherever they can, their hatred of the west, specifically the US, and then executed that goal on 9/11 and in previous other ways before it, that wasn't dictating a course and a discourse?

Your repugnant ideological ilk bemoan the failings of the rest of the world not liking the US because of our policies. And yet, you and your bankrupt ideology have an odd fixation for being liked or loved by people and nations you don't know and you don't want AQ to dictate discourse? So when AQ executes their special types of discourse, I don't even hear a peep from your under-the-bed hiding brethren. Not even a denunciation of Zawahiri's ridiculous assessments.

Instead you offer the what? We should stand tough against AQ regardless of what they say, or that you should ignore what they say because you are doing what they want anyway? More cowering and fearful platitudes.

As Dodd implies, we shouldn't take these guys' words very seriously.

Really? So when a mugger comes up to you and says he's going to beat you and steal your goods, you aren't going to take him seriously or are you going to tell him that his dictate shouldn't affect your discourse? The same is being done by AQ. They are telling you what they are going to do and yet, you are now making the claim that Senator Dodd simply ignores Zawahiri and not take his words seriously?

It's kind of strange that the right wing and their followers are so intent on guiding our foreign policy so much by what al qaeda think and says.

AQ attacked us. Their actions dictated ours on 9/11. They are the ones who started this conversation of dictates and hopefully we will be the ones to finish it. Now you find it strange that the Right moves and plans strategies based on the dictates of what our enemy says and more importantly does?

I don't remember who said a fool and his money are soon parted, but it could be said that a fool and his unwillingness to adapt to his enemy is soon defeated. Now that's a pretty typical manifesto that your sub-human ideology brings to the fore with the ideas that you've brought to bear in this conversation.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

Ann wrote:

I stand by my assertion that Chris Dodd was in robot mode, spewing out a prerecorded tape and showed zero capacity for responding to something new.


Ann, let's assume that your assertion is correct (i.e., that Chris Dodd was in "robot mode" and didn't address the question asked). How does that distinguish him from other presidential candidates? Why does his nonresponsiveness (in your opinion) make him "ludicrous?"
Will you please explain this, or if you prefer, explain why the substance of what he said is "ridiculous?"

Also, if you reread Dodd's comments, you'll see he did acknowledge the video message:

I'm not going to let my foreign policy be decided by Mr. al-Zawahiri. Obviously, he's playing his game here.

He'd probably like to see us stay down there, bogged down, at the costs we're increasing here, the loss of lives, not to mention the isolation of the United States. The status quo is unacceptable.


His comment "obviously, he's playing his game here" suggests to me that Dodd also regards the video as propaganda. Why do you think the tape should be regarded as anything other than propaganda?

Finally, you assert that Dodd "has zero flexibility of mind." This is a claim that's long been made about Bush, and with a lot more evidence to support it in the case of Bush. Considering that you're a Bush supporter, can you tell me when you finally decided that "flexibility of mind" is a desirable quality?

SDN said...

Wade,

There's a key difference between Bosnia (where we've been over 10 years? QUAGMIRE!!!) and Iraq: National Interest. The Middle East has economic importance for the world that Bosnia will never have. The Middle East is also the home of Islamic nutjobs with the resources to actually fund terrorist movements and WMDs to equip them. Bosnia is a sideshow, with, incidentally, easy enough access that the Europeans should have been able to handle it themselves... if they hadn't been sucking the US defense t*t for 40 years instead of keeping their own militaries up to speed.

hdhouse said...

Sorry Ann, but Dodd speaks always 1 sentence too much but I'm not sure where he was wrong in his response. You may like brevity but I do remember a post you made once about short, to the point sentences, and your sentence was 50 some odd words long.

As to Tenent, I'm hoping he was drawing literary license by linking the Perle remark to September 12 (nice drammatic touch). If not, then I am suspect of him because he gave the Perle's of the nation an opening to attack...not on substance, not on accuracy, but on a minor point.

Do we fault GWB for the Mission Accomplished because he landed on the aircraft carrier but with an incorrect message "mission accomplished" and on the wrong date..."sometime in the future"?

Ann Althouse said...

Look, I agree that candidates generally stick to their message and that it's the usual technique to ignore the question and keep saying what you planned to say (and that Bush does this too). But it's a matter of degree and it's a question of whether you want to take the risk of saying something new.

In Dodd's case, he's a minor candidate with almost no chance. If I weren't making breakfast and if another morning news show were already on the TiVo, I would have skipped the Dodd interview. Why should I bother with Dodd? See what I mean? How many chances does this guy get to make an impression?

This was his one big chance with me. And he could have made it into the news if he'd had a good response. But he's going with the "civil war" theme. He's got nothing else to say. He's a loser. Why is he running?

Mindsteps said...

This was his one big chance with me. And he could have made it into the news if he'd had a good response. But he's going with the "civil war" theme. He's got nothing else to say. He's a loser. Why is he running?


Professor Althouse:

I cannot recall when I was impressed by Senator Dodd's remarks. However, ludicrious? A loser?

I find words like that hurtful, even when not directed at me (although I am ludicrious and a loser more times than I can count) and even when directed toward others who do not seem to distinguish themselves. I understand that he did not impress you. But what is your purpose for using such harsh and pointed language?

Roger said...

Does anyone actually think a presidential candidate from either party is going to do anything but spout his or her talking points du jour when they are on the tube? If so, your expectations are much higher than mine.

As to the civil war in Iraq--the more I look at the situation there, it looks a lot more like northern ireland than it does, say the battle of algiers--It's largely sectarian and those sectarian roots go back 700 years.

Of course I have no way of proving this assertion, but I suspect when we do withdraw from Iraq that we will still be confronted with terrorists threats from an al queda, or al-queda like organization. If you believe Bruce Reidel's argument in the last Foreign Affairs, he argues that AQ has become stronger because they have had to decentralized; I would argue the opposite: they have become weaker because they are more susceptible to intercept.

My longer term concern is for those that think that once out of Iraq, somehow we, the US, are not going to still be confronted with terrorists who wish us well. That, to me, is the import of Zawahiri's message. I hope those advocating for getting out of Iraq, continue to have a strategy for pressing the fight against something like an Al Queda.

Roger said...

And needless to say terrorist dont wish us "well;" they wish us evil.

Fen said...

dude, sloan, bush et al did not go into Iraq to "fight al-queda"

We went into Iraq to enforce UN resolutions, to depose Saddam and destroy his WMD prorgram [which did exist]

We STAYED in Iraq to fight Al Queda: they draw their recriuts from dissaffected males with nothing to live for. Disaffected males fed hateful propaganda about the Great Satan from despots attempting to distract the Arab street from tyranny and oppression. The only long-term solution to terrorism is the reformation of the middle east. A vibrant and free Iraq is the first step towards that goal.

Fen said...

less than ten years ago, conservatives were saying that wards like this are precisely the type of internal conflicts in which the United States should never get involved

Right. Thats why I volunteered to join the Marine Corps, volunteered again to join an infantry unit, and then volunteered again to switch from H&S to Bravo Co to go Somolia...

hdhouse said...

Ann

you are quite right that Dodd had one chance with you and indeed with everyone. Blowing it is not a good sign and I am in complete agreement that the man has a lot to say but takes too long in saying it.

He is basically a good guy and CT loves him. He is entrenched there like like good ground. President? NO. VP..not a bad idea depending on the ticket as he clearly is no fool.

But again, i'm amazed at these Ed Sullivan show appearances....acts that he brought out to make or break and good people, with brains and savvy simply take a swan dive.

Shoot me Ann. I'm agreeing with you more an more.

Fen said...

One quote from Perle:
Even if we cannot prove to the standard that we enjoy in our own civil society they are involved, we do know, for example, that Saddam Hussein has ties to Osama bin Laden. That can be documented.


Alpha, Perle is correct, and it can be documented. Whereas Tenet can't even get basic facts straight. No wonder the CIA is such a mess.

Roger said...

I am always mystified why folks think candidates say one thing as candidates and do things differently once in office. President Bush was calling for time lines and an exist strategy from the President Clinton in 1999--and we are still in the Balkans the last time I looked. Candidate Bush was rejecting nation building as a mission until such time as he became president--It could be, of course, that all candidates are hypocritical; and that charge may stick with respect to domestic affairs. But I think the international world looks different once a candidate--any candidate--becomes president.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

Roger,

Maybe, but in our two party system, there is this ritual of candidates trying to appeal to the base in order to win the nomination, and then running for the middle in the general election. This is why, for example, Bush pledged to regulate carbon dioxide emissions in 2000 and then immediately broke that promise when elected. He simply misrepresented his position in order to win votes. I suspect the same is true with regard to his foreign policy positions in 2000. They were likely crafted to win votes; I seriously doubt they reflected anything like a Bush philosophy of the role of the United States in the world.

This explains too Giuliani's and Romney's squirming on abortion rights. I'm mystified that anyone would really believe that either has had a genuine conversion.

The other factor is that, once elected, a president immediately starts running for reelection. By mid-2002, I'm sure that Rove realized the value in having Bush run for reelection as a "war president."

I don't disagree with you that events and a new perspective can lead the president to act differently than the candidate promised. However, I think it also reflects the selling and packaging of the candidate in the election, and the remarketing of the president for a reelection campaign.

Sloanasaurus said...

The Bush policy in Iraq is really a combination of the liberal Wilsonian view to use power to spread freedom and the more conservative idea to use force for self defense.

Bush argued that we need to spread democracy (in Iraq) precisely for self defense. Bush argues that the only real way to protect ourselves from WMD is to reform the very societies that would produce it and use it against us.

I think Bush makes a compelling argument.

In some ways Bush's argument mirrors that of Ancient Republican Rome - who found that the only way to defend themselves was to go on offense, which led to the Roman Empire. America has been doing to same thing in Europe and Asia for the last 50 years but it uses ideology rather than occupation. Now Bush is taking the American way to the middle east.

AlphaLiberal said...

Someone said:
Perle said he was out of the country.

That's backed up by hard evidence.

That's not taking anything at "face value"

You'll say anything, won't you AlphaLib?

The date is not relevant. Whether he said this one day or 3 or 7 or 31 after 9/11, the historical fact is that Richard Perle's response to 9/11 was to call for an military action against Iraq.

Dithering over dates reminds me of "it depends what you definition of 'is' is."

AlphaLiberal said...

As far as Dodd, I like that he has called for a return to Constitutional principles. You might want to check out his proposal habeas corpus rights (originally won hundreds of years ago, in medeival days).

I can't find it just now, but it's a very respectable thing for a candidate for President to do.

As far as his viability, well, a lot can happen to frontrunners between now and then. I don't know if you were in Wisconsin when Russ Feingold ran for the Senate and was declared a hopeless candidate. The conventional wisdom really ran off the tracks on that one.

Fen said...

The date is not relevant

The date is entirely relevant. How can Tenet be telling the truth if Perle wasn't even in country? He made it up.

the historical fact is that Richard Perle's response to 9/11 was to call for an military action against Iraq.

But not for the reasons you imply. Perle correctly realized we could no longer afford to ignore rogue nations that sponsor terrorist organizations & develop WMDs.

Roger said...

I dont think there was any doubt that Perle was a neocon--the date, however, is entirely relevant if you want to make some judgments about Tenent's honesty. He appears to be right up there with Robert Reich who's memoir cited conversations he apparently had wished he had, rather than those he actually had.

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

As to Tenent, I'm hoping he was drawing literary license by linking the Perle remark to September 12 (nice drammatic touch).

Fake but accurate?

Al Queda [and Democrats] would prefer we fight in Afganistan, for obvious reasons.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

...the date, however, is entirely relevant if you want to make some judgments about Tenent's honesty.

Does anyone here consider it possible that Tenet was wrong about the date but correct about the details of the conversation? If so, the date is not particularly relevant, as long as the approximate time frame is correct.

If you don't believe Tenet could have been wrong about the date (as opposed to having lied about the date), tell me why, please.

Doyle said...

Dodd says, "[T]his is a civil war going on in Iraq. This is not the United States versus Al Qaida," in response to a question about a video clip of Al Qaida's number two man talking about how he's fighting us in Iraq.

Imagine that: an American politician implicitly disagreeing with the statements of an Al Qaeda leader! I'm shocked.

It's just sad to hear wingnuts complain that no one is taking the accounts of these madmen more seriously. Including Bush, for that matter.

Roger said...

Cyrus: the specific language Tenent uses: "on that day of all days..." There's not much doubt that Perle is a neocon and probably held to that position; and I dont think I would have had a problem with him saying that--the anecdote, however, is a bit of over-embellishment that makes interpreting other such anecdotes a bit problematic for me.

Fen said...

"On the day after 9/11, he [Tenet] adds, he ran into Richard Perle, a leading neoconservative and the head of the Defense Policy Board, coming out of the White House. He says Mr. Perle turned to him and said: "Iraq has to pay a price for what happened yesterday. They bear responsibility."

Cyrus: Does anyone here consider it possible that Tenet was wrong about the date but correct about the details of the conversation?

Mary Mapes does.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

Cyrus: Does anyone here consider it possible that Tenet was wrong about the date but correct about the details of the conversation?

Fen: Mary Mapes does.


Mary Mapes writes comments on the Althouse blog?

Fen said...

If you don't believe Tenet could have been wrong about the date (as opposed to having lied about the date), tell me why, please.

Oh sorry. Tenet's lying because he uses two reference points that are "seared" into his memory [like Kerry's Christmas in Cambodia fable] that turn out to be demonstrably false.

Its like claiming: "I specifically recall meeting Anne at the Dallas/Toledo game, because I found it odd she would sport a Dallas Hornet jersey"

Except Dallas and Toledo never played each other.

And Dallas doesn't have a Hornet jersey.

Fritz said...

Ann,
Don't waste your breath, the Democratic Party is lost to the radical left. The clarity of what we are facing in Iraq and the consequences if we fail as a western democracy are so profound, only those that hate our western democracy openly deny it. AQ is their ally. As in Vietnam, they wanted communism to win there too. Watch how quickly the meme of US viewed negatively around the world changes to criticism of the new Franco-German support for America. Perhaps now the French will apply the necessary pressure on Syria & Iran to help us in Iraq. 2008 is going to be the most devastating electoral loss for the Democratic Party, one that you will approve of.

Fen said...

Cyrus: Does anyone here consider it possible that Tenet was wrong about the date but correct about the details of the conversation?

Now that I think about it, thats a valid point. Maybe Tenet didn't mix up the dates, he mixed up the people. His enounter was with Hillary Clinton, not Richard Perle.

Really, at what point do you deem a witness not credible?

Roger said...

My suspicion is it was nothing more than a foolish anecdote designed to support his version of events; had he described it like he did in the Russert interview it wouldn't have had the literary pizazz. And there is a larger point that inheres in Cyrus' question re being wrong and lying....In Tenent's case, it provides the critics with ammunition to be used against him.

An Edjamikated Redneck said...

Tenet chose teh date of September 12 for his story because if this conversation DID take place, something Perle denies, on anopther date, like September 20, it doesn't have as damaging effect.

To say we ar egoing to Iraq, prior to any evidence of who actually caused the attack, shows Bush was aiming for Iraq regardless,

To have the same conversation after we are sure Al queda flew the planes, and after we have proof Saddam was at least in contact with al queda, just shows a reaction to new data.

An Edjamikated Redneck said...

Wrong about the date, but correct about the details?

Didn't they just convict Scooter Libby of the same thing?

Doyle said...

No "they" (a jury of his peers) convicted Libby of lying to federal investigators.

AlphaLiberal said...

Salon has an investigative piece up today showing how Tenet is profiting from the Iraq occupation and other war spending.

Of all the things to criticize Tenet on, getting hysterical about a wrong date from four years ago should be low on the list.

I prefer "if you disagreed with all this, why didn't you resign or speak out when it would have mattered?"

He owes it to the hundreds of thousands dead asa result of Bush's Folly in Iraq.

AlphaLiberal said...

Reading through this thread I'm struck by the penchant for the trivial over the relevant.

Richard Perle advocated for war with Iraq as a responise to 9/11. He may want to distance himself from the conseqeunces of this war, but reality isa stuboorn thing and his words will haunt him.

Wasn't he getting indicted anyway?

An Edjamikated Redneck said...

AL:

The date is not a trivial thing. If the subject conversation was on 9/12, then its context is completly different, especially to the argumnet being made by Tenet.

The fact that Perle was out of the country on 9/12 was eaesily established. Did Tenet's editors fail to fact check, or did they realize that placing a different date (especially after the 20th) on this alleged conversation makes it meaningless, as far as the anti-Iraqi war sentiment goes?

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

Fen wrote:

Really, at what point do you deem a witness not credible?


I don't consider either Perle or Tenet credible. However, I suspect that, aside from getting the date of the conversation wrong, Perle likely did make a remark to Tenet similar to what Tenet claims.

Here's what Perle said, on the record, during the week or so after 9/11:

Even if we cannot prove to the standard that we enjoy in our own civil society they are involved, we do know, for example, that Saddam Hussein has ties to Osama bin Laden. That can be documented. (9/16)

According to Robert Novak:
Over the telephone on Sept. 17, Perle told this column that there were few good targets in Afghanistan but many in Iraq. Perle, a former assistant secretary of defense, was then chairman of the Pentagon’s Defense Policy Board.

In a letter to President Bush: [E]ven if evidence does not link Iraq directly to the attack, any strategy aiming at the eradication of terrorism and its sponsors must include a determined effort to remove Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq. (9/20)

Roger said...

I dont see where anyone got hysterical about a "wrong date;" I think the people who noted it were suggesting that sort of anecdote which although perhaps "false but accurate" casts some doubt on the rest of Tenet's narrative. I hardly see that as hysterical.

And I wholeheartedly agree that Tenent should have done the honorable thing; and that George Bush should have fired him the day after 9/11; and that the President should probably have shoved the medal of freedom up rather than hung it around.

What George Tenet has done in my opinion is write a very self serving book. I don't think there is a anyone who has followed the course of the Iraq war who doesnt understand that Iraq was a central element of the so called "neo-con" strategy.

Lonesome Payne said...

I hate to say it but Dodd’s comments seem like a coherent non-response to Zawahiri: as in, go to hell, we’re not in the “trap” you think we’re in. And on the same level, it works (arguably) as a message to the sects that their chaos will not keep us there forever.

I also don’t think it’s news that al Qaida thinks they have a stake in the situation.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

Fen,

Sorry, I missed this Perle quote from 9/11 in the WaPo:

This could not have been done without help of one or more governments... Someone taught these suicide bombers how to fly large airplanes. I don't think that can be done without the assistance of large governments.

Speaking of interesting quotes from Perle, there's this:

Mohammed Atta met Saddam Hussein in Baghdad prior to September 11. We have proof of that, and we are sure he wasn't just there for a holiday. The meeting is one of the motives of an American attack on Iraq.

How credible do you find Perle, Fen?

Roger said...

I'm confused.

Are some contending Tenet's quote is taken to mean Perle and that White House had concluded that the Iraqi regime had carried out the 9/11 attack? Or was it that the Iraqi regime, as a sponsor of terrorism bore some more generic responsibility as a supporter of terrorism.

I think Perle's quite lengthy public record since 1998 suggests the latter interpretation is more correct. Richard Perle has been on record since at least 1998 with the PNAC work arguing for regime change in Iraq one reason for which was that Iraq harbored terrorists, particularly Abu Nidal and that fact that Saddam was making solatium payments to families of Palistinian bombers.

Perle's vision had more to do, if I am reading his pre-9/11 quotes correctly with securing Israel by removing the threat of terrorist generally and one way to do that was to over throw the regime in Iraq. For a while Perle had argued that we should provide some aid to the Israeli's and let them do it.

Given Perle's apparent mindset, I dont have any problem believing Iraq might "bear responsibility," but it was more generic as a state supporter of terrorism generally and not AQ in particular.

One thing of interest in Perle's statement to 60 minutes: the CIA did not apparently know(or at least had not made the determination) that AQ was perpetrator of 9/11, and that determination was made by the administration prior to its being made by the CIA. And I don't think there is any doubt that AQ were the perpetrators.

We have it Tenet's own words on MTP that they had not yet concluded AQ was responsible for 9/11. That suggests to me the CIA was even more clueless than both friends and enemies of the CIA believed.

That series of statements, coupled with Tenet's "fake but accurate" anecdote about Perle's 9/12 "statements" AND the self serving intent of the book to "clear his record," suggests to me Tenet has considerable less credibility than does Perle. I have to go with Perle on this one as being more credible than Tenent (moreover, Perle, at least to me, has far less to lose).

And if you have followed Perle's subsequent post-neo-con career, he has suggested that the war in Iraq was badly botched and has split with the neo-cons on that issue.

AlphaLiberal said...

The point is that the invasion of Iraq was a pre-existing agenda laid over our 9/11 catastrophe.

It actually took the heat off of al qaeda, and has not made our nation safer. It's made us less safe.

dbp said...

Hi Ann

A useful thought experiment comes to mind when thinking about the value of Senator Dodd’s response/non-response.

What could he have said which would show that he is able to think on his feet? If I further stipulate that the Senator (for political reasons) cannot stray from the (get out of Iraq) reservation, then I am at a complete loss as to what he could have said, which would be responsive AND not make him look like an ass.

To my view, the most straight-forward answer is the following:

AQ is determined to fight us. As long as we are in Iraq, they will find it necessary to fight us there. Iraq is a better place for us to fight AQ than either Afghanistan or the USA Ayman al Zawahiri is just engaging in a bit of bravado: I think AQ would love to declare victory and go home or at least fight us on more favorable terrain.

I also think that if Sen. Dodd said anything like the above, his chances for the nomination would be about the same as that other Sen. from Connecticut. --Were he to run, that is.

dbp

ps for some commentators: The whole "why should we care what Zawahiri says?" We should care because he is our enemy. Anything he says gives us information which could be of value in defeating him.

reader_iam said...

The point is that the invasion of Iraq was a pre-existing agenda laid over our 9/11 catastrophe.

I wouldn't word it exactly that way (and, specifically, take issue with "the invasion of Iraq" per se; " the toppling of Saddam Hussein and his regime" is more like it, in my view), but still, there is a great deal of truth to this.

Roger said...

AL: I certainly agree that regime change in Iraq has a pedigree going back to the Clinton Administration; and it was one of the pillars of the "neo-con" strategy. no argument there from me.

I am less in agreement with last paragraph, but we will have to agree to disagree on those points. I can tell you why I disagree if you are interested, thats your call.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

AlphaLiberal wrote:

The point is that the invasion of Iraq was a pre-existing agenda laid over our 9/11 catastrophe.


I think this pretty well summarizes what we know from Bush administration insiders (Clarke, O'Neill, etc...). Tenet's and Perle's statements, (crediblity issues aside) are also consistent with this conclusion.

As far as Perle admitting that the war in Iraq has been botched, that is hardly a minority opinion these days. The trick is to make sure you admit early that it has been botched so that you can't possibly be blamed for any aspect of the failure. Given that Perle was one of the leading figures pushing for an occupation of Iraq for the purpose of nation-building, it's hard not to see this as Perle covering his ass. Considering the circumstances, Perle's got an enormous ass to cover too.

Luckyoldson said...

Ann Althouse said...
"I expect him to show a capacity to respond to new information rather that just trot out his stock response. He might have impressed me if he'd shown such a capacity."

And exactly WHAT "new" information are you referring to?

Luckyoldson said...

Freeman:

It's a Civil War...period.

Al Queda wasn't even in Iraq until we showed up.

Luckyoldson said...

Cyrus Pinkerton,
Ann is a stone cold Republican, regardless of her constant spin.

Whining about Dodd, for not responding to this maniac, who says absolutely nothing we haven't heard before, is laughable at best.

Bush, over the course of 7 years hasn't responded effectively to anybody about anything...especially the American people.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

dbp,

After listening to al-Zawahiri's tape, please share with us what "information which could be of value in defeating him" you have obtained.

Roger said...

I can't speak for dhp, Cyrus, but any communication from one's enemies has intelligence value beyond the words on the tape or video. We have no idea what information might be had from technical analsis.

hdhouse said...

sloan...

that last posts of yours are just total monumental bullshit. where do you dig up that crap?

"Iraq is one of the nobelist adventures the United States has ever embarked upon."
and this:

"In some ways Bush's argument mirrors that of Ancient Republican Rome - who found that the only way to defend themselves was to go on offense, which led to the Roman Empire."

Honest to God Sloane that is by far...many many measuring sticks far....the stupidiest thing you've ever posted, and perhaps the most naive drivel ever posted on this blog.

way to go brownie. what do you do for a living by the way?

Luckyoldson said...

Roger said...

"I'm confused. Are some contending Tenet's quote is taken to mean Perle and that White House had concluded that the Iraqi regime had carried out the 9/11 attack? Or was it that the Iraqi regime, as a sponsor of terrorism bore some more generic responsibility as a supporter of terrorism."

They saw the 9/11 attack as the perfect excuse to invade Iraq. Why would they want to do something so flat out dumb?

Well...oil comes to mind.

*And has everybody noticed how a barrel of oil was at about $30 when G.W. came into office and now ranges between $60-70??

The American public, through taxes and higher energy prices, will be paying for this idiocy for decades...and for what??

WHAT has Bush accomplished?

NADA.

dbp said...

Cyrus Pinkerton said...
dbp,

After listening to al-Zawahiri's tape, please share with us what "information which could be of value in defeating him" you have obtained.

3:48 PM

I make no claim to being an intel. expert, one who is might get more out of it than I do, but a couple of things jump out:

1. If even our enemies aren't claiming there is a civil war, then that casts doubt on the meme that the situation is hopeless, as it may be if there were a civil war going on.

2. There is reverse phychology and reverse-reverse phycology etc. (please see "The Princess Bride" poisoning scene). My take is the simple reverse level of sophistication--they want us to leave so they tell us that they want us to stay.

3. What he doesn't say tells too. He doesn't say that AQ is there to liberate Iraq from Yankee imperialism and will go home one we do. One can infer from this that AQ will continue to fight us wherever they can--if we leave Iraq, they will move to Afghanistan etc. Of course AQ has been at war with us for many years prior to 9/11, so it is not as if this is the only evidence.

It might be smart for AQ to take the above tack as it would play well into the hands of those pushing for a speedy withdrawal. I am sure the left will have no trouble using quotes from AQ--when they are of use to them.

dbp

Luckyoldson said...

Fen:
Do you ever actually READ anything...or say anything that isn't more than a silly attack on Democrats or Hillary?

Why not take a few minutes to list all of the wonderful things your Republicans have done for our country over the past 7 years??

*And please...no more of the same ol', same ol' "we haven't been attacked on American soil" bullshit. We weren't attacked for almost 8 years BEFORE Bush took office.

Roger said...

I know there are those who subscribe to the oil theory for the invasion; as to the price of oil, inasmuch as oil is a global commodity and demand by both the Chinese and Indians has increased dramatically in the past five years, I would submit that the laws of supply and demand are working properly.

The AQ guys in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia have apparently figured that out too which is probably why they sought to strike saudi oil fields, thereby reducing saudi production and driving up the price of oil even higher.

I dont think that even the President's hardest opponents give him much credit for being able to influence the price of a global commodity that he doesnt control.

Sloanasaurus said...

*And please...no more of the same ol', same ol' "we haven't been attacked on American soil" bullshit. We weren't attacked for almost 8 years BEFORE Bush took office.

What... Al Qaeda didn't much exist as an organization prior to 1998. It was after 1998 that they trained the 10,000 terrorists in Afghanistan. In Sept, 2001 they had 10,000 trained terrorists in cells operating in 50+ countries. They were at the height of their power right after 9-11. They said they would attack us in America and and again and again. The conventional wisdom was taht we would be attacked again and again... yet it has been 5 1/2 years and no attacks... why?

Sloanasaurus said...

Honest to God Sloane that is by far...many many measuring sticks far....the stupidiest thing you've ever posted, and perhaps the most naive drivel ever posted on this blog.

What an honor to be put down and refuted by the great Hdhouse. I have learned my lesson!

Fen said...

Lucky: Al Queda wasn't even in Iraq until we showed up.

Actually, thats a lie.

Fen: Do you ever actually READ anything

I read enough to know better than make ignorant assertions that AQ wasn't even in Iraq until we showed up

...or say anything that isn't more than a silly attack on Democrats or Hillary?

It was an attack on Tenet, and Cyrus's line of reasoning. What do you take issue with? Do you dispute the fact that Perle was in France during Tenet's imaginary conversation? Do you have any rebuttal other than ad hom?

Luckyoldson said...

Sloan,
I agree with Hdhouse...you're an idiot.

First of all, Osama was our buddy for years...remember? WE basically established him as a leader in the Mideast...remember? Without US...there very well may be no be no Al Queda.

As for why we haven't been attacked HERE...well...maybe that's because they've got 140,000 targets right there in Iraq...ya think?

A better question is this: If you're so gung ho about this invasion and aftermath...why aren't YOU serving in the military right now...in Iraq?

Fen said...

AlphaLiberal: Richard Perle advocated for war with Iraq as a responise to 9/11

Again, not in the way you imply. You mean to as "Perle used 9-11 as excuse to invade Iraq [or] Perle blamed Iraq for 9-11."

But the fact is, 9-11 convinced Perle that rogue nation states like Iraq who support terror orgs and are developing WMDs must be taken out.

It would have been irresponsible to ignore that threat, and its dishonorbale of you to pretend Perle was not acting in good faith.

Sloanasaurus said...

As for why we haven't been attacked HERE...well...maybe that's because they've got 140,000 targets right there in Iraq...ya think?

Yeah, in fact that is exactly what I think. So we agree then.

Fen said...

A better question is this: If you're so gung ho about this invasion and aftermath...why aren't YOU serving in the military right now...in Iraq?

I have served. US Marine Corps. Since you've invoked the chickenhawk argument, I'll reverse it - if you haven't served in the military, you have no right to criticize the war, so kindly STFU.

Your rules, not mine. Hypocrite.

Fen said...

Lucky: you're an idiot...
[Stalin] was our buddy for years...remember? WE basically established him as a leader in the [USSR]...remember? Without US...there very well may be no be no [Cold War]


Really Lucky, perhaps you guys should go back to simply asserting how much more intelligent you are. This isn't working for you.

Luckyoldson said...

Fen said...
Lucky: Al Queda wasn't even in Iraq until we showed up.

"Actually, thats a lie."

If you can provide any evidence of cooperation between Saddam and Al Queda...please do so. Here's one of many articles relating to the subject...and I have to assume you trust the September 11 Commission Report:

By Walter Pincus and Dana Milbank
Washington Post Staff Writers
Thursday, June 17, 2004; Page A01

The Sept. 11 commission reported yesterday that it has found no "collaborative relationship" between Iraq and al Qaeda, challenging one of the Bush administration's main justifications for the war in Iraq.

Along with the contention that Saddam Hussein was stockpiling weapons of mass destruction, President Bush, Vice President Cheney and other top administration officials have often asserted that there were extensive ties between Hussein's government and Osama bin Laden's terrorist network; earlier this year, Cheney said evidence of a link was "overwhelming."

But the report of the commission's staff, based on its access to all relevant classified information, said that there had been contacts between Iraq and al Qaeda but no cooperation. In yesterday's hearing of the panel, formally known as the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, a senior FBI official and a senior CIA analyst concurred with the finding. Please provide the evidence that Al Queda was operating anywhere in Iraq BEFORE we invaded.

Trying to connect the fact that someone who belongs to an organization was "in" Iraq at some point certainly doesn't reflect a partnership or viable arrangement between Saddam and Al Queda. (Saddam didn't need, want or tolerate partners...that's the way dictators operate.)

You're merely regurgitating the same old Cheney bullshit we've been listening to for 7 years...right up until last week.

Luckyoldson said...

Fen,
You're no more than the standard right wing asshole...accusing anyone who doesn't agree of being un-American or worse...spouting the same, well-worn lies of the worst President and most corrupt administration in our nation's history...and time will prove my case in spades.

Oh, and keep in mind, YOU and your ilk represent a resounding 28% of America; people that are so stupid they still actually believes these people.

Try reading something that isn't put out by the Weekly Standard or spewed forth by Rush, Sean, Ann Bill or Michael.

"Fiasco" would be a good start...

Luckyoldson said...

Fen:
"I have served. US Marine Corps. Since you've invoked the chickenhawk argument, I'll reverse it - if you haven't served in the military, you have no right to criticize the war, so kindly STFU."

Blathering on and on about how wonderful things are going in Iraq or that we'll eventually "win" or that you support the President's failed policies...opens the door to my inquiry.

If you're going to talk the talk...you should also be willing to walk the walk.

*And since you have experience...why not re-enlist?

Luckyoldson said...

Fen,
Hey...we're all waiting for your Saddam - Al Queda connection.

Bring it on.

Luckyoldson said...

Lucky said: "As for why we haven't been attacked HERE...well...maybe that's because they've got 140,000 targets right there in Iraq...ya think?"

Sloan says: "Yeah, in fact that is exactly what I think. So we agree then."

So, you're actually saying you think our American military should stay in Iraq...because they serve as easy "targets" for the insurgents, Civil War and Al Queda...taking the heat off of Americans here?

You ARE an idiot.

Anthony said...

I know there are those who subscribe to the oil theory for the invasion; as to the price of oil. . .

Actually, the antiwar crowd was arguing it was for cheap oil. Until oil prices went up. Now they say it was for expensive oil.

Far too nuanced for me, I guess.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

roger,

In context, we're not talking about the intelligence value of al-Zawahiri's tape per se; we are talking about the content of his message (i.e., on what Dodd was asked to comment).

I doubt even Ann expected Dodd to complete an instant analysis of the tape for intelligence value.

AlphaLiberal said...

Actually, it's awlays been the control of the oil.

And, I'd like some winger who says the point of the ongoing occupation is to tie al qaeda down in Iraq to clarify, then, why this is a good use of $2 TRILLION dollars and rising or why al qaeda is able, then, to be active in Saudi Arabia. (See attempted attack on oil facilities.)

But the big puzzle is why you guys take what al qaedeans say at face value. I mean, you'd have to be a real sucker to believe that...

Fen said...

Luckyoldson: Fen we're all waiting for your Saddam - Al Queda connection. Bring it on.

Heh. Here's a sample again. Of course, I expect you to bravely run away like all the Lefties here, merely b/c you won't accept Wap[o, NYTs, or ABC links through Powerline.

Remember, you complained I never read anything - now its your turn to read [starting here at 4:09]:

http://althouse.blogspot.com/2007/04/crow-was-insistent-poking-rove-in-chest.html#comments

/here's a summary of it:

1998 request by Iraq to Al Queda to have UBL moved to Iraq for his protection.... Iraqi embassies around the world caught making frequent calls to Al Queda affiliate/branch groups...Iraqi list of IIS agents who are described as "collaborators." On page 14, the report states that among the collaborators is "the Saudi Osama bin Laden."...request from bin Laden that Iraq begin joint operations against foreign forces in Saudi Arabia... Iraqi document itself states that "cooperation between the two organizations should be allowed to develop freely through discussion and agreement... former director of operations for Iraqi intelligence Directorate 4 met with Mr. bin Laden on Feb. 19, 1995... Tenet reported, "We have solid reporting of senior level contacts between Iraq and al-Qaeda going back a decade." He added that Iraq and al Qaeda "have discussed safe haven and reciprocal non-aggression."... Tenet went on to warn, "We have credible reporting that al-Qaeda leaders sought contacts in Iraq who could help them acquire WMD capabilities... The reporting also stated that Iraq has provided training to al-Qaeda members in the areas of poisons and gases and making conventional bombs."...Iraqi intelligence agents met with [Usama] bin Laden, the head of Al Qaeda in Sudan."... Saddam gave safe haven to Al Qaeda associate Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.... Saddam and bin Laden reached an understanding that al-Qaida would no longer support activities against Baghdad... bin Laden met with a senior Iraqi intelligence official in Khartoum and later met the director of the Iraqi intelligence service... Saddam sent his agents to Afghanistan sometime in the mid-1990s to provide training to al-Qaida members on document forgery... bin Laden and his top deputy in Afghanistan, deceased al-Qaida leader Muhammad Atif, did not believe that al-Qaida labs in Afghanistan were capable enough to manufacture these chemical or biological agents. They needed to go somewhere else. They had to look outside of Afghanistan for help. Where did they go? Where did they look? They went to Iraq... Iraq offering chemical or biological weapons training for two al-Qaida associates beginning in December 2000... Abdallah al-Iraqi had been sent to Iraq several times between 1997 and 2000 for help in acquiring poisons and gasses... LtCol in the Saddam Fedayeen, Ahmed Hikmat Shakir, attended the key planning meeting of the Sept. 11 plotters... Saddam dispatched one of his top intelligence operatives, Faruq Hijazi, to Afghanistan to meet with bin Laden... intelligence tying Saddam's VX nerve gas program to a suspected al Qaeda front company in Sudan.

MORE

"Speaking of Ansar al Islam, the al Qaeda-linked terrorist group that operated in northern Iraq, the former high-ranking military intelligence officer says: "There is no question about the fact that AI had reach into Baghdad. There was an intelligence connection between that group and the regime, a financial connection between that group and the regime, and there was an equipment connection. It may have been the case that the IIS [Iraqi Intelligence Service] support for AI was meant to operate against the [anti-Saddam] Kurds. But there is no question IIS was supporting AI."

http://www.floppingaces.net/saddam-documents/

MORE

"Al-Shamari also told me that the links between Saddam's regime and the al Qaeda network went beyond Ansar al Islam. He explained in considerable detail thatSaddam actually ordered Abu Wael to organize foreign fighters from outside Iraq to join Ansar. Al-Shamari estimated that some 150 foreign fighters were imported from al Qaeda clusters in Jordan, Turkey, Syria, Yemen, Egypt, and Lebanon to fight with Ansar al Islam's Kurdish fighters.

Al-Shamari said that importing foreign fighters to train in Iraq was part of his job in the Mukhabarat. The fighters trained in Salman Pak, a facility located some 20 miles southeast of Baghdad. He said that he had personal knowledge of 500 fighters that came through Salman Pak dating back to the late 1990s; they trained in "urban combat, explosives, and car bombs." This account agrees with a White House Background Paper on Iraq dated September 12, 2002, which cited the "highly secret terrorist training facility in Iraq known as Salman Pak, where both Iraqis and non-Iraqi Arabs receive training on hijacking planes and trains, planting explosives in cities, sabotage, and assassinations."

Abu Wael also sent money to the aforementioned al Qaeda affiliates, and to other groups that "worked against the United States." Abu Wael dispensed most of the funds himself, al-Shamari said, but there was also some cooperation with Abu Musab al Zarqawi"

http://www.weeklystandard.com/Utilities/printer_preview.asp?idArticle=3768&R=9D1F1E72A

MORE

Tenet: "During the mid-1990s, Sudanese Islamic Front Leader Hasan al-Turabi reportedly served as a conduit for Bin Ladin between Iraq and Iran. Turabi in this period was trying to become the centerpiece of the Sunni extremist world. He was hosting conferences and facilitating the travel of North Africans to Hezbollah training camps in the Bekaa Valley, in Lebanon. There was concern that common interests may have existed in this period between Iraq, Bin Ladin, and the Sudanese, particularly with regard to the production of chemical weapons. The reports we evaluated told us of high-level Iraqi intelligence service contacts with Bin Ladin himself, though we never knew the outcome of these contacts. [Emphasis added]

http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/013/596texms.asp?pg=2

[yawn]

Luckyoldson said...

Anthony,
It was WOLFIE who first indicated the administration was sure the OIL would finance the war and provide cheap energy for years to come.

If you really think these people weren't more interested in OIL...than spreading DEMOCRACY...you're delusional.

The "anti-war" crowd as you call them (70% of America at last count) never bought into the cheap oil OR spread of democracy bullshit...and now we're ALL suffering the consequences.

Worst President, worst Vice-President, worst administration...EVER.

Fen said...

why this is a good use of $2 TRILLION dollars and rising, or why al qaeda is able, then, to be active in Saudi Arabia.

We could have left Iraq years ago, let it devolve into another failed state for terrorists or despots to operate from. The investment is to reform Iraq into a vibrant prosperous democracy, who's light will cascade into the surrounding ME [House of Saud included], the same way West Germany, by example, set the stage for the fall of the Warsaw Pact and Soviet Union.

You may disagree with the policy [it is a huge risk] but there is no other long-range plan for defeating terrorism on the table.

Luckyoldson said...

Fen,
So...YOU believe these bloggers and right wing publications...over the 9/11 Commission?

You're as dumb as Bush.

Give it up, asshole.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

dbp wrote:

1. If even our enemies aren't claiming there is a civil war, then that casts doubt on the meme that the situation is hopeless, as it may be if there were a civil war going on.


You've got to be kidding! You've concluded, based on the al-Zawahiri tape, that there is no civil war in Iraq? Were you a big fan of Baghdad Bob reports too?

dbp, this is from a Pentagon report (obviously not as credible as al-Zawahiri, but what the hell):

"some elements of the situation... are properly descriptive of a 'civil war,' complete with the hardening of sectarian identities, population displacements, and armed groups engaged in a self-sustaining cycle of politically motivated violence".

2. There is reverse phychology and reverse-reverse phycology etc. (please see "The Princess Bride" poisoning scene). My take is the simple reverse level of sophistication--they want us to leave so they tell us that they want us to stay.

As you admit, your interpretation is entirely subjective, tailored to suit your bias. Your spin here has no value whatsoever.

3. What he doesn't say tells too. He doesn't say that AQ is there to liberate Iraq from Yankee imperialism and will go home one we do. One can infer from this that AQ will continue to fight us wherever they can--if we leave Iraq, they will move to Afghanistan etc.

I already assumed al Qaeda would continue to fight whenever and wherever it suited them. I sure didn't need a tape from al-Zawahiri to conclude that. Is this really news to you?

dbp, thank you for answering, but your answer supports my point. The al-Zawahiri tape may have some value to the intelligence community, but there is no obvious value in the message itself. I don't doubt that politicians may be tempted to use aspects of the message for political purposes. But in that regard, Dodd rightly dismissed the message as propaganda (i.e., not new information).

Fen said...

If you really think these people weren't more interested in OIL...than spreading DEMOCRACY...you're delusional.

Yah, but your ilk were parroting the same lies about the liberation of Kuwait. You were wrong then and your wrong now.

Fen said...

Luckyoldson: So...YOU believe these bloggers and right wing publications...over the 9/11 Commission? You're as dumb as Bush. Give it up, asshole.

The 9-11 Commission did not say there was no evidence, they said they can find no evidence. There is a difference. Even back then, members of the 9-11 commission were complaining that US intel was not complete and wanted agencies to revisit the issue.

Funny how you ignore paragraphs from CIA when it clashes with your mythology. And the ad homs? If you insist on surrendering the field, at least give us the courtesy of some creativity.

Roger said...

AL: so you and Lucky are in its the all about oil camp. Thats OK, and the point has some very basic validity. The entire world does well with adequate supplies of relatively cheap energy and it is clearly in the entire world's interest to maintain access to that commodity.

First, I am not a "winger" who says the point of being in Iraq is to tie down AQ--thats kind of silly, IMO, since AQ is a world wide, diffuse organization that consists of very decentralized cells throughout the world. Thus, it is entirely consistent to think that the AQ in KSA could try to mount an attack as well as have some AQ affiliates in Iraq.

I dont think anyone, except the most fervent winger would claim that ALL of AQ is in Iraq; Moreover, the idea that AQ is sophisticated enough to understand that they could do grievous harm to oil prices world wide by cutting off saudi oil productions suggests to me they may be fanatics, but they are smart fantatics. And, they were thwarted, which suggests that the saudis were lucky or effective or both.

I dont believe a thing AQ says except that they plan to do harm to us; I do look at their capabilities. I dont think anyone is really suggesting that AQ is ALL in Iraq ALL the time. George Tenent and I agree on one thing: I honestly don't know why some extremist hasnt strapped on some C4, rat poison soaked nails and ball bearings, and walked into a US mall and detonated himself or herself.

Glad they havent, but thats the nature of terrorism--its a tactic that really can't be stopped entirely

Fen said...

Lucky: YOU believe these bloggers and right wing publications...

Wapo, NYTs, ABC, CIA, 9-11 Commission, Senate Intelligence Cmte. Right-wing conspirators all.

Please assert your greater intelligence again. I've lost the faith.

Luckyoldson said...

Fen says: "You may disagree with the policy [it is a huge risk] but there is no other long-range plan for defeating terrorism on the table."

You continue to miss the POINT...WE SHOULD NOT HAVE GONE INTO IRAQ IN THE FIRST PLACE.

With what we've seen over the past 4 years, with 3,377 dead and 25,000 wounded Americans (not counting the 10 or more today)...untold 1,000's of dead and innocent Iraqis...the trillions in money spent...why is it so difficult for YOU to comprehend that this has been a complete cluster-f**k from day one.

There is NO "long-range" plan regarding terrorism. Instead of hunting down and killing the actual terrorists from 9/11, we instead invaded Iraq, a country that had NOTHING to do with 9/11..and now we ourselves have created much of the chaos we see right now...and Bush has absolutely NO clue as to what to do about it. (Actually he hasn't a clue about damn near anything.)

You REALLY need to stop listening to Rush and Sean and start reading more.

*Oh, and since you're such a strong advocate of this WAR ON TERROR...when will you be re-enlisting?

Sloanasaurus said...

So, you're actually saying you think our American military should stay in Iraq...because they serve as easy "targets" for the insurgents, Civil War and Al Queda...taking the heat off of Americans here?

Yes I do. Except I would disagree that our military is an "easy target." The easier target would be kids at a school or shoppers at a mall here in America.

It seems like common sense.

Luckyoldson said...

Fen,
I personally put my faith in the 9/11 Commission's findings.

Articles you've gleaned from wherever do not a "report" make...and all would have to be vetted before accepting them as factual...right?

Do YOU believe these articles over the 9/11 Commission??

Duh.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

Fen wrote:

Tenet: "During the mid-1990s, Sudanese Islamic Front Leader Hasan al-Turabi reportedly served as a conduit for Bin Ladin between Iraq and Iran...


Whoa! Fen is using Tenet as a source?

Fen, I thought you determined that Tenet was not credible. It doesn't seem very long ago that you were trying to make that point. Hmmm... When was it that you were posting again and again in an attempt to trash Tenet's credibility? Oh wait a second, it was just a few hours ago! What a coincidence! What did you say just a few hours ago?

Whereas Tenet can't even get basic facts straight.

Well, sure, but that doesn't mean you can't use him as a source when you have a point to make.

Luckyoldson said...

Sloan,
Read more...talk less.

Luckyoldson said...

Roger,
I've never said it was "all about oil."

If you think it had little if anything to do with it, that it was to spread democracy...then why aren't we invading North Korea? China? Syria? Pakistan?

Oil was a BIG part of the plan...it just hasn't worked out for us. (Except of course, for $3.00 gas...heading for $4.00)

Luckyoldson said...

cyrus,
Fen and the rest of them will say literally ANYTHING to shore up support for their faulty reasoning.

These are people who still believe we'll "win" in Iraq.

Of course, if you ask them what "win" means or what constitutes a "win" or how long we have to stay to get the "win"...they disappear into the woodwork.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

Fen wrote:

The 9-11 Commission did not say there was no evidence, they said they can find no evidence. There is a difference. Even back then, members of the 9-11 commission were complaining that US intel was not complete and wanted agencies to revisit the issue.


But Fen, I don't see how this applies to the examples you provide of connections between Iraq and al-Qaeda. All of your information I've checked so far was known by the 9-11 commission. (Admittedly, I've only checked a small fraction of the examples that you cite.) For example, see the statement of Judith S. Yaphe.

It seems to me that you're just cherry-picking the information you like and ignoring the information you don't like in order to reach a different conclusion than the 9-11 commission reached.

Roger said...

Lucky: if I said it was all about oil, I certainly didnt mean to. What I thought I said was that for some people it was all about oil. Reality is always a bit more complex and so I suspect we went to war for a variety of reasons, one of which was to democratize the mid east as a way to prevent terrorism. Clearly securing world wide access to oil is another reason.

Why dont we democratize other dictatorial regimes? Certainly there is an element of realpolitik. We clearly should not try to democratize regimes who have nukes--thats silly. So adjust your strategy to the regime in question: pragmatism goes along way in that regard.

As to the price of oil, I would submit that our involvement in Iraq has NOT been the major driver of price increases; the fact the some nearly 3 billion Indian and Chinese folks are starting to drive cars and industrialize using petrochemicals as a basis for their energy has much more to do with. Second, US refining capacity is full and there are no more refineries which keeps supply low and increases price. And if you think 4 dollars is high? Just wait, it will get higher.

But markets being what they are, at some point, the cost of extracting oil from oil shale and sands which north america has in abundance will stabilize the price. So any AQ strategy to drive up the price of oil will ultimately be counter productive AND the mid east will lose its current competitive advantage.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

Roger,

You might be interested in reading "Strategic Energy Policy Challenges for the 21st Century." It's a report from the James Baker Institute of Public Policy, completed in mid-2001, as I recall. Iraq figures prominently in the analysis.

Luckyoldson said...

Fen wrote: "The 9-11 Commission did not say there was no evidence, they said they can find no evidence. There is a difference. Even back then, members of the 9-11 commission were complaining that US intel was not complete and wanted agencies to revisit the issue."

You know, like in a civil or criminal trial: When they can FIND NO EVIDENCE...there's a "difference" and they still find for the prosecution or convict.

Right.

This is commonly referred to as being DELUSIONAL.

Luckyoldson said...

Roger:
When you say: "the fact the some nearly 3 billion Indian and Chinese folks are starting to drive cars and industrialize using petrochemicals as a basis for their energy has much more to do with..."

You really believe, over the course of 5 short years...this has increased the price of a barrel of oil by over 100%??

I disagree.

Luckyoldson said...

Here's something for Fen and the rest of the wingnuts to defend:

While families work harder, their wages continue to decline. Middle-class families are working harder and earning less today than they were at the start of the Bush Administration.

Earnings for workers with college degrees declining.

Worst job creation record since Hoover Administration.

Unemployment has increased 7.1 percent and long-term joblessness has nearly doubled.

Bush's deficit-financed tax cuts have widened the income gap between millionaires and middle-class workers.

More American families and children face severe financial problems.

Roger said...

Thats fine, Lucky--disagree away; but please describe to me in economic detail why the price of gas at the pump has gone up--I gave you an hypothesis having to do with world wide demand. Tell me your alternate hypothesis.

Luckyoldson said...

Roger:
The refineries are controlling the flow of "gasoline."
The cost of a barrel is important, but it's what happens thereafter.

Do you really believe exxon could make over 9 billion in "profits" during just the last quarter while at the same time, their cost of product has doubled?

In California there are refineries that have been shut down for years, all of which could be producing "gasoline."

Luckyoldson said...

Roger,
By the way, did you know that if we had the same mileage standards for new cars as they do in Europe...we'd not have to import a drop of oil from OPEC?

The Exalted said...

AlphaLiberal said...
Reading through this thread I'm struck by the penchant for the trivial over the relevant.


welcome to the wacky world of the right

The Exalted said...

Luckyoldson said...
Sloan,
I agree with Hdhouse...you're an idiot.

First of all, Osama was our buddy for years...remember? WE basically established him as a leader in the Mideast...remember? Without US...there very well may be no be no Al Queda.


eh, this is completely and utterly wrong. the USA had no role in the establishment of OBL and his al-qaeda network. try reading "ghost wars" for some actual knowledge on the subject

The Exalted said...

AlphaLiberal said...
Actually, it's awlays been the control of the oil.

And, I'd like some winger who says the point of the ongoing occupation is to tie al qaeda down in Iraq to clarify, then, why this is a good use of $2 TRILLION dollars and rising or why al qaeda is able, then, to be active in Saudi Arabia. (See attempted attack on oil facilities.)


actually, this is the argument that i always think will convince the wingers, as, in my mind at least, the right would be populated by sensible, pragmatic business types and not raving, fact-adverse ideologues. though i'm not sure where you got $2 trillion from, the more accurate number is probably at $500 billion.

what do we have to show for $500 billion? was taking out a toothless saddam worth $500 billion? what about when i throw in a near failed state controlled by an increasingly emboldened iran in saddam's place? does that bring us closer to $500 billion?

Sloanasaurus said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Luckyoldson said...

exalted,
we most certainly teamed up with osama, versus the russians. when we crossed him (at least as far as he's cocerned, bases in saudi arabia, etc.) he began to expand his organization.

AlphaLiberal said...

Roger said...

AL: so you and Lucky are in its the all about oil camp.


No. I didn't said that. Oil is a huge reason why these oilmen wanted to invade Iraq. It's not the only reason, clearly.

Moreover, the idea that AQ is sophisticated enough to understand that they could do grievous harm to oil prices world wide by cutting off saudi oil productions suggests to me they may be fanatics, but they are smart fantatics.
Well put! This is the type of real security we need to concern ourselves with. People who remember the 70s know this can be wrenching change. Stoking the violence in the Middle East has always struck me as putting out fire with gasoline.

I dont believe a thing AQ says except that they plan to do harm to us; I do look at their capabilities.
Yup. Quoting the enemy to score political points in the debate at home is rather bizarre.

Roger said...

AL: please note it is possible to agree on some issues without name calling or making aspersions about one's intelligence or reasoning capacity.

Luckoldsun: I am enclosing a link from an NPR report about whats behind high oil prices: I think you may understand that NPR is certainly no friend of the Bush administration. You may find it interesting. And if you decide to read it, please dont debate it with me; debate it with NPR although I subscribe to their findings.

The Exalted said...

Luckyoldson said...
exalted,
we most certainly teamed up with osama, versus the russians. when we crossed him (at least as far as he's cocerned, bases in saudi arabia, etc.) he began to expand his organization.


we financed the pakistanis, they in turn helped finance the jihadists in afghanistan, so, from that perspective, perhaps you can argue we helped create OBL because we didn't oversee who received that money.

but he mainly drew his support from the Saudis anyway.

our direct support by and large went to the non jihadist anti-soviet fighters.

we did not directly support OBL, at all, at any time.

we were in bed with many afghan rebel commanders and groups, but OBL was not one of them.

the idea that the USA was in bed with OBL (like we were, say, with Saddam) is a common misconception.

Fen said...

Fen, I thought you determined that Tenet was not credible. It doesn't seem very long ago that you were trying to make that point. Hmmm... When was it that you were posting again and again in an attempt to trash Tenet's credibility?

Thats not an honest characterization. I said Tenet was lying about his encounter with Perle. I did not say he was not credibile on all things. Besides, if we accept your premise that Tenet has zero credibility, that means any summary based on his testimony at the 9-11 commission is invalid. Sure you want to go there?

I don't see how this applies to the examples you provide of connections between Iraq and al-Qaeda. All of your information I've checked so far was known by the 9-11 commission.

That seems contradictory. If the 9-11 commission knew of these facts, why did they not address them in their report or in cmte? Or at least refute or contest them? Along the same lines - why was Gorelick shielded from the cmte? why was Able Danger not included? The 9-11 commission report is useful, but hardly comprehensive. Relying on it soley [as others here do] is a mistake.

It seems to me that you're just cherry-picking the information you like and ignoring the information you don't like in order to reach a different conclusion than the 9-11 commission reached.

Again, thats a dishonest argument. I was asked to provide exmaples of links between Saddam and Al Queda. If you don't like the framework of the question, take it up with Lucky.

I also find it interesting that no one here on the Left is willing to refute or contest the evidence of Saddam-AQ links. They attack the source, they attack the messenger, but they can't touch the evidence.

Fen said...

Lucky: Oh, and since you're such a strong advocate of this WAR ON TERROR...when will you be re-enlisting?

12 years was not enough for you eh? Funny, but if everyone who supports the war enlsited to fight it, no one would be left to contest the lies and propaganda spread by weasels like you. No wonder you want us all "over there".

But no, I left the Marines so I could marry and raise a family. Very difficult to do when you're deployed 9 months out of each year. I'm not re-enlisting again.

And even if I was single, I would not. I believe America has become infested with selfish weasels like you who do not deserve to be defended. We need a good culling first, to rid us of parasites.

And I'd like to thank all the Lefties who came to my defense after all the vitrol from the likes of you and Alpha. You guys are a class act.

Fen said...

Clinton Justice Department [indictment of OBL]: "Al-Qaeda reached an understanding with the government of Iraq that al Qaeda would not work against that government and that on particular projects, specifically including weapons development, al Qaeda would work cooperatively with the government of Iraq."

Undersecretary of State Thomas Pickering [Clinton]: "We see evidence that we think is quite clear on contacts between Sudan and Iraq. In fact, al Shifa officials, early in the company's history, we believe were in with Iraqi individuals associated with Iraq's VX program."

U.N. Ambassador Bill Richardson: ".."direct evidence of ties between Osama bin Laden and Sudan's Military Industrial Corporation.... You combine that with Sudan support for terrorism, their connections with Iraq on VX, and you combine that, also, with the chemical precursor issue, and Sudan's leadership support for Osama bin Laden, and you've got a pretty clear-cut case."

Sandy Berger: "[we] had physical evidence indicating that al Shifa was the site of chemical weapons activity... Other products were made at al Shifa... But we have seen such dual-use plants before -- in Iraq. And, indeed, we have information that Iraq has assisted chemical weapons activity in Sudan."

Washington Post: Richard Clarke "sure" Iraq was behind the VX precursor being manufactured at the al Shifa plant.

Washington Post: "[Richard] Clarke said U.S. intelligence does not know how much of the substance was produced at al Shifa or what happened to it. But he said that intelligence exists linking bin Laden to al Shifa's current and past operators, the Iraqi nerve gas experts, and the National Islamic Front in Sudan."

Clinton Defense Secretary, William Cohen, at 9-11 commission: "confirmed the associated between Iraq and Sudan in testimony before the 9/11 commission" Hayes writes.

New York Times: [translation of Iraqi doc states] "cooperation between the two organizations should be allowed to develop freely through discussion and agreement." [Doc has been] "authenticated by the U.S. government [Clinton administration]"

"Taken together with other evidence of the close relationship between al-Qaeda and the Sudanese government, the information in the Times article makes it less likely that Iraq and al Qaeda were unwitting allies," Hayes writes.

George Bush: "reckless acts of outlaw nations and an unholy axis of terrorists, drug traffickers and organized international criminals... predators of the twenty-first century...will be all the more lethal if we allow them to build arsenals of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons and missiles to deliver them. We simply cannot allow that to happen. There is no more clear example of this threat than Saddam Hussein's Iraq."

/edit last, that was Bill Clinton, not George Bush...

Fen said...

LuckyOldSon: Lalalala I'm not listening I'm not listening I can't hear you

AlphaLiberal: [fingers jammed in ears]

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

Fen wrote:

Thats not an honest characterization. I said Tenet was lying about his encounter with Perle. I did not say he was not credibile on all things. Besides, if we accept your premise that Tenet has zero credibility, that means any summary based on his testimony at the 9-11 commission is invalid. Sure you want to go there?


Fen, Fen, Fen...This is what you said about Tenet:

Tenet can't even get basic facts straight.

And soon after making that comment, you used Tenet as a source. Don't blame me for that; I didn't make you do it.

Also, I never said Tenet has zero credibility. That's never been my premise. How did you manage to get that wrong too?

Fen wrote:If the 9-11 commission knew of these facts, why did they not address them in their report or in cmte?

Take it up with the 9-11 commission. They considered much of the evidence that you listed (I didn't check all of it) and apparently didn't find it persuasive in reaching their conclusion.

Fen wrote:

Again, thats a dishonest argument. I was asked to provide exmaples of links between Saddam and Al Queda.


I didn't question what you were asked to provide, Fen. What I questioned was how you process the totality of information available to you. Here's what I wrote (emphasis added):

"It seems to me that you're just cherry-picking the information you like and ignoring the information you don't like in order to reach a different conclusion than the 9-11 commission reached."

Fen wrote:

And I'd like to thank all the Lefties who came to my defense after all the vitrol ... You guys are a class act.


Honestly Fen, I didn't think you needed me to come to your defense; you always seem to give as good as you take. However, I guess I've misjudged that, so I apologize sincerely.

Also, on behalf of all of us selfish weasels, let me thank you for your national service in defending us.

Fen said...

Bush: "Axis of Evil" [jeers from the Left]

Clinton: "Unholy Axis" [...chirp... chirp]