May 24, 2015

Bob Woodward: Bush did not lie about WMD in Iraq.

Today, on Fox News Sunday, Chris Wallace asked Bob Woodward about the questions the GOP candidates have been getting about Iraq: Was the 2003 invasion a mistake? Woodward answered:
[Y]ou certainly can make a persuasive argument it was a mistake. But there is a time that line going along that Bush and the other people lied about this. I spent 18 months looking at how Bush decided to invade Iraq. And lots of mistakes, but it was Bush telling George Tenet, the CIA director, don't let anyone stretch the case on WMD. And he was the one who was skeptical. And if you try to summarize why we went into Iraq, it was momentum. The war plan kept getting better and easier, and finally at the end, people were saying, hey, look, it will only take a week or two. And early on it looked like it was going to take a year or 18 months. And so Bush pulled the trigger. A mistake certainly can be argued, and there is an abundance of evidence. But there was no lying in this that I could find.
Woodward was also asked if it was a mistake to withdraw in 2011. Wallace points out that Obama has said that he tried to negotiate a status of forces agreement but did not succeed, but "A lot of people think he really didn't want to keep any troops there." Woodward agrees that Obama didn't want to keep troops there and elaborates:

Look, Obama does not like war. But as you look back on this, the argument from the military was, let's keep 10,000, 15,000 troops there as an insurance policy. And we all know insurance policies make sense. We have 30,000 troops or more in South Korea still 65 years or so after the war. When you are a superpower, you have to buy these insurance policies. And he didn't in this case. I don't think you can say everything is because of that decision, but clearly a factor.
We had some woeful laughs about the insurance policies metaphor. Everyone knows they make sense, but it's still hard to get people to buy them. They want to think things might just work out, so why pay for the insurance? It's the old "young invincibles" problem that underlies Obamcare.

Chris Wallace also asked Woodward how he felt about knowing that Osama bin Laden had — amongst the books on his bookshelf — Woodward's "Obama's War." Woodward said:
You know, First Amendment even applied to him. 
That is, bin Laden, like anybody else is free (as far as America is concerned) to read the books he wants. And:
I think he didn't read it because if he had, he could have realized he was in danger because Obama really believes in those special operations strikes which killed him.

128 comments:

mr said...

Man, I look forward to hashing this out again.

YoungHegelian said...

The "Bush Lied about WMDs" meme has always struck me as a conspiracy theory that found a home among polite company. It always presumed that, somehow, the CIA snookered the world's other intelligence agencies into buying its analysis of the WMD situation in Iraq. If there's one thing that the world's other intelligence agencies are probably constantly on their guard for, it's being snookered by the CIA's deliberate intent or honest mistake.

All of the world's intelligence agencies had about the same estimation of Iraq's WMD capabilities as did the CIA, including the Russians & the French, who did not support invasion as a means of rectifying the problem.

The "Bush lied" meme is just a shorthand justification for those on the Left & others in the world horrified at what they saw as a massive exercise of American military power in an aggressive "war of choice". Whether Iraq II was that or not is a complex question, and complex questions make for bad rallying cries, so the anti-Iraq II crowd substituted "Bush Lied, People Died". But, like so many memes & analogies, if you use them too often, you forget that they're just shorthand & actually start to think they represent reality.

Bay Area Guy said...

Saddam was a bad, secular dictator in the Middle East; in the same mold as the leaders of Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Libya & Syria.

The problem is that Radical Islam, lurking in the shadows, are much worse than these secular despots. Hosni Mubarak would be like Thomas Jefferson compared to these people. Yes, Saddam was a threat, however, it appears that such threat was exaggerated (understandable in the wake of 9/11) and it appears that the Dem left in the US was more desirable of scoring political points at home, than in stabilizing a post-Sadaam Iraq.

Regardless, whomever was yapping about the "Arab Spring" should be ignored. That won't happen until and unless we wage war against Radical Islam, and it does not appear that the West wants to do this.

Ambrose said...

The "Bush lied" line is an attempt by liberals to rewrite history in order to absolve themselves of all responsibility. The war may have been a mistake, but if it was, it was a bipartisan mistake -from Clinton holdover George Tenant to Congressional Democrats. This is not the first time history has been rewritten to whitewash the role of Democrats.

CWJ said...

Woodward's answers were measured and reasonable. Neither side will be completely satisfied with them.

I'm not 100% on board, but it's refreshing to hear some basically spin-free opinion.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

Bay Area Guy,

If you think the leadership of Saudi Arabia is "secularist," we live in different universes. Yeesh.

Michael K said...

"The "Bush lied" meme is just a shorthand justification for those on the Left & others in the world horrified at what they saw as a massive exercise of American military power in an aggressive "war of choice".

In poker, that is referred to as a "tell." Sort of like Dogbert not being any good at poker because he wags his tail when he has a good hand.

You can spot a lefty half way across the world by that phrase.

eric said...

Of course it was a bad idea to pull the troops out in 2011.

The options are, Obama is a terrible negotiator and has no influence on the world stage, or, he wanted to leave.

And we all know he wanted to leave.

Zeb Quinn said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
richard mcenroe said...

"Succeed," Ann,not "exceed."

Michael said...

Wrong wrong wrong. BLPDBFOH. BushLiedPeopleDiedBloodForOilHalliBurton

Michael K said...

"But that's what they did, confident the media wouldn't care."

Why not ? They had successfully blamed Nixon for Vietnam.

Democrats have not, in my opinion, been a responsible political party since Kennedy. Johnson was all about small political maneuvers. Read "Dereliction of Duty" if you doubt that. Carter was naive but actually had begun to recognize how irresponsible his party was in Congress by the end.

Clinton was saved by the GOP Congress in 1994 from his own impulses to rule from the left. One reason the impeachment was a bad idea is that it forced him back to the left to rally Democrats around him.

Obama is what we would have had if Bill Ayres had been elected president. Ayres is at least honest.

walter said...

But "Bush Lied, People Died" sold lots of bumper stickers...

I'm not trying to diminish the losses over the years..but regarding faulty "intelligence", there were some vocal dems at the time convinced thousands of troops would be lost in a matter of days.

And this was in part about actual consequences for repeated deflection of UN resolutions.
By the way, with the various conflicts going on these days, you'd think the UN didn't exist. But I know they do since I know someone who was recently pulling down serious $$ working for them while being provided a swanky Manhattan apartment...

St. George said...

"Look, Obama does not like war."

There's one of the sillier comments I've ever heard.

War likes Obama.

n.n said...

Bush concluded a dysfunctional ceasefire that trapped Americans and Iraquis in a perpetual state of conflict. That Hussein's removal and trial brought together extremists, fanatics, and terrorists would have been a benefit, if American forces had not been prematurely evacuated. The Iraquis were trained, but not experienced, and loosely cooperative. Other considerations were and are secondary.

That said, Bush was also right about the causes of the financial crisis. The excesses of the financial industry, both private and public, especially the mortgage sector, posed a clear and present danger to economic stability. The effort to prevent regulation or oversight, ironically lead by vociferous Democrat leaders, was the immediate cause of the progressive misalignment that culminated with the financial crisis. I wonder how long they can redistribute the consequences of trillion dollar deficits and nearly twenty trillion dollars in debt this time.

Terry said...

The reason so many Dems voted for the authorization of use of force in 2002 is because they had had the rep of being weak on national security. Only ten of 56 Dem senators voted for the 1991 authorization of use of force against Iraq. Damn! And that was a good, short war! One of the reasons Bill Clinton chose Gore for his running mate in 1992 was that Gore was one of the few Dem senators to vote for the 1991 Iraq War.
By 2004 it was clear that the 2003 Iraq War wasn't going well. It was also an election year. So the Dems who voted for the 2002 authorization of use of force turned against the war. There were votes to be had, and since the late 60s the Dems had considered enemy #1 to be American conservatives.
My theory explains why Obama put Dem senators like Biden, Clinton, and Kerry into high positions. In 2002 they made the politically correct decision to support the Iraq War, and in 2004 they made the politically correct decision to renounce the war.
The alternative is to believe that dumb ol' Bush fooled Clinton, Kerry, and Biden, and Obama was foolish enough to make these morons secretaries of state and VP.

David Begley said...

A little late in the day to stop the "Bush lied" meme.

Ann Althouse said...

""Succeed," Ann,not "exceed.""

Thanks. That was autocorrect, weirdly.

furious_a said...

Knowing what.you know now, would you have authorized The Surge with the foreknowledge that your successor in office would subsequently piss away all The Surge achieved?

William said...

Everyone was wrong on Iraq, although they were wrong at different points of the compass. And everyone will continue to be wrong. The prisoner's dilemma and other variants of game theory are dependent upon your adversary acting in his rational self interest. The players in the Middle East consider suicide and mass murder as winning tactics. It's hard to vanquish an enemy who considers refugee camps, sex slaves, and mass murders as not the by product but the glorious result of war.

cubanbob said...

It appears that Woodward is becoming a bit remorseful for his role in the coup against Nixon and the spill over effects that arose from that.

Hagar said...

We need to get off this Iraq/ISIS meme.

Whatever, but Obama has created a new world, and the next president and his team will have to start over with a fresh analysis of where we are and where they want to get us to.

Michael K said...

"there were some vocal dems at the time that were hoping thousands of troops would be lost in a matter of days.

FIFY

AReasonableMan said...

I have an open-mind on this issue. I can believe that Bush was too stupid to judiciously weight the information that was being presented to him by our inherently deceptive security apparatus.

Personally, I always found Hans Blix a lot more credible, he had actually been there. Of our security apparatus did what you would expect.

"Blix's statements about the Iraq WMD program came to contradict the claims of the George W. Bush administration, and attracted a great deal of criticism from supporters of the invasion of Iraq. In an interview on BBC 1 on 8 February 2004, Blix accused the US and British governments of dramatizing the threat of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, in order to strengthen the case for the 2003 war against the government of Saddam Hussein. Ultimately, no stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction were ever found."

"Senior U.S. officials ordered the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to investigate Blix to gather "sufficient ammunition to undermine" him so that the U.S. could start the invasion of Iraq. The U.S. officials were upset that the CIA did not uncover such information."

Sebastian said...

"so why pay for the insurance?"

Prog mandates only apply at home.

US gov lording it over Americans = good. US lording it over bad guys abroad = bad.

"you forget that they're just shorthand & actually start to think they represent reality"

Maybe a few honest Progs forgot. The rest assumed meme validity from the start.

"It's hard to vanquish an enemy who considers refugee camps, sex slaves, and mass murders as not the by product but the glorious result of war."

No harder than defeating organized nation-states with equally murderous intent. We're able; we're just not willing.

bgates said...

Washington journalists are sometimes willing to expose the lies of the Democrat party, but only years after it would make any difference.

Hagar said...

And the president wannabees had better start thinking about it now.
As the saying goes, it is hard to remember your original idea was to drain the swamp when you are up to your ass in alligators - not to mention Burmese pythons and other such critters Obama has invited into the swamp.
The next president needs to have his ducks in a row the day he takes office. Flailing around on a daily ad hoc basis is going to be disastersville.

lemondog said...

Bill Clinton 1998 on the Iraq Liberation Act - Admits Iraq had Weapons of Mass Destruction

re: Bush lying or not, as some other guy said: The Buck Stops Here

Paul said...

Of course Saddam had WMDs. He also had plenty of time to remove while we dilly dallied with the UN.

http://www.nysun.com/foreign/iraqs-wmd-secreted-in-syria-sada-says/26514/

Diogenes of Sinope said...

After all Obama campaigned, complained and carped about Bush and why the USA should not have gone into Iraq, why did Obama help overthrow the governments in Egypt, Libya, Syria, et al.

Paul said...

Besides there were twenty two reasons stated for which to mount the invasion as I recall. Regardless, Obama's abandoning Iraq to ISIS was an infinitely more catastrophic blunder than the invasion, if it was in fact a blunder at all. But done in the same treasonous spirit as the abandonment of South Vietnam by the Democrats in the seventies which resulted in the deaths of millions in SE Asia.

JPS said...

AReasonableMan:

"Personally, I always found Hans Blix a lot more credible, he had actually been there."

So had Charles Duelfer. What's your take on his credibility?

cubanbob said...

Since 1945 you can always count on the democrats to snatch defeat out of the jaws of victory. memo to republican presidents: avoid wars whenever possible, especially those can't be fought, won and successfully terminated with troops returning home by the end of your term lest the democrats screw it up.

YoungHegelian said...

@ARM,

Ultimately, no stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction were ever found."

I've bolded the weasel word on your statement so it's easier to see. As even the NYT's now admits, chemical weapons were found, and in some quantity such that we took casualties processing them out, as was the 500 metric tons of yellowcake that we knew before the war was there.

How big is a "stockpile"? I don't know, how many grains of wheat does it take to make a heap?

AReasonableMan said...

JPS said...
So had Charles Duelfer. What's your take on his credibility?


After the fact, when it no longer mattered. His committee seemed to get it right regarding the absence of any WMDs that could constitute a meaningful military threat, given the pressure he was under. He made statements regarding Saddam Hussein's intentions that were clearly unknowable.

chickelit said...

Why was Saddam Hussein the only Arab leader who cheered 9/11?

Alex said...

Why is Hans Blix or any UN official credible? What gives them credibility other than their anti-USA stance for liberals?

Terry said...

"Senior U.S. officials ordered the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to investigate Blix to gather "sufficient ammunition to undermine" him so that the U.S. could start the invasion of Iraq.[citation needed]"

The entire quote from wikipedia ARM cut-n-pasted, but did not source. Note the "citation needed."
"AReasonableMan" is called that for the same reason large men are sometimes called "tiny."

Birkel said...

I prefer to start with the fact WMD were actually found in Iraq and work backward from there.

If you wake up with snow on the ground outside your window, you can imagine your next door neighbor rented a machine in the hopes of fooling you with a great prank, or you can imagine it is cold and snow fell from clouds. Occam's Razor suggests an answer.

AReasonableMan said...

Terry said...
The entire quote from wikipedia ARM cut-n-pasted, but did not source


This is a ridiculous complaint. I put it in quotes, and Google is just a click away.

We now need citations on blog posts? Good luck getting credible citations for the shit you believe. And, Jonah Goldberg does not count as an even vaguely credible source.

AReasonableMan said...

Alex said...
Why is Hans Blix or any UN official credible?


Because he was right. Doesn't being right buy you any credibility around here?

Terry said...

The 2004 BBC interview with Blix, which the wikipedia says "Blix accused the US and British governments of dramatizing the threat of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, in order to strengthen the case for the 2003 war against the government of Saddam Hussein" was about a year too late to be helpful. In his final report to the UNSC, Blix, w/o the benefit of hindsight, was more circumspect in describing the possibility of WMD stockpiles & ongoing development in Sadam's Iraq: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2003/feb/14/iraq.unitednations1

Terry said...

"This is a ridiculous complaint. I put it in quotes, and Google is just a click away."
My complaint is not that the source was hard to find, but you did not identify it as the opinion of an anonymous wikipedia editor, and you left out the "citation needed" note from wikipedia.
Wikipedia is terrible. The cited sources for wikipedia articles are sometimes valuable, but I wouldn't trust wikipedia to get a recipe for chocolate cookies right.

Terry said...

"Good luck getting credible citations for the shit you believe."
Many liberals, like ARM, have a hard time distinguishing between established fact and personal opinion.

Michael K said...

"It appears that Woodward is becoming a bit remorseful for his role in the coup against Nixon and the spill over effects that arose from that."

He should be. He was a stenographer for Mark Felt who got his revenge on Nixon for passing over him for FBI Director and, just incidentally, wrecked the country with damage that still is not repaired completely.

My thoughts on this here.

Michael K said...

"Ultimately, no stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction were ever found."

If that had been the reason for the invasion, I might agree with you.

AReasonableMan said...

Terry said...
Many liberals, like ARM, have a hard time distinguishing between established fact and personal opinion.


That is a little rich coming in a thread all about the delusional existence of WMDs.

AReasonableMan said...

Terry said...
circumspect


There is an enormous gap between 'circumspect' and agressively advocating spending a trillion dollars to attack a country that had no connection to 911.

Terry said...

"That is a little rich coming in a thread all about the delusional existence of WMDs."
I guess that it is too much to ask you to actually read what Blix said about Iraqi WMD to UN. Again, like many liberals, any source that you agree with instantly becomes an unquestionable authority on the topic.

Edmund said...

Strategy Page has had many articles and podcasts about the Obama decision to not renew the SoF agreement. The "opposition" by the Iraqi government was mostly for domestic consumption. If Obama had held firm, they would have agreed to a 10-15k American garrison. The rank and file in the Iraqi army and some of the officers wanted us to stay, as the American advisers made sure that the payroll money was distributed to the troops, not their commanders. The Americans did significant training of the locals, which has now ended.

Our pullout made sure that the army would become, for the most part, a paper tiger.

walter said...

Any better attribution of that wikipedia quote?:

Senior U.S. officials ordered the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to investigate Blix to gather "sufficient ammunition to undermine" him so that the U.S. could start the invasion of Iraq.[citation needed]

PBandJ_LeDouanier said...

Snow and Clark both say that they, first hand, heard Bush push excuses for a war with Iraq/Saddam after 9/11.

What does Bob say about that?

walter said...

And yes, if you are quoting something..even in a blog post..a source is helpful.

grackle said...

Saddam was a bad, secular dictator in the Middle East; in the same mold as the leaders of Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Libya & Syria.

I see at least one significant difference between Saddam and the others listed: Saddam is the only one who invaded a US ally(Kuwait).

I can believe that Bush was too stupid to judiciously weight the information that was being presented to him by our inherently deceptive security apparatus.

Intelligence is always guesswork. Looks like the other leaders in the West(France, Great Britain, etc.) were all "too stupid" as well, since their intelligence matched the US intelligence that Bush and the Democrats(including Hillary Clinton) who voted for the war were seeing. But were they wrong, really? I'm not so sure, considering these events:

After the war the CIA found a lot of chemical weapons.

https://tinyurl.com/lk8m6fq

There were US soldiers who may have become sick after stumbling across some of these hidden stockpiles.

https://tinyurl.com/mwwsgpv

What's the chance that all the stockpiles were located?

There's also this:

… WikiLeaks’ newly-released Iraq war documents reveal that for years afterward, U.S. troops continued to find chemical weapons labs, encounter insurgent specialists in toxins and uncover weapons of mass destruction.

https://tinyurl.com/krb2gqx

And this:

UK experts to help Iraq destroy chemical residues

http://tinyurl.com/c6v8r7m

And finally, this:

The CIA has in its hands the critical parts of a key piece of Iraqi nuclear technology -- parts needed to develop a bomb program -- that were dug up in a back yard in Baghdad …

https://tinyurl.com/ieff

Who knows where other nuclear parts may be? Buried in Baghdad? In the Iraq desert somewhere? Transported to Syria? We only found the example cited above because the guy who buried it led us to it.

But of course, readers, there were many good reasons to topple Saddam other than the WMD threat. Refresh your memories and read all about them at the URL below:

https://tinyurl.com/mtfobct

Michael K said...

"There is an enormous gap between 'circumspect' and agressively advocating spending a trillion dollars to attack a country that had no connection to 911."

ARM, I assume this statement is for consumption by your leftist friends. Surely you know more about why the invasion was the result of factors in addition to 9/11.

Maybe this will help. I doubt it because you seem wedded to leftist opinion but you did say you were open minded.

grackle said...

Oops – forgot to mention this:

The removal of 550 metric tons of "yellowcake" — the seed material for higher-grade nuclear enrichment — was a significant step toward closing the books on Saddam's nuclear legacy.

https://tinyurl.com/maljmd3

Aussie Pundit said...

Mike Moore's documentaries, as error laden as they are, are the source of this and many other inaccurate left wing memes.

The Godfather said...

If you ask me (why would you?) the question about, If you knew then what we know now, would you have voted in favor of the attack on Iraq, I would offer the following:

It is a general principle of statecraft that a nation should never voluntarily enter into a war that it will lose; see Germany (WW I, WW II), Italy (WW II), France v. Russia (c. 1812), France v. Germany (1870), etc.

Ergo: The US shouldn't have gone to war against Saddam's Iraq.

Problem is, you have to make the decision about going to war without knowing how it will turn out. For example, Bush didn't know that within around a year the "loyal opposition" would be devoting every possible energy to undermining the US policy that they had approved. Bush didn't know that when, despite all the domestic opposition, he had actually led the US to victory in Iraq, a Democrat president would intentionally undermine that success by withdrawing all US troops.

So here's the question that the press ought to be asking every potential presidential candidate: Knowing what you know now -- up to and including the fall of Ramadi -- would you have withdrawn US military forces from Iraq? Extra credit: Would you have called ISIS the "JV"?

Terry said...

The story about the CIA going after Blix is usually attributed to an unnamed April 15, 2002 WaPo "story". I've seen the same quote or paraphrase on numerous hard-left and antiwar sites, but no one links to the actual story, or gives it context. The most complete paraphrase of the unseen WaPo article was written by a "jason leopold." in 2003. The story has an unnamed source reprting tht Wolfowitz wanted Blix off the inspection team because, as an IAE official had not discovered Iraq's nuclear program:

"When the U.N. said privately in January 2002 that Blix would lead an inspections team into Iraq, Wolfowitz contacted the CIA to produce a report on why Blix, as chief of the International Atomic Energy Agency during the 1980s and 1990s, failed to detect Iraqi nuclear activity.

But, according to the Washington Post’s April 15, 2002 story, the CIA report said Blix “had conducted inspections of Iraq's declared nuclear power plants fully within the parameters he could operate as chief of the Vienna-based agency between 1981 and 1997.

”Wolfowitz, according to the Post, quoting a former State Department official familiar with the report, “hit the ceiling" because it failed to provide sufficient ammunition to undermine Blix and, by association, the new U.N. weapons inspection program.”

“The request for a CIA investigation underscored the degree of concern by Wolfowitz and his civilian colleagues in the Pentagon that new inspections -- or protracted negotiations over them -- could torpedo their plans for military action to remove Hussein from power,” the Post reported."

http://globalresearch.ca/articles/LEO306E.html

Leopold does not tell his readers that the source that is paraphrased is unnamed. It also does not tell you if the CIA complied. Without the original source it's hard to say anything conclusive about the validity of the accusation.

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

PBandJ,

"What does Bob say about that?"

I don't know. I presume he wasn't asked? Sounds like a job for you.

In the meantime while you're waiting for his reply, you might focus on what was actually asked and said.

As far as Clark's testimony is concerned, if he's the same fellow I think you mean, he struck me as more wedded to the limelight and self promotion than to a dispassionate retelling of events.

Ambrose said...

The premise of the question "Knowing what we know now, should the US have invaded Iraq" is that hindsight is 20-20. It is not. What would have happened if the US had not invaded? - we have no idea. Would there be no ISIS? I don't know - Assad was left in place in Syria and that had no effect. Would Saddam still be in power today or would he have died or been removed some other way - succeeded by Uday, some Iranian puppet or someone else much worse?

Terry said...

Found it! Doing the work ARM is unwilling to do.
The preview. The entire article is $3.95.


Skirmish on Iraq Inspections; Wolfowitz Had CIA Probe U.N. Diplomat in Charge
[FINAL Edition]
The Washington Post - Washington, D.C.
Subjects: Inspections; Biological & chemical weapons; Investigations
Author: Walter Pincus and Colum Lynch
Date: Apr 15, 2002
Start Page: A.01
Section: A SECTION
An administration official said [Paul D. Wolfowitz] "did not angrily respond" when he read the report because he ultimately concluded that the CIA had given only a "lukewarm assessment." The official said the CIA played down U.S. criticism of [Hans Blix] in 1997 for closing the energy agency's books on Iraq after an earlier U.N. inspection program discovered Baghdad had an ongoing weapons development program.

Blix's inspection organization -- the U.N. Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission -- has inherited the mandate from the U.N. Special Commission on Iraq, or UNSCOM. UNSCOM was established after the 1991 Persian Gulf War to eradicate all of Iraq's proscribed weapons before U.N. sanctions against Baghdad could be lifted. It was disbanded eight years later after the inspectors were withdrawn.

Blix said he is obliged to honor a 1998 agreement between [Kofi Annan] and Iraq. It envisions a series of time-consuming procedures that would likely delay U.N. arms inspectors for about a week before they could gain access to more than 1,000 buildings contained in eight presidential sites. The procedures require that the inspectors provide Iraq with prior notification of an inspection, fly in a team of inspectors and senior diplomats and then hold a meeting with the foreign ministry.

MathMom said...

I know Bush didn't lie, because I lived in Saudi Arabia when Saddam Hussein was using his chemical weapons on the Iranians and his own people at Halabja.

How this argument ever gained traction is beyond me.

Lydia said...

Terry @5:02 p.m.,

That full April 15, 2002 Wash. Post article is here, and the text re the CIA and Blix is this:

"In an unusual move, Deputy Defense Secretary Paul D. Wolfowitz earlier this year asked the CIA to investigate the performance of Swedish diplomat Hans Blix, chairman of the new United Nations team that was formed to carry out inspections of Iraq's weapons programs."

They were looking into his performance in his offical capacity. And with good reason, I'd say -- more re Blix:

"In interviews, Blix said he will not use any of the most controversial methods, including eavesdropping, that UNSCOM employed to thwart Iraqi efforts to hide its weapons. His inspectors have all received 'cultural sensitivity' courses to avoid offending people, he said, but he insisted that he will give Iraq no 'discounts.' 'We do not see as our mandate to humiliate, harass or provoke,' Blix said."

Achilles said...

AReasonableMan said...

"Ultimately, no stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction were ever found."

This is a lie. They were found and destroyed. Their is ample evidence and numerous stories about it. The Uranium was shipped to Canada.

And don't forget where Assad got the stuff he was using on the rebels. Israel got shut up when they showed the ISR feeds of the convoys heading to Syria just before the invasion.

As usual, the left has built everything on a lie.

PBandJ_LeDouanier said...

"As far as Clark's testimony is concerned, if he's the same fellow I think you mean, he struck me as more wedded to the limelight and self promotion than to a dispassionate retelling of events."

If it makes you feel any better, Richard Clark is currently criticizing BHO.

Anywho, he says Bush was pusing for a reason to go after Iraq/Saddam. But, I dunno, I wasn't there, neither was Bob.

And, I mixed up my Bush T-secs. I blame Game of Thrones for making me think of John Snow. Of course, O-niell's the guy.

PBandJ_LeDouanier said...

O'Neill.

duh

Achilles said...

AReasonableMan said...
Terry said...
Many liberals, like ARM, have a hard time distinguishing between established fact and personal opinion.

"That is a little rich coming in a thread all about the delusional existence of WMDs."

They existed. It has been proven repeatedly. You are not taking a position of good faith.

NotquiteunBuckley said...

n.n is wrong, rarely. The "immediate cause" has little to do with efforts to regulate.

The " immediate cause" has lots more to do with Democrats telling blacks "they don't wanna loan you money 'cause they fucking racist yo. We will protect you and force those racist banksters to give you a fair shot."

Then the "regulation" that was created ensured the resulting crash.

It's happening again now. The language hasn't been unlegalesed yet, but in a couple of years the stories will pour out how the EPA and the DOJ and the IRS and, oh yeah, the HUD, and the etc... all were "pressured" by noon win particular to take what's left of American's concept of "rights" and render it null.

NotquiteunBuckley said...

"no one in" and I woulda quoted the great n.n to be as specific as possible but damned IPad makes it too tough.

I can't adjust even though it is meant for 7 year old to operate.

Terry said...

Thanks, Lydia-
The article, taken as a whole, gives a much more nuanced view of Blix vs. Wolfowitz and the CIA. Reading the text of the final Blix report to the UN gives me the impression that most of the issues that concerned Wolfowitz had been resolved before the 2002-2003 inpections had begun.
The wikipedia quote implies that the request to investigate Blix came after he had completed the enhanced inspection regime, rather than nearly a year prior to the invasion.
Wikipedia is a perilous source.

Fernandinande said...

I have an mp3 of Al Gore talking about Saddam Hussein's WMDs and criticizing Bush Sr.'s not taking care of them in Gulf 1. (He's really boring).

Brando said...

I never thought Bush lied either--it just doesn't make sense that he would invade' knowing there were no WMDs, when his invasion is the one thing that would prove they weren't there. Lying simply makes no sense.

It was still a big mistake, and one that defined his presidency. Hopefully future presidents will have learned from this.

NotquiteunBuckley said...

The "excesses of the financial industry" involved manifestly believing they could pay off Feds and rape the country at their will with official encouragement by their "regulators" and "overseers."

To believe banks would make loans they don't think will be paid back isn't knowledgable of the industry, until one confirms the United States Taxpayer will make up for any defaults.

Then it is the only way, hence the consolidation.

Just saw some scenes from the Weinsteins "The Aviator."

These Democrats know killing competition through government works, they do it, and they expand their expertise everyday. This is the heart of the IRS scandal and why were harm to come to those involved the sentiments expressed publicly, I believe objectively, wouldn't be the same as 20 or 100 years ago.

PackerBronco said...

The "would you do now what was done in Iraq?" question is more appropriate for pundits and historians.

For presidential candidates, the better question is: "What have you learned from the Iraq war and its aftermath and how would you apply those lessons to the current situation?"

retired said...

At the risk of sounding paranoid...

Bringing the Iraq war back up again is an effort to shift blame for Iraq's current state from Obama to Bush.

It's Bush's Fault will be a central tenant of Clinton's campaign and the current version of the discussion forced by the media toads asking GOP candidates hypothetical quesions is battleground preparation. Just like the ongoing "War on Women" charade.

This is the Clinton's we're talking about. It will take maximum effort to drag HRC's husk across the finish line.

"It's Bush's Fault" is an ongoing lie promulgated by the left running from 2000 until who knows when.

AReasonableMan said...

Achilles said...
They existed. It has been proven repeatedly.


Let's imagine, for a microsecond, that this is true. Why didn't Bush say this repeatedly? Why is it only some fringe media that push this claim? He didn't because the claim would have been subjected to analysis and shown to be false. That there may have been a small amount of old material left over from previous decades that could, in the minds of some, be called WMD, does not make a case for war. In fact it makes it look weaker and even more ridiculous. Either Saddam had a stockpile of functional weapons or he didn't. He didn't.

NotquiteunBuckley said...

Folks I really appreciate for respectfully representing my position with regards to killing soon-to-be-babies think the problem in America is a corporation loaning money to someone without the government dictating it's all fair.

This is extremely disheartening.

I want structures in place such that extremely wealthy companies, if they commit fraud or use deception somehow extraordinarily, or commit numerous other crimes, to be prosecuted using the power of the state, the same damned power of the state that is used against me.

But to think "those darn bankers are too wild and taking advantage of the folks" makes me want to study the 2nd Amendment more.

CWJ said...

PBandJ,

"If it makes you feel any better, Richard Clark is currently criticizing BHO."

Neither better nor worse. Why would you think so? My opinion of Richard Clark is independent of the latest person he denigrates of criticizes. The constant is that there will always be someone less perceptive than himself to second guess.

NotquiteunBuckley said...

"That said, Bush was also right about the causes of the financial crisis. The excesses of the financial industry, both private and public, especially the mortgage sector, posed a clear and present danger to economic stability. The effort to prevent regulation or oversight, ironically lead by vociferous Democrat leaders, was the immediate cause of the progressive misalignment that culminated with the financial crisis. I wonder how long they can redistribute the consequences of trillion dollar deficits and nearly twenty trillion dollars in debt this time." - n.n

Perhaps it is solely because I am racist, though I decidedly don't believe that conclusion is in any way accurate, my bias against that conclusion is so strong as to render my opinion null on the matter. So grains of salt.

But I believe Democrats demanded banks prove there was no racism, which is racist, hence we all suffer, as Dr. King said so well, from the everywhere injustice.



cf said...

Madame Pelosi sat in the secret chambers that understood and approved the actions that she later described as Torture, and claimed was unconscionable.

Example 1 of 471 that it is these vicious partisan Democrats have been corrupted beyond all measure, aiming to win power party power at all costs, including the cost of a sound and thriving nation.

The Democrats have been lying ever since Al Gore was elected Vice President.

We will all suffer the consequences of their corruption.

Lydia said...

retired said: Bringing the Iraq war back up again is an effort to shift blame for Iraq's current state from Obama to Bush.

It's also central to the Democrats/MSM's need to absolve Hillary from any responsibility for voting for the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002. She was lied to, don't you know.

Interesting to read the text of that resolution, by the way -- a refresher course on all the reasons the decision was made to invade.

Michael K said...

"To believe banks would make loans they don't think will be paid back isn't knowledgable of the industry, until one confirms the United States Taxpayer will make up for any defaults."

Not sure why this is on this thread but...

The vast majority of RE loans made prior to 2005 were made by brokers who sold the loan which was then bundled with others in tranches of MBS products and sold again.

The days of banks (and S&Ls) making loans which they kept and serviced was long gone by 2003. All the loans needed was to have ONE MONTH's payment made. Then they were sold.

n.n said...

Michael K:

I brought it up in the context of lies and disclosure.

NotquiteunBuckley:

That aspect of the public and private social complex intervention was a known contributor, and certainly obfuscated what is now known to have been dangerous and even illegal practices. What is not known was the full dynamic, including initial and progressive causes, and how subsequent effects either sustained or dampened its evolution. What is known was the vociferous opposition by certain individuals and groups to regulation and oversight. This was notably Democrats (e.g. Maxine Walters), but there must have been some influential Republicans in order to block President Bush and other high placed Republicans from auditing the public, semi-public, and private institutions.

Anyway, back to the Democrat factional fight, where Woodward reveals facts and sacrifices ground in order to weaken the competition. Perhaps just a temporary alliance of convenience, but welcome nonetheless.

ken in tx said...

"Since 1945 you can always count on the democrats to snatch defeat out of the jaws of victory. memo to republican presidents: avoid wars whenever possible, especially those can't be fought, won and successfully terminated with troops returning home by the end of your term lest the democrats screw it up."

Panama and Granada are good examples of this. Although the Democrats tried to screw them up but failed.

jr565 said...

The problem with bush lied arguments is that Iraq didn't start with Bush. So then you have to back track to, if Bush lied, then Clinton and the democrats had to have lied. And if they lied, then the UN also had to have lied.

And then why would I trust either democrats or the international community to solve problems considering they are complicit in a lie for their own benefit? Further, when I know their actions why would I trust them when they turn on a dime and make up arguments about how Bush lied the whole time as if I didn't see what they were doing for 8 years and can't google it.

cf said...

oK, sorry I am drunk on a bit of wine, enjoying the day off this exceptional holiday (@jaketapper on twitter is a masterful success at reporting the weekend exactly Right.) my electronic reading of all the news, with the horror of ISIS live and in real time desolating all Civilizational virtues, has me seeing anew and I feel like riffin, so pardon me if this is longish and dancey.

I believe the question being asked is because of the reporters' inability to ask a question about the current situation.

I don't think diehard democrats, progressives, unions, pacifists, feminists, socialists, Leftists, and journOLists KNoW the f*ck what or How to think about the current flood of blood and rape.

So they go back to the old battle, the sexy "Lies."

Whoever said up thread or somewhere, our republican candidates have to see where we are Now and what to do Now, that is exactly right. But really, we have all got to catch up and review where we want to stand.

I say, Women And the woman's movement in particular, are derelict in their Duty to look squarely at the world they have helped to generate. We have let a Buncha cunts be in charge. We reap it now.

feminists today won't even elevate us from Mylie Cyrus, so I do not expect them to rise into battle with the Men that will subjugate every woman they get their hands on.

It is time for a Fight. Where is this "Time for a Woman" ? Where are the women ready to lead in America that will properly respond to the threat to the world's future that ISIS represents, a hideous enslavement for all women?! ( Where are the dikes and fish that need no bicycles? If they have some Faith, they might be our Generals now)

I admit I am seeing today, we need a Godly Fight. Governments can only do so much against ISIS. It will be out of families of Faith that something New might be Born now.

Can we fight a version of the MartinLuther King, Jr, Mahatma Gandhi elevation of battle with these savage men? Perhaps not, but I pray an army of glorious and radiant women, of a faith finer and higher than these brutal lost men, stand the ground for our civilization and bend this terrible tide.

[ Damn you, Democratic Party apparitchniks and cunts, selling out every virtue for your cheap big GovtPower. You don't even know how to run it, you cheap piece of goods.]

We have along haul ahead. Digging out of this.

[ dick Cheney, will you lend us a hand? You would be big help repairing the military, including your moderation of the gay issues. Sarah Palin, your thoughts on what do with our lawless BigCorpGovt, can you help us reform congress, and on the public unions side, fire everybody and reform our civil service? ]

et cetera. I will stop now.

Godspeed, America.

jr565 said...

Areasonable man wrote:


That is a little rich coming in a thread all about the delusional existence of WMDs.

so was Clinton delusional about WMD's when he sanctioned Iraq? When he bombed Iraq multiple times? Was Albright delusional when she said they would merely degrade sadaams stockpiles not completely destroy them?

And blix at one point said "even now" Iraq still hasn't come clean with answers as to what Iraq did with weapons we KNEW Iraq had since the last inspections.
That alone wa justification to both assume that Iraq was not in compliance and may be building more. It can't even answer what it did with weapons we KNEW Iraq had,

jr565 said...

Can't find the full quote but here's blix talking about how Iraq still hasn't complied 50 days after I spectio s started.

"Iraq appears not to have come to a genuine acceptance — not even today — of the disarmament which was demanded of it and which it needs to carry out to win the confidence of the world and to live in peace," he said. "Our Iraqi counterparts are fond of saying that there are no proscribed items, and if no evidence is presented to the contrary, they should have the benefit of the doubt, be presumed innocent."

"Presumptions do not solve the problem," Mr. Blix added. "Evidence and full transparency help."

Fen said...

AReasonableMan: I have an open-mind on this issue.

I can believe that Bush was too stupid to judiciously weight the information that was being presented to him by our inherently deceptive security apparatus


You really aren't the one to be trashing someone else's judgment.

You should also avoid calling other people "stupid".

And Bush is much smarter than you.

Lydia said...

jr565 @8:00 p.m. -- Blix made those comments in his report to the U.N. on Iraq on January 27, 2003; full text is here.

jr565 said...

So, the last action Clinton took was removing all inspections bombing Iraq and passing the Iraq Liberation act.
What action subsequent to that showed that Iraq was suddenly in compliance and/or never had WMD's.

AReasonableman keeps talking about how Bush was stupid to weigh information given to him by security apparatus. Was Clinton similarly bamboozled?
Or did Bush believe Clintons lie?

jr565 said...

Lydia, I found that page, but for some reason it doesn't work properly on my iPad. It keeps rescrolling to the top Thanks for the link though.

Steven Davis said...

What Bay Area Guy said at 1:18 PM.

Unfortunately, the formula for anything close to a semblance of modern civilization in most of the Middle East is a heavy handed and brutal dictator, nothing else seems to be very effective as of yet.

Lydia said...

jr565 -- Try this link -- it takes you straight to the UN website, and has a very simple page layout.

chickelit said...

"Team America" got Hans Brix right: link

walter said...

Sure..but Team 'Murrica couldn't see we had our secret weapon..Rodman.

james conrad said...

Obama is so far out of the loop, he doesn't even understand we are at war and have been for over 20 years.

Mistakes are routine in war, it's a series of action, reaction situations.

Whoever the next president is, it's going to be very rough going trying to repair the damage done by this administration.

iowan2 said...

Let's not loose track of the goal. This post and comments have done a complete job of documenting the lead up to the Iraq war that Bush launched, along with huge bipartisan and international agreement.

That leaves us with exactly why we are spending so much time rehashing decisions that took place more that a decade ago.

The Democrat narrative.

Hillary is neck deep in US foreign policy, which is a disaster on ALL fronts. N.Korea, Irag, Iran, Russia. All foreign hot-spots. Just like Romney laid out, and just like Obama and Hillary scoffed at the notion of. Hillary has not accomplished anything in her life, and if elected will expand Executive powers past anything sane people can imagine.

Rusty said...

That is a little rich coming in a thread all about the delusional existence of WMDs.


I think it was HJR 114 that stated that Hussein was to be prevented from aquiring WMDs and the materials to manufacture them. There was more than enough intelligence to suggest that he was doing just that.
Always assume the gun is loaded.

machine said...

ha! nice try...

grackle said...

That there may have been a small amount of old material left over from previous decades that could, in the minds of some, be called WMD, does not make a case for war. In fact it makes it look weaker and even more ridiculous. Either Saddam had a stockpile of functional weapons or he didn't.

Saddam had the materials to manufacture WMD - the chemicals, the parts for nuclear devices, plans for nuclear devices, hundreds of tons of yellowcake, but according to the comment we should have waited.

Then, of course, we could have played ring around the rosy with Saddam the way Obama's doing now with his buddies, the bloodthirsty mullahs in Iran. The outcome with Saddam would have been the same as it's going to be with Iran, another West-hating Islamic nation with the means to put an end to the USA and its allies. The others will want it too. The Saudis, Syria, Turkey, the growing caliphate of ISIS, all will have their nukes in the end.

Once enough of them catch up with Western technology our only advantage will be gone. I hate to imagine what will happen then.

AReasonableMan said...

So, by your own admission, he didn't have a stockpile of functional WMD. End of story.



Civilis said...

So, by your own admission, he didn't have a stockpile of functional WMD. End of story.

Enjoy moving those goalposts? What was Iraq required to disclose of and allow disposal as a term of the ceasefire at the end of the first Gulf War?

Also, for those stuck on "Iraq wasn't responsible for 9/11", consider that the US had already committed to the Germany-first strategy in World War II in March 1941... 9 months before Pearl Harbor. Furthermore, we started by invading sovereign French territory without even a declaration of war.

Terry said...

So, by your own admission, he didn't have a stockpile of functional WMD. End of story.

"Hi! I unreasonably call myself 'AReasonableMan.' Do you have a media narrative I could buy and swallow whole? You do? Great!"

Rusty said...

he didn't have a stockpile of functional WMD. End of story.

Which we didn't find out until the end. No. That's not accurate either. His troops did use gas shells against our troops. Some of Saddams captured officers led their captors to stockpiles of gas filled artillery shells.

Robert Cook said...

"Why is Hans Blix or any UN official credible?"

Blix was tasked with searching for the mythical WMD being manufactured and stockpiled by Hussein. He and his people searched for sevearl months and found none. They needed several more months to complete their inspections, but were told to abort their mission and leave for their own safety as the war was about to commence.

So much for trying to ascertain whether there were actually WMD before launching the "only as a last option" option.

Why is anyone in government who was in any way responsible for our illegal invasion of Iraq credible?
(Answer: they're not.)

Robert Cook said...

So many people still grasping at phantasmal "evidence," trying and failing to justify an unjustifiable war so many years after the fact. They will never see (or admit) they were wrong, we were wrong, the war was wrong, and that we helped blow open Pandora's box in the middle east...the gift box that keeps on giving.

Terry said...

"Blix was tasked with searching for the mythical WMD being manufactured and stockpiled by Hussein."

Robert Cook, you seem to be under the mistaken impression that Blix was willing to certify that Iraq was free of WMD. He was not.

"They needed several more months to complete their inspections, but were told to abort their mission and leave for their own safety as the war was about to commence."

Wrong. Blix said that absent full cooperation from the Iraqi's, he would never be able to certify that Iraq was free of WMD.

From Blix UNSC briefing of Feb. 14 2003:


If Iraq had provided the necessary cooperation in 1991, the phase of disarmament - under resolution 687 (1991) - could have been short and a decade of sanctions could have been avoided. Today, three months after the adoption of resolution 1441 (2002), the period of disarmament through inspection could still be short, if "immediate, active and unconditional cooperation" with UNMOVIC and the IAEA were to be forthcoming.


Here's the link. I doubt that you will read it, Robert Cook.
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2003/feb/14/iraq.unitednations1

Robert Cook said...

"Robert Cook, you seem to be under the mistaken impression that Blix was willing to certify that Iraq was free of WMD. He was not."

And I didn't say he was. I said that in their several months in Iraq, they had failed to find any WMD. They needed additional time--I recall it being reported they estimated at least another 4 to 6 months--to continue their inspections before they could offer any findings. However, the UN told the inspectors to abort their mission and leave Iraq for their own safety as the illegal invasion was about to commence.

If, as Bush lied, an invasion of Iraq was a "last resort," why did they decide to launch their invasion before the UN Inspectors had completed their inspections?

Because they wanted to go to war, had long planned to go to war, and were going to go to war. Everything else was pretense and propaganda.

R.C. said...

Robert Cook,

They decided to launch their invasion before the UN inspectors had completed their inspections because they had zero confidence that the UN inspectors would be allowed to inspect enough places, and with enough freedom and lack-of-prior-warning, to actually have the inspections matter. They believed the inspections had become a charade: "Let's spend another year touring the country looking only in places where, if Saddam has any WMD components, we'll be given the bureaucratic runaround and blocked from entry until he's cleared them out."

So why not allow the charade to continue indefinitely?

Because economic interests in Europe and Russia kept building pressure for removing the sanctions and inspections regime, and the longer the inspections went on without finding anything, the more ammunition that gave Saddam's apologists in European capitals to argue that the regime was pointless and should be allowed to expire. And there was some reason to believe that Blix was sympathetic to this outcome.

So why not allow the inspections and sanctions to expire?

Because then Saddam can immediately reconstitute his weapons programs without fear of oversight.

So the Administration faced the following options:

1. Believe that our intel, along with Hillary, Biden, Kerry, the Germans, the British, the Israelis, the French, et cetera, were all correct in saying that Saddam had well-hidden WMD, not deployable but easily able to be reconstituted quickly once the inspectors were gone, and was merely making fools of the inspectors in the meantime; or,

2. Believe that everybody's wrong, and Saddam has no WMD, and that he was working extra-hard to delay and impair the inspectors and rile the U.S. and risk war purely in order to hide something he didn't actually have.

Unsurprisingly, they went with first option.

...continued...

R.C. said...

...continuing...

This WMD justification became a third-order item which they added to a list-of-reasons-to-invade which was already full of first- and second- order items. Amongst these were: (a.) The cease-fire (not armistice) agreement which paused (not ended) the first Gulf War was contingent on Saddam NOT doing a bunch of things which he'd spent the last decade repeatedly doing. This constituted a violation of the cease-fire and a resumption of hostilities by Saddam; (b.) The recently-articulated Bush Doctrine made no distinction between state sponsors of terrorism and the terrorists, and while Saddam wasn't remotely involved in the 9/11 attacks, he was a nearly constant safe-sanctuary-provider, training-ground-provider, funder, supplier, and rewarder of terrorists around the Middle East. The WMD thing became item (c.) on this list.

So they invaded for reasons (a.) and (b.), with an eye to (c.) as an emerging regional threat which made (a.) and (b.) more dangerous as time passed.

There was also, of course, the fact that Saddam had actively violated UN Resolutions 660, 661, 678, 686, 687, 688, 707, 715, 986, 1284, and 1441. If this met with no consequences, the net outcome would be to demonstrate to the world the utter irrelevance of UN Resolutions. On balance, this might not really matter much, since most of the world increasingly held that the UN merely a Diplomats' Sinecure With Delusions Of Relevance. But the Administration thought it might be helpful if the UN weren't quite such a joke.

That's the answer to your "why" question.

(Now, oddly, they should have believed Option 2, that Saddam was exerting great effort to hide almost nothing. At least, not much that was still usable. The possibility Saddam was bluffing his neighbors, and maintaining his PR as the "Jefe Grande" of the Middle East, needed the ongoing frustration and blockage of the inspectors to maintain the bluff. Saddam needed to keep his neighbors fearful of his vaunted WMD, even after his regular army had been thoroughly stomped in the first Gulf War. But that was a possibility that never seems to have been seriously considered by anyone. AND, there's some question whether Saddam even knew that he was bluffing. In a dictatorship, it's pretty common practice to report to your higher-ups that things in your command/lab are better off than they actually are, so long as you think you can blame the discrepancy on someone else if the truth comes out. There may have been a lot of that in 1990's Iraq.)

Terry said...

Robert Cook wrote:
"I recall it being reported they estimated at least another 4 to 6 months"
Reported by whom?

Robert Cook said...

"They decided to launch their invasion before the UN inspectors had completed their inspections because they had zero confidence that the UN inspectors would be allowed to inspect enough places, and with enough freedom and lack-of-prior-warning, to actually have the inspections matter."

Baloney. After initial difficulties, Blix reported the Iraqis were being cooperative. If going to war was really a "last resort," as Bush had lied, they would have allowed the inspections to continue for the several more months needed. They had already planned their date of invasion and it was time to hit Iraq. That's why they didn't wait. They didn't have any real interest in the inspections or their outcome. They had agreed to the inspections only under pressure, (from Colin Powell, I believe). They had determined from the beginning of the Bush administration--before 9/11--that they were going to take down Hussein.

"...Believe that our intel, along with Hillary, Biden, Kerry, the Germans, the British, the Israelis, the French, et cetera, were all correct in saying that Saddam had well-hidden WMD...."

More baloney. We knew and everyone knew Hussein was impotent. Refer to my link from above, wherein Colin Powell and Condoleeza Rice each are quoted--independently of each other, each several months prior to 9/11--asserting that Hussein was effectively disarmed and had not reconstituted his weapons programs, and was no threat to his neighbors. (These utterances were audio and videotaped, and cannot be disappeared down the memory hole.)

Robert Cook said...

In the end, whatever their trumped "reasons" for invading Iraq--without UN Security Council approval--there was none--or without an exigent self-defense necessity--of which there was absolutely none--our invasion was illegal, a war crime.

The stupidity and evil of our invasion of Iraq was manifestly apparent before we invaded, at the time we invaded, and after we invaded, and is still so today.

Alex said...

Cook, the way you talk about it Bush/Iraq was on the same moral plane as Hitler/Danzig.

Kirk Parker said...

If only Cookie could have been forced to live under Sadaam's regime for a decade or two...

Unknown said...

Cook, stop me anytime ive lost you or if you disagree.

Cook, you are an American, right? Even if you are a redhead.

So, you've read the comic, Peanuts? Maybe even seen it on TV?

So you'll remember the meme of "Lucy and the football?"

How many times did Charlie Brown run up to kick the football and Lucy jerk it away last moment and Charlie wind up on his ass building up chiropractor and orthopedic karma?

Right, every single time. Just like Saddam Hussein messing with decades of inspection regimes. Like Iran. Like your friends the Soviets.

So a weak inspection regime with no chance of surprise, no ability to kick down doors and find the reactor techs picking their noses, the commandant in bed with the guard captain's wife, the captain of the guard sneaking out fissionables in a wheelbarrow, and Chemical Ali creating life from a marriage of smallpox and herpes, can necessarily not succeed in finding anything.

It's an elaborate version of Papa Cook asking Robert, What's that in your hand? and you saying Nothing! See? extending your right hand while keeping your left behind your back, then withdrawing your right hand behind your back and extending your now-empty left. Confronted further, you drop the stolen candy behind you, or maybe if Dad turns his head a moment you swallow it.

Dad is not that stupid, but the UN is. Or of course corrupt (I shudder to think of pedophile Scott Ritter's price) or otherwise objectively in the service of evil.

Dad also has a train to catch. So the full examination of the hands is going to be terminated now and not in five or six or seven or eight or nine or ten or forty months.

You appear to make light of schedules because I suppose you are a trust fund baby and have no need to make your way in the world, and whatever you know least, you know and care less about military affairs, logistics, planning. So explaining why you can't just sit there in the desert waiting for the Blixen of the world to extract their thumbs would be pointless.

You know nothing, but you know what you know and that is we are EEEEVUL. So if you had any guts why aren't you bombing or shooting up Washington?

jr565 said...

Bush lied people died, is only really relevant because its a rhyming slogan. People who like to use it don't really have any response to the argument about the situation in Iraq prior to Bush and wether Clinton also lied (and people died). It's a standin for an argument.
What is with the left and the rhyming phrases? do they think it makes a good argument.
"Hey LBJ, how many babies did you kill today" Well, he probably personally killed none that day, since he wasn't in combat. But of course the whole intricacy of the war can be boiled down to killing of babies. Which while horrible, and I'm sure happened on occasion was not a policy of the war.

If they want to carry on the baby killing theme they could do some great material for planned parenthood, where the baby killing is the point.

jr565 said...

Robert, we did all the inspections already. Those pusing the inspection, were trying to reset the clock at 0 as if there was no idea that Iraq had WMDs. This was after 15 resolutions under Clintion. ANd 1441 passing unanimously. Unless Iraq dotted all is and crossed all t's inspections would not be successful. And even if they were, would we have ended containment?
And if we did, wound Iraq not have new weapons programs in a month, which we'd then need to contain?
Clitnon said it best when he pushed the ILA - so long as Sadaam was in power we will not see a change to the circumstances.
Bush got regime change, and Cliton only talked about it and wagged the dog over it (if you believe he was a liar)

Tom Elmore said...

This is an astounding, astounding article. I would have called it a "report," except that it's not actually reporting anything.

UN Weapons Inspector and former US Marine Scott Ritter was on site - and told them repeatedly, "No WMDs." Then he got home and found himself on the way to jail for "computer sex" or some such - of the sort tending to make any and all dismiss his credibility.

Where ARE the "WMDs?"

I mean - c'mon, guys - trot 'em out.

Anybody remember April Glaspie -- effectively greenlighting the invasion of Kuwait in the name of the Bush 41 bunch when asked by Saddam what Washington would make of its reaquisition by Saddam? You know - setting him up for the big "Stormin' Norman Sucker Punch?"

Yeah, yeah - c'mon Bob. By all means -- tell us more.
After all -- those "phantom WMDs" cost us - what? - The Bill of Rights - FOUR TRILLION DOLLARS, thousands of lives, even more thousands of miserable, maimed-for-life veterans the government refuses to care for -- oh, and, of course, "Israel's dream," the entire, Arab Middle East in a state of complete and bloody chaos. (Think about it: What was the ONLY nation on earth that stood to benefit from this strategy. And - by the way - what was the only nation on earth that "just happened to have a Mossad camera crew set up across the river from the Twin Towers in NYC - to record the destruction it knew very well was impending?)

So - what is it, REALLY, Bob? You chairing the "elderly investigative reporter committee" of the Jeb Bush campaign?

H said...

It's probably hopeless to post a comment here, but in my opinion, the discussion should avoid, or at least define more precisely the word "lie". It could mean:

1. Iraq did not have WMD (IDNH WMD for short), the Bush administration knew that IDNH WMD, but the Bush administration denied that IDNH WMD. This is quite precisely what I would call a lie.
2. IDNH WMD, the BA did not know that IDNH WMD, but they should have known if they hadn't looked at the evidence with such a prejudiced eye that wanted to see WMD.
3. IDNH WMD, the BA did not know that IDNH WMD, but they made a prudent judgment that Iraq most likely did have WMD.
4. Or I suppose a few people would argue Iraq did have WMD, but they weren't found, or only found in small quantities and old vintages, but that this with a careful parsing of the phrase means that it's false to say that IDNH WMD, so all BA statements were correct and true, if read verbatim, even if they left a misleading impression.

My own view is close to 3. Everyone seems to forget that Saddam Hussein had been so obstructionist in abiding by the terms of cease fire of the first Gulf War. He agreed to and violated no fly zones. He agreed to and violated agreements to allow UN inspectors. Given this history in my opinion it was prudent to assume that he had something to hide.

The second thing I think a lot of people forget or ignore is that after 9/11 we were trying to figure out how to fight a war on terror. Conventional methods could not work -- the enemy did not wear uniforms or fight under a flag; we could not attack the economies or populace of the enemy country because there was no enemy country. We are still struggling with this, but one point Bush made which still makes sense to me is that we can make every effort to deny state sponsorship of terror. Terror groups with state sponsor have enormous advantages -- places to train and hide, financial and intelligence networks, and (perhaps most of all) access to WMD. Iraq was a major and well known state sponsor of terror -- and I don't accept the argument that the sponsorship was not important because it wasn't explicit support of Al Qaeda, but was rather support of other muslim terrorist groups.

joeboken said...

Bob Woodward, for whatever reason, has had a stick up his ass with the Dems. I've seen a pattern of this over the last few years. I'm not sure if it's a thing he has for the President, or whether it's something else, but I'm afraid he's lost his credibility with me. He can't be trusted to tell the truth anymore. Maybe he's just getting old and crabby, but it seems he unnecessarily loves to take sides against the Dems, and it's getting old now. Maybe he's made a deal with the devil, so to speak. He's a journalist, but he acts as if he's a statesman, and an expert on foreign policy. I don't put much into his opinions anymore. That's my opinion.

Eric said...

Please see the explanation of the law and policy, fact basis of the decision for Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Jay said...

If there were no WMD in Iraq as ARM claims (with the laughable wiki citation no less!) how can this be explained?

The extraordinary arms purchase plan, known as Operation Avarice, began in 2005 and continued into 2006, and the American military deemed it a nonproliferation success. It led to the United States’ acquiring and destroying at least 400 Borak rockets, one of the internationally condemned chemical weapons that Saddam Hussein’s Baathist government manufactured in the 1980s but that were not accounted for by United Nations inspections mandated after the 1991 Persian Gulf war.

Or is the New York Times a "fringe source" as ARM laughably claims?

Inkling said...

Woodward quote: "Look, Obama does not like war."

Not quite right. What Obama doesn't like are wars where the good guys win. He's got no problem with the civil war in Syria continuing on and on, generating misery for millions of people.

Indeed, given that Obama's first job as a lawyer was protecting Chicago slum lords charged with having rat-infested apartments, I suspect he rather likes misery in others. The guy is, like his father, a sociopath.

Unknown said...

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/chilcot-report-inquiry-tony-blair-iraq-war-weapons-of-mass-destruction-evidence-verdict-a7122361.html

The UK Parliament would not agree