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What We Were Told

Does the drumbeat of negative press on Iraq get you down sometime? The guys at Power Line recap the pre-war predictions from both sides.

Consider the main things we were told before the war. It is true that Saddam was out of compliance with U.N. resolutions; it is true that Saddam was a brutal tyrant; it is true that he had connections to terrorists; it is true that he had the capability to produce WMD; it is true that he had produced and used WMD in the past; it was true that our action in Iraq might not be easy. In short, everything important that we were told before the war that I can think of has turned out to be true except it might not be true that Saddam had WMD on hand when the war started.
The jury is still out on the WMD's, although as we now know some have been found and just today we learned the more of Saddam's banned material is showing up in scrap yards around the world.

What about the anti-war claims?

And what about all of the things we were told by the war's opponents before it started? Like: There will be tens of thousands of military and civilian casualties; chemical weapons will be used against our troops; there will be brutal house-to-house fighting in Baghdad; the oil fields will be set on fire; there will be hundreds of thousands of refugees; riots will ensue in other Arab countries; and the Iraqis will never be able to come together to agree on a Constitution and elect new leaders.
None of that happened. It seems a bit disingenuous for those same folks to now be claiming, "I told you so."


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Comments (5)

Well, there WAS some urban ... (Below threshold)

Well, there WAS some urban fighting (house to house in a sense) in Fallujah and other cities and some oil pipelines were sabotaged and set ablaze...

But the general point remains.

It is true that Saddam w... (Below threshold)
adaplant:

It is true that Saddam was out of compliance with U.N. resolutions;

Yeah. He had a couple of short range missiles which could go a few km further than authorized.

it is true that Saddam was a brutal tyrant;

Yep. He killed and tortured people. It's true.

it is true that he had connections to terrorists;

Is it? Moot point at best.

it is true that he had the capability to produce WMD;

At some point in the past, yes. At the time of Bush's invasion, no.

it is true that he had produced and used WMD in the past;

And Fort Detrick and Rumsfeld have the receipts to prove it.

it was true that our action in Iraq might not be easy.

You're given to understatement.

In short, everything important that we were told before the war that I can think of has turned out to be true except it might not be true that Saddam had WMD on hand when the war started.

Cock-eyed optimism like yours has gotten over 800 US GIs killed, thousands maimed for life, cost hundreds of billions in taxpayer dollars and no end of any of that in sight.

Open you eyes and let your mind follow. You've drunk the Kool-Aid, now give the truth a try.

There will be tens of th... (Below threshold)
adaplant:

There will be tens of thousands of military and civilian casualties;

The tens of thousands of civilian casualties are already dead or wounded. Military casualties, counting dead and wounded, are not yet in the tens of thousands but the numbers are growing every day. See http://icasualties.org/oif/ for a reliable count.

chemical weapons will be used against our troops;

There were no chemical weapons. Our government lied to us.

there will be brutal house-to-house fighting in Baghdad;

We stay out of the cities except in heavily fortified bunkered positions. Smart move that. The exception was Fallujah and Najef and now they are essentially semi-autonomous Iraqi city-states where our writs do not run and our soldiers circle warily.

the oil fields will be set on fire;

Do pipelines count?

there will be hundreds of thousands of refugees;

Thank God and Allah (a bit redundant since they are the same deity under different names) for small favors.

riots will ensue in other Arab countries;

How about terrorist attacks rather than riots? Time is not on our side here. Saudi Arabia has tasted the harbinger.

and the Iraqis will never be able to come together to agree on a Constitution and elect new leaders.

They haven't yet. al Sistani recognizes this fact. Our successive puppet regimes aren't representative except of the CIA's asset list of unpopular exiles interested in our money and whatever power and graft they can connive, swindle or steal.

What is it with conservatives that they can't look at reality and see things they way they are, rather than see what they wish were true?

OK, Adaplant, pay careful a... (Below threshold)
Jay Tea:

OK, Adaplant, pay careful attention. I’m only gonna say this once, and this WILL be on the final.

On the UN resolutions: the essence of the resolutions on WMDs was “Saddam, you have them -- we know it, you know it. It’s now up to you to get rid of them, and prove it.” He agreed, then violated it repeatedly. The short version of his response: “Yeah, I did have them, but I destroyed them years ago. I seem to have misplaced the paperwork, but you can trust me.” The onus of proof of compliance was on Saddam, and he had signed on to that. It wasn’t on us to prove he was in violation.

On Saddam’s support of terrorism: I’m glad you admit it. I don’t understand how you could call that “moot,” however. Maybe in your world terrorists are only bad after they kill a couple thousand Americans – as long as they’re only killing other people and haven’t gotten around to us yet, they’re OK?

I love how dismissive you are of Saddam’s past use of WMDs, and the utterly bogus notion that we supplied him with those. If you look at the REAL numbers on who supplied Saddam with weaponry, the biggest suppliers were France, Russia/the USSR, and China – virtually the same list of the biggest beneficiaries of the “Oil For Food” scandal, and the same list of the war’s most vocal opponents. Funny coincidence, that…

You also said there were “no chemical weapons.” Just a few weeks ago an artillery shell containing Sarin gas in a binary form was found being used as part of an IED. Now, before you say “that was just one, not a huge stockpile,” let’s look at a few facts more carefully.

1) The United Nations declared that Saddam had destroyed many shells like this one, but could not account for 550 of them. Whoops – make that 549 now.
2) The shell contained what is called a “binary agent,” where it didn’t actually have Sarin gas; it had two other chemicals that, when mixed, produced the Sarin.
3) The shell had absolutely no distinguishing markings that we have discovered thus far – it looked just like any other 155mm artillery shell.

So, by your logic, Adaplant, the fact that 1 shell out of 550 missing chemically-capable missing shells has turned up is nothing to worry about? I envy your capacity for self-delusion.

Now, as for the cities: you get SO close to reality, but then you (instinctively, I presume) recoil back into fantasy. Yes, we have stayed in fortified positions in Najjaf and Fallujah and other cities, venturing out carefully. But we also dismantled the “militias” that were challenging us through snipers and carefully staged raids and confrontations. It just took a little patience – how powerful is El-Sadr’s militia now, and how much popular support does it have now? Many of the leading clerics of Iraq are denouncing him, the people are demanding he leave their cities, and many of his militia members are either dead or deserting him.

No, no oil fields were set ablaze, but pipelines have been attacked. You might not be aware of it, but there is a HUGE difference between an oil field and an oil pipeline, especially when they’re afire. When a field is burning, it’s a huge, self-sustaining conflagration that requires highly trained personnel and highly specialized equipment to put out the blaze, cap the oil, and then rebuild the well. When a pipeline is blown up, you turn a couple valves, wait for the oil in the line to finish burning out, then slap some new pipe in and turn the valves back on.

You’re comparing a busted pipe in your basement to a blown-up main water station, Adaplant. I’d urge you not to go into the plumbing business.

Now, you admit there haven’t been riots in other Arab nations, but there have been terrorist attacks. You overlook one huge difference between rioting and terrorism.

Riots are usually the expression of large portions of the citizenry. Governments have to weigh carefully whether to suppress them, channel them into politically-desirable directions, or encourage them. Terrorist attacks, though, are simple things to governments – they are bad. Every terrorist attack gives us another persuasive argument to use with the assailed state. For example, for years Saudi Arabia has been a financial backer of terrorism, under the theory that “if we give them money, they’ll go away and bother someone else.” Now we’re seeing signs that the Saudis have finally realized the Faustian nature of that bargain – that the terrorists haven’t said “we’ll leave you alone,” but rather “we’ll deal with you later,” and “later” is getting sooner and sooner.

This is getting too long, Adaplant, and I really doubt your ability to see beyond the blinders you’ve willingly strapped on. But I will leave you one last point. You asked “What is it with conservatives that they can't look at reality and see things they way they are, rather than see what they wish were true?”

The quote you were fumbling for was from Robert Kennedy: "Some men see things as they are and say why. I dream things that never were and say why not."

Damn, I miss Democrats like Robert Kennedy. I mourn that his political and philosophical heirs – Democrats like Joe Lieberman and Zell Miller – are ostracized by the extreme elements of the Democrats that is more and more becoming the mainstream.

J.

Jay Tea,Aside from a... (Below threshold)

Jay Tea,
Aside from a faulty accusation of US supply of WMD's, adaplant, albeit inadvertantly, made your points for you.

Things didn't turn out as bad as many predicted, The situation doesn't smell particularly rosy, with lovable woodland creatures singing along in four part harmony with our troops in Iraq. But there's no hundred foot wall of sewage crashing down either.




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