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The politics of "Star Wars"

Now I've seen all six of the Star Wars movies, and read the novelizations, and I'm starting to fully grasp the politics of the Old Republic and the Galactic Empire. And I am stunned with the sheer brilliance of Palpatine -- and amazed that the same man who gave us Jar-Jar Binks and the Ewoks also pulled this off.

First off, let's tackle the bit about how Lucas intended to draw parallels between Palpatine and the Empire with the Bush administration. The big scene for this is Anakin and Obi-Wan's argument, where Anakin says "you're either with me or against me," and Obi-Wan answers that "only the Sith see things in such black and white." That sticks out like a sore thumb, because both sides engage in a bit of moral relativism. Palpatine tries to persuade Anakin that good and evil are simply a matter of perspective during the theatre scene, while in Return Of The Jedi Obi-Wan rationalizes his lies to Luke about his father "were true -- from a certain point of view." With those two examples, the Obi-Wan/Anakin argument pretty much falls apart.

Palpatine engineers his rise to power by arranging a war, where his two personas (Palpatine and Sidious) each run one side. And the way he arranges the two sides is also brilliant. Throughout the first three movies, the "bad guys" are almost universally non-human. This helps him push a human-superior agenda, and by the time of the original trilogy, there's nary a non-human to be seen on the Empire's side (apart from the informant who led the Imperials to the Millenium Falcon in Episode 4, and the majority of the bounty hunters in Episode 5). Further, trust and respect for droids is also diminished, based on the Trade Federation's widespread use of them as soldiers and weapons. His plan is to make everyone think of humans as superior, and his leadership of the human element of the Republic will push him forward.

He also has plans for dealing with Jedi. They defeated the Sith the last time they clashed, and he knows that it won't be easy to overcome them. His biggest advantage is that many of the Jedi simply don't believe the Sith still exist, but that can't last forever.

His response: he reveals that fact at a time, place, and manner of his choosing. He sends his apprentice, Darth Maul, to confront them. But Maul is a "classic" Sith Lord, a fighter above all, and ably demonstrates his abilities as such. And the Jedi, who have spent a thousand years training to fight such threats defeat him.

But Palpatine isn't a "classic" Sith, he's a "new" Sith. His battleground is political. He's learned from the mistakes of the past, and his sacrifice of Darth Maul is to convince the Jedi that they are facing a resurgence of an old threat -- one they've defeated before.

Palpatine's second apprentice, Count Dooku/Darth Tyrannus, is a more of a "New" Sith. He becomes the political leader of the Separatists, but publicly plays down his Sith identity and highlights his political strengths. The Jedi dismiss this as a legacy of his noble background and former standing as a Jedi, and don't see it as an indicator of the Sith's incursions into politics. And he, too, is sacrificed in Palpatine's greater plan.

Even the names the Sith take on for themselves indicate their personas. Darth Maul was a fighter, pure and simple. Darth Tyrannus was a political leader. Anakin Skywalker's first act after being christened Darth Vader was to go to the Jedi Temple not as an honored knight, but as an inVader who struck down all within the walls. (Not to mention that "Vader" supposedly means "father" in Dutch -- or so I've heard.) And Palpatine himself conceived and carried out one of the most inSidious political schemes I've ever heard of.

The Jedi made the classic mistake of most great powers: they devote too much time preparing to re-fight the last war, and are woefully unprepared for an opponent who tries a new tactic. It's often said that one learns far more from failures than from victories, and that is exactly the case here.

George Lucas has given us a political saga that could rival The Rise And Fall Of The Roman Empire, but the most amazing thing is in most of the interviews I've seen, he doesn't seem to quite grasp it. He seems incapable of recognizing and articulating it outside of his films.


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Comments (50)

George Lucas has long perpe... (Below threshold)
jenn:

George Lucas has long perpetuated the myth that all three were conceived in the 70's, but there are plenty of clues that suggest otherwise. Plus, later he said that 80% of the story ideas he had were for Episode III, making most of the rest... just filler.

Sorry Joser, but Vietnam an... (Below threshold)
Faith+1:

Sorry Joser, but Vietnam and Iraq being similar is only a meme of the left. The reality is that they are almost nothing alike. It is necessary to discern between the two as equating them is a fallacy for producing a strawman argument to dismiss. Nice try.

As for Lucas, I'll buy he came up with the first three in the 70s. I think Episodes 1 , 2 and 3 were pure inventions of the last few years and done strictly for the money.

Epi 1 was simply a repeat of Episode 4 but with slightly different names.

Read the latest Rolling Sto... (Below threshold)

Read the latest Rolling Stone article with Lucas, the name of "Darth Vader" means Dark Father. The stories are basicaly two stories of Father-Son and Mother-Daughter (Anakin/Luke, Padame/Leia) even though the Leia angle doesn't get the prominent role in the movies.

Lucas says that Vader is essentialy a deeply flawed person who spends his life regretting his bad decisions.

Wow, you guys got more out ... (Below threshold)
schwerv:

Wow, you guys got more out of that than I did... I just thought that Padme was much better looking in a cinnamon bun hair-do and Leah.

Just kidding.

Hey Jay -- When yo... (Below threshold)
frameone:

Hey Jay --

When you write something like "I am stunned with the sheer brilliance of Palpatine" you could use some kind of qualifier there, such as "I am stunned at the sheer evil brilliance of Palpatine." Or maybe, "I am stunned that the sheer ruthless brilliance of Palpatine."

Or are you one of those fans who feel the need to re-code the Empire as the misunderstood good guys in the whole saga?

And here's one similarity b... (Below threshold)
frameone:

And here's one similarity between Vietnam and Iraq:

The Gulf of Tonkin incident: a total sham to escalate American involvement in Vietnam.

WMD: a total sham to escalate American involvement in the Middle East.

Two wars based on lies. That's about all the similarities I need, or can stomach.

Oh and let's not forget tha... (Below threshold)
frameone:

Oh and let's not forget that the Clone Wars began based on a total sham concocted by that brilliant tactician Palpatine.

frameone is an Old Republic... (Below threshold)
Tiger:

frameone is an Old Republic Jedi all right...a dupe, a patsy and a fool. The Jedi and Old Republic were the Slave Morality personified. The Empire was just the same tyranny with its mask off. But the Old Republic and Empire were tryanies, both were tools of the (Leftist) Sith.

Give me the Rebel Alliance.

Sorry frameone, but you see... (Below threshold)
Faith+1:

Sorry frameone, but you seem to believe the Iraq having WMD's was something that didn't exist prior to Bush. That is a belief of the US going back years. It also wasn't the only premise.

The real reason for invading Iraq? Draining the swamp...

And the liberals still can'... (Below threshold)
Craig:

And the liberals still can't differentiate between the concepts of lying and being wrong.

Saddam never thought we'd invade, so he kept up the lie that he had WMD to deter Iran. This was his undoing. The few WMD he thought he had had actually gone bad because it had not been properly maintained, and his scientists, fearing reprocussions if he found out, never told him that the Anthrax had gone bad.

The only real comparison I can find between Iraq and Vietnam are the role of the media basically fighting the enemy's war for him.

Look, both wars were gambles, and in both cases it is more important to win the gamble than to lose. I can understand many arguments against launching the war in the first place, mainly dealing with the cost, and negative effects on our own population and on morale. But once it's started, don't sabotage it. There will be plenty of time afterward to figure out who was right.

"WMD: a total sham to escal... (Below threshold)

"WMD: a total sham to escalate American involvement in the Middle East."

Try telling the Kurds that the chemical weapons used against them in the 80s was a sham...and please explain to me how every respected intelligence organization in the world *has* documented evidence WMDs existed? I guess those Mobile Biological Weapons Labs were a sham, too.

Isn't it amazing how the well Rebublic mimics the UN? Bloated, ineffective and useless.

Anyway, I haven't seen the movie yet, and can hardly wait to see it.

After Phantom Meanace, I st... (Below threshold)

After Phantom Meanace, I started watching the movies for Palpatine's story.

He really is quite brilliant in how he manipulates the political situation.

His orchastration of the Naboo war to get into power in the first place is sheer brilliance. Have your planet get invaded, go with some of the sympathy vote. Also, he got enough power and recognition to get nominated as the Chancellor, and carried that to victory.

I had never thought of the human angle, but you are right - he had been working this angle - and Palpatine was always one to favor humans.

I agree that you learn more from failures than success. The Old Republic was already an ineffectual government, but no one saw it (except Palpatine, who had an agenda). Well, they saw it, but no one wants to radically change the system, unless they are going to be in charge. Palpatine provided that push to change the system to work again. The Empire was bad, don't get me wrong, but it prompted the Rebel Alliance to form - and the Rebels would be much more likely to form a pratical government once they won - they probably would model their government after the Republic, but they would be more open to change things because they were just starting out - they didn't have the baggage of hundreds of years of laws and regulations to deal with, and probably scrapped ones that were bad ideas.

Regarding Frameone’s post,<... (Below threshold)
J.M.:

Regarding Frameone’s post,

First, we should define two key terms from Webster’s Dictionary:

LIE, verb, to make an untrue statement with intent to deceive.
ASSUMPTION, noun, a fact or statement (as a proposition, axiom, postulate, or notion) taken for granted


Here is another good comparison of Vietnam and Iraq:

Vietnam – a war started by liberal Democrats based on a now proven “lie” and fought with the White House picking which targets to shoot at and establishing the rules of engagement. The result being a horrific failure that took the US Military decades to overcome. (Also reference the White House’s decision to not allow armored units in the street fighting in Mogadishu in October 1993 which resulted in 18 American dead and 73 wounded.)
Iraq – a war started by conservative Republicans based on an “assumption” that allowed the Generals and theater commanders to fight the war on their terms and by their battle plans without interfering. The result being an overwhelming and historic military success that will be studied as ground breaking in both tactics and strategy. (Also reference Operation Desert Storm 1990-1991).

Can someone explain to me w... (Below threshold)
Jeff:

Can someone explain to me why the Sith want to run the Republic ? Do they want to enslave, eat or otherwise harm the "normal" citizens ? What difference does it make to the average citizen if the Senate runs things or if the Sith do ? And again why would the Sith want the burden of running things ? No explanation is ever given in any of the movies as to why they want control.

Wait...I'm still kevetching... (Below threshold)
-S-:

Wait...I'm still kevetching over here about the very awfully perceived suggestion that Joser is a "Jedi"...give me a minute more here, please.

As in, I know a Jedi. You, Joser, are no Jedi.

Of course the Downing Stree... (Below threshold)
Tony-man:

Of course the Downing Street Memo confirms that Bush & Co did indeed "lie" to begin a war with Iraq. No matter how one defines the borders between 'assumption' and 'lie,' the Downing Street Memo proves Bush was clearly beyond that border.

http://www.downingstreetmemo.com/

We also know it was a LIE when Republicans claimed before the War that all intellegence organizations all over the world AGREED Saddam had WMD. That was something they said only AFTER it was proved there wasn't any WMD. Before the start of the war most agreed there was no WMD, including Hanz Blix. Even Colin Powell and Condoleeze Rice declared there was no WMD and Iraq was no threat to us. That is proven (on videotape and in quotes) here:

http://triadblogs.com/jmcclough/246/

I believe that whatever Mr. Lucas's personal politics, the Bush/Empire comparisan he intended to make is a recent invention, and his proclamation that the story was written during the vietnam era is a smokescreen. Although some of the story may have indeed been written then, the final SCRIPT for the recent movie was written recently.

Meant for frameone, but giv... (Below threshold)
-S-:

Meant for frameone, but given the kevetching and sympathetic perceptions shared by joser/frameone, I'd say what I wrote still works.

Since Lucas is a Democrat -- he makes that known, as to his politics -- I'd say that despite his best intentions, he's capitulated to the socialist proletariat in his latest Episode III. Concepts, characters, yes, all "written" (created) years ago, but I do believe that Lucas just could not dislodge his present day socialist sympathies from the story. Thus, we get a subtle encouragement for liberals everywhere to conclude that Light is Dark, that Dark is Light, while Lucas can remain safely protected from direct political examination behind the references to past inspirations only now reaching fruition...

Primarily, that Lucas refuses to present any clear statement (by him, as author, filmmaker, creator of the character) as to explain to anyone else why Darth Vader becomes that "dark lord." So, the Star Wars "resolution" arrives at nowhere, a bit of a chalkboard for everyone to project upon and given the Left's penchant for projecting upon Light that which is actually Dark, there you go: a vehicle.

So, anyone eager for specifics is left to wonder just what it is that Lucas has withheld, what references ARE there that would make a specially gifted "child" go to such horrid extremes of megolamania and wretchedness? There's just no adequate message there, in the filmed works, to explain such a profound divergence, and so the whole literary concept fails, if not for gizmos and gadgets and the very special effects.

The audience wanted a profound lesson and got the costume instead. I'm not so bold as to even suggest that what Lucas has created is average, doable by nearly anyone else, that I don't respect and admire the artist, but that there's a failure in literature in this concluding Episode, despite the effective filmmaking.

At the outset,Lucas had a great concept. I wish he'd honored it.

Man walks into a bank. Hold... (Below threshold)
Byz:

Man walks into a bank. Holds his finger in his pocket and says he is going to blow the brains out a five year old child. The cops shoot the perp full of holes. What does the Leftist say? The caring, reality-based "liberal"?

"LIAR!!! COPS = HITLER!!! POLICE ARE SITH!!!!!"

Lucas is just as brainless. He was only smart enough to spark our imaginations. The joy and insight you get from Star Wars is your own.

When taken at face value, a... (Below threshold)
-S-:

When taken at face value, as to Annakin Skywalker suffering such a horrid disabling and defacing accident as is offered up in Episode III as the motivation to assume the mask (and, "The Mask" as evil personna, from whence he's suggested to not be capable of recovering by his own means, without some supernatural helps, etc.), Lucas sorta' emphasizes a quite nasty negative stereotype about human and emotional/mental disabilities, when you think if it.

There's a creative and constructive interpretation of that moment (Annakin Skywalker motivated into reconstructing via assumed masking technologies to realize himself anew as Darth Vader), yes, but Episode III doesn't include that. We just get the disease, the disfiguration, the ugliness of hardship.

But, I'd never categorize Palpatine and Darth Vader as being illustrative of President Bush and conservatives, but, rather, quite the opposite. The characters are without hopes and quite ugly, both pscychologically and physically -- the irresponsible negative stereotypes here of physical deformity as indicative of "evil" personna -- and what with their reliance on the proletariat, the "sameness" and loss of individual characteristics and value of the individual, seem quite fully to represent the evils of socialism, socialists run amok.

Certainly there's room to project many permutations of politics onto the Star Wars work as a whole, but I still feel disappointed that Lucas sidestepped the ultimate test as author and withheld any personal statement from the significant moment in this last Episode (significant to the whole work, all the other Episodes), and that is that Lucas withheld any specificity that can explain the severe transition of Annakin to Vader. Other than he was just a resentful, immature creep, because, otherwise, the issues are too profound to explain that pivotal transition, and the opportunity to make a key statement literarily is lost. Thus, the necessity of effects, is my conclusion.

Funny. All Sadaam had to d... (Below threshold)

Funny. All Sadaam had to do was comply with the 15+ UN Resolutions from 1991 he wouldn't have gotten his sorry butt kicked.

UN Resolution 1441 and two acts of Congress *still* isn't good enough for you liberals, i.e. Tony-man, is it? That's 2 acts of Congress....if you liberals had a problem with 1441, why didn't you bring it up then? Because inventing reality is the norm for you.

Funny. All Sadaam had to... (Below threshold)
TONY:

Funny. All Sadaam had to do was comply with the 15+ UN Resolutions from 1991 he wouldn't have gotten his sorry butt kicked. UN Resolution 1441 and two acts of Congress *still* isn't good enough for you liberals, i.e. Tony-man, is it? That's 2 acts of Congress....if you liberals had a problem with 1441, why didn't you bring it up then? Because inventing reality is the norm for you.

Who is truly inventing reality here? The UN inpectors under Hans Blix and Scott Ritter said pre-war that it seemed to them Saddam HAD complied with the resolutions. They merely wanted a little more time to finish checking. Bush blatantly declared Saddam was tricking the inspectors and gave Blix a deadline to get out of Iraq. The Hussien Regime provided the Bush administration with several hundred of pages of documents that said Iraq had no WMD. A day after getting those documents, (awfully quick speed-reading there) Bush declared the documents were all lies, and Saddam was in violation of 1441.

Do you not remember the chain of events as they happened?

How was Saddam was in violation of 1441 and a threat to the USA when he had no WMD? Clearly he wasn't a threat and now hundreds of Americans and thousands of Iraqis are dead. But these dead aren't "clones" like in Star Wars, they are real people. Think about that.

I hated Saddam Hussein as much as the next American. But I simply didn't see any valid reason to go after him considering the cost in american lives. Unlike Bin Laden, Hussein was not a threat. And now Bin Laden STILL runs wild and free while we suffer because if it.

If Bush had spent even a tiny fraction of his attention on Bin Laden as he did on Saddam Hussein we wouldn't be in the mess we're in today.
But all Bush can say about Bin Laden is:

"I don't know where he is. "You know, I just don't spend that much time on him, Kelly, to be honest with you. ... And again, I don't know where he is. I--I'll repeat what I said. I truly am not that concerned about him."

Excuse me if I feel that attitude is totally unacceptable. I want that man captured or killed and I wan't it now. For the President of The USA to say that, it tells me where his priorities are, and they aren't mine.

Tony: Can you prove the Ger... (Below threshold)
TommyGun:

Tony: Can you prove the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? Why did we fight Italy when Japan attacked us? You worthless toad. You can't even crib from your Leftist commie talking points correctly.

So...firing missles at UN a... (Below threshold)

So...firing missles at UN and US warplanes, violating the No-Fly zone, not complying with UN Weapons Inspectors, misusing billions of dollars from Oil-for-Food, *weren't* UN violations?

...and there's absolutely *no* way he didn't dispose of the weapons prior to and during Operation Iraqi Freedom?

...gassing the Kurds, invading Kuwait, firing on warplanes in the No Fly Zone, and yes, the entire world agreeing (I remember Bill Clinton and his administration saying so in 1998...funny how *your* memory is cloudy...or was that just 'political cover'?) he had WMDs, *doesn't* constitute him as a threat?

I rest my case.

Tony: Can you prove the ... (Below threshold)
Tony-man:

Tony: Can you prove the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? Why did we fight Italy when Japan attacked us? You worthless toad. You can't even crib from your Leftist commie talking points correctly.

You should know Germany, Italy, and Japan were an AXIS. Germany and Italy OFFICIALLY declared war on the USA after Pearl Harbor.

Hussien & Bin Laden, on the other hand, had nothing to do with each other. Didn't even LIKE each other.

To quote Bush: "There's no eveidence Saddam Hussien was involved in the attacks of September the Eleveth."

PS: I hate communism, and I don't speak in talking-points.

So...firing missles at U... (Below threshold)
Tony-man:

So...firing missles at UN and US warplanes, violating the No-Fly zone, not complying with UN Weapons Inspectors, misusing billions of dollars from Oil-for-Food, *weren't* UN violations?...and there's absolutely *no* way he didn't dispose of the weapons prior to and during Operation Iraqi Freedom?...gassing the Kurds, invading Kuwait, firing on warplanes in the No Fly Zone, and yes, the entire world agreeing (I remember Bill Clinton and his administration saying so in 1998...funny how *your* memory is cloudy...or was that just 'political cover'?) he had WMDs, *doesn't* constitute him as a threat? I rest my case.

I don't rest mine. I simply ask you to use your powers of logic. This is no Star Wars fantasy.

1) If Iraqi planes were flying over US soil oil wouldn't you expect us to fire at them? Or does the shoe not firt the other foot? In any case, we responded to those 1998 attacks (in which no US or UK planes were damaged) way back then.
See?

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/htmlContent.jhtml?html=/archive/1998/12/31/wirq31.html

2) Iraq said they complied with UN inspectors. It was only BUSH who claimed Iraq hadn't complied. The inspectors themselves were on the ground in Iraq trying to find out from 2002 up until 2003 when they were ordered by Bush to leave. After the fall of Saddam the inspectors got back inside and found Iraq had no WMD since 1994! How is it you don't KNOW that?

http://www.commondreams.org/headlines04/0302-07.htm

3) Misuse of OIL for FOOD is a only justification for ending the program, not starting the a war. The misuse of Oil for Food is connected to Texas buisness men friends of Bush I might add.

http://www.cnn.com/2005/LAW/04/14/oilfood.indictment/

4) Experts agree there is no way Saddam disposed of weapons or sent them to Syria before and during the war. That myth was promoted by Bolton as a wish to invade Syria. Beyond that, logic proves you don't ship your waepons out of the country to fight an invading army. Would we ship our weapons to Canada if we were invaded? Use your head.

5) Gassing Kurds happened in the 1980s. Rmsfeld was Shaking Saddam's hand at the time.

6) Invading Kuwait was on poppa Bush's watch. I said WAY BACK THEN he should've finished the job. He didn't. Using that a justification for war today comes over a decade late.

7) Clinton in 1998 on Iraq weapons:
See http://snopes.com/politics/war/wmdquotes.asp
for the truth on THAT one. Taking statements out of context doesn't count, my friend.

we did not invade Iraq beca... (Below threshold)
gozorak:

we did not invade Iraq because of WMD or removing Saddam..those were justifiable excuses ..we invaded to shake up the basket case that is the middle east. That is why we must and will stay the course..it also doesnt hurt for other nations that might be willing to aid and abbet anti american terrorsist groups that if we believe that you are doing just that, we are not going to wait for world approval or even provable evidence...

"Sorry Joser, but Vietnam a... (Below threshold)
Wendigo:

"Sorry Joser, but Vietnam and Iraq being similar is only a meme of the left. The reality is that they are almost nothing alike. It is necessary to discern between the two as equating them is a fallacy for producing a strawman argument to dismiss. Nice try."

A meme of the left and Bill O'Reilly. Oh, right, he's an "Independent."

"Try telling the Kurds that the chemical weapons used against them in the 80s was a sham..."

Try bringing up an example more current than 1988.

"and please explain to me how every respected intelligence organization in the world *has* documented evidence WMDs existed?"

Because Reagan sold them to him during Iran Contra. Anthrax and fumigator copters, among other things.

"I guess those Mobile Biological Weapons Labs were a sham, too."

Bingo. They were just tanker trucks that were misrepresented by Bush; you'll notice that he's backed off the "WMDs exist and WE FOUND THEM!" track lately.

"Man walks into a bank. Holds his finger in his pocket and says he is going to blow the brains out a five year old child. The cops shoot the perp full of holes. What does the Leftist say? The caring, reality-based "liberal"?

'LIAR!!! COPS = HITLER!!! POLICE ARE SITH!!!!!'"

What was that about straw man?

"LIE, verb, to make an untrue statement with intent to deceive.
ASSUMPTION, noun, a fact or statement (as a proposition, axiom, postulate, or notion) taken for granted

Here is another good comparison of Vietnam and Iraq:

Vietnam – a war started by liberal Democrats based on a now proven “lie” and fought with the White House picking which targets to shoot at and establishing the rules of engagement. The result being a horrific failure that took the US Military decades to overcome. (Also reference the White House’s decision to not allow armored units in the street fighting in Mogadishu in October 1993 which resulted in 18 American dead and 73 wounded.)"

What was that about inventing reality? The Vietnam War was a combination of factors.

1. The VCs were opposed to French colonialism, and the French were our allies.
2. The VCs were communist; Cold War politics placed fighting the spread of communism at the head of our priorities.

This second major flaw (in Cold War politics) can also be seen in Reagan arming the Mujihadeen, which later became Al Qaida and the oppressive Taliban regime.

"Iraq – a war started by conservative Republicans based on an “assumption” that allowed the Generals and theater commanders to fight the war on their terms and by their battle plans without interfering. The result being an overwhelming and historic military success that will be studied as ground breaking in both tactics and strategy. (Also reference Operation Desert Storm 1990-1991)."
The assumption being indicated in no uncertain terms by the Downing Street memo of 2002; distorting the "thin" threat presented by a dictator's regime can be used to justify removing that dictator from power, and that distortion will be accepted as fact by a grateful public.

Without a doubt the weakest... (Below threshold)

Without a doubt the weakest line of the entire third movie was Obi-wan's comment that "Only the Sith think in absolutes." This from a character who accuses Palpatine of being evil. Evil is definitely an absolute concept, so here you have a pretty blatant error, one most probably a cheap political shot thrown in.

Onto more serious matters. Those who try and compare the Star Wars saga with the current 4th World War seem to completely misunderstand the situation in both.

The first movie is about creating a crisis to get Palpatine in power. This doesn't apply to "real life" in part because there was no crisis needed for the Bush administration to get into power. It was a close election, true, but there was no foreign crisis or internal crisis used as a means of bolstering support.

The second movie is about the start of the Clone Wars. The Clone Wars had two purposes: To gain more and more power for Palpatine, and to destroy the Jedi. While its true that anti-terrorism laws have increased executive powers, they are fairly insignificant compared to what was gained for Palpatine in the Clone Wars. Then there is the Jedi equivlent. Who are the "Jedi" of real life? Does anyone really have a good comparison. The truth is that Palpatine could have gotten power after the Jedi were gone, getting rid of the Jedi was his chief and most important goal. The Clone Wars, and the current crisis share nothing in common. What could possibly be the true intended target of Bush's "Clone Wars?" Nothing fits. The anology doesn't really apply, no matter how hard you try.

Final,Differ on a ... (Below threshold)
Faith+1:

Final,

Differ on a few points. First off, Episodes 1, 2, and 3 had little to do with story telling and more to do with Lucas wanting to rake in more money. I believe Episode 4 to be the only story he intially thought out. When it suceeded he made the other two movies as additional money makers.

Episode I was nothing more than Episode IV redone. I mean, really, a Jedi on Tantooine finds a young Skywalker gifted in the force with a robot named 3PO. Yound Skywalker is an ace pilot and he and the Jedi help a young Princess in her quest. Jedi fights a bad guy named Darth who works for Palpatine and we wrap up the story with Darth sent spinning off into oblivion and young Skywalker blowing up a space station in his little fighter. Same damn story. Re-told to take in more bucks.

Epi 2 and 3 come across as last minute fillers to get from I to IV.

The Star Wars saga wasn't deep, nor particularly well written. The number of coincidences was cheap, cheesy, and the stuff a bad pulp fiction writer would trash as just too juvenile.

Anakin is the builder of 3PO? Please. A little too contrived. Chewbacca is the Wookie who sees Yoda off after the battle on the Wookie planet? Oh come on, that's just pathetic. I almost booed.

The turning of Anakin was a badly edited scene. It starts with Sam Jackson going to arrest Palpatine, defeats him, says he is under arrest, Anakin walks in saying don't kill him and suddenly he wants to kill him because Palpitaine controls the courts? It felt like some 20 mins of dialog had been cut out. I mean within 30 seconds you Anakin pleading the Jedi show mercy and Justice to swearing to the dark side. The build up to the turn was good but the actual turn was pathetic.

The bad line you sight isn't the worse in the movie. It's at the bottom alright but probably 25% of the dialog could arguably be sited as the worst line.

Hey, you know, it's a good ... (Below threshold)

Hey, you know, it's a good thing that the Jedi decided to "pre-emptively attack" when they finally found the Lord Sith among them and decided to kill him. It would have worked, had not Annakin betrayed his fellow countr- er- Jedis and saved Sidious from certain death. His excuse that capital punishment wasn't the Jedi way- so that he could delay the death of a terrorist and a criminal (remember- he had his own grand schemes and planned on taking down Palpatine himself and putting himself and Padme in power) all of this ultimately lead to more death and pain (not to mention the destruction of an entire planet) for the entire galaxy in the long run.

Although not caught in the ... (Below threshold)

Although not caught in the act at the time, Hussein was misusing Oil-for-Food money. Can't be used for justification for war, but in retrospect, can be used as an example that he was a threat. What do you think he used the money for? Tea and crumpets?

We didn't win the Vietnam war, but we convincingly won the second war with Iraq, with a fraction of the casualties. The government stayed out of the military's way. That's as different as it gets, and that's no "star wars fantasy".

As for supposedly taking Clinton out of context, well, here is the text of his speech: http://www.cnn.com/ALLPOLITICS/1998/02/17/transcripts/clinton.iraq/

Here are some interesting quotes from the speech:

"In 1995, Hussein Kamal, Saddam's son-in-law, and the chief organizer of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction program, defected to Jordan. He revealed that Iraq was continuing to conceal weapons and missiles and the capacity to build many more.

Then and only then did Iraq admit to developing numbers of weapons in significant quantities and weapon stocks. Previously, it had vehemently denied the very thing it just simply admitted once Saddam Hussein's son-in-law defected to Jordan and told the truth. Now listen to this, what did it admit?

It admitted, among other things, an offensive biological warfare capability notably 5,000 gallons of botulinum, which causes botulism; 2,000 gallons of anthrax; 25 biological-filled Scud warheads; and 157 aerial bombs."

"There is no more clear example of this threat than Saddam Hussein's Iraq. His regime threatens the safety of his people, the stability of his region and the security of all the rest of us."

Surely you couldn't be at odds with your ultimate hero...could you?

Sorry Tony-man, there were ... (Below threshold)
Sue Dohnim:

Sorry Tony-man, there were WMD in Iraq during the Clinton administration and the George W. Bush administration.

Commondreams.org is a laughable source, as is The Telegraph. CNN has convenient amnesia, as you will see at the next link.

The Snopes page you linked to has this to say:
Claim: Quotes reproduce statements made by Democratic leaders about Saddam Hussein's acquisition or possession of weapons of mass destruction.

Status: True.

"Out of context" is bullshit, since Billy Jeff Clinton was so unconcerned about Hussein's WMD that he had cruise missiles launched at Iraq in 1998 (his third such air strike ordered on Iraq, by the way; first two were for other UN violations).

My source for the Bush administration claim is at least one reporter embedded with the invasion spearhead in 2003 who reported that many Iraqi POWs captured by his unit had atropine vials and spoke of being trained for handling chemical weapons.

The reporter in question was Evan Wright, writing for Rolling Stone magazine, and he is very unsympathetic to our military and to Bush. His account is found in the book he authored, Generation Kill.

Also, those who say that we had no justification in going into Iraq conveniently ignore every provocative incident that happened for 12 years after the first Gulf War. So you can hide your head in the sand if you want, but it doesn't make the truth disappear.

As for the Iraq/Al-Qaida connection, Weekly Standard does a good rundown of that, and none other than the formidable CBS said back in 1999 (video link) there was a connection.

Sorry, Tony-man, you lose.

Regarding the raging debate... (Below threshold)
Yoda Child:

Regarding the raging debates expressed here and elswhere about the parallels between the Bush administration and the "Empire": I would suggest to both sides that the best perspective on this will come in about 10 years when we know the full implications of this war and other current political-economic trends. My guess is that Lucas has heart-felt worries about our republic, shared by many Americans who are neither Liberal nor right-wingers, but moderates. Worries that as an artist he feels compelled to express... and indeed, in a bid to elevate his latest film to the level of truly transcendant cultural-historical importance...he is prepared to express in concrete terms so that future historians will make no mistake in recognizing its significance. On the other hand if he's off target, then at least it might be said his message was a warning that resonated with many in the public conscience. A warning that freely expressed, and publicly debated is a comforting sign that we have not yet truned to the dark side.

My final thought:A... (Below threshold)

My final thought:

A very short composite of Scott Ritter:

1. A man who insisted Iraq had WMDs and Sadaam was a threat.
2. A man who went to Iraq, "mysteriously" funded his film, then insisted Iraq had no WMDs. A complete 180 degree flip.
3. A man who lied about his child molestation case.

Anyone who believes *anything* this schizophrenic pervert ever says or has said is just as delusional and drunk with ego as he is. Which is why nobody hears from him anymore.

To: SUE, Be careful...I wou... (Below threshold)
Tony-man:

To: SUE, Be careful...I wouldn't mention Clinton launched missles at Iraq in 1998 if I were you, because, if you recall at the time, nearly all Republicans declared it was totally WRONG for him to do so, shouting, "No-Wag-The-Dog" and "No-War-For-Lewinski." Sue, you can claim all you want that weapons were found but that doesnt negate the FACT that even Bush and Cheney publically admit the kind of large-scale weapons THEY were talking about WEREN'T found. Not just that weren't found in the 'stockpiles' they claimed, but they just weren't found, period. So they had to downgrade to: "but he had the DESIRE to make weapons." Lauaghable. I might have the desire to be a bowling champ, but it won't make me one. It wasn't justified to spend billions of our tax-dollars, and our priceless American lives over deluded Saddam's kooky daydreams he could never actually achieve. I'm sure no one truly fiscally Conservative could dare argue the piddliy 'discovered weapons' you cited was worth 5.8 Billion dollars a month the war is now to the US Taxpayer. Yes...5.8 BILLION a month! And how many more months will this war drag on? Are you willing to bankrupt our children's future for a dream?
Source: Military.com

http://www.military.com/NewsContent/0,13319,FL_cost_111804,00.html?ESRC=eb.n

No Sue, Actually...it turns out...I win.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
To TOM: The cited CLINTON SPEECH, (An he is NOT my hero by the way) when it is read in its entire form is all about how SUCCSESSFUL the USA and UNSCOM had been in DESTROYING Saddam's WMD and how those succsessful UNSCOM efforts have been continued. The clear message of the speech (when you don't cherry-pick sentences out of context) is we should support UNSCOM because they're experts who knew how to do their job!

The CRUCIAL Clinton quote that puts the speech in context after Clinton lists all those weapons: Despite Iraq's deceptions, UNSCOM has nevertheless done a remarkable job. Its inspectors, the eyes and ears of the civilized world, have uncovered and destroyed more weapons of mass destruction capacity than was destroyed during the Gulf War.

This includes nearly 40,000 chemical weapons, more than 100,000 gallons of chemical weapons agents, 48 operational missiles, 30 warheads specifically fitted for chemical and biological weapons, and a massive biological weapons facility at Al Hakam equipped to produce anthrax and other deadly agents.

So there ya go. The reason you find no WMD in Iraq is because UNSCOM destroyed them all. Thanks' Mr. Clinton. You may have been a cheater in marriage but you did not certainly cheat the US taxpayer. Unlike a certain OTHER president who spends 5.8 Billion of our money a MONTH chasing a dream, and then cries how he won't recind Tax-breaks to multi-million $ conglomerates, so he'll have to eliminate Social Security because his Government is running out of cash.

My, what a brilliant money manager he is.

PS: A not very important side issue, but worth mentioning is that the charges you hurl against Scott Ritter (a Republican) were all proven lies in a court of law, or didn't you know that? He wasn't a child molester because if he WERE he'd certainly be in prison right now. The fact he's NOT in prison speaks volumes. We don't accept false-charges as fact. We don't condone politically motivated dirty-tricks orchestrated to discredit his Iraq-has-no-WMD stance, (which acually WAS true). But you know as well as I, that once you tarnish a man's reputation, it's nearly impossible to get credibility back. And THAT'S why you don't hear as much from Mr. Ritter anymore. See?

Just to add a little bit, t... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Just to add a little bit, that $5.8 billion per month is a bit higher than the estimates I've seen, but for all those UN haters out there:

Monthly cost of the US occupation of Iraq (according to the Dept. of Defense): $4.1 billion

Annual cost of all sixteen UN peacekeeping missions underway (according to the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations): $3.87 billion

Hmmm....

Explain the atropine, Tony-... (Below threshold)
Sue Dohnim:

Explain the atropine, Tony-man.

Explain why Bill Clinton had Iraq bombed in 1998. Was it to "Wag The Dog," or was it because there were WMD in Iraq? Either CNN and Bill Clinton were lying then, or they were telling the truth. Which one is it? You can't have it both ways.

How about the U.S. Senate? Did they lie in 1998 when they denounced Hussein for working on WMD?

Look at that list of senators. Mr. Lott, Mr. Daschle, Mr. McCain, Mr. Leahy, Mr. Helms, Mr. Dodd, Mr. Brownback, Mr. Bryan, Mr. Warner, Mr. Cleland, Mr. Stevens, Mr. Torricelli, Mr. Mack, Mr. Kerry, Mr. Coverdell, Mr. Byrd, Mr. Smith of Oregon, Mr. Moynihan, Mr. Thomas, Mr. Wyden, Mr. Gorton, Mr. Graham, Mr. Faircloth, Mr. Hollings, Ms. Collins, Mr. Akaka, Mr. Inhofe, Mr. Conrad, Mr. Grams, Mr. Robb, Mr. Bennett, Mr. Specter, and Mr. Hagel.

CNN. Bill Clinton. 33 U.S. senators. The United Nations Security Council. You've called all of these people, and many more, liars. And the best proof you can come up with for doing this is a couple of self-contradictory websites that have leftist, socialist, and Communist agendas.

I'm not seeing any victory here, Tony-man.

There you go again, Tony-ma... (Below threshold)

There you go again, Tony-man.

I claimed he said Sadaam had WMDs, augmenting my point that Sadaam was a threat, and even Clinton said he was a threat. You told me I took Clinton out of context. I backed up my claim, and in typical Moonbat fashion, you still claim I took him out of context. Then, you go on to reinforce my point by saying they were being destroyed.

Once again, it's easy to try to claim you knew there weren't any WMDs *now* rather than before the 2nd Iraqi War. Evidence is on my side here, pal. The fact is, the entire world was convinced he had them, and the intelligent person will admit that he did and then got rid of them during the war. Occam's Razor.

Now here's some Ritter reality for you to twist into a pretzel:

http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=30595

I invite you to throw your crack pipe away.

Mantis: You're not counting all the women and little girls sexually abused by the UN in your dollar figure. Contrast that with the number of women (and everyone else) who've gained their freedom in Iraq. Money isn't everything. Hmmmmmmm.

Sue: Thanks for helping me out here, but I think we're peeking into an alternate dimension that lacks common sense.

mantis wrote:<... (Below threshold)
Sue Dohnim:

mantis wrote:

Monthly cost of the US occupation of Iraq (according to the Dept. of Defense): $4.1 billion

Annual cost of all sixteen UN peacekeeping missions underway (according to the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations): $3.87 billion

Hmmm....

Yes, and brand new high definition plasma TVs cost a lot more than busted-up nonfunctional TVs found in landfills, what's your point?

Too true, Tom. They might e... (Below threshold)
Sue Dohnim:

Too true, Tom. They might even be from a galaxy far, far away.

Hello again Sue:Cl... (Below threshold)
Tony-man:

Hello again Sue:

Clinton struck Iraq in Dec 98 because Saddam stopped cooperating with UNSCOM and he appeared to be developing WMD. So Clinton dropped bombs and destroyed the WMD. But your assertion either Clinton was lying in 1998, or Iraq still had WMD in 2003...(a full FIVE YEARS later) isn't me having it both ways. If you had a gun in your house five years ago, and Clinton bombed your house and destoyed your gun, does it mean you still have a gun? Nope. So the difference is UNSCOM in 98 told the president they were being prevented from doing their job and he reacted. And in March 2003 was UNSCOM said they had full access and cooperation, but Bush said they were fools being tricked and ordered them to get out of the country so he could start bombing.

I haven't called any of those people liars. UNSCOM said weapons programs existed in 98, and they said there weren't any WMD in 03. It's that simple.

PS: None of those websites have leftist, socialist, and Communist agendas, and you know it. CNN.com and Military.com have a communist agendas? LOL! THAT is a lie.

But facts are facts. We musn't rehape facts to suit our political biases.

And the FACT is this war has cost, and is continuing to cost us billions, including 8.8 Billion dollars that mysteriously went MISSING from the Coalition Provisional Authority, which NO ONE in the Bush Administration has any record or clue about where that money went.

This mismanagement should be repulsive to you, and to ALL patriotic Americans. Our men and women in uniform deserve better. I do not appreciate RIP-OFFS. Do you?

To Tom Blogical,Th... (Below threshold)
TONY:

To Tom Blogical,

There's a difference between somebody HAVING weapons and someone who ONCE had weapons. We knew Saddam had weapons and weapons programs because Reagan and Rumsfeld had sold them to Saddam. It doesn't augment your point that Sadaam was a threat in 2003 if Clinton said he was a threat way back in 1998.

We had Saddam in a BOX. He was nuetered. Sterile. He was no threat to us here, of to his neighbors, and Powell said so in 2001.

So that's how you took Clinton out of context. I pulled the crucial quote out of the speech where Clinton said UNSCOM were remarkable and Saddam was no longer a danger. HECK, Forget Clinton, he's so irrelevent... the MORE relevant statements were Colin Powell, and Condi Rice.

Colin Powell, Feb 2001: "Saddam has not developed any significant capability with respect to weapons of mass destruction. He is unable to project conventional power against his neighbors."

Condi Rice, July 2001: "We are able to keep his arms from him. His military forces have not been rebuilt."

Tom...I want you to concentrate very hard on 2001. 1998 is just as irrelevent to the beginning of the March 2003 war as is the Reagan 80s when Saddam gassed the Kurds.

You must ask yourself what happened to change the Bush administration's tune between Feb and July 2001? Whu is it, first they said there were NO weapons, and then Bush started claiming Saddam was practically making atomic bombs? What happened? 9/11, that's what! So the answer is just what Clark and Woodward said. Bush wanted to invade Iraq anyway, and he wanted to use 9/11 aa a pretext opportunity to do it. That's why Bush said repeatedly he doesn't spend much time on Bin Laden. That's why Bin Laden still runs free and the 9/11 deaths remain unavenged.

I did NOT reinforce your point by saying the WMD were being destroyed in 1998. 1998 is not 2003, and THAT'S what Colin Powell and Condi Rice's STATEMENTS are all about, and why they are so vitally important. They confirm Powell, Rice, Slark, Woodward, and the Downing Street Memo.

So the evidence is on 'my' side. The entire world was only convinced Saddam had them, because BUSH kept saying he had them-- contridicting what his own people Powell and Rice had said a mere few mere months earlier. If you don't believe Powell and Rice knew what they were talikng about in 2001, then the question should be how they could be so out of touch with reality, and why did they have their jobs? The answer is they DID know reality, but Bush had an agenda to CHANGE reality to suit his desire for invasion. So they fell in line. That's confirmed by the Downing Street Memo which says the facts about WMD were being 'fixed' to fit the Bush policy. No one has ever claimed the Downing Street Memo is a lie. Why is that? Answer me that.

Ps: On Ritter. Look, I pointed out to you the molestation case was dismissed as false. It was only ever begun to smear him. So what do you do? You point me in the direction of the same two-year old fake story which was totally discredited in the first place. Don't you understand if Ritter had done it he'd be in prison?! Even the authorities never took the claims too seriously because the anonymous accuser never provided any evidence that he solicited sex over the internet from minors. If some anonymous source anonymously accused you of that crime and then provided no evidence to support the accusation, would you want or expect a court to find you guilty?

Sue: Based on Tony's last p... (Below threshold)

Sue: Based on Tony's last post...from another universe far, far away.

Faith+1 made the only thoug... (Below threshold)
tony:

Faith+1 made the only thoughtful post about the first movie being the only one thought through. Lucas loved Asian history and eastern 'religious' thought. I suggest reading Japanese history around the 14th century and seeing the 'samurai' history with good v. evil and swords. Now just add spaceships. Oh by the way, Roddenberry just retold the Greek City-state wars in Star Trek. Real history, so much better than pretend!

LOL Tom!Hey Tony, ... (Below threshold)
Sue Dohnim:

LOL Tom!

Hey Tony, wow, how did our military go from supermen to superduds in just seven short years? According to you, in 1998 our Air Force managed to wipe out all stockpiles of WMD in Iraq with only a few days worth of bombing, but in 2003 they couldn't even bomb the right house to nail Saddam.

I think it's more likely that our bombers and missiles in 1998 couldn't have possibly wiped out everything, just like how the U.N. inspectors, even after destroying thousands of tons of WMD, still left enough behind to warrant air strikes by Clinton. That would explain why Saddam still wouldn't let U.N. inspectors have unfettered access to potential weapon sites years after Clinton had Iraq bombed for WMD.

In 2003, there were still WMDs left in Iraq. You didn't explain the atropine, Tony.

Here's more context for you from that book I linked before; remember, this is a source who is unsympathetic to Bush and the military, so he has no reason to lie (I've inserted some paragraph breaks to make it more readable):

Several of the men [surrendering Iraqis] claim they worked in special units in charge of launching chemical-filled missiles. They say they were moving these missiles just a few days ago, getting ready to launch them.

These men had atropine injectors, used to counteract nerve agents, which normally would be carried by those handling such chemicals.

One of the more baffling aspects of the invasion is that the Marines will encounter numerous Iraqis, both soldiers and civilians, who claim to have firsthand knowledge of chemical weapons.

At times, Marines will speculate that Iraqis are fabricating these stories in an attempt to curry favor by telling the Americans what they want to hear. But farther north, they will encounter village elders who seem quite sincere, pleading with the Marines to remove weapons stocks they believe Saddam's military buried near their farms, which they fear are poisoning their water.

Given the fact that no such weapons have been found, you get the idea Saddam or someone in his government created the myth to keep the people and the military in awe of his power.

As you can see, Evan Wright goes so far here as to disbelieve his own eyes and ears in favor of the leftist "fact" (i.e., lie) that must be repeated over and over again to make it true.

Now of course you'll once again bring up that Bush administration officials have backed off of saying Saddam had WMD.

Considering that Russia, France, and Germany supplied most of those WMD, maybe it was in our best diplomatic interest to abandon the claim, no matter how legitimate it may have been.

It's possible that our government knows the WMD are in Syria right now, and is using that secret knowledge to apply diplomatic pressure to nations that we need to straighten up. That could go a long way in explaining the "domino effect" in the Middle East and Europe.

See? Thinking for yourself is good.

You're not counting all ... (Below threshold)
mantis:

You're not counting all the women and little girls sexually abused by the UN in your dollar figure. Contrast that with the number of women (and everyone else) who've gained their freedom in Iraq. Money isn't everything. Hmmmmmmm.


I'm not sure how you would place a dollar value on such atrocities, so maybe you could enlighten me there. On a related note, would you disparage all of the US armed services based on the evidence of how a few of them behaved at Abu Ghraib? That is exactly what you are doing with the UN.

Let's look at an example of what the UN does. In Liberia over the past 2 years or so, after the fall of Charles Taylor, the UN has facilitated the disarmament of over 100,000 armed men, and funded the vocational training of half of them (such training is vastly underfunded, and the numbers would be higher if it weren't). Massive problems still face this troubled nation, but the UN has given them a chance to survive; elections are scheduled for October.

I love the hypocrisy of the right, proclaiming that money isn't everything when you are spreading freedom around the globe, yet condemning the good works of an organization committed to that cause because a few of it's members are corrupted or criminal. Adherence to ideology inevitably leads to bullshit, Sue, and you are full of it.

Sue, Thinking for yourself ... (Below threshold)
Tony-man:

Sue, Thinking for yourself is good, but how does uncrtically swallowing the Bush doctrine equate with thinking for yourself? You seem to prefer to let Bush do your thinking for you, and you 'fix the facts' around the reality Bush wants you to buy.

I didn't discuss Atropine because Atropine is not a WMD. It just isn't. It's an antidote used to thwart WMD effects. Carrying antidote is indicitive of a man fearing poison will be launched against him. But what do you expect a captured Iraqi to say? "Yes, sir Mr. American-soldier, they gave us this Atropine to carry around because you Americans want to poison us." Yeah that would go over REAL big.

If you have an antidote it doesn't equate to you being caught red-handed trying to poison someone. It means YOU fear YOU will be poisoned. I'm sure our guys carry Atropine around too. (If they don't they should.) But if our guys have atropine, and they are captured, does it mean our guys planned to be the ones to launch chemical attacks?????

Use your head. You have to think about Colin Powell.

Not once did Colin Powell say "We know Iraq has WMD because Iraq ordered supplies of Atropine." No. What Colin Powell said was... "Saddam has not developed any significant capability with respect to weapons of mass destruction. He is unable to project conventional power against his neighbors."

There, you see, I've managed to mention that quote three times now, yet not once will anyone address it.

Instead you continue to ignore it as if the statement of the Sec. of State is a meaningless burst of noise flying nonsensically through the air. You ignore it because you fear to address it.

And you fear to address it because you can't escape putting the puzzle together displays the picture of your intentional decpetion.

Face it. War is big buisness. It makes big money for these people. Bush always wanted Iraq and the oil and multi-million dollar contracts for haliburton. Before 9/11 Powell and Rice said Saddam had no weapons. After 9/11 Bush had to strike while the iron was still hot. And like MAGIC Powell and Rice and the rest of the crew suddenly did a 180 and said the exact opposite! And as soon as Bush had the chance, he diverted attention from Bin-Laden and went after Iraq. Just as the Downing Street Memo confirms, Bush 'fixed' the facts to fit his policy. Bush knew Powell and Rice were correct about there being no WMD. But THOSE facts didn't fit the policy so Bush fed them new ones, and like the obedient robots they are they obeyed the new commands. It's too bad that now nearly 2 thousand Americans killed in Iraq, over what Bush knew all along were fixed 'facts' that weren't factual.

Have you READ the Downing Street Memo? It was written July 23, 2003!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Here's some quotes that prove the willful, intentional deception of you.

There was a perceptible shift in attitude. Military action was now seen as inevitable. Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD. But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy.

There was little discussion in Washington of the aftermath after military action.

The Defence Secretary said that the US had already begun "spikes of activity" to put pressure on the regime. No decisions had been taken, but he thought the most likely timing in US minds for military action to begin was January, with the timeline beginning 30 days before the US Congressional elections.

The Attorney-General said that the desire for regime change was not a legal base for military action.

If the political context were right, people would support regime change.

CDS said that we did not know yet if the US battleplan was workable. The military were continuing to ask lots of questions.

What were the consequences if Baghdad did not collapse and urban warfighting began?

The Foreign Secretary thought the US would not go ahead with a military plan unless convinced that it was a winning strategy. On this, US and UK interests converged. But on the political strategy, there could be US/UK differences. Despite US resistance, we should explore discreetly the ultimatum. He cautioned that many in the US did not think it worth going down the ultimatum route. It would be important for the Prime Minister to set out the political context to Bush.

We should work on the assumption that the UK would take part in any military action.

Faith+1- you are fucking st... (Below threshold)
nunya:

Faith+1- you are fucking stupid.

Mantis:The whole p... (Below threshold)

Mantis:

The whole point of my comment was that you *can't* put a dollar figure on those points.

I assumed that was obvious...but...

...from a universe far, far away.

I'm so tired of dealing with stupid that I'm not even going to bother going into the idiotic "hypocrisy" statement you made.

Of course there were WMDs i... (Below threshold)
Terek:

Of course there were WMDs in Iraq. How do I know? A friend of mine was over there and *saw* them. Pretty danged convincing, if you ask me. And hey, about that antidote, let's take a look at the history of the country.

Iraq has consistently used biological weapons, something that has been banned by any right-thinking country since World War I. *Of course* they're gonna give their troops the antidote. Even Saddam isn't stupid enough to think we'd use those tactics against him.

As for bin Laden, we *know* where he is. He's in Pakistan. Maybe you have some smart plan for getting him out without provoking the loose-cannon Pakistanis to a nuclear war? Nobody likes Saddam -- it was easy to take him out. But we can't go to war with Pakistan. So if you're so upset about bin Laden's freedom, go get him yourself. I hear he's worth twenty million dollars or so.




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