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No Moonbat Left Behind

Lefty bloggers are in titters over a Fox News article about the Downing Street Memo; an article in which I was one of those interviewed.

Kelley Vlahos of Fox News called me last week to comment on the Downing Street Memo, having seen my story on the memo - Secret Downing Street Memo Fails To Sizzle. Several readers had queried me as to why conservative bloggers were not reporting on the story, and not wanting to disappoint I had a look at the story. It turns out that the story broke in the heat of the British election and had been promptly forgotten. Scant attention was paid to the memo in the major media, though it did merit three separate mentions in The New York Times prior to my article. My contention, and that of New York Times Washington Bureau chief Phil Taubman, the British government, and the White House, and others, is that there wasn't anything particularly new to be learned from the memo. Given the lack of new information in the memo the collective yawn from American media outlets is hardly surprising.

My contention to Vlahos was that the story is not really about the memo anymore, but rather it's about who was pushing mainstream coverage of the memo than the contents of the memo. She shared with me the reason the story was on Fox's radar was because her editors had received a barrage of e-mail and messages demanding to know why the mainstream media were not covering the story. In that regard the lefty bloggers seem to have had at least some level of success, though credit probably belongs with Vlahos for researching and developing a story angle that she was able to pitch to her editors.

In the Vlahos article Jim Pinkerton, syndicated columnist and regular contributor to FOX News Watch, hits the nail on the head with this quote,

"This is a test of the left-wing blogosphere."
Even with the obedient help of chief Congressional moonbat Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) and the Congressional Moonbat Caucus the lefty blogosphere isn't getting much traction with the story.

In the same week where the mystery of Watergate's 'Deep Throat' has been solved, its not hard to see why there's so little interest media interest in the already played out Downing Street Memo story.

Downing Street Memo Mostly Ignored in U.S. - [Fox News]
Secret Downing Street Memo Fails To Sizzle - [Wizbang]

Note: As to my quote that the information was "fourth or fifth hand," what I meant was that the memo was written by a staffer who recording the impressions of the M6 on his meetings in Washington with CIA (or other intel officials) who were characterizing the President's thoughts. That's hersay...


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Comments (36)

Damn liberal media.... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Damn liberal media.

Your quote hit closest to t... (Below threshold)
trb:

Your quote hit closest to the mark, but I wish the article had focused on what I feel is the reason the memo hasn't taken hold; it simply characterizes how someone felt during the meeting. There's nothing concrete to it. A person's feeling or hunch doesn't make a scandal, that person could be completely off the mark.

The people focusing so intently on this memo lose credibility in my eyes. It's another case of trying to pin something, anything, on Bush. The respect blogs like Wizbang, Powerline et al have garnered comes from asking calm, pertinent questions, not jumping to conclusions and doing research or covering the story as it unfolds. Kos et al seem to string together a few expletives, blame the media for lack of coverage, claim this is the smoking gun and then hold a grudge and bring it up constantly in discussions.

--trb

Kerry has started talking a... (Below threshold)

Kerry has started talking about this Memo also.

Funny thing is that this memo did have an impact in the British election, it along with the legal advice issue caused the Labour government to lose quite a few seats.

As for the importance of the memo, I think it will become important if there is proof that the war was decided well in advance of March 2003. people will start asking why there was not enough body armor etc etc.

Also the memo comments around the lack of planning for the aftermath have can be verified by other facts coming to light recently. Recuriting numbers declining, costs of the war higher then anticipated, a declaration of Misson Accomplished when 1500 troops have died since.

Since support for the war is at an all time low people may start asking questions again of how exactly they got into the war.

Finally the memo itself is not the key piece of evidence but the silence from both Blair and Bush on this issue states that they want it to go away.

So I believe the Lefty blogsphere has done it's job on this one since we are still talking about this memo a month after it came out.

Hearsay? The official minut... (Below threshold)
frameone:

Hearsay? The official minutes of a top government meeting where the Prime Minister is present are hearsay?

I noted this the last time you tried to dismiss this story. Why exactly are the impressions of the head of British intelligence to be dismissed as hearsay? The minutes clearly show that the British government was prepared to begin shaping policy around this "hearsay." Are you telling me that the British government is in the habit of weighing whether or not to go to war based on hearsay?

The hearsay angle is just weak. Weak Kevin. These are two governments communicating with one another at the highest official levels. The minutes are as reliable a record of those communications as we have to date. It's unebelievable that you are dismissing the information presented by the head of British intelligence about the decisions and desires of his country's closest ally and yet you turn right around an except as gospel his assessment of Iraq's WMD capabilities. Talk about fixing the intelligence to fit the policy.

Now let's look at the "there's nothing new here" angle. Are you telling me that we already knew that the President was lying in 2002 when he told the American people that he hadn't yet decided to go to war? Is that what you mean by nothing new here? If that's the case, WTF. Since when is it okey for the president to lie to the American people? If we already knew that Bush was lying to us this isn't a "test of the left-wing blogosphere" it's a full scale condemnation of a press and a public so willing to be lied to and manipulated.

But even if that isn't what you mean, this memo is evidence that the leading officials of our closest ally beleived that Bush had already decided to go to war when he was telling the American people that all options were on the table. That isn't news? The rest of the minutes reveal discussions about the viability of an American war plan and the need to find some legal justification for invasion. It isn't news that we have yet another piece of evidence suggesting that the American war planners gave no consideration to the oaftermath of their invasion or that the British felt the war, as Bush carried it out, was illegal?

As for Pinkerton, what an ass. If anything this is a test of just how cowed the MSM is by the bleatings of the right wing. After this I don't want to hear another person bitching about the liberal bias of the mainstream media. The Downing Street memo is all that's needed to begin a serious investigation into the manipulation fo intelligence before the war and the press does nothing because the dipshits at Powerline might call them names. As for their "research" not a single thing they "unearthed" about fonts and typewriters in the CBS thing proved true. Their ultimate and only effective tactic was to attack the motives of the memos anonymous source. At the same time, nothing they "unearthed" changed the fact that Bush received special treatement and was AWOL from the National Guard. Bleat loud enough and the MSM will cave in. That's all they proved.

Now let's talk the Schiavo memo: Powerline really got it on the ball there. Oh and how 'bout that Newsweek story on the Koran? Looks like there was mishandling of the Koran at Gitmo, looks like General Meyers and the defense department itself believes the riots were planned before the article, and as for the deaths, oh, whoops, it looks like most of them were caused by the police and military response to the riots. So much for the incredible research and care of the Right wing bullshit machine.

Funny thing also....current... (Below threshold)

Funny thing also....currently a little website that was also linked in the foxnews article is getting more hits then this website per week.....So if isn't a success then what is your site....sorry to be petty.

[Ed - No you're being a dick. Here's a friendly piece of advice - If you're going to comment here and on occasion be a dick (which you're free to do) you'd be well advised to so with a valid e-mail address. If I fire off an e-mail warning that gets bounced back I tend to regard the commenter as a troll (regardless of their politics). Since there's no way to contact a troll or a commenter using a fake e-mail address, there's also no way to warn them when their conduct is approaching the point where they may be banned or blacklisted. Netiquette lesson over.]

The reason the memo wasn't ... (Below threshold)
bill:

The reason the memo wasn't taken seriously, there is no there there.

Even the moonbats should be able to think through the rational for finishing off Iraq. It starts with the ceasfire, seventeen UN resolutions, and resumption of hostilities when the ceasefire was no longer adhered to by Iraq. Oh, I forgot, there was 9/11 -- remember that?

Then there is the whole Oil for WMD scam and bribery parade. But who cares about that, this nothing memo is much more important to the hate America people. Just ask the NYSlimes.

Good thing we don't have a 'toon for a President, you know the giant sucking sound that was the oral orifice. Come Monica, I can't be bothered with that Laden fellow.

Oil for WMD scam....oh now ... (Below threshold)

Oil for WMD scam....oh now your saying that Iraq traded oil for invisable WMD's.....I see I'm a Moonbat. Either that or you believe that Saddam had WMD still.

Ceasefire no longer adhered to by Saddam....do a search for bombings in Iraq from 2002 to 2003....the UK and US started bombing him more during the lead up to the war....therefore more attacks

The lines from the Downing ... (Below threshold)

The lines from the Downing St. memo that got everyone's attention:

intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy

Saddam NOT threatening neighbors

WMD capability less than Libya, North Korea, or Iran (and this was said before they went through the inspector rigamarole).

the desire for regime change was NOT a legal base for military action


No one in the British government has disputed the substance of this memo.


If the president cooked the evidence to go to war against a country that not only wasn't a threat to us, but wasn't even a threat to his neighbors that would seem to warrant at least as much attention as the GOP spent investigating the career of Bill Clinton's penis, which as far as I know didn't kill 1600 American troops and over 100,000 Iraqis.

Does the right believe in the rule of law, or is it truly about winning at all costs?

And the problem is, unless you are very wealthy, you don't really win anything except a handful of platitudes, and if you are under 24, a one way ticket to the next oil war.

52% of Oil for Food kickbac... (Below threshold)

52% of Oil for Food kickbacks from US, and Bush knew

http://www.guardian.co.uk/international/story/0,,1485546,00.html

A report released last night by Democratic staff on a Senate investigations committee presents documentary evidence that the Bush administration was made aware of illegal oil sales and kickbacks paid to the Saddam Hussein regime but did nothing to stop them.

The scale of the shipments involved dwarfs those previously alleged by the Senate committee against UN staff and European politicians like the British MP, George Galloway, and the former French minister, Charles Pasqua.

In fact, the Senate report found that US oil purchases accounted for 52% of the kickbacks paid to the regime in return for sales of cheap oil - more than the rest of the world put together.

"The United States was not only aware of Iraqi oil sales which violated UN sanctions and provided the bulk of the illicit money Saddam Hussein obtained from circumventing UN sanctions," the report said. "On occasion, the United States actually facilitated the illicit oil sales.

Let's take a different appr... (Below threshold)
mark:

Let's take a different approach to this:

Let's say that some in Tony Blairs government were getting nervous about going all the way into Iraq with Bush.

Why not make sure so called minutes of meetings purport to "officially" record those in British governments opinion that the invasion of Iraq was already a done deal in Bush's mind.

Perfect cover for the future. They can point to the memo and say "see, Bush had already made up his mind".

Damn liberal media!!... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Damn liberal media!!

Yeah, they're official minu... (Below threshold)

Yeah, they're official minutes. But not minutes of the meeting where any of this actually happened. They're someone else in another meeting recounting another person's impressions about the implications of someone else's possible thoughts in some different meeting entirely. Wow! SMOKING GUN! Writing such ramblings down on government stationery doesn't turn it into fact. Apparently even the MSM, liberal as they are, isn't dumb enough to think this memo means anything.

And, frankly, I do not care if the war was planned in 2002. Planning for such contingencies is a good thing. And if that was indeed his plan, then Bush was exactly right.

I think this part of the me... (Below threshold)

I think this part of the memo might have turned the media away from it:

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

For instance, what were the consequences, if Saddam used WMD on day one, or if Baghdad did not collapse and urban warfighting began? You said that Saddam could also use his WMD on Kuwait. Or on Israel, added the Defence Secretary."

They believed in WMD after all? Aw shucks. I'm amazed that FOX didn't seize on that part of it, but oh well, might as well be the reason why the rest of the media avoided it.

As for some of the rest of you people commenting here: 100,000 Iraqis have not died from the war.

Also, 52% of oil purchases that ended up in the USA included kickbacks. The Guardian has you fooled into thinking that Americans or American companies stand for 52%. Here's a hint: not all oil that was exported from Iraq to the USA was bought by American companies.

Try reading the Guardian article again and be amazed at how they were able to pull the wool over your eyes, with the help of the Democrats.

They may have believe WMD w... (Below threshold)

They may have believe WMD was a possible option after all that is what they had been told.

However, they would not have said the case was thin if they had been discussing North Korea or Iran.

They of course may have had a partial belief Saddam had WMD but in no way is the certainity that Bush was using to describe the WMD program in Iraq at the time....they simply sexed up that claim to start a war.

Hmmm.Yeah! And an... (Below threshold)
ed:

Hmmm.

Yeah! And another thing!

Of course it could be that the British use a different lexicon from us Americans. I.e. "fix" is not what you think it is.

But that'll be too damaging for your world so go right ahead and ignore it.

Hmmm.Now here's th... (Below threshold)
ed:

Hmmm.

Now here's the real question!

How is Jeff Gannon involved in this? And why is the Chimpy McBushHitlerBurton covering up this association between the memo and Jeff Gannon?

Gannon! The Battle Cry of the wounded Republic.

sob.

What, are you in the third ... (Below threshold)
John:

What, are you in the third grade, "moonbat??" When the right-wing isn't interested in acknowledging the truth of matters, they resort to insults and name-calling.

This is how it always goes.... (Below threshold)
Paul:

This is how it always goes. Facts muddled, name-calling and ridicule to quell any dissent that the Iraq war was wrong. The way we listened to noone, believed our own hype, and are now stuck in a killer with little hope of getting out with any measure of dignity or honor. If you believe that the war is just, go fight in it. As soon as you say that Bush was right, back it up by putting yourself on the line. Easy to tell everyone that they are nuts and unpatriotic by saying that the president lied and started a war unjustly and illegally when your own hide is never in danger. If Clinton did this, we'd have an impeachment.

Hey Paul, as long as you wo... (Below threshold)

Hey Paul, as long as you would have been willing to go and stay in Iraq under Saddam Hussein to defend your side of the argument. How about this, I will enlist and go to Iraq if you move to Iran to defend your position that we shouldn't remove these regimes with power. Mmmk?

It's easy to sit and say everything that everyone else is doing is wrong, without coming up with a solution on your own.

And when I say solution I don't mean screwing the Iraqis over so that they'd have to continue to live under Saddam Hussein's oppressive regime while he was again enabled to acquire anything he desired, just so that "we" don't have to die for a "wrong" cause.

And no, Clinton would not have been impeached over this. Everyone with an ounce of knowledge understands that the majority of legislators in Washington wanted to nail Saddam Hussein eons ago. You might want to go back and watch the video clip of John Kerry bragging that he was way ahead of his peers in calling for the military removal of Saddam Hussein.

"Antiwar" was a facade that they put on for gullible fools hooked on Fahrenheit 9/11 and MoveOn.org ads. The economy was doing better and better, and they needed an issue they could run on. You know it's true. Face the music.

There are those who accuse ... (Below threshold)
frameone:

There are those who accuse the Left of bending over backwards to accuse Bush of just about everything under the sun. But how far are you guys willing to go to defend the indefensible?

So far we've heard that it doesn't matter Bush lied to us or gave us different untrue reasons for going to war because we needed to go to invade Iraq anyway because of 9-11. Okay, that's absurd on the face of it.
Unless, of course, you guys accept the argument that the government knows best and has the right to lie to average Americans. If that's what you beleive, then fine. Bill clearly is okay with this because he still believes against all other evidence that Sadaam Hussein attacked us on 9-11.

We've heard that the minutes represents hearsay account of second and third party impressions. But that simply isn't the case.

The second paragraph of the minutes begins:
"C reported on his recent talks in Washington."

C being the head of British intelligence. So the head of British intelligence meets with the head of US inteligence. He reports back to the Prime Minister what had occurred at that meeting during a second meeting. The minutes in question are the minutes of this second meeting.

So hears the chain of information: Bush tells something to Tenent, Tenent tells that to the head of British intelligence, the head of British intelligence tells that to Tony Blair. Minutes are taken at the meeting in which Blair is informed of what the Americans have said.

The official minutes of government meetings are admissable in a court of law as evidence. That's why they're taken in the first place. So we can accept that the minutes reflect an accurate account of what the British understood were Bush's intentions. But what were the Americans intentions?

According to this hearsay denial we are supposed to buy that the chain of information above is just some high level telephone game. Like Bush really said, "I'll give diplomacy and inspections a chance to work right up until the last minute" but by the time it got to Blair it sounded like: "Military action was now seen as inevitable. Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD."

You've got to be kidding me.

Now as to this "That depends on what the meaning of 'fix' is." Please. What meaning of fix could you possible be talking about? It would actually have to be the meaning of the word that reverses the order of nouns in a sentence until it means its exact opposite.

The sentence in question describes an ORDER OF EVENTS, that is in itself evidence of malfeasance. The policy came first THEN the facts and intelligence were fixed around it. Any reasonable person would instead, fix the policy around the facts and intelligence. "Fix" means the same thing in both sentences but it is the former sentence that best describes the British understanding of what Washington was doing; First policy, then facts.

I give you the Oxford English Dictionary:

Fix:
14. a. To adjust, make ready for use (arms, instruments, etc.); to arrange in proper order. {dag}to fix a shell: to fit it with a fuse. Also with up.
d. orig. U.S. ‘To make favourable to one's purposes’ (Bartlett), to ‘square’, usu. by illegal means, esp. bribery.

Oh but wait, that's the 14th meaning of the verb fix. How about the first OED definition:

I. To make firm or stable.
1. a. trans. To fasten, make firm or stable in position; to place, attach, or insert and secure against displacement. Const. in, on, to. etc.

Let's try that one out:

"Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD. But the intelligence and facts were being MADE FIRM AND STABLE around the policy."

Hmmm doesn't really change the meaning of the sentence does it? The policy still comes before the facts upon which it is supposed to be based.

So let's just leave the above excuses out in future discussions, shall we?

"And, frankly, I do not car... (Below threshold)
frameone:

"And, frankly, I do not care if the war was planned in 2002. Planning for such contingencies is a good thing."

Um, the deal with the memo isn't that Bush "had a conitgency plan" it is that he had decided he was going to invade Iraq, nothing contingent about it, while he was still telling the American people that all options were on the table.

And just get one thing straight. The options that Bush said were still on the table involved getting UN weapons inspectors back into Iraq and finding out whether or not Iraq did indeed have the weapons Bush was saying he had. That was the plan the British put forward to make the war legal. Get the inspectors in, find evidence of violations, get a UNSC resolution authorizing invasion if Hussein failed to disarm. Bush, having already decided to go to war, did everything he could to undermine this political process. We got the inspectors back in but when it was clear that they weren't finding WMDs, rather than help the inspectors with a few clues as to where all these WMDs were supposed to be, Bush and Co. started accussing them of being dupes and fools, complicit with Hussein's regime. Then they pulled them out, skipped UNSC authorization, and started the war they'd always wanted.

And as much as it sounds great to free the Iraqis from their brutal dictator that is no legal justification for war. The British say so in the minutes that you clearly haven't read.

From the minutes:

"The Attorney-General said that the desire for regime change was not a legal base for military action. There were three possible legal bases: self-defence, humanitarian intervention, or UNSC authorisation. The first and second could not be the base in this case. Relying on UNSCR 1205 of three years ago would be difficult. The situation might of course change."

If you want to throw out the rule of international law and replace it with the will of American might, fine. But just have the fucking balls to say so directly. Don't hide your dreams of empire behind the rhetoric of freedom and liberty.

From George above: <p... (Below threshold)
frameone:

From George above:

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

For instance, what were the consequences, if Saddam used WMD on day one, or if Baghdad did not collapse and urban warfighting began? You said that Saddam could also use his WMD on Kuwait. Or on Israel, added the Defence Secretary."

They believed in WMD after all? Aw shucks."

This is truly unbelievable. The British were questioning the workability of an American plan that the British clearly believed hadn't taken into account how Hussein might use his WMD. The British needed to know more about whether a plan that failed toaccount for the contingencies above was workable. Now why do you think that the American plan failed to take into account whether or not Hussein would use WMDs during the war?

What's more we have recently learned that the US and British stepped up airsrikes in 2002 and 2003 to provoke Hussein into a belligernet response. Hmmm, why do you think we'd do this if we thought his first response would be the use of WMD on Israel or Kuwait?

I'd wager that answer to both these questions is that we knew all along Hussein didn't have shit. Why would you have to plan for weapons that weren't there?

The real issue here (and in... (Below threshold)

The real issue here (and in the Lefty blogosphere of which I'm a proud member) is the so-called Liberal Media and their complete suppression of news of this memo while we get plenty of entertaining fluff every day and night about Michael Jackson and the Runafuckingwaybride. There has been NOT A SINGLE nightly news story on ABC, CBS, NBC, or PBS.
In this week when we're celebrating the achievements of the media and Deep Throat thirty years ago, this is a crime.
The Downing Street Memo "fails to sizzle"? Of course it does. Most Americans have never even heard of it.

As for the importance of... (Below threshold)
Wendigo:

As for the importance of the memo, I think it will become important if there is proof that the war was decided well in advance of March 2003.

Rumsfeld is happy to oblige, during his time as a private citizen.

http://www.newamericancentury.org/iraqclintonletter.htm

"Um, the deal with the memo... (Below threshold)

"Um, the deal with the memo isn't that Bush "had a conitgency plan" it is that he had decided he was going to invade Iraq, nothing contingent about it, while he was still telling the American people that all options were on the table."

Yes, I know that's what the memo asserts. I am not as uncomfortable as you seem to imagine with the proposition you state. In fact, I personally believe that much of the UN business was a delaying tactic intended to give the UK some political cover, show the UN for the do-nothing posers they were, and to give us more time to get ourselves prepared. I think the Bush administration believed WMDs were in Iraq (or had been until very recently), as did most everyone else you might have asked prior to the invasion. And they had good reason to distrust the UN's interest and competence in enforcing the resolutions Saddam had already violated.

"If you want to throw out the rule of international law and replace it with the will of American might, fine. But just have the fucking balls to say so directly. Don't hide your dreams of empire behind the rhetoric of freedom and liberty."

Ok, if you say so: I want to throw out the rule of international law and replace it with the will of American might. I trust that I've gained your undying respect.

When the precepts of international law ordain that Saddam must remain in power and the world must do nothing about it so long as he pays off the proper officials at the UN, then I must reluctantly conclude that international law is an ass. And apparently a lot of countries you've forgotten about agreed with us on this point. Including, as we've seen, the citizens of Iraq.

Undying respect? No, I woul... (Below threshold)
Dan:

Undying respect? No, I would call you an honest prick. You must have been hell on the playground when it was your ball and everyone had to play by your rules.
Lying to Congress, at one time an equal branch of Government, is a crime of impeachable gravity. Congress is given the right in the Constitution to declare war, because the founding fathers never wanted one man to have that power. Flouting our Constitution is an impeachable offence. The killing of innocent civilians is a war crime. If these allegations are true, and no one in two governments has denied it, Bush should be impeached, and he and guilty members of his administration should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law for mass murder. How do you like them apples?

Lying to Congress is an I... (Below threshold)
Dan:

Lying to Congress is an Impeachable offence. Usurping the right of Congress to declare war is an Impeachable offence. The killing of innocent civilians is a war crime.
If these revelations are true, and two governments have said nothing against their veracity, Bush needs to be impeached, and he and all guilty members of his administration, and all other supporter in these lies, should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law for mass murder. How do you like them apples?

I would be happy to see thi... (Below threshold)
David Blue:

I would be happy to see this memo coming up for more discussion in the media. It touches on many questions that will interest historians.

Steven Den Beste thought that the Americans only needed Kuwait for this invasion. It seems the British thought that the Americans believed that they (the British) were essential too.

Maybe that was just the Americans telling their allies "we really need you!" to keep them onside, but it seems quite plausible to me that the Americans weighed British support very heavily. Assuming they did, I think events have proven that they were right to do so. And fortunately the British have been as good as gold.

My overall impression from reading this is that if I had known what our leaders were up to in the run-up to Operation Iraqi Freedom, I would have been greatly reassured. Of course there was room for improvement - there is that reservation about planning for the post-war or post "major combat operations" situation. But on the whole, the top people were talking sense, they were working closely together, and they were moving steadily in the direction of the essential step into a war that, perilous as it was, still had to be fought and won. Good.

"But on the whole, the top ... (Below threshold)
frameone:

"But on the whole, the top people were talking sense, they were working closely together, and they were moving steadily in the direction of the essential step into a war that, perilous as it was, still had to be fought and won."

So given that you are taking the memo at face value I can only assume that you believe lying to the American people was also an "essential step" in Bush's run up to war.

"And apparently a lot of co... (Below threshold)
frameone:

"And apparently a lot of countries you've forgotten about agreed with us on this point. Including, as we've seen, the citizens of Iraq."

Argh! Not all of the citizens of Iraq. Some of the citizens of Iraq are busy trying to spark a serious civil war. Can I also see a show of hands of the countries that STILL agree with us on this point? What's the coalition down to now?

And I know I'll sound a little callous here but if you're government sucks, try changing it yourself. If a people is to be truly free they have to take their rights and their fates into their own hands. If the MAJORITY of Iraqis weren't willing to stand up to Hussein's thugs when he was in power what make syou think they're going to stand up to his thugs now?

The so called leader of the... (Below threshold)
Mike:

The so called leader of the War on Terror spends his time riding bicycles and touring the country talking about the urgent need for social security reform.

War in Iraq? Not a priority for this President.

Wars are fun to start but exit plans are boring. ADD-in-Chief has moved on.

Sigh. I can't believe we s... (Below threshold)
John Gaunt:

Sigh. I can't believe we still have idiots running around claiming that President Bush lied about WMD. Whether you like him or loathe him, Bush did not "lie." Otherwise you better be saying that France, Russia, the UN, Clinton (as President), Kerry, Kennedy, and a whole bunch of other liberals lied when they say Saddam had WDM. Or are they all easily duped idiots that were taking orders from Bush back in 1998? I don't like Clinton and you don't hear me saying he lied about Saddam having WMDs. Pretty much everybody thought he had them. The common refrain from the libs during the run up was that our troops were going to get gassed if we invaded, which they conveniently changed afterwards. For those of you who keep on insisting that he never had any WMD, I can hear you now trying to say that he gave them up after he gassed the Kurds in the late 80s because they were such horrible weapons and they were to inhumane to use. Industrial shedders and throwing people off buildings was so much more humane and fun cause he got to watch them die up close (don't want to be hanging around gas 'cause it might not recognize you as being the important dictator that you are)! As for mass murder...are you serious?? Are you implying that Bush directed the military look for excuses to kill unarmed civilians? That's the only way you're going to get murder to stick in a war (Congress did declare it, so it is war...how do YOU like them apples). Civilians accidentally killed during war are called collateral damage (you don't have to like it, but there it is). Look back at WWII and see how much collateral damage there was. Comparatively speaking, there is very little collateral damage (I'm not aware of the US flattening several entire blocks to get a single building). If you are saying that Bush purposely ordered the death of civilians, I want to see your proof, and I don't mean the memos you got from CBS. Removing Saddam from power has been a goal since 1998 (boy, that Bush sure had mind control powers to make Clinton do that for him). Part of the problem is that the CIA is weak and ineffective when it comes to the Middle East. I remember them offering excuses how hard it was to infiltrate Al Qaeda (The American Taliban sure had a hard time). If they had gotten the job done (and Clinton hadn't tied their hands), they might have actually had concrete proof what the actual WMD status was. But they didn't and in the end, all they could do was conjecture that Saddam did/didn't have them depending on the day of the week, who was President, who was asking and what was in it for them.

Here's the nature of the pr... (Below threshold)
Lucky Danker:

Here's the nature of the problem:
1. You can engauge in war when attacked, but have poor strategic vision, and still, history may look favorably on you (France WWII).
2. You can start a war under false public pretenses, but have accurate stategic vision and history may still smile on you (U.S. in Mexican War).
3. But you cannot start a war under false public pretenses, and demonstrate poor judgement in its planning, and strategic implications, and expect the favor of history.

At some point it must become evident to the majority of Americans that the accumulation of errors pertaining to the desire for this war, its planning, its execution, and its emerging strategic consequences, have not been singular or accidental consequences associated with the 'fog of war'. And at this point many will come to see that patriotism, love of country, and concern for our American destiny as determined by the Judegment and insight of our leadership, is not about unconditional loyalty to a particular party or group of individuals in power.

As the bush administration has said, many goverments suspected Iraq had WMD, but it was his Judgment, against the advice of most of our allies, and many in our own military, to attack. It was the Judgement of the Bush administration that sattelite images of tractor trailers were confirming and convincing evidence of WMD in front of the United Nations. It was the Bush administration's Judgement to disband Iraq's entire Amry and to go in with an occupying force far smaller than that clearly needed to adequately pacify the country. It was the adminitration's Judgement to belive that American forces would be greeted overwhelmingly with open arms by the Iraqi populaion. It was Bush's Judgement to characterize the enemy as a band of 'dead-enders' and 'thugs', and to taunt them with "Bring it on" to the tune of what by now is 1000+ American dead. It was Bush's Judgment to frame what he thought was the end of the war aboard a United States Aircraft Carrier, when in reality it was the opening act of a diseminated guerrllla war. It was the Judgement of the Bush administration that this war would cost $100 Billion or at the most $200 Billion, paid for subsequently by Iraqi oil. When now it is at $300 Billion, we are only at the beginnig, and we face potentially serious economic difficulties. It is the Judgement of the Bush administration to underestimate the brutality and national humiliation that must result when unleashing the dogs of war and on a foregn nation (Abu Graib, Iraqi Civilian casualities).

To quote Sun-Tzu, The Art of War:

"When the weapons have grown dull and spirits depressed, when our strength has been expended and resources consumed, then the feudal lords will take advantage of our exhaustion to arise. Even though you have wise generals, they will not bea able to achieve a good result.
Thus in military campaigns I have heard of awkward speed but have never seen any skill in lengthly campaigns. No country ever profited from protracted warfare. Those who do not thurougly comprehend the dangers inherent in employing the army are incapable of truly knowing the potential advantages of military actions."


Very ironic Kevin,... (Below threshold)
Clive Tolson:

Very ironic Kevin,

That the citation of Wizbang on the CNN Blog segment mentioned how most CEC trackbacks lead back to you, how you've dubbed this a story without traction (while giving it legitimacy as your only post mentioned) - all the while failing to offer any substantive argument as to the veracity of the Downing Street Memo.

Now, there's the Wizbang I know!

We certainly cannot push issues on the MSM like you guys, but Air America was not built in a day! Those like you on the Right continue to gage the progress of the Lefty issues, whether they penetrate your controlled MSM world from the Washington Times to a cowering CNN.

You assume Americans do not know your homophobic hypocrisy, because they can't know of Jeff Gannon and Jim West. You assume Americans do not know how corrupt Tom DeLay is, because the only evidence are these same junkets Democrats take. You assume Americans believe the Arab world did not hate us till the Newsweek article.

You assume most Americans get their news from the same outlets ignoring the Downing Street memo. So, if you're right, why are Bush and the GOP poll numbers so dismal?

Congrats on being interview... (Below threshold)

Congrats on being interviewed on FOX NEWS, they must be desperate for guests.

Now concerning the DowningStreetMemo. This is the smoking gun, and apparently you don't care. Sorry I care when I am getting snowed by my government.

I am really disappointed in the media too. They will keep a bride who had cold feet in the news,but they won't even touch a story that led us into war with fixed intelligence.

So much for the liberal media theory huh?

What would lay this issue t... (Below threshold)
gordon:

What would lay this issue to rest would be the release of the minutes between the head of British Intelligence and the head of the CIA.
This would certainly clear up the ambiguity of this memo. The claim that national security is an issue is not really relevant because the actions regarding the outcome of the meeting have already been taken.




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