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The Black Book Of Saddam Hussein

A reader pointed me to this column about a book of Saddam's atrocities that turned the author, who was against the war, into a reluctant supporter. I disagree with the author's over-the-top, typical far left characterization of how the war has gone, but am intrigued by the thought process that led someone with such a negative opinion of the war to come to the conclusion that it was necessary.

Before it began, the war in Iraq seemed to me a thoroughly bad business, and subsequent events have confirmed me in that opinion: the dodgy dossier, the persecution of Dr Kelly, the public lies, the botched reconstruction, the torture at Abu Ghraib, the massacres, the proliferation of terror, the descent into civil war - an unmitigated disaster. And like many opponents of the war, I have taken a grim satisfaction as increasing numbers of its erstwhile supporters have come round to my view.


War is a contradictory business, though, and my gloomy complacency is severely dented by a French book entitled Le Livre Noir de Saddam Hussein (The Black Book of Saddam Hussein). Edited by Chris Kutschera, and published by Oh! Editions, it is a collection of writings by historians, journalists and jurists offering an exhaustive account of the dictator's crimes against humanity.

At his trial in Baghdad, Saddam stands accused of 148 killings, but the Black Book puts the number closer to two million...

...The Black Book's preface is by Bernard Kouchner, a co-founder of Medecins Sans Frontieres and former cabinet minister, who writes that "Saddam was one of history's worst tyrants and it was necessary and urgent to remove him." The war may not have been the ideal way to do so, but there was no other.


What I found amazing is that someone with such an intensely negative view of the war effort, could read of Saddam's atrocities and decide that even what he found to be an extremely ugly war was preferable to what existed under Saddam. It made me wonder how many of those who have a less extreme negative opinion of the war might look at the success of the effort differently if reminded (in detail) of the extreme viciousness and vast reach of Saddam's brutality.

For those who say pointing to Saddam's atrocities as a reason for the invasion of Iraq is an attempt to change the rationale for the war after the fact, I must conclude that they are either dishonest or did not read a newspaper or watch any television in the year leading up to the invasion. I vividly recall the references to "rape rooms" and other forms of torture included in both the President's speech to the UN and in the State of the Union. I also recall the revelation from CNN's Eason Jordan, after the invasion, that he was aware of atrocities taking place in Saddam's Iraq, but did not report them for fear, at least partly, of losing their Baghdad bureau. Of course, for those who choose to believe the rosy picture of kite-flying children in Michael Moore's vision of Iraq under Saddam Hussein, there is not much room for reality and everyone in Iraq was happier with Saddam in power.


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Comments (53)

I told a Lefty friend that ... (Below threshold)

I told a Lefty friend that any job worth doing is worth doing badly. It cooked her noodle.

The War in Iraq has been a spectacular success by any historical measure, its just a damn shame the Leftist misanthropes in the media can;t see it that way.

Help me find a contradictio... (Below threshold)
Bemused:

Help me find a contradiction in the following of my beliefs, then:

1) Saddam Hussein should not have been allowed to remain in power in Iraq;

2) The case for the war was not made either honestly or sufficiently;

3) The war has gone poorly and doesn't seem likely to go any better, for the Iraqis or the coalition.

Support the troops; hate Saddam; but oppose the war. Geopolitics requires creative solutions, which this administration appears unable to provide under any circumstances.

if you have Netflix and the... (Below threshold)
jp:

if you have Netflix and the stomach for it, rent "Buried in the Sand"....if liberals watched it they would either be supportive of the war or come up with a conspiracy along the lines of "bush/cheney/rove/haliburton created this in the desert just like the supposed moon landing"

its that powerful, just as a warning its the hardest thing I've ever watched and nearly made me puke and I generally have a strong stomach for this stuff.

I never mind taking out evi... (Below threshold)
jp2:

I never mind taking out evil dictators, although I find that exporting democracy rarely, rarely works. (Clearly)

Everyone knows Saddam was evil and wanted him gone. What I do mind is being misled about it. I also mind incompetence in running a war which costs 10s of thousands of lives. We have both here.

And yes, Lorie, the fact that you are talking about it still - still - let's everyone know you are trying to make excuses after the fact. I'm not sure, but I feel it's guilt.

I told a Lefty friend th... (Below threshold)
astigafa:

I told a Lefty friend that any job worth doing is worth doing badly. It cooked her noodle.

Oh yes, Tim, you old noodle cooker you. One wonders if her noodle were not predisposed to cook, given that she's hanging around with a Proven Dickhead...

The War in Iraq has been a spectacular success by any historical measure

Oh, yeah. Swimming. Slammin'. A towering success. Yep, best thing since sliced bread. Goodness, yes. Jesus Himself would applaud this one.

Why would it bother you (jp... (Below threshold)
Lorie Byrd:

Why would it bother you (jp2) that I write about Iraq? I hear from people all the time that are over there or who have just returned wishing I wrote about it more often because they don't believe the public is getting a full picture.

I most often write about the revision of history that has gone on the past three years in which those on the left have sought to pretend that Bush made every claim about Saddam's WMD up out of whole cloth. Read a few of Clinton and Gore and Kerry's quotes about Saddam's WMD and then explain to me how Bush misled and manipulated them -- before he was president. Clinton even said in interviews after the invasion that he believed Saddam did have WMD. The big story is not of Bush misleading anyone, it is of those on the left successfully convincing the sheep following them that Bush made the whole thing up. What is also amazing is that no one seems to be concerned with what might have happened to all that WMD that Clinton and the U.N. and everyone else believed Saddam possessed. Talk about lacking curiosity. It is pretty amazing and I will continue to write about it, no matter how uncomfortable it makes those on the left.

We should have gotten the ... (Below threshold)
Lee:

We should have gotten the H*LL out of Iraq after Saddam was captured and his regime was toppled.

Republican apologists will point to the unrest that remains in Iraq as an excuse to stay, but in fact -- our continued presence has caused much of the civil unrest. A civil war could now result, with the potential to unravel what was accomplished through the removal of Saddam.

Clinton's administration op... (Below threshold)
Bemused:

Clinton's administration opposed Slobodan Milosevic's ethnic cleansing and put a stop to it with an effective air campaign that inflicted minimal civilian casualties and, I think, zero combat deaths for NATO airmen and troops. Milosevic died while on trial for war crimes. Textbook example of how to get shit done when shit needs gettin' done.

Republicans and conservatives opposed this operation. Said it wasn't America's business.

There's no room for hypocrites on the moral high ground.

Lorie, why do you think it ... (Below threshold)
jp2:

Lorie, why do you think it bothers me that you are writing about Iraq? I just think you are trying to make yourself feel better about supporting such a terrible mistake from the get-go. I am somewhat dissapointed in myself that I believed in the administration in the beginning. When it unravelled it was very difficult. I do not believe that the ends justified the means in this case, as you do.

Just because I support a competent foreign policy doesn't have anything to do with Clinton or Kerry, as you mentioned. I was not keen on Kerry and certainly did not support him in the primaries. It's not a Democrat/Republican thing - it's competence. This administration is incompetent. And the fact you are willing to defend them and still make excuses for this terrible folly is sad.

And as far as misleading - there is a reason 4/10 people thought we found WMDs a YEAR after the invasion. There is a reason that 70% (!) of Americans thought Saddam was behind 9/11. Because we were misled. Because Condi lied about aluminum tubes. Because Rumsfeld said we knew where the WMDs were. Because in Bush's SOTU he claimed, even though he was told it was not solid evidence, that Iraq was looking for yellow cake. The list goes on and on...

"What is also amazing is that no one seems to be concerned with what might have happened to all that WMD that Clinton and the U.N. and everyone else believed Saddam possessed."

Well, we'll never know will we? The administration made their choice (and PNAC!), and now you have an unpopular war with 20,000 American casualties. Fortunately, the UN sanctions worked and Saddam never attained WMDs. It's a nice fantasy of yours though.

bemused: yes, great job the... (Below threshold)

bemused: yes, great job there, we stopped the slaughter of muslims and now the muslims are slaughtering everyone else. bravo.

jp:"Because in Bush'... (Below threshold)

jp:
"Because in Bush's SOTU he claimed, even though he was told it was not solid evidence, that Iraq was looking for yellow cake."

Care to tell us what the Iraqi delegation was looking for in Niger (as reported by Joe Wilson) if not uranium? Goats? Mud? Seriously, no one seems to want to answer this question.

jp2 - so Saddam never atta... (Below threshold)
Lorie Byrd:

jp2 - so Saddam never attained WMD and you say that "my" fantasy is that he did? Evidentally, I was not the only one fantasizing.

Bemused - and what WAS our ... (Below threshold)
Big Mo:

Bemused - and what WAS our business taking out Slobo? Please explain.

We all know that the far le... (Below threshold)
Big Mo:

We all know that the far left will remain convinced to the end of days that Bush lied, blah blah blah, yada yada yada.

But not one of them has ever offered a coherant, logical argument for WHY Bush would lie to go into Iraq.

Please, lefties. Give us your reasons WHY Bush would lie about this. Then we'll see if your reasons pass the smell test.

(Anyone wanna guess how many times "profit" and "oil" and Bush's friends" are mentioned?)

Lorie ...If there ... (Below threshold)
Martin A. Knight:

Lorie ...

If there is one thing I will never forgive the Bush Administration for, it will be their silence throughout 2005 even as the Left and their friends in the Press carefully rewrote the history about Iraq, Saddam Hussein, terrorism and Al Qaeda.

If I had access to even 10% of the resources and manpower the White House Communications Office could rustle up if they were not such incompetent somnolent idiots, I would be churning out and distributing dossiers containing article clippings from the myriad of newspapers from all around the nation and the world that were published throughout the 1990s telling us about Saddam, his WMDs and his worrying relationship with terrorists and terrorism.

Let's also not forget the Robb-Silberman Report, Duelfer Report, Butler (UK) Report, Iraq's 1990's UN Weapon's Declarations, the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Report, etc. and a great deal more that the MSM likes to pretend does not exist.

I'll have the Press Secretary giving multimedia presentations daily during the White House Press Conference on national television where Clinton Administration and Democrat members of Congress would have their pre-2003 words on Iraq and Saddam re-introduced to the American people again and again and again.

Hell, give any moderately intelligent teenager just that 10% and the MSM would have a serious problem on their hands in trying to keep the BushLied™ meme alive.

Unfortunately, this administration chose to lay down its sword and even with the addition of Tony Snow, it seems as if it's still in its scabbard. It is this ceding of the battlefield of public opinion that is at the heart of the President's low poll numbers. What's even more unfortunate is that the Administration shows no sign of even recognizing it.

I'd only have to explain wh... (Below threshold)
Bemused:

I'd only have to explain why putting an end to ethnic cleansing is morally imperative to an American conservative, wouldn't I? Only a Republican would fail to understand why genocide is "our business".

Hey Falze--we saved the Albanian Muslims from Serbian death squads. Then a bunch of Saudis and Egyptians blew up the WTC.

WHAT. THE. FUCK. IS. WRONG. WITH. YOU. PEOPLE.

Seems like the lefties woul... (Below threshold)
Tim:

Seems like the lefties would've been just fine if we never got involved in the Gulf war. Just let Saddam annex Kuwait, slaughter everyone, then move into Saudi Arabia, slaughter them too. Is that what you secretly wish? You just don't care WHO gets slaughtered as long as it doesn't affect you. You want to stand up for the innocents that die in the fog of war, but you turn your backs on the trail of innocents that died before. Maybe we should've stayed out of WWII, or for that matter, the Revolutionary war. Let the madmen rule the world and sit back like good little boys and girls. It's a shame CBS spends more time inventing news and less time reporting what the majority of Iraqies think.

Martin,I agree 100 p... (Below threshold)
Lorie Byrd:

Martin,
I agree 100 percent. I blogged a bit about it over the past couple of years. I really believe that in the beginning, they were just sitting back sure that the WMD stockpiles would eventually be found. After that, the conventional wisdom was set. They have done the same thing on several other issues -- not getting the facts out there before conventional wisdom was set.

Another thing Bush did that I didn't understand was when he said in one of his addresses something about us now knowing we were wrong about the WMD. He did not make it clear that he was referring to stockpiles.

I have wondered if the administration has some information that makes it difficult to point to proof of WMD because if, for example, we found out that it had been moved to Syria, there would then be pressure to do something about it. It makes some sense that if we did have information like that, but were not ready to act on it, we might not want to go public with it.

I think that there are many, many things that we just don't know yet, and while I think that we may never know it all, I do think that one day much more of the entire story will be known.

With all that being said, I agree that I too have been extremely disappointed with the effort to set the record straight, although at times some decent efforts (even yielding some results) were made.

I wrote a column at Townhall a while back about why I think it is necessary to set the record straight before the 2008 elections. I will be blogging a bit more about that in the future, too.

UH, "Bemused" there were mo... (Below threshold)
Big Mo:

UH, "Bemused" there were more people murdered in Iraq by Saddam Hussein and his goulish sons and goons than were ever killed in the "genoicide" of Slobo.

So... WHAT. THE. F*CK. IS. WRONG. WITH. YOU?

By your standard, "Bemused" you should be cheering the fact that this murderous bastard is gone from power for good and that we're trying to establish a democracy so that another, similar murderous tyrant won't rise in his place.

Or are you just a hypocrite?

Big Mo,I have asked ... (Below threshold)
Lorie Byrd:

Big Mo,
I have asked the question about why Bush would lie about WMD and have never gotten a coherent answer. Come to think of it, I rarely even get anyone that will take a stab at it.

For Bush to have "lied" by any definition of the word, he had to have known that Saddam didn't really have WMD. If he knew there was no WMD there, then he knew none would be found. If he really wanted to go into Iraq for other reasons (oil, revenge, whatever) then why would he rest the biggest part of his argument for invading on the one that he knew would be found to be wrong? It makes no sense whatsoever.

Lorie - Yep. I know. I don'... (Below threshold)
Big Mo:

Lorie - Yep. I know. I don't expect a coherant answer, because there isn't one.

It's as stupid as the theory that FDR let the Japanese attack Pearl to get us into WWII - which overlooks the fact that the Japanese sunk much of our Pacific fleet in the process.

Heck I don't even buy the line that Bill Clinton bombed Iraq because of Lewinski. I beleive that was on the up and up.

Perhaps the problem with us... (Below threshold)

Perhaps the problem with us is that we can evaluate independent facts...like not conflating slobo with 9/11 like someone who shall remain nameless just did.

You must have a hard time o... (Below threshold)
Bemused:

You must have a hard time ordering food at McDonald's, Big Mo.

Not supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom does not equate to condoning Saddam Hussein's regime. Those are two separate things with extremely relevant divergencies that you insist on overlooking because you're dishonest or quasi-literate. Notice how Clinton didn't invade and occupy Kosovo while still holding accountable most of the perpetrators of those crimes against humanity?

I'd like to know why your beloved administration was okay with cooperating with Uzbekistan's tyrannical psychopath of a dictator, who is guilty of doing the same sort of thing to his people as Saddam was; or why they are too spineless to take a principled stand against Russia's and China's repeated human rights abuses.

Yeah, yeah, I know, bark moonbat bark...

It was a comparative point,... (Below threshold)
Bemused:

It was a comparative point, and a relative one at that, designed to illuminate the unquestionable hypocrisy of the GOP. If any of you supported the removal of Milosevic from power, as I'm sure some of you did, bravo.

A "conflation" would be associating Saddam with 9/11. Tenuous associations with Osama does not equal guilt by association. He was guilty of human rights abuses, and should have been dealt with accordingly. I despise isolationism; I like FDR and Woody Wilson. The point is that intervention should be done carefully, with a sure-fire plan for winning the peace and an exit strategy. We were far from having to resort to a full-blown invasion to stop Saddam. I expect you 101st Fighting Keyboarders to disagree, of course.

Oh, wait, did you think I w... (Below threshold)

Oh, wait, did you think I was stupid like you, bemused? No, I wasn't referring to 9/11, I was referring to the bombing of more than 150 churches by the 'albanian muslims' we 'saved', right under the caring eyes of NATO. How many Serbs have fled the muslims we saved? About a quarter of a million? How many cemetaries have the muslims we saved desecrated?

Martin,Good commen... (Below threshold)
tblubrd:

Martin,

Good comments. I also think that posters like bemused are like the rest of us - we're tired of war too. But they have a problem standing thier ground when it comes to finishing the job - without all the "clean' killing ("Clinton's administration opposed Slobodan Milosevic's ethnic cleansing and put a stop to it with an effective air campaign that inflicted minimal civilian casualties and, I think, zero combat deaths for NATO airmen and troops. Milosevic died while on trial for war crimes. Textbook example of how to get shit done when shit needs gettin' done.") One of the obvious results of Milosovec's fiasco was the millions - on both sides - who were "relocated'. Refugees. The Iraq invasion, instead of creating refugees, has allowed several million of its citizens to actually come home. Most refugee camps have closed - no customers.

It's easy to rewrite the history. It's harder to actually criticize and get real reform out of that criticism. In the end, re-writing history and criticizing both use the same facts - but get completely different results.

Good post Lorie. And jp2, while I won't disagree with some of your comments, we do need to visit the rationale often. Just like we should revisit the 9/11 event. Often. The media made a huge deal about the WMD issue before the invasion. Somehow, it never seemed to me that it was the pivot that towered over all the other reasons. The media made it seem that way and many bought it. We do need to be reminded what all this started from - losing our will at this point is not an option.

By your standard, "Bemus... (Below threshold)
Buckeye, Dealer of Rare Coins:

By your standard, "Bemused" you should be cheering the fact that this murderous bastard is gone from power for good and that we're trying to establish a democracy so that another, similar murderous tyrant won't rise in his place.

Or are you just a hypocrite?

At least when Milosevic was bombed, and eventually removed from power he wasn't replaced by death squads, car bombs and IEDS.

Replacing Saddam with another form of violence isn't an improvement, no matter how much Bush supporters try to delude themselves that Iraqis are better off and that we're bringing them democracy.

Buckeye, actually, you're 1... (Below threshold)

Buckeye, actually, you're 100% wrong. The albanian muslims we 'saved' are now destroying the lives of the serbs and driving them from the country, the only thing preventing a massacre in the other direction are the NATO troops, who don't seem to mind the muslims burning down churches and such.

Holy civility, tblubrd! I'l... (Below threshold)
Bemused:

Holy civility, tblubrd! I'll buy you a beer if you're ever in Toronto. =)

Falze--if the genocide in Rwanda had been stopped, it is very likely that many Tutsis would have turned around and killed many of their former aggressors. Still, the genocide should have been stopped. Non-debatable. Likewise, Albanians and Serbs have a long history of hating and killing one another, but surely you have to agree that putting a stop to government-sanctioned ethnic cleansing was morally imperative. Whether or not things go swimmingly immediately thereafter is a separate concern that also deserves attention; but if you're implying that we should have just sat back and allowed genocide to run its course, you need to do some soul-searching for that infamous moral compass that liberals supposedly lack.

For Bush to have "lied" ... (Below threshold)
Lee:

For Bush to have "lied" by any definition of the word, he had to have known that Saddam didn't really have WMD

Or he had reports that there were WMD and intelligence that told there wasn't, and he chose to believe and tell the public they DID exist, and chose to ignore and not tell us that there was also intelligence that they did not exist. The logic you use to apologize for Bush is, once again, faulty.

Okay, that confirms it: Fal... (Below threshold)
Bemused1:

Okay, that confirms it: Falze thinks that burning down churches and displacing people is worse than committing genocide.

Why are there quotes around 'saved' in your comment? They were going to be murdered, but then they were rescued from genocide. Why the quotes, you psychopath? Did Saddam 'kill' 'innocent' people?

If the only thing going on is the desecration of religious property, it's a step in the right direction for that part of the world.

<a href="http://www.america... (Below threshold)
Ken Hoop:

http://www.americanprogress.org/site/pp.asp?c=biJRJ8OVF&b=24889


for a complete and methodical refutation of Lori's
attempt to blur what Democrats said, and when,
about WMDS etc.,with the overt deception of the Bush Adminstration, please click on this link.

Bemused,How many civ... (Below threshold)
scsiwuzzy:

Bemused,
How many civilans died in those air attacks in the Balkans?

Hmmmmm.Cl... (Below threshold)
ed:

Hmmmmm.

Clinton's administration opposed Slobodan Milosevic's ethnic cleansing and put a stop to it with an effective air campaign that inflicted minimal civilian casualties and, I think, zero combat deaths for NATO airmen and troops. Milosevic died while on trial for war crimes. Textbook example of how to get shit done when shit needs gettin' done.

I suggest you read up on the air campaign first before shoving your foot in your mouth like this.

The "air campaign" was a complete and utter disaster that accomplish almost nothing.

Hmmmm.At ... (Below threshold)
ed:

Hmmmm.

At least when Milosevic was bombed, and eventually removed from power he wasn't replaced by death squads, car bombs and IEDS.

Frankly this nonsense is getting idiotic.

Here's a clue for you: Kosovo.

Care to change the subject ... (Below threshold)

Care to change the subject some more? Yes, by all means let's ignore the signs of impending genocide (held off only by foreign troops at the moment) because that's not as serious. Want to talk about Watergate now?

Why say 'saved'? I dunno, maybe because I wonder why we 'saved' homicidal, intolerant lunatics or something. But that's just me.

What planet do you live on?... (Below threshold)
Falze:

What planet do you live on? People do not deserve to be killed for being intolerant. They deserve to be contained. If they start committing genocide, then they ought to be stopped. It's not a selective principle.

Civilians were killed in the air campaign, ed. They were also killed in Germany in WW II. When a war has legitimate moral justification, these things are excusable to an extent. I'm not a Clinton apologist--I would like to see him punished for destroying a pharmaceutical plant in the Sudan based on faulty intelligence claiming it was a weapons factory. Stopping the cleansing of Albanians warranted action; with the Republican isolationists opposing even air strikes, I think Clinton did what he could to stop it. He's by no means a brave or courageous man--don't misinterpret my comments as Democratic spin. I'm a Canadian liberal, not James Carville.

Apologies for using your na... (Below threshold)
Bemused:

Apologies for using your name, Falze--I meant to address the comment to you, not attribute it to myself. Too much, or not enough, caffeine.

Not attribute it to YOU, I ... (Below threshold)
Bemused:

Not attribute it to YOU, I meant.

Jeebus. Words is hard. Sorry.

Re: Eason Jordan witholding... (Below threshold)
T:

Re: Eason Jordan witholding information about Saddam's atrocities, you mistakenly say it was to keep the CNN bureau in Baghdad open. Untrue. Eason had knowledge that revealing specific sensitive information would result in the immediate death of innocent people. What would you do in that situation? Is any "news" worth that price? He made a hard choice, but the right choice. Many people choose to criticize him for this decision. He chose to protect an innocent Iraqi man's life. How could that be wrong? The truth about Saddam would always come out sooner or later, and it did.

Bemused: "I'd only have to ... (Below threshold)

Bemused: "I'd only have to explain why putting an end to ethnic cleansing is morally imperative to an American conservative, wouldn't I? Only a Republican would fail to understand why genocide is "our business"."

And only a Lefty could think it's okay to pull out of a war and turn a blind eye to the deaths that take place as some other leader assumes power and control.

Like after Vietnam.

Like if we left Iraq.

Saddam qualifies for every definition of a genocidal tyrant. Milosovek could almost be considered a poseur next to the Master. I'll assume you think it was right to take Baghdad. Pretty obviously, you'd also think it was right to leave again and let the killing continue. Maybe Sadr would completely wipe out the Sunnis... exchange one tyranny for revenge genocide.

Hypocracy is praising the deposing of Milosovek and opposing the deposing of Saddam. Hypocracy is condemning genocide but only supporting doing something about it when the motivation is suitably pure.

Results don't matter, only ideological purity. If that's so, how can you even claim that genocide matters?

And how many people died by... (Below threshold)

And how many people died by the time the "truth came out", T?

The media doesn't hesitate to publish criminal accusations when they are safe to do so, they only hesitate when it actually puts them or their goals at risk.

If Eason Jordan saved that one man... how many people did he kill?

I said that Eason Jordan's ... (Below threshold)
Lorie Byrd:

I said that Eason Jordan's fear of losing the Baghdad bureau was part of the reason and as I recall Jordan admitted that himself. I understand the intitial decision to keep the news under wraps while lives were in danger. To continue that for such an extended period of time, though, while at the same time CNN was reporting the abuses of Saddam Hussein as alleged and even in question.

Bemused: - You mu... (Below threshold)
Big Mo:

Bemused: -
You must have a hard time ordering food at McDonald's, Big Mo.

Nope. Do it just fine. Me and Bill Clinton just love those Big Macs!

Not supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom does not equate to condoning Saddam Hussein's regime. Those are two separate things with extremely relevant divergencies that you insist on overlooking because you're dishonest or quasi-literate. Notice how Clinton didn't invade and occupy Kosovo while still holding accountable most of the perpetrators of those crimes against humanity?

"quasi-literate?" O...kay. Whatever, goalpost-mover. First you praise Clinton for stopping genocide. I remind you that Bush has stopped a genocide that was far worse. But you move the goalposts and say the situation is much different because Clinton didn't invade and occupy.

So what? Tell me, what has changed in Serbia and that whole wreck of a country that used to be Yugoslavia? Has it gotten better since Slobo was removed? Or worse? Have the Balkins improved? Or are our troops still there?

Sure, we didn't put boots on the ground in Serbia, but we STILL have them in Kosovo. That whole area is STILL a wreck. But hey, Clinton got rid of Slobo by bombing--and missing--most targets from 15,000 feet. So for you libs, that's all that matters.

And by the way, as a conservative, I supported Clinton's actions in the Balkans. That action had NOTHING to do with US interests. Deposing Saddam and helping to create a stable, less insane Middle East has everything to do with US interests.


Synova--Milosevic ... (Below threshold)
Bemused:

Synova--

Milosevic is a poseur compared to Saddam because... Iraq has a larger population? Is that why? You can do better than that.

To repeat myself: liberal principles of justice and tolerance for all individuals regardless of location or creed include the Iraqi people; I failed to see, though, how the American-led invasion could possibly turn out well, and I was right. Occupation was not the answer; how else could it have possibly turned out? Did anyone believe Cheney's and Wolfowitz's comments about being greeted with rose petals and hallelujahs? I know this is now obvious to you too, now that you're familiar with the extent of the ethnic tension in the region; it hurts to admit you were wrong, but it's a sign of good faith and strong character. Please note GWB's inability to do so.

The only person I've read who thinks the coalition should just abandon Iraq to chaos is John Derbyshire, who stated that he could watch Iraqis slaughter each other with a "degree of calm" or whatever he said. We tried and failed, so screw 'em, was his attitude. Although there are some Dems (and Repubs) who believe the operation has failed, can you find a liberal-minded individual who has stated the case for withdrawal as callously and inhumanely as Derbyshire did?

I don't know what to do about Iraq. That's the admininstration's job. Attacking critics is not going to save any troops from IEDs.

Bemused and jp2 and any oth... (Below threshold)
Zelsdorf:

Bemused and jp2 and any other moonbat present. Suggest you switch over to Powerline and look at two things there. One has to do with a little black book the other is a translation of some of the papers found in Iraq dealing with WMD. You lie. The Iraqi Freedom conflict is about being in material breach of UN resolution 1441. President Bush, unlike his predecessor, has not lied about anything. If you think he has, prove it or STFU. Why do you not go haunt the DailyKos were your BS is appreciated? You are, of course welcome anywhere, but stop the BS. Read and learn.

Bemused, Toronto? LOL. Be... (Below threshold)
ThePolishNizel:

Bemused, Toronto? LOL. Beutiful city, but worry about Canada please.

Is your only point of reference Baghdad? In MANY parts of Iraq, the US was greeted as liberators. EVEN in parts of Baghdad. It has been three years. Three years and it is a failure? It must be so nice to have the attention span of a three year old. This is a long term project and it is a war. People die in wars. If you were against this war because you didn't think it was worth one coalition soldier's death or one innocent Iraqi civilian's deaths, that is fine and quite moral. BTW, it was quite the utopia with Saddam. But too late for that. Your other BS is peripheral.

I worry about your country'... (Below threshold)
Bemused:

I worry about your country's escapades, TPN, because extremists are too stupid to realize that Canadians didn't support the invasion of Iraq and think we're part of the problem. Yeah, yeah, they hate our freedom too. If freedom was their biggest problem, though, they would have gone after the Dutch first and then us. You'd probably have made the top ten.

Also, TPN, find any reference by a member of this administration prior to 2004 that claims this operation was going to be incredibly long and costly. It wasn't planned that way. All the PNAC people lied about how long and how expensive the occupation was going to be. Or, they honestly got it so wrong that they don't deserve to keep their jobs. Wolfowitz failed upwards, Tenet was bounced, but Rumsfeld still has a job. Perplexing.

Zelsdorf: why would I read the DailyKos? Anyway, one of the PowerTools once claimed that President Bush was a man of such staggering genius that people just could not understand the extent of his wisdom. I can't be bothered to find the exact quote, but that sure doesn't strike me as someone worth paying attention to. As for Dubya tellin' fibs:

-"By the year 2042, the entire [social security] system would be exhausted and bankrupt." - SOTU '05. In 2042, assuming no global financial disaster, it would pay out 3/4 of what it does today, adjusted to projected inflation. It's a lie, or every economic advisor that works for him is dumber than Doug Feith

-"Bush: 'We Found' Banned Weapons. President Cites Trailers in Iraq as Proof, " May 31, 2003. Trailers were not weapons labs. If Saddam had weapons, ya'll never found them

-Claimed Saddam's al-Samoud II missile had 800 mile range; actually only 108 miles, and without its heavy guidance system, it fell within the imposed 93 mile range limit

-Sinister aluminum tubes were not suitable as centrifuges, but only for conventional (legal) artillery. I actually feel bad for Condi on this one, as I think she probably foolishly took a liar's word for it

-Unmanned aircraft cited as potential threat to Americans; they of course presented about as much threat as an RC airplane from RadioShack

Look, you can say he didn't "lie" about this shit, and do some Clintonian hair splitting of your own, but politicians are coached to speak non-verifiably/falsifiably. The point is he wasn't exactly going out of his way to represent the intelligence in an honest way. Not the guy that I'd want wearing the decider pants if I were an American.

Can you find a liberal mind... (Below threshold)

Can you find a liberal minded person, Bemused, who calls for the immediate withdrawl of US troops (there are lots of those, should be really easy to find) who explains how a civil war and genocide will *not* happen?

Derbyshire is apparently one of the few who are honest about what pulling out of Iraq would mean. Other people calling for the same action simply ignore the unpalatable consequences.

"We tried, we failed, let's go home" is the most idiotic thing... you're an intelligent person, Bemused. How long does unrest last when a government is destroyed and a new one formed? How long does it take to form a new government? How long does it reasonably take for life to become normalized? How long do the sore losers keep making trouble? How long did it take in Germany? In Japan? In the US after our Revolution? Pick any country... your choice.

From a Historical context it's hard to see a way to rationally declare Iraq a failure of any sort. Not after only three years. Not when by any rational measure the process *ought* to take much much longer than three years. Maybe we can declare it a failure after 10 years. People want to give up because this is *hard*. Well, screw em. Ongoing genocides have lasted longer than 10 years.

But let's not screw the Iraqis by living up to our "cut and run" reputation and leaving them out to hang just because we have short attention spans.

Derbyshire was offering the... (Below threshold)
Bemused:

Derbyshire was offering the "paleo"-conservative position that Americans ought to care for America first and foremost, and that you've got nothing to gain in Iraq anymore. I'm glad you reject this crass isolationism in favour of the more global, liberal approach to human welfare, Synova. FDR loves ya.

I hope for everyone's sake that this takes a hell of a lot less than 10 years, because once you're done in Iraq, you've got Somalia, Zimbabwe, Uzbekistan, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, China, Russia, Cuba, North Korea, Iran, and likely a few others to convert to flourishing democracies that recognize the rights of women and ethnic minorities. It'll be hard work, but I know you'll stick to your ideological guns and shove democracy right down their throats. There will be casualties, but Americans have the political courage to do what's necessary. Putin will snap like a twig, but the Chinese will probably take two, maybe even three years to defeat, pacify, democratize, and re-pacify.

Better stock up on Cheetos, Mom. This is gonna get rough.

Hello Bemused ...I... (Below threshold)
Amused (AKA Martin A. Knight):

Hello Bemused ...

I like you. You are a great deal more intelligent than the other Lefties here. You say nothing falsifiable, are very subtle at employing variable standards of proof, lie by omission, and are really quite skillful at using hindsight to judge actions that were taken prior to the information provided by hindsight became available.

For example, you cite Bush's saying that a mobile weapons lab has been found on May 31, 2003 as evidence of BushLying™ but you, of course, neglect to mention that on May 28, 2003 (just three days earlier) that the CIA and DIA publicly filed a report addressing this issue titled Iraqi Mobile Biological Warfare Agent Production Plants in which they concluded;

    [W]e nevertheless are confident that this trailer is a mobile BW production plant because of the source's description, equipment, and design.

In other words, Bush was saying exactly what the nation's two premier Intelligence agencies believed to be true at the time. The proof is right there on the CIA's website.

I must say, Bemused, I'm very impressed. You're very good at what you do. You must be a reporter. Because I believe that it must take a great deal of training, discipline and intelligence to do what you've done throughout this website.

Well done. It's obvious mak44 and Lee are only small fry (they just amuse me mostly) - you're somewhat bigger fish. I'll be paying extra attention to your posts from now on.

The problem with comparing ... (Below threshold)
Aaron:

The problem with comparing Iraq to the Kosovo campaign is that Kosovo was much easier since it did not involve the invasion and occupation of a country with the requirement of keeping it in one piece.

Kosovo is the equivalent of us invading Kurdistan alone and then pounding Iraq to allow to stay there...oh we did that already in 1991.

Now, if Clinton had invaded all of Yugoslavia and managed to create a democractic government consisting of Serbs, Croats, and Bosniaks, then it would be the same...and the Serbs would be letting off IEDs right now.

Another question for people appalled by the civil war in Iraq - do you think if Saddam had died of natural causes in 2003 that there would not have been a very nasty civil war anyways? Or Uday and Qsay could have become leaders of Iraq? Why not?

Marty--You sound l... (Below threshold)
Bemused:

Marty--

You sound like a weirdo. I'm a "consultant" (cough pretty well unemployed cough) who smokes pot, reads stuff and has opinions. Anderson Cooper is mak44.

To a better 21st century!




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