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Contagious Myopia

Over the past few days, I've noticed more and more stories that seem to not only reflect a certain level of short-sightedness, but "push" that as a fair reflection of reality.

It -- no surprise here -- relates to the fighting in Iraq.

I have, since the first day of the invasion, thought of the fighting there as "the Iraq campaign of the War on Terror." Just as Pearl Harbor did not result in us declaring war on Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto, the Japanese commander and architect of the attack, 9/11 did not result in us declaring Osama Bin Laden and Al Qaeda the ultimate foe.

Our struggle is with militant Islam, the strain of that faith obsessed with bringing the world to Allah -- even by the sword. No, that's not fair; the sword is their preferred manner, seeing glory -- in both this world and the next -- in killing and dying in their cause.

Of that strain, Al Qaeda has been the most successful faction. But it is not the only one.

Likewise, Osama Bin Laden arranged the most successful attacks against the United States, but he has not been the mastermind behind every terrorist move.

The overthrow of Saddam Hussein's regime had absolutely nothing to do with 9/11 -- and absolutely everything.

The myopic ones (as shown in this article) argue that Saddam had absolutely nothing to do with the 9/11 attacks, and only limited (if any) involvement with Al Qaeda prior to and not involving the attacks. They are absolutely correct, and not a single responsible person will argue with that. I can not recall a single statement by Bush or any top administration official tying Saddam to 9/11, and I have gone further -- I have stated that I am convinced he had no involvement with or prior knowledge of the attacks. I base this on the simple fact of their success.

In cases like those attacks, operational security must be absolute. No one who might betray the secret -- deliberately or accidentally -- can be allowed to know of it. And Al Qaeda had absolutely no reason to share their plans with Saddam. Had he known, he might have leaked it -- possibly as a ploy to gain favor with the West in hopes of getting the sanctions against him eased.

But that's the short-sighted approach. It's based on the notion that once Osama Bin Laden is dead or captured and Al Qaeda crushed, everything's fine and hunky-dory and we can go back to the way things were as of September 10.

The greatest effect of 9/11 was that it brought home the fact that there are elements of militant Islam who are devoted to attacking us, killing us, and are ready, willing, and more than able to do so. And they are well enough versed in our ways to use them against us in devastatingly effective forms.

Saddam was not a part of that brand of militant Islam. He was a largely secular thug, a sociopathic dictator whose vision was somewhat limited to being a regional power and a major player. He supported them, though, with money and materiel and training.

What Saddam was, above all else, convenient.

He was a "perfect storm," a confluence of factors, that made toppling him a tempting target. His removal -- and replacing his regime -- could serve as a great blow in the fight against militant Islam.

One, he was not very popular among his neighbors. He had launched wars of aggression against three of them (Iran, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia). Very few tears would be shed over his downfall, and he couldn't count on too many allies to stand by him.

Two, the legal groundwork was well established for the US to strike. He had repeatedly violated the terms of his 1991 surrender. He had refused to fully comply with the sanctions and resolutions he had agreed to after that surrender. He had fired upon US forces enforcing that surrender. And he had attempted to assassinate a former US president in retaliation for his defeat in the first Gulf War.

Three, Iraq is ideally located as a vanguard in the fight against militant Islam. It is in the heart of the Middle East, with borders with Saudi Arabia (the source of the worst of the ideologies), Iran, and Syria.

Four, Saddam's largely-secular regime had, possibly, prepared the Iraqi people for a modern, secular, free nation-state. He had worked on creating his own "separation of church and state" that we might be able to adapt and help the Iraqi people create their own free, democratic government.

There are other reasons, but those are the big ones for me.

As far as I can tell, the anti-war side is attempting to not only win the argument today, but to go back and win the argument from several years ago.

I respect some people who oppose the war. Their arguments are ones I disagree with, but respect: that the execution of the war (and following occupation and rebuilding) was flawed, fatally so, and the only solution is to withdraw.

But that isn't enough for the leading anti-war forces. They are insisting on a level of purity from their candidates, especially those who supported the Authorization of Use of Military Force. It's gotten to the point where Hillary Clinton has to say that she essentially didn't even read the AUMF before she voted in favor of it, and somehow thought that it was just another bluff, a demand that Saddam comply with resolutions without the "or else" that followed. That leaders renounce the years and years of statements, resolutions, findings, and other public deeds and words that Saddam was a threat, that Saddam needed to be removed, that Saddam had not truly given up his dreams of conquest, that he had not truly renounced his quest for weapons of mass destruction.

I have a habit -- a bad one -- of picking up ideas, phrases, and notions from a broad swath of sources, but forgetting where the dickens they came from. Somewhere, in some book I read years and years ago, someone uttered the phrase "Lord, at least give me enemies I can respect."

Is that too much to ask?


Comments (193)

Possibly the most pressing ... (Below threshold)
Brad:

Possibly the most pressing reason for invading Iraq, at the time (along with your number 1 and 2), was that as the war in Afghanistan progressed the bad guys were melting across the border into Iraq and Iran. Perhaps, to return intermittently and inconveniently to strike at our interests.

As in Vietnam, they were learning to use our respect for boarders, in a borderless war, against us. In a wider sense, they are still using our respect for law and civilization against us.

You can say what you want about having gone into Iraq but what we do tomorrow starts from where we are today; not where we wish we were; and, not where we were 5 years ago.

If the left won't listen to... (Below threshold)
jdavenport:

If the left won't listen to the connections between Saddam and terror, then don't expect the right to listen to the connections between Oil and the Iraq war.

Really, both are true, and in similar ways. Intertwined or entangled, you could say, by the shape of history.

There are those that believe rewritting history will remove the chains of the past. The reality is that the chains of the past always remain, and revision removes only our ability to learn from them.

Jay, the key flaw in your a... (Below threshold)
Paul Hamilton:

Jay, the key flaw in your argument is your assertion that to attack Iraq is to attack militant Islam. Iraq under Saddam was the greatest enemy of the greatest force for militant Islam -- Iran. All our invasion has accomplished is to elevate Iran's status in the region.

Trackbacked by The Thunder ... (Below threshold)

Trackbacked by The Thunder Run - Web Reconnaissance for 05/30/2007
A short recon of what's out there that might draw your attention.

Brad: "You can say what ... (Below threshold)

Brad: "You can say what you want about having gone into Iraq but what we do tomorrow starts from where we are today; not where we wish we were; and, not where we were 5 years ago.

Very true, but the decision about who leads us today and tomorrow is certainly informed by the realization of how we got to where we are today.

Jay Tea: "I can not recall a single statement by Bush or any top administration official tying Saddam to 9/11"

(published 9/18/2003

Distancing himself from remarks by Vice President Cheney, President Bush said Wednesday there was no evidence that Saddam Hussein was involved in the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 -- disputing an idea held by many Americans.

...

Critics have said the administration has tried to create the impression of Saddam's involvement in the attacks, without directly making such a claim, in order to boost public support for the war against Iraq.

On Sunday, Vice President Dick Cheney said that success in stabilizing and democratizing Iraq would strike a major blow at the "the geographic base of the terrorists who have had us under assault for many years, but most especially on 9-11."

And Tuesday, in an interview on ABC's "Nightline," White House national security adviser Condoleezza Rice said that one of the reasons Mr. Bush went to war against Saddam was because he posed a threat in "a region from which the 9-11 threat emerged."

In an appearance on NBC's "Meet the Press," Cheney was asked whether he was surprised that more than two-thirds of Americans in a Washington Post poll would express a belief that Iraq was behind the attacks.

"No, I think it's not surprising that people make that connection," he replied.

Mr. Bush defended his No. 2.

"We've had no evidence that Saddam Hussein was involved with the Sept. 11," he said. "What the vice president said was is that he has been involved with al Qaeda. ... There's no question that Saddam Hussein had al Qaeda ties."

Despite such assertions, the administration has never proved a prewar link between Saddam and the terrorist network.

JT - based on your sober th... (Below threshold)
RG:

JT - based on your sober thoughts, I almost completely agree with you. Those are my thoughts on this "war on terror" as well.

Alas, the plans (or lack thereof) after the toppling of Saddam have not gone well. What do to now?

But I always knew we are fighting radical Islam or quite possibly Islam itself. I have a life-long of experience living with arabs/muslims and it seems the only true muslims are the devout ones. The "moderate muslims" are simply not religious. We have to be very careful with the spread of sharia law - because it tends to develop when muslim immigration into an area is high.

His removal -- and repla... (Below threshold)
Brian:

His removal -- and replacing his regime -- could serve as a great blow in the fight against militant Islam.

Except that it has instead resulted in a significant rise in militant Islam. 'Splain that.

Possibly the most pressi... (Below threshold)
sean nyc/aa:

Possibly the most pressing reason for invading Iraq, at the time (along with your number 1 and 2), was that as the war in Afghanistan progressed the bad guys were melting across the border into Iraq and Iran. Perhaps, to return intermittently and inconveniently to strike at our interests.
Brad

The only problem with this statement is it's completely wrong, although it probably fits nicely with your ideology.

Pakistan is where "the bad guys" are melting across the border and back into Afghanistan. Iraq does not share a border with Afghanistan (they're about 1000 miles apart) and Iran was actually aiding us in enforcing their border and capturing Taliban/Al Qaeda members before the ol' "Axis of Evil" speech (they're probably still doing it, just not sharing any of the details with us).

Now of course, some militants may have evaded capture and found refuge in Iraq or Iran. But the vast majority did, and still do, travel in and out of Pakistan with much greater ease.

Brian:Except t... (Below threshold)
marc:

Brian:

Except that it has instead resulted in a significant rise in militant Islam. 'Splain that.

Right after an explanation is fourth coming in support of militant Islam remaining at the same level or receding in militancy without the Iraq war.

The fact your enemy would recruit when attacked would seem to be a given is it not?

And given one of Osama's prime motivations Iraq means about as much as the proverbial bear shitting in the woods:

"The first thing that we are calling you to is Islam." - Osama Nov 2002

"It is to this religion that we call you; the seal of all the previous religions. It is the religion of Unification of God, sincerity, the best of manners, righteousness, mercy, honour, purity, and piety. It is the religion of showing kindness to others, establishing justice between them, granting them their rights, and defending the oppressed and the persecuted. It is the religion of enjoining the good and forbidding the evil with the hand, tongue and heart. It is the religion of Jihad in the way of Allah so that Allah's Word and religion reign Supreme. And it is the religion of unity and agreement on the obedience to Allah, and total equality between all people, without regarding their colour, sex, or language." - Osama Nov 2002.

"'...the geographic ... (Below threshold)
brainy435:

"'...the geographic base of the terrorists who have had us under assault for many years, but most especially on 9-11.'"

"...Condoleezza Rice said that one of the reasons Mr. Bush went to war against Saddam was because he posed a threat in 'a region from which the 9-11 threat emerged.'"
from Lee, emphasis mine.

"Three, Iraq is ideally located as a vanguard in the fight against militant Islam. It is in the heart of the Middle East, with borders with Saudi Arabia (the source of the worst of the ideologies), Iran, and Syria."
from Jay Tea, emphasis mine.

So... the administration stated that terrorists, even the ones responsible for 9/11, originate from the Middle East and Jay Tea notes that taking out Saddam gives us a prime location to operate from in that area.

Then you link an article with the President explicitly stating that Saddam was NOT responsible for 9/11, and clarifying that the VP's remarks did not imply he was, either.

I don't think you accomplished what you hoped to....


I also like Brians assertio... (Below threshold)
brainy435:

I also like Brians assertion that dealing decisively with terrorists results in a "...significant rise in militant Islam." Especially since a few years ago, on a clear September morning, it was undeniably demonstrated that ignoring terrorists results in a catastrophic rise in militant Islam.

I can not recall a singl... (Below threshold)
astigafa:

I can not recall a single statement by Bush or any top administration official tying Saddam to 9/11

Read this Jay -- and, this time, remember:

"WASHINGTON -- Vice President Dick Cheney revived two controversial assertions about the war in Iraq on Thursday, declaring there was "overwhelming evidence" that Saddam Hussein had a relationship with Al Qaeda and that two trailers discovered after the war were proof of Iraq's biological weapons programs."

This just says it all for me. Everytime I look into one of your "historical facts," you've got it wrong.

Jay, you're usually stupid, you're almost always wrong -- you're not worth reading.

Goodbye.

I also like Brians asser... (Below threshold)
Brian:

I also like Brians assertion that dealing decisively with terrorists results in a "...significant rise in militant Islam."

Do you deny that there has been a significant rise in militant Islam since we entered Iraq? Even moreso than there was "a few years ago, on a clear September morning"?

This must be some new definition of "decisively" that you're using.

As others have previously s... (Below threshold)
jim:

As others have previously shown, the Bush administration did as much as it could to mislead the public into this Saddam-9/11 connection.

And the irony is, with this very article, you're *still* trying to make this connection. You're just trying an indirect route.

And since Osama Bin Laden was from Saudi Arabia, and hid in Afghanistan, and had support and cohorts in Jordan, Egypt and Syria, invading Iraq had absolutely jack to do with the war on Terror.

To use your WWII analogy, invading Iraq would like responding to Pearl Harbor by invading Indonesia.

I also like Brians asser... (Below threshold)
jim:

I also like Brians assertion that dealing decisively with terrorists results in a "...significant rise in militant Islam."

Invading Iraq was not dealing decisively terrorists. That's what you're not connecting to.

See, Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11, Islamofascism, or anything else. Saddam Hussein was a straight-up atheist in the Stalinist mold, who fought against religion because it threatened his power.

Understand? That's reality.

Especially since a few years ago, on a clear September morning, it was undeniably demonstrated that ignoring terrorists results in a catastrophic rise in militant Islam.

And invading Iraq is *ignoring* terrorists. Do you understand that?

astigafa, ties to Al Qaeda ... (Below threshold)

astigafa, ties to Al Qaeda do not equal ties to 9-11. Jay Tea pointed out both things in the original post here. Saddam *did* have ties to Al Qaeda. Almost certainly, he knew nothing about and had no involvement with the attacks on 9-11.

Saddam *did* have biological weapons programs in the past and probably thought he had more than he actually had in the present. But he certainly had them.

Lee Ward: I do not think t... (Below threshold)
Scotty:

Lee Ward: I do not think the quotes prove that the Administration was making ties. Instead it shows that the MSM was trying to twist the Administrations words or at least embellish and extrapolate their actual words to make it seem like the Administration believed there were operational ties which could be discredited.

To put it plainly, the MSM was trying to put into the Administrations' mouths: "Saddam was involved with 9/11 so we took him out". Then they could attack Bush on that point. Look at your quote again. It shows that Bush immediately fought the notion and clearly stated: "...no evidence that Saddam Hussein was involved..."

The MSM would not be deterred however, once Bush shut down that line of attack the MSM would re-direct the argument. Have you heard: "Saddam had no involvement in 9/11, so why are we there?" Its masterful jujitsu by the MSM, but not indicative of any shenanigans by the Bush administration.

In fact, as Jay Tea is pointing out, the administrations attack on Saddam goes to the argument that it is part of the overall war against Islamic terrorists (or state sponsors of terrorists). After all we attacked Afghanistan's Taliban regime who had no operational link to 9/11 and that was considered the "good war on terror".

What is the difference between attacking the Taliban who harbored al-qaeda and attacking the Baathists who were sponsoring Palestinian suicide bombers ($25,000) and even harbored some al-qaeda elements? Yes, I said it. Does Zarqawi sound familiar? There are others too. You can do your own research.

Right after an explanati... (Below threshold)
Brian:

Right after an explanation is fourth coming in support of militant Islam remaining at the same level or receding in militancy without the Iraq war.

This is the logical fallacy known as the "Appeal to Consequences of a Belief".

The fact your enemy would recruit when attacked would seem to be a given is it not?

You mean like the rise in power of the Taliban and Saddam after we attacked them?

"And invading Iraq is *igno... (Below threshold)

"And invading Iraq is *ignoring* terrorists. Do you understand that?"

And that's where myopia comes in.

Saddam *did* support terrorists. But that's not really all that important. It's not disputed, either, unless someone is making a deliberate choice to ignore the fact.

Yet Iraq is not *ignoring* terrorists at all but dealing (or attempting to deal) with what touchy-feely sorts like to call "root causes."

Suddenly, of course, social justice, equality, economic justice, etc., opposing tyranny and oppressive dictators is so very *not* a liberal thing to do. Now it's all about respecting other cultures. Never was before, but now it is.

So we look to root causes. Systemic cultural and economic realities. And now liberals don't believe in those things anymore. Now they want to narrow it down, down, down, to this tiny little slice of it all and insist that no one but the single person named Bin Laden counts.

I agree with the other'libe... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

I agree with the other'liberals' on the thread..The contagious myopia was the adminstration thinking one, that Saddam was a militant Islam regime and not a secular Muslim dictator as Jay described and two, converging or conflating this observation with the idea that Saddam's regime had much in common with our 9/11' enemy the fantically religious, Al-queda and the Taliban regime in Afghanistan. A cleverer administration would have tried 'to divide and conquer' instead of wildly uniting 'our enemies' by confronting and branding them all as part of an indistinguishable axis of evil, especially in the Middle-East, where the the actions in one country can have many so unintended consequences on its neigbors.

Now it's true Clinton and many other Democrats were taken in by Saddam's brinkmanship and blustering, but I don't recall anyone seriously proposed that we undertake a full-scale invasion on Iraq, only a continuation of Clinton's reprisal policy of limited air strikes...yes,limited success but limited risk.

Synova, do you honestly thi... (Below threshold)
jim:

Synova, do you honestly think that the Bush administration didn't encourage the public to think Saddam was involved with 9/11?

I'm not even arguing at this point, I just want to know if that's actually how you think things are.

So we look to root cause... (Below threshold)
Brian:

So we look to root causes. Systemic cultural and economic realities. And now liberals don't believe in those things anymore.

Are you kidding? Do you know how many liberals are called traitors and lunatics by conservatives for even suggesting the possibility of cultural and economic root causes behind 9/11? I mean heck, you've even started jumping on your own (Ron Paul) for even mentioning such a thing!

Saddam *did* support ter... (Below threshold)
jim:

Saddam *did* support terrorists. But that's not really all that important. It's not disputed, either, unless someone is making a deliberate choice to ignore the fact.

Here come the facts that you are not aware of. I'll give you the benefit of the doubt.

Saddam's support of terrorists:
- sending checks to Palestinian bombers. $35 mil total

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/2846365.stm

Saudia Arabia's support of terrorists:
- $100 Mil to Palestinian bombers IN ONE TELETHON. !!!!

http://www.jcpa.org/art/brief1-23.htm

- supporting terrorist training camps with knowledge, within Saudi borders

- funding Al Qaeda

So, which was the bigger threat? Hm?

Steve Crickmore: So, are y... (Below threshold)
Scotty:

Steve Crickmore: So, are you in support of the Clintons reprisal policy? As I recall this allowed him to starve his people whilst collecting his oil for food checks and continue to actively persue genocide in his own contry at the rate of 300,000 per year (gotta fill all those empty mass graves ya know). One of the great benefits of attacking Saddam was ending the genocide.

Jim: You may be right that... (Below threshold)
scotty:

Jim: You may be right that the next step should have been to attack Saudi Arabia instead of Iraq. But at least I am glad to see that you agree that there are other supporters of terrorism that need to be dealt with.

So we look to root cause... (Below threshold)
jim:

So we look to root causes. Systemic cultural and economic realities. And now liberals don't believe in those things anymore. Now they want to narrow it down, down, down, to this tiny little slice of it all and insist that no one but the single person named Bin Laden counts.

Root causes. Riiiiight.

Since no terrorists were coming from Iraq, and Saddam was not Islamofascist, and his country wasn't threatening us in any way - invading Iraq country, killing tens of thousands of civilians, destroying the infrastructure and flooding the Middle East with angry refugees is fixing the root causes.

And now I read that once-proud Iraqi daughters are going into prostitution to keep their families alive - would you EVER forgive a nation that caused that to happen?

Think about it. Which would you have - no freedom of speech but relative freedom from death; OR some freedom of speech but you can die with the snap of a fingers, and your daughter is forced into prostitution??

http://www.keralanext.com/news/?id=1017442

All studies and basic logic shows that this *creates* more terrorists than we are possibly killing. Can you understand that?

Listen - the root causes of anti-US sentiment is not that those who hate us 'hate our liberty'.

So freeing Iraqis from Saddam so they can face car bombings, horribly deteriorating life conditions, and the possibility of needing to sell your body to survive, does not make the Iraqis love us and will not result in less terrorism.

Does that make sense to you?

"Look at your quote agai... (Below threshold)

"Look at your quote again. It shows that Bush immediately fought the notion and clearly stated: "...no evidence that Saddam Hussein was involved..."

At the time that these quotes were pulled together -- September 2003, 70% of Americans believed that there was a tie between Saddam and 9/11. Some of this was the result of chowderheads like Cheney and Rice dancing with the truth, and some of it is explained by the "guilt by association" -

We knew Bush wanted to prosecute those responsible for 9/11.

Bush told us that he would get those responsible.

Bush said we need to take out Saddam.

therefore Saddam must be reponsisble for the 9/11 attacks.

Yes, Bush told the truth when asked by reporters, but he was asked in response to Cheney's "stretching of the truth" -- The fact that Bush told the truth doesn't mean that Cheney did as well.

In an appearance on NBC's "Meet the Press," Cheney was asked whether he was surprised that more than two-thirds of Americans in a Washington Post poll would express a belief that Iraq was behind the attacks.

"No, I think it's not surprising that people make that connection," he replied.

If you recognize that Cheney wanted people to believe there was a connection, and you recognize that here on Meet the Press he bypassed an opportunity to set the record straight and say there wasn't a connection (which reinforces the notion that he wanted people to believe there was) and gave a fasle asnwer tot a direct question, you cannot say that the Bush administration was not guilty of spreading the lie that Saddam was connected to 9/11.

Lying by "not telling the truth" is still a lie.

Cheney chose to not tell the truth when questioned on Meet the Press, as cited above.

Well, thank you Scotty. I h... (Below threshold)
jim:

Well, thank you Scotty. I had just moved out of NY when 9/11 happened. I had several friends who could have been killed, but that morning all were very fortunate; one man I only met once was killed in it.

We all want something to be done about terrorism, and none of us want to die.

But the Bush administration is getting an incredible pass by this constant conflating the occupation of Iraq with the war on Terror. Their invasion of Iraq was inexcusably thoughtless, and they have ruined what miniscule chance there was with their *unbelievably* incompetent policies and management.

The sooner they are no longer allowed to keep using this ridiculous and obscene deceit, the better for our entire nation and the world.

"Goodbye." astigafa'... (Below threshold)

"Goodbye." astigafa's leaving?

:D

"Do you deny that there has been a significant rise in militant Islam since we entered Iraq? Even moreso than there was "a few years ago, on a clear September morning"?"

Do you deny that terrorism wasn't going on in Iraq simply because CNN wouldn't report on it? Do you deny that terrorism hasn't been on the front burner for Islamic militants since long before Iraq and simply because it wasn't reported on all over the world as staple newspaper fodder because 9/11 hadn't occurred yet and wasn't really on anyone's radar, that it didn't happen at the same levels? Do you deny that Islamic militants have been killing people in numerous ways in Indonesia, Sudan, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Iran, India, etc. simply because you only started hearing about it since 9/11?

People have been kidnapped, murdered in their beds, killed on the streets, tortured and subjected to extreme oppression for a long time by Islamic militants everywhere. Since long before 9/11. Just because it's one or two at a time and not some grand, headline grabbing incident, it didn't exist at the levels we see more clearly now?

Do you really think Spain would have been spared a train bombing had we not gone into Iraq? Do you really think London's tubes would have been safe had we not gone into Iraq? Do you really think Beslan wouldn't have occurred? Do you really think ....

Meh, why do I even try.

Lee: Read the whole Cheney ... (Below threshold)
scotty:

Lee: Read the whole Cheney interview. He had already stated that there was no link and Russert was following up with whether he was surprised then that many Americans were making the link. Cheney did't lie by not setting the record straight. He had already said: no direct link.

I think Americans linking as you indicated is more likely a guilt by association then an Administration dancing with the truth. You cannot find a time frame where the administration went more than 24 hours without setting the record straight on the MSMs attempt to put words in their mouths.

But Jim, you didn't even bo... (Below threshold)

But Jim, you didn't even bother to disagree with me when you were disagreeing with me.

At what point did I say that Saddam was a larger supporter than anyone else? I never did.

Saudi most certainly *is* a larger supporter in a lot of ways. But... and this is something I did more or less imply, there are *other* concerns than just this tiny little slice of who is guilty (or guilty-er).

This myopia (and what a perfect way to decribe it) leaves you arguing that Saudi is this huge threat for supporting terrorists. Okay. I agree.

And then what?

What now?

Are you suggesting that we invade Saudi Arabia?

Because it seems like no one ever really wants to go there. If someone like me supports the invasion of Iraq it's always this, "Look at Saudi!" Okay, dandy, I'm looking at Saudi. What do YOU think ought to be done about Saudi? Hmm?

This silly "why don't you support invading Saudi" (particularly coming from anti-war sorts who *also* don't support invading Saudi) is assuming that I support our decision to invade Iraq for a list of things that Saudi is more guilty of. Which I don't.

Either that or it's an assumption that *any* worthy cause is a worthy *military* cause. Only hammers and only nails.

Why is it that the variously anti-war anti-military sorts simply CAN NOT see other methods than military invasion? Huh? Only always military invasion, so why don't we invade Saudi? Why not Pakistan? Why not Syria or Iran?

Idiots, seriously.

It's not about who is guiltiest but about what might be accomplished to further the interests of our country.

Invading Saudi is so brain dead eff'd up moronic that, well, even a moron knows it. Up until the moment they want to use Saudi as a "If we were going to invade someone, Saudi is more guilty" argument.

Scotty..No, not that policy... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

Scotty..No, not that policy of wide spread sanctions..Actually, Bush had achieved something by forcing Saddam to bring back the inspectors. I t would have been a partial victory. It was at that point he should have backed off in February, 2003, I believe..but the war plans were too far-gone by that time.

Steve: Well, you have a re... (Below threshold)
scotty:

Steve: Well, you have a reasonable position. The only problem is that you can only come to that conclusion with the benefit of 20/20 hindsight. At the time, nobody was putting the breaks on. Even the Democrats: Clinton, Kennedy, Kerry, et al were pouring gasoline on the fire if you read thier quotes from just before the invasion. Even the UN finally gave their imprimatur.

Scotty - the transcript doe... (Below threshold)

Scotty - the transcript doesn't support your contention - not that I can see anyway -- quite the opposite.

MR. RUSSERT: The Washington Post asked the American people about Saddam Hussein, and this is what they said: 69 percent said he was involved in the September 11 attacks. Are you surprised by that?

VICE PRES. CHENEY: No. I think it's not surprising that people make that connection.

MR. RUSSERT: But is there a connection?

VICE PRES. CHENEY: We don't know. You and I talked about this two years ago. I can remember you asking me this question just a few days after the original attack. At the time I said no, we didn't have any evidence of that. Subsequent to that, we've learned a couple of things. We learned more and more that there was a relationship between Iraq and al-Qaeda that stretched back through most of the decade of the '90s, that it involved training, for example, on BW and CW, that al-Qaeda sent personnel to Baghdad to get trained on the systems that are involved. The Iraqis providing bomb-making expertise and advice to the al-Qaeda organization.

We know, for example, in connection with the original World Trade Center bombing in '93 that one of the bombers was Iraqi, returned to Iraq after the attack of '93. And we've learned subsequent to that, since we went into Baghdad and got into the intelligence files, that this individual probably also received financing from the Iraqi government as well as safe haven.

Now, is there a connection between the Iraqi government and the original World Trade Center bombing in '93? We know, as I say, that one of the perpetrators of that act did, in fact, receive support from the Iraqi government after the fact. With respect to 9/11, of course, we've had the story that's been public out there. The Czechs alleged that Mohamed Atta, the lead attacker, met in Prague with a senior Iraqi intelligence official five months before the attack, but we've never been able to develop anymore of that yet either in terms of confirming it or discrediting it. We just don't know.

Cheney was eager to say we didn't know, and then to give reasons that supported a connection -- when he knew damn well that "No, there's no connection" was the full and correct answer.

Well, the President set the record straight shortly thereafter - we DO know there was no connection between Saddam and 9/11, but as you can see Cheney was only too eager to let people believe there was...

Now, Scotty - please show where in the transcript you saw this: "He had already stated that there was no link and Russert was following up with whether he was surprised then that many Americans were making the link. Cheney did't lie by not setting the record straight. He had already said: no direct link."

Here's the transcript.

Scotty, you are right on. T... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

Scotty, you are right on. The loony lefties here love to "Monday morning quarterback" but that isn't fair to anything or anyone. It is really easy to say I would have done this, he should have done that, but that is denying reality. An old clich but appropriate would be "yesterday is gone, today is here".

JT, great post. ww

Myopia was not getting past... (Below threshold)
BarneyG2000:

Myopia was not getting past Saddam to the true treat then and now Afghanistan/Taliban/OBL.

At what point did I say ... (Below threshold)
jim:

At what point did I say that Saddam was a larger supporter than anyone else? I never did.

You stated that invading Iraq was dealing with root causes.

I showed you that, as far as being a root cause of terrorism, Iraq was far down on the list. Probably farther than any other major Middle Eastern country, in fact; but since you're not disputing that Iraq was not the major player, I won't go into that.

As it seems we're agreed, then - it is a logical conclusion that invading Iraq was not dealing with the root causes of terrorism.

This makes invading Iraq to combat terrorism a terrible idea.

This myopia (and what a perfect way to decribe it) leaves you arguing that Saudi is this huge threat for supporting terrorists. Okay. I agree.

Good. Then we can both see that invading Iraq to combat terrorism was a mistake. Right?

Are you suggesting that ... (Below threshold)
jim:

Are you suggesting that we invade Saudi Arabia?

No.

I am suggesting that we resolve Afghanistan.

Are you suggesting that we stay in Iraq, even though you agree it was NOT a root cause of terrorism, and even though all studies show that staying in Iraq is creating more terrorists faster than we kill them?

What do YOU think ought to be done about Saudi? Hmm?

I think we should stop supporting the Saudi islamofascist government against it's own people. If we're really interested in Democracy, Freedom and Liberty at all, it makes us total hypocrites.

To stop supporting the Saudis, we have to no longer be hooked on Saudi oil too. We might have to develop alternative energy sources. That's a win-win there.

Why is it that the variously anti-war anti-military sorts simply CAN NOT see other methods than military invasion? Huh? Only always military invasion, so why don't we invade Saudi? Why not Pakistan? Why not Syria or Iran?

The beam is in your eye, dude. You are refusing to see the point.

The point is, EVEN IF you are to solve terrorism by invading nations, THEN invading and occupying Iraq was a terrible, bad, stupid, awful, not-good idea.

This is because EVEN IF Iraq was supporting terrorism, it was nothing compared to the support of other nations.

Do you understand now?

It's not about who is guiltiest but about what might be accomplished to further the interests of our country.

Agreed.

Why weren't you thinking this way when we invaded Iraq?

Lee: Cheney clearly states... (Below threshold)
scotty:

Lee: Cheney clearly states, just before the point you quote, that terrorism has been perpetrated by al-qaeda (NOT Saddam). He had already stated who was responsible and toward the end of the following exchange he says they went through the camps in Afghanastan (NOT Iraq). He wasn't conflating the two at all.

MR. RUSSERT: You fully expect that there will be another attack on the United States.

VICE PRES. CHENEY: I have to assume that. The president has to assume that. It would be nice to be able to say that that can't happen. But if we've learned anything, if we look back now, it seems to me that we've learned that there was a campaign of terror mounted against us. Before 9/11, we tended to think in terms of a terrorist act as a criminal enterprise. And the appropriate response was a law enforcement response.

You go find the bad guy, put him in jail, case closed. What we've learned since is that that's not the case at all; but, in fact, a lot of the terrorist attacks we've suffered in the 1990s were al-Qaeda directed. That's certainly true in the World Trade Center in '93, in the East Africa Embassy bombings in '98, and the USS Cole in 2000 and obviously on 9/11.

It's very important we make that transition in understanding that we're at war, that the war continues, that this is a global enemy that struck in not only New York and Washington but in Bali and in Djakarta, in Mombasa, in Casablanca, Riyadh since 9/11, that this is an enterprise that is global in scope and one we've had major success against it. And the fact of the matter is there were thousands of people that went through those training camps in Afghanistan. We know they are seeking deadlier weapons--chemical, biological and nuclear weapons if they can get it. And if anything, those basic notions that developed in the early days after 9/11 have been reinforced by what we've learned since.

Scotty, you are right on... (Below threshold)
jim:

Scotty, you are right on. The loony lefties here love to "Monday morning quarterback" but that isn't fair to anything or anyone.

Here's what isn't fair: it wasn't Monday morning when we said this. We told you this would happen, long before the game even began.

For MONTHS before the invasion of Iraq, we liberals and progressives told you -

a) there would be no WMD's found in Iraq
b) the invasion and occupation of Iraq would not reduce terrorism, but increase it
c) the invasion and occupation of Iraq would distance us from our allies
d) the invasion and occupation of Iraq would kill many of our soldiers and many more Civilians
e) the Iraqi people would NOT welcome us as liberators, dance in the streets with flowers etc. - but would HATE us
f) the oil would NOT pay for the cost of the occupation

And on and on and on. And lo and behold, it all came true.

We didn't say this because we wanted the US to fail. We said this because it fit in with our understanding of reality.

An understanding which was shared by the military experts of our own government -

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/15570330/

- and also ignored by the Bush administration.

Well, I would prefer to have been wrong. It's a terrible thing to think that our future as a nation can have been screwed so badly that it will take decades to fix, because our President refused to listen to reason.

But that's reality.

And we did tell you so. Repeatedly. You just refused to listen.

Do you deny that terrori... (Below threshold)
Brian:

Do you deny that terrorism wasn't going on in Iraq simply because CNN wouldn't report on it?

I don't go by CNN, I go by the reports of US intelligence services.

Do you deny that terrorism hasn't been on the front burner for Islamic militants since long before Iraq...

Nope. But recognizing that makes it all the more foolish to think that we could wipe it out or control hundreds of years of Islamic militarism by invading a country that did not engage in Islamic militarism.

Do you deny [lots more stuff about how terrorism is bad]...

Red herrings. Yes, terrorism is bad. Invading Iraq made it much more popular and widespread.

Meh, why do I even try.

You don't. That's the problem. You just point out how bad terrorism is, and then act like that justifies invading Iraq, without ever considering whether the response was actually successful in making terrorism less bad.

JimYou've made a lot... (Below threshold)

Jim
You've made a lot of comments on this thread, but this one worries me the most:

no freedom of speech but relative freedom from death

That sounds a lot like Duranty's apologising for Stalin.
As to the forewarning you serve up, you must have done it alone in a room because many liberal Senators voted for this war, the WMD issue is unresolved unless you want to call the same liberals fools, and every wide eyed awake American knew this would be a costly war even though casualties have not exceeded those of individual battles in previous wars.

Where I really depart from your view is your concern of our distancing ourselves from our allies. The US has never had a reliable ally (with the possible exception of the UK)when it comes to Middle East policy. What has changed?


And this...the Iraqi people would NOT welcome us as liberators, dance in the streets with flowers etc. - but would HATE us

The milltary families I know say exactly the opposite. They tell me the Iraqi people do in fact appreciate our presence. What they hate are the terrorists who are killing them. This information comes from folks at Fort Campbell and Fort Knox. I can't square what they are telling me with what CNNABCNBCCBSNYTWP publish. But I know who I believe.

"Lee: Cheney clearly sta... (Below threshold)

"Lee: Cheney clearly states, just before the point you quote, that terrorism has been perpetrated by al-qaeda (NOT Saddam)."

He does not say Saddam wasn't involved. He's describing acts of al Qaeda's - Saddam hasn't entered the conversation at that point.

He's also not talking about the New York Yankees. Who he ISN'T talking about is irrelevant.

"He had already stated who was responsible and toward the end of the following exchange he says they went through the camps in Afghanastan (NOT Iraq). He wasn't conflating the two at all."

Correct - in the question you cited he's talking about AQ and the possibilities of future attacks by AQ. The question he's answering is: "MR. RUSSERT: You fully expect that there will be another attack on the United States."

In the next question he's talking about the connection between Saddam and 9/11. Now he's looking back , not looking forward as in the preceding question. "MR. RUSSERT: The Washington Post asked the American people about Saddam Hussein, and this is what they said: 69 percent said he was involved in the September 11 attacks. Are you surprised by that?

VICE PRES. CHENEY: No. I think it's not surprising that people make that connection.

MR. RUSSERT: But is there a connection?

VICE PRES. CHENEY: We don't know.

He did NOTHING in the previous question to disconnect Saddam from 9/11, he merely talked about the possibility of future attacks from Al Qaeda. The preceding question you cited as suppoorting evidence has nothing to do with the question - was Saddam involved in 9/11.

And when asked the direct question - Was Saddam involved in 9/11 - rather than giving the correct answer - No, Saddam wasnt involved - Cheney says "We don't know" (when we did know) and then goes on to provide supporting evidence to suggest Saddam WAS involved.

He lied. Vice PresidentDick Cheney lied to the American people about Saddam's involvement in 9/11.

What are you smoking Scotty? Wake up and smell the english language words on the screen in front of you...


LeeAnd when ... (Below threshold)

Lee

And when asked the direct question - Was Saddam involved in 9/11 - rather than giving the correct answer - No, Saddam wasnt involved - Cheney says "We don't know" (when we did know) and then goes on to provide supporting evidence to suggest Saddam WAS involved.

Why are you putting words in the VP's mouth? Specifically, "when did we know"? State your source. When did we know for a fact that Saddam was not involved?

BTW,
"What are you smoking Scotty? Wake up and smell the english language words on the screen in front of you..."......he may be smoking those horrible metaphors you're growing here.

<a href="http://www.ae911tr... (Below threshold)
Jp Rogers:

http://www.ae911truth.org/

Also:http://journalof911studies.com/

I deny that ignoring terrorists resulted in 911.

Above is a link to Architects and Engineers for 911 Truth. There is a growing body of experts, that have come to believe through their research, that the US government's official story concerning the events of 911 is totally false. Our entire foreign policy and even our domestic policy hinges on the events of 911. The Iraq War hinges on 911. If we've been lied to, I'd say we should be pretty pissed.
Undoubtedly, Wizbangers will cry that these experts supporting Architects and Engineers for 911 Truth have got it all wrong. Even though they were well respected professionals in their respective fields, as soon as they got involved with the 911 issue, they somehow lost their minds...I can hear it now. LOL!
Get real.
Its gonna get tougher folks.
If anybody wants to bring themselves up to speed, I recommend the free downloadable uncopyrighted 90 min movie: MYSTERIES OF 911. Google it, and you will find it.

Especially since a few years ago, on a clear September morning, it was undeniably demonstrated that ignoring terrorists results in a catastrophic rise in militant Islam.

no freedom of speech but... (Below threshold)
jim:

no freedom of speech but relative freedom from death

That sounds a lot like Duranty's apologising for Stalin.

Well, let me make it clear: I am not apologizing for Saddam in the slightest.

I am noting that because we invaded Iraq, more Iraqi civilians are dying every year than Saddam ever killed. And I doubt that the Iraqi people feel that grateful to us for this fact. Especially since, as I also noted, more and more Iraqi women are being forced into prostitution to feed their families - and that's just a *side effect* of our invasion.

As to the forewarning you serve up, you must have done it alone in a room because many liberal Senators voted for this war,

It might be more comforting for you to think so.

BUt:

a) we shouted it in the open. And we were called traitors for stating the emperor had no clothes.

b) if you go to the link I posted, you will see the results of 1999 war games, conducted by the US military, which came to the same conclusions.

Please go and read it - and realize that is the level of facts that the Bush Administration ignored

c) the Senate and Congress didn't vote for the invasion and occupation of Iraq.

They voted for Bush to have the *authorization* to invade IF SADDAM HUSSEIN REFUSED TO DISARM.

So Bush invaded before the Weapons Inspectors finished inspecting - because they were about to report Saddam had no weapons worth invading for.

http://archives.cnn.com/2002/ALLPOLITICS/10/11/iraq.us/

"the Senate early Friday voted 77-23 to authorize President Bush to attack Iraq if Saddam Hussein refuses to give up weapons of mass destruction as required by U.N. resolutions."

d) the WMD issue is unresolved unless you want to call the same liberals fools,

I'm not sure what you mean by that.

Scott Ritter, ex-Marine, is a liberal fool? The UN Weapons Inspectors have been proven wrong? WMD's have been found?

No, no, and no.

Are the Bush Administration disbanded the group they had in Iraq, looking for WMD's. They're liberal fools? Tell you what: I'll agree about the "fools" part.

and every wide eyed awake American knew this would be a costly war even though casualties have not exceeded those of individual battles in previous wars.

Every wide awake American, sure.

It's a shame they weren't in the White House. Do I have to quote Cheney?

" Cheney, March 16, 2003: Now, I think things have gotten so bad inside Iraq, from the standpoint of the Iraqi people, my belief is we will, in fact, be greeted as liberators. . . .

Q: If your analysis is not correct, and we're not treated as liberators, but as conquerors, and the Iraqis begin to resist, particularly in Baghdad, do you think the American people are prepared for a long, costly, and bloody battle with significant American casualties?

Cheney: Well, I don't think it's likely to unfold that way, Tim, because I really do believe that we will be greeted as liberators. . . . The read we get on the people of Iraq is there is no question but what they want to the get rid of Saddam Hussein and they will welcome as liberators the United States when we come to do that."

There you have it.

Where I really depart from your view is your concern of our distancing ourselves from our allies. The US has never had a reliable ally (with the possible exception of the UK)when it comes to Middle East policy. What has changed?

Do you remember the allies we had, when we went into the Persian Gulf the first time? France and Germany were there, and the US made up 74% of the troops.

Now look at the allies we have this time. We don't have France and Germany, and the US is fronting about 95% of the troops.

Furthermore, the rest of the world is distancing itself from the US in many other areas because of the Iraq war. Although to be fair, this is also due to the Bush administration's arrogance, ignorance and diplomatic incompetence in many other areas as well.

And this...the Iraqi people would NOT welcome us as liberators, dance in the streets with flowers etc. - but would HATE us

The milltary families I know say exactly the opposite. They tell me the Iraqi people do in fact appreciate our presence.

I'm sure that's comforting to the military families.

But I submit to you that the Iraqis who are bombing and shooting our soldiers, and the fact that foreigners aren't even safe in the Green Zone any more, indicates to me that some Iraqis don't want us there.

You can't blame it on Al Qaeda. Iraqis must agree, or they wouldn't be willing to kill themselves in order to kill our soldiers.

I can't square what they are telling me with what CNNABCNBCCBSNYTWP publish. But I know who I believe.

OK. Please explain what mysterious force is taking over Iraqi bodies and shooting and killing our soldiers.

I'm surprised it took this ... (Below threshold)

I'm surprised it took this long for a Truther to show up.

Why are you putting word... (Below threshold)

Why are you putting words in the VP's mouth? Specifically, "when did we know"? State your source. When did we know for a fact that Saddam was not involved?

Boy, Jay nailed it - myopia is contagious.

This was all covered up higher in the thread. The President of the United States said there was no connection, Hugh. He was asked that question and he answered it truthfully following VP Cheney 's lies on Meet the Press.

You see, we're helping Jay get his facts straight --

Jay: "I can not recall a single statement by Bush or any top administration official tying Saddam to 9/11,"

Cheney tied Saddam to 9/11, and Bush later set the record straight.

"The point is, EVEN IF you ... (Below threshold)

"The point is, EVEN IF you are to solve terrorism by invading nations, THEN invading and occupying Iraq was a terrible, bad, stupid, awful, not-good idea.

This is because EVEN IF Iraq was supporting terrorism, it was nothing compared to the support of other nations.

Do you understand now?"

I understand that you're looking at "supporting terrorism" as the "root cause" when it's not anything like the "root cause" since the *problem* of support for terrorism can't hardly be the root cause of itself.

You can disagree with me if you like but it's clear that you don't get what I'm arguing *at all*.

That larger, systemic, cultural issues are the "root causes". That the "brutal dictator" is far more important to the issue than the fact that he paid off the families of suicide bombers. The fact that... geez... Syria? The guy just got reelected with 97% of the vote and no opposition on the ballot. And it's Saudi and Syria and Egypt even and Indonesia and way *way* more than anyone could do anything about.

And somehow *you* can't have this discussion and admit that methods of government and a severe lack of individual liberty are even part of the discussion.

Hence... myopia.

The fact that Islam is supposedly incompatible with democracy is a root cause, or at least indicates a system where individuals have few options for personal efficacy. The dependency of the middle east on oil probably is more destructive to that region than it is to us. Actually there is no "probably" about it. Oil means that power has no need whatsoever to care for the tax base (citizens) in order to pay bills. It's not accidental that sanctions did not work on Saddam because Saddam was not even remotely dependent for his power on the people of Iraq.

Which wouldn't make much difference to us either except that modern technology renders the entire world our backyard.

And vice versa.

JimPlease go... (Below threshold)

Jim

Please go and read it - and realize that is the level of facts that the Bush Administration ignored

Read it. The Pentagon is a bureaucratic organization just like the CIA and Congress. I'm not surprised there were dissenting voices (one was my former congreesman, Republican, John Duncan, and my father).

"I am noting that because we invaded Iraq, more Iraqi civilians are dying every year than Saddam ever killed. And I doubt that the Iraqi people feel that grateful to us for this fact. Especially since, as I also noted, more and more Iraqi women are being forced into prostitution to feed their families - and that's just a *side effect* of our invasion." As I've said concerning the Iraqi people, I'm told, second hand, otherwhise. Where do you get these stats on Iraqi casualties versus Saddam's many purges?

"c) the Senate and Congress didn't vote for the invasion and occupation of Iraq." Jim, have you been reading Senator Clinton's backpedalling the last few months on the Iraq vote. She wouldn't exert that much effort unless her vote was seen as an approval of the invasion.

"Cheney: Well, I don't think it's likely to unfold that way, Tim, because I really do believe that we will be greeted as liberators. . . . The read we get on the people of Iraq is there is no question but what they want to the get rid of Saddam Hussein and they will welcome as liberators the United States when we come to do that."

Here'a shocker....I agree with Cheney. We just are not there yet.

Now look at the allies we have this time. We don't have France and Germany, and the US is fronting about 95% of the troops

We don't "have" France and Germany because it is no longer economically convenient for them to be there....and Saddam can no longer line the pockets of their leaders with Oil for Food cash bribes.

"I'm sure that's comforting to the military families."

Jim, that's your most telling remark. I'm sure they will thank you for suffering their "foolish" thoughts and observations as long as you have.

I understand that you're... (Below threshold)
jim:

I understand that you're looking at "supporting terrorism" as the "root cause" when it's not anything like the "root cause" since the *problem* of support for terrorism can't hardly be the root cause of itself.

OK....so we're agreed at least that Iraq wasn't supporting terrorism when we invaded. And it wasn't a source of terrorists either.

But you're still sticking to the mysterious "lack of liberty" in the Middle East, as the reason for terrorism.

How do you think that lack of liberty got there? We put it there. And by 'we', I mean the US and Britain and other nations, for decades. We put in the Shah. We put in Saddam. We supported the Saudis against all others. As for Indonesia, we supported Suharto as well.

We did this because we find it easier to deal with a tyrant than a democracy - because a tyrant is predictable, and will do what we want even if it's against his nation's interest.

That larger, systemic, cultural issues are the "root causes". That the "brutal dictator" is far more important to the issue than the fact that he paid off the families of suicide bombers.

You are refusing to see the point.

a) Saddam Hussein was a brutal dictator - who WE put in power BECAUSE he was a brutal dictator.

b) Al Qaeda's major propaganda point, is that the US only cares about oil and will kill anyone we want to control it.

c) We invaded Iraq, which was no conceivable threat to us and had nothing to do with attacking us - and thereby gave support to Al Qaeda on their major propaganda point.

d) we support many other oppressive regimes in the Middle East, and have for decades, including not only Saudi Arabia and Syria, but also Turkey - who've been massacring Kurds for years. As for Indonesia - rememeber Suharto? Ours.

So Saddam being a brutal dictator, was not a cause of terrorism against us; and if we are to stop terrorism by striking at root causes, we need to look at all the tyrants WE'VE BEEN SUPPORTING.

The fact that... geez... Syria? The guy just got reelected with 97% of the vote and no opposition on the ballot. And it's Saudi and Syria and Egypt even and Indonesia and way *way* more than anyone could do anything about.

So this means invading Iraq was a good thing, how?

And somehow *you* can't have this discussion and admit that methods of government and a severe lack of individual liberty are even part of the discussion.

Of course lack of liberty is part of the discussion.

What is irrelevant to the discussion, is the lack of liberty IN IRAQ.

So if we're agreed that Iraq was not a supporter and a source of terrorism, at least in comparison to the many other Middle Eastern nations, we can move on from that point.

The fact that Islam is supposedly incompatible with democracy is a root cause, or at least indicates a system where individuals have few options for personal efficacy.

That is just another variation of the 'they hate our liberty' argument. It doesn't wash.

Need I point out, AGAIN, that Saddam had nothing to do with Orthodox Islam OR Al Qaeda, especially in comparison with all the other Middle East nations?

It's not accidental that sanctions did not work on Saddam because Saddam was not even remotely dependent for his power on the people of Iraq.

OK...your mention of Iraq is irrelevant, because:

a) as previously discussed, Saddam Hussein had nothing to with orthodox Islam! Please tell me you understand this. He was a brutal dictator who fought against Islamic influences as a threat to his own power.

b) as we've already apparently agreed, Saddam Hussein's Iraq was not a root cause of terrorism.

jp Rogers:Goog... (Below threshold)
marc:

jp Rogers:

Google it

Look... a Rosie clone. Bet you wish you could much carpet as well as her also.

As to root causes:

You are the nation that permits Usury, which has been forbidden by all the religions. Yet you build your economy and investments on Usury. As a result of this, in all its different forms and guises, the Jews have taken control of your economy, through which they have then taken control of your media, and now control all aspects of your life making you their servants and achieving their aims at your expense; precisely what Benjamin Franklin warned you against.

Care to guess who said the above?

He was also quoted as saying the following which should send more than a few Clintonistas into a howling rage:

Who can forget your President Clinton's immoral acts committed in the official Oval office? After that you did not even bring him to account, other than that he 'made a mistake', after which everything passed with no punishment. Is there a worse kind of event for which your name will go down in history and remembered by nations?

But... but.... it about us INVADING someone.

Yeah, riiiigh! That's what the bumpersticker crowd (Edwards sycophants) want's you to believe.

LeeHere is what th... (Below threshold)

Lee

Here is what the President said, per your link:

We've had no evidence that Saddam Hussein was involved with the Sept. 11

Here is what Cheney said, according to you:

VICE PRES. CHENEY: No. I think it's not surprising that people make that connection.

MR. RUSSERT: But is there a connection?

VICE PRES. CHENEY: We don't know.

Connection:Evidence

Are you familiar with the term "parsing a phrase"? The master of the form was William Jefferson Clinton. Don't think for a minute that Cheney and Bush don't know how to do this also. And don't be so trusting of CBS to serve it up in a way that suits you.

Saddam had no direct connec... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

Saddam had no direct connection to the 9/11 attacks, but he was a known sponsor of terrorism. Saddam was also known to have had and used WMD, and there were concerns he was slipping out from under UN sanctions. Had we known in 2003 that Saddam had corrupted government and UN officials it's likely that information would have been effective in justifying independent action by the U.S. It's legitimate to ask what would the situation be now had Bush not invaded Iraq? It's quite plausible that Saddam would have been successful in getting the UN sanctions removed and with billions of oil dollars this vindictive sponsor of terrorism would be free to take vengeance on the nation that so humiliated him in Gulf War I.

We contended with Saddam for 12 years and after the 9/11 attacks I believe Bush realized there was a rapidly closing window of opportunity to take out Saddam once and for all. However, how we got into Iraq and what errors were made is for the history books. What we need to figure out now is how to succeed given the current situation. There's lots of room for positive criticism that would be helpful in bringing about a democratic pro-western Iraq, but few on the left have ever expressed any positive criticism. Many seem to think that terrorism can be defeated by withdrawing from Iraq and maybe all of the middle east. And if that doesn't work some seem to feel we can sacrifice Israel to appease the terrorists. What history shows, however, is that appeasement doesn't work. I know many don't agree, but I believe Bush is right in that the terrorists will just follow our troops home if we withdraw before the new government of Iraq can stand on it's own.

Here we have Cheney implyin... (Below threshold)
Herman:

Here we have Cheney implying a likely relationship between Al Qaeda and Iraq, followed by Cheney later lying to the American people about it [not that you conservatives give a damn about all the damn lies the corrupt government you're responsible make]

...Gloria Borger mentioned [June 17th 2004] that Cheney had previously described the meeting between 9/11 hijacker Mohammed Atta and Iraqi intelligence as "pretty well confirmed," Cheney interrupted: "No, I never said that... Absolutely not." But he had said just that, on NBC's Meet the Press (12/9/01): ''That's been pretty well confirmed that [Atta] did go to Prague and he did meet with a senior official of the Iraqi intelligence service in Czechoslovakia last April, several months before the attack.'' [see http://www.spinsanity.org/post.html?2004_06_20_archive.html ]

Let's make this simple for you conservatives. Question: Why did Cheney lie in 2004 [after it was clear to all that continuing to posit a phantom Iraq-Al Qaeda question would be politically damaging] about what he had declared in 2001 when he was trying to build the case for war? Answer this question, conservatives, and gain some enlightenment.

Here'a shocker....I agre... (Below threshold)
Brian:

Here'a shocker....I agree with Cheney. We just are not there yet.

Bullsh*t. You said "every wide eyed awake American knew this would be a costly war". When asked "do you think the American people are prepared for a long, costly, and bloody battle with significant American casualties?" Cheney said "I don't think it's likely to unfold that way".

Well, it did unfold that way, and it has been long, costly, and bloody. So Cheney was apparently not a wide-eyed awake American, eh? And if you agree with Cheney, then you're just as wrong as he was.

In addition, he said "will be greeted as liberators" and "they will welcome as liberators the United States when we come". I've got news for you... the "greeting" and "welcoming" happens when you get there, not years later. So it's ridiculous to say "we are just not there yet".

And let's take another look at your assertion that "every wide eyed awake American knew this would be a costly war". Here's one of those "wide-eyed awake Americans" now:

Rumsfeld: "The idea that it's going to be a long, long, long battle of some kind I think is belied by the fact of what happened in 1990... Five days or five weeks or five months, but it certainly isn't going to last any longer than that."

You see, you're just making this stuff up now.

"MR. RUSSERT: But is the... (Below threshold)

"MR. RUSSERT: But is there a connection?

VICE PRES. CHENEY: We don't know."

We did know there was no connection. Cheney lied when he said we didn't. Thecorrect answer was "no" and he chose to lie to Americans instead.

Why are you guys defending him? The record is clear, even the President corrected Cheney - and you guys still keep swallowing the lies... and spitting them on demand.

HermanWhat is it abo... (Below threshold)

Herman
What is it about "we don't know" that you don't understand?
Cheney is a POLITICIAN. He clearly is advancing and supporting a policy decision that Mac Lorry described very well above.
Make a more cogent and definitive polemic than "LIAR,LIAR PANTS ON FIRE!"
To that question, and I've asked it more than once before here, what would you done after 9/11. If you have an answer, make it specific.

*sigh* Jim... you know why ... (Below threshold)

*sigh* Jim... you know why *my* ancestors piled their young men into boats and terrorized the better part of the European coastlines for a few centuries?

It was to get them out of the house, Jim.

Brian"Well, ... (Below threshold)

Brian

"Well, it did unfold that way, and it has been long, costly, and bloody. So Cheney was apparently not a wide-eyed awake American, eh? And if you agree with Cheney, then you're just as wrong as he was."

Your historical perspective, Brian, goes back how far? I don't know, but Cheney's historical perspective was formed and informed by the Vietnam War. And submit that it was that conflict that framed his response. Four thousand of our finest versus forty thousand of another generation's finest who,BTW, never got an ounce of respect from the left.

The greeting and the welcoming is happening right now Brian, in the face of brutal terrorist attacks. Remeber those elections in Iraq last year?

And thank you for this quote:

Rumsfeld: "The idea that it's going to be a long, long, long battle of some kind I think is belied by the fact of what happened in 1990... Five days or five weeks or five months, but it certainly isn't going to last any longer than that."

Brian, was the SecDef talking about the invasion and defeat of Saddam's millitary? Or something else?

Here's a Double Jephardy question for you Brian: How many US servicemen and women were killed in Europe and Japan between 1946-1955?


The Pentagon is a bureau... (Below threshold)
jim:

The Pentagon is a bureaucratic organization just like the CIA and Congress.

So it's just random chance that they happen to have been exactly right, and said exactly what most independent non-partisan experts said in public.

That's quite a coincidence, don't you think?

As I've said concerning the Iraqi people, I'm told, second hand, otherwhise. Where do you get these stats on Iraqi casualties versus Saddam's many purges?

Anywhere you want to look.

This will do:

http://www.iraqbodycount.org/press/pr15.php
http://www.iraqbodycount.org/press/pr13.php

A minimum of 64632 Iraqi violent *reported* deaths, and a max of 70783, in the 4 years since we invaded. The unreported deaths are undoubtedly higher. That's 17,500/year.

I looked up the figs, and Saddam has a total of 300,000 according to the US, for 1979-2003. So actually, my guesstimate was wrong. Per year, that's an average of 12,500 - so we're ahead in the average. Yay.


"c) the Senate and Congress didn't vote for the invasion and occupation of Iraq." Jim, have you been reading Senator Clinton's backpedalling the last few months on the Iraq vote.

No, I haven't; her vote distresses me though. To be clear: no President should have been given the power to go to war without Congress, ever. the Founding Fathers knew what they were doning.

But the resolution was for exactly what I said. Read it if you don't believe me.

Here'a shocker....I agree with Cheney. We just are not there yet.

It's your right to agree with him. I think the facts prove both of you very, very wrong.

We don't "have" France and Germany because it is no longer economically convenient for them to be there....and Saddam can no longer line the pockets of their leaders with Oil for Food cash bribes.

That may be. It's irrelevant. The point is, we don't have them, and we did before - which puts us in a bad position.

Jim, that's your most telling remark. I'm sure they will thank you for suffering their "foolish" thoughts and observations as long as you have.

People believe what they want to believe. When the truth is painful, sometimes people choose to believe in anecdotes rather than facts.

The danger is that facts can help us change the way things are, and believing what you want to *against* the facts is a guarantee of more pain in the future.

If only the Bush administration had cared about the facts in the first place, we would be in a much better position as a nation - and these military families wouldn't have loved ones risking their lives because Bush *didn't want to read contrary reports*.

!!!

Why doesn't that make you angry?

Don't you think committing soldiers lives to war requires some attention paid to the possible outcomes? Why doesn't it make you angry that they didn't even care enough to look at non-rosy scenarios? I just don't understand.

*sigh* Jim... you know w... (Below threshold)
jim:

*sigh* Jim... you know why *my* ancestors piled their young men into boats and terrorized the better part of the European coastlines for a few centuries?

It was to get them out of the house, Jim.

So what's that got to do with the price of beans?

The milltary families I ... (Below threshold)
Brian:

The milltary families I know say exactly the opposite. They tell me the Iraqi people do in fact appreciate our presence. What they hate are the terrorists who are killing them. This information comes from folks at Fort Campbell and Fort Knox. I can't square what they are telling me with what CNNABCNBCCBSNYTWP publish. But I know who I believe.

Do you believe these guys?

Staff Sergeant David Safstrom does not regret his previous tours in Iraq, not even a difficult second stint when two comrades were killed while trying to capture insurgents.


"In Mosul, in 2003, it felt like we were making the city a better place," he said. "There was no sectarian violence, Saddam was gone, we were tracking down the bad guys. It felt awesome."

But now on his third deployment in Iraq, he is no longer a believer in the mission. The pivotal moment came, he says, this past February when soldiers killed a man setting a roadside bomb. When they searched the bomber's body, they found identification showing him to be a sergeant in the Iraqi Army.

"I thought, 'What are we doing here? Why are we still here?' " said Safstrom, a member of Delta Company of the 1st Battalion, 325th Airborne Infantry, 82nd Airborne Division. "We're helping guys that are trying to kill us. We help them in the day. They turn around at night and try to kill us."

His views are echoed by most of his fellow soldiers in Delta Company, renowned for its aggressiveness.
...
"In 2003, 2004, 100 percent of the soldiers wanted to be here, to fight this war," said Sergeant First Class David Moore, a self-described "conservative Texas Republican" and platoon sergeant who strongly advocates an American withdrawal. "Now, 95 percent of my platoon agrees with me."
...
But in Safstrom's view, the American presence is futile. "If we stayed here for 5, even 10 more years, the day we leave here these guys will go crazy," he said. "It would go straight into a civil war. That's how it feels, like we're putting a Band-Aid on this country until we leave here."
...
"Most of us don't know what we're fighting for anymore. We're serving our country and friends, but the only reason we go out every day is for each other."

"I don't want any more of my guys to get hurt or die. If it was something I felt righteous about, maybe. But for this country and this conflict, no, it's not worth it."

Read it all.

Brian, was the SecDef ta... (Below threshold)
Brian:

Brian, was the SecDef talking about the invasion and defeat of Saddam's millitary? Or something else?

That would be "something else", Alex.

MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: Do you think we'll still be fighting in Iraq six months from now?


SEC. RUMSFELD: Oh, goodness, you know, I've never -- we've never had a timetable. We've always said it could be days, weeks, or months and we don't know.

We don't talk about deployments in the specific, but we have brought a good many Guard and Reserve on active duty. Fortunately, a great many of them were volunteers. We have been able to have relatively few stop losses. There are some currently, particularly in the Army, but relatively few in the Navy and the Air Force. And it is not knowable if force will be used, but if it is to be used, it is not knowable how long that conflict would last. It could last, you know, six days, six weeks. I doubt six months.

...
So I would see this buildup going up, lasting for a period, and the last choice is war, but if that is necessary, a period where that takes place and then a drawdown. And you would find people moving back out and some residual number staying there, with the -- undoubtedly the forces of many other nations.

Here's a Double Jephardy... (Below threshold)
Brian:

Here's a Double Jephardy question for you Brian: How many US servicemen and women were killed in Europe and Japan between 1946-1955?

Bzzt! Sorry! Red herring. Thanks for playing.

"Do you believe these guys?... (Below threshold)

"Do you believe these guys?"

Do I believe they represent the unit's morale? No. Did they say what they were quoted as saying? Not sure.I don't trust a UK newspaper any more than the NYT. But I do believe this disclaimer:

With few reliable surveys of soldiers' attitudes, it is impossible to simply extrapolate from the small number of soldiers in Delta Company.

Here's another assignment for you Brian. Read some MillBlogs for a few months. Blackfive for instance. It will give you another perspective on the thoughts of boots on the ground.

Bzzt! Sorry! Red herr... (Below threshold)

Bzzt! Sorry! Red herring. Thanks for playing.

Cop Out. Remember Santayana. You don't live in a vacuum and it is only history that can inform your opinion.

Why should I put any more v... (Below threshold)
Brian:

Why should I put any more value in the opinions of soldiers who agree with you than you value the opinions of soldiers who disagree with you?

Lee,We di... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

Lee,

We did know there was no connection. Cheney lied when he said we didn't. Thecorrect answer was "no" and he chose to lie to Americans instead.

To know there was no connection means proving a negative. Being that that negative can't be proven, Cheney answered correctly. You can say there was no known connection, but that's similar to saying "We don't know".

Jimrandom chan... (Below threshold)

Jim
random chance...no
so we're ahead in the average. Yay....cause we're in a war. Purges are much more efficient in building body count: ask Pol Pot or Stalin.
we don't have them, and we did before...because they were getting the money and we stopped the flow of funds.
"sometimes people choose to believe in anecdotes rather than facts"...no Jim, these folks believe in first hand accounts of action on the ground, not annectdotes. Do you have any idea how incredibly offensive that remark is to a family of a Marine in the theatre? These are not families of uneducated or ignorant people. They are, for instance, Moms and Dads who hold graduate degrees in advanced sciences and arts. They are rational, logical thinkers. You demean them.
As I told Brian, read some MilBlogs for a few months.

Why should I put any ... (Below threshold)

Why should I put any more value in the opinions of soldiers who agree with you than you value the opinions of soldiers who disagree with you?

Soldiering is hard, and finding a complaint is not difficult....this can be found from history books to the comics.
I am right because reenlistment rates are at very high levels. There is great demand in recruits seeking to become members of Airborne Infantry. If morale was so low, don't you think these new recruits who want to graduate to Airborne would figure that out?

"what would you done aft... (Below threshold)
Is our children learning?:

"what would you done after 9/11. If you have an answer, make it specific."HughS

Using Bush/Cheney rationale & w/ the hindsight of their Iraqi catastrophe, I'd suggest Sri Lanka, if they want to try a a do-over.

Jim,If on... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

Jim,

If only the Bush administration had cared about the facts in the first place, we would be in a much better position as a nation - and these military families wouldn't have loved ones risking their lives because Bush *didn't want to read contrary reports*.

You nor anyone else can know that we would be in a much better position as a nation had Bush not invaded Iraq. That assertion ignores the consequence of leaving Saddam in power. One of the so-called facts many on the left like to ignore is that Saddam had successfully corrupted French, Russian and UN officials. Had not Bush acted when he did Saddam would by now be free of UN sanctions, and with billions of oil dollars to spend this vengeful known sponsor of terrorism would be free to seek retribution on the U.S. for his shameful and humiliating defeat in Gulf War I. Given that alternative we would be in a much worse position as a nation.

As for contrary reports, virtually every major military plan is accompanied by contrary reports. What are you going to believe, the minority or the majority view? Leaders have to make decisions most often without complete information and often under time pressure. The D-Day invasion was delayed due to bad weather, but Eisenhower made the decision to go ahead on slim evidence there would be a break in the weather. Even though nearly 5,000 troops lost their lives on that one day, the Normandy invasion has gone down in history as a great success.

Putting the past in the past, what's the best course NOW? Abandon Iraq and risk the rise of another anti-American nation, or stay and do whatever it takes to complete the job of building a democratic pro-American nation in Iraq?

Is our children learning... (Below threshold)

Is our children learning?
Great news! I think they've already done Sri Lanka! And much of the Pacific Rim.
Congratulations on your wish fulfilled.

Brian:Why shou... (Below threshold)
marc:

Brian:

Why should I put any more value in the opinions of soldiers who agree with you than you value the opinions of soldiers who disagree with you?

You believe in a majority don't you Brian? (at least your ilk claims too after Nov '06 but it ain't workin' so good)

By all appearances those military members that agree with your points on the war seem to be in the minority NOT the majority.

Could that be a reason to give their opinions more weight?

To know there was no con... (Below threshold)
Brian:

To know there was no connection means proving a negative. Being that that negative can't be proven,

Wrong. Here are some negative statements that can be proven very easily:

  • Five is not equal to four
  • The ancient Egyptians did not watch Seinfeld
  • The tsetse fly is not native to North America

But let's skip over your logical naivete and word games.

Cheney answered correctly. You can say there was no known connection, but that's similar to saying "We don't know".

Pfft. It's not like Cheney was asked that cold. He knew that the intelligence agencies found no connection. Similar, perhaps, but not equivalent. More like a lie of omission.

You're crediting Cheney with the same trick that we've all seen on legal TV shows many times... where you trick the witness into saying, "well, anything is possible!" Except this time it's you who are accepting Cheney's claim, when usually it's laughed out of court.

It's like you rushing out and buying a new boat because you "don't know" if there's money hidden under your floorboards, even though you've been looking. At some point your optimism needs to give in to reality.

I guess Saddam was going to... (Below threshold)
jpm100:

I guess Saddam was going to live forever if we didn't invade. I did not know that. I thank the lefties for setting me straight.

Lee(as in I cannot tell a l... (Below threshold)
jhow66:

Lee(as in I cannot tell a lie but you can)Ward(as in insane) blue is "overrun" with comments to your posts. How do you have time to comment over here? Hmmmmm

Brian, I believe if Kos tol... (Below threshold)
Zelsdorf Ragshaft III:

Brian, I believe if Kos told you the ancient Egyptians watch Steinfeld you would believe it. I watched those speeches made by Bush and Chaney. Lee, once again you are a liar. Finding BS published by MSM does not make it so. Only fools like yourself need someone to interpret what was orginally said. This is very similar to your forgetting what the Democrats said about Saddam during the Clinton years. If you Brian you idiot, consider, out of a nation of 300 million, the loss of way under 5,000 troops over a five year period is an unsustainable loss, it is a good thing you are not a general in our army. You think throwing out terms like red herring defeat an argument because you decide? No wonder you Mother F--kers like people like Chavez. You don't want to hear the truth. Your daddy needs to take you out the the wood shed and paddle your little bottom.

If we hadn't invaded Iraq i... (Below threshold)
Dirk:

If we hadn't invaded Iraq in 2003, I'd bet a million dollars that the whining lefties would have been berating George Bush for the last 4 years for not doing something to get rid of Saddam when we had the best chance.

OT...thank you Jay, Lorie, ... (Below threshold)
Justrand:

OT...thank you Jay, Lorie, et al, for a GREAT SITE!

Your, and my, former "stomping ground" (Polipundit) has turned into DU-lite. They allow NO ONE to seriously disagree with their BDS-driven rage. Incredibly sad.

OK, back on topic...we needed to remove Saddam THEN, and we need to WIN in Iraq now! the Islamists know what is at stake...sadly, most Americans do not.

mullah cimoc say usa media ... (Below threshold)
mullah cimoc:

mullah cimoc say usa media so control...for this ameriki mind in kind of blurring.

usa mind control experts them keep true image from mind of ameriki people.

so few reporter in iraq. so control all information. reporter him stay in green zone unless big convoy with gunships security.

monopoly media not good and not like him thomas jefferson when see so consolidate this us a media.

Wow! Had to leave and looki... (Below threshold)
scotty:

Wow! Had to leave and looking back I'm glad I didn't waste several hours of my life arguing with you people.

Lee Ward, I honestly don't understand how you can read that Meet the Press transcript and twist it all around to say Cheney lied. Some parsing job. You just kept repeating that like a mantra or something. You go on to say that Bush corrected the LIE. Well going with your world view that Cheney lied that Sunday morning and that Bush corrected the lie the next day, what conclusion to you draw about the very serious damage done by this tremendous lie? You go on to conclude that this is evidence of a great Bush conspiracy. Some conspiracy. A whole 24 hours to do their evil bidding before they told the real story. Come on man, you are seriously diluted.

To all of the twisted bloggers who seem to have plenty of time on your hands: Your voluminous sourcing of conspiracy sites seriously damages whatever shred of dignity you are trying to save. But it does explain a bit about your psychological make-up. It does explain your inability to be persuaded by reality. It does explain your serious anti-social behavior. It does explain how you are unable to come up with your own thoughts but simply regurgitate the pabulum they offer. It does explain your borderline neurotic tendencies. Finally, it explains your anger, bitterness, and hatred. I wonder, have you noticed these attributes in yourself or are you so caught up that you haven't noticed. Are you able to hold down a job? Are you able to marry and experience love? Any children (God help and protect them) to hug and teach them why the sky is blue and how hummingbirds hover motionless as they sip sweet nectar from the honeysuckle. Do you experience joy as normal people do? Do you see colors or is your world all dour and grey? Have you looked in the mirror lately? What do you see? Go ahead take a minute; take 10 minutes and just look at yourself in a mirror. Is your long, greasy unkempt hair an indication of how you care for yourself? When is the last time you did something completely selfless? Have you served your fellow men lately? I think it would be sad to live your life. Is it?

Jimrandom chance.... (Below threshold)
jim:

Jim
random chance...no

Okay. So you admit, then, that maybe the Pentagon itself, as well as a majority of nonpartisan experts, were actually right when they predicted the invasion and occupation of Iraq was almost certainly a disaster.

[the Iraq body count is so high]...'cause we're in a war.

Nope. We're no longer in a war in Iraq. It's now an occupation. A war is taking the territory from the enemy and deposing that enemy; an occupation is holding the territory.

Purges are much more efficient in building body count: ask Pol Pot or Stalin.

Then why are we killing Iraqis even more efficiently than Saddam did?

"sometimes people choose to believe in anecdotes rather than facts"...no Jim, these folks believe in first hand accounts of action on the ground, not annectdotes.

Hugh, how many US soldiers are currently in Iraq? Well over 100,000.

You can relate stories from families. I can post stories from families taht show the opposite.

But if we're going to understand reality, then we have to either a) interview 100,000 + soldiers on the ground, plus their commanders, plus an entire nation of Iraqis, or b) go with statistical facts.

Do you have any idea how incredibly offensive that remark is to a family of a Marine in the theatre?

Do you have any idea how irrelevant that is, to whether or not the occupation of Iraq is working?

I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings. But reality is reality. And severeal personal anecdotes simply don't carry the weight of statistics. That's why we bother to GET statistics - 3 personal opinions out of several million people simply aren't that reliable.

These are not families of uneducated or ignorant people. They are, for instance, Moms and Dads who hold graduate degrees in advanced sciences and arts. They are rational, logical thinkers.

I'm not saying they are stupid, in any way, shape or form. I'm telling you they could be Einstein, Socrates and Michelangelo, and the stories of their sons still would not present a reliable, full and accurate picture of the war. And if their sons opposed the war, they STILL wouldn't present an accurate picture - because they're 3 stories out of several million people.

Do you understand what I'm saying?

You nor anyone else can ... (Below threshold)
jim:

You nor anyone else can know that we would be in a much better position as a nation had Bush not invaded Iraq.

Just like I can't know for sure the sun will rise tomorrow morning. But the experts agree with me. We can all only make the best guesses that we have.

That assertion ignores the consequence of leaving Saddam in power. One of the so-called facts many on the left like to ignore is that Saddam had successfully corrupted French, Russian and UN officials. Had not Bush acted when he did Saddam would by now be free of UN sanctions, and with billions of oil dollars to spend this vengeful known sponsor of terrorism would be free to seek retribution on the U.S. for his shameful and humiliating defeat in Gulf War I. Given that alternative we would be in a much worse position as a nation.

So, if Iraq Saddam wasn't invaded, and IF the UN lifted sanctions, and IF he wasn't continually inspected, and IF he developed a weapons program, then we might be threatened.

As opposed to invading and definitely putting ourselves in harm's way, and definitely increasing worldwide terrorism, Al Qaeda's funding, recruitment and prestige, and getting our troops stuck, and hampering our venture in Afghanistan.

As for contrary reports, virtually every major military plan is accompanied by contrary reports. What are you going to believe, the minority or the majority view?

The Majority view!! Which was the opinion of the experts! Did you read that War Games report, or not??

Leaders have to make decisions most often without complete information and often under time pressure...

So that's an excuse for not finding out all the information you can? For Bush not even READING THE REPORTS ON HIS DESK??

Putting the past in the past, what's the best course NOW? Abandon Iraq and risk the rise of another anti-American nation, or stay and do whatever it takes to complete the job of building a democratic pro-American nation in Iraq?

The best course of action is accountability, and that starts with acknowledging reality.

This current path is not working. Every year is worse than the last, and continues with no end in sight.

But I'll tell you what: I hope I'm wrong. Let's revisit this in a year. If I'm wrong and Iraq's turned the corner, I'll be very very happy. If I'm right, I ask that you at least acknowledge it, and maybe start thinking that Bush might not be accomplishing what he says he is.

Jim:Nope. We'r... (Below threshold)
marc:

Jim:

Nope. We're no longer in a war in Iraq. It's now an occupation. A war is taking the territory from the enemy and deposing that enemy; an occupation is holding the territory.

Someone is in serious need of a dictionary.

War: a conflict carried on by force of arms, as between nations or between parties within a nation; warfare, as by land, sea, or air - a state or period of armed hostility or active military operations: The two nations were at war with each other.

Occupation: the state of being occupied - the seizure and control of an area by military forces, esp. foreign territory - the term of control of a territory by foreign military forces: Danish resistance during the German occupation.

Considering you and your fellow travelers all claim Iraq is in complete disarray and chaos seems to say there isn't an occupation that would require "control of territory."

That aside,your seem to be unable to recall or willfully ignore U.S. forces are there at the request of the Iraqi gov and that request has been approved by and authorization given for their presence by the UN.

Then why are we killing Iraqis even more efficiently than Saddam did?

Easy to assign every death in Iraq to U.S. forces isn't it? Wonder why that is?

Nevermind, I think we all know, it's very similar to the "Rosie factor" and her belief of 600,000 Iraqi deaths.

But if we're going to understand reality, then we have to either a) interview 100,000 + soldiers on the ground, plus their commanders, plus an entire nation of Iraqis, or b) go with statistical facts.

Please do, lets see your statistical facts regarding Iraqi deaths and how many are attributed to U.S. forces and those that have been killed by terrorists and insurgent/criminal forces.

Until you do quit assigning all the deaths to the U.S. or... put another way:

STFU about that particular topic.

Just like I can't ... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:
Just like I can't know for sure the sun will rise tomorrow morning. But the experts agree with me. We can all only make the best guesses that we have.

The rising of the sun is not a valid comparison because it's going to rise or not regardless of anything humans do.

So, if Iraq Saddam wasn't invaded, and IF the UN lifted sanctions, and IF he wasn't continually inspected, and IF he developed a weapons program, then we might be threatened.

It's called "what if" analysis and every business, and every nation, and most people do it. We know certain facts that demonstrated the scenario I laid out is not only plausible, but probable.

The Majority view!! Which was the opinion of the experts! Did you read that War Games report, or not??

Did you read all the security reports that caused Bill Clinton, the majority of Congress, and Bush to ascertain that Saddam was a danger to this nation? There is always risk in war, but there's also risk in not engaging in war when it's called for.

So that's an excuse for not finding out all the information you can? For Bush not even READING THE REPORTS ON HIS DESK??

No President in modern times reads all the reports they are sent, it's simply not humanly possible. Bill Clinton didn't do it, Congress doesn't do it (as they are now admitting), and Bush didn't do it. That's why the President has a large staff of experts.

The best course of action is accountability, and that starts with acknowledging reality.

That's nothing but infantile thinking. The kind of thinking that will get this nation in a far worse position than it's already in.

But I'll tell you what: I hope I'm wrong. Let's revisit this in a year. If I'm wrong and Iraq's turned the corner, I'll be very very happy. If I'm right, I ask that you at least acknowledge it, and maybe start thinking that Bush might not be accomplishing what he says he is.

But of course you and your ilk are going to be working hard to undermine everything Bush does in the next year. One of the most effective military tactics is to cut the enemy's supply lines, and that's exactly what the Democrats have tried to do to defeat the American military.

MacL, your right on. Absolu... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

MacL, your right on. Absolutes for me are: There is a GOD, I love my wife, I love my son, I love my grandson, and democrats lie all the time. It never changes. ww

"OK....so we're agreed a... (Below threshold)
Oyster:

"OK....so we're agreed at least that Iraq wasn't supporting terrorism when we invaded. And it wasn't a source of terrorists either."

This isn't just myopia. It's willful blindness.

Brian, my point, which you carefully sidestepped, was that terrorism takes many forms. People are cowed into submission (terrorized) by more than a roadside bomb.

You made a generalized statement that, "there has been a significant rise in militant Islam since we entered Iraq," and I counter it.

I will grant that there are more roadside bombs now, but they are largely in Iraq. They're getting more support for such things by Iraq's neighbors because they're fighting more than just the citizenry. They're fighting an actual army.

I am contending that the fear and terror instilled in people all around the world by militant Islamic fundamentalists has not changed in number of instances. They vary from public beatings to set examples, to beheadings and all the way up to bombings.

This is why I call foul on your statement. You can call my points on Spain and London red herrings, but it's because you cannot answer the questions. We were not in Iraq or Afghanistan when they destroyed the towers and killed 3,000 people. I would like to know how you might think they wouldn't have bombed London or Spain with this knowledge. But we're in Iraq, so it MUST be the cause of the Spain or London bombings because they said so, by God. (I can only assume you include these two instances in your remark about a rise in militant Islam.) And they wouldn't lie, would they? Nevermind that they plot against Germany and elsewhere, and always have, even though Germany and others are not involved in the Iraq war.

Terrorism isn't a problem because we're in Iraq. We're in Iraq and Afghanistan because of terrorism.

For years, nay decades, the media didn't report on smaller instances of terrorism. Not newsworthy. They can't conceivably report on every single instance, but they make a concerted effort to do more reporting now. It doesn't mean it wasn't always happening.

A car bombing here, a killing there, merely got a mention, if that. Now, it's all been moved to section A of the paper. Now we see it.

Brian,Wr... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

Brian,

Wrong. Here are some negative statements that can be proven very easily: Five is not equal to four The ancient Egyptians did not watch Seinfeld The tsetse fly is not native to North America But let's skip over your logical naivete and word games.

You're a lightweight when it comes to logic Brian. Notice that I said "Being that that negative can't be proven" as in the specific case. I said it that way because I knew some idiot would come up with irrelevant counter examples.

To prove Saddam had no connection with 9/11 you would have to know everything Saddam knew. That wasn't possible when Cheney made his statement, it wasn't possible after the invasion of Iraq, and it's not possible now. In this case you and Lee are the liars, not Cheney.

Yesterday the troops asked ... (Below threshold)
civil behavior:

Yesterday the troops asked Lieberman "when hey are getting out of " Iraq.

I suppose now the troops are emboldening the enemy huh?

This is what I have been sa... (Below threshold)
Craig:

This is what I have been saying since 1991. Why is the anti war movement based on organizations that brought war crimes charges against Bill Clinton?

Before the war my expectations were, 2-6 months to topple Saddam, 2-10 years to stabilize the country. 2000 dead the first year and a total of 2000 in the rest of the stabilzation.

So when I say the war is going as I expected, what does that mean?

I guess my big mistake was taking France at their word, when they lied to Colin Powell's face.

So why is Al-Qaeda more concerned with Iraq than Afghanistan?

The biggest reason I would say is geography.

cb,Maybe this troo... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

cb,

Maybe this troop was referring to the politicians who come to Iraq for photo opps with the troops.

Considering you and your... (Below threshold)
jim:

Considering you and your fellow travelers all claim Iraq is in complete disarray and chaos seems to say there isn't an occupation that would require "control of territory."

Considering that your quoted definitions actually prove me right, and considering that you think your above statement has some proof, my mind is blown.

Please show in your dictionary definition, the line that says "unless the territory is in disarray and chaos."

I mean, wow.

The rest of your stuff about how it can't be an occupation because the 'government invited us' (how did they invite us when Saddam was in power?) and the UN, makes no sense. It's still an occupation. What exactly are you even arguing?

Easy to assign every death in Iraq to U.S. forces isn't it? Wonder why that is?

They aren't attributed to US forces - they're results of the US invading, so they're assigned to the US government, and the Bush administration is ultimately responsible in my opinion.

However you want to 'assign' their deaths, they're simple facts.

Nevermind, I think we all know, it's very similar to the "Rosie factor" and her belief of 600,000 Iraqi deaths.

I think you all think what you want to believe.

BUt that body count is aquired by adding up all listed deaths in the public media. So keep sticking your head in the sand if you want to - but if you want to look at things like a grown-up adult, start acknowledging reality.

Please do, lets see your statistical facts regarding Iraqi deaths and how many are attributed to U.S. forces and those that have been killed by terrorists and insurgent/criminal forces.

All deaths are resulting from our presence there. Those deaths would not have happened if we weren't there. So those are deaths resulting from our invasion and occupation.

More importantly, those deaths show the relative health of the country since we've invaded, and compare it to the relative health of the country back when Saddam was in power. They aren't the measure you're trying to make it.

STFU about that particular topic.

Since you put it so politely - no, absolutely not, not ever. I will not stop bringing you facts to contradict the wishful thinking you want to hold onto.

I am glad you're starting to get agitated - that means you're starting to wake up.

It's called "what if" an... (Below threshold)
jim:

It's called "what if" analysis and every business, and every nation, and most people do it. We know certain facts that demonstrated the scenario I laid out is not only plausible, but probable.

OK, so - the analysts which said the Iraq war would be a disaster are wrong - even though they came from the Pentagon and But your analysis is right.

How fascinatingly convenient.

Incidentally, please point me towards an expert analyst in foreign policy, who actually thought the analysis you put forth was probable. Just so I can show you an overwhelming majority who disagreed.

Did you read all the security reports that caused Bill Clinton, the majority of Congress, and Bush to ascertain that Saddam was a danger to this nation?

I know the facts released to the public. And I also know they didn't invade. And Bush's father didn't invade either. And why? Because they all thought that the risks outweighed the possible benefits.

I know that - because they didn't invade.

There is always risk in war, but there's also risk in not engaging in war when it's called for.

UH-huh. And guess what? In this case, according to all the experts, the risk in war *outweighed* the risk in not going to war.

So that's an excuse for not finding out all the information you can? For Bush not even READING THE REPORTS ON HIS DESK??

No President in modern times reads all the reports they are sent, it's simply not humanly possible.

Nice dodge. But I'm not talking about all. I'm talking about even a couple very important ones.

The best course of action is accountability, and that starts with acknowledging reality.

That's nothing but infantile thinking. The kind of thinking that will get this nation in a far worse position than it's already in.

Oh, really? Accountability and personal responsibility is infantile?

Holding people accountable for their decisions and the way they ignore reality, is going to put this country in a worse position? That's the stance you're taking?

You are a conservative, right? I thought that's what conservatives were all about.

But of course you and your ilk are going to be working hard to undermine everything Bush does in the next year. One of the most effective military tactics is to cut the enemy's supply lines, and that's exactly what the Democrats have tried to do to defeat the American military.

Trying to defeat the American military by stopping them from being marched over a cliff, rather than having the President have to admit he was wrong - yeah, that's just terrible.

To all those on the left of... (Below threshold)
jhow66:

To all those on the left of center--the sky is falling, the sky is falling, the sk...........

They aren't attributed to U... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

They aren't attributed to US forces - they're results of the US invading, so they're assigned to the US government, and the Bush administration is ultimately responsible in my opinion.
-------------------------------------------------
For all his lengthy posts, this one is an example of the typical leftist logic. All the deaths in WW2 is a responsibility of the US government because the US dared to fight facist Germany, Italy, and Japan. All the WW2 deaths were the responsibility of the US gov because the US dared to invade Europe and Asia.

Yup, all the terrorists have to do now is to blow up more women and children around the world and liberals like Jim will blame the US gov for these deaths. No wonder liberals can stand behind the terrorist-cheering rhetoric of Harry Reid.


OK, so - the analy... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:
OK, so - the analysts which said the Iraq war would be a disaster are wrong - even though they came from the Pentagon and But your analysis is right.

You keep missing the point. Someone always says something is going to be a disaster. It happens all the time, but Bush had to decide if the risk of war was greater than a risk of leaving Saddam in place. I believe Bush made the right choice. That's not saying the aftermath of the invasion couldn't have been handled much better, but Bush had to contend with the anti-American crowd and that limited what he could do.

Incidentally, please point me towards an expert analyst in foreign policy, who actually thought the analysis you put forth was probable. Just so I can show you an overwhelming majority who disagreed.

My scenario is an original work as far as I know. Maybe others come the same conclusions. Maybe even Bush and/or his staff. There certainly were a lot of statements before 2003 by Democrats as to the danger Saddam posed to this nation. Do you consider them experts in foreign policy? If not, then maybe they shouldn't be trying to tell Bush how to run the war.

And why? Because they all thought that the risks outweighed the possible benefits.

Maybe 9/11 changed the equation a bit.

UH-huh. And guess what? In this case, according to all the experts, the risk in war *outweighed* the risk in not going to war.

So you don't think Rice and Powell are an experts. Apparently the experts you don't want to acknowledge made a better case than those who opposed going to war.

Nice dodge. But I'm not talking about all. I'm talking about even a couple very important ones.

Important only after the fact. There are people who predict stock market sell offs that few think are important until after the fact. The problems is these same folks make negative predictions all the time and most are WRONG.

Oh, really? Accountability and personal responsibility is infantile?

It's infantile in the way you and many of your ilk are trying to damage Bush and undermine every effort to salvage the situation in Iraq. All you care about is gaining political power by any means with no regard to the damage you are causing this nation. That's infantile.

Holding people accountable for their decisions and the way they ignore reality, is going to put this country in a worse position? That's the stance you're taking?

It's because your view of reality is clouded by BDS. The decision to invade Iraq has been made and we are engaged with a potentially potent enemy. Now is the time to support winning in Iraq, not pursue some infantile vendetta.

Trying to defeat the American military by stopping them from being marched over a cliff, rather than having the President have to admit he was wrong - yeah, that's just terrible.

No one is being marched off a cliff and our casualties in Iraq are minimal compared to prior wars. Bush is weighing the casualties in the current situation with the potential casualties of bring the war to American shores. You know, that "what if" stuff again.


Maybe 9/11 changed the e... (Below threshold)
jim:

Maybe 9/11 changed the equation a bit.

OMFG.

OK.

Wow.

Since Saddam Hussein had nothing to do with 9/11; was less involved with Al Qaeda than nearly every other major Middle East country; and funded terrorists *MUCH* less than many other Middle Eastern countries - and the terrorists he did fund were Palestinian, no direct threat to us -

How exactly did 9/11 make invading Iraq without enough troops suddenly a good idea?

LoveAmericaImmigrant, I kno... (Below threshold)
jim:

LoveAmericaImmigrant, I know you love to think WWII is equivalent to Iraq.

But in reality -
Did Iraq attack us? No. Was Iraq about to attack us? No. Did Iraq threaten us or our allies in any way? No.

So, the invasion and occupation of Iraq is not at all like WWII. It is not even in the same ballpark.

No one is being marched ... (Below threshold)
jim:

No one is being marched off a cliff and our casualties in Iraq are minimal compared to prior wars.

Oh, that makes it better. Only 3,000 plus soldiers had their lives thrown away, and 20,000+ wounded and maimed for life. No big deal at all.

Bush is weighing the casualties in the current situation with the potential casualties of bring the war to American shores. You know, that "what if" stuff again.

And since the figures show that invading and occupying Iraq has increased worldwide terrorism, increased the power and prestige and recruiting and resources of Al Qaeda, and caused more casualties every year - this makes sense to you? And you really think he's weighing things accurately?

But in reality - Did... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

But in reality -
Did Iraq attack us? No. Was Iraq about to attack us? No. Did Iraq threaten us or our allies in any way? No.

So, the invasion and occupation of Iraq is not at all like WWII. It is not even in the same ballpark.
-------------------------------------------------
Jim,
Germany and Italy didn't attack us. Japan did. Still your logic implies that the US gov is responsbile for all the deaths/destruction in Europe during WW2. At least try to be consistent in terms of logic.

LoveAmericaImmigrant, pleas... (Below threshold)
jim:

LoveAmericaImmigrant, please note where I said:

Did Iraq threaten us or our allies in any way? No.

I am consistent. Please read more fully.

Did Iraq threaten us or our... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

Did Iraq threaten us or our allies in any way? No.
-----------------------------------------------
You are definitely wrong here, Jim. Saddam Hussein openly supported Hamas terrorists against our only democratic ally in the region, Israel. Iraq also invaded Kuwait and had violated the cease-fire terms (fly-free zone) and all the UN resolutions for 10 years.

Dammit, I can't believe wha... (Below threshold)
Veeshir:

Dammit, I can't believe what I almost did.
I had a long response to one or another post but really, why bother? It's all just spinning your wheels.

If people want to defend genocidal dictators like Saddam or the Mad Mullahs, have fun.

Again, I repeat, the troops... (Below threshold)
civil behavior:

Again, I repeat, the troops numbering in the range of 30 all wrote down questions to ask Joe Lieberman on his visit to Iraq.

Every soldier had one overiding question "when are we are going to get out of here'? Other comments were more direct.

Spc Will Hedin said he'd never voice his true feelings to the senator.

"I think I'd be a private if I did," he joked. "It's just more troops, more targets."

Spc Kevin Adams said "It's like everything else in this war," Adams said, referring to Baghdad. "It hasn't changed."


So Mac, do you think that by asking questions and making statements like when they are they going to get out of there the troops are emboldening the enemy? Are they wanting to cut and run?

Or have they finally figured out that the bunch of you 30% deadenders and the cartel at the WHITE House are using them as stooges?

What's it going to take to make you feel unclean by using these kids?

What's it going to take to ... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

What's it going to take to make you feel unclean by using these kids?
------------------------------------------------
cb,
good point. I wonder how the liberals can look themselves in the mirror. Some liberal journalists openly wished for more deaths on the US troops and Iraqui people so that they can whip up more anti-war sentiment. Some liberal journalists lamented the fact that the casualties in the Iraq war is too low compared to the previous major wars. So they had to drum up evey death as a major setback. IT seems that they even want to encourage the terroirsts to fight on and to blow up more women and children so that they can claim the war is lost. They had no qualm in trying to slander the US military by comparing the military to Nazis. Now they want to hide behind a small minority to undermine the military itself. Truly they don't seem to have a hint of shame. Wonder what will take to make liberals feel unclean for using these people as stooges. Even Cindy Sheehan had a taste of the liberal left.

You didn't answer the kids ... (Below threshold)
civil behavior:

You didn't answer the kids questions either did you immigrant?

You don't have an answer for them do you immigrant?

You want to keep them there so you don't have to admit you made a mistake don't you immigrant?

Why do you want to use these kids for stooges immigrant?

Why won't you answer their question immigrant?

They are asking you becasue we've already given them our answer. When are you going to get them out of there immigrant? What's it going to take?

Tell them victory and they'll laugh in your face. Obviously they know they are being used. If generals retire to tell the truth and the boots on the ground wanting out aren't enough for you what EXACTLY is it going to take to make you feel unclean about using these kids?

LAI, that's not threatening... (Below threshold)
jim:

LAI, that's not threatening.

But I'll tell you what - let's say that this *was* threatening. As posted upstream, Saudi Arabia and other Middle Eastern nations have supported Hamas and others *far more* than Iraq ever did - so how is invading Iraq an effective response?

If this were in your WWII metaphor, it would be like responding to Pearl Harbor by invading the North Pole.

How exactly did 9/... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:
How exactly did 9/11 make invading Iraq without enough troops suddenly a good idea?

After contending with Saddam for 12 years, 9/11 made it politically possible to invade Iraq and eliminate this threat. With the war in Afghanistan going much better than "experts" predicted, disposing of Saddam likely seemed more doable than it had before. Actually the invasion with few troops went well, maybe too well. Not even the pentagon planners expected Saddam's forces to fold as quickly as they did. They likely expected to have more time to prepare for peace keeping.

Jim, YOu are simply... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

Jim,
YOu are simply spinning now and cannot stay consistent with your own logic. All the terrorists have to do now is to blow up more women/children and you will blame it on the US gov. No way around it! That 's why the terrorists love the liberal logic and try to do exactly that.

If this were in your WWI... (Below threshold)
Veeshir:

If this were in your WWII metaphor, it would be like responding to Pearl Harbor by invading the North Pole.

Now that's funny.

No, it would be like responding to Pearl Harbor by invading French North Africa.
Yes, that's right. Japan attacked us, Germany declared war on us and yet, the first people we attacked in the ETO were the French!!!


It always makes me laugh when people obviously ignorant of any sort of military strategy, indeed who appear to have no idea of the relationship of strategy and tactics, pontificate as if they know what they're talking about.

cb, Many soldiers ... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

cb,
Many soldiers themselves have spoken out against premature withdrawal from Iraq? Many have warned about the brutality of the terrorists and their allies there. We had the hindsight of 3-5M deaths after 60k American casualties there. Why don't you answer those soldiers? Why do you have to hide behind one of the fews as stooges for your surrender policy?
Yes we are in Iraq now. What will you do to ensure that the terrorists are defeated in Iraq? If you have any constructive criticism to help us win there, please feel free to share it. Otherwise, don't use these soldiers (ie kids in your terminology) for your surrender rhetoric.

jim:and the te... (Below threshold)
marc:

jim:

and the terrorists he did fund were Palestinian, no direct threat to us

Tell that to the American citizens that reside in Israel or the thousands that visited there while Saddam provided the incentive to conduct more suicide bombings.

Saudi Arabia and other Middle Eastern nations have supported Hamas and others *far more* than Iraq ever did - so how is invading Iraq an effective response?

True enough they did, however, you have obviously no understanding of taking the path of least resistance when planning and executing a war plan.

How many U.N. sanctions did "Saudi Arabia and other Middle Eastern nations" violate between 1991 and March 2003?

How many signed, sealed and delivered ceasefire agreements did "Saudi Arabia and other Middle Eastern nations" violate between 1991 and March 2003?

Did "Saudi Arabia and other Middle Eastern nations" have an AUMF issued by the U.S. Congress that plainly stated the president was authorized to use whatever means necessary to remove their respective leaders?

civil [misbehavior]:

... and the cartel at the WHITE House are using them as stooges?

Stooges, defined as - "One who allows oneself to be used for another's profit or advantage; a puppet."

Very typical of your thinking cb, very much like "war hero" kerry's, "de troops r stooppid"

The fact they all volunteer to be in the armed forces always escapes you doesn't it cb.

You're a lightweight whe... (Below threshold)
Brian:

You're a lightweight when it comes to logic Brian. Notice that I said "Being that that negative can't be proven" as in the specific case.

Yes, you did. And you were wrong.

To prove Saddam had no connection with 9/11 you would have to know everything Saddam knew. That wasn't possible when Cheney made his statement, it wasn't possible after the invasion of Iraq, and it's not possible now. In this case you and Lee are the liars, not Cheney.

More word games. But I'll play along. To prove that a passer-by at a crime scene had no role in the crime, you would have to know everything that that passer-by knows. To prove that Cheney did not order the towers to be demolished, you would have to know everything that Cheney knows. To prove that gravity will not shut off tomorrow, you would have to know everything that the universe (or God, if you prefer) knows.

In all cases, you need to give in to reasonable certainty and stop playing games. Which was possible when Cheney made his statement, it was possible after the invasion of Iraq, and it is possible now. In this case, Cheney is the liar.

Oh, that makes it ... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:
Oh, that makes it better. Only 3,000 plus soldiers had their lives thrown away, and 20,000+ wounded and maimed for life. No big deal at all.

Those lives haven't been thrown away until we lose or abandon the fight. You and your ilk are the ones working to make the soldier's sacrifice meaningless.

And since the figures show that invading and occupying Iraq has increased worldwide terrorism, increased the power and prestige and recruiting and resources of Al Qaeda, and caused more casualties every year - this makes sense to you? And you really think he's weighing things accurately?

Unlike you and your ilk, the terrorists understand that they are in a war, and that they either meet the challenge or lose Iraq. Unlike you and your ilk, the terrorists understand that losing in Iraq has dire consequences. What has taken many Americans by surprise is that the most effective weapon the terrorists have is useful American fools, without who's steadfast support they would have already been defeated in Iraq.

Those lives haven't been... (Below threshold)
Brian:

Those lives haven't been thrown away until we lose or abandon the fight. You and your ilk are the ones working to make the soldier's sacrifice meaningless.

Really? Here's some more of that ilk:

"We're waiting to get blown up."

...
"We're not making any progress," Hedin said, as he recalled a comrade who was shot by a sniper last week. "It just seems like we drive around and wait to get shot at."

But as he waited two chairs down from where Lieberman would sit, Hedin said he'd never voice his true feelings to the senator.

"I think I'd be a private if I did," he joked. "It's just more troops, more targets."

In the past two months, the unit has lost two men. In May alone, at least 120 U.S. troops died in Iraq, the bloodiest month in 2007 and the highest number since the battles of Fallujah in 2004.

Spc. Kevin Krasco, 20, of Medford, Mass., and Spc. Kevin Adams, 20, of Moosup, Conn., chimed in with their dismay before turning the conversation to baseball.

"It's like everything else in this war," Adams said, referring to Baghdad. "It hasn't changed."

Brian is one those that cb ... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

Brian is one those that cb despised for using soldiers as stooges. Brian was one of those who wasn't shy about slandering the US military. Brian doesn't care about this soldier answering Harry Reid. Brian truly has no hint of shame as proven repeatedly on this blog.

http://www.floppingaces.net/2007/04/30/a-soldier-answers-harry-reid/
"Sir, I would like to finish my job. We have been given a very clear and defined mission: To set up a government that could sustain itself, defend itself and run itself by itself. I don't know how you could make that any plainer.Nine members of my unit I have carried off in a black bag that I have zipped up. And I refuse to believe that I am going to have to come home and say that all of that was for nothing."
"I'm a RANGER. I do NOT fail!...I can do this job!"

To prove that a pa... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:
To prove that a passer-by at a crime scene had no role in the crime, you would have to know everything that that passer-by knows.

Well if the passer-by had opportunity (that is, it was possible for them to be involved) then you can't prove they had no role. The passer-by knows because they know everything they did. That's why our legal system makes the presumption of innocence and requires positive proof. Let see you prove you never used the "N" word or ogled someone of the same sex.

To prove that Cheney did not order the towers to be demolished, you would have to know everything that Cheney knows.

And there are numerous conspiracy theories that Cheney, Israel or fundamentalist Christians order the 9/11 attack. Go ahead prove them wrong if can. Put it in a book and you could make lots of money.

To prove that gravity will not shut off tomorrow, you would have to know everything that the universe (or God, if you prefer) knows.

Like I said, when it comes to logic you're a lightweight Brian.

In all cases, you need to give in to reasonable certainty and stop playing games.

We are talking about proof, not probability. Saddam could have easily sent money or passed on information that facilitated the 9/11 attacks without there ever being a paper trail. Not finding a paper trail doesn't prove Saddam didn't facilitate the 9/11 attacks. Cheney told the truth.

Those lives haven't been... (Below threshold)
jim:

Those lives haven't been thrown away until we lose or abandon the fight.

Mac, those soldiers lives were thrown away, the second Bush disregarded experts and reason and chose to believe his own magical thinking instead.

The 1999 War Games caused the Pentagon to conclude that Iraq could not be held with less than 400,000 soldiers - and even then it was iffy. Shinseki was knocked off his podium for suggesting the same thing. But Bush went in anyway. Am I supposed to pretend this was smart, just so Bush doesn't have to be accountable for his actions like a grown man?

These soldiers' lives have already been wasted - by the Bush administration refusing to listen to reason.

To continue to throw more soldiers off the cliff, is only wasting more lives.

You and your ilk are the ones working to make the soldier's sacrifice meaningless.

You and your ilk would rather soldiers continue to die, rather than face facts and reality, and admit that Bush could possibly have made a mistake - when an overwhelming majority of nonpartisan experts have concluded that he has.

I bring you back to the 'cliff' argument. The dead are already dead. It is not wasting lives to STOP sending soldiers off a cliff. It is saving them.

I bring you back to the 'cl... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

I bring you back to the 'cliff' argument. The dead are already dead. It is not wasting lives to STOP sending soldiers off a cliff. It is saving them.
-------------------------------------------------
Jim,
You are constantly spinning now. You claimed the experts all the times. Now some of experts have predicted dire consequences if we withdraw from Iraq. You also have the hindsight of VN: 3-5 million deaths with America 's image as a paper tiger that continues to haunt us until this day. This time, not only there will probably be a bloodbath in IRaq & the ME, but the terrorists will follow us home for sure.

http://www.soldiersperspective.us/2007/05/03/


Mac, you and the terrorists... (Below threshold)
jim:

Mac, you and the terrorists have something in common. You're both apparently glad the US is stuck in Iraq.

This is because Mac, you somehow think occupying Iraq is bad for terrorists - when in fact it's a great boon to them. It means they can fight and train and recruit against us, without us even threatenign any of their strongholds.

It means that we're fighting a two-front war. It means the Taliban has been able to resurge in Afghanistan. It means a whole bunch of things you are refusing to see, but which are clear in studies - and which terrorist understand quite clearly.

If you really want to fight the terrorists, then you need to admit Iraq is a mistake. Until then, you're supporting what has been a terrible blunder that has weakened the US and made worldwide terrorism worse in every conceivable way - ACCORDING TO FACTS AND STUDIES.

If you really want to fight... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

If you really want to fight the terrorists, then you need to admit Iraq is a mistake.
------------------------------------------------
Jim,
Again either you are spinning or simply repeating a typical BS arg from liberals.
http://corner.nationalreview.com/post/?q=YjI4MGY4NDM0ZWY0MDQ1MWExZmZkOTA2ODgzMzAxMDE=

Don't give us this BS that you want to redeploy to fight al Qaeda, when the truth is that you want to "redeploy" to NOT fight al Qaeda.

In the end it's the most eg... (Below threshold)

In the end it's the most egregious hubris. Everything on the planet revolves around us. If we stop fighting, there will be no fighting. Anything that anyone does is because of what we have done. I'm recently told that Putin dances to our tune and not his own and his actions are our responsibility.

The only deaths that count are American deaths. The only actions that count are American actions. The only force of violence and strife are American forces.

It all revolves around us. The whole world revolves around us.

If we stop bothering Putin he wouldn't be testing missiles. If we stop bothering Iran they will stop being so cross at Jews and probably stop arresting young men and women for the clothes they wear. Not to mention actually making nuclear power plants instead of bombs. If we stop bothering Al Qaida they'll just go back to building orphanges.

What if there was a war and no one came? Well... what if America didn't show up? No war! Yay!

Synova, We have a t... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

Synova,
We have a term for that attitute or ideology: anti-Americanism.

Like I said, when it com... (Below threshold)
Brian:

Like I said, when it comes to logic you're a lightweight Brian.

It's you who are the lightweight. In the face of logic that contradicts your position, you're doing the equivalent of blocking your ears and repeating yourself without addressing the points that invalidate your position.

We are talking about proof, not probability.

More word games. Is George Bush gay? Was there a gazelle in your bathroom this morning? Will gravity suddenly reverse itself tomorrow?

Would you answer these questions by saying "I don't know?" We're talking real-world practicality here, not whiny little "well, anything's possible" nonsense.

Saddam could have easily sent money or passed on information that facilitated the 9/11 attacks without there ever being a paper trail. Not finding a paper trail doesn't prove Saddam didn't facilitate the 9/11 attacks.

And Putin could have done the same thing. And Ahmadinejad. And the Pope. And that's why you ask your intelligence sources, and when they tell you something, you go with it. Unless you're going to claim that Cheney would have responded the same way if asked if Tony Blair was behind 9/11.

"Sir, I would like to fi... (Below threshold)
Brian:

"Sir, I would like to finish my job. We have been given a very clear and defined mission: To set up a government that could sustain itself, defend itself and run itself by itself....
"I'm a RANGER. I do NOT fail!...I can do this job!"

Let's have that ranger explain how he will do that job. How will he set up a government that can sustain itself, defend itself, and run itself? Does he know how to set up a government? Or does he just follow the orders he's given?

Thank you for so clearly demonstrating that criticizing the plan and criticizing Bush is not the same as criticizing the troops. I couldn't have done it better myself.

And Putin could have done t... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

And Putin could have done the same thing. And Ahmadinejad. And the Pope. And that's why you ask your intelligence sources, and when they tell you something, you go with it. Unless you're going to claim that Cheney would have responded the same way if asked if Tony Blair was behind 9/11.
-------------------------------------------------
Ahmadinejad we can see a connection and motivation. But Blair and the pope? Have they openly supported Hamas terrorists against Is? Have they used chemical weapons on their people?
Wow, Brian has to stoop so low to defend someone like Saddam Hussein. For what purpose? Simply to attack Cheney. Brian is projecting his lying onto others. Simply despicable!

"Sir, I would like to finis... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

"Sir, I would like to finish my job. We have been given a very clear and defined mission: To set up a government that could sustain itself, defend itself and run itself by itself....
"I'm a RANGER. I do NOT fail!...I can do this job!"

Let's have that ranger explain how he will do that job. How will he set up a government that can sustain itself, defend itself, and run itself? Does he know how to set up a government? Or does he just follow the orders he's given?

Thank you for so clearly demonstrating that criticizing the plan and criticizing Bush is not the same as criticizing the troops. I couldn't have done it better myself.
-------------------------------------------------
Advocating withdrawal from Iraq is to make the troops effort amounting to nothing. And at least be honest that you don't want to fight Al Quaeda when you advocated withdrawal from Iraq.

What is your plan to win in Iraq? Criticism is cheap. Al Queada is in Iraq now. How do you want to fight them and defeat them there?

Brian agains try to cheapen the effort by this soldier here. Simply despicable!

Don't give us this BS th... (Below threshold)
jim:

Don't give us this BS that you want to redeploy to fight al Qaeda, when the truth is that you want to "redeploy" to NOT fight al Qaeda.

Don't give me this BS that you actually care about facts and logic. Because from this quote above, you clearly don't.

You really, seriously, honestly believe that I want Al Qaeda to succeed and kill Americans?? What is wrong with you? Seriously.

We can have a difference of opinion - but I'm not saying you want Al Qaeda to win. Even though our presence in Iraq is helping them do exactly that.

Do you understand that? We are HELPING Al Qaeda by being in Iraq. Do you think that's good or bad?

You can believe I'm spinning. You can believe that I hate America. You can even believe Iraq is some sort of success.

Just don't think these beliefs are based on any sort of facts, logic, reason, or common sense.

If we stop bothering Put... (Below threshold)
jim:

If we stop bothering Putin he wouldn't be testing missiles. If we stop bothering Iran they will stop being so cross at Jews and probably stop arresting young men and women for the clothes they wear. Not to mention actually making nuclear power plants instead of bombs. If we stop bothering Al Qaida they'll just go back to building orphanges.

Here's what you're refusing to see:

a) your buddy Bush loves and trusts Putin. Great judgement shown there, too, btw.

b) if we weren't stuck in Iraq, we could actually be in a better position to do something about Iran.

c) our presence in Iraq is actually HELPING Al Qaeda.

Please understand that last. According to every available statistic, our presence in Iraq is helping Al Qaeda. Their training, their recruitment, their funding, their prestige, their resoureces, their propaganda - EVERYTHING.

So by being in Iraq we are NOT bothering Al Qaeda AT ALL.

The synonymous phrase for this worldview is: acknowledging factual reality.

Jim, You are the on... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

Jim,
You are the one who is ignoring facts and logic here. You didn't even read the article to understand the logic of your own arg. By advocating withdrawal, you really don't want to fight AlQ. That 's the logical conclusion of your arg. Be consistent again, please. Here is a snippet from the article here to help you understand your faulty logic

http://corner.nationalreview.com/post/?q=YjI4MGY4NDM0ZWY0MDQ1MWExZmZkOTA2ODgzMzAxMDE=

Folks, let's not let these guys get away with this. By "redeploy," they don't really mean move the troops to where they say al Qaeda is. They don't want to fight al Qaeda. If they wanted to fight al Qaeda, al Qaeda is in Iraq -- that is indisputable. Bin Laden has said repeatedly that Iraq is the central battle. You can argue about whether al Qaeda has been in Iraq all along or whether they are there only because we've drawn them there. Reasonable minds differ on that. But however they got there, they're there.

If you really want to fight al Qaeda, you stay in Iraq.

b) if we weren't stuck in I... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

b) if we weren't stuck in Iraq, we could actually be in a better position to do something about Iran.
------------------------------------------------
As predicted, liberals talk on both sides of their mouth. If we didn't take out Saddam, liberals would have attacked Bush for not taking out Saddam when he had the best chance. If Bush take care of Iran now, liberals will accuse him of starting another war.

These are examples of people who don't have any solutions. All they can do is criticize and carp.
Jim,
The liberal sew*ge is really bad for you. I start to see that this is a waste of time to keep responding to these same BS args.

Jim:b) if we w... (Below threshold)
marc:

Jim:

b) if we weren't stuck in Iraq, we could actually be in a better position to do something about Iran.

And what would that be? You wouldn't be in favor of an invasion would you?

Somehow I highly doubt it and for the record I would be also, it's not needed.

Their economy is already in shambles, (something he promised to repair and is a seed of unrest) and two Carrier Battle groups provide more than enough firepower to finish of both the mullahs and ademia-jihadist they call a president.

c) our presence in Iraq is actually HELPING Al Qaeda.

And so? Our lack of presence in Thailand seems to be doing the same thing and it predates March 2003.

"Yes, that's right. Japan a... (Below threshold)
Herman:

"Yes, that's right. Japan attacked us, Germany declared war on us and yet, the first people we attacked in the ETO were the French!!!" -- Veeshir

Hmm. Does Veeshir know that France had fallen in June, 1941, and that in attacking France, the U.S. was attacking Vichy France, its government allied with Germany and a country the U.S. would wind up invading in 1944? Anyone want to take a guess?

Wow, Brian has to stoop ... (Below threshold)
Brian:

Wow, Brian has to stoop so low to defend someone like Saddam Hussein.

Yes, I defend Saddam Hussein against those who think he had a hand in 9/11. It's called "the truth". Why do you think agreeing with US intelligence agencies and speaking the truth is "stooping low"? Do you not believe in the truth? Simply despicable!

Yes, I defend Saddam Hussei... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

Yes, I defend Saddam Hussein against those who think he had a hand in 9/11. It's called "the truth". Why do you think agreeing with US intelligence agencies and speaking the truth is "stooping low"? Do you not believe in the truth? Simply despicable!
------------------------------------------------
I don't care whether Saddam has a hand in 9/11 or not. He openly supported Hamas terrorism against our ally, Israel. Only a fool wouldn't think that he doesn't want to attack us if he has a chance.

Still the despicable thing is to use moral equivalency to compare Saddam to Blair and the pope. That 's despicable and you should be ashamed of it.

Yes, I defend Saddam Hussei... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

Yes, I defend Saddam Hussein against those who think he had a hand in 9/11.
------------------------------------------------
Noone said that we had definite proof that Saddam has a hand in 9/11. It is the liberals who lie about this to attack Bush at any cost. You don't care about the truth. YOu are here to spin. Even stoop so low to bring Blair and the pope into your arg. Simply despicable!

Yes, Joe Biden condemned th... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

Yes, Joe Biden condemned this willful ignorance by the liberal left in 2002.

Joe Biden > August 4, 2002


"[H]e does have the capacity, as all terrorist-related operations do, of smuggling stuff into the United States and doing something terrible. That is true. But there's been no connection, hard connection made yet between he and al-Qaida or his willingness or effort to do that thus far. Doesn't mean he won't. This is a bad guy."

It's you who are t... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:
It's you who are the lightweight. In the face of logic that contradicts your position, you're doing the equivalent of blocking your ears and repeating yourself without addressing the points that invalidate your position.

Wrong!. I'm reacting to some simpleton who seems to think proving Saddam didn't have any connection to 9/11 is equivalent to some end of the universe scenario.

More word games. Is George Bush gay? Was there a gazelle in your bathroom this morning? Will gravity suddenly reverse itself tomorrow?

Like I said before and you ignore because it doesn't fit you screed is, there's a presumption of innocence, and not just in courts of law. If there's no evidence George Bush is gay you say there's no evidence, but you want to extend that to the absolute and say he's not gay. Then you want to talk about probability as if it proves the absolute. That's why you're a lightweight when it comes to using logic Brian. You jump to conclusions and make assumptions not supported by evidence.

And Putin could have done the same thing. And Ahmadinejad. And the Pope. And that's why you ask your intelligence sources, and when they tell you something, you go with it.

Are these the same intelligence sources that said Saddam had WMD? When your intelligence sources say they can't find any evidence something occurred that's what administration officials should say, that there's no evidence. The lack of evidence is not proof something didn't occur, so saying Saddam didn't have any connection with 9/11 is a lie. Also, making such a claim based on a lack of evidence opens you up to the possibility of being proven wrong should evidence be found. Cheney has been around too long to set himself up for that, so he told the truth that there was no evidence. Even when Cheney talls the pure truth you want to make it out as a lie becacue it doesn't sute your opinions.

Cheney has been around too ... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

Cheney has been around too long to set himself up for that, so he told the truth that there was no evidence. Even when Cheney talls the pure truth you want to make it out as a lie becacue it doesn't sute your opinions.
--------------------------------------------------
Not only that the argument was made by Biden himself in 2002 here. It it an intentional distortion if not outright lie to twist the arg to one that says Saddam had a direct hand in 9/11

Joe Biden > August 4, 2002


"[H]e does have the capacity, as all terrorist-related operations do, of smuggling stuff into the United States and doing something terrible. That is true. But there's been no connection, hard connection made yet between he and al-Qaida or his willingness or effort to do that thus far. Doesn't mean he won't. This is a bad guy."


Mac, those soldier... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:
Mac, those soldiers lives were thrown away, the second Bush disregarded experts and reason and chose to believe his own magical thinking instead.

Those soldiers died in bring a democratic form of government to Iraq, so if we succeed then they did not die in vain. Only if we abandon the fight or lose does their sacrifice become meaningless.

The 1999 War Games caused the Pentagon to conclude that Iraq could not be held with less than 400,000 soldiers - and even then it was iffy.

Obviously the Pentagon was wrong. We took Iraq and have held it for four years with far less than 400,000 soldiers. You may think taking 75 causalities a month is unsustainable, but history proves you wrong. The U.S. took nearly 400 causalities a month for a decade in Vietnam.

Am I supposed to pretend this was smart, just so Bush doesn't have to be accountable for his actions like a grown man?

Apparently Bush knew more about taking and holding Iraq then the Pentagon experts you cite.

You and your ilk would rather soldiers continue to die, rather than face facts and reality, and admit that Bush could possibly have made a mistake - when an overwhelming majority of nonpartisan experts have concluded that he has.

Everybody is an expert, but few if any are nonpartisan. If you are talking about the military, they are the ones doing what your opening paragraphs said couldn't be done. Sure Bush made mistakes, but not the ones you talk about. Had the left been loyal and supported Bush once the invasion was underway Iraq would already be won. All we heard from the Democrats running for President was nonsense like the "Mission Accomplished" banner.

I bring you back to the 'cliff' argument. The dead are already dead. It is not wasting lives to STOP sending soldiers off a cliff. It is saving them.

And I bring you back the reason they went to Iraq and the purpose for which they gave their lives. If that purpose is accomplished then their sacrifice was not in vain.

Hmmm... Some clown, posted ... (Below threshold)
Jp Rogers:

Hmmm... Some clown, posted below, thinks I was a Clinton supporter. This is the classic mistake when trying to engage in generalities.
I am neither a Democrat or a Republican. I answered Phone Polls AND Mail Polls and supported the IMPEACHMENT of President Clinton.

What is "Much Carpet"????

For the record, and I'll say it again, I never liked Rosie O'Donald. I suggest you stop watching those taped episodes of The View, MARC. AGAIN, O'Donald, is no expert, she is just repeating what she has been reading. She is right, but I dislike her anyway.
Jp Rogers


I'm surprised it took this long for a Truther to show up.
Posted by: HughS at May 30, 2007 06:52 PM


As for Hughs, Dare not touch the facts. Just the usual baseless condemnation. What about the EXPERTS Hughs? Why do Architects and Engineers disagree with YOU Hughs? Are you saying YOU know more than the experts? Are you saying YOU know better? You are running on FEELING, science runs on FACT.
Jp Rogers

jp Rogers:

Google it

Look... a Rosie clone. Bet you wish you could much carpet as well as her also.

As to root causes:

You are the nation that permits Usury, which has been forbidden by all the religions. Yet you build your economy and investments on Usury. As a result of this, in all its different forms and guises, the Jews have taken control of your economy, through which they have then taken control of your media, and now control all aspects of your life making you their servants and achieving their aims at your expense; precisely what Benjamin Franklin warned you against.

Care to guess who said the above?

He was also quoted as saying the following which should send more than a few Clintonistas into a howling rage:

Who can forget your President Clinton's immoral acts committed in the official Oval office? After that you did not even bring him to account, other than that he 'made a mistake', after which everything passed with no punishment. Is there a worse kind of event for which your name will go down in history and remembered by nations?

But... but.... it about us INVADING someone.

Yeah, riiiigh! That's what the bumpersticker crowd (Edwards sycophants) want's you to believe.
Posted by: marc at May 30, 2007 07:27 PM


Again MARC, you're wasting your breath, nobody dispised Clinton, MORE THAN ME!
Nice try. Care to get back on topic?

You see, the classic mistake here, is to try to lump all those you don't agree with into some common corner. Its the classic GOOD against EVIL mindset. Dems vs Republicans. The world reduced to its simplest terms. "You are either with us, or you are against us." Maybe its neither. Maybe we just disagree. Too late, we've already launched...
You hear something you don't like, and right away, your only explaination is that I must be a Clinton supporter. LOL!!! You just can't figure it out. This must be what Brain Dead Syndrome is. This is just so hysterical. You are telling me, that I did not bring Pres. Clinton into account for lying under oath? Excuse me, Do I know You??? I supported impeachment from day ONE.
Friggin IDIOT
Still, nobody dares to touch the facts...
Jp Rogers

And what would that be? ... (Below threshold)
jim:

And what would that be? You wouldn't be in favor of an invasion would you?

Wow.

So we should have invaded Iraq, because it would be stupid to invade somewhere else??

Those soldiers died in b... (Below threshold)
jim:

Those soldiers died in bring a democratic form of government to Iraq, so if we succeed then they did not die in vain. Only if we abandon the fight or lose does their sacrifice become meaningless.

Interesting.

So, Mac - let's say that a Democratic form of government comes to Iraq. And the Iraqi people freely elect a theocratic Islamic government that hates us, and refuses to sell us their oil or do what we want.

Does that mean we've succeeded and those soldiers haven't died in vain?

Please answer yes or no.

Obviously the Pentagon w... (Below threshold)
jim:

Obviously the Pentagon was wrong.

Oh, yeah. They predicted a possible civil war, an increase in terrorism, increased hatred in the region, and distancing from our allies. Boy, they were way off.

We took Iraq and have held it for four years with far less than 400,000 soldiers. You may think taking 75 causalities a month is unsustainable, but history proves you wrong. The U.S. took nearly 400 causalities a month for a decade in Vietnam.

So, Mac, you DON'T think our military is stretched thin, and you DON'T think our venture in Afghanistan is suffering?

You do realize we had a draft Army in Viet Nam, and it's a volunteer one now, right? And you do realize less and less people are volunteering?

And you really don't think 3000 dead soldiers, 20,000 + maimed for life, and an increase in the power of Al Qaeda is that big a deal?

Had the left been loyal ... (Below threshold)
jim:

Had the left been loyal and supported Bush once the invasion was underway Iraq would already be won.

Oh, boy.

So it's the Left's fault that Bush disregarded military advice and went in with less than 400,000 troops, disbanded the Iraqi army leading to Iraqi unemployment and anger, left munitions dumps unguarded, let Halliburton 'lose' $9 BILLION in money, etc. etc. etc.

I had no idea we had psychic control over Bush's mind. I guess it's the Left's fault Bush almost choked to death on a pretzel, too.

And I bring you back the... (Below threshold)
jim:

And I bring you back the reason they went to Iraq and the purpose for which they gave their lives. If that purpose is accomplished then their sacrifice was not in vain.

Well, I guess we're just going to have to agree to disagree here.

Me, I wouldn't send soldiers in to do something unless it had to be done RIGHT NOW, and I would make sure they actually COULD accomplish what I tell them to, rather than just rolling the dice with their lives on the line.

But that's me. I guess I just value soldiers' lives too much.

That's why you're a ligh... (Below threshold)
Brian:

That's why you're a lightweight when it comes to using logic Brian. You jump to conclusions and make assumptions not supported by evidence.... Cheney has been around too long to set himself up for that, so he told the truth that there was no evidence.

I challenge you to spend a full day in your regular life saying "I don't know" in every situation where you do not have enough "proof" -- by your definition -- to conclusively answer questions you are asked. Then come back here and tell us again how that's a perfectly reasonable way to communicate.

I don't care whether Sad... (Below threshold)
Brian:

I don't care whether Saddam has a hand in 9/11 or not.

Well then, why do you accuse me of supporting him simply for saying that he didn't? Are you now unable to even follow your own arguments anymore?

Jim, I hate to say it but w... (Below threshold)
Jp Rogers:

Jim, I hate to say it but what Marc is saying is correct. 3,000 dead soldiers is militarily insignificant. 20,000 injured for life is just tragic, but after 5 years of fighting, its really nothing. As for their families, thats a totally different story, but from a military standpoint, its not very bad. But it all depends how you look at it.
As for me, I see no reason why we should be in Iraq in the first place.
Its just fun and games for the war profiteers. As for Al Quida, they are simply being exploited and their threat is being OVERSTATED. We used the Soviets as Public Enemy No.1 for years. Nothing Unifies, like a common Enemy.

I don't care whether Saddam... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

I don't care whether Saddam has a hand in 9/11 or not.

Well then, why do you accuse me of supporting him simply for saying that he didn't? Are you now unable to even follow your own arguments anymore?
-------------------------------------------------
Brian,
You are lying again. Here is the evidence of your intentional lie here. (Also the despicable thing about your argument is your moral equivalency to compare Saddam to Blair and the pope.)
Not only that the argument was made by Biden himself in 2002 here. It it an intentional distortion if not outright lie to twist the arg to one that says Saddam had a direct hand in 9/11

Joe Biden > August 4, 2002


"[H]e does have the capacity, as all terrorist-related operations do, of smuggling stuff into the United States and doing something terrible. That is true. But there's been no connection, hard connection made yet between he and al-Qaida or his willingness or effort to do that thus far. Doesn't mean he won't. This is a bad guy."

You are lying again. Her... (Below threshold)
Brian:

You are lying again. Here is the evidence of your intentional lie here.

Really? Where? All I see is a quote from Biden, who I never mentioned, agreeing that there was "no connection" between Sadaam and AQ. How does that show me to be a liar? It doesn't contradict (and is not even related to) anything I said. Though if anything, it just demonstrates what Cheney should have said when asked that, instead of "we don't know". Thanks for showing that.

How does that show me to be... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

How does that show me to be a liar? It doesn't contradict (and is not even related to) anything I said. Though if anything, it just demonstrates what Cheney should have said when asked that, instead of "we don't know".
--------------------------------------------------
We don't know is the truth. The argument about the war is not whether Saddam has a direct hand on 9/11. Cheney never used that arg. To distort that to attack Cheney is an intentional lie. We simply don't know. STill it is despicable to compare Saddam to Blair and the pope. It is another lie to say that Blair and the pope had done the things Saddam did to warrant the suspect by the intelligence community. Those are two lies in a row

It is another lie to say... (Below threshold)
Brian:

It is another lie to say that Blair and the pope had done the things Saddam did to warrant the suspect by the intelligence community.

Yes, it would be. Good thing I didn't say that.

Do do realize that you keep undermining your own position, don't you?

jp Rogers:Its ... (Below threshold)
marc:

jp Rogers:

Its just fun and games for the war profiteers. As for Al Quida, they are simply being exploited and their threat is being OVERSTATED.

Tell that to the families of the 10 dead Thai soldiers that were killed by terrorists. And as the story notes the proverbial "olive branch" was offered, the soldiers were "returning from a mission to negotiate with Muslim protesters in another district."

And BTW jp Rogers when did ... (Below threshold)
marc:

And BTW jp Rogers when did the Soviets kill nearly 3,000 Americans?

Not to mention when it WAS done by the terrorists it was on U.S. soil.

So the question is who is overstating something? Or making a ludicrous comparison?

Please answer yes ... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:
Please answer yes or no.

I'm a free man. I'll answer however I choose.

So, Mac - let's say that a Democratic form of government comes to Iraq. And the Iraqi people freely elect a theocratic Islamic government that hates us, and refuses to sell us their oil or do what we want.

This would be like the U.S. electing anti-American lefties who undermine freedom, destroy the economy, and concede to the demands of foreign powers. Would that mean the soldiers who lost their lives fighting in prior wars have died in vain? No, what it means is the current generation didn't meet the challenge of their time and lost their birthright and their inheritance. There's no "final victory" that wins peace and prosperity for all future generations. Each generations may be called upon to settle the issue in the only place unresolvable issues can be settled, the battlefield.

If we give the Iraqi people a democratic government ruled by law and secure within it's borders, then we have succeeded and the lives of our solders will have not been lost in vain. If the Iraqi people use that freedom to bind themselves again, it's they who have failed, not our soldiers.

I challenge you to... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:
I challenge you to spend a full day in your regular life saying "I don't know" in every situation where you do not have enough "proof" -- by your definition -- to conclusively answer questions you are asked. Then come back here and tell us again how that's a perfectly reasonable way to communicate.

Of course you wouldn't believe what I reported back anyway. I often say things like "I don't think so", "I don't believe so", "I don't know that's the case", "as far as I know", and "maybe". If you work in developing new drugs and the FDA asks you if there's any connection between taking the drug and increased heart attacks you dam well better say "there's currently no evidence of such a link" rather than "no" or you can end up in jail.

jim:You do rea... (Below threshold)
marc:

jim:

You do realize we had a draft Army in Viet Nam, and it's a volunteer one now, right? And you do realize less and less people are volunteering?

And there it is "The BIG LIE." The services have consistently met or have been just under their recruiting goals. In addition retention rates (you know those actually under fire in Iraq) have set records.

Diminish it all you care to but considering that those serving in Iraq are re-signing and those thinking of a military career are still enlisting at all speaks far more than any discouraging words you can put to modem.

So, Mac - let's say tha... (Below threshold)
marc:

So, Mac - let's say that a Democratic form of government comes to Iraq. And the Iraqi people freely elect a theocratic Islamic government that hates us, and refuses to sell us their oil or do what we want.

I suspect they would be treated the same as Hamas who hijacked the Palestinian elections, they will be called to task and cut off from aid.

As for any purchases of oil, can you find a way to segregate their oil after it is dumped into the market?

They can't dictate where it goes any more than Iran or Saudi Arabia.

Do do realize that you keep... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

Do do realize that you keep undermining your own position, don't you?
------------------------------------------------
Brian,
You are trying to be dense. So let me outline the lies for you again

(1) To say that Cheney lied is a lie. He said the truth that we didn't know at the time

(2) To try to say that Cheney used Saddam 's direct involvement in 9/11 as a rationale for the Iraq war is a BIG LIE itself. THis is also another example of the liberals spending an intense effort to distort/lie to attack Bush and Cheney. At the same time, what kind of effort they have exerted against the terrorists?

(3) Trying to say that the pope and Blair can be suspected as much as Saddam is another spin (or lie using your own standard now).

Someone has put <a href="ht... (Below threshold)
marc:

Someone has put aside their myopia, assuming they ever had it:

British officials say al-Qa'eda's decision to attack Saudi Arabia was a major strategic error. After the network carried out a series of attacks on foreign and economic targets in 2003 and 2004, the Kingdom's security forces responded with ruthless efficiency.

At least 2,000 suspects have been arrested - 172 were rounded up in a single operation last month. In Pakistan, Gen Musharraf clings to power, despite al-Qa'eda's best efforts to assassinate him. *** So the "apostate" general is still in office and the Saudi royal family, who have been bin Laden's sworn enemies since they invited US troops into the Kingdom in 1990 and stripped him of his Saudi citizenship, are probably more secure today than they were in 2001.

Elsewhere, al-Qa'eda's efforts to subvert Indonesia, the largest Muslim nation in the world, have been successfully countered. Jemaah Islamiyah, the Indonesian group responsible for the bombing of a nightclub in Bali in 2002, has been crippled by hundreds of arrests and its spiritual leader, Abu Bakar Bashir, is now behind bars.

Neither America nor Western Europe has suffered a mass-casualty terrorist attack since the London bombings almost two years ago. Financing terrorism has become harder and cooperation between the world's intelligence agencies is closer than ever.

Yeah, see what happens when... (Below threshold)
Brian:

Yeah, see what happens when you actually go after al Qaeda instead of wasting resources in Iraq?

So it's the Left's... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:
So it's the Left's fault that Bush disregarded military advice and went in with less than 400,000 troops, disbanded the Iraqi army leading to Iraqi unemployment and anger, left munitions dumps unguarded, let Halliburton 'lose' $9 BILLION in money, etc. etc. etc.

It's the left's fault because all they have ever done concerning Iraq is to find fault with everything Bush dose. They have succeeded in damaging Bush politically and the left's constant attacks gave the enemy the idea that they could actually win. In times past the term "loyal opposition" was used to describe those not of the President's party. Had there been loyal opposition in the last four years Bush would have had the support he needed to win quickly and decisively in Iraq. You can't damage the President in times of war without also damaging the nation, but the left doesn't care, they want political power more than they want victory in Iraq.

Me, I wouldn't sen... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:
Me, I wouldn't send soldiers in to do something unless it had to be done RIGHT NOW, and I would make sure they actually COULD accomplish what I tell them to, rather than just rolling the dice with their lives on the line.

But that's me. I guess I just value soldiers' lives too much.

Soldiers lives are valuable, particularly to the soldiers and their families. The trend has been to place more and more value on the lives of the troops. Back in WWI French generals experimented with sending thousands of troops across the battlefield in various geometric formations as if that made a difference to the German machine gun crews. The result was 1.3 million dead French troops. In WW2, landing craft would drop their lightly armored door exposing all on board to direct fire and we lost nearly 5,000 on D-Day. In Vietnam we averaged almost 400 KIA per month. Now some think 75 per month is unsustainable.

The U.S. is working on advance weapon systems where our soldiers can fight battles by remote control. Of course that raised other objections that the cost of war, at least in the lives of our troops, is too low and that leads to more use of force to solve problems that could be solved by peaceful means.

The lives of our troops must be carefully weight against the value of the mission. Congress authorized the use of force and Bush decided the goal of creating a democratic nation in Iraq is valuable enough to justify the current loses. Many don't agree with Bush, but he is the President. Either support the President or impeach him.

And there it is "The BIG... (Below threshold)
jim:

And there it is "The BIG LIE." The services have consistently met or have been just under their recruiting goals.

Really? What are your sources?

Mine are:
March 2005 -
http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2005-03-02-army-goal_x.htm
"the active-duty Army missed its February recruiting goal by more than 27%. It was the first time in almost five years that the Army has failed to meet a monthly target."

May 2005 -
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/7775255/site/newsweek/

"May 16 issue - In case anyone still doesn't understand that recruiting is now the toughest job in the Army, the service missed its April goal by 42 percent."

http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2006-10-09-army-recruiting_x.htm
"The U.S. Army recruited more than 2,600 soldiers under new lower aptitude standards this year, helping the service beat its goal of 80,000 recruits in the throes of an unpopular war and mounting casualties.

The recruiting mark comes a year after the Army missed its recruitment target by the widest margin since 1979, which had triggered a boost in the number of recruiters, increased bonuses, and changes in standards."

This included raising the enlistment age to 42!!


In addition retention rates (you know those actually under fire in Iraq) have set records.

Sure, they don't want to leave their buddies to die. That's commendable. It's also messed up that they keep having their tours of duty extended, because BUsh didn't listen to his advisors and have more troops ready before he invaded.

But I guess that's the Left's fault too.

Here's some more interesting reading for you:
http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/library/report/2006/us-military_nsag-report_01252006.htm

"n the current debate over Iraq, there is an elephant in the room that few are willing to acknowledge. While the U.S. military has performed superbly in Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere, our ground forces are under enormous strain. This strain, if not soon relieved, will have highly corrosive and potentially long-term effects on the force...."

"....While the Army met its overall retention goals in 2005, the Army National Guard and Army Reserve fell short of their goals for those deciding whether to renew their commitment for the first time, creating the potential for long-term imbalances in the force. In addition, some of our most highly skilled people, like Special Operations Forces, are leaving the force to become more highly paid contractors. Furthermore, between 2001 and 2004, divorce rates and the incidence of domestic violence increased markedly, indicating the severity of the strains on Army personnel and their families."

Nothing to see here, everything's just peachy.

Diminish it all you care to but considering that those serving in Iraq are re-signing and those thinking of a military career are still enlisting at all speaks far more than any discouraging words you can put to modem.

Continue with your picture of reality, then. I wish you were right, the facts say you're wrong, and we'll see.

Me:So it's the Le... (Below threshold)
jim:

Me:
So it's the Left's fault that Bush disregarded military advice and went in with less than 400,000 troops, disbanded the Iraqi army leading to Iraqi unemployment and anger, left munitions dumps unguarded, let Halliburton 'lose' $9 BILLION in money, etc. etc. etc.

Mac: It's the left's fault because all they have ever done concerning Iraq is to find fault with everything Bush dose.

So, does that mean it's NOT the Left's fault that Bush made these terrible decisions? Your answer was unclear.

Either support the Pres... (Below threshold)
jim:

Either support the President or impeach him.

Really?

So you supported Clinton all through the Kosovo and Bosnia interventions, right? Both of which were completed, way before his impeachment?

Let me know.

Me:So, Mac... (Below threshold)
jim:


Me:
So, Mac - let's say that a Democratic form of government comes to Iraq. And the Iraqi people freely elect a theocratic Islamic government that hates us, and refuses to sell us their oil or do what we want. [Part cut out because it's a tough question you'd rather avoid:] Does that mean we've succeeded and those soldiers haven't died in vain?

Mac:
I suspect they would be treated the same as Hamas who hijacked the Palestinian elections...

Not all my question.

If the above happens, and Iraq freely elects a Democratic government that hates America, will that be a victory that was worth the lives of our soldiers?

That is the heart of this whole venture. It cuts right to the stupidity of this whole invasion and occupation, and the shameless and cynical propaganda the Bush administration has shrouded it in.

So, does that mean... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:
So, does that mean it's NOT the Left's fault that Bush made these terrible decisions? Your answer was unclear.

Bush made mistakes there's not doubt about it, most of which the left never said a word about. Every President who has prosecuted a war has made mistakes as serious or more serious as Bush has made. You want look at them in isolation and characterize them as terrible simply to suite your own political bent. In the meantime the nation is at war, what are you doing to WIN that war.

So you supported C... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:
So you supported Clinton all through the Kosovo and Bosnia interventions, right? Both of which were completed, way before his impeachment?

I was rooting for our side. I was disappointed Clinton didn't get the attack helicopters into the fray, however. Had he not made that mistake, that conflict would have been over even quicker. We knew from Gulf War I how easily they can destroy heavy armor. It would have sent a powerful message.

I didn't support the impeachment of Clinton or the investigations. I think attacking the President weakens the nation, so there needs to be a compelling reason to do so. Constructive criticism is always valid, however. I wanted to see the Pope visit Cuba, but all the media left for Washington D.C. to cover the sex scandal. That tells you something about where their head is at.

Mac:I suspect the... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:
Mac: I suspect they would be treated the same as Hamas who hijacked the Palestinian elections...

That's not my comment! My response is here.

My pardon, Mac.So ... (Below threshold)
jim:

My pardon, Mac.

So your response was this:

If we give the Iraqi people a democratic government ruled by law and secure within it's borders, then we have succeeded and the lives of our solders will have not been lost in vain.

And so my question is: if we give the Iraqi people a Democratic gov't that is ruled by law and secure within it's borders - AND this same government also HATES the US and refuses to sell us their oil - will our soldiers have died in vain?

I was rooting for our si... (Below threshold)
jim:

I was rooting for our side.

So, I just want to be clear: did you FULLY support Clinton during these interventions, and did you refrain from publicly criticizing his efforts or intentions IN ANY WAY?

From the below, it would appear that you did not fully and publicly support him:

I was disappointed Clinton didn't get the attack helicopters into the fray, however. Had he not made that mistake, that conflict would have been over even quicker. We knew from Gulf War I how easily they can destroy heavy armor. It would have sent a powerful message.

Incidentally, since Clinton got us through both interventions without ONE single US death in combat, either during the invasion or the occupation phases, I'd say he did a pretty good job...

In the meantime the nat... (Below threshold)
jim:

In the meantime the nation is at war, what are you doing to WIN that war.

What am I doing to win the War on Terror? I am trying to get President Bush to focus on the people who are a threat to us: Al Qaeda.

Securing Afghanistan is within our power, and is useful in combating Al Qaeda and the Taliban. Securing Iraq is NOT within our power at our current troops levels, and is a DISTRACTION from the War on Terror in general, and the occupation and securing of Afghanistan in particular.

And don't even get me started on the astronomical pay we're giving private mercenaries, for the same jobs our volunteer soldiers are doing for almost minimum wage.

Further, our continued involvement in Iraq is a *boon* to Al Qaeda and those who hate us.

It's a shame that the Bush administration's wishful thinking and deliberate disregard of military reality, has put us in this position.

Nevertheless, that's still reality.

And so my question... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:
And so my question is: if we give the Iraqi people a Democratic gov't that is ruled by law and secure within it's borders - AND this same government also HATES the US and refuses to sell us their oil - will our soldiers have died in vain?

How many versions of the question do I need to answer before you get it? Soldiers go to war for a purpose, when that purpose has been secured then their scarifies have meaning and are not in vain. What happens afterward doesn't detract from them. Many young Americans died to free France and France hates us and oppose us in many places and endeavors. Does that mean our soldiers died in vain? Would we be better off if we just let Nazi Germany keep France? You're not only looking for a win in Iraq, but a guarantee Iraq will be an ally in the future. No one can make that guarantee for Iraq any more than they could for France.

So, I just want to... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:
So, I just want to be clear: did you FULLY support Clinton during these interventions, and did you refrain from publicly criticizing his efforts or intentions IN ANY WAY?

I did not criticize Clinton while our troops were in harms way. There were idiots talking about the draft then just as they were talking about the draft in 2004. Imposing a draft again would get me into the streets.

Incidentally, since Clinton got us through both interventions without ONE single US death in combat, either during the invasion or the occupation phases, I'd say he did a pretty good job...

It helps when you are fighting sane people who respond to bombing alone.

What am I doing to... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:
What am I doing to win the War on Terror? I am trying to get President Bush to focus on the people who are a threat to us: Al Qaeda.

So you would have allowed Saddam to remain in power. A man who was successfully bribing his way out from under UN sanctions. A man known to sponsor terrorism, make and use WMD, start wars of aggression, and kill his own people. A vindictive man with billions of oil dollars to spend in his obsession to visit destruction on the nation that so humiliated and disgraced him. Thank God president Bush is not that stupid.

Securing Afghanistan is within our power, and is useful in combating Al Qaeda and the Taliban. Securing Iraq is NOT within our power at our current troops levels, and is a DISTRACTION from the War on Terror in general, and the occupation and securing of Afghanistan in particular.

Securing Iraq is within our power if Bush gets the support he needs to win. Al Qaeda is already in Iraq and if we leave too soon they will do in Iraq what they did in Afghanistan. You really want to have to invade Iraq again in a few years to clean out Al Qaeda?

Further, our continued involvement in Iraq is a *boon* to Al Qaeda and those who hate us.

You're mistaken. The type that support Al Qaeda hate us for who we are, not what we do. We're just flushing them out, so we can kill them. We're making them pay a high price and the less committed (sane) are starting to lay down their arms in Iraq in exchange for amnesty and jobs. If we fail to follow through that will be the biggest *boon* Al Qaeda could every hope for.

It's a shame that the Bush administration's wishful thinking and deliberate disregard of military reality, has put us in this position. Nevertheless, that's still reality.

Says you. The people of this nation elect Bush twice because we like his interpretation of reality better than the left's interpretation.

What are you doing to win the war in Iraq?

How many versions of the... (Below threshold)
jim:

How many versions of the question do I need to answer before you get it?

As many as it takes for you to give a clear answer, not imply a 'yes' with paragraphs.

Soldiers go to war for a purpose, when that purpose has been secured then their scarifies have meaning and are not in vain.

Assume you meant sacrifices. OK, just wanted to be clear: you believe that a Democratically-elected Iraqi government that hates us and refuses to sell us their oil, will mean all those soldiers will not have died in vain.

I'd think that having our soldiers die to put in a government that hates and wants to work against us, would be making their sacrificies into nothing; but once again, I guess I just care too much for our soldiers' lives. I only want them to die if it will help make our country safer.

Also, FYI: the American people weren't sold the rationale that the soldiers were going in, to bring Democracy to Iraq. We were sold that the US was invading and occupying, because Saddam had or would soon have WMD's.

Just keep that in mind, and remember the moving goalposts.

It helps when you are fi... (Below threshold)
jim:

It helps when you are fighting sane people who respond to bombing alone.

Sure. It also helps if you're actually going after the people who are dangerous to your objective - and not invading another country that's totally unconnected. [cough]Iraq[/cough]

You're mistaken. The typ... (Below threshold)
jim:

You're mistaken. The type that support Al Qaeda hate us for who we are, not what we do. We're just flushing them out, so we can kill them.

OK, here's what you're refusing to realize:

-> their support is increasing BECAUSE we're in Iraq.
-> their funding is increasing BECAUSE we're in Iraq
-> According to the US Gov'ts own reports, WE ARE CREATING MORE TERRORISTS THAN WE"RE KILLING.

Did you read that last sentence? Do you understand it? Please tell me that you do.

What leads me to this conclusion? Oh, jsut the conclusions of the US intelligence agencies.

(Why do I bother? I'll give it one last go here.)

http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=National_Intelligence_Estimate#The_2007_NIE
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/02/03/world/middleeast/03itext.html?ex=1180843200&en=84133a124101a3cd&ei=5070

Please go read this.

Now, I can hear your objection: the NIE also says bad things can happen if we pull out precipitously. This is true.

It also says bad things WILL happen, and things will continue to get worse if we don't change course, and actually try and get things done - which the Bush administration has no apparent interest in doing. Since Bush is talking about staying in Iraq for decades.

So either:
a) these 17 US intelligence agencies are lying and hate America, or
b) Bush is wrong.

Which is more likely?

And what should we do about it? Here's the Baker Group.


Let's start with the Baker Group.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/11/30/AR2006113001175.html

"The bipartisan Iraq Study Group plans to recommend withdrawing nearly all U.S. combat units from Iraq by early 2008 while leaving behind troops to train, advise and support the Iraqis, setting the first goal for a major drawdown of U.S. forces, sources familiar with the proposal said yesterday."

This means that either:

a) the Baker Group is lying and hates America
b) Bush is wrong

Which is it?

What are you doing to wi... (Below threshold)
jim:

What are you doing to win the war in Iraq?

The same thing I'm doing to create candy-coated unicorns: nothing, because it simply isn't possible, according to all impartial expert information I've read. Including our own Pentagon and intelligence agencies.

I'm not an expert, so I try to go with what experts say. If 99 impartial doctors say I need an operation, and one doc says the pain will stop with a magic pill he happens to sell, I go with the opinion of the 99.

What are you doing to create candy-coated unicorns?

Your theory:You... (Below threshold)
jim:

Your theory:

You're mistaken. The type that support Al Qaeda hate us for who we are, not what we do. We're just flushing them out, so we can kill them. We're making them pay a high price and the less committed (sane) are starting to lay down their arms in Iraq in exchange for amnesty and jobs.

Here's some more facts you might want to square with this theory of yours:

-> Al Qaeda's making so much money from Iraq, it's flowing into Pakistan.
http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-na-binladen20may20,0,5046563.story?coll=la-home-center

-> Al Qaeda fronts have now expanded to 12 countries -
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/05/29/AR2007052901967_pf.html

What information do you have, from impartial non-Bush administration officials, that show Al Qaeda is waning because of our efforts in Iraq?

The people of this natio... (Below threshold)
jim:

The people of this nation elect Bush twice because we like his interpretation of reality better than the left's interpretation.

First, it's not the left's interpretation - unless you consider the Pentagon, our nations intelligence agencies, Bush Sr. or the Baker Group to be the Left. Do you?

Secondly, Only 29% of the US still like Bush's interpretation.

Does the other 71% of America now hate America?

Plus, as for flushing out A... (Below threshold)
jim:

Plus, as for flushing out Al Qaeda by fighting them in Iraq - you do realize they weren't even IN Iraq until we invaded, right?

Also, FYI: the Ame... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:
Also, FYI: the American people weren't sold the rationale that the soldiers were going in, to bring Democracy to Iraq. We were sold that the US was invading and occupying, because Saddam had or would soon have WMD's. Just keep that in mind, and remember the moving goalposts.

While WMD was one of the factors we always planned to replace Saddam's government with a democratic government. Just keep that in mind, and remember that's were the goalposts has always been.

Sure. It also help... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:
Sure. It also helps if you're actually going after the people who are dangerous to your objective - and not invading another country that's totally unconnected.

These people were never a danger to the U.S. We went to war with them to stop genocide. Iraq wasn't invaded out of the blue. They signed a cease fire agreement at the end of GWI, and when they repeatedly violated it, hostilities resumed.

No, Mac; the fact that vagu... (Below threshold)
jim:

No, Mac; the fact that vague statements about bringing Democracy Iraq to that effect were included in the early rationale, doesn't mean that those statements were front and center. Bringing democracy to the Iraqis because we love them so much was definitely *not* the main reason we were sold on going.

Do you really believe that this was the main target that the US people were sold on?

There were tons of news shows and articles on WMD's. How many were written about the need to bring democracy to Iraq?

Google search "bringing democracy to iraq" and "iraq wmd", and see how much news you get back for each.

With that in mind, do you really believe "bringing democracy to Iraq" was the main rationale for US to invade? As opposed to because Saddam was supposed to have WMD's?

See, that's the definition of moving goalposts. The main target turns out to be unreachable, so you switch to another target and pretends that was what you intended to be aiming for.

If and when we don't achieve a true democracy in Iraq, then I wonder what new target we'll see.

OK, here's what yo... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:
OK, here's what you're refusing to realize: their support is increasing BECAUSE we're in Iraq. their funding is increasing BECAUSE we're in Iraq According to the US Gov'ts own reports, WE ARE CREATING MORE TERRORISTS THAN WE"RE KILLING.

Not all terrorists are created equal. Many will quit as fast as they joined once they see the U.S. is resolved to stay the course. Most would have never become terrorists in the first place if not for the weakness they see in the U.S.; a weakness created by leftists.

-which the Bush administration has no apparent interest in doing. Since Bush is talking about staying in Iraq for decades. So either: a) these 17 US intelligence agencies are lying and hate America, or b) Bush is wrong. Which is more likely?

What you don't seem to get is that political committees are almost always wrong in devising successful military plans and desk bound experts are usually wrong in devising decisive military plans. History is full of examples where the political leaders and the so-called experts were wrong. Case in point is the Korean War. The UN and the U.S. were caught off guard and pushed into a small defensive area in the far south called the Pusan Perimeter. The expert's plans were being made to attempt to fortify that area and eventually build up enough strength to break out. That was good military planing using proven military tactics, but the probability of success was not high while estimated causalities were in the 10s of thousands.

Thank God Douglas MacArthur was chosen to lead the fight. He scrapped the expert's plans in favor of Operation Chromite, the invasion of Inchon. His experts told him an amphibious landing at Inchon wasn't possible for a whole host of reasons. Funny thing the North Korean People's Army (NKPA) had their own experts who also told them an amphibious landing at Inchon wasn't possible. MacArthur knew better and this one decisive move broke the back of the NKPA and in just a few months they were pushed back into China. We now know that had MacArthur been allowed to follow the rest of his plan the Chinese would have never invaded North Korea and all of Korea would likely be as free and as prosperous as South Korea is today.

The answer to your question is:

c) these 17 US intelligence agencies are wrong as history shows experts often are in such cases.

-Let's start with the Baker Group. This means that either: a) the Baker Group is lying and hates America b) Bush is wrong Which is it?

The answer to that question is:

c) the Baker Group is wrong as history shows political committees almost always are in such cases.

That's why the founding fathers made one man, the President commander in chief. Even then they knew committees and so-called experts lose wars. To win you need leadership capable of making controversial decisions and taking decisive actions. Bush has done that and set us on a course to victory. The terrorists can't win in Iraq, but the U.S. can lose.

First, it's not th... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:
First, it's not the left's interpretation - unless you consider the Pentagon, our nations intelligence agencies, Bush Sr. or the Baker Group to be the Left. Do you?

Of course I was referring to the 2004 election. The nation elects a President for four years. Thank God we have that form of government, otherwise this nation could never stick with anything. Most of the numbers you cite are based on opinion polls and those polls can change either way for hardly any reason. Is that how you want run a country at War? Had it been that way in WW2 we would have lost soon after we started.

Plus, as for flush... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:
Plus, as for flushing out Al Qaeda by fighting them in Iraq - you do realize they weren't even IN Iraq until we invaded, right?

So you agree then that Bush was able to get Al Qaeda to leave their strong holds and come to Iraq. Remember the "bring it on statement"? Brilliant and decisive, but all you lefties didn't understand it. Now we see the Iraqi people are turning on Al Qaeda, and if terrorists can't hid among the people they can't live for long.

No, Mac; the fact ... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:
No, Mac; the fact that vague statements about bringing Democracy Iraq to that effect were included in the early rationale, doesn't mean that those statements were front and center. Bringing democracy to the Iraqis because we love them so much was definitely *not* the main reason we were sold on going.

I agree we didn't go to Iraq to bring them a democratic government. We went to destroy Saddam's government. WMD was just one of the reasons, but Saddam himself was the real danger (Russia, China, and France have WMD and we don't worry because sane people are in control) After Saddam was forced from power did you think we were going to put his sons in power and leave? Sorry, Bush probably didn't know he needed to spell that out for you. Once we destroyed Saddam's government we had to establish some form of elected government. We have done that in spite of all the Iran backed insurgents and relentless attacks from the domestic left.




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