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Felonious Bunk

I've always believed in holding people accountable for their actions before looking around to see if anyone else might be partially responsible. Last week, I disagreed with one of the Wizbang Blue posters who wrote about Communist China selling chemicals that contained poisonous materials (something that is happening with frightening regularity these days) in Panama. Mr. Hamilton chose to blame the deaths on "corporate greed," not the fact that the Communist government itself is the seller of the toxic materials, and therefore has a vested interest in NOT imposing objective standards on the chemicals in question.

It's a common theme for me. Personal responsibility. Responsibility lying at the feet of those who are most liable for the results.

For example, the Iraq War. Yes, President Bush pushed hard for it, but everything he did, he did within the system of checks and balances. Saddam Hussein helped tremendously, by repeatedly violating the terms of his 1991 surrender, granting a legal justification for removing him from power. And Congress, with votes of 296-133 in the House and 77-23 in the Senate, gave Bush the authority to do so. (It's remarkable how many "honorable" members are frantically trying to distance themselves from their votes -- I think Hillary Clinton's latest excuse is "I misunderstood the bill, interpreting the title -- 'Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002' -- as a demand to let weapons inspectors back in, not an actual authorization to use military force against Iraq.")

So yes, it can be argued that Iraq is "Bush's war," as it was by and large his decisions and his determination that made it happen. But he hardly acted alone and in a vacuum. Saddam committed the numerous acts of war, and Congress carried out its Constitutional obligations by going along. To foist all the responsibility on Bush is to exonerate Saddam's bellicosity and Congress' complicity.

It's not just a political issue. (Or, at least, a "political" issue in the traditional sense.) Suppose two college-age people go to a party and get seriously tanked, then end up in bed together. In the eyes of the law, the intoxication of the female half of this equation removes all her legal liability for the encounter, shifting it entirely on the equally-intoxicated male. They're both drunk, legally and factually, but the consequences of their shared intoxication are guaranteed to get him charged with sexual assault if she so chooses.

And Dafydd's examples are equally apt. The onus of the civilian deaths in Iraq ought to lie solely at the feet of those who do the killing. To blame the United States for the actions of those who we are actively seeking to kill or capture, in the hopes of preventing them from killing more, is to deny them the respect they are due as sentient human beings, fully able to make their own moral choices -- and be held accountable to them.

A long time ago, I heard a phrase that lodged itself firmly in my mind as summing up an essential truth about human nature: "the soft bigotry of low expectations." A little research has shown me that it's been a catchphrase of the Bush administration, but apparently it did not originate there (nor have I seen any claims from them that they did coin it.)

People tend to live up to -- or down to -- our expectations. If we make it clear that we expect certain standards, most will try to meet them. If we say that we do not expect very much from them, we are pretty much guaranteed to get just that little -- or less.

And if we excuse that shoddy behavior, we can expect more of it. Every time we dismiss some atrocity as saying "they're only acting out because they're victims of X," we might as well start planning on dealing with the next atrocity committed by the very same people -- and this one will probably be even worse.


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Comments (34)

Jay, I agree with you compl... (Below threshold)
Candy:

Jay, I agree with you completely. On a MUCH smaller scale, we used the same theory - personal responsibility - to clean up the adult ed system in our town a few years back. Many of the academic students had deplorable attendance, dress codes, language, etc. We decided to impose upon them a Code of Conduct which is strictly enforced. Yes, we lose some. Many come back later when they realize we are actually serious about wanting them to be good members of society, family members and good workers. Most succeed after graduation. Our Transitions to College program has helped them bridge to a place they never thought they'd go.

Set the bar high with some margin for error, and draw a HARD line in the sand, and demand the best people can give: they'll respect you for it and will end up respecting themselves - possibly for the first time.

Thanks for a good post, and although I drew a parallel that did not include China or Iraq - I oftentimes feel like I'm dealing with terrorists at work :)

I have to agree as well. <... (Below threshold)
OhioVoter:

I have to agree as well.

I am astounded by the politicians who claim to have been "confused" by the information they received prior to their vote on Iraq. Saying that you weren't smart enough or committed enough to make sure that you understand what was being asked or questioned what you didn't before voting on the isse does not make me want to vote for you again.

It is especially ridiculous when you also claim the person who did confused you is not particularly bright or a compelling speaker.

When I woke up the morning after 9/11, I knew without question that we were at war. I can respect honest debate on how that war should be prosecuted (including where it should be prosecuted), but have no patience for those who still want to question whether there is a war at all.

Make that three.Ca... (Below threshold)
goddessoftheclassroom:

Make that three.

Candy, I teach 8th grade. I insist on proper manners, grammar, and usage. Pretty soon the kids are correcting each other. In addition to making a student repeat something correctly, I always praise him or her when the student gets it right from the get-go.

I even get some of this Yankees to call me "ma'am"!

Okay, I'm back - our pastor... (Below threshold)
Candy:

Okay, I'm back - our pastor and his family were from the Deep South. I learned a very valuable lesson from that family - there are only two words I want to hear from my kids when I give them an order "Yes" and "Ma'am". One day, a rather rude little girl was over the house and said to my kids after hearing them say "Yes, Ma'am" to me.... "WHAT did you say?????" They said in unison, "We said 'Yes, Ma'am'".

Back to the war....

I am a product of the late ... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

I am a product of the late 1950's and early 1960's as far as my upbringing. When we talked to an adult, we were expected to say yes sir, please, thank you,etc. JT is correct, we keep lowering our expectations for the unattainable goal of fixing our problems. I am responsible for 40+ employees and they know everyday what my expectations for their job is. If I did not set the expectations, they would just wander with no direction. It saddens me when I encounter a teenager that cannot look you in the eye, does not speak well and is rude. That is their character showing. It is also a direct reflection of their parents. ww

I do agree that all who vot... (Below threshold)
JFO:

I do agree that all who voted for the authorization should be held accountable - democrat and republican. It will weigh heavily with me when it comes to the democratic primary.

This is where I part ways however. It is Mr Bush and his Cabinet who are responsible for the conduct of the war - and that, in my mind, has been a disaster and he should be held accountable.

Too bad the issue of accountability falls by the wayside when it comes to Mr Libby however and that's the rub of the right side of the blogosphere. I won't call it hypocrisy, I'll just call it inconsistency.

JT...setting high expectati... (Below threshold)
Justrand:

JT...setting high expectations for kids, and even regular adults is splendid! But setting them for Senators?? That is as laudable as it is unrealistic!

As our "beloved" Senators demonstrated during the recent amnesty debates, 90%+ of them NEVER EVEN READ THE BILL. Slightly more than half of them even bothered to skim the "Executive Summaries" they were provided.

If I ground my teeth every time Hillary claimed: "I didn't know what I was voting for"...and got CHEERED for say ing it...I would be eating my food through a straw!

But Hillary is playing to the youth-crowd in a perfect way! She is claiming she is due a "Do-Over" on the war vote...just like the video games they adore.

Remember, our educational system doesn't stress "Accuracy" or "Knowledge" anymore. It stresses "feeling GOOD about yourself". So if Hillary can claim that she now "feels GOOD" about her NEW position on the war...then she gets an "A" in our new grading system.

sorry about the rant...

I set standards of behavior... (Below threshold)
epador:

I set standards of behavior at my clinic that had previously been absent. Amazing what happens when you expect and communicate the expectations clearly, refuse to make exceptions and offer empathy and then consequences for all actions. Staff and patients on the whole are all much happier, efficiency is doubled and errors are down.
Its all about accountability and responsibility for your choices, and although it starts at home before school age, it has to continue to the grave.

As far as saying this war h... (Below threshold)
Dave:

As far as saying this war has been executed poorly, that is just bunk. It didn't take us long to get Sadaam out of baghdad and overthrow his government that was a stunning success.

What happened next would be difficult for anyone to manage, as Iran from the north is supplying terrorists in Iraq with weapons and bombs, Al Qaeda was already in Iraq ready to fight (don't tell me they weren't there, because Al Qaeda is everywhere) and you have battling factions inside of Iraq. There is no way to manage that in an easy way. We obviously are making headway in securing the peace, as we have totally booted Al Qaeda out of zones they formerly owned and we are also securing the peace by working with the Iraqis and getting them to work together.

Bush has been letting the generals run this war all along.

Now obviously this isn't the picture you would have if your world consists of CNN or MSNBC. Get out there and read some things, find out what the soldiers are actually doing, and not from these third and fourth hand sources that have edited it down in an effort to "manage the news". I'm afraid Fox News is guilty of it at times as well. There isn't enough focus on the good we are doing there, but way too much focus on the bad things that happen there. The first thing that needs to change is that we need a body count of "insurgents"/terrorists so we can put the death toll of our troops that the media flaunts around into perspective...

Poor Congress...mean old Ge... (Below threshold)
Justrand:

Poor Congress...mean old George Bush forced them to ACT!!

here's a portion (excerpted because it is too long] of the Bill that Hillary either couldn't or wouldn't read...(maybe she was too busy "sobbing" over learning of Bill's affairs)
****

Whereas after the liberation of Kuwait in 1991, Iraq entered into a United Nations sponsored cease-fire agreement pursuant to which Iraq unequivocally agreed, among other things, to eliminate its nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons programs and the means to deliver and develop them, and to end its support for international terrorism;

[then follows several more Whereas's decribing violation of this...ALL TRUE]

Whereas in Public Law 105-235 (August 14, 1998)...declared Iraq to be in `material and unacceptable breach of its international obligations' and urged the President `to take appropriate action, in accordance with the Constitution and relevant laws of the United States, to bring Iraq into compliance with its international obligations';

[TRUE AGAIN!]

Whereas Iraq both poses a continuing threat to the national security of the United States and international peace and security in the Persian Gulf region and remains in material and unacceptable breach of its international obligations by, among other things, continuing to possess and develop a significant chemical and biological weapons capability, actively seeking a nuclear weapons capability, and supporting and harboring terrorist organizations;

[more TRUTH]

Whereas Iraq persists in violating resolution of the United Nations Security Council by continuing to engage in brutal repression of its civilian population...

[damn...true AGAIN!]

Whereas the current Iraqi regime has demonstrated its capability and willingness to use weapons of mass destruction against other nations and its own people

[truth continues]

Whereas the current Iraqi regime has demonstrated its continuing hostility toward, and willingness to attack, the United States, including by attempting in 1993 to assassinate former President Bush and by firing on many thousands of occasions on United States and Coalition Armed Forces engaged in enforcing the resolutions of the United Nations Security Council;

Whereas Iraq continues to aid and harbor other international terrorist organizations, including organizations that threaten the lives and safety of United States citizens;
Whereas in the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution (Public Law 102-1), Congress has authorized the President `to use United States Armed Forces pursuant to United Nations Security Council Resolution 678 (1990) in order to achieve implementation of Security Council Resolution 660, 661, 662, 664, 665, 666, 667, 669, 670, 674, and 677;

Whereas the Iraq Liberation Act of 1998 (Public Law 105-338) expressed the sense of Congress that it should be the policy of the United States to support efforts to remove from power the current Iraqi regime and promote the emergence of a democratic government to replace that regime;

ALL TRUE...as are the rest of the "Whereas" clauses in the Bill. So what part does Hillary regret signing on for???

makes ya wonder...

Dave, Your quote:<br... (Below threshold)
Allen:

Dave,
Your quote:
"Bush has been letting the generals run this war all along."

Is that why General Shinski (sp) got fired, as he wanted 5 to 600K troops to go into Iraq? That doesn't sound to me that he was letting the generals run the war, it sounds like micro-management to me.

Just wondering, thats all.

contrary to Leftist bunk th... (Below threshold)
Justrand:

contrary to Leftist bunk the military is not lock-step on admn near anything.

Shinseki (the actual spelling) had alrady been told he was being passed over when he made his "estimate". It was NOT his decision to make as to how many troops were needed in Iraq.

Whether he was or wasn't correct in his estimate is a different issue. But Bush was not obligated to listen to EVERY General on EVERY issue...which is what you implying.

But consider this...the Left likes to say that it is the IMPRESSION that we are an occupying force that fuels terrorism everywhere. (laughable...but it's what they claim). If that is the case then by have THREE TIMES AS MANY troops in Iraq would certainly give THREE TIMES that impression...eh?

This has to be one of the s... (Below threshold)

This has to be one of the sanest posts and set of responses to, thereof, that I have read in memory. Even the liberals don't sound like moonbats. Could it be the level of the discussion has a built in intolerance for the bombast and boobyhatchery of so much of what is on the web?

All of you are good,but "justrand" is exceptionally to the point today. I hope this is not all owed to, it being, Sunday.

Trackbacked by The Thunder ... (Below threshold)

Trackbacked by The Thunder Run - Web Reconnaissance for 07/08/2007
A short recon of what's out there that might draw your attention updated throughout the day...so check back often. This is a weekend edition so updates are as time and family permits.

pudge...we'll all get snark... (Below threshold)
Justrand:

pudge...we'll all get snarky later!! it's early, and we need more coffee! :)

Too bad the issue ... (Below threshold)
C-C-G Author Profile Page:
Too bad the issue of accountability falls by the wayside when it comes to Mr Libby however and that's the rub of the right side of the blogosphere. I won't call it hypocrisy, I'll just call it inconsistency.

Just can't let it go, can you, JFO?

I'll go along with this little bit of hijacking just for a few messages.

Google "Henry Cisneros."

Lied to the FBI. Obstructed an investigation. Convicted. Pardoned by Clinton.

Where's your outrage?

As for the conduct of the war, the generals now say the surge is working and it is not, I say again, NOT the time to pull out. Why are you still listening to politicians and not to the generals?

Some real felonius bunk:</p... (Below threshold)
BC:

Some real felonius bunk:

Whereas Iraq both poses a continuing threat to the national security of the United States and international peace and security in the Persian Gulf region and remains in material and unacceptable breach of its international obligations by, among other things, continuing to possess and develop a significant chemical and biological weapons capability, actively seeking a nuclear weapons capability, and supporting and harboring terrorist organizations

Not true. No credible evidence that a WMD program existed after the 1st Gulf War, and the only terrorist organizations that could be shown that Hussein supported were all Palestinian -- a threat to to Israel perhaps, but not to the US.

Whereas the current Iraqi regime has demonstrated its capability and willingness to use weapons of mass destruction against other nations and its own people

That was old news by 9/11. You might as well have mentioned Hiroshima, Nagasaki, and Agent Orange.

Whereas the current Iraqi regime has demonstrated its continuing hostility toward, and willingness to attack, the United States, including by attempting in 1993 to assassinate former President Bush and by firing on many thousands of occasions on United States and Coalition Armed Forces engaged in enforcing the resolutions of the United Nations Security Council

1993? Why not go back a few more years to the 80's and the CIA's little bloody misadventures in Latin America?

Lastly under the "Authorization" bit, an invasion was really only authorized after diplomatic efforts failed and only if Iraq was genuinely a threat to the US. There was again no credible evidence at the time showing Iraq to be such a threat and virtually nothing in the way of diplomatic efforts -- Bush just basically threatened Hussein. See:

(a) AUTHORIZATION.-- The President is authorized to use the Armed Forces of the United States as he determines to be necessary
and appropriate in order to--
(1) defend the national security of the United States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq; and
(2) enforce all relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions regarding Iraq.
(b) PRESIDENTIAL DETERMINATION.-- In connection with the exercise of the authority granted in subsection (a) to use force the President shall, prior to such exercise or as soon thereafter as may be feasible, but no later than 48 hours after exercising such authority, make available to the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President pro tempore of the Senate his determination that--
(1) reliance by the United States on further diplomatic or other peaceful means alone either (A) will not adequately protect the national security of the United States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq or (B) is not likely to lead to enforcement of all relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions regarding Iraq; and (2) acting pursuant to this joint resolution is consistent with the United States and other countries continuing to take the necessary actions against international terrorist and terrorist organizations, including those nations, organizations, or persons who planned, authorized, committed or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001.

And while I can sort of see how so many congress people backed the war resolution and the invasion because 9/11 was still fresh enough, the Afghanistan operation had gone seemingly well at the time, Hussein was indeed a genuine baddie (although not that outstandingly compared to others), and you don't want to believe a President would be so overtly deceptive and dishonest about something as serious as war, there were enough red flags at the time in statements made by Bush's people and especially in the Powerpoint presentation Powell did at the UN that should have caused a responsible politician to look at things a little bit more closely, or at least get an intern or two to poke about. So all these Senators and Representatives who voted for the war really need to come much more clean than they have done so far.

-BC

No credible eviden... (Below threshold)
C-C-G Author Profile Page:
No credible evidence that a WMD program existed after the 1st Gulf War

Then why all the kerfuffle about the UN weapons inspectors? Were they in Iraq because they knew of a great restaurant in Baghdad?

Talk about willfully ignorant of history... sheesh!

This is a very interesting ... (Below threshold)
Paul Hamilton:

This is a very interesting thread. It seems that even Bush's supporters on here are generally looking for a way to distance themselves, and Bush, from responsibility for the war.

Jay, to again use the analogy of China and the poison. Bush was the "manufacturer" of this war and congress was the "consumer" of his lies. They voted for it, trusting that Bush was being honest with them. Of course they should have checked out every single detail of the tales Bush was telling, but they lacked the political courage to stand up against what was then the tide of public opinion and now they share in some responsibility for what has happened. But if you really believe in personal responsibility, this one is primarily on Bush, not congress.

Dave, the main source of weapons for the terrorists in Iraq isn't Iran or al Qaeda, it's the vast stores of weapons which US forces simply over-ran during the first phase of the invasion. We never secured those facilities in our haste to get to Baghdad, nor did we establish security. You don't have to be Nostradamus to see the results of that sort of strategy.

Justrand, it's almost comical that you guys would use UN resolutions as an excuse to go to war when most of the time, you're fighting amongst yourselves to see who can condemn that group the loudest. Once again, this looks like you guys are just scrambling around to find ANY justification for the war.

Paul, there were multiple j... (Below threshold)
C-C-G Author Profile Page:

Paul, there were multiple justifications from the start. You lefties just got WMDs stuck in your minds (only room for one thought, I guess) and forgot the others.

So now that you're being reminded of the original justifications, it's like you've never heard them before.

PH: "This is a very inte... (Below threshold)
Justrand:

PH: "This is a very interesting thread. It seems that even Bush's supporters on here are generally looking for a way to distance themselves, and Bush, from responsibility for the war"

What? Bush did the RIGHT THING in toppling Saddam...and we are doing the RIGHT THING in fighting the alQueda and other scum there now!

As for U.N. Resolutions...not ALL are total horseshit. Just the ones from the "Human Rights" and "Economis Development" commissions. THOSE are horseshit!

"So yes, it can be argued t... (Below threshold)
jp2:

"So yes, it can be argued that Iraq is "Bush's war"

Is anyone actually arguing for anything different?

Republicans have taken it in the shorts since and hopefully the party will be slowly destroyed - not only for the bad decisions (like Iraq) but for its amazing levels of incompetence (like Iraq). At this point all that's left are the blind, extreme and religious kooks. Even Republican self-identification is at an all time low, and with good reason. I would be embarrassed as well.

I wonder how long the defense of this war will continue. It deserves popcorn and I encourage you to keep it up. Jay - when do you think your wisdom and intellect will pay off? When will your "insurgency can't keep this up" ring true? I think it's been two years...

BC, you are misrepresenting... (Below threshold)

BC, you are misrepresenting the facts when you claim there was no WMD program. The Duelfer report discusses what was found in the way of WMD programs that were preserving the ability to rebuild biological and chemical weapons.

Hamilton, the idea that the reason there are terrorists in Iraq because we did not secure every weapons cache is rather laughable on its face. The idea that it is weapons that create terrorism is a new excuse, and does not get much in the way of creativity points. The bulk of the weapons were already distributed, much of the cache's were not known, and the Baathist underground had lots of cash available to purchase more if desired.

That's just really a pathetic attack.

BC:and the onl... (Below threshold)
marc:

BC:

and the only terrorist organizations that could be shown that Hussein supported were all Palestinian -- a threat to to Israel perhaps, but not to the US.

Tell that to the thousands of U.S. citizens that visited Israel during that period and were under constant threat of being blown up with their next slice of pizza.

BC:From a report o... (Below threshold)
marc:

BC:

From a report on the Duelfer report:

The official also said that Duelfer's Iraq Survey Group had uncovered Iraqi plans for ballistic missiles with ranges from 400 to 1,000 kilometers and for a 1,000-kilometer-range cruise missile, farther than the 150-kilometer range permitted by the United Nations, the senior official said.

The official said Duelfer will tell Congress in the report and in testimony today that Hussein intended to reconstitute weapons of mass destruction programs if he were freed of the U.N. sanctions that prevented him from getting needed materials.

Duelfer's report said Hussein was pursuing an aggressive effort to subvert the international sanctions through illegal financing and procurement efforts, officials said. The official said the report states that Hussein had the intent to resume full-scale weapons of mass destruction efforts after the sanctions were eliminated, and details Hussein's efforts to hinder international inspectors and preserve his weapons of mass destruction capabilities.

Someone has to play Algores... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

Someone has to play Algores tape from 1992 concerning Iraq. Also, Billy Clintoon in 1998. Kerry in 1998, etc. I guess GW flew from Texas in the ninties to lie to the liberals. Give me a break. Can the liberals, who have the lowest rating in congress in history, please say something besides your talking points. "Bush lied, people died" etc. I, for one, am very proud of how GW stood up to the terroists, and took the fight to them. GW did not act like Clinton, who basically would check to see what the polls would be like if he fought terrorists. ww

there are only two... (Below threshold)
there are only two words I want to hear from my kids when I give them an order "Yes" and "Ma'am".

Glad to hear this. I grew up with the same expectiations. It was "Yes ma'am" and "yes sir", and at times, if appropriate, "No ma'am" and "No sir". There sure weren't any sloppy yeahs, yeps and nopes, lest there be swift and sure upbraiding.

Some these days seem to think instilling those traits in children somehow makes them automotons. All I can say is that trait has done me nothing but positive in my life.

And we sure didn't call adults by their first name.

Al Qaeda was alrea... (Below threshold)
Al Qaeda was already in Iraq ready to fight (don't tell me they weren't there, because Al Qaeda is everywhere)...

I think Rush said it. Al Qaeda had a presence in sixty countries throughout the world, and apparently even in south Florida; but according the left, AQ was not in Iraq.

As for U.N. Resolu... (Below threshold)
As for U.N. Resolutions...not ALL are total horseshit.

They are all "horsepoop" unless they are enforced. Had it not been for Bush, few of the 16 UN resolutions concerning Iraq would have been ultimately enforced.

We were in slow motion sanctions removal without Iraq fully meeting the terms of any of them.

Its about time that people ... (Below threshold)
spurwing plover:

Its about time that people were held accountible for their own actions i mean no longer should some idiot be allowed to sue McDonalds or Burger King for that persons going there pigging out them blaming them for theor own obesity and no longer should a gun maker be held liable for the cations of crinimals l mean SCREW THE TRIAL LAWYERS PLUCK THOSE VULTURES AND FELLET THOSE SHARKS

Regarding the Duelfer Repor... (Below threshold)
BC:

Regarding the Duelfer Report:

From this Washington Post article, there are these key bits:

Charles A. Duelfer, whom the Bush administration chose to complete the U.S. investigation of Iraq's weapons programs, said Hussein's ability to produce nuclear weapons had "progressively decayed" since 1991. Inspectors, he said, found no evidence of "concerted efforts to restart the program."

The findings were similar on biological and chemical weapons.

...after extensive interviews with Hussein and his key lieutenants, Duelfer concluded that Hussein was not motivated by a desire to strike the United States with banned weapons, but wanted them to enhance his image in the Middle East and to deter Iran, against which Iraq had fought a devastating eight-year war. Hussein believed that "WMD helped save the regime multiple times," the report said.

The only tricky bit with the WMD intel was that Hussein wanted Iran to believe that he might still have WMD's stashed somewhere as a deterrent. But the hostility between Hussein and Iran was not exactly a secret and the US had more than ample opportunity between the onset of the Afghanistan campaign and the Iraqi invasion decision to gather whatever needed evidence by whatever means necessary.

The situation with the whole "ties" claim regarding Hussein and al-Qaeda is much simpler: Bush and his people had overwhelming evidence that there was no such thing, so they, um, hmmm...what's that word for when you make up stuff to justify doing something....

-BC

The situation with... (Below threshold)
C-C-G Author Profile Page:
The situation with the whole "ties" claim regarding Hussein and al-Qaeda is much simpler: Bush and his people had overwhelming evidence that there was no such thing, so they, um, hmmm...what's that word for when you make up stuff to justify doing something....

Riiiiiiiight.

I believe I have posted this for you before, BC, but I will do it again because it is well known that BDS causes short attention spans.

This is a news release from the US State Department. In it, they make the following statement (emphasis added to make it easier for BDS sufferers to find the relevant part):

"In addition, al Qaeda reached an understanding with the Government of Iraq that al Qaeda would not work against that government and that on particular projects, specifically including weapons development, al Qaeda would work cooperatively with the Government of Iraq," the indictment said.

The "Government of Iraq" at this time was a dictatorship under the personal control of one man: Saddam Hussein.

The date of this news release? 04 Nov 1998

Who was President in 1998, BC?

I hear crickets. Does anyon... (Below threshold)
C-C-G Author Profile Page:

I hear crickets. Does anyone else hear crickets?

Guess BC doesn't wanna discuss my post.

Well, surprise, surprise, as Gomer Pyle would say.

To C-C-G:I was "Ri... (Below threshold)
BC:

To C-C-G:

I was "Riiiiiiiight" (so to speak) actually -- there were no "ties," period. I've seen that little excerpt of yours pop up on right wing web sites from time to time, along with of course a goofball attempt to spin this into something somehow proving that this shows Hussein having al-Qaeda ties. No. While there is some evidence indicating that Hussein's people and al-Qaeda had some meetings and discussions during the 90's, there is much more evidence showing nothing ever coming from them. And those few meetings likely only happened due to a shared hatred and distrust of the West -- Hussein's brutally dictatorial secularism was antagonistic to the likes of Islamists like bin Laden. From this Boston Globe article reprint:

Daniel Benjamin, who directed counterterrorism efforts on the National Security Council in the Clinton administration, said: "No one disputes that there have been contacts over the years. In that part of the America-hating universe, contacts happen. But that's still a long way from suggesting that they were really working together."

In 1998, Benjamin said, he was part of a National Security Council exercise aimed at critically examining the CIA's assessment that Al Qaeda would not team up with Iraq.

"This was a red-team effort," he said. "We looked at this as an opportunity to disprove the conventional wisdom, and basically we came to the conclusion that the CIA had this one right."

So here we are in 1998 with the CIA poo-pooing any Iraq-al-Qaeda team-up -- so how is it that in 2003, apparently several years after any contact between Iraq and al-Qaeda and zero evidence in between, Bush and his people claim ties? 'Cuz Bush and his people are liars perhaps?

Here's one of my longer Usenet posts on the matter with lot's o' links for your clicking pleasure.

-BC




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