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The Importance Of Good History Education

My most recent Townhall column, No Excuses, was correctly and succinctly summarized by Mary Katharine Ham by stating, "Yell it from the rooftops-- we were right to remove Saddam from power and Democrats were either afraid to act or afraid to stand behind their votes once cast."

In the column I explore some of the reasons the current war in Iraq has been, even at times when things have been going well, more difficult than some in the past to explain to the public. One reason is due to the lack of good history education. I referenced a post from Betsy Newmark, a history teacher, in which she explained how much of current history curriculum involves social, rather than military, history. I also referenced a couple of pieces Betsy linked on the subject.

Jay Mathews wrote of the teaching of WWII history in the public schools, that there are lessons on women stepping into men's roles and lessons on the Japanese internment, but few on generals or specific battles. As Joanne Jacobs put it, "Rosie the Riveter has trumped Patton."

When Betsy saw that I had referenced one of her two-year-old posts, she was surprised I had remembered it, much less been able to locate it. I didn't need to remember it, though, because I never forgot it in the first place. The idea that many today have not been taught military history, including the importance of individual battles to the war effort as a whole, is something that stuck with me and that I was reminded of anytime I saw reports of Iraq casualties in the news. Instead of reporting the loss of American military lives in Iraq in the context of the missions they were involved in and what was accomplished in those missions, the numbers were always reported in a vacuum, or worse yet, as a lead into a story about how the rising number of casualties is resulting in decreased support for the war effort. No wonder, huh?

In past wars, pre-Vietnam, anyway, those in the general public and in the media recognized that even when many American lives were lost in battle, what was often accomplished in those battles could be described as huge successes. Can anyone imagine a battle in Iraq which resulted in the number of American lives lost in Iwo Jima or other famous battles, being described as successes today? Instead they would likely be reported as colossal failures. Part of the reason is that instead of the battles in Iraq resulting in the taking of ground, which can be pointed to on a map and easily shown, the successes of the battles in Iraq are less visible to the public.

For example, consider a raid of a terrorist cell (insurgent safe house, if you prefer) in Iraq, in which seven U.S. Marines lose their lives. The loss of those lives is incredibly sad. (My husband was in the Marine Corps for six years and I can only imagine how devastating losing him would be to me and our family.) That does not mean that their mission was a failure, though. One thing the media rarely reports is how many terrorists were killed in the same actions in which they report the loss of American lives. We may have lost seven to take out fifteen terrorists which could have killed hundreds of innocent civilians. Another thing that the public doesn't know, and often can't know, is what is gained from the intelligence that might have been collected in those actions. As the President told us following 9/11 and has repeated more times than I can count, this is not a traditional war. We are often fighting not for soil, but for advantage gained through intelligence to prevent future terror attacks and to locate and take out terrorist cells. It will take a while to educate the publc about the true nature of the War on Terror, and the successes of the battles fought in that war, and even longer still if the schools and the media don't contribute positively to that effort.

Update: Rick Moran makes some excellent points while disagreeing with me, at least in part.


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Comments (42)

I went to a (pretty darn go... (Below threshold)

I went to a (pretty darn good) private school, but my AP European History teacher spent two weeks talking about Napolean. However, he never once said the words "Waterloo," "Trafalgar," or "Austerlitz." Fortunately, this teacher was the exception. As revenge, all 14 guys in the class (of 15 total) wrote term papers on World War Two. I find it somehow hard to believe that a public school class could be any worse on this point than that class.

Exactly. Good post. Imagine... (Below threshold)

Exactly. Good post. Imagine my surprise when I expected to see "Jay Tea" in the signature tag. You fooled me.

So, I have to ask Lorie, wo... (Below threshold)

So, I have to ask Lorie, would you have supported the war in Iraq if Bush had stood up the first day and said "We're going to go into Iraq and spend 2500 American lives and wound more than 10,000 Americans to remove Saddam from power. That's our mission, that's our goal, and we're going to do it!"

Bush came before the American people, and sent his staff before us to say we were going in because Saddam was working closely with Al-Qaeda and was in the process of building WMDs, something that's been roundly debunked and discredited. I believe it was certainly a possibility given his propensity, and I would not be surprised if were to find them, but I have still not seen any proof.

And you are you really saying we should base all actions on potential lives saved? "One thing the media rarely reports is how many terrorists were killed in the same actions in which they report the loss of American lives. We may have lost seven to take out fifteen terrorists which could have killed hundreds of innocent civilians." That's a pretty crappy calculation to run, because it's possible to justify all sorts of governmental abuses on your calculus, and I wish that people would wake up and realize it.

How far are you willing to give up rights and freedoms, and how big of a police state are you willing to tolerate to save those unknown numbers of innocents?

I'd rather that people remember the words of Thomas Jefferson who said "I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it."

This war on terror we're locked in that is supposedly a "preventative war" which will keep us safer by spreading democracy to every corner seems a load of bunk to me, especially as we advocate democracy in other countries and dismantle it slowly here in the US.

President Eisenhower said "All of us have heard this term 'preventative war' since the earliest days of Hitler. I recall that is about the first time I heard it. In this day and time... I don't believe there is such a thing; and, frankly, I wouldn't even listen to anyone seriously that came in and talked about such a thing." I think he was speaking very wisely when he said that.

So, I have to ask Lorie, wo... (Below threshold)
Big Mo:

So, I have to ask Lorie, would you have supported the war in Iraq if Bush had stood up the first day and said "We're going to go into Iraq and spend 2500 American lives and wound more than 10,000 Americans to remove Saddam from power. That's our mission, that's our goal, and we're going to do it!"

Nice diversion, there, Maurice.

Would you have supported FDR if he stood up in Congress on Dec. 8, 1941, and said we're going to take on Japan, Germany and Italy by first losing badly in the Pacific, invading Frnch North Africa, eventually fighting our way up Italy, eventually island hopping across the Pacific, eventually landing in France, and finally defeating the Axis powers at a cost of 400,000 American dead and hundreds of thousands of wounded?

Would you have supported Lincoln if on the day after Fort Sumpter was surrendered he said that this war would last four years and cost 600,000 dead and another 400,000 wounded?

The rest of your post, Maur... (Below threshold)
Big Mo:

The rest of your post, Maurice, is not worth responding to. The purpose of this thread is ignorance of history, not ignorance in general, though you have displayted that quite nicely.

Maurice, What ki... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:


What kind of freedom you are losing in this country? Do you like the alternative of more 9/11 kind of attacks, Saddam still in power with the oil-for-food corruption? What is your long term solution to the problem of terrorism?

Here is a good summary on the shaky foundations of the Dems's positions. One thing I agree with you is that Bush underestimated the intellectual and moral corruption of the modern Dem party.


During last week's congressional debate over the war in Iraq, critics of the Bush administration's policy made three arguments: that President Bush more or less lied when claiming Saddam Hussein was a threat to the U.S., there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, and that no progress is being made in the war there.

All three assumptions rest on shaky ground, so it is remarkable how much critics have seized on them with such fervor and certainty--the very vices of which they accuse the war's supporters

LoveAmerica,I'd be... (Below threshold)


I'd bet that Maurice's "solution" probably would involve the following steps:

1) Destroy the Republican party
2) Undermine and cripple the US Military
3) Implement a McGovernite foreign policy
4) Convince the world that a whipped, apologetic United States is now every nation's "friend"
5) Until step 4 can be accomplished, buy off the terrorists with appeasement and lots of money


Great post. It's also worth pointing out that during WWII, news of the strategic objectives of battles, along with news of the achievement of those objectives, were usually the first items included in war reports published here in the States. Casualty counts were generally reported later, after the major battles were winding down and the military had an opportunity to more fully evaluate what had happened on the battlefield.

(A notable exception would be an attack like Pearl Harbor, where we were caught unprepared and casualties were very high and one-sided -- virtually all Americans. In this case, casualty reports were obviously used to illustrate the barbarity of the Japanese.)

Big Mo, Germany and... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

Big Mo,
Germany and Italy didn't attack us at Pearl Harbor! BTW, the war has been enormously successful and "easy" compared to other major wars in history. We had 2500 dead in Iraq so far. That many died in one training exercise in WWII! The rebuilding of Japan and Germany took about 7-10 years. That 's after a total defeat of the Axis forces. Now we still have an active leftist coalition bending on defeating AMerican in Iraq. Yet with all this unprecedented attack on America from its own press, the US military has accomplished a great deal in the short 3 years. Iraq already several successful elections. Imagine what it would be like if the left was behind the democratic aspiration of the majority of people in Iraq.

LAI, Oh, I know that. I was... (Below threshold)
Big Mo:

LAI, Oh, I know that. I was just tweaking Maurice. I've long since grown tired of seeing those same old, warmed over nonsense from the left.

A slight correction, Lorie:... (Below threshold)
Big Mo:

A slight correction, Lorie: Civil War reporting was different, though, and was sometimes hysterical (over-the-top, that is). Usually, it was highly misleading. But it was pretty frank with casualties figures--except usually enemy casualties were magnified, sometimes beyond their actual strength on the field!

In that war, often the media in the north DIDN'T contribute to the war effort. Often they had the opposite effect.

For example, take the battle of Shiloh. Right after the battle, an over-enthusiastic reporter filed a short piece that said Grant had won a smashing victory, utterly destroy the Confederates and even led the final charge. It was nonsense, but the story was picked up and ran by most of the papers.

Several days later, another reporter took rumors, conjecture and grumbling and filed a story that talked about a great Union disaster, a drunk Grant and a completely surprised Union army saved from destruction only by the timely arrival of Don Carlos Buell's army. It detailed the heavy casualties and was highly critical of Grant. Well, that story was picked up by all the papers too, and it is the story that persists to this day.

Even though both reports had kernels of truth in them, the second report was just as wildly inaccurate as the first one, and even led to outraged politicians and media-types calling for Grant's removal. (Lincoln's response: I can't spare this man: he fights.)

You have to read Bruce Catton or Grant's own Memoirs to understand what really happened at Shiloh. But the media accounts of the battle are worthless.

Maurice asked, "So, I ha... (Below threshold)
Lorie Byrd:

Maurice asked, "So, I have to ask Lorie, would you have supported the war in Iraq if Bush had stood up the first day and said "We're going to go into Iraq and spend 2500 American lives and wound more than 10,000 Americans to remove Saddam from power. That's our mission, that's our goal, and we're going to do it!"

I actually believed it would take more than 2500 deaths to remove Saddam. I think that polls at the time showed most Americans believed that, as well. Estimates from the left were in the tens of thousands to take Baghdad. Still, believing that is what it would take, polls showed Americans overwhelmingly in favor of the invasion of Iraq. When support declined was when we were not able to locate stockpiles of WMD.

We did uncover the corruption in the oil for food program, unearthed thousands in mass graves, documented Saddam's ties to terrorism, and his continued capability to produce WMD, though not stockpiles of it. And new discoveries are bing made everyday. Democrats have been very successful in misleading the public for poltiical gain that everything that was said about Saddam before the war has been shown now to be a lie. That is just not the case. Hopefully one day the facts will be documented in history books, but for now, the headlines read "no WMD found" and that is all those on the left and in the media think the public needs to know.

You better believe that my ... (Below threshold)
BC Monkey:

You better believe that my kids are getting their history education from me, with a heavy emphasis on the wars.

Being Canadian, we were taught Canadian history and we spent oh, perhaps a week on tot two World Wars. The rest of the course was more boring than you can possibly conceive of.

We were led (lied) into thi... (Below threshold)

We were led (lied) into this war because we were "under attack". We've since learned that the crap about Saddam being a threat to us was just Republican BS. No amount of accounting for Saddam's ills, which were plentiful, will make up for the fact that we were lied to. If the truth had been told to the American people from the start, the support for entering Iraq would not have been there any where near the numbers being quoted. It still may have been supported, but the public deserves the truth, not lies...

It's amazing that the Republicans can lie to the public, then come back and quote the support for the Iraq war that resulted from those lies as being proof invading Iraq was a popular decision at the time.

Republicans truly have no respect for the American people, and that's becoming more obvious every day. This post and the comments supporting it is an excellent example of that. Fortunately, Americans finally figured out that the Republicans have intentionally misled the public, and there will be payback at the polls.

Here's a link to some repor... (Below threshold)

Here's a link to some reporting that has been suppressed until this past Sunday that reflects an overview of what has been accomplished through the various and sundry battles in Iraq.


For more battle perspective in Iraq, try this link from ainternal staff memo from the US Embassy in baghdad last April: www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=viewArticle&code=SCH20060411&articleId=2251

And for more battler history in general, try Barbara Tuchman's The March of Folly and get a little perspective.

mak44 - I've read The March... (Below threshold)
Big Mo:

mak44 - I've read The March of Folly and it doesn't apply to Iraq--unless the Democrats get in power again. THEN we will betray ourselves.

Hey Mak, you mean those "ex... (Below threshold)

Hey Mak, you mean those "exclusives" that the military gives to Fox News (and that are dutifully repeated here on Whizbang!) didn't include this information?

My my, that's a surprise....

Lorie, I shouldn't speculat... (Below threshold)
Drew E.:

Lorie, I shouldn't speculate but I will anyway...given what you feel history books should contain, I will speculate that you believe Biology texts include "Intelligent Design"

Oh, Lee is back after joini... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

Oh, Lee is back after joining Murtha in slandering the US troops. I thought Lee was ready to apologize for his slander.

My my, that's a surprise....

Lorie, I shouldn't speculat... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

Lorie, I shouldn't speculate but I will anyway...given what you feel history books should contain, I will speculate that you believe Biology texts include "Intelligent Design"
Nice diversion, Drew. I guess you think Biology texts should include "abiogenesis" (or the so-called macro-evolution)!

Jeff, you thought this was ... (Below threshold)
Jay Tea:

Jeff, you thought this was one of mine? Them's fighting words! Lorie oughta kick your ass for that insult!

Actually, I gotta confess I was fooled too. I thought it was my work, right up until I said "wait a minute, I don't have a husband..."


Just quoted Rush below. It ... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

Just quoted Rush below. It is well known that what is good for America is bad for the Dems and the liberal left. That 's why they are only interested in telling and even cooking up the bad things to sustain their virtual reality (based community). That 's why they want Iraq to be Vietnam. I guess the left was so proud of their VN legacy (a couple millions dead in the utopia of Cambodia etc..).

RUSH: I still am amazed at the timing of all this. It's exactly what I expected to happen. We nail Zarqawi; it's the epitome of good news. Bush has one of the best weeks of his presidency last week and a couple of days prior to that, and so what do the Democrats do? Redouble their effort to paint this whole thing as a lost cause, and they get of course their willing accomplices in the Drive-By Media to go right along with it. In fact, the Washington Post citing a 30-day-old story preceding any of the good news of the last week. Thank goodness Tony Snow was there to correct this and put it in the proper context

Was Rush sober when he said... (Below threshold)

Was Rush sober when he said that? Were the druggies' words slurred?

If Cheney (Our Number 2 in charge) died how much would it effect our efforts?


Likewise for Zarqawi. Don't get me wrong - it is GREAT that a bad guy ate it - but as far as it being such great news in terms of our progress in the war on terror?


The fact that Republicans don't understand that fact is what is so amazing. You guys just don't understand the war we're fighting is not being won by plugging this insurgient or that terrorist. A new extemist-with-a-death-wish just pops up in their place.

So who lied Lee? Did the d... (Below threshold)

So who lied Lee? Did the dems lie when they were saying that Saddam had stockpiles of WMDs and was a threat to our country in the late 90's? Or who said the things that they said? Were they under the influence? Did someone say Ted Kennedy? Read the book "disinformation" by Richard Miniter. He will show you what has been found, and I think you'll be surprised. We've even had troops attacked with Sarin Gas. That's the most lethal SYNTHETIC weapon in the world. Somebody made it, but noooo, couldn't have been Saddam, he's just misunderstood. Oh, BTW, anyone here ever heard of the Hurtgen forest? Look that one up. Our guys are doing one hell of a job. Compare that with current figures.

As long as we are quoting j... (Below threshold)
Drew E.:

As long as we are quoting junkies "C'mon up here and love me" Jim Morrison of the Doors.. just before his arrest in Miami...(I thought Bush said his best moment was catching a fish? Did he catch some fish last week?)The polls are zooming..only 60% of us think he is wrong...Tony Snow? The same guy who disrespected our dead troops by saying "2500 is only a number"... the same Tony Snow who said yesterday on FOX that the media is spending too much time on the two captured and not enough time on the "successes"? I assume you have your POW MIA shirt? Tony Snow has as much combat time as you do...

Lee - the first part of wha... (Below threshold)
Big Mo:

Lee - the first part of what you wrote just confirms you're an ass.

The second part:

"Likewise for Zarqawi. Don't get me wrong - it is GREAT that a bad guy ate it - but as far as it being such great news in terms of our progress in the war on terror?


WRONG. The Iraqis themselves would beg to differ, as Zarq's death lead to a nice treasure trove of intel that produced hundreds of raids with hundreds of arrests and hundreds more little Zarqis deads.

The third part is that it is amzaing that you far lefties don't get that this is an entirely different type of war, one in which power equals respect, and running home and hiding under your bed like your buddy Murtha wants to do equals an instant loss of credibility and respect.

But hey, don't worry, we're winning the war without you far-lefties anyway. Just don;t you dare take creedit for ANYTHING when the troops come home.

Their homecoming won't have a DAMN THING to do with you, Murtha, Kerry, or any other Democrat "plan." You libs stopped fighting this war a long time ago and you've done nothing but whine, moan, complain, nit-pick, cherry-pick, level phoney charges, side with the enemy, make heros out of loony toon American-hating whack-jobs and, overall, make the enemy's propaganda war much, much easier.

Sorry, but you lefties are really pissing me off with your cut and run crap. You lefties think this is Vietnam? That's EXACTLY what you'll turn it into if you have your way.

in the history repeating it... (Below threshold)

in the history repeating itself column (sorry if someone already pointed this out), the U.N just announced a NEW & IMPROVED Human Rights Council!!

Cuba, Saudi Arabia, China and Russia all promptly sought and were AWARDED seats on it!!

the more things change...

The Iraqis themselves wo... (Below threshold)

The Iraqis themselves would beg to differ, as Zarq's death lead to a nice treasure trove of intel that produced hundreds of raids with hundreds of arrests and hundreds more little Zarqis deads.

And hundreds more pop up in their place.

You're an idiot Big Mo - I don't argue with idiots.

Likewise for Zarq... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

Likewise for Zarqawi. Don't get me wrong - it is GREAT that a bad guy ate it - but as far as it being such great news in terms of our progress in the war on terror?

Lee, you actually don't know and you are willfully ignorant? This is just a perfect example of the pure intellectual bankruptcy of the left.

So should we argue with idiots of the left as you suggested?

THis is a test for your intellectual honesty: is the left lying when they made a big deal of Bin Laden not being captured yet?

I am still waiting for your apology about slandering the AMerican military with the Haditha story. Can we be intellectually honest enough to agree that Murtha is despicable and disgraceful?

LEeYou're an idiot B... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

You're an idiot Big Mo - I don't argue with idiots.
It means that Lee has no argument to make. So he has to resort to personal insults again. Maybe this is a case of projection: Lee is simply projecting his idiocy onto others.

Typical of the left.

I don't argue with idiot... (Below threshold)

I don't argue with idiots.

That's good. Arguing with one's self is a sign of insanity.

Power=respect? Here I broug... (Below threshold)
Drew E.:

Power=respect? Here I brought my children up on the goldren rule. Yeah power is respect works on a grade school playground. But ya know respect is something that is earned. It is obvious you kiss your bosses ass because..ah well because he has the power and you respect that...if you have children is that what you teach them respect the power?..if you have a spouse do you demand respect based on your "power"....???
What was our power compared to the "insugency" in Viet Nam? Is our "power" protecting our troops from IED's?

This <a href="http://www.br... (Below threshold)

This quote today from Cheney:

Cheney defended his comment last year, often ridiculed by administration critics, that the Iraqi insurgency was "in its final throes."

He said he was referring to a series of events _ including elections and the drafting and acceptance of a new Iraqi constitution _ that he believes history will show to be pivotal.

But the vice president did say that he underestimated the strength of the insurgency in some of his earlier remarks.

"I don't think anybody anticipated the level of violence that we've encountered," Cheney said. He said much of the continuing violence has its roots in "the devastation" that 30 years of Saddam Hussein's iron- fisted rule "had wrought on the psychology of the Iraqi people."

Which exactly proves my point that the Republicans don't understand the war we're fighting.

LoveAmerica Immigrant </... (Below threshold)

LoveAmerica Immigrant

Just where the hell F+DID you come from anyway? Whether legal or not, you are a prime example of the danger of letting just any immigrant in to this country.

You must have immigrated about 70 years to late- you could have gone to Gewrmany in the 1930's & they would have loved your servile acceptance of anything the government was pushing. Take your love somewhere else, you crytpo-fascist patriot.

Mak -- Don't confuse LoveAm... (Below threshold)

Mak -- Don't confuse LoveAmerica Immigrant's loyalty to the crown as "patriotism". It's nothing more than stupidity.

A patriot loves their country and works to make it stronger - we have not gotten stronger under Bush and the Republican crooks in Congress. We are now a nation whose government has been terrorized by a rag-tag handful of a religious extremists.

Defending the pansy-assed redcoats in Washington is not "patriotism" of any form.

LoveAmerica Immigrant</b... (Below threshold)

LoveAmerica Immigrant

On second thought, apologies for attacking your patriotism. What is so frustrating is your slavish defense of anything this administration is doing in the name of this country. I would have thought that an immigrant might have had more appreciation of the principles that this country was founded upon rather than the perverted perspective reflected by the neo-cons. More of that is the last thing this nation needs.

Lee - I could stoop to the ... (Below threshold)
Big Mo:

Lee - I could stoop to the "I know you are but what am I" mentality of the liberal left, but I won't.

All I know is that you jackasses couldn't defend this county from a flock of gnats, what with "Cut and Run" Murtha and "Where can I go to surrender" Kerry leading you guys.

So content yourself with your fantasies about "red coated pansy" Republicans and this administration, while the grownups take care of business.

Get bent.

Sincerely, Big Mo, one of the rag-tag "religious extremists"

P.S. - I just have to wonder why people like you come to sites like this anyway. Do you like pretending you're superior? Do you like acting like a jerk (or being one)? Do you think you're actually convincing anyone with cracks about religious extremists and "pansy assed redcoats" and assorted crap like that?

Mak44, Maybe the i... (Below threshold)


Maybe the immigrant (no offense) knows what he's talking about, and doesn't take this all for granted. Maybe he's voicing his opinion, then being called a fascist. Oh, that's open-minded of you.

Lori, good post on what peo... (Below threshold)

Lori, good post on what people remember/taught in History. (This is my first comment here and I'm sure I will get blasted by those on the left). History today is NOT taught in school. The Liberal/PC crowd have taken to espousing what they feel should be taught, and usually this is about "Big Bad America", and our "Imperialistic" designs on the world in general. America is a great country. It's the only country that I know where people of differing views can argue their views so openly without worry of repercussions. Try that in Iran, China, Cuba, North Korea...I had four uncles who served and fought during WWII. I've lived in Germany, Italy and France 20 years after WWII and saw how democracy can make a dramatic change for the better in peoples lives. Today, those that see bringing democracy to Iraq as a bad thing really don't get it. I guess they would rather live under a Caliphate, without rights or Freedom's, as long as GWB has anything to do with keeping them safe. Ask the million's of Iraqi's what they think of GWB and you will find that they are glad that GWB and the American soldiers are there shedding their blood for their Freedom. As to GWB lying, Kerry et all had exactly the same information and came to the same conclusion as the President did.
(From Polipundit): "[W]e urge you, after consulting with Congress, and consistent with the U.S. Constitution and laws, to take necessary actions (including, if appropriate, air and missile strikes on suspect Iraqi sites) to respond effectively to the threat posed by Iraq's refusal to end its weapons of mass destruction programs." - From a letter signed by Joe Lieberman, Dianne Feinstein, Barbara A. Milulski, Tom Daschle, & John Kerry among others on October 9, 1998

"This December will mark three years since United Nations inspectors last visited Iraq. There is no doubt that since that time, Saddam Hussein has reinvigorated his weapons programs. Reports indicate that biological, chemical and nuclear programs continue apace and may be back to pre-Gulf War status. In addition, Saddam continues to refine delivery systems and is doubtless using the cover of a licit missile program to develop longer- range missiles that will threaten the United States and our allies." - From a December 6, 2001 letter signed by Bob Graham, Joe Lieberman, Harold Ford, & Tom Lantos among others

"Saddam's goal ... is to achieve the lifting of U.N. sanctions while retaining and enhancing Iraq's weapons of mass destruction programs. We cannot, we must not and we will not let him succeed." - Madeline Albright, 1998

"Iraq made commitments after the Gulf War to completely dismantle all weapons of mass destruction, and unfortunately, Iraq has not lived up to its agreement." - Barbara Boxer, November 8, 2002

"There's no question that Saddam Hussein is a threat... Yes, he has chemical and biological weapons. He's had those for a long time. But the United States right now is on a very much different defensive posture than we were before September 11th of 2001... He is, as far as we know, actively pursuing nuclear capabilities, though he doesn't have nuclear warheads yet. If he were to acquire nuclear weapons, I think our friends in the region would face greatly increased risks as would we." - Wesley Clark on September 26, 2002

"The community of nations may see more and more of the very kind of threat Iraq poses now: a rogue state with weapons of mass destruction, ready to use them or provide them to terrorists. If we fail to respond today, Saddam and all those who would follow in his footsteps will be emboldened tomorrow." - Bill Clinton in 1998

"In the four years since the inspectors left, intelligence reports show that Saddam Hussein has worked to rebuild his chemical and biological weapons stock, his missile delivery capability, and his nuclear program. He has also given aid, comfort, and sanctuary to terrorists, including Al Qaeda members, though there is apparently no evidence of his involvement in the terrible events of September 11, 2001. It is clear, however, that if left unchecked, Saddam Hussein will continue to increase his capacity to wage biological and chemical warfare, and will keep trying to develop nuclear weapons. Should he succeed in that endeavor, he could alter the political and security landscape of the Middle East, which as we know all too well affects American security." - Hillary Clinton, October 10, 2002

"I am absolutely convinced that there are weapons...I saw evidence back in 1998 when we would see the inspectors being barred from gaining entry into a warehouse for three hours with trucks rolling up and then moving those trucks out." - Clinton's Secretary of Defense William Cohen in April of 2003

"We have known for many years that Saddam Hussein is seeking and developing weapons of mass destruction." - Ted Kennedy, September 27, 2002

"There is no doubt that Saddam Hussein's regime is a serious danger, that he is a tyrant, and that his pursuit of lethal weapons of mass destruction cannot be tolerated. He must be disarmed." - Ted Kennedy, Sept 27, 2002

"I will be voting to give the president of the United States the authority to use force - if necessary - to disarm Saddam Hussein because I believe that a deadly arsenal of weapons of mass destruction in his hands is a real and grave threat to our security." - John F. Kerry, Oct 2002

These are just a few examples, from their own parties representatives mouths that we did the right thing by going to war, fighting for the Freedom of the Iraqi people, ousting a despot, and stopping the Terrorist's from having a safe haven in Iraq.

Lied? I think not. Chamberlain could have stopped WWII by not allowing Hitler to take the Sudetenland and actually doing something instead of appeasing, just like the Democrits like Murtha, Kerry, et all are trying to do now.

OutHouseNic... (Below threshold)


Nice Pantheon of Democratic quotes about Saddam & Iraq.

Thing is, there's nothing implicit in my criticisms of Bush/Cheney that I wouldn't say about those you quoted above, except that they didn't lead us into war. Still, they were as foolish as Bush although not likely the war-mongerers that is Cheney, the real mastermind of this Administration. Pull back the curtain, and anyone would see that Cheney has the levers.

mak44,Warmonger's eh... (Below threshold)

Warmonger's eh? Yeah. (Oh and I see that anyone who disagrees with you gets your automatic knee-jerk name calling meme...i.e. OUTHOUSE). My point, which was lost on you, was that if the info was good enough for your Dem's and they agreed to help free Iraq, our being there was the right thing to do. I guess I'm a warmonger as well. Well, regardless, it didn't take you long to attack my opinion that by helping the Iraqi's, and ousting a despot and terrorist, Saddam, was the right thing to do. I see you put your spin that Cheney is the Head warmonger and no matter what, giving freedom to 20 million Iraqi's was the wrong thing to do. Hate Bush/Cheney is your memorandum.

Pothus ...This mak... (Below threshold)
Martin A. Knight:

Pothus ...

This mak44 you're arguing with. He's like Humpty Dumpty in Alice in Wonderland. The meaning of a word is fluid with him. What he calls a "lie" is not what the rest of to world considers to be the rational definition of what constitutes a lie.

Observe that he acknowledges that there's nothing Bush said about WMDs, Iraq and Saddam Hussein that has not been said by Democrats and Clinton Administration officials before him, a great deal before he was sworn into office in 01/2001.

Let's not also forget the myriad of Intelligence reports from the 1990s up until 2003 after the war began that warned the world of the contacts that were taking place between Al Qaeda (and other terrorist organizations) and the Hussein regime of Iraq: e.g.

The Guardian (UK) - February 6, 1999
CNN - February 13, 1999

The following is from the Clinton Administration's 1998 DOJ indictment of Osama Bin Laden :

    ... 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.

Either way, mak44's argument is that even though everybody (and this includes British, Israeli, French and German Intelligence as well as every single elected Democrat) believed that Saddam Hussein still harbored WMDs, Bush is the only one that "lied" - even if he honestly believed what he said was true.

To mak44 (Lee, binnster, field-negro, et al), Bush's sin was that he acted on that belief. That's what transmogrifies everything. While Clinton and Bush both believed that Saddam Hussein had WMDs, Clinton did nothing and therefore he did not lie, while Bush did something and therefore he "lied."

Here's how it works;

Let's say you and mak44 notice a man breaking into a house in the dead of night in a neighborhood that has suffered a string of burglaries. Both of you believe it's a burglar ... but while mak44 decides to do nothing (which is exactly the type of person mak44 is), you decide to call the police. If it later turns out that the man actually was the owner of the house who lost his keys, mak44 would accuse you of "lying".

Lee and mak44 can only reso... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

Lee and mak44 can only resort to personal insults now since they have no arguments to make. I thought the left claimed that "dissent is patriotism". So they should celebrate when people dissent strongly against their corrupt ideology. But again they only have empty rhetoric. At least on this board they can only do name-calling. In communist or leftist countries they can do far worse things.






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