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What he said, part II

I recently found this quote from the president, and I find it says a hell of a lot about what's going on in Iraq today. I still have to kick it around a little, but I think I will end up agreeing with the President 100%.

"The United States wants Iraq to rejoin the family of nations as a freedom-loving and law-abiding member. This is in our interest and that of our allies within the region. The United States favors an Iraq that offers its people freedom at home. I categorically reject arguments that this is unattainable due to Iraq's history or its ethnic or sectarian make-up. Iraqis deserve and desire freedom like everyone else. The United States looks forward to a democratically supported regime that would permit us to enter into a dialogue leading to the reintegration of Iraq into normal international life."

President William Jefferson Clinton, speaking eight years ago today, when he signed the Iraq Liberation Act.

A pity that his deeds, as is often the case, did not match his words. By the time he left office a little over two years later, only a tiny fraction of the $98 million dollars set aside by the measure.

(Hat tip to Frank Warner, courtesy of he who needs no credit)


Listed below are links to weblogs that reference What he said, part II:

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Comments (17)

Bush says: "Iraqis deser... (Below threshold)

Bush says: "Iraqis deserve and desire freedom like everyone else."

They may desire Freedom, but not at the cost Bush and Republican's are bringing. The Iraqis want the US to get the hell out of Iraq. "Stay the Course" has failed...

Most Iraqis Want U.S. Troops Out Within a Year

Say U.S. Presence Provoking More Conflict Than it is Preventing. Approval of Attacks on U.S.-led Forces Rises to 6 in 10

A new WPO poll of the Iraqi public finds that seven in ten Iraqis want U.S.-led forces to commit to withdraw within a year. An overwhelming majority believes that the U.S. military presence in Iraq is provoking more conflict than it is preventing and there is growing confidence in the Iraqi army. If the United States made a commitment to withdraw, a majority believes that this would strengthen the Iraqi government. Support for attacks on U.S.-led forces has grown to a majority position--now six in ten. Support appears to be related to a widespread perception, held by all ethnic groups, that the U.S. government plans to have permanent military bases in Iraq.

This isn't about freedom in Iraq - it's electioneering -- it's about keeping the fat-cat lobbyist-licking Republicans in Washington in their fat-cat money-grubbing jobs.

Vote these clowns out of office.

Lee, this is the second tim... (Below threshold)

Lee, this is the second time (that I've noticed) where you didn't quite read the whole thing, and misinterpreted Jay's post. President Clinton said this, READ THE LINK JAY POSTED.

Bush did not say this specifically (although he's mentioned it lately), Clinton did. All Jay is doing is highlighting Clinton's hypocracy in his actions since he left office with what he actually said while President.

The thought that we would w... (Below threshold)

The thought that we would want to bring Democracy to the rest of the world is absurd.

There are so many other more promising places that we could have selected to incubate stable democratic governments.

Sometimes we like democracies, and we help them. Japan and Germany are good examples. Other times we find chaos to be in our best interest. We traded drugs for guns to topple governments in Central America? Um... Yeah we did.

We like your democracy if you vote the right way. Unless you don't. Then you need "regime change" Democracy was great unless you Palestinians voted in the wrong party. Now we're even talking about changing out the government we installed in Iraq with a new one that would be more favorable to our interests.

Finally, we think of Democracy as a gift that we give to countries as a favor. Ooooo, not at all...

Democracy is a "gift" we give you when you fuck up...

You're Saddam, and you don't play ball? We're gonna give you Democracy. Taliban, you served us well fighting the Russians, but you need a bit of Democracy to keep you in line. Kim Jong Ill needs a spanking and a liberal bit of Democracy if he doesn't behave.

When our government talks about "regime change" in the middle east, WHAT did you think they were talking about?

You'd better sit down, shut up, and behave, or we'll give you some damn Democracy. And if that doesn't work, we'll overthrow your government and give you some more damn Democracy with a political appointee we like better.

Until you behave.


Henry, let me give you a li... (Below threshold)

Henry, let me give you a little advice: never interrupt your enemy when he's making a mistake. Let Lee have a little more rope to hang himself for a bit.

John: I don't see anyone calling for the overthrow of the Palestinian government. We said beforehand that we would NOT support Hamas, even if they won. They won. We're keeping our word.

To do otherwise would be exactly what you're talking about -- usurping the Palestinians' right to choose. They knew the consequences of backing Hamas, and did it anyway. That was their choice, and we are respecting it.


Is it really that surprisin... (Below threshold)

Is it really that surprising that when we're given the chance to shape a country's government, we choose Democracy as our template? Democracy is supposed to (although granted, not always) reflect the decisions and desires of the populace.

In all the cases you listed, Democracy was put into place after the old regime (regime change, anyone?) was decapitated or otherwise lost. The primary reason for the regime change wasn't to bring them Democracy. The primary reason was that they were a threat that needed to be addressed, and after dealing with that threat, the governmental void had to be filled or it would slide into anarchy.

Democracy also doesn't instantly pardon things like electing terrorists to man your government. If you knowingly elect people who we have stated we will not deal with, then reap the rewards of your decision.

So yeah, sit down, shut up and play ball, or we may honor the threat and begin to address it.

Lee,Were you for I... (Below threshold)


Were you for Iraqui freedom before President Bush took office and while Saddam was in power? What did you say or do at that time?

President Bush is one of the top five presidents in the history of the U.S. Reagan of course is at the very top. I give the President an A plus, even though I wish stronger on preventing illegal immigration. The only other thing that I have had a major disagreement with the President is on his supporting Specter over Toomey. That's it -- those are the only major disagreements. Things like Medicare prescription coverage is minor -- this is politics after all.

I want all of Wizbang to know the fool named Lee. We will all know on Nov. 8th. Let's see if the 30 seat swing he predicts will come true. I will definitely point out this clown on Wed. morning all over Wizbang.

Clinton thought that he cou... (Below threshold)

Clinton thought that he could bring democracy to Iraq for $98 million dollars.

Bush has spent nearly $1-Trillion (and counting) to bring death and civil war.

Clinton keeps looking better everyday.

"Bush did not say this s... (Below threshold)

"Bush did not say this specifically (although he's mentioned it lately), Clinton did. All Jay is doing is highlighting Clinton's hypocracy in his actions since he left office with what he actually said while President."

Nothing changes in what I wrote beyond "Bush says" -- Bush certainly has said the same thing over and over -- and the failure over the last four years lies squarely with Bush.

The current decision to "stay the course" lies squarely with Bush, not Clinton. The blood of American soldiers needlessly spilled in Iraq, alongside that of innocent Iraqis, lies squarely with Bush and the Republicans in the House and Senate who support his failed policy.

Vote these clowns out of office next Tuesday - or nothing will change.

Just talking about somethin... (Below threshold)

Just talking about something and doing nothing is better than trying to do something and finding the job difficult, eh?

If I say I think I can convert your car to run on water for $5000, and you actually try to convert your car to run on water (which takes years, and costs tons of cash), I'd be the "better looking guy".

Interesting. What color is the sky in your world?

$98 million is a real barga... (Below threshold)

$98 million is a real bargain. That really is an impressive figure -- a little less than Bill spent on Arakansas' whores.

NOt to question Clinton's n... (Below threshold)

NOt to question Clinton's numbers, but I didn't think ANY government program just cost 98 million....

It's a good thing Republica... (Below threshold)

It's a good thing Republicans are in charge - that way we can waste BILLIONS in Iraq, while thousands of innocent Iraqi civilains have died..

"Iraq today is a colonized country. Iraq's national economy has been largely destroyed and its society torn to pieces due to the invasion and occupation. The estimated decline in Iraq's national income has been more than 40 percent since the U.S. invasion in March 2003. This is measured from already depressed levels due to sanctions.

Last month, electricity in Baghdad was on for an average of 2.4 hours per day, lower than in even the worst years of the sanctions.

The Iraq War has cost U.S. taxpayers at least $379 billion so far. The rate of spending is increasing rapidly. The cost comes out to about $2.1 billion each week, $12.5 each hour, $208,333 per minute and $3,472 per second.

$2.1 billion per week is equal to $30 million per day. Glad we've got those fiscally-conservative Republicans in charge...

I read those figures too an... (Below threshold)

I read those figures too and I agree that it is way too high.

Glad that you are a fellow reader of the Daily KimJongIl.

Jay "I will end up ag... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

Jay "I will end up agreeing with the President 100%
which must include I categorically reject arguments that this(democracy) is unattainable due to Iraq's history or its ethnic or sectarian make-up. Clinton in 1998, but what is worse, Bush and Jay agree in 2006. I would think that 600,000 Iraqis losing their lives in the bloody pre runup to what most consider a civil war/partition scenario is a categorical argument that democracy, is not attainable in country where people are judged and killed solely for their religious affiliation, Sunni or Shiite, to the different sons or cousins of a prophet who lived 1,300 years ago. Democracy is government 'by the people for the people.' In Iraq, behind the Vichy Maliki government, it is really rule by the mullahs and their militias and death squads...I think most of the readers here understand that...Really, Bush's policy is incoherent, because in one breath he talks about the real threat of a RADICAL Islam empire extending from Spain to Indonesia. But in the next breath, he has no doubts that he can establish at great cost but with less than 150 thousand troops, 'at the end of a bayonet ' a Western style democracy lite ally ' in a deeply religious Muslim country, in the center of that empire.

Jay..just wondering when wa... (Below threshold)
nogo postal:

Jay..just wondering when was the last time you talked to someone who served in Iraq in the past year?
I heard it from my son-in-law who was a medic for Stryker and got a discharge this Jan after being hit by a sniper in Mosul...I hear it from those who are a part of the same PTSD program at the Denver VA that I am a part of...you can be 100% all you want...but trust me that opinion is not shared by the troops...

If you want to trust Bush's established intellect...If you want to trust Rummy then do it..but you are a part of a shrinking minority..and I know you are smarter than that...

<a href="http://www.washing... (Below threshold)
We've done such a great job... (Below threshold)

We've done such a great job bringing democracy to Iraq, the human rights activists in Syria have decided that they no longer want it.

I guess democracy won't be spreading through the Middle East, after all. Heckuva job, Bushie!






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