...where I'm likely to ramble on most anything.
My goal: To persuade or be persuaded.
A few thoughts:This article goes to show what a lousy job the Bush Administration has done in "selling" the war. This is a great example of "perception is reality," as the facts have largely been cast aside by opinion. "The invasion of Iraq was arguably the most justified case of military action the US has ever taken..." I've gotta disagree with that statement, as I think WWII may be a bit ahead here. I'm still waiting for some unity on the left regarding involvement in Afghanistan: are they for it in lieu of Iraq, or is it all part of the evil Bush warmongering. I keep getting mixed signals on that.
I agree. George did a terrible job supporting and/or defending his actions in general. He doesn't do well trumpeting his successes, and he does as poorly defending against unjustified attacks. Opinion polls are one thing, letting Dems take pot shots without response is another.
"Most justified"?Aluminum tubes, uranium yellow cake from Niger, Condi's and Cheney's "smoking gun=mushroom cloud", Rumsfeld's "We know where the WMDs are", Cheney's continued lying about a meeting between some of the 9/11 conspirators and Iraqi intelligence even after it was proven such a meeting did not take place, the fact that Sadaam Hussein was virulently anti-al Qaeda, the fact that his entire WMD program was dismantled by the mid-1990's. I could go on and on and on.Forgive my language, but Jesus H. Christ. If you believe even a single line of that American Thinker piece, either you have not been paying attention, or you just don't care about facts.As a side note, I will not respond to claims that the information I have provided is somehow questionable. I do not deal with Holocaust deniers, creationists who deny evolution, or those who say the Bush Administration lied. All three of these positions are intellectually dishonest, and I will not give them the credibility they desire by "arguing" with those who claim otherwise.
The fact that Democrats in Congress colluded in the war crime does not justify it. The fact that Congress was deceived, or that many members of Congress would have approved the war crime without deception, does not justify the crime. The fact is that the only "truth" that would justify a military attack on Iraq would be a military attack by Iraq on the United States - something that never happened and was never even marginally likely to happen. As usual the America Non-Thinker magazine scores a triumph of ideology over intelligence. As for Doc's question on Afghanistan, there is little unity on the left, because in the current American political environment, "left" means everyone less conservative than Arlen Spector. For seriously left-wing persons such as myself, the Afghan invasion was a mistake and the continuing occupation is compounding the problem. As the Rand Corporation recently pointed out, terrorism is best dealt with as a law enforcement issue, not a military one.
"terrorism is best dealt with as a law enforcement issue, not a military one."The nail on the head.Deconstructed
Perhaps you guys missed the part where this talked about "authorization" and how justification was supported by the Deulfer report. I think maybe a read of the entire documents might help, and a re-reading of the link to understand it's point.There was nothing "illegal" or "criminal" about the decision to go in. If you're fine with waiting for another major attack, if you're fine with attacks on our patrol planes and allies, if you're fine with lending support for anti-American/Western activities, then I guess you'd see anything that prevents such things from taking place as criminal. A recent Penatagon report brought even more things to light regarding the extent of the threat from Hussein while at the same time acknowledging misjudgements. And when did the Rand Corp dictate defense policy? They tried law enforcement in '93. Didn't prevent 9/11, did it? The fact is, a combination of all areas of enforcement, including military is likely best to deal with this threat. You're both dealing from a position of dislike for Bush and there's no denying that. Terrorism does not respond to law enforcement intimidation. They respond to being dead.Marty,Too much stuff on your link for right now. The tie to Michael Moore doesn't bode well. If he was involved, truth is out the window. He has no credibility here.
Geoffrey,I assume you mean those who deny that the Bush administration lied.You also noted that there is not a single line in the article worth believing. While I am no fan of the AT, I think there are plenty of data to suggest that there were WMD's and the capability to produce NBC weapons. Most of the statements in that article regarding the findings, and resolutions are factual and sourced. Many collaborative sourcing are easy to locate, starting with the (Democrat led) Rockefeller Report, which is hardly a tubful of lies. You mention Yellowcake. It was just last month that Iraq sold 550 million pounds of the stuff to Iraq. Yes, it was thirty or so years old, but the point is Iraq said they had no more weapons and no materials for such weapons, when clearly they did. This does not mean that Bush didn't lie, nor does it mean that the war was justified. I am only agreeing to the stated reports as to the findings. The AT takes the leap of faith that this vindicates Bush and justifies everything, and you have the opinion that it doesn't. Frankly, I don't care, because I find it utterly irrelevant. I think the entire war in Iraq was based on a lie. To me, the entire war was not based on WMD, but rather a political and economic decision regarding the middle east. Did terrorism, WMD's, and the UN resolution play a role in that decision? I imagine that it did, but it's dollars and politics in the end. DL, thanks for the reply, although I'd like to see a clearer message, especially from the current candidate. Another question, if I may: if "terrorism is best dealt with as a law enforcement issue, not a military one," how do we deal with the threat after it crosses outside of our borders, and in countries without sufficient (or worse) law enforcement?
Re, "I'm still waiting for some unity on the left regarding involvement in Afghanistan: are they for it in lieu of Iraq, or is it all part of the evil Bush warmongering. I keep getting mixed signals on that."Well, good luck in the search for unity on *anything* on the left. Myself, war in Afghanistan is right, and war in Iraq is wrong, although both may be lawful.
Re, "Terrorism does not respond to law enforcement intimidation. They respond to being dead."Well, being dead is a decided advantage acrued by those whop are left alive in many war or "war."But: Look to the bankruptcy of the Ku Klux Klan in this country, no better example of domestic terrorism. And it has been done by law enforcement and the courts and public persuasion, not by tanks in the streets (although tanks *were* rolled out for PR effect a few times.)
So, OK, in answer to the headline on this post: Legal, OK. Justified, in Iraq? No. Stupid even. Damn near criminal. But since my party didn't have the balls to impeach, well, dig it while you can.
Marshall,You can tell me that Michael Moore has no credibility. I wouldn't argue. Quite frankly, I don't give a rat's a-- about Michael Moore. But don't you dare tell me a soldier fighting in Iraq, for good or ill, doesn't have credibility. You may not agree with his opinion of what is going on, but he's there living it and you're not. And for that fact alone, he deserves respect and a hearing.
It IS legal AND justified by the reasons listed in the authorization. And then the Deulfer report and the more recent Pentagon report further supports the justification. As stated in the article, the post-invasion report ADDS to the justification.As to lies, what in the authorization is a lie? Geoffrey? You're good with this one. What say you?
"And it has been done by law enforcement and the courts and public persuasion, not by tanks in the streets..."Very true, ER. But it was done by Law Enforcement, courts and public persuasion in THIS country. It's highly unlikely that such pressures would EVER be brought to bear by the governments, courts, and public persuasion in Iraq, Iran, Syria....With 17 failed resolutions against Iraq by the ineffectual and corrupt United Nations, at some point something must needs have been done. The alternative is to make the United Nations look even MORE ineffectual, corrupt, and a laughing-stock to boot. The United Nations is clearly a toothless dog; apt to bark, but never leave the porch.And we SUPPORT that failed institution.
Marty, You've misunderstood me. My comments regarding credibility were clearly aimed at Moore. As to the rest of the site, I merely said I didn't have the time to peruse it properly. There seems quite a bit to check out. I'll get to it in time and then make a judgement about what I read there. I hope that makes more sense than my previous comment.
Regarding law enforcement handling KKK activity. Keep in mind that unlike the Islamofascist terrorists, I don't think dying for the cause is formost in the minds of most Klan members. I could be wrong, but don't think so. The willingness to murder scores of people randomly, anywhere in the world, say nothing for anywhere in one country, and to die one's self in the act, demands more than simply one area of enforcement. As you might be unaware, they are not above attack in large numbers. Plus, the military is like a magnet to these scumbags and scores of them can be killed at one time as a result. They will kill some of our people be they in military uniforms or police or plainclothes. Military involvement can attract numbers of them to torch at one time. That's a good thing, if they persist in their agenda.
Thanks for the clarification Marshall. Here's a direct link to "Deconstructed". I hope you take the time to watch it. It made me cry, especially the kindness shown toward the little Iraq girl. I pray for a peaceful end to this terrible violence.
Not against the smart use of the military, MA. Just against the sole use of the militsary -- and the MYTH that Iraq is a magnet keeping our enemies there instead of here. Beaver biscuits, as regular Army Col. Sherman Potter would say! It's a MYTH -- and I mean in the classic sense, not the popular misconception of what a myth means -- and it's the worst damn kind of myth: The kind used to mislead, not to uplift, excuse inadequacy and mediocrity, not encourage courage and determination for the real challenge at hand.The war in Iraq is the worst strategic decision this country has made since. ... Lord, I seriously can't think of a worse ... WAIT: since Lincoln called up volunteers to fight the whole dang South rather than blockading South Carolina and refusing to acknowledge either its or any other Southern state's secession.
ER,I wasn't saying only military. I think every tool in the toolbox needs to be used as is appropriate. There is an appropriate use for the military. Now I won't debate whether or not it's been put to use in the best way possible, because I don't think even George would defend that notion at this point. But that it has been used is absolutely appropriate for all the reasons listed in the authorization and then some. And as it has caused the terrorists to assemble in greater numbers than just a guy strapped to a suicide belt is without question. The same for Afghanistan. But again, just as they use a variety of tactics, the use of police and other law enforcement tactics is also necessary. But that's not to say that it's the only place they wage their war and no one would suggest that. Only that it has indeed provoked attacks in numbers. It's certainly faster to deal with them in this manner and it would nice if they would only fight like men, but we can't have everything we want, including support from everyone when it is warranted, as it is here.As a strategic move, just look at a map. Iraq is well situated in the midst of it all. But the main problem strategically is that it didn't occur much sooner. By that I don't necessarily mean Iraq as a target for invasion, but some serious action to deal with the threat would have been nice rather than waiting for 3000 US citizens to be incinerated. I continue to give praise to Bush for taking action, even if the means by which he took action wasn't the best.As to the last, are you saying Lincoln should have allowed the South to secede?
I’m surprised that everyone let this gem from democracy lover slide: “ The fact is that the only "truth" that would justify a military attack on Iraq would be a military attack by Iraq on the United States”.You can’t be serious!Which leads me to Docs assertion. “ To me, the entire war was not based on WMD, but rather a political and economic decision regarding the middle east.”Assuredly that was a consideration. A consideration that both parties realized. Just not one that was verbalized to the public.I’d also suggest that it was a consideration of most, or at the least, many wars this country has participated in. Our civil war and WWII included.Another, if not admitted, reason behind this war is the doctrine of “balance of power”, and given a little time we could come up with a few more reasons not put out for public consumption. You don’t actually believe that all the Democrat and Republican congresspersons that were originally in favor of this war, were only in favor for the reasons as publicly stated, do you?Unfortunately the majority of persons raised under the liberal controlled education system in this country are not prepared to deeply consider all reasons behind this war. This means we must rely on our elected officials. Which means it’s why thinking people mistrust our elected officials. It’s a giant, circular, cluster f($@.Speaking of circular, it takes us back to the original question. Is the war legal? Yes. Is the war justified? Depends.We either have to pull our head in our shell and neglect the rest of the world, exclaim “screw ‘em”, until they’re actually beating on our doors as “democracy lover” suggest, or we have to be willing to pursue long-range, and sometimes distasteful policies that seek to stop the “door banging” from ever happening.And to do the later we have to be prepared to be taken seriously by the rest of the world. Unfortunately “false starts” and “unwise decisions” made in an ever-changing, complex world are bound to happen.
Let me explain why I think your guy Hoven is full of crap. Here is what he writes about the Rockefeller committee’s report:Regardless of the careful wording of the Authorization, did the Bush administration orchestrate a "public relations drive" that was "proved false"?Inasmuch as a public relations drive was mounted, it was examined by a Democrat-controlled Senate Committee on Intelligence and largely found to be “substantiated by intelligence." This biased report from Chairman John Rockefeller's committee analyzed various statements by Bush administration officials and compared them to post-war intelligence. Here is what they found (emphasis added).(Hoven lists a number of statements that were substantiated.)Substantiated, substantiated, substantiated by the intelligence. And these conclusions from some of the most ardent Bush-bashers in the Senate. About the worst they could come up with was that the Bush administration made claims with more confidence than seemed warranted by the intelligence community.I think your guy Hoven is being misleading here by leaving out a crucial point. The committee analyzed various statements and compared them to both post-war and pre-war intelligence. What they found for many if not most of the statements were proved false by the post-war intelligence. When they found a statement to be generally substantiated by the intelligence, they were talking about the pre-war intelligence, not the post-war intelligence. In other words, the committee did not conclude that the Bush administration was right about their statements, simply that there was intelligence to support many of them when they were made.Contrary to Hoven’s claim, the committee did in fact come up with things much worse than making claims with unwarranted confidence. In several cases the committee found that the pre-war intelligence did not support or contradicted the claims that the administration was making regarding bomb-proof underground WMD facilities, Iraq providing training to Al Queda, the nature of Iraq-AlQueda contacts, the Prague meeting between Muhammed Atta and Iraqi intelligence, Saddam’s intent to provide terrorists with WMD, and the potential post-war problems. Moreover, I think that ignoring the dissenting opinions in the intelligence reports is pretty damn serious when it turns out that, on almost every occasion, the dissenting opinion turned out to be rightNow you are certainly free to reject the committee’s report as biased and partisan despite the two Republican senators who supported it, but that doesn’t make Hoven’s description of the report into anything other than crapola.
Vinny,You seem to be listing only those things that were found to be less than accurate. I don't think Bush claims he had every point right. But Hoven did show that post-intel was not lacking in support completely. In addition, you may recall that Pentagon report of a few months ago that showed that while Bush & Co missed the mark is some ways, some of those misses were in the other direction. In other words there were things that were worse that pre-invasion intel suggested regarding the extent to which support for and contact with terrorist groups was taking place under the Hussein regime, and the steps he was willing to take to re-constitute his weapons programs. There is no doubt of his desire in this area. The problem is that the left focusses only on those points and areas where Bush went wrong, while at the same time ignoring where he was right and then pretending that there was no such thing. Hoven, and people like him, aren't seeking to prove that Bush was perfect. They are demonstrating that he was nowhere near as bad as advertised by those who hold an irrational seething hatred for him. (And I'm supposed to believe in the left's sources!) And they are showing that he had a positive impact that is totally ignored by the left, who mostly use rhetoric and every straw to which they feel they can cling to discredit him. And all of this would be more credible if the same vitriol was spit out towards others who shared Bush's feelings of urgency, those who came before him, those in the Democratic Party who insisted Hussein was a major threat to stability in the region and world peace in general. (Clinton[both of them], Dean, Kerry, Gore, etc, etc, etc.)
You seem to be listing only those things that were found to be less than accurate.Yes, because I wanted to show you that Hoven had given you an inaccurate picture of the Rockefeller committee’s report. Wouldn’t you agree that making a claim that is contradicted by the available intelligence is worse than making a claim “with more confidence than seemed warranted by the intelligence community?” If you agree, then you have to admit that Hoven lied. But Hoven did show that post-intel was not lacking in support completely.Did he? Hoven says “You can now check the "large stockpiles of chemical weapons" off your checklist” but look at what the story that Hoven cites actually says: Offering the official administration response to FOX News, a senior Defense Department official pointed out that the chemical weapons were not in useable conditions. "This does not reflect a capacity that was built up after 1991," the official said, adding the munitions "are not the WMDs this country and the rest of the world believed Iraq had, and not the WMDs for which this country went to war."Hoven is relying on a “stockpile” that even the administration dismissed as insignificant. At the very least, he is grasping at straws. At the worst, he is lying.I think that the court case that Hoven cites is even more ridiculous. Judge Baird’s opinion was a default judgment. No one showed up to contest the plaintiffs’ assertions so the Judge entered judgment in the plaintiffs’ favor. By definition, it is a completely one-sided proceeding.
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