Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Downing Street Memo

For all of you posting comments demanding to know "WHAT ABOUT THE DOWNING STREET MEMO?!?!" on the NLT comments pages, take a valium and read Jim Robbins takedown of the non-news behind this story.  

Discussions - 14 Comments

Steven- While this is not the worst piece I have read, there are still some important issues that Robbins and you have not addressed:

(1) A history of explicit support for the notion of regime change in Iraq is not the same as support for an illegal, premptive war.

(2) Referring to the WMD argument for an illegal war as "diplomatically useful" does nothing to remove it from the "lie" category.

(3) Robbins’s argument that "we" knew all along that Bush was using 9/11 as an excuse to invade Iraq for oil, profit and revenge(I added some of that, but it needed to be said.) does not remove the memo as an important piece of evidence.

Recall, if you would, the glee of the Clinton-bashers when someone uncovered the stain on Monica’s dress. We knew all along that Clinton had lied, but the evidence was still important. The difference here, is that the dress was everywhere, in the news, on the web. The Downing Street Memo is virtually nowhere. Even if (a big "if") it ultimately proves to be unimportant, it deserves more investigation that it has gotten. The same is true of the Oil-for-Food debacle, which was apparently discarded as a public argument for the war, according to Robbins.

I even tried to look at the memo from the left point of view and couldn’t see anything.

"Hearsay thrice removed" is all you really need to know. And how was the war "illegal"? Does "illegal" mean "anonymous poster doesn’t like it"? Well then, Bush should be impeached.

Yea, that’s right, we should have left a megalomaniac butcher in charge of Iraq...one of the lynchpin countries of the Islamic world. We should have ignored the weapons he might build, the deals he might have cut with terrorist organizations, the mischief he might have otherwise caused us in the region (e.g., pinning down a sizable chuck of our armed forces in Saudi Arabia). All so that we could stay morally pure and blameless.

One of the problems with liberals is they lie to themselves. They never see their own warts and ideological stupidities...only those of others. And NOTHING, NOTHING, NOTHING ever gets done on their watch.

Fung, you and your buddies, step aside. The world has passed you buy...let serious people man the com from now on.

Dain -
Your response says it all. "the weapons he MIGHT build", "the deals he MIGHT have cut", "the mischief he MIGHT have otherwise caused". I don’t think as many citizens would have been behind the war if this were the communicated rationale. And please, don’t confuse this with some ridiculous notion that I am defending Saddam.

I feel the Country was misled on making the case for war in Iraq. Bush, Cheney, Rice, et. al. were talking about mushroom clouds as the smoking gun. This was greatly overexaggerating the situation in Iraq and playing on Americans’ fears post 9-11. The Downing Street memo (in my opinion) is another piece of evidence to this and is again ignored. Through my eyes, it is not the liberals that are lying to themselves on this issue.

Where did Abu Nidal die, pray tell? Where is Salman Pak, the terrorists’ playground? Where did those rocket engines that ended up in European scrapyards just before the invasion come from? Oh, that’s right, IRAQ in all three cases. Nick, you are the one who sees only what you want to see. Saddam did have terrorist connections. He did have WMD (and perhaps they still lie out in the dessert...I don’t know and neither do you). And thousands of tons of "materiel" were sent out of Iraq just prior to the invasion as scrap. Why? The fact is, that situation would have only gotten worse, not better. Bush did the right thing.

So go put a "Bush Lied, People Died" bumpersticker on your Volvo...I couldn’t care less. The American people understood our inability to find WMD and they still reelected George W. Bush. Most people understood that the war was necessary. Deal with it :)

Saddam had a history of lusting after, and at times using, WMD. He had a history of defying and/or trying to deceive weapons inspectors. He was trying almost daily to kill the US and UK pilots who were protecting the Kurds and Shi’ites from his wrath. He was sitting atop the world’s second biggest set of known oil reserves (in other words, an ocean of cash). He had a history of regional aggression and of sponsoring terrorism and assassination plots. His intelligence operatives appear to have facilitated the Malaysia meeting of the 9/11 plotters. His "gaming of the system" was systematically shredding the UN sanctions regime. Add it all up and you see a man and a regime too dangerous to be left in power, particularly in the harsh light cast by 9/11 on how badly we might get surprised by obscurely forming threats that are real even if the Noam Chomskys and George Galloways of the world won’t admit they are.

The foregoing, moreover, tracks in outline with the case laid out by Ken Pollack--a lifelong Democrat and Clinton NSC official--in The Threatening Storm. The case was persuasive at the time and remains so. The case did not rest and does not rest on the existence of actual WMD stockpiles in Iraq.

Hi Dain- I’ve missed you. Nice to see that they’ve let you out of your cage for an interlude of rage and hostility with the rest of us.

Let’s grant all that you and PJC have said, just for the sake of argument. Why don’t we then go after North Korea? Saudi Arabia (speaking of terrorist connections)? Why don’t we go after China, and preempt their Taiwan take-over? Don’t all of your arguments pertain in those places, as well? Why not Cuba? It’s sitting right there!!! You would think that a go-getter like Bush could get that done in his sleep!

Gotta go, Dain. Nice to see that those anger management workshops are paying off.

Fung...yes, anger management...trouble is I’m surrounded by people who would irritate a sloth! Like you!

Real politic...that’s the key. Attacking North Korea directly might bring in Red China...Korean War redux. Nuclear exchange...messy. The Saudis can be pressures, and they have the Muslim Holy Land...if we invaded them people like you would be screaming about wacko rightwing Christian crusader crazies! Can’t win with people like you. Cuba is easily contained and not much of a threat. If that changes we might well invade them.

The fact is, the Middle East is much more important to our foreign policy. Oil, Israel, instability...these are real interests. Folks like you only approve of military action when we can die for no good reason (e.g., Somalia, Serbia, Rwanda), and that’s because you don’t like Amerika very much, do you? Unless it acts like a saintly old Uncle (meaning that it gets taken advantage of by every other nation), you are against the use of its power. Now tell me I’m wrong, comrade.

I agree with you Funk, uh pardon moi, Fung. Let us do a clean sweep of tinpot dictators now. Why not?

Besides, you will not need to shed, if you ever did, any crocodile tears for the victims of these tinpots.

Yes, by all means let us get it on.

Uh fung? Will you be in the lead?

Jus ’awonderin.

Oh Funk, Err fung. Sorry (wink, wink)

Here is something from one of my favorite liberal columnists regarding ’Ol Fidel.

http://www.villagevoice.com/news/index.php?issue=0523&page=hentoff&id=64647

Nat Hentoff seems dipleased with ’ol Charlie Rangel and why not........Among the 22 who voted against the resolution was New York’s Charles Rangel because, he complained to the Sun, American politicians "refuse to give the government [of Cuba] the respect that it deserves." As for the imminent assembly on May 20, Rangel said, "I don’t think it helps to be supporting insurgents overthrowing the government." It would be better, Rangel continued, to try "to reach out to the government to see what we can do to help both the government and people of Cuba, not just isolating them by dealing with dissidents."

Gee, what about such insurgents and dissidents as Samuel Adams, Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King—and José Martí, the poet and journalist who led the Cuban Revolutionary Party and was killed during his insurgency to liberate Cuba from Spain? Havana’s international airport is named after Marti.

Ya have a good evening Fung. Ya heah?

The country heard the Democrats bring up the "what about North Korea etc." red herring ad nauseam last year. It didn’t impress then, and doesn’t impress now. Of course there are a number of countries against which the use of coercive measures up to and including military force might some day and under some conditions be necessary. But to suggest that, in effect, "you must invade them all--right now!--before turning to Saddam" is a lame ploy that voters evidently had little trouble seeing right through.

Those who want to see a Clinton in the White House again should really focus on coming up with something better than this. It didn’t work in 2004 and won’t work in 2008. I think Hillary herself may actually get this--note her conspicuous public moderation most of the time these days--but I wonder how many of her supporters do.

Dain - you contridict yourself.

Also - You really shouldn’t beleive everything Rush Limbaugh tells you.

Uh, how, Nick? As for Rush Limbaugh, I hardly ever listen to him (I work for a living!).

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