Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

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Iraqi matters

J.D. Crouch reminds us, in brief, that WMD was not the only reason to go to war in Iraq. Depending on the paper you’re reading, either the Senate rejects a pullout timeline, or it is forcing one on the president. In the meantime, the statesman Bill Clinton has decided--now that the poll numbers seemed to have shifted--that the invasion of Iraq was a "big mistake." Note that Sunnis in Iraq (via the Islamic Party) are demanding an international investigation into the alleged abuse of 170 (no, that’s not 170,000, but 170) detainees held by Iraqi troops. "The Iraqi abuse allegations came to light when prisoners, many malnourished and some showing signs of apparent torture, were found by US troops on Sunday." Also note that U.S. led forces arrested
a man suspected of leading the Baath insurgency in Diyala Province. His name is Hamid Sharqi Shadid and he has been wanted for "crimes against humanity committed during the 1999 Shia uprising."

Discussions - 11 Comments

Bush is now at 34% job approval rating as found by the latest Harris poll. People obviously aren’t buying the talking points and lies anymore because they remember too well that relentless barrage of press conferences and speeches in the weeks before the war. I distinctly recall the press secretary saying, "this war is all about WMD’s." And a lot of people also remember Rumsfeld saying the war would be like "shock and awe"(in reference to the paper by Harlan Ullman) and would be over in a few weeks. How did the shill at Fox put it? "We aint seen nothing yet" as all those bombs and missiles obliterated a defenseless country in violation of Article 51 of the UN charter. And who could forget GWB all dressed up in his flight uniform and "Mission Accomplished." As the USA Today editorial pointed out, this war was the result of the policies of Wolfowitz, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Shulsky and the rest of the neo-con crazies coming from PNAC.
So I truly hope that Bush and Cheney keep making those speeches and pep talks and that all of his faithful sheep keep up the steady drum beat cheering him on to "fight back."

I vividly recall TV footage from March 2003 of Baghdadis driving confidently around with their headlights on while US precision munitions destroyed buildings in their city that were key to Saddam’s regime. Some obliteration.

And of course Saddam had spent years firing at US and British planes over the no-fly zone. I wonder if our pilots were ever briefed that they could relax because Saddam’s Iraq was really "defenseless."

As for WMDs, the clear consensus was that Saddam posed a serious threat on this score. The debate leading up to the war was about how to deal with that threat, not about whether or not Saddam posed it at all. Bill Clinton had threatened war against Saddam in 1998 over this question, and had sponsored a bill that made regime change in Iraq an official US policy. Was he too a PNAC shill? The week before the war, Jessica Tuchman Matthews, the president of the Carnegie Endowment--a representative of left-liberal opinion and hardly a fan of Bush or a neocon--published an article in the Sunday "Outlook" section of the Washington Post arguing for draconian WMD inspections backed up by armed incursions and the immediate threat of military force as an alternative to full-scale invasion. That’s just one example that comes to mind to show where the debate REALLY was in early 2003. It’s simply a fabrication of history to deny the consensus that existed on Saddam’s status as a WMD threat. The disagreements were all over what to do about it, not about whether it existed.

HDT is right. America needs to forget about those foreign countries. After all, we have two oceans to protect us. Saddam wasn’t such a bad guy; no worse than Bush when you think about it. And besides, in the end all that pro-war stuff was just Jewish propaganda. Don’t you people know that this administration is infested with Jewish intellectuals?

HDT - How dare you remember the actual words uttered by people! Why do you hate America, so? Next, you’ll expect them to behave in accordance with their promises. Liberal!

I think Bill Clinton has the right of it. The truth is we did end the war early, we just didn’t know what to do after it was over. Bill Clinton isn’t pretending that "most" democrats and liberals were against the war or that weapons of mass destruction were not around. For all we know Bill Clinton might know for a fact that Iraq had such weapons and he might even believe that they were in all likelyhood moved to Syria, but in the end all of this is inconsequential. In the end I believe Clinton is simply saying this: Going into Iraq: Just or Unjust? Just. Staying in Iraq and attempting nation building, in a war that was conducted without UN Approval...not very wise. Is Clinton voicing his opinions to be self serving... Yeah, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t right. I still buy the Iraq had weapons of mass destruction view, but in the end all these little tangents are for the historians. We need to focus on the solutions to the problem at hand... The pre-requisites for a real democracy in Iraq, and how to get there.

Gerald Nye - Nice attempt to make HDT look anti-semitic with your pseudo-agreement and b.s. straw man "Jewish propaganda" comments. I don’t recall reading anything of that sort from HDT. He did say "neo-con crazies at PNAC." They are neo-conservatives, as most of them will likely admit to (some credit for honesty), and many war promoters and war boosters have been or are connected in some way to PNAC. Obviously the "crazies" part is his opinion, but I didn’t read anything there that even implied "Jews." To be honest, I haven’t kept track of the religious beliefs of the neocons (at PNAC or elsewhere) any more than I’ve kept track of their favorite hobbies or sexual orientation. Have you kept track of this? What percentage of PNAC members/trustees/board members/fellows (whatever) are Jewish? What significance would that have to you, and why?

As to the sly historical revisionism that Crouch -and also, thus, Schramm- and the remaining Bush crew are attempting, I find that it’s best to just look at the words of the big backers. Here’s Cheney on Meet the Press, March 16, 2003.

"TIM RUSSERT [After reading from an LA Times editorial that chronologically reviewed the shifting reasons put forward by the Bush Admin. to justify the war in Iraq.]: What do you think is the most important rationale for going to war with Iraq?

VICE PRES. CHENEY: Well, I think I’ve just given it, Tim, in terms of the combination of his development and use of chemical weapons, his development of biological weapons, his pursuit of nuclear weapons.

MR. RUSSERT: And even though the International Atomic Energy Agency said he does not have a nuclear program, we
disagree?

VICE PRES. CHENEY: I disagree, yes. And you’ll find the CIA, for example, and other key parts of our intelligence
community disagree... And we believe he has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons. I think Mr. ElBaradei frankly is wrong."

[bold emphasis was mine] NUKES, MUSHROOM CLOUDS!!!! Hmmm...Mr. ElBaradei is looking a hell of a lot more credible than Cheney on this one right now. Remember - "the most important rationale for going to war with Iraq" - answer: WMDs. And that’s exactly why Congress so foolishly handed Bush the keys to the War Machine, because of the WMDs agitprop.

No, "not the only reason to go to war in Iraq," but certainly the first, the primary, the crucial, the most significant, the most-hyped, the most promoted and, when it came to the public’s trust and Congress’s votes, the most salient and most persuasive (via repitition of propaganda sound bites).

Come on, you’re all thinking it--why am I the only one to come out and say it? The Jews have been running our foreign policy for years; that’s why we keep getting involved in these foreign wars that don’t serve the American interest. And isn’t it clear that Bush knew full well that Pearl Har...er, I mean, 9/11, was going to happen? He’s deceived us into a war that only helps the international bankers and arms merchants. It’s time that all the Real Americans, like HDT, and Craig Scanlon, stepped up to save this country.

Come on, you’re all thinking it--why am I the only one to come out and say it?

At this point, Gerald, I’d have to answer that it’s because you, in fact, are the only one who actually thinks these things and you’re an anti-semite jerk who needs to return to the rock that you crawled out from under.

Just because we haven’t found the weapons of mass destruction doesn’t mean that Iraq didn’t have any.

But again Dick Cheney was giving a reason to support the war that would carry weight, that would persuade the democrats, ext... for all I know they polled people to figure out what the great fear was and then used this as a stated reason. When you are trying to sell people something you package it. The real reason and the strongest argument in my opinion that the "neo-cons" or whatever you want to call them went into Iraq, was that Iraq was seen as a country that could be made into a "liberal democracy", making Iraq into a democracy takes pressure off of Israel, and opens the door to further secularization of Iraq and by extention the middle east. And among the whole lot of other less quantifiable beneficial effects of freedom, would be the reduced incentives for terrorism and thus greater security for the United States.

If President Bush wants to triumph a greater emphasis needs to be placed on actually doing the right kind of job in Iraq, if we are going to do it halfway we might as well get out now.

Craig- Another America-hater! If you keep dredging up the actual words that our leaders used, you’re going to make them look like liars! Why don’t you just leave, if you hate America so much!

I think that your behavior is reprehensible. How do you expect anyone to respect and believe these guys if you keep pointing out their inconsistencies?

"Just because we haven’t found the weapons of mass destruction doesn’t mean that Iraq didn’t have any."

That has to be one of the most pitiful things I’ve heard regarding Iraq and those WMDs in a long time! So I guess, by this standard, Tonga and Greenland should be put on notice that they’re vulnerable to a pre-emptive attack? We really haven’t found SQUAT in Iraq. The stories that have to be made up to make large stockpiles of serious weapons just disappear are pretty hard to believe, don’t you think??

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