Sunday, October 16, 2005

Reuters gets dizzy over the Iraqi vote

Reuters is spinning so much here, I'm surprised it doesn't get vertigo.

This is the entire text of the article, which originally caught my eye because of its positive headline, "Iraq voters seen approving constitution":

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Iraqi voters have probably approved a new U.S.-backed constitution, overcoming fierce Sunni Arab opposition in a vote Washington hopes will boost its beleaguered strategy in Iraq, results showed on Sunday. Early counts from Saturday's referendum indicated the vote split as expected along largely communal lines, reflecting the bitter ethnic and religious tensions that have cost thousands of Iraqi lives since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003.

These two sentences show an economy of expression that is truly impressive, a remarkable ability to compress a large number of negative thoughts into a relatively small number of words. Check it out:

"U.S.-backed constitution"--Nothing about how hard the Iraqis worked to hammer out a compromise, or how this vote was widely seen even by Sunnis as a way for Iraqis to participate in the formation of their own government. No; just "U.S.-backed," as in "U.S. tools and puppets."

"fierce Sunni Arab opposition"--it will be interesting to see what the actual statistics are. Opposition has indeed been fierce by many Sunnis, to be sure, but when last I checked, the majority Sunni party was backing the constitutional compromise and telling its followers to vote "yes."

"Washington hopes will boost its beleaguered strategy in Iraq"--need I even bother to tackle this one?

"bitter ethnic and religious tensions that have cost thousands of Iraqi lives since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003."--All the Iraqi postwar deaths are chalked up to ethnic and religious differences rather than terrorist attempts to sabotage the Iraqi people's efforts at democracy. Yes, there's ethnic strife, to be sure. But Reuters hasn't a clue how much of the mayhem in Iraq is due to that factor, and how much to terrorists hoping to thwart the US and the Iraqi people as a whole. And of course, Saddam and the deaths he caused (and the ones he would have continued to cause which have now been prevented by that "U.S.-led invasion") are nowhere to be seen. As far as Reuters is concerned, the U.S.seems to have invaded Michael Moore's happy kite-flying land, and caused all the subsequent strife and destruction.

One would think that this referendum news would be cause for celebration. I, for one, plan to savor and enjoy it if the constitution is indeed passed. Would that Reuters could spare a moment to do the same. Or are they suffering from the same sort of depression as the NY Times?

54 Comments:

At 4:54 PM, October 16, 2005, Blogger Pastorius said...

Excellent analysis, Neo.

I am so weary of Reuters, AP, et al. I can barely focus on anything they say anymore.

 
At 5:08 PM, October 16, 2005, Blogger chuck said...

I am so weary of Reuters, AP, et al. I can barely focus on anything they say anymore.

Your sanity safety watchdog has kicked in. Millions of years of evolution have prepared you to deal with modern times. ID at work.

 
At 5:42 PM, October 16, 2005, Blogger Maddog said...

Al-Reuters (especially Al-Reuters.UK) has been so extremely anti-American that it is not worth reading a single story from them anymore.

Why read their stories only to get mad?

When I see a link to their site, I pass. Unless I need a re-affirmation.

 
At 6:11 PM, October 16, 2005, Blogger Bookworm said...

It seems to me -- and, apparently, to you -- so obvious that the press has abandoned any pretense at objective reporting in an effort to advance its reporters' political objectives, all of which are hostile to the Pres., hostile to the war, and hostile (if it's a foreign news source) to America generally. What's disheartening is that, while we carefully deconstruct the kind of propaganda masquerading as news, millions of literate people around the world continue to read this as gospel truth. We may see the NY Times as depressed and disheartened, but to its fervent readers, its spin is all that matters. That fact makes me depressed and disheartened. To know that the press is both spinning and despairing is irrelevant when that's placed against the fact that the MSM still drives public discourse and political outcomes.

 
At 6:58 PM, October 16, 2005, Blogger terrye said...

Iraq will have to become the Belgium of the Arab world before these yahoos accept the fact that maybe just maybe the Iraqis are better off without a man known as the Butcher of Baghdad.

 
At 8:11 PM, October 16, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The MSM will play Iraq as a quagmire, regardless of the reality, until 2008, then if a Dem wins the presidency it will be cured by Valentines Day 2009.

That is, if they can still afford the air time and/or ink and paper by then, as I can't imagine them maintaining, let alone growing, any significant audience in the interim.

 
At 8:45 PM, October 16, 2005, Blogger neo-neocon said...

I understand those who just ignore anything by Reuters. But one of the reasons I wrote about this one was that I was lured in by the headline, which was fairly positive, and then startled by the intense negativity of the content while reporting such ostensibly good news. It seemed quite extreme, even for Reuters.

Plus, I can't let go of the memories I have of a time when "Reuters" meant something decent, along with "BBC." That makes it extra hard to read this swill.

 
At 10:48 PM, October 16, 2005, Anonymous hg wells said...

I think it's good to keep track of what sources like Reuters are saying. It's another data point of what is happening in the world--as long as one doesn't take it personally or spend too much time on it.

In that spirit I listened to NPR's coverage of the Iraqi elections this morning and it was similarly dismal. There was a token quote from an Iraqi was excited to vote for the constitution but after that it was all--what about the Sunnis, the Iraqis are not as enthusiastic this time and so on.

Nearly everything the reporter said cast doubt on the vote, then she ended on the perfect note that "some are hoping this election will cause problems" and I had to conclude that NPR and that reporter were among those hoping for problems in Iraq.

 
At 10:51 PM, October 16, 2005, Blogger troutsky said...

Yeah, just like in VietNam, the media is sabotaging another wonderful war!Maybe we just have to destroy Iraq in order to save it.Love it or Leave it. My country, right or wrong.Check out FOX news if you can't stand the commie press, it's fair and balanced.And remember , just keep drinking that kool-aid.

 
At 11:19 PM, October 16, 2005, Anonymous thedragonflies said...

It is hard to publish what actually happens, such as the confirmation of the constitution by the Iraqis, and still make the case that Western Civilization is on the verge of collapse as long as Bush is president, but Rueters and the rest of the Old Establishment Media do their best.

 
At 6:42 AM, October 17, 2005, Blogger Goesh said...

Once Acceptance of the Constitution is final, LSM (Lame Stream Media, an acronym I saw in Shrinkwrapped's blog, which I think he coined)will have to pick up the slack with something else. Perhaps they can dwell on the plight of orphans and attribute their suffering directly to Bush. And let's not forget the many people who have been crippled due to terrorist attacks. We will be shown clips of legless people crawling in the streets with commentary on how Bush/Halliburton are not addressing their needs. LSM headlines can also begin to address the lack of animal shelters in Iraq for all the orphaned cats whose owners were killed by insurgents resisting American occupation. "Polls show that most Iraqis are upset with the Bush Administration's dismal failure to meet the needs of orphaned cats" - "An investigation is underway involving a tank driver that ran over 2 cats near Fallujah. The Army's initial report of the tank being under fire is now being questioned, since Iraqi sources are saying there was no fighting at the time the cats were crushed. Sources are saying the tank driver was traveling at an excessive rate of speed. The Pentagon has declined to comment, saying only that an investigation is underway. Reports are also coming in of American soliders shooting dogs that were eating bodies. One solider, who refused to give his name for fear of retaliaton, said this has happened a number of times and attributes these atrocities to the lack of animal shelters and lack of planning by the Bush Administration"

 
At 10:32 AM, October 17, 2005, Blogger AmericanWoman said...

I stopped concerning myself with Reuters when I learned that they refused to label the 911 hijackers as 'terrorists'.

Says it all.

 
At 10:49 AM, October 17, 2005, Anonymous GT said...

To Troutsky: This blog is about a specific news article and whether it's accurate or not. If you have facts, by all means use them. Don't embarrass yourself with some hopelessly vague, left-wing liberal claptrap that grossly oversimplifies the whole issue. This country doesn't need any more washed-up hippies who are ticked off because they dropped the ball 30 years ago and communes never caught on.

 
At 11:11 AM, October 17, 2005, Blogger Harry said...

Well, first of all I tried to post this a minute ago but it doesn't seem to have taken, so if something from me appears twice, I apologize.

This comment: "...Reuters hasn't a clue how much of the mayhem in Iraq is due to that factor, and how much to terrorists hoping to thwart the US and the Iraqi people as a whole."

leads me to react more than my general disagreement with the war or the philosoph y behind it, or the philosophy behind the seeling of it to the American people.

This tells you that Reuters and all kinds of othersmedia and non-media organizations have an idea of what the insurgency is composed of. The Bush administration would love for us all to get behind the idea that foreign terrorist who hate liberty are the major force behind the insurgency, but this would say they aren't. The CSIS, as far as I know, is farily non-partisan. Correct me if I'm wrong if you can cite something.

http://www.csis.org/press/wf_2005_0919.pdf

Honestly, I was for the invasion of Afghanistan, the downfall of the Taliban, and the trackdown and killing of Al Qaeda in general. I am absolutely convinced that the invasion of Iraq had its foundation something other than 9/11. 9/11 was a mere excuse, foolishly provided by Al Qaeda, for the Neocons to crank up a plan they had percolating for years before Bush even started running for president.

 
At 12:01 PM, October 17, 2005, Anonymous erasmus said...

The president of our country tells us we are invading Iraq because its dictator has/is developing WMDs that will threaten the entire region, even the West. Years later, the same president is crawling around the floor of the oval office, jokingly looking for those WMDs under chairs and behind sofas. Ha, ha, ha. And our press chuckles along. Oh, what a sense of humor he has. Probably honed it at those notorious DEK frat parties at Yale.
Yes, we should have waged a war against the terrorist organizations and those who supported them. But the invasion of Iraq? Only after the WMD ruse failed, were the "removal of a tyrant" and "democracy" reasons trotted out. And those WMDs that could have terrorized our dear, dear friends, the Saudi princes? Well, maybe Saddam was planning to smack Dubya in the kneecaps with those famous aluminum tubes. Maybe he's got a DEK sense of humor too.
The media ought to look at the activities and timetable of the WHIG, the White House Iraq Group.
What? When? Why? Now, that might result in journalism.
War on Terror? Yes, that would be a good idea. How do you get at small cells, all over the globe, in cities in Asia, Europe, and at the arms and money suppliers? By invading Iraq? Ha, ha, ha. Joke's on us, folks. Back to "American Idol," "The Survivors," the NFL.

 
At 12:10 PM, October 17, 2005, Anonymous notherbob2 said...

I am absolutely convinced that the invasion of Europe had its foundation in something other than Pearl Harbor. Pearl Harbor was a mere excuse, foolishly provided by Japan, for the Democrats to crank up a plan they had percolating for years. So?

 
At 12:41 PM, October 17, 2005, Blogger Harry said...

"I am absolutely convinced that the invasion of Europe had its foundation in something other than Pearl Harbor...."

Yeah, this might hold water if there was any kind of parallel between Japan and Saddam Hussein. There isn't. The two situations are completely different. Just to begin with, Japan had a large army in place in China (Manchukuo) that had been there since the early Thirties, doing horrible things to the Chinese. They were actively pursuing the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere which would directyl threaten our allies, and us. They had also signed apact with Nzai Germany in 1936.

http://www.users.bigpond.com/battleforaustralia/historicalbackground/JapMilaggro2.html

Saddam had a degraded army and overall military capability, was unable to move forces under the watch of the forces enforcing no-fly zones, and hadn't lately occupied any foreign territory, nor was he threatening to, nor was he threatening us. He was just doing a lot of business with people like subsidiaries of Halliburton while Cheney was CEO. Hmmm....

 
At 12:55 PM, October 17, 2005, Anonymous GT said...

It seems in 2005 we've developed a 20/20 hindsight about exactly what the Iraq threat was. Since Saddam kicked out UN weapons inspectors numerous times, hid documents, shot at UN planes and otherwise thwarted attempts by the world to keep him from developing nukes and/or bio weapons, the UN unnamimously voted that Iraq was "out of compliance" with UN resolution. The British found documents sugesting nuke/chemical weapons development and because Saddam wouldn't let anyone in, no one could verify or deny it. As I understand it, there was no attempt by Iraq to punish in any way Al qaeda members, and since Saddam was a known US-hater, it stands to reason that he would sell al qaeda weapons if he had them. The UN basically said, look let us check this out or you're in trouble. Europe and the US just disagreed on what "trouble" meant. I don't recall anyone saying Saddam had anything to do with 9/11 other than if Saddam had weapons, he might sell them to people to hate us. That was the whole reason for the weapons inspectors in the first place. If the UN had any spine at all, they would have come up with a forceful plan to deal with Saddam. In 2005, everyone thinks the British had nothing to do with it, Saddam wa a pussycat, and Bush just made it all up. Boy, I can't wait for Kerry to run again so he can fix this whole thing in 10 seconds.

 
At 1:21 PM, October 17, 2005, Blogger Harry said...

"I don't recall anyone saying Saddam had anything to do with 9/11 other than if Saddam had weapons, he might sell them to people to hate us."

So, you weren't listening to Dick Cheney, who numerous times tied Saddam to 9/11. As for UN inspectors, they were there when the fait accompli invasion was being built up. IAEA inspectors were in there and they left becasue invasion was coming. Saddam didn't kick them out in '03. UN Resolution 1441 led to the inspectors returnign to Iraq

Here's a couple of links which show that inspectors were in Iraq in early '03:

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2003/01/18/iraq/main537096.shtml

http://www.al-bab.com/arab/docs/iraq/blix2003b.htm

Weird. Here's an intersting one showing that Bush would not permit inspectors back into Iraq. How's that for coalition like behavior? He goes to war under the pretense of the UN resolution, but won't let UN weaposn inspectors into Iraq to finish the job, and perhaps even justify the war. In light of our own inspectors failure to find anything, it makes sense.

 
At 2:01 PM, October 17, 2005, Anonymous GT said...

Harry, don't take this out of context. Bush, Rice, Cheney, Clinton, (all politicians really) make thousands of comments every day. I just didn't hear anyone say "saddam was responsible for the plane crashes into the buildings." At least not on the world news repeatedly and consistently. I heard one guy on TV "during" the war say that Cheney mislead the American people into thinking winning the war would be easy. When asked for proof, he produced some radio interview from 6 months earlier when Cheney said something like "I'm not saying we're going to war, but if we did, it would be a cakewalk." My point would be that millions of people would have to have heard that in order for the statement "mislead the american people..." to be accurate.

 
At 2:17 PM, October 17, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Of course, Harry posts two links to "prove" UN inspectors were in Iraq in 2003, and playing the same shell games with Saddam that they were playing in 1995.

Amusingly, if you read the linked article, it also claims that the inspectors found no evidence Saddam had long range missiles capable of reaching neighboring countries, yet I seem to recall that they somehow launched at least nine of these undiscovered missiles at Kuwait in the opening days of the invasion. Tell me again which experts we were supposed to trust?

Even more amusing is the fact that Harry prefixes this demonstration of his knowledge with the (unlinked) claim that Dick Cheney tied Saddam to 9/11 "numerous times." I guess Karl Rove's minions must have purged Google's cache, because all I could find were breathless press releases about how Cheney's refusal to completely discount a link between Saddam Hussein and 9-11 indicated that he must believe such a link exists.

Next from Harry will probably be a dozen links proving that 15 of the 19 hijackers were Saudi, prefaced by an announcement that Guantonomo detainees are dying in droves and their bodies are being dumped in the Bay of Pigs.

 
At 3:11 PM, October 17, 2005, Blogger Holmes said...

I just want one liberal to admit that Democracy in Iraq is a good thing. You don't have to admit the war was justified. You don't have to admit that Bush and Halliburton didn't plot this all from the beginning. Just admit that Democracy in Iraq is good.

And if you cannot do that. Why?

 
At 3:25 PM, October 17, 2005, Anonymous erasmus said...

Never directly...but how about:

Cheney, Sept. 2003:

Iraq is the "geographic base of the terrorists who have had us under assault now for many years, bust most especially on 9/11."

Bush on Cheney:

"What the vice-president said that he (Saddam) has been involved with alQaeda...there's no question that Saddam Hussein had alQaeda ties."

Now, aren't these the sort of "wink, wink, nod, nod, get my drift,get my meaning?" suggestions that propelled a large percentage of Americans to associate Saddam with 9/11?

Combined with pressure on the CIA to come up with "evidence," (See the Washington Post, "Some Iraq Analysts Felt Pressure from Cheney Visits," June 5, 2003)

How do you read all this? The defense officials quoted by the Post weren't Berkeley 1960 hippies or lefty moonbats.

 
At 3:32 PM, October 17, 2005, Blogger Harry said...

I admit democracy in Iraq is a good thing, and we oughta do right by the place now that we're there. You'll notice I've never posted that we should be leaving right now. I also never said anything "proved" anything. I just figure if I'm gonna put a statement out there, I oughta try to reference it somehow. As for Cheney, perhaps I poured it on a little think when I said Cheney "tied" Saddam to 9/11. Let's say he implied it over and over again in a clear campaign to convince the American public that we needed to be in Iraq.

http://www.boston.com/news/nation/articles/2003/09/16/cheney_link_of_iraq_911_challenged/

Here's a thing from CNN on 6/17/04:

"In September, Cheney said Iraq had been "the geographic base of the terrorists who have had us under assault now for many years, but most especially on 9/11."

Bush, responding to criticism of Cheney's comment, said there was no evidence Saddam's government was linked to the September 11 attacks.
"

http://www.cnn.com/2004/ALLPOLITICS/06/16/911.commission/

Just to note, I went to Google and found all that and more, but I have a feeling that there's no point to more. This says enough.

I think it would be a fine thing if democracy took hold in Iraq and everyone got most of what they needed/wanted out of the deal. That's aside from what I believe the motivations for the war were in the first place, and I still fundamentally distrust those motivations and the people that had them. On top of which they have fouled up their own effort so badly that former hard line supporters have jumped ship. There's a real problem with how this administration has run the show, starting with the immediate post-initial campaign up until now. At the very least they should have taken things one at a time and stomped on the Taliban and Al Qaeda completely...THEN gone after Saddam. They blew it.

 
At 4:04 PM, October 17, 2005, Anonymous strcpy said...

Good news Erasmus - since you base you dislike on the war on, it seems, two main things I can help! Especially given that you think we need to wage war against those that support terrorist organisations.

"Yes, we should have waged a war against the terrorist organizations and those who supported them. But the invasion of Iraq? Only after the WMD ruse failed, were the "removal of a tyrant" and "democracy" reasons trotted out."

Ahh, no need to look further than the two main things to justify the war in Iraq, the State of the union adress and the congressional uthorisation to go to war with Iraq. Both list removal of a tyrant and democracy as main goals! Not only that but another main topic was thier non-compliance with resoultion - which is still perfectly accurate.

http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2003/01/20030128-19.html
http://66.102.7.104/search?q=cache:uWHCEiaDdboJ:www.c-span.org/resources/pdf/hjres114.pdf+congress+authorization+of+force+in+Iraq&hl=en

"Cheney, Sept. 2003:

Iraq is the "geographic base of the terrorists who have had us under assault now for many years, bust most especially on 9/11.""

Umm, ok? Seems to be quite correct. Iraq harbored many terrorist against us, not just Al-Qaida. One that had been responsible for other attacks besides 9/11. Is this supposd to make Cheney stupid in some way?

"Bush on Cheney:

"What the vice-president said that he (Saddam) has been involved with alQaeda...there's no question that Saddam Hussein had alQaeda ties.""

And there isn't. Go read the 9/11 comission report. They conculded that it is inconclusive what Saddam contributed to 9/11 (he had a general attend a few planning meetings, but not many and is thought he was probably just an observer). It has never been in question that Saddam had ties with them - he publically gave many of the sanctuary, celebrated thier attacks, and gave them money.

Not to mention that Saddam was a LARGE supporter, and active in many other groups including hammas, Hezb-e-Islami, Egyptian Islamic Jihad, and quite a few others. Last I checked they were also terrorist groups bent on destroying the west. Don't know about you, but for me I prefer to stop *all* groups from blowing us up, not just the one. I can't say if Cheney is being more broad that Al-qaida in those quotes, would need more info - but as they are they are absolutely correct.

Not to mention you support the removal of regimes that harbor terrorist, or do you mean just Al-qaida?

So, for the war yet? Or do you just not like it and ignore anything that doesn't fit your feelings?

 
At 4:35 PM, October 17, 2005, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

I understand those who just ignore anything by Reuters. But one of the reasons I wrote about this one was that I was lured in by the headline, which was fairly positive, and then startled by the intense negativity of the content while reporting such ostensibly good news. It seemed quite extreme, even for Reuters.

It is their claim to being fair and balanced, after all neo.

 
At 4:36 PM, October 17, 2005, Anonymous xrivhjnj said...

strcpy

1. Got nothing to do with my "feelings." Don't bring in what I never touched.
2. Is it necessary to be either "for" or "against" the war? No "strong reservations?" Or "grave doubts?"
3. Now: removing tyrants and bringing democracy. Swell stuff, but does a country wage war for these causes when it is NOT threatened? How come we didn't remove fascist tyrants in Latin America? Because they served our interests there and because they did not threaten the security of the USA.
4. Can you make a case that Saddam had the means ( he may have had the intention) to harm the USA? Or Israel? With what weapons? He gave money to terrorists? Yes, so did the Saudis. (Whole books about that.)
Before the invasion, was Saddam harming our economy or our national security? How? Could he have? Again, how? Was he about to do either? Unless we have hard evidence, this war was sold as a preventive one. But to prevent what?
I don't mind one bit that Saddam went down. I think it would be wonderful if Iraq developed a democratic system. I suspect we'll see it breaking up into three countries, each running itself according to religious (tribal), social, and economic interests. Well, maybe that's not so bad in the long run.
But why W insisted to go after Saddam and Iraq is another story. We have bits and pieces. Historians and psycho-historians will probably put it together some day.
My "feelings," since you brought them up: Iraq and its three groups work out their problems--without bloodshed, if that is attainable. We'll see if our intervention will lead to that.
Tell me, were you not offended when W pulled that jokey little hunt for WMDs in the oval office? Can you picture FDR, Ike, Truman or Reagan doing anything like that? No, I didn't vote for Kerry. A touch of gravity in the White House might not be such a bad thing.

 
At 4:51 PM, October 17, 2005, Blogger roman said...

"Only after the WMD ruse failed, were the "removal of a tyrant" and "democracy" reasons trotted out."
Making this asserion is political revisionism by the left. As I recall, these two reasons were clearly expressed and they carried as much weight as WMD's BEFORE the invasion of Iraq.

 
At 5:35 PM, October 17, 2005, Anonymous erasmus said...

1. "Simply stated, there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction. There is no doubt he is amassing them to use against our friends,against our allies, and against us."
Cheney, August 26, 2002

2. "We know where they (WMD) are. They are in the area around Tikrit and Baghdad and east, west, south, and north somewhat."
Rumsfeld, March 3, 2003

3. "We'll find them. It'll be a matter of time to do so."
Bush, May 3, 2003

4. "They may have had time to destroy them, and I don't know the answer."
Rumsfeld, May 27, 2003

Tyrant Removal? Democracy? The WMDs "sold" the war. And if had had them, and they posed a threat to us, they would have given us a reason for war.
Let's say we told a mother in Ohio--Your son is going to fight, perhaps die, so the good folks in Tikrit can enjoy democracy.
What might she have said, had we not held before her eyes the threat of those hard-to-find WMDs?
I don't have the answer. Do you?

 
At 5:45 PM, October 17, 2005, Blogger Harry said...

Erasmus, you've stated an essential situation here far better than I have or would have had I thought of it.

My biggest problem with this war is how the administration foisted it on the country. Now we're stuck with it, and it's been two and half years of casualities, bad management and lying, all based essentially on a lie.

 
At 6:10 PM, October 17, 2005, Blogger Holmes said...

Is the prerequisite for toppling authoritarian governments now the possession of WMD's? Is that it? Is it actual possession or does past use count? How about pursuit of possession? Was that it for the police action in Somalia? Or for that in Kosovo?

If you listen to liberals long enough, you'd think Saddam was the only Arabic state worth preserving ad infinitum.

 
At 6:18 PM, October 17, 2005, Blogger Michael B said...

"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 ... 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."
Sen. Hillary Clinton (D,NY), Oct 10, 2002

"We are in possession of what I think to be compelling evidence that Saddam Hussein has, and has had for a number of years, a developing capacity for the production and storage of weapons of mass destruction."
Sen. Bob Graham (D, FL), Dec. 8, 2002

"Without question, we need to disarm Saddam Hussein. He is a brutal, murderous dictator, leading an oppressive regime ... He presents a particularly grievous threat because he is so consistently prone to miscalculation ... And now he is miscalculating America's response to his continued deceit and his consistent grasp for weapons of mass destruction ... So the threat of Saddam Hussein with weapons of mass destruction is real ..."
Sen. John F. Kerry (D, MA), Jan. 23. 2003

"There is unmistakable evidence that Saddam Hussein is working aggressively to develop nuclear weapons and will likely have nuclear weapons within the next five years ... We also should remember we have always underestimated the progress Saddam has made in development of weapons of mass destruction."
Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D, WV), Oct 10, 2002

 
At 6:19 PM, October 17, 2005, Blogger Michael B said...

"One way or the other, we are determined to deny Iraq the capacity to develop weapons of mass destruction and the missiles to deliver them. That is our bottom line."
President Clinton, Feb. 4, 1998

"If Saddam rejects peace and we have to use force, our purpose is clear. We want to seriously diminish the threat posed by Iraq's weapons of mass destruction program."
President Clinton, Feb. 17, 1998

"Iraq is a long way from [here], but what happens there matters a great deal here. For the risks that the leaders of a rogue state will use nuclear, chemical or biological weapons against us or our allies is the greatest security threat we face."
Madeline Albright, Feb 18, 1998

"He will use those weapons of mass destruction again, as he has ten times since 1983."
Sandy Berger, Clinton National Security Adviser, Feb 18, 1998

"We 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."
Letter to President Clinton, signed by Sens. Carl Levin, Tom Daschle, John Kerry, and others Oct. 9, 1998

"Saddam Hussein has been engaged in the development of weapons of mass destruction technology which is a threat to countries in the region and he has made a mockery of the weapons inspection process."
Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D, CA), Dec. 16, 1998

 
At 6:36 PM, October 17, 2005, Blogger neo-neocon said...

To those who are still criticizing Bush and the Iraq war over the WMD question, I would suggest you actually read the Duelfer report, or a summary of certain parts of it.

Although the press did its usual spinning to make it seem as though the real thrust of the report was that there were no WMDs, another important point the report made (one that many in the MSM downplayed) was that Saddam had the capacity and the plan to reconstitute his weapons programs as soon as sanctions lifted, and that with the cooperation of France et.al. (those on the Oil-for-Food dole, for example), it was likely to happen soon.

As far as the rest goes, Bush did indeed speak quite often of other reasons for the war, chief among them the spreading of democracy and ending the reign of terror of Saddam. Look, either Bush is an evil imperialist neocon--in which case he actually believes in the spread of democracy--or he's not. I think your distrust of his motives stems from the fact that you hate his guts and distrust everything he does, so it doesn't matter what quotes anyone mounts or what anyone tells you.

And of course you no doubt know that virtually everyone in the world thought Saddam had WMDs. He acted like it, talked like it, and had had them before. Was Bush the only person on earth who knew Saddam didn't have them? You must think the man (Bush, that is!) is not only brilliant but psychic.

Not to mention the fact that Saddam didn't have to actually possess weapons to be in violation of the Gulf War ceasefire. His lack of cooperation with weapons inspectors was reason enough, in the legal sense, to justify an invasion, if legality is what you're actually after.

 
At 7:20 PM, October 17, 2005, Anonymous erasmus said...

Neo-con writes, addressing those "still" criticizing the war (why "still?"):
"I think your distrust his motives stems from the fact that you hate his guts and distrust everything he does..."

1. "everything he does?" But the talk has been of the war, and the war only. How can you know what "we" critics think of other things he has done?

2. Would it be just as much a "fact" that conservatives hated Clinton's guts and therefore distrusted everything he did? Wouldn't you say that was true?

3. If that's where we are, and I do think it is much of the time, hating guts has replaced thoughtful judgement and sorting out issues and problems. Current events and history become a TV shouting match, a PEOPLE magazine popularity or unpopularity contest.

 
At 7:27 PM, October 17, 2005, Blogger Harry said...

"I think your distrust of his motives stems from the fact that you hate his guts and distrust everything he does,..."

My distrust of the reasons for war built after the war started. It never felt quite right, so I started looking around at what was being presented as justification. I waited for something that would prove it all, and it was never found. On top of it all were things like the utter shambles the CPA made of post war occupation, the enormous sums of money that went missing, the torture and the high level bobbing and weaving that's gone with that, etc.... Even recently when 90% of the senate backed McCain's anti-torture bill, the Prez vows to veto it because of that addition. What? That's enough by itself to cause a profound distrust of Bush and his motives.

"...so it doesn't matter what quotes anyone mounts or what anyone tells you."

Indeed, and the reverse is true as well. With all the evidence of corruption these people have displayed just in Iraq, to still believe some of the lies indicates just as complete a dive into a belief system as any lefty ever made. That's kind of why I didn't bother with more links.

Still, you're right. Two and a half years after this adventure began, I don't feel any confidence in Bush to lead us anywhere but into a sinkhole. I have a lot of confidence in our military, but not in our policymakers. They are corrupt and arrogant and have lied to the American people to pursue an agenda. Before I wasn't so sure about Bush. Now, I'm sure I don't like him or what he has done to this country. We're in bigger trouble now than we were before he was elected in 2000.

 
At 7:48 PM, October 17, 2005, Blogger neo-neocon said...

erasmus: Obviously, it's not literally true that everyone posting about WMDs hates Bush's guts. That was hyperbole. But for those who don't respond to the substantive arguments about WMDs--such as the ones I mounted in my previous comment--with substantive answers, I do believe that those people are mainly motivated by Bush-hatred--or at the very least, a total closedmindedness about the man and the war. And there's always a strange dearth of substantive responses to the actual specific points raised.

As far as the word "still" goes--forgive the weariness, but the argument on this thread is only about the five millionth time it's been aired so far in the blogosphere--and yes, that's also not literally true, but hyperbole. I'm tired of rehashing the same old arguments--even though every now and then I do, as in my previous comment. I've learned, unfortunately, that usually such dicsussion turns out to be a waste of time

As far as Clinton goes (your point #2)--whatever would make you think I don't agree with you there? Have you forgotten that at the time I was a Democrat? There was plenty to be angry at in Clinton's actions--I was never a fan, although I voted for the man twice. But the towering rage against him, even at the beginning of his Presidency, seemed to me to be mainly motivated by hatred. Indeed, your point #3 is all too true for many people, although hopefully not the majority.

 
At 10:24 PM, October 17, 2005, Anonymous strcpy said...

As I figured - you simply ignored everything that didn't fit into what you wanted.

I never claimed that WMD's were not used as a reason - in fact they were (did you even bother to look at the links - I bet not). Nor was it ever thought that they didn't have them - they had been caught even as late as 1998 with banned WMD's and they refused to co-operate. There was no reasons to belive that this time, just not the last 10 years, they were telling the truth. What he state at the time was truth - the UN, the IAEA, Britain, France, Russia, the whole world knew it to be true - they were all obviously wrong. That is a far cry from a lie.

That is a far cry different from "WMD's only and trotting out the rest later" - that is a complete fabrication. If not being correct is a lie and ignoring things makes everything one does suspect you need to go re-examine your platform. Kerry convinced a lot of people the same thing - people who are bad about that are not to be trusted. Like him you are blind to your own huge shortcomings in that department. At this point I know you have been shown that the statement is in error - factually incorrect. To say it is wrong is now a lie - you know better and yet continue. I gave you the benefit of doubt that you were simply mistaken, but alas you can not even be truthful.

 
At 10:34 PM, October 17, 2005, Blogger Daniel in Brookline said...

Frankly, I've gotten quite tired of these arguments too.

For me, the invasion of Iraq was justified long before it happened, and I never found reason to change my mind about it. The factors that decided the issue for me were these:

1. Saddam was a known supporter of terrorism. He had been paying off families of Palestinian suicide bombers for years. It was certainly possible, from what we knew back in 2002, that he had connections to terrorists that we didn't know about.

2. Saddam was a known user of weapons of mass destruction. He used chemical weapons against Iran during the 1980-1988 war, and during the same period used them against his own people. Saddam was also known to attack his perceived enemies without warning, as he did in 1980 (Iran) and 1990 (Kuwait).

3. Saddam had been required, by the terms of the cease-fire he signed in 1991, to destroy all his WMD... but it could not be proven that he had done so, and he obstinately refused to prove that he had done so or cooperate with those attempting to verify if he had. For these reasons, the world in 2002 assumed that Saddam still had WMD, because it would have been insane to assume otherwise.

4. Saddam had made his hatred of the United States quite clear. He routinely violated the terms of his own cease-fire by firing on American (and allied) patrol planes. He ordered an assassination attempt on a former U.S. president. Other examples abound.


These points, taken together, presented the very real danger, in a post-9/11 world, of Saddam providing terrorists with WMD to attack the United States. Such an act would have been consistent with his past behavior.

The chances of such an attack may have been quite slim -- but "quite slim" takes on a very different meaning for an American president when, if you're wrong, your error may cost the lives of thousands, or tens of thousands, or hundreds of thousands, of American lives. President Bush would have been utterly derelict in his duty, had he not taken that risk with deadly seriousness.

So he insisted on giving Iraq "one last chance" to disarm, and prove that it had done so. This was ratified in an amazingly unanimous UNSC resolution. Saddam laughed it off... and the rest is history.

Personally, I don't care that WMD have yet to be found in significant quantities. (They have been found in small quantities, remember; American troops have found them in IEDs, for goodness sake.) In 2002, we did not know if we were facing WMDs, or when they might be handed over to terrorists, or whether the United States would be the primary target of those terrorists. But we knew that the risk existed, and we didn't know how likely it was... so we had to assume that the likelihood was too great to ignore.

In short: we invaded Iraq, and deposed its leader and its government, because they posed a future threat to the security of the United States. Period.

I'm delighted that dealing with these threats has spread democracy to a country that did not have it before. And no doubt President Bush is pleased by this too; after all, he could have installed friendly despots in Iraq and Afghanistan, at far lesser risk and lower cost. But I don't believe for a minute that spreading democracy was our primary reason for going to war... and indeed, Bush's early speeches said nothing about that. He spoke in 2001 and 2002 about the need to remove an intolerable threat to America's future security.

Once again: it doesn't matter to me that Saddam's WMD weren't as fearsome as we thought they were. You have to act based on what you know. In 2002, a decision needed to be made based on what we knew at the time... and at the time, everything we knew pointed to a threat from Iraq, maybe in ten years' time, maybe in ten weeks.

We didn't know... and so we had to act. I supported that action then, and I support it now.

respectfully,
Daniel in Brookline

 
At 10:48 PM, October 17, 2005, Anonymous Robin Munn said...

Neo-neocon wrote, "I, for one, plan to enjoy and savor it if the constitution is passed."

I also think it will be a great step forward for the Iraqis if the constitution is passed, but it will also be a great step forward, though not so obvious a one, if the constitution is rejected and another draft has to be written. Either way, the Iraqi people have gotten a taste of their own power in a real democracy, where votes go 60% one way and 40% the other, instead of 99.9% in favor of the current "Beloved Leader".

 
At 10:53 PM, October 17, 2005, Anonymous strcpy said...

"1. Got nothing to do with my "feelings." Don't bring in what I never touched."

Me thinks you need to go re-read, unless you are erasmus using a different name.

"2. Is it necessary to be either "for" or "against" the war? No "strong reservations?" Or "grave doubts?""

Of course it is possible - where did I ever state, or even imply, otherwise? Again, you may reread what I wrote.

"3. Now: removing tyrants and bringing democracy. Swell stuff, but does a country wage war for these causes when it is NOT threatened? How come we didn't remove fascist tyrants in Latin America? Because they served our interests there and because they did not threaten the security of the USA."

Sometimes we do. But, luckily in this case it wasn't that simple. Saddam had violated the cease fire agreement for over 12 years, if he wasn't currently an immenent threat there was no doubt he would be, plus the rest. Given how much Saddam gave with the oil for food program we could have easily made him a national interest like France and Russia did.

For much of the reasonable opposition I would agree if thier outlook was accurate. Too often it is just not - 12 years wasn't a "rush to war", more than just WMD's were stated, and Saddam either currently was or would have been a severe threat. Basically it comes down to what were our options:

1) sanctions and inspections forever - not really good. Millions die of starvation and billions are spent over the next few decades to leave a torn and depresed country with citizens who have a real good reason to hate the west.

2) leave him alone - just as bad, maybe even worse. We know, without a shadow of doubt that he has the will to aquire and use WMD's - he has in the past. We would just have to trust him that he would no logner do so and, personally, I'm not going to trust the guy or his regime that far. YMMV

3) invade - not really good, but still better than the others. Iraq is already fairly secular - the baathists are a secular ruluing party. The women are fairly prograssive being doctors, teachers, and allowed out of the house. The populace doesn't like him - while we may not be thier favorites we are a damn good sight better than him. And it removes the WMD threat (current or future) with a fairly high degree of certainty. Plus a stong democracy in the middle east would help us greatly, even if they don't really like us (for one thing democracies very rarely support terrorist). Decent chance of success, a loss is still better than the above scenarios and a win is a VERY large win.

As to the rest about that latin american govts - be very careful what rhetoric you use - you just made a justification for us to invade those places - like Darfur it wouldn't get my hackles up one bit for us to do so. Keep using that and you may find that your own rhetoric is used as justification for another war you most likely will not support.

"4. Can you make a case that Saddam had the means ( he may have had the intention) to harm the USA? Or Israel? With what weapons? He gave money to terrorists? Yes, so did the Saudis. (Whole books about that.)
Before the invasion, was Saddam harming our economy or our national security? How? Could he have? Again, how? Was he about to do either? Unless we have hard evidence, this war was sold as a preventive one. But to prevent what?"

In the State of the Union Adress Bush talked of the imminent threat concept. As to could he have - do I really need to go over it? He had easily produced the stuff in the past, still had the knowledge/skill to do so, and was still persuing those programs at the highest level he could get away with under inspections. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out. Heck we have found enough sarin and cyclo-sarin to kill a few hundred thousand people there (just that it was phrased as "A small amount of 10 year old chemicals" - yep a small amount of those ten year old chemicals that would kill a few hundred thousand with ease).

As for the Saudis - not really the same case. There wasn't a systematic govt program to do so. The royal family is VERY large and some did - and most of those ended up regretting the decision to do so for the little bit that they lived (they depend too much on us to not punish them). It would be like blaming the whole of the US govt because a Lt. Gov. in Nebraska did something. Not to mention that since Iraq they have been MUCH better about polcing themselvs (and that was one of the reasons for going there also).

"I don't mind one bit that Saddam went down. I think it would be wonderful if Iraq developed a democratic system. I suspect we'll see it breaking up into three countries, each running itself according to religious (tribal), social, and economic interests. Well, maybe that's not so bad in the long run."

*shrug* only time will tell. As of right now they aren't even coming close to that and are doing pretty well.

"But why W insisted to go after Saddam and Iraq is another story. We have bits and pieces. Historians and psycho-historians will probably put it together some day."

No, you simply do not believe the reasons given. There is no reason to disbilieve the public ones given other than you simply do not believe them. I don't particularly believe anything the Govt tells me (regardless of who says it) but I'll need more than circular logic for me to mvoe to not believing them.

"My "feelings," since you brought them up: Iraq and its three groups work out their problems--without bloodshed, if that is attainable. We'll see if our intervention will lead to that."

I want the world to have no wars tomorrow with no bloodshed ever. I really do - I would love nothing more than 20 years from now war to be a foreign concept. It's not gonna happen. The number of bloodless regime changes in 10,000 can be counted on one hand. I figure the people in Iraq are best situated for me to listen too (and really the only ones who count - the media thinking things are hell in a hand basket and the whole country hates us doesn't make ti true) and they seem pretty opitimistic about the whole thing. See the elections and the blogs for that.

"Tell me, were you not offended when W pulled that jokey little hunt for WMDs in the oval office? Can you picture FDR, Ike, Truman or Reagan doing anything like that? No, I didn't vote for Kerry. A touch of gravity in the White House might not be such a bad thing."

Offend? Not really - I'm generally really hard to offend. I thought it was in poor taste and political a stupid thing to do. I viewed it as much of Clintons doings - not really becoming of a president but that's what you got. I vote and support based more upon what he achieves than how he looks doing it. I would rather have a but ugly success than a really polished pretty loss.

 
At 8:59 AM, October 18, 2005, Anonymous erasmus said...

You write:

1. "if he Saddam) wasn't currently an imminent threat there was no doubt he would be..."

2. "We know, without a shadow of a doubt that he (Saddam) has the will to acquire and use WMDs..."

Now, when someone like Dick Cheney used-and now you echo him- with
"no doubt" or
"without a shadow of a doubt"
that's when quite a few of us really start doubting. You do understand why.
I respect your sincere desire to see the people of Iraq living freely and without fear. I do not extend that respect to some of our current leaders. Their history and actions raise many doubts.
Take only one example. Take a look at the Washington Post, June 5, 2003, and a story titled "Some Iraq Analysts Felt Pressuure From Cheney Visits."
Looks like tip of the iceberg.
I hope when current staffers start talking to historians about the push for this war, we'll both be around to read their accounts. May have started already--see today's NY Daily News.

 
At 9:59 AM, October 18, 2005, Anonymous erasmus said...

strcpy

A recommendation: Do read, in the January/February 2004 issue of "The Atlantic," the thorough and fact-filled article by Kenneth Pollack: "Spies, Lies, and Weapons: What Went Wrong." Pollack does NOT believe that the war was a strategic mistake and that the removal of Saddam, as a source of instability in the region, is commendable. BUT:
"At the very least we should recognize that the Administration's rush to war was reckless even on the basis of what we thought we knew in March of 2003."
Read the whole thing.

 
At 12:22 PM, October 18, 2005, Anonymous neo-neocon said...

erasmus: It would help if, when you say "you," you would indicate whom you're addressing (as I, for example, just did). There are a great many "you's" here, and I don't know whether you're addressing me.

If you are addressing me in your last comment, however, you are misquoting me. Please go back and read what I said. I never said "We know without a shadow of a doubt that Saddam had the will, etc..."

I said the Deulfer report concluded he had the will and the plans to acquire them, and that it was "likely" that sanctions would be lifted and he'd proceed to do so.

The only other thing I wrote that perhaps you misread was the following: "And of course you no doubt know that virtually everyone in the world thought Saddam had WMDs..." Reading Comprehension 101: the "no doubt" in that sentence refers to the state of your knowledge about what people thought, not anything else. When someone says "You no doubt know," by the way, it's usually a polite way of saying "It was common knowledge."

And notice I put the slight qualifier "virtually" before the rest of the sentence, "virtually everyone thought Saddam had WMDs...". This is, quite literally, a fact. The word "virtually" means "almost; practically."

 
At 1:00 PM, October 18, 2005, Anonymous erasmus said...

I was talking to and quoting strcpy. Sorry. My post followed the one by strcpy, so I thought that might be clear. It wasn't. My error.

How do you deal with the blowing to pieces of kids in Iraq, described in today's Washington Post ny a reporter from the hospital? And of our bureaucratic non-denial denial?
Surely we can't be descending into the 'got to break some eggs to make an omelette" mode. But with the 82nd Airborne torture for sport/release testimony out, this is a subject we should not put into the "a few rotten apples in the barrel" excuse bin.

These kinds of things define us too, along with the better or nobler things we do. The Lefdt dwells exclusively on the former, conservatives pooh-pooh the latter. That ain't good, IMHO.
Cheers.

 
At 1:20 PM, October 18, 2005, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

Part of the Clinton hatred, was envy. People envied his charisma, his ability to tune out everyone, including himself, except the audience.

The question is, does the Democrats envy Bush for being President on 9/11 rather than Clinton, do the Democrats envy Bush for being the leader of democratization instead of them?

Has that envy turned to jealousy, and jealousy mutated to pure hatred?

 
At 3:07 PM, October 18, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Saddam had only a slim chance of posing a threat to the US, but it was a greater chance than anyone gave bin Laden of fulfilling his dream of destroying the WTC, before 9-11.

Even the slimmest of chances becomes a certainty, given enough time and enough second chances.

I think that the left would have happily given Saddam as many second chances as he needed, until he finally managed to land a nuke in the middle of Manhattan. I'm fairly certain of it, because the leftists proudly proclaim it, as if their willingness to do nothing in the face of terrorist attacks is some bizarre badge of honor.

After 9-11, waiting for the mounting terror attacks to finally hit home lost its attraction for most Americans.

 
At 5:15 PM, October 18, 2005, Blogger Harry said...

All the talk of Saddam someday becoming a threat ignores the fact that his capability was draining away under years of sanctions and no-fly zones. Read what General Zinni had to say about it. Read his criticism of the overall plan. He was in charge of the area for quite sometime, so he knew the threat as well as anyone. I pretty much agreed with him.

 
At 6:49 PM, October 18, 2005, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

his capability was draining away under years of sanctions and no-fly zones.

Yes, it must be very satisfying to know that US pilots are the only ones in endanger of being shot down and tortured in Iraqi detention centers.

Oh, btw, "draining away" should be properly written as "increasing via bribes".

Make sure you write it 50 times, just so you don't forget now.

Read what General Zinni had to say about it.

I love it when people talk about the nation as if Generals were in charge of policy.

Very funny that pacifists like to create military dictatorships.

I pretty much agreed with him.

Generals don't have absolute moral authority or even operational authority.

It's about time people realized that.

 
At 7:06 PM, October 18, 2005, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

Zini actually said this,

If we design our strategy and our tactics based on that, it will all work out.
Now let me go back and get to the rumble strips on the other side of the lane and maybe walk down each one of those. I think everything has been said in the debate that's taking place in Congress and elsewhere about what the potential pitfalls are. I'll start with the first one. In order to succeed, I think everybody agrees that we cannot go it alone. Everybody is relieved in many ways that we are going to the UN and attempting to get the legitimacy of a UN resolution. If we do anything there, we need partners. We certainly need the partners in the region that we have had. We need the relationships and the alliances we created over half a century ago, beginning with FDR and moving through many troubled times but always managing to work out in a way that, despite our differences and issues, we have stayed close and been partners. We need to hold that sort of loosely organized, informal but very powerful alliance together.


The so called General is dead wrong, no plan survives contact with the enemy, and it sure as heck won't survive if we follow these "lists" from on high. This ain't no budgetary conference, it is a war.

Negative score for the "General".

I think everyone has agreed that had we went it alone and surprised Saddam, Saddam wouldn't have had time to plan a bunch of chaotic shit that we had to deal with in American coffins coming home. That's what I think everyone agreed on.

Everybody is relieved in many ways that we are going to the UN and attempting to get the legitimacy of a UN resolution. If we do anything there, we need partners.

This guy talks more like a military dictator in charge of policy than as a humble General willing to execute the President's policy REGARDLESS of some wishful thinking about "got to cover my ass with the UN" stuff.

One is a lot of consultation, a lot of patience, a lot of dialogue, a lot of hard work on the ground, and the connection of a lot of personalities that represent the leadership in the region. It is not an easy thing to maintain;

It certainly isn't easy to maintain, not with 500 Americans being wounded every few months while we "wait around" to hear our "allies" talk over their displeasures.

The readers can make their own decisions concerning the credibility and "Generalness" of the General.

I'm done with this pathetic material. If I wanted to hear International "I don't believe in American supremacy", I'd tune into Kerry.

http://www.somaliawatch.org/archivejun02/021018201.htm

Go read the rest if anyone is interested.

Zini, is just another Maj. Gen. George McClellan who thinks he knows better than the President of the United States how policy should be executed.

And Democrats, as Democrats did with McClellan in the Civil War, have used him to justify their pacifism, lack of action, and utter depravity.

 
At 12:17 PM, October 19, 2005, Blogger Harry said...

First of all, I never said Zinni had any kind of moral authority, only that he has experience that qualifies him to remark on the topic. I would bet the farm that he knows far better than our current president how policy should be executed. GW doesn't pack the gear and never did.

Second, what qualifies you to be so criticalof someone with his kind of experience? Were you equally critical of General Shinseki? I refer to generals because they are military professionals who have served and seen the ugly side of military success. They know what works and what doesn't given a particular scenario. This was a military adventure, but all of these military professionals recognize the need for political and economic foundations. Clearly, the people who planned this war had no idea beyond the fact that they didn't want to do it anyone else's way. That leads me to ask what they're motivations were. Why did they ignore the advice of people who really knew the business of war and its aftermath. Oh yeah, and before you excoriate Zinni too thoroughly, remember that GW appointed special envoy to the Middle east, so even the administration recognized his qualifications. He's also a republican. Are you just mad at him 'cause he didn't agree with the way the war was handled?

 
At 2:02 PM, October 19, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's funny how people opposed to the Iraq war are so convinced that all neocons are mindless Republican party-liners that they can't understand how we could disagree with any Republican. It's apparently part of the need to assume that the entire world thinks like they do, so they really believe hiding behind the "but a REPUBLICAN said this!" defense will make the neocons agree with them.

 
At 7:00 PM, October 19, 2005, Blogger Harry said...

Yeah, kind of the same way neocons and other right wing people keep bringing up the Clinton presidency whenever the Bush presidency starts to look bad. Everyone makes generalizations. My comment about Zinni being a republican was just by way of illustrating that he's not some flipped out lefty.

 
At 9:48 PM, October 21, 2005, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

First of all, I never said Zinni had any kind of moral authority, only that he has experience that qualifies him to remark on the topic.

There's a guy called "Abbas" and "Bush" that has the same levels of experience. Why weren't you mentioning them?

Maybe cause you prefer one over the other? Moral authority. Someone you believe in more because of his moral authority, not operational authority.

I would bet the farm that he knows far better than our current president how policy should be executed.

Keep on saying you never meant to bring up moral authority. Go on, keep at it!

Second, what qualifies you to be so criticalof someone with his kind of experience?

The fact that I sit in an American apartment, which entitles the Generals to be working for me, not the other way around. Therefore I critique them, not the other way around. I set the policy, they do the policy. They decide the means to carry the policy through, I decide which goals my policy will fullfill.

It's called "democracy" or "representative republic" in case you hadn't guessed.

remember that GW appointed special envoy to the Middle east, so even the administration recognized his qualifications.

Bush would probably also appoint Clinton to Relief Efforts or the GS of the UN.

It's a way for rulers to get "rid of people" that are annoying and dangerous.

The best way to get rid of Generals that are either too stupid to know their place, or too smart to trust with an army in the capital, is to send them out to the boondocks on a diplomatic mission.

Where were you when they were teaching the principles of how "not to get overthrown in a coup"?

"Envoy" and "Military Leader" are mutually exclusive.
He's also a republican. Are you just mad at him 'cause he didn't agree with the way the war was handled?

I'm terribly unimpressed with his conduct and ideas because they are just too stupid to come from a combat Marine General. I could also be in a disagreeable mood that you would prop up such a person based upon his moral authority, solely his moral authority.

I don't need to know his party affiliation to know what he has said. Stick with what he has said, not what party he claims to be part of.

A general can overthrow a government whether he is part of the ruling party or not, that's common sense.

 

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