Friday, January 06, 2006

Lies and the lying liars who hear them

It's said all the time on the left, and even by many liberals: Bush lied. Bush lied through his teeth, especially about WMDs in Saddam's Iraq.

I don't even have to provide the links; we all know what a recurrent refrain it is. Thread after thread, on this blog and others--even when Bush and WMDs aren't really the issue at hand--have been taken up with the argument.

But this post isn't about the issue of WMDs and lying. That's been hashed over time and again, to no avail, so often that I'm convinced it's an argument that goes beyond logic and beyond facts. I'm more interested in what's behind the argument; what drives it.

So, why "Bush lied?" Wouldn't it be enough to say that Bush was mistaken, misinformed, stupid, duped, misled, lazy, deluded--oh, any number of other criticisms of Bush that could so much more easily be argued than lied?

After all, "Bush lied" is fairly easy to refute. The usual counterargument goes like this: almost everyone on earth, including most of the intelligence operatives in the US and Europe, believed that Saddam had WMDs. In fact, there's a theory that perhaps even Saddam himself was fooled into thinking he actually had WMDs.

But no matter; Bush lied.

I've become convinced that the key to this assertion is a relatively new and fundamental misunderstanding of the meaning of the term "lied," an error that has its genesis in the growth of narcissism (please see Dr. Sanity's fine series on the affliction).

In truth, the hallmark of a lie is that its locus is in the speaker. To be lying, the speaker must be aware of the falsehood of the utterances. So whether or not something is a lie has nothing to do with the listener, and everything to do with the teller.

But many listeners in our day and age have lost sight--not just of truth vs. relative truth, or objective vs. subjective truth--but of any truth-falsehood distinction outside of their own perceptions. So the new definition of a lie has become: something that fooled me. Something that I heard and thought was true, and then discovered wasn't true. It made me angry to be jerked around like that. So it's a lie.

Such a listener lacks awareness of any need to ascertain the state of mind of the speaker in order to define an utterance as a lie--it is simply irrelevant; it does not compute in the equation. In fact, the so-called liar is actually often either mistaken, misinformed by others, in denial, or deluded. But that doesn't matter to a listener who hears everything only in terms of him/herself and how something makes him/her feel.

Thus, a lie is born.

150 Comments:

At 1:46 PM, January 06, 2006, Blogger Brad said...

"...a listener who hears everything only in terms of him/herself..."

Unfortunately, this phenomenon is not restricted to "lies." It is also a part of the entire worldview of so many people nowdays. Think of those who are "offended" by kids having a Christmas party in grade school; look at the speech codes at our universities; the silence about obvious problems in society, and the vociferous outcries about trivial matters. The vicious unreason of the "reason is enough for me" folks when confronted by anything they don't want to hear. "Me" is all that is left of the left.

 
At 2:03 PM, January 06, 2006, Blogger Sigmund, Carl and Alfred said...

Great, great post.

In a roundabout way, I wrote on a related issue, that the focus on self to the exclusion of all else, is blinding and never illuminating.

Of course, you say it so much better.

 
At 2:54 PM, January 06, 2006, Anonymous Kalvan said...

Interesting. Presumably a corollary would be that if the person hears an actual lie, but it is something (s)he chooses to believe, then it was not a lie.

 
At 3:13 PM, January 06, 2006, Blogger Daniel in Brookline said...

Good points, Neo!

For better or for worse, there's a succinct way to describe someone "who hears everything only in terms of him/herself"...

The term I'd use is "pre-schooler".

To me, that's what it boils down to -- the chosen representatives of the self-panicking self-serving "Bush Lied" crowd are, well, moral toddlers. Never mind that Bush did what he did to try and save my life, I can imagine them saying; never mind that it's what his oath of office obliges him to do; never mind that it's been successful beyond any reasonable expectation, more successful by far than Bush's predecessors were. No. It offends me, and therefore it's wrong, and therefore Bush must go.

Hmm, maybe that would make a good bumper-sticker. "IMPEACH BUSH... because I never liked him anyway."

respectfully,
Daniel in Brookline

 
At 3:23 PM, January 06, 2006, Blogger Jen said...

Daniel has the same take on this that I have. It's not just narcissism, it's rank immaturity. Just yesterday I had to explain the true meaning of the word "lie", and how someone can be wrong without lying, and how it's hurtful to call someone a "liar" and you shouldn't do it unless you are certain the person actually was lying.

Of course, I was speaking to a six year old. It's natural for a six year old to think that way. I am completely flabbergasted when faced with this kind of behavior in an adult. And maybe that's why some of them do it -- sticking to the irrational as a way to avoid answering rational arguments.

Or maybe this country really does have a maturity problem.

 
At 5:27 PM, January 06, 2006, Blogger dbp said...

Excellent post, but I think many if not most of the "Bush Lied" crowd are well aware of the meaning of the word "lie" and know that it does not apply.

What they are about is manipulation and the simplest way to manipulate is to distort the facts. They know that they are distorting the truth when they lie about the President--they don't care! For them it is only about victory, the means being justified by the ends.

 
At 5:36 PM, January 06, 2006, Blogger dirty dingus said...

At my blog I wrote something related that refers to this post and also links to this interesting psychology today article that seems extremely apt.

 
At 6:09 PM, January 06, 2006, Blogger ShrinkWrapped said...

Neo,
The entire edifice of Political Correctness is based on the ultimately idiotic philosophy of deconstructionism, which aims to destroy any notion of an actual, shared reality. All reality is constructed and those who are more powerful (the usual white male oppressors) force their version of reality onto the poor oppressed people of the world.
The facts of the matter relating to WMD therefore don't matter and don't register; all that you need to know is that Bush lied because he must have lied. There is no other explanation that fits their view of this constructed universe. Bush is a priori evil,the war must have had nefarious roots and since so many were convinced to agree with him, he must have lied to frighten people into going to war. What other explanation makes sense in this world view?

 
At 6:14 PM, January 06, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

For me the most troubling aspect of perpetuating the Bush Lied meme is the consequence of apathy.

We can talk about the facts until we're blue in the face but nothing will change because nothing ever really change after 9/11.

Americans are following the European's path towards extinction and those left facing the absolute ignorance of an apathetic nation will be all the children and grandchildren of those apathetic Americans who are content to remain cowardly.

Orianna Fallaci is correct in stating that Islam will win their war against Western civilization. When it takes a third attack to ask the question 'how could this have happened' we should look to our fellow Americans who have lost the will to survive and fight since they can now be considered the reason why it will happened. Those Americans who are fightened by war will bring about a war determined to destroy them, their children and ultimately the future of Western civilization.

Unbelievable how the babyboomer ME generation believing that living in the moment of narcissistic self-satification would have the strength to piss away what took hundreds of years of blood, sweat, tears and war to build for the likes of people who would rather meditate the moment in apathy than to sacrifice everything for the future.

Sort of like the whole Organic Movement which through it's immoral feel good in the moment behavior of satisfying only their own selfish needs and wants will end up starving hundreds of million of human beings because Organic people don't like genetically modified foods which have the ability to produce far greater crops than does the primative organic food.

Not only has Liberalism become a fraudulent ideology, it is also immoral in it's determined narcissistic need to satisfy a single moment of self-pleasure.

 
At 6:28 PM, January 06, 2006, Blogger Gaius Arbo said...

Great post. I linked it, hope that's ok?

Gaius Arbo

 
At 6:31 PM, January 06, 2006, Blogger saintknowitall said...

I have a blog entry on this subject today as well. The logic employed by the Bush Lied moonbats is severely flawed.

Come visit if you have time.

http://saintknowitall.blogspot.com/2006/01/bush-lied.html

 
At 6:37 PM, January 06, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Surely Bush was aware of the caveats regarding WMD intelligence but chose to conceal those in his public statements. How do we explain such an omission?

 
At 7:06 PM, January 06, 2006, Anonymous tequilamockingbird said...

"It's said all the time on the left, and even by many liberals" -- did you get that right, neo? Liberals are on the left, no? -- "Bush lied. Bush lied through his teeth, especially about WMDs in Saddam's Iraq."

I happen to think that Bush and most of the top figures in the Administration have lied on numerous occasions over the last five years (where are the Oval Office tapes when you need them?) But I don't think the WMD issue is the best example. You may be right that Bush didn't lie on the issue of WMDs; he may have believed what he was saying and simply was misled by his scheming neo-con minions whose primary foreign policy goal had for a decade been to invade Iraq and overthrow Saddam.

You go on to state: "The usual counterargument goes like this: almost everyone on earth, including most of the intelligence operatives in the US and Europe, believed that Saddam had WMDs."

Yes, it's true, you hear that all the time from apologists for the Administration. That it's not true doesn't make you a liar, however; you've just been misled.

Can you cite a survey of all of the intelligence operatives in the US and Europe that shows that a majority of them believed Saddam had WMDs? I doubt it. Again, that doesn't make you a liar; you just chose to believe the statements of officials in the White House Group of War Salesmen (and Saleswomen), statements which were
emphatic, unequivocal, and which expressed what they claimed was a certainty, when in fact there were plenty of caveats in the intelligence available to them.

The inspectors were by no means convinced and wanted more time.

Mohammed Al-Baradei, Director General of the IAEA, said on March 17, 2003: "To date we have found no evidence or plausible indication of the revival of a nuclear weapons programme in Iraq."

"We know where they are," Rumsfeld stated in a March 30, 2003, interview on ABC's "This Week". Too bad he couldn't have let the inspectors know.

On the nuclear -- canard? -- in particular, Condi said, "We don't want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud." Bush and Tommy Franks also used the fearmongering mushroom cloud image, and in 2002, Dick Cheney said Saddam was a "mortal threat" intent on "nuclear blackmail."

Pat Buchanan responded: "Pardon me, but there is serious doubt Saddam is close to a nuclear weapon and serious doubt he would ever dare try to blackmail us."

Cheney in August 2002: "Simply stated, there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction."

We're getting closer to nailing down a baldfaced lie: Cheney knew there was plenty of dissenting opinion.

"Almost everyone on earth ... believed that Saddam had WMDs."

That's way off, neo. There were millions of people around the globe, and I think in fact an overwhelming majority, who didn't believe it, or were at least so skeptical they didn't think invasion was justified. Before the invasion, millions marched against the war (including large numbers in the US); if people had believed the Administration's sales job and had believed the British -- um, fiction? -- that Saddam had stockpiles which could be delivered against Britain in 45 minutes, they would be supporting invasion, not marching against it.

On the other hand, there were only about three countries other than the U.S. a majority of whose people supported the invasion: Israel and a couple of the former Soviet satellites. Even with the -- well, cherrypicking and exaggeration? -- of Bush et al, public opinion in the U.S. was only about 60% in favor until the night of shock and awe, after which, of course, it spiked immediately to 95% -- gotta support the President in wartime.

"But this post isn't about the issue of WMDs and lying." I didn't intend this response to be about WMDs either, but to address the main thrust of your post.

"So the new definition of a lie has become: something that fooled me. Something that I heard and thought was true, and then discovered wasn't true. It made me angry to be jerked around like that. So it's a lie."

Just out of curiosity, didn't it make you angry to be jerked around like that?

Not me. Bush and the gang beating the drums of war weren't that effective in swaying opinion in Europe. I was completely unconvinced that their extreme statements were true -- not that they were necessarily lying, mind you! They may have been "mistaken, misinformed, stupid, duped, misled, lazy, deluded -- oh, any number of other criticisms". I was unconvinced, right along with what I think was most of the rest of the world, including a good percentage of Americans. It's not for sure, the inspectors are now getting unfettered access -- let's keep looking!

"In truth, the hallmark of a lie is that its locus is in the speaker. To be lying, the speaker must be aware of the falsehood of the utterances."

You betcha. Self-evident, I'd have thought. But the rest of the world was not taken in by the -- inaccuracies, shall we say -- of Bush and the PNAC crew, who were
"often either mistaken, misinformed by others, in denial, or deluded."

tequilamockingbird

 
At 7:21 PM, January 06, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

tequilamockingbird, I know what you mean.

I'm wondering how the denial will react to documents exposing Saddam's involvement with training Jihad terrorists?

And, with photos.

 
At 7:53 PM, January 06, 2006, Blogger CGHill said...

Paul Simon anticipated this back in the 1960s. Cue up "The Boxer":

"All lies and jest / Still, a man hears what he wants to hear / And disregards the rest."

 
At 7:56 PM, January 06, 2006, Anonymous Philosopher King said...

Yes it seems in the eyes of ever neo-con Bush is just to pure to lie about anything. I mean the man speaks the truth all the time.

I mean people on the left just love to spread nonesense about this president and administrations. Can't they understand that he is willing to win the "war" at any price and any life. So look to your left and say it loud and say proud we are willing to put this country in trillions of dollar in debt and or thousands upon thousands die and its all for democracy. But Keep in mind when I was typing this comment I was looking to my left too.

 
At 7:58 PM, January 06, 2006, Anonymous gus3 said...

"Training jihad terrorists"? How about $25K checks to families of suicide bombers?

http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2002/03/25/1017004766310.html

Oh, excuse me, "martyrs" (*ptui*).

 
At 8:06 PM, January 06, 2006, Anonymous gus3 said...

philosopher king:

Every time the liberals hear something from Bush that they don't like, the accusations come out immediately of malicious intent and deception. After obsessing with it for so long, *despite* all evidence to the contrary, it totally rings hollow.

Their hatred and insults have become so predictable, if one of them told me that Bush was a heterosexual, I'd have to wonder if it was another attempt to discredit the President.

 
At 8:27 PM, January 06, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hate to disagree with you neo-neocon but liberals do know what the definition of "lie" is even if their President didn't know what the definition of "is" is. The fact is they use it because it has negative emotional impact and liberals like to argue on emotional impact. This is one of their great weaknesses and readily explains why they were never able to make their arguments stick on Reagan, a President who based his arguments on real world examples.

What's really sad is the fact that this argument is still taking place. The only real reason lays in another fundamental weakness of the liberal cause. That weakness is one of personal responsibility. Ultimately, Saddam Hussein could have prevented war by opening doors and letting the U.N. inspectors do their job without interference. He did not. For some reason liberals don't see this as an issue. Saddam could defy U.N. sanctions all he wanted, he could make missiles that violated sanctions, he could create the infrastructure for creating WMD but not create them, but Bush is a criminal for upholding the sanctions.

I'm only surprised that we haven't seen the argument that Hussein was just a product of his terrible upbringing, abusive parents, subhuman living conditions and therefore not responsible for his actions. People are responsible for their actions. Hussein could have prevented war but he chose not to.

And I know this is off topic but once again we are seeing the lack backbone of the European nations. We are within 2 years of seeing Iran have a nuclear weapon and the capability to launch it on a missile that will be able to hit Israel and southern Europe. Good going guys.... or should I say Ostriches.

 
At 8:55 PM, January 06, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Simple: President Cheney simply ran the Office of Special Plans out of the CIA to bypass the vetting that would have caught out, for instance, Chalabi's fabrications (which are numerous and hard to miss). Certainly Chalabi, an Iranian spy, had every reason to instigate a war against Saddam, so his motives are easy to determine (actions speak much louder than words). But why would President Cheney want to bypass this intelligence vetting apparatus via his OSP?

Simple: there were so many CIA intelligence professionals saying the intel was bogus, the WH needed a way to get that "intel" into Bush's hands without any niggling nay-sayers in the CIA making it look questionable. Thus Bush could say with a straight face, "we have no question that Saddam has WMD, so we must attack NOW". (Remeber, WMD was merely the justification for the rushed timing of the war, which is the root cause of our losing the war; all parties agreed Saddam had to go, it was merely a matter of how and when and the WMD meant March 2003, with no allies, and no plan.)

THAT is the lie. It's not the WMD, it's that Bush acted like there were no quesions when there were T-O-N-S, all of which were ignored. Valerie Plame, one of the CIA naysayers, was the one the WH was trying to discredit back in 2003, not her husband, as an entire anti-war faction of the CIA was becoming a distinct PR liability as WMD were increasingly being viewed as non-existent at that time -- better hide the evidence, boys.

There were questions about the Iraq intel. Bush said there were none. LIE.

 
At 9:42 PM, January 06, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you, tequilamockingbird.

I can't wait until the sane Americans reclaim their country from these dangerous, arrogant bastards.

 
At 9:46 PM, January 06, 2006, Blogger Motor 1560 said...

Neo, I see that you are starting to attract the moonbats and trolls. From experience I would suggest that you simply delete them; without comment.

If you don't they will soon begin to hijack every thread or make enough noise that the sort of discussion that has gone on before is stifled. You are under no obligation to give them a platform to spew nonsense.

In point of fact, I think there is only one and the other comments are merely sock puppets. Ruthlessly weed them out stem and root.

 
At 10:11 PM, January 06, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

God Bless the USA!

 
At 10:13 PM, January 06, 2006, Anonymous Patrick Chester said...

tequilamockingbird tried:
We know where they are," Rumsfeld stated in a March 30, 2003, interview on ABC's "This Week". Too bad he couldn't have let the inspectors know.

Too bad you didn't show the entire quote. But that would change the context from "he knew" to "he had a good guess" and wouldnt' be as useful, right?

 
At 10:22 PM, January 06, 2006, Blogger Huan said...

did tequilamockingbird lied?

 
At 10:24 PM, January 06, 2006, Blogger Huan said...

i guess it depends on whether his selective quoting was his own ignorance, not knowing what "is" is, or was it an intent to deceive and misled.

 
At 11:42 PM, January 06, 2006, Blogger chuck said...

I love the way neo's critics resort to sarcasm. What next, irony? Oops ;-)

 
At 11:45 PM, January 06, 2006, Blogger Justin Olbrantz (Quantam) said...

I love the way neo's critics resort to sarcasm. What next, irony? Oops ;-)

...which has what to do with the topic (either of the post or of the debate)?

 
At 12:01 AM, January 07, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"So the new definition of a lie has become: something that fooled me. Something that I heard and thought was true, and then discovered wasn't true. It made me angry to be jerked around like that. So it's a lie."

Wouldn't you fire some of the people who jerked you around like that, though? I would. Especially, if I it led in any way to me making a decision that has resulted in more than two thousand dead Americans and 15,000 more maimed.

The greatest weakness of continuing on and on with "Bush Lied" is that not enough people move on to "Why did Bush Lie?" That's where you have to go to see the truly hideous face of this administration.

March on, peasants! Cheer! Cheer for your King! Meanwhile, the top 1% of the wealthy aristrocracy own more wealth than bottom NINETY-PERCENT. Cheer as you help your King give that 1% more and more while your real fellow man drowns in Katrina, dies on the battlefield, works more, earns less, and can't afford to take his kids to the doctor.

Apathy lives strong in America. Just keep their bellies full and they will close their eyes to all manner of injustice against their fellow peasants. They'll even fool themselves into believing they're not peasants.

Hopefully there are a few amongst you that will not piss away the rights your forefathers died for. And, hopefully there won't be too much suffering in the Depression of Revolution your heading for.

 
At 12:42 AM, January 07, 2006, Blogger chuck said...

Anonymous:

Apathy lives strong in America. Just keep their bellies full and they will close their eyes to all manner of injustice against their fellow peasants.

I don't like pretentious aristocrats, myself. There they stand, holding a perfumed silken hankerchief over their nose, while they lecture us poor sods on what we should believe, and then they tell us that we are too gullible, fearful, and stupid to understand anyway. They don't even have the grace to tell us their name. So, if I may, I would like to suggest Lord Anonymous go to H*ll.

 
At 1:05 AM, January 07, 2006, Anonymous tequilamockingbird said...

"MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: Finally, weapons of mass destruction. Key goal of the military campaign is finding those weapons of mass destruction. None have been found yet. There was a raid on the Answar Al-Islam Camp up in the north last night. A lot of people expected to find ricin there. None was found. How big of a problem is that? And is it curious to you that given how much control U.S. and coalition forces now have in the country, they haven't found any weapons of mass destruction?

SEC. RUMSFELD: Not at all. If you think -- let me take that, both pieces -- the area in the south and the west and the north that coalition forces control is substantial. It happens not to be the area where weapons of mass destruction were dispersed. We know where they are. They're in the area around Tikrit and Baghdad and east, west, south and north somewhat."

You've got a point. I relied on a source that said that Rumsfeld stated flatly: "We know where they are." He did say that. He added that they were somewhere east, west, south and north of Baghdad. Thanks for the helpful, clear and unambiguous statement, Mr. Secretary.

Did tequilamockingbird lied (sic)? No, Huan, tequilamockingbird didn't lied. Not knowing what "is" is? Perhaps I should have said "My heart and my best intentions still tell me that's true, but the facts and the evidence tell me it is not." Recognize that? It wasn't an attempt to misled (sic). Just curious -- what's your first language?

Chuck: "I love the way neo's critics resort to sarcasm. What next, irony? Oops ;-)" I don't know whether or not that remark is directed at me. If it is, you're mistaken; though she and have different political beliefs, I'm not one of neo's critics.

Oh, and your comment to "anonymous", "they don't even have the grace to tell us their name". Yours apparently is chuck; are you so superior in that regard?

tequilamockingbird

 
At 1:12 AM, January 07, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cheers to anonymous 12:01 for telling it like it us!

 
At 1:31 AM, January 07, 2006, Blogger chuck said...

TMB,

Yours apparently is chuck; are you so superior in that regard?

Evidently so. You are able to direct your comments to me, no?

 
At 1:38 AM, January 07, 2006, Anonymous tequilamockingbird said...

As I am to anonymous. It's just that I couldn't resist the temptation to end my post:

"Yours apparently is chuck; are you so superior in that regard?

tequilamockingbird"

Since I, like you, am ending my posts with a nom de net, I was being ironic -- the next step after sarcasm.

tequilamockingbird

 
At 1:41 AM, January 07, 2006, Anonymous tequilamockingbird said...

Oops ;-)

tequilamockingbird

 
At 1:51 AM, January 07, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As I am to anonymous. It's just that I couldn't resist the temptation to end my post:

You talkin' about me?

 
At 2:00 AM, January 07, 2006, Anonymous tequilamockingbird said...

As Travis would say, "Then who the hell else am I talkin' about?

tequilamockingbird

 
At 2:06 AM, January 07, 2006, Blogger The Bunnies said...

When Clinton and Albright in the 90's talked about the urgent need to get rid of Sadaam's weapons of mass destruction, were they lying, too?

Also, Neo, I encourage you not to delete the comments of the "moonbats" (I'm quoting another poster, not calling anyone that myself). I hate it when the left refutes my arguments by ignoring them, and I would hate to see a site like this that could be a good place for discussion revert to such tactics.

Instead, we "arrogant" and insane folks simply need to mention that the Clinton Administration repeatedly referred to Sadaam's WMD capabilities and that no liberals accuse them of lying.

If somehow Sadaam had disposed of his weapons before Bush started talking invasion, then I have yet to encounter evidence of his doing so. Furthermore, the terms of the cease fire after Gulf War I required that Sadaam prove that he not have WMD's, and he left the rest of the world plenty of evidence that he still did. Libya hid weapons materials in a chicken coop, and there's no way that inspectors could find weapons in such places, or know that no weapons could be in such places, without the full cooperation of Iraqi authorities. Sadaam let in inspectors only under the threat of war, not in any way in the spirit of cooperation that could have allowed us to believe he was no longer a threat. Even the biggest "moonbat" must concede that Sadaam has been duplicitious at best up until the present day.

Fortunately, I am encountering liberals and leftists on this site who actually respond to arguments, and I hope that happens here. So far, every time I've brought this up anywhere else they've changed the subject.

 
At 2:19 AM, January 07, 2006, Blogger Motor 1560 said...

I believe that this is a single poster with a sock puppet or two. Neo has attracted enough attention to collect some moonbats who will try to disrupt comment threads with cross dialog and other techniques. These "people" are always a problem. The very best thing that can be done is as soon as they appear, delete them with no comment; nothing to start flaming about. They will tire of not being able to do disrupt a "right wing" blog and will go elsewhere.

Neo is under no obligation to them. If they came into your church and began to proselytize for another sect they would be ejected. Same thing here. We might have some petty differences but we read Neo because, on the whole we agree with her points. They come simply because they do not agree and want to drive others away.

 
At 2:33 AM, January 07, 2006, Anonymous tequilamockingbird said...

Hey, The Bunnies! Nice to see you. No doubt Richard Aubrey will be weighing in soon.

Perhaps Clinton and Albright in the 90's
were mistaken, misinformed, stupid, duped, misled, lazy, deluded--oh, any number of other criticisms.

"The terms of the cease fire after Gulf War I required that Sadaam prove that he not have WMD's, and he left the rest of the world plenty of evidence that he still did."

I think it's pretty obvious that Saddam hoped or believed that putting up a "Beware of the dog" sign would discourage intruders -- although it could well be true that his regime was so dysfunctional and Saddam himself so deluded that he actually believed it himself.

"Libya hid weapons materials in a chicken coop, and there's no way that inspectors could find weapons in such places, or know that no weapons could be in such places, without the full cooperation of Iraqi authorities." Sources, please. What materials, in what quantity? Is that any way to run a railroad?

"Sadaam let in inspectors only under the threat of war, not in any way in the spirit of cooperation that could have allowed us to believe he was no longer a threat."

See my previous reference to "Beware the dog".

"Even the biggest 'moonbat' must concede that Sadaam has been duplicitious at best up until the present day." No quarrel there. Do you advocate the invasion of any country whose government is duplicitous at best? I'd guess that the percentage of duplicitous governments in the world would be in the high 90s.

Good on you for encouraging Neo not to censor her site so it only reflects the views of the Administration and its apologists.

tequilamockingbird

 
At 2:47 AM, January 07, 2006, Anonymous tequilamockingb ird said...

Thanks for your beautifully argued post, Motor 1560. Heaven forfend that we should have any reasoned discussion and read and ponder each other's expressions of our points of view.

After all, this isn't a public forum where we can discuss honestly held beliefs. It's a church where we must remain true to the gospel according to the Executive Branch.

"We might have some petty differences but we read Neo because, on the whole we agree with her points. They come simply because they do not agree and want to drive others away."

I pity you.

tequilamockingbird

 
At 2:47 AM, January 07, 2006, Anonymous verb said...

As to "everyone" believing Saddam had WMD...Hans Blix and Mohammed el Baradei were plenty skeptical, and they were on the ground before the "shock and awe". Scott Ritter was bluntly skeptical, and he had bona fides equal to or greater than any living American on the subject of Saddam's WMD arsenal.

Nowhere in the post are any of those three names mentioned. Three neutral observers all tasked with investigating and reporting on the state of Saddam's WMD arsenal, all reported that Saddam had nothing. Before the war.

As to assertions about connections between Saddam and 9/11, those were flat out lies.

Operative ties between Saddam and al Queda -- lies.

Mohammed Atta meeting in Prague -- lies.

I could go on...but on the matter of WMD...

Q: What do you call it when someone presents evidence they know to be ambiguous as unimpeachable fact?

A: A lie.

And somehow pointing this plain truth out is impolitic? Funny how the same people that claim to like Bush for "straight, plain talk" don't like the kind of straiight plain talk that calls him what he is. He's a liar, and so is his whole damn cabinet.

 
At 3:02 AM, January 07, 2006, Blogger The Bunnies said...

To address the peripheral issue first, motor, I know that Tequila is real and I doubt shs's playing multiple parts. We've matched wits before. I don't want this site trolled, either, and I've seen it happen elsewhere, but we're not there yet, so I want healthy discussion, for so far I believe it's possible.

Good to see you, too, to kill a.

"Perhaps Clinton and Albright in the 90's
were mistaken, misinformed, stupid, duped, misled, lazy, deluded--oh, any number of other criticisms."

But they did not lie. Does this in no way exonerate Bush of the lying charge? I'm not sure if Clinton used Chalabi as a source or not, but with or without him, Cheny relying on Chalabi in no way influenced the pronouncements of the Clinton Administration. So is it still that Clinton was "stupid" but Bush a liar?

?I think it's pretty obvious that Saddam hoped or believed that putting up a "Beware of the dog" sign would discourage intruders -- although it could well be true that his regime was so dysfunctional and Saddam himself so deluded that he actually believed it himself. "

That's partly my point. After he invaded Kuwait, the UN declared that he had no right to such a Beware of the Dog sign. The burden of proof was on him, and although weapons have been found in Iraq, there are still large amounts of WMD's that the world had lots of evidence he had, and he threw out the inspectors after not allowing them in palaces, etc.

"'Libya hid weapons materials in a chicken coop, and there's no way that inspectors could find weapons in such places, or know that no weapons could be in such places, without the full cooperation of Iraqi authorities.'" Sources, please. What materials, in what quantity? Is that any way to run a railroad?"

I'll have to retract the specific example because I can't locat the source (saved on favorites on another computer), but the general point still stands. South Africa, Ukraine, and (after the Iraqi invasion) Libya proved that they gave up their WMD's by fully accounting for and leading inspectors to all of their weapons. I know that anthrax-loaded missiles take up a lot of space, but small vials of Bubonic Plague do not. There was no way to be sure that he had nothing unless he actied in an overtly forthright manner, and he clearly did not do so.

"'Even the biggest 'moonbat' must concede that Sadaam has been duplicitious at best up until the present day.'" No quarrel there. Do you advocate the invasion of any country whose government is duplicitous at best? I'd guess that the percentage of duplicitous governments in the world would be in the high 90s."

Not "any country whose government is duplicitous," but perhaps those that have also previously used WMD's against both foreign soldiers and domestic civilians, have shot at American and British planes countless times, defied numerous counts of the cease fire, and jerked around UN inspectors repeatedly might qualify. The burden of proof lied with Sadaam, not the US, and telling inspectors that they can't go into palaces, or requesting that inspectors give them ample notice before inspecting somewhere falls far short of living up to the agreement under which we initially agreed not to continue toppling him.

"Good on you for encouraging Neo not to censor her site so it only reflects the views of the Administration and its apologists."

I only believe in the Golden Rule is all. Neo makes intelligent points that I usually agree with. I like having my views challenged, but the moment I feel shouted down, I'll change my tune.

 
At 3:17 AM, January 07, 2006, Blogger The Bunnies said...

Sorry for the double post, but I have to respont to verb who posted while I was writing.

"As to "everyone" believing Saddam had WMD...Hans Blix and Mohammed el Baradei were plenty skeptical...on the subject of Saddam's WMD arsenal."

Scepticism was not enough in dealing with someone who has gassed civlian populations, etc. We needed proof, the burden of proof was on Saddam, and he didn't provide it.

As to the Bush Admin claiming that Sadaam caused 9/11, nobody ever did so. The best Daily Kos could come up with was some interviewer asking Cheney if Sadaam planned 9/11, and Cheney answered "We don't know.

Claims that the Bush administation said Sadaam was responsible for 9/11...lies.

"Nowhere in the post are any of those three names mentioned. Three neutral observers all tasked with investigating and reporting on the state of Saddam's WMD arsenal, all reported that Saddam had nothing. Before the war."

But they couldn't prove it--only Sadaam could, and only Sadaam was required to. He didn't.

"Operative ties between Saddam and al Queda -- lies."

Check this post:

http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/006/550kmbzd.asp

"Mohammed Atta meeting in Prague -- lies. "

The Czech government still insists it's true. (I'll provide a source if/when you do)

"Q: What do you call it when someone presents evidence they know to be ambiguous as unimpeachable fact? A: A lie."

It is an unimpeachable fact that Sadaam threw out inspectors inthe 90's when doing so overtly defiled the cease fire agreement that ended hostilites against him.

"And somehow pointing this plain truth out is impolitic?"

Plain truth my cotton a*&. Nuff said.

 
At 3:29 AM, January 07, 2006, Blogger Darrell said...

Good point Bunnies, must be a full moon. Here are my points:
Prior to the invasion of Iraq, those of us headed there were given a classified briefing by a real live member of the UN inspection team with first hand experience in country. I hung out afterwards and talked to him one on one.
The main jist of the brief was the quantities of WMDs that Sadaam himself declared to the UN that he had after the first gulf war. It was simply mind boggling the quantities he declared and later could not account for.
Then came many powerpoint slides with pictures of what they had found during the inspections and a very detailed description of the outright deception and obstruction that they dealt with everyday in trying to carry out the inspections.
It was clear and convincing and raised the hair on the back of my neck, we fully expected to encounter this stuff going in.
I have no doubt that some of what we saw was the same that the president and congress was seeing. There were no lies. The fact that we havent found them does not make it a lie. My main fault with the administration is that they dont unclassify this stuff and release it to the public. It probably wont do any good with the irrational people, but if the reasonable people saw what they saw we might get close to closure on this subject.
The sad thing is I think they (WMDs) will show up, sooner or later. Probably here in the US. What will the MBs say then? I am sure they will blame it on the president for waiting so long to go in or something along those lines. There may have been a few dry runs over in russia lately.
Will they be mature enough to admit they were wrong? I doubt it.
Since we are dealing with denial and displacement it will probably just shift.
Lets use the al queda ties as an example, new breaking evidence of the ties and the training that went on, we will probably see them deny this also.
Question for the liberals trying to poop on this fine blog: Have you read al queda's words? Have you read their 20 year plan?
http://service.spiegel.de/cache/international/0,1518,369448,00.html
Have you read the resolution your democratic heroes voted for? WMDs were one of many reasons for going to war.
Pull your heads out of the sand, its about to get real serious, and for the poster that talked about "our" founding fathers, I make the jump he is european, you guys are on the chopping block before us in the new caliphate since it starts in Spain, and we are the only ones standing between that and you.
Sorry Neo, hate to feed the trolls but I cant let this one pass.
CWO3

 
At 3:44 AM, January 07, 2006, Blogger The Bunnies said...

I've heard stories of convoys going from Iraq to some valley in Lebanon or something right before the invasion, but I have no way of confirming/knowing if they're true. Can darrell, or anyone else by chance, provide any sources to either support or refute this?

Even if Sadaam didn't have WMD's, he acted like he did. It's like if a cop thinks he sees you with a gun, and you stand with your hands behind your back. When he yells "show me your hands" you show your left hand. When he yells "other hand" you put your left hand back and then show him your right. When he says "both hands at once" you fidget behind your back for a moment, stick your butt out and carefully balance when you show both hands before putting one back behind your back real fast.

Eventually, he's going to shoot, but even if the idiot/victim was in fact unarmed, can you really blame the cop?

 
At 3:55 AM, January 07, 2006, Anonymous Patrick Chester said...

Actually, tequila, I was referring to what Rumsfeld said after the part you quote.

"I would also add, we saw from the air that there were dozens of trucks that went into that facility after the existence of it became public in the press and they moved things out. They dispersed them and took them away. So there may be nothing left. I don't know that. But it's way too soon to know. The exploitation is just starting."

Hm. Nope, that doesn't sound quite as confident as you were trying to imply he was. Oh well.

 
At 4:05 AM, January 07, 2006, Blogger Darrell said...

"Can darrell, or anyone else by chance, provide any sources to either support or refute this?"

I cannot, but I believe them to be true, what would they be hauling ass to syria before the war?
That is one of my main worries. If it went there then it is totally uncontrolled.
I find it hard to believe that we didnt track them by satellite, maybe we did and know where they went.
With our intelligence agencies leaking like sieves I am not sure, they may have blown this off, I hope not but I wouldnt be suprised.

 
At 4:31 AM, January 07, 2006, Anonymous verb said...

said...

" Scepticism was not enough in dealing with someone who has gassed civlian populations, etc. We needed proof, the burden of proof was on Saddam, and

he didn't provide it."

Asking someone to prove a negative is highly dubious when there's nothing supporting the claims he had WMD.

It was Bush's word against Saddam's, and neutral observers found nothing to support Bush's claims. So how was he so cocksure?

Anyway...It's impossible to prove a negative.


" As to the Bush Admin claiming that Sadaam caused 9/11, nobody ever did so. The best Daily Kos could come up with was some interviewer asking Cheney

if Sadaam planned 9/11, and Cheney answered "We don't know."

Text of a Letter from the President to the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President Pro Tempore of the Senate

March 18, 2003

Dear Mr. Speaker: (Dear Mr. President:)

Consistent with section 3(b) of the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002 (Public Law 107-243), and based on

information available to me, including that in the enclosed document, I determine that:

(1) reliance by the United States on further diplomatic and other peaceful means alone will neither (A) adequately protect the national security of the

United States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq nor (B) likely lead to enforcement of all relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions

regarding Iraq; and

(2) acting pursuant to the Constitution and Public Law 107-243 is consistent with the United States and other countries continuing to take the necessary

actions against international terrorists and terrorist organizations, including those nations, organizations, or persons who planned, authorized,

committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001.

Sincerely,

GEORGE W. BUSH

link: http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2003/03/20030319-1.html

" It is an unimpeachable fact that Sadaam threw out inspectors inthe 90's when doing so overtly defiled the cease fire agreement that ended hostilites

against him."

And?

Aluminum tubes? Lies. Deleting cautionary info from the NIE? Arguing "material breach" and controverting the definition of "serious consequences" under

1441....over the objections of the UN? Uranium from Niger?

Argue each point, as you will. There's an undeniable pattern of deception from Bush and his cabinet.

Bottom line...there were no WMD. So how could any of them be so sure? The UN didn't find them, the ISG didn't find them...Bush even admitted as much

earlier this year. Claims leading to invasion and bombing need hard evidence, and should carry a high standard of objective proof...anything less is

aggression.

Forget for a moment the particular circumstances...if a salesman tells you things are certain, when they are in fact far from certain...that's a lie.

He's selling you something on a lie. If your kids tell you they're sure of something, but are withholding a contradictory fact to mislead you, that's

deceptive. They are lying to you.

What were they honest about? Oil money paying for it? Welcomed as liberators? Multilateral coalition? Saddam was a threat who'd turn over that which he

didn't have to al Queda, who he had no operative connection to? Mission accomplished? Turned the corner? Iraqi forces are ready to stand up?

Fiction. Pure fiction.

I'll tell you what's real...$9B missing. Unmetered oil taps.

For the costs...$300B, 2100 dead US, 30K + dead Iraqis, Abu Ghraib, divided country, etc...what did we get? Let's deal in objective, agreed upon facts.

Saddam...that's good. His kids, that's good. And that's about it that's good.

And what else? Civil war in Iraq. Strengthened Iran's hand in the region. Theocracy. Instability. Close to breaking the military. Opportunity cost in

homeland security, cargo, ports. International bad will. On and on.

Look, I didn't agree, it was a pack of lies, but I still want the best outcome for any situation we find ourselves in as a nation. But arriving at

positive outcomes involves accurate self-assessment. And the facts suggest that the negatives far outwiegh any possible positives. Optimism is nice, but

it doesn't solve problems.

Start by quitting the CURRENT bs. Bush is still lying to this day about what we're facing, and he's never welcomed contrary advice. He's demonizing

people who have forgotten more about fighting war and terrorism than Bush will ever know, including his own father. The same people who failed to plan,

who failed to procure enough body armor, who profited by shoddy contracting...are all still in place, or promoted. The same issues plague us now as at

the onset. Elections are great PR, but the true measure is has violence decreased and has stability increased?

I can debate all your talking points. (1998? Not germane. 1987 even less so.) But don't maintain spin as if they were facts and expect constructive

dialogue. End the BS already.

Did Bush lie? Yes. Is he lying now? Yes. He's dissembling about the state of the Iraqi military, the exit strategy, and attacking those who suggest

anything less tha his strategy are branded "cut and run", which is horsehockey.. What good is that doing? Forget partisan sniping...it's the sin of

failure that I don't forgive. To set things right requires accurate self-assessment. Spin dosn't solve a thing.

 
At 4:43 AM, January 07, 2006, Blogger Motor 1560 said...

Bird: Don't need or want your pity. But, your scalp will do.

Iraq is a done deal. I just don't think it is mentally healthy to live in the past and discuss minutiae.

Events of the last ten years are simply a continuation of something that has been laying around since 1683 when Islam was stopped at Vienna. It was only a matter of time before somebody saw the Black Flag in Khurasan (Afghanistan)again.

I don't believe that this is a War Against Terrorism.

In twenty years we will either be a Spartan nation of spears or we will go under.

On that basis you and I have no common ground at all. I may be wrong. You may have read the primary and secondary literature and may even be an exegete of the Qur'an and fluent in modern and classical Arabic. I doubt it. You sound like a Starbucks intellectual.

And, yes I served and still serve; just not as strenuously these days; so I'm immune to the chickenhawk argument. And, my sons serve. They received the same advice that I used to get when I was young and leaving the house, "Come back with your shield or on it."

We'll pull your sorry chestnuts out of the fire just like we've always done. Even effete chestnuts. Just don't get downrange or somebody might mistake you for a target. Stay back with the women and children and keep your hand over your stacking swivel.

The first military unit badges I wore said, "This We'll Defend". And, that includes you. Just don't make me have to listen to your emissions.

 
At 4:57 AM, January 07, 2006, Blogger Motor 1560 said...

Verb: You might want to be careful about your argumentation. Strawmen are flammable.

Here's a page lisitng logical fallacies. You might want to read it carefully. It will help you and 'Bird the next time you're impressing the girls at Starbucks.

Enlist, spend a tour with your betters. Then come back and we'll talk. That's called the Reverse Chickenhawk. Until then, don't piss on my boot and try to tell me it's raining.

 
At 5:50 AM, January 07, 2006, Blogger The Bunnies said...

Neo, I am so terribly sorry if you feel I'm hijacking your comments section. (I'm actualy trying to prove your initial point in a very roundabout way.)

Responding to verb will be a good way to solve my insomnia. I'm not sure if there's much other point though...

"Asking someone to prove a negative is highly dubious when there's nothing supporting the claims he had WMD. "

Nothing "supporting the claims he had WMD." Nothing? Nothing!? Not the amounts unaccounted for after the first Gulf War? Not his previous use of WMD? Not his throwing out inspectors? (yes, kicking out those searching WMD is evidence that you might have them, even if it happened in 1997)

"It was Bush's word against Saddam's, and neutral observers found nothing to support Bush's claims. So how was he so cocksure?"

Neutral observers in the pay of the Iraqi government like the unquestioned expert Scott Ritter? Yes, all neutral observers like John Kerry found "nothing" to support Bush's claims. Nothing. No evidence at all. Not a shred. Even most of Bush's harshest critics concede that there was a tiny little bit of a hint of a shred of evidence to Bush's claims.

"Anyway...It's impossible to prove a negative."

But it is possible to make a good faith attempt to do so, and "you can't go into my palaces/large industrial complexes" doesn't even come remotely close.

"...acting pursuant to the Constitution and Public Law 107-243 is consistent with the United States and other countries continuing to take the necessary
actions against international terrorists and terrorist organizations, including those nations, organizations, or persons who planned, authorized,
committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001."

The relevant portion here is "take the necessary actions against international terrorists and terrorist orgnizations INCLUDING (emphasis mine) persons who...September 11, 2001." It doesn't say "only" those who planned 9/11. This refers to authorization to attack ALL terrorist states, some of which might have had a part in 9/11. Take a logic course. Is that the best proof you've got that the adminsitration hammered it into the heads of the world that Sadaam planned 9/11?

"'It is an unimpeachable fact that Sadaam threw out inspectors inthe 90's when doing so overtly defiled the cease fire agreement that ended hostilites against him.' And?"

And this is pretty strong evidence he had something to hide. Is that really so hard to understand?

"Aluminum tubes? Lies."

Debatable. And you never address if/how Clinton was merely deceived while Bush lied.

"Deleting cautionary info from the NIE? Arguing "material breach" and controverting the definition of "serious consequences" under 1441....over the objections of the UN?"

I suppose that "serious consequences" should have meant several hundred more harshly worded documents and the demand that he increase Oil-for-Food bribes.

"Uranium from Niger?"

Nobody disputes that an Iraqi envoy sought expanded trade relataions with Niger. Nobody disputes that Niger's only substantial imports are cowpeas, goats, and uranium. I guess Iraq just wanted more goats and peas.

"Argue each point, as you will. There's an undeniable pattern of deception from Bush and his cabinet. "

If I refute and "argue each point" then the "pattern of deception from Bush..." become somewhat deniable.

"Bottom line...there were no WMD. So how could any of them be so sure? The UN didn't find them, the ISG didn't find them...Bush even admitted as much "

Clinton was sure, among many others. But I guess Clinton just "didn't really mean it" but Bush lied. Afer all, there's mounds of evidence and documentation that between 1997 and 2003 Sadaam did everything he could to account for the discrepancy between what we knew he had and what he could show he destroyed. Maybe he got rid of WMD in secret after Clinton bombed him as an act of goodwill but just forgot to keep track.

"Claims leading to invasion and bombing need hard evidence, and should carry a high standard of objective proof...anything less is aggression."

Even "bombing" needs hard evidence? Good thing Clinton provided us with all that "hard evidence" before he bombed Sadaam that magically vanished when Bush took office.

"Forget for a moment the particular circumstances...if a salesman tells you things are certain, when they are in fact far from certain...that's a lie. "

If Bush lied, so did Clinton. Please, will somebody on the left address this? Everyone skirts around this every time.

"What were they honest about? Oil money paying for it? Welcomed as liberators?"

Ever heard of the Kurds?

"Multilateral coalition?"

Apparently Poland, Britain, Australia, etc. don't even exist. (all nations that opposed the invasion, however, are part of the "international community")

"Saddam was a threat who'd turn over that which he
didn't have to al Queda, who he had no operative connection to?"

You obviously haven't gone to link I posted.

"Mission accomplished? Turned the corner? Iraqi forces are ready to stand up? Fiction. Pure fiction."

I suppose the mass graves are really the bones of Michael Moore fans who checked out Mao books from public libraries.

"Let's deal in objective, agreed upon facts. Saddam...that's good. His kids, that's good. And that's about it that's good. And what else? Civil war in Iraq."

Just for the record, in the same TV show, Murtha claimed that Iraq was already having a civil war and also that there was no threat of civil war breaking out if US troops left.

"Strengthened Iran's hand in the region. Theocracy. Instability."

The first two are premature conclusions, and the third is a hell of a lot better than "stability" under Sadaam's thuggishness. Even if the hope of freedom were bleak, at least there's some hope.

"Close to breaking the military."

Huh? I just got out of the military a few months ago, and I assure you, it's far from broken, thank you very much. Strained, but that's about it.

"Opportunity cost in homeland security, cargo, ports. International bad will. On and on."

Terrorists recruited in Europe now head to Iraq to blow themselves up instead of NY. Oh, but I forgot about all those dirty bombs going off in Chicago since we invaded. I suppose homeland security's broken. I'll grant you the point.

"Optimism is nice, but it doesn't solve problems.
He's demonizing people who have forgotten more about fighting war and terrorism than Bush will ever know, including his own father. "

He's demonizing his own fater? Damn, you must have some really inside information. Are you "not engaging in sexual relations" with Jenna?

"The same issues plague us now as at the onset."

Yes, it's still far too dangerous to hold an election. None of the Sunnis will vote.

"Elections are great PR, but the true measure is has violence decreased and has stability increased?"

It all depends on what part of the country you're in. And elections are A HELL OF A LOT MORE THAN PR. Those purple fingers demonstrate greater courage than most of us will ever know.

I would address your final points, but you already did:

"Spin dosn't solve a thing."

 
At 6:13 AM, January 07, 2006, Blogger Motor 1560 said...

Bunnies: Thanks for your service and welcome home.

You have far more patience than I. To put it delicately, I've gotten used to a good deal more deference than exists in blog comment threads. It's a little like trying to reason with a plague of locusts. Every locust just scritches the same little noise and no matter how many you stomp on, there are more scritching the same noise.

Good job.

 
At 7:52 AM, January 07, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's funny how Motor doesn't tell us any argument and simply wants to censor any opposing opinion instead. Perhaps he is afraid a bit that someone could slightly shake up his simple black and white world ?

 
At 8:19 AM, January 07, 2006, Anonymous Paul said...

Leftists and Liberals tend to see a Bush lie behind everything that the man does and we know that they (the Leftists/Liberals) have their own agendas that often disregard the facts and the truth! .

 
At 8:24 AM, January 07, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Left is the Lying Liar of all Liars. Whatever comes from their mouths are Lies since Lies are all they have Left.

 
At 9:05 AM, January 07, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

7:52 Anonymous

Because arguing on the Internet is like being in the Special Olympics. Even if you when your're still retarded.

 
At 9:09 AM, January 07, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous 12:01 said...

Bunny:
"When Clinton and Albright in the 90's talked about the urgent need to get rid of Sadaam's weapons of mass destruction, were they lying, too?"

- I have no way of knowing whether they were lying or not, but I do know they didn’t use it as a reason to go to war. The politics of Washington is one thing and the politics of war is another. War is immensely more destructive than any other human endeavor (including the sum total of all terrorism as defined by the US). Anyone who starts a war, like George W. Bush, needs to be held to the absolute highest degree of scrutiny.

Bush was misled? By whom? And why do they still work for him? If this was truly all just a colossal mistake, at least one person ought to have lost their job over it – if not for lying, then for being totally incompetent.

Not only has this administration *started* a war, it has also undercut our liberty, and that also deserves the utmost scrutiny. Even the Abramoff scandal is penny-ante compared to the blood and guts on the killing floor and your government spying on…you. It doesn’t get any more serious.

"Scepticism was not enough in dealing with someone who has gassed civlian populations, etc. We needed proof, the burden of proof was on Saddam, and he didn't provide it."

- When you refer to the gassing, you're referring to a time period when the US government (which included basically the same people who are there now) were supporting Saddam Hussein with money, weapons and intelligence. Back then spreading gas wasn't as naughty as spreading the Iranian revolution into Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. That worked out well.

You don’t seem to view the US Gov't with even the least little bit of that same skepticism. Yet, it is a government that has injected "its own people" with diseases (Tuskegee Syphillis Experiments), utilized concentration camps, practices torture, spies on its citizens, and starts wars.

Essentially, this discussion is about the Bush Administration's marketing strategy for going to war. WMD. He wanted to start a war with a nation that did not attack or threaten to attack us...and he had to spend months and months trying to convince everyone to go to war. When he couldn’t, he just did it anyway.

After all, it would have been rather difficult to go to war based on the truth. How's this:

“We declare war on the immeasurably inferior nation of Iraq in order to establish a stronger American military presence in the Middle East. We wish to pillage and control its natural resources in a manner that will extend American power and benefit our privileged elites and corporations.

“More than 10,000 red-blooded American men and women may be sacrificed, maimed, or otherwise scarred for life. At least ten innocent Iraqi men, women, and children will likely be killed for every innocent life lost on 9/11, and many more innocents shall suffer. They may decide to fight back, and if they do we intend to stay and continue to fight whatever the cost (to you). Bring it on.

We're going to invite the media to ride along with us, embed them. And, we'll do our damndest to hide the ugly realities of war from you in cooperation with the 5 mega-corporations who control the media. Instead of actually thinking, we encourage you to go about business as usual.

“During this time of war, we intend to make an unprecedented move: we will lower taxes for the wealthiest 1% of our citizens, ensuring the working class foots even more of the bill. Further, we shall reduce the number of jobs on the homeland by hundreds of thousands. We thank the American peasants, err, middle class and poor, for increasing productivity (profits) and continuing to settle for less (lower wages and a higher cost of living). In closing, we're going to create or raise premiums on Medicaid for the poor, and cut food stamps for the really poor while we're at it. After all, there must be sacrifice.”

Now, that wouldn't have gone over too well. The only part they were able to tell us truthfully was the "bring it on" bit. They communicated to us in little marketing sound bites, determined to sell this war. And the picture they painted was constantly best-case scenario...it'll last a few weeks; they'll welcome us with open arms, we'll pay for it with their oil. There were plenty of dissenting views, and they were ignored, hushed, or squelched as if they didn’t exist. Questionable facts were polished, shined, and magnified.

Setting aside all politics, what I honestly wonder is why you and so many others defend this administration's horrible record of leadership, decision-making, policies, and most of all: outcomes. It is difficult for me to imagine how this presidency could have been mismanaged any worse than this.


Motor1560:
If they came into your church and began to proselytize for another sect they would be ejected. Same thing here.

- Yeah, that sounds like what Jesus would do, too. Eject them. Do you think you would kick Jesus out of your church? A burly Jew of carpenters' stock, telling you to forsake your worldly goods and follow him around helping the poor...somehow I don't think he'd fit in. They nailed him to a cross for being a rebel rouser, as you know, going places he wasn’t welcome, doing things he wasn’t supposed to, and saying things other people didn’t want to hear.


Motor1560:
We might have some petty differences but we read Neo because, on the whole we agree with her points.

- Not me. Jesus especially pissed off the Pharisees who preferred to hang out together quibbling over petty differences. He was my kind of guy. Not you, though. What can I say, I take my “What Would Jesus Do?” bracelet seriously.


Darrel:
The sad thing is I think they (WMDs) will show up, sooner or later. Probably here in the US. What will the MBs say then? I am sure they will blame it on the president for waiting so long to go in or something along those lines. There may have been a few dry runs over in russia lately.
Will they be mature enough to admit they were wrong? I doubt it.

- Didn’t you hear? The 9/11 Commission has given this administration and the Republican run Congress an *F* when it comes to protecting this country. If we weren’t our starting wars in Iraq, already costing over $230,000,000,000+ (enough to end world hunger for a decade), we could be investing in some things that actually would protect us.

Sadaam Hussein’s was a secular government in an Islamic block, he had enough trouble in his own back yard. No one in his right mind believed he was going to try to attack America, as in war attack.

Look what GW did to Iraq after he attacked it…imagine what would have happened to Iraq had we actually declared war in response to being attacked by them. Unimaginable devastation.

It’s not like he was some radical Islamic fundamentalist or something. It's those guys we have to be careful about, like the ones who are getting stronger in number by the day, motivated by this war.

Rumsfeld:
“The exploitation is just starting.”

- Ain’t that the truth.

 
At 10:06 AM, January 07, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you don't agree w/ neo's posts and think that you're going to convert the folks here and barring that drive them off with contarian posts then you are a disrupter and a troll/shill.

Don't let the door hit you in the cheeks on your way out. And, write if you get work, hear?

 
At 11:27 AM, January 07, 2006, Blogger flenser said...

verb

You should read what Hans Blix said in his own words.

Sample; "Iraq appears not to have come to a genuine acceptance, not even today, of the disarmament which was demanded of it and which it needs to carry out to win the confidence of the world and to live in peace."

 
At 11:33 AM, January 07, 2006, Anonymous tequilamockingbird said...

Motor 1560: Congratulations on actually saying something about your beliefs and where you stand rather than just saying I'm not entitled to take a position that doesn't agree with yours. It's a start.

"Iraq is a done deal"? Hardly. It's a work in progress. "Events of the last ten years are simply a continuation of something that has been laying around since 1683 ..."? Hardly. They're simply a continuation of something that has been laying around since the Creation, or whatever myth you happen to believe in concerning that event.

"I don't believe that this is a War Against Terrorism." Neither do I! Common ground!

"In twenty years we will either be a Spartan nation of spears or we will go under."

Man, that's scary stuff. Good thing people like you are only a wingnut minority. Reminds me of an allusion to Travis Bickle earlier in this thread. You could benefit from psychiatric care. They're doing amazing things these days.

"On that basis you and I have no common ground at all. I may be wrong. You may have read the primary and secondary literature and may even be an exegete of the Qur'an and fluent in modern and classical Arabic. I doubt it. You sound like a Starbucks intellectual."

What kind of a leap is that? What in hell are you talking about?

"And, yes I served and still serve; just not as strenuously these days; so I'm immune to the chickenhawk argument."

Huh? Who brought up any chickenhawk argument?

"We'll pull your sorry chestnuts out of the fire just like we've always done. Even effete chestnuts." It's your sorry chestnuts that are in the fire in Iraq, partner. If this was a War on Terror, which we agree it is not, we'd be in there with you, as we are in Afghanistan. (Afghanistan is not a pretty sight these days, and hasn't been since the U.S. withdrew its Arabist experts and the cream of its special forces for the neo-con imperialist invasion of Iraq, but Afghanistan is a whole 'nother story.)

"Just don't get downrange or somebody might mistake you for a target. Stay back with the women and children and keep your hand over your stacking swivel." Good advice. Non-embedded journalists in Iraq are probably well aware they're risking being murdered by right-thinking American troops like you, as others have been.

"Just don't make me have to listen to your emissions." Change the channel, buddy. Nobody's making you do anything.

Oh, and if I can intrude on your message to verb, thanks for the "logical fallacies" link. I suggest you read it. If you don't see how any of those apply to you, read it again.

Also in your post to verb: Reverse Chickenhawk? Does that apply to the glorious military career of your illustrious Commander in Chief? Where does it leave Rumsfeld and five-deferment Cheney, along with hundreds of Congressmen, Senators, and unelected advisors who never served but are directing this unnecessary elective war of agression?

 
At 11:44 AM, January 07, 2006, Blogger Huan said...

tequilamockingbird said...
SEC. RUMSFELD: Not at all. If you think -- let me take that, both pieces -- the area in the south and the west and the north that coalition forces control is substantial. It happens not to be the area where weapons of mass destruction were dispersed. We know where they are. They're in the area around Tikrit and Baghdad and east, west, south and north somewhat."

You've got a point. I relied on a source that said that Rumsfeld stated flatly: "We know where they are." He did say that. He added that they were somewhere east, west, south and north of Baghdad. Thanks for the helpful, clear and unambiguous statement, Mr. Secretary.

Lovely of you to demonstrate in person Neo's point. Did Rumsfeld lied when he made this statement? Did he indeed know there were no WMD and declare he knew they were there?

Then consider this from Patrick Chester regarding what else Rumsfeld said:
"I would also add, we saw from the air that there were dozens of trucks that went into that facility after the existence of it became public in the press and they moved things out. They dispersed them and took them away. So there may be nothing left. I don't know that. But it's way too soon to know. The exploitation is just starting."

btw, English is my 3rd language. Even so, I have to point out something verb posted regarding a Bush letter linking Iraq and 9/11:
(2) acting pursuant to the Constitution and Public Law 107-243 is consistent with the United States and other countries continuing to take the necessary actions against international terrorists and terrorist organizations, including those nations, organizations, or persons who planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001.
By using the word "including" he thus make the distinction that action will be taken against terrorists organizations, some, but not necessarily all or only those, who took actions on 9/11.

 
At 11:48 AM, January 07, 2006, Blogger Huan said...

tequilamockingbird,

btw, ad hominems, whether direct or insinuated, do not advance your argument.
rather it weakens your own character.

to suggest someone may need psychiatric care for their belief is egregious, especially if you have not demonstrated the professional capacity to make that diagnoses.

 
At 11:58 AM, January 07, 2006, Blogger Motor 1560 said...

What do we know? We know that the positions taken by people like 'Bird and his ilk are the expression of delusional thinking. Neo, Dr. Sanity; sigmund,carl and alfred; and Shrinkwrapped have been kind enough to use their professional analytic skills to delineate the nature of the delusions and have given us the causal matrices that have caused these delusions.

We know that, extended to their full illogical reach, these delusions put each of us, our families and our country at risk.

The delusions have also deprived us of a "loyal opposition" party so crucial to the operation of our democracy. The almost total capture of the Democratic Party and its subsequent marginalization is not a healthy development. But, it may hasten the rise of a new centrist party. Only time will tell.

Like so many mentally ill people those infected by the delusional meme have fairly common behavioral problems and thought processes.

One pattern is to try to argue "opponents", that is people who are not infected, into agreeing with them, sharing their illness. When this doesn't work they will, commonly, act out. With regard to blogs with comments this may take the form of talking so much that no one else can speak, or smearing feces on the walls.

My response is to not enable their behavior. I do not engage them in debate; all of us who have dealt with the delusional know this to be futile nor do I try to find "common ground". Never try to teach a pig to sing. It only wastes your time and annoys the pig.

Make no mistake. These are not just crazy people. They are dangerous crazy people because just like dippy Aunt Jo, we don't know when they are going to go out to the kitchen and come back into the living room with a carving knife or let her psychotic boyfriend in the back door. By that time she is not the sweet, babbling nut at the dinner table.

Some of us may even excuse her behavior by saying, "Oh she didn't really mean it." or "You just have to know how to handle her." Some people will even deny the whole concept of mental illness. "Well, she has her rights, you know. Besides, mental illness is just somebodies opinion. I don't think it really exists at all."

You read about it all the time. "Sweet Old Aunt Slays Five In Their Beds. More at ten"

What we are dealing with is a whole cohort of people who have bought into a mass delusion; not the first time this has happened.

If Henny Penny had simply told Chicken Little, " Stop talking nonsense Little! You got hit on the head with a acorn. Get over it. Or, you will go to your room and miss supper." If old CL doesn't shut his beak, he stands a real chance of getting sent to his room and having his door nailed shut.

Folks, we have to stop giving dangerous, crazy people the oxygen of a "benefit of a doubt". When we enable them, they in turn enable others who are overtly and publicly murderous.

 
At 12:00 PM, January 07, 2006, Anonymous tequilamockingbird said...

Huan: verb was only quoting from the "Text of a Letter from the President to the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President Pro Tempore of the Senate." If the use of the word "including" is a grammatical error, it's one that was made by the President. Hmm -- if it is indeed an error, do you suppose he would admit it?

tequilamockingbird

 
At 12:11 PM, January 07, 2006, Anonymous Lunacy said...

Back to the topic:

I see it as Projection.

Those who selectively accuse Bush of lying while ingoring the same info out of the mouth of Clinton or whomever are themselves the liars,

projecting thier sin onto Bush and his supporters.

They know the difference between deceipt and error.
They knew it when Clinton deceived and covered for him. They rationalized that the deceipt didn't matter because it was a "private matter." That he lied was not important because what he lied about was not important to them. It didn't support any agenda they had. In fact, denying the importance of Clinton's deception WAS supportive of thier agenda.

But now, it behooves them to project deceipt onto Bush because that DOES support their agenda.

It isn't naivity. It isn't misunderstanding.

On the contrary, it is quite logical by leftist standards.

Quantity has a quality all it's own. If you repeat the lie enough it begins to sound true. Or true in essence...

like "fake but accurate".

Lunacy

 
At 12:18 PM, January 07, 2006, Anonymous tequilamockingbird said...

Huan: "to suggest someone may need psychiatric care for their belief is egregious, especially if you have not demonstrated the professional capacity to make that diagnoses."

You're right about ad hominem arguments, of course. I made one comment that I'll admit was rude and dismissive. I refer you to Motor 1560's post where he repeatedly characterizes huge numbers of people as crazy. His reason, in a nutshell? They think differently than he does.

He's written the most radical and offensive posts I've seen on this blog.

 
At 12:33 PM, January 07, 2006, Anonymous Grackle said...

tequilamockingbird said...

“Non-embedded journalists in Iraq are probably well aware they're risking being murdered by right-thinking American troops like you, as others have been.”

Stupid assertions such as the above only serve to undercut your other arguments. Aren’t you at all concerned about your credibility to the reader?

 
At 12:34 PM, January 07, 2006, Anonymous verb said...

Not the amounts unaccounted for after the first Gulf War? Not his previous use of WMD? Not his throwing out inspectors? (yes, kicking out those searching WMD is evidence that you might have them, even if it happened in 1997)

What did Blix and el Baradei report? Why did Bush ask them to leave, they clearly weren't done with inspections.

Again...if we're talking about what did Saddam have at the time of invasion...the wild claims of WMD weren't supported by current inspections. They. didn't. find. anything. Sheesh.

The relevant portion here is "take the necessary actions against international terrorists and terrorist orgnizations INCLUDING (emphasis mine) persons who...September 11, 2001." It doesn't say "only" those who planned 9/11. This refers to authorization to attack ALL terrorist states, some of which might have had a part in 9/11. Take a logic course. Is that the best proof you've got that the adminsitration hammered it into the heads of the world that Sadaam planned 9/11?

You're parsing words like a Clintonista. BTW, Clinton didn't invade and occupy Iraq. While you're on the subject of logical fallacies, check out "tu quoque."

Again...what is the plain meaning of words? "Including" doesn't "include" Saddam. He wasn't "included" in the 9/11 attacks. If the President meant "including, but not limited to", then that's what the resolution should have specified. It didn't. Of course it's easier to take an overly generous interpretation, but I could cite 50 other examples of where they conflated Iraq with 9/11 (or "the terrorists who attacked us") and it's a pattern of deceit.

If Bush lied, so did Clinton. Please, will somebody on the left address this? Everyone skirts around this every time.

Clinton didn't invade, but I agree with the basic truth...Clinton was a liar. Everyone knows that. The difference is, I'm not parsing words like the meaning of "including" to a generous interpretation. "Is" means "is, and "including" means "including". (And left and right has nothing to do with it.)

Apparently Poland, Britain, Australia, etc. don't even exist. (all nations that opposed the invasion, however, are part of the "international community")

For crying out loud...are you capable of discussing things in good faith? You're arguing against every "leftie" you've ever debated here...which doesn't include me.

Remember the debates, when Cheney castigated Edwards over a compariosn between the 1991 coalition and the current one: "You made the comment that the Gulf War coalition in '91 was far stronger than this. No. We had 34 countries then; we've got 30 today. We've got troops beside us."

Highly misleading. The 1991 coalition had 660,000 troops (and nearly all of Iraq's neightbors -- Saudi, UAE, even Syria, it was a larger, more local, more Muslim supported coalition) for "merely" ejecting Saddam from Kuwait.

Let's be perfectly honest here...if we had 660,000 troops to bear on the current situation for peacekeeping duties, we wouldn't be having this debate in 2006, in a ll likelihood. We'd both be celebrating successful elections.

You seem to want to argue Michael Moore, and something Murtha said, and whatnot...but I'm a realist. This ain't polemic.

Bush hade claims which he couldn't substantiate...regardless of what Saddam did or didn't do.

The coalition isn't as strong (not even 1/4 as strong) as the 1991 coalition.

They invaded on their own timetable, and still they were unprepared. That's unforgivable.

Bush is still lying now! What is the state of Iraqi security forces? Anyone can tell you that the Iraqi security forces are largely compromised in places, and enacting vendettas, and even if they were fully field ready, they'd still need American support, air support, logistsics, etc. But to listen to Bush you'd think they're "standing up so we can stand down." Great, rosy assessment completely unsupported by reality.

 
At 12:38 PM, January 07, 2006, Anonymous tequilamockingbird said...

Lunacy: Clinton lied to attempt to conceal an adulterous affair. Bush -- and I'll avoid the use of the word "lied" -- cherrypicked and exaggerated information supporting the avowed aim of his neo-con advisers to invade Iraq and overthrow Saddam, presenting that information as indisputably true, while ignoring and suppressing information to the contrary, and led the nation into an aggressive and unnecessary war. Do you think the two are of the same order of magnitude?

Of course you don't. No reasonable person would. Rather, you don't accept my premise about Bush's -- the Administration's -- actions. Can we agree on that?

 
At 12:49 PM, January 07, 2006, Anonymous tequilamockingbird said...

Grackle: Yeah, you're right. This is a second instance when I reacted to Motor 1560's ravings in an inappropriate way.

It's hard to maintain a balanced perspective when you're dealing with a fanatical radical. Sorry.

 
At 12:50 PM, January 07, 2006, Anonymous verb said...

I'll give you another example of prevarication, one that directly relates to this thing you said:

This refers to authorization to attack ALL terrorist states, some of which might have had a part in 9/11.

Remember when the admin was going around claiming they'd never said "imminent threat" (pdf link) to justify pre-emptive war? I do.

What prevarication! Bush's National Security Strategy repeatedly justifies pre-emptive war on rogue nations in general -- and Iraq specifically -- on the basis of "imminent threat".

They also use terms like: "looming threat", "new threat", "contemporary threat", "immediacy of today's threats", "imminent danger of attack", and "sufficient threat".

At the time of the Gulf War, we acquired irrefutable proof that Iraq’s designs were not limited to the chemical weapons it had used against Iran and its own people, but also extended to the acquisition of nuclear weapons and biological agents. [...] Other rogue regimes seek nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons as well. These states’ pursuit of, and global trade in, such weapons has become a looming threat to all nations.

For centuries, international law recognized that nations need not suffer an attack before they can lawfully take action to defend themselves against forces that present an imminent danger of attack. Legal scholars and international jurists often conditioned the legitimacy of preemption on the existence of an imminent threat—most often a visible mobilization of armies, navies, and air forces preparing to attack.

We must adapt the concept of imminent threat to the capabilities and objectives of today’s adversaries. Rogue states and terrorists do not seek to attack us using conventional means. They know such attacks would fail. Instead, they rely on acts of terror and, potentially, the use of weapons of mass destruction—weapons that can be easily concealed, delivered covertly, and used without warning. [...]

The United States has long maintained the option of preemptive actions to counter a sufficient threat to our national security. The greater the threat, the greater is the risk of inaction— and the more compelling the case for taking anticipatory action to defend ourselves, even if uncertainty remains as to the time and place of the enemy’s attack. To forestall or prevent such hostile acts by our adversaries, the United States will, if necessary, act preemptively.


Denying they used the words "imminent threat" to describe Iraq is absolutely absurd. It was the very basis of their justification for pre-emptive war.

Claiming they never said it...that's a lie on par with anything Clinton lied about. Again...plain talk. Plain meaning of words. A real man admits it. Liars and people of low character like Clinton and Bush try to weasel out of what they said and did. And so do their supporters.

 
At 12:55 PM, January 07, 2006, Anonymous tequilamockingbird said...

Bravo, verb.

 
At 1:04 PM, January 07, 2006, Blogger Motor 1560 said...

And, the beat goes on. I'm not the radical here, 'Bird. To the delusional person the sane are crazy, "Because, its all so clear here in my mind."

I make a reference that goes over his head. Does he go to Google to learn more? No, he says, "What kind of a leap is that? What in hell are you talking about?" Does he take some time to Google the blogs I mentioned? Impossible.

Translation: I can't get bogged down here. I have points to make.

Notice how he begins to fixate on me personally? I become a "radical" making "offensive" "fanatical" comments? He even admits to his unease. If he had a therapist he would be encouraged for this insight and asked more questions encouraging further insight into his condition.

He knows something's wrong. There is a "Disturbance in the Force". This is the "Don't look at the man behind the curtain." argument. It's all those right wing neocons fault. "Bush is behind it, I tell you! Why don't you listen. Listen to me. Listen to me!"

Mass delusion? Does not compute. "Just listen to me! I'm tequilamockingbird." This is a person in the grip of the transmittable disease meme of BDS. A full blown case. Just imagine having to clean his spittle flecked monitor and keyboard? Fair puts me off my feed it does.

Orderly, take Mr. 'Bird back to the ward and bring in the next case for review.

 
At 1:13 PM, January 07, 2006, Anonymous verb said...

Why not let's debate the real reasons for Iraq...instead of their BS cover story.

One set of talking points debating the other...all of it BS. A grand distraction to keep America looking at the sleight of hand while the power brokers get rich.

Really? What's America's strategic goal, what are the reasons? Access to cheap, plentiful oil. Permanent bases in a central part of the region. Surrounding Iran. Guilt over letting the Iraqi Shia get crushed in 91. And some cowboy proving that America is capable of fighting a less than immaculate war -- where every casualty we take is perverse proof that America can take a punch.

That's why we're there. But, it's mostly about the oil, and hobbling our global competition. It's about money. Let's don't be naive.

I'd have a lot more respect for Bush if he went on TV and said..."look, there is massively growing demand for oil in developing industrial nations like China and India. We have forever passed the peak of oil production, and a growing demand will be jockeying for increasingly limited supply in the decades to come.

Our American way of life -- our economic might, our lifestyles, our strategic preeminence, depend on access to cheap, plentiful energy sources. Always have.

Someday you'll thank me for those 14 permanent bases and putting a friendly gov't in there by hook or by crook. Not just for the oil, either (but it's nice to have.) If Iran gets out of line, we won't need permission from the Afghan warlords or the Ba'athists to launch an invasion from their turf. And if things go sideways in Saudi, we've got it covered there too.

As a bonus, remember when my dad screwed the Shia in 1991, told them to rise up against Saddam, and then abandoned them? We put them in power, finally. Leave Kurdistan alone, ya hear?

Oh, and Osama? Remember when you said that America couldn't take a punch...that we'd bug out at the first sign of casualties? We had a long track record of that, it's true. But so far -- we've lost more kids in Iraq than every military engagement going back to Vietnam, combined. That's right. Haiti, Grenada, Panama, Bosnia, Kosovo, Somalia, the first Gulf War, Afghanistan -- add em all up and realize we've lost double that in Iraq...and we still ain't going nowhere. Don't mess with Texas, f*cker. Yippeekayay!

And as a message to the next wouldbe Saddam, or Noriega, or Osama -- once you're on America's payroll, you're there for life. Don't think you can just walk away. Islam Karimov, ya listening?

That's the noble cause. Oil, strategic placement, hobbling China, resolving Cheney's guilt over 91, and oil. And f*cking Saddam, on principle.

Great job, American troops. Thanks, God Bless, goodnight."

That would at least be honest. He wouldn't even have to mention the patronage his buddies got as a result.

 
At 1:24 PM, January 07, 2006, Blogger Huan said...

tequilamockingbird,

1. my comment regarding the use of "including" was not meant to demonstrate a gramatical error, as your comment regarding my typo of "mislead" was. It was to show that actions against Iraq was not because of a suggested link to 911, but that because Iraq was a terrorist state, supporting terrorisms like that of 911 (but not necessaaarily 911 itself).

2. it does not matter if another was abusive. you did not need to be.


verb,

while you may not agree with Iraq being an "imminenet threat", that does not mean there was any prevarification. again, re-read the part of Neo's post regarding what constitute a "lie."

what we did know was that
a) Iraq has yet accounted for all its wmd as per the ceasefire
b) Iraq was the only nation at the time shooting at our planes enforcing the no-fly zones per the same ceasefire

lets re-examine what imminent threat may mean subjectively,
if a man comes up to you with a gun in his pocket to rob you. Would you feel that was an imminent threat?
how do you at the time know that it was not just his index finger in his pocket pointing at you?
worth testing it if your wife or kids could be shot in the process?

even with english as my 3rd language, your usage of prevarification (was it an attempt to sidestep Neo's and common usage definition of what a "lie" is?) is ... how shall i say it ... "funny". but not ha ha funny.

 
At 1:30 PM, January 07, 2006, Anonymous verb said...

what we did know was that
a) Iraq has yet accounted for all its wmd as per the ceasefire
b) Iraq was the only nation at the time shooting at our planes enforcing the no-fly zones per the same ceasefire


Inspectors found nothing of substance. Iraq wasn't a threat to us...even his neighbors didn't think he was a threat to them. If they did, they'd have joined the colaition, or supported the invasion financially.

WMD was not a reason...it was a rationalization. This war was not about a threat, and never was. That's just the selling point for the rubes to buy into it.

But did I say "prevaricate"? Sorry...I meant "lie". Didn't mean to make use of synonyms appear like mincing words. I meant "lie".
---

PS: What do you call someone who speaks three languages? Trilingual.

What do you call someone who speaks two languages? Bilingual.

What do you call someone who speaks one language? American! ;-)

 
At 1:34 PM, January 07, 2006, Anonymous tequilamockingbird said...

The Bunnies: Sorry to take so long getting back to you. I've been sidetracked, as you may have noticed.

The bit about Clinton and Albright being mistaken, misinformed, etc.: Perhaps you haven't read the entire thread, but that's a quote from neo-neocon's original post, intended humorously; I wasn't trying to make a serious argument.

The "Beware of the Dog": True, Saddam did not comply with a number of UN resolutions, and failure to do so is grounds for suspicion.
That's as far as I'm willing to go: grounds for suspicion, not grounds for invasion.

On the inspection issue, by late fall of 2002, when it was patently obvious war was on the way -- although the Administration denied the decision had been made -- the 1998 position had become moot. The inspectors had resumed their work, getting much better cooperation. In the last weeks before the war, cooperation was total, and the inspectors were coming up dry.

By the way, I'd cite Scott Ritter here, but his name draws an enormous amount of flak. Can you or anyone provide proof, not rumour, that he's an Iraqui stooge? I've always considered him one of the heroes in this sordid affair.

"He threw out the inspectors after not allowing them in palaces, etc." It may be nitpicking, but Saddam didn't throw them out, although I've seen that repeated ad nauseam. They were withdrawn, ostensibly because they were being hindered from complete freedom of movement.

You said, 'Not "any country whose government is duplicitous," but perhaps those that have also previously used WMD's against both foreign soldiers and domestic civilians, have shot at American and British planes countless times, defied numerous counts of the cease fire, and jerked around UN inspectors repeatedly might qualify.'

I hate to trot out knee-jerk responses, but the use of chemical weapons against Iran and much of their use against his own people occurred with the tacit blessing of the U.S., when Iraq was an ally against the perceived greater enemy, Iran.

They shot at U.S. and British planes that were illegally, according to the UN, violating Iraq's soverign airspace with their imposition of no-fly zones in the north and south. (I believe the no-fly zones to have been a good thing, by the way, and they probably prevented large-scale attacks on the Kurds in the north and the Shiites in the south.)

The UN is a bit of a thorny issue. I'd be willing to go along with the UN on pretty well every issue to do with Iraq -- the no-fly areas being one exception -- but pro-war people very frequently trot out UN decisions that they find helpful to promote their agenda while generally despising the UN for their namby-pamby attitude. A dilemma, no?

 
At 1:44 PM, January 07, 2006, Anonymous tequilamockingbird said...

Huan: "If a man comes up to you with a gun in his pocket to rob you. Would you feel that was an imminent threat?"

I don't agree with your analogy. Saddam didn't have a gun; in fact, he looked as if he might be thinking about buying a gun someday. Would you feel that was an imminent threat?

 
At 1:52 PM, January 07, 2006, Blogger Brad said...

Well, this thread proves one thing: there is no middle ground where Bush is concerned! Given the fact that the US had similar splits over Clinton, Reagan, Carter, and Nixon, one wonders what the future holds. I know we have had such polar politics going all the way back to Adams vs. Jefferson, but that was before the abominations of the 20th century and the real possibility of nukes being used by those that don't worry about MAD, or against them. That, along with the economic divide -the absurd compassion for the rich on one side vs. the blind belief that we can get marx right the next time- will definately require some clear thinking in the future to deal with.

 
At 1:53 PM, January 07, 2006, Anonymous verb said...

lets re-examine what imminent threat may mean subjectively,
if a man comes up to you with a gun in his pocket to rob you. Would you feel that was an imminent threat?
how do you at the time know that it was not just his index finger in his pocket pointing at you?
worth testing it if your wife or kids could be shot in the process?


Not analogous. Saddam wasn't invading anyopne, wasn't threatening anyone.

We even stepped up bombing in 2002 to goad him into a response. He didn't bite.

We thought for sure the inspectors would find something, they didn't.

There were the real reasons, and then there were the selling points. While everyone may have believed it was plausible for Saddam to have some chem or bio weapons (certainly not nukes)...that was just the selling point. We didn't invade to defend anyone from a toothless tiger with a bad attitude. It wasn't defense, it was offense.

Simply put, it was aggression. Illegal as hell, even Richard Perle admitted as much.

 
At 2:02 PM, January 07, 2006, Anonymous tequilamockingbird said...

Well said, Brad. It's received wisdom that the U.S. has never before been so polarized.

Wouldn't you agree, though, that there has been some constructive dialogue on this thread? I don't think reasoned discussion is impossible.

 
At 2:08 PM, January 07, 2006, Anonymous tequilamockingbird said...

Huan: As verb said, "Saddam wasn't invading anyopne, wasn't threatening anyone."

His neighbors opposed him after his invasion of Kuwait, to the extent that many of them sent troops in the true coalition gathered by GHWB. This time around, they're opposing the invasion.

 
At 2:45 PM, January 07, 2006, Blogger Huan said...

@verb and tequilamockingbird

The analogy was very apt.
1. As a person, you did not know whether the mugger had the gun or not.
As the Bush administration, he did not know whether Iraq had wmd or not
2. As a person, it did appear by the point in the pocket that the mugger had a gun
As the Bush administration, it did appear by failure to comply with the inspection that Iraq did have wmd
3. As a person facing a mugger, one would certainly felt threatened
As the Bush administration after 911, Iraq certainly appear menacing
no "lie"
4. Was Iraq threatening?
From recent actions yes. Iraq invaded as the aggressor both Iran and Kuwait. And lobbed missiles at Israel. Iraq also brutally oppressed its own Kurds and Shia subpopulation.
Thus if a mugger who looks like a mugger, whose police records you have seen, comes up to you with what appears to be a gun in his pocket to mug you, would you feel threatened?

The fact that under international pressure at the time still did not comply fully only heightened the sense of threat.
That Iraq did not, while under international pressure threaten to invade another country at the time is meaningless and does not mean it was not threat. Or was there a lie to perceive Iraq as a threat.

May be Neo should have a follow up post to clarify what a "threat" is?
That it is a subjective response
That it is temporally directed
That not knowing the absolute truth of the nature of the threat
That fearing a harmful outcome
All constitute what a "threat" is.

 
At 2:50 PM, January 07, 2006, Blogger flenser said...

verb

Why are Canadians so obsessed with getting rid of Bush? I've always found that strange.

 
At 2:52 PM, January 07, 2006, Blogger Huan said...

Also,

International law was not broken. Iraq submitted to the terms of the ceasefire as set forth by the US in 1991. As part of the terms, Iraq was to fully comply with inspection. It did not. The last UN resolution before the cancellation was unanimous that Iraq had not complied.

It does not matter whether you did not feel Iraq was a threat. It really even does not matter whether no one else, person or nation, felt Iraq was a threat. That one person with reasonable ground and analysis felt Iraq was a threat does not mean that person lied.

 
At 2:57 PM, January 07, 2006, Blogger The Bunnies said...

Hi Tequila--if only everyone could keep their disagreements as civil...

"The bit about Clinton and Albright being mistaken, misinformed, etc.: Perhaps you haven't read the entire thread, but that's a quote from neo-neocon's original post, intended humorously; I wasn't trying to make a serious argument."

Well, then what is your take on it? Are both liars, or were both misled?

"The "Beware of the Dog": True, Saddam did not comply with a number of UN resolutions, and failure to do so is grounds for suspicion.
That's as far as I'm willing to go: grounds for suspicion, not grounds for invasion. On the inspection issue, by late fall of 2002, when it was patently obvious war was on the way -- although the Administration denied the decision had been made -- the 1998 position had become moot. The inspectors had resumed their work, getting much better cooperation. In the last weeks before the war, cooperation was total, and the inspectors were coming up dry."

1998 was not mute, because it demonstrated that the Iraqi regime could not be trusted. Maybe the inspectors were not exactly thrown out, but they were not cooperated with, and per the terms of the cease fire, that alone justified retaliation. Sadaam remained in power after 91 only because we allowed him to stay because he agreed to certain things. He stopped agreeing--we withdrew our permission.

"By the way, I'd cite Scott Ritter here, but his name draws an enormous amount of flak. Can you or anyone provide proof, not rumour, that he's an Iraqui stooge?"

I had proof on my old computer before it crashed--I echo your sentiment. (If someone can debunk the Scott Ritter stuff, that's also welcome)

"I hate to trot out knee-jerk responses, but the use of chemical weapons against Iran and much of their use against his own people occurred with the tacit blessing of the U.S., when Iraq was an ally against the perceived greater enemy, Iran."

To me, this doubled our responsibility to get rid of him. If American power led to the creation of such abuses, then American power has no excuse to allow it to continue (ditto the Taliban).

"The UN is a bit of a thorny issue. I'd be willing to go along with the UN on pretty well every issue to do with Iraq -- the no-fly areas being one exception -- but pro-war people very frequently trot out UN decisions that they find helpful to promote their agenda while generally despising the UN for their namby-pamby attitude. A dilemma, no?"

A common pro-war argument is that the UN talks tough but fears actually doing anything. They say things like "serious consequences" but then complain if anyone wants a consequence more serisous than a finger wag. Words have meanings, and if the UN thought Sadaam should have been left alone, they should have said so, but it's become a meaningless organization. However, it's a meaningless organization that occasionally says something relevant before contradicting itself. It's important to point out the contradictions.

The other side isn't exactly consistent in regards to the UN, either. I remember during Gulf War I hearing repeatedly that the UN is nothing more than an echo chamber for US interests. During Kosovo, we didn't need UN approval to wage war. But along comes Bush, UN approval is all of a sudden equal to "legitimate." If I suspect that Bush actually obtained direct (instead of only implicit) UN approval for this war that we would simply go back to "the UN is only a rubber-stamp for America" and "we bribed Cameroon to vote with us" and UN approval would be dismissed. Please provide evidence to the contrary.

 
At 2:59 PM, January 07, 2006, Blogger flenser said...

verb

Three neutral observers all tasked with investigating and reporting on the state of Saddam's WMD arsenal, all reported that Saddam had nothing. Before the war.

As I pointed out, Blix actually said the opposite of what you are claiming. You are either mistaken, or lying.

 
At 3:08 PM, January 07, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

God bless the USA.

 
At 3:59 PM, January 07, 2006, Blogger Grand Stand said...

I don't think convincing the American people that Bush lied on WMDs is the goal. Although repeating the lie often enough is having some influence.

The goal is to make the "Bush Lied" meme stick to counter balance the "Clinton Lied" reality.

It isn't about any one issue. It's about painting the Republicans as "see, they lie TOO, so we get to take lying off the table."

If they're all liars then we can talk about something else and we can't criticize them for it.

They're still smarting for being caught out with the Blue Dress.

 
At 4:58 PM, January 07, 2006, Blogger The Bunnies said...

Verb ignored many of my ponts (the military being broken, homeland security being so inept that we've had a massive wave of no attacks, etc.) but he did respond to some. I'll respond to what I find to be his most feeble, and his most effective response.

He said "Multilateral coalition?" as if to imply that there was none whatsoever. I named three of the counties that comprised of this supposedly nonexistent coalition and suggested that he therefore implied that these countries don't exist. I admit that he did not explicitly state that France exists but Australia does not, but France's opinions seem to matter, whereas Australia's can be dismissed with a question mark. He then suggested that I was not capable of arguing in good faith without refuting his own initial dismissal of Poland with mere punctuation.

"Clinton didn't invade, but I agree with the basic truth...Clinton was a liar. Everyone knows that."

Thank you, verb. You can admit this, but many of your allies can not. Were I excusing Bush's lying via Clinton, I would in fact be engaging in the logical fallacy you cited. However, that was not my point.

Many of those who hate Bush think Clinton was wonderful. They accuse Bush of lying and cite it as evidence that he is an awful president, but Clinton said many of the same things. The typical response to this evidence of their hypochrisy is to simply ignore it.

Clinton and Bush disagreed in their assessment of the urgency of Sadaam's WMD programs as well as their prescription as to how best to handle them. However, no evidence exists to suggest that they either differed in their assessment of the existence of said programs, or in what they relayed to the American people in their explanations as to why they responded how they did.

No "lies" of Clinton would excuse any "lies" of Bush. Nevertheless, either both lied on the issue of Sadaam having WMD's, or both did not. Verb concedes that Clinton may also have lied, most others simply ignore this point (like verb himself did on my point of Iraq's attempts to acquire goats or cowpeas from Niger).

Clinton chose to bomb based on a seemingly mistaken assessment; Bush chose to invade. Regardless, both used the very same assessments of Sadaam's programs to come to their respective conclusions. I commend verb for at least addressing this issue, demonstrating that he is capable of at least criticizing Clinton for that which he would love to crucify Bush.

I've seen little evidence elsewhere to indicate that his is the prevailing view among anti-war opponents.

 
At 5:37 PM, January 07, 2006, Anonymous Charlie said...

Most excellent postage!

Complementary theory: "Bush lied" was chosen because it rhymes with "people died" and because it's short and fits on a bumper sticker. The jingoism of the left.

 
At 6:03 PM, January 07, 2006, Blogger terrye said...

So I take it the Bush bashers want to put Saddam back in power?

Maybe he will name a mass grave after one of them.

Saddam could have done the same thing a decade ago that Qaddafi did a couple of years ago and there would not have been an invasion. There would have been no Food for Oil scam either.

The ability of people like tequila and verb etc to just cut and paste this long winded crap on comment thread after comment thread is mind numbing.

I don't even bother with their lies anymore. I just yawn and keep on scrolling. I stop reading when it become so repetitive.

Gee, did I say lies?

Hans Blix actually said there had to be a "presumption" that Saddam had weapons because he was supposed to account for them and did not. That is why the UN had not turned him loose years before.

Bush did not say Saddam was involved in 9/11 but Saddam was associated with at least one of the people who attacked the WTC back in 1993. But this claim was not made by Bush, it was made by the Clinton administration.

Saddam tried to kill a president.

Saddam ignored the cease fire agreement.

What will the loony left do when Bush leaves office? Who will they blame for everything?

This is like a sickness with these people.

Imagine Bush becomes president and defends Saddam. He says Clinton lied about the Weapons, he says the Zionists run the UN, he says we should abandon the nofly zones and let Saddam get back to killing his own people enmasse.

Would they have preferred this outcome? How do they think the world would have responded?

My guess they would have said no blood for oil. They would have said Bush had made a deal with the devil for the oil and was allowing a mass murderer with weapons of mass destruction flaunt the law and slaughter his own people. They would have reminded us that the Iraqi Liberation Act was national policy.

The truth is whatever they say it is. That is the whole point.

 
At 6:05 PM, January 07, 2006, Blogger Rose Nunez said...

Nice, long, (mostly) civil discussion. How refreshing!

Re the incendiary Scott Ritter: In December, The Weekly Standard recapped the accusations that Ritter was in the pay of, if not Saddam himself, Saddamites. Key graf:

Al-Khafaji first came to public notice after revelations that he gave former U.N. weapons inspector Scott Ritter $400,000 to produce a film that criticized the United States for its role in the inspection process. Al-Khafaji, who is listed as a "senior executive producer" of the film, arranged meetings for Ritter with high-level officials in Saddam's government, a feat New York Times magazine writer Barry Bearak found "impressive." Ritter had previously been an outspoken critic of Saddam Hussein, and issued dire warnings about the status of the Iraqi dictator's weapons of mass destruction. His sudden flip--he is now a leading apologist for Saddam's regime--and revelations about Ritter's 2001 arrest for soliciting sex with minors have fueled speculation about the nature of his relationship with al-Khafaji.

Al-Khafaji has long claimed that he cares only about the Iraqi people, an assertion too preposterous even for Ritter, who told THE WEEKLY STANDARD in 2001 that his patron was "openly sympathetic with the regime in Baghdad."


Link here:
http://weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/002/605fgcob.asp

 
At 7:28 PM, January 07, 2006, Anonymous Tatterdemalian said...

I wonder if anyone could suggest a way we could verify whether or not Saddam had WMDs without invading. Hans Blix, long after the invasion, said there was no way he could be sure all the WMDs were gone, and specifically blamed Saddam's continuing interference for the UN inspectors' inability to perform their job.

Anyone know how we could properly inspect Iraq, without Saddam interfering and without deposing him? Anyone? Bueller?

 
At 8:20 PM, January 07, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This refrain is so common that it too is dishonest. Yes, at one point in history, everyone thought Saddam had WMDs. But after the inspections process started up again, all sorts of credible evidence started cropping up that the basis for this certainty was faulty, and that Saddam really wasn't sure to have WMDs after all. Bush and the right ignored and refused to seriously confront this evidence, and in fact actively and deceptively told the public only one side of the story.

Sorry, but that's lying. Trying to weasel out of it by simply lying about the sequence of events (Clinton thought Saddam had WMD, so Bush can't have lied if Clinton was honest) is no less slimy.

And as Lincoln said: claiming to know something for sure when you in fact know that there are serious doubts and that the basis for your claims to knowledge are empty IS lying. There's no way around that.

 
At 8:22 PM, January 07, 2006, Anonymous tequilamockingbird said...

Tatterdemalian: Sorry, I don't have any answers for you, but thank you for that excellent link to Jim Lehrer's interview of Hans Blix. Very, very instructive reading. Everyone participating in this thread, I think, could benefit from reading it.

Brad, I think the last paragraph of the interview, in particular, will strike a chord with you, in relation to what I believe was your last post:

"JIM LEHRER: Whatever else, do you feel vindicated by events?

HANS BLIX: Well, I think the matter is too serious for any sort of feelings of vindication. Yes, I think it proved that inspections... international inspections, if independent or individual countries, and which is run professionally, came to conclusions which were closer to reality than intelligence agencies which were linked to political governments that had preconceived ideas.

And I think that's a lesson for the future because the world will need inspections in the future in Iran, in Libya and in North Korea. And in my view, the best would be to have these inspectors coming in, demanding the cooperation of the countries and also have the leverage of the political and military support. I have no doubt that we would not have been admitted into Iraq if it had not been for the U.S. military buildup in the summer of 2002, so both are needed. But in both cases, I think critical thinking is essential."

 
At 8:42 PM, January 07, 2006, Anonymous tequilamockingbird said...

I was just e-mailed this joke. I hope people on both sides of the divide might find some humor in it -- I know I did!

Little David was in his 5th grade class when the teacher asked the
children what their fathers did for a living. All the typical answers
came up-Fireman, policeman, salesman, etc.

David was being uncharacteristically quiet and so the teacher asked him
about his father. "My father's an exotic dancer in a gay cabaret and
takes off all his clothes in front of other men. Sometimes, if the
offer's really good, he'll go out to the alley with some guy and have
sex with him for money."

The teacher, shaken by this statement, hurriedly set the other children
to work on some coloring, and took Little David aside to ask him, "Is
that really true about your father?" "No," said David, "he works for the
Bush administration, but I was too embarrassed to say that in front of
the other kids."

 
At 8:50 PM, January 07, 2006, Anonymous Henry Bowman said...

This is odd...to "lie" is to "speak or act or deceive...". This is a very straightforward definition. The problem occurs when trying to determine that a person thought when they spoke.

 
At 9:12 PM, January 07, 2006, Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

One reason for the ubiquity and ferocity of the accusation, is what if he's NOT a liar?

It's would be (in fact, "is"), for a lot of folks, a pretty devastating implication.

 
At 9:15 PM, January 07, 2006, Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Yeh--TM, that is a good 'un. I first heard it wrt the Carter administration.

 
At 10:35 PM, January 07, 2006, Blogger P-BS-Watcher said...

"One reason for the ubiquity and ferocity of the accusation, is what if he's NOT a liar?"

Exactly. The notion of a listener-centered definition of lying helps explain a lot of the illogical rhetoric. But in practice it is a defense mechanism for a deeper seated problem. If Bush is not evil incarnate, if he is right, or even if he is a misguided bumbler, the whole leftist world view collapses. That can't be allowed to happen. Bush if Hitler. See What If You Are Wrong?

 
At 10:40 PM, January 07, 2006, Blogger Yr. Fthfl. Svnt. said...

Kalvan said...
"Interesting. Presumably a corollary would be that if the person hears an actual lie, but it is something (s)he chooses to believe, then it was not a lie."

Moonbat logic. The lie remains a lie, supported by prejudice, delusion, or whatever other personal flaw motivates that person to believe the lie. It's quite a common phenomenon on the left.

 
At 10:50 PM, January 07, 2006, Blogger truepeers said...

I haven't read all the comments here, but one point I think is missing is that one of the reasons much of the lib left goes crazy over the "bush lied, people died" theme, is that the idea of the President lying inevitably draws one into consideration of the basis by which we have ever protected ourselves against lying. And this has to do with what society makes sacred, or transcendent, a process whose importance most of the secular left would deny.

To lie about the sacred signs and positions that bond the community, or to be a worldly representative of the sacred, like the President, and to be a liar, is something society cannot long tolerate. Traditionally, it has been religion, its social authority and teachings, that has been the guarantor of this obligation.

While a conservative can decry Clinton's lying as a sign of the decline of sacred and moral values, and still take such values seriously, a liberal secularist who may have the thought that Bush is lying, cannot so easily decry the decline of sacred values. How often do you hear Bush being criticized from the left as a bad Christian? Sometimes it happens - there are still libleft Christians out there - but it it not mainstream liberal sentiment today.

It is because the left cannot criticize Bush by holding up religion, and because they cannot hold up religion as our surety against the moral hazard of lying, that they are driven to tizzies. They can offer no guarantee in general for moral behaviour, once they themselves have turned against the sacred. What they see in the allegedly fallen president is a sign of their own nihilism. Unable to come to terms with this, they just go crazy instead.

 
At 11:16 PM, January 07, 2006, Blogger truepeers said...

BTW, my point is not that religious guarantees of honesty don't often fail, but simply that the secular left have yet to devise an alternative vision of how we might put our faith in people.

 
At 1:17 AM, January 08, 2006, Blogger Justin Olbrantz (Quantam) said...

Well holy crap. Admittedly I'm only about 70% through the thread, but I just couldn't resist commenting, anymore. Frankly, I find this entire debate jaw-dropping. Never before have I seen the anti-war crowd so totally defeated in logic that, point by point, dozens of arguments are silently conceded, and new, totally different ones presented in the hope of saving face. And not just any war critics, but the intellectuals. Come on, people, you're shaming liberals everywhere!

 
At 1:41 AM, January 08, 2006, Blogger Steve J. said...

The facts of the matter relating to WMD therefore don't matter

"We know for a fact there are weapons there." - Ari Fleischer, Jan. 9, 2003

 
At 1:44 AM, January 08, 2006, Blogger Steve J. said...

The only real reason lays in another fundamental weakness of the liberal cause. That weakness is one of personal responsibility.

Why did Pres. Fredo award George Tenet the Medal of Freedom?

 
At 1:50 AM, January 08, 2006, Blogger Steve J. said...

If somehow Sadaam had disposed of his weapons before Bush started talking invasion, then I have yet to encounter evidence of his doing so.

The evidence is right here:

http://www.cia.gov/cia/reports/iraq_wmd_2004/Comp_Report_Key_Findings.pdf

 
At 1:59 AM, January 08, 2006, Blogger Steve J. said...

You should read what Hans Blix said in his own words.


"Yes, I, too, believed there were weapons. I began to be skeptical when we went to sites that were given to us by U.S. intelligence and we found nothing. They said this is the best intelligence we have, and I said, if this is the best, what is the rest?"

HANS BLIX, NYT, 3/30/04

 
At 2:00 AM, January 08, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just stumbled upon this web site as I was installing Google desktop. I guess it is a default in the setup.
It does my heart good to see that the right is going to defend this lunacy up until the very end. The fact that the wheels are falling off of this rickety Republican Party and you cannot see it is incredible to me.
The Republicans have done a great job in getting the power that they wanted, and have proven beyond a doubt that they have not a clue on how to govern a country, only how to call their opponents names, and claim how corrupt that they are.
The fact is it is easy to claim that your opponent is incompetent, but very difficult to show that you are not.

 
At 2:12 AM, January 08, 2006, Blogger Steve J. said...

JOKES ON US - WMD TALK WAS A "CHARADE"
(Via Atrios)

RogerLSimon lets the rest of us know what was really going on with all the WMD talk by the Administration:

As the for the run-up to the war, in looking back I think it was a big game of charades that everybody understood. Despite what was said, the obvious US motivation was geo-political. We wanted the despot Saddam out of the Middle East and replaced by a democracy. The French and the Russians - never particularly interested in democracy in the first place - desperately wanted to keep their cash cow in office. Everybody knew this, so the dreaded WMDs had to be emphasized in front of the UN.

Of course the real mistake was this emphasis on WMDs instead of a more honest declaration of the what the war was really about - democracy.

Simon admits that the emphasis on WMD was less than honest and lets us know that everybody understood this, courtesy of SimonPolling.

His commenters are not bothered by the blatant dishonesty:

Calvin agrees with Simon:

This is a succinct description of my feeling as well.

Neo-Neocon adds:

As far as the buildup to the Iraq are goes, I'm with Roger--it was common knowledge, at least in the blogosphere, that the extreme emphasis on WMDs was for the world international community--the UN (although fat lot of good that did). There were always multiple reasons for the war, chief among them changing geopolitical realities in the region. But that would have been a hard sell, to say the least.

 
At 12:36 PM, January 08, 2006, Blogger Good Ole Charlie said...

neo:

It might be interesting that all who sign in with a psuedonym - including me - either give a reason why the pseudonym or plainly identify themselves and give their location: State, Country, Whatever.

OK, I lead off. I use a psuedonym because I teach in a public school system that frowns on blogs. I still talk in spite of the fear the Admin has of the School Board and The Voters.

I live in the Reading, Pennsylvania area. I am registered to vote as Independent.

Now how about everyone else.

 
At 12:55 PM, January 08, 2006, Blogger Nahanni said...

Chuck 12:42 AM, January 07, 2006 said...
"I don't like pretentious aristocrats, myself. There they stand, holding a perfumed silken hankerchief over their nose, while they lecture us poor sods on what we should believe, and then they tell us that we are too gullible, fearful, and stupid to understand anyway."

That is one of the best descriptions I have read for the LLL's of Hollywood/New York/San Francisco/Seattle/Boston "academics" and the MSM attitude toward us members of the "great unwashed" out here in "Jesusland".

It was also the attitude of the French Aristocracy before they all lost their heads.

 
At 1:35 PM, January 08, 2006, Blogger flenser said...

Steve J

What Blix said in 2004 is not relevant. What he said in his official capacity before the invasion is. I trust you can understand the distinction.

 
At 2:10 PM, January 08, 2006, Blogger Huan said...

@flenser


now now, if they cannot understand what a lie is, how could you expect them to understand the flow of time? that what is known in 2004 is different from what is known in 2002.
i think you expect too much.

 
At 4:47 PM, January 08, 2006, Anonymous Paul Snively said...

Brief logic lesson:

You cannot prove the negation of an existential quantifier in first-order logic given the open-world assumption. The reason is simple: it only takes one counterexample, probably taken from the portion of the open world not considered in the clause at hand, to refute the proof.

Now, Iraq is big, but it's not an open world. In principle, you could prove that there are no WMDs in Iraq at any given point in time. In practice, however, all you can do is talk in probabilities until everyone's satisfied that the probabilities are sufficiently low as not to matter. The only way this works is with a great deal of effort on the part of the government in question. We know what this looks like, primarily thanks to the voluntary disarmament and documenteation efforts of the South African government. The problem with Iraq in the time leading up to the war was that it looked like exactly the opposite: obfuscation, challenge, and rejection right up until the day of the invasion. With Iraq's history of gassing its own people, invading its neighbors, and daily firings on planes patrolling the no-fly zones from Desert Storm, the prudent thing to do was to believe that Iraq had something to hide. And this is only considering the WMDs, while American policy from the Clinton administration to the Bush administration has held some half a dozen other factors to be critical to supporting the policy of regime change. Unfortunately, precisely because the Bush administration believed (correctly, as the criticism reinforces) that the international community would only be impressed by the WMD argument, that was the argument that they presented to the UN (as compared to the Clinton administration, which didn't approach the UN). So now we have the damned if you do, damned if you don't problem: Bush loses because there aren't stockpiles of WMDs in Iraq, and the fact that he went to the UN at all doesn't count. But if he hadn't gone to the UN, the screams about unilateralism and the "rush to war" that took 11 months would be even louder.

As a Libertarian, I really wish that I didn't have to defend the Bush administration on this, as there's plenty to criticize the administration about. But until a credible opposition party arises and initiates a serious debate on the facts and merits, defend the current administration on these issues I must.

 
At 6:03 PM, January 08, 2006, Blogger Tom Grey said...

Neo, Yes! -- the narcissist self-absorbtion of the PC Left. Like my little children; like spoiled children, often only children.

Now I wonder how many Leftists have no brothers or sisters.

 
At 6:42 PM, January 08, 2006, Blogger Tom Grey said...

Also, let's not forget the BIG LIE -- "in Vietnam, the USA was the oppressor".
"The US Leaving Vietnam will end the war, and be BETTER for the Vietnamese people (whom the USA army is killing, like Kerry's Genghis Khan Winter Soldier testimony)."

I don't remember how much you note the idea that the "US being there is worse for the people" -- in Vietnam (wrong) and now in Iraq (wrong).

 
At 7:42 PM, January 08, 2006, Blogger Steve J. said...

for the Vietnamese people (whom the USA army is killing, like Kerry's Genghis Khan Winter Soldier testimony)."


TOMMY FRANKS (continuing directly): -the things that Senator Kerry said are undeniable about activities in Vietnam. I think that things didn't go right in, in Vietnam.

SOURCE:
HANNITY(8/3/04)

 
At 7:43 PM, January 08, 2006, Blogger Steve J. said...

What Blix said in 2004 is not relevant. What he said in his official capacity before the invasion is. I trust you can understand the distinction.

Blix is relating his statements to the U.S. before the invasion, in his official capacity.

 
At 7:48 PM, January 08, 2006, Blogger Steve J. said...

(as compared to the Clinton administration, which didn't approach the UN)

Clinton did work with the U.N. and supported Kofi Anna's last ditch effort to convince Saddam to allow the inspectors full access.

 
At 7:49 PM, January 08, 2006, Blogger Steve J. said...

(ahem) Kofi Annan's

 
At 10:47 PM, January 08, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why are Canadians so obsessed with getting rid of Bush? I've always found that strange.

Obsessed? You're thinking about this the wrong way. To quote Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau,

Living next to you is in some ways like sleeping with an elephant. No matter how friendly and even-tempered is the beast, if I can call it that, one is affected by every twitch and grunt.
- Addressing the Press Club in Washington, D.C. (25 March 1969)

It's hard not to pay attention to American politics.

Despite the common assumption that citizens of our two countries have a lot in common, there's actually a growing cultural divide. We don't have a sizeable demographic group with that peculiar hierarchy of values that make up the cliché Republican. So where a lot of Americans no doubt feel perfectly in tune with Bush, he comes across as sorta skewed and wrong up here. For example, no Canadian politician would ever pepper their public addresses with so many references to God.

 
At 11:09 PM, January 08, 2006, Anonymous Richard Aubrey said...

Neo. You combine a kind heart with too much shrinkthink.

The folks claiming Bush lied aren't suffering from narcissim and the other maladies you point out they have. Even though they are afflicted as you describe.

They know Bush didn't lie. They think it helps their cause to claim he did. In other words, they lie and they know they lie.

 
At 12:34 AM, January 09, 2006, Blogger truepeers said...

Anonymous Canadian at 10.47:

It used to be quite common for Canadian politicians to refer to God; we even do it in our national anthem. There's nothing strange about that; it is not possible for any humans, even atheists, to make meaning of the world without the concept of God; and recognizing this anthropological fact, the fact that we all rely on some concept of a sacred Being and of an existence that transcends our individual lives, a fact not explained well by any philosopher, should only give one respect for those who seek humility in relation to some idea of a subsistent Being that guarantees the meaningfulness of the words we share.

COme to think of it, it wasn't until Trudeau, that God talk became unpopular in Canadian politics, and perhaps this coincidence is somehow related to why Trudeau was such an arrogant and incompetent leader - even though he was a devout Catholic - a leader who achieved little besides a massive national debt, a Charter of Rights, a perennially-pissed off Quebec, and a facile mythology about Canada that has more resonance in your kneck of the woods than in mine. I'm reminded of Brian Mulroney who groaned to his confessor, Peter Newman, about the man - Trudeau - who had a child out of wedlock, at the age of 73, and all these people (the elites who dominate the media and education system) think there's nothing wrong with it. But such are the people who think they know and represent Canadian values. Kind of makes me admire the Bushes of the world.

BUt yes, we don't have a Republican tradition as strong as America's or even England's. We have to come to terms with this and be what we are. But that's not to say that being confident in our own semi-national/semi-imperial identity we can't support Bush's foreign policy, and many Canadians think we should have done more along these lines. Your notion of a growing cultural divide may be a figment of a facile pollster's imagination. The two countries have been divided from the start, and there has often been a narcissism in small differences, but there is also much we share in common from our common ancestry and we don't always have to come across as the sore losers of a civil war now 230 years old.

 
At 1:43 AM, January 09, 2006, Blogger Steve J. said...

the fact that we all rely on some concept of a sacred Being and of an existence that transcends our individual lives


Speak for yourself.

 
At 2:16 AM, January 09, 2006, Blogger truepeers said...

Steve J, a snarky dismissal does not an argument make, though it may be all you're capable of. Anyway "speak for yourself" is such a shallow concept. What is public life about if not a shared human scene we must inevitably contest?

Consider this, it is perfectly possible, though unlikely, to imagine a future in which everyone is a professed atheist. In this world, will the concept of God fade away, a useless anachronism. I maintain it will not; we atheists will still have to regularly deny our belief in God. Why is this? it is because the idea of God is inherent or original to human language and we cannot escape it. The first word is the name of God. This is an argument I can well defend at length with the most rigorous arguments from Generative Anthropology the leading school of thought on such matters. But I'm not sure you are up to it.

 
At 4:01 AM, January 09, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

To Neo, to Tequila, to Darrel, to Motor. In that order

I don't even have to provide the links; we all know what a recurrent refrain it is.

True, and I don't think even the Nazis could have been as sick of it as we are now. The Big English propaganda technique is still going strong with the socialists and Marxists I see.

I'm more interested in what's behind the argument; what drives it.

As Sun Tzu wisely advised. Pierce the enemy's weaknesses with your strength, do not go up against the enemy's strength at all, but avoid it if at all possible.

Propaganda, unity of voice, and righteous fury with concentration are obviously the Democrat's forte.

After all, "Bush lied" is fairly easy to refute.

It is not quite as easy to refute given the unity matrix of the accusers. It isn't dieing of steam precisely because it isn't a top down propaganda project, but as you noted, a grass roots one. And those are hard to stamp out, grassfires that is.

In fact, there's a theory that perhaps even Saddam himself was fooled into thinking he actually had WMDs.

If you watch Saddam speak on his first day, and watch the others sitting around you, you will notice a curious effect. Which is, that Saddam doesn't look worried, he looks like he is having the best time of his life interspersed with borring testimonies by dead people. The others sitting around him look like they are scared shitless whenever Saddam goes on one of his monologues. They got stress lines around their eyes, they got their hands in front of their faces, their body posture is really wilted, and so on.

Saddam is quite a tough guy at deception. So good he can fool himself. No wonder the Democrats like him as an ally, just their kind of operator.

Such a listener lacks awareness of any need to ascertain the state of mind of the speaker in order to define an utterance as a lie--it is simply irrelevant

Such an opponent, if faced in mortal combat, would be incapable of determining my thoughts, plans, or motivations. Such an opponent would be wasting my time in a fight. Which is the whole point, the Democrats are wasting America's time cause they ain't got a clue, ain't wanna get a clue, and can't get one. No use as a loyal opposition at all.

All reality is constructed and those who are more powerful (the usual white male oppressors) force their version of reality onto the poor oppressed people of the world.

I bet Jefferson or any of the other Founding Fathers never did realize the full ramifications of a common justice system, perpetual peace and prosperity, along with ultimate stability of leadership and political continuation. It leads to a sort of entropic effect onto which reality as it is constructed can be held up by the simple fiat of the peace, stability, and prosperity of this country. Terrorism tends to put a log jam into things however. Unfortunately, it tends to be that this kind of disease weakens the organism just enough for an attack to topple it unto death. Europe is in their death throes for cert, we bounced back somehow.

Because however one might construct or deconstruct reality, a bullet in the head is a bullet in the head, and a nuclear weapon is still a nuclear weapon that I can deploy and use.

The inspectors were by no means convinced and wanted more time.

The inspectors were on the take, as usual. They should have been given an execution, not more time. But Bush in his benficence simply invaded after six months of pandering to corrupt idiots and bureacratic nonsense. Bush may be decisive, but he should have told Blair to push off.

Bush and Tommy Franks also used the fearmongering mushroom cloud image, and in 2002, Dick Cheney said Saddam was a "mortal threat" intent on "nuclear blackmail."

That's actually right, Bush made a big mistake in using the fearmongering too soon. He should have waited until there was a real nuclear mushroom cloud, and then he could have invaded like 10 countries at once. Many of the military feared that the people would give too much power to the government after the 9/11 panic, and they would have been right, if 300,000 or 30 million died instead of 3,000. Bush should have waited. He jumped the shark too soon.

Pat Buchanan can't intimidate a mouse, let alone Saddam.

Cheney wasn't even elected.

Millions of people around the globe think Americans are stormtroopers in disguise that rape, beat, and murder little children as we see fit. Makes sense that they would believe Saddam was harmless too.

Tony Blair was the one that said going to the UN was necessary, and Bush believed him. Anything from Tony Blair is almost useless, anyone trusting his 24 hour stuff gets what is coming to him. Americans do the fighting and the dieing. The British contribute worthwhile forces, but going to the UN didn't make up for that. And that is why Blair's judgement is bad. And why anyone that trusts Blair's judgement needs to recheck his premises.

Kuwaitt supported the invasion cause they knew nobody but the US would protect their skinny selves. Good actions don't need everyone agreeing, that'd be rather fascist. They are with us because we can do things for them, things that nobody else can. They pay us for protection and we provide it. An equitable deal, a deal that they cannot refuse in fact.

It does make sense that someone would not feel bitter if he told himself never to believe in anything Bush said. Can't have psychological defense mechanisms activate without an injury.

Most of the world were quite taken in by such things, because most of the world wanted Saddam to have nukes because they believed the US would get hit and then they can get on with the New Year's party in Europe, Arabia, and etc. Then when Bush said he couldn't find anything, he spoiled everyone's joy and revealed the self-deception of the world at large and their stupidity.

I mean the man speaks the truth all the time.

He absolutely does, and that is why he isn't honest. Such a trait makes him very ineffective in war time.

March on, peasants! Cheer! Cheer for your King! Meanwhile, the top 1% of the wealthy aristrocracy own more wealth than bottom NINETY-PERCENT.

That's what the Democrats bought by George Soros says and the Unions that make 100,000 dollars a year that striked before Christmas in New Yorks says. Sure, they're fighting the good fight against the rich all right. Only the rich are backing them as cannon fodder.

If everyone just kept repeating, the UN is corrupt, Bush is too honest, honest people do not mix with corrupt people, and Bush needs to stamp harder on idiots and domestic enemies then everything will be all right and congruent.

The same impulse that drives Neo into not erasing or editing comments is the reason why Bush is in the situation he is in. Bush was not elected because he was a war hero or some ruthless fracker like FDR. He's a gentle man, with a kind disposition, that needed to learn after 9/11 on how to order people to be killed. He's still learning too, unfortunately. We need Roger the Terrible, we really really do.

The fact that we haven't found them as Darrel mentions, is cause Bush was crackjack stupid enough to be taken in by slick Tony man's con job about going to the UN. When Tony Blair told Chirac that you need to act inside an organization such as the US, instead of outside of it cause it is too powerful to assault from the outside, old man Tony got it right on the dot. Chirac did not do nearly as much damage to US interests as when Tony got old trustworthy George to sign on the UN corrupto wagon.

All Bush had to do was to tell everybody that Saddam was being made an example of, because he wouldn't return a missing American POW, or provide any cooperation for the search. That is what is known as a "pretext" and it works a lot better than "trusting the UN" to find anything but virgin children.

Man, that's scary stuff.

What Motor said is meat for the pounding, and is quite invigorating and good for the fighting morale. It's what makes the boys get up and shoot. Tequla thinks it is scary. To people who can't protect civil liberties, sure it is scary. Being helpless is always scary.

A wingnut majority? Me thinks you should restudy American history. The WWII generation is coming back, and coming back stronger than the slick Baby Boomers.

He's written the most radical and offensive posts I've seen on this blog.

I take offense to that.

One thing I realized, arguments take up more space than I ever could write in one sitting.

 
At 4:20 AM, January 09, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

Two Addendums. A lot of spam posts here result from leap-jump thinking, with no coherent systemic whole. Things get left out quite often that way, producing unnecessary clog in the works.

The other, is simply that one of Neo's most succinct posts has the longest thread by far. I detect a pattern in that.

Most of the newcomers seem to come here from links or something. I wonder which ones they are, it seems it creates a maelstrom of activity with Sanity links.

 
At 8:18 AM, January 09, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Truepeers,

Please do the country a favour and speak for yourself.

Alright, no contemporary Canadian politician would ever pepper their public addresses with so many references to God.

You wrote:

"... that's not to say that ... we can't support Bush's foreign policy, and many Canadians think we should have done more along these lines."

Many? Do you mean more than three?

You might wish to read Paul Martin's address to the House concerning Canada's decision not to enter the Iraq war. It's prophetic.

"Your notion of a growing cultural divide may be a figment of a facile pollster's imagination."

Michael Adams' book won the Donner Prize, which is Canada's highest honour for a book in the public policy literary field.

"The Past is to be respected and acknowledged, but not to be worshiped. It is our future in which we will find our greatness."
-- Pierre Trudeau

 
At 8:24 AM, January 09, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The issue is maturity, and the problem is that the Baby Boomer Left (again) is ruining things for everyone else.

John Kerry, Cindy Sheehan, Barbara Pelosi, were all radiclibs in the 1960's, when they likely enjoyed the ever-flowing sex, drugs and rock'n'roll while they marched against The War and chanted slogans about LBJ "killing" kids each day. Heady times, no responsibilities, lots of fun.

In our parents' day, people bought red sports cars, got trophy spouses and took trips to Europe when the specter of mortality began to rear its ugly head in one's fifth decade. Now the lefties of the Brat Generation acts up (again), stamp their collective foot and demand the right to push everyone else around (again).

John Kerry and Cindy Sheehan will deny that millions died when the United States abandoned Indochina, and will deny that any harm will come if the United States abandons the Middle East, even in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

Lefties lie, and people die.

 
At 11:03 AM, January 09, 2006, Blogger aqualung said...

Of course, listening to a lie and not believing it to be a lie also involves the phenomenon of hearing things only in relationship to oneself. If I beleive George Bush never lies, i will refuse to hear any of them. But we know Bush has lied many times; about WMDs (no evidence to the contrary has been given here), saying that we had "found the WMDs" when they were really only weather balloon installations, about firing anyone involved in the Plame leak, about denying that he ever said Osama Bin Laden was no longer a concern to him. These are documented facts, documented for posterity. Attempts by people here to deny this are trying to rewrite history. But if the thesis above is correct, maybe the neocons never even hear the lies because the belief that Bush never lies is already established in their brains. Another George warned us about this in the novel 1984. Double speak and Bush speak are the same; we must fight the right-wing spin that lies are only told by the left, and nothing that this cabal of neo-cons currently running (ruining also applies) this country ever does is wrong.

 
At 2:57 PM, January 09, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

The only people concerned about WMDs are the Lefties. And there is a good reason for that. If WMDs existed, it would be a Republican issue of national defense, but if WMDs did not exist then the Left could lie to their heart's content, safe in the knowledge that in the field of sophistry and semantics they rule supreme. I am humbled to be in the grace of such masters of double think, for their prowess overwhelms all mortal attempts at imitation.

Still, they would die just as easily choking on anthrax as the rest of us, easier perhaps, and that is their weakness.

Most of the people try to argue about why not finding WMDs was justified, I don't quite see why they waste their time. Saddam knew perfectly well that it is not the presence or non-presence of WMDs that mattered, it was the fear and the knowledge that he would use them on the people that mattered. Because regardless of how people hate Bush or Saddam, they can still be killed and silenced.

And that is the only real matter of importance concerning WMDs. If they do not exist, then they cannot be used to kill the liars, and if they cannot be used, then everything is a game. So that is why Republicans wanted to find WMDs and Democrats did not. It played to each other's strengths. The Republican's strength is that of reality, of the cold hard iron and the unbroken diamond will. The Democrats, of course, have their strength in erosion, dread psychology, and mysterious religion.

Can't fight religion, so don't try it. If you reform it, you get burned as a witch or as insensitive. Fighting fanatics is problematic, but the up shot is that fanatics don't change their strategy, regardless of how their tactics change.

The Democrats will never change their strategy, but they will change their tactics. And that is why the WMD issue is irrelevant. It is a tactical problem, the greater strategic overview overrides tactics of such a shade valorous.

 
At 3:02 PM, January 09, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

Steve has a problem, and it is the simple fact that he believes in his own propaganda. Contrary to popular and systemic belief, Republicans don't believe everything the military tells them. So quoting a general responsible for the infamous "Pincer" no shit attack, is not the magic wand here. Just because the Democrats say such things, doesn't mean they should fall prey to their own lies. Nor should anyone else, David Duke, George Galloway, or any other ally of the Left.

"Yes, I, too, believed there were weapons. I began to be skeptical when we went to sites that were given to us by U.S. intelligence and we found nothing. They said this is the best intelligence we have, and I said, if this is the best, what is the rest?"

It's quite obvious Hans was on the take to the UN rich blokes, and was paid to find nothing. Anything else is obviously a belief in a corrupt system.

He began to be skeptical when he started getting wired amounts from Saddam and kickbacks from Kofi.

 
At 4:39 PM, January 09, 2006, Blogger truepeers said...

I'm not long going to debate someone who goes by the moniker "anonymous"; there are too many about and one cannot know to which combo of voices one is responding. BUt then, the anonymous I think I'm addressing may not believe in the idea of a coherent authorship that might exist beyond the jumble of quotes some are prone to spit out.

What to think of someone who appears to be enamored of Pierre Trudeau ditties and calls Paul Martin (or did he mean Johnny Cretin?) prophetic? To be serious for a moment, it suggests a lack of intellectual development, a tendency to gnosticism, both of which he is all too right to suggest are common in Canada. But popularity is hardly a reason to defend such "intellectual" tendencies. No, for that, you need more substantial argument, not that you can readily find them in liberalism which by all appearances is on its death bed (kind of odd that someone who likes his Trudeau-the-liberator quotes would not see himself as being now lost in worship of a past).

Anyway, anonymous, you have yet to respond substantively to any of my somewhat more substantive points. For example, if you want to defend a book, defend it with arguments. The appeal to authority (especially in a country whose authorities often lack intellectual punch) is a well-known fallacy. Or why not begin with my contention that when you argue in a public forum, you never simply "speak for yourself", whatever the popularity of such locutions among the more resentful, "shut him up" thinkers. To speak in public is always to make a claim on the sacred centre to which we are all attached. Humans can only speak "in their own names" today, because they first came to speak the name of god. But this might not be apparent to those who don't seem to give a damn that the Trudeau, academic, and CBC think with which they are enamored is slowly ripping their country apart. Get out of Ontario, Buddy.

 
At 5:36 PM, January 09, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You're just looking for a fight, Truepeers.

 
At 6:12 PM, January 09, 2006, Blogger truepeers said...

People who think they can always avoid fights are a great danger to themselves and humanity. And the desire for such avoidance has a lot to do with why you started this little debate in the first place. Bush's claim is that he is doing some necessary evil to minimize the quantum of violence and evil in this world. He does not pretend we can ever escape evil completely. He is not a utopian. But your type don't accept him for what he is and make constructive criticisms about what lesser evils we must commit, or not. You criticize him from utopian premises. You never do more than ask why can't we just love one another and/or die? Even Auden came to reject the lie that is his famous line. Maybe Trudeau did something like that too after the world of serious people laughed at his peace campaign and let Reagan do the job.

 
At 10:09 PM, January 09, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"If all politicians were like Pierre Trudeau, there would be world peace."
- John Lennon

Truepeers, I have absolutely zero desire to debate a prairie tory sympathetic to the Bush administration.

I posted to answer a pointed question about Canadians' "obsession" with George W. Bush, and now I'm gone.

Peace

 
At 12:43 AM, January 10, 2006, Blogger Motor 1560 said...

Beep, beep! Cut and run.

 
At 6:54 AM, January 10, 2006, Blogger aqualung said...

And how about the most recent Bush lie that all domestic wiretaps are obtained only with a court order! How, pray tell, Ms. Neo-neocon, is that not a LIE?

 
At 7:17 AM, January 10, 2006, Blogger Steve J. said...

YMAR: It's quite obvious Hans was on the take to the UN rich blokes, and was paid to find nothing.

Do you have any proof of that smear?
.
.
.
.
Didn't think so.

 
At 7:32 AM, January 10, 2006, Blogger Steve J. said...

YMAR: Steve has a problem, and it is the simple fact that he believes in his own propaganda. Contrary to popular and systemic belief, Republicans don't believe everything the military tells them. So quoting a general responsible for the infamous "Pincer" no shit attack, is not the magic wand here.


So, Tommy Franks is also a liar?

 
At 2:51 PM, January 10, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

People who use pieces of Franks that they agree with and then ignore everything else, yes, they are liars who both lie as well as hear.

You don't think the rich are corrupting bureacrats? Jeez, you are naive. You ever hear of Dan Rather and his false, but true motiff?

No Democrat has ever needed proof, it is too middle class.

 
At 6:49 PM, January 10, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Beep, beep! Cut and run.

Sigh.

Michael Adams is a well-regarded pollster. You can follow the link I posted earlier and learn a bit about the differences between Americans and Canadians.

 
At 1:02 AM, January 12, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It' is the natural recourse of a mind in the hold of a conspiracy theory ‘mindset’.

Your opponent didn't beat you, he cheated.

He doesn't have another opinion, he lied.

He isn't just wrong, rather he is evil.

It goes on and on...

 
At 4:11 AM, January 13, 2006, Anonymous douglas said...

"Motor1560:
If they came into your church and began to proselytize for another sect they would be ejected. Same thing here.

- Yeah, that sounds like what Jesus would do, too. Eject them."
TKaMB.

Jesus kicked the money changers out of the temple. with violence. It seems, yes, Jesus just might kick someone out. Slow down- in your haste to try to make someone else look the fool, you trip yourself. Seek wisdom and truth, not just victory.

 
At 7:08 PM, January 23, 2006, Blogger Active Observer said...

To the anonymous poster who wrote:

> Your opponent didn't beat you, he cheated.
> He doesn't have another opinion, he lied.

It's true that many people feel this way, and often based on a knee-jerk reaction instead of the facts. However, sometimes people do cheat and sometimes they do lie. If you disregard anyone who accuses anyone of cheating or lying, you're having a knee-jerk reaction yourself.

For myself and many other on the Left, "Bush" is shorthand for "the Bush Administration". He's ultimately responsible, but we know he's mostly the mouthpiece for the people making the policy. If he repeats a lie formulated by someone in his administration, it works out to the same thing. Let's just get rid of "plausible deniability", which is a loophole allowing politicians to tell lies and claim that they didn't know better. Here's a classic example:

"A few months ago I told the American people I did not trade arms (TO IRAN) for hostages. My heart and my best intentions still tell me that's true, but the facts and the evidence tell me it is not."
- Ronald Reagan

I'm suprised that I haven't seen mention in this thread of the letter signed by Wolfowitz, Rumsfeld and others connected to the Bush administration that urged Clinton to invade Iraq in 1998. The Administration wanted this invasion long before 9-11, and they were very selective and misleading about the evidence they used to justify it. Even Colin Powell ("this is bullsh*t!") thought the administration was making false (or at best unsubstantiated) claims about Iraq in order to justify the invasion.

We don't have to call it a lie if that term offends, but the war on Iraq was launched on false pretexts.

From the Downing Street Memos:

The Foreign Secretary said he would discuss this with Colin Powell this week. It seemed clear that Bush had made up his mind to take military action, even if the timing was not yet decided. But the case was thin. Saddam was not threatening his neighbours, and his WMD capability was less than that of Libya, North Korea or Iran. We should work up a plan for an ultimatum to Saddam to allow back in the UN weapons inspectors. This would also help with the legal justification for the use of force.

 
At 1:14 PM, February 01, 2006, Blogger Tertium Quid said...

Great post! Great blog. I've written quite a bit on my own blog about how the Democrats and the left are caught in a 1972 time-warp and cannot escape.

 
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