Patterico's Pontifications

5/13/2015

Ted Cruz: The Iraq War Was a Mistake

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:48 am

The Hill:

Ted Cruz is breaking from former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) about whether or not he would have ordered the U.S. military into its eight-year war in Iraq.

“Knowing what we know now, of course we wouldn’t go into Iraq,” the Texas Republican told The Hill on Tuesday.

“At the time, the intelligence reports indicated that Iraq was developing weapons of mass destruction that posed a significant national security threat to this country. That’s the reason there was such widespread bipartisan support for going into Iraq,” he added. “We now know in hindsight, those intelligence reports were false.”

“Without that predicate, it is difficult to imagine the decision would have been made to go into Iraq, and that predicate proved erroneous,” Cruz said.

He’s right.

I said in 2006 that “the war was a mistake given what we know now, but it was the right call based on what we knew at the time.” And I elaborated that the reason was the lack of WMD:

I may be the last remaining conservative who (reluctantly) signed on to the war almost wholly because of the threat of WMD. I understand that numerous other arguments for war were made from the very beginning, including the desire to liberate the Iraqi people from the tyrannical dictatorship of Saddam, and to plant the seeds of democracy. I have met Iraqis who have benefited from our policy, and I don’t want to minimize that. But I wouldn’t have signed on to risking our soldiers’ lives for that goal, and neither would have most Americans, I think.

Since then, I have become even more skeptical of war in general, and indeed of the notion of spreading democracy: a system that encourages total war between nations and an ever-increasing government. But that’s another topic.

The bottom line is that Ted Cruz is right. There was one valid reason to go to war in Iraq, and it was wrong. The war was a mistake. Jeb Bush won’t say it. Ted Cruz just did.

186 Responses to “Ted Cruz: The Iraq War Was a Mistake”

  1. *Pulls pin on rhetorical grenade, drops it, walks away slowly*

    Patterico (9c670f)

  2. Also, for carlitos:

    Pam Geller.

    Patterico (9c670f)

  3. well maybe but after Syria has been the wellspring of jihad,

    http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/418272/yes-i-would-have-ousted-saddam-power-quin-hillyer

    narciso (ee1f88)

  4. “…knowing what we know now..”

    But we didn’t know what we know now back then.

    mer (fe4339)

  5. Well, Ted Cruz (or Pam Geller!) doesn’t have to sit at the same Sunday dinner table with Bush Jr. That could be part of it.

    Patterico came to this conclusion a few years before I did, so kudos.

    carlitos (c24ed5)

  6. i was all good with the whole Iraq War thing right until food stamp did two things:

    1. him and his propaganda whore media used it to justify an obscene orgy of irresponsible and useless domestic spendings

    2. failmerica pissed away all the expensive hard-won strategic gains

    so yeah in retrospect this whole fiasco was a huge fiasco

    and not a little embarrassing.

    happyfeet (a037ad)

  7. You and Cruz are wrong. Iraq’s WMD program, and our inability to find out exactly how far along it was, was why it had to be done right then, but even without that it would have had to be done sooner or later. Iraq was sponsoring international terrorism and planning attacks on us, the sanctions system had already been subverted and couldn’t have been sustained more than a year or two longer, the Iraqis were regularly shooting at our planes, and it was already established bipartisan US policy to replace the regime at some unspecified time.

    Given what we now know, that there was no large stockpile of WMD ready to be used at a moment’s notice, and that they were not close to having such a stockpile, I would have finished the Afghan war first, and then turned to Iraq. Or maybe done something about North Korea in between. But not doing it at all wasn’t an option.

    Milhouse (bdebad)

  8. actually we’ve been in Afghanistan, longer, with fewer results, so I don’t have an answer,

    narciso (ee1f88)

  9. BTW, Bush’s big speech about the Iraq invasion was very clear (to those who were actually listening and paying attention) that WMD was not the reason for the invasion, but the reason why it could not be delayed any longer.

    Milhouse (bdebad)

  10. Most of Saddam’s armaments, re the SEPRI report, were provided by the three countries dead set against the invasion, Russia, France and Germany, they were also the one’s most of the take from the off program, one settled on WMDs, because lets face it most of the UN is composed of
    fmr? terrorists, and dictators, so those arguments wouldn’t hold water,

    narciso (ee1f88)

  11. Besides, between the findings of significant caches of chemicals weapons, and the accidental discovery of a buried, but persevered, airfield with aircraft, there was enough to leave the possibility that substantial capacity existed, but was concealed, exported or destroyed prior to the invasion.

    No, we didn’t find massive stockpiles of munitions. But we never expected too. We believed that Iraq had development capacity with limited stockpiles.

    Yes, major media buried or dismissed stories like the 500 shells of Sarin and whatnot that were found, because The Narrative.

    They almost literally tripped over the airplanes: http://www.foxnews.com/story/2003/08/01/iraqi-warplanes-found-buried-in-desert/

    JWB (6cba10)

  12. Adam. Knowing what you know now would you have taken a bite out of that apple? That’s the problem with these time machine questions.

    Far better to talk about the role of force and diplomacy in tackling today’s situation. The hotspots of yesterday are hotter and America’s ability to cool them down is appears more questionable today. What would President _____ propose?

    crazy (cde091)

  13. lets face it, would invading the Kingdom, which would have been represented as a war on Islam, or Pakistan, been any easier?

    narciso (ee1f88)

  14. we tried staying out of Iraq, for a decade, we were mostly involved in the Balkans, and that strategic beachhead of Haiti, little of this is ever mentioned,

    narciso (ee1f88)

  15. sheesh, have people here forgotten this speech,
    http://georgewbush-whitehouse.archives.gov/news/releases/2002/10/20021007-8.html

    which also remarkably pre-answered some of the issues?
    Bigger problem to me was abandoning the points made in the resolution for the Iraq War in the pr following the toppling. That administration did not keep to the message.

    2 more points: no country countered the Powell exposition give to the UN and there were a lot of countries directly involved in the coalition.

    seeRpea (81fcfe)

  16. Fact check! Gulf I resulted in a cease fire. Iraq violated the terms of the cease fire from day one but neither the United Nations or the United States did the proper thing under international law – resuming hostilities. That was because of political concerns – the uninformed voters had to be considered. After 9/11, the situation changed and no sensible nation or group of nations start a new war with a unfinished war in the area of operations. That simple explanation has been ignored by the mainstream media since it makes Bush’ action perfectly reasonable under the circumstances that existed. So, the meme that we went to war with Iraq because of WMDs was substituted for the facts. The problem is that people who should have known better have now adopted the meme as truth.

    Michael Keohane (b9ba4d)

  17. in retrospect I think the Gulf War was a bad deal, better for Bin Laden’s merry men, to have taken on the Baath, and don’t get me started on ungrateful Kuwait, KSM, Emwazi, Awadi

    narciso (ee1f88)

  18. Bush’s biggest mistake was failing to employ the modern equivalent of Niccolo Machiavelli’s strategies for subduing conquered populations. The Prince details time tested methods proved successful since before 1532. Obviously, those who ignore the harsh lessons of history frequently create the very conditions responsible for their own undoing.

    ropelight (aeb38c)

  19. if having Jeb Bush in the race means we have to relitigate this dreary little war then he just needs to go away

    we have some lovely parting gifts for you backstage Jeb

    happyfeet (a037ad)

  20. well the Medici’s performance has been what was the name of that horrible American Idol performer, the withdrawal from Iraq, seems to have empowered the jayvee team,

    narciso (ee1f88)

  21. There is another important reason why the Iraq war was a mistake. The reason is that our war strategy presumed follow through by our government under subsequent administrations, follow through that was not forthcoming. Future presidents should be advised that any military actions and related follow-up must be completed on their own watch.

    A second lesson is that Democratic nation-building is a fool’s errand. There is a reason that in most of the world despotism is the norm and not the exception: it is the government most people not only deserve, but require. Iraq (and the rest of the world, as well) would have been better off with a pro-western Shah than a parliament.

    Good for Cruz.

    ThOR (a52560)

  22. the Dems given half a chance will sabotage a war, buying into their premise, is the mistake,
    as it is in every other instance,

    narciso (ee1f88)

  23. Patterico – You are falling for the media spin. I am no Jeb Bush fan, but if you listen to his actual answer to Kelly’s question during the interview, his position is the same as Ted’s and yours.

    Roscoe (5b2c30)

  24. People all these years later also forget, I think, the overall mood of the country at that time. The attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon and the Shanksville plane were insults to our population and to our national pride. They had left fresh open wounds and horrifying emotional scars. Much of the country (including many political Democrats) still wanted and thought they needed the psychological benefits of retaliation and payback–against somebody– over there. Doing all we could to try to prevent another attack seemed necessary and reasonable and honorable to most citizens. I’m not defending going to war for emotional or “patriotic” reasons. But I think it is misreading or ignoring history for anyone to pretend these were not considered very substantial and legitimate reasons in early 2003.

    elissa (4e325f)

  25. WMD was not the reason for the invasion, but the reason why it could not be delayed any longer.

    The WMD was the concession to Blair to allow him to get Parliament to go along. It was NOT the reason Bush had to invade.

    1. Saddam had been assured by the countries defying the embargo that we would not invade.

    2. After 9/11 we could not leave the Middle East and appear to be surrendering (like we are now).

    The Saudis were pressing us very hard on the US troops in Saudi, especially the women who would not go along with Saudi rules. For example.

    3. Saddam had been defying the embargo and shooting at our planes that were enforcing the no-fly zone. Eventually, one would have been shot down.

    4. The reason why Bush was in this fix was General Schwarzkopf, who negotiated the ceasefire with the Iraqis with no State Department advice, and screwed up. The Iraqi helicopters were part of the massacre of the Marsh Arabs. The Kurds had been protected by us since the first Gulf War.

    5. The embargo was collapsing and the French and Germans were doing it. A Billion Dollars in Cash was found in one of his son’s houses.

    6. Bush’s other choice was to leave the Middle East and end the embargo but 9/11 made this impossible without huge loss of face and credibility. There was no way to keep the embargo.

    7. The role of Bremer in the failure of the occupation has never really been studied. The best source on this is Emma Sky’s new book, The unraveling.

    8. You can make the argument that we should not have stopped Saddam from invading Kuwait and Saudi Arabia which he would have done if we had not acted. That’s another argument but the logical conclusion of the current discussion.

    9. As far as I am concerned, the mistake was appointing Bremer to run the country instead of Jay Garner.

    Mike K (90dfdc)

  26. Agreed, elissa, but appropriate to Afghanistan, not Iraq.

    ropelight (aeb38c)

  27. The reason is that our war strategy presumed follow through by our government under subsequent administrations, follow through that was not forthcoming. Future presidents should be advised that any military actions and related follow-up must be completed on their own watch.

    It was supposed to be over and done with by 2005 at the latest. The plan was to have Iran surrounded on three sides with US forces. Unfortunately, no plan survives contact with the enemy, and this one went seriously wrong.

    A second lesson is that Democratic nation-building is a fool’s errand.

    It worked just fine in Japan.

    Milhouse (bdebad)

  28. Agreed, elissa, but appropriate to Afghanistan, not Iraq.

    It was all the same war. Iraq was sponsoring international terrorism. Bush’s genius on that night in September 2001 was to recognise that that day’s attacks were not an isolated event but part of a war against us, which we no longer had the option of ignoring. And Iraq was a participant in that war. The whole question of what role, if any, it played in those specific attacks was irrelevant. It made sense to inquire into it, just so we knew, but it made no difference to anything. Asking why we invaded Iraq in response to the WTC is exactly like asking why we invaded Morocco in response to Pearl Harbor.

    Milhouse (bdebad)

  29. There was nothing wrong with the war.
    ]
    The problem was with General Clausewitz and his “pottery barn” rule.

    We broke up a collection of mud huts. We stayed around to turn that into a democracy. Because…Collin Powell.

    I am still trying to figure out which of the seven basic Krav Maga elgows I should feed that jack wagon.

    Steve57 (e468ba)

  30. which is why the Sepah provided weapons and training to Taliban and Shia militias, why the Syrian Mukharabat provided ratlines through Eastern Syria, why the Saudis let their Ikwan go north,

    narciso (ee1f88)

  31. Krav Maga elbows

    Also I apologize for the unnecessary letter @28.

    Steve57 (e468ba)

  32. Colin Powell should be on a postage stamp what just has his stupid face and the words Stupid and forever on it

    that way you’d never have to worry about them not being adequate for when you needed to mail something

    happyfeet (a037ad)

  33. except Powell vouched for Zaphod, and thought attacking Libya, who was helping us, was a neat idea,

    narciso (ee1f88)

  34. 26>
    The reason is that our war strategy presumed follow through by our government under subsequent administrations, follow through that was not forthcoming. Future presidents should be advised that any military actions and related follow-up must be completed on their own watch.

    It was supposed to be over and done with by 2005 at the latest. The plan was to have Iran surrounded on three sides with US forces. Unfortunately, no plan survives contact with the enemy, and this one went seriously wrong.

    A second lesson is that Democratic nation-building is a fool’s errand.

    It worked just fine in Japan.

    Milhouse (bdebad) — 5/13/2015 @ 9:21 am

    the reason it worked in japan and with Germany, is that the allies decided to carry to war to an unconditional surrender along with destroying the culture that begat the military culture.

    Our current wars/ vietnam, iraq I, Iraq II, afgahnistan, have not set out to destroy the culture.

    joe (debac0)

  35. There was nothing wrong with the invasion of Iraq and annihilation of Saddam. The insanity was hanging around on the premise that George Washington Muhamed and Thomas Jefferson Mahmoud were in Baghdad just waiting for Murica to make it safe for them to emerge.

    We should have invaded Iraq, destroyed Saddam and then either pulled our guys out into the desert (where they could keep Iran/Syria et al from large scale incursion and just let the Iraq cities go to hell unless and until the Iraqi people summoned the courage to stop the carnage) or just left altogether.

    Allowing your armed forces to be used like a giant red white and blue pinata was the truly stupid part.

    Mark Johnson (9d93c4)

  36. I had a conversation with an NCIS officer on Diego Garcia about his UN testimony. Which no doubt flies in the face of several US laws and international treaties.

    We kind of suspected we were screwed.

    It wasn’t the going to war part. It was the staying around for the after party part.

    Steve57 (e468ba)

  37. in what way Steve?

    narciso (ee1f88)

  38. The war plans assumed the Iraqis would gladly cooperate in our replacement regime. They also presumed American follow up would be competent. The falsity of assumption 1 should have been obvious to everyone, especially since we were already seeing how hard exporting democracy to Afghanistan.
    Assumption 2 was also wrong, but that was due to some of the very people who planned the war.

    As far as supporting terrorism, I have never seen much evidence of that beyond Saddam trying to keep a finger in every angle he could. If support of terrorism is the criteria, then Iran, Syria, Saudi Arabia, and Pakistan are much higher on the list.

    I would kept focused on Afghanistan, and once it was as stable as possible, gone after one of the countries I listed above. Iran probably.

    kishnevi (adea75)

  39. Knowing what we know now, James Polk could have built hydrogen bombs and conquered the world.

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  40. I’m all for steaming through and shooting things up.

    It’s when I have to stick around and fix things that never worked in the first place I start to lose it.

    Why can’t we have an understanding?

    YOU don’t attract my attention.

    AND

    I won’t shoot at you.

    Steve57 (e468ba)

  41. The war having been fought, and won, this does not excuse the Obama administration for pissing it away. It was a done deal by the time he became president. Apparently though he wanted it to be a failure, and made it so. But don’t blame Bush — he may have been wrong, but he didn’t fail.

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  42. Cruz inching away from America World Police. This is a good thing.

    Rubble don’t cause trouble; there is no kindler, gentler way to make war . Bush Jr.’s 2nd Inaugural about Iraqis and others “yearning to breathe free” might have been the most ridiculous thing any president has ever said until The One took office(now it has much competition, but I digress). It echoed the general in “Full Metal Jacket” bellowing about an American being inside ever Viet Cong, if only we could kill enough of tehm.Different cultures value different things. Germany after WWII was a Western culture gone insane. There are exceptions, but even there, Japan while not Western valued Western technology, industry and culture even before WWII. The entirety of the ME doesn’t care about our values and culture, and they never will. Islam and tribalism made this a mess.

    We need honest foreign policy, not wishful thinking. Invade/invite/borrow from is nuts. The Bushes need to be stopped.

    Bugg (aace18)

  43. Suppose Tom Dewey had won in ’44 and entered office in March of ’45 with most of the war won. And then stopped fighting, leaving Europe to the Soviets and granting Japan a cease-fire. Would it really matter if he could show that FDR had known about Pearl Harbor in advance?

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  44. We should have invaded Iraq, destroyed Saddam and then either pulled our guys out into the desert (where they could keep Iran/Syria et al from large scale incursion and just let the Iraq cities go to hell unless and until the Iraqi people summoned the courage to stop the carnage) or just left altogether.

    So, you agree with Obama’s strategy. because that’s EXACTLY what he did.

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  45. http://cdrsalamander.blogspot.com/2015/05/a-weapon-of-convenience.html

    I don’t know if the flaming arrow works. As in my experience it tends to blow itself out. Maybe I just wasn’t doing it right. But if it saves my Sailors a walk, sure, what the h3ll.

    Steve57 (e468ba)

  46. actually we’ve been in Afghanistan, longer, with fewer results, so I don’t have an answer,

    We divided our forces badly and exhausted them.

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  47. We had overwhelming forces, Kevin, in both Iraq and Afghanistan.

    We used them badly.

    Steve57 (e468ba)

  48. Our current wars/ vietnam, iraq I, Iraq II, afgahnistan, have not set out to destroy the culture.

    The next one, otoh, will.

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  49. Kevin and Steve you are both right. We should have kept overwhelming forces in Afghanistan, and then some. We did not, because we needed overwhelming force in Iraq. And then we abused and misused what we in both places.

    kishnevi (91d5c6)

  50. Steve,

    We destroyed Saddam’s forces in a matter of days. But we let a guerrilla war take hold. We should have put that down brutally (think Patton’s occupation of Germany, or perhaps the Soviets’).

    In Afghanistan we beat the existing rulers in short order, but they just melted away and waited. Then we played wack-a-mole with them. We should have responded to 9-11 there with our own WMDs (e.g. chemical weapons at Tora Bora, MOABs in Khandahar) and let the message sink home.

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  51. I think what many people overlook is that the fear was never that Iraq could have a militarily significant, but that they would provide existing stockpile (or even newly produced items) to terrorist, whom the Iraqi regime had provided material support to in the past. There was no need to discover a full arsenal of brand-new weapons to make the war valid. This was the canard the liberal press wanted you to buy, and many see to have bought it completely.

    It is a fact that the US found and destroyed over 5000 chemical weapons and numerous delivery systems modified to deliver those payloads. This has been reported by the NYT, for those who still cling to the fiction that there were no WMDs in Iraq. This is in addition to that, there were 500 tons of uranium stored in Iraq which the US removed. While it is true that these were not significant in a military sense. They were old, of uneven potency, and perhaps even unsafe to be used in a military operation. But we didn’t go to Iraq to defeat an army that threatened us, we went to prevent terror attacks on our own soil.

    Consider what a group of terrorists could do with 1000 chemical warheads or uranium in dirty bomb against soft targets like the transportation systems of major US cities. A couple of weapons every week on BART, NY subways, DC Metro, and Chicago Transit’s el over a period of a few months could shut down these major hubs of commerce. Would the effectiveness or deadliness really diminish the terror that could be produced? If a couple of pressure cookers can be an effective terror weapon, what would a chemical weapon be able to accomplish? Even if it didn’t detonate, its discovery would spread panic nationwide.

    prowlerguy (3af7ff)

  52. I think what many people overlook is that the fear was never that Iraq could have a militarily significant, but that they would provide existing stockpile (or even newly produced items) to terrorist, whom the Iraqi regime had provided material support to in the past. There was no need to discover a full arsenal of brand-new weapons to make the war valid.

    We knew Iran and Syria openly support terrorists and knew they were going after WMDs. The evidence in both cases was far clearer than in the case of Iraq. So why not go after them first?

    kishnevi (adea75)

  53. “So why not go after them first?”

    Because we KNEW that Iraq had destroyed chemical weapons and we KNEW they had uranium. These were declared by Iraq at the end of the first Gulf War, and the uranium had been seen and inventoried by the UN. The Iraqis did not have to “go after” WMDs, they had them.

    prowlerguy (3af7ff)

  54. Eh the only republican in the senate that voted against the AUMF in Iraq was….

    A good brief to read is Judge Lynch out of the First Circuit Court of Appeals to get a better recall of the situation.

    Algonquin. (48fb95)

  55. Kevin M

    Correct. A big mistake since Vietnam probably has been not to use the full weight of our forces in a joint fashion. Specifically air power. McCain early on pushed the wrong headed notion that we had to fight in Iraq in a man to man fashion and then we would gain their respect because of some notion of honor. In the Middle East and other environs radical Islam has reigned for so long that the only thing they respect is sheer force.

    Algonquin (48fb95)

  56. The war in Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11. It had to do with the next 9/11.

    CrustyB (69f730)

  57. This,
    Michael Keohane (b9ba4d) — 5/13/2015 @ 8:35 am
    and what others have said about the weapons that were found, other things that david kay said made Saddam MORE dangerous than thought (long range ballistic missile components, for example).

    If you were not for the invasion of Iraq, what were you for? Advertising to the world that we don’t care about allies undermining us and will not enforce cease fire agreements?

    Well, one can argue that this is exactly what we eventually did under a Dem Congress and especially under Obama,
    but there was a time that George W. Bush intended to do exactly what he said he would do,
    make allies live up to commitments,
    and not let enemies break terms of cease fire with impunity.

    All of those things sound like real good ideas,
    except you cannot expect enough Americans to go along if there are political points to make at home.

    MD in Philly (f9371b)

  58. CrustyB is exactly right. What 911 pointed out was that the US was vulnerable to asymmetirc warfare, and any nation that harbored people planning such things needed to be confronted. Saddam was a proven enemy and provocateur of the region who was consistently breaking the terms of a cease fire.

    had he let saddam be, and an attack against the US was successful that was planned from Iraq, people would have been screaming for his execution for dereliction of duty and failure to protect the country, the #1 responsibility of the president.

    MD in Philly (f9371b)

  59. I’ve always said one could make an argument that going into Iraq was unwise, and certainly that one could have done things differently,
    but,
    I’ve also always said i want to know what people would have done different,and to acknowledge that many decisions on how the war was managed (trying to leave a small footprint, e.g.) was in part to appease critics.
    Also, the whole region would be different had there been the support to aggressively deal with Iran’s involvement in Iraq.

    MD in Philly (f9371b)

  60. OT, but some of you folks with more time and better skills than me may want to dig into the one’s speech at Georgetown yesterday. I’ve heard that he invoked “Lysenkoism” among other things.

    MD in Philly (f9371b)

  61. Re prosecuting this gets you on the road to Hillary.

    Obama Has implemented a force reduction of ground troops by some 90,000.

    He has destabilized Libya, and contributed to the destabization of Egypt and possibly Yemen with less reason or legitimacy and in this environment he has destabilized the nuclear status quo in regards to Iran and with this mess we are going to elect Hillary. Engaging superficially in Monday Morning Quarterbacking with the MSM only too happy to lead us down that path of defeat. Defeat politically stateside and defeat in the future, in a much more important arena.

    Algonquin (48fb95)

  62. As far as supporting terrorism, I have never seen much evidence of that beyond Saddam trying to keep a finger in every angle he could

    For one thing, he was funding the suicide bombers in Israel. Also providing a base for Abu Nidal, and hosting a hijacker training school.

    Milhouse (bdebad)

  63. He had also put out a call for pilots to sign up for an attack on America, which is probably why AQ hurried to brief him on its plans so he wouldn’t get in the way or expose them, especially when his nest of spies in Hamburg was caught, right where AQ was doing its prep.

    Milhouse (bdebad)

  64. In other news, Yoko Ono claims to have had an affair with Hillary Clinton.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  65. If I’d known that Democrats would do all they could to ensure that the US armed forces would fail in their mission, then I wouldn’t have suppored the Iraq war either.

    I thought when Democrats said “this will fail” that they were making a prediction; I didn’t realize it was a promise.

    Pious Agnostic (7eb3b0)

  66. Matter of fact, the Democrats could have stopped the war cold by voting against the AUMF. Instead they voted for it, then undermined it, then supported it after the Surge, then pretended they never heard of it after ISIS.

    It just depended on which way the weather vane was pointed.

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  67. In other fake news, Yoko Ono claims to have had an affair with Hillary Clinton.

    FTFY. But it was funny, though.

    prowlerguy (3af7ff)

  68. CrustyB (69f730) — 5/13/2015 @ 11:01 am

    Exactly. And it wouldn’t have taken a modern, combat-ready arsenal of WMDs to do that.

    prowlerguy (3af7ff)

  69. The war was a mistake.

    A tragic mistake!

    Jeb Bush won’t say it.

    Loser.

    Ted Cruz just did.

    Yay!

    happyfeet (a037ad)

  70. 49. Steve,

    We destroyed Saddam’s forces in a matter of days. But we let a guerrilla war take hold…

    Kevin M (25bbee) — 5/13/2015 @ 10:26 am

    Walking in was one thing. I’m cool with that. We should have walked out after we were done.

    Steve57 (e468ba)

  71. I took Saddam at his word when he told his FBI interrogator that he had planned to acquire the material to build nuclear weapons as soon as the sanctions were lifted. He had the dual purpose facilities and more importantly, the scientists to do the job. He was well on his way to getting the sanctions listed by paying off other countries. I still believe taking him out was the right thing to do.
    Was the operation done effectively? No. Rumsfeld did it on the cheap and Turkey was a surprise when they wouldn’t let the 4th Armored traverse their country to enter Iraq from the northwest. Not trying to rehabilitate the Iraqi Army and police was another error. But the overall effort to take out Saddam was worth it. As of 2008, violence had reached a new low. Then Obama came in and screwed things up even worse.

    Dave (e1f266)

  72. Walking in was one thing. I’m cool with that. We should have walked out after we were done.

    We would have been where we are now, but sooner. You have to at least make it a desert before you can call it peace.

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  73. Patterico, unfortunately, has been undone by the left’s unceasing lie. That lie is that Bush had only one reason, only one useful reason, and that was the existence of WMD ready to go. Without the discovery of WMD ready to go, then, the whole thing was built on a lie.
    You have to give people some slack for more than a decade’s drumbeat. Eventually, you start believing it.
    Back in the day, lefty sneerers with delusions of mental adequacy sneered about which reason Bush was going to use. There were more than a dozen and he should “make up his mind”.
    In fact, the problem was to get our arms around this stuff before it was imminent. As in “before”. Kay and Duelfer in their reports demonstrate that SH had had parts of the necessary equipment, the human capital, the money and the determination to get WMD. The sanctions regime was “crumbling” and the inspections would soon cease.
    Couple of items. The left howled that SH had no yellowcake and that Bush was a dummy for not guarding the stuff and letting civilians poison themselves with it. Canada eventually took if away.
    The administration started letting out truckloads of records in the order they got translated. *Ahmed’s mother was sick and we have a memo where he wants a week off.
    *Here are the schematics for an atomic bomb.
    *Crops are good around Tikrit.
    The left, insisting that SH had no such information excoriated the administration for letting it out where anybody could get it.
    The inspections were supposed to be a matter of being shown everything. Instead, it turned into a game of hide and seek and nobody seemed to think that meant anything. Kind of cute, actually, fooling the big bad western interfering colonialists.
    Anyway, the invasion was legitimate based on what we knew, on what we know, but not on what the left wants us to think is the case, which is a lie.
    In 2010, things were so good in Iraq that Biden said it would be a signature accomplishment of the Obama administration.
    One thing we should have known is that the left and the dems will, they will, give away victory and throw away men’s lives. See Viet Nam.
    So, according to script, Obama blew the SOFA. And here we are.
    Politically, it is necessary to pretend to believe what the left pretends to believe and what it has convinced a sufficient number of the public to believe.
    But it’s a lie. You have to remember, the left never quits. Never. Eventually, their lies become conventional wisdom and politically necessary pronouncements.

    Richard Aubrey (f6d8de)

  74. no use crying over spilt milk

    next time we’ll just have to use better judgment

    happyfeet (a037ad)

  75. Kevin @72, we wouldn’t have ISIS if we just capped the big guy and left the rest of the ugly apparatus in place.

    Steve57 (e468ba)

  76. It’s called a punitive raid.

    Steve57 (e468ba)

  77. If I’d known in 2004 that in 2008 this country would elect Barack Obama as the CIC, I wouldn’t have supported the war either. If I’d known that the next president, either through incompetence or malice, was going to turn his back on Iraq, I wouldn’t have supported the war either.

    Never occurred to me that the next president, even a Democrat, would betray us. Now I know.

    Pious Agnostic (4e1a81)

  78. well said, Pious!. In hindsight, we should’ve known, given the tenor of the times. Leftism for the light thinkers this country is overwhelmingly saddled with.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  79. Afghanistan should have been pebbles by 9-15-2001.
    Big Country Big mf Stick.
    We wouldn’t be putting up with this b.s. now.
    In memory of Ace Bailey, he was just flying back to work on 9-11

    mg (31009b)

  80. I’m going with “We should have sent the Air Force”. Right then, Right now.

    f1guyus (9cbd15)

  81. Well, i don’t know where Cruz is going with this, perhaps not trusting a pack of flaccid nematodes with foreign policy but the point is moot.

    http://shoebat.com/2015/05/13/iran-makes-this-declaration-to-saudi-arabia-we-will-cut-off-your-hand-and-ignite-the-flames-of-war-the-standoff-between-saudi-arabia-and-iran-begins/

    DNF (208255)

  82. Nation building in Afghanistan is an obvious blunder but any fool who thinks we should have exited Iraq had better be exiting Chiraq instantly.

    DNF (208255)

  83. Patterico, unfortunately, has been undone by the left’s unceasing lie. That lie is that Bush had only one reason, only one useful reason, and that was the existence of WMD ready to go. Without the discovery of WMD ready to go, then, the whole thing was built on a lie.
    You have to give people some slack for more than a decade’s drumbeat. Eventually, you start believing it.

    Nope. Go back and read the post from 2006 — or even just read the quote in the post, in which I said:

    I understand that numerous other arguments for war were made from the very beginning, including the desire to liberate the Iraqi people from the tyrannical dictatorship of Saddam, and to plant the seeds of democracy.

    If you go back in my archives you’ll see that I cited all of the reasons that were given, and defended Bush against the attack that he had offered only one reason. I am aware of the facts and no amount of leftist spin blinds me to them.

    I just disagree. For me — and for many Americans — WMD was the only reason that presented an adequate justification.

    I understand you may disagree. I will not insult you by falsely accusing you of having been misled by leftists when the fact is that we simply disagree. Please do me the same courtesy.

    Patterico (9c670f)

  84. Fact check! Gulf I resulted in a cease fire. Iraq violated the terms of the cease fire from day one but neither the United Nations or the United States did the proper thing under international law – resuming hostilities. That was because of political concerns – the uninformed voters had to be considered. After 9/11, the situation changed and no sensible nation or group of nations start a new war with a unfinished war in the area of operations. That simple explanation has been ignored by the mainstream media since it makes Bush’ action perfectly reasonable under the circumstances that existed. So, the meme that we went to war with Iraq because of WMDs was substituted for the facts. The problem is that people who should have known better have now adopted the meme as truth.

    See previous comment.

    Patterico (9c670f)

  85. Patterico – You are falling for the media spin. I am no Jeb Bush fan, but if you listen to his actual answer to Kelly’s question during the interview, his position is the same as Ted’s and yours.

    No, it’s not. As to whether Bush misunderstood the question, that is debatable. Her question was crystal clear and asked whether he would have made the same call knowing what we know now. Bush now seems to claim that he misheard the question, and perhaps he did — but even now, he is wishy-washy and won’t give a clear answer. So his position is definitely not the same as mine or Cruz’s — because we don’t dither and equivocate when the question is posed.

    Patterico (9c670f)

  86. It’s been touched on – and acknowledged – but it bears repeating; Saddam had never come within screaming distance of honoring the cease-fire terms he accepted. IF we wanted our diplomacy to be taken seriously in the area, Saddam HAD to be slapped down, hard. Clinton didn’t do it because A) He’s ostensibly a Liberal Democrat and they don’t believe in using military force when it would be cheap and B) President Bubba doesn’t really believe anything that doesn’t affect his poll numbers is serious.

    Bush was dealing with a very different kindle of kittens.

    Now, we should NOT have tried to rebuild Iraq. We should have gone in, wrecked Saddam’s government, hanged Saddam if convenient, and left. And when the ‘International Community’ whined about the wreckage we should have said “And there’s more where that came from”.

    The goal is not peace in the Middle East; that has been achieved very few time in History, and only by conquest and violent supression. The goal is making sure that all the players have a very good idea of just how unpleasant life is likely to get if a terror attack really seriously enrages the country. I don’t WANT to see us standing astride the Middle East. But if we don’t convince some people that, fools though we may be, making us seriously angry is a really bad idea, I greatly fear that I am going to.

    C. S. P. Schofield (a196fd)

  87. WHO CARES what people would have done “knowing what we know now”?

    The list of things I would have done differently if I knew facts that came out later are legion. I sure as heck would have sold that Worldcom! That does not mean anything about the decisions I made on the facts I had.

    I can’t believe we are getting into a pissing contest on the basis of what people would have done with magic information.

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  88. And even then, we are missing the point.

    It wasn’t the lack of WMDs that’s the problem — we worked through that — it’s the rise of the Caliphate while we are in an Interregnum. That’s the real cost of kicking over the hornet’s nest.

    The Dems are having fun with “would you have invaded Iraq” but just as good a question is “would you have pulled down Gaddafi, abandoned Mubarek, and/or destabilized Syria?” Knowing what we know now, the answer would be NO, but it really didn’t make a lot of sense then either.

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  89. But other than that, how did you enjoy the play, Mrs. Lincoln?

    Gee, isn’t it lucky we have no pressing issues facing us today? We can spend all our time arguing hypothetical past situations!

    What if Hannibal had used hot air balloons instead of elephants? How might the world be different?

    Me, I’m guessing it would still be filled with idiots discussing nonsense.

    Estragon (ada867)

  90. Patterico.
    All we know now that’s different from what we knew or thought we knew then is the lack of ready-to-go WMD. And that is not an issue, or should not be, in terms of Bush’s point which is to get there before the WMD threat was imminent.
    Thus, that’s the only know-better issue on hand.
    And either you misunderstood the point, in the sense that only ready-to-go WMD counted, or you have come to believe that since.
    Whether you thought the other issues were legitimate is another issue and not entirely relevant, since the one you thought legitimate really was legitimate. It’s only the ready-to-go understanding that causes the difficulty.
    Just for grins, do you recall the trucks with some kind of bio labs on them? Oh, they’re just for artillery balloons. Um. Okay. Do you recall anybody asking wtf an artillery balloon is? Anybody seen one since WW I? Anybody who’s been to Ft. Sill want to weigh in on that? Nooope. Nossir. Nope. It’s too good an excuse to dismiss the bio labs. ’cause sure as shooting, those crafty Iraqis will bring an entire truck instead of a couple of pressure tanks to inflate the artillery balloons nobody knows will do what.
    Only one centrifuge…snork.
    Point is the huge effort made to discredit the evidence, including chemical munitions found.
    With respect, if you believed Bush was talking solely about ready-to-go WMD you weren’t paying attention.

    Richard Aubrey (f6d8de)

  91. Come to think of it, we had a pretty extensive block on artillery when I was at the Benning School for Boys, aka Chattahoochee High. Nothing about artillery balloons. Maybe technology has improved since then. Point is not the balloons or lack thereof but an example of the hurry to avoid even really, really strange stuff.
    Others have made the point that, had we thought about the results of electing a democratic president in the future we would have thought differently about it.
    Wish I’d thought of that.

    Richard Aubrey (f6d8de)

  92. yes, because liberating people from a murderous tyrant who is also busy supporting our enemies around the world is an act in violation against everything America is supposed to stand for.

    and Sad-Damn did have chemical weapons, so those saying otherwise are liars.

    redc1c4 (cf3b04)

  93. #89 There were no hot air balloons in Hannibal’s day so I’m going to have to call BS on your analogy.

    On the other hand what if he had used hippos instead of elephants?

    I’ve always felt the hippopotamus’ usefulness has been overlooked by the world’s military establishment.

    Mark Johnson (98db51)

  94. I was never excited about invading Iraq. Saddam was a lunatic but he was a lunatic in a sea of other lunatics. I realized taking him out would weaken Iraq and change the balance of power in the region but I had hoped we would install a viable, pro-American government in Iraq. We did not. We have turned Iraq into a satellite of Iran.

    It is the unintended consequences or your that so often bite you in the butt. And Iran has been biting at our backside for more than a decade. And it’s getting worse by the day.

    And now Barry has paved the way for their nukes.

    Brilliant!

    WarEagle82 (d35bad)

  95. and teh MULLAHS have GOT OBAMA by teh BALLS.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  96. So, Patterico, do you have an opinion as to what we should have done with Saddam instead?
    Continue to pretend he was under sanctions as they were being undermined by our allies?
    Continue to pretend there we was a cease-fire agreement in force even though it wasn’t being enforced or accomplishing all of its objectives?
    Come out and say we see what was going on, but we don’t think it is worth our doing anything about it?

    I would have picked the last of those, at least it was honest and direct, and then we would have eventually faced the repercussions.

    MD in Philly (f9371b)

  97. A major problem is that a significant segment of the political folk would rather manipulate and play domestic politics than be responsible and understand actions and inactions have consequences.
    Until that changes it may not be worth our time and blood to bother fighting anywhere for anything.
    Though that course will mean we will ultimately have to pay dearly.

    MD in Philly (f9371b)

  98. #89 There were no hot air balloons in Hannibal’s day so I’m going to have to call BS on your analogy.

    But if Hannibal “had known what we know now” there would have been.

    Hell, introducing STIRRUPS during the Punic Wars would have settled the issue.

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  99. I was at Benning a long time ago. I recall an instructor saying that you don’t win a war until you have a nineteen-year-old with a spear standing on a piece of ground saying “This is mine,” and everybody’s scared to argue.
    So maybe artillery balloons have come and gone, or something.
    Anyway it was a combination of hilarious and freaking astonishing at how fast everybody agreed that was the answer.

    Richard Aubrey (f6d8de)

  100. With respect, if you believed Bush was talking solely about ready-to-go WMD you weren’t paying attention.

    I was paying attention. Once again I ask you to now pay attention to what I’m saying. Whether or not Bush had other reasons (he did), the only one that mattered to me — and I believe to most Americans — was WMD. I don’t know what “ready-to-go WMD” means but I know we were worried about him developing weapons that he or terrorists could use against us. And he wasn’t, your weak claims notwithstanding.

    So, Patterico, do you have an opinion as to what we should have done with Saddam instead?

    Nothing. Let him and Iran duke it out. We don’t always have to do something.

    To Kevin M, Mark Johnson, etc.:

    The issue of what we would do if we knew what we know now is important because there are still people who would (or might) do the same thing all over again. And one of those people is running for President. So denigrate the question all you like, but it’s important whether you realize it or not.

    Patterico (9c670f)

  101. I don’t agree, MD. The current problem is that even if a potential conflict is worth our time and blood, going to war with an unfit CIC makes it unacceptably perilous. For example, I would prefer that, at least for the next 20 months, our warships steer clear of the South China Sea for this very reason.

    ThOR (a52560)

  102. Bush was a pretty solid governor, and it’s fortunate he is the RINO this round, as he’s a much better version of the moderate mealy mouth than I’m used to seeing from that faction.

    But even with him, the same point is clear. You can take politics out of it completely for a moment and see how those who feel free to speak their mind can come across as much more appealing leaders than those who are very worried about whether what they say will upset their apple cart.

    On paper, in poli sci 101, it looks like the centrist always beats the ideologue. The higher the stakes go, that just isn’t so for executive positions. People innately want a leader who has a sense of direction. Nothing is more frustrating than being led by someone who doesn’t really know where he wants to go, in his heart, other than up in the polls.

    Dustin (2a8be7)

  103. “What we know now”.

    How about what we’ve forgotten now? Seems to me that we’ve forgotten that Saddam was a sadistic, random SOB who was doing his level best to torture his own people.

    scrubone (c3104f)

  104. This is a good example of the danger of looking backwards when the outcome is known. The only question in my mind is whether the analysts were giving Bush their best effort, and assuming that was the case, there’s nothing more to say. It is beyond my comprehension why the Bush administration covered up the later discoveries of buried WMDs that injured about 20 of our soldiers, even retroactively canceling Purple Hearts that would have been helpful for their recovery. Remember also that Saddam’s generals were of the opinion that they had functional tactical chemical weapons, and they were puzzled by Saddam’s failure to use these weapons on the armored thrust that captured Baghdad. This isn’t to say that the occupation was handled correctly. It wasn’t. And I was really puzzled by the Bush administration’s reluctance to target Iranian activities in Iraq. At the very least they should have regularly pounded suspected lines of supply within Iran using air strikes. And they should have kept that up until Iran decided to stop supplying IED materials to the shia. It wouldn’t surprise me if the Iranians killed more Americans using IEDs over four years than Saddam’s army did while it in existence.

    Resolve, followed by wishful thinking, followed by policy governed by internal political considerations that looked a lot like quitting. Bush has left us a very mixed legacy.

    I hope that Cruz would have the courage to do what Bush did in ordering the invasion given a similar appraisal of the issues involved. And then I hope he would have the strength and determination to see the whole thing thru properly.

    Obola has trumped this with willful negligence start to finish. There will be no question about his legacy.

    bobathome (4dc6e9)

  105. No, we didn’t find massive stockpiles of munitions. But we never expected too.

    My understanding is that every Western government and intelligence agency did expect that, or at least could not rule it out. More than that, my understanding is that Hussein himself thought such stockpiles existed, and was more surprised than anyone when they turned out not to. After all, he’d paid for them and had been assured they’d been built and were standing ready for use whenever he gave the order. That this wasn’t the case was kept a deep dark secret, since if Hussein were to find out it would be plastic shredder time. And if they managed to keep it secret from him, there’s no way we could possibly have known.

    Milhouse (bdebad)

  106. …or so says the self-righteous, know-it-all, rabble-rousing, grousing ideologue.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  107. Cru is promising to send the US Debt to the border if elected

    EPWJ (abd159)

  108. Personally, at the time I thought that Iraq was a boil that was going to have to be lanced sooner or later, but that now was not the best time for it. And what convinced me that it had to be done right now was Bush’s statement that we couldn’t wait for an imminent threat, because the first warning we got might be a mushroom cloud. I now know that while everything we knew at the time justified that fear, it wasn’t actually a possibility.

    I really lay the blame for what we didn’t know on Frank Church, who emasculated the CIA. And Pakistan’s sudden entry into the nuclear club, as well as what we found when Gaddafi let us into his nuclear facilities, showed starkly the danger in underestimating the risk, and how much worse that is than overestimating it as we did with Iraq.

    As for what we should have done after the conquest, I actually think Biden was right (blind pigs and acorns) when he suggested partitioning it into three. I was very strongly of the opinion, at the time, that we should have punished Turkey for its perfidy by letting the Kurds declare independence, pointedly without requiring them to officially renounce their claims on Turkish territory (though privately making it clear that they were not to do anything about those claims). And I thought we had the chance to create a Shi’ite power to rival Iran, and that was allied to us. We shouldn’t have made them play nice with the Sunnis.

    Milhouse (bdebad)

  109. and indeed of the notion of spreading democracy: a system that encourages total war between nations and an ever-increasing government.

    That’s why a wary, cautious isolationist policy should be the modus operandi of the US, if only to avoid further inflaming America’s bloated budgets.

    Moreover, as a previous poster noted — and it’s naive to believe otherwise — not every nation, not every people, are suitable for democratic governance. So unless Hitler’s Third Reich is saber rattling and strong arming peaceful neighbors, it’s best for the US to stop applying the ethos of former NYC mayor Michael Bloomberg’s nanny government onto the international scene.

    Mark (607f93)

  110. Re: 107
    Whoops, there it is.

    Icy (006dc3)

  111. All I know is that we didn’t follow up. We sent our troops to do a job. They did it admirably. Then we quit. After we quit, we sent the wounded to the VA. Then we found out that the VA is nothing but a corrupt bureaucracy.

    Yet, even after the VA was exposed, we quit again.

    All we do is send out troops into wars, then we quit. When the lucky few who come home wounded and shattered, we quit them again.

    I don’t know much, but I will tell you this. When you quit on the volunteers who protect our nation, that resource will dry up quicker than a West Texas pond in August.

    Ag80 (eb6ffa)

  112. 80. I’m going with “We should have sent the Air Force”. Right then, Right now.

    f1guyus (9cbd15) — 5/13/2015 @ 4:44 pm

    We did. I was a small part of the air force that we sent. And by air force, I don’t mean just Air Force.

    I respectfully disagree with our host. I think the support for terrorism and the fact the guy was shooting at my friends patrolling the no fly zone were plenty good arguments for going to war. I don’t fall into the category of most Americans. But I will say, it we didn’t mean it other than for the WMDs we shouldn’t have written it into the Safwan Accords and all the subsequent UN resolutions.

    Maybe if we have a future that’s a lesson to take on board. Only put conditions in the cease fire that you are, no kidding, willing to resume fire over.

    I agree with Milhouse about boils needing to be lanced. I did not know in 2002 that this country would elect Barack Obama in 2008. I needed to learn this.

    Steve57 (e468ba)

  113. The issue of what we would do if we knew what we know now is important because there are still people who would (or might) do the same thing all over again. And one of those people is running for President. So denigrate the question all you like, but it’s important whether you realize it or not.

    Well, you could much easier point out that we intervened in one way or another in Libya, Egypt and Syria, for reasons that remain as valid as they were then. The result is terrible, and the one “push” we have the administration continues to undermine.

    What did the various candidates say about that at the time? Hillary, of course, was the main advocate and John McCain was on board, but who else? THAT is relevant and does not require magic beans.

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  114. More than that, my understanding is that Hussein himself thought such stockpiles existed

    I’m pretty sure Saddam knew, but was running a bluff on everyone, including his own generals who were upset that Saddam wouldn’t release them when the Americans invaded.

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  115. Patterico,

    My point though is this: Assuming that Bush & co actually thought these weapons existed their judgement may have been sound. Fast forward to the attack on Libya, the open season in Syria and the rest of the “Arab Spring” — there are no new facts (other than it didn’t work), so the judgement of those that advocated for it was clearly NOT sound.

    And again, one of those folks is running for president.

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  116. Off-topic: How does an announced candidate like Hillary help a super-PAC raise money for her campaign?

    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2015/05/07/hillary-clinton-courts-potential-super-pac-donors-at-california-meetings/

    How does she get away with openly coordinating with a PAC?

    http://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2015-05-13/is-new-hillary-clinton-super-pac-pushing-legal-boundaries-

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  117. But I guess it’s more fun to bash Jeb for flubbing a hypothetical.

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  118. I agree entirely with Kevin. GWB may have been wrong, but his judgement was sound. There was at least intel. There was at least a trail of evidence to support his decision.

    We are getting in bed with Iran and the judgement behind the agreement is not sound. And it’s based on fictions like non existent fatwas and what not. There is no evidence to support this decision. We have wishful thinking on one side; all the evidence is against.

    We have gone from the questionable but supportable to the entirely unsupportable. I don’t see that as a step up.

    Steve57 (e468ba)

  119. The issue of what we would do if we knew what we know now is important because there are still people who would (or might) do the same thing all over again.

    So electing people who have demonstrated they will do even worse is the solution?

    Steve57 (e468ba)

  120. Steve57- I am glad your on our side. We civilians will need leaders like you when martial law arrives.

    mg (31009b)

  121. oh that Iraq War thing

    oopsy daisy

    happyfeet (831175)

  122. I don’t know what “ready-to-go WMD” means but I know we were worried about him developing weapons that he or terrorists could use against us. And he wasn’t, your weak claims notwithstanding.

    I’m not sure what is “weak” about 5000 chemical shells and 500 tons of uranium. Are you saying that those amounts are too small to facilitate an effective campaign of terror, were they to be provided to groups like Hamas, AQ, or Abu Nidal (all of which Saddam’s government had contact with and had provided material support in the past)?

    prowlerguy (3af7ff)

  123. It was US stated law —Iraq Liberation Act of 1998.

    hadoop (657247)

  124. Iraq, was like the Phillipine chapter of the Spanish American war, although the Dems were not as committed to losing that battle, even though they ran Bryan, the voice of the opposition, on three different occasions,

    narciso (ee1f88)

  125. “Ready to go” WMD was referring to Bush / Blair’s comments that we were 20-30 minutes from a mushroom cloud, IIRC. Not “terrorists.”

    carlitos (c24ed5)

  126. the DGSE, the SVR, the BND, ‘Curveball was their asset, btw, all had similar intel to what we and the UK, and the CEDID, and SISMI, and SBV

    narciso (ee1f88)

  127. Correct.

    carlitos (c24ed5)

  128. Let’s say there’s a dangerous psychopath on my street, who repeatedly assaulted his neighbors, and remains verbally aggressive. He claimed in the past to persons in a position to know that he is working on a cache of explosives that can take out the whole neighborhood. The police go in and remove him, with many casualties, unfortunately. It also turns out that, the psychopath didn’t have an actual workable cache of explosives, but, for whatever reason, was unwilling to say that. My reaction is a) I’m glad that the dangerous psychopath is gone, b) while the casualties indicate that the operation could have been handled better, was leaving him in possession of the house an alternative? and c) I’m distressed if the abandoned house gets taken over by a group of crazed, violent fanatics and the new police chief, after taking credit for stabilizing the neighborhood, does nothing to stop it.

    Bud Norton (29550d)

  129. Bud Norton,
    Let’s add some detail. In the house you find Visa charges for explosives and detonators. You find schematics of the nearest elementary school. You find memos on what not to do from Bill Ayers. You find endless searches on Google for Beslan. The house tests positive for traces of Semtex.
    Meantime, the local neighborhood association is screaming about the mess the cops made of the grass on the median and threatening a gigantic lawsuit.
    Trying again: SH’s weapons program was, according to postwar investigators, shovel-ready. But not imminent. The left has shifted the Overton window to convince the rest of us that if the nukes weren’t on warmed-up Scuds, Bush lied.

    Richard Aubrey (f6d8de)

  130. it was way way too expensive of an endeavor for a sad declining little country to undertake and the capriciously lose interest in the middle

    it’s like how you losers spent a couple billion dollars digging tunnels for a superconducting super collider then said nevermind we’re losers we’ll let the europeans do the heavy lifting on this

    but on top of that all those people died for nothing

    your own soldiers plus an ungodly number of civilians

    in the future failmerica needs to just stay home and focus on digging tunnels and filling them back up

    it’ll come out way ahead of the game

    happyfeet (a037ad)

  131. and *then* capriciously lose interest I mean

    happyfeet (a037ad)

  132. The problem with the Iraq war isn’t that we did it, it’s the way we did it. All politically correct, kow-towing to Islam, allowing them to invoke Sharia, and by not jamming a 1st Amendment up their ka-tooty. And also by not at the same time refurbishing their oil industry infrastructure, rendering them economically prosperous and self-sufficient.

    G Joubert (0399e8)

  133. 133. Or as a naturalized Alsatian anesthesiologist friend says “we did not kill nearly enough Sunnis and Shi’ites.”

    Not ready for Saturday morning looney tunes:

    http://www.breitbart.com/video/2015/05/13/rand-were-a-lot-worse-off-with-saddam-hussein-out/

    DNF (208255)

  134. ThOR (a52560) — 5/13/2015 @ 7:42 pm

    I’m not sure we disagree all that much.
    My point is that even if we had a good CiC with a supportive Congress, it doesn’t stay that way very long.
    So even if we had good reason to go to war, with the right people in charge, our recent history is that in 2-4 years the public support will have eroded due to political opportunism.

    I guess one conclusion is that if we do have an appropriate cause with competent people, do what we can ASAP to consolidate our gains.

    The critics will always criticize. I believe at one point many folks were negative about going into Afghanistan because they complained the situation was of our doing, because we didn’t stay long enough before to exert a lasting positive influence.

    Some things never change, like the critics of John the Baptist and Jesus, criticize one for one thing, another for the opposite thing.

    MD in Philly (f9371b)

  135. our next war we should just put out an rfp

    happyfeet (a037ad)

  136. MD,

    I reread both yours and my comments last night and came to the same conclusion. After rereading other comments and, especially, Milhouse’s “Personally, at the time I thought that Iraq was a boil that was going to have to be lanced sooner or later, but that now was not the best time for it,” I have come to think my other response was too facile. When I look at Iran, I can’t help but think it is an older boil than Iraq and that our failure to do anything about it back when I was still a young man fits your description of an action postponed for which “we will ultimately have to pay dearly.”

    ThOR (a52560)

  137. Iran was 2 1/2 times Iraq’s population, with a much less diminished army air force and navy, with enough missiles, to make the Gulf a very messy place,

    narciso (ee1f88)

  138. The fundamental problem with modern American warmaking is the conflation of combat and social work.

    ThOR (a52560)

  139. well the writers of the small wars manual, would disagree with you,

    narciso (ee1f88)

  140. Well, I think the “social work” after WW II worked pretty well.
    But it came after a clear victory,
    and there was a united consensus of the American people that did not undermine our efforts.

    Perhaps the real problem (just thinking out loud and pondering) was that the “social work” part kept our involvement protracted and allowed for the undermining of the effort.

    MD in Philly (f9371b)

  141. well we can look at Korea, the first real proxy war that we were involved in the post World war 2 era, till the Chinese, got into the conflict, we had made progress,

    narciso (ee1f88)

  142. We removed over one million pounds of uranium from Iraq. We brought it to the US, refined it and gave it to the Canadians for their civil power reactors. That uranium, mostly yellow cake, but some further refined, was intended for a weapons development program. Hind sight is 20/20, but we did the best with the info we had. Every intelligence organization in our alliance had the same analysis, and the Dem socialists screamed for years how much of a threat Saddam’s nuclear weapons program was. I remember 9-11 very clearly having been active duty at the time. GW did what a good president should, he did everything he could to protect us. I cannot find it in me to criticism him for it.

    Hagrid (65423e)

  143. +1, Hagrid.

    I was intel. I’m going to be the first one to tell you that intel isn’t perfect. But if I was wrong, at least I’d be swimming along with everyone else. I was willing to stake my life on my own intel.

    But really we shouldn’t have been relying on my intel. We should have been relying on inspections. Saddam Hussein was in violation of the Safwan Accords before the ink was dry.

    I think there were more reasons to go to war than our esteemed host has considered. But that’s a small matter. We are going to make the same mistake with Iran as we did with the NORKs and Hussein.

    Intel will again be a convenient scapegoat for people who backed away from making an enforceable agreement. It’s just so much easier to blame intel. We used to joke that if we couldn’t take the blame, they wouldn’t keep us around.

    Steve57 (e468ba)

  144. Americans no longer run to the fight.

    They redefine history and file onto stockcars.

    DNF (208255)

  145. 145. Americans no longer run to the fight…

    DNF (208255) — 5/16/2015 @ 5:30 am

    Some still do.

    But they’re a dying breed.

    I no longer run to the fight. But that’s because I’m old and decrepit and running is no longer one of my core competencies. I can, at best, jog.

    I think one of the most revealing things is that Barack Obama could get elected even while saying America is not an exceptional country. And by electing him, twice, America said, “You’re right.”

    It’s a shame.

    Even worse, Hillary! is now thinkable.

    http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2015/05/hillary-wants-the-power-to-ban-books-and-movies-that-criticize-her.php

    She’s a corrupt lying wanna-be tyrant. And she could be our next President. No self respecting nation would do that to itself. But we might.

    This is why ISIS thinks it’s time is now.

    Steve57 (25a5a0)

  146. The Iraq war was a mistake. Maybe. For the sake of argument.

    But deciding to throw the fight was a bigger mistake.

    Abandoning our allies in the field was a bigger mistake.

    Steve57 (25a5a0)

  147. note this fustercluck

    http://news.yahoo.com/activists-islamic-state-edge-syrias-historic-palmyra-113134376.html

    of course all the nets ran with it, not asking how come we don’t who sent this guy, in Chicago speak,

    narciso (ee1f88)

  148. a tip mr, President, Faisal was the one murdered by his nephew, he’s also the one that gave us the Oil embargo

    http://www.politico.com/story/2015/05/barack-obama-flubs-name-of-first-saudi-king-117945.html

    rocket surgery at work

    narciso (ee1f88)

  149. The Iraq war was a mistake. Maybe. For the sake of argument.

    I’ve tried to address this elsewhere.

    My argument was that we were faced with collapsing sanctions against Saddam and would have had to withdraw and give him, and Osama, the victory they claimed. Would the have been better ? We are doing that now. ISIS is run by Iraqi Sunni generals. Saddam was not much different from what ISIS is doing although, after the war with Iran, he had stayed home until his invasion of Kuwait. He made a mistake by pausing before invading Saudi territory. Had he done so, we would not have had a base to attack him.

    Would that have been preferable ?

    If ABC would ever allow “The Path to 9/11″ to be shown again, we might be better able to judge. I’m sure they expect great rewards from President Hillary for concealing it.

    Mike K (90dfdc)

  150. failmerica’s reach routinely exceeds her grasp now

    America you ignorant slut

    happyfeet (831175)

  151. Re: run[ning] to the fight:
    The U. S. has always been a puzzle with respect to wars and foreign relations. When we behaved aggressively the country has been divided. Abraham Lincoln, in his one term as a Congressman, spoke out against the Mexican War, and he was not alone. We have behaved forcefully against piracy in both the Middle East and Asia, at least until Obola, but these were mainly reprisal actions aimed at discouraging attacks on commerce, and not societal engineering. When the world was engaged with the horrific wars of the 20th Century, we couldn’t make up our mind until the last hour, and even then the decision was borderline whimsical. It took the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor to jolt us into action in World War II despite clear evidence of the dangers posed by the Axis. And the extension of that war to the European theatre was done only after Adolf Hitler declared war on us, not vice versa.

    I think we surprised ourselves with the success we had in WWII. We had a few good Generals and Admirals, but most were mediocre or worse. Our soldiers were more versed in modern technology, mainly mechanized transport, than our adversaries, and we exploited that advantage with our massive logistics and manufacturing, and of course, we developed the bomb which ended resistance from a suicidal enemy.

    We hung on to the advantages we had gained during that war for about 50 years, but the rot of progressivism ate away at the core, and since the end of the Reagan era, we have been fumbling along. And that 50 year interval was marked with the Korean and Vietnam conflicts that were a disgraceful display of political war management and rot within the military. The same vacillation that characterized our behavior prior to the Japanese attack was ever present and growing in influence. The only good thing that happened during this period was the development of the new volunteer military with it’s focus on training and preparedness beginning about 1980. And we had the world’s preeminent technologists providing the services with weapons that were generations ahead of our enemies. But even that advantage was the target of progressive sabotage, witness the battles against ballistic missile defense (which was actually feasible in the late 1960s according to my Dad who was one of those technologists).

    So our current inaction is not unusual. It is just regrettable as the consequences are likely to be just as devastating and bloody as they were in the past.

    bobathome (4dc6e9)

  152. I hate when you do things like that happyfeet. Especially when you’re right.

    Hoagie (58a3ec)

  153. There’s more than a touch of absurdity in the way an industry fee in President Barack Obama’s health care law is being passed along to state taxpayers.

    As Alice in Wonderland might say, a curious tax just got curiouser. The burden to states could mount to $13 billion in less than a decade.*

    happyfeet (831175)

  154. no it’s fraud and embezzlement, Comey went after the fearsome Martha Stewart for a paper work error, yet there is no consequences for this snafubar, not a mere snafu, as Steve might note,

    Unlike Quaddafi, who had aided us, perhaps out of selfinterest against AQ, large portions of his security services had relationship with Egyptian, Lebanese jihadi factions of both Sunni and Shia stripes,

    narciso (ee1f88)

  155. 150. …My argument was that we were faced with collapsing sanctions against Saddam and would have had to withdraw…

    Mike K (90dfdc) — 5/16/2015 @ 8:07 am

    My objection is to speaking in the third person. We weren’t “faced with collapsing sanctions.” We collapsed them. It didn’t just happen, like some natural law of the universe.

    I disagree that the WMD issue was the only reason worth fighting Saddam over. And I see us going down the same path with Iran with this administration getting away with it’s microscopic (and ineffective) tunnel vision on the nukes. Turning a blind eye to their support for terrorists and the Houthis and seizing or shooting up ships as if that’s unrelated to their general aggressive intent is going to turn out to be a mistake. But nobody listens to me.

    But I digress. If we ever defeat anyone in a battle, an increasingly unlikely possibility, and we don’t have the good sense to push past the armistice and force a peace treaty on the defeated, let’s at least not write up a laundry list of supposed conditions in the cease fire that we’re not willing to fight over. It’s embarrassing.

    Steve57 (25a5a0)

  156. there was a whole host of officials, like Clarke, who went to work for the Saudi affiliated Atlantic Council, that’s where they stashed Hagel, before putting him up as Obama’s horse,
    Grenier who stabbed Libby with a shiv, and worked subsequently for Al Jazeera, Drumheller
    who got on the Libyan gig, who were on the other side,

    narciso (ee1f88)

  157. 152. The U. S. has always been a puzzle with respect to wars and foreign relations…

    bobathome (4dc6e9) — 5/16/2015 @ 8:19 am

    Not really. Putin and Khameini have got us figured out.

    Steve57 (25a5a0)

  158. Speaking of America’s enemies, Barack Obama had us figured out, too. At least enough of us to sell disgrace and humiliation on this country, as if he was doing us a favor.

    Steve57 (25a5a0)

  159. http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/middle_east/isis-gains-control-of-major-iraqi-city/2015/05/15/68a8036c-fb0c-11e4-a47c-e56f4db884ed_story.html?tid=sm_tw

    BAGHDAD — Islamic State fighters on Friday seized control of key parts of Ramadi, the capital of Iraq’s largest province, in what appeared to be a significant blow to a U.S.-backed military campaign to retake territory from the insurgents…

    Now, NOW, this country decides Ramadi isn’t worth fighting over.

    “Ramadi is not symbolic in any way.”

    That would have been handy to know 10 years ago. A lot of good men would still be alive.

    Steve57 (25a5a0)

  160. …By Friday afternoon, the militants had hoisted the Islamic State’s black flag over the provincial government compound and had surrounded an important military operations hub in the west of the city, residents said…

    I am not looking forward to the videos.

    They ****ed up. They trusted us.

    Steve57 (25a5a0)

  161. https://ca.news.yahoo.com/iran-navy-fires-shots-tanker-tensions-rise-gulf-005734337.html

    None of this crap would be happening if we didn’t invite it by electing Barack Obama.

    Steve57 (25a5a0)

  162. here’s another one:

    http://www.weeklystandard.com/articles/spin-never-stops_946688.html

    somehow the Lesson of Iran Contra doesn’t sink in,

    narciso (ee1f88)

  163. 163: narciso, Oliver North was attempting to do something for the country. Michael Morrell was trying to do something to the country. I prefer Oliver.

    bobathome (4dc6e9)

  164. I agree these backchannels only work for the iranians,

    narciso (ee1f88)

  165. 160: Steve,

    All the Iraqis mentioned in the article use words like dire to describe the situation. While the article downplays it:

    If the Islamic State takes control of Ramadi, it would gain a foothold less than 70 miles west of Baghdad. The city’s fall would be a serious setback for Iraq’s government, …

    Serious indeed, since Ramadi is about 40 miles west of Baghdad, which is “less than 70 miles”, but significantly closer than 70 miles. Sort of like the distance between Pomona and Santa Monica. And the Iraqis on the spot say the city has fallen. No hypothetical “if” involved.

    But the Iraqi government is not concerned. Their forces are busy elsewhere. They say the international coalition will take care of the problem. I think that the coalition that could have helped them checked out about six years ago.

    We need to focus on helping the Kurds with the appropriate kinds of military equipment. Something might yet be salvaged from this fustercluck.

    bobathome (4dc6e9)

  166. A Kurdistan would be a nice achievement.

    I’m sick and tired of AfterTheApocalypseIstan.

    We would help the Kurds. If we had a Preezy who cared about doing the right thing. And if we didn’t have an orange, weepy speaker of the House.

    Steve57 (25a5a0)

  167. could you paint me a kurdistan

    make it look just the way we planned

    happyfeet (831175)

  168. It’s already been painted, Mr. feets

    http://bot.gov.krd/

    Or, it had been.

    Steve57 (25a5a0)

  169. Knowing what I know now, I would not have married the woman I married.

    The answer Cruz gave to this question makes him sound like a complete pandering putz IMHO. He was not in a position to make decisions at the time, did not have the information Bush had at the time and his his answer is pure hypothetical BS which provides only a hypothetical answer of how he might act in a hypothetical situation in real life.

    Worthless. Thanks for making this a litmus test question Ted.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  170. daleyrocks@ 171–perfectly said. My sentiments exactly. Ted Cruz went down several notches in my estimation with that transparently pandering and idiotically crafted statement which both insulted my intelligence and sent the media merrily off on another witch hunt. Very disappointing. I really had been led to believe that his brainpower and his deployment of logic would be too superior to ever utter that sort of campaign fluff.

    His statement is akin to someone wanting to boast of his economic prowess saying, “Knowing what I know now I would not invest with Bernie Madoff”.

    elissa (298bfa)

  171. Knowing now that I would not win, I would not have bought that lottery ticket.

    Pure stupid gotcha media setup.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  172. 171-172: daleyrocks and elissa, I’m also having second thoughts on Cruz over this issue. What he said makes sense, but who can foresee a Pelosi led Congress and ultimately a community organizer as President as the follow-up team when making tough decisions. So indeed, his remarks are worthless except as a springboard for the LHMFM.

    There is a lesson to be learned here, and we’ll see if Cruz can figure it out.

    Meantime, I was one of a number of people on this board who donated to Cruz immediately after his declaration of candidacy, and I have not been impressed with his campaign’s response. I got a tepid thank you, and now I’m bombarded with phone and email requests for more money. Next I’ll probably get some kind of phony survey loaded with straw-men which seques into yet another request.

    This is not a way to build a team. I told the latest caller who requested more money (this morning) that I was not impressed with Cruz’s use of my donation to date, and future donations will depend on what I see. Rubio looks attractive after his remarks on foreign policy.

    bobathome (f50725)

  173. If there were only one valid reason to go to war, then that should have been the only condition in the ceasefire. But it wasn’t. The fact is that Saddam Hussein was in material breach of the ceasefire on a number of counts. Any one of those violations, per the LOAC, is a valid reason for the enforcing power (us) to decide the ceasefire is no longer in effect.

    The fact that Saddam Hussein ramped up his support for international terrorism in defiance of the the ceasefire agreement in combination with his continued hostility toward the US as demonstrated by his attempted assassination of G.H.W.B. and regularly firing at US aircraft was a valid reason to go to war.

    If no one thinks so now then we no longer have the right to consider ourselves a serious country. But then, by electing Barack Obama we have demonstrated we are not.

    Worse, everyone has accepted silly and dangerous notion that it was George Bush’s job to guess right about state of Saddam Hussein’s WMD stockpiles and nuclear programs. Because intel has it’s limitations; it can not provide 100% certainty.

    The invasion wasn’t a mistake. The mistake was his predecessor’s refusal to enforce the inspection regime. Had we had meaningful inspections regime we would have known.

    This whole revisit to the WMD question simply demonstrates we are not serious about enforcing inspection regimes. Does anyone realize the implications of this stupid debate about 2003 and Iraq has for 2015 and Iran? Which was and is a much worse threat in regards to support for international terrorism and WMDs?

    This administration is concluding a nuclear deal with Iran despite the fact that Iran has already refused to comply with the conditions of JPOA.

    http://news.yahoo.com/u-n-nuclear-agency-makes-no-progress-iran-135028270.html?soc_src=mediacontentstory&soc_trk=tw

    …The report by the International Atomic Energy Agency said Tehran had still not provided information it was due to produce more than two months ago to help advance a long-running IAEA inquiry into suspected nuclear weapons research.

    … “Iran has not provided any explanations that enable the agency to clarify the outstanding practical measures,” it said.

    The IAEA was referring to two steps that Iran had agreed to carry out by late August, by providing information concerning allegations of explosives tests and other activity that could be used to develop nuclear bombs.

    This refers to the Possible Military Dimensions, or PMDs, of the present state of Iran’s nuclear program. This is absolutely vital to baselining Iran’s program. And without a baseline we can not know if they are abiding by any agreement. They still have not complied with these conditions. And why should they? We had an absolute legal right to make Saddam Hussein comply with similar agreements. And Iran knows perfectly well how it turned out. We refused to do so because that would have been hard. Instead we relied on intel to provide it’s best guess. And now

    But since we are now demonstrating that enforcing agreements isn’t worth fighting over, say hello to a nuclear Iran.

    And given these facts why shouldn’t Iran think it also has a green light to take over the whole M.E.?

    Steve57 (fb1453)

  174. I think re-litigating the Iraq war is exactly what the MFM would prefer to do.

    JD (3b5483)

  175. #ThingsIwouldnothavedonewithperfecthindsight

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  176. JD, I think that’s why it’s important to recast the issue. The premise of the question gives the game away, and that question has to come from the DNC which is why all their puppets are asking it. But the premise is that if the other party to an inspection regime refuses to abide by their commitments, then it becomes our responsibility to guess.

    So if actually enforcing the ceasefire against Saddam Hussein that said he must open his stockpiles and weapons programs to international inspectors was a mistake, then so will be holding the Ayatollah’s to any nuclear agreement.

    Steve57 (fb1453)

  177. You know, that whole Prohibiion thingy was really bad policy —- in hindsight.

    elissa (298bfa)

  178. President Clinton explains Operation Desert Fox, December 1998:

    Transcript: President Clinton explains Iraq strike

    CLINTON: Good evening.

    Earlier today, I ordered America’s armed forces to strike military and security targets in Iraq. They are joined by British forces. Their mission is to attack Iraq’s nuclear, chemical and biological weapons programs and its military capacity to threaten its neighbors.

    Their purpose is to protect the national interest of the United States, and indeed the interests of people throughout the Middle East and around the world.

    Saddam Hussein must not be allowed to threaten his neighbors or the world with nuclear arms, poison gas or biological weapons………

    RTWT

    http://www.cnn.com/ALLPOLITICS/stories/1998/12/16/transcripts/clinton.html

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  179. daley, after I was recalled I was once sent to Diego Garcia. Sitting in the departure lounge waiting for my flight I pick up an Aviation Week magazine, and they have an article about the US conflict in Iraq.

    I was halfway through before I realized it was five years old. That the article was about Desert Fox and not Iraqi Freedom.

    It was deja vu all over again.

    And that’s my feeling about Iran. Knowing now what we know now, why are we making all the same mistakes with Iran that we made with North Korea and Iraq?

    Steve57 (fb1453)

  180. “THE RULES: Nothing from the Clinton history matters. Everything from the Bush history is of the highest consequence.”
    – Rick Wilson

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  181. Oh, by the way, speaking of WMDs. They were there. They were old WMDs, but given that Saddam Hussein was supposed to destroy all his stockpiles they’re still relevant.

    Especially now, thanks to Obama abandoning the field to the enemy, that ISIS has them.

    http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/390338/nyt-there-were-thousands-old-wmds-iraq-patrick-brennan

    High-level investigations, such as the 2004 Iraq Study Group, kept the discoveries quiet, even as the Pentagon was finding out some of the defunct chemical weapons could still be dangerous. The U.S. military could have been accused of not adequately complying with international law in dealing with the munitions now under its control (though the Pentagon says, given the circumstances, it followed the rules). Moreover, many of the weapons were developed or bought by Iraq with U.S. help, when Saddam Hussein was fighting Iran in the 1980s.

    The existence of these weapons doesn’t affect the debate over the war’s justification either way: They’re not evidence that Saddam Hussein was, as proponents of the war contended, in the process of resuming chemical-weapons production or starting other WMD programs. But on the other hand, as the existence of thousands of hidden or mislabeled chemical-weapons munitions reported in Chivers’s article could suggest, Saddam was clearly not complying with United Nations requirements about exposing and dismantling his chemical-weapons stores, which was the legal justification for the war.

    The guy’s wrong. The justification wasn’t that Saddam Hussein had resumed production or started WMD programs. The justification is that he wasn’t complying with the ceasefire by demonstrating through inspections that he hadn’t. Without the inspections there was just no way to know.

    It’s actually written into the AUMF Iraq that Congress passed. His non-compliance was a cassus belli. Now, some of you may be overly relying on what George Bush emphasized when he was speaking. But so what? What matters is what’s in the ceasefire and the AUMF.

    And he did have stockpiles of WMDs, which he was supposed to disclose but didn’t.

    The largest concentration of acknowledged chemical weapons, which the Iraqi government has been responsible for monitoring and dismantling after the U.S. withdrawal, is at the Al-Muthana chemical-weapons complex, northwest of Baghdad. That facility was in the news this summer: The Islamic State took control of it and all its contents in July. These old chemical weapons aren’t likely to be very useful militarily, but that doesn’t mean they cannot be dangerous, destructive, or terrifying, as the Pentagon seems to know.

    This isn’t a consequence of what George Bush did in 2003. This is a consequence of what Barack Obama did in 2011.

    Steve57 (fb1453)

  182. Saddam Hussein at least pretended for a couple of weeks after signing the Safwan Accords that he was going to abide by the conditions.

    The NORKs also faked it for a while after getting a new agreement every couple of years.

    Iran? No, they’re just giving the US the finger now. Before there’s a deal. Andy why not? They know who our Preezy is. He’s also giving the US the finger. And to think Congress just gave away their treaty authority.

    http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/05/20/Khamenei-rules-out-nuclear-inspections-of-military-sites.html

    Also, inspectors can’t talk to their scientists. And, it’s not in this article, but Iran refuses to allow unannounced inspections. The IAEA has to ask for permission pretty please before the Iranians will let them inspect whatever sites they’ll allow them access to. Prom Queen will give them what they want. He enjoyed the oral sex too much to turn them down on anything. And, no, Tiger Beat doesn’t want to get the taste out of his mouth.

    Meanwhile here in the US the burning issue for the LHMFM is to get the GOP candidates to admit that if they had perfect hindsight they’d do 2003 differently.

    I think I’m going to take up smoking crack. Everyone else has.

    Steve57 (fb1453)

  183. 1). I am falling behind in my acronyms. LHMFM =? Last M is for media, I assume, but the rest defeats me.
    2) I thought the Iranians had already announced this no inspections stuff back when Obama signed off on this deal (note the phrasing there, since the Iranians apparently signef nothing.)
    3).much better than crack

    kishnevi (91d5c6)

  184. kishnevi, LH=Leg Humping. I think you can work out what the MF stands for.

    Since I’m here, a couple of links to Saddam’s terrorist ties and activities.

    http://www.mefacts.com/cached.asp?x_id=11630

    Saddam Hussein’s Philanthropy of Terror

    By Deroy Murdock

    Media Fellow

    Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace at Stanford University

    Deroy Murdock is, as you can see, not nobody. If you search on his name you’ll find he’s a Fox News contributor and an assistant editor at National Review and a dozen or so other things. He’s no internet crank.

    It’s a comprehensive list. It’s important to remember that, among other things, Saddam Hussein commissioned tens of terror attacks against US facilities during the Gulf War and was definitely linked to the 1993 WTC bombing. That was two years after the Gulf War ended, if anyone doesn’t recall. He was a definite threat to the US here, at home even without WMDs.

    There was also enough evidence to convince a U.S. District Court Judge that Saddam Hussein either was complicit in 9/11 or provided material support to AQ. He awarded the victims over $100M from frozen Iraqi assets.

    Unfortunately the Bush administration refused to release any assets to the survivors of 9/11.

    http://nypost.com/2003/09/12/911-kin-cant-get-saddams-frozen-assets/

    The pain of the Sept. 11 anniversary was magnified for two families yesterday when a federal judge backed President Bush in stopping their claim to nearly $64 million from Iraq for assisting Osama bin Laden’s terrorists.

    … But Manhattan Judge Harold Baer ruled yesterday that the families can’t touch the money because the president ordered that the assets be spent reconstructing Iraq.

    Baer described the timing of his decision as “unfortunate,” but said the law gave him little choice on how he could decide the case.

    He questioned the Bush administration’s decision to allocate all of the $1.9 billion to rebuilding efforts in Iraq.

    “That need is clear. Nonetheless, one wonders whether American families who lost loved ones as a result of terrorism here and abroad ought not be compensated first,” the judge said in his 17-page ruling.

    Yes, Bush made many mistakes. I question the above decision. I also think he relied too heavily on and spoke with too much certainty about the existence of ongoing WMD programs and new WMD stockpiles.

    But there was sufficient legal justification in the ceasefire agreement and the AUMF to declare Saddam in material breach and resume fighting without those. His ongoing sponsorship of terror was one of those serious breaches. There were three others that that made him a direct threat to the US that we know without a doubt were true then, not in hindsight (there were more material breeches but they didn’t make him a direct threat to us).

    It has never been my stance that we absolutely had to find WMDs or the invasion wasn’t worth it. But if I knew we were going to stay and nation build (mistake, but one we could and did recover from) and then elect Barack Obama (unrecoverable catastrophic fail), then yes the whole thing was a mistake.

    Steve57 (fb1453)


Powered by WordPress.

Page loaded in: 1.2105 secs.