Patterico's Pontifications

12/14/2005

Saddam or the Current Iraqi Government? Let Iraqis Decide?

Filed under: Hiltzik,International,War — Patterico @ 11:24 pm



Feel free to tell me I’m crazy. I just had an idea, inspired by an exchange in an interview, conducted by Hugh Hewitt, of leftist L.A. Times columnist Michael Hiltzik:

Hewitt: I’m just curious about whether or not you think the people of Iraq are better off than they were three years ago?

Hiltzik: I really don’t know.

Hewitt’s question is, of course, reminiscent of Ronald Reagan’s question in the 1984 election: are you better off than you were four years ago?

That question was decided by an election.

Call me crazy, but maybe we should have an election in Iraq that puts Saddam on the ballot, vs. the current slate of representatives. Let the Iraqi people choose. Do they want Saddam back? Or do they want a free and democratic Iraq?

Why not let Iraqis decide? If we did, it wouldn’t really matter what Michael Hiltzik thinks, would it? The Iraqi people would have spoken.

UPDATE: Commenter DWilkers makes a pretty good point:

Because after 30 years of being terrorized and mass murdered by SH and his sons the Iraqis could not make a free choice. The mere idea that SH could come back into power would kill Iraqi democracy instantly.

But are you saying that people would vote for Saddam??

167 Responses to “Saddam or the Current Iraqi Government? Let Iraqis Decide?”

  1. Because after 30 years of being terrorized and mass murdered by SH and his sons the Iraqis could not make a free choice. The mere idea that SH could come back into power would kill Iraqi democracy instantly.

    Dwilkers (a1687a)

  2. You ignore the fact Saddam was overwhelmingly popular. When he finally subjected himself to a vote, he received 100%. Not one dissenting vote. You just don’t see support like that today.

    I’m surprised Hilzit didn’t make that point.

    Corky Boyd (a8cc75)

  3. A bit off topic, but this is a response to the comment you left at my blog:
    Dear Pat:
    What I don’t get is this fetish Hugh has (and you too) with having reporters reveal their Presidential votes. As I said on his show, I don’t believe it necessarily tells you anything you’d find useful. It feels to me like an exercise in public confessional, like the naming-names fetish of the 50s red-baiters. Hugh asked me my position on a handful of specific issues; I told him. (Though his interrogation was only semi-competent—he asked my position on embryonic stem cell research, but not Proposition 71, and they’re opposite). But people vote for president for a complex of reasons—his positions, “warmth,” persona, his opponent, his incumbency (or lack of it), etc., etc. Do you really think you can know everything about my perspective and outlook just by knowing how I voted for president?
    What really exposes this idea as shallow and childish is your assertion that you actually know how I voted—you can tell from reading my column! Then what’s the problem? Obviously I’m not hiding my viewpoint. Indeed, my position on every issue I write about is perfectly transparent. So why demand that I disclose my presidential vote? You seem to be saying it’s good for the soul. Hmm, that sounds familiar. “Just give them the names of the people you knew in the movement. It’s no big deal, they know them already.”
    Ah, you say, but what about non-columnists? Shouldn’t we know this critical fact about them? Nonsense. You seem to think that everything about a reporter can be distilled down into this one act behind a voting booth curtain. You don’t even ask, how do we come by a political philosophy in the first place? Do we spring fully formed from our mother’s wombs as liberal or conservative? Is it hard-wired into our brains? Or is it the result of all sorts of factors, like where we grew up, how we were educated, who our friends were, our teachers, the things we’ve witnessed in our lives, etc.
    You talk as though we’re all robots, and once we come by a political leaning we’re set for life. That’s like saying people never learn from their experiences, and never grow, and never change. And if that’s the case, why do you even do a blog? You’re not going to change anyone’s mind, right? So isn’t what you’re doing just intellectual masturbation?
    Let me tell you a little about myself. I have two university degrees, I’ve worked all over the country, reported in Washington and on presidential campaigns, in the inner city, and the corporate world. I spent eight years living in Africa and Russia, covering famines, civil wars, AIDS, natural disasters, flying over bandit country in single-engine planes. I covered the tech bubble and the tech crash, wrote three books on three very different subjects. I read Garry Wills and Gabriel Garcia Marquez.
    And you think that if I reveal who I voted for for president you’ll know all you need to know?
    Like all reporters, I cop to being human. I read, I experience, I learn, I look, and then I write what I see and understand about it to the best of my ability. And what I learn then goes into my store of knowledge and perspective, and influences how I look at the next thing. You got a problem with that? To say we are only who we voted for in the presidential election is to deny us our professionalism, which requires us to cast our information-gathering net as wide as possible, educate ourselves about an event or issue to the best of our ability, and then pass that education on to our readers.
    How about I deny you your professionalism? Let’s see. Lawyers? They’re just money-grubbers. They’ll say anything they have to to make a buck or kiss the ass of Power. Channelling Hugh now: 98% of them are Republicans. Everybody knows that. They’re the most self-delusional people on Earth, because they think they’re upholding some sort of principle in the law, but they’re just keeping down the people and stuffing money in their pockets. Prosecutors? They just want to put all the black people in jail, they just won’t admit it. How come they refuse to disclose their racial background, huh? I mean, I can tell just by looking at them what race they are, so why won’t they just say so?
    How’s that feel?

    Michael Hiltzik (f85090)

  4. Honestly, I don’t know. But it’s possible that it could be similar to an abused woman attempting to protect her abuser from police inquiry – too terrified of what might happen if she doesn’t.

    I don’t know if you listen to NPR, but there was an interesting (and heartbreaking) commentary piece back on December 5th that sort of addresses the topic – in as much as it’s an Iraqi woman talking about what life under Saddam was like. I shall try to do the link to the archived news bit. If that doesn’t work, it’s pretty easy to find in the archive.
    Growing Up Under the Shadow of ‘Uncle Saddam.’

    Katsu (ac4529)

  5. Michael Hiltzik:

    Bravo on recognizing that how one votes for President does not necessarily reflect said person’s politics!

    I trust that future descriptions by your colleagues regarding Ambassador Joe Wilson will therefore put to rest the idea that he’s been a long-time Republican because he voted for George HW Bush?

    Lurking Observer (ea88e8)

  6. “…we should have an election in Iraq that puts Saddam on the ballot…”

    First, there have been 3 elections. Every Iraqi with a purple finger has voted against Saddam and in favor of a free and democratic Iraq. This in the face of death threats indicates the Iraqi people know the answer to HH’s question, even if Hiltzik says he doesn’t.

    But, I suspect Hiltzik knows the answer too, and simply refuses to acknowledge it because it doesn’t fit his Lefty agenda. His lack of honesty and forthrightness put the lie to every word he says about his so-called “professionalism.”

    The guy’s a puffed up preening MSM parrot, spouting high sounding excuses for left wing propaganda while he hides under his desk and denies the brutally obvious.

    Black Jack (ee9fe2)

  7. If Saddam Hussein were on the ballot in Iraq, he would get some votes, probably a lot of votes. I seriously doubt that it would be anywhere close to a majority, but even a brutal dictator like Mr Hussein had to have some support somewhere.

    There are plenty of people in Russia today who wax nostalgic for the old Soviet Union and the Communist dictatorship, there are people who would vote for Kim Jong Il, for Augusto Pinochet, for Jean-Claude Duvalier, for Idi Amin Dada, for a whole list of thugs, if given the chance.

    Dana R. Pico (3e4784)

  8. Patterico, Reagan asked his famous question in the 1980 debate with Carter, not in the 1984 debates with Mondale. See here or check this transcript (second to last paragraph) .

    [He asked it in both elections. In 1980 the answer was “no.” In1984 the answer was “yes” — as I suspect the answer would be in Iraq today. — Patterico]

    James B. Shearer (fc887e)

  9. ‘rico, looks like you struck a nerve.

    Hiltzik should understand that lawywers are used to a poor public image. But he should also understand that when people say that all lawyers are slime, they invariably qualify the generalization by adding “except mine.” MSM reporters and columnists have a long climb before they get to that point on the respectability meter.

    TNugent (6128b4)

  10. The mere appearance of Hussein’s name on a ballot would be an insult to the innumerable people he slaughtered.

    I would recommend—however—placing the following question before Iraqi voters:

    In the event Saddam Hussein is sentenced to death, how should he leave this earth?:

    1) hanging
    2) firing squad
    3) nerve gas
    4) pushed from building
    5) plastic shredder

    clark smith (fc7002)

  11. The very fact that we’re asking this question about Saddam implies how foolish it was to invade a region and country that has been at war off and on for what – a thousand years or so? “How do you win a war with people who are not afraid to die?”

    Saddam’s heavy hand, it can now be seen, may have been necessary to keep the peace. Imus has suggested that we give Iraq back to Saddam – I’m paraphrasing: “OK, you can you’re your country back. Sorry about your sons, but we’ll put your statue back up. Just make these people behave, will ya?”

    Tillman (1cf529)

  12. Would this be before or after we return South Korea to North Korea, since:

    1. They’re better behaved up north.
    2. We didn’t sacrifice 50,000 dead for them, unlike their southern cousins?

    And wasn’t better “behavior” precisely what Milosevic wanted from the Bosniacs, Croats, and Kosovars of his Yugoslavia? Indeed, Milosevic retains at least as much popularity as Hussein does; guess that means bombing Belgrade, etc., was all wrong, eh?

    How foolish to have gone into Kosovo, in defiance of the UN, no?

    Lurking Observer (ea88e8)

  13. Tillman wrote:

    The very fact that we’re asking this question about Saddam implies how foolish it was to invade a region and country that has been at war off and on for what – a thousand years or so? “How do you win a war with people who are not afraid to die?”

    Saddam’s heavy hand, it can now be seen, may have been necessary to keep the peace. Imus has suggested that we give Iraq back to Saddam – I’m paraphrasing: “OK, you can you’re your country back. Sorry about your sons, but we’ll put your statue back up. Just make these people behave, will ya?”

    Oh, please, give me a break! “Saddam’s heavy hand, it can now be seen, may have been necessary to keep the peace?” When you have a dictator who maintained power by slaughtering his own people by the tens of thousands every year, calling that “keep(ing) the peace” is both laughable and repugnant. It was only “keep(ing) the peace” because The New York Times wasn’t covering it, and we didn’t see it, and it was just plain impolite to pay attention to it.

    Dana R. Pico (3e4784)

  14. Hey, Hiltzik:

    Quit whining about a three-day old interview and move on.

    Sheesh. Be a man for chrissake.

    Snake Eater (b42ce5)

  15. To Michael Hiltzik:
    I believe thou protesteth too much.

    Leslie (264745)

  16. Tillman, the …the very fact that we’re asking this question about Saddam … indicates no such thing. This was clearly a rhetorical question asked for the purpose of illustrating the absence of genuine concern for the human rights of the Iraqi people by those on the left who constantly remind us of their “deep devotion” to human rights. Mr Hiltzik’s moral ambivilence, let alone his willingness to admit it, astonishes me to say the very least.

    I dread the thought that we could have employed this lack of moral clarity at the end of WWII. You know, those Japanese and Germans, why they’re just not ready for democracy; just not wise enough to know what they want; no history of democratic thought; Hitler wasn’t so bad; Musolini at least made the trains run on time; blah, blah, blah. The talking points about how democracy just can’t flourish in the ME if given half a chance are well past the “stale” point – they’re downright moldy.

    Black Jack, First, there have been 3 elections. Every Iraqi with a purple finger has voted against Saddam and in favor of a free and democratic Iraq. This in the face of death threats indicates the Iraqi people know the answer to HH’s question, even if Hiltzik says he doesn’t. Yep, you got it. Would that we had the same dedication to voting in this country where it is so easy and riskless. Every election in Iraq inspires me more about their future.

    Harry Arthur (40c0a6)

  17. LO and DRP, very insightful comments also.

    At this rate, Mona Charen will need to republish her book (Useful Idiots) with a few post Cold War chapters. Mssrs Kerry, Dean, Kennedy, among others, will provide plenty of material. But wait, they’re already in her first edition so I guess they’re just playing true to form.

    Harry Arthur (40c0a6)

  18. I was initially very impressed with Hiltzik’s handling of Hewitt and was inclined to believe he had bested Hugh, but now that I can see Hiltzik has gone into critical mass over this presidential vote thing I’m starting to lose my respect for him.

    Mike, nobody said that your presidential vote would tell us EVERYTHING ABOUT YOU. Nobody disagrees with your assertion that issues are complex and that it would be unfair to sum you up on a single vote. But you seem certain that 50 million red state rednecks would do just that (which shows your disdain for us) and your squirming and somewhat shrill defense of your refusal to go public with your vote is also telling us a LOT about you.

    Yes, I’ll take you up on your offer and guess– you were a Kerry voter. Now tell me I’m wrong.

    I thought so.

    Dave (3d44c7)

  19. “How’s that feel?”
    Um, familiar.

    megapotamus (e55e3d)

  20. I think Hiltzik is right on. You and Hewitt and those Powerline guys — you’re fascists. You talk a good game about “freedom” for Iraqis, but you denigrate anyone who values it for Americans. Bushies who smear their political opponents and hide behind the embedded DC press corps? You love ’em. CIA agents who wiretap the phone calls of U.S. citizens? You love ’em. Feds who kidnap people they don’t like the looks of, claim they’re “suspected terrorists” and then make them disappear, the way South American dictators used to do with their political opponents? Patriots, in your opinion. Well,sorry, but I’m way more afraid of that sort of paranoid evil than I am of the random kooks that we’d been dealing with, successfully, in this country for generations until the Bush Administration let 9/11 happen. I realize it makes you guys feel more like real men to jump up and down and trash-talk civil libertarians, but I have just one question: How are you gonna feel when some authoritarian decides that your brand of trash talk makes you a “suspected terrorist” and and a smear campaign target? What happens when you succeed, and the dictator comes for you?

    masha (df175a)

  21. One word: whatever.

    Patterico (632a70)

  22. Masha wrote:

    I’m way more afraid of that sort of paranoid evil than I am of the random kooks that we’d been dealing with, successfully, in this country for generations until the Bush Administration let 9/11 happen.

    Perhaps we ought to listen to Masha: he does seem to have a great deal of personal expertise on paranoia.

    Dana R. Pico (3e4784)

  23. masha,

    How about you? Why don’t you answer the question. Do you think the people of Iraq are better off than they were three years ago?

    When HH asked, Hiltzik punted. Are you man enough to answer a direct question? Or, do you only want to jump up and down and trash-talk?

    PS: If you really want to know how it feels to be the target a smear campaign, you could always ask Paula Jones. She knows.

    Black Jack (ee9fe2)

  24. I think the question of whether the Iraqis are better off should be posed to the people who are responsible for Iraq. Last time I checked, this was America and the question was supposed to be whether you and I were better off. So are we? You feelin’ all warm and secure now? You happy now that this administration is raking in oil money while patsies like you shut up anyone who tries to ask questions? And for free? If I were you, I’d at least demand a cut in return for my collaboration. And as for Paula Jones: Didn’t your mama teach you that two wrongs don’t make a right? Or does that precedent make it okay for somebody out there to someday smear you?

    masha (df175a)

  25. Masha wrote:

    I think the question of whether the Iraqis are better off should be posed to the people who are responsible for Iraq. Last time I checked, this was America and the question was supposed to be whether you and I were better off. So are we? You feelin’ all warm and secure now? You happy now that this administration is raking in oil money while patsies like you shut up anyone who tries to ask questions? And for free? If I were you, I’d at least demand a cut in return for my collaboration. And as for Paula Jones: Didn’t your mama teach you that two wrongs don’t make a right? Or does that precedent make it okay for somebody out there to someday smear you?

    Well, this is an interesting way to turn things on their heads: is the United States better off because the Ba’athists are out of power?

    I have a couple of different takes on the way you put it. First, by turning the question as you have, you have told us (whether you meant to or not) that yes, you understand that the Iraqis are better off.

    But second, you do raise a reasonable question, to ask if Americans are better off. And my answer is yes, we certainly are. Not only is a brutal dictatorship ended in Iraq, but the push of American power has caused other changes in the region: Syria has lost its grip on Lebanon, Libya has given up its WMD program, and Egypt has seen some democratic reforms. All of these things are good things, and all benefit the Middle East, the world as a whole, and the United States specifically.

    Are we more secure? In 2001, we felt the brunt of a well-organized attack by al Qaeda; in 2005, al Qaeda has been reduced to having Ayman al Zawahiri producing videos asking for Muslims to attack the United States. During the Clinton years, we averaged being the victim of al Qaeda terrorist attacks once every two years; in the last four years, al Qaeda hasn’t been able to mount a successful attack against us.

    So, yes, Mr Masha, we are all better off.

    Dana R. Pico (8d0335)

  26. Dana — hate to be a pest here, but al Qaeda had nothing to do with Iraq. Here’s what I want to know from you guys, though: Are we all so much better off that this massive, massive cost has been worth it? If your employees in Washington — and they’re your employees, by the way, not vice versa, as much as you fascists love your supposedly benign dictators — if your employees had asked you to okay a war and they hadn’t lied about weapons of mass destruction and ginned up phony links between Hussein and 9/11, and if they’d told you up front it was going to decimate your volunteer army, make the world despise you and throw your bank account so far into the red that even your grandkids would be in hock forever, and if they’d added that, oh, by the way, neither you nor the Iraqis would end up all that much safer, can you honestly say you’d have gone to war? Because that’s what they did and that’s what you fell for, and for what? Unless you own shares in Halliburton, you can’t show me one thing about your personal life that’s improved since this war started. In fact, you’re worse off — the feds can now spy on you, tap your phones, feed lies about you to bloggers if you cross them, ruin you if they want to, and because you gave away your civil liberties like a bunch of sheep, none of it’s against the law. Nope, your employee — the guy you insisted we hire to manage the store — gave that store away to unilaterally settle an old score that had nothing to do with the real threat against us. Is it nice that Iraqis are voting? I don’t know. Supposedly. And it would be nice if the Mexican economy weren’t corrupt and it would be nice if North Korea wasn’t run by whack jobs and it’d be nice if the Saudi royal family wasn’t crooked and it’d be nice if the religious right wasn’t trying to force their superstition down the throats of the rest of us. A lot of things are nice, but democracies are funny — elected leaders who want these nice things are supposed to get permission in from the people they work for because, fyi, we’re all equal. Have you actually met any of the people who have been wounded over there? Have you seen what we’ve done to them in the name of this optional war? What do I care whether a bunch of warlords in Iraq are happier under this mess than they were under the last one? This president is supposed to work for Americans, not Iraqis, and he abused my trust so he could feel like a bigshot. And now, because you’re morons who go slack-lipped at the slightest whiff of approbation from an authority figure, you can’t stop sucking up. The guy you hired to manage the store embezzles your life savings, and you make him employee of the year.

    masha (df175a)

  27. Masha’s madder’n hell and ain’t gonna take it anymore! Tell ’em Masha! At least Bush is finally starting to come around. He was for torture before he was against it.

    Tillman (1cf529)

  28. It was only “keep(ing) the peace” because The New York Times wasn’t covering it, and we didn’t see it, and it was just plain impolite to pay attention to it. – Dana

    Given my rathers Dana, I’d rather Saddam be killing his own people than our people getting killed over there. We’re not doing much better. How many have we killed? How many have we maimed? How many have we tortured? For what?

    Tillman (1cf529)

  29. I think Hiltzik is right on. You and Hewitt and those Powerline guys — you’re fascists.

    Aside from the fact that real fascists would have morons like you arrested or killed for saying something like that, and from the fact that neither Patterico nor any of those Powerline guys has ever expressed a viewpoint in support of anything remotely related to fascism, I suppose so.

    Xrlq (428dfd)

  30. Cat got your tongue, masha?

    What’s the problem, can’t bring yourself to face up to a simple “yes or no” question? You don’t seem like the gutless sort, I see lots of loony Left rant, but no answer. Try to cut back on the hot air, phony outrage, and idiot accusation, for a moment and focus on the issue.

    Really, the question isn’t all that difficult: Do you think the people of Iraq are better off than they were three years ago?

    PS: You may find our diversity quota is already full, Tillman has a firm grip on the unofficial barking moonbat position here.

    Black Jack (ee9fe2)

  31. Hiltzik writes: “Lawyers? They’re just money-grubbers. They’ll say anything they have to to make a buck or kiss the ass of Power. Channelling Hugh now: 98% of them are Republicans.”

    He is even more in left field about lawyers’ politics than he was in his calls about Tyco and Global Crossing. Has this lefty ever checked the plaintiff’s bar contributions to the Democrat party? Lawyers LOVE the Democrats and their support of class action blackmail.

    No wonder he has such a pathetic track record. No knowledge of basic facts. Ooh, but he has TWO degrees! I wonder what college he flunked out of before he found the School of Journalism building…

    David (e98238)

  32. Tillman wrote:

    It was only “keep(ing) the peace” because The New York Times wasn’t covering it, and we didn’t see it, and it was just plain impolite to pay attention to it. – Dana

    Given my rathers Dana, I’d rather Saddam be killing his own people than our people getting killed over there. We’re not doing much better. How many have we killed? How many have we maimed? How many have we tortured? For what?

    We’ve lost slightly more than 2,000 soldiers in three years. That’s regretable, but it’s certainly fewer than Saddam Hussein killed in any three months in maintaining his power.

    For what, Mr Tillman? For democracy, for freedom, for a real chance at peace in the Middle East, that’s for what. Yeah, it would be nice if everybody over there would recognize the value of peace and freedom, rather than have some who know only the power-of-the-gun method of power and are willing to fight for it, and it’s a realistic objection to say that we had underestimated the strength of the opposition going in. But sometimes you do have to fight for the things in which you believe; this is one of those times.

    Dana R. Pico (8d0335)

  33. Masha wrote a very long response to one of my comments, to which I assume that he wishes an answer. Given that my answer will be long (especially given my wont of never using two words when seventeen would do as well 🙂 ) in response to a long question, I’ll take some time, and answer it on my own site; a trackback here will let Masha (and anyone else who is interested, which I hope will be all of you) know when it’s done.

    Dana R. Pico (8d0335)

  34. Response to Masha

    I participated in a discussion on Patterico’s Pontifications, entitled Saddam or the Current Iraqi Government? Let Iraqis Decide? When a fellow commenter styling himself “masha” (lack of capitalization his) responded at some length,…

    Common Sense Political Thought (819604)

  35. Bottom line is folks..Bush invaded over what he said were WMDs in Iraq. Does anyone remember that? Now this idea of helping the Iraqs acheive democracy at a cost of some 500 Billion dollars to us is just a justification for a failed policy. Suppose you do achieve a democracy and they decide to join with the Sheites of Iran. What then? Another regime change?
    I can remember when Republicans used to warn about nation building..and the dangers of spending ourselves into bankruptcy. My what short memories you elephants have!!

    Charlie (8ea405)

  36. Hey Patterico

    I went to your website today….the one that is falsely accused of being partisan…I was looking for a section dealing with the 9/11 commissions recent report that most of the recommendations of that commission have not be implemented, I was also looking for the section dealing with Bush admission that he acted on faulty evidence in saying there were WMDs in Iraq. Is that near the section dealing with yesterdays admission that Bush ordered spying on US citizens without bothering to ask for court approval? Perhaps its next to the one about todays story about Bush having withheld evidence in the lead-up to the war he started.
    Can you kindly direct me?

    Thanks
    Sincerely

    Charlie (8ea405)

  37. XRQL, BlackJack, Dana and Paterico.. I have a question for each of you.. Honest answer, please.
    What evidence would you need to have to convince you that Bush was an incompetent or a liar who got us involved in a needless war for false or flimsy reasons? In other words, what needs to happen for you to change your minds about Bush?
    and honestly Is your support for Bush based mostly on the incompetence of the Democratic opposition?

    Charlie (8ea405)

  38. Good God, don’t people you have lives? No, the cat doesn’t have my tongue — I just have a life. But since I’ve stopped by again, here’s my answer to whether the Iraqis are better off now than three years ago: No. Three years ago they were oppressed but alive. Now they’re allegedly unoppressed and being killed the hundreds, and facing a future — if, by some fluke, they live through the civil war that’s coming at them like a freight train — of … wait for it…more oppression. Because nothing says democracy like majority rule by religious fanatics. But, hey, you know who IS better off? Halliburton and Dick Cheney. Your country is broke and divided, Iraq is in blood-soaked smithereens and divided and those guys are laughing all the way to the bank. And you love them. You worship them. You want to protect them and give them power over the rest of us and shut down that horrible, terrible mainstream media that keeps harshing your mellow with the fact that they — your employees — have lied to you, cheated you, wasted your money, killed your children, spied on you and smeared anyone who has dared ask questions. Once conservatives had ideas. Now they’re just toadies blindly defending a bunch of stupid, crooked, incompetent politicians who have turned the world into a dangerous mess.

    masha (df175a)

  39. Masha is there any way we can exchange email addresses?

    Charlie (8ea405)

  40. Patterico: bringing leftists together since February 2003.

    Patterico (806687)

  41. Well, Mr Masha, here is the response I promised you. It’s pretty long, which is why I posted it on my own site, and not our esteemed host’s.

    However, you just wrote:

    But since I’ve stopped by again, here’s my answer to whether the Iraqis are better off now than three years ago: No. Three years ago they were oppressed but alive. Now they’re allegedly unoppressed and being killed the hundreds, and facing a future — if, by some fluke, they live through the civil war that’s coming at them like a freight train — of … wait for it…more oppression.

    I really hope that you are not so naïve as to think that they weren’t being slaughtered by Saddam Hussein’s regime, by the tens of thousands every freaking year.

    You profess to be worried about a Shi’ite Islamic Republic, established by majority vote. While I wouldn’t like to see taht result either, the fact is that in the existing Islamic Republic, in Iran, there are some democratic forms, and the regime, by and large, isn;t having to slaughter people by the thousands to retain power.

    Dana R. Pico (a9eb8b)

  42. Charlie trolled:

    XRQL, BlackJack, Dana and Paterico.. I have a question for each of you.. Honest answer, please.
    What evidence would you need to have to convince you that Bush was an incompetent or a liar who got us involved in a needless war for false or flimsy reasons? In other words, what needs to happen for you to change your minds about Bush?
    and honestly Is your support for Bush based mostly on the incompetence of the Democratic opposition?

    Where to begin? Charlie, I addressed the point about whether President Bush deliberately lied about WMD here. It’s a long read, as brevity is a word that seldom occurs to me, but, suffice it to say, if President Bush lied, it had to have been part of the largest international conspiracy in history.

    Dana R. Pico (a9eb8b)

  43. misha, you responded:

    “…here’s my answer to whether the Iraqis are better off now than three years ago: No.”

    Well, I don’t quite know what to say about your answer. All those bright happy faces on TV of Iraqis proudly holding up purple fingers, and you can’t see anything good about a people participating in a democratic election after years of brutal oppression. Sad, misha, very sad, and quite dishonest.

    Wrong as you are, I guess that’s just you isn’t it? Bonehead stupid and proud of it.

    But, wait, Charlie has a question: “…what needs to happen for you to change your minds about Bush?” And, he wants an honest answer.

    OK, Charlie, I’ll have a go. Let’s see, well, if GWB started acting like Bill Clinton, or Jimmy Carter, or John Kerry, or Harry Reid, or Nancy Pelosi, or Howard Dean, or any of the other unhinged hate-filled numbskulls currently infecting the Jackass Party, I sure as hell would change my mind about him.

    Like lots of other Conservatives, I got upset with GWB when he tried to nominate Harriet Miers for the Supreme Court. Stuff like that ticks me off, and I opposed GWB on his crony nomination. But, if the alternative to GWB is the cowardly Dem pantywaists, then, no thanks, I prefer the devil I know.

    Black Jack (ee9fe2)

  44. Charlie–

    Two things: If the President is as dumb as we’ve been told, how did he, of all people, know that WMDs weren’t there?

    And this comment, much more important and more serious: If even a scintilla of your consciousness is hoping that the Iraqi experiment fails, then you, my friend, have taken a turn down a dark hall of the soul. You need to step back and think carefully about what you believe and why.

    Joe Miller (7836b8)

  45. Black Jack,
    You used a partial quote to distort my position. Sad, Black Jack, sad, and quite dishonest. You wrote: “You can’t see anything good about a people participating in a democratic election after years of brutal oppression.” That’s not what I said. I said the Iraqis weren’t better off, not that I didn’t “see anything good” about people holding democratic elections. But again, this is your problem: You guys can’t hold an honest debate because you aren’t about debating or about honesty. True conservatives would be, but not you guys. I’m not sure you even count as conservatives, because if you did, you’d be questioning this administration on civil liberties, and you don’t. You’e just about blindly protecting the entrenched power of crooks and incompetents, as if they planned to do one thing for you in return except take away your privacy and tax your children forever. They’re not the “devil you know.” They’re con men. But hey, there’s a sucker born every day.

    masha (df175a)

  46. masha,

    You say I distorted your position: “That’s not what I said. I said the Iraqis weren’t better off, not that I didn’t “see anything good” about people holding democratic elections.”

    Sorry, but it’s a bit difficult to get a straight response from you, or to make sense of your babble. So, let’s try to be clear. What was it you did see that was good about the Iraqi elections?

    Black Jack (ee9fe2)

  47. What evidence would you need to have to convince you that Bush was an incompetent or a liar who got us involved in a needless war for false or flimsy reasons? In other words, what needs to happen for you to change your minds about Bush?

    Evidence of dishonesty would convince me Bush acted dishonestly. Evidence of incompetence wuld convince me he acted incompetently – or, in certain cases, evidence of incompetence has convinced me of this. but as to the war in Iraq, I see no evidence of either. I do, however, see overwhelming turnout to a free election that would never have taken place if not for Bush’s alleged dishonesty/incompetence.

    and honestly Is your support for Bush based mostly on the incompetence of the Democratic opposition?

    I’m sure that plays a role, too. If the Democrats offered anything better than the Repubs do, or at least anthing that isn’t clearly much worse, I’d seriously consider voting for them. But it’s hard to do that when my worst fear about Bush is that he might wimp out and start acting too much like the Democrats.

    Xrlq (428dfd)

  48. Dana begins by saying “Charlie Trolled….” ha ha ha!!

    What a great sense of humor you have!

    Black Jack your response is not even worth replying to…Its total smear and name calling.

    XRLQ, you seem like a reasonable person so, here is the evidence. Bush told us that he gave Sadam a choice between defiance or compliance and he chose defiance” That is a lie. Sadam did play a dangerous game with the inspectors for many years but in the end he agreed to total inspections of any facitilies on our terms.That is confirmed by both Mohammed Baridi of the International Atomic Energy Commission and Hans Blix of the UN both of whom said the inspections were proceeding and they inspected every single site the US insisted contained WMDs without notice and that nothing was found. They reported this to Washington but nevertheless Bush, and not Sadam, demanded the inspectors leave and five days later invaded. Bush lied.

    Senator Bob Graham on the Senate Intelligence Committee asked the CIA for a full report on what the situation was regarding WMDs in Iraq and he and his committee received a report which included all the sources and the various questions about them. Those serious questions about the sources were not included in information given to the general Senate so the report they got was very misleading. Graham voted against the invasion. Bush misled.
    The French and Germans both told us the information we were using was unreliable including a major informer named Curveball who told the CIA he had personally worked on WMDs. The Germans told us the man was a liar,actually drove a taxi in Baghdad. But Bush either didnt know or should have known this information was unreliable. If he didnt deliberately hide this he damn well should have checked these reports out but he didnt.

    Even after the report of collaboration between Sadam and Al Quida was debunked Cheney continued to repeat a discredited story about a meeting in Prague and connections between the two. A lie and he should have known that.

    Allowing for all of this Bush could have insisted on further inspections to be sure before he invaded. If he had any respect for other nations instead of being so arrogant he would have avoided invading. But it was obvious that he had every intention of invading regardless of the facts. In fact as we know the “facts were being fixed around the policy” Bush got his desire and, belatedly, he has now admitted he was wrong but now the mission has changed and this is some kind of mission to “nation build” the very thing Bush said he was against during the campaign of 2000. Its bullshit to say we did this because we wanted to help the Iraqi and everyone on the Arab world knows it. .

    If we really wanted to help Iraqis we could have given Sadam $100 Billion to get out of town and then $100 Billion to provide a better life for the Iraqis and the other $300 billion spent right here in the good old USA!

    To cover his lies and misdeeds Bush and his party have continually questioned the patriotism of those that question him.

    He now engages in secret spying, which I dont necessairly disagree with,but it is supposed to be with a court order which is a protection against abuse. He hasnt done that.
    He also has assumed power to arrest anyone and hold them indefinately without charges. Doesnt that concern you? Freedom for Iraq and the loss of freedom here at home?
    Our nation is now engaged in this 500 Billion dollar venture with no guarantee of success and the real possibility that a free Iraq will join with Iran.
    This is not a sound policy to defend us but an ignorant ill conceived venture that is going to end in disaster.
    I say there is far more reason to impeach Bush than there ever was to impeach Clinton.

    Charlie (8ea405)

  49. Black Jack: It isn’t hard to make sense of my response. You asked if I thought the Iraqis were better off and I said no — having your life and children endangered by occupying armies, probable civil wars and the threat of a takeover by oppressive religious fanatics is not “better off” than being oppressed by a murderous dictator. It’s six of one, half a dozen of the other. I also said that whether Iraqis are better off isn’t the question Americans should be asking. We don’t elect our presidents based on whether they’ll improve the lives of people in other countries. We elect them on whether they’ll improve lives in this country. The question should be, are we better off than we were three years ago? And the answer is, again, no. As for your claim that what you really wanted to know is whether I think there’s anything good about Iraqi elections, yes. Of course there are good things — for Iraqis — about elections (if they’re not crooked, which may be a stretch). But all sorts of things have upsides — even Mussolini’s reign had the advantage, as the saying goes, of making the trains run on time. The question isn’t whether there’s “anything good” about these elections. It’s whether the good stuff is good enough to be worth the price we’re paying in lives, in money, in our own civil liberties, in the damage that has been done by this administration to our own governance. The ends don’t justify the means, and the benefits don’t outweigh the cost.

    masha (df175a)

  50. Charlie wrote:

    Bottom line is folks..Bush invaded over what he said were WMDs in Iraq. Does anyone remember that? Now this idea of helping the Iraqs acheive democracy at a cost of some 500 Billion dollars to us is just a justification for a failed policy. Suppose you do achieve a democracy and they decide to join with the Sheites of Iran. What then? Another regime change?
    I can remember when Republicans used to warn about nation building..and the dangers of spending ourselves into bankruptcy. My what short memories you elephants have!!

    WMD was only part of the reason, as you well know. We expected to find them, everybody expected to find them, and we’re still trying to figure out where they went. But even without the WMDs having been there, what was done was a good thing.

    Thirty years from now, historians are going to be wondering if George W Bush was the greatest president we’ve ever had.

    Dana R. Pico (a071ac)

  51. Masha, one big request: please use paragraph breaks, because your writing gets really dificult to follow.

    Dana R. Pico (a071ac)

  52. “Black Jack your response is not even worth replying to…Its total smear and name calling.”
    Well, Charlie, it’s a rainy day and I’m drinking coffee and waiting for the NFL games to come on TV. So, I have a few minutes for comments and questions.

    You asked, “…what needs to happen for you to change your minds about Bush?” And, you asked for an honest answer. I gave you an honest answer, granted, you didn’t like my answer, but honestly, it was honest. I even included an example of when I opposed GWB to illustrate the point.

    Now, I did refer to “…unhinged hate-filled numbskulls currently infecting the Jackass Party…” And, later I mentioned, “… the cowardly Dem pantywaists…” Quite likely, those were the parts you labeled “name calling.”

    I honestly see Dems as unhinged, hate-filled numbskulls. They do currently infest the Jackass Party. And, they are clearly cowards and pantywaists. That’s all true, but you don’t see it. I did say those things (twice), so I guess I’ll accept your point there, and move on.

    But, I’m curious about the “total smear” part. I don’t see the smear. The only way to smear Dems today would be to say they support the troops, or to say they want democracy to succeed in Iraq, or to say they care more about working families than about getting elected to office. Yes, it’s not easy to smear a Democrat.

    Game’s on. Catch you later.

    Black Jack (ee9fe2)

  53. Masha wrote:

    having your life and children endangered by occupying armies, probable civil wars and the threat of a takeover by oppressive religious fanatics is not “better off” than being oppressed by a murderous dictator. It’s six of one, half a dozen of the other.

    Really? Saddam Hussein and his minions were killing the Iraqi people at the rate of tens of thousands every year, to maintain their grip on power. Absent the invasion, they’d have continued to do so for decades to come. With the invasion, there’s a good chance that such killings will end.

    And if we assume a “takeover by oppressive religious fanatics,” even in Iran, where such has happened, there is some democracy, and the regime doesn’t have to maintain power by killing its people. The Iranians aren’t exactly free, but they at least aren’t in serious danger from their government.

    I also said that whether Iraqis are better off isn’t the question Americans should be asking. We don’t elect our presidents based on whether they’ll improve the lives of people in other countries. We elect them on whether they’ll improve lives in this country. The question should be, are we better off than we were three years ago? And the answer is, again, no.

    I’d say that we are. We’ve come out of a recession into a booming economy, and we have the terrorists on the run. Best of all, we have the Democrats on the run! 🙂 We have more solidly conservative jurists locked into place, with more coming. It’s a great time to be an American!

    Dana R. Pico (a9eb8b)

  54. Black Jack your response is not even worth replying to…Its total smear and name calling.

    What a hoot. You should read your own posts. Between Charlie and masha I’m not sure which is the more insane. Both of you are totally consumed by BDS. The sad thing is that you don’t even see it. The really sad thing is comments like that quoted above. You enjoy pointing the finger at others while engaging in behavior that is orders of magnitude worse yourselves. I don’t think either of you has the ability to argue without resorting to ad hominem thoroughly mixed with unsupported and unproven allegations. Really pathetic.

    If you’d like examples, simply scroll back up thread and read your own comments. I don’t think it’s all that productive to list them all. If you really want to present a convincing argument, keep it logical, factual and “pithy,” and try to avoid the insults. Otherwise, even reading your pedantic, childish rants is a general waste of time.

    As for the very simple answer to the question as to whether Iraqis are better off now than before Saddam was overthrown by our wonderful military … I understand why you want to sidestep the issue. Every single poll of the Iraqi people, the only people who can truly answer that question, … every single poll without exception, indicates that to a level of in excess of 66 percent upwards to in excess of 80 percent of the population, the Iraqis believe they are better off and they believe their future is bright. I think I’ll take their viewpoint over your “argument.”

    I remember when liberals actually thought that all people deserve to live in freedom. What a quaint thought.

    Harry Arthur (b318a5)

  55. Charlie wrote:

    Allowing for all of this Bush could have insisted on further inspections to be sure before he invaded. If he had any respect for other nations instead of being so arrogant he would have avoided invading. But it was obvious that he had every intention of invading regardless of the facts. In fact as we know the “facts were being fixed around the policy” Bush got his desire and, belatedly, he has now admitted he was wrong but now the mission has changed and this is some kind of mission to “nation build” the very thing Bush said he was against during the campaign of 2000. Its bullshit to say we did this because we wanted to help the Iraqi and everyone on the Arab world knows it.

    “(F)acts were being fixed around the policy?”

    Would you be so kind as to tell me how President Bush did that? The intelligence assessments didn’t change between the Clinton Administration and the Bush Administration; President Clinton said exactly the same things, but simply had a different (non)policy for dealing with it. How did the then-Governor of Texas fix intelligence estimates during the Clinton years?

    And one also wonders how he fixed French and British and German and Russian intelligence? Even those countries which opposed the invasion never said that their intelligence estimates differed significantly from ours, and Jacques Chirac and Gerhart Schrõder certainly had every reason to say that if it were true.

    This was truly an amazing international conspiracy, that the heads of state of so many countries, ministers at various other levels, and literally thousands of both American and foreign officials were willing to put their careers and even personal freedom on the line to support a lie by George Bush, and not one of them has spilled the beans, not one has told us how he was forced to change a government document just for our President.

    Dana R. Pico (a9eb8b)

  56. Saddam Hussein and his minions were killing the Iraqi people at the rate of tens of thousands every year, to maintain their grip on power. – Dana

    Dana, you can’t ignore the tens of thousands of Iraqi’s we’ve killed to keep drinking your kool-aid. You’re only seeing one side of the story. What we have done is no merry tale. If it turns out that the Iraqi’s become pleased with our occupation, then we’ll be getting somewhere. But that is not what’s happening; they just want our heathen tails outa there. How can we turn that around after having killed some 30,000 of their people? It seems like an enormous task to me.

    Tillman (1cf529)

  57. Here’s some facts to consider:

    Dec. 12 (Bloomberg) — An increasing majority of Iraqi voters oppose the U.S.-led coalition in Iraq even as they express optimism over their future living conditions, a new poll shows.
    Two-thirds of those surveyed rejected the presence of U.S. forces in Iraq, up 14 percentage points from a survey in February 2004. Fewer than half, 46 percent, say the country is better off than it was before the war, according to the poll by ABC News, Time magazine and other global news organizations. (from http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=10000103&sid=a_4Zb.QbLIu8&refer=us )

    But that’s right, republicans have a hedonistic belief system. This news is contrary to what you want to believe, so you can just label it the “liberal media” and go your merry way. Just keep saying to yourselves “Everything’s fine, we’re the good doers.”

    Tillman (1cf529)

  58. Let’s see, “hedonistic belief system”, hmmm …

    hedonism: 1. The ethical doctrine that pleasure, variously conceived of in terms of happiness of the individual or of society, is the principal good and the proper aim of action 2. the theory that a person always acts in such a way as to seek pleasure and avoid pain 3. the self-indulgent pursuit of pleasure as a way of life.

    Tillman, I’d say that statement is more than a bit of an active imagination on your part. You’re certainly free to question the wisdom of invading Iraq. That’s a valid point of contention about which reasonable people can disagree. But to suggest that Bush taking the country to war was somehow hedonistic on his part or on the part of republicans as a whole is absurd.

    To suggest that this malady is confined to republicans makes me wonder what planet you’ve been living on. Republicans can be accused of many things but to suggest that hedonism characterizes their belief system exclusively just ain’t in line with reality. Rational argument is much more becoming.

    Harry Arthur (b318a5)

  59. An increasing majority of Iraqi voters oppose the U.S.-led coalition in Iraq even as they express optimism over their future living conditions

    … Seventy-five percent of those surveyed expressed confidence in the national elections. Seventy percent said they approve the new Constitution, and 70 percent said they want Iraq to remain a unified country.

    And this isn’t even all of “the rest of the story” … more to come in weeks ahead.

    Harry Arthur (b318a5)

  60. Sorry Harry, I’ve just talked to too many republicans who conveniently ignore news that they dislike and use the liberal media card as a rationalization. I think that you are usually an exception though.

    Tillman (1cf529)

  61. Half-time, and Harry said,

    “I remember when liberals actually thought that all people deserve to live in freedom.”

    I don’t often disagree with Harry, he’s usually right on. And, really, I don’t disagree now, but I would like to comment on his assumption above. Liberals used to support lots of things they now reject. And, some of us are old enough to remember.

    For example, Harry mentioned freedom. Liberals and Democrats did once actually support freedom. And, I suspect some still do, but are afraid to say so for fear of retaliation from the Party’s thought police. Men like Zell Miller and Joe Liebermann have the personal and political stature to resist the extremists, but the rank and file don’t have any such protections.

    Why, if an ordinary Congressional Democrat actually got up and tried to say the most recent Iraqi elections were good for Iraq and good for America, and that George W Bush deserved credit for bringing freedom to an oppressed people, he would be shouted down and personally attacked. A howling mob of shrieking, hysterical, Dem/MSM character assassins would give the poor soul an up close and personal demonstration of the politics of personal destruction. By the time his “reeducation” was complete, he’d be afraid to turn right on a red light.

    Game’s back on, got to go. More later.

    Black Jack (ee9fe2)

  62. Dana …to answer your question. Dont you recognize that I am referring to the Downing street memos when I say “facts fixed around the policy?”

    And Black Jack dont even try to BS me into believing this was for the freedom of the Iraqis. I hated Sadam just as much as the next but you and I both know that the reason for this war had nothing to do with some sudden impulse to free the Iraqis but this was over supposed WMDs in Iraq. I hope the Iraqi people are free and do have a better future for themselves but dont kid me into thinking this reason is anything but an after the fact excuse.

    And PS if your so concerned about freedom why is Bush not impeached for his illegal domestic spying. He was supposed to get a court order but he didnt. That is illegal but to an administration that claims the right to hold even US citizens indefinately without even charges being placed against them, the right to torture and keep prisoners from the Red Cross, courts mean nothing.

    Your so concerned about freedom for the Iraqis but apparently cant see the threat here. Admittedly this is not nearly as serious as lying about consentual sex with a willing partner…. Now that is really serious!

    I hate it when Bush supporters say they are Conservatives. Conservatives are for balanced budgets, resist imperial Presidents, are concerned about personal liberty, champion states rights and avoid entangling foreign alliances. This president has done nothing of the sort. He is a faker and its about time you dropped your “hate the Democrats” blinders and saw what he really is. Pat Buchannan is against him. Is Buchannan a dirty liberal in disguise? Ought to read his magazine The American Conservative

    PS Indianapolis lost. Good Im glad..Now tell me you are a fan of theirs!!!.

    Charlie (8ea405)

  63. Dana Both the German and French intelligence agencies say the US distorted what they told them.
    Here is a simple test. Why did Colin Powell go to the UN? Who was he trying to convince and what was the reaction by both France and Germany? Do you need me to refresh your memory? And let me also remind you that both countries plus Russia were publicly referred to as “axis of weasels” by your pals when they disputed the “evidence” which later proved to be false. Its another lie. Most simply felt the weapons were “unaccounted for” and that is a big difference. Kind of like the eight billion now unaccounted for in Iraq.
    I find it strange that you think a guy who got us into this war on false pretexts will someday be considered a great President. Maybe he will. If and when fascism becomes a way of life in the USA.. Make no mistake about it. That is what Bush represents. Man above laws. People manipulated by a government serving the needs of a select class. Secret prisons. Smears against the enemies of the state. Torture. Endless wars. Fear. You really ought to read “1984” by George Orwell. or even better just ask yourself how the founding fathers would view Bush..

    Charlie (8ea405)

  64. Hey Harry so nice of you to be concerned about the Iraqi people. To what may I attribute this new found concern? Perhaps failure to find WMDs or links to Al Quida? Will you be equally as happy to see the Iraqis exercise that new found freedom and join with the Iranians in support of nuclear terrorism? Do you have any guarantees that a free Iraq will be friendly toward us..and if not will you then tell us its time another regime change?

    Charlie (8ea405)

  65. Tillman wrote:

    Saddam Hussein and his minions were killing the Iraqi people at the rate of tens of thousands every year, to maintain their grip on power. – Dana

    Dana, you can’t ignore the tens of thousands of Iraqi’s we’ve killed to keep drinking your kool-aid. You’re only seeing one side of the story. What we have done is no merry tale. If it turns out that the Iraqi’s become pleased with our occupation, then we’ll be getting somewhere. But that is not what’s happening; they just want our heathen tails outa there. How can we turn that around after having killed some 30,000 of their people? It seems like an enormous task to me.

    The Iraqis will be grateful that we deposed the Ba’ath Party dictatorship. They don’t, and won’t, like the occupation, because no one wants to be ruled by someone else, but it’s something that has to be done, and gradually undone, as the Iraqis develop their own government.

    Dana R. Pico (a9eb8b)

  66. Charlie wrote:

    And PS if your so concerned about freedom why is Bush not impeached for his illegal domestic spying. He was supposed to get a court order but he didnt. That is illegal but to an administration that claims the right to hold even US citizens indefinately without even charges being placed against them, the right to torture and keep prisoners from the Red Cross, courts mean nothing.

    The latest story out is that Nancy Pelosi was informed of the situation a year ago, and if she didn’t like it, she still didn’t attempt to disapprove it.

    The New York Times learned about it a year ago, and sat on the story, at the Administration’s request, because they didn’t think it was illegal.

    Y’all think this is huge, but there apparently isn’t any “there” there. It would probably have been wiser, politically, if the Administration had figured out some way to insure that there was a judge involved somewhere, but so far there is not serious allegation that a crime was committed.

    Dana R. Pico (a9eb8b)

  67. I apologize. Charlie proves the best policy is to ignore trolls. I’m over it. There’s no sense in getting down in the hole he’s in.

    Black Jack (ee9fe2)

  68. Charlie wrote:

    Dana Both the German and French intelligence agencies say the US distorted what they told them.
    Here is a simple test. Why did Colin Powell go to the UN? Who was he trying to convince and what was the reaction by both France and Germany? Do you need me to refresh your memory? And let me also remind you that both countries plus Russia were publicly referred to as “axis of weasels” by your pals when they disputed the “evidence” which later proved to be false. Its another lie. Most simply felt the weapons were “unaccounted for” and that is a big difference. Kind of like the eight billion now unaccounted for in Iraq.

    Neither France nor Germany said that the intelligence was wrong, and they had plenty of opportunities to do so, because they opposed taking any action against Iraq. All that they had to do was have Dominique de Villepin stand up in front of the Security Council and say that the intelligence they had indicated that no, Iraq didn’t have any banned weapons; that never happened.

    I find it strange that you think a guy who got us into this war on false pretexts will someday be considered a great President. Maybe he will. If and when fascism becomes a way of life in the USA.. Make no mistake about it. That is what Bush represents. Man above laws. People manipulated by a government serving the needs of a select class. Secret prisons. Smears against the enemies of the state. Torture. Endless wars. Fear. You really ought to read “1984″ by George Orwell. or even better just ask yourself how the founding fathers would view Bush..

    I read 1984 a long time ago; might I suggest that you read the definition of fascism?

    Heck, being the nice guy that I am, I’ll even provide it for you:

    1 : a political philosophy, movement, or regime (as that of the Fascisti) that exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition;
    2 : a tendency toward or actual exercise of strong autocratic or dictatorial control

    President Bush deposed an autocratic and dictatorial ruler, and is trying to establish a democracy in his place. The President’s power is limited by Congress and limited by the courts, and he was subject to an election just a year ago; in January of 2009, he’ll leave office peacefully, giving way to an elected successor who may or may not be of his liking.

    1984 mentioned in it that the ruling authority used the Big Lie technique, to change the meaning of words. Well, when you call a democratically elected President, who is sponsoring democracy where he can, faced his own democratic election, and will leave power peacefully when his term is over, a fascist, it seems to me that you have embraced the 1984 technique far more than anyone else.

    Dana R. Pico (a9eb8b)

  69. Hot Damn, Pico,

    I swear off, and you hit a home run. Makes me wish I’da stood in bed. Well done.

    Black Jack (ee9fe2)

  70. Pico you make no sense with this statement…

    “All that they had to do was have Dominique de Villepin stand up in front of the Security Council and say that the intelligence they had indicated that no, Iraq didn’t have any banned weapons; that never happened.”

    Dana you are distorting the situation…First of all they never said Iraq did not have WMDs but that THEY WERE UNACCOUNTED FOR..that is a big difference which apparently you either cant or dont want to see..I will gladly try to explain the difference if you cant see it.

    You dont go to war because you cant account for something..and if that something is unaccounted for then you continue with more intrusive inspections. Am I to have you arrested because you cant prove you didnt beat your wife?
    Sadam could not prove that weapons he did not have were not there ..that is a logical impossibility which apparently you and many others dont understand..

    .The burden of proof was on the US to prove such weapons were there…and Germany and France and Russia all found the US “proofs” to be unconvincing and they said so..and that is why they were so bitterly attacked…but now they have been proven right. I wonder if Bush will now apologize to them.

    As far as fascism is concerned, it does not come in a rush all at once. It comes in stages. Now consider the election of 2000 where for the first time in history the Federal Government stepped into what has traditionally been a states business and Bush friends in the court stopped the count when it started going against him.
    Consider the gerrymandering of those Congressional districts in Texas by Tom Delay, think of the suppression of information in the lead up to the war, the detainment of people including US citizens without charges or access to the legal system, consider the denial of the Geneva conventions and now the spying by Big Brother on American citizens without the benefit of Judicial oversite..and consider you and millions of others who think this is all ok… and your only response is that fascism is not a possibility because Bush will leave office as scheduled!!??..
    What so another member of the party can steal another election through gerrymandered districts with the help of a complaint court?

    Yes Bush will leave as scheduled but the trend is there and someday someone else might not leave as scheduled because back in the early 2000s citizens tolerated Bush and his undermining of those safeguards built into the Constitution and too many people were willing to go along with that because the were fearful and they hated Democrats and so closed their eyes to it all or like you they didnt heed the early warning signs.

    When George Mitchel retired from the Senate several years back he said ” Republicans will tear down the house in order to rule over the ruins” So true..
    One of the best quotes I ever heard was from Huey Long the old time boss of Louisianna. He was asked if America would ever be fascist and he replied ” Certainly, but they will call it something else”

    The neo con philosophy which essentially says that people need to be fed false information for a “better purpose” is really a repudiation of democracy..

    Charlie (8ea405)

  71. One other thing Dana.. the NY Times sat on the story because the admininstration asked them but in an editorial they say this week it is a dangerous threat to have the President ignore the law.. Your attempts to justify Presidential lawbreaking and Big Brother intrusion as no big deal just show how far down the road to fascism we are heading…

    Charlie (8ea405)

  72. Charlie, you’re simply mistaken. It was not the responsibility of the US to prove that Saddam had WMD. It was, in fact, Saddam’s responsibility to prove that he had destroyed the WMD that he was KNOWN by the whole world to have had in the lead up to the first Gulf War. Yes, thousands of tons of materials were “unaccounted for”. Saddam was consistently unable and unwilling to do so. Given his state sponsorship of terrorism it would have been unconscionable for us to “assume” that these materials and programs did not exist, nor that they would never fall into the wrong hands. Consequences were promised; consequences followed.

    You can attempt to rewrite history with the benefit of hindsight all you’d like, but the facts are that Saddam invaded Kuwait and a coalition that we formed defeated him. He agreed to a conditional cease-fire. The cease-fire agreement was followed by more than a dozen UN resolutions requiring substantive action on his part, including the complete destruction of his WMD programs and capabilities and his demonstration of that destruction. In each instance over roughly a decade he failed to comply.

    We needed no further justification to reinstitute hostilities than the fact that he daily fired on our aircraft in the no-fly zones in direct violation of both the cease-fire and UN resolutions. Period.

    While you’re putting together reading lists for us, why not pick up a copy of Tommy Franks’ excellent book, American Soldier and read about the lead up to the second Iraq war. You might just learn a few things about the decision making process and even pick up a few pointers on how today’s military operates as well.

    The remainder of your diatribe asserts that we are in the process of becoming a virtual police state. Utter rubbish! Your take on the 2000 election – misunderstood and wrong; gerrymandering – misunderstood and wrong; denial of Geneva Conventions – misunderstood and wrong; spying by “Big Brother” – misunderstood and wrong. Your conclusion that we are sliding into fascism in some “neocon” plot – absurd and wrong. But of course you quote the epidome of fair, legal representative government, Huey Long, to illustrate your point – laughable.

    You asked the following rhetorical question:

    Hey Harry so nice of you to be concerned about the Iraqi people. To what may I attribute this new found concern? Perhaps failure to find WMDs or links to Al Quida? Will you be equally as happy to see the Iraqis exercise that new found freedom and join with the Iranians in support of nuclear terrorism? Do you have any guarantees that a free Iraq will be friendly toward us..and if not will you then tell us its time another regime change?

    Since you know absolutely nothing about my “concerns”, how is it that you arrogantly assume that the Iraqi people are a “new found concern” for me? Nice attempt at a straw man put-down. However, if you must know, I believe that it is a noble cause to be concerned with the welfare of the Iraqi people. I was of the opinion that we should have supported the Shiah and the Kurds directly after the first Gulf war and that we were dead wrong to have encouraged them to revolt and then stand idly by while Saddam massacred tens of thousands of them.

    I don’t plan to plow the same ground over and over regarding the reasons we went into Iraq, the president has been very clear on the subject on numerous occasions. I believe he used the term “gathering threat” generally. I do think you have a problem understanding the difference between simply being wrong and lying, but to argue that with you is probably not all that productive given the preponderance of your rhetoric.

    The rest of your “question” is simply hyperbole for the sake of hyperbole. There are no guarantees that you or I will live to see the sun rise tomorrow, let alone how history will play out in the ME, however, I believe the chances are good that Iraqi people will produce results similar to those we’ve seen in the past, e.g., Japan, Germany and Italy. The results to date elsewhere in the region are at least encouraging.

    My general question, however, remains: Now that we’re there, for whatever reason, what should we do next?

    Harry Arthur (b318a5)

  73. The neo con philosophy which essentially says that people need to be fed false information for a “better purpose” is really a repudiation of democracy..

    heh? My version of the “Vast Right Wing Conspiracy Manual” with the chapter on “Neocon Philosophy” must be out of date.

    Do you make this stuff up or is it beamed into your head by radio signals from the mother ship?

    Harry Arthur (b318a5)

  74. I know, the correct spelling is “epitome”

    Harry Arthur (b318a5)

  75. Harry. I totally agree with your first paragraph..( Surprise!!) and even your second.. ( SURPRISE) However I disagree with the methods Bush decided to use to solve that problem. He did not need to go to war. This was a war of choice .He could have continued the inspections which, after a decade of Sadam stalling and US-UN reluctance, were finally working. Bush did a great thing by getting those inspections on track but he should have continued that path and not invaded when inspections produced no wmds..If he was not satisfied he could have had more inspections and gone to the very same places we inspected after we invaded.. We did not need to invade. Bush wanted this war and he got it..

    Regarding the Kurds, again we agree. I too thought it was horrible that we stood by and watched them get massacred. FYI, I was with my sister at Westover AFB in Chicopee Mass welcoming the troops home from the first Gulf War when news of the cease fire came. I thought Bush SR was totally wrong not to topple Sadam at that time.. but he wanted to prevent an alliance between the Sheites of Iran and those in Iraq. Something which is now a real possibility.

    You scoff at my concerns about fascism but I was in the USAF in the Philippine Islands and saw exactly this kind of thing happen many years ago when Marcos took over and ironically it was due to Muslim bombings…

    We cannot allow a President to be above the law. There is an oversight built in in the courts and he cant simply ignore that.. Conservatives ought to be genuinely alarmed at the power this President has assumed and his disregard for Constitutional safeguards even if we are in a war.

    Regarding the elections…the President seems to think democratic governments are always good and pro American. Check out Venezuela and Bolivia and you will see that is not always the case. For him to start this war to bring democracy to Iraq in this fashion is stupid.. and lets not kid each other ..if Clinton had proposed invading Iraq to establish an outpost of democracy you and I would both be critical of it.. its a crazy idea.

    Just admit one thing. The heart of the reasons was the supposed existence of WMDs. We insisted they were there and against the will of the overwhelming majority of the world, heaping scorn and ridicule on them,we invaded and now we are shown to be wrong.
    And regarding the neo con view of things, that is exactly their view. People cannot accept certain unpleasant realities and so must be “led” Code for “lied to” or “manipulated”. Do you think we were given an open and honest view of the situation in Iraq before the war?

    What to do next? Well Bush created this mess and there is a lot of anger not only for what he did but the way he did it..
    I think we could get more help from other nations if he resigned..

    Charlie (8ea405)

  76. Bush told us that he gave Sadam a choice between defiance or compliance and he chose defiance That is a lie. Sadam did play a dangerous game with the inspectors for many years but in the end he agreed to total inspections of any facitilies on our terms.

    Well, sort of, but only in the sense that the WMD everyone he assumed he had weren’t really there – and it’s not even clear Saddam himself knew that. Aside from flatly denying that he had WMD, Saddam provided zero evidence he had disposed of them.

    They reported this to Washington but nevertheless Bush, and not Sadam, demanded the inspectors leave and five days later invaded. Bush lied.

    No, Bush got a fact wrong, based on the intel available at the time. No evidence of a lie.

    Senator Bob Graham on the Senate Intelligence Committee asked the CIA for a full report on what the situation was regarding WMDs in Iraq and he and his committee received a report which included all the sources and the various questions about them. Those serious questions about the sources were not included in information given to the general Senate so the report they got was very misleading. Graham voted against the invasion. Bush misled.

    You mentioned Bob Graham – how did the rest of the committee vote on the resolution? And if any of them really thought the full intel told a significantly different story, then without giving away the details, why didn’t they say so?

    The French and Germans both told us the information we were using was unreliable including a major informer named Curveball who told the CIA he had personally worked on WMDs. The Germans told us the man was a liar,actually drove a taxi in Baghdad. But Bush either didnt know or should have known this information was unreliable. If he didnt deliberately hide this he damn well should have checked these reports out but he didnt.

    That’s a single source, not the only one. Now, the bigger picture: neither the French, nor the Germans, nor anyone else seriously contended that Saddam didn’t have the stockpiles of WMD we all thought he had. If that basic premise had been right, no one would care whether the Bush Administration made a mistake believing this particular source.

    Even after the report of collaboration between Sadam and Al Quida was debunked Cheney continued to repeat a discredited story about a meeting in Prague and connections between the two. A lie and he should have known that.

    That story was never debunked; AFAIK the Czech government stands by it to this day. I also can’t say I remember anyone from the Administration using it; in fact, I rather distinctly remember them dancing around that story. Do you have a link to an account of the Cheney quote?

    Allowing for all of this Bush could have insisted on further inspections to be sure before he invaded.

    True, and with 20-20 hindsight he probably should have. But it’s one thing to say Bush made a tactical error, and quite another to say he lied.

    If we really wanted to help Iraqis we could have given Sadam $100 Billion to get out of town and then $100 Billion to provide a better life for the Iraqis and the other $300 billion spent right here in the good old USA!

    You’re assuming Saddam is rational enough to have taken the offer. I don’t. If he were rational he’d have taken refuge in another country, where he and his still alive sons would be living like kings. For Saddam, that wasn’t good enough: he had to be king.

    To cover his lies and misdeeds Bush and his party have continually questioned the patriotism of those that question him.

    Sources, please? “Don’t question my patriotism” protests don’t count. I want to see the quote where George Bush said anyone who doesn’t agree with him, hates America.

    Our nation is now engaged in this 500 Billion dollar venture with no guarantee of success and the real possibility that a free Iraq will join with Iran.

    No more real than the risk that Saddam’s Iraq would have reconstituted its WMD once the sanctions were lifted (as they ultimately would have been), and gone on to pose just as much of a risk on its own. We now have a very real possibility that Iraq will become a real, functioning democracy. That’s bad because…?

    Xrlq (428dfd)

  77. Charlie wrote:

    One other thing Dana.. the NY Times sat on the story because the admininstration asked them but in an editorial they say this week it is a dangerous threat to have the President ignore the law.. Your attempts to justify Presidential lawbreaking and Big Brother intrusion as no big deal just show how far down the road to fascism we are heading…

    Charlie, here you had a newspaper that wanted Senator Kerry to win, and they sat on this story; they did it because, as much as you want to think it was illegal, it wasn’t. The Congressional leaders were briefed on the program at least twelve times, as even Nancy Pelosi has admitted, and no objections were raised; it would have taken only one of the Democrats to make the program public, but none did.

    And, of course, it seems that President Clinton thought it was legal as well, as he had the NSA doing the same freaking thing!

    Charlie, when I was in college, hearing the words “Fascist” was common enough . . . from sophomores, who had no idea what the word actually meant. I have assumed that you are an adult, an educated one who ought to know the actual meanings of the words you use. I provided the definition of fascism for you once already; apparently you missed it.

    Dana R. Pico (a071ac)

  78. So far, despite the whining of the left, and the fawning help of their willing accomplices in the media, what we are actually seeing is an Iraq that is coming along the path that President Bush has tried to set.

    I have to wonder: if by November of 2006, with a stable, democratic Iraqi government in place a,d a significant number of our troops home, will the Democrats and the left concede that President Bush was right?

    Dana R. Pico (a071ac)

  79. Here are some things you should know about Fascism Dana:

    Analysis of these seven regimes reveals fourteen common threads that link them in recognizable patterns of national behavior and abuse of power. These basic characteristics are more prevalent and intense in some regimes than in others, but they all share at least some level of similarity.

    1. Powerful and continuing expressions of nationalism. From the prominent displays of flags and bunting to the ubiquitous lapel pins, the fervor to show patriotic nationalism, both on the part of the regime itself and of citizens caught up in its frenzy, was always obvious. Catchy slogans, pride in the military, and demands for unity were common themes in expressing this nationalism. It was usually coupled with a suspicion of things foreign that often bordered on xenophobia.

    2. Disdain for the importance of human rights. The regimes themselves viewed human rights as of little value and a hindrance to realizing the objectives of the ruling elite. Through clever use of propaganda, the population was brought to accept these human rights abuses by marginalizing, even demonizing, those being targeted. When abuse was egregious, the tactic was to use secrecy, denial, and disinformation.

    3. Identification of enemies/scapegoats as a unifying cause. The most significant common thread among these regimes was the use of scapegoating as a means to divert the people’s attention from other problems, to shift blame forfailures, and to channel frustration in controlled directions. The methods of choice—relentless propaganda and disinformation—were usually effective. Often the regimes would incite “spontaneous” acts against the target scapegoats, usually communists, socialists, liberals, Jews, ethnic and racial minorities, traditional national enemies, members of other religions, secularists, homosexuals, and“terrorists.” Active opponents of these regimes were inevitably labeled as terrorists and dealt with accordingly.

    4. The supremacy of the military/avid militarism. Ruling elites always identified closely with the military and the industrial infrastructure that supported it. A disproportionate share of national resources was allocated to the military, even when domestic needs were acute. The military was seen as an expression of nationalism, and was used whenever possible to assert national goals, intimidate other nations, and increase the power and prestige of the ruling elite.

    5. Rampant sexism. Beyond the simple fact that the political elite and the national culture were male-dominated, these regimes inevitably viewed women as second-class citizens. They were adamantly anti-abortion and also homophobic. These attitudes were usually codified in Draconian laws that enjoyed strong support by the orthodox religion of the country, thus lending the regime cover for its abuses.

    6. A controlled mass media. Under some of the regimes, the mass media were under strict direct control and could be relied upon never to stray from the party line. Other regimes exercised more subtle power to ensure media orthodoxy. Methods included the control of licensing and access to resources, economic pressure, appeals to patriotism, and implied threats. The leaders of the mass media were often politically compatible with the power elite. The result was usually success in keeping the general public unaware of the regimes’ excesses.

    7. Obsession with national security. Inevitably, a national security apparatus was under direct control of the ruling elite. It was usually an instrument of oppression, operating in secret and beyond any constraints. Its actions were justified under the rubric of protecting “national security,” and questioning its activities was portrayed as unpatriotic or even treasonous.

    8. Religion and ruling elite tied together. Unlike communist regimes, the fascist and protofascist regimes were never proclaimed as godless by their opponents. In fact, most of the regimes attached themselves to the predominant religion of the country and chose to portray themselves as militant defenders of that religion. The fact that the ruling elite’s behavior was incompatible with the precepts of the religion was generally swept under the rug. Propaganda kept up the illusion that the ruling elites were defenders of the faith and opponents of the “godless.” A perception was manufactured that opposing the power elite was tantamount to an attack on religion.

    9. Power of corporations protected. Although the personal life of ordinary citizens was under strict control, the ability of large corporations to operate in relative freedom was not compromised. The ruling elite saw the corporate structure as a way to not only ensure military production (in developed states), but also as an additional means of social control. Members of the economic elite were often pampered by the political elite to ensure a continued mutuality of interests, especially in the repression of “have-not” citizens.

    10. Power of labor suppressed or eliminated. Since organized labor was seen as the one power center that could challenge the political hegemony of the ruling elite and its corporate allies, it was inevitably crushed or made powerless. The poor formed an underclass, viewed with suspicion or outright contempt. Under some regimes, being poor was considered akin to a vice.

    11. Disdain and suppression of intellectuals and the arts. Intellectuals and the inherent freedom of ideas and expression associated with them were anathema to these regimes. Intellectual and academic freedom were considered subversive to national security and the patriotic ideal. Universities were tightly controlled; politically unreliable faculty harassed or eliminated. Unorthodox ideas or expressions of dissent were strongly attacked, silenced, or crushed. To these regimes, art and literature should serve the national interest or they had no right to exist.

    12. Obsession with crime and punishment. Most of these regimes maintained Draconian systems of criminal justice with huge prison populations. The police were often glorified and had almost unchecked power, leading to rampant abuse. “Normal” and political crime were often merged into trumped-up criminal charges and sometimes used against political opponents of the regime. Fear, and hatred, of criminals or “traitors” was often promoted among the population as an excuse for more police power.

    13. Rampant cronyism and corruption. Those in business circles and close to the power elite often used their position to enrich themselves. This corruption worked both ways; the power elite would receive financial gifts and property from the economic elite, who in turn would gain the benefit of government favoritism. Members of the power elite were in a position to obtain vast wealth from other sources as well: for example, by stealing national resources. With the national security apparatus under control and the media muzzled, this corruption was largely unconstrained and not well understood by the general population.

    14. Fraudulent elections. Elections in the form of plebiscites or public opinion polls were usually bogus. When actual elections with candidates were held, they would usually be perverted by the power elite to get the desired result. Common methods included maintaining control of the election machinery, intimidating an disenfranchising opposition voters, destroying or disallowing legal votes, and, as a last resort, turning to a judiciary beholden to the power elite.

    Does any of this ring alarm bells? Of course not. After all, this is America, officially a democracy with the rule of law, a constitution, a free press, honest elections, and a well-informed public constantly being put on guard against evils. Historical comparisons like these are just exercises in verbal gymnastics. Maybe, maybe not.

    [from http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article4113.htm%5D

    Tillman (1cf529)

  80. XRQL I would like to respond to your very thoughtful post

    I am reading your remarks and I am not sure you understand my point about the lying.

    Regarding the inspections… Both Mohammed El Baradi of the International Atomic Energy Commission and Hans Blix of the UN have both stated that they had full access to all areas the US desired to inspect. They said they inspected over 500 of them and did not find any evidence of WMDs and they reported this to Washington.

    Bush clearly lied when he told the nation on several occasions about Hussein, “we gave him a chance to allow the inspectors in, and he wouldn’t let them in. And, therefore, after a reasonable request, we decided to remove him from power.”

    Later he said We went to the United Nations, of course, and got an overwhelming resolution – 1441 – unanimous resolution, that said to Saddam, you must disclose and destroy your weapons programs, which obviously meant the world felt he had such programs. He chose defiance. It was his choice to make, and he did not let us in.”

    That is a blatant lie contradicted by the heads of the inspection teams from both the UN and the International Atomic Energy Commission.. It was Bush that ordered them out.

    So its not true to say “Sadam chose defiance” The inspectors were forced out by Bush in March 2003 to let the invasion proceed.

    That is the lie I am talking about ..not the mistaken intelligence regarding WMDs as you seem to think.

    Re: Graham and the others on the committee I honestly don’t know what the others did or did not do. But we do know that there was widespread skepticism about the validity of many of the claims made by Bush and crew about WMDs by our own intelligence agencies and none of this was made clear by Bush. I cant say what the Senators did or did not see. I can only ask myself if it was made clear to me that there were serious questions about the intelligence. I didn’t hear of any dissenting views or serious questions about the quality of the intelligence, did you? And it turns out there were. I can dig up plenty of examples if you like.. but you see from my previous paragraph Bush has no hesitancy to lie..

    You say “neither the French nor the Germans nor anyone else seriously contended that Sadam didn’t have stockpiles” That is true but what they did say is that the weapons are “unaccounted for”. That is a key point. Please try to understand that. You don’t start a war because someone cant prove he doesn’t have something he is not supposed to have….that’s impossible. (Prove to me you don’t have the missing diamond or I will shoot you!!) These nations said the WMDs were “unaccounted for” and they all called for continued inspections. Bush killed the inspections and invaded. That is a fact we now have to live with.

    On Cheney check this,,,

    http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=03/09/16/168251

    and this.. and you decide if he was shading the truth..

    http://pages.zdnet.com/trimb/id169.html

    I don’t want to write ten pages of things here but I would like to post this article, showing once again that Bush was misleading us..( putting it politely) There are plenty more instances of this which are hardly ever really made known by the mainstream press.

    By Bob Drogin and John Goetz
    Special to The Times

    November 20, 2005

    BERLIN — The German intelligence officials responsible for one of the most important informants on Saddam Hussein’s suspected weapons of mass destruction say that the Bush administration and the CIA repeatedly exaggerated his claims during the run-up to the war in Iraq.

    Five senior officials from Germany’s Federal Intelligence Service, or BND, said in interviews with The Times that they warned U.S. intelligence authorities that the source, an Iraqi defector code-named Curveball, never claimed to produce germ weapons and never saw anyone else do so.

    According to the Germans, President Bush mischaracterized Curveball’s information when he warned before the war that Iraq had at least seven mobile factories brewing biological poisons. Then-Secretary of State Colin L. Powell also misstated Curveball’s accounts in his prewar presentation to the United Nations on Feb. 5, 2003, the Germans said.

    “His information to us was very vague,” said the senior German intelligence official. “He could not say if these things functioned, if they worked.”

    Curveball also said he could not identify what microbes the trucks were designed to produce.

    “He didn’t know … whether it was anthrax or not,” said the BND supervisor. “He had nothing to do with actual production of [a biological] agent. He was in the equipment testing phase. And the equipment worked.”

    But the CIA and the White House overlooked the holes in the story.

    In a February 2003 radio address and statement, Bush warned that “first-hand witnesses have informed us that Iraq has at least seven mobile factories” for germ warfare. With these, Bush said, “Iraq could produce within just months hundreds of pounds of biological poisons.”

    Charlie (8ea405)

  81. XRQL I could not post the entire long article but tried to give a highlight of it.. I think this part is worth adding..

    Bush cited the mobile germ factories in at least four prewar speeches and statements, and other world leaders repeated the charge.

    Powell also highlighted Curveball’s “eyewitness” account when he warned the United Nations Security Council on the eve of war that Iraq’s mobile labs could brew enough weapons-grade microbes “in a single month to kill thousands upon thousands of people.”

    The senior BND officer who supervised Curveball’s case said he was aghast when he watched Powell misstate Curveball’s claims as a justification for war.

    “We were shocked,” the official said. “Mein Gott! We had always told them it was not proven…. It was not hard intelligence.”

    AMEN

    Charlie (8ea405)

  82. You say “neither the French nor the Germans nor anyone else seriously contended that Sadam didn’t have stockpiles” That is true but what they did say is that the weapons are “unaccounted for”. That is a key point. Please try to understand that. You don’t start a war because someone cant prove he doesn’t have something he is not supposed to have….that’s impossible. (Prove to me you don’t have the missing diamond or I will shoot you!!) These nations said the WMDs were “unaccounted for” and they all called for continued inspections. Bush killed the inspections and invaded. That is a fact we now have to live with.

    Call that a policy error if you want, but it’s not evidence of lying. Nor is your analogy of me and the missing diamond a fair one. I never had the diamond in the first place! Saddam cannot say the same.

    Xrlq (428dfd)

  83. Well how about Bush contention that Sadam did not allow the inspectors in? Isnt that an outright lie?
    Just answer me that..
    And my point about the diamond is you cant prove you dont have something you dont have… you cant prove this kind of negative. Dont you see that?

    Charlie (8ea405)

  84. Xrlq and others..one more question from me and that is it. What is it about this man that makes you so loyal? No matter what evidence of his duplicity or incompetence is brought forth its like he has some magic spell that blinds millions to what he is reallly all about.
    I have had many discussions with friends who are Bushies and they will make excuse after excuse for him and if you really pin them down they will simply clam up and not reply. I dont get it. Needless war, huge deficits, torture, domestic spying without a warrent, gerrymandering of districts for their own political gain, rendition, broken ties to allies, endless wars, no wmds, people held without charges or access to lawyers ( even US citizens) the 9/11 report giving Bush failing marks for improvements in security, Katrina disaster, environmental destruction, exported jobs, outing of Vallorie Plame..and more. Nothing seems to matter to about 35 percent of the population. We had a President impeached for lying about sex with an intern but this guy is untouchable. I honestly just dont get it… I wonder if its because some folks hate Democrats so much, for whatever reason, they will stick with Bush no matter what. Is that it?
    Honestly Bush supporters are like the blacks that just refused to see the truth about OJ Simpson. I dont get it and would appreciate it if you could give me your thoughts as to why this is.

    Thanks

    Charlie (8ea405)

  85. Re: Graham and the others on the committee I honestly don’t know what the others did or did not do. But we do know that there was widespread skepticism about the validity of many of the claims made by Bush and crew about WMDs by our own intelligence agencies and none of this was made clear by Bush.

    That is true; however, the reason for this appears to be that it was never made clear to Bush, either. Remember Woodward’s book a couple years back, where Bush prodded George Tenet on the WMD issue, only to be assured it was a “slam dunk?” Now Colin Powell is telling the same story to the BBC. Do you have reason to believe these reports are wrong?

    Well how about Bush contention that Sadam did not allow the inspectors in? Isnt that an outright lie?

    No, it’s not. There were repeated cat and mouse games between the UN inspectors and the Iraqis. There were other occasions where the Iraqis seemed a bit more cooperative, though even then they fall far short of documenting compliance with the resolutions in question. Nor would they, since they themselves probably thought Saddam had his WMD (as did nearly every Iraqi general we captured, each of whom knew his own brigade had no WMD, but thought most others did).

    And my point about the diamond is you cant prove you dont have something you dont have… you cant prove this kind of negative. Dont you see that?

    Of course I see that. But it’s one thing to say “you can’t prove a negative” in a vacuum, and another to raise it in the case of someone for whom they affirmative has already been proven. If I had been caught with the diamond before, and never known to have gotten rid of it, you’d be fully justified in asking ME to prove I didn’t have it anymore, as opposed to me claiming you have to prove that I did.

    Xrlq (428dfd)

  86. Fascism?

    A very long response to Mr Tillman, moved to my website because it was so long that I thought it inappropriate to post on Patterico.

    Common Sense Political Thought (819604)

  87. Mr. Tillman’s fourteen points in which he told us how to spot fascism deserved a response, and I have written one. It’s way too long for me to just post on Patterico’s site, but is on my own under Fascism?

    Dana R. Pico (3e4784)

  88. I know, I know,

    “I honestly just dont get it… I wonder if its because some folks hate Democrats so much, for whatever reason, they will stick with Bush no matter what. Is that it?”

    No, Charlie, “that isn’t it, that isn’t it at all.” And, I’m glad you don’t get it.

    I know, or I think I know, why GWB finds so much support among the American people, why Dems hate him, and why MSM bashes Bush at every opportunity. I know why the kool-aid crowd hates him, and I also know why moonbats love Slick Willy. I could give you the answers you seek, but I’m not going to do it.

    However, I will tell you a few things you perhaps don’t know. Even if someone you found credible was kind enough to give you a precise explication of all that you say you seek, it would fall on deaf ears. The truth is right in front of your nose, and you can’t see it.

    You might want to ask yourself why that is. Smart guy like you, and you just can’t grasp something so simple and obvious even a child could see it.

    Black Jack (ee9fe2)

  89. The Jackster wrote:

    I know, or I think I know, why GWB finds so much support among the American people, why Dems hate him, and why MSM bashes Bush at every opportunity. I know why the kool-aid crowd hates him, and I also know why moonbats love Slick Willy. I could give you the answers you (Charlie) seek, but I’m not going to do it.

    Oh, go ahead, Jack, and tell him. Maybe, just maybe, it’ll sink in.

    Dana R. Pico (3e4784)

  90. Dana, fine well reasoned response on your site. The “country is sliding down the slope to facism” accusation is starting to sound quite hysterical to me. I guess that’s where things lead when one’s method of argument is to state as facts a number of unsubstantiated allegations.

    It’s one thing to disagree with Bush’s decision to take us to war. That’s fair. It’s quite another to fling the litany of unmitigated horse hocky against the barn door day after day, hoping some will stick, for no other reason than one’s disagreement with Bush’s decision, and arguably one’s dislike of him.

    I can’t help but wonder what the response from the left would have been had we been attacked again since 9/11. If “9/11 happened on Bush’s watch” after 8 months in office, as we’ve been reminded repeatedly, can you imagine the “faux outrage” we’d hear if we were attacked again and had failed to monitor those international phone calls? Amazing game we play here, isn’t it? So are we or are we not supposed to connect the dots?

    Well, I suppose that is the nature of political “discourse” these days. At least Bush has now decided that being “nice” has done little to explain his decisions to the American people and has decided at last to answer his critics.

    Harry Arthur (40c0a6)

  91. Thanks, Mr. Arthur.

    I heard way too many sophomores yelling about fascism when I was in college, lo, those many years ago. I had hoped that as people got older, they’d learn to understand what words mean before they use them.

    Dana R. Pico (3e4784)

  92. Dana, unfortunately the sophomores are now professors and both they and the replacement crop of sophomores are still yelling fascism. I started college in 1967 (won’t say when I actually got my degree 🙂 ), and the only thing different about this chorus is that the singers have changed.

    Odd that most were not similarly critical of the various communist states, against which we “fascists” were aligned, but common sense, logical argument and consistency have not generally been the left’s forte, at least in my experience.

    Black Jack, I think I know the answer.

    Harry Arthur (40c0a6)

  93. Oh Black Jack and Harry and Rico you are all so clever!!! You unmasked me as a commie… what more can I say!! PS Let me know if you find the WMDs you insisted were there as you send OTHER folks to fight your noble war.. OK?

    Charlie (8ea405)

  94. XRLQ… you make good points. It is true G Tenent did tell Bush this thing was a slam dunk.. I believe Bush should have checked the facts more carefully. After all if Tenent gave Graham a report with all the pros and cons why would he not give the same to Bush and why would Bush not read them and dig deeper? Regardless it is Bush respsonsibility to get things right and he cannot simply pass the buck. If you remember there was a big campaign by the likes of Black Jack and Rico and Harry to whip up war fever to get us involved in the fight they personally never intended to fight.
    Ok well here is is something that is really important.. You and I have a basic disagreement on a basic fact. I say Bush pulled the inspectors our of Iraq and was lying when he said Sadam forced them out as in my quotes from Bush. If I can show you that is true will you admit Bush lied?

    Charlie (8ea405)

  95. Charlie wrote:

    Oh Black Jack and Harry and Rico you are all so clever!!! You unmasked me as a commie… what more can I say!! PS Let me know if you find the WMDs you insisted were there as you send OTHER folks to fight your noble war.. OK?

    No, Charlie, you weren’t unmasked as a commie. What you have been unmasked as is someone who has let his visceral hatred for the President and his policy blind you to the truth.

    That is the most serious problem for the American left today: it doesn’t matter how educated and intelligent they may be, they are thinking with their emotions rather than their brains.

    Charlie also wrote:

    It is true G Tenent did tell Bush this thing was a slam dunk.. I believe Bush should have checked the facts more carefully.

    Mr Tenet was the Director of Central Intelligence; the President gets his intelligence information from the DCI, and he really doesn’t have any way to check his work. After all, the President doesn’t have a separate clandestine intelligence service available.

    He can, of course, ask foreign leaders for their own intelligence services’ estimates on a given point. Trouble is, they all came to the same conclusions as did our own.

    I say Bush pulled the inspectors our of Iraq and was lying when he said Sadam forced them out as in my quotes from Bush. If I can show you that is true will you admit Bush lied?

    President Bush never said, in 2003, that Saddam Hussein forced the inspectors out. (He may have noted that Mr Hussein did that in 1998.) He did say, as did Hans Blix as late as January of 2003, that Iraq was still trying to frustrate open inspections. (Mr Blix changed his tune in his February 2003 report to the UN, but that was because he was trying to prevent the invasino, not because it was true.)

    Dana (a071ac)

  96. Not sure where it was that I “unmasked” Charlie as a commie …

    Charlie, I don’t think you’re a commie, I just think you’re wrong – tending a bit toward the hysterical maybe, but wrong nonetheless.

    When I use words I tend to think about their meaning and give some reasonably serious thought to my comments before I click on the “Submit Comment” tab. I’m aghast that I may have offended your tender sensibilities.

    Somehow I knew that we would eventually wind up at the completely logical and reasonable Chickenhawk “argument.” And so here we are as I anticipated.

    PS Let me know if you find the WMDs you insisted were there as you send OTHER folks to fight your noble war.. OK?

    Charlie, to quote the great Ronaldus Maximus: “There you go again.” Actually, I didn’t insist that there were WMDs in Iraq, the intelligence agencies of basically the whole world did. I would submit that the facts show that even Saddam thought he had them and was perhaps misled by his own officers. After all, it wasn’t too healthy to provide information to Saddam that he didn’t want to hear. But why bother with mere facts that several of us have taken the pains to note repeatedly on this and many other threads.

    As for “send[ing] OTHER folks to fight [my] noble war …” well, I’m very sorry I couldn’t go myself but I was already retired after 25 years of service as an Army aviator and it seems that I was too old, too mean, and a few pounds too heavy to make the cut for the first team again. Not that I wouldn’t have liked to go. We did some magnificent cutting-edge work in Afghanistan with Army aviation, and still are. Same goes for Iraq.

    Unfortunately, I’m also probably a bit too rusty, having been retired for the last ten years, but was at one point qualified as an instructor pilot and instrument flight examiner in several helcopters (Chinook, Blackhawk) and airplanes. Also have a few hours NVG experience so might have been able to lend a hand. Would probably have had a problem keeping up with the magnificent soldiers in today’s Army so it’s probably good that I stay a civilian and just offer my morale support. I did fly a DC-10 cargo airplane with military supplies into Kuwait on occasion during “major combat operations” – might that count?

    As for Bush checking the facts provided by his advisors, what can I say? It’s pretty clear you’ve not had much (any?) experience as an executive or you wouldn’t make such a profoundly ridiculous statement. “OK?”

    Harry Arthur (b318a5)

  97. [Regarding Bush’s reliance on George Tenet’s “slam dunk”] Regardless it is Bush respsonsibility to get things right and he cannot simply pass the buck.

    True, but if the buck stops with Bush for keeping Tenet on during his administration, doesn’t it also stop with Clinton for appointing him in the first place? This goes back to my earlier point that the worst thing about Republicans is that they don’t always do a good enough job differentiating themselves from Democrats. That’s not a ringing endorsement of Bush; it’s just an observation that as a practical matter, we’d better support him because have nowhere else to go.

    [BTW, Tenet’s “slam dunk” bravado may also explain why Clinton made similar comments about Iraq’s WMD as late as 2000. Some might argue that Bush & Clinton both lied, but a more likely explanation is that both relied on the same flawed intel from the same troubled agency, run by the same guy.]

    Xrlq (428dfd)

  98. OK Everyone…there is a lot to discuss here but I want to narrow this down to just one area so we arent all running all over the boards with a million comments.
    Here is a way to settle this. XRLQ and Dana…here is my challenge to you both..A lot of what we are talking about comes down to opinion and judgement. However, If I can prove to you that Bush claimed the reason he had to invade Iraq was because Sadam would not let the inspectors return ( not talking about the first war or previous years bust right before the current war) ..and if I can further show you that is false..will you agree he is a liar?

    Charlie (8ea405)

  99. Harry my father would have loved to remain in the service. He was in the old Army Air Corp but unfortunatly was forced to retire thanks to a bit of anti aircraft fire over Germany. 90 % disabled.
    I was USAF should have stayed in! Had some great times. Didnt know what I had..Appreciate your service.

    Regarding your comments…I dont think its ridicilous to expect the Chief Executive to get it right. Other nations did. People say other nations came to the same conclusion. If that is the case why did Colon Powell go to the UN with his speech and we all remember how the right wing press beat up France and Germany and Russia for disputing the evidence now shown to be false. Other nations said “Dont invade Give inspections a chance” Bush was adament and invaded. Unlike his father he did not form a careful consensus. Those who disagreed were smeared and attacked..and guess what? They were shown to be right…the evidence was shown to be slanted ..we were misled…now this war is Bush making..and we have to suffer because of his wreckless competence and rush to war.. That is the root of the anger felt toward him.

    Bottom Come on Harry, Bush wanted this war.. and you and I know it..He had no intention of settling this otherwise and all talk about a peaceful settlement was Bush Bull.. This war was something planned long ago and regardless of what Sadam said or did.
    And Bush has lied afterwards. See my above post and tell me if you care to take the challenge. If I can show he lied, will you admit he is a liar?

    Charlie (8ea405)

  100. Charlie wrote:

    Here is a way to settle this. XRLQ and Dana…here is my challenge to you both..A lot of what we are talking about comes down to opinion and judgement. However, If I can prove to you that Bush claimed the reason he had to invade Iraq was because Sadam would not let the inspectors return ( not talking about the first war or previous years bust right before the current war) ..and if I can further show you that is false..will you agree he is a liar?

    Charlie, the inspectors were already in Iraq immediately prior to the invasion, and had been there for at least four months; any tape or statement you have of the President saying that would have to refer to something else.

    Heck, the United States was the one that told the inspectors to watch out, the invasion was coming, and that they needed to get out of the way for their own safety.

    I think you’ve gotten hung up on a minor point that cannot possibly mean what you think it means: that the inspectors were in Iraq for several months immediately prior to the invasion is known by all.

    Perhaps you have something in which the President referred to Iraq’s unwillingness to allow the UNMOVIC inspectors completely free access. Hans Blix was saying that himself, as late as his January, 2003 report to the UN. He changed his tune in his February report, but by that time his main goal was to prevent the invasion, and I don’t think his February report can be trusted.

    Dana R. Pico (3e4784)

  101. Charlie wrote:

    Bottom Come on Harry, Bush wanted this war.. and you and I know it..He had no intention of settling this otherwise and all talk about a peaceful settlement was Bush Bull.. This war was something planned long ago and regardless of what Sadam said or did.

    Well, now, I think this much is true: President Bush had decided that Saddam Hussein had to go. And it was the right decision.

    I wish that his father had finished the job in 1991; that would have saved literally hundreds of thousands of lives.

    Dana (3e4784)

  102. Dana you say..
    Charlie, the inspectors were already in Iraq immediately prior to the invasion, and had been there for at least four months; any tape or statement you have of the President saying that would have to refer to something else.

    If I can show you Bush lied about this will you admit he is a liar?
    I am still waiting for XRLQ and Harry to respond to my challenge

    Charlie (8ea405)

  103. Dana Bush was quoted in the new media as saying..

    The larger point is, and the fundamental question is, did Saddam Hussein have a weapons program? And the answer is, absolutely. And we gave him a chance to allow the inspectors in, and he wouldn’t let them in. And, therefore, after a reasonable request, we decided to remove him from power,

    Is this a fair quote and if so doesnt it undermine both you and XRLQ? Rico you say the inspectors were in Iraq at the time but if the President really said this then isnt he lying when he says “they wouldnt let them in”

    What do you say to this report? and I am waiting for XRQL to reply as well.. How about Black Jack or Harry?? Do they care to respond?

    Thanks

    Charlie (8ea405)

  104. Sorry, Charlie:

    No sale. It takes a little more intellectual integrity than you’ve shown to get back in the rotation. But, thanks for playing.

    PS: Prove you served in the AF and get a free pass to try again. Know what OMGIF means?

    Black Jack (ee9fe2)

  105. “Is this a fair quote”

    Got a link, I’d like to read it in context.

    Tob

    Toby928 (f6a7ec)

  106. Charlie, for the record if you can prove Bush lied, then of course I’ll concede that Bush lied. But first you have to show that his statement was clearly, unambiguously false, and not simply a matter of disagreement. And second, you’d have to show that Bush knew the statement to be false at the time he made it. That’s a taller order than you might think.

    Xrlq (428dfd)

  107. Ah, the power of google returns this:
    http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2003/07/20030714-3.html

    The quote is from the answer to the last question of a photo op with Kofi Annan.

    Tob

    Toby928 (f6a7ec)

  108. Okay, after reading (and listening) to the quote in context, I’d say No, not a lie. Not the most elegantly phrased statement but since it was off the cuff at the end of a Photo-op right before ‘Thank you’ I’d excuse a lack of precise phrasing. Inspectors were not the point of the quote and seems like boilerplate. The Photo-op is after the war, fairly long after, so no purpose would have been served by a deliberate false statement. Nope, I’m not buying it. Got anything else?

    Tob

    Toby928 (f6a7ec)

  109. Charlie wrote:

    Dana you say..
    Charlie, the inspectors were already in Iraq immediately prior to the invasion, and had been there for at least four months; any tape or statement you have of the President saying that would have to refer to something else.

    If I can show you Bush lied about this will you admit he is a liar? I am still waiting for XRLQ and Harry to respond to my challenge.

    And then quotes what he claims to be President Bush’s lie:

    The larger point is, and the fundamental question is, did Saddam Hussein have a weapons program? And the answer is, absolutely. And we gave him a chance to allow the inspectors in, and he wouldn’t let them in. And, therefore, after a reasonable request, we decided to remove him from power,

    Is this a fair quote and if so doesnt it undermine both you and XRLQ? Rico you say the inspectors were in Iraq at the time but if the President really said this then isnt he lying when he says “they wouldnt let them in”

    🙂 Charlie, if this is what you believe to be a lie, you’ve got a problem. As noted earlier, the inspectors were already in Iraq, and everybody knew they were in Iraq; a lie on that not only would have been foolish, it would have served no purpose. President Bush was referring not to whether the inspectors were physically in Iraq, but whether Iraq was allowing them unfettered access, and in that case, he was telling the truth.

    Even Hans Blix said, in his January 2003 report to the Security Council, that the UNMOVIC inspectors were being frustrated by Iraqi government stalling and delaying tactics. In his February 2003 report, Mr Blix changed his tune, but by that time, his real goal was to prevent the invasion, and nothing more.

    Had you put the statement in a reasonable context, you’d never have issued your “challenge.” It was only by taking it out of context that you saw it to be a false statement.

    Dana (3e4784)

  110. Xrlq is correct when he suggests the following:

    Charlie, for the record if you can prove Bush lied, then of course I’ll concede that Bush lied. But first you have to show that his statement was clearly, unambiguously false, and not simply a matter of disagreement. And second, you’d have to show that Bush knew the statement to be false at the time he made it.

    It is simply not a “lie” to be wrong, and being wrong on occasion doesn’t necessarily make one a “liar.” I have suggested on a number of occasions in interactions with Charlie and others that I believe them to be wrong. To my knowledge I have labeled no one a “liar” simply because they have made a statement that is factually incorrect or that I have asserted is so.

    I think we’re having difficulty discerning the difference between a character flaw – “he’s a liar” – and being mistaken – gee, he’s not omniscient after all.

    Now one might very well question whether the president should ever be “mistaken” on some important truth especially when taking the country to war. That’s a reasonable question about which debate is justified. It is simply not reasonable, however, to argue that because the president may have said some things that have subsequently been determined to be false or at least partially so, or at least as far as we know today, that he is a “liar.” That is simply illogical hysterical nonsense.

    So, please do provide the quotation and citation so we can discuss the quotation in context and then we’ll argue whether it makes sense that the factually incorrect statement or statements was/were intentionally deceptive. Only then can we legitimately apply the “liar” label. Otherwise we’re just continuing to play the “horse hocky game” which seems so in vogue these days.

    Harry Arthur (40c0a6)

  111. If the president is a “liar” in the pathological sense, several citations demonstrating his consistent lack of veracity should be easy to locate and provide.

    Harry Arthur (40c0a6)

  112. Black Jack you’re just avoiding the obvious.. You know you cant answer me because you know he lied. Dont try to BS me..

    Harry and Dana and XRQL you have integrity and are willing to be honest.. here is the proof..Bush lied..

    On Jan. 27, 2004, Bush said, “We went to the United Nations, of course, and got an overwhelming resolution — 1441 — unanimous resolution, that said to Saddam, you must disclose and destroy your weapons programs, which obviously meant the world felt he had such programs. He chose defiance. It was his choice to make, and he did not let us in.”

    Bush also said

    July 14, 2003, less than four months after the U.S.-led invasion, when he said about Hussein, “we gave him a chance to allow the inspectors in, and he wouldn’t let them in. And, therefore, after a reasonable request, we decided to remove him from power.”

    [See the White House Web site.]

    Check the last few lines.. Claiming Sadam did not let the inspectors in.

    But that is a lie since the inspectors were already in Iraq when Bush issued his ultimatum. Heres the proof of that

    UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan announced on 17 March the withdrawal of UN inspectors from Iraq following a U.S. warning that inspectors should leave ahead of a possible U.S.-led strike on Iraq.

    http://www.un.org/Depts/unmovic/chronology/Chron.html

    The inspectors were withdrawn March q17 and the war began March 20. BUSH WAS LYING WHEN HE SAID “we gave him a chance to allow the inspectors in, and he wouldn’t let them in.”

    Please don’t try to spin this into meaning anything other than what is so obviously proves..

    Harry notice my apology to you soon to be posted on the other thread of this site..

    Charlie (8ea405)

  113. BlaCK Jack I dont have any idea what OMGIF means. Do you know what USAF means? ( I dont mean US Air Force) There is a second meaning which I think may apply to you…

    Charlie (8ea405)

  114. Sorry, Charlie, but you haven’t proved Bush lied, or even that he got a key fact wrong. At most, you’ve shown that he is guilty of making a statement that could have been worded a bit more tightly, if only to prevent people like you from accidentally-on-purpose misreading it to mean something wacky. Everyone knows there were inspectors in Iraq shortly before the war; that has never been a matter of debate. The issue was not whether or not Saddam would let them into the country – of course he did – but whether he would let them in to the specific facilities they showed up to inspect on demand. Sometimes he did, but more often as not, he didn’t. But if you really think Bush was trying to say that UN inspectors were never in the country at all, you shouldn’t be bashing him as a liar, but as a moron too stupid to tie his shoes, let alone know what lying is.

    Xrlq (ffb240)

  115. United States Aikido Federation?

    Harry Arthur (40c0a6)

  116. Xrlq, Charlie gave references to his side of the argument, can you do likewise?

    That quote by Bush is immensely misleading if not an outright, boldface lie too. His intention was to deceive – I call that a lie. What do you call it?

    Tillman (1cf529)

  117. You guys suck at proving lies. Here is a real Bush lie.

    Patterico (806687)

  118. “Xrlq, Charlie gave references to his side of the argument, can you do likewise?”

    Eh? Do you want cites to all his true statements?

    Tob

    Toby928 (f6a7ec)

  119. My recollection is that the inspectors were “in” the country but were not allowed unfettered, unannounced access by helicopter “in” all facilities, including palaces, without notice. I recall that was a major point of contention between the inspection teams and Saddam. I also recall that Saddam would not agree to U-2 no-notice overflights without threat of firing on them. The no-notice aspect of inspections was definitely a major sticking point, without which, of course any inspections that did occur were rendered fairly meaningless.

    My initial inclination, based on nothing more than common sense, tells me to agree with Xrlq’s analysis. Certainly everyone in the US government and the UN for that matter knew full well that the inspectors were “in” Iraq so it’s a bit hard to believe that the president was attempting to make the point that they weren’t “in” the country at all. I’m also not at all comfortable with insisting that we have the ability to discern Bush’s intentions. That’s probably a bridge too far. On the other hand, I’ll reserve my judgement on the context of the president’s remarks until I review Herr Blix’s contemporary analysis of the situation in more detail.

    I guess in some respects it all depends on the meaning of the word “in.”

    Harry Arthur (b318a5)

  120. Somehow, “It depends on what the meaning of the word ‘in’ is,” rings a bell.

    Tillman (1cf529)

  121. Yep. As you might guess, I chose my words carefully.

    Harry Arthur (b318a5)

  122. Guys!! come on for God sake quit denying the obvious!

    .. Bush said on several ocassions, not just one or two that he invaded because Sadam “would not allow the inspectors into the country”.. and that is a lie!! Come on man! Open your eyes and stop your denial!! Please! There is no way you can reasonably interpret that statement in any other way than exactly what it says. If he meant to say ” Would not let us inspect” Why did he not say that? What is it with you folks?? Why in hell do you refuse to see its a lie?? What does it take to get you to admit the obvious? He lied! Jesus why are you do blind? Why do you insist on making excuses for this man???????????

    Charlie (8ea405)

  123. “Man hears what he wants to and disregards the rest” Paul Simon The Boxer..
    If G Bush said the sun was blue and rose in the west you would find some reason to insist he was telling the truth..

    Charlie (8ea405)

  124. “Bush said on several ocassions, not just one or two that he invaded because Sadam “would not allow the inspectors into the country””

    Well, you give only one cite (actually you gave no cites, I had to find the quote on my own, bad netiquette on your part) do you have another?

    Bush sems to have that ‘Factoid’ power that so annoyed liberals when Reagan was president. The ability to misspeak or to say something that is not literally true but everyone understands what he meant. ie the welfare cadillac queen with 7 kids in brooklyn, only it turns out to be the Bronx and only 5 kids. The liberals never could understand why the voting public didn’t get upset that Reagan was ‘A Liar’. Same here.

    In the quote you cite, the answer was off the cuff at the end of a Photo-op, not a statement of policy or argument. Saddam and inspectors was not the point of the Q&A. No one was influenced by his statement, in all likelihood I would doubt anyone really listened. Did you? Was this snippet even on the news? Did you notice at the time? I sincerely doubt it. As I recall, we were already building up in Kuwait at the time the inspectors went back in. Might he have been referring to this? You might argue, if you want to give any weight to this at all, that the snippet reveals that Bush had decided to remove Saddam for power no matter what, and that all diplomatic rangling was just cover. I could be convinced of that (even though it would not bother me).

    If, as you note, the facts on the ground were visible to everyone, ie the inspectors were physically present in Iraq prior to the actual fighting, then its odd to think that Bush was trying to pull a fast one by way of boiler-plate (a default mode that Bush will switch to when he feels the need to speak but really doesn’t have anything to say) in a minor photo-op that probabley would not be seen by the American people anyway.

    This is worse than when you guys tried to say that Cheney lied because he said that Saddam had reconstituted his nuclear weapons rather than his nuclear weapons programs even though Cheney had used the terms nuclear weapons program three times previously in the same interview.

    Nope, still not a lie to me.

    Tob

    Toby928 (f6a7ec)

  125. Patterico you made my day with post 117!!! Guess you have decided to join the ranks of us anti-american,Bush bashing, pro-commie, soft on terrorism, surrender monkeys that kick dogs and hate our mothers while burning the flag!! 🙂 🙂

    Charlie (8ea405)

  126. Mr Tillman wrote:

    That quote by Bush is immensely misleading if not an outright, boldface lie too. His intention was to deceive – I call that a lie. What do you call it?

    His intention was to deceive; just what deception was he trying to make?

    As nearly as I can figure out, there were only two possible meanings:

    1- That Iraq had not allowed the inspectors in the country; or
    2- That the inspectors were in country, but Iraq was not allowing them unfettered access to sites they needed to inspect.

    Given that the inspectors were in country, it was widely known, the subject of periodic Security Council reports, this was all over the news media, and there was absolutely no doubt about that, just whom do you believe President Bush was trying to deceive if point number one was the one to which he referred?

    If you cannot reasonably claim that point number one was the “deception” President Bush was trying to make, that leaves you with the second . . . and in that context, what President Bush said was true.

    Y’all can make a reasonable case that the invasion was a mistake (even though I think it was absolutely the right thing to do), but trying to take something so obviously out of context to claim that it was a lie discredits your position.

    Dana (3e4784)

  127. Dana… Bush was justifying his invasion on several ocassions and on several ocassions he said Sadam would “not let the inspectors in” and that was the justification for the invasion. Do you want the exact places and dates? I will provide them. Now is that or is that not misleading??
    Would someone who did not know the facts be led to conclude Sadam did not let them in? And you and I both know a hell of a lot of people dont pay attention to anything..

    Dana, You are quite right inspectors were in at that time but this just goes to show you the man has no fear of being caught in such lies because either the people dont know or dont care or make excuses for him. Dont you get that?

    Charlie (8ea405)

  128. TOB that was not an off the cuff remark as you say. It was a remark repeated several times. If I can show you that same remark on the White House website, will you admit you are wrong? ( hell I know the answer to that one)

    Charlie (8ea405)

  129. Yes Charlie, please give cites (preferably with links) to other smoking-gun lying quotes. At this point your like a debater with one index card quoting an obscure magizine article. As any high school debater will tell you, you can win a debate with that quality of citation but you need a lot of them to establish a pattern. Remember, most of us are disinclined to think our president Bushhitler McChimphaliburton is a liar. We will, of course, tend to give the Bush the benefit of the doubt especially since he seem to have inherited his father’s speech impediments.

    You must be a conversational favorite if everything your friends say has to go through this kind of screening.

    Tob

    toby928 (99ba2b)

  130. “If I can show you that same remark on the White House website,”

    Dude, where do you think I read it in context? See post #107 where I provided the link that you failed to provide.

    Tob

    toby928 (99ba2b)

  131. Ok I defy anyone to read this and tell me that Bush is not deliberaly lying . You have all said the inspectors were in the country and are making one excuse after another to claim he either didnt mean what he said or was misquoted or this was an isolated incident. Now read the last few paragraphs of this and tell me it doesnt mean what it says..Bush claimed the inspectors were not allowed in the country. You asked for a link. Can you believe this one? Can you believe your eyes?
    http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2003/07/20030714-3.html

    Charlie (8ea405)

  132. Is this or is this not a lie? Is this just an off the cuff remark..posted on the White House website? Lets be honest with each other can we?

    The larger point is, and the fundamental question is, did Saddam Hussein have a weapons program? And the answer is, absolutely. And we gave him a chance to allow the inspectors in, and he wouldn’t let them in. And, therefore, after a reasonable request, we decided to remove him from power,

    http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2003/07/20030714-3.html

    Charlie (8ea405)

  133. “TOB that was not an off the cuff remark as you say”

    Really, it didn’t seem like he was reading a prepared statement or anything like that. It was a talking-point I’ll grant, the kind of thing that he will atend to throw in when he’s ready to leave or just out of things to say. I think that he’s trying to stay ‘on message’ when he does this but sometimes it leads to amusing non-sequiturs.

    Tob

    toby928 (99ba2b)

  134. Charlie, are you even reading my posts? LOL

    Tob

    toby928 (99ba2b)

  135. Although this quote is nowhere near as funny as gynecologist needing to be free to ‘practice their love’.

    Tob

    toby928 (99ba2b)

  136. I admire Charlie’s chutzpah. Next time someone bangs on the door asking to be let “in,” remind me to respond with “but you’re already ‘in’ – the U.S.! Hoo Hah!”

    Xrlq (428dfd)

  137. Charlie wrote:

    Dana… Bush was justifying his invasion on several ocassions and on several ocassions he said Sadam would “not let the inspectors in” and that was the justification for the invasion. Do you want the exact places and dates? I will provide them. Now is that or is that not misleading??
    Would someone who did not know the facts be led to conclude Sadam did not let them in? And you and I both know a hell of a lot of people dont pay attention to anything..

    Dana, You are quite right inspectors were in at that time but this just goes to show you the man has no fear of being caught in such lies because either the people dont know or dont care or make excuses for him. Dont you get that?

    No, what it goes to show me is that you are so adamant in your belief that President Bush is a liar that you are taking something and knowlingly putting it out of context, to try to buttress your opinion, and it simply doesn’t work; you’re getting called on it because it’s such obviously bad analysis on your part.

    How odd that it is that no one, not President Chirac, not Chanceller Schröder, no one, has made the claim you have, because it is so obviously silly.

    Dana (3e4784)

  138. All this is very nice. We’re down to parsing one or two statements that can be taken in at least two contexts to determine whether the “Bush is a liar” charge is correct. Is there a pattern to be discerned here?

    I will reiterate, unless there is an ongoing pattern, and I haven’t seen one demonstrated at this point, the president may have been factually wrong but it is quite another thing entirely to brand him a “liar” in the pathological sense.

    Charlie, et al, do you not see the difference? I would certainly give you the same benefit of the doubt. Do you not understand why we are able to draw the distinction between making what can be construed to be a factually incorrect talking point and being, as matter of normal practice, a “liar”? This is what is generally considered “nuance”. When playing “nuance” the rules clearly state that the tie goes to the runner.

    In general I will state that I think Bush is an honest man who governs honestly. Absent a broader pattern than this single possibly incorrect statement, to label him a “liar” is simply overreaching. There is just no context here that suggests that in any manner his intent was to deceive.

    Now that may drive you to distraction. I’m sorry if it does, but most of us out here in the hinterlands understand the difference between someone with a penchant for, shall we say, less than precise use of language as is clearly the case with Bush, and a pathological “liar”, which at least at this point you have not clearly demonstrated.

    Beyond the simple explanation we are simply involved in the very entertaining exercise of picking fly poop out of pepper.

    Harry Arthur (b318a5)

  139. Mr Arthur wrote:

    Now that may drive you (Charlie) to distraction. I’m sorry if it does, . . . .

    Well, maybe Mr Arthur is sorry . . . 🙂

    Dana (3e4784)

  140. Hey, Patterico! This’ll be comment #140 on this thread; what’s your single thread comment record?

    Dana (3e4784)

  141. Liar, liar, pants on fire:

    Charlie, you said you were in the USAF. Later, after I called on you to prove it, you said you didn’t mean the US Air Force, that USAF had a second meaning. Say What?

    Looks to me like you lied, and got caught red-handed.

    —-> Proof of Charlie’s lie:

    Post #99, above Charlie, in response to Harry Arthur, said the following:

    “Harry my father would have loved to remain in the service. He was in the old Army Air Corp but unfortunatly was forced to retire thanks to a bit of anti aircraft fire over Germany. 90 % disabled.
    I was USAF should have stayed in! Had some great times. Didnt know what I had..Appreciate your service.”

    Those are your very words Charlie. Those words, especially in that context, shows you were trying to pass yourself off as having served in the USAF. Were you flying under false colors? Or, can you explain your deception?

    Black Jack (ee9fe2)

  142. Black jack you really are ….well I wont say.. Let me try to make it clear to your feeble mind. I was in the United States Air Force.MAC from 1969-1972 mostly at Clark AFB Philipine Islands.

    . You asked if I could prove I was in the USAF by telling your what OMGIF means..

    In post 113 I said…BlaCK Jack I dont have any idea what OMGIF means. Do you know what USAF means? ( I dont mean US Air Force) There is a second meaning which I think may apply to you…

    Get it BLACKJACK?? a SECOND meaning ..which all AF members know and know more than ever applies to you…
    Anyone who has ever been in the Air Force knows USAF is said to mean ” U Sure Are F**ked” Get it now, Black Jack???! Need more explination?

    Charlie (8ea405)

  143. Dana check out that White Website whose address I posted and you will see the remark is not out of context. Thats the right wing line when Bush,Limbaugh or Hannity gets caught..”its all out of context” It takes a lot of denial to read the White House website and say I took Bush remarks out of context. assuming you are a native English speaker…

    Harry the arguement you and others have been making is an interesting study in denial. The arguements have been, first of all the inspectors were not in Iraq at this time, well yes they were but the statement by Bush saying they weren’t was referring to some time long before the start of the second Gulf War, well okay they were in Iraq and just before the start of the second but the comment was an off the cuff remark, well it was made several times but it doesnt mean what it says, and finally just because he lied once doesnt mean he is a liar and besides criticizing the President for lying or misleading about the reasons for war is just in your words “picking fly poop out of pepper” Frankly if there is fly poop in my pepper I dont know about you but picking it out is damn important to me..

    Want another lie? Check out Pattericos post 117 for documentation of another lie..

    Come on guys just admit it! You refuse to hold this man accounable regardless of the facts, isnt that the real bottom line?

    Charlie (8ea405)

  144. Yep, Charlie, you caught me. Unfortunately you’ve missed my point several times and you apparently don’t understand what I just posted so I guess we’ll just have to agree to disagree. Have a Merry Christmas.

    Harry Arthur (b318a5)

  145. Charlie said:

    Come on guys just admit it! You refuse to hold this man accounable regardless of the facts, isnt that the real bottom line?

    OK, let’s assume, just for the sake of argument, that Charlie is right, and President Bush meant that the inspectors were not allowed into the country of Iraq. In such a case, the President would have been lying.

    Now, the question must be: to whom was he lying, and why did he lie; what deception was he attempting to make?

    Charlie, I’d really like to see a reasonable explanation as to why he would tell such a lie, one that was so easily disprovable. Surely, since you are persuaded that he was lying, you must have some idea.

    Dana (a9eb8b)

  146. “well it was made several times”

    You keep saying that but refuse to post links. Perhaps I’m just lazy but I’m not going to do all your work for you and run them down for you. They’re your index cards not mine 😉

    Perhaps we have a communication problem here on the term off the cuff. I use it in the sense of the top of my head, ie without notes. Does it mean something else to you. Are you suggesting that it was an official defense of the war cleverly slipped into a photo-op that no one saw just so that later …. what?

    “Want another lie? Check out Pattericos post 117 for documentation of another lie..”

    This one slays me, you actually don’t realize that his post was a joke at your expense, do you? ha!

    Tob

    Toby928 (f6a7ec)

  147. Charlie, I believe that you were in the Air Force, USAF is almost the same as OMGIF except from the point of view of the left seat when his right seat just said ‘Trees!’. 🙂

    Tob

    Toby928 (f6a7ec)

  148. Toby wrote:

    This one slays me, you actually don’t realize that his post was a joke at your expense, do you? ha!

    Toby, unless you are actually dead now, you have just lied through your scummy teeth! If you respond to this post, or post anything else here, Charlie will be able to expose you for the filthy Republican liar that you are.

    Dana (a9eb8b)

  149. LOL, For a second, I thought at was Charlie’s response when I was trying to be nice. Then I got it and just about shot beer out of my nose 😉

    Tob

    Toby928 (f6a7ec)

  150. see I’m really trying to be nice, see all my smileys 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

    I’m off work until the New Year and the holiday spirit is taking me. God bless us everyone, even Charlie and Tillman.

    Tob

    Toby928 (f6a7ec)

  151. Charlie,

    So, you were in the US Air Force after all. I apologize. It wasn’t clear to me from your comments. I thought you were trying to weasel word around my direct inquiry and claim an undeserved honor. Again, my mistake. Sorry.

    BTW, ever eat Dog on a Log, and wash it down with Magoo?

    Black Jack (ee9fe2)

  152. No Toby I dont realize that was a joke since I had posted the very same link elsewhere on this website. Now deny your eyes if you want however Bush has engaged in secret wiretapping without court approval and even tried to get stories of it suppressed. That “joke” as you say shows him telling a group of people that court approval IS needed.. So unless you think lying is a joke , that is no joke and it was certainly not intended to be a joke by those who posted it on the original site. What a blatent example of denial you have given us!

    As for those that still want a conclusive link tha t Bush lied about inspectors not being in Iraq check this…
    http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2003/07/20030714-3.html

    Charlie (8ea405)

  153. Black jack that is ok and we used to call them Dog on a Stick..dont recall Dog on a Log but it certainly sounds like something that they could have had. I had a chance to eat dog only once when my neighbor came over with some pickled dog!!.. (I god it sounds horrible even now) I had just eaten a full dinner so I declined..sort of wish I had not just to say I tried it!! Maybe a few more San Miguels might have made a difference. Were you over there?

    Well its the day before Christmas and so I am going to be busy . Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to everyone, and especially to you Black Jack because of your apology. I apprecate that.

    Charlie (8ea405)

  154. One more thing Blackjack I dont know what Magoo is either.. its been a long time and my wife was with me so I was unable to avail myself of many of the local “treats” if you know what I mean 🙂

    Charlie (8ea405)

  155. “What a blatent example of denial you have given us!”

    Pleased to be of service. 🙂

    When your dreams of impeachment come to naught, think of me kindly.

    Merry Christmas!

    Tob

    Toby928 (f6a7ec)

  156. Toby, who’s supposed to be dead, channeled from the great beyond:

    When your dreams of impeachment come to naught, think of me kindly.

    So far, the Deomcrats were going to end George Bush’s presidency by:

    Defeating him for reelection;
    Impeaching him for lying about WMD;
    Having the conservatives drive him out over Harriet Myers; and now
    Impeaching him over non-judicial wiretaps.

    Me? I’m guessing that he’ll be driven out of office on January 20, 2009.

    Dana (a071ac)

  157. Oh, I meant to mention that my father also flew MAC and though it was MAT at that time, he had to dodge flak over Lebanon in a C124 during the airlift. Who says you guys are just haulers in the skies 😉

    Thanks for your service during a difficult time. Also, maybe you would be amused with a story that a friend of mine told about about being stationed at Subic. He and his buddy were assigned there and when they got to walk out the main gate they beheld an amazing sight. Bars lining one side of the road as far as the eye could see with brothels on the other side. His friend turned to him with tears in his eyes and said, “Damn, I’ve only got two years to work through these!”

    Tob

    Toby928 (f6a7ec)

  158. “Were you over there?”

    Yep. I was at Clark Field on a long TDY in the summer and early fall of 1968. We only called it Dog on a Log, it was usually pork, chicken, or beef cooked over a hibachi pot, and served with lots of tangy Q sauce. Delicious and only 10 cents a stick. And Magoo is San Miguel. Local “treats” were LBFM’s, but could result in a trip to the Green Frog.

    While I’m at it, MAC is Mother’s Air Command, and MATS is May Arrive Today Sometime. The C-124 was called Big Shakey and was said to be 140,000 loose rivets, flying in formation, powered by a Pratt and Whitney oil leak. I worked on every one of those old dogs, and everything else from C-47’s to 141’s. My speciality was the autopilot system.

    That was it for me, but I did see a C-5 once at an F-16 Thunderbird Show at Vandenberg in the late ’90’s. Those go-fast boys are good, and the C-5’s a very big bird. Of the static displays, I liked the A-10 and the bad boy choppers. Air shows are fun.

    Toby, your Dad must have been a heck of a driver. Shaky, with its stubby wings, double deck cargo compartment, and clam shell doors wasn’t easy to push around. The old girl was hot and smelly, and so loud, and shook so bad, it was a day or two before your teeth stopped chattering. From Hickam to Pongo Pongo took almost 12 hours, but recovery time was much longer.

    But, that’s all long ago and far behind me now. So, Merry Christmas to all, and a Happy New Year.

    Black Jack (ee9fe2)

  159. “Toby, your Dad must have been a heck of a driver” He was and is an astonishing man. And amazingly proud of his aircraft which he likes to brag was powered by four of the largest reciprocating engines ever built, when they all worked. He once lost 3 of 4 over the ocean near Trinidad. That bird had the glide profile of a rock. He and the crew managed to restart one of them, and at max military power, thanking God for the light loadout, stayed out of the drink on just two engines which he maintains was considered impossible.

    By coincidence, his name is also Charlie.

    Tob

    Toby928 (f6a7ec)

  160. Hey Black Jack Got bad news for you..the meat you ate…it was mostly likely really was dog.. you can see restaurants with K-9 Special for lunch and dinner. Its not called Dog on a Log for nothing..and I aint kidding..

    I remember San Miguel beer but not being called Magoo..

    And Toby that “amazing sight” well its repeated all over the PI near US bases. I went inside once..and the hookers are there in full force ..and they also offer to sell you religious medals at the same time!!

    As I said my wife was there at the same time so I was a model citizen..actually there was an incident in which a Philippino woman cut a mans private parts off because he cheated on her. I took the hint!

    Charlie (8ea405)

  161. Hey Tob…about your fathers name… you would do well to listen to older guys named Charlie 🙂

    Charlie (8ea405)

  162. Charlie,

    Anyone who doesn’t know that Magoo is short for San Miguel isn’t qualified to pontificate on the finer points of PI street cuisine. It was chicken, damn it. Nor does it seem you’re up to speed on the negotiation skills typically employed in the local Hostess trade. Did you happen to buy any carved water buffalo horns, butterfly knives, or giant wooden forks?

    Likely, having your wife along allowed your experience to diverge somewhat from the more varied pastimes available to unaccompanied troops, but then, as the poet said, “…single men in barracks don’t grow into plaster saints.”

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. I still got you down for an advanced case of BDS, and a barking moonbat into the bargain. But I’d buy you a beer and tell you a few pretty good stories if you’d admit it’s Bill Clinton who’s the liar. Now, I know it’s the season for goodwill and all that, but I like it better when you’re calling me names and questioning my mental capacity, and I still got a few good zingers guaranteed to get your goat.

    Black Jack (ee9fe2)

  163. Chicken and pork they had plenty of …but if you tried the “beef” ..notice the highly seasoned sauce they used and your strange desire to chase cats afterwards..????

    What is BDS??.. Barracks something Syndrome?? You seem to remember a lot of words I dont.. I do remember the true meaning of SNAFU however.. comes in handy when thinking of my friend George Bush..

    Ya Bill lied. I admit it. Now will you admit Smirky is also a liar but in a much more serious way? (Oh the hell with it,,lets not start this.. your too old to change.. just let me have the last word and things will be fine..)

    I did buy many carvings.. I also bought some silver in Bagio..

    Thing I remember most was the cockroaches..big slimy red ones..by the thousands… that made a crunch when you stepped on them!! That, and the lizards ( Geckos) that used to make a home with us.. Cute little fellows..with that clicking sound..

    You are bringing back a lot of memories… Sure wish I could go back in time and start from there once again.. Dont you?

    Mabuhi…!!

    Charlie (8ea405)

  164. Charlie,

    BDS is Bush Derangement Syndrome: Some folks are so ardent in their misdirected disapproval of our handsome, wise, and fit leader in America’s War on Terror, their minds are infected with a bizarre malady (BDS) which prevents them from seeing clearly or thinking straight. You, Charlie, are unfortunately among the afflicted.

    Since the syndrome is spread by contact, there is hope for recovery. Simply cease and desist from old and unhealthy patterns of behavior and listen to Rush Limbaugh and Shawn Hannity on the radio. Watch Bill O’Reilly on Fox News, and read Ann Coulter’s books. That should get you started in the right direction. The rest is up to you.

    Best wishes for a full recovery and a return to robust good health and a positive mental outlook. If you feel like a relapse might be threatening your well-being, try singing Hail to the Chief, or The Eyes of Texas. It works every time.

    And, yes, I’d like to take a ride in your time machine, back to the late ’60’s when I was young, had more hair, and knew more about everything than anyone else, which was of course before I went to college. I’d also like to be a few inches taller, can you help me out there too?

    Black Jack (ee9fe2)

  165. Black Jack wrote:

    I’d also like to be a few inches taller, can you help me out there too?

    Oh, that’s not hard! It seems that everyone trolling for a new mate gets at least two inches taller on the internet.

    Dana (a071ac)

  166. Try taking milk with calcium so as not to get a few inches shorter in old age. That is an indirect way of growing taller in old age by not growing shorter 🙂

    Yi Ling (9bb6be)


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