Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Weapons of Mass Destruction?

The whole discussion about Iraq yesterday filled my inbox with interesting emails this morning. Ben, Mister Bling and Jeff also made some excellent comments that are worth reading as well. You can view those here. Jeff has a beautiful way of putting things into historical perspective, and I think you'll agree that his comments are thoughtful, balanced and fair, a stark contrast to what you're used to from this website.

A couple of people who sent me email defended On the Mark's statements about the presence of Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq. One individual pointed out that in McClellan's Press Release from January 12th, (cited below) the Press Secretary's statements reflect a change in intelligence strategy and not the end of the search for Weapons of Mass Destruction. This person goes on to make the point that McClellan leaves the door open for further investigations of Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq, as intelligence gathering needs change.

First of all, to quote Dick Cheney "That's a complete distortion of the facts.". It's the equivalent of being caught in a lie, and using the excuse that under future circumstances the lie may become true, if circumstances change. But, I can see how using a conservative's flawed logic, grasping for straws, you could read McClellan's statement and get that out of it.

Then, as if summoned from above, the CIA released a report, unambiguously titled "Iraq: No Large-Scale Chemical Warfare Efforts Since Early 1990s.", that indicated that Iraq stopped it's chemical weapons program in 1991. You can read about it in an LA Times article here. The article also points out that intelligence officials anticipate additional reports specifically pertaining to revisions of previous CIA statments regarding biological and nuclear weapons programs in Iraq.

Let's see, we have the President's Spokesperson and the CIA both admitting that there were no Weapons of Mass Destruction. Who else has to come out and say it before these people accept that Bush's entire rationale for a first strike against Iraq without support from the UN was flawed?

Conservatives everywhere are saying "Yeah, but we ousted Saddam and gave the Iraqi people a democracy." Ok. You also lied, sacrificed our international reputation, sank billions of US dollars and thousands of soldiers into a country where you didn't have a plan, and all because the President was too damned impatient to wait for support from the UN. The same thing could have been achieved with less US money, less dead US servicemen and women, and our international reputation intact.

It's truly impossible to speculate about how things may have been different had we waited for the wheels of progress to turn at the UN, so I won't do that. What we do know is that the President is a liar, and most of his vocal supporters are so loyal they can't admit when they're completely wrong. You've all recently seen me admit when I've been corrected or when I've been completely wrong. It's time for the President and Republicans to extend the same courtesy to the rest of the world.


Lord Bling said...

Oh Angry One, you forgot to mention Bush's Inaugural Address, and how he's going to spread democracy throughout the rest of the world. We're spread so thin in Iraq right now ... I have no idea how he thinks he's going to do the same thing in other nations. And what about nations that aren't democracies, but aren't 'enemies' of ours? Doesn't that sound just a little condescending to them? Our way may not be the best way for other countries, and Bush is too worried about his legacy to notice, or to care. And when he's finally out of office, and some time passes, his only legacy will be one of increasing our deficit in ways that Ronald Reagan couldn't have even imagined.

It was once said about Nixon, and it will someday be said about George W: Time heals all wounds, and wounds all heels.

Anonymous said...

Jeff Said:
What amuses me is that we don't have a situation where statements are being made like: "Oh, we overestimated the number of weapons of mass destruction." or "There weren't as many weapons of mass destruction as we expected." That would have made me keep my mouth shut. Hell, if they'd have found a camel with a case of mustard gas artillery shells strapped to its back, I might have backed down. But for crying out loud, I have yet to hear of a SINGLE WMD being brought into the public light. Now, my memory isn't what it used to be, but I distinctly recall the phrase "imminent threat" being thrown around in reference to Iraq. (And don't deny it because one of the Cronies--Donald or Dick--already tried that and got shown up as a liar when MoveOnPac.org aired taped footage from more than one television spot that proved that phrase was used). And there were those ominous insinuations that one day within the next few years we could get nailed with a missile or bomb from Iraq whose warhead contained poison gas or a thermonuclear device or God knows what. So the whole premise for not waiting to invade and unilaterally charging off to war was: If we don't rush in there when our ultimatum to surrender expires, we're just asking for the end of Western Civilization as we know it. I used to think only meterologists could be that dead wrong and not be so totally embarrassed that they want to take up Southwest Airline's offer to get away for a while. I wonder how many U.S. servicemen and Iraqi civilians have been killed or maimed by the now too common improvised explosive devices (IEDs). Maybe the number qualifies them as WMDs. I'll bet those mean ole Iraqi terrorists would have a hell of lot more difficulty getting IEDs close enough to Americans to kill them if we had stayed home. You know the first thing I thought when I heard that George W. wanted to increase the military death benefit to $100K? Blood money. If I got several thousand Americans killed and wounded for a lie, I'd feel damned guilty myself.

CowboyLaw said...

Let me extend the exaulted Midget's comments by adding one thing. The next time I hear a Republican justify the war in Iraq by saying "At least we got rid of a brutal dictator," I'm going to shit a cheese sandwich.

There are 2 separate, but equally fatal, problems with this logic. To wit:

1. THAT'S NOT WHY WE WERE TOLD WE WERE FIGHTING THIS WAR. Remember in "O Brother Where Art Thou" when the other two guys found out, whereas Dr. Pretty, M.D. encouraged them to escape with him with promises of treasure, there was no treasure, but Dr. Pretty needed to escape to stop his wife's wedding? Remember how pissed those guys were? And it's not that they were pissed because breaking out of jail is a bad thing---obviously, they were in a better place now than they had been. No. They were pissed because people don't like it when you lie to them about your motives in order to convice them to go along with you. Same thing here. Pick a reason, and let's go with it. And this is important because, if GWB II had tried to lead American to war behind "This guy is a real jack-off" rather than "This guy might soon kill you and everyone you loved," support for the Iraq war would have peaked at about 33%, rather than 75%, and GWB II would now be preparing his memoirs, tentatively entitled "See George Run the Country into the Ground."

2. IN THE GRAND SCHEME OF THINGS, SADDAM WAS REALLY NOT THAT BAD. Now, I know you're saying, "Ben, c'mon. You really can't be serious." Oh yes. I'm serious. If Americans would actually read INTERNATIONAL news, rather than American news ("At 11, a dancing bear with no pants on, and a waterskiing squirrel!"), you'd have some concept of how many truly evil people there are out there running countries. And remember this: in Saddam's Iraq, women could be educated, have jobs, walk in public without their husbands/fathers, and expose their faces. There are a number of Arabic countries [cough Saudia Arabia cough] where this kind of freedom is unthinkable. So if the justification for removing Saddam was that he was a dick, he should have been about 11th on the list.

Thomas Jefferson was right: in a democracy, the people get the leadership they deserve. A nation of fat, NASCAR worshipping, reborn Baptist Hooters customers deserves GWB II as their President. I just want to get off the ride.

/Anyone going to CA?
/Ben out.

Anonymous said...

Not exactly related to today's discussion, but a follow-up on a previous Midget topic. Here's a quote from an article on CNN regarding the third, yes THIRD, journalist to come forward and admit to being paid by W & Company to "promote" the administration's policies:

"Earlier this week, Bush ordered his Cabinet secretaries not to hire columnists to promote administration agendas." Link: www.cnn.com/2005/ALLPOLITICS/01/28/paid.columnists.ap/index.html

WHAT?!?!?! Has it really sunk it this level? Screw moving to California, I think I'll head for Canada. I don't think that's on the Axis of Evil yet.

g.p. amy

(There's also a nice article about the new bill being introduced: www.cnn.com/2005/ALLPOLITICS/01/26/paid.pundits/index.html)

On the Mark said...

Okay Ryan...I'll take the bait...what comment did I make about WMDs? I don't recall one, yet you start the second paragraph of your post saying people are defending me. That's great...but what the heck are they defending?

Oh...and by the way...since you are into the "facts," let's not forget that all of your liberal friends in the Democratic party admit (though they prefer not to at this point) that they were privy to the same information that the President had about WMD, and it was based upon this information that they voted to give him the power to go to war in Iraq.

No one has proven, nor even provided circumstantial evidence that the President had "different" information than that which was provided to Congress before they passed the resolution authorizing the President to commit our Armed Forces in Iraq.

So while I realize you'd love to hang the President for "believing" the evidence with which he was presented, you may wish to do the same for all of Congress. Once again, with all due respect, do some homework my friend. You are an excellent writer, but your opinions, when not based in fact, make you just another member of the liberal echo chamber.

If the President "lied" as you so bluntly state, then so did every single member of Congress who voted in favor of the resolution. Remember, they all had the same information.

One last thing...be careful with your use of the English language. "Lie" is defined as "a false statement deliberately being presented as true." Clearly, if the President and all of Congress were relying upon the same information that they ALL believed to be true, then there is no "lie" here. A mistake by all concerned, even the best and brightest of the Democratic party. But certainly no lie.

Lord Bling said...

On the Mark, many Democrats in Congress may have voted for the war, but that does not automatically absolve George W. Bush or his administration from any sins. Colin Powell went before the U.N. to 'prove' that Iraq had WMDs. Bush spoke to anyone who would listen, saying that they had WMDs. The Democrats believed the 'misinformation,' but they're not the ones who started the campaign for war. The Bush administration stumped for the war first, brought the 'intelligence' first, and when the test of time comes, they will take the fall first.

Anonymous said...

Jeff Said:

On the Mark admonished me for my statement about American being killed and maimed for a lie. He correctly pointed out the actual definition of a lie. He is right; I haven't seen any hard evidence--yet--that the President has concealed information that Congress wasn't privy to or that he intentionally falsified information. When I start talking about politics I lose my restraint and get alittle overboard sometimes. So, I'd like to amend my final sentence. Here goes... If thousands of Americans were killed and wounded because of a clusterfuck of historic proportions that I was presiding over, I'd feel guilty too.