Mr. Robert Novak writes today about the ineffectual and dismal nation building going on in Iraq. He writes:
This faulty allocation of U.S. funds is part of a broader problem in Iraq: Americans are not good at nation-building. The huge embassy in Baghdad is run by Foreign Service officers on the same model as U.S. missions worldwide whose function is reporting, not managing. Similarly, legal policy in Iraq is handled by assistant U.S. attorneys who focus on arrest and detention.
I’m sorry Mr. Novak, as experienced as you are in Washington, you are still a hyper-partisan who would rather paint everybody bad than the Republicans. It is the Bush administration and the Republicans that are bad at nation building, not Americans. They may be Americans, but they do not represent all of America. And yes, they are indeed terrible at nation-building (heck you should have figured that out back before Bush was elected when he scorned and scorned nation building). But there are Americans who actually are quite good at nation building. They just don’t belong to the Republican party.
Let’s just be clear about all the obfuscation you will be hearing, all the muddying of the waters that you will hear this week from General Petraeus and Ambassador Corker. They are Bush loyalists, and will not tell you the truth.
First off is this little nugget in one report out today:
For two hours, President Bush listened to contrasting visions of the U.S. future in Iraq. Gen. David H. Petraeus dominated the conversation by video link from Baghdad, making the case to keep as many troops as long as possible to cement any security progress. Adm. William J. Fallon, his superior, argued instead for accepting more risks in Iraq, officials said, in order to have enough forces available to confront other potential threats in the region.
The polite discussion in the White House Situation Room a week ago masked a sharper clash over the U.S. venture in Iraq, one that has been building since Fallon, chief of the U.S. Central Command, which oversees Middle East operations, sent a rear admiral to Baghdad this summer to gather information. Soon afterward, officials said, Fallon began developing plans to redefine the U.S. mission and radically draw down troops.
One of those plans, according to a Centcom officer, involved slashing U.S. combat forces in Iraq by three-quarters by 2010.
They’re not planning at all to withdraw, or even reduce the size of our forces in Iraq before 2010. They’re in this for the long haul, whether you like it or not, America. Will you stand for this? They won’t care if a Democrat is in power in 2009. They’ll press on the lie to ensure more Americans are over in Iraq to die for…well, we’re not quite sure what. Some “victory” whatever the hell that means.
The second comes from this fascinating report about a UN report supposed to come out now. But notice what is going on:
The United Nations has delayed the release of a quarterly report on human rights in Iraq to avoid criticizing Washington and Baghdad while they are seeking to rally congressional and international support for the war effort, according to U.N. officials.
The move follows a request by Ryan C. Crocker, the U.S. ambassador to Iraq, to Ashraf Qazi, the United Nations’ top envoy in Baghdad, saying Iraq needs “several weeks” to study the report, according to an account by a senior U.N. official. The delay will effectively postpone debate over the United Nations’ view of Iraq’s sectarian violence — and U.S. and Iraqi efforts to combat it — until after Crocker and Gen. David H. Petraeus deliver a crucial assessment of conditions in Iraq to Congress this week.
A draft of the U.N. report, which was completed last month, focuses primarily on violence committed by Iraqi militias and insurgents, according to U.N. officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue. But it also documents abuses by U.S. and Iraqi forces during more than four months of the U.S.-backed military buildup in Baghdad. It faults Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s government, saying it lacks commitment to improving its rights record.
Gee, why would we want to avoid criticizing Washington and Baghdad while they’re trying to build support? Shouldn’t we know the full picture as they are trying to build support? Why hide? Doesn’t the truth set you free?
So just know America. You will be bamboozled.
Oh, and the political positioning by Republicans now is all about 2012. They’re pretty certain to lose 2008 to the Democrats and are trying to position the war so whatever Democratic leader starts in 2009 has a losing war to end, thereby creating the perfect opportunity for Republicans to come back in 2012 as the “saviors” of America from those dastardly liberals.
If you have paid close attention these past six years to President Bush, you’ll learn one very important thing. He doesn’t like leaving behind a recorded trail that ties him to the bungling mess that was his creation. He wishes to remain accountable-free of all the messes he created. It is the only way he can justify that his actions are “right.” Most importantly, it is the only way he sees that his legacy will not be tarnished by his mistakes. He can’t have a recorded account of him admitting to anything bad. Abu Ghraib? Not his problem—those were the grunts’ fault. Torture? Certainly not his call. That’s the CIA’s baby. Losing Iraq? No way was it his fault. No, that’s the Democrats for not backing him fully. Every mistake is someone else’s fault in Bush’s eyes. Nothing can touch him.
So just this past week, when interviewed for the New York Times, Bush was asked about the policy of letting the Iraqi Army go free and unemployed, probably the worst decision of the war. What was Bush’s reply?
In an interview with Robert Draper, author of the new book, “Dead Certain,” Mr. Bush sounded as if he had been taken aback by the decision, or at least by the need to abandon the original plan to keep the army together.
“The policy had been to keep the army intact; didn’t happen,” Mr. Bush told the interviewer. When Mr. Draper asked the president how he had reacted when he learned that the policy was being reversed, Mr. Bush replied, “Yeah, I can’t remember, I’m sure I said, “This is the policy, what happened?’ ”
He can’t remember? The biggest, most important decision of post-war Iraq and he can’t remember? Or is it that he doesn’t want a recorded account of him actually saying that it really was his decision. Well, Paul Bremer, who is the man who executed that policy doesn’t apparently want to be Bush’s fall guy. He reveals that indeed, Bush KNEW.
A previously undisclosed exchange of letters shows that President Bush was told in advance by his top Iraq envoy in May 2003 of a plan to “dissolve Saddam’s military and intelligence structures,” a plan that the envoy, L. Paul Bremer, said referred to dismantling the Iraqi Army.
Mr. Bremer provided the letters to The New York Times on Monday after reading that Mr. Bush was quoted in a new book as saying that American policy had been “to keep the army intact” but that it “didn’t happen.”
The dismantling of the Iraqi Army in the aftermath of the American invasion is now widely regarded as a mistake that stoked rebellion among hundreds of thousands of former Iraqi soldiers and made it more difficult to reduce sectarian bloodshed and attacks by insurgents. In releasing the letters, Mr. Bremer said he wanted to refute the suggestion in Mr. Bush’s comment that Mr. Bremer had acted to disband the army without the knowledge and concurrence of the White House.
“We must make it clear to everyone that we mean business: that Saddam and the Baathists are finished,” Mr. Bremer wrote in a letter that was drafted on May 20, 2003, and sent to the president on May 22 through Donald H. Rumsfeld, then secretary of defense.
After recounting American efforts to remove members of the Baath Party of Saddam Hussein from civilian agencies, Mr. Bremer told Mr. Bush that he would “parallel this step with an even more robust measure” to dismantle the Iraq military.
One day later, Mr. Bush wrote back a short thank you letter. “Your leadership is apparent,” the president wrote. “You have quickly made a positive and significant impact. You have my full support and confidence.”
Kinda sucks for Bush when not all his players play the same game. Don’t they all know the rules of chess? The knight is supposed to fall and die for his king!
Let history judge correctly that Bush is at the heart of all the bad policies to have come out of our government these past six years. The buck does indeed stop with him and none other. His legacy is a failed Iraq. His legacy is a failed Afghanistan. His legacy is legalizing torture. His legacy is secret spying on Americans. That is the legacy of George W. Bush. His legacy is not peace. His legacy is not a stabilized Middle East. His legacy is not success. It is failure.
He opened the floodgates.
Yeah, he likens our fight today to that of Vietnam back then. But, well, just where was he in Vietnam? Did he ever step foot there as a soldier? Did he ever do his duty to his country? After all that fight was so noble, why didn’t he go over there like so many other brave Americans? How about Dick “Other Priorities” Cheney? He claims deferments for college, but interestingly, never got his degrees…hmmm…nah, he couldn’t have taken advantage of the deferments to avoid going to combat. Not Dick Cheney! Not the man who loves to start conflicts. No, he’s a WARRIOR! He wouldn’t get his wife pregnant just to get another deferment:
On Oct. 6, 1965, the Selective Service lifted its ban against drafting married men who had no children. Nine months and two days later, Mr. Cheney’s first daughter, Elizabeth, was born. On Jan. 19, 1966, when his wife was about 10 weeks pregnant, Mr. Cheney applied for 3-A status, the “hardship” exemption, which excluded men with children or dependent parents. It was granted.
Nine months and two days later. Wow. “Other priorities” indeed.
You want to talk about Vietnam, Mr. President. No worries. We’ll talk about Vietnam.
On Lies, Credibility Gaps, Friedman Units, Good Christian Conservatives Gone Bad, and Approval RatingsJuly 10, 2007 at 12:51 pm | Posted in America, American politics, Bush Administration, Cheney, Congress, conservatives, corruption, Democracy, Evangelicals, family values, friedman units, George W Bush, Iraq, King George, Republicans, Revising History, secret combinations | 3 Comments
For any but the hardcore conservative, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales is nothing but a proven liar. Well evidence has come to light showing just how badly he has lied to the American people and under oath to Congress. You see, in April 2005 he testified to Congress the following:
“There has not been one verified case of civil liberties abuse.”
When talking about the FBI’s new powers under the Patriot Act. Well, that was a lie.
As he sought to renew the USA Patriot Act two years ago, Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales assured lawmakers that the FBI had not abused its potent new terrorism-fighting powers. “There has not been one verified case of civil liberties abuse,” Gonzales told senators on April 27, 2005.
Six days earlier, the FBI sent Gonzales a copy of a report that said its agents had obtained personal information that they were not entitled to have. It was one of at least half a dozen reports of legal or procedural violations that Gonzales received in the three months before he made his statement to the Senate intelligence committee, according to internal FBI documents released under the Freedom of Information Act.
The acts recounted in the FBI reports included unauthorized surveillance, an illegal property search and a case in which an Internet firm improperly turned over a compact disc with data that the FBI was not entitled to collect, the documents show. Gonzales was copied on each report that said administrative rules or laws protecting civil liberties and privacy had been violated.
The reports also alerted Gonzales in 2005 to problems with the FBI’s use of an anti-terrorism tool known as a national security letter (NSL), well before the Justice Department’s inspector general brought widespread abuse of the letters in 2004 and 2005 to light in a stinging report this past March.
This is America’s top law enforcer.
Next comes General Kevin Bergner, a Bush administration operative who is now the spokesman in Iraq who said the following:
The U.S. command in Baghdad this week ballyhooed the killing of a key al Qaeda leader but later admitted that the military had declared him dead a year ago.
The incident shows the eagerness of the command to show progress in dismantling al Qaeda at a time when Democrats and some Republicans are pressing President Bush to withdraw troops from Iraq. Army Gen. David Petraeus, the top U.S. commander, has declared al Qaeda enemy No. 1 in Iraq.
Brig. Gen. Kevin Bergner began his Monday news conference with a list of top insurgents either killed or captured in recent operations. He said they had been eliminated “in the past few weeks” and were “recent results.”
“In the north, Iraqi army and coalition forces continue successful operations in Mosul,” he told reporters. “Kamal Jalil Uthman, also known as Said Hamza, was the al Qaeda in Iraq military emir of Mosul. He planned, coordinated and facilitated suicide bombings, and he facilitated the movement of more than a hundred foreign fighters through safe houses in the area.” All told, Bergner devoted 68 words to Uthman’s demise.
Uthman was indeed a big kill, and the military featured his death last year in a report titled “Tearing Down al Qaeda.”
The Bush Administration wishes so badly to inform us that we’re fighting “Al-Qaida in Iraq” that they are willing to tell us that they’ve killed the same guy again a whole year later. Anybody wonder why some of us do not trust a single word that comes out of the mouth of a military spokesman?
Friedman Units. Those fun six month periods so generously created by Mr. Tom Friedman of the New York Times, where the most vital period in our conflict in Iraq is always the “next six months.” Well, today is July 10. Six months ago, Bush unveiled his “surge” strategy. Let’s see what proponents said six months ago about this new strategy. (Courtesy of Atrios):
So my question to each of you, in sum, is if there isn’t sufficient evidence of this kind of summitry and diplomacy — if there isn’t a sufficient political process in place — and I want your judgment as to whether or not there is — will more troops have any chance of, in fact, getting what we want, or is it going to make matters worse? And if it does, where are we after putting them in in six months if it hasn’t worked? Mr. O’Hanlon?
MR. O’HANLON: Senator Kerry, very tough question. I like your idea of a ledger. On the positive side of the troop surge proposal, I would say we all know tactically there have never been enough troops in Iraq to clear and hold. So that’s the tactical argument for this case. It would have been a much more compelling argument three and four years ago than it is today, but I think it remains at some level in the plus column. On the negative column, of course, we know that there is no political resolution of these very sectarian divides –
FOREMAN: Six months from now, are we going to look at this area right here where most of them are going to go and say we’re better off or worse off?
MARKS: We need to say we’re better off.
ZAHN: We need to, but will we?
MARKS: There are ways to achieve that. And it’s not mutually exclusive. It’s not a political solution better than a military solution. All of these are essential ingredients to a solution. So it’s not a military strategy.
Pentagon officials expect US troops to stay in the streets for about six months before turning security over to the Iraqis. `If it hasn’t happened in six months,’ one official said, `we’ll know it’s not working.‘
Unless considerable progress is made in Iraq in a relatively short time, you will see Republicans crossing over and joining Democrats in challenging his Iraq strategy in a bipartisan way. This is a dead serious six months we’re approaching.
MATTHEWS: Well, I don`t think it`s his last stand. I think it`s the second to the last stand. I think asking for more troops suggests hope that if we try a little harder, it will work. I think the next go-around, six months from now, or a year from now, perhaps, you`ll see the president come back to the American people and say, give me one last shot at this. I think he has one more chance after this. It`s not the end of the game.
This is the second to the last battle, I believe, of this war politically. But I do believe his numbers will continue to go down. I think we`ll see casualties in the streets of Iraq, Baghdad. It`s going to be a bloody campaign and I don`t think it`s going to yield stability.
He has one last shot, and that’s the way to look at it, I think. It’s Hail, Mary time.
But we will be able to know in the next six months, although the sustained effort has to take longer than six months.
You know, we’ve talked about that before here, Sam, on this program, that this is, the President believes, his last shot.
BUCHANAN: He has said it this time. The last test is right now.
This is why I`m saying, look, this is the last chance for Maliki, the last chance for the Americans. The acid test is whether they go after the Mahdi army, which I think knows we will go after them. And that`s why I think it may very well run to earth for the next six months.
SCARBOROUGH: We have to — we have to do that. We have to go after al-Sadr. We have to go after the Mahdi army. And, if we are, in fact, trying to start a democracy over there, and bring justice to Iraq, then, we have to arrest or kill al-Sadr.
Who still believes these bamboozlers?
Next, Good Christian Conservatives Gone Bad. I give you Senator David Vitter of Louisiana. He is a person found on Deborah Palfrey’s list of persons seeking, uh, companions, yeah, that’s what they are called…
Funny thing is that Senator Vitter has been one of the most outspoken people on banning same-sex marriage, because it is destructive to the family and all. Blah Blah Blah. It’s truly a Shakespearean comedy of errors, especially when you put into perspective what his wife said back in 2000 when talking about President Clinton’s West Wing escapades with one intern named Monica:
Asked by an interviewer in 2000 whether she could forgive her husband if she learned he’d had an extramarital affair, as Hillary Clinton and Bob Livingston’s wife had done, Wendy Vitter told the Times-Picayune: “I’m a lot more like Lorena Bobbitt than Hillary. If he does something like that, I’m walking away with one thing, and it’s not alimony, trust me.”
Heh, the good Senator should probably get a good iron chastity belt ready.
The ironic thing is that Senator Vitter got his position after Senator Livingston resigned after his affair was disclosed. Senator Livingston, as some may recall, was one of the strongest voices against Clinton’s White House escapades with one intern named Monica. Ironic indeed.
Finally, the news gets good for those who dislike Bush. His disapproval rating is as bad as Nixon’s. That’s right, no presidents have been as disliked than George W. Bush and Richard Nixon. Both have disapproval ratings at 66%. Nixon was lucky to have resigned when he did. Assuredly his numbers would have tanked even worse with impeachment proceedings going on. It is indeed a wonder how impeachment proceedings have not begun yet on George W. Bush, with all that has been said and done. But no worries, Bush still has 18 months to go even lower than Nixon and become America’s most hated president ever.
Republicans and the Christian Right should be well familiar with this particular verse from the Bible, Matthew 7:15-20:
15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.
16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?
17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.
18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
By their fruits, ye shall know them. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit. A corrupt tree brings forth evil fruit. Any Christian knows this parable. What does this mean for our world today? Let’s look at the fruits of the Bush administration and the Republican party.
A failed state. The Fund for Peace and Foreign Policy magazine have released their annual report of the world’s failed states. Iraq is the second worst failed state in the world, only two points better in the rankings than the world’s worst failed state, The Sudan. We’re now well over four years into our war in Iraq. Let’s put that in perspective. World War II, if started on March 20, 2003, would have ended last December or so. What is worse about this is that unlike The Sudan, America has pumped billions of dollars into Iraq with so little to show for it.
That is not to say that all failing states suffer from international neglect. Iraq and Afghanistan, the two main fronts in the global war on terror, both suffered over the past year. Their experiences show that billions of dollars in development and security aid may be futile unless accompanied by a functioning government, trustworthy leaders, and realistic plans to keep the peace and develop the economy. Just as there are many paths to success, there are many paths to failure for states on the edge.
So I ask you, Americans, and especially Christian conservatives, what do these fruits tell you about the tree from which they come? Now some of you may say, the tree really is terrorism. The answer to that is, no. The tree is America. We entered Iraq with the supposed intent to recreate the Middle East, and Iraq itself. After four years, what are the fruits of our labors? An utterly failed state. Jesus said, evil fruit cannot come from good trees.
By their fruits, ye shall know them.
Recently a US airstrike killed seven children along with many others. More than one hundred die in three days of heavy fighting. The Taliban (living over in neighboring Pakistan) continue to plague the Americans now SIX YEARS after we attacked them. Six years. And they are still around? Afghanistan is ranked as the 8th worst failed state in the world, behind only The Sudan, Iraq, and a bunch of African states.
By their fruits, ye shall know them.
The Bush administration continues to support the highly corrupt and repressive military dictator, Musharraf, regardless of how much he punishes reformers in Pakistan. Pakistan is ranked as the 12th worst failed state in the world. Only Haiti, Central African Republic and Guinea separate Pakistan from her neighbor Afghanistan.
By their fruits, ye shall know them.
Poor, poor Lebanon, the world’s pawn, played by all parties against her own will. Israelis bomb her to the stone age. Hezbollah is a parasitic virus, destroying the country from within. Syria assassinates her leaders. The United States sacrifices her democracy on the altar of supposed Israeli preference (though if the United States were smart, they would have reined in Israel last summer, because it is in Israel’s best interest to have a stable country to her north. Now because of their idiotic bombing campaign, Lebanon is failing). Lebanon is ranked as the 28th worst failed state in the world.
Not a state (and apparently not ever going to be a state), this is probably the worst of Bush’s failures. Is it really in the best interest of our ally, Israel, to have a failed non-state as her neighbor? Is it really in Israel’s best interest to have 1.4 million starving raving lunatics in a 25 mile strip of land right on her border? Is this Condoleezza Rice’s idea of “birth pangs?”
Why are these failed states so important to the world? The Foreign Policy magazine states it well in their introduction:
It is an accepted axiom of the modern age that distance no longer matters. Sectarian carnage can sway stock markets on the other side of the planet. Anarchic cities that host open-air arms bazaars imperil the security of the world’s superpower. A hermit leader’s erratic behavior not only makes life miserable for the impoverished millions he rules but also upends the world’s nuclear nonproliferation regime. The threats of weak states, in other words, ripple far beyond their borders and endanger the development and security of nations that are their political and economic opposites.
These are the fruits of the Republican philosophy to the world. These are the fruits of neo-conservatives. These are not the fruits of good trees. These must be cast into the fire, metaphorically speaking. We must do what needs to be done with these kinds of philosophies, let them pass the way of the dodo bird, to be a relic of history, never to be seen again. At least, if Americans want a better world.
McClatchy Newspapers, formerly known as Knight Ridder, has been nearly the only source in the past six years to objectively look at the war in Iraq, see past the inflammatory nationalistic hyperbole of the Bush administration and its adherents at FoxNews and the Weekly Standard. They continue their fine press with this report showing that the surge is not doing a thing about the violence in Iraq:
Three months after additional U.S. troops began pouring into Baghdad in the most recent effort to stanch violence in Iraq’s capital, military observers are fretting that the same problems that torpedoed last summer’s Baghdad security plan are cropping up again.
Violence is on the rise, Iraqi troops aren’t showing up to secure neighborhoods, U.S. troops are having to revisit neighborhoods they’d already cleared, and Iraq’s politicians haven’t met any of their benchmarks.
With expectations high in Washington for a September assessment from new Iraq commander Army Gen. David Petraeus, military officials in Iraq already are saying they’ll need more time.
One thing is already clear, however: The additional U.S. troops haven’t yet had a major impact on reducing violence.
Read the whole article. I’d rather not paste the whole thing here. It is free, and accurate. Unfortunately most Americans won’t see this kind of report. Why?
That’s just one article, from ABCNews. Note that it is a whole THREE PAGES long!
Right now the cable news networks are wall-to-wall in front of Paris Hilton’s house in L.A. waiting for the sheriff to show up in his white Bronco and lead them on a freeway chase. It’s truly riveting TV, watching a bunch of people milling around and listening to the talking heads speculating on when she might come through the door and riffing on the greater meaning of all this — race, privilege and the merits of cupcakes from Sprinkles. (The consensus is that they are very good. I agree.)
He then quotes Al Gore, who wrote:
It is simply no longer possible to ignore the strangeness of our public discourse. I know I’m not alone in feeling that something has gone fundamentally wrong. In 2001, I had hopes it was an aberration when polls showed that three-quarters of Americans believed that Saddam Hussein was responsible for attacking us on September 11. More than five years later, however, nearly half the American people still believes that Saddam was connected to the attack.
At first I thought the exhaustive, nonstop coverage of the O.J. Simpson trial was just unfortunate excess — an unwelcome departure from the normal good sense and judgment of our news media. Now we know that it was merely an early example of a new pattern of serial obsession that periodically take over the airwaves for weeks at a time.
Late in the summer of 2006, American news coverage was saturated with the bizarre false confession of a man who claimed to have been present at the death of JonBenet Ramsey — the six-year-old beauty queen whose unsolved murder eleven years before was responsible for another long-running obsession. A few months prior to John Mark Karr’s arrest in Bangkok, the disappearance of a high school senior in Aruba and the intensive search for her body and her presumed murderer consumed thousands of hours of television coverage. Both cases remain unsolved as of this writing, and neither had any appreciable impact on the fate of the Republic.
Like JonBenet Ramsey, O.J. has recently been back at the center of another fit of obsessive-compulsive news, when his hypothetical confession wasn’t published and his interviews on television wasn’t aired. This particular explosion of “news” was truncated only when a former television sitcom star used racist insults in a night club. And before that we focus on the “Runaway Bride” in Georgia. And before that there was the Michael Jackson trial and the Robert Blake trial, the Laci Peterson tragedy and the Chandra Levy tragedy. And of course we can’t forget Britney and KFed, and Lindsay and Paris and Nicole, Tom Cruise jumped on Oprah’s couch and married Katie Holmes, who gave birth to Suri. And Russell Crowe apparently threw a phone at a hotel concierge.
In early 2007, the wall-to-wall coverage of Anna Nicole Smith’s death, embalming, and funeral plans and the legal wrangling over the paternity and custody of her child and disposition of her estate, served as yet another particularly bizarre example of the new priorities in America’s news coverage.
And while American television watchers were collectively devoting a hundred million hours of their lives each week to these and other similar stories, our nation was in the process of more quietly making what future historians will certainly describe as a series of catastrophically mistaken decisions on issues of war and peace, the global climate and human survival, freedom and barbarity, justice and fairness.
Indeed, Mr. Gore. Indeed.
What is with Mitt Romney and the truth? Why can’t he state things like they really are instead of spewing out more and more lies? Take this from the debate about Iraq and the Inspectors searching for WMDs in 2002 and 2003:
“[If] Saddam Hussein had opened up his country to IAEA inspectors, and they’d come in and they’d found that there were no weapons of mass destruction, had Saddam Hussein, therefore, not violated United Nations resolutions, we wouldn’t be in the conflict we’re in.”
“But he didn’t do those things, and we knew what we knew at the point we made the decision to get in.”
Anyone not a hardcore Republican knows that this is false. Saddam did indeed open up his country to inspectors, and those inspectors did indeed find NOTHING, as Scott Ritter (and many of the rest of us) claimed they wouldn’t.
Greg Seargent hasa news clipping from the New York Times dated June 18, 2003 of Hans Blix, you know the inspector who Saddam let into his country to search for WMDs:
Hans Blix, the retiring chief weapons inspector for the United Nations, has questioned in an interview why American and British forces expected to find large stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons in Iraq when it was clear that his inspectors had failed to report any such discovery.
In an interview on Tuesday in his 31st-floor offices at the United Nations, he said:
“What surprises me, what amazes me, is that it seems the military people were expecting to stumble on large quantities of gas, chemical weapons and biological weapons. I don’t see how they could have come to such an attitude if they had, at any time, studied the reports” of present and former United Nations inspectors.
This makes Mitt Romney a liar.
Note the timing of the following two news tidbits, (one following the other, purposefully, on CNN.com)
Note that the intelligence Bush offers about Bin Laden comes from 2005.
President Bush on Tuesday declassified intelligence showing in 2005 Osama bin Laden planned to use Iraq as a base from which to launch attacks in the United States, according to White House spokesman Gordon Johndroe.
Johndroe said the intelligence was declassified so the president could discuss the previously secret material on Wednesday during a commencement address at the Coast Guard Academy in Connecticut.
Here is what is happening today:
Attorney General Alberto Gonzales’ former White House liaison is scheduled to testify on Capitol Hill on Wednesday, speaking out for the first time on her role in the controversial U.S. attorney firings.
Monica Goodling, who served as Gonzales’ senior counsel, is the only key official who has not yet testified about the firings of eight U.S. attorneys.
Her lawyers initially kept her from testifying, saying she would cite her Fifth Amendment right to protection from self-incrimination, but she will now be granted immunity.
Unfortunately, which one will garner more evening news across the nation? Why our bogeyman, of course, Bush…er…Bin Laden. Sorry, a little slip up. I mean it is Bush who keeps trying to scare us into following his way. That’s what a bogeyman does, scare people.
Seriously, if this information came out in 2005, why did Bush feel like needing to hold on to this until now? Why not release it in 2005 to prove that his war in Iraq was a just cause? And why to the Coast Guard Academy of Connecticut? Why not to the whole nation? Why hold on to it, unless you are holding on to them to use them at politically sensitive times, like say, today, when one of your former goons testifies with immunity from prosecution?
The Senate Intelligence Committee released a report showing that Curt Weldon’s claims that Able Danger knew of Mohammed Atta before 9/11 and were thwarted in their attempts to warn America are baseless and false, as we reasonable people knew. Curt Weldon and Rick Santorum are men who will go to their graves thinking differently. Well they are now out of position of power and influence, so that helps. There is still so much work to be done though to get past this hysteria and hyperbole, to a point where Americans can think clearly and logically, as well as ethically and morally about our enemy. There is still too much raw anger in the air…
Not satisfied with their philosophy utterly discredited with the war in Iraq, the American Enterprise Institute continues to spew out drivel, now directed towards Iran. In an op-ed in the Los Angeles Times, Joshua Muravchik argues that it is time to bomb Iran, as if that will somehow solve all our problems, i.e. as if that will end Iran’s drive for nuclear weapons. He does say that there will be a price:
Finally, wouldn’t such a U.S. air attack on Iran inflame global anti-Americanism? Wouldn’t Iran retaliate in Iraq or by terrorism? Yes, probably. That is the price we would pay. But the alternative is worse.
So the price of a risky attack which might not even get all the sites destroyed is that Iran will meddle further in Iraq, further destabilizing the country, create more terrorism around the world, and inflame global anti-Americanism even further. Is Mr. Muravchik really that stupid? He glosses over the costs as if it’s not bad, when he doesn’t even mention the very real possibility that bombing Iran won’t stop the WMD program from continuing further. In fact, it will probably only further embolden Iran. After all, once they get nuclear weapons, the likelihood of America attacking Iran will decrease exponentially. They know what power lies behind the possession of nuclear technology. They see it in Pakistan. America’s greatest failure in stopping other countries from getting nuclear weapons lies in her relationship with Pakistan. We support a military dictatorship that sits on nuclear weapons, that oppresses its people, that can’t control much of its country…oh and Osama Bin Laden is hiding there, comfortably among friends. Yeah, America. Great message that you send to the rest of the world!
Mr. Muravchik gets even worse in his op-ed. He starts using reductio ad Leninism, along with revising history:
Communism itself was to claim perhaps 100 million lives, and it also gave rise to fascism and Nazism, leading to World War II. Ahmadinejad wants to be the new Lenin. Force is the only thing that can stop him.
Yeah, tie Ahmadinejad to Lenin. Make him as bad of a man as the most influential person in the 20th Century, Vladimir Lenin. Of course, Ahmadinejad is no Lenin, nor a Stalin, nor a Hitler. But Mr. Muravchik does not wish to be honest with his readers. See, Lenin and Hitler were forceful personalities that could fundamentally alter what people thought about them. They won over the masses. They ruled with full force and power. They were the strongest cults of personalities you could ever find in history. Few even come close to their personas. Ahmadinejad does not hold the reins of power in Iran. He’s but a puppet, dancing the strings for the clerics in the background. Furthermore, they led countries that could mobilize themselves to be the most powerful nations on the planet. When Germany began attacking her neighbors in 1938, she was the most powerful nation on the planet. True, when Lenin took control of Russia, she was very weak, but that was only due to the fact that she just went through a revolution. However, by the time of Hitler’s attack on Russia, Russia fended off the most powerful nation. It is my belief that Hitler’s greatest mistake was to attack Russia when he did. That is what led to his downfall.
Now, if we look at Iran today, we find that militarily speaking, it doesn’t even have the largest military budget in the Middle East. That honor goes not even to Israel. Saudi Arabia has the largest military budget of the Middle East, nearly three times more than both Israel and Iran, which have similar sized budgets. Iran could not defeat Saddam’s Iraq even though they had three times more people.
Sorry but the comparison to two of the world’s greatest and most powerful leaders is false and rather unscholarly for one representing a think tank. But the American Enterprise Institute has not proven itself over the last decade to spew out much but trash about the Middle East.
Furthermore, he continues the tradition among right-wingers to say that fascism and Nazism were somehow created or formed by Communism. This is because right-wingers, like Mr. Muravchik, hate the fact that there actually arose evil people and philosophies on the right side of the political spectrum. Indeed some of the worst people in the world came from conservative societies. It is kinda detrimental to your attempt to smear the left as pure evil when your own political side has had some truly evil people. Thus, they revise history and move the goal posts so as to say evil only comes from the left.
Finally Mr. Muravchik says:
After the Bolshevik takeover of Russia in 1917, a single member of Britain’s Cabinet, Winston Churchill, appealed for robust military intervention to crush the new regime. His colleagues weighed the costs — the loss of soldiers, international derision, revenge by Lenin — and rejected the idea.
Hmmm, there’s probably a reason why only one person was stupid enough to think that such a plan would work. Or is Mr. Muravchik also deriding Mr. Churchill for not having the balls to go after Russia at its weakest? I’m sure Mr. Churchill was not for that idea. Mr. Churchill was much smarter than Mr. Muravchik is proving. How horrible the future of our country will be if we continue listening to such idiots as Mr. Muravchik and others from the American Enterprise Institute. Remember, America. They gave you the Iraq you see today. Those are the fruits of their labors. Those horrors are their visions and futures. Do not listen to them.
My Republican friends, where is the evidence to back your claim that Democrats knew of these emails and waited until October to release them? Continue Reading Republicans, Where’s The Evidence For Your Accusation?…
Yet again, no matter that it was a Republican aide who released the emails to ABC, no matter that it was a Republican Congressman who instigated and acted in a predatory manner to House pages, no matter that it was the Republican House leader, Hastert, who knew about this for the past few years, Republicans have decided this week that their strategy is to blame Democrats.
Politics is all about timing. Note that on the front of the big sources of news, the big story is the Atta martyrdom tape, from pre-9/11 smiling murderer-to-be. Why is it released now?
The images were taken from a videotape the U.S. military recovered from an al-Qaida compound after the invasion of Afghanistan in late 2001.
The military has had this video tape for five years. Why release it today? Well….what else has come out today? Bob Woodward’s book and media blitz with damaging information that Bush has lied to the American public. So what can Bush do? Attempt to distract.
Bush has more cards up his sleeves, including a possible ace in the hole. Just watch from now until November 7. Anytime bad news comes out proving Bush wrong, something will be released to make Americans remember 9/11 and the enemy, regardless of how accurate the bad news coming out is. Bush does not want Americans to believe he has made some detrimental mistakes. Thus he tells his military to release tapes they have held for five years.
Are you going to pay attention to him, America, or to the truth?
Glen Greenwald has done a fabulous job on his blog to showcase the real culprits of the reduction of forces in Somalia in 1993. This past Sunday, on FoxNews (the right-wing propaganda machine) Clinton defended his actions in Somalia in the face of lies and false accusations.
I was just sitting eating my breakfast, watching NBC’s Today show….just moments ago. They had Tim Russert on the show to give “analysis” of the two speeches yesterday by Ahmadinejad and Bush at the UN. Russert said something that I think most Americans would agree with, but is false. In describing Iran, he said that Iran was trying to overtake Iraq in the 80s. What?!?!?! Maybe I’m one of few Americans who doesn’t have a short attention span, but I am quite sure that it was actually Iraq that tried to overtake Iran back in the 80s, and found Iran to be so formidable that Iraq had to resort to chemical weapons to keep the hundreds of thousands of Iranians at bay. It was Saddam that was the aggressor. It was Saddam that tried to invade Iran and take over Iran, not the other way around. Boy, the revision of history in America is intolerable. What are you doing, Mr. Russert?
I’ll get a transcript of this later. This was just on five minutes ago.