War Based On Lies

Surprise.

Another article (in our local paper) by a chest-bleating liberal zealot who misses having G.W. Bush to kick around (directly) for the world’s woes … lamenting our collective lack of sack cloth and ash as the 10th anniversary of a “war based on lies” and “a policy of torture” passed.

Except for him of course, because it’s all about a public display of proper self-loathing for a hit of GoodPerson™ Highness.

So here’s another liberal chestnut (or maybe a small basket of them) that I wish to address.

Yes, the 2003 Iraq war was based on lies. To be specific, Saddam Hussein’s lies.

See, the 1991 war, the one everyone agrees the U.N. got behind, with the big coalition that included “old” Europe never really ended. There was a cease fire agreement. And in that cease-fire agreement, Saddam Hussein said that he would comply with getting rid of his chemical weapons and any nuclear weapons programs, and would allow the UN to verify the dismantling and disposing of said systems.

But he didn’t do that. He stymied the inspections every chance he got, and eventually kicked the UN inspectors out. And, though he denied having these weapons anymore when speaking directly to western governments, he told a different story to his people and to those in the Middle East he wanted to impress.

So he lied about complying with the cease fire agreement, and he was lying to SOMEBODY about whether or not he had WMD.

Given the fact that 1) he did have them at one time, 2) the entire world intelligence community, including Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Al Gore, John Kerry, Madeline Albright, and virulent anti-Bush Democrats including Sam Berger, Nancy Pelosi, Tom Daschel, Ted Kennedy, Robert Byrd, & Henry Waxman believed he had them, and Saddam wanted his people and his local enemies to believe he had them, and he was interfering with UN Inspectors efforts to verify that he was complying with his agreement to get rid of the ones he had … we didn’t so much start a new “illegal” war with Iraq, but rather set about to finish the one he started back in 1991 and lied to get us to stop.

In the mean time he was a known sponsor of international terrorism including Hamas. Despite protests to the contrary, he likely even helped Al-Queda where their interests and his aligned. Not that any of this is necessary to pin what I’ve already discussed above on him, but it certainly doesn’t help.

Had he not lied, but rather complied — there would have been no 2003 restart of the 1991 war.

Hussein lied.  People Died.

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About philmon

Part mountain junkie, part decent amateur photographer, part survivalist, part not-so-decent amateur musician, part sysadmin. Husband, step-dad, grandpa, and music freak who digs mechanical clocks, barometers, and Gil Elvgren pinups. Studied Meteorolgy & Computer Science. And the U.S. Constitution.

86 thoughts on “War Based On Lies

  1. philmon Post author

    Oooh, wow, the article would only be more complete with a single-word interjection of ….. “HALLLLLLILIBURT’N!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

    Yes, he even claims the Iraq war was “genocidal” (another favorite lefty accusation).

    Got news for ya, Bob. If the U.S. had wanted to wage a “genocidal” war, a lot more people would have died than did. But no, American soldiers such as my son were over there fixing water treatment plants, power plants, schools, and roads and helping Iraqis fight those who would oppress them.

  2. Severian

    “Genocidal”???

    I still wanna know where they got that one. The only thing I can think of is that one Lancet article, widely debunked and mercilessly mocked from the moment it appeared, suggesting “one million” “refugees” might die in the wake of the US invasion.

    I think Noam Chomsky may have repeated it, or said something equally retarded, in re: Afghanistan, and that was enough for Our Betters, I guess.

    For the record, the World Bank sez Afghanistan’s population is just over 35 million. I guess our collateral damage got really collateral. Not even Pharaoh Barack’s no-they’ve-always-been-cool-who-you-callin’-a-hypocrite? drone strikes can’t miss that badly. Numerical literacy has never been the left’s strong suit, but for pete’s sake guys….

  3. Zachriel

    How is the world ruled and how do wars start? Diplomats tell lies to journalists and then believe what they read. — Karl Kraus

    The Bush Administration did dissemble quite a lot in the lead up to the war. An interesting example is Cheney’s office leaking that the aluminum tubes were for WMD, then Cheney pointing to the newspaper article as confirmation that aluminum tubes were for WMD.

    Nevertheless, there’s little doubt that the Bush Administration really believed that Saddam had WMD, or would soon acquire them—a severe case of confirmation bias. They also wildly underestimated the problem of occupying Iraq, and denigrated anyone who disagreed, including crucial allies.

    The Iraq War was a debacle. They were foolish, vain, and stubborn, even when it was clear that Iraq was coming apart at the seams.

  4. Zachriel

    On WMD: No one was more shocked and angry than I was when we didn’t find the weapons… I had a sickening feeling every time I thought about it. I still do. — George W Bush

    On ease of victory: Iraq occupation will last weeks rather than months. — Dick Cheney

    On Iraq devolving into chaos: Remaining violence is thugs & pockets of dead-enders. — Donald Rumsfeld

    1. Severian

      Yup. And Neville Chamberlain said he got “peace for our time” in Munich. The Navy Department said some things circa November 1941 that turned out to be silly and racist in retrospect. John Kerry was for the war before he was against it. Obama said the ACA would save us money.

      We can cut-and-paste quotes of politicians saying silly-in-hindsight things until the earth freezes into an uninhabitable ice ball thanks to that new ice age the Germans assure us is coming.

      The key to a discussion is to actually assemble some kind of argument.

      Here, let me help you out.

  5. philmon Post author

    Certainly there are valid arguments for or against going to war in 2003 (or, as I argue, finishing the one he’d started over a decade earlier), and the degree of success can also be argued over by reasonable people.

    What I don’t accept is the “lies” and the “genocide” and the “blood for oil” mantras. There was a genuine concern revolving about a man with a vendetta who had shown a willingness to do pretty much universally unconscionable things to people and actually seemed to enjoy doing them. And it wasn’t G.W. Bush.

    In the wake of 9/11, as I’ve argued elsewhere, there were good reasons to take Saddam out, if only to end the 1991 war once and for all. After all, Bin Laden’s stated biggest beef was the fact that we had soldiers based on sacred Saudi soil. They were stationed there to enforce the U.N. ceasefire. End the war, end the base.

    Pull OUT of Iraq in RESPONSE to 9/11 … reward the act of terrorism and prove Bin Laden right. We prove ourselves to be the “weak horse” as he told his follwers we were.

    There are ALWAYS good reasons *not* to go to war, no matter what the war. The braver route is to weigh the options and make the best decicion you can with the evidence available to you at the time.

  6. philmon Post author

    “On WMD: No one was more shocked and angry than I was when we didn’t find the weapons… I had a sickening feeling every time I thought about it. I still do. — George W Bush”

    If you ask me, this is to G.W,’s credit.

    I disagreed with the man in several policy areas, but he always came across as a decent, and yes, humble man to me. I never doubted that he was trying to do the right thing, even with TARP – which I was very much against.

  7. Zachriel

    Severian: And Neville Chamberlain said he got “peace for our time” in Munich.

    That’s right. Chamberlain was wrong about Hitler, just as Bush was wrong about WMD, Rumsfeld was wrong about a few dead-enders, and Cheney was wrong about the ease of the Iraqi occupation.

    philmon: Certainly there are valid arguments for or against going to war in 2003 (or, as I argue, finishing the one he’d started over a decade earlier), and the degree of success can also be argued over by reasonable people.

    They should have used restraint, and it was clear at the time that they were ideologically driven.

    Captain Midnight: Question for you, Zachriel: if coalition troops had found WMD in Iraq, would you then agree that the war was warranted?

    The inspections were still ongoing. Military action could have waited. The U.S. should have exercised restraint. With their preemptive attack, use of torture, and the false premise for the war, they undermined everything they had worked for over generations.

        1. Captain Midnight

          Give me a hint here, Zachriel: which meaning for “Military action could have waited” did you intend?

          A. Yes, discovery of WMD in Iraq would have justified the coalition invasion.
          B. No, discovery of WMD in Iraq would not have justified the coalition invasion.
          C. I am incapable of answering hypothetical questions in a straightforward manner.

  8. Zachriel

    philmon: I never doubted that {Bush} was trying to do the right thing

    He believed what he read in the papers.

  9. philmon Post author

    Wow, go for a little evening bike ride and look what you come back to.

    I say reasonable people can disagree over the impetus for the war, but Z says, no they can’t:

    They should have used restraint, and it was clear at the time that they were ideologically driven.

    Well. Z has spoken, I guess.

    If one is not ideologically driven, how, then, should be one driven?

    I’m not naive enough to believe that Z won’t come up with some sort of psuedo answer … of course, the question is ultimately its own trap. You can’t get out of it. One would think Z is probably intelligent enough to realize what it is, too.

  10. philmon Post author

    Bush was (probably) wrong about the WMD. But he was right about Hussein in the opposite way that Chamberlain was wrong about Hitler. Had Saddam complied with the cease fire agreement in the 1991 war, there would have been no question as to whether or not his chemical weapons were gone and his nuclear program had been dismantled. That’s on Hussein.

    Bush believed what he read in the papers? Well, since what was in the papers came largely from what came from the intelligence community that reported to him, so that shouldn’t be shocking, but I doubt the President of the United States goes by what he reads in the papers when it comes to national security when he has the kind of staff he has at his disposal, especially when that staff had been saying the same thing for years.

    Even so, if what Z says is true, then Bush was reading the same things in the papers that his agencies were telling him … where else, exactly, was he supposed to go for his information?

    History of having them and willingness to use them, evasion and incooperativeness in U.N. Inspections, vendetta against the United States & 1991 allies … if Saddam had still had them and had managed to use one, the same information would have been used to damn Bush for “knowing” and not doing anything to stop it.

    I kid you not.

  11. Zachriel

    philmon: I say reasonable people can disagree over the impetus for the war, but Z says, no they can’t:

    Um, we said no such thing. We are interested in contrary views, but they have to be supported. We have considered many such views before reaching our own conclusions, but are more than willing to reconsider those conclusions.

    philmon: If one is not ideologically driven, how, then, should be one driven?

    There has to be human sentiment, of course, but reason and a clear look at the facts are important to achieving salubrious outcomes.

    philmon: Bush was (probably) wrong about the WMD.

    Like Nixon, Saddam made tapes. It’s clear they didn’t have a WMD program, but were frantic on how to convince the Americans they had destroyed their program. They couldn’t account for everything due to poor record-keeping.

    philmon: Had Saddam complied with the cease fire agreement in the 1991 war, there would have been no question as to whether or not his chemical weapons were gone and his nuclear program had been dismantled. That’s on Hussein.

    Sure. Saddam was a ruthless dictator. However, inspectors were in country when the invasion began. Saddam’s days were numbered.

    philmon: Bush believed what he read in the papers? Well, since what was in the papers came largely from what came from the intelligence community that reported to him, so that shouldn’t be shocking,

    Thinking more along these lines. It’s a matter of believing your own propaganda.
    http://blogs.e-rockford.com/applesauce/files/2011/05/bush_flightsuit.jpg

    philmon: where else, exactly, was he supposed to go for his information?

    Bush wasn’t the sharpest tack in the drawer. There was plenty of contrary information, but he was in an ideological bubble. Instead of 9-11 bringing out his best, it enabled the worst tendencies of him and those who he trusted with power. Bush had come to accept the image of himself as a liberator/savior, and gave too much credence to the purpose and outcomes of war.

    It’s not as if the invasion was the only error. It was avoidable mistake after avoidable mistake. It was a March of Folly.
    http://www.amazon.com/March-Folly-Troy-Vietnam/dp/0345308239

    1. Severian

      We are interested in contrary views, but they have to be supported.

      Hehe. Says the collective who can’t even concede a semantic point in a “debate.”

      I don’t think you’ve sufficiently considered this evidence.

  12. mkfreeberg

    All anti-war arguments about Iraq — and quite a few of them concerning other historical events — come down to a single, impractical, foolish proposal that just doesn’t work: “We would have come out ahead managing the expense of military & intelligence resources, including human lives, if we’d never bothered to find out what Saddam Hussein was doing, and left it as a mystery.”

    This shows that anti-war types lack practical experience dealing with complex problems. The first step to managing anything, particularly expenditure of resources, is to convert unknowns into knowns. To gain knowledge. Verifiable knowledge.

    The whole thing comes down to this: On September 12, 2002, did we have that verifiable knowledge? Did anyone? To reply in the affirmative is to disengage the anti-war argument from truth itself; to acknowledge the negative, is to concede the argument. If leaving the unknown unknown is really a winning strategy, I suppose we’ll have a chance to see how that works out with DPRK. Or, we could just recall how things were going with Iraq prior to the invasion. In both cases, I find the results leave a lot to be desired. I’m glad we called the bluff and obliterated the unknown. It’s called learning. It’s a noble goal.

  13. Zachriel

    mkfreeberg: All anti-war arguments about Iraq — and quite a few of them concerning other historical events — come down to a single, impractical, foolish proposal that just doesn’t work: “We would have come out ahead managing the expense of military & intelligence resources, including human lives, if we’d never bothered to find out what Saddam Hussein was doing, and left it as a mystery.”

    Saddam had very limited capabilities, and was largely contained. He didn’t have WMD or even a significant program. The inspections were ongoing.

    The Iraq War led to the implosion of Iraqi society, and the death of more than a hundred thousand people.

    mkfreeberg: This shows that anti-war types lack practical experience dealing with complex problems.

    Said Napoléon to the Russian winter. With the preemptive attack, use of torture, and the false premise for the war, the U.S. undermined everything they had worked for over generations.

    mkfreeberg: The first step to managing anything, particularly expenditure of resources, is to convert unknowns into knowns. To gain knowledge. Verifiable knowledge.

    They clearly didn’t do that before committing vast resources against a tin-horn dictator.

    1. mkfreeberg

      The inspections were ongoing.

      Sure they were!

      ++knock knock++ Police!

      Be right there!

      Open up now! We know you’re flushing your weed!

      Just a sec…

      ++knock knock++ We really mean it!!

      Just hold on, be right there!

      ++knock knock knock++ Open it right now, are we will write you a letter telling you how angry we are!

      (flush) Any second now, be right there…

      mkfreeberg: The first step to managing anything, particularly expenditure of resources, is to convert unknowns into knowns. To gain knowledge. Verifiable knowledge.

      Z: They clearly didn’t do that before committing vast resources against a tin-horn dictator.

      Removing the tin-horn dictator, unfortunately, was the only way to gain the verifiable knowledge. And it seems y’all are opposed to that. But it’s probably a better plan to take the steps needed to find out what’s going on.

  14. Zachriel

    Captain Midnight: Give me a hint here, Zachriel: which meaning for “Military action could have waited” did you intend?

    A. Yes, discovery of WMD in Iraq would have justified the coalition invasion.
    B. No, discovery of WMD in Iraq would not have justified the coalition invasion.
    C. I am incapable of answering hypothetical questions in a straightforward manner.

    The problem with counterfactuals is that they are only limited by the imagination. If the U.S. invaded the Netherlands, and found no evidence of WMD, would they have been justified if they had actually found a nuclear-armed intercontinental ballistic missile ready to be launched at the U.S? Um, sure, but …

    WMD, such as chemical weapons, would not have justified a war. Evidence of an advanced nuclear program, might justify an internationally sanctioned war. An imminent threat would justify unilateral action. Please note the last point. Countries have a right to self-defence, but this was all predicated on an attack made with boxcutters.

    There was ample warning that the Bush Administration was ideologically blinded—not only in the run up to the war, but during the initial phases of the occupation. It was a March of Folly, and you could only watch, because they weren’t going to listen to contrary opinions.

    When you break down someone’s door claiming he’s making a bomb in his basement, shoot his dog, panic his wife, and cripple his kid, you better be right.

    Zachriel: The inspections were ongoing.

    mkfreeberg: (flush) Any second now, be right there…

    Um, there were no WMD to flush.

    1. Captain Midnight

      179 words to answer that in your mind an advanced nuke program *might* justify war, and that chemical weapons wouldn’t justify war. That’s you answering both A and B with a whole bunch of C mixed in.

      Zachriel: Um, there were no WMD to flush

      OK, I’m going to see if I can get a simple Yes/No answer out of you. Here’s the question: Saddam both had and used WMD before the coalition invasion of 2003.

      To make it extra clear, the expected answer is either Yes or No. Heck, I’ll even accept a True or False. Your call. Are you up to the challenge?

  15. Zachriel

    mkfreeberg: Not by the time we finally got through the door, no.

    The evidence shows that Saddam did not have any significant WMD or any substantial program to produce WMD.

    Captain Midnight: Saddam both had and used WMD before the coalition invasion of 2003.

    Yes, that is correct.

    During the Iran-Iraq War, the U.S. provided assistance to Iraq, including helicopters suitable for delivering chemical weapons, and guidance on targeting. Iraq used chemical weapons on the front with Iran, stopping massed attacks, and on Kurdish civilians in Halabja.

    After the Gulf War, Saddam was required to account for and destroy and all WMD, and certain classes of missiles.

    1. nightfly

      Here’s the thing.

      Let’s say you’ve been busted for making meth in your basement. The feds give you house arrest, under certain conditions: the narc squad will check on your house from time to time, your parole officer wants you to stay clear of your old drug-cooking buddies, and you have to deal with some remote surveillance.

      Now let’s say that for about a year after that, you won’t let the narcs look inside certain closets, and the basement windows have been boarded up and the door is triple-padlocked; all of a sudden you’re the most popular guy on the wrong side of the tracks; every CI is telling the cops that anyone looking to tweak is getting the stuff from you; and finally you start tossing rocks at the FBI Pizza Delivery Van. You tell your parole officer to piss off.

      Guess what – when they ram through your door at 2 am and toss the place, it’s your fault. You’re going to Club Fed and it’s your fault. Even if they don’t find anything, it’s your fault.

      And just for the record… some people think that the Iraq War was both justified and successful.

    2. Cylar

      He had WMD’s (and used them) during the Iran-Iraq war of the 80s. He used them again against the Kurds. This is historical fact. This alone proves that Saddam had WMD. Do you you understand?

      Some people even make the claim that the reason the US knew that Saddam had such weapons is….we provided them to his government during his war with Iran.

      None were found in the immediate aftermath of the invasion (actually, some were….http://www.nypost.com/p/news/international/us_did_find_iraq_wmd_AYiLgNbw7pDf7AZ3RO9qnM) because most of the stockpile was moved into Syria before the start of hostilities in 2003. http://winteryknight.wordpress.com/2012/12/07/surprise-wmds-from-iraq-were-moved-to-syria-by-saddam-hussein/

      It’s one thing to argue opinion or what the US and its allies should have done about it, but stop insulting our intelligence by attempting to deny basic facts which aren’t actually in doubt. It makes you look foolish.

  16. Zachriel

    nightfly: Guess what – when they ram through your door at 2 am and toss the place, it’s your fault.

    Yes, we understand the analogy. It doesn’t justify burning down the neighborhood.

    nightfly: And just for the record… some people think that the Iraq War was both justified and successful.

    Sure he does. But that wasn’t the reason given, and is not a legal justification for war. Experience has shown that war is extremely dangerous and can spiral out of control, and draw other nations into conflict.

    (Al-Maliki is wrong about the “overwhelming majority of Iraqis” saying they are better off than before the war. Polls generally show a divided public, with more saying worse off than before.)

    1. Cylar

      The neighborhood didn’t burn. Iraq did, and that was the fault of the people who continued to fight against the coalition troops after it was clear that Iraq had lost. The capital was in coalition hands and a few months later, Saddam was in custody. That should have been the end of it.

      Instead, you had people who continued to fight for years and kill thousands of their own people in the process. Whatever happened to the good old days, when the war was over once you’d seized the enemy’s capital and killed or imprisoned its leaders?

    2. nightfly

      All y’all can type “no legal justification for war” about Iraq all you like, but you are in error. If Iraq violates the terms of the cease-fire, then they have resumed hostilities. We decided to take them at their word. The terror of war should be enough to restrain those who are unjustly aggressive towards their neighbors, but it didn’t in Saddam Hussein’s case, and he got far more than he bargained for.

      The reason why so many of these half-baked thugs go saber-rattling is that the West shows astonishing restraint about fighting, even when it’s fighting back. Maybe you feel sorry for Iraq in this case. It might surprise you to learn that I feel sorry for them, too; that doesn’t change what had to be done. And as sorry as I feel about the horribly-oppressed people of North Korea and Iran, that doesn’t change what might need doing about them in the near future, either… whether or not it’s the US that’s doing it. Sadly, the US seems to be one of the last places where the willingness to do the hard thing still flickers on.

  17. philmon Post author

    philmon: If one is not ideologically driven, how, then, should be one driven?

    Z: There has to be human sentiment, of course, but reason and a clear look at the facts are important to achieving salubrious outcomes.

    Wow.

    Just … wow.

    He … er … “they” (anybody eles find that collective ‘we’ just a little creepy?) … can’t even bring themselves to admit that moral decisions are made using ideology, no matter who is making them. Facts are facts, reason is reason, but decisions … are based on ideology.

    philmon: I say reasonable people can disagree over the impetus for the war, but Z says, no they can’t:

    Z: Um, we said no such thing. We are interested in contrary views, but they have to be supported. We have considered many such views before reaching our own conclusions, but are more than willing to reconsider those conclusions.

    Yes you did. And they were supported. You just didn’t like the arguments. I’ve read enough of your stuff and enough of your bio to know that you are only interested in finding contrary views mainly to treat them like a certain cephalopod treats percieved threats. And that’s cool. Do what you’ve gotta do. But I’m not going to sit here and quibble over what the meaning of the word “is” is, and the like.

    Z: Sure. Saddam was a ruthless dictator. However, inspectors were in country when the invasion began. Saddam’s days were numbered.

    Speaking of supporting arguments … just who was going to remove Saddam and how? 17 sternly worded letters from the U.N. certainly didn’t seem to be budging him. As to poor record-keeping, when you have a record like Saddam’s, you don’t keep poor records unless you don’t intend to be held to account for them.

    The fact of the matter is I wasn’t talking about Saddam being a ruthless dictator, I was talking about the fact that he was ensconced, intransigent, and likely to stay that way. He negotiated the way the North Vietnamese did and the way Iran does.

    Bush wasn’t the sharpest tack in the drawer. There was plenty of contrary information, but he was in an ideological bubble. Instead of 9-11 bringing out his best, it enabled the worst tendencies of him and those who he trusted with power. Bush had come to accept the image of himself as a liberator/savior, and gave too much credence to the purpose and outcomes of war.

    Bush had a drawl the progressive (and tolerant!) elite didn’t like, but that doesn’t make you an idiot. Perhaps he wasn’t Albert Einstein, but he was no dummy. He had no messiah complex. He just did what he thought was right based on the information available to him.

    There is always contrary intelligence. You have to weigh it all and go with what you think is right. And you’re going to be wrong sometimes. But intellectual paralysis ends up bringing about the wrong choices much more often.

    At any rate, I’m not going to continue here, and I’m serious. I’ve laid out my arguments, you’ve laid out yours. We both came here to do what we do. The readers can sift through the … ahem, “contrary” information and decide on their own.

    I will not be assimilated.

    1. Cylar

      Bush went to Yale and flew fighter jets in the Texas Air National Guard. Then he got himself elected governor of a large, diverse, and populous state…and finally served 8 years as president. You don’t accomplish all that by being an idiot. I also got tired of the constant alternating back and forth between “He’s an idiot who can’t tie his own shoelaces” and “He’s an evil genius who deluded the entire Western world into a war for nefarious ends.” They couldn’t seem to pick a lane.

      You don’t measure intelligence by how closely someone’s policy preferences align with your own. I think one of Morgan’s Things I Know addresses this point. He was right.

      Did anyone else get tired, too, of hearing the antiwar Left screaming at us for “questioning their patriotism?” It got to the point where a lot of us finally pointed out that we weren’t questioning their patriotism (actually, there was plenty questionable about that), but their judgment.

      It was completely lost on Bush’s critics that he was supposedly such a moron, but yet…he kept beating them and getting his way – in Congress, at the ballot box. What does it say about you when an “idiot” is kicking your butt?

      Personally I don’t even call Obama an idiot, not because he isn’t one, but because I think it’s more productive to point out that the problem with the guy isn’t his intellect…it’s his priorities, values, judgement, associations, and policies.

  18. Cylar

    I can’t believe we’re talking about this all over again, as if it mattered at this point. What are we going to so, go back and un-fight the war now that Z has made us dirty, stupid, warmongering neo-cons finally “see the light?”

    I went around and around and around with liberals about this, mostly during all those stupid, pointless, ceaseless antiwar protests that seemed to be on the news every freakin’ night during the run up to the war and continuing through the end of 2005 or so.

    Then, after conceding that it really was a bit late for arguments against the war, they then switched to demanding the US and its allies immediately withdraw and throw the country to the wolves. We were told how much it was costing, how many servicemen had been lost (the cliched expression “American blood and treasure” got thrown around a lot), how many innocent Iraqis had been caught in the crossfire of battles between AQI/Saddamites and coalition troops…on and on and on.

    I tried pointing out that this discussion was pointless, too. Bush had already said, “I’m the decider.” He was right, and it should have been abundantly clear to any observer, left or right, that he wasn’t listening to his critics…and rightfully so. None of them (including somebodies like Harry Reid who should have known better) had anything worthwhile to contribute to the discussion. No suggestion of a realignment in tactics, no pointers on how to help the new Iraqi government get onto its feet…just….WITHDRAW NOW. Give up, give up, withdraw withdraw, turn tail and run and prove our enemies right.

    I never could get any of the Left (to say nothing of the isolationist libertarian types who generally also opposed the war) to give me a straight answer to, “So if you get your way, what’s going to happen to Iraq and all of the people in it who’ve helped us? Are you going to have us go back in when AQI starts its wholesale slaughter of these people for the crime of helping the hated infidels? Are you going to help deal with the flood of refugees into Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and others?”

    I found the Iraq war’s critics to be absolutely useless. Never fond of liberals and libertarians to start with, I got especially irritated with them over this. It got to the point where I wanted them to just shut the hell up and stop letting our enemies see division among us. I was convinced it was costing American lives. This discord did absolutely nothing except encourage AQI to keep fighting and try to win the propaganda war going on in the US media.

  19. Zachriel

    Cylar: The neighborhood didn’t burn. Iraq did, and that was the fault of the people who continued to fight against the coalition troops after it was clear that Iraq had lost.

    It was a predictable outcome of destroying the old government without having a plan in place to replace the security apparatus. Security is the responsibility of the occupying power, and chaos can be worse than tyranny.

    Cylar: Instead, you had people who continued to fight for years and kill thousands of their own people in the process. Whatever happened to the good old days, when the war was over once you’d seized the enemy’s capital and killed or imprisoned its leaders?

    Napoléon: “As I said we would, we’ve captured Moscow. Russia is ours! Now, where are the city fathers to present me the keys to the city? Hmm, do you smell smoke?”

    philmon: Facts are facts, reason is reason, but decisions … are based on ideology.

    Good decisions are also based on facts and reason.

    philmon: Speaking of supporting arguments … just who was going to remove Saddam and how?

    Perhaps the Iraqis themselves. But no one lives forever. Saddam was contained, had discontinued his WMD programs, and it was just a matter of time. Iraq was no longer a threat.

    philmon: As to poor record-keeping, when you have a record like Saddam’s, you don’t keep poor records unless you don’t intend to be held to account for them.

    You act as if the Americans didn’t occupy Iraq. They have all the records. Saddam attempted to document and destroy all his weapons, but there was a brutal war with Iran, and much was lost.

    philmon: He negotiated the way the North Vietnamese did and the way Iran does.

    He destroyed all his weapons.

    philmon: Bush had a drawl the progressive (and tolerant!) elite didn’t like, but that doesn’t make you an idiot.

    No, Bush wasn’t an idiot, but the Bush Administration was clearly in thrall to ideologues. That’s why they would disregard contrary opinions, opinions that turned out to be right. That’s why they knew there were WMD, despite the uncertainty of the evidence. That’s why they didn’t prepare for the occupation, because they thought democracy was something that just springs forth, contrary to all history.

    This was all predictable from the beginning. People want to strike back hard and now. At the time, we could only hope and wait that Bush would temper the worst impulses and channel that righteous anger into rational decisions.

    philmon: And you’re going to be wrong sometimes.

    And when you’re wrong, you get the blame, especially when you have disregarded contrary opinions, denigrated your friends who tryed to warn you, and caused so much misery.

    Cylar: It got to the point where a lot of us finally pointed out that we weren’t questioning their patriotism (actually, there was plenty questionable about that), but their judgment.

    Questioning loyalty was a common refrain at the time. Do you want citations? Freedom Fries!

    Cylar: IWhat are we going to so, go back and un-fight the war now that Z has made us dirty, stupid, warmongering neo-cons finally “see the light?”

    Sort of thought that would have been the facts that caused them to “see the light”, but people have trouble facing the truth sometimes.

    Cylar: “WITHDRAW NOW”

    That would have also been wrong, and against international law. The occupying power has responsibilities.

    1. mkfreeberg

      Sort of thought that would have been the facts that caused them to “see the light”, but people have trouble facing the truth sometimes.

      Yeah, it’s all about facts, and reason, and “truth” until it isn’t.

      Most of your points have had very little, or nothing, to do with the most logical thing to do about Iraq, either now or then. The argument in favor of military invasion of Iraq was, and remains, that with what was known at the time it was the most logical thing to do. From all I’ve seen here, your most compelling rebuttal against this is “look at this terrible awful foolish thing the Bush administration did, and let’s see how much outrage we can stir up against it.” When it doesn’t work, y’all just try again.

      So, I think we should all go a bit lighter on this whole “facts” and “truth” thing. That isn’t the argument you’re presenting.

  20. Zachriel

    mkfreeberg: The argument in favor of military invasion of Iraq was, and remains, that with what was known at the time it was the most logical thing to do.

    Your stated position is clear and concise.

    The problem is that it is contrary to the evidence. We know the Bush Administration had already determined to go to war before all the evidence was available, then was unable to change course as that evidence became available. The claim of chemical weapons labs was due to the testimony of one person, codenamed “Curveball”. The uranium-Niger connection was debunked early on. The aluminum tubes were for legal missiles. Inspectors were in Iraq in the lead-up to the invasion. This close-mindedness was also evident in the planning for the occupation, and during the occupation itself.

    War is not only destructive, but has a habit of spiraling out of control. That’s why most wars are now considered a violation of the peace by the international community. Sometimes wars are unavoidable, but this isn’t one of them. More than a hundred thousand Iraqis died in the aftermath of the U.S. invasion. More than a million were made refugees.

  21. Zachriel

    mkfreeberg: From all I’ve seen here, your most compelling rebuttal against this is “look at this terrible awful foolish thing the Bush administration did, and let’s see how much outrage we can stir up against it.”

    Philmon brought up the Iraq War. And we agree with him. Bush didn’t lie (unless you count lying to yourself as lying). Bush and his team were absolutely shocked that there were no WMD—they were so sure of it. Now, Bush is sick about it, because he knows WMD were the legal and moral justification for all that death and destruction.

  22. Captain Midnight

    Captain Midnight: Saddam both had and used WMD before the coalition invasion of 2003.

    Zachriel: Yes, that is correct.

    Congratulations! You are capable of answering, with much prompting, a yes/no question with an appropriate yes/no answer. You should feel proud of your accomplishment. Of course, you then had to spoil your success with blathering on, but that’s just you.

    Zachriel: During the Iran-Iraq War, the U.S. provided assistance to Iraq, including helicopters suitable for delivering chemical weapons, and guidance on targeting.

    So how much culpability for the Iraqi use of chemical weapons does the US have because it supplied helicopters and guidance?

  23. Captain Midnight

    Zachriel: Countries have a right to self-defence, but this was all predicated on an attack made with boxcutters.

    This is part of the left’s narrative of “Bush is an idiot — he attacked Iraq because of Sept. 11th, but Iraq didn’t have anything to do with that attack. Gosh, ain’t he dumb?!”

    You can read the full text of the 2002 joint resolution that authorized military force against Iraq here. As I count it, there are 23 reasons stated for the use of force, and only one comes close to your boxcutters canard:

    “Whereas members of al Qaida, an organization bearing responsibility for attacks on the United States, its citizens, and interests, including the attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, are known to be in Iraq”

    True? True. But being one out of 23 reasons doesn’t make the Iraq war “all predicated on an attack made with boxcutters.” Twenty-two other “whereas” clauses puts the lie to that claim. But it’s a great Media Matters talking point.

  24. Severian

    Soooooo…. now that (still more) evidence of what a huge scam AGW is finally getting limited media play, we’re going back and re-litigating the Iraq War? That’s our thing now, is it?

    Please, follow this link. It’s not a picture of a cuttlefish, I swear. It’s a link to some resources y’all desperately need.

    Get help. There are lots of good psychotropics on the market today. You don’t have to suffer anymore.

  25. mkfreeberg

    We know the Bush Administration had already determined to go to war before all the evidence was available, then was unable to change course as that evidence became available.

    There’s a name for that: Resolve. As in, resolution.

    So I guess your position is that when multiple resolutions are passed, somehow the right thing to do is to act as if no resolution has been passed. You were saying something about acting in accordance with the evidence…

    To repeat, I think we need to stop using words like fact, reason, truth, evidence in describing your rebuttals. They aren’t based on facts or evidence, they’re based on (selective) outrage.

  26. Zachriel

    Captain Midnight: You are capable of answering, with much prompting, a yes/no question with an appropriate yes/no answer.

    The question had a simple yes or no answer. Your previous question did not.

    Captain Midnight: So how much culpability for the Iraqi use of chemical weapons does the US have because it supplied helicopters and guidance?

    The U.S. reasonably had knowledge of how the weapons were going to be used, so they certainly had some culpability.

    Captain Midnight: As I count it, there are 23 reasons stated for the use of force, and only one comes close to your boxcutters canard:

    But only one represents a valid reason under international agreements the U.S. is party to.

    Captain Midnight: “Whereas members of al Qaida, an organization bearing responsibility for attacks on the United States, its citizens, and interests, including the attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, are known to be in Iraq”

    Saddam was not harboring al Qaida.

    Captain Midnight: But being one out of 23 reasons doesn’t make the Iraq war “all predicated on an attack made with boxcutters.”

    The rationale was that the surprise attack of 9-11 meant the U.S. had to take the initiative, even if that meant preemptive war. This rationale led to disaster.

    Severian: we’re going back and re-litigating the Iraq War?

    The Iraq War was the subject of the original post.

    mkfreeberg: There’s a name for that: Resolve. As in, resolution.

    “Be sure you’re right, then go ahead.”

    1. nightfly

      Z: “The rationale was that the surprise attack of 9-11 meant the U.S. had to take the initiative, even if that meant preemptive war. This rationale led to disaster.”

      What disaster? Have any more skyscrapers been blown up? No? Then honestly, I’m not sure where you get “disaster.” As you observe (twice and with the exact same phrase), war is a horrible thing. That’s supposed to stop rational and empathetic people from launching them… but Al Qaeda is not empathetic, and their reasoning (if you give them credit enough for it) entirely springs from their death-cult faith and sociopathology. End result, war launched against the US, who won.

      Considering that this was in many ways the most careful war in history, the “disaster” you speak of is largely imaginary. Iraq’s post-war condition is vastly superior to what Europe looked like after the Allies got through with the Nazis.

  27. Captain Midnight

    Captain Midnight: So how much culpability for the Iraqi use of chemical weapons does the US have because it supplied helicopters and guidance?

    Zachriel: The U.S. reasonably had knowledge of how the weapons were going to be used, so they certainly had some culpability.

    Helicopters were given with the knowledge that they’d be used to deliver chemical weapons? Really? Blaming the US for supplying helicopters that were then used by Iraq to deliver chemical weapons is like blaming Ryder for renting a truck to Tim McVeigh.

    Captain Midnight: “Whereas members of al Qaida, an organization bearing responsibility for attacks on the United States, its citizens, and interests, including the attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, are known to be in Iraq”

    Zachriel: Saddam was not harboring al Qaida.

    Non sequitur since the sentence does not state that Saddam was. Look at that sentence above and tell me what is factually wrong.

  28. Severian

    Severian: we’re going back and re-litigating the Iraq War?

    The Iraq War was the subject of the original post.

    Yeah, I know, dipshits.

    Philmon was pointing out that some of the media, like you all, has a unique problem — you want to get a virtue fix by complaining about bad stuff, but since this is the 5th year of Our Glorious God-King’s reign, things should be perfect. Since none of this could possibly be liberals’ fault, the only way to get a nice Goodperson high is to retell the same ol’ lies about George W. Bush.

    Sadly, repeating the same tendentious crap ten years later doesn’t make it any truer. I didn’t buy it in 2003, when John Kerry was for the war. I didn’t buy it in 2004, when John Kerry was against the war. I didn’t buy it in 2007, when Barack Obama was voting present on the whole thing, and I didn’t buy it in 2008 when Barack Obama was continuing the exact same policies.

    OCD is a real thing, kids. Get help somewhere… just not here.

  29. Zachriel

    nightfly: What disaster?

    The one that left more than a hundred thousand Iraqis dead, and more than a million as refugees.

    nightfly: Have any more skyscrapers been blown up? No? … but Al Qaeda …

    That wasn’t due to the invasion of Iraq, nor was Saddam responsible for 9-11.

    Captain Midnight: “Whereas members of al Qaida, an organization bearing responsibility for attacks on the United States, its citizens, and interests, including the attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, are known to be in Iraq”

    If Saddam were allowing enemies of the United States to plot within his political control, then war against his regime might be justifiable. But pointing to 9-11, then going to war when Saddam wasn’t involved is not valid justification.

    1. nightfly

      If he didn’t want the US Armed Forces in his country, he shouldn’t have broken the cease-fire. You may like to gloss over that part whenever any of us mention it, but it happened.

  30. Captain Midnight

    Captain Midnight: “Whereas members of al Qaida, an organization bearing responsibility for attacks on the United States, its citizens, and interests, including the attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, are known to be in Iraq”

    Zachriel: If Saddam were allowing enemies of the United States to plot within his political control, then war against his regime might be justifiable. But pointing to 9-11, then going to war when Saddam wasn’t involved is not valid justification.

    Non sequitur. The question was to look at the above sentence from the joint resolution and tell me what part is factually wrong.

  31. Zachriel

    Captain Midnight: “Whereas members of al Qaida, an organization bearing responsibility for attacks on the United States, its citizens, and interests, including the attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, are known to be in Iraq”

    Captain Midnight: Non sequitur.

    You’re right. It’s a non sequitur. It fallaciously links the presumed fact about al Qaida being within Iraq to the justification for war.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/09/08/AR2006090800777.html

    http://www.csmonitor.com/2007/0406/p99s01-duts.html/%28page%29/2

  32. Captain Midnight

    Captain Midnight: “Whereas members of al Qaida, an organization bearing responsibility for attacks on the United States, its citizens, and interests, including the attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, are known to be in Iraq”

    Captain Midnight: Non sequitur.

    Zachriel: You’re right. It’s a non sequitur. It fallaciously links the presumed fact about al Qaida being within Iraq to the justification for war.

    OK, third time. Please tell me what part of the sentence above from the joint resolution is factually wrong. I have every confidence that after sufficient effort on your part, you can answer a simple question addressed to you. Don’t let me down!

  33. Zachriel

    Captain Midnight: Please tell me what part of the sentence above from the joint resolution is factually wrong.

    Because it’s a non sequitur, it doesn’t really matter whether it is true or not. We answered on the presumption it was true. There were al Qaeda operatives in many countries, including the United States, so there probably were in Iraq too.

    This is precisely why so many people thought the Bush Administration was dissembling. Guess it depends on what the meaning of the word “is” is. Only this time, it was about war.

    1. Captain Midnight

      Zachriel: it doesn’t really matter whether it is true or not.

      So the 23 reasons outlined in the joint resolution don’t matter whether they are true or not. *boggle*

      I guess my confidence that you could answer a simple question after multiple promptings was misplaced. Go squirt your digital ink elsewhere since you are incapable (or unwilling) to engage in an discussion here.

  34. Zachriel

    Captain Midnight: So the 23 reasons outlined in the joint resolution don’t matter whether they are true or not.

    As we said, it is irrelevant to the justification for war—that is, unless the statement is read to mean that Saddam was working with al Qaeda. That’s why so many people thought they were dissembling.

    Notably, you didn’t support the claim, nor did you show its relevance as a justification for war. In other words, you neither supported your own position or responded to ours.

  35. Zachriel

    Captain: But since you are unwilling to even engage in conversational baby steps

    You didn’t provide any evidence of the statement, but it seemed reasonable, so we answered on the presumption it was true. You neither supported your own position or responded to ours. Did you have a point?

  36. Zachriel

    nightfly: If he didn’t want the US Armed Forces in his country, he shouldn’t have broken the cease-fire.

    That doesn’t make the war wise or just.

    1. nightfly

      If it wasn’t a wise thing or a just thing to do, THEY should not have done it. There’s no response without their initial provocation.

  37. Zachriel

    Captain Midnight: You never answered a question put to you three times

    We did answer your question.

    “Whereas members of al Qaida, an organization bearing responsibility for attacks on the United States, its citizens, and interests, including the attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, are known to be in Iraq”

    We don’t have specific information, but it seems a reasonable statement for the reasons given above, so you may accept that as a presumptive true. You might support the statement with evidence, or simply make your point based on the presumption that the statement is true.

    You neither supported your own position or responded to ours. Did you have a point?

  38. Zachriel

    Captain Midnight: No point that you are open to learning, based on your inability to answer a question while maintaining that you did.

    A) You put forth a statement.

    B) We didn’t have certainty concerning the answer, but it sounded reasonable, so we accepted it as presumptively true.

    C) We suggested you provide support for the statement.

    D) We suggested you make whatever point you were trying to make by our acceptance of the statement arguendo.

    E) We indicated we thought it was irrelevant as a cause of war when taken literally, and gave our reasons.

    F) We indicated that the statement seemed to be crafted to imply more than its literal sense.

    B is the answer. The other comments were meant to further the discussion, but you neither supported your position or responded to ours.

    1. Captain Midnight

      *sigh*

      This will be more effort than it is worth. But I’m feeling like a masochist today, so I’ll flog away this once.

      Waaaaay back you made the claim that the Iraq war was “all predicated on an attack made with boxcutters.”

      I then replied thusly:

      You can read the full text of the 2002 joint resolution that authorized military force against Iraq here. As I count it, there are 23 reasons stated for the use of force, and only one comes close to your boxcutters canard:

      “Whereas members of al Qaida, an organization bearing responsibility for attacks on the United States, its citizens, and interests, including the attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, are known to be in Iraq”

      True? True. But being one out of 23 reasons doesn’t make the Iraq war “all predicated on an attack made with boxcutters.” Twenty-two other “whereas” clauses puts the lie to that claim. But it’s a great Media Matters talking point.

      This is where the al Qaida whereas clause was first introduced into the discussion. I’ll simplify things by referring to it as “the whereas clause” from here on out. You responded to the whereas clause with “Saddam was not harboring al Qaida.”

      I responded to you with the following:

      Non sequitur since the sentence does not state that Saddam was. Look at [the whereas clause] and tell me what is factually wrong.

      Note here that my question is about inaccuracies in the whereas clause. You then responded with “If Saddam were allowing enemies of the United States to plot within his political control, then war against his regime might be justifiable. But pointing to 9-11, then going to war when Saddam wasn’t involved is not valid justification.”

      You are talking about justification and nothing about anything wrong in the whereas clause. I pointed this out in my response:

      Non sequitur. The question was to look at the above sentence from the joint resolution and tell me what part is factually wrong.

      At this point you have yet to address anything false in the whereas clause. In true cuttlefish behavior, you double-down on the justification angle and spew out some links: “You’re right. It’s a non sequitur. It fallaciously links the presumed fact about al Qaida being within Iraq to the justification for war.”

      Still, no response about where the whereas clause is incorrect, or that you accept it as accurate. You have responded with “if” and “might.” Since you have yet to actually address the question of any inaccuracies in the whereas clause, I again brought your attention to the question at hand:

      OK, third time. Please tell me what part of the sentence above from the joint resolution is factually wrong.

      Notice that at no point during this discussion am I even bringing up justification. I’m trying to get to a point where we can agree that this specific whereas clause is accurate or false in some way. But you wouldn’t have any of that. You responded, “Because it’s a non sequitur, it doesn’t really matter whether it is true or not.” In your mind, the truth of the whereas clause doesn’t matter.

      But you didn’t stop there, you proceeded to put on the aggrieved “but I’ve answered that already” defense with “We answered on the presumption it was true.” But you didn’t. The whereas clause said that al Qaida was present, and you answered in you “if” response about Saddam’s involvement. But that’s not what was in the whereas clause. You then finish up with “There were al Qaeda operatives in many countries, including the United States, so there probably were in Iraq too.” The whereas clause didn’t say “probably,” it stated that they were present. You could have spent a few moments researching to see if that were true or not, but you chose to hide behind the willful ignorance of “probably.”

      The closest you can come to saying that you answered the question is with your wishy-washy statement “If Saddam were allowing enemies of the United States to plot within his political control, then war against his regime might be justifiable.” And if it were raining $100 bills from the sky, we might want to go outside with a rake. But that doesn’t presume it really is raining money.

      You could have responded by pointing out some aspect of the whereas clause that was incorrect, but you didn’t. You could have stated that it was correct, but you didn’t. You could have stated that you were unwilling to answer the question, but you didn’t. You could have accepted the whereas clause’s accuracy just for argument’s sake with a simple “Let’s say that it’s correct…” and then gone to your topic of justification, but you didn’t.

      What it does show, again, is that you have a difficulty with answering a straightforward question when presented to you multiple times. And I have no more time to waste on you.

      Swim on, little cuttlefish, swim on.

  39. Zachriel

    Captain Midnight: “all predicated on an attack made with boxcutters.”

    The Iraq War would never have happened if it hadn’t been for the attacks of 9-11. The rationale was that the U.S. couldn’t stand idle while plots were hatched.

    Captain Midnight: This is where the al Qaida whereas clause was first introduced into the discussion.

    It was a flawed reason, as we pointed out. Read literally, it is not a valid justification. Read with the implicit understanding that it means Saddam was working with al Qaeda, it’s false.

    Captain Midnight: Note here that my question is about inaccuracies in the whereas clause.

    Which was have answered repeatedly.

    Captain Midnight: At this point you have yet to address anything false in the whereas clause.

    Why would we? We accepted the literal reading as presumptively true.

    Captain Midnight: Still, no response about where the whereas clause is incorrect, or that you accept it as accurate.

    We have repeated stated that we accept the literal reading as presumptively true.

    Captain Midnight: The whereas clause said that al Qaida was present,

    Qu

  40. Zachriel

    Captain Midnight: “all predicated on an attack made with boxcutters.”

    The Iraq War would never have happened if it hadn’t been for the attacks of 9-11. The rationale was that the U.S. couldn’t stand idle while plots were hatched.

    Captain Midnight: This is where the al Qaida whereas clause was first introduced into the discussion.

    It was a flawed reason, as we pointed out. Read literally, it is not a valid justification. Read with the implicit understanding that it means Saddam was working with al Qaeda, it’s false.

    Captain Midnight: Note here that my question is about inaccuracies in the whereas clause.

    Which was have answered repeatedly.

    Captain Midnight: At this point you have yet to address anything false in the whereas clause.

    Why would we? We accepted the literal reading as presumptively true.

    Captain Midnight: Still, no response about where the whereas clause is incorrect, or that you accept it as accurate.

    We have repeated stated that we accept the literal reading as presumptively true.

    Captain Midnight: The whereas clause said that al Qaida was present,

    Quite possibly true, though we don’t have certain knowledge of the fact.

    Captain Midnight: The whereas clause didn’t say “probably,” it stated that they were present.

    Yes, that’s what it says.

    Captain Midnight: You could have spent a few moments researching to see if that were true or not, but you chose to hide behind the willful ignorance of “probably.”

    Or you could have supported the statement by providing evidence. We were happy to grant the point, but were willing to look at whatever information you might have had.

  41. nightfly

    It’s a moot point by now (as well as being a Blinding Flash of the Obvious), but you’re being hugely dishonest when you say it was “an attack made with boxcutters.” It was an attack made with commercial airliners turned into guided missiles.

    I would let it pass, save for two reasons.

    First, it grossly minimizes what was done and how it was done. I can’t think of any reason in particular you would wish to do this, except to lie by the implication that the United States overreacted. It’s shameful and inhuman.

    Second, those airliners and the targets they were guided into just happened to be full of innocent civilians, some of them children in diapers and at least one who was yet unborn. They died horribly and senselessly, and it had nothing to do with foreign policy or imperialism or any of the other typical leftist canards. It had everything to do with a miserable death-cult that wants to bring about an absolute tyranny of their misery over anyone who dares to think or love or dream. If you want build your BS Internet argument on the ashes of the innocent, then carry on, but you can all fuck right the fuck off for doing so.

  42. Zachriel

    nightfly: It’s a moot point by now (as well as being a Blinding Flash of the Obvious), but you’re being hugely dishonest when you say it was “an attack made with boxcutters.” It was an attack made with commercial airliners turned into guided missiles.

    Everyone knows how the attacks occurred. Not having their own missiles, the terrorists commandeered airliners. But because they don’t have their own missiles, it is quite possible to prevent such attacks in the future.

    nightfly: I can’t think of any reason in particular you would wish to do this, except to lie by the implication that the United States overreacted.

    Of course the U.S. overreacted. Invading Iraq did nothing to prevent such attacks in the future. At least invading Afghanistan had the purpose of bringing the perpetrators to justice, but even there, the Bush Administration failed to capture bin Laden.

    nightfly: They died horribly and senselessly, and it had nothing to do with foreign policy or imperialism or any of the other typical leftist canards.

    Regardless of any underlying cause, attacking civilians is wrong.

    nightfly: It had everything to do with a miserable death-cult that wants to bring about an absolute tyranny of their misery over anyone who dares to think or love or dream.

    Bin Laden got the idea from watching the towers coming down in Beirut. “While I was looking at these destroyed towers in Lebanon, it sparked in my mind that the tyrant should be punished with the same and that we should destroy towers in America, so that it tastes what we taste and would be deterred from killing our children and women.” That does not justify his role in terrorism, but does explain it better than your one-dimensional characterization.

    1. mkfreeberg

      Everyone knows how the attacks occurred.

      Untrue. Or, if it is true, then the “boxcutter” fektoid is wasted, since as a talking-point, it is clearly formulated for dissemination to people who don’t know.

      Not having their own missiles, the terrorists commandeered airliners. But because they don’t have their own missiles, it is quite possible to prevent such attacks in the future.

      Untrue. When bad people have control over instruments of death, the threat is in the badness of the people and not in the instruments.

      Of course the U.S. overreacted.

      Untrue. The world was, and remains, a mess full of these “little-bullies,” just as a forest that isn’t cleared of dead wood becomes a tinderbox. Cleanup was overdue. So some “Meathead from All in the Family” types don’t approve of the doctrine. Fine. Let’s have that debate. But have it honestly.

      Invading Iraq did nothing to prevent such attacks in the future.

      Untrue. In fact, this shows a complete lack of understanding about basic problem-solving. “The first step to learning anything, is to admit you don’t know it.” Your sentence would only make sense to someone who has never figured this out. Unknowns, knowns; those are two different things, and there is value in making an unknown into a known.

      That does not justify his role in terrorism, but does explain it better than your one-dimensional characterization.

      Untrue. With the “one-dimensional characterization,” the explanation is that bin Laden was a monster; with your justification-that-isn’t-justifcation, the explanation is that bin Laden was a monster. Situation unchanged. He felt he was acting in retaliation? So does just about anyone, anywhere, who does damage. Who gives a fig.

      Other than those few untruths, that’s a perfect post.

  43. Zachriel

    mkfreeberg: Untrue.

    You mean it wasn’t jet airliners slamming into the towers? Really?!

    mkfreeberg: When bad people have control over instruments of death, the threat is in the badness of the people and not in the instruments.

    Which is why you should prevent terrorists from gaining control of jet airliners.

    mkfreeberg: Untrue. The world was, and remains, a mess full of these “little-bullies,” just as a forest that isn’t cleared of dead wood becomes a tinderbox.

    Shooting yourself in the foot does nothing to “clear dead wood”.

    1. mkfreeberg

      You mean it wasn’t jet airliners slamming into the towers? Really?!

      Huh. Don’t recall saying anything like that.

      Oh wait, I think I see the point you’re trying to make, and it’s the same as usual: We have to read your statements with surgical precision, whereas you can ignore large swaths of the things we say, and spin out of whole cloth a bunch of things we didn’t say, and pretend we said them. The double-standard is necessary to buttress your point, in this case, that the war in Iraq was somehow unjustified. There isn’t any other way to make it appear logical.

      Which is why you should prevent terrorists from gaining control of jet airliners.

      Killing ’em works pretty well.

      Shooting yourself in the foot does nothing to “clear dead wood”.

      It’s fascinating how the liberal answer to any problem that involves a confrontation between good and evil, is “do nothing.” With this surge of creativity aroused by all this anti-war fervor, they discovered there are quite a few ways to present “do nothing” as something resembling a good idea. Must have surveyed all the teenagers who were too lazy to take out the trash.

      Just because there are a lot of ways to make “do nothing” look like a swell idea, doesn’t mean that nobody should ever do anything. This thing needed to get done, since long before the September 11 attacks. I know you’re evidence-impervious on this, but the 9/11 attacks merely showed that the Carter/Clinton model of “talk it out and don’t hurt anyone” was inadequate for addressing the growing global threat.

      I’d compare it to a video game. Sometimes, if you’re extra bored and/or feeling kind of goofy, you can play “Pacifist Duke Nukem,” “Pacifist James Bond” or “Pacifist Lara Croft” and beat-feat through the scene without shooting anyone, see how many bad guys start following you and shooting at you before you can beat the level. In so attempting, you may find out some of these are programmed to that this isn’t a possibility, and you’re going to have to eighty-six some bad guys to complete the level. A dozen years ago, we found out our real-life “game” was in this category, and we couldn’t just let the bad guys accumulate, and form their syndicates or loose confederacies or “gentlemens’ agreements” or whatever have you…and shoot at us. It was proven.

      Well, most of us caught on. We’re still waiting for our liberals to catch up to this century.

  44. Zachriel

    mkfreeberg: Don’t recall saying anything like that.

    Well, you denied that “Everyone knows how the attacks occurred.” Most everyone knows the 9-11 attacks were accomplished by commandeering passenger airliners by killing and threatening to kill people with assorted blades.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/9-11_attacks

    Perhaps we read your comment wrong. This would be a good time, then, for you to clarify your views. Let’s see what you do.

    mkfreeberg: We have to read your statements with surgical precision, whereas you can ignore large swaths of the things we say, and spin out of whole cloth a bunch of things we didn’t say, and pretend we said them.

    Not at all. We’re more than happy to clarify our views, and would greet the same courtesy from you.

    mkfreeberg: Killing ‘em works pretty well.

    It is certainly important to disrupt terrorist networks, but they can blend into civilian populations, so it’s important is to secure civilian aircraft, and any other weakly defended technology that can be used to cause large numbers of civilian deaths.

    mkfreeberg: I know you’re evidence-impervious on this, but the 9/11 attacks merely showed that the Carter/Clinton model of “talk it out and don’t hurt anyone” was inadequate for addressing the growing global threat.

    Attacking Iraq was worse than nothing.

    The Clinton Administration presented Bush a plan to dismantle al Qaeda, as well as evidence that al Qaeda was planning an attack within the U.S. The Bush Administration took no substantive action until after 9-11.

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