So a National Intelligence Estimate was released today and the left went banana’s cherry picking the report.
“Today’s National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq confirms what most Americans already know: Our troops are mired in an Iraqi civil war and the president’s escalation strategy has failed to produce the political results he promised to our troops and the American people,” said Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, the majority leader.
Representative Rahm Emanuel of Illinois, chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, said: “The war in Iraq now has lasted longer than our own Civil War, and the latest National Intelligence Estimate indicates that there is no end in sight. How much longer will President Bush insist on staying the course while American troops risk their lives?”
The President’s escalation strategy was to bring security to the nation so that a political solution could be found. The surge has been going on for a few months and these nimrods expect to not only see the security situation fixed but the political one also. What utter nonsense. Major combat operations lasted for over 4 years during the civil war, major combat operations lasted only a few months in Iraq. Now we are seeing the difficulties in rebuilding a whole nation which I can assure you did not happen in a few years after the civil war.
Reading the NIE I found these points which should be pointed out:
There have been measurable but uneven improvements in Iraq’s security situation since our last National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq in January 2007.~~~
However, the level of overall violence, including attacks on and casualties among civilians, remains high; Iraq’s sectarian groups remain unreconciled; AQI retains the ability to conduct high-profile attacks; and to date, Iraqi political leaders remain unable to govern effectively. There have been modest improvements in economic output, budget execution, and government finances but fundamental structural problems continue to prevent sustained progress in economic growth and living conditions.~~~
We assess, to the extent that Coalition forces continue to conduct robust counterinsurgency operations and mentor and support the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF), that Iraq’s security will continue to improve modestly during the next six to 12 months but that levels of insurgent and sectarian violence will remain high and the Iraqi Government will continue to struggle to achieve national-level political reconciliation and improved governance.~~~
Political and security trajectories in Iraq continue to be driven primarily by Shia insecurity about retaining political dominance, widespread Sunni unwillingness to accept a diminished political status, factional rivalries within the sectarian communities resulting in armed conflict, and the actions of extremists such as AQI and elements of the Sadrist Jaysh al-Mahdi (JAM) militia that try to fuel sectarian violence. Two new drivers have emerged since the January Estimate: expanded Sunni opposition to AQI and Iraqi expectation of a Coalition draw down. Perceptions that the Coalition is withdrawing probably will encourage factions anticipating a power vacuum to seek local security solutions that could intensify sectarian violence and intra-sectarian competition. At the same time, fearing a Coalition withdrawal, some tribal elements and Sunni groups probably will continue to seek accommodation with the Coalition to strengthen themselves for a post- Coalition security environment.~~~
The IC assesses that the emergence of “bottom-up” security initiatives, principally among Sunni Arabs and focused on combating AQI, represent the best prospect for improved security over the next six to 12 months, but we judge these initiatives will only translate into widespread political accommodation and enduring stability if the Iraqi Government accepts and supports them.~~~
Iraqi Security Forces involved in combined operations with Coalition forces have performed adequately, and some units have demonstrated increasing professional competence. However, we judge that the ISF have not improved enough to conduct major operations independent of the Coalition on a sustained basis in multiple locations and that the ISF remain reliant on the Coalition for important aspects of logistics and combat support.~~~
The IC assesses that the Iraqi Government will become more precarious over the next six to 12 months because of criticism by other members of the major Shia coalition (the Unified Iraqi Alliance, UIA), Grand Ayatollah Sistani, and other Sunni and Kurdish parties.~~~
The IC assesses that Iraq’s neighbors will continue to focus on improving their leverage in Iraq in anticipation of a Coalition drawdown. Assistance to armed groups, especially from Iran, exacerbates the violence inside Iraq, and the reluctance of the Sunni states that are generally supportive of US regional goals to offer support to the Iraqi Government probably bolsters Iraqi Sunni Arabs’ rejection of the government’s legitimacy.~~~
We assess that changing the mission of Coalition forces from a primarily counterinsurgency and stabilization role to a primary combat support role for Iraqiforces and counterterrorist operations to prevent AQI from establishing a safehavenwould erode security gains achieved thus far.
All of which tells me that the new Iraqi government, the one we went to war to install, the one in which over 3000 American lives have been lost to install, is sitting on an edge. We are improving the security situation (the same situation Reid and his fellow comrades said couldn’t be done) but, as expected, the political situation is much tougher. The Iraqi’s are listening to the cut n’ runners and are expecting us to leave them to their deaths, as we did the Vietnamese. Case in point, this line from the NIE:
Perceptions that the Coalition is withdrawing probably will encourage factions anticipating a power vacuum to seek local security solutions that could intensify sectarian violence and intra-sectarian competition.
This fact is most obviously making it tougher for Maliki’s government to become stronger. Iran recognizes that if a Democrat gets into office we’re leaving so they are getting ready to take the whole thing over. The Sunni’s, who would be working more with Maliki if they knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that we would be staying until the job is done, are instead hedging their bets.
This kind of talk from the Democrats are making this war much tougher then it needs to be, but then they already knew that. That is their whole goal. While the majority of Americans want us to leave Iraq VICTORIOUS, the left wants us to leave with our tails tucked between our legs all so they can yell "see! I told you Bush was wrong!"
How pathetic is that?
Meanwhile Ed Morrissey had a great post yesterday which detailed how Maliki could very well be very close to ending the insurgency:
Earlier today, the Italian news service AKI reported that the presumed leader of the largest insurgency in Iraq will start cooperating with the Iraqi government. Izzat Ibrahim al-Douri, one of the highest-ranking members of Saddam Hussein’s government, reportedly pledged to work with Iraqi and American forces to fight al-Qaeda in Iraq.~~~
This could be game, set, and match for the Iraq War. Some smaller insurgent elements assisted in clearing Baqubah as a test to see whether an alliance with Americans would work. Apparently, the experiment worked. If al-Douri accepts the authority of the elected Iraqi government, then almost all of the resistance in western Iraq will disappear — leaving AQI very exposed.
It seems more than just coincidental that Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki visited the former Ba’athist power base of Tikrit last Thursday. Maliki went to Saddam’s hometown, where al-Douri likely has his strongest allies, to meet with the Sunni sheikhs. They gave him a warm welcome, and they pledged to find ways to work with each other. At the same time, he signed an agreement with the Kurds and the Supreme Islamic Iraqi Council, which has been Moqtada al-Sadr’s bitter opponent in the south.
While Iraq is most definitely not out of the woods, they are well on the way to becoming a successful Iraqi Democracy if we give them the support they need and dont run like cowards from a tough fight.
Gotta agree with Paul at Wizbang here:
As a civilian a few thousand miles away having only the mainstream media to count on for information, it’s almost impossible to make an informed decision on the job performance of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.
But I have a few clues he must be doing a good job…
The New York Times hates him Democratic Senator Carl Levin and Republican Senator John Warner have called for his ouster. Hilliary says she wants him gone and the NYT has another hit piece on him this morning.
So we have every reason to believe he must be a doing a great job.
If the left hates him you know he is doing well.
Think this is a good time to bring up Prince Sirik Matak of Cambodia and his letter to the United States Ambassador in 1975 on America’s offer of passage out of Cambodia before the Communists took over:
Dear Excellency and friend,
I thank you very sincerely for your letter and for your offer to transport me towards freedom. I cannot, alas, leave in such a cowardly fashion.
As for you and in particular for your great country, I never believed for a moment that you would have this sentiment of abandoning a people which has chosen liberty. You have refused us your protection and we can do nothing about it. You leave us and it is my wish that you and your country will find happiness under the sky.
But mark it well that, if I shall die here on the spot and in my country that I love, it is too bad because we are all born and must die one day. I have only committed the mistake of believing in you, the Americans.
Please accept, Excellency, my dear friend, my faithful and friendly sentiments.
Within days of the Communist takeover he was executed.
The Prince could not believe that we would abandon them but he did not know the left in this country and their complete willingness to sell people down to river to score political points and power.
We will abandon those who seek liberty once more?
…and the Sunni block walking out on the Government is a sign of progress?
I see you forgot to put “ONE” before Sunni block, that being Sadr’s deputies. A stunt pulled by Sadr in an attempt to bring about the downfall of Maliki’s government. It didn’t work.
ahhh… Frederick? Did you not bother to read the post? The Sunni insurgents, many of them former Baathists may be about to cut a deal and recognize the Maliki government. That on top of the Sunni tribal chiefs in half a dozen provinces, many of whom are DEMANDING that the U.S. stay in Iraq until the job is finished.
And I find it odd that Congressman Rahm Emanuel would want to bring up the U.S. Civil War:
The Union armies had from 2,500,000 to 2,750,000 men. Their losses, by the best estimates:
Battle deaths: 110,070
Disease, etc.: 250,152
The Confederate strength, known less accurately because of missing records, was from 750,000 to 1,250,000. Its estimated losses:
Battle deaths: 94,000
Disease, etc.: 164,000
Over 600,000 Americans out of a relatively small population died in that bloody conflict, mostly due to Democrats who obstructed Abraham Lincoln at every conceiveable opportunity.
U.S. death toll in Iraq, especially when compared to our current population pales by comparison.
NIEs are almost irrelevent anymore.
The media cherry picks the watered down declassified versions and makes their own conclusions rather than report on the ones in the National Intelligence Estimate report itself.
Opponents of the war search for examples of failure or of challenges listed so they can further their argument that retreat and defeat are at hand (the only thing more annoying and plentiful than the “we’ve turned a corner” rhetoric is the “the sky is falling/the war is lost” rhetoric).
Politicians (particularly Democratic Party politicians for some reason) don’t even attend the briefings let alone go and sign in to read the classified NIEs.
Joe public doesn’t have the time, inclination, or inspiration to read em let alone understand em (they’d rather get their truth from Olby or Maher or Stewart or SNL’s Weekend Update…satires always easier to swallow).
Seriously, I gotta wonder if anyone reads these reports besides a few people who are interested in progress and who hope for success?
I’m not sure the Civil War analogies fly. I mean, we had to work it out. It was our damn country. Sure it took time, but we did it ourselves. That’s the difference. A lot of the rhetoric that flies around sometimes I think people forget that this isn’t our country. A country that we should have never invaded in the first place. How long are we going to keep spending billions a week and putting American lives on the line hoping that the Iraqis get their shit together and start acting like human beings?
I suppose Americans will be in Iraq as long as Democratic Party leaders advocate keeping troops there while at the same time encouraging opposition to the war rather than support for success. The enemy LOVES that, and it does give them hope/reason to carry on. Republican leaders want success and work towards it. Democratic Party leaders claim they want success, but take action to oppose it while continuing the war. Clinton, Obama, Edwards, all three of the DNCs viable candidates for President do the Kerry dance and try to sound anti-war while at the same time all three have pledged to keep 10s of thousands of forces in Iraq (see, that means keeping the war going-not ending it). Meanwhile, Congressional Democratic Party leaders kiss ass to their anti-war base to fuel its fire and distract from bigger issues (like earmarks etc). They too have no intention of taking real action on the war.
Face it, the anti-war movement was a political tool for the Democratic Party-not a substantive opposition to the war which Democratic Party leaders:
promoted (just like Pres Bush)
authorized (just like Pres Bush)
supported (just like Pres Bush)
and despite all the years of purely rhetorical opposition to it from 03-07, they still in effect support it as well as promise to continue it.
If anyone thinks opposing the war will lead to its success, they’re foolish, and if anyone thinks that Democratic Party leaders really want to end the war, they’re dreamers.
For the DNC, this war is nothing but a political distraction. You talk about the billions spent a month. Whether it’s $500 billion for the entire war on terror over the past 6yrs or even a trillion….remember, our nation has a GDP of 11-12 trillion a year which makes the war only 1/100th of our GDP (at worst, 1/50th). Now take a look at the earmark/pork spending done by Congress. Do you really think that there hasn’t been $500 billion in pork spending over the last six years-OR do you think that perhaps now that there’s a Democratic Party controlling Congress that the spending has gone DOWN when in fact it’s gone up?
Opponents of the war like to chant hymns like “no wmd” or “no AQ ties” without looking at the facts, without remembering that the Democrats who they follow like lemmings said the same things after having seen as much or MORE intel than W, and they like to (right in line with DNC strategy) completely ignore the Democratic Party’s use of the war as a distraction and political crutch.
How long will the war last?
As long as Democratic Party leaders oppose success and claim to seek it at the same time while doing neither in effect, and both in rhetoric….that’s how long the war will last.
At least that’s what the NIE says, and it’s what the Islamic Holy Warriors from around the world have been telling us for 15yrs now.
The stated goals of the ‘surge’ were president Bush’s, not the Democrats. The goal of a free and democratic Iraq was Bush’s, not the Democrats. To claim that the Democrats are full partners in the Iraq war to Bush is simply wrong. No one outside the White House inner circle, not even the Sect. of Defense, Colin Powell, saw all the pre-war intelligence. How can someone claim complicity by the Democrats when the freaking Sect. of freaking Defense wasn’t even aware of all the intelligence?
Yeah, it’s the Democrats fault. After all, we all know the Democratic party makes all war policy for Iraq and Afghanistan. Poor old president Bush doesn’t have anything to do with running the military, now does he?
Bottom line; if we had already won in Iraq, we wouldn’t be having this conversation. The fact that we have not yet won in Iraq is squarely on the shoulders of the administration. They had a rubber stamp for six years from a kneeling GOP Congress. And now that the Democrats have been in power for six months everything form the last six years, including a war the administration has had a completely free hand on is now somehow their fault?
Bush missed one analogy to Vietnam in his speech the other day, and that is that both Iraq and Vietnam were lost before we even started, because of the ineptness of the civilian administration. And many of the same people that lost Vietnam then are in the administration losing Iraq now. Many of Nixons failed administration are or have been involved in Bush’s failed administration. Not surprisingly, the failures have closely tracked then as they are now.
There is so many things wrong in the above response that I have to shake my head.
Powell was Secretary of STATE, not Defense.
If “Vietnam was lost before we even started, because of the ineptness of the civilian administration” then it was the Kennedy/Johnson group who lost it. Nixon came in well after Vietnam was going on. It was also the Democrats who cut S. Vietnam off from US aid after our withdrawal and left the world with the horrors of the “Boat People” and the genocide of the South Vietnamese by the North.
Since I am a Soldier and an Officer in the US Army, I am keenly aware of the war in Iraq. We are NOT losing. What has happened is that we have been stabbed repeatedly in the back by the left. The left, after stating for YEARS, from the 1990s on, that we had to go into Iraq stabbed us in the back. Our enemies use the statements from the left against us and as a rally cry for their thugs.
I posted a link to quote after recorded quote from the Dems on this issue. The link post also contained a lot of reference material and this site’s spam filter may have thought it was too many links. Hopefully that post will be up here soon.
Yeah, you go ahead and believe that it’s all a pack of lies and disinformation from a small secret capitalist pig cabal in the WH-all Republicans following the PNAC ideas re the Middle East (as written by the Clinton’s DLC founders). OR, you could refresh your memory, and you could see that a free, stable, and democratic Iraq has been a bi-partisan goal for years and years.
“The United States wants Iraq to rejoin the family of nations as a freedom-loving and law-abiding member. This is in our interest and that of our allies within the region.
The United States favors an Iraq that offers its people freedom at home. I categorically reject arguments that this is unattainable due to Iraq’s history or its ethnic or sectarian make-up. Iraqis deserve and desire freedom like everyone else.
My Administration has pursued, and will continue to pursue, these objectives through active application of all relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions. The evidence is overwhelming that such changes will not happen under the current Iraq leadership.”
(-October 31, 1998 Statement by Clinton on the Iraq Liberation Act of 1998 :HR 4655s)
“Iraq does pose a serious threat to the stability of the Persian Gulf and we should organize an international coalition to eliminate his access to weapons of mass destruction. Iraq’s search for weapons of mass destruction has proven impossible to completely deter and we should assume that it will continue for as long as Saddam is in power.
The events of the last 85 years provide ample evidence that our approach to winning the peace that follows war is almost as important as winning the war itself. The absence of enlightened nation building after World War I led directly to the conditions which made Germany vulnerable to fascism and the rise to Adolph Hitler and made all of Europe vulnerable to his evil designs. By contrast the enlightened vision embodied in the Marshall plan, NATO, and the other nation building efforts in the aftermath of World War II led directly to the conditions that fostered prosperity and peace for most the years since this city gave birth to the United Nations. ”
-Al Gore 9/23/02
That means we must help the vast majority people of the greater Middle East build a better future. We need to illuminate an alternative path to a futile Jihad against the world…a path that leads to deeper integration of the greater Middle East into the modern world order.
-Sen. John Kerry 1/23/03
Honestly, I have THOUSANDS of these quotes from Democrats promoting the war in Iraq long before W was even a candidate. My favorites though:
“Americans must be “..strong and tough and mature enough to recognize that even the best-prepared, best-equipped force will suffer losses in action. Our military men and women are prepared to face the risks. The American people will have to be as well.”
“The best way to end the threat now is a new government in Iraq.”
“The hard fact is that so long as Saddam Hussein remains in power he threatens the well-being of his people, the peace of the region, the security of the world. The best way to end that threat once and for all, is with a new Iraqi government ready to live in peaceÃ¢â‚¬Â¦”
-(D) President Bill Clinton 12/16/1998
Those are my favorite because right after that…
“We say it loud and clear that we will retaliate for what is happening to the sons of our nation in Iraq. ”
-Dr Ayman al Zawahiri, Al Queda’s strategic planner & co-leader with Bin Laden 12/19/98
According to the 911 Commission report, the 911 plot was authorized to be set in motion within 48hrs of that statement.
Yeah, go ahead and believe it’s all a bunch of crazed capitalist pig Republicans. Democrats are so anti-war, and always have been, right? Nu-uh
My what a wonderful mish mash of historical spin. I, too, have to question any analogy to our Civil War. Damn guys, we’re talking about a time when it took days to travel a distance that takes hours today; when the longest range weapons we had were cannons; where communiques were delivered via horseback. Where do you see any parallel there.
Sure many of the Dems support leaving some troops in Iraq. This is not due to some clandestine desire to continue the war but rather a recognition of our responsibility to help fix what we broke. However, they do want the role being played by our troops to change; to get them out of the throws of a civil war; to help train an Iraqi army; to better control the borders. What possible sense does it make to keep sending our troops down the same roads everyday only to have them blown up by roadside bombs just like the day before?
The NIE and many of you speak to the attitude changes of many Iraqi factions in light of a possible US withdrawal. Could it be that while they may be consolidating their military base it might be to buttress their political power? In any emerging country those political groups who also have substantial military strength usually have a greater say in things. The Iraqis are not stupid, notwithstanding their actions at times, they are aware that a brutal civil war will kill thousands -and has- but they also know that the likely end result of all this will be a truce along with a compromise government structure and they want to ensure their factions will be players. It is reasonable to presume that the current interest among tribal Sunnis to work with us to eliminate al Qaeda is also predicated on a possible US drawdown and they desire to rid themselves of a bunch of brutal interlopers before having to focus totally on their own future and security.
There is oil there folks and oil means money, lots of it. There may be bloodletting in the interim but you can bet that the moneychangers are going to step in and work out some resolution to enable that oil to flow out one way while the cash flows in another.
It seems to me all you historians might remember that the two biggest wars of the last century were entered and won with Democrats in control of our government. You can quote Bill Clinton, et al, all you want but Clinton likely heard Mr. Cheney’s 1994 interview explaining why it would be dumb for us to have gone after Saddam. Saddam was old news before George and cronies decided to elevate him to world power status. He had not attacked any neighbors since his Kuwait debacle. Even if he had chemical and biological weapons they likely would have been left over residue and severly degraded by 2002. He was of course still brutilizing his own people but if that is going to be our criteria for going to war we will need to reinstitute the draft and expand the age range from 16 to 50 to amass enough troops to fight all those battles.
I find that conservatives must always apply unscrupulous motives to any initiatives that Dems take. I can only surmise that this is because they are aware that their heroes, Dubya, et al, have similar motives for their actions.
We are not going to solve Iraq. Only the Iraqis can do that. We can help, but sitting in the middle of a civil war like sitting ducks while the Iraqi government muddles through its dilemmas is not the way to help. Even the NIE states that the security gains have been minimal.
The one thing not addressed in the report which causes me a great deal of worry is the forthcoming referendum in November in Kirkuk as to its status as a Kurdish territory or not. If it is postponed that will cause a great deal of anger among the Kurds (they may even bolt Iraqs parliment in protest), if it goes through and passes, as is expected, then the Turkmen, Arabs, and other minorities will be enraged. As of now, we have only be standing between the Sunni and Shia Arabs desire to kill each other. If the Kurds get thrown into the Civil War, we are doomed.
And I don’t think there is a damn thing we can do about it except to begin to redeploy our troops there now and focus our energy on security there. If we ignore this, then all of the gains of the surge, supposed or real, will surely be for nothing.
The September report means nothing, November is the key. It is about time people pay attention to it.
Oh I like that spin! Seriously, some of the best I’ve seen in a while. The part about WMD stockpiles being degraded…that was great! Maybe that’s why Saddam (according to UNSCOM’s 1998 rpt, Richard Butler’s 1999 book, The Greatest Threat, as well as the ISG Duelfer report all say that instead of perishable/capturable stockpiles, Saddam had reorchestrated his WMD capability to a “breakout capability” where he could make fresh WMD without being detected in weeks, days, or even hours? Maybe?
I agree across the board comparisons to the Civil War or WWII or Vietnam are only partially useless, and such comparisons need the caveat that “all wars are unique, but these aspects are similar….” I think the best reason to bring up Civil War comparisons
Is the casualty aspect. It’s the worst casualties America ever suffered, and by comparison, the 1000 Americans a year lost in Iraq are tragic, but far far from a national blood-letting, and that leads me to the oil/money raving.
Ya know, since 91, “NO BLOOD FOR OIL” has fit nicely on a protest banner, but it ignores the Middle East’s other great export (they only have 2 really): TERROR. Yeah, there’s a lot of oil in the ME worth a lot of money, but the 911 attacks caused a lot of loss as well. Two zip codes leveled, a recession costing 1-3 TRILLION dollars in one year, a 500bill-1trillion global war, and so forth. I don’t deny the oil is a factor, but I think the risk of terror based on Iraq as an excuse is more of a financial risk than the oil is a financial gain…and when we talk about gain…let’s talk about the real reason that we hear claims of the Iraq War costing 1-2 trillion (always a lie since those figures always include Afghanistan and ops around the world to make the number seem bigger for argument’s sake at the expense of truth and accuracy).
Ok, if the War on Terror cost 500 bill (including Iraq, but for some reason Iraq is only included when trying to inflate costs), then I ask…out of the past 6 yrs (a time in which the US GDP ttld almost 70 TRILLION), I ask…has Congress spent 100bn a year on pork? If the money’s such a big deal, then why not rave against water museum’s in Palm Springs and bicycle paths in Akron, Ohio rather than money spent to:
build schools in Iraq
pay for medical care for troops and Iraqis wounded in combat
imprisonment of captured AQ
Democrats seek to cut the funds for the war (funding which pales in comparison to annual Congressional pork spending), and while raving about not enough armored HUMMERs or this body armor over that…Democrats in Congress want to cut the funds for those very same things they complain about.
Take a moment and think:
Every time you hear “This Administration (insert complaint here)” the suggestion is that “this administration” is the problem, and getting a new admin is the solution. Thing is…we’re getting a new one. W’s done. He’s a lame duck. All these years of blaming him for this and that are over. Democratic Party leaders could get by being the opposition party and just point fingers without offering solutions besides “vote for us”, and frustrated people were trained to support Anybody But Bush. Even in this very thread we see people pretending that Iraq is purely the result of a neocon Republican cabal in This Administration. I showed that’s not the case-that the war has been bi-partisan for years first in rhetoric, and then in effect. That is the DNC nightmare: if people realize that ABB is moot, if they realize that the Dems are as responsibile-IF NOT MORE for the war in Iraq, then who will vote for them? Perhaps the 18% of Americans who still support them? Or the 3% who think the Democrats’ Congress is doing a good job handling Iraq? 18 or 3 ain’t 51. Those numbers ain’t gonna win a general election.
The Democrats have demonstrated by their actions that they are not anti-war. If they were, they’d have ended it by now, and the claim that Dems support switching to a ISF training/border security/AQ hunting role is completely ignorant of what the mission over there is now and has been. If one believes that those 3 strategies are new and take pride in them, then ya better go back and read W’s plan from 2003. Those three military strategies have been paramount since the statue fell, and any Democrat who tells you that’s THEIR new direction plan…is a liar. Worse yet, they’re taking a plan, claiming it as their own, when it’s really…
Face it dems….you’ve been had. You’re leaders misled you BIGTIME, and ranting about W is moot-has been since Last November. I suggest you step back and reconsider just how many lies you’ve been sold from the left rather than looking for this conspiracy or that from the right.
Excellent response as usual Scott, but what I find quite humorous is that I compared the Civil War to Iraq in response to what Emanuel was quoted as saying in the NYT’s article. So if you lefties want to take issue with the comparison, go to the source:
It’s mighty convenient for the Democrats to compare WWII, Vietnam, the Civil War to Iraq when it suits their agenda but how dare us conservatives do the same thing!
Oh my!!! So many facts(?), so little time.
Richard Butler, et al, notwithstanding, they all appear to have been wrong. Would this have been the first time a report was issued, stating what everyone believed to be true, without any real updated information? Could it be that books are written to make money and not necessarily to disseminate truth? And you would go to war and risk the lives of American soldiers based on a couple of books/reports?
Oh, I know, but the Intelligence Reports! It was likely the very first time that our Intelligence Reports were wrong. Oh, but the rest of the world thought…. Guys, the rest of the world gets most of their intelligence from us. Yea, there is some augmentation here and there; worth about as much as the original intelligence. So forget the premises for starting this inane fiasco, it was all smoke and mirrors, with a little fabrication thrown in here and there.
You, as did George in his speech the other day, seem to maintain that there exists some ethereal quota of deaths that must occur before an end to the insanity can be considered. Damn, I’m sorry, I didn’t get the email. Probably was one of those Rove/RNC emails that got lost.
My comments regarding oil seem to have nothing to do with your retort. I brought up oil to point out that before things get too far along, after we leave, the moneymen will get it stopped because either too much oil will have been lost or too much revenue from oil will have been forsaken.
You once again want to proclaim victory for the terrorists if we withdraw. You offer nothing to counter my arguments to the contrary. I must presume that you have no valid arguments so you return to blowing smoke in an effort to slide by that one. Georgie would be proud, to say nothing of Karl and Dick.
Your fatuous accusation that Iraqi expenditures are just thrown in to inflate the numbers is just that: fatuous! Whatever the expenditures are, Iraq’s share is far and away the greater of the number pieces. Perhaps you meant that Afghanistan figures are thrown in to inflate the totals.
You may have made a small point about bipartisan and rhetoric. But the Dems didn’t make the decision to start a war. GWB, with the neocons pulling his strings did. The Dems were stupid in that they got all concerned about being labeled unpatriotic if they didn’t vote for the resolution. At the same time had they voted against it they probably couldn’t have carried the day. When politicians of all stripes are faced with a no win choice they will go with the majority (save a very few) so they can say; “but everyone else did”.
Of course, Georgie said that war would be an absolute last resort. Came pretty damn soon after, “good morning Mr. Secretary General”.
I must assume you were getting tired when you stated, “if they realize that the Dems are as responsibile-IF NOT MORE for the war in Iraq”. While I accept the proposition that GWB couldn’t manage his way out of a wet paper bag ain’t no way you can pin this war on the Dems. Rhetoric is rhetoric, it’s what politicians do. Sending troops, warships, planes, etc. is what Commander-in-Chiefs do.
Take heart. We partially agree. I go along with W being lame.
Now this was an interesting statement, “…ISF training/border security/AQ hunting role is completely ignorant of what the mission over there is now and has been. If one believes that those 3 strategies are new and take pride in them, then ya better go back and read W’s plan from 2003. Those three military strategies have been paramount since the statue fell…”. You’re probably correct. I know that by Rummy’s count we’ve trained over 1 million ISFs. Now border security? Ain’t been none since we hit the beaches; had there been al Qaeda would not have nearly the numbers they have or had. AQ hunting…now we’ve done that. We found them, killed them or routed them out of an area, then we left the area so they could come back home and lick their wounds and get reinforcements through those secure borders. Oh i know, that’s why George created the “surge”. I kinda wish if we have to go to war, we could have someone at the helm for which it was not on the job training. Then you say, “but don’t forget he listened to his generals and none of them before Petraeus was in favor of a “surge”. Methinks my Commander-in-Chief ought to have the ability to do more than just follow his general’s orders. In the words of Shakespeare; “Ambition should be made of sterner stuff.”
Pork barrel spending? It would appear you Reps have made pikers out of us Dems when it comes to this. I agree that pork barrel spending is absurd when practiced by either party, but it’s there, it’s been there and the War on Terror spending is in addition to it and is also absurd. The good thing about the pork barrel is we know what stupid projects it was for. In Iraq we can’t account for much of the money.
Curt: Would agree that Rahm’s statement was inane. What difference does it make? You did seem to want to embellish on it though only exacerbating the issue. By the way: “…What utter nonsense. Major combat operations lasted for over 4 years during the civil war, major combat operations lasted only a few months in Iraq….” What the hell have we been doing for 4 1/2 years in Iraq if it was not major combat?
Gentlemen, whining does not become you.
Um, as an authorÃ¢â‚¬Â¦I can tell you writers donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t write books to get rich. Almost no one does, and pre-911/pre-Bush books like Butlers are still not on many peopleÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s shelves. Too scary. Too fact filled.
1) what fabrication? ThereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s been almost a dozen investigations into whether or not the intel was fake, and none show it to have been so
2) Just going by the consistency between the 1998 UNSCOM and the 3/6/03 UNMOVIC reportsÃ¢â‚¬Â¦.thereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s enough reason for concern (to say nothing of what was actually found after the invasion!)
Please re-read. My comments were that there are two exports-oil and terror. One is a credit one is a debit, and while proponents of the Ã¢â‚¬Å“itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s all about the oilÃ¢â‚¬Â protest are right to point out the oil is valuable, my point is that the debit from terrorists in the region costs more than the oil that can be gained.
Did you want some quotes from Zawahiri, Bin Laden, or even Saddam stating specifically that if they drive the US from Iraq it will be their success? Perhaps you prefer to look at things more statistically, and if so can you tell me where the US should fight Al Queda and still kill 20,000 of them (law enforcement tactics didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t work in the 90Ã¢â‚¬â„¢s and arenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t going to kill that many anywhere else-let alone the Graveyard of Empires).
Ooooo, my compliments on the full 180 spin. That was good. Nice distraction too. It completely made me forget that the subject was inflating the numbers to make them look worse.
Ok, here we get some serious discourse. I apologize for the lack of clarity. My point isnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t that Dems are solely to blame, but that they bear blame and shouldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t be given a free pass. YouÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re oh-so-right with the Ã¢â‚¬Å“everyone else didÃ¢â‚¬Â comment, but does that excuse them from responsibility? I say no, but you and others defend them as though they bear no responsibility. Oh, and that neocon bitÃ¢â‚¬Â¦.if you wanna talk PNAC stuff, please read the list of members, then check out the DLC foreign policy line. TheyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re almost identical. Why? Because the PNAC is bi-partisan (not true neoconservative) and its ME policy is based on Democratic strategies from the ClintonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s group; the DLC. Would you like some examples of the parity?
17 month rush to war argument? Oxymoron alert, but if you want to make the case that telling someone youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re going to attack them for 17months is a rush, then please cite some other historical examples where an enemy was told theyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢d be attacked for 17months before they were.
The President is Commander-in-Chief (the decider), but Congress has the power of the purse, and has chosen not to use it. The Democrats came to power declaring that they had a mandate from the American people re Iraq, and instead of trading any or all of their agenda for bi-partisan support to cut the funds and end the warÃ¢â‚¬Â¦.the Democrats have chosen to continue the war. W can decide deployments, but Congress-Democrats included-promoted it, authorized it, supported it in rhetoric, and now support it in action by not cutting the funds.
No, Rummy claimed as many as 600,000 trained, but admitted only a fraction was ready to conduct solo ops.
False. Some of the hardest fighting occurs near the Syrian, Jordanian, Saudi border as well as along the rivers to the E where Iran is sending in troops. Border security has been a paramount effort for years now. IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢d like to see it more-almost exclusive, but to pretend itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s been irrelevant or hasnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t taken place is to ignore the deaths of many Americans. At least give those guys credit for where they died.
Wow, some more good spin. You started off admitting that the US has been hunting AQ in Iraq (a real step since most opponents of the war deny AQ is even in Iraq), but then you went off on that surge tangent and the W should be more qualified bit. Problem is, WÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s the President. Like it or not, and yeah, itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢d be GREAT having a general for President who understood all kinds of military ops better, but that means putting a PT boat commander who was so inept as to get runover by a giant destroyer isnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t qualified to run a full on war either. It means that Presidents-like Lincoln-who had no military experience are not allowed to be President. Step up, lose the Bush hate (I know itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s hard), accept that he IS your President, and look forward to President H Clinton (who vows to keep tens of thousands of troops in Iraq, or President Obama (who without military experience vows to keep US troops in Iraq). Or if we are to follow the idea that a President needs military serviceÃ¢â‚¬Â¦then welcome President McCain and his Congressional Medal of Honor. Back to the pointÃ¢â‚¬Â¦AQ was in Iraq, and is in Iraq, and the US is killing them wholesale in Iraq. There is no other place on the planet where that could be done.
Catch 22. If most of the money is unaccounted for, then how can an opponent of the war realistically claim the war cost X dollars without making a full-on propaganda based guess? Nah, most of the money is accounted for. A lot isnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t, but the fact remains that the war costs nothing compared to the pork spent in DC. It cost Republicans control of Congress, and now that Dems are spending even more, it will cost Dems Congress.
Good discussion Mr Layman.
I hope your joking. If this is what the new generation calls major combat then we’re in trouble.
Damn!!! I think you moved ahead of me in the word count race…lol.
You’ll have to pardon me I haven’t mastered all the nifty nuances of posting.
“Um, as an authorÃ¢â‚¬Â¦I can tell you writers donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t write books to get rich. Almost no one does, and pre-911/pre-Bush books like Butlers are still not on many peopleÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s shelves. Too scary. Too fact filled.”
There is a difference between getting rich and making money. The plethora of nonsense books being written and published everyday would imply that if there is not money to be made then perhaps it’s an ego thing. My best recollection is that Mr. Butler has been shown to be somewhat of a charlatan. The success of Stephen King’s books would seem to argue that the book reading public does not avoid scary. Not totally analogous I know, but it could be that many do not accept Mr. Butler as the most accurate of authors.
“1) what fabrication? ThereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s been almost a dozen investigations into whether or not the intel was fake, and none show it to have been so
2) Just going by the consistency between the 1998 UNSCOM and the 3/6/03 UNMOVIC reportsÃ¢â‚¬Â¦.thereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s enough reason for concern (to say nothing of what was actually found after the invasion!)”
Fabrication can be relative. There are degrees of fabrication ranging from outright lies to stretching the truth a little. This administration was guilty of much of the latter and perhaps a bit of the former. The political world has invented the term “spin” as a more obscure method of fabrication. And yes, both sides do it but it would seem to be most aggregious when used to get us in a war that Mr. Cheney himself so loquaciously argued against in his 1994 interview. Have not read the reports you mention but am aware that in that time period there was a void of new intelligence regarding Saddam and his weapons, admitted to even by our own CIA. What was actually found after the invasion wasn’t worth one American life let alone 3,700 of them.
“Please re-read. My comments were that there are two exports-oil and terror. One is a credit one is a debit, and while proponents of the Ã¢â‚¬Å“itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s all about the oilÃ¢â‚¬Â protest are right to point out the oil is valuable, my point is that the debit from terrorists in the region costs more than the oil that can be gained.”
I am not one who subscribes to the “..all about oil..” theory. My point was that the players, Iraqis and neighbors, are not long going to let oil be destroyed and revenues be suppressed without intervening and settling on some peaceful compromise. The primary terrorists exported and supported by the Middle Eastern states, and by Saddam pre invasion, were terrorists striking Israel. While not insignificant this is a far cry from some sort of grand conspiracy to unleash terrorists against the US with state support. Is there funding from some fanatics in all the Middle eastern countries? I’m sure there is. But none of states in the region can afford to be found to be involved in a directly exporting terrorists against the US. Our presence in Iraq has given them cover to leak extremists into Iraq to fight the Great Satan but if we leave there will be no state sponsored exporting of terrorists coming after us. We will return to our immediate post 9/11 posture of securing our homeland and working with our allies around the world to stifle attempts at harming us. Any discovery of state sponsored terrorism directed at the US will be met with a stern response which this time will likely not include ground troops but annihilation via air superiority. You’re a little hazy in your use of debits and credits. It’s not clear from whose perspective you are assigning those terms. Having been an accountant for more years than you have probably been alive I am well versed in debits and credits and it confused me.
“Did you want some quotes from Zawahiri, Bin Laden, or even Saddam stating specifically that if they drive the US from Iraq it will be their success? Perhaps you prefer to look at things more statistically, and if so can you tell me where the US should fight Al Queda and still kill 20,000 of them (law enforcement tactics didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t work in the 90Ã¢â‚¬â„¢s and arenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t going to kill that many anywhere else-let alone the Graveyard of Empires).”
Quotes from Zawhiri, Bin Laden, Saddam or any of their ilk means little. They too are on a political stage and make many “profound” pronouncements aimed at their audience and any other fools willing to listen. Surely they will claim success if we leave Iraq; so what? They are going to claim success regardless. From a political verbiage standpoint they are in a no lose situation. We can help Iraqis push them out of Iraq but it will do nothing to diminish their appeal to the nutsies. On the contrary it will embolden them to recruit within their original scope and devise plans for more embassy bombings and 9/11s. The head to head fighting was a boon for them because they can “spin” the results a number of different ways to their audience. They ain’t trying to win an election. I believe that in the 90’s the perpetrators of the first World Trade center bombing were captured and tried by law enforcement action. Most of the supposed strikes we have stopped in this country as well as those in Britain and elsewhere have been thwarted by law enforcement not armies. Three of theirs for one of ours, plus many times that number in civilian losses, might be good odds at the crap tables in Vegas but since we are talking lives here and not cash or chips it’s not a bet I would like to continue making. The logistics of our continual rotation of troops, while surely more sophisticated, is cumbersome as compared to their leaking new recruits across the borders. Your figures seem a little padded but I’ll defer to your superior knowledge on that scale. You don’t kill ideologies. You can kill the believers but as long as their is an ideological leader continuing to spread the gospel more and more believers will generated.
“Ooooo, my compliments on the full 180 spin. That was good. Nice distraction too. It completely made me forget that the subject was inflating the numbers to make them look worse.”
No spin. Read your comments. That is what you said at one point. Do believe it was a slip of the pen. Regardless of what costs are included we seem to be talking real money here.
“Ok, here we get some serious discourse. I apologize for the lack of clarity. My point isnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t that Dems are solely to blame, but that they bear blame and shouldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t be given a free pass. YouÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re oh-so-right with the Ã¢â‚¬Å“everyone else didÃ¢â‚¬Â comment, but does that excuse them from responsibility? I say no, but you and others defend them as though they bear no responsibility. Oh, and that neocon bitÃ¢â‚¬Â¦.if you wanna talk PNAC stuff, please read the list of members, then check out the DLC foreign policy line. TheyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re almost identical. Why? Because the PNAC is bi-partisan (not true neoconservative) and its ME policy is based on Democratic strategies from the ClintonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s group; the DLC. Would you like some examples of the parity?”
I believe my statements about the vote of many Dems on the War Resolution implied, at least that the Dems bear some responsibility. Most of them did not want an actual war but copped out hoping that George would have better sense. Alas they should have known better and not given him carte blanche. Am not familiar with all who belong to organizations that espouse one view or another but I do know that rhetoric has many purposes. It can be used to influence; to maintain pressure; to keep ideas in focus and in the forefront; even sometimes to sound good but rhetoric is not always intended to be a call to action. Perhaps Pearle, Wolfowitz, Spieth, Krystal and others were not aware of the latter. Do I detect blasphemy in a suggestion that Bill Clinton might have had an idea the Reps liked?
“17 month rush to war argument? Oxymoron alert, but if you want to make the case that telling someone youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re going to attack them for 17months is a rush, then please cite some other historical examples where an enemy was told theyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢d be attacked for 17months before they were.”
Ok, ok. A little sarcasm there. It did seem like only a day went by though. There were actions in place that could have cooled down the heat had George been more patient. Oh I know Saddam was stonewalling, he was being obstinate. He was playing in a game where he wasn’t really aware of the stakes. But in his eyes he was a world leader; a powerful head of state who created shudders in much of his neighborhood. It was not within his makeup to just cowtow to this cowboy in Washington without making a fuss. He knew he didn’t want a war with us but he failed to recognize we had a son in the White House with some Freudian hangups about showing up daddy. He also knew what daddy knew and what Cheney’s 1994 interview showed he knew: You really don’t want to own Iraq!
“The President is Commander-in-Chief (the decider), but Congress has the power of the purse, and has chosen not to use it. The Democrats came to power declaring that they had a mandate from the American people re Iraq, and instead of trading any or all of their agenda for bi-partisan support to cut the funds and end the warÃ¢â‚¬Â¦.the Democrats have chosen to continue the war. W can decide deployments, but Congress-Democrats included-promoted it, authorized it, supported it in rhetoric, and now support it in action by not cutting the funds.”
Not sure where you get the idea that there was, or is, bi-partisan support for cutting out the funding for the war. Not my reading of the Congress. That notwithstanding, cutting off funds for the war would end it but catastrophically. Most of the significant Dem members of Congress believe that some troops must be maintained in Iraq to facilitate a transfer of power. There are many variations of where those troops should be positioned and what they should be doing but few are advocating a complete withdrawal at this time. Cutting the funding would negate all of those alternatives. You seem to find some solace in trying to pound away that the Dems own an equal share in this decision. I have stated I believe they have some responsibility but I fall way short of an equal share. Plus they had little or no say in the prosecution of this war and doubt that you would disagree that it has been handled abysmally. As you said, Georgie is the decider.
“No, Rummy claimed as many as 600,000 trained, but admitted only a fraction was ready to conduct solo ops.”
We accounting types do like to round, LOL. We all know that Rummy was all over the charts with his declarations of how many trained; how many ready for solo ops. His stories changed monthly until we found out, almost none.
“False. Some of the hardest fighting occurs near the Syrian, Jordanian, Saudi border as well as along the rivers to the E where Iran is sending in troops. Border security has been a paramount effort for years now. IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢d like to see it more-almost exclusive, but to pretend itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s been irrelevant or hasnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t taken place is to ignore the deaths of many Americans. At least give those guys credit for where they died.”
Scott, come on. There is a big difference between fighting near the borders and securing them. We never had enough troops to secure the borders and consequently insurgents of all stripes have been pouring in throughout our whole stay there. There were periodic attempts to quell the porous borders but we couldn’t maintain the level of force we needed to seal them.
“Wow, some more good spin. You started off admitting that the US has been hunting AQ in Iraq (a real step since most opponents of the war deny AQ is even in Iraq), but then you went off on that surge tangent and the W should be more qualified bit. Problem is, WÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s the President. Like it or not, and yeah, itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢d be GREAT having a general for President who understood all kinds of military ops better, but that means putting a PT boat commander who was so inept as to get runover by a giant destroyer isnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t qualified to run a full on war either. It means that Presidents-like Lincoln-who had no military experience are not allowed to be President. Step up, lose the Bush hate (I know itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s hard), accept that he IS your President, and look forward to President H Clinton (who vows to keep tens of thousands of troops in Iraq, or President Obama (who without military experience vows to keep US troops in Iraq). Or if we are to follow the idea that a President needs military serviceÃ¢â‚¬Â¦then welcome President McCain and his Congressional Medal of Honor. Back to the pointÃ¢â‚¬Â¦AQ was in Iraq, and is in Iraq, and the US is killing them wholesale in Iraq. There is no other place on the planet where that could be done.”
We agree again!!!! “Problem is, WÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s the President.” I don’t know of anyone who doesn’t believe AQ is in Iraq. There may be opinion differences about how many and where, hell even the military has been known to vascillate about that, but everyone knows they are there NOW. I do not advocate ex-military men for the presidency for much the same reason that I do not advocate former business executives. They both come from very structured environments where protocals and power are vested in them and they are not accustomed to having to debate issues but rather to dictate them. It ain’t utopia but probably the best candidates for president are politicians. Most of them understand the nuances and methods that can achieve compromise and accomplish things (present occupant excepted). I don’t include George as either an experienced politician or a successful business executive. I don’t hate George. I have from the beginning of his 2000 campaign found him to lack the level of intelligence required for a position of this magnitude. Not sure I share everyone’s potential delight at having a beer with him (I don’t drink beer) but certainly is an affable fellow and I do like his self deprecating humor. Boy do I ever look forward to a new President. I have my preferences and HC ranks right up there but there are some seemingly competent folks on the other side as well (Romney, Huckabee and yes McCain) that other than my not finding conservative agendas palatable I could live with. Only major objection would be Rudy who reminds me too much of GWB. Find it a bit incongruous that while you make a plea for my sympathy for George you, in the same breath, take cheap shots at Kerry. Though Kerry will not go down in the annals of military history as a great military expert he at least has the knowledge of what our fighting men and women are going through and would probably make better decisions than George simply because of that.
“Catch 22. If most of the money is unaccounted for, then how can an opponent of the war realistically claim the war cost X dollars without making a full-on propaganda based guess? Nah, most of the money is accounted for. A lot isnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t, but the fact remains that the war costs nothing compared to the pork spent in DC. It cost Republicans control of Congress, and now that Dems are spending even more, it will cost Dems Congress.”
I’ll allow for the fact that most writers know little of accounting and merely explain that we know how much we sent over there, we just don’t know where much of it went when it got there. “Most”, is of course relative as well but suffice it to say a not insignificant amount seems to have disappeared. The comparison of pork spending is illogical. It begs the question of the sensibility of the war spending. Somewhere in the annals of age, old adages someone once said, “Two wrongs don’t make a right.”
Whew!!! Damn!! Who do I see about these calluses on my fingetips?
Enjoy the dialogue. Wish you’d firm up your arguments though…lol
Curt: Today’s major combat is not that of our forefathers or even our grandfathers. This is guerilla warfare and 3,700 lives would seem to warrant a descriptor something beyond skirmish.
3700 lives over 4 years of combat equals 2.5 deaths a day. I’m sorry, there is just no way to conclude this is major combat. There have always been and always weill be states that if we were to go to war with would require real major combat, China would be a perfect example. To conclude that this type of combat is history is well, ignorant.
As far as the rest of your post, I will let Scott take it on but from your prior comments I had assumed you were a young man. Just based on the naivetÃƒÂ©. To discover that your much older is amazing. You threw in almost every nutroot talking point and your over 20!:
….and my favorite in regards to the Dems voting for war:
Hey Curt, now you sound like a real dyed in the wool right wing nut. Your need to expose your manhood with defaming remarks and namecalling fit right in with the genre who really have nothing to say and can’t handle decent debate.
Contrary to your opinion of yourself you don’t have a lock on viewpoints. Might I just mention that many experts, including former military officers, have pointed out that the death toll in Iraq would be much greater were it not for the marvels of modern frontline medicine. But you don’t want to hear that because you have a corner on truth and wisdom. I’m sure those many dead and injured servicemen and servicewomen will be glad to know that their sacrifice is insignificant when compared to the real wars, the Great ones, the ones where the body bag budget rivaled our GDP. And Curt, we ain’t gonna get in one of the wars you mentioned, China et al, with a volunteer military force.
I haven’t done the math on Vietnam but would guess the daily tallies would qualify that one as “major combat”. Although you failed to provide me the statistical levels required to achieve that lofty status. No doubt the troops that must man the vehicles which each day travel roads which could be laden with IEDs will feel better knowing that they have little to fear because they are not in major combat. Maybe there are varying degrees of dead in your math as well. Would appreciate an enlightenment.
Your peevish delineation of the so called “nutroot talking points” exhibits perhaps a flaw in your mental makeup. While you may disagree with all of them this fact does little to render your judgement paramount. You are but one of a dwindling few who hold fast to the last vestiges of hope that GWB had any frigging idea of what he was getting into.
There is evidence that as we age we gain wisdom. I’m sorry you missed out. Good that you’re going to let Scott take on the bigger treatise. Don’t think you measure up.
Ahhh, aren’t you a sweet one. Since it was his debate it’s probably best to leave it up to him. Don’t want to step on his toes. In actuality, your argument is quite naive and ignorant, I doubt he wants to waste his time on someone with so little original thoughts but I will leave that up to him.
Classic! In your world the lefties are quite cultured, not profane, and come to an argument with reasoned debate…..
Guess it’s quite comfortable under that rock your living in.
Damn…and here I thought I had the lock on them. Appreciate the heads up.
Here we go again. Trying to explain away the obvious flaws in your argument with a “but if it wasn’t for “_____” I would be right” type of statement. Be that it may, we have accomplished much in a short period of time with a very low casualty ratio. The reason why is because we are, as you described, in a guerrila warfare type fight which is NOT major combat.
Major combat is just that….major battles which include whole battalions, divisions, and brigades against an enemy of equal size including air, tank, infantry and naval battles. Counter-insurgency is not anything close no matter how you want to spin it.
You want to bring up Vietnam, ok. Major combat brigades were sent in 65, we left in 73. 58,226 Americans died. 20 a day. 10 times the amount we have seen in Iraq. Have we seen battles like Khe Sahn where 10-15,000 Vietnamese died which included tanks, artillery, and almost 3 divisions of North Vietnamese. Seen anything like Tet where 100 towns and 36 capitol cities were simultaneously attacked by dozens of divisions. Or how about Operation Birmingham which sent a division of American troops to rout another division of NV troops….
That is major combat. It’s common sense. What we are doing now in Iraq is training the Iraqi’s and taking out small pockets of terrorists who blow themselves up with bomb belts. To even think this is major combat tells me that your a DummiesU regular. Spin, spin and more spin.
My, what a fanciful world you live in. You live in a echo chamber, plain and simple. Believe what you will, but we are not just a few my friend….not even close.
Re the calluses, nothing I can do. I wonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t even offer to kiss and make em better, but as for firming up my arguments, IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢d say, Ã¢â‚¬Å“Fabrication can be relative. There are degrees of fabrication ranging from outright lies to stretching the truth a little.Ã¢â‚¬Â Yeah, I know you didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t say I was fabricating stuff, but the point is that if you want me to Ã¢â‚¬Å“firm upÃ¢â‚¬Â arguments, it seems your own rely on being Ã¢â‚¬Å“relativeÃ¢â‚¬Â or, imply more:
“some”…not really a firm standard there. Quite the contrast in response to your earlier statement, Ã¢â‚¬Å“You may have made a small point about bipartisan and rhetoric. But the Dems didn’t make the decision to start a war. GWB, with the neocons pulling his strings did.Ã¢â‚¬Â So which is it-letÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s firm it up-do Dems bear responsibility for promoting the war, authorizing it, supporting it, and since taking Congress deliberately choosing to continue it? Firm it up, or do we defer to nuance and caveats?
Btw, Ã¢â‚¬Å“Do I detect blasphemy in a suggestion that Bill Clinton might have had an idea the Reps liked?Ã¢â‚¬Â
I voted for President Clinton both times, and am not a fan of President BushÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s. Careful with the partisan blinders. I seek only accountability where free passes, excuses, and finger pointing remain. As I said, every time I hear, Ã¢â‚¬Å“This administrationÃ¢â‚¬Â I know that the alleged problem is W, and thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s ignorant. It pretends that all that is wrong in the world (or whatever one puts in the blank after this administration) can be fixed by voting for any Dem. Yawn, the election’s over. Besides, Gore promised in 98 that thereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢d be no more diplomacy with Saddam-just attacks. Dems saw as much OR MORE intel than W, and still promoted the war. Whether it was Gore, Bush, Kerry, Clinton, it doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t matter. After 911, the Unresolved Disarmament Issues (commonly spun down to Ã¢â‚¬Å“wmdÃ¢â‚¬Â) could not be left unresolved indefinitely, and since sanctions were irrevocably collapsing, since inspections never really worked on their own and couldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t work post 98, I think there was no other option but regime change (as desired by the Democrats from 96+), but by invasion since all other methods had been tried and failed.
Hmmm I had never seen UNSCOM reports dismissed out of hand before. ThatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s new. Would you say that there was nothing of concern/threatening in the 3/6/03 UNMOVIC reports as well then? Seems like the problemÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s not Mr Butler (particularly since the points I raised from his book were 6-yrs later corroborated by the findings of the Iraq Survey Group as reported in the Duelfer report.
Hardly true at all, and since you havenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t read the reports youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve no frame of reference. Would you like some links? Seriously, donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t take WÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s word. Read BlixÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ 3/6/03 Unresolved Disarmament Issues report (available at UNMOVIC website, and only 129pgs), then compare it to DuelferÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s report (Make sure to download the big file as it has pictures and the pictures alone prove that there was a threat, and that inspections couldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t work post 1998. As to the reports of pre-war ties to AQ, I recognize the fear of reading books from people like Stephen Hayes, so may I suggest some of the personal accounts that fill Borders shelves and pages upon pages at Amazon? TheyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll confirm that US forces found and killed thousands of Al Queda in Iraq (making it much more effective than law enforcement).
And on the topic of law enforcement (apologies for jumbling up the discussion), I agree law enforcement is a great tool for fighting terror, but it is not the only tool, AND it’s not the only tool being used (see also KSM capture). And that reference to the 93 bombersÃ¢â‚¬Â¦flawed. CIA got them-not law enforcement, and one (Yasin) actually fled to Iraq where he was put on a pension by Saddam, given a house, did an interview with Leslie Stahl, and then disappeared after being grossly clearly by Saddam. Yep, law enforcement is critical, but itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s not the only tool, and (to paraphrase Speaker Pelosi) when you go to war, you go with everything youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve got and you donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t hold anything back. To me, that means cops when cops are needed. Border patrol when border patrol is needed, air strikes when appropriate, andÃ¢â‚¬Â¦well, sometimes it takes as soldier.
Problem with thatÃ¢â‚¬Â¦is it didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t work, but the current strategy has prevented dozens of 911 attacks. Besides, Iraq was their primary and secondary casus belli against the US before W was even a candidate.
In other places through the three previous posts youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve gone out of your way to paint a picture that there can only be defeat in Iraq. It seems to me that you aspire for defeat since you lack the imagination to even envision it. Given the accounting background, letÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s try a checklist:
* to prevent a Nexus of Evil situation
* to prevent UBL from setting up headquarters in Iraq as Saddam had annually and bi-annually requested for 5 yrs. UBL had turned down each offer based on the idea that he was safer in Afghanistan, but driven from Afghanistan in 2001/2…the possibility of UBL moving AQ HQ to Iraq was much more likely and easily a worst case scenario for the war on terror (see also 911 Comm report and SSCI 911 report and SSCI Iraq investigation )
* to remove/resolve the hundreds unresolved WMD issues (any one of which could kill thousands in the hands of an Iraqi trained terrorist-like Abu Musab Al Zarqawi
MISSION ACCOMPLISHED (unless one argues that WMD went to Syria etc)
* to get the hundreds of AQ terrorist who fled Afghanistan to Iraq
* to end Iraqi support for terrorists in general
* to create a battlefield against terrorists made of America’s choosing-not the terrorists preference (UBL’s preference was Afghanistan, the Graveyard of Empires where he felt he had already destroyed one superpower)
MISSION ACCOMPLISHED (10-30,000 Al Queda killed in Iraq-far more than law enforcement could ever bring to justice)
* to create a bastion of democracy in the middle of a region plagued by tyranny and oppression…things that spawn terrorism
WORK IN PROGRESS
* to drain the swamp of terrorists in the region; ie, to draw terrorists into a fight against the US military and not the Springfield, Ohio police Department
* to offer the Iraqi people a chance at restoring their rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness-rights that some Americans believe are endowed to all men by the creator
WORK IN PROGRESS
* to end the 4000-5000 Iraqis per month who were dying because of UN sanctions per the UN’s claims
* to prevent Saddam from continuing to terrorize the Iraqi people and his neighbors (all but one of which he had attacked)
* to support a legitimate govt in Iraq.
WORK IN PROGRESS
* to position US forces in a more threatening/deterring position to Iran, Syria, etc.
* With Al Queda’s #1 and #2 leaders pinned in Waziristan/Pakistan, as a means of going after the Al Queda’s #3 man, Abu Musab Al Zarqawi, who had already attempted to kill hundreds of thousands in London, Rome, Paris, and Jordan using chemical and biological weapons via training he had been given from Saddam
MISSION ACCOMPLISHED (see also ricin attacks and chem attack attempt in Jordan)
* To end the funding of Palestinian terrorists by Saddam and thus help deter bi-weekly suicide bus bombings that had completely derailed the peace process
* to prevent the funding of Al Queda by Iraq through the mega-corrupt UN Oil-for-Food program
* to shift American oil dependence (and funding) from terrorist-breeding-ground of Saudi Arabia to a Democratic and representative govt in Iraq
and so on…
WORK IN PROGRESS
So, to firm up your position, do you believe success is possible in Iraq? I agree its up to the Iraqis, but the US has to help (and ironically is obligated to by post Saddam UN resolutions). Given that, shouldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t the US try to help? I see thereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s been some disagreement re the security of the borders in Iraq, etc. We can fully agree that the borders are not, were not, and cannot be fully secured, but to ignore the 300+ fortresses that the US built for the US-trained Iraqi border security forces is to ignore a serious effort; ie serious effort has been made to secure the borders. Similarly, I agree that itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s nuts to be driving down the same road waiting to be blown up, but thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s what the surge is about-a change in tactics. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s why itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s called the New Iraq Strategy; Ã¢â‚¬Ëœcause itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s new. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s not the same course.
EXACTLY! The Republicans didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t want to invade. If they did, theyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢d have started the buildup in Jan 01 rather than invade over 2 years later, but-as I said-after 911, you couldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t just leave those Unresolved Disarmament Issues out there forever. My position is this is the perfect war because no one wanted it. It was brushed off, postponed, stalled, skirted, and had eyes rolled around it for over a decade. Eventually, nothing else could be done but change the regime, and there was no other viable way to do that but invade (an action which you can’t seem to firm up whether or not democrats support or oppose).
*****I must sayÃ¢â‚¬Â¦I liked this one. No bs, I did. How many? How many troops do Dems think we can have in Iraq without catastrophe, and without things being as Ã¢â‚¬Å“badÃ¢â‚¬Â as they are today?
Noooo, not true at all. He was always very explicit with his charts etc showing how many were cat A, how many B, how many being trained, etc. The Ã¢â‚¬Å“noneÃ¢â‚¬Â that you refer to is the number of troops capable of solo ops, and that was never very high because the US was doing all the logistics. ThatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s changed. Also, if you noticed his charts etcÃ¢â‚¬Â¦.the number was always going up. To pretend that there are no ISF or that theyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re incompetent is a gross miscalculation. Many of those units are now far better than most of our allies units. A lot needs to be done, but there are hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and only 10-30,000 insurgents (a number dropped by 1-2000 a month since the surge started). Me, I bowed to the Brookings Inst which provided a monthly Iraq index report. It was the most informative I found-albeit a bit leftist leaning.
Clinton, Gore, Kerry, any President would have had 911 happen, and would have had the same intel re Iraq as well as the same option. Do you realize that the so-called PNAC neocons actually got their ideas from the ClintonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s DLC? Check it out sometime.
I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t see it as illogical at all since pork spending is a lot more than war spending, and my point is that if one claims that war spending lacks sensibility, then how can they not rail against pork spending which is even greater (instead, the subject of Dems increasing pork spending since taking Congress gets a free pass, excuses, and ignored in favor of a more emotional topic).
Again, it seems to me that the war is the DemsÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ wedge issue. In 04 they had ABB (Anybody But Bush) which started the Ã¢â‚¬Å“this administration (insert blame here)Ã¢â‚¬Â rhetoric, as well as the faux anti-war rhetoric (for it, but against itÃ¢â‚¬Â¦.or was it against it, but for it?). Dems lose both of those for the 08 race, and they lose the Culture of Corruption them as well as the cut the pork theme since theyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve gone past the Republicans on both in just the first 8months of holding Congress.
Maybe thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s why their approval is at the lowest in recorded history, and/or why only 3% of Americans approve of the DemocratsÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ CongressÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ handling of the war?
“we ain’t gonna get in one of the wars you mentioned, China et al, with a volunteer military force.”
So, I take it that Art A Layman is all for bringing back the draft?
Isn’t this the funniest thing? Lefties, who grew up listening to aging hippies brag about burning their draft cards, going to Canada or like Bill Clinton, screwing the ROTC and taking off for Oxford are now all in favor of a draft.
Of course we all know the reason why they want the draft returned. It’s so they could complain about how unfair compulsory service is.
And since I mentioned Clinton, it’s good to recall that it was his Administration that gutted the U.S. military and left it so weak.
I wonder if Art A Lame supports increasing defense budgets in the amounts necessary to return manpower levels to pre-Clinton days?
Something tells me the answer is NO!
A lot of people just don’t understand the modern military. more troops > more capability. You need better troops. If we need more troops/more people to enlist, then pay em what they deserve. Give every pfc 50k a yr and another 10gs for every rank up. Give em better housing, better benefits, shorter deployments, you’d see enlistment rise.
Right now, I have to agree. It’s only for sake of political argument that people advocate a draft-not for sake of a more capable military.
Sorry for the delay but had some other things to do and did a little bit of research. Chances are nobody is still reading this particular blog entry but IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll post anyway.
First to MikeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s America:
As I stated if we were to consider wars against China or any country with significant armies we would have to have a draft to attain the necessary levels of manpower to support such an engagement. Reinstituting it currently would tend to democratize the process that puts so many lives at risk. Statements or proposals offered by politicians always have a political aspect to them. That does not preclude a sincere intent on the part of the politician but does leave open a door which those wearing partisan blinders can then attempt to close.
Interesting in your rant about Ã¢â‚¬Å“draft dodgersÃ¢â‚¬Â you omitted Cheney, Bush, Rummy et al. Am sure it was merely an inadvertent oversight.
By the way, I wasn’t listening to aging hippies, though not a hippie, I am of that generation.
I believe if memory serves me that the beginnings of defense budget cuts actually started with GHW Bush in 1991. Clinton continued and maybe improved on them but the prevailing wisdom at the time was with the collapse of the old Soviet Union the Defense Budget could be pared down. There were many Reps who held to this view.
Even one of your heroes, Rummy, was more interested in beefing up technology than manpower.
Curt, oh yes Curt:
The probability of our entering a war with China or any other country with armies sufficient enough to fit your definition of Ã¢â‚¬Å“major combatÃ¢â‚¬Â is quite low. The manpower parity and the fact that most of those kinds of foes also have nuclear weapons would preclude entering a war with them other than in self defense. The advent of ChinaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s entry into the world economy, and quickly rising near the top, makes it unlikely that they would see any advantage to starting a war with us.
All in all what we are engaged in here is a semantic argument of little import in the grand scheme of things. I will agree that by military definition your description of major combat is much more germane than mine. It would seem to me, however, that to wake up every morning faced with the possibility of meeting death or severe maiming on the fields of my workplace would extrapolate to significant if not major combat.
Though you may find fault with it – surprise, surprise – there is no doubt that the death rate would be much higher in Iraq were it not for medical advances. How many more? Who the hell knows, but it is a factor. If you are arguing that we have not yet reached a level of deaths and injuries to warrant ending this fiasco, then first, I would like to know what that level is and second, that position would be absurd on its face and ignorant in its depth.
If you are going to pose statistical data to support your argument be a little more sophisticated. Simple averages say little and are the tools of those who want to hide behind numbers. Try doing an average fighting force versus the number of deaths versus the time involved. It will still turn out that Vietnam was more deadly than Iraq but I am sure by a slimmer margin.
The rest of your lunatic ravings do not warrant a response. Note: I never said that Ã¢â‚¬Å“terrorism is worse now that we are in IraqÃ¢â‚¬Â but I should have.
Ah and finally Scott:
Let me lead off with a slight (?) disparity I ran across. On a Howard, something or other website, where you are listed as a contributor, you wrote a treatise on January 7, 2007 proclaiming that Howard Dean began his antiwar rant at least three months before GWB unleashed his threats. But then in response to my earlier post you stated:
Now given the start of the war was sometime around mid March 2003 this would place your chronology as starting around October, 2001. Actually in his Inaugural Address in January, 2001 he made reference to weapons of mass destruction and how we wonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t countenance them. Now there were a few countries he could have been implying but surely Iraq would have been one of them. Then February, 2001 he made a definitive statement about possible war with Iraq and his frequent remarks after that seemed to crescendo, like a Leonard Bernstein orchestration, to Ã¢â‚¬Å“letting the dogs outÃ¢â‚¬Â.
The point being, you canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t have it both ways. Either your Howard statement is correct, in your mind, or your response to me is. It can appear that you bend the facts to meet your arguments.
“”some”…not really a firm standard there. Quite the contrast in response to your earlier statement,
You are suggesting that I apply precision to a subject that defies exactness. How do I determine the % of blame that Clinton and the Dems should bear? As I have previously stated, there are many reasons for rhetoric, one of which is not necessarily to drive action. Shame on Clinton, et al., for not realizing that a group of zealots would come along, take action, and then suggest that they were only following ClintonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s dictates.
You seem to imply that the Dems should bear an equal or greater share. I fail to see how a rational person could come to that conclusion. Words convey messages, actions convey reality. It would seem apparent that ClintonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s intentions were to use airpower only when threatening action. It was common knowledge in American governmental circles (see CheneyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s 1994 interview, again) that invading Iraq would only open a PandoraÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Box. The only scenario where an invasion made sense was with a large coalition, providing sufficient manpower, similar to the Gulf War, which would enable closing borders, preventing looting, providing cover for a rapid search for WMD and deterring neighbors from covertly entering the action. This was possibly doable if haste were not a factor. It matters little what ClintonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s or the DLCÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s platform stated; the actions were commenced by W and other than cover he could have cared less what Clinton said or thought.
It would be a far better world if politicians spoke only truth along with the courage of their convictions. Alas that is not the nature of politics. Ergo we must all learn to discern for ourselves the relevance of their speeches and whether or not they make sense. As I stated before there is safety in numbers and better to get on the band wagon than be a lone, principled dead end politician. Fact is, many Dems, including Joe Biden, attempted to put an amendment on the resolution for war that stated the W would have to come back to the Congress before actually starting a war with Iraq. The amendment failed and in the current fervor of the American public, rallying behind, an as yet unknown, idiot, those who opposed the blank check given to W opted to cower. This certainly gives them fault but not entire or even equal fault.
Sorry about the partisan blinders but your arguments sure seem like those of an out of the closet conservative. No one is saying that all that is wrong in this world is because of W. But then again there are many references to things wrong in this world that can clearly be laid at WÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s feet. Kerry would not have had the same level of access to information as Clinton, Gore, Bush, Cheney because he wasnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t on the Senate Intelligence Committee and wouldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t have had the security clearance for raw data. Even the Senate Intelligence Committee does not always get the complete raw data from the intelligence community that the President sees.
The sanctions were not Ã¢â‚¬Å“irrevocably collapsingÃ¢â‚¬Â, they were collapsing but 911 gave us the impetus to resurrect inspections with renewed vigor to making them work and to continue sanctions until they could be completed. Further, a strong argument was viable that inspections must continue even if sanctions were lifted to insure that Saddam did not re-embark on creating WMD, especially given the number of dual-use facilities he maintained. He was a bad guy. The world new he was a bad guy and the final summations of the inspection teams, including the ISG, and the SSCI, along with the revised pre-war estimates of the CIA, would have provided that an ongoing inspection regime was vital to holding him in check. It would have required statesmanship which W and his administration might have maintained had he not been hell bent to begin his ill-fated pre-emptive war.
To state that inspections Ã¢â‚¬Å“could not work post 98Ã¢â‚¬Â is to buy into someone elseÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s view, which was belied by the moderate success being realized in the 2 Ã‚Â½ months before W pulled the plug to rush to war. In the area of human relations it is seldom true to state that something absolutely cannot work. Signs were that WÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s military buildup in the area had gotten SaddamÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s attention and the level of cooperation far exceeded that existing prior to 98. Jesus! Most of the whole world desired regime change but they didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t desire it enough to join in what many of them realized was a rather stupid undertaking.
The UNSCOM reports were troublesome but were also issued in a cloud of continuing uncertainty, yes, primarily due to SaddamÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s sandbagging, but nevertheless were a summation of couldas, might bes and may bes. The 3/6/03 UNMOVIC reports were more of the same; were submitted after the inspectors returned to Iraq for only 2 Ã‚Â½ months; and with the codicil by Hans Blix that Iraq was being more active, and even proactive, in cooperation than they had ever been in the past. Though the October 2002 NIE made statements alluding to a possible threat to our homeland and very questionable ties to al Qaeda, they were predicated on very questionable sources and skimpy, at best, intelligence. Many of the issues referred to in the UNSCOM, UNMOVIC and CIA reports were largely dispelled in the SSCI, released in June 2006; so much so that the CIA modified their prewar presumptions in the 2002 NIE. And the SSCI report was very consistent with the ISG report.
Now we all know hindsight is 20-20, but much of that later revealed would have been revealed earlier had not we intervened, kicked out the inspectors, and started a war.
At the time of the unraveling of reason by W, I had a schedule tying me up for 16 to 18 hours each and everyday, with some flex on weekends. I had been on that schedule from the mid-nineties and continued until Feb of this year. I did not have the time to read many of the varied books and texts that were published in that time frame. To read them now would be a poor investment of time since much that was written on this subject around that time has been judged wrong or inaccurate. I have read the summaries of some of these reports and did read the full SSCI report: You should try it.
Even W himself has admitted there was no real proof of a connection between Iraq and al Qaeda before the war. VP Cheney seems to be having a harder problem with that concept but then heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s an even bigger basket case.
According to the SSCI report there was some admiration from Saddam for al Qaeda for pulling off an attack on a common enemy but Saddam had no real commonality of purpose with al Qaeda other than a disdain for the US. Saddam was always very unlikely, and was, later, proven to be adamant, about not sharing his WMD knowledge with anyone other than his own Iraqis and those were only a select few.
The man was an egocentric, vile, butcherous, manipulative asshole. What he was not was stupid or suicidal. While W always couched his alarms about Iraq with the proviso Ã¢â‚¬Å“without footprintsÃ¢â‚¬Â, reality is that seldom are there not footprints. Even if no physical proof could be found, Saddam was experienced enough in his own country, let alone with anyone outside his ability to control, to know that someone, somewhere would leak Ã¢â‚¬Å“footprintÃ¢â‚¬Â information and then he and his regime would be toast.
He had two viable military opponents in the Middle East: Israel and Iran. No other ME country had the military force, equipment or desire to take on Saddam. Even Israel was content to let us continue our no fly zones and to merely keep a wary eye out for something we might miss. The only problem with that mode from Israel is that they, from time to time, like to prod us with questionable intelligence and we give their intelligence great credence.
There was nothing to be gained for Saddam by arming al Qaeda or providing them sanctuary, especially if he were not going to be able to claim involvement. Further, given the religious/philosophical differences between he and al Qaeda he knew that he could eventually become their target even if he consented to give them aid.
The verbal rally for war, as I mentioned, started from the beginning of WÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s tenure. His increasing vitriol was less predicated on UNSCOM or UNMOVIC reports than on his own vendetta at first and the CIAÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s NIEÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s later. Sure there was passing reference to the former when it fit his agenda but he depended on the CIA to provide an intelligence basis for warmongering. It will be likely beyond our lifetimes before we ever find out just what influence the administration had on the CIA output, however, even if there was none, it makes sense that the CIA, reeling from accusations of ineptitude over 911, was more than willing to provide that which they deemed this administration wanted to hear.
Missing in all this, or better yet purposefully ignored, was the realization that we had no really valid intelligence, nor did anyone else, on Iraq. Therefore most of what was conjured up was based on highly questionable sources. Many of these sources had their own agendas, ranging from political asylum to dreams of grandeur in returning to Iraq and gathering riches and power from a deposed dictatorial regime.
As for al Qaeda pre-war, if you are referring to Anser al-Islam, the ties were tenuous at best and Anser was not a branch of al Qaeda according to the DIA. There is no argument that we have killed many al Qaeda in Iraq. Anytime you can enjoin the enemy on a battlefield you are going to kill and/or apprehend many more than law enforcement will yield in a comparable period of time simply because there are more available. No one argued that law enforcement was the only tool but in the absence of a common battlefield law enforcement is the best we and the world have going.
When dealing with terrorists residing in or fleeing to other countries often the CIA seems to be our best bet in seeking apprehension. To your point about the 93 bombings, except for those apprehended overseas and the possibility that CIA provided some intelligence the main characters were apprehended by FBI and local law enforcement in the US. It is clear that often law enforcement will need or use intelligence help from CIA and others
After Afghanistan and Iraq it is doubtful there are many venues where we will send in troops to capture or fight terrorists. While no argument that soldiers are and can be an important resource over the long haul it will become more and more of a law enforcement issue.
Not quite sure who Ã¢â‚¬Å“theirÃ¢â‚¬Â refers to but IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll take a stab that it was Bin Laden, et al. You place an awful lot of veracity in the yammerings of nut cases. Iraq was never Ã¢â‚¬Å“theirÃ¢â‚¬Â casus belli. They will use every confrontation, disagreement, uproar between western civilization and the Islamic world to scream revenge, increase their recruitment and attempt to send in more suicide martyrs. Their real casus belli was, according to Bin Laden, the existence of infidels on the holy lands of Saudi Arabia and them was us. But then that was on Wednesday and by Friday the wind had likely shifted. Let us never forget the age, old casus belli; our support for Israel.
Bin Laden, et al. could have given a hoot about Saddam and if they were so worried about their Arab brethren in Iraq they would have been working to take him out. But, then the Sunni/Shia issues arise.
I think at this point IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll post this to see if anyone is even still interested. If so, IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll finish my response.
Hey Lame: Sorry, but I don’t read giant run on paragraphs. Want to try and edit that screed for readability?
After you get the readability thing down we can work on clarity and intellectual integrity.
Not sure what happened there.
First part seemed fine and then structure seemed to go to hell.
Was copy/pasting out of MS Word, is that a problem?
I was previewing and after making a couple of corrections I ended up hitting POST.
I too think that government service should be required for all citizens (be it military, political, environmental, law enforcement, or other), but Ã¢â‚¬Å“democratizingÃ¢â‚¬Â the war effort can be done far more efficiently by our leaders, and I think the cost in quality that comes with conscription isnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t worth the little gained by Ã¢â‚¬Å“democratization.Ã¢â‚¬Â In fact, if everyone had military training, there might even be MORE inclination to wage war/less risk aversion. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s impossible to say.
Ya know Vice President Cheney was a military leader sans uniform, and when he was, he was damn good at it. Bush did learn to fly fighter planes at a time when it was even more dangerous than today, so I give him some credit. Rummy served I believe. In the end, I wonder if itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s better to have Grants or Lincolns? Ultimately, the argument over service is a fully moot one for the future as NONE of the half dozen leading candidates for President servedÃ¢â‚¬Â¦except Sen McCain of course. As such, to jibe about Clinton or Bush or Hillary or Obama or Cheney is really irrelevant and merely a double-edged play at gotcha politick.
Might I point out that North Korea has a 48hr, 5,000,000 man reserve force as well as one of the largest most well-equipped forces in the world (including the largest number of special forces of any two countries on the planet). A conventional war on the Korean Peninsula is a very real threat. So too is a conventional confrontation with China (see also Taiwan), and I submit that the presence of nuclear weapons actually makes a large scale conventional war even more likely as no one would want to go too far and push the other into using nukes (See also US/PRC fighting in Korea)
I believe the number would be a ratio. For example, if US losses were 5x that of the number of Al Queda killed in Iraq, then itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢d clearly not be the battlefield of our choice. On the other hand, the fact is that it is nearly the opposite with at least 15,000 Al Queda killed in Iraq (not insurgents, but actual Al Queda and Al Queda affiliate groups).
WOW, IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m flattered. And I can see the confusion. In many cases people have argued that President Bush decided to attack Iraq in October 2001 (as you discovered), but this isnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t my own ranting. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Bob WoodwardÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s also the claim of many who point to the Downing Street Memos (their site has a great chronology btw). SO, thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s why sometimes IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll describe it as 17months rush to war. Other times-again, as you so well discovered-I make the rush to war less for the exact same reasons you point out. The Jan 2002 SOTU speech merely mentions Iraq, but if one wants to say there was a rush to war, and it began with the axis of evil comment, then the rush to war was 15 months. I MYSELF CHOOSE 91202 as the starting point for the 7 month rush to war since there was almost no rhetoric from President Bush before that (a mention is not a full-on diplomatic, military, and rhetorical rush/push). The point isÃ¢â‚¬Â¦.seven months is not a rush, and those who say itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a rush are mistaken. A rush is like when President Clinton bombed Iraq in 1993 without notice, or when he bombed Iraq in 1995 without notice, or when he bombed Iraq in 1998 without notice, or when he invaded Haiti with just 3wks notice, or when he began bombing Kosovo with only a few weeks notice, or when he bombed Bosnia with less than a monthÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s notice on all three occasions. Those are rushes to warÃ¢â‚¬Â¦.not seven months imo.
If so, then itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s only because the liberal/progressive/new Dems have driven out any moderates (see also Joe Lieberman and the attacks on the DLC).
Bush Derangement Syndrome is when people blame W for everything and anything; yes, many people do blame him for all that Ã¢â‚¬Å“happens on his watchÃ¢â‚¬Â as if he were omnipotent and omniscient.
Actually, the SSCI did have the same intelligence-and more-than the President, and their own investigations as well as several other independent and bi-partisan investigations have all made that very clear. The problem is that Democrats on those committees didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t go to all the meetings. They blew them off. And most members of Congress deliberately chose not to read the classified NIE of 10/2/02. Specifically, only about a half dozen senators and a handful of Reps signed in to read the assessment. They made their rhetoric based on their own previous (often pre-Bush Admin) reports and intel reports as well as their own independent investigations of the intel (see also H Clinton, and others).
To state that inspections Ã¢â‚¬Å“could not work post 98Ã¢â‚¬Â is to buy into someone elseÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s view, which was belied by the moderate success being realized in the 2 Ã‚Â½ months before W pulled the plug to rush to war.
I love that Rush to war line. I laugh every time.
Yes, sanctions were irrevocably collapsing. The Duelfer Report shows that very clearly. So too does the last UNMOVIC report, the various Volker Oil For Food reports, and even the Sen Intel Com reports on Iraq intel. Sorry man, but no amount of statesmanship was gonna make inspections work again (as if they ever did-remember, Saddam was about to be given a clean slate until his son in laws defected; ie, it was defections not inspections that worked). Even Blix (in his book, Disarming Iraq) and Ritter (in his book, Endgame) both explain that inspections couldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t work for two basic reasons (one really imo)
inspectors were not intended to be weapons hunters. They were supposed to be witnesses and verifiers to Iraqi disarmament. Weapons hunting was never their role.
The purpose of inspections wasnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t to hunt down and find weapons, but to build political Ã¢â‚¬Å“confidence (something Blix goes into great detail about). Ã¢â‚¬Å“ConfidenceÃ¢â‚¬Â is a sort of diplomatic speak for trust. The idea is that if the disarming nation consistently demonstrates good faith, honesty, and serious effort at disarming, then those tasked with verifying the disarmament can convey Ã¢â‚¬Å“confidenceÃ¢â‚¬Â that the disarming nation has disarmed.
Now, SaddamÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s regime acted AGAINST the will of the inspection process since it began. They did so again from the start of GWBÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s admin, again post 911 when they shot down a Predator monitoring WMD sites ON 911, again after GWB approached the UN on 91202, again in December 02 when they violated UN1441 by not providing a full disarmament declaration, again with various impediments in Jan and Feb 03. By acting against the inspection process rather than with it and for it, they reduced confidence and made it impossible.
Some things can be said with certainty since history is often 20-20. Saddam was not interested in peace and surely never would have revealed as required his WMD setup. We know this from the Duelfer Report as well as various others I can list as well if you desire. As to the rest of the worldÃ¢â‚¬Â¦they all have their own reasons, and greed outweighs stupidity in almost each one. Btw, the military buildup for invasion began in 9/02 (another reason I prefer to point to that as the start of the 7 month Ã¢â‚¬Å“rush to warÃ¢â‚¬Â (Man, whatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Ã¢â‚¬Å“taking oneÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s timeÃ¢â‚¬Â then?)
IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m glad you recognize the Ã¢â‚¬Å“sand-baggingÃ¢â‚¬Â which of course is counter to the inspection/verification process. Remember, UNMOVIC was
Oh waitÃ¢â‚¬Â¦hunting WMD wasnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t part of their tasking. Sorry. YouÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re right about inspectors only being in Iraq for a few months, but they verified very little during that time OTHER THAN the truth that Saddam was deliberately and illegally making missiles etc that he wasnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t allowed to make (again, counter to the process of building confidence).
Now, Art, you got into the NIE a bit, and I think youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re off quite a bit. LetÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s try and clear some things up. The NIE was put out to Congress on 10/2/02. Members were pre-notified to make arrangements to read it. Only a few signed in to do so. Hundreds (Dems included) chose not to even look at it. On 10/4/02, a shortened, declassified version came out. Many Dems had their staffers skim it, then went along since it was consistent with the reporting for the previous 12 yrs. However, you are very incorrect about the NIE making any sort of claims re ties to Al Queda. Also, the specific Ã¢â‚¬Å“threats to our homelandÃ¢â‚¬Â were from comments made by intel officials made to Congress-not in the NIE. Democrats like Sen Rockefeller repeated these threats as well, and so too did Clinton-era intel and defense officials (names and quotes avail upon req).
Not at all. According to the last UNMOVIC report and the Duelfer Report (as well as 3 others I can list) not all the WMD has been accounted for. The idea that there were Ã¢â‚¬Å“no wmdÃ¢â‚¬Â is misleading. It suggest that there never were any, or that everything was destroyed, and he was compliant with the UN. He was not compliant, everything was not destroyed, and there was a WMD threat uncoveredÃ¢â‚¬Â¦just not in the form of perishable, degradable, vulnerable stockpiles. Again, youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve suggested that if weapons verifiers stayed in Iraq, Saddam would have submitted evidence to answer all these questions and build confidence, but we know he would not as he wanted to retain the image of being a WMD threat, and since inspectors were there to monitor and verifyÃ¢â‚¬Â¦not hunt.
On the contrary, SaddamÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s regime was setup with 7 different intelligence agencies and was a totalitarian dictatorship where very little if anything got out and leaked.
And yet he did give them sanctuary, did work with them, US Marines killed them and occupied their training camps, and Saddam-like any other state sponsor of terror did have something to gain by sponsoring terrorÃ¢â‚¬Â¦.why do stateÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s sponsor terror rather than use their own special forces?
This is one of my favorite myths. Yes, there were religious differences, but UBL doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t care about things like that. He worked with the CIA, with the Pakistani ISI, with the Iranians on Khobar Towers, and AQ is working with Sunni and Shia in Iraq now. No one for a moment believed SaddamÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s claims to have rediscovered his roots to Mohammed, but he built more Mosques than any other Arab leader in the past 1000 yrs. He built the largest Mosque (or was starting) outside of Saudi. He even had a Mosque built on a man-made lake with an island in the shape of his fingerprint to reinforce the image that he was all about Islam. Nah, you make far too much out of UBLÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s religious faÃƒÂ§ade. HeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a killer-not a Muslim, and like all criminals his motive/excuse is just that and nothing more. Just because someone has a motive doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t mean the motive was riteous or even devout. If he were really religious and not a killer, he wouldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t be killing people or having their heads sawed off.
Nope. Immediately after Desert Storm is when Saddam switched to Islamic rhetoric rather than secular.
Nope. Sorry. There was far more anti-American rhetoric leading up to Desert Fox and immediately after than there was in the post 91202 runup.
That IS the common belief, but if one reads the results of the Sen Intel Com investigations into pre-war intel, the problem wasnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t that intel was conjured up. It was that no intel was presented. To this day, the CIA has flat out refused to investigate and form a conclusion regarding pre-war ties to AQ. Here we are SIX YEARS after 911, and they still wonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t look into it and form a conclusion. Instead, whether itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s:
Iraqi Support for Terrorism 2002
Iraqi Support for Terrorism: Interpreting A Murky Relationship
Iraqi Support for Terrorism 2003
Or any other CIA publicationÃ¢â‚¬Â¦..there are no conclusions made. The reports always say it could be a threat and it could not. They may or may not. The agency was bureaucratically risk averse/paranoid before 911 and even more so after 911. Think of it this way, for a CIA analyst to write a report saying, Ã¢â‚¬Å“Gosh, we were all wrong on 911, and the US/Saddam war had a huge effect in helping cause the 911 attacksÃ¢â‚¬Â (or) Ã¢â‚¬Å“WeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve been too busy with Kosovo etc for the past 5 yrs, and we missed a close relationship between Saddam and AQ since out of the entire agency we havenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t had a single asset in Iraq for 4yrs.Ã¢â‚¬Â Think about itÃ¢â‚¬Â¦those are career killers.
No, according to ONE interim DIA official, and even thenÃ¢â‚¬Â¦the DIA refused to form a conclusion and said (like the 911 Commission members) that the issue should be re-examined (not blown off or closed as opponents of the war would try to do so as to bolster politick at the expense of fact and new-found evidence). According to interviews with those captured there, according to the late Zarqawi, and othersÃ¢â‚¬Â¦.there was a relationship. Ansar had become an AQ camp in 98/99 and was SaddamÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s enforcement arm in the N.
Ã¢â‚¬Â¦AND when there IS a battlefield that draws them in, you get more (like you said). Whether itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s fishing, or hunting, a football or baseball game, or a battleÃ¢â‚¬Â¦the first rule is to fight on ground of your choosing. You go to your fishing hole, you hunt in your tree stand, you like the home field advantage, or you choose a field where your most effective resources can be most effective. Me, I say use law enforcement (and we are), use the CIA (and we are), use the FBI (and we are), and use the military (and we are).
Sorry man, but the ones nabbed in NYC were not the ring leaders. They were left there by Yousef to be bagged while he got away. The amateurs got bagged by FBI, the pros got away.
Infidels who were there to attack Iraq
According to the 911 Commission (as well as the joint House/Sen 911 investigation and others) UBL also cited the US attacks on Iraq as well as Israel
Yeah, as I said, the Israel bit is mandatory if 2/3 of your leadership is Egyptian Islamic Jihad. Please, letÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s be clear, I never said that UBL had an affection or worried about Saddam or anything of the like. The two could hate each other, but still use each other. See also US French, or US Russia, or Russia China.
Why do states sponsor terrorist attacks instead of conducting them themselves?
I’ve fixed your earlier comment Art and deleted your attempt to fix it. For quotes just put in a the bracket that is above your comma on the keyboard then the word blockquote and then the other bracket which is above your period on the keyboard. Then place the section you want quoted and then do the same blockquote but instead put /blockquote in between the brackets.
Thanks Curt. It is always refreshing to know at my age one can still learn. LOL
Cannot disagree with most of what you posit. Just have the concern that the current armed forces are made up, mostly, of men and women from less advantaged backgrounds while others, including ourselves, go about our daily lives agonizing about the loss of life and limb while the major risk to our safety is venturing out into the traffic.
My mistake with the Rummy reference, you are correct he served in the military. Agree it is a moot point now and in the future and perhaps even in the recent past. Was responding to Mike AmericaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s, typically conservative, comments about Clinton, while omitting other current players and their less than honorable actions as well. True, Cheney served as Secretary of Defense and served well but his Ã¢â‚¬Å“draftÃ¢â‚¬Â years behavior should argue inclusion in any discussion of current politicians and their military activities during that period. Let us not forget that Clinton served as President and served well, notwithstanding some character flaws regarding sexual behavior.
Will give Bush some credit for learning to be a pilot, not a mean task as I understand it, but, again, when bringing up the issue of service during Vietnam it should be remembered that the National Guard was a sanctuary sought by many to avoid the likelihood of serving in Vietnam. It very quickly became a refuge available only to those with political connections.
Again, agree with you, but it is disingenuous for anyone to bring up Clinton and not mention members of the current administration.
You might, and you will. I disagree that a Korean Peninsula war is a very real threat. China is not going to allow it and very possibly would start a simultaneous action against Taiwan should we even start adding troops in Korea. The Taiwan issue is also a very scary scenario. First of all, we do not currently have military forces sufficient to fight conventional wars against either of these opponents. Even with help from the South Koreans our force levels would be hard pressed to counter manpower forces of the magnitude of North KoreaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s especially with the likelihood that China, if they put Taiwan on the back burner, might very well involve their troops to such an undertaking. This is now, and was, even before their increased capabilities, ChinaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s sphere of influence and I doubt they will sit idly by while we attempt military action against North Korea. There is even the possibility that our ally Japan would oppose such action. These considerations are to a great extent why North Korea is being handled diplomatically. Iraq conveniently had no such allies.
The good news – I alluded to before Ã¢â‚¬” is that China is quickly gaining economic strength and consistent with current wisdom; countries that have more to lose often go to great lengths to avoid warlike confrontations. This eases the Taiwan situation somewhat and the Korean in that they have aided diplomatic efforts, but I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t think they will give us carte blanche in their area of the world.
As long as conventional war is in stalemate the use of nuclear weapons is highly unlikely. The risk intensifies should one side or the other begin to gain the upper hand. At that point the question of nuclear weapons comes into play and could end in tremendous destruction on both sides. I am not be too worried about North KoreaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s nuclear capability since its use against the continental US seems remote. However, on the battlefield as well as South KoreaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s exposure could be another issue.
It would seem to me that we have evolved in this world to the point that any issues affecting the major world powers will have to be decided by diplomacy. There are still a few IraqÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s around where diplomacy does not have to be in play but our experience there should have taught us that you only undertake these ventures with significant involvement of other world powers and albeit unfortunate, that kind of support will only come if the country to be attacked has performed some dastardly action. The concept of preemption, while on its face seems wise and fair, is anathema to the civilized countries of the world and probably correctly so unless the level of knowledge of the potential threat is so clear that there is no doubt that military action is the only answer. Therein lies our mistake with Iraq.
Once again, this response was to an inane semantic dispute I was having with Curt. Was not intended to address the al Qaeda presence in Iraq nor the numbers killed.
Doubt that anyone would argue that 7 months does not a rush make. But your naivetÃƒÂ© is showing when you contend that Ã¢â‚¬Å“almost no rhetoric from President Bush before thatÃ¢â‚¬Â¦Ã¢â‚¬Â As I pointed out his Inaugural Address was a start; then the February 2001 comment in a news conference with a visiting dignitary; followed by frequent comments throughout 2001/2002 with much of the rhetoric getting stronger and stronger. You can classify these as Ã¢â‚¬Å“mentionsÃ¢â‚¬Â, which you do for it fits your argument, but as an observer during that time I noticed an increasing argument for war with Iraq, emerging.
I admitted I was being sarcastic about Ã¢â‚¬Å“right after the UN speechÃ¢â‚¬Â but the real rush was after getting military resources in place and finally getting the inspectors back into Iraq, he abruptly called off the inspections and Ã¢â‚¬Å“rushed to warÃ¢â‚¬Â. There was a lot of speculation at the time that should we wait longer we might have to postpone, for as much as a year, the actual invasion because of the summer heat. I recall debates around the office at the time, that we couldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t afford to keep all those resources in the area for a year; it would cost too much: Little did we know.
An interesting bit of literary whimsy, changing your starting point to fit the circumstancesÃ¢â‚¬Â¦lol. Veracity would seem to yearn for more consistency.
I have little argument to attacking an enemy without notice.
Just felt compelled to inform you, I do not now nor ever have, considered Bush, omnipotent or omniscient: Quite the contraryÃ¢â‚¬Â¦.
I realize at various points and upon request the SSCI can and does get as much intelligence as the President. On a day to day basis it is my understanding they get summations of what the administration got. You have read the NIEs. Would you sign up to read another if youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢d heard from staff or fellow Senators that there was nothing new?
You mention in the next section about the greed of some of our allies. Presume this was related to the dipping into the Oil for Food program coffers; a program that was an offshoot of the sanctions. Is it not possible that those same allies would have been happy for the sanctions to be continued? The continuation of sanctions were not however of the utmost importance. The continuation of inspections in an ongoing mode was tantamount.
The timing of your argument seems suspect. The son-in-laws defected in 1995. It is not my recollection that during that time the UN was about to give him a pass. There were still many unresolved issues at that time.
We all understand the rules inherent in the inspections compliance outline. However, many of the discoveries of violations and the uncovering of items not divulged by Saddam and his minions would imply that the inspectors were in fact Ã¢â‚¬Å“huntingÃ¢â‚¬Â. When the inspectors did return in January, 2003 they set about chasing down locations that we directed them to based on our many precise intelligence estimates (for instance Colin PowellÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s mobile chemical labs). Does not this exercise constitute Ã¢â‚¬Å“huntingÃ¢â‚¬Â? There is no doubt that had Iraq complied fully with the treaty agreements the whole inspections exercise would have been, shall we say, a Ã¢â‚¬Å“slam dunkÃ¢â‚¬Â. It didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t take a rocket scientist to know that Saddam was going to feint, sandbag, play games and bullshit as much as he could to make the exercise difficult. These distractions, while costly, were not sufficient cause to put Americans in harms way.
As I have stated, Hans Blix, himself, told the UN in his speech on the UNMOVIC Report of March, 2003 that Iraq was more active and even proactive in complying than they had ever been. Much of the concern at that time as previously was the lack of documentation of the destruction of materials that subsequently have been determined to have been destroyed.
For Mr. Blix or anyone associated with the inspections process to assume Ã¢â‚¬Å“confidenceÃ¢â‚¬Â in SaddamÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s compliance would have been terribly naÃƒÂ¯ve.
Saddam was not what one would call a peacenik for sure. However, he never really desired a war with the US or a coalition of the world. Sure he was bellicose in his proclamations about the US and his assurances that his armies could overcome any adversary but I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t think he really wanted to test his hypotheses. He did want to appear resolute and strong in the eyes of the Arab world both from an aspect of generating fear but also a resulting respect based on that fear.
He had, in fact, revealed much of his WMD setup prior to the return of inspectors in 2003. Admittedly, many of those revelations came after his son-in-laws defected but nevertheless he had revealed a great deal so the statement, Ã¢â‚¬Å“surely never would have revealed as required his WMD setupÃ¢â‚¬Â might appear to be too absolutist.
He certainly had thrown a cog in the process by establishing dual-use facilities, which were not a violation of his treaties, and which did leave him with a capability to restart WMD programs if he could get his history behind him. It seems to be the final determination of many of the reports, especially the SSCI Phase II report, that he had intentions to do so. They also conclude, however, that he had intended to destroy all his old WMD and thought he had done so. His best scenario for going forward would be to get sanctions and inspections lifted leaving him options in the future. One of the stumbling blocks was that some of the destruction had occurred with no documentation and that fact left a hole in certification complicated further with minimal findings in 2003 which were thought reasonably to be oversights on the part of his own personnel.
Once again, right after the UN speech and the subsequent resolution, Bush began the logistics of getting military resources in place. I suppose itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s reasonable to count the start of the war as the start of hostilities but in reality you canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t start a war until you have your military resources in place. Now the argument was that these logistical moves were merely to put pressure on Saddam and send a message. They seemed to work in getting him to allow inspectors back in. My conclusion, after the abrupt halt Bush called to the inspections, after only 2 Ã‚Â½ months, and then the ensuing attacks, is that the moves to locate the military were actually the start of the war.
I have already satisfied the Ã¢â‚¬Å“huntingÃ¢â‚¬Â and Ã¢â‚¬Å“confidenceÃ¢â‚¬Â argumentsÃ¢â‚¬Â¦lol. There was a dispute as to the range of the missiles in question and in either case they were not sufficient to reach the US.
May have been wrong about the NIE specifically but there were numerous reports put out on the Iraq/al Qaeda relationship by the CIA, the DIA, etc. which support my original contentions. Yes, there also was testimony to Congress by intel officials, interestingly, not always consistent with the findings in the various reports. WonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t bother to relive the rhetoric issues again.
I believe it would be more than naÃƒÂ¯ve to suggest that there never were any WMD. Have addressed most of your arguments here earlier. Saddam did face the dilemma that he desired to have the Arab world, plus Israel, think that he still had an arsenal of WMD. There was a fear on his part that should it be proven that his arsenal was gone then Iran may attempt military action against him. It was a part of his Kabuki dance with the inspections. He did not harbor world domination aspirations only Arab world domination but after the costly draw (?) with Iran and the humiliation of Kuwait am not convinced that he actually desired more war but wanted to maintain the fear of the region of Iraq and its capabilities.
At yet with all that there were, by your own admission, defections, some significant, some not, but all with stories to tell. Real world would have it that he couldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t take the chance that an attack on the US or any other major country could go on without a tie back to Iraqi involvement. The leaking of an Iraqi Ã¢â‚¬Å“footprintÃ¢â‚¬Â, following such an attack would not require a lot of verification before a launching of retaliation would occur.
I presume again your reference is to Anser al-Islam. I refer you to the SSCI Phase II report again. The final analysis was that while Anser al-Islam had loose ties to al Qaeda they were not a branch of it and they operated in an area of Iraq where Saddam had no control after the Gulf War.
States sponsor terror instead of using their own special forces because generally sponsoring countries receive no retribution for such sponsorship if itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s made up monetary or moral support. When providing their own troops or offering sanctuary to terroristÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s troops the retribution risk becomes much greater.
The question is a good one that perhaps some of our own previous administrations could answer.
No doubt UBL will work with whomever to achieve objectives he has set his sights on. There would have to be concern on his part however, that setting up housekeeping in Iraq would force him to always be on his guard that Saddam, having him close at hand, would not turn on him and either capture or kill him and his followers.
You are absolutely correct; no one believed Saddam was anything but secular, including IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m sure UBL. In SaddamÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s paranoid world of suspicion about coups and assassinations, at best it would have been tenuous to have UBL and his group inside the Iraqi borders.
It is easy in our world of Judeo/Christian values to presume anyone of UBLÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s character must be a killer or criminal but many experts acknowledge that the Wahabbi sect of Islam embraces very extreme views towards nonbelievers including very barbaric methods of dealing with them. Even if you are correct UBL must maintain his allegiance to his version of Muslim beliefs in order to continue the growing number recruits that come to him because they believe in that version. No matter how you look at it a marriage of Saddam and UBL would have been one fraught with debilitating problems for each. Again the SSCI Phase II report concludes no interest on the part of Saddam to embrace a union, especially within IraqÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s borders.
My verbal rally for war statement was regarding GWB not Saddam.
Having learned more about intelligence estimates, reports, analyses in the last six years than I likely ever wanted to know, it has been my observation that seldom do they present conclusions on anything. Most of the time itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s, we see this, we hear that, we assume whatever but we donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t really have any earthly idea. They do often refer to their findings as assessments; could that be Ã¢â‚¬Å“..a rose by any other nameÃ¢â‚¬Â¦Ã¢â‚¬Â?
I believe that the CIA has eaten crow frequently since 911. My understanding is that the CIA employees are a very dedicated, patriotic group. Their job is often plagued by some knowing but not enough knowing to establish certainty. They rely heavily on the interpretation of their customers coupled with other intel reports to discern the most likely scenario. I doubt they would, given what they did posture, be reluctant to clarify the issue. It may be that the point is moot now and the resource required to relook may have better payoffs going forward. As I mentioned they did in fact rewrite their assessments of the prewar intel after the SSCI Phase II report was established.
The DIA also didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t form conclusions, per se, but their assessment was as I presented it in the post you are responding to.
Scott? Do you really offer the Ã¢â‚¬Å“the missing linkÃ¢â‚¬Â link as proof of anything? The site would at first glance seem to be a right wing nut site but I could be wrong. Nevertheless they suggest this coup in finding the missing link to al Qaeda and Iraq via Anser al-Islam. They present this gopher, oops sorry courier, who by his own admission was to know nothing about the info he was delivering to Anser, yet he possesses all this knowledge about the funding, the managing and the strong ties between Iraqi officials and this group. And they got him and everyone else ignored him. Hmmm, wonder why?
If this guy had any credibility, Dick Cheney would adopt him and bring him here and run him around to every Sunday morning news show available, starting with Fox News Sunday. Give me a break! There is very good reason that the CIA nor anyone else wanted to interview this guy and it had nothing to do with some grand conspiracy of suppressing information.
Again, the SSCI Phase II report wraps up this issue fairly well and it seems to be the latest report issued so presume they had access to all the others, since they reference most of them.
This is the second time you have hinted that we went to Iraq to draw al Qaeda in to fight our fight there. I really hope you are wrong. I have long resisted buying into the Ã¢â‚¬Å“all about oilÃ¢â‚¬Â argument simply because, even though I have strong feelings about DubyaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s motives, I never believed we, as a nation, could be that callous. To suggest that we would encumber the Iraqi people and subject them to the death and mayhem that knowingly would occur in this scenario is beyond the pale. We have, as a nation, done many bad or stupid things in our history but this idea would be heinous and place us at the very bottom of any human rights evaluations.
I realize Yousef was captured by the Pakistanis, more than likely with CIA input. I stated I understand once out of the country the CIA is more apt to be involved. The FBI did provide a lot of information around the world though, as well.
I should be chastised though for not realizing that only the ringleader(s) counts. All those others captured by law enforcement are merely pawns and of course any one that knows anything about Chess knows pawns count for very little. They can only capture any other piece that comes into there attack zone and upon promotion can be upgraded to any other Chess piece on the board except a King. Other than that they just get in the way.
As I said, you seem to ascribe too much credence to the ramblings of these idiots. They will include in their grievances any and all acts they believe might anger their brethren and motivate more and more recruits to join the great jihad. I, therefore, discount all of their rantings.
We have probably beat this to death and since we have a significant disagreement on both our choice of references and/or the validity we attach to each, we appear to be at an impass. Even though I know in your heart you know IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m rightÃ¢â‚¬Â¦lol
Have enjoyed and look forward to the next one.
I think if you look, youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll see that todayÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s military is far and away the most balanced in terms of where the troops come from, and that a conscription military has historically ALWAYS exacerbated the divide and packed them military with people who are from disadvantaged backgrounds (hence the aged misperception that the US military consists of primarily the poor and disadvantaged, etc.). This ainÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t grandpaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Vietnam army anymore. Nope. These men and women are the best ever (and thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s not just my assessment either-pros say it as well, across the board).
Re the Korean/Taiwan/China/Japan scenariosÃ¢â‚¬Â¦
IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve gotta disagree. The Chinese are in an even better position to support a conventional war on the Korean peninsula than they were in the 1950Ã¢â‚¬â„¢s particularly because of the Taiwan scenario you describe. As to losing JapanÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s supportÃ¢â‚¬Â¦I seriously doubt it for there is zero evidence of that at all.
I also strongly disagree with the complete misconception that SaddamÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Iraq had no allies. Syria, Russia, Iran, even Belarus, North Korea, and Libya all supported SaddamÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s regime directly and substantially and we need not even mention the diplomatic alliance that served Iraq well at the UN.
They are in fact Ã¢â‚¬ËœmentionsÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ and not a diplomatic runup for if they are not the very example of a Ã¢â‚¬ËœmentionÃ¢â‚¬â„¢, then nothing is. Besides, if you look at the timeline, the Bush Admin was still pursuing peaceful efforts through the UN and directly with Iraq to get inspectors into Iraq and resolve the unresolved disarmament issues. It wasnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t until the 91202 diplomatic push began, that the regime finally agreed. 3 sentences (or even 3 paragraphs) in a 9 month period hardly constitutes a push for war.
Yet, you argue that President Bush was putting Saddam on notice from January 2001-March 2003. ThatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s hardly without notice. You canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t have it both ways.
Please, IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m eager to see some examples.
If I was about to vote to authorize a war, if my political career was at stake as well, if my Presidential ambitions were at risk, and most importantly, if it was my jobÃ¢â‚¬Â¦.then yes. IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m a mere citizen, and I read as much on the subject of the war as possible. ShouldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t our political leaders at a time of war? Or does monotony and lack of alliteration in the NIEs excuse them from being responsible for reading them and making critical votes from informed standpoints?
Bad intel vs Bush Lied
Bad intel is supported by the truth
Bush lied has been investigated formally by a dozen bi-partisan and often independent (even international) investigations, and in each case, it was bad intel (weak, limited, out-dated due to a lack of intel gathering for 5 yrs 12/98-11/03).
If the continuation of sanctions was not of the utmost importance, then how could inspections be continued? I think youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re confusing Ã¢â‚¬Å“sanctionsÃ¢â‚¬Â and Ã¢â‚¬Å“inspectionsÃ¢â‚¬Â with different things. Most of the sanctions were weapons related, and the inspections were mere verification of Iraqi claims of which the Iraqis NEVER complied-even today, even with the US occupying the country, UNMOVIC had to close its books with a great number of unresolved disarmament issues forever unresolved. Some say the answers to these remaining UNMOVIC questions rests in the convoys that clogged roads to Syria, or the cargo planes that left Saddam Intl from June 02-Mar02, or even in the Russian ships that left Basra under Russian Navy escort. Inspections were useless unless SaddamÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s regime worked to demonstrate cooperation, and they did not. Some will make the case that in March 03 they were, and while I disagree with that, the obvious conundrum is that if it were the case, then the obvious cause would be (as fmr French President Chirac has said) the credible threat of American military invasion; something Saddam never believed would happen until it was too late per the ISG report.
You are incorrect. Dr Butler (who at the time was head of the UNÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s UNSCOM weapons inspectors affirms this claim in his book, The Greatest Threat. Additionally, Dr Hans Blix was then head of the IAEA and was prepared to give Iraq a clean slate. The defection in April 95 led to a crisis in which Russia moved to lift sanctions in support of Iraq, but other members refused. In protest, Iraq rejected UN 986, as the son-in-laws defected and UNSCOM was led to a treasure trove of docs etc at the infamous chicken farm find.
Exactly. Therein lies the crux of the matter. Inspections were about building Ã¢â‚¬Å“confidence,Ã¢â‚¬Â and Saddam worked against building confidence rather than working towards it. Inspections were not about hunting down weapons. They-per Dr Blix and others-were about building confidence. If it was impossible to build confidence, then it was impossible for inspections to succeed.
I would disagree, but for discussionÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s sake, letÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s presume that youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re correct: when troops are moved to Iraq, the war is on. If thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s the case, then the pre-war rhetoric you cited earlier as having started in the SOTU 1/02 would have already given Saddam 9 months of notice, warning, diplomatic pressure to either comply with the 1991 cease-fire agreement and associated UN resolutions, or face attack. 9 months of diplomacy that clearly failed. If on the other hand one wants to make the argument that the war began, then there were inspections (ie, not war), then there was war, it seems pretty clear that if the regime hadnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t built up confidence in 2 Ã‚Â½ months, it was never going to (ie, no confidence=useless inspections).
No one ever said they were. The thing is that they were in range of US assets, and they were specifically banned by the UN. Since the purpose of inspections was to build confidence, building these missiles after being specifically told by the UN on several occasions not to do so, their construction is yet another example of working counter to inspections. Were the al Samoud and al Fatah missiles threats to NYC? Only if shipped, but that was never the question. The question was were they illegal? Simple answer is yes.
Of this I am acutely aware
One cannot rest the security of a nation on a policy that hopes someone will defect and warn us of an attack. ThatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s not security. ThatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s dreaming. As to the verification idea, I ask againÃ¢â‚¬Â¦then why do states (including SaddamÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s) sponsor terrorists? Your own words:
Btw, yes, I do refer to Ansar, and if you read the SSCI Phase II report on the matter, youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll notice that itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s claims are based on a single, interim DIA officer, and completely disregard any and all contrary intel gathered from captured docs as well as detainees. If one looks at the confirmed authentic docs, as well as the interviews with detainees, we see very clearly that Ansar had in fact become SaddamÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s enforcement tool in the N, and an AQ branch. I have an in depth rebuttal to the Phase II rpt , but going through some web hosting issues right now. Will have to revise my link-sorry
ThatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s an interesting response since in most cases the anti-war talking point is that the many high level meetings between the regime and AQ leaders were conducted to keep tabs on each other of which putting an AQ group in (for example) N Iraq with IIS control would have done the trick nicely-as would training AQ at IIS camps controlled by the IIS and Saddam Fedeyeen. Of course, until March 2003, the intel at the time was quite contrary to this idea. If we look back to the Clinton Admin and so forth we can see consistent Clinton Admin reporting as well as gross msm reporting that Saddam and AQ were joining forces (particularly around the 12/98-3/99 period when the 911 plot was authorized to be set in motion per the 911 Commission).
No more debilitating than SaddamÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s relationship with other Islamic extremist groups, or UBLÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s relationship with other secular govts.
I hope youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re not falling into one of those argumentative positions where as each casus belli is listed itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s tossed into a canned response, Ã¢â‚¬Å“We went to war for XÃ¢â‚¬Â No, wars donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t happen like that. They almost never occur for a single reason. My position on Iraq is that yes, ONE of the MANY reasons was to choose the battleground against AQ on land of our choosing. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s no different than invading Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia to fight the Afrika Corps, or Italy, all in response to a Japanese attack. Japan never had terrorist training camps in Berlin, and the SS didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t train in Tokyo. Look, the war was set in motion because a missile had longer range than the UN wanted, or because of a daddy complex, or because 911 was a Bush/CIA plot or SaddamÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s IIS was really behind it. The war happened for a number of reasons, and yes, one of them was to draw in terrorists to a battlefield of our choosing-if that decision had other potential benefits, then the sum of the benefits would be calculated against the sum of the risks, and the decision made. Now some like to argue that the Bush Admin knew the war was going to last years, or decades, or that they knew it would cost a lot in blood, or a lot in treasure, or whatever, but the fact of the matter is that war is less predictable than hurricane, a tornado, or even a thunderstorm. Once the conditions are met, critical mass and momentum take over. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a war that should have been fought to conclusion in 1991, and because it wasnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t, itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s costing more now (all battles that follow periods of procrastination in a war have always been more expensive in the long run; history is full of these examples).
To discount their ramblings out of hand or because they donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t support a political argument (and in the end, I believe thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s where the disagreement rests), is to ignore the causes of the war as they relate to the enemy, and as a result focus only on the causes of the war on AmericaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s part; we fight ourselves, rather than confront the enemyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s political will as they themselves profess it. Whether itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Rudy G blowing off those AQ statements and saying that they fight us purely because they hate our freedom. Or maybe itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s WÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s ranting that weÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re attacked because we have liberty and they have nothing. It doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t matter. The reason for the war with Islamic Holy Warriors and those who support them has never been clearly defined. Instead, at every opportunity, professional lawyer politicians from both sides of the aisle have formed their own themes and promoted them rather than ascribing even a little to the ramblings of these idiots. They cannot be discounted out of hand.
After all, 9/10 Al Queda members are not killers.
What do they promote?