Folks, my apologies for not joining in the threads on the posts below; it’s been a week (and it’s not done yet!!).
I want to cherrypick a few comments and respond quickly just so some things don’t hang out there unremarked. This is kind of an experiment, and we’ll see if the comments here have any coherence at all or just turn into a furball.
In ‘Intel At Intel Dump':
Tom Holsinger and I are going to go around again about his unsourced military claims (#7) re Korea.
Tom when did we ever (#31) go around (i.e. disagree) re the odds of success for a decapitating air strike?
In general, I don’t find Davebo’s casual comment in #3 convincing:
To assert that bombing a camp believed to be used by terrorists to manufacture WMD’s would have doomed any international cooperation against Saddam, while not mentioning that fairly extensive bombing campaigns were already proceeding in Iraq isn’t being ignorant. It’s being blatantly dishonest.
Davebo, the bombing campaign in 2002 was specifically targeting Iraqi air defense capabilities – whether legitimately in response to the fact that the Iraqis launched a few missiles at our folks, or somewhat less so in a precursor to war (I can easily imagine a response that includes both – we’ll stop then shooting at us, and if we choose to invade, they’ll be less capable) rather than random targets of value.In ‘Fightin Moderates':
As I wrote in the Slate Fray, what has Lieberman so hot and bothered is he’s in danger of losing to a liberal. Holy Joe likes losing to Republicans; they tell him what a great guy he is, pose for a photo op, tell him “Nice try”. Hell, he passed up his best chance of being Vice President for the honor of being the Democrat that Republicans would support—if they weren’t, of course, supporting the Republican. Remember how he literally couldn’t wait to rat out Gore on the military votes is politics in Florida—including ones that looked suspiciously like they had been cast after the election? Joe couldn’t find it in himself to be ungracious and filibuster any of the Bush court nominees either.
Andrew, I’ll add LDS (Lieberman Derangement Syndrome) to the lexicon here. Lieberman isn’t being opposed because of his corporatist votes (which I don’t like); he’s being opposed because he supports the War in Iraq, and for actions in which – as quoted – he puts the national interest (as he sees it) above the partisan one.
If the Democratic Party is about nothing except opposing the War in Iraq and disciplining those who stray from Party Discipline, my response would be that it’s dead, Jim. I still believe that it’s not and that once the bubble that Kos and MyDD have stirred up collapses, we can put together an adult Democratic Party that can win.
And yeah, Andrew – it’s a great point to highlight that Lieberman refused to disenfranchise overseas troops in Gore’s interest. That’s highly convincing to me that Gore (and you) cared most of all about an honest election, and not about whatever it took to win.
Gabriel Chapman (#6):
And FYI: Moderate is codeword for “won’t take a stand”.
No it’s not. Moderate is a codeword for “there’s a truth somewhere in this mess that isn’t represented by Daily Kos or the Freep”.
Davebo (#17): When did I call Whitman a liberal? He’s a right-moderate, I’m a left-moderate. I do think I probably have more in common with him than I do Kos (we’re both honest and sane), and I’ll guess that his positions – if adopted by the Republican Party will win a lot more elections than Kos’ if adopted by the Democrats.
Let me be blunt: Lieberman isn’t your hero because his positions are deep, or his advocacy impassioned, or his daughters cute. He’s the hero because he’s your fellow participant in the self-induced illusion that the War in Iraq is being won. The problem with presidential credibility in Iraq is that the president is a blowhard and a liar, and your problem in acknowledging the same is the natural embarrassment of looking down and seeing you are naked.
And Andrew, saying it a million times, emphatically and forcefully may eventually make it so by changing people’s minds and so what we do, but the reality is that Iraq isn’t lost, and while Bush may be a blowhard and a liar, so are all Presidents (especially in wartime) and you’ve lost all judgment when it comes to Bush or Iraq.
“it’s not that they want to break the iron ricebowl that’s been feeding the political elites; they just want their own chopsticks.”
Without any facts this is simply propaganda smear. And A.L. knows it. Who is the “they?” What is the preponderance of evidence that, after millions of words written, that the “they” simply want the rice? (And yes, I mean the PREPONDERANCE OF EVIDENCE. Not one or two examples, in the thousands of bloggers, with infinite words written.)
Oh please, hypo. This isn’t a court of law where I have to make a case supported by the preponderance of evidence (or better, beyond a reasonable doubt). Kos tells Micah Sifry, when asked why he is supporting Warner:
I’ve now had two opportunities (first at PDF and now here at YearlyKos) to ask Markos Moulitsas why he thinks Warner is THE candidate who gets the Internet, and both times his answer is, essentially, “He hired Jerome.”
So I’ll call bullshit on this charge.
You then segue into, ‘well if they’re making money, why is that so bad’??
And, who are you to be throwing stones? Is WOC part of any advertising market? Don’t YOU make recommendations? Did you get paid for your work – and good work – in Iraq? Didn’t this gig help in that?
We get our ads directly from TribalFusion, in part because we chose not to be a part of the baggage involved in the various blog ad networks. Yes, I make recommendations – but the people I recommend don’t pay me to do so (in fact, it’s the other way around, I back them with my own cash. In the case of Debra Bowen, I’ve disclosed that I’ve known Debra for some time so people can freely decide whether they think my recommendation is backed by supportable positions or personal bias. When I took the Spirit of America gig, I took a $4K/mo cut in pay, so yeah, I was profiting wildly from that one – but yes, blogging did lead me to that one. You forgot Pajamas Media, which I helped start and sold out of – and which blogging led me to. You’ll note what a shill I am for them…
Now, did Saddam dream of re-acquiring WMD? Well, I suppose he did. I dream of seducing Anne Hathaway (yeah, weird taste in starlets), but is that cause for whoever her boyfriend is to come beat me up? The inspections that we interrupted so that Bush could get his war on were in all likelihood going to squelch whatever Saddam had going on. Mostly he seemed interested in maintaining the human capital to develop weaponry, and I can’t imagine you would think more highly of Saddam if all of his WMD-capable scientists mysteriously disappeared. It takes a little more expertise than I have to understand whose definition of dual-use is in play in these reports. In our early, confident announcements, it was obvious that equipment in my son’s junior High science lab would have been considered dual use—perhaps rightfully so, it doesn’t take much to come up with tactical-level chemical munitions.
Andrew, this is the core charge against the war (nice riff on Ann Hathaway, btw – I use Uma Thurman for the same point), and one that seems so obviously wrong that I’m puzzled it’s still around.
Sanctions were what was preventing Saddam from making progress on his dreams of WMD – dreams he had the means to realize once he could freely sell his oil and import outside close supervision. Sanctions were breaking down, both operationally as the corruption of OFF corroded the administration of them and as the political consensus for them corroded under Madeline Albrights ‘half a million Iraqi babies’ comment. There’s little doubt in my mind that had the US said ‘basta!’ and given up, that the sanctions would have be over in weeks, and Saddam would have happily started selling oil and buying centrifuges.
Saddam did admit and cooperate (grudgingly and inadequately, per Hans Blix) with UN inspectors once a quarter-million US troops were on his borders, cleaning their guns. But those troops couldn’t stay there indefinitely, and the window for operations before the heat of summer or rain of winter was a narrow one. So we used them or we waited a year. Was it likely that Saddam was going to be more cooperative we couldn’t move? Or even that sanctions would hold up another year?