People Make Comments

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':

AJL (#3):

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.

AJL (#22):

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.

hypocracyrules (#31):

“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…

AJL (#50):

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?

11 thoughts on “People Make Comments”

  1. Well Marc, there was a heck of a lot more going on prior to the war in the Kurdish north than just bombing.

    In reality, Operation Iraqi Freedom started in September of 2002 with the bombing of Saddam’s air defenses to clear the way for special forces helicopters to enter the country from Jordan.

    More relevant perhaps, in late Jan. 2003 Myers admitted we had special forces operating in Kurdish controlled northern Iraq and other officials revealed they actually operated south of the Kurdish controlled areas.

    More ordinance was dropped on Iraq in the last quarter of 2003 than in all of 2001.

    I’m sorry, but to claim that attacking an Al Qaida base believed to be manufacturing chemical weapons would have soured the international community on the invasion of Iraq is, to be clear, quite a stretch. Especially considering the other operations occurring at the same time.

    Again, I’m not arguing that there were some nefarious PR reasons for leaving Zarqawi alone, though it’s quite possible. I’m just saying that Adam’s explanation for refusing multiple requests from the pentagon to take out the camp is not at all convincing.

  2. Marc,

    Tom Holsinger’s “#7″ comment regards North Korea is common knowledge in intelligence circles.

    This is Dunnigan’s Strategypage.com version of conventional wisdom on the North Korean’s Army:

    bq. “Let the Army Rot”:http://www.strategypage.com/dls/articles/200661112338.asp/
    by James Dunnigan
    June 11, 2006
    Discussion Board on this DLS topic

    bq. North Korea appears to have decided to allow its conventional forces to deteriorate. The amount of money required to rebuild the aging weapons and equipment is far more than the north can expect to extort from its neighbors or the United States. What resources that are available are going into the secret police, ballistic missiles and nuclear weapons. The North Korea leadership is intent on keeping their tyranny going, because the alternative is death at the hands of an angry population, or war crimes trails for a long list of atrocities. South Korea believes that the North Korean government will eventually undergo a “soft collapse” that the south can manage. The U.S. fears that North Korea will, in the meantime, sell missile and nuclear weapons technology to hostile nations and terrorists. South Korea doesn’t care about that, and is more concerned about an uncontrolled collapse in the north.

    Both the North Korean Army bank robberies and food thefts in China were reported in a number of places, which I forwarded to Tom Holsinger when I found them.

    The build up of Chinese Red Army borderguards on the Nork border was in Strategypage.com and the Freerepublic.com

  3. What Davebo and AJL ignore is:

    *Bill Clinton bombed the hell out of Saddam in 98-99 (Desert Fox) to very littel effect of moderating Saddam’s behavior. Yassin was still given a State Pension and Apt (1993 WTC bomber); Saddam openly offered Osama sanctuary and made agreements to cooperate in terrorist attacks on the US; helped with 9/11 (facilitating a planning meeting in 2000 in Kuala Lumpur with two 9/11 hijackers according to the 9/11 Commission) and of course sheltered Zarqawi.

    NONE of Clinton’s bombing attempts (politically driven to avoid US ground forces and casualties) WORKED. Saddam was still hostile, playing footsie with Osama, a threat to the US.

    *Louis J. Freeh’s Editorial in yesterday’s WSJ flat out says that Bill Clinton and Sandy Berger and Albright all suppressed his findings when they could no longer obstruct his Khobar Towers investigation pointing directly to Iran’s government in making it happen.

    What is the end result of all of this.

    Sorry, but Kos IS the heart and soul of the Democratic Party. Lieberman does NOT belong. Democrats do not want nor will they tolerate any action against our enemies. Clinton at best would only bomb Iraq not take care of the problem definitively. Clinton would not even take action against Iran when it became clear as day they bombed Khobar Towers. Instead he APOLOGIZED to Iran.

    Democrats do not believe that the US deserves to be defended by force, and that terrorism against us is always justified. They (Albright, Berger, Clinton) won’t even take action against a regime that kills US Servicemen in terrorist attacks.

    No one questions their patriotism because it simply doesn’t exist. A guy like Lieberman who thinks America is worth defending simply does not belong in the Democratic Party. Sheehan, Charlie Sheen, Michael Moore, Kos, Kerry, Kennedy … that’s the Democratic Party.

    WHY oh why did even a guy like Vilsack show up at Yearly Kos? Because they run the Party (see Howard Dean turning over the DNC to the tin-foil anti-Semites who believe “the Jews!!!!” did 9/11 along with GWB).

    AL sorry but you’re in denial.

    Dems most important goals are demonstrating their moral superiority (and thus higher status) over everyone else and NOT defending America.

    [I’d have sympathy for an alternate position that argued, “arm Saddam and get him to kill a million Iranians … having both our enemies kill each other keeps us safe and buys us time.” But that was never made.]

  4. Why are people like Davebo so upset about something we didn’t bomb four years ago?

    Because they are embarrassed and upset that we got Zarqawi, afraid that Bush will get a poll bounce, and they want to make it go away.

    The whole subject is mainly of clinical interest only to students of BDS.

    Regarding Kosola:

    I think it’s a waste of time to accuse Kos of being a corrupt hypocrite, or to wonder if Kos meets the requirements of some ethical standard. If he were absolved of all charges, would anyone trust or listen to him? Does anybody care what Kos writes?

    Kos is significant only because of his ambitions in the Democratic Party. But any Democrat who has read what Kos has written about other Democrats over the past five years knows that Kos is a back-stabbing, janus-faced loudmouth who would kill his own mother with a plastic spork if it seemed politically expedient to do so. It’s hardly necessary to add any further charges to the indictment, because only a complete idiot would trust this guy to begin with.

  5. #4 Glenn,

    And yet a lot of the Dems can’t wait to get an audience and kiss his ring.

    #3 Jim,

    Arming Iraq against the Iranians would have been bad long term policy in the 90s because the youngsters who would have to fight such a war were turning against their leaders. I’m not sure Clinton made such a rational calculation, but as you can see in the real world some times “mistakes” can work in one’s favor by setting up for the next round of action.

    BTW I have some more up on the Iranian economy. They plan to start rationing gasoline in late Sept.

    http://powerandcontrol.bl*gspot.com/2006/06/gasoline-imports-to-end.html

    Internal unrest over this is going to weaken the regime especially since Ahmanutjob ran on improving the economy and the lot of the poor. There will be a black market in gasoline of course, further straining the economy.

  6. A.L., can’t you get ANYTHING right? Even the basics?

    You ask Davebo, “When did I call Whitman a liberal?”

    And yet, in the piece in question – Fightin’ Moderates – as plain as day (until you edit the post, of course) you say:

    “Bull Moose is another liberal who the TAPPED folks probably look at askance”

    So gosh – where COULD Davebo have gotten that idea?

    It’s a head-scratcher that one!!

  7. hypocracy –

    That’s a gotcha. I’m not sure what my fingers were thinking, since I do know who Whitman is.

    Probably not worth a correction, but I’ll toss an update up.

    A.L.

  8. Glenn,

    Perhaps if you actually read my comments you wouldn’t ask inane questions. I took great pains to point out that I wasn’t commenting on the pros or cons of bombing the terror camp but merely pointing out that Adam’s reasoning was quite a stretch.

  9. Also Glenn, I hate to break it to you, but Gallup and the CDC have certified that BDS is now an out and out pandemic.

  10. Marc,

    You created an earlier thread on the 2002 Zarqawi camp bombing subject where I went into some detail on the necessity of real-time ground reconaissance and targeting. Then you dropped the subject.

    Re Korea – I have no need to cite sources. I know what I’m talking about. This is a matter of opinion. You continue to rely on sources that are ten+ years out of date.

    If you do not understand the implications of conscript enlisted taking their weapons off base to rob civilians with, particularly civilians in another country, you never will.

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