Saddam Talked About WMD

This is going to trigger some interesting discussion. And very timely, considering the ‘935 lies‘ campaign.

Saddam Hussein initially didn’t think the U.S. would invade Iraq to destroy weapons of mass destruction, so he kept the fact that he had none a secret to prevent an Iranian invasion he believed could happen. The Iraqi dictator revealed this thinking to George Piro, the FBI agent assigned to interrogate him after his capture.

For me, this remains one of the logical answers as to why Saddam didn’t come clean on his programs, and why Bush would have risked the obvious problems resulting from lying about the intelligence.

I’ve talked in the past about this:

Why are Missing WMD Like Bad Software?

WMD, or the Risk of WMD?

Leo Strauss and the Missing WMD

Rooking Saddam

Yellowcake and Selling Cars

…and some more, but those will do as starters.

84 thoughts on “Saddam Talked About WMD”

  1. That Saddam was very likely bluffing for political reasons is pretty obvious, as the intelligence and UN inspectors at the time indicated. So I don’t see what the big deal is….leaders who feel threatened (or anyone, for that matter) frequently engage in this kind of rhetoric.

    Now, if you’re raising this issue to provide further justification for or to excuse or dismiss the lies that better informed government officials possessed, you’re shooting blanks.

    This issue is settled, as far as I’m concerned. Perhaps you’d rather spend your time arguing over whether the “935” number is accurate or not….

  2. George W. Bush has been the target of a “Saul Alinsky style 4GW campaign of character assassination”:http://wolfpangloss.wordpress.com/2008/01/25/the-billary-clintons-play-the-race-card/ since 2000. He has become the personalized scapegoat for everything wrong with the world, and the US and Israel have become the scapegoat countries for everything wrong with the world. Soros and his Clinton sockpuppets have a lot to answer for and I do not think history will view them kindly.

  3. A.L., I’m not certain what you mean by this statement:

    “and why Bush would have risked the obvious problems resulting from lying about the intelligence.”

    It sounds as if you are saying here that you believe Bush deliberately lied about the intelligence prior to the invasion but was justified in doing so. Or is there a missing “not” in the sentence. Can you clarify?

    Also, it’s difficult to make sense of the number 935 false statements without knowing what the total # of statements made during the same period is, or how many false statement were made in the equivalent time period before 9/11. Also, how does this compare with false statement/total statement ratios of past presidents, or of current–but foreign–world leaders. I figure I must make at least 2 false statements each day (e.g., sorry, but I don’t have any change; sorry I’m late, the subway was stalled at 34th Street), so that puts me around 720 a year, at the very least. In that context, is 935 meaningful?

  4. We should note- the authors of that study were careful not to call the 935 ‘lies’. They allowed the implication to take care of that (intentionally, since that was the ultimate purpose of the study, always good to start a study with your desired results already established).

    Whats extraordinary is that this study was done at all. What they saught for was ‘mis-statements’, ie- statements that _turned out_ not to be true. Sorta like this one:

    _”In the four years since the inspectors left, intelligence reports show that Saddam Hussein has worked to rebuild his chemical and biological weapons stock, his missile delivery capability, and his nuclear program. He has also given aid, comfort, and sanctuary to terrorists, including Al Qaeda members, though there is apparently no evidence of his involvement in the terrible events of September 11, 2001.”_

    “Floor Speech”:http://clinton.senate.gov/speeches/iraq_101002.html of Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton
    on S.J. Res. 45, A Resolution to Authorize the Use of
    United States Armed Forces Against Iraq

    And before the pathetic excuses start- let me remind everyone that Hillary was at the time a member of the Armed Service Committee and fully privy to all the intelligence available to the White House (not to mention sharing a bed and the ear of the previous president).

    Where is the study on Hillary Clinton’s ‘mis-statements’?

  5. _”…It shows just how crazy a madman Saddam Hussein was. Think about it: What kind of madman refuses to produce evidence that he doesn’t have what he says he didn’t. Saddam had to be taken out or who knows what else he might not have done? It’s… imaginable.”_
    Colbert, the Daily Show(sorry couldn’t resist)

    On a serious note: Bluffing was the elephant in the room before the invasion. I think the idea that dictators have more to fear from an american invasion than their neighbors is misplaced. We at least gave Saddam a court ordered execution, Iran would not have been so kind. I probably would have taken my chances with America.

    The Iraq question and the ‘935’ rhetoric needs to be put behind us for awhile. I’m less concerned about exactly who said what and more concerned about reading bluffs in the future. If we don’t have better ‘tells’ we’re going to be wasting alot of money in the pot.

    There are almost certainly going to be more countries with WMD capability soon, as the technology becomes both more prevalent and cheaper, and this bluff issue is certainly going to come again. This “buying the pot” invasion approach won’t work everytime (we’re still trying to find out if it worked this time) and it’s certainly going to cost a lot of money, create alot of resentment (in some cases) and will certainly reduce our options in the war on terror.

  6. Mark B.,

    “Where is the study on Hillary Clinton’s ‘mis-statements’?”

    She’s not president. At least not yet. Once she is, no doubt there will be many such studies. Seems reasonable–at least to me–to put a little more weight on the accuracy of a president’s statement than on one of 100 senators.

    On the other hand, Barack Obama does seem to be conducting a study of Hilary Clinton’s recent mis-statements. So there you go.

  7. _”She’s not president. At least not yet”_

    EXACTLY- she’s _running_ for president. Which arguably makes her ‘mis-statements’ far more concerning at the moment. A lame duck president is only really important for posterity. A presidential candidate, on the other hand, is asking for this job at least the next 4 years.

    And yet despite the wide spread news coverage of this report, I have yet to see a story in the MSM comparing and contrasting the statements the candidates made at the time, particularly the one remaining candidate who had the most access to the facts.

    So strange. What a weird random oversight.

    My Ass.

    This is an outrage. Anybody claiming Bush is a liar because of these statements must hold Hillary equally accountable. What a pleasant precident to set. Could we possibly send a clearer message to our politicians? Dont make strong statements, and hedge the hell out of everything, because if something you strongly believe turns out to be untrue, you will be called a liar.

  8. Jeff, it is rather you who are providing a textbook example of the growing (and common, here) phenomenon…accusing everyone who raises any little objection to the Administration of “Bush Hatred”, thinking that this cry magically makes all criticism, even that which does not even mention Bush (as in my case) simply evaporate. Stop being a Bush stooge.

    As I said before, we need a name for this…perhaps BDSS.

    I will say, however, that your comment does indicate some agreement on one point…most people would very much like make the whole Bush thing disappear from our memories…

  9. Mark B.

    I think you are being a bit unreasonable. The report just came out. How long did it take to compile? Right now there are 6 serious candidates for president. The MSM did not compile this report, they merely reported on it. While single out one candidate? Why expect 6 equivalent reports in one week’s time. Your beef is more with the authors of the report for choice of subject than it is with the media that didn’t author the thing.

    While most of the current crop of candidates supported the invasion, only one man made the decision to go to war. There’s nothing wrong with holding someone accountable for his or her actions. Opinions, votes, claims, are all one thing. Actions belong to another level of responsibility.

    Candidates get lots of scrutiny during the election. I’d wait till we settle on 2 of them and see what the MSM comes up with before pronouncing judgement. We’ll find out who lied, who smoked pot, who used cocaine, who voted for what, who did or did not serve in the air national guard, who had sex with who, who plagerised who, who wrote what in what law school journal, and so on and so forth.

  10. The lie here is the lie the Neo-Cons told themselves. And the administration fell for it hook line and sinker. The lie is part of the self delusion embedded in the Neo-Con world view. The damage done has not finished yet.

    It appears now these geniuses will have afforded us the ineffable delight of living under yet another abominable Clinton Presidency. For the life of me, I can not understand what GWB’s fascination with these guys are. Wolfowitz was hired as a consultant to the Administration today. Talk about being a glutton for punishment.

    Before the Republicans allowed these characters in the front door, we controlled both Houses of Congress and the Presidency. Seems like a long time ago, doesn’t it?

  11. Mark B, do you know for a fact that Hilary had the same full access to intelligence as the Bush administration at the time leading up to the unprovoked invasion of Iraq?

    Can you also be sure that Bush did not assure congress that invasion was only going to be a “last resort” and that the resolution was an important “diplomatic” tool toward a peaceful resolution?

    I sure remember Bush telling everyone that “war was a last resort” on many, many occassions…even as invasion plans had already been set in motion (“Mis-statement” #432, perhaps?).

    I’m by no means happy with any Dem who supported the Iraq War resolution; I think they acted like political cowards and trusting the Bush administration to stand by their statements and words, and in doing so deserve part of the blame for the Iraq fiasco. That’s a very different kettle of fish, however, from deliberately subverting the mechanisms that are in place to limit the power of the President in a Democracy.

  12. _”report just came out. How long did it take to compile? Right now there are 6 serious candidates for president. The MSM did not compile this report, they merely reported on it”_

    Isn’t it the media’s duty to supply context? Wouldn’t _mentioning_ that a large number of Democrats including the former president, current presidential front runner, not to mention other foriegn leaders (and intelligence agencies) were making _identical_ statements? Isnt that CRITICAL to the story?

    But ok mark, i’ll play ball. How long would you like me to wait before the MSM starts contrasting Bush’s statements with Hillary’s? Honestly, give me a date and we can reconvene and see how it went.

    _”While most of the current crop of candidates supported the invasion, only one man made the decision to go to war. “_

    Funny, I recall there being a vote somewhere, ah, the Capitol Dome. Hillary’s hand was in the air as I recall. Our consitution seems to indicate the President doesnt have the authority to start a war.

    _”I’d wait till we settle on 2 of them and see what the MSM comes up with before pronouncing judgement._”

    I’ll be happy to wait as long as you suggest, but I should remind you- there hasn’t been a presidential candidate with more personal friends, allies, and admirers in the media since at least Kennedy. If you are waiting for this kind of substantitive critique of Hillary, you may wait a looong time. Mark my words, they will spend more time judging her looks and her mannerisms, as well as her proposals, than actually digging into her record or her past. Thats her weak spot and her friends simply arent going to exploit it.

    I feel a little bad for Obama. Now he knows what Republicans face every single day- you may have an excellent point, but if the MSM isnt willing to investigate it or propigate it or ask that hardball questions, it doesnt do you a ton of good.

    But of course there is no bias in the media.

  13. _”Mark B, do you know for a fact that Hilary had the same full access to intelligence as the Bush administration at the time leading up to the unprovoked invasion of Iraq?”_

    I can be sure that the constitution as well as federal law as well as the rules of the senate require it. If you have some evidence of the WH breaking federal law by withholding intelligence information from the oversite committees, I believe the burden is on you to produce it.

    Of course you could make the argument that Hillary simply took Bush at his word. Which makes her a dupe and an idiot. Which is worse than a liar.

    _”Can you also be sure that Bush did not assure congress that invasion was only going to be a “last resort” and that the resolution was an important “diplomatic” tool toward a peaceful resolution?”_

    Irellevant. We are talking about a specific statement made by Hillary that was false. We can talk about the war vote in a different thread if you like. Different subject.

    _”That’s a very different kettle of fish, however, from deliberately subverting the mechanisms that are in place to limit the power of the President in a Democracy.
    “_

    ?. I have no idea how you go from statements based on one set of intelligence estimates (at odds with others certainly, as they ALWAYS are) that were echoed by preceeding presidents as well as allied nations to subverting the mechanism of Democracy.

  14. Mark B.

    This all depends entirely on who you chose to let represent “the media.” Of course there will be a lot of garbage and little of substance. This is America. People are fed what they want to eat. But all of the things you know about Hilary, and upon which your opinions are based, are available to the public through the media. It’s not like you have access to privilged information. If you are expecting to have that information by watching the evening news or from reading the local paper, then you need to take capitalism out as the prime directive for the media. Maybe a state-supported media would be more responsible.

    At least wait till after the conventions. This isn’t over. I’m not convinced yet that Obama won’t be the Dem. candidate and he is the one you will want investigated, not her.

    Yes, Hilary, and many others voted to authorize Bush to go to war in the event it became necessary. I supported that vote. I still think it was important to have given the president the authority in that instance to use his judgement. I think that vote, and others, were instrumental in getting UN weapons inspectors back inside Iraq. My problem was never with giving the president the authority, my problem was when and how he decided to use that authority.

    In terms of the mis-statments, the public integrity center is not simply listing the number of them. They are making the claim that there was an orchestrated campaign of misinformation to win public support for the war. It’s not just a question of having been wrong, it is much more a question of having been deliberately misleading with a purpose. The comparison with Senator’s votes and statements are weak, at best, I think.

  15. Mark B.

    “Which makes her a dupe and an idiot. Which is worse than a liar.” Worse? Really? I guess it depends on what role the person in question plays in your life. I’d also suggest that apparently the states of being a dupe, idiot and liar are not necessarily exclusive of the others.

  16. Then lets go back to her statement, it bears repeating:

    _”In the four years since the inspectors left, intelligence reports show that Saddam Hussein has worked to rebuild his chemical and biological weapons stock, his missile delivery capability, and his nuclear program. He has also given aid, comfort, and sanctuary to terrorists, including Al Qaeda members, though there is apparently no evidence of his involvement in the terrible events of September 11, 2001.” -HRC

    You are arguing (or at least the report is) Bush intentionally misled the nation. Is telling the same ‘lie’ 1000 times worse than telling it 1 time on the floor of the senate as the prelude to your vote to authorize the use of force?

    Or- if we are to suppose Bush must have had an agenda, what then was Hillary’s excuse? Was she stupid, and just conveying information that was false out of abject inability to see the truth that was supposed to be so obvious (in retrospect of course)? Or did Hillary have an agenda as well? And again- considering SHE is asking to be our leader going forward, asnwering that question would seem to be far more important.

    But lets be honest here. Bush is being castigated as a liar for being WRONG. That is what is objectionable. Castigate Bush for being wrong, that is at least as damaging a charge. Bush’s administration is in charge of the intelligence apparati. He is responsible for them, and he is responsible for intepretting the sum of their information to some extent, and he is responsible for making political decisions based on how strongly he felt he could rely on those agencies. He failed at all of that.

    Why is the opposition SO intent on making Bush a liar to boot? And worse- either taking down HRC with them, or making themselves hypocrites (it must be one or the other).

  17. Alchemist (#7)

    I think Saddam not feared an American invasion and probably his main concern always was Iran. Very probably Saddam was told by his powerful friends in the West that an invasion would never be approved, otherwise, his suicidal stance against America cannot be explained in someone that had to use cold logic constantly to keep himself as absolute ruler.

    Why did Saddam feel secure? I think that is the question many poweful people in big offices with big desks in the West don’t want that people like you and I to ask ourselves.

  18. _”Worse? Really? I guess it depends on what role the person in question plays in your life.”_

    Certainly. Its entirely acceptable, possibly preferable, for the guy that changes my tires to be an honest dupe. However, we’ve had an honest idiot as president before and he gave away the Panama Canal. For President of the United States, I think most of us would take dishonest over gullible if you forced the issue.

  19. _Bush’s administration is in charge of the intelligence apparati._

    ho ho ho ho ho ROFL

    The intelligence structures are responsible for themselves…
    …and their most important task are lie and deceit

  20. _”The intelligence structures are responsible for themselves”_

    Thats interesting. I could swear the president appoints the heads of each who serve at his pleasure.

  21. bq.”Which makes her a dupe and an idiot. Which is worse than a liar.”

    LMAO… Bush is all three rolled into one…you think he came up with the idea of invading Iraq all by his lonesome?

  22. BTW, Mark B, just wondering how long we can go here until someone points out that you are 1) hijacking the thread to bash Hilary, and 2) a Clinton Hater.

    Just wondering.

  23. _”LMAO… Bush is all three rolled into one…”_

    Perhaps- although we know the Clintons are world class liars, so if they end up being idiots and dupes we could be in for quite a term.

    _”you think he came up with the idea of invading Iraq all by his lonesome?”_

    Certainly not! Bill Clinton signed the Iraq Liberation bill and certainly propigated the big WMD lie. Unless Bush was good enough to have duped President Clinton before becoming president. There is nothing these crazy neocons wont stoop to. Perhaps they even have a time machine.

    _”BTW, Mark B, just wondering how long we can go here until someone points out that you are 1) hijacking the thread to bash Hilary, and 2) a Clinton Hater.”_

    I think it is completely germaine to the thread. My entire point is that the 935 story makes no sense without context. Saddams confessions simply reitterate the reality that the vast majority of the world believed he had an active WMD program- including Hillary Clinton. Its a complete rewrite of history to suggest otherwise, and an even bigger one to suggest that honest disagreements in how we should address the WMD threat were in fact debates on whether _there was_ a WMD threat. That insidious little meme is absurd, and its the crux of this argument. You pull that card and the Bush lied house tumbles down.

    And alan, I notice you havent reacted to Hillary’s statement. Was it a lie? If not, what was it?

  24. Mark B, Hillary’s statement does not go anywhere near as far, nor project even close to the certainty, that Bush/Cheney/Powell/Rumsfeld etc. did.

    Find us something along the lines of….

    “Simply stated, there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction.”

    “We found the weapons of mass destruction. We found biological laboratories.”

    “The Iraqi regime possesses biological and chemical weapons, is rebuilding the facilities to make more and, according to the British government, could launch a biological or chemical attack in as little as 45 minutes after the order is given. . . . This regime is seeking a nuclear bomb, and with fissile material could build one within a year.”

    …and then we can decide who was lying and who was not.

  25. _”Saddam Hussein has worked to rebuild his chemical and biological weapons stock, his missile delivery capability, and his nuclear program. He has also given aid, comfort, and sanctuary to terrorists, including Al Qaeda members”_

    _”It is clear, however, that if left unchecked, Saddam Hussein will continue to increase his capacity to wage biological and chemical warfare”_

    _”Once the battle is joined, however, with the outcome certain, he will have maximum incentive to use weapons of mass destruction”_

    Seems pretty straightforward to me Alan. Does that not sound like certainty?

  26. Mark B.,

    But why Hillary? Why is she the chosen counterpoint to the Bush Administration, among all the many Americans who supported the invasion. Did Hillary orchestrate a campaing of misinformation in order to promote a course of action that has turned out to be something other than was planned? Or did she just participate in it? In either case, does her participation in any way lessen the culpability of those inside the administration? If Hilary did it, too, does that make it allright? In other words, what the heck does she have to do with the issue? and why are you so intent in changing the discussion away from the administration to her?

    Many, many many people acquiesed in this. The field of candidates from both parties was filled with those who did. Why her so badly? I think that given the way you feel about her, you probably shouldn’t vote for her.

  27. _”Why is she the chosen counterpoint to the Bush Administration, among all the many Americans who supported the invasion.”_

    She is running for president. She has access to all the intelligence. She had access to the previous president as an advisor. You could hardly ask for a more appropriate counterpoint.

    _”Did Hillary orchestrate a campaing of misinformation in order to promote a course of action that has turned out to be something other than was planned?”_

    Apparently. Do you have some other explanation for her behavior? Or did she misinterprate what was presented to her? Or did she fail at her due diligence as a member of the Armed Services Committee and rely on the words of those she was supposed to retain oversight on?

    _”Or did she just participate in it? In either case, does her participation in any way lessen the culpability of those inside the administration?_”

    Perhaps not. But if you hold that the administration is culpable, I dont see how you can’t indict HRC as well. And she is running for president. So is that a fair charge against her? If i were to acknowledge Bush intentionally misled the nation, would you acknowledge Clinton did as well? Not that I would acknowledge that- the idea only makes a lick of sense in retrospect.

    _”In other words, what the heck does she have to do with the issue?”_

    What the issue? That Bush created this web of lies? If so, HRC either participated or was duped by it at the expense of her duty. Whats more important, beating up Bush after the fact or finding out if our leading presidential contender is complicit?

    Lets put it this way- I know this charge is bullshit because if you guys honestly believed it you would be hell bent on finding those _going forward_ who either participated or failed at their duty to expose it.

    But all you seem to want to do is give Bush a rhetorical kick in the ribs and make sure the history books are written the way you want them. You arent acting like people trying to right a wrong, you’re acting liking idealogues trying to smear an enemy (while somehow impossibly keeping your own side clean).

  28. “Saddam Hussein HAS WORKED to rebuild his chemical and biological weapons stock, his missile delivery capability, and his nuclear program.”

    Alan, that sounds like a prediction to you? Ah, perhaps you went to the Bill Clinton school of grammar? Generally we use the past tense to indicate, well.. the past. Am I wrong?

  29. No, Mark, the last two comments where the words “that if left unchecked…will continue to increase his capacity ” and “he will have maximum incentive”.

    In contrast to:

    “We found the weapons of mass destruction. We found biological laboratories.”

    or

    Rumsfeld that in September 2002 he said “we know” where weapons of mass destruction are stored in Iraq.

    or

    Rumsfeld said Saddam “has amassed large clandestine stocks of biological weapons.”

    or

    Saddam “has at this moment stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons,” he later added, repeating the charges the next day before the Senate Armed Services Committee.

    or

    On March 30, 11 days into the war, Rumsfeld said in an ABC News interview when asked about WMDs: “We know where they are. They’re in the area around Tikrit and Baghdad and east, west, south and north somewhat.”

    As far as “has worked”, that simply means “tried”.

  30. What is the mystery here. The country got caught up in a war hysteria driven by the Neo-Cons. They believed their own BS.

    The administration parroted the Neo-Con view. This view was built upon self delusion. Do i think they lied. No. I think the administration actually believed it which in many ways is worse.

    As far as Hillary is concerned these dopey bastards have handed her the Presidency. That is what we should be complaining about.

  31. Uggghhh. This went downhill fast.

    J Aguilar: To answer your question (way back when) It’s not at all suprising to me that a dictator would stop questioning his mortality at some point. They get so used to controlling everything, and so power-mad, that they begin to see their power as infalliable and unchangable. That has nothing to do with the actual state of what the US will and will not do.

  32. _”No, Mark, the last two comments where the words “that if left unchecked…will continue to increase his capacity ” and “he will have maximum incentive”._”

    Sorry Alan- the last comment clearly states that our invading Iraq would give Hussein an incentive to use his WMDs and hence it must be a last resort. If Hussein didnt HAVE any WMDs this would make no sense, and any delay would have the opposite effect of allowing him time to aquire some. That would make her statement nonsensical.

    The second statement clearly say he will _”increase his capacity.”_ You have to have a capacity to increase it I believe.

    Thirdly, you are ignoring her most provacative and definitive 1st statement. Why is that?

  33. This is why Liberals are well, stupid. They want a perfect world where everything is always peaceful and everything is resolved by walking around talking really fast like an episode of the West Wing.

    Let’s review: GWB in 2000 ran on and governed (until 9/11) on an explicit repudiation of the limited stuff that Clinton did: no “nation building” or even interventions in Kosovo, Haiti, impotent missile strikes in Sudan and Afghanistan. GWB’s most important goal was open borders with Mexico.

    After 9/11 everyone was scared out of their minds at the implications: next time could be nuclear or chemical or biological. No one wanted to be blamed for losing six million people in NYC, or somewhat less in Boston, DC, Chicago etc.

    Meanwhile no one knew much about Saddam, other than he’d lied continuously since before the first Gulf War, and been caught out with stuff he wasn’t supposed to have by prior agreements: nuclear material, biological weapons, chemical weapons, and ballistic missiles. The only way to get Saddam to agree to anything was bomb the bejabbers out of him (Desert Fox 1998-99) and then only for a few months. Saddam kicked the inspectors out and bluffed he had various WMD material, figuring the US was weak and appeasement minded as it had been in Somalia (“run away, run away” after Mogadishu).

    Bad call. But being stupid gets you killed. Well, Saddam figured he’d bluffed Norman Schwarzkopf from invading Baghdad the last time with his WMDs and it would work again.

    MEANWHILE, premption is alive and well. Five NATO generals and analysts (believed to be all Europeans) are arguing in a paper (Belmont Club has the link sorry to lazy to post it) that NATO should pre-emptively NUKE proliferators BEFORE they go nuclear.

    YES. PRE-EMPTIVELY NUKE PROLIFERATORS.

    Ponder that for a moment.

    Small European nations like Denmark face an existential risk. Some obscure artist, or politician, or Archbishop, may say or do something that sets Muslims off in a rage, and a weak, divided, tribal, proliferating Muslim state may hand off nukes to Jihadis who nuke Copenhagen out of existence. Effectively ending Denmark as a nation or people. Or maybe it’s Rotterdam. Or Amsterdam. Or Rome. Unlike big and geographically dispersed America, small European nations will die if their major capital cities and people are killed. So they are talking about doing what they have to in order to survive.

    Sober, rational, professional military men are scared out of their minds by the realities of proliferation.

    Forget the useless debate about coulda, woulda, shoulda with Saddam and WMDs. That’s over and done with. The next issue will be independent and sovereign European nations nuking up faster than their global enemies and doing what they need to in order to survive. And this whole stupid debate about Saddam could turn in a heartbeat if NYC gets nuked by a Pakistani nuke passed onto Osama’s boys.

    This whole debate is profoundly stupid because it proceeds from the false sense that America faces no threat to it’s cities and people. Yes we can survive the loss of NYC (unlike the Netherlands and Amsterdam). But that doesn’t mean there is no threat or that the political cost to Dems/Liberals won’t be massive (and fatal) if it does happen. Proliferation is a reality and arguing that strict legalisms in “a court of law” is required for action is a guarantee of eventual political suicide. Since the threat is only getting worse not better.

  34. Mark B.,

    I believe you are entirely wrong. I do recognize the extent of her culpability. I would prefer that the democrats chose a candidate who opposed the war from the begining.

    Your response to my question as to why you single her out is that she is running for president, but you keep ignoring what i have twice pointed out: she is not alone in running for president.

    I am not trying to absolve her of her complicity in the Iraq mess. I acknowledge it. But because she supported a bad decision does not make her more or equally responsible as the man who made the decision. E.g., I don’t hold every person who voted for Bush responsible for the bad decisions Bush made.

    Surely you must acknowledge that a certain level of responsibility comes with being POTUS that is not shared by anyone else. If Bush is worried about his place in history, well, he should have thought about that before he ran for president. How about a little bit of accountability here. Your defense of Bush’s actions amounts to, “Well, Hilary agreed with it.” Your claim that I –or anyone else — cannot criticize the actions taken by this President unless we are equally vocal in our crticisism of everyone who supported that decision is almost nonsensical. If applied universally it would serve to pre-empt any and all criticism.

    We cannot investigate the wrongs or misjudgements or misstatements of POTUS unless we investigate the same wrongs, misjudgements and misstatements of all others? C’mon. Hilary Clinton’s got absolutely nothing to do with this topic, beyond being used –trasparently–as a distraction.

  35. Davod,

    I cannot speak for all of us, but, speaking for myself, as a 25-year-long resident of NYC, I’d be kinda bummed. I’d have to move to SF or France to live with my fellow freedom-haters.

  36. Mark- lets back up a step here. I’m not talking about the decision to go to war in general, good or bad. That could and should be argued to death.

    The point in question is whether Bush _deliberately_ misled the nation into a war based on premises he knew to be false.

    The reason Hillary is extremely relevant to this conversation is that not only did she support this war, not only did she vote on it as a member of the most important Senate committee on the matter, not only did she champion it on the floor of the senate using the same intelligence the president had- she is now running for the same position the man in question holds.

    In other words- if Bush intentionally roped this nation into a rigged war (and that again is the ONLY relevant question in this thread), why did Clinton help him? Because if one is guilty so is the other (or inept, take your pick).

    If you guys REALLY believe Bush knew he was full of crap, then HRC knew as well and went along with it. Which makes it entirely possible if not likely that as a president she might _do so again_. Thats why its important.

    On the other hand, if Bush believed the same storyline we all did, he (and HRC) simply screwed up. Which is an entirely different kettle of fish.

    So lets not confuse the issue here. Either Bush intentionally lied or he didnt. Either HRC intentionally lied or she didnt.

  37. Mark B., you’re ignoring the issue of whether Hillary most other politicians had the same full access to all the intelligence info that Bush did.

    Were any Democrats at all present at any meetings held at the WH on Iraq or WMDs? Were all such relevant conversations and emails recorded, retained, and made available? Has the WH ever restricted access to certain documents on the basis of “national security”?

    Like mark, I am not here to defend the Democrats actions at that awful time in our history…I am merely countering your point that all lies are created equally, and are equally endowed by their creators with the power to engage in waging war.

  38. Alan I suggest you do some research on the Congressional Oversight Committees and their role in our government. Their JOB is to prevent exactly what you are suggesting. The access they have to all aspects of the intelligence community, up to and including subpeonaing anything they damn well please (including the minory chair) is total. If Bush tried to withold intelligence evidence based on National Security, somebody on the Hill would have a shitfit quite honestly. Now private meetings between the president and his advisor are in deed subject to executive authority, rightly so (just as the president cant demand notes from congressional meetings). However- the intelligence and armed sevice committee have full authority to bring any and everyone in the inteligence world to testify before them and answer any questions they have to their satisfcation. Assumedly these meetings took place all the time, the questions were answered to well enough to give Clinton the confidence to definitively declare Husseins possession of WMDs in supporting the yea vote in that very committee.

  39. I would have thought the “study” lost all its credibility when it was disclosed who paid for it, and how it created its own definitions for words that already had them.

    And just to head off the usual retort: funny, how anyone who speaks out against Man-made global warming is automatically associated with Big Oil, or has their study or analysis automatically given a tainted status if it has been funded or even partly funded by the oil companies, yet the same standard is no where to be found when it comes to this “study” when its backers all have long known agendas against the President and his administration.

  40. bq. The access they have to all aspects of the intelligence community, up to and including subpeonaing anything they damn well please (including the minory chair) is total.

    Here’s the rub, isn’t it Mark? Subpeonaing is certainly not the panacea to lack of information access you suggest….I’m sure you’re well aware of the record of the current administration in ignoring and stonewalling such congressional requests.

    This is not a serious argument.

  41. Alan,

    leading up to the unprovoked invasion of Iraq

    Well, when such a thing happens, I’ll consult you. Meanwhile, in regard to the Iraq invasion that did happen a few years ago, resuming a cease-fire that was repeatedly violated by Sadaam, earning him numerous UN sanctions and so forth, I think I’ll just ignore you.

    Jim Rockford, don’t omit pointing out that the American member of the 5 is noted neocon Shalikashvili. </satire>

  42. Mark B.

    “In other words- if Bush intentionally roped this nation into a rigged war (and that again is the ONLY relevant question in this thread), why did Clinton help him? Because if one is guilty so is the other (or inept, take your pick).”

    Again: why pick out her? The same could be said of Cheney, or Rumsefeld or Biden or Powel or Dodd or Lott or Blair or Chalibi or any number of people. Your bringing Hilary into this is just a non sequiter (sp?). A distraction. It is has absolutely nothing to do with making a judgement about Bush. If she were all the things you claim, would that make Bush somehow less guilty?

    Beyond that, I repeat myself that the President carries a larger burden of responsibility, especially when taking the nation into a war when other options are available. Hilary may have believed the rhetoric, she may have cynically used the rhetoric, she may have supported the final decision…but she did not make the decision.

    I think it is fairly clear that the decision was made in advance, and a trumped up case was then made to support the decision. I don’t care if you call it lying, misleading, exaggerating, manipulating….call it what you will… it was a dishonest presentation. The extent to which Hillary was a willing accomplice is completely irrelevent to any judgement made about Bush, the man who was responsible for it.

    Pardon the terrible spelling. I am dependent on spellcheck and it seem to be off and I am away from my dictionary.

  43. _”This is not a serious argument.”_

    Ohh, im sorry Alan, you are arguing that MAYBE that commitee subpeonad stuff and didnt get it, and yet we havent heard a peep out of the democratically controlled congress about it despite how this war has turned out.

    Now who’s being unserious?

    And way to ignore the rest of your failed arguments at this point. Fall back on lunatic conspicy theories.

  44. _”Again: why pick out her?”_

    I’ve explained why I picked her random face out of a crowd several times. Go reread my posts and either respond to them or write them off. But lets stop pretending Hillary Clinton isnt the most important Democrat, if not politician, in the nation today.

    _”If she were all the things you claim, would that make Bush somehow less guilty?”_

    No. But just do me the favor of explaining how if Bush is guilty Clinton can be innocent. That is all I have ever asked. If you explain that to me we can run and impeach Bush. With HRC right behind him. But again- why are you so gung ho to hang Bush but you show complete lack of interest in getting to those who helped him do it? AND MIGHT BE OUR _NEXT_ PRESIDENT? Because your argument is silly and deep down you know it, thats why.

    _”Hilary may have believed the rhetoric, she may have cynically used the rhetoric, she may have supported the final decision…but she did not make the decision. “_

    All I want to know is if she agreed with the decision- and AGAIN, for gods sake isnt this argument about Bush willfully lying to the American nation and starting a false war? IS IT? Or not?

    _”The extent to which Hillary was a willing accomplice is completely irrelevent to any judgement made about Bush,_”

    And the judgment on Bush is practically irrelvent to the future of the nation. OUR NEXT president isnt. So please, please, please do me the vast favor of defining your terms- did Bush intentionally mislead us, defying the intelligence. And how does that reflect on those tasked to stop him from doing that, particulary those quite likely to be OUR NEXT PRESIDENT.

    Or dont, and show me and the rest of the readers how unserious you truly are. I really cant imagine you dont give a crap about if our next president is complicit in this make believe conspiracy but you are hyped to take down the old president. That dog just dont hunt.

  45. The voice of reason. Thanks Chuck, excellent question. For a president so willing to hoodwink a nation using our intelligence arm he sure didnt think much passed zero hour. A truck full of nerve gas and we arent having this discussion.

  46. Mark B.

    “No. But just do me the favor of explaining how if Bush is guilty Clinton can be innocen”

    I have never ever ever claimed she is innocent. Never. You do me a favor and go back and read my #39. I acknowledge her role in this. My point is that her role in this, her guilt or her innocence has absolutely no bearing on the guilt of innocence of Bush, which is the issue of this thread–or was, until you introduced her.

    I would also argue that, just as our justice system recognizes degrees of guilt (as in first, second & third degree murder, e.g.), there are degrees of guilt in deliberately misleading the public into war. I do believe that Bush decided to go to war against Iraq, and then tried to justify it using selective intellegence and intellegence of a dubious nature. I think that was a serious moral failing on his part. He is not alone. But he is the president and the responsibility rests on his shoulders. It was his call.

    Clinton’s failure to speak out against this reflects very poorly on her character. Either she turned a blind eye to protect her political ambitions or she failed to perform due dillegence as a senator. Either way it was a moral failing.

    But Clinton’s moral failings do not let Bush off the hook for even more serious moral failings.

    In a perfect world, I wouldn’t vote for her for president. However, I will vote for whoever the Democrats select in order to keep any of the Repbulican nominees from gaining the White House. Justice Stevens isn’t going to live for ever.

    But no, I don’t think she is innocent in this. I might sentence Bush to 25 years. I’d sentence her to about 7 or 8. She may have shared duties driving the getaway car with 30 or 40 others, but Bush pulled the trigger all by himself.

  47. Did they ever find that Terrorist Breeding Ground in Iraq where they grow the terrorists in tadpole pools? Just wondering because I was always hearing about that.

    And what about that 200,000 man insurgent army? Seems like somebody would have seen that somewhere by now.

  48. * #6 from Mark Buehner at *
    _And before the pathetic excuses start- let me remind everyone that Hillary was at the time a member of the Armed Service Committee and fully privy to all the intelligence available to the White House (not to mention sharing a bed and the ear of the previous president)._
    _Where is the study on Hillary Clinton’s ‘mis-statements’?_

    Well, let’s see.

    1) Executive branch is held in much higher regard (well, was) than the others
    2) Minority non-leadon a committee is held at a much lower level regard than president.
    3) Not all intelligence is available to the committee as president – close, but not all. Only on subpoena, which can be blocked by other members of the legislature or not issued at all – last I checked, any majority can avoid minority subpoenas if they choose. Nothing in either the constitution or existing law requires this.
    Or, burying people in the full 20,000 pages of analysis – and not providing the analysis your own Exec Branch National Security director has approved.
    4) Legislative branch cannot selectively declassify intelligence as they need to in order to make political points. Or that their arguments against will EVER be seen. So really, we may never know what she said(even though it is likely none).
    5) To argue that this junior member of the legislative branch has as many resources (ie, money or people) as the executive branch in order to review findings is ridiculous. How many pages can a Senator review per day, and continue to be effecti? 1? 20? 100?

    “Prewar intelligence”:http://www.intelligence.senate.gov/prewar.pdf
    The worst part about politics is the immediate “but look at what someone else did”, rather than rationalize what was done by those who share your own political views. Your quote is a perfect example of this – turning away from rational views, and attacking someone else. In this case, the (R) boogeman – – Hillary Clinton.

    I’m not even saying her views shouldn’t be reviewed, or that she bears no responsibility for folding like a wet noodle. But to put a junior Senator on par with the president?
    Her actions(or any person chosen at ‘random’) have no relation to Bush – it’s just a change of focus, designed to distract.

  49. Mark (#22)

    _Thats interesting. I could swear the president appoints the heads of each who serve at his pleasure._

    It seems that there are facts that point in the other way:

    “Bolton calls report on Iran quasi-putsch”:http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-bolton9dec09,1,233789.story?coll=la-headlines-world&ctrack=1&cset=true

    Alchemist (#34)

    _J Aguilar: To answer your question (way back when) It’s not at all suprising to me that a dictator would stop questioning his mortality at some point. They get so used to controlling everything, and so power-mad, that they begin to see their power as infalliable and unchangable. That has nothing to do with the actual state of what the US will and will not do._

    I don’t think so. I am too old to believe in “mad” dictators or “evil” ones. Hitler did not invade Poland in September 1939 because he was “mad” or “evil”, but simply because he was running out of funding, as it has been proved (WoC “Germany’s National Socialism”:http://www.windsofchange.net/archives/006862.php).

    Saddam wasn’t the “mad” dictator. He was pretty clever, he managed to get the more or less conditional support of both superpowers and two nuclear reactors from France at the same time. He was no Bedouin transplanted to the palaces of Baghdad. On the contrary, he had to had very good contacts, everywhere. We must not forget that he appointed a Christian as secretary of state.

    Moreover, he was challenged once, in the First Gulf War, and lost. So, why did he keep now such suicidal stance before America? I think the only rational response, given all the facts, is one: he never expected to be attacked.

    And why that? Well, I don’t know what happened in other places, but in the UN the Corruption for Oil program was working pretty well, with even the son of the Secretary General allegedly involved…

  50. “Moreover, he was challenged once, in the First Gulf War, and lost. So, why did he keep now such suicidal stance before America?”–J Aguilar

    Sadaam faced daunting external challenges throughout his entire reign. He faced the challenge of Khomeini’s call for exporting Islamic Revolution. He faced the challenge of a multitude of Iranian military counteroffensives during the Iran-Iraq War. He faced the challenge of Kuwait and Saudi Arabia making impossible demands for repayment of massive war loans made during the Iran-Iraq War. He faced a massive Coalition force led by the US during Operation Desert Storm. He faced a UN blockade against his country after the war. Finally, an extraordinary US offensive was launched with the primary intent of removing him from power.

    Sadaam’s quote, which is mentioned in this post, is curiously timed for public consumption, as well as taken out of context. Sure, no head of state and no leading military figure is going to come out of the open and discuss his country’s military weaknesses, particularly when it is being confronted by an array of more powerful, belligerent powers. And he’s right: throughout the 1990’s, it never looked like a US invasion was likely, while Iran’s military strength steadily increased throughout the period.

  51. “Mark B., you’re ignoring the issue of whether Hillary most other politicians had the same full access to all the intelligence info that Bush did.”

    Exactly. It is well known that the information that was fed to Congress concerning Iraq and WMD came from the Office of Special Plans; an essentially neocon enclave within the intelligence aperatus (no, this is not paranoid fantasy. It is fact. Look it up).

    Thus, much of what Clinton “knew” circa 9/11/01 had been carefully filtered and worked to present a maximum threatening picture of Saddam.

    Also, she probably was just caught up in “war fever” at the time.

    I don’t care for Hillary and I sure won’t be voting for her, yet I fail to see why she has appeared as a major topic on this thread unless the best that Bush defenders can come up with is the kindergarten cry of, “well she did it to” defense for Bush’s massive disengenousness. Bush, of course was aware of and had approved of the Office of Special Plans. He either didn’t care to know of their true nature and activties and focus or he did. Either way his conduct is at least bordering on criminal. The fact that he has allowed some of the operatives to remain in his admin stinks to high heaven.

    I also do not understand why Bush supporters (or anyone for that matter) is allowed to continue to repeat the tired and inaccurate meme that Congress (including Hillary) voted to “go to war”. They did not. What they voted for – or thought they voted for – was the permission for the POTUS to send in the troops *if Saddam did not cooperate with the inspections*. The vote was sold as a means of giving teeth to the inspection process.

    Finally, Saddam did cooperate and the inspections revealed….nothing. There was no reason to pull the trigger and launch the invasion based on a WMD threat because by the time of the invasion it had been pretty well established that there wasn’t one. A little more time with the inspections and we could have achieved about 100% certainty that no no WMD or WMD capability existed in Iraq. So AL’s whole rap is bogus – but what did you expect? It should be noted that even after the inspections were well under way that the admin was still issuing hyperbolic statements about “mushroom clouds” and the “gathering threat” , etc, etc, etc from Saddam – and this smacks of pure willful malfeasance.

  52. avedis:

    There was no reason to pull the trigger and launch the invasion based on a WMD threat because by the time of the invasion it had been pretty well established that there wasn’t one.

    Like hell it was, and the claim that it was is the biggest lie of the Iraq war.

    People who claim that we invaded Iraq knowing full well that there were no WMDs are little different from the “controlled demolition” freaks, the latter being a mere subset of the former.

  53. avedis said:

    bq. I fail to see why she has appeared as a major topic on this thread unless the best that Bush defenders can come up with is the kindergarten cry of, “well she did it to” defense for Bush’s massive disengenousness.

    It actually fits perfectly in a thread which begins with the premise that because the cornered Saddam Hussein suggested he had WMDs (i.e., was lying), Bush should be forgiven for publicly saying so as well, even as his intelligence services and UN inspectors were telling him otherwise.

    It’s all part of the “well they did it too” defense. Hillary, however, is an exceedingly weak example, because there is no evidence that she or any other Dem saw the same full info that Bush et al. did (thanks for finding a relevant link on this point, btw).

    bq. What they voted for – or thought they voted for – was the permission for the POTUS to send in the troops if Saddam did not cooperate with the inspections. The vote was sold as a means of giving teeth to the inspection process.

    Absolutely, 100% dead-on accurate report of the history around this event.

    It suits the current argument better, however, to keep saying it was a vote to “go to war”, doesn’t it? (That even the SCLM consistently portrays this event as such is yet another example, in my book, of their complicity with the Republicans….)

  54. Glen, “Like hell it was, and the claim that it was is the biggest lie of the Iraq war.”

    Why? Just because you say so?

    Sorry (sound of buzzer). Wrong answer, Glen.

  55. Alan, I am glad that someone – you – around here is sentient enough to recognize some basic realities.

    Notice Glen’s nice addition – in #61 – to the kindergarten logic that is so prevalent on this thread and elsewhere at WoC with the “was too!” retort.

  56. and returning to AL,

    As Alan said “…..It actually fits perfectly in a thread which begins with the premise that because the cornered Saddam Hussein suggested he had WMDs (i.e., was lying), Bush should be forgiven for publicly saying so as well, even as his intelligence services and UN inspectors were telling him otherwise.”

    Right.

    First off, it is a serious misrepresentation on AL’s part to imply that intel pertaining to Saddam stating or believing that he WMD (or related programs….or engineers who might someday be called upon to start thinking about developing a program…..weak, Al, weak) was ubiquitous. This intel came exclusively through the OSP and they got the word exclusively from Chalabi (a man who no rational actor would take at his word) and maybe from some other source – “curve ball” – who had an axe to grind with Saddam. Saddam was not exactly running around threatening to nuke anyone, was he?

    Second, the very purpose of our intel agencies is to vet information and separate out the truth from the massive amounts of fiction and distortion. Duh. You can’t expect any government to be honest their military capabilities, can you? I mean, that’s a primary purpose of the CIA and the military intel. branches, right? So is disinformation.

    If AL really believes what he wrote then I have to conclude that his naivete concerning the way these things work is too great and he should refrain from attempting to write on the topic until he has better educated himself.

  57. avedis,

    Sorry, Alan is one of the least sentient contributors here, based on the fact that his only answer to Sadaam’s decade of well-attested acts of war is an ad hominem.

  58. Kirk, “….decade of well-attested acts of war is an ad hominem.”

    um ok there, Kirk. Of course this thread has nothing to do with any of that does it?

    I hate to buy into your inability to stay focussed on the topic of the post. However, it is not completely irrelavent that issues concerning the no fly zones were not what rallied a significant protion of the populace to support an Iraq invasion. It was clearly the WMD scare put on by the admin that accomplished this.

    The no fly zone stuff – or whatever is that you are refering to – wasn’t worth war. Compare the expenditures in that decade versus the expenditures on the invasion, compare the casualties, the wear and tear on the armed forces, the US’ comparative standing in the region, etc…..nope. definitely not a sane reason for war. Definetly not cost effective to invade over these piddling reasons. And the Bush admin knew this would be the calculation of too many US citizens and elected rep.s. Hence the big emphasis on the WMD.

  59. J. Aguilar: I could also argue that Saddam’s underlings, fearing for their own neck, might provide biased intelligence that made them look better than the situation really was. That has happened, both with Hitler, Stalin, Mao and Kim-Il, and is pretty common problem in ruthless dictatorship.

    So what’s your point? I don’t really care why Saddam was wrong, I’m more concerned about why WE went wrong. It’s seems unlikely to me that other countries will assume that we won’t invade next time. However, we still need to have a better plan for how to identify dictators who are bluffing, identify who is dangerous (and who has no weapons at all) and use our knowledge to brand them with the carrot and the stick.

    To reiterate: invading every time isn’t going to work. So what’s our back up plan for preventing rogue nations from going nuclear?

  60. avedis,

    Maybe you don’t care about nonsense like “unprovoked invasion”, since it either supports your POV, or was said by someone who supports your POV. But I see no reason to let it pass unchallenged, even if it wasn’t specifically addressed in the original post.

    But by all means, let us return to our regular programming…

  61. Kirk…

    bq. But I see no reason to let it pass unchallenged, even if it wasn’t specifically addressed in the original post.

    Is this what you mean by “challenged”:

    bq. Meanwhile, in regard to the Iraq invasion that did happen a few years ago, resuming a cease-fire that was repeatedly violated by Sadaam, earning him numerous UN sanctions and so forth, I think I’ll just ignore you.

    ??

    Perhaps I should clarify what I mean by “unprovoked”, since that is what you are apparently in disagreement with (and which you could have simply asked me to define, were you truly interested in a serious “challenge” rather than just a drive-by insult):

    We were not attacked by Iraq prior to our invasion in 2003.

    Any more questions, feel free to ask….or just ignore me and continue to express consternation and outrage, if you’d prefer….

  62. Kirk, “Maybe you don’t care about nonsense like “unprovoked invasion””

    It is a non-issue. What is a very real issue and one you have completely failed to deal with is whether or not our elected officials lied us into a war.

    Some say that if there was an iota of a chance that Saddam had WMD then the invasion was worth it (see Cheney, Dick and Bush, George, et al) because of the threat that iota of a chance would represent to our country.

    I say that if there was an iota of a chance that we were lied into a war then that issue must be explored thoroughly because of the existential threat it represents to our way of life.

    As it turns out the evidence that we were lied into war certainly sugests that the probability of it having ocurred is more than a mere iota. And it certainly seems like stronger evidence than whatever thin gruel existed as evidence of WMD by the time the invasion jumped off.

    Buildings – even cities – can be rebuilt more easily that a scuttled Constitution that no longer puts forth a system of checks and balances and representative government responsive and responsible to The People.

    You don’t care. You, like AL, think this is a contrite flippant issue for potential political one-up-manship. It isn’t. It is very serious. Both of your silly little rhetorical devices and incuriousness concerning the facts of the OSP and intel work in general reveal that neither of you are the patriots you pretend to be. Rather you are militaristic party line adhering fascists that hate freedom and our American way of life. For you it is dear leader uber ales.

  63. avedis, get a grip. I’m almost done with you here.

    Rather you are militaristic party line adhering fascists that hate freedom and our American way of life. For you it is dear leader uber ales.

    You can retract that now, or you can head out the door.

    A.L.

  64. Glen (in #54):

    Did they ever find that Terrorist Breeding Ground in Iraq where they grow the terrorists in tadpole pools? Just wondering because I was always hearing about that.

    Actually, yes, though your characterization is a bit off. But I assume you are referring to Salman Pak, et al. The Iraqis did train quite a few terrorists, and even more of the fedayeen type militia units, which is probably where your next statements comes from.

    And what about that 200,000 man insurgent army? Seems like somebody would have seen that somewhere by now.

    Well, who do you think we were fighting in 2004-2006? Where are they? Largely dead or turned by now.

  65. A.L. 935 serious democracy threatening lies and the best you can counter with is some old news that Saddam lied too?

    I should “get a grip”?

    Tell you what, I will retract the comment that offends you – as copied by you in #73 – but reserve the possibility of re-posting it and standing by it depending on how you reconcile your position with what I and Alan some others here as well as the 935 lies site are saying. Please be sure to include and specifically address your POV on the OSP, the role of the intelligence apparatus of the USA, your understanding of its capabilities, mission, etc

  66. Oh that was hilarious, that was a spoof of wikipedia, right; three cites from Mrs. Androyova; of Raw Story, one of the most delusional
    of internet spinmeisters. One by
    Sy Hersh, who takes Iranian govt.
    statements at face value, and yet
    volunteers to ‘debrief’ those same
    authorities on the coming war with
    Iran. Larry Johnson, the onetime Agency analyst who was among the
    first to cry terrorism on TWA 800;
    said ‘terrorism was overblown’ in
    the summer of 2001; and has ignored
    every AQ plot including the Kennedy airport and Glasgow plots.

    Now the reality; Saddam didn’t like
    the Ayatollah in the fourteen years
    spent in exile in Najaf & Karbala; but he didn’t focus his resources in the Army and Mukharabat against him. He uses the Shatt-al Arab agreement of 1975 to force him to be exiled in Paris; but that was about it. Later he used the threat
    of the Khomeini revolution (along
    with the advice of some former SAVAK officials to rationalize the invasion). The French and the Russian were always the major players in the arms pipeline to Iraq; (consider the MIG-fighters, T-28 Tanks, Roland missiles, the
    Al Tuwietha/Osirak facilities).The UK, Russia, Argentina,Brazil,Chile,
    Sweden, Norway (Oerlikon) Italy
    (Augusta ships and helicopters) and India were other figures(SEPRI reports,Timmerman’s Fanning the Flames) as well as the Belgian munition’s cartel. The US supplied some dual use equipment, which cost us a pretty penny; mostly through the BNL/Department of Agriculture loan service. The Iranian’s Chinese Silkworms are
    miles more advanced than the old
    Scuds in Saddam’s arsenals; not to mention the new Shahab missile systems. So this argument about Saddam’s bluff doesn’t really hold
    water. It is more logical that the
    weapons were dispersed to off site
    locations like Syria (a fellow
    Baathist state) until the issue of
    the American occupiers are dealt
    with. Syria, a nominally secular state, has ties with their avowed
    enemies, the MB splinter Jund al Shams, implicated in the Hariri
    assasination,involved in the Salafi jihadist pipeline to Iraq.
    Their hands of their Iranian allies (IRGC/Quds force) are likely tied to the terror campaign against Tueni, the last the
    Gemayels, the future Lebanese Army chief of Staff, et al

  67. avedis, my first response is to tell you to take a hike. Start your own blog and have at it. I’m not interested in hosting you any more.

    Having said that, I’ve written extensively about just this issue, and if you’re too lazy to use the Google box in the upper left corner and look, I’ll be happy to assemble a longer post from my earlier writings – which talk to the specific question.

    But you’re history. Between sock-puppetry using Totten’s name, drunk posting, and today’s insult – instead of an argument which I would welcome – you’ve worn out your welcome.

    You can click over to blogspot.com to start your blog – knock yourself out. Send me an email with the address, and I’ll let people know where they can find you.

    It won’t be here. No future posts from you will stay up; the Marshalls are free to delete them, or I will if I see them.

    A.L.

  68. Alchemist (#67)

    IMHO a ruthless dictator in order to keep his post has to be able to identify quite well biased information supplied by his “underlings”.

    Again, I am too old to swallow that. The information indicating that he was not going to be attacked came from outside Iraq, and from people Saddam trusted, people who couldn’t be conspiring to take over his post. I can find no other rational explanation for the set of data we have.

    So what’s your point?

    Knowing what happened allows us to avoid it happening again.

    I’m more concerned about why WE went wrong.

    I don’t think you went wrong. Of course, the intelligence services did, but they also did it in 9/11 and now with Iran, but what America and even the whole world could not afford is having a dictator continously defying them, making their military strength look useless.

    _However, we still need to have a better plan for how to identify dictators who are bluffing, identify who is dangerous (and who has no weapons at all) and use our knowledge to brand them with the carrot and the stick._

    Saddam was very dangerous, because what he was doing and because that he was able to do. He kept the engineers, the knowledge. The actives in machinery and facilities could be easily replaced by an oil exporter dictator.

    IMHO it is a game not only about “I am doing” but about “I can do”, and before the Second Gulf War many people thought that America won’t be able to carry out what is doing now: the stick wasn’t a hard stick at all, at least for oil exporters with good contacts in the Western world.

  69. After decades in charge of Iraq, Saddam throughly knew how hard governing the country was. It must have seemed like common sense to him that Bush would not want to take on this onerous task without very good cause – like actual evidence of NBC weaponry.

  70. Saddam was very dangerous, because what he was doing and because that he was able to do.

    I just want to be clear: what are you saying Saddam was doing? My understanding is that he had no weapons, he had no factories, he had no current capabilities to create nuclear weapons. Someday, in the distant future, after Sanctions ended, he could maybe have bought the things he needed, and then gathered his engineers (who have been sitting on their hands for 10 years) My understanding is that he never even took the UN tape off the house yellowcake. So we’re still talking at least 5-10 years after sanctions ended.

    Now, it has been argued that Iraq caused countries like Syria to give up their programs. If that was the intent, good for Syria, but it didn’t work in the case of Korea (which failed because of it’s lack of engineering, not US pressure) and Iran, which is probably still moving forward. And that doesn’t address the nuclear issue in countries that already have the bomb (like Pakistan).

    Do we have the manpower to tackle another invasion in Iran and Pakistan simultaneously? I don’t think we do. Iran doesn’t think we do. And Pakistan is edging into revolution. We certainly can’t invade Iran & Pakistan. So what’s our plan B?

  71. IMHO and from a geopolitical point of view, what Saddam was precisely doing was to make all the threats by the international community look not serious: _you have the best armies but not the will to use them, shut up!_ Iran watched.

    Therefore, from that point of view, the Iraq issue had to be adressed, and solved, before any other could.

    To build fission bomb is relatively easy today for most countries in the world. You’ll need uranium ore, which might be a problem, and some experimetal data. Probably Iraqi scientist had much of this last, even not working at this moment in the nuclear weaponry field. Other information could simply be bought, probably from Pakistan or North Korea. It is not a big deal for an oil rich dictatorship. Sanctions granted nothing by themselves: in any world crises, Saddam could try to get the materials needed and carry out the last step.

    With respect to Syria and Korea (Libya also gave up its program) we have the question of the neglected external influence. Syria is backed by Iran and Korea by China, that doesn’t want to see a democracy too close to its borders (I ask again, who backed Saddam?).

    _Do we have the manpower to tackle another invasion in Iran and Pakistan simultaneously? I don’t think we do. Iran doesn’t think we do. And Pakistan is edging into revolution. We certainly can’t invade Iran & Pakistan. So what’s our plan B?_

    I don’t think that is the question. It is as if during the cold war someone asked: do we have the manpower to invade the Soviet Union and all its satellite states? I believe that what is played now with Iran is the old cold war game of nullifying the any enemy’s development: you have missiles-we have anti-missiles, you have nukes-Israel has nukes deployed in submarines (so even being destroyed won’t stop the strike back), you develop a missile that can reach central Europe-we build a defence system to -hopefully- protect them… moreover, what Iraq says, the message sent, is that, the international community (i.e. America) will do whatever it takes, – even an invasion but this as a last resort – to avoid Iran gaining an advantage and that they will ultimately loose. What they have to decide is at what cost they want the defeat.

  72. you have the best armies but not the will to use them, shut up! Iran watched.

    Yes, but this also gave Iran a new advantage. They have significant sway on the Iraqi public, and also on the violence on the streets and against US troops. Right now we’ve made alot of accusations, but they don’t seem to be sweating Iran anymore. (although the boat incident last month may be a sign that this is changing).

    Additionally, for the first time, their largest most aggressive enemy is gone. Sure, US COULD attack, but they also know that they could escalate the situation in Iraq if necessary. I agree that this brings us to a cold war stalemate.

    Instead, it seems to me that invading Iraq had made Iran more bold, but there’s no way to return history and double-check that theory.

    And I agree with past armed liberal statements that we should publicly state that if a detonation is traced back to Iran, we will punish the country with severe damage. However, I also think that a “precautionary” strike would cause shockwaves through US, European, and middle eastern nations.

    So, in summary, depending on what happens the next several years, I believe intervention in Iraq reduced the pressure on Iran.

    Any ideas on Pakistan?

    And BTW: we still don’t have a defense system.

  73. Yes, probably, but check that Iran had already that capability with Hezbollah in southern Lebanon: now the _Schwerpunkt_ has moved closer to its borders, and further away from Israel, – which I think it is an advantage for the free world – and from an Arab-Jewish problem to a Sunni-Shia one.

    IMHO the problem in Pakistan is a different one: it is polarized against India, which is a nuclear power and counterbalances it in some one way. Moreover, the guys that ordered the bomb and many other operations had to be all acquaintances of the Western foreign services, with whom they had to collaborate in other issues. The approach is far different there: avoid the spread of nuclear technology and keep the assambled nukes safe whilst a political evolution in the country is pursued.

    Concerning the missile defense system, I agree it might not perfectly work, but again, that is not the point. The point is that having a missile, a big one, does not longer assure you that a nuclear warhead carried by it will reach its target. It adds a new term to the equations, a minor one today, I agree, but it has to be already taken into account.

    The “game” played with Iran reminds me the cold war, rather than Iraq. Whoever, without Iraq it would have been futile.

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