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November 15, 2005

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Creepy Dude

Armando and Sullivan are both wrong-this is the money quote:

"President Bush can lash out at the Democrats, as he did Friday, but ultimately they are mostly exploiting public opinion; he is largely responsible for shaping it. And had he been more honest from the start about the likely difficulties of war, readier to deal with them and then more open in acknowledging his failures, the public likely would be more patient."

kim

They'd also be more patient if they actually knew what is going on over there. I suppose he's got to tell them, since the reporters can't leave the Green Zone.
==============================================

Gary Maxwell

Well congrats to CD, he and I agree about once in a blue moon ( did we ever figure out exactly how often that is? Not very is pretty clear). That is the money quote. Liberals will like Hiatt bringing up public opinion and thus why we are hearing ad nauseum about polls on thread after thread from the lib posters.

Consevatives have said something that Hiatt points out too. Bush can shape public opinion. He is starting a campaign to do so now. Watch the decibel level on the left rise as a clear indication of its effectiveness. Polls right now are meaningless but thanks to the Dems Bush is getting focused. Oh and also thanks to the Dems for royalling pissing off Karl Rove. I am sure he will find a way to have the last laugh at their expense again.

TM

Irish nails it.

As to blue moons - the common misconception is that it is the second full moon in a calendar month. Since a lunar cycle is approx 28 days, two in a month can happen, and does so about every three years - June 2007 is next.

The original definition was that a blue moon was the fourth full moon ocurring in the same season - e.g, the fourth full moon to fall between June 21 and Sept 21.

By that criteria, we may have just had one on Sept 18. 6/18/2008 would be next, *if* 3/21/08 is in the summertime.

I hope we are all on the same page on that key point, now.

[I stand corrected - the old definition is the third full moon in a season with four full moons].

kim

I cannot explain to myself why it seems like it should be about once a year, since there are 13 lunar months in the 12 calendar months. I'll go ask my chinese astronomer.

Pretty soon everyone is going to be on the same page about Iraq, too. The kids are reading about petting goats, and how food, leather, fabric, garbage disposal, lawncare, and sho far, news, all come from the beast's bounty.
=================================================
=========================================================

Rick Ballard

Blue Moons

Lesley

"And had he been more honest from the start about the likely difficulties of war" - "likely difficulties of war"???? Gee, who knew??? If the American Public needs to be educated about the likely difficulties of war, I fear for our Republic.

Paging Mr. Barone: Hard America vs Soft America, indeed.

Lesley

Hard America Soft America

p.lukasiak

I will - what was Bush's motive for lying?

ultimately the answer is "To promote a war that he wanted to pursue for other reasons ---and those the American public would not find those reasons persuasive."

I forget who it was (Woodward, perhaps?) that reported that while everyone in Bush's inner circle wanted to invade iraq, they all had different rationales for doing so. "WMDs" was seen as the easiest rationale to promote to the American people, so that was what they sold America.

But there was a problem...as of early 2001, the intelligence conclusions were that Iraq was "contained", represented no threat to the USA, and the likelihood of any kind of alliance or co-operative agreement between al Qaeda and Iraq was considered as close to zero as any intelligence conclusion can be.

So the word went out --- find intelligence that fit the policy, and we'll promote it.

***********

There was also a political dimension, of course. Rove (and Bush) realized that they could exploit the nation's fears and paranoia about al Qaeda to increase GOP majorities in Congress by portraying Democrats as being "soft on terrorism." Its no coincidence that only of the 14 (7%)Democratic senators up for re-election (Wellstone) had the guts to oppose the resolution, while 20 of the other 33 Dem Senators voted against it.

Even those Senators that had doubts, and might otherwise have voted against the resolution, found themselves confronting a public that thought the "White Paper" actually represented facts, rather than "conclusions" that were conditional, and were based on less than solid intelligence.

So yeah, Bush had lots of motives to lie. He knew his real reasons for going to war would not pass muster, that the intelligence at the time the decision was made was contra-indicative for war, out of date, and/or not terribly reliable, and that by tying al Qaeda to Iraq and focussing on the potential for WMDs, especially nukes, he put the Democrats in an impossible position.


Gary Maxwell

Well that is certainly more than I ever wanted to know about the subject of lunar phases. Thanks rick, I think.

p.lukasiak

oops..typo alert. There were 36 "other" dem senators at the time, not 33.

Gary Maxwell

Its no coincidence that only of the 14 (7%)Democratic senators up for re-election (Wellstone) had the guts to oppose the resolution,

While I fail to see why this is a calling card I would bring out about my favorite team, you have laid it on the table for all to see and ponder. Gutless and craven, thats the ticket!

You have missed your calling. Without a single fact to support you have woven a fable out of invisible thread. A fine and fancible tale and right well told. But a fable nevertheless.

Marcel

What incentive did Pres. Bush have to lie? He didn't lie. He was convinced in his own mind that Saddam had to go. But he needed an authorizing resolution from Congress, and public support. So he treated this effort like his election campaign, and had his staff put together as strong a marketing pitch as possible. Some of the supporting evidence was incorrect; we don't know how many other marketing points were considered and rejected.

Would we expect the President to have enough personal expertise to assess every point? No. Would we expect him to later question how so much dubious intelligence made it into official speeches and statements? Absolutely. But the same aides and the same strategists are still in place. So there is not reason to expect that, in the next crisis, Congress and the public will again be presented with limited facts and considerable conjecture.

TP

I wonder if a vote for war, post-911, would have been the same as that for the Iraq Liberation Act had a Democrat been president.

Gary Maxwell

Haven't the Democrats had a little bit to do with the fact that the American people view them as "soft on terrorism"? Wasn't a Dem member of the House minority leadership standing in Baghdad with Saddam ( Bonior). I could go on and on with plenty of examples but why, the American people think that because of how the Democrats act and talk. When you gush about Michael Moore showing Iraqis flying kites, you get the backlash.

And I know it does not fit your premise but 14 of 34 remaining or almost 42% voted for it too. Not standing for election either so free to vote their conscience. What the heck happened there? Did the Indians just wander off the reservation?

Syl

p.luk

To promote a war that he wanted to pursue for other reasons

But you haven't named them.

This is just ChickenRhetoric. That's all you've got.

Syl

oops

Dwilkers

..."what was Bush's motive for lying?..."

That's why it never worked. The Bush lied meme is totally illogical, and I suspect normal people know that at a feeling level, although most have probably never analyzed it. That's why it never sold as a political strategy for the Dems.

Here's how Bush Lied logic works (a prerequisite for this exercise is suspending knowledge of everything everyone else said over the years about Iraq and WMD):

1) Bush wanted to invade Iraq for some other reason (pick anything),

2) so he invented the WMD issue out of whole cloth,

3) even though he didn't have to do so, because SH was in violation of multiple UN resolutions and the Gulf War ceasefire and regime change in Iraq was US law since 1998 signed by Clinton,

4) and even though in so doing he'd be caught in the lie when he invaded and the WMD weren't there - which of course he knew, because he was lying about it.

It is totally illogical. It is ridiculous on its face.

Its weird (there's that word again). Its classic over-reach. The Dems could argue that he made a mistake leading the US into a major foreign war on pretenses that turned out to be untrue, and that would be a serious indictment. Might have won them the 2004 election. Instead they argued what on its face doesn't make sense: Bush Lied.

Syl

How about: Bush Lied to Protect America.

Gabriel Sutherland

There was also a political dimension, of course. Rove (and Bush) realized that they could exploit the nation's fears and paranoia about al Qaeda to increase GOP majorities in Congress by portraying Democrats as being "soft on terrorism."

Karl Rove has employed a very simple strategy since he joined with George W. Bush to campaign for office in Texas and eventually for the White House. Karl took the Democrat Party Playbook and crossed out "Democrat" and changed it to "Republican". In the White House, as in Texas, President Bush has been signing legislation that is nearly word for word out of the Democrat policy forums.

One might be inclined to be overjoyed with this outcome if one is a Democrat. However, said Democrat must find peace with handing over political capital to the Republican party as a result of the policy adaptations. As in Texas, Bush is passing Democrat policies and the Republicans are getting all the credit.

The Republicans just shrug and accept that the party is winning with the strategy, but they know it is an untenable position within the party to abandon your principles in order to be the dominant political party. Republicans know that the Democrats use their majorities to maintain their majorities. Principles are secondary to maintaining political majorities.

Its no coincidence that only of the 14 (7%)Democratic senators up for re-election (Wellstone) had the guts to oppose the resolution, while 20 of the other 33 Dem Senators voted against it.

You forgot your Dick. Wellstone had the stones. Dick Durbin did as well.

Even those Senators that had doubts, and might otherwise have voted against the resolution, found themselves confronting a public that thought the "White Paper" actually represented facts, rather than "conclusions" that were conditional, and were based on less than solid intelligence.

This is my favorite. The Democrats voted to send Americans to their death because they didn't want to lose their congressional seat. TP gets it. It's only a lie if there is a Republican in the White House.

Creepy Dude

Actually Bush should encourage the belief he lied. In a leader, malice should always be preferred over incompetence.

But this is a sideshow debate. The great unwashed don't care what the rationale for the war was-the problem is the whole enterprise has been rendered ambiguous by lack of a dramatic resolution. We didn't get final battles on a plain or cute Iraqi chicks chasing American jeeps and throwing flowers.

What we are now facing in Iraq required no secret agent intelligence-faked or real. Generals testified about the post-war scenario in open hearings before the war started. But Bush and Cheney actually believed we'd be greeted with candies and kisses and civil polity would just appear. They did lie- to themselves. There really were no plans for an insurgency or post invasion nation building.
It was just one bad ad hoc decision after another. That's where their failure in leadership ultimately lies.

TP

For what it is worth, I think that any lies or overselling of the war had more to do with the futile UN presentation (at least Clinton was smart enough not to go that route in Kosovo), not so much with the American public.

Two of the most compelling reasons for the war were never argued in public, because the truth could not be told about them in public.

The first reason is that there would never be any hope of an Israeli-Palestine peace settlement with Saddam lurking in the wings. He was rewarding families for suicide bombings in Israel and would have destabilized any government that showed any friendliness toward a settlement. A settlement of the Palestine-Israel situation goes to the core of the war on terror. Does anybody remember “Why do they hate us”? They hated us, among other things because they perceived our policy as too favorable toward Israel. There is no way that any President of the U. S., Democrat or Republican, could or should abandon Israel. Arguing this case in public would have been suicide in the Middle East.

The second reason may have as much to do with Bush family guilt rather than revenge. It involves a major repositioning both in practical and moral terms for our country. Following the 1991 War, we encouraged the Shiites and Kurds to rise against Saddam and then, promptly let him slaughter the Shiites. For the “Realists” in the first Bush administration, a generous moral judgment would be that this was an accident. The ugly interpretation would be that we did this on purpose as a Realpolitik measure designed to leave Saddam in power as a balance to Iran (allowing him him to destroy the would-be Iranian sympathizers in his population). This move would have been worthy of what Joseph Stalin did at Warsaw. In any event, Bush I locked us in to a policy where the USA ended up tethering a milk cow so that Saddam could cut out the flesh and throw it to dogs like the Russians, Germans, French (and, with the dog comparison, I guess I can’t fail to mention a certain Scottish politician). The “containment policy” was crushing the infrastructure and people of Iraq and we were getting blamed for it in the entire Arab world. Anything that left Saddam in power was not going to work and was going to make any long term cooperation in eliminating terror in the Middle East impossible. The longer we left troops on Saddam’s borders, the more likely we would have faced suicide bombers, similar to those we now face and problems with the host governments far worse than our present "worst case" outcome in Iraq. We would have paid and would be paying dearly for containment.

All of this business about getting a democratic vote on a clear-cut foreign policy is ridiculous. Even when we have voted on wars, it is only after choices that we have made in the preceding years have given us a default set of allies. The occasional hat salesman with a good heart that we elect as President makes foreign policy after he has consulted with the 33 pinheads we elect to the Senate every two years. It is rarely spelled out for us in advance in public.

The Unbeliever

I never really understood how people could throw around "he wanted to invade Iraq for other reasons" with a straight face. Are we supposed to believe that the only possible justification for disliking Sadaam was that he played with WMDs? There were plenty of good reasons for taking Sadaam out, most of which were enumerated during the last decade under Bush I and Clinton. They've also been rehashed during the Dems' latest squealing about their own war votes.

I was (and still am) in the "we'll have to fight Sadaam at some point in the future" camp, and I don't think it's unreasonable to believe that many others have been of like mind since Bush Sr. left him in power back in 1991. This sentiment even became official US policy with Clinton's "regime change" bit in 1998. Here's a good, concise summary:

[One day, we would have had to invade Iraq, even if we were not at war with al Qaeda. Because Saddam had demonstrated through prior irrational decisions that he was not deterrable, he had to be contained. Unfortunately, containment was collapsing (see above, and Kenneth Pollack, The Threatening Storm, which pretty much proves the case). Since we know that Saddam would try again to develop or buy nuclear weapons (having tried at least twice before 2003) and we now know that A.Q. Khan would have readily sold him the technology had the heat come off, we would have had to deal with Saddam when and if containment did collapse.]

Now if Bush had completely ignored all the perfectly good reasons for wanting Sadaam gone, and went with a WMD-only pitch to Congress, then you could call foul (though still not a liar, given the intel from the CIA and other international intel agencies). But he didn't; his pre-war rationales were clearly enumerated in his speeches to the nation and in the Bush Doctrine he set out after 9/11. And invading Iraq is right along the lines of the Bush Doctrine's solution to global terrorism.

Now, if you'd like to argue against the Bush Doctrine, laying out a case for why it won't work or why it's a bad idea, then you'd have an actual policy debate going. And it'd be a welcome change to see that coming from the left, quite frankly. But claiming that the war was based on lies is ludicrous when (1) there were other rationales used in plain sight even if you or your Congressman chose to ignore them, and (2) you can't show that lying took place anyways.

J Mann

I don't believe the "Bush lied" argument, but if you take it at its most plausible formulation, then Bush lied about the details in order to convince Congress and the public (and the allies and the UN) of the larger truths he actually believed.

So, in the common democratic formulation, Bush believed that Saddam had WMD and probably had substantial ties to Al Quaeda, but he either presented false positive evidence or deliberately refused to present true negative evidence in an effort to convince the rest of us.

(So, as an example, when Rather and Mapes ran the Burkett documents, they weren't lieing if they believed they were real, just negligent. But when they claimed the documents had been authenticated without disclosing that two of their authenticators had serious doubts, or when they claimed the documents had an unimpeachable source, they were lieing, even if they believed the content of the documents to be true.)

Why do it, when the public doesn't get to vote on a war? To preserve his political capital for stuff like tax cuts, to get a war powers vote with a substantial victory margin, to get foreign allies and to win the 02 elections.

Gary Maxwell

How about these words of wisdom from Michael Barone dated today:

The Democrats are trying to relitigate the prewar intelligence issue in the hopes of delegitimizing this administration. But in delegitimizing the administration, they also tend to delegitimize the efforts of the U.S. government, including military personnel, in Iraq and generally in the war against Islamic terrorism. To the extent they delegitimize the United States, they are hurting the cause of freedom for millions of people. I do not say the Democrats are being unpatriotic, a word they seem fixated on. So far as I am aware, no responsible Republican has charged that they are unpatriotic; John McCain refused Bob Schieffer's invitation to do so. But I do say this: The Democrats who are peddling the Big Lie of "Bush lied" are doing so either (a) deliberately to injure the cause of the United States and of freedom in the world or, as I think, (b) with reckless disregard of whether they injure the cause of the United States and of freedom in the world. What they are doing may suit their political needs, but it hurts our country.


Barone just nailed the Democrat wing of the Democrat Party. The smoke nows rises in plumes of gray from their twisted wreckage.

TM

This is from a Clinotn strategy summary, Jan 2000:

Our policy toward Iraq is comprised of three central elements: containment and economic sanctions, to prevent Saddam from again threatening the stability of the vital Gulf region; relief for the Iraqi people from humanitarian suffering via the UN oil-for-food program; and support to those Iraqis seeking to replace Saddam's regime with a government that can live at peace with its neighbors and its people.

In other words, containment, something to reduce the horrible PR generated by containment, and hand-wringing in the hope that one day, someone will solve our problem.

I agree with TP - as of the summer of 2001, if one had listed the US problems with the Muslim world, Number One would be Israel and the West Bank; elsewhere in the top five would be US support for UN sanctions on Iraq (5,000 dead babies a month), and US troops in the holy land of Saudi Arabia (that was Osama's number one grievance, IIRC).

Regime change with Iraq solves two of those three directly, and helps clear the path to an Israeli/Palestinian deal.

Bonus - how many "containment was working" folks were in the "End Sanctions Now" camp in 2001? Just asking.

TP

Actually, moving our troops out of Saudi Arabia and in to Iraq kind of took care of one of Osama's whines or at least helped the Saudis deal with their own restive population on this issue. My guess is that the Saudis really wanted us the hell out of there.

JM Hanes

TM -
"...what was Bush's motive for lying?"

I can't believe you issued this open invitation to the looney bin! Please protect yourself with some sort of qualifier, like sensible, before it's too late.

Personally, I think ascribing motives and intentions, or any other assorted unknowables, to the players on this stage is a sure fire way to derail rational discussion. It will always be a speculative venture whose outcome depends mostly on the assumptions (and the intentions!) of the speculator. Even if, per MoDo, it's a Daddy thing, the fundamental issue -- and the only thing we can independently confirm one way or another -- remains the same: wrong reason/right war vs. wrong reason/wrong war. Both our history and our future are in serious trouble if we must vouch for the intentions of our leaders in order to defend their decisions.

Gabriel

TM: I would also argue that Oil for Food actually made Saddam stronger in terms of cementing the Hussein legacy in controlling Iraq for the next half century. Oil for Food made MORE Iraqis dependent on the government for basic needs. Obviously Iraqis were under the gun as a result of the militarist policies pursued by Saddam, but the UN's attempt to help Iraqis did more to help Saddam than it did to help regular Iraqis.

Sanctions are basically placed on the leadership, but it is the people that suffer greatly as a result of them.

JM Hanes

Gary -
"You have missed your calling. Without a single fact to support you have woven a fable out of invisible thread. A fine and fancible tale and right well told. But a fable nevertheless."

I'd have called pluka a Democratic apologist, but fabulist is so much more on point. He does excel at devising what Patrick ("smartest guy in the room") Fitzgerald would call a compelling story independent of actual fact.

R flanagan

Gary asked:

Wasn't that a democrat standing with Saddam
in Baghdad ? Could well have been if Dole or Rumsfeld weren't there that day.

boris

Sanctions are basically placed on the leadership, but it is the people that suffer greatly

They only seem to work with governmants that are mostly capitalist democracy. One might argue whather SA was legitimately democratic, however with tyrants like Saddam or Fidel they're just opprotunity in disguise.

Anonymous Liberal

I don't doubt for a second that Bush and his top advisors genuinely believed that invading Iraq was in our country's best interest. If they misled the American people in the lead up to war (and I think there's plenty of evidence they did) it was, more likely than not, out of a paternalistic desire to do what was best for the country. In other words, they allowed the ends to justify the means. If you're a consequentialist, that probably doesn't bother you very much.

Personally, I subscribe to a more deontological set of ethical/moral beliefs. I think some 'means' are very hard to justify, no matter how good the 'ends' are you're seeking. I think that's particularly true in a democratic system of government. Therefore, even if I thought the war was a good idea, it wouldn't diminish the importance of the deception used to promote it (if that's indeed what happened).

Long story short, Bush's motive for lying may have been his sincere belief that invading Iraq was the right thing to do, and that the only way to achieve that goal was by misleading the electorate.

boris

misleading the electorate

There is very little in politics that can't be described as misleading by one side or the other.

Many have claimed that it was "misleading" somehow for the administration to take advantage of the public's perception that Saddam was involved in 911. That by NOT eliminating all vestiges of that unproven suspicion BEFORE making an untainted case for the invasion, the administration EXPLOITED a false notion.

Sorry, but that kind of thinking is pure BDS. No democrat would HESITATE for one nanosecond to exploit public emotion on any issue regardless of reality.

SteveMG

Bush's motive for lying may have been his sincere belief that invading Iraq was the right thing to do, and that the only way to achieve that goal was by misleading the electorate.

I think the evidence will show that Bush was poorly served by his advisers and staff. Granted, he made the decision and history will judge him for it - whether harshly or not remains but given the ideological outlook of today's current batch of historians I wouldn't count on any future high ratings for Mr. Bush.

It seems to me that part of this debate between left and right over pre-war intelligence and the decisions that were undertaken based on it emanates from the fundamentally different worldview over what 9/11 meant.

To many on the, for want of a better label, the left (yes, many on the paleo right or libertarian movement embrace this as well), that day was a bolt of lightning out of a basically blue sky. It was a horrible day but not one indicative of anything larger than a small group of religious fanatics who, in a sense, won a (perverted) millenium lottery.

Because this view sees the event in a smaller or narrower sense, the response by the US should have been commensurate with its scope. I.e., a law enforcement reponse that included working with international agencies to limit or turn back this small group of criminal thugs operating from stateless territories.

If you saw 9/11 in this manner, then you will consider Bush's dramatic statements about Iraq and WMD and terrorism in a far more sceptical if not hostile light.

Those who saw that terrible day as the end result of a series of provocative acts, as the cumulation of a growing radical movement, as the first blow in the "clash of civilizations" (as Huntington presciently described it) look at Bush's statements and decisions in a different way. They view any exagerration or hyperbole as necessary statements needed to awaken those Americans who still did not understand the consequences of 9/11.

I'll cut it here as I'm way too long-winded.

One final point:
The huge elephant in the room - the one crapping all over the place - is the absolute abysmal performance of our intelligence agencies. Yes, critics can point out to this dissenting view or that contradictory report but the overwhelming consensus by all of our intelligence agencies through the past decade was that Iraq had and continued to try to expand its WMD programs.

The CIA (and our other agencies) is fundamentally a dysfunctional operation. The late Senator Moynihan recognized this shortly after the fall of the Soviet Union.

Why didn't we have better information about Iraq? Why weren't we able to infiltrate his security system?

SMG

Gary Maxwell

If they misled the American people in the lead up to war (and I think there's plenty of evidence they did) A Lib

Remember the old tv show "name that tune"? I am calling on you to name the tune you're humming. I know of zero evidence but if you got some lets see it, otherwise we need to exam your motivation for lying. I am sure its sincere and out of some paternalist desire but without real evidence you make the cover of the Al Franken sequel.

Stephanie
"No democrat would HESITATE for one nanosecond to exploit public emotion on any issue regardless of reality."
--boris

Which is why many people have come to the conclusion that BOTH sides are corrupt. The incumbents of both main parties have been deceiving the American people as far as Iraq, and many other issues, goes. What we need is representatives that will actually represent the American people and solve our problems, not continue the partisan hackery that have led us into a war we're not winning.

I'm all for taking out Hussein. There's no doubt in my mind that he deserved it, WMD or no. However, I do mind being deceived, whether it's the DNC or the GOP doing it. And I do mind our troops being bogged down in a war they're not properly equipped to win.

That's why I've gotten involved in VOID. I want representatives that are actually going to do the will of the people, instead of the will of whatever party they owe allegiance to.

Stephanie

Sorry, I linked that wrong. It's VOID without any wwww.

Stephanie

Just hit my name if you're interested.

Sue

I don't know but I could have sworn that was democrat standing with Stalin. You do what you have to do then you clean up the mess. Or as an old Texan used to say "I brung you in this world, I'll take you out."

SteveMG

Sue:
I don't know but I could have sworn that was democrat standing with Stalin

Nah, I'm sure FDR told us of the dissenting views within his cabinet and national security advisers over aligning with "Good old Joe".

You don't think he deceived the public about the true nature of Stalinism? ["There is no religious persecution in Soviet Russia" - FDR 1943]

Although, why do I think history books won't be so forgiving to Bush as they were about FDR.

SMG

Sue

FDR did not have 24 hour cable or the internet. I suspect our future presidents will think 2x before stepping into the arena. I know I would.

Syl

Sue

FDR did not have 24 hour cable or the internet.

Excellent point (as usual). And our Presidents words are heard around the world immediately. They are not just for the American people.

The Democrats, however, seem to believe the political false charges they've been making against Bush are heard by nobody but American voters.

Makes you wonder.

Sue

Syl,

I quit wondering a long time ago. I just shake my head. And spit in disgust. :)

Syl

Remember that Ghaith guy, bin laden's spokesman? After 9/11 he was shown on tv a lot spouting his promise that there would be more planes and we would be destroyed. He used so many historical allusions and such flowery language (like is done in Arabic) that the impact was even harsher.

Though we've gotten used to the rhetoric since so it doesn't bother us as much.

But compare that to bin laden's video just before the election. Echoing points from Fahrenheit 9/11.

I mean it was so bizarre it was funny.

But they do pay attention. What we do in here in America, what the Democrats are doing in an attempt to delegitamize the war, is not lost on our enemies...or our guys who are fighting and dying for us.

And it's like that whole concept goes right over the Dems heads.

As I said, makes you wonder.

Sue

After today, I'm not going to put it all on the heads of democrats. Republicans made me spit in disgust today. :) I've been spitting a lot lately. :)

Syl

Yeah :(

carot

There is only one problem with all of this, the Dems are not in charge of anything at all.

So at best they can be accused of being more or less annoying forms of back seat driving. Bush has done nothing they wanted unless he wanted the same thing.

So it doesn't matter what the Dems said before the war. It only matters what the Republicans said and how they did their job.

Also what they said doesn't mean they would have done the same thing if they were in power. Politicians say one thing and do another all the time, and often they should. Unless a political party has the reins of power no one can say what they would have done. We can only say whether the Republicans did the right thing or not.

That's what you get when you win government, it's called responsibility.

p.lukasiak

This is my favorite. The Democrats voted to send Americans to their death because they didn't want to lose their congressional seat. TP gets it.

nice try, but Congressional Democrats did not send American troops to their deaths, Bush did.

The Dems were voting for a resolution that allowed Bush to invade Iraq if necessary . In other words, those who voted for the resolution said "We trust Bush." Most of them doubtless thought that the resolution did mean war, but that was predicated on two assumptions...

1) That Iraq had WMDs

2) That Iraq would refuse to provide full access to UN inspectors to hide those WMDs.

By March 2003, it had become obvious that #2 was incorrect, and that #1 was highly dubious. But Bush went to war anyway.

So stop blaming Dems -- they trusted Bush to act in a rational manner, and that trust was betrayed.

******************

But you haven't named them.

That's because Bush is one of those people who "decides" what he wants, and then comes up with a rationale to achieve it.

Its not like Bush ever sat down on his own and studied Middle East history, consulted with numerous experts of varying perspectives, and arrived at the conclusion that invading Iraq was the only rational choice. As previously noted, when Bush came into office, all the intelligence was that Iraq's WMD ambitions were contained, not a threat to the US, and extremely unlikely to provide WMDs to al Qaeda. In other words, the reasons we were given for invading Iraq did not exist prior to 9-11.

But immediately after 9-11, Bush was looking for a way to invade Iraq -- and he had to be talked into attacking Afghanistan and overthrowing the Taliban first. 9-11 provided the excuse Bush could use to justify doing what he wanted to do all along.

And because the intelligence did not, in fact, support the idea of an invasion, Bush ordered an all out search for intelligence that could be used to publicly justify an invasion. There was no robust review of intelligence --- for instance, there was no new NIE ordered by Bush on Iraq --- the NIE that was eventually rushed into production was at the insistance of Congress, and the process by which it was produced ignored the procedures that insured that the conclusions of the NIE were, in fact, backed up by good intelligence.

The "aluminum tubes" lie is a prime example. This was not a case where there were different opinions supported by the same facts --- the conclusions that supported the "centrifuge" theory were based on untruths, while those that supported the "rockets" theory were based on solid facts that directly contradicted the untruths of the other side. But there was no effort to resolve the question of who had their facts straight.

arrowhead

p.luk
"Its not like Bush ever sat down on his own and studied Middle East history, consulted with numerous experts of varying perspectives, and arrived at the conclusion that invading Iraq was the only rational choice."

And you know this, how?

In point of fact, the President did consult with experts regarding the Middle East and in the stark reality of a post 9/11 world made a choice - the same choice that Clinton and the Congress had made years earlier.

No one lied. Saddam DID have a chemical and biological weapons program ready to ramp up at the end of the UN sanctions. Other posts with greater knowledge of the issues involved have convincingly argued that he also was preparing to resume work on a nuclear weapons program and the means to deliver such weapons.

Regardless, this was not the sole reason why the President decided to expand the War on Terror into the Iraqi theater. His speech to Congress outlined his reasons for moving against Iraq in this very dangerous post 9/11 world and the Congress concurred. All the claims of "king's x" and "I had my fingers crossed when I voted" or "I voted to give the President the authority to use force against Iraq with the idea that he would use diplomacy instead" will not change that salient fact.

TP

I think the Democrats sense of betrayal, particularly those who supported the use of force (arguably at greater political risk than their Republican counterparts) stems more from the ill-fated aircraft carrier landing stunt (and a refusal to include supportive Democrats in the victory lap) than it does from any lying that may or may not have gone on about the war. It was really bad politics on Bush's part--bad for him and bad for the country.

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Wilson/Plame