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July 12, 2010

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soccer dad

This is another in a series of those "Conservatives are more successful politically because they are stupid and unmoved by fact."

The earliest such article (as I recall) was Sharon Begley's This is your brain on politics.

Frau Faulpelz

Thank you, TM, for doing the research and thinking that Americans do not want to do.

Thomas Collins

It must be a problem finding questions on which (i) progs are adamant no matter what the facts and (ii) the social scientist is not equally impervious to the facts. Global warming is an example. I suspect a survey measuring fixed attitudes impervious to facts wouldn't include global warming questions, because most of the social science profession (at least those in the profession who get published on page 1 of the Sunday Ideas Section of The Boston Globe) wouldn't want to dig deeply into facts that might challenge their own assumptions.

I do enjoy reading page 1 articles in El Globo's Sunday Ideas Section. There is often an article on some sort of social science or neuroscience research. It helps me keep current on what type of studies strike the fancy of the Northeast effete elite.

Jeff

I DONT CARE if tax cuts aren't self financing ... Its my money ... shrink the government ...

jag

I read the article and found the questions that Nyhan presented to be dubious in the context of proving anything about anyone's response. There's a ton of controversy surrounding tax cuts and subsequent gains in tax revenues and the issue of the existence WMD's is hardly unambiguously true or false as well.

To try and hang a theory on these types of questions is a joke. Why not ask people something like if they think gambling revenue soaks the poor?

When its (easily) proven to be true would liberals "cling" to the idea that it was still a socially good way to provide state's revenue? To pay for "schools, police, fireman"? I'd bet many would rationalize it anyway (liberal or conservative).

If this represents some new frontier in liberal "thought" to demonstrate conservatives are dopes, God help liberals. This is intellectually pathetic.

I feel sorry for any liberals who try and use Nyhan's "reasoning" in any fashion. They'll simply prove they're the dopes.

Buford Gooch

So, more is less. Or is it that less is more? I get confused by all these "facts".

qrstuv

Is it just me or does it seem that lefties are constitutionally incapable of distinguishing between absolute numbers and proportions?

narciso the harpoon

They were told 'there would be no math involved'

huxley

Thanks TM! I know how time-consuming it is to write something up like this and write it well -- especially that portion about Iraqi WMD.

I've tried to handhold people through that reasoning based on the Duelfer Report and it's a truly thankless task

qrstuv

"The participants who self-identified as conservative believed the misinformation on WMD and taxes even more strongly after being given the correction. "

In other words, these people didn't regard as the authoritative the "correction" given by a source which they regard as lying crapweasels in the first place.

Apologies to weasels everywhere.

East Bay Jay

"Geez, aren't there any other lefty fantasies worth testing?"

I heard that lefties passed Obama's 'lowering of the oceans' test. But only to the point of a solid B+. They knew it wasn't true but thought it was due to the Gulf oil leak and not any deficiency in Obama's ability to raise and lower the oceans at will.

Thomas Collins

I wonder wht proportion of progs would be open to carefully considering the conclusion of the study discussed in the LUNed article. Here is an article excerpt which discusses the study.

"Consistent with other studies, though in much greater detail, Espenshade and Radford show the substantial admissions boost, particularly at the private colleges in their study, which Hispanic students get over whites, and the enormous advantage over whites given to blacks. They also show how Asians must do substantially better than whites in order to reap the same probabilities of acceptance to these same highly competitive private colleges. On an "other things equal basis," where adjustments are made for a variety of background factors, being Hispanic conferred an admissions boost over being white (for those who applied in 1997) equivalent to 130 SAT points (out of 1600), while being black rather than white conferred a 310 SAT point advantage. Asians, however, suffered an admissions penalty compared to whites equivalent to 140 SAT points."

For some reason I don't think the study conducted by Espenshade and Radford is going to be featured on page 1 of El Globo's Sunday Ideas Section anytime soon.

JM Hanes

"Immediately before the U.S. invasion, Iraq had an active weapons of mass destruction program and large stockpiles of WMD."

That formulation may be a comparative model of clear syntax, but it's the worst kind of survey practice to combine two severable assertions into one. I think Iraq had an active weapons of mass destruction program without large stockpiles of WMD -- depending, of course on how "program" and "large" are defined, just to pile on the variables. Not that you'd need a large stockpile of bio weapons to be large enough to count as large.

It would be amusing to watch Nyhan inadvertently slipping himself into the really-really-believes-the-NYTimes-conventional-wisdom, bias-confirming, column, if it weren't so depressingly dejá vu all over again.

I find myself remembering that poll purporting to show how much misinformation Fox viewers supposedly sucked up. Regardless of what one thinks the accurate answers to the questions might have been, it turns out that Fox folks were only misinformed in comparison to NPR listeners. Viewers of the other major news networks scored just as badly -- or worse!

JM Hanes

qrstuv:

"Is it just me or does it seem that lefties are constitutionally incapable of distinguishing between absolute numbers and proportions?"

As a point of personal policy, I automatically discount anyone who talks in percentages without actual numbers attached. What strikes me about lefties in particular, however, is how obsessed they are with "proving" they are mentally and/or emotionally more advanced than the right.

larry

"So, more is less. Or is it that less is more?" Channeling Jerry Brown, Buford? Brown was told his opponent said he's wishy- washy on the issues. To which he replied, " Maybe I am. Maybe I'm not." But all of that is from 30 years ago, the first time Moonbeam was gov. Geez he was a horses**t gov then. Sorry state of affairs when he's the best the D's can come up with.

Paul from Boston

The budget deficit rose to $400 billion in 2004 and then dropped steadily to $200 billion until 2008 when the TARP got wrapped around the fan. I'd say that's evidence that the tax cuts worked since the government sure didn't cut spending.

Prior to Desert Storm, everyone thought Saddam Hussein had WMDs, even the people who supplied him with stuff like the Russians, the French, the Germans... Oh yeah, he had his nuclear weapons program destroyed twice, once by the Israelis and once by GHW Bush. Sure is unreasonable for conservatives to think that good old Saddam had WMDs. Really, he was such a nice caring man.

Ignatz

All this story tells me is something I think we all knew from the start;
by and large, liberals think their opinions constitute the facts and they think actual facts which undermine their opinions are really just other people's illegitimate opinions.

sbw

It always bothers me when people focus on navel gazing as Mr. Nyhan does.

Cut to the chase, Brendan. Set aside the arguable and consider the irrefutable: If you tax something, you get less of it.

David in Cal

Thanks for picking up my comment in the post. My second comment, no doubt written after this post, demolished Brendan Nyhan's claim about the significance of the reduction in tax revenue relative to GDP. I wrote:
Tax rate cuts automatically reduce the ratio of tax revenues to GDP. The way tax rate cuts might increase total tax revenue would be by increasing GDP enough to offset the lower ratio of Tax Revenue/GDP.

Clarice

In related news (okay not so related) Mort Zuckerman tells Cavuto he wrote one of candidate Obama's speeches though he won't say which one. I imagine his publication praised it.

Imagine if ROGER AILES DID SOMETHING LIKE THAT.

Thomas Esmond Knox

Mr Nyhan has said that the Justice Department is wrong to charge Zazi with conspiracy to use WMD's? I must have missed that.

"Mass destruction" means "indiscriminate destruction" not "destruction by nuclear weapons".

"The Justice Department today announced that Najibullah Zazi, 24, a resident of Aurora, Colo., and legal permanent resident of the United States from Afghanistan, has been indicted in the Eastern District of New York on a charge of conspiracy to use weapons of mass destruction (explosive bombs) against persons or property in the United States.

The government’s detention memo further states that “Zazi remained committed to detonating an explosive device up until the date of his arrest, as exemplified by among other things, traveling overseas to receive bomb-making instructions, conducting extensive research on the internet regarding components of explosive devices, purchasing—on multiple occasions—the components necessary to produce TATP [Triacetone Triperoxide] and other explosive devices, and traveling to New York City on September 10, 2009 in furtherance of the criminal plan.”

Rob Crawford

And we are encouraged to believe that when asked about revenue it is a mistake to think in terms of revenue; obviously, any right-thinking righty ought to translate the numbers into revenue as a percent of GDP. Hmm.

Which, I guess is the nub of the matter. We see increased $$ in revenue as an increase, and the decrease as a percentage of national GDP as an increase -- in freedom. When the government consumes less of the economy, it means we have more of our own labor to allocate as we please.

Lefties, on the other hand, apparently see the decrease as a percentage of GDP as a bad thing -- apparently because it's absolutely necessary (in their minds) to give politicians and bureaucrats control over an ever-increasing amount of our lives.

Ignatz

--The claim, which originates in supply-side economics and was frequently made by Bush administration officials, Republican members of Congress, and conservative elites, implies that tax cuts literally pay for themselves.--

Well, if a certain tax is cut and government revenue from that tax doesn't fall, as it seldom does including in this case, then don't they by definition "pay for themselves"?
Only in the unknowable fairytale land of "saved or created" or "how much revenue would have been collected otherwise" can more revenue be dismissed as less.
Why was this guy a well regarded blogger? Seems like a bit of dope to me.

David in Cal

As a conservative, I regard Brendan Nyhan highly because he's intelligent, he tries to be bipartison in his criticisms, he mostly backs up his criticisms with facts, and he mostly admits and corrects his errors when they are pointed out.

It's a shame that this particular paper has received so much attention, despite its flawed criticism of conservative beliefs. I actually suspect that the paper has been so popular because of it flawed criticisms of conservative beliefs. That is, liberals may like the paper because it promotes the myth that Saddam definitely had no WMDs and the myth that Bush's tax cuts were an economic failure.

Tragedy and farce.  They can't tell the difference.

He backed in to it, but this study says more about the corruption of our press than it does about the way any one thinks.
============

Boatbuilder

Is Brendan Nyhan any relation to David Nyhan, that execrable, disingenuous hack who regularly regurgitated Democrat Party propaganda in the form of Globe op-ed columns for several decades?

narciso the harpoon

This is an example of Brendan's fine analysis, sarc, in the LUN, since you folks
were personally a part of it

bunkerbuster

Priceless. The data are in, there were no WMD at the time of the invasion. Says it all the identity conservatives still believe it's credible to remain in denial on that issue. Just shows how they live in an online/Fox/talkradio coccoon where facts can't penetrate...

narciso the harpoon

Here's another one, which you would think they would apologize after the Berwick appointment but that's too much to ask for,

squaredance

1. "Social Science", like Psychology, is not a science at all; both are psuedo-sciences. At best, they are the application of statistics to musings and reflections on humankind.(Note: I do not use the term "observations".) In the worst case, or at least one of the worse cases, they are merely cases of politically sanctioned lying.

2. At issue are questions of moral and intellectual values and meaning, and not empirical scientific truths, morally and intellectually limited as they must be, or even just the mere evaluation of logical formulae. To apply real science to such things is to engage in Scientism. Moreover, to apply a psuedo-science to such things is to engage is a sort of modernist version of magic or alchemistry. It goes without saying that both case are obvious logical fallacies and profound moral, intellectual and spiritual errors--to tread upon such ground is in fact to engage in superstition.

3. To take an "academic study" consistent with with the errors, fallacies and misconceptions mentioned above, then apply some gobbledygook on top of it to obscure said errors, fallacies and misconceptions, and then stamp it with the name of an "elite schools" is to engage in propaganda (and, evidently, modern journalism).

All of this is what passes for the intellectual life of our "intellectuals" and "leaders"--that and, of course, the sort of projection on display here in the "study".

One is surprised that they did not also enlist the local Education and Journalist departments in this "research", but perhaps there was some rhetorical need to involve basic arithmetic in the "research" which therefore rendered problematic any such "interdisciplinary approach".

While it is laudable to attempt to debunk this sort of thing, in the end it is a bootless and mostly pointless effort: One is not dealing with rational discourse here much less "science" or "research" or "study".

What is really alarming is that our collective intellectual life is so feeble that this sort of political mumbojumbo is taken seriously as a "study", "research" or "science". We all ought to have our heads examined.

narciso the harpoon

The Lad is aggressive 'stuck on stupid' then again he's quoting Weisberg, which is already
a step down, in the LUN

Rob Crawford

Of course, bubu, in order to be "correct", you have to narrowly state your case.

"At the time of invasion" -- ignoring the convoys headed to Syria, and the persistent reports of material being shifted there. Oh, and the Russians given medals by Saddam -- who, according to former Russian agents were part of the normal "bury the problem" program the Russians run when one of their clients is about to get rolled. Don't forget Saddam's demonstrated tendency to try to protect his assets when they're put in danger -- like the lunacy of sending much of his air force to Iran during the Gulf War.

Plus you have to ignore the tons of nerve agent precursors found in military storage. Either the Iraqi military moonlighted as the Middle East's answer to the Orkin Man, or there was another purpose for all the insecticides they had on hand.

Oh, and the chemical shells in their ammunition dumps. Shells they were supposed to have destroyed. Yet somehow failed to. Which, itself, was a violation of the Gulf War ceasefire, and sufficient casus belli on its own.

But, hey, there was nothing there AT THE VERY MOMENT US TROOPS ENTERED IRAQ... except, then, why did Iraqi generals make repeated requests to be given release to use the chemical weapons they assumed they had?

If Saddam was running a bluff so effective he fooled high-ranking members of his own military, how the hell was anyone else supposed to know it was a bluff?

Not that you've given any of the above any thought. You're so insulated in your MFM bubble, so comfortable in being assured that you, really, know all there is to know. That everything the Democrats told you during the late '90s was a lie.

(Well, it's a lie now. At the time it was the absolute truth. Or pravda. Whichever.)

PD

re: WMD, I notice that one of the charges against the Times Square bomber is use of ... WMD.

So, if a truck full of explosives now qualifies as WMD (presumably to convince us how on the job this administration is against terrorism), doesn't that completely blow up the accusation that we didn't find WMD in Iraq?

Because it's certainly true that we found that level of weaponry there. I mean, if the definitional bar is going to be lowered that far to benefit the current administration, the definition also benefits the previous administration.

narciso the harpoon

Where are the records of the destroyed or disposed of weapons, that's been kind of a stickler, why did the number of precursor chemicals, change after the UN altered the rules by which the inspectors would operate,
"things that make you say,hmm"

bgates

It's interesting that definitively answering the question that's supposed to have tripped up progressives would require one to have a seat on a couch and read the relevant directives from the Bush administration over the internet, while getting a definitive answer to the WMD question would require accounting for the locations and movements of all members of the security apparatus of a 25-million person police state over a period of several months, and getting the same level of proof for the tax question would require the construction of an alternate universe identical to ours except for the marginal income rates faced by bearded Spock.

It's both hilarious and terrifying that people who are incapable of the former task have convinced themselves they've already done the latter two.

srp

If you want to get "liberals" on an easily disproved question, go with IQ tests or nuclear power. That stuff has been like garlic to a vampire on the center-left since the 1970s at least. Robert Lichter did some interesting work on how the elite media covered these topics and found rampant denialism.

bgates

It must be a problem finding questions on which (i) progs are adamant no matter what the facts and (ii) the social scientist is not equally impervious to the facts.

I accept your challenge, sir!

Q1: Have budget deficits increased or decreased since Obama took office?

Q2: States and localities with highly restrictive gun laws tend to experience (more/fewer) crimes involving guns.

Q3: Can fire melt steel?

Q4: Does the Second Amendment provide Constitutional protection for the right to individual gun ownership?

Q5: Who played more rounds of golf during their Presidencies, Bush or Obama?

Q6: Compared to the last month before the elections in which the Republicans lost control of Congress, unemployment is now
A) Half as high
B) About the same
C) More than twice as high

Q7: Compared to the month of the Presidential election in 2008, unemployment is now
A) 50% lower
B) About the same
C) 50% higher

Q8: There were (more/fewer) deaths of American uniformed military personnel during 2009 than 2008.

Q9: Since George W Bush left office, legislation addressing climate change has (sailed through/gone nowhere) in countries including Australia, France, and Canada.

Q10: Is the 'p' in 'corpsman' silent?

bunkerbuster

Rob (stepping directly into the doo doo) asserts: `` how the hell was anyone else supposed to know it was a bluff?''
U.S. intelligence officials questioned the existence of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction even before President George W. Bush publicly cited their existence in making
his case for invading Iraq to unseat Saddam Hussein, the Washington Post reported May 23, 2005.
On Jan. 7, 2003 (about 3 months before the invasion)
Mohamed ElBaradei, director of the International Atomic
Energy Agency, said it was too early in the effort to reach
conclusions about whether Iraq is violating the UN weapons ban.
A September 2002 Defense Dept. report found ``no reliable information'' proving that Iraq had chemical weapons. ``There is no reliable information on whether Iraq is
producing and stockpiling chemical weapons, or whether Iraq has -- or will -- establish its chemical warfare agent production facilities,'' the Defense Intelligence Agency said.
Hans Blix, the UN chief arms inspector, criticized the U.S. and U.K. intelligence about Iraq's banned weapons after his team found nothing in following up leads at suspected sites. Speaking to BBC on June 7, 2003, Blix said: ``Only in three of those cases did we find anything at all, and in none were there any weapons of mass destruction, and that shook me a bit, I must say. ``I thought: My God, if this is the best
intelligence they have and we find nothing, what about the rest?''
On Feb. 27, 2003, Iraq promised to document the quantities of anthrax and VX nerve gas that it has destroyed. Hans Blix calls it a ``very significant'' step. The government also said it would destroy its stockpile of 100 Al Samoud-2 missiles, which UN inspectors said violate terms of Iraq's disarmament after the 1991 Gulf war.
The record shows that over and over, intelligence professionals, including those charged specifically with investigating Iraq for compliance on WMD, stated they had doubts about whether Saddam had the weapons. Even those who believed he had the weapons admitted that the evidence was inconclusive. It's important to remember that the Bush administration didn't claim that, on balance, the evidence for Saddam having WMD was greater than the evidence he didn't. Rather, the Bush team claimed repeated, even vehemently, that it was certain the WMD were there. One top official even said "we know where they are" and that is certainly the impression Colin Powell gave in his presentation to the UN. Given that Bush was using WMD as the primary reason for invading Iraq, he could not have admitted what he surely knew to be true: there was no proof that the weapons existed AND Saddam had offered to provide further evidence of what had been destroyed AND the UN inspectors were insisting that they need more time to complete their inspections.
The standard identity conservative talking point is that Democrats also said they believed Saddam had WMD. That's irrelevant. Those Democrats were wrong too and are guilty as well of cheerleading against Saddam for political benefit. It was the Bush team and its war cheerleaders in the media, though, that characterized anyone who dared to point to the lack of proof of WMD as apologists for Saddam.

It worked too well.

Naw, bb, he pretended to have them in order to fool the Persians; and it worked.
===============

And Joe Wilson.

Rossett's and Duelfer's reporting made it crystal clear that Saddam had both the will and the means to WMD. Whether or not he actually had them is irrelevant, except to political opportunists such as bb.
============================

Thomas Collins

Bgates, I agree that even progs would have to face the facts in at least some of your questions (I figure that a prog will continue to deny reality in some of the questions, but overall I agree that you have met the challenge). If only your studies were appearing on page 1 of the Ideas Section of the Sunday El Globo, my Sunday morning coffee would be more enjoyable!

Soylent Obamacare

Maybe bb can enlighten us on all the different alternative uses of yellowcake uranium. Because, although it didn't come from where we thought it came from, we found about 500 tons of it warehoused in Iraq.

Not having WMDs and not having a robust WMD program is not the same as not trying to develop WMDs.

bunkerbuster

bgates asks:
Q1: Have budget deficits increased or decreased since Obama took office?
Increased. Just as they did with Bush and Reagan. It's silly to look at budget deficits outside of the domestic and global economic context. In this case, Obama took over after a prolonged period of economic mismanagement that led to the worst recession since the Great Depression. To suggest, then, that his policies are solely responsible for the deficits is absurd. And if you aren't suggesting that, what's the point of your question?
Q2: States and localities with highly restrictive gun laws tend to experience (more/fewer) crimes involving guns.
Fewer, by far.
Japan has extremely restrictive gun laws. It has virtually no gun crime and, certainly no armed robberies involving firearms.
Q3: Does the Second Amendment provide Constitutional protection for the right to individual gun ownership? No. It clearly says: For the purpose of a well-regulated militia. If the Constitution's authors had meant for it to apply to individuals, surely they would have used the word individual and would not have begun the amendment with a reference to a WELL-REGULATED MILITIA.
Q5: Who played more rounds of golf during their Presidencies, Bush or Obama?Probably Bush, but the question is stupid. We know Bush took more time off in his first year than Obama has taken in his first two, as befits the different attitudes toward the job and, more important, upbringing.
Q6: Compared to the last month before the elections in which the Republicans lost control of Congress, unemployment is now
Higher, of course, but again, it's silly to consider the number outside the economic context. It's not as if people lost their jobs because of anything Obama did or did not do. In fact, my understanding is that that most likely alternative to Obama's Keynesian approach would have deliberately allowed "creative destruction'' which, logically, would have lead to greater job losses in the short term. And we are surely still in the short term as regards recovering from the financial collapse that took place under the Bush administration.
Q7: Compared to the month of the Presidential election in 2008, unemployment is now
Higher. Again, the job losses associated with the financial collapse under the Bush administration took many months to play out. It may well be true that Obama's Keynesian approach did not do enough to stem those job losses, but, really, it's pretty silly to compare unemployment in such a short period, rather than the trend.
Q8: There were (more/fewer) deaths of American uniformed military personnel during 2009 than 2008. I'm going to guess more. The appeasement of Sunni militia in Iraq, aka the surge, and the completion of ethnic cleansing around greater Baghdad, led to a sharp reduction. Surely a more relevant stat is the servicemen and women killed in Iraq during the entire conflict under Bush, rather than the single year. It says it all that you'd feel compelled to cherry pick stats and periods so narrowly and selectively. The trends so clearly and undeniable run against you, you have no choice but to try and distort.
Q9: Since George W Bush left office, legislation addressing climate change has (sailed through/gone nowhere) in countries including Australia, France, and Canada.
Again, the collapse of the international credit system and the ensuing recession/depression has left most of these countries very poorly positioned to deal with the costs of combating climate change.

bunkerbuster

``Whether or not he actually had them is irrelevant.''
Wow! A confession. Priceless. lol...

Clarice

Well Bush did go against all estimates of the intel agencies in the area and western Europe in determining there were wmds that had to be disabled..Oh, wait..........

It's the weakest point of the "Bush lied" b.s. that it ignores that the US assessment was consistent with that of Germany, France, Egypt,and Israel.

narciso the harpoon

The inspectors weren't in until after the Resolution was passed, where we the records
of the disposed of chemicals, I mean they had already gotten rid of them. Our otto, does make Nyhan's point but not the way he thinks it happens

fdcol63

We still don't know what, exactly, was trucked into Syria in the 2-3 weeks immediately prior to the ground invasion in 2003.

The public may never know.

But it makes me wonder what, exactly, the Israelis took out in Syria later, and if they got it all.

cathyf
...obviously, any right-thinking righty ought to translate the numbers into revenue as a percent of GDP.
Summary of Nyhan's research: "Liberals believe that conservatives believe X while Y is the truth. In fact conservatives believe Y, and liberals (like Nyhan) do not believe Y because they are too stupid to understand Y."
fdcol63

If the Left was so sure that Bush was lying and that Iraq didn't have any WMDs, then why did they argue BEFORE the ground invasion that we risked incurring tens of thousands of casualties from Iraq's WMDs if we crossed Saddam's "red line"?

narciso the harpoon

actually Fd, that was one MoveOn's arguments against, I know inconvenient to bring it up

fdcol63

narciso, and stories like this seem to corroborate that Saddam moved some of his stuff to Syria, eh?

http://archive.newsmax.com/archives/ic/2004/4/20/234509.shtml

Rob Crawford

If the Left was so sure that Bush was lying and that Iraq didn't have any WMDs, then why did they argue BEFORE the ground invasion that we risked incurring tens of thousands of casualties from Iraq's WMDs if we crossed Saddam's "red line"?

Reminding them of that is as much fun as reminding them that the pre-invasion sanctions they condemned were, at the beginning, their preferred way of dealing with the invasion of Kuwait.

Captain Hate

You're wasting your time interacting with the ignorant troll; it's never been right about anything and just spews snark and lies. As Rob Crawford has accurately pointed out, it barely belongs at the children's table.

fdcol63

And this should remind people of what the assumptions among the military at the time were:

From PBS's Frontline, interview with Thomas E. Ricks, Wahsington Post Pentagon correspondent

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/invasion/interviews/ricks.html


"Prewar-- Describe the key assumptions on how this war was going to be fought."

"This was actually a story I wrote with Rick Atkinson, and in some nice timing, it ran on a Sunday before the war actually began. We laid out the assumptions, the thinking, the planning for the war. It was extremely straightforward. It was going to be a drive to Baghdad as quickly as possible. The major concern they had was a 500-mile unprotected convoy supply line back to Kuwait."

"The major concern they had about the Iraqis was that they would be attacked with chemical weapons. They knew that Iraq did not have nuclear [weapons]. They did think that Iraq had deliverable biological weapons. But they did fear -- wrongly, as it turns out -- that Iraq had chemical weapons, and would use those. I remember being told by officers flatly, "When we hit the Red Line, which is the line just outside of Baghdad, chemicals will be used against us." Officers believed this to their marrow."

"They knew that Iraq did not have nuclear [weapons]."

People like bunkerbuster, in their "Bush Lied!" meme, have been retoractively claiming that "WMD" only means "nukes".

fdcol63

Italics off

fdcol63

Off, dang you! LOL

bunkerbuster

Clarice: no one's saying Bush went against all intelligence estimates. There were some that pointed to WMD and some that pointed to NO WMD. The point, which I've already made clear, is that there was never any proof of WMD. And the Bush team claimed to have proven it. They sent Powell to the U.N. with a Powerpoint claiming to have even found the locations. Bush used the word "certain" and THAT IS HIS LIE. Sure, there is a very plausible case that Saddam had WMD. Plenty of circumstantial evidence. But Bush did claim circumstantial evidence. He claimed to know for certain and even ordered people in his admnistration to float the idea to NYT flunkies like Judith Miller that the proof was there, but classified. This is plainly, undeniably the worst fraud perpetrated on th e American people in my lifetime. I leave it to the other poster here to sum up the identity conservative view: "Whether or not he actually had them is irrelevant.'' So there you have the kind of people who will shout that Saddam has WMD and then when presented with evidence that he didn't will say it doesn't really matter because he COULD have made them or WANTED them. And the "stories" that the WMD were "moved to Syria." Please. The U.S. had full control of the Iraqi government and the ability to interview every major scientist, political and military majordomo to flunky involved with any WMD program. Think about it. It would have been no small project to move these things from their hiding places, so well concealed the U.N. inspectors could not find them, to Syria. Moreover, it's not like Saddam had good reason to trust Syria: remember they sided with the U.S. in the first Gulf War. No, Saddam was very isolated -- the main reason he sought to bluff that he had WMD. History proved that George Bush's claim to be "certain" that Iraq had WMD was false. And his execrable campaign to plant the idea that he had classified information proving their existence has to go down as the most dastardly betrayal of the American military in our lifetimes. So many beautiful American men and women sent to their death and for what? Wake up wingnuts, the new Iraqi government isn't going to be one bit less anti-Israel than Saddam was and, in fact, it's likely to be allied with or at least a lot more simpatico with Iran. Nice going! Who knows, in a few years time, Baghdad will probably be back to work on a nuclear program...

PD

off

PD

Given that Bush was using WMD as the primary reason for invading Iraq

Snort.

Bill in AZ sez it's time for Zero to resign

cathyf at 08:43

[Summary of Nyhan's research: "Liberals believe that conservatives believe X while Y is the truth. In fact conservatives believe Y, and liberals (like Nyhan) do not believe Y because they are too stupid to understand Y."]

Thanks - great summary!

fdcol63

Read my statement above, bunkerbuster.

You people on the Left want to now limit the term "WMD" to include only nukes.

It includes nukes, as well as chemical and biological weapons.

The quote above makes clear that the US military, in their war plans, knew that Iraq didn't have nukes, but they had very real fears that Saddam had and would use chemical or biological weapons if they crossed the "Red Line".

But the war wasn't just about wiping out or recovering stockpiles of nukes, as you people want to claim.

It was about stopping Saddam's weapons DEVELOPMENT programs, which he clearly wanted to restart as soon as he could get the UN to lift the worthless sanctions, and it was about depriving him of the ability to pass on those weapons to terrorist groups like AQ or any others he would or could support.

Your attempts, and those of your fellow travelers on the Left, at historical revision is repulsive.

fdcol63

Thanks, PD

PD

You people on the Left want to now limit the term "WMD" to include only nukes.

Unless it's the Times Square bomber, with a van full of explosives. That is now "WMD" and his apprehension shows that this administration is fully on the ball in protecting us from terrorists who threaten us with WMD.

I suffered for my antiwar views, punk.

Hardly a confession, silly ass. I happened to have been in the 20% of Americans who thought that UN inspections, sanctions, and the no-fly zones were working prior to 2003. Those reports, by Duelfer and Rossett, have disabused me of that notion. Whatsamatta wid you?
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Janet

There is a great old video of I believe Linda Douglass (of all people!)for ABC news reporting on Saddam's weapons, and al Qaeda in Iraq. I can't find it anywhere.
If anyone went back & read old news accounts before March 2003, there would be no doubt on why we invaded Iraq to clear out terrorists & terrorist supporting networks.
The rewriting of history is criminal.

Clarice

Yes, it is. And the failure of the WH to smack Wilson and his liars out of the water led to this re write of History by the left. Preposterous. Outrageous and the reason I cannot ever imagine myself voting for a Democrat president again.

Tom R

I don't recall Moveon issuing a warning about the risk to soldiers as cited at 8:47. I tried Googling it but couldn't find a reference. Anyone have a link?

Rob Crawford

Moreover, it's not like Saddam had good reason to trust Syria: remember they sided with the U.S. in the first Gulf War.

You're an idiot. During the first Gulf War, Saddam attempted to protect some of his air force by sending the pilots and planes to Iran -- WHICH HE HAD SPENT A DECADE AT WAR WITH, AT THE COST OF A MILLION LIVES.

So many beautiful American men and women sent to their death and for what?

The removal of a cruel dictator and the chance for the people of Iraq to determine their own future?

Not that you care about the "little brown people" (as lefties are fond of describing them).

Rob Crawford

Oh, and the assertion that Saddam was "isolated" is also crap. Saddam was running a major money-laundering/bribery scheme known popularly as "Oil for Food". He was "isolated" so well he had major UN staffers on his payroll, and influential lefties pushing his campaign to end the sanctions.

He was also -- at the behest of the Chinese -- murdering the "Marsh Arabs" in order to clear the way for the Chinese to drill the hell out of their eponymous marshes. He was sending agents around the world to seek raw materials for his WMD programs, providing training to al'Qaeda on bomb-making and who knows what else, and plotting terrorist acts world wide.

Janet

The other good old video was one put out by the RNC called Democrats: Dishonest on Iraq. The background music was High Heel Boys (very fitting!). I can't find it either. It had video footage of endless Dems. lamenting the danger of Saddam.

You'd think I could find it at the RNC site...but Noooooooooo

narciso the harpoon

It was part of an ad with a Mushroom cloud that they ran prior to the authorization vote, they probably scrubbed it

Ignatz

--Bush used the word "certain" and THAT IS HIS LIE.--

Then it is also these people's lies:

Bill Clinton, Barbara Boxer, John Kerry, Dianne Feinstein, Tom Lantos, Barbara Mikulski, Tom Daschle, Tom Harkin, Robert Byrd, Sandy Berger, Madeline Albright, Hillary Clinton, Wesley Clark, John Edwards, Dick Gephardt, Al Gore, Ted Kennedy, Carl Levin, Nancy Pelosi, Henry Waxman et al.

--So many beautiful American men and women sent to their death and for what?--

Judging by the above; a liberal, Democratic party lie, asshole.

Rob Crawford

Oh, and finally:

If you say something you believe is true, it's not a lie. Even if the statement turns out to be false.

The liars are those who accuse Bush of lying.

stan

One lesson -- when you read that an academic study proved X, start laughing. Academic studies are generally pathetic garbage as anyone who has spent much time looking at climate science already knows. But climate science isn't unique in its incompetence. It is just like the rest of the garbage PhDs produce.

Tully

Let's note that revenue results are dependent on one HELL of a lot more than just tax rates.

Real-world economists are well aware that the ceteris paribus assumption ALWAYS applies to predictive speculations, and that in the real world there's no such thing as all other things remaining equal. For example, the hit our economy took from 9/11 and its aftermath quite possibly had more effect on actual government revenues collected than the Bush tax rate changes, in both the short and long runs.

Not that ideologues and partisans pushing agendas won't continue to isolate out one variable and then claim ALL changes in the results are due to that one variable change ... but you have to be an ignorant idiot to believe it.

Tully

Also note the related fallacy: The idea that government revenues are ipso facto direct reflections of national economic health, and its particularly pernicious offspring that economic health is somehow dependent on increases in government revenues.

Statists, of course, love these fallacies for somewhat obvious reasons.

squaredance

BB is a case in point of the intent, ramifications and outcomes of this sort of manufactured "Pseudo-knowledge" and at issue here.

As I said before, here we quickly leave the world of rational discourse. There is really very little you can say to folks like BB that will not be met with some pre-programmed but of sophistry, and perhaps sophistry is too kind of word here for this would at least imply some sort of rationality and nimbleness of mind of that part of the sophist. Here it is more a case of a sort of programmed response to "keywords" and "key phrases". There is little reason whatsoever attached to it. It is reflexive and automatic response. It is not even a case of them "being in denial"; their psyche is not advanced enough for them to even be "in denial".

Marxist propagandists are the greatest living adepts of this sort of propaganda. It amounts to a sort of anti-fetish. They wave their totems around and people like BB respond as they were programmed to respond. It only works on a certain sort of degraded mind and soul.

Such sorts are legion in our nation today.

Interaction with them is only useful for analysis and to expose their masters' agendas.

bunkerbuster

Rob admits: ``If you say something you believe is true, it's not a lie. Even if the statement turns out to be false.''

Ding ding ding. Another confession. Thanks Rob! Like the study showed, identity conservatives don't care about whether what they say is true.

bunkerbuster

Ignat: Even if those Democrats did say they were certain Saddam had WMD, they didn't order the invasion. Bush did and the data are in. He said he was "certain" there were WMD, even though there was more than enough contrary evidence indicating there were none. He lied and there's no other way to parse it. He could have said Iraq probably has WMD or may have WMD or may have WMD capability, but he didn't say that. He said he was certain they had them, and he could not have been certain, because there was no proof and there could not have been any proof, because they weren't there, as subsequent investigation demonstrated. Bush lied and there's no way around it. That Democrats lied too does nothing to change Bush's responsibility for lying to start a war.

Rocco

Why no mention of the infamous 16 words? Those words were the reason Wilson labeled Bush a liar! As it turns out, Iraq did indeed try to buy uranium in 1999....why?

And even the traitor Wilson himself believed Iraq had WMD. From his June 14, 2003 EPIC Forum speech.


Of course we didn't find any terrorists when we got to Iraq, just as we haven't yet found any weapons of mass destruction, though on that score I remain of the view that we will find chemical and biological weapons, and we may well find something that indicates that Saddam's regime maintained an interest in nuclear weapons--not surprising if you live in a part of the world where you do have a nuclear-armed country, an enemy of yours, which is just a country away from you.". . .

Pagar

It looks like squaredance has nailed perfectly!

"Marxist propagandists are the greatest living adepts of this sort of propaganda. It amounts to a sort of anti-fetish. They wave their totems around and people like BB respond as they were programmed to respond. It only works on a certain sort of degraded mind and soul.

Such sorts are legion in our nation today.

Interaction with them is only useful for analysis and to expose their masters' agendas."

bunkerbuster

Rocco: as I've explained repeatedly, Bush's lie was two-fold: first, his claim to be certain that WMD, be they bio or nuke, were in Iraq. He could not have been certain, because there was no proof. The second part is that the Bush administration, mainly via Dick Cheney, floated the idea to war cheerleaders in the media that indeed it had intelligence proving the WMD were there. Again, Bush could have said: the evidence shows Saddam may well have WMD. Or he could have said: there's no proof, but we don't need proof to be concerned. But he didn't do that and for obvious reasons. He knew he needed a compelling reason to invade Iraq and "maybe" wouldn't have been good enough. So he lied by saying he was certain and implying he had access to intelligence that allowed certainty when, in fact, the intelligence allowed no certainty and, instead, was clearly mixed on the issue...

narciso the harpoon

As the DGSE, MI-6, SVR, several neighboring Mukharabats, (Egypt and Jordan) all believed
he had them, Otto, they got it wrong too

Ignatz

--Ignat: Even if those Democrats did say they were certain Saddam had WMD, they didn't order the invasion. Bush did and the data are in. He said he was "certain" there were WMD, even though there was more than enough contrary evidence indicating there were none. He lied and there's no other way to parse it.--

They said the same damn things, they saw the same damned intelligence and most of them voted for the same damned war. And the ones who voted against the war did not do so because they thought he might not have WMDs; they did so despite believing he did.
The only difference is when it got a little tough they played politics with the war and with soldiers lives and they cut and ran. And n ow when Bush's policy has largely succeeded they try to claim Iraq as their own victory like Bite Me so recently did.
Peddle your lying crap somewhere else, dumbass.

bgates

Even if those Democrats did say they were certain Saddam had WMD....Bush...said he was "certain" there were WMD....He lied

You're completely undercutting your own point, which isn't surprising considering you're laboring under the dual handicaps of being incorrect and being an incredibly stupid asshole.

bunkerbuster

bgates, ignatz: As I have repeatedly explained, the difference with Democrats who claimed Iraq had WMD is that the Bush administration carried out a campaign of innuendo to the effect that it had classified information proving their existence. Bush said he was "certain" and while some Democrats and surely some intelligence agents may have indicated they were convinced, none that I'm aware of used he word "certain" and none carried on a campaign in the U.S. media suggesting that they had access to classified proof. Beyond that, whether or not Democrats lied too has no bearing on whether Bush did. The fact that you're unwilling to acknowledge that simple fact is case-closing evidence that you have zero intellectual integrity.

bunkerbuster

``Bush's policy has largely succeeded.''
Beautiful. Invade a country to get rid of WMD that don't exist, then claim success when, in fact, it's shown that the WMD don't exist. It's zero gravity inside the wingnut logic bubble. anything flies....

glasater

bb--you have to live with your own logic. I feel sorry for you--truly.

bunkerbuster

Thanks Galasater! I'm pleased to know you're thinkin' about it. It's also pretty amusing that you think living with logic is unpleasant. I can see you choose not to live with your own logic, but I rather doubt that that decision makes you happy...

I suffered for my antiwar views, punk.  You acquired yours from central casting.

Heh, a slam dunk.
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Pagar

I don't believe logic and leftist propaganda goes together.

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