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March 18, 2005



"even the fiercest critic of George Bush's foreign policy would be insane not to want these signs of hope to take root"

Is that what's called projection? Hello? NYTimes, Hello?


Sooooooo, then, I'm guessing the NYT doesn't expect DailyKos, DU, O-Dub, John Micah Marshall or others "to want these signs of hope to take root?"

Olivers Willy

Okay, New York Times, you're out of the Democratic party too! And Hillary, get your ass out! And John Kerry, you fought in the last war! I am the only remaining Democrat, the rest of you get your asses lost! I am Aguirre, the Wrath of God! Bunuh bunuh gork freeble snurp!


Maybe someday the NY Times will learn how to report real news istead of being a mouth piece for the Democratic party.


Don't you think democracy will make these countries more religious and therefore more hostile to the US and Israel?


Daveg - we'll see.
My guess would be not so much. I don't know how much more hostile to Israel some of these countries can get.

You might have a point w/r/t Egypt ...
... but overall: no, I think we're better off taking our chances with democracy.


Confirms my reason for not reading the NYTimes any more. When they're not behind the blogosphere in reporting, they're so slanted I can't stand it. They think they are leading public opinion, when they're being dragged behind the real news.

richard mcenroe

Actually, since the last living Japanese WWII holdout surrendered in the 70's, we've got a time frame now for Kos and the DUpes seeing the light.

Not holding out much hope for Kerry, Kennedy and Pelosi though. They can afford nice bunkers...


"That would not excuse the waging of an unnecessary war on false pretences, but it could change the course of modern history."


If it changes the course of modern history AWAY from the terrors of 9/11, Madrid train bombings, and civilian-murdering suicide bombings, how is that an "unnecessary war?"

If trusted intelligence on WMD turned out to be erroneous but the underlying, world-changing philosophy underpinning the war was sound and inspired, how is that "false pretenses," and not just unfortunate marketing?

The claim that there is yet "no excuse" for this overwhelmingly well-justified war is simply the pitiful sour-grapes "Yeah...but" wankery of the left.

Steve White

Remember, SS, if it wasn't perfect, done perfectly, done for perfect reasons, with a perfect result, then it couldn't have been worth doing.


"Worse, the specialized machinery and highly lethal conventional weaponry that Saddam Hussein did control was looted during the invasion and is now very likely in the hands of terrorists..."
Uh... how do we know that Saddam did control "specialized machinery and highly lethal conventional weaponry" if it wasn't found after the invasion? After all, if the fact that we haven't found any WMD or WMD manufacturing facilities means that THEY NEVER EXISTED even though Saddam had used them in the past, how can the NYTimes say he had other lethal weapons since we haven't found them either?


Listen up, NYT idiots. There were 23 items enunciated in GW's reasons to take ole Saddam out. You, NYT, only picked up on one aspect and rode it into the ground (WMD). And WMD, I think will turn up in either Syria, or in another mass grave in the deserts of Iraq. Saddam was obviously the master of mass graves

Why not support our own government for once? John Kerry lost. He is now sucking the same rum-soaked raisins (white, but only nine) with that idiot he is married to.

Early into the Presidential campaign, I signed onto the Kerry campaign, as a volunteer. Much later, I sent them an email to remove me from their list, because I liked GW's message better. Well guess what?
I still get Kerry's messages, but now I get emails from Moveon.org, at the same time I get Kerry's emails.

Has Kerry caved to the message earlier this year from MoveOn.org, that they "bought the Democratic Party" ? I think so.

Bashir Gemayel

even the fiercest critic of George Bush's foreign policy would be insane not to want these signs of hope to take root.

"There's always hope that this might not work."

-- Nancy Soderberg, on the Daily Show


More Duranty-level revisionism from the NYT. President Bush was advancing the democracy argument in his September 2002 UN speech and in a primetime speech given at the Heritage Foundation (iirc) before the invasion.

Moreover, the NYT is using the word "looting" to decribe what necessarily had to be well-planned and executed efforts to move WMD-related materiel out of Iraq. It's not like a few random Iraqis threw a brick through a window and carted tons of heavy machinery back to their apartments.


The NYT makes it sound as if this one just one rationale, bareley mentioned, that seems to be bearing fruit.

This was THE RATIONALE. The idea is to change the Middle East for the better. Yes, it's terrible to wage war and almost as bad to build a nation. Yes, 1,500 soldiers killed and $300 billion is a huge price to pay.

But the idea is to change the corrupt system of governing and living so that Islamic terrorism will be defeated, not by the US or the West, but by their own people. This was considered the one path with the greatest chance of succeeding with the least amount of detriments. It was the best path.

And virtually every conservative has been saying it from day one. How is it that thousands of conservatives could understand it but the NYT could not?


"even the fiercest critic of George Bush's foreign policy would be insane not to want these signs of hope to take root."

"There's always hope that this might not work."

-- Nancy Soderberg, on the Daily Show

O.k., so now we know Soderberg is a full-blown drooler just waiting for the bingo game to start at the Adult Daycare Center. They'd rather be right, and Bush wrong, than the US "win" without UN or Euro-weenie support or, equally important, see the Middle East situation defused with a surviving, secure Israel and democratic Arab states. They are, unequivocally, the new reactionaries. Shame on them.

John Link

Errr...ummmm....wasn't the entire military campaign against Saddam called "Operation Iraqi FREEDOM"????

Anyone who keeps chanting the "No WMD, therefore Bush lied" mantra ought to address that.

Before and during the war these same folks vilified Wolfowitz and the neo-cons for believing that a democratic Iraq would be a tipping point for other Arab states, pushing them toward free elections and a more democratic system.

It's too soon to tell if the demonstrations in Lebanon and Egypt will bear fruit. But it is DEFINITELY clear that Iraq's elections have changed the dynamic in the direction Wolfowitz foresaw.

Hence the left's silence and wilful forgetfulness about the NUMEROUS reasons we went to war.


The New York Times said "Afghani voters"? Ich. That should be "Afghan voters".

A person from Afghanistan is an Afghan. An Afghani is a unit of currency.

FYI, Nancy Soderberg was joking. You can see the video on this page. The conversation between her and Jon Stewart are basically two people who were opponants of the war talking about the good effects that it has generated and questioning if they were wrong. At one point Jon Stewart bemoans the fact that his kid is going to go to George W. Bush High School at which point Soderberg "cheers" him up by reminding him that there's still Iran and North Korea. He brigthens and then Soderberg basically repeats the joke by saying it might not work. The second one didn't get a laugh cause she didn't deliver it well.



"Don't you think democracy will make these countries more religious and therefore more hostile to the US and Israel?"

Actually I'm hoping that this will be the case. I'm absolutely enthralled with the idea that elections in many of these countries will be swept by hardline Islamic militants.


Because there's an enormous difference between successfully winning an election and successfully running a country. As the Iranians have shown the world.

There is IMHO nothing in the world that would discredit Islamic militants more, or faster, than having them in power and utterly mismanaging their respective countries.

If the past is anhy judge, then there is a great likelyhood of complete economic collapse in these countries as the militants try their fumble-fingered hand at this. Let's face it. Iran is one of the world's biggest oil producers but it doesn't have an economy worth thinking about. Without that oil, Iran would be one of the world's largest recipients of food aid.

And most of the countries undergoing potential democratic reforms don't have any oil to support bankrupt goverments based on religious ideologies.


Yes, but complete economic collapse won't have good effects. I hesitate to trigger the Law of Godwin, but ... well, say no more.

Van Gale

"Don't you think democracy will make these countries more religious and therefore more hostile to the US and Israel?"

Of course that's a high risk with this strategy, but it's not democracy itself that creates this risk.

A real democracy has an opposition, and allows opposition voices to speak. For example, in the case of Iraq specifically, opposition (or temperance) to an extreme anti-American and anti-Israel position can come from the strong Kurdish minority. Freedom of the press provide temperance as well, because it allows people to not just hear opposition voices but also to have a clearer view of the outside world (as opposed to government controlled propaganda). Finally, in the case of the Arab world, it will place a higher burden of responsibility on the leaders for their own mistakes instead of being able to blame "zionists."

Any new, weak, or unstable democracy is easily destroyed though (as implied by Knemon in the previous comment). A takeover by clerics would be a fall of democracy, so that's where the risk of pushing a strategy of democracy lies (in my opinion).

The risk of this happening might be greater than allowing secular totalitarian regimes like Saddams to "contain the theocrats", which of course is basically the position of Richard Clark and Kissinger types, but I agree with Bush that 9/11 proved we weren't in fact containing them with that strategy. I believe a point could also be made that a theocratic takeover of a weak democracy would create less of reactionary swing back to the medieval ages than would happen with the fall of a brutally repressive regime to a theocracy. Hopefully this would make it easier to slowly nudge back to modernity.

Should that happen though, I don't believe there would be economic collapse. Oil prevents that, e.g. Iran. It also provides cash to the regime to buy enough weapons and loyal troops to stay in power, e.g. Saddam. As Wolfowitz correctly says, we can't create democracy by force but we can use force to remove impediments to democracy. Complete control over a rich resource is an impediment and would also prevent a complete economic collapse.

The problem I personally foresee in the future is not so much a fall of weak democratic governments but rather weak democratic governments that can't prevent extremists continuing their constant plinking of Israel with rockets. If by some miracle a democratic government gets installed in Syria it'll still be a very very tough choice for Israel to return the Golan Heights. It'll probably take a lot of time (and yet more patience from the Israelis) to cultivate the democracy's to the point where they have the strength and motivation to control the extremists.


Surely...... No...they couldn't be attempting some bizarre parody of themselves of themselves with themselves? Clinical psychiatrists and psychologists, alike, are going to be confounded of the media alone, for years.

Quagmire!!! Where’s Dean?


I am flabbergasted by those who think the War Against Terrorism is just another policy decision. This is not social security or health care. This is a war to change a whole people, a mind set, and to prevent catastrophes (read: plural) of biblical proportions.

And people just laugh and carry on about it? That is totally unacceptable. May history judge them harshly.

Cecil Turner

The line that stuck out most to me was this one:

Like a great many Americans and most Europeans, this page opposed the invasion of Iraq. Our reasons seem as good now as they did then.
Leaving off the argument of whether their reasons are correct (IMHO, every one of them is not) that's the Times position as I remember it. Accordingly, their latter apologies for cheerleading (and related claims from many on the left) fall rather flat.


TM reads NYT staff editorials so we don't have to. Thanks for the service - I've long ago given up wading through these tedious efforts. Instead I rely on you to feed us the digestible portions. Where's the tip jar?

But more to the point. Didn't the NYT spend considerable effort leading up to and during OIF discussing the neocon control of the White House (RE:"other prominent officials" in the NYT excerpt) and their delusional strategy of remaking the Middle East in Our Image?


Remember, SS, if it wasn't perfect, done perfectly, done for perfect reasons, with a perfect result, then it couldn't have been worth doing.

You left one out: "...and by the perfect national leader (i.e., a Democrat)..."

Brian Jones
However, there was another theory behind the invasion. Mr. Bush might have been slow to articulate it, but other prominent officials were saying early on that overthrowing Saddam Hussein would shake up the hidebound, undemocratic regimes in the Middle East

If only there had been some kind of daily publication that could have discovered and disseminated this information.

Idea! Let's get a bunch of people together and have them research and interview people, and put together a daily printout of what they've found. Pictures will attract readership, and advertising can help offset the production costs. We can call it a "blogprint," although it will certainly lack the immediacy and accountability of a blog.


"Actually I'm hoping that this will be the case. I'm absolutely enthralled with the idea that elections in many of these countries will be swept by hardline Islamic militants."

ed - Sweeping them in may enthrall you, just wait until you try sweeping them out.


Don't the New York Times' editorial writers have editors?

Afghani is the currency, Afghan is the nationality.

Sorry, pet peeve of mine.



NYT and the Left: Nothing like a big cup of cognitive dissonance in the morning.


In the world of LiberalThink, what is believed to be true carries far more weight than what is in fact true. Want an example? Read the Times editorial, "The Bush administration was famously flexible in explaining why it invaded Iraq. . .." Rubbish. The Times was famously wrong. Bush was famously specific six months before the war, before the United Nations, on September 12, 2002:

  • immediately and unconditionally forswear, disclose and remove or destroy all weapons of mass destruction, long-range missiles and all related material.
  • end all support for terrorism and act to suppress it
  • cease persecution of its civilian population,
  • release or account for all Gulf War personnel whose fate is still unknown
  • return the remains of any who are deceased, return stolen property, accept liability for losses resulting from the invasion of Kuwait
  • end all illicit trade outside the oil-for-food program
  • accept U.N. administration of funds from that program to ensure that the money is used fairly and promptly for the benefit of the Iraqi people.
Bush continued, "If all these steps are taken, it will signal a new openness and accountability in Iraq and it could open the prospect of the United Nations helping to build a government that represents all Iraqis, a government based on respect for human rights, economic liberty and internationally supervised elections. ... Liberty for the Iraqi people is a great moral cause and a great strategic goal. The people of Iraq deserve it. The security of all nations requires it. Free societies do not intimidate through cruelty and conquest. And open societies do not threaten the world with mass murder. The United States supports political and economic liberty in a unified Iraq."

Jack Tanner

'That would not excuse the waging of an unnecessary war on false pretences'

Excuse me dumbass editorial writer, how would these changes have come about without getting rid of the Taliban and Saddam? Wouldn't that mean the war was necessary?


It was a Bush-Hussein family feud all the way.

WMD was merely a convenient pretext for Bush II to use to justify the invasion of Iraq. The Bush-Hussein feud remained in high gear since the Desert Storm operation, with Hussein thumbing his nose at Bush the U.S., firing near daily pot shots at U.S. Jets, and having a mosaic of GHW Bush installed in the lobby floor in the Al-Rashid Hotel in Baghdad, a high insult in that part of the world. Like the Mounties, The Bush boys get their man - Drop a card to Manuel Noriega this Christmas in his Fed pen.

Then absent WMD, we have the "Democracy In The Middle East" justification.

If Iraq and Iran manage to unify, Bush II may go down in history as the founding father of the United Islamic Republic. If so, maybe they will build a statue for George W. someday...in Tehran.

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