Powered by TypePad

« Kristof Gets Results... Or Does He? | Main | If Al Jazeera Is With You... »

June 16, 2005


creepy dude

I see parallels between the build-up to Iraq and the Ms. Schiavo matter from our right side friends.

The Downing Street Memos are sort of like Ms. Schiavo's autopsy report, i.e. documentary evidence that things were not exactly like some people said they were.

Les Nessman

Good point, c.d.

The Memos are documentary evidence that clearly show Bush was not committed to war-no-matter-what, but the Lefties persist in blatant moonbattery.

creepy dude

Good one Les-but re: Ms. Schiavo, you seem to agree with me-or else who were the moonbats in the Schiavo affair?

Certainly it was people like the execrable Delay who claimed Ms. Schiavo "talks and she laughs" or the moronic Mr. Frist who claimed the poor woman had good visual response based on his video diagnosis when the autopsy showed she was blind?

Should anyone be held to account for anything anytime anywhere?


Creepy Dude, you're as dumb as all the rest. What all you idiots seem to want to ignore is the fact that those who wanted to keep Terri Schiavo alive asked for one simple thing: an MRI of her brain, which would have confirmed what we now know from the autopsy, namely that there was no hope of meaningful recovery. Had Micahel Scviavo not been such a dick, the MRI could have been performed and much of the controversy laid to rest. It wouldn't have stopped all the protests, but it certainly would have alleviated many of the problems, particularly those related to Congressional intervention.


Can you check with your kids whether "I

Just curious . . .

Ben Skott

No problem with Bush pushing for what is a very just war, but I wasn't terribly impressed with the GOP's behavior in the Schiavo affair. That said, you can't really compare the two events, they are apples and oranges.

creepy dude

TOL-I can only imagine what an MRI of your brain would reveal. What's the limit of resolution on those thing?


It's funny that the right would string up Kofi Annan for crimes suggested in emails, and smear him by repeating "oil for food SCANDAL" at every opportunity, and call for his resignation... while the fact that the President blatantly deceived the public in word and deed for months, as corroborated by the DSM and multiple sources (common sense? "curveball" anyone? where's the 9-11 commission on EXECUTIVE branch conduct leading up to 9/11?) doesn't bother you a bit. Why don't you admit that you just don't care why and how we went to Iraq? you just like the war, it's not important why we went. It's not important that the President treated us all like simps for months. One last thing: prove your enthusiasm and join up, the services need more bodies for the sand box...


sorry filou, there is still zero evidence anyone was deceived by the Bush admin on WMD


Oh, and the military is 80% rightwingers. But don't join, the military doesn't want you anyway.

ed in texas

I'm mostly inclined to stay out of this, but...
TOL, are you aware of the trip to California TS was taken on, for experimental treatment? (Check the timelines, I'm not making this up)
Said experimental treatment was the placement of 'hypothalamic stimulator electrodes' , a non-FDA procedure. Putting someone with said electrodes in an MRI would have been a life-ending experiment. (Think blender) This is why none of the attending doctors asked for an MRI.


well, unlike congresswoman Pelosi, I have read the memo. The paragraph in question is actually qualified later in the memo. It's evident that C's perception of the administration's state of mind was not regarded as definitive. Read it for yourself, it's only a few pages.

My reading of the memo is that the administration had devised an analysis, strategy and plan for dealing w/ Iraq prior to approaching the UN and UNSC. I'd bet/hope that the Clinton administration had developed Iraq scenarios as well, as had the first Bush administration. This is what the NSC is supposed to do.



The Schiavo autopsy report specifically notes that an MRI could NOT be done of her brain. There was a lead or wire inserted in there such that an MRI would have cooked her brain much like metal in a microwave. That MRI stuff has always been misdirection.

irritated dude

Creepy dude:

There is a difference between cortical blindness and blindness occurring before the occipital cortex, as in the optic nerve or eyes. The brain stem reflexes are still there! That means she would blink or flitch if you threw your hand in front of her, AND she would visually follow moving objects! The residual brain stem function was the confounding issue in that to the untrained person, or trained casual observer (just seeing a clip without a long observation or physical exam) the person looks conscious. So get off your high horse here! BTW, where is the reference for Delay’s "quote" like an actual transcript?

tiredof liberals

Creepy Dude: I see that you have the standard techniques of liberal debate down pat: when the argument is lost, turn to personal attacks. Well done.

I understand that as a leftie you have no use for such trivialities as "facts" and "truth," but I'll try to explain this to you anyway. What Congress did was ask the courts to review Mrs. Schiavo's case from the start, to request a new, unbiased guardian be appointed if it were determined that Michael Schiavo could not act in the best interests of his wife due to personal conflicts, and to ask for pertient medical testing to be undertaken. They did not ask that she be kept alive permanently. They did not try to "ban" the Florida courts from having her tube removed.

The courts, for their part, saw this as an attack on their sphere of influence and fought what they saw as undue legislative intervention, and many legal scholars agree.

None of this changes the fact that Congress NEVER addressed the issue of whether she should be kept alive indefinitely. Likewise they never addressed her permanent medical condition, or the ultimate legality of depriving someone in a reduced mental state of life. They merely asked that the information we now know from the autopsy be found out BEFORE the tube was pulled. That may seem like fascist intervention to you, but I tend to think your judgement is clouded by emotion.

The comparison to Iraq furthermore is, well, a stretch.


Of course,"evidence" of administration deception is impossible. The DSM is as close as we can get. There are no secret policy memos outlining the plan to cajole the country into war, because that part was all informal. The point to anyone who has a brain or a conscience is that the intelligence for WMD's was not looked at objectively; it was culled; it was highlighted; they dug for intelligence that fit the policy. If you can tell me with a straight face that "intelligence came before policy," then you are simply a liar. I wouldn't even be angry, personally, if the admin. had made a case for war that baldly laid out the democracy-domino theory... but they didn't. They distorted, they issued hours of misleading rhetoric, they outright lied ("mobile weapons labs" "aluminum tubes" "al quaeda connection"). How can you stomach it?

creepy dude

TOL-see ed and jim's points above on the MRI.

ID-if you think that's what Frist meant-think again. The Delay quote is too famous for me to go track down for you.
Believe me-that's not the stupidest thing he said re: Ms. Schiavo.

irritated dude

Look, there are other test besides an MRI that could have been done, for example a PET/CT. The legal issue was not her precise medical state but would she have wanted to continue treatment. The legal finding of fact that she would not want to continue treatment would be very difficult to over turn. Her parents did not address that issue appropriately in court at the time.

Robert Crawford

The point to anyone who has a brain or a conscience is that the intelligence for WMD's was not looked at objectively; it was culled; it was highlighted; they dug for intelligence that fit the policy.

Damned Clinton administration.

Jack Wayne

TOL - I assume from this moniker that you think of yourself as a conservative. Here's a question for you. Is it conservative to abide by 1000's of years of precedence or is it radical to overturn those precedents? That is, in most societies since history began we can see that wives move from their parents family to their husbands'. Literally, in other times, they truly belonged to the husband (and still do in some societies). Taking the last name of your husband is a relic from that time. Today I think it works mostly both ways. The wife or the husband is assumed to "own" the other in times of trouble. Congress and Terri's parents were asking that social convention be turned upside down and the ownership of Terri be taken from her husband and given back to the parents. So, is that conservative or radical?


This Downing Street memo was supposed to be the first bread crumb in a trail of bread crumbs. The problem isn't that the bread crumbs have been eaten (that would have been more face saving), but rather that the trail has already been explored by more than one committee of Congress and at least one commission, all in a bipartisan methodical manner.
The memo rather than rendering new fresh meat, offers only precanned meat fit only for your dog or cat. This is the bait-n-switch at it's best, with the anti-war zealots getting to play the part of the angry consumer.

The "Tom Sneddon" reference was funny as all get out and spot on.


what commision looked into mistakes made by the executive? not one. zip. zero.


Jack, you're forgetting that Mike Schaivo had already "moved on" to the Mistress behind Door #2 and as such that "1000s of years of precedence" is pretty much irrelevant.

Or, to put it in terms even Hollywood Liberals can understand, should Brad be able to pull Jen's plug just because they're still technically married?

irritated dude


Dr. Frist is an M.D., and yes, from she short film clip she did have good visual response. But what does that mean. She will follow objects, pupils contract to light, etc. Does not mean anyone is home, but the propagada shown by her family was cherry picking, just like sound bites. From that clip, she easily could have had CP and not PVS.

I am not here to defend Delay, but it depends on how you define "talks and laughs." The gunts and squells she made may very well have sounded like talking and laughing to him.(You should appreciate that.) Severely brained damaged persons can who are still conscious can sound very similar,except it is purposeful.


The 'Annan' emails can't be used to string up Kofi, but they do undercut the argument coming from the UN that Kofi knew nothing about UNSCAM. Which then undercuts Kofi's argument that only he, with more money, can reform the UN.

He should resign because he either knew nothing about one of the largest financial/ethics scandals in human history as it unfolded on his watch, or he did and is lying and attempting some level of cover-up. Nixon resigned for less.

As for PONTUS 'blatantly' deceiving the public, the Blair memo does nothing to prove this. We would have to know that Bush knew his intell was wrong but argued the case anyway for that to be true. That would mean, incidentally, that we would have to believe that Bush knew better than Clinton, the UN, most major intell organizations, the Press, and general conventional wisdom. Do you really think he was that smart?

And specifically on the Iraqi campaign, strategically and tactically, if you wanted to project military power into the ME, Iraq is the best solution. We need to be in the ME to be able to apply pressure to state sponsors of extra-national organizations like Al- Qaida. Whether that is the best strategy for dealing with the current threat I'll leave to another discussion.

Oh and FYI, I've lready served in the military and despise the argument that people in favor of a particular war are hypocrites if they don't join up. How many democrats joined for Kosovo, how many for Haiti? Will you now join the rightwing partisans and say the democrat party is full of hypocrites?


Filou, let me point you in the direction of these guys. It was in the paper and everything.


You arguments seem to be boiling down to the interpretation of intel. This is an art not a science. What we are getting are mainly leaks. Leaks are notorious for their unreliability especially when from the intel community. Beware resting your arguments on them.

Argue instead whether we should be dealing with the threat aggressively, or legally, or 'unilaterally', these are stronger arguments because they rest on reason rather than accusation.


My wife and I are both conservative, Protestant, Republicans, and we both strongly agreed that Michael Schiavo did the right thing.


wlpeak: What is the democrat party? Is it the same thing as the Democratic Party?


I appreciate your attempt to explain to me what does and does not constitute conservative thought on the matter. I understand well how difficult the Schiavo case was for "conservatism" to handle. The internal debate among conservatives, which has been lively and informative, serves as proof of the problems such cases as hers can create.

You are, in part, correct that the appeal to tradition (or "prejudice" as Burke would call it) was an important part of the reason why many on the libertarian right, including folks like Glenn Reynolds believed that Congress overstepped its bounds.

That said, conservatism is also part and parcel of a moral tardition that dictates that the preservation of individual life should be given priortiy whenever possible. In this case, the religious conservatives argued that it should not be man's (Micahel Sciavo's, the court's, whoever's) decision to determine whether Terri's life had suffiecient value to require its preservation. Instead, they argued that life, in and of itself, is precious and should be preserved.

Contrary to what the media and the left insist, this internal debate among conservatives proved conservatism's strength, not its weakness. That such internecine debate can exist is proof of the movement's stability.

As for the issue of a woman taking her husband's name, that's as much a function of proving the heredity of any offspring as it of "ownership."


Commitment to regime change is different from commitment to war.


You got me dakota. I bow to your insight.

Scott Harris

This memo is so bogus.

I would hope and expect that the US Military and the National Security Council has plans to invade Iran, Syria, Saudi Arabia, China, Venezuala, Tiawan, North Korea, Japan, Africa, Mexico, the Phillipines, Indonesia, Eastern Europe, Russia etc., etc., etc.

It is the professional responsibility of the Military to be ready to engage any enemy, anywhere, at any time. They can only do so if plans are made up before they are needed. Any suggestion that a plan to invade Iraq prior to going to the UN necessarily indicated a foregone intent is hopelessly naive. Of course, the US had a plan. And given the circumstances, that plan was probably more detailed than other plans for invasion elsewhere in the World.

The existence of even a detailed plan only provides a more realistic option for invasion. It allows the President and the US to make a more valid threat. Even if it was not expected, it was certainly sincerely hoped that Saddam Hussein would back down and capitulate without having to resort to War. And by trying to establish a broad coalition and by engaging the UN, it was hoped that Saddam Hussein would see the light, and enough pressure could be brought without having to resort to the "Plan."

Unfortunately, we now know that France, Russia and China were all conspiring against us and that France was even offering Saddam Hussein assurances that they could bring the US and Britain to heel without him having to capitulate. This error in judgment on the part of the French emboldened Saddam to his own detriment. Both the French and Saddam Hussein failed to recognize the change in American determination that 9/11 caused. Saddam trusted the French too much.

The real mistake was in not showing a united opposition to Saddam so that the full weight of international pressure might come to bear on the Iraqi dictator in the hope that such pressure might cause him to break. We can never know whether such pressure would have been successful. Given the history of the first Gulf War, we have sufficient reason to doubt that it would have been successful.

But we can know that the failure to "do everything we can to avert war" cannot be laid at the feet of the Bush Administration or the Blair Administration. It is the French, the Russians and the Chinese that subverted that effort. We can argue about whether or not there motives were pure or not. But it remains that Saddam Hussein believed that a reverse international pressure would avert the invasion because of the efforts of these three Security Council members. As such, he thought he had another way out.

I sincerely doubt that the full pressure of the international community would have caused Saddam to capitulate. Most likely, so did the French. So instead of bringing pressure on Saddam, they tried to bring pressure on the US and Britain. To many Americans, this was a supreme betrayal, regardless of the motives. It remains so.

But the idea that Bush & co. did not make an effort to avoid war is erroneous. What Bush did not do was entertain the option of backing down from Saddam Hussein. And in this, many Americans still believe he was correct. Saddam Hussein underestimated, as did Osama bin Laden, the courage and resolve of the American people and this American President - to his own destruction.

Trying to rewrite history to dismiss this is wrong.


Scott Harris,

A majority of Americans think Bush misled them. And the number is likely to grow.


We were told we had to go to war when and how we did because of an imminent threat to the United States from Iraq's chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons programs. What has become clear is that no one on the prosecuting end actually believed that-- that a threat was imminent. We could have toppled Hussein's regime at any time-- perhaps six months later, when we had a larger buildup of forces, and would ahve been in a better position to secure the country and avoid the costly looting that followed. What the DSM shows is that our allies had evaluated the Bush administration's mindset, and their assesment was in line with many of the war's critics-- that inspections could have continued for a longer period, that postwar planning was scandalously inadequate, and that there was no compelling reason to invade Iraq while the Afghan campaign was still incomplete. Finally, tell me with a straight face that the Bush administration made a case for war that prepared the American people for a ten to twenty year commitment to occupy Iraq and rebuild its infrastructure? When the public turns away from supporting the Iraq venture and political reasons force a withdrawal, you will blame the liberal media but I will point to the dishonesty of the bush administration.

p.s. the 9-11 commission wasn't allowed to investigate the executive branch, you sheep!

creepy dude

I wonder if Dr. Frist could diagnose my political attitude from one photo of my middle finger?

R C Dean

We were told we had to go to war when and how we did because of an imminent threat to the United States from Iraq's chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons programs.

A blatant, umm, inaccuracy. If you recall, the debate was over whether we should engage in a preemptive war even though there was no imminent threat.

When I hit this kind of plastic turkey comment, I generally quit reading the rest of the post.

Annoying Old Guy


The key number isn't how many citizens think Bush mislead them, but how many care. Bush's primary fault is that he wasn't as slick about it as Wilson, FDR, Kennedy or LBJ.


If you recall, the debate was over whether we should engage in a preemptive war even though there was no imminent threat.

No, a preemptive war is to attack a country that hasn't attacked us, because of an imminent threat. If there was no threat, as you suggest, then why would you attack at all? *cough* sophist *cough*

Give me a plausible justification for the run-up to the war, people!


Actually RC Dean imminent threat was redefined by the Bush administration to include someone who was not a direct and immediate threat. From the official http://www.whitehouse.gov/nsc/print/nssall.html>National Security Strategy of the US (dated Sept 2002):

For centuries, international law recognized that nations need not suffer an attack before they can lawfully take action to defend themselves against forces that present an imminent danger of attack. Legal scholars and international jurists often conditioned the legitimacy of preemption on the existence of an imminent threat -- most often a visible mobilization of armies, navies, and air forces preparing to attack.

We must adapt the concept of imminent threat to the capabilities and objectives of today’s adversaries. Rogue states and terrorists do not seek to attack us using conventional means. They know such attacks would fail. Instead, they rely on acts of terror and, potentially, the use of weapons of mass destruction -- weapons that can be easily concealed, delivered covertly, and used without warning.


Filou, where to begin?

1. First, "imminent threat"? Not so much.

2. tell me with a straight face that the Bush administration made a case for war that prepared the American people for a ten to twenty year commitment to occupy Iraq and rebuild its infrastructure?

At every turn, Bush has made carful mention of how this will take time and will not come easily or all at once. That you're ignoring it is your problem, not his.

3. And the 9/11ers weren't allowed to investigate the Executive Branch? What planet have you been on during the past year?


Here we go with the "Bush lied" meme again. Filou and qt belong to the shool of argument that says you can win an argument by just repeating an untruth enough times. Google a transcript of the State of the Union Speech - I won't do it for you - and reread the part where POTUS advocates action even though Iraq is NOT an imminent WMD threat.


Sadly Willboyd and SaveFarris most Americans disagree with your interpretation. That's why support for Bush and his handling of the war has dropped so much. And why a majority think Bush misled them.. And why talk of early withdrawal (aka as defeat) is growing even among GOPers.

You can link all you want to any speech you want but it makes no difference. Americans know what they were told. And it turns out things were not quite so.


If I understand you correctly, what you mean is that you think the abovementioned strategy of repeating untruths might be working for you. Unprincipled but honest. Is your participation in this forum today part of that effort?


Yes Willboyd, you are right and most Americans are wrong. I wonder where they got the impression that Bush misled them? It can't have been the things Bush said such as WMDs and a threat that couldn't wait.

The good news is that most Americans can't be fooled all the time. They ahve come to realize how many flasehoods and misleading sattemenst the war in Iraq was based on.


Didn't we already commit to regime change under Clinton in 1998? Ahem, Iraq Liberation Act, ahem?


yes, and I would add that this is the important part for supporters of the current strategy in the war on terror: the administration's lies are harming the cause. by not making the real case for invasion and preparing us for the reality of the war, the president has doomed us to failure as people will not continue their support under false pretenses.




I actually think even the idea that Iraq had no WMDs might be incorrect. It took me a few minutes, but I found my copy of the document titled "Iraq's Weapons of Mass Destruction, The Assessment of the British Government" with a forward by Tony Blair. Sorry, no date. Anyway, Chapter 2, paragraph 3 recaps what Saddam acknowledged having after the first Gulf War: 19,000 liters of botulinum, 18,500 liters of anthrax, 2,200 liters of aflatoxin, 28.850 tonnes (Tons!) of mustard gas, 200 tonnes of tabun, 795 tons of sarin, and 3.9 tonnes of VX. I seem to recall that when the US demanded an accounting of these WMDs, Saddam's government replied that they had destroyed them, but lost records of said destruction. How sloppy. And to think of all those years Saddam kept his people groaning under sanctions. I suppose they just dumped them down a sink somewhere. Anyway, I recall that my brother was deployed in Iraq when US forces found the hidden Iraqi MIGs. Those planes are about 70 feet long, and probably weigh 65 tons or so. (Feel free to polish up those figures if you know where to look.) Anyway, what do you suppose is easier... Burying a 60 ton plane in the desert without US spy satellites catching it, or cacheing pallets of 50 gallon drums? Absence of evidence isn't evidence of absence.


Absence of evidence isn't evidence of absence.

300 billion dollars, 1,700 dead.

Absence of evidence isn't evidence of absence.


Sorry, your point was what? I mean c'mon... what do you think happened to the weapons?


maybe you should go look for them, will.


I'm an Army SFC filou. I'll be deploying - again - from May next year. Wish me well?


Indeed I do. Godspeed. I hope it's worth the sacrifice. I wish I believed it was.



Towering Barbarian


'Of course,"evidence" of administration deception is impossible.'

No it's not! What you guys have trouble with is finding evidence rather than manufacturing "evidence". But Dan Rather's Memogate, Newsweeks screwups and the current Cargo Cult gathered around the "Downing Street Memo" show that none of the Left ever has any problem with "evidence" when evidence is in short supply. Sucks to be them. ^_~


Just a final thought, from Ausitn bay in Iraq:

The Bush Administration has yet to ask the American people –correction, has yet to demand of the American people– the sustained, shared sacrifice it takes to win this long, intricate war of bullets, ballots, and bricks.

That's my beef.


You can link all you want to any speech you want but it makes no difference. Americans know what they were told.

Makes no difference, huh? So I guess "Bush Lied, the Plastic Turkey Died, and Dick Cheney is going to steal Grandma's Social Security Check and give it to Halliburton". Because it doesn't matter what the facts are: GT is Reality-Based!!!

PS. for Filou on the "sacrifice" bit: Wrong again!

Towering Barbarian

Your assertion that "A majority of Americans think Bush misled them. And the number is likely to grow." is interesting if true but saying it doesn't make it so. Given that America reelected Mr. Bush without ambiguity do you have any *reason* for claiming to know how the "majority of Americans" feel or are you merely consulting the multiple voices inside your own head?


There was an election last November. Do you remember? Puts polling to shame, has results that matter. Denial is not a river in Egypt. Repeat your opinions until you're blue in the face--maybe you'll pass out and wake up in reality.

We all "know" the world would be a better place if Saddam Hussein were still butchering the people of Iraq. As an apparent champion of Saddam, your diatibe against Bush allows a distraction from Saddam's atrocities, but how do you sleep at night defending a man--Saddam--who sanctioned rape as a regular practice of his police state regime?


saveferris, from the speech you linked to:

We've also discovered through intelligence that Iraq has a growing fleet of manned and unmanned aerial vehicles that could be used to disperse chemical or biological weapons across broad areas. We're concerned that Iraq is exploring ways of using these UAVS for missions targeting the United States.

ROTFLMAO. What a vast chasm separates us... the chasm of "who you gonna believe.. me or your lyin' eyes?"


That's why support for Bush and his handling of the war has dropped so much. And why a majority think Bush misled them...

Well, is reality now established by poll results? What happened when those polls showed that 3/4 of Americans thought Saddam directed the 9/11 attacks - did that make it true?

Now, after the fact I will Bravely Admit that Bush did not come up aces with the post-war planning, and I (strongly) suspect that a majority of the public is unhappy with the way the war is going.

And I suppose some fraction of the population, when asked to choose between (a) were you actualy daft enough to support this misadventure; or (b) do you suppose the salesman misled you into backing a lemon, will choose (b). Pride and Ego Up!

Put anoher way, I very seriously doubt that a majority of poll respondents today would be saying that Bush deliberately lied about WMDs and misled us into war if the war effort was a clear success.

SO, unless the historical reality of 2002 is somehow contingent upon actual events in 2005, I am not sure why citing current polls answers the question of whether Bush lied in 2002.

That said, it does highlight an obvious political problem for the Reps. Of course, the answer is obvious, too - win the war.

creepy dude

What war is that TM-the one we already won? Bush did declare major combat operations over long ago on that aircraft carrier. "Mission accomplished" and all that. Or is that no longer operative?

Paul Zrimsek

Depends on whether or not "mission" and "war" being two different words is no longer operative.

creepy dude

Ah forget it TM-I don't mean to be a little pissant since your the only right leaning guy who will tolerate my presence. And since Delay won't return my calls....

creepy dude

Whereas you Paul Z will drink my pissant daiquiri.

So does "major combat operations" still mean "major combat operations"? If it does was Operation Matdor a "major combat operations," cause like those are so 2003.

Paul Zrimsek

The mission was accomplished. There were more missions to come. Wars are like that. Pissant.


"Well, is reality now established by poll results? What happened when those polls showed that 3/4 of Americans thought Saddam directed the 9/11 attacks - did that make it true?"

Er, of course that the reality of public opinion is established by poll results. How else would you measure it?

You can argue that they are wrong but it doesn't change the fact that that's what they think. It was a reality that many Americans thought Saddam was behind 9/11. They werer wrong but they believed that.

Today it's a reality that Americans think Bush misled them and they are getting fed up with the war and Bush's (mis)handling of it. You can argue they are wrong but that is what they believe.


ms. schiavo's brain was half the normal size they say. of course, i don't suppose the fact that she died of dehydration contributed to that. or did it? is there a doctor in the house?


I don't even think its lying neccessarily, incompetence on both ends (case for war and post-war planning). Just of an unheralded magnitude. Incompetence + Arrogance = recipe for disaster. I don't know how you put that into a catch phrase though.

Atrios commented today that everyone in the administration might have had their own pet reason for going to war. And hence, no unified objective. Hence no particular peice of evidence mattered -- and well, look at whats happened since. These results look like no unified objective either.


Well gt is one smart guy. He knows what the public thinks because polling is infallible--except when those polled are themselves fallible. And, he knows when the public is correct--just ask him, he'll tell you.

Powerful argument. I'm swayed. Discussion over. The end.



<3 I thought that was saggy boobs.

Jim Rockford

The Memo is really, just more evidence of the huge political difference between the Left (including the Blair government) and Bush.

The Memo's author wanted to threaten Saddam into compliance on WMD inspections, and therefore massive amounts of troops on the border ready to invade. Basically a ramp-up of Clinton's Operation Desert Fox bombing campaign of 1998-99 to force compliance (which never happened). Politically the goal was to threaten use of force but NEVER USE IT.

Bush made the political decision that if force was assembled it would be used not just threatened. Politically this inevitable post 9/11; no longer would we just have a few impotent missile and bomb strikes but actively use force when assembled.

The Memo further worries about Saddam using WMDs on Brit/Coalition troops and Israel (to create a regional war). Which suggests that even the opponents of military action felt that Saddam had WMD capability. There is no serious discussion or even reference to Saddam NOT having WMDs. It's assumed by the memo's author (opponent of any use of force) that Saddam did have it.

What totally undercuts the memo's internal logic is the acknowledgement that Saddam will only act when the use of overwhelming military force to overthrow him is a realistic threat, bombing strikes and the like or sanctions will not force compliance on inspections or other behaviours. Therefore the goal of assembling a force with no real intention to use it (hundreds of thousands of trooops on Iraq's borders) is contradictory; if Saddam believed the force was not serious even those troops would have no effect. The policy and physical ordering of troops "gyrations" needed to make Saddam do what Bush and Blair wanted (let inspectors in, stop being hostile to the US and UK) were essentially impossible. Making Bush's "use it or lose it" political decision rather wise.


Nelson report says mentioning the word impeachment is no longer the sole province of the looney left (via TPM)


Freedom Fries are going to be renamed to French Fries. Republicans talking pullout


3 and a half more years of comedy --- seriously, a Kerry administration would not nearly have been as beneficial to my pocketbook -- but more importantly, they would not provide me nearly the same entertainment value.

Only 39 percent approve of his handling of the economy.
Only 39 percent approve of his handling of foreign policy.
Only 37 percent approve of his handling of the war in Iraq.
Only 25 percent approve of his handling of Social Security.
Only the campaign against terrorism gets the approval of more than half those questioned.



Yes, Jor, you are spot on. The world is falling apart for Republicans. Things couldn't be worse. The last month has just about killed the GOP. Or as Gerry Daly noted from the Fox?Opinion Dynamics Poll:

"President Bush’s net favorable rating, +10%, is virtually unchanged from this survey’s last iteration in April, a point which suggests that the composition of the sample has not changed much from then. However, two prominent Democrats have seen their’s change markedly. Hillary Clinton’s improved from +2% all the way to +15%; 5% more voters look at her favorably than before, and 8% fewer look at her unfavorably. In comparison, Howard Dean’s has plummeted, falling from +1% to -18%."

Or did I misinterpret something here?



1. "3 and a half more years of comedy --- seriously, a Kerry administration would not nearly have been as beneficial to my pocketbook -- but more importantly, they would not provide me nearly the same entertainment value."

Are you joking? Kerry isn't even President and he's still offering loads of entertainment over his SF-180.

I bet we're still be talking about what's really in Kerry's records in 2007.

2. "www.cbsnews.com"

Because CBS news is so .... so... **accurate**. Wow. Too bad that CBS has yet to publish a worthwhile, or credible, poll since CBS is notorious for bizzare weighting of it's polls.

But you go ahead and continue believing CBS.


Ed, as someone who has personally gone down the poll is weighted wrong path myself, I can tell you, its more likely *you* are wrong. Before the '04 election, although most polls showed Bush with a slim non-statistically significant lead, some people had convinced themselves that the likely-voter screen was systemetically lowering the # of democrats. I'll let you decide who was right there.

CBS opinion poll criteria, straight from their website

We make sure that our final figures match U.S. Census Bureau breakdowns on age, sex, race, education, and region of the country. We also “weight” to adjust for the fact that people who share a phone with others have less chance to be contacted than people who live alone and have their own phones, and that households with more than one telephone number have more chances to be called than households with only one phone number.

No weighting on political party at all. It's not gonna tell you about the opinion of voters, but it will give you the opinion of the country.


ToL, Bush's net approval rating is +6% with a 9% I don't know from the latest Fox poll. ITs under 50% at 48%. The difference between the Fox and CBS poll is that Fox is only calling registered voters -- CBS is calling everyone (including half of the country that doesnt vote).

Paul Zrimsek

Ed, let's not say anything to upset this comfy modus vivendi we've got going: we let them win all the mock elections, they let us win all the real ones.


Approval vs. Favorability. Favorability comes in 52%-42% (+10).

Yes, it looks as if -- comparing polls that unregistered voters are unhappier with Bush than voters. So? From a political perspective that is unhelpful to those who would seek via elections.

This is no aberration, incidentally. CBS polls consistently show President Bush's approval ratings lower that other (more respected) national polls. Again, as poll-master Daly notes:

"Over the 36 2004 Gallup surveys listed on Polling Report, President Bush scored an average 51% approval rating. Over the 19 2004 CBS/NYT surveys, his average job approval rating was 47%."

If Democrats wish to see the CBS poll as good news, that's their prerogative. They will, of course, be lulled into a false sense of security, just as they were last year. If I recall correctly, the year-long Gallup average almost perfectly reflected the President's vote percentage.


Tol, here are a bunch of polls,
You pick the outlier.

M. Simon


I blame Clinton for misleading Bush about WMDs.

If Clinton would have only told the "truth" Bush would not have felt he had any support on the left.

M. Simon


Democracy movements breaking out all over the world (including judges in Egypt) is certainly no evidence of a unified plan.

You see the democracy dominoes (totally derrided by the anti-war folks) falling around the world in accordance with Bush's speeches and of course that proves there was no plan and it didn't work.

BTW the Egyptian judges say they have to take advantage of the opportunity Bush has provided them. Proving there was no plan and it didn't work.

Now tactically I have to admit we are having some trouble in Iraq. That is not the same as strategic failure.

And why would we be having so much tactical trouble in Iraq? Because our enemies are feeling the heat of our strategic success and are fighting hard to convince folks like you that cut and run is the best option. Our enemies have learned the lessons of 'Nam.

Me? I am with the purple fingers. I'm against leaving Iraq until the purple fingers can hold their own.


So much nonsense, so little time. I'll select just a few choice examples.

"the trail has already been explored by more than one committee of Congress and at least one commission, all in a bipartisan methodical manner ... the 9/11ers weren't allowed to investigate the Executive Branch? What planet have you been on during the past year?"

No. The Senate report "does not examine how Bush and his senior aides handled and represented the flawed intelligence. Senator Pat Roberts, the Republican chairman of the committee, has delayed that portion of the investigation and other aspects of the inquiry (including the role played by Ahmad Chalabi's Iraqi National Congress and the controversial actions of the office of Douglas Feith, the undersecretary of defense for policy). The results of the committee's work on these fronts are not expected to appear until next year--that is, after the election." (link) (PS: that work is still stalled.)

"Of course, the US had a plan"

Dearlove didn't just say we had a plan. He said "Military action was now seen as inevitable." That goes way beyond just having "a plan."

"At every turn, Bush has made carful mention of how this will take time and will not come easily or all at once."

You must have missed these choice comments: "[The war] could last six days, six weeks. I doubt six months ... We will, in fact, be greeted as liberators. . . . I think it will go relatively quickly... (in) weeks rather than months." (link)

Lots of folks are saying (paraphrase) "what's the big deal, we all knew the invasion was inevitable." Trouble is, that's not what Bush was telling us. He made repeated public statements contrary to this. It's not the sex, it's the lying.

I think what is particularly important and often overlooked about the UK memos is how they show that the focus was on finding justifications and excuses for the war, rather than how to avert it.

"There had to be a strategy for building support for military action against Saddam. I then went through the need to wrongfoot Saddam on the inspectors" (pdf). "Renwed refused [sic] by Saddam to accept unfettered inspections would be a powerful argument" (pdf). " ... little thought has been given to creating the political conditions for military action ... the need to set military plans within a realistic political strategy ... includes ... creating the conditions necessary to justify government military action, which might include an ultimatum for the return of UN weapons inspectors to Iraq ... it is necessary to create the conditions in which we could legally support military action ... It is just possible that an ultimatum could be cast in terms which Saddam would reject (because he is unwilling to accept unfettered access) and which would not be regarded as unreasonable by the international community. However, failing that (or an Iraqi attack) we would be most unlikely to achieve a legal base for military action by January 2003." (link)

In other words, the goal wasn't disarmament. The goal was "building support for military action against Saddam." The assumption was that Saddam would never cooperate with the UN, and this would help the US build the moral and legal justification for war. Trouble is, Saddam did cooperate with the UN. That's why Bush was in such a hurry to chase the UN out of Iraq. The longer they stayed, the clearer it would have become that the US strategy to "wrongfoot Saddam on the inspectors" had failed.

Bush was determined to have a war. He went to the UN not to avert war, but to "wrongfoot" Saddam and try to gain an excuse for war (pdf). Saddam surprised and foiled Bush by cooperating with the UN. That's why Bush had to pull the plug on Blix.



"We were told we had to go to war when and how we did because of an imminent threat to the United States from Iraq's chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons programs. What has become clear is that no one on the prosecuting end actually believed that-- that a threat was imminent."

Just because the left keeps repeating this does not make it true. In fact Bush's direct point was that we could not wait UNTIL the threat became imminent. Stop trying to rewrite history with lies.


"Bush's direct point was that we could not wait UNTIL the threat became imminent."

I think there are examples of both kinds of statements by Bush (it's imminent/we can't afford to wait until it's imminent). Is that logical? No. But why would you expect it to be?

Example: "Iraq could decide on any given day to provide a biological or chemical weapon to a terrorist group or individual terrorists."

"Any given day" sure sounds like a close approximation of "imminent."

Keep moving those goalposts

""Any given day" sure sounds like a close approximation of "imminent.""

Close approximation.

Meaning, 'not the same as'.

Clutching at any straws.



"No weighting on political party at all. It's not gonna tell you about the opinion of voters, but it will give you the opinion of the country."

Then you should actually read their polls directly. They weight those things very pro-Democrat.


The intelligence matter is the oddest set of mobius logic.

The intelligence community had looked at Iraq for over a decade and had made certain assumptions. Many of these assumptions were proven wrong by the Iraqi Survey Group under David Kay, who said we we're "all wrong". Kay even cited specific analysts who when confronted with the facts on the ground exclaimed "I never thought of it that way." Unknown to many, there was a commission to examine the specifically the intelligence community. It found while analysts were challenged, and perhaps some minor details were changed, the underlining assumptions and conclusions drawn never changed or were changed to suit the Administration (i.e. no "fix"ing). The bread crumbs vanish.

Some say that Bush lied about these facts. The Washington Post and NY Times said they didn't challenge the facts more.

Meanwhile back in another part of Washington DC, a member of the Bush Administration has the gall to challenge an analyst at the State Department, and damn, his management style is called into question and his nomination as UN ambassador is held up. Heaven forbid that the analysts perhaps "never thought of it that way." Seems pretty obvious that even the some on Capitol Hill don't want analysts challenged. It has been this precise behavior that lead to the use of "incorrect" information that had Bush, and previously Clinton, using (not falsifying) bad intelligence.

As a simple personal example, imagine that some part of everything in your Social Studies book in high school was wrong. When you speak of these matters, are you lying ? Maybe you are.



"... a member of the Bush Administration has the gall to challenge an analyst at the State Department ..."

It's a funny world isn't it?

You know, all kidding and politics aside, I really don't understand the intent behind all this. By putting more and more attention on this fluff, which IMHO it really is, the Democrats take attention off domestic issues. For the past dozen, or more, election cycles it's been proven that Democrats cannot win on foreign policy issues, but they can win on domestic issues if they don't go off the deep end.

So what really is the intent here because it doesn't make a lot of sense to me.


"a member of the Bush Administration has the gall to challenge an analyst at the State Department"

Interesting that you would mention Bolton. It's one thing to be skeptical of what an analyst says, and to ask the analyst to offer proof to back up their assertions. It's something entirely different to attempt to punish an analyst for refusing to reach the conclusion you told them you're interested in hearing. If you can't understand the difference, that's your problem.

Thanks to lots of news about Bolton, we now have a glimmer of understanding of how political appointees (like Bolton) pressure career intelligence analysts and officials to make sure that they only say what the big boss wants to hear. And that's exactly how we ended up with a highly-flawed NIE that was so much at odds with the underlying intelligence.


By the way, Bolton is one of the folks who signed the 1998 PNAC letter urging Clinton to take military action against Iraq. This is a clue to the role Bolton probably played in making sure Bush got exactly the NIE he was looking for. Especially now that we see more clearly than ever that Bush's goal was not to avert war, but rather to create excuses for it (link).



"It's something entirely different to attempt to punish an analyst for refusing to reach the conclusion you told them you're interested in hearing."

Prove it. Prove that was what Bolton did. Because all that came out during the confirmation hearings was that the analyst acted extremely unprofessionally.

So here you go, a prime opportunity to prove an assertion.

And please, nothing from Slate or MediaMatters ok?


"Prove that was what Bolton did."

I've clearly demonstrated that you have a track record of making a false statement and then refusing to be held accountable. You're a waste of time, in other words. (I'm referring to a statement you made here, at 6/13, 9:27 am. See my comment at 6/13, 1:11 pm.)

So if you can't figure this one out on your own, that's your problem.


Just getting around to reading Dana Milbank's take on the Dem's impeachment plan and found this passage most interesting:

"The session took an awkward turn when witness Ray McGovern, a former intelligence analyst, declared that the United States went to war in Iraq for oil, Israel and military bases craved by administration "neocons" so 'the United States and Israel could dominate that part of the world.' He said that Israel should not be considered an ally and that Bush was doing the bidding of Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.

"'Israel is not allowed to be brought up in polite conversation,' McGovern said. 'The last time I did this, the previous director of Central Intelligence called me anti-Semitic.'

"Rep. James P. Moran Jr. (D-Va.), who prompted the question by wondering whether the true war motive was Iraq's threat to Israel, thanked McGovern for his 'candid answer.'"

That about says all you need to know about the continuing slide of the Democratic Party. I think Moran and the rest of the anti-Semites looking to rid the nation of the damned "neocons" are going to have a tough time convincing anyone outside of their loopy little group that all of this isn't insane. "Impeach Bush: Damned tool of the Zionists!" Is there no one in that party who has any sense anymore?


entirely different to attempt to punish an analyst

With all the bad analysis on WMD exactly how many got demoted or fired ?

The only WMD analyst I know of that lost her position was Ms. Palme. One is left to wonder if perhaps Robert Novak really did us all a bigger favour than is really known, and whether if he could have done it even sooner something might have been better.


Simon, I suggest then, that you go enlist and make sure we win. My friend who got fucked by not reading the fine print recently got shipped back for another year cause apparently no one wants to enlist in the army anymore. He isn't too thrilled to be going back. In terms of plans -- since conservatives do like free markets, my only question would be, what investor would invest in a company without a plan?

ToL, I commented on another thread, that since no one can come up with a reason for the war, the best understanding is everyone had their own pet reason -- Israel's defense being one pet reason out of the dozen or so being floated around. Oil another. You can include democracy, terrorism, etc. on that list too. But it seems plausible that the reason we have no idea wtf we are doing in Iraq is because many of the senior members had their own ideas about why we are going there.

Besides that, I don't think you want to get into a contest of find the stupidest thing a high-ranking republican or democrat official has said. I could spout some great lines by republican senators easily. You are talking about one guy, at one committee meeting. That's an indictment if i ever saw one.


"With all the bad analysis on WMD exactly how many got demoted or fired?"

Consider this: "Two Army analysts whose work has been cited as part of a key intelligence failure on Iraq -- the claim that aluminum tubes sought by the Baghdad government were most likely meant for a nuclear weapons program rather than for rockets -- have received job performance awards in each of the past three years, officials said." (link)

Get a clue: in this administration, "bad analysis" is defined as "analysis that doesn't serve the big guy's political needs." Have you forgotten that George "slam-dunk" Tenet was handed a medal? That's not despite the fact he said "slam-dunk." It's because he said it.

The comments to this entry are closed.