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August 17, 2005

Comments

Cecil Turner

"What a shame that Butler couldn't manage to offer any meaningful evidence to back up what they said. . . . How odd, unless such proof never existed."

Yeah, who we gonna believe? Some independent commission empaneled to investigate intelligence failures, or brilliant logical analyses like this one? It's a conundrum.

"So suggesting that SSCI ever "concluded" its work is a bit misleading."

Suggesting they never came up with any "conclusions" is more misleading. As is pretending the exact opposite of what they concluded is the only logical conclusion.

jukeboxgrad

CECIL: "who we gonna believe? Some independent commission empaneled to investigate intelligence failures"

I realize you think independent commissions are a great idea (Butler, SSCI), except when you don't (9/11). Anyway, there are lots of problems with Butler (link), but those problems are probably not evident to someone whose MO is to ignore facts (examples available upon request) that don't conform to your preconceived notions.

jukeboxgrad

SYL: "How do you explain that on 9/13/01 78% of Americans believed Saddam had something to do with 9/11?"

There are mixed signals on this. It's true that "On Sept. 13, 2001, a Time/CNN poll found that 78 percent suspected Hussein's involvement" (link). On the other hand, "Polling data show that right after Sept. 11, 2001, when Americans were asked open-ended questions about who was behind the attacks, only 3 percent mentioned Iraq or Hussein" (link).

I think it's true that folks were already suspicious of Saddam. I never claimed otherwise. But this is a separate matter from the question of whether Bush et al made an effort to further encourage this belief, post 9/11. There's no question they did.

"You're spouting a LIE."

My claim is that Bush et al made many statements to encourage the belief that Saddam was behind 9/11. This isn't a lie; it's a fact, and I've shown proof. The lie is statements such as this, from Boris: "A majority believed Saddam was involved in 911 after it happened despite official statements that there was no direct evidence." It's probably true that "a majority believed Saddam was involved." It's also true that there were certain "official statements" admitting "there was no direct evidence." However, it's highly misleading to suggest that Bush et al did not make many statements encouraging people to see a connection. Bush et al did indeed make many such statements, even though the proof was weak or nonexistent, and even though at the same time various links to Bush's Saudi pals were being swept under the rug.

Syl

It's almost hilarious. People such as Edy had it made...their version of reality was unquestioned. Along comes Foxnews, the blogs, and 9/11.

Now their reality IS being questioned and the world as it IS is being dealt with, not the world they THOUGHT it was.

"NO! NO! NO!", they cry. "It's all propaganda!". "You're lying!". "I feel uncomfortable and it's all YOUR fault!"

It's really about time that some people grow up.

jukeboxgrad

BORIS: "phony forwarned fake inspections"

Nice job repeating yourself and ignoring the question. Let us know about anyone who seriously disputed Blix when he made this statement: "access has been provided to all sites we have wanted to inspect." Also let us know if you're in a position to show an iota of proof that Blix was performing "phony forwarned fake inspections."

Your repeating the words "Oil for Food" as if it's some kind of mantra doesn't address what I've asked.

By the way, since you're excited about OFF, let us know how you feel about the fact that "U.S. imports financed about 52 percent of the illegal surcharges paid to the Hussein regime" (pdf). More on this here, here, here and here. Then again, I guess this kind of hypocrisy is an old story.

Syl

JBG

Not. Good. Enough.

In fact the per cent of people when asked the same question in the Fall of '03 was LOWER.

So much for your crap theory.

boris

However, it's highly misleading to suggest that Bush et al did not make many statements encouraging people to see a connection.

It's a free country and you can infer whatever you want from whatever you want. As a member of the public I did not see it. Since you seem to be part of the "Bush Lied" agenda, I can see why you want to infer whatever it is you want to infer.

Connections ??? Salman Pak ... airliner hulk, bus hulk, train cars ...

Dot connected.

Cecil Turner

"I realize you think independent commissions are a great idea (Butler, SSCI), except when you don't (9/11). Anyway, there are lots of problems with Butler (link), but those problems are probably not evident to someone whose MO is to ignore facts (examples available upon request) that don't conform to your preconceived notions."

Hmm, don't recall badmouthing the 9/11 Commission (and in fact quote them regularly . . . probably just not the same parts you do). And at the very least, these reports provide a somewhat independent (or at least not completely biased) perspective . . . something you can't claim about that "leftcoaster" link. Rather than proffer "free republic" source material to counter, I find them useful as jumping-off points. In any event, claiming they must be lying because they didn't provide enough detail about confidential sources is not persuasive. (Nor are comments like: "How odd, unless such proof never existed.") And if the only versions you'll accept are written by the DNC (or have "left" in their site name), I think that speaks more to your preconceived notions than mine.

jukeboxgrad

SYL: "So much for your crap theory"

There's no other way to say it: you're a jerk.

Bush et al made many statements claiming ties between Saddam and al-Qaeda, despite a distinct absence of evidence, and this encouraged the belief that Saddam was behind 9/11. I've said this before and I'm saying it again, and I provided proof. You've said nothing to refute this, and instead are trying to change the subject to support your phony claim, based on nothing, that I'm "spouting a LIE."

Then again, you have a pretty good idea of how to go about "spouting a LIE," since you're the ignoramus who said "Halliburton makes a profit of only a few million a year." You're only off by at least two orders of magnitude, yet you lacked the intellectual integrity to acknowledge your error after I pointed it out. As I said, you're a jerk.

jukeboxgrad
jukeboxgrad

CECIL: "don't recall badmouthing the 9/11 Commission"

If that's the case, then it's my mistake. To some extent I was saying "you" collectively, and to some extent I was just making an assumption.

"something you can't claim about that 'leftcoaster' link"

Let me know your basis for suggesting that Butler is more independent or less biased than leftcoaster. Aside from that, I value facts and reason, regardless of the source. I offered the leftcoaster link because I'm impressed by the facts and reason in the article I cited, not because I find the word "left" comforting or impressive. On the other hand, if it's your practice to reflexively dismiss facts and reason simply because the source doesn't fit some template you have in mind, that's your problem.

"claiming they must be lying because they didn't provide enough detail about confidential sources is not persuasive"

As usual, you're distorting the situation by talking about "enough detail." Butler offered no detail whatsoever. This despite the fact that there are many ways to offer some details while still protecting "confidential sources." SSCI, for example, is full of all sorts of details, offered in this manner. So hiding behind the idea of protecting "confidential sources" is "not persuasive." Especially now that it's years later, and we still have heard nothing resembling proof. Beyond a certain point, "trust me" isn't good enough.

By the way, I didn't claim "they must be lying." I said they're expecting us to believe something even though they've provided no proof, and I find this "not persuasive." This is not quite the same thing as claiming "they must be lying."

"if the only versions you'll accept are written by the DNC"

I welcome persuasive facts wherever I can find them. If you can demonstrate otherwise, you should. Otherwise, your remark is gratuitous, like so many other things you say.

kim

Etienne: Read Claudia Rosett about the Oil-for-Food scandal and you'll understand the link to WMD in Iraq. Possession of WMD, to back up his boast, was Saddam's goal. Oil-for-Food was the road to it.

And you've helped me understand why the Democratic Party is utterly bereft of populist appeal, lately.
================================================

boris

obvious enough that many people were taken in by Bush's lies on this point

Except that they held this notion on Sept 12 before the insidious lies that said just the opposite were ever spoken.

Now that's real lying folks. Get 'em to believe the opposite of what you actually say even before you say it. Even BJ the magnificent couldn't pull that one out of his pants!

Etienne

It's almost hilarious. People such as Edy had it made...their version of reality was unquestioned. Along comes Foxnews, the blogs, and 9/11.

Now their reality IS being questioned and the world as it IS is being dealt with, not the world they THOUGHT it was.

So you're saying Fox news represents "thw world as it IS"? Man, have I got a bridge you should buy. Fox News is hardcore propaganda, of a very skillful degree. But it IS incredibly interesting that you combine it with "blogs and 9/11"...9/11??? You didn't really mean that, did you? You are equating a great national tragedy, a great tragedy in MY city to your side getting their propaganda "catapulted" (as per bushie boy). Do you reallize what you just did? The very thing Fox does - conflates our reality with their political agenda. And as this is such a disgusting political exploitation, truly revolting, shameless ... you have all the evidence you need to understand why New Yorkers loathe and despise the Republican party. At least as it is represented by the redneck yahoos who have it by the throat.

That was one of the most inadvertantly honest remarks I've read on here yet. The unabashed GLEE that the redneck Repubs take in a tragedy that was nothing but reality tv ffor them to watch on their fat lardasses was the perfect setup for the war that their elitist brethren got to create at no cost to themselves, indeed at a tidy profit.

kim, you may go on in your strange little bubble thinking the Dems have no populist appeal, but I'm pretty sure you're writing from one of those ultrared hotspots. Try and remember there's a couple of billion of God's creatures who are fortunate to live elsewhere, and your xenophobic "realities" may be no more real to you than 9/11 was.

Hubirs, kiddies.You guys are reeking with it.

Etienne

Hubris. Obviously.

Cecil Turner

"Let me know your basis for suggesting that Butler is more independent or less biased than leftcoaster."

The Butler Commission members appear qualified, with varied political backgrounds, the results seem pretty balanced (uranium from Africa was one of the few points they substantiated), and the Brits seem to accept it. (After a nasty "row" over the "sexed up" dossier issue, which got heated after the David Kelly suicide). As to "leftcoaster," he titles the post "Treasongate (Part V)," refers to "Bushies," and virtually every story on the the main page is critical or unflattering toward the Administration. Choosing the least biased . . . I didn't find it a tough call.

"By the way, I didn't claim "they must be lying." I said they're expecting us to believe something even though they've provided no proof, and I find this "not persuasive." This is not quite the same thing as claiming "they must be lying.""

JBG, they're telling us they have the information, describe the sources in broad terms, and then claim it's "well founded." ISTM your "unless such proof never existed" theory is incompatible with them telling the truth. (And your leftcoaster link is explicit on the point.)

"I welcome persuasive facts wherever I can find them. If you can demonstrate otherwise, you should. Otherwise, your remark is gratuitous, like so many other things you say."

If you honestly believe leftcoaster is less biased than Butler, you're remarkably consistent. Obviously I don't agree. (And I'm sure you'll view that remark as "gratuitous"--feel free.)

Syl

JBG

Don't tell me I didn't give proof. The percentage of people believing Saddam had something to do with 9/11 went DOWN.

So your claim that Bush made people believe in the connection is a LIE.

And what's this? You're moving the goalposts? Typical...we were talking about Saddam and 9/11 and you bring up Saddam and al Qaeda! Well, I have news for you, all through the late nineties the news including the NYTimes were writing about Saddam's relationship with bin laden.

Now...use your wee little brain and think. Why would 78% of the public think Saddam had something to do with 9/11 unless we had been told for YEARS that Saddam was a threat and a bad guy and was friendly with bin laden.

This is what pea brains are doing: Tossing information from the Clinton era re bin laden and Saddam down the memory hole so that when people think there might be some connection they can blame it on Bush.

This is beyond dishonest.

And I KNOW you can use google. You're just too lazy to google anything that might refute you!

Proof of your LIE

Syl

JBG

And re Halliburton, I think it was 2003 that Halliburton made a profit of 23 million bucks. I remember I was surprised. You can google that too.

Seven Machos

Edy -- If you don't like Republicans, vote against them. If you don't like FOX News, don't watch it.

I'm going to assume that you don't wish to outlaw Republicans or Fox News. Therefore, you must hope to change people's minds. Do you really think that when you come here and call the people you disagree with some weird combination of elitist, suckers for propaganda, redneck, and barbaric, that you are going to change anyone's mind?

Syl

Etienne

You are making a sad mistake. 9/11 as an event showed us how dangerous these people are! There's nothing whatsoever political about that fact.

Take your fake outrage and put it to some good use!

Instead of spending all your free time bashing Bush and the Republicans, why don't you spend some time learning about Islamism? Follow some of the blogs that report news from around the world.

The BIG problem you have in doing so is that it's mostly the righty blogs who are interested in gathering that information. The lefty ones cannot be bothered. They're too busy whining because they're not in power. Anyway, war is icky and they want no part of it.

And another piece of news. I'm a lifelong Democrat. I've lived in 8 states, 7 of them BLUE, including Manhattan for ten years! Last November was the first time EVER I voted Republican.

And, because of the stupid Bush bashing sideshow the Democrats have wallowed in, I doubt I'll vote Democrat again for the foreseeable future.

So, go get yourself a clue. It might even save your life.

Syl

JBG

"The administration has succeeded in creating a sense that there is some connection [between Sept. 11 and Saddam Hussein]"

Your quote from the CSM article. Well, DOH, they ignored the poll data too. Can't blame them so much because, of course, a data item like that wasn't touted at all.

The most egregious use of that lie was Dana Milbank. He wrote the same thing in a WaPo piece when a later poll came out. He had NO EXCUSES since the poll data was from HIS OWN paper. And my link shows it.

kim

Etienne: Name me one populist plank in the Democratic Party and I'll show you how liberal PC elitism has destroyed its appeal to the people. Were you to see hoi polloi you'd recoil in horror. You already have and you've only imagined them.

You only further display your ignorance by equating the South with Red Statism. You are so polarized you are parochial.
==================================================

Etienne

Syl, if you needed 9/11 to show you that Islamic fundamentalism was dangerous, you WERE living in a bubble. 9/11 was, as much as anything, the fruit of American indifference to terrorism, failure to protect its people. The issue of how to addresss this threat existed BEFORE 9/11 and guess what, exists unabated today! All that has changed is that our one party rule has drawn us into a war that will end up both bankrupting and humiliating us as a nation, while using the shameless profiteering of a "war presidency" to accrue power and wealth unto its elitists. Try and peddle your story on the streets of NY. I doubt you will find any takers. And you DAMN well better not accuse any of us of having FAKE outrage. This whole thing feels like having a politician run for office and rob us blind over our own family's dead bodies. We are sickened by the Republican party, especially that death cult that partied with purple bandaids at the RNC last summer.

There is no consistency in the repub position. The US didn't do enough to tighten its intelligence and protect its cities, so the response has been to throw ALL our resources into an overseas war, while keeping the intelligence business an insider's gang of Bush loyalists and using our resources to create a NEW Islamic state friendly to Iran. It's pure nonsense. In this they have been aided and abetted by corporate media control that even Orwell could not have imagined - tax cuts for billionaires are populist, not believing propaganda is delusional, an insurgency that kills more Americans every month is in its last throes, creating an Islamic state is "freedom on the march". And they have laid a most ingenious groundwork - TEACHING their followers that anything in the "msm" is illegitimate, everything they hear from their propaganda arm is absolute truth, and any criticism of the president is ignorance and treason (Thomas Jefferson and those other revolutionaries must be rolling in their graves).

Your contention that you only voted Repub because of Bush bashing and were a "lifelong Dem" is a nonsensical, but common, apology for your subjecting yourself to this unAmerican one party rule. You were not turned off by that 700 million witchhunt into Clinton's private life, ten times the cost of the 9/11 investigations, and all the other asinine assaults on him by your hate radio kings and party leaders ? That was cool with you?

I myself had NO party affiliation all my life, have voted every which way, preferring to assess each candidate as an individual. I like Mike Bloomberg just fine and I'll vote for him again. But what turned me so strongly against these Repubs is very simple - the REVOLTING exploitation of 9/11 for party gain (still being peddled by Rove and now quite a national joke, if you haven't noticed, how 9/11 is like "abracadabra" for the Repubs), the politicized intelligence and arrogant LIES they used to draw our kids into this war they started planning for in Oct. 2001(when we could still SMELL the towers, they weren't after bin Laden, or terrorists, but the boogey boy THEY personally had armed and funded -Hussein and his oil), their incessant personal smearing of all opposition without a glimmer of shame, and the nature of their followers - mindless king worshippers, bigots, homophobes, anti-Christians, corporate thieves, and the like.

It isn't about Bush. He was never anything more than a figurehead. Why they wanted a figurehead who walks like he has a load in his diapers and speaks like a frightened fourth grader with a speech impediment I don't know, and yes, it is infuriating to see our nation represented by such a disgraceful incompetent. But he is going soon. It's not about him.

I don't know what kim means by populism. Is that the way Repubs have tricked people into voting for them by flattering them for their gun violence, homophobia and religious bigotry? You're right. The Dems don't have any planks like that.

You know what would be populist? A campaign to GUARANTEE the integrity and transparency of our voting system - no machines owned and operated by unaccountable private companies, no copyrighted voting machine code, a verifiable paper trail, no party leaders overseeing state elections and so forth. I haven't seen ONE Republican come forward to advocate that most populist aspect of the democracy they pretend to love so much. It's kind of like loving Christ and hating everything he taught - a cognitive dissonance that bothers the sycophants not at all. If we are going to be able to vote these thieves out, is it too much to ask that we be given honest machines to vote on? Not machines we should trust blindly, but machines we can PROVE are honest. Isn't it funny no Repub democracy "defenders" are asking for that? NONE.

kim

Oh yes, a paper trail of verifiable voters. Bring it on.

You didn't rise to my challenge to provide a populist plank for the Dems for me to crowbar. Can you think of one?

You've also edified me about your idea of populism. It's Guns, God, and No Gays. How about believing you can defend yourself and your community? No wonder they don't just vote their pocket in Kansas.
===================================================

jukeboxgrad

BORIS: "Except that they held this notion on Sept 12 before the insidious lies that said just the opposite were ever spoken."

You're referring to "the insidious lies that said just the opposite." You seem to be suggesting that Bush et al told us that Saddam had nothing to do with 9/11 (after all, this would be "just the opposite").

We'll be waiting patiently for an example. By the way, "we have no evidence that Saddam Hussein was involved with the 11 September attack," and similar statements, is not an example of what you claim: "just the opposite." After all, these are the same folks who were quick to remind us that the absence of evidence was not evidence of absence. "Just the opposite" would be a statement such as "we are certain that Saddam had nothing to do with 9/11." As I said, we'll we waiting patiently for an example. Either that, or you can admit that you're attempting to redefine simple English words (like "opposite").

jukeboxgrad

CECIL: "varied political backgrounds"

This is very much in the eye of the beholder. When most of the people in a group are called "Sir" and "Lord" I'm not sure how "varied" that is.

"uranium from Africa was one of the few points they substantiated"

Only if you define "substantiated" as "making a claim backed by no visible evidence." More novel definitions from Cecil's personal dictionary.

"virtually every story on the the main page is critical or unflattering toward the Administration"

Well that settles it, then, obviously there couldn't possibly be any useful information in a place like that. Nice job making it clear exactly how doctrinaire you are.

jukeboxgrad

SYL: "The percentage of people believing Saddam had something to do with 9/11 went DOWN."

That depends on what survey you look at. Anyway, it only shows that certain people had enough sense to not believe everything Bush said. The fact remains that Bush et al repeatedly claimed that Saddam and al-Qaeda had ties. I think this was meant to convey the idea, and did successfully convey the idea, that Saddam was behind 9/11.

I don't deny, and I never denied, that lots of folks already were inclined to blame Saddam. My point is that Bush went out of his way to take advantage of this tendency, even though there was little or no basis in fact. The fact that many people were already suspicious of Saddam doesn't change this. The fact that not everyone bought Bush's line also doesn't change this.

By the way, an interesting analysis of this is here. This study claims that people were already biased against Saddam, certain poll questions exaggerated that bias, and Bush tried to take advantage of that bias, although many people didn't believe him.

By the way, Bush is still trying to do this (send the message that Iraq=9/11). This is reflected in the fact that he couldn't get through his recent major address without mentioning 9/11 five times.

"You're moving the goalposts"

Nice job not bothering to explain what you mean by that.

"we were talking about Saddam and 9/11 and you bring up Saddam and al Qaeda"

Since it's widely acknowledged that al-Qaeda is responsible for 9/11, I'm at a loss to understand what your problem is.

"all through the late nineties the news including the NYTimes were writing about Saddam's relationship with bin laden."

An example would be nice (especially if it wasn't written by Judith "Chalabi" Miller). Then again, maybe you're just talking about how certain people named Bush crossed paths with certain people named bin Laden, and how certain people close to Bush also had certain dealings with Saddam. Yes, I suppose in a way that might represent a kind of relationship between Saddam and bin Laden. Via Bush et al.

"Why would 78% of the public think Saddam had something to do with 9/11 unless we had been told for YEARS that Saddam was a threat and a bad guy and was friendly with bin laden."

True, we had been told for years that Saddam was a threat and a bad guy. (You're acting as if I have ever claimed otherwise. I haven't.) There was a certain amount of truth to that. Then 9/11 came along, and Bush was quick to suggest that it was Saddam's fault. Unfortunately, there was no truth to that.

The logical fallacy in your argument is this. Yes, many people distrusted Saddam before Bush started bashing him. Yes, certain polls show that between 2001 and 2003 there was a decline in the number of people that blamed Saddam (while other polls show a more ambiguous result). However, this does not change the truth of my original claim: Bush unfairly blamed 9/11 on Saddam, and many people were influenced by this.

As far as "friendly with bin laden," an example would be helpful. I don't recall hearing a whole lot about that.

"Tossing information from the Clinton era re bin laden and Saddam down the memory hole"

I've asked you to show one or more examples of what you think is being thrown down the memory hole.

"Your quote from the CSM article. Well, DOH, they ignored the poll data too."

Uh, no. The person I quoted (who said "The administration has succeeded in creating a sense that there is some connection [between Sept. 11 and Saddam Hussein]") is the director of PIPA, a respected academic polling organization. You have no basis for claiming he "ignored" anything, or for claiming that you're more familiar with the underlying data than he is.

kim

Oh go rescreen Moore.
======================

jukeboxgrad

SYL: "re Halliburton, I think it was 2003 that Halliburton made a profit of 23 million bucks"

Uh, not exactly. I have a feeling what you're probably thinking of is this (regarding the second quarter of 2004): "Second-quarter revenue rose 38 percent to $5.0 billion. Iraq-related work contributed $1.7 billion in revenue but added just $23 million to operating income." Those figures came from the Halliburton quarterly report for Q204. The similar report for Q205 indicates operating income from Iraq-related work of $48 million, on Iraq-related revenue of $1.4 billion. (The underlying Halliburton reports can be found here.)

Anyway, let us know when you're ready to explain how any of this information represents support for your ludicrous statement: "Halliburton makes a profit of only a few million a year." Among other things, you didn't say "Halliburton in Iraq" or "KBR." You said "Halliburton." BushCo policies benefit Halliburton far beyond just the billions in no-bid contracts that are directly Iraq-related. The new energy bill includes $14.5 billion in tax breaks, mostly for fossil fuels and nuclear (link). This helps Halliburton, and other similar companies close to Bush. The bottom line is that Halliburton stock has nearly tripled since the war started, and no-bid contracts to KBR are only one of the reasons for that.

By the way, I think you're trying to make the point that Halliburton's profit ratio on its Iraq activities is low. No kidding (although it more than doubled, comparing the two periods described above). This is because lots of people are taking advantage before the money gets down to the bottom of the income statement (and of course one "nice" side-effect of this is that less money ends up being returned to taxpayers in the form of corporate tax): "In testimony submitted to members of Congress, one truck driver explained in detail how taxpayers were billed for empty trucks driven up and down Iraq and how $85,000 vehicles were abandoned for lack of spare tires. A labor foreman said dozens of workers were told to 'look busy' while doing virtually no work for salaries of $80,000 a year. An auditor related how the company was spending an average of $100 for every single bag of laundry and $10,000 a month for company employees to stay in five-star hotels." Your tax dollars at work, thanks to Republicans, the party of fiscal responsibility.

Of course no one seems to notice that Iraq has 50% unemployment, and no one seems to make the connection that fewer local folks would be motivated to earn money planting IEDs if the reconstruction was primarily being managed and executed by local management and local employees, instead of being a bonanza for Halliburton management, employees, contractors and stockholders.

Anyway, let us know if you want to keep showing off your financial illiteracy. It's good for a laugh.

"why don't you spend some time learning about Islamism"

Good idea. If you did, you'd realize that Bush's pals in Saudi Arabia were and still are a bigger problem than Saddam was.

Cecil Turner

" Only if you define "substantiated" as "making a claim backed by no visible evidence.""

[Snort.] As if you had any information whatsoever about British Intelligence. (Except, of course, where it doesn't fit with the "Bush lied" gospel, and thus must be heresy.)

"Well that settles it, then, obviously there couldn't possibly be any useful information in a place like that. Nice job making it clear exactly how doctrinaire you are."

Are you still clinging to the silly proposition that Butler isn't "more independent or less biased than leftcoaster"? If so, that "doctrinaire" hypocrisy is laughable. What's next, DU quotes?

boris

Bush's pals in Saudi Arabia were and still are a bigger problem than Saddam was

Al Qaeda leaders in Saudi Arabia have a half life measured in months.

Saddam had Salman Pak, no fly zones, genocide, mass graves, and non compliance with cease fire, "up yours" attitude and phony inspections grudgingly faked only when US troops are on his border ready to invade.

BTW you phrase it your way, I'll phrase it mine ...

Said: No evidence of 911 involvement

Unsaid: Evidence of 911 involvement

Opposite.

jukeboxgrad

CECIL: "Except, of course, where it doesn't fit with the 'Bush lied' gospel, and thus must be heresy."

It's not that I'm objecting to Butler's evidence because it "doesn't fit." It's that Butler didn't provide any evidence. Big difference. I realize you're part of the "absence of evidence is not evidence of absence" crowd, but 15,000 casualties later "trust me" doesn't cut it anymore.

"more independent or less biased"

Thinking for myself means I evaluate facts and reason wherever I find them, and try not to get sidetracked into judging a book by its cover. I realize you find it easier to cavalierly dismiss any information from a source that isn't Party-Approved.

jukeboxgrad

BORIS: "Al Qaeda leaders in Saudi Arabia have a half life measured in months."

If your claim is that Saudi Arabia is hostile to terrorism, then please explain why they spent $4 billion financing it.

"phony inspections grudgingly faked"

When you repeatedly make the same specious claim, and fail to provide a shred of proof even when contrary evidence is presented, you succeed only in demonstrating that you're full of it.

Syl

JBG

You're spinning yourself dizzy but I do note you had to backtrack, without admitting it. Finally we're getting somewhere.

"The fact remains that Bush et al repeatedly claimed that Saddam and al-Qaeda had ties. I think this was meant to convey the idea, and did successfully convey the idea, that Saddam was behind 9/11."

So, it seems, you think Bush should have LIED and said "Saddam had no connections with al Qaeda and terrorism".

As for Halliburton, you're talking stupid. Much of the reconstruction IS being done by Iraqi contractors and Halliburton has hired many Iraqis. One of them blew up a mess tent in Mosul.

The problem I see with the entire Halliburton lie is that people see the BILLIONS in the contract and don't see that the BILLIONS is not profit. Pointing out that actual profit is miniscule compared to the contract amount seems wise to me.

Etienne

Your faith in Fortress America is terribly naive. Intelligence is NEVER 100%. And there is not enough money in the world to protect us.

Since you obviously follow the Moore line, there is no point in discussing this any further with you.

Syl

JBG

re Butler, hasn't it ever occurred to you that Britain has classified information? Is it only America that doesn't let the public see everything? Sheesh.

As for the Saudi's and money spent. YES THEY DID. THEY ARE NO LONGER. However, that doesn't mean that INDIVIDUAL SAUDIs are not STILL financing terror and madrassas.

boris

then please explain

Do Re Me Fa Q I owe you no explanations. I post here for the fun of it, not to satisfy your stupid whims.

Only an idiot would argue that the money Moveon.org receives indicates administration support. Quite the opposite in fact ....

Oh That's Right ... YOU don't understand the what opposite means.

owl

Okay, since we are so far OT, I have a burning question that just keeps digging at me. What could have been so important that Sandy Berger would risk stealing and shredding? Stealing and Shredding, by such a high level public official, that could have been prosecuted so differently. Why in this universe was he not publicly flogged, head shaved and possibly subjected to Lindy? Must have been one heck of a reason for both sides. Even. Draw?

Elections need national voting rules. Verifiable paper trails. Registered 30 days in advance. Proof of US citizenship. Picture ID when voting. You are allowed to vote in ONLY ONE PLACE per person and must be alive. Every military person has a ballot that is counted even if it is marked NO VOTE. They fight the wars, make sure every single name has been checked for a marked ballot. You in prison, you don't vote. You get out, you wait 6? years, you vote. You have a recount? You call in the guy from Sound Politics because when he counts, HE COUNTS.

Mother Sheehan. She gave MSM something to hang their hat on, so they could Bush bash in the daylight. She has motivated soldiers to ask and receive promises from their relatives to swear not to do a Sheehan. I equate Sheehan to Carter. For twenty years we all said "the very worst president but the very best person". We kept our mouths shut and tried to ignore him. Sheehan we gave several days with our mouths shut but Carter taught us a lesson. I do not have respect for either. They are both jumping up and down and saying "look at me". It is not about Mother. Her son was a grown man. That grown man re-enlisted. That grown man shared his other relatives political views. That grown man volunteered for a dangerous mission and he was killed. Casey Sheehan is a verifiable American Hero that deserves better from his mother and the media. He deserves respect for his actions and HIS views are the only ones important, if you insist on using HIM. Otherwise, you are riding a dead man's coattails that did not share your view.

I am still waiting for someone to tell me if they expect results from either the UN, the table of good allies w/Iran or the table of allies/China/N Korea? I have never heard another solution. We can pay blackmail/appeasement (of course we do this all over the world anyway) but it does not seem to be working. It certainly did not work with N Korea. We can set up tables and let the rest of the world see if they can change minds. We can have the UN pass useless resolutions.....maybe (doubtful). Or what? I did not see anyone stop 9/11. The UN did not protect us.

So who is to blame if a suitcase comes into DC?

One side did not want profiling nor the Patriot Act. They object to getting dirty to try to get the info from enemies. The same ones tout the UN as "the authority" as to what we can do to protect ourselves. One side is perfectly happy to let a International Criminal Court do the ruling when we have enough problems agreeing upon who to put on our own courts. One side is going to object "mightly" to data mining. Now which side is this and who are you going to blame if a suitcase come in? Forget Iraq, forget all past mistakes from eternity. What is your solution that Bush should do, right now, to keep Iran from sending one in?

Able Danger seems to invade privacy and profile. All ye Lefties, would you use a program like Able Danger? What is your solution that will stop Iran from sending one in?

Cecil Turner

"Thinking for myself means I evaluate facts and reason wherever I find them, and try not to get sidetracked into judging a book by its cover."

That's right, you welcome "persuasive facts" wherever you find 'em. And it's just coincidence that every one of the "facts" you find "persuasive" just happens to come from lefty sites and supports the "Bush lied" meme. Convincing.

Etienne

Well, I agree 1000% with owl as far as the voting standards go (except I never heard of Sound Politics, so can't say about that). Why do you think NO Repubs are looking to sponsor any such bills, considering they are the ONLY ones with that power in our one party state?

As for invading privacy, I gladly open my bags to any NYC policeman who asks me, or any security person who asks me. I damn well LOVE security checks. I'm not really that afraid of privacy invasions either, just don't trust these liars and thieves in power to be writing the laws, don't trust their true agenda. I want to be safe. I will give up some privacy for that, but I won't have them sneaking into my house without a warrant, and don't see why I should have that. Get a freaking warrant. It's as old as time fer chrissake. Let's at least be as current as the Magna Carta.

Mother Sheehan? Get a clue, guys. This is about something very simple - when you send America's kids to die you have to know what the hell you're doing and why. You don't have one rationale to start, change it at will and then cook up an entirely different one to cover your ass in time for midterm election withdrawals (just wait). You don't send them to die to find WMDs you know aren't there then say it was to oust Saddam then say it was to spread democracy then have them sit there getting their asses handed to them while the country turns into another Islamic republic holding hands with Iran. That is sick. Why do you defend it? That is what this mother is saying. She knows her kid was a grown man. You can't send a grown man to die for this kind of bullshit either, not without spending any time planning for the occupation or listening to your ground commanders. It was criminal what was done to our volunteer force here, and continues to be done to their near impoverished families at home. Care to kick back any of your tax cuts to help widows, orphans and amputees? Well, even if you want to, the Bushies aren't asking you to. That would be so crude, actually looking for the war cheerleaders to sacrifice for their country. So much easier to call them heroes, and "go on with your life". Bastards.

kim, I have no idea what you mean by populism. My opinion is the creeps that love guns so much should keep them, use them, shoot each other in the feet for fun on Christmas morning. I don't care what you want to do with the damn things. I'm just glad I live in the enlightened part of the universe where we have 5.1 gun deaths to the 100,000 (NY) as opposed to say, Louisiana with 19.4 to the 100,000. Suits me fine, but I'm not going to go running around demanding my politicians sing the praises of assault weapons and grenade launchers being sold at Walmart.

TM

Bush said "you can't distinguish between al-Qaida and Saddam." I think this was meant to convey the idea, and did successfully convey the idea, that Saddam was behind 9/11.

Thanks for sharing what you think. I think Bush was trying to make the point that both are dangerous, and that a *future* alliance between the two would be terrible.

But I only base that on the transcript from Spet 2002:

Q Mr. President, do you believe that Saddam Hussein is a bigger threat to the United States than al Qaeda?

PRESIDENT BUSH: That's a -- that is an interesting question. I'm trying to think of something humorous to say. (Laughter.) But I can't when I think about al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein. They're both risks, they're both dangerous. The difference, of course, is that al Qaeda likes to hijack governments. Saddam Hussein is a dictator of a government. Al Qaeda hides, Saddam doesn't, but the danger is, is that they work in concert. The danger is, is that al Qaeda becomes an extension of Saddam's madness and his hatred and his capacity to extend weapons of mass destruction around the world.

Both of them need to be dealt with. The war on terror, you can't distinguish between al Qaeda and Saddam when you talk about the war on terror. And so it's a comparison that is -- I can't make because I can't distinguish between the two, because they're both equally as bad, and equally as evil, and equally as destructive.

Now, I think Jukebox was also straining for a CLinton era mention of a link between Saddam and Al Qaeda. I thought that when Clinton bombed the aspirin factory in the Sudan that he cited a link. Also, there is some famous subpoena.

Let's see what Google brings. Here is Hitchens, at Slate, on the aspirin factory; also the Weekly Standard. From the WS:

The clincher, however, came later in the spring of 1998, when the CIA secretly gathered a soil sample from 60 feet outside of the plant's main gate. The sample showed high levels of O-ethylmethylphosphonothioic acid, known as EMPTA, which is a key ingredient for the deadly nerve agent VX. A senior intelligence official who briefed reporters at the time was asked which countries make VX using EMPTA. "Iraq is the only country we're aware of," the official said. "There are a variety of ways of making VX, a variety of recipes, and EMPTA is fairly unique."

That briefing came on August 24, 1998, four days after the Clinton administration launched cruise-missile strikes against al Qaeda targets in Afghanistan and Sudan (Osama bin Laden's headquarters from 1992-96), including the al Shifa plant.

Well, I'm sure Jukebox knew that.

As a possibly constructive suggestion to folks on both sides - proselytize in small bites. Mayeb a link or some evidence to change someone's mind about Able Danger, or the Plame case, or something a bit more topical than "Bush Lied!".

I doubt many of us have the patience for the full conversion process.

Seven Machos

1. "I have no idea what you mean by populism." -- Etienne.

2. Edy: what if every moveon.org/du/kos person contributed $10 to a fund for "grown" men, "widows, orphans and amputees"? Wouldn't that be a tidy sum? Why do you complain that others don't do something that you could easily do yourself? Are taxes the only way to help people?

3. A lot of people here believe in the war and what we are trying to accomplish in Iraq. Obviously, a majority of Americans do as well. You can show me day-to-day polls indicating otherwise. I point you to elections in 2002 and 2004. You come here, cussing and spitting, asking "why do you defend it?," then people defend it, then you cuss and spit more. You don't believe in the war effort. You wish the USA had not responded to Islamic militancy the way it has. More power to you. You have no serious alternative plan other than complaining about the deaths of American soldiers and childishly calling the president names and saying BUSH LIED!!!!, but still, more power to you. Nevertheless, your arguments are shrill at this point. I hope you will make break some new, more intelligent ground soon.

Slartibartfast
Why do you think NO Repubs are looking to sponsor any such bills, considering they are the ONLY ones with that power in our one party state?

And here I thought that Bush Stole The Election from Kerry, who at least on the surface has a different political orientation. Still, maybe because we're not nearly as multitextured as the Italians, politically, we're all one big happy family.

As for the rest of the argument, I strongly encourage some reading up on US Civics, with some attention to who decides how to count ballots.

I'm just glad I live in the enlightened part of the universe...

...where the murder rate is nearly three times that seen in the even more enlightened part called Idaho, and about half again that of the utopic West Virginia. New York is in the bottom half of the country, murder-rate-wise. Who cares what you guys kill each other with?

Etienne

Nice little table on murder rates, even correlated by death penalty statute.

I particularly like this one, in the grouping by region. Highest death rate? The South. Most executions? The South. In fact, most of the non death penalty states are also the states in the lower half of murder rates The death penalty isn't even an issue that concerns me much, aside from being one of the most striking examples of "evangelilcal christian" hypocrisy, but it IS a bit much to be lectured by people from these regions about how wrongheaded and ridiculous we here in the enlightened liberal Northeast supposedly are.

I am interested in the conservative perspective, but I am decidedly NOT interested in civics lessons from people of such extreme cognitive dissonance.

I understand, Macho, you support the war. You support our kids being killed like dogs to create an Islamic state holding hands with Iran. Or maybe you just support them being slaughtered to pave the way for an Iraqi civil war. You were told this was the way to defeat islamic terrorism and you'll defend that ideology to the last dead (other person's) kid. You discount all current polls showing American war support drifting into a minority of 1 in 4. Gotcha. What are you gonna say when your boy withdraws the troops just before the midterms, to get more of his thieving cronies into power? Can you give me a heads up on the RNC talking points for that one? Cause you have to KNOW it's coming.

Seven Machos

Edy --

1. Iraq and Iran will never be allies. The fact that you constantly suggest that they will shows that you don't know anything about the region or the world. Sand people are sand people, right?

2. Why do you want to talk to people whom you consider crazy ("extreme cognitive dissonance").

3. I have indicated ad nauseum why I support the war. Your continual straw-man for war supporters is amusing. For the very reasons I support the war, the United States will have a military presence in Iraq for as long as you and I both are alive.

4. What are you willing to bet me, Edy, that Republicans still control Congress and the presidency in February 2007?

5. One more thing, Edy. Stripped of the ad hominem attacks, the foul and snide language, and the complete lack of self-awareness, a few of your arguments are not bad. You do yourself no favors and make yourself look stupid by adding so much baggage to what might otherwise be occasionally persuasive.

Etienne

For the very reasons I support the war, the United States will have a military presence in Iraq for as long as you and I both are alive.

Macho, if only our government could be as honest as you. I do know your reasons for supporting the war. You believe we are destroying Islamic terrorism and creating a Western style democracy that will be a model for the region. (Pardon any discrepancy here, I'm trying.) I submit there isn't a single fact to show that theory is workable.

And no sand people aren't sand people. Shiites are Shiites. What we did in Iraq - inadvertantly, due to lack of planning and arrogant incompetence - was let the genie of fundamentalist Islam out of the bottle in Iraq. What happens when you let the genie out of the bottle? No one knows, but it is the arrogance of the fool to imagine you will be able to control it.

I wouldn't take your bet, Seven, because I think you're right about 2007. Partly due to non transparent privately owned voting machines - an abomination for a democratic nation, a license to destroy democracy. But not only because of that. It will take time to regain control of Congress, and this dingbat is not getting impeached, unless he's getting oral sex from Condi Rice. I do believe we will see significant Dem gains though in both House, Senate and governorships (including New York!). Want that bet?

Oh, and thanks for the compliment, big guy.

Seven Machos

1. Being Shiite isn't as important as being Arab to the Iraqis. Being Shiite isn't as important as being Persian to the Iranians. Ask the Communists and the Catholics how well religious (or, in the Communist, neo-religious) faith holds up in the face of nationalism and ethnic identity.

2. Define substantial gains.

3. Your last post is a microcosm of your ridiculousness. Your potentially good points (about the Bush administration being unable to make a straightforward case for the war, for whatever reason, and about the possibility o an Islamic fundamentalist government obtaining power in Iraq) are completely overwhelmed by your tinfoil-hat implications about "arrogant incompetence," "the arrogance of the fool," allusions to election fixing ("non transparent privately owned voting machines"), "this dingbat," and "getting oral sex from Condi Rice." If you tone down your rhetoric and invective, and stop trying so hard to look smart and cool and witty, you will find that you can win more adherents.

Slartibartfast
I am interested in the conservative perspective, but I am decidedly NOT interested in civics lessons from people of such extreme cognitive dissonance.

I know it's got to chafe that you understand less about US Civics than an ignorant redneck. You can remedy that, though.

TexasToast

Iraq and Iran will never be allies. The fact that you constantly suggest that they will shows that you don't know anything about the region or the world. Sand people are sand people, right?

Iran and a Sunni dominated Iraq wouldn’t have been allies – a Shia dominated Iraq is a whole ‘nother story – and we seem to be movin’ that direction.

2. Why do you want to talk to people whom you consider crazy ("extreme cognitive dissonance").

You entertain me! :)

3. I have indicated ad nauseum why I support the war. Your continual straw-man for war supporters is amusing. For the very reasons I support the war, the United States will have a military presence in Iraq for as long as you and I both are alive.

Yep – We grabbed control of that oil and prettied it up with “democracy” and “ WMDs” and Saddam in a baaaaaaad man! Gas may be $2.50 a gallon – but us folk in Texas thank you for your support!

4. What are you willing to bet me, Edy, that Republicans still control Congress and the presidency in February 2007?

Since the number of unsafe seats in the house is becoming vanishingly small (thank you Tom Delay), I’d say its going to be quite difficult to turn over the house (in the near term) absent an economic shock. The senate is a more hopeful place. Unfortunately, to my way of thinking, it’s the Republican moderates who seem most in danger of losing.

Seven Machos

I could write several theses on the many ways you are wrong, Tex, and the many ways in which you conveniently make up facts to fit your worldview. I will only attack the most blatantly wrong thing you said:

When did the Shi'a become a majority in Iraq? When did the Shi'a become a majority in Iran? If it was well, well, well before Saddam Hussein and any Ayatollah you've ever heard of, why have Iran and Iraq been implacable enemies since time immemorial? Further, do you think that the U.S. military and diplomatic corps and the CIA and the Congress and any president will allow Iran to control Iraq politically?

Tex, you are dumb. Dumber even than you think President Bush is, and I know you think that's pretty dumb. You don't know what you are talking about on anything you mention above.

TexasToast

Tex, you are dumb. Dumber even than you think President Bush is, and I know you think that's pretty dumb. You don't know what you are talking about on anything you mention above.

At least you have given up the attempts at irony in your ad homs. Why, just the other day, you were "...dumber than a box of hair..." and I was "...a super-duper smart lefty". Still, you haven’t pointed out why I’m so dumb or how I “… make up facts to fit [my] worldview.” – as if it matters to anyone.

When did the Shi'a become a majority in Iraq? When did the Shi'a become a majority in Iran?

Who needs a majority to dominate the political process? The Sunni minority in Iraq managed it quite handily.

If it was well, well, well before Saddam Hussein and any Ayatollah you've ever heard of, why have Iran and Iraq been implacable enemies since time immemorial?

The simple answer is, they haven’t. There are both ethnic and religious distinctions at work in the “borderlands” between the Shia and the Sunni, and, given recent history, I would suspect that the Iraqi Shia will lean heavily on Iran for support against the Sunni.

Further, do you think that the U.S. military and diplomatic corps and the CIA and the Congress and any president will allow Iran to control Iraq politically?

Seeing as how they failed to turn in their constitution homework, I don’t know how much what we will “allow” makes any difference – particularly if we “allow” democracy – or is that just propaganda?

Syl

If it's any consolation, TT, Omar and other Iraqi bloggers LAUGH at us Americans and how we're always talking sunni this and shia that.

The dynamics are much more complex than that and if we listen only to the talking heads here at home, we'll never get a true picture.

Can I assume you read (I think it was the WaPo, could have been the Times) about the incident in Ramadi? It's a mixed town with both sunni and shia, though they separate a bit by neighborhoods. Some terrorist goons were terrorizing a shia neighborhood and the sunnis came and surrounded the houses and fought off the goons 'til they ran away in their pickup trucks.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/08/13/AR2005081301209_pf.html

The situation in Iraq is NOT as simple as you and others make it out to be.

Seven Machos

1. Tex said: "Iran and a Sunni dominated Iraq wouldn’t have been allies – a Shia dominated Iraq is a whole ‘nother story – and we seem to be movin’ that direction."

This statement is dumb because you are suggesting that ethnic identity will be trumped by religious identity. Thousands of years of politics and warfare across every culture have shown your theory to be false.

2. Tex said: "We grabbed control of that oil and prettied it up with 'democracy' and 'WMDs' and Saddam in a baaaaaaad man! Gas may be $2.50 a gallon – but us folk in Texas thank you for your support!"

This statement is dumb because American oil companies are not making any more PROFITS from higher-priced oil (I know, I know; Lefties don't understand the difference between profits and revenues) and higher-priced oil is a political LOSER for Republicans. Goofy Leftists like, just for instance, Tex, say that higher-priced gasoline will cause Republicans to lose votes, do they not?

3. Tex said: "Since the number of unsafe seats in the house is becoming vanishingly small (thank you Tom Delay), I’d say its going to be quite difficult to turn over the house (in the near term) absent an economic shock. The senate is a more hopeful place."

This is dumb because it suggests that Tom Delay was the first person to ever gerrymander a Congressional district. Are you nine years old, Tex? Do you know the history of the word "gerrymander" in American politics, or for how long it has been going on? To the winner go the spoils of Congressional district-drawing, pal. It has been, is, and will always be so. It's not like the districts were neatly drawn, arbitrary rectangles in 1994.

As I said, Tex, you are dumb. This is not an ad hominem attack. I am specifically charging you, Tex, with being dumb. My rationale is that you make a bunch of dumb arguments. You, the source of these dumb arguments, must be dumb. QED.

jukeboxgrad

SYL: "you had to backtrack"

It would be nice if you pointed out where, but I notice you can't be bothered to do that.

"so, it seems, you think Bush should have LIED and said 'Saddam had no connections with al Qaeda and terrorism'."

I didn't suggest Bush should have made such a statement (although I think such a statement would have been closer to the truth than many statements that he did make). However, Boris suggested (in his "just the opposite" comment) that Bush did make such a statement. Obviously that's not the case.

Bush should have told us the truth, which is that the ties between Saudi Arabia and terrorism are infinitely clearer than the ties between Saddam and terrorism.

"Much of the reconstruction IS being done by Iraqi contractors"

"Much" is one of those weasel-words that doesn't mean a lot. Your assertion to this effect would be slightly more impressive if you provided a shred of evidence.

Then again, there are reports like this: "A journalist for the Santa Monica Daily Press, a newspaper in my district, told my staff that she attended a meeting in Baghdad where a Bechtel executive interviewed Iraqi contractors seeking jobs rebuilding the Baghdad airport. The Bechtel executive informed the Iraqis that they could not participate in rebuilding their country's airport unless they got three different types of insurance: indemnification insurance, bid securities insurance, and performance insurance. When one Iraqi contractor asked how to obtain such insurance, which Iraqis never had to obtain before and which was not available in Iraq, he was told, 'Don't worry, there will be American insurance companies coming in to sell you insurance.' "

And like this: "So far, the amounts going to Iraqi companies are still small compared with what the giant American contractors are receiving." There is a recent shift, but it appears to be too little, too late.

"people see the BILLIONS in the contract and don't see that the BILLIONS is not profit. Pointing out that actual profit is miniscule compared to the contract amount seems wise to me."

One very important fact you're overlooking is that very large sums (aside from "actual profit") are simply unacccounted for and have probably disappeared into various pockets. According to Pentagon auditors, "$1.8 billion in billings for $4.18 billion of logistical work remained unsupported by documentary evidence." This is totally aside from the concept of "profit." Presumably if you gave me 4 billion dollars to spend on your behalf, and I ended up telling you I didn't remember what happened to about 40% of that money, you would be a tiny bit concerned. Unless my name was Halliburton, I guess. Nice work if you can get it.

Aside from that, Halliburton's operating income (which is the closest you'll get from them as far as a definition of their Iraq-related "profit") from Iraq-related operations is currently running at about $196 million a year (based on their most recent quarterly report). So your statement "Halliburton makes a profit of only a few million a year" is still nonsense, and likewise for your statement that "re Halliburton, I think it was 2003 that Halliburton made a profit of 23 million bucks," and likewise for your statement regarding "actual profit is miniscule." There's nothing "miniscule" about $196 million, and there's certainly nothing "miniscule" about $1.8 billion that's unaccounted for. Incidentally, there's also nothing miniscule about $10 million, which is roughly the total compensation for Halliburton's CEO last year.

There's also nothing miniscule about 433,000 Halliburton stock options held by Cheney (especially since the stock has nearly tripled since the war started). Yes, they are under the control of a charitable trust, but 80% of the charities are personally close to Cheney (University of Wyoming, and a GWU Med Center where he has been treated, and which is named after him).

Then again I suppose it's all relative, since there is another $8.8 billion we can't find. Meanwhile soldiers are begging for equipment they can't get: "My partner and I have shelled out thousands on gear and we are still in need....," link. But it's nice to know the president supports our troops. I think he's got a yellow magnet stuck on Air Force One.

As I said, please continue making your ignorant statements. They only prove that you're willing to make a fool of yourself and deny reality even when the facts are readily available.

jukeboxgrad

SYL: "hasn't it ever occurred to you that Britain has classified information"

It nice to know that Butler didn't want to inadvertently out a WMD operative. But there are many, many ways to share certain details without spilling all the beans. SSCI is a good illustration of this. The fact that no details have emerged to back Butler, even at this late date, tends to create the impression that the details are weak or nonexistent.

"As for the Saudi's and money spent. YES THEY DID. THEY ARE NO LONGER"

As with your statements about Halliburton, you can be relied upon to pull all sorts of ignorant assertions out of your hat, without a shred of proof. Some other folks aren't quite as sanguine as you: "Saudi crackdown on charities seen as incomplete; The kingdom last week said it would close a charity accused of backing Al Qaeda, but others remain open" (link).

"However, that doesn't mean that INDIVIDUAL SAUDIs are not STILL financing terror and madrassas."

Even though Bush and his pals don't say much about this, there are many signs of official Saudi support for Islamic extremism, and very little sign of fundamental change. If you're ready to pull your head out of the (oil-rich) sand on this topic, the proof is readily available.

Here's a little example. Exactly three days before this heartwarming love-fest, the Saudis arrested 40 Christians for the crime of practicing Christianity. Not reported on Fox, as far as I can tell.

"The situation in Iraq is NOT as simple as you and others make it out to be."

Here's some more data to shake things up a little. It seems that our inept and violent meddling has created exactly what we were afraid of: "in some cases US officials have seen evidence of secular Sunni nationalists and Baathists cooperating with the most extreme Islamists." In other words, our false claims in this regard (that Saddam's people were aligned with OBL's people) have turned into a self-fulfilling prophecy.

jukeboxgrad

CECIL: "it's just coincidence that every one of the 'facts' you find 'persuasive' just happens to come from lefty sites"

Hmm, let's see. A quick review of my cites over the last few weeks shows that I've quoted more than a trivial number of times from sources as diverse as WSJ, townhall, memri.org, globalpolicy.org, globalsecurity.org, bbc, fox, national review, gop.com, csmonitor.com, halliburton.com, defenselink.mil, fas.org and (last but not least) whitehouse.gov.

So you obviously have a peculiar definition of the words "every" and "lefty." More highlights from Cecil's personal dictionary.

jukeboxgrad

TM: "Thanks for sharing what you think. I think Bush was trying to make the point that both are dangerous, and that a *future* alliance between the two would be terrible."

Thanks for sharing what you think. Trouble is, it doesn't matter much what Bush was "trying" to say. What matters is what he did say. Trouble is, Bush et al said many things to suggest that the Saddam-Qaeda alliance was a past and current reality, not just a possible "*future*" threat.

And how remarkable that you make a claim about "a *future* alliance," and you say "I only base that on the transcript from Spet 2002," and then we see the transcript says "they work in concert." What about those words sounds like "future" to you? Then again, maybe you want us to pay attention to what Bush was "trying" to say, rather than what he actually said. Is that what _you're_ "trying" to say?

"I'm sure Jukebox knew that."

Nope, I didn't (know that Clinton had pointed fingers at Iraq in connection with bombing the Sudan aspirin factory). I appreciate the compliment, though (you overestimating the extent of my historical knowledge). On the other hand, I don't appreciate the implied insult: that I would ask a question that I already knew the answer too, and pretend otherwise. I think you would have a hard time showing that I had ever done such a thing.

It's something that I didn't know, but I'm still not terribly impressed. Clinton, like Bush, never came up with much in the way of proof. And speaking of what I didn't know, I appreciate seeing the Hitchens article, because I also didn't know this: "The second raid that week, on an al-Qaida base in Afghanistan, missed Bin Laden but did kill some officers of the Pakistani secret police ... who were in his camp." Multiple dead Pakistani agents in OBL's camp is infinitely more impressive than the slim chance that maybe Atta was in Prague in a meeting for ten minutes with someone who may or may not have been acting as an official representative of Saddam. Likewise for a meeting in Niger which almost happened, where the word "uranium" was almost mentioned.

As Hitchens correctly points out, "Pakistan and Saudi Arabia ...[are] two of the prime movers in jihad sponsorship." Of course that doesn't stop us from being pals with them. Then again, Saddam gassing Kurds also didn't stop us from doing this. All this intensely hypocritical context (which most people don't know about) tends to create the impression that the claim we're in Iraq to fight terrorism is baloney.

jukeboxgrad

SEVEN: "Iraq and Iran will never be allies."

Your sweeping pronouncements are hysterically funny. Here's one of your greatest hits: "What's next? ... A Sino-Chinese-Russian axis against the U.S.?"

I couldn't do a better job of revealing your ignorance if I were scripting your lines for you. WaPo: "China and Russia will hold their first joint military exercise Aug. 18-25 with nearly 10,000 troops in two sites on China's and Russia's eastern coasts, the Chinese Defense Ministry announced Tuesday. The announcement highlights warming ties between Beijing and Moscow after decades of Cold War hostility. Their reconciliation has been driven in part by mutual unease at U.S. power and a fear of Islamic extremism in Central Asia."

"how well religious ... faith holds up in the face of nationalism and ethnic identity ... This statement is dumb because you are suggesting that ethnic identity will be trumped by religious identity"

I guess that must be why London is getting blown up by people rooted in London, who share nothing with OBL except religion.

I guess that's also why at Gitmo we're holding people from 36 different countries. I guess this is pretty dramatic evidence (not) for your thesis that religious fanaticism doesn't have the power to trump nationalism.

"tinfoil-hat ... allusions to election fixing"

How odd to notice this: "in practically every case where lines were too long or machines too few the foul-up was in a Democratic county or precinct, and in practically every case where machines produced impossible or improbable outcomes it was the challenger who suffered ... Whichever way you shake it, or hold it to the light, there is something about the Ohio election that refuses to add up."

It was our kind host who recently brought up Hitchens as a presumably reliable source. It was Hitchens who said those words. By the way, Hitchens also said "I did not think that John Kerry should have been president of any country at any time" (link).

"American oil companies are not making any more PROFITS from higher-priced oil"

More staggering anti-reality from Seven. You continue to outdo yourself.

WaPo: "Oil Majors' 1st-Quarter Earnings Shoot Up; Higher Crude Prices Leave Exxon Mobil, Others Awash in Cash. As consumers struggle with high gasoline prices, Exxon Mobil Corp. announced yesterday that its revenue totaled more than $82 billion in the first three months of the year. The world's largest publicly traded oil company boosted its _PROFIT_ by 44 percent, to $7.86 billion, from the corresponding quarter a year ago. That left Exxon with a cash hoard of $30 billion. Other oil companies' _PROFITS_ are surging as well, leaving them with piles of cash. 'There's an embarrassment of riches now that is unavoidable,' said Lawrence J. Goldstein, president of the New York-based Petroleum Industry Research Foundation Inc. ... Exxon Mobil and other major oil companies are benefiting from the same thing that has hurt consumers and is slowing economic growth: _HIGH CRUDE OIL PRICES_. ... At the gas pump, where gas prices remain above $2 a gallon, Exxon Mobil is reaping more _PROFIT_ than in previous years. ... The earnings announcements come a week after the House approved energy legislation that would give billions in subsidies to oil and gas companies to encourage new production. Lawmakers who opposed the legislation said the profit reports are evidence that the subsidies are not needed. Rep. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) said oil companies are asking for subsidies at the same time they're 'shaking money from out of [consumers'] pockets at the gas pump ... I'm sure that they are chuckling at the continued support that they receive from the Republicans on these subsidies,' Markey said. ... In 1980, after a rise in oil prices and company profits, Congress approved a windfall profits tax on oil companies. As prices and profits have risen during the past year, a similar tax has not been on the agenda. Markey said he was too busy fighting against oil industry subsidies to press for a tax on oil companies."

Emphasis added.

Seven Machos

Juekemeister -- I guess you didn't get the proprietor's memo above.

Seven Machos

Juekemeister -- I guess you didn't get the proprietor's memo above.

kim

So, JBG, do you think Saddam should still be in power? I've asked you this before.
================================================

Seven Machos

Jukemeister --

The high gas prices are great for Republicans. That's why they will lose all these elections that you and your ilk say they will lose because of the high oil prices.

A Chinese-Russian axis will exert its unified will in the world. Nothing can drive a wedge between China and Russia, just as nothing as ever divided them in the last 2000 years.

Democrats never cheat in elections, certainly not in Wisconsin, Illinois, or Washington state, just to name a few places where Democrats never cheat.

You are the most brilliant windbag I know. I've always said it.

jukeboxgrad

SEVEN:

You're excruciatingly simple-minded, so I'll spell out a few things for you.

"The high gas prices are great for Republicans."

Financially, yes. Politically, no. But sometimes one has to bite the bullet and realize that it's worth sacrificing a few votes in order to fleece citizens to the tune of several dozen billion dollars (after all, with modern technology there are all sorts of ways to ultimately convert dollars back into votes). It's hard work, making these tough choices.

"Nothing can drive a wedge between China and Russia"

There are lots of issues between those two countries, so it's indeed remarkable that they're holding their first joint military exercises. To a great extent this is because of "mutual unease at U.S. power." In other words, our colossal military and diplomatic ineptness is triggering unheard-of alliances. Like the way "US officials have seen evidence of secular Sunni nationalists and Baathists cooperating with the most extreme Islamists."

When fools are in charge, all kinds of surprising shit starts to hit the fan.

"Democrats never cheat in elections"

Of course Democrats also cheat. Nobody's perfect. It's just that this time around (as Hitchens suggested) the Republicans were especially good at it.

Cecil Turner

"Hmm, let's see. A quick review of my cites over the last few weeks shows that I've quoted more than a trivial number of times from sources as diverse as WSJ, townhall, memri.org, globalpolicy.org, globalsecurity.org, bbc, fox, national review, gop.com, csmonitor.com, halliburton.com, defenselink.mil, fas.org and (last but not least) whitehouse.gov."

Okay, I'll play. How many "persuasive" points did you glean from Halliburton and the White House? Or did you quote them only to call them profiteers and liars?

Syl

Cecil

Good one! Heh!


JBG

I'm not going to make this long because we're stealing Tom's bandwidth for OT stuff.

You're wrong about Bush making people believe that Saddam was behind 9/11. Totally wrong. It doesn't matter how much you spin, what or who you quote, you're still wrong. You even admitted you don't know of the history of Saddam/bin laden/al Qaeda prior to Iraq so I think it's time for you to drop the whole matter.

As for insurance that contractors have to have, it's in the law. Write your congress critters.

As for the 'lost' billions, record keeping wasn't as good as it should be, and a lot of it is due to inadequate records and padded billing. Because it's a war zone and it was important to keep things going, a lot of the strict adherence to accounting standards was let go to investigate later. That's happening now. I doubt any of it went into Halliburton's pocket.

Cheney's stock options are not a talking point. Doesn't matter WHAT charity holds them. Not a whit.

re Butler. Get a clue. Why don't you do some real investigative reporting and write to them for an explanation instead of your innuendo and stupid conspiracy theories and cynicism.

(JBG's way: Throw stuff out there that might, possibly, if you look with your head tilted just right, and your eyes closed a bit, and it's Sunday, with cloudy skies, smell enough to make a Lefty get tingles.)

And may the perfect always be the enemy of the good. The Saudi's will not change enough to suit western tastes IN OUR LIFETIME. Take what you can get.

Re baathists cooperating with terrorists. Well, doh!

However what you don't know is that there IS a kind of civil war going on in Iraq but it's probably not what you might be hoping for. It's sunni against sunni. I've read a bit about 'red on red' fighting going on in the western provinces. Strategy page, wretchard, a couple of other places, plus some mil blogs. So there are some baathist (sunni) insurgents cooperating with al qaeda types, but there are more sunnis fighting the foreigners.

As I said, the situation is more complex than even you can dig up with all your little links.

jukeboxgrad

SYL: "It doesn't matter how much you spin, what or who you quote, you're still wrong."

English translation: "please don't confuse me with the facts."

"As for insurance that contractors have to have, it's in the law"

A little civics lesson: congress has the power to change the law. If the 1941 Defense Base Act (link) is getting in the way of us addressing 50% unemployment in Iraq, then maybe it's time for a little update. On the other hand there might be some insurance industry lobbyists who have been making sure the law stays just the way it is: "Pentagon seeks civilian insurance plan changes; The Defense Department wants to overhaul a controversial $5.5 billion workers compensation insurance program for its civilian contractors overseas after discovering it is paying up to 10 times more for the insurance than other government agencies while leaving taxpayers exposed to large uncovered claims."

How odd to find yet another example of how when corporate interests are opposed to the interests of both Iraqi citizens and American taxpayers, it's the corporate interests who win. I guess that's because we have the best government money can buy.

"Because it's a war zone and it was important to keep things going, a lot of the strict adherence to accounting standards was let go to investigate later."

Yes, just like SSCI decided to leave the hard questions for "later." Trouble is, later=never.

And it was so important to "keep things going" that "one official was given $6.75 million in cash and ordered to spend it in one week, before the interim Iraqi government took control of Iraqi funds" (pdf).

"That's happening now."

I hope you're not holding your breath waiting for answers. So far there haven't been too many. Then again, maybe you have a source I haven't seen. Perhaps the same source which told you that Halliburton profits are "miniscule."

"I doubt any of it went into Halliburton's pocket."

You've adopted the alternate theory: billions of missing dollars are now in the hands of the tooth fairy.

"Doesn't matter WHAT charity holds them."

Lots of Americans with heart problems would love to be cared for in a facility that just received a multi-million dollar gift from them (and, oddly enough, which also just happens to be named after them). If you don't realize that such an American would get distinctly better care than Joe Blow, that just means you haven't spent much time in a hospital lately. And if you can't grasp that this is an example of Cheney deriving a direct personal benefit from his 433,000 Halliburton stock options (which have enjoyed a dramatic increase in value since the day the war started), then you should probably stick with simpler challenges, like learning the truth about the tooth fairy.

"The Saudi's will not change enough to suit western tastes IN OUR LIFETIME. Take what you can get."

Let us know why this philosophical attitude applies to the Saudis but not to Saddam. And let us know why "take what you can get" translates into literally kissing them at the exact moment that they've got Christians locked up for being Christians.

jukeboxgrad

CECIL: "I'll play"

I guess that makes one of you, then. Enjoy yourself.

You said "every one of the 'facts' you find 'persuasive' just happens to come from lefty sites." You're wrong. I proved it. Deal with it.

Yes, Halliburton and the White House are full of profiteers and liars. It's also true that they have web sites where a certain amount of useful and persuasive factual information can be found. If this sort of moral untidiness comes as a shock to you, then it might just be another clue that you choose to inhabit a Manichean universe (although I realize I'm probably insulting the Manicheans).

Seven Machos

I see that the Jukemeister has still failed to get the memo. I think he can write a lot, but can't actually read. A sad situation. I blame our schools.

Syl

My GOD!

JBG thinks we went to war for Dick Cheney's heart!

One of the reasons you're a maroon, JBG, is that when you're confronted by data, you spin sideways and hand off something semi-related that really isn't apropos to the matter at hand. But it sounds good to you because it's snarky.

YOU were confronted with the FACT that Americans believed Saddam had something to do with Iraq BEFORE Bush opened his mouth and that the percentage of people who believed that went DOWN over time.

Period.

End of Story.

jukeboxgrad

SYL: "JBG thinks we went to war for Dick Cheney's heart!"

Uh, no. It's not that we went to war for Cheney's heart (such as it is). It's that once we decided to have a nice little war, Cheney's heart had something to do with the fact that Halliburton was picked to be essentially the one company (or at least the lead company) that would get to rebuild the country we ripped apart.

There are lots of other American companies that would have loved to be in that wonderful position, of being assigned the task of rapidly losing track of billions of dollars. It's hard work, but lots of US corporations have the know-how to tackle a job that tough. How odd that the company that jumped to the head of the line was exactly the company that was in the process of sending lots of money to Cheney, and to institutions near and dear to Cheney's heart (literally).

No connection, folks. Just move right along. Nothing to see here. Go about your business. Watch closely for the next Missing White Girl mini-series. You can rest assured that we have the best government money can buy.

"when you're confronted by data"

I've been begging you to confront me with data. A good start would be the data behind this foolish statement of yours: "Halliburton makes a profit of only a few million a year."

"percentage of people"

I addressed this here.

Here's a little tip. If the best you can do is simply repeat yourself (perhaps with a little SHOUTING thrown in), save a few innocent electrons and do it by reference.

jukeboxgrad

SEVEN: "can't actually read"

Funny you should mention that. There is a sentence above that's been giving me some trouble. It happens to be one of yours: "American oil companies are not making any more PROFITS from higher-priced oil."

What puzzles me is how WaPo could be so utterly, categorically, emphatically wrong. And I see more of that same kind of misinformation here, here, here and here. I'd love to set all these folks straight. Like Rove, I'd like to help the press make sure it has accurate information. Can you steer me toward the sources that will help me do that? I'm sure it will just take you a moment, since you, uh, know how to, uh, read, and all that.

kim

So, JBG, do you think Saddam should still be in power?

You are dodging this question and since your whole thesis seems to be that we removed him wrongly, let's get the answer to this question. If you believed he should have stayed, we can try to convince you otherwise, but you don't get to argue method. If you believe he should have been relieved, we can argue method.

You have a fundamental conflict in your argument. It's the Monday Morning Quarterback phenomenon.
===================================================

jukeboxgrad

KIM: "do you think Saddam should still be in power?"

If the deal was that I could tell approximately 15,739 American families that I could restore to them all the lost sanity, senses, limbs and lives, then I would be happy to return to the status quo of 3/18/03, and figure it out from there.

Your turn to answer hypothetical questions. Would you accept or reject the deal I just described?

Cecil Turner

"You said "every one of the 'facts' you find 'persuasive' just happens to come from lefty sites." You're wrong. I proved it. Deal with it."

Some proof. By that logic, quoting Bush to show he's a liar qualifies as finding one of your oxymoronic "persuasive facts." You calling someone else "partisan" would be hilarious, if it wasn't so pitiful.

Martin

Hey isn't today the day Bush is out riding bikes with Lance Armstrong?

The wire reports today are that we are conceding to the creation of an Islamic theocracy in Iraq while our president is out riding a bike-like the goddam eight year old he really is.

This is a horrifying day. How can any of you right wing deadenders actually be proud of Bush???

kim

Uh, huh. And now just how do you proceed from 3/18/03? Remember, pretend to not use your retrospectoscope. That's a foul.

Martin: Lance Armstrong is not a bad role model. Right now Bush's winning streak is even longer than Lance's.
==============================================

martin

Wow-it's like the Onion. Two stories from todays AP Wire:

"BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) - Talks on Iraq's new constitution have stalled over the role of Islam and the distribution of the country's oil wealth, negotiators said Saturday. The leadership of the country's Kurdish minority said it may drop its contentious demand for the right to secede....

Iraqis have until Monday night to complete work on the draft constitution or else parliament must dissolve. "

"WACO, Texas (AP) - It's no yellow jersey, but President Bush on Saturday presented Lance Armstrong with another shirt to show off his biking experiences - a red, white and blue T-shirt emblazoned "Tour de Crawford." The leader of the free world and the world's biking master rode for 17 miles on Bush's ranch for about two hours at midmorning. Bush showed Armstrong the sites of the ranch that he calls "a little slice of heaven," including a stop at a waterfall midway through the ride....

After the presentation, Duffy said, they posed for pictures and the president announced, "OK, let's go swimming."

Horrifying.

kim

We've always enjoyed a lttle dip, but oh, how wet we get.
====================================================

jukeboxgrad

CECIL: "You calling someone else 'partisan' "

There you go, distorting things again (I realize it's hard for you to get through a sentence or two without indulging in some of that). I've never called you merely "partisan." After all, partisanship per se is not necessarily such a bad thing, depending on the circumstances. I've called you a partisan hack. Big difference.

"Some proof"

I realize you're determined to make a big fuss about the fact that I included whitehouse.gov on the list, as if this matters much (it doesn't). I also realize this is a typical act of misdirection on your part (i.e., making lots of noise about something pointless in order to obscure something more important). And what you're hoping will be forgotten is that you said "every one of," when the honest statement would have been "a few of." And this, in turn, was a typical act of distortion and exaggeration on your part (not unlike repeatedly truncating Wilson's words so you could falsely characterize them as a "comprehensive denial").

So let me make it easier for you. A quick review of my cites over the last few weeks shows that I've quoted more than a trivial number of times from sources as diverse as WSJ, townhall, memri.org, globalpolicy.org, globalsecurity.org, bbc, fox, national review, csmonitor.com, and fas.org.

So tell us again how you would like us to interpret your asinine and unfounded statement: "every one of the 'facts' you find 'persuasive' just happens to come from lefty sites."

As I've said, we'd like to get a copy of your special dictionary which includes your peculiar definitions for simple words like "every" and "lefty."

jukeboxgrad

KIM: "just how do you proceed from 3/18/03?"

I'll consider answering your second hypothetical question after you answer my first. As I said, it's your turn.

kim

Oh c'mon, proceed. What do you think 'Uh huh' meant? If I hadn't assented I'd not have asked the next hypothetical. The problem you have is that Bush may well have settled on the best method to deal with Saddam. The proof of the pudding is in the tasting, and Bush's pudding is out of the oven; you haven't even mixed ingredients yet.
===================================================

kim

I'll tell you right now JBG, that I opposed this invasion at the time. I thought that the inspections and no-fly zones were doing their job and that the Iraqis would eventually throw off the yoke of Saddam and Sons by themselves. I remember my skeptical reception of Powell's UN speech. But when the war started I realized there was no going back and I've supported Bush's plans since, though I agree they have evolved, as should all war plans.

I've been convinced of the righteousness of the invasion of Iraq, and the deposing of Saddam, by Charles Duelfer's Report and by the reporting of Claudia Rosett on the Oil-for-Food/UN scandal. I urge you to look at those documents with the unjaundiced eye of someone who knows they've changed the opinion of another early war critic.

I've also perused Iraqi blogs for a year now, and of course, Arthur Where is his Pulitzer Chrenkoff.

I was sure they'd end up 3 states; I'm not so sure, now, and even if they do it will be better than the situation Bush inherited.

By the way my plan was to station AWACS in both no-fly zones, drop a half a million cell phones into Baghdad, then support the result like we supported the mujaheedin in Afghanistan. The CIA dropped 80 cell phones into Baghdad. They disappeared along with the extended families of anyone found with them.
===========================================

jukeboxgrad

KIM: "What do you think 'Uh huh' meant"

I didn't know, and I prefer not guessing. Thanks for being more explicit.

"I opposed this invasion"

That's enlightening. Thanks for the explanation.

"But when the war started I realized there was no going back"

We all realize it's hard to get toothpaste back into the tube. But we should also realize it's folly to think that the folks who got us into trouble (and won't even admit it) are the folks who can do the best job of getting us out of trouble.

"I've been convinced of the righteousness of the invasion of Iraq, and the deposing of Saddam, by Charles Duelfer's Report"

I find it ironic that a report which confirms the absence of WMD is what convinced you of the "righteousness" of an invasion that was sold primarily on the basis of WMD.

"the reporting of Claudia Rosett on the Oil-for-Food/UN scandal"

It would interest me to know how you and Rosett feel about the fact that "U.S. imports financed about 52 percent of the illegal surcharges paid to the Hussein regime" (pdf). In other words, our role in this was greater than the rest of the world combined. I said a bit more about this here.

"just how do you proceed from 3/18/03?"

There were many reasonable choices, including various options such as what you described. We needed to maintain pressure via economic and diplomatic means, backed by the threat of force. It's a good thing that Bush held a gun to Saddam's head. It's not a good thing that Bush pulled the trigger when and how he did. That made all the difference. In a way Bush snatched defeat from the jaws of victory.

At the very, very least, we needed to wait until we were better prepared (as far as plans, personnel and equipment). Many foolish decisions were made, and it's scandalous that virtually all the people who made those decisions were promoted (or at least rehired) instead of fired.

kim

The point of Rosett and Duelfer was that Saddam was dangerously close to the malicious use of WMD. And sure, mistakes were made in the war effort, but from my point of view, ali-Sistani and the Iraqi people gave us the victory we might not have won on our own.
===============================================

TexasToast

Syl

The dynamics are much more complex than that and if we listen only to the talking heads here at home, we'll never get a true picture.

I didn’t say it was simply Sunni v Shia or Arab v Persian v Kurd. It is actually quite a bit more complex. That is why 7M’s oversimplification “Iran and Iraq will never be allies” and his misstatement of the historical record “They never have been” (paraphrase) annoy me.

7M

Oil company revenues and profits are way up, as Juke pointed out, but that wasn’t my point. My point was that not oil company profits, but geopolitical control of the resource – which, IMHO, was the real reason for our Iraq adventure. We are establishing a military presence in Iraq (and not in Saudi) for the foreseeable future to insure our supply. Nobody, but nobody, is going to cut us off. Its very likely that demand will continue to increase at a rapid rate, and we want to make sure we get the oil FIRST. Oh, and as Sandra Bullock says in that movie, “world peace” (“democracy”).

PS Tom was not the first to gerrymander – nor will he be the last.. He is just the latest – and I daresay, the very best.

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