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November 12, 2005

Comments

TexasToast

Occam's Beard

Your dilemma is a false choice. It and Sue's question demand a premise that "the left" objects to the necessity of response to a true national security threat. That simply isn't the case (at least for this liberal). Afghanistan was almost universally seen as a proper response to "terror". Iraq is simply not perceived this way.

What I object to is:
(a) the linking of Saddam and Iraq to international terrorism without factual foundation;
(b) the self-evident interpretation and marketing of the evidence regarding WMD's through some sort of polarized lens that deleted any and all evidence contrary to the desired conclusion;
(c) the atrocious execution of policy post-invasion;
(d) the attempt to brand opponents of the war as foolish at best and seditious at worst;
and
(e) the attempts to prevent discovery of the real facts by claims of "revisionism"

For starters.

richard mcenroe

GT — And that's why we voted out Gore, right?

SteveMG

TexasToast:
a) the linking of Saddam and Iraq to international terrorism without factual foundation;

The evidence of Saddam's support for terrorism is absolutely irrefutable and I'm frankly astonished (I mean, real astonishment and not faux shock) when war critics make this statement.

The Clinton State Department repeatedly listed Iraq as a state sponsor of terrorism. Ken Pollack, who held multiple National Security positions in the Clinton Administration, authored The Threatening Storm: The Case for Invading Iraq and it includes multiple examples of Iraq's support for terrorism.

We can debate a lot of things, Toast, but when you make this statement, the game is over because you're just flat out wrong. We can debate opinions but not facts.

Really, when the left starts to disseminate this absurdity - Saddam didn't support terrorism - it's time to shut down the discussion because if we can't agree on something as basic as this issue, we've got no place to go to.

SMG

TexasToast

SMG

Point me to the irrefutable facts.

(besides the publicity gifts to Palestinian widows and orphans). Wolfowitz himself said that there was "a range of views" on the purported "links". Moreover, these guys stated it specifically in terms of AQ - not generalized "terrorism". I've heard it said that anyone who makes a pro Palestinian statement is suborning "terrorism".

So - show me the irrefutable proof and I'll withdraw the comment.

Neo

Why do I keep having this reoccurring sense that the CIA (and other intelligence agencies to be fair), after coming up short on 9/11, after coming up less that stellar on WMD in Iraq and after sending a jackass like Wilson to Niger, has gotten off untouched ?

Just because 9/11 showed that our the quality of our intelligence will, in large part, determine the level of our safety, it doesn't mean that these guys (and gals) don't need a through going over.

I keep feeling I'm living out that scene in "Blazing Saddles" where the new black sheriff, when confronted by the white townfolks, puts and gun to his own head and says "Everyone stand back or the n.gg.r gets it."

Harry Arthur

SMG, I think most of those who might be in agreement with TT in making such a statement, really intend to state that there is no connection with particular terrorists, namely those who attacked us on 9/11.

Though there is some level of evidence that Iraq indeed had a relationship with Al Quaida prior to 9/11, there is arguably no "smoking gun" that Iraq helped with 9/11 or even knew about it. That fact aside, I would agree with you that to extrapolate that probable fact to the level that asserts that Iraq had no link to international terrorism all is completely over-stretching the point.

It seems to me, as it did to most of the civilized world at the time, that Iraq was a bad actor and had every intention of hurting at least the US, if not the preponderance of the Gulf War I coalition, at any opportunity in payback for their humiliation in the first Gulf war. This was accomplished particularly through direct support of Palestinian terrorists. The fact that they routinely violated the cease fire agreement by shooting at the patrolling aircraft, is IMHO, alone enough cause for the US to have resumed hostilities.

There is much in the Bush administration's handling of the Iraq war of which to be critical and I would suggest that it's OK to debate those issues if not just to learn from the experience. Arguably these would include the handling of the "occupation" after the military victory, whether there are enough soldiers in Iraq to secure the peace, whether we should have some sort of defined "exit plan", etc, etc, etc.

Some of the rest of the arguments such as that we're there for the oil, to enrichen Halliburton, because Bush likes a good war, or that there's no connection with terrorism, unfortunately just render the reasonable criticisms mute.

boris

the linking of Saddam and Iraq to international terrorism without factual foundation

That's a fairly specific charge, not something like:

connection with particular terrorists, namely those who attacked us on 9/11

The factual connections between Iraq and international terrorism are simply not in dispute, and claiming they are is not debate, it's demagogic.

Syl

davebo

Yes, ramadi is in eastern anbar. And there are insurgents there. But the most fighting we've been doing lately is also in anbar, west of ramadi and fallujah (which is mostly cleaned out, btw) and that fighting is with the al qaeda foreigners, not the insurgents.

SteveMG

TexasToast:
Sorry, I'm about to blow a gasket here.

Don't mean to be rude (well, too rude) but were you sleepwalking throughout the nineties?

Did you not read or hear Clinton and Albright and Berger and Pollack and Cohen and dozens of other Administration and Congressional figures all talk about Iraq's support for terrorism?

They documented the funding, the training, the logistical support, the diplomatic support, the contacts and exchanges between Iraqi agents and al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups?

Or was I supposed to dismiss those charges because the Clinton Administration didn't present dissenting views within the intelligence community? That seems to be the new standard now.

Clinton repeatedly mentioned Saddam's support for terrorism. I can't recall any notable speech by him on Iraq where he didn't mention Iraq's assistance to terrorist groups.

Google: Clinton and Iraq and terrorism. Or Peter Berger (writing in The Nation for chrissakes) and Iraq and terrorism. Check out Pollack's book.

SMG

SteveMG

Correction:
That's Peter Bergen not Berger.

SMG

JM Hanes

Rick --
"Now, most of us don't try and steer by looking in the rearview mirror but that doesn't mean it's impossible."

Great comment. OT, reminds me of Smoke Signals, a totally off-the-reservation reservation film. It includes a pair of teenage girls who drive a convertible junker that only works in reverse, and in the context of the movie, it doesn't even seem strange. It makes a great flick, but politics? Not so much.

SteveMG

Harry:
Good post.

I should have shut my mouth and just let your response take my place.

We can debate Iraq's specific relationship with al-Qaeda, to be sure. But we cannot debate the proposition that Iraq under Saddam had no relationship with terrorism in general.

My goodness, the Clinton State Department repeatedly listed Iraq as a state sponsor of terrorism, along with a dozen or so other countries, Syria, Iran, et cetera.

SMG

ami

The factual connections between Iraq and international terrorism are simply not in dispute, and claiming they are is not debate, it's demagogic.

is true.

so is

The factual connections between the United States and international terrorism are simply not in dispute, and claiming they are is not debate, it's demagogic.

So rather than split hairs, lets discuss the question of relevance...

True or False: The threat posed by Iraq's known links to terrorism made the only option to ensure America's national security the invasion and occupation of Iraq, the loss of thousands of American soldiers, hundreds of billions of dollars, and the loss of a very large chunk of America's prestige and influence throughout the world.

That is really the question.

ami

What would attitudes be on the Left if President Bush hadn't invaded Iraq ("let the inspectors do their work," etc.) and then we'd been attacked with WMDs?

That depends upon what happened in the interim. For instance, if Bush said "okay, its all clear, Saddam has nothing in his inventory, and no programs or plans, lets start shipping him our spent fuel rods, and chemical and biological warfare agents because its good for the American economy" I think that Bush would have been held responsible.

If, on the other hand, Bush had insisted upon continued intrusive inspection as a condition for lifting the sanctions, and was willing to bomb the crap out of any facility that inspectors were denied immediate access to, and we still got WMD'ed..... well, I'd probably find a way to blame him for it, but I don't think the American people would have held him responsible.

ami

"Now, most of us don't try and steer by looking in the rearview mirror but that doesn't mean it's impossible."

true Rick. But most of us are also unwilling to allow our children to get in a car with someone that we know shouldn't be behind a wheel.

Unfortunately, that driver is behind the wheel, and even if the destination of the trip is a good place to go, the fact is the guy doesn't know how to get there, and the odds are a lot better that he'd drive the car over the cliff than reach the destination with our kids safe and sound.

And we're trying to warn other parents not to let their kids in that car.

Syl

ami

Yes, there were other scenarios besides removing Saddam. I don't agree with them, but they exist and can be debated in good faith.

But what troubles me is that the deed was done and the American people said 'Stay the course' in Nov 2004, yet there are those that still argue the reasons for invading Iraq. No, let me take that back. There are those that still argue one reason for invading Iraq and won't let go.

And by making false charges against the POTUS (say what you will about anyone else) they are undermining our will to carry this through. That's not a recipe for winning, for bringing our troops home, or even for planning our next move, if any. It is only obstruction that in the end harms the very security the POTUS rightly, or wrongly, sought to safeguard.

As a fellow citizen I find this very disturbing.

MaidMarion

SMG,

Regarding Saddam's support of terrorism...

My surprise with the Bush Administration was that Powell focused on Saddam's WMD rather than Saddam's support to Terrorism when he made his speech before the UN.

UN Resolution 1441 proscribed Saddam from supporting any form of terrorism and we had those goods on him...

Why we focused so heavily on the WMD has always been a curiosity to me.

TexasToast

As the criticism came from you SMG, I dodided to do a bit of looking. The White House lists 6 bullet points

the 1993 assination attempt against former Predsident Bush
shelter of MKO (anti-Iranian group)
shelter of Palistinian groups
shelter of Abu Nidal
the Palistinian widows and orphans payments
Salman Pak training camp

Thats it, one overt anti-US act (remember Fidel?),support of an anti-Iranian group and the obligatory pro-palistinian BS.

All of this is disputed. Moreover, most of it existed when we had a pro Iraqi tilt. It was not a casus belli until GWB decided to make it a casus belli. Moreover, there were and are several other countries with imilar "links".

Saudi Arabia was "terrorist central" until we created other educational opportunities for our enemies in Iraq.

This was containable - until we decided to go in. Then the links to "terrorism" suddenly became something we had to deal with NOW. Hype and more hype.


p.lukasiak

But what troubles me is that the deed was done and the American people said 'Stay the course' in Nov 2004, yet there are those that still argue the reasons for invading Iraq.

Syl, could you explain to me how Democrats who voted for the war and are changing their minds now are somehow unprincipled, while Democrats who opposed the war and still oppose the war are equally unprincipled?

I think criticism is fair and all, but don't criticize one group of Dems for changing their minds, and then criticize another group for sticking to their arguments.

p.lukasiak

Why we focused so heavily on the WMD has always been a curiosity to me.

probably because the US record of sponsoring terrorism and harboring terrorists is something of an embarrassment that we really don't want brought up.

TM

because Bush wanted the vote held before the election,

That scary narrative about how Bush duped the dems (again!) ought to reflect (a) the Dems spent the summer demanding a Congressional role, and (b) Bush wanted a Congressional resolution to back his UN negotiations.

If the Dems could not have anticipated that Bush would not keep the UN on hold until after the election, well, surprise, surprise.

And the whole that Dems could not debate a war resolution with voters actually watching was, while refeshingly honest, also embarrassing.

So you agree that to expect honesty from the msm is hopeless??

C'mon, Max, you stop by here often enough - of course I agree.

In Iraq, we are even more culpable because the dots themselves never existed.

I have tried again with that comment - it was Sen Roberts who said that.

To me, one of the most shocking things I heard was when Condi Rice said that no imagined such an attack was possible...

The most shocking thing I heard was Condi Rice saying that all was well, since the FBI had 70 field investigations going (from the famous PDB).

Since the head of the FBI and the head of the NY Office (which led counter-terror since the WTC) had both stepped down in July 2001, the idea that the FBI was on it was a bit thin.

Add in the fact that FBI in-house communication was a joke (70 investigations meant 70 people not talking to each other), and that news should have prompted her to call a review of our domestic effort ASAP.

Oh, well. Condi '08.

Uh Davebo - any chance of a whole comment from you with no bad language? (BTW, "Hell no" is *not* the answer I am looking for).

p.lukasiak

That scary narrative about how Bush duped the dems (again!) ought to reflect (a) the Dems spent the summer demanding a Congressional role, and (b) Bush wanted a Congressional resolution to back his UN negotiations.

1) funny, because according to the Bush administration, it had no intention of "rolling out its new product" until the fall.

2) You know, TM, even I don't bother trying to argue the whole "Dems didn't vote to authorize the war, they just voted to strengthen Bush's hand for UN negotiations" bullshit. The fact that you try and use it to make a point shows just how empty and unserious your rhetoric actually is.

p.lukasiak

hopefully fixing it myself

p.lukasiak

well, that didn't work....someone please explain to me how to kill tags left active from a previous post!

Syl

p.luk.

The reason Dems who supported the war are changing their minds is because they accuse Bush of duping them. Then all the Dems pile on. It's dishonest and it's hurting the war effort.

TM

You know, TM, even I don't bother trying to argue the whole "Dems didn't vote to authorize the war, they just voted to strengthen Bush's hand for UN negotiations" bullshit.

I don't follow this answer at all.

My point is that Bush was not interested in a Congressional resolution at the end of November - he claimed he wanted one to strengthen his hand at the UN.

Your claim, as I read it, is that Dems (such as Kerry) who claim they were only voting to strenghten Bush's hand, and not authorizing war, are ducking their responsibility.

You may be right about the responsibility of Dems, but that does not contradict my point that, as to timing, October made more sense than November.

In any case, if this blog or my comments are insufficiently serious, hasta la vista - I can't imagine why you think I might be inclined to put up with any snippy attitude from you at all, but I'm not.

SteveMG

TexasToast:
All of this is disputed

I'm floored by your response on this issue. You're a smart guy - and I'm not blowing smoke. You're literate and thoughtful but you're embracing something that is just not in dispute by reasonable people.

The Clinton Administration listed Iraq as a state sponsor of terrorism every year from 1993-2000.

I'm sure you were aware of that?

Iraq was a terrorist sponsoring state. They provided logistical support, training, money, diplomatic support, ideological support, to terrorist groups.

Clinton made a number of critical speeches talking about the danger from Iraq. Remember Secretary Cohen carrying that 5 pound bag of sugar on the talk shows?

Iraq was funding and supporting terrorist groups attacking Israel, for example.

You think he wasn't?

SMG

p.lukasiak

My point is that Bush was not interested in a Congressional resolution at the end of November - he claimed he wanted one to strengthen his hand at the UN.

that's my point. The adminstration was selling the resolution based on an "The only way to disarm Iraq peacefully is through the use of force, and I need the support of Congress in order to assure the UN of the US commitment to disarm Saddam by force if he doesn't do so voluntarily."

The prevailing assumption was that a vote for the resolution was, in fact, a vote for war because it was assumed that Saddam had WMDs AND that he would not provided unrestricted access for inspections.

To present the resolution issue as if it was just about Bush asking Congress to strengthen his hand with the UN is completely dishonest. Everyone understood what was really at stake -- and no one suspected that the underlying premises were faulty.

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

I can't imagine why you think I might be inclined to put up with any snippy attitude from you at all, but I'm not.

my mistake. I thought you weren't just another wingnut, and that this site actually had intelligent serious people discussing the whole Plame Controversy thing. (I'd rather discuss issues with smart people I disagree with, than dumb people I agree with, so I avoid sites like DU and Kos with the same dedication I avoid FreeRepublic and Powerline.)

TexasToast

SMG
I think we got an emphasis problem. Sure they were on the list. Yes, Saddam was a very bad man, but he wsn't a part of attacking us in a 9/11 way and our national interests weren't threatened by his pitiful support for palistinian groups. AQ was an entirely different kettle of fish and linking Saddam's pitiful efforts to them is puff. It was managable.

Harry

You are a good man.

Hey P LUK

a bit of advice

Dont tread on superman's cape
dont spit into the wind
Dont pull the mask off the old lone ranger
and dont mess around with TM

His Blog - his rules

He has a thick skin, but "empty and unserious" ain't helpful. You have lots of interesting things to say, but leave the "murderer rapist" type comments to the food fight crowd. Tell ME to go to H***, not TM

SteveMG

TexasToast:
Sure they were on the list. Yes, Saddam was a very bad man, but he wsn't a part of attacking us

Fine, we'll meet in the middle and agree. Let's sing Kumbaya. You start and I'll jump in.

See, who says Bush can't unify the country anymore?

I will add, however, that Bush stated emphatically, with overwhelming public support from both sides of the aisle, that after 9/11 the US would no longer permit states that sponsored terror to continue. Recall the "you're either with us or against us" speech?

He was singling out those nations that permitted terrorists to operate on their soil. Either those governments ceased their support or acquiesce to terrorists operating in their countries or the US would consider them as enemies.

SMG

Syl

In a survey I was asked to take way back then, one of the questions was 'Does Iraq have anything to do with 9/11?'.

I answered 'Yes'.

Not because I believed Saddam had anything specifically to do with the 9/11 attack, but because he, at least loosely, supported Islamic terrorism.

Also because 9/11 caused us to look at the world differently, taking more seriously what before had just been relegated to the 'worry. but not too much' bin.

So, I think my answer to the question was the correct one. And I don't think that's too nuanced for normal people to understand.

Gary Maxwell

Hey did you catch this from Face the Nation today? ( lifted from Instapundit)

Sen. McCAIN: No, I think it's a very legitimate aspect of American life to criticize and to disagree and to debate. But I want to say I think it's a lie to say that the president lied to the American people. I sat on the Robb-Silverman Commission. I saw many, many analysts that came before that committee. I asked every one of them--I said, `Did--were you ever pressured politically or any other way to change your analysis of the situation as you saw?' Every one of them said no.

So every progressive's favorite Rino says they ( Democrats in congress ) are all liars. Just about brings a tear to your eye. Heck if Hagle jumps in, we got a party going. PLuk you bring the chips...

Lesley

"Left unexplained - how the Democrats unrelenting focus on the use of pre-war intelligence is going to substitute for a plan to resolve the situation in Iraq." TM

Our entire political class in this country leaves me less than impressed. Maybe I've spent too much time raising children but this reminds me of that mess in the playroom, my kids endlessly and peevishly arguing over who is responsible for it, accomplishing nothing, and the mess remains until the ADULT takes over and says, "I don't care who is responsible for it, all of you are going to clean it up."

This isn't just politics as usual, there are human beings at risk, our "treasure," and the sooner our country presents a united front for success in Iraq and Afghanistan, the sooner we can bring our heroes home. And yet, we and the rest of the world are watching our politicians behave like bratty children in the playroom engaging in constant recrimination much to the detriment of our "American family." How incredibly gratifying it would be if both sides of the aisle came together to tell the American public and the world, "We are determined to win. There is no substitute for victory."

My attitude may seem simplistic to some but I think it reflects the thinking of most Americans. I'm sick of hearing "we were lied to and shouldn't even be there." Water over the dam, kids. We're there and we've got to make it right. The task/job yet remains to be accomplished. Enough of this bickering and finger-pointing.

Let's "git her done."

max

So you agree that to expect honesty from the msm is hopeless??

C'mon, Max, you stop by here often enough - of course I agree. - TM

TM,

I asked the question rhetorically (or so I hoped), but for a small yet perhaps-not-petty reason - Bush may have made a mistake in 'relying on a fair media', but I think it's unfair to call him 'a dope'. He understands the seriousness of the issues and risks the US faces post 9/11/2001 (that now-forgotten by the msm quislings day) and had every right to hope and expect that the choices he made in good faith to protect the US would in turn be dealt with in reasonable good faith by the msm. Instead of course he has been met with dishonesty after dishonesty by the msm quislings, but imo he's not a dope for having expected better of them.

PS I still can't open the comments on the 'Bush Comes Out Swinging' thread, perhaps because jukeboxgrad overloaded it, but I'd love to see what I've missed. Perhaps the comments could be broken into 2 parts?)

It may well be that Paul Krugman's favorite Irish swamp crank has said something which (again) needs rebutting, but I can't do it. And if I don't then where will we be? (No need to answer of course.)

Syl

TT

Sure they were on the list. Yes, Saddam was a very bad man, but he wsn't a part of attacking us

Then we both agree that Iraq was not retaliation for 9/11.

Our difference lies in whether Saddam had to be an imminent threat or not.

I didn't think so. Therefore 'no wmd' didn't matter to me.

You think so (if I may presume) so 'no wmd' broke the case.

Syl

Gary

Sen. McCAIN: I think it's a lie to say that the president lied to the American people.

YES!

SteveMG

Syl:

Yes, but.

The AP lede on McCain's appearance is his disagreement with the W.H. re torture policy/legislation.

His defense of Bush is way down in the story.

Nothing gives the press greater pleasure than Republicans criticizing Republicans. They just swoon over it.

It's like Jonathan Alter disputing the charge that he never praises Republicans. "Yes I do. I've had lots of nice words about Senator McCain."

We know, we know.

SMG

Gary Maxwell

Sen McCain just called Ted Kennedy, Barbara Boxer and Dick Durbin et al LIARS! I love it when the truth get administered so bluntly.

Syl

Harry Reid and the rest of them are fools. They're just demonstrating how clueless they are regarding the war.

With all their concern about the international community, the Dems haven't even noticed that the rest of the world lost interest in the 'no wmd' issue long ago.

Now the world watches the progress of the Iraqi people, and the cruel slaughter inflicted on them, and others, by al Qaeda.

That's what matters today.

Lying that Bush misled us into a (senseless, illegal, immoral, whatever) war which has turned into a PR nightmare for al Qaeda shows how out of touch they are.

TM

In illustration of the maxim, "Seek, and ye shall find... something else", I stumbled across this ABC poll result from March 21, 2003 (as the war had just begun).

15. Do you think the United States will be able to justify this war ONLY if it finds weapons of mass destruction, such as chemical or biological weapons, in Iraq; or do you think the United States will be able to justify this war for other reasons, even if it does NOT find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq? 3/20/2003

Justify only find WMD: 35

Justify even no WMD: 53

Neither/No Justification: 7

No Opinion: 6

Now, one might note that at that point, we had just gone to war and folks might have had an in-for-a-penny, in for a pound attitude.

OTOH, one might say that support has slipped for other reasons. E.g., in Mar 2003 only about 18% expected the war to be a year or longer.

In terms of the conventional war, they were right, obviously, but that distinction seems to be irrelevant to most people now.

clarice

Tom, that poll is a great catch..

Syl

Yes, great find, TM.

And you're right (I should be surprised? LOL) that the drop in support was more due to the length and intensity of the insurgency than lack of wmd.

OT, but when reading those polls titles I was cracking up over all the Consumer Confidence ones. LOL. Each one is slightly different though they mostly say the same thing.

Confidence Levels Off Confidence, Still Weak, Is on a Better Track

Confidence in a June Lull

Confidence Stuck in a Rut

Confidence Levels Off, On Pace for 10-Year Low

Confidence Advances, Though Still Weak

Consumer Confidence Holds Flat

Consumer Confidence Stands Still

Confidence on Hold, Again


Cecil Turner

Sure they were on the list. Yes, Saddam was a very bad man, but he wsn't a part of attacking us

Prove it (rhetorical: obviously it's impossible to prove). There is little doubt there were contacts between Iraq and Al Qaeda, the extent of which is difficult to gauge. Zarqawi's post invasion cooperation in Iraq suggests it may have been considerable. And as the 9/11 report illustrates, even naysayers such as Richard Clarke thought Saddam might provide Bin Laden sanctuary:

[Clarke] wrote Deputy National Security Advisor Donald Kerrick that one reliable source reported Bin Ladin's having met with Iraqi officials, who "may have offered him asylum." Other intelligence sources said that some Taliban leaders, though not Mullah Omar, had urged Bin Ladin to go to Iraq. If Bin Ladin actually moved to Iraq, wrote Clarke, his network would be at Saddam Hussein's service, and it would be "virtually impossible" to find him.
Further, the source of the post-9/11 anthrax is still unknown, but Iraq is certainly on the list. It's also apparent from the 9/11 Report that there is at least come evidence of pertinent cooperation between Iraq and Al Qaeda:
The original sealed indictment had added that al Qaeda had "reached an understanding with the government of Iraq that al Qaeda would not work against that government and that on particular projects, specifically including weapons development, al Qaeda would work cooperatively with the Government of Iraq."109 This passage led Clarke, who for years had read intelligence reports on Iraqi-Sudanese cooperation on chemical weapons, to speculate to Berger that a large Iraqi presence at chemical facilities in Khartoum was "probably a direct result of the Iraq-Al Qida agreement." Clarke added that VX precursor traces found near al Shifa were the "exact formula used by Iraq."110
15. Do you think the United States will be able to justify this war ONLY if it finds weapons of mass destruction, such as chemical or biological weapons, in Iraq;

Nice catch. It's also interesting to note that the guy who wrote this poll question obviously didn't see nukes as the primary threat.

kim

p.l., even if the underlying premises were faulty, it's not as if that was obvious. You don't think we acted in good faith, I do. So do lots of Iraqis, and an increasing number of others. So attempting to point out that Bush was lucky rather than smart is a non-starter.
==========================================

JM Hanes

Hark, all ye naysayers. Here's your proof positive that things in Iraq are really turning around. Kofi Annan has come to town, looking for a piece of the action. Even "at a distance," he could feel Iraqis pain! He wants to help Ibrahim al-Jaafari build democracy! He gave advice!

He urged Iraqis to embrace a process aiming to reconcile the country's ethnic and religious groups.

"Reconciliation is absolutely vital in Iraq," Annan said, adding that the U.N. supported all efforts to bring peace to the country.

He says we absolutely must adopt a "comprehensive convention agaisnt terrorism" by the end of the year! Things must be coming up roses indeed.

JM Hanes

And here's that actual URL! Kofi Annan

arrowhead

"It looks to me like a Guiliani waltz. I wont like a lot of what he says, but I am sure he will be firm on the WOT. When he told the Saudi prince to shove his money, he convinced me that he has principles and a backbone."

I agree. The Republicans whether they be conservative or moderate would be fools to reject a candidate who could beat the Democrats' Cruella de Clinton. For once they have to put aside their special interests and vote FOR the country. The issues of abortion and environmental extremism will sort themselves out over time. The single issue that must be dealt with head on with no equivocation - is the GWOT. We need a candidate who is believable and strong in this area, one who can be trusted to get the job done, and one with sufficient name recognition that he can win. That leaves only Guilliani, IMO.

kim

Condi.
======

kim

Giuliani's only crediblility in the war on Terror is his response post 9/11, which would have taken a cretin to blow, and which didn't require either international expertise or resolve. It just took empathy, something politicians are commonly stocked with. Rice, however, is your man if you are worried about the War on Terror. Did I say that? Did you not mention her because she is not. The worst sexism is the unconscious.
===============================================

arrowhead

Condi Rice would be an excellent choice. Her only problem would be overall approval and name recognition. Dick Morris seems to think she would be a formidable candidate - especially against the Clintons (yes, I mean both of them). I'm not so certain of that, but I would prefer her to McCain.

kim

I agree, and I concede that Condi might not have much more of a lock on the socially conservative than does Giuliani, and he does have likability and campaign trail pizzazz. I'm not quite 100% certain that he didn't abuse his position just a skosh back in the '80s, but he was certainly bashing popular pinatas, and I trust him a lot more than McCain. I like Coleman, but he's a neophyte. Allen certainly learned something about winning from those boy racers his Daddy used to take him to see. And Jeb, just like Joe Kennedy, was the anointed one. Hagel might as well be Hegel for as comprehensible as he is. Who'd I leave out? I know, Hugh Hewitt.
===================================================

Pete

The poll is a great catch, but you also have to realize the information available to people then. Among some of the stories spun by the war proponents were:
- We'll be greeted with flowers
- We won't need a lot of troops
- It won't cost much.
- The oil will pay for reconstruction.

If there is no pain, I am sure that 90% of people will support a war to get rid of the Chinese commies, the Saudi monarchy and the rest of the totalitarian dictators (regardless of whether or not they have WMDs).

Pete

If Bush really was let down by the intelligence community, then how come Bush has expressed no outrage on that issue? Why go to the podium and give George Tenet a Presidential Medal? Has Bush fired anyone for the intelligence lapses?

Even Chalabi (who fed us a lot of bogus information) seems to be getting a warm reception in Washington these days.

kim

Pete, maybe his info was not so bogus after all, or maybe the perjury can be excused by intent. Surely history will forgive him for he is the Master of the Bazaar and is busy printing the history and getting after electrifying the schoolhouses that little free Iraqis use and paying protection money to the Sunni Chieftains, and rebuilding Iraq with oil money, and praying in concert with Sistani, and governing in concert with the Kurds, and honoring Casey Sheehan and Judith Miller with profiles on small coins.

Don't forget the kite factories. Naw, probably imported from those free mercantilists, the Chinese.
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