Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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December 29, 2005

LINGERING CONFUSION....For an embarrassingly long time, large numbers of Americans believed a series of bogus claims about Saddam Hussein's Iraq, including non-existent connections to 9/11. The good news is the percentages have fallen considerably since the war began. The bad news is we still have a ways to go.

According to a new poll published today by the Wall Street Journal, war-related myths continue linger in the public's mind.

* 41% of poll respondents said Saddam Hussein had "strong links" with Al Qaeda. This is down from 64% who believed this 10 months ago.

* 22% said Hussein helped plan and support the hijackers who attacked the United States on 9/11. In February 2005, 47% believed this. (Complicating matters in the more recent poll, an additional 30% said they were "not sure" if this is true or not.)

* 26% said Iraq had weapons of mass destruction when the U.S. invaded. That's down 10 points since February.

* 24% said several of the hijackers who attacked the U.S. on September 11 were Iraqis. Ten months ago, 44% believed this. (In case you've forgotten, the actual number of Iraqi hijackers on 9/11 is zero.)

Who's responsible for such widespread confusion? The Bush administration clearly deserves some blame with its irresponsible and highly misleading rhetoric, before the invasion and after it. That said, some of these claims were dropped from the White House talking points over a year ago, and some (such as the notion of Iraqi hijackers) were never uttered in the first place.

News outlets may bear some blame, but even the worst of the he-said, she-said reports make clear that there's no evidence of "strong ties" between Saddam Hussein and al Qaeda and/or 9/11. (This does not include Fox News, whose viewers are more confused than anyone else.)

Maybe it's the one-in-four Americans who still believe Iraq had WMD who should take responsibility and get better informed? You don't have to be a news junkie reading six newspapers a day to recognize reality.

Steve Benen 3:09 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (169)

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Comments

I hate to say I told you so but,I told you so,We on the left knew this before the war started,Gotta catch up with the times there righties.

Posted by: scott on December 29, 2005 at 3:16 PM | PERMALINK

Maybe it's the one-in-four Americans who still believe Iraq had WMD who should take responsibility and get better informed?

If you're talking about members of the press, I agree. A lazier bunch of professionals, I've never seen.

Posted by: F'in Librul on December 29, 2005 at 3:26 PM | PERMALINK

torture memos here

http://www.craigmurray.co.uk/archives/2005/12/damning_documen.html

Posted by: Ba'al on December 29, 2005 at 3:32 PM | PERMALINK

I wonder how many people in America erroneously believe there were NO ties between al Queda and Saddam's Iraq.

Just for shits and giggles, you know...

Posted by: Birkel on December 29, 2005 at 3:33 PM | PERMALINK

These polls need to differentiate between regular or likely voters, and non-voters. (The poll may have done that and it was unreported. If so, this is a form of journalistic bias).

The 22% who still believe Saddam was linked to 9/11 are probably uneducated, unread, non-voters. Thus, their opinions are practically irrelevant to any meaningful discussion about where this country is and where it might be going politically.

Posted by: Paul on December 29, 2005 at 3:36 PM | PERMALINK

Personally, I'll have to wait for rdw's spin on this poll before commenting.

Posted by: wdr on December 29, 2005 at 3:37 PM | PERMALINK

Not only are Americans blood thirsty cannabalistic child liver eaters, they are also extremely dumb fat faced fucks.

Posted by: Hostile on December 29, 2005 at 3:38 PM | PERMALINK

I think it's pretty clear from this poll that the President is a genius.

Also, people hate PBS.

Posted by: rdw on December 29, 2005 at 3:39 PM | PERMALINK

Actually, the 22% who believe that Hussein blew up the WTC are probably white, middle-class or lower middle-class, red-state inhabitants, weekly church-goers, Fox News watchers, very likely to vote.

Posted by: Anon on December 29, 2005 at 3:40 PM | PERMALINK

Birkel,
just for giggles, remember GWBush's original recursive definition of a terrorist? That anyone who helps a terrorist is a terrorist? Bet you're a terrorist too, unless you're a member of a group that doesn't ever help anyone outside the group, or an individual (a group of size one) who never ever helps anyone, ever.

The links between AQ and SaddamIraq were tenuous and almost certainly not operational. It's quite possible that the US had better links to AQ than SaddamIraq...

Posted by: Bill Arnold on December 29, 2005 at 3:41 PM | PERMALINK

Some statements are trying to prove negatives. We can't known with 100% certainty that there weren't WMDs that were stolen by aliens as we invaded, and some people may know all the facts but still believe wacko theories. The polls should be asking whether people believe any evidence has been found by the US suggesting Iraqi WMDs (to which there is a correct answer, no.) However, the last question is just bizarre- we know the nationalities of the hijackers, and they weren't Iraqi, we know what they were. It's like asking, "What party is the majority in Congress?" The only excuse for getting that wrong is ignorance- sadly, many get that wrong too.

Posted by: SP on December 29, 2005 at 3:45 PM | PERMALINK

Bill Arnold,

Thanks for making it clear that you're to be ignored in future as irrelevant. Most people take several comments before diving to that level of... well... stupidity.

Much obliged.

Posted by: Birkel on December 29, 2005 at 3:45 PM | PERMALINK

The 22% who still believe Saddam was linked to 9/11 are probably uneducated, unread, non-voters.

They're also about half of Bush's 45% approval rating.

Posted by: tomeck on December 29, 2005 at 3:50 PM | PERMALINK

Anon:

Either way, the point is to know whether or not they vote so we can know whether to include their numbers in any thoughtful analysis.


Posted by: Paul on December 29, 2005 at 3:51 PM | PERMALINK

Americans have very short and weak memories.

Posted by: kathryne lee on December 29, 2005 at 3:51 PM | PERMALINK

Maybe the public believes there were Iraqi hijackers and significant al qaeda/Iraq links because they think there must've been some logical reason for us to attack Iraq, that it couldn't be, like Richard Clarke analogized, as if we attacked Mexico after Pearl Harbor.

Posted by: Caldo on December 29, 2005 at 3:53 PM | PERMALINK
Thanks for making it clear that you're to be ignored in future as irrelevant.

A conclusion that most here have already made about Bush sychophant Birkel.

Posted by: SavageView on December 29, 2005 at 3:57 PM | PERMALINK

Listening for three hours a day to a thrice-divorced, pill-popping, college dropout and draft dodger like Rush Limbaugh has sure never raised anyone's IQ. Dittos for Michael Savage.

Let's face it - Americans, by and large, are lazy and misinformed. Too much TV - too little exercise - endless right-wing propaganda. They all contribute to this indolent ignorance.

A perfect atmosphere for fascism to flourish - and it has....

Posted by: Stephen Kriz on December 29, 2005 at 4:00 PM | PERMALINK

I assume that a decent percentage of the presumably mis/uninformed are simply lying.

Posted by: es on December 29, 2005 at 4:02 PM | PERMALINK

tomeck: The New poll shows Bush at 35% approval and going down.

Posted by: scott on December 29, 2005 at 4:03 PM | PERMALINK

I wonder what percentage of Americans realize that George W Bush has closer ties to Osama bin Laden than Saddam Hussein.

Seriously, I do wonder.

Posted by: kenga on December 29, 2005 at 4:05 PM | PERMALINK

Bill - it isn't possible that the US had closer links to AQ than SaddamIraq.

It is documented.

Posted by: kenga on December 29, 2005 at 4:07 PM | PERMALINK

Ahem. "Saddam has no WMD" is a THEORY. Theories are not facts. Unproven. It's bedrock reality that he did -- witness the years of failed UN inspections.

Alternate explanations are welcome, like 'underpants gnomes stole Bush's brain and are remotely controlling him via a wireless XBOX360 controller'.

Posted by: tbrosz on December 29, 2005 at 4:08 PM | PERMALINK

I assume that a decent percentage of the presumably mis/uninformed are simply lying.

Why say this? Am I missing some sarcasm, or something else? I think there ARE vast numbers of Americans that ARE too lazy and unmotivated to scratch beneath the surface (or even look at the surface).

Posted by: E. Henry Thripshaw on December 29, 2005 at 4:09 PM | PERMALINK

Bush Quote 1999,(I will not use our troops for Nation building) that is a LIE.

Posted by: scott on December 29, 2005 at 4:11 PM | PERMALINK

Alternate explanations are welcome, like 'underpants gnomes stole Bush's brain and are remotely controlling him via a wireless XBOX360 controller'.

This would explain much.

Posted by: E. Henry Thripshaw on December 29, 2005 at 4:11 PM | PERMALINK

News outlets may bare some of the blame?!? The media deserves all the blame. They have done absolutely nothing to try and tease out the facts from the spin, conjecture and lies the administration has been telling us for 5 years. No wonder most people are confused.

Posted by: D. on December 29, 2005 at 4:13 PM | PERMALINK

eh?
Are you fricking serious?
We've got the bastard in a cell, he's on trial for his life, and people still claim that Saddam has WMDs?
WTF?
I mean, do you seriously believe he hasn't had a body cavity search, and had all his fillings x-rayed?

Where do you suppose he keeps them? In his Bag of Holding?

Posted by: kenga on December 29, 2005 at 4:14 PM | PERMALINK

The science is still out on Saddam's connections to 9/11, al-Qaeda, WMD, quantities of uranium from Africa, and Iraqis on the hijacked planes.

*Responsible people* wait until all he evidence is in before attempting to draw conclusions.

After all, to do otherwise is to "hate science".

Posted by: tbrosz on December 29, 2005 at 4:17 PM | PERMALINK

Even worse than it looks

* 41% of poll respondents said Saddam Hussein had "strong links" with Al Qaeda. This is down from 64% who believed this 10 months ago.

The sadder fact is that more respondents said Saddam had strong links with al queda than said that he did not: 41% said true 33% said not true and 24% said not sure.

The moving America Backwards Group is still prevailing despite all the facts on keeping this an open question. See, e.g. http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/2005_12/007871.php

Posted by: Catch22 on December 29, 2005 at 4:19 PM | PERMALINK

Pat,

I leave you to your own devices (such as Google, which is free) to find Clinton-era quotes connecting al Queda and Iraq. Circa 1998 if that's any help.

You've got a whole world out there so get busy.

Posted by: Birkel on December 29, 2005 at 4:22 PM | PERMALINK

That solid core of people who believe that AQ and Saddam Hussein are linked, and that both are linked to 9/11, are people who either need to believe and want to believe that those things are true.

These are people who do not want an explanation of the world, they don't want to understand it and they are not interested in anything like objective truth. These are people who want their pre-existing beliefs to be supported, they want reassurance.

These are the people who believed that most welfare went to blacks, that America spends 20-25% of its national budget on foreign aid, and other myths that reinforce the overarching myth that they and their country are objectively good, and that anyone who holds opposing or differing views is objectively bad.

If George W. Bush had advocated invading Iraq because the people who lived there don't believe in the same God that we do, these people would have supported the invasion.

Posted by: James E. Powell on December 29, 2005 at 4:25 PM | PERMALINK

Who's responsible for this ignorance? It's passed down from generation to generation. Vast majorities believe when you die you're whisked away to some sort of pleasant place devoid of pain, worry and the rest of life's troubles, visiting those that have passed before you. How damned stupid is that?

Posted by: steve duncan on December 29, 2005 at 4:26 PM | PERMALINK

It's just so frustrating when they make my bed and I have to lie in it.

Posted by: Sara on December 29, 2005 at 4:29 PM | PERMALINK

Given that only 50% of people have above-median IQ by definition, 24% is probably an upper bound for those who are geniuses.

So what is so surprising that only 24% believe that many hijackers were from Iraq? It is so non-obvious, and therefore takes a genius to come to this conclusion.

Posted by: tbrosz on December 29, 2005 at 4:34 PM | PERMALINK

I leave you to your own devices (such as Google, which is free) to find Clinton-era quotes connecting al Queda and Iraq. Circa 1998 if that's any help.

You've got a whole world out there so get busy.

Meanwhile, Chris Birkel has to keep trolling liberal web sites while pretending to do his "job" as James Tarantoad's research assistant.

Posted by: Dubya on December 29, 2005 at 4:35 PM | PERMALINK

If the media were responsible, they would be running with the facts on these subjects above the fold, or at the top of the hour, every single day until Americans see through these lies, and reflect that understanding in answers to these types of polls.

At the very least, it would make Bush and his supporters eventually belt out loudly that what the media is saying is true just so they could get them off the front pages.

Nobody should be more embarassed about this data than news professionals in this country.

Posted by: Dismayed Liberal on December 29, 2005 at 4:41 PM | PERMALINK

I assume that a decent percentage of the presumably mis/uninformed are simply lying.

Why say this? Am I missing some sarcasm, or something else? I think there ARE vast numbers of Americans that ARE too lazy and unmotivated to scratch beneath the surface (or even look at the surface).

Posted by: E. Henry Thripshaw on December 29, 2005 at 4:09 PM | PERMALINK


I think James E. Powell at 4:25 explains it better than I can. Perhaps "lying" is too strong of a word. Maybe a better term is "willfully ignorant." The basic point is that no amount of information is going to change what a certain percentage of Americans believe.

If I remember correctly there were polls done which demonstrated that Republicans were more likley to believe the falsehoods about the Iraq war than Democrats (I looked but couldn't find the poll so I may be imagining things). Part of this may be explained by Democrats being better informed, but some of this must be partisan willful ignorance or lying.

Posted by: es on December 29, 2005 at 4:46 PM | PERMALINK

What COMPLETE and UTTER BILGE.You watch to much Harboiled with his ace idiot Buster what's his name.

The fact is a week after September 11th 78 PERCENT OF AMERICANS THOUGHT SADDAM HUSSEIN WAS INVOLVED. BY THE TIME WE LIBERATED IRAQ, THAT NUMBER HAD FALLEN (NOT RISEN) TO 48 PERCENT.

So if the Bush adminstrationwas sooo busy pushing this line and America was falling for it, why did the number DECREASE by 30 PERCENT!!!

Posted by: Patton on December 29, 2005 at 4:48 PM | PERMALINK

Some snippets from about two-thirds the way down the article -- link

And the New Yorker is not a bastion of conservativism, I might add.

"The presentation was made in a small conference room, and as many as twenty C.I.A. executives and analysts crowded in, along with the director of the D.I.A., Vice-Admiral Lowell E. Jacoby, and Tenet himself. According to several people with knowledge of the meeting, Carney and Shelton told the C.I.A. officials that, based on their own reading of agency intelligence, it appeared likely that Saddam's relationship with Al Qaeda was serious and that it dated back to the terror group's early days in Sudan. Bin Laden had his headquarters in Khartoum in the early nineteen-nineties, before moving to Afghanistan, in 1996."

"...According to a senior Administration official, the C.I.A. itself is split on the question of a Baghdad-Al Qaeda connection: analysts in the agency's Near East-South Asia division discount the notion; the Counterterrorist Center supports it. The senior Administration official told me that Tenet tends to agree with the Counterterrorist Center.

When I saw Tenet, I asked if he now considered Saddam to be a primary sponsor of Al Qaeda. "Well, read my letter to Senator Graham," Tenet replied.

In October of 2002, when Bob Graham was the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Tenet wrote to him, explaining the C.I.A.'s understanding of the Iraq-Al Qaeda connection. It is a curious letter, which begins with a statement that "Baghdad for now appears to be drawing a line short of conducting terrorist attacks with conventional or CBW"chemical and biological weapons"against the United States." At the same time, Tenet said, Iraq has "provided training to Al Qaeda members in the areas of poisons and gases and making conventional bombs." Tenet added, "Credible information indicates that Iraq and Al Qaeda have discussed safe haven and reciprocal non-aggression," and he suggested that, even without an American attack on Iraq, "Baghdad's links to terrorists will increase." "

"According to several intelligence officials I spoke to, the relationship between bin Laden and Saddam's regime was brokered in the early nineteen-nineties by the then de-facto leader of Sudan, the pan-Islamist radical Hassan al-Tourabi. Tourabi, sources say, persuaded the ostensibly secular Saddam to add to the Iraqi flag the words "Allahu Akbar," as a concession to Muslim radicals.

In interviews with senior officials, the following picture emerged: American intelligence believes that Al Qaeda and Saddam reached a non-aggression agreement in 1993, and that the relationship deepened further in the mid-nineteen-nineties, when an Al Qaeda operativea native-born Iraqi who goes by the name Abu Abdullah al-Iraqiwas dispatched by bin Laden to ask the Iraqis for help in poison-gas training. Al-Iraqi's mission was successful, and an unknown number of trainers from an Iraqi secret-police organization called Unit 999 were dispatched to camps in Afghanistan to instruct Al Qaeda terrorists. (Training in hijacking techniques was also provided to foreign Islamist radicals inside Iraq, according to two Iraqi defectors quoted in a report in the Times in November of 2001.) Another Al Qaeda operative, the Iraqi-born Mamdouh Salim, who goes by the name Abu Hajer al-Iraqi, also served as a liaison in the mid-nineteen-nineties to Iraqi intelligence. Salim, according to a recent book, "The Age of Sacred Terror," by the former N.S.C. officials Daniel Benjamin and Steven Simon, was bin Laden's chief procurer of weapons of mass destruction, and was involved in the early nineties in chemical-weapons development in Sudan."

"Intelligence officials told me that the agency also takes seriously reports that an Iraqi known as Abu Wa'el, whose real name is Saadoun Mahmoud Abdulatif al-Ani, is the liaison of Saddam's intelligence service to a radical Muslim group called Ansar al-Islam, which controls a small enclave in northern Iraq; the group is believed by American and Kurdish intelligence officials to be affiliated with Al Qaeda. I learned of another possible connection early last year, while I was interviewing Al Qaeda operatives in a Kurdish prison in Sulaimaniya. There, a man whom Kurdish intelligence officials identified as a captured Iraqi agent told me that in 1992 he served as a bodyguard to Ayman al-Zawahiri, bin Laden's deputy, when Zawahiri secretly visited Baghdad."

But I'm sure there were no ties whatsoever and you can all tune back to your regularly scheduled programming.

And I apologize in advance for thinking a Google search was not as cumbersome as I now realize it is.

Posted by: Birkel on December 29, 2005 at 4:52 PM | PERMALINK

"I think there ARE vast numbers of Americans that ARE too lazy and unmotivated to scratch beneath the surface (or even look at the surface)".

This describes over half the population of my little town. Many of them have the excuse that they are busy trying to survive the 'Bush economy' however.

Posted by: WhoSays on December 29, 2005 at 4:54 PM | PERMALINK

Es:

I thought of your post as I was reading James Powells post and surmised that this might be what you were intimating. His post is pertinent, and describes well what I think has been going on through the build up to Iraq and beyond.

The divide in this country is well illustrated by where people go to get information (when they go at all). People tend to gravitate toward sources of information that support what they already believe, or want to believe. Or better put, they tend to give credence to these sources. I think that is true on the right and left.

While I accuse some on the right of being close minded, I have trouble remaining open minded to much of what I read (from the right).

Of course, the left is more often accurate. See? My open mind at work.

Posted by: E. Henry Thripshaw on December 29, 2005 at 4:59 PM | PERMALINK

AND I GUESS YOU WOULD BE SURPRISED TO FIND OUT THAT WE HAVE FOUIND OVER 100 SHELLS IN IRAQ LOADED WITH WMD??


Here is a good test for a liberal like Kevin....

FORGET ABOUT THE ENTIRE BUSH ADMINSTRATION...GO BACK TO ALL REPORTING FROM 1992 TO 2000 (THE CLINTON YEARS) AND TELL US FROM THE AVAILABLE INFORMATION:

1. DID IRAQ HAVE WMD, DID WE BELIEVE IRAQ HAD WMD AND DID WE BELIEVE THIS MADE IRAQ A DANGER?
DID WE PUT SANCTIONS ON IRAQ, LEADING TO THE DEATHS OF OVER A MILLION PEOPLE BECAUSE WE SAID IRAQ HAD WMD??

2. DID WE BELIEVE THAT IRAQ HAD TIES TO AL QUEDA, TO INCLUDE PRODUCING CHEMICAL WEAPONS IN THE SUDAN? DID WE INFACT USE THAT JUSTIFICATION TO BOMB A SOVEIGN COUNTRY?

3. DID WE IN FACT CLAIM THAT AL QUEDA AND IRAQ HAD COME TO AN AGREEMENT IN AN INDICTMENT BROUGHT BY CLINTON IN NEW YORK??

4. DID WE BELIEVE ONE OF THE WTC BOMBERS FROM 1992 WAS IN FACT BEING HARBORED BY IRAQ AND HE WAS THE COUSIN OF KHALID SHEIKH MUHAMMED, THE MASTERMIND OF SEPT 11TH??

Gee, and Bush wasn't even President. You have to really truly comprimise any personal integrity to write your complete BS.

Posted by: Patton on December 29, 2005 at 5:01 PM | PERMALINK

Ohh, by the way, Did Mr. Clark also tell Mr Burglar that if we pursued Osama Bin Laden in Afghanistan he would BOOGIE TO BAGHDAD, BECAUSE SADDAM HAD OFFERED HIM SAFE HAVEN??


I'll give you a hint........YES.

And Bush wasn't even elected yet.


Posted by: Patton on December 29, 2005 at 5:03 PM | PERMALINK

I'm curious how many Americans are aware that one of Bush's closest friends, the wife of Prince "Bandar Bush" Bandar gave rent money to some of the 9/11 terrorists?

Posted by: Boronx on December 29, 2005 at 5:04 PM | PERMALINK

If I remember correctly there were polls done which demonstrated that Republicans were more likley to believe the falsehoods about the Iraq war than Democrats

-es

It is more accurate to say that those more likely to believe in falsehoods, and in this case specifically the falsehoods about 9/11 and Iraq, were more likely to support and vote Republican.

There is a pattern here.

Those more likely to believe that an invisible man, who nevertheless is invariably pictured as old, white and bearded, controls the universe are more likely to be Republicans.

Those who believe that the earth, indeed the universe, is only a few thousand years old are more likely to be Republicans.

Those who believe that the color of a person's skin is an accurate predictor of that person's intelligence and moral character are more likely to be Republicans.

It is certain that there are plenty of completely stupid and ignorant Democrats. But the truth is, the more ignorant and irrational a person is, the more likely it is that that person is a Republican.

Posted by: James E. Powell on December 29, 2005 at 5:05 PM | PERMALINK

Wow! I can't believe Birkel took time off from his own two hit per day Blog that he updates twice per year (follow this comment to his homepage).

Posted by: Dubya on December 29, 2005 at 5:07 PM | PERMALINK

Pat,

I suggest you read the 9-11 Commission Report.

It'll be eye opening if you finish the whole thing.

Posted by: Birkel on December 29, 2005 at 5:08 PM | PERMALINK

BirkeDamn, Birkel, that's some outdated bullshit.

Posted by: Boronx on December 29, 2005 at 5:11 PM | PERMALINK

Doesn't anyone else find it depressing that about half the fucking country is so skull crushing stupid?

Jesus, it makes me want to scream.

Posted by: Vinnie on December 29, 2005 at 5:13 PM | PERMALINK

Yeah you tell 'em Birkel, you genius you! Make those libbers go read the 9/11 Commission Report. Then when they quote from the report and prove you wrong, you -- who never read the report yourself -- can pull out some counterquote (with an ellipses that blots out four paragraphs) that you've had prepared this whole time. Brilliant!

Posted by: Dubya on December 29, 2005 at 5:14 PM | PERMALINK

Birkel, you're way off base, Bill Arnold is spot on.

"The links between AQ and SaddamIraq were tenuous and almost certainly not operational. It's quite possible that the US had better links to AQ than SaddamIraq...

If by the U.S. you mean the Bush family, that's well verified to 1 degree of seperation. Bush and the Bin-Laden family go *way* back, intertwined in many ways both gross and subtle.

Serious stuff, Birkel. Take it seriously.

Posted by: Dan T. on December 29, 2005 at 5:15 PM | PERMALINK

There were no WMDs in Iraq. We knew that before the war. Only nazi morons like tbrosz and rdw are still too stupid to admit the truth.

The problem is that in Iraq, no one wanted to tell Saddam that there were no WMDs. It is possible that Saddam actually believed that he had WMDs.

However, the inspections at the time of the illegitimate and illegal and immoral war revealed that there were no WMDs.

Only a moron, a total idiot, still believes that WMDs existed at the time of the war.

Of course, today's repukelinazis are required to be morons. That's why they are repukes, and why they are so difficult to convince of the truth.

Posted by: dataguy on December 29, 2005 at 5:22 PM | PERMALINK

FORGET ABOUT THE ENTIRE BUSH ADMINSTRATION...GO BACK TO ALL REPORTING FROM 1992 TO 2000 (THE CLINTON YEARS) AND TELL US FROM THE AVAILABLE INFORMATION:

Skull-crushingly, obliviously, totally moronic.

2002 was not 2000.

How totally idiotic, how obliviously nazi-resemblingly stupid.

2002 was not 2000.

It does not FRUCKING MATTER what Clinton believed. CLINTON DIDN'T INVADE IRAQ, YOU FUCKING MORON.

2000 is not the same as 2002.

Repukes - too stupid really for anything.

Posted by: dataguy on December 29, 2005 at 5:26 PM | PERMALINK

For example, go to page 15 of this document

"There are indications that by then (2001) the Iraqi regime tolerated and may even have helped Ansar al Islam against the common Kurdish enemy."

Not that Iraq and al Queda (and its affiliates/subsidiaries) would cooperate against other common enemies, naturally. NO! That's simply ridiculous.

And from page 20:

"There is also evidence that around this time (1998) Bin Ladin sent out a number of feelers to the Iraqi regime, offering some cooperation. None are reported to have received a significant response. According to one report, Saddam Hussein's efforts at this time to rebuild relations with the Saudis and other Middle Eastern regimes led him to stay clear of Bin Ladin.
"In mid-1998, the situation reversed; it was Iraq that reportedly took the initiative..."

So Saddam rebuked al Queda's overtures not because of the widely hailed secular/religious differences but rather because of his own geopolitical ambitions. And those same ambitions led him to change tactics in mid-1998.

But hey, that's just from the 9/11 Commission Report so I'm sure you can dismiss it too.

Posted by: Birkel on December 29, 2005 at 5:30 PM | PERMALINK

You liberals will never win an election until you start showing respect for people who are too busy to read anything.

Posted by: shortstop on December 29, 2005 at 5:40 PM | PERMALINK

You'll need to see a specialist to cure your reading comprehension skills, Pat.

Both sides were making overtures but they never got around to any of the bad stuff mentioned in the New Yorker article you dismissed out of hand.

It's a funny world in which you live. Rest well there.

Posted by: Birkel on December 29, 2005 at 5:41 PM | PERMALINK

sent out feelers?!?!? That's not substantive, Birkel. Who knows why Saddam sent out 'feelers.' Maybe he was trying to kill Bin Laden to get in good with the Saudis? Who knows. The issue is they didn't work together on 9/11. Sending out feelers doesn't mean anything.

Posted by: D. on December 29, 2005 at 5:41 PM | PERMALINK

Birkel, I called you on the ellipses and you failed to disappoint! Why, after that oh-so-convincing "In mid 1998 the situation reversed ... (cue dramatic music to go along with ellipses)" the same Commission didn't then go on to say:

But to date we have seen no evidence that these or the earlier contacts ever developed into a collaborative operational relationship. Nor have we seen evidence indicating that Iraq cooperated with al Qaeda in developing or carrying out any attacks against the United States.

Or did they? The world will never know because Chris Bikel is just so damn clever!

By the way, James Taranto wants his coffee refilled - stat! And make sure you put in two packets of the blue stuff - not the pink stuff - or he'll pull down your pants and humiliate in front of the whole WSJ staff again!

Posted by: Dubya on December 29, 2005 at 5:42 PM | PERMALINK

Wild speculation alert from D.

I would argue that most Americans take a more expansive view of our war with al Queda and terrorists/Islamofascists than just responding to 9/11. After all, the terrorists have announced that they do and who am I to doubt their true intentions?

Posted by: Birkel on December 29, 2005 at 5:44 PM | PERMALINK

Sending out feelers doesn't mean anything.

Oh contraire, D.! Birkel "sent out feelers" to establish contact with Ann Coulter for months. And while she considered it stalking, Birkel felt sure that they had a meaningful relationship.

Posted by: Dubya on December 29, 2005 at 5:46 PM | PERMALINK

"The science is still out on Saddam's connections to 9/11, al-Qaeda, WMD, quantities of uranium from Africa, and Iraqis on the hijacked planes."

You know, all joking aside, it's not the government's job to push the least plausible, most specious version of reality. Admitting it's not sure is better than the implausably deniable certainty (apparently, only the Daily Show knows about videotape) we've been force-fed every day for the last five years.

tbrosz, real or otherwise, and the other apologists and provocateurs lurking on the fringes of this playground are simply clinging to a game called "Let's see what we can get away with". They have no interest in the truth, in being good citizens, or allowing for the shades of gray that they take as the color of weakness.

Fuck that shit. To the extent that the science can ever be in, it's in. The Cossacks are raping your grandmothers, and there's no nice way to put it -- oh, except that somehow granny deserved it because she wasn't patriotic enough. Remove heads from asses or go somewhere else, you fucking lackeys. Or send an invoice to the White House for knee-pad services rendered -- but don't forget to declare it when you pay your taxes!

Posted by: Kenji on December 29, 2005 at 5:46 PM | PERMALINK

Golly Dubya, I didn't type out the entire .pdf formattted document.

Solid work guessing that I wouldn't do that.

Funny how they never had confirmed operational relationships in attacks against the United States, btw. Do you really just get to ignore the obvious idea that there were therefore operational relationships against other than the United States? But then, I'm sure we can trust the terrorists to play all nicey-nice and only attack other people.

And we can stay here all warm and cozy in our liberal cocoons. Mmmmm... That's both warm and simultaneously cozy.

Posted by: Birkel on December 29, 2005 at 5:48 PM | PERMALINK

In a nation with a retarded "leader", why should we be surprised at a retarded "citizenry"?

Posted by: Pechorin on December 29, 2005 at 5:50 PM | PERMALINK

Pat on December 29, 2005 at 4:52 PM

More caps, please.

No, more cowbell...

Posted by: grape_crush on December 29, 2005 at 5:51 PM | PERMALINK

Well, there you go, living proof that people are willfully ignorant right here on this blog.

Posted by: D. on December 29, 2005 at 5:54 PM | PERMALINK

More than four years later, and you guys still just don't get it. Your quibbles and debaters' points about how active Saddam was with Al Qaida are as important to the average American as how involved Hitler was with the planning of Pearl Harbor. Both parties' hated America, both celebrated the WTC towers coming down, both deserved everything they got. The End.

Posted by: minion of rove on December 29, 2005 at 5:59 PM | PERMALINK

Golly Dubya, I didn't type out the entire .pdf formattted document...Solid work guessing that I wouldn't do that.

Actually, it was a given that you were going to use ellipses to gloss over that portion of the text that dismantled your argument. It's the "conservative" thing to do! And as a 3rd Class Petty Troll, I'm sure you wake up bright and early to re-read the Big Book of Intellectually Dishonest Republican Debate Tactics. Good stuff!

Posted by: Dubya on December 29, 2005 at 6:02 PM | PERMALINK

More than four years later, and you guys still just don't get it. Your quibbles and debaters' points about..

You're totally right, wayne! These crazy libbers should just forget about the past. I mean, it's not like a Democrat got elected President -- if that were the case, we'd spend millions of dollars and nine years just to answer such critical national questions as why that Democrat lost money on a land investment before he even became President. Instead those libbers are worrying about unimportant stuff like why 5,000 Americans had to die.

Posted by: Dubya on December 29, 2005 at 6:09 PM | PERMALINK

minion of rove wrote: More than four years later, and you guys still just don't get it. Your quibbles and debaters' points about how active Saddam was with Al Qaida are as important to the average American as how involved Hitler was with the planning of Pearl Harbor.

Oh we "get it" all right.

We get it that "you guys" hold the "average American" in complete sneering contempt.

We get it that "you guys" think "average Americans" are stupid, gullible, fearful sheep.

We get it that "you guys" love to gloat about how "average Americans" will swallow whatever bullshit you spew at them.

We get it that conservatives, Republicans, right-wingers and the Bush administration despise "average Americans" and think they are nothing but suckers and fools. As your comment makes clear.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on December 29, 2005 at 6:12 PM | PERMALINK

Both parties' hated America, both celebrated the WTC towers coming down, both deserved everything they got

This is also true of Pakistan and Palestine. So when do we invade them?

Posted by: Stefan on December 29, 2005 at 6:13 PM | PERMALINK

To quote Moe the bartender, you know what I blame this on the breakdown of? Society.

That and our half-assed, lazy, fucking incompetent, corrupt and castrated news media.

Posted by: Stefan on December 29, 2005 at 6:18 PM | PERMALINK

"News outlets may bear some blame, but even the worst of the he-said, she-said reports make clear that there's no evidence of "strong ties" between Saddam Hussein and al Qaeda and/or 9/11."

WRONG!

So long as the media puts or says the words "War on Terror" anywhere near accounts of what's going on in Iraq, the Saddam-Al Qaeda connection is sublimininally enforced. And the news outlets KNOW it.

Posted by: dan on December 29, 2005 at 6:24 PM | PERMALINK

minion of rove wrote: Both parties' hated America, both celebrated the WTC towers coming down, both deserved everything they got.

And I suppose you think that the tens of thousands of innocent Iraqi civilians killed by Bush's war, and the many thousands more innocent Iraqi civilians who were hideously maimed by Bush's war, and the many thousands more innocent Iraqi civilians whose homes, businesses and property were destroyed by Bush's war, also "deserved everything they got".

Observe the Bush Bootlicker -- the spiritual brother of Osama Bin Laden: willing to kill, maim and impoverish tens of thousands of innocent people in order to get at those he considers to be "bad guys".

Posted by: SecularAnimist on December 29, 2005 at 6:25 PM | PERMALINK

Your quibbles and debaters' points about how active Saddam was with Al Qaida are as important to the average American...

Wayne, you're not going to try to tell us that the "average American" lives off of subsidies from farms they own, are you?

Because while you were in Indiana making $126,000 from the government as an incentive not to grow certain crops in 2001, I'm sure you had big ol' crocodile tears for those New Yorkers who died while working to pay for your fuckin subsidies. Right?

Posted by: Dubya on December 29, 2005 at 6:29 PM | PERMALINK

dan wrote: So long as the media puts or says the words "War on Terror" anywhere near accounts of what's going on in Iraq, the Saddam-Al Qaeda connection is sublimininally enforced. And the news outlets KNOW it.

Quite -- except that it is hardly "subliminal". It is very blatantly regurgitating the Bush administration's Big Lie that the invasion and occupation of Iraq had or has anything to do with antiterrorism.

And it is not a result of media laziness or ineptitude. It is the direct result of the mass media in the USA being in the near-complete control of a handful of giant corporations who support the Bush administration's policies of transferring taxation from capital to labor and deregulating their industry so they can buy up more and more newspapers, TV stations and radio stations and use them to hammer the American people 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, with pro-corporate propaganda.

Ultimately, the people who program "WAR ON TERROR!!!!!!!!" banners across the TV screen on every report about Iraq work for the same people that Bush does: the ultra-rich, hereditary, neo-fascist, corporate-feudalist aristocracy -- a.k.a. the "top one percent" -- America's ruling class.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on December 29, 2005 at 6:34 PM | PERMALINK

It is interesting how the left and right tend to choose those things they want to believe even when the facts say something else.

For the record, on the four points you listed:

I believe Saddam had links to Al Qaeda. I don't know how "strong" they were but not all the evidence is in but they weren't speculating on the weather. After all, Bin Laden was a terrorist at the time.

I don't believe that Saddam helped plan and support the 9/11 hijackers. The confusion may be in the fact that the leader of the attackers in the first WTC attack was connected to Iraqi Intelligence.

I believe Saddam had WMD when the US attacked. Sorry that must make me a whack job. The US did recover 500 tons of uranium and yellow cake in its base form and nearly 2 tons of low enriched uranium

I knew that most of the hijackers came from Saudia Arabia and none came from Iraq.

What about the confusion on the left?
Did the CIA finance Bin Laden in Afghanistan?
Was the US responsible for the arming of Iraq?

Bin Laden has denied that he received any American support. Personally neither I nor my brothers saw any evidence of American help, Bin Laden told British journalist Robert Fisk in 1993 and again in 1996 We were never, at any time, friends of the Americans. We knew that the Americans supported the Jews in Palestine and that they are our enemies.

There were two entirely separate rebellions against the Soviets. One was financed by Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states and was composed of Islamic extremists. They called themselves Arab Afghans. The Saudis agreed to match U.S. contributions but insisted that their funds go to the Arab Afghans,. U.S. funds went to the other rebellion, the mujahideen, composed of native Afghans.

Was the US responsible for the arming of Iraq?

The US played a peripheral role in this but that role has been greatly exagerated by the left.
While the US was facilitating the arming of Iraq, a point I must concede again, it pales in comparison to the Russian, German and French contributaion.
It was suggested to me that I read The Spiders Web by Alan Friedman or Arming Iraq by Mark Pythian. "The truth will make you free.." I was told.

From Arming Iraq:
"1971-5 the Soviet Union was responsible for 97% of Iraq's weapons imports but this dropped to 55% 1981-5. (p.29)"

55% from the Russians,that's alot.

From the same book:

"68 German companies were involved in Iraq's militarization program between 1982-1990. The German Co., Water Engineering Trading, sold Iraq 58 tons of precursor chemicals necessary for the production of Tabun and in 1986 exported machines to Falluja for the production of poisonous gas. The German Co, Pilot Plant, was responsible for the construction of Sammarra, one of the centers of Iraq's chemical weapons program, and 5 other chemical production facilities. (p.29-30)"

and again,

"France was Iraq's 2nd largest supplier after the Soviet Union and leased Iraq Mirage and Mystere fighter aircraft, helicopters, armored vehicles, and tanks. France sold Iraq the Osirak reactor for Iraq's nuclear research program. Iraq was in debt to France 25 billion francs. (p. 28)"

That's kinda what I have been saying. Thanks for the reference.

I must admit that his conclusion ring true.

"The policy of western countries to arm and support Iraq during the Iran-Iraq war and facilitate Iraq's massive rearmament program in the post-war years led to Iraq's invasion of Kuwait and the subsequent gulf war. (p.291)"

I wonder what role he thinks Saddam played in all that?

The Spiders Web by Alan Friedman is a provocative and less scholarly left wing hit piece.

Posted by: berlins on December 29, 2005 at 6:35 PM | PERMALINK

berlins wrote: I believe Saddam had WMD when the US attacked. Sorry that must make me a whack job.

That makes you someone who believes something for which there is absolutely zero evidence, and moreover, something which the Bush administration's own weapons inspectors definitively stated is false.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on December 29, 2005 at 6:43 PM | PERMALINK

Almost all Americans are deeply ignorant, like everybody else. As for the willingness of partisans to swallow nonsense that supports their side: certainly true of all kinds of partisans, left and right

However, right now, the left has Iraq to talk about: they don't _have_ to lie. The truth is plenty good enough. Bush invaded a country for imaginary reasons and is on his way to blowing a trillion dollars on it: it doesn't get any better than that.

Posted by: gcochran on December 29, 2005 at 6:48 PM | PERMALINK

Lets just get this through our thick little collective skulls together, shall we? IRAQ HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH THE TERROR ATTACKS AGAINST THE WORLD TRADE CENTER, NOR THE ATTACK ON THE PENTAGON.

Traditional Media Outlets wear the mantle of blame heavily in this psychodrama that has become American politics, for they have abdicated their jobs. But even the worst, most pandering of the bobble-head-delivered reports has to draw to the conclusion that no credible link existed between Iraq and al Qaeda, and none have even implied Saddam was involved. (This does not include Faux News, which isn't real news anyway, and whose viewers are slightly delusional about many things, especially the fallibility of the thief-in-chief..)

Those of us who do not want to replay the crusades, and who want to restore dignity and honor to our government, must mobilize our bases, and be at the polls in equal or greater numbers. We have to take our country back. The old addage "If you aren't outraged, you aren't paying attention!" has never rang more true.

I was never a big fan of theocracy, but for those who are enamored of the notion, may I suggest you relocate to Tehran? It is *absolutely lovely!!!* this time of year.

And if you are one of those who is angling for a theocracy here at home, I will help your ass pack.


If you want a Christian version of Iran in the United States, there are a lot more of us who simply do not want you here. I've always known that when Fascism came to America, it would be wrapped in The Stars & Stripes, and carrying a Cross. I see that day coming to pass, and I am already taking action, doing everything in my power to prevent it.

Everyone who has read the constitution is hereby charged with bringing it into debate, with engaging your neighbors and friends. The Constitution is in trouble and she needs a good PR campaign. Word of mouth has always been the best advertising....

Onward Secular Soldiers!

Posted by: Global Citizen on December 29, 2005 at 6:55 PM | PERMALINK

    • 22% said Hussein helped plan and support the hijackers who attacked
      the United States on 9/11. In February 2005, 47% believed this. (Complicating matters in the more recent poll, an additional 30% said they were "not sure" if this is true or not.)

This has been disproven repeatedly. Iraq had no connection to the terror attacks of September 11th, 2001. Iraq provided no material support to al Qaeda, at least no money trail has as yet been found, and three years on, I think that would have surfaced, especially as bad as they were looking for a tie. Remember Rummy that fateful day: "Is there any way we can pin this on Saddam?" I saw a 2-star movie once called "The Paper" and Michael Keaton was the good-guy reporter with ethics, Glenn Close was the editor with nary a scruple to her name. He protests that her headline story (that's gonna sell tons of papers) is not true. She tells him to relax, they will run a retraction the following day. "It only has to be true for one day." These nepharious bastards know that it only has to be said once, in any context, and then it's out there, and it takes on a life of it's own.

Posted by: Global Citizen on December 29, 2005 at 7:06 PM | PERMALINK

Sorry I haven't read all the comments so this may have been hit on before, but I think many Americans make the connection between 9/11 and Iraq because, they're thinking, "well, why else are we at war in Iraq". At some level they are not connecting to the reality of an aggressive war launched at a country that did not attack them - that would be wrong - i.e. it MUST be self defense. It's a rationalization as much as a symptom of misinformation.

Posted by: sickcoconut on December 29, 2005 at 7:10 PM | PERMALINK

SecularAnimist:

We get it that "you guys" hold the "average American" in complete sneering contempt.

We get it that "you guys" think "average Americans" are stupid, gullible, fearful sheep.

We get it that "you guys" love to gloat about how "average Americans" will swallow whatever bullshit you spew at them.

We get it that conservatives, Republicans, right-wingers and the Bush administration despise "average Americans" and think they are nothing but suckers and fools. As your comment makes clear.

You might want to go back over the original post and this long thread of comments to see who holds the average American in "sneering contempt," along with holding grossly inflated ideas about their own unerringly brilliant intellects.

After 2006, you can go back to using those brains to invent complex theories on how the elections were "stolen" from you.

Posted by: tbrosz on December 29, 2005 at 7:12 PM | PERMALINK

Not to get into the stolen election thing - even if one was, how do you rectify that?

But, several states and more counties and municipalities have decertified their Diebold machines. And Diebold can't interfere anymore, unless he can rig his machines from beyond the grave...

Posted by: Global Citizen on December 29, 2005 at 7:16 PM | PERMALINK

I believe Saddam had WMD when the US attacked. Sorry that must make me a whack job. The US did recover 500 tons of uranium and yellow cake in its base form and nearly 2 tons of low enriched uranium

To be completely accurate, it has to be noted that this material was, at least nominally, under U.N. control, and doesn't really count as an active WMD program.

Posted by: tbrosz on December 29, 2005 at 7:17 PM | PERMALINK

I hold a lot of things in contempt - arrogance, hubris, sanctimony, hypocricy, Bill Frist and HCA - just off the top of my head.

The Average Americans are most certainly not part of anything I despise or hold in contempt.

Posted by: Global Citizen on December 29, 2005 at 7:18 PM | PERMALINK

But, several states and more counties and municipalities have decertified their Diebold machines. And Diebold can't interfere anymore, unless he can rig his machines from beyond the grave...

And good riddance IMO, until the machines can print backup ballots. But now what do you use for an excuse next time?

Posted by: tbrosz on December 29, 2005 at 7:20 PM | PERMALINK

Tom;

Thanks for pointing out that al Qaqa was a UN site, and was secure. Until it was opened up by American troops and then left behind, unsecured. The armaments were then stolen and have since been used to maim and kill thousands of Americans, and tens of thousands of mostly innocent Iraqi's.

Posted by: Global Citizen on December 29, 2005 at 7:22 PM | PERMALINK

SecularAnimist,

"....zero evidence, and moreover, something which the Bush administration's own weapons inspectors definitively stated is false."
I know nothing I say or any evidence will ever convince you but your statement is just incorrect.

Global Citizen,

What about the first WTC attack?

Your animus the the religous is kinda scary. Akin to Stalinism. Someone called me a drama queen recently, do you think it applies to your last post.


Posted by: berlins on December 29, 2005 at 7:22 PM | PERMALINK

tbrosz: Ahem. "Saddam has no WMD" is a THEORY. Theories are not facts. Unproven. It's bedrock reality that he did -- witness the years of failed UN inspections.

The science is still out on Saddam's connections to 9/11, al-Qaeda, WMD, quantities of uranium from Africa, and Iraqis on the hijacked planes. *Responsible people* wait until all he evidence is in before attempting to draw conclusions. After all, to do otherwise is to "hate science".

In the interest of expediting matters:

1) You clearly don't know the difference between "theory" and "fact", so please don't try to slam other people on the matter (especially if you're going to be cavalier about your tenses, viz "it's bedrock reality that he did", which has the added benefit of being a delightfully irrelevant strawman.).

2) There is no "science" to be out on Saddam's WMD connections, etc., so it's pretty clear you don't understand what science is either.

[And no, I'm not disputing you're competent at your core profession. If anything, I'd guess it's your competence that's screwing you up here, cf Engineer's Syndrome or whatever it's being called nowadays.]

3) As far as whether, say, evidentiary findings are "still out on Saddam's connections to 9/11, al-Qaeda, WMD, quantities of uranium from Africa, and Iraqis on the hijacked planes", well, no, they're not. It is known to any reasonable degree of certainty that Saddam a) had no connections to 9/11, b) minimal (at best) connections to Al Qaeda, c) no substantive quantities of WMD (somewhat to my surprise, I must admit, since I had thought he'd have had leftovers from Iran-Iraq stashed away somewhere), d) no quantities of uranium obtained from Africa, d') no quantities of uranium likely sought from Africa, and e) no Iraqi hijackers during 9/11. This isn't in dispute; it is what it is; and you do yourself and your profession a grave disservice by pretending otherwise. It's the evidentiary equivalent of claiming that evolution is "only a theory" or that declaring intelligent design bankrupt must "wait until all the evidence is in" or somesuch BS; puerile wittering that anyone with intellectual integrity (ok, and out of junior high school) should eschew.

Posted by: Anarch on December 29, 2005 at 7:23 PM | PERMALINK

tbrosz sneered: After 2006, you can go back to using those brains to invent complex theories on how the elections were "stolen" from you.

Shorter tbrosz: "We steal elections and get away with it, and I got my tax cut, so fuck you."

There is nothing either complex or theoretical about the theft of the 2000 and 2004 presidential elections.

You would support Al Capone or Pol Pot for president if they'd give you a tax cut.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on December 29, 2005 at 7:23 PM | PERMALINK

Play nice Tom, I'm not your enemy. Remember, I have even voted for the occasional republican. Lets just see what happens in November. The eggs haven't even been laid yet, let alone the chicks hatched.

Posted by: Global Citizen on December 29, 2005 at 7:24 PM | PERMALINK

Global Citizen,
I know, Maybe you can set up some "re-education" camps for all those who don't have your belief system.

Posted by: berlins on December 29, 2005 at 7:25 PM | PERMALINK

But you'd take the eggs away from each according to their skills and redistribute the dairy to grocery "Got Milk" aisles according to their needs?

Who are you to say Aisle 8 doesn't need a cleanup?

And those neat little floor ads. I like those.

What about the express self-checkouts, Global Citizen? WON'T SOMEONE THINK OF THE EXPRESS SELF-CHECKOUTS!!!

Posted by: tbrosz on December 29, 2005 at 7:34 PM | PERMALINK

I am a Stalinist because I am not a Christian? Thanks for clearing that up. Because I want a separation of church and state, I have animus toward religion? That's quite a leap you're taking there, Slick.

Be careful, landings can be a bitch when you jump from those heights.

Posted by: Global Citizen on December 29, 2005 at 7:34 PM | PERMALINK

Excellent fake tbosz!

Posted by: Global Citizen on December 29, 2005 at 7:35 PM | PERMALINK

"To be completely accurate, it has to be noted that this material was, at least nominally, under U.N. control, and doesn't really count as an active WMD program."
Under UN control in Iraq, that is definately less than nominally. It was there waiting for the UN to lift its sanctions, which were already in the works. The yellow cake and raw Uranium, where did that come from? Africa!! suprise.

Posted by: berlins on December 29, 2005 at 7:40 PM | PERMALINK

berlins,

You are way out of your depth smart-mouthing Globe, someone who possesses an enormous amount of integrity and intelligence and compassion and lives up to the courage of her convictions in a way I suspect you have yet to grow in to. While you have no way of knowing it, take my word for it that you have just humiliated yourself by tossing childish remarks at someone of her caliber.

This is the big leagues, not t-ball. If you don't know the players or understand the rules, best that you sit on the sidelines or restrict yourself to batting practice.

Posted by: Windhorse on December 29, 2005 at 7:41 PM | PERMALINK

The perpetrators of the first WTC attack are in prison. Other attacks were thwarted when the FBI literally raided the warehouse while the terrorists who wanted to blow up the Lincoln and Holland Tunnels and other NYC landmarks, were in the process of concocting their witches brew.

Is that what you meant about the first WTC attack?

Posted by: Global Citizen on December 29, 2005 at 7:41 PM | PERMALINK

Global Citizen,
No you sound like a Stalinist. Just read your own posts.

Posted by: berlins on December 29, 2005 at 7:44 PM | PERMALINK

Global Citizen:

I don't think Al Qaqaa was where the radioactive materials were, and that "October surprise" about the munitions there turned out to be more smoke than fire. Almost all of the bombs used against us now are built from random collections of conventional munitions that were stored in almost every cranny of Iraq before the invasion.

--SecularAnimist still seems to be under the impression that I'm the only person in the U.S. who got his taxes reduced as a special reward for voting Republican.

--And while I don't mind the fake tbrosz, I'm getting a little tired of all the self-proclaimed geniuses who keep falling for it.

Posted by: tbrosz on December 29, 2005 at 7:48 PM | PERMALINK

We declared war on the Mafia, we did not declare war on the Gambino family. Just because it's tough to show the Gambino's and Columbo's cooperated on the 2001 WTC job, but worked together on the Sudan job (per Clinton) worked with the abu Nidal gang, worked on the assassination of GHW Bush, etc. does not mean Bush and Co., or the 70+ Senators that supported them on the Authorization to Use Force, were wrong to go after both targets. I know I'm going to have as much impact as chalk on granite with these comments, but I'm trying to explain the mindset of those so far below you guys in the faculty lounges and editorial boardrooms. As Bertolt Brecht said after the East German uprisings in 1953, the masses have proven themselves undeserving, the vanguard should scrap them and elect another.

Posted by: minion of rove on December 29, 2005 at 7:48 PM | PERMALINK

No, Was there a connection to Iraq?

Posted by: berlins on December 29, 2005 at 7:50 PM | PERMALINK

The tbrosz on December 29, 2005 at 7:48 PM is a fake.

Posted by: tbrosz on December 29, 2005 at 7:57 PM | PERMALINK

Windhorse,

Drama Queen II. I apologize if I have hurt anyones feeling. But really:
"I've always known that when Fascism came to America, it would be wrapped in The Stars & Stripes, and carrying a Cross."

Grow thicker skin.

Posted by: berlins on December 29, 2005 at 7:57 PM | PERMALINK

Berlins: one thing you need to get clear about is that Bin Laden hated Saddam because he was a secularist, His religious tendencies were more on the side of enjoying the heavenly reward here on earth without all the troublesome martyr issues. Bin Laden seeks the return of the Caliphate and sees Islam as the driving force. In fact, Islam's goal in his eyes is the conversion,forcibly if necessary of the dar el harb, Islam is the driver and Saddam was Islamic in name only,he had not the requisite focus on expanding the power of the religion,not the state. The state is only the organized corpus needed by the religion to expand. To Bin Laden, jihad is a necessary and sufficient condition for his strategy and tactics. He was not in league in any way shape or form with Saddam;Bin Laden wanted Saddam gone more than the US did.

Posted by: TJM on December 29, 2005 at 8:02 PM | PERMALINK

Bottom line: no connection between Osama and Saddam.

Posted by: D. on December 29, 2005 at 8:05 PM | PERMALINK

The tbrosz on December 29, 2005 at 7:57 PM is a fake.

Posted by: tbrosz on December 29, 2005 at 8:05 PM | PERMALINK

TJM,

Stalin and Hitler didn't really like each other's ideologies either, but both hated western liberal democracy more, and both worked together when it suited their interests. If Bush/Powell/Rice are not to be trusted, ask Clinton/Berger/Pollack if Saddam and Bin Ladin were cooking up some strange chemicals together. Remember the ricin in London???

Posted by: minion of rove on December 29, 2005 at 8:05 PM | PERMALINK

Everyone on the right keeps yammering that we need the PATRIOT ACT because it is essential to preventing terror attacks. After all, we haven't been attacked since Sept. 11, 2001. "That's four years and no more attacks!"

Hmmm. The first WTC attack happened in 1993. The only terrorist attack between the attacks on the WTC was OKC, a domestic attack wasn't that one? And hasn't the perpetrator been executed already?

So Under Clinton, we had eight years free of (external) terrorist attacks, and we actually aprehended a lot of bad guys using law enforcement techniques, without the PATRIOT ACT.

Now we are supposed to be impressed and line up to sign our freedoms away, because his record with the PATRIOT ACT is (mathematically) only half as good as Clintons? And all those folks locked up on Clinton's watch? They got, you know, due process, and they were charged in public courts, and they received long sentences.

On Bush's watch, nothing has been accomplished short of locking a few people up indeffinitely as Enemy Combattants, including American citizens. (Honest, I coulda swore due process was guaranteed under the constitution for American Citizens!) THen there is the spying on you and me that the NSA has been engaged in.

Will anyone ever get their nose out of joint over a little presidential hide-the-weenie ever again, after the shit this administration has put this country through?

Posted by: Global Citizen on December 29, 2005 at 8:05 PM | PERMALINK

I have a better idea, berlins:

Go to a library, and go to the American Classics section: And read your Upton Sinclair, that should have been in the canon in high school. Everyone knows that, or I thought they did, anyway.

Posted by: Global Citizen on December 29, 2005 at 8:08 PM | PERMALINK

TJM,

True enough. Up until "He was not in league in any way shape or form with Saddam".
I think Usama was a believer in "the ends justifies the means" and was willing to do what he had to do. Look what he's doing now. That is not Islam

Posted by: berlins on December 29, 2005 at 8:10 PM | PERMALINK

Global Citizen,

After the documented and confirmed assassination attempt on GHW Bush, Clinton decided he wanted to take out Iraq's intelligence headquarters in retaliation. But he was adamant that it had to be "measured and proportionate" that is, he'd only kill a few janators at night, rather than the actual perpatrators. What is the morality in that?? Is it because janators don't send their kids to Sidwell Friends? I have read your comments and believe you are an honest person, but can you explain the logic of not resolving a problem you know in your heart is only going to get worse if you let it grow?

Posted by: minion of rove on December 29, 2005 at 8:10 PM | PERMALINK

It's not the same thing at all. Both were leaders of state apparati not religious fanatics seeking the return of the 7th century Muslim empire. They were allies of convenience. It's not to say that Saddam had any more or less ability to keep people out of his territory than the US. How many illegals live here? Last estimate was 11 million,so because some of his followers were IN Iraq doesn't mean they had state sponsorship.
Contrast that with why it made perfect sense for the US to invade Afghanistan to remove the Taliban. That was a state instrument of religious policy. The Taliban had the same goal as Bin Laden and the state apparatus to support the expansion. That's a completely different situation than in Iraq. In one sense Saddam was the secular bulwark against a state sponsored instrument like Iran.
It seems to me you confuse geography with the state as an instrument of policy.

Posted by: TJM on December 29, 2005 at 8:14 PM | PERMALINK

I've read Upton Sinclair.. It so happens My Dad grew up in Chicago in the aftermath of the Jungle. He never worked in the meat packing plants though.

Sinclair was a socialist not a communist, right.

Posted by: berlins on December 29, 2005 at 8:16 PM | PERMALINK

I'm not defending that course of action. I don't care what party a politician belongs to, when they piss me off, I hold their feet to the fire. I thought Clinton should have talked to his friends in the Mossad and gotten them to help the CIA and take out the perpetrators. I was really pissed about that course of action and let it be known. Dropping the names of Senior Officers all the way up. The Air Force in general was pissed about that. Where is the honor in killing janitors?

Posted by: Global Citizen on December 29, 2005 at 8:18 PM | PERMALINK

Yes, Sinclair was a Socialist. He is also where the quote "When Fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross." I paraphrased.

Posted by: Global Citizen on December 29, 2005 at 8:22 PM | PERMALINK

TJM,

Me thinks you put too much of a distinction on state aparati vs religious fanatics. Many would argue that Communist and/or Nazi ideology were as much mystical religious concepts as Bin Ladin's twisted version of Islam. Have you seen the recent reports of Stalin's attempts to breed human's with apes to provide superwarriors?

http://news.scotsman.com/international.cfm?id=2434192005

Compare that with Hitler's view that the Jews were the conscience of Europe, and that he could not breed a race without conscience until they were exterminated.

Posted by: minion of rove on December 29, 2005 at 8:27 PM | PERMALINK

Well, I am going to go play with my grand daughter before she goes to bed. Just because we aren't religious didn't stop me from making a big pot of Matzo Ball soup for the holiday. And she loves it!

Night all.

Posted by: Global Citizen on December 29, 2005 at 8:31 PM | PERMALINK

Thanks for the info. He said that because he was a radical revolutionary aetheist that hated anything and anyone religious. You putting so much credence in that quote, well, it isn't flattering.

Posted by: berlins on December 29, 2005 at 8:34 PM | PERMALINK

berlins on December 29, 2005 at 7:22 PM:

I know nothing I say or any evidence will ever convince you but your statement is just incorrect.

I'll show you mine. On release of the Duelfer report:

THE PRESIDENT: Chief weapons inspector, Charles Duelfer, has now issued a comprehensive report that confirms the earlier conclusion of David Kay that Iraq did not have the weapons that our intelligence believed were there.

Now you show me yours. Evidence, that is.

What about the first WTC attack?

And how was that connected to Saddam Hussein again?

Your animus the the religous is kinda scary.

What's scary is the influence of extremist Christians in the highest levels of government and their various stands against indiviual freedoms. Next thing you know, I won't be able to buy condoms...which is a shame, because they make very sturdy balloons.

Akin to Stalinism.

Hey, that's great! Now I have permission to label religion as Fascism, though, like your label, it's deliberately antagonistic and doesn't really apply.

Someone called me a drama queen recently

That was me. Glad you see that you've backed off of your posturing. Somewhat.

And here I thought you could offer an honest, opposing viewpoint...Sigh

Posted by: grape_crush on December 29, 2005 at 8:35 PM | PERMALINK

Minion, if you think ceremonial mysticism ala Nuremburg was religious in a theological sense go ahead but the state the Taliban led in Afghanistan was very much religious,Islamic. The courts and punishments weren't jurisprudence in any Western sense, they were Sharia. That was not the case under Saddam. It may well have been as inexorably evil but the driving component in Iraq wasn't Sharia although it will be soon.
Stalin was a brute but one who used the state as an instrument of terror. He did not seek the return of some earlier emperor. And his force had no religious motive. I don't think you can understand Bin Laden without understanding the 7th century. That was the caliphate,pure Islam unadulterated by the later divisions of Sunni vs Shia vs Mameluke vs Ottoman etc.,etc.

Posted by: TJM on December 29, 2005 at 8:46 PM | PERMALINK

I also quote ***GASP*** that other profound thinker and avowed aetheist, Bertrand Russell, from time to time. Proud to do so to, whether anyone thinks that makes me in low company or not, I couldn't give a piss. (At least I am smart enought to understand what I'm reading and extrapolate therefrom.)

Now, about that grandkid...

Posted by: Global Citizen on December 29, 2005 at 8:55 PM | PERMALINK

grape_crush,

"Saddam Husayn so dominated the Iraqi Rigime that its stratetic intent was his alone. He wanted to end sanction while preserving the capability to reconstitut his weapons of mass destruction when sanctions were lifted"

http://www.cia.gov/cia/reports/iraq_wmd_2004/Comp_Report_Key_Findings.pdf

"What's scary is the influence of extremist Christians in the highest levels of government and their various stands against indiviual freedoms. Next thing you know, I won't be able to buy condoms...which is a shame, because they make very sturdy balloons."

What's scary is you believe it.

"Hey, that's great! Now I have permission to label religion as Fascism, though, like your label, it's deliberately antagonistic and doesn't really apply."
Here is what Global Citizen says, I mean paraphrases
"I've always known that when Fascism came to America, it would be wrapped in The Stars & Stripes, and carrying a Cross."

So you're to late.

As for an honest opposing view point. I will put my 6:35 post here:

I've always known that when Fascism came to America, it would be wrapped in The Stars & Stripes, and carrying a Cross.


Posted by: berlins on December 29, 2005 at 9:02 PM | PERMALINK

Why is everyone going nuts? They post a thing about how Americans are ignorant, but that doesn't mean it has to be proven here.

Posted by: Kenji on December 29, 2005 at 9:03 PM | PERMALINK

Global,
enjoy'em while you gott'em

Posted by: berlins on December 29, 2005 at 9:06 PM | PERMALINK

Well, my God in mid-2001 a Gallup poll revealed that 1/3 of Americans -- and half of those under 30 -- think we were on NORTH Vietnam's side in the Vietnam War. And the most recent polls I've seen reveal that 1/10 of both Americans and Britons think the Sun goes around the Earth. (Maybe they're like the early Sherlock Holmes, who said he didn't care.) The lesson is simply that -- as pointed out by people ranging from Churchill to Paul Krugman -- it's a miracle that democracy works at all.

Posted by: Bruce Moomaw on December 29, 2005 at 9:08 PM | PERMALINK

or maybe you can just go back and read it.

Posted by: berlins on December 29, 2005 at 9:09 PM | PERMALINK

minion of rove on December 29, 2005 at 8:05 PM:

Stalin and Hitler didn't really like each other's ideologies either...and both worked together when it suited their interests.

More like Stalin agreed to a nonagression pact with Hitler, only to be broken when Hitler began to move into the Ukraine. Not exactly 'working together'.

If Bush/Powell/Rice are not to be trusted

They are not. Would you like me to provide an example?

Remember the ricin in London???

You mean the ricin that was never found, and eight of the nine suspects were either acquitted or released? The nonexistent ricin Powell used as evidence in the runup to the invasion of Iraq? That ricin?

'minion of rove'...pretty apt handle you've chosen...

Posted by: Johnny Storm on December 29, 2005 at 9:18 PM | PERMALINK

tbrosz writes a wonderful satire of those favoring the theory of intelligent design:

"Saddam has no WMD" is a THEORY. Theories are not facts. Unproven.

Hilarious. Bravo.


Birkel writes:

I wonder how many people in America erroneously believe there were NO ties between al Queda and Saddam's Iraq.

That number would be zero. See this Washington Post article. The first paragraph reads:

"The Sept. 11 commission reported yesterday that it has found no "collaborative relationship" between Iraq and al Qaeda, challenging one of the Bush administration's main justifications for the war in Iraq."

Easy thing to miss I guess.


I for one am heartened by the news of the drop in the numbers of people who are misinformed about Iraq, 9/11, and the (so-called) War on Terror. It means that more Americans are paying attention to what actually happened. As Bill Clinton once observed (I paraphrase), "When people pay attention to the facts, we [Democrats] win."

Posted by: Mike B. on December 29, 2005 at 9:21 PM | PERMALINK

berlins on December 29, 2005 at 9:02 PM

What's scary is you believe it.

What's even scarier is that you don't, despite evidence to the contrary.

Global Citizen on December 29, 2005 at 8:55 PM:

I also quote ***GASP*** that other profound thinker and avowed aetheist, Bertrand Russell, from time to time.

I knew there was a reason why I like you. My dog-eared copy of Russell's History of Western Philosophy is due for replacement due to heavy usage, 'tho Why I Am Not A Christian is not quite as worn.

Posted by: grape_crush on December 29, 2005 at 9:35 PM | PERMALINK

berlins on December 29, 2005 at 9:02 PM:

He wanted to end sanction while preserving the capability to reconstitut his weapons of mass destruction when sanctions were lifted

Which is not the same thing as your previously stated belief that 'Saddam had WMD when the US attacked.' See the difference?

Besides, why would you doubt your President when he tells you that Hussein had no WMD? Shame on you!

...grin...

Posted by: grape_crush on December 29, 2005 at 9:44 PM | PERMALINK

I respect Charles Duelfer and his opinions current and past.
Even he believed Iraq had WMD before the invasion and you can read it here in his testimony.

http://armed-services.senate.gov/statemnt/2002/Duelfer.pdf

What can I say, I believed he had WMD. Not because My President said so but because Duelfer along with the Intelligence agencies of Russia, Germany, France, and Great Britain and the Uninted Nations all thought Saddam had WMD.


Posted by: berlins on December 29, 2005 at 10:19 PM | PERMALINK

I wish I had bolding and italics like you guys

Posted by: berlins on December 29, 2005 at 10:20 PM | PERMALINK

Bold? Italics? No such thing. Every character must be in ASCII code, and you only get lower and upper case. Stop spreading lies like the liberal media about seeking italics and bolding development programs!

You guys who can scream entire posts in allcaps, that I'm jealous of. Give us the secrets of the allcaps!

Posted by: tbrosz on December 29, 2005 at 11:15 PM | PERMALINK

Maybe massive propaganda machine might have something to do with it? Also, "liberal" media let them manipulate public perception by not challenging falsehoods.

To this day we hear Bush say (right before or after "9/11") "Saddam wouldn't let the inspectors in" when it is just a matter of historical fact that the inspectors were in, they had announced full cooperation, and it was George Bush who ordered them out.

When was the last time you saw the MSM point out that this is completely untrue? Or the first, for that matter. What's the weight of a truthful statement or two by Bush, that gets weak treatment, versus a televised remark by the President where absurdities and lies go by unremarked?

Posted by: jim p on December 29, 2005 at 11:34 PM | PERMALINK

berlins:

There's a pretty good guide to HTML usage here.

Use preview until you get good at it, and even more after you get good at it.

Posted by: tbrosz on December 29, 2005 at 11:38 PM | PERMALINK

Hans Blix was on the ground, Mr. Hussein was cooperating, and Mr. Blix and his team conducting the inspections were finding nothing.

The Niger documents were forgeries. A CIA agent was "outed" and her human assets endangered. Pretty far to go to start a war, don't you think?

As for the bolding and italics: You have them too, dear. They are called "HTML tags" and you can google up the directions
Posted by: Global Citizen on December 29, 2005 at 11:41 PM | PERMALINK

Before we invaded, I didn't believe that Iraq had nuclear weapons or a live program to build any: it's hard to run an invisible Manhattan project on next to no money in a small and backward country. Nuclear weapons are the only kind that mattered, the only real weapons of mass destruction.

It was that claim that got people stirred up, more than anything else, and it was ridiculous, to anyone who knew jack about nuclear weapons.

Posted by: gcochran on December 29, 2005 at 11:44 PM | PERMALINK

Minion of Rove: Stalin and Hitler... both worked together when it suited their interests.

ah yes... to the tune of 26 million dead Russians. Is this the sort of cooperation you're positing between Al Qaeda and Saddam? I could go with this.

Posted by: peasant on December 29, 2005 at 11:48 PM | PERMALINK

It was that claim that got people stirred up, more than anything else, and it was ridiculous, to anyone who knew jack about nuclear weapons.

Thank you! I have been married to a retired USAF officer for well over two decades. He worked on Nukes until SAC folded into the Strategic Command, and then he became an Intel Analyst.

When the sales job started, my husband looked at me and sain "What the fuck is this punk doing? There is nothing there! The drones are a fucking joke, and there are no nukes. Nukes require a large physical plant, and I have seen the sat.photos. The physical plant to support nukes just isn't there.

Posted by: Global Citizen on December 29, 2005 at 11:54 PM | PERMALINK

Well everyone, I am going to say goodnight. I'm going to sleep the same hours as my husband for a change!

Posted by: Global Citizen on December 30, 2005 at 12:01 AM | PERMALINK

Canada's PM, Jean Chretie,n said in September 2002 "A proof is a proof. What kind of proof? It's a proof. A proof is a proof. And when you have a proof, it's proven." (giving GW a run for his money here)

Chretien chose not to join in with PNAC plans for a Mid-Eastern footprint (with the overwhelming approval of Canadians)

I guess a US version would be: "A proof is a supposition. What kind of proof? It's a suppostion. A proof is a supposition. And when you have supposition, it's proven."

Seriously, the birkels of the world be damned, there was plently of evidence out there pre-invasion that there were no WMDs. All the selective quoting in the world and all the red-faced blustering won't change this fact. And let me tell you, birkel, it ain't the liberals that are in a "cocoon." World-wide, it's you wrong-wing nutsos that form a tiny little minority.

Posted by: north of summer on December 30, 2005 at 12:12 AM | PERMALINK

Shit, I know nothing about nukes and I knew they didn't have nuclear weapons. There was a no-fly zone over 2/3 of the country yet he could develop nuclear weapons when the sanctions didn't allow even mechanized weaponry into the country? Give me a break.

Posted by: D. on December 30, 2005 at 12:16 AM | PERMALINK

By the way, I read the WSJ article and put a post about it up at 1339 this afternoon. Actually, I was a couple of hours ahead of Steve Brenen (Great minds think alike, huh?)

Posted by: Global Citizen on December 30, 2005 at 12:16 AM | PERMALINK

Well, the grandkid is down for the count, but now her Mom is home from work. I'm going to go now and talk to my own child before I go home and go to bed. Doubt I'm back this evening, so we'll do it again tommorrow......:}

Posted by: Global Citizen on December 30, 2005 at 12:20 AM | PERMALINK

btw, fake tbrosz is the best thing on this post!

Posted by: D. on December 30, 2005 at 12:21 AM | PERMALINK

"A proof is a proof. What kind of proof? It's a proof. A proof is a proof. And when you have a proof, it's proven."

LOL. I'd almost forgotten that one. A bilingual word-mangler. But Jean Chretien will always be my hero for keeping us out of Iraq.

World-wide, it's you wrong-wing nutsos that form a tiny little minority.

Unfortunately a minority with much power and influence.

Posted by: caribou on December 30, 2005 at 12:28 AM | PERMALINK

And kudos to GC, grape_crush, Johnny Storm, Secular Animist, gcochran, Dubya for some awesome posts and for swatting down the energetic trolls and keeping this thread on track.

Now returning to lurker status...

Posted by: caribou on December 30, 2005 at 12:48 AM | PERMALINK

According to one poll, 13% of Americans think that Joan of Arc was Noah's wife -- I think many of these people have been on Jay Leno's jaywalking.

Posted by: Brian Boru on December 30, 2005 at 12:55 AM | PERMALINK

berlins, here's a quickie guide to the tags this comment app allows you to use:

<b>bold</b> renders text in bold.

<i>italics</i> renders text in italics.

<a href='http://hotwired.lycos.com/webmonkey/reference/special_characters/'>Webmonkey character codes</a>
Creates a link to Webmonkey character codes, which is a page containing codes that allow you to do initially neat but ultimately boring things like:

♠, ♣, ♥, ♦, and the ever-popular umlaut Ö

Finally, one thing that a couple of people around here seem to like to do is to indent quotations, making them easier to distinguish from your own comments.

<blockquote>This is done using the 'blockquote' tag, rendering the enclosed text like this:</blockquote>

This is done using the 'blockquote' tag, rendering the enclosed text like this:

Just remember to preview...Not that I always do...About the only problem you should have is when you forget to close a tag.

Have fun!

Posted by: grape_crush on December 30, 2005 at 12:55 AM | PERMALINK

Hans Blix was on the ground, Mr. Hussein was cooperating, and Mr. Blix and his team conducting the inspections were finding nothing.

"Cooperating??" Saddam dragged his feet every damn inch of the way through most of the inspections.

One timeline of the UNSCOM inspections can be found here. Note the "cooperation" all the way through.

While Blix's inspectors were getting a bit more cooperation--never hurts to be surrounded by the U.S. military--they were also running into problems. It should also be remembered that Saddam had had a period where he was free of inspections prior to this. Given his performance during the UNSCOM timeframe, one would not have to be overly paranoid to think he had used some of this time to prepare for future U.N. intrusions.

More perspective on Saddam's thinking and future plans, along with some techniques used to avoid observation and discovery, can be found in Duelfer's transmittal letter for his report.

Posted by: tbrosz on December 30, 2005 at 1:09 AM | PERMALINK

All these facts were crystal clear for the rest of the world. Afghanistan was a right war for the US, but attacking Iraq was way out of line and reason. This is why no other big country supported it. If Iraq was such a big threat, European countries would be the first to react. I hope more amerikans realise the propaganda Bush administration used on them

Posted by: Aristos on December 30, 2005 at 1:40 AM | PERMALINK

Occam's razor slides again: Maybe we should admit the depressing thought that enough Americans just wanted to pound the shit out of a middle eatern country in response to 911. Reasons for such a noble endeavour never really mattered much. Chasing OBL around the mountains of afghanistan just wasn't gratifying enough. We wanted to fight a WW2 type conflict and Sadam was the perfect target.

Now people are disillusioned because Iraq didnt turn out to be as much of a cake walk as our leaders assured us it would be.

Posted by: Michael7843853 on December 30, 2005 at 2:17 AM | PERMALINK

On Sept 12th 2001, 78 PERCENT of Americans believed Saddam was nehind the Sept 11th attacks:

NOW JUST WHAT WAS IT ABOUT THE CLINTON YEARS AND THE NEWS MEDIA THAT WOULD LEAD EVERYONE TO THINK SADDAM WAS SUCH A BAD GUY??????

BUSH HAD ONLY BEEN PRESIDENT FOR SEVEN MONTHS AND INTERNATIONAL TERRORISM WASW NOT A BIG ISSUE IN THE NEWS FOR THAT TIME.

SO IT MUCT HAVE BEEN SOMETHING ABOUT THE CLINTON YEARS AND THE MEDIA THAT PUT SUCH THOUGHTS INTO THE AMERICAN MIND.

Perhaps it was the Clintons linking Saddam to Al Queda.

Perhaps it was Clintons claim Saddam had WMD.

Perhaps it was the Clintons claim that Saddam was working with Al Queda in the Sudan to produce chemical weapons.

Perhaps it was the Clintons indictment in New York stating Saddam and Al Queda had reached an agreement to cooperate with each other.

Perhaps it was the constant warfare and terrorizing o the Iraqi people that the Clintons engaged in, all the while knowing Saddam had no WMD.

Posted by: Patton on December 30, 2005 at 4:56 AM | PERMALINK

Unfortunately, 'Michael7843853' is right. From time to time, a good number of USA'ers feel the urge to take a dump in someone else's backyard. This feeling was particularly strong after 09/11.

Posted by: cvj on December 30, 2005 at 6:03 AM | PERMALINK

"See, in my line of work, you gotta keep repeating things over and over and over again for the *truth* to sink in, to kind of catapult the propaganda"
George Bush explaining his communication technique

the situation is becoming hopeless when the POTUS can freely admit to using overt propaganda, break federal law at will and crow about, and on a regular basis intimate that those who disagree are treasonous, seditious, and unAmerican. I feAr thw damage is unrepairable.

Posted by: synecdoche on December 30, 2005 at 6:07 AM | PERMALINK

If I wanted to read someone's blaring in ALL CAPS, I'D GO READ ONE OF WILLIAM RANDOLPH HEARST'S EDITORIALS!

(BTW, studies have shown that typing in all caps actually reduces readability -- something old W.R. apparently wasn't aware of.)

Posted by: Vincent on December 30, 2005 at 9:43 AM | PERMALINK

Bloody Tbrosz is at it again.

As someone warned in a previous thread, always follow the links he uses as "evidence" for his snarky comments.

On this thread its his confident assertion that that "the 'October surprise' about the munitions there turned out to be more smoke than fire."

His source, that well-known truth-lover Larry Di Rita and a Pentagon "news" outlet who claimed that the unaccounted for high explosives were actually removed by US troops.

Tbrosz, skeptical of all news sources, shows unchracteristic trust when accepting DOD press releases, which he then passes off as definitive.

Notwithstanding that almost immediately DiRita's claims were knocked down. Whatever explosives US troops carted away, these were not the 300+ tons bearing IAEA seals known to have been at the site.

But here we have on display a "Tbrosz two-fer"! In addition to his prediliction for relying on the unreliable source, note as well Tbrosz's additional technique of slipping in assertions wholly unsupported by even that unreliable source:

"Almost all of the bombs used against us now are built from random collections of conventional munitions that were stored in almost every cranny of Iraq before the invasion."

Unfortunately, even lying DiRita doesn't make that claim in the item Tbrosz directs us to. Well, this may or may not be the case. Tbrosz: please enlighten us as to the source of your wisdom on this point. "Random collections of conventional munitions"?

For someone so quick to attack the intelligence and integrity of people on this board, Tbrosz shows some surprising lapses of his own. Takes one to know one, eh?

Chicago Tribune
October 30, 2004
Army officer says unit removed some explosives at Iraq site

By Stephen J. Hedges and Mike Dorning, Washington Bureau.

An Army officer described in a Pentagon briefing Friday how his unit removed 250 tons of munitions found in Iraq's Al QaQaa weapons complex in April 2003, but the disclosure did little to quell the controversy over the disappearance from the site of high explosives that had been sealed by UN inspectors.

During the briefing, Maj. Austin Pearson said that none of the explosives his team trucked out of Al QaQaa, 20 miles south of Baghdad, on April 13, 2003, carried the UN seals like the ones placed on the 377 tons of explosives that is missing from the site.

"I did not see any IAEA [International Atomic Energy Agency] seals at any of the locations we went into," Pearson said. "I was not looking for that."

UN inspection teams suspected that Iraq would use HMX, in pellet form, and RDX, a plastic explosive, in its effort to develop nuclear weapons, research that was being conducted at Al QaQaa in the late 1980s.

Pearson said the explosives his teams carted out of Al QaQaa included plastic explosives, phosphorous, TNT and detonation devices but nothing that fit the description of HMX.

Iraq's notification earlier this month to the IAEA that the HMX was missing from Al QaQaa has triggered a controversy in the presidential campaign.

Democratic candidate Sen. John Kerry has charged that the loss is another example of President Bush's mismanagement of the war in Iraq. Bush says Kerry is making accusations without a full set of facts.

Though the Pentagon has suggested that the weapons were probably removed by Iraq before the March 19 U.S. invasion, an April 18, 2003, video taken by KSTP-TV of St. Paul appears to show HMX stocks. The video was taken five days after the shipment described by Pearson left the compound.

Pearson said his team did not go into bunkers bearing seals, and his appearance, arranged by the office of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, did little to answer how such a large amount of explosive could have disappeared from a site that may well have been under U.S. military control.

Rumsfeld spokesman Lawrence Di Rita said that Pearson's story showed an organized effort was under way to secure Iraq's massive military arsenal.

"We have been able to demonstrate, I think, that that planning was well conceived," Di Rita said, "and extraordinarily well executed by the forces that are over there."

But Di Rita allowed that the Pentagon is still seeking answers for how such a large amount of explosive could disappear and why it took until now for Washington to disclose it.

A number of government officials and weapons experts involved in the postwar weapons search have been sharply critical of the U.S. effort to find and secure material that was considered part of Iraq's massive weapons production program.

They say that important, well-known Iraqi weapons sites were subject to only cursory searches as the U.S. invasion force thrust north toward Baghdad and then left largely unguarded.

The missing Al QaQaa material was just a small fraction of the explosives that were looted out of Iraq's weapons depots and military facilities in the invasion's aftermath.

"The overall munitions issue is important. This site is not important," said Anthony Cordesman, a senior fellow at the Center for International and Strategic Studies in Washington.

Posted by: Tbrosz watch on December 30, 2005 at 9:53 AM | PERMALINK

Not to mention tbrosz intentionally confuses the inspections of the 1990's with the Blix inspections wherein there was cooperation. Not to mention the link to inspectors "running into problems" actually summarizes the inspections this way:

Iraq has on the whole cooperated rather well so far with UNMOVIC in this field. The most important point to make is that access has been provided to all sites we have wanted to inspect and with one exception it has been prompt. We have further had great help in building up the infrastructure of our office in Baghdad and the field office in Mosul. Arrangements and services for our plane and our helicopters have been good. The environment has been workable.

More distraction and amateur propaganda.

Posted by: Windhorse on December 30, 2005 at 11:21 AM | PERMALINK

This thread pretty much displays the major varieties of Bush's core supporters:

First, we have the mentally ill, such as Patton, drooling and spitting, howling as their keepers drag them away from the keyboards. You want to take your political direction from people who are overtly lunatics?

Then we have the malignantly dishonest, such as Right Wing Dickwad and Twhores- people who will tell any lie to further their points of view or personal fortunes. Would anybody enjoy doing business with people this crooked? Is there any wonder that chronic liars are attracted to today's Republican Party?

Then we have the foreign outsourced trolls- exemplified by berlins. These are wholly owned subsidiaries of the right's echo chamber, puling the meme of the day in their broken English, repeating the same tired old lies over and over. Iraq was behind 9/11! Saddam and Bin-Laden were twins separated at birth! Clinton hid Iraq's many WMDs in his penis!

What do they all have in common? Idiocy, dishonesty, and more than a touch of mental illness, in varying levels.

Posted by: solar on December 30, 2005 at 12:21 PM | PERMALINK

Don't hold your breath hayseed. Dunces. Dimwits and Dumbells.

tbrosz

The science is still out on Saddam's connections to 9/11, al-Qaeda, WMD, quantities of uranium from Africa, and Iraqis on the hijacked planes.

*Responsible people* wait until all he evidence is in before attempting to draw conclusions.

After all, to do otherwise is to "hate science".

Posted by: ed on December 30, 2005 at 1:48 PM | PERMALINK

Is this the real Ed or the fake Ed???

Posted by: Tbrosz watch on December 30, 2005 at 2:03 PM | PERMALINK

Thanks for the HTML lesson grape_crush.

Posted by: Hostile on December 30, 2005 at 5:33 PM | PERMALINK

solar,
Then we have the foreign outsourced trolls- exemplified by berlins. ....in their broken English, repeating the same tired old lies over and over. Iraq was behind 9/11! Saddam and Bin-Laden were twins separated at birth! Clinton hid Iraq's many WMDs in his penis!
What do they all have in common? Idiocy, dishonesty, and more than a touch of mental illness, in varying levels.

This is a case of you seeing in others what you hate most about yourself because I have said nothing of the kind. That WMD thing sounds plausible though:). (note: the smiley face means that was a joke). And what do you mean by outsourced? You think I'm writing from India or something with my broken English. You have something against foreigners?

Posted by: berlins on December 30, 2005 at 6:07 PM | PERMALINK

Well, grandkid just did some business, but the diaper is changed. Just read some Sinclair Lewis(not to be confused with C.S. Lewis--another false apostle), some Victor Serge, and Papa Hemingway--read him Windhorse for some historical perspective on the Blix inspections. Let's all remember that our "fighting forces" have killed millions and millions of mostly innocent citizens. Any honest appraisal(devoid of the usual hubris and arrogance so common to our uneducated) of American imperialism must recognize that the United States is the single most malevolent entity on the face of the Globe. That is, when not in the hands of secular realists. Those who would establish an American Taliban, a modern Fascist regime using religion, faith, and belief as its building blocks, pose a great threat to freedom all over our Globe. They(along with the NSA) are spying on you and me. Don't let them get away with it. Oops, granddaughter just pooped again.

Posted by: Global Citizen on December 31, 2005 at 2:11 AM | PERMALINK

Got some crap on my hands, but at least it's not the blood of tens of gazillions of innocent citizens--like members of the Bush theocracy and Faux News zombies. Just wiped some of the doodie on my nose accidently--guess I should hit the sack. Plenty of time to clean it off tomorrow--between posting here 9,000,000,000,000,0000,000 times or so. Nite all. Not you, you fascists.

Posted by: Global Citizen on December 31, 2005 at 2:16 AM | PERMALINK

Global Citizen,


Whatever.

Posted by: berlins on January 1, 2006 at 12:41 AM | PERMALINK

This thread is old, so i shouldn't be bothering to defend my statement that made Birkel go ballistic. By The links between AQ and SaddamIraq were tenuous and almost certainly not operational. It's quite possible that the US had better links to AQ than SaddamIraq... I did not mean the Bush familiy relationship with the Saudis (which is conspiracy theory material), I meant that we probably have some assets infiltrated into the AQ network, and when they encounter important information, decisions on how or even whether to act on that information must be balanced against risking the assets.

Posted by: Bill Arnold on January 1, 2006 at 8:56 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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