Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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February 3, 2006
By: Kevin Drum

INVADING IRAQ....Yesterday I noticed a story in the Guardian about yet another leaked memo from Downing Street regarding the invasion of Iraq:

A memo of a two-hour meeting between the two leaders at the White House on January 31 2003 nearly two months before the invasion reveals that Mr Bush made it clear the US intended to invade whether or not there was a second UN resolution and even if UN inspectors found no evidence of a banned Iraqi weapons programme.

"The diplomatic strategy had to be arranged around the military planning", the president told Mr Blair. The prime minister is said to have raised no objection. He is quoted as saying he was "solidly with the president and ready to do whatever it took to disarm Saddam".

This is apparently getting more attention today, but I'm not quite sure I get what the fuss is about. Surely this isn't news to anyone, is it? Of course Bush was planning to invade no matter what.

On the other hand, the U.S. plan to paint a spy plane in UN colors and hope Saddam would shoot it down now that's comedy gold. Ten bucks says it was Cheney's idea.

Kevin Drum 4:38 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (161)

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Comments

Yes, move along. Nothing to see here. Let George Bush do whatever he pleases.

Kevin represents the great center the Democrats try to reach and fail every time.

Posted by: Rob on February 3, 2006 at 4:43 PM | PERMALINK

It shows a total lack of respect for the lives of american pilots. "Gentlemen, the president needs to get his war on. Fly low and slow over these missile sites. DO NOT take evasive action, because as the past ten years have proven, the Iraqi AA can't hit anything. It is imperative that you don't get captured alive, but if you do, please talk with a foriegn accent. Here are your blue berets. Poor flying, gentlemen!"

I mean, literally, for this plan to work, the president planned to have american servicemen KILLED by Iraqis. Every US congresscritter should be up in arms about this.

Posted by: Mysticdog on February 3, 2006 at 4:44 PM | PERMALINK

Rob, you need to adjust your snarkdar.

However, Kevin, you do need to acknowledge that the media, which resolutely did not (and does not) recognize and represent Bush's mendacities, NEEDS quasi-official "revelations" such as this to allow themselves to walk back the lies.

Perhaps, one day, far in the future, this will be on network news.

Posted by: The Confidence Man on February 3, 2006 at 4:46 PM | PERMALINK

Right, and Cheney was hoping that Bush would be the pilot.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on February 3, 2006 at 4:46 PM | PERMALINK

Rob: Do you seriously think this post was meant to excuse Bush's actions? Have you read this blog for more than a few hours?

Posted by: Kevin Drum on February 3, 2006 at 4:46 PM | PERMALINK

Haha.. I had the same thought about Cheney, Kevin.
He probably was copying some idea he read in a Civil War history.

Posted by: marky on February 3, 2006 at 4:47 PM | PERMALINK

It is yet another screaming piece of evidence that Bush is a criminal and that the Iraq war was illegal and unnecessary from day one. Worse, the trick with the fake UN U2 plane is a Gulf of Tonkin redux. This is a big deal, particularly if (yeah, right) the US media actually finally pays attention to reality. Why is it that every news organization in the world but ours actually has commerce with objective reality rather than swimming around in Bush's created (false) reality?

Posted by: Praedor Atrebates on February 3, 2006 at 4:48 PM | PERMALINK

Mysticdog makes the most salient point. We are all but pawns in the great historical Bush presidency.

Posted by: patrick on February 3, 2006 at 4:48 PM | PERMALINK

"Of course Bush was planning to invade no matter what."

Well, we know that. But if we keep saying it, maybe some of those journamalists will find out about it too.

Posted by: craigie on February 3, 2006 at 4:49 PM | PERMALINK

paul,

The irony of Bush fulfilling the TANG service he essentially shirked back in the Vietnam era by flying low and slow over Iraq so as to get shot down and trigger a war would be just perfect.

An airborne Gulf of Tonkin.

Posted by: phleabo on February 3, 2006 at 4:49 PM | PERMALINK

This is apparently getting more attention today, but I'm not quite sure I get what the fuss is about. Surely this isn't news to anyone, is it? Of course Bush was planning to invade no matter what.

Me neither Kevin. On the days leading to the liberation of the Iraqi people from Saddam and his thugs, George Bush said he was not going to give up the right of America to defend herself to France, Iran, and other America hating countries . Planning to invade Iraq even if France and Iran in the United Nation was against it was consistent with what he said.

Posted by: Al on February 3, 2006 at 4:50 PM | PERMALINK

Isn't this just the Downing Street Memos, recycled?

BTW, go run through those quoted dialogs, and see if anything sounds a bit fishy.

Heck, I would have thought any liberal would have discarded this as a hoax when Bush is quoted as using the word "internecine."

Posted by: tbrosz on February 3, 2006 at 4:51 PM | PERMALINK

Why do the fake Als sound increasing like parodies of parodies of Al?

Posted by: phleabo on February 3, 2006 at 4:51 PM | PERMALINK

"This is apparently getting more attention today, but I'm not quite sure I get what the fuss is about. Surely this isn't news to anyone, is it? Of course Bush was planning to invade no matter what."

The fuss is about the fact that several times after these meetings, Bush and Blair publicly stated on the record that they had NOT made up their mind. And now this would prove that they were... What is that "L" word again? Not "Liberal", that other one? Gosh - I can't think of it....

BTW - One other Britain note. Yesterday, the Gordon Brown, the allegedly Labour Chanchellor of the Exchequer announced that Greenspan would become a special advisor to Britain. What the heck, a Labour, supposedly progressive party wants advice from a Ayn Rand, neo-con like, Greenspan. Another point of proof that the "Tory" Blair Joke was true.

Posted by: Samuel Knight on February 3, 2006 at 4:58 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin wrote: I'm not quite sure I get what the fuss is about. Surely this isn't news to anyone, is it? Of course Bush was planning to invade no matter what.

Of course Bush lied -- deliberately, repeatedly, elaborately lied -- to the American people, the United States Congress, the United Nations Security Council, and the entire world when he said that he wanted to avoid war and that invading Iraq was a "last resort". So what's the fuss about?

What the fuss is about is that this criminal gangster thug is still in office, and has not been impeached, removed from office, prosecuted and imprisoned.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on February 3, 2006 at 4:58 PM | PERMALINK

Heck, I would have thought any liberal would have discarded this as a hoax when Bush is quoted as using the word "internecine."

tbrosz, that's an excellent point. I may have to reconsider.

Posted by: craigie on February 3, 2006 at 4:59 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin, as always, the point is not what some people already know (suspect strongly), but what directly contradicts President Bush, and gives more public exposure to those who don't pay as much attention.

Also, in some odd ways, the people who are supposed to be paying the most attention - the press - are the last to really report matter of factly what seems to be obviously the case. Therefore, another document like this one gives the press (and editors) even less reason NOT to give the story full play and analyze the deceptions in the year leading up to the war in Iraq.

Indeed, the very last excuse a mass media editor can use to ignore this latest development, and to cement the real narrative of the leadup to and reasons for the Iraq War, is that it's "old news" and "everybody already knows this already", which of course is not true.

Don't be one of those people Kevin, even if your motives obviously aren't the same. What you may sloppily conclude about this new development, Kevin, editors with cognitive dissonance and/or nefarious motives (in terms of who is paying them and pressuring them in terms of emphasis) are doing willfully.

Posted by: Jimm on February 3, 2006 at 5:01 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin,

I think you are missing the point.

The memo takes an issue that the Bush administration has continued to muddy and brought further clarity. The fact that you and I and maybe even 55% (just a guess) of Americans understand the decision to go to war was predetermined doesn't change the fact that powerful gun evidence, like this memo, undercuts the Right's attempt to muddy this issue and increases the chance that "predetermination" will become an established fact.

Posted by: Macswain on February 3, 2006 at 5:01 PM | PERMALINK

Internecine: What I saw on the internets.

Posted by: adam on February 3, 2006 at 5:01 PM | PERMALINK

And this grom Mr Buchannanhttp://www.humaneventsonline.com/article.php?id=12168

Posted by: GOP liar on February 3, 2006 at 5:02 PM | PERMALINK

Jimm,

Damn! You were able to hit the post button quicker than I ... and your's is much better said too.

Posted by: Macswain on February 3, 2006 at 5:03 PM | PERMALINK

ot:

A top Senate Republican is defending the Bush administration's program of spying on people in the U-S without court oversight.

Intelligence Committee Chairman Pat Roberts says presidents all the way back to George Washington intercepted communications to track enemy threats to the U-S.

((((until it was made illegal by congress with the fisa law in 1978)))))

In a 19-page letter to the top Republican and Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, Roberts says he's ``confident that the president retains the constitutional authority'' to order the spying without court warrants.


.

that's mr. "phase-2 investigation into white house hyping intell on iraq will be done after the 2004 election".....

and the clock is still ticking...


why do these republicans talk like they have any credibility?

Posted by: thisspaceavailable on February 3, 2006 at 5:05 PM | PERMALINK

I'm not quite sure I get what the fuss is about. Surely this isn't news to anyone, is it? Of course Bush was planning to invade no matter what.

I knew he was lying; you knew he was lying; and Michael Kinsley knew he was lying.

But around 200 million other Americans beleived him. 100 million still do.

Posted by: Gary Sugar on February 3, 2006 at 5:05 PM | PERMALINK

This is apparently getting more attention today, but I'm not quite sure I get what the fuss is about. Surely this isn't news to anyone, is it? Of course Bush was planning to invade no matter what.
Kevin Drum

Unless it appeared above the fold in the NY Post and the Washington Times in four inch type, it will be ignored by the vast majority of Americans who either don't care because the war doesn't affect them directly (their grand children will be paying the bills) or are resigned to the fact that Bush is a worthless, lying sack of shit we can't do anything about at this point because his party is completely in control.

Then there will be the 30 odd (really odd) percent of Americans that will think this is a liberal media lie, that believe Saddam was behind the 9/11 attacks, and that we found boatloads of WMD after the invasion.

Posted by: Jeff II on February 3, 2006 at 5:05 PM | PERMALINK

Internecine: It's what you wash your mouth out with after a late night with Monica Lewinsky.

It must be Clinton's fault.

Posted by: enozinho on February 3, 2006 at 5:05 PM | PERMALINK

Nobody really believes Bush,There is 36% who say they believe him him but they just do what they are told.A vast majority of Americans believe Bush did not win either election.diebold won it for him.

Posted by: GOP liar on February 3, 2006 at 5:09 PM | PERMALINK

GWB has achieved the unique and unmatchable distinction of causing a tragedy that did not have to be repeated to morph into a farce and became a comedian's dream just the first time around.

Posted by: lib on February 3, 2006 at 5:10 PM | PERMALINK
This is apparently getting more attention today, but I'm not quite sure I get what the fuss is about.

That's incredibly dense of you.

Of course Bush was planning to invade no matter what.

Of course he was, and most people who are particularly engaged has known that for a while (those of us who are unusually cynical, observant, or suspicious of Bush have said that all along.) However, that's not what he told the Congress and the American people, and quite a lot of the former clearly believed him, and many of the latter at least acted as if they did.

This is further, documentary evidence that Bush was lying to the Congress and the American people -- while conspiring with foreign leaders -- about the purposes, motivation, and even the very decision to go to war.

And as well as proof, looking at things more cynically, this kind of evidence provides political cover for members of Congress that might see their political self-interest in acting in accord with the current public mood regarding Iraq, but who might otherwise be concerned about the inconsistency with their past actions. Being able to point to reliance on deception perpetrated by the President frees them from being bound by their past support for the war.

Posted by: cmdicely on February 3, 2006 at 5:13 PM | PERMALINK
BTW, go run through those quoted dialogs, and see if anything sounds a bit fishy.

There is no quoted dialog. There are quotes from the memorandum memorializing the discussion. Such memoranda routinely paraphrase and summarize, rather than directly quoting, the positions and statements of participants (otherwise, they would be transcripts rather than memoranda.)

Posted by: cmdicely on February 3, 2006 at 5:16 PM | PERMALINK

Ahem. It was obvious Bush had no intention of not imvading long before the war began. It was confirmed in ways that made this undeniable. Let me explain.

I'm a Yank working and living in London. In my company we had a former RAF fighter pilot (flew in the first Gulf War): a classic English public school-boy. A real Sandhurst type. He was our sales guy for the middle east.

On returning from a business trip to the Gulf states months before the war he said: "lots of kit down there -- there is no way the are not going in."

You don't move that much "kit" unless you mean to use it. Remember how summer was approaching?

It was obvious then, moreso now. It's just our media was too conflicted and craven to do their job.

Oh, almost forgot -- Al and TBrosz: FU. And this is from someone with family in the OSP.

Posted by: Onomasticator on February 3, 2006 at 5:20 PM | PERMALINK

Sorry, Kevin, I think you're attempt at comedy at end of this report is wrong. What's so fucking funny about any of this?

Posted by: Renny on February 3, 2006 at 5:20 PM | PERMALINK

Internecine: What I saw on the internets.

hillarious!

Posted by: D. on February 3, 2006 at 5:22 PM | PERMALINK

"you are attempt at comedy"

In that they would be so stupid to consider such a bogus plan - Monty Python comedy - two little boys playing with their GI Joe sets and their model planes.

Had Cheney talked our little Boy King into trying to fly the plane, although he is no longer qualified to fly solo in a jet, just think of President Cheney awarding Laura, Georgie's Medal of Freedom and saying, "It is with a heavy and diseased heart that I.......".

Posted by: thethirdPaul on February 3, 2006 at 5:30 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin Drum: I'm not quite sure I get what the fuss is about. Surely this isn't news to anyone, is it?

Also, Kevin from previous thread on drug plan debacle: This is no surprise, of course

PLEA TO KEVIN:

(Echoing cmdicely here) Please be careful, Kevin. This is the language of Jaundice & Jaundice- apologies to Dickens.

A- the average person does not have the 'insiders view' and may damn well be very surprised as he/she comes up to speed.

B- whether or not you are surprised is not exactly the point. What matters is, are we ruled by liars, and how good is the evidence of their perfidy?

And if you have some good evidence don't demean it--for goodness sake!--present it with pride.

Posted by: obscure on February 3, 2006 at 5:31 PM | PERMALINK

Disarm Saddam? Are you sure they didn't say they were going to get Iraqi oil no matter what?

Posted by: Freedom Fighter on February 3, 2006 at 5:35 PM | PERMALINK

A- the average person does not have the 'insiders view' and may damn well be very surprised as he/she comes up to speed.

B- whether or not you are surprised is not exactly the point. What matters is, are we ruled by liars, and how good is the evidence of their perfidy?

And if you have some good evidence don't demean it--for goodness sake!--present it with pride.
Posted by: obscure

Anyone at this point that doesn't understand that the Bush administration willfully lied to get us into the war has either been living in cave, is a really close friend of Paris Hilton, or is a conservative stooge.

Posted by: Jeff II on February 3, 2006 at 5:36 PM | PERMALINK

This may be a wonderful Rovian stratgey. Every few months manufacture some fake story that keeps the delusional leftists foaming at the mouth. Punctuate this by periodically leaking some outrageous memo which was seen by only a human rights activist, wink, wink. Rinse. Repeat.

Cindy Sheehan sounds like a stroke of genius. What a sideshow, while Alito and Roberts sneak into SCOTUS.

Posted by: tbrosz on February 3, 2006 at 5:37 PM | PERMALINK

"Planning to invade Iraq even if France and Iran in the United Nation was against it was consistent with what he said."

And so doing what he has said is a lie. This is the same logic that Bush hates black people by putting them in the highest offices in the land. So what's the problem here?

Posted by: Freedom Fighter on February 3, 2006 at 5:38 PM | PERMALINK

"Cindy Sheehan sounds like a stroke of genius."

Yeah! Sheehan/Obama 08!

LOL

Posted by: Freedom Fighter on February 3, 2006 at 5:41 PM | PERMALINK

Disarm Saddam? Are you sure they didn't say they were going to get Iraqi oil no matter what?

Nice try. That was Blair's quote, not Commander Codpiece.

Posted by: craigie on February 3, 2006 at 5:42 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin says that evrybody knows that Bush lied about his intention to go to war: "Surely this isn't news to anyone, is it? Of course Bush was planning to invade no matter what."

But NOT everybody knows, and this WOULD BE news to most people, IF the mass media in the USA would report such things. But they don't.

Look at Kevin's links. Who is covering this? The Guardian, in the UK, and a liberal political magazine in the US, The American Prospect. It will go unremarked and unreported by the corporate-owned mass media in the USA -- unless they get worried that it's actually getting some attention, in which case they will sneer at it as a "conspiracy theory" -- and most Americans, who get virtually all of their information from the corporate-owned mass media, will remain ignorant of it.

And then Kevin will write posts complaining about "media bashing" by the "liberal blogosphere."

Oh ye "sensible liberal", self defeat is thy name.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on February 3, 2006 at 5:43 PM | PERMALINK

Golly Tbroz you make Alito and Roberts sound like right wing hacks.So far i belive we got more out of these picks than your side.

Posted by: GOP liar on February 3, 2006 at 5:47 PM | PERMALINK

The difference between Bush waiting for UN sanctions (or whatever thin reed of legitimacy he used with WMD to justify invading Iraq) and Bush "planning to invade no matter what" is the small and fine distinction between "isn't that an impeachable offense?" and "isn't that a war crime?"

Just because "everyone" knew Bush was planning to invade, it does not follow that "everyone" should let him off the hook for it, especially when "everyone" was busy downplaying anti-war concerns.

Posted by: Chris on February 3, 2006 at 5:54 PM | PERMALINK

Rob: Do you seriously think this post was meant to excuse Bush's actions?

It probably wasn't for this reason:

What the fuss is about is that this criminal gangster thug is still in office, and has not been impeached, removed from office, prosecuted and imprisoned.


Posted by: on February 3, 2006 at 5:58 PM | PERMALINK

And just so we don't get sidetracked Bush stated in his SOTU before the invasion,He knew how much VX,The amount of sarrin gas,His Mushroom capability.I say that sounds a lot like a lie.

Posted by: GOP liar on February 3, 2006 at 5:59 PM | PERMALINK

GOP liar:

"His mushroom capablity."

Surely no greater than Bush's cokespoon facility :)

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on February 3, 2006 at 6:02 PM | PERMALINK

Heck, I would have thought any liberal would have discarded this as a hoax when Bush is quoted as using the word "internecine."

Bush was misquoted, he said starting illiegal war and occupation was allowed in the Nicene Creed.

Posted by: on February 3, 2006 at 6:02 PM | PERMALINK

cmdicely:

Such memoranda routinely paraphrase and summarize, rather than directly quoting, the positions and statements of participants (otherwise, they would be transcripts rather than memoranda.)

Really? If someone is paraphrasing to the extent of replacing whatever Bush actually said with "internecine," maybe we need to look at the other "statements" a little more closely. Every story I've seen so far on this is treating this memo as though it were a transcript.

Posted by: tbrosz on February 3, 2006 at 6:05 PM | PERMALINK

Hey now, He put the spoon away right after Richard Prior accident, He then went to the coke bullet.

Posted by: GOP liar on February 3, 2006 at 6:10 PM | PERMALINK

tbrosz, you got your tax cut. Fine. OK. I hope you are enjoying it. But, really, why do you compulsively defend every blatantly dishonest and corrupt action of the Bush administration?

Posted by: SecularAnimist on February 3, 2006 at 6:14 PM | PERMALINK


KEVIN DRUM: Surely this isn't news to anyone, is it? Of course Bush was planning to invade no matter what.

Many of Bush's lies must be inferred, but this one, as with his assurance that his administration does not wiretap without warrants, is verifiable in numerous public statements until just days before the Iraq invasion. Here's one from March 5, 2003: "We've not made up our mind about military action." (Apparently Bush shares a mind with others.)

Despite this, and despite sporadic assertions by opposition interviewees, the MSM--together with Kevin Drum--has yet to say outright, with factual conviction, that Bush is a liar.

This is a crucial omission and failure on the media's part. In the long wake of his initial support for invasion, it is also a shameful failure on Kevin's part.


Posted by: jayarbee on February 3, 2006 at 6:14 PM | PERMALINK

Really? If someone is paraphrasing to the extent of replacing whatever Bush actually said with "internecine," maybe we need to look at the other "statements" a little more closely. Every story I've seen so far on this is treating this memo as though it were a transcript.Posted by: tbrosz

Nice try, T-bone. Just because some Oxbridge educated assistant thought it better to use "internecine" rather than "a fussin' and a fightin' between themselves" hardly calls the veracity of the transcription into question. In either case, transcription or memo, it does not change the fact that it's further documentation that Bush lied and the invasion was premeditated.

Posted by: Jeff II on February 3, 2006 at 6:17 PM | PERMALINK

We are in Iraq.

Oz has been built (green zone).

We need to NOT be so addicted to oil.

War is so profitable. Who cares about Iraq's reconstruction? Contractors get to fleece the US taxpayers regardless.

That ABC news guy and his camera man...why were they riding in an Iraqi vehicle? Ours are better armoured against those pesky IEDs.

....

How can we justify this debacle in Iraq when it's costing ~$100,000.00/minute?

BUSH/CARLYE/MCGRAW-HILL/HALIBURTON/BETCHEL love the IRAQ mess.

Posted by: Tom Nicholson on February 3, 2006 at 6:19 PM | PERMALINK

The big news is that these statements were made by Bush/Blair on tape. The transcript is what has been released.

Yes, we all knew this. But to have proof of it is quite another thing ... that is if you have actual checks and balances.

Posted by: Mike on February 3, 2006 at 6:24 PM | PERMALINK

Thanks Jeff for taking t-bone to task on his usual, tired tactics.

If he didn't see the memo, it doesn't exist. If he's seen it, it's fake. If it's a poll, he questions the methodology. If conservative insiders or respected career professinals fall on their swords by leaking information about questionable or illegal practices -- we should just ignore the relevant info and instead jail them. If someone is caught red-handed it doesn't matter -- because Democrats do it too.

And he wonders why he keeps failing the Turing test; just too mechanistic and predictable.

Posted by: Windhorse on February 3, 2006 at 6:25 PM | PERMALINK

Really?

Yes, that really is the difference between a memorandum and a transcript.

If someone is paraphrasing to the extent of replacing whatever Bush actually said with "internecine,"blockquote>

Um, how do you know that is a significant extent? If he said "between, ya know, the Sunni and the Shi'a--Shi'ites?-whatever ya call 'em, and the Kurds or whoever" than "internecine" is not a substantial paraphrase.

maybe we need to look at the other "statements" a little more closely. Every story I've seen so far on this is treating this memo as though it were a transcript.

Every story I've seen is treating it as if it was a contemporaneous memorandum of a meeting, not a transcript. Exactly how has any story you've seen treated in any other way?


Posted by: cmdicely on February 3, 2006 at 6:26 PM | PERMALINK

Why do the fake Als sound increasing like parodies of parodies of Al? Posted by: phleabo on February 3, 2006 at 4:51 PM

Wasn't there a silent movie serial called, "The Parodies of Al?"

Posted by: Dr. Morpheus on February 3, 2006 at 6:27 PM | PERMALINK

Heck, I would have thought any liberal would have discarded this as a hoax when Bush is quoted as using the word "internecine."

It was on his "Word-of-the-Day" calendar, obviously.

Posted by: Dr. Morpheus on February 3, 2006 at 6:29 PM | PERMALINK

This is an international story, not a domestic story. The rest of the civilized world holds their leaders to higher standards than we do here, and gets a bit upset when a president or prime minister lies outright and loudly about a serious issue costing thousands of lives. Clearly not an issue here, but speaking personally, I hate a lying murdering asshole as much the effete Europeans seem to.

Posted by: BD on February 3, 2006 at 6:32 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin,

You'd bet ten bucks that painting a drone plane in UN colors was Cheney's idea?

I'll take that bet. Until today, I would have sworn that George Bush never had an idea in his life, but darned if I don't believe that he dreamed this one up all by himself. It just sounds like the brainstorm of an immature ten-year-old.

Your ten bucks is covered, man!

Posted by: William Slattery on February 3, 2006 at 6:33 PM | PERMALINK

Oh. Kevin was satirizing Michael Kinsley's argument, not agreeing? Okay, all forgiven.

Posted by: Gary Sugar on February 3, 2006 at 6:34 PM | PERMALINK

Please be careful, Kevin. This is the language of Jaundice & Jaundice- apologies to Dickens.

Apologies to Jarndyce & Jarndyce, too.

Posted by: Mrs. Grundy on February 3, 2006 at 6:34 PM | PERMALINK

A poll not too long ago found that 56% of the American people would support impeachment if it could be proven that Bush knowingly lied us into a war.

That's why this story will never be covered - or, at best, minimized, like the Downing Street Memo - by the MSM. Recall that the MSM beat the drum for war with almost more enthusiasm than the Bush Admin did.

Meanwhile, the LA Times has a story calculating that the Iraq War is costing us $100,000 per minute:

"The additional spending, along with other war funding the Bush administration will seek separately in its regular budget next week, would push the price tag for combat and nation-building since Sept. 11, 2001, to nearly a half-trillion dollars, approaching the inflation-adjusted cost of the 13-year Vietnam War."

Think about that when you hear about yet-more tax cuts, about yet-more budget cuts for education and healthcare, and the next time someone remembers NOLA is still trashed.

$500,000,000.

Shit, we could've just bought the damn country from Saddam for that much!

Posted by: CaseyL on February 3, 2006 at 6:37 PM | PERMALINK

Well, when you pick a fight you had better know what you are doing. It can cost you big. Ive seen more than a few miscalculations in my time. And everybody likes to see a bully go down.

It occurs to me that Bush may have 1) Not realized how many folks around the world would perceive him as a bully; and 2) Not realized he was picking a fight with the entire Muslim world.

What a turkey we are stuck with.

Posted by: little ole jim from red country on February 3, 2006 at 6:38 PM | PERMALINK

Excuse me, that should be:

$500,000,000,000

Posted by: CaseyL on February 3, 2006 at 6:38 PM | PERMALINK

Dr. Morpheus is on a comedy roll!

Posted by: shortstop on February 3, 2006 at 6:38 PM | PERMALINK

This is an international story, not a domestic story. The rest of the civilized world holds their leaders to higher standards than we do here, and gets a bit upset when a president or prime minister lies outright and loudly about a serious issue costing thousands of lives. Posted by: BD

The would be the rest of the world leaving out Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Middle East Russia, and a few nations in "Old Europe."

So, actually, that's Canada, Australia (sometimes), New Zealand, the UK (sometimes), France (every-one-in-a-while), and Italy (oops! they should be in the group above). In fact, about the only pol-spankers I can think of these day are the Germans. Sweet irony.

Posted by: Jeff II on February 3, 2006 at 6:40 PM | PERMALINK

Well the way he butchers the english language I doubt that was the word he was looking for and this was the best he transcribers could come up with.He may have been trying to say Nice looking intern.

Posted by: GOP liar on February 3, 2006 at 6:42 PM | PERMALINK

Oh tbrosz, you being a bad boy today, trying to rile people up without even using much substance.

But seriously, what do you really think of Karl Rove?

Posted by: little ole jim from red country on February 3, 2006 at 6:45 PM | PERMALINK

It would be interesting to know how these trolls would have defened Clinton, If they where right wing hacks.

Posted by: GOP liar on February 3, 2006 at 6:46 PM | PERMALINK

Yep, Cheney the Civil War buff. Got his prints and DNA all over it. Al Qaeda's lack of a navy must really gall him, since it prevents a re-match of the Monitor vs. the Merrimack.

Posted by: penalcolony on February 3, 2006 at 6:47 PM | PERMALINK

How many words can you come up with out of internecine.I bet he just said Interesting.A little coke slack jaw could change a lot of words.

Posted by: GOP liar on February 3, 2006 at 6:49 PM | PERMALINK

The big fuss is that the U.S. MSM is being caught with their dicks in their hands again.

Posted by: ogmb on February 3, 2006 at 7:08 PM | PERMALINK

Mr Bush told Mr Blair that the US was so worried about the failure to find hard evidence against Saddam that it thought of "flying U2 reconnaissance aircraft planes with fighter cover over Iraq, painted in UN colours". Mr Bush added: "If Saddam fired on them, he would be in breach [of UN resolutions]".


The UN has an air force? With U-2's?

If the US painted an American jet in UN colors and Iraq fired on it how could the US possibly charge them with firing on the UN? Saddam may or may not know it was a UN plane but the UN sure would.

Hasn't the US owned Iraqi skies since Desert Storm? Aren't fighter jets in the sky all the time? Why some special escort?

This makes absolutely no sense. The reason this crap prints in the guardian is the Europeans are so Anti-Americfan they'll believe everything. And that's the exact same reason it only gets play with the moonbats here.

Posted by: rdw on February 3, 2006 at 7:08 PM | PERMALINK

I noticed that the Yanks in Iraq, the political leadership led by our ambassador there, is in open revolt against the Shiite government and is coming out strongly in favor with an American/Sunni alliance, especially the including the insurgency.

This is sort of off topic, but the American position, stated almost publicly, is that they prefer the Sunnis who the most secular of the political leaders. In fact, the Americans are using the excuse of Shiite ascendency as the cause for our pending withdrawal. I guesss, implying that our "enemy" is too persecuted.

So, friends, the liklihood of an American withdrawal is likely to be reconsidered based upon the "insurgency" demands that we protect them during the political process.

The American answer, of course, is to start withdrawal.

Posted by: Matt on February 3, 2006 at 7:13 PM | PERMALINK

I love the smell of a good debunking in the morning. It smells like... victory.

For Rove.

Posted by: Confederate Yankee on February 3, 2006 at 7:17 PM | PERMALINK

Confederate Yankee:

I'm a bit embarrassed that I didn't catch that business about the U-2 myself. The Predator aircraft also cruise at very high altitudes.

Posted by: tbrosz on February 3, 2006 at 7:27 PM | PERMALINK

It occurs to me that Bush may have 1) Not realized how many folks around the world would perceive him as a bully; and 2) Not realized he was picking a fight with the entire Muslim world

1)It occurs to me Bush doesn't give a crap how the French perceive him. Conservatives aren't trying to be prom queens. Popularity was everything to Slick Willie. The adults are in charge now.

2)He did not pick a fight with the entire Muslim world. He picked a fight with Saddam. Those Muslims who supported Saddam are free to do so. It's always good to know who's one enemies are and who can be counted on.

Posted by: rdw on February 3, 2006 at 7:27 PM | PERMALINK

Oh tbrosz, you being a bad boy today, trying to rile people up without even using much substance.

It isn't that hard. The buttons on leftists are two feet across, labeled in big black letters, and lit in neon. They haven't changed in thirty years.

But seriously, what do you really think of Karl Rove?

Actually, I don't think of Karl Rove all that much.

Posted by: tbrosz on February 3, 2006 at 7:33 PM | PERMALINK

You are so right tbrosz on the wonderful "Rovian strategy" thing. It is pure entertainment to watch the libs seethe with anger, and like Pavlovian dogs they answer the bell time and time again. Pass the popcorn.

Posted by: Jay on February 3, 2006 at 7:33 PM | PERMALINK

Confederate Yankee & tbroz: Mr. Murdoch's Times of London notes:

If the U2 idea was a serious proposal, it would have made sense only if the spy plane was ordered to fly at an altitude within range of Iraqi missiles. Mr Bushs reference in the recorded conversation to the U2 being escorted by fighter aircraft indicates that that is what he had in mind.

Shouldn't you guys be helping Cheney with his plans for the seige of Vicksburg?

Posted by: penalcolony on February 3, 2006 at 7:48 PM | PERMALINK

rdw: The adults are in charge now.

A gang of career corporate criminals and war profiteers is in charge now, rdw. That's the nature of the folks whose boots you love to lick so much.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on February 3, 2006 at 8:03 PM | PERMALINK

STFU!

The president is God.

Posted by: angryspittle on February 3, 2006 at 8:24 PM | PERMALINK

C'mon people!

Bush has our best interests at heart!

No fucking human/animal hybrids!!

Gawd bless this savior of humanity!!

Posted by: angryspittle on February 3, 2006 at 8:27 PM | PERMALINK

In related news today, Robert J Stein of Fayetteville, NC has been named to head Procurement at the Pentagon. Rumsfeld was quoted as saying Stein had certainly learned his lessons well in Iraq.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on February 3, 2006 at 8:31 PM | PERMALINK

Every US congresscritter should be up in arms about this.Posted by: Mysticdog on February 3, 2006 at 4:44 PM | PERMALINK

Every critter, congress or no, should be up in arms about this.

Posted by: E. Henry Thripshaw on February 3, 2006 at 8:37 PM | PERMALINK

You need to be more precise in your use of language; of course this shouldn't be news to anyone. The sad thing, of course, is that those to whom it would be news won't listen, and those to whom it isn't, don't need any additional evidence. Sad really...

http://www.hairytruth.blogspot.com

Posted by: truth4achange on February 3, 2006 at 8:44 PM | PERMALINK

And thanks to the kidlets of the PajamaMedia for playing today. The incidents CG referred to were in the No-Fly Zones - not over Baghdad - If Dickie and Twig were so stupid as to want a U-2 to fly over Baghdad, it would not have been at a regularly flown 70,000 ft level. It was a stupid plan considered by stupid individuals defended by dullards.

Now, back to Austin Bay and Bellows, guys.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on February 3, 2006 at 8:49 PM | PERMALINK

Re: Cheney
Correct me if my facts are wrong, but didn't he hatch a wild scheme right before Gulf War I to capture two western Iraq towns, hold the people hostage and try to force SH's surrender? Even drew up a detailed plan that he presented to Schwarzkopf and the Joint Chiefs, who laughed their asses off when they saw it.

Posted by: grant on February 3, 2006 at 9:01 PM | PERMALINK

grant,

Back in Casper, when he wasn't getting drunk after working the oil fields, he read a military book - I think it was called, "The Adventures of F-Troop"

Posted by: thethirdPaul on February 3, 2006 at 9:08 PM | PERMALINK

Internecine: are the repugs bringing that old thing about the Clenis again?

Posted by: The fake Fake Al on February 3, 2006 at 9:12 PM | PERMALINK

Ten more bucks says that the CiC arranging a hit on one of his own soldiers would count as treason.

Posted by: cdj on February 3, 2006 at 9:26 PM | PERMALINK

The adults are in charge now.

Hil-arious.

Posted by: Pat on February 3, 2006 at 9:36 PM | PERMALINK

Actually, thirdPaul, the incident I describe above is recounted in Schwarkopf's book "It Doesn't Take a Hero," according to Digby. But Cheney wanted to capture only one town, not two. Here's Digby:

Following one White House meeting at which he'd asked for more time and more troops, Stormin' Norman reports; Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Colin Powell called to warn the Desert Storm commander that he was being loudly compared, by a top administration official, to George McClellan. "My God," the official supposedly complained. "He's got all the force he needs. Why won't he just attack?" Schwarzkopf notes that the unnamed official who'd made the comment "was a civilian who knew next to nothing about military affairs, but he'd been watching the Civil War documentary on public television and was now an expert."

And then, twenty pages later, Schwarzkopf casually drops the information that he got an inspirational gift from Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney right before the air war finally got under way. Cheney was presenting a gift to a military man, and he chose something with an appropriate theme: "(A) complete set of videotapes of Ken Burns's PBS series, The Civil War."

But that wasn't the only gift that Dick Cheney had for Norman Schwarzkopf. Having figured out that the general was being too cautious with his fourth combat command in three decades of soldiering, Cheney got his staff busy and began presenting Schwarzkopf with his own ideas about how to fight the Iraqis: What if we parachute the 82nd Airborne into the far western part of Iraq, hundreds of miles from Kuwait and totally cut off from any kind of support, and seize a couple of missile sites, then line up along the highway and drive for Baghdad? Schwarzkopf charitably describes the plan as being "as bad as it could possibly be... But despite our criticism, the western excursion wouldn't die: three times in that week alone Powell called with new variations from Cheney's staff. The most bizarre involved capturing a town in western Iraq and offering it to Saddam in exchange for Kuwait." (Throw in a Pete Rose rookie card?) None of this Walter Mitty posturing especially surprised Schwarzkopf, who points out that he'd already known Cheney as "one of the fiercest cold warriors in Congress.

Posted by: grant on February 3, 2006 at 10:05 PM | PERMALINK

haven't scrolled through the comments, and I'm sure the point's been made, but the fuss is about what the administration did, and what the administration said behind closed doors, and what the administration told a gullible frightened public, after it had already stoked up those fears to increase their congressional majority and retake the Senate. There really is such a thing as being too cynical. Allowing the MSM to take refuge behind the "but everybody knew that" when they weren't telling us what they knew three years ago, allows the administration to get away with more lies. It isn't hindsight or fingerpointing, its exercising out duty as citizens.
Goddammit!!

Posted by: jim on February 3, 2006 at 10:16 PM | PERMALINK

grant,

Thanks for the information - Schwarzkopf was a dirty boot - when you have to lead your troops through mine fields, does harden your perspective on battle.
He also commented on not taking Baghdad because of the possible power vacuum which could develop.

In addition, there has been talk of his being silenced on speaking out in 03 by visitors from DC who flew into McChord and discussed the possible loss of lucrative speaking engagements.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on February 3, 2006 at 10:17 PM | PERMALINK

thethirdPaul,

I sure like your posts. Sometimes I think that you should take on that poster who posts under the handle of 'stupid git' and give him a piece of your mind.

Posted by: Ibrahim al-Rider el Pale on February 3, 2006 at 10:33 PM | PERMALINK

I just wonder at the people who imply they get such pleasure out of watching Karl Rove operate. Wonder if they are raising their kids to behave that way. And how early do they start?

You know, to be world class you have to start early. The college republicans seem to have been honing their deceit and slander skills from an early age. So how does it work? Nature or nurture? Appalling people are born and gravitate toward the republican party? Or, appalling people are made, schooled by their republican parents? Both?

Posted by: little ole jim from red country on February 3, 2006 at 10:47 PM | PERMALINK

Did give a piece a while back - never got it back - not a whole heck of a lot left.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on February 3, 2006 at 10:47 PM | PERMALINK

I am no longer 'Pale Rider'

It is jihad against blog thread trolls, lameass milbloggers, and that guy who puts Chinese spam all over the place.

Most merciful Allah, grant me the power to slay the infidels and make holy war in your name...

Posted by: Ibrahim al-Rider el Pale on February 3, 2006 at 10:57 PM | PERMALINK

Ibrahim al-Rider el Pale: sounds like the same ole PR to me. You must have run low on coffee last month.

Posted by: little ole jim from red country on February 3, 2006 at 11:07 PM | PERMALINK

Only the infidel drinks coffee--the Jihad is fueled by Skittles and Diet Coke.

Posted by: Ibrahim al-Rider el Pale on February 3, 2006 at 11:13 PM | PERMALINK

And the Crusade is fueled by surreptitiously consumed alcohol.

Posted by: little ole jim from red country on February 3, 2006 at 11:20 PM | PERMALINK

Since the moment Bush supposedly blacked out choking on a pretzel and rolled off a couch, I have suspected he was back involved in alcohol and drug abuse. I have posted before asking if anybody else perceives his bizarre thinking (if it can be described as such) as delusions brought about by the abuses of his addictions. Am I alone in this thinking? I certainly recognize the patterns from many years of study, teaching and counselling.

Posted by: murmeister on February 3, 2006 at 11:26 PM | PERMALINK

Did you put your "Appie" out to pasture? You know you'll probably have to ride one of Aleak's Arabian's grey git - Or you could ride the git of one of the other great thoroughbred foundation horses such as Godolphin Arabian or Darley Arabian or Byerly Turk. The great mares came from Tunis.

Ride with the wind, oh great slayer of the Witless ones of the net.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on February 3, 2006 at 11:27 PM | PERMALINK

The blood of the infidel is the wine that we shall drink to quench the thirst of Jihad.

And, by the way, did you guys know Kermit the Frog is doing a superbowl ad? I hope Miss Piggy is part of the ad, too, because I'm like totally freaking out.

In a fundamentalist sort of way...

Posted by: Ibrahim al-Rider el Pale on February 3, 2006 at 11:28 PM | PERMALINK

murmeister: I have no idea. Physically he looks ok. He still has some trouble with his speech, but that's not new. What patterns do you see?

Posted by: little ole jim from red country on February 3, 2006 at 11:31 PM | PERMALINK

Be careful waving that sword; remember what Harrison Ford did in "Raiders of the Lost Ark".

Posted by: thethirdPaul on February 3, 2006 at 11:39 PM | PERMALINK

He has the disconnected thinking and the inability to focus or even read a script. His expression is glazed and his smile is pasted as if he still is hung over after 2 days of sobriety. He should certainly be monitored by blood tests for drugs and alcohol residues given the nature of his responsibilities. Nixon's alcoholism could be hidden because he was surrounded by extremely competent people such as Kissinger and Haig et al. no matter what you think of them otherwise - they loved America and respected the Constitution. Bush does not have that luxury. He is surrounded by villainous people almost sworn to the destruction of democracy and the institutionalization of a plutocracy. Bush is weakened by his addictions which seem to be in full force and he is trotted out between binges looking healthy (if you aren't looking beneath the makeup) but sounding out his addictions.

Posted by: murmeister on February 3, 2006 at 11:41 PM | PERMALINK

What is this with both hands placed on the sides of Cuellar's face? Check out the photo on either HuffPo or America Blog - I've seen plenty of pols patting the heads of babies, even kissing them, but what is this with the rubbing of bald heads and the cheeks, facial that is, of Henry Cuellar?

It should provide many "precious" moments in Cuellar's reelection campaign.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on February 3, 2006 at 11:53 PM | PERMALINK

I can't imagine a President allowing medical monitoring. But it's a scary thought. Did you happen to see that last debate between Reagan and Mondale years ago? Reagan got totally lost during his closing statement. And you know he rehearsed it. It was something he had always been good at: delivering prepared remarks.

I thought at the time that he had very significant problems. But not a peep from the MSM. Turned out he did indeed had problems.

Posted by: little ole jim from red country on February 3, 2006 at 11:55 PM | PERMALINK

It was sad to see the early onset of Alzheimer's although we really didn't know much about the disease then. Remember the Iran-Contra hearings where Reagan kept saying he couldn't remember people and conversations and we just assumed he was perjuring himself when he was into the Alzheimer's? Medical testing should be mandatory for all of these people with their fingers on the button and the insanity of addiction in their backgrounds particularly. But I know you're right that they would never surrender to it.

Posted by: murmeister on February 4, 2006 at 1:29 AM | PERMALINK

Jimm: What you may sloppily conclude about this new development, Kevin, editors with cognitive dissonance and/or nefarious motives (in terms of who is paying them and pressuring them in terms of emphasis) are doing willfully.

Well said.

I saw a good example at Crooks and Liars of a MSM know-nothing willfully dropping an inflammatory accusation: Matthews: Maybe liberals and gays burned down churches in the south

Posted by: Apollo 13 on February 4, 2006 at 2:15 AM | PERMALINK

3rd Paul: What is this with both hands placed on the sides of Cuellar's face?

Remember the "kiss of death" from the movies, The Brotherhood, and later, The Godfather?

Jane Hamsher says Ciro Rodiguez, Cuellar's opponent, got a fundraising boost because of the Bush kiss among other reasons. Via Kos: Cuellar "worked with Tom DeLay ally and House Redistricting Committee Chairman Phil King to redraw Texas congressional districts and eliminate five senior Democrats from Congress."

Posted by: Apollo 13 on February 4, 2006 at 2:30 AM | PERMALINK

So a couple of days before Powell's presentation to the UN the administration is privately worried about the failure to find hard evidence against Saddam. Isn't Powell one of the strangest and saddest characters in this drama? In one act he loses his self respect and his political future. For what? I really don't understand him.

Posted by: JohnK on February 4, 2006 at 3:11 AM | PERMALINK

"What's all the fuss about?"

Honestly, Kevin. What's come over you? Are you really this jaded by it all?

For a much more astute, sober and insightful response to this news, be sure to read Juan Cole's post.

http://www.juancole.com/2006/02/george-gen.html

Posted by: Jones on February 4, 2006 at 7:22 AM | PERMALINK

"tbrosz, you got your tax cut. Fine. OK. I hope you are enjoying it. But, really, why do you compulsively defend every blatantly dishonest and corrupt action of the Bush administration?"

Because he is just not that smart.

Posted by: Ace Franze on February 4, 2006 at 8:03 AM | PERMALINK

JohnK: Exactly. Powell just seemed to be a little too honest and a little too smart to make such a presentation.

That's why I don't understand him either. He stood on the stage of history and made a blatantly dishonest case for war. Even little ole jim knew that he and Tenet (who was with him) had just sold out to the devil in full view of a worldwide audience.

Truly sad, but also disgusting. I would not trust him with anything.

Posted by: little ole jim from red country on February 4, 2006 at 8:13 AM | PERMALINK

Colin Powell is a fine civil servent who performed his role exceedingly well. Not a neocon so it was pre-ordained he would not serve for 8 years but his value as a diplomatic frontman was invaluble. GWB utilized his talents and his persona perfectly. It was much worse for France and the EU that it was beloved Colin Powell they so visibly stabbed in the back rather than a figure like Wolfie or Rummy.

Once reelected Bush no longer needed Colin and it was time to get on with the heavy lifting of global diplomatic realignment. Condi has already traveled in one year as much as Colin traveled in any two and just effectively removed the State dept OUT of the EU. There are more important regions and we have much less in common with the EU than ever before.

In 2009 you will be shocked at the difference in US foreign policy versus 2001. We'll have reduced our military footprint in Europe by 90% and the State Dept by 80%. They're all working elsewhere. GWB has signed 6 Free Trade Deals and is working on another dozen. We are lucky to have the adults in charge. Anyone spending more than 3 seconds worrying what the French think is a moron. They have far more serious problems.

Posted by: rdw on February 4, 2006 at 9:25 AM | PERMALINK

rdw, do you write the administration talking points or do you just repeat them?

Posted by: Joel on February 4, 2006 at 10:01 AM | PERMALINK

Yes, rdw ,as it deemphasizes Europe, and extends iself elsewhere in 2006 the GWB/State Dept foreign policy charm offensive is certainly working wonders in Latin America and the Middle East,

Posted by: Steve Crickmore on February 4, 2006 at 10:58 AM | PERMALINK

joel,

Why would anyone write for the white house? They have plenty of their own writers. I am a Reagan conservative, an old fashioned supply-side, small govt, strong defense conservative.
As with most of my kind I identify myself as conservative 1st and Republican 2nd and my disagreement is with liberalism rather that the Democratic party per se. That's to say I'll vote for a Democrat if they're closer to my ideal than a GOP candidate.

My 1st interest is macro-economics and the part of politics I most enjoy is the strategy. How often are things not what they seem and how often does the press butcher stories? A great recent example of this is the emergence of Howard Dean. I'm with Rich Lowery of NR in thinking Howard is a disaster.

I can't recall any primary candidate in my lifetime generate so much heat and attention yet have so little success. His campaign was a complete failure. Yet the dynamics are such that he's still a star in your party. Bill Clinton is another good example. Without question one of the most brilliant political figures of this or any age with a reputation as a great political strategist. Aside from his own elections he's been a disaster. The reality is the opposite of the image.

Most conservatives were less than thrilled with GWB and would have much preferred Jeb. I am not unaware of his weak speaking skills and his big govt initiates are a disaster. That said one can't let the perfect be the enemy of the good. His judiciary staffing has been exceptional. He's done a very good job on tax cuts and his management of foreign policy and been excellent.

I find those who agonize about French public opinion to be childish beyond belief. That simly is not an adult attitude. It amazing how much has happened with so little coverage. Few are aware of Condi's realignment of the State Dept. Few are aware of the number of trade agreements completed and the number currently being negotiated. Few are aware of the pending collapse of Kyoto. It seems the press is so focused on trying to break a scandal they're ignoring so much real news.

What's so cool about the rise of Dean is the strong voice it gives the looney left. Howard is whacko. We have a man and a group soldily outside the mainstream substantially impacting the party. Kerry wouldn't have voted against it after he voted for it if not for Dean. They keep other whacko's like Al Gore and Michael Moore in the news. As long as the looney left is so highly visible the GOP has a huge advantage.

For a conservative this makes politics fun. I do cringe sometimes when GWB mangles the language. But I also chuckle. Because I know it enrages liberals. I can picture kerry every morning looing in the mirror, "How did I lose tt that idiot?" GWB brings out the worst in the elites and Karl Rove knows who to use your arrogance against you. I find it utterly bizarre you can call a man who has such poor skills yet managed to win 4 major elections, 'stupid'. That's a form of self-loathing only a shrink can explain. If he's so stupid what are you?

This is what makes the blogs fun. We get to ask those quesitons.

Posted by: rdw on February 4, 2006 at 11:16 AM | PERMALINK

That's a form of self-loathing only a shrink can explain. If he's so stupid what are you?

The ascendancy of inept and corrupt politicians is a story as old as time itself. The reasons for their success are multifarious. And one can be cunning at winning campaigns and at the same time terrible at policy, and dishonest, unethical, not that bright: there are different skill sets involved here. Since the American people overwhelmingly reject the job Bush is doing, I believe the germane question here, is:

If he's all these things, what does that make you?

Posted by: Windhorse on February 4, 2006 at 11:48 AM | PERMALINK

Shorter rdw: "I don't write the Administration talking points, I only repeat them."

Posted by: Joel on February 4, 2006 at 12:07 PM | PERMALINK

"I just repeat them"

And look at all the money the Drexel Hill Dimwit saves from not having his own blog - He gets to come here and spend the day repeating all of the tripe that his buddies at PajamaMedia and NRO spew. There is nothing original about DHD; he is merely a conduit.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on February 4, 2006 at 12:26 PM | PERMALINK

There's a surreal air about this discussion. Of course, the Bush administration was making plans long before the actual invasion. Invasions take time to mount. Only an absolute incompetent would wait until the last moment before putting plans in place.

And of course they had a definite preconception of how the whole thing was going to play out. Any competent administration would form a view of what was likely to transpire and put plans in motion accordingly. Based on the UN's past feckless performance with respect to Saddam, why would anyone have expected them to behave any differently this time? And why would anyone have put any great faith in whatever Hans Blix might say?

Yes, out of diplomatic necessity the Bush administration was "going through the motions". But that doesn't mean they lied the U.S. into war. More realistically, it simply means they believed Saddam had WMD, they had no faith in the UN as a means of rectifying the situation, but they decided to go through the process for appearance's sake, all the time preparing to do what they believed they'd have to do anyway.

This doesn't necessarily mean they made the right call. But discussion of the topic ought to be more cognizant of how the real world works and the associated need to touch diplomatic bases, even when, in your heart, you believe it's futile.

Posted by: Pat Murphy on February 4, 2006 at 12:43 PM | PERMALINK

The ascendancy of inept and corrupt politicians is a story as old as time itself. The reasons for their success are multifarious. And one can be cunning at winning campaigns and at the same time terrible at policy, and dishonest, unethical, not that bright: there are different skill sets involved here. Since the American people overwhelmingly reject the job Bush is doing, I believe the germane question here, is:

Actually true corruption at high levels is rare. Clinton renting out the Lincoln bedroom may have been sleezy but that's not serious corruption. The pardon sales were actually much worse but he was at least out of the game by then. I'm not one of those who think he launched missles at Saddam to get Monica off the front page. Even this obviously weak and conflicted mam cannot be honestly considered corrput.

One cannot win elections, especially several elections witout being a smart and skilled politician. One cannot pass major legislation without being a skilled politician. Once cannot lead the most significant re-alignment of US foreing policy in 50 years without being a skilled politician.

GWB has not only taken on the domestic liberal elites but he's done so globally and won every time. We are not in Kyoto. We trashed the ABM treaty. We have cut taxes. We invaded Afghanistan and Iraq. GWB increased his vote total by 23% AFTER doing all this. He's also added 5 GOP Senators and 9 house seats. He just added two very conservative justices completely
changing the game in the process. GWB not only got Alito thru he inflicted major pain on the Democratic Senate.

That's why the left hates him so. It's bad enough being conservative. It's a nightmare being conservative, proud of it, and effective.
GWB polls are low but Chirac's (and the UN's) are less than half. European liberalism is fast becoming a dead religion. GWB doesn't even give them lib service. Germany and Canada have dumped Anti-Bush leaders while Chirac is the lamest of lame ducks.

GWB has moved on and America has followed. He has all but destroyed global liberalism in the bargain. They don't even know how many free trade deals he's negotiating now. He's got 3 years to move us further away from the EU and UN and cement American exceptionalism.

Posted by: rdw on February 4, 2006 at 1:13 PM | PERMALINK


"He tried to kill my daddy."


Posted by: Ten in Tenn on February 4, 2006 at 1:30 PM | PERMALINK

the GWB/State Dept foreign policy charm offensive is certainly working wonders in Latin America and the Middle East,

Actually there is a lot going on. Before GWB leaves office you will see a series of trade and security deals with Korea, Japan, Indonesia, India in Asia at a minimum. He's already done major trade deals with Singapore and Australia. Im centrla america he's signed CAFTA and will probably add Panama, Columbia, Peru and Eduadore to that agreement. He will also be doing a deal with Brazil and their Mercusor partners. He's also completed a free trade agreement with Chile.

As far as Africa GWB has done far more than Bill Clinton and by 2008 will have increased US spending on aid by at least 6 fold. Just as important this AID is being delivered comletely outside the massively corrupt UN. It's ben far more effective because we are managing the process. There has also been a few small scale trade agreements and will be more.

As far as the Middle East Afghanistan and Israel have never been in better shape. The damage from Clintons disasterous Oslo accords has been reversed and we have a much stronger Israel defending itself against a far more isolated Palestine. Terrorism as a political force has been defeated. GWBs support for Sharon allowed him to crush the Infatada and set up defensible borders. Palestine has it's state. The just replaced one terrorist party with another and provided much clarity. The USA will no longer support them. Let them waste EU money. The EU is in the worst of all possible places. They will have to continue to support these arabs. Meanwhile the Isreali economy is booming and our technology allows them to control their borders. The leaders of Hamas can certainly order terror bombings. But not if they want to live out the week. If it's a war they want it's a war they'll get. Once Israel seals the borders they'll stay sealed. Israel prospers. Palestine lives on EU money. They'll never have an economy.

Posted by: rdw on February 4, 2006 at 1:31 PM | PERMALINK

Pat Murphy on February 4, 2006 at 12:43 PM:

There's a surreal air about this discussion.

Nah, that's just rdw's usual stinky mixture of reality-denial, neoconservative wishful thinking, and a delusion of superiority. Or maybe that funky smell is from the Santorum dripping from the corners of rdw's mouth.

Of course, the Bush administration was making plans long before the actual invasion.

Invading Iraq and replacing Hussein with a pro-US oil government was on the neocon wish list long before 9/11 happened.

Only an absolute incompetent would wait until the last moment before putting plans in place.

Dubya did make plans to invade Iraq in advance, yes....Occupation and reconstruction? Not so much.

Any competent administration would form a view of what was likely to transpire and put plans in motion accordingly.

And then there's the Bush Administration.

Based on the UN's past feckless performance with respect to Saddam...

Since the sanctions against Iraq were effective, and repeated inspections found no WMD, I assume that you must be referring to the UN 'oil for food' scandal...Has anyone found out yet how many companies across the globe (yes, US included) were involved?

...why would anyone have expected them to behave any differently this time?

Shorter Murphy: If they don't do everything that we say or want them to do, then they're obviously corrupt America-haters and not worth listening to.

And why would anyone have put any great faith in whatever Hans Blix might say?

By extension of the same logic, why would anyone have put any great faith in whatever Dubya might say?

Yes, out of diplomatic necessity the Bush administration was "going through the motions".

So you are saying that Dubya's need to invade Iraq was a foregone conclusion, regardless of what the administration was saying at the time or whatever evidence was presented.

But that doesn't mean they lied the U.S. into war.

But you basically just said that Dubya was lying...

More realistically, it simply means they believed Saddam had WMD

Despite evidence and intelligence that pointed to the contrary. Moreover, anything or anyone who presented a contradictory view was either discredited , quashed, or ignored.

they had no faith in the UN as a means of rectifying the situation

That's an understatement...Most noecons don't believe that the UN is anything more than a tool for implementing policy.

but they decided to go through the process for appearance's sake...

Which qualifies as lying.

...all the time preparing to do what they believed they'd have to do anyway.

Disagree. There were no publicly acceptable reasons to invade Iraq, so reasons had to be manufactured and marketed to the American public.

This doesn't necessarily mean they made the right call.

IF all the shit being shoveled pre-invasion were true, then it would have been the right call.

But discussion of the topic ought to be more cognizant of how the real world works...

I would ask the same of the Bush administration.

...and the associated need to touch diplomatic bases, even when, in your heart, you believe it's futile.

If at any point over the past few years this administration had shown that they possessed something called a 'heart', I'd give them the benefit of a doubt.

Posted by: grape_crush on February 4, 2006 at 1:48 PM | PERMALINK

I'm going out and buying some Reynolds Aluminum stock on Monday ...

You guys are one big tin hat brigade ...

Posted by: Jeff on February 4, 2006 at 2:13 PM | PERMALINK

Make sure to look under that tin hat first, you might find some WMD.


"He killed my daddy."

Posted by: Ten in Tenn on February 4, 2006 at 2:19 PM | PERMALINK

Most noecons don't believe that the UN is anything more than a tool for implementing policy

Few neocons think the UN is useful in any way and certainly not for implementing policy. What you saw in Indonesia during Tusmami relief efforts is unofficial US policy regarding the UN. We do our own thing, totally separate from the UN. When they tried to assume control of relief operations they were escorted out of the area. The same is true of our efforts in Pakistan and Africa.

There has also been a reduction in the EU's and Canada's capacity to deliver aid. In the past they were able to rely to the US Military for transport. No longer. They have starved their military so severely they are unable to provide logistical support outside their own borders. They have the aid. They are more than willing to deliver it. They don't have the capacity.

It will remain this way. The US, UK, Australia, Japan, Korea and others have formed very effective coalitions for this purpose. Why should these countries bear the cost and effort while the UN take all of the credit and steals half of the aid? Not under this President. We ignore the UN and the EU.

Posted by: rdw on February 4, 2006 at 2:58 PM | PERMALINK

grape_crush,

Your response puts me in a bit of a quandary. I'm sorely tempted to just ignore it, but let's presume you're serious.

I don't know where your reference to 9/11 comes from. I certainly didn't refer to it. And just because somthing is on the neo-con wish list doesn't mean it's going to happen. As for pro-oil, if that's what it was about then there was no need to displace Saddam. Saddam would have been delighted to sell as much oil as anyone wanted to buy.

I never said Bush's planning for occupation and reconstruction was appropriate. That's not the actual subject of discussion here.

With respect to past UN performance on Iraq, the simple fact is that the resolutions respecting WMD had never been fully enforced. Nobody, including Hans Blix, was prepared to certify that they had no WMD.

Was invasion a foregone conclusion regardless of the evidence? I guess it depends on what one means by "the evidence". I believe that Bush's scepticism about Saddam was such that it would have been very difficult to provide evidence sufficiently conclusive to change his view. In addition, one would have had to satisfy him that, even if Saddam didn't have WMD at the time, he would not obtain them post-sanctions (because sanctions clearly had no long-term future). However, if he could have been satisfied on both of these counts, then I don't believe there'd have been an invasion. This leaves lots of room for criticising Bush's judgement. But that's not the same thing as the "Bush lied" meme.

As for my admitting that Bush lied --- I didn't. Unless, of course, everyone who goes through diplomatic rituals lies. You may take that position if you wish, but it's extraordinarily naive and just about every statesman and diplomat is guilty of it.


Posted by: Pat Murphy on February 4, 2006 at 2:58 PM | PERMALINK

pat,

You are oviously a reasonable person. That's very good and I respect you for it. Don't expect to find much more of it here. More than half of the posters are here to vent and much prefer the echo chamber aspect. You destroy their sense of order in the Universe. By all means, keep at it.

Posted by: rdw on February 4, 2006 at 3:28 PM | PERMALINK

Think
Possibly
Maybe
Suspect
Still Looking
Bad Person
Trust Me

2250 Dead $87 billion dollars and a Shia Theocracy friendly to Iran where the WMD soon will be.

Incompetence on this scale makes us all look like conspiracy theorists.

Posted by: Ten in Tenn on February 4, 2006 at 3:29 PM | PERMALINK

rdw on February 4, 2006 at 2:58 PM:

We ignore the UN and the EU.

Wrong yet again, rdw. From the State Department:

"However, I can assure you, dealing as I do with the UN every day, that President Bush believes the UN is still a vital institution. It is an important tool of U.S. foreign policy."

Another weak attempt at distraction...Remember the topic of this thread? Memo leak?

Pat Murphy on February 4, 2006 at 2:58 PM:

Your response puts me in a bit of a quandary.

Is this something that happens to you often?

I'm sorely tempted to just ignore it, but let's presume you're serious.

Yes, let's.

I don't know where your reference to 9/11 comes from. I certainly didn't refer to it.

No 9/11, no justification for invading Iraq. You don't have to refer to it...Dubya's own faulty insistence that Iraq was involved in 9/11 definitely tied the two together, no?

And just because somthing is on the neo-con wish list doesn't mean it's going to happen.

However, it is much more likely to happen, given the ideological leanings of the current administration.

As for pro-oil, if that's what it was about then there was no need to displace Saddam. Saddam would have been delighted to sell as much oil as anyone wanted to buy.

And after a decade of getting bombed and demonized by the US, it would have cost more...AND it wouldn't be valued in US dollars, supporting US currency.

I never said Bush's planning for occupation and reconstruction was appropriate.

So we can agree on something.

That's not the actual subject of discussion here.

Yes, the topic is about a memo that seems to indicate that invading Iraq was a foregone conclusion, no matter whther or not a diplomatic solution was reached prior to invasion.

With respect to past UN performance on Iraq, the simple fact is that the resolutions respecting WMD had never been fully enforced.

Yet no one found any WMD in Iraq, pre or post invasion. Even with the ability to torture and bribe to Cheney's content, nothing has turned up.

Nobody, including Hans Blix, was prepared to certify that they had no WMD.

That's a gross oversimplification. From an interview with the Blixter:

...there were lots of question marks. You see, there were lots of things that were unaccounted for. We knew that they had had quantities of mustard gas and anthrax and other things, and they could not tell us with any evidence of where it had gone. Therefore, it was labeled unaccounted for. However, there was a tendency on both the U.S. side and the U.K. side to equate unaccounted for with existing. And that was an error.

Read the whole interview.

Was invasion a foregone conclusion regardless of the evidence?

Yes:

...a think-tank run by vice-president Dick Cheney; defence secretary Donald Rumsfeld; Paul Wolfowitz, Rumsfelds deputy; Bushs younger brother Jeb, the governor of Florida; and Lewis Libby, Cheneys deputy wrote a blueprint for regime change as early as September 2000.

The think-tank, the Project for the New American Century, said, in the document Rebuilding Americas Defences: Strategies, Forces And Resources For A New Century, that: The United States has for decades sought to play a more permanent role in Gulf regional security. While the unresolved conflict with Iraq provides the immediate justification, the need for substantial American force presence in the Gulf transcends the issue of the regime of Saddam Hussein.

I would not be suprised if 'regime change' was bandied about in neocon circles prior to 2000, either.

I believe that Bush's scepticism about Saddam was such that it would have been very difficult to provide evidence sufficiently conclusive to change his view.

Not that he was allowed to see evidence that contradicted his views, even.

In addition, one would have had to satisfy him that, even if Saddam didn't have WMD at the time, he would not obtain them post-sanctions

Plenty of tinpot despots want WMDs, fill mass graves, et cetera...Why the special emphasis on Hussein?

(because sanctions clearly had no long-term future)

Obvious point...the sanctions were going to expire.

However, if he could have been satisfied on both of these counts, then I don't believe there'd have been an invasion.

I disagree strongly. To the Bush administration, Iraq needed a regime change to justify greater US involvement in the region. What was stopping Dubya from pulling the trigger was public approval, which was no longer an obstacle after 9/11.

This leaves lots of room for criticising Bush's judgement.

Sorry, I just can't buy into the 'Dubya made a mistake, he's human, let's move on' meme. I like incompetence only slightly less than dishonesty...

But that's not the same thing as the "Bush lied" meme.

So them's our choices: Incompetent Bubble-Boy or Liar for The Cause. Either way, he's a poor excuse for a POTUS.

As for my admitting that Bush lied --- I didn't.

Not explicitly.

...just about every statesman and diplomat is guilty of it.

Which contradicts your earlier statement that you are not admitting that Dubya lies...Last I checked, Dubya is a (poor excuse for a) statesman.

Posted by: grape_crush on February 4, 2006 at 4:56 PM | PERMALINK

When I bring Jihad to the realm of the Drexel Hill Dummy, the fact of the superiority of Islam will cower him and he will cover his eyes and cry out for the blessings of Allah. His lies about Europe and all of Arabia will disappear into the mist and he will stammer and stare at the ground, afraid to sing the praises of his people.

Jihad will make him fear to walk upright, and the bent figure of rdw will be seen, begging for the soldiers of Jihad to spare him from receiving a righteous snuggie.

rdw must flee on the back of a lame ass and hope Jihad does not catch him bringing up the devaluation of the Euro in light of a ten percent increase in the deficit run by the Swiss government.

Posted by: Ibrahim al-Rider el Pale on February 4, 2006 at 5:27 PM | PERMALINK

"However, I can assure you, dealing as I do with the UN every day, that President Bush believes the UN is still a vital institution. It is an important tool of U.S. foreign policy."

They'll tell you so are NATO and the EU vital. It's called diplomacy. With the UN it's called John Bolton. I said we ignore them. We haven't yet abandoned them. Exhibit A would be Kyoto. Exhibit A1 would be Iraq. Exhibit A2 would be the ABM treaty. US foreign policy is comletely independent of both the UN and the EU. When we agree we use them. When, as GWB says, they are irrelevent, we ignore them.

Posted by: rdw on February 4, 2006 at 7:31 PM | PERMALINK

grape-crush,

You really need to get over the Bush lied thing. You were so effective selling it in 2004 you held GWBs vote increase to 23%. Sometimes you just have to sit back and acknowledge you've been outsmarted by a shrewder man. Rather ironic the only guy who lost his job over it was Colin Powell.

We're going on 4 years now. It's ancient history. If there's some kind of scandal to break over this it won't break in Europe. Even before the backstabbing routine the vast majority of Americans considered European papers to be tabloids. Because they are.

How are you going to stomach choosing between Hillary and McCain in 2008? There isn't a serious anti-war candidate in the race.

Think if Hillary wins she'll name Slick Willie secretary of State? Wouldn't that be a supreme irony? War supporter Hillary appointing the man who made regime change US foreign policy back in charge of foreign policy?

Posted by: rdw on February 4, 2006 at 7:50 PM | PERMALINK

Please, dear Lord, let this be the piece of evidence that finally lets us impeach this reptile.....

Posted by: Stephen Kriz on February 4, 2006 at 7:56 PM | PERMALINK

ibrahim,

Aren't you going to be rather busy in Europe? It's going to take a while to find those cartoonists.

Posted by: rdw on February 4, 2006 at 8:01 PM | PERMALINK

Stephen,

One small problem. It ain't evidence. Relax. The seconds are ticking away. Only 3 more years.

Posted by: rdw on February 4, 2006 at 8:04 PM | PERMALINK

rdw,

Thanks for the kind words. I more or less stumbled onto the site and had pretty much come to the conclusion that it's a venting, rather than a discussion, venue. So I won't be bookmarking it and probably won't be back.

grape_crush,

One last time.

Tying Saddam to 9/11 was never part of Bush's Iraq justification. Period.

Your quotation from Hans Blix doesn't answer my point.

A "think-tank blueprint" doesn't constitute a policy decision. Nor does it obviate the question of WMDs. It does suggest that there were many reasons for wanting Saddam gone.

Two things with respect to the price of oil. First, it's a fungible commodity and thus Saddam would not have been able to charge more than the world price. If anything, the return of Iraq to the market in a big way would have tended to drive down the world price. Second, regardless of what currency he chose to quote his oil in, it would have been convertible to US dollars. That's the way the exchange system works. But surely you really know all this? I mean you can't not know it. Or can you?

Bye

Posted by: Pat Murphy on February 4, 2006 at 8:05 PM | PERMALINK

I more or less stumbled onto the site and had pretty much come to the conclusion that it's a venting, rather than a discussion, venue. So I won't be bookmarking it and probably won't be back.

So says the infidel who can't hack it.

Aren't you going to be rather busy in Europe? It's going to take a while to find those cartoonists.

The boiled skull of the infidel is the plaything of my least favorite dog.

Posted by: Ibrahim al-Rider el Pale on February 4, 2006 at 8:57 PM | PERMALINK

pat,

if you find anything more intelligent let me know.

Posted by: rdw on February 4, 2006 at 9:19 PM | PERMALINK

One other point I had meant to make in my previous (departing) post.

The think-tank quotation doesn't necessarily argue in favour of an invasion of Iraq. After all, the US already had a Gulf military presence. In fact, it could be an argument in favour of NOT INVADING Iraq. As long as Saddam remained in power and the Iraq situation remained unresolved, there would be a strong case for retaining, even beefing up, the pre-existing Gulf military presence.

Posted by: Pat Murphy on February 4, 2006 at 9:49 PM | PERMALINK

Pat Murphy on February 4, 2006 at 8:05 PM:

Tying Saddam to 9/11 was never part of Bush's Iraq justification. Period.

So you are a fan of revisionist history? Try this one on for size:

"He is a danger not only to countries in the region but, as I explained last night, because of his al Qaeda connections, because of his history, he is a danger to Americans," Bush said, referring to Tuesday's State of the Union address.

"He is a danger not only to countries in the region but, as I explained last night, because of his al Qaeda connections, because of his history, he is a danger to Americans," Bush said, referring to Tuesday's State of the Union address.

Did Dubya ever explicitly say that Hussein was a sponsor of 9/11? Not that I can find...But he sure did a heckuva job selling the tie between Hussein and al Qaeda.

Your quotation from Hans Blix doesn't answer my point.

Which was that no one could definitively say that Hussein possessed WMD. Or that he didn't possess WMD. Or something. What exactly was your point?

A "think-tank blueprint" doesn't constitute a policy decision.

Exactly how do you think policy is created?

Nor does it obviate the question of WMDs.

The point is that there were questions about Iraq's possession of WMD, not a definite answer as Dubya alleged.

It does suggest that there were many reasons for wanting Saddam gone.

Were any of those reason enough to justify invading Iraq?

Bye

Confronted with information that contradicts his views, he runs away. So much for wanting an actual discussion...

Posted by: grape_crush on February 4, 2006 at 10:18 PM | PERMALINK

Whoops, I copied an pasted a quote twice. Here's the second part:

Bush said Wednesday that Saddam could use al Qaeda as a "forward army" that could attack the United States with weapons of mass destruction "and never leave a fingerprint behind."

Posted by: grape_crush on February 4, 2006 at 10:24 PM | PERMALINK

rdw on February 4, 2006 at 9:19 PM:

if you find anything more intelligent let me know.

Not that you are setting any standard for intelligent (or honest) discussion...Yes, please lead the annoying rdw back to freeperville or some other site that swallows his crap without any question.

Posted by: grape_crush on February 4, 2006 at 10:31 PM | PERMALINK

grape,

lighten up. you won't last the next three years.

Posted by: rdw on February 4, 2006 at 10:39 PM | PERMALINK

Thanks for the advice, rdw...I'll file it in the 'crap to be ignored' pile with the rest of your posts...

Posted by: grape_crush on February 4, 2006 at 11:39 PM | PERMALINK

grape,

You take yourself far to seriously. Do you really think anyone is insulted by your cheap shots? Any moron can take cheap shots. It takes intelligence to make an argument.

Posted by: rdw on February 5, 2006 at 11:16 AM | PERMALINK

It takes intelligence to make an argument.

Something g_c has and you yearn for...

Posted by: Pale Rider on February 5, 2006 at 4:52 PM | PERMALINK

that explains why he never makes any points.

Posted by: rdw on February 5, 2006 at 6:37 PM | PERMALINK

rdw on February 4, 2006 at 9:19 PM:

You take yourself far to seriously.

Au contraire...Dissecting your arguments and hurling the occasional insult is great fun! You are just jealous that you have difficulty doing the same, rdw.

Do you really think anyone is insulted by your cheap shots?

They seem to keep you coming back for more...It's like you have some sort of masochistic streak.

Any moron can take cheap shots.

Hee...Takes one to know one!

It takes intelligence to make an argument.

Heh. You wouldn't know a valid argument if it bit you in your ass.

that explains why he never makes any points.

Never? Not really, but I do seem to spend a lot of time refuting stuff like:

Tying Saddam to 9/11 was never part of Bush's Iraq justification. Period.

I wish that I could just sit back and read thoughtful, honest discussion, but then I run into one of your posts, rdw...

Posted by: grape_crush on February 5, 2006 at 7:23 PM | PERMALINK

Pat Murphy: Tying Saddam to 9/11 was never part of Bush's Iraq justification. Period

Wow. How quickly they forget?! Or how quickly they want us to forget! That would be politically convenient, eh? But wrong.

I posted a few choice Bushie quotes below, but for those who need their memories refreshed, you can find lots more Saddam-related quotes and famous Bushie words on the Iraq War in general at Iraq On Record.

Now His Royal Cheneyness, in his own immortal words:

"I continue to believe. I think there's overwhelming evidence that there was a connection between al-Qaeda and the Iraqi government. We've discovered since documents indicating that a guy named Abdul Rahman Yasin, who was a part of the team that attacked the World Trade Center in '93, when he arrived back in Iraq was put on the payroll and provided a house, safe harbor and sanctuary. That's public information now. So Saddam Hussein had an established track record of providing safe harbor and sanctuary for terrorists. . . . I mean, this is a guy who was an advocate and a supporter of terrorism whenever it suited his purpose, and I'm very confident that there was an established relationship there." -- Vice President Dick Cheney, Morning Edition, NPR (1/22/2004).
"Saddam Hussein had a lengthy history of reckless and sudden aggression. His regime cultivated ties to terror, including the al Qaeda network, and had built, possessed, and used weapons of mass destruction." -- Dick Cheney Delivers Remarks to Veterans at the Arizona Wing Museum, White House (1/15/2004)
"Saddam Hussein had a lengthy history of reckless and sudden aggression. His regime cultivated ties to terror, including the al Qaeda network, and had built, possessed, and used weapons of mass destruction." -- Dick Cheney Delivers Remarks to the Los Angeles World Affairs Council, White House (1/14/2004)
"Saddam Hussein had a lengthy history of reckless and sudden aggression. He cultivated ties to terror -- hosting the Abu Nidal organization, supporting terrorists, and making payments to the families of suicide bombers. He also had an established relationship with Al Qaida -- providing training to Al Qaida members in areas of poisons, gases and conventional bombs. He built, possessed, and used weapons of mass destruction." --Dick Cheney Delivers Remarks at the James A. Baker, III, Institute for Public Policy, White House (10/18/2003).

A Dick Cheney interview makes it clear:
"QUESTION: When I was in Iraq, some of the soldiers said they believed they were fighting because of the Sept. 11 attacks and because they thought Saddam Hussein had ties to al Qaida. You've repeatedly cited such links. . . . I wanted to ask you what you'd say to those soldiers, and were those soldiers misled at all?
VICE PRESIDENT CHENEY: . . . . With respect to . . . the general relationship. . . . One place you ought to go look is an article that Stephen Hayes did in the Weekly Standard . . . That goes through and lays out in some detail, based on an assessment that was done by the Department of Defense and forwarded to the Senate Intelligence Committee some weeks ago. That's your best source of information. I can give you a few quick for instances, one the first World Trade Center bombing in 1993.
...The main perpetrator was a man named Ramzi Yousef. He's now in prison in Colorado. His sidekick in the exercise was a man named Abdul Rahman Yasin. . . Ahman Rahman . . . Yasin is his last name anyway. I can't remember his earlier first names. He fled the United States after the attack, the 1993 attack, went to Iraq, and we know now based on documents that we've captured since we took Baghdad, that they put him on the payroll, gave him a monthly stipend and provided him with a house, sanctuary, in effect, in Iraq, in the aftermath of nine-ele (sic) . . . the 93' attack on the World Trade Center.
QUESTION: So you stand by the statements?
VICE PRESIDENT CHENEY: Absolutely. Absolutely. And you can look at Zarkawi, (Abu Mussab) al-Zarkawi . . . Who was an al-Qaida associate, who was wounded in Afghanistan, took refuge in Baghdad, working out of Baghdad, worked with the Ansar al Islam group up in northeastern Iraq, that produced a so-called poison factory, a group that we hit when we went into Iraq. . . . We'll find ample evidence confirming the link, that is the connection if you will between al Qaida and the Iraqi intelligence services. They have worked together on a number of occasions." -- Transcript of interview with Vice President Dick Cheney, Rocky Mountain News (1/9/2004)

Aw, shucks. Can't leave out the Talking Codpiece and His Royal Edict:
"The [Saddam] regime . . . has aided, trained and harbored terrorists, including operatives of al Qaeda. The danger is clear: using chemical, biological or, one day, nuclear weapons, obtained with the help of Iraq, the terrorists could fulfill their stated ambitions and kill thousands or hundreds of thousands of innocent people in our country, or any other." --President Bush Says Saddam Hussein Must Leave Iraq Within 48 Hours, White House (3/17/2003)

Finally, from one of the biggest disappointments of the Bushie propaganda machine, Colin Powell:
"QUESTION: Another rationale provided by the administration for action against Saddam is his connection to al Qaida. Tom Friedman, in the New York Times, wrote this: "I am also very troubled by the way Bush officials have tried to justify this war on the grounds that Saddam is allied with Usama bin Laden or will be soon. There is simply no proof of that, and every time I hear them repeat it, I think of the Gulf of Tonkin resolution from the Vietnam times. You don't take the country to war on the wings of a lie."
SECRETARY POWELL: I dont think it's a lie. I think there is information and evidence that there are connections. We have talked about Mr. al-Zarqawi and some of the people who are in Baghdad who are linked with al-Qaida and Usama bin Laden and who were there with the certain knowledge of the Iraqi regime. We have seen connections and we are continuing to pursue those connections. . . . And the fact that there is also an al-Qaida connection, I think certainly adds to the case." --Colin Powell, Interview on NBC's Meet the Press with Tim Russert, NBC (3/9/2003)

So there you have it. More...

For an in-depth analysis, 27 rationales were offered publicly by the Bush administration for the War on Iraq. Connections to AQ was one of the 27 reasons.

WaPo also has a wrap-up of Bushie disinformation about Saddam, AQ, and OBL.

Posted by: Apollo 13 on February 6, 2006 at 3:11 AM | PERMALINK

Tying Saddam to 9/11 was never part of Bush's Iraq justification. Period.

I wish that I could just sit back and read thoughtful, honest discussion, but then I run into one of your posts, rdw...

Then quote from my post.


While I happen to agree with Pat I didn't write it. And you didn't refute anything he said andway.

I never get into the weeds on this specific argument because it's a faith issue with the Bush haters. As I've explained before my interest is more in how well the political side is played. For a decade now in the Rove vs the moonbats war it's been one disaster after another for the moonbats. This Bush lied theme has been active since before the invasion and Rove is able to sue it to increase GWB vote by 23% and winning margin by 4M. More over GWB added 6 Senators and a dozen House seats. Nancy Pelosi is a potted plant and as we saw from the Alito hearings Reid is not mcuh better.

My favorite after-election analysis was by the elitists of the GOP voters especially the Fox audience. They were far more likely to believe Saddam was somehow tied to 9/11. Thus they're obviously rubes. Liberals are of course far better informed. Liberals are nuanced don't you know.

If you say so. I'm a fan of fair and balanced and to be quite honest, I am not bothered by that at all. Quite the opposite. It's a badge of honor. You can call GWB anything you like as long as you also call him Mr. President.

BTW: Saw a few shows this weekend and your candidate in 2008 ain't doing so hot. I will admit however Hillary poses a hard question for Conservatives. We all know McCain trounces Hillary. It wouldn't be pretty. Truth be told, I'm not a big fan of McCain. Knowing Hillary is the nominess do I want to go for the easy win?

The answer is actually fairly easy. Campaign finance and sucking up to the press aside John is very conservative. He's anti-tax-cut but also anti-spending. John is very conservative socially. The next President will almost certainly appoint two justices. Stevens and Ginsburg will be lucky to hang on until 2009 and 2013 is out of the question. McCain would replace both uber-libs with conservatives. He'll be forced to make that promise in order to get the base in the primary.

So what we're looking at here my friend is a 12-yr run of the GOP and the total revamping of the courts. All started by that dumb as a post GWB.

But not to worry. You can still claim to be a lot smarter than he. It isn't like you could appear any dumber.

Posted by: rdw on February 6, 2006 at 9:26 AM | PERMALINK

So what we're looking at here my friend is a 12-yr run of the GOP

COMEDY GOLD!!!

Posted by: tam1MI on February 6, 2006 at 12:43 PM | PERMALINK

COMEDY GOLD!!!


Jay and David will be very happy. Scratch that, Jay wil be very happy. David will be miserable.

Actually 12 years is the best to hope for for the Dem. The 2010 census will move another 7 to 10 electoral votes and house seats to the red states. By the 2012 election the realignment will all but kill CA/NY style liberalism.

Dems are looking for Ohio as their election key. In 2012 you could get Ohio, keep everything else and still lose. Plus Minnesota was closer to turning Red than Ohio was to turning blue. The Dems have to win in 2008. Otherwise there will be 6 very conservative justices with 1 moderate conservative justice as well as a very, very favorable electoral map.

No matter what happens you will have a very hard time getting the house back.

Posted by: rdw on February 6, 2006 at 1:33 PM | PERMALINK

rdw on February 6, 2006 at 9:26 AM:

Then quote from my post.

Never said that you wrote that line...Coffee hasn't kicked in yet, has it?

And you didn't refute anything he said andway.

That's what happens when you choose to stick your fingers in your ears and run around shouting "LA LA LA LA, I'M NOT LISTENING!" like a 6-year old girl... It's gotta be hard, hard work to maintain your wall of denial, 'specially when it's got more cracks than an ass factory.

I never get into the weeds on this specific argument...

...and yet you go back in there every single time. Nice shot at hijacking the thread, which by all accounts, is pretty much dead...Remember the topic? Memo? Instead, you regurgitate Limbaugh's smelly turds:

For a decade now in the Rove...spew, gargle, gargle...disaster...blech...Bush lied...blargh...since before the invasion and Rove...gargle...is a potted plant and...spew...Alito is not mcuh better.
My favorite anal...hic...was by the elitists of the GOP...blaargh especially...hic...Saddam...spew...don't you know...gargle...I'm a fan...thpat...and to be quite honest, I am not bothered by that at all. Quite the opposite. It's a badge of honor.

The rest is just more off-topic masturbation.

So what we're looking at here my friend

Please don't call me your friend. Actually, don't call me at all. And for Christ's sake, brush your teeth. Your breath stinks.

All started by that dumb as a post GWB.

Hey, we finally agree on something!

It isn't like you could appear any dumber.

Yeah, I'd have to start thinking like rdw to make that happen...or get a frontal lobotomy and two liters of peppermint schnapps...same thing, really.

Posted by: grape_crush on February 6, 2006 at 2:26 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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