Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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March 18, 2006
By: Kevin Drum

FREEDOM MINDED....Via the ever-pithy Jim Henley, I learn that Reason magazine has asked a bunch of people about their thoughts on the war in Iraq as we near its third anniversary. My favorite part is the explanation at the very beginning:

Reason asked a wide range of libertarian, conservative, and freedom-minded journalists and academics to assess the war....

So I guess conservatives are freedom-minded by default, but liberals have to somehow prove their bona fides to make the club? Welcome to George Bush's America.

Kevin Drum 8:17 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (57)

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Well, haven't liberal journalists caused all the problems in Iraq?

Posted by: Carl on March 18, 2006 at 8:25 PM | PERMALINK

like you or me or had a choice as to going to war or not?

The party names, to me, are simply semantics.

Posted by: wtfu on March 18, 2006 at 8:26 PM | PERMALINK

Interesting. I read that as meaning "freedom-minded as well as conservative academics" etc., meaning, in point of contrast to. So if anything, conservatives should be offended by the preamble, not liberals.

I swear, of all the things you could be exceedingly sensitive toward, why this?

Posted by: Irony Man on March 18, 2006 at 8:28 PM | PERMALINK

Same here, Irony Man. 1,2,and 3 not three in one.

Posted by: jcricket on March 18, 2006 at 8:39 PM | PERMALINK

I'm with irony man and jcricket. I like that reason thinks that there is a distinction worth making between libertarian and freedom-minded. It's one that I make all the time, but not one that I'd expect of it/them.

Posted by: paul on March 18, 2006 at 8:42 PM | PERMALINK

What the hell is "freedom-minded" supposed to mean?

Posted by: Aaron S. Veenstra on March 18, 2006 at 8:47 PM | PERMALINK

Reason asked a wide range of libertarian, conservative, and freedom-minded journalists and academics to assess the war....

I don't see how this can be read as anything other than a list of disparate groups, the last of which is "freedom-minded." Since liberal is not one of the groups, the only way it can be included is if it fits in one of the other groups--which we know it must because some of the journalists and academics are clearly liberals. Therefore, since liberals obviously do not fit into the libertarian or conservative groups, we can conclude that they are part of the freedom-minded group. What's the complaint? I like it!

Posted by: jayarbee on March 18, 2006 at 8:47 PM | PERMALINK

I don't think "freedom" means the same thing to them that it does to us.

Posted by: Tom Marney on March 18, 2006 at 8:53 PM | PERMALINK

So I guess conservatives are freedom-minded by default, but liberals have to somehow prove their bona fides to make the club?

Sounds right to me Kevin.

Posted by: Al on March 18, 2006 at 8:56 PM | PERMALINK

TOM MARNEY: I don't think "freedom" means the same thing to them that it does to us.

Yes, well, that's always the problem, isn't it? Same can be said for "liberal" and "conservative." What's more, they do every thing they can to control the definitions, to muddy them, and to keep them moving. Still, the definition of "freedom" remains positive for most; so having it clearly separate from "conservative" can only be a good thing, right?

By the way, I see Kevin has Al on his side once again, where he may be depended to fall whenever Kevin calls it wrong. Happens way too much.

Posted by: jayarbee on March 18, 2006 at 9:00 PM | PERMALINK

Well according to the vast intellect we know as Tbrosz, all of us liberals stand in line, K-Y in hand, breathlessly waiting to be serviced by swarmy Islamic terrorists.

So, yes, I guess we don't make the "freedom minded" cut.

Posted by: Keith G on March 18, 2006 at 9:04 PM | PERMALINK

Perhaps they left the adjective "liberal" out accidently?

Perhaps they were trying to distinquish between freedom-minded liberal journalists and freedom-hating liberal journalists. Like all freedom-hating liberals, the latter probably want to violate civil liberties, undercut the Constitution, run up the federal deficit, wallow in corruption, run an inefficient, bloated government and lose wars.

Posted by: PTate in MN on March 18, 2006 at 9:17 PM | PERMALINK

I'm with Jayarbee... Henley did not say "...and 'other' freedom-minded journalists..."

Appears to be a mutually exclusive set of groups...


Posted by: jimg on March 18, 2006 at 9:18 PM | PERMALINK

Freedom is Slavery, Ignorance Is Truth, it's not just that we don't know what the fuck they mean it's that THEY'VE totally lost their grip on the language. Live by the Gingrichization of language, die by it.

Posted by: doesn't matter on March 18, 2006 at 9:25 PM | PERMALINK

With a bunch of posters above: It's obvious that libertarians aren't conservatives, and that neither libertarians nor conservatives are necessarily "freedom-minded."

Kevin, please. You don't read the above text as saying that all conservatives are libertarians, or that all libertarians are conservatives.

Posted by: waterfowl on March 18, 2006 at 9:33 PM | PERMALINK

From a libertarian perspective, liberals can't be 'freedom-minded,' because we believe in the legitimacy of taxation, which they regard as inherently coercive, to pay for programs other than defense, law enforcement, courts, and prisons.

Posted by: RT on March 18, 2006 at 9:35 PM | PERMALINK

Look at it this way: if Reason thinks these commenters on the three year anniversary of the war are 'freedom-minded', then the typical reader of Reason cannot dismiss these critics of the war as being on the wrong side...indeed, were this may be leading is that the Reason types might make being anti-war (even more) part of their outlook. People get on board positions because doing so affirms (some) things they already believe, not because they recognize that they were wrong in essential ways...that's the way things work, for the most part.

Reason is trying to make hay from Iraq coming out the way it is --- I can think of worse lessons people might draw from the war...for instance, some -- but not all -- versions of America was seduced into this by the 'Israel Lobby' (see http://www.lrb.co.uk/v28/n06/mear01_.html)

Posted by: stefan on March 18, 2006 at 9:46 PM | PERMALINK

"Freedom." I hate the word, since nobody can define it to anybody else's satisfaction. It's just code for What I Want To Be Allowed To Do.

"Freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose."

Posted by: buddy66 on March 18, 2006 at 10:00 PM | PERMALINK

Um, people? It's pretty clear that "freedom-minded" was meant to include all those freedom-minded folks who aren't already freedom minded by virtue of being libertarian or conservative. Libertarians and conservatives get a free pass into the freedom-minded club.

Giving libertarians a pass is pretty understandable for Reason, which is a libertarian magazine after all. But why are conservatives included and not liberals? Why not just "libertarians and other freedom-minded journalists"?

That said, however, I was mostly just having fun with them. This is not meant to be taken especially seriously.

Posted by: Kevin Drum on March 18, 2006 at 10:01 PM | PERMALINK

This from the Insta-asshole:

Glenn Reynolds

1. Did you support the invasion of Iraq?

2. Have you changed your position?
No. Sanctions were failing and Saddam was a threat, making any other action in the region impossible.

3. What should the U.S. do in Iraq now?

There's a brilliant strategical mind for you. "Hey, let's win!"

That would probably work in football, too. "We're losing 35-7, with three minutes left. They have the ball on our fifteen-yard line, and it's first down. What should we do?"


Posted by: Anthony Cartouche on March 18, 2006 at 10:46 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin: So I guess conservatives are freedom-minded by default, but liberals have to somehow prove their bona fides to make the club?

Or, Reason didn't choose to ask liberals about their thoughts in the war in Iraq. "Liberals" is not on the list because Reason doesn't particularly care what liberals think.

Just because it claimed to ask for a "wide range" of views, don't expect Reason to venture outside its usual zone.

Posted by: scribo on March 18, 2006 at 11:05 PM | PERMALINK

yes, the "freedom-minded" part refers to the non-conservatives, non-libertarians: aka those who are usually considered to be liberals. But it's not a compliment to liberals as some here seem to think. The clear implication is that an average liberal shouldn't be consulted on this subject. They have to make the distinction that they are asking "the good ones," which is fine since they don't agree with most liberals. However, the suggestion that the liberals they don't like aren't necessarily concerned with freedom (which I think is what they are getting at, although it is a pretty nonsensical phrase) is a bit much.

That's how I read it anyway.

Also, here's my favorite response, although Reynolds (really living up to his nom de web with that thorough analysis) is good -- or, um, bad -- too:

Charles Murray
1. Did you support the invasion of Iraq?
2. Have you changed your position?
3. What should the U.S. do in Iraq now?
Damned if I know.

Great, he thinks we're in a hopeless situation but he's still glad we did it. Why would anybody ask someone who thinks like this about anything?

Posted by: ibid on March 18, 2006 at 11:15 PM | PERMALINK

I believe Reason's point is that as "statists", "liberals" are not freedom-minded. The freedom they're referring to is that of the "free market".

Note: Reason Magazine's idea of a "free market" built along libertarian lines includes massively subdized labor.

Also note: a prank I put together might have inspired a real honest-to-God article in Reason Magazine by a Cato Institute analyst.

Posted by: TLB on March 18, 2006 at 11:15 PM | PERMALINK

I don't see why it is worthwhile to obesss over a sentence in the introductory paragraph that may be a slight towards liberals, considering that the article was mostly a forum for people that oppose (and opposed) the war. And as a bonus, the war supporters made comments that made them look like fools.

Posted by: TH on March 18, 2006 at 11:22 PM | PERMALINK

Amazing. The majority of these folks claim to have opposed the war from the start--probably because the rush to war was not guided by the Invisible Hand.

Posted by: bobbyp on March 18, 2006 at 11:29 PM | PERMALINK

Libertarians and conservatives get a free pass into the freedom-minded club.

I can promise you that if you've read Reason or its blog for, oh, thirty seconds or so you'll see that the latter premise is, as the ppopular saying goes, not even wrong.

Posted by: Phil on March 18, 2006 at 11:34 PM | PERMALINK

freedom minded is libertrian code for fellow travelers of Adam Smith and Ayn Rand, worshippers at the High Church of the Invisible Hand.

sorry, liberals are by (libertarian) definition statists and therefore not counted among the freedom-minded.

Posted by: CurtisE on March 19, 2006 at 12:15 AM | PERMALINK

and you can pretty much bank it that the ``freedom-minded'' journalists they talk to wouldn't know how to report a car accident.

Posted by: secularhuman on March 19, 2006 at 12:49 AM | PERMALINK

For the record, I would have done nothing different from the administration on Iraq. I thought Saddam had a WMD because he was risking too much by stiffing the inspectors. It turns out he wanted Iran to think he had nukes, right to the end, and even many of his own generals thought he had some WMD's to throw at the American invasion and were shocked when he admitted that there were none.

At least some of these generals, apparently, then chose to believe the American insistence that Iraq really had WMD's, but that they were being kept out of the loop to the bitter end.

As for as the Iraqi support for Al Quaida, the Cook Doctrine requires only that I assume that Saddam would not warn the U.S.A. if he had any hint of the impending 9/11 attack, and that he probably smiled broadly and cheered when he heard of it. We would not be likely to find any "smoking gun" proof of any such collusion even if it existed. The 9/11 attack was not a crime, it was an act of war, and I do not fight wars in mincing, timid, legalistic fashion.

The proposition held so dear by some that the Iraq intervention has been irrelevant to the war on terror, even counter-productive to that effort, I personally regard as the most outrageously wrong, twisted, intellectually dishonest formulation that could possibly be made of the Iraq situation. Such a view is founded totally on hatred of George Bush, hatred to the point that the chorus of leftist liars (to be proved right by history) will probably have to be able to hold up as Exhibit A for the Bush impeachment an Iraq that is a wreck, that is a failed nation, a hopelessly devastated morass, an utter and irredeemable ruin.

But that Iraq will not be found to be held up as the prize trophy of anti-Bush hysteria, for the reason that too many good Americans and Iraqis have been working, fighting, and praying to make a much better outcome slowly but surely emerge from the mists of conflict in unmistakeable grandeur.

The stable new Iraq is emerging and you mouth-frothing liars may as well choke on it, because none of your ranting will make the triumph go away. You can fool the American people about this for only a little while longer, so enjoy your lewd propaganda while you can, for soon your filthy, vicious game is up.

Posted by: Michael L. Cook on March 19, 2006 at 12:52 AM | PERMALINK

Sometimes I worry, knowing that people like Michael live in my time zone. Too close for comfort.

Posted by: gcochran on March 19, 2006 at 1:32 AM | PERMALINK

Michael Cook, I nominate YOU to go find the nearest army recruiting center and put your ass where your mouth is.

Posted by: MobiusKlein on March 19, 2006 at 1:33 AM | PERMALINK

"A stable new Iraq is emerging."

Keep your head down or you might get hit by some of that stability.

Posted by: Judy Miller on March 19, 2006 at 1:46 AM | PERMALINK

Methinks they really mean freedoms-minded.

Posted by: ogmb on March 19, 2006 at 1:53 AM | PERMALINK

Silly me.
Freedom means the ability to travel without government interference - how many on a no-fly list ? 80,000 ?
How about that one where electronic scrutiny internally is necessary to prevent terrorism ; but the F.B.I. can't keep up with the legwork needed to cover all the fruitless "leads".
Where is freedom with no writ of habeas corpus and torture defended in the person of the V.P. ? I guess I should forgive him because he's a sportsman (snark).
I really doubt freedom means the executive doesn't have to foillow the law of the land.
ibid Don't knock honesty. People panicked and were bamboozled into war ; which is a dead easy sell related more to pack instinct than reason. That still doesn't excuse not following up on "Mission Accomplished" with "Operation Bugout" rather than "Let's Make A Real Hash Of Things By Staying Around And Wearing Out Our Welcome".

Posted by: opit on March 19, 2006 at 2:20 AM | PERMALINK

Mr. Cook - you're wrong. There are many non-liberals who think invading Iraq was irrelevant to the war on terror. You're being intellectually dishonest because you want to protect Bush at all cost - even at the cost of painting all those who think there is a more rationale, cost-effective way of fighting the war on terror as Bush haters. This is just another attempt by the extreme right to attack the critics, instead of focusing on the issue, and drowning out valid criticisms. (False) patriotism is the last refuge of scoundrels.

Posted by: Andy on March 19, 2006 at 4:55 AM | PERMALINK

I think you may be reading it backwards. The point is that there are no freedom minded conservatives, etc., but at least you find a few among the liberals.

Posted by: Buce on March 19, 2006 at 8:06 AM | PERMALINK

It's pretty clear that "freedom-minded" was meant to include

Well, it may be that that's what was meant, based on what we know of the magazine; but it certainly isn't clear that they meant it based on how they wrote it. Which is pretty much the entire point of the majority of the comments here.

That said, however, I was mostly just having fun with them.

And who says that that wasn't what we were doing as well, Mr. Too-Cool-For-School?

Posted by: Irony Man on March 19, 2006 at 9:56 AM | PERMALINK

Re-reading my manifesto, I think I should have included the likes of William F. Buckley (and other isolationist right-wingers who are basically espousing a kind of genteel racism) as fellows to be scorned along with leftists.

To put the whole debate in a hometown analogy, let us suppose that I live in an aging neighborhood and some crack houses have sprung up in it. One busy drug dealer, in fact, lives right across the street from me. I take the license plates of all the cars that come and go, and it turns out that most of the cars are stolen. Usually the buyers are gone by the time the police arrive. Once or twice the cops raid the place, but I notice that always a week later the same faces are back in the neighborhood and the operation is up and running again.

Then the tragedy strikes. My daughter and her family are coming to visit me when they are carjacked and brutally murdered, practically right in my driveway. My son-in-law puts up a brave fight and manages to kill one of the criminals before he dies himself.The rest get away.

The police tell me they are investigating. They can't really link the crime to the drug house, or any other drug house in the neighborhood. We all agree that the local drug culture probably has something to do with the tragedy,but it becomes obvious that the law is at an impasse. Even if a confidential informant report comes in, who could trust it?

So, I gather some friends and we take matters in our own hands. We got to the nearest drug houses, kick in the doors, and eliminate any resistance. We take some prisoners and I tie them to a tree in my backyard. I may let them go when I become satisfied that they know nothing about the tragedy, or any other tragedies.

We can't raid all the drug houses in the whole neighborhood--but we do observe that they have truly taken note of us. Cars no longer come and go from them at all hours, but they do have the occasional big Fed Ex truck drop by.

The other crack houses are on notice. Any more tragedies, they know what's going to happen.

As far as the former crack house across the street, it has new tenants, a large, extended, immigrant family. They seem to have some nasty domestic violence squabbles, but I think they are generally good people under a lot of pressure to succeed in a new culture. They will make it. Most of all, I am satisfied that most of them over there do not want their address to become a crack house again.

Iraq will make it. The glass is more than half full. The pessimists, nay-sayers, and outright backstabbing traitors are too full of bile and crap.

Posted by: Michael L. Cook on March 19, 2006 at 10:18 AM | PERMALINK

Michael Cook - Change your analogy slightly so that you beat up some obnoxious but non-dangerous person, while letting the Saudi crack dealers continue their operations undisturbed, and you are spot on.

Oh, and also add that the police (weapons inspectors and no-fly zones) were effective.

Posted by: b on March 19, 2006 at 10:33 AM | PERMALINK

Hmmm, I thought I was at Jon Swift's blog for a moment there. Mr. Cook, grow up...we built and supplied the "crack houses" for years, and like many of our absurd foreign policies we tend to forget or ignore poor choices we have made in the past, especially when we are finished with the "crack houses" and no longer require their service. The good this Nation has accomplished is and always will be there, but also the bad... it is simple, you need to learn how to differentiate the two.

I would think by now you would understand that we empowered Saddam for years, and encouraged him in his efforts to over come Iran in a conflict we had no buisness in fanning the flames. By giving him weapons and allowing others to do so, we not only supplied his material war needs, we helped strengthen Saddams status in his native land and beyond.Some of this was revealed during the Iran/Contra investigations, and as everyone knows when the wrist slapping was over, the rest was swept under the table. Unfortunately, this one literally falls into your crack house scenario.

Another activity we engaged in just to poke a stick in the side of Russia during their Afghan adventure was equipping Osama bin Laden and other Taliban leaders to fight that insurgency. In fact, our CIA helped organize some of the initial efforts of the Taliban strategy.

These are basic facts that have been presented and formulated over time, even within the MSM (at one time). Currently our actions seem only to exacerbate the conditions in that region, as I suspect many of our efforts and intentions are not as pure as this administration has plied them. But dont take my word for it, there are probably hundreds of sites with documents and investigative reports ( back when people did those kind of things)at any rate you do not need to visit conspiracy sites to research most of this data.

This issue is not about "lefties" or "rightwing reactionaries" it is about truth, but only for those that want to handle it. And frankly, many concerned citizens of this nation are sick of the lies, and the poor decision making along with the total incompetence of our current leadership. But make no mistake, this has been going on for decades, and it must stop soon or we shall be living in a police state, far from what the Founding Fathers left us with.

Back to the issue at hand, this is a typical example of Bushites and the divisive tactics their ilk uses in order to promote "Youre either for us ...or ...against us" mentality. These people do not want to debate anything, they would prefer to bully anyone not of their mind-set into a neutral box or into negative light. What would one expect from the right, libertarian or not.

Posted by: Ben Merc on March 19, 2006 at 11:53 AM | PERMALINK

The only "freedom" that the fake, phony, pseudo-libertarian poseurs at Reason ragazine care about is the freedom of the ultra-rich from paying taxes and the freedom of capital from the rule of law (a.k.a. "government regulation").

Posted by: SecularAnimist on March 19, 2006 at 12:14 PM | PERMALINK

ML Cook:

That wasn't an argument, Michael -- that was the plot to a made-for-TV movie. Emotionally satisfying, but hardly realistic.

Middle-class vigilantism works against crackhouses? In your dreams, Mike.

The likely outcome there is that you and your friends would have moved out of that neighborhood.


Posted by: rmck1 on March 19, 2006 at 12:33 PM | PERMALINK

"Conservative" is there because we polled two libertarian-leaning-but-not-quite-libertarian writers associated with The American Conservative.

"Freedom-minded" is there because we polled Rauch and Hitchens, who are sympathetic to many libertarian ideas but aren't really libertarians, and certainly aren't conservatives either. It also helps avoid arguments with purists about whether certain participants are "really" libertarians.

We probably should have left out "conservative" and counted the two TAC writers as "freedom-minded." But in the immortal words of Bill Murray, "It just doesn't matter!"

Posted by: Jesse Walker on March 19, 2006 at 5:01 PM | PERMALINK

The unique thing about the Iraq intervention is that it is as close to a pure "social experiment" as you can get. The Bush attempt at nation building is either going to work or it won't.

I think it is already working. Short of a massive Iranian pseudo-invasion, I think the results should be fairly clear by the end of summer. That will leave a lot of time to mull over the results before our November election. See y'all then, I have to go out politicking while the sun shines.

Posted by: Michael L. Cook on March 19, 2006 at 5:50 PM | PERMALINK

"I will not engage in nation building"

Social experiments = war profiteering

AAhhh...The wacky world of Bushco, PNAC and our ever evolving world of a National Security State...
(Or: The smell of white phosphorous in the morning)

Posted by: Ben Merc on March 19, 2006 at 7:52 PM | PERMALINK

That would probably work in football, too. "We're losing 35-7, with three minutes left. They have the ball on our fifteen-yard line, and it's first down. What should we do?"

Posted by: Anthony Cartouche

It's very like those talking heads on ESPN and elsewhere:

"Gee, the _______ are behind 35-7 with three minutes left to play. What do you think they need to do at this point."

"Well, in my expert opinion, I think the ______ need to put some points on the board. And sooner rather than later."


Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

Posted by: CFShep on March 20, 2006 at 8:04 AM | PERMALINK

One of the many things that concern me about the postmodern leftist mindset is the eagerness with which they rush to demonize and libel major corporations and their employees.

Examples that come to mind from Hollywood include the re-make of The Manchurian Candidate, which shifts the locus of evil from Chinese-Korean communism to a shadowy international corporation to "update" the story (like communism is passe' and not still sufficiently evil!); Syriana, which blames Texas oil companies for the problems of the Middle East and apologizes for the suicide bomber crowd; coal mine operators for having the effrontery to continue to operate (even in communist countries) in what is inescapably a dangerous business; international drug companies, which are demonized in many movies for horrific clandestine tests of experimental medicines on unwitting subjects somewhere, and of course Halliburton and sometimes Bechtel for "war profiteering" because sometimes, in war, no-bid contracts are needed for quick jobs and tasks that have to be modified on the fly, and companies like Kerr-McGee and other operators of nuclear facilities for anything any loopy, malcontent whistle-blower alleges.

The MSM is upset because Tom DeLay will probably sue all of them for libel once he is acquitted of everything. As he should, for liars need to know there is not safety in numbers and reckless, irresponsible slander needs to be (and can be) legally punished. All you Michael Moore and Oliver Stone wannabees ought to keep in mind that if you spew outright distortions and lies around viciously enough on your grouchy days you may just be held legally and financially accountable.

Posted by: Michael L. Cook on March 20, 2006 at 8:13 AM | PERMALINK

Here in the real world...

Posted by: Wombat on March 20, 2006 at 9:52 AM | PERMALINK

The desperate lies of the truly desperate . . .

Clearly there is an attempt under way by the terrorists, by Zarqawi and others, to foment civil war. That's been their strategy all along, but my view would be they've reached a stage of desperation from their standpoint

............March 19, 2006 - Vice President "Dickless" Cheney

So the level of violence will be high during this period of time because they're desperate.

............Sept 29, 2004 - Vice President "Dickless" Cheney

The closer we get to standing up a democracy in Iraq, the more desperate the terrorists become, and that's why we've seen the attacks we saw today.

............March 2, 2004 - Vice President "Dickless" Cheney

But all of those things make the terrorists more and more desperate... again, as I say, I think it's a measure of how desperate the terrorists have become, that they're willing to launch that kind of strike at religious sites.

............March 2, 2004 - Vice President "Dickless" Cheney


In a paraphrase of Inigo Montoya:

Cheney keeps using that word, desperate, but I do not think it means what he thinks it means.

Posted by: A Muse Zing on March 20, 2006 at 10:04 AM | PERMALINK

Cook's crackhouse analogy sums up the post-911 period nicely: The president seized on and exploited a primal lynch-mob mentality to exact false revenge against a "usual suspect" after having found, in the immortal words of Donald Rumsfeld, "that there are no good targets in Afghanistan."

Posted by: Scot on March 20, 2006 at 12:49 PM | PERMALINK

If we hadn't invaded either Afghanistan or Iraq, what activities do you imagine would be going on in those places today?

I think the probability of a WMD being used in another 9/11 type surprise on the USA is about 100%. What are you going to say the day after? Will you claim it was all Dubya's fault for stirring up a hornet's nest?

Will you say that YOU would have invaded Syria, Iran, or Saudi Arabia, depending on which looks guiltiest of the new terror event?

Posted by: Michael L. Cook on March 20, 2006 at 2:13 PM | PERMALINK

Cook: What are you going to say the day after?

That Bush's plan to cow the terrorists didn't work after all.

Terrorists didn't need and weren't going to get their WMDs from Iraq, even assuming Iraq had them, which they didn't and which is something the Bush administration knew, at least by the middle of the UN inspections conducted must prior to the invasion (inspections cut short by that invasion), but most likely long before that.

And none of that bullsh*t about everybody thought.

The Bush administration had information that indicated Saddam didn't have any WMDs or active WMD programs (Powell even said as much in February 2001 - what, did those programs miraculously reconstitute themselves out of thin air between 2001 and 2003 - remember, this wasn't even the argument of the mendacious conservatives who said he still had them from pre-2000, despite Powell's acknowledgement to the contrary) that they kept hidden from Congress and the public, now an established fact.

The real question isn't why you and other conservatives aren't running around and screaming like children about Bush's failure to invade Iran and North Korea, both more likely to possess WMDS and deliver WMDs to terrorists than Iraq ever was.

If anyone is being inconsistent, it is the Right who supports Bush's attack of a paper tiger, Iraq, which posed no threat to the US (again, something Powell himself confirmed in 2001), but who refuse to condemn Bush for not getting Al Queda, you know the terrorists who would use WMDs if they got their hands on them, and not invading more likely sources of WMDs (Russia, the former Soviet republics, N. Korea, Iran, etc.).

I think the probability of a WMD being used in another 9/11 type surprise on the USA is about 100%.

And what are you doing about it?

Supporting a war that had nothing to do with combatting international terrorism or securing WMDs and supporting a president who hasn't furthered the shrilly-named "global war on terror", but hindered it at every turn.

Will you say that YOU would have invaded Syria, Iran, or Saudi Arabia, depending on which looks guiltiest of the new terror event?

Hey, dumb*ss, Iraq was not involved in 9/11, so it is Bush who is guilty of not invading the countries guiltiest of 9/11, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Dubai, Syria, etc.

If we hadn't invaded either Afghanistan or Iraq, what activities do you imagine would be going on in those places today?

Well, we do know that whatever was going on, it wouldn't be murder by Americans, torture by Americans, and abuse by Americans.

We are responsible for our own actions, not those of others.

But if you are so concerned with how things would be in Afghanistan and Iraq absent intervention by the US, then where were you when Clinton intervened in Bosnia and Kosovo to stop real, ongoing genocide, instead of responding to genocide already ended in Iraq?

Where were you when Bush 41 and the GOP were giving Saddam funding and political support at the same time he was gassing Kurdish men, women, and chidren?

Posted by: Advocate for God on March 20, 2006 at 3:35 PM | PERMALINK

Nice straw man, when you consider that few if any on this blog stated their opposition to invading Afghanistan IN RETALIATION for Taliban providing sanctuary to Bin Laden.

Nukes usually have a return address. I doubt anyone here would oppose retaliatory action against the country or countries who provided sanctuary/support for prospective nuclear terrorists.

Here in the real world, we would hope that Michael Cook is concerned by the Bush administration's defunding of the US program that worked with Russsia to account for its nukes, and to pay Russian nuclear scientists so that they are not tempted to help rogue states or terrorists in return for a big payday.

Posted by: Wombat on March 20, 2006 at 3:38 PM | PERMALINK

That should be: "The real question IS . . ."

Posted by: Advocate for God on March 20, 2006 at 3:40 PM | PERMALINK

What would I have done?
I would have resisted turning the Sept. 11 attacks into an us versus them argument by immediately reaching out to moderate muslims.
I would have lined the Afghan-Pakistan border with coalition troops and demanded that Pakistan hand over Bin Laden. I would have immediately acknowledged that the Taliban was an outgrowth of Pakistani regional politics and put Pakistan on alert. I would have worked to shut down the AQ Khan nuclear weapons network and demand that he be taken into custody.
And I would have waited until U.N. inspectors finished their job in Iraq and studied the possibility of a resurgent nuclear and biological weapons program with due diligence before deciding on how to handle Saddam in a post-911 world.
But that's just me.

Posted by: Scot on March 20, 2006 at 5:03 PM | PERMALINK

Bush is bending over backwards to reach "moderate" Moslems, has been doing so since day one, and has risked a political disaster by defending the Dubai deal for exactly the point of affirming belief in "good" Arabs.

Bush did not send troops to the border of Pakistan to demand bin Laden, in favor of working with Pakistan in a very delicate relationship. I consider the reality that Bush can personally appear in Islamobad and emerge unscathed as speaking volumes about our relations with Pakistan. Maybe Osama is still rotting away on some Pashtun mountaintop. Who cares.

I am really tired about of all the blarney about Iraq being a paper tiger, about how "everybody knew" there were no WMD's there, etc. Heck, Saddam's own generals thought he really had at least a couple nukes and were quite disappointed when they asked for them and found out they didn't exist. Saddam clearly wanted Iran to think he had nukes right until the end.

But forget all this crap about Iraq. Iran clearly has or soon will have real nukes in the hands of a government that doesn't believe the Holocaust really happened.

What will Bush do about Iran? Watch and learn. This summer it will become abundantly clear that there is no real civil war in Iraq and massive numbers of American troops will be headed home to rest and re-equip. Maybe Bush will do the smart thing and wait for McCain to be elected president in November, 2008.

Then, in his two months as lame duck, Dubya will unload the slickest, most overwhelming assault on Iran anyone ever saw. McCain will raise his hand to take the oath of office with one hell of a situation on his hand, but at least he will be so boxed in that he can't mess things up by waffling all over. The old, good John McCain, war hero, will surge to the fore.

Posted by: Michael L. Cook on March 20, 2006 at 7:21 PM | PERMALINK

download cartoon pic

Posted by: 6565 on March 21, 2006 at 12:52 PM | PERMALINK



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