Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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November 19, 2006
By: Kevin Drum

SADDAM'S A-BOMB....In The Good Fight, Peter Beinart says that he originally supported the Iraq war because he thought it was the only way to prevent Saddam Hussein from getting a nuclear bomb. David Adesnik isn't impressed with this argument:

Really, a nuclear bomb? I know that the President and others made ominous references to a mushroom cloud, but I also remember that almost all Democrats and almost all analysts rejected out of hand the possibility that Iraq had, or would soon have, a bomb.

....In order to make his chapter persuasive, Beinart should've gone back to the best liberal arguments on behalf of the war and evaluated their merits. His own writings would have been a good place to start. Also well-known is Ken Pollack's book, The Threatening Storm, which Beinart cites in his chapter.

I remember thinking the same thing at one time, but it turned out that I was the one with the faulty memory. Here's what Ken Pollack said in The Threatening Storm (pp. 173-175), published in late 2002:

There is a consensus that Iraq has resumed work on nuclear weapons....A recent defector who worked as a design engineer stated that Saddam had ordered the entire nuclear program reconstituted in August 1998, when he announced that he had ceased all cooperation with U.N. weapons inspectors.

....Just to be clear about this: in 1990, Iraq built a workable nuclear wepaon. All it lacked was the fissile material. Iraq has natural uranium deposits....It also has the technology and the know-how to build a system capable of enriching that uranium to weapons grade.

....The U.S. intelligence community has estimated that it would take Iraq five to ten years from the start of crash program to enrich enough uranium to make one or more devices. If such a crash program started in 1999, Iraq might be able to develop such weapons by 2004.

It's true, as David says, that a few months after The Threatening Storm was published UN inspectors had discredited the evidence for an Iraqi nuclear program. However, by then UN inspectors had pretty much discredited the evidence for chemical and biological weapons programs as well. They had also demonstrated that Saddam's missile stock was only barely out of compliance with UN mandates and that the much-hyped drone program was a joke. In fact, they made it pretty clear that Saddam posed virtually no threat at all to anyone.

In that sense, there's nothing unusual about the idea that Beinart believed Iraq was trying to build a bomb. Mainstream analysts did believe that Iraq had an active nuclear program, just as they believed he had an active chem/bio program. They were wrong about all that stuff, not just the nuclear weapons.

Kevin Drum 12:56 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (108)

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Ah, Kevin.

Still bandying about that little cliche that Saddam had nuclear weapons.

What about the sarin gas shells discovered last year? How about the fact that Saddam was playing a shell game with the UN inspectors in early '03, using delay tactics before they went in to investigate a suspected weapons factory? How about the contention that Saddam's weapons are in Baathist Syria?

Really, Kevin, you really are too cute sometimes. Had we not gone in there, we'd be in a lot more trouble today. And Israel wouldn't even exist.

Posted by: egbert on November 19, 2006 at 1:12 PM | PERMALINK

Peter Beinart is an over-educated, under-intelligent idiot who has never been right about anything. His entire career is proof of how far you can go when you're willing to drop to your knees and go down on the right people in public. He and the rest of the New Republic(ans) should be congratulated for having solved the looming toilet paper shortage and pensioned off to wherever it is failed east coast "intellectuals" get pensioned off to, so long as it doesn't involve tenure.

Posted by: TCinLA on November 19, 2006 at 1:14 PM | PERMALINK

Here is perhaps a more relevant queston: does a country's desire to acquire a nuclear bomb justify invading it?

The collapse of the Soviet Union and the dispersion of nuclear weapons and tecnology over a wide collection of states and criminal gangs created the single greatest threat to our national security vis-a-vis nuclear terror attack, but that phenomenon -- presided over by Bush I, and then Clinton -- seems to have elicited little outrage amoung those who now would have us believe that Iraq and now Iran are hell bent on wiping us off the map, and should therefore be dealt with promptly (with nuclear weapons, no less, if need be).

There is no consitency in the way we deal with the very real threat of nuclear proliferation, other than we seem to ignore the problem when it really exists, but tackle it head on when it really doesn't.

Posted by: smedleybutler on November 19, 2006 at 1:14 PM | PERMALINK

Does that mean the Beinart withdrew his support for the war after Al Baradei's reports to the UN, or more sensibly, after Powell's presentation?

Posted by: Boronx on November 19, 2006 at 1:15 PM | PERMALINK

One of the great scandals is how deeply the intelligence analysts misled the public and President Bush about Saddam's weapons programs, led by Clinton-appointee Tenant. The CIA is going to have to improve before any president can trust it.

Posted by: American Hawk on November 19, 2006 at 1:16 PM | PERMALINK

However, by then UN inspectors had pretty much discredited the evidence for chemical and biological weapons programs as well.

One could quibble about just how definite the US inspectors were about these conclusions, but I want to make another point. The UN inspectors were allowed into Iraq only under the threat of imminent attack from George Bush. Had we backed off the war threat, I believe Saddam would have kicked the inspectors out, just as he did in 1998.

With the inspectors gone, Saddam would have been able to resume his quest for WMDs. In short, our efforts in Iraq have led to a mess there, but failing to act would have been no panacea.

Posted by: ex-liberal on November 19, 2006 at 1:19 PM | PERMALINK

ex-lib:

If the threat worked, why invade?

Posted by: exasperanto on November 19, 2006 at 1:25 PM | PERMALINK

egbert,

Jesus, are you fucking stupid or what?

Posted by: angryspittle on November 19, 2006 at 1:28 PM | PERMALINK

The point ex-liberal is that the liberals were right. The Democrats agreed to give Bush the power to threaten Saddam Hussein, but the liberals were right to point out that Bush would abuse that power in an unprovoked assault on a sovereign nation. In other words the Bush-backing Republicans were (as they have been in nearly every case) wrong on national security and the liberals were right. You choose to disassociate yourself from those whose understanding of national security policy is far greater than their opponents. Good move.

Posted by: heavy on November 19, 2006 at 1:35 PM | PERMALINK

Mainstream analysts did believe that Iraq had an active nuclear program, just as they believed he had an active chem/bio program

I disagree that *everyone* believed it. Politicians and intelligence reps were lying and/or covering their asses, not wanting to contradict the growing, politically-driven "consensus". It'd be just as easy to dig up quotes of intelligence briefs claiming Iraq was nowhere near the deveolpment of any threatening weapons, as Condi and Powell stated around before 9/11. It'd be just as easy to dig up quotes from intelligence agents claiming their reports were being pressured to certain foregone conclusions by politicians and appointees.

There's always this handwaving, "*Everyone* believed blah blah blah". There's never any evidence provided, and the *everyone* consists of neo-con "liberal" hawk reporters, or politicians, or intelligence statements taken out of context, with qualifiers removed, etc.

So look at the evidence - what were the "outstanding issues" being investigated by the UN, that kept Saddam under sanctions, before the inspectors were left back in? The issues were overwhelmingly related to the confirmation of the destruction of chemical/biological weapons programs FROM THE 1980's. There was nothing new, or they woulda been listed. That's all they had.

Lying neo-con reporters, at the NYT, WashPost, TNR, etc. were lying then, and they continue to lie when they say "everyone believed it". Of course, Mr. Drum plays along. They all are either ignorant or lying.

Posted by: luci on November 19, 2006 at 1:37 PM | PERMALINK

The UN inspectors were allowed into Iraq only under the threat of imminent attack from George Bush.

True. And this justifies the votes in Congress to give President Bush this authority.

But. By the time of the invasion the inspectors had not discovered any amount of nuclear, chemical, or biological weapons that indicated that Iraq posed a credible threat to the US. And if the inspections had been allowed to continue, that would have been proven in time.

In fact, it was proven in time. The US, once it controlled Iraq, searched for WMD and discovered none that could be described as a serious threat to the United States.

Congress did its job, granting the President that authority. The President overstepped his bounds when he ordered the invasion - because by that time the preponderence of evidence was that there was no threat.

George Bush had the authority and the military positioned to keep those inspections going - a move that was sanctioned by almost all of the US and the rest of the world. But he's a divider, not a united, and plunged us into an unwinnable war.

Posted by: Wapiti on November 19, 2006 at 1:37 PM | PERMALINK

ex-lib would rather come up with further excuses for why we must absolutely kill more arabs.

Posted by: Nads on November 19, 2006 at 1:37 PM | PERMALINK

The military and those associated with such things as wars once did something called "hazard assessments." These hazard assessments had to do with capabilities, which are actual presence of weapons or the means with which to make weapons.

After the Gulf War of 1991, inspectors found a more advanced nuclear program in Iraq than had been expected. The facilities involved in that program were destroyed. Presumably some surveillance of possible restarts, which would have involved building of large buildings, along with export controls on equipment that might be used in such an enterprise, would have given some indication if a program had been started up.

In addition, sanctions were making it hard for Iraq to buy anything.

As I recall, the consensus of the intelligence community and related others internationally was that Hussein was likely to have stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons, but no nukes. Probably no nuclear program beyond wishful thinking and a bit of low-level research.

And I'm wondering exactly what Pollack means by "in 1990, Iraq built a workable nuclear weapon. All it lacked was the fissile material."

Posted by: CKR on November 19, 2006 at 1:40 PM | PERMALINK

"in 1990, Iraq built a workable nuclear weapon. All it lacked was the fissile material."


Did he say that? If he did, Jon Stewart should hire him immediately.

Posted by: gregor on November 19, 2006 at 1:48 PM | PERMALINK

And I'm wondering exactly what Pollack means by "in 1990, Iraq built a workable nuclear weapon. All it lacked was the fissile material."
Posted by: CKR

It means he had a working empty shell container ... but that this teh really really scary when we're talking about SADDAM!!!!!!

Posted by: Nads on November 19, 2006 at 1:50 PM | PERMALINK

"They built a workable weapon. All it lacked was the fissile material." Is that like building a workable airplane, but for the lack of wings and engines (and the working knowledge of how to shape them into a fabricated whole)? Or maybe like a working artificial heart, sans the parts that actually pump the blood without destroying the cells? No, wait...

Posted by: paul on November 19, 2006 at 1:57 PM | PERMALINK

in 1990, Iraq built a workable nuclear weapon. All it lacked was the fissile material

I've got an aluminum bike frame and a 55-gallon drum in my garage.

Is it going to look suspicious if I buy fifty boxes of baking soda and 200 lemons at the same time?

Posted by: Zany Cut-up on November 19, 2006 at 2:00 PM | PERMALINK

Mainstream analysts did believe that Iraq had an active nuclear program, just as they believed he had an active chem/bio program.

Ah, the "mainstream analysts believed!" gambit. Too bad we never spent too much time listening to those fringe groups who were saying - well before the Iraq war - that there was no frickin' way that Saddam had a nuclear program; those out-in-left-fielders such as State's INR, the intelligence unit of the Department of Energy, and that radical lefty Hussein Kamal, Saddam's former head of non-conventional weapons efforts.

Posted by: Wonderin on November 19, 2006 at 2:40 PM | PERMALINK

I'm a little nonplused as to how you can build a "working nuclear weapon" without fissile material. After all, it's not like they are guaranteed to work even if you have the material available (see Korea, North).

To say someone has a working nuclear weapon, they have to build one and test it, otherwise it's just speculation. You might as well claim that they had a working anti-matter bomb, but were just lacking the anti-matter.

Posted by: moonbiter on November 19, 2006 at 2:54 PM | PERMALINK

Two points:

(1) Any chemical or biological weapons that Saddam had, were sold to him during the 1980s by the Reagan Administration. This was well established in both the Riegle Report, published in 1992, and the Brit equivalent, known as the Sussex Report.
(2) The Bush Administration knew full well that Saddam had no active nuclear program in 2002. The CIA and UN weapons inspectors both reported that they no longer existed. Hans Blix had told the Bush Administration that in 2002, but they went ahead anyway, mainly due to Saddams intention to keep American oil companies from buying into Iraqs oil industry.

IMPEACH BUSH NOW!!!

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on November 19, 2006 at 2:55 PM | PERMALINK

I will not cut Beinart any slack on this at all. If I, sitting at my home computer in the Fall of 2002 could reliably find evidence that shows the nuclear argument being made was nothing but hot air, that one major news chain in America was also covering this reality unlike the rest of the American MSMS which was cheerleading blindly (that wondrous chain was Knight Ridder) the Bush/GOP declarations of nuclear threat (Paging Judith Miller at the so called liberal media conspiracy headquarters NYT), then Beinart has no excuse except sloppy work, unwillingness to challenge the media meme the Bush/GOP machine put in place, or he was simply too stupid to know any better. While I had always maintained there was grounds for doubt regarding chem and bio weapons capacity is was blindly obvious there was no nuclear threat. Period.

If I could find out that the IAEA report declaring Saddam six months from nuclear weapons capability as asserted by Bush and Blair at Camp David Sept 7 2002 never existed despite their citation of it within a couple of weeks, why couldn't people with better access like Beinart??? If I could find out well before the invasion that the aluminum tubes not only were not solely usable as centrifuges for uranium enrichment but if anything were completely unsuitable for such use, why couldn't Beinart? If I, a simple person living in Nova Scotia could find all of this and well documented and sourced back then, why couldn't people like Beinart unless they were not looking for it in the first place? Sorry, I cut no one any slack where the nuclear sales pitch by Bushco is concerned, they should have known better and if they had bothered to actually question what they were being told instead of unquestioningly accepting it they could have found this out for themselves. Bushco lied about nukes because until then no argument was persuading the American public to support the war with Iraq. It took the fear of nukes to change public opinion on the issue and is one of the main reasons why the lying about it is so heinous and needs exposing for the cock and bull story it was known to be from the outset by the American intelligence community despite the claims of the OSP.

No one claiming to be a serious security thinker/researcher/commentator that claims they were fooled into believing the nuclear argument against Saddam was at all plausible deserves anything but contempt and derision. It is one thing to suspect there are chem/bio weapons stockpiles from pre-1991 and possibly a limited capacity to create some more of the lower end forms of both. To have a successful nuclear weapons program th0ough is far more complex and difficult to hide signs of, and while yes Saddam was able to do so in the 80s, how much of that was because he was America's ally during the 80s against Iran and only became America's enemy with the invasion of Kuwait? After the first GW his nuclear research capabilities were destroyed and the idea that he could build it back up to being anywhere remotely near a testable device from between 1998 and 2002-03 requires a level of suspension of disbelief far beyond any I could ever make.

If people here think I am more than a little peeved on this issue, they are right. This should come as no surprise to any regular reader since this has been one of my core reasons for wanting Bush gone in 2004, that any President, any Head of government/State that would lie about a nuclear threat to launch an unnecessary and unprovoked (and yes Iraq was not provoking America despite the heated GOP rhetoric to the contrary) has no business being a head of government/State, especially not the State with the most advanced military and nuclear weapons capability in the world!!!

So excuse me if I find Beinart's comments self serving and proof of his unwillingness to do his own research to verify what he is being told instead of uncritically taking what the government told him as gospel. Any real research always showed the nuclear argument had no support, and it is the one area where the only realistic explanation that it was advanced so strongly by Bushco is that they exaggerated/lied knowingly because they felt the lie was a noble lie in the service of a greater good, just like Leo Strauss taught his neoconservative disciples.

Posted by: Scotian on November 19, 2006 at 3:06 PM | PERMALINK

Mainstream analysts did believe that Iraq had an active nuclear program, just as they believed he had an active chem/bio program

mainstream analysts believe man is having a pronouced effect on the average global temperature. conservatives choose to believe the consensus there is actually a fact-free plot among America-hating chicken-littles.

Posted by: cleek on November 19, 2006 at 3:44 PM | PERMALINK

"Just to be clear about this: in 1990, Iraq built a workable nuclear weapon. All it lacked was the fissile material." -- Kevin Drum

hey, kev...i built a nuclear weapon in my backyard too. and interesting...all i lacked was the fissile material as well.

jesus...with ALL credit to atrios...

Anyone with a wee bit of sense reading Kevin Drum's two sentences would know that the person who wrote them is either A) a shameless propagandist or B) quite possibly the stupidest fucking person on the face of the planet.

i vote for B.

Posted by: billofwrites on November 19, 2006 at 4:24 PM | PERMALINK

I spewed coffee on my computer screen when I saw Kevin refer to Kenneth Pollack as a mainstream analyst.

For the innocent among you, it may help to put Kenneth Pollack's 2002 book "The Threatening Storm" in ..er.. context. Anyone ever heard the
saying "He whose bread I eat his song I sing"? A few notes:
-------------
a) November 2000- 2002: The biggest campaign donor to the Democratic Party is Israeli billionaire Haim Saban, who contributes $12.7 million in the 2000 and 2002 campaign cycles. (His wife Cheryl's donations raises the total to
$13.7 million) See Reference [1] below

b) May 2002: Haim Saban funds the "Saban Center for Middle East Policy" at the Brookings Institute. One of the four stated research areas is "the implications of regime change in Iraq". Another task is providing "future policymakers with a better understanding of the complexities of the Middle East and the process of developing effective policies to deal with
them"[See ref 2 below] Kenneth Pollack's 2002 book "The Threatening Storm" notes that Pollack is Director of Research at the Saban Center.

c) June 30,2002: St Petersburg Times notes that "leading congressional Democrats were concerned that Jewish voters and donors were reassessing their relationship "with the Democratic Party given Bush's strong pro-Israel stance [3]

d) September 10, 2002: During a conference at the University of Virginia, high level intelligence adviser to the White House, Philip Zelikow, states: "Why would Iraq attack America or use nuclear weapons against us? I'll tell you what I think the real threat (is) and actually has been since 1990 -- it's the threat against Israel," [4]

e) December 19, 2002: In a Los Angeles Times op-ed "Lock and Load", the Directors of Haim Saban's Center for Middle East Policy ,Martin Indyk and Kenneth Pollack, state "Saddam Hussein has failed to come clean. His denial of possessing any weapons of mass destruction makes that clear ... As former U.S. government officials who had access to the most sensitive U.S. intelligence on Iraq, we are well aware of Iraq's continued efforts to retain and enhance its weapons capabilities" They then advocate launching a war on Iraq.[5]

f) January 17, 2003: Atlanta Jewish Times notes that " pro-Israel interests have contributed $41.3 million" in campaign donations over the past decade, with more than two thirds going to the Democrats. Article also notes that Republicans are making a strong push to court those big donors. [6]

g) June 20, 2003: In a New York Times column, "Saddam's Bombs? We'll Find
Them", Saban Center Director Kenneth Pollack tries to excuse his earlier claims re Iraq WMDs (see (e) above ) by stating "Where are Iraq's weapons of mass destruction? It's a good question, and unfortunately we don't yet have a good answer... In any event, the mystery will be solved in good time; the search for Iraq's nonconventional weapons program has only just begun." [7]

h) September 2004: John Kerry attempts to criticize the Bush war on Iraq but can only make incoherent, strangled sounds.

i) November 2004: Instead of $12.7 million, Haim Saban's campaign donations
in the 2004 election only total $84,000 -- and $2,000 goes to George W Bush, in case
the Democrats don't get the message.[8]
------------
References:
[1]http://www.opensecrets.org/indivs/index.asp , enter "Saban, Haim" and select election cycles 2000,2002

[2]http://www.brookings.edu/comm/news/20020509saban.htm

[3] http://www.sptimes.com/2002/06/30/Columns/ Jewish_voters_noticin.shtml

[4]http://www.ipsnews.net/interna.asp?idnews=23083

[5] http://www.brook.edu/views/op-ed/indyk/20021219.htm

[6]http://www.atljewishtimes.com/archives/2003/011703cs.htm

[7]http://www.brookings.edu/views/op-ed/pollack/ 20030620.htm

[8]http://www.opensecrets.org/indivs/index.asp (enter "Saban, Haim" and
choose 2004 )

Posted by: Don Williams on November 19, 2006 at 4:30 PM | PERMALINK

Scotian at 3:06 PM, excellent post. You are not alone.

Posted by: Dave Howard on November 19, 2006 at 4:35 PM | PERMALINK

Just to be clear, Kevin Drum ran a workable blog in 2003; all it lacked was a fucking clue.

Posted by: Kevin on November 19, 2006 at 4:37 PM | PERMALINK

1) Another suggestion from Kenneth's Pollack's "The Threatening Storm" which
turned out to be ..er.. not quite true:
-------
page xxvii(Introduction): "Today, we have information from key defectors and a consensus
among knowledgable experts that the Iraqis are hard at work on such a
[nuclear weapon development] program and that they have all the know-how and
the technology to do it. The only question is how long it is going to take them."

2)On Page xxvii, Kenneth also made the statement:
"Because Iraq has natural uranium deposits, all the Iraqis need to do is build a process to enrich that uranium to weapons grade and then enrich enough to make one or more Hiroshima-sized weapons"

That's like me saying that I can run 200 Miles per Hour -- all I need to do is stick a jet engine in my ass.

The uranium bomb at Hiroshima was based upon U235 , not the plutonium implosion design used at
Trinty, Nagasaki and in subsequent devices.
The Uranium U235 isotope make up a very small percentage of uranium ore,it is chemically identical to the U238 isotope that makes up the bulk of the ore, and it took the United States a shitload of money in the Manhattan Project to extract enough U235 for ONE bomb.

Think of the chain of huge industrial facilities at Oak Ridge, at Paducah Kentucky , and elsewhere consuming enormous amounts of electricity. The enormous difficulty in extracting U235 was why the US went to using the plutonium implosion design. How likely was Saddam to recreate the huge Manhattan infrastructure with our spy satellites and agents detecting no evidence of it?

Posted by: Don Williams on November 19, 2006 at 4:53 PM | PERMALINK

The only thing I can recall that Christopher Hitchens said that made any sense in the lead up to the war was, and I'm paraphrasing here, that if Saddam were to allow U.N. inspectors into Iraq with full access, he would be essentially giving up soverienty and fatally weakening his position within the country.

The fact that he allowed inspectors into the country at all, should have been the clearest sign that he would do anything to avoid a war. With all the behind-the-scenes talk slowly dripping out about the administration's gameplan going into the war, it is clear that they did not want Saddam to comply. And even if he did comply, they were going to continue to make the case that he was cheating.

Any honest war supporter with half a brain has known this all along. They thought that they would either find enough WMD to justify all their lying, or that the war would go so well that people would just forget about the PR blitz used to sell it. With liberal hawks taking the most dishonest position of all, that the ends were so just as to merit a substantial con job on the American public, knowing full well that they would be easy to fool in the wake of 9/11.

Zakaria spent much of 2003 making the moral, pie-in-the-sky argument for waging a war on Iraq. But he never called the administration on their mushroom cloud bullshit. Not once. Even though he knew, from his secret meetings with Wolfowitz, that the administration didn't even believe their own lies.

An honest man with so much blood on his hands would have already eaten a bullet. But he continues to lecture us on Iraq. That should tell you everything you need to know.

Posted by: enozinho (wetorture.com) on November 19, 2006 at 4:57 PM | PERMALINK

exasperanto: If the threat worked, why invade?

The threat didn't work well enough. As you will recall, Saddam had agreed (and the Security Council had required) that Saddam provide a complete list of all his WMDs telling where they were. He hadn't done so.

Also, the UN inspectors were not being given freedom to inspect where they wanted. There are people who claim that Saddam had WMDs which were moved to Syria. The UN inspections were not complete enough to refute that belief.

Furthermore, Bush's threat couldn't have been maintained forever. Once the American threat was removed, Saddam could have waiting for another President as feckless as Bill Clinton and thrown the inspectors out.

heavy Saddam provoked the attack by his continued failure to live up to the agreement he made to end the 1991 war. You can argue whether the provocation was enough to justify the war, but Bush's invasion was not "unprovoked."

Posted by: ex-liberal on November 19, 2006 at 4:59 PM | PERMALINK

They had also demonstrated that Saddam's missile stock was only barely out of compliance with UN mandates and that the much-hyped drone program was a joke.

This reminds me of an oracular passage in the 1997 movie "Wag the Dog." Dustin Hoffman's movie producer, while trying to justify the phony war on Albania, hits on the perfect excuse: "They've got The Bomb!" Then he immediately dismisses it: "Nobody will buy that. They don't have missiles."

Posted by: Grumpy on November 19, 2006 at 5:00 PM | PERMALINK

"However, by then UN inspectors had pretty much discredited the evidence for chemical and biological weapons programs as well..."

What the UN inspectors had discredited by that point was themselves -- their blatant cheerleading for the anti-war position caused them to posture as the most gullible chumps that ever drew a government paycheck. Remember the elegant Hans Blix, discussing the young scientist jumping into a UN vehicle with a notebook, pleading save me, save me? The UN inspectors elegantly allowed the fellow to be dragged out of the vehicle and off to Saddam's plastic shredders. Blix' response was that there were many more elegant ways for people to get information to him.

Despite your three card monte with the facts, the historical record as to why we went to war is clear to any dispassionate person that wants to know it. We went to war because, after 911, we could not allow a nexus of psychopathic, agressive despots and no-fingerprints terrorist organizations to dominate international relations. There is no way you can talk your way around that.

Posted by: minionof rove on November 19, 2006 at 5:01 PM | PERMALINK

we could not allow a nexus of psychopathic, agressive despots and no-fingerprints terrorist organizations to dominate international relations.

Three words; Mine shaft gap. You guys are delusional. Utterly and completely.

Posted by: enozinho (wetorture.com) on November 19, 2006 at 5:06 PM | PERMALINK

"That's like me saying that I can run 200 Miles per Hour -- all I need to do is stick a jet engine in my ass."

No, no, no. That would turn Don into John. And God knows one Hindrocket is more than enough. (Though you would want to know if that embeded engine was blowing or sucking)

Posted by: Bruce Webb on November 19, 2006 at 5:12 PM | PERMALINK

After reading Kenneth Pollack's "Threatening Storm", it's interesting to
see how Ken moved to cover his ass after the Iraq invasion -- in a June 20, 2003 NY Times op-ed.
His segue from intoning solemn, authorative statements re Saddam's WMDS
in his book to repeatedly referring to "some in the administration" statements in
his Op-Ed is so comical I nearly pissed my pants laughing. See
http://www.brookings.edu/views/op-ed/pollack/20030620.htm .

A few extracts:
------------
"Where are Iraq's weapons of mass destruction? It's a good question, and unfortunately we don't yet have a good answer."
-------
"As for allegations that some in the administration may have used slanted intelligence claims in making their case against Saddam Hussein, they seem to have merit and demand further investigation. "
---------
"The fact that the sites we suspected of containing hidden weapons before the war turned out to have nothing in them is not very significant. American intelligence agencies never claimed to know exactly where or how the Iraqis were hiding what they hadnot in 1995, not in 1999 and not six months ago. It is very possible that the "missing" facilities, weaponized agents, precursor materials and even stored munitions all could still be hidden in places we never would have thought to look."
-------
"At the heart of the mystery lies the fact that the Iraqis do not seem to have deployed any stocks of munitions filled with nonconventional weapons. Why did Saddam Hussein not hit coalition troops with a barrage of chemical and biological weapons rather than allow his regime to fall? Why did we not find them in ammunition dumps, ready to be fired?

Actually, there are many possible explanations. Saddam Hussein may have underestimated the likelihood of war and not filled any chemical weapons before the invasion. He may have been killed or gravely wounded in the "decapitation" strike on the eve of the invasion and unable to give the orders
"
-------
"And, distressingly, there seems to be more than a little truth to claims that some members of the administration skewed, exaggerated and even distorted raw intelligence to coax the American people and reluctant allies into going to war against Iraq this year.
" (Comment: Were those the same people who were frequently citing Kenneth's "Threatening Storm" to support their arguments for war?)

Posted by: Don Williams on November 19, 2006 at 5:19 PM | PERMALINK

As you will recall, Saddam had agreed (and the Security Council had required) that Saddam provide a complete list of all his WMDs telling where they were. He hadn't done so.

there were no WMD to list in any such list. if you believe Saddam was lying about that, it's up to you to show us these huge stockpiles (ref 2003 SOTU) of WMD were.

otherwise, can it.

Posted by: cleek on November 19, 2006 at 5:23 PM | PERMALINK

cleek,

Even the elegant Hans Blix admitted Saddam was not complying with the full disclosure requirements of UN 1441. Saddam was like a parolee who had been seen with weapons in the past, but now denied to his parole officers any knowledge of how he got rid of them.

Posted by: minion of rove on November 19, 2006 at 5:27 PM | PERMALINK

We went to war because, after 911, we could not allow a nexus of psychopathic, agressive despots and no-fingerprints terrorist organizations to dominate international relations.

Bush said (2003 SOTU): "If Saddam Hussein does not fully disarm, for the safety of our people and for the peace of the world, we will lead a coalition to disarm him."

the clear implication there is that if Saddam disarmed, there would have been no war. Bush didn't say anything about any "nexus" - his statement there was that "disarment" was sufficient.

of course Bush was lying anyway, since Saddam already was disarmed.

Posted by: cleek on November 19, 2006 at 5:29 PM | PERMALINK

Just WTF would Saddam do with a nuke if he would have had one?

Saddam could not have used it without retaliation by Israel or the US. bin Laden hated Saddam and wanted to get rid of him.

So why was it necessary to occupy Iraq? Why were diplomatic and political means not used first? Basically we have a clueless war monger president that wanted to use our military to humiliate Arabs, control their oil and give contracts to his Big Oil buddies.

Posted by: bakho on November 19, 2006 at 5:29 PM | PERMALINK

Even the elegant Hans Blix admitted Saddam was not complying with the full disclosure requirements of UN 1441

more shifting sands... your original "nexus" list didn't say anything about UN 1441 (which itself doesn't say anything about invasion). even now, you fools still can't pick a fucking reason.

Saddam was like a parolee who had been seen with weapons in the past, but now denied to his parole officers any knowledge of how he got rid of them

he had nothing to get rid of.

b.t.w., have you seen Saddam's final report to the UN ? no? then you don't actually know what Saddam did and didn't disclose, do you ?

Posted by: cleek on November 19, 2006 at 5:33 PM | PERMALINK

There are people who claim that Saddam had WMDs which were moved to Syria.

There are people who claimed this. They are called "loons" or "mouth-breathers."

In fact, every inspection team to scour Iraq from Blix to Duelfer concluded from the evidence that there were no active WMD programs, much less WMD's.

The alternate histories you frequently describe here are mounting evidence that you may be, in fact, posting from a parallel Earth.

Posted by: trex on November 19, 2006 at 5:33 PM | PERMALINK

There is a great deal to building working nuclear weapons other than the fissile material. Triggering systems, electronics, HE technologies, timing system, machining technologies, and others.

An analogy for Iraq's situation back then, more accurate than those given here by people who don't seem to know much about nuclear technology, would be a complete liquid-propellant ICBM without any fuel in its tanks.

From the New York Times article on Iraqi documents on the web:

Among the dozens of documents in English were Iraqi reports written in the 1990s and in 2002 for United Nations inspectors in charge of making sure Iraq had abandoned its unconventional arms programs after the Persian Gulf war. Experts say that at the time, Mr. Husseins scientists were on the verge of building an atom bomb, as little as a year away.

Even if you interpret this as referring to the 1990s, not 2002, it's still pertinent.

Posted by: techman on November 19, 2006 at 5:37 PM | PERMALINK

I didn't want to have to trot this out, but clearly, the liars who love this war are thick-headed. Fareed Zakaria, met with Paul Wolfowitz and other neocon luminaries in November of 2001. This was their takeway:

was that Egypt and Saudi Arabia were the key, but the problems there are intractable. Iran is more important But Iran was similarly difficult to envision dealing with But Saddam Hussein was different, weaker, more vulnerable We concluded that a confrontation with Saddam was inevitable. We agreed that Saddam would have to leave the scene before the problem would be addressed.

The WMD lies, the mushrooms cloud canard, the nexis of terrorism and despotic regimes, they were all window dressing. The real belief was that the true sources of events like 9/11 were the problems in Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Iran. Saddam was not the king of terror. He was a fall guy. A convienient shot across the bow. It was supposed to be easy to take him out and make him an example to our real enemies.

You know this. Your boys fucked it up. Stop lying so we can all move forward. Your denial is hurting this country's interests, and playing into the hands of its enemies. So stop it.

Posted by: enozinho (wetorture.com) on November 19, 2006 at 5:42 PM | PERMALINK

An analogy for Iraq's situation back then, more accurate than those given here by people who don't seem to know much about nuclear technology, would be a complete liquid-propellant ICBM without any fuel in its tanks.

that's a huge stretch.

everyone who believes Saddam was 10,5,2,1,.5 years away from building a viable nuke is getting their info from the same people who told us that Saddam had stockpiles of WMD, mobile bioweapons labs, a fleet of remote drones to disperse this stuff over the world, and,/i> on-going, active programs to build and research more of all of that.

and yet... They Were Totally Fucking Wrong about all that other stuff - so why the hell should we believe anything they say about Saddam's nuke programs ?

Posted by: cleek on November 19, 2006 at 5:43 PM | PERMALINK

cleek

I just lost a five paragraph response to your points, so let me be brief on this one. Any fair person would admit that the overwhelming concern about WMDs was about poison gas or biological weapons, not nukes. Do a google search on "crop duster and mohammad atta" or "crop duster and captured afghanistan documents" and you will see what was shaping the though processes of the warmongers in the administration.
You dispute the fears about a nexus of terrorists and bad governments -- two years ago Rafik Hariri was blown up in downtown Beruit. Did Syria do it? Do we have enough evidence to punish Syria for it?
You are willing to take Saddam's word that he had nothing to get rid of, despite the fact that he allowed 500,000 children in his country to starve in order to preserve the illusion, if not the fact, that he had such weapons.

Posted by: minion of rove on November 19, 2006 at 5:52 PM | PERMALINK

"There are people who claim that Saddam had WMDs which were moved to Syria."

"There are people who claimed this. They are called 'loons' or 'mouth-breathers.'"

David Kay:

Despite not finding any WMD, Kay said his team found that the Iraqi senior leadership "had an intention to continue to pursue their WMD activities. That they, in fact, had a large number of WMD-related activities."

Kay predicted investigators would find that Iraqi scientists were "working on developing weapons or weapons concepts that they had not moved into actual production."

Kay also raised the possibility -- one he first discussed in a weekend interview with "The Sunday Telegraph" of London -- that clues about banned weapons programs might reside across Iraq's western border.

"There is ample evidence of movement to Syria before the war -- satellite photographs, reports on the ground of a constant stream of trucks, cars, rail traffic across the border. We simply don't know what was moved," Kay said.

But, he said, "the Syrian government there has shown absolutely no interest in helping us resolve this issue."

Kay again:

In an exclusive interview with The Telegraph, Dr Kay, who last week resigned as head of the Iraq Survey Group, said that he had uncovered evidence that unspecified materials had been moved to Syria shortly before last year's war to overthrow Saddam.

"We are not talking about a large stockpile of weapons," he said. "But we know from some of the interrogations of former Iraqi officials that a lot of material went to Syria before the war, including some components of Saddam's WMD programme. Precisely what went to Syria, and what has happened to it, is a major issue that needs to be resolved."

In a related vein, from Duelfer's key findings document:

Saddam wanted to recreate Iraqs WMD capabilitywhich was essentially destroyed in 1991after sanctions were removed and Iraqs economy stabilized, but probably with a different mix of capabilities to that which previously existed. Saddam aspired to develop a nuclear capabilityin an incremental fashion, irrespective of international pressure and the resulting economic risksbut he intended to focus on ballistic missile and tactical chemical warfare (CW) capabilities.

Iran was the pre-eminent motivator of this policy. All senior level Iraqi offi cials considered Iran to be Iraqs principal enemy in the region. The wish to balance Israel and acquire status and infl uence in the Arab world were also considerations, but secondary.

Iraq Survey Group (ISG) judges that events in the 1980s and early 1990s shaped Saddams belief in the value of WMD. In Saddams view, WMD helped to save the Regime multiple times. He believed that during the Iran-Iraq war chemical weapons had halted Iranian ground offensives and that ballistic missile attacks on Tehran had broken its political will. Similarly, during Desert Storm, Saddam believed WMD had deterred Coalition Forces from pressing their attack beyond the goal of freeing Kuwait. WMD had even played a role in crushing the Shia revolt in the south following the 1991 cease-fire.

The former Regime had no formal written strategy or plan for the revival of WMD after sanctions. Neither was there an identifiable group of WMD policy makers or planners separate from Saddam. Instead, his lieutenants understood WMD revival was his goal from their long association with Saddam and his infrequent,
but firm, verbal comments and directions to them.

Posted by: Peterson on November 19, 2006 at 5:57 PM | PERMALINK

Re "An analogy for Iraq's situation back then, more accurate than those given here by people who don't seem to know much about nuclear technology, would be a complete liquid-propellant ICBM without any fuel in its tanks."
-------
This is total bullshit.

THE huge difficulty in building a U235 bomb is separating out the small percentage of U235 isotope found in uranium ore from the large percentage of U238 isotope. They are chemically identical.

So the Manhattan project treated the natural uranium with highly corrosive fluorine gas to make gaseous uranium hexafloride and then pumped that gas through miles of filters containing powdered nickel in order to extract an end product that had a slightly higher percentage of U235 than what's found in nature (because the slighter lighter weight/size of U235 allowed it pass through slightly easier.)

Next, repeat the process several times. Then put the slightly enriched, highly corrosive uranium hexafluoride into a particle accelerator and try to separate out the U235 even more before electrical shortages halt things for the day.

Richard Rhodes, in "The Making of the Atomic Bomb" described the processes and the enormous difficulties.

There is an alternative approach -- the plutonium implosion bomb -- but that has its own difficulties.

People should realize that the reason advocates for the Iraq War --including George Bush -- used the term "Weapons of Mass Destruction " is that the term is vague bullshit that allows one to avoid specifics. Because if you discuss specifics , it quickly becomes clear that you are trying to mislead the voters. Or that you don't know what you are talking about. Or both.

Posted by: Don Williams on November 19, 2006 at 6:06 PM | PERMALINK

Weapons without fissile material, from the Washington Post, back in 1998.

Posted by: techman on November 19, 2006 at 6:08 PM | PERMALINK

A bit more from Scott Ritter, 1998.

Posted by: techman on November 19, 2006 at 6:11 PM | PERMALINK

despite the fact that he allowed 500,000 children in his country to starve in order to preserve the illusion, if not the fact, that he had such weapons.

Sorry to pick on you, but this is too much. I worked for a charity that did limited work in Iraq. I held children in my hands, the ones with bloated bellies. The ones dying from cancer because the medicine that would save them was considered dual-use. I met chemical engineers driving taxis. I saw the vomit-enducing palaces going up while Iraqi society was left to decay.

I hated Clinton, and Albright, for their insistence on making the Iraqi public pay for Saddam's crimes. But I always hated Saddam with exponentially more furvor.

I knew a war to topple Saddam would be welcomed. I knew it would be easy. But I opposed it because I knew that our coutry was being lied to. Going into a war based on lies cannot turn out well. But the liars that love this war turned a blind eye to the truth. They use every justification they can come up with to cover for their lies. But I held those children. I begged people for money to feed them and treat them. You shed crocodile tears, all so you don't have to admit that you were willing to lie to get what you wanted. That is sickness. And it has to end.

Posted by: enozinho (wetorture.com) on November 19, 2006 at 6:12 PM | PERMALINK

Don Williams:

Or, you could just buy some enriched material off of Pakistan or some black-market Soviet source.

Posted by: techman on November 19, 2006 at 6:12 PM | PERMALINK

1) The most interesting explanation Kenneth Pollack gave in his NY Times Op-Ed
--for why his claims re Hussein's nukes in "Threatening Storm" were being refuted by reality--
was the following:
"Moreover, before the war I heard many complaints from friends still in government that some Bush officials were mounting a ruthless campaign over intelligence estimates. I was told that when government analysts wrote cautious assessments of Iraq's capabilities, they were grilled and forced to go to unusual lengths to defend their judgments, and some were chastized for failing to come to more alarming conclusions. None of this is illegal, but it was perceived as an attempt to browbeat analysts into either changing their estimates or shutting up and ceding the field to their more hawkish colleagues."

2) What's Interesting is that Kenneth's excuse was directly refuted by the Commission that looked
at Iraq Intelligence. One of the major findings of the Commission was the following:
------------
The Commission has found no evidence of "politicization" of the Intelligence Community's assessments concerning Iraq's reported WMD programs. No analytical judgments were changed in response to political pressure to reach a particular conclusion. 831 The Commission has investigated this issue closely, querying in detail those analysts involved in formulating pre-war judgments about Iraq's WMD programs.

These analysts universally assert that in no instance did political pressure cause them to change any of their analytical judgments. Indeed, these analysts reiterated their strong belief in the validity and soundness of their pre-war judgments at the time they were made. 832 As a former Assistant Secretary of State for Intelligence and Research put it, "policymakers never once applied any pressure on coming up with the `right' answer on Iraq." 833 Moreover, the CIA's Ombudsman for Politicization conducted a formal inquiry in November 2003 into the possibility of "politicization" with respect to assessments of Iraqi WMD. That inquiry involved the (perceived) delay in CIA's reassessment of its position on WMD in Iraq. The Ombudsman also found no evidence, based on numerous confidential interviews with the analysts involved, that political pressure had caused any analyst to change any judgments. 834

Source: http://www.wmd.gov/report/report.html#chapter1 (Page down to section on Iraq Regime
Decisionmaking)

3) Maybe Kenneth Pollack could write another NY Times Op-Ed explaining how we not only didn't find Pollack's nukes in Iraq, we didn't find Pollack's politically-intimidated analysts in the US Intelligence Community either.

Posted by: Don Williams on November 19, 2006 at 6:14 PM | PERMALINK


I too managed to figure out that Saddam had no working nuclear program in the comfort of my own home. Managed also to see that we'd get a guerrilla war out of it, flounder for a few years, then get sick of it and go home

It's hard to see how the key players get anything positive out of this scenario, Not in the medium to long run anyhow. So I think we can rule out the existence of any _effective_ Machiavellian plans.

These boys are just stupid. "These boys" means our entire political class. And that's the problem: Iraq is just a symptom.

Posted by: gcochran on November 19, 2006 at 6:21 PM | PERMALINK

enozinho:

Sounds like you have a lot of first hand experience on this.

So, answer just one question:

In spite of what Iraq is going through right now, from what you know of the situation, would Iraqis have been better off with thirty more years of Saddam and his sons ruling it? That's not as easy a question as it appear from either side of the issue.

Posted by: harry on November 19, 2006 at 6:25 PM | PERMALINK

Had we backed off the war threat, I believe Saddam would have kicked the inspectors out, just as he did in 1998.

Not that this comes as a surprise to anyone, but "ex-liberal" is, quite simply, a liar. Saddam didn't kick the inspectors out; they were withdrawn prior to Operation Desert Fox to keep them out of the target area.

This ridiculous and long-debunked claim would be pathetic enough from parody trolls like "egbert" and "American Hawk," but "ex-liberal" -- who likes to pretend to be a serious commentator whose comments are worthy of something other than outright derision -- just proves yet again how threadbare a deception that is.

It is, however, validating to see proven yet again that there is simply no honest means of defending the Bush Administration's fecklessness and mendacity in launching its coveted, and disastrous, war on Iraq.

Posted by: Gregory on November 19, 2006 at 6:26 PM | PERMALINK

cleek and americahater enoz,

Anyone who has read a few of my postings knows I carry no brief for Bush. I wish we had a different prez almost as much as you do. What I object to is revisionist history that tries to make Saddam into a misunderstood victim and the 70%+ of the American people that supported his ouster the bad guys.

enoz,

Where were you when Colin Powell made amending the sanctions, aka Smart Sanctions, the number one foriegn policy goal of the US up until 9/11? If you had put aside your partisanship to assist in that effort I'll take your arguments seriously.

cleek,

Bush thought, foolishly, that allowing the UN inspections and giving Saddam a final opportunity to totally disarm was a concession without consequense. As someone noted [quoting Hitchens upthread] in a totalitarian state like Saddam's, for the fuhrer to lose face by totally grovelling to the inspectors would have meant the distruction of his regime. What he and his aides did not foresee was the depth of the animus towards the US in the 'international community' - to the extent that Saddam would be allowed to bambozzle Blix and Co. and still be defended by said 'community.'

Posted by: minion on November 19, 2006 at 6:26 PM | PERMALINK

Meanwhile, back in Iran...

Posted by: fred on November 19, 2006 at 6:32 PM | PERMALINK

Harry: My position on Iraq has always been the following:

That Iraqi society had been so scarred by Saddam and sanctions, that it was going to take positive change elsewhere in order for Iraqis to believe again that they had any chance to remove themselves from the yolk of oppression.

When you want to change minds, you start with your friends. Not your enemies. That means change in Egypt, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia. But our leaders are cowards. And their followers are fools.

Posted by: enozinho (wetorture.com) on November 19, 2006 at 6:33 PM | PERMALINK

Minion: We did the math at our charity. Smart sanctions meant 10 cents more a year, for every Iraqi man woman and child.

Guess what? We supported it. Because the situation was that bad. But now children don't worry about dying of cancer. They worry about making it to school in one piece. Congratulations.

Posted by: enozinho (wetorture.com) on November 19, 2006 at 6:37 PM | PERMALINK

Saddam could have waiting for another President as feckless as Bill Clinton and thrown the inspectors out.

I take it back. "ex-liberal" isn't even pretending to be an honest commentator any more.

Posted by: Gregory on November 19, 2006 at 6:38 PM | PERMALINK

1) Re Kenneth Pollack, Some of you may recall Kevin's posts in the past few days asking why Nancy Pelosi would not want Jane Harman to be Chair of the House Intel Committee.

2) I think that one interesting reason was shown in the Oct 20 TIME article re the FBI investigation into ties between Jane Harman and AIPAC.
See http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1549069- 3,00.html

3) The money quote in that article was the following:
"But congressional sources say Pelosi has been infuriated by pressure from some major donors lobbying on behalf of Harman ...
...A congressional source tells TIME that the lobbbying for Harman has included a phone call several months ago from entertainment industry billionaire and major Democratic party contributor Haim Saban. A Saban spokeswoman said he could not be reached for comment"

4) Haim Saban, as I noted in my post above, is the Israeli billionaire who funded the
Center for Middle East Policy where Kenneth Pollack is Director of Research.
The same Kenneth Pollack who was writting LA TIme Op-Eds and books scaring the shit out
of the country by warning of
Saddam Hussein's nukes in the months prior to the Iraq invasion. ( My post is at
http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/2006_11/010260.php#1004485 )

5) In my opinion, The Jane Harman nomination raises the following questions:
a)The Democrats won the election with the meme that "Bush lied us into the war in Iraq and our soldiers died as a result"

b) Should the Democrats then turn around and reinstall as HPSCI chairwoman the very person who was responsible for warning us of Bush's lies in 2002 and who failed to do so?

The very person who had the clearances, resources, and personnel to have refuted the Saban Center's alarmist bullshit in 2002
but failed to do so?

c) Israeli billionaire Haim Saban's $14 million campaign donations bought him access to Democratic leaders. Should it have also bought him the lives of 3000 of our sons to deal with a threat to Israel? Under the guise of dealing with the non-existent WMDs
so loudly proclaimed by his Director of Research?

d)Who are Judith Miller's friends?

e) Is it really intelligent for members of the Israel Lobby -- e.g. Marty Peretz of The New Republic -- to advocate so forcefully for the reappointment of Jane Harman?

Posted by: Don Williams on November 19, 2006 at 6:40 PM | PERMALINK

Anyone who has read a few of my postings knows I carry no brief for Bush.

Water, though -- you carry plenty of that.

Posted by: Gregory on November 19, 2006 at 6:42 PM | PERMALINK

A gun-type bomb is pretty much guaranteed to work and is very easy to build. The problem with it is that you need need to be able to enrich uranium to a high level of a rare isotopean incredibly severe difficulty that requires an entire industry and high-technology. An implosion device uses plutonium which you can get from converting a suitable nuclear reactor to a breeder reactor. But the implosion part of an implosion device is very hard to build. The theory is well-established but the engineering is still very difficult. One couldn't say that an implosion bomb would work with assurance. From what I understand, which is limited, it sounds to me like North Korea is making implosion bombs. That would explain why their test was a bit of a dud, if it was.

Posted by: Keith M Ellis on November 19, 2006 at 6:55 PM | PERMALINK

To all of the idiots in this thread that are still trying to defend the Iraq war and the brain-dead reasons given for it, try watching this and learning something for once:

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/taliban/view/

This is our real problem, and it always has been. It might have been solved by now had we stuck to it and not become sidetracked with some idiotic excursion into Iraq. Instead, we've created another failed state in the Middle East where one did not exist before (Iraq), and have slowly let one (Afghanistan) slide back towards a failed state. And during this whole time we have completely ignored the fact that Pakistan has been a major problem for us that desperately needs to be addressed.

Posted by: OhNoNotAgain on November 19, 2006 at 7:01 PM | PERMALINK

Gregory: Saddam didn't kick the inspectors out; they were withdrawn prior to Operation Desert Fox to keep them out of the target area.

If the UN inspectors had been removed merely to protect them from harm during Desert Fox, they would have returned after Desert Fox ended. They never returned, which shows that the UN acquiesced to Saddam's pressure. In short, Saddam kicked them out, and President Clinton allowed it to happen.

Posted by: ex-liberal on November 19, 2006 at 7:03 PM | PERMALINK

In short, Saddam kicked them out, and President Clinton allowed it to happen.

No, Saddam did not kick them out, and Clinton did not allow it to happen. You are a liar, "ex-liberal", it's as simple as that. What's more, you're an obvious liar, and you fool no one at all. Why do you even bother?

Posted by: Gregory on November 19, 2006 at 7:08 PM | PERMALINK

Gregory,

Ex-liberal is not just a liar, he's the queen of the space unicorns!!!!

Posted by: minion on November 19, 2006 at 7:17 PM | PERMALINK

In short, Saddam kicked them out, and President Clinton allowed it to happen.

Can we now put the partisanship canard to bed? It's clear who the real partisans are isn't it?

For the record, I didn't vote in 2000. If I had voted, I was leaning towards Bush. 2004 was my first vote for president. It was based solely on opposition to the policies of this administration.

The country wants to move forward, but it is being held back by liars that wont face reality.

Posted by: enozinho (wetorture.com) on November 19, 2006 at 7:20 PM | PERMALINK

minion,

Let's just say that you commenting about "ex-liberal" hardly lends him/her/it any credibility. You have to have credibility to lend it, after all.

Posted by: Gregory on November 19, 2006 at 7:22 PM | PERMALINK

Ex-liberal: If the UN inspectors had been removed merely to protect them from harm during Desert Fox, they would have returned.... ... Saddam kicked them out, and President Clinton allowed it to happen.

Translation: "Don't confuse me with facts. They make my head ache."

Posted by: LarryE on November 19, 2006 at 7:35 PM | PERMALINK

Greg,

Since you didn't get the reference, here's a link:

http://jimtreacher.com/archives/000958.html

By the way, did you know that tin foil magnifies, rather than blocks, the mind control rays we send out from Diebold/Halliburton headquarters here in Area 51?

Posted by: minion on November 19, 2006 at 7:37 PM | PERMALINK

Since you didn't get the reference

I got the reference; I simply noted that you hardly add to "ex-liberal"'s credibility. Or your own, for that matter.

By the way, did you know that tin foil magnifies, rather than blocks, the mind control rays we send out from Diebold/Halliburton headquarters here in Area 51?

Ah, and who was bitching, albeit incorrectly, on the other thread about ad hominems? Not so fast! You seek to imply, by your argument, that "ex-liberal" is right and I am wrong. I submit, however, that a dishonest argument -- such as, say, a real ad hominem, does more to support my position than undermine it.

I appreciate, though, you lending support to my contention that you are not an honest commentor and more worthy of contemptuous dismissal than debate.

Posted by: Gregory on November 19, 2006 at 7:51 PM | PERMALINK

Gregory,

Fair enough, I was joking at the emphasis of your "obivious liar" charge.

This is from wikipedia's entry on Iraq and WMDs:

There were no weapon inspections in Iraq for nearly four years after the U.N. departed from Iraq in 1998, and Iraq asserted that they would never be invited back.[38] In addition, Saddam had issued a secret order that Iraq did not have to abide by any U.N. Resolution since in his view the U.S. had broken international law.[39]

Now what proof do you have to reference your claim that Saddam had not kicked out the inspectors.

Posted by: minion on November 19, 2006 at 7:57 PM | PERMALINK

There is no rational supportable reason to make the assertion any longer that WMD were present. We sold Saddam the weapons in the 80s just like we sold weapons to Iran: because as part of the right wing policy that transcends administrations, we need to spread conflict to manage commodity prices.
Saddam killed "his own people" because they were his opposition, just like Bush sends troops to die in Iraq-the E grades mostly won't vote for him, so let them go. This conflict was a war for profit from top to bottom, beginning to end, and there is no way to put a noble shine on it despite the imbecilic repetition of outdated talking points from the ex-liberals and the minions.
Halliburton is up, so are the oil companies' profits (record!), and a whole new industry of mercenaries run from US soil has grown up as a result of government largesse. The response of the Republicans in Congress was to throw out the auditor and eliminate his position, and throw more money down the toilet. The GOP is destroying America and creating a new nation, no doubt based on the pre-war South or pre-revolution Cuba, where jackbooted thugs maintain order for the elites. They are using our fear against us, and our ignorance, and our lack of critical information, and no one is going to help us fix it.

Posted by: Biff Spaceman on November 19, 2006 at 8:05 PM | PERMALINK

egbert: "Had we not gone in there, we'd be in a lot more trouble today."

Presumably, he's talking about (or at least from) the territory just north of his sphincter. Guess 'someone' had to stay in the bunker with Der Fhrer.

Posted by: Kenji on November 19, 2006 at 8:07 PM | PERMALINK

Fair enough, I was joking at the emphasis of your "obivious liar" charge.

Sure, why not? Since "ex-liberal" is, after all, and has been, an obvious liar, and you know it, you might as well joke -- you have nothing else.

what proof do you have to reference your claim that Saddam had not kicked out the inspectors

Why, your own Wikipedia -- heh -- entry. It confirms, does it not, that Clinton had them withdrawn in advance of the attack. "Withdrawing" != "kicking out," as you well know. "Not letting back in" -- irrelevant, of course, since there were no WMDs to inspect, and we therefore had little interest in doing so -- != "kicking the inspectors out".

And of course all that doesn't begin "ex-liberal"'s lie that Clinton's eliminating once and for all whatever minimal threat Iraq might have posed was "feckless." We've already seen, upthread, that Iraq was selected as a target in part because it posed no threat. We knew, from the inspections, that Iraq posed no threat, whatever bellicosity Saddam may have displayed in cooperating with the inspectors. The best "ex-liberal" can do is point to Saddam's failure to document his posession of weapons he didn't have.

You have nothing, "minion," nothing but lies and the support of liars. If that reality is too much for you, I suggest you go back to your conservative echo chamber, where you can pat yourself on the back with the fantasy that Iraq posed a threat.

Posted by: Gregory on November 19, 2006 at 8:10 PM | PERMALINK

Biff continues to use the tired phony factoids of the left. For the record, the US did not sell Saddam weapons. Less than 1% of his weaponry in Gulf War I was of US origin. He bought mostly from Russia and France, his bitches in the UN. What we did sell that was evenually converted or used in his chem weapon arsenal [by the dastardly Rumsfeld] were dual use commodities. When we later cracked down on dual use items we got the response you saw from Enoz above. America will always be damned if we do and damned if we don't by those with a Freudian need to hate authority figurs, or success figures, or dynamic societies as opposed to corrupt, dysfunctional ones. Someday some of you will get a more realistic worldview, but most of you will be here for the duration.

Posted by: minion on November 19, 2006 at 8:13 PM | PERMALINK

Last post of the night, thanks guys.

Greg,

Saddam did have a little interest in cooperating with the inspectors -- getting sanctions lifted and saving 500,000 kids from starvation/disease.

Night all.

Posted by: minion on November 19, 2006 at 8:17 PM | PERMALINK

Any fair person would admit that the overwhelming concern about WMDs was about poison gas or biological weapons, not nukes.

where are the WMDs ?

You are willing to take Saddam's word that he had nothing to get rid of, despite the fact that he allowed 500,000 children in his country to starve in order to preserve the illusion, if not the fact, that he had such weapons.

i don't have to take his word for it - we didn't find anything. no WMD. zip. nothing to declare. nothing to diclose. nothing to disarm. QED.

and, the second part of your sentence has nopthing to do with the rest. so i should just conclude that you're just another pathetic dishonest apologist for the people who have been wrong about everything.

but, if you're so fucking worried about the children of Iraq, why aren't you weeping like a little girl about the ten (hundreds?) of thousands that we've killed ? huh ?

Posted by: cleek on November 19, 2006 at 8:27 PM | PERMALINK

The notion that the liberals have a distorted worldview is pretty funny coming from someone whose daddy complex requires that he believe any bullshit coming from an authority figure. Hell, you name yourself minion; that is, one who is subservient to an authority a pretty powerful statement of your desire and ability to think for yourself.

Hussein was not a threat. He did not have WMDs. This is the historical record. When guessing about something important you ask history to be your judge. Well, Bush guessed that Hussein was holding out. Bush was wrong. By being wrong Bush has killed thousands of soldiers based (at best) on a guess and most likely based on a lie. The evidence that Hussein had anything actionable was always questionable. There was no casus belli which means that the invasion was unprovoked. This isnt because I have a problem with authority it is because I have a problem with those who murder based on guesses.

Posted by: heavy on November 19, 2006 at 8:33 PM | PERMALINK

Look, it is really simple. The nuclear argument was brought out because the chem/bio weapons werent enough to convince the American people for a reason to immediately invade Iraq, pure and simple. The one piece of physical evidence (aluminum tubes) was doubted by the top experts on nuclear weapons in the American intelligence community, the IAEA report as I said never existed, the Niger claim was based on the assumption that the only reason Iraq would try to open trade negotiations with Niger was for uranium (the trying to bust the sanctions regime possibility apparently went completely over their heads) and there was simply not one credible source from Iraq that provided any real evidence other than their word (we all know the word of the Iraqi exiles Bushco relied on via Chalabi turned out to be worthless on the WMD issues especially the nuclear ones). This was never a credible nuclear security threat, it is the reason the deceptive term "WMD" was used at every opportunity, it is clearly the argument that started turning public opinion in support of the war, especially with the "smoking gun being a mushroom cloud" rhetoric Bushco started engaging in, and it is also clear that the Bush Administration had to know at the minimum that they were grossly exaggerating things if not simply lying through their teeth altogether on this point.

The nuclear case made is something truly obscene by any American Administration, and in the service of creating the worst strategic disaster in foreign policy in American history only underscores just how disconnected from any sense of reality Bushco was. What it also showed was their willingness to play on American fears from 9/11/01 with the blatant repetition of the idea of Saddam giving nukes to terrorists to use on the American cities, something which was IMHO the most blatantly disgusting use of an American tragedy in the cynical pursuit of an ideological war in this case cloaked in the deception of a nuclear threat to play upon the fears that tragedy had created in the American people. This was used by the GOP message machine and think tanks to drown out from most sources any reasonable voices of dissent and to prevent the actual reasonable intelligence and knowledge about the nuclear (and other issues like the idiotic idea Saddam had anything to do with 9/11/01) issue from reaching the general public. One had to want to do some actual work researching the available information in the public domain to know the reality of the situation, and the vast majority that had been propagandized by their fear of a nuclear 9/11/01 refused to see these voices as anything other than defeatists and traitors to American security when they saw them at all thanks to the Bushco/GOP media machine. This is what Bushco did with the nuclear argument and all those that aided in its dissemination and refused to speak against/discredits it own some share of responsibility for the Iraq war and all the negatives that have already and will continue to come from it over the following decades.

This is why the nuclear claim needs to be investigated and why it must be hauled into the light of day. It was not only the most blatant deception/weak thread in the Administration's argument, it was the thread that turned public opinion from against to for the Iraq war. That makes it the pivotal argument for how this war came about, and if the American people had their fears manipulated by those that knew better (or should have known, at this level ignorance is not an acceptable excuse, especially on such serious security issues) that the biggest fear (a nuclear 9/11/01 was the result of not disarming Iraq via invasion) scenario had no basis in truth/reality such can only be seen as true treason against America and her Constitution and most certainly be a high crime indeed. Those that would perpetrate such a fraud on the American people and worse in the service of such a monumental disaster as Iraq has been from the very beginning must be held to account if only to make clear what would happen to the next bunch in power that thought they could act in such a manner with the honour and soul of the American people and their reputation as a good people amongst the rest of the world.

I know I tend to sound to some like a broken record on this, but it is because I believe this so strongly that I continue to make this argument. The nuclear lies this Administration told are the clearest example that the Iraq war was never about security, was always a war of choice nor necessity, and that the reasons told to the American public are not the reasons (whatever they truly are) that actually motivated the President and his fellows in their pursuit of this war. Anyone that helped this Administration sell the nuclear case by either aiding in its dissemination or even by not bothering to verify and once the flaws were discovered challenge the nuclear argument has to accept they aided in the decisive lie that sold the Iraq war to a hurting American people that wanted to trust their leader more than anything after the brutal attacks of 9/11/01. That simply cannot be overlooked, it is one of the most horrible perversions of the trust the American people bipartisanly extended this President, they trusted him to be honest about the threat when he told them he could not show them his intelligence on it, and they were sold a clear bill of goods according to that intelligence as became apparent over the last three years as bits and pieces leaked out. It was this lie that not just put me into opposition in 2002 to this war, it is what caused me to go into a very passionate and intense opposition to this war and to any decision makers that saw this lie as acceptable, in short the entire Bush Administration (senior members and national security cabinet level officials) save perhaps Powell (who was isolated by the real powers within the WH at that time). To lie about something we all know is a fear that was inculcated in Americans as well as the rest of the planet for over 4 decades to play upon the fears awakened by the 9/11/01 attacks is something so perverted America really needs to cleanse it from its soul while Bushco is still in office if it wants any chance of redeeming its honour within the next decade(s). Not only was there lying, they lied about nukes, what most human beings on the planet see as the most serious weapons capability in the planet. This *CANNOT* be allowed to go unexamined and unaccountable for now that there is the final chance to do so while Bush is still in Office.

One last point. The nuclear argument was presented in the remaining three months of the 2002 midterms, the first election after 9/11/01, where everyone knew security was going to be decisive as well as their willingness to trust and work with the Commander in Chief on security issues. That such a deception was injected in the political process of an election (let alone an election in such circumstances as 2002 was) is something that underscores just how much everyhting, even the most vital national security issues are seen first as political issues/concerns than anything else by this Presidency. Anyone that can see this as acceptable in any President of whatever party has shown their lack of committment and understanding of the American system of government and society/history/culture. That is in many ways the insult to the injury/salt in the wound on this matter IMHO. This was exactly the sort of thing the Founding Fathers of America wrote their Constitution to prevent happening in their country, as anyone that has actually bothered to study them would and should be very well aware of, especially American citizens!

Posted by: Scotian on November 19, 2006 at 8:41 PM | PERMALINK

Oh and lets not forget about Dana Milbank and those aluminum tubes, and how those tubes were not designed for nuclear development. Remember the note White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer wrote to the Washington Post complaining about Dana Milbank's article.

This adminstration lied alot about WMD.

Posted by: Cheryl on November 19, 2006 at 8:51 PM | PERMALINK

"Just to be clear about this: in 1990, Iraq built a workable nuclear wepaon. All it lacked was the fissile material. "

WTF? What exactly is a workable nuclear weapon without fissile material? A tube with some explosive at one end?

In further breaking news, I have built in my basement a working chemical weapon; I only lack the sarin to fill it with. I also have a working biological weapon that is lacking only some smallpox bacillus, and I have a working ICBM that lacks only the rocket and the guidance system.

[For the less-bright among our readers who now feel an urge to report me to the FBI, let me explain that the above paragraph is an example of SARCASM.]

Posted by: Maynard Handley on November 19, 2006 at 9:04 PM | PERMALINK

Irony alert: "minion," of all people, bitching about "tired phony factoids."

Further irony alert: "minion" contending that "the US did not sell Saddam weapons," then conceding that the US did, in fact, do so.

Even further irony alert: "minion" bitching about a "realistic worldview".

Even even further irony alert" "minion," who has been carrying water for Bush's failure in Iraq, bitching about his political opponents -- whose arguments stand unassailed and unrefuted -- having an envy of success. You can take your dime-store psychology and cram it, as far as I'm concerned.

Last word for "minion": Saddam did have a little interest in cooperating with the inspectors -- getting sanctions lifted and saving 500,000 kids from starvation/disease.

Um, "minion," unlike the straw man -- yet another fallacy for your hit parade! -- you seem to be implying, no one is saying that Saddam was a decent guy. The contention is that Saddam was no threat to the United States. You want to justify Bush's disastrous invasion by insisting there was some pretext, and you embrace any dishonest argument to justify the quagmire that you yourself don't support except by empty words. That dog just won't hunt, "minion."

Posted by: Gregory on November 19, 2006 at 9:08 PM | PERMALINK

Peterson, re: your citations from David Kay and the Duelfer Report:

You conveniently neglected to cite Kay's later remarks when he had dropped the Syria theory (it just became impossible for him to cover for the administration any longer) and unequivocally stated there had been no WMD's. In fact, he felt it was both urgent and incumbent upon the adminstration to publicly admit they'd been entirely wrong about WMD's in order to preserve their credibility.

You only could have been more disingenous had you cited his public remarks of about six months earlier where he'd hinted that they'd actually found banned weapons and promised a big surprise. There's a man who just needed a long walk before finding the courage resist the pressures of the administration that had hired him.

Saying the reason that WMD's haven't been found is because they've been moved to Syria is like saying the reason we haven't found Bigfoot is because aliens are hiding him; it's nothing more than the desperation of true believers.

As for the Duelfer Report, it stated conclusively that Iraq had no WMD's and had not had any WMD programs since 1991.

Posted by: trex on November 19, 2006 at 9:38 PM | PERMALINK

Serious main stream analysts did not believe Iraq had an active nuclear program. You can make poison gas or biological weapons in reasonably small easily hidden facilities, but a nuclear program, whether uranium or plutonium based, requires an industial sized facility which can be easily spotted by the power lines feeding it and the small but easily detected radioactive emmisions. Once Hans Blix reentered Iraq and found nothing, no serious knowlegible analyst believed Iraq had an active nuclear progrm.

Posted by: fafner1 on November 19, 2006 at 9:40 PM | PERMALINK

FYI: I saw Castor Bean plants growing wild in Runyon Canyon. For those not from Los Angeles, that area is Southern California's ground zero for Homosexual sleeper cells and the gay marriage agenda.

Thousands of gay men travel there each week, America-hating pugs in tow, and are perfectly capable of extracting and deploying Ricin, in their continued war against Christmas. Some believe that Saddam Hussein and his Islamofascist allies are ready to strike at a moments notice. Remember the Maine. Bark!

Posted by: enozinho (wetorture.com) on November 19, 2006 at 10:01 PM | PERMALINK

Ok that's the end of this thread.

It started with Pollack's very funny statement on nuclear weapons without fissile materials, which probably sounds plausible to horny men without dicks. It should have ended with the statement by another idiot above who justifies the fiasco by saying that Saddam did not provide the list of WMDs that he had.

Posted by: gregor on November 19, 2006 at 10:08 PM | PERMALINK

Scott Ritter.

What's Beinart's excuse for not listening to Scott Ritter?

Seriously.

Posted by: Pocket Rocket on November 19, 2006 at 10:49 PM | PERMALINK

You suspect that the real reason Beinart supported the Iraq War was because he thought that liberal democracy in the Arab-Muslim world was the answer to the threat of radical Islam and that the only country Washington could experiment on in this regard and get away with it was Iraq.

Beinart is a smart man - smarter than me - but he's only half-clever at the game of empire. His Cold War analogy is a case in point. You could have a cold war with the Soviet Union and have civil liberties too, but you can't have a war on terror and also have civil liberties as we've known them. In that sense, this conflict (to the extent that the word conflict is appropriate) *is* more analogous to other major periods of crisis in American history (the Revolution, Civil War, Second World War), even if the WWII analogy is in most other senses facile and stupid. Beinart went to Yale, and I went to one of those northeast liberal arts colleges where parents dump the prep school rubbish; I gather he's aware of all this. And if he isn't Peretz should make me editor of that magazine.

Posted by: Linus on November 19, 2006 at 11:01 PM | PERMALINK

And just in case it isn't clear why it is stupid to make the Cold War analogy (to a room full of presumed liberals) the fact of the matter is that many liberals - and certainly not many liberals alive today - were ever altogether that enthusiastic about being cold warriors.

On the other hand, when Kissenger and other Republican elites pitch all that bullshit about losing Vietnam (or Iraq) because of the liberal press, and the spineless liberals in Congress to their own, they eat it up because that's what they believed all along. It isn't what the brighter conservative elites believe, but that's the nature of rhetoric.

If Beinart had really wanted to challenge liberals, he might have invoked the Lincoln brigades, and other anti-rightist causes with which today's left has some sympathy.

Posted by: Linus on November 19, 2006 at 11:15 PM | PERMALINK

I fully agree. By the way my name is also KEVIN DRUM, I live in Georgia and im a firefighter. I wonder if we are related?

Posted by: kevin on November 20, 2006 at 12:09 AM | PERMALINK

ex-liberal, you are totally delusional.

Posted by: cal on November 20, 2006 at 12:59 AM | PERMALINK

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糖尿病治疗 Posted by: fgfdg5 on November 20, 2006 at 1:46 AM | PERMALINK

Gregory wrote: "Not letting back in" -- irrelevant, of course, since there were no WMDs to inspect, and we therefore had little interest in doing so

Uh, Gregory: there were WMDs in Iraq in 1998. Saddam, had large quantities of chemical weapons, according to the UN inspectors. To this date, nobody has accounted for those chemical weapons stockpiles. Saddam may have destroyed them, but he provided no evidence that he did so, although he was required to provide such evidence.

Anyhow, even if there hadn't been any WMDs at a point in time, Saddam could have re-built his supply later. He had the will and the money. So, continued UN inspections were vital. The lack of inspections(among other things) was why all the world's leaders believed that Saddam had WMDs in 2003.

Posted by: ex-liberal on November 20, 2006 at 2:11 PM | PERMALINK

The threat didn't work well enough. As you will recall, Saddam had agreed (and the Security Council had required) that Saddam provide a complete list of all his WMDs telling where they were

A list of WMD that they didn't have ?

I think they did provide a report saying they were in compliance and the Bush administration ignored it.

Posted by: Stephen on November 20, 2006 at 2:17 PM | PERMALINK

...there were WMDs in Iraq in 1998. Saddam, had large quantities of chemical weapons, according to UN inspectors.

That is simply not true, ex-liberal. Saddam did not have large quantities of chemical weapons in 1998.

Please provide the precise source where UN inspectors say that Saddam had large quantities of chem weapons in 1998.

You are confusing the facts. On purpose?

Posted by: Wonderin on November 20, 2006 at 2:27 PM | PERMALINK

And, ex-liberal, even if Saddam did have "large quantities of chemical weapons" in 1998, can you tell me precisely how those weapons would have posed an existential threat to the United States?

What was Saddam going to do, fire chemical shells at the aircraft enforcing the no-fly zones?

Posted by: Wonderin on November 20, 2006 at 2:29 PM | PERMALINK

"The UN inspectors were allowed into Iraq only under the threat of imminent attack from George Bush. Had we backed off the war threat, I believe Saddam would have kicked the inspectors out, just as he did in 1998."

I'm sorry, pure hypotheticals are no basis for the shedding of blood, no matter what Apocalypic Ethics tells you. Cite the evidence that Saddam hid his weapons. Explain how the threat of armed intervention couldn't have continued to limit his actions.

If at any point he kicked out the Inspectors, he would have faced military action.

Posted by: Jim H on November 20, 2006 at 2:50 PM | PERMALINK

Stephen: A list of WMD that they didn't have?

No, a list of what had happened to the WMDs he had been known to have. E.g., if Saddam had told the UN inspectors that he had buried the chemical weapons in such and such a place, the inspectors could have verified his claim.

Jim H.: I'm sorry, pure hypotheticals are no basis for the shedding of blood, no matter what Apocalypic Ethics tells you.

This is a difficult question, morally and politically. Some wars are better not being started, e.g. Vietnam. Sometimes, it's right to start a war, even based on hypotheticals. E.g., the world would have been better off if the allies had gone to war against Germany in the 1930's, based on the hypothetical that Hitler wouldn't stop invading countries.

Posted by: ex-liberal on November 20, 2006 at 3:00 PM | PERMALINK

So, ex-liberal, why haven't you put your ass where you mouth is?

If Hussein was such a huge threat, why haven't you joined the Army and gone to Iraq to save Western civilization --instead of recommending so strongly that other people's sons go in your place.

Posted by: Don Williams on November 20, 2006 at 3:40 PM | PERMALINK

Saddam may have destroyed them, but he provided no evidence that he did so, although he was required to provide such evidence.

"ex-liberal" persists in his/her/its dishonesty -- in this case, neglecting to note how Clinton -- fecklessly, of course -- targeted and destroyed the stockpiles identified by the UN inspectors.

You also gotta love -- well, no, you don't, really -- how "ex-liberal" just skates past the fact that his/her/its dishonest claim that Saddam kicked out the inspectors has been completely debunked -- moving on, unabashed and undeterred, to a new line of bullshit. Why do you even bother, "ex-liberal"?

Posted by: Gregory on November 20, 2006 at 3:50 PM | PERMALINK

Jim H. If at any point he kicked out the Inspectors, he would have faced military action.

Jim, the inspectors left due to Saddam behaving badly. The supposed reason was that it was merely not to be there when an attack was planned.

But, the inspectors never returned. Why not? Was it because the UN thought Saddam was no longer a threat? No, it was because they acquiesced to Saddam.

In my book, that amounts to being kicked out. The UN wanted them stay. Saddam wanted them out. They got out and stayed out.

Posted by: ex-liberal on November 20, 2006 at 5:16 PM | PERMALINK

Jim, the inspectors left due to Saddam behaving badly.

"ex-liberal," the inspectors were withdrawn at our request. That point has been made to you over and over again in this very thread. And you continually fail to acknowledge -- again ,despite being corrected over and over again -- that what Saddam "got" was an attack by the President you call feckless that didn't bog us down into a bloody quagmire but did put paid to whatever threat Saddam's weapons may ever have posed.

No matter how dishonestly you represent the facts -- no matter what you claim "it amounts to" in "your book" -- you are, quite simply, lying. And everyone here -- including even "minion," I suspect, not that it bothers him -- knows it.

And no, Saddam was indeed no longer a threat. Containment. Deterrence. It worked for the USSR; it sure as hell worked for Saddam.

Posted by: Gregory on November 20, 2006 at 9:18 PM | PERMALINK

By the way: The supposed reason was that it was merely not to be there when an attack was planned.

"Supposed reason"? You stinking liar, do you have any evidence at all that this stated reason was not, in fact, the actual reason? I call. Put up or shut up.

Oh, yeah -- you never do either, liar. Shame on you.

Posted by: Gregory on November 20, 2006 at 9:21 PM | PERMALINK

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Posted by: fsg on November 21, 2006 at 6:07 AM | PERMALINK

Please do not hesitate to choose. This

Posted by: order ultram on November 21, 2006 at 12:15 PM | PERMALINK

"Had we not gone in there [Iraq], we'd be in a lot more trouble today. And Israel wouldn't even exist." - Posted by: egbert

Sp you're saying we would be in more trouble and that would be becuase... ?

Posted by: jeff on November 22, 2006 at 5:06 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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