Take a memo

Take a memo

: I haven’t written about the Downing Street memo because to me it’s such nonnews: Of course Bush had decided to invade Iraq long before he said so. No one is surprised by that. The scandal here is not that he invaded Iraq — a policy decision about which reasonable and unreasonable people can disagree — or that he was determined to do so as soon as he took office — what politician doesn’t have hidden agendas? — but that he did such a bad job selling it before and after the fact.

It is a scandal of bad PR. And apart from outright theft, aren’t all political scandals about that: transparency, not telling the truth, trying to game the people, trying to treat us as if we’re dumb enough to buy the spin?

I said from the start that WMDs were the wrong justifcation and a dangerous one at that: What happens when we don’t find them? Well, now we know what happens. And the truth is that WMDs were never the real justification. Everyone knows that. So Bush would have been in a stronger position if he’d just told the truth:

1. He should have said that he needed to finish his dad’s job (and clean up his mess) and get rid of the tyrant we let stay in power to murder his own people. This is the humanitarian — yes, liberal — justification for war that is harder to argue against, harder to undercut.

2. After 9/11, he should have said he’d follow the Tom Friedman doctrine (and blame him for it): We have to find a foothold for democracy in the Middle East and why not Iraq?

3. He should have said that we were going to engage terrorists on their turf instead of ours. That’s not to say that the 9/11 terrorists were connected to Iraq, but in the Middle East, you turn over any rock and you’ll find terrorists underneath. That has been the real truth of the Iraq war: Coming there to fight us and bomb Iraqis is a regular terrorist tourist industry.

4. When we took Baghdad, he should have gone on that aircraft carrier not to declare victory but instead to warn of the long, hard, dangerous, costly war ahead. The war wasn’t over. it was just beginning. He should have managed expectations.

But he did none of that. It is a scandal of bad PR.

: SEE ALSO: Jay Rosen on big news now living by the rhythm of the people’s news.

: JEESH: I am amazed sometimes how literal one has to be in the blogosphere. Yes, I said bad PR. It’s a wry way to say he lied — yes, indeed, he wanted to invade Iraq from the first and we all knew it — and he would have been better off if he had told the truth. There, is that clear enough?

  • http://RuthCalvo Ruth

    Sorry, have to disagree. Bad PR doesn’t kill people.
    The regretable fact is that this administration doesn’t balance the costs of its policies against its own aims. – e.g. the war, the budget deficits, social security, immigration, etc.
    It sadly reminds me of something a friend who is a head pastor told me about his experience with people who are sure they hear the voice of God: they always seem to hear it saying exactly what they want it to.

  • http://www.havecoffeewillwrite.com Jeff Hess

    Shalom Jeff,
    If it were the case that there was not a disturbingly large percentage of our population that not only believes that Saddam Hussein had chemical and biological weapons, but that we found them, I’d go along with you.
    But I can’t because those people are out there. As long as people believe the lies, things like the Downing Street Memo are going to be important.
    I had no doubt in 1968 that Nixon was a crook, but it took nearly six years of constant hammering by people who knew it to prove to the rest of the country that it was true.
    B’shalom,
    Jeff Hess

  • Sherard

    I have to disagree also. But on the grounds that there was virtually NOBODY that disagreed there were WMD in Iraq prior to the war. And that INCLUDES countries that opposed the war.
    Not to mention that the bill authorizing US forces to invade Iraq includes every single one of the reasons you list.
    The real problem is that no matter which of those reasons you pick, the “eeyores” as you call them, would have opposed the war on some ridiculous grounds, including the ever popular “if you are opposed to THIS tyrant, when are you going after North Korea, or this dictator or that dictator?”
    WMD was the most pervasive and widely accepted basis for the war. Nobody ever claimed they simply weren’t there. Only that sanctions and inspections that had been ineffective for the previous 12 years, would somehow be magically effective THIS TIME.
    Oh, and Ruth, seems you are an eeyore. What would be your brilliant solution to the problems of the world post 9/11 ? I shudder to think.

  • Joel S.

    I don’t think you get to go in, years after the fact, and figure out the “truth” about why the President did what he did. We don’t know the truth, and a pro-war person cooking up good reasons now (like humanitarianism) is no different than an anti-war person cooking up bad reasons now (like “a war for oil”).
    And speaking of your reasons,…
    1. If the goal was to get Saddam, then why are we still there? “Mission accomplished,” isn’t it?
    2, 3. Why not Iraq? Oh, I don’t know — why not Saudi Arabia (the birthplace of 15 of the 19 hijackers, the place that bin Laden called home)?
    You can say it’s a PR problem, but it’s really an incompetence problem, a problem of screwed-up priorities. That’s been the President’s problem ever since he took office. Yes, Saddam was a horrible dictator — was he the MOST horrible dictator in the world? Yes, Social Security poses a difficulty — is it the MOST pressing domestic issue we have? Yes, Iraq posed a threat to us — were they the MOST pressing thrat to us? No. No. No.

  • http://www.elflife.com/ carsonfire

    IIRC, when we first entered Iraq, the polls showed something like 70% support for the effort. Bush hadn’t done such a bad job in “selling” it; I recall that the primary frustration of Democrats at the time was that while they kept calling on Bush to make better arguments, they continued losing the debate, anyway.
    JJ’s first three points were already on the minds of most *thinking* Americans at the time, and didn’t need to be explicitly spelled out. In fact, point 3 probably was best left unspoken, albeit obvious. Point 2 I thought was talked about a bit, but was a tough selling point because it was too easily dismissed as Pollyanish. Point 1 was already being belabored by extremists hyperventilating about Bush’s “daddy”, so it’s not like Americans didn’t know that was a factor, anyway. The fact that so much of this was obvious was why Bush won with “bad” arguments while Democrats floundered with arguments that were *really* bad.
    Bush’s opponents are actually the people who never made their argument persuasively, so I’m not sure what Democrats stand to gain by continuing to carp that Bush did a bad job of arguing a debate that they *lost*. Doesn’t that reflect *worse* on Democrats in the long run?

  • David

    Hmmm looks like my “snarky” comments about your non-comments about the memo’s worked. The funny thing is I was about to post a comment in the original discussion apologizing for getting off-topic.
    Trolling is hard work!

  • http://www.elflife.com/ carsonfire

    BTW, seems that there was also an early report… before the actual invasion… some domestic journalist had gotten ahold of some war plans and was smugly parading them everywhere he could in order to prove that we already had intended to invade Iraq, and that by “outing” the administration, he was single-handedly stopping the war machine.
    I couldn’t tell you the name of the reporter, and his story of course got steamrolled by the war machine on its way to Iraq, anyway, but it makes me wonder why the Downing Street memos, if even legitimate, are any kind of factor. Of *course* there were plans to invade Iraq; there were probably plans to invade Iraq, if need be, during the Clinton administration (while we were patiently allowing Saddam to shoot at our planes in the no-fly zone). Bush in 2000 had clearly signalled his intentions to be a domestic President, and it was quite clearly the events of 9/11 that realigned his agenda, transforming tentative Iraq plans into real Iraq plans.
    I believe that the Bush administration had indeed made the decision to invade Iraq before the last round of inspections — no brainer, there — for the simple reason that they (and lots of other people) were pretty sure that the inspections were just another waste of time and would yield no tangible results.
    In light of this, what is the big news story, here? It seems that we still have a split between a population in which half believes that we should continue doing proactive things about terrorism after 9/11, while the other half wants to sit at home and gripe and squabble about nonsensical things like minutes written by British bureaucrats or memos typed on an early 1970s copy of Microsoft Word.

  • http://www.hfienberg.com/kesher/ Yehudit

    Sherard has it.
    Also, invading Iraq, for the same reasons, was on Clinton’s desk, but he didn’t have the political will to make it happen. He got enough “wag the dog” flack for the Balkans. The continuing problem of Iraq was part of the briefing of the outgoing admin to the incoming one. People act like this is some nefarious idea Bush thought up himself for nefarious reasons that weren’t already pertaining.
    I agree to some extent about the PR, but Sherard is right that all the reasons – including the humanitarian one – were given over and over, that Bush and cheney and Rumsfeld all warned that it was going to be a long hard road, and the media willfully misreported all of this.
    To the extent I do agree, Bush underestimated the negative press, and didn’t devote enough energy to repeating the message. I have maintained since 2003 that he should have been doing a 21st c. equivalent of FDR-style fireside chats on a regular basis.

  • http://geekesque.blogspot.com/ Geek, Esq.

    Where I come from, giving people false information in order to sell them on something is described as ‘fraud.’ That’s much worse then merely having bad P.R. skills.

  • franky

    “But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy.”
    The most important thing in the memo is that it demonstrates they lied about the threat in order to scare us in to war against Iraq. WMDs were never a factor and nor was bringing democracy to Iraq and nor was the war on terror. It was about getting access to oil, it was about installing a new military base in Iraq. All carried out by spooking the timid in to a frenzy of panic that nuclear bombs will be set off in Times Sq by Iraqi agents. Fear works well, doesn’t it?
    It amazes how me how many times Bush and co are caught lying and yet there exists beyond the wingnuts a sizeable number of people willing to swallow absurd explanations for the lies.
    Presumably if someone lies about their motives for doing something, don’t we normally assume that the motives are something they would prefer to be hidden?

  • Mike

    The most important thing in the memo is that it demonstrates they lied about the threat in order to scare us in to war against Iraq.
    You get all that from a interpretation of someone’s feelings about minutes of a meeting he wasn’t at? Incredible. I wish I had such insight.

  • franky

    You wish you had the insight to read what was circulated amongst the most senior members of the UK government? Mike, do you think the head of the British Secret Service just comes out of these meetings and maybe mumbles and says he can’t remember what got discussed? Or do you think the head of the secret service comes out of a meeting about going to war 100% sure of every word he’s going to repeat – let me know which sounds more likely to you.
    Has anyone else noticed that the wingnuts really are adopting the philosophy of the old French thinkers who could sit for hours and debate the interpretation of any given object, in fact deciding that objective reality doesn’t exist and that each has its own interpretation all of which are equally valid. Reality is not playing along with the wingnuts delierium so must be destroyed!

  • http://kenwheaton.blogspot.com ken

    Actually, on points 1 to 3, Bush DID do all of those things. But it wasn’t good enough to convince the “international community.” If idealism was a good lever, we wouldn’t have to pussy-foot around whether or not Darfur is a “genocide.”
    The WMD thing was taken up in a pathetic attempt to get the UN on board. Fat lot of good that did.

  • http://blogspot.sloppydawg.com SloppyDawg

    WMD was the most pervasive and widely accepted basis for the war. Nobody ever claimed they simply weren’t there. Only that sanctions and inspections that had been ineffective for the previous 12 years, would somehow be magically effective THIS TIME.
    If there were no WMD, dosn’t that mean that the “ineffective” sanctions and inspections worked?

  • APF

    To say something is “fixed around” is different than to say the results of something were “fixed.” For one thing, the latter is a colloquialism which seems unlikely to find its way into a memo that was circulated amongst the most senior members of the UK government–after all, it is not as though the head of the British Secret Service just comes out of these meetings and maybe mumbles and says something in the voice of pre-Higgins Eliza Doolittle. To say information is “fixed around” the policy means that the evidence is being evaluated relative to a static (“fixed”) position. Which is really not news to anyone, as it was loudly argued by opponents of the war before the fact, and revealed to be the case by investigations into Iraq intelligence after.

  • brandx

    Point number 4 is the great subversion. The right has been consistently declaring victory (we’ve won this war more times than I can count.) Before the war those who warned of problems or high costs were mocked. “Quagmire” was a joke.
    But now if not a quagmire we have some pretty deep mud, despite victory after the elections it goes on and still rather (thas as McCain recently lectured) celebrate success after it occurs, don’t predict with full certainty, we are evidently winning, indisputably winning, those who doubt are dirty “leftists” who are turning the US people (who a couple of years ago had indomitable will,) the only word is “traitor” because we are winning, always winning, and even though the MSM doesn’t report that electricity is roughly what it was 2 years ago, that food rations have fallen in many places, that corruption is rampant, that the only effective units are ex Republican Guard militias fond of old tactics, that the medical system is falling apart, that serious signs of sectarian conflict have emerged… it is somehow doing all to undermine the effort as blatant commies like Hagel who hate America not to mention pinko Zinni betray us we are winning… winning, always winning… no sacrifice necessary except to silence the bad people who upset us…
    It does demoralize when 6 months later the great victory isn’t there, but is replaced by another. The “enemy within” is to blame, we won 2 years ago and if the msm was not an enemy of civilization all news would be good news.

  • franky

    Sorry for the large quote, but in its entirety what the British reporter thought of the word “fixed” used by another Englishman:
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/discussion/2005/06/14/DI2005061401261.html
    “There are number of people asking about fixed and its meaning. This is a real joke. I do not know anyone in the UK who took it to mean anything other than fixed as in fixed a race, fixed an election, fixed the intelligence. If you fix something, you make it the way you want it. The intelligence was fixed and as for the reports that said this was one British official. Pleeeaaassee! This was the head of MI6. How much authority do you want the man to have? He has just been to Washington, he has just talked to George Tenet. He said the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy. That translates in clearer terms as the intelligence was being cooked to match what the administration wanted it to say to justify invading Iraq. Fixed means the same here as it does there.”

  • Burt Worm

    Jeff, you should maybe read the DSM. Your number 1 justification for the war–regime change–was unacceptable to the British because it is explicitly unacceptable to the international community. It’s the main reason, as the Minutes put it, that the facts had to be “fixed around the policy.”

  • Mike

    OK, franky, so now we are to believe a reporter’s interpretation of another person’s interpretation of another person’s transcription of meeting minutes. Is that how it goes now?

  • http://www.lexalexander.net Lex

    Jeff, to dismiss the lies of this administration as simply “bad PR” is to minimize just how well the administration’s PR campaign actually worked.
    It’s also to minimize the moral and legal issues involved in falsifying the reasons for sending the nation’s military into harm’s way, but I gather that in your case that train left the station a long time ago.

  • Linda Edwards

    The Downing Street Memos acknowledge the Brits knew that the war was illegal. Your points 1 – 4 don’t make it legal.

  • APF

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/discussion/2005/06/14/DI2005061401261.html
    …is saying no more than, “it is so because I say it is so.” Latching on to that word, while ignoring everything else in these memos, or in the preparations for the war, or in investigations into Iraq intelligence in both countries as well as worldwide, reminds me of someone who, when confronted with clear evidence, would choose to ignore or spin that evidence to support their original, fixed position. Which Would Be Wrong.

  • http://www.runningscared.org/ Jazz

    Possibly the worst thing I’ve ever read on any blog, mostly because you don’t expect it from a Moderate. This post marks a sad day for the Buzz Machine.

  • franky

    APF,
    In order to disagree with that intepretation of what is clearly an unambigious use of the term would require you to ignore all the investigative journalism that showed in the run-up to the war that intelligence gathering was deliberately changed in order to provide the murkiest most unreliable evidence as proof of possession of WMDS and then you would have to ignore the fact THERE WERE NO WMDS.

  • Barry

    Ok, so Clinton lied about getting a BJ in the oval office and needed to be impeached for it.
    Bush lies about reasons sending the country to war and ending the lives of 1,700 (and counting) American soldiers and who knows how many *innocent* Iraqis, and the response is: “lies are ok, we need to be proactive against terrorism?”
    Seriously? Now lies are ok? Leave it to the right to justify the double standard.

  • APF

    While I would like to agree with you–that it was clearly an unambiguous use of the word–the fact that people are having this argument shows that it is clearly not unambiguous. The rest of your comment is IMO a caricature of events, unfortunately.

  • Mike

    double standard?? What the hell are you talking about Barry? Seriously? Who has proved that Bush lied? What standards of proof do you or anyone else for that matter, have that Bush intentionally lied to Congress and the American public? Remember Congress voted overwhelmingly in favor of this war. Some members of Congress also have access to the same intelligence briefings that the President did, yet still they voted in favor of war. Why is that???
    Unless you think that in some deranged plot to take down Saddam Hussein, GWB conspired with Tony Blair (and both countries intelligence communities) to cook the books of evidence against Iraq in order to pull a fast one on the American people and Congress. He then lied to the public and presented fake documented evidence to Congress so he could obtain their approval for war. And that he did this without a single person leaking any of this plot to the media, with the exception of someone’s interpretations of someone feelings in the minutes of one of these secret meetings.
    Yeah, sounds like a foolproof plan to me.

  • franky

    I don’t think the fact that we’re debating this is the fault of the word but rather a reflection of the unwillingness of those on the right (sorry for assuming your political beliefs, but I really can’t imagine anyone else objecting to such a clear cut use of the term) to concede any criticism of the president and the unethical and totalitarian way this country was lied to war.
    That there was no WMDS is a caricature? That intelligence gathering was deliberately changed, to remove safeguards on any old trash being taken in was well-documented by Seymour Hersh in the New Yorker before the war.

  • IcallMasICM

    Well TANG didn’t work, then the baloney about voting machines, then an Ohio recount didn’t work, let’s try something else now.

  • Michael

    Jeff, you’re way off the mark, and I don’t mean with regard to PR. Oh, sure, maybe a whole bunch of us doubted Dubya’s intents on Iraq or anything else. But the most troubling element is to have a pile of highly damning material to support those beliefs! It’s one thing to disbelieve, it’s a whole other thing to disbelieve due to evidence, information, etc.
    I’d say we’ve all been beautifully played by the Administration unless (until?) someone has the balls to stand up and ask the tough questions. Instead, we quibble over who’s right, who’s left, and the semantics of “fixed”. Or, it’s a “scandal of bad PR.” Yeah, right.

  • scot

    Jeff,
    Going to war under false pretexts is just a bad PR scandal? Are you high?
    Maybe to you, ruler of this little Web page, there were other, better reasons for attacking Iraq. But to people who actually bear responsibility there are consequences and laws against such infractions. One of them is impeachment.
    Get a grip.
    Scot

  • franky

    Jeff, so you start saying that there’s a humanitarian motive for the war (point number one). Then you repeat the flypaper strategy (number three) of turning all of iraq in to a middle eastern wide battle ground between us and all the middle eastern terrorists. Since when did turning someone’s home in to a warzone become an act of humanity?

  • Ptolemy

    What are the Leftists waiting for? You have all the evidence you need, apparently. Go for it. Your leaders have no problem slandering their fellow Americans in uniform, why should they be hesitant about directly attacking the real focus of all their hate. His popularity is crap and he never seems interested in explaining his point. Attack now. Everyone show their hand and shut up about it. He’s not going to go anywhere at this rate. Your (possibly) valid points just look like one more head of the left-wing hate Hydra at this point. Stop desperately searching for validation for your pre-war views. Quit alluding to evidence that can never be challenged in the light of day. Just show what you have and hope for the best. You are obviously smarter than the average American. Show the sheep in a formalized and televised hearing. Surely Byrd, Durbin, and Boxer can organize this and take the heat they’ll get. Anything is better than keeping America limping through the next two years.
    Many of us already believed he hyped the info. I never felt threatened by Saddam. It was the argument he thought would win over the doubters. He forgot that America is far more despised than any third world dictator.

  • patm

    Jeff,
    What on earth could you possibly have been thinking when you wrote this?
    Bad PR? Are you freaking serious?
    So you don’t care about the DSMs because you, of course, knew all along that Bush was lying to the American people about the real reasons for the war.
    You say: “Bush would have been in a stronger position if he’d just told the truth”
    So, the President lied, you know he lied, and the only part of it that bothers you is that it weakened his position? Seventeen hundred American soldiers are dead; thousands more are injured; God knows how many innocent Iraqis are dead; the situation in Iraq careens haphazardly along with no end in sight — and the most you can muster is to call the whole pile of shit a “scandal of bad PR”?
    Shame on you.

  • http://oodja.blogspot.com Jersey Exile

    What are the Leftists waiting for? You have all the evidence you need, apparently. Go for it.
    Patience, Ptolemy. Patience!
    Nothing can save this Administration now–it will be a singular pleasure to watch every single lie told by these sorry excuses for humanity come back to haunt them as the “sheep” grow restless. Ideologues like you and Jeff may be willing to sacrifice the lives of countless servicemen and women on behalf of mistruth piled upon mistruth, but the average American isn’t.
    Oh, I’ll admit that ex post facto justifications for the invasion like Jarvis’ sounded very high and mighty in the whirlwind of invasion and liberation, but nowadays they have the unmistakable whiff of desperation about them.
    Didn’t you read the latest GQ? Saddam is now a harmless kook who likes Doritos. His evil–however manifest–is now yesterday’s news, whereas the evils perpetrated against the American people and others in the name of “freedom” are just coming to light.
    It’ll be fun to watch you all inevitably jump ship as it becomes clear that this invasion is going to denounced by everyone on the Right but the most profoundly demented. The exodus has already begun in Congress and the MSM, which had such a stiffy for the war that it was sickening to anyone who’s ready about William Randolph Hearst and his role in fomenting the Spanish-American War. I can’t wait for Jeff’s post six months from now: “Everyone knew that this invasion wasn’t about freedom, but a terrible, terrible mistake.”
    I guess some of us are a little ahead of the learning curve than others.

  • APF

    I agree it’s not the word’s fault you are deliberately misinterpreting its meaning; rather it reflects someone who has fixed their mind on the idea that “Bush lied,” and thus their interpretation of the facts are fixed around this preconception, rather than evaluating them objectively.

  • Scot

    “Both of us didn’t want to use our military. It was our last option,” said President Bush, when British Prime Minister Tony Blair visited Washington, D.C., on June 7, 2005.

  • franky

    To all the pro-war crowd:
    wasn’t there a time you at least tried? didn’t you at least half believe in what you were saying? Now, we’re moving in to Bill Clinton territory (“what the definition of is is”). Is it really that hard just to admit that you were wrong? Wrong on the motivations of the war and wrong on the outcome?

  • franky

    Sorry this is too funny
    http://www.drudgereport.com
    “The jailed former Iraqi leader described how Reagan, who was president during the time of Iraq’s 1980-88 war with Iran, sold him planes and helicopters. “Reagan and me, good,”‘ Saddam said, according to the article by Lisa DePaulo in the July issue that goes on sale June 28.
    “He said, ‘I wish things were like when Ronald Reagan was still president,”‘ said one of the soldiers who guarded him.”
    So now the question for the wingnuts: why did Reagan hate America? Will junior congressmen from wingnutlandia stand up to demand a posthumous censure of the president?

  • http://www.elflife.com/ carsonfire

    To all the pro-war crowd:
    wasn’t there a time you at least tried?

    No, Franky, the problem is that the pro-war crowd gets argued at mostly with sheer nonsense that’s not really worth responding to. If I were to jump up and down at you and insist that your illegal hair was dyed purple because of a sinister plot hatched by Ed Wood in the 50s while filming “Plan 9 From Outer Space”, and I’ve got third-party memos retyped from originals destroyed in order to protect the innocent, you would be well within your rights to laugh me off.
    We know what the deal is with WMDs: Saddam apparently didn’t have the program we thought he had, that he had led us to believe he had; meanwhile, his habit of shooting at our planes and playing games with inspections did nothing to promote confidence. This is not splitting hairs or playing semantic games. This is simply what happened. In response, the left has launched barrage after barrage of non sequiturs and insults. We’ve even got pretend impeachment games taking place in basements.
    If it wasn’t for the deleterious effect all of this has on the safety of our soldiers and innocent Iraqis, it would be completely comical.
    Case in point: So now the question for the wingnuts: why did Reagan hate America?
    This isn’t an argument, Franky, it’s practically a comedy routine. You went through several loops of illogic to get to that, the primary being, of course, that Reagan was president in the 80s, not the early 21st century, directly after Jimmy Carter and the Iran hostage situation (context).
    Like Saddam, my folks liked Reagan and never cared too much for the Bushes. In the comedic logic of today’s left, my folks would suddenly equal Saddam! Today’s warped leftist logic is fluid, silly, and outrageous.

  • Cognito

    Jeff’s right!
    Who needs Congressional approval for invading sovereign nations?
    Presidents should always be allowed to use fearmongering, big lies and jingoism in order to hatch their secret, predisposed plans.
    Lying before Congress in order to achieve these secret, predisposed plans is no big deal at all.
    Why…it’s ìnonnewsîÖwhatever the hell that is.

  • franky

    Sorry, but I’ve been told by so many people that Saddam was Hitler, Saddam was Stalin etc. But I guess he’s only those things in the 21st century and wasn’t in the 20th century. That definitely shows that the wingnuts are very careful and principled with their historic analogies.
    “This is not splitting hairs or playing semantic games.”
    When you can’t accept the word “fixed” it’s not even semantic games or splitting hairs – it’s just fingers in ears and singing loudly that you can’t hear.
    Of course when you can compare a memo written on the meeting of the head of our closest ally’s secret service to Plan Nine From Outer Space, why bother debating the facts? unsurprisingly you didn’t!!!
    We’re just full of nonsense – you said links to 9/11, we said not. There were none. You said was an imminent threat. We said not. Not even a threat, let alone imminent etc. etc.
    When you are correct about one thing, then you can start using the word nonsense.

  • Josh

    Bad PR? How about bad intentions, dishonesty, incompetence? Wow, Jeff, you’ve finally completed your conversion to the conservative leather slave club with this post. Say hello to Michael Totten, Christopher Hitchens and Roger Simon for us.

  • http://tonypierce.com/blog/bloggy.htm tony

    so it’s non-news when the President gets caught lying so he can go play war?
    i learn something new about the media every day.

  • Dan

    Umm, do you see any contridiction at all between goals 2 and 3?
    I assume, by democracy, you want a western friendly democratic, pluralistic society with at least minimul respect for human rights in Iraq.
    Once you realize Iraqis aren’t, well, dumb, then combining that with a “fly-paper” strategy is self-evidently self-destructive.
    “Hi guys, we’re here to give you peace and freedom, hope you don’t mind if we fight a guerilla war against terrorists in your backyard, so we don’t have to fight ‘em in ours. Oh, and please vote for politicians that like us!”
    Brilliant strategic mind you have, Jeff.

  • Linda Edwards

    Interesting thing about those memos. The first one was published May 1. To date, NO ONE in the British Government that would be in a position to know, has denied the validity of the information contained in the memos.
    The Brits really need to learn from the Bushies and their pals. If you scream “BIAS, UNFAIR” long and loud enough, the spineless media will back off.

  • http://journalism.nyu.edu/pubzone/weblogs/pressthink/ Jay Rosen

    With “I don’t get it” irritation, someone asked in the comments at PressThink: Why are you people making such a big deal of the Downing Street Memos, which are “old” and second-hand news?
    Here’s one reply. A representative democracy requires an elected commander-in-chief not only to have reasons, but to give reasons, publicly, for what he chooses to do. This is all the more vital post-1945, where we Americans make war without officially declaring it in order to give the President a freer hand, suspending our own Constitution in the bargain.
    With this war, the reason-giving part of the operation totally failed. But that isn’t what my friend Jeff says, “a scandal of bad PR.” No. If you think reason-giving is PR you have already lost the battle for public choice in politics. It is a basic failure of national legitimacy to have your reason-giving go so awry as it did with this war. If you are a Bush supporter, my view is you should be doubly concerned because, as things stand, actions in Iraq you believe fully legitimate have seen their official rationale (that is, their reason-giving) fail.
    I don’t agree with those who say that because no weapons were found, the war lacks all logic or legitimacy. It might have an alternative logic, a broader and more expansive rationale than: Saddam has weapons, he must be stopped. The broader case has been made, after the fact. Jarvis lists it, point-by-point, in his post. But that isn’t what people voted for, or Congress “voted” on. Something went seriously awry in the reason-giving.
    Just as some of you don’t “believe” the big deal some of us are making about the Downing Street Memos, I don’t believe your small deal making about the Memo’s story of reason-giving and war. Doesn’t ring true to me.

  • http://mtcharleston.blogspot.com Featheriver

    I disagree with Jeff’s reasoning.
    To me Bush lied about why he thought it necessary to invade Iraq. He knew Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11.
    Thousands of people have died needlessly because of Bush’s ignorant arrogance. Ask Cindy Sheehan. Ask an Iraqi.
    As far as I’m concerned Bush is a criminal and should be prosecuted as such.
    All this academic banter about the Downing Street Memo is of no consequence. There is no excuse for people dying because some self-centered ignoramous wanted to take Iraq’s oil to enrich himself and his friends.

  • Nelson G

    Who cares what you think? It’s your job to report the news, not spin it.

  • Ptolemy

    I think this is going to be another Valerie Plame issue. Remember how horrible that was and how Bush was going to fall any minute, Jersey? Remember how Rumsfeld was going to be out of a job last January? Remember how Bush was going to lose last November? Your track record of hope isn’t very good, is it?
    I still believe it was a good thing to do and will benifit the entire world for happening.
    I don’t have much patience because you anti-everythings are getting more dangerous. Dean and Durbin are just the first pebbles of your moral landslide into outright terrorism. If you guys don’t get your way soon I dread what you will excuse and justify doing to your own fellow Americans.

  • Scot

    Ptolemy,
    Don’t you see? Bush’s cover has been blown. This is the beginning of a discovery process.
    The Plame affair is a footnote.

  • Pele

    Money is the root of all evil.

  • Ptolemy

    You may be right, but it just looks like more desperate straw-grasping to me. I’ve seen you guys too worked up before about taking Bush down. I don’t see why this new memo won’t be a footnote as well. I don’t hate the President so obvioulsy I lack the nuance of how sky shattering this event is.

  • Mork

    You rather blithely skim around the real issue here – you acknowledge that Bush lied, but you are prepared to assume without thinking about it that the lies made no difference to anyone.
    But they chose to sell the war on a falsehood. Why?
    Isn’t it obvious: they did not think the American public would support a war if the justification were spelled out honestly?
    So they decided to trick them.
    Are you so far gone that that doesn’t send a shiver down your spine?

  • Veeshir

    As to your points 1.-4., re-read Bush’s speeches from right after 9/11/01 to the State of the Union in 2003, he talks about:
    1. Saddam not living up to his agreements that ended the war in 1991 (cleaning up after dad)
    2. Bringing democracy to the region.
    3.Taking the fight to the enemy (remember “Bring it on” for instance?)
    4. He continually said that it was going to be hard, re-read his speeches from after and including the one aboard the carrier.
    Or just read the Iraq War Resolution from Congress in 2002. That has all those reasons and more.
    It’s not Bush’s fault that you have a faulty memory.

  • Mike

    Well stated Veeshir.

  • http://RuthCalvo Ruth

    Jeff:
    Sorry if I seemed to put your ‘bad PR’ remark into a more serious context than you intended. Obviously, anyone would know that there is more to the issue of Iraq’s handling than a PR problem – but like you I feel sometimes that’s all this administration can handle.
    Sherard, you ask:
    “Oh, and Ruth, seems you are an eeyore. What would be your brilliant solution to the problems of the world post 9/11 ? I shudder to think.”
    Doubtless you can’t be serious, as the ‘world post 9/11′ in the context of my remarks that the administration isn’t computing the costs of its aims would be a pretty large subject.
    The ‘brilliant solution’ is simply governing with the country’s interest in mind. That doesn’t seem so horrific, since it’s the usual art of statesmanship, which may not always work out perfect but does at least aim in that direction.
    I would give as one example the careful crafting of social security in 1983. With good intentions, much can be achieved that is in the best interests of the populace.
    As to leaving Iraq, the Australian administration of East Timor just ending would provide an exhilirating example. Without huge bloodshed the careful setting up of a viable nation has been achieved, and Australia is now exiting. It’s a remarkable achievement, and took quite a few men of good will and vision.
    Also, the ‘eeyore’ designation JJ gave was particularly those resistant to approving Iraqis’ striving toward re-0reating their country. Not guilty.

  • drew’smom

    I don’t give a damn why we went, I just want em all dead.

  • http://bigdirigible.rubberdinosaurs.com big dirigible

    Sorry, Jeff, this one’s just silly. Suppose Bush was a master of PR. That would just be another thing to whine about, wouldn’t it? We’d be hearing about how his admin. is just a bunch of singing and dancing with no real substance. We’ve had several of those administrations recently. No thanks.
    The WMDs are not the reason that Saddam H. had to go. They’re the reason why the civilized world couldn’t wait another dozen years to get around to it. Given the will, the money, and the time, he would eventually have whatever he wanted. He had the will and the money – could a president who took his job seriously give him the time? Sticking our national heads back up our asses for another decade or so and hoping that everything will be all right when we pull them back out would not be a terribly clever policy.
    If you don’t grasp that, and other similar – and very straightforward – factors, then perhaps you’re right – maybe he should have explained things in excruciating detail, over, and over, and over. On the other hand, he owes you – or me, or the NY Times – nothing except his oath of office. In foreign affairs, the Constitution mentions the “advice and consent” of the Senate, no one else – and the “advice” part was obsolete by George Washington’s second term. And for perfectly good reasons, as those of you who read history are well aware.

  • Syl

    The basic assumption of ‘Bush lied’ is wrong. He lied no more than any politician does who spins. The intelligence community itself erred on the side of caution. Blame them, not Bush.
    And, Jeff, you totally missed Bush’s speech on the carrier and only remember what the damn press told you Bush said. That goes for Jay Rosen too.

  • http://talesoftadeusz.blogspot.com Eric R. Ashley

    1. Congress did declare war.
    2. We did find reference strains suited for bioweapons in Iraq.
    3. American soldiers did get exposed to an IED with Sarin.
    4. Bush did list a bunch of reasons, and lefties whined that they wanted him to choose one reason.
    No, Jarvis’s position is not the conservative one. He’s doing the moderate, even liberal thing here.
    And so far as the Conservative Leather Plantation, not true, we on the right are much more staid than that. We only take out the leather on weekends.

  • http://www.43rdstateblues.com BinkyBoy

    Wow, I love reading the comments by the apologists. In their rush to be “right” and to prove that those who are questioning Bush’s tactics are “forgetful” they themselves are forgetting the year working up to Iraq.
    #1) Hans Blix requested 2 more weeks. Blair and Bush said no.
    #2) Daddy Bush said don’t go to Iraq, it will be a quagmire with no clear exit strategy. Ta-da!
    #3) There were small leaks that Cheney and Rumsfeld were constantly visiting the CIA to tell them exactly what intelligence they were expecting.
    #4) The US was increasing flyovers and active radar “attacks” on Iraq installations in the year prior to the war. You’ve all forgotten that and its only been a couple months since that information was leaked.
    #5) All of the intelligence was coming from a questionable source, namely, Chalabi. And now that Chalabi’s intelligence was found to be harmful? He got a promotion.
    There is so much more its just pathetic that I have to put it together, again, for those of you that are so quick to step up and apologize for such a world-class screw up that has killed almost 1800 American soldiers and wounded 12,000 more. That doesn’t even count the uncountable women and children that have died in Iraq because of this invasion. You should be feeling outraged that your fears and paranoias of “big-bad Saddam” were used to dupe you into an obvious lie, yet you just keep rushing to the front to shout out your unswerving loyalty, like that will help you in the future.

  • Josh

    So Jeff, which of your statements should we actually take at face value from now on?

  • http://www.43rdstateblues.com BinkyBoy

    Oh and Eric R. Ashley, Congress never declared war. They voted to give the President broad authority to use force against Iraq.
    Thats different than war, its a military action, not a war, which the veterans from it will find out when they go to get VA loans or medical care (as Vietnam Vets about this).
    But hey, keep deluding yourself, its just sick humor to the rest of us.

  • whodat

    2 more weeks wouldn’t have meant anything. David Kay said “dozens of WMD-related program activities,” were found and that a “2003 preliminary report noted that Iraq had been secretly developing several long-range missiles and seeking forbidden technology from North Korea.” It’s common knowledge he had them before and was going to make them/use them again. Plus all Saddam had to do was to say “c’mon in and let’s get this over with”. But no, he chose to let the brutal sanctions against “his” people continue for 12 years–so you all can save the “innocent people dying” rhetoric. But since you won’t, make sure you give the 12 years of sanctions a mention in your “uncountable women and children” tilt, along with how he treated women and children. If anything this war saved many more lives than have been lost. Binky Boy and the like, you are the ones that actually should have been outraged–for over 12 years. The “unswerving loyalty” is to the people of the world who are raped, bombarded with chemical weapons, tortured, killed and maimed by their own leader.
    Go home and get your shine box.

  • http://www.43rdstateblues.com BinkyBoy

    So why didn’t Bush 1 stop it? Why wouldn’t a Republican controlled Congress move to stop it? Why did it take lies from a village idiot to rouse Republicans to rush into Iraq?
    Oh, and “seeking” isn’t the same as “having”. You can sit there and claim that Saddam was a bad man all you want, yet you blithely ignore other massacres.
    Answer this: If Saddam was so bad, why not try him like Milosovich was tried? Why go to war first? Because their case was made-up. Should Clinton have done more? Yes. But its not my fault he didn’t. I don’t apologize for his failure around Saddam, why are you so quick to apologize for Bush? Why are you so welcoming to the lies that the Bush Administration lays out on a daily basis, yet you and your ilk went after Clinton like Mayor West going after a boyscout?

  • whodat

    I’m not apologizing for Bush. I’m speaking to the facts about WMD. If you want to keep your head in the sand that’s fine. It’s quite obvious that Saddam isn’t all into things like legality and logic. Try him? After he refused for 12 years to comply? Not an option. And let’s not forget that the intelligence was not only Bush’s.
    Saddam continued his defiance–defying the whole world, not just the USA. And refused to comply with the UN sanctions and checks for years, even after being told this was his final chance before military action. And since he cared about all the “innocent people”, he continued to be defiant. And he got many of them killed, not Bush or the USA. And Bush 1 did try to stop it and it was almost all over after the Gulf War. But they miscalculated in letting them try to finish the overthrow. Of course as you noted Clinton should have done more in ’93 as the 1st WTC was a Saddam operative’s gig.
    You say you don’t apologize for Clinton’s Saddam failure and then say I’m apologizing for Bush. I don’t care about any of that and I’m certainly no Bush apologist. But if you don’t think Saddam was “that bad” or a major supporter of terrorism against USA you are wacky.

  • Linda Edwards

    Whodat – Specifically, in recent years, exactly how did Saddam support terrorism against the US (not against Israel, but against the US).
    Specifically. Event, dates, sources. Back up your claim.

  • whodat

    He supported terrorism against the whole world, and mostly against his people by failing to comply with UN sanctions that left his people hurting and their economy crippled. But this of course did not affect the Iraqi leaders. The sanctions also brought forth unnecessary malnutrition and disease suffered by the Iraqis–especially their children. Saddam, however, continued to live high on the hog. The sanctions also affected other nations, like Turkey, who shut down their pipelines when Saddam invaded Kuwait. Their economy and people suffered. Jordan too. Iraq invading Kuwait—there’s your blood for oil.
    As for the US specifically, there was also 1993 WTC bombing. The shooting at our planes. I’m so tired of this. It’s been so documented over and over about his weapons chubby. He always lied and tricked and did anything to avoid compliance. I’m going to bed. How is it no one thinks of the innocent Iraqis from 1991-2003?
    “Each time we review Iraqís compliance, we find new reasons not to trust Iraq. A sobering reality is that Iraq has never met voluntarily any of the demands of the (UN Security) Council . . . Sanctions must be maintained until Iraq is in overall compliance with all of its obligations to the Council.” óMadeline Albright, 1996

  • Linda Edwards

    Once again, you wingnuts are trying to confuse and change the subject. You said specifically that Iraq supported terrorism against the US. You know as well as I do that the 1993 World Trade Center bombing was an Al-Qaeda operation, not an Iraqi operation. I don’t know who you’re trying to kid.
    His weapons chubby? You’re joking, right? Saddam hasn’t had WMD since shortly after the Gulf War. That has been documented in a number of US government reports now.
    Saddam starved his people while living “high on the hog”. True enough. Kim Jong II has been doing this to his own people also, but on a much larger scale. What d’ya say we go in and take this guy out? After all, this is a lunatic that really does have nukes and really is a threat to the US. No? Why not, are you scared the real threat?
    OK, how about if we invade every country that has treated their own people badly. After North Korea, how ’bout we if start on the African continent. Right now, Pres Mugabe of Zimbabwe is busily bulldozing the homes and villages of his own people that he considers threats. He’s even destroying their urban gardens so that these people will be left with NOTHING to eat. That means people starve. This is going on right now, as we speak. Where’s the outcry from Bushie, where’s the calls to action, where’s the invasion plans. The Congo should be next on our list, where millions have been killed in the past few years between militants and soldiers from several different countries. The Sudan maybe? Really folks, we need to get in there, stablize the region, and bring democracy and freedom. This will have a domino affect on all countries in Africa, everyone will be clamoring for democracy and will throw out the dictators. Isn’t that how the theory goes? Oh wait a minute. Other than Nigeria, no real oil reserves in Africa. I guess can put Africa on the back burner.
    China has a long history of human rights violations, how ’bout them? No? Pakistan? Saudi Arabia?
    FYI, Turkey didn’t shut down their pipelines. The UN, WITH US approval, allowed the oil to continue to flow to Turkey and Jordan, in spite of the UN sanctions. Why did we allow this? Because Turkey and Jordan are our allies and their economies would have been devastated without this oil. It made sense to allow the sales, but to bitch about it now, after we gave the OK, is only slightly hypocritical. You watch too much Fox (not necessarily the) News.
    Oh yes, it was so much better for the innocent Iraqi citizens to be killed by Bush’s bombs, I’m sure they appreciated the distinction. At least tens of thousands, if not over a hundred thousand by some counts, died during our initial invasion. Where was your concern about humanity then.
    Your excuses just don’t work anymore. You’ve been exposed, and FINALLY the American people are beginning to recognize it.

  • Linda Edwards

    And should there still be people out there who are naive enough to think our invasion of Iraq made us safer, here or abraod, perhaps you should read about the latest CIA report that indicates just the opposite.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2005/06/22/international/middleeast/22intel.html?pagewanted=all
    You want something to be afraid of? Now you have it. Thanks to our fearless (clueless?) leader.

  • ch2

    You are SUCH an idiot.

  • FGP3

    Linda, You forgot to add our new best friends the “cooks” of Uzbekistan…

  • Eileen

    On Iraq’s ties to Al-Quada:
    IRAQ: FORMER PM REVEALS SECRET SERVICE DATA ON BIRTH OF AL-QAEDA IN IRAQ http://www.adnki.com/index_2Level.php?cat=Terrorism&loid=8.0.169852178&par=0
    http://www.rightnation.us/forums/lofiversion/index.php/t78079.html
    And regarding the same story related to the Ninth Popular Islamist Conference in 1999 hosted by Saddam, with special invitations to Al-Quada:
    “Last year, Stephen Hayes wrote about the Islamist conference in his book The Connection, which outlined a number of such ties between the Saddam regime and the AQ network, as well as other terrorists. Now that the new Iraqi government has possession of Saddam’s old files, they have begun to corroborate Hayes’ work. Far from being an enemy to the Islamists, Saddam reached out to the fanatics as an ally in order to covertly support attacks on Western nations, either directly or indirectly. The IIS records that Allawi has on Zawahiri shows that al-Douri — currently running the ex-Ba’athist insurgency in Iraq — knew who to contact in order to set up those connections.
    Does the Exempt Media report this? Not to my knowledge. They have already set their story line on Saddam and terrorism, and they apparently have no interest in evidence that contradicts it. The media, however, stands willing to report every captured terrorist’s claims of abuse as gospel truth, as well as the Amnesty International’s hyperbolic rhetoric proclaiming the Gitmo detention center — which houses illegal combatants captured in battle — as the equivalent of the Soviet gulag. Small wonder the public continues to lose confidence in the integrity and the objectivity of American media outlets.” http://frontpagemagazine.com/Articles/ReadArticle.asp?ID=18476
    Wonder what else MSM isn’t covering?

  • Eileen

    Apparently I have some block about spelling Al-Qaeda correctly. Apologies.

  • Linda Edwards

    Really, ch2, is that the best you can do. At least Eileen makes a feeble attempt by linking to extremist websites that have the credibility of a flea. Come on, Eileen, Iyad Allawi? Are you joking? Bush’s point man in Bagdad? That has about as much credibility as all those doctored-up oil ministry documents that Chalabi gave Norm Coleman for their witch hunt against the UN.
    Steven Hadley, from the same office that gave us Condi “who ever thought terrorists would take two planes and fly them into the world trade centers” Rice. He hasn’t been right about anything else so far, why in the world should we believe him now.
    Want to know why the MSM isn’t covering this? Because it’s bullshit.
    Write back when you have something serious to say.

  • Eileen

    FU. Do your own search. al-Hayat reported it as well. Is that mainstream enough for you?

  • whodat

    As far as Turkey and Jordan go: http://www.au.af.mil/au/awc/awcgate/awc/97-144.pdf
    As for the 1993 WTC: Hmmm. an Iraqi intelligence operation, led by Ramzi Yousef (an Iraqi agent here with an Iraqi passport), with the local fundamentalists serving first as aides and then as diversionary dupes. http://www.fas.org/irp/world/iraq/956-tni.htm
    Let’s see, then you go on to blabber a bunch of stuff not relevant at all to the issue at hand…
    I don’t watch Fox News very much at all.
    And here is a place to learn about all his ties to terrorism, inextricably linking him to being a threat to the US and the whole world. http://www.husseinandterror.com/
    Please read through the site. Much damning evidence there like:
    Sabah Khodada, a former Iraqi army captain who once worked at Salman Pak (terror camp in Iraq 15 miles south of Baghdad): ìThis camp is specialized in exporting terrorism to the whole world. Training includes hijacking and kidnapping of airplanes, trains, public buses, and planting explosives in cities … how to prepare for suicidal operations. ìWe saw people getting trained to hijack. They are even trained how to use utensils for food, like forks and knives provided in the plane.î And:
    After flying a plane into the pentagon on 9/11, Shakir, an Iraqi VIP facilitator and Iraqi airport greeter, was arrested in Qatar on September 17, 2001. On his person and in his apartment, authorities discovered documents connecting him to the 1993 WTC bomb plot and ìOperation Bojinka,î al-Qaedaís 1995 plan to blow up 12 jets simultaneously over the Pacific.
    And so on.

  • Kirk Caraway

    After flying a plane into the pentagon on 9/11, Shakir, an Iraqi VIP facilitator and Iraqi airport greeter, was arrested in Qatar on September 17, 2001.
    Wow. These terrorists are better than I thought. This guy survived flying a plane into the Pentagon?
    Gee, this post brought out the kooks, didn’t it?
    Jeff, I think you are onto something here. But it’s not just bad PR, it’s that there is nothing but PR. It seems some people think that you can do anything, no matter how bad, if you can spin it with the right PR. This has been going on for a long time, but it has built up under this administration to such a degree that they don’t live in the real world anymore.

  • franky

    Kirk,
    it’s quite a clear separation that our beloved leader and his supporters here have proclaimed: there’s us poor wretches in the reality-based communities and the leader and his martyrs in the faith-based community. Conveniently for them, the whole idea of faith is predicated on the lack of evidence or logic, hence they are not burdened by the boring need to read or know anything about anything to have a firm opinion about something.

  • Linda Edwards

    http://www.husseinandterror.com/.
    So who owns this website? Who controls its content? You say there’s much damning evidence there, but all I see are a bunch of old allegations that have already been discredited by our own Senate Select Intelligence Committee and others. Your site is only regurgitating old rumors like the supposed Atta meeting in Prague with Iraqi officials. Apparently, only you and Cheney still believe that.
    Yousef an Iraqi? First I heard of that. According to http://www.rotten.com/library/bio/crime/terrorists/ramzi-yousef/, and http://www.subcontinent.com/sapra/terrorism/tr_1996_10_001_s.html or http://www.ict.org.il/spotlight/det.cfm?id=5, he’s believed to be Pakistani. But I guess you couldn’t make your slanted point unless you make him Iraqi.
    Perhaps you should read something from a little more reputable source regarding the oil sales to Turkey and Jordan.
    http://www.cnn.com/2005/WORLD/meast/02/02/iraq.oil.smuggle/index.html
    If you think my response to your post is off subject, you might want to ask yourself why you went there in the first place. You’re the one who went on and on about how Saddam was inhumane to his own people. My second response was to that.
    Eileen, I love you, too (smooch).

  • whodat

    Well obviously I misworded the pentagon pilot point. But as I mentioned before, I’m no Bush backer. So the delineation between left and right doesn’t apply to me or the conversation. It’s merely what’s right and wrong.
    So Linda is questioning a report by the air force and the hussein site—which cites sources, by the way and what does she bring forth? rotten.com and cnn.com. um ok.
    “Conveniently for them, the whole idea of faith is predicated on the lack of evidence or logic, hence they are not burdened by the boring need to read or know anything about anything to have a firm opinion about something.”
    Actually Franky Smartbutt, you couldn’t be more wrong. The burden of proof lies with those lacking faith/atheists. They are trying to prove a negative. They hold their position by faith because there is no proof for atheism; there is no evidence that God does not exist; and that atheism only succeeds if it can refute all theistic proofs and evidences. They can only hope to do that, to proofs and evidences which have satisfied some of the greatest minds to ever live.
    So it actually takes more faith to be an atheist than a Christian.

  • Linda Edwards

    Wow, where did THAT come from.
    And you accuse me of blabbering and being off-point.

  • whodat

    Kirk–
    Good point. But it could also be made about those against the invasion of Iraq–spinning PR in favor of Saddam, as if he somehow suddenly became a non-threat to the world and specifically his own people. What’s kookier?

  • whodat

    Linda- it came from Franky’s post. Um it’s the one above your previous.

  • Linda Edwards

    Ah.
    We crossed in the post.

  • franky

    Linda, some counsel – some of the wingnuts here don’t actually ever produce evidence, just link to wingnut sites that themselves don’t provide any evidence just further assertion (“Far from being an enemy to the Islamists, Saddam reached out to the fanatics as an ally in order to covertly support attacks on Western nations, either directly or indirectly”), which then gets repeated here as evidence.
    It reminds me of Homer Simpson as the investigative journalist Mr. X:
    Homer: Who told you that?
    Bart: Nelson.
    Homer: Hmmm. That’s the kind of dirt that belongs on my web page.
    Lisa: You can’t post that on the Internet. You don’t even know if it’s true!
    Homer: Nelson has never steered me wrong, honey. Nelson is gold.
    Bart: You know, it might have been Jimbo.
    Homer: Beautiful, we have confirmation.

  • Linda Edwards

    I love the Simpsons

  • whodat

    I’m glad you like the Simpsons Franky. But if you re-read your posts on this subject, you have not posted anything but opinion, and wacky questions like “Why did Reagan hate America?”.
    So instead of just dissenting and trying to disqualify one’s links, why not refute it with your own sources or links? It’s more effective than condescension, although 2 points for the nice Simpsons reference–verbatim even!
    Star wipe and we’re out…

  • franky

    whodat,
    as much as I would like to claim I remembered the quote from memory I must confess that I used google.
    I must also confess that I’ve ceased to treat those people seriously who still want to argue that there were WMDs in Iraq or that there were ties between Saddam and the attacks on 9/11 (this is not a dig at you, just an attitude formed after months and months posting here arguing with the really out there wingnuts). And you can add to this list of subjects the meaning of the word “fixed”.
    Life is simply too short.
    If a pro-war poster wants to debate something like the future of Iraq, and claim that it will be a jewel of democracy in 5 years time that’s something to seems to me worthy of debate or even that the invasion of Iraq will propel democracy across the region as opposed to rehashing old disputes that were settled long ago.

  • Linda Edwards

    WHodat, if you don’t like my link to cnn, here’s a transcript of a Mar 29, 2005 State Department briefing, where spokesman Adam Ereli admits the oil sales to Turkey and Jordan.
    http://canberra.usembassy.gov/hyper/2005/0329/epf202.htm
    “QUESTION: Could I ask a bit more broadly on Oil-for-Food and some of the oil contracts that Iraq, under Saddam, had? Can you explain why the U.S. permitted what was, in effect, a violation of the embargo in Iraqi sales to Jordan and Turkey, I mean, specifically –
    MR. ERELI: We’ve been over that, I think, pretty — in pretty exhaustive detail and I would also note that our actions on that score are a matter of public record. We informed Congress of our determination that national interests justified a waiver of actions against Turkey and Jordan because of — or on account of their — based on their oil trading, or the trading of oil from Iraq, and that that national interest involved the support certainly that Turkey was providing in Operation Northern Watch and the critical support that Jordan provided U.S. foreign policy in a number of other areas.”

  • Linda Edwards

    And you may want to argue with Wikipedia about Yousef’s origin. While the profile says Yousef’s is probably of Pakistani origin, it certainly doesn’t even suggest he was Iraqi.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ramzi_Yousef

  • franky

    shhhhhhhhhh if you listen closely you can hear the wingnuts whimpering.

  • whodat

    Turkey and Jordan initially were illegally doing it sure. Why? Because the sanctions were killing their countries.
    As for Yousef, if he was from Sweeden it wouldn’t matter. He had an Iraqi passport. He’s linked regardless. And the other bomber, Abdul Rahman Yasin, fled to Iraq to live there freely and with a government salary. There is abundant and undeniable evidence that Saddam Hussein provided money, diplomatic services, shelter, medical care, and training to terrorists of every stripe, including those complicit in the 1993 WTC bombing and ó according to a Clinton-appointed federal judge ó the September 11 attacks. The Iraqi dictator aided al-Qaeda and other global terrorists who murdered Americans, both at home and abroad.

  • Linda Edwards

    If you read http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ramzi_Yousef
    You would have seen that it was a forged Iraqi passport. All the rest of your reponse is, well, blabbering. You haven’t provided one speck of evidence.
    Franky is right, as usual. I don’t know why I waste my time with wingnuts. But I guess I just can’t let blatant lies and deceptions go unchallenged.
    This posting’s about to drop of the face of the earth anyway.

  • whodat

    what and ever. Scroll down on your beloved wikipedia and you’ll read his uncle launched the 9-11 attacks–as part of?? Yousef’s Operation Bojinka–which also had plots to kill the pope and president Clinton.
    I don’t know why I waste my time discussing why it’s a good thing the modern day Hitler has been taken down.
    You all are right. The UN and its sanctions had really turned that Saddam into a worldly diplomat. We should have never went..

  • Eileen

    Blabber? According to your own wikipedia regarding Yasin:
    “He was born in Bloomington, Indiana, USA, where his father was studying. Shortly, after his birth, Yasin’s family moved back to Iraq. In 1992 Yasin was able to use his birth to obtain a US passport in Jordan, and enter the United States.
    After being recruited by Ramzi Yousef, he got a burn scar while mixing the chemicals for a bomb. After the February 23 attack, Yasin was questioned and released by the FBI. He fled the United States to Baghdad, Iraq, where he lived freely for at least a year. The Iraqi government later claimed that he was arrested and put in prison.
    Yasin was added to the FBI Most Wanted Terrorists list in 2002.”
    According to the FBI’s 10 most wanted list:
    “…Remarks: Yasin is an epileptic. He is believed to be in Iraq.” http://www.fbi.gov/mostwant/terrorists/teryasin.htm
    I’m sure you’ll (somehow) maintain there were no Iraqi ties, nonetheless.
    Then, Linda, with respect to the article I cited, you dissed it as being bullshit from ‘extremist websites without the credibility of a flea’, not bothering to note it originated via al-Hayat (I’d call that extremist, but not the brand you were dissing) and was picked up by UPI. You provided not one speck of evidence as to why the websites were ‘extremist’, and instead blabbered on about why you don’t happen to like Allawi. Nor, of course, did you provide one scintilla of evidence to suggest the facts quoted in the article were NOT true.
    You know, you holier than thou, sanctimonious bats need to do your research before you denigrate, spout, then denigrate and spout some more.

  • Linda Edwards

    You guys are very good at changing the subject to cover up your blantant misstatements.
    Whodat says Yousef was an Iraqi who entered the US with an Iraqi passport. Youself is a Pakistani who entered in 1992 with a forged Iraqi passport. Whodat was wrong.
    Whodat says Turkey and Jordan suffered immeasurably because the Iraqi oil was cut off. In fact, the US approved Iraqi oil sales to those two countries, outside the sanctions, for national security reasons. Whodat was wrong again.
    Whodat said Shakir was arrested in Qatar on Sept 17, 2001. Kirk Caraway called him on that, because this individual was one of the hijackers that flew into the Pentagon. Whodat was wrong once more.
    I haven’t had time to research Sabah Khodad, but judging from whodat’s track record, I have my doubts about that “information” also.
    Seems to me that if a person is wrong that much, it must be deliberate.
    Whodat points out that Yousef’s uncle planned the 9/11 attacks. Yeah, ok. And Yousef’s uncle is Pakistani. But this all came up because you said Yousef was Iraqi, so what’s your point?
    Blabber
    Speaking of blabber, Eileen dearest. Are you talking about Abdul Yahman Yasin. So when he went to Iraq, and you seem to be suggesting that the Iraqis should have thrown him in jail, EVEN THOUGH it was our own FBI who had just released him from their custody (driving him back to his home, no less).
    So tell me Eileen. Are you saying that because a terrorist is living in a country, then that automatically means the leader of said country has connections to this terrorist, particularly if that country’s governmental officials know the terrorist is there? (before you answer, this is a trick question, so think about it, think about it, think about it).
    Then we’d better arrest your fearless leader, Bushie boy. The 9/11 hijackers were living here in the U.S., and our officials KNEW they were living here. Using your twisted logic, Bush must have known about it, and must have had connections to them.

  • Eileen

    Linda,
    First, I need to get to work. However, briefly. I’ve read reports that Yousef was a Kuwaiti, although he spent time in Pakistan. Who has the lock on ‘facts’ around here?
    I didn’t ‘suggest’ anything about Yasin, other than that he has absolute ties to Iraq, in response to your charge that Whodat was ‘blabbering’ regarding WTT1 attack connections to Iraqis. I’ve noticed you keep trying to put words in my mouth. Please don’t.
    The article I cited showed direct ties between Saddam’s regime and AQ leadership. Yet you automatically went into attack mode instead of considering the information offered. That info was provided without a hint of personal attack; your response was all personal attack.
    And Linda, when you automatically/unprovokedly go into attack/denigrate mode you come off as – well, fill in your own blank.
    As for your dripping sarcasm and continuing efforts at condescension here, I’ll just say that the next time we engage, hopefully you’ll be able to rein that in and treat your fellow travelers with a modicum of respect.

  • Linda Edwards

    “You know, you holier than thou, sanctimonious bats need to do your research before you denigrate, spout, then denigrate and spout some more.”
    Yes, Eileen, I was feeling the love. FYI, I give respect when I’m shown the respect.
    Oh, and Whodat, I was able to look up Sabah Khodada. He was an Iraqi exile. And we all know the stellar quality of information we received from Iraqi exiles (Chalabi, “curveball”, etc).
    It was once said by one of Napoleon’s generals, and I’m paraphrasing here, be careful what you believe from exiles and dissidents, as they have their own agenda.

  • Eileen

    Linda, I was responding to your own denigration in kind. Go back to my first post, and your reply, please.
    As I said, hopefully next time…

  • Linda Edwards

    Eileen, I’ve been the recipient of schrill attacks from you and Kat before. I had no reason to believe that you are now ready for “civil discourse”.
    I’m ready when you are.

  • Eileen

    Actually Linda, you have always attacked me first (I don’t know about you vis a vis Kat) without me even addressing you by name. You’ve also continuously twisted and misrepresented my words. Even now you’ve tried to suggest some sort of shrill attack without acknowledging you were the instigator in this thread.
    Nonetheless, I’m willing to let bygones be bygones. Now I really do have to get to work! Have a good one! Howdat? :)

  • http://newguards.us/links.html Brent D.Cole

    Bush is now openly stating that it is acceptable to use nuclear weapons in a first strike against any Nation “believed” to pose a threat [to the Bush/Israeli agenda].
    Fixing the evidence to “justify” the desires of any group’s agenda is conspiracy and criminal.
    Bush, Blair, and others conspired to commit mass murders and to institute Wars, in order to further their Israeli spawned agenda, knowing their acts to be in violation of law, and in defiance of the Rule of Law. If you don’t believe it is Israel’s agenda, then look at Bush’s statements, and who stood to gain the most.
    In the case of the Dowling street memo and the Iraq invasion, it was known to the conspirators that there were no lawful grounds to wage war against any sovereign Nation. Bush, Blair and others conspired to commit War Crimes and Crimes against Humanity, and committed those crimes.
    These conspirator’s knowingly lied about Iraq having WMDs, and then willingly committed war crimes by unlawfully instituting War against sovereign Nations; and by using WMDs in an aggression begun with circumstances of Deceipt, Cruelty and Peridy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous Ages, and totally unworthy of the Head of a civilized Nation [violation of the Declaration of Independence (1776)and all human decency].
    The intent was to complete Works of Death, Desolation, and Tyranny: To enslave the Peoples of Great Britain and the United States through massive debt and martial law “justified” by a perpetual war generated by the consprator’s lies and acts of terror (falsely blamed on Arabs); and to subjugate the Arab Nations by military means.
    Bush and Blair knew very well that what they were doing was in violation of International law, and that it involved perpetrating war crimes and crimes against humanity. They knowingly lied and used fraudulent evidence to “justify” waging war against several sovereign Nations; and plan on instituting similar agressions against many other Nations in the future. These conspirators continue to attempt to justify their acts with even more lies. They manipulate by deception, by using their Offices, by using the privileges of their Offices, and by control of the media.
    No doubt, the reasons for using nuclear bombs against other Nations will be fabricated and unprovoked, just like the “reasons” for waging Wars of agression against Iraq and Afghanistan. No doubt, Blair will be plotting with Bush to start using Nukes at the earliest opportunity.
    If you think it is acceptable to promulgate lies and deceptions to institute Wars, perhaps you should think again… if you do not wish to glow in the dark or be part of a piece of green glass.