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Yes, We Have No WMDs

postedPosted in Politically Incorrect, Rants, War In Iraq on January 26th, 2004 by glennm

The chief U.S. weapons-hunter in occupied Iraq, David Kay, now says that “we are very unlikely to find large stockpiles of weapons. I don’t think they exist.” Ex-Iraq Arms Hunter Blames Data for Failure | LATimes.com. So White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan announced in reaction that “Saddam Hussein’s regime was a gathering threat, and in a post-Sept. 11 world, we must confront gathering threats before it is too late.”

That’s well and true. But is it necessary to lie to your own people, and the world, in order to do so? The sad part is that the Bushies would have had the same overwhelming support of Americans — and the same opposition from the goodie-goodies and pacificsts at the UN and the EU — had they come straight and not manufactured stories about Saddam’s WMD stockpiles. Now, in hindsight, the whole thing is looking very much silly.

It’s way too late to argue that imminent threat of WMDs was not the principal justification for the war. That the Bush Administration’s continued efforts to try to deny and deflect reality shows only their disdain for real democracy or their underlying hubris — or maybe both.

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War As a Political Product

postedPosted in Politically Incorrect, War In Iraq, War On Terrorism on January 14th, 2004 by glennm

In a major speech today, Sen. Ted Kennedy said the Iraq war was a ”political product” marketed by the Bush administration to win elections. ”The war has made America more hated in the world,” Kennedy said. ”And it has made our people more vulnerable to attacks both here and overseas.”

I don’t think any reasonable person would argue with this. It is also the case, however, that Saddam was a tyrant and deserved to be deposed. But as I have commented previously, without a clear and present danger — the immediate threat posed by WMDs and bio-terror weapons that Pres. Bush assured America and the world Saddam possessed and was ready to use — then the only reason to go to war was to protect the human rights of Iraqis. I personally don’t think the war can be justified on that basis alone and am convinced that the electorate would opposed the war if it were presented in that correct fashion.

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A Trial For Osama

postedPosted in Media Matters, Politically Incorrect, Rants, War In Iraq, War On Terrorism on January 9th, 2004 by glennm

Conservatives have had a great time the past month lambasting Howard Dean for suggesting that Osama bin Laden, if captured, should be put on trial and that his guilt should not be presumed. Well, just so happens that President Bush himself said the same thing — about the tyrant Saddam Hussein — in a December 15 news conference:

QUESTION: Mr. President, you said earlier this morning that in a trial that all of Saddam’s atrocities need to be brought out. He was in power more than 30 years. It probably would make for a long rap sheet.

You’re not supposed to pre-judge.

QUESTION: Yes. I’m just counting the years.

OK, good.

QUESTION: Do you believe that the invasion of Kuwait in 1990 should be included, as well as his assassination attempt against former President Bush?

So, where is the conservative anger when their own man makes the same “slip”? And why has the media not picked up on this, despite the Republican insistence that the media are a bunch of flaming, Democratic-leftie liberals?

That’ll all be decided by the lawyers. And I will instruct this government to make sure the system includes the Iraqi citizens and make sure the process withstands international scrutiny. But we’ll let the lawyers handle all that. And, as you know, I’m not a lawyer. And I delegate. And I’m going to delegate this to the legal community which will be reviewing all of this matter.

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It’s Not Over

postedPosted in War In Iraq on December 15th, 2003 by glennm

This article by William Rivers Pitt should give pause to any of us who are ready to believe that caputuring Saddam Hussein is going to end Iraqi resistance to the American occupation.

“We are not fighting for Saddam,” said an Iraqi named Kashid Ahmad Saleh in a New York Times report from a week ago. . . . “The religious principle is that we cannot accept to live with infidels. We cannot allow strangers to rule over us.”

Welcome to the new Iraq. The theme that the 455 Americans killed there, and the thousands of others who have been wounded, fell at the hands of pro-Hussein loyalists is now gone. The Bush administration celebrations over this capture will appear quite silly and premature when the dying continues. Whatever Hussein bitter-enders there are will be joined by Iraqi nationalists who will now see no good reason for American forces to remain. After all, the new rhetoric highlighted the removal of Hussein as the reason for this invasion, and that task has been completed. Yet American forces are not leaving, and will not leave. The killing of our troops will continue because of people like Kashid Ahmad Saleh. All Hussein’s capture did for Saleh was remove from the table the idea that he was fighting for the dictator. He is free now, and the war will begin in earnest.

This suggests, as one national Republican politician told me last week, that what we are observing in Iraq may be the start of something new, the rise of a new global movement like Naziism or Communism. If that’s right, one must seriously wonder whether the public humiliation of Saddam is helpful or just adds more fuel to the fire.

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Not Done With Saddam?

postedPosted in Media Matters, Politically Incorrect, War In Iraq on December 15th, 2003 by glennm

Bill Safire wites today, in an op-ed piece teasingly titled From the “Spider Hole,” that we’re not done with Saddam Hussein yet.

I think Saddam is still Saddam — a meretricious, malevolent megalomaniac. He knows he is going to die, either by death sentence or in jail at the hands of a rape victim’s family. Why did he not use his pistol to shoot it out with his captors or to kill himself? Because he is looking forward to the mother of all genocide trials, rivaling Nuremberg’s and topping those of Eichmann and Milosevic. There, in the global spotlight, he can pose as the great Arab hero saving Islam from the Bushes and the Jews.

I think we’ve seen the end of Saddam. One trial, string him up and close the books on this sorry episode in international human relations. At least I hope we’re done with him. And that Saddam’s not as smart as Safire.

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Dean’s A “Class Act”

postedPosted in Politically Incorrect, Rants, War In Iraq on December 15th, 2003 by glennm

Yes, even my friends at Right Thinking From the Left Coast say (albeit holding their toungues) that Howard Dean has “class” — evidenced by his statement yesterday that capturing Saddam was a “great day for the Administration.” [Right-Thinking Comments - Klassy Kerry]. Oh yes, John Kerry is “just a vile, disgusting human being.”

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What Hole Did He Crawl Out Of?

postedPosted in Politically Incorrect, Rants, War In Iraq on December 14th, 2003 by glennm

Sunday’s papers were filled with stories, like Max Boot (Council of Foreign Relations) in the L.A. Times, talking about how the Bush Administration’s many foreign policy mistakes left one wondering what happended to the vaunted Republican “A Team.” All-Stars of Team Bush Fall Flat in Iraq.

Watching one blunder after another, I can’t help but wonder: Can’t anybody here play this game?

But with the capture of Saddam Hussein announced just a few hours later — actually, 7:00 a.m. Eastern time, if one was awake — the political talk has suddenly all shifted to war crimes trials, crimes against humanity and the like.
spiderhole.jpgPersonally, all of this pales in comparison to the wonderful irony surrounding Saddam’s capture. Cowering in a hole in the ground, hardly big enough to lie down in, with a pistol and Kalashnikov rifle, Hussein managed not a single shot of resistance. saddam_captured.jpg Not struggle at all. A haggard, tired and weak old man lamely raising his arms and saying he was “ready to negotiate.”

Like all of them going back to Napoleon and Hitler, this dictator too proved in the final analysis to be a small man, a coward at heart, concerned more with saving his own skin than fighting. These kinds of men talk big when they’re carrying big sticks, but their characters are puny. If only their kind did not so often defile the pages of history.

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Reasons To Believe

postedPosted in War In Iraq on July 10th, 2003 by glennm

America and the Bush Administration are taking a worldwide and much-deserved beating after Defense Secretary Rumsfeld said yesterday that the US “did not act in Iraq because we had discovered dramatic new evidence of Iraq’s pursuit of weapons of mass murder.” For instance, the Candian Globe and Mail reports that “US Changes Reason for Invading Iraq.” Rumsfeld’s comments come on the heels of a White House announcement that a previous assertion that Iraq attempted to buy uranium from Africa was false. President Bush had included the accusation in his January 28 State of the Union address, even though Sec. of State Powell refused one week later to make the same claim to the United Nations.

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Since Iraqi WMDs are proving elusive at best, this is certainly not going to help the standing of the United States in the global community. Unilateralism is one thing — something I most definitely can approve of — but ginning up fake rationales is quite another. Indeed, conservatives like Dan Pipes have taken things even further than the Administration, arguing that:

WMD was never the basic reason for the war. Nor was it the horrid repression in Iraq. Or the danger Saddam posed to his neighbors.

Talk about political damage control!! Using a public justification that is different from the hidden internal reason for the Iraq war, and one that is increasingly being shown to be based on false or overstated intelligence, makes the Iraq invasion seem much more like the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution — a deliberate lie that launched the Vietman War — than the liberation mission it was advertised as to the American people and the world at large.

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Desperately Seeking Saddam

postedPosted in War In Iraq on May 1st, 2003 by glennm

The title of this BBC News article is too cute to waste. Sorry, it has nothing to do with the real-world search for the deposed dictator in Baghdad. Rather, it’s about casting a play in London! [BBC News]

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Sheer Anarchy

postedPosted in Politically Incorrect, War In Iraq on April 9th, 2003 by glennm

Total control has been replaced by “sheer anarchy” today in Baghdad, which looks very much like the former Soviet Union did in the days surrounding the 1991 collapse of the Politburo. Photos of the masses taking down huge statutes of Saddam Hussein rival those of Lennin’s statutes being torn down in Moscow. Perhaps not in hostorical significance, but certainly in emotional appeal. [washingtonpost.com]

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