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Yes He Would

Took this from Sunday’s New York Times as background for Monday’s discussion with Jack Greene about Bush and Iran and the nuclear option. This is columnist Paul Krugman drawing unseettling parallels between what happened in Iraq and what is about to happen in Iran.

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“But he wouldn’t do that.” That sentiment is what made it possible for President Bush to stampede America into the Iraq war and to fend off hard questions about the reasons for that war until after the 2004 election. Many people just didn’t want to believe that an American president would deliberately mislead the nation on matters of war and peace.

Now people with contacts in the administration and the military warn that Mr. Bush may be planning another war. The most alarming of the warnings come from Seymour Hersh, the veteran investigative journalist who broke the Abu Ghraib scandal. Writing in The New Yorker, Mr. Hersh suggests that administration officials believe that a bombing campaign could lead to desirable regime change in Iran — and that they refuse to rule out the use of tactical nuclear weapons.

“But he wouldn’t do that,” say people who think they’re being sensible. Given what we now know about the origins of the Iraq war, however, discounting the possibility that Mr. Bush will start another ill-conceived and unnecessary war isn’t sensible. It’s wishful thinking.

As it happens, rumors of a new war coincide with the emergence of evidence that appears to confirm our worst suspicions about the war we’re already in.

First, it’s clearer than ever that Mr. Bush, who still claims that war with Iraq was a last resort, was actually spoiling for a fight. The New York Times has confirmed the authenticity of a British government memo reporting on a prewar discussion between Mr. Bush and Tony Blair. In that conversation, Mr. Bush told Mr. Blair that he was determined to invade Iraq even if U.N. inspectors came up empty-handed.

Second, it’s becoming increasingly clear that Mr. Bush knew that the case he was presenting for war — a case that depended crucially on visions of mushroom clouds — rested on suspect evidence. For example, in the 2003 State of the Union address Mr. Bush cited Iraq’s purchase of aluminum tubes as clear evidence that Saddam was trying to acquire a nuclear arsenal. Yet Murray Waas of the National Journal reports that Mr. Bush had been warned that many intelligence analysts disagreed with that assessment.

Was the difference between Mr. Bush’s public portrayal of the Iraqi threat and the actual intelligence he saw large enough to validate claims that he deliberately misled the nation into war? Karl Rove apparently thought so. According to Mr. Waas, Mr. Rove “cautioned other White House aides in the summer of 2003 that Bush’s 2004 re-election prospects would be severely damaged” if the contents of an October 2002 “President’s Summary” containing dissents about the significance of the aluminum tubes became public.

Now there are rumors of plans to attack Iran. Most strategic analysts think that a bombing campaign would be a disastrous mistake. But that doesn’t mean it won’t happen: Mr. Bush ignored similar warnings, including those of his own father, about the risks involved in invading Iraq.

As Joseph Cirincione of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace recently pointed out, the administration seems to be following exactly the same script on Iran that it used on Iraq: “The vice president of the United States gives a major speech focused on the threat from an oil-rich nation in the Middle East. The U.S. secretary of state tells Congress that the same nation is our most serious global challenge. The secretary of defense calls that nation the leading supporter of global terrorism. The president blames it for attacks on U.S. troops.”

Why might Mr. Bush want another war? For one thing, Mr. Bush, whose presidency is increasingly defined by the quagmire in Iraq, may believe that he can redeem himself with a new Mission Accomplished moment.

And it’s not just Mr. Bush’s legacy that’s at risk. Current polls suggest that the Democrats could take one or both houses of Congress this November, acquiring the ability to launch investigations backed by subpoena power. This could blow the lid off multiple Bush administration scandals. Political analysts openly suggest that an attack on Iran offers Mr. Bush a way to head off this danger, that an appropriately timed military strike could change the domestic political dynamics.

Does this sound far-fetched? It shouldn’t. Given the combination of recklessness and dishonesty Mr. Bush displayed in launching the Iraq war, why should we assume that he wouldn’t do it again?

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  1. Rich from Paso
    April 10, 2006 at 7:28 pm

    Okay Dave, I have two questions for you; 1) Is Iran a legitimate threat both to the region and to the United States? 2) Is the liberal left in America going to let Iran continue on it’s present course of an undesputable and self-admitted nuclear program regardless of whatever facts surface about the lead up to the Iraq War? If the liberal left is going to go down the “once bitten – twice shy’ route because of the mistrust the left has with the Bush Administration, then I fear that the liberal left will not be motivated into action until there is a mushroom cloud rising above Tel Aviv, which is the publically state goal of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the Mullahs of Iran. Just something for you all to ponder.

  2. Bob from San Luisq
    April 11, 2006 at 6:07 am

    Rich, something for you to ponder: Do you support the use of any nuclear weapon in a military action against Iran? The Bush Administration may be able to make a case for invading Iran, for executing bomb stikes against military targets and not cause the whole of the middle East to collapse into utter chaos. If only ONE nuclear weapon is detonated in an act of agression, the United States will have started an unholy hell of retribution by most of the worlds nations of power, either military or, more importantly, economic. Can you imagine for one instant of what life in America could become if China, Saudi Arabia, Japan and other economic superpowers called in our debt to them? What if the countries I mentioned agreed to “contain” the US as a “rogue nation” for unprovoked use of a nuclear weapon? President Bush must abandon completely any consideration the use of any nuclear weapon, right now, unequivocally. One detonation of a one megaton device has the potential to kill upwards of 3 Million people from Iran to India, depending on prevailing winds, time of day and what the weather situation is when the device is detonated. Any further talk by this administration about using nuclear weapons in Iran is tantamount to committing the ultimate crime against humanity. This has to stop, now.

  3. Rich from Paso
    April 11, 2006 at 4:07 pm

    Bob, you need to understand that the evil men of the world do not operate on the same standards of conduct that we in the US do. The despots of the world only understnad fear: what they fear and what they can make you fear. Of course, I do not personally advocate the use of nuclear weapons in a preemptory strike, but I also trust President Bush when he says that it is not his choice either but he doesn’t wnat to take the threat of use off of the table. I fully understand that you and others do not trust the President as I do, and that’s fine and dandy.

    Something else for you: my point was that action has to be taken on Iran and I was curious if you and your liberal friends were less inclined to take that action because of your perceptions on the start of the Iraq War. i think that it will come to a bombing campaign on Iran no different than President Clinton bombed Serbia into regime change. It can be done in such a way that the overwhelmingly pro-western youth in Iran would be encouraged to overthrow the mullahs. I want to know from you one thing though: do you support the use of nuclear weapons on the Japanese by Truman (a democrat) to end WWII? You answer will be very telling because to not have nuked japan would have cost both side five times the number that died in those two bombs. remember the United States is the only country to have usd nuclear weapons on civilian populations during a time of war. That is a very scary thought in the minds of those that oppose the United States. The nuclear genie has worked very well for the United States against Russia, China and others.

    Have a nice day.

  4. Bob from San Luis
    April 11, 2006 at 7:32 pm

    Rich: To answer the question of dropping the bomb on the Japanese during WWII, I would have to do some research first to answer in what I would consider reasonable and articulate. Not having done that research yet I can only say that morally it was wrong to drop those bombs on civilian populations that had no strategic value and it would seem as though there could have been a military target that would have served the same purpose. But I really need to look into that first before I can make that statement. I do feel that the detonation of those two bombs certainly saved hundreds of thousands of lives, both our own servicemen and many Japanese, both civilian and military, so the deterent effect cannot be argued. Morally however I am conflicted because the “targets” were civilians only and had no real military value. I’ll get back to you about whether or not the two sites had any options that could have served the same purpose without the innocent civilians paying the ultimate price.
    I see by your response that you agree that the Bush Administration will not be able to solve this diplomatically, not becuase they can’t, but because they don’t want to. An argument could be made that Bush can’t use diplomacy because he or his diplomats are not up to the task but have to come to rely upon military action only, which I feel is the choice this Administration has made. I really believe that a more mature President would be able to solve this Iran situation without military action.

  5. Rich from Paso
    April 11, 2006 at 10:23 pm

    Bob, I am curious what you will respond with on the WWII question I posed. I highly encourage you to read a variety of historians on this and not the Socialist party of America’s take on the two bombings

    Why do you insist on making this all about Bush? Why can’t it be that Iran will not, now or ever, give up it’s nuclear ambitions? So, from what you are saying is that Neville Chamberlain was incompetent because he could get Hitler to honor the “peace in our time” treaty/capitulation? or was Clinton and Carter incompetent because they couldn’t get Kim Jung-il to stop trying to developing nuclear weapons, or was it because kim Jung-il is just a bad guy who would sell his or your mother for a nuke and would lie to God to make it happen. I agree that Bush did want regime change in Iraq, as well as in Iran. I disagree that war was the first and only option. However, I think that he believed that war was a foregone conclusion knowing what we know about Saddam Hussein. I also think that he believed, and still does believe as I do, that the UN is worthless like nipples on men (think about it), so therefore all of the sactions and hollow threats were not going to make Saddam Hussein toe the line. Now we have Mahmoud Ahminajihad who is walking the exact same path that Saddam Hussein walked prior to our invasion of Iraq. What is striking to me is that mahmoud and the mullahs in Iran are either so stupid or arrogant to think that Bush won’t bomb the crap out of them too. So, bottom line here is that there are two parties invovled and Bush is not the only player in this drama.

    Final point: what scares all of you liberals into wetting yourselves about Bush is that he doesn’t listen to the talking heads like Clinton did, he doesn’t follow the polls as Clinton did, he doesn’t tell you what you want you want to hear like Clinton did and he is really going to do something, unlike what Clinton did. That kind of detachment from the noise around him scares you guys because you know that you have no influence over him. That lack of control coupled with your inherent distrust of all Republicans just scares the beejeezes out of you, doesn’t it?

  6. The New Tone of San Luis Obispo
    April 12, 2006 at 5:14 am

    Bob,

    Check out the history…Millions of American lives and Millions of Japanese that were prepared to fight to the death to protect their homeland.

    I think that the nuclear bunker buster is a viable option and may be the only way to hit their deep bunkers. It will not kill millions of Iranians, nor would the area be radioactive for years. It will kill, and break with a minimal american risk. I think it is time to teach the Iranian Regime the we mean business and we will kill them if they persist.

  7. Bob from San Luis
    April 13, 2006 at 2:29 am

    Rich: As much as I have learned to respect your views concerning military matters here, your advocating the use of a nuclear device is beyond the pale, it is reprehensible. However you want to argue about the US dropping the bomb in WWII, there can be no comparison to the thought of dropping even one in Iran. In WWII we were the only nation that had an atomic or nuclear device; we are not alone now. I for one am still not convinced that a premeditated first strike against another nation is fully legal under US law. You are not only advocating a first strike attack, but you want to add a nuclear device to that potentially illegal action? If you really believe that attacking Iran with a any nuclear “bomb” is okay, you have crossed completely over to the dark side of humanity, period. Whatever the credibility of intel there is to justify attacking Iran cannot justify the use of nuclear devices. Please re-read your comment, do you understand exactly how unhinged you sound? Please reconsider your opinion; the use of any nuclear device as a weapon can never be justified except the possibility of a reprisal attack. We, the United States can never again use a nuclear device in a first strike capcity or we will suffer the wrath of just about every other first world country in the world, either economically or potentially militarally.

  8. The New Tone of San Luis Obispo
    April 13, 2006 at 6:05 am

    I always hear about how Iraq is no better off now than it was under Saddam. Whay do you people think of this……also the funniest thing ever when the dude on Wednesday’s show called Latinos “wetbacks”. Dave was rather bugged. Hometown radio ladies and gentleman! 🙂

    All Lies??

  9. Bob from San Luis
    April 13, 2006 at 7:50 am

    Rich: I apologize for confusing you with New Tone about the use of Nukes on Iran. I am sorry.
    New Tone: Your link about the mass graves certainly gives credence for regime change in Iraq. As I and many others have stated, how we got to Iraq doesn’t have as much to do with what is going on there now. We are there, it is bad, it is getting worse and we need to leave. John Kerry’s suggestion about a definite deadline makes a lot of sense, and I feel that this is the best course of action.

  10. Rich from Paso
    April 13, 2006 at 4:13 pm

    Bob, I’m glad you beat me to punch with your apology because I was getting ready to bust out my own nuke on you for failing to read with comprehension. thanks for clearing that up.

    As to your assertion about kerry’s timeline; I said it once and I will say it again – John Kerry is a boob. He may have served in the navy but he has no concept of how to wage a war. When you set a deadline you start the clock for when you will be admitting defeat. If Bush is stupid enough to listen to Mr. Kerry-Heinz and adopt his timeline “strategy”, the insurgents will go underground to reinforce the “effectiveness” of the timeline, they will get civilian jobs within the military and the governement, and when the US troops have pulled out, WHAMO!, they will take over and we will have to fight three times as hard to get back into Iraq and root them out again. This will set Iraq back a decade and cost thousands and thousands of lives. or we can just shrug our shoulders and go “oh, well, we tried”. Of course Kerry-Heinz wants this. So that way he can blame Bush for losing Iraq. the media will conveinently forget that it was Kerry-Heinz’s idea in the first place, as is their habit to do.

  11. Rich from Paso
    April 13, 2006 at 4:15 pm

    New tone: Glad to see that you were able to do the hyperlink thing. Guess my post helped.

  12. Bob from San Luis
    April 14, 2006 at 6:46 am

    Rich: Come on man, Senator John Kerry- jeez at least show him some respect, or do you still believe what the Swift Boaters were fictionalizing during the election? So he married a wealthy woman, that is a flaw? The idea that Senator Kerry has actual combat experience and would listen to military advisers certainly gives him credence in my non-military experience. Do you really think that Senator Kerry came up with his suggestion all on his own? It seems more likely that he consulted military personal and advisers and re-wrote their plan to more of his style of speaking. The Iraqis have met deadlines given to them before, why not on this? As for Bush losing Iraq, are we really winning? As for the media forgetting whose idea this would be if it worked or if it didn’t, do you think the media would credit Kerry if it did? I really don’t think that Sen. Kerry would mind who was credited as long as it saved lives.

  13. Rich from Paso
    April 14, 2006 at 6:40 pm

    Bob, I have no respect for Kerry, none whatsoever. Kerry is a shill that married for money so he could afford to run for the Senate, the seat his wife’s husband, Sen. Heinz who died in office and whose name Terresa still uses, used to hold. He has accused my friends of wholesale violation of human rights which is patently absurd and untrue. He accused his fellow servicemen in Vietnam of committing genocide and human rights violations before Congress, another blatant lie. Have you ever seen Kerry’s medical records? Of course you haven’t, he never released them during the campaign. Bush released his. What is Kerry hiding? Probably the fact that his wounds in Vietnam were superficial and guys like me would be tearing him a new a-hole over his three (count them – three) Purple Hearts. So, anything that Kerry says is automatically met with scorn, much the same way that you all react whenever Bush says something. I have more respect for Gore and Clinton because at least they are open and honest about their hatred of the military. Kerry doesn’t have the guts to make a catagorical statement.

  14. Bob from San Luis
    April 15, 2006 at 3:19 am

    I have more respect for Gore and Clinton because at least they are open and honest about their hatred of the military.
    What, Gore, who served, hates the military? Clinton who avoided the draft hated the military? You can make the case that Clinton didn’t want to serve, but how do you equate that with hating the military? If you want to judge who thinks better of the military, why not compare military casualities during the Clinton/Gore years and the Bush/Cheney years. Would that be a fair way to judge who repects the service of our military? Exactly how many military funerals has Bush or Cheney attended since being in office? Since you brought up Kerry’s medical records, I will assume that you believe all the “stuff” that the Swift Boat Vets against truth came out with. Remember that at least Kerry did serve in Vietnam; where was Cheney? What ever happened to the records showing how Bush finished up his service? I really think this is pointless to dredge this stuff up, but since you cannot bring yourself offer any respect for Senator John F. Kerry, I just want you to think about how noble Bush, Cheney, Rove, Pearl, Wofliwiz et al were when it was their time to choose to serve with honor, or do anything they could to not serve. As you stated, at least President Clinton was honest about his lack of service.

  15. The New Tone of San Luis Obispo
    April 15, 2006 at 4:26 am

    This is becoming about John F’n Kerry. Bob, come on he is a carpet bagger and a loser! Even the guys he served with don’t want him. He did all he could and caused some self inflicted wounds in order to fulfill his promise back then to be a modern day JFK. the picture is worth a 1000 words . You can’t deny it Bob. Have you read the book Unfit for Command? I have, it is a travesty what Kerry did.

    Before you say it is unfair, let me remind you that, according to the picture above that shows who of his group that supported him, it is not one or two accounts here. We are talking 3/17. Not a woman. Not an intern who was sexually harrased by a superior and you think is ok. Not a fake newscast by Rather that was forged and not proven wrong and that Rather still believes in. These are hard working people, and you think Senator John F’n Kerry is so great and Bush, I mean President Bush (Bob will get upset if I disrespect any public official here) is a liar. What about Hillary? Hillary Knew about WMD’s Surely being the smartest woman in the world and being married to the best President, she should have been warning us that Bush was up to his tricks, but wow, she said that! HOW! WHY! Was she telling the truth? Did President Bush trick Hillary? Why didn’t Hillary tell us that President Bush would find nothing in Iraq and she would have been a shoe in for the next President of the United States? How is it you give Hillary and all of these democRATS a pass Bob and others? Can you tell me why, please:-) have a good weekend!

  16. The New Tone of San Luis Obispo
    April 15, 2006 at 4:30 am

    Oh yeah, and Rich, thanks very much for the heads up on the links. That is really fun.

  17. Rich from Paso
    April 15, 2006 at 5:03 pm

    Bob, Gore served six months in a Saigon hotel doing puff pieces for the Stars and Stripes; that’s not service. Daddy being a Senator getting someone out of combat is not service. And yes, not only does GOre hate the military but he hates America!! That’s right, I said that.

    Casualty figures?!? What the hell are you talking about? Every single causalty Bush/Cheney are “responsible” for, taht blood is on Bill Clinton’s hans for not capturing or killing Osama bin Laden any one of the three!!! times that he could have. Bill Clinton could have ended the War on Terrorism before it ever started, but he was too concerned about have “no controlling le4gal authority”.

  18. Dave Congalton
    April 16, 2006 at 6:03 am

    Rich — You are unbelievable, my friend! How can you possibly diss Al Gore for six months in Viet Nam? At least he served — at least he went there. Meanwhile, W, Cheney, Rush Limbaugh, Gingrich. All those CHICKEN HAWKS never, ever served.

  19. Bob from San Luis
    April 16, 2006 at 7:16 am

    Rich: One of those three times you claim President Clinton had an opportunity, the Royal Family from the United Arab Emirates was dove hunting with bin Laden, and military command suggested that killing them to get to bin Laden would cause more problems then it would solve. Most of the time when Clinton tried to do something militarily against UbL, the Republican leadership, pundits and talk show hosts were shouting “No War for Monica” in reference to a supposed wag the dog exercise, claiming that there was no “there there”. I noticed that you didn’t respond to my question about how many military funerals Bush or Cheney has attended; curious.
    So let’s say your assertion about Gore’s service is correct; exactly how close to Vietnam did George W. Bush get? Which is further west, Texas or Alabama? As for having a Daddy who is a Senator getting you out of combat, what was George H.W. Bush doing while young George was draft age? You once again claim that Gore “hates the military” and you further assert that he “hates America”- what is your empirical evidence? How do you “know” this? If you have some facts, some truth you would like to share, great, please do so. If you are only repeating hate mongering from Sean, Rush, Bill, Michael, et al, then as some say, that dog don’t hunt.
    New Tone: No, I have not read “Unfit for Command” – when I read fiction I like it to classified as such. As far as your linked picture being worth a thousand words, I do understand that many who served in Vietnam were upset by the what they “claim” is an assertion that John Kerry accused soldiers of war crimes; please read this, or at least the first three paragraphs- when John Kerry spoke before the Senate Committee in 1971, he didn’t accuse US soldiers of war crimes, he reported what they told him, what they admitted to doing. His testimony was not an accusation, it was reporting what he was told. Read the link completely, please, then form your own thought, don’t just knee-jerk react like you have been conditioned to do.
    As far as Dan Rather and the “report” that was supposedly discredited; what was discredited was the supposed “proof” of what happened with George Bush in the National Guard- the actual facts of what happened was never disproved, no one ever “proved” that what the report asserted was wrong. George W. Bush refused to follow an order to take a drug test, and because his Daddy was a US Senator, he was permitted to not have to answer for his actions.
    The Democrats voting for the War Powers Resolution: The members of Congress were shown the intelligence that the White House wanted them to see; the same intelligence that had “the facts fixed around the policy” as was mentioned by the Downing Street Report, commonly referred to as the “Downing Street Memo”. With VP Dick Cheney riding the CIA, inserting his own operatives to “unearth” facts that were shaped to fit the cause of accusing Iraq of having WMDs, of ignoring the usual protocols of having the intelligence “vetted” (checked and re-checked for authenticity), the supposed “facts” that the White House wanted everyone to believe were the ones that they “cherry picked” and then “stove piped” up to prominence before they were vetted. It is no wonder that now the pre-war intelligence is being blamed- it was faulty from the get-go, and it is all the administration’s fault, period.

  20. Anonymous
    April 17, 2006 at 12:51 am

    Bob, I will write more later, but just a quick note. You and I both know that the people at the Winter’s Soliers conference at the time were anti war activists and communists. It has been shown that the statements made by F’n Kerry are made up. Kerry, however, did commit war crimes killing an unarmed boy and killed cattle and dogs.

    How can you believe F 9/11 by Moore (I watched it…lies) and not read a different point of vieq book because you call it fiction.

    Gore’s father, a racist who voted against the civil rights act, helped Gore stay out of the main part of Vietnam. Bush served in the National Guard and did every bit as much as Gore or Kerry combined.

  21. Bob from San Luis
    April 17, 2006 at 3:53 am

    Bush served in the National Guard and did every bit as much as Gore or Kerry combined.

    Wow. You are truly disillusioned. George W. Bush didn’t even finish his “tour” of duty. He never left the United States while he was in the service. In order for you to make that statement above, you have to have absolutely no grasp of reality.

    As to the Winter Soldiers Conference, yes the soldiers there were anti-war, they were all Vietnam Vets who were against the war. As for them being communists, I don’t know that, I have never read that, and more importantly, even if every single one of them were, they were all Americans.

    GET. A. CLUE.

  22. Rich from Paso
    April 17, 2006 at 5:31 am

    Dave: Yeah, saying Gore hates America might have been over the top, but when you go to an Arab country (the UAE) and accuse your fellow countrymen of wontonly abusing Arabs in America, then you have no love for America in my book. As for your chickenhawk comment… Come on, Dave, who is the bigger chickenhawk? A man who had never served in the military but spends 4 years as the Secretary of Defense and then as VP and uses the full might of the American military against the country’s enemies or the man who dodged the draft, prostests against his country overseas, and then bombs the crap out of peopel who never, ever would have posed a threat to the security of the United States. Of course the former is Cheney and the latter is Clinton. Clinton was all about sabre rattling and killing janitors in the dead of night with a cruise missle fired hundreds of miles away in retaliation for an attempted assissination of a US president. You may call Cheney, Gingrich and Bush chickenhawks but I call Clinton a chump and a coward of the first order.

    Bob: I miss one of your superfulous questions (the answer is that he doesn’t go to any because then he would be obligated to go to all and that would effectively shut the government down; FDR didn’t go to funerals, neither did LBJ) and it is curious for you. You miss dozens of my points and I don’t call you out. What gives?
    Clinton could have taken down UBL and no one would have known because, at that time, our run-ins with him were more clandestine. There was no media reporting of bin Laden when he masterminded the first WTC bombing in ’93. So, Clinton could have rubbed him out and we never would have had to go into Afghanistan to avenge the deaths of 3,000 Americans. The blood on Clinton’s hands is a stain that will follow him to his grave. He could have done it and don’t give me that “no war for Monica” crap because that was in reference to Operation Desert Fox, which, by the way, was orchestrated from the White House, bombed radar sites and seriously depleted our country of its conventional cruise missle stocks. As did the Kosovo-Serbia bombing campaign. Did Clinton say that Setrbia had terrorist ties? No. Did Serbia have WMD? No. So why did we fly round the clock bombing missions in Serbia, Bob? The answer is that there was human rights abuses and ethnic cleansing going on in Kosovo by the Serbians. That to me has almost nothing to do with the United States, they don’t even have oil. The only reason why Clinton gets a pass on Kosovo is that no one died, even though he wasted billions of mine and your taxpaying dollars on a human rights mission when he could have been putting the eternal whack on Osama bin Laden once and for all. We look for him now because Clinton refused to take him then. Simple as that.

  23. Bob from San Luis
    April 19, 2006 at 12:27 am

    Rich: By the wording of your argument about Kosovo, do I understand you correctly that maybe the oil is the real reason we went to Iraq? If that is your argument the only correction I would assert is that we didn’t go to Iraq to secure oil sources, but instead we went to Iraq to control the flow of oil, so that the oil companies could have less supply, thereby insuring higher costs and record profits.
    Let’s say for arguments sake that Clinton could have gotten bid Laden and didn’t; does that make it any less egregious that President Bush didn’t get bin Laden in Afghanistan when he had the chance?

  24. Rich from Paso
    April 19, 2006 at 4:07 pm

    Bob; Please learn to recognize sarcasm when you read it. The oil comment was a thumb in the eye of everyone who cries “no war for oil”. it further proves my point that Kosovo had zip, zero, nada to do with our national security. It was billions of billions dollars spent on a tin-horn dictator that just so happened to be an egregious human rights violator (sounds like Saddam to me as well).

    You and your conspiracy theories. You really shouldn’t base your arguments off of the TV show, “24”. No one, Republican or Democrat, would ever conspire to tighten the supply of oil to drive the price up. It is absolutely delusional to even suggest that was the reason to go into Iraq. The fact is that Saddam was trying to rebuild his nuclear program, the fact is that he was building ties with al Qaeda and the fact is that he was training terrorists on his soil. Your failure to grasp and understand those facts is symptomatic of all liberals and it is the main reason why 60% of the American people will side against liberalism in the next election.

    When Bush is up to three chances in eight years to nab bin Laden, then it will be just as egregious as Clinton’s three times in his eight years and not getting bin Laden.

  25. Bob from San Luis
    April 22, 2006 at 5:02 am

    Sarcasm: A keen, reproachful expression; a satirical remark uttered
    with some degree of scorn or contempt; a taunt; a gibe; a
    cutting jest.
    1913 Webster
    yeah, sorry I missed that 🙂 Kosovo:It was billions of billions dollars spent on a tin-horn dictator that just so happened to be an egregious human rights violator…-um, okay, but at least we didn’t have to go into more debt to fund that mission. Exactly how much surplus was left by the Clinton Administration again? You know, the one where Alan Greenspan stated that our number one problem would be “paying down the debt too fast”. Good times. I think gas was under $2.oo a gallon back then. Oh well, we are so much safer now!
    Saddam was trying to rebuild his nuclear program; um, how many containers of uranium did we recover? How many computer simulations did we find? Oh, that’s right, we did find some hand written notes, didn’t we? So, maybe in 10 or 15 years there would have been a nuke in Iraq?
    I brought up the controlling of the oil supply; I don’t seriously believe that we went in there to do that, but just maybe once we got there and weren’t able to establish control over the production and distribution, controlling the supply just seemed like a convenient means of not having to have to do the real work of hooking back up the oil supply infrastructure in Iraq. If the oil monopolies, oops, I mean companies, had a tighter supply they could raise the prices and make even greater profits. I think that that is really sick of them to do after we have given 2,350 or so of our best and brightest to transform Iraq.
    He was building ties with al Qaeda; the secular tyrant was going to join with a religious fanantic who wanted to destroy him? Okay, if you say so. … he was training terrorists on his soil; secular terrorists, or Islamic Fundamentalist terrorists? Are these “terrorists” the “insurgents” that are killing our soldiers?
    ….is the main reason why 60% of the American people will side against liberalism in the next election. So, if President Bush doesn’t pay attention to polls, why has Karl Rove been reassigned in time for the ’06 midterm elections. Would the dismal 33% approval rating reported by none other than Fox News have anything to do with this sudden change? I happen to think the neo-cons are very scared, and if either House of Congress changes to a Democratic majority, the administration is sweating bullets that there could finally be real oversight.

  26. Rich from Paso
    April 23, 2006 at 11:32 pm

    Answers to your questions:

    Exactly how much surplus was left by the Clinton Administration again? None, the CLinton Administartion squandered any so-called “surplus” before he ever left office by restructureing our debt with short-term bonds as opposed to long-term bonds. The “surplus” was X billion dollars over 10 years. More inside the beltway sophistry.

    About Iraq and all of your scornful quips, we have found documentation that he was working on a nuclear program and Joe Wilson did confirm that Iraqis were seeking to by yellow cake uranium. Read this article from USA Today on uranium seized in Iraq. I know you’re busy and your computer sucks, so I will summarize: it says that the UN is mad because in July of 2004, we transfered 2 tons (that’s 4,000 pounds) of low-grade enchriched uranium back the US for study. It is no coinsidance that Iran recently decalred it’s part of the “nuclear club” after they produced low-grade nuclear material. Furthermore, everyone in the world says that Iran is trying to build nuclear weapons. Even you, Bob, can see the parallels between Iraq’s nuclear program and Iran’s program.

    oil “monopolies” – Typical liberal conspiracy-mongering not worthy of further comment. Read this article on why gas is so high. Here is another article frm CNN. And one more here on how a the price of gas is devised. Long story short: it has nothing to do with gouging. Tell you a story… my father owned and oeprated a gas station/garage for several years. The fact is that there is only maybe 2 cents difference between the cost the suppliers charged him and the competative price in town. Any more than than and his customers would have went to any of the 4,000 other gas stations in town that would have charged that 2 cents worth. It boils down to liberal petty jeolosy of oil execs. So what that the ex-EXXON chief is getting a huge retirement for being in the right business at the right time. If Chucky Shumer really cared about consumers at the pumps, he would author a bill to repeal the 60 cents a gallon tax that the feds charge. Furthermore, Chucky is going to get paid handsomely in his “retirement” (i.e. when he quits or gets defeated at the polls) from the Senate and he hasn’t done anything for America the entire time he has been there!! I must apologize. I guess it did merit comment after all, still more liberal conspiracy-mongering, though, like I said, and jeolosy. That too.

    here’s some math for you to get stewed over or to stew over (your choice): Since March 2003, there has been an average of 140,000 soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines on the ground in Iraq. This means that there have been a total of 420,000 military personnel in Iraq (on average). Another given is that no one person has served two consecutive years on the ground in Iraq. Hence, the year or so deployments. This means you can count every one of those soldiers as a unique individual even though some are on their 2nd or 3rd tour in Iraq. Okay, that said, there have been ~2,388 deaths since the war began. That represents only .5% of all servicemen serving in Iraq have died. By comparison, between 1959 and 1973 (14 years), 2,637,915 servicememebers died. the 58,000 dead represent 2% of those who served in Vietnam, deployemnt methods assumed to be the same. But the truely telling statistic is the number of deaths per month. In Vietnam, between 1966 and 1971, servicemen were dying on an average of 400-500 per month. In Iraq, the number of dead per month has breched the 100 mark three times!! (135 -4/04, 137-11/04, and 107-1/05) Those three months corresponds to the April Fallujah uprising, the November 04 Battle of Fallujah and the 1st Constitional election. Since then the monthly deaths have averaged around 50-60. I bring this up because the percentage of servicemember deaths are lower in this war than in any other war in American history (no, the 3 week Gulf War does not count as a full-fledged war, even by those that served there. Don’t believe me, ask my brother who was there.) The “bang-for-the-buck” is greater than in any other war in American history. I say all this, but I will not stand for any lecturing on the value of human life or that those 2388 died in vain for an illegal war or any of that bullshit. Need I remind you that those were my friends, peers, adn co-workers that died or were injured over there, not yours. They knew why they were there and they believed in what they were doing.

    Terrorist=insurgent: yes

    Bottom-line: The world is safer, and the US is safer with the War on Terrorism being fought outside the Untied States. The Democrats will not retake the House or the Senate, mostly due to Democratic incompetence to form a single cogent thought or plan that may in any small measure convince American voters that they can do anything different than the Republicans.

  27. Bob from San Luis
    April 24, 2006 at 2:37 am

    Hi Rich; you asked about the Clinton surplus : What President Clinton left for President Bush was a budget surplus. This link will explain how much of a budget surplus was left when Clinton left office. Please note in the middle of the page the mention of being on target to pay off the national debt by 2012; it surely will not happen now.
    Iraqi nuclear program and uranium: Very good, you have educated me and probably many who read here. Thank you, I stand corrected that we actually found uranium and yes, I do understand that Iran has “nuclear programs”- as for Iraq, we were told that Saddam was developing nuclear weapons; correct if I’m wrong, but there were no weapons, and most of the “programs” were supposedly not more then engineering notes. If there is a correlation between what Iraq supposedly had and what Iran already has, what in your estimate is the most likely time period it would take for Iran to have an actual weapon? When President Bush named the “Axis of Evil”, he mentioned Iraq, Iran and North Korea. We know that North Korea actually has nulcear weapons, we know that Iraq had nothing more than the urnaium that was confiscated (moved to the US illegally?) and as far as Iran goes, yes they want to build a weapon; the question is when will they have that ability. Here is a link to an article that asserts that Iran is possibly 10 years away from that point. This article is a long read, but the planning for an invasion, be it air or ground, is staggering. This post started out as to why Donald Rumsfeld needs to be replaced; he cannot be trusted to do the right thing militarraly in Iran if it comes down to actually needing to be done.
    Oil Monopolies: Rich, my feigned freudian slip was supposed to be sarcastic. There are many factors involved in the high cost of gasoline, some are actual production issues, others are political in nature. We haven’t built any new refineries since 1976, and some facilities were damaged by Hurrican Katrina. We have a patchwork of regulated fuel blends designed to reduce pollution; I for one would like to see the entire US adopt the stricter Caliornia standards. If the regulations were standardized, the issue of production would not be as much of an issue. Another factor to consider is how much the developing nations who we are outsourcing many of our jobs to are using more oil than ever, and are now competing with us for the oil on the market. The real shame here is how little progress has been made in alternative fuel devlopement, and with a President and Vice-President both from the oil industry, the fact that we are not developing alternative fuels at a faster pace is not suprising. This is a link to an article on how effective alternative fuels are in Brazil. There is no reason we could not do the same here, if we had leaders who would take charge and make it happen.
    Military deaths in Iraq: I for one would have liked to have seen no deaths of any US service person in Iraq, period. Everyone knows the arguments back and forth about how we got there, why we went there, what is being done or not done: The fact is all of this didn’t have to happen as it did. The “problem” of Saddam Hussen could have been contained diplomatically, if we had a leader who valued diplomacy. The military incursion we implemented could have been carried out with much better planning and execution if we had a SecDef who wasn’t so bent on imposing his will over those in the military leadership who knew better how to conduct war, because they had actually been in combat. As for insurgents equalling terrorists, do you really believe that if we had not invaded, there would be as many terrorists in Iraq as there are insurgents now?
    As far as being safer, this article seems to differ with your assertion. Facts do matter, whether you are the President of the US, the Secretary of Defense, or a voter deciding who will do the best thing for our country; a Republican like those that have been in total charge of our country for the last 5 years, or a Democrat, someone who could bring back the respect of the world, get our country back on track financially, and not have members of the majority party being indicted and arrested for various frauds and bribery offenses.

  28. Rich from Paso
    April 24, 2006 at 4:09 pm

    bob: You’re right about one thing: we are all over the place with these posts.

    If your read about a third of the way down it says clearly that, excluding the Social Security surplus, the budget surplus was only $80 billion. We lost that in the days after 9/11.

    first of all, I don’t give a rat’s ass for the feckless UN or anything they have to say. That “institution” is ran now by 3rd world dictators and has absolutely no credibility with me. That said, the actual key word is not “programs” but “developing”; they were trying to develop nuclear weapons. The robustness of their program is subject to conjecture, but the intent and the steps they had taken were real. As for North Korea, okay, I’m game to take down Kim Jung-Il, if that’s what you want. I agree that no dictatorship, wheither it is N. Korea, Iran or Iraq should have nukes. Keep in mind that you are going to incur 10 times the deaths that we have in Iraq. North Korea is a bunker country. I have been to Demilitarized Zone in Korea and I have seen the fortifications. if we attacked from the south, it would be a bloodbath. We would need 500,000 soldiers to take North Korea. The only way we could take North Korea more easily is if we could invade from Russia or China and I don’t see that happening any time soon. Look, I know that you don’t want the US in N. Korea anymore than you want the US in Iran or Iraq. You’d prefer that we stayed within the confines of the US, let bygone be bygones, hold hands and sign Kum-bi-yah. That world doesn’t exist and mark my words: If Iran does not change it’s course, by October, January at the latest, bombs will start dropping.

    As for insurgents equalling terrorists, do you really believe that if we had not invaded, there would be as many terrorists in Iraq as there are insurgents now? What sophistry!! First of all, there aren’t that many insurgents. Only about 1,200 hard core insurgents are coordinating things there. As for the terrorists, we have good intel that there were about 5,000 terrorists training in Iraq prior to the war.

    Between General DeLong’s opinion on how things went with Iraq and the job Rumsfeld is doing and your opinion to the contrary, I’m going to go with General DeLong’s. What you “think” shoulda/coulda/woulda happened really doesn’t hold any weight compared to the man that was there developing the plan. Sorry, but that’s just the way it is.

    Your world terrorism on the rise article is more sophistry. The bottom of the article details where the rise came from; Afghanistan (up 8 form 19 to 27), the West Bank and Gaza (duh!) Iraq, (again, duh! there’s a war on over there) and Kashmir. I believe that the Bush is positioning the US to broker a deal on resolving the Kashmir issue with the recent treaty with India and the relationship we have with Pakistan. See, Bush does believe in diplomacy, where it will work!

    Your last point on who the voters will choice: First, you throw the “total control” phrase around as if it meant something it didn’t mean under the Clinton Administration. I should hope that the Bush Administration is in “total control” of the situation. Read these article on;

    William Jefferson D-LA
    Rep. Alan Mollohan (D-W.Va.)
    Rep John Conyers (D-Mich)
    Sen Harry Reid (D-Nev)(the last is a link between Reid and Abramoff)
    Rep Cynthia McKinney (D-GA)

    I think there are just as many Democrats as there are Republicans under scrutiny right now. Your fear should be that the voting public says “a pox on both your houses” and stays home. if that happens, you can count on 2 more years of GOP control of the House, 6 more years of GOP control in the Senate and GOP control of the White House in ’08.

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