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7684 clicks; posted to Politics » on 06 Feb 2007 at 5:32 PM (7 years ago)   |  Favorite   |  Watch    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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  2007-04-30 08:50:14 PM  
Whidbey: The issue isn't whether he said Saddam caused 9/11. The issue is whether Bush used 9/11 as part of his justification for invading Iraq.

Of course he used 9/11 "as part of his justification for invading Iraq".

There is nothing wrong with doing that.

9/11 was the biggest attack on this country ever. It changed how we looked at the world.

Every nation, in every region, now has a decision to make. Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists. (Applause.) From this day forward, any nation that continues to harbor or support terrorism will be regarded by the United States as a hostile regime.

Right....

Bush said that.....

Then, in the War Resolution of 2002: (p)

Whereas members of al Qaida, an organization bearing responsibility for attacks on the United States, its citizens, and interests, including the attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, are known to be in Iraq;


Right....

That was in the Joint Resolution Authorizing The Use Of Military Force In Iraq....

Voted on by Congress....BTW....

I challenge you to find any real evidence to support this. And don't go crying "bad intelligence," this doesn't get our leaders off the hook.

So you are saying there was ZERO evidence that members of Al Quada were in Iraq????

I really don't feel like digging up the links to all of that again but there was evidence that said members of Al Quada were in Iraq.

The inference is clear that Bush believed that the presence of Al Qaeda in Iraq justified invasion.

The presence of Al Qaeda in Iraq was ONLY one of MANY reasons given for going into Iraq.

The Joint Resolution gave a long list of reasons for going into Iraq.

Here is just one of the other reasons listed in the JR...

Whereas the current Iraqi regime has demonstrated its continuing hostility toward, and willingness to attack, the United States, including by attempting in 1993 to assassinate former President Bush and by firing on many thousands of occasions on United States and Coalition Armed Forces engaged in enforcing the resolutions of the United Nations Security Council;

Bush lied to the American people about the reasons for invading a sovereign nation that was no threat to the United States, and the subsequent actions led to the deaths of over 600,000 people.


1. Bush did NOT "lie".

2. It is very debatable how much of a threat Iraq was.

Cheney should be impeached, then Bush, as an example to future Presidents who take it upon themselves to abuse their powers.

Except that he did NOT "abuse" his powers.

Congress authorized the use of the military and Bush used the military.

I really don't understand why you continue to support this government's policy.

Because unlike so many people in this country I do not change my opinions based on how popular something is.

And Trog....

There is not "overwhelming proof" that Bush lied to the American people.

For someone to "LIE" they need to know that what they are saying is not true.
 
  2007-04-30 09:15:49 PM  
dottedmint:

Of course he used 9/11 "as part of his justification for invading Iraq".

There is nothing wrong with doing that.


If there is truly no connection, then he had no business using that as a justification. It's only more deception.

He had no business associating the two in any way.

[9/11] It changed how we looked at the world.

More like Bush used it to carry out some very dubious policy. 9/11 had no bearing on why we should have attacked Iraq. I thought we agreed on this? That Saddam and 9/11 were two very different things that had nothing in common?

If anything, you're proving my point: that Bush believed that Saddam was like an Osama Bin Laden. But Saddam did not order attacks against America. More deception.

Voted on by Congress....BTW....

Not the point. The point was that Bush believes he can assemble a list of "terrorist" nations and expect us to militarily intervene in each of them, and to hell with the rest of the world and the Constitution.

The presence of Al Qaeda in Iraq was ONLY one of MANY reasons given for going into Iraq.

Reasons that have turned out to be false, and obviously you cannot provide any evidence they were in Iraq, let alone that they were a threat justifying an invasion.

Take that big first step, dottedmint. Admit you believed the lies. Your credibility will skyrocket here...:)

Bush did NOT "lie".

He absolutely did. He told the American people that Saddam had WMDs and that statement turned out to be bullsh*t. Why do you keep defending this? Curious.

It is very debatable how much of a threat Iraq was.

With no evidence of that threat, there is no debate.

Except that he did NOT "abuse" his powers

Bush abused his powers when he lied about the reasons to invade and use those powers. I'm not going to sugarcoat this. Bush deliberately told falsehoods to the American people, call a duck a duck, dottedmint.

Because unlike so many people in this country I do not change my opinions based on how popular something is.

This is not a popularity contest. I'll ask you again:

Why do you support this "war" founded upon flimsy "evidence"? What is there to defend?
 
  2007-04-30 10:20:34 PM  
Okay, dottedmint if Bush is so honest, the only alternative is complete incompetence from him and his entire administration. All the people coming forward to show that He and his henchmen had to be some of the dumbest idiots ever to have all the info showing no real threat, or at the very least, not enough to invade and occupy a sovereign nation, and still go ahead and shock and awe the infrastructure to bits. It's also no secret that the neo-cons were delighted to hear that Bush had plans for Iraq before he became president; Long before 9/11. Anyone still saying/believing that Bush had no choice but to invade Iraq, especially since Afghanistan was still a pile of rubble, is being deliberately ignorant.
 
  2007-04-30 11:31:38 PM  
Of course he used 9/11 "as part of his justification for invading Iraq".

There is nothing wrong with doing that.

Whidbey: If there is truly no connection, then he had no business using that as a justification. It's only more deception.

No. Not deception... 9/11 can be mentioned with Iraq as a warning. What can happen when terrorists have a safe base of operation....

IF 9/11 was mentioned with Iran (as a warning of what can happen with islamic extremists) it is not saying Iran was invovled in 9/11.

He had no business associating the two in any way.

There is nothing wrong with using it as a warning...

More like Bush used it to carry out some very dubious policy. 9/11 had no bearing on why we should have attacked Iraq. I thought we agreed on this? That Saddam and 9/11 were two very different things that had nothing in common?

Try again.

I agreed that Saddam was not INVOLVED in 9/11.

If anything, you're proving my point: that Bush believed that Saddam was like an Osama Bin Laden. But Saddam did not order attacks against America. More deception.

No. See above. Also it seems like you are the one being "deceptive" by twisting what Bush said.

And there is evidence that Saddam tried to have a former US President ASSASSINATED.

"Not the point. [Voted on by Congress] The point was that Bush believes he can assemble a list of "terrorist" nations and expect us to militarily intervene in each of them, and to hell with the rest of the world and the Constitution."

Right....

It is such an abuse of power for a President to compile a "list" of nations that he feels are a threat.

Then it is even more of an abuse of power for that President to ask Congress to take steps to deal with these threats.

HOW DARE HE.....

Reasons that have turned out to be false, and obviously you cannot provide any evidence they were in Iraq, let alone that they were a threat justifying an invasion.

1. What you think of as a threat may not be the same as what I think of as a threat.

2. Bill Clinton said Saddam was a threat. The UN said Saddam was a threat. All sorts of other people said Saddam was a threat.

(I'm not sure how to set this up as a link)

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2007/04/13/opinion/main2680349_page2.shtml

He absolutely did. He told the American people that Saddam had WMDs and that statement turned out to be bullsh*t. Why do you keep defending this? Curious.

It would have been a "lie" if Bush somehow KNEW that Saddam did NOT have WMDs.

All sorts of intel said Saddam had WMDs.

IF you want to say that we were wrong about the WMD claim that would be fine.

Ultimately we don't know if he had WMDs or not.

Al Gore said that Saddam had WMDs.

With no evidence of that threat, there is no debate.

The link above gives some evidence of the threat that Saddam posed.

Bush abused his powers when he lied about the reasons to invade and use those powers. I'm not going to sugarcoat this. Bush deliberately told falsehoods to the American people, call a duck a duck, dottedmint.

Sigh....

You have ZERO evidence that "Bush deliberately told falsehoods".

Do us all a favor and don't LIE.

Why do you support this "war" founded upon flimsy "evidence"? What is there to defend?

First because I don't think the evidence is as "flimsy" as you suggest.

Also I am basing my opinion of going into Iraq on what we either knew or thought we knew.

Hindsight (as they say) is 20/20.
 
  2007-05-01 02:15:37 AM  
dottedmint: 9/11 can be mentioned with Iraq as a warning. What can happen when terrorists have a safe base of operation....

And there is evidence that Saddam tried to have a former US President ASSASSINATED.


Neither point justifies invasion of a sovereign nation.

Also it seems like you are the one being "deceptive" by twisting what Bush said.

Not at all, it's pretty obvious Bush added to the fear by bringing up 9/11. There was no reason to do so other than to sweeten the pot and confuse supporters and critics.

And I'm still waiting for those links you're too lazy to look up...;) There is no evidence that Al Qaeda was in Iraq until we invaded it.

First because I don't think the evidence is as "flimsy" as you suggest.

I'm not "suggesting" anything, the fact is that Saddam had no WMDs, and the other intelligence used to justify this police action were either forged or inaccurate.

What specific evidence do you have?

Al Gore said that Saddam had WMDs.

I don't care. Gore isn't President. And you should know by now that I believe that everyone who voted for this war should have been voted (or driven) out of office. They are not fit to represent the American people, IMNSHO.

Right....It is such an abuse of power for a President to compile a "list" of nations that he feels are a threat.

The President's job is not that of a warmonger, especially when he misleads the American public with politically-motivated lies and faulty intelligence.

What you think of as a threat may not be the same as what I think of as a threat.

Iraq was not a threat to the United States. Prove to me otherwise. We invaded a sovereign country and Bush is ultimately responsible for the death of 600,000 Iraqis.

Then it is even more of an abuse of power for that President to ask Congress to take steps to deal with these threats.

See my previous points about politically-motivated lies and faulty "intelligence." :)

Bill Clinton said Saddam was a threat. The UN said Saddam was a threat. All sorts of other people said Saddam was a threat.

You're grasping. But Clinton, dottedmint? And have you forgotten that the UN voted against force? Part of the disgrace of this war is the United States' willful disregard of that decision.

It would have been a "lie" if Bush somehow KNEW that Saddam did NOT have WMDs.

That's a convenient loophole, certainly. But I'm not buying it. Misleading is tantamount to lying. Another good reason we should have the Senate decide this--at the impeachment hearings.

All sorts of intel said Saddam had WMDs.

There is no such evidence, and none were found.

Also I am basing my opinion of going into Iraq on what we either knew or thought we knew.

I should give you credit for sticking to your values, but I truly cannot believe you still buy into the reasons Bush dragged us into the war, even as each point is discredited. You're either very stubborn, or you're in denial, dottedmint.

And even if you cannot accept that the man you voted into office had the intent to lie to the American people to sell an illegal, immoral war, it is quite clear that his actions misled us into believing the justification was there to make war. The facts turned out very different from what Bush was trying to sell us.

The bottom line is you don't let someone off scot-free who screws up like this.
 
  2007-05-01 07:05:40 AM  
Whidbey: And I'm still waiting for those links you're too lazy to look up...;) There is no evidence that Al Qaeda was in Iraq until we invaded it.

UM????

I posted a link.... Or should I say web address because I'm not sure how to convert it to a link. Why did you ignore that?

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2007/04/13/opinion/main2680349_page2.shtml

For you to say there was ZERO evidence that Al Quada was in Iraq is more than a bit dishonest.
 
  2007-05-01 02:55:29 PM  
Haha sorry, man. I knew you'd bust me on that...:) I finally read it after I'd posted. You can click on the "disable HTML" selection at the top of this page and get some tips. Just search for a link, like the War Resolution one I posted below.

Your link was certainly interesting, but I'm not really seeing the proof. A search reveals that Bill Kristol's Weekly Standard is the only source on this, and it's pretty biased. I would ask for more documentation on this, particularly Joe Klein's "confirmation" of terror camps in Iraq.

This aside, all the information is vague, and doesn't really prove that Saddam allowed those that planned the 9/11 attacks to flourish in his country. Bush used such vague unspecifics to bolster support for this war, and we were duped.

There is no solid evidence that warranted invasion.

But again, my biggest criticism is that this war was founded on nothing but speculation, and the Bush team took advantage of that. I don't want my government pulling this kind of crap.
 
  2007-05-01 04:15:09 PM  
Still not done with finals dottedmint but I have some time, so...

That is not a "lie". Bush stated what another government claimed.


The CIA knew the documents which purported this info were forged BEFORE we invaded. My comment (2007-04-26 03:59:38 PM) has the article on that.

So, we knew a) the document was forged b) our guy (the famous Mr. Wilson) failed to find any evidence, c) the British Government was relying on the document we knew was forged. All of this before the invasion.

Consider this: the CIA revealed in March of '03, the same month we invaded, the documents were forged. How long does it take for the CIA to put this in a report? They must have had a theory that there was something suspect about it to determine that it was a forgery, right? So logically, how long did they investigate the matter? Because in January of that year, Bush delivers his state of the union purporting the Uranium from Niger myth. Surely, the suspicions about these documents must have been there during this state of the union?

Is that a responsible thing to do? Tell America a grand lie when the evidence you are relying upon is suspect? And then invade AFTER you have actually determined the documents are a forgery?

Bush never said that Saddam was involved in 9/11.

This has been amply discussed already, whidbey and others have pretty much summed it up already. His tactics in association of 9/11 with Saddam were deceptive and untruthful at best. Saddam hated Al-Qaeda. They were a threat to his regime. They were mutual enemies.

Your link does not support your claim.

The article was showing that they were in fact making the claim. I snipped the other article which refuted it, my bad.

Essentially, analysts within the Dep't of Energy questioned whether these tubes could even be used in the process of creating nuclear weapons. Then, analysts by other respected scientists and agencies agreed with these dissenters.

Is this the responsible thing to do? Operate on a premise which your own Dep't of Energy disagrees upon? Tell your critics in your government to shut up and jump on the wagon? Another faulty, questionable premise played to the American people as fact, while in reality it was questionable at the time and now known to be completely false.

Deception, plain and simple.

From the Washington Post article: (In september of 2003! Only 6 months after we invaded!)

The new report questions that conclusion on several grounds, most of them technical. It says the seized tubes were made of a kind of aluminum that is ill-suited for welding. Other specifications of the imported metal are at odds with what is known about Iraq's previous attempts to build centrifuges. In fact, the report said, Iraq had largely abandoned aluminum for other materials, such as specialized steel and carbon fiber, in its centrifuges at the time its nuclear program was destroyed by allied bombers in the Gulf War.

According to Albright, government experts on nuclear technology who dissented from the Bush administration's view told him they were expected to remain silent. Several Energy Department officials familiar with the aluminum shipments declined to comment.


I found that by googling "aluminum tubes Iraq" by the way. Discovering Bush's lies takes mere seconds in this wonderful internet age.


The 9/11 commission was looking at 9/11. Bush never said Saddam was linked to 9/11. Also alot of the evidence is inconclusive at best.

So, if the 9/11 commission says Saddam had no relationship with Al-Qaeda, it's still irrelevant because its called "the 9/11 commission?" There is ample evidence that Saddam and Al-Qaeda disliked, hated, and in general did not trust one another and considered each other mutual enemies politically. This is relevant to 9/11 and it is relevant to the war. Al-Qaeda was simply not operating in Iraq. There was no relationship.

Iraq was a haven for poverty, misery, and a dictator known as Saddam. It was not a haven for terrorism or Al-Qaeda because if there was one thing Saddam was good at, it was scaring the sh*t out of everyone in Iraq. The intelligence proves this.

On the other hand, there is no evidence Al-Qaeda was operating in Iraq, yet it is waved around as if true by Bush.

More deception.

"Saddam's goal ... is to achieve the lifting of U.N. sanctions while retaining and enhancing Iraq's weapons of mass destruction programs. We cannot, we must not and we will not let him succeed." -- Madeline Albright, 1998

"Iraq does pose a serious threat to the stability of the Persian Gulf and we should organize an international coalition to eliminate his access to weapons of mass destruction. Iraq's search for weapons of mass destruction has proven impossible to completely deter and we should assume that it will continue for as long as Saddam is in power." -- Al Gore, 2002


What did they do about it? Sanctions and bombing. (We could also discuss the merits of that, which I also doubt.) Not full blown invasion.

Also, don't assume I in any way agree with what the democrats were doing about it then. They could have been lying just as much as Bush was lying. But Bush operated on those lies in a way that is inexcusable.

These were found after we were already in Iraq. This was not a lie that led us to Iraq. Your link said that the report was sent to DC just a couple of days before Bush made his speech. Did Bush see/know about this finding? If Bush did not know about this finding it is not a lie.

Where? Where are these mobile weapons labs full of WMD's?

Also, "did Bush know about this finding?" If he didn't he's irresponsible on a scale of enormous proportions, don't you agree? Telling the world these lies and ignoring reports about them? He's the President, he's briefed on things like this every day. Dont you think that if you are actually trying to be honest and discover if these exist, he'd want to see every last shred of evidence about them? Of course he should.

If we are know at the hypothetical point that "well Bush might not have been told that" before he decided to invade a country and sacrifice American lives, Iraqi lives, and billions of dollars, well, that's pretty sad.

Bush deceived the nation and the world. Some of us didn't believe him then and many of us certainly don't believe him now. What he did was surely impeachable, and if I can amass a credible list of completely reprehensible deceptions, lies, mishaps, and irresponsible behavior by simply googling a few keywords, imagine what a full Senate investigation can uncover? How much do we still not know about his lies?

And what about all the other reprehensible things that have been happening? The Libby scandal, the U.S. attorney firings, Halliburton's associations with Cheney and their ridiculous Iraq profits, their well known acts in scamming the military and our troops... the list goes on. It's despicable and the fact that the Democrats have been responding so cowardly to these acts is just as despicable. (Not to mention their voting for his war.) I've lost faith in most of them, not just Bush.
 
  2007-05-01 04:59:33 PM  
Cleveland-Steamer: It's despicable and the fact that the Democrats have been responding so cowardly to these acts is just as despicable

Which is why more people should become involved in their government, not distance themselves from it. Imagine if 50% or more of the constituency called out that cowardly response with e-mails and phone calls.

I'm sick of both parties, too. I really hope they both become irrelevant in the next ten years and more candidates run as independents. Or if we have to have two parties, replace them with the Green and the Libertarians. We could use a decent second wind in political dealings.
 
  2007-05-01 09:08:12 PM  
whidbey Which is why more people should become involved in their government, not distance themselves from it.

I agree. The first step is simply getting people off their butts to vote.

France's turnout in their most recent election was over 80%. Eighty percent! Imagine what kind of difference that would make over here.

Unfortunately, it seems the only way this will happen is when an American can vote from their couch.
 
  2007-05-01 11:29:18 PM  
dottedmint and Cleveland-Steamer are my new official heroes. Move out of the way, Keith Richards!
 
  2007-05-02 12:10:31 AM  
Sheeit. No respect...

What am I, the Rodney Dangerfield of this forum?

Though I do enjoy the discourse in here. Wish more peeps would drop by here.
 
  2007-05-02 07:08:51 AM  
http://www.fas.org/irp/news/1998/11/98110602_nlt.html

06 November 1998

TEXT: US GRAND JURY INDICTMENT AGAINST USAMA BIN LADEN

United States District Court
Southern District of New York


"4. Al Qaeda also forged alliances with the National Islamic Front in
the Sudan and with the government of Iran and its associated terrorist
group Hezballah for the purpose of working together against their
perceived common enemies in the West, particularly the United States.
In addition, al Qaeda reached an understanding with the government of
Iraq that al Qaeda would not work against that government and that on
particular projects, specifically including weapons development, al
Qaeda would work cooperatively with the Government of Iraq.


Please stop trying to tell me there was ZERO evidence that Al Qaeda and Iraq had ties.

This indictment was handed down before Bush was even in office.

There is no way Bush could have manipulated the intel to get this indictment against Al Qaeda.

When he came into office he looked at the evidence that was compiled before he was elected.

That would include this indictment.
 
  2007-05-02 09:24:48 AM  
If I may throw out three thoughts:

1) Why are we debating 'why' we went to war in Iraq? Regardless of the arguments, we are there now. If you want us to leave in X number of months, what will have changed from right now? If you think we should leave right now, what do you really think will happen to Iraq?

2) The current engagement in Iraq is a continuation of the original 'Gulf War' in 1991. At the end of the conflict, Sadam signed a surrender which stated (to paraphrase) the US won't come in if I behave and stop doing X, Y, and Z (weapons production, attacking neighbors, etc.). He broke the rules of surrender, which gave the US full legal rights to start up the fighting again. The UN passed 17 resolutions of 'stop this or else', and Sadam broke every one of them without anything happening to him. President Clinton chose not to follow-up on the surrender or the broken UN resolutions. Bush chose to follow up on them. The UN originally (resolution 17) said that they would use force on Sadam, but then relented when Bush said 'OK, we're going in.' That's the history of what happened.

3) Can the US defend itself or attack another country (such as in the case of a broken surrender/treaty) without the approval of the UN?

Just a couple of thoughts after reading this thread.
 
  2007-05-02 09:29:54 AM  
As an addendum to comment #2... yes, I know that Clinton did impose sanctions and bomb a couple of sites in Iraq. By 'do nothing', I mean he did not lauch a full-scale engagement to get rid of Sadam, as per the surrender agreement.

Also, the same countries (mostly Dictatorships) that opposed the US going into Iraq in 1991 were against the US going in now because, if you can overthrow one government, why not another... a.k.a. they feared losing their own countries or 'upsetting' the Middle Eastern apple-cart.
 
  2007-05-02 02:39:48 PM  
DrTambo:

Why are we debating 'why' we went to war in Iraq?

Because it was wrong of the United States to ignore the UN decision not to invade.

We set up the United Nations with the goal of world representation and consensus. When we do not honor that consensus, then the organization means nothing and we give the rest of the world the impression that we are not interested in peace, nor world representation.

Consider the old "two steps forward, one step back" adage when we came up with the bright idea of a world body, and then disregard it when convenient. Complete waste of time for everybody.

If you think we should leave right now, what do you really think will happen to Iraq?

We can philosophize until dawn. The point is that our leaders initiated this conflict without realizing that the factions Saddam kept in check would explode into a civil war. This is complete negligence. You'd think someone would have opened a history book or at least would have taken the time to recall the Tito regime in Yugoslavia just ten years previous.

No, this administration has proven its incompetence and its arrogance, and their actions continue to set the stage for more abuses of the Office of President and abuses of Constitutional processes.

This is not republic democracy, every year this is looking more and more like a military-style government that trumps Constitutional leadership.

[Saddam] broke the rules of surrender, which gave the US full legal rights to start up the fighting again.

Not without UN consensus, it didn't.

The UN passed 17 resolutions of 'stop this or else', and Sadam broke every one of them without anything happening to him.

I agree. It's frustrating. But the real issue is trying to get allies to agree on action, not bypassing the entire process.

Can the US defend itself or attack another country (such as in the case of a broken surrender/treaty) without the approval of the UN?

If the US does act unilaterally in an age where we're supposedly working towards some kind of international harmony, it had better be for a damned good reason.

Iraq was concocted on faulty intelligence, fear and outright deceptions. There is no reason this country needed to go to war.

dottedmint: Please stop trying to tell me there was ZERO evidence that Al Qaeda and Iraq had ties.

Sorry, but an agreement not to "work against" Iraq does not mean they were working together to destroy the United States.

When [Bush] came into office he looked at the evidence that was compiled before he was elected.

That's a nice spin. The truth is that the case for invading Iraq was so flimsy and full of holes that Bush was grabbing whatever half-truths he could find to put in the mix. It doesn't get him off the hook.
 
  2007-05-02 03:47:39 PM  
whidbey:

I ask 'why' because we cannot turn back time and it demoralizes the troops to continually harp on this point. Thus, I ask you what you hope to prove or change by continually debating 'why'?
 
  2007-05-02 04:44:33 PM  
dottedmint

One sentence from an indictment 5 years before the invasion does not equal evidence that al-qaeda and Iraq were working together or that Iraq was harboring terrorists. It certainly cannot provide the foundation for an invasion.

I'd be curious who they got to testify in that indictment anyway. I highly doubt Osama Bin Laden took the stand on that one, or anyone in al-qaeda for that matter.

Also, indictments have a low standard of proof. All they are (basically) is pre-trials to show you have enough evidence to try somebody. Defendants have little to no rights in those things.

Anyways, facts can change. The facts before the war, facts told to Bush by the CIA, was that Al-Qaeda was not in Iraq and politically the two groups were at odds with one another. Saddam was antithetical to Al-Qaeda; a secularist dictator who actively put down, killed, and tortured radical islamic fundamentalists in his own country.

Whereas now, Al-Qaeda is in full force in Iraq, where before the evidence of their existence there was tenuous at best. So we have essentially made them stronger by giving them a lawless country in which to operate, like a second afghanistan. How is this solving the problem? We've created a political black hole which will require a huge effort on the part of the entire world and the middle east to fix, otherwise we risk letting Iraq become just another wasteland where warlords rule and civil society in general steps back about 500 years.

The fact that Bush ignored the intelligence indicating the likelihood of exactly this is irresponsible. His dad knew the intelligence, which is why he didn't continue on and take out Saddam. You cannot just overthrow a dictator and say "OK people, here you go, have fun. We'd like you to start a democracy now. kthnxbye."
 
  2007-05-02 06:34:59 PM  
DrTambo: If you want us to leave in X number of months, what will have changed from right now? If you think we should leave right now, what do you really think will happen to Iraq?

If you have an answer to this question, you should run for president.

Iraq's a sh*thole, and it's going to be one for a while. There really isn't much we can do about that.

If the democrats win the presidency, the republicans are going to turn their arguments around and claim the democrats are screwing up in Iraq, don't have a plan, everything is their fault, yada yada yada.

This is an enormous and horrific mistake of gargantuan proportions and what we are doing right now isn't working.

But the issue at hand (what we are discussing) is merely the fact that the Bush administration is largely to blame for getting us into this situation, and they got us into it on false pretenses, and they should be held accountable for that.

Admittedly this doesn't solve the problem. But those who are responsible should be held accountable.
 
  2007-05-02 07:06:10 PM  
Cleveland-Steamer:

While I would love to run for President, I don't think I would ever win because I would actually tell you what I think and why in EVERY case (think Jesse Ventura, but as a conservative with a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering).

In any case, my main point is that this thread does not help the situation. After the war is won (think Germany around 1950) and the troops are home, then we can assign blame and actually prosecute those who are at fault. But, for now, it hurts our troop and helps the enemy when they constantly hear so much arguing back home in the US. This is not an opinion, its a fact as reported by the Generals in Iraq (I have quite a few friends in the military and hear the "off-camera" news).

In terms of Iraq, the majority of the country is actually quite peaceful, but all of America's enemies (Al-Queda, Iran, etc.) are sending in people to Bagdad where the bulk of the news organizations are stationed to make sure that the people in the US see the results of their attacks. The world saw the US in their only military loss: Vietnam. There, the politicians back home tried to run the war from Congress (sound familiar) rather than letting the Generals on the ground do their job and make the decisions. In addition, the news was constantly reporting all of the dead bodies, which made the war unpopular. Thus, if our enemies can do the same thing here, the US would pull out its troops and the bad guys can win... because they know that they cannot actually beat us, we can only choose to lose.

In the military, there is a saying, "The debate stops when the boots hit the ground." In other words, if you want to support the troops and want the US to win, you stop arguing about the 'why' and make sure the troops get the tools they need to decimate the enemy. This is also why I'm not really debating each individual point.

Although, I do have to give a lot of credit to the government in Iraq. Going from nothing to a Democracy with a three-party system is pretty impressive for this short a time. In addition, they are still trying to set up the other two branches of government, keep the peace, keep all the ultra-religious and anti-religios factions happy, and change the people's perspective on government (they only knew Dictatorships before now). They are actually doing quite well.
 
  2007-05-02 08:11:37 PM  
DrTambo: After the war is won (think Germany around 1950) and the troops are home, then we can assign blame and actually prosecute those who are at fault. But, for now, it hurts our troop and helps the enemy when they constantly hear so much arguing back home in the US. This is not an opinion, its a fact as reported by the Generals in Iraq

No no and no. I could not disagree with you more. Just because we are at war doesn't mean everyone needs to stop disagreeing about whether it's valid or stop questioning their government. That's totalitarianism. I will not accept that kind of rigid control.

If I don't think our troops should be there, such as my friend in the Marines who recently returned from a tour of duty over there, or my cousin who died 3 months ago in Iraq, I am going to say so. The "support the troops" mantra is propoganda in the manner that it is abused by some people. It has come to mean "shut up and do whatever the government tells you and believe whatever the government tells you."

Pardon my french but F*ck that. Supporting your troops doesn't mean supporting the war they are fighting. I "support" our troops in that I strongly believe they should not be put in harms way for no good reason, and if they are put in harms way their leaders should properly plan a strategy which is the most effective and efficient way to allow them to get their job done. That has not happened. The war was not a legitimate use of our soldiers AND the proper planning and implementation did not occur.

Dissent is the highest form of democracy and just because we are at war doesn't mean we shouldn't question our government.

In the military, there is a saying, "The debate stops when the boots hit the ground."

That's because the military is the antithesis of democratic government. Our democracy isn't run the way the military is run because they are different things which perform different functions. If the "debate" hurts morale, whose fault is that? The government who put the troops in an unpopular and unwinnable war. The government bears the ultimate responsibility, not me and you. If they are losing that is the fault of the commanders and the politicians who put them there.
 
  2007-05-02 08:21:28 PM  
DrTambo: Thus, I ask you what you hope to prove or change by continually debating 'why'?

Without debating "why," we run the risk of it happening again. The goal is to make it that it doesn't and why it shouldn't.

it demoralizes the troops to continually harp on this point

Maybe we shouldn't have invaded, then...:)

because we cannot turn back time

Which is why we try to shape a future where chickenhawk warmongers like the present administration are discouraged from trying to pull this kind of crap again.
 
  2007-05-02 09:13:20 PM  
Cleveland-Steamer and whidbey:

I couldn't disagree with both of you more, which is one of the greatest parts of our Republic: we both have the freedom to speak our opinion.

No war is unwinnable. This war is very winnable. And, no, you cannot support the troops without supporting the war. I have friends and relatives there too... they agree with me and they tell me that their platoons would also agree. But, then again, that is anecdotal evidence... as is yours.

I do agree with you that we need examine, study, and debate the past so that we do not relive mistakes... but I completely disagree with the timing of this debate. More than 90% of our Congress voted for the war and the polling for the first year of the engagement showed more than 50% public approval (in WWII, only 44% of the public approved of enterring the war, and that was after Pearl Harbor). That is when the debate should have happened. Once the engagement has started, the debate should stop... then, after the dust settles and everything can be examined logically (not emotionally), we can re-examine and, if necessary, re-debate having the full 20/20 hindsight. Wars should be fought on the battlefield, not in the walls of Congress or the nightly news.

But, again, I can see by the arguments both of you have listed that you and I will not reach any true concensus. Thus, I believe we will have to agree to disagree.
 
  2007-05-02 10:01:28 PM  
Whidbey: We set up the United Nations with the goal of world representation and consensus. When we do not honor that consensus, then the organization means nothing and we give the rest of the world the impression that we are not interested in peace, nor world representation.

That is kinda a problem when Iraq basically BRIBES other members of the UN to vote against any actions.


DrTambo [Saddam] broke the rules of surrender, which gave the US full legal rights to start up the fighting again.

Whidbey: Not without UN consensus, it didn't.

Actually....

Saddam agreed to a cease fire and then broke it.

IF not every member of the cease fire wish to enforce that cease fire it does NOT mean that those that wish to enforce the cease fire can't.

And the BRIBES that I mentioned above sorta puts things in perspective....

I agree. It's frustrating. But the real issue is trying to get allies to agree on action, not bypassing the entire process.

Actually we got several allies to help us topple Saddam.

If the US does act unilaterally in an age where we're supposedly working towards some kind of international harmony, it had better be for a damned good reason.

We did NOT act "unilaterally".

We had (if I recall correctly) over 30 allies that helped us to one degree or another with Iraq.

Sorry, but an agreement not to "work against" Iraq does not mean they were working together to destroy the United States.

You ignored the part that said....

"...and that on
particular projects, specifically including weapons development, al
Qaeda would work cooperatively with the Government of Iraq."


In any case this was another example of evidence that Iraq had links to Al Qaeda.

C-S: Also, indictments have a low standard of proof. All they are (basically) is pre-trials to show you have enough evidence to try somebody.

Right.....

All you need to show is "ENOUGH EVIDENCE". They felt they had "ENOUGH EVIDENCE" to say that Iraq had links with Al Qaeda.

And I am being told in here that there was ZERO evidence that Iraq had links with Al Qaeda.

Hmmmm.....

An indictment from a Grand Jury or some anti-war debaters on an internet forum......

Who should I beleive more??????

Sorry guys but I'll put more trust in the Grand Jury....

We've created a political black hole which will require a huge effort on the part of the entire world and the middle east to fix, otherwise we risk letting Iraq become just another wasteland where warlords rule and civil society in general steps back about 500 years.

And we need to take steps to try to keep these terrorists from destroying what has been accomplished. Pulling out our troops before the new Iraqi government can defend itself will NOT accomplish this. Playing political games with the funding will NOT accomplish this. Going on record that the surge has "failed" will NOT accomplish this.
 
  2007-05-02 10:31:29 PM  
You pantyhosed liberal demihoes may gain seats in the congress by pandering to the war protests but you would never be elected sheriff in my town.
If we are attacked again will you call for volunteers to respond. Fark you. You are open game for Jihadistan and I will gladly be rid of you. Yes, I call your patriotism into issue. Even the Mafia has a better sense of duty to God, family and country. Pelosi and Reid should be sent to Guantanomo as enemy combatants.
War is mean. War is brutal. Not many have the stomach for it. But for those who do we must give our full support without reservation.
Either we win this war or we are the Wussss among nations. Start kissing the ass of mohammed if we fail.
 
  2007-05-02 11:20:40 PM  
I have a technical question.....

In debating back and forth I constantly find myself "cutting and pasting" comments that others have made.

For some strange reason I'm having problems trying to "cut" past comments.

I don't have any problem "cutting" from the last 3 or 4 postings but after a certain point when I try to "cut" a portion of a comment it will only select everything.

It won't let me simply "cut" out portions of the debate.

Is anyone else having this problem or is this something with my PC?

I hate to interupt the debate with a technical question but it is causing me problems with keeping up with the debate.
 
  2007-05-02 11:53:07 PM  
dottedmint: All you need to show is "ENOUGH EVIDENCE". They felt they had "ENOUGH EVIDENCE" to say that Iraq had links with Al Qaeda.

Enough evidence = prima facie case for bringing someone to trial = low standard of proof = nowhere near the standard of proof to INVADE ANOTHER COUNTRY.

You're also missing the fact that the 9/11 commission expressly denied (pops) the existence of any connection. This is relevant, this is closer to the time of invasion, and this is a higher standard of proof than an indictment.

From the article:
"But the report of the commission's staff, based on its access to all relevant classified information, said that there had been contacts between Iraq and al Qaeda but no cooperation. In yesterday's hearing of the panel, formally known as the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, a senior FBI official and a senior CIA analyst concurred with the finding.

The staff report said that bin Laden "explored possible cooperation with Iraq" while in Sudan through 1996, but that "Iraq apparently never responded" to a bin Laden request for help in 1994. The commission cited reports of contacts between Iraq and al Qaeda after bin Laden went to Afghanistan in 1996, adding, "but they do not appear to have resulted in a collaborative relationship. Two senior bin Laden associates have adamantly denied that any ties existed between al Qaeda and Iraq. We have no credible evidence that Iraq and al Qaeda cooperated on attacks against the United States.""

NO CREDIBLE EVIDENCE. End of discussion.

So your choice isn't between me and a grand jury indictment, but between that single indictment and the reams of evidence to the contrary.


As for the tech stuff, sorry I can't help as I haven't had a similar problem. I would recommend a plug in such as Farkit, and Farkode is how I do all the links and such.
 
  2007-05-02 11:54:25 PM  
swat a gadfly

Let's try and keep things civil shall we?
 
  2007-05-02 11:58:26 PM  
dottedmint: Playing political games with the funding will NOT accomplish this.

Sorry for the broken up response, but...

My response to this is Bush is playing politics with the war funding as much as the democrats are. Bush could have signed the bill and simply refused to follow the timetable as an unconstitutional usurpation of his war powers. You yourself argued that congress doesnt have the right to tell Bush when to end the war, so why doesnt he just sign it and issue one of his signing statements, which he does all the time, and just say "thanks for the money but I dont have to listen to you."

Because he's playing political games with the money as well. He's playing chicken with the senate and the house, and that should be just as reprehensible as what others think the dems are doing.
 
  2007-05-03 01:33:20 AM  
DrTambo: This war is very winnable.

If you mean by "winnable" conjuring up an additional 200+K troops, ordering a Quonset Hut full of daisy cutters, surrounding Baghdad with a titanium-strength wall and keeping a couple of nukes on hand, sure. But at what price? No, this war is a miserable failure and a waste of this country's resources. The point is that it should never be allowed to happen again.

And, no, you cannot support the troops without supporting the war

That's completely false. I value our military personnel and it's precisely because this is a chickenhawk's klstrfk that they should be allowed to come home, out of harm's way and away from this ill-conceived police action.

More than 90% of our Congress voted for the war and the polling for the first year of the engagement showed more than 50% public approval

Public approval? Guess what? I supported the war the first year. I BOUGHT INTO the lies spewed by the warmongers who crafted this deception. And Congress should have known better. I'm frankly stunned they all weren't voted out.

Your facts only prove how easily the leaders of this country abused the trust of its people.

But, again, I can see by the arguments both of you have listed that you and I will not reach any true concensus

Then don't stop questioning: Go over the facts again, realize that this "war" was a ploy, a ruse to secure a strategic region and its valuable natural resources. Iraq is the most lucrative vantage point for military staging in the Middle East region we've had in decades. But Bush couldn't come out and say that four years ago, now could he...? :)

dottedmint: For some strange reason I'm having problems trying to "cut" past comments.

Beats the heck out of me. I suspect there needs to be another update to Farkit, if you're referring to the Firefox plugin feature.

That is kinda a problem when Iraq basically BRIBES other members of the UN to vote against any actions.

Politics is dirty, we both know this. If there are members of the UN who are corrupt, then it's up to the more established members of the group to purge that corruption. This does not mean abandon principles. Iraq was not a worst-case scenario like Nazi Germany where the world needed to act or else.

But the UN will not succeed if it isn't taken seriously by the very people who set it up. The issue isn't whether the resolutions were worthy of being enforced, the issue is that the US turned rogue and told the world to fark off. And the allies you mention are not the UN, either, but others that decided to participate in Bush's rogue operation, which we are finding was dishonest and exaggerated in its urgency.

IF not every member of the cease fire wish to enforce that cease fire it does NOT mean that those that wish to enforce the cease fire can't.

Then the concept of international law means nothing.

Again: the military urgency in attacking Iraq was not justified by the Security Council. The honorable thing for the United States to do would have been to accept this and change other Security Council members' positions through diplomacy. I would have traded five years of stubborn squabbling over the shameful unilateral disaster this country ended up being responsible for creating. Yes--UNILATERALLY. The United States is ultimately the responsible party who led the rogue action. This is the Bush administration's baby, dottedmint..

And I am being told in here that there was ZERO evidence that Iraq had links with Al Qaeda.

I saw no credible evidence, and your "indictment" was vague, speculative and again offered nothing to justify the invasion.
 
  2007-05-03 06:51:37 AM  
C-S: "We have no credible evidence that Iraq and al Qaeda cooperated on attacks against the United States."

That is NOT saying that Iraq did NOT have ties with Al Qaeda.

It is ONLY saying they have no evidence that Iraq and Al Qaeda worked together to attack the US.

There is a HUGE difference.

The indictment that I mentioned said that they had an agreement to work together in certain areas.

No. The indictment does not show the evidence that they used to make that ruling. Odds are that most of it was top secret and posting it in a public document like the indictment would have a negative impact on our intelligence agencies.

The bottom line is that there was EVIDENCE that Iraq had ties with Al Qaeda.

If you don't think it was enough to invade, that is nothing more than your OPINION.....not fact.
 
  2007-05-03 03:34:52 PM  
If you don't think it was enough to invade, that is nothing more than your OPINION.....not fact.

The bottom line is that there was EVIDENCE that Iraq had ties with Al Qaeda.


No, your "evidence" speaks for itself:

That attempting to tie Al Qaeda with Iraq as justification for invasion is a very weak case. Zero to no evidence of any kind of activity whatsoever except for what's written in a bunch of obscure "documents."

You're still not convincing anyone, you're merely repeating the same debunked misinformation.
 
  2007-05-03 05:09:06 PM  
DrTambo: but I completely disagree with the timing of this debate.

Well I guess I have a hypothetical for you then: If a war lasts through an election, is the public supposed to base their opinions about who to vote for completely independent of the war and any issues which may surround it? Like, for instance--hypothetically speaking--lying about why we went to war?

If a war lasts for a long long time, is the public supposed to not question the war until it's over, even if it lasts for, say, 20 years? 50 years?

Furthermore, what is a war? The last person we officially declared war on was the Japanese. We've had a "cold war." We are fighting a "war on terror." Are these also "wars" during which we must not question our government or the wisdom of their military decision-making?
 
  2007-05-03 05:38:53 PM  
dottedmint: It is ONLY saying they have no evidence that Iraq and Al Qaeda worked together to attack the US.

Right...so... If there is no evidence that they were trying to attack us together, then... why do we care again? What relevance does a "relationship" have if it is not a relationship whose common purpose is attacking us?

why should we care what al-qaeda and Iraq are doing if their cooperation is not involved with attacking the US?! Seriously, the only relevant reason why any relationship with al-qaeda should concern us would be a relationship whose goal is harming the US and its citizens.

If Saddam and Osama agreed to get together and bake cookies should I care? No.

Furthermore, the massive amount of evidence out there contrary to your indictment (I'd like to read that by the way, can you post the site?) seems to indicate the indictment was either incorrect or simply not true.

For instance, this 2005 CIA intelligence report to the Senate Intelligence Committee (pops), which specifically addressed the Pre-war intelligence, indicates Saddam had no links whatsoever to Al-Qaeda:

"Far from aligning himself with al-Qaeda and Jordanian terrorist Zarqawi, Saddam repeatedly rebuffed al-Qaeda's overtures and tried to capture Zarqawi, the report said. Tariq Aziz, the detained former deputy prime minister, has told the FBI that Saddam "only expressed negative sentiments about bin Laden".

The report also said that exiles from the Iraqi National Congress tried to influence US policy by providing, through defectors, false information on Iraq's nuclear, chemical and biological weapons capabilities. After skeptical analysts warned that the group had been penetrated by hostile intelligence services, including Iran's, a 2002 White House directive ordered that US funding for the INC be continued."

These captured Iraqi Documents and interrogations of Saddam Hussein and his aides (pops) also discount any link. Mere "contacts" are only alleged insofar as al-qaeda said "lets talk" and Saddam said "fark off." Are those contacts? Yes. Are they indicative of a relationship we should be worried about? Absolutely not.

On April 29, 2007, former Director of Central Intelligence George Tenet said on 60 Minutes that the Bush Administration "could never verify that there was any Iraqi authority, direction and control, complicity with al-Qaida for 9/11 or any operational act against America, period." (The article on that was from Salon which requires you to watch a stupid ad so I'm not linking it.)

There comes a point when an opinion, such as the opinion that there was not enough evidence to attack Iraq based on al-qaeda ties, becomes very close to fact. Although you may consider this merely an "opinion," it is an informed opinion, based on facts, as opposed to speculation.

If you were trying to decide whether knock down a bee's nest, and your buddy on one side of you said "dont worry, they're honey bees, they're harmless," while 12 entomologists were on the other side saying "umm no thats a wasp nest, and you're allergic and you'll die," would it be prudent to say "well those are both merely opinions, therefore I will strike down this nest!"

No. It would be pretty dumb. Which is exactly what it would be to actually invade Iraq based on one indictment 5 years prior in the face of all the other evidence.

And we're getting afield of the real problem: it's not that Bush was dumb and thought this was true, it's that he knew it was BS and sold it to the public as fact.

Regardless of the opinion as to this stuff, the amount of emphasis Bush put on this relationship, and the authority with which he claimed it was true is inexcusable. He paraded it around like it was God's spoken truth, when in reality it was completely speculative and very likely to be completely false. That's the real issue here. His deceptive use of false information in order to sell a war to the public on false pretenses.
 
  2007-05-03 10:19:43 PM  
C-S:

Quick point... the Congress did sign a declaration of war against Saddam. Just FYI.

I will concede that the public wants know more about what the possible leaders in our country will do about the war and, thus, a discussion of what to do next is necessary. However, I do not think that we should be arguing about 'why we went in'. That is the point where you and I disagree. I believe that, rather than assign blame, we should be discussing what to do next and how those decisions will effect the region.

However, I do not think 'pulling out' should be discussed for one simple reason: if the enemy/terrorists know when we plan to leave, then they will simply build up their forces to attack right after we go. Heck, that's why we still have large military bases in places like Korea and Germany, and those wars are long over.

If everyone is so worried about the US leaving after the war is over, then I would ask two questions (specifically to you, C-S):
1) What will happen in the Middle East after we leave?
2) Was removing Saddam from power a good thing for the US? For the Middle East? For the Kurds?
 
  2007-05-04 07:41:42 AM  
DrTambo: 1) What will happen in the Middle East after we leave?
2) Was removing Saddam from power a good thing for the US? For the Middle East? For the Kurds?


Good morning. Sorry to butt in; I couldn't resist showing my ignorance to the world.

Since the majority of Iraqis want the occupiers out, I say we respect their wishes. Infighting will undoubtedly increase, but one faction(Al Qaeda) will surely find things much rougher when the locals turn their attention to them. I have read news reports that this is already happening. (In a perfect world, George W. Bush would find himself in The Hague defending his "bring 'em on" quip.) The bottom line is that we should not be in Iraq killing Iraqis, or having them be killed because we are there.

removing Saddam was very good for a certain segment(neo-cons, Halliburton) of the US.(Halliburton's move to other climes now that they've pretty much cleaned up in this portion of the GWOT may make it a little tougher for us to sue for war profiteering, but I'm sure that never entered into the discussions.) The ME is not too happy with our methods for his removal since they're still trying to take care of @1Million Iraqi refugees, from a country that posed no threat to them. I have read some reports (admittedly anti-war biased) stating that the Kuwait invasion was a set up by the Bush 41 administration. Whether true or not, our response made sure that Saddam had very little warmongering power left at his disposal. I admit to absotively no idea about the Kurdish situation. Though I can guarantee they would not like my ideas on the oil distribution, which I think should be gathered up and spread out evenly. Not, "I got mine, you get yours."
 
  2007-05-04 11:19:23 AM  
You pantyhosed liberal demihoes may gain seats in the congress by pandering to the war protests but you would never be elected sheriff in my town.
If we are attacked again will you call for volunteers to respond. Fark you. You are open game for Jihadistan and I will gladly be rid of you. Yes, I call your patriotism into issue. Even the Mafia has a better sense of duty to God, family and country. Pelosi and Reid should be sent to Guantanomo as enemy combatants.
War is mean. War is brutal. Not many have the stomach for it. But for those who do we must give our full support without reservation.
Either we win this war or we are the Wussss among nations. Start kissing the ass of mohammed if we fail.
 
  2007-05-04 01:54:40 PM  
swat a gadfly:You pantyhosed liberal demihoes

Uhhh...we heard you twice the first time...:)

DrTambo:Quick point... the Congress did sign a declaration of war against Saddam. Just FYI.

No, not even. A War "Resolution" is not the official declaration that the Constitution Requires, it is a means of getting around that process. What's more, it only authorizes the use of force. It is no declaration, rather "resolutions" should be regarded as Unconstitutional.

Wars should be incredibly difficult to craft, and previous administrations have managed to bypass official declarations with police actions, Korea and Vietnam being notable historic examples.
 
  2007-05-04 02:47:05 PM  
DrTambo: Quick point... the Congress did sign a declaration of war against Saddam. Just FYI.

Maybe it's a minor distinction, but Congress didn't declare war. They passed a resolution authorizing Bush to use force against Iraq. He could have done nothing. Similarly to how Congress didn't declare war against Afghanistan. Or Panama. Or Vietnam. Or Iraq in the Gulf War. Or anyone else we've invaded since WWII.

Wars are politically complicated, particularly these days when we don't even declare war anymore. Hence my questioning of your definition of "war" and the subsequent need to end all criticism of the government when the war starts.

If everyone is so worried about the US leaving after the war is over, then I would ask two questions (specifically to you, C-S):
1) What will happen in the Middle East after we leave?
2) Was removing Saddam from power a good thing for the US? For the Middle East? For the Kurds?


These are good questions and they are difficult to answer. My answer is therefore long and I apologize, but brevity is not my forte unfortunately. I'll try not to be too speculative but that may often be the case.

1: what will happen to the middle east if we leave?

Well for one thing, the Israeli Palestinian conflict will still continue, seemingly forever. That will always be a hot point in western/arab relations and Iraq won't influence this issue much, other than maybe training more militants and increasing the trafficking of weapons which make it up to Palestine to attack Israel. In fact, in the long run (I mean, next 50 years) that seems to be more important. If that domino falls (i.e. in a good way) it buys us alot of clout to move forward in other areas.

As for Iraq, the way I see it: Iraq is going to be a complete sh*t hole for the next 10 years regardless of whether we stay or whether we go. Our presence gives an excuse to foreign elements to stay in Iraq and destabilize the country, which is what is occuring now.

Remember when this shiatstorm really got underway? When famous Sunni and Shiite mosques were bombed in 2005 and 2006, in particular the Golden Dome in Samara. These are calculated measured attacks designed to ignite a civil war and in general make our job tougher and bog us down in a perpetual military conflict.

So the question is whether our presence in Iraq is going to help create a stable democracy which will last. I don't believe so. I think our presence gives an excuse for more violence and militant action in the country, and in fact hinders the progress of any civil government as any cooperation with American Forces is a de facto death sentence and is in general looked down upon.

Kicking us out may give more credit to the current leaders there than trying to cooperate with us. Of course, Islamic extremism remains a threat, but their presence and clout is more dependent on the failures of the Americans and their presence within the country. It's like in Palestine: hezbollah gets a lot of love because they perform a lot of the social functions which Fatah doesn't due to either inefficiency or corruption, and thus Hezbollah becomes popular. Same way in Iraq. Poor and destitute people become aligned with whomever is feeding and taking care of them, which these Islamic fundamentalist parties do.

Was removing Saddam from power a good thing for the US?

Short answer? No. He posed no threat because he was a handcuffed powerless dictator and the war has in general negatively effected us. I'll be happy to explain this more, but I'd be curious why you would think it was a good thing for us? And please don't bring up the euro/petro dollar thing.


For the Middle East?

See above.

For the Kurds?

Yes. The war has probably benefited them the most, I'd say, and they've proved the most adaptable to their new situation. Although adaptable is probably the wrong word, as they already enjoyed a sort of de facto independence due to the no fly zones, sanctions, and state of mini-civil war which they were already under any way. So, in a way they were well prepared.
 
  2007-05-04 02:55:33 PM  
DrTambo: Sorry to butt in

Butt in! Please butt in. More people need to butt in in here.


swat a gadfly

Oh yeah? Well you're like, ugly and you smell and stuff.
 
  2007-05-05 05:56:35 AM  
C-S, may I call you C-S? Obviously, we need to pass the hat and get the guy who did the farkit add-on to update.

Too bad about swat a gadfly. All that anger and hate, and he's far too ignorant to come up with two posts in a row without repeating.
 
  2007-05-05 02:13:31 PM  
C-S:

As a side note, I enjoy debates with thos who actually think through their answers and have facts to back them up rather than the standard consciracy theory that I usually hear in deabting other... thus, I really do enjoy our "argument".

Back to the fun... and I'm not very good at short answers either...

I will concede that there is a difference between the declaration of war and the war resolution, and that, given your point about the Constitution, the war resolutions are the way for the Congress to comit without committing. However, given our current political climate, the war resolution (resolution of force, whatever you wish to call it) did send our troops into this fight and serves the same purpose as the Constitutional War Resolution. We can debate this one back and forth, but I think we'll both end up agreeing to disagree.

As for my questions, I will give you my answers (which should respond to yours)...

1) The middle east is currently in a religious and secular struggle for power that has international attention because of the oil fields and origin locations of three major international religions: Christianity, Judaism, and Muslim. Each of them has legitimate claims (in terms of origin) to the region and all are linked through a common ancestor, Abraham. According to the Bible, Abraham's two sons (origin of Judaism and Muslim) would fight for eternity. In addition, each believes that the other is NOT following God and, thus, feels righteous in their own beliefs. Thus, if you believe the Bible, the two will fight until Judgment Day and there will be no peace until then.

Within the Muslim faith, the there are two main factions: Suni and Shiite (excuse me if I spell them incorrectly). Each traces their origin back to the death of Mohammed, when the next leader was in dispute. One believe that the family of Mohammed should be the source of the next leader and the other believed it should be the one who was the most qualified regardless of ancestry. These two groups can be compared to the Irish Protestant/Catholic argument and will not get along easily. Although, based on the US example of Protestant/Catholic relations, the Suni/Shiite may actually learn to get along if neither of them can lord over the other... which Iraq could be under a Republic/Democratic government.

So, the Middle East will be at war until the region is no longer ruled through religious leaders but, instead, has equal representation from each group... or one group obliterated the others. Currently, most of the countries are opting for obliteration rather than cooperation, which is why a Democracy in Iraq (and Afghanistan for that matter) is so important. To serve as an example for the other countries. This is also why so many Iranians, Palestinians, Egyptians, etc. have been caught in Iraq fighting against the US coalition forces, including the Iraqi militia/police.

And, while I will concede that things got worse after the two masques were bombed (terrorists trying to get the Shiites and Sunis to fight each other and create a Civil War), they were already pretty bad before then because the Iraqi people could not defend themselves from terrorists (local or from other countries). In addition, the US (from fear of offending Muslims) could not return fire or enter masques even though the terrorists were using them as staging points. In this area, the Iraqi militia/police were amazingly helpful because they had no such limitation.

So, for the reasons I have listed above, based on the history of the region, I believe that the US is holding back a real sh*tstorm and needs to stay until the Iraqi people can do this themselves. Just as Isreal is constantly being attacked, Iraq has a similar future ahead of it because of the danger a demacracy poses in the Middle East.

Looking at the history of Iran, we can seem a glimpse of what would happen should the US leave Iraq. In the last '70s, Jimmy Carter stopped backing the leader of Iran (a dictator who was friendly to the US), which allowed the religious revolution to occur, placing the Iran under the control of militant Islam (the dangerous denomination that believe all unbelievers should be converted or killed... kinda' like the Borg). If we leave Iraq before they can stand alone, then the Shiites in Iraq (who are the largest people-group in Iraq) could partner with the ruling Iranian Shiites and create a super Islamic state with one of the largest oil fields on the planet. This would pose a huge energy threat to the US, as we import 60% of all of our oil, as well as a security threat.

2) Yes, removing Saddam was a good thing for the world (and the US) because he had already proven that he was a danger to his neighbors (remember Kuwait, anyone?) and was still trying to obtain bigger and better weaponry (which is how he broke 17 UN resolutions as well as the cease-fire agreement with the US). The debate of whether or not he was going after WMDs (chemical/biological or nuclear) can be looked at as before and after the battle began.

Before:
He had proven that he refused to destroy his chemical/biological weaponry by defying the UN (produce proof that they are gone... multiple resolutions), kicking out the UN inspectors, and testing them on the Kurds. In many cases, the UN was ignoring his activities because of the "oil for food" program, which has been shown to be corrupt. In addition, the Clinton administration as well as the bulk of the international community thought that he was still pursuing chemical/biological and nuclear weaponry. As for when the international community stopped believing this, that the people on this thread have already debated... so I'll skip it and just say that everyone thought he had them prior to Bush taking office in January of 2001.

After the battle:
Many of the same Congressmen who believed he had them (and cited that in casting their vote) latter said he did not. Again, the who "Bush lied", "I was given wrong info.", etc. debates have already been covered... I'll just leave this point as many later said that he did not have the weaponry. The fact that we found only some of Saddam's chemical/biological weapons stores (that he told the UN he had destroyed) without finding all of it or proof that it had been destroyed leads me to believe that he was still in pursuit of this type of weaponry... my opinion based on facts.

Just as Hitler was not a threat to the US until he began taking over our alies, Saddam was not a direct threat to us at the time that we kicked him out of Kuwait or took him out of power. However, just like Hitler, he tried to take over his neighbors (Kuwait). Granted, no one stepped up to take out Hitler until he had already built a huge army... the US government and the coalition we had through the UN didn't want to take any chances on that again when he was kicked out of Kuwait. And, for fear that he still had these ambitions, he was kaged in Iraq under house arrest (if you will) with specific rules... which he broke.

Thus, removing him from power was a great thing, but the Iraqi people were not ready to govern themselves and, fearing another situation like Iran in the late '70s, the US (and a coalition of nations) has stepped in to prop up the young government until they can defend themselves. If we leave, the Middle East will only get worse.

C-S, you said that you thought "Iraq is going to be a complete sh*t hole for the next 10 years regardless of whether we stay or whether we go." My question to you now is what will have changed over that 10 years if we go? Do you believe as I do that Iraq would erupt into a civil war, which the Iranian Shiites would help end by desimating the Sunis and Kurds, making Iran-Iraq a super-Islamic state? What will the region look like in 10 years?
 
  2007-05-05 11:22:52 PM  
I've never really had anyone show me where in The US Constitution it gives the TEXT of a Declaration of War or where it even says what should/must be included in a DoW.

The US Constitution also does not say that a DoW must be passed before the military can be used...

Congress has the authority to Declare War...

Congress passed the Authorization To Use Military Force in Iraq....
 
  2007-05-06 02:12:49 AM  
dottedmint: I've never really had anyone show me where in The US Constitution it gives the TEXT of a Declaration of War or where it even says what should/must be included in a DoW.

US Declaration of War on Japan, 1941

Short and sweet, clearly explaining the situation. We were attacked, we made no bones about what we were going to do, and the reasons to go to war were compelling.

Not even the case with any "war" maneuver since. Both the President and Congress bypassed the crucial Constitutional mechanism of declaring war. Funding military operations as needed violates the spirit of Article I, Section 8.

There is a reason to declare war, enacting "resolutions" to fund whatever conflict the President wants skirts that protocol. Wars are serious business, not foreign policy projects.

In short, both the President and Congress are abusing their powers. If Iraq were truly a compelling threat to the United States, Congress should at least have had the decency to declare an actual war.

And yes, I understand the precedent has long been set, but look where it's gotten us. Failed "wars" like Iraq and Vietnam, and a reputation for being an aggressive nation who'll send the military to wherever with little accountability.

DrTambo: I believe that the US is holding back a real sh*tstorm and needs to stay until the Iraqi people can do this themselves.

We will fail without a major effort from the international community. The US presence isn't going to stop anything, it's going to get worse as enemies are united to strike at us until we're gone, or we bring out the really heavy deadly guns again and kill another half million people.

It's going to take Bush finally admitting to the American people he was wrong about every aspect of this war and then we need to set about negotiating key members of the international community to step in and stop the violence. The only way.
 
  2007-05-06 09:41:37 AM  
I really hate to repeat myself Whidbey but as I said before I've never really had anyone show me where in The US Constitution it gives the TEXT of a Declaration of War or where it even says what should/must be included in a DoW.

The example that you provided does not show me where in THE US CONSTITUTION the actual TEXT of a DOW is laid out for Congress to follow.

All that you provided was an example of how they handled that situation.

You also have not pointed out where in The US Constitution it says a DOW is NEEDED before any military action can be taken.
 
  2007-05-06 04:38:24 PM  
dottedmint: You also have not pointed out where in The US Constitution it says a DOW is NEEDED before any military action can be taken.

We can keep going back and forth, but my objection is still that this government ignores the protocol spelled out in the Constitution. A "resolution" is not a declaration of war, it is a catch-all abuse of power to make it easier to authorize military actions. Only an attack on the United States or a rebellion might excuse deviating from this protocol, not empire-building.

Likewise, the flimsy lack of evidence Bush used to justify this abuse of power. Yes, the members of Congress who voted for the Resolution are just as much to blame.

There was no reason to invade Iraq, not based on the case Bush made. And further, this administration took advantage of the nation's grief and confusion in the post 9/11 disaster to lie how attacking Iraq was somehow going to give us an upper hand in the "War on Terror."

You're up the creek, dottedmint.. Your stalwart assertion that this war was waged for some kind of public good has pretty much been shot down by now.
 
  2007-05-06 04:57:06 PM  
dottedmint: You also have not pointed out where in The US Constitution it says a DOW is NEEDED before any military action can be taken.

I'm curious where this is going. Haven't we had this discussion before?

The difference between the declaration of war against Japan and the modern usage of military force is that now Congress is authorizing the President to make the decision whether to (essentially) declare war, whereas before Congress was making that decision and the President, as the executive, was merely executing that decision. This is in line with the classic domestic role of the President. Execute the laws and the democratic decisions of the legislature. (With the check of veto power). But now we have W "the decider." *vomits in mouth*

A strict originalist, as you claimed yourself to be, should be up in arms about the present way we do things, as clearly the spirit of the constitution as it was written meant for Congress, not the president, to make the decision to commit our military to action. The reasoning being, going to war should be a democratic, not executive, decision.
 
  2007-05-06 08:49:21 PM  
Whidbey: We can keep going back and forth, but my objection is still that this government ignores the protocol spelled out in the Constitution.

C-S: A strict originalist, as you claimed yourself to be, should be up in arms about the present way we do things, as clearly the spirit of the constitution as it was written meant for Congress, not the president, to make the decision to commit our military to action.

When EITHER of you can point to 1. the TEXT (according to The US Constitution) of a DoW and 2. where it says a DoW is NEEDED before the military can be used you would have something to complain about.

NEITHER of you can point to a part of The US Constitution that has the TEXT of a DoW...

NEITHER of you can point to a part of The US Constitution that says a DoW is NEEDED before any military action can be taken...

You can make all the CLAIMS that you want but unless you can back them up with quotes from The US Constitution your claims are POINTLESS.

I can tell you right now that The US Constitution does NOT have a TEXT of a DoW...

It does NOT have a set of standards that must be met before the military can be used...

It does NOT even say that a DoW (or even resolution) is needed before the military can be used...
 
  2007-05-06 09:32:16 PM  
dottedmint: I can tell you right now that The US Constitution does NOT have a TEXT of a DoW...

Agian - what is your point exactly?

There are a lot of things the Constitution doesn't explicitly spell out. Like, that the bill of rights applies to state action not just federal action. That's not in the "text." Or how cops should to get a warrant. Or what Probable cause means. Or etc. etc. etc.

I still don't really see your point. Are you trying to insinuate that the method of declaring war in the Constitution is a meaningless formality? Please explain.

It does NOT have a set of standards that must be met before the military can be used...

Well what do you believe those standards to be?
 
  2007-05-06 10:16:24 PM  
C-S: Are you trying to insinuate that the method of declaring war in the Constitution is a meaningless formality?

What I am pointing out is that there is NO "method of declaring war" spelled out in The US Constitution.

This means that when people say that the War Resolution somehow goes against the "method of declaring war" spelled out in The US Constitution they are being dishonest because there is NO "method of declaring war" spelled out in The US Constitution.
 
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