Monday, September 11, 2006

TDIH: 9/11

It is hard for me to consider the 5th anniversary of the terrorist attacks of 9/11 as a TDIH-worthy post. It is even harder for me to put into words the way I feel about what has happened to America since 9/11. So I will instead leave you with the words of Senator Robert C. Byrd:
...In the months and years following the collapse of those twin towers, another sort of abandonment has commenced. In our horror and shock over the bizarre and unexpected attacks in New York and Washington and the thwarted attempt in Pennsylvania on September 11, a slow unraveling of the people's liberties has begun. From the ambivalence of the Congress, to the pandering nature of media coverage, to the passive attitude of too many of our citizens, we are--all of us--guilty of aiding and abetting a heinous process. ---Robert C. Byrd, in Losing America, 2004.
In the five years since 9/11, no longer the aiding and abetting of terrorists is forefront, but rather the daily aiding of hate and submissiveness by the American people.

49 comments:

Jared said...

The past five years have made it pathetically clear to me that our existence is what breads the hate directed to us by the branch of Islam that wants to see our fin. I think we are forgetting that Iraq is not what triggered the hatred of Islamic extremeists (while it may be the current battle ground -- better there than here), but was infact, sparked by ideals we enjoy in this country like women´s rights, free elections, racial equality, etc.

Nick Speth said...

Jared is, of course, right. "They are going to hate us" is not a good reason to leave Iraq. "It's costing lives and not benefiting us" is a much better reason. Tara, as you know I've come around to being really critical of the administration's policy in Iraq. Fact is, somebody screwed up and dragged us into a war we didn't need to fight. We need to get out of there but not before it's relatively stable, but not perhaps democratic. This sounds terrible, but haven't Iraqis forfeited their chance at jeffersonian democracy because they can't stop killing their liberators?

Anyway, Tara, good insight. I think you're right on here, or rather Byrd is (never thought I'd say that). We need to stand up for the fact that these very ideals Jared spoke of, individual liberty, etc., are being eroded in the face of fear. No doubt the president and his people mean well; as you know I don't buy into conspiracy theories or "Bush is evil" stuff, but he's made too many mistakes to warrant my continued support.

Jessica said...

"but was infact, sparked by ideals we enjoy in this country like women´s rights, free elections, racial equality, etc."

Sorry, I disagree. Read some Stephen Zunes, namely his book, Tinderbox, and you will get why I disagree. Although you could read what a lot of other people say because it is essentially the same thing.

Cameron said...

Why do they hate us then?

Why was it ok to liberate Iraq in 2003 but now it's not?

Jessica said...

Our foreign policy.

Jessica said...

The problem, Cameron, is the American people's support of the war in Iraq was very conditional in 2002/2003.

If I remember correctly, most Americans only supported the war to rid Saddam of WMD's, which of course we couldn't/can't do because there are no WMD's there.

Also, Americans supported the war because they thought it could be a quick and decisive war, much like the Gulf War.

My claim of a conditional support by Americans for the war is only more evident as we see support for the war decline as each day passes and when more revelations are given about WMD's, and Saddam's non-existent ties to 9/11 and Osama.

Cameron said...

Muslims hate us and it's all our fault.

Then why do they hate the British? Or Spaniards? Or Sudanese? Or school teachers in Thailand, many of whom now carry weapons because so many have been killed?

Nick Speth said...

Muslims don't all hate us. I have a roommate who is a Saudi, and he doesn't hate us. He's a cool guy that's fun to talk to and always offers me some of his coffee.

Why do some Muslims hate us? Well I think we tiptoe around it using buzz words like "democracy" and "freedom" or even "foreign policy" but what we really mean is they hate us because we support Israel that's why they hated us before we invaded Iraq, and I think that's still the big reason they hate us now. Yes, they also hate western ideals like, as Cameron said, "women´s rights, free elections, racial equality, etc." but if we never supported Israel, we probably wouldn't be nearly as hated.

That said, do we really care? I personally don't intend to change just because somebody threatens me. Nor do I think America ought to pull its support for a democracy to appease terrorists and dictators.

Incidentally I also want to lend my bit of anecdotal evidence to what Jessica said. I supported the war in Iraq when it was first proposed because of WMD, now that we've found none, I am opposed to it, but, as I've said before, I don't think we can just leave. I think we are obligated to clean up the mess we've made.

Cameron said...

Conditional Support

How does one "conditionally support" war? Either it's right or it's not. Changing one's view of war based on hindsight is cowardly. Especially if the support is based on the assumption that war will be quick and easy.

Iraq's WMD's were a part of the impetus to go to war. But from where did America's stance on Iraq's WMD's come from? It came from the fact that Saddam Hussein had used them in the past. It came from the United Nation reports detailing Hussein's WMD capabilities and the resolutions passed by that body after the Gulf War. Iraq was to destroy its WMD's and provide proof of their destruction. Over a decade or so of UN resolutions Hussein consistently refused to do so. The entire world "knew" he had WMD's and that he had no fear of using them to serve his ends. President Clinton knew. Vice President Gore knew. Senator Clinton knew. Countless members of the US gov't are on record stating they knew. A decade worth of knowing, and using that knowledge to fire missles into Iraq. But now it's all Bush's fault. I don't get it. What happened to all the WMD's? Hussein did have some. He refused to show how and when he destroyed them. We go there and can't find them. So where are they?

Another reason for the Iraq war is that Saddam Hussein committed genocide. During his trial, when Saddam Hussein was asked why he ordered the murder of a village's entire population of men and boys, he simply said it was his duty and right as president. Wow. This was not an isolated event. We have found mass graves holding hundreds of thousands of corpses. Genocide has been the primary reason to go to war in the past, including in places like Yugoslavia. In fact, the US and UN have been vilified for not intervening in countries experiencing genocide, countries like Rwanda and Sudan.

Finally, we are fighting a War on Terror. Iraq sponsored terrorism just like Afghanistan did. Hussein attempted to assasinate former President Bush in 1993. President Clinton fired missles on Iraq in response to the failed attempt. Iraq paid the families of suicide bombers $25k. Numerous terrorist training camps have been found in Iraq. Iraq's ties to terrorism abound. Iraq sponsored terrorists and terrorist organizations just as Afghanistan did. So yes, Iraq is a part of the War on Terror.

Again, these are reasons for invading Saddam Hussein's Iraq in 2003. Why are they not ok reasons in 2006?

Jessica said...

I explained the conditional support...you can go back and read my comment or you can search for public opinion polls in 2002/2003 and now.

Cameron said...

Jessica,

I read and reread your reasons for America's conditional support. I then laid out my reasons for believing that conditional support for war is crummy, and why the reasons for having gone to war in the first place still exist. Either those reasons aren't good enough, or they are.

I think many Americans are quite similar to Nick in their change in attitude towards Iraq. I just don't think the change is warranted.

Jessica said...

Why don't you ask Americans who conditionally supported the war then, Cameron? I am not one of them.

Sometimes we have our beliefs of right and wrong, or how things should be versus what they are, but it is important that we always remember not everyone views life through the same lens as the one we possess. You can't see why people can support a war at first and then not (maybe it has to do with the fact that Americans generally don't like wars that aren't quick and decisive, or maybe because Americans don't like being lied to or mislead about reasons and then having the reasons change), I can't see how people could've supported this war period.

I spent an hour researching Iraq's supposed WMD's and found out it was all a farce and this was back in 2002. It wasn't hard but Americans are very trusting people who put faith into their elected leaders.

Again Cameron, read some public opinion polls and maybe you will understand a bit more about why people changed their minds.

Cameron said...

Jessica,

You introduced the "conditional support" topic on behalf of America. It is up to you to defend it. But, maybe it's true. Maybe many Americans' support of the war was conditional. I just think it's crummy to support a war on a conditional basis.

I think a more accurate description for America's change in attitude concerning the war is that no WMD's have been found. Nick has stated that is the case for him. I believe he is not alone. I respect that position, though I disagree with it.

This is why.

First, there were more reasons to go than just WMD's. I clarified those reasons earlier.

As for the WMD's, I wrote about them earlier as well, but the following information is useful.

The Iraq Survey Group Final Report details Iraq's WMD standing under Saddam Hussein. According to their findings, Iraq's ability to produce more WMD's and to hide the ones they already had was significantly impaired by the sanctions the United Nations imposed on them after the Gulf War. However, the world community was not aware of this impact. As I stated previously, the entire world "knew" Iraq had WMD's. I find it innacurate in the extreme to use hindsight in order to label Pres. Bush a liar simply because the WMD's that the entire world expected to find, weren't found. Even Hussein's own generals thought he had WMD's. After his capture and arrest, Saddam himself has not denied having WMD's. He's only stated that he couldn't use them during the invasion for fear of making his "allies" on the Security Council look bad. The ISG believes that Hussein actually did destroy much of his WMD arsenal during the 90's, but cannot be certain because no accounting was made. However, Saddam did not abandon his desire for WMD's. He retained his scientists and what programs he could with the idea that once the sanctions were lifted he would start his program again. But the sanctions lasted a long time. Saddam's lucky break was the Oil For Food program. He corrupted the program and then corrupted members of the UN Security Council. France, China, and Russia were all bribed through oil contracts. By 2000, Saddam felt that the sanctions were close to being lifted. His goal after the sanctions? Create WMD's.

Jessica said...

Cameron,

I don't feel comfortable speaking for that many people, especially when I hold completely different viewpoints. I can certainly point you to public opinion polls, especially if you don't feel like taking 5 minutes to google it yourself, but I don't want to do more than that because it isn't fair and I don't feel comfortable speculating on the opinions of millions of people.


See:
"The poll is consistent with other recent surveys that show growing concern about the war. In an ABC News-Washington Post poll last week, two-thirds said the U.S. military was bogged down in Iraq, and nearly three-quarters called the casualty level unacceptable."


http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2005-06-12-poll_x.htm

Also from the article: "Of those who say the war wasn't worth it, the top reasons cited are fraudulent claims and no weapons of mass destruction found; the number of people killed and wounded; and the belief that Iraq posed no threat to the United States."

Jessica said...

Actually Cameron, Scott Ritter said there were no wmd's. Hans Blix said the inspectors needed more time and even if Iraq had wmd's, they could be disarmed "without Baghdad's active cooperation."

I also believe that the IAEA believed there were no wmd's as well as many other countries and several million Americans who never supported the war.

As far as the conditional support being true, come on, it is quite obvious it is true. Why else would support for the war keep declining as well as the number of people believing in the ties between 9/11 and Saddam? See a connection?

I wish I could find the public opinion poll showing Americans wanted to invade Iraq for 9/11 and for wmd's. Give me some time and maybe I can dig it up.

Cameron said...

Jessica,

If you don't feel comfortable speaking for them, then don't.

Cameron said...

Jessica,

The global consensus was that Iraq had WMD's. The UN passed over a dozen resolutions demading to know what became of them. Iraq refused every time. According to the Iraq Survey Group report I linked to above, Saddam Hussein was simply biding his time until sanctions and inspections were abandoned and he could make more.

Now, you can question whether or not it was good foreign policy to invade Iraq. You can question whether or not the war has been handled correctly. But Saddam Hussein's Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction pre-Gulf War, refused to say what became of them, and had plans to make more, all the while bribing members of the UN Security Council. That was the state of the country when the US invaded.

Jessica said...

Cameron, I made one statement that seems quite obvious if you spend one minute perusing public opinion polls. There is always conditional support for war, 'tis how humans operate.

Global consensus? Care to tell me what that means exactly? Is it a shout out to the "coalition of the willing"?

Cameron said...

What I mean is that since the UN kept badgering Saddam to tell them where his WMD's were, it's safe to assume that the UN figured he had some.

Cameron said...

These guys thought so too:

"In the four years since the inspectors left, intelligence reports show that Saddam Hussein has worked to rebuild his chemical and biological weapons stock, his missile delivery capability, and his nuclear program. He has also given aid, comfort, and sanctuary to terrorists, including al Qaeda members ... It is clear, however, that if left unchecked, Saddam Hussein will continue to increase his capacity to wage biological and chemical warfare, and will keep trying to develop nuclear weapons."
- Sen. Hillary Clinton (D, NY), Oct 10, 2002

"The last UN weapons inspectors left Iraq in October of 1998. We are confident that Saddam Hussein retains some stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons, and that he has since embarked on a crash course to build up his chemical and biological warfare capabilities. Intelligence reports indicate that he is seeking nuclear weapons..."
- Sen. Robert Byrd (D, WV), Oct. 3, 2002

"We know that he has stored secret supplies of biological and chemical weapons throughout his country."
"Iraq's search for weapons of mass destruction has proven impossible to deter and we should assume that it will continue for as long as Saddam is in power."
- Al Gore, Sept. 23, 2002

"He will use those weapons of mass destruction again, as he has ten times since 1983."
- Sandy Berger, Clinton National Security Adviser, Feb, 18, 1998

"We must stop Saddam from ever again jeopardizing the stability and security of his neighbors with weapons of mass destruction."
- Madeline Albright, Feb 1, 1998

"Without question, we need to disarm Saddam Hussein. He is a brutal, murderous dictator, leading an oppressive regime ... He presents a particularly grievous threat because he is so consistently prone to miscalculation ... And now he is miscalculating America's response to his continued deceit and his consistent grasp for weapons of mass destruction ... So the threat of Saddam Hussein with weapons of mass destruction is real..."
- Sen. John F. Kerry (D, MA), Jan. 23. 2003

Clayton said...

The last report that I saw showed that about 700 chemical weapon shells have been recovered in Iraq since the end of the war. About 240 contained no chemicals (a chemical weapon shell is rather specific in its design); the rest had degraded and older chemical weapons. These are the ones that we found.

There are credible reports by a Vice Air Marshal in Iraq's Air Force that more than 50 Iraqi Airlines flights ferried out chemical weapons in the period just before the start of hostilities. Contemporaneous reports from the Israeli military noticed that there was an unusual amount of air traffic between Iraq and Syria just before the war.

About 15 tons of chemical weapons were seized from al-Qaeda in Jordan, shortly before they were to be used in an attack on Amman, Jordan. At least some of the chemical weapons, such as sarin, were of a type known to have been used by Iraq in the past. The 15 tons of chemical weapons were smuggled into Jordan from Syria.

It is not clear that the WMDs weren't there. It is clear that if they were not present, Bush did not lie about it. Our government, and most other nations, were convinced that WMDs were present. Hussein's own generals were convinced. The final report of the Iraqi Survey Group concluded that Hussein wanted other nations in the region to believe that he had WMDs as a way of keeping them at bay.

Now, perhaps we really didn't need to go to war against Iraq. There were many other arguments for it besides WMDs. There were some hard choices about occupation early on, and some of the choices, in retrospect, were errors. This demonization of Bush is dumb.

Why do they hate us? Because you aren't wearing a burkha. Don't forget. The Muslim Brotherhood was promoting hatred of the U.S. in the 1920s--way before the state of Israel existed.

Jessica said...

Clayton and Cameron,

Go read Fiasco by Thomas Ricks and get back to me about wmd's.

Cameron, I think all Democrats have seen the quotes by other Democrats. Two, or three, or twenty, or fifty wrongs don't make a right and many politicians weren't privy to the same "intelligence" that Bush was.

Again, until someone wants to read Fiasco and discuss wmd's with me, I don't feel like debating the wmd issue. There is much you two don't know and Fiasco can help bridge the gap for both of you.

And "most other nations"? HA! That is why all of those nations committed their troops and money to the war effort, right?

Let's not forget Poland!

Cameron said...

Jessica,

You have evaded each of my arguments, and now are hiding behind a book that you say supports your view. Perhaps I will go read it.

I tire of the constant "Bush Lied!" argument, and for that reason I reminded us of the following salient facts:

1- Saddam Hussein's Iraq possessed and used WMD pre-Gulf War.

2- The United Nations spent over a decade trying to rid him of them.

3- President Clinton's administration consistently stated that Hussein possessed WMD's.

4- The hindsight-based report from the Iraq Survey Group thinks that perhaps Hussein got rid of his weapons, but they can't verify it with confidence because there are no records.

5- Saddam Hussein bought off France, Russia and China. Incidentally, this might be the reason they failed to "commit(ted) their troops and money to the war effort"

You ignore these arguments and continue to spew "Bush Lied!" rhetoric. You say that President Bush is privy to more intelligence than anyone else, yet ignore that President Clinton stated numerous times that Iraq had WMD's. If one is a liar, then both are. But I don't hear any "Clinton Lied!" being screamed. You ignore the fact that the United Nations passed over a dozen resolutions with the purpose of making Hussein destroy or hand over his weapons. He refused, and who can blame him when the Security Council was on his payroll?

But hey, I'm sure Thomas Ricks knows at least as much as the UN, President Clinton, and President Bush knew. Maybe even more.

Jessica said...

Actually Cameron, I have travelled to Seattle to deal with a family emergency.

I haven't had time to answer your questions and simply pointed you to a book that is almost 500 pages long and goes into detail about the decision to invade and occupy Iraq.

Don't give yourself so much credit! I am not evading your questions! CHILL OUT! I will answer them as soon as I have time to answer the typical defend Bush questions that you can certainly answer yourself with a little research. But hey, we are all lazy, so I guess I can help ya along.

And also Cameron, if you want to keep baiting me into arguments, that is fine, but know that I have other committments (such as school, school clubs/organizations, and work) so I can't be at your beck and call. Sorry.

Jessica said...

I know Saddam has had wmd's, because I know the US supplied him with such. Not sure why you want to argue about that...?

I know the UN imposed sanctions that ended up killing hundreds of thousands of Iraqi's.

Cameron, I am not going to argue about what Clinton was saying while he was President. And I don't debate that Operation Desert Fox was successful and needed.

Really Cameron, if you read the aforementioned book, I think it would answer most of your questions. Especially in regards to the ISG.

Ok, so you have an answer for three countries not joining the coalition of the willing. What about all of the others? And what about the citizens in those countries who were opposed to the war? Did Saddam fly to those countries and bribe the actual citizens? WOW, Saddam is smart!

Nice move. Let's make some ignorant comment about Thomas Ricks because you don't want to spend the $25 and buy the book! Hey man, keep sticking your head in the sand and have a nice life!

And if you are Mormon, which you may or may not be, you know that support for war is always conditional. The Book of Mormon carefully outlines the only justifications for starting and fighting in wars. If that doesn't scream conditional, I don't know what in the hell would.

Jessica said...

Misc:

"But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy..." Sir Richard Dearlove, head of MI6.

"is little evidence to indicate that the United States itself is an object of his aggression." Brent Scowcroft. -Try googling, Don't Attack Saddam that was on the editorial page of the WSJ.

"There is no doubt" that Iraq possessed WMD's. Dick Cheney

"In my time at Centcom, I watched the intelligence and never-not once-did it say, 'He has WMD.'" Anthony Zinni, retired Marine General. Since retiring he had retained all of his top secret clearances.

"Rip, there are no weapons of mass destruction programs in Iraq." Zinni

"We know they have weapons of mass destruction. We know they have active programs. There isn't any debate about it." Rumsfeld.

"Most of the major key arguments [in the NIE] either overstated, or were not supported by, the underlying intelligence reporting. A series of failures, particularly in analytic trade craft, led to the mischaracterization of the intelligence." Senate Intelligence Committee

"They were cherry-picking the information that we provided to use whatever pieces of it that fit their overall interpretation." Greg Thielmann, State Dept. proliferation expert

"It was also my sense that they cherry-picked obscure, unconfirmed information to reinforce their own philosophies and idealogies." Gregory Newbold, the Marine General who was then the Joint Staff's operations director.

Read Fiasco and find out how many experts were excited (sarcasm) to go to war with Iraq and also see how opinions changed in the Bush administration from pro-containment to pro-invasion and occupation. HINT: 9/11 changed it all, except the opinion of a few in the administration who had always wanted to invade Iraq.

Jessica said...

And my favorite: Powell practicing his infamous speech before the UN. He takes the speech, throws it into the air and says he isn't reading it, it is bullshit. What did Powell know that Bush didn't!?

Jessica said...

Found this interesting tidbit from Zunes. He is commenting on this from GWB:

“The Security Council was right to demand that Iraq destroy its illegal weapons and prove that it had done so. The Security Council was right to vow serious consequences if Iraq refused to comply. And because there were consequences, because a coalition of nations acted to defend the peace and the credibility of the United Nations.” Bush

"Secondly, once Iraq allowed inspectors back into the country in November, released its accounting of proscribed items (which UNMOVIC chairman Hans Blix now says was probably accurate), and acceded to UNMOVIC’s demands regarding surveillance flights, interviews, etc. there is reason to believe that Iraq was actually in compliance of UN Security Council resolutions for at least several weeks prior to the U.S. invasion." Zunes

Also from Zunes: "According to the CIA and the State Department, Iraqi support for international terrorism peaked during the 1980s, a time when the U.S. government actually dropped Iraq from its list of states sponsoring terrorism. (Iraq was put back on the list when it invaded Kuwait in August 1990 despite lack of any evidence of increased terrorist activity.) Subsequent to 1993, most credible analyses both in and out of the U.S. government of state-sponsored terrorism reveal that Iraqi support for international terrorism was relatively minor and indirect and far less than that of a number of other Middle Eastern countries, including U.S. allies like Saudi Arabia. Today, however, due to the country’s great instability and because -- like Afghanistan under Soviet occupation in the 1980s -- U.S.-occupied Iraq has become a magnet for extremists from throughout the region, nations are actually less secure from the threat of terrorism arising out of Iraq than they were prior to the U.S. invasion."

"First of all, given that the United States is providing 85% of the personnel and an even higher percentage of the financial costs, it can hardly be called a “coalition.” More to the point, the United States has failed miserably in living up to its obligations as an occupying power under the Fourth Geneva Conventions in such areas as providing basic security and public services."

Jessica said...

Lies:

“The Iraq regime continues to possess and conceal some of the most lethal weapons ever devised.”

The Washington Post article cited above noted that CIA officials were concerned “about whether administration officials have exaggerated intelligence in a desire to convince the American public and foreign governments that Iraq is violating United Nations prohibitions against chemical, biological, or nuclear weapons and long-range missile systems.” The article quoted “a senior intelligence analyst” who said the inspectors could not locate weapons caches “because there may not be much of a stockpile.”

Former British Foreign Minister Robin Cook, who resigned from the Blair government Monday in protest over the decision to go to war without UN authorization, declared, “Iraq probably has no weapons of mass destruction in the commonly understood sense of the term.” Even if Iraq is concealing some remnants of its 1980s arsenal, these would hardly deserve Bush’s lurid description, since they are primitive and relatively ineffective. “Some of the most lethal weapons ever devised” are those being unleashed by the United States on Iraq: cruise missiles, smart bombs, fuel-air explosives, the 10,000-pound “daisy-cutter” bomb, the 20,000-pound MOAB just tested in Florida. In addition, the US has explicitly refused to rule out the use of nuclear weapons.

“[Iraq] has aided, trained and harbored terrorists, including operatives of Al Qaeda.”

No one, not even US government, seriously believes there is a significant connection between the Islamic fundamentalists and the secular nationalist Ba’athist regime in Iraq, which have been mortal enemies for decades. The continued assertion of an Al Qaeda-Iraq alliance is a desperate attempt to link Saddam Hussein to the September 11 attacks.

It also serves to cover up the responsibility of American imperialism for sponsoring Islamic fundamentalist terrorism. The forces that now comprise Al Qaeda were largely recruited, trained, armed and set in motion by the CIA itself, as part of a long-term policy of using Islamic fundamentalists as a weapon against left-wing movements in the Muslim countries. This policy was pursued from the 1950s and was escalated prior to and during the Soviet intervention in Afghanistan, which ended in 1989. Osama bin Laden himself was part of the CIA-backed mujaheddin forces in Afghanistan before he turned against Washington in the 1990s.

Cameron said...

Jessica,

I am sorry to hear about your family emergency. I hope everything turns out the best for you and your family. Obviously, you are not required to participate in this back and forth. I do so because I enjoy it and I learn from it. It keeps me thinking.

Jessica said...

Another lie:


On May 31st, GWB said, "You remember when Colin Powell stood up in front of the world, and he said Iraq has got laboratories, mobile labs to build biological weapons....They're illegal. They're against the United Nations resolutions, and we've so far discovered two [the labs were later judged to not contain any such weapons, that they most likely were used for weather balloons]. And we'll find more weapons as time goes on, But for those who say we haven't found the banned manufacturing devices or banned weapons, they're wrong. We found them."

However, on May 27th: a secret Defense Intelligence Agency fact-finding mission in Iraq reported unanimously to intelligence officials in Washington that two trailers captured in Iraq by Kurdish troops "had nothing to do with biological weapons." The trailers had been a key part of the argument for the 2003 invasion; Secretary of State Colin Powell had told the United Nations Security Council, "We have firsthand descriptions of biological weapons factories on wheels and on rails. We know what the fermenters look like. We know what the tanks, pumps, compressors and other parts look like." The Pentagon team had been sent to investigate the trailers after the invasion. The team of experts unanimously found "no connection to anything biological"; one of the experts told reporters that they privately called the trailers "the biggest sand toilets in the world." The report was classified, and the next day, the CIA publicly released the assessment of its Washington analysts that the trailers were "mobile biological weapons production." The White House continued to refer to the trailers as mobile biological laboratories throughout the year, and the Pentagon field report remained classified.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iraq_and_weapons_of_mass_destruction

Cameron said...

"I know Saddam has had wmd's, because I know the US supplied him with such. Not sure why you want to argue about that...?"

Ok, we establish a starting point on the WMD issue. He had them. Where he got them from probably does suck as you suggest, but that info is suited more for a 70s & 80s foreign policy discussion. Here we are discussing whether or not Saddam Hussein had WMD's in 2003.

You say no. I say who knows? While Saddam retained power, no one could know with certainty. My claims are based on UN actions and Clinton administration assertions as well as actions. You have stated that you don't want to debate what President Clinton said about WMD's, but I think it is very crucial to what we are talking about. You seem to afix all blame for the US not being able to find the WMD's on President Bush lying. His statments on Iraq's WMD capabilities are no different than the previous administration's. So why the difference in treatment?

Cameron said...

"I know the UN imposed sanctions that ended up killing hundreds of thousands of Iraqi's."

Hmmm. Saddam Hussien murdered "hundreds of thousands of Iraqi's" without any UN help. It's called genocide. He's admitted to much of it in his trial. I stated earlier that genocide alone was a pretty good reason to invade a country, just as we have done in Bosnia and were asked to do in Rwanda and Sudan. We suck for not helping in Rwanda, but we suck for helping in Iraq. Go figure.

As for the sanctions causing the deaths of innocent Iraqis. Yes, many suffered and died as a result of the economic sanctions. When faced with a murderous dictator in Saddam Hussein, the world decided that sanctions were a better alternative to war. Or, I suppose we could have just let him do whatever he wanted to. I don't think that's a good idea, but I suppose that's up for debate too.

But I will not put the blame on the UN for any of the Iraqi deaths. It was quite clear that all Hussein had to do was comply with UN requirements and they would be back in good standing. He refused. The deaths are on his head.

Jessica said...

I am not going to debate what Democrats said because I don't subscribe to the theory that two wrongs make a right. Clinton also had a legitimate reason to be suspicious in the 90's, hence my moderate support of Desert Fox.

Containment was working, which is the reason Bush, et al, were opposed to invading Iraq pre-9/11.

As far your comment about "who knows". Lots of people knew. This is exactly why I highly recommend reading Fiasco. I had thought there was widespread support for invading Iraq throughout the intelligence and military community but Fiasco says otherwise. Ricks isn't just speculating, this is all documented and sourced.

Jessica said...

I do blame the deaths of innocent Iraqi's during the 1990's on the UN and US. While the sanctions worked to a certain degree, we never pursued changing the sanctions so that the Iraqi's felt less of the blow.

As far as Saddam's own actions. We were complicit in many of those actions.

My own research points to at least 250,000 innocent Iraqi's killed during the sanctions. Some estimates go as high as 500,000-1,000,000. Not to mention the argument about the use of depleted uranium, though from the last bit of reading I did on du, there are still debates as to its effects on the Iraqi people (namely babies born with severe birth defects).

Lets not forget the innocent life lost during the current war.

Cameron said...

"Ok, so you have an answer for three countries not joining the coalition of the willing. What about all of the others? And what about the citizens in those countries who were opposed to the war? Did Saddam fly to those countries and bribe the actual citizens? WOW, Saddam is smart!"

From the Iraq Survey Group:

"Despite UN sanctions, many countries and companies engaged in prohibited procurement with the Iraqi regime throughout the 1990s, largely because of the profitability of such trade."

According to the report, these are some of the countries that had illegal links to Iraq:

Romania
Ukraine
Jordan
Syria
Turkey
South Korea
People's Republic of China
France
Former Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
Bulgaria
Russia
North Korea
Poland
India
Belarus
Taiwan
Egypt
Yemen

Jessica said...

So depsite Poland having illegal ties to Iraq, they were in the CoftheW? I am not understanding your logic. And just because a country has ties to Iraq and/or Saddam, doesn't mean they would always protect Saddam by, well, wait, they can't protect him by not helping the US invade and occupy Iraq. The US was going to invade and occupy despite any lack of support.

Cameron said...

"As far your comment about "who knows". Lots of people knew."

And lots of people are on record that they "knew" Iraq did have WMD's. Once again, the UN spent 12 years trying to get Hussein to make an accounting of his WMD's. He consistently refused. Even after his ouster, the Iraq Survey Group isn't completely certain what became of them. Saddam's own generals weren't sure if he had any.

That's why I say, who knows? You can have your experts, I can have mine, but in the end it's all background noise.

Cameron said...

Ok, here's the deal. You say you don't like forcibly removing Saddam thru warfare. You say you don't like sanctions either. You haven't said it yet, but many have said that the US sucks for going it alone in Iraq. Well, nobody wanted to screw up the good deal they had going with Saddam. They were lining their pockets, apparently Poland included.

So what are we left with? Leave him alone? Let Saddam do what he wishes? Let him:
Commit more genocide?
Restart his quest for WMD's? Continue to pay $25k to the families of suicide bombers?

Seriously, I think everything we've written boils down to this one question: What to do about dictators like Saddam Hussein?

Jessica said...

It isn't just background noise, Cameron.

The real experts were saying Saddam wasn't a threat, they were saying the US was cherry-picking intelligence, they were saying containment was working. I don't consider H. Clinton an expert on Iraq wmd's and if you do, I got some swamp land I would love to sell you in Florida.

The US can't cherry-pick what dictators to go after and they can't fight dictators alone. There are laws and our constitution which must be followed, as we can't set dangerous precedent that preventative war is okay. We have supported many dictators in the past. Why are we all of sudden concerned about one dictator when containment was working?

Cameron said...

Ohhhh. Your experts are the "real" experts. Ok, that explains it.

You say containment was working, and yet blame the US and UN for up to a million Iraqi deaths caused by this containment. You can't have it both ways.

I say containment wasn't working because according to the Iraq Survey Group Saddam was buying off the UN so that the sanctions would be removed and then he could continue his WMD program in earnest.

I say containment wasn't working because Saddam Hussein was killing hundreds of thousands of his own people.

I say containment wasn't working because Saddam Hussein supported terrorism by paying the families of suicide bombers $25,000.

So if not containment, then what?

Jessica said...

No, experts are the ones who truly knew what was going on. H. Clinton didn't know what was going on. In fact, Bush, et al, didn't bother to even read the entirety of intelligence reports and simply cherry-picked what they wanted to hear. Experts don't cherry pick something that will determine the future of American lives. Experts don't make a decision that they know will cost the US billions of dollars and cause the US to occupy a country for many many years to come. Experts don't go against the advice of their own hired experts just because they don't like what they are being told. That is what this Administration did. They went against the advice of the real experts who are/were trained in everything Bush wasn't. The only expert (as far as at least WMD's) I can remember you mentioning was David Kay, who is saying he doesn't think Iraq had WMD's. You are still playing the we aren't sure card.

Containment was working in that Saddam didn't have WMD's. I never stated I liked the sanctions. Nor did I state I wanted things to continue exactly as they were. The whole idea of containment wasn't to treat Iraqi's like gold, it was to keep Saddam in a box. The entire goal of containment, containing Saddam, had been reached. You set a goal and reach it, no matter how short-sighted or narrow, means you have reached your goal and achieved success. If containment wasn't working Cameron, why were Bush, et al, opposed to invading Iraq at the get-go of his presidency? Though certain members were (the PNAC bunch), most of his presidency were big fans. -I am sure you can remember the infamous quotes from Rice and Powell about Saddam being in his box still.

Saddam wasn't killing his own people, the US/UN were because we were imposing the sanctions. Was Saddam responsible in a roundabout way? Yes, of course.


You go read Fiasco, my friend, and you will realize the truth in the statement, it is easier to keep up, than to catch up.

Jessica said...

Containment: -focus more on keeping weapons components and other militarily useful items out of Iraq, while dropping economic sanctions.


Kenneth Pollack-The Threatening Storm: The Case for Invading Iraq: “Saddam panicked during the strikes. Fearing that his control was threatened, he ordered large-scale arrests and executions, which backfired and destabilized his regime for months afterward.”

Western intelligence assets in Baghdad reported that Desert Fox nearly knocked off Saddam Hussein’s regume.

US Military official: There were a lot of good reports coming out afterward on how he changed his command and control, very quickly. It was especially clear in areas involving internal control.”

Interceptions of communications among Iraqi generals indicated “palpable fear that he was going to lose control.”

David Kay and ISG found that after DF, Iraqi weapons programs, with the exception of missile building, “withered away, and never got momentum again.”

Veterens of Iraqi weapons programs told Kay’s group that the DF raids had left Iraqi weaponeers demoralized and despairing. “They realized that they’d never be bale to reestablish the type of industrial facility they were aiming at. They’d spent years, lots of money, and lots of energy on it, years and years. And they realized that as long as Saddam was in power, they’d never be able to reestablish production.”

Kay: “For me, it was a bit of an eye-opener, because I’d always denigrated DF. What I failed to understand was that it was cumulative, coming on top of eight years of sanctions.”

In the spring of 2003, Army Col. Alan King, who was the chief civil affairs officer attached to the invading 3rd Infantry Division: “The chairman of the Iraqi atomic industry surrendered to me, and I found out that our reason for invading pretty much WENT AWAY IN 1998.”

Cameron said...

President Clinton simply didn't know anything, but President Bush is a filthy liar. That's an interesting stance.

The Iraq Survey Group is reporting that they believe Saddam rid himself of WMD's in 1991. So the reason for 12 years of sanctions "pretty much went away" in 1991. The reason for Operation Desert Fox "pretty much went away" in 1991. But that's only if you believe the "experts" on the Iraq Survey Group.

You are so certain of your "Bush Lied" rhetoric that you can't see the forest for the trees. Where was all of your "liar" speech in 95, or 98, or 92? Why isn't the UN taking flak for totally getting it wrong for over a decade? Why aren't the weapons inspectors being bashed for years of inspections w/o getting any truth?

Now, you assert that the UN sanctions were working to contain Saddam Hussein's lust for WMD's. I would disagree to the extent that Saddam was bribing the UN and was confident that the inspections would be lifted soon. He was working towards that end for the sole purpose of renewing his quest for WMD's. But even were they successful, you really don't like the side effects of the sanctions. So what would you have done? We've already agreed that Saddam had WMD's, what's the next step? You don't like sanctions, and you obviously don't like war. So what's your solution?

Jessica said...

The sanctions were designed to keep Saddam disarmed, Cameron. Operation Desert Fox, had you read anything I had written, was absolutely necessary and was successful. Again, I highly recommend reading what I have written before you assume you know anything about my opinions.

I was a mere high school student unconcerned with politics in the 90's Cameron. Sorry to disappoint you. I was also a Republican up until mid-2002.

Never said Clinton didn't know anything (anything demeaning toward a Clinton has been directed towards Hillary), never said Bush was a filthy liar and I would appreciate it if you could stop putting words in my mouth.

Well if Saddam was confident the sanctions were ending soon then he must be right because he was NEVER wrong about anything!

Face it Cameron, your buddy GWB has been a total failure as president and you are still grasping onto straws hoping you can help salvage what is left of his miserable presidency so that you don't look like a doofus for voting for the man.

Maybe you enjoy going around to political blogs and repeating the same things without reading what the other people are saying but it gets old quickly. I have spent a lot of time trying to educate you about things that are becoming common knowledge for those who enjoy political discussions. You continue to choose to put your head in the sand and refuse to see anything wrong with the invasion and occupation of Iraq. That is fine, but stop wasting my time with asinine arguments that have no foundation in what I call, "the real world." If you are so supportive of this war, I recommend you enlist and go fight in it. I hear they are itching for new recruits.

Lastly, you said, "Now, you assert that the UN sanctions were working to contain Saddam Hussein's lust for WMD's." I never said we were curtailing his "lust" for wmd's. For anyone to say so is not only naive but dangerously stupid. I am neither.

Stop putting words in my mouth, come up with new arguments (instead of straw man arguments), and I will be glad to continue to try to enlighten you. TRY being the key word. It takes two to get enlightened and you aren't doing your part.

Jessica said...

http://www.guardian.co.uk/Iraq/Story/0,2763,1079769,00.html

"In the few weeks before its fall, Iraq's Ba'athist regime made a series of increasingly desperate peace offers to Washington, promising to hold elections and even to allow US troops to search for banned weapons. But the advances were all rejected by the Bush administration, according to intermediaries involved in the talks."

Jessica said...

"If military action proves necessary, it will be to uphold the authority of the UN and to ensure Saddam is disarmed of his weapons of mass destruction, not to overthrow him. It is why, detestable as I find his regime, he could stay in power if he disarms peacefully."

http://www.sundayherald.com/print31827

Bush: March 5, 2003

"We are doing everything we can to avoid war in Iraq. But if Saddam Hussein does not disarm peacefully, he will be disarmed by force,"

http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2003/03/20030308-1.html

Nick Speth said...

47 Comments! Tara, you're turning into The Daily Kos right before my eyes here!

Cameron said...

Your words:

"H. Clinton didn't know what was going on"

"Clinton also had a legitimate reason to be suspicious in the 90's"

"Lies:

“The Iraq regime continues to possess and conceal some of the most lethal weapons ever devised.”"

"Another lie:

On May 31st, GWB said…"


"Saddam wasn't killing his own people, the US/UN were because we were imposing the sanctions."

"Containment was working in that Saddam didn't have WMD's. I never stated I liked the sanctions."

"I know the UN imposed sanctions that ended up killing hundreds of thousands of Iraqi's."

"I do blame the deaths of innocent Iraqi's during the 1990's on the UN and US."

"My own research points to at least 250,000 innocent Iraqi's killed during the sanctions. Some estimates go as high as 500,000-1,000,000"

My argument:

"Now, you assert that the UN sanctions were working to contain Saddam Hussein's lust for WMD's. I would disagree to the extent that Saddam was bribing the UN and was confident that the inspections would be lifted soon. He was working towards that end for the sole purpose of renewing his quest for WMD's. But even were they successful, you really don't like the side effects of the sanctions. So what would you have done? We've already agreed that Saddam had WMD's, what's the next step? You don't like sanctions, and you obviously don't like war. So what's your solution? "