_


  • Marccooper5_1

Back To Home Page

« Attack of the Knuckle-Head Mutli-Culties! | Main | Whackin' Jackson »

Monday, June 13, 2005

Comments

Wagner James Au

The notion that the Downing memo constitutes some kind of smoking gun is laughable on its face. Not only does the most inflammatory section (the bit about "fixing the facts") fit the dictionary definition of hearsay, it's hearsay about an *impression*. "Someone says that someone says he has a bad feeling some folks are up to no good"-- THAT'S the smoking gun?

Even more key, the primary thing that Bush is accused of lying about regarding Iraq-- Saddam holding a ready WMD stockpile-- is contradicted by the memo itself:

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2087-1593607_2,00.html

"...[W]hat were the consequences, if Saddam used WMD on day one, or if Baghdad did not collapse and urban warfighting began? You said that Saddam could also use his WMD on Kuwait. Or on Israel, added the Defence Secretary."

So the memo confirms that Prime Minister's office and British intelligence also believed, based on the information available to them at the time, that Saddam had a ready stockpile of WMD and was prepared to use it. That's certainly evidence Blair didn't lie about WMD, and helps to exonerate Bush of that charge, too. Can't the people who plug the memo even be bothered to read past the first few paragraphs?

Y

An impeachment won't even receive much backing from the extremely partisan House. The most the rabid left could hope for is the Conyers mob of about 80 reps. Another complete nonstarter that saps energy, resources and credibility of the Democratic Party. Not that I'm complainin'.

Yes. This Downing Street memo certainly isn't important compared to the loss of beach sand near elitist LA.

I do agree with most of your take on it. Unfortunately.

Michael Turner

"So the memo confirms that Prime Minister's office and British intelligence also believed, based on the information available to them at the time, that Saddam had a ready stockpile of WMD and was prepared to use it."

Actually not -- it only provides supporting evidence for what *Rycroft* may have believed when he wrote it.

The authenticity of the memo is not in dispute -- the Blair government has not disavowed it. Unfortunately, whoever the former senior U.S. official was who described it as "absolutely accurate", this person remains unnamed. So the gun lies there on the ground, and critics can say that what seems to be smoke drifting from the muzzle might only be steam escaping from a crack nearby. Yeah, anything's possible, I guess.

When did that invasion seem inevitable to me? Sometime in the summer of '02. I was sitting around at a bistro in Tokyo, and some nitwit was talking about the "necessity" of invading Iraq. Why? His answer: So that it could become a capitalist country. I kid you not. At one point, I noted I was actually shivering in the midsummer night's heat. There was something frightening about this guy. I couldn't quite put my finger on it, though. Then I asked him. "Would you go? Would you serve, in an Iraq where there were dozens of terrorist attacks going on every day?" He paused for a second, then as nonchalantly as he could, he said No. And that's what really scared me: twenty-something embryonic neocons who would argue for war, but who would not be willing to put their young and able bodies where there mouths were.

And this kid claimed he came from a military family.

Jussi Hämäläinen

Well,the Democrats aren't suggesting a better policy on Iraq because there really isn't any.Apart from a)pulling out now, there's b) keep the troops in Iraq (Bush's policy),and c) send in more troops.What troops?

Of course,you could try and negotiate with the insurgents.Good luck on that.

Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and Paul Wolfowitz, led by George Bush, have been worldwide terrorists and toughies worst nightmare worldwide.
These people will be reward by time and history.

George Bush is the Churchill of our times. He sees into the future regarding terrorisms' threat to civilized people, while taking his lumps in the present from short term, peace at any price, Chamberlain thinkers.

Wagner James Au

> it only provides supporting evidence for what *Rycroft* may
> have believed when he wrote it

But he's reporting the belief that Saddam has ready WMD stockpiles, as held by Blair's Defence Secretary and CDS, i.e., the UK's Chief of Defence Staff. If Downing Street Memo ideologues insist that we accept Rycroft's hearsay about MI6's detection of an "attitude shift" as meaningful, then consistency demands we also accept Rycroft's hearsay that Blair officials privately believed Saddam had a WMD stockpile as meaningful, too. The thing is, in the latter case, the private belief matches the public statement.

Mavis Beacon

Nicely said, Marc. I dissent, however, on one point. Sure the American people have concerns about a full pullout leaving Iraq in civil strife, but I don't think the public consciousness is so simple, altruistic, or constant. I suspect that as time passes the clamor for a feasible exit strategy will grow. I agree the Out Nowers don't account for the well being of Iraqi's (or they argue the politically unviable and patently ridiculous position that the mere absence of Americans leads to peace) and that won’t fly. But as this debacle drags on and soldiers keep dying and reserve guardsmen are kept away from their families, pressure will grow to formulate an exit strategy. If the Democrats want to benefit politically from the Bush admin’s errors they need to have one ready for that moment. (That said, it’s probably a good idea not to unveil the plan too soon. In my fantasy world where Democrats are competent, they already have a plan and are waiting for the opportunity to ride to the rescue. Hahahahaaaaaaa * tear *).

matter

It's interesting that while you posit that a better strategy than "Out Now" is needed, you don't spell out your suggestion for the alternative.

So here's mine.

1. Admit that the war was a big mistake (hey, we're 2/3 of the way there) and apologize.

2. Announce a timetable for withdrawal, start talking to all factions to coordinate.

3. Withdraw, pay compensation, turn Bush Junta over to the Hague.

rosedog

“Even if Bush was wrong to invade, a majority of Americans are worried that a sudden pull-out could make things worse, not better….”

Dunno, Marc, in view of Gallup’s press release this morning, we may be fast reaching a the tipping point even on that issue.

According to the Gallup Poll conducted June 6-8, given a choice of four options, 59% say the United States should withdraw some or all of its troops, while 36% say the number should be kept the same as now or increased.

Here’s how it breaks down:

28% - Out now
31% - Troop reduction
26 % - Troops kept at present level
10% - Troop level increased

http://www.gallup.com/poll/content/?ci=16771

reg

What Rosedog said...and this...

Sun Jun 12, 4:39 PM ET
RALEIGH, N.C. - A Republican congressman who voted for the Iraq war said Sunday that "we've done about as much as we can do" in the country and that the reason for invading Iraq has proven false.

Rep. Walter Jones of North Carolina will be among the lawmakers introducing legislation this week calling for a timetable for the withdrawal of American troops in Iraq.

"When I look at the number of men and women who have been killed — it's almost 1,700 now, in addition to close to 12,000 have been severely wounded — and I just feel that the reason of going in for weapons of mass destruction, the ability of the Iraqis to make a nuclear weapon, that's all been proven that it was never there," Jones said on ABC's "This Week."

President Bush has said any timetable for withdrawal would encourage insurgents to wait for the foreign troops to leave, but Jones said he believed Iraqis can defend their own country.

His stance leaves Jones sided with Sen. Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts, the most prominent Democrat calling for a timetable to leave Iraq. Jones said he had not discussed the issue with Kennedy.

Two years ago, Jones helped lead an effort to make sure Capitol Hill cafeterias retooled their menus to advertise "freedom fries" instead of french fries to protest France's opposition to the war.

Jones said he began changing his mind about the war after attending the funeral in April 2003 for Sgt. Michael Bitz, 31, who was killed in the southern city of Nasiriyah. He recalled that Bitz's widow read the last letter she received from her husband.

"And that really has been on my mind and my heart ever since," he said.

Jones, whose district includes Camp Lejeune and Cherry Point, has written condolence letters to the families of more than 1,300 service people killed in Iraq, and posters outside his congressional office show the faces of those killed.
end clip

Problem is, Jones is wrong about the Iraqis being able to stand against the insurgents, if one is to believe the NYT's pro-war John Burns, one of the best reporters on the ground there, in today's edition.

I don't know the answer, but I do know that "middle America" is turning on the neo-cons and Bush re: Iraq. The big dance among the FOX News and Limbaugh types is going to be how to blame Bush's screwups on the media and the liberals. We'll see a pretty nauseating - and typical - avoidance of any responsibility for error on the part of the Big Drug Addict, the Moonie Newsies and the Murdoch Minions. Among other things, we need to be out there punching back at these miserable, amoral phonies when they try to stir up hate against us and pull the same shit re: Iraq and liberal war critics who've been proven pretty consistently right that Pompous Peggy tried with Marc "Deepthroat" Felt and the disaster of Vietnam.

Also, Au above plays fast and loose with reality by using the generic "WMD" conflation in order to avoid serious analysis of anything resembling serious national security strategy . Just more of the same demagogic rhetoric that's nonsensical when it's picked apart.

There are even more memos, incidentally, related to this and equally damning. Kevin Drum links them at Washington Monthly. He also takes issue with Kinsley's ho-hummery.

reg

What Rosedog said...and this...

Sun Jun 12, 4:39 PM ET
RALEIGH, N.C. - A Republican congressman who voted for the Iraq war said Sunday that "we've done about as much as we can do" in the country and that the reason for invading Iraq has proven false.

Rep. Walter Jones of North Carolina will be among the lawmakers introducing legislation this week calling for a timetable for the withdrawal of American troops in Iraq.

"When I look at the number of men and women who have been killed — it's almost 1,700 now, in addition to close to 12,000 have been severely wounded — and I just feel that the reason of going in for weapons of mass destruction, the ability of the Iraqis to make a nuclear weapon, that's all been proven that it was never there," Jones said on ABC's "This Week."

President Bush has said any timetable for withdrawal would encourage insurgents to wait for the foreign troops to leave, but Jones said he believed Iraqis can defend their own country.

His stance leaves Jones sided with Sen. Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts, the most prominent Democrat calling for a timetable to leave Iraq. Jones said he had not discussed the issue with Kennedy.

Two years ago, Jones helped lead an effort to make sure Capitol Hill cafeterias retooled their menus to advertise "freedom fries" instead of french fries to protest France's opposition to the war.

Jones said he began changing his mind about the war after attending the funeral in April 2003 for Sgt. Michael Bitz, 31, who was killed in the southern city of Nasiriyah. He recalled that Bitz's widow read the last letter she received from her husband.

"And that really has been on my mind and my heart ever since," he said.

Jones, whose district includes Camp Lejeune and Cherry Point, has written condolence letters to the families of more than 1,300 service people killed in Iraq, and posters outside his congressional office show the faces of those killed.
end clip

Problem is, Jones is wrong about the Iraqis being able to stand against the insurgents, if one is to believe the NYT's pro-war John Burns, one of the best reporters on the ground there, in today's edition.

I don't know the answer, but I do know that "middle America" is turning on the neo-cons and Bush re: Iraq. The big dance among the FOX News and Limbaugh types is going to be how to blame Bush's screwups on the media and the liberals. We'll see a pretty nauseating - and typical - avoidance of any responsibility for error on the part of the Big Drug Addict, the Moonie Newsies and the Murdoch Minions. Among other things, we need to be out there punching back at these miserable, amoral phonies when they try to stir up hate against us and pull the same shit re: Iraq and liberal war critics who've been proven pretty consistently right that Pompous Peggy tried with Marc "Deepthroat" Felt and the disaster of Vietnam.

Also, Au above plays fast and loose with reality by using the generic "WMD" conflation in order to avoid serious analysis of anything resembling serious national security strategy . Just more of the same demagogic rhetoric that's nonsensical when it's picked apart.

There are even more memos, incidentally, related to this and equally damning. Kevin Drum links them at Washington Monthly. He also takes issue with Kinsley's ho-hummery.

reg

oh damn...and on an absurdly long one...

Woody

reg, today I was telling someone how smart you are and then you go and do your 63rd double posting.

rosedog, most of the people in this country can't even name their own congressmen or Senators, yet we're supposed to jump whenever a poll comes out with their uninformed opinions. This is a republic--not a democracy, thank goodness.

reg

"reg, today I was telling someone how smart you are"

More like smartass...but thanks for giving me the benefit of the doubt....benefit of the doubt...benefit of the doubt...benefit of the doubt...

rosedog

I'm usually a fan of Kinsley---at least since he came to the LA Times---but I think he strangely misdirects attention with regard to the Downing Street memo. In addition to Kevin Drum’s comments, I’d suggest reading Juan Cole’s rundown on the issue today, which comments on Kinsley’s Sunday Op Ed, plus the London Times’ newest leaked document, a July 2002 briefing paper.

http://www.juancole.com/2005/06/bush-and-blair-committed-to-war-in.html

As Cole points out---and this new charming leak makes it clear, once again--- any pretense about going to the UN to seek a peaceful solution to the Iraq issue on the part of Bush Co was utter horseshit because, by the Spring of 2002, the invasion was all but a done deal---at least from the American side. However, the main fly in the ointment for the Brits---being signatories to the Int’l Criminal Court and all (Unlike the US)----was the pesky little issue of international law, which has prohibitions against regime change except in instances of national self-defense, rescuing a population from genocide…or equally urgent justifications----all of which the Brits already knew wouldn’t stand up with regard to Iraq.

So, in the summer of 2002, rather than looking for solutions that WOULDN’T involve the use of force (and the attendant deaths and catastrophic injuries of thousands of US service people, not to mention the deaths and catastrophic injuries of many more thousands of Iraqis), to the contrary, the US and Britain were scrambling madly for a workable casus belli that would allow an invasion. And, according to the paper, at that time they figured perhaps their best bet might be to give Saddam an ultimatum that would be specifically designed to get him to refuse the thing---and presto, the invasion would be on.

I try not to hate these people. I really, really do. So far, I’m not succeeding.

PS: Woody, I'm neither promoting nor condemning what the great unwashed masses are feeling at the moment according Gallup. I'm merely suggesting what way the wind is currently blowing.

About the republic v. democracy issue: I'd actually prefer a monarchy with me as Queen High Goddess.. ....But that would be wrong.

On second thought, forget the queen thingy. I fear my personality isn't at all suited to it. (Let’s just say, I'd be too prone to turning on the sprinklers at formal state functions---metaphorically speaking.)

But a tiara would be nice.

NeoDude

OK gentlemen.

I’m trying to organize a grassroots movement to assist pro-war types into the offices of the local recruiter…we’ll call it “Cruise-a-Con” or “Send-A-Winger” or something like that, anyway….we could organize all the Pro-War activist so they can volunteer like its WW2, you know?

We can pray with them, so when some get the evil spirit of Satan warping their brave hearts; we can do battle with satanic forces and replenish the frontlines of THE GLOBAL WAR ON TERRORISM AND ISLAMOFACISM.

Let’s urge these American patriots into the cause they so desperately fought from home on their computers.

And I’m sure they would reject any sweetheart deals to sign, since the cause is so just and so moral, this would be enough to sacrifice their lives.

reg

"I try not to hate these people. I really, really do."

Why's that ???


Otherwise, terrific comments...

Steve Smith

Although I believe that Juan Cole's points on this subject are generally well-taken, his assertion that the DSM documents "prove" that Bush had already decided to go to war is horsebleep. At worst, they represent third-person hearsay of what British decisionmakers had concluded about U.S. intentions.

What these documents do show is how amoral the British policy was during the run-up to war. Blair and company believed that our provocation of a war with Iraq was inevitable, they distrusted our intelligence, and they correctly observed that we didn't have either a post-war plan or an exit strategy, but they still attempted to create a fake rationale to participate. Despicable.

neglected iraq veteran

marc, you're so right. it's us iraq veterans that are paying the price. all those leftists with no solutions!!! and they keep on spitting on us too Marc, I go to parks and peace activists are wearing smelly clothing and spitting at us as we go by in with our medals around our chest Marc!
They're everywhere!

why can't the leftists just understand, if we sent 500,000 more troops to Iraq right now, we would have a free and democratic Iraq? Or maybe a million more troops? And then they couldn't spit on us either!!!

Mork

Bush denied again last week that he had decided to invade Iraq prior to the weapons inspections, and that the intelligence had been "fixed" around the pretext for war.

I'm sorry, the President of the United States telling bald-faced lies about a matter of that significance is not an important story?

Of course it is, and each time new evidence emerges of the President's deceit, THAT will be a story, too, until he tells the truth.

rosedog

Re: Reg’s question about:

"’I try not to hate these people. I really, really do.’

“Why's that ???”

Um…well, the writer Anne LaMott kind of nailed it for me when she talked about this issue in one of her essays. LaMott, as you probably know, being from her general neck o’ the woods, is a born again Christian, albeit her own eccentric version of the thing. Anyway, because, as she puts it, “Jesus kept harping on forgiveness and loving one’s enemies,” she decided she really ought to try the love-your-enemies principal on Bush, Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld whom, like me, she pretty much loathed with unremitting intensity.

But she just couldn’t do it. Things came to an emotional head for her after a particularly inspiring sermon by her female pastor, who said, among other things, “When someone is acting butt-ugly, God loves them just the same as God loves the innocent.”

Now I’m not a Christian per se, but I truly get the principal…and genuinely try to apply it in my own non-Christian, pan-spiritual, pagan sort of way. (That’s probably why I’m able to report on issues involving….you know….violent felons…from a somewhat humanistic perspective.)

Anyway, LaMott is listening to all this that the pastor is saying and, at the end of the sermon, the pastor asks if there is anyone in the congregation with a special need. If so, they should come forward. When no one else moves, LaMott finally lurches stiffly toward the pulpit, and blurts out in an urgent whisper that she hates George Bush and what he’s doing to the country to the point that, “….it’s making me mentally ill….!”

I knew exactly what she meant.

I’ve tried to dial things back since then…..just for reasons of mental health. Not my opinions, mind you, just the emotions.

reg

Yeah, I know. But sometimes I find a good rage feels not only right but necessary, and the rest of the time I'm quite comfortable with a cool contempt.

Jim Rockford

Joe Biden tells a story of meeting with West Coast Democratic donors and presenting them with a hypothetical:

He's their CIA Director and they are the President. He tells them bin Laden has been located with 1,000 of his men in Western Pakistan, a tribal area with no control by the Musharraf government and where we are forbidden to go. It will cost 400-500 American soldiers lives, and war with Pakistan, but we can go in and capture or kill bin Laden. To a man they put their heads down and said they would not want to know about this.

Fundamentally, the events of 9/11 broke the Democratic Party and the Left. They liked to pretend they were at the end of history, and use of force and violence and the military were unsophisticated stuff for ignorant yahoos, in the dustbin of history. They have NO effective response to the question of how do we as a nation find and defeat decisively the threat to our nation? It's this just as much as Iraq that confounds them hence the Downing Street Memo nonsense and Marc's dead on accurate description of the failure of the Left.

[Yes if you accept as gospel C's belief that War was inevitable, which I think is accurate, you must also accept C's belief that Saddam had WMDs and would use them. Bush held sensibly that if he was going to go ahead with military preparations beyond just planning but actual physical positioning of troops he'd use them. Bush would not call back the bullet and did not see any point in pretending he could. The Memo makes clear C's belief that Saddam would ONLY budge if he saw masses of troops on his border, otherwise he'd take it as another Desert Fox aka Clinton's bombing and forget in 98-99. C wanted just the threat of War without actually any intent to go to War. Pretty foolish political judgment if you ask me. That was LBJ's and Nixon's "bomb them to the negotiating tables" strategy in Vietnam which led to defeat. Bush was right to insist that if forces were deployed they'd be used.]

Someone upthread had the laughable idea of sending Bush to the Hague for "War Crimes" and apologizing to bin Laden and the Taliban for offending Muslims anywhere. This is the Left at it's worst, unable to comprehend evil when they see it, and locked into the fallacy that America and it's leaders (Bush or Clinton) must be morally perfect and never kill anyone in defense of the nation. That's what led to Clinton forgoing opportunity after opportunity to kill or extradite bin Laden in the first place, and the mindset Biden encountered above.

No one is happy about attrition warfare. You'd find similar sentiments among Democrats in 1864, willing to compromise with the South to accept the Peculiar Institution to stop the awful slaughter (which dwarfs the current sad casualty lists). But no matter how low Bush's approval ratings go, nothing will happen as long as Democrats do not offer any serious policies to deal with the current threat of jihadism and jihadis intent on killing as many Americans as possible. Relying on the Hague (ask the dead of Srebenica how well that one worked out) and groveling in front of bin Laden is all the Left has to offer. It's fantasy.

Worse, Democrats seem intent on political suicide. Word's out about Rumsfeld personally approving the interrogation of "20th Hijacker" Mohammed al Qahtani including poking him in the chest, playing Christina Aguilera music (Clinton and Reno approved Barney and crying babies at the Branch Davidians), "invasion of space by female" (OK if it's Rosanne Barr and Rosie O'Donnell it's out of line), pouring water on his head when he won't drink, looking at pictures of 9/11 victims, standing at attention for the National Anthem and looking at the American Flag, and worst of all, a PUPPET SHOW satirizing his involvement in Al Qaeda. (Monty Python: he used SARCASM!) Note this is the guy who boasted he had a "big" secret to tell and was the #2 to Khalid Sheik Mohammed, the 9/11 Architect. Mohammed Atta (remember him?) was waiting for this guy when he was turned back by Immigration Control at a US airport. All this stopped btw after Abu Graib broke.

Most Americans read this and wonder "what the hell? Why aren't we just shooting this guy and be done with it? And shoot a few more of them?" Meanwhile Feinstein and Biden call it torture and want Gitmo closed and all terrorists released with an apology. This is bad because another mass attack is inevitable, and Bush can simply blame the Democrats and Media crusading for Al Qaeda "rights" and various ACLU-civil liberties concerns when the next big attack happens. Most Americans will be inclined to side with Bush.

Because Marc is right. Democrats have NO ALTERNATIVE to engage and defeat those who would kill as many of us as possible. They deny there is even a threat, or that 9/11 happened. Instead devolving into paranoid and ugly conspiracy theories. Iraq is an ugly attrition-warfare mess where we give up all our advantages and hamstring ourselves trying to avoid Sunni civilian casualties amongst people who hate us and our culture. Dem's answer? Naive lunacy and denial of reality.

We could arm and support Shia and Kurd militias and have them march through Sunni territory simply DESTROYING all property and turning people off their land. Guarantee this page out of Sherman's playbook would work (see: Atlanta, Columbia SC, Confederacy death of). Jihad is one thing, but when you talk about property, well that's another.

Woody

rosedog wrote: "About the republic v. democracy issue: I'd actually prefer a monarchy with me as Queen High Goddess.. ....But that would be wrong."

I'd rather see how reg would look as queen. I tell you what I would like--government by committee made up of the posters on this site. No one would ever agree, there would be no consensus, and nothing would be done--which is the best kind of government to me--sort of like Congress.

To stay on point,let me say Downing memo and big laugh.

The comments to this entry are closed.