Sunday, January 21, 2007

Old and Late

But not never: Last week's 60 Minutes interview with George W. Bush. It's stabbing me. It's stabbing me in the same place I felt stabbed back in 2004, when a favorite Iraqi blogger of the right tried to talk about the murder of his cousin at the hands of American troops, and a bunch of super-patriotic American commenters yelled at him for it:

I can't stress how disgusted and dissapointed I am with the people who are still in denial:
"Oh no our soldiers are good and educated, they would never do that!"
"Our soldiers would have no motive to lie".
"I would never trust a former Republican guard officer".
"I can't give judgement until the investigation is over".

Well people, picture this. Suppose I had published a similar account of Iraqi Fedayeen pushing two American soldiers in a river, drowning one of them in the process. Would you have reacted in the same manner? Would all you armchair analysts say "Oh no, lets not rush to conclusions. We should wait for the investigation results"? Would you all suddenly be so 'open minded'?

No, you would be jumping all over it crying and condemning the 'murderous' Fedayeen.

You have no idea how insulting this all is to me.

I kick myself, because I should have known THEN: I should have known then that if this grand Iraqi experiment in democracy were to go wrong, we, the people of the United States, would never examine ourselves critically, would never troubleshoot our own plans, our own execution--oh, no. We'd blame the victim. It's what we do with rape and it's what we do with any other situation we Keystone-Kops our way into, then hastily blunder out of again. It's our oldest and noblest tradition, and it's right fucking here in the words of our President:

PELLEY: Do you think you owe the Iraqi people an apology for not doing a better job?

BUSH: That we didn't do a better job or they didn't do a better job?

PELLEY: Well, that the United States did not do a better job in providing security after the invasion.

BUSH: Not at all. I am proud of the efforts we did. We liberated that country from a tyrant. I think the Iraqi people owe the American people a huge debt of gratitude, and I believe most Iraqis express that. I mean, the people understand that we've endured great sacrifice to help them. That's the problem here in America. They wonder whether or not there is a gratitude level that's significant enough in Iraq.

No, Mr. President, that is not what I wonder. Believe it or not, I have got through every day since this grotesque misadventure began without wondering whether the Iraqi people were thanking our soldiers, or you, or me, enough. I first believed, then hoped, then hoped against hope, then despaired of us ever being enough for THEM.

No more experiments in democracy abroad. No more, no mas, es todo. Until we can work out how in the hell we elected the kind of guy who asks, in all seriousness,

That we didn't do a better job or they didn't do a better job?

--I don't want to hear about it.

Did you ever write Zeyad a letter of apology and support, Mr. President? Did you ever say, "What happened to your cousin was tragic and wrong, and I am wholeheartedly sorry for it, and I want you to know how much I appreciate you and every other Iraqi blogger who stands with the United States even despite these abominations?"

No, you did not.

Neither did I. Oh, I mean--I left Zeyad a comment, I think.

That's a lot of consolation, isn't it? A comment.

16 comments:

Heraclitus said...

Only this jackass could kill over half a million people through his almost supernatural combination of arrogance and incompetence and expect them to be grateful for it. If you needed the essence of this administration's total moral bankruptcy and squalor distilled into a couple of lines, there it is.

Anonymous said...

sorry, but I have to call bullshit on this:

"Well people, picture this. Suppose I had published a similar account of Iraqi Fedayeen pushing two American soldiers in a river, drowning one of them in the process. Would you have reacted in the same manner? Would all you armchair analysts say "Oh no, lets not rush to conclusions. We should wait for the investigation results"? Would you all suddenly be so 'open minded'?

No, you would be jumping all over it crying and condemning the 'murderous' Fedayeen.

You have no idea how insulting this all is to me."

And I find it insulting to equate the American military with the Fedayeen Saddam. I'd second guess a story like that about American military for a good reason: that isn't the behavior of 99% of the people we have over there, and when our people do something wrong, from Abu Garib to Haditha, we do something about it.

The Fedayeen Saddam are the perfect inverse of that idea: brutality in the cause is their modus operendi. I'd believe this story much more readily about the Fedayeen because they have a demonstrable histroy of doing this kind of shit.

ilyka said...

Sorry, but you know what I have to call bullshit on?

(1) Anonymous commenters who mask their arrogance with fake-sorries, i.e. "Sorry, I have to call bullshit on this."

(2) Anonymous commenters who miss the point in order to nitpick.

You know, you got balls. The wrong kind of balls, but you got 'em. Because, really:

And I find it insulting to equate the American military with the Fedayeen Saddam. I'd second guess a story like that about American military for a good reason: that isn't the behavior of 99% of the people we have over there, and when our people do something wrong, from Abu Garib to Haditha, we do something about it.

What have we DONE about it? Ooh, ooh! Did someone get a dishonorable discharge? A-boo-hoo-hoo, a-boo-hoo-hoo. Did someone get, OMFG, demoted? Did someone--jeepers creepers!--lose rank? Seriously: What the fuck have we done about Abu Ghraib or Haditha? In a way that would matter to those people to whom those things were done, stupid, not in a way that would appease your totally-not-biased-at-all conscience.

Let me rape your 12-year-old sister or daughter, because I'm stressed and I'm scared and I'm bored and I'm horny. And then let me issue you an apology for it. You will, of course, accept it, for I am the exception, not the rule, and you know 99% of my countrymen didn't MEAN it. It was like an accident!

What have we done, anonymous asshole? What have we done, coward? What have we done, armchair general?

What have we done, you fucking chickenhawk?

Beth said...

Oh, Christ.

What have we done, you fucking chickenhawk?

I'm not even going to bother with the rest of your ridiculous rant, Ilyka. You've obviously been fed a whole lot of crap from your newer stomping grounds from a lot of people who, like you, don't know the first fucking thing about what they're talking about. Like first, How To Be A Commander In Chief. Seriously, write Zeyad a fucking letter?

What's your point, Ilyka? You happened to see some conservatives commenting and speaking up for OUR SIDE in the war (which, I might remind you, despite the fact that it's not here in America, we're STILL IN), you knee-jerk respond that They. Are. Wrong.

Zeyad is Iraqi, therefore he is right. Bull. Shit. I have no beef with Zeyad or anyone else like him, but just because the guy is Iraqi and because he's lost loved ones does NOT make him the authority--no more than it makes anyone else so.

But Zeyad and those commenters are beside the point, anyway, right? 'Cause it's really about that evil Christian Taliban wingnut fascist President, right?

Christ. I just have to laugh at how easily you change your tune after changing your company. If you HAD TO (I know, I know, it would just kill you) hang out with conservatives for six months, you'd be singing a different tune all over again. Nice moral compass.

But this chickenhawk shit makes me fucking howl.
Like you have ANY room to talk!
HA!

And in case you wanted to make any paranoid accusations, no, "Anonymous" wasn't me. You know my IP. But you also have NO WAY of knowing whether that person is a "chickenhawk" or not. Either way, if you haven't served (which you have not), STFU with the chickenhawk shit. It's not your place to say it. None of the fucking moonbat chickenhawk patrol, that I've seen, has a right to say it. When veterans say it, OK. Not some goddamn always-been-a-civilian who barely, *barely!* takes an interest in the military or the war at all.

So I'll "call bullshit," non-anonymously.

And for the record: Screw you for equating the actions of the US military or Bush with the barbaric shit they do in those medieval tribal gangs over there. And this:

What have we DONE about it? Ooh, ooh! Did someone get a dishonorable discharge? A-boo-hoo-hoo, a-boo-hoo-hoo. Did someone get, OMFG, demoted? Did someone--jeepers creepers!--lose rank? Seriously: What the fuck have we done about Abu Ghraib or Haditha? In a way that would matter to those people to whom those things were done, stupid, not in a way that would appease your totally-not-biased-at-all conscience.

What the fuck do you want? Do you even KNOW the sentences handed down for Abu Ghraib? Should we...say, kill Lynndie England and all her family members? 'Cause that's exactly the kind of shit the Fedayeen did. Should we, I dunno, give 'em the kind of "justice" the Iraqis would ask for? Fine. Then I suppose you won't find there's any problem if we do that for ALL the militia scum we capture and detain. Oh, but noooooo...extreme punishment is Only Allowed if it's done on our military members (NOBODY ELSE), so I can feel as though I've properly "apologized" to the world on behalf of Big Bad Bully America.

Straw-armchair general.
/eyeroll

Go ahead, scream at me too, 'cause your lefty friends have taught you well. Disagree, and you are brainwashed, stupid, and insane, right?

YAWN.

Stick to the strawfeminist meme. With this, you are completely talking out of your ass.

Attila said...

Not only are Iraqis grateful for our efforts on their behalf, but the Vietnamese are grateful that we at least tried--in an ill-fated war screwed up first by McNamera, then Johnson, then the antiwar movement.

Americans who go to Vietnam are treated very, very well--because we tried.

And in Iraq, we still have every chance of success, unless the antiwar movement forces another premature withdrawal.

I dunno what's gotten into you, Ilyka: do you really think the Iraqis would be better off if we'd left Saddam in power?

Sheelzebub said...

Beth--Bull. Fucking. SHIT.

Odd how we shouldn't take Zeyad seriously. How he's not automatically right "just because" he's Iraqi and oh, LIVES with the consequences of our actions. Yet no one should ever, ever say anything about the war except maybe a vet (who'll be promptly trashed by the likes of Ann Coulter) since they know what it's like. Not any Iraqi's whose homes were bombed or loved ones were brutalized or killed. Nope. Just the vets.

Well, I call bullshit. I'd suggest a place for you to cram your ridiculous double-standards, but you're head is obviously shoved up there pretty good. I've put a shoehorn in the mail to you; when you get it, pry your head out of there and breathe some real air as opposed to methane. May help you process a bit better.

And do stop your whining about Ilyka's change of heart about the war. She was never in any clique, and you need to get your brain out of high school. She hung with conservatives and progressives, and sparred with both. She actually does--despite your ridiculous barb--have a moral compass. She came to change her opinion after a lot of thought and after learning more about what was going on, rather than blindly buying what the administration was selling. Methinks you might be projecting a bit there, Beth.

Here's a bit of advice, dear. You live as a civilian where soldiers of a foreign nation are bombing homes; imprisoning and torturing your friends and loved ones; and committing lovely crimes like rape and murder for fun. You live with that crap, and you deal with it when entitled asshats from said foreign nation tell you to STFU and just be grateful when you complain. That dammit, they're doing it for your own good.

Which brings me to you, Attila. Our President and his war apologists have switched rationales for this ridiculous war several times. First, it was the WMD's. Saddam was an "imminent threat." Then, suddenly, it was *never* the WMD's or a threat, it was that Saddam was a very bad man! (Even though we were happy enough to deal with him and support him and the Baath party since the overthrow). Then, it was democracy! Then, it was human rights! Then, it was OMG! Fight terrorism! Except that Saddam had no ties to al-Qaeda, and the terrorists in Iraq are there because, well, they've had plenty of opportunity to be there, thanks to our invasion. And they're able to recruit thanks to our invasion.

Saddam was a brutal dictator whom we liked and supported for a long time. We've now made room for some real religious wingnuts who are ten times worse than Saddam ever was. Couple that with the crap the US is pulling, and you're not going to find gratitude. Oddly enough, we didn't get the flowers we were expecting, either.

Auguste said...

Sigh. Sheelzebub responded well, but let me add a little something:

What the fuck do you want? Do you even KNOW the sentences handed down for Abu Ghraib? Should we...say, kill Lynndie England and all her family members? 'Cause that's exactly the kind of shit the Fedayeen did. Should we, I dunno, give 'em the kind of "justice" the Iraqis would ask for?

Beth, at least get straight what you're arguing against.

WE DON'T BLAME LYNNDIE ENGLAND FOR ABU GHRAIB, YOU GODDAMN IDIOTS. She did wrong, but she's also a scapegoat, and nobody scapegoats an enlisted person like a wingnut.

Rox said...

What Auguste said.

Attila said...

Our President and his war apologists have switched rationales for this ridiculous war several times. First, it was the WMD's. Saddam was an "imminent threat." Then, suddenly, it was *never* the WMD's or a threat, it was that Saddam was a very bad man!

Nope. All these arguments were brought forth before the invasion ever took place. (BTW--love the fact that you and your type like to quote the President as saying that Saddam was an "imminent threat," when in fact what Bush declared was that he was no such thing--but shouldn't be allowed to become one.)

(Even though we were happy enough to deal with him and support him and the Baath party since the overthrow).

Certainly we used Iraq as a hedge against the Iranian threat: that was realpolitik of the type the Democrats appear to want to go back to.

Then, it was democracy!

It was always about democracy: the idea is that there ought to be a democracy in the area other than Israel, due to the prejudices against Israel in the region. Go back to Bush's speeches right before the invasion.

Then, it was human rights! Then, it was OMG! Fight terrorism! Except that Saddam had no ties to al-Qaeda,

Oh, how you all love to repeat that like a mantra. Too bad it isn't true.

and the terrorists in Iraq are there because, well, they've had plenty of opportunity to be there, thanks to our invasion. And they're able to recruit thanks to our invasion.

The thing is, AQ and related organizations are sending their fresh-faced recruits over there to blow things up, rather than here. And every time they blow up more ordinary Muslims in the name of radical Islam, they make more enemies.

Everyone sees this but the American left, which is still determined to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

But if we do leave, and it's because of your "activism," I hope you make yourselves read about the bloodbath that follows.

And I damned well hope it twists a knife in your heart.

Sheelzebub said...

No, Attila. Those excuses were pulled out of thin air as the WMD lies were proven to be, well, lies. Though it's amusing to see how hard you silly little war-apologists work to revise history. War is peace. Black is white. Blah, blah, blah.

"(BTW--love the fact that you and your type like to quote the President as saying that Saddam was an "imminent threat," when in fact what Bush declared was that he was no such thing--but shouldn't be allowed to become one.)"

Love the fact that you and your type willfully ignore the facts. Here's what Bush, and his filthy chickenhawk asshole cronies, had to say about the threat posed by Iraq:

"There's no question that Iraq was a threat to the people of the United States."
• White House spokeswoman Claire Buchan, 8/26/03

"We ended the threat from Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction."
• President Bush, 7/17/03

Iraq was "the most dangerous threat of our time."
• White House spokesman Scott McClellan, 7/17/03

"Saddam Hussein is no longer a threat to the United States because we removed him, but he was a threat...He was a threat. He's not a threat now."
• President Bush, 7/2/03

"Absolutely."
• White House spokesman Ari Fleischer answering whether Iraq was an "imminent threat," 5/7/03

"We gave our word that the threat from Iraq would be ended."
• President Bush 4/24/03

"The threat posed by Iraq's weapons of mass destruction will be removed."
• Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, 3/25/03

"It is only a matter of time before the Iraqi regime is destroyed and its threat to the region and the world is ended."
• Pentagon spokeswoman Victoria Clarke, 3/22/03

"The people of the United States and our friends and allies will not live at the mercy of an outlaw regime that threatens the peace with weapons of mass murder."
• President Bush, 3/19/03

"The dictator of Iraq and his weapons of mass destruction are a threat to the security of free nations."
• President Bush, 3/16/03

"This is about imminent threat."
• White House spokesman Scott McClellan, 2/10/03

Iraq is "a serious threat to our country, to our friends and to our allies."
• Vice President Dick Cheney, 1/31/03

Iraq poses "terrible threats to the civilized world."
• Vice President Dick Cheney, 1/30/03

Iraq "threatens the United States of America."
• Vice President Cheney, 1/30/03

"Iraq poses a serious and mounting threat to our country. His regime has the design for a nuclear weapon, was working on several different methods of enriching uranium, and recently was discovered seeking significant quantities of uranium from Africa."
• Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, 1/29/03

"Well, of course he is.”
• White House Communications Director Dan Bartlett responding to the question “is Saddam an imminent threat to U.S. interests, either in that part of the world or to Americans right here at home?”, 1/26/03

"Saddam Hussein possesses chemical and biological weapons. Iraq poses a threat to the security of our people and to the stability of the world that is distinct from any other. It's a danger to its neighbors, to the United States, to the Middle East and to the international peace and stability. It's a danger we cannot ignore. Iraq and North Korea are both repressive dictatorships to be sure and both pose threats. But Iraq is unique. In both word and deed, Iraq has demonstrated that it is seeking the means to strike the United States and our friends and allies with weapons of mass destruction."
• Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, 1/20/03

"The Iraqi regime is a threat to any American. ... Iraq is a threat, a real threat."
• President Bush, 1/3/03

"The world is also uniting to answer the unique and urgent threat posed by Iraq whose dictator has already used weapons of mass destruction to kill thousands."
• President Bush, 11/23/02

"I would look you in the eye and I would say, go back before September 11 and ask yourself this question: Was the attack that took place on September 11 an imminent threat the month before or two months before or three months before or six months before? When did the attack on September 11 become an imminent threat? Now, transport yourself forward a year, two years or a week or a month...So the question is, when is it such an immediate threat that you must do something?"
• Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, 11/14/02

"Saddam Hussein is a threat to America."
• President Bush, 11/3/02

"I see a significant threat to the security of the United States in Iraq."
• President Bush, 11/1/02

"There is real threat, in my judgment, a real and dangerous threat to American in Iraq in the form of Saddam Hussein."
• President Bush, 10/28/02

"The Iraqi regime is a serious and growing threat to peace."
• President Bush, 10/16/02

"There are many dangers in the world, the threat from Iraq stands alone because it gathers the most serious dangers of our age in one place. Iraq could decide on any given day to provide a biological or chemical weapon to a terrorist group or individual terrorists."
• President Bush, 10/7/02

"The Iraqi regime is a threat of unique urgency."
• President Bush, 10/2/02

"There's a grave threat in Iraq. There just is."
• President Bush, 10/2/02

"This man poses a much graver threat than anybody could have possibly imagined."
• President Bush, 9/26/02

"No terrorist state poses a greater or more immediate threat to the security of our people and the stability of the world than the regime of Saddam Hussein in Iraq."
• Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, 9/19/02

"Some have argued that the nuclear threat from Iraq is not imminent - that Saddam is at least 5-7 years away from having nuclear weapons. I would not be so certain. And we should be just as concerned about the immediate threat from biological weapons. Iraq has these weapons."
• Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, 9/18/02

"Iraq is busy enhancing its capabilities in the field of chemical and biological agents, and they continue to pursue an aggressive nuclear weapons program. These are offensive weapons for the purpose of inflicting death on a massive scale, developed so that Saddam Hussein can hold the threat over the head of any one he chooses. What we must not do in the face of this mortal threat is to give in to wishful thinking or to willful blindness."
• Vice President Dick Cheney, 8/29/02


Sorry. . .you were saying? They never called him a threat, just a potential threat? That the President never called him an imminent threat--just everyone else in his administration (which I'd said, had you bothered to read what I wrote)? Stop splitting hairs. People from the administration called Saddam an "imminent threat" and no amount of historical revision and wishful thinking on your part will change that. "My type" deals in the facts. Your "type" should try it sometime.

"Certainly we used Iraq as a hedge against the Iranian threat: that was realpolitik of the type the Democrats appear to want to go back to."

That "realpolitik" was done by no other than Bush I when he was in the CIA, Rumsfeld (who schmoozed with Saddam), and other Republicans. As for hedging against the Iranian threat--how's that been working out for us? Not so good, really. Power vacuums tend to open up opportunity.

And where does all of this freedom-fighting stop? Shall we just invade all countries run by very, very bad men? Shall we go after the Saudis next (they aren't exactly saintly in comparison to Saddam). How about China? They really suck, but we make good money from them and they can fight back, can't they?

You insist that we repeat there was no connection between Saddam and al-Qaeda. The 9/11 commission found no proof of any connection--the only ones insisting upon the connection were the President and his administration. There is no credible evidence that Iraq and al-Qaeda cooperated or worked together. al-Qaeda tried to contact Saddam and Saddam blew them off. Hardly the basis for an invasion and occupation.

Oh, how you all love to repeat "terrorism" like a mantra. Too bad it isn't true.

"The thing is, AQ and related organizations are sending their fresh-faced recruits over there to blow things up, rather than here. And every time they blow up more ordinary Muslims in the name of radical Islam, they make more enemies."

The thing is, they would never have gotten a foothold if it weren't for our invasion in the first place. That provided all sorts of recruiting fodder, since people tend to bristle at invasions. How 'bout that.

Odd, too, how you ignore the words of a pro-American Iraqi who was critical. Interesting how, according to many pro-war folks, what he has to say means nothing.

You have the fucking termity to preach to me about bloodbaths and taking responsibility? Oh, that's rich kiddo. Considering the bloodbath we've created in Iraq, I find your sudden concern laughable. You hope I read about bloodbaths after we pull out and that it twists a knife in my heart? Oh! The melodrama!

Before you wag your finger off your hand, dear, how about YOU try reading about the bloodbaths going on there NOW. Try reading about the murder of most of a family at the hands of US troops NOW. Try reading about the rape of an Iraqi teenager and the murder of her and her family NOW. Try reading about the bombings, the daisy cutters, and the mutilated and killed men, women, and children NOW--killed by our bombs, our troops, and our actions. BEFORE the insurgency got into full swing.

And I hope it twists a knife into YOUR heart. But why should you care--you don't have to deal with being bombed by an invading army, and watching your country descend into civil war thanks to an invasion based upon a false accusation and a lot of hysteria, right? Those Iraqis should just be grateful.

Darleen said...

attila

Notice how the "chickenhawk" perfidy is bounced about as if it were a serious argument.

These are people who don't even know what a "lie" is. And in the battle of quotes, there's this:

"One way or the other, we are determined to deny Iraq the capacity to develop weapons of mass destruction and the missiles to deliver them. That is our bottom line."
--President Bill Clinton, Feb. 4, 1998

"If Saddam rejects peace and we have to use force, our purpose is clear. We want to seriously diminish the threat posed by Iraq's weapons of mass destruction program."
--President Bill Clinton, Feb. 17, 1998

"Iraq is a long way from [here], but what happens there matters a great deal here. For the risks that the leaders of a rogue state will use nuclear, chemical or biological weapons against us or our allies is the greatest security threat we face."
--Madeline Albright, Feb 18, 1998

"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

"[W]e urge you, after consulting with Congress, and consistent with the U.S. Constitution and laws, to take necessary actions (including, if appropriate, air and missile strikes on suspect Iraqi sites) to respond effectively to the threat posed by Iraq's refusal to end its weapons of mass destruction programs."
Letter to President Clinton, signed by:
-- Democratic Senators Carl Levin, Tom Daschle, John Kerry, and others, Oct. 9, 1998

"Saddam Hussein has been engaged in the development of weapons of mass destruction technology which is a threat to countries in the region and he has made a mockery of the weapons inspection process."
-Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D, CA), Dec. 16, 1998

"Hussein has ... chosen to spend his money on building weapons of mass destruction and palaces for his cronies."
-- Madeline Albright, Clinton Secretary of State, Nov. 10, 1999

"There is no doubt that ... Saddam Hussein has reinvigorated his weapons programs. Reports indicate that biological, chemical and nuclear programs continue apace and may be back to pre-Gulf War status. In addition, Saddam continues to redefine delivery systems and is doubtless using the cover of a licit missile program to develop longer-range missiles that will threaten the United States and our allies."
Letter to President Bush, Signed by:
-- Sen. Bob Graham (D, FL), and others, Dec 5, 2001

"We begin with the common belief that Saddam Hussein is a tyrant and a threat to the peace and stability of the region. He has ignored the mandate of the United Nations and is building weapons of mass destruction and the means of delivering them."
-- Sen. Carl Levin (D, MI), Sept. 19, 2002

"We know that he has stored secret supplies of biological and chemical weapons throughout his country."
-- Al Gore, Sept. 23, 2002

"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

"We have known for many years that Saddam Hussein is seeking and developing weapons of mass destruction."
-- Sen. Ted Kennedy (D, MA), Sept. 27, 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

"I will be voting to give the President of the United States the authority to use force -- if necessary -- to disarm Saddam Hussein because I believe that a deadly arsenal of weapons of mass destruction in his hands is a real and grave threat to our security."
-- Sen. John F. Kerry (D, MA), Oct. 9, 2002

"There is unmistakable evidence that Saddam Hussein is working aggressively to develop nuclear weapons and will likely have nuclear weapons within the next five years ... We also should remember we have always underestimated the progress Saddam has made in development of weapons of mass destruction."
-- Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D, WV), Oct 10, 2002

"He has systematically violated, over the course of the past 11 years, every significant UN resolution that has demanded that he disarm and destroy his chemical and biological weapons, and any nuclear capacity. This he has refused to do"
-- Rep. Henry Waxman (D, CA), Oct. 10, 2002

"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

"We are in possession of what I think to be compelling evidence that Saddam Hussein has, and has had for a number of years, a developing capacity for the production and storage of weapons of mass destruction."
-- Sen. Bob Graham (D, FL), Dec. 8, 2002

"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


It's not like the "It's Bush's War" crowd is new or unique. Be it a Lindbergh, Duranty, the emotional pull of avoiding/dismissing unpleasant realities or disguising them can be great in people who want to run with the "in" crowd.

Attila, why should they actually "debate?" They have their little index cards all arranged. They are for "peace." So if you disagree with them, your motives are suspect and you're an evil war monger. They are for "fairness" and "tolerance" and if you disagree with what they deem is fairness, then your motives are suspect and you are an evil bigot (racist, homophobe, etc).

When one substitutes feelings for thoughts, superficialty paired with a sense of superiority results. It's neither pretty nor serious. But that's where these people are.

Sheelzebub said...

Darlene, you are laughable. Do you silly chickenhawks just use the same tired old email forwards as proof?

For someone who gets so self-righteous about "lies", you sure do like to spread them.

So let's see--you pull up a bunch of quotes from Bill Clinton (whom many progressives clashed with BTW, but don't let the facts ruin your fun) and his administration. Sorry--am I missing an invasion and occupation of Iraq under Clinton's watch? Clinton was more worried about Osama Bin Laden. Where is Osama these days?

The other quotes are from Democrats who've been toasted by progressives for their support (we don't blindly follow our leaders), and who withdrew their support once they realized that there was no proof of WMD's.

And it's rich that you quote Robert Byrd. You quoted him out of context (the same quote in the comment spam I get, and the email forwards I get).

It was part of a speech he gave on October 3, 2003 in opposition to a premptive war against Iraq. Of course, putting into context would put a crimp in your quest for spreading misinformation. That little comment you made about debate? You can't have an honest debate when you use quotes out of context.

Here is the full quote:

"Why is Congress elbowing past the President to authorize a military campaign that the President may or may not even decide to pursue? Aren't we getting a little ahead of ourselves? The last U.N. weapons inspectors left Iraq in October of 1998. We are confident that Saddam Hussein retained 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 capability. Intelligence reports also indicate that he is seeking nuclear weapons, but has not yet achieved nuclear capability.

It is now October of this year of our Lord 2002. Four years have gone by in which neither this administration nor the previous one felt compelled to invade Iraq to protect against the imminent threat of weapons of mass destruction until today, until now, until 33 days before Election Day. Now we're being asked, now we're being told that we must act immediately. We must put this issue behind us. We must put this question behind us. We must act immediately we are told before adjournment and before the elections. Why the rush? Why the rush?

Is it our precious blood which will spew forth from our feeble veins? No. Those of you who have children, those of you who have grandchildren, those of you who have great-grandchildren should be thinking. It's the precious blood of the men and women who wear the uniform of these United States, that blood may flow in the streets of Iraq.

Yes, we had Sept. 11. But we must not make the mistake of looking at the resolution before us as just another offshoot of the war on terror. We know who was behind the Sept. 11 attacks on the United States. We know it was Osama bin Laden and his Al Qaeda terrorist network. We have dealt with Al Qaeda and with the Taliban government that sheltered it. We have routed them from Afghanistan. We are continuing to pursue them in hiding. So where does Iraq enter into the equation? Where?

No one in the administration has been able to produce any solid evidence linking Iraq to the Sept. 11 attack. Iraq had biological and chemical weapons long before Sept. 11. We knew it then. We helped to give Iraq the building blocks for biological weapons. We know it now. Iraq has been an enemy of the United States for more than a decade. If Saddam Hussein is such an imminent threat to the United States why hasn't he attacked us already?"

The next day, Byrd went on television to say:

"I'm not going to continue to be silent. The blood of our sons and daughters, our soldiers, sailors and airmen, have far more value than a few votes in a ballot box. For the first time in the history of the republic, the nation is considering a preemptive strike against a sovereign state. And I will not be silent.

I have no grief for Iraq but I am not going to be silenced. For the President to suggest that the Senate is not interested in the security of the American people is outrageous, is insulting. It is wrong, wrong, wrong!"

and:

"This administration has been unable to show the evidence, which is today and current, which is different from what this administration knew three months ago, six months ago, a year ago. And yet the administration, based on no new evidence that there is an immediate, impending threat to the United States or its military forces -- the administration is pushing us, the Congress, into a decision, in an atmosphere that is super-charged with politics. Asking for a vote before the election, that is wrong."

--Robert Byrd, October 3, 2002

You also missed this gem from Sen. Byrd:

"The point is, this country isn't being attacked. The president is setting up a straw man here when he says that he has taken a constitutional oath to defend the constitution and so on, and it's his job to protect the American people.

Protect the American people from the -- from what? We're not -- the American people aren't being attacked, nor are they under threat of direct or imminent attack by Saddam Hussein and Iraq."-Robert Byrd, March 7, 2003.


As you said, Darleen, when one substitutes feelings for thoughts, superficialty paired with a sense of superiority results. It's neither pretty nor serious.

But that's where you are.

If you truly value debate so much, use facts, not knee-jerk loyalty to the President. In other words--stop lying. It doesn't do much for your credibility, or your debating skills.

JackGoff said...

Seriously? With Darleen, a policy of not engaging is in order. I am convinced that she is incapable of thinking past the usual neocon/Rush Limbaugh talking point of the day. As a general policy, I ignore at the moment. Hopefully, she'll realize one day that the invasion of Iraq was actually not the fault of Clinton, whom I rip on all the time for his many mistakes and stupidities.

Of course, in all of that, all the Repugs could ever focus on was a blowjob, as opposed to the bombing of an inconsequential pharmaceutical factory. Shows where both parties have erred, I guess. Don't matter, though. Whatever kills more brown people is all good, it seems.

Anonymous said...

I realize this is just a one-liner from a commenter that's off-topic from Iraq, but seeing as it's a support structure in an argument, I really want to address (but am not apologizing, as per your instructions)

Americans who go to Vietnam are treated very, very well--because we tried.

No, Americans who go to Vietnam are treated very, very well--because they have money.

Not because they tried.

I've been planning a trip there off and on for a few years now, and every year my father puts me off the scent-my father the retired military vietnam veteran, that is, the one who goes there still. He tells me a great deal about Vietnam and the culture there, and no where is there mention of prostrations of gratitude. It's about the all-mighty dollar.

Whichever side of the fence you sit on for the war, I can't imagine that in 30 years time Iraqis will be weeping with gratitude-people just don't work that way. No culture has done this-the Belgians, the Dutch, the French...after time people move on. So if this is the crux of your argument, better proof is needed.

PS-some of the comments in here read like books.

Lesley said...

Re: the whole "outrage" because Ilyka called anonymous a "fucking chickenhawk coward." Seriously, people, context. I don't believe she referred to all Iraqi war supporters that way. As far as I could tell, that insult was directed solely at one person, who is presumably not any of the people posting their outrage under their names or handles. It was directed at a person who came in, posted anonymously, and effectively called Zeyad a liar. I don't happen to care for the whole "chickenhawk" thing myself, which is why I've never called anyone that, but if an anonymous troll comes to your blog and insults a person who actually lives every day with the impact of the war, accuses them of lying despite evidence that the American military has, on occasion, not acted with perfect honor, then, yeah, that particular person just might deserve to be called a "fucking chickenhawk coward." If you're going to post insults, at least have the moxie not to post anonymously.

ilyka said...

that insult was directed solely at one person, who is presumably not any of the people posting their outrage under their names or handles

Right! Except I no longer presume that, because I'm not that firm a believer in magical coincidences. I insult anonymous and suddenly the Cotillion faithful show up, JUST LIKE THAT! Mercy.

Let that serve as a lesson: Use your damn name. Use a FAKE name if you want, 'cause I sure do--but if you post anonymously, odds are I'm going to be all "who the fuck are you?" and I'm going to treat you with no respect whatsoever.