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« They could have danced all night | Main | Reaping the whirlwind »

June 02, 2005

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Pointing out the fact that Bush misrepresented his reasons for going to war, decided to go to war while telling the public that the decision hadn't been made, doesn't mean that we don't grasp the strategy behind the decision to go to war.

The point is ironically made here -- if the reason for going to war was to remake the mid-east by planting democracy in Iraq and through a modern domino theory see democracy spread and the causes of terrorism eliminated, then that's what we should have been told. The war wasn't about Iraqi ties with terrorism or WMD or the threat that Iraq was to this country. But that's what Bush preached, with references to mushroom clouds and biological weapons. He manipulated the public instead of trusting the country to understand his reasons and the strategy for eliminating the roots of terrorism instead of just killing terrorists.

I disagree with the strategy, but it's his right as president to embrace it. But it's not his right to lie to us, to manipulate the truth. It's arrogant and manipulative and I believe unprincipled.

You may disagree with me. But the fact that I find Bush's conduct in the lead up to the war to be fundamentally unacceptable behavior, that undemocratic actions in the name of spreading democracy are flawed and unworthy of this country, does not mean that I don't understand the great neocon theory that they use to justify the war. Saying we don't understand ignores the issue.

Hey, hon, we were told. You gotta get out there and read more sources.

Sissy is right Kathy. The MSM in it's infinite wisdom decided what to play up and what didn't play at all. There was just TONS of other information that the administration tried to present to the people... but the MSM wanted nothing to do with it.

I do take small issue with Mr. Carroll though in this one area...

"Bush and Blair (and especially Bush) recognized early on that a military invasion of Iraq..."

I am more than fairly certain that Tony Blair had wanted to do something about Saddam for years. He was completely frustrated by Clinton's lack of any sort of meaningful action against Iraq. So he was more than cognizant of the need to go in and get rid of that regime and stablize the region, Great Britain just couldn't do it on its own.

Smoking guns, fog of war

No kidding. The heavy breathing about this "smoking gun" memo shows their utter desperation--and for what? Seriously, what on earth do these rabid anti-Bush nuts really want? It seems to me that since they can't field a winning Presidential candidate, they'll sink to absurdity to avenge their losses. But it still doesn't make them right.
This is just another stupid meme of the moment; when this one fizzles out, they'll dream up something else. Meanwhile, I'll just SMIRK.

So, you're saying that Bush actually made the case to the American people that the reason for going to war was to establish a beachhead for democracy and NOT because Iraq was a national security threat? And that I somehow missed that because I'm not well read? So point me to the sources. If the problem was MSM coverage, there should be transcripts of Bush speeches on the white house site in which Bush made the case. I haven't found them, but I'll go back and look. I'm not trying to rewrite history here - I really do want to know the truth.

And the attention to the Downing Street Memo isn't about avenging electoral losses. It's about holding our government accountable. If our government made the decision to go to war, all the while pretending the decision hadn't been made, then going through the motions of trying to avoid it in order to justify the invasion, if our government manipulated intelligence in order to fit preferred policy, then it should matter to us. I don't understand why it's being dismissed.

The memo tells us that the decision to go to war was made months before Congress authorized the use of military force. It was made while we were being told that no decision had been made, that war was a last resort that the government wanted to avoid. Why is that okay? Is it really a matter of partisan loyalty? If you're a Bush supporter then he can do no wrong? And anyone who says different is a loser who can't handle reality or some such thing? If that's the case, it's hard to have hope for any cooperation across the aisle, not just in government but in society.

I did a little research and read Bush's address to the nation when Congress was debating the authorization to use force. You can see it here: http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2002/10/20021007-8.html.

Bush makes absolutely no reference to establishing democracy as a justification for war - he doesn't even refer to other countries in the mid-east. He does, however, talk about mushroom clouds and biological weapons. Arguing that the reasons for going to war were for the neocon theory that it would stabilize the mid-east, establish a beachhead for democracy, and root out the sources of terror is a revision of what the public was told. If that was the reason, then no-one told us or the Congress.

Excuse me, but when did the terms WMD and "security risk" become one in the same? Naturally, any time you think about going to war with a country it is because there is a security risk. Otherwise you're just conquering the country to add to your own empire. I don't believe we've done that - I don't see Iraq as the 51st state in the US or another colony of Great Britain.

No. You are arguing 2 different positions. The WMD postion is the one all the liberals seem to harp on - as if WMD's are the ONLY sort of security threat there might be. How about nice little bases for terrorists to train? How about money provided by Saddam for arming terrorists? How about the instability in the region and the world caused by those same terrorists? (to name but a scant few) Apparently those minor little things don't count one jot!!! ONLY WMD's are of any importance? What a CROCK!

I don't think there is much use in arguing farther about this subject - it's old and useless to continue. But please understand that WMD's are not the only reason Saddam had to go - there were multiple reasons - and the results have been a Mid-East that is far more ready to work with the West in securing the area.

As far as planning goes - any country that wants to stay in existence as a country has plans to go to war with anyone considered an enemy. If you were to have access to the files at Downing Street, you'd find files on plans for war with places like North Korea, Iran, probably even Venezuela for all we know. You don't come up with plans at the very last second. They are not just a sudden inspiration from thin air. To think otherwise is to be willfully naive about how the world works. It's dangerous out there - and the enemies want us dead and gone - this is not an exaggeration (listen to an al-Qaeda broadcast). Personally I don't want to be the one to end up dead - I'd prefer it to be the other guy...

I'll let this go after this reply... but I do feel compelled to point out that while I understand that security isn't solely about WMD, that is what was presented time and time again as justification for going into Iraq. WMD and the possibility that Saddam would use them or that terrorists would get their hands on them. That's why we were told we had to go to war - oh, and the necessity of the UN not being a spineless and irrelevant organization. If you go back and read the president's speeches and comments, it's rather striking to see how starkly the case was made.

As for planning - of course we have plans for war with every key country (though apparently not for "the peace" after the war). The issue isn't the existence of plans - it's the decision to revise them just days after 9/11, the illegal diversion of $750m in funds allocated to the war in Afghanistan to cover the development of new plans, the urgent need to develop new plans after we were attacked with no involvement by Iraq. That's the issue, not a naive belief that plans don't exist.

And that's it for me. We won't agree, but I'll keep reading here. It's too easy to get off from opposing viewpoints and never have your views challenged, so I'll come here (and a few other places) for that. But I don't know if we'll ever find a common ground.... I hope we do someday, but I suspect it won't be on this issue.

Thanks, Kathy. I did go back and reread the SOTU's . . . no smoking guns, just a matter of emphasis, I think. I do appreciate your civil tone -- big time -- and am glad our disagreements won't prevent us from listening to each other. :)

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