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View Diary: Shut Your Fucking Pie-Hole... (381 comments)

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  •  Hold on (3.27)
    Maybe it is murky.  Why would he have "wanted that stick" if he knew Saddam wasn't a threat and had no WMD?  Why would he have even wanted it, if there is "no fucking way" that he would have gone?
    •  Because... (3.60) the time we WEREN'T SURE wether Saddam was a threat or not. All the intel was fucked up and... hyping aside... lots of smart people didn't know what he did or didn't have.

      The mistake was not suspecting.

      The mistake was ACTING without proof.

      I can draw a very straight line from John Kerry with that same "stick" to a warless officially disarmed Iraq and a dead or captured Osama.

      Want to beat Bush... it's the LIES, stupid.

      by JeffLieber on Sun Sep 19, 2004 at 10:22:53 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I can't believe that (3.66)
        your defense of Kerry was that he was inept, and couldn't tell what the right thing was.

        Can't Bush and his supporters use that same excuse?  "Hey, I know there were no WMD, but who could blame me for being sure there was!  We all thought it, and hindsight is 20/20!"

        •  My defence of Kerry is... (4.00)
          ...that he wanted to make sure and that he knew how HE would haqve handled the same authority.

          You knew.

          You're brilliant.



          (And last I looked... 23 senators is not close to a majority.)

          Want to beat Bush... it's the LIES, stupid.

          by JeffLieber on Sun Sep 19, 2004 at 10:50:34 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  A whole lot of people (4.00)
            knew Bush was determined to go to war regardless, and that this authorization was just an easy way for dems to take the issue off the table in the next election.  A whole lot of people knew Bush wasn't serious about inspections.  I understand the talking point here, but we're generally ALL Kerry people on this site, and it's lame as hell to substitute a talking point for the truth.  I fully expect--I DEMAND--that Kerry say whatever it takes to win, but we aren't writing script for the party.  I support Kerry because of the next two or three Supreme Court appointees, and because I can't hold him accountable for his war vote at the same time I'm holding Bush accountable.
            •  kerry was covering his ass (4.00)
              he was already planning to run for president and he knows that you cant be electable if you stand between the US and  it's All Consuming Need to Kill Non- White Non -Christians...

              sorry, simple and cynical on his part and mine.

              fuck the koolaide and remember that  in Jonestown most were Forced to drink... No one should be happy about  silencing rational thought...

              as far as what happens if Kerry loses i think honestly someone should be thinking about it...  and i think that someone is Howard Dean!!

              •  A Stupid CYA (none)
                Look, if the Iraq war went the way the neocons wanted -- WMD's found (or persuasively fabricated), ties to AQ found (or persuasively fabricated), democracy or at least stability installed afterwards -- then Bush was gonna win no matter what.  Voting to support Bush's glorious victory would have been meaningless.  The only viable scenario for a Dem victory in 2004 involved Bush's Iraq war going badly.  The CYA vote would have been against the war, not for it.
        •  No ... No ... No! (4.00)
          They could on the October 2002 vote. But they could not when the troops rolled in March 2003. At that point, Hans Blix's team had been making progress (unlike prior to the vote). The point of Kerry's YES vote (which I disagreed with, and still could argue about) was that it was necessary for leverage. It was not a declaration of war per se, but merely an escalation in the negotiation for compliance with UN resolutions concerning Iraq's arsenal.

          The resolution worked. Sad that Bush took the power well beyond what any sane, compassionate person would do.

          Remember Bush's lie (one of many, of course) - claiming that Hussein was not cooperating with the inspectors?

          vote early - vote often

          by wystler on Sun Sep 19, 2004 at 11:07:39 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Thank you. (none)
            Clarity thy name is Wystler.

            Want to beat Bush... it's the LIES, stupid.

            by JeffLieber on Sun Sep 19, 2004 at 11:09:27 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  You're right about one thing: (4.00)
            The resolution did "work."  It really got the job done.  Really got the blood and money flowin'!
            •  Bush Didn't Need the Resolution (none)
              The president had sufficient authority without the resolution to invade Iraq. Legal scholars can help clarify the finer points in this assertion, but I'll gladly rest saying that it is so ...

              vote early - vote often

              by wystler on Sun Sep 19, 2004 at 11:19:22 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Yeah, but he REALLLLLLYYYYYY (3.50)
                wanted that resolution.
                •  Misconceptions abound (4.00)
                  Get this :  If John Kerry had been president, there would hae been no war, there would have been NO RESOLUTION -- because Bush chose to go to war BEFORE HE BECAME PRESIDENT, in fact it might have been the only thing on his mind besides tax cuts.  

                  Bush's whole plan all along was to use the war, and it's glorious hero's glow to coast to re-election, because he knew that the rest of his agenda was HUMONGOUSLY unpopular, but that knuckleheads from the middle of the country rally around the president in times of 'crisis'.  

                  Bush manufactured the entire threat.  KERRY WOULD NOT HAVE DONE THAT BECAUSE HE'S NOT AN INSECURE, WARMONGERING FUCKTARD.

                  Once Bush made his move with the IWR vote, Kerry had two choices, vote YES or vote NO, there was not an option of putting the car in reverse.  The speech Kerry gave on the floor of the senate at the time of the vote made it clear he was concerned that this was all a political ploy, but he felt it necessary to give the PRESIDENT the benefit of the doubt that he was actually acting in defense of the nation - The President, it turns out was either wrong, or lying and either way that means BUSH fucked it up.  Kerry would NOT have asked for that vote, but at the time it came up on the floor, he was trapped into voting for a flawed idea, or saying no to a 'wartime president' (with 80% aproval) who asked the congress for help defending the country.

                  Bush masterfully tricked the democrats, now Kerry's critics on the left are being tricked as well...BY BUSH.  Apparently they don't understand this is EXACTLY what Bush wanted to happen - for Kerry to get hit from the left and the right - THAT'S WHY HE DID IT, and now the purists on the left are (unwittingly?) helping do Bush's dirty work by attacking Kerry for not being perfect.  I wonder, are they comfortable with another four wars under President Bullshit?

                  Keep me away from the wisdom which does not cry, the philosophy which does not laugh and the greatness which does not bow before children. - Khalil Gibran

                  by PBJ Diddy on Mon Sep 20, 2004 at 04:46:06 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

    •  Have you not been paying attention? (4.00)
      It was to put the fear of God into Saddam so he'd let the inspectors in to do their jobs. And it was working!

      The UN was behind it, and everybody was on board.

      Then C-Plus Augustus pulled the inspectors out and went to war anyway.

      If you're trying to tell me Kerry would have done the same, I'm going to have to challenge you to a duel.

      And that'll really shut your pie-hole.

      •  OK, I'll speak slowly... (3.50)
        we... didn't... need... to... send... inspectors... because... Saddam... destroyed... his WMD... in 1992.

        Saddam didn't have any WMD.  Bush was wrong when he claimed it, Kerry was wrong when he believed it.  This war was a mistake.  Sorry.

        I should remind you that one quarter of the Senate (including one Repub) were smart enough to know that 1) Saddam wasn't a threat, and 2) This President wasn't to be trusted or believed on matters like this.

        •  well NOW you tell us! (4.00)
        •  We...didn't... (none)

          Even Scott Ritter didn't say it was 100% certain that Saddam had nothing.

        •  That, m'friend... (4.00)
 20/20 hind-sight.

          No one was SURE of anything and the inspectors weren't getting anywhere.

          Here's how a reasonable man plays the same hand...

          1. Get authorization for war.
          2. Go to the UN and saber rattle.
          3. Get allies (as they did) to agree to a timetable.
          4. GO AS A UNITED WORLD TO SADDAM and tell him what the timetable is.
          5. Watch Saddam back the fuck off (with the UNITED WORLD staring him in the face).
          6. Discover what we now know... that the man was a paper tiger.
          7. Keep our eye on Afghanistan and catcxh and kill Osama using a piece of the 200+ billion.

          Look, you may have known the whole time that there was ABSOLUTELY NO THREAT, but a lot of very smart people, including the best President in my lifetime (WJC) were not so sure.

          Want to beat Bush... it's the LIES, stupid.

          by JeffLieber on Sun Sep 19, 2004 at 10:35:49 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  23 Senators had more than 20/20 hindsight (3.50)
            Seriously, you are acting as if EVERYONE made the mistake Kerry did.  They didn't.  TWENTY-THREE SENATORS saw through Bush's bullshit.

            Fuck, I never believed we needed to inspect, attack, do anything with Iraq.  What did Iraq ever do to us?  Seriously?  

            If people who voted for the war resolution are not to blame, who is to blame, then?

            •  23 Senators had their own reasons... (4.00)
              ...for voting no and they had that right.

              But please don't pretend it was cut and dried.

              That's all I'm asking.

              Don't remake history.

              We know he's no threat for sure now.

              We did not know that back then.

              Want to beat Bush... it's the LIES, stupid.

              by JeffLieber on Sun Sep 19, 2004 at 10:40:44 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  No, YOU didn't know that back then... (2.80)
                ... I did.

                It does a lot for my ego to know I had a better analytical understanding of the Iraq situation than both Presidential candidates did.  I have better foreign policy instincts than Bush or Kerry.

                Hot dog!

                •  I give... (3.50)
         your world EVERYBODY was positive that he was no threat at all and you are a genius and the rest of us are all idiots.

                  That's your world.

                  Want to beat Bush... it's the LIES, stupid.

                  by JeffLieber on Sun Sep 19, 2004 at 10:51:35 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I get the game you are playing (2.46)
                    But I was smarter than you on this subject, man.  You thought Saddam had WMD... you were wrong.  OK?  It's not too complicated.  You and Kerry bought this WMD story, thought it might be true... he wasn't able to grasp the situation.  He got put in the spot, and he made the wrong choice.  It's a shame his mistake has a body-count, but...

                    It's OK to be wrong.  Kerry was wrong.  He made a mistake.  Foreign policy isn't his strong suit.  He's no Bob Graham.

                    •  You are living in the past (none)
                      were ...

                      And we have a very short time to do something about the future.  Snap out of it!

                    •  please calm down (none)
                      BigNTasty, I've generally liked your posts over most of the year, but in the last few days you're losing your grip. I recommend that you take a break from dKos for a few days. I've had to take that same step myself a few times this year, when politics just plain made me crazy.

                      I could take exactly the same positions you are taking here. Like you claim, I also never believed Saddam had WMDs and would not have voted to authorize war if I had been in Kerry's shoes. But I'm darn sure not castigating all my fellow Democrats the way you are! Maybe you and I are special geniuses in our tremendous "knowledge" in advance that Saddam was already declawed. I doubt it.

                      I take Kerry at his word. I think he has a lot more credibility than you or more.

                •  So, Given What You Think ... (4.00)
                  ... of Kerry, what's your solution for November 2?

                  If you're backing Kerry, and working for him, that's great. This is no time for this discussion. It's counterproductive.

                  If you're planning on voting for Cobb, Nader, the SWP candidate,writing in Mickey Mouse, or sitting out this election, thanks alot ... you're really helping us get this country moving forward ...

                  vote early - vote often

                  by wystler on Sun Sep 19, 2004 at 11:12:19 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  You know something? (4.00)
                  For a long time, I've rolled my eyes in disgust at the whole thing, because I knew it was bullshit, too.

                  But the simple fact is that many, many intelligent people (more intelligent than I, certainly, and possibly even than yourself) who should have known better... did not. They might even have had access to, I dunno, confusing intelligence reports that might have clouded the issue further for them.

                  I've stopped blaming the people who bought the bullshit and am concentrating solely on the people who SOLD the bullshit.

                  It's simplified my life; I recommend it.

                  Maryscott O'Connor -- Rage, rage, against the lying of the Right.

                  by Maryscott OConnor on Mon Sep 20, 2004 at 12:05:58 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  That's A Reasonable Position, but... (3.50)
           still doesn't explain why Kerry continues to say that he would vote the same way again given what he knows today, especially since he made crystal cleat at the time of the IWR vote that the only reason he was voting for it was to disarm Saddam.

                    I'd be a lot more sympathetic if Kerry said, "I thought he had WMDs.  I believe what the president said about needing authority to go to the UN and renew inspections.  It turns out I was wrong on both counts.  Knowing what I know now I wouldn't vote for the IWR. Real leaders own up to their mistakes.  George Bush never does.  I just did."

                    However, Kerry hasn't said anything remotely like this.  My concern isn't a lack of clarity from JFK (lest I fall under the SYFP fatwa), it's Kerry's own taste for militarism and/or his willingness to be rolled by those who support it in order to look tough and steadfast in a Bushian sort of way.

                    In a "safe" state? Consider a vote for David Cobb, the Green Party's candidate for President.

                    by GreenSooner on Mon Sep 20, 2004 at 06:17:20 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Because (none)
                      we still needed to get inspectors in.

                      You're talking about hypotheticals here, and most people don't care. They just want to know what we're gonna do next to get our soldiers out of that hellhole.

                      Quite frankly, I don't care, myself. It's in the past. The war is raging right now, and it needs to stop.

                      •  Basically I Agree... (none)
                        ...that we should be talking about the present, not the past, which is why Kerry's saying he'd have voted the same way knowing what we know now is what really disturbs me.  He is talking about the present when he says that.  It's not Kerry's purported lack of clarity I object to (I find his position plenty clear), nor what Kerry did in the past.  It's his continuing commitment to militarism (admittedly of a smarter and more cautious sort than Dubya's) that bothers me.

                        But as long as we're talking about the past ("we still needed to get inspectors in") there was an alternative resolution that would have required Bush to return to Congress to authorize unilateral use of force.  The IWR was not the only way to get the leverage for inspectors.  (And I'm not sure that we so needed to get inspectors in that we had to risk Chimpy doing what we all knew he'd do with the authority.)

                        In a "safe" state? Consider a vote for David Cobb, the Green Party's candidate for President.

                        by GreenSooner on Mon Sep 20, 2004 at 06:42:17 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Shorter me (none)
                          It's a moot fucking point. Nobody cares. Let it go.

                          It's really not important. It's the answer to a hypothetical question.

                          And if you really think a guy who's seen the horrors of war is gung-ho to get this country into another one, you're crazy. Or you're torturing yourself for no bloody good reason.

                          I just saw his reply to a death-penalty question from a 1996 debate, and he said something like, "Look. I've killed people before. I don't like killing."

                          There were other resolutions floating around—most notably Biden-Lugar, which they couldn't get the votes for—but there was also an earlier iteration that gave Bush even more latitude. So they did what they could do.

                          Have you read the speech he made when he cast that vote? Somebody put it up in a diary last night. Maybe if you read that (it's long; bring a snack), you'll get a glimpse into his thought processes, and you might feel a little more comfortable with him.

                      •  The inspectors WERE in (none)
                        they were in by December, 2002.  There was a multiple thousand page report submitted in December, most of which the public still hasn't seen because so much of it was redacted for "national security" reasons.  

                        The biggest lie that has been told and that everyone bought for too long was the "Saddam kicked the inspectors out" and the "Saddam will not let them back in" that Bush Co. picked up on.  He did let them back in. There were inspectors on the ground and had to be recalled so that Bush could wage his invasion.

                        "Consult the genius of the place in all things" - Alexander Pope

                        by a gilas girl on Mon Sep 20, 2004 at 11:05:08 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                •  It's not just you, you arrogant sob (4.00)
                  It was me too. I knew. And my friend Vic. He knew. My husband knew. So did my friends Mary, and Lee Ann.

                  There was plenty of info in the press A YEAR before the invasion, when the debate was heating up, about who wanted the war and who didn't (civilians at pentagon vs military brass) and the things the military brass said made more sense.

                  We were all writing feverishly to our senators to NOT vote for the resolution. But at the time, Bush's ratings were extrememly high and the Rs were doing a great job of painting any dissent as lack of patriotism. The D leadership let it happen. Period.

                  Let's not obscure the truth. We all want to win, but the vote to "give Bush a big stick" was wrong at the time, not just with hindsight, and the result of a Senate more intent on doing what is popular than what is right. Kerry has to live with this baggage as he runs.

              •  History (4.00)
                Maybe we didn't know he wasn't a threat then, but we did know he wasn't much of a threat. We knew for sure (except for the overly paranoid) that he had no functional nuclear weapons program. We knew that even if he had a chemical or biological weapons program that it was very very underground and not amazingly effective. And we knew that chemical and biological weapons are very very hard to make effective (though they do make great boogey monsters).

                We also knew that Saddam had no direct relationship with terrorists groups and indeed reason to believe the reverse. Iraq was never a threat to U.S. security, even indirectly, and thus there was no reason to attack or even to sabre-rattle more than a tiny bit.

                At this stage there's no longer any point bitching about Kerry's decision, because it's impossible to change. And sure there are arguments that can be used to suggest that it wasn't that bad. But claiming that someone saying 'we should have known' is remaking history is just wrong. It was pretty damn cut and dried that there was no clear and present danger. Enough so that congress setting aside any moral or real authority they may have had to prevent things escalating was just silly.

                I mean fuck it, if I knew this, surely they should have. And given history has proven me (and a lot of people on this site) correct, accusing us of rewriting history is unfair.

                [sigh] This has probably come out stronger than I intended, so my apologies if it causes offence, especially as I enjoyed the original post.

            •  Have any of them been nominated (3.33)
              for President?  Because we have what we have, and we better fucking make it work.  UN resolution 1441, the $87 billion, the war authorization -- NONE OF THAT MATTERS NOW.
            •  Hmmm... (4.00)
              You must not read a whole lot of Congressional Floor Statements. I wonder why...

              Twenty-three other Senators had their reasons, but they aren't any more "cut and dried" than the "Kerry voted for the war" mantra. Should they all have voted NO? Knowing what we know now - that Bush was lying - of course they should have...but hindsight is always 20/20. You seem to think that those who voted NO automatically did so because they believed Bush was a liar. The transcripts of floor testimony prove otherwise.

              Barbara Boxer, my Senator, voted against HJ Res 114: Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq. After a few comments about the hardship it may pose to families where both parents are enlisted, she argued not on whether or not to go to war, but on the language of the resolution that allowed the President to go it alone. She argued for a similar resolution proposed by Senator Levin which basically authorized the exact same thing, but stated that the President had to come back to Congress for authorization if he could not build a coalition. The Levin resolution did not pass. That's democracy for you.

              Boxer is also 1) from California and 2) up for re-election. She's not facing a major fight against Bill Jones right now, but if she had voted for the resolution it would be an entirely different story. There is enough true "anti-war" sentiment here in California that Boxer may very well have been facing a serious anti-war candidate in a three-way race rather than just Republican Bill Jones.

              She's also not the only one who argued for different resolutions giving the President authorization to go to war or amendments that would have changed some aspect of the authorization. Lieberman, Kennedy, Graham (who all voted NO on HJRes114) and many others supported the use of force, but argued on the details of one resolution or amendment or another. Kerry preferred the Biden-Lugar resolution submitted prior to HJRes114, which also did not pass.

              Many in Congress appear to have committed the grave sin of believing their President when he was saying that all the intelligence indicated Iraq has WMDs. A Senator had better have rock-solid evidence to the before s/he votes against that bill on that belief that the President is lying. Nobody had that in October 2002. Graham - who was certainly in a position to know more than most - voted against HJRes114 because he preferred a different resolution, not because he thought the President was lying.

              In the end, HJRes114 passed...end game.

              Need a bumper sticker?
              Bush/Cheney '04: Keeping the "duh" in "W"!

              by mugsimo on Mon Sep 20, 2004 at 02:33:12 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Speaks to a different subject (4.00)
                For some here (myself included) this speaks ot the paucity of leadership even from those who should have lead in that timeframe not to the "murkiness" of the threat from Iraq.

                We all knew that SH was a dickhead who was ruthless to his people.

                We deluded ourselves, though, to depart from Colin Powell's May 2001 assessment of Iraq:  a relatively impotent country that has virtually NONE of its 1991 capablities that had been and continued to be successfully contained.

                THE ONLY THING that changed from 5/15/2001 and the invasion was 9/11.  SH didn't get any of the weaponry described in the run up to the invasion between Colin Powell's May 15, 2001 speach to Congressional committees and his later defense of the Invasion.  No new weaponry was acquired!!

                That so many democratic senators could have abandoned the ideals of the party at such a time  speaks to their spinelessness (perhaps fogiveable in the wake of 9/11) at the time, not to the murkiness of the threat of Iraq.

            •  You Are Right (none)
              As a smart politician for most of his life John Kerry was very familiar with the neo-con agenda, and knew as well as any of us that it was their driving focus to go to war.  His speach and the resolution itself, was designed to give him cover, to require the president to give inspectors time, to require a coalition be built with our allies, to require a new resolution from the UN, and to require the president to come back to congress and present the evidence for the need to use that authorization.  

              I think Kerry knew there was a good chance that Bush would not do what he was supposed to do, so in that sense he was wrong to give authority.  But he also knew that the mistakes would be Bush's, and not his own and after 9/11 he felt he politically had no choice but to give the president the authorization.  

              From a political perspective you can't blame Kerry at all for this mess because the bad decisions were Bush's alone.  But from a moral perspective, however, Kerry does bear a small amount of the blame.  He as much as anybody knew what was going to happen, and the nuances within the authorization vote will not cover that.

          •  Not true (4.00)
            No one was SURE of anything and the inspectors weren't getting anywhere.

            Lots of people were SURE and there was ample evidence (since 1997) but it had always been buried and the ongoing "threat" of Saddam maintained to justify the illegal no fly zones and the air strikes.  Jim Mcwhatever his name is from Washington knew.  Scott Ritter had been saying for years they were disarmed, and he's the one who turned out to be right.  For anyone paying attention to the anti-sanctions movement, it was clear that the sanctions were being continued based on a technicality, which is the premise used to "force" inspections that Bush didn't want but that were ongoing at the time he gave his ultimatum and were demonstrated what lots of folks (just not Americans, and whose fault is that?) already knew.

            I knew it, and I'm nobody.  Two events on the horror of the sanctions and some background reading of three or four articles and it was clear to me.  I'm nothing special, so what the f*** is wrong with the members of Congress, the press, the general electorate?  I'll tell you what's wrong, the on-going narrative that Saddam = Hitler was too comfortable and convenient for anyone to shake enought to see what was happening. Bush and Co certainly manipulated that into the horror that was the invasion, but the electorate, the press, the Clinton Administration and Congress provided the Bushies with some of the raw material to do that. As much as we'd like to say, they pulled it out of their asses, they didn't.  They built it upon a foundation that the nation as a whole created and maintained.  We all should have known better, and the fact that we didn't is the problem.

            None of that is hindsight on my part, I can tell you.  

            "Consult the genius of the place in all things" - Alexander Pope

            by a gilas girl on Mon Sep 20, 2004 at 10:57:34 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  that is false (none)
          Iraq verifiably and admittedly had prohibited non-conventional weapons as late as 1997. Keep in mind that I did not support the war in the slightest and would not have even if I thought they still had such weapons in 2002/2003, but your 1992 comment is incorrect and someone should point that out.
          •  What exactly in this document are you referring to (4.00)
            Iraq was secretive through 2003 -- but other than their revived missile program (which wasn't that scary and was actively being destroyed before our invasion) I know of no active WMD labs after 1992.  

            Unaccounted for this and unaccounted for that.  

            Biological and chemical WMD's are not like MREs or good scotch.  No one argues that Iraq had figured out how to make stable dry anthrax like the stuff that hit Daschle's office -- believe me the neocons would have tried to make that case if the CIA let them.  The Iraqis only knew how to make anthrax slurries that rotted into sewage in a few months to years.  They never produced more than a few ampules of Vx.  Their "biological weapons" that they worked on included camel pox and some skin fungi.  Read up on the scary effects if you like.  Sarin and Mustard gas were the only things that they mastered -- but they are not potent enough to hurt anyone but unprotected civilians in an artillery barage.  That's World War I technology, and you could do it in your garage.  They also had the plans and a few parts for a uranium concentrating centrifuge under a rose bush.  The IAEA only needed to run the samples they already had to the accellerator mass specrometer to be pretty damn sure no one was enriching Uranium in the country.  Mobile weapons labs?? please. . . A mobile WMD lab would be death trap for the scientists.  "Here, mix me up some VX in this glassware that has been bouncing around on the highways for the last week."

            You knew Powell was being fed BS when he talked about "tons" of unaccounted for growth media from the 1980's.  Would you eat 18 year old agar?  Neither would an anthrax spore.  

            Bottom line -- the biological and chemical weapons that they had produced in the 1980's had a short half life and were not effective militarily even if they hadn't been severely degraded by heat and time.  Accounting for each chemical artillery shell was pointless.  Iraq would have needed active labs to pose an actual threat to its neighbors or to us and they didn't have them.  

            Their secrecy, bluffing, the suspicion and imagination of weapons inspectors (culturing methods for camel pox and small pox are remarkably similar), and the desire to keep the pressure on them all resulted in that report.

            Sadaam was stupid and arrogant and thought his power in the country rested partly in people believing that he still had stockpiles of WMD.  The Pentagon didn't believe it -- The weapons inspectors didn't believe it.  They said stuff was unaccounted for but did anybody ask them if the stuff was still dangerous or effective?  The small pox shots my cousin was forced to take before he went to Iraq were just a part of the media scaremongering in the run up to the war.  It was based upon the one bit conjecture of a two bit scientist in a politicized inspection team.  

            by the way, I think BigNTasty has left the room.

            •  well, I agree (none)
              I agree with all of that, but the person was implying that Iraq 'proactively' (or something) destroyed their systems and programs in 1992, and that is false. Yes, whatever of them remained was deteriorating and ineffective and unthreatening by that point, but that impression of a good-willed fulfillment of their obligations is untrue. You may recall, as I do, the weapon inspectors blowing up leftover stockpiles in 1997 after defectors revealed their presence in 1996. Here's a quick example from the report:

              52. In the period from August to October 1997, UNSCOM supervised the destruction of 325 pieces of newly identified production equipment, 125 pieces of analytical instruments and 275 tons of precursor chemicals.

              Again, bear in mind that I did not support the 2003 Iraq War and wouldn't have. For that matter, I didn't even support the 1991 Gulf War then or in hindsight, but that's another issue.. Finally, I don't support the juvenile "weapons of mass destruction" Bush rhetoric or its shorthand "WMD" in the course of referring to non-conventional arms. =)

        •  Okay (none)
          as someone who's argued 1) forever around here and who knows that 2) is true, let me put in an argument for why even though 2) is true, for people who genuinely believed (wrongly we need to continue to stress) that the inspections needed the aid of the threat of force to continue (they didn't as the inspectors were already in) then the vote for the authorization isn't contradictory.  Even though this individual president is not to be trusted (and I believe that firmly) in principle Senators should vote what they believe any President in that situation should be authorized to do, not just the hopelessly incompetent ones like Bush.  This is the tricky part, I'm sure that Senators (or anyone who believes in the system and the separation of powers) can legitimately say, "under circumstances like this, I believe a President should have the power and the full support of his Congress to do X, but that this actual President is such a fuck-up that he shouldn't have it".  Because the mistake is, in fact, the President's to make, if you agree with the principle that the President (any P) should have that authorization from Congress, to show a kind of national solidarity.  You have to make the President OWN the screw-up, and BushCo is [big surprise] trying to dilute that ownership by saying, this is what Congress wanted me to do, they aren't different from me".  

          But then again, when we have an idiot in the WH, finding any legal means necessary to limit the guy's power because you don't trust him to do the right thing might be called for in desperate times. ???  What I wish was that a higher percentage of folks in the House and Senate had shared the position that Saddam wasn't a threat and that the inspections didn't need force.  That they had blown the premise out of the water.  
          I'm torn on this one.  But can see the argument for the paradox.  Very few people, including the folks who voted against the authorization actually voiced that position.    

          "Consult the genius of the place in all things" - Alexander Pope

          by a gilas girl on Mon Sep 20, 2004 at 10:45:27 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  It speaks to (none)
            a huge misappropriate of power taking place in the executive branch, but then, all the branches have so fucked with the original intent of their positions, it's rather a moot point.

            I still blame Lincoln though. He was the one who rammed through suspending habeus, even though he had no legal authority to do so, taking his powers to wage war on his own country and essentially declaring martial law based off the oath he took when getting into office, and no legal documents whatsoever.

            The president was never meant to have any real power, but certain members of the founders couldn't stand not having a figure head at the top, much the same way certain devotees of the House of Lords decided we need a slow, genteel deliberative body like the Senate.

            Again, like I said, it's a moot point, anymore though.

        •  why? (none)
          why aren't you taking this up with the U.N. for even having resolutions requiring inspections and cooperation with said inspection then? all the vote did was give strength to the arguement that the u.n. resolutions should be more than words. i find it hilarious that this diary has turned into exactly what it was a rant against. some people wont see the forest until they take the pine tree out of their eyeballs.
      •  Talking Around Each Other? (none)
        I think we are missing each other on several points.

        1.  Jeff says we (collective "we") should shut our pie holes about Kerry's vote.  From a "talking point" perspective this is absolutely true.  There is a "clear" way to portray the Senator's vote to people who don't think he's clear.

        2.  We (the Kos "we") know its a bit more complex than that, but we don't need complexity "out there" we need simplicity.

        3.  On the debate of #2 (rather than #1) we are also missing each other a bit to suggest that merely the presence of WsMD would have justified invading.  Don't forget -- Colin Powell (the same guy who "made the case" for invading -- said that Hussein was "contained," weak and nothing like he was in 1991.  So we don't need to merely say "did he have them or not" or accuse folks who say we shouldn't have invaded "because he didn't hav them" of relying too heavily on 20/20 hindsight.  

        Agree on this: it was morally "wrong" to vote for the invasion becuase such a "leverage" position wasn't necessary to further contain Hussein.  Regardless of whether we were 100% sure or not sure that there were WsMD, that is not the sine qua non for invading a sovereign country no  matter how big a dickhead the guy is who runs that country!

        Also agree on this: there were justifiable reasons (yes, I count political expediency as "justifiable" even though I don't agree with that particular justification in this case) to vote to authorize the invasion and we can spin those properly to the sheeple.

        Just my $0.02

        P.S.  Nice Post, Jeff.

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