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Shortly after posting this on my own site, a reader emailed me asking if I was saying that I wanted the US to bomb Syria. But this cartoon isn't really about what we should do. I don't have any good answers. What I find fascinating about this whole situation is how different our reaction was ten years ago to the idea of chemical weapons in the hands of a brutal dictator. In that case, of course, Americans had been knowingly misled to think Iraq had some connection to 9/11. Much of our nonchalance about Syria is clearly a reaction to the debacle of Iraq. But I can't help wishing more of the skepticism and prudence people are exhibiting now (including many politicians who were gung-ho on attacking Iraq) had been around in 2003, when those of us who voiced such skepticism were pilloried.

Adding: In response to readers who ask why I am mocking the characters "exhibiting prudence" in the 2013 column -- I'm only really mocking the last one for his disinterest. Some people may have learned a lesson from Iraq, but I believe many are being reactionary (such as Republicans who oppose Obama no matter what he does). I also think Iraq should not cause us to ignore the humanitarian crisis in Syria, although it is not clear to me how to best address it.

Moreover, anyone who does not remember the Bush administration's conflation of 9/11 and Iraq was either in short pants at the time, or severely not paying attention.


Get a signed print of this cartoon from the artist; follow Jen on Twitter at @JenSorensen

Originally posted to Comics on Tue Sep 10, 2013 at 06:50 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Two things were major factors (37+ / 0-)

    leading toteh change.  First, the Iraq war wqas a debacle and the long Afghanistan war just goes on and on.  People are war weary.  Second, a black man was elected president and Republicans became consumed by racial hatred of him.   The same folks who were big hawks two months ago on Syria suddenly became doves when Obama proposed a limited strike.

    There were legitimate reasons to oppose a strike, and I am very glad there may be a diplomatic solution, but the differences are very stark between 2003 and 2013.  If only.  

    Join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news and views written from a black pov—everyone is welcome.

    by TomP on Tue Sep 10, 2013 at 06:57:55 AM PDT

    •  ^^This. (12+ / 0-)

      "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

      by raptavio on Tue Sep 10, 2013 at 07:05:49 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I see two main differences (24+ / 0-)

      1) Bush & Cheney wanted war with Iraq so very much. Far more than Obama wants to do anything in Syria. War with Iraq was a plan when he took office, and Rumsfeld wanted to know if Iraq was involved on 9/12.
      2) Obama doesn't have any equivalent to Fox News in 2003 cheering every possible move toward war. I am still appalled, 10 years later, by the way Fox treated that war and the runup thereto

      I'm on a mission! http://www.dailykos.com/comments/1233352/51142428#c520 Testing the new site rules.

      by blue aardvark on Tue Sep 10, 2013 at 07:09:20 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  And 9/11. The nation still was in shock, (13+ / 0-)

        whihc Bush-Cheney used to great effect by implying Saddam was involved.

        Join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news and views written from a black pov—everyone is welcome.

        by TomP on Tue Sep 10, 2013 at 07:10:32 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I don't remember any implication that Hussein was (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          DarthMeow504

          involved.

          I think he came under the general rubric of "Axis of Evil" and generalized war on terror, didn't have nuclear weapons or Iran's army, and, thanks to his violation of the no fly zones, a ready-made pretext to strike.

          Ironically, had he been a scarier and bigger threat, I suspect the Iraq invasion would never have happened.

          LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

          by dinotrac on Tue Sep 10, 2013 at 07:22:45 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Cheney pushed this. (10+ / 0-)

            wikepedia

            The alleged Prague connection between Iraq and Al Qaeda came through an alleged meeting between September 11 hijacker Mohamed Atta and Iraqi consulate Ahmad Samir al-Ani in April 2001. Czech counterintelligence service claimed that Mohamed Atta al-Sayed, a September 11 hijacker, met with Ahmad Samir al-Ani, the consul at the Iraqi Embassy in Prague, in a cafe in Prague. This claim, sometimes known as the "Prague connection", is generally considered to be false and has been said to be unsubstantiated by the Senate Intelligence Committee in the United States.[1]
            Polls showed for a long time that many Ameericans incorrectly thought Iraq was involved.  

            Overtly, they called it the Axis of Evil, but they were pushing more.

            Join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news and views written from a black pov—everyone is welcome.

            by TomP on Tue Sep 10, 2013 at 07:24:56 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I remember the Prague connection stuff, but that (0+ / 0-)

              was a long way from Iraq being involved in 9/11.

              I suspect that  there was plenty of contact between Hussein's agents and those of Al Qaeda, if only because Hussein was rather free about spending money to support terrorism, smite Israel, and smite the US.

              Some people make the argument that Hussein as a secular leader would not be a friend to the Wahabists of Al Qaeda, but that is a naive and misplaced argument. Common goals make strange bedfellows, a la Stalin and FDR.

              LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

              by dinotrac on Tue Sep 10, 2013 at 07:30:24 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  What measure are you using to define (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                belinda ridgewood, i dunno, fumie

                implication?  

                You don't remember any implication regarding Hussein and 9-11 but the Bush administration flogging the Prague connection and their mouthpieces in the media echoing said connection endlessly to the point where not only a significant majority of Americans believed it but after the 9-11 commission came out - Cheney went around working hard to dispel the notion that he actually said it, is not enough to be an implication?

                I, personally, did not buy it but in 2003, polls showed that 69% of Americans believe that Saddam Hussein was either "somewhat likely" or "very likely" to have been "personally involved" in the 9-11 terrorist attacks.  That didn't come out of thin air. And, it isn't a factor of Saddam Hussein knowing some of the similar players.

                "You have attributed conditions to villainy that simply result from stupidity"

                by newfie on Tue Sep 10, 2013 at 08:36:06 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Hmmmm. That gets to be interesting, and reminds (0+ / 0-)

                  me of some experiences in my fleetingly brief legal career.

                  Saddam Hussein was a world class bad actor at the time of 9/11.  When something organized and bad happened to the United States or its interests, his name would be one of the first to pop up in people's minds.  AND -- he had a definite tie to terrorism.

                  I can see the argument that you wouldn't actually have to implicate him in anything. Just say his name enough times with a few relevant facts and your audience will do it for you.

                  LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                  by dinotrac on Tue Sep 10, 2013 at 08:43:14 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I really think that is the definition (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    i dunno, fumie, schumann

                    of implication to use.  The Bush admin went around pointing it out every where - "well you do know that it is a fact that Saddam Hussein had personal connections with M. Atta - one of the major players in the 9-11 attack."  That kind of crap was coming up all the time back then.  You wouldn't have to prove anything. They went on the principle that if you repeat something enough it becomes a proven fact.  And then later worked hard to dispel the notion that they did any of it to begin with.  70% of people do not come to that conclusion organically.

                    Now, Saddam was a world class bad character in 2001.  I couldn't for the life of me understand how anyone could believe that if they were paying attention a decade earlier.  It was obvious after 1991 he was only acting.  Hussein was a paper tiger as far as internationally.  Still appears to be a major ass locally but no real threat beyond his borders.  I would almost go so far to say you would have willfully remained ignorant of the 10 years prior to 2001 to believe Hussein had any remaining capacity to be a military threat internationally.

                    "You have attributed conditions to villainy that simply result from stupidity"

                    by newfie on Tue Sep 10, 2013 at 09:16:58 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  Oh and I suspected you (0+ / 0-)

                    were using the definition meaning to show a close connection to/ an incriminating involvement.

                    "You have attributed conditions to villainy that simply result from stupidity"

                    by newfie on Tue Sep 10, 2013 at 09:19:11 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

            •  Yup. (5+ / 0-)

              My 75 year old mother is still convinced and cannot be persuaded that Saddam Hussein was behind 9/11.  She is not alone in my family either...

              •  The 22% (5+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Fury, i dunno, sunbro, schumann, DarthMeow504

                Those who supported Bush to the bitter end still believe that Saddam financed 9/11, he was building a nuclear bomb, he had drones capable of flying half way across the world to spray us with chemical weapons, and convoys of invisible trucks carried the WMDs across open desert to Syria.

                The problem with political jokes is they get elected.

                by shoeless on Tue Sep 10, 2013 at 08:00:14 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  That's a very different thing. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Fury

                Even for the Clinton administration, Hussein was the "go-to" bad guy, especially after his attempt to assassinate former President Bush in 1993.

                Hussein was a bad actor, and I can understand people's suspicions that he was pulling the strings.  Most of us had barely an idea that something called Osama Bin Laden even existed.  I would liken it to the Kennedy Assassination.  Even with mountains of evidence, many people simply cannot accept that one guy with a rifle could kill the President of the United States.

                LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                by dinotrac on Tue Sep 10, 2013 at 08:00:37 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  You may not remember but (5+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  smartalek, dhshoops, fumie, tommymet, schumann

                  Bin Laden was making headlines through the 90's.  From getting the boot from Saudia Arabia to being forced out of Sudan due to US pressure to declaring war on the US by 1996 to landing on the FBI's ten most wanted by 1998.  The major event that brought him attention from the US public was the US Embassy bombings in 1998.  I think by then quite a number of Americans had an idea who Bin Laden was.  Perhaps a reminder about missile strikes in Sudan and Afghanistan might jog your memory.  We deliberately target Bin Laden's training camps in Afghanistan and an alleged chemical factory in Sudan.  Republicans were up in arms claiming it was all an attempt to distract from Monica Lewinksy.

                  "You have attributed conditions to villainy that simply result from stupidity"

                  by newfie on Tue Sep 10, 2013 at 08:48:55 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

              •  you must mean (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                montanamarine, schumann

                "cannot be persuaded that Saddam Hussein was not behind 9/11"

            •  They were very clever about it. Or is the word (5+ / 0-)

              deceitful? Disingenuous? I think unscrupulous will do.  They played word games with the false idea that Saddam and 9/11 were connected.  Fox helped....alot.  Yet, when asked outright Cheney denied that there was a connection.  

              http://www.huffingtonpost.com/...

              I guess Machiavellian would work as well.

              •  yes! (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                i dunno, Fury, DarthMeow504
                Yet, when asked outright Cheney denied that there was a connection.  
                Looking at my sig, you can see that during the debate with John Edwards, Cheney finally had to admit that there was no connection (even though he had tried so hard previously on many occasions to imply that Saddam was involved in 9/11). Cheney wanted to go to war in Iraq, and he was prepared to mislead people through the use of rumors if he could just get his war in Iraq.

                -4.75, -5.33 Cheney 10/05/04: "I have not suggested there is a connection between Iraq and 9/11."

                by sunbro on Tue Sep 10, 2013 at 12:33:54 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  The polls showed that in fall 2001 (10+ / 0-)

            about 10% (IIRC) thought Iraq was involved in 9/11. By spring 2003 that number was close to 50%.

            That did NOT happen by accident.

            I'm on a mission! http://www.dailykos.com/comments/1233352/51142428#c520 Testing the new site rules.

            by blue aardvark on Tue Sep 10, 2013 at 07:48:56 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  September 2011, (4+ / 0-)

              Ten years later:

              -
              38% believe that the US has found clear evidence in Iraq that Saddam Hussein was working closely with Al Qaeda.

              - 31% believe that Iraq gave substantial support to Al Qaeda but was not involved with the September attacks while an additional 15% believe that Iraq was directly involved in carrying out the September 11 attacks.

              - 26% believe that Iraq had WMDs just before the Iraq War.

              - 16% believe that WMDs were found in Iraq.

              http://themoderatevoice.com/...

              © grover


              So if you get hit by a bus tonight, would you be satisfied with how you spent today, your last day on earth? Live like tomorrow is never guaranteed, because it's not. -- Me.

              by grover on Tue Sep 10, 2013 at 12:32:15 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  Whaaa? You don't remember the implication (8+ / 0-)

            that Saddam was involved in 9/11?!?  Night after night the aministration made exactly those implications, until they finally achieved their goal of mass brainwashing, demonstrated by this poll HERE..... where by 2003 a stunning 70% of dumbass Americans had bought the connection, hook, line, and sinker.

            I am simply shocked that anyone could not remember one of the most brazen public lying campaigns ever orchestrated by a President. Of course none of these suckers will admit it today.

            Gentlemen, you can't fight in here! This is the War Room!

            by bigtimecynic on Tue Sep 10, 2013 at 08:06:48 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Read first three links, but they don't say what (0+ / 0-)

              claim they say.  Rather, they say exactly what I said.

              Rather than waste my time going through the whole pile, could you please point even one link that blames Iraq for 9/11?

              LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

              by dinotrac on Tue Sep 10, 2013 at 08:27:22 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  From the first three, (4+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                smartalek, razajac, tommymet, Australian2

                Conflating Iraq, 9-11, and al Qaeda:

                But Iraq's aid to terrorist organizations, including al Qaeda, is the real danger, the president said.
                "Disarming Saddam's weapons of mass terror is a second front in the war on terrorism," he declared.

                U.S. and coalition intelligence officials know al Qaeda is planning additional attacks even more terrible than the Sept. 11, 2001, assaults, Wolfowitz said. And, he continued, the terrorists are seeking chemical, biological and nuclear weapons.

                Such weapons in terrorists' hands "present us with a threat that could be orders of magnitude worse than Sept. 11" and produce tens or hundreds of thousands of casualties, he said.

                He noted that even 200,000 American troops poised on his borders have not convinced Hussein to give up his weapons.

                Bush again tied Iraq to international terrorism, saying Saddam Hussein provides "funding and training and safe haven" to terrorists.

                "The attacks of September the 11th, 2001, showed what the enemies of America did with four airplanes," Bush said. "We will not wait to see what terrorists or terrorist states will do with weapons of mass destruction."

                He said it's important that the American people understand it's as important to deal with the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction as it is to fight al Qaeda.

                Conflation Conflation occurs when the identities of two or more individuals, concepts, or places, sharing some characteristics of one another, seem to be a single identity — the differences appear to become lost. In logic, it is the practice of treating two distinct concepts as if they were one, which produces errors or misunderstandings as a fusion of distinct subjects tends to obscure analysis of relationships which are emphasized by contrasts. However, if the distinctions between the two concepts appear to be superficial, intentional conflation may be desirable for the sake of conciseness and recall.
                •  Just what I thought. Conspiracy theory crap. (0+ / 0-)

                  LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                  by dinotrac on Tue Sep 10, 2013 at 08:44:48 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  Supurb retort. And... (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  i dunno, schumann

                  ...the conflation in mainstream media is seared in my brain, to this day. It was going on, in high gear, as I was in the process of leaving the U.S. to work in Taiwan.

                  Bush Jr.'s stunning inability to care enough about a thing to speak cogently about it publicly is counterpoised in my mind against his nothing-less-than-prodigious facility at this 9/11-Iraq conflation. I remember thinking, "He's a fucking genius at this!"

                  Bush and Cheney both were. Did Bush learn this from Cheney, or did they both draw from the same well? (Bush Sr.?).

                  Isn't it a good feeling when you see the paper in the morning, it says 'Axe Slayer Kills 19' and you say, "They can't pin that one on me!" - Jean Shepherd

                  by razajac on Tue Sep 10, 2013 at 01:39:24 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

              •  I can't fix your memory (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                smartalek, schumann
                they say exactly what I said.
                Which was:
                I don't remember any implication that Hussein was involved.
                They don't say you don't remember.
                I think he came under the general rubric of "Axis of Evil" and generalized war on terror
                They don't say Iraq / Saddam was just general axis of evil, they clearly conflate Saddam / Iraq with al Qaeda and 9/11.
          •  You may not remember (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            i dunno, grover, schumann

            But it happened and lots of people believed it.  One of the saddest pictures I've seen was a picture of a bomb headed to baghdad with "9/11 payback" scrawled on it by the ground crew.

          •  Wait a sec - (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Timeslayer, schumann

            The Bush Administration did not IMPLY that Iraq was involved in the 9/11/01 attacks;  they came right out and said it.  

            Lied into war.  If that was not grounds for impeachment, then no president can ever again be impeached.

          •  Dinotrac, you are so completely wrong. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            tommymet, schumann

            According to a 2003 WashPost poll, "Nearly seven in 10 Americans believe it is likely that ousted Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein was personally involved in the Sept. 11 attacks, says a poll out almost two years after the terrorists' strike against this country."

            http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/...

            I wonder who possibly gave them all that idea.

            TS

            twitter: @Timeslayer_

            by Timeslayer on Tue Sep 10, 2013 at 01:34:02 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Far more than Obama wants to do anything in Syria. (0+ / 0-)

        How can you tell?

        Obama seemed pretty determined to go it alone if he had to.

        LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

        by dinotrac on Tue Sep 10, 2013 at 07:20:05 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Prior to taking office Bush had a plan (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Fury, smartalek, DarthMeow504

          to invade Iraq. It was something he wanted to do. Clinton told him to not focus on Iraq so much and to pay attention to Al Qaeda in one of their transition meetings.

          Your move. Find the source showing that Obama was obsessed with Syria in 2008.

          I'm on a mission! http://www.dailykos.com/comments/1233352/51142428#c520 Testing the new site rules.

          by blue aardvark on Tue Sep 10, 2013 at 07:50:28 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I don't have access to that information and do not (0+ / 0-)

            know a credible source from which to obtain it.

            LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

            by dinotrac on Tue Sep 10, 2013 at 07:55:05 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  That's because you have not one shred of (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Fury, diggerspop, DarthMeow504

              evidence to support it, because it doesn't exist.

              As I said elsewhere, I would guess that Bush wanted war with Iraq somewhere around 10,000 times as much as Obama wants to bomb Syria. Saddam tried to assassinate his father, after all, and he could show up his old man, and there was all that oil, and Rove actually timed the invasion for maximum impact on the fall 2004 elections; his assumption was that things would go well. That's why our troops were traipsing around Iraq in the summer. That's why we started the invasion with the 4th ID on boats in transit from Turkey (which had refused permission to use their soil to invade from the north). That's why Bush was willing to give Turkey $20B just to let us use their soil.

              There is a huge body of evidence that war with Iraq is something Bush planned prior to taking office. He spoke of Iraq in speeches, he had the Pentagon drawing up plans prior to 9/11, and so on.

              Obama did none of those things.

              It's really a very great stretch to think one of these things is at all like the other.

              I'm on a mission! http://www.dailykos.com/comments/1233352/51142428#c520 Testing the new site rules.

              by blue aardvark on Tue Sep 10, 2013 at 08:04:42 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Sorry, my bad. I was referring to your contention (0+ / 0-)

                that Bush had a plan to invade Iraq from the time he took office.  I know of no credible evidence to support that contention.

                With regard to the current administration, I don't believe President Obama had a plan to invade Syria before now.

                Which is not the same as saying that he doesn't really want to attack them now.

                LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                by dinotrac on Tue Sep 10, 2013 at 08:14:22 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  And my point is (0+ / 0-)

                  that if you think Obama wants to attack Syria, you need to acknowledged that Bush
                  wanted to attack Iraq; and the conclusion remains that Obama is not at all like Bush.

                  I'm on a mission! http://www.dailykos.com/comments/1233352/51142428#c520 Testing the new site rules.

                  by blue aardvark on Tue Sep 10, 2013 at 08:27:45 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Why? That's logical nonsense. (0+ / 0-)

                    Obama is not a Bush puppet. He can think and want as he pleases.  He can want to invade Syria regardless of anything Bush has ever wanted to do or not.

                    Bush went to both Congress and the UN.
                    Obama has talked about going it alone.
                    He backed down from that, but that's where he started.

                    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                    by dinotrac on Tue Sep 10, 2013 at 08:31:51 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  Looking again at my original subject line, I think (0+ / 0-)

                    I see a point of confusion -- and that is my bad.

                    I was parroting a line from your post, not meaning to say that I believe Obama wants to invade Syria more than Bush wanted to invade Iraq.  I have no idea about Obama, just as I have no idea about Bush.  

                    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                    by dinotrac on Tue Sep 10, 2013 at 08:37:27 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

    •  Indeed. Both situations end up ass-backwards (4+ / 0-)

      There was no need to invade Iraq at the time. I was somewhat conflicted, because I always thought it was a massive mistake to end the Gulf War with Hussein still in power, but I thought action in 2003 was for more problematic for so many reasons.

      I thought most Americans had it backwards then. Now, I'm sure most Americans have it backwards now.

      As a people, we react emotionally, responding far more to past experiences rather than the demands of the current circumstances.

      There's no better example of that then John Kerry's career prior to becoming Sec'y of State. Americans, especially Sen. Kerry himself, were still reeling from the Vietnam experience, as well as the seeming incompetence of the military seen in the Desert One mission and the Lebanon experience. While Grenada and Panama were military successes, they hardly instilled confidence in the political leadership's judgment in using our forces. So, when it came time to cast a vote for the GUlf War, Kerry voted "no." In my lifetime, there was no clearer case to be made for using force. Yet, Kerry, either because of personal misgivings or because he thought the opposition to war was strong enough to give him political cover, voted "no."

      A dozen years later, after 9/11, it was politically more difficult to oppose a war in Iraq, even though the case to be made for the renewed assault on Iraq was much flimsier.

      Today, there was a clear case to be made for American action. Indeed, the Administration's resolve to attack Syria may be driving a settlement. Yet, too many Americans and too many of the political mood floating creatures that inhabit Congress were stridently opposed to the Administration's path. Once again, sentiment isn't being driven by the current situation. Instead, people oppose attacking Syria because of their views of the experiences in Iraq, Afghanistan and, maybe even Libya.

      Someday, I hope that Congress will be forward-looking and progressive in vision, rather than backwards-looking and reactionary.

      Coming Soon -- to an Internet connection near you: Armisticeproject.org

      by FischFry on Tue Sep 10, 2013 at 07:26:24 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  GHWB (6+ / 0-)

        intentionally did not invade Iraq in 1991, because he knew exactly what would happen.  Which did happen in 2003 when his son went through with it.  Bush 41 was a smart person...

        •  You're giving him too much credit. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Stude Dude, Hohenzollern, tommymet

          The Saudis didn't want Saddam to fall. They wanted a strong Iraq as a counterweight to Iran. I doubt even the Saudis envisioned that Iraq would devolve into a Shiite-led, Iran-friendly gov't.  And, no one could have imagined the years of chaos and car-bombings.

          Coming Soon -- to an Internet connection near you: Armisticeproject.org

          by FischFry on Tue Sep 10, 2013 at 07:46:07 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Right. (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            FischFry, tommymet, schumann

            It was a smart move on the Saudi's part.  Hussein and his bluster was very useful.  Even after his capacity was decimated beyond repair after the Gulf War, he was useful since people in the region still believed Iraq was capable.  The GWB regime made use of that belief - or perhaps were dumb enough to believe it themselves (I really think the former) - to drum up support for their invasion.

            "You have attributed conditions to villainy that simply result from stupidity"

            by newfie on Tue Sep 10, 2013 at 08:54:57 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Also (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      grover, Laconic Lib
      ... fool me once, shame on — shame on you. Fool me — you can't get fooled again.

      "A famous person once said, 'You can fool some of the people some of the time, but you can't fool all of the people all of the time.' But as I once said, "If you don't teach them to read, you can fool them whenever you like." – Max Headroom

      by midnight lurker on Tue Sep 10, 2013 at 08:53:05 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Bingo! Thanks Tom :) (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      grover

      "Corruptio Optimi Pessima" (Corruption of the best is the worst)

      by zenox on Tue Sep 10, 2013 at 12:32:33 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  If both Afganistan and Iraq had not turned into (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DarthMeow504

      a long conflict but had been quieted down with-in say a year or so then Bush&Republicans would have went on to Syria then to attacking Iran as they was planning on doing but the Debacle in Iraq and Afghanistan stopped them and now they would still be doing the Warmongering for War in Syria and Iran if only Republican Romney had Won or The US would already be in Syria and starting the Attack on Iran had McCain Won in 2008.Now the reason Republicans demand Peace not War is cause it's a Black Democratic President in The White House,PERIOD.

  •  All Praise President Obama (16+ / 0-)

    He's actually gotten Republicans to oppose war!

    “I believe all Southern liberals come from the same starting point--race. Once you figure out they are lying to you about race, you start to question everything.” ― Molly Ivins

    by RoIn on Tue Sep 10, 2013 at 07:05:49 AM PDT

    •  No, he didn't (0+ / 0-)

      Not really. They are sensing the war-weary public mood to an extent, for which Bush deserves the credit -- and, they also are quick to oppose whatever President Obama suggests.

      Coming Soon -- to an Internet connection near you: Armisticeproject.org

      by FischFry on Tue Sep 10, 2013 at 07:28:23 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  One similarity - both would be wars of choice (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zootwoman, ranger995, Fury, schumann

    It would mean twice in the last 10 years, the US attacked a country that was no threat to it.  I'm glad the public has learned its lesson.  I wish our politicians were as open to new ideas.  

  •  The difference, of course, is that Bush (12+ / 0-)

    wanted war with Iraq more than Obama wants to bomb Syria, and manipulated the media proportionately more than Obama has.

    I will now use my infallible want-o-meter: Bzzzzzzzzzzz.

    Bush wanted war with Iraq 10,271 times more than Obama wants to bomb Syria.

    Bzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

    Cheney wanted war with Iraq 2,718 times more than Bush did. Haliburton contracts = $$$$.

    Then there's the Fox factor. Obama does not have a network dedicated to cheering him on 7x24, as Bush did.

    I'm on a mission! http://www.dailykos.com/comments/1233352/51142428#c520 Testing the new site rules.

    by blue aardvark on Tue Sep 10, 2013 at 07:06:47 AM PDT

  •  Only the lowest information folks (6+ / 0-)

    actually believed Iraq had some connection to 9/11, and certainly they were in the minority in Congress.  The only credible reason to go to war is that Saddam had (and was ready to distribute) WMD.  This is simply the boy who cried wolf syndrome, perhaps Bush's most damaging legacy.  Not that Obama is in any way as irresponsible as Bush was, people are definitely practicing 20/20 hindsight here, and not wisely.  

  •  I don't get it. (3+ / 0-)

    You say this:

    But I can't help wishing more of the skepticism and prudence people are exhibiting now (including many politicians who were gung-ho on attacking Iraq) had been around in 2003, when those of us who voiced such skepticism were pilloried.
    1) You wish form more skepticism with Iraq war proposals

    2) You get it now with Syria proposals

    3) You mock people for it

    It seems to me there was a lesson learned with Iraq, no? Are you unhappy about that?

    "If you don't sin, then Jesus died for nothing!" (on a sign at a Mardi Gras parade in New Orleans)

    by ranger995 on Tue Sep 10, 2013 at 07:11:25 AM PDT

  •  I agree that Obama does not want this to ... (7+ / 0-)

    be a war.  If we are lucky it will not be one, but I'm not going to join the lynch crew blaming him for the situation and calling him a warmonger. He may or may not have handled this badly and I currently am against a strike for several reasons, starting with I'm not sure it will work, but I don't question his motives - yet.  It's a bit early in the game for that.

  •  In the no doubt copious FBI/NSA files on all of us (0+ / 0-)

    ...the acronym PAW, for Premature Anti-War, has become this century's version of PAF, for Premature Anti-Fascist.

    Brought to you by the Rand Corporation, in conjunction with the saucer people, under the supervision of the reverse vampires.

    by Kaiju on Tue Sep 10, 2013 at 07:17:45 AM PDT

  •  vietnam syndrome (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Satya1, shoeless

    the people are sure getting it again.

  •  What I find fascinating is your reader's response. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Not A Bot, phenry

    They look at the piece, and the only thing they're able to think about "Is this good for the cause?"

    Art is the handmaid of human good.

    by joe from Lowell on Tue Sep 10, 2013 at 07:18:51 AM PDT

  •  Ten years ago, (5+ / 0-)

    1. We had been attacked and thousands of Americans killed
    2. We had not just gone through the debacle of Iraq and trying to nation-build.

    The presence of a dark and shadowy threat that can reach from half a world away to kill you can do terrible things to the national outlook.  Never mind that Hussein neither planned nor implemented the attacks, he was a known bad actor and friend to terrorists.  I suspect support for the Iraq invasion had less to do with WMD than leftover animus from the end of Desert Strom and the new and strange feeling of not being safe from attack in our own country.

    It would be nice to think we've learned something since then.

    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

    by dinotrac on Tue Sep 10, 2013 at 07:18:57 AM PDT

    •  Friend to terrorists. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      schumann, Timeslayer, DarthMeow504

      Wow, you still believe that propoganda?

       

      Sept. 8 [2006] (Bloomberg) -- Declassified U.S. Senate reports said that Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein didn't trust al-Qaeda before the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and refused to support it.

      ``Saddam Hussein was distrustful of al-Qaeda and viewed Islamic extremists as a threat to his regime,'' one of the reports said. Hussein refused all requests from al-Qaeda to provide material or operational support, said the report issued in Washington today by the Senate Intelligence Committee.

      http://www.bloomberg.com/...

      SMH

      © grover


      So if you get hit by a bus tonight, would you be satisfied with how you spent today, your last day on earth? Live like tomorrow is never guaranteed, because it's not. -- Me.

      by grover on Tue Sep 10, 2013 at 12:55:29 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  It is a strange progression, but it is progress. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ranger995, schumann

    I even welcome the Republicans saying now just because they cannot say yes to Obama on anything, no matter what. It is a precedent. It is walking away from America as the arbiter of everything and the self-appointed 'only nation allowed to use big bombs'. Mostly, many now realize that bombs just are not all that useful and international cooperation and institutions are. They are also way, way less expensive (and we have higher priorities domestically).

    This shift is really important.

    We have only just begun and none too soon.

    by global citizen on Tue Sep 10, 2013 at 07:25:42 AM PDT

  •  time (0+ / 0-)

    Rattling sabres--bringing the issue to congress--seems to have motivated Russia to force client Syria to disarm chemically--or, at least feign to disarm.  If this delay was intentionally, it was brilliant--if not, it was lucky.  Sort of eating your cake and not adding calories.

    Under capitalism, man exploits man. Under communism, it's just the opposite. John Kenneth Galbraith .

    by melvynny on Tue Sep 10, 2013 at 07:28:56 AM PDT

  •  We paid dearly with international credibility .... (0+ / 0-)

    ...back then too. It's likely gone forever thanks to dubya and company.

    The Dixie Chicks are likely gone forever too,

    I'm really pissed off this time

    by suspiciousmind on Tue Sep 10, 2013 at 07:29:00 AM PDT

  •  It's called learning (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ranger995

    I don't know what the big mystery is here.

  •  It's about 9/11 24/7 on cable news. Today, it is (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Stude Dude

    anti-Obama 24/7 on cable news.

    I will be anyone that if Obama had come out against a war with Syria, the Republicans would be hounding us to war.

    Also, I am ashamed to say, as a state legislator in 2003 I did not do more to oppose the war. It was wrong.

    I lost my next election anyway, but I would feel better about myself if I had come out strongly against the war. Never underestimate the allure of being re-elected has to those in office.

  •  Iraq's WMD (8+ / 0-)

    I told a co-worker that Saddam had no WMD. Scott Ritter witnessed them being destroyed. Hans Blix could not find any. He became furious, and told me that I would eat my words when the WMDs were found.

    He never mentioned it again.

    The problem with political jokes is they get elected.

    by shoeless on Tue Sep 10, 2013 at 07:41:26 AM PDT

  •  For the record; I'm against the Cowboys. (4+ / 0-)

    Gentlemen, you can't fight in here! This is the War Room!

    by bigtimecynic on Tue Sep 10, 2013 at 08:00:37 AM PDT

    •  I strongly oppose the Raiders on moral principle. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      tommymet

      Well, that and I'm from San Diego. It's a sectarian thing.

      © grover


      So if you get hit by a bus tonight, would you be satisfied with how you spent today, your last day on earth? Live like tomorrow is never guaranteed, because it's not. -- Me.

      by grover on Tue Sep 10, 2013 at 01:04:48 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Hey, I resemble your remark. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Hohenzollern, schumann

    I'm glad that the Bush theft of the presidential election was a wake up call to the first wave of the internet generation.

    I would have been even happier if people had spotted the problem when Reagan got elected.  Would have been nice to have salvaged the industrial base they wiped out.

    I'm sure any real whiz reading this will remind me that the seeds were sown before Reagan.  True that.

    Maybe it's just our destiny, the mighty Tao rolling along, with us or without us.  

  •  Meh, my response is just about the same (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    schumann

    there were many people and reports showing how the admin was misleading with the evidence in the run up to the Iraq war

    Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell. --Edward Abbey

    by greenbastard on Tue Sep 10, 2013 at 08:17:15 AM PDT

  •  "we tried diplomacy and it didn't work" (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Hohenzollern, DarthMeow504

    the cartoon left this one out.  it was another battle cry of the iraq war enthusiasts.  never mind that they couldn't think of a single diplomatic effort that had been tried, let alone failed.  but their minds were too caught up in the fantasy of "weapons-of-mass-destruction-related-program-activities" to allow for any real thinking.

    while i generally support a military strike (but only if chemical weapons are confirmed, and only if endorsed by the int'l community and not as a US-only operation), it appears that, unlike bush, obama is actually using diplomacy and getting (or at least moving toward) a resolution that doesn't involve an attack.

    but we shouldn't forget that the GOP and fox news actually do want an attack on syria - they just don't want obama to get the "credit" for it.  remember, they want to maintain the image that democrats are soft on national defense.  i have no doubt that GOP staffers everywhere are drawing up campaign lines to accuse obama and the democrats of failing to take action and dithering instead of deciding.

    freedom isn't free, but it isn't dumb either.

    by astro on Tue Sep 10, 2013 at 08:33:42 AM PDT

  •  a little twist... (0+ / 0-)

    no longer "plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose", I guess...but is it change for the better, for the worse, or for the sake of change?

    If you're going to reason with me, please use actual reason.

    by jeannesgirl on Tue Sep 10, 2013 at 08:36:53 AM PDT

  •  "I don't have any good answers." (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Hohenzollern, Jen Sorensen, schumann

    That describes very well how many of us feel, Jen Sorensen.  There is no obvious, easy solution to Syria's problems.  The sad thing is that many of us who oppose military action are being accused of being anti-Obama, when in fact we're simply anti-war, and don't believe killing Syrians will do anything to help Syrians.  There's a difference.  Anyway, the cartoon shows well the mood of the times, as well as the contrast between now and a decade ago.  Nice work.

    Romae in die non combureretur.

    by Not A Bot on Tue Sep 10, 2013 at 08:39:37 AM PDT

  •  Explanations with comics (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tommymet

    I don't get this at all. This is exactly like explaining a joke, right? Which is only done when the joke has failed. That's assuming the comics are supposed to be comedic (in part).

    But even with comedy aside, isn't the work supposed to speak for itself? If it's well constructed, shouldn't the intended audience be expected to get the point(s)? At the very least, publishing explanations along with the comics would seem to indicate a lack of confidence in the audience (and/or the comics).

    Ok, I don't get it. No big deal. Just me, no doubt.

       

    •  As with any work... (0+ / 0-)

      having access to the artist is an added bonus.  Not everyone will want to take advantage of this bonus, however.

      If you're one of those, then participating in the comment thread which an artist has offered as a means to discuss is probably not the path you are going to want to choose.

      You might find some added explanations here.  Not everything in life is black and white.

      ;-)

      Welcome from the DK Partners & Mentors Team. If you have any questions about how to participate here, you can learn more at the Knowledge Base or from the New Diarists Resources Diaries. Diaries labeled "Open Thread" are also great places to ask. We look forward to your contributions.

      Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds. --Elie Wiesel

      by a gilas girl on Tue Sep 10, 2013 at 11:10:30 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  re: As with any work... (0+ / 0-)

        I'm referring to the explanations that Sorensen publishes along with (below) her comics, not the discussions that occur in her comment section.

        •  as with any work... (0+ / 0-)

          the explanations that Sorensen publishes along with her comics is that access to the artist that some people value and other people question.

          folks like me value it.  folks like you question it. folks like both of us and others are all here.

          its cafeteria style, you take what appeals to you and leave the rest for others that may choose it.

          Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds. --Elie Wiesel

          by a gilas girl on Tue Sep 10, 2013 at 12:52:50 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  DailyKos tends to be pretty harsh to our comics (0+ / 0-)

      Artists.

      I'd prefer if Jen didnt provide explanations. But I'd REALLY prefer if she didnt feel like she didn't feel the need to defend her work.  

      © grover


      So if you get hit by a bus tonight, would you be satisfied with how you spent today, your last day on earth? Live like tomorrow is never guaranteed, because it's not. -- Me.

      by grover on Tue Sep 10, 2013 at 01:09:02 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Iraq vs. Syria (0+ / 0-)

    Once bitten, twice shy.

    I initially supported the war in Iraq (and not because of any connection to September 11, 2001, but because of an appreciation of history and the duping about weapons), and so now I am extremely wary of any invasions.  My desire to see oppressed people helped makes me want to do something, but I don't know what that is either.

  •  Uh, speak for yourself. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Laconic Lib, tommymet
    What I find fascinating about this whole situation is how different our reaction was ten years ago to the idea of chemical weapons in the hands of a brutal dictator.
    I watched the decision to attack in 2003 with horror, and have been watching this past week or so with much the same reaction.

    I have close friends who were arrested protesting the first Gulf War, in the early 90s. Whenever I read about how "more or less everyone agreed" with any of these decisions I want to scream.

  •  Jen, what do you mean "we" ?! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Laconic Lib, tommymet

    Jen it was a good cartoon but you spoiled the discussion by loosely saying "we" had different attitudes 2003 v. 2013. Most of the ironic contradiction is on the right, genuine liberal groups like MoveOn were against both moves to war. Please, don't fall for false equivalence: get after those who deserve it most.

  •  I'm against (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tommymet

    Both the attack on Syria AND the Cowboys.

    "Don't be defeatist, dear. It's very middle class." - Violet Crawley

    by nightsweat on Tue Sep 10, 2013 at 12:33:46 PM PDT

  •  White Republican President and (0+ / 0-)

    Republican Congress THEN,Black Democratic President and Republican House NOW.

  •  Let me guess why there is such stark difference (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DarthMeow504

    ...between 2003 and 2013....

    2003: a white man named George is the president
    2013: a black man named Barack is the president

    Any questions? :)

    The power of the shock of having a black president made peaceniks out of the normally war-hungry (Christian soldiers, going to erase Islam from the face of the earth)wing-nuts. They are even more sympathetic to Bin Laden and Al-Qaeda nowadays...Obama is killing them; what do you expect?

    ----That should be the topic of a major research.

    "Corruptio Optimi Pessima" (Corruption of the best is the worst)

    by zenox on Tue Sep 10, 2013 at 12:40:12 PM PDT

  •  I'd rec 10x if I could! Exactly my thoughts. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    equern, DarthMeow504

    And if I my add: the particular identity of the current President (vs. the 2003 President) also plays a role.

  •  There is a lot of missing perspective. (0+ / 0-)

    I think what Obama had in mind (that has changed now) was a response similar to Reagan's in the wake of the Libyan bombing of the jet in Lockerbie.   Throw a few cruise missiles their direction and call Assad an International Pariah.

  •  Those who love Obama hate war... (0+ / 0-)

    ...and those who love war hate Obama.

    This one's easy.

    What separates us, divides us, and diminishes the human spirit.

    by equern on Tue Sep 10, 2013 at 10:04:44 PM PDT

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