The Command Post
2004 US Presidential Election
July 18, 2003
Dean: Bush Owes U.S. Explanation on Iraq

A Dog Bites Man story from Yahoo and the AP. Nontheless, it's a bold attack:

"If we went there under false pretenses, then American soldiers died because we weren't given the right information," Dean, a staunch opponent of the U.S.-led conflict, told reporters at a news conference.
More interesting is this: Dean issued a list of 16 questions for Bush — one for each word in the State of the Union statement on Iraq and uranium. Here's a link to the questions at Dean's Blog for America.



Posted by Alan at July 18, 2003 05:41 PM | TrackBack
Comments

When will these guys grow up?
Voters want to know(hopefully, MOST of ‘em) what a candidate’s going to do for them if he is elected president.
The economy, national security, the environment, taxes, the fate of the Mississippi green hedgehog, whatever….
Not: “And if I am elected president, I will get to the bottom of whether or not Bush lied.”
Unless, of course, that’s really all these dems have to say, as they have no policies worth sharing.

Posted by: Seth at July 18, 2003 11:47 PM

“False pretenses”?

Estimates of 300 to 400,000 dead under Saddam’s rule.

Iraq’s admitting it possessed VX, sarin, tabun and prima facie evidence they used it on Kurds, Iranians and Shiites.

Training facilities for hijackers that included 727 jets.

Firing missiles in 5 neighboring countries (a world’s record).

The democrats were all for the war when it was over in 3 weeks, but they see an uneasy peace as their opening against Bush. Attack integrity, imply Bush knowingly lied to the country.

This is standard stuff for Dean: attack ads.

Perhaps the democrats can explain to the American people why a majority of them voted last year to go to war against Iraq?

Were they misinformed, or did they just LIE?

Posted by: torpedo_eight at July 18, 2003 11:50 PM

What’s happening here is that the dems, infinitely more interested in getting back into the White House than in the truth, are hammering out their deceptions to the public, aided by a liberal media, while the GOP doesn’t seem to be nearly as aggressive in responding, holding the dems’ bullshit up to the light, as it were.
However, there’s still another 16 months to go before America goes to the polls, and to judge by the nature of GWB as I perceive it, he’s just biding his time, as has been said before. Somewhere a lot closer to election day, he’ll probably come out with all the evidence he needs to make his dem opponents look as pitiful, unctuous and lyingsackofshittish as they truly are this time out, and even taking chads to the judiciary won’t put a dent in their loss to Bush.
LOL!
That’ll give them another whole term on the outside to plot new ways to discredit Bush. Having failed with bottom feeders’ tactics, they’ll have to go even LOWER, if it’s possible, for their next round of attacks.

Posted by: Seth at July 19, 2003 12:32 AM

Bush’s numbers are dropping down 9 pts in 30 days to 53% approval, also in a newsweek survey 70+ % believe Bush exaggerated truth to go to war.

Posted by: sophia1560 at July 19, 2003 03:56 PM

The proof will be there in plenty of time for the election in Nov, 2004, hopefully at the last minute when it will make the democrats look as immature and ridiculous as possible.

Posted by: Seth at July 19, 2003 04:08 PM

Seth,

We can all hope and dream. Bush will go down in 2004 because America is finally seeing the transparency of his domestic polcies along with his ineptitude in Iraq. Furthermore, if Bush is witholding any evidence of WMDs from the American public for his political gain, then Congress would finally have real grounds for impeachment to talk about…..

Americans will vote their pocketbooks. Thanks to Bush and this unecessary war, the books are slim and many voters are eating Mac and Cheese…..There is no better group of swing voters than the unemployed.

Posted by: Mike at July 19, 2003 05:00 PM

Mike

I s’pose the only two things a U.S. liberal doesn’t need to possess are concern for his/ her country and a sense of shame.
The only lying that’s been done has been that of cheap, unctuous, anti American bottom feeders, misquoting, spinning events and flat out lying in an attempt to prove the President a liar.
Considering the frequency and aggressiveness of these attacks on him and on his office, the man has every right to handle any incoming intelligence any way he sees fit.
The 1st Amendment guarantees Freedom of the Press. Period. Somehow, a bunch of liberal hacks, in recent years, have begun somehow to interpret that as “The people have the right to know.”
WRONG.
The President is not required to disclose that kind of information, which is national security related, until such time as he makes the decision to do so.
The panting of a pack of drooling wild dogs that are nipping at his heels is not a factor.

Posted by: Seth at July 19, 2003 08:29 PM

Seth,

The Preisident does not have to disclose shit…Yes very true. However, if the voters think they are being lied to he is in deep shit. Congress may also intervene if needed….

There is no denying that the President atleast stretched the truth, the threat was supposed to be tangible but yet we now realize that it is very intangible. I also disagree with the fact that the Democratic party is out to ruin America, the Democratic party has produced some of the best Presidents of all time, i.e., JFK. Both parties have their crappy Presidents for the Dems I would put up Clinton and for the Reps I would put up Bush II.

Imagine what would happen if power went unchecked, a two party system is VITAL for America, it does not destroy America. Questions need to be asked or people will overstep their bounds in Washington.

The Dems are part of this check and balance system that is so crucial to good government. I would never say the Republican party was out to destroy America….

Posted by: Mike at July 19, 2003 10:14 PM

“I s’pose the only two things a U.S. liberal doesn’t need to possess are concern for his/ her country and a sense of shame.”-Seth
********************************************************************************
JFK-Ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country….

Seems this liberal had a concern for his country Seth.

Plenty of Dems including myself have worn the uniform, please do not insult us. We care we simply disagree is that a crime?

BTW….JFK’s presidency looks like it is going to outshine Bush II’s guess that liberal wasn’t so bad after all…..

Posted by: Mike at July 19, 2003 10:21 PM

When an entire political party(politicians AND their followers) are willing to invest all their energy into obstructing their government’s efforts to protect, preemptively or otherwise, the present and future safety of the country and its citizens for reasons based solely on partisan political agendas, wittingly or not, yes, they are out to destroy America.
You people pose mortal danger to the rest of us, our children and our grandchildren that you either refuse to see, or don’t give a damn about… just yet.

Posted by: Seth at July 19, 2003 10:25 PM

IF (big IF) the democrats in Congress had reserved their Constitutional right to declare war, and IF Congress actually declared war (which it hasn’t since 1941) as required before the comencement of any hostilities, then I’d say the democrats had an advantage with this “trumped up” WMD tack they’re taking.

But Congress didn’t do that. They GAVE Bush their assent to open hostilities (avoiding the the constitutionally sticky subject of an ACTUAL DECLARATION OF WAR) whenever he felt it was advantageous to do so. This is the Constitution on its head. Only Congress can declare war, BUT - if Congress wants to cede its duties to the President, and subsequently the President opens a can of whoop ass on another country, they are - like us, along for the ride.

What is at stake here is not whether Bush lied or stretched the truth as a prelude to war, but our whole system of checks and balances. Congress declares war, the executive branch manages the defense of the country, the Supreme court interprets laws as to their constitutionality. But there isn’t a branch doing what it’s supposed to do and they aren’t calling the other branches to task when they abandon their rightful duties.

Congress gave Bush carte blanc to wage war. The Supreme Court was silent on this because no one brought it to the bench for review. Therefore, the argument as to whether Bush brought the country to war under false pretenses is specious. Congress abdicated their rightful duties and now wants to blame the President for doing what only they can do - wage war.

If I allow a 5-year old to drive my car while I sit in the backseat, no cop is going to listen to my critique of the little bugger’s driving skills after we plow through Piggly Wiggly’s. They’re going to throw the book at me because IT’S MY RESPONSIBILITY to drive.

Congress has abdicated its rightful duties to the Executive branch and now they want to critique the President’s job. This way they avoid both RESPONSIBILITY and BLAME.

How f***ing convenient.

Posted by: torpedo_eight at July 19, 2003 11:43 PM

Seth,

What you still refuse to acknowledge is that people can disagree with you. Your opinion is not so it was written so it shall be done. There is a big world out there Seth, and you don’t define it, welcome to reality. Millions of people believe in this liberal thinking and to think they all have it in for America is some of the stupidest shit I have heard….

Posted by: Mike at July 19, 2003 11:55 PM

No, Mike-

You liberals have it in for Bush, have since he beat Gore in 2000. The President hasn’t been able to so much as remark on the weather, ever since, without having your bunch all over his ass looking to find something to hang him for.
The war just gave you and your kind more excuses.
That’s fine, it’s what the democratic party in general have turned into over the last few years, and it’s bitterness over Bush winning. Even the “hanging chad” affair was a babyish, wishful thinking display when you couldn’t accept defeat.
Like I said, that’s fine. Bitch about GWB’s policies all you want, it’s your right as Americans.
But when it comes to an issue like Iraq and the War on Terror, we’re in another situation entirely. In this instance, the President is doing things to protect us and our country from a global jihad whose goal is to bring mayhem and death to our cities and our streets, our homes and our families.
Anyone with a patriotic bone in his body would support GWB in every way he/ she could and save the rhetoric for later, letting him do his job.
Not your kind, you have a petty, partisan political agenda that you feel is more important than the lives and property of your fellow Americans, so rather than leave the man a clear path on which to do what he has to do, you throw as many distractions as you can in the path, hoping he’ll fail. His failure can be the death of our children, but you don’t give a flying f***.
So, sure, I think you have it in for America, not with its destruction as a prime objective, more with a few million innocent American deaths as the potential collateral damage of this political war your ilk is waging on the President.

Posted by: Seth at July 20, 2003 12:48 AM

Seth,

You are full of paranoid shit. Anything that GW does in the name of the war on terror DEFINITELY DOES NOT deserve a mindless stamp of approval. Where the hell do you get your ideals from? You are worse than the neocons, atleast they don’t expect approval stamps and actually ask Congress about their proposals.

You are one of the few, the proud, the citizenry who want to be on their knees ruled through fear. Fuck that. I have a mind, and can differ from GW’s idea on what a war is if I god damn please. If you think millions will die beacuse of it, it is your paranoia. Keep thinking that way while I live a normal life, beacuse guess what you have inflated this whole threat about a bazillion times larger than it needs to be….

Keep shivering from fear there Republican warrior. I will keep on living….

Keep attacking my patriotism too, that is what the Nazis did effectively to silence anybody who didnt subscribe to their paranoid shit…. People who do what you have just done have absolutely no clue what patriotism is….they only know fascism.

You can throw around your imaginary American death numbers
all fucking day, I really do not care. They only exist in your head along with your dreamy vision of GW on the throne ordering us Americans to do whatever the fuck he wants in the name of the War on Terror!

Our forefathers created checks and balances solely for the purpose of protecting the government against extremists. Thank God for them and their sensibilities because God knows we need those checks and balances now with people like you roaming the streets…..

Posted by: Mike at July 20, 2003 01:52 AM

Yes, they did, but you libs are doing everything in your power to override the checks and balances(one good example being the 2nd Amendment), in order to turn this country into a socialist state.
So excuse those of us who have been watching you do so if we become a little irate as you whittle away at all the rights that don’t suit your PC Utopian outlook.
As for our founding fathers, they would turn in their graves if they saw what a mockery you make of, or the abuse you apply to, Freedom of Speech. I can see that this is the usual waste of time one encounters when arguing with a turnip, so you just ramble on, and have a pleasant evening.

Posted by: Seth at July 20, 2003 02:02 AM

Seth,

How is the war on terror different from any other Bush policy, both are just his opinions on the way things should be…. Last time I checked Bush was not Jesus no matter how much you want him to be….Bush has erred before, what is to say he is not wrong about how he goes about this war on terror….

Yes, I want to blindly follow a man who thinks we should put food on our families instead of in our mouths… A man that brilliant surely could never fail us…..and is as omnipotent as they come….

As an American I don’t give a stamp of approval for shit unless I agree with it. It can be from Clinton, Bush, FDR, JFK, really doesn’t matter. Blindly going with someones idea of what is right is one of the most dangerous things a country can do…. Last time I recall that happened was the beginnings of WWII.

Furthermore, I haven’t always been against Bush many Democrats didn’t think he was that bad either until he started with this dumb Iraq shit (myself included)

Bush II is too predictable he wanted revenge for his daddy and Cheney wanted a military option. Guess what they both got it. Suprising not really…. But what angers us is the B.S. he fed the country to accomplish that goal. Saddam needed to go, but the way he went is everything.

WIth regards to war, one of the most important things a country can get involved in, its citizenry does not like lies, or even half-truths. Freeing Iraqis is nice, but not at the cost of the truth. Did we get the truth? I do not see how you could honestly answer yes to that question things being what they are now….

You want patriotism here is some patriotism for you.. I would rather have the truth and the lives back of those men and women in uniform than to be fed lies and free millions of Iraqis. Our men and women in uniform come first. The Iraqis can fuck themselves….

Are we any safer from the Iraqi conflict? To answer that question consider the fact that now we are not sure where Iraq’s WMDs are….they could be in anyones hands…the CIA surely has no clue… How is this situation any safer than when we started.

Posted by: Mike at July 20, 2003 02:19 AM

Seth,

Here is that little annoyance you call FREE SPEECH rearing its ugly head again.

The Bush Admin has made a mockery of due process with the Patriot Act and you are whining about dems using free speech.

Those who give up their freedoms to the state to feel a tad safer are not deserving of freedom at all ……to paraphrase Franklin

Furthermore, Jefferson would be rolling in his grave if he saw how much of an imperialist a$$hole Bush is.

If you believe the dems have it in for the Constitution, I guess you also believe Bush is a Compassionate Conservative and the “Uniter” he claimed to be in 2000….

Even though he alienated the whole fucking world and atleast half of his own nation….It amazes me how much credit the GOP gives this monkey. It is simply amazing that so many people can put their trust in this alcoholic shell of a man. This country hasn’t had real leadership in a long time and it is a tragedy…..

Posted by: Mike at July 20, 2003 02:35 AM

Mike

I’ll let you in on something, bonehead;

I NEVER follow blindly, I read the different perspectives on issues and look at the consequences, and in the case of Iraq a lot of the information I got about prewar conditions there didn’t come out of the media, but from someone who was there.
On the other hand, the opinions I get from democrats all seem to come directly out of liberal media venues like the NY Times. I don’t believe any of you even bother to study up on Bush’s side of things, except where the liberal media has announced that “he has lied.”
Right, the fair, unbiased columns of Paul Krugman. And you know what? I read those too, just to get the left side slant.
I also live in San Francisco, where I get into it with some of the most devout liberals ever to walk the face of the earth, and I hear it all.
And you know what, Mike? I also read constantly of evidence Bush told the truth, and I see it posted here, and I see liberals ignoring it and sticking to their disproven stories, then suddenly changing to new “Bush lied” topics. Never once have I seen a liberal, proven wrong, admit it, just as I never saw Maureen Dowd retract or apologize for her well publicized, intentional misquote of Bush on his al Qaida statement.
No doubt you’re a Clinton man. Now there’s a master liar. There’s the guy who set us up for 9/ 11 and other problems with terrorism by letting it be known that the U.S. would tolerate all the terrorism al Qaida deigned to inflict on us: Bomb U.S. embassies, blow up U.S. Navy vessels, no problem. Have fun, Osama. Rent out the Lincoln Bedroom as a “trick pad” for campaign contributions, lie to Congress, etc, etc. The list could go on.
You really need to study up more on issues before you spout the usual uninformed, robotic liberal rhetoric.
I could go on, citing examples, etc, but like I said, there is no point in arguing with a turnip. It is futile.
Now go away, kid, I think your mommy’s calling you.

Posted by: Seth at July 20, 2003 03:11 AM

May I interrupt the mud-slinging for a moment? Mike, just one thing you said: “Our forefathers created checks and balances solely for the purpose of protecting the government against extremists.”

Actually, checks and balances were created to protect the people from the government. The Founding Fathers wanted limited government, and knew one where each branch checked the other would limit its growth. They wanted gridlock. They wanted a government that made decisions slowly, over time, not quickly and emotionally.

I know that’s not working very well now, but we’ve had a century of socialist intervention, so things aren’t as they were designed. That’s the point of my post above. Congress cannot blame Bush for doing what they should be doing. They gave him the power to go to war in violation of the Constitution.

Try not to kill one another.

Posted by: torpedo_eight at July 20, 2003 08:04 AM

MIKE.. who cares who you would nominate as the “worst president”. Same applies to u.. Get outta here, go to people chat, make new friends. get a life

MIKEY.. your buddy Bill alienated half the country and set up the devisive atmosphere. Who cares what the rest of the world thinks.

Real leadership Mikey… Mikey Pooh get real. I think you really like W Mike, you seem enamored with him

Posted by: atomicdog at July 20, 2003 08:41 AM

There is a central problem to the Dems tactics. What the average man on the street is learning is that if the Dems get in power, they are going to get us killed.

They want to consentrate on whether Bush lied, instead of the millions of Iraqi freed. They are making a lot of noise, a lot of sound and fury over various irrelevant issues, such as the Patriot Act, but have not in any way said how they would do things differently.

Neither the left or the right is going to elect the next President. It will be all the middle of the road, moderate folk who do so. Which side they go to. And right now, the Democratic party is alienating a large segment of that necessary demographics.

Mikey can rant and rave all he likes. As he points out, it is his God given right, protected and defended by the Constitution. That does not mean it will have the effect he desires, nor intends. I am not real sure anyone should stop him, as his lot will end up scaring folks out of voting for them.

Posted by: Ben at July 20, 2003 09:47 AM

There is another aspect to all this that is really unfair. We are talking intelligence issues here and any time you reveal intelligence, you risk burning sources and methods.

That means that your spy gets caught, and killed. It means the other side figures out how you learned what you did, and takes measures to silence that line of information. Either way, you end up further blinded to the other side’s plans, and means of attack. It makes it more likely for them to succeed.

In short, by demanding that Bush reveal all the intel he has on this case, as well as the rest of the WMD issue and Iraq, you are helping the enemy. Whether you mean to do that or not, is irrelevant.

But most importantly, if the voters see that, they won’t care whether it is intentional or not. Whether one is a traitor, or simply stupid. Either will be found unfit for elected office.

Posted by: Ben at July 20, 2003 10:10 AM

Torpedo 8
You are right re the flaming, but there are times I find it really, REALLY frustrating and empissening(I bet THAT one’s not in any dictionary) when I encounter a certain kind of liberal and I forget(shame on me, I live in their capital city) that it is a waste of time to bother trying to tell them anything. What makes me lose it, however, is that the democrats’ pursuit of Bush, with their continuous accusations and demands for information, understandably gives terrorists a message that they’re making progress(“Hey, Mohammed, we have split the great Satan’s government, they are fighting- half of them want to pull out their troops. Let’s kill a lot more U.S. soldiers, make them pull out even quicker!”). The democrats are as responsible for some of the deaths of GIs as the Baathists are. They know this, and as sick as it may seem, they continue their attacks because the more kids we lose over there, the more ammunition it gives them to try to undermine Bush.
I maintain the opinion that if they cared one iota about their country and about those soldiers in Iraq, they would support the administration in Iraq and in the War on Terror, helping, not hindering, then do their political song and dance later.

Ben
I agree with you 100%.

Atomic Dog
BRAVO!

Posted by: Seth at July 20, 2003 01:43 PM

I maintain the opinion that if they cared one iota about their country and about those soldiers in Iraq, they would support the administration in Iraq and in the War on Terror, helping, not hindering, then do their political song and dance later.
*******************************************************************************
Seth, so just because an admin is at war for reasons stated above, we have to support these jokers? I don’t care if the country is in three or four wars at the same time. If the prez is making mistakes I will definitely say so….

“They want to consentrate on whether Bush lied, instead of the millions of Iraqi freed.”

The Republicans are the ones doing the song and dance with this issue. The war was never sold to Congress on freeing the Iraqi people. That is total bullshit. It is an EXCUSE plain and simple for failure. Most Americans dont give a damn about Iraqi
Freedom, the Prez knows this and knew that he could not garner broad based support for a war from that… Now that it is all said and done except for the guerilla war, you guys cling to this… Didn’t Bush say he was not a “Nation Builder…” Total B.S. is what we have come to expect from the Bush Admin. And NO I am not a Clinton fan. If you want me to be then I guess I am… Both Bush and Clinton are similar really both horrible presidents one without a conscience and one without a brain.

Finally, Ben, if you are worried about swing votes look to the unemployed they will surely vote for Bush II.

And if this War on Terror has been so effective and we shoud just let W sit back and fuck shit up. Where is Osama where is Saddam and where are all these chemical and biological weapons. If you cannot answer those questions, how are we safer. You are smoking the GOP reefer… Safer my ass, we are in more danger than ever….Is Saddam dead is Osama dead….NO why would the country offer a 25 million dollar reward for dead men….

By attacking Iraq we found 0 terrorists but just created another Osama in Saddam. Saddam right now is in hiding, pissed off like a mofo, and has tons of cash. Guess what he is thinking? You guys have no idea….

Posted by: Mike at July 20, 2003 02:26 PM

Interesting discussion here , chuckle, :-)

When I supported the, ‘Bush War,’ I did it because of one thing only. The Iraqi people badly needed their freedom from Saddam Hussein’s regime.

While Liberals can tell us all about how we are not ‘safe’ because Saddam Hussein is still around. It matters very little in the subject of Iraqi Freedom. The Iraqi People have the freedom to protest American Prescence in Iraq. The Shites (forgive my spelling) are exercising their freedom to form a government for cris sakes.

Criminy? When all you are concerned about is what did George Bush do Right with this war versus what did George Bush do wrong then you are over analyzing.

Who Cares whether we captured Saddam when we at least put him out of power? I’d like him captured of course. But it is SO AWESOME to see him on the run! Just like Osama Bin laden! Both of these gentelman are on the run.

It may be 10 years before we capture them but so be it. If America is concerned about being a ‘safer’ country.

Your only going to be ‘safe’ if you have the courage to stand up against those who would do you harm. Leave the analytical B.S. about whether George Bush shouldn’t have said 16 words in his State of the Union Address or not for the Voting Booth.

Posted by: Jeff at July 20, 2003 03:13 PM

Mike

The laughable thing is that the dems are even bothering to run: They have no perceivable answers to any of the questions the voting public might ask re what, exactly, they would do that would benefit the economy(create jobs, etc), improve national security or anything else, for that matter.
The entire platform of the dems is to try to prove their “Bush lied” rhetoric, and if you read anything else besides liberal news venues, you would see they are failing miserably at this.
If a dem becomes president, his first order of business will be to raise taxes, using the phoney bologna line about securing the future US economy or whatever, then begin doing what the dems always do: Throwing everybody’s hard earned tax dollars at every little special interest that comes along, in order to secure votes for the next election.
As has been the case time and time again when dems had the opportunity to do so, they would weaken our military and other national security organs in order to free up funds for still more special interest enterprises.
They would “turn Iraq over” to the UN, who in turn would have the place FUBAR in minutes. Within a couple of years after the dems made their comeback, 9/ 11 type tragedies would probably encore in the U.S. and of course, they’d probably sell us out to the EU and the UN, the latter an organization that’s just voted Fidel in for an extended term on their Human Rights commission.
This will be my last reply to you, because in my opinion you are just another dumb, uninformed, mindless liberal who either doesn’t know or doesn’t care how much damage you and yours are trying to do to this country and its citizens, nor how much responsibility your anti Bush rhetoric bears for the increase in terrorist aggression in Iraq that is getting our soldiers killed.

Posted by: Seth at July 20, 2003 03:26 PM

I am a decorated combat veteran. I DO NOT agree
with everything that Seth says, or that GWB does.

However, I firmly believe that all DEMONS are
Sataniacally inspired and will do everything
possible to destroy this country!!

Do I equate Demons with Democrats?
Based on their actions, isn’t it obvious?

Posted by: leaddog2 at July 20, 2003 05:22 PM

Leaddog2,

Sorry I just don’t buy the evil democrat thing, I can name plenty of Presidents who will go down in history looking better than GW.

FDR, Truman, JFK ….real leadership came from these men. With GW you get empty promises….and passing the buck. A real president takes responsibility remember the “buck stops here…” A real man takes responsibility. GW is neither…

Now that Iran and N. Korea are pushing nukes we also see how low of a priority Iraq actually was.

Posted by: Mike at July 20, 2003 06:59 PM

Actually it is not suprising that Bush Jr. cannot accept responsibility since Daddy spoiled him since he was wet behind the ears….

Bush II is a shell of what Bush I was as a man, and plenty of Americans see that now….

I can definitely see Truman rolling in his grave ……

Posted by: Mike at July 20, 2003 07:06 PM

Sweet God.

It’s not about Democrats or Republicans. Liberals don’t have some sort of huge agenda, unless you also admit conservatives do. Or maybe they do. I just love how as soon as you express an opinion, you’re tossed into one of the camps.

My problem is this: I don’t care WHO is president. GW Bush or Clinton. My concern is that ANY American president who put troops in harm’s way without good damn evidence of clear and present danger should be questioned. Yes, it’s lovely the Iraqui people are freed. I don’t remember that being one of the three major reasons we were asked to consider this war.

I understand the desire for patriotic unity in the time of crisis, that we should pull together and ask questions later, but don’t you see the INHERENT FLAW in that argument? If one then has a constant state of crisis, one can never question. And regardless of whether this administration thinks that way or not, someone else would. There’s a reason both Jefferson and Franklin were leery of a tyrannical executive. They built the damn country, they knew its vulnerable spots. Blind patriotism is fanatacism, not the skeptical, thoughful, ever-vigilant citizens our Founding Fathers both were and desired in their fellow Americans.

As for comments about how involving the UN would FUBAR Iraq quickly, I ask — is 3 months of no water, no power, looted hospitals, escalating rapes, growing guerilla strikes, increasing Shiite hostility AND Sunni resentment of their man being ousted, dozens of attacks on our servicemen a week NOT FUBAR? All the professional soldiers — who were promptly ignored and ousted — said we need more boots on the ground. Frankly, if it gets some of our guys home in a decent rotation cycle, I don’t care if those boots are gay Micronesian National Guardsmen.

As far as who cares about the rest of the world — well, if you’re serious about protecting American citizens’ safety, then we really do need global cooperation. And cooperation goes both ways. It’s a small world in the 21st century. If we’re to defeat our mortal enemies, it’s time to grow up and play well with others.

We were given reasons for the war. They proved to be … questionable. This war has serious ramifications (even excluding the rest of the world’s response, for those of you who don’t think that’s relevant): overextending our troops, budgetary issues (I personally think history’s biggest tax cuts during an active war is insane, but hey, that’s just me), propaganda issues for Islamist recruiters … regardless of where you fall on those questions, THEY ARE ALL LEGITIMATE QUESTIONS TO BE PURSUED.

Screaming that anybody who questions this is out to destroy the country is, frankly, so idiotic that I can’t imagine you’ve fully thought out the ramifications of that statement. And the idea that somehow asking these questions encourages our opponents in prosecuting their actions against our troops … you really think they’re sitting around going “You know, I wasn’t going to follow the dictates of my community religious leader and give in to longstanding resentments to Western forces, but now that the Washington Post is all over Bush, I’m getting the RPG out of storage”? 9/11 happened without any urging from low poll numbers and anti-Bush media reports, thank you.

I don’t want Bush to burn intel sources. But as soon as the intel sources that CAN be and ARE revealed can be crushed with a simple Google search, I do think a little further poking around is warranted. The CIA can keep all the sources they want secret, but as soon as their SUMMARY REPORTS contradict what we’ve been told, then questions should be asked. Intel is only as good as the results it produced. I don’t see any of the three reasons, allegedly backed by intel, that we were told we were going into this war for confirmed. Again, worth asking about. Not attacking, but asking.

All you vitriolic patriots out there who think an entire 50% of the country are out to destroy it, well, think about that. Does that make ANY sense, really?

Patriotism is doubt. This nation was built on the idea that anyone can question, anyone can respond. Disagree with me, but call me a traitor because I question, and YOU are the one betraying what people fought and died for for centuries. Blind patriotism is no better than Islamist fanaticism.

Posted by: John at July 20, 2003 08:04 PM

John,

THANK YOU. Finally a reasonable soul out there in the vast emptiness that is oftentimes this blog. Is it so strange to question things? I love to have my patriotism attacked (even by a God Damn Canadain for Christ Sake….) by people who probably have never worn the uniform…. I love this country and would die to defend it if need be.

Just because I believe that we should question the President’s judgement on this blog I have been called a homosexual, an idiot, ass-hat, turnip, etc…. etc…. What good comes from this?
My questions are reasonable just as yours are, plenty of sane people from all walks of life are not so sure Iraq needed to be on our radar at this current moment in time….

People on this blog would not want to believe it but even people in the Pentagon and DOD have their doubts. There are plenty of men and women in uniform who have their doubts…. Did these people join to overthrow the government? If you think about it for even a second the utter ridiculousness of the whole idea comes into play….

Plenty of people on this blog think that 50% of America is out to destroy everything America stands for. The preceding is pure paranoia. The Left and Right continue to advance to build America we disagree but we are not out to destroy this great land.

Many people on this blog would like to have one political party, the GOP. But I ask EVERYONE on this blog how many countries are ruled democratically that have only ONE party. Most one-party systems are dictatorships last time I checked….

The GOP is not out to destroy America and neither are the Dems. To say so would be to slap great men of both parties in the face….

Posted by: Mike at July 20, 2003 10:07 PM

John,

Patriotism is the willful commitment of one’s life for his/her country. It is a lot of things, but it is not doubt.

This country was unique at the time it was formed because its leaders stated up front that our rights came from God, and government should be established to preserve those rights, and to that extent, derived its just powers from the people.

Freedom of speech means you can say anything without fear of censure by the govenment. Are there laws against certain speech? Sure, libel and slander are special cases. Name calling, that’s freedom of speech as well and you can call each other traitors without violating anyone’s rights or trampling the concept our Forefathers fought for. Americans have been calling each other names since the beginning.

But fighting and dying to preserve freedom? That’s not about doubt. The concepts on which this country is based are worth dying for, but let’s not confuse that concept with politics, or the assertion that anyone has a corner on the truth. Your right to question leadership is part of being an American, but it really doesn’t have anything to do with patriotism. It’s scepticism. Can you do both? Sure.

But they’re not one in the same.

Posted by: torpedo_eight at July 20, 2003 10:24 PM

Washington recommended against political parties in his farewell speech, BTW, and the discourse on this board is a perfect example of why that still makes sense.

Washington believed the establishment of political parties “….serves always to distract the public councils and enfeeble the public administration. It agitates the community with ill founded jealousies and false alarms; kindles the animosity of one part against another; foments occasionally riot and insurrection. It opens the door to foreign influence and corruption, which find a facilitated access to the government itself through the channels of party passion. Thus the policy and the will of one country are subjected to the policy and will of another.”

This board is a perfect example of what George wanted to avoid. Guess no one was listening.

Posted by: torpedo_eight at July 20, 2003 10:43 PM

Washington was a sensible man.

Posted by: Seth at July 20, 2003 11:01 PM

>>Patriotism is the willful commitment of one’s life for his/her country. It is a lot of things, but it is not doubt.

But fighting and dying to preserve freedom? That’s not about doubt. The concepts on which this country is based are worth dying for, but let’s not confuse that concept with politics, or the assertion that anyone has a corner on the truth. Your right to question leadership is part of being an American, but it really doesn’t have anything to do with patriotism. It’s scepticism. Can you do both? Sure.

But they’re not one in the same.

Posted by: John at July 20, 2003 11:26 PM

>>Patriotism is the willful commitment of one’s life for his/her country. It is a lot of things, but it is not doubt.

But fighting and dying to preserve freedom? That’s not about doubt. The concepts on which this country is based are worth dying for, but let’s not confuse that concept with politics, or the assertion that anyone has a corner on the truth. Your right to question leadership is part of being an American, but it really doesn’t have anything to do with patriotism. It’s scepticism. Can you do both? Sure.

But they’re not one in the same.

Posted by: John at July 20, 2003 11:26 PM

Sorry, triple post. The PREVIEW buttons acting a little wonky today.

>>Patriotism is the willful commitment of one’s life for his/her country. It is a lot of things, but it is not doubt.

But fighting and dying to preserve freedom? That’s not about doubt. The concepts on which this country is based are worth dying for, but let’s not confuse that concept with politics, or the assertion that anyone has a corner on the truth. Your right to question leadership is part of being an American, but it really doesn’t have anything to do with patriotism. It’s scepticism. Can you do both? Sure.

But they’re not one in the same.<<

I respectfully disagree. Pardon me for my above aphorism — and it is an intentionally structured one— but let’s put it this way: The Bill of Rights wasn’t in the first draft of the Constitution. Most of the Constitutional framers believed as they’d stated in the Declaration of Independence — and as you’ve rightfully pointed out — that basic human rights, those of association, freedom of religion and speech etc. were derived from the mere fact of being human, independent of government. That’s why they’re “inalienable.’ They thought this was a gimmee. Why the hell put it in the Constitution? The Constitution was to be no more than a set of rules for running this particular government.

Jefferson saw the day coming when people would forget the primal nature of the rights in their philosophy, He insisted on the Bill of Rights, and in it went.

My point is this — if patriotism is the willfull committment of one’s life to one’s country, then committing my life to defending the ideas it was founded on, no matter in what way, is patriotism. AMERICA IS NOTHING BUT A NAME WITHOUT THOSE VALUES. The government is not America. GW Bush is not America, neither was Bill Clinton. The GOP and Dems are not America. The BIll of Rights and the Constitution are America, my responsibility to my fellow citizens to keep them safe, soldier and civilian, is America.

And that’s where my loyalty lies, not with any man or party.

Are the only patriots soldiers? Was Jefferson not a patriot, Lincoln, Roosevelt? If others have died for the values in the Bill of Rights, should I not at least ask unpopular questions? My risk is far less, and so it would actually be COWARDLY of me not to question my government in the name of my country. Doubt means that one doesn’t take the easy road, one doesn’t swallow whatever pre-packaged gunk any white guy in a suit throws out at you. Doubt is not skepticism — skepticism implies a lack of faith. I have faith, but I constantly question those who interpret and administrate the values I have faith in, the values that make America. This is, I think, where the party system has screwed the spirit of the Founding Fathers. Challenging the government is not just a right — it is a RESPONSIBILITY. The fanatics on both sides grudgingly admit our right to dissent as if that’s the height of generosity, when we should all be raging that more do not.

Doubt means disagreeing. Asking questions. Exposing oneself to criticism, fanaticism, governmental harassment (Wilson’s wife, anyone?) and occasionally physical danger because of committment to the Bill of RIghts.

If those aren’t the actions of a patriot, I don’t know what is. That’s where I get my creed, “Doubt is patriotism.” Not doubt of America. But continual, sincere, well-intentioned doubt of the men who run it. And if those men come up aces after all the questions are asked, no one’s happier than I am.

The lazy bastards who just buy the party line, Dem or GOP, WITHOUT QUESTION, are the traitors.

Posted by: John at July 20, 2003 11:28 PM

The concepts on which this country is based are worth dying for, but let’s not confuse that concept with politics,
********************************************************************************
That is one of the most best comments I have seen on this blog….

Posted by: Mike at July 21, 2003 12:02 AM

I apologize for my last broken english post….I was distracted by late-night TV….:) I am only human…:)

Late Night TV is the most best thing ever….

But really that last comment by John about not confusing politics with core American values is crucial. Patriotism is holding those core values to be true. Politics is everything else…..

Posted by: Mike at July 21, 2003 12:06 AM

john — nice posts. Seth — I challenge you to try voicing an opinion or making an argument without resorting to childish name calling and categorical (and thus inevitably false) attribution of motive, agenda or unpleasant personal hygiene. If you have valid points, you can make them without wasting our time with that sort of nonsense. Chip — the time for editorial discretion against such “uncivil” discourse is past due, on both sides of the aisle.

Posted by: johnn at July 21, 2003 12:10 AM

Patriotism is all about believing in the Constitution, and questioning the politicians.

Supporting a president who plays fast and loose with the truth is not patriotism, it’s just obedience, whether he’s lying about screwing interns or about sending soldiers to fight and die.

Posted by: Stevious at July 21, 2003 01:55 AM

Mike,

Allow me to reiterate: your country is not your party. It is expected that everyone question their leadship constantly, but this is not to be confused with alliegence to the American cause. Doubt is what you reserve to your leaders, patriotism is what you reserve to your country, your flag, your fellow men.

Sgt. York was not wracked with doubts. The men of Torpedo Eight were not wracked with doubts on June 5th, 1942. They did what they had to do. Does patriotism mean you have to serve in the armed forces? Of course not. But the Founding Fathers, Jefferson included, risked their lives to start this country.

Reserve your doubt for parties and politicians, but never doubt what your country stands for and has stood for these last 227 years. That’s all I’m saying. Healthy skepticism is the American way, but no one doubts what we stand for.

Washington was right, parties suck.

Posted by: torpedo_eight at July 21, 2003 08:58 AM

Torpedo,

While I would not abandon my country in a time of war, I still reserve the right to disagree with the CIC, Lincoln did the same.

The “American Cause,” changes with each new Administration. As John said, fundamental American beliefs do not, i.e., the Bill of Rights, Constitution of the United States.

Posted by: Mike at July 21, 2003 09:13 AM

So we essentially agree on the major points. Iraq is not a war for survival per se, it is a naked foray into world-wide law enforcement. Agree with it or not, I just didn’t want people confusing to major issues: patriotism and a deep and abiding distrust of politicians. H.L. Meckan said every honest man is ashamed of his own government.

I’m the one concerned about confusing politics with parties. Alliegence to one is not alliegence to the other. We’re not taking blood oaths here to defend one particular President or notion of justice.

Our defense system has been designed over the last 60 years to stop monolithic threats (Nazi Germany, North Korea, the USSR, China), but now it must evolve into a system that roots out and destroys individuals bent on destroying our way of life. I don’t know the best path for that, but sitting back on our heels and waiting for the next attack is pure folly. If destroying Saddam’s regime makes the world safer (and everyone agreed that it would), then it’s something we have to do, individual justification and 16 words in the State of the Union aside. In fact, everyone agreed on this (dem and republican) LAST YEAR.

So again I ask: What’s changed?

When the threat is gone, we turn on each other.

BTW, Lincoln was the CIC when he was President. With whom are you saying he disagreed?

Posted by: torpedo_eight at July 21, 2003 01:17 PM

Torpedo,

Lincoln opposed the Mexican War 1844-1849..as a Congressman….

Read this blurb from a Lincoln site…
*******************************************************
Lincoln opposed the resulting war, which he thought a contest Polk provoked as a vote-getting device, and he hoped his arguments against the war would make his reputation in the United States House of Representatives.
*******************************************************

Today on this blog peple get chastised for the same exact shit…how ironic….

Lincoln would be called unpatriotic or anti-american here….

If you want to challenge Lincoln’s character good luck but he is held by many to be THE greatest president….

the Link is here…

http://lincoln.lib.niu.edu/biography4text.html

Posted by: Mike at July 21, 2003 01:52 PM

Johnn-
My initial comment was the first on this thread, and it contained no “name calling” or any of the other offenses to which you refer.
However, the entry of Mike, with a lot of “justification” for the idiotic assault by dems on Bush for purportedly “lying” invoked my ire.
He(and other dems) say it is their right to question the president’s motives, statements, etc. I agree. This is a democracy.
However, they are not “questioning” anything- they are aggressively accusing- to the point of intentionally misquoting the president and refusing to listen to, or even consider any evidence presented in his defense.
Perhaps that, to you, is “questioning”, but it seems to me, and probably to anyone else with a reasonable quota of intelligence, to be more along the lines of partisan engendered slander.

Posted by: Seth at July 21, 2003 01:59 PM

Mike,

I asked for clarification, I wasn’t challenging Lincoln’s character. Pehaps everyone here is a little fried by the nature of this discussion. Put your swords and maces down for a minute.

Personally, I like Teddy Roosevelt.

Posted by: torpedo_eight at July 21, 2003 03:45 PM

PS John

Your history’s a bit twisted. The tenets of “…Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness…” were not inserted by Jefferson in the Bill of Rights. They are part of the Declaration of Independence. The original bill of rights outlining 12 (yes, 12) rights were added to the Constitution when ratification of the Constitution by the states stalled. The first 2 amendments were struck (one regarding the relationship of population to members of the House, one regarding Congress voting itself a raise) and the remaining 10 became the Bill of Rights.

Federalists argued against the Bill of Rights asking why would be necessary to forbid the government to do things it was not expressly allowed to do by the Constitution? (good point) It was a Constitution of enumerated powers, which meant if the Constitution didn’t allow it, the government couldn’t do it. But the people were not convinced (wisely) that any government would abide by the concept, so they were inserted (and chances are Madison wrote them).

BTW, the second amendent which was stricken from the original 12 has risen from th dead, it has become, with Michigan’s vote in 1991, the 27th Amendment.

Posted by: torpedo_eight at July 21, 2003 04:05 PM

Hi everyone, just a few comments if I might. First off Bush is not 100% right 100% of the time. I think most everyone would agree with me on that :). It is certainly possible that some things regarding Iraq could have been handled better for sure. But overall I think Bush has done and is doing a great service to the U.S.

It’s the extremism on both sides (Republican’s and Democrats) that I think is clouding the issue and I think everyone should just cool it and come at these discussions with less inflamatory statements that do nothing more than rile people up.

Regarding the Democrats and demons - as someone alluded to a while back. I don’t know about the demon part being an attribute of the Democrats per se but there is one thing I know.

There are moral absolutes - as much as many would like to believe that there are none. And the Democrats most certainly do not appear to be on the side of what is right.

They are for the murder of unborn children (abortion).
They are for homosexual rights and support homosexuality as a rightful alternative lifestyle.
They are for the seperation of church and state to the point that they become in practice anti-church and anti-God.
They seem to be for appeasement and pacifism at the expense of standing up to evil - if need be with military force.
They are generally for welfare programs which enable people to shirk their responsibility to work for a living (though I am NOT saying that everyone on welfare is shirking their responsibility).

I could go on. Suffice it to say that the Democratic party has a platform that is against many things that I consider to be morally right. As such I view the Democratic party to be deceived in general. That is they call what is evil good and what is good evil.

So it does not surprise me to see the Democratic party or many of those on the left falling into deception regarding what is right and wrong with what has been done in Iraq.

This is all my opinion of course but if one is inclined to disagree I would ask them what base they have for knowing what is right and wrong?

It’s either every person for themselves with a view of what is right and wrong that is not absolute (leading to social anarchy and everything goes) or there is a right or wrong that is independent of what each of us thinks. I happen to believe there are such moral absolutes and I for one do not see the Democratic party siding with what I consider to be right.

As such there is no way I will vote for the Democratic party. I can’t. For if I were to do so I would become a party to promoting the evil and the deception that seems to be so entrenched in the Democratic party through my vote.

I believe that a multi-party system is good for the U.S. but unfortunately it seems to be the case that today we have the Republican’s (who overall seem to have a platform that supports rightness) and the Democrats (who overall appear to support evil). Not much of a choiice in parties :).

Carlos

Posted by: Carlos at July 23, 2003 12:48 AM

From torpedo_eight:
>>Your history’s a bit twisted. The tenets of “…Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness…” were not inserted by Jefferson in the Bill of Rights. They are part of the Declaration of Independence. The original bill of rights outlining … etc.<<

Sorry, I’m quite aware they were in the Declaration of Independence. I was unclear. My point was that pinning down the specific rights which helped guarantee and support the broader philosophical rights outlined in the Declaration was the intent — as is stated clearly in correspondence between Jefferson and Franklin — of the inclusion of the Bill of Rights. There’s a nice section on this in the new Franklin biography, among other sources.

As to their doubts about the pitfalls of enumerating rights you mention, I find myself in the dubious position of agreeing with Pat Buchanon in principle; the Supreme Court has too much power, and this current batch has too many Justices who take that short-sighted literalist position.

Oh, and I energetically agree that all of the Iraqi incidents you noted in your first post are indeed correct and horrific. They are also pretty much on par with a fistful of other, insanely dangerous nations out there. They may be, I agree, reasonable — no, EXCELLENT — grounds for a pre-emptive war. But my problems are fivefold —

a.)Where was the CLEAR and PRESENT danger to the citizens of the United States,

b.) these were not the reasons given for going to war. If they had been, ironically I’d at least be considering the virtue of pre-emptive war rather than shaking my head at the lack of evidence vis-a-vis the reasons we WERE given. Yeah, I know, weird.

c.) We now know (and nobody who did even surfeit reading of intelligence articles was caught off guard by this) the CIA advised that Saddam was far more of a danger if he were cornered. As in, say, a pre-emptive war …

d.) Why on the long “TO DO” list of ensuring American security (kick Saudi Arabia in the nuts, work on energy independence, coordinate intelligence on the Asian Islamist movements, send a F&*&CKING DIME of all the Homeland Security money to the heroic local guys who’ll be first on the ground, maybe scare up that money we said we’d put into stabilizing Afghanistan which isn’t in this year’s budget, etc., etc…) did Iraq jump to the top of the list?

e.) If this isn’t how the postwar reconstruction was to go, then the naive, idiotic planners should be taken out and shot. If this IS how the postwar reconstruction was supposed to go, then they should be taken out, shot, propped up against a wall and shot again.

You know the one thing I DON‘T want in my Secretary of Defense? An optimist.

>>Our defense system has been designed over the last 60 years to stop monolithic threats (Nazi Germany, North Korea, the USSR, China), but now it must evolve into a system that roots out and destroys individuals bent on destroying our way of life. I don’t know the best path for that, but sitting back on our heels and waiting for the next attack is pure folly. If destroying Saddam’s regime makes the world safer (and everyone agreed that it would), then it’s something we have to do, individual justification and 16 words in the State of the Union aside. In fact, everyone agreed on this (dem and republican) LAST YEAR.

So again I ask: What’s changed?<<

Not everyone agreed (see the previously mentioned CIA quotes from the disputed NIE among other writings over the past year). A strong argument about whether the world (and American citizens) are “less” or “more” safe now can be made for both positions. I actually think you’re right, we need to shift to proactive weed-whacking. But to answer your question, for me — and for many Americans who had our doubts and are now asking questions — nothing’s changed. We had questions, and we still have questions. Not our fault some of the answers that are bubbling up seem to be unsettling.

As always, a pleasure reading your thoughts.

From Seth:

>> However, they are not “questioning” anything- they are aggressively accusing- to the point of intentionally misquoting the president and refusing to listen to, or even consider any evidence presented in his defense. Perhaps that, to you, is “questioning”, but it seems to me, and probably to anyone else with a reasonable quota of intelligence, to be more along the lines of partisan engendered slander.<<

Slander, as in, say …

>>I s’pose the only two things a U.S. liberal doesn’t need to possess are concern for his/ her country and a sense of shame.<<

Yes, sorry, tugging your chain there a bit. :P I understand why your ire was raised. Some of the Dems are indeed slanderous party hacks. Many of the people asking questions about the war are Democrats. But just as all cognacs are brandies but all brandies are not cognacs, not everyone asking questions about the war are slanderous party-hack Dems. Name-calling, no matter who starts it, falls into the trap torpedo_eight highlighted with his eloquent quote from Washington.

There are days I wish we had the British Parliament rules, where the one thing you CANNOT do is call someone a liar without complete proof, or you face expulsion. It forces people to be a bit more civil at the very least, and more sincere in their opposition at the most.

Of course, British Parliament rules would also mean a Question Period. And love him or hate him, I don’t think anyone want to see the utter massacre that would be Mr. Bush tossed into that situation.

I am totally with Seth on this point — unless the useless, pandering attacks stop soon and I get a very sharp to-do list from some Democratic candidates addressing the exact same concerns I raise about Mr. Bush’s policies, they won’t get my vote either.

Posted by: John at July 23, 2003 01:29 AM

Silly me for thinking this thread was dead.

John, you have some excellent points on pre-emptive war and I agree, there has to be a clear and present danger. I also think if we’re going to war, we (Congress) should have the cajones to say so, with a formal declaration, not some blank check they pass off to the President (the “whenever you feel like it, do it” mentality). This is one of the points I was trying to make earlier. The reasons Bush is faulted for going to war are all for decisions another 435 people SHOULD have been making. We can blame him for faulty reasoning, but the responsiblity ultimately lies with Congress, which is more than happy to shirk its responsibilities (given a chance).

I think Homeland Security is important, but I think going to the nest and stomping the devil’s eggs is a good idea too. In that sense, North Korea is next, I guess, and maybe Iran after that?

Finally, for whatever reasons we went after the ratpack in Baghdad, there was a lot more support across party lines last year when it was THEORY. Now that the war’s over and we haven’t located WMDs or the Big Rat himself, I get the impression from some democrats that we “..killed the mountain people…” like in that stupid Billy Jack song. Now I suppose we open the treasure chest and there’s a sign in there - PEACE ON EARTH is all it says.

We weren’t wrong to go in. Some of the intelligence may have been faulty, but Saddam has attempted so many major ploys over the last 20 years (Big Gun - breeder reactor - VX) it’s not like we nuked Pee Wee Herman or something.

The asshat deserved it, and I’m glad his boys are room temperature now. They are done torturing, killing and running people through plastic chippers for awhile, now they can answer to God.

Posted by: torpedo_eight at July 23, 2003 02:14 PM

Carlos:

Welll … wow. I was going to respond, but I realize nothing I say will sway you, or probably even make you examine your beliefs. That may be a good thing for you. I just don’t know if I’d throw the word “evil” around so lightly. Last time I checks, not all Democrats were pro-choice, pro-homosexual rights, or were all that het up about being anti-church. It goes on an individual basis.

But … wow. You’re glad you don’t live in my America, and I’m sure as hell glad I don’t live in yours. This, I think, is proof that democracy, at its core, works. :)

From torpedo_eight:
>>I think Homeland Security is important, but I think going to the nest and stomping the devil’s eggs is a good idea too. In that sense, North Korea is next, I guess, and maybe Iran after that?<<

I’d just like to see a little more finesse in the devil-egg stomping. You know, containment worked just ducky for a half-century. In some cases, sure, we may need to go in and clean house, but there are other tools in the toolbox. Love it or hate it, I think we may all agree that pre-emptive war should be the absolute last box on the checklist.

For example, I think we should leave Iran alone. Just dump a crapload of money into the American-based resistance organizations. Unlike all that money we pointlessly poured into Cuba, I believe this one’s actually going to work. Even if the mullahs get a nuke, who are they going to use it on — the students in Tehran? Every time we poke our heads in, that rallies the Islamists and hurts the pro-democracy groups because if there’s one thing every Arab in the area can get behind, it’s opposing Western interference. A light touch for once, is that so hard?

I think maybe our devil-egg priority list is a bit off. Again, agreed that Saddam was a bad man, it’s better he’s gone, but no matter how warm and fuzzy that makes us feel, in the cold hard light of day (which is where I prefer my Defense Department and Intelligence assets live), why the hell was he number one with a bullet? Ironically, the case for pre-emptive war in North Korea’s a lot stronger, but well, we’ve got all these troops tied up elsewhere …

>>We weren’t wrong to go in. Some of the intelligence may have been faulty, but Saddam has attempted so many major ploys over the last 20 years (Big Gun - breeder reactor - VX) it’s not like we nuked Pee Wee Herman or something.<<

Perhaps we were wrong to go in — not morally, but strategically, if it turns out that this was the wrong thing to do to increase American security. I don’t give a rat’s ass if Mr. Bush “lied” or “was mistaken”, sadly. But if we took some big damn risks, alienated a lot of humans on the planet, tied up a whackload of strategic assets, and the threat ISN‘T what it we were told it was, then I want some heads. Not because of some cheap score-keeping, but because that means guys in suits who should know better still don’t know how to assess threats to our security.

The whole “Okay, the reasons we said we invaded don’t seem to hold up, but he was a bad guy anyway” argument is dangerously close to the “Okay, we executed the guy for a crime he didn’t commit, but he was a scumbag guilty of many other crimes” statement. That’s not how the system works, or SHOULD work. I know it’s a pain in the ass. That’s what makes America great, we’ve got all these pain-in-the-ass rules and ideas that protect people from such gut-instinct vengeance b*llsh*t. It’s NOT just good enough that we got a bad guy. We have to get the RIGHT guy for the RIGHT reasons. Infinitely annoying, I know. But it’s what makes us the good guys.

I agree whole-heartedly on this point — a Dem supports the war, you don’t get to bathe in the “no WMD” orgy. Although I think you do have to let a few slide who voted based on belief that the dangers Iraq posed were clear and present. That’s how the situation was presented to them by the Administration. After all, we can’t hang the guys who had the temerity to belive their President, can we? I mean, a lot of people want to let the President off the hook because all he did was believe the CIA. Or … not. Exactly. I’m getting a little confused. Are they the bad guys or the good guys today?

Why is the following position considered “weaseling” by so many?: “I supported the war because I thought Iraq posed a clear and present danger based on intelligence provided by the Administration. Physical evidence now shows us that intelligence was faulty or misrepresented. I’d like to ask some questions, as I WOULDN‘T have supported the war if I’d known the facts.” If anyone Dem or GOP takes that position, I can find no fault with it.

That does lead me to your point, how Congress is shirking its responsibilites. Totally agree. Between shuffling difficult issues off on the Supreme Court — you know, Ireland’s a devoutly Catholic country, they solved their abortion debate through legislation a decade ago, and nobody’s pipe-bombing clinics — and the “blank check” approach to the Presidency, there’s not a whole lot of moral fibre being shown there. Then again, it’s not like the Administration isn’t above playing hardball when it doesn’t get what it wants. I seem to remember a certain multiple-amputee Vietnam war hero congressman who had ads run agasint him equating him with terrorists when he wouldn’t play ball … Lot of cheap shots on both sides of the aisle lately. Anyone who claims either political party has some sort fo moral high ground is smoking some high-quality stuff.

Now, let’s all take a break from this thread and toast the Hussein boys on their razor-slide into the rubbing-alcohol pool in hell.

Posted by: John at July 23, 2003 03:23 PM

John,

Sorry for my lateness. You make a lot of excellent points; some of which I agree with, some I don’t.

I’ll address two.

1.///Why is the following position considered “weaseling” by so many?: “I supported the war because I thought Iraq posed a clear and present danger based on intelligence provided by the Administration. Physical evidence now shows us that intelligence was faulty or misrepresented. I’d like to ask some questions, as I WOULDN‘T have supported the war if I’d known the facts.” If anyone Dem or GOP takes that position, I can find no fault with it.//

Because the administration never called Iraq a clear and present danger; in the State of the Union, Bush referred to Iraq as “a grave and gathering” threat. Grave and gathering means grave and gathering, not imminent. However, it was reasonable to believe that Iraq had this capbility given its history.

2.//Okay, the reasons we said we invaded don’t seem to hold up, but he was a bad guy anyway” argument //
Everyone loves to dance around this issue ,but I see the point you’re making. You would be correct except for one thing: Iraq was in multiple violations of the ceasefire that ended Gulfwar I. That, and that alone, was reason enough for Gulf War II. No one likes to admit that, however. This has been standard diplomacy for 4000 years. That has historically one of the worst offenses in historical diplomacy. The only worse one is attacking with a mutual defense treaty. I know this is not popular, and we all dance around and argue and posture about why it wasn’t done already, and why now, and blahblahblah, the fact is when a country get an agreement for a ceasefire, and the loser reneges on the agreement, the winner has every moral and legal right to kick the loser’s ass. Iraq did it not once, but 17 times. All the rest, WMDs, Al Qaeda, Middle East diplomacy, torture chambers: its just fluff. Important, but fluff. But that historical diplomatic reality, combined with the reality of modern superterrorism, made Iraq the inevitable target. No one likes it, but there is no way around this truth. If Bush made a mistake, his mistake was lack of confidence in the American people; most people realize that men like Saddam Hussein, left unchecked, eventually cause problems for everyone; and we can no longer afford to be wrong about a megalomaniac’s intentions.

Posted by: johnnymozart at July 23, 2003 05:31 PM

Seth said, “The proof will be there in plenty of time for the election in Nov, 2004, hopefully at the last minute when it will make the democrats look as immature and ridiculous as possible.”

You mean they will look even more immature and rediculous than they do now?? How can this be possible????

It’ll be nice when the dems decide who they want to attempt the presidency. Then it will be one spokesman with issues, and they can be addressed, each and everyone of them. Man, I’d hate to be that guy….

Posted by: Jeff B at July 26, 2003 10:46 AM

John writes: “You know, containment worked just ducky for a half-century. In some cases, sure, we may need to go in and clean house, but there are other tools in the toolbox. Love it or hate it, I think we may all agree that pre-emptive war should be the absolute last box on the checklist.”

Funny when the containment strategy was in place, everyone HATED it. Always got to hear how insane the “Mutually Assured Destruction” policy was, but now it appears (from recently released documents and books) that nuclear war was only narrowly averted when Stalin’s inner circle chose to poison the bastard with Wafarin (d-Con). Berea and the bunch determined Uncle Joe was intent on a nuclear exchange with the US, so they killed him.

Please note the “containment” policy had nothing whatsoever to do with the averting of this situation, just a bunch of guys in the Kremlin who didn’t want to die, basically. So in that sense, the “containment” policy was a dismal failure and we’re all only alive today thanks to Soviet leadership. Containment is a rather impotent option, one that sits back and hopes the enemy’s perceptions of your strenghts leads to an absence of hostilities. It depends too heavily on your enemy holding the right perceptions of you, and way too heavily on the idea the enemy doesn’t want to die, either.

Those options are as out-moded now as they were in the ’50s. We are up against a group that not only believes in killing us in large numbers, they also don’t give a rat’s ass if they die in the bargain. Or, to paraphrase Janice, terrorism’s just another word for nothin’ left to lose.

Pre-emptive strikes against our declared enemies is the only way to prevent death on a scale that will make the WTC look like a traffic dust-up. I would have been all for killing Hitler in 1934, killing Stalin in 1951, killing Mao in 1961, Pol Pot in 1972. In the same vein, killing the leaders of world terrorism cuts the head off the snake, saves millions of lives, and discourages those less-than-true believers who might toy with the idea of suicide attacks.

We don’t “contain” anyone and quite possibly, we never have. England did not contain Hitler with treaties. Diplomacy is for diplomats. These people are not diplomats, they’re terrorists.

Moshe Dyan put it in a nutshell : “We don’t negotiate with terrorists, we kill them.” We have to let go of an idea that is well past its prime and start taking the game to them.

Posted by: torpedo_eight at July 26, 2003 06:28 PM

seth is angry and full of what makes most conservatives conservatives, and that is insecurity in their manhood, and instead of standing up to bullies, they become bullies. you are the minority. good luck.

Posted by: jbelmore at October 19, 2003 08:44 PM

Nothing’s far when one wants to get there.

Posted by: Blandy Charley at December 10, 2003 04:49 PM

Random babbling:
re”pubic”ans are crybabies, yup you middle aged predominantly anglo , they which wish to be lead , actually its more of a desire , as I see. Instead of thinking freely or for themselves, they(you) want a master and to be directed , as well as spoken for, sad huh? The master race betrayed by your own kind. You defend him like a battered spouse defends her violent husband. The lies the deceit
Challenge our government. Its our right , dont be afraid , dont be ashamed by your histories , instead change your ideas for our futures and the world will be a more peaceful place.

Posted by: your neighbor at April 6, 2004 10:39 PM

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