August 17, 2005
"All of the Answers So Far Have Been Lies"
I hope it's all right to lift this from the comments to this post at Protein Wisdom--worth reading in its own right--because it encapsulates perfectly the antiwar talking points:
Seriously, then, all rhetorical force aside, what are the answers? I have searched and searched, spent literally hours on the media and reading blogs, and I can honestly say that (1) I do not know why we invaded Iraq (all of the answers so far have been lies), (2) I do not know how anyone can justify the fact that George Bush’s daughters are not volunteering to join the armed services and do their duty in this “noble” cause, and (3) I can plainly understand the arguments for staying in Iraq until some kind of order can be reimposed on that sad country, but believe that there are rational and persuasive arguments to the contrary. Given the history of this fiasco, I believe that, in questions of judgement, those who oppposed this pathetically misbegotten war should be given the benefit of the doubt. The other side’s judgement has already been shown to be laughably poor.
The remainder of that comment is a kicker, too--Visualize World Atonement!--but I'm more interested in the thought process, such as it is, demonstrated above.
The commenter begins by begging the question:
I do not know why we invaded Iraq (all of the answers so far have been lies)
You don't search for answers with the conclusion that "they're all lies" foremost in your mind--not that this commenter would admit openly to doing such. No, no, he or she is an honest truth-seeker who just can't help it that this is the lyingest president EVER.
What, exactly, were the "lies?" I can name a few of them:
1. Iraq had weapons of mass destruction.
Well, our intelligence services thought so. The British intelligence services thought so. The U.N. inspections teams thought so. The Clinton Administration--everyone bow your heads and make the Sign of the Cigar, now--thought so.
It's speculated that Saddam Hussein himself thought so, being apparently unaware that asking your scientists how it's going down at the lab when you've earned a reputation as a guy who doesn't take bad news well is unlikely to generate honest answers.
And then there's the possibility that Saddam knew damn well he didn't have any weapons of mass destruction and was, you know, just kidding.
In short: There are multiple alternatives to the conclusion that the Bush Administration deliberately misled the American people about the justification for war in Iraq, each more plausible than positing a massive--and it would have to be massive, involving multiple agencies throughout multiple countries--coverup.
2. Saddam had ties to Al Qaeda!
Whether there was any collaboration between the two had been questioned even back during the Clinton Administration. Because our commenter is so fearlessly seeking answers, he or she will, of course, have noted these remarks by Clinton's ambassador to the U.N., speaking in 1998:
Ambassador Bill Richardson, at the time U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, echoed those sentiments in an appearance on CNN's "Late Edition with Wolf Blitzer," on August 30, 1998. He called the targeting "one of the finest hours of our intelligence people."
"We know for a fact, physical evidence, soil samples of VX precursor--chemical precursor at the site," said Richardson. "Secondly, Wolf, direct evidence of ties between Osama bin Laden and the Military Industrial Corporation--the al Shifa factory was part of that. This is an operation--a collection of buildings that does a lot of this dirty munitions stuff. And, thirdly, there is no evidence that this precursor has a commercial application. So, you combine that with Sudan support for terrorism, their connections with Iraq on VX, and you combine that, also, with the chemical precursor issue, and Sudan's leadership support for Osama bin Laden, and you've got a pretty clear cut case."
Of course, two wrongs don't make a right, so observing that prior administrations thought a link possible doesn't absolve this administration of wrongdoing--if they knew a link was nonexistent but claimed one regardless; in other words, if they deliberately misled the populace about the issue. The Memory Hole thinks they did just that
What they unambiguously admitted is that there is no connection between Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden/al Qaeda. You may recall that bin Laden and al Qaeda are officially blamed for hatching, plotting, and carrying out the 9/11 attacks. That's who the British reporter was referring to. Now the President and Prime Minister have said there is no link between them and the government of Iraq. Could it be any simpler?
And that's a wrap, right? But here's what the reporter asked
Q One question for you both. Do you believe that there is a link between Saddam Hussein, a direct link, and the men who attacked on September the 11th?
THE PRESIDENT: I can't make that claim.
THE PRIME MINISTER: That answers your question.
I have cut it off just where The Memory Hole did; apparently those earnest seekers after truth would prefer you not read the Prime Minister's response in its entirety. Blair continues:
The one thing I would say, however, is I've absolutely no doubt at all that unless we deal with both of these threats, they will come together in a deadly form. Because, you know, what do we know after September the 11th? We know that these terrorists networks would use any means they can to cause maximum death and destruction. And we know also that they will do whatever they can to acquire the most deadly weaponry they can. And that's why it's important to deal with these issues together.
Again: Note the reporter's question--
Do you believe that there is a link between Saddam Hussein, a direct link, and the men who attacked on September the 11th?
You find me a world leader who'd claim such a thing without notarized correspondence between Atta and Hussein right there in his hot little hands, and I'll show you your liar. It isn't Bush.
It's a crazy question. Must we assume that there needs to be a direct link between the September 11 hijackers and Saddam Hussein before we consider any action against Hussein Iraq? Or can we consider Mr. Blair's argument? No, we cannot. He's President Bush's lapdog only, don't you know.
Here's how I understand the rationale being put forward by Mr. Blair in this press conference, GOD FORGIVE ME FOR LYING:
Al Qaeda attacks, but doesn't produce the means to attack themselves. They're the actors. They didn't blow up the World Trade Center and the Pentagon with their own weapons; they used existing technology to their own wicked purposes. That's their modus operandi.
With a group like that loose in the world--one that attacks using material produced by others--it is reasonable to try to thwart their plans by limiting the activity of hostile producers; that is, entities which create the materials and are also antagonistic towards Al Qaeda's favored targets.
Saddam Hussein fit that bill.
That's one reason I think we invaded Iraq. There are other theories, of course. Here's the difference: I don't read those other theories and pronounce them "ALL LIES."
Enough! Moving on, our intrepid commenter says:
I do not know how anyone can justify the fact that George Bush’s daughters are not volunteering to join the armed services and do their duty in this “noble” cause
Yes, it's that perennial favorite, the chickenhawk argument--illegitimate offspring of the ad hominem tu quoque and the false dilemma.
And no, I don't know how this commenter can justify the fact that he or she is not volunteering to move to France and do his or her duty to pacifism in the noble antiwar efforts. Do you?
I can plainly understand the arguments for staying in Iraq until some kind of order can be reimposed on that sad country, but believe that there are rational and persuasive arguments to the contrary.
Then make them!
Given the history of this fiasco,
It is taken as given that the intervention in Iraq is a "fiasco."
Tell it to Mohammed, addressing Cindy Sheehan:
Ma'am, we asked for your nation's help and we asked you to stand with us in our war and your nation's act was (and still is) an act of ultimate courage and unmatched sense of humanity.
Our request is justified, death was our daily bread and a million Iraqi mothers were expecting death to knock on their doors at any second to claim someone from their families.
Your face doesn't look strange to me at all; I see it everyday on endless numbers of Iraqi women who were struck by losses like yours.
Our fellow country men and women were buried alive, cut to pieces and thrown in acid pools and some were fed to the wild dogs while those who were lucky enough ran away to live like strangers and the Iraqi mother was left to grieve one son buried in an unfound grave and another one living far away who she might not get to see again.
We did nothing to deserve all that suffering, well except for a dream we had; a dream of living like normal people do.
Or tell it to countless others. Even when they are down
I lost nearly all the optimism I had regarding the future of Iraq, it's now a battle zone, everybody wants to try his arms or see the 'paradise' comes to Iraq with a welcome on the borders and a push behind the borders.They are not out
I see everybody is dying ..losing friends..losing hope..and I would lose myself if I stayed there..
We want to live…
We want to build our lives..
We want to build a future to our children..
Will they leave us do that?
And will others really help us?
Incidentally, "Will they leave us to do that?" isn't a question directed at the evil babykilling coalition forces. It's directed at fundamentalist Muslims
One might say that those fundamentalists do not represent Islam and they are only a small group..blah..blah..blah..
So why there are a lot of their silent supporters in many Islamic and Arabic countries and others who feel proud of OBL and Zarqawi..I watched religious men and political analysts on the TV who stand side by side with those terrorists and give them the right to do whatever they do.
Hey..Muslims: Sunnis…Salafis..Wahhabis…etc..from those who keep a beard full of ……… just wake up..you are destroying us and destroying yourselves, stop inspiring morale among your brainwashed guys to kill.. we are human beings..do you know what is the meaning of human beings? I doubt it.
Or just read Riverbend
, The Only Iraqi Blogger Ever to Tell the Truth, Ever EVER.
Back to the truthseeker:
I believe that, in questions of judgement, those who oppposed this pathetically misbegotten war should be given the benefit of the doubt.
This is of course contingent on accepting the commenter's premise that the war is a "fiasco." Because it so evidently is a fiasco, runneth the argument like so much diarrhea, those who opposed it should be given "the benefit of the doubt."
Do you mean . . . are you asking for . . . a pass?
Do you know where this kind of thinking begins? School:
I know I got all the answers wrong, but I worked all the problems and I showed all my work and this test was really hard/I was out sick/my grandfather died/your pantsuit had chalk smears and scared me . . . so can't I get at least a B?
You go looking for answers, having previously made up your mind to believe not one of them. Now you want the benefit of the doubt.
You know something, I'm done trying to construct any arguments; I can't handle that level of arrogance.
So go fuck yourself.
UPDATE: Or maybe Jeff's commenter is right. After all, I did just get a hit from this location.
That totally proves Bush lied.
UPDATE II: And remember: Having the right party affiliation means never having to say you're full of shit, as Cassandra's finding out.
Posted by Ilyka at August 17, 2005 11:20 PM
in hell is other people
damn, girl, remind me not to piss you off
Everyone always says that and I don't get it. I don't think I'm that mean.
Although I guess I could have dispensed with the go-fuck-yourself, but honestly, by that time I was outta patience. Completely.
no, i didn't mean you were mean, i mean you took him to the cleaners. cleaned his clock, so to speak.
No, you're not mean. You are direct and you don't mince words. You're like the Ginzu Knife of the blogging world :)
Well, as a young undersexed computing nerd, you've dispatched with that ruffian in a way that, combined with the fact that you have two X chromosomes, has earned you the following reactions from me.
1. Marriage proposals, out of the blue.
2. The old standby "r u rly a chik? got pix?"
3. The general sorts of semi-flirtatious, yet ultimately harmless, friendly "sucking up" (nmiaow) of the usual undersexed nerds toward women.
Ahem. Excellent work. And I was in PW debating that fellow.
Sometimes you are the sweetest, Jeff, especially considering you started it. I'm just harvesting a little grist for the mill from the fertile protein wisdom cornfields, or something.
(Or are you merely trying to sell me l0ve p1lls? That's what the last guy who said "great post" wanted and I'm still awaiting my shipment.)
That was sooo good that, if I still smoked, I'd be lighting up in post-fiskal bliss. I'm still tingling.
Did you ever know that you're my hero?
You are the wind beneath my wings.
You know, speaking of love p1lls, I've just received a... er... ahem, 'fresh batch,' if you will, and...
You got the insomnia again, Margi? Have the colds cleared up at Chez Lowry yet?
You are the wind beneath my wings
Cripes, I knew I'd pay dearly for that Mykynzy/Dylyn remark . . . I just didn't calculate the price at "Bette Midler warbling through my head for days on end."
You know, speaking of love p1lls
You also are most sweet, OHNOES, but I gots the hookup already, so I'll have to pass.
Granted that hookup is 700 miles away at present, and what he doesn't know won't--oh hey there honey, didn't see you come in.
Ooh! I like that...
Ilyka Damen, The Ginsu Blogger.
Yeah, that's got definite legs.
Ilyka Damen, The Ginsu Blogger.
Yeah, that's got definite legs.
I'm too neurotic even to write thank-you notes, and you want to give me sharp objects.
That ain't too bright there, Jim.
Excuse me, but is that all you got?
A series of debunked tales of Al Quaeda connections, of disregarded outright lies about the WMD ("We know where the WMD are", they're in and around Baghdad, to the east, north, south and west, somewhat), utterly ignoring the fact that there were weapons inspectors in Iraq who were finding nada right up until the time that our Dear Leader warned them to leave or get the shit blown out of them, ignoring the utter moral nihilism of supporting a war that you yourself would not fight, and suggesting that I was asking for a "pass" when in fact I was pointing out that people with your views have already demonstrated alarmingly poor judgment and have therefore lost any persuasive weight they might otherwise be granted simply as fellow citizens. Forgive me if I find your views unpersuasive.
Excuse me, but is that all you got?
I don't think you know where you are, son.
A series of debunked tales of Al Quaeda connections,
That's a pleasingly vague way to refer to the part where I say not only has Bush declined to claim a direct link, but that a direct link is irrelevant:
Must we assume that there needs to be a direct link between the September 11 hijackers and Saddam Hussein before we consider any action against Hussein's Iraq? Or can we consider Mr. Blair's argument?of disregarded outright lies about the WMD ("We know where the WMD are", they're in and around Baghdad, to the east, north, south and west, somewhat),
I want you to do something you've so far demonstrated little ability to do now: I want you to reason this out.
You've got an administration. Leading a war. That's meeting some international resistance, as well as some domestic. And yours is an administration serving post-Watergate. You've seen one president run out of office for lying already in your lifetime. And the guy before you had a close call with that very issue himself.
Given all that--given that you know what the consequences of getting caught in a lie are--what are the odds you set out deliberately to tell one?
Now I realize in your world George H.W. Bush is an arrogant "fortunate son" who's so colossally arrogant that he just might think he could overtly lie--and not just any old lie but a lie about the need for war, a lie that sends thousands to die for it--because, you know, his daddy! The NeoCons! Or some other ill-defined conspiratorial force--Skull and Bones!--will protect him from the consequences.
And you know, I can see why some people want to view it that way: Because it's flattering to them. It makes them into heroes without them actually having to do anything heroic. It makes them into brave underdogs against Big Oil, Big Privilege, Big Money. It makes them the exclusive purveyors of truth, justice, and the American Way.
But that script is not reasonable. It's delusional.
As for Rumsfeld, his "we know" was based on the intelligence gathered at that time, which "we know" now was faulty.
That's not the same as lying.
utterly ignoring the fact that there were weapons inspectors in Iraq who were finding nada right up until the time that our Dear Leader warned them to leave or get the shit blown out of them,
I love how you automatically assume the credibility of the weapons inspectors to be impeccable and the credibility of the Bush Administration to be nonexistent.
Very convenient. It's fortunate that anything U.N.-sponsored is always completely legitimate.
We disagreed with their findings. Again, that's not lying.
ignoring the utter moral nihilism of supporting a war that you yourself would not fight,
Honey, do you know what "nihilism" means?
1 a : a viewpoint that traditional values and beliefs are unfounded and that existence is senseless and useless b : a doctrine that denies any objective ground of truth and especially of moral truths
2 a (1) : a doctrine or belief that conditions in the social organization are so bad as to make destruction desirable for its own sake independent of any constructive program or possibility (2) capitalized : the program of a 19th century Russian party advocating revolutionary reform and using terrorism and assassination b : TERRORISM
As for "would not fight," there you go assuming again. Not that it's relevant; one does not have to be a soldier to have an opinion about the necessity (or not) of warfare in a representative republic such as ours.
when in fact I was pointing out that people with your views have already demonstrated alarmingly poor judgment
And you've backed that claim up with . . . ?
Say what you will about how "unpersuasive" you find my arguments; I can, at least, make the effort to support them.
and have therefore lost any persuasive weight they might otherwise be granted simply as fellow citizens.
I do not expect my arguments to carry ANY weight simply because the person to whom I make them is a "fellow citizen."
I expect them to carry weight because I have made them convincingly and supported them with facts.
It's perhaps a pity you find them "unpersuasive," but it's hardly surprising, given that you have refused to address any of them. You've just chanted "he lied, he lied, HE LIED" all over again. One might think you'd get tired of that after awhile, but then again, it IS easier than taking the time to do a little research and refute statements objectively.
Ilyka, I just thought this was perfect:
"Al Qaeda attacks, but doesn't produce the means to attack themselves. They're the actors. They didn't blow up the World Trade Center and the Pentagon with their own weapons; they used existing technology to their own wicked purposes. That's their modus operandi.
With a group like that loose in the world--one that attacks using material produced by others--it is reasonable to try to thwart their plans by limiting the activity of hostile producers; that is, entities which create the materials and are also antagonistic towards Al Qaeda's favored targets."
You've just said more lucidly what I've been thinking since 9/11.
Listen, dear, no matter how loudly you shout "YOU SAID THEY LIED THEY LIED THEY LIED", it doesn't change anything at all. I admittedly use shorthand when I write these comments because, frankly, I get tired of reading other people's windy bullshit, and prefer a briefer form of expression. But I do so making the assumption that we have some shared information on which we can base a shorthand conversation. I don't intend to sit here and argue with you over what the facts are--it's clear from your comments concerning Rumsfeld and the UN inspectors above that you will manage to pretend the facts are other than they are in any case.
However, I will assert that I do in fact know what "nihilism" means--for now, let's use your definition above: "a doctrine that denies any objective ground of truth and especially of moral truths"--and I assert that chickenhawks (who are perfectly willing to fight a war as long as someone else does the fucking dying and then seem to expect that their mindless opinions should be given serious consideration) are guilty of nihilism. They do not believe in moral truths, because if they did, they couldn't stand to sit in their own putrid bad air. The moral truth is that someone really doesn't have any excuse for not joining up if that someone is young and healthy and believes in the mission in Iraq enough to go blustering around making offensive comments about grieving mothers or others who happen to disagree with them--especially right now when the military desperately needs more soldiers. To pretend that you (or our hypothetical chickenhawk) does not simply believe that his life is more valuable than the poor schmucks who are being held hostage in the military and that, therefore, they should take all the risks and he should continue to pursue his career is just simply immoral. If you deny that and continue to imply that you are not a "nihilist" then I can only conclude that your idea of morality is from an alternate universe to the one in which I live. I prefer to give you the benefit of the doubt, however, and therefore conclude that you are, in fact, a nihilist.
Listen, dear, no matter how loudly you shout "YOU SAID THEY LIED THEY LIED THEY LIED", it doesn't change anything at all.
Lucky for me, then, that my readers have this skill we like to call "reading comprehension," so they can clearly see that I haven't done that.
Bear in mind that every time you neglect to address what I actually did say, they can comprehend that, too.
Keep on diggin'.
I don't intend to sit here and argue with you over what the facts are--it's clear from your comments concerning Rumsfeld and the UN inspectors above that you will manage to pretend the facts are other than they are in any case.
CITE. Where have I pretended away any facts? Did I not respond to your Rumsfeld quote? And:
In comments Sept. 10 before the National Press Club, Rumsfeld conceded that he may have overreached. "I said, 'We know they're in that area," Rumsfeld said. "I should have said, 'I believe we're in that area. Our intelligence tells us they're in that area,' and that was our best judgment."
Sounds like he admitted the fuckup, so what's the problem? Not "confessional" enough for ya?
To this day, you can't get Clinton to admit he did not take the threat of Bin Laden seriously enough; here he is in August 2005:
“I always thought,” [Clinton] says, “that bin Laden was a bigger threat than the Bush administration did....”
“I also wish,” he continues, “I desperately wish, that I had been president when the FBI and CIA finally confirmed, officially, that bin Laden was responsible for the attack on the U.S.S. Cole. Then we could have launched an attack on Afghanistan early. I don’t know if it would have prevented 9/11, but it certainly would have complicated it.”
And here's Mr. Tough-on-Terror tying the hands of the CIA in 1997
. . . every CIA official interviewed on this topic by the Commission, from DCI Tenet to the official who actually briefed the agents in the field, told us they heard a different message [than to kill Bin Laden] . . . CIA senior managers, operators, and lawyers uniformly said that they read the relevant authorities signed by President Clinton as instructing them to try to capture Bin Ladin, except in the defined contingency. They believed that the only acceptable context for killing Bin Ladin was a credible capture operation.
“We always talked about how much easier it would have been to kill him,” a former chief of the UBL Station said.
Nonetheless I am sure that Bill v.2005 is the correct version, because I have never known Bill Clinton to lie. Not he!
Yet let a Republican mention any dishonesty on Clinton's part--dishonesty more provable than that Bush is accused of--and it's, "Oh, you Clinton-obsessed little wingnuts." Ad hominem: It wasn't invented by the left, just perfected by it.
I assert that chickenhawks (who are perfectly willing to fight a war as long as someone else does the fucking dying and then seem to expect that their mindless opinions should be given serious consideration)
First of all, thanks for assigning the status of mental defective to half the country. That's mighty liberal of ya.
Second of all, the United States is not, nor has ever been, a military dictatorship. By your rules--and my God, but this has been debunked over and over and over again, so much so that the more reasonable members of the antiwar crowd know better by now than to rely on el halcón de pollo--but by your rules, you, I, and every other nonmember of the military should not have a vote FOR war, nor against it; FOR increased military spending, nor against it; FOR a draft, nor against it; and that country, I think, is not one you really want to live in. I think you like having a say in how things are run, and I know I do.
Are you against equal representation and free speech, then? Against democracy?
The "chickenhawk" argument is dishonest. It is dishonest because the principle of republicanism is based on freedom of choice about behavior (as long as that behavior is legal) as well as freedom of speech about political issues. We constantly vote on activities with which we may or may not be intimately involved. We vote on police policy, though few of us are policemen; we vote on welfare policy, though few of us either work in the welfare bureaucracy or have been on welfare; we vote on tax policy, even if some of us don't pay taxes. The list goes on and on. Representative democracy necessarily means that millions of us vote on issues with which we have had little practical experience. The "chickenhawk" argument -- which states that if you haven't served in the military, you can't have an opinion on foreign policy -- explicitly rejects basic principles of representative democracy.
Michael Moore's own definition of chickenhawk is particularly rank
A person enthusiastic about war, provided someone else fights it;
There are numerous military bloggers who would
fight it and have
fought it, who support the war; I myself support it and would fight it, if I thought the military were dying to recruit a 36 year-old woman who's never fired a gun in her life; I do not think that they are.
But you can't just chickenhawk your way out of arguing with the milbloggers which, I suspect, is why you're over here and not over at the Indepundit, or Baldilocks, or Blackfive, or Greyhawk.
Mr. Moore's definition implies that my opinion on the war would change were I "forced" to fight it myself. Perhaps his opinions are that fluid; mine are not, and he has no business assuming them to be so.
The moral truth is that someone really doesn't have any excuse for not joining up if that someone is young and healthy and believes in the mission in Iraq enough to go blustering around making offensive comments about grieving mothers or others who happen to disagree with them--especially right now when the military desperately needs more soldiers.
The moral truth is that someone who values human life really doesn't have any excuse for supporting the millions of abortions performed in this country each year--especially right now when so many women are struggling to adopt internationally for the dearth of infants available domestically.
You agree, of course, right? I mean, it's the moral truth!
In the opinion of some.
I thought the whole point of being against the Bush Administration was to oppose theocracy. Silly me.
To pretend that you (or our hypothetical chickenhawk) does not simply believe that his life is more valuable than the poor schmucks who are being held hostage in the military and that, therefore, they should take all the risks and he should continue to pursue his career is just simply immoral.
That's why I'm always blown away by the countless thousands of posts I read on antiwar blogs praising our military, right? Because the antiwar crowd does NOT believe their lives are more valuable. That's only we dumb nihilistic chickenhawks.
Oh, but it's okay, because you don't support this war! So you don't HAVE to hide the fact that you think your pacifist lives are more valuable than . . . why, than anyone's!
I have seen some classic examples of projection in my time, but this does beat all.
I do not think my life is "more valuable." I think my life is as a citizen of the United States, in which country I am blessed with a government prohibited from denying me freedom of speech.
If you deny that and continue to imply that you are not a "nihilist"
Let's get this clear straightaway: You will not come to my web site and set up conditionals that cannot be met save by conceding your, ah, "arguments"--more properly, your ad hominem slurs, which is what this chickenhawk/moral nihilist business is, you know--and demand that I meet them.
You do not have that authority over me. Were you to leave off the ad hominem, crutch of the inexperienced debater, and engage in actual argument, you might find yourself winning a few points; but my patience with the name-calling is waning, and adding demands on top of that is a bad idea.
That I've granted you the license to comment here will have to suffice. Know that it can be revoked at any time.
Will you marry me?
*Coughcough* Ahem, excuse me.
Anyway, do you have a spot open for a groupie? Or, at the very least, a creepy stalker?
That's indirectly saying, "Great work, Ilyka."
man, this takes me back.
ilyka, i'd like to quote you from a comment you left on my previous site when i spent way too much time arguing with some nutbar:
Okay, Doctor--you mayn't have any verbal debating skills, but you definitely have more patience than I do, because I would have told "hmmm" to piss up a rope by now.
looks like we've traded places on the patience bit :P
Well then. None of your peremptory (and dishonest) rebuttals to my comments are in the least convincing. You focus on debating skills and ignore the substance through misdirection. But you are right about one thing when you say: "You will not come to my web site."
Hey folks, give it up, he's read Dune, so he knows all about the way things are Run Behind the Scenes.
Ilyka rebutted every one of your fallacies. You lose. Embarking on a career of Tu Quoque at this point is not a winning proposition.
Did some secret command recently come down from Lefty Central to really flog the "chickenhawk" idea? 'Cause I've been seeing it pushed a lot in the past 2 weeks or so by myriad Angry, Angry Leftists.
"How often it is that the angry man rages denial of what his inner self is telling him."
-The Collected Sayings of Muad'Dib by the Princess Irulan
The Duelfer Report, with which I'm sure Mister "Fear is the Mindkiller" nitwit is not the least bit familiar, made it crystal clear that not even Saddam's own generals realized he was bluffing about the WMDs. So if Saddam managed to convince even the highest-ranking military officials in his regime that he had a stockpile of chemical weapons ready to use against the Coalition, how the HELL were we supposed to know otherwise?? Especially when we had virtually NO human intelligence assets in Iraq...almost all our information came from dissidents who hadn't operated in Iraq for years, or from remote surveillance.
Kudos to you Ilyka. You have skads more patience than I do.
The central flaw in Ilyka's reasoning is the unstated assumption that there is this objective, fixed, organic set of conclusions called "our intelligence," and our policy makers, such as Bush and Cheney, do nothing other than have this "intelligence" handed to them to review and they then make decisions based on it. Thus, if "our intelligence" was flawed, and Bush and Cheney made decisions based on it, then how can anyone possibly blame them for that? Isn't that the crux of the defense here?
In fact, "our intelligence" on the state of Iraqi weapon capability prior to the war was anything but fixed. There were ongoing struggles and vigorous disputes at every level of the intelligence community regarding these questions, with scores of intelligence analysts insisting that Iraq and its weaspons capabilities were no threat. The findings - or lack thereof - of the UN weapons inspectors prior to the war certainly bolstered the view that Iraq's weapons capaibilities were far less than the Administration, based on this "intelligence," was claiming them to be.
During these ongoing disputes, intelligence analysts complained, again and again, that their intelligence debates were being shaped, manipulated, prodded and cajoled by the very policy makers who wanted to invade Iraq. Rather than awaiting the outcome of the intelligence debates in order to make decisions about whether to invade Iraq, they had ALREADY decided to invade Iraq, and then set out to ensure that the intelligence conclusions supported and justified this pre-existing desire. If that is true, then blaming the "flawed intelligence" for this invasion is hardly compelling.
Having said that, this doesn't mean it was the wrong choice to invade Iraq. I happen to think that Ilyka's summary of the rationale for doing so is quite compelling - that post-9/11, our primary responsibility (after whatever direct attacks we could launch against Al Qaeda itself) was to deny Al Qaeda access to significant weapons, and it was certainly rational to fear that Saddam's hatred of the U.S. would outweigh whatever tension existed between the Baathists and Al Qaeda, rendering it necessary to eliminate Iraq's weapons capability so as to deny Al Qaeda access to it.
But that line of reasoning justifies the invasion only if the Administration really did believe that the intelligence reflected a likelihood that Saddam had WMDs - as opposed to purposely twisting the intelligence to reflect this conclusion in order to justify a war which the Administration had a desire to wage even PRIOR TO 9/11, let alone prior to reviewing the updated intelligence on this question.
There seems to be no doubt that the Administration wanted a war with Iraq even before 9/11. The Administration was filled with people in influential positions who publicly advocated such an attack long before 9/11. When you combine this fact with the fact that the intelligence - as it ended up looking AFTER it was molded and shaped by the same policy makers who wanted a war - was so very wrong, blaming the inanimate, pre-existing "intelligence" for the misjudgments of the Administration seems to be quite a sleight of hand.
It's like some doctor who misdiagnoses a patient; then botches the operation he performs on the patient to treat the patient of a disease he never had; and then turns around and blames the misdiagnosis for the botched operation, as though it existed independent of him ("It's not my fault I performed and fucked up the operation; the patient was misdiagnosed (by me)."
There is no question that the U.S. has suffered a serious blow to its foreign policy credibility as a result of insisting to the world that we were so sure that Iraq had WMDs that we had to invade the country and kill lots of people, only to find out that we were so wrong. Isn't it time to acknowledge that and take responsibility for it, rather than reflexively reaching for every possible expulpating defense you can find?