Son of the Missing Nukes
Fair enough - he didn't say that, and the quote was clearly taken out of context. What he said was that wmd's were only one of many reasons, but that it was the easiest case to make, for various reasons, (he cites bureaucratic agreement.) That appears to confirm the second theory I wrote about a few weeks ago. As it was one of the two I thought most likely, I'm not shocked to hear that the war wasn't primarily about wmd's. (The other was that it wasn't about wmd's at all, which there's nothing so far to indicate.)
But let's not forget that this is, after all, new information, and it is an admission. Leading up to the war, wmd's were the only rationale Bush gave for attacking Iraq. I didn't believe it then, and neither did most bloggers, who supported the war for a whole range of reasons. But the fact remains that this was what he claimed, it was the official reason for going to war, and it was only partly true.
Does this matter? By itself, not much, but it does when combined with the failure to prove that Iraq constituted a nuclear threat. Several European leaders went out of their way, against their own national opinion, to support the war on Iraq. Trusting the American claims, they used the threat of wmd's to defend their support. If it turns out that the threat was far smaller than claimed, and that the US knowingly mislead the world about both their motivations and about what they knew, this will embarass these pro-American leaders at home. Is that a good way, morally and tactically, to treat your allies?
As for myself, I remain undecided, and I refuse to be distracted from the core issue: What exactly did they know, and why exactly did they go to war?
Michael Farris | 2003-05-31 19:25 | Link
Isn't that special?
Gill Doyle | 2003-05-31 20:11 | Link
That we have not yet discovered significant stores of WMD concerns me, but not overly. I am willing to wait awhile longer.
I, too, supported the war for other reasons. I was never convinced that Hussein ever intended to share his chemical/biological weapons with groups like al Quaeda. I never believed that he possessed nuclear weapons and thought that Powell's case for an Iraqi nuclear weapons program was weak.
I am surprised, though, that we have not found chemical or biological weapons. My guess is that the American administration is also surprised. If it turns out that the Iraqis had no such weapons (I just can't believe that) or destroyed those weapons in the lead-up to the war, then I would say that America will have to look real hard at its intelligence services.
Courtney, Texas | 2003-05-31 20:58 | Link
Concerning your comment about strong public opinion against the war: Am I mistaken, or didn't Spain's Prime Minister just win re-election? If the people are so against him, why did they re-elect him?
Bjørn Stærk | 2003-05-31 22:30 | Link
Courtney: Not according to this, (the election is next March):
In any case, I don't know anything about Spanish politics, so I don't know how voters will react, but I do know that they were strongly against the war. A quick search turns up that 80% of the people were against - that's slightly higher than in Norway, which didn't support it.
Even in Eastern Europe the only majority in favor was found in Romania:
Though the article says that "the discrepancy between government statements of support for the United States and antiwar feelings among the public can be explained by the fact that people in the region do not display a passionate interest in developments in the Middle East and Iraq" -- that can't be said for Western Europe. Even in countries that didn't support the war, like Norway and Sweden, there were fringe parties who did, (Progress Party in Norway, the Liberal People's Party in Sweden). They too may have a wmd absence (or wmd scandal) used against them.
Scott, Tallinn, Estonia | 2003-05-31 23:01 | Link
I refuse to accept, without evidence, that Bush would knowingly mislead the public on an issue of this magnitude. More likely, if the weapons can't be found, the are not nearly as numerous as they thought, or they were destroyed in the last months.
One more thing; I thought the thinnest part of Powell's presentation at the UN was Iraq's to Al-Qaeda. Documents found and published by the Brit newspapers have shown there was a definate connection since '94. That can't be overlooked.
Michael Wagner Detroit MI USA | 2003-05-31 23:51 | Link
I seem to recall reading of a meeting where PM Blair told his European colleagues something like, "all of your intelegence agencies know that Iraq has WMDs." I don't recall any of them standing up and saying, "news to us!" At this point, saying that there are no WMDs because we haven't found them is like saying there is no Saddam because we haven't found him. In the US, they just caught a pyscho-bomber who's been hiding in the North Carolina hills for years. As for the emphasis that was put on WMDs leading up to the war; it's not like one can go to the UN and say we want you to support getting rid of dangerous dictators.
Markku Nordstrom, New York/Helsinki | 2003-06-01 03:36 | Link
I'm puzzled by this reaction from various quarters. I feel that there are several factors that are being ignored, and I wonder why people choose to ignore them?
Rather than go through all the evidence, circumstantial and not so circumstantial, it's more worthwhile to concentrate on this feeling of seeming betrayal. (Though I will still maintain that the labs-on-wheels are all the evidence that is needed. One quart produced on those labs could kill tens of thousands in the subways of New York, London, Paris, Tokyo...)
I remember personally feeling, in the lead up to the war since the Axis of Evil speech, that WMD's were not the main reason (other countries have them), but the fact that the Axis consisted of countries who openly declared: "Death to America!", and were lead by people who were driven to carry out this threat. This could not be allowed to stand. If our enemies threaten our destruction, that is enough for action.
People will say that countries have wished for the death of America for years, and there have been leaders of banana republics and whatnot that have publicly declared that. Well, perhaps it's time to put a stop to such utterances. Perhaps it's time for America to speak softly, but swing that big stick. Public declarations calling for our destruction will cause a reaction. End of argument.
As to misleading our European allies regarding our motivations, I don't understand what all the flap is about. Europeans maintain, after all, that anti-Americanism is wholly justified. I think it is not. In fact, I think it is rather hypocritical of Europeans to condemn confrontational, warlike statements amongst themselves and America, yet condone countries that call for the death of America. Given allies like that, it is really not necessary to respect their point of view... it's only necessary to keep a close eye on them.
There are friends of America in Europe (just like our friend Bjorn here), but they are a small minority, and cannot be counted on to have much influence in countries where anti-Americanism is a state-supported preoccupation. We might lose and alienate a few friends along the way, but it's still more necessary to take strong action against our enemies, whatever the means.
Do I feel that the Bush Administration misled the American people? No. I know that the American public (not counting the vocal left) has woken up from a self-induced sleep, and is behaving exactly like Americans behave when they are angry. There was not much persuasion necessary to convince America that a radical new alternative was necessary against our enemies in the Middle East and the Muslim world. The end justified the means. And what I like about that is that it is, exactly, something the world should be concerned about.
ct | 2003-06-01 07:05 | Link
There's an assumption in these accusations that the U.S. had the perceptive powers of God prior to invasion regarding what they could concretely know regarding Iraq's WMD capabilities. Saddam used these kinds of weapons to kill thousands of Kurds. He was known to have programs to develop even more deadly WMDs. A statement needed to be made regarding these outlaw Islamic nations that are sympathetic to terrorists and aiding terrorists.
The idiocy in this accusations of 'lying about WMDs' is.......predictable. Just not from people who in the past have given people a sense that they know better.
Courtney, Texas | 2003-06-01 07:18 | Link
Thanks for the info, Bjørn. Now I can't remember on whose site I read that. I feel for those politicians, but I concur with those who say Bush did not intend to mislead (if there was any misleading - wmd may yet be found). What possible gain is to be made by going to war over very vocal protest, knowing that there are no wmd? Bush is not an idiot.
Gary Utter | 2003-06-01 08:18 | Link
Bush gave numerous reasons for the invasion of Iraq beyond WMDs. WMDs were the main reason, the BIG item, yes. But one reason for that was that everyone KNEW that Saddam had WMDS. There was no doubt about that anywhere. The French, the Germans, even the LIBERALS didn't argue that he didn't have WMDs.
But Bush also cited Saddams support of terrorsim, and if he could not (at the time) prove an Al Queda connection, he didn't have to prove that Saddam was publicly supporting Hamas, Hezbollah and similar known terrorist organizations, as well as making cash payments to the familys of suicide bombers.
This is pretty simple, if you support terrorism, you have two choices, change your ways and oppose terrorism or get right with your God, because you are going to die.
Debi C, Washington State | 2003-06-01 08:24 | Link
I don't really agree with your statement, "Leading up to the war, wmd's were the only rationale Bush gave for attacking Iraq."
In his speech to the UN in 9/02, Bush cited several. Note at the end how he says "all":
If the Iraqi regime wishes peace, it will immediately and unconditionally forswear, disclose, and remove or destroy all weapons of mass destruction, long-range missiles, and all related material.
If the Iraqi regime wishes peace, it will immediately end all support for terrorism and act to suppress it, as all states are required to do by U.N. Security Council resolutions.
If the Iraqi regime wishes peace, it will cease persecution of its civilian population, including Shi'a, Sunnis, Kurds, Turkomans, and others, again as required by Security Council resolutions.
If the Iraqi regime wishes peace, it will release or account for all Gulf War personnel whose fate is still unknown. It will return the remains of any who are deceased, return stolen property, accept liability for losses resulting from the invasion of Kuwait, and fully cooperate with international efforts to resolve these issues, as required by Security Council resolutions.
If the Iraqi regime wishes peace, it will immediately end all illicit trade outside the oil-for-food program. It will accept U.N. administration of funds from that program, to ensure that the money is used fairly and promptly for the benefit of the Iraqi people.
If all these steps are taken, it will signal a new openness and accountability in Iraq. And it could open the prospect of the United Nations helping to build a government that represents all Iraqis -- a government based on respect for human rights, economic liberty, and internationally supervised elections.
(..and as the saying goes, "read the whole thing.")
Andrew X, USA | 2003-06-02 00:25 | Link
Kudos to Debi C. for spelling out the statements made by Bush in front of the United Nations (you know, he buried it there so no one would ever hear it.... ;-), about all the rationale beyond WMD. Wolfowitz went to to say essentially the same thing.
Allow me to submit an anology, one I came up with myself, (in my infinite wisdom), 'cause I haven't seen anyone else allude to it, but I think it's dead bang on.
We "nailed" Saddam Hussein on WMD in the same manner and for the same reasons the US Government nailed Al Capone for tax evasion. The Feds couldn't care less about Capone's taxes. But they knew there would never.. make that NEVER... be peace in Chicago as long as that murdering thug called all the shots. Everyone knew he was a murderer, but Capone was crafty enough to keep the evidence from putting him away. So the opportunity arose to convict a mass murderer for not paying his taxes, and the Feds took it and ran with it. And Capone died in jail, and the Chicago gangland wars largely dried up. (Or at least saw a major reduction in violence).
Same thing here. Yes, WMD were and are very important. But the overriding fact is not that Hussein per se threatened us, it was that Arab fascism, Baathist or Islamist, threatened us. (And they ARE ideologically and spirtually related more than many want to admit. Stalin and Trotsky loathed each other, and Germany and Japan barely spoke and considered each other racially inferior, their "Axis" nonwithstanding. Does that make one or the other a friend of democracy?)
Given that, Hussein was an iron foundation of such fascism. Would crushing him solve the problem? No, not by itself. Would the problem EVER be solved as long as he sat on his throne of skulls? No way. No possible way. A fact that seems to elude people by the millions.
Now, try to sell THAT to the UN and recalcitrant Euros and Lefties. Forget it. They are perfectly happy to march in streets on behalf of totatitarian monsters, and many have been for fifty years. Even I can see that's a lost cause from the get-go. Hence the decision to focus, in terms of the UN, on one, yes, a legitimate one, but just one, facet of the equation, the WMD.
Iraq, as Bush has said, was a battle in a larger war. Neither North Africa nor Italy harmed the US, but no one questions why we invaded them in 1942 and 1943. For that matter, even Germany's attacks on us were minor pinpricks on ships in the Atlantic. Yet we gave priority to defeating Germany over defeating Japan, who DID attack us, big time. Why? Strategy. If Germany went down, so to would Japan. To reverse that is not necessarily true. Also, to do that is to not just react to the enemy and allow him the drive wheel of the conflict, but to practively do whatever is necessary to prevail in the end.
This was about making Arab terrorists, wherever they might be, more concerned about what we will do to them (even dare I say it, in our "irrational violence") than what they will do to us.
It is unfortunate so many we thought of as "allies" are content to expect us to defend them if the s**t hits the fan, but when it comes time to return the favor, they have not even the grace to stand out of the way, but rather actively attempt to hurt us in this conflict as best they can.
We can forgive. Forgetting is a long, long ways away.
Johan, Chicago | 2003-06-02 04:04 | Link
Proves 2 points imo:
1. - Aside from the Bush-hating rabid dogs in the Europan press, anti-american sentiment is generally weak in Europe.
2. - 80% might say in a slanted poll that they were against an US/UK military action in Iraq, but that doesn't translate at the only polls that counts, the actual elections.
ct | 2003-06-02 06:10 | Link
All these comments from everybody are interesting, but Andrew X deserves to be singled out for his Al Capone insight.
Recently I derived an insight from reading Wealth of Nations. By analogy it pertains to what the U.S. needs to do - tactically/strategically - right now in Iraq. Smith talks about how Peter the Great managed to unite and develop Russia from an undeveloped (compared to the west) state, and he says he did this by making everything he did directly or indirectly contribute to the creation of a Russian standing army. In Smith's analysis (which I can't go into) a standing army in a nation that can support one supports liberty and encourages liberty and a sense of unity. Obviously he is not talking about the standing army of a dictator, but the point is before institutions of free government can be built in Iraq they need to develop a standing army (when this process of government-creation is being taken on by some force - Peter the Great, the United States - to begin with).
Anyway, read the whole thing (1,028 pages in the Modern Library edition)...
Bjørn Stærk | 2003-06-02 13:48 | Link
Too many good points here to give the replies you deserve, but I'll try:
Michael: Saudi Arabia is an enemy of the US. Having a presence in Iraq and other, friendlier Gulf countries will make it easier to deal with the Saudis, (which hopefully they intend to do). That Bush has done exactly what bin Laden wanted is irrelevant and coincidental.
Scott: Like you, I refuse to believe, without evidence, that the wmd intelligence was made up, but I also refuse to accept, without evidence, that Iraq was a nuclear threat. I accept that it was likely, based on what we non-intelligence people had reason to believe, but now we need hard proof. And between those two possibilities - proven lies or proven truth - there is a wide gray area open for speculation. It's that gray area I'm in right now.
Markku: There's no feeling of betrayal on my part - yet. As I said, I didn't think it was all about wmd's. What Wolfowitz says in that interview seems perfectly sensible to me.
I don't see how you can be so flippant about the effect a wmd scandal may have on allies in Europe, though. I'm not talking about pseudo-allies like France, I'm talking about real allies, the pro-American politicians and parties that exist to some extent in all European countries, and that currently holds power in some of them. What happens to these allies matters.
And btw, if there are factors here I have forgotten, (I mean evidence), let me know.
ct: I'm not talking about omniscience, just honesty. If the US didn't have good evidence of an Iraqi nuclear program, it shouldn't have claimed that it did. As for the idiocy of accepting the possibility that an American president may have lied, well, I don't think history is on your side. Unless you were there yourself, "the politician lied" is _always_ a possible explanation.
Gary: I remember there were many who claimed that Iraq didn't have a weapons program. I'm not sure if the French and Germans said that officially, but many did.
Debi: Granted, he did mention other reasons. But wmd's were the primary one, without comparison, and nuclear weapons the (often unspoken) largest wmd threat of them all.
Andrew: Good analogy, but don't forget that the wmd theory was attempted sold not only to pseudo-allies, but to real ones, who staked their popularity and credibility on the wmd's. By itself, an admission of the obvious (wmd's weren't the primary reason) isn't bad for these allies, only in combination with a wmd scandal. If some of the evidence was manufactured or unreliable, there's a good chance there will be a scandal. That scandal will hurt people like Tony Blair, for instance, who has made himself enemies even in his own party.
Johan: Thanks for clearing that up. As for anti-Americanism in Europe, I think it exists and is widespread. The wacky left isn't very strong in Norway, for instance, but there's a mild form of anti-Americanism that is very common. It's mild, but more than mere ignorance or skepticism of foreign countries in general - it's aimed directly at the US.
Andrew X, USA | 2003-06-02 20:40 | Link
(Great blog, BTW) - Just to clarify, I would say that the WMD/Capone's taxes argument is BOTH and simultaneously cynical and valid. The point wasn't to "scam" anybody, psuedo-allies or real ones, the point was that the Security Council was essentially a "court", and thus the "prosecution" (US) needed to choose which strategy would be most effective, pursue that, and, at least in that forum, set aside arguments that, while perfectly valid, might dilute or divert attention from the central argument (WMD). In other words, had we not, our opponents might choose to ignore the WMD argument, attack other ones and "win", and thus they would emerge the victor in a political battle (reasonable doubt, etc.). I have no doubt that the UN, where Libya heads the Human Rights body (insert vomit here), would never sanction removal of Saddam on sheer viciousness alone. They never have, and too many such governments sit in high places there. And I believe they could very neatly highlight that issue (or others), vote it down, and push WMD to the backgroud. (And should they continue that, the US and UN will continue to come to blows.)
Basically, the US approached the UN like a prosecutor. Again, we drilled hard on the issue that had the most bite, and let the other ones go to the background AT THE UN, but not elsewhere. But it was the UN that everyone in the world basically focused on.
So again, for the Feds to go after Capone's taxes WAS somewhat "cynical", but effective, valid, and most importantly, necessary to the grand overall whole, which was bigger than even Capone. It was to stop the killing of innocents in the streets of Chicago. Thus the analogy.
And I believe most of those who feel "had", are those who are basically looking desperately for a reason to feel just that. I hope we find WMD, I truly do, and, if not we deserve an explanation. But their willingness to categorically dismiss all the horrors that we HAVE found out surprises me not a bit. They've been ignoring such things for decades.
(And think about it... how many who marched in the streets against this war are now surprised and horrified by Saddam's death machine? I'll bet virtually none. They knew the score. They simply did not care. They have other fish to fry. And now we know the score as well.)
Andrew X, USA | 2003-06-02 20:58 | Link
(I forgot to mention the overall result of this court case. Basically, I'd call it a hung jury, or half a victory. Given all we have seen, I think for that particular jury, that's the best result we could have gotten under any situation. A different strategy could have meant a complete loss.)
Prosecution rests, your honor.
Michael Farris | 2003-06-02 22:10 | Link
Bjørn Stærk : "Saudi Arabia is an enemy of the US."
Yes, I totally agree. In my opinion, the single most destructive enemy of the US in the world today. There are potentially bigger enemies, (like China), but Saudi Arabia is currently the champion in damaging American (and western, and humanistic and democratic) ideals in the world today.
"Having a presence in Iraq and other, friendlier Gulf countries will make it easier to deal with the Saudis, (which hopefully they intend to do)."
Hopefully is the right word, I've come across no evidence that WBush is interested in "dealing with" the Saudis (except in the sense of making deals with them).
"That Bush has done exactly what bin Laden wanted is irrelevant and coincidental."
I'll resist the temptation to let this stand on its own. Again, there's a long history of WBush (and lots of repubs and dems alike) appeasing Saudi interests and to paraphrase Matthew Yglesias, I don't understand how fighting a regional enemy of Saudi Arabia, with their (marginal, yes) help, then rewarding them by doing something they've long wanted is doing anything to 'deal with' them.
Jan Haugland, Bergen | 2003-06-03 03:05 | Link
Wow. Very good discussion, folks, and many good points.
1) Yes, the anti-americanism in Europe is troubling. Yes, you should not forget that the US has many very loyal friends in Europe, people with memory and knowledge of history. If there was an open debate of this issue, I don't doubt more people would oppose the tripe of the leftists.
Europeans have been too safe and living too softly for too long. We allowed the Americans to man our walls, and most people think this wasn't even necessary or desired. I fear there will be a big wakeup call sooner or later, and then the result will not be pretty. But perhaps it will be necessary.
2) I think the link to al-Qaeda was the weakest argument against Saddam Hussein. If the intelligence papers found were legit, it just proves some feelers, not that there was any actual cooperation. Al-Qaeda hated that baathists with a vengeance, and while it is true that the enemy of my enemy is my friend (e.g. Churchill and Roosevelt with Stalin) I have seen no credible evidence these fanatics were thinking that way. New evidence may prove me wrong, of course.
ct | 2003-06-03 09:41 | Link
Look what you've done in this response to me:
"ct: I'm not talking about omniscience, just honesty. If the US didn't have good evidence of an Iraqi nuclear program, it shouldn't have claimed that it did."
Now WMDs are reduced solely to 'nuclear program'. That was never the sole element in the definition of Weapons of mass destruction the U.S. was using. Even there, though, the evidence Iraq was pursuing a nuclear weapons program existed.
Keep in mind all this was a joke since the end of the first Gulf War. Iraq had to comply with x, y, and z; and it complied with 'h', 't', and 'ö' (and, when pressed just a little threw in some compliance with 'ķ'), all made up by Iraq themselves and all played along with by the U.N. Iraq was in no position - UP TO THE VERY END - to play the victim of unwarranted American aggression. And any defense of Iraq now using this WMD issue is not only Alice-in-Wonderland, but it is morally delinquent and reality-challenged.
Overriding everything is the fact that America had to make a show of force towards the elements within Islam that said - demonstrated - we WILL kick their a**, and we WILL take necessary casualties, and we WILL continue to kick your a** if they continue on the course they've been on. That message doesn't get sent if the U.S, doesn't go into Iraq, and Iraq fully deserved the inconvenience to its dictator and ruling party. Period.
Aleks, Lansing, Michigan/ Riga, Latvia | 2003-06-04 21:06 | Link
Wow. So many points, so little time.
WMD, in my opinion, was an important - if not THE - reason for going to war with Iraq. It was that using the existence of WMD, the Bush administration tried to "sell" to the United Nations the need for attacking Iraq. WMD was the reason why the United States seemed to have felt vunerable on the first place. And in turn, this is why, Bush over and over again said that the United States had a right to defend herself (with or without the UN). Lack of WMD doesn't "look good" as far as the United States' reputation in the world goes.
As to whether Bush lied about WMD, I don't know. History will tell. Obviously, the president doesn't make decisions like that on his own. He bases (at least should base) them of the information provided to him by his Administration. Perhaps, the information provided was flawed on the first place.
"If the Iraqi regime wishes peace, it will cease persecution of its civilian population, including Shi'a, Sunnis, Kurds, Turkomans, and others, again as required by Security Council resolutions."
Though, personal freedoms are vital when considering other reasons, I don't buy it as a reason the United States went to war with Iraq. There are many other countries were freedoms are voilated every day, should the US attack them as well? As they say, Free Tibet!!!
Aleks, Lansing, Michigan/Riga, Latvi | 2003-06-04 21:16 | Link
Along those same lines, I found this article from The Guardian.
"Asked why a nuclear power such as North Korea was being treated differently from Iraq, where hardly any weapons of mass destruction had been found, the deputy defence minister said: 'Let's look at it simply. The most important difference between North Korea and Iraq is that economically, we just had no choice in Iraq. The country swims on a sea of oil.'"
ct | 2003-06-04 22:44 | Link
That Guardian article is being gunned down all over the internet currently. Check out Instapundit and AndrewSullivan.com for starters.
If America wanted other people's oil Bjorn would have been an elector from "...the great state of Norway!!" last election...
Markku Nordstrom, New York/Helsinki | 2003-06-04 23:55 | Link
Aleks, if you are using the quote to prove that the major motivation for the US was to capture oil, then the quote doesn't succeed in that capacity. Rather, it points out that Saddam had more political leverage because it had oil: it could continue to use the temptation to those riches to buy favors from Russia and France, for example.
Not to mention Wolfowitz's main point: that Korea can be dealt with through economic sanctions much more effectively than was possible with Iraq.
This "it was all about the oil" argument is growing rather tiresome. It's time anti-war advocates hit the textbooks and study the history and economics of oil. 1987 was the turning-point: that was when George Bush, Sr., as Reagan's VP, returned from Saudi Arabia and persuaded the US government that it was in America's interest to keep the price of oil not high or low, but at a stable level - mainly to protect domestic AMERICAN producers.
That was when outright control of oil fields became pointless. It was the price of oil that mattered.
Markku Nordstrom, New York/Helsinki | 2003-06-05 02:58 | Link
I'm just catching up in the blogosphere on how much The Guardian had actually distorted Wolfowitz's original quote. But even with The Guardian's bowdlerized version I knew what Wolfowitz had meant by that quote.
The anti-war crowd seems to be desperate to find something they could latch on to in their efforts to wreak havoc on the Bush administration. Frankly, I'm still amazed at the stupendous success of George Bush. So far, so good. The only thing that really worries me now is the state of the economy, and that seems to be on the upswing, helped by the low dollar.
I'm still on track for voting for Bush in 2004. And I used to be pro-Clinton/pro-Gore.
Aleks Lansing, Michigan/Riga, Latvia | 2003-06-05 04:23 | Link
Markku: "Not to mention Wolfowitz's main point: that Korea can be dealt with through economic sanctions much more effectively than was possible with Iraq."
To put it in another way and take it to an extreme, Korean people can suffer economically because North Korea does not have the right kind of natural resources. But Iraqi people deserve to live in freedom because, they do. I must be getting it wrong.
If WMD are not found... and that's a big if... would this mean that the President lied to his people? Would this mean that he convinced his people to go to war by telling a lie, by misinterpreting the facts? I do not try to wreck havoc within the Bush administration, however, I would like the government to be responsible for its actions.
Sandy P. | 2003-06-05 05:57 | Link
You guys should start reading croooowblog.
He has some interesting stuff on it. Like an excerpt of Tony Snow's show. Seems a lot of stuff was moved out last Aug/Sept.
The Ozzies say the scuds were moved out then. Other stuff is in either Syria and/or Libya. Don't forget, how long were we beating the drums? A year? Ample time to move everything. As to Hussien and al qaeda, Saddam was the largest money-launderer in the world. Of course he's linked.
As to Wolfowitz, Latvia, get thee over to instapundit and go from there. Don't believe everything you read. alguardian must admire the NYT. After all, copying is the sincerest form of flattery! Should whack the editor's peepee!
Markku Nordstrom, New York/Helsinki | 2003-06-05 08:01 | Link
Aleks: I'm puzzled by your outburst. It seems that you advocate a US attack on North Korea. If that is so, then I wholeheartedly agree with you.
The trouble is that the US administration - so far - hasn't given clear signals that this is on the agenda. But that might be premature. We will just have to wait, hope, and see.
As to WMD's in Iraq: they have been found. You just haven't been following the news. The labs-on-wheels were enough: Iraq violated UN resolutions. The attack was justified.
People are just upset that they didn't find shiny, nuclear-tipped missiles buried in some silos in the desert. It wasn't going to be that sexy. Science has made WMDs so innocuous, as to be almost unnoticeable.
But I'm sure that lefties are going to be downplaying the labs-on-wheels. Perhaps the reason they do this has a lot to do with the psychology of conspiracy theories: if reality does not fit the ideology we espouse, then there has to be a conspiracy at play, concocted by our opponents.
ct | 2003-06-05 09:08 | Link
"People are just upset that they didn't find shiny, nuclear-tipped missiles buried in some silos in the desert. It wasn't going to be that sexy. Science has made WMDs so innocuous, as to be almost unnoticeable."
coupled with Sandy's point about how long we banged the drums of war prior to the invasion thus allowing Saddam to either hide or send things to Syria
SAYS IT ALL.
ps- Add this:
"As to WMD's in Iraq: they have been found. You just haven't been following the news. The labs-on-wheels were enough: Iraq violated UN resolutions. The attack was justified."
Now: everybody reading this blog comment thread is tuned in with reality, and it is just our job now to go out into the world and tell the 6 billion other people of the planet... Or...maybe they already know, and this is just alot of delinquent games played by the left like what they did during the Reagan adminstration, and it didn't matter then either...
Jan Haugland, Bergen | 2003-06-05 14:28 | Link
I just wrote an exposure in my blog of the Guardian article, and also how it was first propagated and then partially retracted in Norwegian media (after I sent emails around which may or may not have influenced it; I got a reply from Aftenposten).
I see now that most of the work I did tracing the Wolfowitz "oil" misquotation to Germany had already been done in some other blogs, but at least we came to the same conclusion.
Aleks, Lansing, Michigan/Riga, Latvia | 2003-06-05 15:03 | Link
I would gladly support a US attack on North Korea, as well as Iran, Pakistan, belarus, Turkmenistan, Zimbabwe, Congo, Myanmar, China or any other country that does not democratically elect its government. Because if it is the freedom that the United States brings, then it should go all the way. Each person in these countries deserve to be free, not only those whose natural resources are immense in measure. Yet, among all of these countries, this administration picked an old enemy, Iraq, who "swims in the sea of oil". (yes, this is an old oil argument)
"As to WMD's in Iraq: they have been found. You just haven't been following the news. The labs-on-wheels were enough: Iraq violated UN resolutions. The attack was justified."
As long as we talk about violators of UN resolution, what of Israel? Should the US attack Israel, since it violated a number of UN resolutions?
Sandi, my name's Aleks, not Latvia.
Markku Nordstrom, New York/Helsinki | 2003-06-05 16:18 | Link
Aleks: Israel, to my knowledge, has never violated a Security Council resolution (the US has vetoed all of the anti-Israeli resolutions). Israel has, however, ignored General Assembly resolutions, which are non-binding.
But that is to be expected. Most of the world blames Israel unjustly for the troubles in the Middle East. "Blame it on the Jews!" That's been going on for centuries, hasn't it?
If it weren't for the US, I'm sure the Europeans would have just watched from the sidelines as the Arabs completed the age-old European fantasy of eliminating the Jews.
Jason Brubaker, Harrisburg, PA, US | 2003-06-05 16:42 | Link
It seems to me that if Bush et. al. had gone to all the trouble to make up all that stuff about WMDs, they could just as easily have announced that they had been found in Iraq. If there really is a great conspiracy to fool everyone, then they would continue the trickery, it seems to me, instead of being embarrassed.
There seems to me to be 2 options. (1) all the evidence pointed to WMDs, and somehow they actually didn't exist, and Bush is surprised, or (2) they have found some, but are waiting until the right moment to reveal it, once everybody has written it off.
What I can't forget about is those missiles equipped to carry vials of chemicals. No amount of "it was fertilizer" can explain that. We haven't heard the results of the tests on that (at least I haven't), and I think it will come out soon.
Markku Nordstrom, New York/Helsinki | 2003-06-05 19:19 | Link
Wow. The Guardian has just posted a correction on the Wolfowitz story.
Clearly, it was the blogosphere that made that happen!
Jan, Bergen | 2003-06-06 00:24 | Link
I did notice they deleted the original article, but I have not found any correction or apology- Do you have the url?
Jan, Bergen | 2003-06-06 00:29 | Link
Never mind. Found the correction here:
Sandy P. | 2003-06-06 06:40 | Link
Aleks, --As long as we talk about violators of UN resolution, what of Israel? Should the US attack Israel, since it violated a number of UN resolutions?-
Iraq was level 7(?) you must comply. Israel's level 6(?) we're shaking our fingers at you really, really hard but you don't have to do anything. UN website explains the different levels, I think.
And we found 2 chem trucks. Didn't Colin say possibly 18? Didn't Germany wonder if some of the trucks they sold Iraq could be altered?
And go read Steven den Beste. Seems Saddam was sold a bill of no goods on more than one occasion regarding nuke material.
And what about the plans for surface-to-surface missiles w/the 600 mile radius which were going into development this year except for one teeny, tiny thing? Wasn't that just in the Daily Telegraph? Or were they wrong, too?
And what about the Iraqi just arrested in Belgium for alledgedly sending possible nerve agent nasties which could be used as pesticides thru the mail? Some postal workers got sick.
Markku Nordstrom, New York/Helsinki | 2003-06-09 21:11 | Link
This is worth reading:
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