May 30, 2008

"I still happen to believe that Saddam Hussein was a threat, that he needed to be dealt with."

Tony Blair responding to Matt Lauer, who's quoting furiously from the Scott McClellan book.

99 comments:

downtownlad said...

That's right. We can ignore Bin Laden because he's meaningless and can't hurt us.

But a tinpot dictator who is powerless to harm America - that's worth losing over 4000 American lives for, not to mention causing oil to go to $130 a barrel from $20.

Glad we have our priorities straight.

George said...

Same old, same old.

The guy used WMD on his own people, invaded two countries, gave aid to terrorists, defied the UN and the US.

He had to go.

The question now is whether we strike Iran first or wait until it goes first.

If you were President, downtownlad, and you were told that the Iranians were going to deliver a dirty bomb to Hezbollah in 24 hours (containing stolen radioactive material), and it was going to use it somewhere, would you strike first or wait?

A Harry Truman moment.

You would have to strike first.

knoxwhirled said...

Saddam? he was an absolute peach

downtownlad said...

Saddam never touched America until we attacked him. But we've killed 400,000 Iraqis.

Cool.

Moose said...

Simple fact is that there was no alternative other than continuing the sanctions proposed to deal with him and the threat of WMD.

Oddly enough, Iran had started their nuclear program in response to the agression of Saddam and found the West a useful reason to continue the programs. If we had left Saddam in power, the sanctions would have run down and been dropped sooner rather than later.

Given the West's penchant for using local strongmen to deal with regional issues, I could foresee Saddam's eventual rehabilitation to counter Iran.

Funny, eh?

downtownlad said...

Actually - we should have just cut a deal with Saddam, just like we did with Quadaffi. Let him pump oil for us, end the embargo, and he proceeds to kill the Islamic terrorists such as Al Queada.

But instead of dealing with realpolitic, we elected a President who just wants to swing his big dick to show what a man he is.

Again - Bin Laden attacked us, not Saddam.

Can you just imagine what the wingnuts would be saying if Gore had left us in the same predicament we are now, with a pointless war and a collapsing economy and $4 a gallon oil?

Not impressed.

downtownlad said...

And why are we focusing on Iraq, when we have more important wars to fight - such as what kind scarf Rachel Ray is wearing.

paul a'barge said...

Is there a bigger mutt than Matt Lauer?

Oh wait. There's always downtownlad.

Joe said...

We were able to cut a deal with Qaddaffi BECAUSE we invaded Iraq and he freaked out and came begging.

Methadras said...

I'm getting my popcorn ready. Looks like DTL is on another effeminate gay frenzy again. This should be a good show.

Henry said...

DTL: Can you just imagine what the wingnuts would be saying if Gore had left us in the same predicament we are now, with a pointless war and a collapsing economy and $4 a gallon oil?

One reason I voted against Al Gore in 2000 was because he freaked out when oil reached $34 barrel and lead the plan to release oil from the strategic petroleum reserve.

Barry said...

george: You've set up a poor analogy. Your example doesn't translate to the situation of Iraq, as far as everything that's been made public about the pre-War intel shows. Even the intel that's been shown to be false wasn't as specific as your example.

The thing is, we rarely have the kind of intel that would tell us where or when or whom specifically is giving a "bomb to Hezbollah in 24 hours". When we do have that information, we do strike. Usually with a predator drone (or, in the previous decade, a cruise missle).

In your example, who, exactly, are you going to bomb? "The Iranians"? That's a rather large target.

AJ Lynch said...

DTL said "Collapsing economy".

?? Say it often enough DTL and your fondest dreams may come true!

vbspurs said...

One of the biggest knocks on Bill O'Reilly is that he uses guests or material to make the points he wants to make, whilst appearing to stay neutral in the argument.

This isn't new.

MSM have done this forever, and here we see Matt Lauer in action doing precisely that.

Scott McLelan is and was that incompetent press secretary who got the sack.

That hasn't changed, not for Republicans at least, except he's now that incompetent press secretary who got the sack and is cashing in on his revenge.

McLelan would have a lot more credibility if he had been a whistle-blower rather than a backstabber.

Cheers,
Victoria

Simon said...

I agree with DTL: closely scrutinizing Rachael Ray is a far more profitable use of time than arguing about Iraq.

Simon said...

vbspurs said...
"One of the biggest knocks on Bill O'Reilly is that he uses guests or material to make the points he wants to make, whilst appearing to stay neutral in the argument. ¶ This isn't new. ¶ MSM have done this forever, and here we see Matt Lauer in action doing precisely that."

I've termed this prevalent but insidious practice lamppost journalism.

blake said...

Trooper York would doubtless agree, Simon.

vbspurs said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
vbspurs said...

Simon, just read your post -- good analogy.

Greenhouse is the hooker waiting for her pimp to defend her so she looks innocently leaning against the lamppost.

Not your point, obviously, but a nice little visual to see us into the weekend. ;)

P.S.: I bought Steve Vogel's The Pentagon, and it's queued for Sunday. Thanks, Simon!

BTW, Ann, I'm about to buy 10 Kindle books on Amazon. Within the hour, that is.

I just clicked on your Amazon link to the right sidebar, and it was programmed for Kindle books. Great, makes my job easier. But will you get credit for all ten, or just the original one I purchased via your link?

Cheers,
Victoria

vbspurs said...

P.P.S. OT: That Amazon link must work on cookies, or it has a Magic 8 Ball since even without being signed into Amazon, it randomly selected at least 2 books authored by Slavoj Zizek.

I just bought Enjoy your Symptom! Jacques Lacan in Hollywood and Out by Zizek last night. Creepy.

Bob said...

Barry's right. We probably wouldn't get that kind of intel prior to it detonating.

So, you're the Prez and you've just been informed that the dirty bomb which has left one of your cities a smoldering wasteland had an Iranian core (and every reactor leaves a distintive chemical "fingerprint"). So do you choose to bomb Iran?

Hint: if you say Yes a very smartly dressed military aide will provide you with a targeting list and the Chairman of Joint Chiefs will walk you thru different targeting scenarios. Because when you say "Bomb Iran" the military has had guys like me develop some ideas on where & how & what's the damage estimates. 'Cause its a big country with a bunch of targets....

Ralph said...

Victoria, you asked about circumcision in the other thread. It really began when Teddy Roosevelt's "Speak softly and carry a big dick" policy made American men realize their foreskins were too tight. Then, during the World Wars, brothel madams near military bases complained about the massive smegma buildup to their (often Jewish) doctors, whereupon the circumcision craze really took off.

Bruce Hayden said...

What Blair I think is pointing to is that at the time that we "dealt with" Saddam Hussein:
- Most intelligence and most intelligence networks around the world believed he still had WMD and/or was working on them.
- SH was furthering this misconception for his own reasons, even at the risk of our taking him out. He did this by playing games with the inspections, etc.
- He had invaded two of his neighbors and had used WMD on the first, as well as his own people. Presumably he didn't use them on us because we threatened to use bigger and better ones on him if he did.
- There was a cease fire in effect from his invasion of Kuwait that he was actively violating.
- Those violations involved, among other things, actively shooting at our planes on a regular and increasingly frequent basis that were trying to enforce the no-fly zone.
- He was actively rearming in violation of the cease fire and numerous UN resolutions.
- He had massively bribed two or three of the permanent members of the UNSC, and these were the primary countries rearming him.
- Thanks to the bribes, sanctions were slated to be terminated the next time they were brought up.
- Finally, though it turns out that he didn't have very many WMD, and no new ones, Iraq was prepared to restart production w/i weeks of those sanctions being lifted (as France had assured him they would be).

As to DTL's point about SH not being able to harm the U.S., this ignores SH's support of international terrorism (including al Qaeda, but not 9/11). Also, his people had killed Americans, notably during the First Gulf War, in response to his invasion of Kuwait.

So, what would have happened if we had not taken him out?
- He would have gotten away with invading Kuwait with almost impunity, greatly emboldening him and Islamic terrorists.
- His WMD program would be back in operation.
- He would be actively supporting terrorists, including al Qaeda,
- Iraq likely would have turned into a safe haven for terrorists, including, notably, al Qaeda after it was mostly pushed out of Afghanistan.
- Libya would likely still be a major state sponsor of terrorists.
- Ditto for Syria.
- The Sunni Arabs running Iraq would likely be using WMD on their rebellious Kurds and Shiites.
- The Kurds in particular would likely have been brutally attacked in order to destroy the independent region that they had been able to build as a result of our northern no-fly zone.

Seven Machos said...

I don't really understand why, some six years after the fact, this is news. I don't understand how so many people can again get so exercised about the run-up to the war.

In the annals of Althouse comments, I have been arguing for years what Scott McClellan has charged: that the Bush administration wanted to remake the Middle East and that's what the invasion of Iraq was all about. The Bush administration chose -- poorly, in my opinion -- to sell the war under different pretenses. Why? I don't know. However, let's review some history.

Vietnam. Reason for the war? To stop communism from overtaking another country because of an idea called the domino theory. Did Kennedy and Johnson sell it this way?

Korea. Reason for the war? It was partially the domino theory but mostly to stop China from becoming too strong in its own backyard? Did Truman sell it this way?

World War II. Reason for the war? Japan attacked Pearl Harbor so we declared war on Germany.

World War I. Reason for the war? I have no idea but I bet my dollars to your delicious donuts that the sales pitch was different.

All wars between the War of 1812 or so and World War I. Reason for the war? Manifest Destiny and the Monroe Doctrine. Was it sold this way? No.

Again, I ask you, what's the issue here? Also, Downtown, do you really believe that substantial U.S. resources have not been expended in the hunt for Bin Laden. You are simply and intellectually lazy person.

vbspurs said...

Ralph, err thanks. ;)

I knew smegma was involved somehow.

1jpb said...

1) US/UK were already negotiating with Qaddafi before Saddam was removed. (Presumably Bush would now describe this as appeasement.)

2) Qaddafi couldn't have been too scared because it was about four months after the fall of Saddam when the ship was caught bringing nuclear equipment to Tripoli.

3) IAEA has shown that Qaddafi had never passed a very initial stage of development, so he didn't actually give up anything that would be hard to reconstitute.

4) 1.7 million barrels of (fungible) oil a day and the associated business opportunities probably have something to do with the deal that was cut.

At the same time the Bush-McCain foriegn policy has seen nuclear advances in North Korea, Pakistan, and Iran. And, while Bush (and McCain) was ineffectively blustering, BHO was the lead D on the expansion of the Nunn-Lugar international arms control legislation, which among other things, works to restrict the transfer of nuke materials.

You "true believers" do show great resistance to questioning the Bush-McCain authority. But, (presumably) you're not in third grade; think for yourselves!

PS: I'm not sure that it is conservative to be taking over authoritarian countries (e.g. Iraq) and installing benevolent governments. This seems like work that should be left to the folks who live in these countries, or God could handle the task, but not an American president and his followers with delusions of grandeur.

Seven Machos said...

the Nunn-Lugar international arms control legislation, which among other things, works to restrict the transfer of nuke materials

Right. If we just pass a law outlawing nuclear materials, North Korea and Iran will fall right in line.

Also, I take it that Pakistan didn't have nuclear weapons between 1992 and 2000. Right?

Original Mike said...

Seven said: The Bush administration chose -- poorly, in my opinion -- to sell the war under different pretenses. Why? I don't know.

It's been argued, persuasively in my opinion, that Bush's acquiescence to those who wanted to work through the UN necessitated highlighting the WMD argument.

Freder Frederson said...

World War II. Reason for the war? Japan attacked Pearl Harbor so we declared war on Germany.

Before you spin your ludicrous theories you might want to get some basic facts right so you don't look like a complete moron.

Freder Frederson said...

Those violations involved, among other things, actively shooting at our planes on a regular and increasingly frequent basis that were trying to enforce the no-fly zone.

Speaking of getting your facts wrong. This one is wrong too.

Original Mike said...

Before you spin your ludicrous theories you might want to get some basic facts right so you don't look like a complete moron.

Tell us again how light bulbs work, Freder.

Seven Machos said...

Fred -- What part of what I said is incorrect?

blake said...

Seven--

Hitler spared FDR the trouble of declaring war on Germany by declaring war on us first.

Freder Frederson said...

It's been argued, persuasively in my opinion, that Bush's acquiescence to those who wanted to work through the UN necessitated highlighting the WMD argument.

Without the WMDs (actually without the claim that Saddam intended to use them against us or our allies) Bush and Blair had no legal justification war.

Seven Machos said...

Obviously, I am simplifying. Books have been written and all. Still, war is like sex. It takes two to have.

blake said...

Seven--

I'm pretty sure WWI was justified on the basis of keeping the Hun from eating more babies.

Victoria--

Circumcision.

Seven Machos said...

no legal justification war

Fred -- War is extralegal on its own terms, the Kellogg-Briand pact and other similarly useless documents notwithstanding.

While we are here, though, which wars have been legal? And who is to prosecute on the basis of illegal war?

Methadras said...

vbspurs said...

except he's now that incompetent press secretary who got the sack and is cashing in on his revenge.


Even more so seemingly incompetent now that he has said that he was nudged by his publisher/editor to leftist/liberal up his accounting of what went on in the white house. Revenge only matters if you aren't an incompetent boob like McLellan. However he just proved that he is.

McLelan would have a lot more credibility if he had been a whistle-blower rather than a backstabber.

Cheers,
Victoria


The whistle-blower moniker would have worked if he resigned on his own merits and then came out and said that the white house was doing this or that, but instead he went for the money and get sucked up into the cool-kid leftist club blender and sold his soul for cash that is going to end up evaporating because now no one will hire him to do anything. The left will hang him out to dry as guilt by association, but get a pat on the head for putting this story in their laps (even if it isn't true), the right won't touch this guy with a ten foot pole. He's basically blacklisted himself for his neo-conversion. What a moron.

dbp said...

We declared war on Japan after they attacked Pearl Harbor. THEN, the other members of the Axis declared war on us, THEN we declared war on Germany, Italy etc.

Seven Machos said...

Scott McClellan was actually part and parcel of one of the primary failures of the Bush administration: neither he nor Bush could or can put forth an argument to save their asses.

Politics in a free society is about making arguments for good law, passing good law, and executing the law properly. Neither Bush nor McClellan can make arguments.

I, for one, hope McClellan's book reads better than his embarrassing press conferencing presentations.

Freder Frederson said...

- Libya would likely still be a major state sponsor of terrorists.
- Ditto for Syria.


You mean Syria isn't?

Seven Machos said...

People. Let's not get lost in the thicket here. The big issue here is that the arguments presented for wars are not typically the real reasons for those wars. The Bush administration has been typical.

dbp said...

DTL: "not to mention causing oil to go to $130 a barrel from $20."

Iraq produces 2.4 mbd now and 2.6mbd before the war. Yes, I'm pretty sure 200,000 barrels of oil per day account for the four fold rise in price. World supply is around 85,000,000 barrels per day.

Freder Frederson said...

Scott McClellan was actually part and parcel of one of the primary failures of the Bush administration: neither he nor Bush could or can put forth an argument to save their asses.

Instead of blaming the messengers, have you ever considered that the reason a good argument was never put forth is there simply isn't one?

The war was a bad idea, unjustified and violated international law. The administration sold it using bogus arguments, unrealistic expectations of the duration, cost, and benefits because it was all he had to support his untenable position--obfuscation, half-truths, and outright lies.

Freder Frederson said...

Even more so seemingly incompetent now that he has said that he was nudged by his publisher/editor to leftist/liberal up his accounting of what went on in the white house.

I just love this "George Soros is an evil puppetmaster who has brainwashed poor little Scottie and forced him to say mean things about our dear leader" meme that the rightwing blogosphere is shilling.

It is hilariously pathetic.

Seven Machos said...

1. The reasons that oil prices are rising are (1) speculation is creating a bubble and, much more importantly, (2) that speculation is based on the very sound fundamental idea that living standards are increasing all over the world, particularly in India and China.

2. In the long term, is it really so bad if oil prices go up to leftists? Isn't an increase in oil prices necessary to bring about alternative fuels?

3. Ironically, Fred, McClellan makes the legitimate case for the war: radically changing the Middle East on our terms. I wish that the Bush administration had instructed him to make that case when he was press secretary. Based on his performance in that job, though, I doubt he would have made it very well.

Methadras said...

Freder Frederson said...

Without the WMDs (actually without the claim that Saddam intended to use them against us or our allies) Bush and Blair had no legal justification war.


Are you seriously going to sit on this claim and try to weave it into the historical fabric? The precedence in legal justifications for war would tend to discredit your assertion.

Freder Frederson said...

- Finally, though it turns out that he didn't have very many WMD, and no new ones, Iraq was prepared to restart production w/i weeks of those sanctions being lifted (as France had assured him they would be).

Where on earth did you get this little tidbit? Certainly not from the Dulfer Report or any of the other of the experts who inspected the infrastructure after the fall of Saddam.

Methadras said...

Freder Frederson said...

Those violations involved, among other things, actively shooting at our planes on a regular and increasingly frequent basis that were trying to enforce the no-fly zone.

Speaking of getting your facts wrong. This one is wrong too.


And your facts in this regard would be?

Seven Machos said...

American interests have been well served now that Saddam Hussein is dead and his regime is gone.

American interests will be well served now that we have a large client state in the Middle East, right next to Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Syria.

Look at a map, people. It's not hard to figure out what we are trying to accomplish here.

Freder Frederson said...

McClellan makes the legitimate case for the war: radically changing the Middle East on our terms.

That is called waging aggressive war. It is what the U.S. demanded, and the other allies agreed, that the leaders of Nazi Germany be tried for Nuremburg. It is illegal under international law because this country was instrumental in making it so.

No country has the right to change a region of the world just because it suits them.

Seven Machos said...

I missed that. Fred, here's a tip: when you argue, use only credible assertions. It makes you more persuasive.

Seven Machos said...

No country has the right to change a region of the world just because it suits them.

Well, clearly, then, war should be done away with. We should make a law...

Also, any country that successfully invades the United States and holds it politically and militarily is free to try our leaders, or simply shoot them.

What about the concept of sovereignty do you fail to understand, Fred? The real world ain't an undergraduate philosophy class.

Freder Frederson said...

And your facts in this regard would be?

The no fly zones were not sanctioned by the U.N. but independently instituted by the U.S. and the U.K. Shooting at the planes was not a violation of any U.N. resolution.

Methadras said...

Ann,

This brings up the question of international law. Is there such a thing? Since I understand it, it is treaties, as complicated as they are, which govern the agreements, lawfully between nations? I haven't seen a set of legal tomes outlining what "international laws" are meant to be. Are UN Chapters considered to be international law?

blake said...

Where on earth did you get this little tidbit? Certainly not from the Dulfer Report or any of the other of the experts who inspected the infrastructure after the fall of Saddam.

The New York Times ran an "exposé" back in 2004 (presumably meant to undermine W's chances of re-election) which stated that very thing.

Yeah, I didn't get it either, but it was held up as another example of the administration's failures.

Freder Frederson said...

What about the concept of sovereignty do you fail to understand, Fred? The real world ain't an undergraduate philosophy class.

My problem apparently isn't with the concept of sovereignty (which you do seem to have a problem with since you have very little concern for other countries'), but with your definition of "legitimacy".

Seven Machos said...

The reason that what the United Nations agrees to is considered law is that countries pass the law within its own sovereign governments. It's not a democratic thing. It's unanimously-made law. Every country agrees.

This works quite well with some really mundane stuff like, say, certain aspects of international trade law and the fate of people in terms of their nationality when their country ceases for whatever reason to exist.

The big problem with international law is that there is really no authority to it. It's treaty law, which a sovereign government can change at any time by changing its national law. A treaty is just like an ongoing contract between you and me. We can back out at any time.

Seven Machos said...

Fred -- If you invade a country and take it over, that country no longer has sovereignty until you, the invader, institute a new government. This is a very simple notion in statecraft.

Do you really believe that the lines drawn on maps should remain forever unchanged and that all governments should go on perpetually? If not, how do you propose changing them?

Bob said...

Seven, if you want to use history to bolster your case then try to get it right.

WWI - US enters war because of nasty German habit of sinking US flagged ships in international waters. Attempt by Germany to have Mexico cause problems on US southern border doesn't help.

WWII - Japan attacks US. Germany declares war on US. US responds.

Korea - US decides to send in troops after North Korea invades. Does so under UN mandate. China sends in troops several months later when US troops are advancing thru North Korea to Yalu River.

Viet Nam - Kennedy sends SF advisors to SVN to assist in defense. Johnson uses Gulf of Tonkin incident to send conventional forces in. Lies to everyone on aims, force size, and intentions.

Pogo said...

Bob, your Korea and Vietnam examples only detail the sequence of events. Neither explain why, which 7M nicely showed.

Seven Machos said...

I can't believe you people are nitpicking about this shit. Is it true that wars are generally sold for different reasons than they are actually fought or isn't it?

George said...

Seven--

We don't understand. We are not as smart as Fred.

'Fred Frederson' is the name of the hero in the German silent movie "Metropolis." Through his heroic efforts, the head (the elite) are reunited with the the hands (the masses). He symbolizes the 'heart.'

Goebbels liked the movie so much that in 1933 he asked its director Fritz Lang to run the German movie industry.

Is that right, Fred?

Zeb Quinn said...

DTL said Saddam never touched America until we attacked him. But we've killed 400,000 Iraqis.

The Friends Service Committee (the Quakers-- no supporters of the war) counted all Iraqi Iraq war casualties since March 19, 2003 as of two years ago, military and civilian, at about 12,000. So are you saying 388,000 Iraqis have been lost since then? Or did you pull the number 400,000 out of your bum?

Methadras said...

Freder Frederson said...

And your facts in this regard would be?

The no fly zones were not sanctioned by the U.N. but independently instituted by the U.S. and the U.K. Shooting at the planes was not a violation of any U.N. resolution.


The UN had nothing to due with the terms of surrender in GW1. You are just stating the obvious. The no-fly zones were instituted as an agreement of surrender from the US to Iraq/Saddam. Through his proxies. They agreed to the no-fly zones, they were in violation of both the southern and northern no-fly zones on a consistent and continuous basis. Any violation of the terms of surrender constituted further hostilities towards the Iraqi government and it's infrastructure at such time as to warrant a cessation of hostilities at the coalitions discretion. The coalition consisted of the French, the Egyptians, the Saudis, the Kuwaitis, even Syria, and many more delegates from other countries. This wasn't some secret in-the-middle-of-the-night agreement. This was witnessed and established by many other countries. Violating the no-fly zones was an act of hostility, buzzing coalition aircraft with radar or any other device was a violation of the terms of surrender, firing on any personnel, equipment, or aircraft was a violation of the terms of surrender.

However, what was interesting to note was that Schwarzkopf did allow Iraq to be able to fly helicopters within the no-fly zones and ultimately it was found out that they were used to crush the resistance movement inside Iraq by Saddam.

It almost sounds like you are sad that UN didn't have any involvement in writing up the language of surrender and that they had little to no involvement in the conflict at all.

Bob said...

Seven - you have entered the Fred zone. Sort of like the Twilight Zone without the music. Freder believes that it is the UN who decides all because archiac notions such as statecraft have been replaced by treaties. In Fred's world he forgets that the UN sanctioned no-fly zones over Iraq as a means to preclude genocide against Shite and Kurds. Or that the UN was earning a tidy sum from its Iraq oil-for-food scheme. In Fred's world the Geneva Conventions apply to all, even US or UK soldiers. Though we all know thats been the exception. But its International Law so it must be so. And because lawyers and diplomats have declared x, then the truth on the ground must be the same.

Maguro said...

Is it true that wars are generally sold for different reasons than they are actually fought or isn't it?

Pretty much true. It would be more correct to say that wars are generally fought for a variety of reasons and some reasons are emphasized more than others by the governments in question.

Methadras said...

Seven Machos said...

The reason that what the United Nations agrees to is considered law is that countries pass the law within its own sovereign governments. It's not a democratic thing. It's unanimously-made law. Every country agrees.

This works quite well with some really mundane stuff like, say, certain aspects of international trade law and the fate of people in terms of their nationality when their country ceases for whatever reason to exist.

The big problem with international law is that there is really no authority to it. It's treaty law, which a sovereign government can change at any time by changing its national law. A treaty is just like an ongoing contract between you and me. We can back out at any time.


That's my point. I would argue that there is no such thing as international law and in that vein, people like Fred try to bonk people over the head with it as if they actually knew what it was and could recite chapter and verse what it says. Fred invokes international law as gospel and yet has no clue what it is, but he has no problem using this nebulous and foggy force of the left to further his agenda. In essence he's building his case on a foundation of sand and fog.

Bob said...

International Law works well when all parties are willing to police themselves. But, as Seven has noted, there's no enforcement mechanism. The UN can provide a forum for dialogue and in some limited missions its been effective. Refugee and humanitarian relief come to mind. But its a collective that requires consent from almost all members so it can't tackle the thorny situations. Still if you cling to notion that talk is action then its the talisman you clutch.

Trooper York said...

Rachel Ray should get one of those pointy breast bras. Just sayn'

1jpb said...

Methadras,

Would you agree that it should be odd to refer to the war of Bush 41 as GW1? This is a peeve of mine, but the Iran-Iraq war was widely known as the Gulf War. Really we are already at GW3.

Usually, I wouldn't comment on something small like this (in fact, I usually resist correcting really big mistakes.) But, because your comment was refreshingly packed with details and historical references the GW1 label did stand out to me.

Moose said...

Trooper -

And your point would be...?

Trooper York said...

There would be two points Moose, and I think you can figure it out.

Trooper York said...

But Moose, tell me the truth. Freder is really Jughead. Right?

blake said...

Rachel Ray should get one of those pointy breast bras. Just sayn'

Troop, this obsession of yours with the angular glands is unseemly! Unseemly, I say!

Trooper York said...

You know, I bet if you googled pointy breasts you would be surprised what would pop out.

So to speak.

Revenant said...

That is called waging aggressive war. It is what the U.S. demanded, and the other allies agreed, that the leaders of Nazi Germany be tried for Nuremburg.

And if we had somehow lost the war and been forced to surrender to Saddam Hussein, you can be confident that American politicians and generals would have been put on trial. But we didn't, so they won't.

The Nuremberg trials were legitimate only in the sense that might makes right -- the principle that underlies all diplomacy. Might still makes right in this case, in that the war was in our interests and nobody in a position to stop us cared to do so.

It is illegal under international law because this country was instrumental in making it so.

Any war authorized by Congress is legal under the only law that actually matters.

Cedarford said...

Bob said...
Barry's right. We probably wouldn't get that kind of intel prior to it detonating.

So, you're the Prez and you've just been informed that the dirty bomb which has left one of your cities a smoldering wasteland had an Iranian core (and every reactor leaves a distintive chemical "fingerprint"). So do you choose to bomb Iran?


Bob is right on the nature of intel, which does not produce perfect info on every threat as Lefties imagine it should, or is somehow capable of.
But Bob is wrong on a dirty bomb, which for someone who claimed he did targeting - he seems ignorant on the distinction between a dirty bomb and a nuclear weapon. A dirty bomb in worst case is a small explosive device that might kill a couple 100 people and release 500 to 8,000 curies of radioactive contamination. A nuclear bomb would kill 200,000 minimum immediately, kill another 100,000 with delayed prompt radiation and thermal effects (raging fires everywhere) and release an average of 1.6 million curies for every kiloton of explosive power generated from nuclear fission.

Bob is also wrong of every bomb being traceable because every reactor leaving a distinct footprint. They don't if they are the same reactor design, or are blended from a group of production reators. And if HEU is used, it is the same stuff on analysis no matter who makes it.
We would likely learn the source from other methods - design, detection of deliverer through backtracking, someone squealing, process of elimination, demand for interviews with critical scientists or we would assume refusal is all the proof of guilt we need...

Revenant said...

Oh, and by the way, Freder, saying "the U.S. demanded, and the other allies agreed, that the leaders of Nazi Germany be tried" is a bit dishonest. The Brits and the Soviets initially favored a policy of mass summary execution of German leaders (which is understandable given how brutally the Germans had treated them). Our allies didn't go along with our desire to punish the Germans -- they went along with our desire to not punish the Germans as harshly as they had initially wanted to.

Methadras said...

1jpb said...

Methadras,

Would you agree that it should be odd to refer to the war of Bush 41 as GW1? This is a peeve of mine, but the Iran-Iraq war was widely known as the Gulf War. Really we are already at GW3.


That's fine. I just do it out of habit even though I really do know that it should be Gulf War 3.

Usually, I wouldn't comment on something small like this (in fact, I usually resist correcting really big mistakes.) But, because your comment was refreshingly packed with details and historical references the GW1 label did stand out to me.

Yeah, I can see how that would be construed as a historical error since GW1 would really be between Iraq/Iran and the many years of that conflict, but point taken.

Methadras said...

Sigh. As always, DTL lays down a miasma of nonsense, freaks out with his moronic leftist idiocy that he accounts as historical facts, has a hissy fit that no one cares because they think he's a moron, and then never shows up again to defend himself. Isn't that like the little tramp that he is. Angst, money shot, and then out the door.

Revenant said...

Cedarford,

The term "dirty bomb" is also used when referring to nuclear weapons that give off a lot of fallout (e.g. bombs with inefficient fission reactions or bombs containing extra material aimed at causing more fallout). It is likely that any bomb created in one of these Nth-world shitholes would be a dirty one, since it took a lot of practice and testing for the USA and USSR to develop the comparatively "clean" nukes we have today.

Middle Class Guy said...

downtownlad said...
…that's worth losing over 4000 American lives for
But we've killed 400,000 Iraqis.

If, and it is a big if, your figures on the Iraqi deaths are true and honest, those figures are not too bad for warfare. We killed one hundred of them for everyone of ours that lost his/her life. Actually those figures are astounding. Our troops are doing one hell of a job. I hope they keep up the good work.

downtownlad said…
Can you just imagine what the wingnuts would be saying if Gore had left us in the same predicament we are now, with a pointless war and a collapsing economy and $4 a gallon oil?


Uh, Clinton and Gore are responsible for this mess. They did nothing during their eight years except try to save the planet and diddle interns. Bill Clinton, during his first year in office stated that he believed we should pay four to five dollars a gallon for gas to keep us from driving so much. Of course he did not have an alternative to driving either. Typical. Maybe you should bone up on history and economics. You may learn something real.

John Stodder said...

What's so funny about Lauer's questioning of Blair is his presentation of McClellan's allegations about cherry-picked intelligence as if they were fact -- to the one man who would know better than anyone else what was real and what wasn't.

Scott McClellan had no idea what kind of intel Bush, Cheney, Powell and Rumsfeld were seeing. Foreign affairs weren't even part of his job at the time. He wasn't in the briefings. He is just guessing.

So what you have here is Lauer screaming at the former PM of the UK the allegations of an uninformed clown with a financial interest in his allegations being publicized, to a man who knows much more than he can disclose.

Blair must have laughed his ass off after they went off the air. "Scott McClellan is your source, Matt? Good luck with that. Next time I'm on your show, why don't you quote the wit and wisdom of Porky Pig?"

John Stodder said...

Uh, Clinton and Gore are responsible for this mess. They did nothing during their eight years except try to save the planet and diddle interns.

Hey, in baseball, a .500 average is heroic.

Chip Ahoy said...

Is there a single liberal no-brained meme DTL doesn't propound? I get so sick of reading that douche bag I could barf preemptively. DTL you're utterly predictable. And I suppose you imagine yourself smart. Why, I'll even go so far as suggest you probably think we all haven't heard and read absolutely everything you say at least 1,000 times. That's how wearisome and worn out you are. I dare say, I lose IQ points just reading your posts. Therefore, I'll skip them.

I'm glad Saddam is dead. And his two boys too. Now, if we can just do something similar for American political dynastic families, I'd be well pleased. <--See what I did there? Now that's original. Original; something that came out of my own mind. Something that wasn't spoon-fed to me by a miserable political party that I'm haplessly stupidly spitting back like you do. Get yourself a brain, Loser.

Seven Machos said...

And I suppose you imagine yourself smart.

Downtown is smarter than all of us. Why, just ask him about his IQ, which proves his smartness.

Originality? Sense? Reason? Basic correctness about the world? Different things altogether, apparently.

Revenant said...

Is there a single liberal no-brained meme DTL doesn't propound

Well, I've never heard him say the 9/11 attacks were staged by the government... so that's something.

Ralph said...

The amount of fallout is largely dependent on kilotonnage and altitude of detonation. A ground or near-ground burst produces the the most fallout but the smallest blast damage radius. If the altitude is high enough, there can near-maximum blast damage area but no fallout, since the fireball doesn't reach the ground. Hardened targets required ground bursts.

I was a budding computer weenie for a nuclear weapons effects contractor in the mid-80's, so I used to freak out my relatives with fallout maps of the US (hint: if the USSR attacks, move to northern Maine). Several times we used the internet, back when it was still DARPANET, to access the now-pathetic supercomputer at Los Alamos.

vbspurs said...

Even more so seemingly incompetent now that he has said that he was nudged by his publisher/editor to leftist/liberal up his accounting of what went on in the white house. Revenge only matters if you aren't an incompetent boob like McLellan. However he just proved that he is.

Actually, Methadras, you are on to something.

Word has it that George Soros might have been involved in some memoirs financing.

If this pans out to be the truth, it could be devastating to the case being built by Rep. Conyers.

This one is one to watch, folks.

It's the equivalent of Rupert Murdoch having financed Linda Tripp.

Cheers,
Victoria

blake said...

"Is there a single liberal no-brained meme DTL doesn't propound"

Well, I've never heard him say the 9/11 attacks were staged by the government... so that's something.


Way to lower the bar, Rev.

Revenant said...

Well it was the only one I could think of, blake. :)

vbspurs said...

Well, I bought it. :(

Michael McNeil said...

dbp wrote:
We declared war on Japan after they attacked Pearl Harbor. THEN, the other members of the Axis declared war on us, THEN we declared war on Germany, Italy etc.

On April 2, 1941 in his “Hemispheric Defense Plan No. 1” FDR unleashed the U.S. Navy on all German undersea craft that might be detected west of a line (25° W. long.) just west of Europe (Iceland) and Africa (Cape Verde Is.) and thus including almost the entire Atlantic Ocean. U.S. forces also soon occupied Greenland (Danish territory, but Denmark was occupied by Germany) and Iceland (ditto).

Afterwards, as Walter A. McDougall (Professor of International Relations, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia) writes in his article “20th-Century International Relations” in Encyclopædia Britannica:

“Roosevelt and Churchill met secretly off the coast of Newfoundland and drafted a manifesto of the common principles that bound their two countries and all free peoples. In this eight-point Atlantic Charter (announced on August 14), reminiscent of Wilson's Fourteen Points, the signatories renounced territorial aggrandizement and endorsed the restoration of self-government to all captured nations and equal access to trade and raw materials for all. According to Churchill, Roosevelt also promised to ‘wage war but not declare it’ and to look for an incident that would justify open hostilities.

“When the Congress voted on November 7 to arm merchant ships and allow them into the war zone, it seemed that submarine warfare would again be casus belli for the United States. U-boats had already torpedoed the destroyers Kearney and Reuben James (the latter was attacking the submarine, but sank with 115 hands on October 31 [1941]). But in fact it took dramatic events in another theatre altogether to make Roosevelt's undeclared war official.”

Then Japan attacked Pearl Harbor, and then Germany declared war on the U.S. (which it was not obligated to do, under the terms of its treaty with Japan) — thereupon the United States, rather gleefully one suspects, declared war right back on both. FDR clearly saw the looming danger that the Nazis personified and was determined to meet it.

Michael McNeil said...

downtownlad wrote:
Saddam never touched America until we attacked him. But we've killed 400,000 Iraqis.

What a party-line leftist “narrative” — and it's such nonsense. Others have critiqued the “400,000 Iraqis” figure — I'll add that without the war, the same folks would be ranting about the even greater number of Iraqi children supposedly massacred by the sanctions.

Beyond that, there's the little matter of just how Saddam managed in various ways to reach out and touch America, such as occurred (photo photo article) just 21 years ago this month.

Then, too, much more recently Saddam expressed his true feelings towards America in the context of 9/11 (photo). 'Course, the U.S. then said right back at'cha….

Michael McNeil said...

Note that the foregoing does not imply I think Saddam had anything to do with 9/11 itself.

Bob said...

Cedarford - yes you are technically right about a dirty bomb versus a nuc weapon but as a Colonel I worked for said "when one of those goes off its all special". US policy has always been not to distinguish between the type of weapon and response. We retain the right to respond with "Special" weapons to any NBC weapon. If you think a President is going to (or polically be able to) say our response to a dirty bomb will only be conventional because "its just a little one" is naive. What's gonna be fixated on is its a nuke, maybe small but the narrative is gonna be NUKE. And the response is going to be a large glass making heat & light show based upon a best guess on the intel. Not a call for inspections. Because the demand is going to be for a response NOW.

And just because a dirty bomb may be small does not preclude some horrific causalty numbers. All depends on what they add to it, when & where they place it, population in blast radius, fallout, etc. Where do you get your causalty estimates? A carbomb (or several) can take out 200+ - been there, seen that. A conventional nuc doesn't "ensure" 200k+ dead - neither Hiroshima or Nagasaki exceeded 100k dead. Again, depends on target, type & yield, how its detonated, altitude, what's it made of, population in radius of blast & fallout, etc.

Bob said...

If I take this 400,000 dead Iraqi number as true (a enormous leap of faith as ICC estimates only about 15% of that) then we (US & allies) didn't actually kill all those Iraqis. Most of those were killed by car & truck bombing campaign of AQ to incite a civil war. The next largest number were killed by the various Iraqi militias engaging in ethnic cleansing.

The Exalted said...

So, what would have happened if we had not taken him out?
- He would have gotten away with invading Kuwait with almost impunity, greatly emboldening him and Islamic terrorists.


um, what? did you forget operation desert storm? the sanctions that crippled the country? btw, the terrorists that would be "emboldened" were chomping at the bit to fight him in 1991 (and rejected by the Saudis)

- His WMD program would be back in operation.

says who? you? you don't even know that OBL wanted to take on Saddam himself.

- He would be actively supporting terrorists, including al Qaeda,

no proof, just speculation.

- Iraq likely would have turned into a safe haven for terrorists, including, notably, al Qaeda after it was mostly pushed out of Afghanistan.

speculation

- Libya would likely still be a major state sponsor of terrorists.

if you were better read you would know that Libya had been gaming for that deal (give up weapons program for sanctions relaxation) for years but had been rejected. the bush team finally took it for the PR coup.

- The Sunni Arabs running Iraq would likely be using WMD on their rebellious Kurds and Shiites.

the heartwarming purple finger stuff aside, i think most iraqis would take the remote chance of being gassed over their current situation (hundreds of thousands dead and millions homeless, daily car bombings, armed militia thugs, trigger happy foreign troops and mercenaries, power, water shortages, complete flight of professionals, near total breakdown of civil society)

- The Kurds in particular would likely have been brutally attacked in order to destroy the independent region that they had been able to build as a result of our northern no-fly zone.

based on what? any reason beside your ravings that we couldn't continue the no-fly zone? what, too expensive? good thing we chose the $1 trillion option behind the other door.