One of my biggest beefs with the rhetoric from the left lately has been their insistence that Bush declared the war was over, even though he said nothing of the sort. That way they can make cheap partisan shots and say things like “3 more soldiers were killed today even though Bush declared the war was over>” and other crap of the sort.
Now, we kill Hussein’s sons in a firefight, and the left is claiming it was a crime, an assasination, and that we should have just arrested them.
How so? I thought we were still at war.. Which is it, guys? Please clear this up for me…
The answer is “Yes.”
The left is so out-of-touch, so confused, so much in an uproar right now I don’t think they know which end is up.
Military interventions into Bosnia, Kosovo, Haiti, etc. were acceptable but Iraq was not. Democrat after Democrat after Democrat are on record in the late 1990’s and up through last fall (including the former president and several current pres. candidates) wringing their hands over Saddam’s “WMD program” yet now that none have yet turned up, it’s all Bush’s fault. He lied.
Bush includes a statement in his SOTU attributing British intelligence behind a report of Saddam trying to acquire uranium – A REPORT THE BRITISH STILL STAND BEHIND – yet, somehow, he lied again. It’s sheer madness.
Now they’re carping that “we should have taken Uday and Qusay alive.” It was just “more brutality on the part of the Bush administration.”
OK, let’s say we did that and in the meantime, some of their loyalists decided to retaliate by taking hostages for their release. I can hear it now – “We should have done away with them when we had the chance! Bush isn’t protecting us! He’s soft on terror! He LIED!!”
The answer is that no matter what Bush does, to the left (politicians, bloggers, media) it will not be right.
Senator McCain did a bang up “Fisking” of Howard Dean’s remarks on the death of the Hussein brothers. It was on Hardball and The Corner has a transcript of relevant portions posted today.
The ‘left’, being an abstract noun representing many people, can’t be consistent. Pick one person instead.
Frankly, Rush Limbaugh has done the painting all liberals with a broad brush thing to death.
You weren’t playing up to your skill level on that one, John.
As former President Clinton once put it, “The left wing of the Democrat Party has about as much real value as a used condom.”
John, your logic escapes me, as it does a lot these days(not yours inparticular, just logic in general).
You are saying the Dems say Bush declared the war over already. Ok. Then you point out the uproar the Dems are doing over this Saddam’s sons thing. Ok.
I’m not following this “which is it guys” rehtoric.
According to the Dems, the war is over(according to Bush), hence in their minds this is assigination of foreign leaders not during war. According to their logic, they are correct.
I’m not saying I agree with this, I just don’t see the Dems contradicting themselves, warrenting the “which is it guys?” comment.
But like I said, logic is escaping me a lot these days. And a lot of accordings…lol
They are claiming that Bush lied and deceived the nation by saying the war is over- then they are claiming the war is over and this is an assassination. Not to hard to follow here, Cameron.
the talking dog
Excuse me, but the setting up of cheap strawmen (“the left”; “liberals”; “anyone who I disagree with”) does indeed miss the mark, and as Barney says above, does not become as articulate a writer as yourself.
So… the President himself stood up on an aircraft carrier with the words “Mission Accomplished” projecting behind him to announce the end of “major combat operations” (words carefully chosen to try to evade, or at least limit, American obligations as an occupying power).
The ONLY implication to me of “mission accomplished” is, indeed, “we won the hard part” as opposed to “now the nasty guerilla war begins in which we will lose more troops than we did during so-called fighting the real war”. “Mission accomplished”– the President’s choice of words–not mine (or those of the legendary “left”).
I think most people understand that a long occupation could be a nasty business, and we could suffer more casualties. I personally anticipated exactly this, which is one of many reasons why I opposed this particular adventure. And I think the President deliberately undersold just HOW nasty this part would be– with visions of our troops being welcomed with rose petals (sort of the implication of “mission accomplished”). Well, other than occasionally, that doesn’t seem to have happened for the most part.
This genie’s out– nobody gets to undo the damned war. The best we can do is look damned carefully at the actions of our current leaders so we can maybe get a better handle on what they might do next, and realize that if its a questionable action with the words “trust us” attached to it, maybe we shouldn’t.
As to Qusay and Uday, let me say that I’m delighted to see that we used a method of attempting to catch them that did not involve blowing up the neighborhood from 7 miles up– which even allowed us to determine that we actually made sure they were dead. Let me further say that unlike others, I could care less if they were captured alive for trial– though I might like to see Saddam suffer that fate (but won’t cry if HE’S killed in some gun battle).
Q and U were bad dudes– and the world is better off with them out of it, period, end of story. That said, it is not now, nor has it ever been, the policy of the United States to initiate a war just because we don’t like someone (or because they have it coming– even if they do). Nor do we ordinarily start wars to “liberate people from tyrants” (unless you want to give Mr. Clinton a complete pass for Kosovo and Bosnia and Somalia and Haiti and everything else he ever did, and I don’t think you do; and BTW, we didn’t go to war now for that reason).
We go to war to preserve and advance the AMerican national interest, period. Here, that national interest constituted preventing Saddam Hussein from (1) giving the WMD’s he was developing to (2) the Al Qaeda terrorists with whom he was associated, to (3) threaten the United States and its interests.
(1) and (2) are now, apparently, lies (that’s what we call statements made that have no factual evidence to support them), so (3) never came into play. The more the evidence that the WMD story and the links to Al Qaeda story were just STORIES, and the real reasons for our entry into this war becomes murkier and further separated from the clear, actual national interest, the more alarmed real patriots should be. (Patriots are people who actually love and support this country and what it stands for, rather than simply people who root for the home team and for the guy sitting in the big chair). Right now it looks like that guy let us down by not doing his damned homework– or not caring to do it– and risking a huge portion of our military capacity and diplomatic leverage and goodwill for a war that appears not to have been justified.
Cognitive dissonance? Not on my end John.
I was too lazy to go through Oliver, Atrios’s, Daily Kos, and Yglesias’s site. Next time I will document it all for you, rather than relying on the word the left.
I can’t believe I am even having this conversation- Democrats have spent the past 20 years claiming everyone on the right was the same as David Duke or Pat Robertson.
There is no Left, b/c then they’d have to take responsibility when one of theirs makes, ah, interesting comments. Is Jesse Jackson Left? Only when they agree w/ him. Is Howard Dean Left? Only when it’ll be palatable to the Left voters.
But there IS a Right. It’s a vast conspiracy. It operates under Scaife (unlike, say, Bill Moyers), it has Rush Limbaugh as a mouthpiece (unlike, say, Al Franken, Jim Hightower and Michael Moore). IT moves in lockstep and goose-step.
Convenient as a debating tactic, to score those key points, esp. in Cambridge and Berkeley and Madison…
Wow, talking dog did an outstanding job on that one. I’ll just say that, like him, I have no problem with the operations against Saddam’s sons, other than my now-moot objection to the war in general.
VP Cheney today claimed that we went to war to eliminate the Iraqi threat to the United States. Let’s see: no nukes, not even tactical-level bio and chem weapons, no delivery system capable of reaching the US (remember how we hyped those balsa gliders that looked like they came from Toys R Us), and absolutely no connection to 9/11 or Al Qaeda. Leaving aside (for the sake of argument) whether there was some reason to believe Saddam was a threat to the USA in March 2002, WHAT IS CHENEY TALKING ABOUT NOW?? WHAT IS THE THREAT WE HAVE BEEN SAVED FROM?
Or could it be, as Newsweek reported, that Cheney was mightily impressed with the thesis of Victor Davis Hanson, that great leaders must be victorious in war.
A BUSH LIE:
The 9/11 report makes clear that the last clause of this excerpt from the State of the Union address is **COMPLETELY UNTRUE**.
I know you won’t classify it as a lie. Just another piece of wishful thinking? Or that since Saddam was a very bad person, the truth of the bill of particulars is unimportant. Or, in the face of the investigation, you’ll continue to insist that it’s true??
Dunno about the “protects” part, but the “aids” part is undisputable.
So, Andrew, you’re essentially saying that paying the families of Palestinian suicide bombers after said suicide bombers successfully also murdered random Israeli civilians is not, in point of fact, aiding terrorists.
The clause that I am objecting to is “including members of al Qaeda.”
I take it you’re conceding on that one? Since Palestinian suicide bombers, whom Saddam did harbor, are not members of Al Qaeda.
“The clause that I am objecting to is “including members of al Qaeda.””
Ah, my mistake.
“I take it you’re conceding on that one? Since Palestinian suicide bombers, whom Saddam did harbor, are not members of Al Qaeda.”
Naah. I haven’t read the report yet, after all. Sadly reckless of me, and I’ll cheerfully concede that you’ve got the right to sneer at me because I spouted off on this topic before doing so, but on the whole I think I still trust my reading comprehension skills more than I trust your summarization ones.
Which reminds me: where did you see the raw report online? I haven’t had a chance to look it up yet.
Never mind: found it here.
How could a report on what was known on September 11, 2001 establish the falsity of a statement made in january of 2003? I think I see who has the wishful thinking.
John, please link to the Left source that is claiming the killing of Hussein’s sons constitutes the crime of assassination.
I am curious as to who is so behind the curve, since Slate’s Explainer thoroughly debunked the idea yesterday.
The Explainer also notes that showing pictures of the dead bodies violates the Geneva Convention if we consider the Hussein boys to be combatants, which apparently you do.
I recognize that it may have been necessary to show the pictures in Iraq, but as Jon Stewart noted on last night Daily Show, the pictures were also highly publicized in the U.S., apparently just to gross us out. (Or to give Freepers a vicarious adrenaline rush.)
There’s a difference between thinking the assassination was a crime, and thinking that arrest would have been preferable.
If I think that someone is about to shoot me, I’d prefer that the person be disarmed, taken into custody, tried and convicted of attempted murder and put in prison, where hopefully he will be rehabilitated and come out of prison repentant and ready to become a contributing member of society.
If that’s not possible, I’m not going to cry over his getting killed before he kills me.
In other words, there’s a huge gulf between what the Bush Administration does and what a liberal would like to see.
Perhaps it was absolutely impossible to bring the Hussein boys to trial, but there appears to be little interest from the Administration in doing so anyway. This is troubling for me.
Who wouldn’t have wanted to arrest them? Sheesh- they opened fire, and it is suggested that Uday killed himself.
And, btw- Charlie Rangel, for one, is claiming we assassinated them.
I am not even going to bother with the ridiculous Geneva convention bit- you really think the photos could have been released in Iraq but never made their way here?
“Who wouldn’t have wanted to arrest them?”
Have you seen any sign that the Bush Administration is pursuing a policy of preferring arresting to killing? I haven’t.
Are we ready to put anyone whom we do arrest on trial? It doesn’t appear that way.
Tuesday night, right after the death of the Hussein boys was confirmed, Rangel did make the statement on Fox News’s “Hannity and Colmes” that Uday and Qusay had been assassinated.
However, I haven’t heard of his following up on that criticism; I imagine that he quickly learned that what happened to them did not constitute a violation of the relevant Executive Order.
Rangel was incorrect in what he said, and he apparently has been smart enough not to repeat it.
Bush thought that Saddam Hussein wouldn’t let inspectors return in 2002. Obviously, Hussein did let them return. I’m sure Bush won’t be making that incorrect statement again.
Nor would I assume that just because President Bush, presumably the leader of the Right, thought that Hussein wasn’t letting inspectors in that all conservatives thought the same. I know that John, at least, is better informed.
I am confused as to what is ridiculous about the Geneva Convention. If the photos had come to the U.S. against the will of the American government, that would be the responsibility of the news media.
But my understanding is that the Administration released these photos specifically to domestic news organizations, which gave them plenty of coverage. That was a failure of responsibility on the administration’s part.
Moe, the link in your post doesn’t work. You did better than I did; I was working from small excerpts in the UPI story. (Bravo.)
Robin, as excerpted, the report says that *to this day* there’s no information linking Iraq and Al Qaeda. It’s not a summary of wjat we knew on 9/10.
Michael Isikoff in Newsweek online chat:
“Moe, the link in your post doesn’t work.”
Blipping heck. I -knew- that I should have saved the PDF file, but it was something like 5+ megs. If I come across a better link, I’ll post it.
PG, your game of moving the goalposts gets old. And the Geneva Conventions do not prohibit the display of the Hussein boys corpses – another hate-Bush myth.
Andrew, the Czechs still take that report seriously – reaffirming it recently – whatever Isikoff wishes.
Moe (and anyone else), the report is HERE.
Someone’s grepped the PDF for Iraq, and actually, it’s in about half a dozen places, none of them significant.