When you are Frank Rich, everything is a quagmire:
ANOTHER week in Iraq, another light at the end of the tunnel. On Monday President Bush saluted the Iraqis for “completing work on a democratic constitution” even as the process was breaking down yet again. But was anyone even listening to his latest premature celebration?
We have long since lost count of all the historic turning points and fast-evaporating victories hyped by this president. The toppling of Saddam’s statue, “Mission Accomplished,” the transfer of sovereignty and the purple fingers all blur into a hallucinatory loop of delusion. One such red-letter day, some may dimly recall, was the adoption of the previous, interim constitution in March 2004, also proclaimed a “historic milestone” by Mr. Bush. Within a month after that fabulous victory, the insurgency boiled over into the war we have today, taking, among many others, the life of Casey Sheehan.
It’s Casey Sheehan’s mother, not those haggling in Baghdad’s Green Zone, who really changed the landscape in the war this month. Not because of her bumper-sticker politics or the slick left-wing political operatives who have turned her into a circus, but because the original, stubborn fact of her grief brought back the dead the administration had tried for so long to lock out of sight. With a shove from Pat Robertson, her 15 minutes are now up, but even Mr. Robertson’s antics revealed buyer’s remorse about Iraq; his stated motivation for taking out Hugo Chávez by assassination was to avoid “another $200 billion war” to remove a dictator.
Two quick things:
1.) Someone explain to Frank Rich that a milestone is not a finish line. Of course, I am willing to bet he knows the difference, but you can’t write this column and the hundreds others like it unless you conflate the two ideas.
2.) How dare Frank Rich downplay Mother Sheehan’s grief??? How dare he call her a circus? SMEAR MERCHANT!
The parallels between Vietnam and Iraq are actually much closer than the liberals say: both were principled wars, fought for all the right reasons, that were undermined by dissent at home. Both wars were savaged by the MSM, which insisted on reporting only the worst news from the battle front.
That’s the irony here for the libruls. They’re dying to compare Iraq to Vietnam, but they fail to see that it is their own unpatriotic actions that underline the similarities.
Even assuming that “dissent at home” really undermines the war effort — and nobody has ever been able to give actual evidence of that apart from general touchy-feely crap about how the troops need to feel wanted and loved (conservatives have become such New Age hippies, believing that feelings are more important than anything) — it’s an evasion of the real issue, which is that if a war is bad, a private citizen not only has the right but the duty to speak out against it. Conservatives bring up the “undermining the war effort” and “unpatriotic” smears to evade the issues.
If somebody does something wrong, I have a moral duty to say so, even if my saying so might have bad effects. That conservatives want war opposers to shirk their moral duty to speak out against what they believe to be morally wrong — it just shows what a bunch of moral relativists conservatives are.
M.A. — best post on this subject I have ever seen.
We clearly can see from reading Rich’s piece that it is not the (historically low) casualties that bother the lefties, but it’s the fact that Bush hasn’t been personally blamed for them, except by their heroes like Cindy Sheehan. 100% partisan politics, all the time.
How fevered a mind do you have to possess to think that any American who cares is not already well aware of American war casualties? Does Frank Rich want US-flag-draped coffins paraded through the streets, so he and his friends can cry the crocodile tears they reserve for Republican-led enterprises which threaten their chances to have liberals in power? Or to put it another way, where were his cries for a coffin parade after Mogadishu (cue crickets)?
Is that a concern? If so, maybe Karl Rove shouldn’t have been so eager to start planning the political harvest he thought he could reap from the “War on Terror” quite so soon.
“Focus on war and economy” — Rove, June 2002
When your side of this argument shows that it can take responsibility for one thing — just one — I’ll be more inclined to listen with anything more than disgust.
So what’s the “wrong thing” we’re doing that brings this moral duty to bear?
Is it the toppling of a barbaric despot? Is it planting the seeds of democracy in the Middle East? Or is it making the US safer by removing a terrorist threat? Which one of these is the “wrong thing” we’re doing?
Did you mean to include a link, there?
Regardless, it’s one thing to suggest that ancillary political benefit can be derived from doing a worthwhile thing. It’s quite another to oppose a worthwhile thing based solely on political benefits.
Well, John. A milestone does imply that at least part of the race is finished. I think “Mission Accomplished” was supposed to herald the end of military operations in Iraq. To date, if military operations have ended, at least that might explain the bedlam. Perhaps we should send the troops back in or something. Start the mission over again.
Who can you blame for not listening?
“And now our coalition is engaged in securing and reconstructing that country.”
“We have difficult work to do in Iraq. We’re bringing order to parts of that country that remain dangerous.”
“The transition from dictatorship to democracy will take time but it is worth every effort. Our coalition will stay until our work is done.”
Sometimes, John, your innocence and good-heartedness shows through, as in your response to the Georgia voter ID bill yesterday. Other times, though, you’re as snarky as the rest of us. This is one of those times.
A milestone isn’t a finish line…but “The end of major military operations” and “Mission accomplished” but would have been, had they been true. They weren’t. I personally don’t think that the President was lying when he made those declarations, but I don’t find *his* innocence and naivete touching. I don’t pay him for that; I pay him to be hard-boiled and self-critical.
I think you are proving Rich’s point:
I don’t give a shit what Cindy Sheehan thinks about Isreal. I wish you guys on the Right would stop trying to dismiss Ms. Sheehan, realize her 15 are up, and tell us how the situation in Iraq is suppose to play out.
Well, I suspect you already know what we think the “wrong things” are. If not, we can discuss that in a separate argument over whether or not it was morally wrong to invade Iraq. But in any case, you’ve pretty much conceded the original point: if something is morally wrong, there is a duty to speak out against it.
If you think that Rich has a “point” with this little bit of illogical, fantasyland rhetoric, I question your reading comprehension skills. “Definitive proof!” LOLOLOLOL!
So what’s the “wrong thing” we’re doing that brings this moral duty to bear?
How about cost plus? Is there something I can do for you? I only charge a measly 10% comission fee based on what I spend to perform that service for you. Ok ok, you drive a hard bargin, 1%, just for you.
Right wingers haven’t been “defending the presiden’t policy in Iraq”? WTF? Just because you don’t agree with their defense, doesn’t mean they haven’t been defending it.
Of course — my doubt is that many of these protesters are feeling anything more than a partisan duty.
By the way, does the “anti-war” side have the duty to hoax the press ?
What policy? Saying we need to ‘stay the course’, isn’t defending a policy it is repeating a political talking point.
I can’t imagine that this was what Bush had in mind when he told us the course in Iraq so long ago. If it was what he imaged Iraq would be like almost 2 1/2 years after the invasion he didn’t do a very good job of preparing the American public for the consequences of this course of action.
mac buckets…how do you link a hoax like that one with the anti-war movement? I looked, couldn’t find it. Or is that like Rush Limbaugh blaming the fight in Seattle that got a couple of Iraqi War vets injured as an attack from the anti-war left. Rather than the after the bar brawl it was.
So horseshit on your trying to connect a bogus and long played out story to something else…
I bet that “aunt” that wrote those letters was Valerie Plame. Dammit, Joe Wilson strikes again!
Yeah, the fake kid’s “letter to Bush” sure sounds like a pro-war opinion!
DougJ is right. Dissent at home, especially by political leaders, is only the right and good thing to do when a Democrat is in the White House:
Hmm. not sure why there are strike-throughs on those names, but whatever.
I can neither confirm nor deny that. I’m not Karl.
The Kodee story is absolutely fascinating:
Oh, and Mac Buckets – sorry, but you’re full of shit regarding the Kodee hoax being anti-war – below is from the text of the article cited above:
“That last one becomes a challenge anytime she comes to the SIUC campus with Matt. An avid Saluki fan, Kodee loves SIU, but she hates seeing “no war” scrawled on the walls of Faner and becomes confused when reading slogans such as “Bush is the Devil.”
To Kodee, Bush is her father’s boss and she does not understand why people think he is evil. She has also has a very difficult time understanding the war protesters and has begun to fear them the way most kids fear the boogeyman or monsters.”
There maybe are a few people who would oppose anything Bush supports just because they hate Bush (as opposed to people who oppose what Bush does because they think he’s incompetent to carry it out, a not unreasonable belief at this point). That’s why Byron York and the like are so anxious to find examples of protestors who also opposed the Afghan war and anything else, to prove that all opposition to the Iraq war is pure Bush-hatred.
But the obvious fact is that at the time of 9/11 and the Afghan war, Bush had overwhelming support and people who said otherwise were treated as kooks by non-leftist liberals. And this despite the fact that liberals loathed Bush in 2001 and saw him as not legitimately elected (whereas now, at least, his legitimacy is generally accepted). You’re always going to find a few people who hate Bush more than they have any positive agenda, but speaking for myself, if Bush did the right thing, I’d support him. Besides which, if it’s all partisanship, why is there if anything more anti-Bush feeling now, when Bush is no longer up for re-election and opposing Bush has no direct political advantage?
Don’t you mean Who’s who?
Yeah, it’s not what people do that matters. What matters is what people say. If we would all just drop everything and pray for sucess, alog with Dear Leader, we would all be … well, praying for sucess. No need to armor or train the troops, no need to plan, no need to manage our money, just pure heavenly prayer. Kumbayaaaaaaaa …..
Yes, the fictional, naive little girl fictionally hates the anti-war protests (poor little thing just doesn’t understand them, I guess), but then she fictionally writes a letter to Bush saying, “I’m rily mad at you and you make my hart hurt…I don’t think your doing a very good job. You keep sending soldiers to Iraq and it’s not fair. Do you have a soldier of your own in Irak?”
Tell me, why would a war supporter have written a hoax like this? To get the “Awwwww, isn’t it sweet that this girl has been orphaned” response? Remember, her soldier “dad” dies in the end of this little fiction.
Good one, Stormy. I still don’t understand how someone can be tried for revealing information that can be found in Who’s Who.
– Tell me, why would a war supporter have written a hoax like this? To get the “Awwwww, isn’t it sweet that this girl has been orphaned” response? Remember, her soldier “dad” dies in the end of this little fiction.
Having read several articles on the hoax, and having done so with an open mind (try it), I’d guess the ultimate cause is an emotionally disturbed young woman.
Right, because the entry in Who’s Who said “Valerie Plame, secret CIA operative.”
Her maiden name was not a secret. That was found in Who’s Who.
Her marriage to Joseph Wilson was not a secret. That was common knowledge.
The fact that she was a covert CIA operative was a secret. It was not common knowledge. It was not listed in Who’s Who. And its revelation was and is a crime.
Otto Man, anyway you slice it, the whole thing is a tempest in a teapot, proof positive of the librul jihad against the Bush administration. Luckily, the public is tiring of these stunts. I predict that we will soon see a “rally ’round the president” as the public sees a president under siege by a hostile librul media.
Please define covert as it regards the law that you probably think was broken.
It shouldn’t be difficult. When the New York Sun took a poll at the NY “anti-war” marches, something like 60% said they were against the war in Afghanistan, too. (It’s in an article called “Which Side Are They On?” which is, sadly, now on a webpage for paid subscribers only).
I think a more telling question would be, “If liberals are morally opposed to attacking Iraq for it’s alleged WMD threat, why did liberals praise, not protest, Clinton’s bombings of Iraq on those grounds in 1998-1999?” That, for me, shows the partisanship most clearly.
2006 midterms? I never said it was “all partisanship.” I just think partisanship far outstrips moral issues in the make-up of the “anti-war” left. I think that the shifting numbers reflect a disapproval of the handling and results of the reconstruction of Iraq, coupled with 24/7 bad news about Iraq (because good news isn’t marketable news) for 2 1/2 years, rather than a shift in the moral issues.
Who is the “anti-war” left?
Vlad, let’s not forget the Democrat reaction to those who question the President during wartime (when it’s a Democrat President):
Sen. Robert Torricelli (D-New Jersey) called the GOP reaction “as close to a betrayal of the interests of the United States as I’ve ever witnessed in the United States Congress. It’s unforgivable and reprehensible.”
“This is a time for our country to be united, even though we’re divided on other matters,” said Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle (D-South Dakota).
Well, the Intelligence Identities Protection Act of 1982 doesn’t do much in the way of identifying what it means as “covert” even though it uses the term a dozen times.
But given what Plame’s CIA colleague Larry Johnson has had to say on the subject, the term “covert” certainly seems to apply to her.
Mac Buckets, that’s the typical Democratic standard. They branded everyone who questioned the Kosovo boondoggle (a complete disaster, done solely for the purpose of distracting us from Lewinksy-gate) a traitor, yet now they’re all for dissent and free speech. What hypocrites.
Say hello to the goatee-wearing Spock in that alternate reality of yours?
People are tiring of “these stunts”? That must explain Bush’s precipitous drop in the polls and his sudden decision to abandon his vacation and rally the base out in Idaho.
And do you think the public is going to rally around a president they disapprove of by 56%? Criticism of a man they don’t like is going to change their minds?
Otto Man..now that you mention it, I was struck by the fact that Bush feels he has to rally the troops in placs like Utah and Idaho, two of the reddest of the red states. A couple of reasons come to mind, but I’ll just leave those for later.
Funny you mention that, because Daschle took the same attitude after 9/11 and Bush rewarded him by pouring all his energy into getting Daschle defeated.
“why did liberals praise, not protest, Clinton’s bombings of Iraq on those grounds in 1998-1999?”
I don’t remember a lot of cheerleading for this. Clinton felt it was necessary, and acted.
But, you seem to conviently forget two things here. First, Clinton didn’t invade Iraq – he only took out targets that looked suspicious. Second, the Republican hawks ran Clinton into the ground over this and claimed he was wasting money and effort in trying to contain Saddam.
Funny how things change.
“Mac Buckets, that’s the typical Democratic standard. They branded everyone who questioned the Kosovo boondoggle (a complete disaster, done solely for the purpose of distracting us from Lewinksy-gate) a traitor, yet now they’re all for dissent and free speech. What hypocrites.”
This lays out the argument perfectly.
Clinton sided with NATO to take on a growing threat in Europe’s back yard. It is the one and only time NATO has EVER voted for a war (the vote has to be 100% FOR). As Europes allies, we should have helped – as they do in most requests we make for their help.
We planned well, executed well, and completed the objective without losing a single soldier.
This is what DougJ calls a failure! Very enlightening!!
Yeah, it’s almost like there was some precipitating event that put the whole thing into stark perspective. But we’re not supposed to bring it up, so…
“A milestone isn’t a finish line.” If only someone would tell the Spud Government that!
So for all those who like to speak of finish lines, please humor me:
What does the “finish line” in this situation look like? How many likely outcomes are there?
Aside from proof-by-assertion that some linear “We do this, and then this happens” string of assumptions turns out miraculously to be true, but which so far have proven to be around 100% wrong, what gets us to the more favorable of those likely outcomes? How long does that take? How do you keep the support of the American people long enough to get there?
Maybe if the pathetic Spuds Government stopped acting like every glimmer of a milestone was a goddamned finish line, people would stop mistaking one for the other? I’m just saying. Maybe we should hold this Organic Vegetable Government to the same high standard to which we hold newspaper columnists?
Yeah, Daschle took that attitude…for about two weeks, until the first piece of Bush-backed legislation the Democrats opposed came to a vote (Education bill, IIRC), and then it was back to the whiny obstructionism that got him beaten. You’re right, for stowing his vitriol for a couple of weeks, Bush should’ve demanded that Daschle be allowed to run unopposed.
-They branded everyone who questioned the Kosovo boondoggle (a complete disaster, done solely for the purpose of distracting us from Lewinksy-gate)
DougJ – please tell us how it is that you see the Kosovo intervention as a disaster? Seems to me all that genocidal killing stopped? Milosevic is in jail? Karadzik and Mladic in hiding? How many US casualties were there? We look forward to your knowledgeable, fact filled response on this matter.
Do appeals to authority work where you live? Can you not find the definition of the word covert as it relates to the law? Should I take it you’re not an attorney?
Well done, ol’ chap. You’ve won me to your POV. (/sarcasm)
DougJ, I’ve got a question for you. Why “librul”? What’s the point of spelling that word incorrectly? It doesn’t appear to have any “clever” wordplay like “DemonRATS” or “Repuglicans.”
What’s the point?
Do we really need to post all the post-December 16, 1998 quotes from the Democrats again? Better yet, name an elected Democrat who opposed Clinton’s bombings.
I don’t recall any protests, either, except a couple kids heckling Clinton at Ohio State. Noam Chomsky wrote a critical article, but that’s about it. Where were the marches? So tell me again about the moral argument to attacking Iraq.
And that was good enough for the Democrats. No proof of WMD required, no clear policy goal required, no protests of “What has Iraq done to us?” That’s exactly what I was talking about.
And that was OK with Democrats? No proof of WMD required, just fire the missles at Iraq. An act of war is an act of war. An attack is an attack, whether by missile or by ground troops. If there was really a liberal moral outrage to attacking Iraq, there would’ve been massive protests in 1998. But there weren’t, because Iraq is a partisan argument, not a moral one.
No, GOP leader Newt Gingrich said the bombings were an example of “the U.S. leading the world by exercising its military power in an appropriate way.” Senator Helms said “we had no choice.” Some in Congress (and the rest of the citizenry) questioned the timing, coming as it did on the eve of impeachment procedings, but only a couple of loons questioned the policy — and some who opposed the bombings, like Trent Lott, wanted a stronger, more agressive policy than bombing…they wanted Saddam ousted.
The reaction you describe is a fantasy, as far as mainstream Republicans went.
Yes, now that the President is a Republican, liberals are “anti-war” again.
As to why the Clinton bombings struck some of us as less bad than the Bush invasion, the main reason is that they were not based on transparently false premises. (We’re not against bombing Iraq so much as bombing Iraq for reasons that make no sense.) But even if they were, the obvious point was that Clinton did what he did in an effort to prevent a full-scale invasion of Iraq. Many conservatives thought that was immoral. (Ben Stein said that Clinton was a “murderer” for bombing Iraq, but that if he had actually toppled Saddam, that would have made it okay.)
I find it hard to avoid the conclusion that many conservatives view war as a basically good thing — as long as it’s done for the “right” reasons — and avoiding war as a greater evil (appeasement, surrender, etc). In general, liberals — and many paleoconservatives — have the opposite view, that war kills so many people and has such capacity to go wrong that all possible efforts should be made to avoid a full-scale war unless it’s truly necessary. As such, bombing Iraq, or even “containing” Iraq through sanctions that killed people, was a lesser evil than full-scale war. Sometimes this view is wrong, sometimes it’s right. I’m pretty sure this view was right when it came to Iraq — not that that brings me much comfort.
I’m no Clinton lover. If he needs to share a cell with Dear Leader, then, so be it.
The premise for Clinton’s bombing was the same as for Bush’s invasion. If one was a lie, the other was a lie.
Obvious? How is this obvious, if Clinton never said a word about it? And how does a bombing mission where Clinton admittedly had no way of knowing whether it was successful or not, prevent a future invasion? And how does a bombing mission, without putting boots on the ground, fulfill Clinton’s own policy goals (ousting Saddam and setting up a more US-friendly government)?
My suspicion is that, in a few years, Clinton (well, Gore) would’ve wound up invading Iraq to oust Saddam. The only difference would be that the left would now be cheering, not protesting. Just my suspicion…
I’m pretty sure this view is dead wrong when it came to Iraq, especially in the long term.
“The only difference would be that the left would now be cheering, not protesting.”
Of course. Who doesn’t love success?
It’s just a habit.
Strictly by the numbers, mac Buckets, how many soldiers died when Clinton bombed Bagdad? How much money was spent? Was there an exit strategy from Desert Fox? What was the civilian death toll? How many WMDs were captured or destroyed?
Still, I think the best comparison to Iraqi Freedom was in Kosovo. Here we had active ongoing violations of UN sanctions that we dealt with firmly, fairly, and successfully. Last I checked there was no Kosovo insurgency and no anti-American backlash for terrorists to rally around. Milosavic was captured and tried. And the nation was restored to a semi-balance of order.
Best of all, the reasons for marching into Kosovo remained constant through the entire conflict. The Serbs were committing genocide. Period. And we stopped them. Period.
Clinton 1, Bush 0
Man, I miss those Democrats.
Ah, but what did it accomplish? Nothing.
You ask a lot of questions. Answers: 0, $3 billion, not really, probably a thousand (Saddam said more, but that was likely propaganda), no WMD were captured and we don’t know how much, if any, were destroyed.
That’s a highly rose-colored(and factually incorrect) assessment of the Kosovo mission. For starters, Milosevic was not captured. He was voted out of office the next elections. Kosovo is still an unsettled political mess. We used depleted uranium shells that might be causing cancer and birth defects. Several thousand civilians died in the bombings.
Why is that “best of all?” Seems to me to be “least of all.” The provocation of action should be the most important thing, not that it remained constant. By your standard, OK, Saddam was committing genocide. Period. We stopped him. Period.
Whether we should be taking any credit for stopping the genocide in Kosovo is also a matter of debate. Some ethnic Albanians say that the worst acts of ethnic cleansing were provoked by the NATO bombing, rather than averted by it. But eventually, the genocide stopped, so I guess that’s what you meant.
But Iraq’s a moral issue, not a partisan one, right?
Especially when they get to define it, right?
I went back to review the 1998 quotes, and my opinion hasn’t changed a bit. The Gulf War ended in 1991 and Iraq was blanketed with inspectors. A strict trade imbargo was in place. But as time passed, the inspectors ran into greater hurdles and were not granted access to sites. This situation came to a boil in 1998 when Saddam began military excursion into the northern areas threatening Kurdish territory.
This is a time when Saddam was very much seen as an ongoing threat, and Clinton had luke-warm support from the Republicans in his attempts to contain Saddam. Clinton’s order to bomb strategic targets and reinforce the no-fly zones was a concise warning that was supported by most of the planet.
Here is Clinton’s statement that will always rule the day:
“Now, against that background, let us remember the past here. It is against that background that we have repeatedly and unambiguously made clear our preference for a diplomatic solution . . .
But to be a genuine solution, and not simply one that glosses over the remaining problem, a diplomatic solution must include or meet a clear, immutable, reasonable, simple standard.
Iraq must agree and soon, to free, full, unfettered access to these sites anywhere in the country. There can be no dilution or diminishment of the integrity of the inspection system that UNSCOM has put in place.
Clinton wanted clear and unfettered access to all of Iraq. Only then could it be said that Saddam was contained.
Bush HAD clear and unfettered access to all of Iraq. When they found ABSOLUTELY NOTHING, our allies began to back away from supporting an invasion.
Bush threw out the inspectors, cancelled what little attempt had been made regarding diplomacy, and invaded.
The rest is where we are today – and history will record that most of the planet was against this action, and remains against this action.
Come on, John. Rich’s column did NOT conflate “milestones” with “finish lines” — it simply pointed out that the Bushites have spent this entire war declaring one crucial “milestone” after another that was supposedly about to start us safely on the downhill slope to successful withdrawal (“Mission Accomplished”, the capture of Saddam, the election, the writing of the Constitution, ad nauseam) — each of which has turned out to be a wet firecracker leaving us in exactly the same mess we were in previously. It’s like Lucy and the football, and the American public is getting tired of playing Charlie Brown.
As Rich also points out (and as should be obvious), even if by some miracle we do succeed in Iraq, it’s likely to be remembered as the biggest Pyrrhic victory in human history if it allows Iran to get the Bomb, or North Korea or Pakistan to go on the rampage with theirs.
As for Rich calling Sheehan a “circus”: well, are you criticizing him or not? In this matter, Rich is largely on your side (and mine). But the circus there, of course, isn’t limited to one tent, and you’d have a hard time proving that her views are any squirrelier than those of that alarmingly large part of her opposition who think we ought to keep killing more boys in Iraq JUST because we’ve killed so many there already.
Incidentally, during Clinton’s 1998 bombing raids — which, as we know in retrospect, finished off Saddam’s remaining CBW program once and for all — a very large sector of the GOP furiously lambasted him for supposedly doing it to “wag the dog” and distract attention from his Dreadul Monica Sin. (Andrew Sullivan was particularly virulent on this subject and — so help me God — attacked Clinton for bombing “innocent Iraqis”, a statement Sullivan is not eager to have unearthed now.)
Yep, not an attorney. But you know who is? U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald. And he’s been on this for a while now, and since he doesn’t have a reputation for screwing around, I’m going to assume that by that lawyer’s opinion, there was a law broken. Because otherwise, he’d be doing this for no reason.
What is it about conservatives that makes them congenitally unable to use humor? You make Mallard Fillmore seem witty and insightful.
That Doonesbury, what a hoot!
You’ve now appealed to the authority of a US Attorney. That’s 2-for-2.
Perhaps you should go to a local library and get a reference librarian to help you search the US Code.
Oh, and just because I’m sarcastic with you doesn’t mean there’s no sense of humor, just that in my opinion it would likely be wasted on you. But feel free to infer whatever you like about Republicans as a group based on my chiding of you. Sad, really.
Just to correct a little faulty history:
But containment wasn’t the policy anymore. Containment through sanctions and inspections had failed, and the Clintons (both of them) admitted it — Saddam was more entrenched in Iraq than ever, and thousands of Iraqis were dying each month because of Saddam and the UN’s oil-for-food theft. Clinton signed the ILA which made removal of Saddam the official policy of the US, with over $100 million available to fund rebel groups to overthrow Saddam.
Began to back away? Our allies never even supported Clinton’s bombings in 1998, as lame a half-measure as they were. Let’s not pretend that Germany, Russia, and France had any interest in ever removing their moneyman Saddam.
Yeah, it was a huge rush that took 16 UN Resolutions and 12 years. Saddam was given several diplomatic outs that would achieve the policy goals that Clinton expressed in the Iraq Liberation Act, and he chose to call our bluff in an attempt to hold power.
We all have our favorite Clinton quote from that time. I guess mine (as much as I supported his bombing as at least a half-measure) is: “The sanctions system allows Iraq to sell oil for food, for medicine, for other humanitarian supplies for the Iraqi people. We have no quarrel with them. But without the sanctions, we would see the oil-for-food program become oil-for-tanks, resulting in a greater threat to Iraq’s neighbors and less food for its people.”
While his heart was arguably in the right place, this quote shows the same naivety and unrealistic view that recalls Albright’s “I can’t believe the Communist North Koreans lied to us!”
That’s a good one. Not even Clinton himself believes that, and it doesn’t square with either the Deulfer Report or Kay’s statements. Keep rewriting that history, boys — you might be able to trick some uninformed saps!
As I showed upthread: Of course, people questioned the timing of the bombings, because the timing was highly questionable, coming as it did on the eve of impeachment procedings. Clinton didn’t even tell (much less ask) Congress or the UN for backing, so it appeared rushed through. Only a few elected Republicans, however, questioned the policy of bombing Iraq, and some of them opposed because they wanted stronger action, not no action.
What exactly is your point here? Because I don’t have a J.D., there’s no case to be made in the Plame investigation? Because I think that a U.S. Attorney devoting a year or so to an investigation is a good sign that it has merit?
Yes, that’s exactly what I’ll do. Because some snide asshole on the internet isn’t happy with a comment I made, I’ll drive down to the library.
Sorry, I shouldn’t have held everyone responsible for you. How about this — you’re a humorless asshole. Just you. Happy now?
Birkel, I take back the asshole comment. Humorless, yes. But I’ll pull back the asshole tag.
Tell you what. If “covert” doesn’t mean what U.S. Attorney Patrick FitzGerald thinks it means, and doesn’t mean what CIA operative Larry Johnson thinks it means, and doesn’t mean whaty I think it means, then, please, enlighten us.
Otherwise, can the snide comments.