19 Dec 2006 fejj   » (Master)

In reading the anti-Bush Administration propoganda that spammed the Slashdot forum under the article about the USGS censor, I was shocked to find such woefully inaccurate libel. Allow me to respond to this piecemeal (for the purpose of clarity, I will quote the slashdot poster with bold italics and any other article with only italics).

You are woefully uninformed (despite your absolutely ridiculous "informative" moderation), not to mention completely wrong. I say this because:

> Iraq was not attcked illegally

Bush and crew lied about the reasons for attacking Iraq. [cnn.com] Iraq had no WMD.

Whoa there cowboy... lets take a step back and take a look at this in perspective. Was this truly a Bush Administration fabricated lie? To answer this question, it is interesting to note that even the Clinton Administration claimed that Iraq had WMDs (a fact that the Left would like you to forget as it would ruin their anti- Bush propoganda and their supposed moral highground).

A Google search provides us with the following link: TRANSCRIPT: CLINTON ON PREEMPTIVE AIRSTRIKES AGAINST IRAQ dated December 16th, 1999. Quoted from the article:

Washington -- President Clinton ordered America's Armed Forces to strike military and security targets in Iraq December 16 to "attack Iraq's nuclear, chemical, and biological programs, and its military capacity to threaten its neighbors."

Clinton states:
"This situation presents a clear and present danger to the stability of the Persian Gulf and the safety of people everywhere. The international community gave Saddam one last chance to resume cooperation with the weapons inspectors. Saddam has failed to seize the chance."

[...]

"If Saddam defies the world and we fail to respond, we will face a far greater threat in the future. Saddam will strike again at his neighbors; he will make war on his own people," Clinton said. "And mark my words, he will develop weapons of mass destruction. He will deploy them, and he will use them. Because we are acting today, it is less likely that we will face these dangers in the future."

If you read the full transcript, you see the following statements:

Their mission is to attack Iraq's nuclear, chemical, and biological programs

[...]

For example, Iraq obstructed UNSCOM's effort to photograph bombs related to its chemical weapons program.

If that's not enough to convince you that the Clinton Administration felt certain that Iraq had possession of WMDs, let us examine a speech he gave in February of 1998:

In the next century, the community of nations may see more and more the very kind of threat Iraq poses now: a rogue state with weapons of mass destruction ready to use them or provide them to terrorists

This seems to counter the uninformed Leftist views that WMDs were an imagination of the Bush Administration. Not only did the Clinton Administration believe that Iraq had (or would soon have, depending on your interpretation of Clinton's statements) possession of WMDs, but it had even launched an attack based on their belief at the time (President Clinton launched missiles at a target in Sudan suspected of being a chemical weapons plant back in the summer of 1998).

If we take a look at the article that the Slashdot poster referenced, we find an amusing admission by that article's author:

Readers may not recall exactly what President Bush said about weapons of mass destruction; I certainly didn't. Thus, I have compiled these statements below. In reviewing them, I saw that he had, indeed, been as explicit and declarative as I had recalled.

We find here that this journalist did research on the subject of Iraq and the claims by the United States that they (Iraq) had Weapons of Mass Destruction, yet he conveniently omits quotes by past presidents claiming the same assertions. A little further investigation brings to light that John W. Dean has a political agenda to push, which is evident by the number of books he has written with anti-conservative sentiments along with the content of his interview with Democracy Now where he pushes that Bush should be impeached.

Folks, I can't stress enough the importance of evaluating the objectivity of the articles you read in newspapers and what you see in the news on television. For starters, you need to realise that a vast majority of the news media are staunch supporters of the Democratic Party and thus have a tendency to provide a slanted view of the facts tipped against the Right (usually, I believe, this is done on a subconscious level but it is there none-the-less; no one can be 100% objective, especially on matters of politics).

in order to generate popular support for his attack on Iraq, Bush and his crew lied to the public.

I think "lied" is a bit extreme here, especially considering that it was the common belief among all officials in the United States that Iraq did in fact have WMDs (note that I say "belief" which is the key word here because in order to lie, one must know for a fact that what he is saying is fictitious in nature - and it has yet to be proven that Iraq never had WMDs, it is only a suspicion that we (the USA) was wrong in our original assumption that they had them).

In fact, subsequent to the first gulf war, Iraq was not threatening anyone or their interests.

While they may not have directly threatened anyone, they were closely collaborating with terrorists which, I believe, many would define as threatening to the safety of our and other nations. Even Clinton, the hero if the Left, has stated that Iraq was a threat to both this nation and the neighbors of Iraq (see above).

The administration repeatedly and specifically claimed that Iraq's administration had direct and unequivocal ties to Al-Quida. And has that been found to be so? No.

As before, it is again interesting to note that the Bush Administration was not the first to make the connection between Iraq and the Al-Qaeda as pointed out by an article in The Washington Times, which states:

The Clinton administration talked about firm evidence linking Saddam Hussein's regime to Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda network years before President Bush made the same statements.
and
In fact, during President Clinton's eight years in office, there were at least two official pronouncements of an alarming alliance between Baghdad and al Qaeda. One came from William S. Cohen, Mr. Clinton's defense secretary. He cited an al Qaeda-Baghdad link to justify the bombing of a pharmaceutical plant in Sudan.

There are even more interesting tidbits in the article, so I urge anyone interested to read further.

As far as whether the Iraq-Al Qaeda connection has been proven to be true or not seems to be a side-issue to the Slashdot poster who only seems interested in trying to argue that the connection was a Bush-concocted lie to the American public. That said, however, let us investigate further.

As Andrew C. McCarthy observes in this article discussing the 9/11 Committee staff's Statement No. 15,

Is the commission staff saying that the CIA director has provided faulty information to Congress? That doesn't appear to be what it is saying at all. This is clear — if anything in this regard can be said to be "clear" — from the staff's murky but carefully phrased summation sentence, which is worth parsing since it is already being gleefully misreported: "We have no credible evidence that Iraq and al Qaeda cooperated on attacks against the United States." (emphasis mine.) That is, the staff is not saying al Qaeda and Iraq did not cooperate — far from it. The staff seems to be saying: "they appear to have cooperated but we do not have sufficient evidence to conclude that they worked in tandem on a specific terrorist attack, such as 9/11, the U.S.S. Cole bombing, or the embassy bombings."

As mentioned in the above article, George Tenet, Director of the CIA, wrote to Congress:

  • Our understanding of the relationship between Iraq and Al Qaeda is evolving and is based on sources of varying reliability. Some of the information we have received comes from detainees, including some of high rank.
  • We have solid reporting of senior level contacts between Iraq and Al Qaeda going back a decade.
  • Credible information indicates that Iraq and Al Qaeda have discussed safe haven and reciprocal nonaggression. Since Operation Enduring Freedom, we have solid evidence of the presence in Iraq of Al Qaeda members, including some that have been in Baghdad.
  • We have credible reporting that Al Qaeda leaders sought contacts in Iraq who could help them acquire W.M.D. capabilities. The reporting also stated that Iraq has provided training to Al Qaeda members in the areas of poisons and gases and making conventional bombs.
  • Iraq's increasing support to extremist Palestinians coupled with growing indications of relationship with Al Qaeda suggest that Baghdad's links to terrorists will increase, even absent U.S. military action.

It seems to be the CIA's consistant assertion that there is, in fact, a connection between Iraq and Al-Qaeda.

I suppose the original Slashdot poster would make the accusation that the CIA is wrong, but can the original Slashdot poster post evidence to the contrary? I somehow doubt it.

Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld specifically claimed they knew where the WMD were. And were they there? No.

For the sake of argument, pretend that you are a drug dealer and the police have given you a written notice stating that they will be searching your home for the possession of drugs on a particular date and that they know where in your household these drugs are "hidden" (and provide, in detail, where those drugs they know of are located). Do you:

  • a) leave the drugs where they are so that they might be discovered and proven to exist
  • b) move the drugs to another location and/or get rid of them altogether

I think any intelligent person would get rid of the drugs or at the very least, hide them in a new location. I'll hold the ludacracy of the Slashdot poster's assertions to be self-evident (especially considering the extensive amount of time between the disclosure of the location of said WMDs and the actual invasion of Iraq to "find" said WMDs).

It does not, unfortunately, address the hundreds of billions of dollars spent in pursuit of this illegitimate war; nor the loss of Iraqi lives; nor the loss of US soldier's lives, and the lives of those soldiers from other countries who ill-advisedly entered into combat with the US in this criminal action.

I find it amusing that the Slashdot poster purports to be so interested in the lives of Iraqis. Does he know how Iraqis are treated under the Saddam Hussein dictatorship? Does he not realise that anyone who displeased Saddam in any way would be executed without a trial? Does he not know of the Human Rights under Saddam Hussein's Iraq? I think, if he did, he would change his mind on this issue.

This website documents further the attrocities committed in Iraq under Saddam Hussein's dictatorship. How can anyone who claims to be concerned about the well being of Iraqis be so against the United States getting involved in Iraq to liberate the people? A good question indeed.

It is unfortunate that US soldiers had to die, but it is a sad reality of war. People die. Was it worth the lives of the men and women who faught so bravely in this conflict? Only time will tell, but it is at this time far too early to tell and will likely never be clear (it's impossible to compare and contrast the outcome of different choices). The only measure we can truly evaluate is the feeling from the soldiers as to what their beliefs are - do they believe that their efforts were in vein? Or do they feel their lives were worth the effort?

I leave it as an exercise to the reader to read the numerous articles where US soldiers involved in the Iraq conflict commented on their feelings of whether it was worth risking their lives. I think you'll find that most feel their efforts were worth it.

The last assertion made by the Slashdot poster claims that other countries blindly followed the US into Iraq. This is naive. No government blindly follows another into war - they all had their own Intelligence and risk analysis, anyone who believes otherwise is a fool.

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