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Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Democrats defend President's Iraq policy (courtesy of Lobo)

Below is a blogger conversation with Loboinok's responses to Creeper...well, actually he lets the Democrats talk for him!!! Questioner in italics, quotes in bold. Sometimes the responses are far better than my posts!

I don't see what pointing at the opposition party has to do with the Bush administration failing to address one of the key issues of their foreign policy (attacking Iraq to prevent use and proliferation of WMD) in any way. Think about what they claimed before they invaded Iraq, then think about the different scenarios that could ensue from that, and how they failed at each and every one:

1. No WMD found. (Going on the assumption that they did exist, it was essential that they be found and secured.)


"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, drug traffickers or organized criminals who travel the world among us unnoticed.

If we fail to respond today, Saddam and all those who would follow in his footsteps will be emboldened tomorrow by the knowledge that they can act with impunity, even in the face of a clear message from the United Nations Security Council and clear evidence of a weapons of mass destruction program."


President Clinton
Address to Joint Chiefs of Staff and Pentagon staff
February 17, 1998


*2. WMD not kept out of hands of shady underground organizations. (Ditto.)

America is threatened by an "unholy axis":

"We must exercise responsibility not just at home, but around the world. On the eve of a new century, we have the power and the duty to build a new era of peace and security.

We must combat an unholy axis of new threats from *terrorists, international criminals, and drug traffickers. These 21st century predators feed on technology and the free flow of information... And they will be all the more lethal if weapons of mass destruction fall into their hands.

Together, we must confront the new hazards of chemical and biological weapons and the *outlaw states, terrorists, and organized criminals seeking to acquire them. Saddam Hussein has spent the better part of this decade and much of his nation's wealth not on providing for the Iraqi people but on developing nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons and the missiles to deliver them."


President Clinton
State of the Union address
January 27, 1998





*2. WMD not kept out of hands of shady underground organizations. (Ditto.)


Regime change in Iraq has been official US policy since 1998:

The Iraq Liberation Act of 1998 (sponsored by Bob Kerrey, John McCain, and Joseph Lieberman, and signed into law by President Clinton) states:

"It should be the policy of the United States to support efforts to remove the regime headed by Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq and to promote the emergence of a democratic government to replace that regime."

Iraq Liberation Act of 1998
105th Congress, 2nd Session
September 29, 1998



"Iraq is a long way from Ohio, but what happens there matters a great deal here. For the risks that the leaders of a rogue state will use nuclear, chemical or biological weapons against us or our allies is the greatest security threat we face."

Madeleine Albright, President Clinton's Secretary of State
Town Hall Meeting on Iraq at Ohio State University
February 18, 1998




"No one has done what Saddam Hussein has done, or is thinking of doing. He is producing weapons of mass destruction, and he is qualitatively and quantitatively different from other dictators."

Madeleine Albright, President Clinton's Secretary of State
Town Hall Meeting on Iraq at Ohio State University
February 18, 1998




"Ten years after the Gulf War and Saddam is still there and still continues to stockpile weapons of mass destruction. Now there are suggestions he is working with al Qaeda, which means the very terrorists who attacked the United States last September may now have access to chemical and biological weapons."

James P. Rubin, President Clinton's State Department spokesman
In a PBS documentary titled "Saddam's Ultimate Solution"
July 11, 2002



"As a member of the House Intelligence Committee, I am keenly aware that the proliferation of chemical and biological weapons is an issue of grave importance to all nations. Saddam Hussein has been engaged in the development of weapons of mass destruction technology which is a threat to countries in the region and he has made a mockery of the weapons inspection process."

Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi (Democrat, California)
Statement on US Led Military Strike Against Iraq
December 16, 1998



3. WMD not contained within Iraq's borders, but allowed to be transported to other suspect nations. (Ditto.)

How would you suggest a military that hasn't even invaded the country, secure WMD within Iraq's border?

Clinton and his administration, talked about taking out Saddam... but they didn't get it done, did they?

Clinton's intelligence services gave him the same info that Bush was given... what did he do with it?

Why are the above Dems, who knew there was WMD, now saying there never was?

How could Saddam, who was all bad and a threat in '98', not be the same or more, after 911?

It's a bad thing to be an "unholy axis" but a "axis of evil" is just hype?

45 UN security violations through Clinton's administration is justification to take military action, but add a few more, a few dozen allies, attacks on our military and our country, and we no longer are justified?

The fact is creeper, Socialism/Marxism has polluted most of our society. It got a strong toe-hold in the 60's and we ended up with Vietnam. Now they are doing the exact same thing, except they don't even bother hiding it any longer.

The Communist Party is supporting the Democrat party today. The Democratic Socialist Party is supporting the Democrats today and all terrorists factions worldwide are supporting the Democrat party today.

http://www.cpusa.org/

http://www.dsausa.org/dsa.html

I would give you the link to the " Congressional Progressive Caucus", but they took everything off their site today (word is getting out)

--

14 comments:

creeper said...

As I noted in the comments on the other post, the response was a rather long-winded evasion of the actual point being made: Bush's failure to meet his objective of securing Saddam's WMDs.

If anyone can let me know how all this pointing at Democrats' quotes in the 1990's is relevant to Bush's failures years down the line, I'd sure appreciate it.

highboy said...

"Bush's failure to meet his objective of securing Saddam's WMDs."

But succeeded in preventing Saddam from using them, and succeeded in bringing to justice a murderer who violated multiple Gulf War ceasefire treaties, which was one of the chief concerns of Bush, if you actually go back and listen to what he said.

creeper said...

Highboy,

thank you for that extraordinarily weak evasion.

"But succeeded in preventing Saddam from using them"

?? What difference does it make which of our enemies uses WMDs against us? So Saddam himself doesn't get to use them, but it's just peachy if they're now in the hands of hostile underground terrorist organizations? Is that what Bush was shooting for?

Was Bush more concerned that Saddam specifically not use WMDs against us than he was with keeping Americans safe from WMDs in enemy hands?

Is scoring partisan points really more important to you than a sober assessment of Bush's success or failure on a pretty important aspect of the central issue of his presidency? If your response to that is along the lines of "he's still better than the Democrats because a Democrat once said this or a Democrat once did that" (as was the case with loboinok's response), then the answer is a resounding "no".

Seriously, Highboy: to now pretend that in Bush's case for war it was more important to bring Saddam to justice than to keep Americans safe from WMDs is simple revisionism. (A bit like "We've never been stay the course".)

highboy said...

"thank you for that extraordinarily weak evasion."

I didn't evade you. Your question was directed at Lobo, who posted the response your questioning.

"to now pretend that in Bush's case for war it was more important to bring Saddam to justice than to keep Americans safe from WMDs is simple revisionism."

Not if you listen to what he actually said in his opening case for going into Iraq. There were about 17 counts against Saddam. Liberal Democrats only like to focus on one, because they feel they got an advantage over it. And they do, because even when WMDs were found,(like the mountains of chemical weapons shells) their liberal media wrote them off as non-lethal threats.

The question you should be asking now Creeper is: what are the Dems going to do? They have outlined absolutely no clear plan whatsover, and have campaigned totally on the "oppose whatever Bush says/does principle. The only strategy that is clearly defined by any of the Dems is the cut and run, pack up and leave strategy.

creeper said...

Highboy,

"I didn't evade you. Your question was directed at Lobo, who posted the response your questioning."

1. It wasn't a question, it was a comment.

2. It wasn't aimed at Lobo, but at anyone reading this thread - even if in the course of that comment it did refer to a response made to Lobo on another thread.

3. In responding to it, you tried to deflect from Bush's failure in meeting his objective in securing the WMD to his success in preventing Saddam from using them, which is hardly a "success" if it means that instead underground terrorist organizations now control those WMDs.

"Not if you listen to what he actually said in his opening case for going into Iraq. There were about 17 counts against Saddam. Liberal Democrats only like to focus on one, because they feel they got an advantage over it."

Why don't you focus on this one too?

Doesn't it matter whether Bush has secured those WMDs, and doesn't it matter if they are now in the hands of terrorist organizations? To you all that matters is that somebody on the other side of the political spectrum's complaining about it and that is politically inconvenient. Gotcha.

Yes, Bush succeeded in deposing Saddam, and Saddam has been brought to justice, but if the national security of the US means anything at all to you, you would understand that this is not some kind of game where a cock-up in one area is justified by past success in another.

Bush has most likely covered every base regarding justifying the invasion of Iraq in some speech or interview at some point. The Iraq resolution focuses on eliminating the WMD threat (including specifically the fear that they be passed on to terrorist organizations for use against the US) and ending the brutal suppression of the Iraqi people. Bringing Saddam himself to justice is a good thing, but not a major part of the official justification for war.

"And they do, because even when WMDs were found,(like the mountains of chemical weapons shells) their liberal media wrote them off as non-lethal threats."

1. In what way exactly are mountains of chemical weapons shells lethal threats? I guess you could hit someone over the head with one. Degraded chemical weapons (such as remains of sarin and mustard gas found elsewhere) are likewise non-lethal threats. If the "liberal media" write them off as such... they're absolutely correct.

2. Did Bush invade Iraq to secure empty shells? If they aren't very old, they can serve as proof that there may have been WMD there at some point, but this does not amount to securing the WMD themselves. (And AFAIK they were old and useless, not constituting a present threat. It was no secret that Saddam had WMD at some point, that's why the inspectors were in there.)

"The question you should be asking now Creeper is: what are the Dems going to do? They have outlined absolutely no clear plan whatsover, and have campaigned totally on the "oppose whatever Bush says/does principle. The only strategy that is clearly defined by any of the Dems is the cut and run, pack up and leave strategy."

Last I checked, the commander in chief was still George W. Bush, and Congress doesn't provide battle plans, day to day (or even month to month) strategic advice etc. They could vote against budget requests relating to Iraq, but in terms of current Iraq strategy the question very much remains: what is Bush going to do? He's already taken a step by getting rid of Rumsfeld; we'll see what comes next.

Blaming Democrats for not having the solution to the mess Bush created is really something. What happened to Bush's exit strategy? Did he ever have one? Do you really expect Congress to hand Bush an exit strategy?

In the long term, the solution has to be a controlled retreat of some kind, gradually handing over control to the Iraqis while most likely maintaining some scaled-down strategic presence in the region. Some Democrats have advocated a very quick withdrawal, but I think most can see the need for this to be a gradual process.

Bush really should come up with an exit strategy at some point...

highboy said...

"To you all that matters is that somebody on the other side of the political spectrum's complaining about it and that is politically inconvenient."

Nice speculation, but completely off the reservation, like much of what you post. What matters to me is that we are making progress in the war on terror. Did Bush secure WMDs? No. That is a failure. (so far) What I've been pointing out is that he's been infinitely more successful in the war on terror than any Democrat who wouldn't have fought in the first place. At least Bush is killing terrorists, which is what the war on terror is all about.

"you would understand that this is not some kind of game where a cock-up in one area is justified by past success in another."

What cock-up? He hasn't secured them yet. And for the hundredth time, WMD was not the only reason we went to war there, so one short coming hardly constitutes a "cock up."

"In the long term, the solution has to be a controlled retreat of some kind, gradually handing over control to the Iraqis while most likely maintaining some scaled-down strategic presence in the region."

You just repeated Bush's exit strategy almost verbatim, so why are you asking what his exit strategy is? He's said all along we'll stand down as Iraq stands up.

Chemical weapons agents:

"BAGHDAD, Aug. 13 -- U.S. troops raiding a warehouse in the northern city of Mosul uncovered a suspected chemical weapons factory containing 1,500 gallons of chemicals believed destined for attacks on U.S. and Iraqi forces and civilians, military officials said Saturday.

Monday's early morning raid found 11 precursor agents, "some of them quite dangerous by themselves," a military spokesman, Lt. Col. Steven A. Boylan, said in Baghdad.

Materials found in a warehouse in Mosul could yield an agent capable of "lingering hazards" for those exposed to it, according to a U.S. military spokesman. He said the lab was relatively new, dating from some time after the invasion of Iraq in 2003.

Combined, the chemicals would yield an agent capable of "lingering hazards" for those exposed to it, Boylan said. The likely targets would have been "coalition and Iraqi security forces, and Iraqi civilians," partly because the chemicals would be difficult to keep from spreading over a wide area, he said."

What's interesting, is that they claim the factory was new. Chemical weapons factories just "appeared" once we entered Iraq apparently.

creeper said...

"Nice speculation, but completely off the reservation, like much of what you post."

Though you prove me right by downplaying his failure and proclaiming yourself happy as long as he's doing better than Democrats. Given your apparently quite low opinion of Democrats, that's really not a very high bar, is it?

"What cock-up? He hasn't secured them yet."

You might have had a point if they were still looking, but the search for WMD was called off over a year ago.

Regarding that find in Mosul, from your link: "Military officials did not immediately identify either the precursors or the agent they could have produced. "We don't want to speculate on any possibilities until our analysis is complete," Col. Henry Franke, a nuclear, biological and chemical defense officer, was quoted as saying in a military statement.

Investigators still were trying to determine who had assembled the alleged lab and whether the expertise came from foreign insurgents or former members of Hussein's security apparatus, the military said."


This was in 2005. So what did they find out? If it had been something damning, surely it would have been a big story.

And don't give me that old nonsense about the "liberal media" suppressing it. The administration can hold a press conference, there are right-wing friendly news outlets, and no shortage of bloggers.

"You just repeated Bush's exit strategy almost verbatim, so why are you asking what his exit strategy is? He's said all along we'll stand down as Iraq stands up."

In such general terms, that may well be Bush's goal. But what is his strategy for getting there? He has gone from wanting to reduce troop levels in 2003 to not being able to do so in 2006 and beyond. That's either one messed up strategy, a strategy out of touch with reality, or a non-existent one.

highboy said...

"And don't give me that old nonsense about the "liberal media" suppressing it."

I surely will.

"The administration can hold a press conference"

They did, as did Rick Santorum. Liberals trashed it.

"there are right-wing friendly news outlets, and no shortage of bloggers."

Most of which did post about it. How do you think I got the link?

"Though you prove me right by downplaying his failure"

and you repeatedly ignore my remarks. Bush didn't fail, that is the point. WMD was not the only mission going into Iraq.

creeper said...

"Most of which did post about it. How do you think I got the link?"

Obfuscation or misunderstanding? Not sure. Highboy, my comment was in reference not to the story you posted, but to what was eventually found out - what exactly the lab contained and who had put it together. You did not post a link to that, and I'm not aware of Santorum holding a press conference about it or bloggers posting about it. These may well exist, so feel free to post the links at your leisure.

"Bush didn't fail, that is the point. WMD was not the only mission going into Iraq."

Bush did fail at the specific objective I pointed out, and it's not just an extremely important one at this point (though I note again you like to think it is less important than partisan politics, or you would have simply admitted by now that it was a failure of a very important national security objective), it was an extremely important one at the time of going to war, and presented as such both to Congress and the American people.

highboy said...

"though I note again you like to think it is less important than partisan politics, or you would have simply admitted by now that it was a failure of a very important national security objective)"

You note wrong of course, since you obviously missed this statement:

"Did Bush secure WMDs? No. That is a failure."

Like I keep telling you creep. Read the comments before responding to them. You'll look smarter.

Santorum's press conference concerning WMD:"We have found weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, chemical weapons," Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa., said in a quickly called press conference late Wednesday afternoon.

Reading from a declassified portion of a report by the National Ground Intelligence Center, a Defense Department intelligence unit, Santorum said: "Since 2003, coalition forces have recovered approximately 500 weapons munitions which contain degraded mustard or sarin nerve agent. Despite many efforts to locate and destroy Iraq's pre-Gulf War chemical munitions, filled and unfilled pre-Gulf War chemical munitions are assessed to still exist."

""The purity of the agents inside the munitions depends on many factors, including the manufacturing process, potential additives and environmental storage conditions. While agents degrade over time, chemical warfare agents remain hazardous and potentially lethal," Santorum read from the document.

"This says weapons have been discovered, more weapons exist and they state that Iraq was not a WMD-free zone, that there are continuing threats from the materials that are or may still be in Iraq," said Rep. Pete Hoekstra, R-Mich., chairman of the House Intelligence Committee.

The weapons are thought to be manufactured before 1991 so they would not be proof of an ongoing WMD program in the 1990s. But they do show that Saddam Hussein was lying when he said all weapons had been destroyed, and it shows that years of on-again, off-again weapons inspections did not uncover these munitions.

Hoekstra said the report, completed in April but only declassified now, shows that "there is still a lot about Iraq that we don't fully understand."

Asked why the Bush administration, if it had known about the information since April or earlier, didn't advertise it, Hoekstra conjectured that the president has been forward-looking and concentrating on the development of a secure government in Iraq.

Offering the official administration response to FOX News, a senior Defense Department official pointed out that the chemical weapons were not in useable conditions.

"This does not reflect a capacity that was built up after 1991," the official said, adding the munitions "are not the WMDs this country and the rest of the world believed Iraq had, and not the WMDs for which this country went to war."

The official said the findings did raise questions about the years of weapons inspections that had not resulted in locating the fairly sizeable stash of chemical weapons. And he noted that it may say something about Hussein's intent and desire. The report does suggest that some of the weapons were likely put on the black market and may have been used outside Iraq.

He also said that the Defense Department statement shortly after the March 2003 invasion saying that "we had all known weapons facilities secured," has proven itself to be untrue.

"It turned out the whole country was an ammo dump," he said, adding that on more than one occasion, a conventional weapons site has been uncovered and chemical weapons have been discovered mixed within them.

Hoekstra and Santorum lamented that Americans were given the impression after a 16-month search conducted by the Iraq Survey Group that the evidence of continuing research and development of weapons of mass destruction was insignificant. But the National Ground Intelligence Center took up where the ISG left off when it completed its report in November 2004, and in the process of collecting intelligence for the purpose of force protection for soldiers and sailors still on the ground in Iraq, has shown that the weapons inspections were incomplete, they and others have said.

"We know it was there, in place, it just wasn't operative when inspectors got there after the war, but we know what the inspectors found from talking with the scientists in Iraq that it could have been cranked up immediately, and that's what Saddam had planned to do if the sanctions against Iraq had halted and they were certainly headed in that direction," said Fred Barnes, editor of The Weekly Standard and a FOX News contributor.

"It is significant. Perhaps, the administration just, they think they weathered the debate over WMD being found there immediately and don't want to return to it again because things are otherwise going better for them, and then, I think, there's mindless resistance to releasing any classified documents from Iraq," Barnes said.

The release of the declassified materials comes as the Senate debates Democratic proposals to create a timetable for U.S. troops to withdraw from Iraq. The debate has had the effect of creating disunity among Democrats, a majority of whom shrunk Wednesday from an amendment proposed by Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts to have troops to be completely withdrawn from Iraq by the middle of next year.

At the same time, congressional Republicans have stayed highly united, rallying around a White House that has seen successes in the last couple weeks, first with the death of terror leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, then the completion of the formation of Iraq's Cabinet and then the announcement Tuesday that another key Al Qaeda in Iraq leader, "religious emir" Mansour Suleiman Mansour Khalifi al-Mashhadani, or Sheik Mansour, was also killed in a U.S. airstrike.

Santorum pointed out that during Wednesday's debate, several Senate Democrats said that no weapons of mass destruction had been found in Iraq, a claim, he said, that the declassified document proves is untrue.

"This is an incredibly — in my mind — significant finding. The idea that, as my colleagues have repeatedly said in this debate on the other side of the aisle, that there are no weapons of mass destruction, is in fact false," he said.

As a result of this new information, under the aegis of his chairmanship, Hoekstra said he is going to ask for more reporting by the various intelligence agencies about weapons of mass destruction.

"We are working on the declassification of the report. We are going to do a thorough search of what additional reports exist in the intelligence community. And we are going to put additional pressure on the Department of Defense and the folks in Iraq to more fully pursue a complete investigation of what existed in Iraq before the war," Hoekstra said."

creeper said...

Highboy,

I take it that the "chemical weapons factory" you talked about earlier didn't warrant much attention once they thoroughly analyzed it, because Santorum completely ignores it in his press conference, instead going on about degraded sarin and mustard gas and empty shells.

Also from the article:

Offering the official administration response to FOX News, a senior Defense Department official pointed out that the chemical weapons were not in useable conditions.

"This does not reflect a capacity that was built up after 1991," the official said, adding the munitions "are not the WMDs this country and the rest of the world believed Iraq had, and not the WMDs for which this country went to war."


Take your own advice and read comments before responding to them. Apparently you'll look smarter.

And thank you for admitting that Bush failed in a key objective of entering this war.

highboy said...

You asked for the Santorum press conference concerning WMD. I fail to see what the problem is.

"And thank you for admitting that Bush failed in a key objective of entering this war."

Thanks for finally reading the comment.

highboy said...

Ah, I didn't realize you wanted a press conference regarding that specific link. I thought we were talking WMDs in general. My bad.

creeper said...

"Ah, I didn't realize you wanted a press conference regarding that specific link. I thought we were talking WMDs in general. My bad."

Yes, it is possible to read someone else's comment and gloss over something, isn't it?