THE TRUTH WILL EMERGE
June 10, 2003 5:15 AM   Subscribe

"And mark my words, the calculated intimidation which we see so often of late by the "powers that be" will only keep the loyal opposition quiet for just so long.  Because eventually, like it always does, the truth will emerge.  And when it does, this house of cards, built of deceit, will fall." This is Senator Byrd, just a light at the end of a very dark and probably very long tunnel.
posted by acrobat (91 comments total)

 
just a light at the end of a very dark and probably very long tunnel

Make that at least two lights
posted by magullo at 5:28 AM on June 10, 2003


The Dean of the Congress
The West Virginian of the 20th Century

LOL .. Just the man we need to take on the President
posted by stbalbach at 5:33 AM on June 10, 2003


He's got my vote. For whatever.
posted by damnitkage at 5:46 AM on June 10, 2003


This Senator Byrd is obviously some kind of pinko, tree-hugging terrorist. If he's not with us, he must be against us. I propose we "change his regime".
posted by walrus at 5:49 AM on June 10, 2003


stbalbach: I must agree with you. After all, who can be stronger than an idiot who wants to fuck up the world. No, no true American wants anybody to take on the President because he is too good a show (comedy, tragedy, parody, fiction, whathaveyou) to be true!
posted by acrobat at 6:10 AM on June 10, 2003


magullo, thank you, and apologies to Ignatius. I now realise I could have placed my link in his post because the theme is identical. Sorry for breaking the discussion in two.
posted by acrobat at 6:17 AM on June 10, 2003


Isn't Senator Byrd a former Klansman? Just what we need.
posted by swerdloff at 6:18 AM on June 10, 2003


It's a double post, and do we really need an FPP every time some politician opens his pie hole?
posted by MrBaliHai at 6:27 AM on June 10, 2003


Sorry, meant to link here.
posted by MrBaliHai at 6:30 AM on June 10, 2003


This isn't a double post. Byrd's comments merit their own post. And to be honest, I'm hoping that the floodgates open up on this one. The more voices the better.
But I dread that they won't.
The people who swallowed our regime's bullshit war rationalization in the first place will likely remain unconvinced, even in the face of irrefutable evidence. It's their sad, sad tendency to be told exactly what they want to hear. To realize that your govermnet actually, truly, lied their way into a preemptive war is just outside their frame of reference, and too painful to comprehend.
posted by ghastlyfop at 6:54 AM on June 10, 2003


acrobat I wasn' calling it a double post - I meant it quite literally. Let's just say that I fully agree with what ghastlyfop says. Unfortunately, I might add.
posted by magullo at 6:59 AM on June 10, 2003


Whoops, my apologies, MrBaliHai. I didn't check that link.
posted by ghastlyfop at 7:04 AM on June 10, 2003


While you people are all so smugly wrenching your arms out of your sockets trying to pat yourselves on the back for being smarter than the common rabble and knowing the truth all along, can you take a moment to answer me just one question, which I've still not heard a satisfactory answer to?

If conclusive proof of the presence of WMD could be gathered in several weeks -- which is obviously what you think, else why would you be accusing the president of lying right now? -- how come it was OK to give the UN over a decade of blundering around, and yet still be willing to give them even more time to "let inspections work"? It certainly wasn't to save lives, so what was it for?
posted by jammer at 7:22 AM on June 10, 2003


bush told them it was ok. and jesus tells him what's ok. and you don't fuck with jesus, man.
posted by quonsar at 7:30 AM on June 10, 2003


If conclusive proof of the presence of WMD could be gathered in several weeks...

Who said anything about several weeks? We've been looking for the WMDs for several years, and haven't found them. Let's ge tthe issue straight--we Bush Bashers think the president had always had complete faith in the UN inspections, but lied about it so he'd have an excuse to invade. You, of course, don't believe the UN inspections were thorough enough, so Bush needs more time. I think Bush is putting as much effort into finding WMDs as OJ has put in looking for the "real killiers." None, because he knows they don't exist.

In case anyone wants to see it, you can read the speech in context in in the Congressional Record.
posted by MrMoonPie at 7:43 AM on June 10, 2003


The people who swallowed our regime's bullshit war rationalization in the first place will likely remain unconvinced, even in the face of irrefutable evidence.
posted by ghastlyfop at 6:54 AM PST on June 10


I've been seeing an awful lot of that lately. Very disturbing, to say the least.
posted by *burp* at 7:46 AM on June 10, 2003


If conclusive proof of the presence of WMD could be gathered in several weeks -- which is obviously what you think

It's not what I think; it's what the administration has already claimed. They don't need to go looking for proof; they already know where it exists. They know what weapons Iraq has, they know where they're being manufactured, and they know how they're being distributed. Right? Remember Powell's UN speech and all those sattelite photos? So yes, I do think proof could be gathered in several weeks; all they have to do is go drive out to wherever they already know the weapons are, pick up a few warheads and some samples of the biological or chemical agents, and bring 'em back to show the press. Nothing to it.

You'd think, if Iraq really had such a weapons system, that some trace of it would exist somewhere: launchers, empty warheads, chemical factories with traces of the agents or their precursors... you'd especially think so, considering the U.S. government claimed that not only did they have such a system but that the CIA knew where it was. How odd that now the U.S. has invaded and its inspectors can go looking anywhere theywant, there's nothing to find...
posted by Mars Saxman at 7:52 AM on June 10, 2003


...pat yourselves on the back for being smarter than the common rabble and knowing the truth all along...
No patting on the back needed. Where I live over 95% of the population had a pretty good idea that it was all bullshit. Indeed it requires breathtaking gullibility (or an impressive propaganda mechanism) to believe that Iraq after 10 years of brutal sanctions and near total disarmament would pose a threat to any country that could muster a troop of boy scouts armed with machettes and a fire brigade with a water canon. Much less the USA.
I mean the Iraqi army used nothing more advanced than an AK-47 even as their country was invaded. To me that is proof enough, if any was needed, that there were never any WMDs to be found in Iraq. The UN weapons inspectors? They have done a great job.

But anyway, I would wager money that a few decent chemical warfare labs are being sent to Iraq as we speak, to be uncovered later by the "inspectors" the US has deployed in Iraq.
I'm only amazed it has taken them so long.
posted by talos at 7:58 AM on June 10, 2003


"While you people are all so smugly wrenching your arms out of your sockets trying to pat yourselves on the back for being smarter than the common rabble..."

Jammer, do you really think this is what it's all about? Do you really think this is just an ego trip or a game of "because I say so"?
posted by acrobat at 8:03 AM on June 10, 2003


Is the fact that we have come to the conclusion that our current government is capable of planting evidence of WMDs in Iraq just a sign that we're freedom haters? Or does it mean that we're honest people who have realized that our current regime is really capable of anything, no matter how blatantly deceptive and appalling.
posted by ghastlyfop at 8:10 AM on June 10, 2003


Do you really think this is just an ego trip or a game of "because I say so"?

I suspect he does, and in that I agree with him.

Asspatfilter!
posted by UncleFes at 8:13 AM on June 10, 2003


Historically, one should keep in mind that presidents who go down in flames tend to do so during the hubris of their second term. Nixon secretly bombed Cambodia, tried to supress the Pentagon papers, and unleashed a series of "dirty tricks" through his first term and noone batted an eye, but it was in his second term that he finally got nailed for trying to cover up Watergate. Reagan's decisions led to the deaths of more than 200 US marines in Lebanon, invaded Grenada, and lied through his teeth about US policies in Central America, but it was only in his second term that he got caught trading arms to Iran and sending aid to the CIA-created contras while maintaining he never remembered signing a single document authorizing any of it. During his first term, Clinton faced the Whitewater investigation, a scandal with FBI files, and bombed Bosnia in 1995, but it wasn't until his second term that he was impeached over Monica Lewinsky.

So, in the end, yes, the truth will emerge. But people just need to keep in mind that you can fool "all of the people all of the time" just long enough to get yourself elected and re-elected to the presidency before the chickens come home to roost.
posted by deanc at 8:16 AM on June 10, 2003


Thanks eanc, excuse me while I go curl up in the fetal position and cry.
posted by Space Coyote at 9:01 AM on June 10, 2003


deanc, that's a good point, but I think a case could be made that this administration, by making reckless excess their M.O., may be positioned to accelerate the process previously described, and thus the chickens could arrive home prior to the election for that second term.

On the other hand, of course, the whole basis of this strategy is that it's so loud, noise-filled and confusing that sincere, logical challenges can be swallowed up and/or batted away by the sheer wall of bombast, so on the whole I'd say it's still too close to call.
posted by soyjoy at 9:08 AM on June 10, 2003


Do you really think this is just an ego trip or a game of "because I say so"?

I suspect he does, and in that I agree with him
.

Could anything happened that transcended politics for you? Are you never compelled by the possible ramifications of a given even on history or even on certain aspects of your life?

There will be a lot of shit-talking when this thing blows up fully, but there will also need to be some reconciliation. When you are feeling scorn and shame for having had been fooled in the most base and ridiculous way, some "asspatter" is going to be the first person to welcome you back into dicscourse. Maybe this is abjectly political for you, and maybe that is because you have hitched your wagon to a cause that could only be small and political, and ignores the broader course of American policy and world history.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 9:14 AM on June 10, 2003


Thank god for Senator Byrd. Yes, I do have big problems with the fact that he used to be a klansman, but I hope that that is sincerely in the past.
I wonder how we can get his ideas out to middle america who is still so blinded by Fox news and Murdoch newspapers so they learn they are being lied to. Big time. How do we spread the word? I am so fearful that Bush is going to win again, even with the lies and distortions, and that Congress will continue to hand over their powers to this inept and morally corrupt president.
What do we do?
posted by aacheson at 9:15 AM on June 10, 2003


Indeed, what do we do? We organize and educate!
I remember the lies about the Gulf of Tonkin. Does anyone remember the lies for Gulf War 1 -- bogus pictures of massing troops and a Republic PR firm pushing the babies torn from incubators story?

If Americans don't come to grips with their history, too often the story of brutal oppression, yes, imperialism . . . then we will hand over our future to the current kacacracy.

Find someone who'll vote in 2004 and patiently educate them. Then ask them to educate others. We've only got a few months!
posted by ahimsakid at 9:50 AM on June 10, 2003


That's a great essay. It doesn't really matter though.

Because anyone who disagrees with him will automatically say 'Klansman' and there will be no more debate.
posted by Yossarian at 9:51 AM on June 10, 2003


Are you never compelled by the possible ramifications of a given even on history or even on certain aspects of your life?

Certainly I am. I also know a little about history, and about my own place in it, which is very very small. Today is not the most dramatic day ever until tomorrow.

When you are feeling scorn and shame for having had been fooled in the most base and ridiculous way, some "asspatter" is going to be the first person to welcome you back into dicscourse.

My feeling is that the current asspatters discourse here has marginalized me and those who think similarly quite nicely and not very subtly, to boot. OK, I'll admit: asspatters" is a bit of snarkiness that I should probably eschew. But even you must admit that the tendency to demonize Bush is strong, recursive and ultimately just as ignorant as the reverse?

But if we all are not fooled any longer, why do we keep discussing it? Politicians lie to get what they want. It's not news. It's not even illegal, so far as I can tell.

Maybe this is abjectly political for you, and maybe that is because you have hitched your wagon to a cause that could only be small and political, and ignores the broader course of American policy and world history.

Well, I certainly don't believe that I am some sort of instrument of destiny. And I believe that I have some hisotrical perspective, that allows me to see the cyclic nature of the broader course. It also, I feel, lends me a certain perspective on current events. We do not live in the worst of times, no matter how dramatic and self-satisfying it is to believe that. Fact is, our times are very good, with occasional bits of nastiness. In any event, I certainly don't plan to get in bed today with some Klansman just because he happens to say something I may agree with. That's MY broader course.

Because anyone who disagrees with him will automatically say 'Klansman' and there will be no more debate.

Bwa! So we're discounting racism now? I can never keep track. Someone ought to notify Trent Lott.
posted by UncleFes at 10:00 AM on June 10, 2003


Regardless of the Senator's past , I can only wish that more of our elected representatives would come out from whatever rock they've been hiding under and speak about this gross misleading of the american people. it is shameful to use a national tragedy to advance ones political agenda and line the pockets of their corporate cronies. Speak out
posted by johnnyv at 10:11 AM on June 10, 2003


Remember, that while it is possible the current administration mistated the direct extent of the threat posed by Iraqi WMD (how weaponized were they, were they deployed to actual army units, etc) no serious global leader or intelligence agency disputed the fact that Iraq possessed WMD, possessed the ability to manufacture WMD, and possessed the will to manufacture WMD.

President Clinton both in the 1990s and now, Al Gore both in the 1990s now, Bush administration officials both in the 1990s and now, and the Blair government both in the 1990s and now have given a conisistent evaluation of the threat posed by Iraqi WMD. Anyone remember 1998's Operation Desert Fox? And all other major European intelligence services (French/German) also actively agreed that Iraq possessed these capbilities.

The controversy running up to the war was whether Hussein actually planned to use the weapons, and whether war was necessary to discover and dismantle the WMDs. None of the major "anti-Bush" governments, (France, Germany, Russia) ever disputed that Iraq possessed banned weapons.

So let's not get too carried away. Yes, its possible people in the administration actively distorted the truth--even lied-- regarding the immediate threat posed by Iraqi WMD. But to suggest that Iraq never possessed WMD and that everyone in the Bush administration knew this but pushed the war anyway is ludicrous. There are enough sources from around the world, all of whom agreed that Iraq possessed WMDs in some form to blow that argument out of the water.
posted by pjgulliver at 10:11 AM on June 10, 2003


Thanks, pjgulliver, for restoring my faith that not eveyone on MeFi is a 40-watt chomsky-wannabe.

By the way, the fact the left is embracing this superannuated hack, known for nothing more notable than racism and providing government handouts for his state, is why it's so irrelevant this days - and why it should be.
posted by mojohand at 10:26 AM on June 10, 2003


pjgulliver,
I don't really care if Iraq USED to have WMD. Japan USED to have an army and they don't now, so does that mean that because they USED to have them and at one time invaded countries with that army that we should assume they have one now and are planning on doing the same?

What I care about is the fact that our President and his administrative officials went out into the world, representing America, stating that they KNOW he has them NOW, that he's edging very close to using them, that the US is in imminent danger, and that they had PROOF of this. It is now apparent that none of that was true in the slightest. AT ALL. That's what I care about. Yes, Iraq used to have WMD. Yes, they used them on the Kurds previously. However, thy didn't have them in March when it appeared, by the President's view, that they had them en mass, were hiding them, and were ready to use them. That is A LIE.

What I want to know is why are all the new sources asking this question of "What is the truth" AFTER THE FACT? Why weren't there more people trying to find out if Bush was telling the truth BEFORE we invaded Iraq? The senators are all jumping on the band wagon to find out the truth now, when they didn't appear to care before the war when they handed Bush all the power he needs that should be theirs. Stupid stupid people.
posted by aacheson at 10:28 AM on June 10, 2003


shaddup klanboy
posted by delmoi at 10:29 AM on June 10, 2003


Politicians lie to get what they want. It's not news. It's not even illegal, so far as I can tell.

Oh, ok. Let's just give Bush a pass on his lies, then. It really doesn't matter much (except to those pesky Iraqis dead at the hands of American troops....and of course those poor, dumb, dead troops among "coalition of the sheep" forces...and maybe it matters a little to those rare, romantic fools who still hold tight to concepts like justice and freedom and even truth).

After all, Oil Prices have fallen (surprise!)... and gosh....maybe even the Holy Stock Market will continue heading up. Where's the drama? Times are good. I mean, what good are truth and justice when they get in the way of our Security or (god forbid) our precious Cash Flow. Politicians lie? We've got ours. Who cares?

Right?

Go tell it to the dead. Tell it to the dying.
posted by fold_and_mutilate at 10:29 AM on June 10, 2003


But even you must admit that the tendency to demonize Bush is strong, recursive and ultimately just as ignorant as the reverse?

Maybe not the last part, but yeah, you're right. As far as being as ignorrant as the reverse, I don't know: dissent and queationing of power are virtues of republican democracy, whereas blind allegiance was more or less the exact thing that people were trying to get over by developing republicanism. The "recursive" part, yeah.

Does all of that negate the validity of current criticims? Not to my eyes. No one is claiming that we live in the "worst of all possible worlds," but even if they were, does that dillute the significance of having Candide as the commander-in-chief of his own private (i.e., no longer subject to congressional approval) military? Again, not to my eyes.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 10:32 AM on June 10, 2003


If conclusive proof of the presence of WMD could be gathered in several weeks -- which is obviously what you think, else why would you be accusing the president of lying right now? -- how come it was OK to give the UN over a decade of blundering around...

Ahem. If conclusive proof could be gathered in several weeks, why was Hans Blix so derided by Bush and his media goons for claiming that it would take, um, several weeks, to finish the work of UNMOVIC in a satisfactory manner? If anyone deserves a pat on the back right now, it's Dr Blix.

There are enough sources from around the world, all of whom agreed that Iraq possessed WMDs in some form to blow that argument out of the water.

And those sources are...? Your local fortune-teller? The guy at the petrol station? Bill O'Reilly? Please, enlighten us. Because if you're talking about the US and UK, for starters, we're already seeing the reports finally emerge that Iraq possessed no credible and immediate WMD threat (and using Robin Cook's valuable definition, a 'weapon of mass destruction' has to be a weapon capable of causing mass destruction, rather than a dubious canvas-sided truck probably used to inflate hydrogen balloons). The UNSC got hoodwinked.

And here's the counter-argument: if Iraq really did have the sophisticated, weaponised WMD capabilities that the US and UK put forward in their PowerPoint whatsits and dodgy dossiers, given that those facilities have now lain undiscovered for a good couple of months, don't you think that George and Tony would be looking a little more shit-scared than they do right now? Wouldn't you expect them to be saying 'we're looking, we're looking!' rather than 'wait and see', while assigning the inspections teams to other duties because there ain't no more sites to search? It's significant enough that Bush is talking about finding a 'weapons programme' rather than actual weapons, as if finding the Pentagon's draft plan to invade Canada in a dusty filing cabinet would be a smoking gun for Jean Chretien.
posted by riviera at 10:43 AM on June 10, 2003


Senator Byrd has been very vocal on this whole issue. He obviously is brave enough to take a stand boy is that refreshing perhaps he will inspire others in Congress to speak their truth if they see it the same way. Its good to see the fog of fear seems to be lifting.

I just hope he doesn't get on a plane anytime soon.

tdg
posted by thedailygrowl at 10:51 AM on June 10, 2003


I just hope he doesn't get on a plane anytime soon.

What, another outbreak of Wellstone's Disease?
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 11:06 AM on June 10, 2003


Do I agree with Byrd? Most emphatically. Am I appalled that one of the only voices raised against the dull thud of dimwitted jackboots is from a racist, pork-snuffling wheezebag? Tremendously. The 'loyal opposition' spends too much time being loyal and not enough time in opposition, in my opinion.

There is a knee-jerk despisal of Bush which is reminiscent of the knee-jerk hatred of Clinton. Neither do very much for social discourse. It is difficult to accept that the country is --by and large-- a complacent haven for smug fratboy-types possessed of a sports fan mentality and a focus that extends not too far from their wallets and their stomachs, and that this majority has elected one of its own, enshrined him in a place of power, and applaud his every xenophobic effort on their behalf.

This is the country these days. I am reading the rorschach my way, of course. If you support the President in all he does, you do not see it this way, naturally. I have the dubious pleasure of travelling all over most of the country. Bush represents a great deal of the population.

There is a horrible aristocratic/republican duality at work here: an ourobouros of opposing realities. Those who believe in a democratic republic see that the People have elected --freely, and with much triumphant display-- a man who promotes an aristocracy of wealth, power, and influence, supported by a rabid propaganda machine. Those who believe in a democratic republic begin to think that the masses are uninformed and ill-prepared to assume the responsibility for choosing their own leaders which is --oops-- an aristocratic notion.

It is a difficult time, but Bush is not the disease. A symptom, perhaps.
posted by umberto at 11:17 AM on June 10, 2003


I just hope he doesn't get on a plane anytime soon.

What, another outbreak of Wellstone's Disease?


Look, kids! It's time for another round of "Kooky Konspiracy Theories."

I'll go you one better: Byrd doesn't really have Parkinson's; it's actually a genetically engineered virus designed to impair his oratorical abilities. Let's get this meme propogated! Pronto!
posted by pardonyou? at 11:26 AM on June 10, 2003


It is a difficult time, but Bush is not the disease. A symptom, perhaps.

Well put. Richard Perle, in his own way, would agree:

"Two things became clear. One, he didn't know very much. The other was he had the confidence to ask questions that revealed he didn't know very much... you got the sense that if he believed something he'd pursue it tenaciously."

The above was quoted in the infamous Vanity Fair article, which I can't find online. Self-link here (scroll to 3rd entry).

pardonyou?

Is there anything that would qualify as an obvious joke to you?
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 11:28 AM on June 10, 2003


But even you must admit that the tendency to demonize Bush is strong, recursive and ultimately just as ignorant as the reverse?

No. When someone is wrong, and when their actions hurt people, you call them on it so they don't do it again. This "we're all entitled to our opinions" hand-holding Barney sing-along bullshit is what gets us into trouble. Sure, everyone's entitled to their opinion. It's just that sometimes your opinion is wrong. And when you have the power to act on wrong opinions, like our president does, you must take responsibility for it and face the consequences.

It's not like us ass-patters had some crystal ball that told us this war was a bad idea. You had the same information we did, though some decided to ignore the facts because it conflicted with their desires. And now history unfolds just as any idiot could have suspected, but you want us to be nice to you and withhold our "I told you so's" to protect your feelings. Screw that. People died because of Bush's war. Americans are suffering under Bush's tax plan. And we told you so, you damned fools. We were right, you were wrong. Step down from the podium and hand the microphone to someone who favors reason and truth over their own sad little agenda.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 11:32 AM on June 10, 2003


Ignatius...Some of us do wonder, sometimes, about the possibility of truth behind such jokes. Vince Foster and all that.
posted by alumshubby at 11:36 AM on June 10, 2003


Well said Civil_D.
This is also the problem we have with the press. Bending over backwards to appear "unbiased" they refuse to clearly indict the liars. Just chalk it up to "mistakes were made", eh?
posted by ahimsakid at 11:49 AM on June 10, 2003


Ignatius...Some of us do wonder, sometimes, about the possibility of truth behind such jokes. Vince Foster and all that.

Makes you wonder who the joke is on, doesn't it?

P.S. I don't know what that sentence I wrote actually means.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 11:49 AM on June 10, 2003


Well said Civil_D.

Pppffft... if you say so.
posted by Witty at 11:50 AM on June 10, 2003


Is there anything that would qualify as an obvious joke to you?

Glad to hear it was a joke (not a particularly funny joke, mind you). But I really can't be blamed for failing to note it's "obviousness," when you consider these comments from the threads posted when Wellstone died:

Barring evidence that the plane was tampered with it's also frustrating news politically.

Noting the possibility of political assassination here is hardly out of line.

Here's a thought--if they want a free, three hour Republican memorial rally shown on teevee, then they should pick one of their own candidates to off. Otherwise, shut the fuck up.

So you'll forgive me for not spotting the "obviousness" of your (or thedailygrowl's) "joke."
posted by pardonyou? at 11:54 AM on June 10, 2003


Ummm....

For those of you bitching that the insepction teams are being reassigned other duties in Iraq before the weapons are found...aren't you the same people who bitch about us not doing enough on the ground to actively provide security, restore services, etc? Just wondering.

It still is amazing to me that everyone is so single minded about this WMD issue. Here we have fine mind's like Foldy's et al, people who are able to divine intricate conspiracies involving most major governments in the world to explain disperate events, but you people keep harping on WMDs. It has to be all or nothing. No one else will accept that any other justification for the war was possible before, during, or after the war. No. That would simply require to much thought and common sense.

Well, there were multiple justifications, that were written about and discussed throughout this country and the world.
posted by pjgulliver at 12:05 PM on June 10, 2003


pjgulliver: no serious global leader or intelligence agency disputed the fact that Iraq possessed WMD, possessed the ability to manufacture WMD, and possessed the will to manufacture WMD.

This is only if you define by serious in such a way that it conceptually entails your point. If on the other hand you look at how many countries (mine included - i am proud to say) resisted the blatant pressure, threats and economic intimidation and remained part of the coalition of UN-willing you might realize that your purported unanimity of opinion is bogus.
posted by srboisvert at 12:08 PM on June 10, 2003


Here we have fine mind's like Foldy's et al, people who are able to divine intricate conspiracies involving most major governments in the world to explain disperate events, but you people keep harping on WMDs.

"Divine..conspiracies"?

You are the one workin' the voodoo, homeboy, and you're workin' it on yourself.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 12:09 PM on June 10, 2003


Sir GreenWood:

Name me a major, serious country, that disputed the existance of WMD programs in Iraq. Even Chirac, in a Februrary interview, said that it was highly likely Iraq possessed WMD and that they had to be found and destroyed. Good lord man, the German government announced in a 2001 intelligence briefing that Iraq was three years from a nuclear weapon and four years from developing weapons capable of hitting Europe. The German government bought huge stores of smallpox vaccine in 2002 in belief that weaponized smallpox existed (hmmm, wonder where.) All 15 members of the security council voted in October for 1441, declaring Iraq in material breach of any number of resolutions, essentially saying, you have WMD.

NO ONE disputed that Iraq possessed WMD programs. There were debates about the extent of the WMD program, but no one, no one, was ready for two weeks of fruitless searching after the war. Not even your precious Canada.
posted by pjgulliver at 12:21 PM on June 10, 2003


Well, there were multiple justifications, that were written about and discussed throughout this country and the world.

Multiple justifications that are all either short-sighted or grossly insular. For example:

1. We did it to free the oppressed Iraqi people.

Even if we forget for a moment that this was going on long before Bush stepped into office, and that Bush didn't seem to mind until 9/11 when it became a national priority, this reason still betrays the fact that you cannot force democracy on a people that are not ready for it. If we wanted to help the Iraqi people form their own democracy, we could have simply practiced our tried-and-true method of supplying them with weapons.

2. We did it to stabilize the Middle East.

And what a fine job it's done. We've turned what was at least a stable nation (if repressed) into complete anarchy. We've given ethical ammunition to the crazy's we are trying to protect ourselves from. We've helped destablize countries that were on the slow path to democracy in a get-freedom-quick scheme that has set them back decades (Iran, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Syria). The religious insurgents in these countries are more active than ever, and what do you think the response will be from their overly authoritarian leaders? More repression. Fantastic. More fuel to the fire.

3. Iraq was a threat to us because they were trying to acquire nuclear and biological weapons that they could sell to terrorists.

Sadaam Hussien, however totalitarian, was secular. The last thing he would have done would have been to give any advantage to those groups in his own country that he was actively repressing (religious fundementalists).
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 12:26 PM on June 10, 2003


ahimsakid!o you mean that Iraq had not invaded Kuwait but this was just a story fed to us? wow. And the Kuwaitis went along with it and pretended they had been invaded and the Saudis thought they were to be next but really knew it was all a hoax but played along with Bush The Father. What guile.
posted by Postroad at 12:27 PM on June 10, 2003


NO ONE disputed that Iraq possessed WMD programs. There were debates about the extent of the WMD program, but no one, no one, was ready for two weeks of fruitless searching after the war. Not even your precious Canada.

Yes, but that's because everyone was willing to concede that Bush was exaggerating the urgency and imminence of Iraq's threat to the US, noone conceived of the extend to which he would engage in out-and-out fraud to make his case. You forget that the case for going to war was based on the Congressional authorization to use force, which portrayed Iraq as an immediate threat, rather than the UN authorization, which never materialized because Iraq was recognized for the crippled despotism that it was.

So yes, if you want to blame me for believing Bush even a little bit, go ahead. I accept responsibility for my actions.
posted by deanc at 12:29 PM on June 10, 2003


but you people keep harping on WMDs.

What did the Bush administration do to justify the war, if not harp on WMDs? If you didn't criticise them for it then, don't criticise others for it now. Belatedly, we're in the part of the game called "put up or shut up". We spent American and Iraqi lives, all the diplomatic capital we had and countless billions we don't have on the war on the basis of those claims. Now they're getting their feet held to the fire, and the call is for them to back up their claims. Well?

NO ONE disputed that Iraq possessed WMD programs.

No one disputed that at some time in the past, Iraq possessed WMD programs. The dispute was about the state of those programs, their readiness, and the truth of administration claims about them, the validity of the evidence presented. The stories about the distortion and fabrication about those claims are emerging on all sides now.
posted by George_Spiggott at 12:33 PM on June 10, 2003


blah

blah

blah

blah!

posted by larry_darrell at 12:35 PM on June 10, 2003


So yes, if you want to blame me for believing Bush even a little bit, go ahead. I accept responsibility for my actions.

Word up deanc. If only that was contagious.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 12:38 PM on June 10, 2003


It still is amazing to me that everyone is so single minded about this WMD issue.

It's still amazing to me that you think that what people are angry about is WMD. We're not angry about WMD, we're angry about BushCo's lies about WMD, and the blistering hypocrisy of his adherents to complain that people are losing patience with Bush's inspection teams when the administration showed ZERO patience with UN inspectors.

You're right, in that it isn't about the WMD - how could it be about WMD when they never existed? It's about lies. That's what we're on about. It's really that simple.
posted by RylandDotNet at 12:52 PM on June 10, 2003


coming in way late on this one but this sums up the sick feeling I've had in my stomach going on 2 years:

"....truth has a way of squeezing out through the cracks, eventually. But the danger is that at some point it may no longer matter."
posted by photoslob at 1:05 PM on June 10, 2003


Ryland, I sympathize, but dude, you sound like someone going on about Monica Lewinsky.

Besides, we don't know for sure that the WMD "never" existed (never recently you mean, here's my hand, c'mon, get up out of that hole) after all. Scenario "Embiggen the Wiggins," where Al-Qaeda recovers the fumble at the 15-yard line, is still a possibility here.
posted by furiousthought at 1:10 PM on June 10, 2003


Sure sure... Bush = Clinton, whatever... but doesn't the comparison seem a bit silly when Clinton lied about relationships with women, and Bush lied about, uh, WAR?
posted by kevspace at 1:22 PM on June 10, 2003


Postroad: Yes, Iraq had invaded Kuwait in August of 1990. However, the American people were not interested in spending blood and treasure to protect the non-democratic government there. The war was a hard sell until:
The key moment occurred on October 10, when a young woman named Nayirah appeared in front of a congressional committee. She told the committee, "I saw the Iraqi soldiers come into the hospital with guns, and go into the room where 15 babies were in incubators. They took the babies out of the incubators, took the incubators and left the babies on the cold floor to die."

Turns out the Republican PR firm of Hill & Knowlton had perpetrated a fraud. It was all lies. We know that now. The point is that we were duped into going to war. It wasn't the first time, it wasn't the last.
Most honest observers will admit this. Won't you?

And another fabrication:
. . .Pentagon officials, citing top-secret satellite images. Pentagon officials estimated that up to 250,000 Iraqi troops and 1,500 tanks stood on the border of Saudi Arabia, threatening the major supplier of oil for the US. The St. Petersburg Times in Florida acquired two commercial Soviet satellite images of the same area, taken at the same time which showed no Iraqi troops visible near the Saudi border - just empty desert.

And the Gulf of Tonkin?--the basis for the eventuality of scores of thousands of American dead in Vietnam.
Another put-up job. A hoax. A calculated lie.

Maybe Postroad is comfortable that those in charge will tell only "white lies" when moving us to war. I believe--however naively-- in fighting for truth, justice, and the American way . . . and that requires honor and integrity by those who would lead.
posted by ahimsakid at 1:25 PM on June 10, 2003


kevspace: Yeah, I know, I agree, I'm on your side on this, really. But why make that comparison any easier? The symmetry was too close for comfort and I was playing devil's advocate a little. Prolly not a wise idea in an Iraq thread but obviously I'm feeling a little slaphappy recently seeing as how I'm posting in them at all.
posted by furiousthought at 1:48 PM on June 10, 2003


I can never keep track.
Middle Easterner sides: Iran now.
posted by thomcatspike at 1:56 PM on June 10, 2003


Sigh.

You people are missing the bigger issue, the US has done the following:

-Made the case for invading a sovereign nation built on false claims
- Sought approval from the majority of the planet, and failed to garner wide ranging support
- Invaded anyway against massive protest
- Currently installing a "friendly" government for the now freed people of Iraq.

The last country to do most of these things, was Germany vs Poland.
posted by CrazyJub at 1:57 PM on June 10, 2003


"An Iranian government official with ties to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei says Tehran sides with the Americans on one big issue — Saddam Hussein's weapons.
"Yes, we agree with the Americans. Our intelligence indicated that Iraq did possess weapons of mass destruction and was hiding them from the U.N.," the official said.
The official, from the top ranks of Iran's cleric-led government, asked to remain anonymous amid escalating tensions between Washington and Tehran."


thomcatspike, consider the source. Now by that I mean either Iran (wanted to see Saddam dead) or the Wash Times (Notorious right-wing run by a Moony)
posted by CrazyJub at 2:04 PM on June 10, 2003


CrazyJub the source agree. Found it an odd article in retrospect to: Iran is our friend; No, Iraq is our friend. Guess it all depends whose country we support at the time. I would like to know who the intelligence is.
posted by thomcatspike at 2:15 PM on June 10, 2003


It's about lies. That's what we're on about.

I'd use the word "pretext" instead of lies. Ther e always was a cogent, coherent case to be made for this war, and privately, it was made. But I think the administration knew that the mass of Americans would not send soldiers off to fight and die because their government wanted to road-test some idea that the U.S. could affect some sort of Democratic domino theory, would not have so enthusiastically backed the conflict were it explained to them in realistic but complex terms of establishing a permanent base of influence in one of the most troubled regions of the world.

Instead, the administration preferred to use the emotional gut punches of WMDs and the poor oppressed Iraqi people - both of which, regardless of their validity or invalidity, were mere pretexts. Because the first is in the process of blowing up in their faces, those who most fervently backed the war are increasingly pointing to the second as the real rationale for all of this. It isn't; it never was more than a small part of the big equation.

What goes around comes around, and just might bite you on the ass.
posted by kgasmart at 2:23 PM on June 10, 2003


Simply stated, there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction.

Dick Cheney
Speech to VFW National Convention
August 26, 2002

That is not pretext.

If the United Nations doesn't have the will or the courage to disarm Saddam Hussein, and if Saddam Hussein will not disarm, for the sake of peace, for the sake of freedom, the United States will lead a coalition to disarm Saddam Hussein

Remarks by the President in New Mexico
October 28, 2002

That is not pretext.

I see the world the way it is. Saddam Hussein is a threat to America. He's a threat to our friends. He's a man who said he wouldn't have weapons of mass destruction, yet he has them.

Remarks by the President at Illinois
November 3, 2002

That is not pretext.

We know for a fact that there are weapons there.

Ari Fleischer
Press BriefingJanuary 9, 2003

That is not pretext.

We know where they are. They're in the area around Tikrit and Baghdad and east, west, south and north somewhat.

Donald Rumsfeld
ABC Interview
March 30, 2003

That is not pretext.

We have high confidence that they have weapons of mass destruction - that is what this war was about, and is about - and we have high confidence it will be found

Ari Fleisher
News Interactive
April 11,2003

That is not pretext.

What we are looking at here is a series of Lies. It was a war predicated on one major issue - Weapons of Mass Destruction, immediate danger to the United States, a two-year window to nuclear weapons, Chemical and biological agents.

And now... nothing. I don't feel like hearing Bush and his junta trying to pull the Clintonesqe "depends on how you define the word 'it'." THEY defined 'it' for eight months. Daily. And now they darned well better bring 'it' to the table.
posted by Perigee at 3:46 PM on June 10, 2003


dick bush and (pronounced to sound like) colon
i'm actually wondering - has any administration ever had so many names related to piss and shit?
posted by Peter H at 3:51 PM on June 10, 2003


For those of you bitching that the insepction teams are being reassigned other duties in Iraq before the weapons are found...aren't you the same people who bitch about us not doing enough on the ground to actively provide security, restore services, etc? Just wondering.

Did you read the report, pjgiilliver? It says that specialist weapons teams are not only being reassigned, but being given time off, because they've run out of sites to survey:
Of the seven Site Survey Teams charged with carrying out the search, only two have assignments for the coming week -- but not at suspected weapons sites.

Lt. Col. Ronald Haan, who runs team 6, is using the time to run his troops through training exercises.
So, they ain't plugging in the power lines. And pardon me, but somehow I didn't think that the military guys with the specialist training in chemical and biological analysis were going to be in the front line against looters and single-minded Iraqis with RPGs. You know, you don't deliberately put technicians in the line of fire too often.

In short, that canard's quacking all the way back to the pond.
posted by riviera at 4:00 PM on June 10, 2003


Bwa! So we're discounting racism now? I can never keep track. Someone ought to notify Trent Lott. - Unclefes

Your memory seems a little short about the Lott affair so let me remind you. Lott said that we would all be better off if the racist Dixiecrat ticket of Strom Thurman had won in 1948.

Byrd has admitted he was a member of the klan and has said it was a mistake. He severed his ties with the klan 60 years ago. If you find Byrd waxing nostalgic about the good ole days when blacks knew their place and wishing things had turned out differently please let me know. I will join you in being confused. As is stands you are throwing away the apples because oranges are fruit.
posted by whatever at 4:19 PM on June 10, 2003


This is too good... the American left rallying behind a GRAND WIZARD OF THE KKK.

I love watching the left wing collapse.
posted by jtm at 4:41 PM on June 10, 2003


This was not just this administration that pointed a finger. If Bush lied so did his predecessor.
Clinton looks like a liar too now. This all goes back to a further administration. No not Clinton, those that run the place...the intelligence. Look I'm not bashing Clinton he was our President. But let's start at the beginning not the end when we point.
posted by thomcatspike at 4:45 PM on June 10, 2003


jtm, tell you what: I'll spot you the 50-year difference in how long it's been, and agree that Byrd is a Klansman if you'll agree that Bush is a cokehead.
posted by George_Spiggott at 4:47 PM on June 10, 2003


the American left rallying behind a GRAND WIZARD OF THE KKK.

I challenge you for a second to show me that Robert Byrd was a Grand Wizard of the KKK (his membership lasted two years, and even George W. "my father got me this national guard commission" Bush couldn't get promoted that quickly). The last Grand Wizard political figure I knew was David Duke, and he was a Republican.

Get your facts straight before shooting off your mouth.

And oh, what Spiggott said, too.
posted by deanc at 4:49 PM on June 10, 2003


This is too good... the American left rallying behind a GRAND WIZARD OF THE KKK.

I love watching the left wing collapse.


This is too good... the American right rallying behind a liar, and all they can think of is to accuse someone who points out the lies of being a Grand Wizard in the KKK. Or to point out uselessly that Clinton lied, too, as if that justifies Bush's lies.

I love watching the right wing collapse.
posted by RylandDotNet at 5:09 PM on June 10, 2003


Can I just ask those who despise the current regime governing the United States....aside from posting to MetaFilter, what are you going to do about it? What does talking about it on this website do? Aside from telling those that agree with how you feel and empathising with them, and pissing off those that disagree, not a lot.

I hate to say it, but ranting on MeFi ain't gonna be much help if you want to elect a new administration.

I'd be out doing something about it myself...educating people who voted for Bush, spreading the word, maybe joining an election campaign now to help prepare the fight against the re-election of Bush next year...but I can't because I'm not living in the US, nor am I a citizen of the US.

I guess the point I'm trying to make here is to stop talking about it, and go and do something. Because if you don't, then it'll be the same old, same old. And I think people not getting off their asses and doing something (ie, apathy) is the main reason the Bush Administration is in power today.
posted by tomcosgrave at 5:39 PM on June 10, 2003


jtm, tell you what: I'll spot you the 50-year difference in how long it's been, and agree that Byrd is a Klansman if you'll agree that Bush is a cokehead.

Uh, uh, bitch set him up?
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 5:42 PM on June 10, 2003


I think people not getting off their asses and doing something (ie, apathy) is the main reason the Bush Administration is in power today.

I agree entirely. Ironically, though, I have seen bitching pay real dividends. The anti-war "movement" and rallies got a lot of people networked, thinking and acting in ways that they had not been, and it will be interesting to see if that carries over to the Presidential race at all. Such has been the case for me. I always saw mainstream politics as being too fucked-up for me to care about, but this time I am volunteering for a campaign (I won't say whose, lest I be called a viral shill on metatalk).
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 5:46 PM on June 10, 2003


Here's a fun screed from the usual. It's got everything, including everyone's favourite, the self Godwin! But there is something to it IMHO.

'Humility rather than hubris would be the appropriate western response to the problems and challenges these countries face.'
posted by asok at 6:10 PM on June 10, 2003


all good soldiers crack like boulders
The sun climbs up to a razon,
violins, new boots, and numbers on a chain
All good soldiers
all good soldiers fall in line
when they march and shout-
are a spectacle
marching and singing-
will go abnywhere the president says-
because the president believes in god-
like all good soldiers-
wait like warheads-
When the fighting starts who will
be accountable, a cannibal, a cannoball
It's six A.M. I can see my breath
and the clay dirt
is laughing at the weekling boy-
today is the day
that I'll write my friends
its something I've been
trying to remenber-
I had a dream of a wall
that was twenty-one stories tall...
All good soldiers fall in line
when they march and shout-
are a respectable
marching and signing-
will go anywhere the president says-
because the president believes in god-
like all good soldiers should

posted by Keyser Soze at 6:20 PM on June 10, 2003


the American left rallying behind a GRAND WIZARD OF THE KKK.

Byrd isn't in the KKK.
posted by mcsweetie at 6:29 PM on June 10, 2003


tomcosgrave, you are absolutely correct. The reason the Christian right wields such disproportionate political power is precisely because, not so long ago, they felt unrepresented and disenfranchised. They did something about it: they got the word out, they organized through community groups and churches, printed flyers and knocked on doors, arranged meetings with candidates and representatives, and worked to get them elected and keep them that way.

The main thing the anti-war protesters seem to excel at lately is blocking traffic. I've nothing against peace marches and I've walked in a few myself, but I have also watched as groups have splintered off afterward for no other reason than to blunder into intersections and belligerently block cars. You have to ask: what are they actually accomplishing? A) Preaching to the choir, and B) alienating and pissing off everyone else. A rally has value if it leads to action, coordination, commonality of purpose that is expressed concretely, with effort and commitment and a genuine desire to communicate and bridge the gulf of understanding. It works if it constitutes a genuine constituency that can make a difference in elections: all candidates covet or fear such groups.

I believe that by and large the current administration represents an extremist minority. But they're a hardworking and reliable extremist minority that learned to speak with one voice. Progressivism in America is fractured and contentious -- not one voice at all. In fact, they will turn on each other rabidly on the least pretext: on as little as a choice of words. Progressivism is not a single orthodoxy but many, and because in so many cases progressivism is simply a cover for one specific flavor of preferentiality or remedialism, they often see other groups as competitors.

In short, you have absolutely nailed it.
posted by George_Spiggott at 6:58 PM on June 10, 2003


I guess the point I'm trying to make here is to stop talking about it, and go and do something.

Since when does one preclude the other? Why does Metafilter discussion equal apathy? Two of your suggestions - "educating people who voted for Bush" and "spreading the word" - involve talking to other people, and what is Metafilter or any other discussion site but a whole lot of people talking to each other? I'm not saying the activities you suggest are without merit, but I am quite tired of the "get off line and go do something in the real world" attitude implied in your post. This is the real world, we're all real people, and this is real conversation.
posted by Mars Saxman at 8:52 PM on June 10, 2003


A rally has value if it leads to action, coordination, commonality of purpose that is expressed concretely, with effort and commitment and a genuine desire to communicate and bridge the gulf of understanding.

You don't see this at the rally itself. Maybe I only speak for my locale, Portland, but it was one of the towns with the ugliest and most destructive protests and I saw some salient organiztion.

For example, at the rallies here opposition was organized to the brutal SB 742, which aimed to put war protestors in jail for life (not hyperbole). This bill died in committee when hundreds flooded the state capitol. I have passed out thousands of informative and unbiased (i.e. totally primary-source, non-editorial) pamphlets about USA PATRIOT, and I know that literally hundreds of people are better informed about the new restrictions on their rights. None of these activities, much less the networking preceding them, would have been possible without political demonstrations.

Do I wish that those stupid teenagers hadn't have blocked traffic and fought with cops? Hell yes, but they aren't going to stop me from being active.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 9:01 PM on June 10, 2003


First of all thomcatspike is correct: The lie started with Clinton. It's also Clinton's responsibility that the inspectors were withdrawn from Iraq.

Secondly: It seems that this discussion is missing a point: even if (against all odds) somehow, someone discovers WMD in Iraq that can be verified and confirmed by independent inspections, it still wouldn't matter because:
a. Saddam and his generals didn't use WMD even as their country was invaded, its army slaughtered and they themselves killed, or captured, or forced into hiding. One cannot imagine what the Baath regime had to lose by using them in these circumstances and I find it implausible that therefore they would be ready to use them at all (if he had them in the first place which, I repeat, seems more and more unlikely by the day).
b. From the performance of the Iraqi army, it became clear that Iraq could not have attacked its neighbors and was not a military threat to any of them. Indeed you will not find a single neighbor of Iraq (besides Israel and Kuwait - the first in possession of WMD itself and the second run by a puppet sheikh that depends on the support of the US to prop up his regime) that supported the invasion and occupation of the country even before the war.
posted by talos at 2:39 AM on June 11, 2003


The reason the Christian right wields such disproportionate political power is precisely because, not so long ago, they felt unrepresented and disenfranchised. They did something about it: they got the word out, they organized through community groups and churches,

Whoa, whoa, whoa, let's just look at that fer a second: They organized through churches.

In other words, they weren't pulling themselves up by their own bootstraps or anything: The Christian Right has a well-established network of pre-organized meeting places in which to plan and conduct political campaigns, on real property on which they pay zero taxes (and indeed, are now in some cases being handed non-Christians' tax dollars). They also have an advantageous spin on the reason to donate to the cause: If you don't, you may burn in hell. Of course, because of this, they're supposed to refrain from outright political involvement... but they don't! And they're not punished for this breach.

All I'm saying is, the mobilization of the Christian Right is a nice example of how people dedicated to a cause can do something about it, but let's not ignore that the deck was already stacked in their favor. For anti-war, or anti-Bush administration types, we can't just steal their playbook, cause we ain't got the stadium.
posted by soyjoy at 8:53 AM on June 11, 2003


Except for labor unions soyjoy. I would say labor unions have traditionally played the same role in democratic politics that churches play in Republican.

Beyond that, this country is going through the greatest religious revival it has experienced in at least a century. Whatever you personal feeling about religion, churches, etc, there are broad swaths of the population, much of it fairly centrist, that also considers itself religious. Democrats have ignored this at their peril. Check out this fascinating article from the Washington Monthly .
posted by pjgulliver at 9:21 AM on June 11, 2003


Except for labor unions soyjoy. I would say labor unions have traditionally played the same role in democratic politics that churches play in Republican.

Yeah, but organized labor is all but dead in the US, and I would not really contend that it has been a consistently progressive force, except as regards labor law (an area in which we should all be thankful for their gains).

Genuine progressives do have meeting places, now, and we're all sitting in it. I don't mean Mefi specifically, but the web. I hope.

This articel from Salon says the same thing: that the left needs to model its institution-building after the right.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 10:22 AM on June 11, 2003


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