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Breaking the silence
September 23, 2003 5:45 AM   Subscribe

Breaking the silence Last night ITV1 in the UK ran a documentary that is unlikely to be shown in the USA. It is by a respected journalist called John Pilger and amongst other tidbits it shows Colin Powell saying in 1991 that Iraq poses no threat and also Condoleeza Rice confirming the same thing. It also quotes some US officials that the current bunch who seem to be running US foreign policy were known during the administration of Bush senior as "the crazies". Plus much more.
posted by donfactor (101 comments total)

 
I am not sure if I would call John Pilger a "respected journalist", as it appears that he has an axe to grind.
posted by stupidcomputernickname at 6:06 AM on September 23, 2003


How predictable that someone would start the 'is he respected or not' debate. It's simple: sources who agree with his left-wing anti-war views respect Pilger; others will question his use of sources and criticise him as melodramatic or sentimental.

Either way, he is an established journalist who for many years has been given slots on mainstream UK television and has published major books and news articles. Pilger is serious about his work and personally I'm glad we have him.

With regard to grinding axes: if your personal beliefs dictate that you promote peace in favour of war or that you advertise the horrors of conflict rather than the political benefits, then that's not called having an axe to grind... that's called having a conscience.
posted by skylar at 6:15 AM on September 23, 2003


Interesting read, particularly the comment from Ray McGovern "I think we ought to be all worried about fascism (in the United States)."

Another thing from the news today The UN secretary general, Kofi Annan, will openly challenge the White House doctrine of preemptive military intervention today, arguing that it could lead to the unjustified "lawless use of force" and posed a "fundamental challenge" to world peace and stability.

Not that Bush is remotely interested
posted by jonvaughan at 6:17 AM on September 23, 2003


This evil John Pilger, why does he hate out authoritarian war-waging governments so?
posted by Blue Stone at 6:20 AM on September 23, 2003


stupidcomputernickname: Please check his filmography. There is more to him than a quick google search of recent articles will uncover.

(on preview)

What skylar said.
posted by davehat at 6:24 AM on September 23, 2003


How predictable that someone would start the 'is he respected or not' debate.

Of course, donfactor actually "started" the debate by stating it as if it was fact, which it clearly is not.

With regard to grinding axes: if your personal beliefs dictate that you promote peace in favour of war or that you advertise the horrors of conflict rather than the political benefits, then that's not called having an axe to grind... that's called having a conscience.

Ah, yes. The old "if you're against war you have a conscience; if you're in favor of the war, you have no conscience" argument. Never mind that some of us were in favor of the war purely on the basis that deposing Saddam and his murderous regime (including those chips-off-the-old-block Uday and Qusay) would actually save more lives in the long run. That's my conscience, and I'll take it any day over simplistic "war bad/'peace' good" chestnuts.
posted by pardonyou? at 6:30 AM on September 23, 2003


Since I missed the programme, anoyingly, I phoned ITV to see if they were going to repeat it.
The ITV helpdesk knew I was inquiring about the programme before I'd even got the words out of my mouth, so I guess there's been a lot of response.

He said there were no plans to repeat it as of now, but they are selling the video, for £8.23. Dunno if they'll ship overseas for that price, but their phone number is 020 7843 8000.
posted by Blue Stone at 6:32 AM on September 23, 2003


Yes, I am bad, bad bad. Would we call Pat Buchanan a "Respected Journalist"? How 'bout Rush Limbaugh? My point is that Pilger is not a journalist, he is an ideologue who is editorializing, not reporting.
posted by stupidcomputernickname at 6:34 AM on September 23, 2003


I wonder how many lives we'll save by deposing the curent US form of governance and it's political and material support for murderous regimes [including Saddam's] across the world?

Ooh... shall we try. What the hell, eh? What's good for the goose, and all that.
posted by Blue Stone at 6:38 AM on September 23, 2003


Never mind that some of us were in favor of the war purely on the basis that deposing Saddam and his murderous regime (including those chips-off-the-old-block Uday and Qusay) would actually save more lives in the long run.

Peace through War...how Orwellian.
posted by iamck at 6:38 AM on September 23, 2003


I love how each of the constant-talking anti-Bush pundits feels like they're "breaking the silence," though we barely hear anything *except* anti-Bush rhetoric these days.

The silence isn't just broken, it's been ground into the dirt and then jumped on.
posted by oissubke at 6:40 AM on September 23, 2003


we barely hear anything *except* anti-Bush rhetoric these days

oissubke, I think it feels like that to those of us who pay attention to elite/alternative/non-U.S.-based news sources, but there is indeed a lot of silence out there in the mainstream U.S. media regarding the antics of Bush and the other crazies.

I just know you support every effort to get this news and analysis out to as broad a base of opinion as possible, right?
posted by stonerose at 6:46 AM on September 23, 2003


My point is that Pilger is not a journalist, he is an ideologue who is editorializing, not reporting.

How are you defining journalist here? He has worked for decades exposing injustice around the world. Is there some other term for this work? If so, could you enlighten me?
posted by davehat at 6:48 AM on September 23, 2003


So I take it all of you criticizing this link have actually seen the documentary in question?

I can hear your knees jerking from here.
posted by Space Coyote at 6:49 AM on September 23, 2003


"What do you want, Homer?"

"Peas, I want peas."

"Ahh, and how does one get peace?"

"With a knife!"

"That's right!! not with the olive brach, but with the bayonet!"

I love that episode. It's a shame that the president agrees with this once absurd depiction of the American military stance... ah well, times change.

As far as the journalistic integrity of this guy, though, It looks from the brief perusal of his online texts that he isn't really a journalist, per se, but rather a fine "anti-imperialist writer/filmographer" (davehat asked for another term for his work)... and I have no problem with that. Someone let me know if they find out the cost of this documentary shipped to the u.s. [a link would be better, aamof]. I'm also petitioning my local library to carry ANYTHING by him... they've got plenty of Rush Limbaugh, though.
posted by phylum sinter at 6:59 AM on September 23, 2003


Shh, stupidcomputernickname, only questions that demonstrate the proper militant Bush-hate may be asked around here.

And if you think don't think hating Bush justifies making things up, please report to your local Indymedia center for corrective labor - uhm, I mean, voluntary re-education.
posted by Jos Bleau at 7:04 AM on September 23, 2003


oissubke "blah...anti-Bush pundits feels like they're "breaking the silence..." no that feeling is more like hello - what the f is going on exactly - lies were used to convince the public to go to war, they've been shown to be lies, that was months ago, why the hell isn't anyone making any noise? get these maniacs out of power before another 100k people are killed (not to mention another $xbn being flushed down the toilet)
posted by jonvaughan at 7:08 AM on September 23, 2003


Never mind that some of us were in favor of the war purely on the basis that deposing Saddam and his murderous regime (including those chips-off-the-old-block Uday and Qusay) would actually save more lives in the long run.

How long is the long run? That'd be good to know before making such statements given that the killing continues on a daily basis.
posted by Epenthesis at 7:11 AM on September 23, 2003


And if you think don't think hating Bush justifies making things up, please report to your local Indymedia center for corrective labor - uhm, I mean, voluntary re-education.

Either you're nothing but a troll, or you can say what's been 'made up' here.

Which is it?
posted by Space Coyote at 7:12 AM on September 23, 2003


pardonyou?: How boring your life must be, what with your absolute, unerring prescient abilities and all. Your name wouldn't be Atreides, would it?
posted by Cerebus at 7:17 AM on September 23, 2003


All you treasonous liberals are going to prison.
posted by thedude256 at 7:19 AM on September 23, 2003


. It is by a respected journalist called John Pilger and amongst other tidbits it shows Colin Powell saying in 1991 that Iraq poses no threat and also Condoleeza Rice confirming the same thing.

Somehow I doubt Pilger "made up" the footage in question.
posted by jpoulos at 7:31 AM on September 23, 2003


Does anyone know the date for the upcoming Mefi Liberal vs. Conservative Dick-Size Competition?
posted by UncleFes at 7:33 AM on September 23, 2003


Peace through War...how Orwellian.

I never said anything about peace. My point is that the opposite of this war was not peace -- it was violence and loss of life exceeding that from the war.

pardonyou?: How boring your life must be, what with your absolute, unerring prescient abilities and all.

If your point is that nobody knows the future, point taken. But is that a reason not to do anything? Weighing probabilities is part and parcel of deciding to act. And it is fact that Saddam Hussein murdered in excess of a hundred thousand Iraqis. It is also a fact that his sons and erstwhile successors, Uday and Qusay, were more sadistic and murderous than the old man. I'll trade the current status (chaotic though it may be) for that future any day. That's not prescience, that's just simple math.
posted by pardonyou? at 7:34 AM on September 23, 2003


Does anyone know the date for the upcoming Mefi Liberal vs. Conservative Dick-Size Competition?

I think it's the same day as the California recall election. I'd tell everyone not to bother entering, but since I'm neither Liberal nor Conservative, I'm not eligible to compete.
posted by pardonyou? at 7:40 AM on September 23, 2003


Dickly-speaking, pardonyou?, you have to be on one side or the other.
posted by UncleFes at 7:42 AM on September 23, 2003


I don't suppose there's any chance of anyone dragging themselves away from their posturing and actually discussing the documentary, is there?

Not being in the UK, I didn't have a chance to see it, but it sounds interesting enough...
posted by normy at 7:43 AM on September 23, 2003


I'll trade the current status (chaotic though it may be) for that future any day.

Oh, you live in Iraq?
posted by iamck at 7:44 AM on September 23, 2003


Dickly-speaking, pardonyou?, you have to be on one side or the other.

Well, I do "dress to the left," so I guess I'm a Liberal dick.
posted by pardonyou? at 7:46 AM on September 23, 2003


Don't feel badly, Metafilter is a haven for left-wangers.
posted by UncleFes at 7:51 AM on September 23, 2003


Actually, I saw the documentary, and to anyone who's been reading some of the links on Mefi, it's all pretty well trod ground - The thing is that it was shown on ITV, which isn't exactly known for it's anti american sentiments and highbrow political commentary, more for Benny Hill & Jeremy Beadle. I got the impression it was designed for the man in the street, kind of a "Neocons are EVIL" primer. Lots of slow talking and explaining of well known stuff. I repeatedly found myself going "come on, everyone KNOWS all this stuff!" and then I remembered that this was televison, and that people who watch television are stupid.
posted by thedude256 at 8:11 AM on September 23, 2003


Oh, my favourite part was when some neocon yankee moron he was interviewing accused him of being a communist, because he's a LABOUR PARTY member. That's funny, since labour are the ones who are in government and went to war against the UN's approval. And by that extension, bush is allied with communists. Ha ha ha. Americans are dumb.
posted by thedude256 at 8:13 AM on September 23, 2003


jpoulos: Somehow I doubt Pilger "made up" the footage in question.
Ah but you see, that is irrelevant since Pilger is so obviously biased.
I'll trade the current status (chaotic though it may be) for that future any day.
Excuse me but:
a. from a moral standpoint your preferences are worth nothing (as iamck noted). It's not you that is suffering daily murders, the occupation of your country, an increasing death toll, home invasions GI style, lack of electricity, a resurgent islamic fundamentalism, the destruction of your society from 12 years of indiscriminate sanctions, constant aerial bombardment , with an untold number of casualties, and a war "fought" by a vastly superior power in your cities and your countryside (and let's don't get into the discussion of who actually supported Saddam at his most murderous).
b. assuming 100.000 (murdered dissidents) is correct, that makes it around 4.000 murdered per year. The civilian casualties from the war alone were above 7.000, and it seems that the number of deaths in Iraq is reportedly around a thousand/week. Simple math again tells us that, as far as killing rates are concerned, the US army is a much more productive killer than Saddam ever managed to be (and not for lack of trying).
c. The destabilization of Iraq is still work in progress. Let's do the macabre comparisons of death tolls over similar, at least, time frames.
posted by talos at 8:19 AM on September 23, 2003


>Somehow I doubt Pilger "made up" the footage in question.

But with today's video editing capabilities anything is possible! This treasonous "Pilger," that is if that's his real name, could be a master of digital video. Afterall, some people don't like the message so there must be something wrong with the messenger!

If all the pro-war crowd can do is character attacks without even bothering to watch the footage, well then you probably have a good idea on who is bullshitting whom.
posted by skallas at 8:28 AM on September 23, 2003


Ahem... You'd need a television for this, right?
posted by twine42 at 8:37 AM on September 23, 2003


It's not you that is suffering daily murders, the occupation of your country, an increasing death toll, home invasions GI style, lack of electricity, a resurgent islamic fundamentalism, the destruction of your society from 12 years of indiscriminate sanctions

gee talos, i did not know you lived in Detroit.
posted by clavdivs at 8:38 AM on September 23, 2003


"My point is that the opposite of this war was not peace -- it was violence and loss of life exceeding that from the war. " - pardonyou?, September 23, 2003

"He (Saddam Hussein) has not developed any significant capability with respect to weapons of mass destruction. He is unable to project conventional power against his neighbours. - Colin Powell, February 24, 2001

"We are able to keep his arms from him. His military forces have not been rebuilt." Condoleezza Rice, March, 2001

I was just listening to Bush's current speech on the Radio saying that we must embrace the ways of peace, not the ways of the mafia.

complete ... irony ... free ... zone


posted by Blue Stone at 8:41 AM on September 23, 2003


It's not you that is suffering daily murders, the occupation of your country, an increasing death toll, home invasions GI style, lack of electricity, a resurgent islamic fundamentalism, the destruction of your society from 12 years of indiscriminate sanctions, constant aerial bombardment , with an untold number of casualties, and a war "fought" by a vastly superior power in your cities and your countryside ...

Simple math again tells us that, as far as killing rates are concerned, the US army is a much more productive killer than Saddam ever managed to be (and not for lack of trying).

You're right. I'm sure most Iraqis would prefer that Saddam Hussein was still in power.
posted by pardonyou? at 9:06 AM on September 23, 2003


C'mon, pardonyou?, shall I troll the MeFi archives to see if all along you argued that the most compelling reason why Iraq should have been invaded was to save the poor, suffering Iraqi people? Don't think I'd find any lines about WMD or links with al Qaida, do you?

Save me the time and admit that you're a relative latecomer to the argument of humanitarian reasons, first and foremost. Or have you supported troops on the ground in Liberia, as well?

Pilger may indeed have an ax to grind, but the line about "the crazies," the footage of Powell and Rice, it's all real, and as the war drags on, more people are beginning to connect the dots. Clinton hate motivated a lot of people to go to the polls; don't fool yourself, kids. If Iraq is still dragging along at this pace next year, the Bush haters will overwhelm the polls.
posted by kgasmart at 9:07 AM on September 23, 2003


Never mind that some of us were in favor of the war purely on the basis that deposing Saddam and his murderous regime (including those chips-off-the-old-block Uday and Qusay) would actually save more lives in the long run.

Well, one of us was all about 9/11, Al Queda and the Taliban in the beginning, and a bit leery of any invasion of Iraq, which he insisted would require concrete proof that Iraq has/almost has nuclear weapons and plans to use them. Although he did beat the brutal monster drum on a couple of occasions, his ongoing concerns seem to have centered around Weapons Of Mass Destruction. Ironically, he tweaked skallas here for slyly going from one position to another.
posted by y2karl at 9:08 AM on September 23, 2003


You're right. I'm sure most Iraqis would prefer that Saddam Hussein was still in power.

The full extent of how badly this invasion was handled comes out when you realize that this statement is probably true to a large extent. At least Iraqis could take steps to avoid sticking out and being targeted by the regime. Now every other thug on the street who doesn't have to worry about law and order, as well as trigger-happy US soldiers are much harder to live with.
posted by Space Coyote at 9:14 AM on September 23, 2003


All I know is it delayed the start of The Premiership until midnight, so I'm agin it.
posted by squealy at 9:23 AM on September 23, 2003


Long Run?

Who put Saddam in power? (Or was that too long ago?)
For that matter, who set up Osama? (Oh, let's not go there)
If we are serious about peace and security in the long run why are we spending billions to hatch a new generation of people who will remember our indiscriminant killing and hate us? . . . and our children?
If you want to save lives in the long run, Pardonwho, read some history and help educate the US public--the only ones in a position to possibly put the brakes on the next kill fest.
posted by ahimsakid at 9:34 AM on September 23, 2003


skallas, if you're going to try to characterize my posting history, at least do so accurately (of course, I seem to remember that it was you who expressed indignation that anyone would dare bring up someone's posting history). And kgasmart, I'm glad you asked. Before the war started I specifically disclaimed WMD as my basis for supporting the war. That's not to say, skallas, that I didn't think it was an important issue, just that WMD didn't justify the war for me.

On March 18, 2003, two days before the start of the war, I said this:

I know for many of you it's simply easier to categorize everyone who supports military action as bloodthirsty hawks and warmongers. But for me and many others, nothing could be further from the truth. I abhor war in all of its forms. But I consider myself a moral person, and for me in all cases the moral choice that must be made is the one that in the long run minimizes human suffering to the greatest possible extent -- not only for the west, but for Iraq itself. While nobody has a crystal ball, reasonable people can conclude that allowing Saddam Hussein to remain in power will lead to far more death, suffering, and destruction than the coming action to remove him. To me, that's the very definition of moral. To me, that's the very definition of "peace."

So please try to bear that in mind before labelling yourselves the sole proponents of "peace."
posted by pardonyou? at 1:41 PM PST on March 18


Then I said:

[This was a quote from an earlier post] But human rights is actually just the last thing Bush had left to cross off his laundry list of justifications for this war.

I guess I would ask you why your own opinion pivots on Bush's justification, if the net effect will be the same? I am not a Bush supporter, and I think he and his ham-handed administration bungled any opportunity to obtain broad worldwide support. But even that wouldn't have changed the outcome -- it would have been the same war, with the same result, only with some more soldiers from different countries.

My moral judgment doesn't depend on the stated reasons for ridding the world of Saddam Hussein. The fact that he will be deposed is enough for me.


And on June 6, I reiterated my position:

[again, a quote from earlier in the thread]Ah yes; the end, of course, being justified by the means.

In this case, absolutely. Take a look at this:

[a blockquote from an outside source] Third, suppose President Bush in fact had no reputable motive in going to war. Suppose he had only disreputable motives, such as defending his daddy's honor. Does this show that the war is unjustified, morally speaking? Again, the answer is no. Justification is objective; motivation is subjective. The war can be justified as an act of self-defense or liberation of a people (to name just two of many justifications) even if the person waging the war doesn't understand it in those terms - even if he or she doesn't view those as justifications. For consider: Either there is a justification for the war (objectively speaking) or there is not. If there is, then it doesn't matter what motivated President Bush. If there isn't, then it doesn't matter what motivated President Bush. Either way, it doesn't matter what motivated President Bush.

This perfectly encapsulates my thinking on the issue. Yours may differ (and probably does). But I have absolutely no problem saying that the war was justified simply on the basis that thousands of Iraqi lives were saved.
posted by pardonyou? at 12:39 PM PST on June 6


I then said:

To recap: I supported the war for different reasons than WMD. So I have no problem pointing to mass grave stories and saying: "This is why I supported this war." My question for you: Why haven't the stories of Hussein's atrocities convinced you that the war was justified?
posted by pardonyou? at 12:51 PM PST on June 6


The next day, I wrote:

And your arguments are misdirected: I took issue with crumple_and_holepunch's* screed, which was specifically directed at my prior posts. That is what I was responding to. Hell, I personally don't care about Bush and his rationale. I never supported the war for his reasons. (And I don't even support him -- didn't vote for him in 2000 and have no plans to do so in 2004). In fact, if he deliberately lied to the American public to garner support for the war, that can and should be dealt with independently (perhaps up to impeachment). But none of that makes one whit of difference for me in terms of deciding whether the war was justified. See, I'm capable of separating the two. Imagine that!

So you see, "kgasmart," my view of the morality of the war has been consistent from before the war to today. I supported it for purely humanitarian reasons. Yes, WMD was an important issue, but it's not why I came to the conclusion that deposing Saddam Hussein was a moral endeavor. In the future, before you start making allegations about someone's posting history, I'd recommend that you actually read that history first.
posted by pardonyou? at 9:41 AM on September 23, 2003


Does anyone know the date for the upcoming Mefi Liberal vs. Conservative Dick-Size Competition?

I'm on Team Homolefty. But this is Mefi, so maybe that just makes me a homer.

The full extent of how badly this invasion was handled comes out when you realize that this statement is probably true to a large extent.

One doesn't need to be a commie or a closet Ba'athist to be compelled by the mountains of historical data on this one. Anyone who claims that they didn't know before the war that removing a dictatorship breeds chaos is uninformed or dishonest. The extent to which Iraq fits the Yugoslavia model shouldn't surprise anyone: when internal political repression eclipses ethnic and regional conflicts those tendencies don't go away for good; they come back out to flourish in the anarchy and try to fill the power vacuum. Yet more evidence that a well-planned international effort with adequate troops trained in policing would have been far superior to the "shock and awe" that Iraqis continue to experience with every car bomb.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 9:41 AM on September 23, 2003


If your point is that nobody knows the future, point taken. But is that a reason not to do anything?

No. But it is a damn good one to make sure you've explored all the options and have all your ducks in a row before you unleash the dogs of war.

I'll trade the current status (chaotic though it may be) for that future any day.

But you don't live there, do you? How nice of you to trade so easily on the destinies of people you've never met.
posted by Cerebus at 9:45 AM on September 23, 2003


... the moral choice that must be made is the one that in the long run minimizes human suffering to the greatest possible extent ...

There's that prescience again.
posted by Cerebus at 9:47 AM on September 23, 2003


skallas, if you're going to try to characterize my posting history...

Nowhere in this thread did skallas characterize your posting history.
posted by jpoulos at 9:55 AM on September 23, 2003


Nowhere in this thread did skallas characterize your posting history.

Sorry, I misread the author. Obviously I was referring to the post by y2karl. I'm ready for my 40 lashes, or whatever the appropriate MeFi punishment is for mistaken attribution.
posted by pardonyou? at 10:02 AM on September 23, 2003


I consider myself to be a traitorous left wing treehugger, and I get really annoyed with Pilger. The man has a vast amount of experience and knowledge on the subjects he tackles, and yet allows sloppy journalism and sentimentallity to ruin his work, providing the right with an easy stick to beat him with.

The clips of Powell and Rice in 2001 stating that Hussein had no WMDs and could provide no threat were wonderful, so why didn't he use those when interviewing the members of the US administration? Instead he allowed himself to be bogged down in discussions about how many civillian casualties there had been (an important subject, but obviously one that both parties are going to disagree on). The whole section on the woman who lost her entire familly to a US bomb was, while heartbreaking, a terrible piece of journalism, easily countered by the old "bad things happen in war" argument.

For me the argument is not about the ridding of Hussein, which just deterioates into the I'm-glad-he's-gone, so-am-I-but-it's-more-fucked-up-now level, but the fact that reasons where given which now appear to be false.

If three months before the attacks on the WTC members of the US administration were publicly stating that Iraq was no threat then this needs to be investigated. A case was made by officials we elect, and votes were passed on the information they provided. If, as it appears, elected officials lied, then they should be brought to account, no matter what your feelings on the outcome of the war.

On preview:
... the moral choice that must be made is the one that in the long run minimizes human suffering to the greatest possible extent ...

All fine and dandy if the case that was made for war was that Hussein was a bad, oppressive dictator who the world would be better off without. This was not the case for war from either the US or British government.
posted by ciderwoman at 10:15 AM on September 23, 2003


If only I were as much a humanitarian as pardonyou? then I would be in Bagdhad right now helping those poor undeserving people I care so much about instead of wasting time on MeFi trying to convince others of the rightness and certitude of my position. But then, I'm never gonna be so pure as that 'cause I'm an unrepentant liberal and lefty who abhores corporatism and imperialism and oppression in whatever form it takes.
posted by nofundy at 10:36 AM on September 23, 2003


Yeah, whatever. Don't bother addressing arguments; instead, feel free to hypothesize (erroneously) about my posting history, or cast baseless aspersions on the sincerity of my beliefs. I know it feels good to have a place where everyone agrees with you, and it's sometimes uncomfortable to be exposed to a dissenting viewpoint. I'm sorry for making you uncomfortable. Feel free to resume your little circle jerk. And just to show there's no hard feelings, let me leave you with a discussion starter: "Bush sucks because..."
posted by pardonyou? at 10:47 AM on September 23, 2003


hmm, the original post is off by ten years according to this article, the quotes are from 2001 not 1991
posted by mathowie at 10:55 AM on September 23, 2003


In the future, before you start making allegations about someone's posting history, I'd recommend that you actually read that history first.

...but you completely avoided my second question, about Liberia. I put it to you: If in fact your rationale for backing war in Iraq was the "death, suffering and destruction" wrought by Saddam Hussein, if minimizing human suffering is indeed your overriding goal, have you focused equally on this sort of suffering in other nations beyond those which this administration wishes to invade for reasons that - let's both be honest here - had virtually nothing to do with the suffering of its citizens?

Or are you in fact arguing that this was the administration's overriding motivation?

If indeed that is your overriding rationalization, good for you. But will you now argue that every preemptive invasion we stage - and don't kid yourself, for Iraq is only the beginning - is justified based on humanitarian grounds alone? And how does one argue this given the human rights records of some of our erstwhile "allies?"
posted by kgasmart at 10:57 AM on September 23, 2003


Yeah, whatever. Don't bother addressing arguments; instead, feel free to hypothesize (erroneously) about my posting history, or cast baseless aspersions on the sincerity of my beliefs. I know it feels good to have a place where everyone agrees with you, and it's sometimes uncomfortable to be exposed to a dissenting viewpoint. I'm sorry for making you uncomfortable. Feel free to resume your little circle jerk. And just to show there's no hard feelings, let me leave you with a discussion starter: "Bush sucks because..."

Jesus Tap-Dancing FUCK, pardonyou. This thread was about a journalist reporting evidence of Powell and Rice admitting in 1991 that Saddam was not a threat. YOu have since made EIGHT comments out of the 40 or so in the thread, NONE OF WHICH even remotely come close to actually offering a counter-opinion.

You're far from the only person in this thread to engage in the "let's just attack the guy who said it so we don't have to offer any evidence for OUR viewpoint" derail strategy, but there's no way you're going to avoid looking unbelievably pathetic that poor little you isn't being allowed to "expose his dissenting viewpoint" when you've had eight chances to do just that and instead decided to throw more tantrums.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 11:03 AM on September 23, 2003


Mathowie... did you post the wrong link? The article you cited doesn't contain any disputation of the dates Pilger uses.
posted by Blue Stone at 11:08 AM on September 23, 2003


Man... I don't know what I'm talking about sometimes [limited to last post only.] <Going to make cup of tea>
posted by Blue Stone at 11:11 AM on September 23, 2003


i just think it's funny that Pardonyou? is bitching about his previous posting history being brought up in a thread about statements Bush &c. made before the war. I bet they feel the same way.
posted by Space Coyote at 11:12 AM on September 23, 2003


Americans are dumb.

But we sure can kick some stinky Iraqi ass though. Yee Haw!
posted by Witty at 11:30 AM on September 23, 2003


I call bullshit, XQ whatever. My first post was directly relevant to the course of the thread. But then the following was posted by Cerebus:

pardonyou?: How boring your life must be, what with your absolute, unerring prescient abilities and all. Your name wouldn't be Atreides, would it?

The rest flowed from that. I agree that it's completely off topic, but was it inappropriate for me to respond to that statement? Would you have ignored it? And when, exactly, did I throw a "tantrum"? I certainly responded caustically to nofundy's typical non sequiter, but (call me crazy) I really, really, really dislike when people claim that only Liberals care about children and non-Americans, and imply that because I'm not a Liberal, my beliefs are not sincere. Although on further reflection, nofundy was right. Truth be told, my support for the war really wasn't based on my belief that it would save more Iraqi lives in the long run -- what I really wanted was to see the U.S. kill as many Iraqi children as possible! Yee ha! Fry those little punks!

i just think it's funny that Pardonyou? is bitching about his previous posting history being brought up..."

No, not about my posting history being brought up -- about my posting history being mischaracterized. I'm actually very comfortable with my posting history, including the fact that I was once against conflict with Iraq.
posted by pardonyou? at 11:38 AM on September 23, 2003


Ah, yes. It's my fault. Of course. I placed a gun to your head and made you take the bait.
posted by Cerebus at 12:15 PM on September 23, 2003


Am I the only lefty here who fully sympathizes with pardonyou? Confronted with the really stupid argument that no matter what your opinions, conscience demanded opposing the war, that not only was the war wrong, anybody who said they believed it would reduce suffering was lying, he made the beginnings of a defense, and then was promptly smacked down by 50 people yelling about WMDs and Liberia. Let's go over the logical basics here:

1. It's possible to support a particular action even if one doesn't support the larger policy it's part of

Actually, that point kind of sums it up. Maybe I should stop making lists
posted by Tlogmer at 12:22 PM on September 23, 2003


Here's a larger excerpt of Powell's quote compliments of the US State Department via the Israeli Embassy...

"We will always try to consult with our friends in the region so that they are not surprised and do everything we can to explain the purpose of our responses. We had a good discussion, the Foreign Minister and I and the President and I, had a good discussion about the nature of the sanctions--the fact that the sanctions exist-- not for the purpose of hurting the Iraqi people, but for the purpose of keeping in check Saddam Hussein's ambitions toward developing weapons of mass destruction. We should constantly be reviewing our policies, constantly be looking at those sanctions to make sure that they are directed toward that purpose. That purpose is every bit as important now as it was ten years ago when we began it. And frankly they have worked. He has not developed any significant capability with respect to weapons of mass destruction. He is unable to project conventional power against his neighbors. So in effect, our policies have strengthened the security of the neighbors of Iraq, and these are policies that we are going to keep in place, but we are always willing to review them to make sure that they are being carried out in a way that does not affect the Iraqi people but does affect the Iraqi regime's ambitions and the ability to acquire weapons of mass destruction, and we had a good conversation on this issue. "

Later, in a Q&A session he added...

"May I just add a p.s. that if I was a Kuwaiti and I heard leaders in Baghdad claiming that Kuwait is still a part of Iraq and it's going to be included in the flag and the seal, if I knew they were continuing to try to find weapons of mass destruction, I would have no doubt in my mind who those weapons were aimed at. They are being aimed at Arabs, not at the United States or at others. Yes, I think we should…he has to be contained until he realizes the errors of his ways. "
posted by revbrian at 12:22 PM on September 23, 2003


Cerberus, allowing a dictator to remain in power is also a choice foisted upon another people. That doesn't mean it's necessarily the wrong choice, but still.

As far civilian casualties: yes, the war and aftermath killed far more people than Saddam Hussein would have in the same time frame -- but the war also prevented several more decades of his regime. Again, this doesn't mean it was the right choice (especially the way it was pushed through), but this particular sub-argument isn't clear-cut.
posted by Tlogmer at 12:27 PM on September 23, 2003


The point is this: A lot of conservatives have been trying to smear those who opposed this war as unconcerned with the plight of the poor suffering Iraqis, when in many cases their own concern for the same only originated after this administration began talking about invading. And if we're going to justify this sort of action on the basis of humanitarian reasons alone, I'd simply like to see that standard applied across the board, rather than at the convenience of those who use it as a pretext.
posted by kgasmart at 12:51 PM on September 23, 2003


but the war also prevented several more decades of his regime

That only matters if what emerges is better than Hussein's regime, and that outcome has not been assured. If Iraq descends into civil war in coming years, then it may well look like leaving him in power would have been better. But I bet that no matter how it goes down, it will always seem like some third option ("Smart sanctions," a toothful inspections regime) would have been better (thoug we'll obviously never have a chance to try it).
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 12:54 PM on September 23, 2003


Actually, Tlogmer, there is some confusion about whether the war killed more civilians than Saddam would have.
posted by revbrian at 12:54 PM on September 23, 2003


Thanks tlogmer, I appreciate that. I fully understand, and accept, that most people here disagree with me. What drives me nuts are those who feel they're in a position to question the sincerity of my beliefs, simply because they think only those who were anti-war actually care about Iraqis. As I once told the foldster with respect to this very topic: "I'm sure you'd refer to my logic (as you have in the past) as "undefensible utilitarianism," but it seems pretty fucking defensible to me. More importantly, it's honestly and deeply held, so back the fuck off." As you can see, it's kind of a touchy issue for me.
posted by pardonyou? at 1:00 PM on September 23, 2003


What drives me nuts are those who feel they're in a position to question the sincerity of my beliefs, simply because they think only those who were anti-war actually care about Iraqis.

I know you're not talking about me in particular, nor do I doubt that what you say is true some of the time, but one disconnect that has bothered me in Mefi war discourse is that people (I don't know if I mean the pro or anti crowd here, really) don't differentiate between their reasons for supporting the war and the official reasons given.

Personally, I don't doubt the sincerity of your position at all. But it would be irresponsible for you or me to conflate your personal views with the justifications for war that were given by those who actually prosecuted it (and I'm not saying that you are doing that here). We all need to be careful about the difference between your reasons and the reasons. I think that sloppiness in that regard is the course of a lot of the misattribution and malice that flies around.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 1:23 PM on September 23, 2003


course=cause
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 1:23 PM on September 23, 2003


I hate explaining the point like this, but anyway--

The point I'm trying to make, and that I guess I'm being far too subtle about, is that using the humanitarian argument of "inaction will lead to more deaths than action" as a causus belli presumes absolute foreknowledge of events.

Which you can't have, assuming the Amazing Randi is right about all this paranormal hoohah.

So don't present your argument as a fact. It's an opinion, and a disputable one at that.
posted by Cerebus at 1:44 PM on September 23, 2003


I agree with you, Ignatius, but my point is that I have differentiated. Earlier in this thread I quoted a prior post of mine: "Hell, I personally don't care about Bush and his rationale. I never supported the war for his reasons. (And I don't even support him -- didn't vote for him in 2000 and have no plans to do so in 2004). In fact, if he deliberately lied to the American public to garner support for the war, that can and should be dealt with independently (perhaps up to impeachment). But none of that makes one whit of difference for me in terms of deciding whether the war was justified. See, I'm capable of separating the two. Imagine that!"

I don't see why supporting the war is automatically equated with buying into the administration's arguments. On many occasions -- including before the war started -- I argued that the official "reasons" should be somewhat irrelevant to every person's personal belief about whether the war is justified. The "reasons" did not impact the strategy and progress of the war itself. No matter what the reason, the war involved marching up to Baghdad and deposing the Baathist regime (which, lest we forget, is a good thing). I actually find fault in anyone who would say, "Yes, I see how the war could be justified on X basis, but I didn't support it because Bush gave Y as his reason."

I still find this to be the best encapsulation of my beliefs:

Third, suppose President Bush in fact had no reputable motive in going to war. Suppose he had only disreputable motives, such as defending his daddy's honor. Does this show that the war is unjustified, morally speaking? Again, the answer is no. Justification is objective; motivation is subjective. The war can be justified as an act of self-defense or liberation of a people (to name just two of many justifications) even if the person waging the war doesn't understand it in those terms - even if he or she doesn't view those as justifications. For consider: Either there is a justification for the war (objectively speaking) or there is not. If there is, then it doesn't matter what motivated President Bush. If there isn't, then it doesn't matter what motivated President Bush. Either way, it doesn't matter what motivated President Bush.
posted by pardonyou? at 1:48 PM on September 23, 2003


You're right. I'm sure most Iraqis would prefer that Saddam Hussein was still in power.
Faced with a dilemma between a local despot and a foreign colonial power (that seems to have a similarly low regard for non-american life BTW) there isn't much of a choice is there? The US is still now refusing to hand over the government even to its flunkies in the governing council.
I mean would you prefer to be governed by the John Birtch society or the Chinese government? Would you be supporting the Russians if they unilateraly invaded Pakistan to remove the military junta? Are these choices? Because if they are, I have a better one: let Iran democratize Iraq. They have supported far fewer despots abroad than the US has, and have set up exactly the same number of democracies around the world, during the past 30 years as the US.
posted by talos at 1:52 PM on September 23, 2003


Oh and about motivations: It makes a great deal of difference what the people who will be actually waging the war believe. If removing Saddam Hussein by itself was sufficient reason for waging war against Iraq, regardless of the war aims of the perpetrators, then there shouldn't be a problem with Iran (to cite my example above) doing exactly that - and you would have supported them had they done so? Or imagine that Washington true aims were to just control the oil fields and the heck with the Iraqis, wouldn't that make a difference? In fact unless you take into account the actual decision makers' motivations, there is no logical way to make any meaningful assessment about the results of a given action.
posted by talos at 2:05 PM on September 23, 2003


Either way, it doesn't matter what motivated President Bush.

Of course it does. Motivation is the basis of the ethical problem. The suggestion that a president may be allowed to spend lives and wealth as he chooses, for sound reasons or unsound ones, is utterly insupportable. We must know his true motives and assent to them, or we have no democracy.
posted by George_Spiggott at 2:08 PM on September 23, 2003


George, I think you missed the point. Of course it matters. It just doesn't matter for the question of whether the war was objectively justifiable or not. That calculus can take place totally independent of Bush's motivations. And Bush's motivations can (and should) be addressed or criticized without concluding that the war wasn't justified.
posted by pardonyou? at 2:13 PM on September 23, 2003


The only way you can assess whether the war was justifiable is to look at the objectives and examine the various options for achieving those objectives. If the objectives are falsely given, you've invalidated half your basis. If the other options for achieving them are misrepresented, you've invalidated the other half.

We cannot judge the "rightness" of the war merely on the basis of a single outcome -- Saddam being out of power. If that was the sole objective, was the war the best way to achieve it? Are the collateral outcomes of the method by which it was achived acceptable? How do they compare to the other means which could have been tried, had we not been led into war on another pretext?
posted by George_Spiggott at 2:24 PM on September 23, 2003


So pardonwhatever? - Who's next?

I mean, if you are serious in your statement about the humanitarian justification for deposing/invading/reconstructing - and I accept that you are - which country is next?

Will it be a non-democratic authoritarian oil-producer, like say Saudi Arabia, or Syria? Or maybe a non-democratic authoritarian non-oil producer, like say Zimbabwe, or China?

Or maybe you would have a small list of your own. Please let us know whether there are any regimes which deserve - in your eyes - to be taken out, or have we finished with the moral crusade for now?
posted by dash_slot- at 2:28 PM on September 23, 2003


Zimbabwe's got some kick-ass diamonds.
posted by jpoulos at 2:35 PM on September 23, 2003


George, I think you missed the point. Of course it matters. It just doesn't matter for the question of whether the war was objectively justifiable or not.

Intent has a bearing on an objective justification because it increases or decreases certain side-effects. The diplomatic fallout from lying to go to war is going to be very detrimental to the "war on terror," which requires some degree of multilateralism, even if Don Rumsfeld finds it distasteful. In the abstract, I think that weighing potential side-effects or disadvantages of a given decision are as important as determining whether it will solve the stated problem.

I mean, nuking the entire middle east also would have gotten rid of Saddam Hussein, and poisoning the entire American population overnight would make any other security threats irrelevant, but they are both bad ideas because of their crappy baggage. That's why morality is overated when it comes to group decision making, and pragmatic ethics are the way to go.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 2:51 PM on September 23, 2003


Zimbabwe's got some kick-ass diamonds.

True, but China's got great Chinese food.
posted by jonmc at 3:11 PM on September 23, 2003


jonmc, stop trying to find consensus. Can't you see we're trying to have an argument here?
posted by dash_slot- at 3:15 PM on September 23, 2003


"An argument? Oh I'm sorry, this is abuse. Two doors to the left, sir."
posted by jonmc at 3:24 PM on September 23, 2003


So after all this, who should I vote for next year? The current administration or somebody - anybody - else? Please advise.
posted by donfactor at 3:40 PM on September 23, 2003


"Feck off!!"
posted by dash_slot- at 3:43 PM on September 23, 2003


Clinton hate motivated a lot of people to go to the polls; don't fool yourself, kids. If Iraq is still dragging along at this pace next year, the Bush haters will overwhelm the polls.

Irony, Bush did what Clinton said we should do. Would like to know whom gave them both their thoughts.

So after all this, who should I vote for next year? The current administration or somebody - anybody - else? Please advise.
It would be a dream, we all voted "none of the above" as in not above the people I represent.
posted by thomcatspike at 3:55 PM on September 23, 2003


Oh, pardonyou, please....continue to straddle and/or retreat like the rest of the war-lovers, if it will now help you assuage a certain guilt over your support of the quagmire we were lied into.

Your propensity to tap-dance (matched nicely by the Bush administration) is really matched only by your absolute, mystical belief about what might have been for the Iraqi people....all in the face of certainty about what actually happened to the Iraqi people.

Go prophesy about what "might have been" to the Iraqi dead and dying. Preach to the American dead, pardonyou. Tell them your position is just a benign "utilitarianism" (it is not, in fact). Tell them their deaths are really part of your grand vision of a "utilitarian" paradise that's just bound to come true in the glorious future that you somehow magically can foresee for the (surviving) Iraqi people.

I doubt you'll get much argument from your audience.

As for trying to pass your mislabeled "utilitarian" bullshit off on the rest of us, there is absolutely no disputing the death and chaos that has fallen on Iraq, all because of the misguided beliefs and wishes of people earnestly lying about whatever would work to get this selective, cowardly little war cranked up: terrorist connections, weapons of mass destruction, stabilization of the Middle East, democratization of the Middle East, and the amazingly fucking EMERGENCY deposition of a dictator who killed some of his own people over years...including years during which WE supported him, until it no longer suited OUR purposes (STILL no word from pardonyou and the rest of the war lovers about why dictators WE support aren't having their populace and infrastructure shot to shit on this fine September day).

Well, can you imagine? None of those lies/excuses seem to be panning out. So now these same sad war apologists are left to retreat to this one miserable refrain -- "you know, we maybe coulda saved thousands more future Iraqis ....by preemptively killing thousands of Iraqis TODAY. That's it. That's really what we meant all along. We presciently know what's best for the Iraqi people. After all, we're 'utilitarianists'."

Execrable.

You supported preemptively killing Iraqis, but you want us to believe in your bleedingest heart that you really, really, REALLY, care about the Iraqi people. Right. Methinks thou dost protest way too much. And with friends like you....
posted by fold_and_mutilate at 4:52 PM on September 23, 2003


So basically, you're saying that you presciently know what is best for the Iraqi people, except that it's the opposite of what pardonyou presciently knows.

Sure am glad you cleared that up.
posted by kindall at 9:06 PM on September 23, 2003


can we please stop debating non issues like the murder of innocent people and focus on the more important things in life - ie pardonyous posting history .
posted by sgt.serenity at 4:03 AM on September 24, 2003


[struggle] So erm, how difficult would it be to convert a PAL VHS recording to NTSC? Or has anyone got this on their HD and willing to burn a copy to send to the u.s. for $30? [/struggle]

Anyone, anyone?
posted by phylum sinter at 5:36 AM on September 24, 2003


So basically, you're saying that you presciently know what is best for the Iraqi people, except that it's the opposite of what pardonyou presciently knows.

Sure am glad you cleared that up.


Don't put words in my mouth. It's generally considered rude and bad debating technique. You might make a note of that for the future, before someone calls you an asshat.
posted by Cerebus at 6:03 AM on September 24, 2003


i second the burning of the documentary to digital...maybe bittorrent would be a good way to distribute it?

I can't buy the reasoning about doing it for the Iraqi people...the humanitarian argument has been the weakest one yet--and if people are seriously concerned about their welfare, why hasn't anyone been listening to them in this occupation? Bremer certainly isn't listening to anyone, but imposing his DC-conceived roadmap, and installing puppets who will do the administration's bidding.

I personally don't care about the Iraqis at all...there were and are many hundreds of millions of people far worse off than the Iraqis were under Saddam (see the Afghanis for example, or Liberians, etc), and far worse off than the Iraqis are now post-Saddam. Iraq was a modern society with equal opportunity for women (especially for a middle-eastern country), good schools and hospitals, a large professional class, etc. but run by a dictator. What is it now? What is most horrendous about this war for me was that Saddam was no threat to us, and we invaded anyway.
posted by amberglow at 6:40 AM on September 24, 2003


dash_slot: I mean, if you are serious in your statement about the humanitarian justification for deposing/invading/reconstructing - and I accept that you are - which country is next?...Please let us know whether there are any regimes which deserve - in your eyes - to be taken out, or have we finished with the moral crusade for now?

First, I think it's important to fairly characterize my position: After giving the issue serious thought over many months, I concluded that the action of invading Iraq was morally justified on the grounds that it would save lives in the long run. So if your question is whether I might also conclude that deposing the regime in Zimbabwe, Liberia, or China, is a morally justifiable action, the answer is yes, I might, depending on whether it appeared that the action could save lives (note that on this test, I don't believe I would find an invasion of North Korea morally justifiable because of the risk that Seoul would be nuked, killing millions of people. The same probably goes for China. I honestly don't know enough about Liberia, Zimbabwe, etc., but if the U.S. government proposed to take military action against those countries, I would certainly gather the facts the best I could to hopefully make an educated determination about whether I thought the invasion could be justified on any grounds, including humanitarian).

Note what this does not mean: It does not mean that I think military action is the only justifiable action. Just as I have never argued that other options with Iraq might not have been morally justifiable. I wouldn't have argued, for instance, that pursuing diplomacy for a longer period of time would have been "immoral." I just don't think it's that binary -- I don't see why any person should conclude there's one and only one justifiable approach to any situation. The war was going to happen whether I liked it or not -- my question for myself was whether I could find a moral basis for finding that action justified. Likewise, if the administration had decided it was not necessary to invade Iraq, I would have had the same internal conversation, and would have concluded that that, too, was a morally justifiable position. That doesn't mean both would always be the case -- I'm against war on principle, and I believe that there are probably very, very few situations in which military conflict can be justified. But this happened to be one of them, in my humble opinion.

I don't know why the anti-war crowd (or most of the pro-war crowd, for that matter) insists on demonizing the other side, rather than acknowledging that there are valid arguments, and that it's largely a matter of personal belief and conscience. Believe me, I understand your point of view, and I once shared it. But the more I learned about the atrocities committed by the Husseins, and the more I read and heard from exiled Iraqis, the more convinced I became that military action could be justified. And I still think it was justified on that basis -- I still personally believe that over the course of history, this will have saved a substantial number of Iraqi lives. That doesn't mean the administration should be immune from criticism for its judgment or its claims -- I've argued all along, for example, that if the administration actually lied about WMD, there should be very serious repercussions. But why should that impact whether I believe the war was morally justifiable? Why can't intellectual people treat those issues separately?
posted by pardonyou? at 7:25 AM on September 24, 2003


IF you ask me, and noone did, it all goes back to Zionism. IT is an explitictly racist philosophy which needs immense use of energy and power to keep it going. Those who want to protect Zionism have one point of view, and will do almost anything to safeguard it. Those who don't take a different view of the situation-- even if sometimes they arrive at the same conclusions. Is it really strange to people that "the crazies" are died-in-the-wool Zionists, and those who are not seem to have a more broad view of the Middle East and the world?

I know, I am a nutter, a crazy too. I'm a drunk and I am a self-hating Jew. But this is how I increasingly see things, so I thought I should let you know.
posted by chaz at 7:44 AM on September 24, 2003


This discussion got a whole lot better once people stopped taking potshots at pardonyou? and pardonyou? stopped gettin' all attitude-y.
posted by jpoulos at 8:09 AM on September 24, 2003


This discussion got a whole lot better once people stopped taking potshots at pardonyou? and pardonyou? stopped gettin' all attitude-y.

Touché
posted by pardonyou? at 8:22 AM on September 24, 2003


Interesting news item today that fits in with the "How do Iraqis feel (vs. How does pardonyou? feel)" issue discussed in this thread:

After five months of foreign military occupation and the ouster of Saddam Hussein, nearly two-thirds of Baghdad residents believe that the removal of the Iraqi dictator has been worth the hardships they have been forced to endure, a new Gallup poll shows.

Despite the systemic collapse of government and civic institutions, a wave of looting and violence, and shortages of water and electricity, 67 percent of 1,178 Iraqis told a Gallup survey team that within five years, their lives would be better than before the American and British invasion.

Only 8 percent of those queried said they believed that their lives would be worse off as a result of the military campaign to remove Mr. Hussein and his Baath Party leadership from power.

The survey was conducted through face-to-face interviews from Aug. 28 through Sept. 4 across the ethnically diverse landscape of the battered capital.

posted by pardonyou? at 10:06 AM on September 24, 2003


Same poll:

Chirac's favorability rating was 42 percent to Bush's 29 percent and Blair's 20 percent.

Baghdad is choking in a 57 degree heat and a sweltering sense of fear. Water shortages and pollution are dehydrating the city and diseases such as diphtheria, hepatitis and typhoid are rife. Raw green sewage bubbles in the streets.

Iraqis face a daily toil just getting by

A more worrying picture emerges from a visit to the Baghdad morgue in Medical City. All victims of suspicious or violent death are supposed to be referred here by the hospitals so that an autopsy can be carried out through forensic examination. The figures are not entirely representative because, in some cases, families simply bury their dead without going to the authorities. “We used to receive about 300-350 cases per month – an average of 10 a day,” said Faik Amin Baker, director of the Medical Legal Institute in Medical City, which oversees the running of the morgue. “The figures now are more than triple that. We sometimes get 40 to 45 cases in one day.”

No weapons of mass destruction have been found in Iraq by the group looking for them, according to a Bush administration source who has spoken to the BBC.

Additional National Guard mobilizations for Iraq likely

Senior general says many more reservists may be called for Iraq duty

In other news, a Washington Post-ABC News poll taken from Sept. 10 to Sept. 13 found that 55 percent of those surveyed said the Bush administration does not have a clear plan for the situation in Iraq, and 85 percent said they were concerned the United States will get bogged down in a long and costly peacekeeping mission.
posted by y2karl at 11:18 AM on September 24, 2003


Thanks to jpoulos for pointing to this thread.

>hmm, the original post is off by ten years according to this article, the quotes are from 2001 not 1991

>Mathowie... did you post the wrong link? The article you cited doesn't contain any disputation of the dates Pilger uses.

This thread was derailed from the get-go, but for the sake of posterity, the quotes from Powell are indeed from 2001, and can be found on the state.gov website. I find them incriminating in the extreme, others seem less sanguine (or anti-sanguine, or anti-anti-sanguine (hell, even I'm confused now)) :

From the state.gov website, Press Remarks with Foreign Minister of Egypt Amre Moussa (cache that puppy before it disappears)

Colin Powell, February 24, 2001 :

"We had a good discussion, the Foreign Minister and I and the President and I, had a good discussion about the nature of the sanctions -- the fact that the sanctions exist -- not for the purpose of hurting the Iraqi people, but for the purpose of keeping in check Saddam Hussein's ambitions toward developing weapons of mass destruction. We should constantly be reviewing our policies, constantly be looking at those sanctions to make sure that they are directed toward that purpose. That purpose is every bit as important now as it was ten years ago when we began it. And frankly they have worked. He has not developed any significant capability with respect to weapons of mass destruction. He is unable to project conventional power against his neighbors. So in effect, our policies have strengthened the security of the neighbors of Iraq, and these are policies that we are going to keep in place, but we are always willing to review them to make sure that they are being carried out in a way that does not affect the Iraqi people but does affect the Iraqi regime's ambitions and the ability to acquire weapons of mass destruction, and we had a good conversation on this issue." (emphasis mine)

posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 8:57 PM on September 28, 2003


Powell was on Late Edition on CNN today, stav, and he was called on it and explained that quote away by using the standard line (that Rice used on Meet the Press today too): "After September 11th, everything changed"

ugh
posted by amberglow at 9:34 PM on September 28, 2003


You can watch this documentary online now here.
posted by dydecker at 8:38 AM on October 8, 2003


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