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Damning leak for Blair / Bush!
May 1, 2005 1:21 PM   Subscribe

Damning leak for Blair / Bush! A leaked transcript of a senior British government meeting indicates that the Bush administration viewed war with Iraq as "inevitable" as of July 2002, even though the rationale for war was "thin" and that "Saddam was not threatening his neighbours, and his WMD capability was less than that of Libya, North Korea or Iran." It further states that the desire to bring about regime change was "not a legal base for military action", and that the only legitimate reason to declare war was with UNSCOM approval. Most disturbingly, it indicates that there were "strategies for dealing with Libya and Iran. If the political context were right, people would support regime change."
posted by insomnia_lj (139 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
Who wnats to lay bets this dont make much of a dent in the US news or Bush isn't put to the block for this?
posted by Elim at 1:26 PM on May 1, 2005


And I was thinking of posting something related, but this seems like a better place to put it:

British military chief reveals new legal fears over Iraq war. It all stems from a fear of the ICC, so it's OK for any U.S. soldiers, their superior officers and so forth.

"Boyce has consistently said he believed the war was legal and morally justified. But, asked whether the government had provided him with the legal cover necessary to avoid prosecution for war crimes, he replied: 'No.'"
posted by gsb at 1:29 PM on May 1, 2005


Elim, betting that way would be like shootin' fish in a barrel. Bush can't be touched by this. Bush had Reagan's Teflon improved -- Bush is the Vaseline-Kevlar president.

But this is going to make things bad for Blair, and since the British elections are right around the corner, it probably isn't aimed at Bush anyway.
posted by sninky-chan at 1:29 PM on May 1, 2005


It's not damning for Bush because most Americans don't give a damn. War is normal now.
posted by homunculus at 1:31 PM on May 1, 2005


insomnia_lj probably should have linked this, too; it's and article with a little background from the same site.

And, for what it's worth: legality doesn't matter, public justification doesn't matter. The war in Iraq was right. The British might even be inclined to agree if they weren't indulging themselves in bitter resentment at feeling like they're playing second fiddle to the US. Tony Blair will probably be reelected, however, since resentment isn't the basis of sound voting, and every person in the UK knows it.
posted by koeselitz at 1:37 PM on May 1, 2005


"Now watch this drive."



Hey, who changed the channel? Put the NASCAR race back on.
posted by Mr_Zero at 1:43 PM on May 1, 2005


Right? What on earth does that mean? Besides illegal and unjustified, that is.
posted by cytherea at 1:46 PM on May 1, 2005


blair is toast. he'll win the election, but the knives are already out. i expect blair to resign to 'spend more time with his family' (and i'm not going to spell out exactly why he should have done that last summer, but it's not exactly a secret) or for health reasons.

he's in the job untill gordon decides otherwise.
posted by quarsan at 1:47 PM on May 1, 2005


As usual, the "we don't care... they don't care... it doesn't make any difference" crowd is chiming in with its justifications for idiocy. Ten years from now, people will wonder how Bush got away with all this before his inevitable fall and harsh judgement by history, and I nominate you guys to go to the head of the line to take the blame. It's one thing to be truly an idiot, and quite another to be smarter than that and to take comfort in other people's apathy.
posted by digaman at 1:51 PM on May 1, 2005


And by the way, thanks for the link.
posted by digaman at 1:51 PM on May 1, 2005


Ten years from now, people will wonder how Bush got away with all this before his inevitable fall and harsh judgement by history

And that's when they'll start re-naming all the parks.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 1:54 PM on May 1, 2005


hey, look over there! Runaway bride! buried treasure! a cat is stuck in a tree! : <
posted by amberglow at 1:57 PM on May 1, 2005


I'm surprised that people are surprised by this. I thought it was pretty much common knowledge that Bush and Co. had a plan to invade Iraq even before September 2001.
posted by fshgrl at 2:04 PM on May 1, 2005


Sheeesss enough of the " insomnia_lj probably should have linked this" with out telling us what THIS is before we link on it. That could have been TUBGIRL!!!!

That could have said " insomnia_lj probably should have linked this London Times Article "Blair planned Iraq war from start" "

Sloppy sloppy.

But thats just a pet peeve of mine Sorry for the rant
posted by Elim at 2:05 PM on May 1, 2005


It was common knowledge, but this is official confirmation, which i don't think we've had.
posted by amberglow at 2:06 PM on May 1, 2005


Y'all are acting like this is something new. We've been arguing this for years. So what if the British government knew about it ahead of time? We actually need 'official confirmation?' This won't make a dent in American news media because we already knew about this. Shrub was going to finish the work that his father started and everyone knew it, though there were denials from Seattle to the Potomac. The only reason there was an eight or nine year stretch between Gulf Wars was cuz we put a democrat in the Oval Office for two terms. Soon as the republicans got control of the military again, they were going after Iraq no matter what. Nine Eleven gave them just cause for 'cracking down' on enemies of America. The fact Saddam had nothing to do with the attack on the World Trade Center was not relevant to people who wanted him dead a decade before.

"we don't care... they don't care... it doesn't make any difference" They voted Shrub in twice. What do you want from me? I didn't vote for him. I didn't vote for him the first time because I already knew about this. I knew he'd go after Iraq and drag our sorry asses into war, which I didn't want and still don't. Frankly I'm surprised he waited as long as he did. Makes no difference what I want. There's more conservatives and blood-thirsty fundamentals in this country than there are liberal pacifists. So what else is new?
posted by ZachsMind at 2:09 PM on May 1, 2005


Ten points for the first person to find a post-July 2002 quotation from Bush about still "weighing all of the options" or "trying to let diplomacy prevail" or some other air of non-inevitability.

Even if you think the war was right, you were still lied to.
posted by ontic at 2:10 PM on May 1, 2005


But, but, but, we invaded Iraq to give them the "Gift of Democracy!"
posted by orthogonality at 2:12 PM on May 1, 2005


I posted it in another thread, ontic--here you go--March 03-- Saddam Hussein is a threat to our nation. ... I believe Saddam Hussein is a threat to the American people. I believe he's a threat to the neighborhood in which he lives. And I've got a good evidence to believe that. He has weapons of mass destruction,... He has trained and financed al Qaeda-type organizations before, al Qaeda and other terrorist organizations. I take the threat seriously, and I'll deal with the threat. I hope it can be done peacefully. ... I've not made up our mind about military action. ...
posted by amberglow at 2:12 PM on May 1, 2005


Anybody who isn't completely delusional knew all this anyway, so nothing has changed. The deluded will find a new reason that the actions were totally and completely justified. (The spin from a defensive war against WMDs and terrorists to a proactive fight for freedom helps on this matter, greatly)

Meanwhile, those of us who knew it was horseshit years ago will still be powerless to do anything of real significance.

Dios and Steve_At will come in and shit on this thread, and life will go on, as usual.
posted by mosch at 2:13 PM on May 1, 2005


100 years in the future....

"Daddy, why did people vote for him a second time?"

"Well, honey, I don't rightly know. It was the beginning of the Second Dark Age, and people weren't interested in anything, really, other than having fuel in their vehicles and stuff to buy. When everything started to go downhill, people realized what they'd done, but by then it was too late."

"Oh."
posted by exlotuseater at 2:13 PM on May 1, 2005


koeselitz you're an idiot.

i thought of giving a counter point to what you posted just above , but why should i ?

a pointed argument doesn't matter, reasonable justification doesn't matter. so instead . . .

i'm right . . . your an idiot.
posted by nola at 2:17 PM on May 1, 2005


Ugly.....
http://www.guardian.co.uk/Observer/politics/story/0,6903,1474276,00.html
New legal fears over Iraq war

"The man who led Britain's armed forces into Iraq has said that Tony Blair and the Attorney General, Lord Goldsmith, will join British soldiers in the dock if the military are ever prosecuted for war crimes in Iraq."
posted by Elim at 2:21 PM on May 1, 2005


when the Top general plays the "Your going down with me!" card RUNNNNNNNN!
posted by Elim at 2:24 PM on May 1, 2005


koeselitz writes "And, for what it's worth: legality doesn't matter, public justification doesn't matter. The war in Iraq was right."

Hear, hear!

Let's not be taken in by the naive and outmoded idea that a democracy requires that the voters know the truth, or that leaders should be constrained to follow the law.

All I need to know is that George Bush and koeselitz told me the war was right. And the right ends justify the means.
posted by orthogonality at 2:29 PM on May 1, 2005


That times article would have been a nice link, yes, thanks Elim. And koeselitz.

Anyway. I am delighted that 'C' is still a term in use at SIS. I wish I could work there.

On a more serious note, perhaps Blair was just trying to save the UK from 21st century irrelevance. Fear of that seems to also be driving some of the UK-out-of-EU sentiment, too. I suppose if I were part of a country that once had a massive global empire, I'd be a bit prickly about it too, though.

I guess this is bad to come out during an election runup, but then, like has been said in this thread already, it's nothing that wasn't already in everyone's minds. I guess Labour must have good domestic policy? ... I bet the Americans wish they could vote on domestic policy.
posted by blacklite at 2:32 PM on May 1, 2005


orthogonality, maybe koeselitz just knows who's reading MeFi.

... is that a knock at your door?
posted by blacklite at 2:34 PM on May 1, 2005


as an aside to this, chomsky (mpeg) has a something to say. warning the following video may contain sounds and images , that some may find knee jerking.
posted by nola at 2:41 PM on May 1, 2005


Legitimate question - when we first went into Viet Nam (under Kennedy / LBJ) what justifications did they give? How do those compare to what we think the motivations were in retrospect?

Also, it seems that getting re-elected in the midst of an unpopular war is pretty common (see Nixon, for example).
posted by thedevildancedlightly at 3:08 PM on May 1, 2005


"He [Blair] claimed the Lib Dems and Tories were focusing on Iraq as they had "nothing serious to say" about other issues." - from BBC
posted by Navek Rednam at 3:11 PM on May 1, 2005


and i'm not going to spell out exactly why he should have done that last summer, but it's not exactly a secret

Uh, I guess I missed that class, so: ?
posted by docgonzo at 3:15 PM on May 1, 2005


All those saying, "Nothing new, we already knew this!"... come on! You didn't know it. You suspected it (and you were correct) which is similar but not the same. The difference is that it's no longer possible for people who didn't believe you to have reason to deny it. And that's a huge fucking difference. (And yes, I know people will still deny it. This idiot still believes Iraq was responsible for 9/11 and that WMDs were found!)

You people should be demanind Bush's head on a stick.
posted by dobbs at 3:28 PM on May 1, 2005




We've got no way to know how history will judge George Bush and Tony Blair. Consider that history still takes a pretty kind view towards Theodore Roosevelt, whose seizure of Panama was vastly more brazen than anything Bush or Blair could have imagined.

However, the real reason that we can't know how history will deal with the 2003 Iraq invasion is that it is ultimately going to be viewed through the filter of a much broader set of outcomes in the relationship among the many different strains of Arab and Muslim identity politics and between the dominant among those strains, on the one hand, and the west and its Israeli enclave, on the other hand.

For proof of this, keep your eye on scholarship of the Vietnam War in the next 10 or so years. As the old hippies take emeritus status and lose the ability to deny young scholars tenure for undermining the sacred myths of the late '60s, we're going to see that war set in a context which will ultimately show it to be a heroic, if ill-managed, campaign in a victorious war -- i.e., it will stop being Waterloo and start becoming Dunkirk.
posted by MattD at 3:30 PM on May 1, 2005


Demanding, sorry.
posted by dobbs at 3:30 PM on May 1, 2005


...we're going to see that war set in a context which will ultimately show it to be a heroic, if ill-managed, campaign in a victorious war...

That's very Soviet and 1984 of you--rewriting history to make all our wars victories. Good luck with that.
posted by amberglow at 3:33 PM on May 1, 2005


As the old hippies take emeritus status and lose the ability to deny young scholars tenure for undermining the sacred myths of the late '60s, we're going to see that war set in a context which will ultimately show it to be a heroic, if ill-managed, campaign in a victorious war

Roughly translated: when the people who were actually there start dying off, it'll be so much easier for me to lie about it.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 3:37 PM on May 1, 2005


The war in Iraq was right. The British might even be inclined to agree if they weren't indulging themselves in bitter resentment at feeling like they're playing second fiddle to the US.

How very informed, perceptive and penetrating of you. Are there any more entire countries you'd like to psychoanalyse? Oh, say you'll do Belgium. I'd love to see you do Belgium.
posted by flashboy at 3:37 PM on May 1, 2005


tddl -- see the Gulf of Tonkin incident at Wikipedia and related entries.
posted by aaronetc at 3:38 PM on May 1, 2005


Problem with looking back on this war like veitman, is to the Republicans it seems Vietnam, never happened, WWII did, but Korea and vietnam seemd to have dissapeared.. so what can you learn from a war you can't admit happened let alone you lost it...
posted by Elim at 3:41 PM on May 1, 2005


before his inevitable fall and harsh judgement by history

Right, because FDR was taken to task by history for getting involved in a war in Europe when we were only attacked in the Pacific. I mean, honestly, we had no enemies in Europe, Hitler had promised to stop at England, why should the US have intervened there? Had we ended up losing then I suspect that History would have a very different take on the matter.

In this case, until we see what the Arab world looks like in 20 years (and if there are any more major attacks on the US in the meantime) then it's impossible to judge. If Iraq turns out stable, Iran turns to a true democracy, and Libya-Syria continue to de-escalate their hostilities then I suspect that history will take a rather kind eye, no matter how unjustified the war might have been. On the other hand, if it turns into a shitstorm then it's likely that history will castigate GWB, no matter how many good reasons there might have been.

It's like baseball - leaving your starter in for that extra pitch is brilliant if he gets the K, mornic if he gives up the game-losing homerun.
posted by thedevildancedlightly at 3:42 PM on May 1, 2005


... Iran turns to a true democracy, ...

Helped along, of course, by a strategically timed invasion?

Iraq is a shitstorm. And there are 2 Chalabis in key positions in the new government (Oil and Finance Ministers).
posted by amberglow at 3:44 PM on May 1, 2005


TDDL you forget the simple fact that Germany declared war on use four days after japan,
but dont let that stop you, your amusing me.
posted by Elim at 3:45 PM on May 1, 2005


amberglow writes "over 100 dead in the past 3 days alone"

Not white Americans. Don't count.
posted by orthogonality at 3:50 PM on May 1, 2005


AH! but a few were.
posted by Elim at 3:51 PM on May 1, 2005


Meanwhile, Reg Keys, Blair's opponent in his home seat of Sedgefield, is reporting that their polls show him running neck and neck amongst declared voters.

If this is accurate, it's a pretty amazing surge in his popularity. The release of these documents could change the course of the whole election. The majority of Britain's want Labour's domestic policies without Blair's bloody deceptions.

For those in Britain who want to help him:
"Can you donate a day or a few days to help Reg Keys beat Blair in Sedgefield? We are approaching the final straight in this campaign and every hour, every day, every person, is vital. If you would like to be part of this political phenomenon, please ring 01325 318 390 to offer your help."

As for those outside of the U.K., it might surprise you to learn that it is legal to donate up to £200 for British political candidates... no transparency required!
posted by insomnia_lj at 3:53 PM on May 1, 2005


Germany declared war on use [sic] four days after japan

I recognize that, but the US had been involved in the European theater long before Pearl Harbor. The lend-lease program, etc. One could argue that FDR was just waiting for an event that *cough* would give the political circumstances that would support action.

Anyway, my point was just that history tends to judge on the results, not on the merits of the action. If you get lucky and win then you're a hero. If you don't then you lose.

I could play the game with WWI, Gudocanal, Bay of Pigs, whatever you want.
posted by thedevildancedlightly at 4:00 PM on May 1, 2005


We are now only starting to write the definitive history of WWI because everyone involved is now dead long enough that records are being released. History is primary source documents -- real historians back up what they say with documentation. So all the hand wringing about how history will view Bush, we will be long dead before the documents are released. What is interesting about this particular FPP is it is a primary source document (I assume) which provides some glimpse into a larger trend, but it does not make a whole story by any measure, it is a snapshot of a single place and time.
posted by stbalbach at 4:05 PM on May 1, 2005


I guess it depends on if youe a "Means justify the ends,
or "Ends justify the means" kinda guy?

One is honest the other is not,

pick your doorway....
posted by Elim at 4:07 PM on May 1, 2005


Legitimate question - when we first went into Viet Nam (under Kennedy / LBJ) what justifications did they give? How do those compare to what we think the motivations were in retrospect?

Well, the 'domino theory' stuff was wrong, but not brazenly a lie, so not quite as bad.
posted by Space Coyote at 4:08 PM on May 1, 2005


Well, the 'domino theory' stuff was wrong, but not brazenly a lie, so not quite as bad.

Was there any pretense in JFK/LBJ speeches about giving freedom to the Vietnamese people, or were they straight-up about domino theory? I honestly don't know the answer and can't find any good info to back it up either way.
posted by thedevildancedlightly at 4:12 PM on May 1, 2005


Stopping the spread of communism, i guess. But we started sending advisors and troops there way before there was a war, no? the 50s? early 60s?
posted by amberglow at 4:16 PM on May 1, 2005


"Daddy, why did people vote for him a second time?"

Wait, are we still talking about Bush? Or Nixon? Or Reagan?

I forget.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 4:38 PM on May 1, 2005


/me takes a big dump, grins at mosch
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 4:47 PM on May 1, 2005


the initial indo-china war was to get france to give up its colonies. and the attempt to uninfy vietnam as a sovereign state..

Time line:
1954: after the Viet Minh defeat France at Dieu Bieu Phu (thousands die on both sides), the Viet Minh and France sign a peace treaty dividing Vietnam into North and South, and scheduling a general election for 1956 (76,000 French soldiers have died)
1954: Laos becomes an independent country, but communist guerrillas, the Pathet Lao, try to overthrow King Savang Vatthana
1955: Ngo Dinh Diem becomes president of South Vietnam after rigged elections (he wins 98.2% of the votes)
1956: Burmese leader U Nu and Indonesian president Sukarno are among the founders of the Movement of Non-Aligned States
1956: The South Vietnamese government of Ngo Dinh Diem arrests dissidents and refuses the referendum on unification with North Vietnam, while the Vietminh start a guerrilla war
1957: The Vietcong communist guerrillas begin to fight against the Diem government in South Vietnam
1959: North Vietnam offers military assistance to the Vietcong via the "Ho Chi Min trail"
1959: the South Vietnamese rebels kill 1,200 government officials
1960: The USA offer military assistance to South Vietnam
1961: the USA has 3,000 soldiers in Vietnam
1963: the South Vietnamese government cracks down on Buddhists assembled in Hue to celebrate the 2527th birthday of the Buddha, after which the CIA orchestrates a coup that replaces Diem with Nguyen Van Thieu,
1964: The "Tonkin Gulf Incident" (presented by the USA as an attack on its warships) triggers a massive escalation of USA intervention
1965: The USA dispatches 200,000 soldiers to South Vietnam and begins bombing raids on North Vietnam
posted by Elim at 4:48 PM on May 1, 2005


Ho Chi Minh After the Geneva Conference (1954), which divided Vietnam at the 17th parallel, Ho became the first president of the independent republic of North Vietnam. The accord also provided for elections to be held in 1956, aimed at reuniting North and South Vietnam; however, South Vietnam, backed by the United States, refused to hold the elections.
posted by Elim at 4:50 PM on May 1, 2005


Was there any pretense in JFK/LBJ speeches about giving freedom to the Vietnamese people, or were they straight-up about domino theory?

Some interesting things in this paper:
Kennedy's idealistic arguments elevated Vietnam from a civil conflict to a moral battle. Before Congress, for instance, the President moralistically intoned, "Freedom, all freedom, is threatened by the subtle, varied, and unceasing Communist efforts at subversion in Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia."(27) Kennedy's idealistic appeals heightened the significance of U.S. efforts in Vietnam and urged Americans to support the defense of its most cherished principle. In a public speech in New Orleans, he told citizens that the United States must "bear the burden... of helping freedom defend itself" in Vietnam.(28) Likewise, the President addressed the General Assembly of the United Nations and urged its members to "join free men in standing up to their responsibilities."(29) Given this moral imperative, he insisted that the United States assist South Vietnam "in every way we properly can" in order to preserve that nation's independence and thus to defend freedom as a whole.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 5:00 PM on May 1, 2005


Wake me when anyone starts caring.
As it stands, everyone just rants and raves for 10 minutes and then changes the channel and forgets about it. Nobody cares about corruption. Nobody expects any better from their politicians.
posted by nightchrome at 5:17 PM on May 1, 2005


and you are different ... WHY?
posted by Elim at 5:22 PM on May 1, 2005


Complicating the Vietnam issue is that the NV were a bunch of totalitarian assholes, and that the Catholic minority that was transplanted to the south was something of a cadre for an independent rival state paralleling the status quo in Korea.

Ignoring WW I and II for the moment, we have a chain of major nation-building interventions:

1) Korea
2) Vietnam
3) Iraq II

They all seem similar to me. Korea was not launched on weapons of mass deception, of course, but it needs to be said that the NK regime was not good people, while it took S Korea decades to liberalize as a society, I'd say people have been much better off in S K than N K 1955-now.

Was UN intervention in Korea the best moral course of action?
Note that we were only able to get UN sanction due to the unrelated Soviet boycott. Had the Soviets shot down UN involvement, should we have intervened anyway?

If so, why not intervene for the (S) Vietnamese a decade later?

Does the answer come from the S Korea regime was ultimately defendable and the S V regime, (relatively) lacking legitimacy and competence, wasn't?

I have my father's cruisebook when he was on the CV-63 off the coast of NVN in 1966. The preface in the book is a "Why we are Here?" essay extolling the Peace & Freedom the US was bringing to SE Asia.

Had Bush & Blair brought an honest case to the UN and their peoples, all the good that has come from this action would be laudable. But having launched the war on intentional deception, I just can't feel that completely happy about the results.

And of course I'm less than happy about the $300B and butcher's bill. Knowing what we know now, relatively few people would have gone for this adventure going in. And that's the definition of good leadership -- making the best decisions with the facts at hand.
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 5:32 PM on May 1, 2005


and you are different ... WHY?

Because, Elim, nightchrome has correct grammar, spelling and punctuation, doesn't use unnecessary line breaks, and can probably tell the difference between "your" and "you're."

That makes nightchrome different from you, at least.

[/grammar derail]
posted by almost incandescent white tuxedos at 5:38 PM on May 1, 2005


Had Bush & Blair brought an honest case to the UN and their peoples,

War is never about freedom. If it were presented honestly, there would be no war. It is about resources, money, and power. Just look for who benefits. It certainly hasn't been the vast majority of the people of Iraq, the United States, or the rest of the world. On the other hand, a few influential people and corporations have made a killing, so to speak.
posted by cytherea at 5:56 PM on May 1, 2005


Does the answer come from the S Korea regime was ultimately defendable and the S V regime, (relatively) lacking legitimacy and competence, wasn't?

Exactly. Where the Domino Theory coincided with a people's desire for independence (in Eastern Europe especially) it could have been both strategically and morally justifiable, if very dangerous. But from the 1960s on, the United States kept making poor choices of where to intervene/interfere (Cuba, Vietnam, Chile, Nicaragua, and the list goes on and on). I suspect that history will be kinder to the theory itself than its actual implementation.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 6:11 PM on May 1, 2005


AIWT, thats your attack, Grammer, well then I guess a march to an unnecsesary war is alright as long as it passes the grammer police. so not the argument, but the spelling, childish, AIWT, childish....

I bet accents piss you off too....
posted by Elim at 6:19 PM on May 1, 2005


benign intent is the phrase armitage, although a little investigation provides one with a more realistic view of a leadership's true intent. which is rarely , if ever, benign, when it involves ( to quote cytherea just above) , resources, money, and power.
posted by nola at 6:20 PM on May 1, 2005


Thanks for the backup aiwt, but I can field this one.

and you are different ... WHY?

First off, I'm neither American nor British, so there's precious little I can do to influence politics in those countries.
However, assuming I were either of those for a moment, the simple response is: "I'm no different."
I have been known to rant on occasion (no, really), and I'll roll over and forget about my indignation soon enough just like everyone else. Just because I can point out the problem, doesn't mean I'm not part of it.

But that's just it, most of us know we're apathetic. We're well aware of the fact that if everyone just suddenly did something about the situation, things could get better. But not a damn one of us does anything. Complacency is a b*tch.

On preview: Elim, dude, chill out. Also, he has a point. Your spelling and grammar are atrocious.
posted by nightchrome at 6:24 PM on May 1, 2005


Have a nice debate about the legality of Vietnam, guys... but meanwhile, I hear that lotsa people are still dying in Iraq, and that your current leaders have lied a blue streak to you.

So, what are you doing about it? Have you contacted your paper / congressperson yet? Have you talked to your friends and family about this matter yet?

For those of you who haven't, you deserve the kind of future you're helping to build.

"Pass me an extra heaping servin' of apathy and let tomorrow's history professors sort it out."
posted by insomnia_lj at 6:33 PM on May 1, 2005


First off, I'm neither American nor British, so there's precious little I can do to influence politics in those countries

Wrong, you can do as much as you can do, little or lots, you can DO! I vote, I give money and time, i talk to my freinds and those NOT my friends, I read on the hisoryt and causes of the effent, current or otherwise.

I dont spend time HARPING ON SPELLING or Grammer,. A rant now and then is a good thing, needed even,. all changes start with a bitch session, that leads to how we can fix it, my main point is to remind those here this HAS happend in the us before. and we in the US forgot it.

I see two things here that peeve me off.:

First, those who say, "Eh who F**cking cares, it just politics"

Second, those who say " I didn't do it, not my fault" and "Not my mess to clean up". Both arguments are Bullshit.

We US-ians and Brits and our allies either helped do this or poopoo'd it and looked the other way.

But today when some one points this out they get (you spelling sucks) not a valid counter point or argument, but (your grammer sux too).
posted by Elim at 6:39 PM on May 1, 2005


ahmen insomnia_lj !
posted by nola at 6:44 PM on May 1, 2005


I hear that lotsa people are still dying in Iraq, and that your current leaders have lied a blue streak to you.

Great, then let's pull the troops out today and let the brown people fight it out! Save those American lives, boys!

You want to make a difference? Call the UN. Call France. Tell them to help un-fuck the situation. Calling GWB names isn't going to help one single Iraqi at this point.
posted by thedevildancedlightly at 6:59 PM on May 1, 2005


most of the US thinks the war was about 9/11 anyways...
this won't make a dent.
posted by es_de_bah at 7:02 PM on May 1, 2005


Elim, I'm glad to hear that you are doing something you feel is effective. You guys have quite a bit of trouble on your hands, it will take a lot of effort to clean it up.
But most people aren't doing anything effective to try and fix it, so you're in something of an uphill battle. You cannot rely on your allies to fix the problems you have with your own administration.
Our attempts to improve your spelling and/or grammar are unrelated to the topic at hand. We're just trying to be helpful. People tend to take you a lot more seriously if you are able to write clearly and properly, especially when dealing with serious topics like this.
posted by nightchrome at 7:05 PM on May 1, 2005


"Great, then let's pull the troops out today and let the brown people fight it out!"

I never said we should leave the Iraqis in the lurch, though I suspect that if we paid any attention to the will of the Iraqis, they would let us know that we should, indeed, leave very soon.

Iraq needs peace and self-rule. Bush and Blair need to be surrendered to the International Criminal Court for war crimes violations... or at least need to be rebuked so harshly that they don't dare think they could lie us into a war elsewhere. These policies are not inconsistant.

What isn't needed, however, is apathy.
posted by insomnia_lj at 7:11 PM on May 1, 2005


What isn't needed, however, is apathy.

Unfortunately, apathy is pretty much all we've got.
posted by nightchrome at 7:13 PM on May 1, 2005


It's interesting that some individuals in the British government showed genuine concern for the rule of law. But you know actual democracies don't need to pay attention to trivial details like those...

key quote: "Nor did the Americans seem very interested in what might happen in the aftermath of military action. Yet, as Boyce then reported, events were already moving swiftly."
More energy was clearly needed to sell the war than to prepare for it...

Anyways, back to our regularly scheduled quagmire...

posted by stratastar at 7:17 PM on May 1, 2005


thedevildancedlightly has just been added to the ' Idiot Watch List' or IWL for short.

nightchrome has been submitted for the honorary 'no fucking shit' award

and nola has been driven into to an apathetic malaise, have a nice day.
posted by nola at 7:20 PM on May 1, 2005


nola: I'd like to thank the academy, my mom, Lord Jeebus, and all the little peoples I stepped on along the way.
posted by nightchrome at 7:24 PM on May 1, 2005


hehe :P
posted by nola at 7:24 PM on May 1, 2005


Call the UN. Call France. Tell them to help un-fuck the situation.

Blame Canada!
posted by Armitage Shanks at 7:33 PM on May 1, 2005


You want to make a difference? Call the UN. Call France. Tell them to help un-fuck the situation. Calling GWB names isn't going to help one single Iraqi at this point.
posted by thedevildancedlightly at 9:59 PM EST on May 1 [!]


Wait, I'm confused. The French are to blame? They invaded with no apparent plan for the future? The UN can solve the problem? Apparently you haven't been reading the GOP playbook, or some sort of weird new memo has come out and this is just the first i've heard about it.

Thank God Bolton will convince the UN that it needs to lend a hand to clean up our mess.
posted by Freen at 7:40 PM on May 1, 2005


As a Canadian, I can say that I'm surprised we just stood idly by while all this went down. Pleasantly surprised, yes, but even so. Everyone knows Canada is usually in lockstep with the USA, so the fact that we did "stand idly by" is at least a step in the right direction. I don't see how anyone can criticize Canada for not slapping some sense into the USA, in light of how we usually behave.
posted by nightchrome at 7:42 PM on May 1, 2005


The French are to blame?

I think you hit on nail square on the head without even realizing it. We can play the blame game all we want, but blaming GWB isn't going to fix the situation. Pulling the troops out now isn't going to fix the situation. Do something positive for once in your life instead of snarking on MeFi and blaming GWB. If we all acknowledge the fact that there was a fuckup and move on then maybe we can prevent the situation from getting any worse. Right now the US is doing pretty much everything it can to un-fuck matters, while the rest of the world stands idly by. It's not their "fault" that things are the way they are now, but maybe they could pitch in and do the humane thing.

thedevildancedlightly has just been added to the ' Idiot Watch List' or IWL for short

Right, because your comments such as "i'm right . . . your an idiot." are stunningly intelligent. FYI, it's "you're". Makes you look slightly less stupid.
posted by thedevildancedlightly at 8:02 PM on May 1, 2005


To be clear, I'm not disagreeing with insomnia_lj that preventing this from happening in the future isn't a bad thing. However, all the war crimes tribunals in the world won't help the situation on the ground in Iraq today. Acting like "if the world just realized that GWB has sex with farm animals" would somehow solve the problem is childish. What's your exit strategy?
posted by thedevildancedlightly at 8:05 PM on May 1, 2005


Right now the US is doing pretty much everything it can to un-fuck matters

I have to honestly say I don't see how this can possibly be true, at all.
posted by nightchrome at 8:10 PM on May 1, 2005


I have to honestly say I don't see how this can possibly be true, at all.

Okay, I'm actually curious. What do you think the US could do better on a strategic level from today forward? The past is done - we can't go back in time and say "I wish the US hadn't gotten involved" or say "I wish Abu Gharib didn't happen." That's playing the blame game again.

Pull out faster and let a brutal civil war start before the new government is stable enough to have legitimacy? Send more troops and make the Arab world like the US even less? Beg the UN for help?
posted by thedevildancedlightly at 8:14 PM on May 1, 2005


What do you think the US could do better on a strategic level from today forward?

I'd have to go with "Stop killing civilians, foreign reporters and agents, activists, allies, etc."

Also, it's funny to imagine the new government ever having any legitimacy at all. They hired Chalabi as the frickin' oil minister, I mean, come on.
posted by nightchrome at 8:32 PM on May 1, 2005


you're an idiot . Better? No?
i have added you to the list along with koeselitz not because i disagree with you're point , but because you're point is infantile at best and idiotic at worst . . . unfuck the situation? that puts it rather well i think, like unshooting someone in the face.
posted by nola at 8:37 PM on May 1, 2005


The new "government" won't be legit no matter what. It'll be a US puppet. This whole thing was a colossal fuckup as far as the iraqis are concerned, although a success for many who had a stake in the war, like halliburton &c. By any standard, Bush should be tried for war crimes, but whatever.
If we pulled out now, or pull out later, the chances of civil war are still pretty good. We will NOT pull out, not completely, EVER, as we now have several permanent military bases there. Unless things radically change in this country. And we all know what the chances of that happening are.
posted by exlotuseater at 8:38 PM on May 1, 2005


I'd have to go with "Stop killing civilians, foreign reporters and agents, activists, allies, etc."

Sure, and I'd go with "give each Iraqi a pony", but how are you going to implement that plan? It sounds great and I agree with the goals, but how do you think the US should bring that about without compromising security?

Would you take down checkpoints and run the risk of letting more car bombs explode in downtown Baghdad? It's an option, but are you willing to make that tradeoff? Stop hunting the insurgents and wait for them to attack first (starting to sound like a Viet Nam strategy)? Again, it's a tradeoff, but if you want to make it then I'll compliment you for at least having a plan instead of flinging blame around when it's already too late for that.

I don't think anybody (okay, I can think of maybe one person) is in favor of killing our allies, contractors, etc. But it's a lot easier said than done. What steps would you take to make it happen.
posted by thedevildancedlightly at 8:38 PM on May 1, 2005


"Right now the US is doing pretty much everything it can to un-fuck matters"

... so is that an admission that the US fucked things to begin with (hence the need to "un-fuck" them)?

If no, then who exactly did fuck things? Were their heads served on a platter for this extreme fucking?

If it is an admission, then why shouldn't blame be laid on Bush, who was the one putting the most energy into "fucking" things up in Iraq to begin with?
posted by numlok at 8:40 PM on May 1, 2005


For proof of this, keep your eye on scholarship of the Vietnam War in the next 10 or so years. As the old hippies take emeritus status and lose the ability to deny young scholars tenure for undermining the sacred myths of the late '60s, we're going to see that war set in a context which will ultimately show it to be a heroic, if ill-managed, campaign in a victorious war -- i.e., it will stop being Waterloo and start becoming Dunkirk.

Gosh. . .I was a Vietnam draft and war resister. I might have gone to jail for this (other than the fact that so many people were resisting that they only prosecuted the high profile ones). I have read a lot of metafilter posts in the past 3 or so years and I can't remember any which were so offensive to me as this one, and written by someone who, in his profile, states that he is barely over 30. Mattd, there was a lot of heroism by soldiers on both sides but not one wit on the part of American politicians who, starting in about 1954, got this country into that war.
posted by Danf at 8:43 PM on May 1, 2005


thedevildancedlightly:
I guess the problem here is that you are expecting me, a layperson, to come up with a strategy which is better than people who make a career out of this sort of thing. Before you go off with an "Aha, so you admit you have no right to judge their strategy!" I have one more point.
It is not our place to dictate strategy to the people whose job it is to make strategies. It is our place to dictate the results we require, the methods we will not tolerate, and the spirit in which we want things done. They make the strategy around that, we don't tailor our requirements around their strategies.
Right now, they're getting an F- on all three counts.
posted by nightchrome at 8:48 PM on May 1, 2005


If it is an admission, then why shouldn't blame be laid on Bush

I don't know who died and appointed me the one who gets to decided if Bush fucked up or not. Somebody higher up said it right when they said "those who believe that the administration was wrong aren't going to be affected by this, and people who are watching NASCAR all day aren't either." If you believe Bush was wrong then this is further evidence.

If I said "Wow, you're right, Bush really fucked up" that wouldn't change a damn thing in the world, and if I said "you're wrong, Bush is teh r0x0r! l33t!" you'd just think I was a moron and it wouldn't change your mind.

My point is that this isn't going to change anybody's mind. Bush is not going to be tried for war crimes (sorry), he can't serve another term, and it's a little too late to go back and change the way the war went. We can start the battle over how this will go down in the history books, but that's probably going to come down to how the rest of the Arab world turns out over the next 20 years.

So why don't we stop throwing blame around and start working on positive solutions? What would you do, today, to solve the problem in Iraq?
posted by thedevildancedlightly at 8:49 PM on May 1, 2005


Right now, they're getting an F- on all three counts.

Sounds fair, we can have the rest of this discussion some other day. :) Have a great night, I gotta bail on this thread.
posted by thedevildancedlightly at 8:50 PM on May 1, 2005


nightchrome -- as usual, it comes down to the personalities involved. If we had had Martin in office, we'd have gone to war, simple as that. That man cannot bend over fast enough.

The problem, as I see it, is that there are fewer moderates than ever before in the West (and East, too) and those are the only ones capable of being convinced by evidence. The right-wing zealots will either ignore/deny evidence or replace the rationale (well, fine, but what about this...). Look how often the stated motivation for war publicly changed.

As for apathy, the right is waging a battle of morale and not slowing down because they're winning. People are demoralized by just this kind of thing -- they expect others to be shaken by, or at least attentive to, the evidence, and time and again are proven wrong. Surely they see the lies. Election lost. Well now they'll have to rebuild their relationship with the UN. Appoint Bolton. and Wolfie. And Leeza. And on, and on, and on.

So why don't we stop throwing blame around and start working on positive solutions?

Because outrage should be the driving force behind putting a Dem back in the White House next time around. (not that that worked last time) You actually think that Bush is the worst they can do?
posted by dreamsign at 9:04 PM on May 1, 2005


The brouhaha over this is tragically ironic, given GWB was never given authorization by Congress to declare war on Iraq. Never mind the UK: this war was illegal ever since Bush declared his intentions.
posted by AlexReynolds at 9:08 PM on May 1, 2005


The past is done - we can't go back in time and say "I wish the US hadn't gotten involved" or say "I wish Abu Gharib didn't happen." That's playing the blame game again.

As the man said, the past isn't dead, it isn't even past. And as conservatives are so fond of pointing out, people have to take responsibility for their actions. If you really want other countries to shoulder more of the burden, giving the current rogue administration a free pass isn't the way to do it.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 9:19 PM on May 1, 2005


the french , the weather, a small chicken with one eye, roger erbert, and many others i will not bother to name. what if anything are these individuals doing to "unfuck" the "fucked" regions of the world that the U.S.A. has sufficiently "fucked"? I ASK YOU ?

So why don't we stop throwing blame around and start working on positive solutions?

i'll tell you why.
because to find a solution, we are going to have to start with whats wrong with what we have. that, will involve assessing who, what ,when, and where. after we understand this, we can understand what not to do again. and beside the point its only proper that when you have been told that sticking you hand in a gator's mouth is a mistake, and you proceed to anyway, it is only fitting that you be called on it, so as to be a lesson for others.

I'm hopping mad right now because i can see right through you and your stupid little argument .
i can see you trying to defend this madness and sweep it under the rug where no one can look at it. you're wrong. period. if you don't like being wrong i suggest you start thinking your ideas through more effectively.
its not my fault that you and you're cronies have been caught with you're hand's in the cookie jar. stop defending these men.
back down now! lower the flag now, while you still have the shape of a moral being to you. or remain unbent in you're pride, and sweep the blame under the rug . but you should know, if you do this you have only fooled you're self.
posted by nola at 9:24 PM on May 1, 2005


you and you're cronies...remain unbent in you're pride... you have only fooled you're self

I'm really trying to be helpful: "Your" vs. "You're"
posted by thedevildancedlightly at 9:36 PM on May 1, 2005


yes thank you, i have a problem with my "your vs you're" one day i hope to rise above it. i do hope it didn't cloud the message.
posted by nola at 9:48 PM on May 1, 2005


Fait Accompli.

Wow! Well, I guess the devil does dance lightly around such abstract concepts as responsibility.

You call it the "blame game". I call it the "fire those incompetent twits responsible for piss poor policy so that said incompetent twits don't continue to fuck shit up". Fairly simple, really. Has it happened? No. Is it likely to happen? No. Therefore, we are likely to remain stuck in the mire of a cluster fuck.

Look, let me give you a simple analogy. You have a car, you take it into the mechanic. The mechanic, instead of fixing it, royally screws the car up. You can, not play the blame game, and consult random bystanders who really don't know the first thing about fixing cars about their suggestions, and if they might know what the horrible mechanic might do to fix the car. Or, you can go get another mechanic. You seem to think that well, the car has been broken by this terrible mechanic, but it's been done! Why blame the mechanic who broke the car in the first place? Let's just try to give the terrible mechanic a few suggestions from the lay people, enough time, a whole bunch of money, and maybe, just maybe the car will get fixed.

On preview, what nola, and Alex said much more succinctly than I.

"Do something positive for once in your life instead of snarking on MeFi and blaming GWB."

A) How do you know that I am not doing something positive with my life? Clearly you think I am some liberal hippy freeloater. Quite a telling assumption.

B) I am a New Yorker, but I volunteered with the Kerry Campaign in Ohio, for two weeks last November. What did you do, and more importantly, who did you vote for?
I did my godamned best to make sure that those responsible for these massive, unmitigated, and unprecedented cluster fucks were held responsible.

So please allow me to return you uncalled for derogatory statements, and relentless apologetics for those who are responsible for the situation we find ourselves in today: fuck the fuck off, you fucking fuck.
posted by Freen at 9:56 PM on May 1, 2005


dreamsign: What makes you think a Democrat would do any better? You may have an argument for "the lesser of two evils", I suppose, but not much more.
posted by nightchrome at 10:05 PM on May 1, 2005


in retrospect i did make a mess of the difference between possessive, vs contraction, looking back at my posts i'm loath to admit you probably did want to be helpful haha :P oh well one day i'll get it straight.

p.s. you're still not off the moral hook.
posted by nola at 10:05 PM on May 1, 2005


nightchrome: True. I guess if given the choice between a proven incompetant twit, and a potential incompetant twit, I think the choice is fairly clear.
posted by Freen at 10:15 PM on May 1, 2005


Freen: Absolutely, you don't choose.
posted by nightchrome at 10:32 PM on May 1, 2005


clearly, blowjobs prevent war.
posted by quonsar at 10:49 PM on May 1, 2005


If we all acknowledge the fact that there was a fuckup and move on then maybe we can prevent the situation from getting any worse.

Oh really!? I thought we were all about taking responsibility for our actions and paying for our mistakes and shit. What happened? I remember Clinton got impeached for fondling a secretary, so why exactly should be just stop whining and "move on" after the current shithead lied to the whole country and got thousands of people killed and billions of dollars wasted?
posted by c13 at 10:51 PM on May 1, 2005


fire those incompetent twits responsible for piss poor policy

Unfortunately we're stuck with the current twits. The only way to get them out is impeachment, and given the current composition of the House and Senate that's just not going to happen. Hence, there is NO WAY TO FIRE THESE TWITS.

Why blame the mechanic who broke the car in the first place?

I'm not saying don't blame GWB. I think you and plenty of other people do blame him and that's quite fair. The issue is that you're not going to change the mind of the NASCAR crew, nor does it matter since GWB is out in 2008 and Cheney is too old to run. Focusing on throwing personal blame on somebody who will no longer be involved in electoral politics makes the left look personal instead of focusing on problem-solving. Unfortunately I think it'll hurt the Democrats in 2008 unless something changes before then.

How do you know that I am not doing something positive with my life?

That wasn't directed at you personally. Sorry for implying that.

I am some liberal hippy freeloater

I live in San Francisco. The fact that you are capable of rational discourse puts you above "liberal hippy freeloader" by comparison with a few of the extremists in these here parts.

What did you do

I advocated for a balanced consumer-friendly Intellectual Property regieme through the not-for-profit that I worked for at the time. I advocated against the DCMA, against the Sono Bono Copyright Extension Act (aka "The Mickey Mouse Act"), against software patents, and for Creative Commons. I prefer to stay out of the partisan election stuff as far as possible and instead focus on issues.

who did you vote for?

Not George W. Bush. Given that CA was solidly Kerry I made a protest vote for a third party since I didn't exactly love Kerry either. Had I lived in a battleground state I would have voted Kerry.

fuck the fuck off, you fucking fuck.

Go to bloody hell. ;)
posted by thedevildancedlightly at 10:52 PM on May 1, 2005


Darn it, my link-fu sucks tonight. That should be not-for-profit.
posted by thedevildancedlightly at 10:53 PM on May 1, 2005


These Bush apologists are the same kinds of clueless morons who argued that, having blundered and lied our way into Vietnam, we therefore had to "save" the situation by killing even more Vietnamese and Americans.

I have as much compassion and pity as any pinko commie pacifist tree-hugger can have for Bush's waning, insensate supporters, but seriously....these days, I'm not above hauling members of the 101st Fighting Keyboarders into local VA hospitals by the napes of their vertebraeless necks -- to show them Iraq II isn't some quaint little historical sideshow we'll analyze academically in "20 years" for whether it was "right" or not. It's death and dismemberment and horror TODAY, that we created, and continue to create.

Enormous, unneeded, futile suffering has been produced, in our name. The extremists are those who clamored for a mistaken war, and now that events have shown them wrong, these extremists insist that the violence continue. Bring our troops home. NOW. Apologize to the world, over and over. Pay [futile] reparations to those who have lost. Flood the area with every bit of aid that can be mustered -- sell off the fucking American military, tax the war industries to extinction, if that's what it costs. Bring to justice those who created this great wrong.

And that's just for starters. Of course, there will continue to be those who insist that doing the right thing is "extreme".

For them, it is.
posted by fold_and_mutilate at 11:07 PM on May 1, 2005


Lightly dancing devil, I'm sure then you appreciate the need to repeal ill conceived laws made by incompetent lawmakers, and not just throw our hands up and say, "it has been done! there isn't anything we can do about it now, why blame fritz hollings for the dmca? Why try to make him responsible? Let's just hope he doesn't continue to make asinine laws about what I can and can't do with my bits, and leave him alone. No need to try to get anyone else elected."

Cus, you know, that wouldn't really work out, and frankly, right now it isn't working out. People need to be blamed, responsibility must be accepted. Mistakes were made, and you know what? those who made them got promoted.

I applaud your work, and I thank you for doing it, but please, don't disparage others without any real information. I hope you can understand why your comments raised my ire.
posted by Freen at 11:40 PM on May 1, 2005


I hope you can understand why your comments raised my ire.

Most definitely. I think we agree on most things and have just gotten caught up in a debate over means while agreeing in principle.
posted by thedevildancedlightly at 12:19 AM on May 2, 2005


It is right and proper that Bush and Blair should face thorough examination over the decision to go to war but we've had two years to find a smoking gun and none has emerged. It's time to move on from this and apply the same scrutiny to the way that Iraq has been governed since occupation.

Also, I sometimes get the feeling that some people think that the enormous human and material cost of this war absolves them of any requirement to maintain intellectual integrity in their opposition to it and its initiators. This is not a helpful notion. Apathy to the situation in Iraq is not due to any lack of shrill name-calling, that's for sure.
posted by teleskiving at 1:41 AM on May 2, 2005


legality doesn't matter, public justification doesn't matter. Raping koeselitz's wife and murdering his children was right.

Oh... sorry koeselitz. I think I messed your quote up a bit.
posted by Decani at 2:21 AM on May 2, 2005



and that the only legitimate reason to declare war was with UNSCOM approval.


No. It said UNSC approval would be required, but that requirement may of already been met with a previous resolution.
posted by drscroogemcduck at 3:14 AM on May 2, 2005


Do something positive for once in your life instead of snarking on MeFi and blaming GWB.

There are several members of mefi (two in this thread alone) who would cease to exist if they followed your advice.

The extreme are a lost cause.
posted by justgary at 3:49 AM on May 2, 2005


i just like saying 'blowjob'.

blowjob.

blowjobblowjob.
posted by quonsar at 5:20 AM on May 2, 2005


Scuba. Scuba scuba.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 5:55 AM on May 2, 2005


The extreme are a lost cause.

Examples of extremity in this thread, excepting your own post of course?
posted by juiceCake at 6:21 AM on May 2, 2005


"'What isn't needed, however, is apathy.'
'Unfortunately, apathy is pretty much all we've got.'"

For many of us it's not apathy, it's a matter of....Hmm....best way I can frame it is Chef's quote from Apocalypse Now:
"That's just fucking typical, that's great, that's just fucking great.
I'm short, and now we have to go up river to kill one of our own guys!? That's just fucking great."

'Daunting' is the best word... especially in the face of the kids, the house, the car, the job, the pension, the neighbors, the traffic, the gas prices, the road construction...etc etc.

Simply put, the environment isn't there for a person to care enough about this. Wanna make things better? Make things worse. Work to re-intitute a draft, then you'll see people get off their asses and start caring about the war.
Or continue to do nothing because sooner or later, one way or the other, ill intent always shoots itself in the foot.
posted by Smedleyman at 7:18 AM on May 2, 2005


I wouldn't bet money on anything involving the current American clusterfuck of Iraq, but why not just pull the troops out? Since Thursday, over 100 Iraqis have been blown up, and a few US and British troops as well. How could the situation get any worse? If we removed the GI's, the Iraqi's would have to grow the fuck up and take care of their own situation. There would certainly be blood-letting, especially by the Shiites upon the Sunni's, but this would pale in comparison to what's going on now. This idea that things would go to hell if we pulled out? Bullshit. They're already on the 8th level, heading for the 9th. And America is spending a billion dollars a week for this crap.

It's unmanly and un-Bushly and all, but seriously, things couldn't be worse. So why the fuck are my tax dollars and my countrymen being wasted, not to mention Iraqi civilians being incinerated in droves? Bring them home.
posted by bardic at 8:12 AM on May 2, 2005


So all the hand wringing about how history will view Bush, we will be long dead before the documents are released.

Hehe. Yeah, this administration is going to release the documents! HAhaha.

"Release the documents!" Heheheh.

oh man.

*snif* Hoo!
posted by petebest at 8:48 AM on May 2, 2005


We won't pull out until just before the 06 elections whether things are going well or not--altho it won't be total, and we've already succeeded in putting our people in place (Chalabi, who will play us for fools again, and Negroponte, and the permanent Military bases, and all the fat contracts to "rebuild" and "supply"...)

I'm betting on whole bunches of reports on our progress this winter--most not true--and then in the spring, token pullouts and fabulous tv visuals of troops coming home and being greeted by their wives and families every day on every station (unlike the video of the injured coming home, or the bodybags). Either that, or we go into Iran.
posted by amberglow at 8:56 AM on May 2, 2005


I agree amber, but I just can't understand Bushco (since I'm a proud member of the reality-based community) not cutting to the chase and pulling out now. We're going to have a Shiite theocracy taking cues from Iran with a strong, if not independence leaning, Kurdish bloc no matter what--so why do we have to continue this farce of "nation building"? It's sad sad sad, and while not exactly Viet Nam, highly Viet Namesque, i.e. "pulling out is unmanly and un-American."
posted by bardic at 9:24 AM on May 2, 2005


orthogonality: "Let's not be taken in by the naive and outmoded idea that a democracy requires that the voters know the truth, or that leaders should be constrained to follow the law."

All I meant was this: if you think 'justice' is completely encoded in the constitution, much less the UN bylaws, I believe you're mistaken; and if you think that 'justice' is in the hearts and opinions of the people of this nation, then I believe you haven't watched television in the last twenty years.

bardic: "I wouldn't bet money on anything involving the current American clusterfuck of Iraq, but why not just pull the troops out? Since Thursday, over 100 Iraqis have been blown up, and a few US and British troops as well. How could the situation get any worse?"

I have a feeling it could get much, much worse. Hell, there were most certainly times during Saddam's regime when 100 or more civilians were killed every day. But if Iraq was left to the infighters and the warlords, bet that it would be in the thousands and tens of thousands.

nola: "i'm right . . . your an idiot."

Calm down and tell me why I'm wrong. I've said this in other threads: political thought only begins when everyone involved leaves passion and outrage and anger and all those emotions behind and starts thinking rationally. You said later, "to find a solution, we are going to have to start with what's wrong with what we have." I disagree: first we have to know what the aim is. What's the goal of political thought? It's not obvious, and without knowing it, we won't get anywhere.

posted by koeselitz at 10:48 AM on May 2, 2005


ugh. < /small> < /em>
posted by koeselitz at 10:49 AM on May 2, 2005


In 2002, you say?

I find it far more damning that they were just echoing the stated policy of the United States articulated by President Bill Clinton in 1998 when signing the Iraq Liberation Act:

The evidence is overwhelming that such changes will not happen under the current Iraq leadership.

Sounds like inevitability....
___________
I really don't understand why we keep having this discussion. There are people who believe it was the right thing to do, and no imputation of nefarious planning or high costs is going to change that. Those people believe the ends justify the means, and so trying to bash them over the head with this doesn't get anywhere. Then there are people who will never believe it was the right thing to do, no matter the evidence, the results or who supported what and when. So bringing this up for those people does nothing either. The rest of the people who are in the middle... the people who still haven't made up their mind on the issue.... are obviously impervious to these points because they managed to see them for two years and not be effected by them.

So, really, what's the point? All this does is just re-establish the divide and cause more divisiveness. We all knew this stuff, generally. There is nothing new here. It isn't some smoking gun that changes the debate at wll.
posted by dios at 10:56 AM on May 2, 2005


It is new--it's official confirmation of what many of us have been saying for ages. It also shows that they didn't care about liberating the Iraqi people from the horrors of Saddam's regime or spreading democracy anywhere. Those things matter. Most Americans already think Iraq was a mistake and has been handled badly. Having proof of the lengths they went to try to make this happen should naturally make us wonder about everything they try to sell to us--from Social Security to the budget to Iran and Syria...

And it's another reminder of how they totally failed at getting Osama--you remember? the one who actually attacked us? (Unless of course they never had any intention of going after Osama at all? hmmmm)
posted by amberglow at 2:49 PM on May 2, 2005


CNN Sept 02--Marketing Iraq: Why now? ... Even the White House has hinted at a political strategy. As long ago as last January, Bush strategist Karl Rove said, "We can also go to the country on this issue because they trust the Republican Party to do a better job of protecting and strengthening America's military and thereby protecting America."

Why did the Administration wait until September to make its case against Iraq? White House chief of staff Andrew Card told The New York Times last week, ``From a marketing point of view, you don't introduce new products in August.'

In his speech to the United Nations, President Bush tried to shut down the political speculation. This is a life-and-death matter, the President insisted. "Sound Iraq acquire fissile material, it would be able to build a nuclear weapon within a year," he told the U.N. General Assembly in New York Thursday.

To those who say, we want more evidence that there's a real threat, the Administration says, we can't wait for a smoking gun to turn up. "We don't want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud," National Security Advisor Condoleeza Rice said on CNN's Late Edition recently. ...

posted by amberglow at 4:50 PM on May 2, 2005


dios: I really don't understand why we keep having this discussion ... We all knew this stuff, generally. There is nothing new here. It isn't some smoking gun that changes the debate at will.

Maybe this is something that you and I knew, but since you are probably one of those people who believes in the invasion and believes it justifies a large amount of lying and misrepresenting, facts like this prevents you in the future from lying further.

You see, one side in this argument is now a proven, admitted, and unashamed liar, resulting in the loss of thousands of lives and billions of dollars. Don't you think this is an important fact to keep in mind when analyzing the debate in the future? I guess not, since you believe there is no debate. Which is just what someone would say who knows debate and facts can only hurt them.

I understand things like "truth" and "credibility" mean nothing to you, but please don't try to force your relativistic morality on the rest of us. But thanks for informing us that it's pointless to argue with you, since you're firm in your belief, and knowingly spout lies.

Again, something we already knew.
posted by fleacircus at 10:57 AM on May 3, 2005


US Back to Stage One in Iraq--(Moonie pro-GOP Wash.Times)--... What is of far greater concern to U.S. commanders and analysts is that despite this broad strategic sense of when, and even on what scale, the new attacks would come, U.S. forces and their Iraqi allies have so far proven totally unable to prevent them. This appears to graphically demonstrate that U.S. forces in Iraq two years after occupying the country are losing the most important front in the war -- the intelligence one.

In this sense, indeed, the position of the U.S. troops and their Iraqi allies, for all the overwhelming superiority of U.S. forces and firepower, is far inferior to that in Vietnam during the 1967-72 period. For the Phoenix counter-insurgency program did indeed inflict devastating damage on the political, undercover and intelligence forces or cadres of the Viet Cong. By contrast, U.S. forces and those of the new Iraqi government have so far signally failed to systematically penetrate the insurgent forces and significantly disrupt their organization. ...

posted by amberglow at 12:55 PM on May 3, 2005


Calm down and tell me why I'm wrong.

ok.

And, for what it's worth: legality doesn't matter, public justification doesn't matter. The war in Iraq was right.

first off how i am i and others reading your post to take this second statement? are you perhaps arguing , after stating that, legality, and public justification does not matter, that there is some higher moral justification for the war in iraq? if not then just what are you stating?

then i'm quoted with your response to follow.
"to find a solution, we are going to have to start with what's wrong with what we have." I disagree: first we have to know what the aim is. What's the goal of political thought? It's not obvious, and without knowing it, we won't get anywhere.

you disagree? really? you do not agree that to find a solution we must first locate the problem. you state that "first we have to know what the aim is."

what does that mean? you state , political thought only begins when everyone involved leaves passion and outrage and anger and all those emotions behind and starts thinking rationally.

thinking rationally does no good if you can't express your self rationally. begin there and explain your self. until you do i have to assume you're either a bull shit artist , or an idiot. i'm sorry for calling you that, i really am, when i type it i actually wince. but i feel like you need tough love here, you don't need to be coddled. by smacking your hand maybe you will be less likely to speak without thinking next time. also please don't give me the line about not treating other view points with respect , really. i can't treat you or your views with respect, because they sound overly simplistic when they are your ideas , overly obtuse when they are something you read, and are plagiarizing.

also this is not an invitation to a word sparing match, i'm in no mood to match wits with a dishonest person, and so far you have given me no reason to view you as honest.
i'm calling you out on your statements. you must answer to them, and them alone, i will be happy to see you endeavor to honestly explain your position, but you must have a position to defend , you must be motivated by more than simply defending the current administration's actions. you opinions must bring with them the weight of your experiences, and world view, lay them on the table , and if they stand scrutiny then we have something. but again please lets not go round and round in some foolish game of mental sparing. i'm getting to old and tired for that. by now you may think that i am grossly unfair , and maybe i have been, but i ask you , reread your posts and see if you can't understand my frustration with your comments thus far.

p.s. to the devildancedlightly by telling me and others to cease our out cry against these evil men, you are putting your self in the line of fire. you may mean well but you better back off and let the dogs have their day. if you are not an apologist then i suggest you mind your own business because this is making you an enemy of mine, sorry , but thats where the line gets drawn these days for me.
posted by nola at 1:59 PM on May 3, 2005


How about this?

The war will be a strategic success. Picture now: surprisingly large election turnout, representative government of Iraq emerging, Saddam up for trial, democracy encouraged across Middle East. Long-term picture: political re-integration of Sunnis as they confront the unpalatable, but unavoidable truth that power has permanently shifted away from them, towards the Shia (and to a lesser extent, the Kurds) ----> decline of the home-grown insurgency -----> isolation of foreign militants such as Zarqawi and eventual eradication/flight ----> rapid economic growth in Iraq ----> close relations with Iran ----> impact on Iranian domestic politics as a new vision of Shia-inspired democracy emerges in Iraq.

I think the above is likely and thus I have to support the war. I understand many don't agree. However, in the context of the original FPP, neither opinion is at all relevant.

Rather, the critical question brought to the surface by the post is this: can the PM (or any democratic leader, for that matter) ever be justified in taking his country to war on a false prospectus and without the majority consent of parliamentary representatives, all of whom have previously engaged in frank, fully-informed public debate on the issue?

According to Blair, yes he can: the ends do justify the means. History may judge that a temporary subversion of due process was indeed a worthy sacrifice. As a citizen of a democracy though - even one confident of the long-term benefit I feel his elective war will bring - I'm wary of anything or anyone which subverts established political procedure (ludicrous as some of them are). I feel strongly that PM Blair and all who follow him into the office, must recognise that such cavalier disregard for political traditions and our elected representatives will never (I pray) be condoned by the electorate; even if privately we are grateful.

I really hope to see him royally shafted on Thursday.
posted by pots at 4:59 PM on May 3, 2005


Rory Bremner says it much better than I have...

from insomnia_lj's link
posted by pots at 5:12 PM on May 3, 2005


Rather, the critical question brought to the surface by the post is this: can the PM (or any democratic leader, for that matter) ever be justified in taking his country to war on a false prospectus and without the majority consent of parliamentary representatives, all of whom have previously engaged in frank, fully-informed public debate on the issue?

No democratically elected leader of a nation where there is advise and consent required for things like war is ever justified in lying to the people of his nation. I agree with you on that part, but feel that based on what's occurred so far, there's no chance of what you think will happen happening. It's far more likely based on the past 2 years' events that more fracturing and a civil war will occur.
posted by amberglow at 6:16 PM on May 3, 2005


dreamsign: What makes you think a Democrat would do any better? You may have an argument for "the lesser of two evils", I suppose, but not much more.

Oh I'm not saying it's not possible to put a complete left-wing nutjob in the White House. It'd just be extremely difficult. Nigh impossible. Why? Because America has moved to the right. En fucking masse. We have Kerry for godsake shouting "I will hunt them down and I will kill them" during a national debate. Better, I think so, because the extremes at either end are bad, and with America in God mode, the right-wing extremists are far more likely to take power than anyone even moderately left of centre.

That's my logical answer. Here's my personal one.

I believe in the Democrat model (the unwatered-down version) of social justice. I think that Dems generally have a better grasp of international interdependence. I think that corporate "influence" (aka control) of the right makes it dangerous in a way that Marxism, feminism, gay preachers and Che's hidden manifestos are not a threatening influence from the left. I think that on a planet in which many cultures believe in many (usually exclusive rather than inclusive) religions, having a whole lot of power in the hands of a group that does not believe in the separation of church and state is a Bad Thing, and that while there may be religious Dems, they seem to have a better perspective on the reason for this separation, and a lot of them seem to be secular humanists, too. (and anyone who bases their morality on "God told me so" even if he did through a burning bush in front of a thousand-member crowd is one dangerous motherfucker, because God may have said "love thy neighbour" but he may have instead say "fuck your neighbour, what do you care?" and as the basis for your morality, it would be, well, handed down from God. Fuck that.)
posted by dreamsign at 10:38 PM on May 3, 2005


This also makes going to war in Iraq an impeachable offense for Bush, i believe--it's clear evidence of high crimes--and certainly more than a blowjob.
posted by amberglow at 6:34 AM on May 5, 2005


I'm going to repeat that--this makes Bush impeachable.
posted by amberglow at 6:36 AM on May 5, 2005




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