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US 'backed illegal Iraqi oil deals'
May 17, 2005 5:55 AM   Subscribe

US 'backed illegal Iraqi oil deals' The United States administration turned a blind eye to extensive sanctions-busting in the prewar sale of Iraqi oil, according to a new Senate investigation. A report released last night by Democratic staff on a Senate investigations committee presents documentary evidence that the Bush administration was made aware of illegal oil sales and kickbacks paid to the Saddam Hussein regime but did nothing to stop them. The scale of the shipments involved dwarfs those previously alleged by the Senate committee against UN staff and European politicians like the British MP, George Galloway, and the former French minister, Charles Pasqua.
posted by Postroad (124 comments total)

 
wow. what a f*ckin suprise!
posted by specialk420 at 6:02 AM on May 17, 2005


Quick, blame Newsweek.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 6:04 AM on May 17, 2005


"The report is likely to ease pressure from conservative Republicans on Kofi Annan to resign from his post as UN secretary general."

Gee, ya think? :-)
posted by Malor at 6:17 AM on May 17, 2005


Why bother trying to enforce sanctions when you're preparing for war anyway?
posted by alumshubby at 6:22 AM on May 17, 2005


There was an article in Harpers about this subject several months ago : The U.N. is Us (December 2004 Harpers). I don't think this should come as a surprise to anyone.
posted by chunking express at 6:24 AM on May 17, 2005


I cannot wait to see Galloway 'grilled' in front of Congress over the UN scandal. He's going to humiliate that Republican senator, and it's going to be bloody. I bet you they decide not to televise it after this latest bit of news.
posted by the_savage_mind at 6:25 AM on May 17, 2005


"The scale of the shipments involved dwarfs"

Dwarfs?! How did Dio get involved?
posted by mischief at 6:28 AM on May 17, 2005


<LOTR>...involved dwarves... </LOTR>
posted by elgilito at 6:34 AM on May 17, 2005


Ya' think Norm Coleman might have known about this before declaring every member of the UN a bunch of Amerika haters?

Good link chunking express. Too bad Newsweek didn't cover this way back when Harpers was on the case. :-)

Thanks for the post road.
posted by nofundy at 6:41 AM on May 17, 2005


I am shocked! Shocked to find duplicity in this administration.

(Countdown to the next big distraction for the unwashed / unread masses in... 3... 2... 1... OMG! Paris Hilton to have feeding tube inserted!)
posted by Hugh2d2 at 6:44 AM on May 17, 2005


Look Saddam Hussein must disarm, he threatens freedom. ...um....it's the terrorists. We're bringing democracy. They hate freedom.
Ah, the platitudes. So warming.

"The US representative's office at the UN referred inquiries to the state department, which fail to return calls. "
Speaks volumes.

Perhaps this is why the US was in so much of a hurry to shoo the UN inspectors out of Iraq?
...Or didn't that happen now?

I mean what's the motivation behind smuggling billions of dollars for profit in....oh.
posted by Smedleyman at 6:47 AM on May 17, 2005


Guys, haven't you heard? My local Fox affiliate last night told me that America's reputation is in the toilet, and Newsweek is entirely to blame.

Food-for-what?
posted by Remy at 6:48 AM on May 17, 2005


Yeah, not so surprising. Next thing you know it'll turn out that The Bush Administration knew about Halliburton doing business illegally in Iran....

*Money Fight! Cheney wallops Bush with a huge bulging canvas sack with a dollar sign printed on it*
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 6:51 AM on May 17, 2005


Meanwhile, $9 billion US tax dollars go missing.
posted by bardic at 7:06 AM on May 17, 2005


Bardic: Look, you go to war with the accountants you have; not the accountants you'd like to have. It happens. Get over it. Look! Is that a newsweek reporter kicking a puppy through a box fan?!?! Look! Over there! Look!
posted by Hugh2d2 at 7:20 AM on May 17, 2005


Galloway arrives for US showdown

On his arrival from the UK, Mr Galloway described the committee's report as "a schoolboy dossier".

It was "full of holes, full of falsehoods", he said.

"I am not expecting any justice from the innards of the US government but I want to appear not as the accused but as the accuser."

He added: "They seem blissfully unaware that for people in the rest of the world the villains of the peace in Iraq are them."

He said that included "George Bush, his government and the puppet administration they have installed in Baghdad, which is the source of these so-called documents".

He said: "I am going to accuse them of being involved in a huge diversion from the real issues in Iraq, which are the theft of billions of dollars worth of Iraq's wealth by the USA and its corporations, and the deaths of more than 100,000 people in Iraq."
posted by acrobat at 7:31 AM on May 17, 2005


This is funny pretty much everyone knew that the oil for food thing was corrupt. Its not like the US could have done anything about it by going to the UN.
posted by Photar at 7:32 AM on May 17, 2005


but did nothing to stop them.

Oooh. Good reporting. Because in the same damn article, it clearly states:

Bayoil's owner, David Chalmers, has been charged over the company's activities

Yeah, the Bush administration was a good friend of Saddam's. It did everything possible to prop up the Saddam regime..... except for that time that Bush, on principle, launched an offensive in Iraq to remove the regime from power.
posted by dios at 7:37 AM on May 17, 2005


Is that a newsweek reporter kicking a puppy through a box fan?

15+ people did die in rioting over a story that Newsweek has now retracted (whether it's true or not is unclear to me, the fact is Newsweek have defacto admitted they should not have published it). That's not exactly harmless. That's 15 less fathers/sons/etc due to what could be a dud story.

Apologies for the derail.
posted by PenDevil at 7:39 AM on May 17, 2005


Yeah, the Bush administration was a good friend of Saddam's. It did everything possible to prop up the Saddam regime.....

No, dios-- you're thinking of the Reagan Administration.
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 7:42 AM on May 17, 2005


Looks like Bayoil's owner, David Chalmers, didn't give Tom DeLay the full payments expected so it's off with the kneecaps.

9 billion dollars. Gee, wonder why that isn't grist enough for headline news?

Saddam Hussein and Iraq's past have eerily similar parallels to a little country just north of Afghanistan and it's current dictator, don't you think?

Bush, on principle, launched an offensive in Iraq
Hahahaha!! on principle! Hahahaha!! Sorry to feed the troll god but that WAS damn funny!
posted by nofundy at 7:45 AM on May 17, 2005


PenDevil: If we rioted and killed 15 Americans for each false story run by Al Jazeera, we'd be a very empty country. Justification for running a story that turns out to be full of holes? No.

Just consider how many are dead over a false story Dubya sold us?
posted by Hugh2d2 at 7:45 AM on May 17, 2005


15+ people died in rioting because of concepts like "Bush, on principle, launched an offensive in Iraq to remove the regime from power."

By the way, dios, I don't seem to recall seeing anything about "principle" in the March 2003 speech- the one that, you know, mentioned WMDs in 18 out of 27 paragraphs?

You didn't derail at all, PenDevil. In fact, dios was just about to explain how the White House is going to demand Bush issue a retraction of his own. Right?
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 7:47 AM on May 17, 2005


Pen Devil,

Have you thought about the very same "flushing the Koran"story was published 15 times BEFORE Newsweek did it by other news outlets?
Does the word of the Joint Chiefs mean nothing when he said the Newsweek story had "nothing" to do with the trouble?
Is it not significant that this trouble was brewing in these areas BEFORE the ink was put to paper by Newsweek and widely reported as so?
Is it just what Scotty and FOX says and that's it?
This is simply a case of Karl wanting to decapitate and emasculate yet another news outlet.
[/derail]
posted by nofundy at 7:50 AM on May 17, 2005


"Principle" = "Gimme The Oil, Byotch!"
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 7:51 AM on May 17, 2005


15+ people did die in rioting over a story that Newsweek has now retracted (whether it's true or not is unclear to me, the fact is Newsweek have defacto admitted they should not have published it). That's not exactly harmless. That's 15 less fathers/sons/etc due to what could be a dud story.

I can play this game too...

10,000+ people did die in a war fought for reasons now retracted by the Bush and Blair administrations. That's not exactly harmless. That's 10,000+ fathers/sons/etc due to what was a dud story
posted by twistedonion at 8:06 AM on May 17, 2005


Well, now we know. There does not exist an 'incorruptible' or 'principled' or 'just' nation on the entire planet.

It's enough to inspire nihilism.
posted by koeselitz at 8:12 AM on May 17, 2005


Fuzzy "gimme the oil byotch" Monster,
...exactly how many wars have been fought over natural resources. Most all of them?
posted by tomplus2 at 8:14 AM on May 17, 2005


You can watch these proceedings live on the BBC right now. There's a "live video" link on the right side of the page.
posted by trey at 8:22 AM on May 17, 2005


I can't believe it. There are still people deluded enough to make the argument that this war was an oil grab? Of all the rhetoric of the people opposing the liberation of Iraq, that is by far the most pathetic, weak and wrong argument against it.

If we wanted the oil, then we could very easily made sweetheart deals with Saddam. It would have cost much less, and we could have whatever deals we wanted. Common sense! But, don't let common sense get in the way of making pithy and stupid chants like "No blood for oil!"
But, the argument makes even less sense after the war (if that is even possible), because what did we do? Did we seize the oil pipelines and steal the oil? No. We gave control immediately to the Iraqi people and took none of the oil for ourselves. We profited not one drop of oil; we did not acquire access in any manner then would have been easier under Saddam.

How disingenuous do you have to be to still be trotting out the "It was all about oil" canard?
posted by dios at 8:25 AM on May 17, 2005


Fuzzy "gimme the oil byotch" Monster,
...exactly how many wars have been fought over natural resources. Most all of them?
posted by tomplus2


You bet. Tribes squabbling for territory, from the smallest gang fight to the biggest World War.
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 8:31 AM on May 17, 2005


dios: We didn't profit from the oil, but the big oil companies are thriving partly because of this war.
posted by Hugh2d2 at 8:34 AM on May 17, 2005


...and the big oil companies gave generously to the Bush campaign.

Thus, there was profit.
posted by BobFrapples at 8:41 AM on May 17, 2005


That's just a coincidence, Hugh2d2. Nothing to see there. Not the droids you're looking for, etc.
posted by The Dryyyyy Cracker at 8:43 AM on May 17, 2005


Dios, do you not see how having US friendly regimes in Iraq and Afghanistan will allow the US to get better deals when it comes to buying their oil?

Don't get so upset that people are talking about Iraq and oil. In case you haven't noticed, the thread you're in is about Iraq and oil.

But you're right: the Iraq war isn't all about oil. It's also about Protecting Israel; Moving Military Bases Out Of Saudi Arabia (per Bin Laden's request) and into Iraq; Avenging Poppa Bush; and oh, yeah, and looking for Weapons of Mass Destruction.

Are you familiar with Dick Cheney's Energy Policy? I seem to recall a cornerstone of that Policy was the 'liberation' of Iraq's oil...
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 8:43 AM on May 17, 2005


Galloway just called the proceedings against him the "mother of all smokescreens."
posted by trey at 8:46 AM on May 17, 2005


Are you familiar with Dick Cheney's Energy Policy, Fuzzy Monster? I thought it was, you know, being kept under wraps under pain of destroying the very principals of democracy. I think pretty much anyone could take an educated guess about what's in there (lots of stuff about conservation and renewables, I'd hazard), but to the best of my knowledge it wasn't leaked...
posted by The Dryyyyy Cracker at 8:51 AM on May 17, 2005


Some of it was. More on Cheney's Energy Task Force and Iraqi Oil.
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 8:53 AM on May 17, 2005


Here's a little sampler from my link:

"Documents turned over in the summer of 2003 by the Commerce Department as a result of the Sierra Club’s and Judicial Watch’s Freedom of Information Act lawsuit, concerning the activities of the Cheney Energy Task Force, contain a map of Iraqi oilfields, pipelines, refineries and terminals, as well as two charts detailing Iraqi oil and gas projects, and “Foreign Suitors for Iraqi Oilfield Contracts.” The documents, dated March 2001, also feature maps of Saudi Arabian and United Arab Emirates oilfields, pipelines, refineries and tanker terminals. There are supporting charts with details of the major oil and gas development projects in each country that provide information on the project’s costs, capacity, oil company and status or completion date."

...but, y'know, it's not about oil... right?
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 8:56 AM on May 17, 2005


Hmmm... Must just be a coincidence. There's nothing to see here. Not the droids I was looking for.
posted by Hugh2d2 at 8:57 AM on May 17, 2005


we could very easily made sweetheart deals with Saddam

HELL-OH! We DID make sweetheart deals with Saddam. Perhaps you don't recall the pictures of Rymmy shaking 'ol Saddam's hand?

And then he went and made noise to ditch the petro dollar... tsk tsk tsk. It was Saddam who broke the deals.

But your right. This war was also about geo-strategic position and water. And I wouldn't complain if they would have done it right. Actually GOT the oil. Actually got our stooges to do the killing for us. I mean fuck? What is the point of being a citizen of the worlds most powerful empire if they don't actually SHARE the wealth they plunder with the citizens? Shit we do all the dying and killing and Bush and Cheney sit around sipping Chateau D'Casile.

God damn it! I want my cut! And you should to.
posted by tkchrist at 9:00 AM on May 17, 2005


This Galloway guy is growing on me. Even if he is a commie. I kinda like him. Go git'em tiger!
posted by tkchrist at 9:02 AM on May 17, 2005


The article Postroad posted is all about the sweetheart deals the US made with the Saddam regime. From the article:


In fact, the Senate report found that US oil purchases accounted for 52% of the kickbacks paid to the regime in return for sales of cheap oil - more than the rest of the world put together.

"The United States was not only aware of Iraqi oil sales which violated UN sanctions and provided the bulk of the illicit money Saddam Hussein obtained from circumventing UN sanctions," the report said. "On occasion, the United States actually facilitated the illicit oil sales. "
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 9:09 AM on May 17, 2005


All you Amerika haters know the war is about bringing freedom and liberty and democracy to Iraq. And don't forget about the children!

So just shut up! I'm sick and tired of having to defend Dear Leader and his incompetence!! Did I say incompetence? Well, I can just shut up too! Don't make me have to report you!

And Norm Coleman can shut up too!
posted by nofundy at 9:14 AM on May 17, 2005


US oil purchases accounted for 52% of the kickbacks paid to the regime in return for sales of cheap oil - more than the rest of the world put together.

Thank God they explained what that 52% means. I just went to the newstand to get some bodybuilding mags and some porn, because for some reason I always need to rub one out after looking at Ronnie Coleman and Flex Wheeler and (especially) Hercules himself, Arnold. But then it turns out that the new owner's a fucking Mormon and doesn't carry Barely Legal. So I'm thinking I'll just pick up one of those British papers where they hide some titties inside. Then, later, I run across this article, and I read "52%," what the fuck does that shit mean? And I figure most of the dudes reading this paper bought it like I did, so I'm just glad they explained it, you know?
posted by iron chef morimoto at 9:16 AM on May 17, 2005


PS.

U! S! A!
U! S! A!
U! S! A!

posted by iron chef morimoto at 9:18 AM on May 17, 2005


"Mr Galloway went on the offensive as soon as he began to speak, saying he had met Saddam Hussein on two occasions - the same number of times as US defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld.

"The difference is Donald Rumsfeld met him to sell him guns and maps - the better to target those guns. I met him to try to bring about an end to sanctions, suffering and war," he said.

The accusations levelled against him was the "mother of all smokescreens", he said. "
posted by fire&wings at 9:28 AM on May 17, 2005


How bad is this going to get before we start to riot?

Illegal war? No riot.
No WMDs? No riot.
At least 1,600 troops dead? No riot.
10s of thousands of Iraqis dead? No riot.
9 billion dollars vanishing? No riot.
Illegal oil deals leading up to the Iraq war? No riot.

If this were a murder trial, our government would be convicted. Means, motive and opportunity. It's all there.

Don't we get to change things when we're no longer being represented by our government?
posted by Jon-o at 9:32 AM on May 17, 2005


sorry for the gripe...
posted by Jon-o at 9:41 AM on May 17, 2005


You go on ahead. I'm too depressed to riot.
posted by alumshubby at 9:42 AM on May 17, 2005


So I watched the testimony and from what I could gather, Coleman has shrunk to wanting to hang Galloway for not asking contributors to his foundation exactly how they made all their money. Then Levin wants to hang him for the bad manners of not immediately giving the possibly tainted money back.

No proof of a causal connection between polical cover and funding. No proof of a correlation for that matter. Just a copy of a translated document foisted on him as he walked in the door that might be construed to imply--I was unclear if the parenthetical mention of Galloway was part of the original or a translator's notation--someone was doing a deal transacting involving 'kickbacks' on his name.

That's about as air-tight as the NBC allegations Galloway is being persecuted for railing against. Fitting...
posted by Fezboy! at 9:42 AM on May 17, 2005


All you Amerika haters know the war is about bringing freedom and liberty and democracy to Iraq. And don't forget about the children!

And you call other people trolls?

(Nice use of the "k" in america though...never seen that one before.)
posted by justgary at 9:54 AM on May 17, 2005


Jon-o, what would rioting accomplish? The Bush administration is a lawfully elected regime and they've done nothing to contravene the spirit and letter of of American laws. As long as Iraq can be contained to just a few soldiers a week, they're completely untouchable. And if cornered, have no doubt, there will be no methodical, nuanced response. The Bush administration will not show weakness. It will not compromise. If you hit it, it'll hit back a thousand times harder. And the people will cheer.
posted by nixerman at 9:56 AM on May 17, 2005


....a Senate investigations committee presents documentary evidence that the Bush administration was made aware of illegal oil sales and kickbacks paid to the Saddam Hussein regime but did nothing to stop them.


This was kept a secret from Clinton for 8 years ?

Who exactly was in this Senate investigation? This seems more like political mudslinging than anything else.

As for doing nothing to stop it, I think invading a country and deposing a government(if you could call it that) is not exactly doing nothing.

The article is lacking in details. Almost suspiciously lacking...
posted by a3matrix at 10:00 AM on May 17, 2005


Jon-o: no riot for those things, but they better not put a Giddeon's bible in the crapper or there'll be hell to pay.
posted by Hugh2d2 at 10:01 AM on May 17, 2005


I don't think this story is true: no word yet from Little Green Footballs.
posted by Mean Mr. Bucket at 10:03 AM on May 17, 2005


Galloway sticks it to the Senate. Exhilarating stuff. Have a taste of real freedom of speech, you mud-slinging jerks.
posted by Decani at 10:11 AM on May 17, 2005


In fact, the Senate report found that US oil purchases accounted for 52% of the kickbacks paid to the regime in return for sales of cheap oil - more than the rest of the world put together.

"The United States was not only aware of Iraqi oil sales which violated UN sanctions and provided the bulk of the illicit money Saddam Hussein obtained from circumventing UN sanctions," the report said. "On occasion, the United States actually facilitated the illicit oil sales. "

I'll take my apology now, from paris and david dark and others. (April 04 post on this topic)
posted by amberglow at 10:22 AM on May 17, 2005


poor deluded, lying, David Dark--whatever happened to him? was he a Paris Paramus puppet account? ...No matter how this UN scandal turns out, the information will not show that "US companies are completely and totally implicated and guilty of the same shit the french and russians are." While true that our companies exist to make money (and frankly, whose do not?), they are not "just as bad as the French and the Russian and whoever." Not about this. US companies could not have been involved, because they were forbidden by the embargo. If any US company were somehow involved in this, believe me, you'd already know about it. Given the volume of corruption the French and Russian governments are accused of, there is no chance that any American involvement could outshine their deeds. You're lucky that no one is likely interested in raising a child with genetically imposed intellectual deficiencies, or your passionate proclamation to give up your first-born would be tragic, indeed. But this, like your attempts at drawing the US and UK into the fire, is not pertinent to the topic....
posted by amberglow at 10:25 AM on May 17, 2005


And you call other people trolls?

(Nice use of the "k" in america though...never seen that one before.)
posted by justgary at 12:54 PM EST


I employ sarcasm as humor.
I even make fun of lefties!! [gasp]
Sorry if you missed that.
I laugh at myself and even you.
Beats whining or getting depressed.
[/offtopic]

Man, I wish we had more speakers like Galloway in the US Congress! Take a lesson Holy Joe!
posted by nofundy at 10:39 AM on May 17, 2005


Exult and wallow, amberglow. Seriously.

Not that it's going to dent the delusions of a true freeper puppet, but it doesn't get more obviously 'We're right and you are wrong' than this. Also, if this can't be digested, then we know we are truly dealing with the mentally disturbed and we will have to move to purely sympathetic-in-a-condescending-manner treatment from now on.

I'm really looking forward to the spin that gets put on this, just to see how much a man can abase himself intellectually. Although I'm just guessing he/they won't bother to post to this thread.
posted by the_savage_mind at 10:55 AM on May 17, 2005


i am wallowing--they're wrong so very often. (and i knew proof would come out about US companies' involvement--it's the UN, not a secret Cheney committee meeting) : >
posted by amberglow at 11:12 AM on May 17, 2005


I'm really not trying to complain too much, but I'm waiting for the day I don't get on metafilter and see a headline that's essentially the same thing I read the day before that's essentially the same thing I read the day before when it comes to Iraq.

I mean seriously... you're not convincing the right-wing nutjobs (dios), the people against the war are already convinced (like... 75% of mefi), and the moderates like me are saturated to the point that.... well, it's not that I don't care, but I don't need to hear anymore because it's ALL the same.

Can't I get something different, like geekfantasies.com? (just kidding on that one, I know it was up)
posted by Drylnn at 11:14 AM on May 17, 2005


Drylinn, it'll get better after all our troops have left....
posted by warbaby at 11:30 AM on May 17, 2005


dios: If we wanted the oil, then we could very easily made sweetheart deals with Saddam. It would have cost much less, and we could have whatever deals we wanted.

Unless Iraq planned to trade the oil with, say, France and Russia, because maybe our earlier "sweetheart deals" with Saddam and the Saudis hadn't gone quite the way we wanted, there was the bombing and the sanctions and the way we'd demonized Saddam the first time meant we couldn't really be seen openly trading, and I hear some of the Arab states are sort of miffed about our hand in Palestine. It's like the oil producing countries have some sort of grudge against us. Maybe it was when we overthrew that democratically elected government in Iran to keep our hold on their oil... sorry, where were we? Oh yeah, war on principle.

But, the argument makes even less sense after the war (if that is even possible), because what did we do? Did we seize the oil pipelines and steal the oil? No. We gave control immediately to the Iraqi people and took none of the oil for ourselves.

We did seize the oil pipelines, surely you remember that. When you say we "gave control immediately to the Iraqi people", don't you mean that the UN resolution lifting sanctions gave the U.S. control over the oil which we held in custody for awhile before we sort of supposedly gave it to the hand-picked interim puppet government which decided to let us keep it, and now we slowly might move to give it to that hero of the people and Deputy Prime Minister / Acting Oil Minister Ahmed Chalabi -- who has said among many many other things: “American oil companies will have a big shot at Iraqi oil"? The will of the Iraqi people for their oil sure looks a hell of a lot like whatever the U.S. wants.

It's not theft in the sense of we're loading up barrels and shipping them away without any paperwork -- or at least, it doesn't seem that way yet. But we've been very intent on making sure this very juicy plum falls into our lap, and no one else's. What do you do when that guy you've demonized won't trade with you, and you can't be seen trading with him -- yet you really, really want his resource?

It's like you never read news like this:
"It's pretty straightforward," said former CIA director R. James Woolsey, who has been one of the leading advocates of forcing Hussein from power. "France and Russia have oil companies and interests in Iraq. They should be told that if they are of assistance in moving Iraq toward decent government, we'll do the best we can to ensure that the new government and American companies work closely with them."
Oil played a large part of the decision to go to war in Iraq, dios; you're not really so naive to believe otherwise, like some right-wing starry-eyed princess moonbat pleading "the world works on principle, not the bottom line". So are you lying to yourself too, or just to us?
posted by fleacircus at 11:33 AM on May 17, 2005


But first it'll probably get worse -- I'm waiting for a three-way civil war once the last C-130 lifts off from BIA.
posted by alumshubby at 11:34 AM on May 17, 2005


I'll take my apology now, from paris and david dark and others. (April 04 post on this topic)

The right never apologizes. Showing weakness in front of commie pinkos ist strengst verboten.
posted by AlexReynolds at 11:36 AM on May 17, 2005


Drylinn, Try using the little wheel in the middle of your mouse. I don't remember seeing George Galloway on a FPP yesterday. It's not often you see an elected British MP go before a US senate commitee and take the US uberlords to task.
posted by adamvasco at 11:37 AM on May 17, 2005


Can't I get something different

sorry we fail to entertain you, DryInn, we will try to make your satisfaction our top priority here at Metafilter

Drylnn has posted no links 26 comments to MetaFilter
posted by mr.marx at 11:39 AM on May 17, 2005


Drylnn, Try using the little wheel in the middle of your mouse. I don't remember seeing George Galloway on a FPP yesterday. It's not often you see an elected British MP go before a US senate commitee and take the US uberlords to task.

Yeah, but we've seen the "tacit approval by the US on Oil for Food" before... this is just some different details, but overall, it's nothing new. And then there's another headline, and another... it just never ends. I appreciate that people are trying to provide new views on Iraq, but they're just the same views over and over. I can almost just look at names on comments and know exactly what that person is going to say - example: dios is the most predictable, but contrary to what people think, he's not always wrong... I just wonder how much the Bush admin pays him. And the same goes for some of the people who oppose him. It'd just be nice to see something NEW on these Iraq things instead of the same comments over and over and over and over if I'm going to have the same headlines.

sorry we fail to entertain you, DryInn, we will try to make your satisfaction our top priority here at Metafilter

::begin Sarcasm stream::Yay! I thank you for your attention to my concerns and overall satisfaction, because obviously, I was being WAY out of line by posting my thoughts on the headline on this page. ::end Sarcasm stream::

I fail to see though why you posted my comment amount. So I try not to post often, what does that prove?
posted by Drylnn at 11:46 AM on May 17, 2005


"Not that it's going to dent the delusions of a true freeper puppet..."
That's the odd thing. I'd really like to see some reasoned disagreement to this other than the argument from ignorance (dios) and the attack the messenger rhetoric (ad nauseum).

Best one I've seen is from a3matrix, but that is merely skepticism (not that there's anything wrong with that).
But, to play devil's advocate, consider: the U.S. makes deals with Saddam who is looking to screw us so Bush the Greater suckers him into invading Kuwait to show other Arab countries Saddam is a loose cannon. Those other countries disavow him. Yet we don't go for the throat. We wait.
Why? Well, perhaps he came back into line.
Ok, so the Clinton years are a total screw up with Bubba doing everything wrong, ignoring terror in favor of sexual picadillos and sets us up for one of the worst economic slowdowns in recent memory. However thanks to Bush the Greater's sanctions and smearing of Saddam's rep, Saddam has to do backdoor sweatheart deals with us (which is why the economy was doing so well?) so we have him right where we want him.
But Saddam, unchecked by Clinton, goes to screw us once again by switching to Euros or whatever he was going to do, so we gotta gittim.
But y'know, Clinton just doesn't have the balls. But after 9/11 the 'merican people finally saw what letting Arabs run around loose gets ya and we had to cut the b.s. and start dealing in straight power concepts so Bush the Lesser invades.

Nah. Doesn't ring true. I can't get that illegal oil deal piece to fit without political corruption of some kind. Not to say Clinton wasn't complicit either (notice how chummy he and Bush the Greater are?).

However to respond to the "invading is doing something about it" argument:
Yes. Invading Iraq has prevented U.S. firms with contacts in the government (like those wonderful folks at Haliburton) from making any more money through illegal oil deals.
posted by Smedleyman at 11:47 AM on May 17, 2005


DryInn; Its your country, I believe Im right in stating that you are an American. Are You doing anything? or are you just annoyed like many people that your irresponsible and possibly corrupt government is getting away with murder and that the lickspittle press cares more about Paris Hiltons tits than dead civilians. Maybe you are actually annoyed with the once respected country you live in. In that case do something but dont come into these threads moaning that you dont like the views posted. If you want a new view provide your own or go back and play with your toys.
posted by adamvasco at 12:06 PM on May 17, 2005


Oh, the Clinton admin has plenty to feel guilty about, Smedleyman. The sanctions alone, which killed so many, many innocent Iraquis. The constant bombing of Iraq though we were no longer at war. I would have been so happy to see Bubba go if it wasn't for who followed. As it is, this administration, which is so obviously and colossally the worst in American history, has made me actually pine for Bill Clinton as Commander-in-Chief. That's beyond depressing.
posted by the_savage_mind at 12:17 PM on May 17, 2005


Oh, and after watching Galloway's concluding words to Coleman, I can only say that I'm going to bat for the opposing side (no, not the corporate fascists, silly) and see if I can bear his babies.

What wouldn't I give to see that footage shown in entirety on the evening news, as well as Coleman's face while he was being brutally ass-raped with an entire pine tree. Thanks, Galloway, for showing some American government officials what it looks like to live life as a vertebrate.
posted by the_savage_mind at 12:22 PM on May 17, 2005


I'm actually with dios on this one. it's pretty naive to say that the oil industry was the only GOP piggy bank to profit astronomically from the war!
posted by mcsweetie at 12:24 PM on May 17, 2005


"I'll take my apology now, from paris and david dark and others."

I would just wipe the shit from my shoes and walk on.
Lying sociopaths don't apologize.
Somebody open a window...
posted by 2sheets at 12:34 PM on May 17, 2005


Drylnn; Its your country, I believe Im right in stating that you are an American.

It's not an I, it's an L in the middle of Drylnn (I'm not targetting you with this comment... just everyone who keeps typing it like that). And yes, I am an American.

Are You doing anything?
Perhaps I am. Perhaps I'm not. I could regale you with stories of what I might be doing, but why bother? From your perspective they could be the truth or lies, so I have no real way of proving anything I say about what I'm doing. Of course, this has nothing to do with my original comments.

or are you just annoyed like many people that your irresponsible and possibly corrupt government is getting away with murder and that the lickspittle press cares more about Paris Hiltons tits than dead civilians.

Might want to drain that vitriol a little bit. In any case, it is opinion. I for one believe that the press will willingly go after anyone to make their ratings go up, as we've seen from the Newsweek piece this week. I don't think the press is licking GWB's boots, they just tend to flow back and forth. If they smell real blood in the water on the Bush administration, they'll be all over it. When there's nothing new to say, they won't have anything to say. Maybe I'm wrong on this, I cannot say for certain without exhaustive statistics on news media posts.

Maybe you are actually annoyed with the once respected country you live in.

I think overall its still respected, although clearly it has taken a hit in its reputation.


In that case do something but dont come into these threads moaning that you dont like the views posted.

Sigh. In your attempt to paint me with your brush, you tripped over your bucket of bile. I'm not saying I don't like the views per se, I'm saying there's nothing new, and no one is really listening anymore. All these comments do is preach to their respective choirs for the most part. Rarely (and I do mean rarely) do I see a new and profound view, or a discussion that actually has people taking into account both sides and trying to reach a compromise or some viewpoint. Most of the time, it's just yelling, anger, attacks, innuendo, and what not. Dios and a lot of the people on his side make their comments, people comment in response (some of which don't even read his comments) and there's no real discussion. It's an attempt to score points on their own scoreboard. It's just tiring to read, hoping for a new viewpoint or maybe some actual attempts to do something. I regularly speak (elsewhere) on how we should be trying to fix our country's problems, not just talk about them ad nauseum. And that's what these posts tend to be... ad nauseum repeat conversations. Do you find any new thought processes in these threads? If a lot of people do, I apologize, but to me, they seem just repeats of the same stuff, over and over. That isn't accomplishing anything, it's just making a drumbeat into a drone to tune out.

If you want a new view provide your own or go back and play with your toys.

I would "play with my toys", but I'm attempting to clean up your bile at the moment with my vacuum. I don't think I was overly insulting, so I fail to see the reason for your tone.
posted by Drylnn at 12:37 PM on May 17, 2005


Drylnn, you either with or against them. If you aren't with them, be ready for the bile.
posted by dios at 12:49 PM on May 17, 2005


Wow, those closing remarks were great. What were they thinking inviting him to speak? I bet GWB's not too happy with Coleman right now.

This was the most public demand for accountability I've seen, and they asked him to do it.
posted by belling at 1:07 PM on May 17, 2005


Ok Karl, roll a twenty sided die. 1-9 we blame Newsweek, 10-19 for making it a vast left wing conspiracy, natural 20 we blame Clinton.
posted by Hugh2d2 at 1:22 PM on May 17, 2005


Back in your cage please dios.
Drylin ( apologies for misspelling your handle- I think you might agree that is difficult to make out on small screens)
If you want bile stand by whilest I summon some of the experts.
Maybe Mayor Curly would like to pop in with one of his ace comments.
Do you deny that the present US regime is irresponsible and possibly corrupt.?
Would you argue that your mainstream News providers are “lame”
By what mandate was the war legal? If it was not legal; it was condoned murder, as were the bombings by the previous administration.
Where is the bile in these statements. The average Usian has the news attention span of a gnat. Bile comes if I state that said gnat should be bitch slapped till the blood comes out of its ears and made to fuckin wake up dickhead… bit of venom there as well.
My point to you was scroll on if you don’t like it and if you you want to add something don’t whine. George Galloway is not my favorite politico by a long stretch but he has the cohones to tell it as it is which doesn’t seem to be coming too much from your own.
Respect is something earnt and in the eyes of many outside the US, all your’re earning is dis…. As in yu dissing me mutherfucker, because that’s how the world outside the US goldfish bowl is seeing it.
posted by adamvasco at 1:40 PM on May 17, 2005


I fail to see though why you posted my comment amount. So I try not to post often, what does that prove?

It's not the comment amount, it's the number of links. If you feel MeFi is substandard, by all means contribute.
posted by mr.marx at 1:40 PM on May 17, 2005


...because that’s how the world outside the US goldfish bowl is seeing it.

Can someone please change the leaderswater? The corruption and blood and stuff makes it so hard to see out.
posted by amberglow at 1:44 PM on May 17, 2005


Ok Karl, roll a twenty sided die.

you forget that lord rove gets a to-hit bonus +10 when dealing with the average american and an additional +5 to damage when someone outside of the u.s. points out america's shortcomings and hypocrisy.

thus he's pretty much guaranteed a critical hit no matter what happens.
posted by lord_wolf at 1:46 PM on May 17, 2005


/derail - *apologizing in advance for the length*
"If you aren't with them, be ready for the bile."

I can't fault you there dios. I tend not to engage in personal attacks (I do try to attack the argument), and I do see them as detrimental to honest discourse. Neither can I disagree with Drylnn that many conversations are jerk off festivals and I have lamented the lack of cogent argument myself (in this very thread even). I would go so far as to say the nut-kicking does quash dissenting opinions or enrages the dissenter to the point to which he/she can't engage in reasonable discourse.

But some folks are admitted trolls (ParisParamis - who did, I personally thought - have some interesting things to say said he more or less only came in to drop bombs, remind liberals how stupid they are or some such) and don't deserve any response at all. That said neither do the 'atta-boy' comments Drylnn is saying Mefi is rife with, but many of those aren't responded to either.

Mere disagreement or agreement isn't enough. You cannot successfully attack or defend a position without due consideration of all the evidence. Nor can you without in fact actually defending your position and responding to further argument. Some of us aren't trying to 'win' an argument here but subject our opinions to the rational analysis of our peers to see how they hold up. For some of us, if those opinions are proven wrong or unfounded, we update them. Others don't.

Compare your comments dios to a3matrix .
a3matrix is skeptical of the piece, he questions if it is fair to blame BushCo as many had in the piece by asking if Clinton was oblivious to it for 8 years, who did the Senate investigation and what the political motivations might be.

You both raise the issue that if BushCo was so cozy with Saddam why did the invasion take place?
(I responded to this)

However you assert the Iraq war was launched on principle failing to recognize the mass of evidence contrary to that position. Ignore Rumsfeld and Bush the Greater's documented dealings with Saddam years before. Reduce the antiwar argument to that the war - launched by BushCo with their extremely heavy ties to the oil industries - was a simplistic oil grab by our country, ignoring the gigantic legal and political ramifications in your later straw man and ignoring how it benefits those who contribute politically to those now in power.
"common sense" indeed.
After smearing those who make reasoned arguments with this tripe you then attack them for doing so as disingenuous and go on to ignore or distort every counter-argument against your position only to snark again.

I'll take you at your word that it bothers you that the bile is poured on and you are not purposefully irritating people who want to discuss issues.
I can see no other conclusion than you must not care enough to read, consider, investigate, introspect, whatever -other's evidence upon which they base their opinions. Ignorance can't be an excuse because your presented with a variety of sources and have been in the past.

Understand, I'm not arguing truth here. What is 'right' doesn't have any bearing in this particular piece. I don't care whether the sources others present are factual or not for the purposes here, only that you do not address them in context.

Perhaps you don't have the kind of time to write that long a refutation. Fair enough. But then limit your comments width and depth and address the specifics you do have time for.
Otherwise acknowledge that coming in and making huge blanket statements that appear to have no basis in consensual reality because they do not address anything that has formerly occurred appears to many to be akin to running into and out of an NAACP meeting and yelling "Niggers!" disguising itself as social commentary.

But we've been through all that.

Straight question without my usual hyperbole - how is this (US backing illegal oil deals) not possible? In what way could this have occurred without anyone in the Bush administration being aware of this or if aware of it or becoming aware of it later how then does invading Iraq instead of conducting an internal (US) criminal investigation mitigate this?
posted by Smedleyman at 1:55 PM on May 17, 2005


How bad is this going to get before we start to riot?

You first. I got your back.

Funny. Clinton was bombing the shit out of these guys and he for damn sure knew about these back room oil deals. Hell. He took Haliburton money, too. Thousands died under those sanctions. Nobody rioted. Few even noticed. Neither the left or the right. So pardon me if I make fun you on this one. I talked myself blue during the Clinton years and almost nobody cared - everybody was worrying about his impeachment. I was like "good!" he should be impeached.

A great number of people have dirty dirty hands when it came to Iraq. That is the nature of dealing with a drug dealer right? Oil being what we ALL jones for... Saddam was fairly brilliant at playing both Europe and the US like the junkies we have become. Nobody sets out to be junkie. They just want to give it try once. And inevitably all the junkies argue over who is worse - who can't be trusted - when their dealer gets locked up. I put forth this: Nobody is clean here.

Point is what do we do now? I would love nothing better than to see Bush doing a perp walk. Just on general principle. But that will never happen. Not unless there is mule train of previous administration officials handcuffed together ahead of him. Albright, Gore, Powell, Kissinger... damn. They will never sell each other out.

So what do we do? We tell everybody we know - GOP or Dem - that this war is done. We won. Yes. WE WON! Yay for us. Mission accomplished. Let the baby have his bottle. No more name calling or blaming the soldier victims. No more worrying about the damn Iraqis. Fuck them. We gotta blow or they are doomed.

We DEMAND that our troops come home now. NOW. That will be the only retribution and justice there will be for this war. Forget about war crimes trials. You realize half of the world politicians would have to go to jail. That won't happen. Ever. Never.

GODAMN IT if every one of you bitching about Bush is not calling their senator daily then you better shut up.
Here is Bill Frists number: 202-224-3344. Call NOW!

And if we bomb or invade Iran or Syria THEN it's time for a walk out and riots. Because then it's obvious WE are next. We claim self defense.
posted by tkchrist at 1:56 PM on May 17, 2005


Man, I can't take this anymore. I keep reading this article in the hopes that I'll come up with some coherent and intelligent comment. The past 5 years have just completely stupefied me and I've hit this terrible wall of numbness.

"Look! Another damning and irrefutable condemnation of not only this administration but of the results of half a century of foreign policy! I'm sure this will turn some heads!"

Yeah, right.


Who wants to move to Mexico with me? The dollar still goes a long way there (a Peso's only 9 cents!)
posted by Jon-o at 2:03 PM on May 17, 2005


You both raise the issue that if BushCo was so cozy with Saddam why did the invasion take place?

A good way to look at is like a hostile takeover. Plenty of corporations work together on various strategic products but when the time is right that doesn't stop once corps from taking over another. Even if the CEO's play golf together.
We cozied up to Stalin for a time? But he was still seen as a strategic adversary. This is not new.

Sure. We could have bought off Saddam. Nobody get's in history books by writing checks. Bold action gives the big boys boners. Bush listened to crazy demagogs who really thought it wold all work out fine. I can't say as I blame them - the state of the region seemed hopelessly stagnant.

Nice try - it's time to cut and run boys. Time for Plan B.
posted by tkchrist at 2:06 PM on May 17, 2005


Some of us aren't trying to 'win' an argument here but subject our opinions to the rational analysis of our peers to see how they hold up. For some of us, if those opinions are proven wrong or unfounded, we update them.

awesome. this is indeed what i'm usually doing and looking for here on the blue (and elsewhere), but i never could have explained it that well.
posted by lord_wolf at 2:10 PM on May 17, 2005


rational analysis

Oh. RATIONAL analysis. Damn.
posted by tkchrist at 2:13 PM on May 17, 2005


"I talked myself blue during the Clinton years and almost nobody cared - everybody was worrying about his impeachment. I was like "good!" he should be."
We park our cars in the same garage my friend. But, who were you hanging with? The folks I commiserated with about Clinton are now Bushistas. (not to derail, but I'd rather have him nailed on something solid rather than the oral sex. Big fan of that).

""I'm sure this will turn some heads!" "
These things take time. Bad guys always fuck themselves in the end. One way or t'other. Grant, Harding, etc. Those people die thousands of deaths. There's a Stanislav Petrov for every Nixon or Bush that is jerking off over using the nukes.
posted by Smedleyman at 2:14 PM on May 17, 2005


Drylnn
I think what you are seeing here that you misinterpret as 'bile' as Americans (capitol 'A'), not liberals, who have got a clue and are getting more and more clued in each day.
This is the clue they have: Both parties misrepresent their constituents. Those who identify as democrat or left or liberals are very much aware of it. Those on the right are becoming more and more aware of it each day.
The documentation and proof is substantial and inarguable if you go into a library and look back over the years at archived magazines, newspapers and books written on subjects related to politics, warfare, international relations, business, U.S., World and Military history. You may also visit appropriate departments in your local bookstore or Amazon.com.
Those who read about these topics and take the time to read footnotes and investigate those footnotes to verify the authenticity of statements or stories soon find that those identified as non-conservative have consistently greater credibility than those written from an ideological, conservative bias. Take a look at Michael Savage, Ann Coulter, Bill O'Reilly, Rush Limbaugh as some current examples of deliberate misinformation.
Then you look at this administration and it's current cast of characters who feature consistently in past Republican administrations rife with controversy going back to Nixon, Ford, Reagan and Bush I. Not good. I'm not saying that democratic administrations are virginal in their piety, but they are substantially better than the carpetbaggers this country has been saddled with for more than thirty years now. Yes, the same people, engaging in the same corruption and nepotism for thirty years now, robbing the country blind, setting this country's population against one another like at no time since the civil war and generally doing everything they can to prove that 'divided we stand, united we fall'.
The bottom line is this: We are all Americans here and we need to acknowledge that. We are not godless commies, we are not neo-nazis, but we are a country who's population has been conditioned to disengage from dialog to the detriment of our country and for the benefit of those who would profit the most: The rich and privileged.
I've more to say, but I think the gist of it is clear and it's time for me to clock back in from lunch and help out happy customers.
posted by mk1gti at 2:26 PM on May 17, 2005


people are starting to dig--a Texas Oilman must have some Bush connection (or a DeLay connection?): UNScam Indictments - Who Is David Chalmers?

Chalmers' Fed Campaign Contributions

Common Dreams: ...Chalmers is a longtime denizen of the Labyrinth. In the mid-1980s, he joined up with Chilean gun-runner Carlos Cardoen, the Financial Times reported. Cardoen was a CIA frontman used by Presidents Ronald Reagan and Bush I to funnel cluster bombs and other weapons secretly to Saddam Hussein during the Iran-Iraq War. At Reagan's direct order, Saddam received U.S. military intelligence, billions of dollars in credits and a steady supply of covert "third-country" arms to sustain his war effort, even though the White House was fully aware of Saddam's "almost daily use" of illegal chemical weapons, The Washington Post reported. Later, Bush I, as president, would also mandate the sale of WMD material to Saddam, including anthrax -- long after Saddam notoriously "gassed his own people" at Halabja.

As in the present UN scandal, Saddam paid for his covert cluster bombs with oil. Chalmers would move the actual black stuff and broker its sale for the CIA and Cardoen, taking a cut in the process. Since 1999, Chalmers has been doing the same thing on behalf of Italtech, owned by another crony in the old Cardoen gun-running scheme. The Texas baron must be aghast to find himself in hot water for an activity that was once blessed at the highest levels. Perhaps he neglected to cross the requisite Bushist palms with sufficient silver -- or else, as with many a Bush minion, he's just been tossed overboard as chum for the sharks when he's no longer of any use.
...

posted by amberglow at 2:28 PM on May 17, 2005


Smedlyman, I will respond to your question because it is politely raised and measured.

I would go so far as to say the nut-kicking does quash dissenting opinions or enrages the dissenter to the point to which he/she can't engage in reasonable discourse.

I agree. Reasonable discourse is impossible, especially when it is pre-determined that dissenting opinions are not reasonable per se.

"I'll take you at your word that it bothers you that the bile is poured on and you are not purposefully irritating people who want to discuss issues."

Well, I appreciate that. I would hope one might consider that I actually believe as I do. I do not understand the mentality here that if someone says something that isn't the accepted LeFi line, they must be saying it to be irritating and trolling. There is a complete rejection that someone might be saying something dissenting in good faith; that it might be an actual viewpoint.

This country is evenly decided. Most people here on MeFi were on the short end of the stick at the election, but you wouldn't know it here. There is a complete rejection of the opposing viewpoint and any rational basis for that viewpoint... even though the majority of Americans appeared to support it against "the reality" that is proposed on Metafitler. What hubris!

Once this mentality is allowed to become the coin in this realm, the echo chamber gets reinforced. So when I say something that is dissenting and would be considered the opinion of a large swath of this country, it becomes excessively outrageous and gets labeled a troll. Sources I provide are rejected as, ipse dixit, wrong. Or ignored. So what incentive do I have to source my comments? And why should I be held to a higher standard? I say the article is wrong, and I have to provide sourcing for that. My opinion based on my personal knowledge is not enough. But someone who agrees with the article needs not provide anything other than a me-too.

It is a pathetic double standard that leads to an echo chamber (as has so often been argued about in MeTa). When everything you write is insulted and marginalized, what incentive do you have to exert more effort than is required of anyone else just to get to the level of minimal respect?

Otherwise acknowledge that coming in and making huge blanket statements that appear to have no basis in consensual reality because they do not address anything that has formerly occurred

This is my point. The terms of the debate have been demolished. I said something that has no basis in reality? I don't think I have ever said anything of the sort. It has no basis in reality because you say it hasn't? It is pure sophistry.

So within the context of this thread, the question seems to be is this article evidence of anything new? Well, the article seems to be strikingly light on facts and sources. I don't know what the administration knew and when. I don't think this article answers that conclusively. I think if an American company was doing business with Saddam outside the purview of regulations, then I hope it is punished. I find it completely scatological to believe that Bush was secretly planning to oust Saddam since the day he took office , but then knowingly allowed countries to feed money to Saddam that he could use in defending himself. The whole point was to starve the regime to the point it was weak enough to be disposed of. So I doubt the government acted to facilitate getting Saddam money to prop him up. Can I prove any of that conclusively? No. It's an opinion. But why isn't that good enough?
posted by dios at 2:29 PM on May 17, 2005


Oh yeah... As to your advice regarding tone, it is well taken. Sometimes, the tone of the post itself starts me out on the wrong foot. But other times, I often begin trying to be more measured in my response, it just devolves quickly with the caustic replys I get. I know I should work on it, though.
posted by dios at 2:32 PM on May 17, 2005


tkchrist, we've butted heads elsewhere (and agreed elsewhere still, if memory serves), but your general breakdown a few posts back is 100% on the money.

Clinton was a bastard who deserves to get the boot, though not for a blowjob. The chain of evil will never turn on each other out of a sense of self-preservation. If we get thrown into another bullshit war, I will have to put my money where my mouth is and join the revolution. And by GOD it's long past time to pull innocent soldiers out of that clusterfuck hellhole of our making and declaring Victory is the tiniest fucking price to pay if it helps do it (which is never going to happen because we apparently have military bases to populate permanently/till the oil runs out/whichever's-shorter in our new position as on site Middle East policemen).

Well fucking said.
posted by the_savage_mind at 2:40 PM on May 17, 2005


Some of us aren't trying to 'win' an argument here but subject our opinions to the rational analysis of our peers to see how they hold up. For some of us, if those opinions are proven wrong or unfounded, we update them.

I know that some do this, and indeed, it's a good thing to do this (and I respect those that do it), but going by that logic, some people are posting the same argument 50 times. How many times do you have to rationally analyze the same argument?

As to the comments by the person I was talking to about the bile....

Do you deny that the present US regime is irresponsible and possibly corrupt

I deny that it is 100% proven that they are corrupt. I would definitely agree some of their actions have been wrong. I disgree that all the wrong actions were done for corrupt or irresponsible reasons (although I do think it is possible that some of those actions have been corrupt or irresponsible reasons). All I'm saying is that you have to do more to *prove* it, which is a very difficult thing to do.
It is entirely possible they're doing it because they think they're "right". I find it an unlikely scenario, but I believe in following "Innocent until proven guilty", not "Guilty until proven innocent".

Would you argue that your mainstream News providers are “lame”

Define lame. If you mean "lapdogs of the administration"... well, if they were truly lapdogs, then that Newsweek article never would have aired. They're willing to hit Bush when they think it will pump their ratings.

By what mandate was the war legal? If it was not legal; it was condoned murder, as were the bombings by the previous administration.

By what mandate was it fully ILLEGAL? The UN isn't some binding group. If you'd like for me to point out the times that non-U.S. nations have done their own thing against the wishes of the UN and got off with, at the worst, a slap on the wrist, then I will (although not tonight, I'm just exhausted after today). There isn't a quantifiable "this war is legal, this one is not" in the international community, despite what you might think. Even if there was, to be fair, the President of the United States's first job isn't to follow the world community, it's to do what he thinks is best for the American people and nation. That said, a good argument can be made that this war is and was not in the best interests of the American people (and that the evidence for such was one-sided), however, that is for the American people to decide, not the people of the world. We shouldn't ignore the rest of the world's opinion, but it also doesn't mean world opinion should define the interests of the United States.

The average Usian has the news attention span of a gnat.

Probably true. The problem is, you have to prove to me this is not the case for a citizen in like any other country in the world. Human beings in general have short attention spans.

My point to you was scroll on if you don’t like it and if you you want to add something don’t whine.

So, other people yelling insults and the same arguments back and forth ad nauseum is fine, but my "whining" is just wrong and I should shut up. Interesting.

Respect is something earnt and in the eyes of many outside the US, all your’re earning is dis

You're right. Clearly we need to keep yelling these points back and forth, because obviously things are changing as a result of your method of discussion. Oh wait, they're NOT. Perhaps because people just tune it out anymore. I have no problem with legitimate discussion, but that isn't what goes on here most of the time. And if if a valid point is raised, it's already been repeated 18 billion times in the other 8000 Iraq posts we've had. I'm all for discussion, but do you think those posts are making a difference?

If you feel MeFi is substandard, by all means contribute.

This really isn't a valid argument. My posting of another subject will not change the Iraq argument masturbation that goes on almost every single day. I do read through these posts in hopes of seeing new insight, new arguments, something NEW instead of the same old, same old. To be fair, some do that, or at least make a worthy effort. But some people seem content to respout the Democratic or Republican viewpoints without any thought "Bush did it for oil!" "Bush is a good man who did it because he's right!"

The British politician is a new voice, but what he's saying isn't new. More importantly, people just seem content to swallow it if its fits their view or flatout reject it. If that's what mefi is about, fine, but I thought we were looking for new ideas and thought-provoking discussion, not "Hi, I'm X and I want to talk about the same biased viewpoint I expressed 80 times before" and "Hi, I'm Y... X is an idiot and his view is wrong, as I've stated 80 times before."

Maybe I'm just crazy though.
posted by Drylnn at 2:42 PM on May 17, 2005


The bottom line is this: We are all Americans here and we need to acknowledge that....

I think the problem is that we're all content to talk about it, or at best, contribute to the status quo by supporting one party or the other. If such a thing as a moderate revolution can happen, and if we are moderates, then its time to find the REAL option to get out of the continual pendulum swing between Republicans and Democrats in terms of power. I'm an American who wants something better for my country, but I *know* that posts like the ones I see here that just nip back and forth aren't doing anything... not anymore.

I'm losing my train of through as these comments expand my view, and for that, I apologize. It's been a long day here, and I'm exhausted, and I don't want to lose the cohesiveness of what I'm trying to say.
posted by Drylnn at 2:46 PM on May 17, 2005


HEHEHE I am a true skeptic smedleyman. Especially when politics come into play.
posted by a3matrix at 3:01 PM on May 17, 2005


It's amazing how much someone can write to say "There's nothing new here. This post sucks."

Well done, Smedleyman.


Calling your representative daily is a good idea but which is more effective, letters or phone calls? Don't laugh at me. I know neither is very effective at all.
posted by mrgrimm at 3:14 PM on May 17, 2005


Savage - no worries. when I read the words "I'm a pacifist" or "...you can't bait me" I cant help myself but to troll. It's an irrational compulsion. I simply MUST get a rise out people. I love to fight. You can't trust me as far as you can throw me. Just know that much.

And my politics are ... complicated. I surf easily between Realpolitik Imperialist Fascist where foreign policy is concerned, rabid environmentalist when the chainsaws come out, earnestly for 2nd Amendment rights, and old school Will Rodgers "it's-none-of-our-fucking-bees-wax" liberal on matters of social and personal conduct. I go where the facts take me. Sometimes it takes a shove. But I will change my mind if physics insists.
posted by tkchrist at 3:20 PM on May 17, 2005


grimm - I truly think that if phone calls went up by 70% on a given topic in one day and stayed up... they will start to listen.

And if they don't then tell everybody you know EVERYBODY to not let their kids go in the military until our soldiers come home.
posted by tkchrist at 3:26 PM on May 17, 2005


/derail, but onrail later. *again, sorry it's long*
"what incentive do you have to exert more effort than is required of anyone else just to get to the level of minimal respect?"
Fair enough. I'd pretty much concede the rest of your points realated to this as well. I would point out it becomes tit-for-tat. But that's everyone's fault.

"...Can I prove any of that conclusively? No. It's an opinion. But why isn't that good enough?'
Pretty much that whole paragraph IS good enough. Straight forward and shows where your coming from. Which I think is part of the problem. Perhaps you assume information on the part of your reader? I dunno.
But that chunk there was a good illustration of a position and (whether I agree with it or not) is a good argument for blog purposes. For example I could present more articles to back up the one presented to attempt to support the concept and counter your position that this particular piece is light on facts (which it sort of is).
Or attempt to show how Bush was in fact planning to oust Saddam from day one (through use of sources) but that's an uphill battle too.

"So I doubt the government acted to facilitate getting Saddam money to prop him up."
I'd attack this one because it's the most interesting and strongest point. But that's the thing, most of your posts don't contain these or rather may well be founded on these but you don't show them.

It's a good point. Why would BushCo turn a blind eye to this if as previous points have been made BushCo wanted to knock him down?
Wuz I you dios I'd've addressed tkchrist's comment's on hostile takeovers etc. as a side point.
(To refute tkchrist's point I'd've argued that there would be more money in assassinating Saddam or staging a coup as the CIA has done countless times before. Why go through the expense of invasion? Bush can't selectively tune in and out the oil money guys who on the one hand are one of the major motivating forces behind BushCo while listening to the crazy demogogues....etc.)
I suppose another thing would be to read the stuff that has gone before in the thread and incorporate it into or refute it in your arguement.

Which leads me to this:
"I said something that has no basis in reality? I don't think I have ever said anything of the sort. It has no basis in reality because you say it hasn't? It is pure sophistry."

Which is a misunderstanding of what I said (it of course takes two to make a misunderstanding) and an extrapolation on that, which leads to frustration on both our parts.
What I said was consensual reality. Quite different than concrete reality.
I meant consensual reality as it pertains to this thread. I thought the context was enough, but obviously I need to illustrate it more (again, takes two to communicate). Within the context of a thread we create a consensual reality wherein the topic takes form and is shaped by comments.
You do in fact make comments at times that have no basis in this consensual reality by ignoring the foundation of that reality, which is formed by what has been said and posted and referred to throughout the thread. (If you have an improv background...or not.... consider this as saying 'Yes, And")
To make a relevent comment - relevent to that consensual reality - you would need to build upon and incorporate what has been said or referred to before (most relevently here, but to lesser degrees in other past threads, lesser and lesser as time goes on).
Many times you come in with your own set of tools - to be clear - your own reality set - and attempt to incorporate it into the current consensual reality.
While you may have something worthwhile to say the fact that it is nearly a non-sequitur - it is nearly unintelligible - to those here is not due to our like mindedness but due to the fact that we've all agreed to play with the same set of toys.
(this 'set of toys' reference would be a cute way to recall earlier comments and attempt to offset them with humor while bolstering the impact of what I'm saying with more than just the single line of words I'm saying them with).

So in essence we're playing - purely for isolated example: Clue, while you bring in Monopoly.
You can assert they're both games and the objectives in real reality are similar (a pastime to have fun with) they are not the same consensual reality.

So, when you say :"except for that time that Bush, on principle, launched an offensive in Iraq to remove the regime from power"

instead of: "... I don't know what the administration knew and when. I don't think this article answers that conclusively " --- as a first argument it isn't your opinion people are objecting to (well, in some cases it is, but ignore them as I've already conceded that point).

It is the presuppositions they object to. You would then force anyone who answers you to refight an entire argument, if not several, in order to answer you on this issue.
In essence - in order to play Clue with you we would have to first play several games of Monopoly. In order to include you into the consensual reality formed here you would force someone to engage in something else first.
Two way street there - why is it worth it for those here who are playing by the rules in this piece to go out of their way to include you?
(The snarkiness aside, that goes two ways as well).

Understand I'm not asserting you 'play by the rules.' "Yes, And" ing is not at all affirming what another has said, it is only agreeing to recognize what they have created. Your free to disagree with it, but you must incorporate it into your piece to have any validity - to be recognized yourself - within that consensual reality.
Otherwise you suffer the "back in your cage" comments and so forth.

Your paragraph which begins:
"So within the context of this thread, the question seems to be is this article evidence of anything new?"
clearly recognizes the context - the consensual reality in threads - so you are obviously capable of it.
I'm not stroking you here, the more reasoned and diverse opinions we have the better it is for me to read and participate in. And I'm not going all touchy feely either. I'm all for violent attacks on ideas (not persons) the more grist for the mill the better the bread. So I'm getting something out of it too.

Hopefully all that makes sense.

And that said:
While I'm forced to concede I have no knowlege that Bush knew anything about this (I suspect it tho) I don't buy the argument that an American company wouldn't need to pay someone off to get this done. So there must be a corrupt bastard somewhere in the administration (given of course that, since this is presented by the opposition party, the article is true).
posted by Smedleyman at 3:40 PM on May 17, 2005


mr grimm, phone calls are more effective -- the staff have to deal with them in real time. The mail can get shunted off to the basement where gnome staffers dwell.
posted by warbaby at 4:00 PM on May 17, 2005


I hear you, tk. I could say that most of that applies to me, though the fascist element of my realpolitik has kinda been dropped in recent years. The loving a fight part is also, sadly, still inside me no matter what I do. I guess in a way, my politics are becoming more streamlined, though, since the closest thing I can now peg them to is anarcho-syndicalism. Maybe that should scare me. Still, I diverge on enough points from just about every system I know that I still feel comfortable. And yeah, you have to keep testing and let yourself make changes when proofs run your nose in the ground hard enough. Hell, as a totally naive teen with my head in the clouds in matters too bookish to count, I thought Reagan was a good president who brought down the evil empire.
posted by the_savage_mind at 4:13 PM on May 17, 2005


I thought Reagan was a good president who brought down the evil empire.

I lived as an adult with many other americans through those times, and Reagan did nothing to bring down any 'evil empires'. He did put this country on very good footing for perverting this empire into something far more evil than anyone could have imagined though.

I remember commentary from americans at the time in the press and across the country and the common reaction, for the most part was not positive. Sorry to burst anyone's bubble but Reagan was the 'Great Divider' nothing more.

There was no 'Morning in America' either so much as the beginning of a trip into darkness this country has yet to emerge from.
posted by mk1gti at 4:22 PM on May 17, 2005


What mk1gti said. Those of us who were adults then (or became adults during those years) know better. A horribly divisive man who did great harm-- whose spiritual son and heir is in the White House now, surrounded by Nixon's heirs.
posted by amberglow at 4:54 PM on May 17, 2005


'I thought Reagan was a good president who brought down the evil empire."
I've always wanted to introduce those who hold that view to all those useless NORAD pilots.


This:
"but going by that logic, some people are posting the same argument 50 times. How many times do you have to rationally analyze the same argument?"
in the same piece as this:
"Human beings in general have short attention spans."

Drylnn I refuse to engage you in discourse if you insist on pre-empting my arguments.
I'd argue tho that while there seems to be similar 'FTAdministration' threads, each piece is different. But some folks like details. Matter of taste perhaps? Anyway, doncha read Sartre?


I can't wait though to see how this particular drama plays out and I enjoy reading how others think it will. In this particular instance - how the hell did they get away with this and why is it only now being brought up by the Dems?
posted by Smedleyman at 4:59 PM on May 17, 2005


You know, I've noticed that a number of conservative members of this site make the claim that conservative opinions are hushed and quashed by the liberal members of the community. The problem is that no one ever gives examples. I really wish someone would, because I don't see it.

Although I have seen conservatives being labeled as trolls. That's likely because of terms like LeFi and MetaLefter being tossed around as though they were reasonable aspects of discourse rather than derogatory remarks.

Of course, then there are quotes like "There are still people deluded enough to make the argument that this war was an oil grab." Very little reasoned discourse follows a statement like that, unless it completely ignores the person who said it. Sure, worse things have been said, and I don't think it's a trolling statement, but if that's how you make your bed...
posted by shmegegge at 5:16 PM on May 17, 2005


I go along with shmegegge, show me this non-existent 'liberal bias' or shut the hell up you Stalinist/Orwellian puppets!
posted by mk1gti at 5:32 PM on May 17, 2005


Yes. Reagan didn't bring down the USSR. But he sure didn't help them either. Russian Oil reserves hitting Peak and the economic pyramid scheme that is totalitarian communism killed The Evil Empire. The Arms build up simply made the end come quicker.

Reagan wasn't that bad. He wasn't. At least he didn't make the deals with the Devil Bush has made - IE: with the Christian Right.

Reagan was a product of his cold-warrior times and intellectually imprisoned by them. Sure he was simplistic and his interventions in Central America were criminal, but when compared with this The New Gilded Age, Reagan didn't irreversibly damage the very fabric of our republic like Bush inevitably will. He came close -- we are still paying for his cold war and will for some time. But look at the man and he was not near the freak Bush is.
posted by tkchrist at 5:33 PM on May 17, 2005


mk1gti: The bottom line is this: We are all Americans here and we need to acknowledge that.

No, we are not all "Americans" here. And, I might add, that sort of proclamation is exactly the sort of stereotypical US bullshit that has much of the world pissed off at you. Quit reinforcing the image of Americans as assholes, k?

drylll: I do read through these posts in hopes of seeing new insight, new arguments, something NEW instead of the same old, same old.

Then get off your ass, figure out some new arguments, and present them. Your whinging is definitively not a solution to the problem you perceive.

someone: I thought Reagan was a good president who brought down the evil empire.

And here I thought it was mostly a consequence of engaging in unwinnable wars with neighbouring countries (Afghanistan and Chechnia) and a stupid-ass arms race that aimed to blow up the world 30x more than it needed to be blown up!

dios: the reason you are treated harshly is due to statements like this: Yeah, the Bush administration was a good friend of Saddam's. It did everything possible to prop up the Saddam regime..... except for that time that Bush, on principle, launched an offensive in Iraq to remove the regime from power.

Say what? There is no end of evidence of the help the USA gave Saddam back in his glory days, there is no end of evidence that the removal of Saddam was not the primary purpose of the war, and the very idea of "principles" when referring to this war is eye-blinkingly incongruous.

Why, oh why, would you even type something so obviously inane?

If you wish to present a right-of-centre viewpoint, you need to be a bit less loony-right. There are some things that are inarguable: the support of Saddam's regime is one such, and the endless lies and deception re: the purpose of the war is another. "Principles" I'll give you, if only because no one really knows what the hell the administration was thinking before they got in the war.
posted by five fresh fish at 5:41 PM on May 17, 2005


Sure he was simplistic and his interventions in Central America were criminal, but when compared with this The New Gilded Age, Reagan didn't irreversibly damage the very fabric of our republic like Bush inevitably will. He came close -- we are still paying for his cold war and will for some time.

And a lot of South America is still paying for his reign. Some of the shit perpetrated down there ranks among the most evil e'er done.
posted by five fresh fish at 5:43 PM on May 17, 2005


i'll just say "welfare queens driving Cadillacs" and "ketchup is a vegetable" in response. And link to this
posted by amberglow at 6:10 PM on May 17, 2005


five fresh fish
--------------------------
Sorry if I appeared to suggest that everyone across the planet is 'american'. I didn't mean that.

What I did mean is that those who identify more with Stalinists/Orwellians/Conservatives do not have more right to call themselves american than those who do not share those deluded, brainwashed beliefs.
Mea Culpa

As for me, I've actually lived in other countries (Germany, Morocco, Japan) and have friends in Egypt, Japan and Germany and Taiwan who I regularly keep in touch with by e-mail or by phone. I don't see myself as 'american' so much as I see myself as a world citizen. The time for nationalism is over and truly dead.
Here's hoping that in my lifetime all can live in peace and harmony without any delusional totalitarian crap preventing anyone anywhere from making the most of their lives. May they all experience real freedom and liberty instead of this lie we all live in now.
posted by mk1gti at 6:16 PM on May 17, 2005


Then get off your ass, figure out some new arguments, and present them. Your whinging is definitively not a solution to the problem you perceive.

I think I'm repeating myself, but I have to ask: "whining" for/against Iraq/Bush using the same arguments repeatedly is apparently fine, but "whining" about people repeating the same stuff over and over ad nauseum is somehow a sign that I'm lazy?

::boggle::

What's also astounding is that you think that the first way are a bunch of valid complaints, but my piece is whining.
posted by Drylnn at 6:24 PM on May 17, 2005


am I the only one who sees this:

::boggle::

and hears in his head the sound of a plastic bubble being pressed down to roll 16 lettered dice within said bubble?
posted by shmegegge at 6:37 PM on May 17, 2005


Drylnn: Yes. Yes, it is.
posted by five fresh fish at 7:50 PM on May 17, 2005


Dios:

Well, the article seems to be strikingly light on facts and sources.

I presume that most of the ‘accusations’ against the Bush administration can be found in the Senate’s report, the main reference of the entire article, and thus would not require repetitive referencing.

I’d like to ask you which newspapers you read, and whether or not their articles are more clearly referenced. You hold the belief that Bush had a “messianic vision” to “liberate” Iraq. If you choose to believe the mainstream press with regards to that, even though their source is merely the horse’s mouth, why would you be more sceptical of an article that uses a Senate committee’s report as a source?

I don't know what the administration knew and when. I don't think this article answers that conclusively.

The article is pretty clear on that, but whether or not you agree is a different story:
"The United States was not only aware of Iraqi oil sales which violated UN sanctions and provided the bulk of the illicit money Saddam Hussein obtained from circumventing UN sanctions," the report said. "On occasion, the United States actually facilitated the illicit oil sales.

I find it completely scatological to believe that Bush was secretly planning to oust Saddam since the day he took office , but then knowingly allowed countries to feed money to Saddam that he could use in defending himself. The whole point was to starve the regime to the point it was weak enough to be disposed of. So I doubt the government acted to facilitate getting Saddam money to prop him up.

It may seem like a startling paradox, but you have assumed that the point of the embargo is to starve the regime and not the people. History suggests otherwise. The US, in the past, has shown much more hostility towards the civilians of a country than it has to its rulers. For example, it is a well known fact that the US supported Saddam when he gassed the Kurd’s and crushed the Shia rebellion. There are countless other examples and if you aren’t aware of them, I suggest you do some hardcore reading.

This apparent contradiction to your position that Bush is a liberator can be resolved by the thesis of this thread: that the motive was, is, and will always be oil. A truly democratic state where the people control its resources may not capitulate to Washington’s demands. Saddam’s regime, however, did capitulate, until he made the mistake of invading Kuwait. The ensuing embargo starved the people of Iraq, forcing them to rely on Saddam and strengthened Iraqi support for his regime as he ‘protected’ them against the foreign tyrants. Thus, the US has had no problems tossing the regime a few scraps here and there, which was an enormous benefit to the US corporations and strengthened Saddam's stranglehold on Iraq, but was not sufficient to make Saddam a threat (as was proven by his lack of WMDs and the resources to produce them).
posted by Chomskyfied at 10:59 PM on May 17, 2005


/offtopic

Chomskyfied, you're probably gonna regret registering here with that name. It's like painting a big red target on your arse.
posted by gsb at 2:54 AM on May 18, 2005


Catsup as a vegetable is indeed something my friends and I still talk about. Just to be clear, people did notice I said 'people change, and when I was naive and young I thought Reagan was good,' right? 'Cause I think it's pretty clear what I think of him and his legacy now.

tkchrist, we can pretty much trace so much of what'[s falling to pieces right now to Reagan's legacy. The destruction of the school system which leads to a credible and uncritical populace. The advent of the ownership society, aka the fuck everyone but me society. AIDS as punishment of the homos (why is it we still don't do our part in the world-wide AIDS battle?). Poverty up, crime up, jails filling. Money wasted on SDI, for God's sake. Nicaraguan death squads. Manipulating a hostage situation and risking their lives to win an election.

The list goes on and on and on. He may not have been as patently offensive on the surface as W, but can't help hoping that if there's an afterlife, he's suffering for the pain he helped spread around the world.
posted by the_savage_mind at 4:10 AM on May 18, 2005


You hold the belief that Bush had a “messianic vision”

I do? I don't think so. I have never said that.

the point of the embargo is to starve the regime and not the people. History suggests otherwise.

More B.S. Chomsky rhetoric. I suppose Afghanistan was an act of silent genocide, as well, right?

Though you may think you have, I fail to see anywhere you explain the contradiction that Bush would strengthen a regime that he already decided he was going to militarily overthrow. It is such a preposterous thesis, that I would love to see you explain it. You claim that Bush did it, but you don't explain why. It is just rhetorical hooey.
posted by dios at 8:20 AM on May 18, 2005


Sigh, Dios, sigh …

I do not believe that I ridiculed your opinions in any way in my comment and I tried to deal with all of your points without dismissing a single one. Yet, after you cried like a little baby about how your “dissenting” opinions are given less than “minimal respect”, you decided to dismiss my arguments as “B.S. Chomsky rhetoric” and “rhetorical hooey”, but you don’t even bother answering the questions I posed to you. I think there are some of us who read your plea about the “echo chamber” and the “pathetic double standard” and felt that you had a valid point. Don’t lose the ground that you gained by resorting to your same old tricks.

I do? I don't think so. I have never said that.

No, I wasn’t quoting you. I was using a quote of another person who shares your belief. You said that “Bush, on principle, launched an offensive in Iraq to remove the regime from power” which, although not worded as strongly, is pretty much the same thing as “messianic vision”. The confusion is my fault, of course.

I fail to see anywhere you explain the contradiction that Bush would strengthen a regime that he already decided he was going to militarily overthrow.

I thought I made it pretty clear. The scraps that the administration threw at Saddam didn’t “strengthen” his regime to a level that is of any perceivable threat to the US -- the lack of WMDs and any significant military force is evidence for that fact. The oil companies (aka wealthy campaign donors), however, benefited enormously.

I referred to history to illustrate the fact that there is enormous US interest in supporting anti-democratic regimes. I provided a link to Chomsky’s site because it provides a broad perspective on the countless incidents that support that claim. But if you don’t trust “B.S. Chomsky rhetoric”, you’re welcomed to do some research on your own. Although you won’t find much evidence in mainstream media, it’s still readily available, if only you had the honest interest to look.

I admit that inferring from the past is no substitute for concrete evidence especially when we’re debating about intent and motives. But, lacking such evidence, if the past reveals consistent alliance with oppressive dictatorships as long as the relationship benefited the US (for example, Saddam’s regime until he invaded Kuwait), why would you choose to believe that the invasion was based on “principle” and democracy? Just cuz Dubya says so? I hope you answer my question this time, instead of perpetuating the carless dismissal of ideas that you so vocally loathe.
posted by Chomskyfied at 4:08 PM on May 18, 2005


oops ... I meant broad overview istead of broad perspective as the perspective of one person is by no means broad.
posted by Chomskyfied at 10:19 PM on May 18, 2005


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