Gore: Saddam must go
September 24, 2002 7:47 PM   Subscribe

Gore: Saddam must go Al Gore has told Iraqi opposition politicians that the United States remains committed to the overthrow of President Saddam Hussein. "There can be no peace for the Middle East so long as Saddam is in a position to brutalise his people and threaten his neighbours" - Al Gore [more inside]
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood (47 comments total)
Mr. Gore has done a 180-degree spin. The first article linked is dated June 28, 2000, while Mr. Gore was on the campaign trail. A bit old, but as recently as February 12 of this year, Mr. Gore was quoted in the NYTimes:

Al Gore said last night that the time had come for a "final reckoning" with Iraq, describing the country as a "virulent threat in a class by itself" and suggesting that the United States should consider ways to oust President Saddam Hussein.
“I also support the President's stated goals in the next phases of the war against terrorism as he laid them out in the State of the Union…Since the State of the Union, there has been much discussion of whether Iraq, Iran and North Korea truly constitute an 'Axis of Evil.'As far as I'm concerned, there really is something to be said for occasionally putting diplomacy aside and laying one's cards on the table. There is value in calling evil by its name.
[Full Speech]

He even admits in his speech yesterday that:
"We have a goal of regime change in Iraq; we have had for a number of years." [Full Speech]

This man can not stop the double talk:

Al Gore told young Democrats on Thursday that he supports the overthrow of Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein but questioned whether it is a good idea to invade Iraq now.

If not now, when?

This man has flip-flopped more than fresh fish. Why is anyone still paying him heed?
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 7:50 PM on September 24, 2002

stupid boxes!
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 7:51 PM on September 24, 2002

stupid poster, try.
posted by goethean at 7:51 PM on September 24, 2002

I swear, I am going to institute a reading (or listening) comprehension class for those on the right. Here is what Gore said yesterday. It doesn't differ at all from his earlier position.
Nevertheless, Iraq does pose a serious threat to the stability of the Persian Gulf and we should organize an international coalition to eliminate his access to weapons of mass destruction. Iraq's search for weapons of mass destruction has proven impossible to completely deter and we should assume that it will continue for as long as Saddam is in power. Moreover, no international law can prevent the United States from taking actions to protect its vital interests, when it is manifestly clear that there is a choice to be made between law and survival. I believe, however, that such a choice is not presented in the case of Iraq. Indeed, should we decide to proceed, that action can be justified within the framework of international law rather than outside it. In fact, though a new UN resolution may be helpful in building international consensus, the existing resolutions from 1991 are sufficient from a legal standpoint.

We also need to look at the relationship between our national goal of regime change in Iraq and our goal of victory in the war against terror. In the case of Iraq, it would be more difficult for the United States to succeed alone, but still possible. By contrast, the war against terror manifestly requires broad and continuous international cooperation. Our ability to secure this kind of cooperation can be severely damaged by unilateral action against Iraq. If the Administration has reason to believe otherwise, it ought to share those reasons with the Congress - - since it is asking Congress to endorse action that might well impair a more urgent task: continuing to disrupt and destroy the international terror network.
Reading is fundamental.
posted by owillis at 7:54 PM on September 24, 2002

steve, start a warblog if you want to distort people's sound bites this blatantly to masturbate your bias.
posted by donkeyschlong at 8:01 PM on September 24, 2002

Ah, so it is alright to post anit-Bush, but not anti-Gore....

Double Standard.... no masturbation here... Gore said all of this... Nothing taken out of context.
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 8:04 PM on September 24, 2002


Wasn't Gore the same Democrat Senator who voted to support military action against Saddam in 1991 and who expressed outrage at Bush Sr.'s unwillingness to finish the job?
posted by spudnuts at 8:12 PM on September 24, 2002

I dislike posting anything up with the name calling that is now becoming a trade mark of Metafilter, but from what I recall Gore said that Saddam was evil etc but that we needed a consensus, UN,etc rather than going it alone.
If you must jump all over Gore you might note that he once said he supported Bush (the father) in NOT going into Iraq because it was not our mandate but he now blames Bush (the father) for not getting rid of Saddam.
If you want to accuse Gore of doubletalk, then state where in fact he did change his views rather than jumping on him for what he did not say in doubletalk.
posted by Postroad at 8:13 PM on September 24, 2002

Wednesday, 28 June, 2000,

Um, yeah.
posted by delmoi at 8:14 PM on September 24, 2002

Steve, please accept that owillis has slapped you down in good style. Gore's in favour of disarming Saddam through forceful weapons inspections, so that he is no longer in a position to brutalise his people.... There's no inconsistency with the 2000 comment, unless you're of the Fleischer-feed mindset that Only Regime Change Will Do. (A policy that you great ally and hawk Tony Blair pointedly refused to support, when asked point-blank in the Commons.)

As for the silly little 'anti-Gore' thing: well, if all you really want to do is slag off Gore, then post about his dress sense or whether or not he has a beard right now.

Anyway, I'm pretty sure we could find some choice comments from Bush's foreign policy speeches in 2000: even the ones after he was told who General Musharraf was.
posted by riviera at 8:16 PM on September 24, 2002

Steve, the point is that you opened up with a sentence that you tried to convince us defined Gore's entire speech. In contrast, others actually posted the entire speech. I can say that because Bush has said the words "I", "have", "used", and "coke" at points in the last five years as an admission of his guilt, but I would be laughed out of this board, which you are well on your way towards doing.

That said, Gore did in fact vote to support Bush Sr.'s invasion of Iraq, something he does not deny or refute to this day. Though I disagree with his vote, I question why his opponents mention this in a way as to imply he's pretending he didn't do it.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 8:20 PM on September 24, 2002

You gotta love enlightened discourse.
posted by Nelson at 8:24 PM on September 24, 2002

Gore is a pathological liar, pure and simple:

On January 30, 1991, on the Senate floor, Gore addressed U.S. goals toward Iraq, urging caution and limited objectives, especially regarding the Iraqi opposition:

"When will the fighting stop?. . . We are not seeking the surrender of Iraq. . . No one in a position of responsibility is talking about the conquest of Iraq. . . It is doubtful that the conquest of Iraq is anything that this Nation would ever want to seek. Even if it were adopting that as a stated goal, it would be a terrible mistake, for reasons we can all certainly see clearly. Any effort to expand our objectives so as to include the military conquest of Iraq would certainly blow apart the core of international consensus upon which all else depends. Arab public opinion would be inflamed to a point endangering not only the ability of moderate Arab governments to cooperate with us, but also their ability to survive. That much seems clear and accepted. . ."

"Let me be clear then about what we want. The removal of Iraqi forces from Kuwait is enough to warrant a suspension of combat operations. . . "

"Doubtless, among the exiled Iraqis, one can find survivors who are people of virtue and wisdom, but it is hard to see how these individuals might come to power unless we were to install them, and that would require the conquest and occupation of Iraq, which is not in prospect and should not be in prospect." (Al Gore, Congressional Record, January 30, 1991)"

So, leftists, was Gore lying THEN or is he lying NOW?
posted by jtm at 8:25 PM on September 24, 2002

posted by goethean at 8:35 PM on September 24, 2002

I felt it was a more flattering and frankly appropriate way to address the aptly named "spudnuts."

Does this trouble you, my friend?
posted by jtm at 8:41 PM on September 24, 2002

[don't recall having any mentally-challenged friends]
posted by goethean at 8:46 PM on September 24, 2002

What evidence do you have that I am mentally challenged?

Or are you just throwing a hissy fit because Al Gore made an ass of himself yesterday?
posted by jtm at 8:49 PM on September 24, 2002

Times have changed, if you haven't noticed. 1991 was 12 years ago. How can changing your views be called doubletalk? He's not saying one thing to one group and another to, um, another.

Not that I believe all politicians aren't bad news.
posted by wolfgangnorton at 8:50 PM on September 24, 2002

posted by spudnuts at 8:53 PM on September 24, 2002

I for one don't doubt that times have changed. This thread was started as a fair and balanced reply to the previous thread suggesting that Bush was somehow out of line by changing his views on the Taliban.

It seems to have driven the leftists to the usual smug put-downs in lieu of principled argument. Kind of sad, really.
posted by jtm at 8:54 PM on September 24, 2002

jtm: David Maraniss and Ellen Nakashima, Gore's biographers, dispute that story, as quoted here. (scroll down about three-quarters of the way to the bottom):

"In what he later called an "excruciating" decision, Gore ended up voting to authorize use of military force in Operation Desert Storm. He was one of 10 Democrats to support President Bush in the close 52 to 47 vote. Republican Senate leaders Robert J. Dole and Alan Simpson later ridiculed Gore for trying to shop his vote to whichever side would give him more television time, but that charge evaporates under scrutiny. It is true that before the vote, he asked both sides whether they could provide television time for him, but that is because he had not yet made up his mind which way he would vote. He had asked Leon Fuerth, who had joined his staff as a foreign policy aide, to prepare him detailed memos on the pros and cons, but not a conclusion. He went to the Senate floor with a speech that had a hole in it where he would announce his decision. Under those circumstances, he thought it would be unfair to ask only the anti-war side for time if he ended up speaking in support of the war."
posted by mr_crash_davis at 8:54 PM on September 24, 2002

crash, I don't doubt at all that Gore was sincere at the time, and that he is sincere now. He's too politically savvy to have just sold his vote to whoever gave him the most television time.

Like I said, I'd be the first to give him the benefit of the doubt to change his view in light of shifting circumstances. But I'd like to give GW the same benefit of the doubt.
posted by jtm at 8:59 PM on September 24, 2002

It seems to have driven the leftists to the usual smug put-downs in lieu of principled argument.

I'm still jumpy because of the bear thing.
posted by spudnuts at 9:02 PM on September 24, 2002

Fair enough. I've lost track of whatever this thread was about anyway. Heh. Too little sleep, too much work.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 9:02 PM on September 24, 2002

I guess Al's not "irrelevant," as the White House so arrogantly put it yesterday, if the right wing's throwing such a hissy fit about him. Another factor that might have changes his views of how to deal with Iraq? The fact that we're fighting another war right now, and need the assistance of the world in it. Come to think of it, that's exactly what the former VP said.
posted by raysmj at 9:19 PM on September 24, 2002

Ok, we got it. Gore's unreliable. When he's presented with new information (you know, like the last 12 years), he revises his position slightly.

Meanwhile, Bush refuses to be deterred from anything, no matter how backwards, because he's apparently incapable of compromise.

Quick -- which one is more likely to start World War 3?
posted by jragon at 10:13 PM on September 24, 2002

In '91 Gore's views were that Saddam's aggression had to be stopped, and that it had to be done with an international coalition, and that once pushed back inside their borders military aggression against Iraq ought to cease (partly because we needed to maintain good relations with our allies). Those views were just about identical to those of then-President George Bush.

Eleven years later the only thing that seems to have shifted about Gore's opinion is that he now feels (as he's said repeatedly for the past few years) that Saddam should be removed. But he still feels it oughta be done as a legal international action and in a way that maintains our alliances. Gore's point about how we oughta be concentrating on Al Qaeda is not (as some have been misreading) merely a simpleminded statement about priorities; he's saying that a unilateral action in Iraq could very well hurt our ability to persuade those allies we now have to aid us in the fight against Al Qaeda. And it's hard to refute that, especially given the reservations of Russia, Germany, France, and a substantial part of the Arab world, all of whom we need.

Y'know, I'd be willing to bet that Gore is still pretty much on the same page as George H.W. Bush, probably much moreso than GHWB's son is. Makes me feel sorry for 41.
posted by adameft at 10:16 PM on September 24, 2002

Everyone sssssshhhhhh

Bears can smell smug lefty putdowns
posted by The Great Satan at 10:22 PM on September 24, 2002

ok, I'll bite, whats a "bear?" and don't say, "a mammal."
posted by mcsweetie at 10:24 PM on September 24, 2002

Like I said last night, I hate Gore but I am glad there are some different ideas in the mainstream press. But kudos to steve_at_linwood for his post. Steve I may disagree with you but thank you for posting. Anyone else can kiss my ass.
posted by chaz at 10:41 PM on September 24, 2002

"Kucinich said numerous Democrats were emboldened by Gore's speech on Monday, in which he blasted Bush's Iraq policy and declared it would 'severely damage' the broader war on terrorism and undermine U.S. credibility. They were also delighted with Carter's comments that Bush's policy of using preemptive military action is a 'radical departure' from U.S. policy. Kucinich has phoned both men to request their help in building opposition to Bush's resolution."
posted by homunculus at 11:08 PM on September 24, 2002

I can't believe some of the people who, following the logic of that nitwit Sullivan, can't see the shades of grey between "hawk who supported driving Saddam out of Kuwait in '91" and "hawk who declares 'America uber alles' and wants to begin a war in Iraq at the worst possible time."

Brent Scowcroft is a hawk, too.
posted by inksyndicate at 11:32 PM on September 24, 2002

I tend to agree that Steve is trolling a bit with the old "look what a hypocrite this guy is!" line, but MeFi must admit that reaping and sowing do have a strong statistical correlation. And although jtm is seemingly bringing in baiting techniques found in other internet media *cough* Usenet *cough*, it wouldn't be blinked at twice if footwear were bipedally reversed.

For myself, I'm much happier to hear Democrats launching debate on such topics as "How?" and "When?" rather than the long-since answered "Why?"
posted by dhartung at 12:00 AM on September 25, 2002

For myself, I'm much happier to hear Democrats launching debate on such topics as "How?" and "When?" rather than the long-since answered "Why?"

Uh, no. The "why" has been "answered" to the satisfaction of you and yours in the same way the choir is satisfied with the answers found in any preaching.
posted by fold_and_mutilate at 12:27 AM on September 25, 2002

This is a moment of uncertainty to behold. Nobody knows.

But the "why?" is precisely the question we need to continue to ask. "How?" and "When?" begs the question. Why now? Why now, all of a sudden (we're waiting already)? How come this all coincides so neatly with who is president now and the citizens of the old superpower (US) gobbles up the international nemesis excuse with no domestic policy, corporations with no civic oversight, states with historic budget shortfalls? How come?

Why must I write in generalizations? Are democratically-corrupt well laid plans so rife and functioning from every nook and cranny that one cannot exactly put his finger on it, but can merely pull it from the air were as factual as the invisible air? Isn't there something that stinks like shit and it's coming, seemingly, from everywhere at once?
posted by crasspastor at 12:51 AM on September 25, 2002

Gore may have just given up any chance of being president.
posted by PoliticalJunkie at 5:36 AM on September 25, 2002

rather than the long-since answered "Why?"

Well, you may have been saying 'just because, okay?' for a long time, but it's still not an answer.
posted by riviera at 6:38 AM on September 25, 2002

(derail) "Bears" are watching, bears are everywhere -- pessimists about the stock market, Soviet bears coming back out of the woods to bite us, collegiate bear sports fans from well-armed western states like CA and MT, and old grouches even angrier than a bear! America's Ghengis Khan Jacksonians are horrified by that two-term, peacenik/leftist sweep of top postion at State. *a what?* *anarchists applaud US government* Deutschland ueber alles, smart-mouthed, know-it-all Germans must once again be taught a lesson. WorldDomination R us - bring back Curtis LeMay! Did Gore lie then or did Gore lie now? I could answer this better if you'd tell me, how often do you beat your wife? (/derail)

Insults fly quickly, but actual analysis of content that explains how you arrived at your position requires rational thought. I still think Gore's point that occupation plans for Iraq appear sketchy is important. If you believe The Washington Times, (a consistently unusual news source) the Iraqis may be somewhat resigned to their fate in event of invasion.
"But the administration has not said much of anything to clarify its idea of what would follow regime change or the degree of engagement that it is prepared to accept for the United States in Iraq in the months and years after a regime change has taken place."
If any of the Gore opponents here can direct us to a few links with the plan for what comes next after Saddam, especially plans a bit more specific than Ms. Rice's assertions that Iraq will be a democracy, please have at it.
posted by sheauga at 7:40 AM on September 25, 2002

Gore may have just given up any chance of being president.

Not really. From here, it seems obvious that with folks like John Edwards taking a more hawkish line, Gore's positioning himself to appeal to the Democratic base. You know, the folks who actually vote in primaries. It's all politics, although Gore's aggressive words on civil liberties do count as mildly courageous in the current climate.

I agree with the folks who think Gore's being hypocritical, or at least his typical weasely self.
posted by mediareport at 9:45 AM on September 25, 2002

Oops, I assumed Steve's 2nd link went to the NYT, not Common Dreams. Thought it would be more noteworthy to point out that site's posting of the story. Sorry for the repeat.
posted by mediareport at 9:59 AM on September 25, 2002

My god, the hypocrisy of Gore is breath-taking! Look at this quotation, taken from a 1982 speech before Congress:


But if you read his recent editorial in The New York Times, you see that he now says:


Look at that! Gore says one thing and now he's saying something completely different! Who knows what nouns he'll employ tomorrow?! He's Kris Krossing more than those kids in the 80's who wore their clothes backwards!
posted by Shadowkeeper at 10:13 AM on September 25, 2002

I guess I am not the only one who feel this way:

Washington Post: Look Who's Playing Politics
"Gore's speech was one no decent politician could have delivered. It was dishonest, cheap, low. It was hollow. It was bereft of policy, of solutions, of constructive ideas, very nearly of facts -- bereft of anything other than taunts and jibes and embarrassingly obvious lies. It was breathtakingly hypocritical, a naked political assault delivered in tones of moral condescension from a man pretending to be superior to mere politics. It was wretched. It was vile. It was contemptible. But I understate."
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 10:27 AM on September 25, 2002

mediareport: If you want to see the article on the NYTimes site, you can pay $2.95 to see the same article.
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 10:30 AM on September 25, 2002

Gore Is Consistent on Iraq. Of course, if you want inconsistency, check out Our Glorious Leader.
posted by owillis at 10:49 AM on September 25, 2002

owillis, I guess some one can beat you over the head with proof, and you still can't see the tuth....
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 11:03 AM on September 25, 2002

posted by azazello at 2:40 PM on September 25, 2002

mediareport: If you want to see the article on the NYTimes site, you can pay $2.95 to see the same article.

Yeah, I'll get right on that, Steve. ;)

And to all the folks who think Gore *hasn't* significantly reversed his position: Get a grip. New boss, old boss and all that. Gore could give two shits about international law; he and Clinton acted unilaterally all over the place:

US strategy was to reject UN decision-making, deny the UN adequate resources, personnel, and authority, and then set it up to take the blame for the messy and violent aftermath of the US-NATO war.

Oooh, thank goodness Al Gore is here to rescue all of us liberals!

[gag cough vomit choke]
posted by mediareport at 9:20 PM on September 25, 2002

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