Saturday, February 02, 2008

Yes We Can! Yes We Can! Yes We Can!

What?!

What?!!

Can what!?!?!

Destroy the country?! "Yes you can!" "Yes you can!" "Yes you can!"

Obama speaks during a campaign rally in the Bender Arena at American University, Jan. 28, in Washington, D.C. A few days later, the Obama campaign announced that it raised $32 million in the month of January alone.
Chip Somodevilla - Getty Images


I thought the "Yes we can" chant belonged to the Obamamaniacs; but I was just watching Hillary's campaign speech here in Los Angeles on C-Span, and her peeps were all nuts about it, too.

Earlier, I saw some of Barack Obama's campaign speech in St. Louis. For someone who talks about uniting the country, he alienates me when he makes slams about how "Bush won't be on the ballot." If you're not campaigning against him, don't bring him up! Don't tell me you're here to heal divisions. How do you do that by slamming my president? When you say that you want to unite the country, what you really mean is that you want us all to unite around your liberalism.

Besides the "Bush slam" for laughs, Senator Obama also received some cheap pops by attacking Dick Cheney: "My cousin, Dick Cheney won't be on the ballot...that was so embarrassing....that was a letdown [i.e., finding out that and Dick Cheney are 8th cousins]."

Listening to the campaign speech, I can't help but feel that what he spouts is nothing short of vacuous "pretty words", absolutely devoid of a message of concreteness and substance. I suppose all campaign speeches are like this to one degree or another- he just happens to be really good at it. Basically, he is asking Americans to rest their faith on a message of hope. A message of emotionalism and heartstring thrumming ("People are worried about whether or not they will get by on $7/hour"....."teachers have to get two jobs"...."teacher told me how she has to buy erasers because of school underfunding"....). Then he has the gall to tell his constituents, "You don't need a president to tell you what he thinks you want to hear; you need a president to tell you what you ought to hear!" [paraphrased]. Oh, the irony!

Oh, great....Ron Paul is now on the C-Span Tube campaigning (in Spokane) against the Bush Administration. *Sigh* I guess it's normal to put down the current Administration to make it appear that somehow, you will do things better, but, man! Is it ever annoying. I guess that's because I believe these last 7+ years weren't all bad.

Have you seen the "Yes I Can" music video? (Hat tip: Hot Air).



You can see more about the video, here. It's actually pretty cool. The GOP needs stuff like this. It needs its own "rock star" candidate. Unfortunately, it looks like we'll have to make due during this election cycle without the glitz and glamor. We'll have to win through grit and substance. (Yup! we will! Yup we will! Yup we will!.....uh, no. Not as catchy. Lol).

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28 Comments:

Blogger The Liberal Lie The Conservative Truth said...

Great post Word. Obama is the liberals, liberal but has the charisma to draw people into his twisted ideology.

He is a strong candidate but I still think that Hillary will get the nod. He is strong enough though that she most likely will be forced to choose him as her VP

Sunday, February 03, 2008 12:55:00 AM  
Anonymous Raphael said...

Killing thousands of people in a senseless war based on lies, wasn't all bad?

I have to stop my post here, otherwise I'd start calling you names.

Sunday, February 03, 2008 3:43:00 AM  
Blogger Tom said...

"A vote for me is a vote for change!"

Change what? Give details! Of course, the political candidates will only speak in generalities so as not to back themselves into a corner...

Sunday, February 03, 2008 5:35:00 AM  
Blogger Gayle said...

The commenter Raphael makes me seriously hope and pray that there are more folks like us in this country than there are folks like him. First of all, he calls the war "senseless" but doesn not back up why it's senseless. Secondly, he can't write a post without calling you names so he has to stop. How brilliant and informed is that?

Great post, Wordsmith! I couldn't agree with you more. You asked " How do you do that by slamming my president? The fact of the matter is, Bush is also Obama's President and every American Citizen's President, whether they claim him or not. I remember a nitwit female screaming at me after Bush won in 04 "I hope you're happy your president won!" She looked about to tear her hair out... or mine. I just smiled and said, "Extremely happy, hon. Thanks for asking, but he's your president too, sweety, like it or not." Then I walked away.

Yes, they can definitely destroy the country. We know without a doubt where Obama's supposed "change" will lead. Perhaps we should chant back "Keep the change!"

Sunday, February 03, 2008 12:09:00 PM  
Blogger The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

gayle,

raphael is just sore because I stepped on his toes over at Dee's.

Sunday, February 03, 2008 5:36:00 PM  
Blogger Karen said...

I was buying a book at a nationally known bookstore chain and it was on conservative policy. No shock to you, I know. Anyhoo, the kid ringing up my purchase, I'd say he was maybe 19, decided to refer to President Bush as "Bush". And he said something hateful. I told him to refer to him as President Bush, as that was the proper title. He told me Bush wasn't his president. I corrected him and then the manager stepped over from the adjoining cash register. She listened to my complaint that the sales clerk was mixing retail with politics and I didn't appreciate listening to his opinion.

Never saw him there again.

Sunday, February 03, 2008 6:33:00 PM  
Anonymous Raphael said...

gayle, the burden of proving sense lies on those who support the war. To my surprise you don't debunk my statement, that the war is based on lies. Doesn't that worry you? Why did we invade Iraq? Saddam did not support al-qaida and had nothing to do with 911.

Sunday, February 03, 2008 6:51:00 PM  
Blogger The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

gayle, the burden of proving sense lies on those who support the war.

The burden is yours. You made the charge. Produce the evidence. It's not like this hasn't been rehashed time and time again, here and elsewhere, on multiple blogs and forums. *sigh*

It's like truthers telling us "prove to me that 9/11 wasn't an inside job; and any evidence you put forth, I'll just dismiss as part of the conspiracy, because the devil's in the details."



To my surprise you don't debunk my statement, that the war is based on lies.

Maybe because it's a 4 year-old argument. Yesteryear's talking points won't "fix" today's problems.



Why did we invade Iraq?




Why Iraq:

* Saddam violated the Gulf War Cease Fire protocols continuously for 12 years. That is 12 YEARS of diplomacy, sanctions, limited bombings, threats of more land actions, more failed diplomacy, more threats, and more of Saddam thumbing his nose at the world while he illegally rearmed. A “Cease Fire” is not a peace treaty. Legally, the US could have responded at any time.
* Saddam, and many others, violated the “oil for food program” to the tune of billions of dollars/euros. This included untouchable high level members of the UN.
* Saddam, very publicly, financed terrorists in Palestine and had contacts with Al Qaeda. These include meetings with known operatives in the Czech Republic (confirmed by Czech internal security forces), the Salmon Pak (South of Baghdad) and the Ansar al-Islam (northern Iraq area) terrorist training camps (One of them held a painting of the WTC burning while Saddam smoked a cigar).
* Provided medical aid and training for Al Qaeda as they fled the Afghan area. A case in point is the confession by Al Qaeda terrorists captured in Jordan (2004) when they attempted to conduct a WMD attack (Sarin/VX gas and other chemicals:20 tons total, w/explosives: see links) in Amman, Jordan. These terrorists told the story of how they escaped Afghanistan, fled to Iraq, followed the convoys hauling goods out of Iraq before the Coalition invasion (remember those? The media doesn’t and they reported them), and ended up in the Becca Valley with the WMDs and Iraqi forces, working for a man named Zarqari. Name ring a bell? The Iraqis were STILL dealing with Taliban thugs in Baghdad when I was deployed there in early 2007.
* Openly defied UN resolutions, many with use of force clauses.
* Even during their final inspection in 2003, the UN teams were still finding MORE chemical weapons systems that Iraq “forgot” to document. Also included in the same report was two Iraqi surface to surface missile systems which greatly exceeded the range limitation stipulated by the cease fire (UN report titled: s-2003-232 :Twelfth quarterly report of the Executive Chairman of the United Nations Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission in accordance with paragraph 12 of Security Council resolution 1284 (1999))
* Continued attacks on Coalition aircraft patrolling the Iraqi agreed upon No-Fly Zones. Attacking US aircraft is an act of war.
* Sorties by MIG-25RB Aircraft into the southern No-Fly Zone (how he got those and maintained them with “sanctions” in place is a really good question). Entering the No-Fly Zone is an act of war.
* Attempted to assassinate a former US President.
* Provided aid and comfort to terrorists retreating from Afghanistan.
* Aided in the first attack on the World Trade Center through proxy and direct supply of Sarin components. This too is an act of war.
* Saddam had intimate knowledge of 9-11-01. His state-run media printed warnings that the US would be hit in the “arm that was hurting”, a reference to New York City. He also put his entire armed forces (refitted with NEW tanks) on alert days prior to 9-11.
* Saddam had WMDs. Every nation consulted (France, UK, Russia) and the UN all agreed he had them. Democrats on the Intelligence Committee sated he had them throughout the 1990s. Saddam boasted of fooling the inspectors in the 90s. We attacked him several times with aircraft and missiles in the 90s. Clinton even ordered the commencement of “Operation Desert Fox” to punish Iraq for non-compliance with inspectors. No one complained then.
* WMDs have been found all over Iraq. Usually in smaller amounts, but this is to be expected with the amount of warning Saddam had of the invasion.


The case for war was more than just about wmds: After Iraq


Saddam did not support al-qaida and had nothing to do with 911.

Questionable, but he did support, sponsor, and harbor terrorists. President Bush made it clear from the beginning, that this wasn't just about one terror group.


And when did President Bush ever say Saddam had a hand in orchestrating 9/11? It's one of those strawmen anti-war talking points.

Contrary to what Democrats in Congress and Senator Levin have led the Bush-haters to believe, Pentagon officials never claimed that Saddam was "responsible" for 9/11.

Go back and read the text of President Bush's 2002 SotU address.

the lie that Bush lied.

Sunday, February 03, 2008 7:25:00 PM  
Blogger Bloviating Zeppelin said...

You want CHANGE?? Fine. I'll empty my pockets.

Oh wait, that's right, the Demorats will empty my pockets FOR me.

BZ

Sunday, February 03, 2008 11:33:00 PM  
Blogger Gayle said...

I was going to respond to Raphael, then saw that you did it for me. Thanks! My response would not have been as thorough as yours. I was simply going to remind him that he made the allegation that the war was based on lies, therefor it's up to him to prove it, not up to me to prove it wasn't. I have defended Bush's position until I'm sick to death of it. People who who believe that the war is based on lies aren't gong to change their minds, but will continue to believe that because - for whatever perverse reason - it's what they want to believe. They conveniently believe that neither President Bush or the Republican Party was alone in the President's conclusion and in approving our going into Iraq! They so conveniently overlook that true and undesputable fact.

Monday, February 04, 2008 9:38:00 AM  
Blogger Marie's Two Cents said...

Great Post Word,

That's what I would like to know, change to what?

How can a party run on no plans at all?

Well except Hillary, she want's to garnish our wages to pay for Universal Health Care.

That ought to do it.

I see all of us are getting bashed with Moonbats!!

Every single election more and more Moonbats!!

Monday, February 04, 2008 11:40:00 AM  
Anonymous Raphael said...

Bush lied in his 2002 SotU address, because he claimed, that
"This is a regime that agreed to international inspections -- then kicked out the inspectors."
Which is not true. Instead the US ordered the weapons inspectors out before they started "Operation Desert Fox".
Strike Aims to Cripple Weapons Centers

And he lied again in his SotU address 2003 about Saddams WMDs. The Duelfer report clearly says, that Saddam had no WMDs after 1996! Furthermore Duelfer reports that Saddam had not supported Al Qaeda in any way.

Let's face it. The US gave Saddam no chance to avoid war. When the weapons inspectors didn't find WMDs, Bush accused him of hiding weapons, and when they found some munitions "capable of delivering chemical agents", he accused him of having WMDs. Before the invasion the UN weapon inspectors visited every single location, where the US suspected WMDs, but found nothing posing a serious threat.

"Evidence from intelligence sources, secret communications, and statements by people now in custody reveal that Saddam Hussein aids and protects terrorists, including members of al Qaeda. Secretly, and without fingerprints, he could provide one of his hidden weapons to terrorists, or help them develop their own. Before September the 11th, many in the world believed that Saddam Hussein could be contained." Bush SotU 2003

Besides Dick Cheney claimed connections of Iraq with Al Qaida in various Meet the Press interviews.

Monday, February 04, 2008 1:16:00 PM  
Blogger The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

And he lied again in his SotU address 2003 about Saddams WMDs.

A "mistake" is different than "a lie". More on this later...

The Duelfer report clearly says,


raphael,

It's one of the things that I fault in your video, where you isolate the PBS interview with Duelfer on points that seem to fit what you want to believe. What else was in that Duelfer report?

* The Duelfer Report Concluded That Saddam Hussein Sought To "Reconstitute His Weapons Of Mass Destruction (WMD) When Sanctions Were Lifted." "Saddam [Hussein] so dominated the Iraqi regime that its strategic intent was his alone. He wanted to end sanctions while preserving the capability to reconstitute his weapons of mass destruction (WMD) when sanctions were lifted." (Comprehensive Report Of The Special Advisor To The DCI On Iraq's WMD, Key Findings Regime Strategic Intent, 9/30/04, p. 1)

The Weapons Inspectors Concluded That Saddam Hussein Sought A Nuclear Capability.

* The Duelfer Report: "Saddam Aspired To Develop A Nuclear Capability." "Saddam wanted to recreate Iraq's WMD capability which was essentially destroyed in 1991 after sanctions were removed and Iraq's economy stabilized, but probably with a different mix of capabilities to that which previously existed. Saddam aspired to develop a nuclear capability in an incremental fashion, irrespective of international pressure and the resulting economic risks but he intended to focus on ballistic missile and tactical chemical warfare (CW) capabilities." (Comprehensive Report Of The Special Advisor To The DCI On Iraq's WMD, Key Findings Regime Strategic Intent, 9/30/04, p. 1)



Besides Dick Cheney claimed connections of Iraq with Al Qaida in various Meet the Press interviews.

I think I did a post on this a while ago, examining the texts of his appearances in 2001, 2003, 2005, because what he says and what we misremember him actually saying, can be two different things. I'll have to look it up again, but I recall in the 2005 interview, he ultimately said, "We don't know."

Sorry, off to work. Back late.

Monday, February 04, 2008 2:06:00 PM  
Anonymous Raphael said...

What Saddam sought, intended, wanted or aspired to do when sanctions were lifted, is merely a speculation. Nobody can know what anybody will intend to do in the future.

Fact is: Saddam had no WMDs.

Monday, February 04, 2008 2:22:00 PM  
Anonymous Scott said...

Oh Raphael...you are so sadly misguided.

"Why did we invade Iraq? Saddam did not support al-qaida and had nothing to do with 911."

Yeah, sorry man, but Saddam's regime was working with Al Queda for years.

Hundreds of regime members have been caught working with them since the invasion

thousands of AQ were killed by USMC in their push towards Baghdad per multiple first hand tell all books

Zarqawi admitted on video he fled to Iraq in 2002.

Yasin fled to Iraq in 1993

Other AQ affilate groups were there as well.

Captured docs confirm it as well.

As to Iraq and 911 being completely separate, you're dramatically off base according to the 911 Commission. Their final report shows that AQ was reborn in 12/92, and UBL decided to start killing Americans because (pg48-49) of the 1992+ US war on Iraq, the US led blockade of Iraq, the presence of US forces in Saudi which were there to wage war on Iraq, and other tertiary reasons. Throughout the 1990's UBL repeated these statements. Recall also that the 911 Commission says the 911 plot (originally dreamed up in the early 1990's) wasn't authorized by UBL until immediately after Desert Fox, and Zawahiri even publicly vowed to retaliate for the Desert Fox strikes specifically-after which, only the 911 plot was authorized. Iraq may or may not have been operationally involved, but strategically 911 and Iraq are the same war.

Monday, February 04, 2008 2:23:00 PM  
Blogger Bloviating Zeppelin said...

Back to the original post: Obama is a very smart man, because he knows how to verbalize the Consummate Politician: speak eloquently, pause dramatically, ensure there is no content so as not to be pinned down on an issue that may come back to haunt at a later time.

BZ

Monday, February 04, 2008 4:02:00 PM  
Anonymous Raphael said...

Sorry Scott, but you are wrong on that. There is no proof whatsoever, that Saddam was working with or supported Al Queda in any way. To the contrary, intelligence reports show, that Saddam opposed any Islamic fundamentalists in his country.

Zarqawi was hiding in the northern Kurdish area, where Saddam had no control. It was after Saddam's regime, when AQ supposedly started to gather in Iraq.

Abdul Rahman Yasin was released by the FBI before he fled to Iraq.

That UBL is pointing to the US war on Iraq as his motive doesn't mean, that Saddam's regime was supporting UBLs plans. Released intelligence reports rather suggest, that this is not the case. And the Duelfer report confirms that.

Monday, February 04, 2008 4:43:00 PM  
Blogger The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

Fact is: Saddam had no WMDs.


Shattering Conventional Wisdom About WMDs

Also..
WMDs in Iraq Recovered as of 2004 (unclassified version)

Nuclear:

* 1.95 tons of enriched uranium
* 1000 banned radioactive sources (cesium and other isotopes)
* 16 drums of yellowcake from Al-Qaim extraction plant
* An undisclosed rail gun system used to test nuclear detonations. Iraq developed this in secret in 1999. The gun was built at Al-Tahadi. It, along with 500 tons of natural uranium wsa found south of Baghdad in 2003.

Biological Agents.

* Live C. botulinum Okra B (makes batulinum toxin: 1 gram kills 10,000) found hidden in Iraqi Biological Weapon’s Scientist’s home.
* Discovered, continued, out-lawed and concealed, research on Brucella, Congo Crimean Hemorragic Fever (CCHF), ricin, and aflatoxin. None of this was declared to the UN even after 12 years of sanctions.
* Ricin discovered in Sargat, Iraq along with hidden sacks of castor beans (labeled as “fertilizer”) in al-Aziziyah.
* Human testing facilities (prisons) for BW agents.
* Mobile labs for BW agents buried in the desert. 11 found in Karbala.
* Mulitple small fixed BW sites/labs which the UN never knew about.

Chemical

* Multiple attacks against US troops using Mustard and Sarin gas filled shells
* Multiple attacks by terrorists against Iraqi civilians using chlorine gas
* Cyanide labs found in “Safe Houses” in fallujah
* 5,000 Lbs/2,268KG of Cyanide found in Taji (total cyanide as of 2004 was 2,370 Kg or 2.4 million leathal doses)
* Various Chemical Weapons Labs


And there's more...

Would Photos help?



There is no proof whatsoever, that Saddam was working with or supported Al Queda in any way.

*cough*

Raphael, President Bush never said that Saddam and al Qaeda were collaborative partners; but he did say, and rightly so, that there have been many contacts between them. This is confirmed by the 9/11 Commission.


Abdul Rahman Yasin was released by the FBI before he fled to Iraq.

Where's the argument? He fled to Iraq and U.S. forces discovered post-OIF, a cache of documents in Tikrit that shows Yasin was given both a house and a monthly salary.

Yet...no ties between Saddam and al-Qaeda, right?

Zarqawi was hiding in the northern Kurdish area, where Saddam had no control.

Yet the terror camps were not allied to the Kurds, but were against them; and were acting with Saddam's help.

Captured Iraqi Terrorist Says Bin Laden Had al-Qaeda Camps in Iraq Under Saddam's Regime

Saddam's Terror Training Camps




To the contrary, intelligence reports show, that Saddam opposed any Islamic fundamentalists in his country.

This is one of the failures of imagination of our CIA. The notion that a secular Saddam would never work with Islamic militants.

Released intelligence reports rather suggest, that this is not the case. And the Duelfer report confirms that.

This isn't all that the Duelfer report had to say.

Furthermore...

The CIA’s chief weapons inspector said he cannot rule out the possibility that Iraqi weapons of mass destruction were secretly shipped to Syria before the March 2003 invasion, citing “sufficiently credible” evidence that WMDs may have been moved there. Inspector Charles Duelfer, who heads the Iraq Survey Group (ISG), made the findings in an addendum to his final report filed last year. He said the search for WMD in Iraq — the main reason President Bush went to war to oust Saddam Hussein — has been exhausted without finding such weapons. Iraq had stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons in the early 1990s.

But on the question of Syria, Mr. Duelfer did not close the books. “ISG was unable to complete its investigation and is unable to rule out the possibility that WMD was evacuated to Syria before the war,” Mr. Duelfer said in a report posted on the CIA’s Web site Monday night. He cited some evidence of a transfer. “Whether Syria received military items from Iraq for safekeeping or other reasons has yet to be determined,” he said. “There was evidence of a discussion of possible WMD collaboration initiated by a Syrian security officer, and ISG received information about movement of material out of Iraq, including the possibility that WMD was involved. In the judgment of the working group, these reports were sufficiently credible to merit further investigation.”

But Mr. Duelfer said he was unable to complete that aspect of the probe because “the declining security situation limited and finally halted this investigation. The results remain inconclusive, but further investigation may be undertaken when circumstances on the ground improve.” Arguing against a WMD transfer to Syria, Mr. Duelfer said, was the fact that all senior Iraqi detainees involved in Saddam’s weapons programs and security “uniformly denied any knowledge of residual WMD that could have been secreted to Syria.” “Nevertheless,” the inspector said, “given the insular and compartmented nature of the regime, ISG analysts believed there was enough evidence to merit further investigation.”

Monday, February 04, 2008 10:07:00 PM  
Blogger The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

What Saddam sought, intended, wanted or aspired to do when sanctions were lifted, is merely a speculation. Nobody can know what anybody will intend to do in the future.

You're simply wrong on that, Raphael. It isn't "wild speculation". It'd require the willful suspension of disbelief. Yet, you think the Duelfer Report supports your arguments?

Again:

the September 2004 Duelfer report concluded that "as UN sanctions eroded there was a concomitant expansion of activities that could support full WMD reactivation." In addition, "the steps the Regime took to erode sanctions are obvious in the analysis of how revenues, particularly those derived from the Oil-for-Food program, were used. Over time, sanctions had steadily weakened to the point where Iraq, in 2000-2001, was confidently designing missiles around components that could only be obtained outside sanctions . . . . ISG's investigation also makes quite clear how Baghdad exploited the mechanism for executing the Oil-for-Food program to give individuals and countries an economic stake in ending sanctions."

George Piro was Saddam's interrogator. He disagrees with you as well.

Do you think Saddam might have had nukes by 2007? Or should we discount intell reports? (Unless, of course, they point to "Bush lied"- then, they must be true!)

Monday, February 04, 2008 10:20:00 PM  
Anonymous Raphael said...

It is so obvious, that you guys cherry-pick all sources as you please.

I.e. you agree to the Duelfer report, when it comes to his speculation what Saddam would have intended when sanctions were lifted. (And btw. I never wrote about "wild" speculation, nor did I dispute that his speculation was founded.)
But at the same time you ignore that Saddam had no WMDs after 1996 according to the Duelfer report.

The same goes for George Piros interview. You accept his judgment about Saddams future WMD intentions, but you ignore, that he disputes any Saddam-Al Qaida connection.

Where is your intellectual honesty?

Reg. Abdul Rahman Yasin: How comes, that Yasin is proof for ties between Saddam and al-Qaeda, when Yasin has been released by the FBI? Don't you wonder why the FBI would release an al-Qaeda affiliate?

Since you linked to "The Weekly Standard" so often, you might be interested to know, what you are reading:


Their [The Weekly Standard's] job was to divert America’s wrath away from those who perpetrated the attack and turn it against those who did not. It was, on the face of it, quite a stretch. The day before 9/11, the idea of a ground invasion to overthrow Saddam Hussein’s Iraq was as “unthinkable” as it had been when Kristol and Kagan had first broached it four years earlier. But the country was confused—in shock and primed for vengeance. Suddenly there was a large national audience for foreign-policy discussion on the TV networks and talk-radio programs. The whole conservative movement was looking for guidance. If repetition could somehow insert into the national consciousness and thereby render plausible an idea that would otherwise have occurred to very few, the Standard would be up to the task. Again and again the refrain would be pounded out, “Saddam Must Go!” and would be picked up by commentators further down the ideological food chain.

In the first issue the magazine published after 9/11, Gary Schmitt and Tom Donnelly, two employees of Kristol’s PNAC, clarified what ought to be the country’s war aims. Their rhetoric—which laid down a line from which the magazine would not waver over the next 18 months—was to link Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden in virtually every paragraph, to join them at the hip in the minds of readers, and then to lay out a strategy that actually gave attacking Saddam priority over eliminating al-Qaeda. The first piece was illustrated with a caricature of Saddam, not bin Laden, and the proposed operational plan against bin Laden was astonishingly soft. “While it is probably not necessary to go to war with Afghanistan, a broad approach will be required, ” they wrote. Taliban failure to help root out bin Laden ought to be “rewarded by aid to its Afghan opposition.” Presumably Ramsey Clark was tendering advice more dovish than this, but it could not have been by much.


"The Weekly Standard’s War" (The American Conservative)

Tuesday, February 05, 2008 11:13:00 AM  
Anonymous Scott said...

Raphael,
"Sorry Scott, but you are wrong on that. There is no proof whatsoever, that Saddam was working with or supported Al Queda in any way. To the contrary, intelligence reports show, that Saddam opposed any Islamic fundamentalists in his country."

That intelligence reports show Saddam didn’t work with or support AQ in anyway is incorrect if not disingenuous. Don’t be misled by the political interpretations of a single DIA officer in a political report. Look at historical facts-clearly you’re comfortable in questioning talking points from the right, but do you ever dare to do so of the those talking points from the left? Remember, intel reports from US Marines during their advance on Baghdad report engaging and killing thousands of foreign fighter jihadis. The bodies don’t lie, and that includes the American Marines who were killed by those same Islamic Holy Warriors. I could write an entire book detailing how Saddam’s regime worked with and supported AQ and its affiliates/branches.

“Zarqawi was hiding in the northern Kurdish area, where Saddam had no control. It was after Saddam's regime, when AQ supposedly started to gather in Iraq.” This is a fantastic example of believing a political talking point from the left without question. First, it’s an admission that Zarqawi was in northern Iraq, but the part about Saddam having no control is completely in contrast to the fact that Zarqawi was working with AQ affiliates, supported by the IIS and taking orders from the IIS (ie Saddam’s regime). The US 5th Special Forces Group as well as airborne units went into this area of Saddam’s Iraq after hundreds of AQ fled there. US forces bombed them, invaded, killed hundreds, and chased hundreds more out. Some of those who were captured (as has been the case since 2003) were Iraqi Intelligence Service guys who confessed that they were messengers carrying money, supplies, and orders from Saddam’s regime to these AQ affiliates, and they did this for exactly the reason you stated: “where Saddam had no control.” The only influence he had was these groups. Recall also that when the US forces entered at least one of the camps they found an ad hoc wmd lab, vials, and all sorts of prep.

”Abdul Rahman Yasin was released by the FBI before he fled to Iraq.” Yep. He was caught by US security-just as most of the 911 hijackers were-and then let go before they realized he was part of the attack. It was an error, but at least (according to Yasin) he made it to Iraq, got a pension from Saddam, and a nice house.

”That UBL is pointing to the US war on Iraq as his motive doesn't mean, that Saddam's regime was supporting UBLs plans.” No, but it at least means that the US war on Iraq had to be eliminated to eliminate UBL’s casus belli.

“Released intelligence reports rather suggest, that this is not the case.”
Incorrect as pointed out above.

“And the Duelfer report confirms that.”
The Duelfer report doesn’t say anything about regime ties to AQ. It wasn’t tasked with that. No investigation has been tasked with looking into that, and in the wake of captured documents being released, members of the 911 Commission called for that aspect to be re-examined (both Dem and Rep).

“But at the same time you ignore that Saddam had no WMDs after 1996 according to the Duelfer report.”
How ironic that you’d ask about intellectual honesty with a statement like that. The question wasn’t whether Saddam had 499 mustard gas artillery shells vs. 500. The question was whether or not his regime was a WMD threat, and to that I bow to the initial ISG director, Dr David Kay, "Based on the intelligence that existed, I think it was reasonable to reach the conclusion that Iraq posed an imminent threat. Now that you know reality on the ground as opposed to what you estimated before, you may reach a different conclusion-—although I must say I actually think what we learned during the inspection made Iraq a more dangerous place, potentially, than, in fact, we thought it was even before the war."

Tuesday, February 05, 2008 12:22:00 PM  
Blogger The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

Besides Dick Cheney claimed connections of Iraq with Al Qaida in various Meet the Press interviews.

I think I did a post on this a while ago, examining the texts of his appearances in 2001, 2003, 2005, because what he says and what we misremember him actually saying, can be two different things. I'll have to look it up again, but I recall in the 2005 interview, he ultimately said, "We don't know."


Raphael,

Thank you! I've been going through Meet the Press transcripts from 2001, onward, and they are fascinating! I may have to do some posts on them; perhaps commemorating Dick Cheney's history of service to this nation. He's perhaps the most qualified VP this nation has ever had! His maturity of experience really shows through. Starkly, when I think of Obama.

Starting with his September 16, 2001 Meet the Press interview, among the things I found interesting:

Cheney says, 5 days after 9/11, that we are in this for the long haul...
"It's also important for people to understand that this is a long-term proposition."

This is going to be the kind of work that will probably take years because the focus has to be not just on any one individual, the problem here is terrorism. And even in this particular instance, it looks as though the responsible organization was a group called al-Qaida. It's Arabic for "The Base."

Are we only going after "one man" and his organization?

MR. RUSSERT: That's Osama bin Laden.

VICE PRES. CHENEY: He headed it up and organized it, but it's a very broad, kind of loose coalition of groupings that includes not only his forces but it also includes, for example, Islamic Jihad from Egypt. It includes a movement from is Uzbekistan. The groups that are terrorist organizations, people that oftentimes move around them, sometimes share common ideologies that operate on a worldwide basis. And what we have to do is take down those networks of terrorist organizations, and as say I think this is going to be a struggle that the United States is going to be involved in for the foreseeable future. There's not going to be an end date that we say, "There, it's all over with." It's going to require constant vigilance on our part to avoid problems in the future, but it's also going to require a major effort and, obviously, quite possibly use of military force.


Cheney:--what's different here, what's changed in terms of U.S. policy, is the president's determination to also go after those nations and organizations and people that lend support to these terrorist operators.


MR. RUSSERT: Even if we take out Osama bin Laden, that will not stop terrorism.

VICE PRES. CHENEY: No. No. He's the target at the moment. But I don't want to convey the impression that somehow, you know, if we had his head on a platter today, that that would solve the problem. It won't.



And for the "Saddam-al Qaeda connection" and for those who think the Bush Administration had it in for Iraq since day one:

MR. RUSSERT: Saddam Hussein, your old friend, his government had this to say: "The American cowboy is rearing the fruits of crime against humanity." If we determine that Saddam Hussein is also harboring terrorists, and there's a track record there, would we have any reluctance of going after Saddam Hussein?

VICE PRES. CHENEY: No.

MR. RUSSERT: Do we have evidence that he's harboring terrorists?

VICE PRES. CHENEY: There is--in the past, there have been some activities related to terrorism by Saddam Hussein. But at this stage, you know, the focus is over here on al-Qaida and the most recent events in New York. Saddam Hussein's bottled up, at this point, but clearly, we continue to have a fairly tough policy where the Iraqis are concerned.


Here it comes....here it comes...wait for it...wait...

MR. RUSSERT: Do we have any evidence linking Saddam Hussein or Iraqis to this operation?

VICE PRES. CHENEY: No.



Meet the Press, Sept 14, 2003 transcript:


MR. RUSSERT: The Washington Post asked the American people about Saddam Hussein, and this is what they said: 69 percent said he was involved in the September 11 attacks. Are you surprised by that?

VICE PRES. CHENEY: No. I think it’s not surprising that people make that connection.

MR. RUSSERT: But is there a connection?

VICE PRES. CHENEY: We don’t know. You and I talked about this two years ago. I can remember you asking me this question just a few days after the original attack. At the time I said no, we didn’t have any evidence of that. Subsequent to that, we’ve learned a couple of things. We learned more and more that there was a relationship between Iraq and al-Qaeda that stretched back through most of the decade of the ’90s, that it involved training, for example, on BW and CW, that al-Qaeda sent personnel to Baghdad to get trained on the systems that are involved. The Iraqis providing bomb-making expertise and advice to the al-Qaeda organization.


As Scott says, there are a wealth of links between al-Qaeda and Iraq.

Some...

As recently as 2001, Iraq's embassy in Pakistan was used as a "liaison" between the Iraqi dictator and al Qaeda, Mr. Powell told the United Nations.

* Spanish investigators have uncovered documents seized from Yusuf Galan -- who is charged by a Spanish court with being "directly involved with the preparation and planning" of the Sept. 11 attacks -- that show the terrorist was invited to a party at the Iraqi embassy in Madrid. The invitation used his "al Qaeda nom de guerre," London's Independent reports.

* An Iraqi defector to Turkey, known by his cover name as "Abu Mohammed," told Gwynne Roberts of the Sunday Times of London that he saw bin Laden's fighters in camps in Iraq in 1997. At the time, Mohammed was a colonel in Saddam's Fedayeen. He described an encounter at Salman Pak, the training facility southeast of Baghdad. At that vast compound run by Iraqi intelligence, Muslim militants trained to hijack planes with knives -- on a full-size Boeing 707. Col. Mohammed recalls his first visit to Salman Pak this way: "We were met by Colonel Jamil Kamil, the camp manager, and Major Ali Hawas. I noticed that a lot of people were queuing for food. (The major) said to me: 'You'll have nothing to do with these people. They are Osama bin Laden's group and the PKK and Mojahedin-e Khalq.'"

* In 1998, Abbas al-Janabi, a longtime aide to Saddam's son Uday, defected to the West. At the time, he repeatedly told reporters that there was a direct connection between Iraq and al Qaeda.

*The Sunday Times found a Saddam loyalist in a Kurdish prison who claims to have been Dr. Zawahiri's bodyguard during his 1992 visit with Saddam in Baghdad. Dr. Zawahiri was a close associate of bin Laden at the time and was present at the founding of al Qaeda in 1989.

* Following the defeat of the Taliban, almost two dozen bin Laden associates "converged on Baghdad and established a base of operations there," Mr. Powell told the United Nations in February 2003. From their Baghdad base, the secretary said, they supervised the movement of men, materiel and money for al Qaeda's global network.

* In 2001, an al Qaeda member "bragged that the situation in Iraq was 'good,'" according to intelligence made public by Mr. Powell.

* That same year, Saudi Arabian border guards arrested two al Qaeda members entering the kingdom from Iraq.

* Abu Musaab al-Zarqawi oversaw an al Qaeda training camp in Afghanistan, Mr. Powell told the United Nations. His specialty was poisons. Wounded in fighting with U.S. forces, he sought medical treatment in Baghdad in May 2002. When Zarqawi recovered, he restarted a training camp in northern Iraq. Zarqawi's Iraq cell was later tied to the October 2002 murder of Lawrence Foley, an official of the U.S. Agency for International Development, in Amman, Jordan. The captured assassin confessed that he received orders and funds from Zarqawi's cell in Iraq, Mr. Powell said. His accomplice escaped to Iraq.

*Zarqawi met with military chief of al Qaeda, Mohammed Ibrahim Makwai (aka Saif al-Adel) in Iran in February 2003, according to intelligence sources cited by the Washington Post.

* Mohammad Atef, the head of al Qaeda's military wing until the U.S. killed him in Afghanistan in November 2001, told a senior al Qaeda member now in U.S. custody that the terror network needed labs outside of Afghanistan to manufacture chemical weapons, Mr. Powell said. "Where did they go, where did they look?" said the secretary. "They went to Iraq."

* Abu Abdullah al-Iraqi was sent to Iraq by bin Laden to purchase poison gases several times between 1997 and 2000. He called his relationship with Saddam's regime "successful," Mr. Powell told the United Nations.

* Mohamed Mansour Shahab, a smuggler hired by Iraq to transport weapons to bin Laden in Afghanistan, was arrested by anti-Hussein Kurdish forces in May, 2000. He later told his story to American intelligence and a reporter for the New Yorker magazine.

* Documents found among the debris of the Iraqi Intelligence Center show that Baghdad funded the Allied Democratic Forces, a Ugandan terror group led by an Islamist cleric linked to bin Laden. According to a London's Daily Telegraph, the organization offered to recruit "youth to train for the jihad" at a "headquarters for international holy warrior network" to be established in Baghdad.

* Mullah Melan Krekar, ran a terror group (the Ansar al-Islam) linked to both bin Laden and Saddam Hussein. Mr. Krekar admitted to a Kurdish newspaper that he met bin Laden in Afghanistan and other senior al Qaeda officials. His acknowledged meetings with bin Laden go back to 1988. When he organized Ansar al Islam in 2001 to conduct suicide attacks on Americans, "three bin Laden operatives showed up with a gift of $300,000 'to undertake jihad,'" Newsday reported. Mr. Krekar is now in custody in the Netherlands. His group operated in portion of northern Iraq loyal to Saddam Hussein -- and attacked independent Kurdish groups hostile to Saddam. A spokesman for the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan told a United Press International correspondent that Mr. Krekar's group was funded by "Saddam Hussein's regime in Baghdad."

* After October 2001, hundreds of al Qaeda fighters are believed to have holed up in the Ansar al-Islam's strongholds inside northern Iraq.


More later.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008 7:46:00 AM  
Anonymous Raphael said...

You guys don't make sense at all. At one point you support Duelfer and George Piros on others you don't. You even consider thugs reliable sources as long as they prove your point.

Scott bows to Dr David Kay, but at the same time, he will dismiss his words, when he speaks them on As-Sahib.

Scott, you are right on one thing though:

”That UBL is pointing to the US war on Iraq as his motive doesn't mean, that Saddam's regime was supporting UBLs plans.” No, but it at least means that the US war on Iraq had to be eliminated to eliminate UBL’s casus belli.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008 12:30:00 PM  
Blogger The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

At one point you support Duelfer and George Piros on others you don't.

Thanks for reminding me that earlier you challenged this:

The same goes for George Piros interview. You accept his judgment about Saddams future WMD intentions, but you ignore, that he disputes any Saddam-Al Qaida connection.

It wasn't George Piros' "dispute". He was relaying what Saddam said. From my post:
I can see Saddam not trusting bin Laden, but not having sought some form of an alliance? Numerous documentation seems to speak otherwise. This includes recovered internal Iraqi Intelligence Service documents. Just click on the FA category, Iraq-al-Qaeda connections. This post is a good place to start. I think the George Piro interview only enriches the complexity of the picture, and does not disqualify previous documents and evidence of an al-Qaeda presence, and a relationship sought, at one time or another. It was a CIA assumption that a secular Saddam would never work with a religious terror group. And it is to the CIA’s discredit, that their analysts at the time refused to look “outside the box” and lacked the imagination to conceive of this as a possibility. They basically expressed disinterest and left stones unturned that should have been examined.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008 12:55:00 PM  
Anonymous ScottM said...

“You guys don't make sense at all. At one point you support Duelfer and George Piros on others you don't. You even consider thugs reliable sources as long as they prove your point.”

Well Raphael, there’s a few problems here that you need to iron out and get a little clarity.
1) Dr Kay’s interview that you speak of was heavily edited
2) Dry Kay was speaking about stockpiles of wmd-NOT the wmd threat described in his quote mentioned earlier. You see, there was a threat, just not in the form of stockpiles.
3) Dr Kay quit, was replaced, and 4yrs after the fact we’re still learning more about what happened to the wmd that Saddam reported to the UN in 1998-where’d it go, what happened to it, where’s the contaminated sand, what was all that “stuff” that was moved out of the country, and what did the IIS burn (see Duelfer Report pics as well as Kay interim rpt)

Now, in regards to the Piros interview, you’ve got the same problem you accuse of others: to believe Saddam or not. Do you believe he wanted to restart his programs as sanctions decayed or were removed? ‘Cause if you do, then you have to also accept that he was a wmd threat as there is no doubt in anyone’s mind that the sanctions were decayed, and barring an invasion the only other route was removing sanctions. Given that the ISG report shows post-war photos so clearly that Saddam successfully hid stuff from UNMOVIC and the IAEA, and given that just 2wks before the invasion Saddam still hadn’t even tried to explain 129pgs worth of UNMOVIC’s Unresolved Disarmament Issues…well, combined it’s impossible to successfully say that Saddam could have been caged by inspections if sanctions were lifted since inspections didn’t work (per the ISG rpt pictures and Blix’s 3/6/03 rpt). Conversely, if you deny that Saddam was telling the truth, then you’re accepting that he lied about his intentions and willingness to work with AQ. And that brings us to the last catch 22 of your argument-thugs. You dismiss “thugs” as sources, ignore tens of thousands of US Marines who fought the Jihadis in the S and on approach to Baghdad as well as US Army Special Forces who fought them in the N, yet, you cling to the word of Saddam…who…wasn’t a thug? I go with the word of Zarqawi, UBL, Zawahiri, the hundreds of captured IIS guys who were caught working with AQ, and I do so primarily not because of them, but because America’s finest fighting men corroborate the claim with their blood and sweat. I believe the Marines and the soldiers, and the fact that their stories, emails, books, and videos are corroborated by captured thugs just makes it all the more believable than claims from professional politicians like the Maple Syrup King of Vermont who-I believe-doesn't know a lot about Iraq or AQ intel, doesn't care, and wouldn't admit it if he or his party did.

Scott, you are right on one thing though:
”That UBL is pointing to the US war on Iraq as his motive doesn't mean, that Saddam's regime was supporting UBLs plans.” No, but it at least means that the US war on Iraq had to be eliminated to eliminate UBL’s casus belli.


Thanks. I see that as only one of the many sticks of kindling that were waiting to set off the final fire of invasion. In fact, I believe the kindling was piled so high that it was the pile-not the spark-that was the real problem.
:)

Wednesday, February 06, 2008 1:14:00 PM  
Blogger The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

Scott bows to Dr David Kay, but at the same time, he will dismiss his words, when he speaks them on As-Sahib.

As-Sahib is merely cherry-picking the same single quote that the MSM ran away with, about "stockpiles" of wmd, from the entire body of his findings and conclusion. Kay felt that Saddam posed an even greater danger than we had realized.

A NYTimes article has him saying, "We know that terrorists were passing through Iraq. And now we know that there was little control over Iraq's weapons capabilities. I think it shows that Iraq was a very dangerous place. The country had the technology, the ability to produce, and there were terrorist groups passing through the country—and no central control."


I believe, that in the last 3 years, more has come to light.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008 1:19:00 PM  
Blogger The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

This is ripe for cherry-picking the quotes, Raphael. Interesting how the CNN headline makes the typical misleading headline as to representing the substance of the text:

"My summary view, based on what I've seen, is we're very unlikely to find large stockpiles of weapons," he said on National Public Radio's "Weekend Edition." "I don't think they exist."

It was the consensus among the intelligence agencies that Iraq had such weapons that led Bush to conclude that it posed an imminent threat that justified the U.S.-led invasion, Kay said.


Actually, President Bush stressed that we had to act before the threat becomes imminent.

"I actually think the intelligence community owes the president rather than the president owing the American people," he said.

"We have to remember that this view of Iraq was held during the Clinton administration and didn't change in the Bush administration," Kay said.

"It is not a political 'gotcha' issue. It is a serious issue of 'How you can come to a conclusion that is not matched in the future?'"

Other countries' intelligence agencies shared the U.S. conclusion that Iraq had stockpiled such weapons, though most disagreed with the United States about how best to respond.


Asked if Iraq posed an imminent threat to the United States at the time of the invasion, Kay said, "Based on the intelligence that existed, I think it was reasonable to reach the conclusion that Iraq posed an imminent threat."

Although his team concluded that Iraq did not possess large amounts of weapons of mass destruction ready for use, that does not necessarily mean it posed no imminent threat, he said. "That is a political judgment, not a technical judgment."


Again, more has come to light since 2004.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008 1:43:00 PM  
Blogger The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

But you go on buying the liberal media headline:

Kay: No evidence Iraq stockpiled WMDs

Wednesday, February 06, 2008 1:45:00 PM  

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