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  1. Johnny Dubya Member
    Johnny Dubya
    @JohnnyDubya

    I have not watched the video, but I will say that President Bush made a speech to the U.N. General Assembly on September 12, 2002 that laid out many reasons for confronting Iraq.  Every person who asserts that the existence of WMD was the only reason offered for the invasion is stating a glaring falsehood.

    Read the following litany of justifications.  One may disagree as to whether they constitute a casus belli, but they were all valid and true and continue to be so:

    -“Twelve years ago, Iraq invaded Kuwait without provocation.”
    -“Iraq continues to commit extremely grave violations of human rights.”
    -“Iraq continues to shelter and support terrorist organizations that direct violence against Iran, Israel, and Western governments.”
    -“Iraq attempted to assassinate the Emir of Kuwait and a former American President.”
    -“The Iraqi regime agreed to destroy and stop developing all weapons of mass destruction and long-range missiles, and to prove to the world it has done so by complying with rigorous inspections. Iraq has broken every aspect of this fundamental pledge.”
    -“The regime admitted to producing tens of thousands of liters of anthrax and other deadly biological agents.”
    -“Saddam Hussein’s regime is a grave and gathering danger.”
    -“Liberty for the Iraqi people is a great moral cause.”
    -“He’s fired ballistic missiles at Iran and Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and Israel.”
    -“With every step the Iraqi regime takes toward gaining and deploying the most terrible weapons, our own options to confront that regime will narrow.”

    • #1
  2. I Walton Member
    I Walton
    @IWalton

    Democrats always believe Republicans behave like they do, so figured the Bush Administration was lying.  They  project and their media  join in.   It was an election year.  What did we expect?  After they found none, I figured  Sadam thought there were such weapons because he’d been paying for them.  We underestimate the depth of corruption in such places after a dictator has been in power for very long.   I’d seen it before and should have guessed but I didn’t. The intelligence was picking up on the programs but not on their emptiness.

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  3. Hoyacon Member
    Hoyacon
    @Hoyacon

    Works for me, but the salient characteristic of those with a counter-narrative is their inability and unwillingness to listen to facts.

    BTW, Miller:NY Times :: Cruz: Senate.   They threw her under the bus after the invasion in another display of “integrity” by the paper.

    • #3
  4. EThompson Inactive
    EThompson
    @EThompson

    No. After reading the 9/11 Commission Report not once, but twice, this is what they did find in Iraq:

    1. Fully intact laboratories with modern equipment
    2. Formulas for WMDs
    3. Scientists and physicists still on staff
    4. Grotesquely of all, prison cells built to house human guinea pigs

    My belief is as soon as the UN removed sanctions (as it was preparing to do), Saddam was determined to pursue production.

    Intelligence is never an exact science. Many of our allies and Democrats in the Senate believed there existed an immediate and legitimate danger. This is not to mention the attempted assassination of Bush in Kuwait and the attacks on our military aircraft as they protected the no-go zones in northern and southern Iraq.

    Condi Rice put it best, “One never gets credit for being pro-active.”

    The mistakes we made in  Iraq -as far as I’m concerned- happened in the G.H.W. Bush era when he failed to take Saddam down in the first place. It is akin to our failure to recognize Hitler’s intentions after the invasion of the Sudetenland and Czechoslovakia.

    History never changes; I do wish we would take note of this.

    • #4
  5. John Seymour Member
    John Seymour
    @

    EThompson: History never changes; I do wish we would take note of this.

    Santayana said that “those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it,” to which Mark Twain is purported to have said: “History doesn’t repeat itself; but it does rhyme.”  But whether it repeats or rhymes, it does so regardless of whether we remember the past or not (witness the equally famous aphorism that generals always fight the last war), it does so because human nature doesn’t change.

    To believe that one can change human nature is my working definition of a progressive.

    Plus ça change.

    • #5
  6. CuriousJohn Thatcher
    CuriousJohn
    @CuriousJohn

    Love the way the blue people are used on Prager and Ricochet

    • #6
  7. David Sussman Podcaster
    David Sussman
    @DaveSussman

    EThompson:The mistakes we made in Iraq -as far as I’m concerned- happened in the G.H.W. Bush era when he failed to take Saddam down in the first place. It is akin to our failure to recognize Hitler’s intentions after the invasion of the Sudetenland and Czechoslovakia.

    History never changes; I do wish we would take note of this.

    Yes. And they continued after W left office. We can argue about intelligence, but history will show ISIS was born out of the vacuum left by Obama removing all forces. We still have troops in South Korea, Germany and Japan, but blind politics trumped policy.

    • #7
  8. David Sussman Podcaster
    David Sussman
    @DaveSussman

    CuriousJohn:Love the way the blue people are used on Prager and Ricochet

    Care to elaborate? Not sure what you mean.

    • #8
  9. Zafar Member
    Zafar
    @Zafar

    CuriousJohn:Love the way the blue people are used on Prager and Ricochet

    I noticed that too.

    Blue faced people admitting all these mistakes, the narrator mea culpaing in a blue dress, in fact the whole colour theme of the video is blue.  The ‘other colour‘ – when it appears – is disguised as a burnt orange.

    The colour blue is the hidden persuader.

    Makers of this video, j’accuse!

    • #9
  10. Zafar Member
    Zafar
    @Zafar

    The video’s argument seems to boil down to:

    Not dishonest, just honestly incompetent.

    May be a character defence, but it’s not persuasive wrt foreign policy chops.

    • #10
  11. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    The video confirmed what I had found in my research years ago. Prager always produces a succinct message. It’s too bad that more people on the left won’t see it. They’d rather believe their lie. Thanks, David.

    • #11
  12. drlorentz Member
    drlorentz
    @drlorentz

    Judith Miller is a controversial figure. Her erroneous reporting led to the loss of her job at the NYT, Pulitzer notwithstanding. She was involved in the Scooter Libby/Valerie Plame case.

    Without commenting on the merits of her story or the veracity of her critics, I simply note that that her narrative is hotly disputed. If you try to use this on a knowledgeable lefty, you will be met with a cannonade of criticism. This is a better line of argument.

    • #12
  13. Saint Augustine Member
    Saint Augustine
    @SaintAugustine

    Some important words are seared into my memory like Kerry’s trip to Cambodia–except that my memories reference something real.  I remember them as Googles searches, although the first is also a headline:

    I also remember that these points were in the Duelfer report (2004):

    • Saddam had little or no WMD.
    • He retained some WMD-manufacturing capacity.
    • He had ambitious plans for building new WMD stockpiles.
    • #13
  14. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    David Sussman:

    EThompson:The mistakes we made in Iraq -as far as I’m concerned- happened in the G.H.W. Bush era when he failed to take Saddam down in the first place. It is akin to our failure to recognize Hitler’s intentions after the invasion of the Sudetenland and Czechoslovakia.

    History never changes; I do wish we would take note of this.

    Yes. And they continued after W left office. We can argue about intelligence, but history will show ISIS was born out of the vacuum left by Obama removing all forces. We still have troops in South Korea, Germany and Japan, but blind politics trumped policy.

    Exactly so. In fact, if anything proves W right, it is ISIS’s taking over Syria and northern Iraq. It would have happened eight years sooner.

    • #14
  15. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    Excellent presentation by Ms. Miller.

    However, Graham Allison, security analyst, has said repeatedly that one of the problems was that Saddam Hussein was trying to convince Iran that Iraq had WMDs. Saddam Hussein himself was lying about the WMDs, and it’s understandable that we took his lies seriously. I don’t think the intelligence community was at fault. And then there were all of those nuclear weapons that were lost when the USSR broke up. Iraq was fast becoming a rogue nation.

    • #15
  16. Zafar Member
    Zafar
    @Zafar

    Saint Augustine:I also remember that these points were in the Duelfer report (2004):

    • Saddam had little or no WMD.
    • He retained some WMD-manufacturing capacity.
    • He had ambitious plans for building new WMD stockpiles.

    Which seems reasonable and convincing.  I don’t understand why people would argue otherwise either way (he had WMDs vs he wouldn’t have developed WMDs).

    If he had actually had WMDs in any quantity surely he would have used them against the US troops invading Iraq in 2003 – being invaded is as in extremis as it gets for a country.

    • #16
  17. Zafar Member
    Zafar
    @Zafar

    David Sussman:

    We can argue about intelligence, but history will show ISIS was born out of the vacuum left by Obama removing all forces. We still have troops in South Korea, Germany and Japan, but blind politics trumped policy.

    ISIS (nee Al-Qaida in Mesopotamia, nee something or the other...) certainly took advantage of the departure of US forces (and the civil war in Syria), but the roots of its support in Iraq lie in the (much earlier) Maliki Government’s policies and how the Coalition (basically the US) tolerated these.  For (domestic) political reasons, so yes: for blind politics.

    • #17
  18. Manny Member
    Manny
    @Manny

    The video is excellent, but it only addresses the WMD issue.  There were more reasons to invade Iraq, and the best blog compilation of those reasons is at a blog called Learning Curve.

    I stand by that decision.  I would do it again if I knew that Obama would not ruin the accomplishment.

    • #18
  19. Saint Augustine Member
    Saint Augustine
    @SaintAugustine

    Zafar:

    Saint Augustine:I also remember that these points were in the Duelfer report (2004):

    • Saddam had little or no WMD.
    • He retained some WMD-manufacturing capacity.
    • He had ambitious plans for building new WMD stockpiles.

    Which seems reasonable and convincing.

    Not counting the 5 thousand older sarin and mustard weapons, yes.

    • #19
  20. Zafar Member
    Zafar
    @Zafar

    Saint Augustine:

    Not counting the 5 thousand older sarin and mustard weapons, yes.

    Were they still usable?  If so, why didn’t Saddam use them when the US invaded?

    I don’t know the answer to the first question (anybody who does, please feel free – and this could include you, janaab), and I can’t think of a convincing answer to the second (again, world feel free….)

    • #20
  21. Saint Augustine Member
    Saint Augustine
    @SaintAugustine

    Zafar:

    Saint Augustine:

    Not counting the 5 thousand older sarin and mustard weapons, yes.

    Were they still usable?

    The 2006 reports suggest that they may not have been.  The 2004 report tells us that there were used on US soldiers, but to no greatly devastating effect.

    • #21
  22. EHerring Coolidge
    EHerring
    @EHerring

    I think the answer was obvious that he didn’t lie once we found the WMD.  Libs have tried to excuse this away by saying the WMD were too old and not the ones we were hunting for.  Now that is the lie.  The hunt was on for the WMD from the late 1980s.  The UN search teams were not created to hunt down WMD that didn’t exist, yet.  Nobody new the conditions of what was buried.  We do know that the WMD intercepted in Kuwait was viable.  I don’t know why this is such an unknown fact.  I Googled New York Times WMD and the first two items were ”

    1. The Secret Casualties of Iraq’s Abandoned Chemical Weapons …

      http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2014/10/14/world/middleeast/us-casualties-of-iraq-chemical-weapons.htmlOct 14, 2014 … Sources: Wikileaks and reporting by the New York Times (chemical … Mr. Hussein was hiding an active weapons of mass destruction program, …

    2. BOMBSHELL: New York Times Reports WMDs WERE Found in Iraq …

      http://www.thepoliticalinsider.com/bombshell-new-york-times-reports-wmds-found-iraq/The New York Times shockingly admitted in an explosive front page report that thousands of WMDs were found in Iraq since the start of the war: From 2004 to …”

    • #22
  23. Zafar Member
    Zafar
    @Zafar

    Saint Augustine:

    Zafar:

    Saint Augustine:

    Not counting the 5 thousand older sarin and mustard weapons, yes.

    Were they still usable?

    The 2006 reports suggest that they may not have been. The 2004 report tells us that there were used on US soldiers, but to no greatly devastating effect.

    Because?

    (Troops were wearing gas masks? Or…WMDs past use by date? Other?)

    • #23
  24. Saint Augustine Member
    Saint Augustine
    @SaintAugustine

    Zafar:

    Saint Augustine:

    Zafar:

    Saint Augustine:

    Not counting the 5 thousand older sarin and mustard weapons, yes.

    Were they still usable?

    The 2006 reports suggest that they may not have been. The 2004 report tells us that there were used on US soldiers, but to no greatly devastating effect.

    Because?

    (Troops were wearing gas masks? Or…WMDs past use by date? Other?)

    I don’t know.  Quite possibly one of those reasons, or the bad guys weren’t using them properly.  The first article, “Sarin, Mustard Gas Discovered Separately in Iraq” may explain; I presently lack the time to review it and see.

    • #24
  25. Zafar Member
    Zafar
    @Zafar

    EHerring:I think the answer was obvious that he didn’t lie once we found the WMD. Libs have tried to excuse this away by saying the WMD were too old and not the ones we were hunting for. Now that is the lie.

    Thanks, that was fascinating.  From the second article:

    …during the long occupation, American troops began encountering old chemical munitions in hidden caches and roadside bombs. Typically 155-millimeter artillery shells or 122-millimeter rockets, they were remnants of an arms program Iraq had rushed into production in the 1980s during the Iran-Iraq war.

    All had been manufactured before 1991, participants said. Filthy, rusty or corroded, a large fraction of them could not be readily identified as chemical weapons at all. Some were empty, though many of them still contained potent mustard agent or residual sarin. Most could not have been used as designed, and when they ruptured dispersed the chemical agents over a limited area, according to those who collected the majority of them.

    In case after case, participants said, analysis of these warheads and shells reaffirmed intelligence failures. First, the American government did not find what it had been looking for at the war’s outset, then it failed to prepare its troops and medical corps for the aged weapons it did find.

    • #25
  26. spaceman_spiff Member
    spaceman_spiff
    @spacemanspiff

    Well, we did remove over 500 metric tons of yellowcake from Iraq. We also found parts of a centrifuge buried in a Baghdad rose garden. Iraq’s nuclear program in 2003 was comparable to Iran’s in 2003. Which is to say they were both nascent. Dealing with a nascent threat is way easier than dealing with one that it fully formed. The cost of the Iraq War was terrible but it will be dwarfed by the cost of allowing Iran to have nukes.

    The idea that Saddam wasn’t a threat or that he didn’t support terrorism is 100% false.

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  27. Saint Augustine Member
    Saint Augustine
    @SaintAugustine

    spaceman_spiff:

    Well, we did remove over 500 metric tons of yellowcake from Iraq.

    I won a jello-eating contest in high school.  But that sounds way beyond my abilities.

    • #27
  28. Titus Techera Contributor
    Titus Techera
    @TitusTechera

    Zafar:The video’s argument seems to boil down to:

    Not dishonest, just honestly incompetent.

    May be a character defence, but it’s not persuasive wrt foreign policy chops.

    But it has such a great second act: But we learned from our mistakes, occupied, & were going to be there for however long, the longer the better.

    In the third act, of course, they learn about the electoral cycle–it’s not so heartwarming anymore after that.

    • #28
  29. The Cloaked Gaijin Member
    The Cloaked Gaijin
    @TheCloakedGaijin

    I remember on Dennis Miller’s radio show that he used to keep a button with a famous pro-war President Bill Clinton quote that he could press whenever an Iraq war critic called.  I don’t remember the exact wording.

    • #29
  30. Saint Augustine Member
    Saint Augustine
    @SaintAugustine

    Ok, I finally watched the video.  I’m a bit annoyed.

    A great explanation of how we’re dealing with mistakes, not lies.

    But . . . what mistakes were those again?

    • Virtually everyone who watches this video holds to the no-WMD myth.  But it wasn’t a mistake that Saddam had WMD.  (See the NY Times piece; dude had around 5,000 of the nasty things.)
    • Nor was it a mistake that Saddam wanted new WMD.  (See the Duelfer report.)
    • Nor was it a mistake that Saddam had some WMD-manufacturing capacity.  (See the Duelfer report.  Really, see it for yourself.  Don’t trust my memories of it!  I’m not sure I trust them!  It’s been a few years!)
    • Nor, if the above reference to a whole lotta yellowcake uranium is correct, is it a mistake that Saddam was interested in acquiring nukes.

    When you put all that together, I’m left with a few plausible candidates:

    • It was a mistake that Saddam had nukes or was about to get them.
    • It was a mistake that Saddam had any new WMD.
    • It was a mistake that Saddam had any WMD we can confirm were pretty darn effective.

    But did Bush or Powell or anyone else even say those things?

    Even if they did, it was evidently part of a bundle of things said, many of which were true and not all of which were even about WMD.  So . . . was there any big intelligence failure, and, really, what was it?

    • #30

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