Libya: Not As Bad As The Iraq Debacle; Dems: Not As Bad As Republicans

Matt Yglesias, who is blogging great stuff of late, writes:

Peter Bergen argues that the intervention in Libya is no invasion of Iraq:

[T]he military intervention that President Obama authorized against Libya on Saturday — eight years to the day after President George W. Bush announced the commencement of “Operation Iraqi Freedom” — is a quite different operation than the 2003 invasion of Iraq. [. . .]

Granting all that follows for the sake of argument, isn’t this a strange way for Iraq to impact the structure of debate? Is “less misguided than the invasion of Iraq” really a reasonable standard for policy to aspire to?

Indeed, it is not. Similarly, commenter ABG (whose honesty is bracing and makes good points as well, though not this time imo) argues that he is happy with the Dems because they are not as bad as the GOP:

I love this democratic party

I side with pragmatic winners over ideological losers every time.

In my mind the primary goal of the democratic party isn't enacting a particular type of legislation. The primary goal of the democratic party in this age of the Tea Party and Rush Limbaugh being mainstream is keeping the GOP out of power.


If the dems do absolutely nothing to further progressive goals but keep the GOP from accomplishing their biggest goals, it's a victory. Why? Demographics, media power, corporate dollars, etc.

We simply do not have the leverage to do all of the high minded things that the ideologues demand.

So I am thrilled with the dems. I'll concede things like the Deal to avoid a President Palin Huckabee/Pawlenty/Romney.

Heck yeah I will. That's what I voted on democrats to do primarily:

stop republican wins.

(Emphasis supplied.) Two points. First, isn't that just sad? Even if ABG was right, and I think he is not, is that really what the Democratic PArty has been reduced to? And the answer is yes.

Second, this approach does not even work on its own terms. I could drag out the old Truman line about voting for the real Republican every time but forget all that. Has not fighting for progressive (what used to be DEMOCRATIC) values really helped electorally? Not in the least. The reality is Democratic electoral victories have not come from capitulation, they have come from the implosion of the GOP -- because of GOP policies.

It's not a question of style. It is a question of substance. Republicans basically destroyed the world during the Bush Presidency. And if Dems are more of the same, but not as bad, they'll lose too. Including Obama.

I think Obama is going to win in 2012. But if the economy follows a Geitherian path, don't be so sure.

Speaking for me only

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    Any Republican, (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by NYShooter on Mon Mar 21, 2011 at 07:08:12 PM EST
    short of a crazed space cadet, who "sounds" reasonable and doesn't scare people could beat Obama next year.

    I.M.O of course.

    And just who fits that bill? (none / 0) (#13)
    by getoffamycloud10 on Mon Mar 21, 2011 at 09:31:22 PM EST
    If a candidate isn't sufficiently psychotic, they have no shot at the nomination. If they are, they have no shot at the White House.

    It's kind of comforting that way.

    Face it, the gops are in the throes of a full-blown civil war.

    In their latest "southern strategy" incarnation,  gops funded, groomed, organized and hitched their wagon to the teabaggers's ignorant, racist, anti-American star, because the gop establishment needs the teabaggers to win anything.

    Of course, the teabaggers also cost them at least two senate seats and are already gummin' up the works in the House.

    Anyone who "sounds" even remotely reasonable will be branded a rino heretic and sent packing.

    No nutjob, no nomination.


    I agree with all that you've said (none / 0) (#25)
    by NYShooter on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 12:24:16 AM EST
    I simply meant tha Obama is extremely vulnerable IF my imaginary Republican were to surface.

    Don't think so (none / 0) (#18)
    by Socraticsilence on Mon Mar 21, 2011 at 10:45:34 PM EST
    Obama's on the Clinton-Reagan arch right now, triangulating off of the victory by the opposition party to seem "reasonable", this will do little to diminish him politically if (and only if) he holds firm on his "no US ground troops" maxim.    Not to mention your "not crazy" bit for the GOP is going to be hard to see given the parties current composition.

    I agree with one caveat (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Mar 21, 2011 at 10:49:01 PM EST
    It was "Morning in America" in 1984 and economy was humming in 1996.

    Geithner might cause Obama's defeat.


    Still have major (none / 0) (#48)
    by Socraticsilence on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 12:29:46 PM EST
    troubles crediting Reagan with that recovery- I mean I know both he and Clinton were recipients of fortuitous technological breakthroughs but c'mon the Fed basically brought the economy back then.

    Strange twists of logic. (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by Gerald USN Ret on Mon Mar 21, 2011 at 07:09:25 PM EST
    Libya:  Well not at bad as Iraq.  (Yet, anyway.)
    Obama: Well, he is our guy and not as bad as Bush?
     (Talk to Kucinich.)
    Policy: Get rid of Qaddafi  (More like wishful thinking.)
    Cost:  We won't ask for funds.  (Sorta of goes along with the other war funds, but wait, this isn't war, this is humanitarian.  (Maybe the Red Cross will finance the cruise missiles.))

    Frankly my head get mushy listening to all the excuses.

    Lol (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by star on Mon Mar 21, 2011 at 07:33:11 PM EST
    Redcross funding the missiles :)

    Pathetic (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by star on Mon Mar 21, 2011 at 07:28:05 PM EST
    if winning elections is the only goal..not doing anything with that win...not working for the principles and policies of the people who voted for you...then this party is pathetic.no amoumt of media spin or scare tactics will get people to give u another chance.

    8 years to the day? That's one heck of a (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by tigercourse on Mon Mar 21, 2011 at 07:29:47 PM EST

    Ya wanna fight the good fight or (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by getoffamycloud10 on Mon Mar 21, 2011 at 09:06:30 PM EST
    do ya wanna win? Like it or not, seeing to it that gops don't win is a big part of winning.

    I would have thought that drawing breath during a single day of the long national nightmare that was the bush administration would have made that abundantly clear.

    So, that said, ya really wanna take this opportunity to tell me that there's no difference between the bush leaguers and Obama now?

    That's nonsense. To date, there's not enough difference to suit me either, but there's still a difference.

    At the end of the day, teabaggers don't waste their votes on fairy tale third party hacks no matter how much noise they make about doing so.

    They vote gop. It ain't the klan, but it's close enough for them.

    Voting for Nader let the gops steal Florida, the White House and plunge this country into darkness for decades to come.

    Besides, they've got always got the Supremes to bail 'em out. No matter how weak their case, they're never more than a 5-4 win away.

    See: "Citizen's United".

    There's already five umps stepping outta the Yank's dugout at the start of the as it is. Ya really wanna let gops pick a couple more Scalias,  clueless clarences, Roberts and Alitos and let 'em make it six or seven?

    When gops win, America loses. Everything depends on them losing.

    uh I hate to tell you but the GOP won this last (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by Bornagaindem on Mon Mar 21, 2011 at 10:01:06 PM EST
    election - big time. And they will win the next if the dems continue down this road of capitulation. The nuts always vote but they don't have big numbers. When the dems get as demoralized as they are now with reoug -lite the nuts will win.

    When corporate centric Republican (none / 0) (#24)
    by MO Blue on Mon Mar 21, 2011 at 11:17:57 PM EST
    policies are enacted, America loses. Presidents change but the corporation agendas and policies remain the same and America loses.  

    Eugene Robinson on Obama & Libya (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by MO Blue on Mon Mar 21, 2011 at 09:09:07 PM EST
    In explaining why the U.S. would join in establishing the Libya no-fly zone, which immediately became much more, Obama tied himself in rhetorical knots. If Gadhafi were to commit atrocities against his people, Obama said, "The entire region could be destabilized, endangering many of our allies and partners." Well, duh. As he no doubt has noticed, the region is already destabilized. Friendly regimes are already being threatened, but not by Gadhafi. They are endangered by the democratic aspirations of their own people.

    Gadhafi is crazy and evil; obviously, he wasn't going to listen to our advice about democracy. The world would be fortunate to be rid of him. But war in Libya is justifiable only if we are going to hold compliant dictators to the same standard we set for defiant ones. If not, then please spare us all the homilies about universal rights and freedoms. We'll know this isn't about justice, it's about power. link

    Power, which includes (none / 0) (#22)
    by KeysDan on Mon Mar 21, 2011 at 10:51:36 PM EST

    Agree (none / 0) (#23)
    by MO Blue on Mon Mar 21, 2011 at 11:11:51 PM EST
    Robinson kinda shied away from that.



    Max Boot, a Fellow at the (none / 0) (#35)
    by KeysDan on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 09:23:52 AM EST
    Council on Foreign Relations writes in today's NYT that while he was an early advocate of a "no fly zone" he does now want to point out to President Obama all the "worst case scenarios" of his recommendation.  After a column's worth of them, he wants us to know that he has no regrets about his recommendation, because the action has 'strategic' and humanitarian importance (in that order).

    Good Gravy BTD (5.00 / 2) (#14)
    by ScottW714 on Mon Mar 21, 2011 at 09:38:05 PM EST
    Has our party become so compliant to the R's, that the only 'honest' opinion you can find is one of the most misleading and pro-Obama commenters to your own posts.

    I agree with you, but my problem is bringing a comment from someone who doesn't represent democrats, as someone who does; it's lazy.  You're making a strawman argument with the added bonus of using an unpopular commenter instead of a figment of you imagination.

    IMO ABG doesn't "love this party" he loves the leader.  He doesn't care about Democratic principles, policies, or even strategy.  His pseudo love for the party is simply a byproduct of his never ending love of Obama.

    I know I didn't really comment on the topic at hand, but I honestly can't get past the non-sense of using that quote to make a point.

    I would love to hear from anyone that agrees with ABG, that winning trumps all because the alternative is worse.  Just seems so Rovian.

    And ABG, remember that post a couple days ago telling me something about Obama not going into Libya ?  Guess another one of your Messiah's predictions was wrong.

    Saying (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 05:45:18 AM EST
    the Dems aren't as bad as the GOP is like saying they aren't as bad as the Taliban.

    Yeah, in that it's accurate (none / 0) (#34)
    by getoffamycloud10 on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 09:23:41 AM EST
    and true.

    Obama's biggest challenge to getting (5.00 / 1) (#32)
    by Buckeye on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 08:58:46 AM EST
    reelected is the economy.  The GDP grew more than 7% in 1983 and more than 8% in 1984.  The 1990s economy started picking up steam in 1995 and was in full blown steam in 1996.  

    Obama will not have that.  The U4 unemployment will be at best 8-9% and the U6 15%+.  Add to this problem the mess in Japan, the mess in the Middle East, commodities inflation, oil prices, continued deflation in housing (prices are expected to fall another 8-9% this year with foreclosures starting to pick up again 2H11) and unpopular policies like health care reform, bail outs, etc.

    Obama has 2 things going for him - incumbancy and a weak GOP field.  If the GOP can raise enough money to run against Obama and field a candidate the middle of the country finds reasonably, I do not think Obama gets reelected.  I think his chances are 60-40.  The money will be there, but it is hard to see a "reasonable" candidate emerge from the republica primaries.

    This leaves out one important point though.  Who cares?  If Obama is essentially pushing republican policies, it will only make a small difference (i.e. supreme court nominees).

    The Republicans (none / 0) (#6)
    by KeysDan on Mon Mar 21, 2011 at 07:55:48 PM EST
    (noting grand there, so I dislike use of  GOP)  when in power and left to their own devices tend to implode. They are most effective as an opposition party when they can criticize with abandon.

    The foundation they stand on is no government programs, but it is difficult to marshall the electorate on a campaign of "elect me and I promise to do nothing." So, they change the subject and introduce discussions such as abortion, same sex marriage, flag burning, school prayer, and mosques near ground zero. And, some of these are flaming out.

    In my view, the term of George W. Bush was a distortion owing to 9/ll, anthrax, and fear (the first nine months of his first term were none too popular and he owed his second term to the inept Kerry--we need not discuss how he got his first term here).  After the 2008 election, the Republicans were flattened and were likely to have stayed that way for a good while if not for President Obama, who, in my view, resuscitated the Republican corpse.  The bipartisanship schtick helped to dig them out of the hole they dug for themselves.

    The poor presentation of the health care legislation and the demeaning and disrespectful response to concerns for Medicare, for example, (less care is better care, how stupid they are for saying keep the government hands off Medicare) created fertile ground for exploitation of the demographic--a major component of the tea party.  And, now, the Republican Congress, is likely to step on themselves as well, just give them some more time.  The Democratic Party makes a mistake by seeing them and raising them one.

    And the beat goes on (none / 0) (#9)
    by MO Blue on Mon Mar 21, 2011 at 08:16:39 PM EST
    After the 2008 election, the Republicans were flattened and were likely to have stayed that way for a good while if not for President Obama, who, in my view, resuscitated the Republican corpse.  The bipartisanship schtick helped to dig them out of the hole they dug for themselves.

    Obama, now with the help of at least 32 Democratic Senators, continue to validate the Republican Party through their rhetoric and by adopting and passing their policies. And yes it is sad that Democratic Party has been reduced to a party that can only be defined as not totally horrible only if the Republican Party is "batsh!t crazy."

    Two points. First, isn't that just sad? Even if ABG was right, and I think he is not, is that really what the Democratic PArty has been reduced to? And the answer is yes.

    Obviously you are no advocate (none / 0) (#7)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Mar 21, 2011 at 08:13:32 PM EST
    of us being involved in Libya.  Outside of that I fail to understand what sane person thinks there is a comparison to be made between Iraq and Libya?

    Straw (none / 0) (#8)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Mar 21, 2011 at 08:16:36 PM EST
    is used for many things.

    True (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by Socraticsilence on Mon Mar 21, 2011 at 10:47:44 PM EST
    But how exactly does this differ from past US interventions in the Pre-Bush II context-- it seems much, much more like Kosovo or Somalia (with the admitted problems those posed) than Iraq-- a humanitarian intervention with massive international support where the US was in large part a trailing actor.

    I see (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 06:09:10 AM EST
    I find it disturbing that Democrats (unsure of who they are when it comes to defense) struggle to find that indentity by comparing themselves to Republicans.  And our position and ourall involvement in Libya has been very overblown IMO.  Of course if people didn't pitch a fit, then the administration could feel free to up its involvement and perhaps that should not be enabled.

    We disabled a genocide machine.  I'm good with that!  I can sleep on that.  It makes my skin crawl when people say that doing such a thing prolongs the bloodshed.  As if a massive cutting of throats while simultaneously bringing everyone else who survives to their psychological knees when they aren't in fetal position would make it easier for me to sleep at night.  Less time though I suppose to have images of unrest upset me, not as much opportunity for disturbing photographs of the horror to fill up my subconscious.  It is good to be an American, and just close the door and pull the drapes on such things whenever I choose.


    Just remember (none / 0) (#39)
    by TJBuff on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 09:37:37 AM EST
    Iraq wasn't Iraq at the start.  Mission accomplished in May.

    Oy...really? (5.00 / 1) (#44)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 10:38:45 AM EST
    I watched them load the military trains with all the equipment of the 3rd Armored Cavalry.  At that point we were being lied to and I knew there wouldn't be any 90 days or six months.  Iraq was never intended to quick and dirty and there were no rebels who had risen up that we had gone to protect.  We dismantled no genocide machine in Iraq that was coming after anyone.  I have watched no loading of military trains when it comes to Libya.  Nor will I, and this comparison of Libya to Iraq is a really dumb conversation IMO.

    EXACTLY (none / 0) (#47)
    by ScottW714 on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 12:09:53 PM EST
    This conversation has been going on for exactly one day and I am already tired of it.

    For one thing, the comparison is absurd.

    For the next, I don't believe anything Obama says.  They obviously can't let the masses in on the plan, but the DoD is infamous for having no clue as to the most effective way to accomplish our goals.  They view all problems as something that can be bombed into submission.

    And even if we succeed, what makes anyone believe the new regime is going to be any better ?  Democracy is a joke, Obama is the poster child, you vote for one thing, get another.   And in new Democracies, money and fear rule the ballot box, just ask the Afghans.

    And another, we are broke A, not only in coin, but in abled bodies.  We simply can't afford to get into another BS skirmish, even if the reasons are legitimate, and I don't think they are.

    But lastly, WTF are we doing interfering ?  Has this ever in our history worked out ?  Sure in the short term, but in the long term most of our greatest pains are people/regimes we backed.  Who eventually turn once they realize the US expects them to do everything we say.


    Sure seemed (none / 0) (#50)
    by Socraticsilence on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 12:32:59 PM EST
    to work out well in the Balkans. I mean assuming you don't think ethnic cleasening and Kosovo being purged is a good thing.

    It seems obvious to me though (none / 0) (#52)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 12:59:33 PM EST
    that OUR only goal is the implementation of the no fly.  Everything that is being done other than military convoys being fired on has been done to employ the no fly zone.  I don't know if any of our aircraft have been involved in firing on pro gaddafi troops heading for attacks.  Seems to me that everything we have put up there has been to remove air defense capabilities and his radio/communication capabilities.  For Jesus' sake people, you can't enforce a no fly zone when the guy shoots you down all the time.  We are removing everything he has to get that done with.  Did you guys really think that the EU and Russia could sell this guy the stuff they did and that nothing would have to be taken out (blown up) in order to have an enforceable No Fly?

    Don't you understand? (5.00 / 1) (#54)
    by jbindc on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 01:02:26 PM EST
    It's Sarkozy's war - not Obama's!

    It is Sarkozy's war (none / 0) (#55)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 01:06:24 PM EST
    and I welcome him to it.  Gotta say too, doing what we could early on simply out of humanitarian conscience means we have a place at this table too if anyone in the EU thinks they want to screw the little people of Libya over if the opportunity presents itself.

    Yeah (5.00 / 1) (#49)
    by Socraticsilence on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 12:31:35 PM EST
    and Iraq was preceded by a massive, military buildup- Libya wasn't.

    No it wasn't (none / 0) (#53)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 01:00:16 PM EST
    Well (none / 0) (#10)
    by lilburro on Mon Mar 21, 2011 at 08:46:02 PM EST
    if you take the POV that ABG does, which is not my point of view but that's fine, I think you need to wonder if there was a moment where the Dems dropped the ball.  During the election of 2008 Obama was the candidate that many people (but not all) people who were primarily concerned about the AUMF chose.  And yes we are slowly exiting Iraq but Clinton and Obama didn't really differ on that as a goal; for the people who chose Obama because he was against the Iraq War it was a moral thing as well (at least this is how I remember it, correct me if I'm wrong).  Obama had a moral authority that made him superior to Clinton and more suitable to change the course of the country.

    Aaaaaaaand three years later here we are.  There was no acknowledgment that Bushco were a band of war criminals who completely f*cked up our economy.  As I've said before I think not coming to terms with what they did, in terms of prosecution, or a Truth & Reconciliation Committee, is going to turn out to be a huge mistake when our next GOP President tries to waterboard everyone.

    I mean, Obama got Arlen Specter to switch parties at one point in time.  And here we are now.  I don't think this was the inevitable outcome.

    I fully expect us to be drawn into something (none / 0) (#15)
    by Anne on Mon Mar 21, 2011 at 09:58:36 PM EST
    much bigger in Libya than what has been described as being the limits of our mission; and I also expect more and more people to understand that "not as bad" is still bad, and that all we're getting from Democrats are what used to be readily identifiable as traditional Republican policies - which the traditional Democratic voter used to reject but the new Democratic voters have now decided they will be happy to get in place of crazy, Tea Party policies.  

    Mission accomplished by Republicans, who may be the real masters at 11-dimensional chess.

    And I don't see it that way at all (none / 0) (#26)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 05:42:08 AM EST
    We did not empower Gaddafi. jThe people who did, the people who gave him arms that would enable him to commit the genocide he will commit...already had underway, they are who is taking the lead and is responsible.  They have jets that compete with the best of ours.  They only needed the use of our Tomahawks to reduce loss of life.  We have done the right thing in a humantarian way.  From here on out we have nothing to add that they don't already have.  They have played very limited roles in "our problems" too, they are force strong and their resources have not been tapped or drained because of our problems.  There is no justification for us being pulled further in.

    In contrast (none / 0) (#17)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Mon Mar 21, 2011 at 10:03:56 PM EST

    Bush Had Twice as Many Coalition Partners in Iraq Than Obama Has in Libya

    Coalition Countries - Iraq - 2003

    Czech Republic
    El Salvador
    South Korea
    United Kingdom

    [Source: US State Department]

    Coalition - Libya - 2011

    United States
    United Kingdom
    United Arab Emirate

    Obama the unilateralist!


    Thats nice (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by Socraticsilence on Mon Mar 21, 2011 at 10:48:59 PM EST
    of course unlike Bush, Obama has a UN Security council endorsement and thus has the implicit support of the worlds largest and most influence IGO.

    Actually much like Bush (none / 0) (#30)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 08:21:07 AM EST
    both had Security Council resolutions (Bush several) that their detractors claimed were insufficient for the actions taken.

    ...the implicit support of the worlds largest and most influence IGO...

    Heh.  That and about three bucks will get you a cup of coffee at Starbucks.  Implicit support means no troops, no money, no planes, no tanks, of offer of exile to Khaddafi, no ships, and no thanks when it is all over.


    The claim about Bush was correct (none / 0) (#31)
    by Harry Saxon on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 08:50:15 AM EST
    and there were no WMD in Iraq, and Saddam didn't pose an immediate threat to the US, despite the warnings about 'mushroom clouds' being the 'smoking gun'.

    Bush never claimed an immediate threat (none / 0) (#33)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 09:10:40 AM EST

    He rejected that:

    Some have said we must not act until the threat is imminent. Since when have terrorists and tyrants announced their intentions, politely putting us on notice before they strike? If this threat is permitted to fully and suddenly emerge, all actions, all words, and all recriminations would come too late.


    ..The United States has long maintained the option of preemptive actions to counter a sufficient threat to our national security. The greater the threat, the greater is the risk of inaction- and the more compelling the case for taking anticipatory action to defend ourselves, even if uncertainty remains as to the time and place of the enemy's attack. To forestall or prevent such hostile acts by our adversaries, the United States will, if necessary, act preemptively.



    Sure he did (5.00 / 1) (#46)
    by Yman on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 11:25:26 AM EST
    And he had his spokesmen and cabinet members selling the immediate/imminent threat argument the whole time:

    "the Iraqi regime could launch a biological or chemical attack in as little as 45 minutes.." - GW Bush Sept. 26, 2002  

    Iraq was "the most dangerous threat of our time."  White House spokesman Scott McClellan, 7/17/03

    "Absolutely" - White House spokesman Ari Fleischer answering whether Iraq was an "imminent threat," 5/7/03

    "This is about imminent threat." - White House spokesman Scott McClellan, 2/10/03

    "Well, of course he is." -White House Communications Director Dan Bartlett responding to the question "is Saddam an imminent threat to U.S. interests, either in that part of the world or to Americans right here at home?", 1/26/03

    "The world is also uniting to answer the unique and urgent threat posed by Iraq whose dictator has already used weapons of mass destruction to kill thousands." - President Bush, 11/23/02

    "The Iraqi regime is a threat of unique urgency." - President Bush, 10/2/02

    "There's a grave threat in Iraq. There just is." - President Bush, 10/2/02

    "No terrorist state poses a greater or more immediate threat to the security of our people and the stability of the world than the regime of Saddam Hussein in Iraq." - Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, 9/19/02

        "Some have argued that the nuclear threat from Iraq is not imminent - that Saddam is at least 5-7 years away from having nuclear weapons. I would not be so certain. And we should be just as concerned about the immediate threat from biological weapons. Iraq has these weapons." - Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, 9/18/02

    Etc., etc., etc.


    So, Condi Rice didn't say this?: (none / 0) (#40)
    by Harry Saxon on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 09:38:13 AM EST

    The problem here is that there will always be some uncertainty about how quickly Saddam can acquire nuclear weapons. But we don't want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud.

    Click or Brainyquote Me

    And Colin Powell and her didn't say the following?:

    Exactly one year ago, Tony Blair told Parliament: "Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction programme is active, detailed and growing.

    "The policy of containment is not working. The weapons of mass destruction programme is not shut down. It is up and running now."

    Not only was every word of this false, it was part of a big lie invented in Washington within hours of the attacks of September 11 2001 and used to hoodwink the American public and distract the media from the real reason for attacking Iraq. "It was 95 per cent charade," a former senior CIA analyst told me.

    An investigation of files and archive film for my TV documentary Breaking The Silence, together with interviews with former intelligence officers and senior Bush officials have revealed that Bush and Blair knew all along that Saddam Hussein was effectively disarmed.

    Both Colin Powell, US Secretary of State, and Condoleezza Rice, President Bush's closest adviser, made clear before September 11 2001 that Saddam Hussein was no threat - to America, Europe or the Middle East.

    In Cairo, on February 24 2001, Powell said: "He (Saddam Hussein) has not developed any significant capability with respect to weapons of mass destruction. He is unable to project conventional power against his neighbours."

    This is the very opposite of what Bush and Blair said in public.

    Powell even boasted that it was the US policy of "containment" that had effectively disarmed the Iraqi dictator - again the very opposite of what Blair said time and again. On May 15 2001, Powell went further and said that Saddam Hussein had not been able to "build his military back up or to develop weapons of mass destruction" for "the last 10 years". America, he said, had been successful in keeping him "in a box".

    Two months later, Condoleezza Rice also described a weak, divided and militarily defenceless Iraq. "Saddam does not control the northern part of the country," she said. "We are able to keep his arms from him. His military forces have not been rebuilt."

    Click or Pilger Me


    None of this is in conflict (none / 0) (#42)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 10:08:58 AM EST

    Rice was clear that we can't be certain and Bush did not want to take the risk post 9-11.  Powell's statement before 9-11 is a bit irrelevant.  Saddam had a documented history of supporting terrorists that attacked Americans before 9-11.  Post 9-11 it was as clear as can be that terrorists can do significant damage regardless of any ones conventional or WMD capabilities.

    Thanks for reviving (none / 0) (#45)
    by Harry Saxon on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 10:52:21 AM EST
    the 2002-2003 talking points, but clearly, they didn't know what they were talking about when they made the case for war.

    Nice try. (none / 0) (#37)
    by getoffamycloud10 on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 09:35:02 AM EST
    It's up to the UN to enforce UN Resolutions. It's not up to the USA or any other nation to enforce them unilaterally.

    Moreover, this is a case of legitimate, sanctioned UN action seeking to put an end to the very activity the world has more than ample evidence Gaddafi's been engaging in for the past few weeks.

    There's no need to send Powell in to make a bogus presentation comprised of curve balls in the dirt, spitters and other trumped up evidence.

    Big difference.  



    Actually (none / 0) (#43)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 10:11:38 AM EST

    It's up to the UN to enforce UN Resolutions. It's not up to the USA or any other nation to enforce them unilaterally.

    It is up to member nations to enforce a no-fly resolution.  The UN does not have the means to enforce it.


    You do know (none / 0) (#51)
    by Socraticsilence on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 12:34:14 PM EST
    that the UN has only a small peacekeeping force and no real military wing right? That the Black Helicopters are just a paranoid delusion?

    Qatar is showing with Jets (none / 0) (#27)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 05:44:53 AM EST
    not just workers looking to steal logistic info and technology :)  HUGE DIFFERENCE!  And we aren't leading on this, sorry but Libya is not our problems.  We did not create the problem that Gaddafi poses, he is not ours to fix.

    Wishful thinking abounds (none / 0) (#36)
    by TJBuff on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 09:27:21 AM EST
    Given that the Teabaggers are mostly the same-old same-old GOP base, and the GOP base has always come home for Presidential elections, assuming the Republican candidate will be a unelectable nutcase seems is a trifle unsupportable.  It's going to be someone the big money boyz like, the base will discover they like him, and whoever it is is going to have a pile of cash the size of the Taj Mahal.  And Obama is going to have a crap economy, a base inspired by "we suck less the the GOP", and his lusted after GOP-leaning independents who aren't going to be turned off like they were with McCain.  Looks like a toss-up to me.

    No racists no reagan. (none / 0) (#38)
    by getoffamycloud10 on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 09:36:07 AM EST
    No bigots no bush.

    No morons, no mama grizzlies. (none / 0) (#41)
    by Buckeye on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 10:06:16 AM EST
    SITE VIOLATOR (none / 0) (#57)
    by jbindc on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 01:37:57 PM EST