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Sunday, January 27, 2008

For Those Inclined To Vote DEMOCRAT for President

(this is OT but since "anti-Iraq-war" and "anti-Republican" go hand-in-hand...)

[UPDATE: We hear from a Democrat voter and appended that conversation below]

Really, Democrat voters, you will be amused by reading to the end of this, even if you have to skip everything else and jump to the final two quote blocks.

Perhaps a Johns Hopkins University Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies professor and co-founder of the Association for the Study of the Middle East and Africa can't be dissed or dismissed by Democrat candidates or voters as "lying to the American public" for writing this.


After you read Dr. Fouad Ajami's essay above, try googling the phrase, "lying to the American public." It produces as its first hit "Bush Lies..." and its third a video called "Bush lying to the American public." #4 is " - Is lying about the reason for a war an impeachable offense" and #5 is "Impeach Bush - Iraq Lies."

It's ironic how many still ignore certain facts. It's ironic that exactly a year ago, on January 27, 2007, we posted this quote by The Chicago Tribune that had been published after extensive journalistic research a year before that, in December 2005.
"After reassessing the administration's nine arguments for war, we do not see the conspiracy to mislead that many critics allege...We also know that, as early as 1997, U.S. intel agencies began repeatedly warning the Clinton White House that Iraq, with fissile material from a foreign source, could have a crude nuclear bomb within a year...Hussein didn't have illicit weapons stockpiles to wield or hand to terrorists. Subsequent investigations have concluded he had the means and intent to rekindle those programs as soon as he escaped UN sanctions." (emphasis added)

(While The Chicago Tribune has taken down that article, the first page is still in Google's cache as of January 27, 2008, and they consolidated the series that was comprised in that article in this links page entitled "The Road To War.")
Five years ago, in January 2003, this is what Dr. Fouad Ajami wrote about the imminent Iraq War in his essay in Foreign Affairs entitled "Iraq and the Arabs' Future"
There should be no illusions about the sort of Arab landscape that America is destined to find if, or when, it embarks on a war against the Iraqi regime. There would be no "hearts and minds" to be won in the Arab world, no public diplomacy that would convince the overwhelming majority of Arabs that this war would be a just war. An American expedition in the wake of thwarted UN inspections would be seen by the vast majority of Arabs as an imperial reach into their world, a favor to Israel, or a way for the United States to secure control over Iraq's oil. No hearing would be given to the great foreign power.

America ought to be able to live with this distrust and discount a good deal of this anti-Americanism as the "road rage" of a thwarted Arab world -- the congenital condition of a culture yet to take full responsibility for its self-inflicted wounds. There is no need to pay excessive deference to the political pieties and givens of the region. Indeed, this is one of those settings where a reforming foreign power's simpler guidelines offer a better way than the region's age-old prohibitions and defects.
But you know that most liberal Democrats who happened upon this post probably didn't read this far, never mind read Dr. Ajami's current essay.

I guess if JFK can call our having 1,933 more missiles than Soviet Russia a "missile gap" that must be closed, then nothing has really changed except the parties have been flipped. I dare anyone to tell me this doesn't sound familiar. It's an interview with Robert McNamara, Secretary of Defense for Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson:
[A] major element of the election campaign that President Kennedy had just won was the charge by the Democrats, including President Kennedy, that Eisenhower had left a missile gap; that the Soviets had been permitted, by inaction on the part of the U.S., to build up a superior nuclear missile force.

So clearly my first responsibility as Secretary of Defense was to determine the degree of the gap and initiate action to close it. So my deputy Ros[well] Gilpatric and I immediately began to work on that, on January 21st, 1961. And it took us about three weeks to determine [that] yes, there was a gap. But the gap was in our favor. It was a totally erroneous charge that Eisenhower had allowed the Soviets to develop a missile force superior to the U.S.

Now how did it come about? Was President Kennedy lying? No. The problem was that, at that time, there was no unity in our intelligence service. The CIA presented one report of Soviet versus U.S. forces, the Air Force presented another. And the Air Force report -- and it was not deliberate lying on their part, don't misunderstand me -- the Air Force report stated that the Soviet force was superior. That report was leaked to a former Secretary of the Air Force, Senator Symington, who leaked it to President Kennedy. Kennedy, believing he was speaking the truth, put that forward as a campaign charge against Eisenhower. It was totally erroneous and took me about three weeks to learn that and then to my great embarrassment then and today, I presented this to the press at the request of my Press Secretary in a way that I thought would simply inform our public of the truth. Instead, it led -- you won't believe this -- it led, the next day, to Senator Dirksen, the Republican minority leader of the Senate, charging the election had been a fraud and asking it be re-run! (laughs) It was a terrible situation! ...
Change a few names, a few phrases and Voilà! History repeats itself in payback mode!
[A] major element of the [run-up to the Iraq War] was the charge by the [Republicans], including President [Bush] that [President Clinton] had left a [serious threat in place]; that [Saddam Hussein] had been permitted, by inaction on the part of the U.S., to build up [Weapons of Mass Destruction, including a nuclear] missile force.

It was a totally erroneous charge that [Hussein currently had working, deployable WMDs in Iraq].

Now how did it come about? Was President Bush lying? No. The problem was that, at that time, there was no unity in our intelligence service. The CIA presented one report, the [foreign intelligence services] presented another. And the [foreign intelligence services] -- and it was not deliberate lying on their part, don't misunderstand me -- the [foreign intelligence services] stated that ["Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa."] [Bush], believing he was speaking the truth, put that forward as a [justification for war]. It was totally erroneous and then to my great embarrassment then and today, I presented this to the press in a way that I thought would simply inform our public of the truth. Instead, it led -- you won't believe this -- it led, the next day, to [the Senate Intelligence Committee and every last Democratic Senator] charging that [Bush/Cheney had perpetrated] fraud and it also led to [every liberal Democrat voter demanding that Bush be impeached!] (laughs) It was a terrible situation! ...
Amazing, isn't it?

JFK The Democrat is so Innocent and Honest yet GWB The Republican is sooooo Guilty and "A Liar"? Isn't it amazing how that works?


This was an interesting exchange in response that really highlighted the exact problem I wrote of in this post
I read the entire post all the way through to the end, and the last two comment blocks are specious comparisons at best.

Item 1 - Bush, believing he was speaking the truth, allowed impartial parties (UN inspectors) to search for proof of what turned out to be fairly unsubstantiated facts. The impartial parties found nothing. Bush STILL went to war. A mistake is only a mistake when you don't know what you're doing.

Item 2 - Bush only "presented" information to the press and "informed the public" after an outcry. And even then, he and his party members constantly gave conflicting information. Bush *specifically* said that based on the information they had, there was "NO DOUBT that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction" - this despite intelligence to the contrary ( 06/bush_wmd/index1.html)

You know what really baffles me? I can acknowledge and admit where my candidate's failings are. I am not so blind that I can't see that Hilary's playing the 'female' card, and Obama's playing the 'black' card, and Edwards doesn't have any cards to play.

But I have yet to encounter a Republican who can admit that Bush lied. Not even a Republican who can say, "Well, even though I supported and still support the war, Bush did lie about a lot of stuff."

Bush is guilty of lying. In the every day world, lying might not be so bad. But in the global community, when war and lives are at stake, lying is unforgivable.
mboyer | 01.28.08 - 3:31 pm | #


Welcome, mboyer and thanks for chiming in. Just a couple thoughts:

mboyer said: "The impartial parties found nothing."
Sounds like you didn't read the Chicago Trib's pieces at all, then.

So... you dismiss all their findings, and those of those middle east experts, as well as the NYT saying that "experts" said Hussein could have been as little as a year away from being nuclear-weapon capable...

You dismiss David Kay, the first head of the Iraq Survey Group which conducted the search for Saddam's WMD, who "told a British newspaper there was evidence unspecified materials had been moved to Syria from Iraq shortly before the war.

"'We know from some of the interrogations of former Iraqi officials that a lot of material went to Syria before the war, including some components of Saddam's WMD program," Mr. Kay told the Sunday Telegraph."

You dismiss "Retired Air Force Lt. Gen. James Clapper, head of the National Imagery and Mapping Agency, [who] said vehicle traffic photographed by U.S. spy satellites indicated that material and documents related to the arms programs were shipped to Syria."

And you dismiss Charles Duelfer's own addendum to his final report as subsequent head of the Iraq Survey Group, who said he couldn't rule out a transfer of WMD from Iraq to Syria. Or that the ISG "learned that Iraqi intelligence operated five biological laboratories until the start of [Operation Iraqi Freedom]."

CONGRESS also allowed going to war, in fact even urged it on, but those facts are ignored in your opinion statements.

Contrary to your belief that Bush is an idiot ("[doesn't] know what [he's] doing), a mistake is ALSO a mistake if the intel isn't dead on to begin with.

My point in the post exactly.

mboyer said: "Bush is guilty of lying. In the every day world, lying might not be so bad. But in the global community, when war and lives are at stake, lying is unforgivable."
If Bush lied, then so did Bill Clinton, Madeline Albright, and a whole host of Democratic politicians.

Even if you could prove Bush lied about the lead up to the war, which has not been done by you or by objective, unbiased parties, allow me to add this:

Ted Kennedy is guilty of lying--about Chappaquiddick, about not telling the police about the accident until Kopechne's body was discovered by police in his car at least 7 hours later. In the every day world, lying WAS so bad then as it is now, because even in the everyday world, it can and does involve lives being at stake and is unforgivable.

You know what really baffles me? I CAN acknowledge and admit where my candidate's failings are. Bush shouldn't have been so naive about foreign affairs, shouldn't have let Rumsfeld/Cheney have so much free rein. He shouldn't have allowed the crew of the USS Abraham Lincoln to request a banner for Bush's May 1, 2003 appearance which read "MISSION ACCOMPLISHED" and was meant by the carrier's personnel (I have it on the word of one of the personnel's parents, no less) to refer only to that carrier's specific mission in their helping reach the end of the major combat/initial invasion phase. Go read the actual speech. Nowhere, ever, does Bush say or imply that the war was over. A mission is just that: a mission. It is not the entire war effort. Any soldier knows that. What he said to U.S. troops in Qatar on June 5, 2003 was: "America sent you on a mission to remove a grave threat [Hussein] and to liberate an oppressed people [from that threat], and that mission has been accomplished." He said nothing about the entire "effort to safeguard/rebuild/help democratize" already being acomplished!

But I have yet to encounter a Democrat or liberal who can admit that Ted Kennedy lied. (Or Bill and Hillary Clinton for that matter, but that's for some other time)

Not even a Democrat who can say, "Well, even though I supported and still support the liberal agenda, Kennedy should have called for rescue at the first house of the four houses he had to walk past on the shore of that pond he left MaryJo Kopechne drowning in. Kennedy did lie about a lot of that night."

Annie Banno | Homepage | 01.29.08 - 11:09 pm | #


mboyer, any reply?
Annie Banno | Homepage | 02.04.08 - 12:26 pm | #

It's now Feb. 25, and we haven't heard back from mboyer.
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