Saturday, August 27, 2011

0 For 2

29 Democratic Senators voted in favor of the Iraq War authorization. I ask you here - how could this have ever happened? My theory pertaining to it is that they were simply being weasels. They all (or most of them anyway) guessed wrong on the first Gulf War and they simply didn't want to be seen as "weak on defense" again............................................................................................I mean, sure, the Bush administration wasn't exactly forthright in terms of the intelligence (this, though it also must be stated that the Senate itself was privy to the same NIE - the idiots just didn't bother to read it), etc. but, come on, to have given this neophyte and mediocre intellect out Texas a blank check was absolutely insane.............................................................................................a) These Senators should have known that Iraq constituted a multi-ethnic country, replete with copious amounts of ancient hatred on the verge of bubbling over. And b) they also should have known that, no matter how much of an SOB that Mr. Hussein was (and, clearly, he was), he was also the only significant counter-balance to Iran (you remember them, right, the second member of the Axis of Evil?). The way that I see it, peeps, if the administration wanted an authorization to take out any Iraqi WMD (if in fact they existed, I'm saying), fine, that would have been an appropriate vote. But for these folks to have given Mr. Bush an open authorization to also engage in regime-change, nation-building, and counter-insurgency, that, me-buckos, was absolute insanity. And, yes, the 29 Democrats and 48 Republicans who voted to do so should forever be ashamed of themselves.

36 comments:

Jerry Critter said...

You're asking for politicians to have shame? Not in this world.

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

You're right. And they (Obama included) never seem to learn from history, do they?

John Myste said...

They voted for the invasion if Saddam Hussein would not comply with U.N. resolutions, the final one being this one: “United Nations Security Council Resolution 1441.”

That resolution was unanimously ratified. Bush strongly implied that we would use military force if Saddam did not comply with the terms of the unanimous resolution and let the weapons inspectors in.

Whether he had WMD's was completely irrelevant, and should have been. Not only that, but to make things worse for Saddam, the nation was gun shy, having had several very big guns go off very recently. Saddam’s was not charged with having WMD’s. He was charged with having had them and then refusing to allow anyone to check if he resumed the program. We all know he was guilty of those things. It is not in dispute.

America and the world had every reason to expect that he did have WMDs, as he had them previously when he would not allow anyone to make inspections.

The "justification" for the war was clear. If Saddam did not allow the weapon's inspectors in to check if he was STILL producing WMDs, then we would invade. All he had to do to stop the invasion was to allow the inspectors in. Bush said we would not invade if Saddam agreed, and Bush could not have gone back on his word.

I was against the war at the time, primarily because the U.N. was still talking about the alternative of more sanctions. However, I am not sure I would be against it now. This specific law was very important and the U.N. was failing to enforce it.

John Myste said...

The question of removing Saddam from power, of course, is completely different. I mostly answered a question you didn't ask, I suppose.

w-dervish said...

Will: ...the 29 Democrats and 48 Republicans who voted to do so should forever be ashamed of themselves.

I disagree. The Republicans should be ashamed, but the Democrats should not (at least not for the reasons you believe they should be).

According to Hillary Clinton "the 2002 resolution for which [she] and a majority of her congressional colleagues voted gave the president the authority to go to war against Iraq... was not... a congressional declaration of war or a directive to the president to launch an invasion.

Although acknowledging that the vote for the resolution could lead to war, Clinton has noted herself that a vote for the resolution was not a vote for war".

Clinton says the White House told her a YES vote would be used to pressure Iraq to agree to "complete, unlimited inspections". Furthermore, Clinton said, "she did not view her support for the measure as a vote for any new doctrine of pre-emption or for unilateralism".

Before voting in favor of the resolution Clinton said, "even though the resolution before the Senate is not as strong as I would like in requiring the diplomatic route first and placing highest priority on a simple, clear requirement for unlimited inspections, I take the President at his word that he will try hard to pass a United Nations resolution and seek to avoid war, if possible. Because bipartisan support for this resolution makes success in the United Nations more likely and war less likely..."

What she should be "ashamed" of is believing George bush. Clearly she was totally wrong about her YES vote making war less likely.

John Myste: All he had to do to stop the invasion was to allow the inspectors in.

Which Saddam did. bush ordered the illegal invasion of Iraq on 3/20/2003. A 3/17/2003 USA Today article says, "U.S advises weapons inspectors to leave Iraq".

According to the article, "In the clearest sign yet that war with Iraq is imminent, the United States has advised U.N. weapons inspectors to begin pulling out of Baghdad..."

So, according to your own comment the war was not justified... because Saddam had already allowed the weapon's inspectors in to check if he was STILL producing WMDs.

John Myste said...

WD,

So, according to your own comment the war was not justified... because Saddam had already allowed the weapon's inspectors in to check if he was STILL producing WMDs.

If that is true, and in fact he was allowing them in, then the invasion was a sham.

One has to wonder why Saddam didn't point this out and end the whole thing.

Jerry Critter said...

Oh, come on John.

Saddam says "Hey, U.S. I have let the inspectors in." Then Bush says, "You're right. You have. Sorry, my bad." And he pulls the troops outs and ends the whole thing.

Is that what you think would have happened if Saddam had pointed out that he let in the inspectors?

John Myste said...

Saddam says "Hey, U.S. I have let the inspectors in." Then Bush says, "You're right. You have. Sorry, my bad." And he pulls the troops outs and ends the whole thing.

The suggestion is as absurd as you intended it to be.

During the day after day of pleading with him to disarm, Saddam could have handled this, obviously, prior to the invasion. Try not to be so silly. That was just a ridiculous misinterpretation.

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

"According to Hillary" LOL My God, wd, what do you expect her to say, "I screwed up"? You know as well as I do that, if the war had gone better, the lady would have been patting herself on the back till the cows came home. She (and Kerry and Biden) knew exactly what they were voting for. These idiots gave President Bush a blank check and it totally blew up in their faces. Period.

Jerry Critter said...

I'm not so sure Saddam could handle it. Bush and Co. was dead set on invasion...even before 9/11 according to some reports.

John Myste said...

Mr. Critter,

I have seen those reports also, lots of them, and I suspect they are dead on accurate.

However, I cannot indict Bush on charges that he would have offered an illegitimate justification for invasion if he had not had a legitimate one.

I despise Bush and would like to make the claim, but it just seems weak to me.

He repeatedly said: Let the inspectors in or else. If Saddam had let the inspectors in, his justification would have been gone. He could have made up another one, and then it would have been up for debate. However, the one he used was not made up so far as I know.

I think that's why democrats approved it.

Long after the fact, the story was reworked into "Bush invaded Iraq to remove WMDs that were not there." Bush mostly went along with the story, like the dumb ass that he was.

He invaded Iraq because Saddam said no when he said to comply with U.N. Resolution 1441 (or at least that was the justification he used).

Remember, a justification is not necessarily a reason, but we don't yet have thought police in this nation, so we have to address the justifications.

Jerry Critter said...

I guess I am missing your point. Saddam did let the inspectors in.

John Myste said...

I made my point in the prior comment, not the last one, the one where I told you the way Saddam repeatedly had an out.

I will agree that you are missing my point, and end it at that.

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

This is a perfect example of why I like you, John. You're unpredictable. Unlike most progressives on the left and extremists on the right, you often try to see nuance/shades of gray/analyze issues unconventionally. I like to think that I do it, too. You just do it better.......Oh, and, just for the record here, I wasn't opposed to military action per se. If in fact there were WMD, I would have no qualms about blowing them to smithereens, or even smacking Saddam around a bit. My issue was with the occupation, the nation-building, the counter-insurgency, the regime-change, etc.. Those are the types of things that tend to get us into quagmires most often.

John Myste said...

My issue was with the occupation, the nation-building, the counter-insurgency, the regime-change, etc.. Those are the types of things that tend to get us into quagmires most often.

Agreed. Those things are imperialist acts (not to suggest they are good or bad. I just want to put them into perspective).

To the degree, if any, America would be justified in imperialism is secondary to the fact that it is a luxury we cannot afford and the opportunity cost of imperialism in America is VERY high.

dmarks said...

Jerry said: "Is that what you think would have happened if Saddam had pointed out that he let in the inspectors?"

But that's alternate history. It didn't happen. Saddam was STILL blocking inspections. A decade after they should have been done and over.

dmarks said...

WD said: "Which Saddam did. bush ordered the illegal invasion of Iraq on 3/20/2003"

The retaliation against Saddam's was quite legal.

One thing about John. He despises Bush, but I don't see him making up stuff like you do just for the hell of it.

Also, Saddam did not allow the inspections. Read the Blix report from the month before. Hans Blix noticed improved compliance, but Saddam was still blocking inspections. Which was one of the many significant violations of the cease fire. Promoting terrorism and attacking peacekeeping patrols were other examples

w-dervish said...

John Myste: I will agree that you are missing my point, and end it at that.

I don't get your "point" either. Saddam let the inspectors in. We had already gone to war once with his country, so I doubt he thought we wouldn't be willing to do it again. I don't know how anyone can doubt he would not have done absolutely ANYTHING to appease the bush administration. The war was completely unnecessary.

dmarks: but I don't see him making up stuff like you do just for the hell of it.

dmarks, you are LYING. I haven't made anything up. We've had this discussion before and I provided sources. You may believe my sources are wrong, and that I'm wrong for believing them, but NOT ONCE did I ever make anything up.

And I am definitely not saying anything "for the hell of it". If I say it -- you can be sure I believe it. I have NEVER, nor will I ever, make stuff up just for the hell of it.

But, whatever... why do you think anyone should take you seriously when you contradict yourself in your own comment? First you say, "Saddam did not allow the inspections", but then, just ONE sentence later, you say, "Hans Blix noticed improved compliance".

So Saddam was blocking inspections at the same time he was complying????

John Myste said...

I don't get your "point" either. Saddam let the inspectors in.

Dervish,

What I remember is Bush repeatedly saying to allow the inspectors in or we will take further action. He said if they allowed the inspectors in, he would “stand down.” The U.N. said we should keep applying more sanctions. Is it your contention that A. Saddam did let the inspectors in and he complied with U.N. Resolution 1441 after the U.N. invoked their sanctions and then weeks later, before the U.S. invaded?

If that is the case, why didn’t the U.N. lift the sanctions? Why didn’t they know about this? Also, what are you saying Bush’s justifications was for invading at this point? Is it your contention that the inspectors claimed to have found the weapons? It is instead y our contention that Saddam let the inspectors in, but then did not protest with the continued threats of invasion from the U.S. and the continued sanctions from the U.N.?

Make your position clear. Do not say that at some point there were inspectors. We know this. That is, in fact what U.N. Resolution 1441 was all about. They were NO LONGER allowed in.

Explain in explicit detail which of the above assumptions you have, so I can get caught up.

The “truth” you seem to be suggesting is implausible. A nation is suffering oppressive sanctions, passed with a unanimous vote of every U.N. nation and also imminent threat of invasion because they will not comply with a resolution, and they are actually in compliance. The nation intending to invade keeps claiming that they must comply or the invasion will happen. At no point to do they simply say: “we are in compliance. Come on in.” Are you suggesting that Saddam did not have the U.N.’s telephone number?

w-dervish said...

Will: You know as well as I do that, if the war had gone better, the lady would have been patting herself on the back till the cows came home.

No, I do not know that.

Will: She (and Kerry and Biden) knew exactly what they were voting for.

Josh Marshall, writing for Talking Points Memo on 8/14/2004 said, "Voting for the war resolution was not remotely the same thing as going to war at the first possible opportunity".

I agree with Josh Marshall and strongly disagree with you that Clinton, Kerry and Biden were lying about why they voted YES. They weren't lying, the bush administration was lying.

Will: These idiots gave President Bush a blank check and it totally blew up in their faces.

Yes, I agree with you on that.

Will: Period.

No, not "period".

dmarks: The retaliation against Saddam's was quite legal.

No, it was not. As explained by the World Press Review...

The international legal rules governing the use of force take as their starting point Article 2(4) of the U.N. Charter, which prohibits any nation from using force against another.

The charter allows for only two exceptions to this rule: when force is required in self-defense (Article 51) or when the Security Council authorizes the use of force to protect international peace and security (Chapter VII).


According to the bush doctrine, war with Iraq would be "pre-emptive self-defense".

However, as pointed out by the World Press Review...

...the notion of pre-emptive self-defense is not mentioned in Article 51 of the U.N. Charter and is therefore illegal under international law. Moreover, some have noted, Article 51 allows for self-defense "until the Security Council has taken measures necessary to maintain international peace and security". This suggests that the right to self-defense exists only when there is no time to take the issue before the Security Council, and that if there is time for deliberation, the use of force is not justified.

The invasion of Iraq as VERY CLEARLY ILLEGAL under international law. Deny it all you like, dmarks, but NOTHING will change this FACT.

John Myste said...

Will: Period.

No, not "period".


Ahahahahahaha. Sorry, Will, but it was funny.

w-dervish said...

John Myste: What I remember is Bush repeatedly saying to allow the inspectors in or we will take further action. He said if they allowed the inspectors in, he would "stand down".

bush was lying.

John Myste: Is it your contention that Saddam did let the inspectors in and he complied with U.N. Resolution 1441...

According to the Iraq disarmament timeline 1990–2003 on Wikipedia...

On 4/6/1991, Iraq accepted UN Resolution 687 which, "called for the destruction, or removal of all chemical and biological weapons..." etc..

During this period of time Saddam resisted and tried to hide things, but virtually all of the WMDs possessed by Iraq were destroyed. The inspections were largely successful.

However... Saddam was hoping that the inspectors would eventually leave and he could resume his WMD program.

Which is why, on 12/19/1998, the "Iraqi vice-president Taha Yassin Ramadan announces that Iraq will no longer cooperate and declares that United Nations Special Commission mission is over".

But we kept the pressure on, and on 8/2/2002, "In a letter to the UN Secretary General, Iraq invites Hans Blix to Iraq for discussions on remaining disarmament issues".

Finally, on 11/13/2002, "Iraq accepts U.N. Security Council Resolution 1441 and informs the UN that it will abide by the resolution [and] Weapons inspectors arrive in Baghdad again after a four-year absence".

The inspectors had been in Iraq for 4 months when bush advised them to leave on 3/17/2003... which was 3 days before the illegal invasion.

John Myste: If that is the case, why didn't the U.N. lift the sanctions? Why didn't they know about this?

Because on 1/27/2003 the "Chairmen of the inspections effort report to the UN Security Council that, while Iraq has provided some access to facilities, concerns remain regarding undeclared material; inability to interview Iraqi scientists; inability to deploy aerial surveillance during inspections; and harassment of weapons inspectors".

Obviously they knew about it.

John Myste: Also, what are you saying bush's justifications was for invading at this point?

The report issued on 1/27/2003. Although, on 2/17/2003 Hans Blix said "Iraq appears to be making fresh efforts to cooperate with U.N. teams hunting weapons of mass destruction..."

John Myste: It is instead your contention that Saddam let the inspectors in, but then did not protest with the continued threats of invasion from the U.S...

YES to the first question and NO to the second. He protested.

John Myste: The "truth" you seem to be suggesting is implausible... At no point do they simply say: "we are in compliance. Come on in".

That is exactly what they said. What is implausible is Saddam wanting to go to war with the US. Are you suggesting that Saddam thought we wouldn't invade? Even though we had already engaged them once before?

Iraq was complying, even if very reluctantly. I'm not suggesting this is the truth, I'm stating that it is a FACT. In any case, the war was illegal under international law (as I explained in my prior post).

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

wd, Biden, Kerry, and Clinton were all going to run for President (in either 2004 or 2008). A no vote for authorization they feared would have harmed their military/foreign policy bonifides. And so they shamelessly and moronically decided to give an inexperienced President what amounted to as a blank check. Anybody with even an iota a cerebrum knew where this vote could lead to. That's why 23 intelligent Senators voted against it. Hello!! And do you even remember Kerry's idiotic double talk during the 2004 campaign; "I voted for the 87 billion....." My Christ, I even remember Chris Matthews saying that Mr. Kerry was talking nonsensically. You were wrong, Mr. Kerry. You were stupid, cynical, and WRONG. Be a man and admit it, for Christ.

John Myste said...

Dervish,


After reading your response, I do kind of remember this dispute. You have proven these points:


1. The war was illegal. I agree with that, but you did prove it. The U.N. wanted more sanctions, not war.


2. The weapons inspectors were allowed on the ground in Iraq.


Here is what you have not proven:


1. You did not prove that Bush lied about the war or used as his justification the “fact” that Saddam had weapons. He stated that he was going to disarm Bush repeatedly. However, he used lack of compliance, not arms possession, as his justification. I will amend my statement to be that the demand was compliance with U.N. Resolution 1441, which was the actual demand and I misrepresented Bush when I stated otherwise.



2. You did not prove that Saddam complied with U.N. Resolution 1441. I think you basically suggested he did not, as the resolution is very clear:



This is from bullet point 3 of the list of demands:


Iraq shall provide UNMOVIC and the IAEA immediate, unimpeded, unconditional, and unrestricted access to any and all, including underground, areas, facilities, buildings, equipment, records, and means of transport which they wish to inspect, as well as immediate, unimpeded, unrestricted, and private access to all officials and other persons whom UNMOVIC or the IAEA wish to interview in the mode or location of UNMOVIC’s or the IAEA’s choice pursuant to any aspect of their mandates



He did not fully comply with the resolution, but he did take action because of it. This, as you noted, I believe, was the justification for the war (if not the reason).



However, you proved enough of your case, that if I were an objective moderator, I would give the debate to you, hands down, and with it, the Golden Bush Trophy.



Good game, sir.


References:


U.N. Security Council Resolution 1441


Solitary Thoughts: If only Saddam had complied with the U.N. Resolution, maybe we wouldn’t be having this conversation at all , hmm.

dmarks said...

WD: "The invasion of Iraq as VERY CLEARLY ILLEGAL under international law. Deny it all you like, dmarks, but NOTHING will change this FACT."

A lie repeated again and again in all caps does not make it a fact. No evidence of any crime, no charges, no illegality. Sorry, cranks with law degrees who get laughed out of the courtroom don't count for anything.

And your favorite crank who has slandered Bush has gone recently gone to bat to protect Ghadaffi.

Even your own armchair lawyering falls apart: "The charter allows for only two exceptions to this rule: when force is required in self-defense"

Saddam Hussein ordered hundreds of attacks on peacekeepers in the now fly zones. Each one an act of war. Each one a significant violation of the cease fire. And each one makes fighting back against the aggressors a reasonable response. That's self defense.

Regardless, we are both armchair attorneys. At least I admit it.

And in the real world, the hairbrained charges of "illegal" war got no traction with actual authorities. Actual experienced people involved with this. The people who weren't cranks, weren't armchair attorneys, ignored it.

John Myste said...

I agree with Will on this one. I was on the fence until I saw the CAPS.

DMarks, what would have made the war illegal in your world?

Just curious. It seems odd that you deny this. There are CAPS everywhere. Oh and the proof is also convincing, though not as convincing as the caps.

w-dervish said...

Jim Myste: You did not prove that Saddam complied with U.N. Resolution 144. I think you basically suggested he did not, as the resolution is very clear.

I didn't attempt to prove that.

A couple of points:

[1] Hans Blix said "Iraq appears to be making fresh efforts to cooperate with U.N. teams hunting weapons of mass destruction..."

[2] Apparently Hans Blix was at least somewhat satisified with Iraq's efforts. Otherwise he might have said that they were making fresh efforts but it wasn't good enough.

He didn't say that, which implies to me he believed the inspections should continue.

[3] Since this was a UN resolution it was up to the UN to decide what to do if Iraq wasn't complying, not the United States.

[4] Because of this (point 3) the United States couldn't claim Resolution 144 as a justification for going to war. This was the UN's resolution. The UN did not authorize the US to enforce it.

I'm going to ignore dmarks' comment. He's full of shit and doesn't know what the hell he's talking about. Aruging with him is a waste of time.

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

I do (DO) overcap sometimes, John. I admit it (an important first step, no?).

w-dervish said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
John Myste said...

[4] Because of this (point 3) the United States couldn't claim Resolution 144 as a justification for going to war.

Not only could they, but they did, which was my original point. People always try to pretend Bush used some other justification, which simply is not true.

The illegality of the war is a separate question, as a good many in the the U.S. supported it and the U.N. understood, though they did not approve for obvious reasons. I am not defending the legality of the war. I am merely trying to correct the false accusations against my president.

Also, usually once someone concedes victory to you, it is wise to stop debating. I rarely concede a debate.

In sales training the first thing they tell you is to stop selling once the target agrees to make the purchase. Every subsequent word is an opportunity to talk them into changing their mind.

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

He cannot help himself, John.

w-dervish said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

Dude swears.

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

Film at 11.

John Myste said...

Dervish,

I wish you would chill with the "FUCK OFF" and anger. I really like your presence on this site and I have a lot of respect for you opinion.

It is a shame you are acting like a maniac. You serve the site well.

I know, I can "FUCK OFF" also. Let's all save our aggression for passionate discussion, eh?

Fucking off now.

w-dervish said...

John Myste: It is a shame you are acting like a maniac.

I'm not "acting like a maniac". I'm tired of being condescended to (I'm crazy) by Will and having my political point of view belittled (it's "cartoon like"). He can disagree while keeping the hubris to a minimum.

Usually he does (keep it to a minimum), but I guess he's decided that's over. If so I think it might be time for me to move on.