The War in Iraq

Ok. Since I've got some years to catch up on not having blogged, here are some media points about the Iraq War, and why they're just plain stupid:

1. "He betrayed this country! He played on our fears!" - Al Gore. During the 2004 presidential campaign.

Now. As it's been awhile since this was said, Google isn't giving me too much to go on about a specific source for the quote. But suffice it to say that if George W. Bush had really betrayed this country, the media would have been on him like flies on shit and called for his immediate impeachment. There would have been hearings, it would have been a circus. In order for him to betray us, he would in fact need to be a traitor. Which by definition means he would have had to be aiding and abetting the enemies of the United States. Somehow I doubt anyone with any sense has the evidence to back this up. But, Al Gore did say it.

2. "He concocted a war for political gain." - Ted Kennedy. During the 2004 presidential campaign.

I don't know about you, but this position is laughable at best. You don't take the country head first into the snake pit of the Middle East hoping to make political gains from it. As it turns out, there was no political gain from it at all. Bush may have won in 2004 but his reputation has been maligned and smeared since the war resumed in 2003. As the liberals are often fond of pointing out, our allies throughout the world were opposed to an invasion. The media has led an unrelenting wave of character attacks against Bush, calling him things like "chimp", and "drinky McStupid". Republicans lost control of the House and Senate in November of 2006. No. I hardly think you could make the case that the war was made up for political gain.

3. Bush "targeted civilians for assassination." - Dennis Kucinich(?). During the 2004 presidential campaign.

This quote is somewhat ambiguous, but is often attributed to Dennis Kucinich. One of the more radical among the left wing nutjobs out there. It is unclear to me whether he was referring to some vast conspiracy to kill random civilians in Iraq, or if he was referring to an even more heinous conspiracy here at home to kill off vocal anti-war protesters.

4. "He knew about 911 ahead of time." - Howard Dean. During the 2004 presidential campaign.

This was a gross over generalization by Sean Hannity about something Howard Dean actually did say:
"The most interesting theory that I've heard so far -- which is nothing more than a theory, it can't be proved -- is that he was warned ahead of time by the Saudis." Regardless of which version of it you go by, if Bush knew about 911 ahead of time and did absolutely nothing about it, there would be evidence to back this up and he'd be on trial for impeachment. The mere suggestion of it by Dean is just absurd.

5. The war in Iraq is an illegal invasion. - Various press agencies since March 2003.

I hate to break it to you guys, but the Constitution only says that "Congress shall have the power to declare war." but does not lay out in any specific language what is required to satisfy this declaration. Legal precedent has been made already that a Congressional "authorization to use military force" is sufficient to qualify as a declaration of war. There is no legal requirement that it be formally written down and declared against the specific nation. On January 12, 1991 Congress authorized use of force against Iraq to repel Saddam's invasion of Kuwait. This war never had a formal peace treaty drawn up. Only a cease fire imposed by the United Nations on April 3, 1991. The United Nations has no legal authority to say when a sovereign nation is no longer at war with its enemies. So for all practical purposes we have in fact been at war with Iraq for 16 years. Further, even though it was not required, George W. Bush went before Congress and got a second authorization to use military force to invade Iraq. Saddam violated the terms of the cease fire and as a result we simply resumed hostilities against him. Which led to his removal from power a few weeks later, and ultimately to his execution for crimes against humanity.

6. The war in Iraq is all about oil. - The left wing lunatic media.

The supposed logic behind this one is that we invaded Iraq not because of the WMDs, not to liberate the people as per the terms of the Iraq Liberation Act of 1998, not to remove a genocidal evil dictator from power... no... it was to steal their oil for the sole purpose of inflating Bush's pockets with oil revenue, while forcing the Saudis to bring down crude oil prices. If all we truly wanted was their oil, all we had to do was call up Saddam and ask him to sell us some dirt cheap and cash in just like the French did. There would have been no reason to invade the country, depose the government, and send the region into chaos. And in fact, the chaos has had exactly the opposite affect the media claimed we went their for. Crude prices jumped to all time highs, and gas prices in the US rose to over $3.00/gal for the first time in history. That doesn't seem like a very desirable result.

7. The United States is an evil imperialist country and George W. Bush is a Nazi. - Crazy neo-libs.

All I can really say to this one is that if it were true, and Bush simply wanted to begin a long campaign with the ultimate goal of world domination under a new Fourth Reich, he sure picked a lousy spot to start from. I can think of at least a few places a lot closer to home with resources and wealth to add to our coffers. Canada and Mexico come to mind. Two of the most oil rich places on Earth. Both conveniently right here on either side of us. Both with such weak militaries that US victories would be swift, and occupation laughably easy to maintain.

I could probably come up with more, but this has already gone on long enough as it is and I'm sure nobody is still reading this far down anyway :)
"It is pointless to resist, my son." -- Darth Vader
"Resistance is futile." -- The Borg
"Mother's coming for me in the dragon ships. I don't like these itchy clothes, but I have to wear them or it frightens the fish." -- Thurindil

Well. I guess that's that then.

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Posted on Jan 4, 2007 11:17 pm by Samson in: | 6 comment(s) [Closed]
<i>I could probably come up with more, but this has already gone on long enough as it is and I'm sure nobody is still reading this far down anyway :)<i>

Should it come as any surprise to you that I usually do read this far down? :P

This might be the first time we've actually agreed on this topic (I'm going to refuse to mine my own archives to check), but as far as you go, yeah, all of those are pretty much dumb.

For a good #8, what consistantly annoys me is the media, in general, finding any excuse they possibly can to hype on the death toll, people getting hit by IEDs, failure of the Iraqi government forces, whatever, without a lot of mention of any good things that may or may not actually be occuring over there, of which there are many. We're actively to the point where I don't much read the news anymore, because I know it's going to be essentially worthless, and that's awfully sad. It must be like what the Vietnam generation went through back in the day, except with better clothes and haircuts, and less sitting on AA guns, though I'm sure if some of them could, they would.

As a caveat to #5, while I'm satisfied that the whole thing is perfectly legal (and we've got the UN resolutions to back it up, even), the actual pretext (thinking back to WMDs and speaches at the UN and such) is increasingly shady as time goes on. Now, I'm not exactly crying about what went down, since certainly the world needed less Husseins in it, but I sure would like to know what actually DID happen to the WMDs.

That whole business is also a symptom of one of the things I do feel is a legitimate potshot at the Bush admin, which is that they (or he), tend to do a bunch of things they think are right, but take a lot of suspicious shortcuts to get there. Further example is the whole torture argument, the very existance of which distresses me very deeply.

I hope we've all realized by now that we probably could've handled the immediate post-war a whole lot better than we actually did, too. Guarding the things that needed to be guarded, etc, etc. Not to be beating on the military at all, because they're doing a really hard job in a generally really excellent fashion, but somebody messed up somewhere, bad.

And skipping over to #2, I'm not gonna say he concocted it, because that's just dumb, but he did gain by it, culminating in the '04 elections. And now he's losing by it (see elections, '06), which I wish I could say were caused by his deeply distressing domestic policy (or lack thereof), but it was all Iraq, and we all know it. And while the Republicans have needed a kick in the ass for years now, I'm left hoping like hell that the Democrats aren't going to totally fuck us over on this one. We'll see. I'm hoping they won't, but I'm not really optimistic.

If political parties had reset switches, I'd be banging both of them as hard as I could, repeatedly.

I'm having a hard time seeing how he gained anything from going to war. He won the 2004 election not because of his stellar gains because of war, but because John Kerry was just that much worse of a choice to make. It's really quite pathetic, but there it is.

I give Bush a great deal of credit for his foreign policy. I honestly could care less what those ingrates in France think of us. We need more leaders like him who are not afraid to stick to their position despite the pounding it generates in the media.

Bush's domestic policy is even pretty damn good overall. Unemployment is down to 4.4%, interest rates at all time lows, wages are up, jobs were created, the stock market is at all time highs. This despite the devastating impact of 911 and the inheritance of the Clinton recession. All of it directly related to lowering taxes.

Did we screw up in Iraq? Maybe. I don't think he committed enough troops. We should have gone in with 500K and carpet bombed the whole place. We never should have disbanded their military. We should have systematically gone around and disarmed everyone we found.

Where I sharply disagree with Bush:
Immigration. Spending. Government entitlements. Expansion of government. His stance on how to deal with the illegals is just plain wrong. It's not going to help. It's only going to encourage more of them to come here. And spending like drunken sailors on pills for old people is insanity. Already the program is costing us 3x what it was originally estimated at. The scary part is he now has a willing Congress to hand him the legislation to allow the invasion from Mexico to escalate.

And I completely agree that the existing 2 party system has collapsed. There's no discernible difference between them anymore. The elections from 2000 onward bear this out. The results are coin flips. Nothing more.

All I saw was a bunch of political crap, so I skimmed past it just to say this:

Your Iguana porn deeply disturbs me.

It should've occured to me at the time that you weren't going to allow HTML in comments, because you're you, but oh well.

To say that I grossly overgeneralized the '04 election is perhaps understatement, but the whole "We must stay the course with our effective leadership versus Mr. Swift Boat" thing surely helped Bush some. All I'm trying to say. Well, that and I wish Clark or somebody would've got the nomination. Oi.

Does anybody actually like the French at this point, including the French? Much less the UN. It's like they sit around in Paris going "Ok guys. Somebody just did something. What course of action can we take that's garunteed to piss off the maximum number of people? Because that's what we should do."

Like I said, my antipathy towards Bush is about 50% him wanting dumbass stuff and/or doing things that make no sense whatsoever, and 50% him doing correct things like Iraq, but taking all sorts of questionable "ends justify the means" routes to get there.

Not sure what I'd have done with Iraq differently. The invasion was handled excellently, but our lack of troops and/or plan for the postwar period is pretty glaringly obvious (Paul Bremer's book was pretty enlightening on that score, to be sure). I think we're on the right track now, we just need to, and here's one of those Bush is right moments, stay the course and get the job done.

There've been a lot of times lately when I'd like to bring back zombie Harry Truman and put him in charge. Or zombie Theodore Roosevelt, zombie Abraham Lincoln, or for extra fun, zombie Andrew Jackson. Because there's a certain part of me that likes the idea of him dueling the entire media and half of Congress.

The bright side to all this is, at least Kucinich isn't President. That'd be REALLY scary.

Actually that was Kiasyn that didn't allow HTML in comments, but of course I agree with the reasoning. However, even though it's not terribly obvious when posting, you can use standard bbcode. Like so:

Bolded and not.
Italicized and not.

etc, assuming it's all working according to plan.

You may want to mention that somewhere in the comment form, then.

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