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Thread: Why We Are in Iraq

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    Why We Are in Iraq

    Why We Are In Iraq
    By David Horowitz
    FrontPageMagazine.com | November 26, 2004



    (This speech was given at Georgetown University on October 14, 2004 and broadcast on C-Span. It has been edited for inclusion on FrontPagemag.com -- The Editors)

    My subject tonight is one that nobody really wants to talk about because nobody is really ready to confront it. It is what I call the "unholy alliance" between radical Islam and the American left, and its effect on the politics of the Democratic Party. My theme, in part, was announced by Osama bin Laden himself in one of his fatwas on al-Jazeera TV. On February 14, 2003 -- about six weeks before troops from the United States and Britain entered Iraq, bin Laden said: "The interests of Muslims and the interests of the socialists coincide in the war against the crusaders."

    He was referring to the fact that, four weeks earlier, millions of leftists had poured into the streets of Europe's capitals and also into the streets of Washington and San Francisco and New York. Their goal was to prevent the United States and Britain from toppling Saddam Hussein. They chanted "no blood for oil"; they called the United States "the world's greatest terrorist state"; they called the American government an "Axis of Evil"; and they compared the American president to Adolph Hitler.

    Of the two groups that organized the anti-Iraq protests, one was International ANSWER, a front group for the Worker's World party, which is a Marxist-Leninist party aligned with the Communist dictatorship in North Korea. The other -- a group the New York Times described as "moderate" -- was the Coalition United for Peace and Justice. It was led by Leslie Cagan, a veteran 60's leftist and pro-Castro enthusiast and a member of the Communist Party until after the fall of the Berlin Wall. The Coalition itself was composed of organizations that ranged from the Communist Party to Muslim supporters of the terrorists' jihad.

    When the leftist protesters in America failed to save Saddam Hussein, they marched their activist troops into the Democratic presidential primary campaigns to support the candidacies of anti-war Democrats. In particular, they supported Howard Dean, who condemned America's war in Iraq and hinted that, if elected, he would make peace at the earliest possible opportunity and withdraw American forces. It was the left's rear guard attempt to produce the result that their protests had failed to accomplish: an American defeat in Iraq. With the resources of the left squarely behind him, Howard Dean was propelled to the front of the presidential pack until his nomination appeared so inevitable that just prior to the Iowa caucuses he was anointed by the titular heads of the Democratic Party, Jimmy Carter and Al Gore. So leftist had the Party become.

    The moment the prospect of Dean's nomination became real, however, Democrats in the Party's hierarchy and their allies in the national media collectively flinched. The radical tone of the candidate -- not so much his agenda, which a majority had clearly been willing to embrace Ė caused many to wonder if a nominee so overtly radical was actually electable. Within the space of a few weeks, the decision was made by editorialists, commentators, Party leaders and Party caucuses that Howard Dean simply could not be elected. The Democrats turned to a different candidate, one who had been for the war but had spoken against it under pressure from Dean's skyrocketing campaign.

    One of the troubling aspects of John Kerry's candidacy was how his views on the war changed under the pressure of the polls. Here was a man who spoke in detail and at length in support of the use of force in Iraq and reversed his position on the basis of opinion polls. Here was a man who had launched his candidacy as a supporter of the war he had voted to authorize -- indeed, as a supporter of the war that had come under attack from the left. Yet when he saw the velocity of the Dean candidacy and contemplated the prospect of losing the nomination, he was willing to abandon his beliefs and join the opposition camp. On a matter of war and peace affecting the security of 300 million Americans and many millions more around the world, Kerry was willing to betray what he knew and what he had himself supported to advance his presidential ambitions.

    Since I will make many negative observations about the behavior of Democrats in the War on Terror tonight, let me take a moment to honor a Democrat who didn't do that. I speak of Joe Lieberman. Joe Lieberman is -- or should be -- a Democratic hero. He was the vice-presidential nominee in the election. He should have been the presidential nominee in this one. Senator Lieberman is a man of principle who understood how vital it was to the security of the United States to take down Saddam Hussein. He did not waver from this vision and was willing to sacrifice his presidential ambitions for principle -- for the security of 300 million Americans.

    Patriotism and Treason

    Before proceeding further, there are certain issues I need to discuss that float beneath the surface of our political conversation and are rarely directly addressed, thus having a powerful effect. I am speaking of the issues embedded in terms like "patriotism," and "treason," as well as the matter of what constitutes legitimate criticism of American foreign policy, particularly in a time of war.

    To listen to the left, you would think that conservatives are just waiting to charge anyone who criticizes the President's war policy with borderline treason and worse. Liberal complaints would lead one to suspect that John Ashcroft's agents can't wait for an opportunity to indict any leftist who steps verbally out of line. Let's introduce a grain of reality here. In the first place, if the charge of "treason" is really an issue, Democrats are clearly the preemptive aggressors. Al Gore has already called the President a traitor, while President Bush hasn't even mentioned Gore's name. So far, the Democrats' attacks on Bush are that he lied to the American people and misled them into war; and that he is sacrificing American youth to line the pockets of his cronies at Halliburton. These are accusations of treason. And there is almost nobody on the left, high or low, who hasn't made them in some fashion or another.

    In the second place, the fact is that nobody in America takes treason very seriously anymore -- and hasn't for a long time. In 50 years, no one has been charged with treason in the United States, not since Tokyo Rose and Axis Sally were tried for broadcasting enemy propaganda to American troops during WWII. Not the Rosenbergs, who stole atomic secrets for the Soviet Union; not Jane Fonda, who in the precise manner of the aforementioned traitors went on enemy radio in the midst of a war and called on our soldiers to defect, denouncing them as war criminals at the same time. Fonda also collaborated with the Communist torturers of American POWs. Nor were spies like Aldrich Ames, or defectors like John Walker Lindh Ė who fought with the Taliban against his own country -- ever charged with treason. So let's not pretend there is any real threat in the word "treason" that would serve to chill the criticism of current foreign policy. If there were, Michael Moore would be in jail instead of being on the short list for an Academy Award. When leftists complain that their patriotism is being questioned to stifle their criticism, the claim is little more than a red herring designed to stop others from thinking about issues that affect our national security, implicit in the positions they are supporting.

    Not only is treason not taken seriously these days, Republicans have been extraordinarily polite in confronting their accusers over grave matters of war and peace. Thus the President in the first presidential debate chided John Kerry for attacking the war in Iraq as "the wrong war, in the wrong place, at the wrong time." That "confuses" people, the President said, and it's is no way to lead a nation that is engaged in a war, whether you like the war or not. Well, it actually does more than confuse people. If you are 19 and in Fallujah, being fired on by terrorists, and the leader of the Democratic Party who is within a hair's breadth of being your President says you shouldn't be there at all, it does more than confuse you. It demoralizes you. It saps your will to fight. It gets you killed. The reckless nature of the Democratic attacks on this war are getting Americans killed. That is a subject that the refusal to discuss issues of loyalty and patriotism and the proper tone of criticism when the nation is at war has the effect of suppressing. But Republicans are too polite to raise it.

    Treason is really not that difficult to define. Treason is when your country is at war and you want the other side to win. (Of course, to be legally guilty of treason you have to commit overt acts. What I want to focus on, however, is the moral attitude of treason, which can -- but does not necessarily have to -- lead to such acts.)

    Are there such people in America? Michael Moore comes to mind. Moore is on record saying that the terrorists in Iraq who are beheading our citizens and are killing our soldiers are "not terrorists." According to Moore, they are "patriots" and -- in his words -- "they will win." Michael Moore is rooting for the enemy. That's just a fact. But what are the consequences? Treason has made Michael Moore rich. Moore has rooted for the enemy all his life - in the Cold War, and now in the War on Terror, without adverse effect on his career and fortune. In fact the opposite could be said to be true.

    And so have the leaders of the so-called peace demonstrations opposing the war. These national "mobilizations" were organized and led by activists who rooted for the Communist enemy in the Cold War, and then marched to undermine America's effort and to save Saddam Hussein in the War on Terror. It should be self-evident that these are not people for whom "peace" is a high priority. There were no demonstrations at the Iraqi embassy to get Saddam to disarm, just as there were no demonstrations against the genocide the Communists carried out in Indo-China after America withdrew. The priority of the leftists who organized the anti-war demonstrations during Vietnam and the anti-war demonstrations with respect to Iraq is the same: whatever the war, America should lose.

    I have followed Michael Moore for many years, ever since the 1980s when he was fired from his position as editor of the leftwing magazine Mother Jones. The act that triggered Moore's firing was that he censored an article about Nicaragua by the socialist Paul Berman because it was mildly critical of the Sandinista dictatorship. Moore was too much of a Stalinist even for the leftists at Mother Jones. As a Marxist who believes that America is an imperialist leviathan run by evil corporations, Michael Moore is a self-conceived enemy of America. Michael Moore denies that there is a War on Terror. Of course he does. In his eyes, America is an aggressor responsible for the attacks upon itself. America is the root cause of the War on Terror. This is the view shared by many people on the political left and by most of the people who marched in the "anti-war"
    demonstrations. This is their credo. It is what they believe.

    Understand now where we are as a nation in the middle of this presidential election. Michael Moore's famous and widely viewed film, Farenheit 911, presents Iraq as a peaceful, even idyllic country cruelly invaded by a callous and deceitful invader, which is us. The opening of this anti-American propaganda film was attended by the leader of the political opposition, Terry McAuliffe, and by senators Clinton, Daschle, and Harkin, among many other celebrating Democrats. You can see how far we have slipped morally in this country, when the leaders of one its two great parties regard any attack on the sitting commander-in-chief as legitimate and don't take our enemies seriously.

    If you really think about the issue of "treason," you will realize that it doesn't really end with the label itself, which is why the defensiveness of the left over the use of the term to describe actual traitors is disingenuous and just bad faith. When pressed on the issue, leftists will be the first to point out that our founders, after all, were traitors, too; that it was Benjamin Franklin who famously said, "If this be treason, let's make the most of it." In America, the founding principles form the nation first, and only secondarily the ties of blood and soil. If America is indeed the greatest terrorist state, as Moore and his leftist friends proclaim, if America is an imperialist monster, then America has betrayed its founding principle of liberty. And if that is the case, loyalty to America would demand that a true patriot commit acts of treason in order to keep the American faith. Loyalty to humanity is treason to America. This is the code that leftists like Michael Moore consciously live by.

    To get a proper perspective on the issue of treason in an American context you have to first decide in your own minds whether this nation has really betrayed its founding and is worthy of destruction. If it is, then you can embrace Michael Moore and join the political left, and be comfortable with your choice. If it isn't, you'd better think twice about what they are up to.

    Dissent Over The War

    Let's turn now to the issue of legitimate criticism in the framework of a democracy. It should go without saying that of course it is legitimate to criticize any policy that government proposes. That is what democracy means. There is no policy that is beyond criticism, not even war policy.

    But everyone understands -- or used to understand -- that in time of war there are other considerations that affect (or should affect) the tone of criticism and even the substance. "Loose lips sink ships" was a slogan memorialized on posters during World War II. It was an appeal to Americans to voluntarily restrict their own exercise of free speech to save their fellow citizens' lives. It was a recognition that there are expressions that support and strengthen a democracy at war, and there are those that weaken it and undermine itself defense.

    In a war like the present one, where the enemy walks among us and can kill thousands of civilians at a stroke, it is important to recognize the difference between criticism that supports the war effort and criticism that undermines it, even if the actual line between them is not always easy to discern. Some criticism is maliciously intended, and some criticism in itself can constitute an assault on America that weakens our democracy and undermines our defense.

    Before the fighting started in Iraq, some critics voiced a concern that an armed intervention would cause the "Arab street" to erupt and inflame the Muslim world. Such a criticism was voiced by Brent Scowcroft, the National Security Adviser in the previous Bush Administration. It was obviously made from legitimate concerns for America's security and (it may be said) a substantial amount of the criticism of the war in Iraq is based on similar concerns. Scowcroft's attack on the President's policy was a harsh criticism. He said that under no circumstances should the President go to war over Iraq. But it was obvious that Scowcroft's criticism was made from legitimate concerns about America's security, concerns which proved wrong when Saddam was toppled in the swiftest and least costly victory on historical record, and without the consequences that Scowcroft imagined.

    A large part of the criticism of the war, however, has been made on grounds that have nothing to do with American security. Often, it's voiced in such a way (and to such a reckless degree) as to undermine that security. It was quite another thing, for example, when the war was won, for leftist critics to launch an all-out attack on the Commander-in-Chief by calling him a liar and the war a "fraud." It is quite another thing to make these unfounded charges when our troops are still in Iraq and still in harms way, and Saddam's allies like the French are drumming up world opinion against us. It is quite another thing, in these circumstances, to say that the President lied to the American people and sent our troops to die under false pretenses. When this is done by people who supported the war it is an even more egregious betrayal. Yet that is what leaders of the Democratic Party did within two months of the liberation of Baghdad, most shamefully among them Ted Kennedy and Al Gore, but also John Edwards and Jimmy Carter and John Kerry, and of course Howard Dean.

    These charges are quite different from legitimate criticism in a time of war. These attacks incite Americans to distrust and hate their own Commander-in-Chief in the middle of a conflict in which the troops under his command -- our troops -- were dying and while our country was under attack. To portray Iraq -- a country which had invaded two sovereign nations and in which a million people had been murdered -- as Michael Moore did in his film Fahrenheit 9/11, as an idyllic place into which American marauders intruded under false pretenses using their advanced technologies to blow innocent and "defenseless" people to bits is no longer criticism. It is an attack that serves to undermine the authority and credibility of the Commander-in-Chief, sabotage the nation's war on terror, and soften us up for the kill. This is no longer criticism, nor is it intended as such. It is intended to as a war within the war, directed at us -- all of us, Democrat and Republican alike, whose security it threatens.

    In sum, there is criticism whose intention is to help us defend ourselves, and there is criticism whose intention is weaken and ultimately destroy us. The latter is directed at the war effort by leftists like Michael Moore.

    In the real world, of course, these matters are not so easily resolved. There is an irreducible gray area when it comes to all criticism. Thus, there are incidents that are common to all wars that are regrettable and that can be exploited by the unscrupulous if they so choose. The criminal offenses at Abu Ghraib is one example. As war atrocities go -- as the atrocities committed by our enemies in this war go -- the incidents at Abu Ghraib were minor, an isolated series of indefensible but unrepresentative acts by low-level operatives. Still, we hold ourselves to higher standards than our enemies (and most of our friends) and concern was therefore in order. But when Abu Ghraib was inflated into a major atrocity that appeared on the front page of the New York Times for fifty days running and was compared by a leading senator to Saddam Hussein's own torture chambers, something else was going on. This have been just an atrociously irresponsible effort to topple a sitting President. But its clear effect was to undermine the American leadership and sabotage the war itself, and the security of all Americans was diminished in the process.

    Some people will recklessly exaggerate America's deficiencies -- even in the midst of a war -- in pursuit of political power; others may do it out of habitual complacency. It hasn't really registered to them that we are in the war. Even after 9/11, they continue to think that America cannot be vulnerable. They haven't absorbed what those attacks revealed. In their thinking, America is still a free country and you can say anything you want. And you can. But saying anything you want will have consequences in the midst of a war with terrorists who want to kill you and are convinced that they will go to heaven if they do and have access to weapons of mass murder. It is my mission tonight to remind you of this.

    The War Was Not About WMDs

    Let's look at the nature of this war. In the first place, it is a war whose aims and purposes make it very hard to understand how anybody who believes in human rights, who believes in women's rights, who believes in equality and freedom, could be against it. In four years, George Bush has liberated nearly 50 million people in two Islamic countries. He has stopped the filling of mass graves and closed down the torture chambers. He has encouraged the Iraqis and the people of Afghanistan to begin a political process that will give all of them, and particularly women, rights they have not enjoyed in 5,000 years. How can you not support this war?

    In the second place, the rationale for this war was not about stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction - a fact that half the nation under the impact of Democratic misleadership seems to have missed. This misunderstanding about the rationale for the war was the product of calculated political intended to unseat a president, but with grave fallout for the credibility and security of the nation itself. This distortion is the basis for most of the attacks on the war in Iraq.

    Before addressing this issue, it is important to remember that the Democrats who are now in full-throated opposition to this war and to the President leading it actually supported the war and authorized it in the first place. The "Authorization for the Use of Force in Iraq" was a resolution passed by both the House and the Senate, with Democratic as well as Republican majorities.

    A congressional resolution to authorize the use of force was something that Bill Clinton never even sought when he went to war in Kosovo. This was a constitutional oversight that didn't bother Democrats at the time or since, which shows how partisan and indefensible is this aspect of their critique of the war in Iraq. The Authorization for the Use of Force in Iraq that President Bush did seek and obtain in October 2002 has a total of 23 clauses. These 23 clauses spell out the rationale for the war. I invite you to go on the web and read the clauses. Out of all 23 clauses, I found only two that even mention stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction. What the clauses do stress - twelve of them, by my count - are U.N. resolutions that Saddam ignored or defied.

    These resolutions were passed by the majority of the nations who comprise the United Nations Security Council because Saddam Hussein invaded two countries - Iran and then Kuwait, and used chemical weapons on his own people. In passing, let me note that America's participation in the Iran/Iraq war has also been tremendously distorted by the political left in its effort to undermine American security and cause us to lose the war on terror. So let it be said that yes, we provided intelligence and some weapons to Iraq (most of their weapons came from the Soviet Union). That was to prevent Iran from winning the war, not because we were friends of Saddam Hussein or approved what he was doing, as leftists like Michael Moore and Norman Mailer and others have insinuated. It was Iran's radical Islamic government that launched the Muslim jihad against the West and coined the term "Great Satan" with which to label us. Iran has three times the population of Iraq. It was a prudent policy, therefore, to tilt to Saddam in order to prevent radical Islamists from conquering Iraq as well and controlling the Gulf and its oil. That's what our participation in this war was about, and it is just another slander of an America that is under attack to say that we "supported" Saddam Hussein. This is just one more leftist way of saying that America is an "outlaw" power and thus that there can be no moral basis for our war against Saddam.

    We went to war with Saddam Hussein in 1991 to force him out of Kuwait, which his invading armies had swallowed. At the end of the war, there was no peace treaty, merely a truce that left Saddam in place. The truce was sealed by the first two of the 17 U.N. resolutions that Saddam eventually violated. These were UN resolutions 687 and 689 and they set established the conditions by which we - who were still technically at war with Saddam - would allow him to remain in power. These resolutions instructed Saddam to disarm and to stop his programs to develop weapons of mass destruction. The fifteen subsequent resolutions, which Saddam defied, were to reinforce these two.

    How do we know he had programs for developing weapons of mass destruction? Because he had gassed the Kurds. Because his own brother-in-law who was in charge of his nuclear weapons program defected and told us he did. Because we sent UN inspectors into Iraq under the UN Resolutions and they located his weapons of mass destruction and destroyed the ones they found. The UN resolutions -- backed by the armed power of the United States Ė partially worked. But only partially, and only for awhile. Saddam was forced to stop the programs the UN inspectors discovered, and he was forced to stop repressing the ethnic and religious minorities in Iraq, as the UN resolutions required. But without an occupying army in Iraq, the forces of international law and order were unable to hold him to these agreements or to enforce the resolutions and the sanctions that accompanied them. With the help of France, Russia and China, Saddam obstructed the inspectors and evaded the resolutions until finally, in 1998, he threw the U.N. inspectors out altogether. This was an act of war in itself. Saddam had broken the truce.

    When Saddam threw the UN weapons inspectors out, Bill Clinton fired 450 missiles into Iraq (more than the United States fired into Iraq in the entire Gulf War) and got Congress to authorize an Iraqi Liberation Act, which passed by an overwhelming majority in both parties. But despite its name, the Iraqi Liberation Act only asked for authorization to provide military help to Iraqis trying to overthrow Saddam Hussein. It didn't call for an American Army to do the job. Bill Clinton understood the grave threat that Saddam Hussein presented to international peace and thought Saddam should be removed and said so, because Saddam had broken the truce. Without the restrictions the truce imposed, he was a clear and present danger to his neighbors and to the world. But Bill Clinton didn't send an army to do the job, because in 1998 he was too busy with an intern and was unable to perform his duties as Commander-in-Chief.

    In 1998, Bill Clinton at least understood, as John Kerry and Tom Daschle and Al Gore also did at the time, that Saddam Hussein had violated international law and was a threat to the peace. He was an aggressor twice over. He had shown that he was determined to circumvent the UN inspections and the arms control agreements he had signed. It was clear to all Ė that is, to every intelligence agency in the world -- that Saddam was determined to break the UN sanctions and to develop weapons of mass destruction if he could. Why would Saddam throw the U.N. inspectors out if it weren't his intention to build weapons of mass destruction and use them? (The famous Duelfer report says that in fact it was.)

    Saddam expressed his loathing for the United States in innumerable ways, among them an attempt to assassinate the President and the distinction of being the only head of state to celebrate the destruction of the World Trade Center after 9/11. Despite leftwing claims to the contrary, there were in fact major links between international terrorists, including al-Qaeda and the Saddam regime. You can read about them in Stephen Hayes' book, The Connection, which shows the relations between the government of Iraq, Al Qaeda, and the major world terrorist organizations. Among other gestures to the Islamic jihad, Saddam had inserted into the Iraqi flag the proclamation "Allahu Akhbar." Saddam did not adopt the mantra of Islamic martyrs because he had a religious revelation. He did it because Islamic terrorists had adopted the slogan as their war cry and Saddam wanted to join their war.

    The Necessity of War

    Standing between Saddam and his malevolent ambitions in the fall of 2002 was the uncertain power of the United States. It was uncertain because the first Bush administration had failed to remove him at the end of the Gulf War and the Clinton Administration was too paralyzed by ideology and circumstances to act when the need to repair the mistake became unavoidable. Clinton fired hundreds of missiles into Iraq, but you can't impress a tyrant like Saddam Hussein merely by firing missiles from the air. You have to send in the marines and take control of his outlaw state. After his defeat in the Gulf War, a still-defiant Saddam boasted that America can fight a Cold War, but America can't take ten thousand casualties. After America's humiliation in Somalia in 1993, Osama Bin Laden said nearly the same thing: America can fight a Cold War but not a hot war. When confronted by Islamic warriors, America will turn and run.

    In Saddam's eyes, we were ultimately a paper tiger. This is perhaps the main cause of his miscalculations that led to the second Gulf War. But that is, in fact, what we were until 9/11 -- a power that had been unable to put an army in the field for more than four days since 1973. On September 11, 2001, the world changed. It changed because the perceptions of an American president changed. President Bush understood that this act carried out against us was a declaration of war. He understood that the world we live in is a world in which terrorists who are supported by terrorist states like Saddam Hussein's can get access to resources, including chemical, biological, and soon nuclear weapons, which they can smuggle into the United States and use to do incalculable damage. America could not wait for such an attack to respond to the threat that these regimes represented. The consequences were unacceptable. Therefore, America had to strike before the threat became imminent. It had to act to promote democracy in the Muslim world or risk the creation of regime's like Saddam's which constituted a permanent threat to its own security and peace. That is the Bush doctrine. It was to engage the war that had been declared against us by the terrorists and the regimes -- Iran, Syria, Libya, North Korea, and others -- that "harbored" them.

    If you doubt the wisdom of this policy, stop for a moment and ask yourself whether in fact George Bush's policies have protected you since 9/11. Think about it this way: On 9/12/2001 nobody in this room or in this television audience would have bet one dime that we would not be attacked in this country for three more years. Why is that? It is because we all know we cannot defend ourselves against a determined terrorist enemy. And that is because we all know we have no borders. We have 11 million people who have illegally entered the United States and we don't know who they are or where they are. Of these illegal aliens, 100,000 are estimated to be from terrorist states in the Middle East. Ours is a relatively open society, and we have "soft targets" too numerous to count. The only reason we haven't been attacked in this country since 9/11 is because George Bush and Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld have taken the war to the enemy camp.

    George Bush recognized that the only defense in a war like this that has a chance of working is an offense. The Bush Administration has taken out three-quarters of al-Qaeda's soldiers and kept the rest of the terrorists off balance and on the run. And that is why they haven't attacked us. It's not just al-Qaeda we are fighting, by the way. We are fighting radical Islam -- the Zarqawis, the Zawaheris, Hamas, Hizbollah and Palestine Islamic Jihad among others -- and they are all off balance because we are on the offensive.

    In their attacks on the President, opponents of the war and even Democratic leaders who once knew better have said that Iraq was "no threat." But if Iraq was no threat, why was Afghanistan a threat? Afghanistan is a much poorer country than Iraq. It doesn't have the oil. It wasn't about to make a deal with North Korea to buy nuclear weapons "off the shelf," as Saddam was when the United States troops crossed his borders. So why was Afghanistan a threat? It was a threat because it gave the terrorists a base, and from that base they were able to deliver a devastating blow to the United States.

    Since Afghanistan was a threat, obviously Iraq was a bigger threat, but so was Iran. Some sophists on the left want to know why we didn't attack Iran or North Korea. These are the same people, mind you, who are arguing that our attack on Iraq was illegitimate, illegal. There challenge is made in bad faith, but I will answer it. The difference between North Korea and Iraq is that as bad as North Korea is, it is not part of the Islamic jihad, which includes al-Qaeda and Hamas and which Saddam Hussein had joined ($74 billion from the Oil-for-Food funds that Saddam stole, with the help of top UN officials, went directly to finance Hamas, for example). The difference between Iran and Iraq is that we were actually at war with Iraq and had been since 1991. Didn't you notice that our air force was flying daily missions over the "No-Fly Zones" in Iraq in order to prevent Saddam Hussein from dropping poison gas on the Kurds? For ten years, we were in a "low-intensity" war with Iraq to keep Saddam within the restrictions created by the UN resolutions. This war failed to accomplish its task, which is why we went to a larger war to finish the job.

    The Duelfer Report, made after Saddam's removal, concludes that Saddam Hussein had one overriding agenda, which was to remove the UN sanctions, remove the UN inspectors, and resume his programs to build weapons of mass destruction. That is what the war was about. After 9/11, George Bush saw that Iraq was out of control and therefore a menace. He told Saddam, "You are part of an 'Axis of Evil' and you are in defiance of the truce agreements of 1991. You had better comply with the terms of the truce you signed, with the U.N. resolutions, and disarm, and open your borders to UN inspectors and give up your ambitions to acquire weapons of mass destruction -- or else." The first of these ultimatums was delivered to Saddam in the "Axis of Evil" address on the State of the Union in January 2002. That was more than a year before we actually went to war.

    When Senator Kerry says the United States "rushed to war," the question that comes to mind is: What in the world is he talking about? Shortly after George Bush put Saddam on notice in January 2002, Al Gore gave the first foreign policy address he had made since the election of 2000. In this speech, Gore praised Bush for identifying Iraq as one of the components of an axis of evil. He noted that Bush had come under criticism for making such statement, and he wanted to support the President's decision to do so. Saddam's regime was, in fact, evil and a threat to the peace. Gore said America had to do whatever was necessary to deal with the threat that Saddam represented, even if we had to do it alone and without our allies' approval.

    Shame on Al Gore for betraying his own vision over Iraq and for risking American lives to do so. Shame on the entire leadership of the Democratic Party for betraying a war it had signed onto, just to make a political gain. Shame on them for misleading the Americans who trusts their word in matters of national policy and national security. Shame on them for damaging America's security in the process. Whatever the outcome of this election, the Democratic Party has sacrificed the safety of 300 million Americans for political gain. Shame on them for that.

    There was no rush to war. In September 2002, six months before the war, the President went to the UN and said that UN must enforce its resolutions on Iraq or become "irrelevant." If the UN Security Council was not up to meeting its obligations to enforce its own resolutions and defend the peace, the United States intended to do so for them. The United States had already begun sending troops to the Gulf, which immediately caused Saddam to readmit the UN inspectors. In these months, the American president said more than once to Saddam: "You will disarm, or we will disarm you." This was not a rush to war, but a very deliberate march to a moment of truth in which Saddam's intentions would be tested a final time: disarm; open your borders to unobstructed UN inspections -- or else.

    In October, following his UN appearance, the President went to Congress and got the authorization he needed to use force against Iraq if Saddam persisted in the course of evasion and obstruction he had pursued for more than a decade. The vote was 77 to 23 in the Senate, and received majorities on both sides of the aisle. On November 9 the President got the unanimous vote of the security council, 15 to 0, behind Resolution 1441, which said to Saddam: "You will disarm, and you will show that you have disarmed by making a comprehensive report on your weapons of mass destruction 'or serious consequences' will follow." The deadline for compliance was set for thirty days from then.

    I have read the Chief UN Weapons Inspector's book, Disarming Iraq. Hans Blix is a Swedish leftist who, by his own admission, was against the war under any circumstances. But in his book he clearly states that UN resolution 1441 was diplomatic language for an ultimatum of war. The deadline for Saddam's compliance was December 7, 2002. On that date, Saddam Hussein delivered a 12,000 page report that was smoke and mirrors. In his book, Hans Blix himself says that it was smoke and mirrors, that the information submitted was from deceptive reports that Saddam had submitted in the past, that thousands of weapons were unaccounted for, and that it did not in fact fulfill the requirements the Security Council had laid down.

    At this point, the question must be asked: How many times can the United Nations -- and more importantly, the United States -- say to Saddam Hussein, "You must do this or else?" and have no consequences follow? If there is never an "else," the entire fabric of international law is revealed as a sham. If there is never an "else," who will take the word of the UN seriously, ever? More importantly, who will respect the word of the United States? If the word of the United States cannot be taken seriously, the only way remaining to deter a future threat will be to go to war. Not acting on UN resolution 1441 would show contempt for international law (as Prime Minister Tony Blair pointed out to the French) and would increase the chances of future wars, much more deadly in their consequences than the one with Iraq.

    Kerry and other critics on the left have claimed that Saddam Hussein could have been contained; that the weapons inspections would eventually work. But this is an empty claim. The only reason the U.N. inspectors were there in the first place was because the President of the United States had put 200,000 American troops on the Iraqi border, and threatened the regime's survival. How long do you think the United States could focus this kind of attention on Iraq and deploy these kinds of resources just to see that Saddam Hussein observed the promises he made? To do so would mean paralyzing the ability of the United States to deal with the rest of the world while shouldering costs of $1 billion a week and maintaining 200,000 troops as sitting targets in the Arab desert. And all this would be required for an attempt to stop Saddam Hussein from evading the sanctions and controls that he had been evading for more than a decade with the help of major powers like Russia and Germany and China and France. It could not be done, and it was dangerous to try.

    John Kerry says he has another plan. But there is no other plan. You either take the dictator down, or you appease him and strengthen your enemies in the process. You prove once again that America hasn't the grit to go to war to defend its vital interests. You prove once again that America is a nation of appeasers. The Democratic Party has become a party of appeasement. That's what this domestic political conflict is about. The Democratic Party wants to persist in delusion and denial about what must be done to win the War on Terror. This is probably the most basic human psychological reflex -- to deny that there is a hard choice, in this case that we were either going to have to fight the dictator in March 2003 or fight him later when he would be even more prepared.

    The Role of the Left

    There was one more detour on the road to Saddam's moment of truth. When the December 7th deadline passed, America and Britain were the only major powers willing to recognize that Saddam Hussein had defied the UN a 17th time and challenged the international community to hold him to account. In January, British leftists put 750,000 anti-war protesters into the streets of London, which would be the equivalent of 4 million protesters in the streets of Washington. The protests were aimed at America's chief ally, Tony Blair, designed to force him to join Saddam's appeasers and refuse to enforce the UN ultimatum.

    Four million Americans would not even be the equivalent of the appeasers who confronted Tony Blair, because it was his own party that was in the streets. The equivalent would be if millions of Republicans marched in the streets of Washington to pressure George Bush to renege on his promise to enforce the ultimatum that a unanimous Security Council had passed. Tony Blair pleaded with President Bush to go back to the U.N. Security Council to get a second superfluous resolution. Because Tony Blair was such a loyal ally - and probably because he was under pressure from Colin Powell - President Bush said yes. He should not have done so, for two reasons. First of all, as the French informed Colin Powell after the fact, they would not vote for a resolution to go to war "under any circumstances." As we now know, the French had been bribed with millions of stolen dollars from the UN Oil-for-Food program and the promise of billions of dollars in oil contracts from Saddam. And besides, the French were Saddam's allies anyway.

    Going to the UN for a superfluous reiteration of resolution 1441, whose deadline had passed, was a bad idea for a second reason. In order to persuade the unpersuadable left, Colin Powell went to the UN and made his famous presentation, which tried to establish that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction that should cause him to be removed. It was this presentation by Colin Powell -- entirely superfluous to the rationale for the war and aimed entirely at persuading the left -- that has allowed the left to attack the President for "misleading" the nation into war by claiming there were weapons of mass destruction that were never found.

    The war in Iraq was not about weapons of mass destruction; it was about Saddam Hussein's ten-year defiance of international law, his manifest determination to break the UN's arms control arrangements and to acquire weapons of mass destruction. There was no rush to war, but rather a deliberate march to war authorized by both political parties and a unanimous vote of the Security Council (which France and Russia and China had no intention of honoring). It was not unilateral, and it was not about a "non-existent imminent threat." In his State of the Union in January 2003, right before the fighting began, the President said in so many words that we were not going to wait until Saddam Hussein became an imminent threat. We were not going to wait until Saddam already had the weapons in place and the plan to attack us was afoot. We were not going to wait until he struck us first. The President said this clearly and in so many words: We will not wait for those events to take place. Saddam will comply with the UN ultimatum. He will disarm and prove that he has disarmed, or we will disarm him. The Bush Doctrine rests on this reality: In a world in which terrorists have the means to kill 3,000 Americans in one attack, we can't wait around for the enemy to prove beyond the shadow of a doubt that he means us harm.

    At this point, it might be appropriate to ask how the Democratic Party got to the place where it is a party of appeasement in the approach to war and a saboteur of the war when it is underway. How did the Democratic Party get to the point where its leaders would break a fifty-year tradition of bi-partisanship in foreign policy, and over matters of war and peace? How did it come so powerfully under the influence of an historically anti-American left as to allow its presidential politics to be dominated by that left?

    The short answer to these questions is that the leftward slide of the Democratic Party began with the McGovern campaign, when the anti-Vietnam left marched into its ranks and assumed positions of power in its congressional party. Obviously, the circumstances of the Iraq war and the movement to oppose it have a lot to do with the Howard Dean campaign, in particular, which was funded this left and driven by its passions, and whose success in the primaries turned John Kerry and John Edwards against the war. It also has a lot to do with the fateful decision of Jimmy Carter and Al Gore to make the war a partisan issue and break a half-century's tradition. But even before this moment it has to do with the McGovern campaign of 30 years ago, which was the original "anti-war" political campaign, demanding that America abandon its ally in Vietnam and leave the field of battle. Virtually all leaders of the anti-Iraq movement, including most of the leaders of the Democratic Party who supported that movement, were veterans of or affected by the anti-Vietnam campaign.

    The left has never learned the lessons of Vietnam, a fact underscored by the way in which Howard Dean and Ted Kennedy and leaders of the movement against the war in Iraq invoked the history of Vietnam as though it showed that they were right and their opponents were wrong. As you probably know, I began my life on the political left and was one of the founders of the movement against the Vietnam War. My parents were, in fact, card-carrying Communists, and my first political march was against an even earlier war. I was nine years old in 1948 and marched down 7th Avenue with my parents and their political comrades in New York chanting, "One, two, three, four, we don't want another war." "We" called ourselves "progressives" and supported the Progressive Party candidacy of Henry Wallace, who had once been Franklin Roosevelt's Vice President but was now a captive of the Communist left. The war we marched against was Harry Truman's "Cold War" to prevent Joseph Stalin from conquering more of Europe than he had already acquired. The peace movement of that time wanted Stalin to "liberate" Eastern Europe, which he had in fact enslaved. This campaign was the seed of the anti-war movements of Vietnam and Iraq, and also of the political left's influence in the Democratic Party. George McGovern began his political career in the Progressive Party's 1948 campaign against the Cold War. The Democratic Party of Harry Truman was committed to the Cold War. But as far as the peace movements are concerned, not much has really changed in 50 years.

    As a post-graduate student at Berkeley in the early Sixties, I was one of the organizers of the first demonstration against the Vietnam War. It was 1962 and I can tell you as someone who was there, everybody who organized that demonstration was a Marxist and a leftist who thought the Communists were liberating Vietnam the way Michael Moore thinks Zarqawi is liberating Iraq. By that time, I was a "new leftist," disillusioned with the Communism of my parents' generation, so I was aware that the North Vietnamese Communists were not Jeffersonian democrats as people like Jane Fonda and John Kerry seemed to think they were. I avoided the Winter Soldier Investigation into American "war crimes" that John Kerry and Jane Fonda were part of. Jane Fonda was an idiot (useful, to be sure) who had embraced the Communists and committed treason. Perhaps John Kerry didn't grasp that fact. He got himself in bed with people who had a hatred for the United States as intense as their current hatred of George Bush.

    It is a curious hatred, suggesting that Democrats have collectively flipped their lids in their zeal to win this election. You may say many things about George Bush, but this is a decent, capable man. You may differ with George Bush, but he is not a "moron" or a bumbling incompetent. No one runs a successful national election campaign and a successful presidential administration without judgment that is fundamentally sound. This is a man you can disagree with, but you can't belittle or hate George Bush without those attitudes reflecting on yourself.

    In 1973, President Nixon signed a truce in Vietnam and withdrew our soldiers. John Kerry and Jane Fonda and Tom Hayden conducted a campaign to persuade the Democrats in Congress to cut all aid to South Vietnam and Cambodia. When Nixon went down in Watergate, the Democrats cut the aid as their first legislative act. They did this in January 1975. In April, the Cambodian and South Vietnamese regimes fell. This is a particularly important fact to remember, because this is exactly what Terry McAuliffe has proposed for Iraq now - that we cut and run. In 1975 the Democrats cut military and economic aid to the two regimes we had been defending against the Communists. As a result, the Communists won. Within three years the Communist victors had slaughtered 2.5 million people. The blood of those people is on the heads of John Kerry and Ted Kennedy and Howard Dean and people like myself. The difference between the four of us is that I understand now what we did then, and they apparently don't. That is why I'm not going to vote for John Kerry in this election.

    If we cut and run or are defeated in Iraq, there will be a bloodbath when we leave. The jihadists will slaughter our friends, our allies, and all of the Iraqis who are struggling for their freedom. But this bloodbath will also flow into the streets of New York and Washington and potentially every major American city. The jihadists have sworn to kill us all. People who think America is invulnerable, that America can just leave the field of this battle, do not begin to understand the world we are in.

    The 9/11 attacks took $600 billion out of the American economy and bankrupted the airlines industry, which required a $15 billion bailout. The hotel industry has barely recovered. Suppose the terrorists had attacked again after 9/11. Suppose there had been terrorist attacks in the major shopping malls around Christmas season, as was threatened at the time. If they had carried out such attacks, the terrorists could have taken down the whole American economy and, with it, the world economy. Then you would have seen governments fall. Perhaps the government of Pakistan would have been one of them, a nuclear power with a huge radical Islamic presence. What is the Democratic Party leadership thinking when they conduct a scorched-earth war against a sitting President and jeopardize the security of 300 million Americans for political gain?

    The really terrible step in this political process, as I have already mentioned, was taken by Jimmy Carter and Al Gore who made the war a partisan issue right after President Bush went to the UN in September 2002. Carter and Gore poisoned the politics of the debate over America's war policy and sowed bitterness into the nation's soul. As a result, we now confront the terrorists and the world with nation divided over the issue of the war. As it happens, the only America that can lose a war is one that is divided.

    The War At Home


    The root cause of the division in this war, as in the war in Vietnam, is a left that is alienated from our national purpose. It is a left that in the Cold War gave moral and political support to our Communist enemies and in this war has entered an unholy alliance with radical Islam. This left is not just at war with our efforts in Iraq; it is also at war against our homeland security defenses. It may surprise you to know that there are already more than 350 American cities which, under instigation of the political left, have signed pledges to refuse to cooperate with Homeland Security, particularly in regard to the protection of our national borders. Georgetown University, where I am speaking tonight, is a leading player in this seditious effort. David Cole is a Professor of Law at this university and an intellectual leader of both the movement against our borders and against the Patriot Act, our first line of defense. Not coincidentally, he is also a lawyer for indicted terrorists.

    The inspirer of the anti-Patriot Act movement, which conducts its activities in the name of civil liberties, is Sami Al-Arian, a former professor at the University of South Florida. In 1996, Al-Arian founded an organization called the National Coalition for Political Freedom to oppose the anti-terrorism act. This act was passed at the behest of the Clinton Administration in the wake of the Oklahoma City bombing. Al-Arian opposed the act because it allowed the use of secret evidence in terrorist cases. It was hardly constitutional issues that motivated Al-Arian, now a leading figure in the civil liberties left. Al-Arian's real motivation for opposing the act was that his brother-in-law had been arrested under its provisions. Both Al-Arian and his brother-in-law were leaders of Palestine Islamic Jihad, a terrorist organization responsible for the suicide bombing deaths of more than 100 people in the Middle East.

    Sami Al-Arian is a colleague of David Cole, the ACLU, and the National Lawyers Guild, leaders of the movement against the Patriot Act. They still defend al-Arian even though he is now a federal prisoner under a 120-page indictment. Although he was exposed by journalists in the early 90's, the government could not arrest him because of legal obstacles that blocked their investigations, obstacles that were only removed by the Patriot Act. For nearly a decade, al-Arian was protected by the president of the University of South Florida, Betty Coster, who is currently the Democratic Party's candidate for the U.S. Senate in Florida.

    Sami Al-Arian is hardly alone. Lynne Stewart, a National Lawyers Guild attorney, has also been indicted by John Ashcroft. Like Al-Arian, Stewart is defended by the ACLU and the American Association of University Professors. The Middle Eastern Studies Department at this university, headed by John Esposito, has spent years throwing a smoke screen over terrorist groups, defending terrorist leaders like Sam al-Arian, pretending that they are no threat to the United States and claiming, along with Salon.com and The Nation magazine, that the head of Palestine Islamic Jihad is being persecuted by Ashcroft simply because he's a Muslim and a Palestinian.

    Lynne Stewart is now under indictment by Ashcroft for helping her client, the blind sheik Abdel Rahman, who masterminded the first World Trade Center bombing, to conduct his terrorist activities in Egypt. Lynne Stewart is on record saying she believes the terrorists are liberationists and freedom fighters. For Stewart, Abu Musab, al-Zarqawi and the Abdel Rahman are freedom fighters. And she collaborated with the blind sheik in conducting his terror. Stewart is a hero of the legal left, and she tours law schools like Stanford and perhaps Georgetown as a guest of their faculties. It would be a cold day in hell before Georgetown's Law School would honor John Ashcroft as a guest.

    How is it possible that people who think of themselves as advocates of social justice can lend aid and comfort to Islamic radicals who behead people and blow women's heads off with AK-47s when they are suspected of having sexual relations outside of marriage? How can self-styled progressives embrace these people? They embrace them under the logic that the enemy of my enemy is my friend, and their enemy is the United States. They do it under the delusion that is common to all radicals. It's the radical analog to the 72 virgins that await jihadists in heaven. Think of how sick our enemy is. The Muslim martyrs in Palestine kill their own children by strapping bombs to them, to 14-year-olds, and telling them if they blow up Jewish 14-year-olds -- and if they are lucky enough to bemale -- they will go straight to heaven and get 72 virgins. They're committing mass murder to get into paradise. That is exactly what the left does. Why does the left want to destroy America? To get into paradise. Call it socialism, call it Communism, call it social justice. It's a dream of paradise that is so enticing it will justify any crime necessary to achieve it.

    The radical left does not understand that the root cause of social problems is humanity. There will never be a socially just world because the world is always going to be run by human beings, and human beings are in their nature corrupt, selfish and fallible. If you don't understand that, you are simply delusional, in denial. Thus radicals have the same goal as jihadists, which is paradise. And the same enemy, which is the Great Satan, i.e., us. You cannot read a page of Noam Chomsky or Howard Zinn or Michael Moore and not understand that America is the great Satan, the root of the world's evil, worthy of destruction. It is this faith that forges the unholy alliance.

    To confront our enemy we must reverse the perception. The mantra of the left is the enemy of my enemy is my friend. Out of simple consideration of self-defense, we must adopt the view that the friend of my enemy is my enemy.

    http://www.frontpagemag.com/Articles...e.asp?ID=16103

    I know this is a long article, but I hope you will read the whole thing. It expresses a point of view that whether you agree with it on not, think it is stupid or not, is worthy of discussion. It's is not something that is lightly dismissed. Please understand that I did not write this article. So if you have some extremely asinine personal attack to make, you can go to frontpagemag.com and email Horowitz. I'm sure he would enjoy it, I would not, however, since I did not write the article, and it is not fully expressive of my opinion. I have posted my commentary on this article at The Neo-Progressive. So if your interested in that you can read it and then make any comment you like since you'll be commenting on something I actuality wrote.
    "Above all, we must realize that no arsenal, or no weapon in the arsenals of the world, is so formidable as the will and moral courage of free men and women. It is a weapon our adversaries in today's world do not have."
    "The nine most terrifying words in the English language are, 'I'm from the government and I'm here to help.'"

    NEVER FORGET

  2. #2
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    So informative

    On the bit about kicking out inspectors, many inspectors were covertly, in disregard of the UN mandate, passing information on the the US. Most were Australian and New Zealand inspectors who were working through their national spy agncies. This was admited to by Richard Butler on Australian TV some years ago.

    I don't blame Saddam for his actions i would have done the same, and when i kept telling/showing you i had no weapons and you still said i did 'we are going to bomb and invade you', i would have said shove it too. What options did he have but to lose face, you don't push nutjobs into corners, it doesnt solve anything.

    Put that one down to another miscalculation shall we.


    BTW.The investigative report that uncovered the spy story also uncovered a practice of outsourcing spy 'work' to Australia and New Zealand because we were able to gather more info, because of a certain level of trust our diplomats etc had overseas.

  3. #3
    Senior Contributor smilingassassin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PaulG
    So informative

    I don't blame Saddam for his actions i would have done the same, and when i kept telling/showing you i had no weapons and you still said i did 'we are going to bomb and invade you', i would have said shove it too. What options did he have but to lose face, you don't push nutjobs into corners, it doesnt solve anything.

    Put that one down to another miscalculation shall we.
    You must be kidding me, this man was a butcher and you simpathize with him? Whats next, will you deny Hitler had a hand in the holocaust?!!

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    Did you add the emphasis?

    Its a fairly sensible speech. But it is interesting that the author criticises all nations foreign policy, but gives them impression that US foreign policy should not be subject to such criticism. That to do such a thing would in fact harm America :-

    But everyone understands -- or used to understand -- that in time of war there are other considerations that affect (or should affect) the tone of criticism and even the substance. "Loose lips sink ships" was a slogan memorialized on posters during World War II. It was an appeal to Americans to voluntarily restrict their own exercise of free speech to save their fellow citizens' lives. It was a recognition that there are expressions that support and strengthen a democracy at war, and there are those that weaken it and undermine itself defense.
    Sadly the author does not understand. "Loose lips sink ships" had nothing to do with criticism. It was to do with revealing seamingly harmless information that could be directly used by the enemy. Comments such as "Johnny set sail last night - he isn't looking forward to the northern convey route across the atlantic because of the biting cold" could lead a U-boat wolfpack. In fact David Horowitz is mis-representing stuff as he accuess Michael Moore of! Remember weather reports were used to crack the Enigma code.

    In a war like the present one, where the enemy walks among us and can kill thousands of civilians at a stroke, it is important to recognize the difference between criticism that supports the war effort and criticism that undermines it, even if the actual line between them is not always easy to discern. Some criticism is maliciously intended, and some criticism in itself can constitute an assault on America that weakens our democracy and undermines our defense.
    Or you could argue that if the enemy has got to the stage were it is prepared to walk amongst us, perhaps it might be useful to find out why us, why not Argentina? What does it hate so much? This analysis doesn't have to assume that it is correct to make us targets, but it seems prudent to understand why they have chosen us. But it is that request for analysis that led to the accusations of traitor, of treason.

    The author is somewhat disingenuous when he describes the lack of an uprising from the "Arab Street" as being because of US unilateralism being so strong, so forthright. In fact it is because Tony Blair burnt a lot of political capital around the world securing an alliance (even if unspoken) from the Arab world. He burnt a lot of political capital back at home and went too far in some areas and damaged the reputation of Her Majesty's Governemnt and, in my opinion, the authority of Parliament, but it is because he did so that "with us or against us" was not turned into a fatwa.

    Its also interesting to see the idea idea that treason is immaterial that it would / is not bandied about by the right in answer to criticisms from the left. It certainly has been, even on this board.

    I am not going to state my views on the WMD argument on this board again, i have done so many times, however i think the west needs to understand that if you are trying to find such things you have to use the weapons inspectors correctly. You can't use them to spy and not expect a soveriegn nation to act. You might not like Saddam, the Ba'ath regime etc. But you don't give it no choice. Unless of course you wanted the inspectors expelled and so thought the spying was a win-win situation.

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    Quote Originally Posted by smilingassassin
    You must be kidding me, this man was a butcher and you simpathize with him? Whats next, will you deny Hitler had a hand in the holocaust?!!
    Ouch, the hyperbole - it will be "treason" soon

    If you are going to take an action, you have to understand its consequence. If you are serious that you want weapon inspectors in a country, you have to make sure there is no reason that can be offered against them.

    If Saddam had WMD he would have found a reason to expel the inspectors. Spying is a pretty good one. If he had no WMD he would have had to expel the inspectors for spying. So, they had to go. The next question is, did we wnat them to be expelled to "prove" our point?

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    Quote Originally Posted by smilingassassin
    You must be kidding me, this man was a butcher and you simpathize with him? Whats next, will you deny Hitler had a hand in the holocaust?!!
    According to your film industry, law enforcement officers in the US, use psycological profiles in their attempts to apprahen purpetrators. This seems common practice in most developed nations. If anyone was listening to a profiler when considering what to do about Saddam im sure they would have said 'whatever you do, don't paint him into a corner!'

    But thats what happenned and a very very unproductive consequence has happenned because of it. It was a crap strategy, too many mistakes were made, one thing led to another, bang boom guns blazin you are fighting a war.

    Thats what i was saying, not what you imagined.

  7. #7
    Staff Emeritus Julie's Avatar
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    PaulG...

    Have you ever been to a play before the curtain was pulled, sitting there waiting impatiently, wondering about the scurrying behind the curtain that was delaying the onset of the play? Did you have a bit of inside information that you knew, that no other person in that auditorium knew, that could hurry the situation, but were in no position to use it, or could you?

    Let's go back a couple of years and look at the long and endured "bang boom" of the bodies being blow to pieces in the Palestinian/Israel crisis on a weekly basis. From a psychological view (of which I have a college study in psychology), ones would not blow up there bodies based upon a religious standpoint alone. For this to incur, there has to be some extreme motivation to instill the courage in a person to induce them to commit such a personal atrocity. Hence, a public announcement in a Saudia Arabia newspaper announced these "body bombs" were receiving $25,000.00 to their families to carry out this deed. Was the article true? Well, it sure needs to be investigated to find out. The financial focus immediately pointed at Saudia Arabia, but it was found that was not where the funds were flowing from. Saddam....where is he getting his money? Okay, so now there we have opened a can of worms and they are coming out....how do you round them up and contain the can? Two years later, and alot of mistakes, I will not argue that.

    Present day, let's look back now at the Palestinian/Israel crisis today. Less suicide bombings? Oh, and look, the PLO leader has mysteriously croaked....maybe his protection money must have dried up? Whichever event occurred, the Palestinians will be holding elections in January, and Israel is fully supporting them and planning a pull-out.

    Iraq....still much instability, and when will it stabilize? I predict Iraq will not stabilize until Palestine has stabilized, but, that is just my opinion since one has surely had a reverse impact on the other.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Julie
    PaulG...

    Have you ever been to a play before the curtain was pulled, sitting there waiting impatiently, wondering about the scurrying behind the curtain that was delaying the onset of the play? Did you have a bit of inside information that you knew, that no other person in that auditorium knew, that could hurry the situation, but were in no position to use it, or could you?

    Let's go back a couple of years and look at the long and endured "bang boom" of the bodies being blow to pieces in the Palestinian/Israel crisis on a weekly basis. From a psychological view (of which I have a college study in psychology), ones would not blow up there bodies based upon a religious standpoint alone. For this to incur, there has to be some extreme motivation to instill the courage in a person to induce them to commit such a personal atrocity. Hence, a public announcement in a Saudia Arabia newspaper announced these "body bombs" were receiving $25,000.00 to their families to carry out this deed. Was the article true? Well, it sure needs to be investigated to find out. The financial focus immediately pointed at Saudia Arabia, but it was found that was not where the funds were flowing from. Saddam....where is he getting his money? Okay, so now there we have opened a can of worms and they are coming out....how do you round them up and contain the can? Two years later, and alot of mistakes, I will not argue that.

    Present day, let's look back now at the Palestinian/Israel crisis today. Less suicide bombings? Oh, and look, the PLO leader has mysteriously croaked....maybe his protection money must have dried up? Whichever event occurred, the Palestinians will be holding elections in January, and Israel is fully supporting them and planning a pull-out.

    Iraq....still much instability, and when will it stabilize? I predict Iraq will not stabilize until Palestine has stabilized, but, that is just my opinion since one has surely had a reverse impact on the other.

    Not sure what the first paragraph was about

    Anyway, as you say it takes a lot for a person to do that sort of act, i'm not sure the money, if any of it got the family, was anything significant in the 'bomber' eyes. While it was a political stunt by Saddam to try to gain support from his traditional enemies in the face of an American threat, 'the enemy of my enemy' type stuff I really can't see it being a significant factor in Bush's agenda either. What do we actually know about it.

    This argument goes back again to the moral authority one again. While Saddam directed the money towards the families of bombers as a compensation (like buying the farm); the US has a very open history of supplying financial and material aid directly to either non-state or state actors, knowing full well that aid would be used against civilians or as terrorist weapons against militaries.

    This is a real problem the US faces when using these types of claims to justify actions. You have little moral authority in many areas, by the fact you are complicate yourselves in such actions. I would just suggest that when trying to justify things you pick your examples a little better. Imagine what sort of mileage these claims and the counter argument would get in downtown Mosul right now.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PaulG
    Not sure what the first paragraph was about

    Anyway, as you say it takes a lot for a person to do that sort of act, i'm not sure the money, if any of it got the family, was anything significant in the 'bomber' eyes. While it was a political stunt by Saddam to try to gain support from his traditional enemies in the face of an American threat, 'the enemy of my enemy' type stuff I really can't see it being a significant factor in Bush's agenda either. What do we actually know about it.

    This argument goes back again to the moral authority one again. While Saddam directed the money towards the families of bombers as a compensation (like buying the farm); the US has a very open history of supplying financial and material aid directly to either non-state or state actors, knowing full well that aid would be used against civilians or as terrorist weapons against militaries.

    This is a real problem the US faces when using these types of claims to justify actions. You have little moral authority in many areas, by the fact you are complicate yourselves in such actions. I would just suggest that when trying to justify things you pick your examples a little better. Imagine what sort of mileage these claims and the counter argument would get in downtown Mosul right now.
    We are there because of the terrorists, the oil, and saddam's threat. These are the reasons, which order you put them in does not change the fact that it was the right thing to go into Iraq. Doing it in the manner that we are, well that's another question entirely.
    Last edited by Praxus; 28 Nov 04, at 20:06.

  10. #10
    Staff Emeritus Confed999's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PaulG
    passing information on the the US. Most were Australian and New Zealand inspectors who were working through their national spy agncies. This was admited to by Richard Butler on Australian TV some years ago.
    They should have been spying, by then it was obvious full cooperation was not to be forthcoming.
    No man is free until all men are free - John Hossack
    I agree completely with this Administrationís goal of a regime change in Iraq-John Kerry
    even if that enforcement is mostly at the hands of the United States, a right we retain even if the Security Council fails to act-John Kerry
    He may even miscalculate and slide these weapons off to terrorist groups to invite them to be a surrogate to use them against the United States. Itís the miscalculation that poses the greatest threat-John Kerry

  11. #11
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    From orignal article :-
    So let it be said that yes, we provided intelligence and some weapons to Iraq (most of their weapons came from the Soviet Union). That was to prevent Iran from winning the war, not because we were friends of Saddam Hussein or approved what he was doing, as leftists like Michael Moore and Norman Mailer and others have insinuated. It was Iran's radical Islamic government that launched the Muslim jihad against the West and coined the term "Great Satan" with which to label us. Iran has three times the population of Iraq. It was a prudent policy, therefore, to tilt to Saddam in order to prevent radical Islamists from conquering Iraq as well and controlling the Gulf and its oil. That's what our participation in this war was about, and it is just another slander of an America that is under attack to say that we "supported" Saddam Hussein. This is just one more leftist way of saying that America is an "outlaw" power and thus that there can be no moral basis for our war against Saddam.
    Saddam was not so evil that the US was not prepared to support him and keep him in power and alive. If the US is going to intervene in this manner it is going to create problems for itself and others.
    The fact was that this "prudant policy" is but one of many tha tthe US and other interventionist countries indulge in. but as the CIA term it, "blowback" occurs. I guess as long as the blowback happens on someone else's watch none of us should care?

  12. #12
    Staff Emeritus Confed999's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trooth
    Saddam was not so evil that the US was not prepared to support him and keep him in power and alive. If the US is going to intervene in this manner it is going to create problems for itself and others.
    The "enemy of my enemy, is my friend" thing is often not true. He was that evil, he just wasn't attacking us then. One must remember though, many in the West were with the US in that one.
    Quote Originally Posted by Trooth
    The fact was that this "prudant policy" is but one of many tha tthe US and other interventionist countries indulge in.
    You're either supporting tyrants and their allies, or you live in isolation. Every counrty is "interventionist" to some degree.
    No man is free until all men are free - John Hossack
    I agree completely with this Administrationís goal of a regime change in Iraq-John Kerry
    even if that enforcement is mostly at the hands of the United States, a right we retain even if the Security Council fails to act-John Kerry
    He may even miscalculate and slide these weapons off to terrorist groups to invite them to be a surrogate to use them against the United States. Itís the miscalculation that poses the greatest threat-John Kerry

  13. #13
    Ubi dubium ibi libertas Senior Contributor
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    Quote Originally Posted by PaulG
    So informative
    I'm sure how an article of that length could not be informative. At the very least it informs you in an in-depth way what your political opponents are thinking.

    On the bit about kicking out inspectors, many inspectors were covertly, in disregard of the UN mandate, passing information on the the US. Most were Australian and New Zealand inspectors who were working through their national spy agncies. This was admited to by Richard Butler on Australian TV some years ago.
    After the first Gulf war Iraq was supposed to be an book, it wasn't. Saddam continually interfered with inspectors to create an illusion of strength in the Middle East. He wanted to be the man take stood up to the United States. If you don't believe that Saddam interfered with the inspection process, just listen to Blix:

    But in his[Blix's] book he clearly states that UN resolution 1441 was diplomatic language for an ultimatum of war. The deadline for Saddam's compliance was December 7, 2002. On that date, Saddam Hussein delivered a 12,000 page report that was smoke and mirrors. In his book, Hans Blix himself says that it was smoke and mirrors, that the information submitted was from deceptive reports that Saddam had submitted in the past, that thousands of weapons were unaccounted for, and that it did not in fact fulfill the requirements the Security Council had laid down.
    I don't blame Saddam for his actions i would have done the same,
    Thanks for proving the author's thesis.

    and when i kept telling/showing you i had no weapons
    That is a distortion of history. Saddam was never cooperated.

    and you still said i did 'we are going to bomb and invade you', i would have said shove it too.
    ROFL That decision worked out great for him didn't it?

    What options did he have but to lose face, you don't push nutjobs into corners, it doesnt solve anything.
    What are you talking about? "doesn't solve anything" Saddam's in a cell instead of running a country.

    Put that one down to another miscalculation shall we.
    We didnít miscalculate. We thought he would force war. What we didn't expect is that he didn't realize what he was doing.

    BTW.The investigative report that uncovered the spy story also uncovered a practice of outsourcing spy 'work' to Australia and New Zealand because we were able to gather more info, because of a certain level of trust our diplomats etc had overseas.
    So you'd rather not have spies in dangerous foreign countries. That is what many liberals in America thought...before 9/11.
    "Above all, we must realize that no arsenal, or no weapon in the arsenals of the world, is so formidable as the will and moral courage of free men and women. It is a weapon our adversaries in today's world do not have."
    "The nine most terrifying words in the English language are, 'I'm from the government and I'm here to help.'"

    NEVER FORGET

  14. #14
    Staff Emeritus Julie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PaulG
    Not sure what the first paragraph was about
    The first paragraph was information the US had obtained, but could not reveal/expose the source internationally, nor use it to overthrow Saddam.

    Quote Originally Posted by PaulG
    Anyway, as you say it takes a lot for a person to do that sort of act, i'm not sure the money, if any of it got the family, was anything significant in the 'bomber' eyes. While it was a political stunt by Saddam to try to gain support from his traditional enemies in the face of an American threat, 'the enemy of my enemy' type stuff I really can't see it being a significant factor in Bush's agenda either. What do we actually know about it.
    I believe the money was getting to the families, otherwise, they would have continued at the rapid rate they were being committed after Saddam was overthrown. Bush's agenda contains any dilemma giving him international pressure. There is pressure on the US to do something about the Palestinian/Israel conflict.

    Quote Originally Posted by PaulG
    This argument goes back again to the moral authority one again. While Saddam directed the money towards the families of bombers as a compensation (like buying the farm); the US has a very open history of supplying financial and material aid directly to either non-state or state actors, knowing full well that aid would be used against civilians or as terrorist weapons against militaries.
    All countries sell weapons to each other. There were many Russian weapons found in Iraq. Morality? When you are dealing with suicide bombings, I would say all morality is out the window in decision making.

    Quote Originally Posted by PaulG
    This is a real problem the US faces when using these types of claims to justify actions. You have little moral authority in many areas, by the fact you are complicate yourselves in such actions. I would just suggest that when trying to justify things you pick your examples a little better. Imagine what sort of mileage these claims and the counter argument would get in downtown Mosul right now.
    Saddam was out-sourcing the violence in the Palestine/Israel issue. Again, the issue of morality? Saddam seemed to think he had alot of moral authority while gassing his own people and burying them in mass graves which WERE found by the way.

    Do me a favor, don't even mention the word morality to me with Saddam in the same sentence. They mix like oil and water.

  15. #15
    Ubi dubium ibi libertas Senior Contributor
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trooth
    Did you add the emphasis?
    Yes.

    Its a fairly sensible speech. But it is interesting that the author criticises all nations foreign policy, but gives them impression that US foreign policy should not be subject to such criticism. That to do such a thing would in fact harm America :-
    The author answers this point:

    But everyone understands -- or used to understand -- that in time of war there are other considerations that affect (or should affect) the tone of criticism and even the substance. "Loose lips sink ships" was a slogan memorialized on posters during World War II. It was an appeal to Americans to voluntarily restrict their own exercise of free speech to save their fellow citizens' lives. It was a recognition that there are expressions that support and strengthen a democracy at war, and there are those that weaken it and undermine itself defense.

    In a war like the present one, where the enemy walks among us and can kill thousands of civilians at a stroke, it is important to recognize the difference between criticism that supports the war effort and criticism that undermines it, even if the actual line between them is not always easy to discern. Some criticism is maliciously intended, and some criticism in itself can constitute an assault on America that weakens our democracy and undermines our defense.

    Before the fighting started in Iraq, some critics voiced a concern that an armed intervention would cause the "Arab street" to erupt and inflame the Muslim world. Such a criticism was voiced by Brent Scowcroft, the National Security Adviser in the previous Bush Administration. It was obviously made from legitimate concerns for America's security and (it may be said) a substantial amount of the criticism of the war in Iraq is based on similar concerns. Scowcroft's attack on the President's policy was a harsh criticism. He said that under no circumstances should the President go to war over Iraq. But it was obvious that Scowcroft's criticism was made from legitimate concerns about America's security, concerns which proved wrong when Saddam was toppled in the swiftest and least costly victory on historical record, and without the consequences that Scowcroft imagined.

    A large part of the criticism of the war, however, has been made on grounds that have nothing to do with American security. Often, it's voiced in such a way (and to such a reckless degree) as to undermine that security. It was quite another thing, for example, when the war was won, for leftist critics to launch an all-out attack on the Commander-in-Chief by calling him a liar and the war a "fraud." It is quite another thing to make these unfounded charges when our troops are still in Iraq and still in harms way, and Saddam's allies like the French are drumming up world opinion against us. It is quite another thing, in these circumstances, to say that the President lied to the American people and sent our troops to die under false pretenses. When this is done by people who supported the war it is an even more egregious betrayal. Yet that is what leaders of the Democratic Party did within two months of the liberation of Baghdad, most shamefully among them Ted Kennedy and Al Gore, but also John Edwards and Jimmy Carter and John Kerry, and of course Howard Dean.
    What he is doing is drawing a line between criticisms that helps us win the war on terrorism and criticisms that's goal is to help us lose.

    Sadly the author does not understand. "Loose lips sink ships" had nothing to do with criticism. It was to do with revealing seamingly harmless information that could be directly used by the enemy. Comments such as "Johnny set sail last night - he isn't looking forward to the northern convey route across the atlantic because of the biting cold" could lead a U-boat wolfpack. In fact David Horowitz is mis-representing stuff as he accuess Michael Moore of! Remember weather reports were used to crack the Enigma code.
    Let's assume youíre correct. Couldn't the enemy use irrational dissent as well? It has been in this war:

    Quote Originally Posted by OBL
    "The interests of Muslims and the interests of the socialists coincide in the war against the crusaders."
    He is using the dissent of some in America and Europe as a much more useful weapon then when a ship is leaving.

    Or you could argue that if the enemy has got to the stage were it is prepared to walk amongst us, perhaps it might be useful to find out why us, why not Argentina? What does it hate so much?
    I believe that to OBL America is just a tool. Something he can rail against for whatever reason presents itself. His goal is to unite the Muslim world and then attack outward to the rest of the world.

    This analysis doesn't have to assume that it is correct to make us targets, but it seems prudent to understand why they have chosen us. But it is that request for analysis that led to the accusations of traitor, of treason.
    There is a difference between what you have said and what others have said. Your question is "why did they attack us?" others have said, "What did we do?" The first question implies they there is no logical reason for their actions the second assumes their actions were logical e.g. they were responding to something we did.

    The author is somewhat disingenuous when he describes the lack of an uprising from the "Arab Street" as being because of US unilateralism being so strong, so forthright.
    I think his point was that the war was quick and therefore the Arab street did not have time to organize.

    In fact it is because Tony Blair burnt a lot of political capital around the world securing an alliance (even if unspoken) from the Arab world. He burnt a lot of political capital back at home and went too far in some areas and damaged the reputation of Her Majesty's Governemnt and, in my opinion, the authority of Parliament, but it is because he did so that "with us or against us" was not turned into a fatwa.
    The Arab governments had reason enough to suppress the "Arab Street" one would think. After all, the fear was that these people would overthrow there pro-western governments.

    Its also interesting to see the idea idea that treason is immaterial that it would / is not bandied about by the right in answer to criticisms from the left. It certainly has been, even on this board.
    I'm sure it has been, but has the President hasnít called his opponents traitors? No, but no less a high ranking democrat as Al Gore has called the President one. A charge of treason is never the answer to an argument. You would answer a traitor's argument the same way you answer anyone elseís argument, with logic and facts. That's not to say that I don't believe that there are traitors in this country. I like the author's definition of Treason: Treason is when your country is at war and you want the other side to win. By that definition someone like Moore is surely a traitor.

    I am not going to state my views on the WMD argument on this board again, i have done so many times, however i think the west needs to understand that if you are trying to find such things you have to use the weapons inspectors correctly. You can't use them to spy and not expect a soveriegn nation to act. You might not like Saddam, the Ba'ath regime etc. But you don't give it no choice. Unless of course you wanted the inspectors expelled and so thought the spying was a win-win situation.
    Can you imagine a situation that Saddam would have cooperated with inspectors short of them being completely inept?
    "Above all, we must realize that no arsenal, or no weapon in the arsenals of the world, is so formidable as the will and moral courage of free men and women. It is a weapon our adversaries in today's world do not have."
    "The nine most terrifying words in the English language are, 'I'm from the government and I'm here to help.'"

    NEVER FORGET

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