Mar 15, 2007

IRAQ INVASION ANNIVERSARY ONLINE REFRESHER COURSE

This March 17, while the civilized world dutifully besots itself in taverns the world over, Lefties will be taking their impaired judgment to the streets and parading it about for all the world to see. This March 17, you see, is especially significant to Lefties as it represents the 40th anniversary of the 1967 March on the Pentagon as well as the 4th anniversary of the start of the Iraq war. Massive demonstrations (such as these planned here and here) have thus been organized to commemorate the first and decry the latter: the “criminal invasion of Iraq.”

No doubt among these Lefties are a few who sincerely believe Bushie’s decision to invade Iraq was a something he concocted out of thin air at his ranch in Crawford, or a misguided attempt to avenge the attempted assassination of his father, or the desire to line his cronies’ pockets with oil money, or his unthinking allegiance to those neo-con Jews who just don’t like Arabs and were itching for a fight.

For them, and those “Conservatives” who find themselves irresistibly drawn to the Siren song of the anti-war movement (amplified daily via our noble Mediacracy), I submit the following as antidote: my IRAQ INVASION ANNIVERSARY ONLINE REFRESHER COURSE - a $250.00 value - yours today for absolutely free!

(Disclaimer: This course employs an instructional device somewhat alien to Lefties known as “History.” A definition of the term can be accessed by clicking here.)

We begin with the first Gulf War, which was followed swiftly by the end of the first Gulf War. This cessation of hostilities was premised upon Iraq’s complying with conditions spelled out in United Nation’s Resolutions 686 and 687 . In short, these demanded Iraq allow U.N. inspectors immediate and unrestricted access to verify its commitment to rid itself of weapons of mass destruction and long-range missiles, as well as “not commit or support any act of international terrorism or allow any organization directed towards commission of such acts to operate within its territory and to condemn unequivocally and renounce all acts, methods and practices of terrorism.” (Curious don’t think – since we all know that Saddam had NOTHING to do with terrorists?) The U.N. then also issued Resolution 688 demanding that the Iraqi regime cease at once the repression of its own people, including the systematic repression of minorities which, the Council claimed, “threatened international peace and security in the region.” For your edification, particularly those now of the opinion things were better off under Saddam, I give you, Saddam’s rap sheet.

Utterly vanquished and exposed, Saddam had no choice but to agree. The Iraqi regime promised to destroy and stop developing all weapons of mass destruction and long-range missiles, and to prove to the world it had done so by complying with rigorous inspections. (Begin Music – “Send in the Clowns” here). As some of you may recall, Iraq failed to comply. Again. And again. And again. And again. And again.

Within months of the cease-fire, the Security Council twice had to renew its demand that the Iraqi regime cooperate fully with U.N. inspectors, condemning Iraq's serious violations of its obligations as laid out in Resolutions 686, 687, and 688. This game continued throughout the 1990’s: the Security Council renewing its demands in 1994, twice more in 1996 (here and here) strongly deploring Iraq's clear violations of its obligations, three more times in 1997 (here, here, and here) citing “flagrant violations”, three more times in 1998 (here, here, and here) calling Iraq's behavior “totally unacceptable”, and once again in 1999. Do we see a pattern here? One is forced to draw two conclusions. Conclusion A. The Iraqi government under Saddam Hussein cannot be trusted. Conclusion B. The U.N. Security Council is utterly useless.

In fact, only after a senior Iraqi weapons program official defected and revealed damning information, did Saddam admit to producing tens of thousands of liters of anthrax and other deadly biological agents for use with Scud warheads, aerial bombs, and aircraft spray tanks. U.N. inspectors at the time also believed Iraq may have produced two to four times the amount of biological agents it declared, and noted that Iraq had failed to account for more than three metric tons of material that could be used to produce biological weapons. United Nations' inspections also revealed that Iraq likely maintained stockpiles of VX, mustard, and other chemical agents, and that the regime was rebuilding and expanding facilities capable of producing chemical weapons. Oh yes and in 1995, after four years of deception, Iraq finally admitted that it had neglected to mention its crash nuclear weapons program. Whoopsie daisy.

Given these developments, a prescient U.S. President William Jefferson Clinton – nobody’s fool - issued an ominous prognostication regarding Iraq in early 1998.

"If he refuses or continues to evade his obligations through more tactics of delay and deception, he and he alone will be to blame for the consequences. Now, let's imagine the future. What if he fails to comply, and we fail to act, or we take some ambiguous third route which gives him yet more opportunities to develop this program of weapons of mass destruction? Well, he will conclude that the international community has lost its will. He will then conclude that he can go right on and do more to rebuild an arsenal of devastating destruction. And some day, some way, I guarantee you, he'll use the arsenal. And I think every one of you who's really worked on this for any length of time believes that, too."

Also -
"One way or the other, we are determined to deny Iraq the capacity to develop weapons of mass destruction and the missiles to deliver them. That is our bottom line."
- President William Jefferson Clinton, Feb. 4, 1998

And even…
"If Saddam rejects peace and we have to use force, our purpose is clear. We want to seriously diminish the threat posed by Iraq's weapons of mass destruction program."
- President William Jefferson Clinton, Feb. 17, 1998

Magnificent! True to form, President Clinton then went on to completely ignore his own eloquence and do absolutely nothing about the situation, until, in October of 1998, he received the following message in a letter from hawkish Senators:

"[W]e urge you, after consulting with Congress, and consistent with the U.S. Constitution and laws, to take necessary actions (including, if appropriate, air and missile strikes on suspect Iraqi sites) to respond effectively to the threat posed by Iraq's refusal to end its weapons of mass destruction programs."

The hawkish Senators penning this missive? Senators John Kerry, Carl Levin, Tom Daschle and others. Once again that’s Senators John Kerry, Carl Levin, and Tom Daschle.

Inspired to action, President Clinton quickly penned his own brusque and manly missive - the Iraq Liberation Act. With this he signed into law “regime change in Iraq,” and advocated U.S. moral and financial support for the democratic opposition in Iraq. Naturally, Iraqis were thrilled with this courageous declaration from the world’s sole superpower, recalling vividly how well this “you’re on your own” approach worked out for them in 1991.

Well by now Saddam – having had quite enough of all this nonsense - threw the U.N. monitors and weapons inspectors out of his country. Immediately the U.S. and U.K. threatened military action, realizing this was the only mode of “diplomacy” to which Saddam was at all receptive. With B-52’s literally minutes away from flattening Baghdad, Saddam graciously conceded to allow U.N. monitors back in. The bombers were recalled and the ping-ponging weapons inspectors returned. Days later, Chief U.N. weapons inspector Richard Butler reported that Saddam was back at his old game of impeding inspections. Exit the ping-ponging U.N. inspectors, and fire up the bombers once again. On December 15, another very sternly worded and really most formal U.N. report accused Iraq of a repeated pattern of obstructing weapons inspections by not allowing access to records and inspections sites, and by moving equipment records and equipment from one to site another. On December 16, The United States and Great Britain began a massive air campaign against key military targets in Iraq known as Operation Desert Fox. Surprisingly, this decisive action on the part of the U.S. and U.K. inspired considerable disagreement within the U.N. Security Council, particularly from U.N. secretary general Kofi Annan and three out of five permanent members of the council: France, Russia and China. Imagine that.

At this time, many brave and noble American patriots stepped forward to support their Commander in Chief, issuing profound statements about the threat Saddam Hussein’s Iraq posed to regional, national, and global security; and the necessity for decisive military action. Most notable among them, current Speaker of the House Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D, CA): "Saddam Hussein has been engaged in the development of weapons of mass destruction technology which is a threat to countries in the region and he has made a mockery of the weapons inspection process."

And Captain Planet Himself, then Vice President Al Gore:
"If you allow someone like Saddam Hussein to get nuclear weapons, ballistic missiles, chemical weapons, biological weapons, how many people is he going to kill with such weapons? He's already demonstrated a willingness to use these weapons. He poison-gassed his own people. He used poison gas and other weapons of mass destruction against his neighbors. This man has no compunction about killing lots and lots of people. So this is a way to save lives and to save the stability and peace of a region of the world that is important to the peace and security of the entire world."
(No figures were available on the exact level of carbon emissions released during Operation Desert Fox.)

Four days of bombing ensued, ending just in time for Ramadan! Nothing much seemed to come of it either way, unless of course one pays any heed to reports at the time that Saddam was reaching out to terrorist organizations in an attempt to exact revenge upon the United States for the attacks – as reported here , here, and in this list of a hundred or so stories regarding Saddam’s dealings with terrorists. But again, as we all know, Saddam never had any dealings whatsoever with terrorists and so clearly, these are all lies.

At this point I would like to enquire of any Lefties still reading, do we notice something missing in all the above? Yes, that’s it - the name George W. Bush. Not a whisper. In fact no Conservatives, Republicans, or neo-cons have played a role at all in any of the goings on cited thus far. Hmmm.

At this point - what with soiled dresses, impeachment hearings, Y2K, presidential campaigns, and hanging chads - the world forgot about Saddam and Iraq (except of course those making millions off the oil for food scam).

But then came a certain Tuesday in 2001. We all know Saddam had nothing to do with the specific attacks on the United States occurring on September 11, 2001 and we all know that Bushie never claimed he did. As you may recall, given the national mood at the time, had Bushie said Quebec was responsible for the attacks, virtually every citizen of the United States would have gleefully supported the immediate incineration of their French-like neighbors to the North. Why then Bushie – allegedly with a bee in his bonnet over Iraq from the day he took office – would NOT have capitalized on this opportunity to gratify his craven desire for the utter destruction of Iraq remains a mystery. Unless one entertains the possibility that he had no craven desire for the utter destruction of Iraq - nor for their oil – and was motivated merely by a desire for justice and maintaining the national security of the United States?

In a larger sense, however - and this is the point Lefties seem to have completely forgotten - saying that the situation in Iraq (see ALL OF THE ABOVE) had nothing to do with the attacks of September 11th is like saying the rabid pit-bull residing at your next door neighbor’s house has nothing to do with the Doberman pincer across the street that mauled your child yesterday. You have a problem. You had better deal with it. The 9/11 attacks exposed a vulnerability to the threat of terrorism the United States had heretofore not taken seriously. After that day, all threats – past, present, and future – no matter how seemingly insignificant or unlikely - were to be seen in a new light and a vastly heightened regard for their potential of becoming reality.
Immediately following the attacks this was common sentiment. In fact, in December of 2001, President Bush received the following message in a letter from hawkish Senators, strangely reminiscent of the letter from hawkish Senators received by President Clinton some three years earlier. The letter was signed by Senator Bob Graham (D, FL.) and many others who – for reasons of conscience and deep personal introspection (or rabid opportunism) – can now no longer be counted among those supporting our decision to invade Iraq.

"There is no doubt that ... Saddam Hussein has reinvigorated his weapons programs. Reports indicate that biological, chemical and nuclear programs continue apace and may be back to pre-Gulf War status. In addition, Saddam continues to redefine delivery systems and is doubtless using the cover of a licit missile program to develop longer-range missiles that will threaten the United States and our allies." Said they.

The story now goes that these Senators – many of whom are quoted below – were misled to these conclusions by the wily and war-mongering Mr. Bush. To this I would say - as I have in the past - were that true, Mr. Senator, you and your easily-lead-by-the-nose-friends are not fit for office of this caliber and ought be tried for criminal negligence and dereliction of duty. For behold their inflammatory, saber-rattling rhetoric…

"We begin with the common belief that Saddam Hussein is a tyrant and a threat to the peace and stability of the region. He has ignored the mandated of the United Nations and is building weapons of mass destruction and the means of delivering them." -Sen. Carl Levin (d, MI), Sept. 19, 2002

"We know that he has stored secret supplies of biological and chemical weapons throughout his country." -Al Gore, Sept. 23, 2002

"Iraq's search for weapons of mass destruction has proven impossible to deter and we should assume that it will continue for as long as Saddam is in power." -Al Gore, Sept. 23, 2002

"We have known for many years that Saddam Hussein is seeking and developing weapons of mass destruction." -Sen. Ted Kennedy (D, MA), Sept. 27, 2002

"The last U.N. weapons inspectors left Iraq in October of 1998. We are confident that Saddam Hussein retains some stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons, and that he has since embarked on a crash course to build up his chemical and biological warfare capabilities. Intelligence reports indicate that he is seeking nuclear weapons..." -Sen. Robert Byrd (D, WV), Oct. 3, 2002

"I will be voting to give the President of the United States the authority to use force-- if necessary-- to disarm Saddam Hussein because I believe that a deadly arsenal of weapons of mass destruction in his hands is a real and grave threat to our security."- Sen. John F. Kerry (D, MA), Oct. 9, 2002

"There is Unmistakable evidence that Saddam Hussein is working aggressively to develop nuclear weapons and will likely have nuclear weapons within the next five years ... We also should remember we have always Underestimated the progress Saddam has made in development of weapons of mass destruction." -Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D, WV), Oct 10, 2002

"He has systematically violated, over the course of the past 11 years, every significant U.N. resolution that has demanded that he disarm and destroy his chemical and biological weapons, and any nuclear capacity. This he has refused to do" -Rep. Henry Waxman (D, CA), Oct. 10, 2002

"In the four years since the inspectors left, intelligence reports show that Saddam Hussein has worked to rebuild his chemical and biological weapons stock, his missile delivery capability, and his nuclear program. He has also given aid, comfort, and sanctuary to terrorists, including al Qaeda members ... It is clear, however, that if left Unchecked, Saddam Hussein will continue to increase his capacity to wage biological and chemical warfare, and will keep trying to develop nuclear weapons." -Sen. Hillary Clinton (D, NY), Oct 10, 2002

"We are in possession of what I think to be compelling evidence that Saddam Hussein has, and has had for a number of years, a developing capacity for the production and storage of weapons of mass destruction." -Sen. Bob Graham (D, FL), Dec. 8, 2002

"[W]ithout question, we need to disarm Saddam Hussein. He is a brutal, murderous dictator, leading an oppressive regime ... He presents a particularly grievous threat because he is so consistently prone to miscalculation ... And now he is miscalculating America's response to his continued deceit and his consistent grasp for weapons of mass destruction ... So the threat of Saddam Hussein with weapons of mass destruction is real ..." -Sen. John F. Kerry (D, MA), Jan. 23. 2003

Despite all the tough talk, and a world on heightened alert, Saddam kept at his game in defiance of global condemnation and common bloody sense. He allowed Al Qaeda terrorists escaped from Afghanistan to come to Iraq, and he continued to withhold important information about the nature and capacity of his weapons’ programs. In fact, in 2002, the U.N. (note NOT the U.S. nor U.K.) reported that in violation of Security Council Resolution 1373, (issued 9/28/2001) Iraq continued to shelter and support terrorist organizations that direct violence against Iran, Israel, and Western governments.

Given all of this, a certain George W. Bush, who happened now to find himself the leader of the Free World, felt compelled to go before that same international body that for the past ten years had so vehemently warned of the gathering danger to regional and global security that was Saddam Hussein, and remind them of their purpose.

“As we meet today, it's been almost four years since the last U.N. inspectors set foot in Iraq, four years for the Iraqi regime to plan, and to build, and to test behind the cloak of secrecy.
We know that Saddam Hussein pursued weapons of mass murder even when inspectors were in his country. Are we to assume that he stopped when they left? The history, the logic, and the facts lead to one conclusion: Saddam Hussein's regime is a grave and gathering danger. To suggest otherwise is to hope against the evidence. To assume this regime's good faith is to bet the lives of millions and the peace of the world in a reckless gamble. And this is a risk we must not take.”
-President George W. Bush September 12, 2002

Well despite mispronunciations, malapropisms, and mangled syntax, Bushie’s eloquence was sufficient to convince the U.N. Security Council, as evidenced by their unanimous passing of Resolution 1441 that offered Iraq "a final opportunity to comply with its disarmament obligations" set out in innumerable preceding resolutions, namely Resolution 660, Resolution 661, Resolution 678, Resolution 686, Resolution 687, Resolution 688, Resolution 707, Resolution 715, Resolution 986, and Resolution 1284. (One does begin to question the meaning of the word “resolution” doesn’t one?) Nonetheless …

U.N. Resolution 1441 states: 1) That Iraq was in material breach of the ceasefire terms presented under the terms of Resolution 687. Iraq's breaches related not only to WMDs, but also the known construction of prohibited types of missiles, the purchase and import of prohibited armaments, and the continuing refusal of Iraq to compensate Kuwait for the widespread looting conducted by its troops in 1991.

2) That the ceasefire granted under Resolution 687 was binding only insofar as Iraq was willing to hew to the terms of that ceasefire.

3) That 1441, and its deadline, represented Iraq's final opportunity to comply with disarmament requirements. In accordance with the previous Resolutions, this meant Iraq not only had to verify the existence or destruction of its remaining unaccounted-for WMD stockpiles, but also had to ensure that all equipment, plans, and materials useful for the resumption of WMD programs was likewise turned over or verified as destroyed.

4) That "...false statements or omissions in the declarations submitted by Iraq pursuant to this resolution and failure by Iraq at any time to comply with, and cooperate fully in the implementation of, this resolution shall constitute a further material breach of Iraq’s obligations".

To everyone’s shock and amazement, as of December 2002 – the “deadline” put forth under Resolution 1441 - Saddam had failed to comply with the resolution in every possible way. The U.N., true to form, balked. George W. Bush, risking political suicide, followed through. In his position - given all that was known, given all that was suspected, given all that had happened - what would you do? What would Winston do?

“Our difficulties and dangers will not be removed by closing our eyes to them. They will not be removed by mere waiting to see what happens. Nor will they be removed by a policy of appeasement. What is needed is a settlement, and the longer this is delayed, the more difficult it will be, and the greater our dangers will become. I am convinced that there is nothing for which they have less respect than for weakness, especially military weakness. For that reason, the old doctrine of balance of power is unsound. We cannot afford, if we can help it, to work on narrow margins, offering temptations to a trial of strength. If the Western democracies stand together in strict adherence to these principles, no one is likely to molest them. If, however, they become divided or falter in their duty, and if these all-important years are allowed to slip away, then indeed catastrophe may overwhelm us all. Last time I saw it all coming, and I cried aloud to my own fellow countrymen and to the world, but no one paid any attention."

- Sir Winston Churchill, 1946, in his heroic "Iron Curtain" speech warning of the peril of Western indifference, inaction, and weakness in the face of the growing Soviet threat. Ominously relevant don’t you think? Or is it just me?

And yet today we read only of hubris, deceit, and failure on the part of George W. Bush. Approval polls have never been lower and the Lefties now in power gleefully pursue the dismantlement of the evil and corrupt Bush Administration. “Bush lied, people died” read the bumper stickers and banners. I submit to you a more accurate arrangement of that phrase: People lied, Bush Died. And the Free World will be poorer for it.

Cheers,

Charlie

12 comments:

darj55 said...

Scholarly and excellent. This should be read by every American. Actually, it should be read by everyone in what's left of the free world. I am passing it on, as I hope others will.

Anonymous said...

What a verbose Kerryesque post. If only our President could articulate it so nicely. He might actually have more support from the American people. But he can't. Poor George.

Churchill's Parrot said...

Dearest Anonymous,

Being of most impeccable character, I shall ignore the insult you intend me by characterizing my verbosity - or anything else - as "Kerryesque." (One has difficulty even keying the word without shuttering.)

As for the remainder of your comment, however, I naturally concur, save to say that Bushie has made the case on several occassions but remains somehow clueless as to how to circumvent a disingenious and openly hostile Mediacracy.

Cheers,

Charlie

The Daily Elephant said...

A fantastic post, and not Kerryesque at all! (I don't think Kerry is an idiot, but he in no way gets to the point, ever, which your writing most certainly does!)

I read this over twice, and now will have to go and follow all the links. One reason I love reading here is the fact that I always feel just that much more informed, intelligent, and unified with my fellow Conservatives.

Thank you, once again. I will probably post this on the DE and NeoConstant.

Churchill's Parrot said...

My Dear Daily Elephant,

Thank you so much Sir. We are very pleased to know our material proves both educational and entertaining for you. Post away - you have our every blessing!

Cheers,

Charlie

Roger W. Gardner said...

A tremendous post! Filled with irrefutable facts and your usual insight. Great work. One of your best pieces.
As for that bizarre first sentence from "anonymous", it is so weird and off topic I don't know what to make of it. But then, some people are just weird and off topic, aren't they? lol

Anonymous said...

"To this I would say - as I have in the past - were that true, Mr. Senator, you and your easily-lead-by-the-nose-friends are not fit for office of this caliber and ought be tried for criminal negligence and dereliction of duty."

The point exactly. Why does the senate have a 22% approval rating? Because the Republicans hate the Democrats and the Democrats hate the pathetic wimps in their own party who bought into this LIE. Impeach them all!

Richard said...

My dear feathered friend, far fetched as it may at first appear, I too was once a parrot ... but I'm alright now. I'm alright now. I'm alright now. I'm alright now.

But, seriously sir ... well, semi-seriously ... at least sort of semi seriously, perhaps you'd like to make it clear to any and all of those good green Pats, Micks, Murphies and/or spuds, whom the matter may concern, that your omission of any mention of March 14th also being St Paddy's day was not an anti-Irish act. Unless, of course, it was - in which case that would be, like the Boyne, their particular personal problem, rather than mine.

Either way, I have to say that I like your style.

gordo said...

Churchill's Parrot--

You've got some key facts wrong. You say that Hussein threw the weapons inspectors out of Iraq, prompting Clinton to initiate Operation Desert Fox. Not so. Clinton withdrew the inspectors, so that he could start bombing (link link). And your obsessive citing of Democratic politicians is absolutely irrelevant, as it's nothing more than argument from authority.

None of that is relevant anyway, since we had inspectors on the ground in Iraq when the decision was made to invade.

Your citing of terrorist ties to Hussein is also irrelevant. If the issue at hand had been links to terrorism in general, we would have invaded Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Syria, or the United Arab Emirates, all of which were more closely linked to terrorism than Iraq. The issue was the alleged link between Hussein and al Qaeda. Here's how your hero put it:

"We know that Iraq and the al Qaeda terrorist network share a common enemy -- the United States of America. We know that Iraq and al Qaeda have had high-level contacts that go back a decade. Some al Qaeda leaders who fled Afghanistan went to Iraq. These include one very senior al Qaeda leader who received medical treatment in Baghdad this year, and who has been associated with planning for chemical and biological attacks. We've learned that Iraq has trained al Qaeda members in bomb-making and poisons and deadly gases. And we know that after September the 11th, Saddam Hussein's regime gleefully celebrated the terrorist attacks on America.

Iraq could decide on any given day to provide a biological or chemical weapon to a terrorist group or individual terrorists. Alliance with terrorists could allow the Iraqi regime to attack America without leaving any fingerprints."

What we know is that this was a pack of lies. We know it because there were no weapons of mass destruction, and we know it because the Department of Defense says there were no operational ties between Hussein and al Qaeda.

But the crucial part of your argument is that "To everyone’s shock and amazement, as of December 2002 – the 'deadline' put forth under Resolution 1441 - Saddam had failed to comply with the resolution in every possible way." That's simply false. Hussein HAD complied with the deadline. He disarmed, he was allowing inspections, he was allowing scientists to be taken out of Iraq for interviews, and he had turned over every document related to his weapons programs.

And 1441 did not authorize an invasion of Iraq. Who says so? Well, the American and British ambassadors who negotiated the resolution said so:

"[T]his resolution contains no 'hidden triggers' and no 'automaticity' with respect to the use of force. If there is a further Iraqi breach, reported to the Council by UNMOVIC, the IAEA or a Member State, the matter will return to the Council for discussions as required in paragraph 12."

--John Negroponte

"We heard loud and clear during the negotiations the concerns about 'automaticity' and 'hidden triggers' -- the concern that on a decision so crucial we should not rush into military action; that on a decision so crucial any Iraqi violations should be discussed by the Council. Let me be equally clear in response... There is no 'automaticity' in this resolution. If there is a further Iraqi breach of its disarmament obligations, the matter will return to the Council for discussion as required in paragraph 12. We would expect the Security Council then to meet its responsibilities."

--Jeremy Greenstock

Simply put, the invasion of Iraq was not authorized by the UN. And with good reason, given the lack of WMD and the lack of ties to al-Qaeda.

From day one, the forcible removal of Hussein was a goal of the Bush administration. Have a look at the list of former PNAC members who served in the Bush administration, and have a look at the letter they wrote urging Clinton to overthrow Hussein. To say that the invasion of Iraq was prompted by the Sept. 11 attacks is to engage in self-delusion. What the Sept. 11 attacks and the non-existent WMD did was give the Bush administration a pretext for invasion. If that were not the case, then they surely would have had the inspectors continue their work until they either found the weapons or certified that the weapons weren't there.

You seem to think that the invasion and occupation were a good thing, but take a look at the effects:

* The radicalization of the Middle East, with Islamist and anti-Western candidates winning elections in Iran, Palestine, Turkey, and Lebanon. Anti-Western radicals have extended their influence in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and the horn of Africa.

* A sharp rise in the number of terrorist attacks worldwide.

* 5 million refugees, and up to 1 million missing persons.

* Hundreds of thousands of civilian casualties, with estimates ranging to over 1 million. Compare that to the best estimate of the number of Hussein's victims, 290,000 over the course of his entire reign.

* Half of Iraq is without potable running water, and unemployment is over 50%. Most Iraqis do not have access to electricity for more than a few hours per day. Iraq's professional class is fleeing the country, and those left behind are being murdered. On March 9, the last neurologist in the city of Basra (pop. 2.6 million) was murdered.

How did this happen? How is it that Iraq has been wrecked and its people slaughtered, despite the absence of WMD, the absence of ties to al-Qaeda, and the absence of any threat at all to the US or the UK? It happened because of the lies of Bush and Blair, and because of the stupidity of the lemmings who endlessly repeated those lies.

Cheers,

Gordo
http://www.appletreeblog.com

Richard said...

Good gracious, Gordo. Surely everyone already knew that 'endless repetition' is precisely what parrots DO.

Churchill's Parrot said...

My Dear Gordo,

First allow us to thank you for your well written and thorough response to our Iraq Invasion Anniversary Online Refresher Course. Too often, comments from anti-war advocates are fact-void, obscenity-laden, and otherwise entirely pointless. Your’s is not. I shall, therefore, attempt to address your points one by one as this is a matter – it seems we would both agree – of great importance.

GORDO: “You say that Hussein threw the weapons inspectors out of Iraq, prompting Clinton to initiate Operation Desert Fox. Not so. Clinton withdrew the inspectors, so that he could start bombing (link link)”

CP: The articles you cite appear to conclude that the Clinton Administration yanked the UN inspectors so as to prevent their being incinerated in a bombing (Desert Fox) ordered by Clinton solely to divert public attention from his BJ in the OO incident. This is not entirely hard to swallow. However, this would necessitate the complicity of the United Nations and the majority of those now peace-loving Democratic U.S. Senators and Congresspersons who so passionately supported the then Commander-In-Chief in this effort. Also not hard to swallow as the aforementioned have demonstrated repeatedly their complete and utter lack of integrity.

One or two not insignificant snags in this theory, however, can be found in the words of Chief UN Weapons Inspector at the time, Mr Scott Ritter, who is cited abundantly in the articles you’ve brought to our attention. In an August 31,1998 interview on PBS’s NewsHour with Jim Lehrer regarding his just announced resignation, Mr. Ritter seems to refute your claims:
http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/middle_east/july-dec98/ritter_8-31.html

He also adds: “Iraq still has prescribed weapons capability. There needs to be a careful distinction here. Iraq today is challenging the special commission to come up with a weapon and say where is the weapon in Iraq, and yet part of their efforts to conceal their capabilities, I believe, have been to disassemble weapons into various components and to hide these components throughout Iraq.
I think the danger right now is that without effective inspections, without effective monitoring, Iraq can in a very short period of time measure the months, reconstitute chemical biological weapons, long-range ballistic missiles to deliver these weapons, and even certain aspects of their nuclear weaponization program.”
Hmmm. I’d say that’s cause for concern. And then there is that wording in United Nations Resolution 1441: “Deploring further that Iraq …ultimately ceased all cooperation with UNSCOM and the IAEA in 1998…” What’s a Commander-in-Chief to do?
GORDO: “Your obsessive citing of Democratic politicians is absolutely irrelevant, as it's nothing more than argument from authority.”

CP: How is this irrelevant? These very same individuals have near daily pronounced there moral outrage and indignation over the Bush Administration’s “fabrication of this whole Iraq thing.” While we would agree these individuals themselves are entirely irrelevant (i.e. human wind socks), their words – then and now - are highly relevant.

GORDO: “None of that is relevant anyway, since we had inspectors on the ground in Iraq when the decision was made to invade.”

CP: Rather cavalier dismissal of A GREAT MANY facts cited in our Online Refresher course, don’t you think? Regardless, having weapons inspectors on the ground is NOT synonymous with conducting meaningful weapons inspections – as the entirety of the 1990’s and 17 useless UN “Resolutions” demonstrated so plainly.

GORDO: “Your citing of terrorist ties to Hussein is also irrelevant.”

CP: Again – a bit cavalier. But go on …

GORDO: “If the issue at hand had been links to terrorism in general, we would have invaded Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Syria, or the United Arab Emirates, all of which were more closely linked to terrorism than Iraq.”

CP: Yes but none of these nations had invaded another (i.e. Iraq into Kuwait) and subsequently failed repeatedly to comply with the terms of ceasefire despite massive international consensus and pressure for them to do so for the decade preceding had they? Furthermore, links to terrorism was one of MANY issues at hand prompting UN 1441 and the U.S./U.K. enforcement there of.

GORDO: “The issue was the alleged link between Hussein and al Qaeda.”

CP: Correction ONE of the issues was alleged links between Hussein and al Qaeda, not to mention other Islamist groups of international reach including Hamas, Ansar al-Islam, and Egyptian Islamic Jihad. The terrorist-ties issue was one of numerous issues Bushie, the UN, and virtually everyone else involved in this mess cited in the lead up to 1441. I recommend you review the UN resolutions listed in our Refresher Course.

Here's how your hero put it:

"We know that Iraq and the al Qaeda terrorist network share a common enemy -- the United States of America. We know that Iraq and al Qaeda have had high-level contacts that go back a decade. Some al Qaeda leaders who fled Afghanistan went to Iraq. These include one very senior al Qaeda leader who received medical treatment in Baghdad this year, and who has been associated with planning for chemical and biological attacks. We've learned that Iraq has trained al Qaeda members in bomb-making and poisons and deadly gases. And we know that after September the 11th, Saddam Hussein's regime gleefully celebrated the terrorist attacks on America.

Iraq could decide on any given day to provide a biological or chemical weapon to a terrorist group or individual terrorists. Alliance with terrorists could allow the Iraqi regime to attack America without leaving any fingerprints."

What we know is that this was a pack of lies.”

CP: Really? See above “irrelevant” statements from President Clinton, Vice President Gore, UN weapons inspector Scott Ritter, Senator John Kerry, Senator Ted Kennedy, Senator Nancy Pelosi, Senator Hillary Clinton etc. etc. etc. etc. iterating this very same “pack of lies.”

GORDO: We know it (is a pack of lies) because there were no weapons of mass destruction …”

CP: Not entirely true:
http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/iraq/2003-10-05-kay-iraq_x.htm

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,200499,00.html

GORDO: “The Department of Defense says there were no operational ties between Hussein and al Qaeda.”

CP: Well it’s all in how you look at it isn’t it?: http://www.nysun.com/article/72906 touché.

In the end, Saddam had money and the will to hurt the United States and her allies. Al Qaeda et al shared the will and had the means as demonstrated on numerous occasions most famous of which occurred 9/11/2001. That Saddam appears not to have been conducting annual board meetings with Osama Bin Laden’s Chief Operations Officer is of little consolation. In the light of vulnerabilities revealed by the 9/11 attacks, such risks could no longer be tolerated.

GORDO: “But the crucial part of your argument is that "To everyone’s shock and amazement, as of December 2002 – the 'deadline' put forth under Resolution 1441 - Saddam had failed to comply with the resolution in every possible way." That's simply false. Hussein HAD complied with the deadline.

CP: What Saddam’s minions turned into to the Security Council on December 7, 2002 was a 12,000 page “F*ck You” (which – under different circumstances - we would find most delightful!) As Chief Inspector Hans Blix (hardly a stooge of the Bush Administration) put it: "The declaration does not clarify and submit supporting evidence regarding the many open disarmament issues...the 12,000-page declaration, most of which is a reprint of earlier documents, does not seem to contain any new evidence that would eliminate the questions or reduce their numbers."

Mr. Negroponte – whom you quoted so we will too – elaborated:
“Iraq's December 7 Declaration was not currently accurate, full, or complete.
Iraq has failed to allow all persons to be interviewed in the mode of UNMOVIC or the IAEA's choice. Iraq has failed to provide adequate lists of names of all personnel currently and formerly associated with Iraq's WMD programs. Iraq has failed to cooperate actively with UNMOVIC and the IAEA.”
GORDO: “He disarmed…”

CP: Really? By whose measure?

GORDO: “He was allowing inspections…”

CP: To whose satisfaction? And let us not forget WHY Saddam “allowed” the 2002 inspections? Because his nation was already surrounded by virtually the entire United States military who were at the beck and call of a “murderous, unilateralist, cowboy bent on revenge.”

GORDO: “He was allowing scientists to be taken out of Iraq for interviews…”

CP: All right. Now you’re kidding right?

GORDO: “and he had turned over every document related to his weapons programs.”

CP: See Mr. Blix’ and Mr. Negroponte’s statement above, as well as the United nation’s own rejection of Saddam’s “documents.”

GORDO: “And 1441 did not authorize an invasion of Iraq. Who says so?”

CP: Well …1441 says so. Why else did it exist? We suggest you read the entire Resolution. But key within it is the following: “the (Security) Council has repeatedly warned Iraq that it will face serious consequences as a result of its continued violations of its obligations.” After 12 years of failed resolutions, failed sanctions (thanks to the Oil for Food scandal), failed attempts at inspiring meaningful internal rebellion (The Iraqi Liberation Act), failed partial military action (Operation Desert Fox) – what, pray tell, might “serious consequences” mean? More resolutions? Are you familiar with what killed the League of Nations? It had become an ineffectual debating society for international elites. The United nations was and is rapidly becoming/has become the same thing. By holding them to some form of action, George Bush was doing the UN a favor – giving it some semblance of clout in the real world.

GORDO: “…1441 did not authorize an invasion of Iraq. Who says so?
Well, the American and British ambassadors who negotiated the resolution said so:

"[T]his resolution contains no 'hidden triggers' and no 'automaticity' with respect to the use of force. If there is a further Iraqi breach, reported to the Council by UNMOVIC, the IAEA or a Member State, the matter will return to the Council for discussions as required in paragraph 12."

--John Negroponte

"We heard loud and clear during the negotiations the concerns about 'automaticity' and 'hidden triggers' -- the concern that on a decision so crucial we should not rush into military action; that on a decision so crucial any Iraqi violations should be discussed by the Council. Let me be equally clear in response... There is no 'automaticity' in this resolution. If there is a further Iraqi breach of its disarmament obligations, the matter will return to the Council for discussion as required in paragraph 12. We would expect the Security Council then to meet its responsibilities."

--Jeremy Greenstock

CP: 1441 was ratified November 8, 2002. Operation Iraqi Freedom commenced March 19, 2003. That’s four months. But what with having to negotiate all those elephant caravans over the alps and … wait a minute. With current technology, The U.S. could have vaporized Iraq within seconds of ratification of 1441. THAT’S “automaticity!” Four bloody months? Preceded by roughly a year and three months (9/1//01 – 12/7/02) of public debate about invading Iraq, which was preceded by ten years of failed UN resolutions, corrupted sanctions, and feeble military gestures under the Clinton Administration. Is what people mean by a rush to war? By “automaticity?” Actually, by government standards, perhaps you’re right.

GORDO: Simply put, the invasion of Iraq was not authorized by the UN. And with good reason, …

CP: Yes – half the flipping UN was on the Oil for Food gravy train!

GORDO: “…given the lack of WMD and the lack of ties to al-Qaeda.”

CP: Do we have to go through this again?

GORDO: “From day one, the forcible removal of Hussein was a goal of the Bush administration. Have a look at the list of former PNAC members who served in the Bush administration,”

CP: Neo-con bastards!

GORDO: “…and have a look at the letter they wrote urging Clinton to overthrow Hussein.”

CP: We have, thank you, and we agree with every word of it!

GORDO: “To say that the invasion of Iraq was prompted by the Sept. 11 attacks is to engage in self-delusion. What the Sept. 11 attacks and the non-existent WMD did was give the Bush administration a pretext for invasion.”

CP: What the September 11 attacks did was confirm once and for all that the policy of “containment” does not work in the modern era, as the aforementioned Neo-con bastards presaged in their letter to President Clinton.

GORDO: “If that were not the case, then they surely would have had the inspectors continue their work until they either found the weapons or certified that the weapons weren't there.”

CP: Yes ten years of inconclusive putzing wasn’t quite enough. Why not a few more to neither confirm nor deny the existence or lack thereof of any weapons of mass destruction … or not. Perhaps. Maybe. But maybe not?

GORDO: “You seem to think that the invasion and occupation were a good thing,”

CP: We most assuredly do.

GORDO: “…but take a look at the effects:

* The radicalization of the Middle East, with Islamist and anti-Western candidates winning elections in Iran, Palestine, Turkey, and Lebanon. Anti-Western radicals have extended their influence in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and the horn of Africa.”

CP: Yes Lord knows there was no radicalizing going on in the Middle East prior to March 2003! But thanks to America and Britain’s own Fifth Column confirming and mass marketing every possible Muslim suspicion about diabolical Western intentions, the largely illiterate Middle East has certainly moved further toward extremism hasn’t it? Please thank your friends for us at your next Peace rally.

GORDO: A sharp rise in the number of terrorist attacks worldwide.

CP: Ditto

GORDO: 5 million refugees, and up to 1 million missing persons. Hundreds of thousands of civilian casualties, with estimates ranging to over 1 million. Compare that to the best estimate of the number of Hussein's victims, 290,000 over the course of his entire reign.

CP: Yes the Good Old Days under Uncle Saddam! Only 290,000 killed. And it’s so much more dignified to be killed by your own government than by some Jihadi nutwhistle from Iran or Syria.

As for the civilian casualties, ANY casualties are tragic, however, it looks as though perhaps the numbers have been a bit pumped up for dramatic effect? http://newsbusters.org/node/8310 (Could this possibly be the case with the refugee and missing persons counts as well?)

GORDO: Half of Iraq is without potable running water, and unemployment is over 50%. Most Iraqis do not have access to electricity for more than a few hours per day. Iraq's professional class is fleeing the country, and those left behind are being murdered. On March 9, the last neurologist in the city of Basra (pop. 2.6 million) was murdered.”

CP: Yes and Iraq was such a flourishing economy under Saddam. Please! This is the “Hitler had the trains running on time” argument only with more beans counted. Dictatorships are efficient. They are also the greatest evil mankind can perpetrate upon itself.

Though we have not analyzed it yet, we could all get a more accurate read on the actual state of things by reviewing the DOD’s March 2008 report to Congress: “Measuring Stability and Security in Iraq” :
http://www.defenselink.mil/pubs/pdfs/Master%20%20Mar08%20-%20final%20signed.pdf (But I suppose this all just lies anyway, eh?)

GORDO: How did this happen? How is it that Iraq has been wrecked and its people slaughtered, despite the absence of WMD, the absence of ties to al-Qaeda, and the absence of any threat at all to the US or the UK? It happened because of the lies of Bush and Blair, and because of the stupidity of the lemmings who endlessly repeated those lies.

CP: No it happened because of the complete inability of the native peoples to overcome tribal and sectarian hatred. This allows them (or ANY people) to be easily taken over by any and every greater power that chooses to do so – Ottoman, British, Baathist, American. The question is, what do these greater powers seek from their “subjects.” When it is subjugation (Ottoman, Baathist), things generally appear to go quite smoothly so long as one over looks too closely at the state sponsored torture, rape rooms, gassing, and daily executions which – as we have seen – is quite easily done. But when those greater power’s seek self-determination for their “subjects” (Britain 1922, America 2003-2008), things seem – in the case of Iraq – to devolve back to the primal sectarian hatreds that were the problem in the first place.

Ultimately, the fate of Iraq and Iraqi’s is in the hands of the Iraqis; which is precisely where it SHOULD be, and is, thanks to Bush and to Blair and to all the lemmings (parrots?) who proudly support them.

Cheers,

Charlie

gordo said...

Charlie--

I'd like to respond to some of your counter-arguments:

"This would necessitate the complicity of the United Nations and the majority of those now peace-loving Democratic U.S. Senators and Congresspersons who so passionately supported the then Commander-In-Chief in this effort."

Operation Desert Fox was not sanctioned by either the United Nations or the US congress.


"One or two not insignificant snags in this theory, however, can be found in the words of Chief UN Weapons Inspector at the time, Mr Scott Ritter, who is cited abundantly in the articles you’ve brought to our attention. In an August 31,1998 interview on PBS’s NewsHour with Jim Lehrer regarding his just announced resignation, Mr. Ritter seems to refute your claims."

Actually, Ritter is affirming that the Clinton administration was not interested in looking for the weapons, but only in bombing Iraq. As for his belief that Iraq had prescribed weapons, we must once again return to the fact that we had weapons inspectors on the ground in 2003 when Bush ordered an invasion.

So the bottom line here is that there was no need to invade Iraq. There were no weapons of mass destruction, and Bush would have had proof of this if he had just let the inspectors do their work.

"How is this [the citing of Democrats] irrelevant? These very same individuals have near daily pronounced there moral outrage and indignation over the Bush Administration’s 'fabrication of this whole Iraq thing.'"

Why is an argument from authority irrelevant? I don't have the space to go through the rules of logic for you, so you'll have to read up on this one yourself (link).

Again, we know that there were no WMD and no operational ties to al Qaeda. There was no threat to the US, and therefore no cause for war.

"What Saddam’s minions turned into to the Security Council on December 7, 2002 was a 12,000 page 'F*ck You'."

Actually, what they turned in was in full compliance. Resolution 1441 states that Iraq must provide "currently accurate, full, and complete declaration of all aspects of its programmes to develop chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons, ballistic missiles, and other delivery systems such as unmanned aerial vehicles and dispersal systems designed for use on aircraft, including any holdings and precise locations of such weapons, components, sub-components, stocks of agents, and related material and equipment, the locations and work of its research, development and production facilities, as well as all other chemical, biological, and nuclear programmes, including any which it claims are for purposes not related to weapon production or material."

That's what they did provide. At the time, Hans Blix assumed that the lack of new material meant that Iraq was in breach of the resolution because of the lack on new material on Iraqi WMD programs. But that lack of new material stems from the fact that Iraq had not restarted its WMD program, as Blix later confirmed.

You ask by whose measure had Hussein disarmed. Well, by ANY measure. We've had troops in Iraq for 5 years, and unbridled access to the entire country and all of Hussein's records for that entire time. We've been able to fully debrief all of Hussein's generals and scientists. The weapons simply weren't there.

As for 1441 authorizing force, I reaffirm my position that the document does not do so. The only portion of text you cite is this:

"13. Recalls, in that context, that the Council has repeatedly warned Iraq that it will face serious consequences as a result of its continued violations of its obligations;"

Usually, authorizations of military force are worded a bit more strongly and directly than that. Nowhere in that phrase or in Resolution 1441 is there an authorization of military force.

"1441 was ratified November 8, 2002. Operation Iraqi Freedom commenced March 19, 2003. That’s four months. But what with having to negotiate all those elephant caravans over the alps and … wait a minute. With current technology, The U.S. could have vaporized Iraq within seconds of ratification of 1441. THAT’S 'automaticity!'"

You don't seem to know what the word "automatically" means. It doesn't mean the same thing as the word "instantly". It means "acting or operating in a manner essentially independent of external influence or control." When Negroponte and Greenstock affirmed that 1441 does not include triggers or "automasticity", they meant that a further resolution would be needed to authorize the use of force.

The reason they made this affirmation was that they knew that no resolution containing an authorization of force could be passed. They had tried to pass such a resolution a couple of days earlier, and failed.

"What the September 11 attacks did was confirm once and for all that the policy of 'containment' does not work in the modern era, as the aforementioned Neo-con bastards presaged in their letter to President Clinton."

Again, Iraq had nothing to do with the Sept. 11 attacks. Using those attacks to justify the invasion of Iraq makes as much sense as using the Pearl Harbor attack to justify our entry into the Vietnam War.

"Yes ten years of inconclusive putzing wasn’t quite enough. Why not a few more to neither confirm nor deny the existence or lack thereof of any weapons of mass destruction … or not. Perhaps. Maybe. But maybe not?"

Again, there were no weapons of mass destruction. The invasion of Iraq can't be justified on the basis of either a non-existent tie to al Qaeda or non-existent WMD.

"Yes Lord knows there was no radicalizing going on in the Middle East prior to March 2003! But thanks to America and Britain’s own Fifth Column confirming and mass marketing every possible Muslim suspicion about diabolical Western intentions, the largely illiterate Middle East has certainly moved further toward extremism hasn’t it?"

So now the mask slips, and we get to see that Churchill's Parrot is actually Joe McCarthy. Anyone who questions the policies of the government is now denounced as a traitor.

Also, the notion that the people of the Middle East haven't been radicalized by the bloodbath in Iraq, but instead by a few peace rallies is absolutely ludicrous, and rooted in the racist notion that brown people are irrational and easily gulled by the liberal media.

The fact is, radicalization of the region was the predictable response to a war of aggression followed by a prolonged occupation. We saw it in Southeast Asia in response to the occupation of Vietnam, and we saw it in Central Asia as a response to the Soviets' occupation of Afghanistan. And now we're seeing it in the Middle East.

"Yes the Good Old Days under Uncle Saddam! Only 290,000 killed. And it’s so much more dignified to be killed by your own government than by some Jihadi nutwhistle from Iran or Syria."

You seem to be determined to miss the point. Hussein killed 290,000 in 20 years. The current war has killed more than that in just 5 years. My point was that the invasion has made matters worse.

You also seem to doubt that there could really be hundreds of thousands killed, or millions of refugees. You probably also take issue with the reports that there are 300,000-1 million missing persons. But the estimates of the number of refugees and missing persons come from relief agencies (primarily the Red Cross and the UN) who are actually dealing with the problem. They make those estimates based on the amount of shelter and food that they've been forced to provide, and the number of family members that they've been asked to look for.


And the death toll estimates come from researchers who used the same methods that have been employed to determine the number of deaths caused by Hussein (you didn't think that those estimates came from the Iraqi government, did you?). I find them a lot more credible on this issue than the folks at Newsbusters, or the Iraq War cheerleaders that they cite, none of whom have any expertise in the field.

"Yes and Iraq was such a flourishing economy under Saddam. Please! This is the 'Hitler had the trains running on time' argument only with more beans counted. Dictatorships are efficient. They are also the greatest evil mankind can perpetrate upon itself."

Again, you're trying hard to miss the point. The point is that the people of Iraq are much worse off as a result of the invasion. Nothing you've said contradicts that fact.

"Though we have not analyzed it yet, we could all get a more accurate read on the actual state of things by reviewing the DOD’s March 2008 report to Congress: 'Measuring Stability and Security in Iraq'"

So your evidence that things are better now than under Hussein is a document that you've not even read? If you had read it, you'd see that it does not address the issue in any way, but instead states that the security situation has improved since mid-2007, while reconstruction continues to lag.

"No it happened because of the complete inability of the native peoples to overcome tribal and sectarian hatred. This allows them (or ANY people) to be easily taken over by any and every greater power that chooses to do so – Ottoman, British, Baathist, American. The question is, what do these greater powers seek from their 'subjects.' When it is subjugation (Ottoman, Baathist), things generally appear to go quite smoothly so long as one over looks too closely at the state sponsored torture, rape rooms, gassing, and daily executions which – as we have seen – is quite easily done. But when those greater power’s seek self-determination for their 'subjects' (Britain 1922, America 2003-2008), things seem – in the case of Iraq – to devolve back to the primal sectarian hatreds that were the problem in the first place."

This is just a racist "you just can't help these savages" argument, and if it were true it would be an argument AGAINST the invasion. After all, if the savage Iraqis can't be helped anyway, why would we sacrifice thousands of our own people and hundreds of billions of dollars, just so they could devolve back to their naturally savage state?

There's really only two morally acceptable arguments for launching the Iraq war:

1) Iraq was a threat to the US.

No WMD, no operational ties to al Qaeda, no threat.

2) We wanted to help the poor, suffering Iraqis.

Predictably, the war has made things a lot worse for the Iraqis.

And let's not forget that the war has also degraded American prestige and influence, harmed the American economy, and rendered the American military less capable of defending us, our allies, and our interests abroad.